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Archive for the ‘Cardio’ Category

Started Monday off with a creamy batch of OIAJ. This is becoming a habit for me, I just can’t get enough oatmeal lately. It’s funny I went through the entire winter stuck on Chobani yogurt topped with cereal, and then it starts to get warm out and I start eating a hot oatmeal breakfast.

I then gave the babies some love. My Killian is getting to be an old boy, he is 14 now and he is getting lumpy, the vet told me that they are just fatty tumors, but some of them are getting quite big. He still acts like a young dog, so that’s a good thing.

I just love there little faces, they make my heart melt. Stuart loves to give kisses and who am I to turn one down.

I found this amazing recipe over at Around The Plate, and knew I had to make it.

Recipe: Roasted Cauliflower with Feta

Ingredients: 

1 large head of Cauliflower
3 Tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
4 oz. Feta cheese, crumbled
2 cloves Garlic, chopped
Cumin, to taste
Sea Salt, to taste
Rosemary, to taste
Thyme, to taste

Directions: 

1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
2. Separate the cauliflower florets and place in a bowl. Add the Extra Virgin Olive Oil, Garlic, Cumin and Sea Salt to the Cauliflower. Toss lightly.
3. Place the cauliflower on a sheet pan in a single layer and place in the oven for 15-20 minutes or until the cauliflower browns on the edges.
4. Remove the cauliflower and place back in the bowl. Add the feta cheese, rosemary and thyme. Mix together.
5. Place the cauliflower and feta back on the sheet pan. Cook for an additional 5 minutes or until cheese is melted.
6. Serve and enjoy!

I upheld the Meatless Monday tradition here at my house and made tofu with noodles and cauliflower for dinner with a dose of fresh cucumbers mixed in.

Last week I picked up the pre-cubed package of tofu. I thought it would save time, but I must say I will stick to the block next time, I didn’t consider how I was going to press out the liquid.

The little cubes also shrunk up quite a bit, but they tasted amazing. I marinated them with 1/3 cup of soy sauce, 1/3 cup of lime juice and 2 tablespoons of oil. I baked on 400 degrees of 15 minutes.

I also boiled up a batch of  Nasoya Japanese noodles.

I just love a big plate of noodles.

After they boiled I rinsed in cold water and then tossed with soy sauce, rice vinegar and touch of oil. I also have a shaker of  seaweed and sesame seeds that I season to taste. You can make cook up the noodles a day in advance, they really soak up all the flavor overnight.

I just layered on some fresh cucumbers, the tofu and the cauliflower with feta.

I really loved the flavor the feta cheese added to the entire dish, I will make this again.

BEST BODY BOOTCAMP

Boot Camp Update: I am really digging the workouts and making progress, I honestly don’t think I have ever been this motivated to workout.

I have also started to add Planking into my everyday workout. I found some motivation from my friend over at Life’s Little Bits. I will be joining her for a daily Plank with her Plank Club. Just start where you are with your first Plank and add 5 seconds to your time every day! Fun right.

Here are the Rules:

1st Rule: You can talk about Plank Club.
2nd Rule: You can talk about Plank Club.
3rd Rule: If your butt drops or raises during the plank, the plank is OVER.
4th Rule: No limits on how many people can plank.
5th Rule: Perfect plank form must be observed at all times.
6th Rule: Wear whatever you feel like, plank naked if you must.
7th Rule: Planks will go on as long as your muscles can handle it.
8th Rule: If you join PLANK CLUB, you HAVE to PLANK.

I love this! I hope you will join us.

Question’s of the day: What’s your favorite meatless meal?  Are you going to join us in some Planking? 

Check Ya Later.

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I am venturing out on a Lunch Quest.

Habit and convenience are the two reasons I tend to eat the same lunches during the week. I like to keep certain items on hand that are healthy and easy to eat at my desk.  But I have to admit, I am getting bored with eating my same old, same old bag lunch. I have been craving green salads, but I like mine loaded up or I tend to get hungry not long after eating. I wanted to try out this salad in advance to see if I would be able to adapt it for a during the week “take away” shrimp salad.

Avocado Shrimp Salad

I sautéed the shrimp in Extra Virgin Coconut Oil and seasoned with white cooking wine, lemon juice, paprika and chives.

They cook up so fast, they only need a few minutes of cooking time. They get really tough if they are overcooked.

I chopped up an avocado and sprinkled with lemon juice to keep its color.

I did not add any dressing to this salad, just some lemon juice and I mixed up the avocado really well. It coated all the leaves and really added a creaminess like a dressing would.

Here’s my thought on the salad, it was perfect to make and to eat at home, but I don’t think I’ll take this to work with me, the avocado cut in advance would get too brown and everything would have to be packed separate and then added together at my desk, so it really would not be the most convenient, plus I would worry that the shrimp would lose its freshness.

So this is a keeper when made at home for when I want to eat it for that meal, but the quest for something different for lunch continues on, I might have found a great new salad, but my quest is not complete.

In today’s Boot Camp news, we start week #2 and I am ready to go, I am able to do all the workouts on the day’s as they are listed and I have chosen a new goal. I am going to be keeping my in Bed By 11p.m. for Goal #1, because I really need to develop better sleeping habits, but this week I decided to go with Using a Foam Roller after each workout as my #2 Goal.

BEST BODY BOOTCAMP

One of my main focuses for this weeks workouts is to really concentrate on the muscles that I am working. I want to really focus on breathing, tempo and form.  I have noticed that I hold my breath on excretion and push too fast through the exercise. I have enlisted the help of my husband this week also, I asked him to make sure I am keeping my form when I do the sets. He pointed out a few things for me last week and I really liked having a spotter. He kept asking me during the Crab Walk “Is your Butt suppose to be dragging like that?”  So I would start over and keep my tush up. I think he should have been a coach, he has a really good attention to detail kind of mind, plus he’s a great motivator, i’d shout out “tell me I can do it”  in my I don’t think I can voice, and he would jump up and cheer me on! He’s so cool.

Question of the day: What do you bring for your bag lunch?

Check Ya Later.

 

 

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There’s just something about the weekend, I love the time I get to relax and make breakfast and just sit and talk with my husband. Unlike the typical breakfast during the week, where I eat at my desk at work. I was a bit undecided on what I wanted for breakfast, I thought I wanted Van’s French Toast Sticks while my husband wanted eggs. So I grabbed everything to make both and realized that I wanted eggs also. So back in the freezer went the French Toast Sticks.

It was a good call, I had 2 eggs scrambled with imitation crab meat and shredded cheese and just a splash of milk. My husband had 3 eggs with ham and shredded cheese and a splash of milk.

 

Multi-tasking is a must when you want to eat different ingredients and want to eat at the same time!

Now that I had my eggs, I can’t seem to get the French Toast Sticks off my mind. I just might need to think about having them as a snack later.

That’s how you Kick it Saturday Style. Eggs two ways or His and hers if you like.

Now that I am full and fueled I plan on getting to the planning of my day. Today is Cardio of choice with my Boot Camp Program, so I have a treadmill power walk planned.

BEST BODY BOOTCAMP

Tomorrow I get my first Rest Day from Boot Camp, I am very proud that I have followed the program and stayed on point. During the program we have in addition to the Workouts two goals that we give ourselves, I only had one day that I did not meet my goal.  I knew that the goal of getting myself to bed by 11 pm was going to be hard, but I really want to start forming better sleeping patterns.

Last night Jeff and I went to a Red Wings Game, our 3rd. this season! We had a blast, but I was so worried we would get home late and I would miss my Bedtime Goal, but I made it home and into bed by 10:56 pm.

And the Red Wings won 4-3! The last game we attended was in February where the Red Wings made sports history by winning 23 Home Games during a season, now that was a happy crowd.

It was a great game, I love watching live sporting events, the crowd always pumps me up. Plus I really love hockey, growing up my brothers played hockey and my father was a hockey coach, my mom volunteered at the concession stand, we were always at the Ice Arena as a family, we called ourselves  “Rink Ratt’s.” My contribution was to organize cheering sections. I really took it serious, I made up dances, I had moves, those are some of my favorite memories from growing up.

Also I wanted to pass on that the Blend Retreat still has tickets available. It is open to bloggers and readers. This is the first annual BLEND Retreat and it is being held May 4th-6th in Boulder, Colorado at the historic Chautauqua Park.

I’m attending Blend Retreat 2012.

What do you think, wouldn’t you love to join us. The price is right and who doesn’t enjoy fellowship. I hope to see you there.

Question of the Day: What is your favorite part of the weekend? 

Check ya Later.

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BEST BODY BOOTCAMP

Best Body Boot Camp Update: 1st. off I have learned that I can push past the pain. 2nd. I look forward to working out. Pushing past the pain has been easier than I thought. I had some serious thigh burning the first few minutes of my elliptical workout today, but once I got past the burn I found myself having more energy and ability to adapt to the changing intervals with ease. I have also found that I look forward to what I will get to try next, I mean not in a million years would I ever have thought that I would be doing some of these exercises, they always seems too advance for me, but when I am able to do them, and complete the set it just helps me build my confidence and lose the phrase “I can’t do that”.

Now on to something sweet. There are times when we all find a recipe that immediately you know I have to make that, well here’s one such recipe for Avocado Chocolate Pudding that I adapted from That’s so Michelle.  I knew that if my husband saw me making this he would taste it with hesitation or maybe prejudge what it would taste like, so I made it while he was working out. My husband loves food and he really is not picky at all, but I wanted him to eat the pudding and tell me how he liked it before I told him what was in it. I just love to show him that you can add goodness to any meal, snack and dessert.

Avocado Chocolate Pudding 

It was weird to see avocado and peanut butter in a bowl together.

I was excited to get to try out Swanson Organic Cocoa Powder in a recipe that would really feature it. I just love that fact that there is NO sugar added to it and it has a smooth cocoa flavor.

Finding way to incorporate coconut oil into my diet has not been hard, I love this stuff and it really is easy to find ways to use it.  Check out this link for reasons why coconut oil is so amazing.

Mix it all together in a bowl and use your hand mixer until smooth.

This batch made  4 really nice size servings. I added chocolate chips for a little crunch.

So here’s the reaction from my husband. He loved it. Which I knew he would. So I then told him what was in it. The only thing he said was “You Put What in My Pudding?” It was so funny, he really didn’t care what was in it because it tasted like Chocolate Pudding.

Ingredients  (Serves 4)

1 Ripe Avocado
1/4 Cup Creamy Peanut Butter
2 Tablespoons Cocoa Powder
1 Tablespoon Coconut Oil
6 Packets of Truvia or 1/4 Cup sugar
1/4 cup Agave Nectar
1/2 Teaspoon Vanilla
Dash of Salt

Place all ingredients in a large bowl and mix with a hand mixer until creamy and smooth and serve.

Question of the day: Have you tried coconut oil? What did you use it in? 

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So it’s already mid-week, and I am not sure how it went by so fast, but who am I to argue with time.

In other news I am so happy that my Treadmill is Back on Track. A few week’s back the track on my treadmill took a turn for the worse and I had to stop using it. The bottom backing on tread was shredding and it was starting to jam up in the motor. After looking into it, I realized that I could get a replacement track. So that’s what I did. I love my treadmill and the thought of having to invest in a new one was not what I wanted to do at this time. So getting the replacement belt was the best option.

The process of changing it out was more than I thought, but was not a problem for my husband. He unscrewed this and loosened that and pulled tools out of his tool box and made grunting noises and the next thing you know the belt slid off and we could slide on the new one, I actually helped with that part.

The old track was really beat up and shredding in several places, more so than I could see before taking the belt off, but the new one is on, and now I have to break it in. I can only say this, Hooray.

This also came just in time for my Best Body Boot Camp Program. I was hoping that I could alternate Elliptical and Treadmill for the Cardio portion of the Program.

BEST BODY BOOTCAMP

As far as Boot Camp is going, let me say this, I love it. I am being introduced to exercises I normally would not attempt. Plus I am actually using my home equipment and I am having fun and learning to push myself. Being a part of a big group like this is really exciting, I am meeting other bloggers and readers. We’re all supporting each other via Social Media and keeping each other posted on what we liked and how it’s going for each of us.

I also have a great support system at home, and I have started to include my dogs in the Boot Camp.

They are getting daily walks and we’ve cut back on their treats.

Look at these little faces.

They love carrots, and that has been a reward for them instead of dog biscuits.

They go cuckoo for carrots.

Wanting a healthy snack for myself that was salty, I remembered a recipe I had for Roasted Chickpeas. I like to keep healthy fun snacks on hand so I don’t make poor choices.

Ingredients

  • 1 (12 ounce) can chickpeas (garbanzo beans), drained
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • salt (optional)
  • garlic salt or garlic gold nuggets (optional)
  • cayenne pepper (optional)

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees F.
  2. Blot chickpeas with a paper towel to dry them. In a bowl, toss chickpeas with olive oil, and season to taste with salt, garlic salt/garlic gold nuggets, and cayenne pepper, if using. Spread on a baking sheet, and bake for 30 to 40 minutes, until browned and crunchy. Watch carefully the last few minutes to avoid burning.

I used a high sided cookie sheet for these.

 They get golden brown and some of the little buggers even popped like popcorn, scare the heck out of me.

In the end they are so taste, they are soft in the center and they just sort of melt when you eat them.

I’m keeping a container with me to snack on through out the day.

Hope your having a good week so far! It’s 60 degrees here in Michigan and everyone I have talked to and seen has been in such a great mood, funny how weather really does affect our moods. 

Question of the day: What’s your pets favorite treat? 

Check Ya Later.

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Well the walking belt on my treadmill has taken a hit, it has been wearing out for sometime now, but I have been ignoring it, and didn’t realize how damaged it really was. This treadmill is an older model, but the motor works great so I found a replacement belt online and I ordered it, and should expect it in about 3-5 working days. So I will be getting all my cardio via my elliptical rider until then.

Wearing my headphones and rock’in out while power walking, I didn’t really hear the warning noises it was giving off, until the noise got louder than my music.

The last hint was this terrible burning smell that started.

So I jumped off the treadmill and got on my elliptical rider and did a 40 minute resistance workout.

To be honest I’m really getting in a good rhythm on the elliptical lately. Since I started to challenge my self to adding resistance, I cannot believe how fast the workouts have been going by. Plus I can tell my legs have gotten stronger.

After my cardio I got on some circuit training,  I did the following .

LEAN LEG PYRAMID

  • 20 Squats
  • 30 Lunges
  • 40 Toe Touches (head forward, legs straight, bend down & touch your toes)
  • 50 Second wall sit (sit up against a wall, legs at 90 degrees and hold it!)
  • 100 Seconds Jumping Jacks
  • 50 Second Wall Sit
  • 40 Toe Touches
  • 30 Lunges
  • 20 Squats

Next was the LEAN ABS PYRAMID

  • 10 Standing Knee Raises
  • 20 Tummy Tucks
  • 30 Second Plank Jacks (on your hands in a plan, jack your legs out & in)
  • 40 Crunches
  • 50 Bicycle Crunches
  • 40 Crunches
  • 30 Second Plank Jacks (on your hands in a plan, jack your legs out & in)
  • 20 Tummy Tucks
  • 10 Standing Knee Raises
Today I made a Saturday morning favorite, Eggtastic English Muffin.

Using my Pampered Chef measuring/storage jars I microwaved the first egg for a total of 2 minutes, but the problem is if you’re not careful the egg will explode in the microwave, so after 30 seconds I stop the cooking and let it rest and poke the egg. Then continue until it looks firm. The second egg only took a minute and 30 seconds to cook, so the cooking time’s do vary and you really have to watch the egg the entire cook time.

It was eggtastic.

Hope you enjoy your Saturday.

Question of the day: How do you like your eggs?

Check Ya Later.

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Well the baking bug did hit me. I have a small stock pile of canned pumpkin. So that’s when Courtney’s Recipe for Protein Pumpkin Breakfast Cake called out to me.

Use your favorite apple. I used a crisp Fuji apple.

Going into the oven.

Fresh out of the oven.

Protein Pumpkin Breakfast Cake

Makes 9 servings

Ingredients:

  • 1.5 cups liquid egg whites
  • 1 can pumpkin
  • 1/3 cup light coconut milk
  • 2 packets Truvia
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 scoop protein powder
  • 2-2/3 cups slow cook oats
  • 1/2 cup low-fat cottage cheese
  • 1 medium apple, finely chopped
  • 3 tbsp pecan pieces

Directions:

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Mix all ingredients in blender except apple and nuts. Fold in apple.

Spray a 9×9 pan with non-stick cooking spray. Pour mixture evenly in pan and sprinkle with nuts on top.

Bake 50 minutes or until center of cake is dry.

Top with Greek yogurt and maple syrup and enjoy. I love the crunch you get from the apples. This breakfast cake has amazing texture’s and layers of flavor. In one bite I got tons of cinnamon flavor, and the next I got an oatmeal and apple bite.

Today’s Workout:

30 Minutes on the Elliptical and The Ultimate Butt Workout.

Killer, absolutely Killer Workout. This was very challenging, and that’s exactly what I am looking for. I found this little gem on Alyssa’s Blog. I was not able to do every exercise as listed above (I did 10-12 reps), but I completed the 3 sets. I was left with a little energy so I added a set of Straight Leg Deadlifts.

The Deadlift is one move that has always been difficult for me and left me sore for several days after. I know how important these are and I plan on making them part of my weekly workout. I used a bar for this, I wanted a little more stability and I think the bar is best for me to start with.

Dumbbell Straight-Leg Deadlift

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Focus on form. Do It: Grab a pair of five-to eight-pound dumbbells and hold them in front of your thighs, feet hip-width apart, knees slightly bent. Bend at your hips to lower your torso until it’s almost parallel to the floor, keeping the weights close to your body. Return to standing, keeping the weights close to your body (as if you’re shaving your legs with the dumbbells). That’s one rep. Now I don’t know if this was such a good idea to do this set after the Ultimate Butt Workout, but I am really trying to challenge myself.

I love my purple weight bar and purple workout matt. It help’s make a rough workout just a little bit better, and any help I can get, I will take. After I completed that workout I got down on the matt and did some deep stretching.

My best friend recently went on a Caribbean cruise and sent me these little nuggets of love.

They have little bits of sea salt on them and are flavored with rum. Talk about a great combo, nuts, rum, salt and caramel, what a unique flavor. I had to check myself and only have a few, they were a great treat after that Killer workout.

Well I’m off to spend the day with my husband and my parents. We have a fun day planned out.

Question of the day: How did you spend your Saturday?

Check Ya Later.

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