Tuesday, January 1, 2013

New year new you new me

It's been a while I know but I feel the need to get some stuff out of my head so I guess you could say My blog is Back!!!
A lot has happened since my last entry. Long story short we moved to Fort Polk this summer and I completely let myself go physically. I ate whatever I wanted and only exercised about 1-2 times a week out of guilt. To say that I was having a hard time adjusting to the beautiful state of LA would be an understatement. Which is so not like me so it kind of threw me for a loop. So since I was eating everything in the kitchen to cope and it obviously wasn't helping I had to do something. That's when we started going to church again as a family and I found this super awesome thing called Protestant Women of the Chapel. I will say one super positive thing that I have gained since being here at Polk is my relationship with God. It's like I'm newly saved and my thirst for him and his word is stronger than ever before!
After a much needed vacation to the "happiest place on Earth" and a couple weeks of Aaron being home and a lot of family time I have officially snapped out of my funk!!! 
New Year New Me or as I told a friend "I'm about to show
2013 who it's Momma is!" Who's with me? 
     As far as resolutions go honestly I just want to improve in all areas of my life. And I'm about to be brutally open and honest so here ya go:
- I  want to love people more (I've really struggled with this in the past) I want to show love to people who don't deserve it, or to the people that I'd normally shoot a dirty look or gossip about.
- I want to give more. I admit I'm not a giver by nature, actually I'm greedy in a lot of ways but this year I really want to change that. 
- I want to get my kickboxing certification and continue to find new ways to help women who are serious about their weight loss and overall fitness. And I want to start teaching classes again I really miss it!
- I want to get my fitness level back. In NC I was in the best shape of my life and Im ready to see that again. I know exactly what it takes and I'm ready to put in the hard work.
- I want to relax a little more. AKA put the control freak in me in shackles for a little while. It's ok if there are toys all over the floor, it's ok if my husband is playing a video game and his clothes from earlier are laying all around the laundry hamper and not IN the laundry hamper, it's ok that the boys sometimes miss the toliet all together.... And this list could go On and On but It's ok , It's ok, It's ok  
- I want to surround myself with positive influences. Women who are doing things I'd like to see myself doing, who encourage others instead of talk about them. I admit I've been known to gossip a lot but honestly I'm done with it! Why does it seem to be so hard as women, to encourage or empower one another. We are all carrying our very own cross and few of us are
Willing to share what our particular cross may be. So I encourage you to adopt this attitude towards gossip, towards jealousy, towards thst person whos finally decided to get happy. Dont Hate! Also, if you see a fellow Mom out there who is struggling try to help them not put them down. 
- finally I want to make peace with this foreign land they call
Fort Polk. God obviously has a plan for me here and I doubt it includes moping around with a sour face, and hoping that every moving truck I see is on its way to my house. It's up to me to find out what he has in store for us here! And I'm finally excited to do just that.
Here's to an awesome year full of new attitudes and new goals :)

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Blogging Slump + Banana Protein Bread and Sweet Potato Chicken Chili Recipe

Hey guys! Hope everyone had a fabulous Labor Day weekend even though it is the unofficial end to swimming pools and Summer : (  I suppose I've been in a blogging slump lately and haven't felt like it but I'm back with new recipes and a new attitude towards this blog!
It's been brought to my attention that some of my posts may seem as though I'm on a soap box or what have you....but I'm here to clear the air and say that, that is not my intentions whatsoever. Honestly, I have struggled with my weight since High School, I'm no one special, and its taken many years for me to finally figure out how to make this whole diet/exercise/healthy lifestyle thing work. I've tried it all, I've tried the cardio a couple times a week ,I've tried weight watchers, I've tried the group exercise thing and they are all have their perks but this is the first time that I'm actually doing something that not only helps me maintain, but its giving me the results that I have so desperately wanted in all my many attempts. If results aren't what your looking for, if your just looking to keep the ticker in check and still wear the same size of pants that you wore last year and the year before then maybe my advice isn't for you. But just please know I have nothing but good in my heart and a huge passion for people (especially women) who desperately want to transform their body and feel amazing on the inside as well! And I have to include one of my favorite quotes "Take advice from people who have what you want, otherwise they are just guessing!"  Which is why people like Jamie Eason and all the other fitness folks that I follow inspire me daily and I just pass along tid bits here and there that I learn from their magazines and blogs.
So as women I think we should all do our part to hold each other accountable in this healthy lifestyle journey! I surely hope that if I slip one of you will be there to drag me back to the gym or the produce department lol!

With all that being said lets move on to some Jamie Eason 12 Week Trainer Talk! I am now on week 3 and  basically loving the program! Everything starts to pick up just a tad in week three. The last two weeks I've felt the workouts the next day but this week I'm feeling the workout by mid afternoon! It doesn't look like much on paper but once your into the workout you see that its definitely challenging. If you've been thinking about starting the program I highly encourage you to do so, its completely free and totally laid out for you. Also there is a Live Fit group on facebook thats been super helpful with accountability as well as recipes and encouragement! Even if you don't have a gym membership you could do this on your own at home if you own a few free weights or other types of lifting equipment.
The diet is good, my metabolism is definitely in full swing. I'm pretty sure I eat more than my husband on most days! One thing I'm super thankful for is the fact that I love egg whites!
Today's Workout 
Back and Biceps      Back is my new favorite muscle group!

Banana Nut Protein Bread
Preheat oven to 350
1 1/2 cups oat flour
1tbsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 cup stevia or Ideal (which I finally found at Food Lion, its really good & I sort of prefer it over stevia)
2 scoops vanilla whey protein
1/2 cup pecans or any other nuts would probably do
2 egg whites
1 cup unsweetened almond milk
1-4oz jar of baby food bananas or 2 bananas puree
1/4 cup plain greek yogurt
1/2 tsp vanilla
Mix wet and dry ingredients separately then mix together. Pour batter into Loaf Pan and bake at 350 for at least 28 min maybe even a little longer. My loaf pan is glass and I had to keep pulling it out and checking it with a toothpick to make sure it was done. But if you decide to make this you won't be sorry! Keep it in the fridge so it will last a little longer and warm it in microwave to eat! Yum Yum! 

Sweet Potato Chicken Chili
1 can Kidney Beans rinsed and drained ( I used black beans)
1 lb sweet potatoes peeled and cubed
2 cloves of minced garlic, (I used 3)
5 oz yellow onion diced
1 1/2 cups low sodium chicken broth (I used a little bit more)
10 oz precooked chicken breast cubed (I used 3 chicken breast and placed them in the crock pot that morning and shredded them before adding)
2 tsp worcestershire sauce ( I definitely used more than this)
2 tsp ground cumin (also I added more)
1 tbsp chili powder (I added more)
1/8 tsp chipotle chili powder to taste ( I left this out)
1 cup fresh or frozen corn

Preheat oven to 350/ peel and dice sweet potatoes. Coat and toss cubed sweet potatoes with cooking spray and bake on cookie sheet for 25 min or longer till they are tender. remove from pan and let cool
Coat large soup pot with cooking spray and add onion, garlic, and seasonings and cook for 3 min. 
Rinse and drain beans and corn and  add to mixture
Add remaining ingredients to pan. Heat near boiling, stirring often. Reduce heat to low and simmer while covered for 30 min. 
I added a lot more broth by using more chicken broth, worcestershire sauce and cumin. I also topped it with fresh cilantro and it was a hit! No one in this house except for me likes sweet potatoes and they every one ate it and asked for more! I'll definitely be making this one again for sure! Great fall recipe courtesy of Muscle and Fitness Hers Magazine!

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Cinnamon Swirl Protein Bread + Lime Cilantro Chicken Tacos

Finally our power is back on!!! Thanks to Hurricane Irene we lost power toady around 2 or 3pm and it just now came back on about an hour ago! I always think its just a lil bit fun when the power goes out! Gives you time to think outside of the box for entertainment and food prep! Last night I decided to try some Lime Cilantro Chicken Tacos, a recipe that I found in a random magazine! They turned out really good, definitely a keeper recipe for sure! So here ya go!
Lime Cilantro Chicken Tacos
1/4 cup fresh lime juice
1 teaspoon grated lime rind
1 teaspoon reduced-sodium soy sauce
2 tbsp grated cumin
2 1/2 cups roughly shredded rotisserie chicken
8 (6 inch) corn tortillas
 olive oil spray
0% Fage Plain Greek yogurt
2 sprigs of fresh cilantro

Preheat oven to 325
Whisk together lime juice and rind, soy sauce, cilantro and cumin in a large bowl. Add shredded chicken and toss
Spray cookie sheet with olive oil and place corn tortillas on the sheet. Spray olive oil on top of the tortillas as well. Bake until they are no longer limp but also soft enough that they can still bend. Once done spread the tortillas with greek yogurt, add desired amount of chicken mixture, and top with freshly chopped onion and cilantro and maybe even hot sauce if desired!!! Delish Delish Delish!!!!

My Way: I didn't use a rotisserie chicken instead I placed 6 chicken breast in my crockpot on high for about 4 1/2 hours with just a little lemon juice , salt and pepper. Once it was done I shredded it with a fork. I doubled the lime juice, soy sauce and cumin for the chicken sauce and may have added more. The sauce is the best part so you may want to make extra to taste. I also did not add the cilantro into the sauce instead we used it as a topping for the tacos. Delicious and it was enough for 2 nights of dinner!  Oh and the corn tortillas make all the difference, the first night I served it I used wheat tortillas and it was ok but the corn tortillas were the perfect match for this chicken!
Not the prettiest picture, I made this plate in the dark thanks
to Hurricane Irene! Served with a brown rice/barley/black bean/
1 can of fire roasted tomatoes and seasoned to taste! 

Next up before my computer dies......is Jamie Eason's Cinnamon Swirl Protein Bread
1/3 cup Ideal Xylitol (I used brown sugar instead)
2 tsp cinnamon
1 1/2 cups oat flour
2 scoops vanilla whey protein powder
1 tbsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup Ideal Xylitol or 1/4 cup Stevia (which is what I used)
2 egg whites
1 cup unsweetened almond milk 
1/3 cup or 1 4oz jar of baby food apple sauce (I used regular apple sauce not baby food)
1/4 cup low sugar vanilla yogurt

Preheat the oven to 350/ Spray an 8x8 baking dish (loaf pan)
In a small bowl combine brown sugar and cinnamon
In a large bowl whisk together oat flour, whey, baking powder, salt, and stevia
In a med bowl whisk together egg whites, almond milk, apple sauce and yogurt
Mix together everything except the cinnamon/sugar mixture
Pour shallow layer of batter in loaf pan, and sprinkle heavily with cinnamon/sugar mixture
Pour the rest of batter into the pan and draw a knife through the batter to make it swirl
Bake for 24-28min and let cool, bread will be dense

My Notes: I found that the cinnamon sugar mixture turned out to be a lot so I just ended up using a little bit of it, and I needed to pop it back in the oven a couple times after the timer went off at 25 min to get it completely done. This was a huge hit this morning at breakfast for my boys! They all loved it! 
layer and sprinkle

Aaron was so hungry he stuck a big spatula down into it before
I was able to grab the camera! Next time I think I'll add nuts.
Or you could leave out the sugar and cinnamon and add anything
like crasins, nuts, or raisins. 

My boys doing their best Bear Crawl!! One of Mommy's favorite Exercises for sure!
Week one of Jamie Eason's 12 week live fit program is over and only 11 more to go!!! Yay!!! I will say that I was concerned with the no cardio thing, but every day I left the gym feeling as though I had definitely worked and this weekend I'm so sore. I did however teach one cardio class on Wed. so I can't say that I didn't do any cardio.  Then Laura and I added in a few plyometrics on the Leg day and we also attached a "Plank Off" on the ab day. We just assumed the plank position on our elbows and held it as long as we possibly could with proper form. We'll probably do the same this week, it was a great way to mix it up and get in a lil additional work. My only concern is not really getting enough rest days considering that I taught Body Pump yesterday and today but I plan on going as light as possible on the weight in there especially today. We'll see....I always say that. I'm excited about the program though and I definitely see results in the near future! If you're thinking about giving it a shot I say go for it! 
He'll kill me if he ever sees this but this is Aaron enjoying
his Cilantro Lime Chicken Tacos last night while the power was out
sportin his head lamp and all!

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Chicken Muffins / Lemon Protein Bars / Carrot Cake Protein Bars

Just a couple of delicious recipes to pass along this evening! All three of these recipes are courtesy of Ms. Eason and they are all (in my opinion) a "Must Make!" For sure! 

Chicken Muffins
2lbs ground chicken or lean turkey
3 egg whites
1 cup quick oats
1/2 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp thyme
2tsp dry yellow mustard
2 tsp black pepper
2 tsp chipotle pepper spice ( I left this out)
1 tsp salt
2 tbsp garlic powder or 2 minced cloves
1 small onion
2 finely chopped celery stalks

Preheat oven @ 375, spray muffin pan with olive or canola oil
Mix all ingredients, roll in to large balls, & place in muffin tin
Bake for 40 min

Yum Yum Seriously so good and I think I like the chicken
better than the turkey.

Lemon Protein Bars
1 cup oat flour 
2 scoops vanilla whey protein powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking soda
2 qt mix Crystal Light
4 egg whites
1/2 cup splenda or Stevia
8oz baby food apple sauce
4 oz water
Preheat oven to 350
Mix dry ingredients and wet ingredients separately then mix the two together
Spray baking pan with cooking spray
Add batter and bake for 23 min

Carrot Cake Bars on Left, Lemon on Right

Carrot Cake Protein Bars
1 cup oat flour
2 scoops vanilla whey protein
2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1/8 tsp all spice
1/8 tsp nutmeg
4 egg whites
3/4 cup splenda or stevia
8oz baby food carrots
4 oz water
Mix wet and dry ingredients separately then mix the two together. Spray baking pan with non stick spray. Bake at 350 for 20-30 min

And lastly a picture of my sweet Brock on his first day of Preschool

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

One Step Forward/ Two Steps Back

Sorry I've been a lil MIA recently, but after a short trip home and having my niece for a week, life around here is just now back to normal! The entire week that I was in WV my diet stayed on track and it was easy because my grandma's house is full of fresh produce in the summer! Soo Good!!!!

This past week however is a whole other story. For some reason....I've been eating as if the good Lord himself is coming tomorrow! All week last week I ate whatever I wanted and said "NO" to little. Still not sure why but what I do know is that I basically felt like crap all week. I had headaches, I only worked out when I taught classes and had little to no motivation. Lesson learned for sure....seriously that was awful not to mention I gained 4lbs!!!!
I know cheat meals happen, and they do but I especially have to be careful not to start saying yes to everything for days at a time. I think once I break the seal and have that ice cream sandwich after dinner with the boys, or grab that handful of pita chips while I'm making snacks, I feel so guilty and instantly feel like I've completely un-did all the hard work that I've been doing for the past few months and get this "F" it all attitude, and its honestly hard for me to stop. It's a problem I know and I'm well aware believe me! "Hello, My name is Maggie"  <<<Hello Maggie>>> "And I'm a binge Eater!" There....I said it! But Thank GOD for my gym friends, seriously they are awesome! Especially my friend Laura who is holding my accountable for this 12 week program that her and I had planned on starting this week! (More about that in a minute) But seriously we planned on starting the program on Tuesday and I swear Monday night up until 10pm I was still stuffing my face like I would never eat again! What the hell is wrong with me! lol Seriously who does that....but if you do , just know you're not the only one. And hopefully I will never do that again! I know I'll have cheat meals every now and then but I'm pretty sure there's no diet plan or healthy lifestyle out there that writes in "Cheat Week" or hell "Week before Execution" LOL So a big shout out to Laura for grabbing me by the hair and pulling me out of the Hog Trough, and meeting me in the weight room!

Ok, enough with the negative talk, its starting to make me itch.
Jamie Eason, (which if you don't know about her you should google her, she's just might be my favorite fitness chick) launched a brand new 12 week program through bodybuilding.com. It comes complete with workouts, videos, nutrition, and tons of helpful tips! You can feel free to check it out Jamie Eason's 12 week Live Fit program There are a lot of answers to overall general fitness and keeping the weight off in her short videos. I love that there's no cardio in the first phase,  because she's living proof that you don't necessarily need a lot of cardio in your life to look fabulous. Also the nutrition piece is amazing.
Today was day one of the program for me and my dear friend Laura who I mentioned before. The workout was good and the nutrition was a lil hard for me simply because I'm probably having sugar/carb withdrawls from last weeks catastrophe. LOL
Now,  I'm about to lay it all out on the table here and Laura gave me permission to include her in this. Before our workout today we decided to take "Before" shots of ourselves. UGH!!! Is all I have to say but I'm here for you so I'm gonna share them with you.

Ugh I hate Hate Hate my lower back for obvious reasons
Totally my trouble spot!

Honestly its a just one more piece of accountability because now I know that after the 12 weeks are over you'll expect to see new and improved pictures!

There ya have it! Nothing to hide thats for sure! No Spanx, No Editing, No enhancing, just all Natural and hopefully in 12 weeks there will be a considerable difference for the both of us! Feel free to join and if you do let me know that way you can jump on our accountability wagon to Success!  lol so corny! 

Now let's talk about food just a tad! Today I served the boys some vanilla low fat yogo with flaxseed and blackberries! Great kiddo snack for sure!
And today's lunch for me included Tuna salad served on a bed of spinach with 1/2 Baked sweet potato topped with flax seed and cinnamon! YummO!

Tomorrow I plan on making some Lemon Protein Bars as well as Chicken Muffins all courtesy of Ms. Eason herself! :)

And Last but definitely Not least a picture of my babies and their best good buds Camden and Dylan! 

Brock's new favorite dress up outfit, the wizard hat paired with a cape of course! Gotta Love it!

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

The Park is your Playground

Since I've been in WV, I've had to find a few creative ways to fit in workouts. Today I went to Ritter park which is my favorite park hands down.

It was pretty hot and  a lot more humid than NC but I had to make it happen even if it was 11am and getting hotter by the minute! So if you are lucky enough to live in the Huntington area, just know that this park has way more than needed to get a nice ass whooping workout for FREE! You just have to be a lil creative, and you may receive a few strange looks but who cares cause you'll look great doing it! :)
Today's workout
I started with 10 hill sprints over by the tennis courts. I started at one speed bump, ran over the next one, and stopped at the one after that. If that makes any sense at all. Basically a distance of three speed bumps, start at one , run over one and stop at the third! Run as hard as you can up, and use the walk down as your rest and immediately go again as soon as you get back to where you started. 
Picture from the Top of the hill! It's no joke!

Next I went down to the actual park and found me a nice park bench to take a rest....right! Uhhh...NO how bout to do a few box jumps using the bench. 
4 sets of 20 jumps on the bench
you simply use momentum just up on the
bench and jump back down with both feet
great exercise!

Thanks to the fabulous RPD I now have a new found love for the bear crawl! Never thought I'd say that but the bear crawl rocks! Its great for the whole body and especially the shoulders. You simply bend over at the waist and put your hands on the ground and walk like a bear .
I bear crawled in between these two trees
back and forth 4 times with rest in between

And Lastly I found this chain that I used as a make shift double dutch jump rope.
Stand on one side of the chain with both feet, and jump over with both
feet back and forth 2=1 for 10. Do 4 sets of 10 :)

After this sweaty good time I was dying of thirst and left my water bottle on a park bench near my car, well me being the freak I am I got worried that someone could've put something in my drink (I know weird) so I drove to the store and picked up one of these!

Coconut water is supposed to be excellent for hydration!
I admit its not the best tasting stuff but is a quick fix for hydrating!

As most of you know I stay with my fabulous Grandma when we come in town. I love this woman and she's a huge inspiration to me in a lot of ways but especially in how she takes care of her self and has literally taken her health into her own hands. She is now 77 years old and is healthy as a horse! She never sits down and has her diet down to a T. Anyways with her garden in full swing this is how I eat when I come here
Yumm all the veggies from her garden served with turkey breast! soo Good!

Since I was taken pictures around the park here is a picture of the fountain where Aaron asked me to be his wife! Another reason why I love this park!