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Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Matcha

Hey out there!

Today is hump day, the middle of the week, the bend in the road towards the weekend. I hope everyone's Wednesday is going well.  I wanted to share a yummy breakfast sandwich that I typically eat almost everyday! It's egg whites and herbs on a whole wheat bagel thin with an oz of pepper jack cheese or sometimes I use a wedge of garlic and herb laughing cow cheese, which is REALLY good! I usually have some sort of fruit with it too. 
Today I had Pears. There in season and so juicy and yummy. I love all types of fruit!





This is very easy to make..
3 egg whites
chop up a couple crimini mushrooms
a slice of onion
and I have a basil paste you can buy in the fridge veggie section at Safeway, so I added about 1/2 a tbls of that also
a little salt and red pepper flakes
combine and whisk with a fork & cook.. as it starts to cook, kind of use your spatula to move everything into a circle about the size of your bagel thin. I have one of those handy round egg things to keep the egg round but it NEVER works.. so this is by far easier for me. then flip it,  let cook a bit longer, add cheese and take it off the heat. Place foil or a lid on the pan to melt the cheese. meanwhile put your bagel thin in the toaster and whaaaa laaa. you've got yourself a healthier version of your typical breakfast sandwich. Like I said I eat this almost everyday. It's quick, delicious & filling and keeps me going until my mid morning snack.




Another one of my  "almost always" is Matcha. If you don't know what this is, it is a Green tea powder. To get the same nutritional and antioxidant's in 1 glass of Matcha you would have to drink 10 glasses of brewed green tea that comes in a tea bag. The reason is because the water can only extract some much out of the tea leaves in this form. But with the Matcha, you get ALL the nutrients and antioxidants because it is stone ground green tea leaves. And it tastes 100% better than green tea in a bag. The only downfall to Matcha is that it's on the pricey side but it will last a while. My little 1oz jar cost me almost $11.00 but it was so worth it!


The health benefits of Matcha are amazing..
  • Is packed with antioxidantsincluding the powerful EGCg
  • Boosts metabolism and burns calories
  • Detoxifies effectively and naturally
  • Calms and relaxes
  • Enhances mood and aids in concentration
  • Provides vitamin C, selenium, chromium, zinc and magnesium
  • Fights against viruses and bacteria
  • Is rich in fiber
  • Lowers cholesterol and blood sugar
  • Does not raise insulin levels





So Enjoy a nice soothing mug full daily!






My workout for today was a 2 part interval workout ~

Part 1 ~  10 sec rest/30 sec work interval/30 rds /6 x thru/ total time = 20 mins
1. Squat Jumps ~ 18, 13, 15, 13, 15, 12
2. Reptile push ups ~ 9, 11, 9, 8, 10, 7
3. Toe touches w/ a butt lift ~ 9, 7, 7, 6, 6, 7
4. Curl w/ a press on bosu w/ 10 lb weight ~ 6, 7, 8, 6, 8, 8
5. Plank jacks on dynex ball ~ 29, 19, 23, 24, 17, 14

Part 2 ~ 10 sec rest/20 sec work interval/10 rds/5 x thru/ total time = 5 mins
1. Medicine ball toe taps ~ 52, 50, 45, 46, 45
2. Burpees w/out pushup ~ 6, 5, 5, 5, 5

I was sweating and huffing and puffing by the time I was done. This is a great workout. I hope you will try it out and enjoy it.
Please don't forget to stretch before AND after your workouts and always, always drink LOTS of water. use the 8x8 rule.. 8 oz, 8 times a day!!! I have a BPA free water bottle from Nathan that I lOVE.. it's 24 oz and I drink about 3 of those daily! I cannot live without my water. I take it everywhere with me and it's always by my side at home!
Until next time :)

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Tomato and Basil Soup

Hi~

I've made an incredible soup. Well actually I've been making this recipe for a couple of yrs. It's a favorite for my son Corey.  Who usually loves anything
I make!
once you try this you won't want to buy store bought soup again!


What you'll need for this recipe ~

1 28 oz can whole peeled organic Tomatoes
1 28 oz can diced organic Tomatoes
2 lrg onions. I know it seems like a lot but they will cook down some
3 cloves garlic
1 pkg organic fresh Basil
2 cups organic Vegetable broth or Chicken broth
Red chili flakes
salt and pepper

Chop and Saute the onions in a little Olive oil or Coconut Oil for 5-7 mins until they become translucent and soft. I used Coconut oil. It's just so good for you!
add  in chopped or smashed garlic cloves. You really don't need to chop up the garlic or onions to small you will end up blending them up with the tomatoes in the blender. Make sure you season every layer of the soup.. something I learned from Giada!! so a good couple pinches of sea salt and a crank or two on the pepper mill. Saute for a 2-3 more mins. Add in Both cans of Tomatoes with juice and chicken broth. Add in a couple of sprinkles of red pepper flakes and let simmer for at least 30 mins or longer. The longer it simmers the more flavor it will have.


This is where it gets a bit messy, unless you have an immersion blender. Oh boy do I want one of those! Take by ladel fulls and carefully, it will be hot put in your blender, make sure you take out the little piece in the lid to let some of the heat escape when you turn it on, but use a towel to place over the top of the blender lid so keep it sealed. blend about 1/2 a blender full at a time and place in a bowl, once all the soup has been blended you will transfer it back into the soup pot.

 

 At this point you can chop up your fresh basil and put it in the pot, taste the soup and salt and pepper to taste. Let simmer for a while longer to infuse the basil flavor. This is a good time to make garlic bread, grilled cheese or salad.  I hope you enjoy this soup as much as we do!


Monday, November 28, 2011

Chocolate Protein balls

Hello My Foodie Friends ~

Today I made these... They are good!!

Chocolate Protein Balls~ makes 10 balls
 
1/3 or a little more natural peanut butter ~ you can play around with the amount I'm guesstamating. I used the peanut butter you grind yourself from Fred Meyer that's just peanuts.
2 tbls Organic Agave nectar ~ you could use honey, I haven't tried that yet but I plan to.
1/2 cup Chocolate Whey Protein Powder ~ at the moment I have some GNC Pro Performance but I found some online that is healthier and cheaper with no soy in it which is important to me. Soy is a GMO crop here in the USA. I will do a post very soon on GMO foods.. nasty stuff!
1/4 cup Rolled Oats ~ not instant but not steel cut either. It is the middle of the road less processed than instant. I have it in bulk so I can't recall what kind.
2 Tbls Organic Coconut Oil

Mix peanut butter, agave, protein powder and oats in food processor. once that is mixed, heat up your coconut oil and pour through top of processor while it's on. Then scoop into a bowl. I have a small ice cream scoop that I used to make the balls. 

I scooped out a ball then rolled it between my hands and placed them into a plastic container. Once you've made all the balls put the container in the fridge and the balls will set. 

I'm going to add some cinnamon next time I make these. Cinnamon is antifungal, antibacterial, and antiparasitic. It also has anti-inflammitory properties and smelling cinnamon helps with memory!
 
 These are perfect for a pre or post workout snack. Or you can eat 2 with some fruit for a meal.  There are so many different ways you can make these. You can use this recipe as a base and add in different protein powders, nut butters, and dried fruits. I've made this recipe before and used Cashew butter, apricots and coconut. Those were a delicious breakfast protein ball!!  Let your imagination run.... You can really get creative in the kitchen. I'm a right brained person, which means I'm artistic, a day dreamer and I'm horrible at math. But my point is, that's why I love cooking because I can get really creative with it!

I hope you guys try these and let me know what you think! Please share your own protein ball recipes with me if you change it up!!

Blog at ya later ;)


                                        

Buffalo Chicken in the Crock pot!

Hi~
I Love my crock pot! I think it is overlooked quite often in the kitchen. Set up on a shelf like mine and forgotten about. Well these past cold autumn days have rekindled my desire for something warm and soothing that I don't have to slave away in the kitchen for.
Yesterday I made this yummy hot and spicy recipe and I thought I'd share it.

Buffalo Chicken~ makes about 4 sandwiches

What you'll need~Crock pot
3 Organic Chicken Breasts
1 1/2- 2 cups Organic Chicken Broth
Provolone or Mozzarella Cheese sliced
Franks Red Hot Sauce or your favorite
Good Crusty Rolls or Hoagies
Red onion
Blue Cheese Dressing

In your Crock Pot add the chicken breasts and chicken broth I usually start out on high then a couple hrs later turn it to low. You'll know the chicken is done when you touch it with a fork and it starts to fall apart. Cook about 5 hrs
Take out chicken and shred with a fork. Empty chicken stock out of crock pot, place shredded chicken back into crock pot with about 3/4 of a 12oz bottle of Franks red hot sauce. Replace lid and let leave for about 30 mins to an hr.
This is what it will end up looking like. To assemble the Sammies. Turn oven on to 400 degrees and take your rolls or what ever hoagies you like and spread a layer of Blue Cheese dressing then chicken place some red onion slices on top of chicken and then some cheese. Wrap in tin foil and place in oven for about 10 mins.

Your ready to eat!! These are super spicy so I recommend making a delicious salad as a side dish and a glass of Organic Milk to wash it down.

Now a few suggestions.. to make this a healthier meal use it for Buffalo chicken wraps or salad. I think the next time I make this I will dbl the chicken and once it's shredded take out half and freeze for a future dinner with no fuss. I have the prefect recipe in mind. Chicken Enchiladas, Which is my daughter Jessica's all time favorite meal. Any time she's asked "What should I make for dinner" that's the answer and it's super easier! But I'll save that one for a future post. :)

Sunday, November 27, 2011

No Pain No Gain

Hi~
How was everyone's Sunday? Mine was a typical Sunday of cooking breakfast for the family, then cleaning the kitchen, laundry and my workout! I love to workout on Sundays. I have a membership at Golds gym and Sunday is one of my favorite days to workout there. It's usually empty and I have the whole place to myself. I know it sounds selfish but I hate it when I've got my workout all ready to go and I get there and a piece of equipment is being used that I've got in my workout, or god forbid there's a class going on and I can't even use the small area. That's why I LOVE Sundays at Golds.

The workouts I do are typically high intensity interval training workouts or H.I.I.T. that are usually  work at your max intensity for a short amount of time with a small amount of recovery time in between exercises, and I do cardio also. Either on the Elliptical or the Arc trainer. I've been trying to do some running because I REALLY want to do one of those Warrior Dashes or Spartan races. But my knee is just not having it. so until I figure what's going on there it's best for me to do lower impact cardio exercises. I do incorporate cardio into my H.I.I.T workouts, which are usually jumping jacks, burpees, low jacks, Mt. Climbers or anything else that gets my heart rate up.

About a yr ago I stumbled upon a website while searching for workout videos on Youtube. I was bored with doing the typical sets and reps workouts my trainer had me doing and I needed something different. I've got A.D.H.D. and a very short attention span. When I found www.bodyrock.tv it changed my life! The front women Zuzana had so much enthusiasm and the site has such a great community of supportive people who are called Bodyrockers. The workouts are H.I.I.T workouts. But as all good things come to an end so did her reign as the front women when her and her husband decided to call it quits. I still enjoy the site but nothing like I used to. So I thought "well I want to be a trainer so why can't I start putting together my own H.I.I.T workouts?"  Now I have.

The workouts I put together use minimal equipment or stuff you can use at your local gym. A must have piece of equipment is an interval timer. If you have a smart phone odds are you can get an interval app. I tried that on my Iphone before I got my actual timer and I just didn't like using my phone. So here is a link to the Gymboss interval timer I use. It's great. You can set 2 intervals, a rest interval and a work interval. You can also set it to one interval so if you need to set it for a certain amount of time, like 10 mins it will beep when 10 mins is up. It also has a stopwatch function on it which comes in handy for doing time challenges! Believe me for the 20 bucks it costs, it's well worth it!! Here's the link www.gymboss.com. They have 3 or 4 different colors too. Mine of course is pink!

Here's today's workout~

No Pain No Gain Workout~

Set your interval timer for 2 intervals a 10 sec rest one which is the first interval and then second is 35 sec work interval. you will do 7 exercises 4 times through for a total of 28 rounds. So you put the rounds in the lower left hand box. (There will be instructions when you get your timer) This workout is a total of 21 mins long. Now lets be honest, who doesn't have 21 minutes in their day to do something for themselves. underneath the exercises are my scores. It's always good to keep a log of the workouts so you can go back and beat your personal best and see just how far you've come. I recommend you do!!! I'm hesitant to show you how to do the exercises now because I'm not a Certified Personal Trainer and I wouldn't want someone hurting themselves. So I have posted links to the ones I could and for the ones I haven't posted a link for please look them up on www.youtube.com

1. Low jacks~ I only counted the ones on the way out, but you can count out and in if you'd like, sometimes I do as well. I'm not sure why I didn't today, maybe because I was focused on good form!
    43,53,26,32
2. Bench dips~
    15,16, 15, 16,
3. One legged squats or Pistols~ Right leg (this was my first time doing these so I needed to hold on to a railing
     10,12,13,11
4. One legged squats or Pistols~ Left leg http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FqmYSjE6C2Y
     11,13,13,12
5. Plank elbow knee tuck http://www.bodyrock.tv/2011/10/24/butt-fat-melt-down/ at 2:08 you will see how to do this exercise.
    14, 17, 15, 14,
6. Low Jacks again
    32,39,34,38
7. Leg lift, star crunch, butt lift
    5, 5, 5, 5 http://www.bodyrock.tv/2010/10/29/bang-bang-workout/ this is a link that show's how to do # 7 and the low jacks

I know right now this may be confusing. I have just started this blog so I will be learning as I go. Please bare with me. If you have questions please leave me a comment or email me at shericepotter@live.com

Beginnings and Eggplant!

Hello There~

I'm a believer that food and fitness go hand in hand. "Well of course" you might say. But I don't think a lot of people realize how much of an impact food has on their fitness journey! I think people, especially starting out, think they can eat what they want as long as they stay within calorie range and put in the time at the gym. I was like that when I first started out on my "get fit and healthy" journey. Then after busting ass for 3 mos and not seeing anymore than a couple of lbs difference, I was discouraged and upset. Then I started to really research eating clean. Now, don't get me wrong. I do love to eat and I'm not going to deprive myself a treat when I want it. But it's learning how to moderate those cravings. After time, I realized that I wasn't craving fast food burgers and fries but salads and egg whites instead.

When I say "eating clean" to me that means, No processed crap, No fast food, No soda pop, No white flour, pasta or rice. Now I do have 2 kids and a husband that are willing to try my healthy creations but I must transition them slowly.. so if I make pasta I might mix in some whole wheat with the white so they don't go running for the door.

Homemade burger, onion rings and tarter
I love to cook, so now when I want a cheesburger and onion rings, I'd rather make them from scratch at home. There are a couple reasons for this,
1. It's cheaper
2. It's going to taste better than any burger and onion rings I could by from some fast food joint
3. I can monitor the ingredients.

So for my first blog post I have a delicious recipe for anyone who loves Eggplant as much as I do.

Eggplant Balls~ makes about 12

You will need~
2 Eggplants
1 tsp sea salt
1 egg beaten
1 tsp dried Italian seasoning
1/2 tsp dried Oregano
1/2 tsp dried Basil
1/2 cup onion diced finely                                                     
1/2 cup Crimin mushroom diced finely
1 clove minced garlic
1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
                                                           1/3 cup breadcrumbs, to make it healthier you could substitute the bread crumbs for oats that have been processed a bit in a coffee grinder or even almond meal.. that's what I thought of when I saw the almond meal in my fridge. By that time I had already made them.

Peel eggplant and remove top and bottoms, then cut into fourths lengthwise. Grate, put into a bowl with 1 tsp salt. Let sit for a few mins. Then squeeze out as much liquid as possible. Saute onions and mushrooms until the onions are translucent and soft and the mushrooms have rendered some of their liquid about 5 -7 mins, then add in garlic and saute about 2 more mins. add into squeezed eggplant. Then add in the rest of the ingredients. roll into golf ball sized balls. if mixture seems to wet add a bit more breadcrumbs. You want it to hold together nicely but not leave moisture in the pan. I was bad and added a small piece of Mozzarella into the center of my balls by cutting up a string cheese into 12 sections. Then I used my finger to make a small hole in my ball and added the piece of cheese and then sealed it in.

Cook in oven at 350 for 15 mins or until tops are nicely browned then flip balls over for another 15 mins.

These are really good. You could use them on pasta or in a sandwich like I did. I'm sure you could find other things to use them in too. And don't be afraid to play around with this recipe. That's the fun of cooking you can take a recipe and tweak it to suit your taste buds!
Let me know what you think!
Sherice