Wednesday, August 21, 2013

School Back in Session = Gym Back in Session

Finally! Today, I dropped off my now-2nd-grader to his class on this first day of the school year. I have really been looking forward to this day for the last month now. Ever since quitting my early AM shift at the gym, I was not so regular with my workout schedule. It was always...oh, I'll get up at 5am and go...then NOT...or, I'll go after work before picking up the boys...and that only happened sometimes. I was just not my Gym Bunny self...

Now, I have the convenience of a schedule that requires I drop off my son between 7:15-7:30 at school, so I'm able to head directly across the street from his school to my gym at 7:30 and get an hour's workout in before I need to be at work at 9am. This will happen a guaranteed five days a week, my friends. I will literally have no excuse to skip. I feel sooooo much better when I have a regular workout schedule going.

Any of you able to find a better time to workout now that school is in session? Or did it make a difference either way? Or do you even have kids? {They can make scheduling workouts quite difficult!}

Last week, you may have seen my post that contained my current measurements...I was not too satisfied with them...and I am eager to see some results. I've been doing a lot better with clean eating...and now that my workouts are getting back to 5-6 days a week, rather than a staggered 3-4...I know I will feel like my old {better} self in no time.

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Thursday, August 15, 2013

Quinoa: Benefits & How I Prepare It

Quinoa {Keen-Wah} was discovered three or four thousand years ago by the Incas as a super-grain that was fit for human consumption. The Incas believed this grain helped greatly increase their warriors' stamina.

Here are some benefits of quinoa {via}:

1. Quinoa is one of the most protein-rich foods we can eat. It is a complete protein containing all nine essential amino acids.

2. Quinoa contains almost twice as much fiber as most other grains. Fiber is most widely known to relieve constipation. It also helps to prevent heart disease by reducing high blood pressure and diabetes. Fiber lowers cholesterol and glucose levels, may lower your risk of developing hemorrhoids and may help you to lose weight as it takes a longer time to chew than does other foods because it makes you feel fuller for longer and is less “energy dense” which means it has fewer calories for the same volume of food.

3. Quinoa contains Iron. Iron helps keep our red blood cells healthy and is the basis of hemoglobin formation. Iron carries oxygen from one cell to another and supplies oxygen to our muscles to aid in their contraction. Iron also increases brain function because the brain takes in about 20% of our blood oxygen. There are many benefits of iron some more of which include neurotransmitter synthesis, regulation of body temperature, aids enzyme activity and energy metabolism.

4. Quinoa contains lysine. Lysine is mainly essential for tissue growth and repair.

5. Quinoa is rich in magnesium. Magnesium helps to relax blood vessels and thereby to alleviate migraines. Magnesium also may reduce Type 2 diabetes by promoting healthy blood sugar control. Other health benefits of magnesium include transmission of nerve impulses, body temperature regulation, detoxification, energy production, and the formation of healthy bones and teeth.

6. Quinoa is high in Riboflavin (B2). B2 improves energy metabolism within brain and muscle cells and is known to help create proper energy production in cells.

7. Quinoa has a high content of manganese. Manganese is an antioxidant, which helps to prevent damage of mitochondria during energy production as well as to protect red blood cells and other cells from injury by free radicals.
Another great benefit of quinoa that I have personally found is that it's versatile. You can use it in placement of oatmeal at breakfast - mix it with a little Greek yogurt and some fruit and you have a protein-packed dish. I use it in salads, sometimes in place of a meat source of protein, and I like to eat it as a side dish, or in place of pasta and rice in dishes like casseroles, or even a chicken Parmesan dish. 

Some people complain that quinoa is a little on the bitter side for their taste. Here's how I cook it to rid it of the bitterness:
  1. I rinse the quinoa in a very fine strainer {the quinoa seeds are very tiny and will slip through a normal colander}.
  2. I trade out a quarter or half of the water it cooks in with 98-99% fat free, low sodium chicken broth.
I have found my method gives it more of a flavorful taste, so eating it all by itself is bearable. Obviously, for breakfast dishes, I wouldn't go the chicken broth route. I might sprinkle a little Stevia over it and mix it with my yogurt, etc. for morning dishes.

If you've never tried quinoa, I urge you to give it a go. It's so incredibly good for you.

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Tuesday, August 13, 2013

A Week Since My Last Post???

Wow, I let a week go by without posting. To tell you the honest truth, this month has been bad for me in terms of my attendance at the gym. This is why I've had no inspiration for posting on this blog this past week...and I didn't want to fill it with a lot of fluff just for the sake of posting. My readers are too good for that shizz.

It started out with planning and having a birthday party for my three-year-old and then just spiraled downward from there...the time in the day just goes by too quickly between work, family and home duties...and these last couple of weeks, I have NOT wanted to get up at 5am to get to the gym by 5:30am. I think I'm literally just waiting for Tanner's school to start back up next week when it will be easy to drop him off, then head directly across the street to my gym and workout at 7:30am. But I'm not going to wait, I'm headed to the gym after I publish this post. A girl's gotta do what a girl's gotta do.

I did jump on here to share something personal with y'all - my current measurements {EEKS!} This is sort of what got me back in the right place mentally for getting my workouts going on the regular again. I was not happy with them...but for the sake of accountability...and progress goes:

Height: 5'8"
Weight: 145 {Per the doctor's scale fully dressed. My scale broke - hold the fat jokes! - and I need a new one.}
Chest: 32"
Bust: 37"
This makes it a nice 32DD. Cheers to my Hubby! {J/K}
Waist: 30"
Hips: 37"
Waist and hips are where I feel the most improvement is needed. I've been a bit smaller in these areas and I'd like to get back to that.
Right & Left Legs {I do my legs in three spots - upper thigh, mid thigh and calf}
Upper Thigh: 23.5"
Mid Thigh: 20.25"
Calf: 14.5"
Surprisingly both legs measured exactly the same. I'd like to see a lot of improvement in the thigh region!
Another personal measurement area of mine is what I call "Saddlebags". Thanks to kids, mine are a bit larger now and I really want to see these shrink. So I've measured around myself {basically around the butt at the largest part of the saddlebag area} and it came in at 41".

So there you have it...I know a lot of my leg and butt area is muscle, but there is some fat loss to be done as well.

I have started my clean eating diet this week {will share details on that with you soon} and I am getting my ass out of this lazy gym hiatus and back to those weights and elliptical machines.

My goal is to have a progress post on this once a month. I am going to NYC in 4 months and that is my goal date to be where I want to be. {Which, I will post that objective as soon as I have some concrete numbers.} Wish me luck!

Are there any fitness goals you are looking to accomplish in the near future? Would love to hear!

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Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Still Tasty

In an effort to plan my meals better, I've started cooking batches of things ahead of time - i.e. quinoa, tilapia fillets, chicken breasts, etc.

I've found myself wondering the proper storage for these items once cooked...and how long they will be good for. I've of course gone to the internet as my answer source. Today, I stumbled upon an AWESOME site.

Still Tasty
Still Tasty
You literally type in any kind of food...

...choose whether it's cooked or uncooked...

...and -voila!- you have your answer on the proper storage and length of time it will still be good to eat.

I told you, awesome, right?

Right now I'm eating some reheated quinoa and tilapia I made a couple of days ago. 

I feel my diet is where I need the most change. I am pretty good overall with my diet, but I do let myself indulge a little more than I probably should...and often it's due to lack of preparation. When I have my meals and snacks in a lunch cooler ready to go on work days, it makes it so much easier to stay on track.

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Thursday, August 1, 2013

Protein-Packed Power Breakfast

This turkey bacon and egg sandwich is a great way to start your day. It give you carbs for energy, plenty of protein and good fats. You will feel full and satisfied for hours.



Calories: 290 | Calories from Fat: 130 | Fat: 15g | Carbohydrates: 26g | Protein: 21g
Protein Calories: 84 (29%), Fat Calories: 130 (45%), Carb Calories: 71 (26%) 



Calories: 100 | Calories from Fat: 10 | Fat: 1g | Carbohydrates: 26g | Protein: 5g


Calories: 140 | Calories from Fat: 90 | Fat: 10g | Carbohydrates: 0g | Protein: 12g


Calories: 50 | Calories from Fat: 30 | Fat: 4g | Carbohydrates: 0g | Protein: 4g

*Note: This breakfast is a great option for anyone, but unless you are also exercising regularly, I recommend only using 1 slice turkey bacon and 1 egg. I exercise for one hour five days a week, so these calories are essential for muscle growth and repair. Remember, food is fuel, not entertainment!

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