My First Before/After Pics of 2015

Lots of good news this morning for me.  For one, my legs are not sore today like I thought they would be yesterday, and for two, I weighed myself at 149.7 this morning!  I’m feeling pretty good today.  I figured it would be a good day to take some before/after photos since it’s been a little over a week since I took my new “Before” photo on Jan 1.  Here’s what I got so far.

1-9-15 front

So on 1/1/15, I started out at 153.3 lbs.  Today, I’m at 149.7… Down 3.6 lbs so far in 8 days!  The front view I didn’t really see much difference in, which was a little disappointing, but since I saw results on the scale and in how my clothes fit, I didn’t let that get me too down.

1-9-15 sideThe side view, on the other hand, I can definitely tell some progress was made in the tummy area.  Hallelujah!!

I figure between my healthier eating for the past week, the #30DayFlatAbs Challenge, and the Blogilates and gym workouts, it’s apparent that it’s all doing some good.  🙂

orange chicken stir frySpeaking of healthier eating, I had a really good dinner tonight.   It was an orange chicken stir-fry with lots of fresh veggies: broccoli, carrots, zucchini, and onion, with some raw jalapenos, cilantro, and green onions garnishing the top.  The side was jasmine rice.  It was one of those salty-sweet mixtures of flavor that was just heavenly!

I didn’t do much of a workout today, since it was rest day, but I did do my day 9 of the #30DayFlatAbs Challenge… 35 reps of all 5 moves.  I try to do them all in different orders every day, so that I’m not only doing more reps every day but I’m still changing it up as much as possible to get the most effectiveness out of it.  Obviously, it’s doing something right!  🙂  No running or cardio today… but I hope to get a good run in tomorrow before I leave for Fort Worth for my nephew to visit family.

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New Year’s Resolutions and Day 7 #JanYOUary #30DayFlatAbs

We’re already a week into 2015, and I have finally decided on my New Year’s Resolutions for this year.  As I had mentioned previously, I don’t want to use my fitness goals as New Year’s Resolutions because these are commitments I’ve made to myself, New Year or no New Year.  So I thought a lot about what I wanted my resolutions to be for this year, something to better myself in some way.  Here’s what I decided on:

  1. Blog most days of every week.  I have to admit, this does sort of tie into my fitness goals, but only in a secondary kind of way.  Blogging is one thing that keeps me motivated.  The more I work out, the more I blog.  The more I blog, the more I work out, because what am I going to keep writing about if I’m not pushing myself and doing things to reach my goals?
  2. Wash my face before I go to bed every night.  This is something that I used to do every day when I was younger, but for the past few… years (bad, I know)… since I started wearing Bare Minerals make-up that doesn’t break my face out when I do sleep in it, I’ve started just waiting until I wake up and shower in the morning to wash my face.  The trouble is, I think this might be one of the reasons I have these wrinkles under my eyes that I feel are really noticeable and I don’t like it!!  So, wash face, apply eye wrinkle cream, every night.
  3. Travel to a place I’ve never been before.  I have a few ideas of places I’d like to go, for example New Orleans or Seattle, but it doesn’t necessarily have to be some place terribly far away or expensive.  You know, I’ve lived in Texas my entire life, and I’ve never been to Austin – our state capitol?  Well, there was one time my flight from San Antonio to Dallas was re-routed to Austin because of bad weather, but I never even got off the plane, so that doesn’t really count.  I love to travel, so this is something I’d like to do more of this year if I’m able to.

So there you have it.  What New Year’s Resolutions have you guys made for this year?  I’d love to hear about them.  🙂

Anyway, yesterday was pretty crazy.  I wasn’t able to get my workout in until right before I went to bed last night, since we had company and I had to eat dinner before they all got there.  I didn’t have a whole lot of time and I was pretty tired, so instead of doing the full Blogilates workout, I did 32 reps of each of the #30DayFlatAbs Challenge moves and ran 2 miles with Nike Plus app.  I was able to get my 10,000 steps in for the day as well.

nike 1-6-15  fitbit 1-6-15

 

dinner 1-6-15Dinner was really good, by the way.  Steamed chicken seasoned with lemon pepper and garlic salt, cooked in one of those Ziploc steamer bags.  Roasted red potatoes were seasoned with cayenne pepper and brown sugar, and a little bit of Ranch dressing on my spinach and cherry tomato salad.  It was very flavorful, and I’ve really been enjoying eating these healthier meals for dinner this week.

I’m not sure what all I have planned for the day, but I do hope to get to the gym, probably early in the day.  I normally go to the gym after I get off work and make dinner each week day, only because that’s the only time I really can go since I don’t have the motivation to wake up extra early just to go work out.  And also because it’s not like I can just leave my 3 year old nephew here by himself at 5:00 a.m. while I go work out in the morning.  If I didn’t have to work every day, I’d definitely go earlier in the day when I have more energy.  They say the best time of day to work out is the time of day you function the best, and for me, that is in the morning.  I’m much more of a morning person than a night person.  Once it starts getting dark outside, my body starts telling me it’s time to go to bed.

It’s leg day today, and that Hips Butt N Thighs workout is insane!  Definitely challenging… but keep up the hard work, and keep challenging yourself every single day.  You’ll start seeing the changes you want to see before you know it!  I’m already seeing positive changes in the mirror, not to mention on the scale this week, and I haven’t even taken a progress pic yet!

Food, Water, Sleep, and Blogilates

Legs & Butt Tuesday Workout:

9-2 calendar

Tuesday’s workout was no joke!!  Between Beach Ready Butt Workout and the Bold & the Bootiful workout, my butt was seriously on FIRE yesterday.  Is anyone sore after that workout?  I thought these videos were paired really well.

I also did pretty well yesterday on my “diet.”  I had a 100 calorie Greek Yogurt for breakfast, a Nature Valley sweet and salty granola bar for a mid-morning snack, some vegetable and brown rice stir-fry for lunch, and for dinner I baked pork chops and paired it with a side of grilled zucchini and a spinach salad.

AND… I drank my full 5 bottles of water yesterday!!  I also got some pretty decent sleep last night.  I’ll have to start posting my sleep patterns from my Fitbit so that I can keep track of that as well.  After all, sleep is a really big part of being healthy and getting fit!

 

Hump HIIT Wednesday Workout:

9-3 calendarToday’s workout is HIIT cardio, and of course you know it’s a good one when you start out with the 100 Burpee Burnout!!  This is one of my all time favorite Blogilates HIIT workouts, and burpees have seriously helped shape and thin out my legs and thighs.

Which of these videos for today was your favorite or least favorite?

Today for breakfast I ate another 100 calorie Greek Yogurt and had a banana for a mid-morning snack.  For lunch I ate a leftover baked pork chop with a fresh cooked half of a corn on the cob and a spinach salad.  For a mid-afternoon snack I ate some peanut butter crackers, and for dinner I had steamed chicken (seasoned), steamed red potatoes, and a spinach salad.

I don’t think I quite made it to 5 bottles of water today, but I’m pretty sure I drank at least 3. I’m still working on finishing one bottle of water now.  So far I’m not sleepy at all yet, so we’ll see how well I sleep tonight.

Working Out in Stilettos?

Legs & Butt Monday Workout:

8-18 calendarWhat a workout today!  My booty is definitely going to be feeling this one tomorrow.  I really liked the Perfect Butt Lift Workout (I always love those power ring workouts!) and the Bubble Butt Workout today.  I also did some interval jogging before my workout this evening for about 15 minutes.  I definitely got my sweat on today.

I’m so ready for Fall, by the way.  Cooler weather… yes, please!

stilettoAs for the Stiletto Legs Workout, what stilettos did everyone use for that one today?  I used some zebra-print heels that I actually wore to work today.  Every time I wear these, I get so many compliments on them.  I’m not a huge fan of anything animal-print, but I do really like these heels.  I wear heels all the time; they don’t even make my feet hurt anymore, even if I’m standing and walking in them for hours.  Crazy, right?

What Else Is Going On Today:

Today was the first day to start in my new position at work.  It was pretty exciting.  I’m still waiting on access to a few key things I’ll need for the job, but I was able to get started on a couple of projects.

I took my Greek Yogurt for breakfast this morning, and a banana for my mid-morning snack today.  For lunch, I brought some left-over stir fry I had made recently for dinner.  Tonight for dinner, I ate some black beans I slow-cooked with some hot Hatch green chile peppers with a side of Mexican cornbread.  Overall, I’d say it was a pretty good day!

I’ve been running a lot more lately, which I feel has really been helping.  I had to finally break down and go buy some new pants this weekend.  My size 10 pants just weren’t cutting it anymore, so I went and bought 2 new pairs of size 8 dress pants that I can wear to work.  Oh, what a lovely problem to have!  🙂

Thursday Thighs and Korean Stir Fry Recipe

8-14 calendarThursday Thighs Workout:

Ok, am I the only one who can’t hold myself up on one leg longer than a few seconds while I lift the other leg up and down like Cassey does in the 3 Minute Thighs workout?  She makes this look so easy, but I guess I’m just not there yet.  I can do maybe a few reps, and then I have to get down on the floor and finish it out without the added balance or glute workout.  Then I feel guilty because it feels too easy the other way.  I’ll just have to keep on trying and work on strengthening everything up more.

But how about that Lolo Jones Legs N Lunges workout?  That one was another new one for me, and it was a tough one!  My knees are not built for those low lunges, but I know I get stronger every day I try.

 

Tonight’s Dinner – Korean Stir Fry:

korean stir fryI made this delicious, Korean style stir-fry tonight for dinner.  I learned how to make this while hosting a high school exchange student from South Korea in my home this past school year, and it turned into an almost weekly meal.  Even now, after she went back to Korea a couple of months ago, we still like to make this regularly.  The ingredients are fresh, healthy, and so filling.  Here’s the recipe.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup brown rice, cooked
  • 1 lb breakfast sausage (we usually use the spicy or hot version – you can use other meat, like ground beef/turkey/pork, chicken, etc. or even go meatless)
  • 3-4 eggs
  • 1 cup broccoli florets, divided (about 1 bunch)
  • 1/2 cup carrots, sliced
  • 1/2 each of green and red bell peppers, diced
  • 1/4 to 1/2 of a white onion, chopped
  • 1/2 cup fresh spinach chopped or seaweed (optional)
  • 1-2 jalapenos, de-veined/de-seeded, and chopped
  • 1/2 cup Kimchi (find it at the Asian Marketplace)
  • 1/4 cup Gochujang (find it at the Asian Marketplace – I usually just add a heaping dollop from a large metal spoon)

Directions:

-Start by cooking your brown rice until it’s tender and ready.  Set aside.

-In a large non-stick skillet (on medium to medium-high heat), brown your breakfast sausage until cooked thoroughly and drain the excess fat.  Keep skillet at Medium heat.

-Add in your chopped carrots and broccoli florets, stir until mixed well, and move mixture to one side of the skillet.

-In the clear part of the skillet, crack your 3-4 eggs and let them scramble, and once the eggs are cooked, stir entire contents of the skillet together.

-Now add in your chopped bell peppers, jalapeno, and Kimchi (be sure to add a little of the Kimchi juice!).  Stir and saute for a minute or two to let the peppers soften slightly.

-Add in your chopped onion, your brown rice, and your chopped spinach or seaweed (if desired).  Stir and mix everything well.

Finally, add in your dollop of Gochujang, and mix until Gochujang is evenly distributed throughout the mixture.

-Now ENJOY!

Be sure to have a tall glass of water handy, because this dish is SPICY!  There is so much flavor and so much healthy nutrition in this dish.  A little will go a long way, so you should have leftovers to enjoy later or share with someone else.

Staying On Track Away From Home and New Plank Challenge

Today’s Workout:

I’m posting late today, but how did everyone like today’s workout?  That Food Baby Hiit gets me every… single… time.  These were all some great “Sexy Saturday” workout videos.  I’m also rather proud of myself for getting this workout in today, because I’m out of town visiting family this weekend since my mom was put in the hospital this week for complications with her Multiple Sclerosis.  (She is doing a lot better now!)

Eating While On Vacation:

And by the way, eating clean has been super hard this weekend, also.  When I come “home” to visit, I always stay at my Grandma’s house because that’s where I have room to stay.  My grandma hasn’t cooked since my Papa died over 10 years ago, so every meal is eating out for her.  I won’t even get started on that subject.  So when I got here Friday around lunch time, we went and had Mexican food.  I managed to find a pretty decent salad on the menu, dubbed “Cowboy Salad” pictured below.  It was very fresh and very tasty, with mixed greens, diced fresh tomato, shredded cheese, shredded carrots, and grilled onions, bell peppers, and chicken with some fresh avocado on top.  (I didn’t eat the enormous taco shell, but topped it with their salsa and a tiny bit of Ranch dressing – which they were not stingy at all with, by the way!!  Check out that bowl of it they gave me on the right, next to the bowl of salsa!)

Cowboy Salad - El Cerrito's - Springtown, Texas

“Cowboy Salad” – El Cerrito’s – Springtown, Texas

I ate breakfast for dinner that evening with a sausage and egg sandwich on toast.  Let’s just say Howell’s Cafe in Springtown, Texas, sort of an old-style small-town diner, is not known for its healthy offerings.  Their pan-fry is “to die for” though! 😉

So the first thing I did this morning was make a trip to the grocery store to get some healthy items to eat today.  Cheerios for breakfast, smoked ham and tomato sandwich with mustard on 45-calorie Multi-grain bread for lunch, and for dinner I baked some chicken with some roasted red potatoes.  I was going to have salad on the side, but… remember how I said my grandma hasn’t cooked in over 10 years?   Guess how old all the salad dressing she had on hand was… (I’m not even kidding!) so I ate plain lettuce on the side instead.

Plank Challenge:

So now that dinner is eaten, workout is completed, and blog-post is almost written, it’s time to work on something new I decided to start on as of yesterday.  Right before bed last night, I decided to see how long I could hold a plank – elbows on the floor with knees off the floor.  Here was my time:

Initial Plank Time

Initial Plank Time

So just for fun, I’m going to set a goal for myself to see how long I can hold a plank.  I’m not going to make a big thing of it, mostly because pretty much the only benefit of being able to hold a plank longer than 30 seconds to a minute is to be able to hold a plank longer than 30 seconds to a minute… according to some fitness experts (?).  Anyway, for now, I’m not going to set a certain end-date or length of time I hope to make it to.  For now, I’m just going to try to make it longer today than I did yesterday!

Anyone else want to join me?

Hard Core Workout, HIIT, and the Importance of Eating Clean

Ok, so who tried the new EXTREME Abs Workout yesterday?  All I can say is… WOW!!  I thought I was going to die.  And then, I turned around and did it a 2nd time just for kicks.  Yes, I’m feeling the consequences today. But, as Cassey Ho says, “Sore today, Strong tomorrow!

Any men out there brave enough to give it a try???

I wanted to get some cardio in, but since I got home so late from work yesterday evening, by the time I ate dinner and finished the Blogilates workout playlist, it was really too late to drive all the way to the gym for some cardio.  So instead, I grabbed a dumbbell and…

1 - we-cant-stop-POP-HIIT

Blogilates – pop hiit 1

Print this baby out and take her to the gym with you next time!  Tell me what you think and how many sets you can get through.  So far, I can only get through 2 sets before I’m totally dying.

The Importance of Eating Clean:

What are your favorite clean-eating meals?  I like easy-to-make foods that I can just throw together quickly after I get home from work, because I try not to eat too late in the day.  Sometimes, like yesterday evening with late home visits (I’m a social worker), it is unavoidable, which makes it even more important to eat healthy and clean.  I won’t even go into the whole stress/cortisol weight gain issue that goes hand in hand with my field of work.

I don’t know how many times I have been pressed for time during my workday, so I drove up the street for a quick, cheap, fast-food taco plate to get me through the rest of my day.  The trouble with that?  All that greasy, processed food, while completely tasty, made me feel so tired, all I could think about was taking a nap.  Then I’d still have to trudge through the rest of the day, sometimes making long, boring drives that made me even more tired.  My waist-line kept growing, my energy levels kept draining.  (Talk about a negative correlation!)

Now, I plan my meals in advance so I stick to the healthy stuff a whole lot better.  I save money because I make my own food, so I’m not having to pay those high prices at restaurants or fast-food places, and I only buy what I need for the week when I do my grocery shopping.  My new favorite invention: Ziploc steamer bags!  Not to mention, I’m eating seriously delicious food, I get full on MUCH LESS food than I used to eat, and I don’t feel lethargic in the afternoons after lunch any more.  Here is what I ate for lunch and dinner today, for example.

IMG_20140707_121858 (1)

Lunch – Lean ham rolls, Baby Bell cheese, Baby Carrots, red seedless grapes, and sliced watermelon.

IMG_20140707_221054

Dinner – Grilled pork chop, steamed carrots, and spinach salad with some Ranch Dressing

What are some of your quick, easy, and delicious clean-eating recipes?  I need some new ideas!!

Leg Workout and Spring Rolls Recipe

Today’s Workout:

Legs and thighs!  Lower body workout today.  How about those runner’s calves exercises?  It’s nice that we have a lower body workout day, because it’s the one day of the week I don’t feel like a complete weakling!  As I’ve mentioned previously, I’ve been running several days a week for the past couple of years now, so my calves are pretty muscular and toned.  My quads have really toned up from all these burpees we’ve been doing with the Blogilates workouts, too.  I hate to love those burpees.  I also hate the name, “burpees.”  I think when I tried the Insanity workouts last year, burpees were called “suicides.”  I’m not sure which name is worse!

Spring Rolls:

Last night for dinner, we had Spring Rolls.  These are so delicious, fresh, and summery.  Not to mention clean-eating approved and super healthy for you.

2014-07-18 22.36.56

Here is the video on how to make spring rolls and a really good spring-roll dipping sauce!  Instead of tofu, we used skirt steak, browned in a skillet with salt and pepper.

And for your further viewing pleasure, here is what I’m eating for lunch today!

Ham rolls, baby bell cheese, baby carrots, grapes, & watermelon

Ham rolls, baby bell cheese, baby carrots, grapes, & watermelon

July 4th Weekend, Workout, and Turkey Burger Recipe

How is everyone’s July 4th weekend going? I had a great Independence Day off work yesterday and got to spend some good relaxation time in the back yard and in the pool.  We had some friends over and grilled some Blogilates inspired turkey burgers with baked sweet potato fries.  I’ll post my recipe below.

It was nice that July 4th fell on a Friday this year, which happens to be the Rest day on the Blogilates workout calendar.  Does anyone else feel like Fridays are the perfect days for taking a workout break?  It somehow always works out perfectly for me, but I’m also one of those lucky people who actually has weekends off.

Today’s Workout

I just finished today’s workout, and it was another good one today.  The first video in the line-up is probably my top favorite Blogilates workout video so far: The Ultimate Hot Body Workout for Flat Abs, Slim Inner Thighs, Perky Butt & Toned Arms.  (Long name, amazing results?)  I sweat pretty good by the end of the workout today, especially after wrapping things up with a little cardio session.  🙂  I noticed I had a little trouble today with those scissors that work the inner thighs.  My legs were shaking like crazy before we were half way through that one!!  I really had to push myself through.

Yummy Turkey Burger Recipe

Turkey Burger

Turkey Burger

You’ll need:

  • 1 lb ground turkey
  • 1/4 Red Bell Pepper, finely diced
  • 1/4 Green Bell Pepper, finely diced
  • 1/4 Red Onion, finely diced
  • 1/8 cup Cilantro, finely chopped
  • Salt and Pepper to taste, if desired
  • Whole Wheat hamburger buns (this time I ate mine on Oroweat Sandwich Thins)

Oroweat Sandwich Thins

Oroweat Sandwich Thins

Directions:

Mix the ground turkey, diced peppers, onion, and cilantro, salt and pepper (if desired) all together in a large bowl.  Divide mixture into quarters and shape into patties.  Grill until cooked all the way through, about 5-10  minutes (possibly longer) depending on grill temperature.  If you over-cook it, you might find it gets a little too dry, but the veggies in the mixture really help it hold in the moisture.  Serve on a whole wheat bun with baked sweet potato fries.  Top with things like mustard, cheese, and vegetables (sliced tomato, lettuce or spinach leaves, fresh onion, pickles, etc.).

Enjoy!

Chicken Stir-Fry Recipe and Today’s Workout

Yesterday was a pretty good day for me.  I started the day off by eating a homemade granola bar for breakfast.  For lunch I kept it light with a sandwich and some Sun Chips.  I like to use the Sara Lee 45 Calorie whole grain bread.  I wasn’t a fan of the French Onion Sun Chips… the Garden Salsa flavor seems to be my favorite.  But overall, it was pretty good.

For dinner I made a delicious chicken stir-fry with minced garlic, ginger, broccoli, bell peppers, and white onion.  Throw in a little soy sauce, and Voila!  See my recipe below to make this at home.  Its SUPER easy!

2014-07-18 22.31.44

Chicken Stir Fry Recipe:

  • 1 lb chicken breast cubed
  • Mrs. Dash seasoning – to taste
  • 1 Tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1 Tbsp minced garlic
  • 1 tsp minced ginger (or to taste – you can leave this out if you want)
  • 1 small bunch of broccoli florets, separated
  • 1/2 green bell pepper chopped into bite-size squares
  • 1/2 red bell pepper chopped into bite-size squares
  • 1/4 white onion chopped into bite-size squares
  • 1/4 Cup Soy Sauce (or to taste)

After I cook the cubed chicken and drain out the liquid, I sprinkle some Mrs. Dash seasoning on it.  Keeping your burner on medium to medium-high heat, make a little space in the middle of the pan, throw some Extra Virgin Olive Oil, then the minced garlic, and let that simmer for a minute or two.  Then I throw in a little dab of minced Ginger and mix everything up.  Add the broccoli florets next so they can soften by the time it’s ready, and then pour on a little Soy Sauce.  You can use some of the Soy Sauce now and the rest of it at the end.  Next is the bell peppers, and last is the white onions so that they aren’t completely mushy when it’s time to eat it.  I like to still be able to taste the freshness of everything.  Throw it over a bed of brown rice, and it’s ready to go!

Blogilates Workout

I felt pretty good after yesterday’s workout.  I was pretty amazed at how long I was able to keep doing most of the moves, but by the time I got to the Perky Butt ‘N Long Lean Legs video, I was having to use modifications.  Stronger every day!!  I waited to do my workout until right before I went to bed last night, so I fell right to sleep without any trouble!  Before that, I swam for a little bit after my dinner had settled and took the dogs for a walk and a bit of a jog around the neighborhood.  They may not understand, “Don’t pee on that tree!” but you say the words “Go for a walk” in my house, and you better be ready to grab the leashes!!

Here is today’s workout playlist.  I can’t wait to get home from work today to start these!  Is that crazy??