Monday, March 2, 2015

Body-Weight Blast Workout

Hello, hello! I hope all of you had a wonderful weekend are well on your way to a great week. I've had my coffee fix, so I know it's going to be a good day :)


I spent the weekend on Hatteras Island with my parents and celebrated my dad's birthday (which is actually tomorrow) and made him a Boston Creme Pie (cake?) for dessert. Happy Birthday Daddy!!! Though I never look forward to the driving part, it was nice to be spoiled by my parents and to spend time with my friend, Mary Beth. I miss them all so much! The weather this weekend was less than glorious (as was most of February), but I'm so excited that spring will soon be here.

And speaking of spring... it's already March!! Time to get my butt in gear and get ready for summer! Time to get back to a more plant-based diet and more consistent workouts. I'm ready and I'm excited.

With that in mind, here's a super fun workout inspired by the Insanity classes that I've been taking at 02 Fitness. Jana is the instructor and she rocks! She is so motivational and inspiring. Even though I feel like I'm going to die in the middle of her class, I leave feeling so refreshed and alive.

As always, please listen to your body and take breaks when you need them. Modify the intensity as needed and be sure to hydrate! If you have questions about any of the exercises I've listed, please do not hesitate to leave a comment below :)



Cheers to a healthy and happy week! 
I'll be back on Wednesday with a fun diy beauty project.



Friday, February 27, 2015

Homemade Graham Crackers

Hi, friends. I apologize for the long silence. I've had a lot going on... a rough break-up, a job change, and a I've got lot of packing ahead of me. I had so many fun Valentine things planned for this little space on the Internet, but plans change and they will have to wait until next year.

On a happier note, this little blog will soon have a new look and a new domain name thanks to Jenny. Stay tuned :)

Call me crazy, but I'm making my best effort to make my own food. I've already gone without buying bread since December and I'm trying to make all of my snacks from scratch, too. I love knowing exactly what is in my food and I love that it's preservative free.

No high-fructose corn syrup and other crap here. Just real food for this real girl. Simplicity is what I'm striving for and these graham crackers do the trick! They are delicious and make the perfect pairing for your afternoon coffee :)




Homemade Graham Crackers

Recipe from Kitchen Simplicity

Ingredients:

1 cup whole wheat flour
1.5 cups all-purpose flour
½ cup brown sugar, packed
½ teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon baking soda
½ cup cold unsalted butter, cubed
¼ cup honey
¼ cup water

Directions:

In the bowl of your stand mixer, add the first six ingredients and combine. Add the butter and mix until the mixture has turned to coarse crumbs. Next, add the honey and water. Mix until incorporated and the dough is easily gathered into a ball.

Shape the dough into a ball and roll it out until it is about 1/4" thick. Cut the dough into desired shapes and sizes. Place crackers on a baking sheet with a on-stick baking mat (or use parchment paper) on a baking sheet. Re-roll the remaining dough until all of dough is used.

Bake at 350ºF for 15 minutes,or until slightly darkened around edges. The graham crackers should be slightly soft, as they will harden as they cool off. Remove the graham crackers and place on a wire wrack to cool. Store in an airtight container for 1 week, or freeze for longer storage.




Have a wonderful weekend!
Please stop by on Monday for a sweaty workout :)



Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Technology and a Healthy Lifestyle

Hi, friends! How are you?

A few weeks ago, I discovered Oscar Insurance. This technology-centered health insurance company inspired me to share how technology helps me stay on track with my fitness journey. Oscar provides health insurance in New Jersey and New York and uses technology in all aspects of their company. They have an app to provide their members a more concise process for their healthcare and even give each member a Misfit band to earn back cash rewards every month they meet their goals. Just like Oscar, this little blog space of mine, where I share my workouts and recipes with you, wouldn’t be possible without technology.



You can imagine that as a 24-year old, my life is greatly affected by technology. Technology affects practically every facet of my life, but it has especially impacted my personal fitness journey and my desire to live a healthy lifestyle.  

From useful apps and tools to the healthy lifestyle blogs I personally follow, technology has been very helpful in my journey to live a healthy life.

A few apps I love:

I’ll be the first to admit that I prefer tracking food and activities the old fashioned way, with a pen and paper. However, there are so many really neat apps out there with huge databases and a lot of knowledge. These apps save a lot of time, whether you are trying to figure out your macros for the day or if you just want to know the nutrition information for what you just ate at a chain restaurant.  MyFItnessPal, Runkeeper, and Misfit are some popular ones. Be sure to check them out!



The blogs I love:

I can certainly say that several ladies out in blog land have inspired my personal fitness journey. I find so many great-tasting healthy recipes, challenging workouts, and motivation from the blogs I follow. I have a long list of bloggers that I follow, but I’ll shout out my favorite two: Gina at The Fitnessista and Tina at Carrots 'N' Cake. They have both been so inspiring to me and they’re so real! They encourage rest days, mindful eating, and they’re not ashamed of eating cake every now and then! These ladies rock :)

Activity trackers:

Though I don’t have a FitBit or any other personal activity tracker of sorts, they can be incredibly useful. I know several people who wear them and aim to walk 10,000 steps a day. I’m a competitive person, so I would be constantly looking at my wrist, trying to surpass that goal each day. When it comes to running, my Garmin Forerunner GPS watch saves the say. I have a hard time pacing myself when I’m running outdoors, and this watch takes away any guesswork. I know my pace, how many calories I’m burning, and I can even wear a heart rate strap to monitor my heart rate. It’s also great to be able to look back at past runs and see my improvement.



Hoping to inspire readers:

Blogging about my personal fitness and health journey has almost held me accountable for making the right choices and working to be my best. I want to share my progress with all of you and I really enjoy sharing tasty recipes and fun workouts. Knowing that someone out there might be inspired by me is a real confidence booster and only encourages me to try more healthy recipes and to create challenging and effective workouts to share with all of you :)




*I was not compensated in any form for writing this post. I'm simply thrilled that I was asked to share more of my fitness journey with all of you :)


Friday, January 23, 2015

Easy Chicken Tortilla Soup

Hi, friends. I hope all of you are having an awesome Friday. One more day of work until my "weekend"!

It's sort of sad, but I've been waiting for the weekend all week long. I'm still catching up from being away last weekend. When I spend the weekend traveling, I spend more time in the car than anything and I don't get my chores done, let alone get in much rest. #timemanagementproblems

I've been doing my best at making exercise a big priority. At the end of a long day, the last thing I want to do is put on spandex and sweat, but I never regret it and I always feel much better afterwards.



Other than some exercise, I've been a hard-core homebody lately, especially after I get home from work. If it's dark and cold, I'm not going anywhere :)

I'm hanging out with these guys...



And nothing is more appropriate for cold weather than soup. I. Love. Soup. And you will love this soup recipe that I'm sharing with you today. I just started throwing together ingredients and the result was awesome!

This Easy Chicken Tortilla Soup is sure to warm you up and it's actually pretty healthy for you. It's not a cream base soup, so it's a lot lower in fat and it's full of protein and fiber. Yum!



Easy Chicken Tortilla Soup

Ingredients:

Rotisserie chicken, shredded (or 2 large chicken breasts, cooked and shredded)
1 can of black beans, rinsed and drained (around 14-15 ounces)
1 can of cannellini beans, rinsed and drained (around 14-15 ounces)
1 can of diced tomatoes with peppers (around 14-15 ounces)
1 can of corn (around 10 ounces)
1 can of tomato paste (around 6 ounces)
2 carrots, peeled and chopped
1 medium onion, peeled and chopped
4 cups of chicken broth
5 small corn tortillas, cut into strips
salt, pepper, chili powder, onion powder, to taste
Shredded cheese (monterey jack, cheddar, or mexican blend), optional


Directions:

In a dutch oven or large pot, sautee the carrots and onions in olive oil until tender. Add the remaining ingredients (except for chicken and tortilla strips). Cook on high heat until the soup is boiling. Lower the heat to medium and cook for another ten minutes. Add the chicken and tortilla strips and cook for a few more minutes. Add shredded cheese to individual bowls, if desired.


Are you a soup lover? If so, what are your favorite homemade soups?