Health and Clean Eating

August 9, 2010

Good Monday evening to you all!  I am happy, happy today! 😀  The pool is coming along, the kids were good today, I went to a fantastic BodyPump class (ummm…400 calories….the most I’ve ever burned in BodyPump ever!!)  Plus, it’s launch week, where all of the new material is introduced, which makes it fun!  If you’re ever in my area, let me know, and you can come to my gym with me…you won’t be disappointed.  (Email for details! :))

For more information:  check out the Les Mills web site!

BodyPump

I would like to begin this next section with some questions:

Are you tired during the day, especially around mid-afternoon?

Do you feel sluggish and “foggy”?

Do you have health issues such as diabetes, obesity, high cholesterol or high blood pressure?

Then clean eating is for you. It’s not a diet, it’s a lifestyle!  Please don’t be scared off by that statement.  If you are just beginning, here are some things you can do to ease into the clean eating lifestyle:

1.  STOP eating fast food.  Anything that you make at home, in your own kitchen, is better than this:

Not sure about the story of the 4 year old burger that didn’t mold…you can Google it and make your own determination. 😉

2.  Start eating more of these:

Homemade Eat Clean Wheat Berry Salad

Veggies!!!

I think that is the perfect way to ease into the clean eating lifestyle.  It’s that simple!!

OK, so let me show you some of what I’ve been eating these last couple of days:

April’s brownies with peanut butter (which were great, by the way!! Thanks, April!)

Amy’s All American Veggie Burger with some organic ketchup, mustard, goat cheese and vinegar green beans on the side.

Ezekial toast with the last of my Artisana coconut butter. 😦  Egg whites (great source of a clean protein!)

Panoli!!

It’s the return of the panoli. For those of you that are new to my blog, I actually invented something delicious! 🙂  A whole grain pancake, made really, really, thin.  Stuffed with protein, and eaten for breakfast.  This panoli had a cottage cheese and blueberry blend.  It looks interesting, but it was yummy and sweet! 🙂

Thin.

The pancake was super thin.

It was soooo good! 🙂

Lots of smiles today! 😀  I am still working on my dot com, and will let you know when it is up and running.  Possibly by tomorrow!

Have a great night!



Change is good!

August 6, 2010

Hey y’all!

So first of all, I have to say that I’m super excited because I’ve decided to move the blog to a .com, instead of WordPress.com.  I’ve actually had all of the domain names for a while, but wanted to see if people were actually interested in what I had to say before I switched.  So it’s been about a year, the blog is going strong, and I’m still enjoying myself writing it! 😉  I will post and let you know when it happens…(of course!) 😀

So after I post this, that is what I am going to be working on.  While watching Man vs. Food, and smelling these fresh out of the oven that I am waiting to cool:

These are April’s Protein Brownies!  You can find the recipe here.  Can’t wait to try them…they are currently cooling.

This morning I decided I didn’t want eggs (gasp!) so I had two slices of Low Sodium Ezekial Bread (it should be called “no sodium” since there isn’t any in it) with some cinnamon peanut butter and apricot preserves.  Well, that sounded like a good idea at the time, but that didn’t really go together.  At all. Um, what was I thinking?? LOL

Yesterday for lunch, I had some more Mexican Shredded Chicken on an organic spelt tortilla:

Another lunch the last couple of days also on the same spelt tortilla but included shredded pork and chipotle BBQ sauce:

The BBQ sauce is Williamson Bros.  They have restaurants here in the Atlanta area…and there isn’t any HFCS in it, just regular sugar.  So given the choice, I’d rather avoid a sauce with HFCS.  The “experts” are linking it to cancer now.  Have you heard?  You can find the article here.

There was also some of this BBQ sauce on some homemade BBQ chicken nachos:

Made with agave nectar! 🙂

Nachos

The BBQ chicken nachos had low sodium organic blue tortilla chips, shredded chicken breast, Mexican cheese, tomatoes, and Wholly Guacamole.  It was fantastic! I didn’t even miss the salt in the chips. 🙂

Yesterday, I also made some homemade pesto dip.  I had some basil that was on the way out, some pine nuts that I soaked overnight, and Asiago cheese.  Oh my!  It turned out soooo great.  I could sit and eat it by the spoonful!

Pesto Dip

I liked it so much, I put it on one of Amy’s Vegetarian Burgers for lunch today:

and it didn’t exactly look like the picture, LOL.

I didn’t go to the gym today, I normally don’t on Friday.  I will be there bright and early for BodyAttack and BodyPump (8:15am!)


Sweet, Salty, Savory

August 4, 2010

Good evening!  Hope your hump day has been great!

I want to start by catching you all up on a decision that I’ve made after careful deliberation these last few days.  I’ve decided to put Insanity on the back burner because of a couple of reasons:

1.  I can’t seem to fit it in with all of my gym classes right now, and

2.  I’m decreasing my cardio and increasing my weight lifting (and my weights!)  for the next few weeks.

I have, however, decided to bring it with me while I am on vacation in a few weeks, along with my portable DVD player. 😉  I know how it is at resorts and they don’t offer any classes or anything like that beyond maybe some machines and some free weights.

SO, with that being said, I took a BodyAttack Express class (45 minutes) and a BodyPump class (60 minutes) and burned 723 calories!

I have been an eating machine lately, because I’ve been taking classes back to back, and burning anywhere from 700 to 900 calories!  And just to mention, 1200 calories isn’t sustainable when you burn so many calories. So I’ve increased my calories.

Parfait

That was yesterday’s lunch.  A whole peach, Greek yogurt (with 2 packets of Truvia), and granola that was a little “well done”.  It was awesome and totally filling for lunch.

I have increased the amount of water that I’ve been drinking lately, and it works out to be about 90 ounces a day (when I’m on my game!)  Alas, I’m kind of getting sick of water.  I know how good it is for you, and it flushes the toxins and salts out of our system, and our bodies are approximately 70% water.  It is sooo important.

I can’t drink diet soda’s anymore, because they have that “chemical” taste to me now.  Sometimes I make decaf tea (green or otherwise) and chill and drink that.  Today I wanted lemonade, but without the chemicals and/or sugar and artificial unclean whatnots they put in everything:

Healthy Lemonade

In the frozen section in the grocery store, they sell a lemon juice that doesn’t have any preservatives in it (unlike RealLemon, which does!!!)  So I took purified water, ice, lemon juice and Truvia and mixed it all together.  Well, there you go! Healthy Lemonade!!!

Something else I’ve been craving:

Yuuuummmmmm!!!

Yes, it’s a sweet potato.  I tend to eat a lot of them because they are really good for you. They have some great nutrients such as vitamin C, potassium, fiber and carotenoids.  It becomes scrumptious when you put a tablespoon of Cinnamon Peanut Butter on it.  Mine just happens to be Market Pantry (from Target).  OMG.  I think I’ve had them at dinner 3 days in a row!!

For example, with green beans and *fresh* sausage (from out local butcher) and:

with cauliflower and chicken.

Today I had a really great lunch, too! Lately I seem to be on an exciting cooking adventure, LOL!

I started with these burgers:

Fried it up in a pan, and added some balsamic vinegar to it which turned into a nice coating on the burger:

Are you wondering what is on the chicken burger?

Here’s a close up:

Yes, more peaches. (I live in Georgia, after all! :)) On top of a whole ounce of goat cheese!  It was sweet, salty, savory from the vinegar…perfect.

Along with cottage cheese and some more peaches, with a drizzle of balsamic!

My lettuce has been growing:

It’s actually grown quite a bit since my last picture! 🙂

Tomorrow I’m going to be making something with these.  Can you guess what they are??

Question:  Are you a cardio junky, or more into weight lifting?  Do you find it hard to tone back the cardio?


Cooking Frenzy

July 22, 2010

Hello all!

Since I last posted, I have completely cleaned up my diet, and have been on a cooking frenzy!  It’s crazy how much I’ve cooked over the last couple of days, and I have lots of pictures too! 🙂

Has it been hot where you are? Here in GA it’s been in the high 90’s every day!  I honestly feel like I can’t get cool.  Hence the digging in my backyard as of Monday morning at 7am:

The Big Hole

We’ve been working on getting this pool for a while now.  There were all sorts of issues to begin with but they’ve been resolved, as you can see!  Can’t wait for it to be finished!  I’m an instant gratification kind of person.  When I want something, I want it right away, and usually yesterday. LOL  I’m working on my patience. 😉

On to the cooking frenzy. I’ve obviously been on a clean eating kick.  I am also on a 1200 calorie kick, also.  I’ve been eating a ton of food for that little calories.  Let me explain what I’ve been doing.  In a nutshell I’ve:

1.  Cut out preservatives

2.  Lowered sodium and fat

3.  Increased protein

4.  Lowered carbs

5.  No refined sugar

That leaves unprocessed, whole foods.  In a nutshell!

I guess I’ll start with breakfast, since it is obviously the first meal of the day.  After we got back from NY, I didn’t have anything in the fridge.  Including eggs.  The chicken farmer down the road told my husband that his chickens weren’t laying very many eggs.  I was so disappointed, because I love my fresh eggs.  Off to the grocery store I went, though, because I cannot not have eggs in the house!  I bought 2 cartons of 18 and commenced to hard-boil an entire carton:


and there were some omelets but they all look the same, LOL! This morning I made a 5 egg white omelet that had chipotle gouda cheese in it.  YUM!

I’ve been all about hot sauce and seafood this week. I’m giving you advance warning!

We did manage to get some homegrown beefsteak tomatoes from the chicken farmer and they were so great!

These became part of a sandwich I made with snow crab (that I took the time to crack out of the shell!) a preservative free “thin bun” and hot sauce for lunch one day:

I do not recommend the snow crab.  It took forever to shell them, and the end of the process (a total process, by the way) I got 4 ounces of meat from 2 bunches of crabs.  King crab all the way!!! 😀

I also made some chicken tortilla soup this week and it was so good. It had veggies in it, chicken broth, chicken, and a ton of chipotle chili powder along with some cumin, onion, oregano, garlic….

Soup's On!

I ate that for lunch 2 days in a row!  I did find some tortilla chips at Publix (my local grocery store) that are clean so I had half an ounce of those with it today:

Yep, they're blue!

The end result. 😀

Since I am going to be home until at least November, I decided to grow some lettuce in my Aerogarden.   I love my Aerogarden!  Since the pool is taking up most of the backyard I’m not sure we’re going to have room for much of a garden next year.  I really want to plant some herbs too…maybe an excuse to get another Aerogarden? Hmmmm!

My Aerogarden

Those are little pods that have seeds in them.  According to the directions, I should have spouts in 1- 3 days!  I will take progress pictures to share. 🙂

The POD

Well, back to the food. 😉

I had purchased scallops along with the crab (I don’t know where this seafood kick came from!)  I’ve never actually cooked a scallop before.  I read how to do it online (broiling them) and made a little lemon juice and paprika sauce to eat along with them.  They were good, but I think I need practice at broiling.  😉

With some broccoliciousness on the side!

Dinner tonight was chicken.  Jeremy’s family recipe for Fireman’s Chicken.  Marinated, grilled chicken.  I had 4 ounces of sweet potato with cinnamon on it and a really large spinach salad on the side.  Fireman’s chicken, by the way, is when the Firemen raise money by selling their marinated, BBQ chicken.  They sometimes have tables where you can go and eat outside with the family, or you can get it to go.  It’s common up in Western New York and Northern NY.  Not sure where else. 😉

BBQ Chicken

along with the sweet potato:

and salad make for a perfect meal. 😀

The salad had tomatoes, banana peppers, red onion, mushrooms, goat cheese and Seeds of Change Organic Dressing.  I love goat cheese!  Absolutely one of my favorite cheeses.

Let’s talk about working out for a minute.  I took class at the gym today (BodyStep) and burned 573 calories in 60 minutes.  KILLER!!! And I loved every.single.minute of it! 🙂

Question of the day:

What are you all cooking this summer?  I love trying new things!

Hope you all have a great weekend!


Meltaliciousness

June 9, 2010

Hope all of you are having a good evening.  I know I am!  It has been a beautiful couple of days here in sunny, hot, GA.  It makes for good boat rides and BBQ’s. 🙂 Oh, and the title? I like to make up my own words.  That is what having an MBA in Marketing is good for! LOL.

I want to warn you all now, I did some cooking.  As we all know, sometimes things turn out really good, or they completely bomb on me.  I had a little bit of both today, lol!  I guess I have some catching up to do since it’s been a couple of days.

Let’s start with my staple food for breakfast:

Eggs! I bought 3 dozen eggs from the farmer down the road today.  I needed a cup of egg whites for a recipe, and I didn’t know how many eggs that would be.  Turns out, it’s only about 5! 😉

I made a plane old egg omelet (one whole egg with some egg whites) with cheese one morning and it was accompanied by cinnamon-raisin Ezekial Bread:

Great Value Mozzarella Cheese = no yucky preservatives. (WalMart brand).

Then one morning I had eggs sunny side up:

More eggs!

I cannot eat sunny-side up eggs without some sort of bread.  I actually ran out of bread that morning, and used a half of a hamburger bun:

Clean buns. 😀

I’ve been trying to stick to protein shakes for lunch.  This idea seems to be working out well for me, although I find that I’m really hungry about 3-4 hours later and in need of a snack.  It’s only been a couple of days so I only have one new shake to share:

Pineapple.

Fresh pineapple, core and all…with protein powder and ice.  This was fantastic!!  Very good.

I finally decided to eat those black beans I made the other day for lunch today.  These are beans that I grew in my garden last summer.  I had cooked them up, made a sofrito, added it in and boiled them forever.

The innards! Black beans and mozzarella cheese.

This is on a preservative free tortilla I found in the depth of my refrigerator from Trader Joes.  I closed it up and topped it with my homemade salsa and Chipotle Tabasco Sauce:

The burrito exterior.

and of course, one more picture:

voila! homemade bean burrito's rock!

It’s not Taco Bell.  It was better! 🙂

There were also a couple of snacks:

Cocoa Roast Almonds.

and

Friendship Low-Sodium cottage cheese with Polaner All Fruit

in peach.  YUMMY!

I watched my crazy cat “Riches” relax on the top of Biscuits crate…for some reason she likes to do that…it doesn’t look very comfortable to me!

WHY???

And I wanted to tell everyone about Sean…he’s 8 and he took BodyAttack class with me today! And he lasted the whole class.  I was such a proud Mamma. 😀

This was after class with our instructor/my friend Shaunna…he’s kind of shy! I think he’ll sleep very good tonight!

So today I decided to make a couple of things (I honestly don’t remember the last time I “cooked” something, but that’s ok since we all know that more often than not things turn out…strange.

I made some really healthy banana bread.  I don’t know, but I think I overcooked it.  It was dry.  It should improve with a stick of butter on top of each slice, lol.  The flavor was good, though!  It had egg whites, oat bran and bananas.  Another blogger friend came up with the recipe, but she used wheat bran.  That may have been the difference.

It looked good!

It’s edible, with a glass of water by your side, lol!

Dinner was chicken souvlaki with tzatziki sauce.  On flat bread.  Oh, it was so good.  I marinaded the chicken for a couple of days…a very basic Greek marinade of lemon juice, olive oil, oregano, garlic…

It’s covered in taztziki sauce: cucumber, garlic, lemon juice, yogurt and salt…

No problem making it smooth in the Vitamix!

We ended the day today with our new fire pit and some smores…because it’s summertime in GA, and it fits so well. Plus I love smores. 🙂

Before the meltaliciousness!

and:

mmmmmmmm.

Have a great night. 😀

Jessica


An exciting discovery!

June 7, 2010

Hello all.

I am still here! Just a little slow on the get-up-and-go.  I’ve been really busy getting things done these last few days, catching up on things that should have been done months ago!  I’m slowly getting things accomplished.  I’m working on eating healthy, getting back to the gym, and doing a little less cardio.  I’m trying to add the strength training back in.  I am going to be so sore tomorrow, lol!

Jeremy was out walking Biscuit (remember Biscuit? She’s like a small pony now!)

Biscuit

and made a discovery in the woods by our house (shhhh! don’t tell anyone 😉

Any ideas what these are?

Raspberries! These are actually Blackberries, they just haven’t changed color yet or ripened.

Tons!

There are tons of bushes.  Funny, we’ve lived here in the same house for almost 7 years, and never noticed them before!  We can’t wait for them all to ripen…the kids are super excited to pick them to eat. 🙂

Today I ate fairly healthy.  I also went to the grocery store today, which is always an experience.

Here are some foods that I’ve eaten over the last several days that I’ve been MIA:

Egg Omelet:

I have found that if you put a few drops of red wine vinegar into your egg whites they turn out a ton fluffier, and you can’t even taste it. I sauteed mushrooms, red onion, and spinach:

and I mixed the eggs with the before-mentioned vinegar and low fat feta cheese:

Hmmm. There were more veggies then eggs, but that’s ok. It was really good!

Dinner:

Smoked BBQ Ribs with cauliflower and a sweet potato with Vietnamese Cinnamon (the best cinnamon, hands down!)

Just a little bit of BBQ sauce on the side. Not clean, but how can you eat ribs without BBQ sauce? I’m a “dipper”! I love to dip everything.  It doesn’t matter what it is.

Last Thursday, Jeremy and I headed out for a while without the kids, and had Italian.  It wasn’t the best Italian I ever had, and I tried to choose healthier options from the menu (i.e. nothing fried) and I think I succeeded!

I had a bowl of linguine with marinara:

Why is it they never give you enough sauce? I’m Italian! It needs to be covered in sauce. Even after it’s mixed all up! 😉

The main dish was pan seared chicken breast (healthy) in a white wine and lemon sauce with artichokes and capers.  It was pretty good…the sauce was obviously thickened with something, and the chicken was smothered.  And there weren’t enough artichokes.  Or capers.  I’m just saying.

Where’s the chicken? LOL!

Of course, one little piece of bread:

Honestly, it didn’t matter what I was eating, it was more about just spending some time with Jeremy without the kids. 🙂

I made a smoothie today, this one was also pink, but had strawberries, bananas, pineapple, protein powder, water and ice.  I have a pineapple that needs to be cored…so tomorrow I’m going to try a pina colada smoothie.  Can’t wait! 🙂

I drank it on the way to Lowes.  I had errands to do! I also considered it my recovery drink/lunch after my BodyPump workout this am.

I know I ate more then this, but I’ve been bad about taking pictures, then the camera battery died.  Still getting back into it! I’ll get my act together soon, promise! 🙂

Have a great day!

Jessica


Rainy days and Survivor Thursday!

March 11, 2010

Hello all! It has been raining here in the ATL for 48 hours straight, I swear! We all feel like drowned rats.  The thing was, 2 days ago, it was 70 degrees. Now it’s 53 degrees and rainy! Ugh.

Even so, those are the best days to go to the gym, because you’re under fluorescent lights and they always make me feel more sunny 🙂  Plus you can get an endorphin high that will last all day, and that’s always a good feeling.  There you go, two reasons not to miss going to the gym on a rainy day!

To come soon: shopping lists of “cool and useful ingredients” requested by my friend Lauren! 🙂 I think that’s going to be my weekend project! 😀

Today I knew I was going to BodyStep this morning and then strength training, so I got my carbs and protein on:

Oatmeal with vanilla protein powder, pineapple and a few cashews (less then 1/4 cup).  Tasted great, as usual! No sweetener…didn’t need it, natural or otherwise!

SO let’s talk about the workout, since that is what happened next.  Last night I went to BodyCombat and got out all the aggression from life this week.  I did a good job getting it out, too, because this morning I was SORE.  My back was sore from descending elbows and muay thai, and my legs were sore from lunges and eskivas. (yes, I’m not sure how to spell that, AT ALL). So I went to BodyStep this morning, where I swear we did the hardest leg track ever.  Not to mention, my legs already felt like lead, LOL!  Worth it, though, although I am still really sore still.  And tomorrow is leg/abs day! It’s never ending this week!!

I did a killer strength workout too (back, biceps and abs)

  • barbell bent over row 30 lbs. 3 sets of 12
  • machine lateral pull-down 55 lbs. 3 sets of 10
  • row rear deltoid 40 lbs. 3 sets of 10
  • 21’s 15 lbs. 1 set
  • open ups 15 lbs. 36 reps
  • hammer curl 15 lbs. 3 sets of 8
  • ab crunch machine 10 lbs 5 sets of 10
  • incline reverse crunch 40 reps

I got home and was absolutely staaarving!  I’m trying to eat more protein, so I made this:

1 link of chicken sausage that I bought at Trader Joe’s yesterday, along with 4 egg whites, leftover roasted broccoli, and salsa:

I think I increased my protein intake in this one meal!

There was some puppy love while I was trying to work:

It’s really hard to work when there’s a Biscuit lying upside down on my lap. 🙂

I took the boys to karate, met with my GF Colleen for coffee and to catch up, and came home to Jeremy cooking dinner:

Grilled beef kebobs,  half of a massive sweet potato with cinnamon, and corn. YUMMY!!

I use this cinnamon that I ordered online…it’s clean and tastes fantastic…it’s sweet, so no need for sugar at all!

I watched two episodes of Survivor…I missed last week, but it was DVR’d. 🙂  I got hungry about half way through the first episode and used my 3 favorite clean ingredients to make some dessert:

So how good does my dessert look?  I put the above fruit and coconut butter on TJ’s sprouted grain bread:

and of course, the close-up pics look even better!

The above is blueberry, and below:

peach! The perfect healthy dessert.  Decadent.  I am going to try to make my own coconut butter this weekend…can’t wait to see how it turns out!  Pictures to come.

Tomorrow is legs and abs day, and a lunch out with my girlfriends!  Hopefully my legs will hold up…and it’s always fun to see my girls! 🙂

Have a fantastic Friday…the weekend is finally here!!

Jessica xoxo