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Archive for the ‘Boot Camp’ Category

Last week my best friend Jody put in a request for a virtual meal.  Jody lives in Miami and I was so excited she asked me to make this, because it has been a long time since I made them, and I love them. Jody has been my best friend for 13 years and I value her friendship more than words can say. She moved to Miami from Michigan a few years ago for an amazing job opportunity, I miss her everyday, but she is my forever friend and distance does not change our friendship.

So after work I ran out and got some ingredients and made her request. Chicken Lettuce Wraps.

This is an easy, fast recipe.

Lots of healthy ingredients.

Cooking time was less than 8 minutes.

Made a fresh salad to go along with this light dinner.

Yummy, crisp and light.

Love the crunch from the water chestnuts. Amazing how much flavor they absorb from the sauce.

Also made my new favorite dessert. I just love me some Chobani Cheese Cake.

Chicken Lettuce Wraps

Adapted from Real Simple. 

Ingredients

  • 3  tablespoons  low-sodium soy sauce
  • 3  tablespoons  honey
  • 2  tablespoons  canola oil
  • 1 1/2  pounds  boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into 3/4-inch pieces
  • black pepper
  • 2  cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1  tablespoon  grated ginger
  • 1  bunch scallions, trimmed and sliced
  • 1  8-ounce can sliced water chestnuts, drained
  • 1/4  cup roasted chopped nuts
  • 1  small head Boston or Bibb lettuce, leaves separated
  • Garnished with mung bean sprouts

Directions

  1. Combine the soy sauce and honey in a small bowl. Set aside.
  2. Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat.
  3. Season the chicken with ½ teaspoon pepper and cook, stirring occasionally, until it begins to brown, about 3 minutes.
  4. Lower heat to medium and stir in the garlic and ginger. Add the scallions and cook for 1 minute.
  5. Stir in the water chestnuts and half the soy sauce mixture. Continue cooking until the chicken is cooked through, about 4 minutes. Remove from heat and sprinkle with the chopped nuts.
  6. Divide the lettuce leaves among plates and spoon the chicken over the top. Serve with the remaining soy sauce mixture for drizzling. Top with mung beans sprouts for garnish.

Jody I hope you enjoy your virtual meal! I had fun making them. 

I also just found out yesterday that Jody is coming back to Michigan for the Thanksgiving holiday for a visit. Her family still lives in Michigan and when she comes to visit her family, they welcomes me into their home like I am part of the family. So I am over the moon with excitement that I get to see my Jody in 146 Days. Jeff and I went to Miami in March to visit Jody, so this is quite a treat that I get to see her twice in one year. 2012 is turning into an amazing year. Love you Jody.

Now onto a Fitmixer update.

So I have been doing the Fitmixer Bootcamp since May 14th. and we have just passed the 1/2 way mark. We completed a fit test on our first day and again at the 1/2 way point. I am happy to report that I was able to complete with ease several additional reps to each task. One exercise that I was really happy with seeing an increase was the Burpees. I did an additional 5 reps with ease and really felt like my form was solid the entire time, where the first time I felt like I was getting really sloppy towards the end.

So in addition to the workouts, I also walk a local farm trail which is a 2 mile walk. I walk it most weekdays and it ends up being a nice 30 minute walk. Walking helps keep me stretched after a good boot camp workout.

Question of the Day:  What’s you favorite workout right now? I am loving my boot camp workouts.

Check ya Later.

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So this past week-end I attended the Blend Retreat. It was the highlight of my year so far. I had an amazing time. I met so many amazing ladies. It was really fun being a part of the First Annual Blend Retreat.

It was held in Boulder Colorado at Chautauqua Park.

I had great roommates, Katie at Talk Less, Say More and Amanda at Diary of a Semi-Health Nut.

We had this super cute cottage.

All the rooms were cozy and rustic.

  

Then there was the view off the back porch.

Once I arrived I was greeted by our hosts Lindsay, Katie and Janetha.

Above photo taken from Katie’s Blog.

Also received my Big Bag of Swag. There was some really Amazing stuff in this bag. I think I will dedicate a post to the swag bag. I really want to cover all the goodies we received. There are some very generous companies that showed us bloggers some serious love and I’d like to do the same in return for them.

After we settled in to our cabin and got to know one another a bit, we headed to the dining hall for a meet and greet cocktail hour followed by dinner and dessert. This gave us an opportunity meet fellow bloggers.

  

The table was loaded with some of my favorite bloggers.

Had some cupcakes from Street Fare.

They were so beautiful and taste.

There was a mad rush for the cupcakes when dinner was over, we each got to choose 3 mini cupcakes, I choose the Raspberry Lavender, S’mor, and Peanut Butter Pretzel. Absolutely loved the Raspberry Lavender.

Saturday morning at 7am, we had Boot Camp.

I was really excited to meet my Best Body Boot Camp instructor Tina.

Tina and Lindsay lead the Boot Camp on Saturday morning. It was so much fun.

Above picture taken from Lindsay.

Here are some scenes from the Boot Camp.

     

Got to meet the lovely ladies from fitmixer. I start the fitmixer Boot Camp on May 14th. so it was really nice to meet them and talk to them about the program and what to expect. I really liked meeting the people behind the products.

   fitmixer Boot Camp

My favorite Boot Camp picture has to be this one.

After Boot Camp it was off to breakfast.

We had an amazing breakfast courtesy of Xagave.

     

Beverage by Cheribundi.

Loved the tart cherry flavor, I am not a coffee drinker so I headed straight to the Cheribundi table.

So far this post covers Friday evening through Saturday morning breakfast. I really wanted to break up the post into three parts due to how detailed this trip really was. Plus it’s difficult to cram an entire week-end into one post.

Check ya Later.

 

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Snack Plate Rules! I love them, and my typical snack plate looks like this. I have been addicted to hummus as long as I can remember. Recently I tried a new brand, I always thought I would never stray from my favorite brand Sabra, but the Kroger brand is just so amazing. I bought it for the first time on my last shopping trip, because the plain Sabra flavor was sold out. The texture and thickness of the Kroger’s brand is perfect.

So on my snack plate is the Kroger’s hummus, a string cheese stick, a whole wheat pita, carrot sticks and a hard-boiled egg. The combination of this snack plate kept me as full as a meal would. Loved it.

In other news, I never heard back from the Luna Bar Winner so I did a Redraw and the New Winner is: Meagan, who I have already notified. Meagan your package is on the way!

BEST BODY BOOTCAMP

Boot Camp Update: 

Well this is the last and final week of Boot Camp, and I can truly say I will be walking away from it with New Friends, New Confidence and New Moves. I have said it before during these last 7 weeks and I will say it again, I love Boot Camp, I learned so much. I cannot think of a time where I pushed myself more to achieve a fitness goal.

Here’s My Fitness Confession: I am no longer a Cardio Junkie, I Love Lifting Weights. 

I’m attending Blend Retreat 2012.

Blend Retreat News:  I have roommates. I am paired up with a non-blogger named Patricia, who I can not wait to meet. I also have two other roommates: Amanda at Diary of a Semi-Health Nut, and Katie at Talk Less, Say More. I am really excited to meet them all and have a great weekend.

Question for the Day: What is your current fitness goal?  

Here’s Mine:  To continue learning new exercises involving weight training.

Check Ya Later.

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Yesterday was a really big day for me, I pulled out the grill, and I had a blast Getting My Grill On. I really missed my grill over the long winter, it is the only grill that I have ever been brave enough to start on my own. Let me explain, I had an incident when I was 16 years old lighting a grill. I made the mistake of having my face to close to the grill and as I dropped the match to light the flame and it sent a puff of flame straight up at me, and I ended up singeing my bangs and my eyebrows.  I have been afraid of grills ever since, but that all changed with a new grill purchase last spring.

Greek food is a favorite of mine and I just love Chicken Gyros. I really love the fresh flavors from the cucumber and yogurt sauce that is called Tzatziki.

I Grilled up some broccoli. That is my favorite way to prepare my vegetables during grilling season. I just make sure I toss the veggie with olive oil and use cooking spray on the pan I am using to prevent the vegetables from burning or drying out.

Here’s my Grill, she’s a beauty, I just love her. It’s so nice to have an electric start on a grill, nothing to light, no way to singe your hair, and it’s a perfect size, with 2 shelves.

Perfect for grilling your veggies and cooking your meal at the same time. I have even cooked french fries on the top rack using my toaster oven tray. We had a power outage last year for over a week (in August) and I made all our meals on the grill. It was fun and I looked at it as an adventure and I found that I learned so much about cooking that week. I really got creative.

Made a Simple Tzatziki Sauce.

  • 1/2 – Cucumber deseeded, and Chopped
  • 1 – Small Container Plain Greek Yogurt
  • Diced Garlic to Taste
  • Processed in a Food Processor until Incorporated

It came out smooth and creamy. I love the slight bitter flavor you get from the yogurt. I think you could put this on anything, I am going to use my left over sauce as a salad dressing. I will let you know.

Once the chicken is done grilling I let it rest for about 3 minutes then slice and dice into strips or chunks.

The broccoli cooked the entire time the chicken did and it was done perfectly. I kept the grill on medium the entire time.

Once I took off the chicken and broccoli I put the flat bread on the top rack for a minute on each side to warm.

Loaded the pita up with chicken, spooned on some of the Tzatziki sauce and topped with some feta cheese. I only wish I had some tomatoes to top it off with.

It was a really easy meal to make and I had a good time Getting My Grill On. Plus I am all for the easy cleanup in the kitchen, which leaves me with more time to spend with my guys.

BEST BODY BOOTCAMP

Boot Camp Update: Feeling really sore today and in lots of places. Upper chest is sore, hamstrings are really sore and my inner thighs are super sore. So I have been trying to get up from my desk and stretch throughout the day.

Plank Club Update: Had a set back this week in my Planking time, for some reason I have not been able to hold a Plank longer than 35 seconds, so I have been doing several throughout the day. It’s a work in progress.

I’m attending Blend Retreat 2012.

So in just under a month I will be flying out to Boulder Colorado to attend the Blend Retreat. There are still tickets available for anyone who wants to attend, just click here for the Blend Retreat Link. This retreat is for Bloggers and Readers. The list of sponsors just keep getting bigger, which means the Swag Bag’s are getting bigger and bigger. We have all kinds of activities planned, Hikes, Yoga Classes, Boot Camp Class, Food and Fun. I am so looking forward to meeting all the ladies.

Question of the Day: What’s your favorite Greek Food?

Additional Random Question: Have you ever been to a place that did not have Wi-Fi and you were not able to blog?

Check Ya Later.

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Tomorrow I start my Best Body Boot Camp.  I have found myself on several occasions singing and humming the song Anticipation by Carly Simon, I am really excited to get started, so I reviewed the exercises and how the Boot Camp works. Tina did an amazing job setting up this program, it’s obvious the amount of time she put into preparing it. I am so glad I joined, and I look forward to starting the 8 week Boot Camp.

bootcamp_large

So I decided to take today off to rest up for my pending workouts. I plan on doing some stretching and some foam rolling.

This recipe is one that I have always wanted to make. I adapted this recipe from Eating Bird Food.

Homemade Mayan Harvest Bake

Makes 4 Large Servings

Ingredients:

2 Sweet Potatoes, Washed and Diced into 1/2 inch Cubes
1 Bunch of Kale, Cleaned, Destemed and Chopped
1 15 Oz. Can Black Beans, Drained and Rinsed
1/4 Cup Sunflower Seeds

Sauce:

1 tbsp. Swanson Organic Extra Virgin Coconut Oil (divided)
1 Onion, Chopped
2-3 Cloves of Garlic
1 15 Oz. Can Diced Tomato’s
1/4 Cup Water
1 tbsp. Chili Powder
1 tsp. Paprika
1/2 tsp. Sea Salt

Grains:

1/2 cup Quinoa
1/2 cup Farro
2 cups of Water with a Bouillon Cube or Broth Concentrate -or- just use 2 Cups Vegetable Broth

Preparation:

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Toss sweet potatoes in 1/2 tbsp. oil and roast for 20 minutes in a square glass baking dish/pan, stirring once.
  3. While the potatoes are roasting, heat 1/2 tbsp. coconut oil on medium high in a large skillet and saute the onion and garlic until soft and fragrant. Add diced tomato’s, water, and spices (chili powder, paprika, sea salt) into the skillet and let simmer for 10 minutes. The sauce should be on the thicker side, but add more water if you want to thin it out. Stir in black beans.
  4. Heat another skillet over medium, using the other 1/2 tbsp. coconut oil, add the chopped kale, a few tbsp. of water and a bit of sea salt. Let the kale wilt and toss for 5-7 minutes.
  5. Pull roasted sweet potatoes out of the oven and top with cooked kale, and black bean sauce, mix together and bake for an additional 15-20 minutes.
  6. While it’s baking prepare the grains by putting the quinoa, and the farro, with 2 cups of liquid into a small pot. Bring mixture to a boil, then cover and let simmer for 15-20 minutes or until most of the liquid has been absorbed.
  7. Portion out the grains in a crock or on a plate and top with the harvest bake, sprinkle with sunflower seeds and serve.
Now get to chopping, you need to cut up two sweet potatoes into 1/2 cubes.
This was my first time using coconut oil to saute, I have just recently started using it. I loved trying it in a smoothies, but you don’t get the aroma is gave’s off until you saute with it. It’s lovely.
Sauteing kale softens it and gives it a beautiful shiny glow. It also helps to remove some of the bitterness flavor.
Combine all the ingredients while the quinoa and the farro cook, and bake for an additional 15-20 minutes.
Look at how beautiful the quinoa is, I love these little seeds, they have great texture, I also love the chewy bite the farro adds.
Layer the grains, then top with the sweet potato and black bean mix and top with sunflower seeds.
This is such a warm and inviting dish, I really enjoyed it, and my husband also gave it a thumbs up.
My only regret was the fact that I was unable to find plantain’s and pumpkin seeds, like the original recipe called for, but I will keep my eyes open for “Next Time.”
This dish does not lack in flavor, the combination of the sweet potatoes, the chili flavor and black beans blends so well.  It was a time-consuming recipe to build, and I used practically all my pots, pans and utensils, but it was worth it.

Question of the Day: Do you substitute items in recipes with similar items or just omit them?

Check Ya later.

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