Saturday, December 8, 2012

Baja Fish Kabobs

via J.Stevens

Baja Fish Kabobs
by Oxygen Magazine

I have not tried this one yet, but it sounds so so yummy. This recipe is on my menu plan this upcoming week and I will edit/revise/update (and add a picture!)  this recipe and let you all know how it was! If you try it before me please comment on how it was!

ready in 15 mins.
serves 4

1 lb firm white fish (red snapper, cod, mahi mahi, swordfish) cut it into 32 pieces
juice of 2 lemons
Juice of 1 lime
Zest of 1/2 lemon
1/2 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp chili peppers
1/4 tsp smoked paprika
1 sweet onion, cut into 1" chunks (16 pieces)
1 cup cherry or grape tomatoes (16 pieces)
1 avocado
1 orange bell pepper, cut into 1" chunks (16 pieces)
1/2 cup cilantro, chopped
8 metal skewers, or, soaked wooden ones

Now Make it!

~preheat grill. Place juice of 1 lemon, lime juice, lemon zest, chili peppers, cumin and paprika in a bowl and whisk. Add fish, let marinate for 5 minutes.

~Prepare avocado sauce. Add avocado chunks, juice of 1 lemon and cilantro to a blender and puree'.

~Thread 4 pieces of fish, onion, tomato and bell pepper onto each skewer.

~Place skewers on grill and cook 2-3 minutes each side.

~Serve with the avocado dipping sauce.

2 skewers = 1 serving
calories 222, total fats 9 g, Cholesterol 40 mg, sodium 78 mg, carbs 13 g, fiber 5 g, sugars 3 g, protein 23 g, iron 1 mg

~Bonus Tips~

Cilantro is a great natural digestive aid and can help reduce bloating and gas.

Avocado is the fruit that fights inflammation;).

White fish is totally packed to the gills with protein and has little carbs.

Get Walking!

Ramped up Walk Workout!

Walking contributes to overall health by helping to lower 'bad' cholesterol, increase 'good' cholesterol, lower blood pressure and improve mood not to mention BURN some serious calories! Here are some simple tips to add to your next walk.

~Swing your arms! 
Bend your elbows, pick up the pace a bit and add some momentum. Keep your shoulders relaxed;).

~Add weights.
Add light dumbbells or ankle weights, this creates a little resistance thus burning more calories.

~Walk sideways.
This works different muscles in your legs and hips. Be sure to balance your training by facing the other side to work your opposite leg. Try this walking up a hill!

~Squeeze the booty.
This will tighten up your tush. Squeeze glutes together as you push off with your rear foot. Really focus on the glute muscle and feel the burn.

~Take big ole strides.
Lengthen your stride. By doing this, you recruit your inner and outer thigh muscles.....taking you one step closer to leaner legs;).

~Add intervals!
This is my favorite, and something I do at least 3 times per week. Add short bursts of running within your walking workout. An example: walk 3 minutes, sprint 1 min. (repeat 8-10 times or more!)

~Choose uneven terrain.
Find a forest, sand or gravel. This requires more muscle power and ultimately burns more calories.

~Walking Lunges.
Perform 2 minutes of walking lunges followed by 2 minutes brisk walking. (repeat 8-10 times or more!)

Jillian Michaels- Lose 5lbs of Bloat

Lose 5 lbs of Bloat in a Healthy Way!

(5lbs in 7 days)

I battle the bloat, so when I came across this recipe I was determined to give it a try! I did this for a total week and felt great. I didn't get on the scale, I don't even have a scale in the house;), but could tell that I definitely shed some water!

Get 60 oz of distilled water
add a tablespoon of sugar free cranberry juice
add 1 dandelion root tea bag
add 2 tablespoons of lemon juice

Directions: Drink the 60 oz every day for 7 days. 

Sushi Salad

Sushi Salad

This is one of my favorite salads. I found this recipe in Clean Eating a long time ago and have customized it according to my husband and my tastes. It has so many health benefits! 18 g of protein and healthy doses of the Omega's, not to mention it's absolutely delish!


1 cup short grain brown rice
1 tbsp wasabi paste
2 tbsp low sodium soy sauce (I use Braggs liquid Aminos)
2/3 cup rice wine vinegar
1/2 tsp raw honey
1 English cucumber, diced into tiny chunks
4 nori sheets, cut into little strips
1 large carrot, peeled and thinly sliced
4 cups baby spinach
8 oz crab meat pieces or ahi tuna
1 avocado pitted, peeled and sliced (sliced mango is also great)

Now Make it!

~In a medium saucepan bring 2 cups of water to a boil. Stir in rice, cover and reduce heat to low. Simmer for 30 minutes. Remove from heat and let sit, keep covered, for 10 more minutes. Spread rice on a baking sheet to cool to room temp....about 15 minutes.

~In a small bowl, whisk wasabi, soy sauce, vinegar and honey, put aside.

~In a large bowl mix rice, cucumber, nori and carrot. Drizzle with wasabi honey mixture and stir to combine. Gently fold in crab or tuna.

~Divide spinach among serving bowls or plates and top each with rice/crab mixture and avocado.

serves 4
1 cup spinach, 1 1/2 heaping cups of rice-crab mixture, 1/4 avocado. 360 Calories, 10 g total fat, 1.5 g sat. fat, 350 mg Omega 3's, 930 mg Omega 6's, 54 g carbs, 9 g fiber, 4 g sugars, 18 g protein, 55 mg cholesterol.

Monday, December 3, 2012

Egg Drop Soup

Egg Drop Soup 'on the Fly'

I'll make this short, or I'll try;), but I'm a talker. My lil' husband had oral surgery and was suffering and unable to chew and pretty much unable to  swallow. Oh dear, I was out of the usual variety of boxed soups that I usually have, and this left me in, well, a  situation;). He loves  the egg drop soup at the quaint 'House of China', so I re-created it just for him. With just enough protein and soothing warmth it's become our sacred healing potion for our family when under the weather. Quick and oh so easy and yummy.

32 oz low sodium chicken stock 
white pepper
1 tbsp. cornstarch
Braggs Liquid Amino Acids or Low Sodium Soy Sauce (for taste)
fresh shitake mushrooms (a handful)
4 organic eggs
fresh chives (to taste)

Now Make it!
*Bring the chicken stock and white pepper ( a few shakes will do) to a boil, add mushrooms. Meanwhile, add 1/4 cup of the boiling stock and 1 tbsp. cornstarch in a separate bowl and whisk. Slowly pour mixture into boiling stock, add 2-3 tbsp. of Braggs Amino Acids or Soy Sauce. Let gently boil on medium heat  for 10 minutes. Whisk the eggs in a bowl and pour and swirl gently and slowly with whisk into the stock. Add fresh chives and serve while hot. 

*this is best consumed the same day. Sometimes I will add an extra egg to benefit from the protein;)

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Strawberry Banana & Flax Smoothie

Strawberry Banana & Flax Smoothie
from Fitness Magazine

1/2 medium banana
1/2 cup frozen unsweetened strawberries
2 tablespoons ground flaxseed

Make It!
Blend all until smooth;). Easy!

1 serving
278 calories;7 g fat;1 g sat fat;43 g carbs;7 g fiber; 16 g protein

Southwestern Three-Bean & Barley Soup

Southwestern Three-Bean & Barley Soup
by EatingWell

6 servings (1 1/3 cup each)
**serve with fresh chopped cilantro and a squeeze of lime!


1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1 large onion, diced
1 large celery stalk, diced
1 large carrot, diced
9 cups water
4 cups (32 oz carton) reduced-sodium chicken broth, or vegetable broth
1/2 cup pearl barley
1/3 cup dried black beans
1/3 cup dried great northern beans
1/3 cup dried kidney beans
1 tablespoon chili powder
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
3/4 teaspoon salt

Make it!

Heat oil in a Dutch oven over medium heat. Add onion, celery and carrot and cook, stir occasionally, until soft, approx. 5 mins. Add water, broth, barley, black beans, great northern beans, kidney beans, chili powder, cumin and oregano. Bring to a lively simmer over high heat. Reduce heat to maintain a simmer and cook, stir occasionally until the beans are tender, 1 3/4 to 2 1/2 hours (adding more water, 1/2 cup at a time, if necessary or desired). Season with salt.

205 calories; 3 g fat; 1 g sat; 2 g mono; 0 mg cholesterol; 35 g carbs; 11 g protein; 10 g fiber; 705 mg sodium; 601 mg potassium

Make this ahead and cover and refrigerate for up to 3 days!
You can also make this in a slow cooker: use 2 cups water instead of 9 cups and combine all ingredients in a 5-6 quart slow cooker. Cover and cook until the beans are tender, about 4 hours on high or 7-8 hours on low!

Friday, November 30, 2012

Dr. Oz's Green Tea Recipe

A Metabolism Booster!

In a large pitcher combine 8 cups of brewed green tea, 1 tangerine sliced, a handful of mint leaves. 
Let sit overnight in fridge.
Drink 1 pitcher daily for metabolism boosting results.

A Clean Margarita

80 Calorie Margarita Mix

1/2 cup fresh squeezed lime juice
1/2 cup water
2 tbsp honey (or agave nectar-this will give you a sweeter taste)
1/8 tsp pure orange extract

Combine all items together in a large container. Shake or stir until all honey or nectar has dissolved. (this is your mix!)

Pour into a shaker and add your favorite tequila and shake. 

This has a lovely strong lime taste! 
If you prefer less lime simply add a tad bit more water. Don't be afraid to adjust ingredients to suit you! 

This recipe makes approx. 2 servings.

Approx. 80 calories per serving. 

Overnight Oatmeal

Overnight Oatmeal

230cal, 11g protein, 8g fiber


1/4 Cup old Fashion Oats (uncooked)
1/3 Cup skim milk
1/4 Cup Greek low fat yogurt
1 1/2 tsp. dried Chia seeds
1/4 tsp. vanilla extract
1 tbl. raspberry jam (go for the sugar free!)
1/4 Cup raspberries (cut in half)

In a half pint mason jar, add oats, milk, yogurt, chia seeds & raspberry jam. Put lid on jar & shake. Add raspberries & stir gently. Refrigerate overnight. Eat chilled for breakfast! So yummy!

*I love love love these overnight oatmeal's! They are perfect when we are to busy to make breakfast! I make a whole bunch at a time so I have them ready to grab and go!*

Friday, November 23, 2012

Super De-lish Lettuce Rolls with Peanut Sauce

Found in Muscle and Fitness Hers 2011

Perfect for a quick spicy lunch! These are also a hit for 'girls night in' paired with a little wine and great conversation! Just saying. ;) (serves 4)

1 carrot, shredded
1/2 cup bean sprouts
1/2 small cucumber, cut into matchsticks
3 green onions, sliced
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1 1/2 cups cooked jasmine rice
7 oz (1/2 package) light firm tofu, drained & cut into matchsticks
12 Boston lettuce leaves
12 tsp low fat, low sodium bottled peanut sauce, Mr. Spice Thai Peanut Sauce, divided plus extra for serving

Combine carrot, bean sprouts, cucumber, green onions and cilantro in a medium bowl. Divide vegetable mixture, rice and tofu evenly among the lettuce leaves. Drizzle filling with 1 tsp peanut sauce each.

Fold the top and bottom of lettuce leaves, roll and place seam down on serving plate.

Serve with additional peanut sauce for dipping, if desired.

nutritional facts:
(per 3-roll serving)
158 calories, 8 g protein, 24 g carbs, 3 g fat, 2 g fiber, 3 g sugar, 345 mg sodium

Thursday, November 22, 2012

What Every Mom With Muscles Needs To Know To Survive The Holidays

OK. It's that time for me to review my Holiday Survival List that I created a few years ago! I hope this inspires you to either use this list or make your own! Let's have a very very happy, stress free holiday Moms with Muscles! Please feel free to share your lists with me!

  • Commit to stay on your current fitness schedule as much as possible.
  • I work out every morning and even when my two lovely boys are out of school and the temptation to sleep in is there.....I get my booty up and hit the gym at my normal time. I feel great after and am so much more productive, not to mention in a great mood;)!
  • Give yourself a 'cheat' meal. I give myself one cheat meal per week during the holidays. If I know I'm heading to a party....that would be my cheat. It is hard, temptation is everywhere, I don't believe in depriving myself, but I do try my hardest to schedule my cheat and look forward to it!
  • Portion Control! Easy, right?! I always make sure that I have the appropriate portion sizes for each item. I usually aim for 4 oz of lean protein and 1-2 cups of veggies and 1/3 cup of rice or sweet potato. I try my hardest to stick to this even during the big holiday meals and fabulous parties.
  • Avoid 'party eaters peer pressure'. This used to be a problem for me. I would indulge because everyone else was, then I would end up feeling terrible for the next two days! Now I enjoy a few treats at Holiday parties, but keep the grazing under control. 
  • Lots and Lots of Water! Water amazes me actually. I drink a little over 1 gallon per day and on days that I fall short, I feel it in my skin, digestive system etc. 
  • Take time for yourself. Every day find time to do something you love, even if for only 15 minutes. I find my morning workouts are my time to recharge my battery. I also love to read, so I will always find at least 20 minutes a day to get lost in a great book.
  • Park your car far far away. I do this no matter what, and walk as briskly as I can to my desired location. Get your heart pumping! 
  • Make lists. I make a list of what I want to buy or make each person for Christmas. I then schedule shopping into my days and get it done! I just love checking completed items off the lists!
  • Set a goal to be 'active' even on rest days. I always try and squeeze in some sort of easy peasy cardio on my rest days. My husband and I might take a 2-4 mile walk with our lovely Sheltie or jump on the trampoline with our two boys.
  • Avoid keeping 'dangerous' foods within easy reach. I always store treats, snacks and any tempting food in the back of the pantry or fridge. I find if they are on the counter I'm easily lured to take 'just a little'! For my boys, I always set out the cut up fruit right around the time I know their snack monsters rear their heads! Works every time;)!
  • Organize your day the night before. This is a life saver for me! I learned that this totally reduces my stress levels, especially during the busy holidays! 
  • Never go hungry. I never go to a Holiday party or function hungry. If I'm not hungry, there is less risk of overeating of sweet treats!
  • AHH! Hit the hay earlier! So hard for me, but when I do this I feel like a million bucks! This is so beneficial when you know you will be up late later in the week.
  • Get Fresh Air. To step out in the cool morning or evening air and take time to breathe deep and enjoy nature is so invigorating to me. It's another 'recharger' for me! Try it;).
  • Laugh every day....Loud! The best stress reliever yet. My silly boys and crazy husband keep me laughing. Laugh daily as much as you can, even if you have to watch a funny sitcom or movie. My husband and I apply this to our kids as well.....we always try and make them laugh and giggle before bed. Laugh loud, just let it go!
  • Hug and/or kiss. This is another no brainer really. I hug and kiss my kids everyday, even when my teenager rolls his eyes. I hug and kiss my husband as much as possible. And when I receive a random out of the blue  hug from my kids the most amazing feeling rushes through me. It makes my day. Hug someone everyday, it will make their day and yours.
  • Perform random acts of kindness. I try daily to help someone, a stranger. It might be as simple as holding the door open for someone. But my most absolute favorite act of kindness is when in line at the Starbucks drive thru, buying the car behind me their coffee. My husband does this quite often. It is so much more fun to give than receive!
  • Take a mental vacation. I find that praying or meditating randomly throughout the day for as little as 1 minute releases stress and centers me. 
Happy Holidays!

Friday, November 16, 2012

A Letter To The Lady With The Tears


   I saw you circling me, watching me and maybe analyzing me today while I was faithfully working through my bicep and shoulder reps. Our eyes finally met but you rather quickly averted yours only to miss my smile. I watched you walk away with your shoulders slumped and your head hanging down. I secretly said a quick prayer for you and wiped the sweat from my forehead and continued on with my reps all while keeping you in my sight. Out of the corner of my eye I saw you approaching me with such determination that I stopped and quickly turned only to find you with tears threatening to spill from your beautiful green eyes. Then you spoke. With both passion and desperation in your voice you complimented me immensely and offered to pay me to help you achieve your goals, to even set goals for you and to workout with you. "I want to look like you", you said. An overwhelming mixture of feelings pulsed through me as I told you that I would love to help you but would accept no money.  In broken English, you passionately spewed your story of having kids, gaining weight, your eating habits and how terribly unhappy and disappointed you are with yourself.  My throat tightened and my stomach clenched as a single tear trickled down your cheek. My heart was breaking for you right there in the midst of the gym with the clanking of weights and the beating of the bass from the music. We talked about training splits and I shared with you my workout journal and encouraged you to get one and that I would help you write up some workouts to get you started. We toured the gym floor and talked about the different machines and you excitedly asked me questions and asked for demonstrations. We covered diet and the importance of clean eating. And we laughed like we were old friends. Before long 40 minutes had passed. I dug into my bag and handed you some full body workouts that I had used a while back and quickly explained how to run them. A smile spread across your face revealing your perfectly straight white teeth and I noticed those threatening tears where back, but this time they were tears of joy and relief. You've had many accomplishments in your life, my friend. You have given birth to and have cared and loved your children every day, every minute, you have already lost TEN pounds with diet and occasional cardio, and you have taken a step in the right direction to live a healthier life. Be proud of yourself today and tomorrow and every day thereafter. We didn't even know each others names, but we hugged each other tight, I didn't even care that I was dripping with sweat and smelled like a dirty gym towel. Thank you my friend, for sharing a bit of your morning with me, for laughing with me and for allowing me to share my passion for fitness with you. I will always be there for you, to cheer you on, to get you back on track, to tell you to slow down or pick up the pace!  As I was preparing for my StairMaster workout I watched you confidently walk towards the locker room with your shoulders pushed back and your head held high. You paused briefly and turned to me to reward me with a broad smile revealing your perfect teeth once again. I gave you a thumbs up and a a single tear of joy quickly made its way down my cheek.

Monday, October 15, 2012

Happy Hen's....From Farm to Table

I love a good farmers market plump full with super fresh fruit, vegetables and homemade jams. I also love the smell of dirt in a backyard garden that's bursting with produce just begging to be picked and created into something fabulous. Oh, I have passion for home grown fresh food and getting back to our 'roots' and eating and living healthier!  So it was a 'no brainer' when my oldest son (my farmer) came to me with overflowing excitement, and said we should raise some chickens. It was as if the heavens opened and the choir of angels sang all while warm light surrounded me.....YES! we SHOULD raise chickens! But wait.....this fantastic idea was not going to sit well with my cute lil' husband, a farmer....he is NOT....a swanky businessman.....he IS.....with the suits and ties and shoes that are so shined up sometimes I actually think I can see myself in them or up my skirt depending on positioning. Well, not sure how it happened (he definitely has a soft spot for our boys) but our lil' swanky businessman caved...and the chicken farming began! Thanks to my son's intense research and to my sweet friend Sherry and her husband's helpful advice and tips we were on our way!

So why chickens?! Oh the quality of eggs alone is amazing! I eat a lot of eggs and can tell a farm fresh egg when I see one and taste one. Visually the yolk is a beautiful deep orange and they have a wonderfully rich taste that will leave your taste buds begging for another bite!  Farm fresh eggs typically have more beta carotene, twice as many good for you Omega 3's, more vitamin E, less cholesterol and less saturated fat than store bought eggs!  These amazing benefits are obtained through an organic feed diet and of course allowing your hens to forage AS MUCH AS POSSIBLE! We love to sit and watch the chickens peck the ground searching for the golden ticket while we drink some sweet tea or some wine;). They will forage for fresh grass and bugs. One of our gals (our Easter Egger) actually entertains us when she chases an insect that is in flight. It's really quite comical watching the vision of a chicken flapping and skipping around in a panicked focused kind of 'chicken little' fashion.

Cole, the 'chicken whisperer',
with his 2 week old chicks. 
The Girls...Lucy the Rhode Island Red,
Thelma the Australorp and Louise the Easter Egger.
8 weeks old and loving to hunt.

Now, I have always bought "organic" eggs from my local store, but after researching....which I'm quite good at, and so is my farm boy;), I realized that even some of the organic manufacturers are using cleansers to clean their eggs before shipping them to the store. Now, I'm all about being clean and pretty, but knowing that egg shells are porous and small (or large) amounts of the cleansers will be absorbed into the egg, well frankly that bothers is a list of some of the cleansers that I found that are used to clean the eggs. None of them I would want to put into my body.....we have enough bad things that end up inside us that we can't control, so I'm happy to at least try and control this.

*hydrogen peroxide
*sodium carbonate


Now during our little journey, we have actually realized that our girls are just fun to have and take care of. They have their own personalities that makes us love them even more! Yes chickens have personalities, I never would have believed it either, but it's true. Weird, but true. I would recommend and encourage everyone to find a way to obtain fresh eggs or raise some hens, if you are up for the responsibility, and it is one. Personally we like to talk to them, feed them and watch them forage around....they even just come up and sit on my son's lap. They have accepted our very sweet Sheltie, Micah, who just absolutely loves them too. He herds them around gently and when he gets bored with that game he takes a little rest in the shade and it never fails, the girls come clucking and foraging around him.  They have become our pets, our gals, our girls and our layers. It has been an awesome project for the kids to get them as little chicks, feed them and watch them grow...not to mention the responsibility lessons that come with the whole chicken project;).

Micah getting the gals rounded up.

Love & Eggs are best when they are fresh.
Russian Proverb

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

The "Stuck At Home" Workout

I don't know about you, but when I happen to miss my morning visit to the gym I feel, well downright guilty. Silly, but true. As soon as I find some spare time, I squeeze in one or both of these workouts. There really isn't much too them, but you'll be panting and dripping sweat. I love to work my lower body, so this workout is great for that. Now enough chit chat, lets get to this.

15 Minute Full Body Circuit

exercise                            reps
                                                          Push-ups                        10
                                                          Squats                            10
                                                          Sit-ups                            10
                                                           ~rest 1 min.~
                                                   ~Repeat circuit a total of 10 times~

20 Minute Lower Body Workout

                                                        exercise                                     reps

                                                       Jump Squats                               50
                                                       Alternating Curtsy Squats         50
                                                       Alternating Lunges                     50
                                                       Squats                                          50
                                                       Wall Sit                hold for 90 seconds
                                                         ~rest 2-4 mins.~
                                                    ~Repeat circuit a total of 2 times~

So turn up the music and try one or both of these workouts the next time you miss the gym! Adjust reps to fit your personal level of fitness.  

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Changing Up Breakfast!

I've been eating eggs for breakfast for years now....every single day.....honestly, I'm getting a little tired of them! So I've decided to change my breakfast routine up a little. Instead of forcing eggs down everyday of the week, I'm replacing them (2 times/weekly) with this awesome Immunity Boosting Muesli recipe I found in Oxygen. Each serving has 242 calories and 16g protein.  Give it a try and let me know what you think, change or add!

Immunity Boosting Muesli
found in Oxygen

*ready in 5 mins. (not including chill time)
*makes 2 servings

1/2 cup old fashioned oats
1 cup nonfat plain Greek yogurt
1tbsp ground flaxseed
1 tbsp crushed almonds
1 tsp cinnamon
1 cup fresh berries
1 tbsp 100% pure maple syrup (i prefer to use sugar free syrup)

**stir oats into yogurt, mix in flaxseed, almonds and cinnamon.
**gently fold in berries and stir in syrup.
**refrigerate overnight

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Butt Blaster~No Gym Required!

I was asked to post an 'at home' glute here is one that I love. If I watch TV I will do this FIVE minute workout at least, please, I have a l-o-n-g way to go to create some 'glutes that salute' but I'm trying! Happy Butt Building! <3

My Daily Eats

Here is an example of a typical day of food that I shove with great passion into the feeding hole. Now, I'm not an expert, but through trial and error I have realized that this plan works for me. I feel incredible when I eat clean and eat often. My family will, without hesitation, describe the crime scene in great detail that results due to a missed meal.....I shall stop there, you get the point....I'm hungry, angry and mean..all because of a major crash, they tend to take it personally, I try to tell them, but whatever...just feed me, and feed me something clean. They still waiver at times and offer me something like a snickers bar...ok, what, really?! Have you lost your mind?! Where did you get that anyway?!

So my basic rules I follow: 
*Eat every 2-3 hours
*Eat lean protein with every meal
*Eat 5-6 times daily
*Drink at least 1 gallon of water daily
*1 piece of dark keep my sweet tooth at bay!
*Drink 2-4 cups of green tea throughout the day

meal 1

oatmeal/egg whites/flax seed/cinnamon pancake 
1/2 c fresh berries
sugar free syrup
green tea

meal 2

oatmeal with 1 scoop of protein powder

meal 3

4oz fish or ground turkey breast
1/3 c brown rice
6  asparagus stalks
1 cup lettuce w/ olive oil and balsamic vinegar

meal 4

myofusion protein shake blended with ice

meal 5

4oz fish or chicken
1 cup okra or 6 stalks asparagus
1 cup salad w/olive oil and balsamic vinegar
glass of red wine 

meal 6

protein shake blended with ice
1/4 cup raw almonds

I prepare meals the night before or first thing in the morning, (with the exception of meal 5) this ensures that I have my meal ready when I need it. I usually have a little cooler with my next meal with me at all times. (especially right after my morning workout) I usually grill fish or chicken for my meal 5 and my husband and kids feast on that with me.  

This takes planning and prep time. It's not as difficult as it seems, it's a matter of working it into your busy can be done! But like I said before it works for me, it has become a priority for me. I find an hour either in the early morning to prep my meals or in the evening while working on homework with my guys. 

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Gettin' Bootylicious

A few days ago, while I was in mid squat at the Smith Machine, a sweet angel of a woman curiously asked "were you born with that butt or what?" I had to look around at first, are you talking to me? Now my booty, I'm pretty sure is not an award winning one, so this was a little bit of a shock to me. On my quest for a lifted, round and tight booty, I have changed my workout splits and am definitely putting my glutes through some grueling workouts. So I thought, OK, my changes may be working!  I gave my new friend a quick rundown of some exercises to get her started and promised her that I would post my glutes workout and diet.  I work my legs and glutes twice a week, giving them a few days of rest between. My protein intake is also probably much more than the norm....but, that builds muscles, which burns think about adding lean protein to every meal. I will share my daily diet soon.  So here is one workout that I use get out there and build those butts.

exercise                            sets                     reps

cable squats                     4                          15
smith machine squats     4                          15
smith machine lunges     4                          12
stiff leg dead lifts             4                          15
good mornings                4                          15
hip thrusts                       4                          20  feet on exercise ball knees bent at 90 degrees
single leg thrusts             4                          12

~If you have questions on how to perform an exercise google it or go to to view examples.

~Also, start with light weight and increase slowly to avoid injuries.

'Step Away From My Son'

So...this is a 'mommy' blog. No fitness tips or clean eating...just plain ole' mommy stuff.  Real hard core raw feelings, that only a mother can feel deep down in her gut and soul.

My oldest son (14) has braces, actually has had them on for 2 years now. We've been 'anxiously, patiently' waiting for ONE adult tooth to make it's appearance so we can tug it into place and BE DONE with the whole braces thing. The tooth, stubborn and....well, it's in the middle of his palate....what the heck is it doing there?! Stuck. Confused. Not moving. We've waited long enough. SOOOOOO..oral surgery is where he was headed. "Oh a simple square of the palate cut out, apply a bracket....and oh yes a small CHAIN that will be attached to his current appliances to force the disobedient tooth into place. Simple. Well, sedation will be needed, and there is always a risk with that as you know. Mrs. Stevens, here is your estimated out of pocket cost, insurance will not be covering any portion, payment is your responsibility and due at time of service."  Hmmm.  Excuse me, I'm still trying to process the whole cutting of the palate, stitches, probably 2-3 days  of down time, swelling and the IV sedation thing, and your talking what it's going to cost me?! *sigh*  Oh the sadness. Has the medical field forgotten that we are parents who are armed and ready to take down any sorry sap who makes the mistake of hurting or EVEN insinuating being the cause of any what so ever pain to our child....please Doc, proceed with caution....I am a mother lion and I am SOOO ready to bite.

My son, an amazing soul, has unfortunately inherited my high anxiety. Today, when waking him for his shower to prepare for the invasion....he turned to me sleepily and said with hooded eyes "you promise I'll be ok, right?" I leaned down and kissed my little man's head and assured him that all was going to be ok. He struggled to get up and headed to the shower that I already had warming up for him and turned to me with deep worried brown eyes "promise?" You bet your ass I promise. I smiled and hugged him tight and realized, once again just how big this boy is. Not a boy anymore. A young man. He's towers over me.  I could see he was worried. Nervous. Scared. He's never like medical procedures, of course, who really does. He has slight memories of painful tests due to hydronephrosis that he was born with....obviously shaping the person he has become. He knew this day was coming, I mean it's been blaring at him on the 'family' calendar for weeks now, right. Poor thing. I must reconsider my ultra organizing skills on the family calendar to spare him the anticipation.

I hand him the required/advised prescribed Valium after his shower and instructed him to 'swallow it down, it'll help you relax'. (shouldn't they have given the anxious mother one too?!) And off we head to the facility....after many many many inquiring questions from the nervous 14 year old, who knew he was about to have his palate CUT into, we arrive in the lot, with time for one more question....."you'll be with me, right?" I vaguely remember that, no, I will not be allowed back for surgery....oh yes, those feelings of..."you're kidding me right? I'm suppose to hand over my 'man child' to you so you can stick a needle in his arm and saw into the roof of his mouth? What, while I wait in the waiting room...watching the clock tick tock while becoming extremely annoyed with the waiting patients who, undoubtedly will be coughing and making weird mouth noises....I'm irritated". A smile will do for my boy now as we head into the unexpected.

After checking in....I turn to find my 'man boy' splayed out on one of the two leather couches in the lounge......slightly embarrassed of his manners, I quickly scanned the room and landed on an old crotchety woman who was glaring at my big boy, who has now moved into the fetal position. His glassy brown eyes half closed stared at mine....searching for answers. Shit. Why do I not have any answers?

I reach him in record time with strides way out of my short stature 'comfort zone', and slide gently onto the couch next to him, our eyes never leaving each others. He shifted his entire body and leaned into mine. I wrapped my arm around him and he pressed his head deep into the crook of my neck. I could feel his breathing...his anxiety....his need for me to make this 'all better' was evident. Time stood still. My man child in my arms...just admitting he needed/wanted me with him. This was heaven for me. I mean really, how many 14 year olds fall into their moms arms....that's just not 'cool' with them right now.....I was going to milk this for as long as I could. Ok. I know.  Maybe, just MAYBE the Valium had a little bit of something to do with his sudden show of affection towards the 'forbidden mom'....but whatever, I'll take it when I can get it from my teenage boy. My man boy, with the weird man legs with wiry black hair. He's still my baby with some other man's legs and, oh geez, man parts. Shit. I'm so not ready for this. Please pray for me. Then the door creaks open and we hear 'Mr. Stevens'.....he glances up at me and for a moment I flashback to his infancy years. It was the look he gave me. His soul coming through all of the weird annoying teenage crap...just his pure raw soul looking at me...scared. I squeezed his hand and we moved towards the door. Then....the nurse....holding her hand up to me...with navy blue glitter tips on her nails, says, "I'll take him from here Mrs. Stevens, please have a seat in the waiting area".  Ok, what did you just say? And please put that tacky ass hand down. Really, Trixie, do you have any idea who you are holding that embarrassing manicure up to? I am his mother, who watched that child endure painful tests, and held him and rocked him endless hours...and you say I'll take him from here.....give me some scrubs Trixie and I won't put you in a headlock....her hand was on my boy, my man boy....step away from my boy. I give her a 'once over', which is my 'dirty look' and if you know me you know the look and you know it's completely readable and annoying....there's probably raising of the eyebrows and hate shooting out like flames from eyes....really I mean no harm.....but in the heat of the moment, I actually do mean harm and I will take your ass down if you hurt any member of my family emotionally or physically. I could be your worst nightmare. (of course, I'm super tough just in MY mind) My man boy gazes at me, I compose myself from the throw down I almost had with glitter nurse, and squeeze his hand and tell him I'll be right here on this worries. And then glitter nurse shuts the door....BAM.  My man boy son out of my window to observe.....what's happening. I'm stuck with the crotchety ole' granny sipping on an apple juice from a straw and some other weird fellow who clears his throat and makes weird throat/mouth noises every few minutes. It's hell. Give me my boy back. To tame my anxiety and irritability I jumped up and started doing some squats and what, stare at me.

After what seemed like hours of enduring annoying waiting room follies the door finally swung open and out emerged the 'Doc'. "Cole did great, we will be bringing him out soon". He proceeded with after surgery care/directions and so on, my ears where listening, but I had a really difficult time pulling my eyes away from the splatter of man boys blood.....that sprinkled over his scrubs.

Finally I had my big boy home recovering. All was well. All over. Relieved and still confused and dazed, he spread himself out on the couch and reached up and grabbed my hand and gave it a tight squeeze as he closed his eyes and fell into slumber.

Friday, March 30, 2012

Exercising Love

This Monday morning flat out sucked. It was horrible. The morning rushing for the bus scored me a ticket.....what the heck...I paused, and let the woman and her dog cross in front of me and THEN floored it to catch the disappearing school bus....what the heck is wrong with that? I paused, looked both ways, even waited for the pedestrian to cross the street, and still get the lights and the whole front of the neighbors and all the kids at the bus stop. I'm a felon. Just go ahead, cuff me and do the pat down. Happy Monday morning to me. Our morning ritual (mine and my son's) was completely ruined by this petty little situation. Poor little guy jumps from the car and makes a run for the bus....while I yell 'I love you, have a great day' in my best 'don't worry I'm ok' voice,  as the officer is approaching, and my son, with his great big brown eyes looks back at me...with worry (while I'm thinking 'no one messes with our ritual!')....then you know, the increased heart rate, the hating yourself, fumbling to get the insurance stuff and license....the whole emotional/anxiety thing you go through when you get pulled over.

Oh Judas Priest,  I'm a mom just trying to get the angel on the bus. Didn't hit anyone, actually let them cross, oh, but I was creeping through, forgive me.

So you get the idea.

There is something amazing about today though, believe it or not. Something wonderful. As sad as I sometimes get when I am rudely smacked in the face with the fact that my boys are getting older and, oh geez, probably won't need me as much anymore, today I appreciated their maturity and loving nature and actual genuine concern over their felon mother who was experiencing random moments of panic over the mornings events.  My 14 year old asked me (after hours of him pondering this), if I'm ok, and they (the police) are just doing their job, but, 'mom, it's ok, you're good and that policeman probably knew that, but had to give you that ticket anyway'. AND THEN, my youngest, gets home from school, comes barging in, arms open running to me, squeezing me tight says....'I can't believe it....I felt so bad all day I didn't get to kiss you goodbye and tell you I love you, I thought about you all day'....oh the pain and love that shot through my heart. My  boys are showing their feelings, and their love, when they see and feel their mom dealing with this Monday shake down. They love me, they proved it. 'They're exercising their love' There's not a better feeling than for a mother to feel the unconditional love flooding back to her from her children. As mom's you know that. Sometimes we question whether or not we are raising our kids the 'right' way. Today, I KNOW that my husband and I are raising our boys, OUR right way. When life gets 'tough' our guys 'gel' together and amaze their parents with a deep and unexplainable love...that only we can feel. I felt very close to my two boys today, as I have many other days when they have been called out of their 'daily pre-teen and teenage norm' lives to the front line to support, love and just be there for their matter what. That's what families do....and that's what they've learned and I am so proud of this.

On a husband and wife level....well, you can imagine having to tell your husband, that, oh crap, once AGAIN, (within 2 months by the way) you've gotten a citation....that'd be another $200, and oh yea, what will this do to our great driving records and insurance rates? And by the way, babe, we're redoing the front porch, they come on Friday...oh I didn't tell you that? I saw the tension and frustration rise in that cute little mans face, and rightfully so, I AM SO disappointed in myself, I mean really, flying up the hill to catch the bus. (he REALLY likes to take the bus, it's a whole social thing, and gosh darn it, I'm gonna make that social opp happen!) The anger and disappointment I have with myself....well, I deserve it. "Stop making careless errors"....the voice in my head keeps telling me. I can only imagine the frustration my husband is feeling with me right now as he's heading to the backyard at the end of the day to find the boys and I....I dread the lecture I'm about to receive.....but, instead of the lecture I KNOW he wanted to give me, he grab me, hugged me, looked deep into my eyes and patted me on the booty and said...slow it down Andretti.  I'm blessed with 3 of the most wonderful men. Thank you God.

 Today....'exercise love'....kiss your husband when he least expects it, (a real kiss) hug your kids...tight, smile at a stranger...and love will be a perfect day.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

You Can Go Hard or You Can Go Home!

The HIIT method is my favorite type of cardio. It is the most effective form of cardio. Especially when you are looking to burn fat without burning through your hard earned muscle mass.  Below is my 'go-to' HIIT workout to be used on the Cybex Arc machine. (easy on the old knees;)) The Cybex has no impact, allows for a huge range of motion, and resistance rocks up to 100.  I'm usually dripping sweat by the time my cardio session is over! Ok, get out there and try it and let me know if you feel the burn!

There are numerous settings on the Cybex. MANUAL is my option when blasting this workout.

The big set up:
1~stand straight with feet flat on pedals, toes should touch the front edge.
2~choose manual setting and start slowly moving, pushing through your heels.
3~slowly raise the incline until you feel it stimulating the glutes and hammies. (this is level 10 for me)
4~keep hips squared and facing front, feet flat, and PUSH THROUGH YOUR HEELS. (no bouncing. If you are looking cute and pretty, your doing it wrong.)

Cybex Arc HIITS
Workout                  Time                        Level
Warmup                   5 min                       25
Steady Intensity       5 min                       30-35 (work at 70-75% MHR)
SPRINT                  30 sec                      50-60 (push hard and fast!)
Steady Intensity       10 min                     30-35
SPRINT                  30 sec                      50-60
Steady Intensity      10 min                     30-35
SPRINT                 30 sec                       50-60
Steady Intensity      5 min                       30-35
Cooldown              3 min                        25

Some Notes:
At times I adjust the resistance level to really engage my glutes. So you'll have to play with the resistance if you feel like it's too much or to little. Now, if you don't use a heart rate monitor, I would seriously consider getting one.  It's important to keep your heart rate at a working rate of 70-75% while in Steady Intensity  and 'through the roof' during your Sprints! I do not hold on to the handles on the Cybex, I love to make my entire core go to work too, another personal option for you to consider.  ALWAYS have your jams on and totally rock's what gets ME through these HIIT workouts. Lately 'Go Hard' with Mick Jagger is blaring in the hearing holes....find it and listen to rocks, and it makes me go hard, baby!  Happy HIITs y'all!

Pumpkin Protein Bars ~YUMMY!

An awesome recipe by Jamie Eason!

I'm the Food Police in this family and am always trying to force feed or sneak random healthy foods into my unsuspecting kids and hubby....but with these protein bars, I didn't have to get to creative to get them into the little bodies that I love! This recipe totally passed the taste test from my ENTIRE family...really, that's something unheard of! I encourage you to make these wonderful protein bars! They were gone in just a few days between sending them with my husband and the kids for mid day snacks and carrying a few with me to the gym. Try 'em and let me know what you think!

*you can use Splenda in place of the Xylitol*
*you can make your own oat flour by grinding oats in a processor*

Nutrition Facts:

Nutrition (without walnuts): 1 square = 47 calories, .7 g fat, 8 g carbs, 3.7 g protein
Nutrition (with walnuts): 1 square = 63 calories, 2.3 g fat, 8 g carbs, 4 g protein



  1. Preheat the oven to 350.
  2. Spray a 9 X 13 Pyrex dish with non-stick spray.
  3. Combine first 11 ingredients and mix well.
  4. Add the final 3 ingredients (4, if adding walnuts), and mix until incorporated. Spread batter into the Pyrex dish and bake for 30 min.
  5. Makes 24 squares.