Saturday, December 28, 2013

Unexpected hiatus...

If you follow on Hopelessly Ever After, you probably already read most of this. I just added in my lack of being healthy. haha.

Well...looks like I took a little break there, huh?!? lol. Truth is we have been super busy. Last Friday night we had our FriendsChristmas Dinner. It was good but we must have been bad entertainers because mostly everyone left by 10. haha. Truthfully, Fridays are like Tuesdays to me and I went right to sleep. lol.

Then, between Christmas Eve and Christmas plus the day after Christmas shopping we really haven't had any down time. And, if we did most of it was in the home theater watching movies and drankin. 

And, while it seems like the easiest time to blog, during my time off, it's actually more challenging for me because I like to relax during that time. Like literally sit here in my pjs with my blanket drowning myself in horrible reruns and Lifetime movies. Like I'm doing right now......

So...I can't make any promises about whether or not next week will be better. But I'll try. :)

I've also been super super horrible with my eating. Like worse than I can even explain. And.....here's the big one....I haven't done T25 in a week!! I did, however, work out a few times in the gym. But, I know I've totally screwed myself. I don't necessarily feel like I've put my weight back on (although I'm not sure I lost any to begin with), but...I am so less motivated to do T25 right now.

I have to admit, I feel like I didn't progress that much. Compared to what I heard from other people and all, but...I'm going to be writing about that some time later on. That's not entirely the reason why I have been slacking off. I've also been sick with sinus stuff so it's hard to be jumping up and down and all with snot running out of your nose and your head pounding, but truthfully, thats only an excuse.

I honestly, just LOVE going to the gym. Yeah, it's only 25 minutes of my day for T25, but I would rather spend the 2 hours at the gym lifting weights. And everyone is like...you can do it at home it's so easy...but I'm actually debating taking it to the gym with me and doing it there. I'm too lazy to do it at home because there are so many things I could be doing!! Like sitting on the couch. Boo!!

OK, anyway, I'm going to stop there. Wish me luck for getting back on that train...maybe I'll post a progress pic soon if I feel like there has been any...

Anyway...here's a little montage from our Christmas Eve Celebration!!

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Taste of Tuesday - Stuffed Cabbage Casserole

Mike LOVES cabbage. I had never had cabbage until I met him. (I guess my parents didn't like it??) The first time I had cabbage his mom had fried it. It was delicious. Then, we tried stuffed cabbage that, once again, his mom had made. Again, very good. We don't have it very often, but when I came across this recipe on Skinnytaste I immediately thought it was something that I would do for him. While also, ultimately, keeping it healthy for me. ;)

     The recipe didn't seem that difficult, however, it definitely took some time. In fact, after rereading the recipe, Mike ended up having to make this one. We wouldn't have eaten until 8 o'clock if I did it.

     The casserole turned out really good. I even made the comment to Mike that it was one of the first things that we made that actually looked like the picture!! What an accomplishment!! It tasted good, too. I have to admit it isn't my favorite cabbage recipe (or maybe that's just because someone else didn't make it) but it was definitely good. And it makes a ton!! Plenty of leftovers, for sure. 

Stuffed Cabbage Casserole 
(the healthy version)
(once again stealing it from Hopelessly Ever After)


INGREDIENTS:
     1 lb. 95% lean ground beef
     2 tsp. olive oil, divided
     1 large onion, diced
     1 tbsp minced garlic
     1/2 tsp. dried thyme
     1 tsp. paprika
     salt and pepper, to taste
     1 head green cabbage, coarsely chopped
     1 can (14.5 oz.) petite diced tomatoes, undrained
     1 can (15 oz.) tomato sauce
     1/4 cup water
     2 cups brown rice, cooked
     2 cups low-fat shredded mozzarella cheese

DIRECTIONS:

     Preheat oven to 350 degrees and spray a large baking pan with nonstick spray. 

     Brown ground beef in a skillet, remove and set aside. In the same pan, add 1tsp olive oil and diced onion and cook until onion is translucent. Add the minced garlic, dried thyme, and paprika. Cook an additional 2 minutes. Then, add diced tomatoes, tomato sauce, and ground beef. Pour in water. Simmer about 15-20 minutes or until slightly thickened.

     Cut cabbage in half and cut out the core. Roughly chop into 1 inch pieces. Heat remaining olive oil in a large frying pan. Add the cabbage. Cook over medium heat until cabbage is wilted and half cooked turning frequently. Add salt and pepper to taste.

When meat mixture has cooked and thickened, stir in brown rice. Add half the meat mixture to the casserole dish, then top with half the cabbage. Then layer again. 

     Cover tightly with foil and bake 40 minutes or until casserole is starting to bubble. Remove foil and sprinkle on cheese. Bake another 20 minutes or until cheese is melted.

Enjoy!!

Thursday, December 12, 2013

I skipped a day...and I need help

...I know, I know. I did it yesterday. I was going to hide it from you guys, but I know you are my motivation so I put it out there. The only thing that allows me not to feel bad about it is that I DID go to the gym yesterday. I actually got some time to go with Mike and I went and did chest and triceps. I LOVED IT!! I honestly would much prefer lifting at the gym than any other workout. Something about usually being the only girl in there lifting with the guys makes me feel POWERFUL!!

And truth is I had full intentions of coming home and doing my T25 but then we stopped at the parent's house and went to the grocery store, and by the time we got home I was hungry and exhausted. I did actually drive 5 hours yesterday so I had some excuse. .......right?!?.....

Well, anyways....I need some help finding myself one of those nifty calorie counter watches. I know Polar makes some but I honestly don't want anything fancy. I just like to know how many calories I burn throughout my workouts. I've looked at the Polar ones and I think they look really expensive and do a bunch of 'ish I'm clearly too lazy to figure out. I see them all over the place and I'm sure someone knows something I don't...so please help!!

Thanks loves!!

Leaving you with a little motivation that Britney gave this morning!! And thanks Alicia for tagging me!!




Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Taste of Tuesday - Baked Zucchini and Sweet Onion Dip

This is such an amazing appetizer. I know it's not exactly a fall/winter appetizer, but they are soooo good so I had to share them with you.

I will warn you it takes a little bit of time to make these. It took me about an hour to prep these, and then they cook for another 15ish minutes. After you cut the zucchini you let it drain for an hour alone, so consider this before you want these for a quick appetizer. It's not hard...just a little time consuming.

But here it is...sooo good.

Baked Zucchini with Sweet Onion Dip

INGREDIENTS:
1-3 medium sized zucchini (depends on how much you want. Other ingredients won't change much.)
1 tbsp. salt
1 cup Panko or bread crumbs
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 tbsp. pizza seasoning or italian herbs
2 large eggs

Sweet Onion Dip 
1 tbsp. butter
1 medium onion
2 tbsp. cider vinegar
2 tbsp. honey
1 tbsp. prepared mustard
1 cup mayo

DIRECTIONS:
1. Cut each zucchini into 3" sticks about the diameter of your finger.
2. Put the zucchini sticks in a colander over a bowl and sprinkle with the salt. Let them drain for about an hour.(I forgot to use the bowl, but mine still worked) 
3. While the zucchini are draining start working on the dip. Melt butter in a medium-sized frying pan over moderate heat, and add 1 medium onion sliced. Cook, stirring occasionally until the onion softens, and then caramelizes. When the onions are medium-brown remove them from the heat. Put the onions, cider vinegar, honey, and prepared mustard into a food processor and process until fairly smooth. (I don't have a food processor, so I used my hand blender. It took a little longer, but it worked.) Remove from processor and stir in the mayo. 


3. Rinse the zucchini to get rid of any excess salt. Then, pat them dry.
4. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and spray with cooking spray. (I didn't have parchment paper so, I didn't use any. I just sprayed the baking sheet.)
5. Combine the Panko, parmesan, and pizza seasoning or italian herbs and mix until combined.
6. Beat the eggs in order to make your egg wash.
7. Dip your zucchini sticks into the egg wash and then roll them in the bread crumbs. 


8. Place on the baking sheet and bake for about 12 minutes. Remove them from the oven and turn them over. Bake for another 12-16 minutes or until golden brown. 


Then eat and enjoy!!!

Linking up for Taste of Tuesday!!

Friday, December 6, 2013

H54F

It's Friday!!! 

1. I have to say that this week went by pretty quickly considering last week was only 2 days. And...only 2 weeks left before my 2 week Christmas break!! Damn, when I think of it that way it makes that Christmas Break seem like it's sooooo long!! Wohoo!!

2. I have done my T25 workout every single day since Thanksgiving. I took off on Thanksgiving Day partly because I was a tad bit hungover but mostly because it was such a busy day and I knew I was going to be eating crappy that day (which now that I think about it doesn't make sense). So what I did was decide Thursday was my Saturday and I have worked out every day straight. Even through me being sick!! Go me!! Not to toot my own horn or anything...

3. We finally got the Christmas tree up in all it's beauty. I love this season. The ambience a room gets when it's only lit by candles and twinkle lights gives me chills. I love it!!

(omg...Google+ just did this for me....love it!!)


4. Today isn't over yet, but...my kids have been surprisingly good this week!! I think most of them are sick. haha. So they're quiet. Let's hope this keeps up until the break.

5. So far this week at school we have had donuts, a huge thing of chocolates, cookies, and today is Goodie Day. And I have stayed away!! Well, except for a teeny tiny plate of food this morning. But I promise, nothing bad!! I had some veggies and a piece of cheese. And a tiny piece of bread with a tiny bit of cream cheese. I know....but I'm still proud. I usually load up on this 'ish.

Linking up with Lauren today!!

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Let's Be Honest...

...I never thought I would stick with this T25 stuff. I knew I would slack off on the days I was tired and quit whenever it got hard. Which is why I'm totally proud of myself. I can honestly say I have tried so hard to stick with this. Even being sick over the last 3 weeks hasn't hindered me too much.

I have to admit I didn't work out on Thanksgiving. We just had too much going on and truthfully, I was a tad bit hungover. But, I didn't take my skip day on Saturday either. I worked through it.

The only thing I haven't been able to stay with is the double workout on Friday. I mean, who puts that on a Friday?? OK, so yeah. Most people would be good with it. But, I'm a slacker by nature.

And...if you don't mind me tooting my own horn again...during the first week I followed the moderator almost the entire time. Now, I barely follow her at all!! Occasionally when my ankles hurt or I'm about to pass out I'll jump into what she's doing, but let the sweat tell you, I'm workin it!! "Focused" as Mack Daddy Shaun would say.

I can feel myself slacking though. Like thinking, who would know if I just go in there and sit and watch the thing for 25 minutes? But ladies and ladies.....I'm not!! I'm going to stick with this and werk it!!

Only 7 more weeks to go!




Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Taste of Tuesday - Chicken Taquitos

I made these last week and couldn't wait to share them with you. They were so good and a nice change from the typical chicken and rice or chicken tacos we were having. It may be the same ingredients, but changing them around a little is how you can stay healthy and keep it fresh!!

And, the best part. They're pretty healthy. There is a little bit of cream cheese in it but we used the 1/3 less fat to cut down a little.

They also don't take that much time. Well, at least for us. We always have cooked chicken breast on hand because chicken and rice is our go to staple for any lunch craving.

OK, so here's the recipe!! Let me know if you try them out. They are sooo delish!!


Baked Chicken Taquitos

INGREDIENTS:
3 ounces 1/3 less fat cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup verde (we used a garlic lime one, yum!!)
juice from half a lime (our verde had lime so we skipped this)
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp chili powder
1/2 tsp onion powder
2 cloves garlic, minced
3 tbsp cilantro, chopped
2 tbsp green onions, sliced
2 cups shredded cooked chicken 
1 cup shredded Mexican flavored cheese
small flour tortillas (use corn to make it even healthier) 
salt
cooking spray


DIRECTIONS:
Preheat oven to 425ยบ and line a baking sheet with parchment paper or spray a baking dish with a small amount of cooking spray.

Mix first 7 ingredients together in a medium sized mixing bowl. Add cilantro and onions. Mix again. Add chicken and cheese and mix everything together. 

Using the microwave, heat up tortillas between paper towels for about 15 seconds.

Spoon desired amount of chicken mixture onto tortillas and roll up. Place seam side down onto baking sheet. Continue until mixture is gone. Make sure tortillas are not touching each other and lightly spray with cooking spray. Sprinkle some salt over each tortilla.

Bake for 15-20 minutes or until tortillas seem crisp. Voila!! Enjoy!!

Linking up with Ashley and Jessica today for Taste of Tuesday!!

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Happy Thanksgiving!!

Today is going to be my cheat day...clearly. lol. I'm going to try super hard not to go overboard but I can't make any promises. I love holiday dinners because all the best food comes out!!

But just wanted to jump on here real quick to tell you all 
HAPPY THANKSGIVING!!!



Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Skinny Strawberry Cheesecake Bars

   

     I know what you're thinking....not possible...but it really is!

     This is actually a recipe I had from Hopelessly Ever After as you can tell in the pic. It's such a good recipe and with Thanksgiving coming up I just figured it would be something awesome to add to your dessert menu and you wouldn't feel guilty about it!! You can always change the topping to fit the season. Maybe a thin layer of pumpkin pie filling in between the layers of cream cheese. Or a dollop of pumpkin whipped cream or something. (drool) Just know that the nutritional facts below reflect this recipe alone. :) Yum...maybe I'll make this again myself with the pumpkin idea. Sounds delish!!

     This recipe is actually changed from the original. For those of you who haven't checked out the amazing Skinnytaste website you're missing out. You've got to go on there and see all the awesome recipes!! The original recipe was actually for Chocolate Raspberry Cheesecake. But I, of course, added my own twist to it. Mostly because raspberries were so expensive!!!

Here it is!!

Strawberry Cheesecake Bars
Nutritional Facts: Servings (9) Amount per Serving - Calories: 181, Total Fat: 7.1g, Cholesterol: 14.9 mg, Sodium: 145.9 mg, Potassium: 99.5 mg, Total Carbs: 24.6g - Dietary Fiber: 1.2 g, Sugars: 16.8g, Protein: 5.5g

INGREDIENTS:
     4 low fat graham crackers, crumbled
     1 tbsp light butter
     1/4 cup, sugar
     8 oz low fat cream cheese, softened
     1 tsp vanilla extract
     6 oz fat free vanilla yogurt
     1 tbsp flour
     2 egg whites
     1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate (for drizzling)
     9 strawberries

DIRECTIONS:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees and spray a square baking pan with nonstick spray.

Mix together the graham cracker crumbs and the butter and press into the bottom of the dish.

Slowly beat cream cheese, sugar, and vanilla until smooth. Then, gradually add in egg whites, flour, and yogurt. Do not overbeat!!

Pour over graham cracker crust (I needed to spread mine out a little with the spatula to make it even).

Bake for about 25-30 minutes or until center feels almost set. Cool to room temp and then put in fridge for a few hours.

Cut pie into 9 equal bars (I made mine a little bigger and couldn't finish the whole thing). Melt the chocolate and then drizzle on top of the bars. Add a few strawberries and confectioner's sugar for garnish.

   

Monday, November 25, 2013

Weekend Fail!!

I don't want to repeat everything in this post because most of you followers already follow me through Hopelessly Ever After. Long story short, I had an awesome weekend!! I went and surprised my bestie with her sister in VA for her birthday. So awesome. Check out Hopelessly Ever After for more deets. Plus I have a giveaway going on over there!! Here's a quick pic.


However....with that, means that I failed desperately in the food department. I feel like Mike and I have been doing awesome with our diets and I'm so proud of us, and I knew that going away this weekend I was going to be eating some things that aren't exactly healthy for me. Buuuuuttt....it was waaay worse than I had imagined.

Friday night when we went out I had been drinking all day. So, knowing we were also going to drink all night I got myself a burger...with hush puppies. I also got mussels for an appetizer, but I don't think they were that bad. Maybe a little high in sodium because of the broth, but, overall not bad. Please let me know if I'm wrong about that. lol. I don't know a ton about eating well.

But then, I drank, and drank, and drank that night. And ate frozen pizza. It was bad. And I didn't care. Until Saturday morning.....

UUMMM Hangover from hell. I honestly didn't remember being that drunk when I went to bed, but apparently my liver didn't agree. Ugh, it was awful. And all I wanted was something fried. So....I got it. Crab and corn fritters. And they were delish!! Not to mention we ate at Flip Flops in Va Beach which, if anyone watches Diners, Drive-ins, and Dives, you might know Guy went there for an episode. So, of course I was stoked to try their food. And I tried a little bit of everyones. lol. The tater tot nachos were on point!! Ugh, now I'm hungry again.

Unfortunately, they didn't satisfy my needs and I kept eating, all day. And then I thought...why not bite the dog that bit ya, and started drinking again....

So in short, I failed miserably this weekend. But, when I got home I had a salad!! Ugh...this week is going to be hard. One step at a time!!



Linking up for Weekend Shenanigans.

Sami's Shenanigans

Friday, November 22, 2013

Weighing In...and a shake recipe!!

I know I said I would give my measurements yesterday, but it took Mike and I a few days to find our measuring tape after the move so I'm a little late. But, like my momma says, better late than never. And really this is the truth. Last time I was doing this weight loss journey I vowed to take my pics from before. I thought about it every day and eventually it was just too late and there was already progress. I was always curious about how many inches I actually did lose, and put on in some places from muscle. So I'm really happy to be doing this

So here it goes. I only took measurements of things I actually care about. For example, I could give a ish less if my arms got smaller. Truthfully, I think my arms are fine, even with the little bit of extra wave that goes on some times. So, if I build muscle and they get bigger, like last time, that's only better for me. :)If you want to know what I look like half naked, scroll down to my first post. If not (I don't blame you) just keep reading. lol.

From just under the belly button (my biggest problem area): 37 inches
hips/butt (ba donk a dont): 42 inches
Thunder Thighs: 22 inches

I'm almost done my first week of Focus T25 with Shaun T. Today was the hardest one by far. I have an exciting weekend ahead, which I'll tell you about on Monday, so I had the day off. And, as usual, I'm awake bright and early still, while the boys sleep. BOO!! So I figured I might as well get up and get my workout in. 

Today was the Lower Focus workout. I don't have much lower body strength which blows my mind. My lower body used to be on point. I had thick quad muscles and sexy calf muscles. I was a dancer for 15 years and then a cheerleader all throughout high school. I was constantly working my lower half. Now it's everything I have to keep balance.

Part of that is because of the broken foot and it just plain hurts to put all my weight on it, but I tried and I did my best. I had to take a few 2 second breaks just to release the pain. lol. But pain is good. I can tell you my legs are shaking like the leaves on a tree right now!!!

OK, so I mentioned in the last post about drinking a protein shake after my workout. Drinking one right now actually...

I had a few people ask me about how I make my protein shakes, so I figured why not write the recipe in the blog!! It's so easy!!


We use just regular old whey protein from Walmart. It's like $16 per 1.95 lbs. We usually buy a few different flavors so we don't get bored. Vanilla is by far my favorite though.

Put all this in a blender...
1 heaping scoop of protein
1 banana frozen or not
1 spoonful of peanut butter (optional)
about 1/3 cup of oats (optional)
cover with milk
ice cubes until your desired thickness
Blend.
BOOOOM!!

So easy. and Delish!!

How's your workout journey going?!?!



Wednesday, November 20, 2013

I started T25...

...and I'm actually writing this right after. Holy Crapizoid!! And it's only day 1!! I'm so nervous. I should really stop reading what other people have written because I'm starting to get super freaked out about the future workouts. I also forgot that you were supposed to start on a Monday but I still started with the Cardio workout.

Here are a few tips....at least from someone who just started this whole thing. Don't start from being a straight lazy fat lard like I did. Get your cardio up before starting. I had to do the modified version starting at about 3 minutes in. I was already done, out of breath, and in pain. If the workout was any longer than 25 minutes there is no way in hail I would have made it.

Also, make sure you're still not harboring a cold when you begin your workout. I'm pretty sure, since I was doing cardio and all, being able to breath would be a requirement. Plus, since when I breath heavy it feels like razor blades are cutting the back of my throat, the whole nonstop no water thing just didn't work today. I admit I took 2 very very short water breaks. But legit like 5 seconds. And I kept moving. Booyah!!

Anywhoop....here's the before and after pic I took. I was so nervous. I truthfully don't like doing videos because I feel like I don't give my best. This time, I really did. Although I was doing the modified version...but I was grunting and moaning and really trying. I promise!!


But then....I came downstairs and made myself a protein shake. Yup...she's in a huge beer mug. Hey, it kinda tames my craving. But, overall, at the moment, while I'm sitting here writing I'm really proud of myself for pushing through. And even though I did the puss modified version I know I'll eventually make it to where I can do it full fledged. I hope. lol.

Until then...cheers!!


Stay tuned because tomorrow I'm going to give my measurements. I can't believe I'm doing this. lol.


Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Taste of Tuesday - Skinny Mini Chicken Pot Pie

Fittin it in

     This is one of my favorite skinny recipes. I found it during the last time that I was into this whole healthy thing. See, Mike can eat chicken and rice every single day for lunch and dinner. I have to have some variety, and unless I do something that I can actually deal with and stick with, this is not going to work out. I have to make this lifestyle change something I know will be a part of me for the rest of my life. When you get into the swing of cooking and eating healthy, then it just comes naturally. That's what we need!!

     I have been keeping a board on my Pinterest page for healthy ideas. It's just any exercises, food, inspiration, etc that I come across to keep this healthy living up. A few months ago I came across this recipe for these mini chicken pot pies.

These were AWESOME!! You would never even guess they are skinny!! Supposedly only 185 calories each!!!

Skinny Mini Chicken Pot Pies
INGREDIENTS:
     1 can Pillsbury Grands Jr. (10 count)
     1lb chicken, cooked and diced
     1 10.75 oz can reduced fat cream of chicken soup
     1 cup frozen mixed veggies, thawed
     3/4 cup shredded cheese
     1 tsp dried italian seasoning
     1 tsp onion powder
     1/4 tsp black pepper

DIRECTIONS:
1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Using a 12 cup muffin pan, spray 10 of the cups with cooking oil. Pour a little water in the other two when baking.

2. Separate the biscuits and flatten out each so when they are placed in the muffin tins they create a cup.  The dough should come up the sides of the muffin cups.

3. In a medium sized bowl, mix together the chicken, soup, mixed vegetables, cheese, and seasonings. Spoon the mixture into the "biscuit cups" evenly.

4. Bake for 12-15 minutes or until golden brown on top. Remove from oven and let stand for 2-3 minutes. Serve right away. Use a knife to help you pull each "pie" from the tin.

Let me know if you try these or if you have any suggestions for the next time!! We're always up for suggestions!!
   

Linking up with Jess and Ashley for Taste of Tuesday!!


Saturday, November 16, 2013

Hey Guys!!


Hi friends!! Welcome to the new blog! Don't worry, Hopelessly Ever After will still be in effect but I think I need this to get me back on that fitness bandwagon. Don't forget to join via GFC and Bloglovin' so I can see who's with me!!

About a year ago I made it a choice to start working out and eating healthy. I was making a lot of progress and even lost about 10 pounds (I put on a ton of muscle) until I broke my foot. I know, I know, and excuse. But truthfully it stopped me from my routine and once that happened it was so hard to get back on. My husband, Mike, and I also moved farther away from our gym so it takes me about 20 minutes to get there, now. However, that too is an excuse because Mike goes every day. That's right, I even have a gym rat husband and still can't get my ass in gear.

So...that's why I started this blog. Motivation is my biggest downfall. I was working out with a friend but truthfully, our little tiny gym is quite expensive. The only reason I could afford it is because of Mike's Correctional Officer discount, so I don't blame her for not wanting to pay a lot. She still works out but she does it to videos which is what I'm determined to do as well. A good excuse not to have to drive to the gym!!

Here's where I'm going to need your help! You guys are going to be my motivation. You have to keep me in check!! If you notice I haven't posted something useful in a while, you gotta get me right!

Here's where I'm freaking out. I had Mike take 2 pictures of me today. They are nastaaayyyy! So...look if you want, but that's what this blog is all about. Getting this body back in check. 
 So there I am. In all my glory. Look at the junk in that trunk!! OMG!! And I have this horrible "B" belly. Here let me spell it out for you. Sorry to make you look at this again. I'll make it smaller this time.


Hey at least I'm good with everything below the knee. :) 

So here it goes!! Please help me stay motivated!!