Words to Inspire

"I have chosen to be happy because it is good for my health."
- Voltaire

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Peaches n' Rasins "Oatmeal"

I changed up my breakfast from yesterday juuust a hair and I'm glad I did because it was so warm and filling and it tasted great. It's super important to never skip breakfast. Breakfast is breaking from the fast during your sleep - hence break fast. Your morning meal is the one that gets your metabolism revving and ready to go so you can burn fat all throughout the day. Just make sure your breakfast is a balanced meal with protein, complex carbohydrates, and a little bit of good fat so you'll be able to power through the day.

Peaches n' Raisins "Oatmeal"

- 1 serving Kashi Autumn Wheat cereal
- 1 c puffed rice cereal
- 1 c unsweetened vanilla almond milk
- 1 small peach, diced
- 2 T raisins
- 1/4 t cinnamon
- 1 packet Stevia

Mix all ingredients in a bowl and microwave for 1-2 minutes and then mush together until oatmeal consistency forms. Enjoy!

I'll be gone to the beach for my senior trip for the next week so I more than likely won't be posting. Hopefully I can find a way to stay healthy while in PCB! 


Thursday, May 24, 2012

Throw Together Lunch

For the sake of time and lack of food in the fridge, I came up with this little bowl of wonderful. This is a true vegetarian dish full of spicy flavor you won't even miss the meat.

The list of superfoods in this lunch are almost endless...

Quinoa -  protein powerhouse with as much as 9 grams per serving. Internal cleaner as a complex-carbohydrate, high in fiber, it eases the process of foods through the digestive tract. Rich in vitamin B and iron to help boost brain power and energy.

Kale - anti inflammatory, vitamin K, vitamin C, vitamin A, and nearly 20% of daily recommended fiber all in one serving for only 35 calories.

Edamame - isoflavones, phytochemicals, and antioxidants, all of which help strengthen the immune system. Protein packed with 11 grams per half cup serving.

And those are just a few amongst so many other health benefits associated with these superfoods.

Superfood Bowl  

- 1 serving extra firm tofu, cubed
- 1/4 c frozen edamame 
- 2 c kale
- 1 zucchini, sliced
- 1/2 c white onion, sliced
- 1 serving cooked quinoa
- 1/4 c vegetable broth
- 1 t sesame seed oil
- 1 t Sriracha 
- salt to taste

Cook quinoa according to directions on package. While quinoa cooks, heat 1/2 t sesame seed oil in pan over medium-high heat and add tofu, season with salt, and cook until golden brown on all sides. In a separate pan, heat other 1/2 t sesame seed oil over medium-high heat and add onions and zucchini and saute until onion is tender. Then add kale and vegetable broth and cover until kale is slightly wilted ~5 minutes. Once quinoa is finished cooking, add edamame to heat through. Place everything in a bowl and add Sriracha and enjoy!

calories ~425 protein ~25g

Mixed Hot Cereal Bowl

It's about that time to go grocery shopping but since I'm going to be gone to the beach all next week I've just got to use what I already have. This means I must get creative. I can wake up still half asleep and make a Greek yogurt parfait no problemo - but no Greek yogurt in the fridge would leave my parfait a little bare. So, this morning I made "oatmeal" minus the oats...

And it was so tasty. This bowl of protein and whole grain fiber helped me power through my morning workout so I def suggest you give it a try.

Mixed Hot Cereal Bowl



- 1 serving Kashi Autumn Wheat cereal
- 1/2 c puffed brown rice cereal
- 1/2 c Kashi GoLean Crunch
- 3/4 c unsweetened vanilla almond milk
- 1 T rasins 
- 1 packet Stevia for sweeter cereal

Mix everything in a bowl and microwave 1-2 minutes then mash it all up with a spoon until oatmeal consistency forms. Enjoy!

calories ~375 protein ~14g  

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Killer Leg Workout

I train legs on Monday and lately I've been mixing things up from my usual workout trying to find that sweet spot and boy have I found it! My legs and butt are killing me! I don't know how you feel about a sore body but I feel dadgum proud when I'm sore because I know it means that all my hard work in the gym is paying off.

Here's what I did this Monday:

Killer Leg Workout

warm up
5 minute brisk walk on treadmill 

superset #1
3x15 leg extensions
3x15 narrow stance squats with weight

superset #2
3x15 leg press
3x15 stiff-leg dead lift with weight

super set #3
3x15 hamstring curls
3x20 (each leg) lunges with weight

superset #4
3x15 hip adductor and abductor
3x30 calf raises with weight

cool down
5 minute walk

*I do not do cardio on leg day because if done correctly this workout will suffice as cardio as well. I do however do a handful of abdominal exercises after this workout. It's very important to stretch after any workout - so don't forget that part! And it's even more important to have protein after a workout ASAP - so have this banana protein smoothie


Winner Winner Chicken Dinner

Here's my Mother's Day brunch menu and recipes. It was all so simple and could be done for any occasion. I was able to cook everything while talking with family and relaxing in the kitchen.

Winner Winner Chicken Dinner Menu
Roasted Lemon Chicken with New Potatoes, Carrots, and Onion
  Caramelized Shallots
Mashed Cauliflower
Brussel Sprouts with Bacon
Carrot Cake

The thought of roasting whole chickens might seems a little intimidating - it definitely was for me - but I promise you it is the easiest way to impress whoever you're cooking for. I prepped the chickens the night before so all I had to do when I got home from church was throw em in the oven and let em do their thing.

Whole Roast Lemon Chicken
- 2 (5-6 lbs) roasting chickens
- 20 sprigs fresh rosemary
- 2 whole lemons
-2 heads of garlic
- salt and ground black pepper
- 1/2 stick melted butter
- 1 bag whole carrots
- 1 bag new potatoes
- 1 large yellow onion
- extra virgin olive oil
Preheat oven to 425 F. Peel carrots and quarter onion. Place onion, potatoes, and carrots in roasting pan and toss in olive oil, season with salt and pepper and sprinkle 5-10 sprigs of rosemary on top. Remove giblets from chickens and pat dry. Liberally salt and pepper inside of chickens and stuff each with quartered lemon, halved garlic head, and 5-10 sprigs of rosemary. Place chickens on top roasting veggies and brush with butter, the more the merrier, and then salt and pepper outside. Don't forget to tie chicken legs together and tuck wings for even roasting. Cook for 1 1/2 - 2 hours. Remove from oven and cover with aluminum foil and let rest for 15-20 minutes or so and enjoy!

In the top left hand corner you can see the croutons I made, inspired by Ina Garten, to go with the chicken. 

Homemade Croutons
-  1 loaf sourdough bread (or whatever you prefer) 
- extra virgin olive oil
- salt and pepper to taste
Cube bread and toss in olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Cook in pan over medium high heat and toss until golden brown.   

Brussel Sprouts with Bacon
- 1-2 lbs brussel sprouts
- 4 slabs thick cut bacon
- salt and pepper to taste
Preheat oven to 375 F. Cube bacon and cook until crispy over medium high heat. Remove bacon from pan and place on paper towel. Toss brussels with remaining bacon fat and salt and pepper on a sheet pan and cook for 30-45 minutes. Garnish with bacon.

Caramelized Shallots
- 6 T butter
- 2 lbs shallots, peeled with ends removed
- 3 T sugar
- 3 T red wine vinegar
- 1/2 t salt and 1/4 t pepper
- parsley
Preheat oven to 400 F. Melt butter in oven proof saute pan and add shallots. Toss with sugar and cook for 10 minutes or until shallots start to brown. Then add vinegar, salt, and pepper and cook in oven for 15-30 minutes, depending on size, until soft. Garnish with parsley. 

Mashed Cauliflower
- 2 heads cauliflower
- 2 cloves garlic
- 1/4 stick butter
- salt and pepper to taste
Boil cauliflower until very soft, drain water and mash with potato masher. Make paste with garlic and add to cauliflower along with remaining ingredients. 

The chickens were antibiotic and hormone free. To me it is very important to eat meat this way. I'm a pescatarian so the only way I prefer to eat meat is when it isn't full of hormones that are going to wreck havoc on my endocrine system. Also, I'm pretty vague on the salt and pepper because I usually add as I go. Seasoning is so important for flavor so be sure to taste as you cook - not too much tasting though or else your calorie count will skyrocket. Hope you try this menu out sometime or at least some of the recipes! I promise they taste great and whoever you're cooking for is going to love it! 


Monday, May 21, 2012

Quick Snack

On Saturday I went over to Huntsville to go grocery shopping at Earthfare - I adore that place. I left right after I took a spin class so I knew I'd be hungry right after my class and also on the ride over so I threw together a quick snack as I was headed out the door. Had I not packed this little snack to hold me over it's very likely I'd have snuck endless pieces of candy out of the bins at Earthfare when no one was looking.

I mixed together a big handful of cherries and 10 almonds.

Cherries are known as a “super-fruit” and are packed with antioxidants called anthocyanins which aid in the reduction of heart disease and cancer. Cherries are one of the few food sources that contain melatonin, an antioxidant that helps regulate heart rhythms and the body’s sleep cycles. Cherries are an excellent source of beta carotene. They contain 19 times more beta carotene than blueberries and strawberries. Cherries are rich in vitamins C, E, potassium, magnesium, iron, folate and fiber. Cherries are referred to as “brain food”, aiding in brain health and in the prevention of memory loss. Because of their powerful anti-inflammatory benefits, cherries are said to reduce pain and joint soreness for runners and athletes after workouts.

Almonds are rich in manganese, riboflavin, and copper, all of which aid in energy production. The fiber in almonds has a detoxifying effect that allows food to move through the digestive system more efficiently, cleansing the system and preventing colon cancer. Almonds are high in protein, around 18 percent, and contain literally no carbohydrates, they are ideal for diabetics, pre-diabetics or anyone with blood sugar issues.

Sounds like a bag full of wonderful, huh?


Kale Tamales

I love cooking dinner for family and friends on Sundays. It's just the best.

This Sunday I wanted tamales. I've never had a real traditional tamale before but I did see Guy Fieri chowin' down on some on Diner, Drive-Ins, and Dives once and I just had to have some.

Honestly, making these was not hard. Maybe a little time consuming but it's a Sunday dinner so what else are you gonna do? Plus, the pay off from eating these is so worth it. Not to mention you can go back for seconds and not feel too bad because you'll never guess the hidden superfood ingredient...


Kale Tamales
(serves 16)

- 24 corn husks, soaked until soft and patted dry
- 3 T butter
- 1/2 large white onion, chopped
- 1 zucchini, diced
- 1 large clove garlic, minced
- 4-5 leaves kale, stems removed and chopped
- 1/3 c vegetable broth
- salt and pepper to taste
- 2 c reduced fat mozzarella cheese
- 2 c masa harina
- 1 t baking powder
- 1/4 c vegetable shortening
- 2 c vegetable broth, warm
- 3/4 t salt
- 1/2 t ground black pepper

Melt butter in heavy large skillet over medium-high heat. Add onion, garlic, and zucchini and saute until the onion is soft ~4 minutes. Add Kale and saute 1 minute. Add broth, cover and cook until the kale is wilted ~6 minutes. Uncover and simmer until almost all liquid evaporates ~2 minutes. Turn off heat and cool slightly. Season with salt and pepper. Stir in cheese.
Mix masa and baking powder in large bowl. Add shortening and mix with held mixer until coarse meal forms. Pour in broth and stir until dough comes together then stir in salt and pepper. May need to add more broth as needed.
Place a corn husk, ridged-side down, flat on a work surface and spread 2-3 T of masa on end of corn husk in 4x4 area. Then place a spoonful of filling on top. Fold over so ends of masa meet and fold other pointy end of husk over the tamale and roll. Repeat with remaining husks, masa, and filling.
Place a coin in the bottom of a pot with a steam basket filled with 2- 3 inches of water. Make sure steamer basket is not immersed in water. Line the bottom of basket with a steamer cloth, left over corn husks, or a thin kitchen towel. Stack tamales side by side in steamer with open end facing up. Cover and bring water to a medium boil and steam 40 minutes to an hour or until the masa no longer sticks to corn husk.
*The coin will rattle during cooking, if rattling stops then all the water has steamed out and you need to add more.

I served these with grilled corn, Amy's Organic Refried Black Beans, avocado, salsa, sour cream, and chips. Yuuum!


Saturday, May 19, 2012


Today, I went grocery shopping at Earthfare all by myself and I only almost ran into one person and only missed my exit twice, so I'd say I had a pretty successful trip.

Adding to the successfulness, as I was searching through all the fresh produce and nearly suffered a heart attack from getting rained on by the little misting thingys that keep the veggies fresh, I came across broccolini

Broccolini is a hybrid veggie, it's a cross between broccoli and kai-lan (Chinese broccoli). Broccolini is high in vitamin C and also contains vitamin A, folate, calcium, and iron. 

Tastes pretty darn good, too, so if you ever see it on a menu or in the produce isle I highly recommend giving it a try. 

Tilapia & Broccolini Dinner
- 4-6 oz tilapia filet
- handful broccolini
- salt and pepper
- extra virgin olive oil
- vegetable or chicken broth

Season tilapia to taste and sear over medium-high heat with 1/2 t olive oil for 3-4 minutes on each side. Using a different pan, toss broccolini in another 1/2 olive oil over medium-high heat and season to taste then cover for about a minute and add 1 T broth and cover again for 1-3 minutes. Ta da! Perfectly quick, healthy, and delicious meal. 

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Chocolate Cake in a Bowl

Ever wanted to eat a huge piece of cake - guilt free? Yeah me, too. So I did. 

Chocolate Cake in a Bowl

- 2 egg whites 
- 3 T unsweetened applesauce
- 2 T whole wheat flour
- 1 T Hershey's Special dark cocoa powder
- 1/2 t baking powder
- 2 packets Stevia (or any other sugar substitute, or even sugar...)
- 1/4 t vanilla extract 
- 1/2 c strawberries and Walden Farm's chocolate syrup (or tiny bit regular syrup) for topping

Mix all ingredients in a bowl and microwave for 2:30-4:00+ minutes depending on your microwave. Top with desired toppings and nom on.

calories ~150 protein ~12g


Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Stuffed Shrooms

Portobella mushrooms can be a vegetarian's best friend with their meaty texture and versatile flavor. One of my favorite ways to eat portobellas is by stuffing them!

Stuffed Shrooms
(serves one)

- 3 oz portobella cap 
- 1/2 c canned tuna (chicken would be good, too)
- 1 egg white
- lemon juice
- 1 T feta cheese
- 1/4 c spinach, chopped
- cracked pepper

Preheat oven to 375 F. Remove mushroom stem and whip top with damp paper towel. In a bowl mix together remaining ingredients and then place in portobella cap. Bake in oven for 10-12 minutes or until egg has set.

calories ~225 protein ~25g 

*I served mine with 1 cup grapes and 1 cup steamed broccoli and had it for dinner. Yum. 

Kale: the Ultimate Superfood

Greens in general are nutritious foods with kale sitting at the top of the list. It's an incredible source of beta carotene, an antioxidant that helps fight cancer, heart disease, and other age related diseases. This green superfood is also a great source of calcium which helps prevent osteoporosis. Along with beta carotene and calcium, kale provides decent amounts of vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin B6, folic acid, potassium, and magnesium - all important nutrients in helping your body's defense system.

Kale can be incorporated in your diet in so many different ways. Here's a good way for breakfast!

Kale Frittata
- 5 egg whites
- 1-2 c kale, chopped
- 1/4 t extra virgin olive oil
- 1/4 c onion, chopped
- 1/2 t minced garlic
- 1 T monterey-jack cheese
- 1/4 c salsa
- 1/8 avocado, sliced
- salt and pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 375 F. Saute garlic, onions, and kale until kale is slightly wilted and onions are tender. Add egg whites and cheese to pan and season with salt and pepper. Let cook over medium heat until eggs begin to set then transfer to the oven and bake for 8-10 minutes or until eggs are completely set. Serve with salsa and avocado.

calories ~320 protein ~30g

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Cajun Lunch Bowl

Generally I season practically everything with Crazy Jane's Greek seasoning but then I remembered how good Tony's Creole seasoning is so tomorrow I'll be enjoying my lunch cajun style.

Cajun Lunch Bowl
- 1 medium sweet potato
- 1 handful French green beans
- 4-6 oz tilapia filet
- 1/2 t extra virgin olive oil
- creole seasoning

Peel and cube sweet potato then cook for 2 1/2 minutes in microwave covered with paper towel. Cook green beans the same way for 1 1/2 minutes. Season tilapia and sear in olive oil over medium-high heat for 2-4 minutes each side. Serve together and enjoy.

calories ~265 protein ~25g

Tropical Parfait

As I was reaching for the usual array of berries in the fruit drawer I noticed the neglected mango and kiwi and that's when the guilt kicked in...

So I threw together this tropical (sounds so oh-la-la) parfait.

Tropical Parfait

- 1/2 c plain Greek yogurt
- 1/4 t vanilla extract
- 1 packet Stevia (could do 1 T honey but add 60 cals)
- 1/2 c raspberries
- 1/2 c mango
- 1 kiwi
- 1/2 c Kashi GoLean Crunch

Layer accordingly then nom.

calories ~290 protein ~14g

Seared Salmon Pasta

I'm a pecsatarian therefore most of the meals I post call for fish as the protein source but please feel free to sub in whatever you like! If grilled chicken is your thing then go for it. Pork, beef, turkey? Sure thing.

Back to the point of the post...

My cousin is here for the month and today he walks in my room and asks me if there's anything to eat downstairs. I'm thinking yes? you just ate the majority of the leftover carrot cake in the fridge what more could you want?

He's a big guy and I mean big so it only makes sense that he eats...a lot. Actually his name is Zach Mettenberger if you'd like to do a little Google search on him. Yes, I'm going to brag on my cuz because he's like my big brother and I couldn't be more proud of him and the things he's going to do. Geaux Tigers! No but really...Roll Tide.

Got off subject again, sorry.

In order to satisfy his hunger I whipped up this healthy, yes healthy, pasta dish and it seemed to do the job because it was finished off in a matter of minutes.

Seared Salmon Pasta

- 4-6 oz salmon filet
- 1 c 100% whole grain pasta, cooked 
- 2 T shredded parmesan cheese
- 1/2 T extra virgin olive oil, divided
- handful baby spinach
- Greek seasoning (aka best seasoning ever)

Cook pasta accordingly. Season salmon with Greek seasoning and sear with 1/2 t extra virgin olive oil in a pan over medium-high heat for 2-4 minutes each side. Add remaining olive oil to cooked pasta along with spinach and parmesan (I always mix in a little more seasoning with the pasta), set fish on top and dig in.

calories ~410 protein ~33g 

Cinna-lemon Apple

An apple a day keeps the doctor away.

I'm pretty positive I've had an apple a day for the past year and a half and have zero intensions of quitting this wonderful habit of mine.

Apples are fiber powerhouses with 3-5 grams of insoluble fiber; meaning they pass through your gastrointestinal tract basically whole which speeds the process of digestion causing somewhat of a laxative effect. Hehe.


For today's apple I tried something new. I sliced up one medium sized apple and tossed it in a little fresh lemon juice and a big pinch of cinnamon and it was so tasty and of course healthy!

Perfect Parfait

I'm kinda sorta obsessed with Greek yogurt parfaits...

My breakfast for the past hmm...three months has been parfaits.

I just can't get enough. It's the perfect balance of protein, antioxidants, and fiber.

What else can I ask for?!

Perfect Parfait 
 Nom nom nom.

- 1/2 c plain Greek yogurt
- 1/4 t vanilla extract
- 1 packet Stevia
- 1/2 c raspberries
- 1/2 c blueberries
- 1/2 c strawberries
- 1/2 c Kashi GoLean Crunch

Mix first three ingredients then layer the rest and presto...a yummy, healthy breakfast!

Greek Seasoned Tilapia

There is absolutely no excuse to not pack your own lunches.

No more of this "I don't have enough time to prepare healthy meals".

I bring my lunch every day and always prepare it the night before in under ten minutes.

And it's always healthy and flavorful.

Greek Seasoned Tilapia

- 5 oz tilapia filet (can sub chicken or any other protein)
- 1 small sweet potato peeled and cubed 
- 3 c kale
- Greek seasoning

How To
Liberally season tilapia and sear in 1/2 t extra virgin olive oil over medium high heat for 2-4 minutes each side. Remove tilapia and saute kale in 1/2 t extra virgin olive oil until wilted then season with Greek seasoning. Place sweet potato in microwavable bowl and cover with paper towel and microwave for 3 minutes. Ta da! Enjoy quick, easy, and healthy lunch. 
*If packing night before reheat for 1 1/2 minutes in microwave.

Nutritional Info
calories ~275 protein ~25g

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Classically Healthy Carrot Cake

In honor of Mother's Day and my mom's birthday I baked what she requested - her mother's carrot cake.

The recipe is simple and delicious but I just had to give it a little healthy makeover...

And viola! It turned out just as amazing.

Classically Healthy Carrot Cake
- 2 c 100% whole wheat flour
- 1 c agave syrup
- 1 t baking soda
- 1 t aluminum free baking powder
- 1/4 t salt
- 2 t cinnamon
- 1 t vanilla extract
- 1 1/2 c unsweetened applesauce
- 1 c unsweetened vanilla almond milk
- 2-3 c grated carrots

for the frosting:
- 8 oz room temp. crumbled goat cheese
- 1 package (16 oz) powdered sugar
- 1-2 t vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 375 F. Spray two round cake pans with non stick spray. Combine all dry ingredients then add remaining wet ingredients. Mix just until combined. Bake for 35-40 minutes or until toothpick inserted in middle comes out clean. Let cakes cool completely before icing. For the icing - using a hand mixer mix together goat cheese, powdered sugar, and vanilla until smooth. Add sugar a little at a time or else you'll have a huge mess of powdered sugar. Ice cake and enjoy because 1. it's healthy and lowcal and 2. because it tastes so darn good!

Jam and Butter Muffin

Whipped up this little breakfast before church to hold me over until the Mother's Day lunch I prepared...I'll be posting that later!

1 toasted 100% whole wheat english muffin
1 T almond butter
1 T strawberry and peach preserves
1/2 c. blackberries

This breakfast is a pretty good example of what a breakfast should be.

Complex carbs from the 100% whole wheat english muffin, healthy fat and protein from the almond butter, and some fruit with the berries and jam. 

Normally I'd have more protein for breakfast but since it's Sunday and my only workout involves running around the kitchen and washing dishes, I was a-ok with this.

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Afternoon Snack

It was a really nice day yesterday so I sat outside while I had my snack. 

I always try to use my snacks to fill in the holes in my diet. For instance, if I need another serving of fruit I'll have an apple and if I need more protein/dairy I'll have some Greek yogurt or string cheese. Yesterday I needed another serving of veggies so I loaded a plate with carrots and had them with 3 T of hummus. Remember to keep your snacks under 200 calories and make those calories count. 

Friday, May 11, 2012

Intensified HIIT

I did this natural high inducing HIIT after training chest and abs today and it felt ah-mazing

HIITs are so easy to create yourself which is another one of the many reasons why I love to do them.

So anyways, I threw this one together in my head literally as I was stepping on the treadmill. Initially I had planned on only going to for a 10 minute session but I felt too good to stop so here it is...

Intensified HIIT

40 seconds at 5 speed with 20 seconds at 9 speed

repeat 14 times

cool down at 3 speed for 5 minutes

feel great

Berry Oat Bowl

In attempt to liven up my bowl of oatmeal I decided to add my favorite Kashi GoLean Crunch granola.

This stuff is so good and its packed with protein! So what's not to love?

Also I threw in a bunch of berries. Berries are so full of antioxidants and the natural sugar in them makes for the perfect sweet breakfast.

Berry Oat Bowl
- 1 serving steel cut oats (rolled oats will do also)
- 1/4 t cinnamon
- 1/4 c. blackberries
- 1/4 c. raspberries
- 1/4 c. blueberries
- 1/4 c. strawberries
- 1/2 c. Kashi GoLean Crunch

* Let the oatmeal cool before adding in all the other ingredients or else the heat will make the granola a bit soggy.

calories ~300 protein ~10g

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

The Everything Salad

Sometimes I get in to this bad habit of over buying veggies.

Everything just looks so good.

Not to mention I don't like to leave anyone out. I'll feel bad the whole ride home if I neglected to buy the asparagus sitting right next to the carrots I picked out.

But anyways...

I absolutely refuse to waste so in attempt to keep that from happening tonight I threw together a TON of vegetables in my salad. Thus the Everything Salad was born.

The Everything Salad
(serves one hungry person)
- 3 handfuls spinach (yes, handfuls is a technical term)
- 1/4 c. canned tuna
- 1 c. cucumber
- 1 c. mushrooms
- 1/2 c. broccoli
- 1/4 c. red onion
- 1/4 c. French green beans
- 1/4 avocado
- 1 T goat cheese
- 5 kalamata olives
- 1 wasa cracker
- 2 T Lite Sesame Ginger dressing

~350 calories ~20g protein

I tossed my salad and then let it sit in the fridge for about 15 minutes or so because I like for the spinach to get all nice and wilted from the dressing so this is what it looked like right before I dug in. Nom nom nom. Enjoy!

Superset Workouts

Supersetting is a method of training where you do two exercises, one after the other, with no rest in between. There are three main types of supersets:

1. Same Muscle Group - most common type of supersetting that combines two exercises from the same muscle group. Most effective for muscle cutting and definition.

ex: tricep kickback with military push-up

    2. Antagonistic - pairing opposing muscle groups back to back. Most effective method for building     muscle mass.

ex: bicep cable curls with tricep push-downs 

3. Staggered Sets - combing major muscle groups with minor muscle groups that are not related. Most effective for building muscle in less time.

ex: chest press with calf raises 

Supersetting is a great way to save time, increase intensity, and create your own work outs easily.

One of my favorite superset workouts is my Bis and Tris workout so I thought I'd share it.

Bicep & Triceps Superset Workout

2x30 dumbbell curl
2x30 cable-bar pushdown
(light weight)

superset 1
3x15 stranding bicep cable-curl
3x15 preacher curl

superset 2
3x15 rope tricep pushdown
3x15 skull crushers

superset 3
3x15 hammer curls
3x15 lateral bicep curls

superset 4
3x15 tricep kickbacks
3x15 overhead tricep extension 

stretch to cool down

Shrimp & Quinoa

Due to the excessive supply of shrimp still leftover from Mom's beach trip it seems like it's been my protein source for every meal.

(Other than breakfast of course because oatmeal and shrimp just doesn't sound too good to me, but who knows.)

So for lunch today I threw together some quinoa, shrimp, and veggies and it was pretty darn good.

Shrimp & Quinoa
- 10 medium shrimp
- 1/2 t extra-virgin olive oil
- 1/2 t lemon pepper salt
- 10 cherry tomatoes, halved
- 1 c. French green beans
- 1/2 c. quinoa

Season shrimp with lemon pepper salt and saute over medium-high heat with 1/2 t extra-virgin olive oil for 1-2 minutes each side. Toss together with remaining ingredients and enjoy.

calories ~250 protein ~15g

Tuesday, May 8, 2012


I've been on a Greek yogurt parfait kick for the last month or so and since I ran out of my yogurt last night I decided to switch to oatmeal. But I wasn't feeling plain ole oats so I opted for chocolate oats! Yum.

(serves one)

- 1/4 c. steel cut oats
- 1 t cocoa powder
- 1 scoop chocolate Garden of Life superfood powder (which is what I used)
- 1 packet stevia
- top with 1/2 c. berries


calories ~210
protein ~7g 


You're probably wondering what HIIT means.

HIIT - high intensity interval training. A workout that alternates between intense bursts of activity and less-intense periods of activity lasting no longer than 20 minutes.

In other words, my favorite cardio workout.

HIIT training is ideal for those looking to burn fat thus losing weight without losing precious muscle. After all those intense bursts a HIIT workout will send your body's repair cycle into hyperdrive which means after burn. So you'll be burning more fat and calories in the 24 hour period after your workout than you would after a steady-paced run. Not to mention HIIT workouts are extremely versatile so you can choose your weapon, whether it be a treadmill, bike, or even laps in a pool.  

I just finished my HIIT workout on the treadmill after training shoulders today and it felt great so I thought I'd share it.

15 minute HIIT
Minute          Speed
   0-1                5
1-1:30              8
1:30-2:30         5
2:30-3              8
   3-4                5
4-4:30              8
4:30-5:30         5
5:30-6              8
   6-7                5
7-7:30              8
7:30-8:30         5
8:30-9              8
   9-10              5
10-10:30          8
10:30-11:30     5
11:30-12          8
   12-13            5
13-13:30          8
13:30-14:30     5
14:30-15          9
   15-20     cool down

Monday, May 7, 2012

Decadent Dark Chocolate Brownies

To start off, I have dreams about eating these brownies. They're the best part of my day. I am obsessed.

They are so melt-in-your-mouth rich.

Not to mention extremely healthy and you'll probably think I'm crazy when you see the main ingredient...

Decadent Dark Chocolate Brownies
- 1 (15 oz.) can low sodium black beans, drained and rinsed
- 3 egg whites
- 1/3 c. unsweetened apple sauce
- 1/4 c. dark cocoa powder
- 1/8 t salt
- 2 t vanilla extract
- 1/2 c. Stevia/Truvia/Splenda (you can use sugar but the nutritional facts will be different)
- 1/2 c. dark chocolate morsels

Preheat oven to 350 F and spray 8-inch pan with non-stick spray. Place black beans, eggs, apple sauce, cocoa powder, salt, vanilla extract, and Stevia (or sugar if using) in the bowl of a food processor and blend until smooth (blend until smoother than smooth to be extra sure one of those black beans aren't left whole). Remove blade and fold in chocolate morsels. Transfer mixture to prepared pan. Bake for 30-35 minutes or until center is set. Let cool before cutting.

60 calories per serving if cut 4x4*
110 calories per serving if cut 3x3*

When these brownies come out of the oven they will be blacker than black and you'll be thinking what in the world went wrong? But after they cool they'll turn that familiar brownie brown. I store mine in the fridge so they'll keep longer. Hope you love them as much as I do!


Pan Seared Shrimp Salad

My mom just got back from the beach (I swear she goes nearly every week) and with her she brought fresh gulf shrimp. So what better to have for dinner than a huge bed of greens and veggies topped with mouth watering pan seared shrimp?

(serves one)

- 3 handfuls spring mix
- 1/2 c. cucumber
- 10 cherry tomatoes halved
- 1/3 c. peas
- 1/2 c. broccoli
- 1/8 c. chopped red onion
- 1 T crumbled goat cheese
- 1 wasa cracker
- 2 T Lite Balsamic Vinaigrette (I used Newman's Own)
- 10 medium shrimp
- Crazy Jane's Greek Seasoning (I'm obsessed)
- 1/2 t extra virgin olive oil

Toss together first 9 ingredients. Season shrimp with Crazy Jane's. Bring pan to medium-high heat with olive oil. Cook shrimp 1-2 minutes on each side or until pink. Bon appetit!  

Write it Down!

I'm a very organized person. And I mean very. So it only makes sense that I'd have a fitness journal.

Writing my workouts down and keeping a record of how much weight I used helps me to know how and where I need to improve.

It makes it super easy to go back and see which exercises I had trouble with and which ones I need to make more challenging.

Not only does keeping a fitness journal help me to improve but it also makes my time spent at the gym a lot quicker.

All I have to do is look at my workout for the day and I know what exercises to do instead of relying on my less than perfect memory.

My fitness journal is like my little confidence booster.

I just flip through my notes and see all sorts of progress! Whether it be a heavier weight or more reps - I'm always making small improvements.

Also, I like to have a page with each day's summary.

Writing down whether or not I stayed within my caloric intake for the day helps me to stay accountable.

Knowing I'll have to write something down in my mess-up section helps me to rethink that cookie or soda.

I highly recommend keeping a log of some sort to help keep track of your health and fitness goals.

Be creative! You don't have to write everything down in a notebook (a Hello Kitty notebook at that) like me - you can use your phone or log it on the computer. Whatever you do be healthy and get active! Writing things down just helps make it easier.


Sunday, May 6, 2012

Banana Soft Serv

(serves one)

If you don't think this looks good you are crazy. 


- 1 sliced frozen banana
- 1-3 T unsweetened vanilla almond milk (any milk will do though)
- 1/2 t vanilla extract
- raspberries to garnish

Blend frozen banana in food processor. Add extract and milk until creamy texture forms. Viola! Soft serv as good as DQ's without all the calories.

* I put a little Walden Farms chocolate syrup on mine. Regular syrup is fine just watch the amount.

Garden Tuna Salad

It's such a beautiful Sunday in Alabama.

Sun is shining.

People are out on the lake.

And Walmart is PACKED.

Sundays are my grocery shopping days. I get to restock and reorganize the pantry and fridge and it brings absolute joy to my day. I'm strange...I know.

I left the house at around 10:53 and didn't get back until at least 12:20. I can waste so much time in grocery stores. Not to mention I'm one of those people who brings reusable grocery bags and gets yelled at by the self checkout after every item I scan. But anyways, by the time I got home I was starving. So I decided to whip up a quick and incredibly delicious salad.

Garden Tuna Salad
(serves one)


- 3 handfuls spring mix
- 10 cherry tomatoes halved
- 1/8 c. sliced red onion
- 1/2 c. sliced cucumber
- 1/3 c. peas
- 1/4 c. canned tuna (packed in water)
- 1 wasa cracker
- 1 T crumbled goat cheese
- 2 T LowFat Sesame Ginger dressing

Sassy Salmon Salad

For those of you who when you hear the word "salad" immediately think...


I'd rather have something filling.

Those thoughts are all about to end my friend!

I could have a salad for just about every meal and be perfectly full and happy all while still being healthy.

So to start off my Sassy Salad archive I'm going to give you just that.

A sassy salad full of flavor.

Let's call it...

Sassy Salmon Salad 
(Serves One)


3-4 c. spring salad mix
1/3 c. peas
1 T crumbled goat cheese
1/2 c. cucumber
1/4 c. sliced red onion
5 halved kalamata olives
1-2 broken Wasa crackers
3 oz wild salmon filet
2 T Lite Balsamic Vinaigrette    

    Saturday, May 5, 2012

    Post Workout Protein

    It's very important to fuel your body with protein within an hour after your workout.

    This is know as the Golden Hour.

    After a workout you've broken down muscle carbohydrate stores and muscle protein structures. Your body's immune system then steps in to clean all that mess up.


    You can't build a house without bricks just like your immune system can't build muscle without protein!

    So I am providing you with a quick and easy and extremely delicious banana protein smoothie for your post workout! Enjoy.

    Banana Protein Smoothie
    (serves one)

    - 1 sliced frozen banana
    - 1 scoop vanilla whey protein powder
    - 3/4 c. unsweetened vanilla almond milk

    Combine in blender and enjoy.
    Benefits of Organic 

    So many people are uneducated on the term organic. To associate the word gross with organic makes absolutely NO sense.

    Organic foods are foods that are produced using methods that don't involve modern synthetic inputs such as pesticides, chemical fertilizers, and do not contain genetically modified organisms, and are not processed using irradiation, industrial solvents, or chemical food additives.  

    That might seem a little difficult to understand so in layman's terms organic is how your grandparents and great grandparents did it. All natural. 

    A few reasons to go organic...

    1.  It just tastes better.

    2.  No pesticides

    3.  Organic foods can be richer in vitamins, minerals, and essential fatty acids not found in non-organic foods.

    4.  Our bodies recognize food in pure form and can better digest organic foods. 

    5.  It's better for the environment. Intensive farming methods erode soil, destroy ancient hedgerows, and decimate wild life. Organic farms look after the environment.

    6.  The Environmental Protection Agency notes that 90 percent of fungicides, 60 percent of herbicides and 30 percent of insecticides are carcinogenic, or known to cause cancer. Eating organic eliminates all those carcinogens.

    7.  Ninety percent of non-organic U.S. beef contains up to six distinct growth hormones, all of which have been banned in the European Union due to health concerns. Organic meat and other animal products do not contain growth hormones or antibiotics.

    8.  Animal products certified as organic must come from livestock that has had access to the outdoors, has not been treated with hormones or antibiotics and has been reared on organic feed

    9.  It can be cheaper, just grow your own!

    10.  For the sole reason of eating food in its most pure form. Fresh, in season, and organic.

    Now I'm not saying organic is the only way because it's not. There's no need in buying organic produce with thick skins unless you plan on using the zest of the skin, in that case buy organic, but if you're just eating a banana go ahead and buy it conventionally. And please do NOT buy organic water. Water is always organic. To wrap it all up here's a list of the dirty dozen foods you should buy organic if anything.

    1.  Celery

    2.  Peaches

    3.  Strawberries

    4.  Apples

    5.  Nectarines 

    6.  Sweet Bell Peppers

    7.  Spinach, Kale, and Collard Greens 

    8.  Cherries

    9.  Potatoes

    10.  Imported Grapes

    11.  Domestic Beer

    12.  Lettuce