My family...My life...My fitness journey...

My family...My life...My fitness journey...

Monday, January 4, 2016

Baked Oatmeal Cups with Bananas & Berries

Looking to start the morning off right and you don't have time? Why not bulk cook these delicious oatmeal cups on Sunday and have them to grab before you head out the door. You may even find that your kids love them as well!

Baked Oatmeal Cups with Bananas and Berries

(Makes 12 servings, 1 cup each)
Total Time: 45 min.
Prep Time: 15 min.
Cooking Time: 30 min.
Nonstick cooking spray
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
2 large bananas, mashed
1 Tbsp. raw honey
2½ cups old-fashioned rolled oats
1 Tbsp. ground cinnamon
1½ tsp. baking powder
1½ cups unsweetened almond milk
1 cup fresh blueberries (or raspberries)
1. Preheat oven to 350° F.
2. Prepare twelve muffin cups by coating with spray. Set aside.
3. Combine eggs, extract, bananas, and honey in a large bowl; mix well. Set aside.
4. Combine oats, cinnamon, and baking powder in a medium bowl; mix well.
5. Add oat mixture to egg mixture; mix well.
6. Add almond milk; mix well.
7. Divide oat mixture evenly between prepared muffin cups.
8. Top evenly with blueberries.
9. Bake 26 to 30 minutes, or until golden brown and toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
Tip: Raisins, walnuts, pecans, sunflower seeds, pomegranate seeds, or dark chocolate chips can be substituted for blueberries.

And if you are following the 21 Day Fix, this counts as 1/2 yellow, 1/2 purple!

Friday, December 4, 2015

No time to workout...BAH HUMBUG!

Have you ever just had one of those days that doesn't seem to slow down no matter what you do?  Well, that happened yesterday!  The holidays are always busy but add to that, a hubby that is not well, a best friend that is also not well, and a daughter that needs a tooth extracted, and you have a very complicated day!

My days are pretty normal.  I get up, do some work from my computer and then wake up the kids, feed and dress them, finally getting them on the bus at 7:40.  After that, it is finish my coffee, work out, and go on with my scheduled day.

Oh but yesterday, it was a different story.  I had to do all my normal morning stuff.  Add to that, our Elves on the Shelf, Red and Diamond.  Then, I had to run to Target, like that is ever a problem, to get an Elf Pet because we were making reindeer cookies in the evening and asking Red and Diamond to bring one.  Of course, come Christmas shopping was done.

But my friend, Diana, looked like hell.  She was out there in left field and not looking good at all.  Rushed home to get her to lay down.  Only to figure that she couldn't take her friend to work so I volunteered.  Then ran to the school to pick up Sofi to take to the dentist to get her tooth pulled.  Back home, got her comfortable, ate lunch, and was waiting to work out.

Didn't go down like I planned.  The 3 times I tried to start working out, I got an important phone call.  After the call, Sofi wanted something to eat but since she cannot eat anything hard, I had to figure out what to get her.  Totally caught off guard and the grandparents weren't here with her goodies yet.  It was just nuts!

With just a minute to spare, literally, I got to my workout done.  I mean, I had a minute between the time I finished and the time I walked out the door to the bus stop.  I could have used not having time as an excuse, but I didn't.  I got it done.

Mind you, that was all before 3:30.  Things got much more complicated in the evening.  That is why I need to get my workouts done EARLY!  With our evening so hectic, there is no way I could ever get the workouts done when the kids get home from school.  Not only that, I want to make sure I am present for them so working out while they are here takes time away from them and that is NOT ok with me!

Let's hope Friday goes a bit more smoothly!  Have a wonderful weekend!


Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Secret Sodium BOMB!

You may be surprised to learn that one food that you may eat every day chews up nearly 50% of your daily recommended sodium allowance. The culprit?  YOUR SANDWICH!

I know, devastating, right?  But don't let it get you down!  You CAN eat a healthy sandwich every day and this is how.

1. Whenever possible, make your own sandwich rather than get one out. Sandwiches from your local restaurants tend to be much higher in sodium and calories due to increased seasonings and condiments, more processed ingredients, and larger portions in general.

2. Skip the processed lunch meats and make a sandwich using leftover chicken, fish, or steak that you cooked yourself. ALWAYS bulk cook those proteins! And, you can even skip the meat all together!

3. Load your sandwich up with plenty of fresh ingredients like veggies, avocado, and fresh herbs. Consider going condiment-less!

4. You HAVE to have cheese on it? Stick to brick cheese, goat cheese, mozzarella cheese, cream cheese, or swiss cheese, which all have 150mg of sodium or less per serving (less than half that of many other varieties).

5. You may not think of bread as salt, but breads are often a hidden source of sodium with many brands packing around 250mg of sodium into a single slice. Look for lower sodium, natural breads in the freezer section of the grocery store like Ezekiel Bread.

6. If you like nut butter sandwiches, be sure to choose a natural variety with no salt added and you’ll skip the sodium altogether. Bonus: Most of the unsalted added varieties have no sugar added either, to keep calories in check. The big thing here, keep it to 2 tbsp, no more!

7. For canned ingredients, such as beans or tuna, be sure to look for lower sodium options. You can also rinse and drain beans before using to cut the sodium by 40%.

8. Skip the chips. Chips are NOTORIOUS for having too much sodium! Even the healthier options! Why not throw in carrots and hummus or snap peas as an alternative? Now, go out and make some healthy choices, cut down that sodium, and enjoy a GOOD sandwich!

Friday, October 2, 2015

Healthy Homemade Chicken Pizza

Last week, I shared a super simple way to make your family pizza night a healthier one!  The kiddos LOVED to make their own pizza and I loved that they were eating a cleaner version of your typical pizza from carryout or delivery.

Now, time to amp up your game a little with this awesome homemade chicken pizza, with the dough made from scratch and pizza that will taste divine!  AND, if chicken isn't your cup of tea, feel free to switch it out for another lean protein OR just stick to making it all veggies!

Total Time:​ 18 min.
Prep Time:​​​ 10 min.
Cooking Time:​ 8 min.
Yield: 8 servings

Ingredients for Pizza Dough:
¼ oz​​​​ active dry yeast
1 cup​​​ warm water (100–110° F)
2 tsp.​​​​ sugar
3–3¼ cups ​​​whole wheat flour, divided use
½ tsp.​​​​ fine sea salt (or Himalayan salt)​
2 tsp.​​​​  olive oil, divided use

Ingredients for Pizza:
½ cup all-natural pizza sauce, no sugar added
½ cup shredded mozzarella cheese
2 Tbsp. grated Parmesan cheese
4 oz cooked chicken breast, boneless, skinless, shredded
1 cup cherry tomatoes
¼ cup thinly sliced mushrooms
2 cups fresh arugula

For Pizza Dough:
1. Place yeast, water, and sugar in a medium bowl. Let stand for 10 minutes, or until yeast becomes foamy.
2. Combine 3 cups flour and salt in a small bowl. Gradually add flour mixture to yeast mixture. Mix with clean hands until mixture does not stick to your hands. Add additional flour if needed. Roll dough into a ball. Brush with ½ tsp. oil. Place in a bowl; cover with a towel. Let rise for 2 hours.
3. Punch down dough to remove air; knead and roll into a ball. Brush with ½ tsp. oil. Place in a bowl; cover with a towel. Let rise for an additional 2 hours.
4. Preheat oven to 450° F.
5. Roll dough until it will no longer stretch. Let rest for 5 minutes. Continue to roll until it reaches your desired diameter, about 10 to 12-inches, and about ½-inch thick. Place on baking pan lightly coated with spray.
6. Brush with remaining 1 tsp. oil.

For Pizza:
1. Spread pizza dough evenly with pizza sauce, stopping ½-inch from edge.
2. Top evenly with cheeses, chicken, mushrooms, and tomatoes.
3. Bake for 14 to 18 minutes, or until crust is golden.
4. Top with arugula.

Enjoy and leave me a comment telling me how you did!

Thursday, September 24, 2015

7 Tips to STAY on track with your workouts!

Staying fit is a super power, so to speak.  There are times where it is VERY hard to stick to your routine. Exercise can improve your energy levels, sleep quality, body composition, and overall health. But, sometimes all the benefits can be thwarted by our hectic lives. But, don't let that stsop you, some simple changes in your behaviors can really help you get over the hurdles presented daily, making reaching and maintaining your fitness goals almost as easy as pushing play.
Set reasonable goals. Start with activities that seem attainable and reasonably challenging, then set a goal to engage in that activity at least a few times per week.  The perks we get from working out, kick in if you do a minimum of 150 minutes of moderately-intense exercise per week. That’s about 21 minutes per day!
Schedule it. It doesn't get easier than setting up an appointment time every day for you to get your sweat on!. Many people find it’s easier to stick to an exercise routine in the morning while others find they have more energy in the afternoons. But neither is ideal if the time isn’t convenient for you. The key is to find a time that works for YOU and to stick with it!
Get the gear. You know it and I know it.  Your gear makes you feel a certain kind of way!  I love when I get new workout clothes or a new set of adjustable weights.  But even more important is finding the right pair of training shoes, depending on the activity you are doing!  Wearing colors and textures you enjoy may also help keep you motivated to suit up and head out.
Plan ahead. One of my dear friends lays her workout clothes out EVERY NIGHT before she goes to bed.  She is setting herself up for success by doing this.  There is no questioning the workout when she wakes up.  But, if you don't work out first thing in the morning, make sure you get that bag ready for the gym or have the gear laying out on your bed for when you get home. 
Buddy up. I don't think I would get most of my workouts in if it weren't for my bestie, Diana.  She motivates me on the days I just don't want to.  Most everything is more fun with friends. It also increases workout accountability and enjoyment. If showing up or making time to exercise is your biggest challenge, having someone to be accountable to could be all you need.
Sleep and rest well. Quality sleep makes for effective exercise, and helps ensure that you have the mental gusto to show up. Cultivate a healthy sleep schedule, and stick to to routine sleep and waking times as often as you can.
Cut yourself some slack. Aiming for perfection can work against you. If you miss a workout, don’t beat yourself up. Rather than do that, take it as a sign you need a day of rest, regroup, and get back at it the following day. If your goals are a bit to challenging and you find yourself struggling, reassess them. It’s better to work out at a lower intensity or for less time for a while than not at all. If you’re still struggling, find someone to help, like myself!  I would love to keep you motivated and moving forward!

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Game Day Snack - Black Bean Salad

Tasty Tuesday is going Southwestern in style! Who doesn't love a good bean salad? And with only FIVE ingredients, this is super simple and perfect for game day munchies! Just add some baked corn chips to dip and you have one healthy snack!

Black Bean Salad
Total Time: 2 hrs. 5 min.
Prep Time: 5 min.
Cooking Time: None
Yield: 8 servings, about ½ cup each

- 2 cans (15-oz. each) black beans, rinsed, drained
- 1 (15-oz.) can corn, rinsed, drained
- 1 medium red pepper, chopped
- ¼ cup finely chopped fresh cilantro
- ¼ cup fresh lime juice

1. Combine beans, corn, bell pepper, and cilantro in a large bowl; mix well.
2. Drizzle bean mixture with lime juice; toss gently to blend.
3. Chill, covered, in refrigerator for 1 to 2 hours before serving.

AND, if you are following the 21 Day Fix meal plan that would be 1/2 a green and 1 yellow container to count!

Saturday, January 24, 2015

My why...

To struggle to have children is something I would never wish on anyone, not even my worst enemy.  Children are truly a blessing from the Lord.  My children fought their way into this world.  And they are healthy, strong, smart, beautiful, handsome, AND A HANDFUL!  Sometimes, I get lost in that.  The handful part.  When they are arguing with each other.  When they answer back.  When they refuse or put up a fight when it is time for homework.  When they are overly tired but refusing to sleep.  But in the end, I have to live by this quote.

It is our job as parents, to fill our children with warm memories, discipline, respect, drive, and more.  It is their precious lives that are in my hands.  And at times, as frustrating as it is, my reactions NOW will affect them LATER.  I know personally.  I have struggled with not being good enough in the eyes of my father which eventually turned into not have any self-confidence.  Which lead to a crap ton of bad choices in my teens and 20's.

I never, ever, ever, ever...EVER want my kids to think that they do not have my whole heart.  I want them to grow up feeling confident in their choices and actions.  I want them to know I believe they are the most amazing children a mother could have.

But isn't that hard?  I know it is definitely hard for me because at the same time, I don't want my children to be egotistical, self-absorbed, selfish individuals.  There is a fine line.  Wouldn't you agree?  Balance and approach are key.  And I can tell you this, because I have 3 children that happent to be the same age, they are still our "firsts" which means I don't get a do over.  Talk about PRESSURE!

{Sofia, Ian, & Gabriella}

What I do know is it all starts at home.  If I don't want my daughters to struggle with not feeling adequate or comfortable in the way they look and they struggle with what I did, not being pretty enough, thin enough, athletic enough, and they feel the pain I felt, then I will have failed.  It is my mission, my LEGACY, to change that.  To make sure that they love themselves.  That they put forth their best efforts in life and can say, "I did the best I could!"

It is also my job to make sure that my son learns that looks aren't everything.  That the size jeans you wear isn't what makes a woman beautiful.  I will teach him to appreciate a woman.  To love her for who she is, faults and all.

It is equally as important that my husband plays a roll in this as well.  I don't want him to ever criticize our girls like I was criticized growing up.  I want him to make them feel like they are the most beautiful, talented, smart, confident girls they are.  I want him to teach our son how to love a woman the way she should be loved.  To appreciate her for what she brings to the table and hopefully to fill in the gaps of what she doesn't, making them a team.

I know this blog is about my fitness journey.  THIS is part of it.  THIS is a key component of why I let myself get so big, so sad, and didn't love myself for so long.  I know I am not alone.  I know that there are more women out there that have gone through the same.  That have been used and abused by men due to their "daddy complex".  And I want those of you that are walking the same mile as me, to know things CAN change.  You CAN let go and forgive.  You CAN learn to love yourself.  You CAN build your confidence, age doesn't matter!  Hey, I'm turning 40 in March, and I am just now digging deep to work on my issues.