September 27, 2013

all natural sour gummy snacks


LO loves gummy snacks...especially sour ones! i admit, i usually have a bag of gummy candies in the pantry. i don't dare read the ingredients on the bag. i know it's chock full of bad stuff.  duh, it's candy! but, a little now and again won't hurt. not to mention, it can get my kid to do things he otherwise refuses to do. hey, don't judge! i've got my hands full these days with the new baby. sometimes offering a few gummy bears to get LO dressed and out the door in time for  preschool is all i can do to keep the peace. 

so, when i came across this recipe from mommypotamus, i was thrilled and eager to try it. it's super simple, healthy, fast, and fun for the whole family! i tweaked the original recipe a bit. first, i doubled it, because i knew we'd eat half while making them. i was right!  then, i added a little water for a softer consistency.

for fun shapes, you can use a silicone mold or small cookie cutters. we used the cookie cutters for an inexpensive first attempt. if you use the cookie cutters, you'll need a baking dish to set the mixture before cutting shapes. the bigger the dish the thinner the snack. with this recipe, i wouldn't use anything bigger than a 9' x 11'. because we love them so much, i ordered a mold for fast batches. although, we will keep using the cookie cutters for the fun factor. as for the coloring, i used a vegetable based food coloring to take these the next "healthy" level! you can use any kind of gelatin, but you'll probably need to buy it online because of the amount you'll need. i used a grass-fed gelatin (i told you these were all natural).

you can switch up the liquid and use any kind of juice. for the next batch, i'm going to try water with vanilla extract and maple syrup for a sweet version. oh, the possibilities!

ingredients and supplies

6 tbsp gelatin (buy the grass-fed gelatin)
2/3 cup lime juice
1/8 cup water
6 tbsp honey or agave
food mold or cookie cutters (buy the mold i bought)

whisk all liquid and honey in a small saucepan over low heat. sprinkle in gelatin while whisking until dissolved. don't worry if you get any clumps...just keep mixing. 

remove from heat when mixture is blended. add drops of food coloring until you get the color you want.

spoon into molds or pour into a flat surfaced baking pan (i used a 9x9) and place into the freezer for 8 minutes. 

then, remove snacks from molds or get to cookie cuttin'! they will stay solid at room temperature. mommypotamus says they'll keep for 2 weeks in the fridge.


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September 10, 2013

y'all...i totally had a baby!



here's a giant announcement! if you've been wondering why i've  been missing from the bloggy world, i've been making a baby. dude, making a baby is hard work!

first of all, i'm not one of those girls that loves pregnancy. my body, my mind, my ME, just disappears. a green-faced, lazy, unmotivated, boring, uncreative, sleepy-head is all that's left. okay, i'm exaggerating a tiny bit, but it's a total body hostage takeover. this pregnancy was much like the first one...plagued with hyperemesis gravidarum. you remember when Kate, The Duchess, was preggers and sick...yeah, that! in the beginning, i thought i was dying. 20 weeks of not eating, migraines, non-stop puking, fainting, dizziness, and a trip to the ER was a real nightmare. the anti-nausea meds didn't work, so i spent a lot time in bed trying to hold it together. the severe sickness didn't subside until about 28 weeks. don't get me wrong. i was thrilled when i found out we were having another baby. but, feeling so ill can really bring you down. i'm horrible at being pregnant. good news was by the end, i was feeling good and getting my energy back in time for some last minute nesting.

and, wholly guacamole, the changes your body goes through are unreal. my pregnancy glow was an illusion made up of sweat and a yellow complexion. and, obviously weight-gain was on my mind. after all, i do chronicle my weight loss and fitness journey. it wasn't a huge concern...a healthy pregnancy was! i figured, if i lost the weight once, then, i could totally do it again!

since cooking was out of the question, our family went from wholesome, healthy delicious meals to tons of takeout and tacos. which, in the beginning, didn't effect me since i couldn't even look at food without upchucking. i lost 11 pounds in the first 17 weeks. then, quickly shifted gears to a hand over fist appetite. it was also the lack of motivation, appeal, and creativity (hence no blog posts) that kept me out of the kitchen. i had zero cravings, so i just are everything. weight gain became a problem of the past. let's just say, i made up for lost time...in no time. oh, and i didn't hardly worked out. well, i'll give myself a little credit. i worked out until i was about 8 weeks, and then my body just freaked. after my last workout, i puked out the car window on the way home, and was crazy sore for the 4 days. and that was only at about 50% of my normal lifting weight. so i quit. then, i tried some light squats and lunges with no weight, and that hurt too! towards the end, a couple days a week, i managed to get to a gym to walk on a treadmill and row. on top of that, i was squatting daily (without weights) and doing some ultra light yoga at home to prepare for childbirth. it's crazy how quickly my body went from fit to flab. my arms are softer and my thighs are bigger. but, the best part is, i don't really care. heck, i made a baby! i thank my lucky star i have a sweetheart for a hunny. he was super duper supportive and took care of me and our family!

although i hit a few stomach turning bumps in the baby making road, i enjoyed the ride. i threw caution to the wind, let it tousle my hair, and had fun in the sun. i'm talking carefree in booty shorts, sexy tankinis, and tummy-hugging tanks...cellulite and all!

our baby boy is now 7 weeks old, and we're doing swell! now that life is settling down a bit, i'm getting back on track...eating healthy (no dieting since i'm nursing) and working out a bit.

and since i'm feeling more like myself, the creativity is flowing. now that the computer screen doesn't give me vertigo, i'll be giving more blog posts and videos again. just be patient, and i'll keep them coming. time is a thief. after all, this blog post started off as a pregnancy announcement!

November 28, 2012

around the clock: 22 month old schedule

okay i'm a few months behind on these.

LO has been a super busy boy. he doesn't stop...EVER! i love how he finds fun and excitement in everything. rocks, sticks, dirt, bugs...it's all things outdoors for him. it's a good thing this kid likes to read, because it's the only chance i get to sit down!

he still has a good appetite, but he definitely has a sweet tooth. without fail, he always asks for chocolate before every meal. if he's lucky, he gets a few dark chocolate chips! he really likes his eggs over medium. popping the yolk and then slurping it up makes breakfast fun and delicious.

naptime is still on schedule, especially on preschool days. i can count on him sleeping a good 3 hours...that's when i can get some painting done in the kitchen (i'm not sure this remodel will ever be complete).

now that LO's getting a little older, going out to events or dinner is a little easier. we've got a solid 30 minutes before he wants to bolt. that's just enough time to inhale food and gulp a drink (a margarita if i'm lucky)!

discipline is now something we're all working on. LO's learning about rules and we're learning how to enforce them. we have a meltdown here and there, but they don't last long. distracting and redirecting usually works. but, sometimes i find myself bickering with him like he's my little brother.

what can i say, we're all growing up!







7:00a: wake up, brush teeth, sit on potty, play a bit (wants to play more in the morning)

7:30a: breakfast (5 oz of whole milk, 1/2 banana, 1 egg, and bacon or sausage patty)

8:00a: if preschool day, get dressed for preschool and head out the door

8:30a: preschool/playgroup/outing/park

10:00a: if home, get ready for the day (get dressed and pack a snack)

12:00p: preschool pickup and head home for lunch (4 ounces of protein [1 egg, beef, turkey, or chicken], 4 ounces of veggies)

12:30p: play with cars, trains, and trucks, and more cars

1:00p: sit on potty, read books, then take a nap

4:00p: have a snack...peanut butter, fruit, and cheese

4:30p: swim lessons

5:30p: play in kitchen while i clean up a bit and get dinner ready (coloring book, scooter, or bang bowls)

6:00p: bike ride with mama and daddy

6:30p: dinner (4 ounces of poultry, fish or beef, 4 ounces of veggies, and fruit for dessert)

7:00p: sit on potty, then bath time

7:30p: get dressed for bed, brush teeth, cuddle up, and read books

8:00p: bedtime

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November 8, 2012

gym stylin'...i'm an animal!

just cause i workout in a garage 
doesn't mean i have to look like i work in one!

gym stylin'


Hoodies shirt
$100 - emp.de


Top
$83 - witchery.com.au


Patagonia
patagonia.com




Ray Ban ray ban optical
bloomingdales.com



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November 7, 2012

spicy beef fajita stew....so delish!



no matter the weather, i love a steaming bowl of spicy...well, anything! but, this bowl of spicy beef fajita stew is bound to melt the icicles as well as your heart. it's that delicious. 

this is usually a last-minute throw together meal when we have one of those "fly by the seat of our pants" kind of days and the kiddo has already gone to bed (fed, of course). 

for the spice, i like to use hatch green chiles. they come in hot and mild. i think the frozen chiles taste better, but the canned ones work great too! if you can't find any hatch chiles, anaheim (mild) or poblano (hot) peppers are great substitutes. just roast them on the stove top flame until soft and charred, let them cool, rub the skin off, remove seeds, and cut into thin strips. 

when i actually plan dinner, i'll skip the chiles, so the entire family can enjoy this stew. since i like super spicy, i chop up serrano peppers to sprinkle on top.

not only is this stew super yummy, it's super easy too! you don't need any fussy ingredients. however, it does need some simmer time on the stove...that's how it goes from soup to stew! you can cut the simmer time in half, but the fajita won't be as tender. oh, and you'll want to cut the fajita across the grain. for a how-to, click here.

and, the toppings...limitless options! i mentioned the serrano peppers but cheddar cheese and avocado are amazing. my fave is sour cream!

ingredients:

2 pounds of beef fajita (trimmed and cut into thin strips)
2 large tomatoes (chopped)
10 oz green chiles (frozen or canned)
1 large onion (halved and sliced)
4 cloves of garlic (minced)
3 cups of beef broth
1/2 tbsp ground cumin
1 tsp chili powder
salt (to taste)

toppings:

diced avocado
shredded cheddar cheese
sour cream

heat a large saucepan over medium high heat and caramelize the onions. once the onions are translucent, add the garlic and stir until fragrant. add the beef fajita strips and brown. drain the excess oil.

add the chopped tomatoes (juice and all), green chiles (juice and all), broth, cumin, and chili powder. stir until well mixed. add salt to taste.


bring the stew to a boil, reduce heat, and cover. simmer for an hour. serve it up with bowls and top with whatever your heart desires!



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November 1, 2012

complete guide to barbell exercises!


barbells are the gym equipment you probably look at and never really try. for newbies, they totally look intimidating. and, there's a good chance you associate them with grunting meatheads. what you don't know is that girls across America are lifting barbells and getting deliciously fit!

what's a barbell?

a barbell is long metal bar that comes in varying weights of 15, 25, 35, and 45 pounds. additional weight is added by sliding disks or plates of varying weights onto the end. barbells are also known as free weights because of the near limitless movement and resistance.


what are the advantages of barbells?

the advantage of barbells is their versatility. barbells workout several muscle groups at a time also called compound exercises. forget those weight machines that only let you work one isolated muscle group at a time with a limited movement. compound exercises work more muscles at once, and that means burning more calories in less time! because most barbell exercises require you to stand, you also get an awesome ab workout too! all you need is one barbell and a couple sets of weight plates and you can workout the entire body and get amazing results in fat loss and muscle tone! the best part is that it saves you money, space, and time!

barbells are awesome for strength training. they allow you to gradually increase the weight you can lift. over time, you'll get stronger and toner.

oh, and if you're goal is to get smokin' legs and tight tush, the barbell is the only way to go. squats and deadlifts will whip you into shape faster than you can say "hot"!

what exercises can i do with a barbell?

so now that you know what a barbell is, don't you want to know what to do with it. there are over 50 exercises that can be done with a barbell.

my favorite resource is Barbell-Exercises! there you can browse workouts, read more on the benefits, learn more about the equipment and techniques, and also how to take precaution.

go check it out, here.

my testimony

i've seen amazing results from working out with a barbell. my arms and legs are tone, and my booty is rounder and smoother! and the weight just came off. i feel leaner and stronger.

you can see what kind of workouts i do with a barbell on my youtube channel, here!

if you're excuse is that you don't want to bulk up and look like a bodybuilder, you're kidding yourself. those women workout hours every day and eat copious amounts of protein and supplements. they work crazy hard to look like that. the chances of you getting bulky are slim!

the most important thing is that you start off slow and light. a broomstick is the perfect barbell for a beginner, and youtube is great place to find some training videos. don't get shy if you get a little sore. that means you've stimulated you're muscles. look at it as a sign that you've got them, and now you're using them! once you get the movements down and you're ready to step it up, go buy the real deal. most importantly, be careful! if you've never lifted weights before, get a trainer or better yet join you're local crossfit or weight lifting club!

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October 25, 2012

gym sylin'

just because i workout in a garage
doesn't mean i have to look like i work in one!



Puma
puma.com


Nike
nike.com



Wet seal
wetseal.com



Ray ban eyewear
$190 - vanmildert.com



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October 24, 2012

stretches for sore glutes and tight IT Bands!

it's been a week, and my booty is still pretty freakin' tender! the typical muscle soreness i get from lifting is gone. however, when i walk up stairs or stand up from a seated position, the area between my hips and gluteus maximus burns like a mother! i have a feeling it was from the 100 glute ham raises or maybe the 100 bench jump overs. either way, i'm still sore.

lower body cross training workouts with high reps often cause deep glute and hip soreness. if you do your web research, tendonitis, bursitis, IT band syndrome, and piriformis syndrome will all come up as the culprit. all of which are probably due to overtraining the IT Bands. if you really think you have a painful chronic condition, go see a sports medicine doc!

but, if we're just talkin' a killer WOD and you need a good rub down to melt the muscle, i've got some awesome videos that'll show you how.

anatomy lesson:



what is the IT Band?
here's a fantastic rundown from Running Times:

"the it band begins in the hip as the tensor fascia latae muscle and has attachments at the origin from three different muscles: the gluteus medius, gluteus minimus, and vastus lateralis. the muscle becomes a fibrous band of tissue as it progresses down the thigh, then crosses the knee joint, and inserts along the lateral (outside) portion of the patella (knee cap) and into the tibia (shin) bone on a bump known as gerdy’s tubercle.

the classic symptoms of itbs are pain along the lateral (outside) aspect of the knee joint, sometimes accompanied by a clicking sensation. the click is a result of the itb tightening and snapping across the joint during running. the symptoms are often worse when running up or down hills.

itbs is typically progressive, starting with tightness and often advancing to the point where the pain is debilitating. the traditional view on the cause of this injury has focused on the tightness of the structure and overtraining. there is no doubt that the itb will become tighter when it is injured. the tightness, however, is more than likely a result of the injury and not the actual cause. the cause of this injury actually lies in the function of the itb.

the main functions of the itb are to assist the hip muscles in abduction (outward movement) of the thigh and to stabilize the lateral side of the knee. the itb is not a strong structure, and if the surrounding muscles have any weakness that can lead to injury and itb syndrome. runners are notoriously weak in their hip and core muscles, particularly if strength training or participation in sports that involve side-to-side movement are lacking."

stretches and massages

if you're feeling tightness and soreness, there are some floor stretches you can do to activate the IT Bands and surrounding muscles. for really intense muscle massage, i highly recommend a foam roller. the ones with nodules will really work it. if you really want to get in there and you kind of enjoy the pain, you should use a tennis ball! then tennis ball nearly brought me to tears...it hurts so good!











prevention

if you're feeling discomfort, it's important to take it easy. repetitive stress to overused IT Bands and glutes will only make it worse. so, rest, rest, rest! when the soreness and pain diminishes, be sure you maintain a stretching routine after each workout. sneaking in gentle stretches through the day will benefit you greatly...especially if you've got delayed onset soreness that lasts for days!

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October 19, 2012

my workout at LSRF and the Russian Conjugate Method!

Source: iil.around.at via Peggy on Pinterest


i did it! i walked into that...i'm not sure what to call it. screw it...it's a gym. you see, the place i'm working out at, Lift Strong Run Fast (LFRS), isn't a crossfit gym. if it was a crossfit gym then the place would be called a "box" because it's a big square warehouse space filled with weights and bars and ropes instead of fitness machines. i think this place used to be a crossfit box back in the day or at least that's what someone said. the philosophy and theory at this place is a bit different crossfit. there's a focus on form, strength, explosive movement, acceleration, and quickness rather than sheer speed and competition. the foundation is the Russian Conjugate Method (RCM) which allows for max lifts with ample recovery time. RCM is all about rotating muscle groups and exercises so you can continuously lift heavy without overtraining.

here are some resources for the Russian Conjugate Method:



in any case, Lift Strong Run Fast (LFRS) it's exactly what i was looking for. isn't that name awesome? i mean, who doesn't want to lift strong and fun fast? not to mention, the coaches are very supportive and knowledgeable!

i'm all about gaining strength, and i think having muscle is really cool! at the end of high school and beginning of college (about 14 years ago) i was weight lifting with a bunch of guys who were trying to bulk up. i did the same lifts with much lighter weight. i was in the best shape of my life. and, then, i just kind of quit. i'm not really sure why. but, it felt awesome once i started back up in my garage about year and a half ago. i started off really slow and light and just moved up from there. i went from dreading the workouts and hating the diet to pushing myself to the next level and loving the lifestyle. now, i'm all about getting stronger and faster. you know, just in case there's ever some apocalyptic event and i've got to carry heavy gear. climb over fences, and jump from building to building while taking people out left and right. okay, maybe i've been watching The Walking Dead. it's highly unlikely we'll have to survive zombies, but it's super dope to know that i could if i had to. i just need to get in some target and weaponry practice!

so, back to the workout. my first week at LSRF was pretty good. i'm used to more strength building workouts, so lighter weight and more reps was a change...a good change! this is what i did this week:

Tuesday, i was super pumped about just getting there. i'm always running a little late, so i didn't have time to eat my breakfast. i ate a Honey Stinger Waffle and drank water. i was little nervous, but i got over it and focused on the workout. i finished and it good time! i couldn't wait to get back the next day.

Tuesday:

shoulder press 3x 20 @ 45 lbs

bent over  row 3x20 @ 50 lbs
neutral grip bench press @ 10 lbs

upright row 3x20 @ 20 lbs
dips 3x20 @ 140 lbs with dip assist

i woke up Wednesday morning and felt great. i had an egg and sausage, coffee, and water. i wasn't sore as was ready to kick butt! i wasn't sore at all, but i knew it was coming. i'm always sore on the 3rd day!

Wednesday:

100 bench jump overs
800m run
1000m row
100 GHR
100 sit-ups
100 skaters
500 jump ropes
5 min stationary bike
50 burpees

i really didn't think i could do 100 bench jump overs, but i acted cool like i do it all the time. and guess what? i did it. and, drum roll...i did the entire workout in under an hour!

it's amazing what some peers and clock will do for your performance. i mean, there was no way i was going to throw in the towel without tearing it up! i had something to prove. turns out, every time Mr. Fit (the husb) nagged me about my form, he was looking out for me. all that training and practice in the garage paid off!

btw: i'm super duper uber sore now, and it's awesome. i'm walking around like i'm tough and ripped, cause that's how i feel! yeah, i know, i'm awesome!

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October 18, 2012

yummy paleo chocolate chip cookies!



i love chewy, warm chocolate chip cookies. they have a special place in my heart! throw in a glass of milk, and i'm in cookie heaven. i know a cookie here and there isn't a diet breaker, but if i bake a batch, i can't resist but eat like 10. and, that's a diet breaker.

this recipe is a yummy alternative...no flour or refined sugar! it totally takes care of that cookie craving.

if you've never baked with almond or coconut flour (meal), than let me give you a heads up. this cookie is not going to taste like the ones packed with flour, butter, and sugar. however, it is deliciously healthy, and it's not packed with...flour, butter, and sugar. the texture is a little crumbly like a peanut butter cookie. i think they're best the next day, because they soften up a bit.

i mix in a little coconut flour, because it's a little lighter. it also has a delicate, sweet taste. you could sub it with more almond flour if you'd like. the coconut palm sugar is a low glycemic, unrefined sugar that adds a sweet taste you can feel good about. they're perfect for your little ones too!

eat these up for breakfast, a snack, or dessert!

ingredients:

3/4 cup almond flour
1/4 cup coconut flour
1/3 cup coconut palm sugar
1/2 cup coconut oil (melted and at room temperature)
2 tsp vanilla
1/8 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 dark chocolate chips (semisweet works too)
3 eggs

in a medium bowl, mix the almond flour, coconut flour, and baking soda and set aside. in a small bowl, whisk the eggs, coconut oil, coconut sugar, and vanilla. in batches, stir egg mixture into the dry ingredients until combined. stir in the chocolate chips.

drop cookie dough on a baking sheet lined with a silpat or parchment paper. press down with a spoon.



bake for 10-12 minutes (or until golden brown) at 350 degrees Fahrenheit,



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