Thursday, December 8, 2016

Product of the Week

These are like a treat, but healthy! I really was surprised how much I liked them because they are "crunchy" and not chewy which I usually prefer. But they aren't really that hard compared to other granola bars I have had that aren't chewy.

The serving size is two bar for only 180 calories, 3 grams of protein and 3 grams of fiber.

Perfect snack or an addition to a breakfast or lunch. It is a good option for someone craving chocolate too!

Check them out!

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Squat Challenge

Sometimes you fall off the wagon and sometimes you fall WAY off. I don’t recognize myself lately and it’s not a good feeling. I needed to do something about it and waiting for “the new year” wasn’t going to work for me.

Trust me when I say that my last post “Feel Good Food” is a real thing and I need to keep reminding myself of that. What you put into your body really does change you in one way or another.

Yesterday I started a one week challenge with five other ladies doing squats. You have to start somewhere and this is where I am starting to get back on track. It helps to have other motivating you too. Additional to that I am really concentrating on water intake this week in order to get rid of bloat, to feel more awake and energized and to keep me full so I don’t over eat. I kept it pretty light yesterday with food for the first day and was really hungry at night so made some healthy quinoa porridge to fill me up. I also did some grocery shopping for the week to make better decisions.


Squat Challenge Day 1:
 
Ø  12:30am – 25 squats

Ø  6:30am – 25 squats

Ø  10:30am – 25 squats

Total: 75 squats

 
My goal for the 7 days is to complete 1,000 squats! It’s a good goal and doable if I push myself. I wasn’t feeling too great last night so I didn’t do any so that is why yesterday’s number is lower than I wanted. But today, I will do better.

Whose's with me?
 
 

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Feel Good Food

This is always something “people” say. People say a lot of things and you can’t always believe it all, but this you can. There have been times I totally blew that little saying “feel good food” off and thought it’s all BS. Then I would continue to eat whatever crappy food I was eating and the end result was not great.  Ding! Ding! Ding! There’s a reason why. Feel good food is a real thing. There’s so much truth in it. Eating that type of food DOES make you feel good, more energized, awake, less bloated and happier. I’ve experienced it a million times over. I eat bad food and feel depressed, fat and blah. I eat good food and feel good about myself and more alive.  I do more and accomplish more when I have whole grains, healthy fats and food in my body. When I eat bad I become lazy and sad.

Granted, I can treat myself to something “bad” and still feel good too, but it’s more so when the “bad” food consumes you and your entire day that you feel different.  One meal, one snack or something won’t make you feel crappy, it’s when over indulging happens and a whole day of bad choices go by. I personally like to enjoy food, good and bad but moderation is key.

Today I started my day with a big superfood, shakeology and packed a healthy protein filled lunch to fill me up until dinner tonight which is a healthy pizza option. Still gotta have my pizza! J Finding healthy alternatives to your favorite foods helps me a lot. I still have regular pizza on occasion of course but I like to have pizza quite often so having . A plan is good to have for the day or week because this will prevent eating out, bad choices and binge eating which we are all guilty of. Not everyone has time to work out or even cook so prep and a plan helps the week go more smooth.
 
 
Good vibes,
 
Jenn

Product of the Week

 
 
Hey everyone!  My beachbody friends on Facebook always talk about different extracts to add to their Shakeology like coconut, mint, almond, carmel.  Some of these are hard to find, but the Watkins line of extracts can be found at most Walmarts.  It is also sold on Amazon but it's about double the cost then Walmart which is about $3.00.  This is found in the baking aisle. Check it out when you are out and about next time.
 
I first added some to my coffee and loved it, now I also add it to my latte Shakeology. It would be a great addition to some homemade cookies instead of using vanilla too. I also heard the mint extract is great in chocolate shakes. I want to get the coconut one in the summer for that tropical feel to my drink.
 
Try it and enjoy!


Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Quinoa Cakes

 
You know me and quinoa, I love it and it's a great source of protein and a healthy food that fills you up. I ate these for dinner last week and really enjoyed them.
 
The recipe calls for:
 
2 cups quinoa, cooked
2/3 cup fontina cheese, grated
3 tbs flour
1 egg
2 tbs olive oil
2-3 chives
salt & pepper to taste
 
-- Add the olive oil to a pan and heat on medium.
-- Mix the remaining ingredients. Form patties, I used a 1/4 cup measuring cup.
-- Add the patties to the heated pan. Cook on each side for about 5 minutes.
 
I made an aioli to dip them in which came out great and paired well with the patties. I used minced garlic, a little mayo (light if you have it), a couple drops of lemon juice and a chipotle spice we had on hand. You can use any spice you prefer and can also substitute a different cheese if you wanted.
 
 
Enjoy!


Monday, October 31, 2016

Chipotle Sweet Potato Chili

 
 
The recipe calls for:
 
3 sweet potatoes

4 cups chicken broth
1 lb ground meat
1 tbs olive oil
14 oz can diced tomatoes (drained)
1 cup onion, chopped
2 cups cauliflower, chopped
1 tbs garlic, chopped
2 chipotles in adobo, chopped
1/4 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp paprike
salt & pepper to taste

-- Chop and peel the potatoes. Microwave the potatoes with 1 tbs of water for 90 seconds.
-- Cook the ground meat in a pan.
-- Add all ingredients to the crock pot and stir. Cook for 3-4 hours on high.

The picture is showing without any toppings so you can see the main ingredients and what it looks like.  I will admit it doesn't look as good as it tastes, but when I added my toppings and mixed them all up it was the perfect combination.

The toppings I choose were cheddar cheese, cilantro, light sour cream and a few multi-gran quinoa chips broken into pieces. You can use any toppings you like, but the ones I picked really went well together. It is a spicy chili so the little bit of sour cream mixed in really was a good touch and the crunch of the chips added something special as well.

Enjoy!

Thursday, October 27, 2016

Peanut Butter Hot Chocolate

+

+


=

Delicious Hot Chocolate!

It is that time of year for a nice cup of hot chocolate or coffee at night time as a treat. Here is what I whipped up last night. It was so good!

-- Add 1 tbs of PB 2, 1 tbs of cocoa and unsweetened coconut milk (or almond) to a pot on the stove.
-- Whisk the ingredients together as it heats.
-- Heat until warm or hot, whatever you prefer. Approximately 5-10 minutes.

ENJOY!


Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Success!

 
Well, day 2 of the group I have completed what I needed. I feel even more motivated now. Yesterday's workout was AWESOME. Country Heat is better than I thought it would be and a true workout. I sweat just as much as I do with any other workouts. I felt like I really accomplished something and felt good about that and myself. Parker joined in a little here and there, he loved the music and had to put his cowboy boots on for it. Too cute!
 
This program I prefer over Cize which is surprising to me because my dream for many years growing up was to be a hip hop dancer so you would think Cize would be my absolute favorite. Cize is very fun, but it's 15 minutes longer than Country Heat and that 15 minutes is a long time with you have a toddler hanging on your leg or wanting something or bored or thirsty, etc. Cize also repeats a lot throughout the workout. When a new move is introduced, you practice it and then you have to start the routine over and put it all together and this continues to the end with the last move. Country Heat has about 20 or so different moves just like Cize but once you do one or two, you move onto other moves and don't have to repeat the previous ones. I am new to country music, my son likes it. Usually I would say I would prefer hip hop, but that has now changed. Country music really is so fun! The music really kept me interested and excited. Country Heat is something I could see myself doing daily so it was well worth the purchase. Can't wait to do a different routine after work!
 
After a CRAZY day at work, a hardcore workout, making a healthy dinner for the family, prepping my sons lunch for the next day, hanging a stuffed animal hammock and other stuff around the house...
 
I DESERVED THIS! :)

 
Simple, quick and delicious!
 
apple slices
vanilla almond butter
mini chocolate chips
 
 
So good! This or something similar to it will become one of my new favorite snacks.
 


Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Just checking in...

How's everyone doing this week so far? It's only Tuesday, but we have to make the best of each day we are given. My plan after work is to try the Country Heat Beachbody workout dvd with my son. I think he will enjoy it. I hope at least so it will be easier for me to get a workout in while he's still awake. Once 8pm bedtime comes around I am so tired and it's harder for me to workout at that time. After I get him from school, I will prep the turkey meatloaf I am making for dinner and while it's in the oven dance to some good ole country music. :)

Yesterday started a new Beachbody group with my coach Valerie. I haven't been in a group for a couple months. It was so important to join the October group. The timing couldn't be more perfect. I need this now more than ever. I have done good in some of the past groups and I plan to have another one just like those. With the holidays coming up, I want to enjoy them without the stressing of "dieting". This isn't a diet which is what is great about it. It's a lifestyle and with that lifestyle I always feel better and look better. The people in the group are all so motivating and inspiring that it makes every day a little easier. Getting into a regular routine again will help me feel good, be happier and feel less guilty when I want to enjoy Thanksgiving dinner and all the Christmas festivities.

My grocery shopping over the weekend was a good start to getting on track and ready for the next 28 days with the group. I didn't get a workout in or drink shakeology on day 1 but day 2 is different. First thing this morning after I showered I blended up my latte shakeology.  Here are the ingredients:

1 scoop latte shakeology
1 1/2 cup unsweetened coconut milk
1/2 frozen banana
1 tbs vanilla protein powder

YUM! I am ready for what today brings. Love my superfood shake!

Water, water, water...I usually thrive at this but lately with being so busy at work and LIFE that this has been slacking. Some days an entire day at work can go by and I have only drank coffee, not okay! Today, I will be back on track with this as well. Skipped my regular coffee order this morning since I made latte shakeo and I am working on water bottle number one now. I see a jug challenge in my future this week!

I brought leftovers from a healthy dinner over the weekend for lunch today, Lasagna Stuffed Peppers. Click the link to check out the recipe! It's a winner.

That's all I have for now. More recipes to come!


good vibes,

Jenn

Friday, October 14, 2016

Product of the Week


Limited time only! Perfect for all those basic bitches like myself. I also tried the Cheerios, but this I like much better. Cheerios pumpkin spice was a very strong fragrant taste, this is more subtle. It's the perfect amount of fall flavor and great for a quick breakfast.

Check out your local grocery stores while it lasts. Before you know it there will be Christmas everything in the stores, which I am not complaining about. Haha.

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Flo's Chicken & Spaghetti


This is such a nostalgic dish for me. I haven't eaten this for MANY years and I have never cooked it before myself. It's a meal my grandma would make a lot. I always remember as a child, the chicken and sauce simmering in a pan, it would smell up her house and we would always have this meal with buttered bread. My grandpa loved buttered bread. I would often have dinner there or breakfast before school depending on my parents work schedule. They were such great times and I cherish them.

My mother gave me the most information on the recipe she could remember and it's not many ingredients, but the flavor is there. It's a simple dish, but so good. The chicken cooking in the sauce brings this significant taste I remember from many years ago. The recipe may not be exact but the moment I tasted the sauce on the spoon while cooking, I knew my grandma was there helping me make this meal.

The recipe calls for:

chicken thighs or breasts (I used breasts, but my grandma used thighs)
1 large can of tomato sauce
1 small can of tomato paste
variety spices: garlic powder, oregano, chicken seasoning
salt/pepper
1 tbs olive oil
whole grain spaghetti (My grandma would use regular spaghetti)

-- Heat the olive oil in a large pot/pan. Once heated, add the chicken. Add salt, pepper, oregano, garlic powder and chicken seasonings to both sides of the chicken and cook the chicken.
-- Add the tomato sauce and paste to the pot/pan. Let this simmer for an hour.
-- Cook the pasta and add it to the pot/pan once the hour of simmering is finished. Stir and serve.

Enjoy this special recipe!

PB&J Sushi

 
I am a huge sushi lover, but this isn't something I am afford very often because it is a bit pricey.  I love the whole experience of sushi - eating with chop sticks, trying different kinds of rolls, exploring different places and savoring each bite.

Well peanut butter and jelly sushi isn't the perfect substitute but it's still delicious and it's a fun spin on the normal sandwich. This is a creative way to switch up your lunch box as well as your kids.

When I used the chop sticks eating this yesterday for lunch I tended to eat slower than when I have a sandwich. That's a plus because it's not good to eat your meals quickly and in a rush. Doing so doesn't give your stomach enough time to get full and this can cause over eating.

Hmmmm...what else can I turn into sushi? ;-)

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Honey Garlic Shrimp

 
The recipe calls for:
 
1/3 cup honey
1/4 cup low sodium soy sauce
1 tbs garlic, minced
1 lb shrimp, uncooked, peeled & deveined
2 tsp olive oil
red pepper flakes
 
 
-- Combine the honey, soy sauce and garlic in a large baggie. Add the shrimp and mix it up so it is covered with the marinade. Let sit for however long you want/can. For me, I whipped this up quickly without much prep so it didn't marinate long, but you can marinate it during the day before dinner so more flavor is absorbed.
-- Heat olive oil in a pan on medium. Once heated, add the shrimp. Heat the shrimp until they are fully cooked through, make sure to mix it a little or flip the shrimp. Sprinkle some red pepper flakes on the shrimp while it's cooking.
 
I didn't get to go grocery shopping this weekend because I was away but next time I would add some sort of veggies. I think broccoli or edamame would go great with this. This time I just cooked a little quinoa and poured the shrimp over it.  7 pieces of shrimp was only 80 calories so I had 14 pieces.
 
This recipe takes only 10 minutes for prep and cooking. Can't beat that!
 
Enjoy!

Monday, October 10, 2016

Monday Motivation


After an amazing fall weekend away and a couple months of major slacking compared to how I was prior to vacation...it's time to get back into the full swing of things.

No one can nor has to eat extremely healthy every meal of every day. It's a balancing act. I firmly believe that. For the most part when I'm on track I can balance this very well. The one part I seem to lack when it comes to the daily grind of it all is the exercise. I know I can do it. I have, a million times over. There was a time in my life I went to the gym every day and loved it. I don't have time, the money or the babysitter to do this now though so adjustments need to be made to still get what I need daily within my means.

I have the discipline, the desire and the motivation. In the summer I worked out 21 straight days in a row. This is something I have never done before in my life and I did this at my heaviest weight. I don't believe it's necessary to do it without any rest days or breaks but proving to myself I can made me proud.

Next week I start a group with my beach body coach, so this week I am preparing for that. I want to get into the groove of it all again which includes protein shakes/shakeology, working out, drinking enough water, food prep/meal planning and healthy grocery shopping.

I got a free 3 day pass to the gym by my work and I will be going there today through Wednesday. This is jump start my motivation for exercise. I made a protein shake for my breakfast today. I will concentrate on my water intake and make a point to drink even when I am busy at work. The next few dinners are planned for my family. I am ready!

I figured I would do a variety of exercises this week. The gym during my lunch break is one, some lifting at home and walking with Parker after school since it should be nice outside. I will be getting a new beach body workout dvd in the mail later this week called Country Heat. I like to have a good variety of workout dvds so I don't get bored and a plus is Parker should like this one since he loves dancing and country music. It can sometimes be hard being home with him and trying to get a good workout in. He loves to be on top of me, such a mama's boy, which I am not complaining about. This dvd should keep us both moving while also having fun.

Time to fall back in love with myself because I deserve to. Whose with me?

Keep a look out for some healthy recipes...


good vibes,

Jenn

Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Salsa Chicken Quinoa Casserole


I am starting to finally use my crock pot more. My goal is once a week. It really makes for an easy after work meal with no stress and rushing around. I walk in the house after getting my son at school and it smells amazing, all my worries about what's for dinner are gone and I can concentrate on quality family time. 

This healthy recipe didn't disappoint. I look forward to eating leftovers for lunch today. :)

The recipe calls for:

3 chicken breasts
8 oz quinoa
2 cups salsa
1 can black beans
1 can corn
2 cups water
8 ounces shredded Mexican cheese blend
1 can green chiles
5 ounces queso fresco
1 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper

Optional toppings:

avocado, tomatoes, greek yogurt, olives, extra salsa or cheese

In my opinion next time I think I will skip the queso inside the crockpot and only have my husband use it as a topping. There's so many other flavors that to me it was just added calories to the mixture. 

-- Put the chicken in the crock pot. I used frozen chicken because it was easier but you can use thawed.
-- Rinse and drain the beans and drain the corn. Keep the liquid from the green chiles. 
-- Add all ingredients to the crock pot except water and 1/2 of the shredded cheese. Once all other ingredients are added, top the mixture with the water and remainder of the cheese. You can also use chicke broth instead of water. 
-- Cook on low for 6-8 hours. 
-- Serve with toppings of your choice.