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"THERE ARE ONLY TWO DAYS IN THE YEAR THAT NOTHING CAN BE DONE. ONE IS CALLED YESTERDAY AND THE OTHER IS CALLED TOMORROW, SO TODAY IS THE RIGHT DAY TO LOVE, BELIEVE, DO, AND MOSTLY LIVE." -- Dalai Lama

Saturday, April 27, 2013

Green tea - my new friend

One of the things I had bought at Costco was a massive box of green tea because I've read that there are a lot of benefits to drinking it regularly. So far I haven't noticed a difference physically but I have to say that it is really pleasant to drink. It tastes really good - I don't even add honey. I've been drinking two cups a day and I do notice that I don't crash in the afternoons like I usually do. When/if I notice anything more I will be sure to post about it!




Pumpkin pie oatmeal

I saw this online somewhere and decided to give it a try. I think I still like my cinnamon and blueberries in my oatmeal but this was a nice alternative.

Make your oatmeal as directed on the package. Add 1/4 cup of canned pumpkin and 1/2 a teaspoon of pumpkin pie spice. I added a bit of my coconut oil for sweetness but you could add maple syrup or honey instead.





Friday, April 26, 2013

Too many Costco trips

Last night I went to Costco again and I promised myself I was only getting 3 things: lettuce, sports bras, and cat litter. Of course that nevers happens when you're shopping at Costco and I ended up spending the same as last week! However, I bought some new sweaters and new shoes for walking to work.

I'm also really  happy with my food choices last night. I got home and cooked up a garden burger: while this was cooking I had some cottage cheese. My mom was coming to pick me up and I wasn't that hungry yet so I put the burger in a container and took it with me. Also in my bag was 1/4 cup of my trail mix and my water bottle. My parents ate at Costco and I sat there thinking about my burger in the car :)

When I got home I was fairly hungry though but it was late so I threw together this salad:

romaine and red leaf lettuce, craisins, walnuts, and strawberries. Topped with a wee bit of Kraft raspberry vinaigrette dressing. It was so good and was nice and light shortly before bed time.

Yesterday morning while I was walking to work I decided that I really need new runners for walking to work. I got my current pair of Reebok Realflexes a year ago in March and up until I moved they were in decent condition. But clocking 4 km's a day has taken a toll on them lol. So while I didn't want to spend much at Costco last night I ended buying a new pair of walking shoes! They are also Reebok and are so comfortable. I'm finding I'm having a hard time deciding if I want to wear my new shoes outside! These will be my walking shoes and I'll keep my Sketchers and Adidas pairs for indoor workouts. What shoe brand/model do you love?


Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Back in the game

I am FINALLY feeling better! I don't have pneumonia - just a viral lung infection, haha. I got a prescription inhaler I need to use for 2 weeks but working out actually seems to clear my sinuses and makes me feel better.

Last night I did ZWOW #25 (ouch, my butt and legs) and Turbo Fire 30. It felt so good to be back at it and I had so much energy while doing the Turbo Fire.

I've been bad with my diet again lately: went to dinner on Friday night and ordered a salad but also a "healthy" pizza which had a whole grain thin crust, loads of spinach, tomatoes, onions, and chicken, and light on the cheese. It was really good and was comparitively healthy compared to most other pizzas but I still felt 'ick' from eating it a few days later. Yesterday was the last day of my training class so of course we ordered... PIZZA and salad. I had mostly salad and only had two slices of the thin crust veggie pizza but of course I pushed myself and grabbed another slice lol. I really have to work on this bad habit. I eat and I'm comfortably full, then I go and eat some more and feel over full.

Today I'm on a good track and I am going to try my darndest not to eat pizza if it's in front of me lol. Today I've had:

7:00am - breakfast
oatmeal with coconut oil, cinnamon, blueberries, and 1% milk. And 1/4 cup of egg whites.

10:05am - snack
banana with a tablespoon of raw almond butter.

12:00pm - lunch
romaine and red leaf lettuce salad with grape tomatoes, hemp hearts, black olives, and half a slice of light harvati cheese. Dressing was 1 teaspoon olive oil and 1+ teaspoon of white vinegar, with a dash of pepper. (My new favorite dressing!) and 1/4 cup of brown rice.

2:00pm - snack
1/2 cup 2% cottage cheese and half a grapefruit.


Tonight I'm going to have eggs probably or see what needs to be used in my fridge :) If it's something exciting I'll post it up here and on my facebook page!! If you want to see what I eat every day (including my bad foods) you can add me on myfitnesspal: dexterspet

What are your eating habits like?

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Sick of being sick

Happy Sunday friends :) Since being sick I have still been working out because I'm seeing awesome results from being strict about my eating habits again. I didn't want to throw it off but it's inevitable that you need rest when you're sick - so today I am actually resting. I had ZWOW #25 all written out and everything but decided against it. My nose is all runny and I have the phlegmy cough so rest it is. Tomorrow I'm going to the doctor to make sure it isn't pneumonia again like I had in January.

I find it really funny that I'm now having a hard time resting when I'm sick when I had a hard time getting my ass off the couch when I felt fine a year ago. I've made a lot of changes in the past year and I couldn't be happier.

In the last year I have changed my eating habits starting March 2012, starting exercising regularly, ended a toxic relationship, and moved out on my own. I wish I had made a lot of these changes earlier but you learn from your mistakes.

I found a great cucumber salad recipe that I'll be making for lunch so I'll post it later today :)

Today's agenda is laundry and prepping food for the week. Maybe a little tidying up. I was going to go for a walk but it is once again SNOWING! What are you doing today??

What is a real woman?

Someone on my fit group posted a workout video from Amanda Russell and asked if anyone else thought she was alarmingly thin (concerned for her health) and so someone else posted a video response she posted because a lot of viewers have said hurtful things about her slight frame.

I watched the response video and I love the message they had in it. It wasn't just addressing her small frame - they talk about a lot of things that I think are important to keep in mind when you're on this amazing journey.



Saturday, April 20, 2013

Blueberry oatcake

I found this recipe in Self magazine. I had to change it up a bit because I didn't have any egg whites thawed out. So I used 2 eggs instead of the egg whites. But here is the recipe from Self:

  • 4 egg whites
  • 1/2 c. rolled oats
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp water
  • 1/3 c. blueberries
  • 1 T almonds

Whisk the first for ingredients for 1 minute

Add in the blueberries and almonds and stir.


Heat a medium skillet (oiled; I used my coconut oil) over medium heat. Cook the batter until eggs are set on the bottom (about 3 minutes) and flip the oatcake. Cook for another minute or until its nicely browned.



Top with 1/4 c. non fat plain Greek yogurt and a teaspoon of honey.


I didn't add the topping because I made this for my mom and she wasn't up yet :)

Enjoy! You could probably use this as a base for making oat muffins as well. If you like it sweeter you could add some honey before cooking it. Enjoy!!

Friday, April 19, 2013

Costco run of new things!

Alright, so last night I went to Costco with my mom - it was a more expensive run compared to my usual. I did buy quite a few things though that will last a while. I bought a few new things this time that I'm already quite excited about after just one day.


On my table/fridge:


    • egg whites
    • almond butter
    • trail mix
    • non fat plain Greek yogurt
    • frozen fruit salad
    • cottage cheese
    • bananas
    • frozen blueberries
    • unsalted butter
    • cucumbers
    • light Havarti cheese slices
    • coconut oil
    • green tea
    • rotisserie chicken
    • apples (in the fruit basket)
    • avocados (in the fruit basket)
    • box of frozen chicken breast (not pictured)
    • 2.5 dozen eggs (not pictured)
    • grape tomatoes (not pictured)
    I've been getting into smoothies as an evening snack or if I have a really light dinner I'll have a smoothie on the side so that's what the frozen fruit salad is for. I bought the green tea because I've read it helps your metabolism but mostly because I've read/heard that it gives you energy which is something I need in the afternoons. I had 2 cups today because of my sore throat and I have to say that I didn't crash at 1:30PM like I usually do. I highly recommend the Kirkland brand. It tastes really nice and has 'instructions' on how to make 'real' Japanese green tea.



    I also bought the coconut oil for a few reasons. Also note that I looked elsewhere for a better price and you will not beat Costco. I originally hadn't bought it here because it is so much but I wasn't about to pay $12 for less than a third of this amount when this tub was $17.99. I bought it for the following reasons:
    • as a healthy fat source (oatmeal, eggs, etc.)
    • to use in my hair
    • to use on my skin
    • to replace butter
    I used it on my hands last night before bed, this morning in my oatmeal (which tasted so yummy), and on my hair after my shower. It really is a multi purpose oil. The ends of my hair are usually really dry but they feel soft and nourished today. Don't use too much... I barely used any really. And it made such a nice light coconutty flavor in my oatmeal; it was really pleasant. I'm really looking forward to how many other uses I can find for it.


    Thursday, April 18, 2013

    Broiled grapefruit and Greek yogurt

    Last night I was going through my fitness magazines for some meal ideas because I'm finally getting bored of the same thing over and over and I found this little tasty treat. It almost tastes like dessert. It's a perfect pick-me-up for my afternoon snack.

    Ingredients:

    • 1 grapefruit
    • 2 tsp honey
    • cinnamon
    • 3/4 c. non fat plain Greek yogurt
    Turn your broiler to high. Wash your grapefruit and cut it half. I had to cut the bottom of one half so it would sit properly.



    Drizzle 1 teaspoon of honey on each side and sprinkle with cinnamon.

    Broil them for 4 minutes and they come out all toasty and smell delicious.

    While the grapefruit is in the oven get your yogurt ready. The recipe called for 3/4 of a cup of Greek yogurt but I only used half a cup. I had this for my snack today and my evening snack last night. I have been trying not to eat in the evening but it was a lovely treat before bed.

    When the grapefruit is done, cut/scoop out the pieces (which was fairly difficult actually lol) into the bowl with the Greek yogurt. Again the recipe called for another drizzle of honey in the yogurt but I didn't add any extra - the grapefruit was already fairly sweet - and top with another sprinkle of cinnamon. This is one of my new favorite snacks and it really hits the spot for sweets!

    A variation of my protein bars

    The other night I made a batch of my protein bites but I was missing a few ingredients to I decided to switch it up. Here's the original recipe and this is the 'new' one :) (the *'s are the changes I made). I was out of coconut oil so I didn't use that.

    chop the following:
    • 1 T almonds
    • 4 halves of walnuts
    • 2 T raisins*

    You can process the rest but I wanted them in whole pieces for mine:
    • 1/2 c. oats (I used quick oats)
    • 1/4 c. shredded unsweetened coconut
    • 1 T flaxseed
    • 2 T almond butter
    • 2 tsp honey*
    • 1 scoop of chocolate protein powder
    • half a banana, mashed*
    • 1 T chia seeds*

    Press into a pan, the bigger the pan the thinner it will be. If you prefer a thicker bar use a smaller pan. This time I also used some coconut on top for decoration. It's so pretty!!











    Wednesday, April 17, 2013

    Sick/rest day workout

    I've come down with an awful sickness again. I took a rest day yesterday and was going to today but it honestly feels strange to not workout when I have the time. So after browsing through my health magazines (recipes to come) I decided to do a light workout. I didn't break a sweat from this so it was just a nice, slow paced workout to make me feel less guilty lol. I used 2 resistance bands (one with handles and one normal plain one) and my equalizers.

    10 push ups
    10 crunches
    10 oblique crunches (each side)

    with resistance band: 10 each direction on each leg
    forward, backward, side

    10 pulls downs (pecs) with resistance band
    20 squats
    10 tricep dips (EQ)
    10 knee ups (EQ)
    10 straight abs

    resistance band: 10 of each on each earm
    bicep curls
    tricep extension
    lawn mower pulls
    oblique twists

    Tomorrow I'm going to Costco with my mama so I probably won't have time to workout. I guess this week is going to be an easy go week. I'm making a new breakfast tomorrow that I found in Self magazine that I'm really excited about!!

    Good night!

    Tuesday, April 16, 2013

    mushroom soup

    Today I am taking an involuntary rest day :( It started last night and progressively got worse over the course of the day. My throat is so sore it hurts to talk. So when I got home from work I changed into jammies and went to my fridge to start making some homemade soup.

    As I mentioned in my recipe for the stuffed chicken breasts (check them out here) I had half the stuffing left  since I only thawed 3 chicken breasts.

    I had every intention of making a chicken noodle soup but I had a little less than half a can of mushroom soup that needed to be used. So I chopped up:

    • stalk of celery
    • half a carrot
    • 2 T onion
    • 1 tsp garlic
    Saute the onion in olive oil (or butter) on low heat until it's soft. Season with salt and pepper. Add in the garlic and wait a minute before you add the celery and carrot. Let them soften up before adding the soup and water. Add in the soup and equal parts water. Since I had the brown rice, soup, and spinach mixture already I added that in to use it up. You can always use a can of soup, equal parts water, brown rice, and spinach of course if you don't have the left overs like I did. I like seasoning salt in mushroom soup for some reason so I added some of that. I added a bit too much pepper so it was quite spicy but sooooo good.






    Monday, April 15, 2013

    banana hammock! :)

    Yesterday I said I would post a picture of my new container that I was so excited about and here it is!:


    It says it fits 98% of bananas haha. I HATE when I take my banana out at work and it's all bruised and sad looking. I found this one at Home Outfitters but I'm sure they have them elsewhere too.

    stuffed chicken breasts

    Last night I was thinking about how I can change up chicken breasts. I came up with brown rice and spinach stuffed chicken breasts.

    I only thawed 3 small chicken breasts so I ended up with lots of the stuffing left. Not sure what I'm going to do with it yet - maybe try freezing it?

    Ingredients:

    • Preheat oven to 350F
    • 3 chicken breasts, boneless skinless
    • 1 c. cooked brown rice
    • 2 c. chopped fresh spinach
    • 3/4 c. canned mushroom soup
    • 1/4 c. chopped onion
    • paprika
    • chili powder
    • garlic powder
    • pepper


    Mix everything together in a bowl, not the chicken obviously ;)

    Cut the breasts in half so they become a little envelope. I don't have a meat tenderizer so I used my porcelain spoon rest (haha, creative right?). Spoon the filling into the pocket being careful not to add too much so they can still close. If I had tooth picks I would have used them like staples to keep them closed.

    Lay them out on a pan and drizzle some olive oil on them. Add spices of your liking - I used Montreal steak spice, pepper, and paprika. In retrospect I wish I had brushed some oil on the bottom of them. Bake them for 15 minutes and flip them. Drizzle with oil and spices again. Back into the oven they go for another 10-20 minutes. I used my beloved meat thermometer again and they were at 195F.

    Finished product! Served with a yummy romaine salad with my homemade balsamic dressing.


    And I had enough for 3 more meals!!

    Sunday, April 14, 2013

    My equipment *wish* list


    UGI ball - frequently used is Bodyrock/DailyHIIT videos


    Fitbit - pedometer and calorie tracker. This particular model will be able to monitor sleep too, which is a frequent problem for me.


    Nike fuel band - same as above but displays the time as well.
    Fuelband_CDP_CS_StartsWithGoal.png

    Polar heart rate and calorie burn tracker - the previous two don't monitor your heart rate like this one does. (this one is a bit cheaper but doesn't track as much as the other)

    FT40

    **I won't buy all of the three trackers... I'm going to decide on one of the haha**


    Sunday funday

    I love my Sundays - when I  don't have anything planned.

    It's my relax day. My workout day. My chore day. I can get everything done that I want to and I don't have to rush. I can mosey around my apartment and get distracted with cleaning, organizing, etc.

    It's also my day to do laundry and do any cleaning that needs to be done. You get your home all ready for the busy week ahead so you can come home to your sanctuary. Living alone has definitely helped considering I barely have to clean anymore... basically only vacuuming since I find a pile of Dexter (my cat) behind the couch every once in a while.

    Sunday is also my day that I usually like to do my grocery shopping. You restock your fridge with healthy yummy food, plan out your week, and prepare all you meals and snacks. I love being organized. It not only saves times but it prevents you from making bad decisions. I don't keep much in my cupboards when it comes to 'unhealthy' food but there are still some days that I want to reach for something easy and it's less healthy than what needs to be made in my fridge. So I like having stuff already made so when I'm exhausted after my workout and I just want to be done for the day - I can just reach in my fridge and either just heat it up or make it easily.

    I took a rest day yesterday because I was fairly sore from the Turbo Fire 45 I did on Friday. Those side kicks and roundhouses really work your sides. I didn't even know why they were sore until I did the Turbo Jam today and those muscles were crying a bit when doing those back kicks again lol. Today I did a Bodyrock video, Turbo Jam 20 minute, and Turbo Fire stretch 10. If you want to see my results for today you can find it on my Facebook page, (please remember to "like" it too!!). The first thing I notice from incorporating the Turbo videos again is that my waist seems to slim down really fast. But that is because you are constantly twisting with punches and kicks. If I don't have time for a full Turbo video I put some pumping music on and just do some of my favorite moves. :)

    I bought something yesterday for my lunches and I'm quite excited about it! I'm so easily excited haha, It's like buying new socks. (You know what I'm talking about)

    I'll post my grocery haul in another post later on and I'll post a picture of what I bought too ;)

    Enjoy your Sunday!!!




    Friday, April 12, 2013

    How to calculate your intake percentages (fat, carbs, protein)

    I'm pleased to report that I did not give in to the cookies or gummy worms in the training class yesterday. I'm also doing really good today. Not even tempted to touch them. I keep reminding myself that I'll never have the abs I'm going for if I don't stop putting that crap in my body lol.

    I also got my 2 missed subscriptions (from moving) for Health magazine and they suggest to keep your sugar intake to 10% of your calories.

    This is something that my cousin showed me how to calculate and it's actually pretty neat. I can use myfitnesspal to calculate my percentages for the day since it displays what my totals are.

    So for yesterday my total calories for the day were (approx) 1596. Carbs and protein have 4 calories per gram, and fats have 9 calories per gram. So you take your daily total for the 3 and multiply it by the corresponding calories. Example:

    fat: 29 x 9 = 261
    carbs: 268 x 4 = 1072
    protein: 78 x 4 =312

    I add all these up for a more accurate total of my calories consumed: 1645 is what it totals. So you divide the above numbers by your total calories to see what percentage of your calories are made of fats, carbs, and protein.

    Mine for yesterday are:

    fat 261 divided by 1645 = 16%
    carbs 1072 divided by 1645 = 65% (really high from the sweet potato)
    protein 312 divided by 1645 = 19 %

    It is suggest that you aim for 40% of your calories coming from fat and carbs, each. And 20% coming from protein. Since I was shown this, it is actually neat to see how you're fueling your body. My cousin aims for higher fats because she feels it suits her body best. Try playing around with these numbers if they aren't working for you. Have fun!

    Thursday, April 11, 2013

    grilled: sweet potatoes and seasoned chicken breast

    Last night I prepped food for my lunches and I had sweet potatoes that needed to be used. My mom bought me a lovely stone/grill that can be used on stove top and in the oven.

    For the sweet potatoes:
    1. pre heat oven to 375F
    2. wash them first, then slice them into 1" thick slices and lay them out on the pan/grill
    3. brush with olive oil (or any oil you like), season with pepper, wee bit of salt, and garlic powder
    4. pop them in the oven for about 15 minutes and check on them. Flip them when they have nice grill marks
    5. put them back in for another 10-15 minutes or until they're the tenderness you enjoy

    For the chicken breasts:
    1. thaw them out (or almost: mine were still a tiny bit frozen since I took them out after work)
    2. cut off any excess fat (ick) and lay them on the pan/grill
    3. season both sides with: salt and pepper, garlic powder, paprika, and chili powder
    4. with your oven still at 350F, put them in for 15 minutes
    5. check on the grill marks and flip them. Return them to the oven for 5-10 minutes
    6. I have a meat thermometer so I went by that. 165F is a "safe" temp for chicken breast but I'm so paranoid I still cook mine to 170F or 175F. Mine last night were actually 190F lol.

    I let them cool for a bit while I relaxed and watched tv. Once they were cool I portioned them out into lunch containers :)

    My lunch for today: no greens or veggies because I figured I would be full after eating these tasty yumyums :)

    Monday, April 8, 2013

    '2 ingredient' pancakes

    I was browsing on Pinterest last night and found this recipe. I also remembered that my friend Sarah also posted her variation of this on her blog as well. So I decided to give it a try.

    The base is two ingredients and then you can add whatever you want in them. I like my blueberries and cinnamon, so that is what I added.
    • 2 bananas
    • 2 eggs
    • 1 tsp cinnamon
    • 1 tsp cocoa powder
    • 1 T flax seed
    • 1/3 c. frozen blueberries


    Use a 1/4 cup measuring cup and scoop just less than the full cup. Pour into an oiled pan. Pre-heated on medium heat. If you let the batter sit for a few minutes, you will get the little bubbles that normally form in pancakes which are a wonderful little built in timer of when to flip them :)


    I found them a bit hard to flip so next time I might add a wee bit of flour, just to help bind the ingredients.


    Ta-da! You have healthy, guilt-free pancakes. I entered the recipe into MyFitnessPal as 2 pancakes per serving (my recipe made 10 pancakes) and the following is an approximate of the nutritional values:
    • 120 calories
    • 23 carbs
    • 2 fat
    • 4 protein
    • 4 fibre
    • 6 iron
    I had 3 this morning at 6:50AM because I wasn't sure how filling they would be and I was actually full until my break at 9:30AM. I actually could have gone without eating on my break but banana and almond butter is messy in a class room (I'm in training). I think I still prefer my whole grain pancakes but these are a great alternative.

    Sunday, April 7, 2013

    Making changes

    Happy Sunday everyone! I got a killer workout in today: ZWOW #21, Turbo Fire HIIT 25, and TF Stretch 10. It felt so great to get a nice long workout in.

    Last week I made some changes to my daily routine since this layer of fat on my abs will NOT go away. My snacking in the afternoon and the evening were a big problem. I would normally snack an hour after my lunch and then after dinner I would be snacking before going to bed. So what I've been doing is writing down what time I'm eating and making sure I'm not eating too soon because I'm bored and not hungry yet.

    The schedule I've been using as a guideline is:
    7:00AM - breakfast
    2-3 hours - snack
    2-3 hours - lunch
    2-3 hours - snack
    2-3 hours - dinner

    You'll notice that there are only 5 times instead of the 6 that I used to follow. I really feel that this has been working and I'm excited to see what kind of changes will happen in the next week. I do notice so far that the line at the top of my abs has become more defined and has gone a bit further down. I know it will take some time to notice more and it's really hard to be patient but you HAVE to be. If something isn't working within a week, try a week longer.

    Another thing that I've been trying to do differently that I found in the Hip Hop abs booklet (from my mom) is working out before eating and being almost hungry. They explain that if you wait at least a few hours after eating to exercise your body will be in a semi-fasting state, meaning it will be burning more fat. I do actually feel like this is working for me so far. Remember that what works for one person may not work for another. The reason I started this blog was to help people like me who felt really overwhelmed with information and where to start but it doesn't necessarily mean that what I'm doing will work for you too. It's just a guideline and a starting point.

    I've also been trying to workout every day, when time permits. I don't do strength training every day so on 'rest days' I'll do some type of cardio - Turbo Fire/Jam, the Biggest Loser DVD, Just Dance for PS3, etc.

    Please check out and 'like' my Facebook page to see what I'm doing every day and things between blog and posts and to have a community of people that WANT to change and actually want to see things about fitness lol.

    Have a great day!

    -- Kelsey

    Thursday, April 4, 2013

    Groceries!


    Last night I went grocery shopping... I'm getting into a bad habit of buying too much at once again. There are too many choices!!! I want them all!! I guess we'll see how much goes bad on me but luckily I have produce savers - I'm hoping these will help me. 

    Last night's haul was:
    • frozen yogurt (for treats)
    • 1% milk
    • walnut halves
    • eggs
    • grape tomatoes
    • fat free coffee creamer
    • yogurt
    • beef for stir fry
    • brown rice
    • craisins (for salads)
    • flax seed
    • lemons
    • grapes
    • trail mix
    • bananas
    • cottage cheese
    • hummus
    • black olives from the deli bar
    • avocado
    • veggie steamer (I'm quite excited to try it)
    • marble rolling pin!

    I bought the avocados because I'm trying to get more fat in my diet. I'm also trying to get more nuts in there too (walnuts, pumpkin seeds, anything besides peanuts). I made another stir fry last night for about 2.5 meals worth: 2 lunches and one small/light dinner.

    I also ended up taking a rest day yesterday because it was almost 8 by the time I got home, I hadn't had dinner yet, I was starving but I like to workout now before eating. So I called it a rest day and I'm going to go hard tonight. I'll post on my facebook page what I end up doing!

    Make sure you go to my page and "like" it so you can follow me between blog posts.

    -- Kelsey