Monday, November 18, 2013

Checking In & Melissa Bender Fitness

I was so pumped with the "finish the year healthy and strong" and have loved reading your comments about your plans to do the same.  Week one getting back to the gym was really tough, I was sore, sore, sore.  But, that's the pain that comes from being sedentary too long and it's a good sore- if you know what I mean.  Sitting in the steam room at my gym after a hard workout is on my thankful tree list this year. 

Week two, I started to feel like I was getting my groove back.  Don't get me wrong, it's still difficult getting into those workouts, but about 15-20 minutes in and the music is pumping on my iPod and something just clicks and the workouts start feeling GOOD!  Do you know what I mean?  That is the best.  And in just two weeks, I can see small changes to my body that are really inspiring.  

And now, week 3, I'm backing off because I'm not feeling too good- got run down, feeling sick, and have to listen to my body and take a little break for about a week.  I am just like you and I can't do everything all the time, and obviously I don't kill myself to post on both of my blogs daily, but just when I have something I want to share with you and can make the time to share.  I only want to write things here that you will find useful, beneficial, inspiring, or informational.  

So, today, I'm just saying, I'm not giving up, I'm not giving in.  I just needed a little break.  Back at it real soon.  Can't keep me down.  :)

How's it going for you?  

And I wanted to share a fitness blog I found that I was really impressed with- Melissa Bender Fitness.  This woman trained for a fitness competition without ever training in a gym- she did all her workouts at home. No excuses, right?!  I know getting to a gym is a struggle for a lot of people, so I thought you might want to check her site out.  She shares in great detail all her contest prep including food and workouts.  Let me know what you think and tell her I said hi!  


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Monday, November 4, 2013

Finishing the Year Strong Update & Tex Mex Casserole with Egg Noodles

We last talked about our goal of finishing 2013 healthy and strong and I so appreciate your feedback in the comments.  Your courage to share where you are in your journey helps me be transparent in mine too and I feel like we're in this together.  I got in 4 really great workouts last week, and I feel that that's a good fit for my current schedule through the end of the year.  It takes some planning and preparation to make sure to get to the gym, but if I workout hard for at least 50 minutes, I'm good with 4 days. 

Getting started back into a weight-lifting/workout routine is especially hard because you are so SORE for the first few days.  I had to take Advil a few times, but I'm already fine.  And isn't it funny how after just a few workouts you feel 5 pounds lighter?!  My scale says I'm down half a pound.  It's a start!


On Halloween, I ate 2 chocolate chip cookies that a mom from my son's school made and a mini Reese's Peanut Butter cup.  To be honest, the cookies were delicious, but I should have just had one, and the Reese's didn't taste that good- probably because I'm a PB cup snob now, having fallen in love with the homemade variety.  The point is, if I'm going to "cheat" I want it to be worth it!  And I know that finishing the year strong requires some sacrifice and diligence with my food especially during the week.  So, I'm being more conscious of what foods I'm choosing and having something really good to look forward to on the weekend.  On Saturday night, we went out to a great restaurant and I ate oxtails and potatoes- so good, but really rich, so I only ate about 1/3 of what was on my plate.  I had 2 glasses of wine and for dessert, had a big ole ice cream cone that I really enjoyed.  Back on the wagon for Monday.   

My other tip for this week is to SHARE MEALS when you go out to eat, if possible.  I'm usually full after half my meal, but feel like I need to finish, so I'll end up eating too much.  Leftovers from restaurants usually end up in the trash and it's a shame to waste the food and money.  Sharing with someone eliminates that and you don't leave the table feeling so heavy from overeating.  


I made a healthy meal last week that I think you might like too.  I warn you that it's not the prettiest dish, but very tasty and full of protein.  It's kind of a Tex-Mex casserole with egg noodles.  I really believe that "abs are made in the kitchen", which is why the eating portion is so crucial to seeing results.  My meals last week pretty much consisted of:

7am- oatmeal and coffee
10am- protein shake 
12pm- this casserole
3pm- tuna sandwich and Sun chips 
6pm- this casserole
8pm- Greek yogurt or hot cocoa

I also stopped in Starbucks a few times (which is a step back from my previous daily addiction).  


Ingredients
1 Jennie O- Extra Lean Ground Turkey
1 Laura's Lean Beef (94% Lean) - or go leaner
1 bag No Yolk Egg Noodles
1/2 container of Philadelphia Cream Cheese (1/3 less fat) - or use fat free
1 cup Shredded Mexican cheese (2%) - or use fat free
1 package Taco Seasoning (low sodium)
*Update 2/16/14:  add some minced parsley, chopped onion and garlic for added flavor

Directions
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Boil the egg noodles for about 8 minutes, then drain.

Meanwhile, (*Update 2/16/14, brown the onion and garlic) and then add the two meats until cooked though, add the seasoning mix with about a cup of water and let it boil until the water and seasoning is absorbed.  Then, I add the parsley.

Off the heat, add the cream cheese and the shredded cheese to the meat mixture and stir until all melted and mixed in.  Add in the noodles and stir until combined. 

Pour the entire thing into a 9x13 baking dish, top with remaining 1/2 cup of shredded cheese.  Bake for about 20 minutes.  *Update 2/16/14:  I'm not baking this dish anymore because I felt like that dried it out.  

I based this dish on a pin from Pinterest, but lightened it up.  To make it even lighter, use leaner beef and fat free cream cheese and fat free shredded cheese.  Some people may also like to add salsa to this for more flavor. 

If you portion this dish into 10 servings, below is the nutrition information.  I use myfitnesspal.com to calculate the nutrition- it's free and really user-friendly. 

So, how's it going for you?  If you've fallen off the wagon, just get back on!

via Nike

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