Sunday, March 31, 2013

Stuffed Bell Pepper Bites

 

A new way to eat that stuffed bell pepper.


We have all seen those stuffed bell peppers, heck I have already blogged one, but this one is clean eating, simple, and a new and fun way to eat that stuffed pepper.

The recipe is easily adaptable to your personal taste preference and this is truly a easy week night meal.

The trick to bites is not overcooking the pepper...honestly I don't like mushy peppers that one gets when baking them so I microwaved mine. They were hot, a little soft, but full of bite and were a strong base for bites.




The biggest prep item on the ingredient list is the ground turkey, but this can easily be made a head a time and stored until you need it or just back on the spot --20ish min for cooking.

I hope you enjoy!

Ingredients: 
2 large bell peppers
5 oz ground turkey, cooked and seasoned to preference.
1/4 cup quinoa
1/4 cup salsa, your favorite kind!
1/4 cup black beans.
1/2 tsp cumin
1/4 tsp chili powder
2 tbs of shredded cheese, for garnish.

Directions:
Carefully cut the tops of the peppers, de-seed and de-rib (take out the extra white stuff). 
mix all ingredients, except the cheese in a small bowl.
Equally stuff bell peppers nice and packed. I mean pack it in!
Microwave stuffed pepper for 3-4 min until pepper and it's stuffing is hot.

Let pepper cool to touch and then take a sharp knife and quickly slice in half and then in quarters. You don't want to over slice these, they should be a sturdy to hold the stuffing on top when picked up. ( I got 5 out of my pepper because it was quite large)

 Garnish bites with cheese, tomatoes, and/or anything else you would like.


ENJOY!!!!
Nutritional Information: 
1 stuffed bell pepper
232.50 cal * 17.5 carbs * 11g fat * 16.5 g protein * 5.5g fiber

 

Saturday, March 30, 2013

LiveFit Phase 1 Wk 3

 



Week three was harder mentally than anything else.


 I just had a lot going on and was tired after almost everyday after work--the time I go to the gym-- that the gym just didn't seem to be my friend. I did do every workout to its fullest and always felt satisfied with my work so that is check off the list. 
 
I did, however, mess up my workout schedule because I didn't notice until Thursday that the amount of rest days was reduced to 2 from 3 so I had to workout on Saturday (a day I normally don't) because I took off Wednesday. 

It wasn't too bad. The gym, at least the weights section, was pretty bare so I had the weights station to myself for the most part. 


My body? Still feeling amazing. I love eating, period. And the fact that I get to eat a lot on this program is a bonus. I still watch the amounts I consume caloric wise;  approx 1300-1450 cals with 130-135g being protein, but my body is responding really well. 

This week's body part that I noticed change is the inner part of my thigh. I've always had bigger legs, even with the unhealthy weight gone, they just got big in muscle instead of fat...anyways, us bigger legged woman--You know that part that touches together at the top of the inner thigh, well mine has shrunken a lot over the last year but has not completely stopped touching together when standing feet close together, until now! It's pulled in and looking great!!!! It must have been those wide legged bar bell squats....OUCH. 

Strength Training Tip: 
  • When weight training providing your body with maximum nutrition is key. It is highly encouraged to take a daily multivitamin, a fatty oil (fish or flaxseed), extra calcium if needed. These are to make sure you body is fully equip to build and rebuild lean muscle while maintaining a healthy balance everywhere else.

Food wise, I have some awesome recipes that have been coming out on my blog: quinoa pizza bites with turkey pepperoni, turkey balls, chicken stuffed sweet potato, and  tuna cakes. Many more to follow. 

I am also still working on that high protein meal post with pictures and recipes posted all in one location for easy access. It's coming, I promise. 

Food tip: 

  • Don't think Chicken, Turkey and Fish are your only healthy meat protein options. Feel like a steak? Go for it!  There are some great nutritional value in lean red meat. 
Some options: 
  • London broil
  • Top round
  • Plank/skirt steak
  • Pork chops 
  • Bison 
  • Other game meat.


If you would like to read more about the LiveFit 12 Week challenge and my previous week  results
I am excited to start week 4 just to say I made it a whole month on the program.  

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Tuna Cakes w/ Greek Yogurt Chipotle Sauce

 

Why have I never cooked tuna? 


I usually just make it for a salad or a sandwich but that just included mixing it with other ingredients cold. BUT COOKING IT? It's like adding a whole new level of flavor.
I must admit I am not a fan of seafood in general--I know some of you gasped-- but it's very slowly growing on me. A little bite of sushi here, a little taste of salmon there; but really it's only tuna.
HOWEVER,
Tuna cakes are now one of my favorite go to meals and seriously SO EASY!!!!!

The idea for this recipe came from Skinnymom.com. An awesome blog of mom Brooke who shares her journey as a mom who wants to live fit and healthy.

I adapted the recipe based on the ingredients in my kitchen and seriously it couldn't be simpler.


Ingredients:
1 5oz can of tuna in water
2 1/2 tbs egg whites
1 tbs spicy brown mustard
1/4 cup brown puff rice cereal (or rolled oats or bread crumbs)
2 tsp dried onions (or 1/4 cup fresh onion if you prefer)
1 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp pepper
1/8 tsp salt

Chipotle  Sauce
2 tbs greek yogurt
1/2 tsp chili powder + more if desired. 
1/4 tsp lemon juice
1/4 tsp garlic powder

Directions: 
Heat a small skillet on Medium heat and spray with olive oil spray--I used my misto! 
drain as much water from tuna as possible. Pat dry tuna with a paper towel (the dryer the tuna the firmer the cakes) 
Mix tuna, egg whites, mustard, and spices in a small bowl. 
Form two equal cakes--I used my hands. 
And place on heated skillet. Feel free to shape patty as you cook if it falls a part.
Let sit on one side for ~4 min and then flip. Repeat and continue flipping every minute or two until cake is a nice golden brown. I found it helpful to press on the patty with a spatula while it was cooking to let any extra water inside the cake cook out. 

While cakes are cooking, 
Mix greek yogurt, and spices in a small bowl. Taste and season as desired. 

When cakes are done place over a nice bed of leafy greens and top cakes with a dollop of chipotle sauce. 

ENJOY!!!!
Nutrition Information: 
2 cakes w/out sauce
158 cal * 7 carbs * 1 fat * 30g protein * 0g fiber

 Sauce:
33 cal * 2 carbs * 0g fat * 3g protein * 0 fiber


 

Monday, March 25, 2013

Chicken Stuffed Sweet Potato

 

This is seriously a 15 min meal. I was in a hurry to make a hearty meal before the gym and bam-wazam this was made. 


Now, you do have to prep the chicken beforehand or have a rotisserie on hand but seriously this is an under 30 min meal if you add that into the equation.

Double, triple, or quadruple to your families size needs but all you have to do is pop, slice, spread and a enjoy!


Ingredients: 

4 oz  chicken breast, cooked, shredded
1 medium sweet potato
1/4 tsp chili powder
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1/4 cup black beans, rinsed
salt and pepper to taste
greek yogurt for garnish

Directions: 
Wash/scrub sweet potato then puncture several times with a fork.
Microwave for 5 min. 
Then flip potato and microwave for another 5 min.
Toss shredded chicken and  black beans in spices
Carefully slice open potato --be careful of steam--and top potato with chicken mixture. 

Dollop with greek yogurt and serve with a side salad. 

ENJOY!!!!


 Nutritional Information 
1 stuffed potato
265 cal * 35 carbs * 3g of fat * 28g protein* 8g fiber 

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Quinoa Pizza Bites

This was an all-around "oops to yummy" recipe. 
 

I made this dish from Fit for Success and enjoyed every bite before I realized I had made a mistake. 


I went to enter the recipe into myfitnesspal to get the nutritional  information and didn't understand how my calorie count was SO far off from Fit for success'!
I went back to the original post and found my error. 

Her ingredients state: 1/2 cup of uncooked quinoa. What did I do? Used only 1/2 cup of cooked quinoa. 
If you have ever made quinoa you know uncooked quinoa more than doubles when cooked so I was defiantly lacking in amount. --I did wonder why mine didn't fill the 24 pockets of the muffin tin like hers did but I was so focused and getting these made so I could eat them I just thought I had made mine too big. In the end, this oops just means I got to eat them all.

Now not knowing I had made a significant lower calorie meal I wanted to add turkey pepperoni to my bites regardless, and man or man am I glad I did. 

However, I had originally planned to chop up the pepperoni and blend it into the original mix, but I forgot until they were half way through baking. Yet again, this oops turned into a delicious treat as I decided to top each bite with a slice of pepperoni--held on by some melted cheese--and these were like perfect mini bites of pizza--pepperoni in every bite--without the fat, grease, and heavy carbs and filled with lots of protein, and delectable flavor. 

Make them and then eat them all! 


Recipe adapted from Fit for Success
Ingredients: 

1/2 cup cooked quinoa
1/4 cup egg whites
1/2 cup mozzarella cheese, shredded 
1/2 cup onion, minced
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 tbs basil 
1 tsp oregano 
1/4 tsp garlic powder
20 slices of turkey pepperoni 


Directions: 
Preheat oven 350 F.
Spray a mini muffin tin--24 count--with olive oil spray
Mix all but the pepperoni in a bowl. 
Spoon 1 tbs of mix into 20 of the muffin compartments. 
Press the mixture down so its nice and packed in. 

Bake for 20 min or until tops have a light golden edge. 

Remove from muffin tin and  sprinkle a tiny bit of cheese on top of the hot bites and press one slice of pepperoni per bite. 
I then microwaved 10 bites for 30 sec. to make sure the cheese was good and melted and to cook the pepperoni a bit. 


Serve with a side salad and homemade marinara sauce for dipping! 


Enjoy!!!!

Nutrition Information
10 bites with pepperoni
 202 cal * 15 carbs * 10g fat*  17g protein * 3g fiber
10 bites without pepperoni 
161 cal * 15 carbs * 7g fat * 12 protein * 3g fiber

Saturday, March 23, 2013

LiveFit Phase1 Wk2

 

 

 

Week 2 done. 

Feeling awesome. 

Not going to lie, tired!


I literally had to take a power nap in the gym parking before going in... yes, I did that.

This week Jamie Eason's program has you work out 4 days and rest 3. She has them set up on a calendar to be back to back with 3 rest days but I found I like taking one of the three rest days during the week. 
This week I worked out Monday-Wednesday, Rested Thursday, Worked-out Friday, and  now off for 2 days. 
Perfect for me because we have a snow storm coming in just for the weekend so I can enjoy being off and not worrying about getting to the gym!


So what's happened so far to my body? 
I can eat lots of protein and not feel sick, I feel stronger--I upped my weights in a few areas, but most of all my stomach is tighter!


I have a soft tummy, not going to lie, but man this week I noticed it was pulling in and lookin' good.


Week weight lifting total: 28,398lbs!!!!
378 more than last week . yes. 

Weight lifting advice:  
  • Form is everything. Take the time to learn the correct form and body posture to maximize your results. 
  • Bodybuilding.com has a video for pretty much every workout out there. Educate yourself.

As for food this week: I've created some amazing, high protein salads!

I am working on post dedicated to my high protein creations that will include their ingredients so you can enjoy them as well. Keep posted!


For now, here is some food advice:


  •  Find protein in other things besides meat: black beans, chickpeas, avocados, quinoa, greek yogurt, and cottage cheese just to name a few of my favorites; Have fun and be creative.
These will keep you full and add variety to your meals.


If you would like to read more about the LiveFit 12 Week challenge and my previous week  results




See you next week!


 

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Spaghetti Squash: Coolest Veggie EVER

I was waaaaay too excited making this dish. 
Honestly, I felt like a 6th grader doing a science experiment. 
Spaghetti squash is the new "food to eat", right next to quinoa. 
I have seen countless recipes pop up over the last few months using this amazing gourd but I was skeptical about the processes and was sure my husband would not "lick" the plate like many bloggers had exclaimed theirs had.

And it was true. He didn't really like it, he ate it, but didn't get more.
 I licked the plate, and then got more. I'm hooked. 
My husband said it's because it has a "bite" to it, a "crunch" that traditional noodles don't have and he couldn't get past it, (personally, I think it was just the fact that it was pure vegetable on his plate--a VERY rare occasion) but it me, it's just another noodle version.

I know it is not supposed to be a replacement for the lovely grain, but I was still so impressed by it's magical ability to turn from gourd to string noodles and the "bite" was extra bonus. I love a good CRUNCH in my food! 

(Now, I did read that if you bake it for over an hour the "noodles" get softer, but I have yet to try it
So know, that this amazingly awesome vegetable may not suit everyone's palate, but if anything, YOU HAVE TO MAKE IT ONCE. 

Cook it and be amazed.

The following recipe is for traditional spaghetti squash noodles with homemade sauce:

Ingredients: 

Noodles
1 large Spaghetti Squash
1/2 tsp olive oil
salt and pepper to taste

Sauce
1 4oz can of tomato paste
4oz of water + more if you you want a thinner sauce
1 tsp olive oil
1/4 of a medium onion, chopped
3 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 tsp sugar
1/4 garlic powder
1 tsp Italian seasoning
pinch of red pepper flakes

Directions: 
Wash the outside of the squash, then take a large knife and puncture it ~10 times around the gourd.
Place the entire squash in the microwave, reduce power level to 70% and cook for 12 min.

When done, the squash should still be firm to touch but give/leave a mark on the outside skin when pushed. 

Carefully remove squash and let cool on the counter for 10ish min. 


Start sauce.
In a sauce pan heat 1 tsp olive oil on medium heat. Add chopped onions and sauté until clear. 
Add garlic and let cook for 1-2 min. Add tomato paste and water and bring to a simmer. Add in spices hen let sit for 10 min. Reduce heat to low and serve when ready. 

Once Squash has cooled to touch, cut in half lengthwise. Scoop out seeds and pulp (the darker colored strings). 
Now take a large fork and start scrapping parallel to the the squash until you can scrape no more. Noodles should be forming! 
--I did the scraping inside of a skillet because that was where i was going to place it next but you can scrape it into a bowl if that is easier-- 
Place created noodles into a skillet on low heat and drizzle 1 tsp of olive oil and season with salt and pepper to personal taste. 

You can either add sauce to noodles now or just top noodles with sauce later. 

Sprinkle with some Parmesan cheese and/or pair it with some turkey meatballs

ENJOY!!!!


Nutritional Information:  Spaghetti Squash 
1 cup 
49 cal * 10g carbs * 0g fat * 1g protein * 2g fiber

Sauce: 
1/4 cup-THICK
51 cal * 9g carbs * 0g fat * 3g protein * 2g fiber




Monday, March 18, 2013

Zucchini Blondies



"Blondies" are lighten-up brownies.

 Honestly, I prefer brownies 
because they're pretty much a gooey chocolate bar, 
but hey, 
anything that is sweet and in a "bar" form 
is fair game for my palate. 
Now these ones are like blondes who got a tan,
 because they are made with whole wheat flour. 
Plus they are healthier than the typical butter and sugar filled babes, 
I mean, 
bars,
 so take your sun-tanned "Blondie" and enjoy it in a bikini.

***Yes it is march, it's still snowing, and I am thinking about swim suit season--
Oh the life of a California girl stuck in the mid-west. (it's really not that bad, but I can dream!)***

Recipe adapted from Webicurean.com

Makes 15 bars
Ingredients: 
2 cups whole wheat flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 egg
3/4 cup unsweetened applesauce
3 tbs coconut oil, melted
1 tsp vanilla
2 tbs water
1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
2 tbs sugar
2 medium-small zucchini's, peeled and chopped



Directions: 
Preheat oven 350 F. 
Non-stick a 7x11 or 9" in pan. 
Whisk together applesauce, coconut oil, sugar, egg, vanilla, and cinnamon until smooth. 
Sift together flour, baking soda and powder, and salt together. 
Blend well together the wet mixture into dry. 
Fold zucchini into batter, it will be thick. 

Evenly pour mixture into pan and if desired, sprinkle 1-2 tbs of brown sugar on top. 
Bake for 25-30 min-or until knife comes out almost clean--you don't want to over bake it. 

Let cool for 10 min. 
Slice and serve. 

Enjoy!!!!

Nutritional Information
1 bar
120 cal  * 21 carbs * 3g fat (good fats!) * 3 g protein * 2g fiber

Saturday, March 16, 2013

LiveFit Phase1 Wk 1 End

Alright! 
I made it through the first week! 


After a few days of eating high protein my stomach feels much better and as a whole, I actually I feel better. I feel more energized, and best of all, I NEVER feel hungry after meal! 

Even though I have done strength training through the majority of my weight loss journey I am quite sore from these workouts. They are no joke and I am thankful. 

I feel confident at the gym lifting the weights and I am proud of myself for pushing myself to lift even heavier weights. 

The total weight lifted for the week was 28,020 lbs!
Feeling like a beast

As the week progressed I found myself eating about 1300-1350 cals a day and within that I was averaging anywhere between 120-130g of protein daily.

My diet mostly includes: 
Protein shakes (body bi vi)
homemade protein bars, 
turkey balls
lots of turkey breast, 
hard boiled eggs (1 a day), 
cottage cheese,
greek yogurt, 
brown rice, 
tortillas 
and LOTS and LOTS of veggies. 

I did go out to Olive Garden with my husband and got a chicken entree and ate all the chicken, half the pasta, and lots of salad on the side. 
I share this with you, because even if you are following the planed out diet to a "T," she generally only gives you the amount of the food you should eat so you have the ability to get creative and eat any type of food you want.  So as long as you are getting 6oz of lean protein, 1 portion of a starch and unlimited veggies you can eat anywhere and anything. Enjoy it!

The following are my body measurements, I will post these again at the end of phase one and continue after each phase for comparison:

  • Weight: 139lbs
  • Body fat: 24%
  • Chest: 34 in
  • Arms 11.3 in
  • Hips 36.50 in
  • Waist 33.50 in
  • Calves: 15 in
  • Forearms: 8 in
  • Shoulders: 40.5 in
  • Neck: 12 in


I am feeling great right now, enjoying my rest days but ready for week two!



 My new mantra:

  -->

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Turkey Meat Balls: Protein Packed!

Well I am starting the Jamie Eason, Live Fit 12 week challenge and this is one of her recipes. 
I am not following the challenge's  meal plan to a 'T,' but I will use it as a guideline. You can read more HERE.

One of her recipes are turkey muffins, which are generally used as a snack in between meals. Her's are HUGE--large racquet ball size--and women are asked to eat 2 as a snack.
Can you imagine pulling that out as a snack at your desk.

Anyways, I made my own version, a bit smaller, and they are still packed with protein and will serve me just well for the time being.

They are delicious on there own but you can serve them with some type of sauce, cut them up and top on a salad, or put them in a sandwich. Endless possibilities.


Ingredients:
1 lb lean ground turkey ( I want to use extra lean but couldn't find it that week, it will cut calories)
1/4 cup rolled oats
1 egg
1/4 cup onion, chopped
2 mini peppers, chopped
1 small zucchini, grated
1 tsp chili powder
1 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp ground mustard
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp red pepper flakes,

Directions:
Preheat oven 375  F.
Non stick a muffin tin
Mix everything together in a small bowl-use your hands!
Do not over mix the meat but mix enough to get every thing incorporated.

Roll mixture into 12 equal sized balls, place in muffin tin and bake for 40 min.

Serve on a salad, in a pita, on some spaghetti squash, or just eat them---they taste great with hot sauce!

ENJOY!!!




Tuesday, March 12, 2013

LiveFit Phase 1 Day 1

 

Well I did it. 
Day 1 complete. 
It was not as easy as I thought it was going to be. 
Honestly, I thought 3 sets of 12 per exercise, I got this. 
However, by the 3rd set for a few of them I was literately falling on my face (Narrow push ups). 
Now don't count me out yet.
I did have a few great sets: tricep pull downs and bench press were completed with ease and in total I lifted 4,140bs in an hour. 
Not bad, not bad at all. 
Interested in learning more
Read THIS

So here were the workouts and my numbers: 

Wide Push Ups: 3 set
My body weight x 36

Narrow push ups: 3 sets OUCH!
my body weight x 36

Dumbbell Bench Press: 3 sets
20x12 each x 36

Flat Bench Cable Flyes: 3 set OUCH!
20x12; 15x12;  10x6 + 15x6

Standing Dumbbell Triceps Extension
20x12 each

Tricep Pull down
60x12 each


I'm in this, and still have the newbie adrenaline.

As for the food, I've stated in my intro to the challenge that I am using her meal plan as a guidline for my diet. And even though I upped my calories to 1400 I couldn't eat that much!
 I got myself to 1300 but man I was so full!  
Mostly because I ate a TON of protein: 130g. when my normal was around 75g. 
I know it's important to eat a lot in this first phase to help with muscle building so I will keep it up  and eat...fun concept right! 

Here was my meal layout for day 1:

Breakfast: Protein Shake:
--Body by vi, with water and 1/2 tsp mango pineapple drink mix (great value), 1/4 cup frozen strawberries
      104 cal; 12g protein 
  
Snack: 
--1/2 cup plain greek yogurt with cinnamon, 1 truvia packet, and 1/2 tsp vanilla and 1 hard boiled egg
       136 cal;  17g protein

Lunch: Turkey roll ups
--6 oz of mesquite turkey breast with 5 cherry tomatoes, 1/4 cup sliced cucumber, 1/2 cup brown rice, 1 tbs spicy brown mustard 
       315 cal;  37g protein

Snack
2 turkey balls, 2 sweet peppers, sliced carrot, and celery   
     265 cal; 20g protein







Dinner: Chicken Pita

5 oz shredded chicken breast in sauce: 1 tbs spicy brown mustard 1 tbs greek yogurt, pepper, 2 sliced cherry tomatoes,  1 cup chopped romaine lettuce, 1 Joseph's whole wheat pita 
      181 cal; 30g protein


 
Snack: 
~1/2 cup greek yogurt; 1 tbs peanut butter; 1 Truvia packet; 1 tbs cocoa powder--DON'T DO THIS, WAY TOO MUCH I couldn't finish it.
          ~ 131 cal; 12g protein
 
Here are my start photos: I look forward to posting progress through out the phases




KEEP IT UP! 

WANT TO SEE MY PROGRESS?
  CLICK HERE and SCROLL DOWN 



 

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