The Wednesday Word — fitness survey

Gooood morning!

Holy moly…I am too sore to workout – so I decided I needed to take the day off. {Live Fit Trainer has 3 days off at the end of the week, since I have been super sore, I dispersed them throughout the week this week}Since I was so sore this seemed like a nice alternative! Get those sore muscles stretched out… blood flowing into them and wake up the brain!

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So, along with my fitness goals, I really want to get back into blogging more frequently. Once a week, but more than once would be awesome! I thought a cool way to do that would be to implement something I devised {or thought I did… although I am sure I’m not that clever!}, called the “Wednesday Word”. Soo, I will post a new fitness survey, a new motivational mantra or photo that I’ve found… something to keep me {and hopefully you} going and excited about health and fitness! 🙂 #iwill #whatisbeautiful

This week I have decided to hone in fitness. I’ve seen this fitness survey floating around the  web… {Over at Carrots ‘N Cake, etc.} I am not a fitness guru or health nut, so my answers are pretty bleh. BUT I thought it would be interesting to see how my answers change during each phase of the Live Fit Trainer. Since I’m in Phase 1 – here is posting numero uno!

Hope y’all are having a great and productive week!

Five Fitness Things I Can’t Live Without:

  1. iPhone – cannot workout without music!
  2. Nike Free 5.0s – favorite shoes ever
  3. H20 – hydration baybee!
  4. Motivation – sometimes that means pulling up Pinterest, thumbing through a fitness magazine really quick or even just turning on some of my favorite workout songs!
  5. My HUSBAND! – He keeps me motivated and wanting to stay fit. I couldn’t imagine having a partner who isn’t motivated to stay fit and healthy! XOXO!

Most Embarrassing Song I Listen To When I Workout:

  • Britney Spears? — I will always love Britney. I grew up with her and love her – she gets my heart pumping!
  • Little Mix – Wings – This popped up on my Pandora and I love the beat!

Favorite Pre-Workout Snack or Meal:

Egg {usually 1} and Dave’s bread, toasted with coffee —  I usually workout in the AM around 5ish, so breakfast is the first thing in my belly!

On My Fitness Bucket List:

  • Complete all 3 phases of Live Fit Trainer – and stick to it!
  • Complete a 1/2 marathon
  • Complete a color run – seems fun!
  • Lose fat – gain lean muscle!

Must Have Tech Tools:

  • iPhone! – cannot live without my music playlists – especially Pandora!
  • I don’t currently have but totally want… Polar FT40!

Top Exercise Gear:

Seriously love my Nike Free 5.0s. I had a foot injury {Morton’s neuroma – no fun!} a while back and ever since have difficulty with the way shoes fit, and flare ups.. ever since I started wearing this style of Nike I have had ZERO problems! These are my favorite!

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Motivational Mantras:

I have quite a few but two that are true to where I’m at right now in my journey are…

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Favorite Strength Moves:

  1. Squats!
  2. Leg Press!
  3. Lunges! — I loathe them, but I feel and see results… it’s a love hate relationship! 😉

I love leg days – probably because I have the most strength and so I feel the best when I go up to a heavier weight.

What are you favorite things?! Copy and repost – just tag me back so I can read and comment! Happy Hump Day!

Ciao,

xoxo

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Roller coaster ride.

I am tired of the roller coaster. I am tired of the, “I want to get fit… I want to gain muscle and eat lean” mentality that quickly falls to the “OMG that looks/tastes so good” mentality. I am through. Finished. Ready to make a permanent change.

This past year has been quite difficult for me on the fitness home front. My first year teaching was a lot more difficult than I imagined. I thought for some reason I wouldn’t be subject to the first year teacher stresses and struggles. Alas, they got me. And they got me good! The summer leading into my first teaching job (last summer), I worked out pretty hard and started the “New Rules of Weight Lifting for Women” program, which I loved by the way. Then, I was hired and like a whirlwind life changed. I was working 12 hours a day, and some days more to get my classroom together… I was working long days to get my plans finished in between and after meetings while trying to maintain my normal life, also while being infected with 5 year old Kindergarten germs. It was crazy. 😉

All the while I told myself, “Well, next week things should calm down and I can get in a workout or two.” If you guessed that I didn’t do that, then you guessed right! Pretty soon it was December, and the holidays hit, and so did all my favorite sugary treats. Finally come Winter Break I got back into the gym, only to become very sick with the flu. Another road block. Long story short, I am just finally getting to the point where I can regain the right mentality, the right priorities to take care of myself and realize that is the best thing I can do for my husband, my students and most importantly myself.

Today I did a lot of online browsing… I came across a great fitness program that I started today and am SUPER excited about! …click here to check out Jamie Eason‘s 12 week Live Fit Trainer program. Stoked on that. And I also found out about the Under Armour “What is Beautiful” campaign. I joined up on that and am super excited to start some of the challenges. {Pssst… follow me on UA What is Beautiful – HERE!”}

Its late. Its random. I haven’t blogged in… a long time. BUT, I just couldn’t wait to get a post going, to chat about all the things going on inside my head. This post is somewhat of a ramble. But I think it is best that way. I am so tired of living my life “lazy”. “Ugh. I am too tired to work out”, and then feeling disgusting or gross when my clothes don’t fit. BTW, I REFUSE to buy new clothes! And, I also refuse to keep yo-yoing back and forth just to fit in said clothes! 🙂

My goal is… Complete Phases 1, 2 and 3 in a 12 week program… Change my lifestyle and teach my students to be active!!! #iwill #whatisbeautiful

Fitness is for life. I’m making the change… I’m challenging myself to become a better version of me. I am challenging myself to be the best person I can be, someone my future children can be proud of, someone my current students can be proud of. {Seriously… my kids would rather sit in front of a TV or video game… NOOO!} NO EXCUSES THIS TIME! I want to make a change.

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Well, all I can say/guarantee is…stay tuned for the next installment on this roller coaster ride! 😉

Ciao! And Sweet Dreams… zzzz.

xoxo

High Protein Cheesecake

 

Regardless of how hard I try, I am a dessert girl. One of my biggest challenges in my striving to eat healthy, is to curb my cravings for dessert. I am sure that most of you ladies know what that is like! Especially around “that” time of the month. So, whenever I find a recipe which makes dessert a semi-healthy choice, I am all in! 🙂

When reading “The New Rules of Lifting for Women”, one of the things I loved about the nutrition plans is they acknowledge that the majority of women are hard-wired to want/crave dessert! The meal plan even factors in dessert! Yaaa-hoo! That was one of the selling points for me {tee hee}.

One of the recipes in the book is high protein cheesecake. I was immediately curious! Especially since the cheesecake does not have a crust. I wondered how it would stay together when you served it? But I did love the fact that it had added protein aside from the protein found in the ricotta cheese and eggs. So, the other day I gave it a whirl and baked some up!

Verdict? Pleasantly surprised!! Of course, it isn’t the same as “real” cheesecake. The texture isn’t as creamy as real cheesecake, but that also makes up for the lack on crust on the bottom. It doesn’t dish up very easily since there isn’t a crust. But if it satisfies a dessert craving, does it really matter how pretty it looks?! The flavor is delicious, and when topped with fresh fruit, like blueberries, it is a special {and healthy!} treat!!

Tip: Be careful to not over cook. The recipe says to bake between 30 and 40 minutes. I chose to bake for 35, and forgot to check it around 30 minutes. Result? The outside got a little done. It was still good, but the center was creamier!

Cheesecake with fresh blueberries?! Yes please!

High Protein Cheesecake

Serves 8; approximately 190 calories per serving.

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups part-skim ricotta cheese
  • 2 medium eggs {I used large and it turned out fine}
  • 1/2 cup reduced-fat sour cream
  • 1/2 cup vanilla whey-protein powder {I recommend Optimum Nutrition, Vanilla Ice Cream}
  • 1/4 cup granulated stevia
  • Grated rind and juice of 1 fresh lemon
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Spray a 9-inch pie pan with cooking spray and set aside.
  2. Put all ingredients in blender, and process until very smooth.
  3. Pour mixture into prepared pan.
  4. Place pan on the top rack of oven and place a flat pan of water on bottom rack. Bake 30 to 40 minutes. {Center will still jiggle slightly}. Allow to cool to room temperature on a cooling rack. Chill well prior to serving.

Source & Recipe: slightly adapted from The New Rules of Lifting for Women.

 

If you give this recipe a try, let me know what you think! Ciao!

 

A new fitness plan and outlook!

It seems so easy to fall into a rut in your workout routine. Especially if you have been lifting for the better half of your life. That is where my husband was not too long ago. He was looking for a way to switch up his routine, and shock his muscles! He recently bought a book called The New Rules of Lifting. As soon as he started reading it, he was absolutely engrossed in what the author had to say. He read the book in nearly 2 days! He was so excited about everything this plan included, and I wasn’t really interested until a section came up about the difference in metabolisms between men and women. I admit though, I was skeptical. I wasn’t so sure about it. Then, we realized there was a version written specifically for women! So I immediately ordered the book, and when it arrived, I took was taken aback and also read the book quickly, in about 3 days!

I love the subtitle… “Lift like a man, look like a goddess”! Yeahhhhh… Talk about girl power! 🙂 Whoop!

What I liked most about this fitness plan is although the fundamentals are the same between the plan for men and women, there are still variations which recognize the difference between us. The author, Lou Schuler believes that women belong in the weight room, not using the pretty colored, “Barbie Barbells” {as he refers to them}, but using the same equipment {not machines!} that men use. He also believes that lifting muscle groups in isolation {i.e. having specific days for specific muscles, like ‘leg day’, ‘back and biceps day’, etc.}, is an inefficient way to increase strength and build muscle. Rather, he believes lifting should replicate typical movement types that your body goes through on a daily basis.

The fitness plans are what I was most skeptical about at first. I agreed with his theory, that you should increase your strength in order to build more muscle, and you should do so in a way that your body normally moves. But, before we read this book, we were working out 5-6 days a week! We spent 2 hours in the gym on the weekends. It was something that had become a huge portion of our lives. But Lou and Alwyn {Cosgrove, he wrote the fitness plans} only want me working out THREE DAYS A WEEK?! Say what?  This entire book made me second guess how I have been working out and lifting for my entire life. For instance, if you are trying to gain muscle, endurance training is contrary to the goals you are trying to achieve. Wait, I don’t have to spend 45 minutes on the treadmill anymore?! Lou and Alwyn integrate interval training versus long amounts of time on cardio machines. This is not only a fitness plan, but integrates nutrition and meals that are actually tasty and do-able, and include dessert! I could ramble on, and on about it, but I can’t explain it as well or as humorously as Lou. Buy it… do it!

Now, more about the workouts…

This program is approximately 6 months long with varying workouts. The workouts are broken down into 7 stages. Each stage has an A and B workout, which you do for multiple weeks. I am on Stage 1, and completed my second workout yesterday. Let me just preface by saying I have been working out intensely for the past 6 weeks since we started our new health kick. That being said, these two workouts {A and B} have kicked… my… butt {and ham strings, shoulders, abs, etc., etc.}!  Seriously. Obviously it is too soon in the program to tell whether I am seeing gains in muscle tone. But I think the immense amounts of soreness are a great sign!

Cliff’s note version/ultimate favorite things about this program:

1. Focus on strength, and efficiency and recovery time.

2. Well though out, efficient workouts {in and out of the gym in under an hour and I am sweaty!}.

3. Nutrition focused on feeding your body what it needs to compliment the workout and energy expenditure.

4. Written and built especially for women!!

I am already feeling stronger, and successful. Following this plan I am not hungry and feel satisfied. I am more excited than ever and actually feel as though my goals are attainable and I am going to be strong and still look fit and toned!

Now, for an entirely cheesy, yet accurate picture which captures my utter excitement for this new program…

And if that wasn’t enough… here is a goofy, cheesy, duck face picture I took when testing out the lifting for my very cool mirror pictures! 🙂

Question: What are you super excited about right now? What is your fitness motivation?

I can’t wait to read your answers!

Psst… by the way, if you haven’t liked my official Facebook page, do it {See that handy little Facebook box to the right?}! I have been posting fun and inspiring things nearly daily. Be sure to like the page to get all of the updates that are not available on the blog.

Ciao!

Chocolate Espresso Protein Shake

Raise your hand if you are addicted to Pinterest!

:Raises both hands:

I recently tried a coffee protein shake recipe off of Pinterest. I had envisioned it to be granita-esque {thicker than a frappe, with kind of chunky ice pieces… I love ’em}. However, it was a mess! It was thin and made entirely too much shake, which was flavorless because the protein powder was so watered down. So, I restructured the recipe to taste better and be thicker!

Chocolate Espresso Protein Shake

Ingredients:

  • 1-1 1/2 cups Ice
  • 1 tsp Instant espresso or coffee granules
  • 1 cup of Milk of choice {I used non-fat, some people prefer almond, etc.}
  • 1 rounded scoop of Chocolate protein of choice
  • Sweetener, such as Splenda or stevia if desired

Directions:

  1. Fill blender with ice to approximately the 18 oz. line. {More or less depending on how thick you want it}
  2. Dissolve 1 tsp of espresso or coffee granules in 2-3 tsp of warm/hot water.
  3. Add milk, dissolved espresso and 1 scoop of protein. {If you want it sweeter, add sweetener at this point}.
  4. Blend until ice is crushed! And ingredients are mixed.

Disclaimer: This is not intended to be a treat or sweet shake! It will not taste like a mocha frappe. Protein shakes are just that, for protein. This is just a fun way to incorporate your morning coffee fix into your protein! 🙂

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Hope y’all have a great weekend!

Friday Favorite and Key Lime Pie!

Friday Favorite: Muffin Topless! 

I love surfing Pinterest and the internet for motivation and inspiration to keep moving toward my fitness and health goals. Recently I ran across an amazing blog, and it is chock full of everything! Inspirational pictures, motivating quotes, recipes, music playlists, etc!! The best part? She is a real person who came to the realization that she needed to live her life in a more healthy way. I love reading about success stories! It inspires me. Check it out! {That is her in the picture… pretty darn cool}.

Eating healthy and staying on track is, well… HARD! If you’ve been following me since the beginning of my blog, I am a foodie at heart and love to try new and tasty things. So finding new recipes that are healthy and still tasty has been quite a journey. However, I am in the school of thought that even if you are eating healthy, you still need to treat yourself to stay on the band wagon. I know myself too well and if I know I can’t have a dessert for weeks on end, I’m likely to end up falling off the band wagon and ruining all the hard work I put in! “Treat days” are like the light at the end of the tunnel! 🙂

So this week, rather than a healthy recipe, I bring you a treat recipe! I had been craving key lime pie for weeks, and so I finally gave in {Against my better judgement} and made a pie. For treat days, I’ve been trying to indulge in things that are small, and won’t have anything left over {less temptation} but I couldn’t resist this time! And, I must say, I was pretty happy! However, I was less happy when it came time to get rid of the rest of the pie sitting in my fridge so I wouldn’t eat it! Haha.

Disclaimers:  {1}: I chose to use regular limes versus key limes. I got to the grocery store with every intention of using key limes, but what I didn’t realize is they are the size of a walnut. OMG, I could not imagine squeezing enough of those to get ONE CUP of juice. There was just no way. Even without the key limes, the pie was still delicious, so pick your poison! {2}: Also, another variable in this recipe is the crust. Some folks like a thick crust and some don’t. I like mine in between. I followed Emeril’s recipe, but there was too much graham cracker mix for my liking, so adjust as necessary! {3}: I adjusted baking times for the crust and also for the filling due to researching online.

Haha, forgive my lack of skill with serving pie. Inevitably I always end up breaking the crust!

Key Lime Pie

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 4 tablespoons {1/2 stick butter} melted
  • 2 {14-ounce} cans sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 cup key lime or regular lime juice
  • 2 whole eggs
  • Heavy cream
  • Powdered sugar {approximately 1/2 c}
  • 1/2-1 tsp vanilla

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
  2. In a bowl, mix the graham cracker crumbs, sugar, and butter with your hands. Press the mixture firmly into a 9-inch pie pan, and bake until lightly brown, about 5-10 minutes. Remove from the oven and allow to cool to room temperature before filling.
  3. Lower the oven temperature to 325 degrees F.
  4. In a separate bowl, combine the condensed milk, lime juice, and eggs. Whisk until well blended and place the filling in the cooled pie shell. Bake in the oven for 15 minutes and allow to chill in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours.
  5. Before serving, make whipped cream for the top. Blend heavy cream on high until it begins to thicken, then add powdered sugar and vanilla to taste, and whip until stiff. Top chilled pie slices with a dollop of whipped cream and enjoy!

Source & Recipe slightly adapted from: Emeril

Happy Friday! I hope you enjoy your weekend! 🙂

Chicken Adobo

Good morning! Happy Friday everyone!! 🙂 It is a beautiful morning here in Washington! Look at this happy little cloud that popped up in the sky this morning.

I hope everyone had a happy and safe Fourth of July! Our holiday was very peaceful and relaxed. We spent the afternoon with family and had a barbecue! The Fourth landing on a Wednesday kind of made it difficult to do anything über exciting since we wake up bright and early {3:30am} every morning!

Yup. Yesterday was a rough one… we live in the city and there is a casino nearby as well as a reservation, needless to say fireworks go off all night and our dog is not okay with it! We got hardly any sleep on the night of the fourth. Yet – I still drug my buns to the gym! In all my tired glory. Whoop!

This week I bring to you another quick and simple dinner recipe, and a favorite around the Santie household! Chicken Adobo! My husband and I are often on often ends of the food spectrum, he prefers Asian cuisine and I could eat Mexican anytime of the day or week. This dish however is one we both agree on hands down! It is a healthy recipe, but make sure that you are drinking plenty of water throughout the day to counteract the sodium in the recipe. Even with low-sodium soy sauce, there is still a decent amount of sodium.

A cool thing that I found out – you can ‘adobo’ anything! According to a fellow blogger {Happy Jack Eats}: Adobo refers to the process of simmering in soy sauce, vinegar, and garlic. Anything can be adobo-ed, including pork, ribs, and even veggies. I have only ever had chicken adobo but I must say this dish is delish! If you read upon adobo, they say for it to be ‘authentic’ you should use bone in pieces, however, we have become huge fans of boneless thighs because they are so much easier to eat. You could also use breast pieces, but understand it will not be nearly as tender or fall apart delicious! This is one dish to splurge on, and use dark meat.

Don’t let the picture deter you… Sometimes I get in such a hurry to eat that I don’t take the time to check whether the picture quality was good. :-X Whoops. 😉

Without further ado…

Chicken Adobo

Ingredients:

  • 2-3 lbs of chicken {bone-in or boneless thighs are best!}
  • 1/2 cup rice vinegar
  • 4 T reduced sodium soy sauce
  • 1/2 tsp peppercorns {we prefer fresh crushed pepper}
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 3 cloves of garlic

Directions:

  1. Heat a large skillet or dutch oven on medium heat.
  2. Combine the vinegar, soy sauce, peppercorns, and garlic in a bowl.
  3. Place chicken in pot. Pour sauce over top, and add bay leaves to the pot.
  4. Reduce heat to medium low, place lid on pot and allow to simmer for 20-30 minutes or until cooked through. During cooking, flip chicken occasionally to make sure all sides are coated in the sauce.
  5. Serve with brown rice and green beans or peas. This dish is really good with the adobo sauce over top of the rice.

Source & Recipe: Adapted from many online sources, including Manna and Quail and Happy Jack Eats.

Ahhh, so simple, and yet SO, SO, SO tasty! I love the tangyness of the vinegar, the richness from the soy sauce and of course, the garlic! Delish! If you try it, be sure to let me know if you love it, like it or hate it! I’m curious to get a consensus!

Question/Answer Time:

Q: What fabulous weekend plans do you have planned?  {Leave me a comment about your favorite weekend things!}

A: We are finally getting some gorgeous weather around the Seattle area, so I think the hubby and I might try to go for a hike or head out fishing. And since I have the day off I think I might go for a walk by water!