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! ūüôā #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 –¬†I¬†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! ūüėČ

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

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. ūüėČ

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! ūüôā

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! ūüėČ

Ciao! And Sweet Dreams… zzzz.

xoxo

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! ūüôā 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! ūüôā

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!

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! ūüôā

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! ūüôā

Getting back on the {fitness} track & Pineapple Shrimp Brown Rice

Weeeee! It’s Friday! Hooray!

So, quick catch up… I graduated this past weekend! Woo hoo! {I constantly felt like I was being choked once I was ‘hooded’, the Master’s attire is so uncomfortable and strange… only my MAE cohort would understand the reference to ‘bat wings’}

Although there is only a little catch, I still have 1 culminating seminar to complete the requirements for my Masters, but all requirements have been met for state certification! Holla! So I have a two-week seminar starting next week, then I will be finished! It is a crazy, exciting and bittersweet feeling to be done. I started this program a year ago on June 13, and it has been an absolute whirlwind, but so special and exciting. Now the tough part – praying I get hired on this school year! Haha.

In the midst of the craziness we have gotten sick a lot, had very little time to eat right and work out and thus have allowed ourselves to get into a rut of unhealthy eating and not working out near enough. Result? Sluggish, no energy and totally not happy with the way we looked. We used to eat a fairly balanced diet, and at one time we were eating based upon a mostly ‘whole foods’ rule. Kind of like our own diet creation. So we made an executive decision… time to get back on track! We decided it was time to eat cleaner, workout more and treat our bodies right – we were so tired of feeling gross!

Two weeks ago we starting eating whole foods, hardly anything processed (exceptions: sauces, etc… we aren’t going¬†entirely whole food sans processed foods) and no sugar except for special occasions! OH. EM. GEE. OMG! I had a sugar headache within the first day and it lasted THREE days!! Can you believe it? I felt horrible. And sick to my stomach that I was so addicted to sugar. Craziness. I felt so much better after the first day it was unbelievable, I felt like I had so many toxins in my body. My body is much happier, and actually craves fruit, water and, shockingly, working out! It feels amazing to want to work out again. I suppose the old saying is true: “You are what you eat!” ūüėČ

And this chick… she doesn’t eat pizza, cupcakes and chips on a daily basis. :-X

So, we are eating things like: oatmeal, fruits (bananas, apples, watermelon, all the yummy stuff), almonds, salads, humus, sweet baby bell peppers (new fave!), carrots and other veggies, petite green beans, sweet potato, brown rice, lean steak, and we are taking full advantage of our amazing Pacific Northwest access to seafood: halibut, Copper River Sockeye salmon (OMG – I will be so sad when the season is over), tiger shrimp, etc. SO GOOD!

We had a good amount of tiger shrimp in the fridge so we decided that we would have those for dinner. It turned out pretty good! Eating healthy doesn’t have to be boring, this was definitely not a boring recipe. So, here it is,¬†the new recipe we tried out last night, it was so simple to make yet so yummy, and filling! I now ¬†have a new favorite way to eat brown rice!

Pineapple Shrimp Brown Rice

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups uncooked brown rice
  • 1 1/2 lbs shrimp, shelled and deveined {we kept our shrimp whole, but you could cut them up before cooking}
  • 1 T sesame oil {EVOO works well too}
  • 1/2 onion, chopped
  • 2-3 large¬†garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 bell pepper, or 3 large baby bell peppers, diced
  • 1/2 cup pineapple, diced {I only had canned on hand, it worked just fine}
  • 2 tsp teriyaki sauce {We used Yoshida’s}
  • Johnny’s seasoning salt {Salt and pepper work also, but Johnny’s is so good, and locally made!}
  • Garlic powder
  • Onion powder

Directions:

  1. Cook brown rice according to directions. Tip: I always cook my brown rice in my rice cooker, and it always turns out perfect! Be aware though that cooking brown rice takes much longer. In my rice cooker it takes nearly 2 hours. Be sure to plan ahead for this!
  2. Heat sesame oil in a large skillet on medium heat. Once warm, add garlic and saute for a couple of minutes. Add onions and peppers and continue to saute for a few minutes. While they are cooking, season with Johnny’s and add the teriyaki sauce.
  3. Add shrimp to skillet. {This is my favorite part! Watching the shrimp change color is still the coolest thing to me. Haha} Season with Johnny’s, garlic powder and onion powder. {We didn’t measure when doing this, but I would predict we used a 1 tsp-ish of each.} Using tongs, turn shrimp over to continue cooking on the other side.
  4. Once shrimp are cooked through, add brown rice to the skillet. Season again with Johnny’s and the garlic and onion powder {Again – use your best judgement, but 1 tsp-ish of each is a good guesstimate}. Stir the rice, shrimp and veggie mixture to combine.
  5. Add pineapple, and stir again to combine.
  6. Serve and enjoy!

Nutritional Information:

  • 4 servings
  • Calories: Approximately 473/serving
  • Protein: 39 grams
  • Fat: 6.9 grams
  • Fiber: 4.9 grams
  • Sugar: 9 grams
  • Sodium: 10 grams

I am looking for fun and new recipes, so stay tuned as I will be posting some more!

Question: What is your favorite healthy recipe?? What is your favorite healthy snack?

Enjoy your weekend all! Ciao!

Words to live by.

Good morning all! It’s been a while, new updates are to come. I’ve become comfortable with the idea that I’m not good at balancing my blog with graduate school! Ha. Oh well, graduation and my culminating seminar are just around the corner!! It’s already time to start job hunting. Ahh.

I’ve been trying to also get my health back in order. As you can imagine, I’ve been sick left and right due to snotty kiddo noses! Therefore I got sick a lot this year, and my muscles/workout ethic also went bye bye. I’m hoping to start posting some healthy food recipes to balance out my cupcake recipes!

Anyway, I found an amazing motivational piece on Pinterest this morning that I just had to share! I hope you find some meaning in it and have a blessed day!

Happy Tuesday all!

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52/52: Homemade Bagels

Do you notice anything special about this post title?! That’s right! 52/52! I have completed my goal. If you can’t remember, my very first blog post talked about my personal goal to post the equivalent of one post a week for the entire year. I have been blogging and creating cheesy little websites since I was really young {I was an 11 year old geek who taught herself the basics of html}. And well, believe it or not, I made it! Some weeks I posted twice, and sometimes I posted extra, quick, fun things… but regardless, I have completed my goal! I am so excited and proud of myself.

Oh yeah! ūüôā

So, to celebrate my goal completion I thought it was only proper to also accomplish a baking goal, and check another item off¬†my kitchen bucketlist! I have been wanting to make bagels for so long. I don’t know about you, but I absolutely love these little carb keepers! The thought of fresh, homemade bagels has always danced in my head. Over the years I have seen many recipes but this recipe seemed to easy, and too good to be true. And, well, I think it was! It was oober simple, took less than 2 hours and the result is pretty darn yummy. My bagels are a little funny shaped due to some silly mistakes on my part when boiling {I had a very difficult time getting them out of the water}, but they still taste yum!

Here are a few pics…

During…

After… {Plain, cinnamon & sugar and cheese!}

YUM!

Here’s how ya get the job done…

Homemade Bagels

Ingredients:

4 cups bread flour
1 T sugar
1 1/2 tsp salt
1 T vegetable oil
2 tsp instant yeast
1 1/4 – 1 1/2 cups of warm water

Directions:

1. Mix all of the ingredients in a bowl. The dough should feel stiff, but if you can’t get all the flour incorporated add the extra bit of water.


2. Knead the dough for about 10 minutes, or until uniform and smooth.


3. Cut the dough into 8 equal sized balls and rest for 10-20 minutes {A pizza cutter works great here}.


4. Pre-heat the oven to 425 degrees.
5. Now, we roll the dough into bagel shape, and there are several ways to do this. My favorite is to roll the dough back into a ball and poke through the center. This opens the dough and you can tug the round of dough into the shape of a bagel {This is how I did it, it was fun!}. OR Roll the dough into a little snake on the counter that is longer than the width of your two hands, then wrap it around your dominant rolling hand. Wrap the dough rope around your hand and squish the overlapping ends together.
6. Let the bagels-to-be rest on the counter for 20 minutes, grease a large baking tray {Or line with parchment}, and bring a pot of water to boil.

7. After the bagels have rested they will begin to look puffy and are ready to be boiled. Boil the bagels for a minute on each side, then let them dry out for a minute or two before placing them on the baking tray. Repeat until all the bagels are boiled.


8. Bake the bagels for 10 minutes, flip the bagels over, and bake for another 10 minutes… and Wah-LAH! Perfection. {Note: I baked bagels on the first side, flipped and then topped with the goodies! Think cheeses, cinnamon & sugar, sesame seeds, everything bagel seasons… endless possibilities. To add cinnamon & sugar, spray top with water first!}
9. Let the bagels cool for at least 20 minutes before eating them.

Source & Recipe: Life According to… Talia Christine

So simple. Love. In retrospect I should have rolled and smoothed out my little dough balls before letting them rest. I think that is why they’re so bumpy. But hey, it gives them character, right?! I have also read elsewhere if you boil for a little longer than 1 minute on each side that they will become chewier. I might try that next time. Although, the recipe I am DYING to try is this¬†cinnamon raisin one¬†from Annie’s Eats!

Well folks, thanks to everyone who has managed to stick with me and read my blog this year. I am feeling good about keeping this blog going, although posts might become much more sporadic with my taking over the classroom very soon! Hope you all have a fun and safe New Years. Speaking of, off to finish up hubby’s birthday dessert – Sour Cream Lemon Pie! He is a New Year’s Eve baby, so we’ll be celebrating tomorrow.

Until next time… Ciao!