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!

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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!

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!

Apologies & Food Prep

It seems that all of my posts have started with “Sorry” lately.  I’d like to be able to post every day or couple days, but it’s just hard to get online and jot something down!  All I’ve done this week is unpack and work (eat and workout, of course), and I’m finally settled in!  After a long night of desk and desk chair assembling, I’m pretty sure that I’m a home improvement expert;)  Now, I’m heading back home to the valley for a quick trip…more traveling!  Luckily, I prepared a TON of food on Wednesday so I was ready for a 7 hour trip home.  It felt so good to be back in the kitchen prepping my food for the week.  I cooked all summer, but there is something comforting about having all of your meals prepared ahead of time that makes it so much easier to stick to clean eating!  It took away the anxiety of having to figure out what I was going to eat.

After hours of prep, I ended up with:

Little B’s Buffalo Chicken (SO GOOD)

Little B’s Tomato Basil Rice

Little B’s Blueberry Protein Muffins (It was a Little B week for me)

-Steamed veggies

-Red bell pepper strips

-Sliced cucumbers

-Hardboiled eggs

It may not seem like a lot, but that’s because that’s not counting breakfast, dinner, pre and post-workouts, or an evening meal!:)

It takes a lot of planning to stay clean for every meal, every single day while ensuring you actually get enough meals.  I wouldn’t be able to just stroll in to the grocery store and pick up whatever I think I need, because eating healthy obviously requires a lot of food.  Which is what makes it so awesome right?  I personally LOVE to go grocery shopping (even if I’m just grabbing something, it takes forever because I like to browse!), and you’ll rarely find me buying something that’s not on sale.  So, yes, I am the annoying person in the aisles doing price comparisons and matching up coupons.  Even though eating clean can be less expensive, it’s still not as cheap as the diet of apples and pretzels that I use to live on.

Sunday has been my chosen prep day, and I like to go through some of my favorite blogs and websites to find recipes that are:

Appetizing

-You want to enjoy the food that you eat! Yes, many people in the fitness industry do eat boiled chicken, potatoes, and steamed broccoli.  That doesn’t mean you have to!  This is a lifestyle and you need to actually like it:)

Balanced (fits with my macros)

-Macros (macronutrients) are the three main compounds that you need which provide energy: protein, carbohydrates, and fats. Everyone has a different balance of macros that works for them.  I’m still looking for mine, but right now it seems that I work better with 40% protein 40% carbs 20% fat.

Clean

-duh:)

So when you’re meal planning, don’t forget those ABC’s of a recipe!  Here are some of my favorite sites:

Powercakes

Clean Eating Mag

Little B’s Healthy Habits

Busy But Healthy

Once I decide what I’ll be eating for each of my 7 meals per day, I make a list of everything that I’ll need.  I’m a bit of an organization freak so I section things off by produce, protein, and dry goods.  This ensures that I won’t need to linger in aisles that tempt me with Oreos or candy or ice cream!  I can just go straight to what I need and bypass temptation:)

Then I get home and dive in to prep!  Remember, you’re making a week’s worth of food so allow yourself some time to make everything and try not to taste test too many dishes:)

When you’re done, you’ll end up with nutritious and delicious meals like these:)

Egg whites and spinach topped with organic ketchup, nutritional yeast, and ground flaxseed with ezekial toast and homemade orange-lime chia jam!

Buffalo chicken wrap with spinach, red bell pepper, cucumbers, lime greek yogurt spread, nutritional yeast, and flaxseed

Steamed veggie and spinach salad topped with a turkey burger (I’ve been lazy with dinner), chia, nutritional yeast, and a lemon greek yogurt dressing

Peanut butter chai protein shake!

And then when you’re done with the meals, you’ll end up with abs like these:

Maybe not exactly like the lovely Rita Catolino, but hey a girl can dream right?:)

Check back tomorrow for another recipe link up with Powercakes!

July Foodie Pen Pal

WOW.  I cannot believe that July is already over.  At the beginning of the month, I saw a picture that said, “Make July your b*tch.”  Though I haven’t been the cleanest or strictest with my diet, I do feel that July was mine.  I enjoyed every last bit of my summer in DC, right down to the last bite of burger or delicious homemade oatmeal cookie, and I don’t regret a second of it! It’s great not feeling the guilt that I used to associate with eating something that may not be the healthiest.  I don’t feel anxiety when I can’t get to the gym and I don’t think the world is going to end if I eat a piece of cake.  I really think it’s important to indulge and have those off-meals because nobody is perfect.  I know that it’s hindering my progress, but I’m also really happy with the progress I’ve made and where I’m at right now.  I’m so ready to keep pushing myself harder once I get back in to my routine though! Just because I’m not at the gym doesn’t mean I don’t miss it!

It’s important to decide whether or not your goals allow for little cheats like I’ve taken.  I know that once I get back to my diet and exercise plan that I’ll be on my way to reaching my goals.  I’m not afraid of falling completely off the wagon; I’m just stopping it for a little bit!  If you’re the kind of person who can’t limit yourself to just a one cookie, then you should definitely assess your own choices when it comes to off-meals.

The end of the month also means that it’s Foodie Pen Pal time!  My June Foodie Pen Pals were Jocelyn and Judy.  Check out what I sent at Jocelyn at her blog: Peace Love Nutrition.  Judy sent me some unique items, from her hometown in Oklahoma, that are also clean!  I was so excited to see local brands in the box, and Judy actually knew some of the owners.

-Taboli Salad Mix: This bag of dehydrated bulgar, parsley, and onions doesn’t look like much, but it seems to be one of the best kept Oklahoma secrets to me!  A restaurant in Bristow, OK sells these bags of their taboli salad to mix with fresh vegetables.  Tabbouleh is one of my favorite Mediterranean dishes and I’m so excited to try this super healthy carb!

-Nature’s Bakery Whole Wheat Peach Apricot Fig Bar: I am a super fan of Fig Newton’s so this was a perfect on-the-go snack for me:)  The short list of natural ingredients was very exciting because it’s hard to find bars that actually taste good and are clean without making them yourself.

-Whole Foods Parmesan Crisps:  Okay, I may have had a small bingefest with these on my last night in Virginia, but at least they are clean!  I’ve made Parmesan crisps at home before (it’s SO easy and they look so fancy to me!), but mine are never this thick and crispy.  We were sure that there had to be some bread crumbs or something involved in these, but after checking the ingredients we were surprised to just see good ol’ cheese on there!  Whole Foods never failsJ

-Eden Organic Wild Berry Mix: I have to admit that I was kind of worried about this.  Only because I am a HUGE lover of trail mix and can tend to go a bit overboard at times.  I’m also trying to cut down on sugar, and dried fruit packs a lot of sugar in a little tiny piece.  However, not only has my will power increased, but this stuff is awesome!  It’s not too sweet and just a palm full gives me that little boost of energy I need on my way home from work.

-The Prairie Gypsies Blackberry Sage Jelly:  Haven’t had a chance to try this yet, but anything with fruit and herbs sounds good to meJ

I hope you all made July your b*tch and are ready for August!

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

Can 4-letter words involve an apostrophe?

Sorry I haven’t been very successful with the blogging lately!  “The Thing”, as we call my departure from VA, is rapidly approaching and I haven’t been at a computer much.  Still finding time to hit the gym, of course:) 

Today I endured James’s Week 6 Day 3 leg workout, and I felt so accomplished as I hobbled out of the gym!  I recently read an article about a ten year-old girl who can squat twice her body weight.  I usually only squat about 50lbs (less than half of my body weight) and realized that I was slacking!  Usually it’s because I can’t really lift more than 60 over my head without looking like I’m seizing, but this morning I conquered the squat rack!  I busted out 3 set of 15 squats at 95lb. and I was dying! Luckily, it was so early that there was no one there to see me stuggling to stand. You know how much I love squats, but it was slow going at 6:00am and my motivation was definitely low.  About half way through the 2nd set, I was maybe a little stuck in the squat position and thought “I can’t get up.”

OH HELL NO.

What I really couldn’t tolerate was that I had said can’t.  For the few of you who have been to the gym with me, you know that word is like saying “Voldemort” to muggle-me (though there is still some possibility that my acceptance letter owl was hit by a car, I’m still holding out hope).  I learned long ago that can’t would never again be a part of my vocabulary.  I danced ballet, jazz, tap, lyrical, and whatever else I could fit in, with the same teacher for quite a few years and who drilled quite a few helpful life lessons in to my brain.

The first came about while the class was stretching: we’d put one leg up on the wall behind us, and do a standing split. Well, to be honest, my splits sucked.  I had no muscle, so I had “the shakes”, and had to stand up on that wall for 5 minutes while he pulled my foot towards my head.  Sort of hard to picture, but think of something pretzel-like.  At one point, I said the dreaded word and he pulled me up and said:

“No.  You CAN do anything, but if you won’t then that’s your head’s fault.  Don’t blame your body for something your mind is too lazy to do.”

 

It really stuck with me, and I am always happy to tell someone how dumb their mind is being about something:)  Today, it was my own mind that was being an idiot.  It was a pretty motivational moment for myself and the weighted bar I was holding, and I eventually returned to my normal height to bust out 1 and a half more sets!  The point is, don’t doubt yourself because if you don’t think you can do it, then why would anyone else?

 

Have a good Thirsty Thursday and drink of lots water!! I’m at 40 oz., share how much you’ve had today!

 

P.s. Words to Avoid (updated): Skinny, can’t

 

 

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!

I eat because I’m happy, and I’m happy because I lift.

I get asked all the time why I decided to choose this lifestyle or what I like about it or what prompted me to change.  I always have a difficult time answering because there really are so many reasons and so many things that I love about eating clean and training dirty:) Actually, I pretty much love everything.  I’m sure there are more, but here’s what I came up with:

I love protein shakes.

I love the gym.

I love having the gym to myself at 5:30am.

I love how cool my lifting gloves make me feel.

I love sweating 5 minutes in to a tough workout.

I love running.

I love pushups and squats and curls and deadlifts.

I love eating rainbows.

I love fresh, whole fruits and vegetables.

I love lean proteins like salmon, turkey, and chicken.

I love being the only girl at the gym with a shaker bottle.

I love monitoring my heart rate.

I love knowing what goes in my body.

I love being in workout clothes and my nikes with my hair in a ponytail.

I love watermelon glutamine.

I love having to eat 6 times a day.

I love knowing that I’m strong enough to lift a small child over my head, multiple times.

I love flaxseed and pb2 and chia seeds and other “weird” health foods.

I love pushing myself to make every rep count.

I love the science of how we use food to shape our bodies.

I love egg whites and oats.

I love having food as a friend, not foe.

I love seeing progress.

I love having goals and actually reaching them.

I love the community that I’ve found in the fitness world.

I love knowing that my progress comes from hard work and not some magic pill.

I love not feeling guilty for indulging every now and then.

I love being comfortable in my own skin.

I love feeling sore after a b*tch of a workout.

I love workouts that are a b*tch.

I love making workouts my b*tch.

I love being strong.

 

What’s your reason?