Saturday, September 29, 2012

Thank You!

Good morning Sunshine!  I hope you all woke up to a beautiful Saturday!  I decided last night that we are working out at 9:00 a.m. today to get it over and done with for the day. My Saturday workout is going to be a ten minute warm up on the treadmill, lift weights for back and biceps, and finish with 200 abs.  Then get on with my day feeling GOOD.  I'm planning to cook turkey chili and then I'll be taking 100 photos, trying to get a few properly exposed and focused shots that I can share with you next week:)

Most importantly, I want to give y'all a big ole hug for reading, commenting, following, and subscribing to my new blog.  The first day the blog went live, it had nearly 40,000 page views!  That is BANANAS!  It's because YOU read multiple posts while you were here.  Thank you.  I'm humbled and thrilled.

Many of you are helping spread the word and I really appreciate it.  If you have blogged about Honey We're Healthy or added my button to your blog, please let me know and I will give you a shout out in a future post with your blog header and a link to your blog.  I think it's so important to support each other and I'm happy to return the


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Friday, September 28, 2012

5 Healthy Snacks

Ever get so busy with your day that you "forget to eat?"  Then you are STARVING for dinner?  Yeah, I've done that too, but I really try to be conscious of eating every three to four hours now.  I do get hungry that often, so having healthy snacks in my fridge, at work, or in the car are essential.  Here are five of my favorites.  I'd like to hear what your favorite snacks are too.

I like most varieties of applies.  The one pictured above is a Honey Crisp- so pretty and crunchy!  I'm trying to get in the habit of washing my apples when I bring them home from the grocery store so they are ready to slice and eat.  I pair them with natural peanut butter for a satisfying treat.  I always bring apples to work and my own jar of peanut butter for snack time. 

Nutrition:  Natural Peanut Butter (2 tbsp): Cal 200; Fat 16g; Sat fat 1.5g; Protein 8g; Carb 6g; Sodium 90g.
Apple (1 medium):  Cal 100; Fat 0; Protein 0; Carb 25g.


Carrots are another wash, peel, and slice item I like to keep in my fridge.  (You can buy them that way for convenience if you prefer).  I buy the giant tubs of hummus since my whole family (including my son) eat it.  This is most likely the snack you'll find us eating while dinner is being prepared if we're too hungry to wait.  Pictured above is two carrots, but I probably would only eat one large carrot.

Nutrition 1 Carrot: Cal 30; Fat 0g; Protein 1g; Carb 7g.
Hummus (2 Tbsp): Cal 80; Fat 7g; Sat Fat 1g; Cart 4g; Protein 2g; Sodium 125g.


Nuts (preferably unsalted), the ones pictured above are a combination of unsalted and lightly salted.  I find that my body really bloats up if I eat too much sodium, so I eat unsalted.  I keep these in my car for "emergencies" since they travel so well.  

Nutrition 1/4 cup:  Cal 170; Fat 16g; Sat Fat 1g; Carb 6g; Protein 5g; Sodium 0g.

I love Edamame.  I actually enjoy the process of popping the peas out of their little shell with my teeth.    It took me too long to realize I didn't have to go to a sushi restaurant to enjoy edamame, you can buy it frozen at the grocery store.  I sprinkle it with a teeny amount of salt.  

Nutrition (1 cup unshelled/ 1/2 cup shelled): Calories 110; Fat 3.5g; Sat Fat 0g; Sodium 0g; Carb 12g; Protein 9g.


These little pre-packaged bundles of cheese are high on my list of grab and go.  I buy the "light" and eat two at a time.  The sodium isn't great, but the protein is. 

Nutrition (2 pieces): Cal 100; Fat 5g; Sat Fat 3g; Sodium 400g; Carb 2g; Protein 14g.

What snacks do you like?  

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Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Caprese Salad

A caprese salad (tomato, mozzarella, and basil) is probably one of my three favorite appetizers to order when eating out.  It's light, delicious, and pretty with the vibrant red, green and pure white ingredients.


Sprinkle on a few drops of extra virgin olive oil and balsamic vinegar too. 


What's your favorite healthy appetizer to order when eating out?

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Welcome to Honey We're Healthy!

Thank you for visiting Honey We're Healthy!

I'm Megan, and we might already be friends from my  home decor and organization blog, Honey We're Home.  If we haven't met yet, I'm glad you're here!  I'm a 37 year-old mom to an adorable 2 1/2 year old son, James.  He's the love of my life, but I will admit, pregnancy was not so hot for me- on my 5'1 frame, I gained over 50 pounds.  To read about how I lost the weight and got back into shape, go HERE.  

As I approach my 40s and raise my young son, being active and healthy has become more important than ever.  I'm not a nutritionist or personal trainer, just a regular working woman who wants to raise a fit family and look and feel the best I can.  I want a lean figure and shapely muscles.  Many of you have the same goals.  I know that my body runs better when I nourish it with natural, unprocessed, low sugar foods and that I feel strong and energized when I workout and lift weights.

My approach to living healthy has been shaped by lots of reading and research from people like: Dr. Oz; Fitness Models/Writers Jamie Eason, Monica Brant, and Tosca Reno; Chef Ellie Kreiger; Personal Trainers Bob Greene and Jillian Michaels; and Food Writer Michael Pollan.  I also read magazines like Oxygen and Whole Living.  I'll digest the information and bring it to you here.


My hope is that Honey We're Healthy will be a place of encouragement, support, and motivation to make our journeys toward health and fitness more doable and fun.  I plan to share meals- healthy ones but also yummy desserts for once in a while.  I admit to having a major sweet tooth and wouldn't dream of eliminating chocolate from my diet.  I'll also post fitness tips and my workout routine, as well as all things related to living a healthful lifestyle.  

I hope you enjoy visiting and come back often.  You can follow Honey We're Healthy HERE or subscribe HERE.  


I'll leave you with very wise words from my loving Grandma, who always signs her handwritten letters to me with the sweetest sentiment . . . 


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The Legal Stuff (Disclaimer): The information on this site is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. You are encouraged to confirm any information obtained from this site with other sources, and review all information regarding any medical condition or treatment with your physician.  Please consult your health care provider before making any healthcare decisions or for guidance about a specific medical condition.




Perfect

*Here's a great song to add to your fitness playlist (and a reminder to lift your spirits). 

Made a wrong turn, Once or twiceDug my way out, Blood and fireBad decisions, That's alrightWelcome to my silly life
Mistreated, misplaced, misunderstoodMiss "no way, it's all good", It didn't slow me downMistaken, Always second guessingUnder estimated, Look, I'm still around
Pretty, pretty pleaseDon't you ever, ever feelLike your less than Fuckin' perfect.Pretty, pretty pleaseIf you ever, ever feelLike your nothingYou're perfect to me.
You're so mean,When you talk, About yourself, You are wrong.Change the voices, In your headMake them like you Instead.
So complicated,Look happy, You'll make it!Filled with so much hatredSuch a tired game.It's enough, I've done all I can think ofChased down all my demons, I've seen you do the same.
Oh, Pretty, pretty pleaseDon't you ever, ever feelLike your less than perfect.Pretty, pretty pleaseIf you ever, ever feelLike your nothingYou're perfect to me.
The whole world stares so I swallow the fear,The only thing I should be drinking is an ice cold beer.So cool in line and we try, try, try,But we try too hard, it's a waste of my time.Done looking for the critics, cause they're everywhereThey don't like my jeans, they don't get my hairWe change ourselves and we do it all the time
Why do we do that? Why do I do that?Why do I do that?
Yeah~, Ohh~ pretty pretty please, Ohh~
Pretty, pretty pleaseDon't you ever, ever feelLike your less than perfect.Pretty, pretty pleaseIf you ever, ever feelLike your nothingYou're perfect to me.
You're perfect, You're perfectPretty, pretty pleaseDon't you ever, ever feelLike your less than Fuckin' perfect.Pretty, pretty pleaseIf you ever, ever feelLike your nothingYou're perfect to me. 
-Pink
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3 Sample Weight Training Programs (by Monica Brant)

I found what I think are three good weight training programs in Monica Brant's book, Secrets to Staying Fit and Loving Life.  For those of you who don't know Monica Brant, she was a fitness and figure competitor and champion from the 1990s to now.  She also runs fitness camps and does personal appearances.  Keep in mind, she's got a lot more muscle mass than I strive for (she's been dedicated to wight training/muscle gain for YEARS), but I think her training principals are sound.

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These programs assume you have a general knowledge of how to lift weights for different body parts.  In her book (which I ordered online for $1.50) she has photos of how to perform different exercises.  I will write a separate post on specific exercises for each body part in the future.

Always warm up with medium-intensity cardio before weight training.  I usually start on the treadmill and do 2.5 mph at a 15% incline, for 8 minutes.  Monica does 3.5 mph with a 5% incline for 10 minutes.

SAMPLE PROGRAM 1:  Train 3 Days a Week for General Conditioning

*Each time in the gym, you'll do a total body circuit, going from one exercise to another without resting in between.  You can do the circuit once, twice, or three times, depending on your time and conditioning level.  You rest more more than 30 seconds between exercises.

Monica says doing circuits are one of the best ways to burn fat and condition your body.

Example Exercises 

Body Part        Exercise
Shoulders          Dumbbell press
Chest                 Incline dumbbell press
Biceps               Seated alternating dumbbell curl
Triceps              Triceps bench dip
Back                 Dumbbell bench row
Legs                  Lunges
Abs                   Basic ball crunch

Frequency:  3 days a week, skip a day in between

Exercises:  If you do a second or third round, you can choose different exercises or do the same

Sets:  Do one set per exercise

Reps:  15-20 per exercise.  Add weight if you can do more than 20.  It should not be so heavy that you can't do the last reps by yourself, but should feel challenging enough that you're ready to quit at 20.

Rest:  No more than 30 seconds between exercises

Cardio:  If you have time and these are the only 3 days you are at the gym, do 15-20 minutes of cardio before your circuit and 15-20 minutes after.

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SAMPLE PROGRAM 2:  Train 4 Days a Week for General Conditioning

*This is still a circuit workout, but your body parts are split into two days.

Example Exercises 

Frequency        Exercise
Monday             Arms/legs/abs
Tuesday             Chest/shoulders/back
Wednesday        Off
Thursday           Arms/legs/abs
Friday                Chest/shoulders/back
Saturday            Off
Sunday              Optional cardio day

Exercises:  Pick two exercises per body part.  If you do a second or third round, you can choose different exercises or do the same

Sets:  Do one set per exercise

Reps:  15-20 per exercise.  Add weight if you can do more than 20.  It should not be so heavy that you can't do the last reps by yourself, but should feel challenging enough that you're ready to quit at 20.

Rest:  No more than 30 seconds between exercises

Cardio:  If time allows, do cardio before, during or after your circuit training.  Otherwise, save it for another day.  Monica says that doing cardio, even 15 minutes, will help you see results faster.  She also recommends mixing it up- higher intensity on some time and lower intensity others.

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SAMPLE PROGRAM 3:  Train 5 Days a Week for Muscle Definition and Conditioning

*This is good for the woman who wants to build muscle definition throughout her entire body.  The program is a three day training split.  (THIS IS WHAT I'M DOING NOW).


Example Exercises 

Frequency        Exercise
Monday             Chest/shoulders/triceps
Tuesday             Back/biceps/abs
Wednesday        Legs
Thursday           Off or Cardio
Friday                Chest/shoulders/triceps
Saturday            Back/biceps/abs
Sunday              Off

Exercises:
Chest                 2 exercises
Shoulders          3 exercises
Triceps               2 exercises
Back                  3-4 exercises
Biceps                2 exercises
Abs                    2-3 exercises
Legs                   4 exercises


Sets:  3-4 sets per exercise

Reps:  1st set 15; 2nd set 12; 3rd set 10

Rest:  One minute between sets

Cardio:  Monica recommends doing some cardio for conditioning and to control body fat.  She says, "Interval cardio sessions after weight training are best for optimal performance and results.  Do not do your cardio before weights if you are trying to build muscle.  Keep in mind that heavier training requires more attention and energy, so make sure you don't exhaust all your fuel by doing your cardio first."

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Getting Started Getting Fit

If you haven't been working out and find yourself struggling just to make it through the day, ending up in an exhausted heap on the bed at night, finding time to workout can be an added stressor, instead of a stress relief.   If I am just too busy in a day, I will purposefully decide to skip the gym.  Then forget it and go the next day.

It's often difficult for women to take/make time for themselves (because there is no time left to give after giving it all to your work and/or family).  If you are struggling with starting a workout routine, or can't seem to find the time, a great place to get started is to just get moving.


A short 15-30 minute walk/jog in your own neighborhood will do you wonders.  I love to get outside in the fresh air and feel so much better afterwards.  Of course, I prefer running in our local park around the 3-mile track because it is such a pretty scene and I love the energy of the people.



Realistically though, I know that the park is about an hour out of my day because I have to drive there (7 minutes), find a parking spot (3 minutes), commit to 3 miles (at least 30 minutes), and drive home (7 minutes).  If I really only have 20 minutes, I'll just grab my ipod, and head out the front door for a quick jog.

Sometimes, the mental energy for gearing up for the gym or park is just too much for people to handle.  But, hopefully, just walking out your front door is doable.

I really also love it when the family takes a walk before or after dinner.  A walk is still getting your body moving!  In my neighborhood, we see lots of families doing this. One person can run ahead if they want to go faster- or use a running stroller if you have little ones.  My son really likes riding in his.

I have found that if you get moving, you will start to like how you feel and want to do it more.  Just starting can be the hardest part- figuring out how to fit it into your day.   But it is an investment in you that you deserve and, frankly, NEED to take care of yourself.




Making TIME to Workout (My Schedule & Tips for You)

When I announced that I was starting a health and fitness blog, I was thankful and humbled by the support from readers in the comments they left and in the private emails I received.  I think most everyone desires to be fit,  and by far, the overwhelming question I got was,

"How do you find the time to workout" or "How do you balance it all?"

With jobs, commutes to jobs, kids, after school activities, a household to run and clean, bills to pay, groceries to buy, laundry to do, not to mention trying to catch up with friends, shop, or date-  making time to work out often falls to the bottom on the list of priorities.   It can feel overwhelming to try to fit working in on top of all the other commitments we have on a daily basis.

For me, the first thing I had to do was decide that working out is a priority for me and that my health matters.  I am worthy of taking time for myself.  You are too.


If you're not feeling good, you're overweight, sluggish and don't have the energy or vibrancy you'd like to have, you NEED to take time for yourself.  It can get better.

That having been said, there are only so many hours in a day.  You have to figure out where you can carve out the time for yourself.  You have to put yourself on your priority list.

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MY SCHEDULE FOR WORKING OUT

In my household, I only have one young child that isn't in any after school activities or sports and I normally work full time.  There have been periods in my life where I got up at 5:30 a.m. twice a week to meet my girlfriend at the gym to workout from 6:00 to 6:45 a.m.  Then I'd get home around 7:00 a.m. and get ready for work to be out the door by 8:00 a.m.

Morning workouts are perfect for early risers and make you feel good and accomplished!  The workout is over first thing and you don't have to think about it again all day!  How good does that feel?  It's what I highly recommend if you can commit to it- even just a couple days a week.

I lean much more toward the night-owl end of the spectrum and prefer to workout after work.

WORKING OUT AFTER MY SON GOES TO BED

This only worked with one parent being home while the other went to the gym- and I did this because our previous gym did not have a daycare.  We recently changed gyms to one with a daycare so that the family could all go at the same time, instead of taking turns.

7:00 a.m. Wake up, eat breakfast, get ready for work.

8:00 a.m.  Take my son to school.

8:45-9:00 a.m.  Arrive at work.

10:00 a.m.   Eat a snack.

12:00 p.m.  Eat lunch.

3:30 p.m.  Eat a snack

5:00 p.m.  Leave work, pick up my son

5:30 p.m.  Make dinner (or have leftovers)

6:00 p.m.  Dinner

7:00 p.m.  Son's bath and story

7:30 p.m.  Son's bedtime

8:00 p.m.  Go to the gym

9:00 p.m  Home/shower

9:15 p.m.  Eat a snack

9:30-11:00 Clean the kitchen/prepare lunch for the next day, watch tv, Blog/Pinterest, return emails

11:30 p.m. Bedtime

TAKING MY SON TO THE GYM WITH ME

My new gym has a daycare that is really well run and my son loves to play in.  It's more like a large indoor playground where he can read, color, play on the jungle gym, play with cars/trains/puppets and the other kids.  They also have dinner tables where the kids can eat.

I am mindful that I don't want my son to be in daycare all day, then go right to another daycare for an hour when he gets home, so I might only do this two times during the week and then do two more workouts on the weekends.  With this schedule, we tend to go right after work and let James eat dinner with his friends.  He also goes to bed 30 minutes later so we all get a little more time together.


7:00 a.m. Wake up, eat breakfast, get ready for work.

8:00 a.m.  Take my son to school.

8:45-9:00 a.m.  Arrive at work.

10:00 a.m.   Eat a snack.

12:00 p.m.  Eat lunch.

3:30 p.m.  Eat a snack

4:00 p.m.  Husband picks up son (an hour earlier than before)

5:00 p.m.  I leave work

6:00-7:00 p.m.  Eat snack.  Go to the gym (son eats dinner at the daycare)

7:30 p.m.  Home dinner/Son's bath, and story

8:00 p.m.  Son's bedtime (30 minutes later), Shower

8:30-11:00 Clean the kitchen/prepare lunch for the next day, watch tv, Blog/Pinterest, return emails,

11:30 p.m. Bedtime

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On Saturdays, I like to wake up, eat breakfast, enjoy my coffee/magazines on the couch, fiddle around the house some, then go workout around 9:30.  It feels really good to get it out of the way early and then you have the rest of the day to do whatever you want.

On Sundays, I don't like to workout before church, but sometimes like to go for a run during my son's nap or in the evening before dinner.

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WHERE TO FIND TIME TO WORKOUT IN YOUR DAY

Below are some general time savers that will help you add time to your day.

Turn off the TV.  (And when you watch TV, record the shows and fast forward through the commercials).

Turn off the computer- yep, blogs, Pinterest, Instagram, Facebook.

Put your phone down.

Say "NO."

Decide the house doesn't have to be spotless every day.

Hire a housekeeper once or twice a month, if possible.

Set out your (and your kids') clothes the night before.

Prepare lunches the night before.

Get up early.  Go to bed early.

HOW CAN YOU INCORPORATE WORKING OUT INTO YOUR DAY? 

Below are some suggestions to help get you thinking outside the box and how to realistically incorporate working out into your day.

Can you find a gym with a good daycare?

If you are married, can you and your husband take turns going to the gym/watching the kids?

If you are married, can your husband do dinner and feed the kids two nights a week while you go workout and then you come home and do bedtime duty?

Can you commit to waking up an hour earlier to workout?

Can you workout at night?

Can you turn your "date night" into a workout, then go eat afterwards?

Can you meet your girlfriends for a walk/workout instead of a happy hour/lunch/dinner?

Can you trade babysitting with a neighbor/friend?

Can you get a jogging stroller so you and your baby/toddler can go together?  My son used to nap in his when he was younger.  Or what about a bike with a kid seat?  Or bikes for the whole family?

If you are a parent who's always at your kids' sporting practices in the afternoon/evening, is it weird to walk a few laps during the practice?  Or could you skip out (I know that sounds bad) and trade "babysitting" with another parent who's there?

Can you leave work early and workout before you get home or go at lunch once/twice a week?

Do you have a neighborhood pool where you could swim laps?

Can you do a neighborhood bootcamp?

Can you combine everyday errands with fitness- like parking way in the back and walking to the store or taking the stairs instead of the elevator?

If you don't belong to a gym or just cannot get there, you could try workout videos you can do at home.  (I am researching to see what good ones are out there and will write a separate post on that.)

Great home exercises also include pushups, crunches, lunges, jumping rope, jumping jacks, lifting hand weights.

Could your family play in a sport together- like soccer or tennis?

I am always a fan of just starting to walk or jog in your own neighborhood after dinner.

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Your "Before & After" Weight Loss Featured Here

Have you lost weight and want to share your success story with Honey We're Healthy readers?  I want to feature YOU (and your blog, if you have one)!

I'm looking for women who have lost weight/gotten fit and and are interested in inspiring other women with their journey and insight into the process.  I am obsessed with how our bodies can transform with the right diet and exercise and am so PROUD of anyone who has worked their tail off to get in shape.  It's a long process, fought hard every day and I want to CELEBRATE you!

I will need:

1.  A clear "before" and "after" photo of you.

2.  Age, height, and weight ("before" and "after").

3.  Family status- married/single/kids/work?  Other background you wish to share.

4.  "Light bulb moment"- What made you decide to make a change?

5.  What did you do to accomplish your goal? (Food/meal plan and exercise specifics)

6.  How did you make time for fitness?

7.  How long did it take you to reach your goal?

8.  Was there a specific person, website, blog that inspired/motivated you and provided you good information for losing weight/getting fit?

9. Any other information that you think would be beneficial and inspiring to other women.

Please send me an email at:  honeywerehealthyblog@gmail.com with the subject "Before & After".

*Please note that by submitting your photos, I am assuming that you are giving me permission to post them on my blog, along with your story.


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Two Healthy Chicken Sauces

Grilled, skinless chicken breast is a staple in my house.  I buy a package of chicken breasts, pound or cut them thin so they cook quickly and evenly (and aren't too big a portion size- about 6 oz is good for me), then keep them in the fridge for a few days to pull out and eat when I need to make a meal fast.  They reheat easily in the microwave, but sometimes I eat them cold on salads or sandwiches.

A 4-ounce portion of boneless, skinless breast meat has 120 calories, 1 fat gram and approximately 26 grams of protein (according to the Nutrition Info label on my package).  It's a great source of lean protein!

Adding a tasty, low fat, low calorie sauce to your chicken can help it not be so "boring." Here are two from the America's Test Kitchen Family Cookbook (Mushroom Marsala Sauce and Caramelized Onion and Mustard Sauce) that I like and are easy to make.

The Test Kitchen says the sauces can be refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 1 day and the recipe makes 1 cup (4 quarter-cup servings), so you may want to double the recipe if you have more people to serve.

Mushroom Marsala Sauce


Ingredients:
  • 2 teaspoons EVOO
  • 8 oz. white mushrooms, cleaned, trimmed, and sliced thin 
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 2 teaspoons minced fresh thyme (I used 1/2 teaspoon dried)
  • 1 cup low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1/2 cup dry Marsala
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • 1 teaspoon cornstarch
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter 
*If you want to be super-strict, I would omit the salt and butter.  

Directions:
  1. Heat the oil in a 10-inch skillet over medium-high heat until shimmering.
  2. Add the mushrooms and a pinch of salt; cook until browned, about 15 minutes. (My mushrooms cooked more quickly)
  3. Stir in the garlic and thyme and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds.
  4. Whisk in the broth and Marsala and bring to a simmer.
  5. Whisk the water and cornstarch together and then stir into the sauce.
  6. Simmer until the sauce is thickened and measures 1 cup, about 5 minutes.
  7. Remove from heat and whisk in the butter, season with salt and pepper to taste, and serve.
Nutrition:  1/4 cup serving = Calories 110; Fat 5g; Sat Fat 2.5g; Chol 10 mg; Carb 7g; Protein 1g; Fiber 0g, Sodium 190mg 

Caramelized Onion and Mustard Sauce


Ingredients
  • 1 tablespoon EVOO
  • 2 onions, halved and sliced thin
  • 1 teaspoon light or dark brown sugar
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 2 teaspoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 tablespoon whole grain mustard
  • 2 tablespoons minced fresh parsley 
  • 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
  • salt and pepper to taste

Directions
  1. Heat the oil in a 12-inch skillet over medium-high heat until shimmering.
  2. Add the onions and brown sugar and cook until softened, about 5 minutes.
  3. Reduce the heat to medium-low and continue to cook, stirring often, until the onions are dark golden and caramelized, 20-25 minutes. 
  4. Stir in the garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds.
  5. Whisk in the broth and mustard, scraping up any browned bits.
  6. Simmer until the sauce has thickened and measured 1 cup, 10-12 minutes.
  7. Off the heat, stir in the parsley and lemon juice, season with salt and pepper.
Nutrition:  1/4 cup serving = Calories 80; Fat 4g; Sat Fat 0; Chol 0 mg; Carb 9g; Protein 1g; Fiber 2g, Sodium 290mg 


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Healthy Snack (Greek Yogurt)

We are all looking for healthy snacks and this one can also be a meal for breakfast, especially if you add granola.  The protein in the Greek yogurt is what makes it extra beneficial. 


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Y U M M Y !

FAGE 0% Greek Yogurt = 100 Calories, 0 Fat, 7g Carb, 65g Sodium, 18g Protein

When I'm on a kick, I eat one a day, sometimes adding blueberries and granola. 

James likes strawberries too.


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Asian Chicken Stir Fry

One of my favorite healthy dishes is Asian Chicken Stir Fry.  It combines tasty veggies with brown rice, skinless chicken breast, and Asian seasonings.  I love it because it's so easy to prepare, a definite plus for a busy family.  I often already have a batch of cooked chicken and rice in my fridge- so I only have to cook the veggies, and then it's a one-pot meal.  The whole dish is great to take to work the next day for leftovers.

Asian Chicken Stir Fry


Ingredients (Serves 4)
  • 1 cup brown rice 
  • 4 chicken breasts
  • 1 1/2 cup veggies (broccoli, carrots, snap peas, mushrooms, water chestnuts (you can get canned in the Asian aisle of your grocery store)
  • 1 clove garlic minced
  • 1/2 onion diced or a few scallions (not pictured)
  • EVOO
  • Salt
  • Low sodium soy sauce (to taste- me me a few "glugs")
  • Ginger (to taste- for me a few slices)
  • Asian chili sauce (to taste- for me 1 teaspoon)



Directions
  1. Cook the brown rice in a saucepan
  2. Brown the chicken in a skillet
  3. In a separate skillet, add a couple tablespoons of EVOO and onion, cook until tender
  4. Add garlic and cook for 30 seconds
  5. Add veggies and stir until cooked 
  6. Add the seasonings to taste 
  7. I like to scoop out my rice separately instead of combining it with the veggies so I can control how much rice I'm getting per serving better (about 3/4 cup).  Then add chicken breast. 

* * * * * 


Sunday, September 16, 2012

My Top 3 "Eat Clean" Meals

My weight loss journey has hit many plateaus, but not surprisingly, I've always seen the biggest improvements when I've eaten a really "clean" diet.  For me, that means finding something high protein that I can eat for breakfast, lunch, and dinner for about 5 days straight, then switch to something else.  And when I'm eating really healthy, I'm also more likely to workout.  Conversely, if I'm in a "bad" eating rut, I'm not likely to be hitting the gym. 

I'm no dietician or nutritionist and only know what has worked for me.  
via
RECIPE:
  • Extra lean ground turkey (1 package)
  • Low sodium black beans (1 can)
  • Brown rice (1 cup)
  • Taco Bell low sodium seasoning
I make the rice in a saucepan while I brown the turkey meat.  Then I add the seasoning and black beans to the meat.  Combine the cooked rice into the meat and top with low fat sour cream, low fat cheese, salsa, and sometimes I crunch up a couple of tortilla chips on top.  (James actually loves this too).

via
RECIPE
  • Chicken tenders (or chicken breast)
  • Salad mix (I buy prewashed in a bag)
  • Bangkok Padang Peanut Sauce (found in the regular grocery store in the Asian aisle)
  • Lime juice
  • Sliced almonds
I cook a package of chicken tenders and portion them out for 2 tenders per salad.  I usually mix a tablespoon of the peanut sauce with a tiny bit of lowfat peanut butter because the sauce is kinda spicy and I want to mellow it out.  (FYI- The peanut sauce does have sugar and processed ingredients) I add a squeeze of lime and toss in the salad and chicken, topping with some sliced almonds for crunch.


via
RECIPE: 

Ingredients:
* 2 lbs ground turkey (or chicken)
* 3 egg whites
* 1 cup quick cooking oats
* 1/2 tsp ground cumin
* 1/2 tsp dried thyme
* 2 tsp dry yellow mustard
* 2 tsp black pepper
* 2 tsp chipotle pepper spice
* 1 tsp salt
* 2 tbsp garlic powder (2 cloves minced)
* 1 small onion (finely chopped)
* 2 celery stalks (finely chopped)
(I make several batches of the seasoning mix at once since I have all the ingredients out).  I also usually eat them with a side of frozen steamed veggies.  
Directions:
1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
2. Spray muffin pan with canola or olive oil.
3. Mix all your ingredients together in one large bowl.
4. Roll the mixture into balls and place in muffin pan. Muffins should be about the size of a racquetball.
5. Bake for 40 minutes.
Makes 12 muffins.
Here's a video showing Jamie Eason cooking these- she calls them turkey meatloaf muffins.


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Boot Camp

A gorgeous blogging buddy from Houston invited me to participate in a boot camp, Houston Area Adventure Boot Camp, the longest-running boot camp in the Houston area.  Over the last seven years they have helped more then 5200 people achieve their fitness goals.  I immediately knew I wanted to bring my girlfriend (and workout partner since college) since she's always up for these types of adventures.

We showed up just before the class was about to start at 6:30 p.m. (although they offer morning classes too), with the Houston heat not letting up a bit.  Neither of us had done a boot camp before, so we didn't know what to expect.  Immediately, we met the awesome trainer, TJ, and two other women, who made us feel right at home.  Here we are with TJ:)


This class kicked our butt!  We did drills where we had to pick up a poker chip, run up a hill to find out what exercise corresponded to the chip, run back down the hill, ultimately doing 15-30 repetitions of 30 exercises.  OUCH!  We were sweating and panting and our heart rates were UP for the entire hour!  TJ was so encouraging and helpful and FUN!  They played hip hop music and the other people in the class were super sweet.  It's easy to make friends when you're all commiserating from running up that dang hill and doing your 50th pushup!


Just before class ended, my girlfriend became the photographer and shot some pics so I could show you.


Isn't it a pretty park where the class is held? So nice to get outside after a long day at the office.

And I LOVE that my single girl snapped a pic of the hot guy! I laughed so hard when I saw this pic on my camera! :)  Get fit and meet men- perfect for you single ladies!!


*******


If you're interested in attending a class, here's their contact info:

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