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Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Good for You Chocolate Oatmeal & Peanut Butter Cookies

If you're craving something sweet but you don't want to overdo it on the calories, try this tasty treat.  Oh, and did I mention, it's sugar free?  Well, there's that bonus too!  Let me know what you think!


Ingredients:

  • 3 bananas
  • 2 cups old-fashioned oats
  • 1/4 cup creamy peanut butter
  • 1 scoop chocolate Shakeology (or another chocolate protein mix)
  • 1/3 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • Dash of cinnamon (optional)


Directions:

  • Preheat oven to 350°F 
  • Mash bananas in a large bowl
  • Stir in remaining ingredients 
  • Let batter stand for approximately 20 minutes
  • Drop by teaspoonfuls onto ungreased cookie sheet
  • Sprinkle with cinnamon if desired.] 
  • Bake 10-12 minutes
  • Enjoy!



Friday, September 26, 2014

Days 29-42 #100DaysofRevivingFitness

Where did the time go??  Time to catch you up :).


 DAY 29 of #100DaysofRevivingFitness! Today was the last day of the first month of #PiYo and I finished up with a good 'Sweat' workout. I'm excited to try more of the other workouts in the program this round. My mom's in for a visit and I'm excited to have her try some of the recipes I've been fixing over the past few weeks. My mom came bearing gifts--I enjoyed a #P90Xrecovery drink post-workout. Can you say orange creamsicle? Yum!! 


Today was DAY 30 of #100DaysofRevivingFitness. I woke up early to have my first go at the #PiYo Sculpt workout. It was challenging, but I'm looking forward to having another go at it in a couple of days now that I know what to expect. I'm excited to share something that I'll be adding to my health regimen for the next 30 days--maybe more! I purchased the 30 day Alkalinize pack from the Beachbody #UltimateReset program. As I was reading about the benefits of it, the words "reduce inflammation" caught my attention since my doctor told me that increased inflammation is what caused my eyes to go blurry a few weeks ago. I'm all about reducing inflammation in my body! When I mentioned my #Alkalinize purchase to my mom, she thought it would be interesting if I measured my pH balance before, during, and after. So I took my before pH measurements, and guess what? My body is pretty acidic (5.5!!)--which explains the inflammation. I was so excited when my Alkalinize packets arrived today...just in time to start incorporating the packs into my daily routine for DAY 31. I'll keep you all updated!

DAY 31. Today, my mom & I set up 'shop' at a local flea market to spread the word about#TeamBeachBody. We met SO many people who are excited to commit to improving their health & fitness and our fitness accountability groups are filling up quickly! It was really inspiring! We packed our snacks and lunch for the day so we could stay on track with our good healthy eating. I missed my #PiYo workout today, but I'll start back up tomorrow.

 

DAY 32--my 31st Birthday! It's hard to believe I'm 31, but I'm blessed to have been able to spend another year with family and friends. There was no workout done yesterday and I also indulged in a couple of treats, and I feel okay about it . I mostly enjoyed spending time with Scott, Trey, and my mom who's in town visiting. Make the most of every moment, friends--big or small. #100DaysofRevivingFitness








DAY 33 of #100DaysofRevivingFitness. I'm getting back on track with my #PiYo workouts. Today was a "Sweat" day and I was able to do some of the exercises with more strength than I have in the past! What an awesome feeling! I've been focusing on drinking warm lemon water to help reduce inflammation and detox tea to get rid of antioxidants in my body--and trying to stay on top of my water intake. Today was day 3 of drinking the #Alkalinize packets. I'm excited to see how things are changing in my body at the end of this week. Side Note: You may be wondering why I have a picture of my work materials on the ground....I was told that I have new office furniture arriving soon (an awesome birthday gift) so I'm in transition #GettingHealthy

 DAY 34. Did my Core #PiYo workout today...with my little spotter making sure I hit all my positions correctly . Feeling good today! 
I had my second go at the #PiYo Drench workout for DAY 35 of #100DaysofRevivingFitness and I really didn't want to do it. I mean, I reallllly didn't. I wasn't able to get my workout in early in the morning the way I typically like to do...I ended up getting it in around 4:30 pm. I was so tempted to take another rest day and push it off until tomorrow, but I knew I had no real excuse for doing that, so I did it anyway! And I'm SO glad I did. I felt great after and I did WAY better on Drench this time than I did last time. I also knocked out my plank hold for the #PlankChallenge. Want to join the plank challenge? it's not too late! #GettingHealthy 




DAY 36...here's a look at my pH balancing drink . I had a full day today and didn't get everything done that I was hoping to. That's life, right? Tomorrow's a new day! #100DaysofRevivingFitness



DAY 37. Today was a Buns day...catching up on my workouts #100DaysofRevivingFitness

DAY 38.  No PiYo for me today, but I took a nice 3 mile hike with family here in Idaho. What are you up to today? #GettingHealthy


DAY 39 was a rest day and DAY 40 was a travel day. We spent the weekend with family in Idaho and had a couple of layovers along the way. It was a challenge for me to maintain my healthy eating and to get my PiYo workouts in, but I'm okay with that. I'll get back on track in the morning #100DaysofRevivingFitness#GettingHealthy


Today was DAY 41 and I'm still trying to get back on track. Nutritionally, I'm back on it but I was feeling really tired today and had a doctor's appointment that really threw my schedule off. Yes, I took another rest day. I feel like my body really needed it after a full day of traveling yesterday. I did get some good news from the doctor and I'm REALLY excited. It looks as though the changes I've made over the past few weeks are paying off! Praise God!!
DAY 42 of #100DaysofRevivingFitness. It's such a great feeling to be off of all prescribed medicine now. I'm going to continue to focus on the good, healthy, & natural medicine--food! I'm excited to try out some new recipes over the next few days. I'll be sure to let you know how they turn out .




Thursday, September 11, 2014

InspHERational Woman: Rachel Reynolds

Rachel Reynolds
Chef De Partie & Aspiring Restaurant Owner

I had a great time with the talented and gregarious Rachel Reynolds when she came to visit from New England a few weeks ago.  She and her boyfriend, Connor, passed through Tennessee while taking a road trip to taste their way through some of the southern states.  Their mission?  To build more culinary inspiration for a future restaurant.  Catfish for breakfast, bologna made from rabbit meat, and pickled hard boiled eggs made red from beet juice were a few of the many southern delicacies they enjoyed on their trip.  I was so excited they stayed with us for a couple of days so I could learn more about Rachel's story and find out what inspired her to become a chef.  Oh, and did I mention her food tastes amazing??  The photos below just don't do it justice.

Have you always wanted to work in the food industry? 

 

No, not at all.  I was never a fearful eater, but I did not really grow up cooking.  My mom really loved to cook and she'd always let me pick which recipes I wanted to try out of magazines.  We'd go shopping together and get the ingredients.  I watched but never helped, but I was always very appreciative of the results.  I made cookies and cakes, but I never made dinners.  

When I was little I wanted to be a veterinarian because I love animals.  I also really loved math and science in high school.  Everyone told me I would be a good physician assistant or nurse because I'm a people person, so that was what I focused on.  But the more that I did that, the more I realized that it just wasn't for me.  It took some time, but I finally found my way. 

How did you find your way?


Well, I was going to school and I was studying to become a nurse.  At the time, I was working in a bakery and I loved my job in the bakery.  I loved going to work every day; I looked forward to it.  I realized that I loved it so much and one day I asked myself "how can I do this every day?"  And I realized I needed to go to school so I could go to work.  So that's what I did, and I applied for culinary school the next day.  


Learn from every experience. 


It's fun to learn new things, and the more you work for other people, the more you learn.  Everywhere you work you pick up bits and pieces.  No one job has ever been perfect, but I find different things that I like in every job.  I also incorporate what I've learned in previous jobs to my new jobs. 


Don't be afraid to make mistakes. 


You can't be afraid of making mistakes, you learn from mistakes.  Every time you screw something up and learn from it,  you'll never make that mistake again.  You have to let bad days happen and just end.  And then you move forward.    


In the kitchen, there are always new obstacles.   


There can be a lot of obstacles depending on the day.  Some days it's the challenge of working service.  Every busy night presents its own challenges.  Anytime you make it through a service it's an accomplishment.   

When I worked in the bakery, every day the dough was different.  Depending to the humidity or the temperature you always had to adjust the dough, and feel it, touch it and taste it to make sure that everything was the same so that you could get the same perfect loaf for the customer every day.  And I loved that small challenge.  As crazy as it may sound, it really is a challenge to make a beautiful loaf every day.  You can't follow the same recipe every day.  It's never the same.  If you use the same recipe every day, you get a different loaf of bread every day.  It's all very touch and feel.  


Do what you love.


You have to love what you do and do what you love.  People are always trying to work for the top chefs to have names that look good on their resumes.  A chef that I work for now once told me: "You should never build a resume for anyone else but yourself."  My goal is to build my own restaurant, who am I building a resume for except for myself?  That goes for anyone trying to build their own business.  Build a resume for you.  Learn things that you want to learn because you're the person you need to please in the end.  Do what you want, and do what interests you.

It's about trying to find how you can have your 'best day ever' every day.  It can be an impossible goal, but it can happen if you find joy in the small things.   




For those considering new ventures, here's some advice from Rachel: 


The best thing you can do is sit down by yourself, because no one else can give you the right answer but you.  You have to ask yourself:  "Why am I on the path that I am now?"  "What has influenced me to this point?"  "Which path am I interested in?"  "Where am I going to be the happiest?"  "What really interests me?" 

The path you're on may seem like the easiest way--you're already on that path headed toward a final goal.  But even if a path seems like the easier way, sometimes you have to pick the harder way because that's what's going to make you happier.  You can never discount your own happiness or interests.  You never want to undercut yourself.  Live your life the way you want to live it--even if it's hard.  If you're not happy right now, the only thing that you can do is change it, and the only person who can change it is you.  Never be afraid.  

Rachel, thank you so much for your time and inspiring words of wisdom!



Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Days 22-28 #100DaysofRevivingFitness


This week had some ups and it had some downs.  Learning from the downs but focusing on the ups....




DAY 22 started off with another early wakeup. It was a little harder to get myself out of bed this morning, but I did it! I got my sweat on with the Sweat #PiYo workout. I'm really noticing changes in my body internally and externally. I'm still being mindful of what I put in it and making up recipes as I go along . Scott even said "I'm starting to get on board with eating more vegetables. If it tastes this good and it's filling. Yeah, I could do this." Pretty cool! I hope you all have a fabulous day! 
DAY 23 was the Core #PiYo workout. It's always good to work the core. For lunch I had leftovers from dinner last night. A chopped kale salad (chopped with my brand new salad chopper  ) and spaghetti squash topped with an avocado cream sauce--yum! Get the recipe HERE.  I also made some strawberry, lemon, and basil infused water. It's deliciously refreshing. Now I have to figure out how to get my toddler to eat more greens. He won't let anything green touch his lips, and when we find a way to get it in his mouth, it doesn't stay for long. We'll continue to sneak the green stuff in other ways, but if anyone has advice on how to get him to enjoy tasting green healthy foods, I would LOVE it!

DAY 24. I knew today was going to be full so I got up early (yes, on a Saturday) to get my #PiYo Buns workout in. Later in the morning, I logged a few miles walking a trail with a friend--it was great to catch up! This afternoon, I took a nap and then I exercised my green thumb muscle...it's weak, I mean really weak hahaha. Our yard need lots of work! Gotta get that muscle on shape . Looking forward to cooling it by the river for a festival this evening.



DAY 25; a quarter of the way there! I was able to enjoy my rest day by sleeping in (which may still be early for some folks), going to church, and watching football with some friends. I made a buffalo cauliflower bites (recipe HERE) that I think turned out really well. Back to my#PiYo workouts tomorrow.

DAY 26. My doctor told me the medicine I'm on was going to give me some insomnia--he wasn't kidding (I can't wait until I'm OFF of this stuff!) I had a hard time sleeping last night and when I finally did sleep, I didn't want to get up. At. All. Consequently, I missed getting my workout in early. I was SO tempted to just say "forget it, I'm tired, I don't feel like doing it" But I reminded myself of WHY I'm doing it and I got it in during Trey's nap this afternoon. It was my first time doing the #PiYO Drench workout and I STRUGGLED through it. It was really discouraging. But, I'm looking forward to my next encounter with it when I'll dominate it. I'm being consistent with my #shakeologyconsumption and finished a bag this morning--thank goodness for home direct orders. I'm also out of my bedtime tea (which I haven't had for a week or so now). Gotta pick some up later. Here's to #GettingHealthy & a good night of sleep tonight !

 DAY 27. Agh, another rough night of sleep...between the insomnia from the medicine and the fatigue from having low iron levels, I felt a bit worn down today. I didn't wake up early, and when Trey napped, I napped. So, I gave myself a day off from #PiYo. I'll pick it back up tomorrow and will catch up over the next few days. In other news, I've been trying/creating new recipes. Scott was craving something sweet, so I whipped together some vegan chocolate #Shakeology oatmeal & peanut butter cookies. Tonight, I threw together some items I had on hand and made a Chinese-inspired noodle dish...but I used spaghetti squash for the noodles. It turned out to be really tasty! I finally have some bedtime tea! Praying for deep sleep tonight. (Recipes will be posted soon!)

DAY 28 of ‪#‎100DaysofRevivingFitness‬. I slept much better last night (praise God!) and woke up early to get my ‪#‎PiYo‬ strength intervals in this morning. It's sometimes easy for me to get distracted by things that happened yesterday or the day before, but I have to remember to just keep pushing forward. Yesterday's bad choices should have no affect on the healthy choices I make today or tomorrow


Friday, September 5, 2014

Days 15-21 #100DaysofRevivingFitness

And the journey continues....


[Side note:  For those of you interested in trying the pad thai recipe I told you about last week, you can check it out HERE]

Day 15. Yep, that's me doing child's pose during my Upper Body Define #PiYo workout today. I started the morning off with one of my new favorite #Shakeology mixes--vanilla and peanut butter. Yum! The rest of the day was filled with more crazy medical adventures that had me a bit stressed out for a little while. Maybe I should've stayed in child's pose a little longer this morning? But I ended up getting good news from doctor number 3 this week--all labs came back good! Praise God!! I had the chance to unwind this evening with my family and some friends for a farewell party. I needed that. Well, back to child's pose I go .

A bit late on my DAY 16 post, but it did happen . Started off with the #PiYo "buns" workout. It was my first time doing it and it definitely smoked my glutes--in a good way. We had a crazy family road trip adventure. A "if we hadn't stopped to get our car checked, we would've lost a tire" kind of crazy. Thank God for His protection! Eating on the road could've been better, but I'm just thankful to be alive !







DAY 17 was a rest day for me...boy did I need it! We've been spending a lot of time with friends-- many of whom we haven't seen in a couple of years. It's been great to unwind and catch up. We took a 2.5 hour nap as a family today. I have one word to describe this: AMAZING!!! #100DaysofRevivingFitness#GettingHealthy








DAY 18. I'm so thankful #PiYo is the kind of program you can do anywhere and the workouts aren't very long! I got my Core workout in today; I'm feeling stronger! #100DaysofRevivingFitness #GettingHealthy


DAY 19. Today was my lower body workout for #PiYo and I can tell I'm getting much more flexible. It's a great feeling! We were on the road most of the day and I managed to eat pretty well. It wasn't perfect, but I did well. Looking forward to trying new meals this week. #GettingHealthy










I can't believe it's already DAY 20. Today was the 4th time I did the Sweat workout for #PiYo and I sweat just as much this time as I did my first time, but I'm feeling so much stronger. Tomorrow is my first go at Strength Intervals--we'll see how that is .#100DaysofRevivingFitness #GettingHealthy

I woke up early for my DAY 21 workout. I'm going to get up before little man does so I don't have to rely on his nap time to get my workouts in. Today was #PiYoStrength Intervals and it was great. It smoked me. It feels good to have my workout done early so now I can go about my business the rest of the day . I've had some people ask my WHAT PiYo is. Check out this video to learn more: http://bit.ly/1vMMd18. I'm here if you have any questions--ask away!



Thanks for joining me on my journey!  Have you started a journey of your own?  I'd love to hear about it!

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Easy Veggie Pad Thai

Scott and I love pad thai.  Last week, I was on a quest to discover a healthier version of pad thai to make instead of just dousing the noodles with that thick pad thai sauce you can buy in stores.  Guess what?  I now have a tasty, healthy, and easy alternative!  

Ingredients: 

  • 1 10-oz. package rice noodles 
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1 cup mushrooms
  • 1 cup of prepped green beans
  • 1/2 12-oz. package extra-firm tofu, drained and cut into chunks 
  • 4 Tbsp. soy sauce 
  • 2 Tbsp. peanut butter 
  • Juice of 2 limes 
  • 3 Tbsp. sugar 
  • Sriracha, to taste 
  • Sliced green onions, for garnish 
  • Chopped peanuts, for garnish (optional) 
Steps

  1. Prep rice noodles according to directions on package. 
  2. In a large frying pan, heat the olive oil over medium heat and add the garlic cloves, tofu chunks, mushrooms, and green beans. Drizzle 1 tablespoon of the soy sauce over the tofu and veggies; sauté until golden brown.
  3. In a small bowl, whisk together the peanut butter, lime juice, sugar, Sriracha, remaining soy sauce, and 1 cup of water.
  4. Add the soaked noodles and peanut butter mixture to the tofu and cook through, about 5 minutes.
  5. Garnish with sliced green onions and chopped peanuts and serve right away. 
  6. Enjoy!



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