Friday, May 31, 2013

Running Motivation

Tomorrow is my 1st 5K of the season. It should be a low-key event and it's being held in my little town of Waterloo, IA. I am so excited except the fact that I have to be up at 5:30AM to eat and prepare for the race. It will be well worth it when I cross the finish line. My goal for this race is to run a steady 9 minute mile. Also, this is the first race that me and Jeremy will be running together so it's even more exciting!
Since I need some motivation for this race, I'm going to post some pictures that show how I feel about running! Enjoy!! :)

Have a bad day? Run it off. Running is my therapy. It is my alone time to focus on myself and nothing else. I don't get that very often. 

We were made to run: No equipment required.

Yes I DO!

Enough said. Life it too short to worry so outrun your worry and fears.

Just do it. No questions asked!

The step out the door is always the hardest. Once I hot the blacktop, I feel so free and energized. You are only kidding yourself when you say the run isn't worth it.

Your body will go mile after mile, it's your brain you have to convince!
Have a great Friday everyone! I'll be posting a race review tomorrow some time!! Wish me luck.

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Let's talk about cheating

Ok. I know what y'all are all thinking but I'm talking about eating and your diet. :D got your attention didn't I? 
If you follow me in twitter, and you should (@Justaskinnybtch) you will see all the other fitness accounts that I follow. Some of these accounts will tweet about "cheat days" or "cheat meals." I dislike this word. Cheating is such a negative word, why are we using it to describe the cookie we are yesterday? 
In my opinion, and I'm not a food expert, putting any food into that negative category will just cause more problems! If you look at those same accounts that talk about "cheating" on their diets are also the ones that talk about binging. And binging is just a horrible cycle that never ends if seems!! I've been there. My biggest downfall when I began this new lifestyle was counting calories. I had just began introducing healthy foods into my system so I was still eating unhealthy, high calorie foods. So what does that mean you may ask?! Well that means my allotted 1200 calories a day was used up within the first 4 hours! Then it was a battle between going over my calories and not starving. The end result?After the   kids went to bed I would easily put away another 1000 calories in 30 minutes. AKA binge!! It was awful and it happened more than once a week. It was a vicious cycle and I finally said enough. This was when I knew how to incorporate healthy foods and figured out what the word moderation meant! And the best thing I did was stop counting calories and eat healthy food when I'm hungry. Along the way you figure out emotional eating and control that and I have made it to the point where temptations don't phase me. Doughnuts in the break room? I don't even want it!! The apple I brought from home is so much more appealing. It all takes time and practice! Practice makes it easier and makes you stronger! It can happen and it will happen as long as you stick to it. 
And eat the cookie. If you want it and you're not eating your emotions, eat it! Moderation is key and I love a treat every now and then. And it def keeps the binges away. I'm pretty sure I haven't had one in 6 months, I just eat when I'm hungry and I know the Brussels sprouts are better for me to snack on the chips. Ah this amazing lifestyle...I wouldn't have it any other way!! 

Question of the day: what milestone have you made in your fitness journey that makes you to most proud? 

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

From My Couch :)

Exhausted from my run! 2.24 miles logged tonight. My first 5K of the season is coming up on Saturday (if the rain holds out!) There will be more exciting things happening this weekend but that's for a later blog. 
As for my weekend, the awful Midwestern weather did not get me down. On Friday night, the kids and I went to a cook out at the brother and sister in laws. It was a nice time with nice company and I got to teach my little girl how to ride a bike!!! Which was very exciting for her and me. 
Saturday morning we headed out to Minneapolis for a mini vacation with the kiddos! We planned on staying at a hotel with an indoor pool (sad for Memorial Day weekend.) We arrived and went straight to the mall of America to plan out of days and eat and Bubba Gumps Shrimp House. It's the kids favorite and it's a fun environment! We walked around (a total of 5-6 miles that night.) Back at the room, we changed into our swim suits and hopped in the pool for a swim. A few laps was very relaxing with all the walking we were about to do the next day! 
On Sunday we had a huge walking day. I love walking, but after 8 hours of doing it and standing to watch the kids ride the rides was awful. I was so tired, I needed a nap at 5. My phone calculate 12 miles and it wasn't going the entire time. So I estimate 18-20 miles total. 
After my nap, we went a few blocks away to the Whole Foods. I really wish we had one near us. I got 4 vegan cookies from the bakery and I are them all! They were beyond amazing. :) 
The kids went swimming Saturday night while I relaxed in the room! It was a rough day for me and I needed to sit down for a little while. 
Monday morning the kids and I got up and went swimming. My goal was to stay warm by swimming laps. It felt nice to switch up the routine and do some swimming and walking and shopping. 
After check out we went to Sports Authority and I found a new pair of running shorts. We went and grabbed some bagels from this amazing place called Einstein Bagels. They were SPECTACULAR! If you are ever in the Minneapolis Minnesota area you need to stop by from the best bagels in the world (my opinion of course.) 
And then the dreaded long drive home. 
Of course I packed healthy snacks for the ride up and back home. I packed garlic baked pita chips, roasted chickpeas, and a gallon jug of water to keep me hydrated :D and whoever says being healthy is impossible on a road trip didn't know what they were talking about!! The worst thing I ate on my trip was vegan cookies! 
I will be adding some pictures now! 

Question of the day: Have you every been to the Mall of America? What'a you favorite was to stay healthy on a vacation? 

My new $10 bathing suit from Hollister :D

Ninja Turtle ride!
Aww...sibling love :D

Happy Back To Work Day!

Hello!! I will be writing a huge blog after work today about my memorial day weekend happenings! Just want to drop by and say hi and see how your weekend was! Feel free to leave a comment and let me know how your memorial day was. Hopefully the weather is better where you are than here in the Midwest. Flooding, possible storms...OH NO!

Look for my post tonight!!! :D Have a great day back at work

Friday, May 24, 2013

Oh How Fun?!

It's survey time. I ran across this while reading Tina's blog. She has some amazing post and keeps it interesting. I seen this and I figured why not 2 post for today?! :) Enjoy!

1. What did you eat for breakfast?
I eat the same breakfast every day through the week so sugar-free brown sugar oatmeal. It was a little too dry this morning though (only I can mess up oatmeal from a pack!)
2. How much water do you drink a day?

I don't count but it is a lot. Water and coffee are all I drink. If I had to guess I fill my .7L Camelbak roughly 20 times on an average day (that's work and home.) Needless to say, I'm in the girls room ALOT!

3. What is your current favorite workout?
I have just bagan doing interval training on the treadmills and I am loving it. I sweat so much and I can really feel the work as opposed to just walking or running. The one I'm doing now is a 15 minute workout (at the end of my lifting session):
Incline 4-6 for 3 min warm up.
Run 6-7 for 2 mins.
Slow back down to 3.5 and raise incline to 10 for 3 minutes.
Lower incline to 0 and run 7 for 2 mins.
Slow back down to 3.5 and raise incline to 12 for 2 minutes.
Lower incline to 0 and run at 7.5 for 2 minutes.
Do a cool down jog for a minute.
The sweat will be dripping!

 4. How many calories do you eat a day?
I honestly have no idea. I don't count anymore because it does not work for me. I eat when I'm hungry and always make healthy decisions.
5. What are your favorite healthy snacks?

Oil-Free Roasted Chickpeas. I would choose these over anything all the time!
6. What do you usually eat for lunch?

For lunch I usually do a simple salad with mixed greens, cucumbers, peppers mushrooms and my secret weapon (WALNUTS!) With the salad, I have a veggie burger for some protein action! 

7. What is your favorite body part to strength train?
My favorite body part to train is my back. It's the sexiest part on a woman (my opinion) and it is one of my hardest work out days. 

8. What is your least favorite body part to strength train?
Arms are def. my least favorite body part to work on. Especially anything that involves my triceps. :( 

9. What are your “bad” food cravings?
Bad food craving. I'm glad I get to say I don't really have any. I very rarely crave sugar or any unhealthy foods. Maybe Chinese food? I have a huge craving for vegetable lo mein all the time and it's far from healthy but oh, so good! 

10. Do you take vitamins or supplements?
Yes I do. I take quite a few. Since I'm vegan, there are some nutrients I just don't get enough of in my diet. Also, for someone who is trying to conceive, I need extra nutrients to make my body a healthy place for a baby. I take: a whole foods prenatal vitamin, folic acid, vitamin D, calcium, a baby aspirin and the most amazing thing I've ever taken, a probiotic! If you are not taking one, you should be. It takes my healthy body feeling to a whole new level. 
I also do a soy protein shake after every work out. 
11. How often do you eat out? 
Maybe once every 2 weeks and always the same spot. The Steamboat is the kids favorite and they are reasonably priced and have some healthy options for us. 
12. Do you eat fast food?
No! No! No! I tell my kids, if it has a drive thru we are not eating there. Food should not be able to be handed out through a window! (Starbucks being an exception, but I don't buy food from them.) 

 13. Who is your biggest supporter?
My biggest supporter is Jeremy! He is my  rock in everything life has to offer including my fitness! He goes along with all my crazy vegan foods and health ideas and supports me no matter what I decide to do. He is perfect an amazing!

14. Do you have a gym membership?
Yes I do. I go to Roc Gym in my town. It's a little gym but it has everything I need and is never that busy. There is always a squat rack free :)

15. How many hours of sleep do you get a night?
I sleep 8-9 hours a night. I am usually asleep by 9pm and sleep until 6. And that is never enough it seems. 

16. Do you have a “cheat” day?
I guess there are some days where I eat heavier than others but I don't see food or days as "cheating." One meal isn't going to make or break your fitness goals. And I don't ever plan a day to blow my healthy eating...some days my brain wants more carbs than others. 

17. Do you drink alcohol?
Nope! With 2 kids, I don't want that to be an impression they grow up with. 

18. Do you have a workout buddy?
Not usually! If Jeremy has the day off he will go to the gym with me but other than that, I'm on my own. And that's ok with me. Unless I accomplish a PR and then I really wish he was there to see it. Make him proud of me! 

19. What is the best thing that has changed about your life since committing to a Healthy Lifestyle?
Giving up sugar! Giving up fast food! Seeing my body change in a way I never knew it could! There are so many. Being proud of myself for sticking with something so important. :D

20. What was the last healthy thing you did?
Ate a big bowl of fruit. 

Run, Run, Run and...Tape?

So according to my snazzy title, today's post will be about running and this "new to me" concept of taping to prevent injuries. Am I the last person in the world to know about this? Am I the only person who doesn't have the slightest idea what this is? Well today you get to walk through this with me as I research and figure out what and how we are supposed to be taping to prevent injuries on runs. I have the worst problem with shin splints after a long run. So I am looking for a way to help with the pain and prevent it as I run.
First, what exactly is it? Well...Kinesio Tex Tape is the name. The use is for relieving pain from injuries (I will explain further no worries.) It is used by non-athletes and athletes for all sorts of reasons. What it does: "the Kinesio Tape pulls the upper layers of skin, creating more space between the dermis and the muscle. The space created is believed to relieve pressure on the lymph channels in the area between the muscle and the dermis, creating more space for lymph flow and thus better lymph drainage through an affected area."

"The end results are believed to be reduced muscle fatigue, increase in range of motion, and better quality of muscle contraction."

Ok so what I have learned so far. Put this tape on your skin in a certain manner and your muscle pain has subsided and you have increased performance. So unlike ordinary taping methods that only stabilize, Kinesio Tex Tape actually supports the muscle and improves the circulation around a sore or injured area. This is def. something I am willing to try but how exactly do you use it? How do you put it on? I will post a few links to websites that walk you through how to tape. It doesn't seem that hard and isn't expensive at all. (here is a pinterest board with post for how to tape.) (here are basic instructions for how to apply the tape and keep it on.)
It last 3-5 days and comes in waterproof so you can shower, swim and work up a sweat while using the tape. And it comes in pretty colors like pink and blue!
So for a review, use this stuff to make you feel better and increase your performance. :)
**I was not asked to provide this information, I just really wanted to know what it was about and I will be trying it. As soon as I do, I will post my results and review. Again, this was for my need-to-know basis! And I'm not a doctor and I just googled and found all this stuff!**

Question of the day: Have you ever tried the taping method before? Did it work? Where did you use it?

Yesterday we recieved some news that is still sinking in with me. I am still trying to digest it all and form a plan of action. So if you could just send a prayer and good luck my way! :D Thank you! Have a great memorial day weekend!

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Today I am...

Tired! Tres tres fatigue as the French would say. My body feels out of whack for whatever reason. I am craving carbs and sleep! I guess we all have bad days...and remember one bad day isn't going to ruin it. 
I love having this blog to use. As a young women, I struggle with body image even though most of the time I am perfectly happy with my body. Then there are the days where I am bloated and my muscles aren't showing and I feel sad. Then I have to remember, I'm not perfect and I am trying the best I can. That's all I can ask from myself. And when I don't sleep good the night before and have an off day, that's ok! I'll bounce back. Go to bed earlier so I can get some extra zzz's. Todays eating has been good. Had my usual oatmeal, mixed freak fruit, salad and mushroom veggie patty at work. For supper I had some potato and onion pierogis with some steamed broccoli! Perfect easy dinner for a very tired person! I cannot motivate myself to get away from my book and get to the gym but like I said, I'll make it up tomorrow. On a great note, I would like to point out that my tv hasn't been turned on in 5 days!!! The kids and I have been spending our afternoons reading and walking. We walked almost 2 miles last night together enjoying nature and practicing math problems! That is one of my favorite things to do. I'm glad the weather has warmed up so we can do this all the time. I hope everyone else had a great day and is far more awake then I am. 

Question of the day: what is you're favorite activity to do when the weather warms up? 

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Good Morning From My Desk! :)

Happy Tuesday Morning. Even though I tried writing this post last night but for some reason, it never posted. You have to love technology sometimes don't you? So I will write it now while I'm drinking my chai tea at my desk.
Yesterday seemed to go in slow motion. For a Monday, it was too long and too boring. After work, it was home to do homework with the kids and cook dinner. For dinner I decided to marinate some chicken tenders in teriyaki sauce and Asian garlic spices. I pulled out my George Forman and fried them up after an hour of marinating. Along side the chicken, I made basil couscous and snap peas and sauteed vegetables. I like to keep it as simple as possible on Monday's.
I found a book when we went to the library on Saturday and I cannot put it down. V.C Andrews is an amazing writer and she sucks you into her words.

So while I was cooking, I was reading. Before I could head our to the gym, a storm hit. So instead of skipping completely, I pulled out my yoga mat and did a 35 minute video to get my heart rate up and sweat pouring.
This weekend was super active and busy. Saturday began with meeting up with Katie for a girls morning. We got our nails done and then went to Dick's for an exercise ball. I have decided I've had enough of back pain associated with sitting at a desk all day. I'm hoping the ball will relieve some of the lower back pain I've been having and also strengthen my core. After Dick's we went to Olive Garden for a carb-overload. It was so good but I have found even when I try to over indulge I can't. It's like my body has become so used to the healthy was I eat that anything in excess makes me feel sick. I still enjoyed my plate of pasta, but I took half of it home for Jeremy.
After girls morning, I went home and we all went to the library. I focus a lot of my week days getting the kids to read and writing about what they are reading. They never watch TV or play video games during the week, I feel that it's more important for them to learn and grown then to be in front of a TV all day. From the library we went to grab a few groceries. Fresh fruit for my week, some fresh veggies and health foods. I had ran out of my protein granola so I had to grab some more. I am hooked on the Bear Naked Original. It taste great and has protein so I use it for an after workout snack.
Sunday was another fun loaded day. Started out cleaning the house up a bit, then some food prep. I found a trick to try with my lettuce on Pinterest and it is amazing! Put your greens in a bowl with a lid. Before you close the container, put a paper towel in the top of the lid to keep your lettuce fresh. My greens have been in the fridge for 9 days and haven't started turning yet. After food prep, we took a walk down to the park. Any opportunity is an opportunity to work out. A quick run down to the park and a few ab exercises on the monkey bars. Then some incline push-ups and tricep dips. There is no excuse to not get a 30 minute workout in. And we took the long way home so I could run a little longer. I would say all together it was over a mile but I didn't have my GPS tracker so I don't really know. I really have to get my butt into gear with running because my first 5K is in 11 days. Time to really get my new running shoes in shape. After the run, I decided it was time to wash the pollen off my car. I jumped into my bath suits and grabbed a bucket. It was a good hour of cleaning and scrubbing but now my car looked almost like it did when I bought it. It was fun, the kids were out playing in the hose while I was cleaning the car out. I even got a little sun on me which is great after MONTHS of dreary cold weather. The car washing fun ended when the thunder started. Then it was time to go in and get supper ready. After supper we hit the gym together. So a lot of working out and moving, my favorite kind of day.
I hope you all had a great weekend!

Oh yes and my pretty flowers we planted in the front garden!! I hope I can keep these alive.

On a sad note, please pray for the families and loved ones of the dead in Oklahoma. I watched a new cast of the devastation and choked back tears. My heart goes out to all the wounded and the families of the dead. A reminder to not take anything for granted and cherish what you have. There are a lot of people right now with nothing! Hopefully no more tornadoes hit today! Please pray.

Thought for the day: Just think of what's important in your life.

Friday, May 17, 2013

Friday Eats

Happy Happy Friday!
I love Friday's. It's leg day at the gym because it is empty on Friday nights so I have free reign to push my hardest with no interruptions. Tomorrow I have a lunch date with my best friend Katie. We are going to get our nails done, get a surprise present for Jeremy, and then go eat lunch at Olive Garden. It will be a well deserved splurge day of salad and pasta and LOTS of peach tea.
Today of course is my usual clean eating. I had oatmeal for breakfast. This weekend for prep day, I made a mix of cantaloupe, strawberries, and blueberries and I have been LOVING it! Melon season is my favorite and I will be doing it again this weekend.
For lunch I am having my leftovers and a salad with cucumbers, green peppers, mushroom and walnuts. If you ever get tired of your veggie salad add some nuts. It brings a new flavor to the salad and I think it makes it less boring.
I made the kids a quick and easy chicken bake and it turned out amazing. Took me less than 15 minutes to assemble. So for a quick and easy meal loaded with veggies that the kids will love, use this easy and versatile go-to recipe. (recipe below.)
Afternoon snack will be a Clif Builders Protein Bar in Mint Chocolate. I know I need to stop procrastinating and make my own homemade bars but I love these Clif bars. It feels like a cheat (plus you can get 18 bars for $18.00 at Sam's Club so it's a steal.)
I haven't figured out supper yet. Which is unusual. I will figure it out though. :)

Here is the recipe for my "Chicken Vegetable Bake"
(And when I bake there are generally no precise measurements; I use my grandmas eyeball-it method)
1 lb ground chicken.
1 egg
Any veggies in the freezer or pantry. I used 1/2 bag of frozen corn, 1/4 bag frozen peas, a can of cooked, sliced carrots and some fresh chopped bell pepper.
Vegetable broth
Italian seasoning
Soy milk (I used vanilla soy milk because I was out of regular but it turned out PERFECT.)
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  • Heat the olive oil in a pan.
  • Dice garlic into small pieces and add to the heated oil.
  • Add ground chicken.
  • Brown the chicken and add your veggies.
  • Let the veggies cook a little and then add about 1/3 cup of broth into the pan.
  • Sprinkle 2 TBS of all-purpose flour into the pan and stir. This will thicken the broth.
  • Add the Italian seasoning, salt and pepper and simmer for 5 minutes.
  • In an ungreased 8x8 pan, pour the veggie mixture.
  • In a separate bowl, add 1 egg and soy milk to 3 cups of Bisquick. Mix in soy milk until it forms a dough.
  • Place scoops of the dough onto the vegetable mixture.
  • Place in the over for 30 minutes and viola! Simple, fast and my kids give it 2 thumbs up.
If only I could get my recipe page to work and function properly I would put this recipe there. Sadly, I have yet to figure it out.
Have a GREAT Friday! If you try the recipe, feel free to comment with your modifications.
Question of the day: What is your favorite way to cook quinoa? I need some suggestions :)

Wednesday, May 15, 2013


Any one who is working out and exercising needs motivation from time to time. There are just some days where going to the gym or going for that run is the last thing I want to do. To get myself motivated I usually look on my twitter (@Justaskinnybtch) or on Pinterest. Today I am going to post some of the most motivating pins I have seen and share why they motivate me; kind of like a motivation wall. Please feel free to comment with your own motivation pictures, stories or words. And always remember, be your own motivation first!

I get this question from other women. Why do you lift, run, exercise, eat healthy...etc! Besides it being something I love doing, why wouldn't everyone do this? At least in some form?

A little Vegan funny!

This is true for all situations in life; I say this everyday. When lifting weight or running miles, your brain will give up long before your body does. That means that YOU have to tell yourself to shush up and keep going.

Think about this one. Running requires no equipment, requires nothing but an open road. Why are people so afraid of it? Our bodies are meant to run. We were made to run so we could survive. This theory has been completely forgotten and running is seen as a thing only the weird do. At least I know I would survive a zombie attack or outrun a killer. :)

Straight forward and to the point. Leave the excuses, worries, and frustrations at the door and suck it up. AKA put your big girl panties on!

You can wish for your dream body all you want but unless you do something about it, it's never going to happen. So less wishing, more doing to make your dreams come true!

I think that this should be a sign in every gym, every intersection and crossfit box. This says it cannot be done half-assed. To get results and to make this LIFESTYLE work, you have to give everything you have. Not just the 1 hour at the gym, it has to be 24 hours a day 7 days a week. You have to want it more than anything.
The comfort zone is a made up place by people not willing to give their all.
Another huge motivator for me is my kids. They come to the gym with me every night and I have to push my hardest and go the extra mile because I know they are watching. I will not teach my kids to be quitters so I have to set a great example.
Question of the day: What motivates you? Please share with me! :)


Monday, May 13, 2013

Weekend Events

Happy belated Mother's Day to all the future and present mothers out there! :)
It was a long day for me. As some of you may know, I had a miscarriage and lost my baby a month ago. So this Mother's Day was just a reminder that another year has come and I am not a mother.
A friend of mine on Facebook shared this picture and I am going to share it with you (I know I'm a day late, forgive me)

But no sadness today (besides the fact that it's Monday!) I did get a wonderful Step-Mother's Day gift, new running shoes!! I have had my eye on these shoes for a few months now and I finally got them and they are everything I imagined!
I ran 4 miles in them yesterday morning and my feet still felt amazing afterwards. This shoe is the Nike Flex Trainer 2. The only shoes I will run in is Nike so this just adds to my collection. They last a long time and I feel like I run the best in the shoes. Highly recommend!!

So a rundown of my weekend activities:
Up at 6:30AM on Saturday because my body refuses to sleep in. I get hungry and I have to get up.
9:00AM we meet up with Katie for some farmer's market shopping. I am sadly disappointed that there is nothing in season yet so I only got a bunch of green onions, some homemade peach jam, a spaghetti squash dairy-free homemade grain bread and 3 fresh cucumbers.
2 farmers markets search; on to the grocery stores. Our first stop was HyVee for my fuel saver purchases. The fuel savers program is great; you buy groceries you would normally buy and you receive a certain amount of change off your gas (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, or 10 cents off with each item you buy.)
I saved $0.78 off my fill up this week!
After Hyvee was Sam's Club. There are items I only buy in bulk so this is the next stop. Here I grabbed some gorgeous fresh strawberries, 2% milk, bananas, a salad blend, some canned chicken and tuna for sandwiches.
Next, to the 1st Aldis. This is our discount store and their produce can't be beat. Since there wasn't much of a selection at the farmer's markets, this is the next best thing. Here I grab cantaloupe, blueberries, turkey sausage, green peppers tomatoes and a few more things.
We head home to unload the car and eat lunch before we continue our shopping.
Then we go to the Aldi's across town to get ground chicken. That's all I needed from this store so we were in and out.
Our last stop was WalMart. I needed some storage containers for my salad mix and fresh fruit. It's about 2PM now and I am exhausted. After putting all the groceries away, I climb into bed for a quick nap.
Wake up and make supper. I made chicken tacos salads with lettuce, olives, green peppers, tomato, mushrooms and black beans. It was amazing :)
Then relaxing for the rest of the night...I say all the walking and food lifting I did Saturday was my work out.

Sunday was Mother's Day. And also the day I get up at 7:30 to go running with Katie. We ran a total of 4 miles then went back to her house to talk and drink coffee! As much as I love my kids, it's nice to talk to a grown up sometimes! After I left, I went home to clean and food prep. I chopped and mixed the salad together in my new big storage bowl. Then I chopped green peppers, tomato, and the fresh cucumbers I got at the farmers market. Next, I chopped my fruit; the cantaloupe, strawberries and blueberries and put them in my other storage container. I also dry roasted 4 cans of chickpeas with paprika, sea salt and black pepper.
For supper I steamed the spaghetti squash for an hour in a 375 degree oven and then sauteed it in vegan butter with basil, parsley, oregano and a small amount of sweet pepper marinara sauce. The kids loved it!! After supper, I washed up and headed to the gym for my leg session. After 50 minutes, I came home and crashed in exhaustion.

Question of the day: What foods to you food prep for the week?

Friday, May 10, 2013

Friday Fun-Day

I must admit: I have an obsession. All week, every day, from the time I wake up until the time I got to bed I am thinking about fitness and food. Not in an obsessive way just running through my mind things I need from the grocery store or the foam roller I need to buy because it's on sale. Most of the time, they are just fleeting thoughts that I forget 30 minutes after I have them. But some of them stick. Saturday is my grocery shopping day and Sunday is my prep day. Always goes this way, never fails. When I have a system I like to stick to it, makes my life easier to manage! So since grocery day is tomorrow, I am going to share my shopping list with you! Most of this is typical but this week I'm looking at getting some extras to make my life a little simpler.

Romaine Lettuce
Black Olives
Green Beans
Corn on the Cob
Spaghetti Squash
Summer Squash


I will try to get as many of these as I can at the local farmers market. I love the farmers market and I look to go every week this year; it's generally cheaper and better tasting than anything at the grocery stores.

Turkey Sausage
Chicken Breast
Ground Chicken
Chicken Tenders
Boca Soy Crumbles-Vegan

Go Veggie Cheddar-Vegan
Sliced Colby Jack

Barilla Veggie Pasta
Brown Rice

Silk Vanilla Soy Milk-Vegan
2% Milk

Ezekial Bread 4:9
Wheat Tortilla Wraps

Chickpeas (for another 2 batches of my oil-free roasted chickpeas)

I also need some 2 containers and a few plastic baskets. The containers will be used for the cut up fruit and the other will be for my lettuce blend. I will get enough for a weeks worth of salads so my morning prep will be so much easier!The plastic baskets will be for raw eggs, boiled eggs and a veggie basket.

I am thinking of doing a roasted veggie pan on the grill this weekend with some blackened chicken so all these fresh veggies will go to use.

Question of the day: What are some of your favorite summer veggie recipes?

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

A Day Well Lived

Do you ever have those days where you plop down on the couch at the end of a long day and think, "Now that was a day well lived." That is how I have felt the past few days. After 2 weeks of near perfect healthy eating and a 6-day a week workout routine, I feel more perfect than ever! The past 2 months have really been hard on my mental and physical health so it's so good to be back into the full swing of fitness!! :)
Today was the usual oatmeal breakfast. Lunch was leftover teriyaki veggies and egg-free German noodles!! It was just as amazing the 2nd time around. Dinner tonight was my favorite go-to dinner. When I make the kids anything cheese filled or meat containing anything, I go to this meal. It's just veggie pasta from Barilla, Boco soy crumbles and any veggies of choice. My favorite veggies of choice are mushrooms, olives, and tomatoes! Warm tomatoes are a dear food to my heart...I love them.
Just make the pasta, make the soy crumbles and then combine all the veggies into the same pot. It is easy and delicious!!
After we ate and cleaned up, I gathered up the kids and headed to the gym! The kids love going to the gym...they get to play and meet with their friends. I got into this amazing zone and MURDERED my work out! I was sweating like crazy.
Started out with a mile and a half in 10 minutes on the elliptical (why yes I was going full speed!) Then I went to lat pull downs, barbell curls, t-bar rows and a few other thing to hit my back and biceps!! Then it was home for a peanut butter rice cake, protein shake and Bear Naked original granola. Protein to make these muscles growww! And now it is time for me to get some sleep to let these muscles rest. :D

Question of the day: What do you do to motivate you through a hard day or a rough workout?

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Pet Peeves

Happy Tuesday everyone! I hope you all had a wonderful and productive day. A lot of healthy eating went on today with me and I walked almost a mile at lunch. After running around to get the kids, home to clean and cook, I had no time to go to the gym! :( that's ok though, I always plan for days like this. I will just combine today's workout with back and shoulders and make it work! A part of being successful in your fitness journey is realizing you will have days where "the gym" has to take a back seat. Even though I couldn't go to the gym, the kids and I walked to the park near out home. On the way down we did multiplication problems and on the way back we did spelling! To incorporate fitness and learning in my children's life is pure joy! It makes me more happy than anything else in the world. :)
Onto my pet peeves....I was looking online at fitness and health information and come across some form of the "Eat This, Not That" phenomenon! If you are familiar with the book, it's a breakdown of restaurants and fast food places and why a healthier menu choice is. As good as this sounds, why would there need to be such a thing? Do just a little research and you will see all the negative side effects and health concerns with eating fast food!! It is disgusting. Research a salad from most fast food places and you will find a chemical is used to keep the lettuce from browning. Are you kidding? So they took a perfectly healthy bed of lettuce and added a harmful chemical to protect something from doing what it naturally does. The whole "Eat This, Not That" book should be used as a guide of what NOT to eat. Bottom line....replacing high fat foods with "lower" fat but higher sodium or more trans fats isn't healthy. As far as fast food goes, it should not be eaten! There are plenty of healthy, quick alternatives. Anyone who is living a healthy lifestyle would never step foot into a fast food restaurant unless it was to use the bathroom. :D
Since you see my rant on fast food, another pet peeve is Splenda or any other lab created sweetener! Again, research this and you will see all the harmful side effects of these nasty little things. And they are completely useless! They don't cause weight loss, studies have show it actually causes weight gain and bloating! Use a natural substitution to cane sugar. Use agave syrup, stevia or nothing at all! I believe we are way too obsessed with sugar anyways so cutting back would never hurt.
Ok. Rant is over for now.
I will be sharing a few random pictures from our walk and drive today!! :)

Question for today: what are some of your fitness pet peeves?

Playing with work: Less than perfect

Playing with work: Less than perfect: There are so many days I wonder if I'm doing this parenting thing right.  Did I teach him anything of value today?  What else should I b...

If you are a parent or step-parent go check this woman out!! This post gave me chills and tears it was so moving! :)

Oil-Free Roasted Chickpeas

This recipe is so wasy and so versitile, there is no reason why you should ever grab a bag of chips again. I had some spare cans of chickpeas in my pantry so I decided to make a batch of these for work. I have a "snack drawer" in my desk that holds a variety of foods for when hunger strikes. And this is my new favorite in the drawer!!

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Grab a can or two of chickpeas; drain and rinse.
Lay flat on a paper towel and blot or roll too remove the water.
Place on a baking sheet. This is where you can get creative. You can make your chickpeas sweet, salty or savory. It all depends on what you are in the mood for. I always enjoy a salty snack so I sprinkled mine with salt, pepper and paprika.
Place your chickpeas in the over for 30 minutes or until most are nice and crispy. Remember to stir them around a few times through the cooking process so they get evenly cooked and crispy.
Disclaimer: Some may turn dark brown....don't worry they taste amazing too.
Remove from the oven and let them cool. After they are cooled Store in a ziploc bag or storage container and enjoy!!

If you try this recipe, please comment on your toppings! I would love some ideas for my next batch :)

Monday, May 6, 2013

Product Review and A New Snack Obsession

Today was my first day in the office at 7. Schedule changes, however slight, may put your body in a whirl. Unless you are healthy, fit and eat natural, then your body will happily readjust with no problem. This is exactly how I felt today, amazing! Before my salad lunch, I walked a mile outside. I worked my 8.5 hours then fixed dinner and even hit the gym for a mile run! Today was chest day, I killed it! 45 minutes and sweat pouring later, I felt refreshed. :)

As for my product review, there's a story behind it! I have become hooked on Silk Soy yogurt (the best being the Mango flavor.) The past 2 times I have went to HyVee to get some, the only flavor they have is Strawberry and Blueberry. So on the last visit I see another brand of soy yogurt and think "Why Not." The new brand was Stonyfield O'Soy. WOW was that a bad decision. As I get more comfortable with grocery shopping and making good, healthy decisions, I can usually tell when something is "good" healthy and when something is "bad" healthy. (I's sure you know what I'm talking about!) This was one of the times I should have read the label! As soon as I opened it I could tell something was off. It was way too runny to be yogurt. The first bite indicated another was grainy!! What?! Why?! THEN I read the label, it contains soy protein AND probiotics that are derived from milk! This is a vegans most annoying and worst nightmare! Why why why make something advertised as "soy" and then add milk to it?! Grrr...very frustrating! So whether you are vegan or not and looking for a milk alternative for yogurt, choose Silk if you have that option. I have not been asked to write these reviews and they are my own personal opinions. :) Just something I felt like sharing to keep others from having to spend $1.19 on one container of yogurt only to throw it away!
As for my new favorite obsession snack, oil-free roasted chickpeas! They are PHENOMENAL! I made 2 cans of them and I am almost done with the whole bag, after only 6 days at work. They are a great substitution to chips and they taste a heck of a lot better!! I will post my recipe tomorrow. Just wanted to share an alternative to unhealthy snacks! I ate about 4 handfuls today and I didn't feel bad at all. (I will be posting a after picture of the fruit bars I posted in my recipe page the other day today too.)

After workout snack: Chocolate soy protein shake, a rice cake with all natural peanut butter and a handful of Bear Naked protein granola.

Question for today: What are some of your favorite post workout foods?

Sunday, May 5, 2013

5Ks and Parks

Do you remember how fun parks were as a kid? I got to relive that today. We packed a sandwich and fresh fruit picnic and headed out to the park. I got my cardio in today...running around chasing my kids and playing basketball with my daughter! I'm glad the snow has stopped and it was in the low 70's today.
I did my food prep for this week too. I made my fruit "larabars" today and they turned out perfect! I didn't get the 6 bars the recipe says; it made 4. Also, it took a few more minutes than I thought in the food processor...just keep whirring away until it's forms the right consistency!!
We have finally decided on the 5K schedule we are going to participate in (and one 10K at the end of the year.)
The 1st race is going to be the My Waterloo Days 5K on June 1st. I'll have a few weeks to train up for it but it won't be for a record setter. Just a way of getting back into the swing of things.
The 2nd race will be The Color Run in Des Moines on July 13th. I have always wanted to do one and now I have the chance!!!
The 3rd race will be the Warrior Dash on August 24th. This will be the toughest race (I'll post more details in a later post.)
My last race of the season will be the Park To Park 10K.
I am so excited for this race season and for running along beside my man!! Remember the couple that runs, lifts and laughs together stays together!!! :)
****ignore my 3 fat rolls in the family photo, it's the best one I could get!!****

I have attached links to all of the race details if you are in the area and want to check it out! :)

Saturday, May 4, 2013

The Love of Running!

I am in love with most runners it is my therapy and my only alone time during the day! And today just happened to be the first run of the season for me. As much as I love running, I don't love running in the freezing Iowa winters. So I had a 4 month leave, you could say. Stationary running isn't my style either. The first run is always the greatest, and this time both the kids and the man joined me!! Although that slows my mile time, I don't care. That family time is way more important. We had some movies to return so we heading out after supper and raced a little. Now it's back to 5:30am runs for me...that's the only free time I have during the week so I'll take it. :) this run/walk was a total of 1.44 miles and we did it in 22 minutes....which is a bad mile time but HEY I think that's pretty great for the kids!

Some more great news...we booked our trip back to NC for my birthday!! It's only a few weeks away. (The big 2-1 will be spent working and with the kids.) I am more than excited to get down south and see my family but especially my beautiful baby nephew! He is the cutest thing in the world. I am in need of a vacation after the month I've been through! In honor of my vacation, I have started self tanning. I have a weird icky skin condition that freaks out if I lay in the sun or in the tanning bed. Time to get a little "sun" on me!

Good wise, today has been a lot of snacking! Healthy snacking but still snacking. And I am ok with that...a few pita chips and an extra bite of granola never killed anyone or gained a pound. I love food, I just know what food to love an what food to leave alone. Also, because I love food I love where the food comes from. In order for me to feel good, I have to know the food I'm eating wasn't tortured. That's just the vegan in me. Run and rest over, gym time now! Got to knock out shoulders and back.

Friday, May 3, 2013

Winter in the Spring and A Day Off

So yesterday's weather is another mark in history here in Iowa. It was snowing....yes snowing here all day yesterday. The weather this year is bizarre to say the least. Fires in California, tornados in Florida, and snow in the Midwest in May? I wonder what all this could mean.
Since there was snow on the ground, I decided to do an at home yoga session! Yoga with movement is an amazing way to stretch out, relax and get some cardio in. Worked up a nice sweat and it was a nice way to turn a negative into a positive.

On a happy note, I posted my first recipe on my recipe page! Feel free to check it out and let me know what you think or if you have any other suggestions please feel free to let me know...any and all suggestions are welcome. :)

Lunch today was interesting to say the least. I had a full bag of broccoli! After eating that much broccoli, I actually felt closer to nature. As weird as that sounds! I even made a post on my Twitter and asked a funny and theological question: Does broccoli scream when you rip it out of the ground? I think not. (A little vegan humor, feel free to follow me on Twitter @Justaskinnybtch)
Today's fitness was non-existing (unless you count grocery shopping.) and I splurged a little on my diet and had some Cracker Jacks...I seen the bag at the store and it brought back all kinds of memories!
I am posting some snow pics from the bizarre weather and some other randoms!
Question: what food do you see or eat that has memories attached? Also, leave your twitter names in the comment for a follow!

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Temptation and Reward

So yesterday for lunch I was told HyVee (our local grocery store here in Iowa) was bringing lunch! This is usually exciting because they have the worlds greatest salads. I was thinking I'll get a salad and eat my mixed vegetables that I brought from home. When I walk in I see the biggest temptation; mini cupcakes! They were so cute and looked so amazing, my mouth started watering.
My victory was walking right past all those cupcakes with my big bowl of salad and enjoying that tiny moment. Sometimes that's what fitness is about, the tiny steps. It's never going to be easy and you will give in but as long as you have those tiny victories, you're doing it right!

So after 9 hours of boring and slow work, I rush home to shower and make supper. The stir fry turned out amazing and I heard no complaints (which is rare in my house.) I relaxed for all of 30 minutes before I was up again and hustling the kids, myself and the man out the door for the gym. From 6:30 to 7:20 I put my legs through torture! Leg day is not my favorite....feels too much like cardio sometimes. Then home, wash up and bed!
A new thought has entered my mind: CrossFit. J (my man) is completely against it's a waste of money and time but I see things differently (which happens quite a bit with us.) I see CrossFit as a way to improve, bust through plateaus and a way to meet a whole new community of people who love the sane thing that I do! The only CrossFit place within reasonable distance is a place appropriately names The Gym. Short, sweet and to the point, I already like it. J has reluctantly agreed to come try it out with me (your 1st time is free.) The plan is to go the 1st Saturday in June so I will do a review for anyone who is thinking if trying CrossFit!
As for today, it's raining and crappy with a chance of snow tomorrow. May?! Only in Iowa (sure makes me miss North Carolina.) For breakfast, the usual brown sugar oatmeal was what I had. I really like the regular routine and eating the same thing repeatedly does not bother me. For lunch we have veggies from last night and potato abs onion perogies. I love these things....even though they aren't the healthiest of lunches. Dinner is...I have no idea! I'm thinking spaghetti for them and veggie pasta with tomato and soy crumbles for me. That does sound really good. After supper it's off to the gym for shoulders. I love shoulder day...more than most because my shoulders grow so easily. Then rest...that's one of the most important things on fitness.REST!! Your body needs it after all the hard work it does all day! :)