Monday, 25 March 2013

Workout Binder (Workouts Post 12-Week Program)

Now that I've completed the Jamie Eason 12-Week Training Program, I needed to figure out what to do next.  The last couple of weeks I slacked off on my workouts, so time to get back to it!  I want to continue the strength training (especially on my legs/glutes) and picked a few of my favorite workouts from the Jamie Eason program and will continue to do those to build muscle.  I think they are all from Week 7 of the program.  I'm also looking forward to trying the spin classes at my gym, and now that the weather is warming up here, I'm going to start jogging outside again.

I went ahead and printed the workouts (Arms, Back, Shoulders, and two Leg workouts), wrote in the weight I typically lift for easy reference, them laminated them so I can use them while I work out.  I could commit them to memory, but this is easy and mindless so I don't have to think about what comes next.  

I have printed out all of the workouts from the 12-week program and keep them in a binder, along with my measurements so I can track my progress.  The binder is just an inexpensive 1-inch white three-ring binder with a plastic cover, so I inserted something to motivate me on the front. 

I love the shot of this strong woman climber and the quote that accompanies it.  

And on the back, I included a shot of a muscular and feminine physique I admire.  That booty- dang! 

Those pages are from Oxygen magazine.  The binder lives in my workout bag along with my mini i-Pod, workout gloves, and water bottle.  

How do you keep track of your workouts?

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spin class


Thursday, 21 March 2013

Healthy Granola Bites

Hi, lovely readers!  It’s Jennifer from The Chronicles of Home and I’ve got another healthy little treat for you today.  I started making these granola bites a few weeks ago as a way to satisfy my daughters’ late afternoon snack attack without ruining their appetites for dinner.  And I’d be lying if I said I didn’t dip my hand into the bowl a lot of days, myself!  

They taste like a cross between granola and cookie dough and my girls would probably put down the entire batch of them if I didn’t limit them to 2 or 3 at a time.  They’re really filling and satisfying and full of healthy ingredients, so a perfect snack or even breakfast on-the-go if you’re really strapped for time, though we haven’t taken it there ourselves yet.

I like to make these in the food processor because it makes it that much quicker, and I like to have some of the raisins and chocolate chips chopped up into smaller bits.

The “dough” can be both a little crumbly and stick to your hands (seems like those two wouldn’t go together, doesn’t it?).  I didn’t really roll them into balls as much as press them into balls by squeezing back and forth between my hands and shaping into balls.  When they started to stick to my hands, I’d give a quick rinse to get off any sticky bits and then start again with damp hands.  I had to do this maybe twice during the making of them.

I store the granola bites in the fridge to keep them really fresh, though they might do fine at room temperature as well, but I can’t say how they hold up on the counter since I’ve always put mine in the fridge.

Hope you (and your kids) enjoy!

Granola Bites

1 c. oats
3/4 c. unsweetened shredded coconut
1/2 c. raw almond butter
3 tbsp. flax seed meal
1 tbsp. chia seeds
1/4 c. semisweet chocolate chips
1/4 c. raisins
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1/4 c. light agave nectar

Combine all ingredients in a food processor and pulse until well mixed.

Scoop tablespoons into your hands and shape into balls.

Store in a sealed container in the refrigerator.

Thank you for this post from contributing writer, Jennifer, of The Chronicles of Home.  You'll definitely want to check out her blog for more amazing recipes, beautiful home decor, and easy-to-follw DIY projects!

Tuesday, 19 March 2013

Mediterranean Chickpea Salad

Are you in the mood for a hearty salad?  I found this mediterranean chickpea salad recipe in Barefoot Contessa's latest cookbook, Foolproof and enjoyed it all last week!  It's healthy, delicious, colorful, and very fast to assemble.

Dice a couple of tomatoes, a cucumber, scallions, and add some chopped basil.

Drain and rinse a can of chickpeas.

For the dressing, you add lemon juice, garlic, salt, pepper and olive oil and whisk to combine. 

Toss it all together. 

Then add feta cheese.

For a hearty accompaniment, I baked two pita bread slices at 350 for about 10 minutes.  A touch of olive oil and they're good to go! 

I couldn't get enough of this salad.  Hope you like it! 

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Monday, 11 March 2013

Quick Morning Oatmeal

Busy mornings are typical in most families and ours is no exception.  I'm a coffee-first-thing-in-the-morning kind of gal, but I also never go without breakfast.  A super quick and healthy breakfast is oatmeal.  Some mornings go so fast, I put my oatmeal in a cup and eat it in the car- shhhh!

My oatmeal is simple, just oats, sliced almonds, raisins, cinnamon, and topped with a little skim milk.

I toast the almonds in a dry skillet over medium heat for a few minutes to make them more flavorful and crunchy.  Watch them closely though- they can burn easily. 

Then I combine all the ingredients in a large canister and give it a good shake.

I keep a plastic scoop in the canister for easy scooping. 

And the whole mixture sits on the counter next to my coffee. 

You can also portion the dry oatmeal mix into 5 small plastic baggies and take them to work to eat in the office in the morning if you don't want to eat in the car! 

I add water, microwave for one minute, then add a little milk.
What's your quick go-to breakfast?  I also like toast and natural peanut butter.

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Thursday, 7 March 2013

Healthy Huevos Rancheros

Hi all!  Jennifer from The Chronicles of Home here, back with another healthy breakfast-for-dinner idea for you (remember that sweet potato hash from a little while back?).  This time it's Healthy Huevos Ranchos.

I actually had plans to make these huevos rancheros for breakfast last weekend on my husband Scott’s birthday.  Anytime we have breakfast out somewhere and huevos rancheros or some kind of breakfast burrito is on the menu, there’s a pretty good chance that’s what he orders.  So I wanted to make him something a little special for his birthday...but, wouldn’t you know, I came down with another bad cold.  And Scott wound up getting up with our daughters on his birthday morning so I could sleep in.  What a guy!

I decided to repurpose the huevos rancheros as dinner a few nights later instead and they were a perfect breakfast-for-dinner meal.  Hearty and filling and delicious!  As we were eating dinner I said, “This is what I’m going to send to Megan for my Honey We’re Healthy post this week.”  And Scott said, “These are healthy???”  Apparently they taste just indulgent enough to be sneaky-healthy!

A few notes on the ingredients.  You can use corn tortillas, which are the classic choice for huevos rancheros.  I used organic whole wheat because my store was out of corn the day I was shopping.  Refried beans can be quite good for you and also really not good for you.  Make sure you read your ingredients.  I used 365 Organic Refried Pinto Beans, which were high in protein and fiber, low in fat (1.5 g per 1/2 cup), and really flavorful.  If you like spice, a good splash of hot sauce on these would be great!

Healthy Huevos Rancheros - serves 6

2 tbsp. grapeseed oil, divided
1 medium yellow onion, diced
1/2 red pepper, diced
1/2 yellow pepper, diced
2 garlic cloves, crushed
2 large tomatoes, chopped (about 2 cups)
1 tsp. cumin
1/2 tsp. salt
1 c. chicken broth
6 whole wheat flour tortillas
cooking spray
6 eggs
15-oz. can refried beans
2 avocados, large-diced

Preheat oven to 350ยบ.

Heat 1 tbsp. oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat.  Add onion and saute until translucent, about 5 minutes.  Add red and yellow peppers and garlic and cook 2 minutes more.  Add tomatoes with their seeds and juices, cumin, and salt and cook until tomatoes start to break down, about 5 minutes.  Add chicken broth and increase heat to high to bring to a boil.  Lower heat and simmer uncovered until thickened, about 15 minutes.

Arrange tortillas in a single layer on two baking sheets.  Spray lightly with cooking spray.  Place in the oven until starting to puff, about 5 minutes.  Turn heat off and leave in oven to keep warm.

Heat remaining tbsp. of oil in a large nonstick skillet.  Crack the eggs into the hot oil and fry until whites are set, then flip carefully and remove from the heat.

Put the refried beans in a microwave safe bowl and microwave until warm, about 2 minutes.

Put one tortilla on each of 6 plates.  Spread with beans and top with an egg.  Spoon sauce around the egg and top with avocado.

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Thank you for this post from contributing writer, Jennifer, of The Chronicles of Home.  You'll definitely want to check out her blog for more amazing recipes, beautiful home decor, and easy-to-follw DIY projects!

Sunday, 3 March 2013

Jamie Eason Live Fit 12-Week Trainer Completed (My 12 Week Recap)

Okay guys, I finally finished the Live Fit 12 Week Trainer and got a pic snapped!  The picture on the left is me at Week 2 and the picture on the right is a few weeks after I completed week 12.  The changes may appear subtle, but I can say I feel more toned and tighter overall, especially in my shoulders, abs, and legs.  There were many times during the program where I felt like "this is hard!" but I didn't ever want to give up because I knew the results would be worth it.  I also came to crave the workouts because they are such a big stress reliever in my life.  I cannot tell you how much better you will feel after a hard, sweaty workout if you are having a bad day, tough time, or just need time to yourself.  Fitting in those workouts is a challenge, but I did them before work, after work, during the day, and on weekends- whatever worked.

The 12-week program is broken into 3 phases, which I posted about in detail previously.  Click below to read more.  

This program really works- especially if you follow the food (5-6 small meals every 3-4 hours).  I followed it pretty closely until about week 10, then fell off in still eating pretty well, but not often enough.  

Because I started out in decent shape, I feel like I reached my goal during Phase 2, but I still wanted to complete what I started.  

Week 9

After having completed this 12-week program, I can say that it REALLY works.  I've worked out pretty consistently since my early twenties, but never put on muscle and leaned out like this because I didn't put the workouts, supplementation, and food all together for a set time period.  

You can read more specifically about what I ate on the program HERE.  

You can read about my progress week by week by going HERE.

If you follow the program, you WILL see results.  I would love to hear you story!  Please email me with your questions and I'll write a follow up post with my answers.  

Some people have asked what I plan to do now that I've completed the training program.  I have continued doing some of my favorite workouts from the program and tried Pilates for the first time last week and really liked it.  I plan to do more spinning and running outside too. 

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