Tagged: healthy

My Favorite Yoga Sequence

Boy, oh, boy have I been a busy gal lately!!

I had such an AMAZING baby shower weekend that I plan to share with you guys, soon, I promise!!

Today I’ve decided it’s finally time to share with you my favorite Yoga sequence! As I approach my 32 week mark, I’m noticing my body is definitely starting to respond differently to exercise. I’m still lifting weights comfortably (and safely!) and though I feel energized during my workouts, I’m definitely much more tired after. Cardio is kind of a sad joke these days. I miss running terribly, and I really look forward to getting back into it once baby is born, but for now I’ve resorted to walking…and even walking makes me have to pee!! ANNNNNNNND I find that once I’ve been walking for about 20 minutes or so, I’m experiencing the same crampy feeling I would get on a long run! It’s so bizarre, really. I’m still just more and more amazed every day by how as I seemingly become “less active,” I feel baby moving around more and more!!!

Also noteworthy, I had a doctor’s appointment today and all is well with baby Emma! She’s super healthy and every time I hear her heartbeat it’s like music to my ears!! It also never gets old to hear the doctor tell me how amazing I look. We all like to have our egos stroked once in a while, amiright?

Anywho, let’s get on to the yoga!! This particular sequence takes me about 25 minutes from start to finish. You can do it anytime of day, really, but I like it first thing in the morning right after rolling out of bed. At that point in time, my brain hasn’t quite turned on yet and my mind is nice and clear and I can really focus on making the most of my practice and breath. It warms up your whole body, releases any tension you may be holding in your hamstrings, calves, hips, and back, and the addition of Goddess and Squat poses help to strengthen and prepare your body for labor! Obviously these poses are beneficial even if you’re not pregnant! I hope you give it a whirl!!

yoga sequence

And just for fun – here’s cute  photo I took of myself at the gym last night in my FABULOUS new For Two Fitness “Training for Two” tank top. I am telling you, this is the best workout top I’ve worn in the last 32 weeks!! I wish I had it sooner!! Not only is it effing adorable, it’s cozy, the side ruching doesn’t irritate my skin like some other maternity tops I’ve tried, and it did a great job keeping me cool and dry for my whole workout!! LOVE this tank top! If only they had the Yoga for Two one in stock. C’est la vie!! Happy Tuesday, ya’ll!!

training for two

WIAW #20 – Monday Noms & My Thoughts on Fiber

Greetings, pals and gals!! Hey, I got 23 cents – anybody wanna chip in for a dog-sled delight?! (I don’t know where all my money goes! A dime here – 15 cents there…)

Oh snap – who can name the movie that’s from?! I’ll give you a cookie! Well, probably not a cookie actually, what with the internet not being the best provider of pastries. But a nice shout-out for being awesome – that I can do!

Anywho, happy Wednesday to all. It’s the first What I Ate Wednesday of Spring!! Huzzah!!

We got a taste of some spring weather over the weekend and it was faaaaaaaaaaaaabulous!!! Of course, it’s about 25 degrees outside today and we got some more snow, but the weekend was perfect. *sigh* I really hope it warms up soon.

At least next weekend I’ll be in South Carolina!! I can’t wait for the mini vaca!! We’re staying with Johnny’s Grandparents and I can’t wait to see them!!  Though, I’m a bit terrified at the thought of how many times I’m going to need to stop to pee on the way. Today, I peed 5 times in less than 3 hours after I woke up. Sure, that may be TMI for a blog post that’s going to talk about everything I ate on Wednesday Monday but I decided to share it with you so I can’t take it back now. And you’ve got to admit…that’s ridiculous!!

On that note…let’s get to the food…shall we?! (Hey Jenn – Thanks for hosting!!)

Breakfast: So I tried changing things up a little bit on Monday and instead of my typical peanut butter covered banana oat cookie/muffin/squishy-delishness I just microwaved myself a bowl of “standard” style oatmeal. Ya know. The creamy kind. In the mix is 1/2 cup of oats, 1 tablespoon of chia seeds, 1 tablespoon of flax meal, 3/4 of a mashed banana, 1 cup of almond milk, and some cinnamon. I microwaved it at work for 5 minutes, stirring it up every minute or so. I couldn’t not add chocolate chips to it. It was tasty. Not as good as my peanut butter covered banana oat/cookie/muffin/squishy thing. But good. I also had some decaf green tea with it.
oatmeal and green tea

Snacks: Boy was Monday a snacky day. It all started with some strawberries. Delicious, juicy strawberries that I can’t seem to stop eating! I cut these ones up and enjoyed them with a fork instead of making a huge mess all over my desk as usual….
strawberries
About an hour later I was still hungry so I snagged an apple cinnamon rice cake that I smeared in almond butter (Warning: I know I say I have a new snack obsession every week. This one belongs to this week!)
rice cake and almond butter

Lunch: Recycled salad photo!! I said I need to start making this salad more the last time I had it. So I did. Like a boss. Except the one in THIS photo is muuuuuuuch prettier than mine was Monday…because I forgot to take a picture before I shook it all up and it turned to an egg yolky/avocadoy/mess of noms.
salad

Snacks: I told you I snacked a bunch today man. Here is a recycled photo of an apple…because I knew I had one and I was like…gosh I’m hungry I don’t want to take a picture I want to eat. So I did!
apple
Then I ate some pistachios…
pistachios
…and then some decaf green tea…
green tea
…and then some edamame…
edamame
….and then some carrots.
carrots

Holy munchies, Batman!! I realized at this point in time (thanks to my fitness pal) that I hadn’t even consumed 1,000 calories yet in the day!! Thattttt’s why I was starving! With baby on board I try to consume between 1500-1600 on an inactive day and that’s been working really well for me. I don’t track my food every day – but since I was feeling sooooo hungry I decided to check in and see what my numbers for the day were looking like. Lots of fiber, not enough protein.

For me, personally, I find that a diet higher in protein and healthy fats with a wee bit less fiber works to keep my satisfied for way longer than a diet higher in fiber. I was all about fiber until I started running and lifting. Fiber One bars were my jam. I can’t even tell you the last time I had one, now, which is a good thing… because all they do is give me gas and make my belly hurt. It turns out, if you get enough fiber in your diet from natural sources like fruits and vegetables and whole grains your body is NOT happy when it gets extras from additives like chicory root fiber (which, beeteedubs to all my preggos out there, is not recognized as safe during pregnancy but is in LOADS of products. read your labels!) WHODA THUNK?!  Boy, the human body is such a fascinating thing. *STEPS DOWN FROM SOAP BOX*

Dinner: By the time I got home I was soooooooo excited for dinner…for so many reasons!! I was starving…and I knew I was making CHEESE BURGERS!!! It had been a while and it was just on my list of things I realllllllly wanted. For my burgers I use 85% lean ground beef, oats, worcestershire sauce, and looooooads of garlic and black pepper. Topped with some american cheese, romaine, tomato, and onion on a toasty whole wheat bun. Oh goodness. It wassssss perfection (even cooked to well done #pregnancy). I also made some sweet potato “chips” on the side using my brand spankin’ new Simple Slicer from The Pampered Chef that came in my New Consultant Mini Kit!! Oh man, it’s soooooo easy to use (way easier than the Ultimate Mandolin – which it looks a lot like – but I’m telling you it’s a million times better!!), easy to clean (the blade locks into place so it’s nearly impossible to cut yourself or your sponge), and it made PERFECTLY sliced sweet potatoes. I love how it has three different thickness settings. I sliced my sweet potatoes on the second level and I thought they were just the right thickness!!  I just tossed them in olive oil, threw em’ on a sheet pan with some salt and garlic powder, and baked them at 450 for about 30 minutes…flipping them after 15. I sprinkled mine with (probably too much but I don’t care) Cajun seasoning when they were hot from the oven. I need to make these more often. 😀
cheeseburger and sweet potatoes
Dessert: Obviously, a burger and sweet potato chips weren’t enough (jkallday) buuuut I still indulged in some Wegmans brand chocolate frozen yogurt after. I restrained myself, though, and did NOT add a giant spoonful of peanut butter to it. *pats self on back* Johnny went out for a bit on Monday night, so it was just me and the pooch nomming some froyo and watching The Big Bang Theory. I then proceeded to try on a bunch of my “springtime” clothes to see how they fit with my giant baby belly. I may need to go shopping. *sigh*
fro yo

So what are your thoughts on a high fiber/high protein diet? Which works best for you and your body?

Do you have any mini vacations planned soon? What about regular sized vacations?

Are you familiar with The Pampered Chef? What’s your favorite product?!


 

 

Real Food Recipe Roundup # 4 – Apple Flax Muffins

Good morning, all!!  I hope you’ve had a great week so far!! Happy First Day of Spring!!!

Does anyone have any exciting plans for the weekend??

We’re finally painting the nurseryyyyyyyyy!!!!!!! Eeeeeee!!!!!!!

Seriously, this pregnancy is going by so fast. Today I am officially in my third trimester!! WTF?!  (I’ll be posting a bUmPdate tomorrow for anyone interested.)  Little miss Emma is going to be here before I know it and I genuinely cannot put into words how excited I am to meet my little yogi! 😀 😀 😀

Today I’m pleased to share with you a super delicious muffin recipe I came up with this week that tastes just like the fall…right in time for spring!! Ha. Oh well. It was so rainy and chilly at the beginning of the week that I felt like the warm spices would do me some good…and I was right…because these muffins rock. They’re dense and chewy from the oats with a tiny bit of sweetness from the apples and brown sugar. You’ll notice that there is no butter or oil or added fat at all in these muffins either! That’s because flax seeds are high in omega-3 fatty acids (which, as a momma-to-be, are essential to my diet!)! I promise these muffins are still perfectly moist without any additional fat. I guess, technically, these are more like little baked oatmeals than muffins but tomato-tomatoe. I’ve also included some alternative ingredients to keep these both gluten free and vegan if you so desire. Please note, though, that the nutrition facts I’ve included at the bottom are for the recipe as it is written below.

Apple Flax Muffins

  • 1 1/2 cups rolled oats
  • 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
    (you can use oat or almond flour to keep this recipe g-free)
  • 1/2 cup flax meal
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/8 teaspoon cloves
  • 1/8 teaspoon ginger
  • 1/3 cup dark brown sugar
  • 3 large apples, grated
    (skin and all)
  • 1 cup unsweetened almond milk
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/8 teaspoon almond extract
  • 1/4 cup egg whites
    (I added these strictly to add some more protein to these muffins. If you’re vegan go ahead and leave these out and these muffins will still turn out great!)
  • 3/4 cup chopped walnuts
    (optional, but I love walnuts in my apple muffins!)

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

In a large bowl, combine the oats, flour, flax meal, baking powder, salt, brown sugar, spices, and walnuts (if using). Whisk well to combine and set aside.

In a separate large bowl, whisk together the grated apple, almond milk, vanilla extract, almond extract, and egg whites (if using).

Add the apple mixture  to the oat mixture and stir until just combined.

Scoop mixture into a muffin tin prepared with a bit of nonstick spray.

Bake muffins at 350 for 25 to 30 minutes or until golden brown and set.

Let cool ten minutes before removing to a cooling rack and serving!

Nutrition (calculated on myfitnesspal.com) Per Muffin:
Calories: 156
Total Fat: 7 grams
Carbohydrates: 20 grams
Fiber: 5 grams
Protein: 5 grams
Sugars: 8 grams

apple flax muffins

These muffins freeze really well, too! Just pop it in the microwave to thaw and heat through and you’ve got breakfast in no time!! I’ve been serving mine up this week with some cinnamon cream cheese wedges from the laughing cow. I’m obsessed. They’re 35 calories of delicious, cheesy, noms!!!

Also, you may be wondering why on earth I’d photograph my breakfast on a Pampered Chef catalog? Silly me. That’s because I’ve started my own Pampered Chef business!!! I was a consultant a few years back and I loooved it, but I had a hard time keeping in touch with my recruiter who was based out of Baltimore. Not convenient. I just kind of decided on a whim that now is as good of a time as any to start throwing parties for people and earning them free and discounted products…because come on now…who doesn’t love free stuff?! Especially free KITCHEN stuff. OOoooooo man I’m just too excited. I know that I’ve already picked out at least a dozen products that I can’t wait to earn for myself…and I’m looking forward to helping other folks do the same!! (My mother-in-law is dying for the executive cookware set!) If you’re in Central PA and you’d be interested in hosting a show – please feel free to contact me!!! If you’re not in Central PA and you’d like to host a catalog show – go ahead and contact me, too!!

Last, but certainly not least,  don’t forget to grab a badge and link up with your favorite real food recipe, today!!

Twenty-Something & Starving

<a href=”http://twentysomethingandstarving.com” target=”_self”><img src=”http://i63.photobucket.com/albums/h130/Jennifer_Yoder/46133fa4-d3da-44aa-bd3a-92bd35349c37_zps9dc148ce.jpg” alt=”Twenty-Something & Starving” width=”250″ height=”150″ /></a>


 

Real Food Recipe Roundup #3 – Mozzarella Stuffed Chicken Pesto Meatballs with Baked Spaghetti Squash

Top o’ the mornin’ to ya!!

Lolz.

I know it’s not St. Patty’s yet – but I figured it’s close enough that I could greet you all like an enthusiastic leprechaun without too much judgement.

Anywho – I’m going to keep this short and sweet today because I’ve got not one but TWO recipes (ya know…that are particularly delicious when served together) and they’re kind of lengthy. I made these for the fam last weekend and everyone loveeeeedddddd it!!! Even the men were happy with the spaghetti squash, which really made me happy!!

If you’ve got a real food recipe that you’d like to share, don’t forget to grab a badge and link up at the bottom of the post!!!

Twenty-Something & Starving

<a href=”http://twentysomethingandstarving.com” target=”_self”><img src=”http://i63.photobucket.com/albums/h130/Jennifer_Yoder/46133fa4-d3da-44aa-bd3a-92bd35349c37_zps9dc148ce.jpg” alt=”Twenty-Something & Starving” width=”250″ height=”150″ /></a>


 

 

 

Mozzarella Stuffed Chicken Pesto Meatballs with Baked Spaghetti Squash

For the Mozzarella Stuffed Chicken Pesto Meatballs (makes about 30 meatballs)

  • 6 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into bite sized pieces
    (or about 1.5 lbs lean ground chicken)
  • 1 red bell pepper, seeds and stem removed
  • 4 garlic cloves
  • 1 handful of fresh basil leaves
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 2 tablespoons prepared pesto + More to taste
    (you can make your own or use store bought! I use Wegmans brand when I’m in a pinch. It’s delicious AND check out the ingredients)
  • 1 egg + 1 egg white
  • 1 cup whole wheat panko breadcrumbs
  • 1 lb of part skim mozzarella cheese, cut into little cubes
  • Salt & Pepper to taste
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Add the bell pepper, garlic, and basil to the bowl of a food processor and pulse until it forms a paste. Add about half of the chicken breasts and pulse until ground. Remove the chicken mixture and place in a large bowl. Set aside. Repeat with the remaining chicken.

Once all of the chicken is ground and in the bowl, add the pesto, Parmesan, panko, salt, pepper, and eggs. Mix well until thoroughly combined.

To prepare the meatballs, grab a small handful (about the size of a golf ball) of the chicken mixture and flatten it in the palm of your hand. Add a mozzeralla cube to the center and form the meatball around it, being careful not to expose the cheese.  Repeat until all of the meatballs are formed.

In a large skillet, heat the olive oil over medium high heat. Add meatballs to the pan (fill it up, but make sure they aren’t touching) and cook for about 3 to 4 minutes on each side until brown. Remove meatballs from the skillet as they are done and place them on a large baking sheet, adding more meatballs to the skillet as you go, until all of the meatballs are brown.

Place the cookie sheet in your preheated oven for about 15 minutes. Remove, and brush the meatballs with some more prepared pesto. Return the pan to the oven for 5 to 10 minutes more or until the meatballs are cooked through to a safe 165 degrees.

Serve on top of Baked Spaghetti Squash!

For the Baked Spaghetti Squash

  • 2 spaghetti squash, roasted, cooled, and spaghettified
    (Yup, that’s the technical term. Directions for spaghettifying here!)
  • 1 can of no salt added diced tomatoes
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced fine
  • 2 tablespoons granulated garlic
  • 2 teaspoons Italian seasoning
  • 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1/4 cup parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 cup shredded part skim mozarella cheese

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

In a large bowl, combine all ingredients except mozzarella cheese.

Spray a 9×13 baking dish with nonstick spray and add the spaghetti squash mixture. Top with mozzarella cheese. Bake at 350 for 35 to 40 minutes or until the cheese is melted and brown and the squash is warm through.

Serve topped with Mozzarella Stuffed Chicken Pesto Meatballs!

chicken pesto meatballs with baked spaghetti squash

Enjoy the Taste of Eating Right – National Nutrition Month

G’day Mates!! Happy Tuesday!! I hope you’re all peachy-keen!! Me? I’m swell! I had a fabbbulous breakfast and I’m sippin’ on some tea (decaf earl gray, obvi), and I’ve decided it’s time to get serious with you for a moment!

I feel like some of you may know this already, particularly my fellow healthy living bloggers, but some of you may not.

March is National Nutrition Month!!

Never heard of it? Here’s a quick summary:

National Nutrition Month® is a nutrition education and information campaign sponsored annually by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. The campaign is designed to focus attention on the importance of making informed food choices and developing sound eating and physical activity habits. NNM also promotes the Academy and its members to the public and the media as the most valuable and credible source of timely, scientifically based food and nutrition information. (http://www.eatright.org/NNM/#.UxXVVvmwJiI)

I think it’s pretty evident at this point in time that proper nutrition is something that I’m extraordinarily passionate about. I’ve decided to join in on the party again this year and share my two cents with you about this year’s theme:

Enjoy the Taste of Eating Right!

According to the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, consumer research has proven time and time again that taste trumps nutrition in the majority of consumer food purchases.

This seems like it’s pretty obvious to me.  Take McDonald’s, for example. According to Forbes, McDonald’s ended 2013 with “lackluster earnings” – a measly $7.09 billion, up 2% from their 2012 fourth quarter earnings. What this says to me as a health conscious consumer (not in any way, shape, or form from a business standpoint) is that even posting the nutrition facts on menus hasn’t seemed to deter consumers from eating less McDonald’s. As such, I believe it is imperative that we all realize that healthy, whole, nutrient rich foods are just as capable of being as delicious (even more delicious, actually!) as the processed junk that so many people gravitate towards.

Now please keep in mind that I am nothing if not realistic. I absolutely understand that, sometimes, it’s really hard to make a healthy choice. We’re too busy, or too tired, or too broke, or too anything…these are all factors that impact the choices we make in fueling our bodies.  It’s too often, I think, that we forget that that’s really what food is: fuel! It’s what we need to keep our bodies functioning at their optimal levels. We need food, tasty or not, to live and to thrive – regardless of how busy, tired, and broke we all are! It doesn’t need to be hard to do. If we all take a little time to educate ourselves and fuel our bodies properly with foods that we enjoy, I know that we could all live and thrive with smiles on our faces, happy taste buds, and healthy bodies.

Here are some of my favorite recipes that use real, whole ingredients and help me Enjoy the Taste of Eating Right!

Barbecue Chicken Tortilla Pizzas

IMG_20130102_203759

Chocolate, Peanut Butter, and Banana Oatmeal

proats

Greek Salad

Grilled Chili Lime Shrimp with Mango Salsa

Honey Walnut Apple Crisp

apple crisp

My Favorite Chili Recipe Ever

chili!

Sweet and Spicy Pineapple, Black Bean Quinoa

sweetandspicypineapplequinoa

Tilapia Tacos with Southwest Slaw

tilapia tacos with southwest slaw

I hope you can find inspiration in these recipes!!
How are you celebrating National Nutrition Month??
And how do you Enjoy the Taste of Eating Right??