Jerm’s Herbed Baked Chicken with a Side of Heaven

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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!

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

Running Start

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RUNNERS

Today Jessica and I (finally!!) took the Good Form Running class at Big Peach Running Co. I mentioned wanting to go before I started training for my half marathon, and I really wish I had taken the class before I started running to prevent the shin splints I had at the end of 2013. The class was super informative, and we both learned what we need to work on to be better runners. I learned I was running with a heel strike, and I need to stretch more to loosen up my calf muscles. I also surprised myself that I have more muscle than I think I do and having a weak core is not my issue anymore. By the end of the class, the instructor said I was running with a mid-foot strike. Success!

We went over the four basic principles of proper running form, which are posture, the mid-foot strike, cadence, and lean. I’ve watched video after video after video trying to achieve this running form, but I couldn’t put the skills into practice on my own. For instance, I couldn’t figure out how to get my body to run in with the mid-foot strike. In class, our instructor had us practice marching in place so we could feel how our feet should be hitting the ground. Then we starting running from marching, and we instantly had better running form. He instructed us to practice this move outside of class. A good trick is to march while waiting at a stop light to keep yourself moving and to remind yourself of the proper foot strike. For more information on proper running form, check out the Good Form Running website– I have it book marked!!

Jessica and I go back in two weeks for the second portion of the class. In the second class, we’ll go over proper stretching and core building exercises (which include one legged squats!). I am excited for the second class and to try out my form next weekend at my 5k. The timing on my classes couldn’t have been better.

Here’s to my running start on 2014!

… And my fantastic lunch today!

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Hot Off the Press

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I’ll keep this short and sweet– my resolution this year is to not take life so seriously– and my goals are below! What do you think?

2014 GOALS

1. Become a certified nutritionist

2. Become a certified personal trainer

3. Teach a fitness class

4. Release a recipe e-book

5. Reach my ideal weight

Happy New Year

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foodprep988I wanted to write a super awesome New Years post about my resolutions and goals this year, but that’ll have to come later. I’m pretty tuckered out from all the New Year festivities. Above you can see a then and now picture from Thanksgiving, and you can see some of my progress. Especially now, I am definitely seeing progress. Yesterday I went clothes shopping, and I had to put back all the size extra large and large shirts. I had to buy mediums! When I started my journey, I was a size 1XL! I was plus size, and now I’m a medium. It doesn’t seem real yet, I’m super excited to keep up the exercise and food prep and see my results throughout the year.

Slim by summer! <— That’s my resolution/goal!!

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And to not take life so seriously. 

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My food preps have gotten pretty good, huh? Happy New Year! Stay dedicated!

“The difference between a goal and a dream is a deadline.” – Stephen Smith

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It’s winter. It’s cold. Do not let the bad weather stop you. Pick a race, set a goal, and go for it. Setting goals turns dreams into reality. One of my favorite quotes is, “dream as if you’ll live forever, live as if you’ll die tomorrow.” Setting goals is the second part of this quote. By setting goals, you’re living like you may not get another chance to make your dreams come true. I’m taking my own advice. On January 18th, I am running a 5k with my friend Tricia. I am finally getting back to running outside. I’ve been working out a ton, but running outside still gives me anxiety (and I’ve been avoiding it). I’ve set a goal, though, and I am going to kill the 5k! I’ve always dreamed of being a runner, and I don’t care if it takes me a million tries, I am going to be a runner. So, I ran outside at the park today with Sophie, and I did surprisingly well. It’s all mental, people!

Along these same lines, I’ve wanted to write a blog for the past couple weeks about the anxiety and shame overweight people have when they first start working out. I said to myself too many times to count that I’d join a gym once I lost enough weight to not be the fat lady at the gym. I know I am not alone on this, either. I also always wanted to grab some shoes and run on the sidewalk, but I didn’t want others to see my belly bounce or see my terrible form. Worst yet, I didn’t want them to look at me a think, “look at her trying to be thin, she’ll never lose weight” and laugh out-loud at me. I didn’t want people to know if I failed. I’m telling you, I had these thoughts daily as I ate Taco Bell secretly in my car at night. I’d think this would be my last fast food meal, and I’d start working out soon. Then all the anxieties and images of super fit and “perfect” people at the gym pointing and staring and actually coming up to me and saying I’m too fat to be at the gym. My fears were really, really detailed! Sometimes I’d cry and sometimes the Taco Bell was comforting. I’d go back home and go back to Taco Bell the very next day.

I remember when I first started running with Jessica (who is very slim but works out a ton) at LA Fitness. I was done with my run, and she was going to run a little longer. She told me to stretch. There was another row of treadmills behind us packed with people (all really in shape people). She kept looking back and telling me to stretch. I just stood there paralyzed. I didn’t want the people to see me try to touch my toes and stretch, and I didn’t want to admit to her I was too embarrassed to stretch in front of others. Finally, she finished up and we stretched off to the side.

I was surprised when I read Fit to Fat to Fit, because it’s about a male trainer who purposely gained weight to understand his clients better and to show them weight loss is possible. He went from super confident to experiencing some of the same fears of judgement and social anxiety I’ve experienced since gaining weight. He stood in front of his closet trying on clothes over and over to find something that made him look less fat. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been late to hang out with friends, because I’ve tried on twenty shirts to find out that hides my back fat roll (which I no longer have!!) and my stomach bulge. I’ve actually canceled many, many times with friends at the last minute, because I couldn’t bare the thought of being the fat chick at a bar or swanky restaurant. To all my friends, I apologize. I’m surprised ya’ll stuck around with how many times I’ve shown up late or not at all.

Being heavy consumed me. It took over my life. I couldn’t get up from my desk at work without thinking about looking fat in front of my coworkers. I could go on and on and on. I never changed, though, because I had irrational fears of active people rejecting me. The funny this is, now that I work out at the gym and in a challenging group exercise class, I know my fears couldn’t be further from the truth. At my group workout class, Blast 900, so many of my classmates have come up to me after class to tell me good job. They’ll comment and say it’s great I’ve made it to so many classes. If my form is bad, they’ll stop to show me lift the weights the right way. In the gym, no one has ever looked at me weird or said anything mean. My fears were all in my head. Furthermore, I now know a lot of active people are really positive people. They’re excited you’re getting healthy, because they’re passionate about health. They want everyone to be healthy! They’re proud of you for trying to get into shape.

And you know what, if I ever do run into the one negative person who does say something about my weight, I don’t care what they have to say about me or my form or my fat rolls or anything else for that matter. I’m out there trying. I’m out there trying to be better. That’s what matters. You’re out there trying. You’re out there trying to be better. That’s what matters. Please don’t allow yourself to be trapped in the same cycle I was stuck in for years. It’s such a debilitating state to live in– just step into a gym or go for a run outside– you’ll be glad you did.

It’s all mental, people!

P.S. Check out this kickass kickboxing class you can do with dumballs or just your arms at home. I loved it!

“If you fail to plan, you are planning to fail!” ― Benjamin Franklin (Food prep every week!)

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My weight loss habits are starting to truly become habits. Working out and eating healthy have become normal parts of my life. I went to my Blast 900 class three times last week, and I worked out once with my trainer, Cecilia. That’s a lot of weight training and cardio! After my circuit training class at Blast 900 on Saturday, I was so worn out! It was a good worn out, though. I am consistently eating better and keeping up with food prep, as well. I feel like I’ve gotten the basics down, and I am starting to learn about how the body burns fat. I am starting to learn what food actually does to your body when it breaks down in the digestive process. I am starting to form my own opinions on what is healthy and what is not healthy, instead of simply mimicking my peers.

Also, everyday things that were difficult before are becoming easier. For example, before I started working out, if I tried to put on a sock or shoe by balancing on one foot, I’d wobble all over the place. If I carried in a ton of groceries all at once, they’d be super heavy. I don’t notice these things anymore. I am started to get stronger, and I am starting to become a little coordinated.

Progress, folks. I’m seeing progress.

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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

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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.

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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!!

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Winter Wonderland

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The morning after the Thanksgiving race, I woke up incredibly ill. I had a fever for days and a bad sore throat. I am just now starting to feel better, but I’m still a little congested. I decided not to work out while sick in order to let my body rest and heal. I was really upset about it, though. I had just started rebuilding my endurance back from my cold last month. However, I did do daily yoga and a little Zumba to try to keep up some of my endurance this time. I do think it helped, because I worked out with my trainer today. I did get out of breath from being congested, and from the cold, but I don’t think I totally lost all my endurance this time around (hooray!).

Cecilia and I met up at the park. It was 43 degrees and wet out from the rain. Yes, I totally fell at one point! We did drills and ran a bit. I’m glad I met with her, because I wouldn’t have pushed myself nearly as hard with still being a little sick. Plus, we work on my coordination, which I really love. I am the most uncoordinated person ever. No joke. No really… It’s bad! She noticed I am becoming more coordinated. It’s been a slow process, but it’s excited to really see progress. If you’re naturally athletic, you’re super lucky! I’m just going to fake it until I make it, though. 🙂

In other news, my friend Tricia and I signed up for a 5k in January. We’re going to start running again! This time, though, we’re going to slowly increase our milage in order to prevent injuries. Maybe I’ll be a runner one day after all!

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Food-wise, since I couldn’t work out, I made sure to food prep. I finally tried meat loaf muffins. They’re totally yummy and easy to transport to work. Totally making them again!

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Feeling Thankful

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Jessica is right. It is important for athletes and runners to see the crowd cheering them on during a big race. It is also important for me to be able to cheer on others who I look up to for their strengths and abilities. Therefore, I am going to cheer Jessica and Christina on at the finish line at the Atlanta Half Marathon on Thanksgiving Day. They were also so patient with me while I was starting out, and I am very thankful for their kind words during my time of struggle. I hope my cheers help them just a little bit to finish the race on their big day. I also hope the other runners are happy to see the big crowds, too. I made a Thanksgiving themed sign. 🙂

Happy Thanksgiving everyone. Please remember what’s important during this time of year– tell everyone you care about you love them and appreciate them– and do your part in inspiring others, as well!

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Cleansing the Soul

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Over the weekend, I started taking the Vitamin Code Raw One for Women daily vitamin created by Dr. Jordan Rubin. Vitamin Code Raw One For Women is uncooked, untreated and unadulterated. It is RAW, gluten-free, dairy-free and contains no binders and no fillers. It’s a little spendy (buy it online!), but it’s the only daily vitamin I’ve tried that doesn’t hurt my stomach. Vitamins are so important! Even if you eat right, most health professionals recommend extra vitamins. I am partial to gummy vitamins (what?!? they’re almost like candy!), but I’m making an exception for superior quality.

I’m also checking out their Perfect Cleanse. Now cleanses kinda, sorta, really scare me. I tried one from Whole Foods one time, and it made me so sick. My stomach hurt for days! I haven’t had any issues with the perfect cleanse. I’m on day 5 of the 10 days cleanse, and it seems to be doing it’s job well without any pain or discomfort. It really is a new way to cleanse! I must admit, though, one of the steps is a powder. They give you the option of drinking it with water or juice. I highly recommend drinking it with juice or almond milk. It tastes absolutely disgusting in water! Don’t do it!! Anyhow, I am excited to remove toxins from my body and give it a fresh start. Here’s to a happy colon!

On a good note, I am still Blasting away, and I’ve been meeting with my trainer, too. My coworkers and friends are starting to really notice my weight loss (how cool is that?!). I’m definitely noticing my muscles! It’s weird having muscles when I’ve never, ever had any definition anywhere before. Anddd I officially have 202 blog followers! I was so surprised to see that today. Howdy, all 202 0f you!!

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