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Crazy Richard’s and a Leg Workout…

Oh Hump Day, how nice to see you! Despite the fact that it is snowing outside and supposed to snow all evening, I was pretty excited that my breakfast was Oats in a Jar! LOVE LOVE LOVE when this happens. Yep, I love my oats!

Crazy Richard’s is my peanut butter of choice these days. I discovered them in Shop Rite a couple of months ago. I was looking at all of my choices and the ridiculous prices that companies now charge for almond butter and natural peanut butter. But I noticed Crazy Richard’s and that a normal size jar was not only under $4.00, but the ingredients also only stated: PEANUTS! I laughed out loud and immediately put it in my cart. I’ve been using them on a regular basis and make sure to check out their blog for some of my recipes and where to buy their products. THEY ARE AWESOME!

So on this snowy morning, this was my “Oats in a Jar” recipe!

Absolutely delicious, filling, nutritious!

Monday Workout:

40 Minutes on the Stair Master: Lately my goal is to use no hands for at least 15 minutes! Using no hands gets your HR up and burns more calories, plus it’s a heck of a lot more challenging than leaning on the handles. I’ve been doing this over a couple of weeks and can see a big difference in my endurance. I also constantly move the speed up and down for 1-2 minute periods. Always a good workout!

I immediately followed this by a great leg workout. Again, I’m trying to incorporate more plyometric moves into my workouts to increase my HR, endurance, and speed. Everyone hates them, but they are 100% worth the pain and sweat. HA!

Perform 3 sets of each circuit. 1-Minute rest between each.

  • Kettle Ball Swings – 15 on each arm
  • Mountain Climbers – 60
  • Barbell Deadlift – 15 repetitions
  • Plank on Bosu Ball – Hold for 1 Minute
  • Reverse Lunge – Alternating legs doing 20 total
  • Squat Jumps – 20
  • Leg Curl – 15 repetitions
  • Leg Extension – 15 repetitions

Total Workout Time: 120 minutes

I totally felt this on Tuesday, but in a good way. After intense lifting sessions, I always make sure to eat a meal that incorporates a lot of protein, vegetables, and one healthy fat. The protein will help with my recovery process, so it is always a must after my training sessions.

Do have a shake immediately after a workout or do you eat a meal? I’m always look for smoothie ideas, so send me your favorite one! 🙂

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2 NEW Meals in One Weekend…

Last week was pretty ridiculous and I’m blaming it all on the full moon! I’m just glad it is done and I can look forward to this week. A new day, a new week, and a new attitude! Right? With that being said, why not start off this Monday with two new recipes that I made on Friday and Sunday night. What better way to spend a freezing cold weekend with a hearty bowl of chili or a spicy bowl of noodles? Try out these two recipes and let me know how they turn out for you!

Slow-Cooker Vegetarian Chili with Sweet Potatoes: from Real Simple

I try to eat one vegetarian meal a week and a slow cooker recipe is usually an easy and healthy way to incorporate that into my diet. It’s also budget friendly! 🙂 I really enjoy looking at Real Simple for recipe ideas, because they have so many selections and the reviews are extremely helpful. I read the reviews for this recipe and the all around consensus was to saute the vegetables before putting them into the slow cooker, which I did. Whether or not it made a huge difference, I cannot say, but I’m sure it added some more flavor. So, if you have the time, go for it!

I LOVED this bowl of chili! I am a huge fan though of sweet potatoes and they were like candy! I pretty much got excited each time I had a a chunk on my spoon. It’s the little things, right? There was lots of flavor, texture, and it was very filling. I had this with some multi-grain tortilla chips and a side salad. I garnished my bowl with sliced black olives, cheese, and hot sauce. Lot of veggies going on! 😉

Ingredients:

  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 green and red bell pepper, chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1 T chili powder
  • 1 T ground cumin
  • 2 t unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/4 t ground cinnamon
  • 1 28 ounce can diced tomatoes
  • 1 15.5 ounce can black beans, rinsed
  • 1 15.5 ounce can kidney beans, rinsed
  • 2 medium sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/2 inch pieces
  • Chopped olives, avocado, cheese, & sour cream to garnish!

Directions:

  • Saute the garlic, onion, and peppers with a drizzle of olive oil and some salt and pepper, for 10 minutes.
  • Add to slow-cooker, along with the rest of the ingredients and put on low for 8 hours. Or you can do high for 4 to 5 hours.
  • Garnish to your heart’s desire! 🙂

Nutritional Information:

Serving Size: 4; Calories 240; Fat 2g; Sat Fat 0g; Cholesterol 0 mg; Sodium 1217 mg; Protein 11g; Carbohydrate 47g; Sugar 13g; Fiber 13g; Iron 4 mg.

Asian Stir-Fry with Noodles

Ingredients:

  • 3 T of Crazy Richard’s Peanut Butter
  • 3 T of rice wine vinegar
  • 3 T of low-sodium soy sauce
  • 2 T of water
  • 1 bunch of broccoli
  • 2 cups of sliced mushrooms
  • Thinly sliced steak
  • Taste of Thai Asian Noodles

Directions:

  • In a bowl mix the PB, soy sauce, rice wine vinegar, and water.
  • Place noodles in a pot and cover with hot tap water for 20 minutes. Then drain and add to the stir fry to cook for 2-3 more minutes.
  • Saute steak on high heat for 3-5 minutes, then set aside.
  • Saute vegetables on high for 5 minutes.
  • Add the steak back to the pan; add noodles; top with sauce. Cook for 3 minutes and serve.

I truly enjoyed both of these recipes and both are easy, healthy, and budget friendly! I hope that you enjoy them and try them out sometime this week, on one of these freezing nights. 😦

What is your go-to budget friendly, healthy, and easy weekend meal?

Giveaway: One Fit Foodie

http://www.onefitfoodie.com/2011/01/better-for-you-breakfast-giveaway.html

Tuesday Food Recap! Lots of Veggies…

It was not a pretty morning on Tuesday! I woke up and it was snowing, raining, and cold! Welcome back to NJ! Not much you can do, except keep plugging, stay warm, and just go through your day. I’ve come to accept that I have no control over the weather and I won’t let it mess up my day (I had to say that out loud, so I don’t get cranky ;)). With that being said, I tackled my morning with a large French Vanilla DD coffee with Skim Milk and Equal. Love love love their coffee!

About an hour later, I was starving for breakfast and I know it is going to come as a shocker, but it was warm oats. High-Fives! This was a new combination that I tried and it was delicious. It was so good, that I was disappointed to see my bowl become empty.

Ingredients:

Directions: Add water to oats and heat in microwave for 2 minutes. Then add protein powder and strawberries and heat up for an additional minute. Add the peanut butter and mix. The crunchy peanuts add a delicious crunch to the soft oats. 🙂

I will share my workout schedule for the week on Friday’s post! I’ve been training hard both with my weights and cardio and feel great. My healthy eating is definitely helping me power through my workouts and my day.

Lunch was had at work after a pretty intense workout. Salads have been my “go-to” for the past couple of weeks. They make me feel good, energized, and full enough to last me 3-4 hours before I have time for a quick snack. Plus salads have an endless choice of combos. I always make sure they are filled with lots of color, protein, and a healthy fat. I also have been adding a sandwich thin for some fiber and carbs. It works perfectly for me and my schedule.

Ingredients:

  • 3 slices turkey breast
  • 1 T blue cheese crumbles
  • 1 small handful dried cherries
  • 1 handful broccoli
  • Lettuce, tomatoes, carrots, and green peppers with
  • Oil & Balsamic dressing
  • 1 100-Calorie Orowheat Sandwich Thins (these are delicious)
  • Tabasco Sauce
  • Salt & Pepper to taste

Snack: I didn’t feel like making a smoothie today, so I just grabbed a bar.

  • Clif Bar Chocolate Chip and Peanut Crunch

Dinner: I had a client until 8:30 PM, so thankfully Mom had prepared a healthy dish for me when I got home. I don’t mind eating late at night, as long as I am fueling my body throughout the day. I always try to eat before 9:00 PM. I won’t go later than that. Usually when I have late dinners, I have lots of protein and vegetables and a limited amount of carbs.

Ingredients:

  • 4 ounces grilled salmon
  • Steamed asparagus & broccoli
  • Salad: Tomatoes, carrots, green peppers, dried cranberries, Oil & Balsamic (I had 2 helpings of salad, because this was not enough to hold me until tomorrow AM)

What is your favorite meal of the day? And what is your favorite ingredient to add to your salads?

For the Love of the Ta-Ta’s!

Last night’s Sunday dinner was a disappointment and actually quite gross! HA! I tried to do something new and the ingredients and name of the recipe sounded a lot better than what the final result looked and tasted like. Oh well, I tried, but no high-fives. 😦 Life isn’t perfect and neither is cooking. I’ll make up for it this week!

As for the weekend, it was another quick one (shocker)! I worked Saturday until 11:30 AM, visited Kira at Laboratory Hair Studio for an appointment, and then went out for dinner and drinks with a great friend to watch the football games. Sunday I was able to sleep in; brunch with my Mom and brother; Barnes & Noble for 2 new books; and the Gap for some running shorts! I know you are probably thinking running shorts at the Gap??? I am going to wear them today for my 1-Hour Cardio session and will report back as to how they performed.

So here we are again and it is Monday morning! I need to get my workout in earlier today, because I start training clients at 1:00 PM and going straight until 8 PM. I started this AM off with coffee, and one of my favorite oatmeal recipes:

Ingredients:

I also want to share with you this chest workout I did last Wednesday! It was AWESOME! I was sore for 2 days and apparently need to work on my chest muscles a little bit more. It felt great though and will definitely be doing this again this week.

Chest Workout:

Perform 3 sets of 15 repetitions for each exercise and take a 1 Minute break. You’ll need it! I warmed up for 30 Minutes on the Stair Master before doing this workout. Total workout time was a little over an hour and by the time I got to the push-ups, I couldn’t feel my arms. 🙂

  • Bench Press
  • 1 Arm Stability Ball DB Chest Press
  • Incline Chest Press on Bench
  • Chest Press Machine
  • DB Chest Flye on the Stability Ball
  • Push-Up with Feet on the Stability Ball

Feel free to e-mail me with any questions that you may have! I love hearing from you and hope you all have a wonderful Monday!

When is the last time you totally messed up a recipe? Did you try to make it again or did you just chuck it? 🙂

Before and After: Nikki Cheuk

She Rocks Fitness is so so so EXCITED for today’s post! It has been a long time since I have posted a “Before & After” piece and this one is another great friend, mother, and client. Nikki did all of her training through my “On-Line Training Program”! This involves a lot of self-motivation, discipline, and confidence to do all of the training by yourself. She nailed it and looks amazing! With constant exercise and changes to her diet, she is on the way to reaching her goal weight. I asked Nikki to write about her experience and below she shares with all of you how she did it. THANKS NIKKI!!

Since mid-August I have been working with Katie to revamp my diet and exercise routine. Every week I receive a new workout which is a combination of cardio & circuit training, that utilizes dumbbells and a stability ball. The workouts have truly been energizing and incorporate exercises that I never would have done on my own. The variety has kept me from getting bored, and I know that after each one I’m going to feel such a sense of accomplishment.

So, I am very happy to report that I have lost those last ten pounds and hope to continue losing in an effort to re-visit my wedding day weight! In addition to losing the weight though, I have made serious progress strength-wise, holding a plank for one minute (easily), working with 10-lb. dumbbells, and have also made permanent changes to my diet. I focus on eating healthy fats with each meal, and trying to stay away from processed foods, even those that claim to be “natural”. My pre-pregnancy clothes fit and in many cases are too big, because even though I weigh the same, I have lost inches and am leaner than I was before.  Katie was truly the push I needed to keep from becoming discouraged about my progress and having her to hold me accountable was an integral piece of the puzzle. I knew she would want to know if I had done the workouts, and what I thought about them. So “flaking” out of my morning workouts was not an option. She also periodically checked in my diet and made helpful suggestions.

I really can’t thank Katie enough for encouraging me to utilize her expertise to becoming stronger and healthier. I feel great and look forward to continuing my journey.

Thank you again Nikki for all of your hard work over the past few months! I truly enjoy working with you and look forward to what lies ahead with our training! 🙂

Have you ever signed up for a On-Line Training Program? If so, did you get the results you wanted? What did you like or dislike?

Barbeque Pulled Chicken = SUCCESS

What a great weekend and of course I cannot believe how quickly it went by! These hot Sorel boots came in the mail on Friday and I absolutely LOVE them. I had to share because they look even better with my Gap socks. 😉 Great purchase because I know I am going to get good use out of these this winter. Even though yesterday was my day off from training, I decided to take Kala for a nice long walk through the woods to get some fresh air, sun, and just loosen up my muscles. Kala had a blast and was so stiff and tired. Trying to get her to loose some holiday weight she put on. HA!

Lindsay from Cotter Crunch sent me this recipe a couple of weeks ago and decided to try it out! Anything in the slow cooker is appealing to me. Easy, budget friendly, healthy, and always good for a lazy Sunday. Needless to say it was delicious!

Ingredients:

  • 1 8-ounce reduced sodium tomato sauce (I just used homemade tomato sauce)
  • 1 4-ounce can chopped green chiles, drained
  • 3 T cider vinegar
  • 2 T honey
  • 1 T sweet or smoke paprika
  • 1 T tomato paste
  • 1 T Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 t dry mustard
  • 1 t ground chile powder
  • 1/2 t salt
  • 2 1/2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 1 small onion finely chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, minced (I used 4, because I love garlic)

Cooking Directions:

  • Stir in tomato sauce, chiles, vinegar, honey, paprika, tomato paste, Worcestershire sauce, mustard, chile powder, and salt in a 6-quart slow cooker until smooth. Add chicken, onion, and garlic; stir to combine.
  • Put the lid on and cook on low for 5 hours.
  • Pull the chicken apart with a fork and put back into the slow cooker and keep warm until ready to serve.

How you want to serve this is totally up to you, so use your imagination! I served this over toasted Italian rolls with chopped green chiles, hot sauce, and some cheese. A simple salad was served on the side.

Week 2 of cooking a new meal on Sunday night: Completed!

Foodie Friday with Guest Blogger: An-Li Tsou

High-Fives it is Friday everyone! This morning I woke up to a winter wonderland outside and I am seriously hoping that my clients do not cancel this evening! I have 5 in the calendar and will report tomorrow as to who shows! 🙂

It’s been a while, but FOODIE FRIDAY is back and this Friday, one of my sister’s close friends from college is sharing one of her recipes with the world. 😉 I’m looking forward to posting more recipes from An-Li, because she is a food and wine lover, but also a panda bear lover. HA! I hope that you try out this recipe sometime soon and have a wonderful weekend!

Balsamic Glazed Chicken Breast

This recipe can be found on the food network website; however, I made a couple changes to make it my own.  The original included a whole stick of butter and no mushrooms.  The stick of butter is really not necessary to make the dish taste good and I thought the mushrooms’ was a nice add to the whole dish.

My name is An-Li Tsou and I am currently living in Boston.  I moved out here in May of 2010 from upstate NY and have been here ever since.  Boston is really beautiful and historical.  It’s much calmer than New York City; however, it’s much more difficult to find late night food.  So that leaves me to do more cooking!

I’ve really enjoyed living in my own apartment and making meals in my very own kitchen.  I enjoy cooking for others and myself because it’s fun and relaxing.  I love to see the looks on people’s faces after they’ve taken the first bite from whatever I’ve made that night.  Even if I’m just cooking for myself, it’s very rewarding to sit down after a long day of work with a glass of wine and home cooked meal.

My main food source is rice and any kind of pasta, noodles etc.  I know it’s probably the worst thing for me since rice and pasta are huge carbohydrates, but I can’t help but love them both!  My mother’s Puerto Rican and my father’s Chinese so there really is no escape from Spanish rice to Chinese rice I’m going to have some either way 😉

The ingredients:

-2 thick Boneless Chicken Breasts, 1 cup Red Wine, 3 tbs balsamic vinaigrette, salt & pepper, 1/3 box of cherry/grape tomatoes, ½ box of mushrooms, half Spanish Onion, Italian seasoning, vegetable oil, 4 cloves of garlic sliced thin.

Frying pan & Baking dish

As you can see the ingredients for this recipe are not very difficult to find.  Most of the ingredients you’ll most likely already have right in your own kitchen.

Serving Size:  4 people

**Make sure to cut the cherry/grape tomatoes in halves, half of the Spanish onion into squares, mushrooms into slices and garlic into tiny cubes before cooking the chicken**

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F

  1. Slice the chicken breasts into 2 pieces.  Cut off all of the fat and try to make sure the slices are all the same size.  It makes the whole process much easier.
  2. Season both sides of the chicken breasts with some Italian seasoning or DASH garlic and onion seasoning.  You can also add a little salt and pepper to both sides of the chicken breasts for flavor.
  3. Pour the vegetable oil into a frying pan and use just enough oil that it fills the entire pan.  Then wait for both sides turn white.  DO NOT fry it all the way, the rest of it will bake in the oven.
  4. Place chicken breasts into baking dish and put it to the side.
  5. Use the same frying pan and turn it down to a simmer, add the onions, garlic and mushrooms.  Let it start frying and then add the balsamic and red wine to the mix.  Use a pinch of salt and a few pinches of pepper.  You can also add red pepper flakes if you want a little spice in the mix.
  6. Turn down to simmer and let it sit for a couple minutes.  When it looks almost cooked all take the pan off the burner.
  7. Pour the ingredients from the frying pan into the baking dish with the chicken.  Pour it over the chicken so it is even on top and to the sides.
  8. Lastly pour the cherry/grape tomatoes over the baking dish.  Make sure to spread it all out.
  9. Put the chicken breast into the oven for approximately 15 minutes

*you can add any kind of side with this dish, salad, rice, bread etc* I used rice of course! 🙂

Enjoy everybody!!!

What is one of your favorite dishes that your friend, husband, or significant other makes?

Just breathe…Relax…Repeat…

Happy Hump Day! Tuesday was a whirlwind and it was just “one of those days”! I woke up feeling awesome, ready to tackle the day, my workout, my clients, and just do it. But mid-way through the day, I hit a serious wall and just couldn’t snap myself out of it. I couldn’t figure out if I didn’t eat enough, was coming down with something, or just tired. Needless to say, I didn’t get home until 10:00 PM and was psyched to take a hot shower and sit down. Those days happen and sometimes there is nothing you can do about it, except just keep on plugging and start fresh the following morning! 🙂

Here is a recap of what Tuesday included: Food & Workout! The food was delicious and tasty and I’m wondering if I felt off, because I had way too much coffee in the AM. I think I need to start cutting back, because I feel jittery some days. Not good! I also did an awesome workout, which included: 30 minutes of speed training on the Stair Master and a Oxygen Magazine inspired workout!

Breakfast:

Lunch:

  • 2 hard boiled eggs sliced
  • Salad: Blue cheese crumbles, carrots, tomatoes, red pepper, oil & vinegar, craisins
  • Hot Sauce (always a must on my salads)
  • 1 WW 100-Calorie Tortilla

Snack:

Dinner:

  • 4-5 oz grilled chicken breast
  • 1 medium sweet potato roasted and seasoned
  • Leftover sauce from Smoky Chicken Paprikash

Boost Your Back Fast Workout: Oxygen Magazine inspired with some additions!

  1. T-Bar Row: 3 Sets: 6-8 Reps: Heavy (60 second rest)
  2. Plank with Arms on Stability Ball: 3 Sets: 1-Minute (60 second rest)
  3. Wide-Grip Lat Pulldown: 3 sets: 10 Reps: Moderate/Heavy (60 second rest)
  4. Sit-Up on Stability Ball: 3 sets: 25 Reps: 30-45 second rest
  5. Narrow-Grip Lat Pulldown:3 sets: 10 Reps: Moderate/Heavy (60 second rest)
  6. Side-Plank: 3 sets: 1-Minute on each side (30 second rest)
  7. Reverse-Grip Lat Pulldown: 3 sets: 10 Reps: Moderate/Heavy (60 second rest)
  8. Seated Cable Row: 3 sets: 10 Reps: Moderate/Heavy (60 second rest)
  9. Plank with Feet on Bench: 3 sets: 1-Minute (60 second rest)
  10. Back Extension: 3 sets: 15 Repetitions: (60 second rest)

Feel free to e-mail me with any questions! I love hearing from you and hope that you are still on course with your New Year’s resolutions, diets, and exercise. 🙂

How do you get yourself out of funk on a “off day”?


First New Recipe of the New Year

Happy Monday! How is everyone feeling after the whirlwind of a weekend that was filled with cocktails, lots of hangover foods, couch time, and NCIS marathons? 😉 That’s pretty much how I spent my Saturday, but vowed to be much more productive on Sunday, despite the dreary weather. It’s a New Year, a new week, and new adventures! I’m excited for all that I have going on in the New Year and what I would like to accomplish. As I woke up on Sunday morning, I knew that it was time to start fresh with my diet, workouts, and goals for 2011. A great way to start a new week!

One of my New Year resolutions is to cook one new recipe a week for my Mom and brother! Since I work nights, I am always packing a dinner, but on the weekends, I am claiming Sunday to be my night to try something new. 🙂 With that being said, I decided to try a recipe I found in the new Fitness Magazine: Smoky Chicken Paprikash.

Ingredients:

  • 4 t canola oil
  • 1 1/4 lbs boneless, skinless chicken thighs, trimmed and cut into 1 inch pieces
  • 1/2 t kosher salt, plus additional to taste
  • 1/4 t pepper, plus additional to taste
  • 2 medium red bell peppers, cored, seeded, and thinly sliced
  • 1 large onion, halved, and thinly sliced
  • 1 T minced fresh garlic
  • 1 T smoked sweet paprika
  • 1/2 c dry white wine
  • 1 c canned crushed tomatoes
  • 1/2 c reduced sodium chicken broth
  • 1 t all-purpose flour
  • 1/3 c reduced fat sour cream
  • 2 T minced fresh dill
  • 2 t fresh lemon juice
  • Cooked orzo

Directions:

  • Heat 12 inch nonstick skillet over medium-high heat; add 2 teaspoons of the canola oil. Season the chicken with the salt and black pepper; add to the pan. Cook 2-3 minutes to sear. Transfer to a plate.
  • Add remaining oil and the bell peppers and onion to skillet. Saute stirring occasionally, until softened, 6-8 minutes. Add the garlic and paprika; saute until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add the wine and cook, stirring frequently, until nearly evaporated, about 2 minutes. Add the tomatoes and chicken broth and bring to a simmer.
  • Return chicken to skillet, reduce heat to medium low and simmer until chicken is just cooked through 2-3 minutes.
  • In a small dish, whisk flour into the sour cream. Slowly add to the sauce and simmer 3 minutes more. Stir in the dill and lemon juice and seaosn to taste with additional salt and black pepper. Serve the chicken over orzo.

Nutrition facts per serving: 325 calories, 32 g protein, 15 g carbohydrates, 13 g fat (3.4 g saturated), 3 g fiber.

This was a hit and liked by all! Whew! Total prep time and cooking took about an hour, but was perfect for a Sunday evening, when there was no rush to whip something together. Monday’s goals are to tackle an 8 mile run, get my nails done, train clients, and start teaching a new class this evening! Wish me luck!

Have you made realistic goals for 2011? What is your favorite New Year’s Resolution that you have set for yourself?