Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Spicy Sesame Noodle Salad

 
 
This recipe is fast, easy and perfect to make ahead when you need to pack a lunch.  It's also a great way to use leftover spaghetti!

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Living Room Bootcamp Workout

 
 
 
Here's a simple workout that you can do at home.  No equipment needed!

Homemade Marinara Sauce



This takes a little time, but it's SO worth it.  There is nothing like homemade marinara sauce.

Monday, January 28, 2013

Hazelnut Agave Nectar Latte




We were running behind this morning and I ended up skipping my morning coffee.  By mid-afternoon I was totally dragging, so I decided to make myself a half-caff latte.  Hopefully it will be just enough caffeine to get me through the day...without keeping me up all night ;)

Chest/Back/Shoulders Workout



SO happy to be back at the gym today! I know not everyone has a gym membership or a home gym with the equipment needed for this workout...but stay tuned! I will be posting a "Living Room Bootcamp" workout and a few other things that can be done in the gym or at home.

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Plan to Succeed







January is almost over...how's that New Year's resolution going so far? "Getting in shape" is probably the most common New Year's resolution every year. The problem is that "getting in shape" is a little on the vague side. What does that mean to you? Without specific goals it's almost impossible to measure success...and without goals it's very easy to get off track.

About eight months ago I decided that enough was enough. My youngest child was two and a half years old and I was still referring to my extra ten pounds as "baby weight". The fact of the matter was that I'd lost the baby weight...and then I gained some back again. That wasn't really baby weight...it was more like "eating like crap weight". It wasn't that I didn't workout...I did cardio like a maniac trying to keep the weight off, but cardio can only do so much. One night I broke down and (blubbering like a baby) asked my husband if we could get a gym membership. Working out at home wasn't working for me anymore...did I mention that my children stopped napping right around this time? I am by no means saying that a gym membership is a must for everyone, but for me joining a gym was the start of making some healthy changes in my life. My goal was to get back into my pre-baby clothes by the time I turned thirty (January 6th, 2013), and I did it! The key to my success was setting clear goals, and having a plan to help me achieve them. I changed my diet and started doing more strength training and less cardio. I went from being 23% body fat to 11% body fat, and it wasn't as hard as you might think.

So...are you ready to plan to succeed? Here are a few tips to get you started...

1.  Set Short Term and Long Term Goals:  It's great to aim high when setting goals for yourself.  However, if your goal is to run a marathon or lose several clothing sizes you probably aren't going to be reaching that goal tomorrow.  Keep yourself on track by setting short term goals that will get you to that long term goal.  Your short term goals can be working up to a certain amount of time on the treadmill, a higher amount of weight or reps on an exercise that you currently find challenging, or just sticking to your meal plan for an entire week.  Reward yourself when you reach each goal...but NOT with food.  Reward yourself with new workout gear, a massage, or something else that you consider a treat.  As you reach your goals make new ones to keep your momentum going.

2. Schedule Your Workouts: Don't tell yourself that you'll workout "when you have time". Don't wander around the gym using random machines until you feel like you've been there long enough. Make a plan and stick to it! If you are just starting to incorporate working out into your life I would suggest shooting for two to three workouts (30-60 minutes each) a week. Decide what times and days work best for you and schedule your workouts accordingly. It's also a good idea to have a backup plan just in case. I like to workout in the mornings, but if something happens to screw up my normal routine I know I can squeeze a workout in at home while my kiddos are eating lunch. If that falls through I can take them to the gym with me in the afternoon. If that doesn't work, then my last resort is to workout at home after they've gone to bed.

3. Plan Your Meals: Every week I make a dinner menu for the following week. It's not that we HAVE to eat a certain meal on a certain day, but I make sure that I have seven options planned for the week. Then I make a grocery list based on what I'll be making for dinner. I also make sure that I have plenty of healthy breakfast, lunch and snack options on hand. If anything on my weekly menu is time consuming I try to make it ahead or at least prep it ahead of time on the weekend (when my hubby is home to help wrangle the kiddos).

4. Be Accountable: I am lucky enough to have a workout buddy that I met at the gym. We were wearing the same shoes...it was fate LOL. I push myself harder when we workout together, and it's great to have a friend who's into health and fitness. Not to mention the fact that it's easier to keep an "appointment" at the gym with a friend than it is to keep one with myself. I also belong to a few online fitness accountability groups that really help to keep me motivated. If you have a real life friend to workout with and be accountable to that is awesome. If not...no worries! There are plenty of online resources that can help to keep you motivated and on track.

5. Track Your Progress: I've said it before and I'll say it again....STEP AWAY FROM THE SCALE. The scale is not your friend. The scale does not tell you the whole story. The measuring tape on the other hand is your friend. The measuring tape tells you that although mean Mr. Scale says you haven't lost a pound, you have in fact lost INCHES. Who cares about pounds when you are losing inches?!? As you gain lean muscle mass and burn away fat your weight might fluctuate. Don't let the scale psych you out. Measure the largest part of your chest, waist, hips, your right thigh, and your right bicep once a month to track your progress. I'd also recommend taking before and after pics. It's really the only way to SEE how far you've come.

6. Don't Beat Yourself Up: Hey guess what? You're not perfect. Neither am I. No one is! You might miss a workout. You might have a moment of weakness and mow through an entire box of Girl Scout Cookies all by yourself. Beating yourself up about it isn't going to make things better. The best thing to do when you get off track is to try to figure out why it happened. If you can pinpoint the why you can prevent it from happening again.  Don't let one moment of weakness be the beginning of the end!

So where to begin? First you need to decide how much time you are willing/able to devote to working out. Maybe that's no time at all at this point. Maybe it's thirty minutes three times a week. Maybe it's an hour five times a week. Once you know how active you are going to be you can determine how many calories you should be eating each day.

To figure out how many calories you should be consuming each day you need to know your BMR (basal metabolic rate). You can use the Harris Benedict Equation to calculate your BMR:

Men: BMR = 66 + (6.23 X weight in pounds) + (12.7 X height in inches) -- (6.8 X age in years). Women: BMR = 655 + (4.35 X weight in pounds) + (4.7 X height in inches) -- (4.7 X age in years).

Now multiply your BMR by your activity factor:

Sedentary (little to no exercise) = BMR X 1.2
Lightly active (light exercise 1-3 times a week) = BMR X 1.375
Moderately active (exercise 3-5 times a week) = BMR X 1.55
Very active (exercise 6-7 times a week) = BMR X 1.725
Extra active (exercise 7 times a week more than once a day) = BMR X 1.9

This will give you the total number of calories that you need to maintain your current weight. If you are trying to lose weight you should subtract 300-500 calories per day.  It's not a good idea to cut your calories more than this.  If you don't get enough calories your body will actually hold on to fat and cannibalize your lean muscle mass.  You want to get rid of that fat and hold on to that muscle.  The more lean muscle mass you have the more calories your body will burn (even when you are sleeping!).

If you don't have a number two pencil or calculator on you because you were told there would be no math...just Google "calorie calculator" and you can plug in your age, height, weight, etc. and the "Google machine" will tell you how many calories you need ;)

Here are a few links to save you some time:

Calorie Calculator - Calculator.net
Mayo Clinic Calorie Calculator 
The Caloric Needs Formula - Livestrong.com

If you are looking for an easy way to track your calories I recommend www.Myfitnesspal.com.



***I am not a doctor, nutrition specialist, or personal trainer. Basically, I am not an expert. If an expert is advising you on your diet and/or exercise please follow their advice!

Whole Wheat French Toast




I made one of my favorite weekend breakfasts this morning...a lighter version of French Toast...

Ingredients:

4-6 Slices of Whole Wheat Bread
3 Egg Whites
1/4 Cup Milk of your choice (I used 1% lactose free milk)
Ground Cinnamon
Pam or other cooking spray
Optional Toppings: Butter or butter substitute, sugar free syrup, agave nectar, honey, fresh fruit, etc.

Directions:

Whisk together the milk and egg whites in a shallow dish. 
 

 
 
Spray a skillet with cooking spray and heat over medium heat.  Place one slice of bread in the egg mixture and quickly turn it over to coat both sides (the longer you leave it in the egg mixture the more it will soak up).  Place the coated bread slice in the skillet. 
 
Sprinkle cinnamon over the side that is facing up. 
 

 
 
Cook for about two minutes and then flip to cook the other side.
 
 
 
Remove from the skillet and set aside. Repeat with the remaining bread slices.
 
My four and a half year old and three year old LOVE this French toast.  I'm sure some day they will realize that regular french toast isn't made from wheat bread and is a lot sweeter....but hopefully they will prefer this healthier version ;)
 

 
 
 

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Lower Body Workout



Finally made it to the gym today!  My hubby stayed home with the kiddos this morning so that I could go kill my lower body at the gym ;)  I stretched for at least 20 minutes when I got home afterwards, but I'm already feeling it.  I think I need to spend a little quality time with the foam roller before bed tonight.  It's the best kind of pain though.  I love being reminded that I pushed myself hard and got a great workout in.

If you can't make it to a gym you can still do this workout at home.  The Smith Machine lunges with a knee lift can be done without the smith machine.  The same goes for the squats.  Calf raises can be done on the edge of a step.  You can lay on your side on the floor and do leg lifts instead of using the adductor and abductor machines.  Do regular sit ups instead of incline sit up. Everything else can be done at home without being modified.  If you don't have weights at home you can increase the reps to make it more challenging :)

If you aren't sure about any of the exercises just Google them! 

***I am not a doctor, nutrition specialist, or personal trainer. Basically, I am not an expert. If an expert is advising you on your diet and/or exercise please follow their advice!

Sugar Free Vanilla Latte

 
 
There was a time when popping into Starbucks for a yummy calorie laden beverage was a normal part of my day.  Once I became a mother there was no such thing as "a quick trip" to anywhere, and I'd only go to Starbucks if I could find a drive-thru (and even then only if my kiddos weren't having a meltdown in their car seats in the back of the car).  Like many sleep deprived mothers out there I couldn't just go without coffee all together, so for a long time I was just drinking coffee with flavored creamers at home.   When I started trying to eat healthy I realized that adding those tasty creamers to my coffee was really adding tons of empty calories to my diet.  Have you looked at the nutritional info for flavored coffee creamer?  Yikes?  The serving size is only a tablespoon or two, and I was using WAY more than that.  So these days I either drink my coffee black or I make myself a sugar free latte at home...
 

Friday, January 25, 2013

At Home Core & Cardio Workout

 
 
 
Another day away from the gym.  I swear I am going through withdrawals!  Working out at home is just not the same...maybe because at the gym I don't have two kiddos and two dogs climbing all over me as I workout ;)
 
If I had been able to go to the gym today I would have done a quick warm up, about twenty minutes of core, a 50 Minute yoga class, and then 20 minutes of HIIT cardio on a treadmill.  I tried to do something similar at home.  I don't have a treadmill so I used our upright stationary bike for the warm up and cardio.  If you don't have a treadmill, elliptical, or stationary bike you can always do jumping jacks, high knees, butt kickers, etc. as your cardio.
 
I really have to force myself to do cardio...it is not my favorite thing.  When I am lifting I find myself losing track of time and staying at the gym longer than I had planned...that NEVER happens during cardio.  HIIT (high-intensity interval-training) cardio is great because you get more bang for you buck so to speak.  Instead of keeping up a steady pace for 40 minutes you alternate between moderate and high intensity.
 
If you'd like to learn more about HIIT cardio I recommend these articles:
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
***I am not a doctor, nutrition specialist, or personal trainer. Basically, I am not an expert. If an expert is advising you on your diet and/or exercise please follow their advice!

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Seared Ahi Lettuce Wraps





Ingredients:

One 8 to 10 oz. ahi tuna steak
1/4 cup low sodium soy sauce
1 TBS honey
2 TBS mirin
2 TBS rice vinegar
1 tsp sesame oil
1 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp ground pepper
1/4 cup sesame seeds
1 TBS vegetable oil
Head of butter lettuce
1 carrot, peeled and shredded
1 scallion sliced thin
1/4 cup chopped cilantro
1 avocado, peeled and diced
1 cup cooked brown rice


Directions:

In a shallow dish whisk together the soy sauce, honey, mirin, rice vinegar, sesame oil, ginger, and pepper. Add the ahi and let it marinate in the fridge for at least an hour. Place the sesame seeds on a plate or in a shallow dish. Press the marinated ahi in to the sesame seeds. Turn the ahi to coat it in the sesame seeds.

Heat the vegetable oil in a large skillet....you want it super hot...the oil should be starting to ripple, and about to smoke. Add the ahi and let it sear for about a minute or two on each side. Remove from the pan and let cool for 5-10 minutes. Slice against the grain.

Use one lettuce leaf as your "cup". Place a few spoonfuls of brown rice in the cup. Top it with carrot, scallion, cilantro, avocado, and place a few slices of the ahi on top.

For a dipping sauce combine 3 TBS low sodium soy sauce, 1 TBS rice vinegar, a tsp sesame oil, 1 tsp honey, 1 tsp garlic salt, and a pinch of crushed red pepper. 

Southwest Style Lettuce Wraps



 
Ingredients:

- 1 lb Lean Ground Turkey
- 1 TBS Ground Cumin
- 1 Tsp Garlic Salt
- 1 Tsp Ground Pepper
- 1 Cup Salsa of your choice
- 1 (15 oz.) Can of Black Beans (drained and rinsed)
- 1 Cup Frozen Corn
- 1 Head of Butter Lettuce
- 1 Avocado (diced)
- 1 Lime (cut into wedges)
- Cilantro (optional)


Directions:

Heat a skillet over medium high heat. Add ground turkey. As Turkey browns add cumin, garlic salt and pepper. Break up the turkey as it browns and mix the seasonings in. Once the turkey is browned drain any excess fat from the pan. Add salsa, corn, and black beans to turkey and stir often. Reduce heat and let simmer for five to ten minutes.

Use lettuce leaves as a wrap by filling a lettuce leaf with the turkey mixture. Top with diced avocado and cilantro. Squeeze a lime wedge over the top and enjoy!


Three Bean Turkey Chili

 
Ingredients:

- 1 lb Lean Ground Turkey
- 1 Small Onion (diced)
- 1 tsp Salt
- 1 1/2 tsp Pepper
- 2 (15 oz.) Cans S&W Pinquito Beans (drained but NOT rinsed)
- 1 (15 oz.) Can Black Beans (drained and rinsed)
- 1 (15 oz.) Can Kidney Beans (drained and rinsed)
- 1 (14.5 oz) Can S&W Diced Tomato with Green Chilies and Seasonings
- 1 (28 oz.) Can Diced Tomatoes (do not drain)
- 1 TBS Ground Cumin
- 2 TBS Chili Powder
- Dash of Mustard Powder (optional)
- Dash of Garlic Powder (optional)
- Sliced scallions and or cilantro for garnish (optional)

 
 
Directions:
 
Heat large pot over medium high heat. Add ground turkey and break apart as it browns. Once turkey has browned drain excess fat. Add diced onion to the browned turkey and continue cooking until onions are translucent. Add salt and pepper and stir. Add beans, tomatoes, and seasonings and stir well. Turn the heat up to high an bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for at least 20 minutes. Garnish with sliced scallions and/or cilantro and enjoy :)


Working Out at Home Today

 
 
 
I can't get to the gym today, but I refuse to let that slow me down! I will miss all of  the weights and cardio equiptment at the gym, but there's nothing wrong with good old fashioned body weight exercises!
 
***I am not a doctor, nutrition specialist, or personal trainer. Basically, I am not an expert. If an expert is advising you on your diet and/or exercise please follow their advice!


Lemon Berry Yogurt



When life gives you lemons....make Lemon Berry Yogurt!  Normally I would be at the gym right now.  At about this time I'd be wrapping up my warm up and ready to kill my upper body ;)  Unfortunately, one of my kiddos is under the weather today...which means no gym time for me.  Since we're out of our regular routine I decided to try something a little different for breakfast.  I usually have a smoothie (and I usually end up drinking it in the car), but since we aren't on the go today I made myself some yogurt and peanut butter toast.  I know...I know...I lead a very exciting life ;)

I am not a fan of plain yogurt, but I love to mix things into it to make it yummy without the not so good for you ingredients in some flavored yogurts.

Ingredients:

- 1 Cup Plain Low Fat Yogurt
- 2 Tsp Lemon Juice
- Handful of fresh berries (I used strawberries, blueberries & blackberries)

Mix all of the ingredients together and enjoy!

Notes:
-If you make this ahead of time and let it sit in the fridge the yogurt will absorb more flavor from the berries. This would be perfect to make ahead and pack for a quick snack on the go.
-If your berries are nice and sweet then you shouldn't need any additional sweetener, but if they are tart you might want to add a drizzle of agave nectar or honey.

Peanut Butter Toast with Fresh Strawberries
  
The peanut butter toast recipe is pretty self explanatory. Toast a piece of whole wheat bread, spread natural peanut butter on it, and top with sliced strawberries. I think that plain natural peanut butter on it's own is kind of an acquired taste. Especially if you are used to the "normal" kind with all of the added sugar. The first time I bought a jar of natural peanut butter I had to play around with different combinations to find a way to eat it. Today I added a few sliced up strawberries, but a nice ripe banana would add some sweetness too.


...and now I am off to try to get a decent workout here at home.  With two kiddos and two dogs there will probably be plenty of interruptions, but something is better than nothing!





Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Chicken & Avocado Quesadillas

 
Quesdaillas aren't usually thought of as healthy, but with reduced fat cheese, low carb tortillas, avocado, and chicken a quesadilla can be a pretty complete meal.
 
Ingredients:
 
1 shredded chicken breast OR two shredded chicken thighs
1 Avocado
1 green onion (aka scallion)
1 cup shredded reduced fat cheddar cheese
4 low carb tortillas
Pam or other cooking spray
Optional: Cilantro, Fat Free Sour Cream, Salsa
 
Directions:
 
Top one tortilla with shredded cheese, shredded chicken, diced avocado, and sliced green onion, and more cheese.  Spray a pan or skillet with cooking spray and heat over medium heat.  Carefully place tortilla with toppings in the pre-heated pan.  Top with another tortilla.  Cook over medium heat for three minutes (or until the bottom tortilla is starting to turn golden brown.  Carefully flip with a spatula and cook for another three minutes to brown the other tortilla.  Remove from pan and allow to cook for a minute or two before cutting.  I like to use a pizza cutter to slice the quesadilla up, but a regular knife will work just fine.  Serve with your favorite salsa and/or fat free sour cream.  You can also garnish with a bit of cilantro if you're feeling fancy ;)
 
 
 
Notes:
- Here's a link to a recipe for the shredded chicken I used: Shredded Chicken 
- To make this even more filling you can add black beans.
-If you have issues with dairy like I do I recommend Kaas Soy Pepper Jack...it actually melts like real cheese!
 
 

Shredded Chicken



I use this Shredded Chicken for a lot of different recipes.  It's great for tacos, quesadillas, chicken salad, and soups.  If you don't have a lot of time to prepare healthy lunches during the week you can make this ahead of time and use it for a few different lunches.




Ingredients:

1 lb of boneless/skinless chicken breasts or thighs
1 large carrot
2 celery stalks
1 onion


Chop all of the veggies into large pieces and place them in the bottom of a stock pot.  Add the chicken on top of the veggies.  Add water to the pot (just enough to cover the chicken.  Bring to a boil.  Reduce heat and simmer for 30 minutes (or until the chicken is cooked through).  Remove chicken and chop or shred as desired.


Notes:
- You can save the remaining cooking liquid to use as chicken stock for soup. 

Chicken Enchilada Soup



Is there anything better than a nice big bowl of soup on a cold day?

Ingredients:

-32 Ounces Low Sodium Chicken Stalk
-Large can of enchilada sauce (green or red)
1 Tbs Extra Virgin Olive oil
-4 cooked chicken thighs OR 2 cooked chicken breasts (boneless/skinless)
-14.5 Oz. Can Black Beans (drained/rinsed)
-1 TBS Ground Cumin
-1 Tsp Garlic Powder
-1/2 Tsp dried oregano
-1 Celery Stalk (diced small)
-1 Green Onion (aka scallion)
-1 small yellow onion OR 1/2 large onion (diced small)
-1 large carrot (cut into bite sized pieces)
-lime juice, cilantro, avocado, jalapeno, reduced fat cheddar, and fat free sour cream (optional)

Directions:

Heat olive oil in a large sock pot over medium/high heat.  Add diced onion, carrot and celery and cook until the onion is translucent (stirring often).  Shred the cooked chicken and add to the pot.  Add black beans, cumin, garlic powder, oregano, chicken stock, and enchilada sauce. Stir well to combine all ingredients.  Increase heat and bring to a boil.  Cover and reduce heat to medium/low.  Simmer for 20-30 minutes.

Serve topped with reduced fat cheese, fat free sour cream, avocado, jalapenos, and/or a squeeze or two of lime juice.

Notes:
-Here's a link to the recipe for the chicken I used in this soup: Shredded Chicken
- If you don't have cooked chicken you can add in whole uncooked chicken thighs or breasts.  You will need to increase the cooking time to make sure that the chicken is cooked all the way through.  Once it is cooked you can shred it in the soup pot
-You can use any kind of beans you want in this.  Pinto beans would work nicely.


Almost Green Smoothie


Don't tell my children, but...there's spinach in this smoothie. Shhhhhh....our little secret ;)  They can't taste it, so I'm not telling.  The strawberries add just enough color to this smoothie that it isn't green.  If you add blueberries they add enough color that you can't really see the spinach at all ;)

To be honest I was not a believer until I tried it myself, but I swear on a stack of bibles that I cannot taste spinach in a smoothie.  Which is great because there's no way I'd be getting enough leafy greens in my diet without "hiding" some in my smoothie.  And yes...I have a smoothie EVERY morning.  I drink it while I chase my kiddos around trying to get them ready for the day, and many mornings I finish it in the car after the school drop off as I drive to the gym.  I don't make it the same every single day, but here's one variation....













Ingredients:

5 frozen mango chunks (about 1/4 cup)
3 frozen strawberries
1 Handful of spinach
5 Slices of frozen peach
1/4 of a ripe banana
Juice of one orange (or a few ounces of store bought OJ)
6-8 Oz. of milk













Place all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth. Enjoy!
 


Notes:
-You can use any kind of milk or juice.  I've even used tea before.  The main thing is having enough liquid for your blender to be able to blend all of the frozen fruit.
-Speaking of frozen fruit...you don't have to use all frozen fruit, but at least one of the ingredients needs to be frozen to get the right texture.  I like my smoothies to be really thick, so I use mostly frozen fruit.
- If you can find milkshake straws they are great for smoothies!

Apple Cinnamon Yogurt

 
 
 
Plain yogurt can be really good for you....but I am not a huge fan of the taste.  And yes...there are tons of ready made flavored yogurts.  The problem is that a lot of those aren't so good for you.  Luckily you can just add to plain yogurt and have whatever flavor your little heart desires without worrying about extra calories, fat, sugar, etc.
 
Ingredients:
 
1 Apple, diced into bite sized pieces
2 tsp Ground Cinnamon
1 Cup of Low Fat Plain Yogurt
 
Directions:
 
Dice up your favorite kind of apple.  I used a Pink Lady here, but any apple with do.  If you use a granny smith (they're a little more tart) you might want to add some agave nectar or honey to add some sweetness.  Place the apple pieces into a microwave safe bowl and sprinkle with cinnamon. 
 
 
Loosely cover the bowl to keep the moisture in.  Microwave on high for one to two minutes (this varies from microwave to microwave, so I would suggest starting at a minute and going from there.  The apples should be soft (like the apples in an apple pie).
 
 

 
 
Now...you may just want to skip the yogurt at this point and eat the apples as is.  They are going to smell REALLY good.  If you can wait a bit then let them cool down.  Once they are almost room temperature you can add the yogurt.  I used lactose free yogurt because dairy and I don't get along.  You can use any plain yogurt...I recommend reading a few labels and finding the healthiest choice for you.


 
 
Notes:
- If you don't want to use a microwave you can bake the apple in an oven safe dish covered with foil.  Bake at 350 degrees for thirty minutes.

- This also goes great with vanilla ice cream...if you're having a cheat meal that is ;)

Fish Tacos

 
 
 
I love fish tacos!  There...I said it.  This is a great meal for one, but you can easily double the recipe...or triple it...or quadruple..well you get the idea ;)
 
Ingredients:
 
4 TBS Olive Oil Mayo
2 TBS Chopped Cilantro
Juice of 1/2 a lime
1 Tilapia Fillet

1/2 tsp Garlic Salt
1/2 tsp Pepper
1/2 tsp Cumin
1/2 tsp Chili Powder
1/2 Avocado
1/2 cup Lettuce
4 Corn Tortillas
1/2 lime cut into wedges
1 TBS Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Pam or other cooking spray

Directions:

Mix together the olive oil mayo, cilantro, and lime juice.  Cover and refrigerate while you prepare the fish.

In a small bowl mix together the garlic salt, pepper, cumin, and chili powder.  Rinse the tilapia fillet and pat it dry.  Sprinkle both sides with the seasoning mixture.  Heat the extra virgin olive oil over medium/high heat in a skillet.  When the oil starts to ripple it's hot and ready to go.  Place the tilapia fillet in the skillet and cook for three minutes on each side (if your fillet is thicker than 1 inch you may need to cook it a bit longer).  Remove tilapia from the skillet and set aside.

Grab another pan and spray it with a quick spray of Pam or other cooking spray.  Heat over medium to high heat.  Place on tortilla at a time in the pan and heat until it's pliable and starting to brown.  Remove from the pan and place another tortilla in the pan.  You can let it cook while you start to assemble your first taco. Repeat this until all of the tacos are assembled.

To assemble the taco take the mayo/cilantro/lime mixture out of the fridge.  Spread about a tablespoon of this onto the first warmed tortilla.  Next add about a forth of the tilapia.  Top with a slice of avocado and some lettuce.  Repeat until all of the tacos are assembled.

Serve with lime wedges and squeeze a little lime juice over each taco before eating. Enjoy!



Season both sides of the tilapia fillet with the garlic salt, pepper, cumin,

Cornmeal Crusted Tilapiia

 
 
This is one of my favorite go to meals.  Tilapia has a really mild taste to it, and it cooks up very quickly.  I had this for lunch today, and was able to throw it together while the kiddos ate their lunch.  When I make it for dinner I usually serve it with a side of black beans and a salad.  Today I was in the mood for something light and decided to stick to just salad....mixed baby greens, yellow bell pepper, avocado and cilantro with a tiny drizzle of extra virgin olive oil and a few squeezes of lime juice.
 
Ingredients:
 
2 Tilapia fillets
1/2 cup Cornmeal
1 tsp Cumin
1/2 tsp Garlic Salt
1/2 tsp Ground Black Pepper
1/2 tsp Chili Powder
1 1/2 TBS Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Lime Juice (optional)

Directions:

In a shallow dish (I like to use a pie plate) mix together the cornmeal, cumin, garlic salt, pepper, and chili powder. 

Rinse the tilapia fillets and pat them dry.  Place one tilapia fillet in the cornmeal mixture and press down.  Turn the fillet and press into the mixture again to coat both sides with the mixture.

Place olive oil in a skillet and heat over medium/high heat.  Once the oil starts to ripple you'll know it's hot and ready for the tilapia.  Place tilapia in the pan and let it cook for three minutes without moving it.  After three minutes use a spatula to lift it a little and check to see if the cornmeal coating is golden brown.  Once it's golden brown you can flip it over and brown the other side for another three minutes (if your tilapia fillets are over an inch thick they may need to cook a little longer).

*NOTES: If you want to add a little more protein you can beat a few egg whites and dip the tilapia in egg white before coating them with the cornmeal mixture.  This will also help the cornmeal mixture stay on the tilapia.

Getting Started

First off I have to say that I am not a doctor.  I am not a nutritionist.  I'm not a personal trainer.  So in short...I am not an expert.  I AM a thirty year old mother of two who has (after years of trial and error) found a way to stay in shape without starving myself or spending all day on a treadmill.  I started this blog to share what I have learned so far. 

If your doctor, nutritionist, personal trainer, or some other expert has given you diet and exercise guidelines please FOLLOW them! 


1. Start Small:  If you aren't doing any kind of exercise right now, and you are new to even thinking about healthy eating then take it slow.  Once you find the motivation to make changes in your life it's really easy to go all in and burn yourself out.  I suggest starting with changing your eating habits.  When you start to workout you will be hungry, and you'll want to have the whole healthy eating thing down so that you won't be starving and unsure of what to eat.  After a week of getting used to eating a healthy breakfast, lunch and dinner (with snacks in between) you should be ready to add in some exercise.

2. Make a Plan: Make a plan and stick with it! When I first started eating clean I made myself a menu for lunches and dinners for a week at a time. I also made sure that I had a variety of healthy snacks on hand. The first two weeks of eating clean are the hardest to get through, but it's just two weeks. You can do it! After that two weeks you may be surprised to find that you aren't craving things that aren't good for you. You might even find yourself craving healthy food ;)

3. Track Your Progress:  I am a big believer in doing before and after photos and taking measurements.  Sometimes it's hard to see just how much progress you've made because you see yourself in the mirror every day.  Before and after pics are a great way to actually see how far you've come.  I do NOT recommend stepping on the scale every week.  As you lose fat you lose weight, but as you begin to exercise you will gain lean muscle.  The scale might not budge at all while a measuring tape will show you how many inches you've lost.

4. Set Long Term AND Short Term Goals:  Setting short term goals in a great way to keep you motivated (which will help you get to those long term goals as well). A short term goal could be eating clean for two entire weeks without a cheat meal, working out a certain number of days each week, or working up to being able to do more reps of a certain exercise. A long term goal could be something like fitting into a certain clothing size or running a 5K.

5. Don't Beat Yourself Up:  If you end up eating something that you shouldn't, missing a workout, or not making progress as quickly as you'd like to IT'S OKAY! This isn't a diet with a time limit. This is your life. This is you eating healthy and getting strong. If you get off track try to figure out why it happened so that you can prevent it from happening again.