Week In Review | June 8th to June 14th

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The heat and humidity are in full effect which means slower runs. The temperatures here in Florida are quite high, so I have slowed my runs down by a minute or more, but the length has not decreased. garmin

I have upped my base run to 4 miles, which I probably should have done awhile ago. I ran 5 days out of this week and spent six mornings out of the week working through week 3 of Melissa Bender’s 30 day Lean Muscle Building challenge. I logged 22 miles this week including a trail race!oak hammock

The race was full of roots, humidity and fast runners (of which does not include me). My BGR #solesistas joined me and kept the 4.6 miles entertaining.  The next trail race I have signed up for is next month at 4.5 miles and I hope to finish in under an hour. I am adjusting to the humidity, but it’s a slow process, none the less I am hoping that I will have adjusted by then.
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I am still in maintenance mode until I begin training for my next marathon late next month. I’ve been eating my homemade protein bar as pre-running fuel. This weeks menu was quite delightful. I always enjoy a sweet potato based breakfast bowl, and with good meal prep, its an easy morning meal to prepare. My favorite meal this week has been my snack which was 1/2 cup Vanilla Greek yogurt, 1/4 cup Goji Agave Granola and 1/4 cup blueberries. yogurt granolaTrader Joe’s Nonfat Vanilla Greek Yogurt is such a treat. It is high in sugars, but considering the other meals in my day I’m not concerned. Next week’s meal plan will post tomorrow.

 

New Home Gym Equipment

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I am slowly building a simple home gym based on equipment that Melissa Bender has listed on her website. Last month I added a ball, a kettle bell and a heavier set of free weights. This month I decided to purchase the Ultimate Body Press Dip Stand.

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I hate having to use a chair to perform dips. I’m always a little hesitant to put my weight on the front end of a chair when it has very little weight on the back. Plus this Dip Stand can be used for pull ups, rows, and more. I ordered from the website, but Amazon.com is about the same price. I picked up the box from the post office, and as soon as I arrived home I opened the package to peek at the contents.

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The first thing I noticed was that most of the work was already done for me. I spied only one page of directions, and upon reading I was beginning to think that I was headed for an IKEA disaster. The directions say to use color coding to put the equipment together, however the directions are in black and white!!!IMG_0834

However, upon closer inspection, I was able to see that the color coding was on the equipment itself and was very simple to assemble. Regardless, the little drawing on the instructions was definitely unhelpful as the parts themselves have no numbers. IMG_0838IMG_0836

I was able to assemble the Dip Stand in less than five minutes, and once complete, I couldn’t resist trying a dip or two (peek the lack of workout clothing). Can we say challenging!!! This equipment is going to be a great muscle builder for me!

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What do you have in your “home gym”?

Recipe Review | Ina Garten Lemon Chicken Breasts

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As stated in my 2015 goals video, I have decided to try one new recipe each and every week this year (or just about every week). First up is the Ina Garten Lemon Chicken Breasts Recipe, which I found on foodnetwork.com.

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First up, I have to confess. I have tried this recipe two times since first giving it a go in the second week of January (yes, this review was a long time coming). I do not have a love affair with chicken like most southerners because well, I just have not seen it as incredibly exciting due to boneless skinless chicken breast burn out. It was not until I tried this recipe that my faith in chicken was renewed. I know that bone-in or skin on chicken is truly the only way to go in the world of serious flavor, so I was immediately drawn to this recipe.

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I created the marinade as instructed and I must say it went just as well for me as it did the Barefoot Contessa. This recipe is definitely high on the easy meter because the prep really only consisted of zesting a lemon, and chopping up garlic and thyme!

 

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My kitchen smelled delightful and the taste of the marinade alone was enough to make me yip with surprised glee! The first time I tried the recipe I poured the marinade straight into my baking dish and continued as directed, the second time I marinated the chicken for four hours before throwing the chicken in the dish to bake.

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I paired the chicken with broccoli the first time and asparagus the second time, no grains necessary for such a large piece of chicken. Let’s just say, my taste buds died and went to heaven! I was so very surprised at how delightful this recipe turned out. I really do not enjoy seriously lemony tasting chicken, and I have tried lemon chicken recipes that leave me disappointed. The marinade has such a wonderful balance of flavors that I saved it and poured it over Quinoa the next day! If you are looking for something new to try, give this recipe a whirl!

Tip: The second time I prepared this recipe I poured a drizzle of honey in the baking dish before placing the chicken on top. That addition to the recipe earned it a permanent place in my personal recipe book.

Be sure to leave a link to your favorite recipes below!!!!!

2015 | Health and Fitness Goals

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It is 2015 and I decided to set specific health & fitness goals for the first time ever. I do not do New Years resolutions, I prefer goals, which I consistently evaluate throughout the year. This years biggest goal is to lean out, however the journey there is what the goals detailed in this video are all about:

As promised, I will blog and/or vlog weekly. I will try new recipes and share on my social media pages, youtube or the blog. All in all, I plan to really kick 2015’s ass and I hope you will join me in the journey.

What are your plans for 2015?

Meal Planning | Dinners

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I have written about trying out the meal planning idea on ourmindfulhome.com, by prepping my meals each week in the refrigerator. That worked ok for awhile, but it didn’t really allow for much variance. I decided to figure something else out by way of monthly meal planning.

As I have written for the last couple of weeks, I pretty much have breakfast, lunch and green smoothies down. They have a level of variance, but there are always options for those meals in my house, I simply replace ingredients as they run out. Plus, the ingredients for those meals tend to hold up well in the pantry or get used frequently in the refrigerator. That meant that I really just had to figure out dinner.

Accordingly, I decided to plan  my meals monthly, thus having a more global view of what I will need each month. For example, on April 1 I planned 15 meals, which will allow for leftovers, eating out once a week, or choosing soup for lunch. This month the list includes:

April
1. Chicken & Shrimp Stir Fry
2. Wings w/veggies
3. Stuffed Peppers
4. Stuffed sweet potato
5. Veggie Quesadilla
6. Shrimp Scampi or Scallops
7. Chicken and broccoli w/pasta
8. Spaghetti w/beef
9. Chicken Masala w/grains
10. Thai chicken w/grains
11.Mahi w/veggies and grains
12. Salmon w/veggies and grains
13. Tacos
14. Cornish Hen
15. Rosemary Chicken w/grains and veggies

Each week, on Sunday, I pick three meals for the week and begin making my grocery list from there. So far this month:

Week 1
Stuffed Peppers (MT)
Spaghetti (WR)
Thai Chicken (FSun)

Week 2
Salmon (MW)
Quesadilla, Tacos (TR)
Mahi (FSun)

This week will be:

Week 3
Mahi MW
Chicken Masala w/grains (TR)
Scallop & Shrimp Stir Fry (FSun)

I will write about my freezer later as it is stocked full, but this is working well for me. This plan allows for a lot of variety and allows me to use any leftover ingredients that may go bad that week. Plus, my weekly grocery bill has gone down quite a bit. At the end of the month, I think I will find that I have cut it in half! This means that this method is a win for me.

Weekly Update + Grocery List

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Sorry, its been almost two weeks since my last update, so I am going to throw a lot into this post. I have been consistently running and doing my group fitness classes since my last post. Last week I did 2 spinning classes, 1 body pump class, 1 yoga class and three runs. I ate well, I went out of town and still managed to eat well. I did have dairy queen ice cream one night, but after that I kept things healthier. This weeks goals were to continue to eat well and not slack off on my exercise.

I also signed up for a 5k!!! Yep, I will run a 5k November 9th and I am also thinking of running a 10k at the end of November. I am signing up for a half marathon in February this week, so the 10k may be a good in between race to run. However, right now the only thing set in stone is the 5k. I am running four days a week and training for the half right now.

I went grocery shopping Sunday with the idea of making banana bread, a couple of Indian chicken dinners, and chicken noodle soup for lunch. Accordingly, my list looked like this:

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Lemons

Sweet Potatoes

White Potatoes

Tomatoes

Bananas

Pears

Carrots

Thyme

Raspberries

Green Bell Pepper

Onions

Chicken Thighs

Chicken Drumsticks

Chobani Yogurt

White Whole Wheat Flour

Eggs

Baking Powder

Baking Soda

Vanilla Extract

Vegetable Broth

Sweet Potato Fries

Ginger Ale, Rum and Moscato for a party punch

Rolled Oats

Fennel Seeds

I have already made a couple of the dishes, and I plan to do a couple of recipe reviews this weekend. If you haven’t noticed, I am not mentioning my weight because I do not plan to step on the scale until October 1. In the mean time, I’m gonna go make some banana bread.