R.A.C.K. to Christmas!

How’s everyone doing with the squat-a-thon? Feelin’ the burn yet?  I know I am, especially on leg days! I’m a sucker for challenges though so I’m loving it.

Another way that I have challenged myself this December is by doing a R.A.C.K (Random Act of Christmas Kindness) every day as a Christmas countdown! Someday they will invent super clean chocolate advent calendars, but until then I’m just going to go out of my way everyday to do something nice.  It’s been a really fun experience, and it can be incredibly fulfilling to just do something that will make another person feel great during the holiday season.

Now I’m going to challenge you to R.A.C.K. your city in these final days before Christmas!

It doesn’t have to be some grand gesture, I’ve realized that it’s the little things that can really make someone’s day. Some ideas are:

-Donate clothes/toys/canned food to those in need

-Volunteer your time at a homeless shelter, or for a fun run in your community, or the SPCA

-Leave an inspiring note on a random car

-Do your roommate’s dishes (without complaining)

-Bake clean Christmas cookies for your neighbors and give them the recipe!

-Offer to help someone with their groceries

These are just a few of the actions that will take you 5 minutes-tops, but will have a lasting effect on others.  So get in to the Christmas spirit, and remember that it isn’t about the new lifting gloves or protein powder that are waiting under the tree.  It’s about the hope that maybe someday we’ll all be on the nice list;)

While you’re going on a Christmas walk to admire the lights, warm up with this clean peppermint cocoa!

Peppermint Cocoa

photo-1

-1 peppermint tea bag

-1/2 tbs cocoa powder

-2 drops stevia

  1. Fill a mug with hot water and prepare the peppermint tea
  2. Discard the tea bag and add the cocoa powder and stevia

So simple, but so decadent!

Share your squat progress or R.A.C.K. ideas with me on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram (BBBHealthy)

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My Secret Weapon

BIC BANDS!

I know, I know, they are just headbands right? SO WRONG!

I heard about these amazing headbands when I took an Xtend Barre workout with my stepmom a few weeks ago.  The magic of them is that they never slip!  Seriously, EVER. They have a velvet lining that keeps them on!  Not only are these headbands just so handy for workouts, but they are sold by a pretty inspiring company.

BIC stands for “Because I Can” and they were created for a run with Team in Training.  Each month they choose a new charity to donate some of their proceeds to.  This month, $1 from each sale will be donated to the victims of Hurricane Sandy.  So go buy some  😉

My stepmom sent me a few, and they have a ton of designs to choose from!  I’m coming up with a challenge for the new year, and am hoping to include some BIC Bands in the prize because I just love their message!

I also have been going a little pancake crazy lately.  I always forget how they can fit perfectly with my macros and still taste delicious!  Here’s a carb-free recipe that I’ve been loving.

Almond Pancakes

1/4 cup almond flour (make your own! Just grind almonds in a food processor)

1 tsp baking powder

4 egg whites

1/2 tsp vanilla extract

1/4 tsp almond extract (optional)

  1. Heat a small pan on medium heat.
  2. Combine the almond flour and baking powder together.
  3. Whisk the egg whites and extracts.
  4. Slowly add the dry mixture to the wet mixture.
  5. Cook like regular pancakes! Flipping when the top is fully covered with little bubbles.
  6. Top with protein powder frosting (pp powder and water) or a little greek yogurt!

Procrastination is okay if you’re working out right?

Those moments when you’d rather do anything than homework…for me, anything includes lifting, running, stretching, cooking, or eating:)

That’s right about now for me.  I killed my shoulders and abs today, but would do anything to ditch this paper and go for a run!  I haven’t been able to run for a few weeks because I hurt my foot (and because I’m trying to keep my hard earned muscle, not burn it), but am missing it so much.  My runs have been replaced with stairs and speed walking on an incline, woo.

So even though my cardio work at the gym isn’t the most fun, I’m actually enjoying my work in the kitchen.  We all know that the kitchen is where the hardest work goes down.  Sure, I’d love to be able to bench a couple of plates, but I’d much rather have the lifelong strength to PUT DOWN THE COOKIES! So far, I’ve been doing pretty well with it:)  It’s a been a whole week without cheats and I feel awesome.  I love how great eating clean can make you feel.

I’ve been inhaling chicken, brown rice, steamed, veggies, protein powder, and cottage cheese like no other.  Seriously though, I went through 5lbs of chicken this week.  I’m pretty sure that I’m very close to turning in to a chicken, just waiting for that first cluck.  Since I have been trying to spice up my standard diet, I’ve got a new recipe for you!

Pumpkin Spice Latte Shake

-1/2 cup cold coffee

-splash of almond milk

-1 tsp. pumpkin spice

-1 drop of liquid stevia or 1 packet of stevia in the raw

-1 scoop vanilla protein powder (optional)

  1. Add ice and blend:)

**If you want to make this a meal on the go, add some pureed pumpkin!

What is one type of exercise that you hope you’ll never have to stop doing?

Don’t forget to follow me on Instagram and Twitter:

BBBHealthy

@BBBHealthy

Helpful tools…and a milkshake!

A few months ago, I received an email from SlimKicker.com about trying out a new product.  The website is an interactive way to track EVERYTHING in your life that is related to fitness.  It makes it easy to stick with your personal fitness plan by having a food, exercise, AND challenge log!  I’ve used a few tracking websites, mostly myfitnesspal.com, but I’ve never had such a simple way to manage all aspects of my fitness.  The layout of everything is pretty easy:

At the top there are links for Nutrition, Body, Challenges, Groups, Friends, and Blog.  So you can also use the site for social media and blogging! I wish I would have known about this earlier because it’s a great way to build a network for your blog.  I don’t usually enter what I eat everyday because I don’t really change my macros.  I just enter everything that I plan to eat for an entire week and use it as a reference.  So once a week, it’s very helpful!  The challenge section is my favorite because you can choose goals that others have submitted or ones that you create yourself.  Right now, my goal is to do a bodyweight exercise a day.  I just started using it, and already I can see that 14% closer to completing my goals! I’ve been doing push-ups like crazy. I even have a little motivational picture to keep me going!  I’m staying strictly clean for the next few months except for 3 or so planned indulgences on holidays.

SlimKicker is planning on launching a physical tracker early next year.  It will be similar to a FitBit and will track activity along with a mobile app to track nutrition.  I’m really excited to receive the tracker, but for now I’ll just utilize the website for all of my fitness needs!  I suggest that you try it out, and add me as a friend, BBBHealthy of course:)

If you follow me on Instagram, @BBBHealthy, then you would have seen my #plantPOWER Chocolate Power Shake!  I love that it’s protein powder free.  It’s perfect for an easy, nutrient-packed snack.

Chocolate Power Shake

-1/2 cup greek yogurt

-1 cup chopped, frozen spinach

-1 tbs. cocoa powder

-1tbs. natural peanut butter

-a couple drops of stevia

-ice

  1. Blend everything together and add ice until it’s the desired consistency!
  2. Top with a sprinkle of cinnamon or unsweetened coconut

I’ll be posting a dinner recipe tomorrow!

Triumph!

I DID IT!

Not only did I actually complete the Nike Women’s Half Marathon, but I surpassed my goals for myself in doing so!  Like I said in my last post, I was afraid for that run.  Terrified doesn’t even begin to describe how scared I was to overcome those 13.1 miles.  I knew that I could finish it, but I wasn’t sure how much running I’d be able to actually RUN, as opposed to walk:)

I’m proud to say that I did not walk one inch of that course! I told myself that I could make it to mile 4 (because I had done a 7k the week before), but when I got there I was feeling great to I told myself I’d take a walking break at mile 5.  Well when I got to mile 5, Call Me Maybe was playing; and for anyone that knows me, that is my song!  So I just kept going and realized how awesome it would feel if I ran the whole thing.  So I did!  I wish I would have trained because I’m sure that I would have gotten a better time, but for not training at all I’m pretty proud of 2:35:00!  Next year, I’m hitting the pavement hard:)

Heading in to my corral, ready to run!

With my swag at the end:) A Tiffany’s necklace given to me by a very lovely fireman from the SFPD, awesome free stuff, and flowers from my family:)

The necklace!!

What kept me going all day! It’s not about what you do or do not have, it’s about what you’re going to get!

Refueling with ginger quinoa waffles with vanilla agave nectar. I’ve never been so hungry in my life!

Even though my feet, calves, hips, and back hurt, I feel incredible!  Overcoming something that had been looming overhead for so long makes me feel as though I can do anything…like stay up way too late before an 8am class writing a post to inform you about nighttime eating:)

James Wilson’s Body Earned Program introduced me to the bedtime snack and I haven’t looked back!  Sleep is one of the most important aspects of a healthy lifestyle.  Not only to give you energy for the new day, but because it’s powertime for building muscles.  Studies have shown that protein synthesis (muscle building) slows during sleep, and this may be attributed to a decreased amount of amino acids.  I know that I want to utilize as much time as I can to rebuild my muscles so I eat lean protein with a healthy fat about an hour or so before bed.  No more starving yourself after 8pm!! The protein helps repair your muscles and the healthy fat is digested slowly, basically so the protein sticks around:)  My favorite lately has been a cinnamon omelette with natural peanut butter and a little bit of protein frosting.

If you are on Instagram you can follow me at BBBHealthy to see more of my meals!

Cinnamon Omelette

-4 egg whites

-tsp of vanilla extract

-a couple drops of stevia extract

-A LOT of cinnamon (I probably use 2 tbs, but I really love it!)

-1tbs almond milk

-1 tbs natural peanut butter

-Toppings: protein frosting, coconut, nuts, cocoa nibs, whatever you want!

  1. Spray a small pan with cooking spray and heat to medium heat
  2. In a small bowl, whisk all of the ingredients until combined. Be sure to whip plenty of air in there for fluffy eggs!
  3. Pour egg mixture in to the pan and cook, using a spatula to push the edges away from the pan every so often
  4. Flip when mostly cooked
  5. Place a tbs of natural peanut butter on one side and fold it over
  6. Let the peanut butter melt a litte and you’re done!
  7. Top with protein frosting (protein powder mixed with almond milk or water) and unsweetened coconut

Do you eat before bed? Share your thoughts!

Hello, Fall!

I hope everyone had a relaxing Labor Day Weekend:)  Mine was just about the epitome of relaxation!

Though it started out with a sleepless night shift (No sleep=bad for my metabolism!), it got pretty awesome after my 5 hour nap:)

I had to go up to Potrero Hill and got to enjoy this gorgeous view of San Francisco, it never gets old seeing this!

I stopped by Whole Foods on the way home and went a little crazy…

Went in to get coconut flour and came out with:

  1. Coconut flour (I did one thing right!)
  2. Synergy Raspberry Chia Kombucha-my new favorite drink, I love the chia in it.
  3. Vegan Carob Chips-perfect for when I just really really really really want a Hershey’s Kiss: my weakness
  4. Metromint Cherrymint and Chocomint- I brought the Cherrymint to the park with me on one of the only hot days in SF, so refreshing!
  5. Lydia’s Organics Sprouted Cinnamon Cereal-I’m obsessed, who knew sprouted nuts and seeds could make such great cereal?
  6. I also got a Nana’s NO gluten-free chocolate chip cookie, but I didn’t come out with it because I ate in while shopping:)

Sunday was spent at Dolores Park with friends, enjoying the rare sunshine:)

Followed by some sprints in not-so-sunny Golden Gate Park

That was my second workout of the day, and afterwards I was STARVING!!  I wanted some hearty comfort food after running in the cold, and came up with a clean cream sauce to smother some turkey in:)

Fauxfredo Pasta Sauce

1 tbsp. Extra Virgin Olive Oil

1/2 medium red onion, chopped

3 garlic cloves, minced/crushed

2 tbsp oat flour

1 cup vegetable broth

3/4 cup plain greek yogurt

pepper, to taste

  1. Heat the oil in a medium sauce pan.
  2. Add the onions and allow them to soften for about 5 minutes.
  3. Add the garlic and heat it for about one minute.
  4. Combine the oat flour and stir.
  5. Add the vegetable broth and stir until combined.
  6. Turn the heat on low and allow the sauce to thicken.
  7. After about 4 minutes, add the greek yogurt and pepper.
  8. Continue to heat the sauce on low until it is at the desired consistency.

I drenched some turkey and spaghetti squash in this stuff!  Served with roasted brussels sprouts and fresh tomatoes, it’s just good, clean comfort food. A perfect way to officially say goodbye to summer, and hello to autumn veggies:)

August Foodie Pen Pal

If you haven’t signed up for Foodie Pen Pals with The Lean Green Bean then you are CRAZY.  With over 1,000 participants, I have no doubt that you’re going to get some awesome food while being introduced to some awesome people.  This month I sent a package to Amanda at http://www.semihealthyblog.com/ and received THE BEST PACKAGE EVER from Valerie at http://www.thatswhatwedid.com/.  I think they just get better and better every month though:)  Check out one of her many blogs!  She’s into some bada$$ workouts right now that are pretty interesting:)

Valerie was nice enough to accommodate my super clean eating habits, and also sent along a couple of treats for which I am VERY thankful for:)

1. Roasted Plantain Chips and Local Hot & Spicy Peanut Butter

It took all of my willpower to not rip open that bag of chips and dip them in the peanut butter!  I’ve mentioned quite a bit on here that I’m sort of obsessed with peanut butter, but this stuff is like Pad Thai (another one of my food love affairs) in a jar.  It’s PURE GENIUS.  By the way, plantain chips are even better than potato chips:)  I don’t remember the last time I ate a chip, but I know the next time will be one of those babies!

2. Trader Joe’s 21 Seasoning Salute

This little jar packs a ton of citrus-y punch, with no salt!  I seasoned some salmon with and it was the perfect complement to lemon-steamed veggies:)  I’m always looking for new, clean spices and this one is a hit!

3. Trader Joe’s Lemon Pepper

I made some classic lemon chicken with this the other day.  My dad used to make it all the time when I was a kid, and this sparked the memory!  Valerie is really helping me build up my spice cabinet:)

4. Zico Coconut Water

So I have to say that I’ve never really been a fan of coconut water, but I realized that I’ve only tried the flavored kinds.  Natural is so refreshing!!  It’s perfect for rehydrating after an intense workout.

5. Pomegranate Balsamic Vinegar

This stuff is so good!  I’ve been making a dressing using it, just mix:

1 tsp pomegranate balsamic vinegar

1/3 cup greek yogurt

3 drops liquid stevia

juice of one lime

It’s perfect on spinach salad loaded with fresh veggies:)

6. Freeze Dried Blueberries

Trader Joe’s really is a miracle.  Freeze dried fruit doesn’t taste as sickly sweet as dried fruit and is crunchy so I’ve been putting a palmful on my salad!  It gives that little extra texture and flavor so I don’t get boring eating the same thing every day for a week:)

And it was all wrapped up in a cute little summer towel and accompanied by a very nice card!  Don’t you want to get a box full of awesome next month?  Read the rules below and go check out Lindsey’s blog, maybe we’ll get paired up!!:)

-On the 5th of the month, you will receive your pen pal pairing via email. It will be your responsibility to contact your pen pal and get their mailing address and any other information you might need like allergies or dietary restrictions.
-You will have until the 15th of the month to put your box of goodies in the mail. On the last day of the month, you will post about the goodies you received from your pen pal!
-The boxes are to be filled with fun foodie things, local food items or even homemade treatsThe spending limit is $15The box must also include something written. This can be anything from a note explaining what’s in the box, to a fun recipe…use your imagination!
-You are responsible for figuring out the best way to ship your items depending on their size and how fragile they are. (Don’t forget about flat rate boxes!)
-Foodie Penpals is open to blog readers as well as bloggers. If you’re a reader and you get paired with a blogger, you can choose to write a short guest post for your penpal to post on their blog about what you received. If two readers are paired together, neither needs to worry about writing a post for that month.

Powermeal: Clean Fried Chicken

I hope you all had a great weekend! I came home to a house full of family and a fridge stocked with clean food, so it’s been pretty awesome:)  We had a bbq the last night and wanted to make Little B’s coconut chicken, but were out of coconut.  So I came up with a quick fried chicken recipe to replace it!

Clean Fried Chicken

1lb. chicken breast tenderloins

1/2 cup oat flour

1/4 cup almond meal

2 tbs. nutritional yeast

1tbs. Bragg organic sprinkle seasoning (or any spices you’re feelin’!)

3 egg whites

1/2 tbs. coconut oil

  1. Cut the chicken strips in to halves.
  2. In one bowl, combine the flour, meal, yeast, and seasoning.
  3. In another bowl, place the egg whites.
  4. Heat 1/4 tbs. of the coconut oil on medium in a large skillet.
  5. Dip the chicken in to the egg whites, and then the flour mixture.
  6. Let the chicken rest for a minute or two in the flour mixture.
  7. Fry the coated chicken in the oil for about 8-10 minutes per side
  8. Add the remaining oil to the pan for the next round of frying!

Don’t forget to check out Powercakes blog for more #powermealaweek recipes!

Pre & Post Workout Shake Recipe for Powermeal a Week!

I hope you all had a relaxing Sunday.  I just got back in to California.  I’m really excited, but so so so so so so so so sad to leave DC and Virginia!  Kasey over at http://powercakes.net/  started a new challenge, and I haven’t been keeping up as much as I wanted to.  The challenge is to post a new powermeal recipe every Sunday and link it to her blog so that all of us fitness and food freaks can share ideas!  Last week I shared my recipe for clean chicken salad.  I was trying to think of what I could share this weekend when I realized that I’ve mentioned the importance of a pre- and post-workout meal, but have never shared mine!

Though there are many different opinions, the plan that I am on now dictates that I have carbs and protein only surrounding my workout.  So no fats!  (Healthy fats of course, never bad fats!)  It’s always really difficult to convince people that that they need to eat before and after they workout.  So many think that if they don’t eat before a workout, then they’ll burn the fat that they have instead of the food they eat.  Do you really think you’re body is going, “Hmm, no food in awhile, I’ll just eat the fat that’s been lingering on your hips for that past ten years.”?  Not going to happen!  You need food for energy before your workout, and food to recover post workout.  Getting shredded actually requires the shredding and tearing of your muscles, if you want them to repair themselves and grow on top of that, then you need to fuel your body.

I find it really hard to eat a full meal before AND after my workout without becoming a pukefest, so I choose a protein shake.  I’m a creature of habit, and I usually have the same one every day:)

Berry Workout Shake

Makes 2 servings (feel free to modify the amounts based on your workout burn)

1 cup oats

2 scoops protein powder

1/4 cup blueberries

1/4 cup plain greek yogurt

1/2 banana or apple

3 drops stevia extract

1/8-1/4 cup water

LOTS of ice!

  1. Blend everything but the ice in a blender
  2. Add ice and blend again!

**Drink 1/2 30 minutes before your workout, and half within 30 minutes after your workout**

Calories: 530

Carbs: 64g

Protein: 50g

Sugars: 6g

Sunday Blog Fail=Life WIN

So I’ve realized that there’s no way I can post such a long blog on Sundays! At least not for right now.  So my apologies to the both of you reading this. There has to be at least two of you right? 🙂

This weekend was crazy busy since my time in DC is coming to an end.  We had planned on hiking Old Rag in Shenandoah (an 8 hour hike) on Sunday.  Shenandoah is one of my favorite places to be, but so far I’ve only gone tubing and wanted to check out the awesome trails that they have!  Our plans changed when we found INCREDIBLE Sugarland tickets.  That was an easy decision to make:) Instead of Old Rag, we chose a shorter hike in Great Falls, Maryland.  Billy Goat Trail was rough and rocky, but I recommend it to anyone looking for something a little more challenging than a nature walk.  The views of the Potomac were spectacular and it was so nice to sit out on a ledge and enjoy our clean chicken sandwiches:)

Acting as the geniuses that we are, my aunt and I decided to visit Cracker Barrel and eat back all the calories that we had burned rock scrambling!  I definitely wanted to treat myself, but it was hard to go completely nuts.  I had multi-grain pancakes, scrambled eggs, turkey sausage, grits, and REAL BUTTER AND SYRUP.  I’ll admit, sometimes I do miss refined sugar and cream:)  After we hefted ourselves from our table, we headed on over to Sugarland!! 

The concert was absolutely amazing!  They are one of my favorite bands and it was such a surprise to get to see them:) I’ll post some pictures later tonight!

Speaking of pictures…..I’m now on Instagram! Follow me @BBBHealthy 🙂

I’ll leave you with a quick and easy recipe for lazy summer days and a Sunday Powermeal!

 

 

 

 

Clean Chicken Salad

4 pieces of chicken, diced (I used leftovers from Little B’s coconut chicken recipe)

1/2 bell pepper

1 cup greek yogurt

2 tbs. chopped fresh basil

1tbs. dried cilantro

3 tsp. grapefruit juice (or lime)

2 tsp. Dijon mustard

Pepper to taste (I used TJ’s flower pepper)

1. Mix it all together and enjoy with whole-wheat or ezekial toast and squash chips!