The dreaded 4 letter word

D I E T.

This may be the most over used word in the English dictionary. I personally have a lot of problems with the four letter word previously mentioned.  People in our society use food as punishment, rewards, stress relief, and boredom.  None of these uses are appropriate for people.  We need better solutions.  We need better support.  We need to stop using that disgusting word.

A healthy lifestyle does not come in the form of a magic weight loss pill, magic drink, or even in starvation plans.  A healthy lifestyle comes in the form of green vegetables, lean proteins, healthy carbs and fats and a steady workout regime.

If you didn’t see the results you wanted for January, then reevaluate your goals and consult your doctor if necessary.  If you were unsuccessful last month, that does not mean you will fail again this month.  Take that determination and drive to have a goal focused February.

Some helpful tips:
1. Stop buying pop, chips, ice cream, candy, etc.
2. Start planning your meals and prepping if you can or if that is the way you can hold yourself accountable.
3. Write your workouts on a calendar.  If you’ve scheduled them into your life, you will more than likely take the time to complete them.
4. Find a friend that you can rely on to kick you in the badonkadonk if you aren’t willing to do it for yourself.  You need to hold yourself to the highest standard because YOU ARE WORTH IT!

What will your goals be for the month of February?

As always, be confident, be fit, be you!

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Another meatless meal!

Another week of Lent has passed us by.  I hope that you have stuck to your Lenten promise, whatever it may have been, to bring you closer to God.  Since my child is teething, I’m struggling slightly but really reaching out in prayer.  Other than that, things are going well on the healthy meal front.

So, I took the idea from here (of course found on pinterest).  I originally didn’t have any plans on modifying the recipe, but I didn’t have complete control of the meal.  We were using the peppers as a portion of our pasta dinner and none of the peppers were saved from being on the chopping block.  Therefore, I slightly changed the meal.

Here is my version of “Stuffed” quinoa peppers.

It was actually pretty yummy, despite how it looks!

It was actually pretty yummy, despite how it looks!

I took 2 cups of cooked quinoa and put it in a skillet.  Then I added 1/2 cup of kale chopped, 1 cup of peppers, 1/4 cup of onion, and 1/4 cup of homemade tomato sauce.  Topped it all with some mozzarella cheese and put it in the oven.  Let it cook for about 15 minutes (I was afraid of melting the handle on the skillet since it wasn’t my own).  After letting it cool, we divided it three ways.  It was extremely filling.  I would recommend cooking it slightly longer to soften the peppers just a bit more.  Overall, this was extremely easy to throw together and definitely something I will be trying with my family.  The roll was an added bonus! They are homemade by my mother and extremely delicious!

Hopefully the weather in your area is getting better as Spring approaches! Here’s to warmer weather and getting outside to work towards the end goal, healthy and happy families!

Be confident! Be fit! Be you!

Lenten Meal Take 2

Well, we are officially into week 3 of Lent, which means we’ve had two Fridays with absolutely no meat.  Now, I understand people are vegetarian and do this all the time, but I am not one of those people.  I rarely have a meal that does not contain some meat item as the staple ingredient.  However, there was one Lenten season a few years back that I gave up meat for the first week, then did vegan, then to raw and finally a juice week and let me tell you, that was the most challenging Lenten season I have ever had.  I truly felt like I was making a huge sacrifice.

So, week 1 was a rather boring meal and not too far off my normal eating.  Week 2 brought it’s own challenges.  Since our mission trip puts on a pasta dinner every Friday during Lent, I am surrounded by pizza, pasta, rolls and ice cream.  As I’ve mentioned to my coworkers who bring in sweets, I can walk past it maybe twice, but then I really start craving the sugar.  #whydoesmyofficehavetopassthekitchen?

I came prepared for the pasta dinner with some spaghetti squash to make a mexican bowl. The pasta dinner was cranking out meals (seriously, we provide an all you can eat meal including drink and dessert for a measly $6/ person) and we almost forgot to get our squash in the oven.  Well, after adding black beans, tomato sauce, peppers, onions, and a little bit of cheese, I popped them into the oven.  We waited 40 minutes (it was a convection oven set at 375*), and the squash still wasn’t done.  However, it was 7:15pm and if we didn’t get the kids moving on clean up we were going to be there till 9pm.  We scrapped out what we could of the squash (basically the bottoms weren’t done but the sides were fine) and gave it a whirl.

I added a bit of sour cream to mine and it was delectable.

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This picture was taken with my phone and therefore is not the best quality. I promise the dinner was actually enjoyable.

Recipe:

1 Spaghetti Squash cut in half like a boat (you will want to cook the squash prior to adding the ingredient and then cook for another 15 min.)
1/4 Black beans
1/2 Red, Yellow, or Green Pepper
1/4 cup Mozzarella cheese
1/8 cup onion
1/2 cup spaghetti squash (we make a homemade one for the pasta dinner)
Sour cream (if you want)

Add all of the ingredient, minus the sour cream, once the squash is almost all the way cooked.  Then finish cooking.  You can either top it with sour cream, or leave it alone.  I pulled mine out of the squash and plated it while my mom just ate it straight from the squash.

Hope you enjoy and create your own variations of this awesome vegetable dish! Next weeks dish is pinterest inspired, so stay tuned!

Be confident! Be fit! Be you!

T25 Alpha Complete

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Ok, so I just completed week 5 of the T25 program this morning.  It was rough and I could quite honestly say that it needs to be repeated right away. However, I am going to continue on with the 2nd phase on Monday.

The first few weeks I needed to modify with Tonia, but some I was able to do more than her and less than the rest of the group.  For example, I could do the spider pushup, but I couldn’t do the oblique pushups.  So, instead of going with Tonia, I continued with the spider push ups.  As the weeks progressed, I was able to stick with the group a little better. Although I still modify, even this morning.

Some of the cons of this workout is that it requires a good bit of jumping.  Although I am completely capable of jumping, the room that I am working out in just so happens to be my living room and hardwood floors.  Now, I do have a yoga mat I put down, but the stuff no the shelves still has risk of falling if I jump too hard.  I’m also trying to stay as quiet as can be because of the sleeping baby just a few steps away from me.   Another con of the video is the two a days on Fridays.  I do two a days on Tuesdays to get in a bootcamp class at the gym as well as a bootcamp class on Saturday.  So, Friday means 50 minutes instead of 25. Therefore, I break it up into a morning workout and then an afternoon workout for after my child finishes her nap.

I have noticed my running hasn’t been too damaged from lack of actually getting out to get mileage in.  When I have managed to get on a treadmill, I am able to maintain a good speed and get a few miles in without huffing and puffing.  As my boss keeps mentioning, March is literally in a few days.  I don’t believe that is going to change the outdoor running scenario, but at least someone is hopeful.  Once this weather decides to break, I’m finding my way to the park at least 3 days a week, even if I have to get up at 4:45am.

Hope you are remaining positive and continuing to challenge yourself.  Remember that changes in your fitness and health will happen over time and should not be done all at once very quickly.  Be confident! Be fit! Be you!

I’m trying something new tonight for Lent.  Check out my blog Monday for the food review!

First no meat Friday of Lent 2015

As I previously mentioned, I would be trying new foods (found on pinterest or food network) during this Lenten season.  I am trying to avoid the constant pizza and pasta on Fridays, just because it is convenient.

Well, this first Friday I completely failed.  I had pizza at lunch because of my head cold.  It was a convenience and I wanted to get back to napping.  At dinner, I had no desire to cook.  I had a tuna sandwich (100 calorie pack sandwich ready from Starkist) and some tomato soup.

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Although it wasn’t the greatest day for eating, I managed to get up and get something and that is a plus.  I already have this coming Friday planned and I am definitely looking forward to the meal!  I am going to attempt a sweet potato, kale, and quinoa dish that looks amazing!

Also, I hope you had a moment to check out the race schedule and will be joining me this season! If not, here it is again: http://ohiochallengeseries.com/client_images/files/28_news_6128.pdf

Sorry this was a short post.  But as always, be confident! Be fit! Be you!

Pasta and Rolls

Ok, so that really isn’t what you should be eating every day, but it is a downfall of mine during Lent.  If you are like me and fast from meat on Fridays during the Lenten season, then you understand that it is easiest to make pasta or get pizza for dinner.  This is even more true if you have to worry about feeding younger children.

Yes, I can eat fish, but I don’t like fish at all.  My lunch every Friday until Easter will be a tuna sandwich (one of the 100 calorie packets) with some vegetables on the side.  However, when it comes to dinner, my go to is usually pasta or pizza.  It is an even easier decision since I assist with a Pasta dinner at our church every single Friday to benefit the youth mission trip to Beattyville, KY.  My mom makes the most incredible rolls (only during this time of year) and I can easily devour 4-5 of them in a evening.  They are an old style recipe with mashed potatoes and seriously the most savory roll I’ve ever experienced.  Now that you are salivating, I’m going to mention that they are not even remotely healthy and shouldn’t be in anyones diet.  However, in moderation, they would make a nice treat for dinner!

Ok, so I actually started this post to mention that I am going to try and refrain from pizza and pasta as a main portion of my meals on Fridays.  I’m going to attempt to replace those heavy carb items with a much healthier vegetable or dinner option.  I love spaghetti squash and will definitely be enjoying that once or twice, but I need a few more options.

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I’ve picked out a few recipes to try (things that my mom can eat as well since she is gluten free).  I will be making these over the next few Fridays and will share with you the results, adaptations, ease of preparation, and of course the taste.  I will be making these dishes at our pasta dinners so that mom has some healthy and awesome food to enjoy as well!

If you are going meat free on Fridays or even throughout Lent, let me know what foods you like to enjoy!  As always, be confident! Be Fit! Be you!

Chocolate motivation

First of all, let me apologize for posting this blog at the start of Lent.  But, it is good information for after Easter! So, bookmark it for later!Lindt-Creation-Chocolate-Mousse-tablet-500x500

Seriously, chocolate is my motivation to workout and to workout hard!  I have a rather large sweet tooth and my choices have only become more refined as I get older.  I can no longer eat Hershey chocolate without it hurting my teeth…I know I’m strange.  However, a good dark chocolate bar, ice cream, cake, pie…oh lord I’m getting a sugar rush just thinking about all the sweet savory goodness.

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So, you may be wondering why I’m making a post about foods that are in no way shape or form healthy or good for you.  (Even though the cheesecake pictured above does have bananas, it is safe to say it is still extremely high is sugar and calories.) Well, it is a huge reason why I work out 6 days a week.   Although it is a double edge sword.  The more that I work out, the more hungry I get and the craving is usually junk food.

If you must continue to indulge every now and then (remember moderation is key), here are some helpful hints to burn off the excess calories.  You can pair them with your daily workout or just do enough to burn off the crap, I mean sweet chocolatey goodness.

For 260 calories, which most candy bars are around that, you can bike for 30 minutes or climb stairs for 15 minutes.  You want a tasty donut, then head to a pool to swim for 30 minutes. To burn off a s’more, during those summer camp nights, simply push mow your yard for an hour. You’ll need to avoid using the self-propel mode so it is slightly more strenuous.

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So, if you are like me and just have to indulge in a sweet from time to time, make sure you pair it with an increase in your daily workout regime.  Add some extra cardio and/or strength training to combat the extra calories.  If you can’t get to the gym that day, do some body weight exercises at home.  Some of my go to exercises are body weight squats, push ups, sit ups, planks, lunges, and dumbbell work (can use a can of vegetables if needed).  However, I’m learning some very interesting moves at the gym these days.

Let me reiterate that drinking water should be your first option before indulging in your craving.  If the water doesn’t work, drink another 8oz.  After all that water, you still feel like you need to eat whatever it is, then have a little bit to satisfy the craving.  Also, try to limit yourself to a sweet or junk food item to once or twice a week.  Make it a special treat for working so hard toward your goal!

Even if you have a piece of cake, brush it off and continue working towards your ultimate goal.  One meal or part of a meal will not break your healthy habits.  It is only when you continue to make excuses that it will pull you down.  Stay confident! Stay fit! Stay you!