Archive | June 2012

Fruit & Veggie Smoothie

This is just a super quick recipe post. Enjoy!

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Ingredients *note, my banana slices were frozen

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Fruit & Veggie Smoothie

Start with oj, then add all other ingredients and blend well. This is super tasty!
No ice is needed when using cold produce and frozen bananas. If using room temperature bananas, I suggest adding a little ice with other ingredients to chill.

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Nothing but Raw, Fresh (fruits and veggies)

I decided I was only going to consume raw, fresh fruits and veggies today. Yes, that’s right, only raw fruits and veggies.Β  Other than my two cups of coffee with almond milk and stevia, my one cup of Badia Natural Herbs tea with 1tsp honey and my 4oz of water every half hour, that’s exactly what I’ve done.
For breakfast, along with the coffee, I ate a red grapefruit. That’s it. I don’t have a big appetite in the morning.
I was thinking of having a smoothie for lunch. Except this would have to differ from my usual standard recipes, meaning no soy/almond milk and no Greek yogurt. I thought about it and chose OJ as my substitute. Add in banana, strawberry and peach and it sounded pretty darn good! And guess what? It was!

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Perfect!

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My son liked the smoothie drip and snapped this photo.

Recipe:
1 cup OJ
1cup sliced banana, partially frozen
1 cup sliced strawberries, frozen
1 peach with skin, cut into small pieces

Place oj and banana in blender, blend.
Add strawberries, blend.
Add peach pieces, blend.
Viola!

So that was lunch…
Here’s dinner. I like to call these Salad Wraps (my husband says Salad Rolls). Eating raw and fresh means no dressing on my salad, which meant it sounded extremely boring. I needed to get creative. This is what I came up with:

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Dawn's Salad Wraps, pre-wrapped

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Let’s wrap up all the salad ingredients into a large romaine leaf! Fun!

Recipe:
2 romaine leaves, rinsed thoroughly and patted dry
1/3 cup sliced/ chopped carrots (1 medium carrot)
1/4 chopped cucumber
5 slices zucchini, chopped
2 tbs diced tomatoes
2 tbs diced bell pepper (I had green)

Wrap all veggies in romaine leaves.

A fun new way to have salad!

Snacks have consisted of bananas, cantaloupe, and pineapple. I’m feeling pretty good. I’ve resisted every temptation today! I might even do it again tomorrow! Well, until dinner. I might eat dinner. We’re having One Dish Chicken and Rice. It’s a new recipe and I want to try it. πŸ™‚

On a short little fitness note, my husband surprised me last night with a weighted hula hoop. Yay! I’ve been wanting one ever since I first heard of them. I always loved hula hooping, now I get to hoop, tone muscles, and burn extra calories! Win win win!

Fitness Friday! & Hydration

If you’re following, you know that I declared this week Stay Hydrated To Stay Healthy week. I haven’t been very happy with my progress. Why is it so hard to remember to drink water?! I have no idea, but with some “outside” help I believe I may have found a way.
I was thinking and thinking, brainstorming. Trying to figure out a way to remind myself to drink.
1) I could set an alarm (or several alarms)
2) I could write it down and post it EVERYWHERE
3) I could go and try a water app again (last time it didn’t work. Taking a sip every hour didn’t work out.)
Hmm…
**I can probably down about 4 ounces comfortably at one time. What if I drank 4 ounces every half hour that I’m awake? No. Well, how about 4 ounces every half hour from 8am-10pm? That’s 14 hours, 112 ounces. That would be perfect! Now, to find a way to remind myself every 30 minutes… I need an app that sends notifications in 30 minute intervals.**
The search began. It didn’t take long before I found a nifty little reminders app. The repeat option doesn’t have every 30 minutes, but it does have every hour. Not a problem with this app, I just set 2 reminders half hour apart and set them to remind every hour. The best feature for what I’m trying to do is the option to set “quiet hours”. This allows me to use these hourly reminders without it sounding between 10pm and 8am.
Today is day one using this system and so far it has been great! I used a measuring cup and filled it to 4 ounces. Then I found the smallest glass we have, a wine glass, and filled that with the water. Now I can eyeball the amount once I pour in the water.Β  I keep a large insulated cup filled with ice water in the fridge, and every 30 minutes I pour 4 ounces into the glass. Brilliant!

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Hey! It’s Fitness Friday! I’ve been doing really well this week. I’ve exercised every day and have even been getting my yoga on. πŸ™‚ I’ve been mixing things up doing a little BodyRock, a little ZWOW, putting exercises together from different routines to create my own. It has been fun! And let’s not forget biking, walking and incorporating jogging intervals again. Yay!
I have to give props to the ZWOW workout I’ve done this week. I attempted #18, and was unable to complete all 5 rounds. It sure did have me sweaty! Today I attempted it once again with fabulous results! I took a short break in between each round and modified when and where necessary. I completed 5 rounds while also upping the reps on certain parts each time. Woo woo!
Mega burn, mega sweat, mega awesomeness!

Q: What new ways have you found to make sure you are consuming enough water?
Q: Have you tried any new workouts lately? What were they?! I’d love to hear about them!

I hope you all have an amazing weekend!

Stay Hydrated To Stay Healthy, my new mantra this week.

I don’t know about you, but I have an incredibly hard time consuming even the recommended 64 ounces of water per day, let alone the extra I should be drinking. I have a big 34 ounce cup that I fill with ice water everyday and sometimes I don’t even get that down. For me, not only have I needed to learn to drink water instead of sweet tea all day, I also have to learn to drink enough water. I’ve never been one to consume lots of liquids. So it has been a challenge; drink more water AND drink more period.

Today I’m claiming this week to be:

“Stay Hydrated To Stay Healthy Week”

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We all know how important water is to our bodies. It’s beneficial to our skin, hair, internal organs, digestion, and weight loss. Want to learn more? Do a simple internet search using keywords such as “benefits of drinking water”. You’ll most likely be surprised, there’s a lot more to it than you might realize.

I would like to encourage everyone to write down this week’s mantra and stick it to the fridge! Think before you drink! Opt for water instead of sweetened, unhealthy beverages. It might be hard at first, but you will get used to it and come to enjoy the the refreshing taste of water more than that soda, juice or tea.
I’d also like to encourage everyone to spread the word to drink more water this week. Post to your Facebook, blog, tell a friend, share on Twitter! We can all benefit from this message.

*Tips:
Search online for a tool that let’s you input some information and gives you a good idea of the amount of water you should consume daily.
Download a water tracking app to your iphone, Droid, tablet or iPad to help you keep track and to help you see if you’re really consuming as much as you thought. I know sometimes we think we are doing enough of something until we break it down and record it.
**Question:
What tips do you have for me, or others like me, who have a hard time drinking as much water as we should? Please, share your answers with us in the comments so we can all learn a thing or two!

P.S.
A Lose It! friend shared this link with me. It’s a short quiz to help you determine how much water you need each day.
http://nutrition.about.com/library/blwatercalculator.htm

Not In The Mood to Follow A Workout Video? Create Your Own!

My focus area lately has been thighs and booty. Walking/jogging, stair repeats, squats, etc. have all been added here and there to my workouts. Today I had a plan to do a Bodyrock workout, but just wasn’t feeling it. I did a 30 minute yoga session, then was kind of pacing around, cleaning up, not sure what to do, trying to convince myself to just do the darn workout. It’s been a rainy day so no walking or biking for now. As I was walking through the dining room I kind of randomly lifted my knee like doingΒ  high knees. I had a thought to do some walking high knees. Low impact, that’s good. My knees and shins are not too fond of high impact exercises such as your typical high knees.
I did that a couple of times when I decided to put together my own little set. I thought of 4 leg exercises that I really feel give a good workout, added some upper body movements to up the intensity and created my own 8 minute workout. Since this is an interval type thing, you can choose to do however many sets as you wish. This can be a 4 minute workout, 8 minutes, 12 minutes, or even 16 minutes! You get the idea. πŸ™‚
I thought I’d share it with you, ask for some feedback, and maybe start doing this more often. It was fun and rewarding to create it, and realize it was a good combo!
So here goes:
Set your interval timer for 50/10, 8 rounds. Complete the set two times.
(If you don’t own a timer, but do own an iphone or Droid, you can find free timer apps in the app store.)
1) Walking high knees with alternating hammer fist
2) Alternating forward lunges with biceps curls
3) Sumo side lifts
4) Backward lunge with overhead press
* This workout can be modified to be less or more intense, and higher or lower impact depending on your ability and level.
* Adding hand weights to numbers 1, 2, and 4 and a sandbag to number 3 will intensify this workout.
** Disclaimer: I am NOT a certified trainer nor do I claim to be. Doing this workout in no way holds me liable for anything. I am merely a mama learning her way in fitness and food.

Fitness Friday!

I know I have been slacking in getting posts up. Life is a busy place to be! Having to post from my phone makes it that much more of a task for me. But I’m here now, posting, and that’s what counts, right?
So here goes!
This week I’ve been bodyrockin!! Go check out Bodyrock.tv. It’s crazy, It’s hard, It’s awesome! I’m actually doing it with a friend long distance. I send her the links to the ones we’re going to do and then we do them on the same day. It’s a pretty cool way to get motivated. πŸ™‚ One of the days was a Bodyrock lite workout which went as follows: 100 sumo side lifts, 50-75 pushups, 50-75 tricep dips, 50/50 step ups, ending with 15 slow stability ball crunches. Of course, these can all be modified to be more or less intense depending on your ability. Me? I chose to take them all to the pool! I love working out in water. It’s much easier on my joints, I can do more and I reap the benefits of water resistance. I was able to do the max of all the exercises! To some degree it is easier to do these in water, but it’s also more challenging. It really forces you to engage more muscles to keep your body in proper position and balance. I should also add that performing sumo side lifts in the water has really worked my inner thighs, and the step ups have really worked my glutes better than any exercise I’ve ever tried for those specific areas. I enjoyed this pool workout so much that I did it 2 days in a row, and if the weather cooperates I’ll be going out to do it again. As usual, I’m always incorporating walking and biking into my weeks. I aim to burn at least 100 calories with each walk and ride. I’m going on a virtual walk/run this evening to help motivate a friend get out there. She’s had a setback in her running and is ready to start back up, slowly of course. Healing is always the most important! So tonight while she’s out she’ll know that I’m out with her, and visa versa, encouraging each other to keep going. I just think that’s a pretty amazing thing.

This month on Lose It! some of us are challenging ourselves, and each other, to incorporate more yoga into our lives. We know the benefits of yoga, yet we still needed that something extra to motivate us to do it. The bonus: we earn a really pretty badge if we do yoga at least 12 times within a month. πŸ™‚
For anyone needing help with food and exercise, I highly recommend becoming a member of a great community like Lose It!. We have such an amazing support system there and we all are there for the same reasons; to lose weight, get healthy and get fit for life. Come join us! We’d love to have you!
Wow, now I feel like a commercial. πŸ˜›
Have a fabulous weekend! Do your best to make healthy choices, find time for a little exercise, and most of all have fun!

Q: What is a short term goal you have set for this month?
Making short term goals is a great way to have some fun with fitness and/ or food. Sometimes we need to focus on something small and rewarding, other than the big, distant, final goal. You can create a goal to incorporate a new workout or exercise into your routine, or to try a new food once a week. Anything that sounds interesting, fun and rewarding to you. Please, share with us your goals. You might just inspire someone else.

Easy Taco Chili

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Easy Taco Soup (Mexican Chili) with chicken

Here it is. The recipe you’ve all been waiting for.
This recipe was given to me by a fellow Lose It! user after posting a status asking for vegetarian recipes for my daughter. I needed recipes that I could easily make with and without meat, because we’re not all vegetarians. This one spoke to me instantly and I couldn’t wait to try it out!

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Easy Taco Soup (Mexican Chili) vegetarian

This dinner was a huge hit with all four of us and I definitely plan on making it again, and making it for guests. Throw in a little sour cream and shredded cheese and it’s just perfect! Plus, it really doesn’t get much easier than this.

Ingredients:
1 can of each, drained and rinsed
Dark Red Kidney Beans
Great Northern Beans
Black Beans
1 can sweet corn, undrained
1 can dice tomatoes with chiles, undrained
(we actually used Ro-Tel with habaneros),
1 packet Hidden Valley Ranch dry dip mix
1 packet less sodium dry taco seasoning
If desired:
1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts
or 1 pound lean ground beefΒ 

Mix all ingredients in slow cooker and cook for 6-8 hours on low, or 2 hours on high.

Offer sour cream and shredded cheese when serving.

This makes about 4 realistic servings. There was enough for the four of us (2 adults, 1 teenage girl, 1 11 year old boy), also having homemade tortilla chips, with no leftovers.
To make both a vegetarian batch and non vegetarian batch, mix all ingredients EXCEPT for the meat in slow cooker, remove a portion and put it in another slow cooker. Then add meat. I have a small crockette that I used for the smaller portion.
* If you’d like it more as a soup rather than a chili just add water.
Both versions are insanely delicious!

P.S.
Homemade tortilla chips are super easy and tasty!
6″ corn tortillas
Spray butter
Optional:
Seasoning of choice (sea salt, seasoned salt, or for a sweet treat cinnamon and sugar)
Heat oven to 400*. Spray tortilla with spray butter. Sprinkle with seasoning choice. Using a pizza cutter, cut tortillas into 8 triangles. Place on baking sheet and bake in middle of oven for 10 minutes, or until centers are dry.
I can fit 4 tortillas of chips onto a large baking sheet. To make several batches to serve with taco soup, I prepare them in the afternoon, allow to cool and put them in a large zipper bag.

**The original recipe for the soup can be found on sparkpeople.com.