June 27, 2014

Sauteed Heirloom Carrots

Hi everyone!

The other day I was grocery shopping and I found a bag of colorful heirloom carrots. They sat in my fridge for awhile until I finally determined I should cook them. I did a simple saute with a bit of olive oil, butter, and brown sugar and these were the best carrots in the world!

I served them with Caprese Chicken for a light and healthy meal full of veggies!

You can use regular carrots for this recipe as well, but I highly suggest heirloom if you can find them. Each color had it's own taste and they look so beautiful.

Sauteed Heirloom Carrots

1 bag of heirloom carrots (I found these at Vons)
1 tbsp olive oil
3 tbsp butter
2 tsp brown sugar

Wash carrots and cut ends off. Peel the carrots if so desired. I lightly peeled mine. Cut carrots into uniform pieces. Heat butter and oil in a sautee pan until butter is melted. Add in the brown sugar and stir until it is melted into the butter. Add carrots and saute uncovered until done. Keep an eye on them and constantly toss and stir them so they don't burn. This will probably take anywhere from 5-10 minutes, but keep piercing with a fork and testing for desired doneness.

The carrots are naturally sweet and the saute brings it out, so you could omit the brown sugar if you'd like.

June 24, 2014

Peach Pie Oatmeal

Good morning!

I love the combination of peaches and cinnamon. Peach cobbler is heavenly! I used to eat the peaches 'n' cream flavored instant oatmeal packets. But since those are full of who knows what, I decided to make my own clean version.

Peach Pie Oatmeal

1/2 cup oats (instant or old fashioned)
1 cup milk of choice
canned peaches or 1 peach, sliced or chopped
1 tsp peach juice (optional, but adds more of the peach flavor)
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1-2 tsp cinnamon
1 Tbsp brown sugar

Prepare oats either on the stove or by microwaving. If you use the stove, when oats are just about cooked add in chopped peaches and vanilla. If using the microwave, add chopped peaches before microwaving. This way the peaches are hot and the flavor really comes out. I also added some juice into my oats and milk when cooking so that they tasted extra peachy. When cooked, stir in vanilla, cinnamon, and brown sugar. Top with more peaches to garnish or mix in some walnuts for healthy fats.

It's no peach cobbler, but it's a good substitute. :-)


June 19, 2014

Toned Tank Top Arms Workout

Hi everyone!

I've been incorporating a lot of arm toning into my workouts lately since it's warm and I'm wearing a lot of tank tops and strappy dresses.

You can see my weights behind me in this photo. :-) Here's a tough weight lifting routine I did the other day. You might have to build up to it, but you'll definitely notice results if you stick to it!

Tank Top Arms Workout

Warm up with 10-15 burpees
Closed grip barbell on bench 3 sets of 12 reps
Bicep curl with barbell or dumbbells 3 sets of 12 reps
Overhead tricep extension with dumbbell or plate 2 sets of 12
Overhead tricep extension with barbell 2 sets of 12
Incline bicep curl 2 sets 12 reps/arm
10-20 tricep dips on bench
Bicep rows 2 sets of 12/arm
15-20 tricep push ups

Follow with some cardio or HIIT and you'll be "tanking" me. Get it? ;-)

Let me know if you have any requests for certain types of workouts or any fitness related questions! I'd be happy to put more workouts up.


June 15, 2014

Easy Peasy Sauteed Green Beans with Garlic


I've had a frozen package of green beans from Trader Joe's for a couple of months now. I love veggies, but sometimes I get stumped on how to prepare them. I felt like I needed to incorporate some green into my dinner last night, so I came up with a saute.

These were so delicious! I saved the leftovers and they were great warmed up for lunch. These are awesome for Thanksgiving if you don't care for the traditional green bean casserole. I'd also like to recommend the world's BEST cranberry sauce and my heavenly Chocolate Pumpkin Spice Cake.

Sauteed Green Beans with Garlic

1 lb package frozen green beans
1/2 small yellow onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced (or 1 if you don't like a lot of garlic)
2 Tbsp butter
1 Tbsp olive oil
1/4 cup Italian breadcrumbs
salt and pepper to taste

Thaw green beans until no longer frozen, or microwave according to package directions. Melt butter and olive oil on medium high heat. Add onions and saute until yellowed. Add garlic and breadcrumbs and whisk around, breaking up clumps. Quickly dump in package of green beans and toss to coat. Add salt and pepper to taste. You're done!



June 12, 2014

Skinny Strawberry Basil Margarita


Last weekend I made Strawberry Basil margaritas to enjoy before a concert. I love these margaritas because all the ingredients are natural, so of course, that helps them to be lower in calories than margaritas made with premixed sweet and sour. I always recommend getting an authentic, traditional margarita on the rocks because the sweet and sour at many places is filled with tons of artificial ingredients. Not to mention it usually has an excess of calories... up to 500 calories!! Yikes.

This delicious little cocktail has around 150 calories--much better!

Strawberry Basil Margarita

3-4 sliced strawberries
3-4 basil leaves, torn
2-3 limes
1 Tbsp agave nectar
100% de agave tequila, I recommend El Jimador (less than $20/bottle)

Using a shaker or two glasses, muddle the strawberries, basil, and agave nectar. Add ice, the lime juice (about 2 Tbsps), agave nectar, 1 shot of tequila and 1/4 to 1/2 cup of water. Shake with ice for about 10 seconds. Pour into a rocks glass or strain into a martini glass. Garnish with a strawberry, lime slice, and/or basil leaf. You may have to do some taste testing to see if you have the right sweet to sour consistency. This is dependent on how much tequila, lime juice, and agave nectar you use. If your limes are super juicy, you may want to add more agave. If you use a lot of tequila, you may need to add more water.



June 7, 2014

Gluten Free Peanut Butter Banana Chocolate Chip Pancakes

Good morning!

Today I was about to make my regular Protein Pancakes, but then I added a little of this... a little of that... and voila! I had these!

Healthy, gluten free peanut butter banana chocolate chip protein pancakes!

How could these be healthy? Doesn't the peanut butter add a ton of calories? Chocolate chips?! Well, I added a Tbsp of PB2 to the batter and drizzled another Tbsp on top, for a total of just 45 calories and 5 g of protein. Also, the chocolate chips are Ghirardelli semi-sweet which are gluten free and dairy free. Two Tbsp of these are about 50 calories. I used half a banana and these pancakes were plenty sweet.

I guarantee the sugar and calorie content is greatly reduced by using PB2, chocolate chips and half a banana than the several Tbsps of maple syrup most people drench their pancakes with.

Gluten Free Peanut Butter Banana Chocolate Chip Protein Pancakes
Serves 1

1/3 cup oats, ground
2 Tbsp flax seed, ground (if you use whole, the calorie content will be reduced because your body can't digest the shell, and it will serve as fiber. The ground gets you the healthy oils from the flax. Either way works.)
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 Tbsp PB2
1/2 banana, mashed
2 Tbsp almond milk (or milk of choice)
1/4 cup Greek yogurt, plain low fat
1 egg, beaten
2 Tbsp Ghirardelli semi-sweet or dark chocolate chips(or another quality brand is fine, but Tollhouse and others are made with gluten products)

Heat a griddle on medium and spray with non-stick spray or use melted butter. Whisk dry ingredients together. Add in wet and ingredients and mix until no lumps remain. Fold in chocolate chips. Using a spatula, pour out individual pancakes. I made 3 medium sized pancakes, but you can make several small or 2 large. Let cook on one side for a few minutes until batter begins to bubble and edges are cooked.

Carefully flip pancakes and cook on the other side for about one minute. These pancakes cook quickly, so make sure to keep an eye on them so they don't burn.

Once they're cooked, plate and top with an additional drizzle of PB2 + water to make a PB2 paste, bananas, or whatever your heart desires.

Mmm, look at all those melty chocolate chips.



June 2, 2014

Fat Blasting Workout with Dumbbells

Hi everyone!

Lately I've been utilizing the group exercise room at my gym whenever there isn't a class going on. I am fortunate to have a flexible schedule that allows me to go during these times, but you can easily do these workouts in the comfort of your own home. I've been sticking to a lot of HIIT (high intensity interval training) as it keeps me very lean. It helps to burn off the fat around your muscles and organs that helps achieve a lean, jiggle-free body.

I like to incorporate weights into my workouts as well. Below you will see that I implement dumbbells, but if you don't have dumbbells, you can just use body weight. It will still be challenging and effective.

First I did this 10 minute abs workout.

Then I did this lower body workout with weights by Melissa Bender.

Last, I did a HIIT jump roping workout also by Melissa Bender. I was super sweaty at the end. :-)

Remember, doing all steady state cardio (running, spinning, cardio classes) means you will reach a plateau quickly because won't be using any resistance. Your body gets used to certain moves the more you do them, especially steady state, long distance cardio. I can't stress enough the importance of incorporating weights into your workout regimen. I try to do a different workout every single time I work out. I just mix up which ones I do. And as you can see, I just find free workouts online. The possibilities are endless.

If you aren't happy with your results from working out, examine what you're doing. Are you snacking too much or eating a lot of carbs? Are you only doing cardio? Remember: if it doesn't challenge you, it doesn't change you.
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