Before & After | Bender Fitness Lean Muscle Building Challenge

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lean body back3This past weekend I completed the Bender Fitness 4 Week Lean Muscle Building Challenge. I really wasn’t expecting much in just 28 days. I mean, I am a realistic person. However, I was pleasantly surprised with the progress concerning my physique in just 4 weeks!lean body front3

The upper back portion of my body looks tighter, my lower back looks the same. My arms have slight definition and look broader. My legs are definitely leaner and stronger. Best of all, my stomach is shows just a little bit more definition and my “love handles” are a little less pronounced. Overall, I am quite happy with my four weeks of progress.lean body side3

This concludes the second phase of my 90 Day Lean Body Building Plan. The last portion concludes with the 21 Day Challenge. Alas I did not make my DietBet goal, but I’m ok with that. I lost two pounds and probably some inches (I did not track the inches “doh”) My overall goal this year is to obtain a leaner body, not lose lots of weight. I will do more comparison photos at the end of the challenge. On a totally separate note, I’m definitely tan! Gotta love Florida!

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Meal Prep 5 | Morefitme

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I kept things simple for meal prep because I want fresh ingredients for my meals this week. For breakfast I am having my favorite breakfast bowl (will do a recipe card later this week), which requires a good bit of chopping to save time in the mornings. Otherwise, the meal prep was mostly chopping to skip the prep step in the evenings. I was able to hit my freezer up for beans, rice and meaty marinara sauce, which means my beginning of the month prep is not going to waste. As you can see below, meals this week are best if prepared in the moment:Meal Plan

This time I misspoke in the video. The fajita vegetables I prepared are for burrito bowls, but the same principles apply. Fresh cooked veggies are really the most flavorful and nutritious. Like I stated, this weeks meal prep was simple and finished in under an hour due to frozen ingredients. Details can be seen in the video below:

 

The 21 Day Total Fit Challenge

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No, I’m not talking about the 21 day fix. MrShutUpandTrain is a personal trainer to many celebreties, and once a year he shares a 21 day challenge for free! The challenge includes workouts as well as meal suggestions. 

I have been waiting for the announcement, and it’s here. The challenge begins this Sunday and is for 3 weeks. It’s right on time because I finish the Melissa Bender Lean Body Challenge this Saturday and was trying to decide what to do next. I will post pics next week of my Bender Fitness before and after, but in the mean time I am geeked for this total body fitness challenge.

The woman pictured lost 12 lbs and several inches in just 21 days! Photo from Facebook

What about this challenge appeals to me most?
The challenge is actually completely free! There are no shakes, supplements, etc to buy. Its a combo of clean eating and great exercise. All you have to do is sign up here, and you will receive emails with grocery lists and links to the workouts. Check out the website for more details and then join us! Like I said it’s a completely free challenge, so why not? 

I will be sure to post my results, continue with #whatiatemonday on instagram and I will of course share on social media outlets along the way. It’s time to Shut Up and Train!

*All photos are from the Mr. Shut Up and Train Facebook page

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.

 

#whatiatemonday | Vegetable Fajitas

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This past week, the favorite Instagram post from my #whatiatemonday series was a tie between Vegetable Fajitas and a Green Smoothie. I’ve talked about green smoothies before, so I decided to share a recipe for Vegetable Fajitas. veggie fajita dinner

I reserve two dinners a week as meatless meals, this means that I have really been stepping out of my box for dinners. A couple of months ago, I made fajita vegetables for a burrito bowl. I was rooting through my fridge, saw some tortillas and it hit me, Vegetable Fajitas!!! Well let me say, I haven’t looked back! This delicious treat is a hit not just for me, but for the man in my life as well. fajita veggies

I love to pair a colorful assortment of fajita vegetables with well seasoned beans for a filling delicious treat. I also love pickled jalapeno’s and will take any excuse to use them. Sometimes I top my fajitas with pico de gallo or guacamole or any number of options. The most important ingredients are beans, tortillas, and vegetables. Other than that, the options are endless! This recipe is for two, with 4 loaded fajitas total: Veggie Fajitas rc

I like to use beans that I have cooked in a tomato sauce or a sofrito as the base in my fajitas, but you can still just open a can and season well. I try to stay away from refried beans as a healthier approach to tasty food. Let me know what meatless meals you enjoy as I am always looking for new recipes to try!

Meal Prep 3 | Morefitme

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This meal prep is for week two of my DietBet challenge, and it took a little longer than last week. My homemade breakfast sandwiches were delicious and a perfect compliment to my morning green smoothie. However, the star of the week for me was…..the Taco Salad! I love, love, love Trader Joe’s spice mixture, it is truly delightful. As you will be able to see, the meal prep I did Sunday really helped with my meals for the week (check out the meal plan below):Meal Plan Template

Check out the meal prep video below to see what I made ahead for such an easy week:

Cooking Tips:

  • Be sure not to overcook the eggs, check them at about 10 minutes
  • Cover breakfast sandwiches with foil before putting them in the Ziplock bag to freeze
  • This weeks protein bars hold better at room temperature
  • Check roasting broccoli frequently as it overcooks quickly
  • The taco salad is delicious with Cilantro Dressing

Homemade Protein Bars
2 cups rolled oats
5 tablespoons creamy peanut butter
4 tablespoons Biscoff spread
4 servings Whey Protein

1. Combine all ingredients, mix thoroughly
2. Spread over parchment paper in a shallow baking pan
3. Freeze for 30 minutes or refrigerate for an hour
4. Once set, cut into 12 bars

Puerto Rican Style Beans
2 tablespoons oil
2 tablespoons Recaito
1/2 cup strained tomatoes
1/4 of a butternut squash or calabeza
1/2 cup water
1 can Chickpeas or pink beans
1/2 tsp salt
Jalapeno’s, capers, or olives
Handful of Cilantro
*Optional Sazon Culantro y Achiote

1. Heat oil over medium heat in a skillet
2. Once warm add Recaito and simmer for 1 or two minutes
3. Add strained tomatoes and cook until oils release (about 5 minutes)
4. Add water and squash, cover and cook for 10 minutes or until squash is tender
5. Add, sazon culantro y achiote, salt, beans and jalapeno peppers, mix thoroughly
6. Cover, turn the heat down to a simmer and let cook for 10 minutes
7. Garnish with cilantro

* This product contains msg

#whatiatemonday | Banana Nut Oatmeal

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Every Monday I have been sharing my meals on Instagram. One of my followers suggested that I share recipes on the blog, thus begins my #whatiatemonday posts. Today I am sharing my breakfast from last week, Banana Nut Oatmeal (a personal favorite).

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This recipe stems from my love of all things banana nut bread, muffin, ice cream, etc. Unfortunately banana nut bread, in its most delicious form, is decidedly unsuitable for daily consumption. At the same time, I do not want to make my favorite treat “healthy” just to eat it on a daily basis.

 

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Instead I followed my own advice. I took something I enjoy eating, and found a healthier way to enjoy the same flavors. I do not particularly enjoy oatmeal enough to eat it daily, but this recipe is the exception. Truly, I could eat this every single day and be happy. 

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Best of all, its nutricious, filing, and tasty. I used a combination of almond milk and water to cook the oatmeal. Instead of butter and sugar, I added honey to sweeten and vanilla extract for that baked treat flavor. Lastly frozen banana creates the perfect texture, but especially that baked banana flavor.

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I enjoy the oatmeal with cooked nuts as well as topped with fresh nuts (usually walnuts or almonds). Post workout I combine the Banana Nut Oatmeal with a green smoothie with added protein. Please let me know if you try this delightfully healthy breakfast and share with me your favorite breakfast treat!

Banana Nut Oatmeal