March Madness

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spring

Hi everybody! I know I haven’t been around much lately, and for that, I apologize. At the beginning of the year, my work got pretty busy and a few other things in my personal life have kept me from blogging. I haven’t been as dedicated to eating healthy and exercising as I have been, and I’m pretty sure I’ve gained a few pounds. I am disappointed in myself, but I thought I’d be honest since this is real life. I will fail and fall many times before I actually reach my goal. I did food prep today, and I have my exercise planned out for the week– which is good!

So, even though I fell off the horse a little, I’m going to jump right back on. Enjoy the photos of the past few months!

yummylunch Yummyfood Yummydessert yummybreakfast yumm withcec Walkingsophie sogood runnike piedmontpark2 Piedmontpark Jessandme homeworkout foodprepmarch foodpreplunch foodprep breakfast blast

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Jerm’s Herbed Baked Chicken with a Side of Heaven

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jerm1

Jerm’s Herbed Baked Chicken with Honey & Chili Flaked Carrots and Couscous Stuffed Romas

Jeremy sent over these pictures today, and I just had to post them! He doesn’t really cook recipes, but he put together the instructions below.

Chicken

  • Boneless skinless chicken breast.
  • Seasoned both sides with salt, pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, and dried herbs (I have a grinder that has a French style).
  • Preheat oven to 425. I use a non-stick oven pan.
  • Drizzle with olive oil and set timer for 30 mins (These were fairly thick breasts).

Tomatoes

  • Cut in half 3 roma tomatoes and scooped out the insides with a spoon. Sprinkle a little salt and pepper inside.
  • The filling was boxed garlic and herb small couscous, but you can sub quinoa if you like. To that I added finely copped green onion, and mixed in low fat wedge cheese (come in a little wheel with a cow on it and is individually packaged).
  • Slice a little sliver off the bottom of each tomato to make it sit level on the non-stick oven tray. Fill each “cup” with the filling mixture.
  • Sprinkle with some herbed bread crumbs and drizzle some extra virgin olive oil (evoo).
  • Cook them with the chicken on 425 for 17 minutes or until brown on top.

Carrots 

  • Peel some whole carrots (not very large) and cut them in half lengthwise.
  • Rub with salt, pepper, red chili flake, and evoo.
  • Cook on medium high heat in a pan until almost tender.
  • Pour it honey and let caramelize on the outside prior to finishing.

And done!

jerm

Will you cook Jeremy’s dinner? Guys, impress your lady with this dinner– it’s sure to impress!

Jeremy’s One Pan Meal (Breakfast!)

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jermmealMy friend Jeremy is one of the best cooks I know, and he cooks amazing Southern food. Lately, he’s been getting into shape. I follow, and long for (seriously!), his food on IG and Facebook. He knows I love his food, and he sent me this message of Facebook, “I made this little gem this morning. Turkey bacon, 2 eggs scrambled with fat free cream cheese peppers, onions, and sharp cheddar.”He continued, “And yes. I have decided that you don’t need 2 pieces of bacon or even 3. What I do it take one piece and I chop it up and then I scramble it in with my eggs so you get all the flavor and happiness of the smokey bacon but at much less cost.” It’s a simple one pan meal! I can’t wait to try it this weekend!

For exercise, he plays a lot of golf. It’s important to remember exercise can be about staying active with activities you love. You don’t have to go to a gym and spend hours on a treadmill. Personally, I cannot wait to hiking in North Georgia this summer. I love how Jeremy is getting in shape by cooking simple, yet delicious, meals and keeping exercise simple. He’s going to look great by summer!

Food Preppin’

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foodprepfoodprep1I am finding success in losing weight, because I am food prepping. Food prep makes eating right with a busy schedule easier. I no longer have to worry about cooking everyday, and I don’t feel the need to race by a fast food joint on the way home from work anymore, either. Plus, I know my body is getting a bunch of nutrients everyday.

I food prep on Sundays, and put my Sunday to Wednesday food containers in the fridge. I put Thursday and Friday in the freezer to stay fresh. Other food preppers keep Thursday and Friday in the fridge and do not freeze any of their meals. As long as you don’t put fish or seafood into those meals, it should last and not make you sick. It doesn’t taste as fresh, though. I’d rather freeze and defrost than eat weird tasting food. Others do two mini food preps throughout the week, and this allows them to food prep for their weekends, as well. Do what works for you!

I use cheap containers from my local grocery store that have built in dividers for snacks. I’ve also used mason jars. A friend of mine just bought fancy containers from the Container Store. I’d really think about what kind of food you’ll be making, and if you’ll truly use the containers you buy for those foods. If you know you’ll be cooking stew in a crock pot, than make sure your containers will hold stew and are leak proof.

A lot of my “recipes” are not really recipes. I try to keep it simple with protein, carbs (which include fruits/veggies), and good fats at every meal. Many of my meals consist of a similar blueprint: a bed of fresh baby spinach or cooked spinach, a little quinoa or brown rice, with a protein on top. For sides, I’ll add on an extra veggie or fat (like mashed squash and olives or broccoli and hummus), and very rarely, I’ll have berries for fruit. For snacks during the day, I’ll have a banana, an apple with almond butter, or an avocado. So, a meal I commonly have is a bed of fresh spinach, a little quinoa, and half a piece of chicken breast with mashed squash and hummus on the side. Another meal idea is to have the exact same meal but with a meatloaf muffin as the main protein. If I am really low on time, I’ll buy a cooked chicken and cut it into pieces and throw it in with some mixed rice or quinoa. Or I’ll mix a cooked chicken, cooked spinach, and sun dried tomatoes with a couple sides. I throw some seasoning on it, and I have a meal. Simple! I usually cook one or two actual recipes a week to throw in some yummy food. I do give myself different side options and a few different protein options to keep it from getting it so boring every week.

The hardest part is cooking everything at once (which is why simple recipes are key!). I typically bake first. While everything is baking, I have every burner going and I cook everything really fast. Sometimes I’ll use the microwave for veggies, and I’ll cook soup in the crock pot. You’re going to literally be cooking a bunch of stuff at once. It’s stressful. It ain’t pretty– your kitchen is going to look like hell when you’re done. But you’ll get better at it, and after a few weeks you’ll be a pro.

One other thing I do is read a lot of about food prep and healthy recipes. If I am not working or exercising, or writing in this blog, I’m probably reading up on something health/fitness related. Here are a couple articles on food prepping. I learned a lot from them! The Lean Green Bean and Ripped Recipes.

And here’s me after working out with my trainer this weekend (in the cold!!).

me

Put the Lime in the Coconut

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“Coconut oil provides additional benefits. It strengthens the immune system and promotes optimal development of the brain and nervous system. It protects against cancer and heart disease, and promotes healthy bones. Finally, coconut oil seems to be the best fat for ensuring the proper uptake of omega-3 fatty acids into the tissues.”

– Weston A Price Foundation

coco oil

When I arrived home tonight from my Blast class, Liz sent me a Facebook message telling me about oil pulling. She’s been oil pulling, and she’s barely been sick this year (which is a big thing for her since she’s sick a lot). This was music to my ears, because  I went to my first Blast class since being sick tonight. My legs were still sore from my trainer on Saturday, but I couldn’t run at the speeds I could a few weeks ago from my endurance going back down from being sick. I also could barely lift the 5 pound weights when I could do the 10 and 12 pound weights before. I’m going to have to build my endurance back up… Again. Again!!! I really don’t want to keep getting sick once a month. I quickly read up on oil pulling, and I ran across the street to get some organic coconut oil. I didn’t even think twice about it! I’d do pretty much anything at this point to keep from getting sick. Yes… Even that!

I’m curious to know what you thought that is… Moving on.

blastclass

In a nut shell, oil pulling is swooshing a little bit of coconut oil in your mouth for 15 to 20 minutes everyday. It helps with your dental hygiene and helps remove toxins from your body. Oil pulling helps asthma, diabetes, arthritis, eczema, migraine headaches, and many other chronic illnesses (and I have asthma and eczema). It also prevents common colds, and it’s super easy to do! I will admit it was odd at first, but I did my swooshing while I did my extra stretches after Blast class. I am going to try to do this everyday in the shower. With my neti pot routine and this new oil pulling routine, I hope, hope, hope, pray, pray, pray, and beggggggg, I don’t get sick anytime soon.

I also food prepped yesterday. The turkey meat balls were fantastic today!!

foodpreppin

Food Prep Mason Jar Style

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Food prep 1; Fast food 0.

After running (interval running, of course) 3 miles at the gym… I food prepped! Jessica challenged me to food prep today, and I totally delivered. I can’t wait to eat it all! It’s actually a ton of food, and for whatever reason, everything tastes so much better out of a mason jar. Am I right?

food prep

P.S. I am working out with a trainer tomorrow. Excited!