I have a new youtube channel to share with you all!! I usually workout at home the two days my son is at daycare (while I am on maternity leave – this routine will change when I go back to work on those days). I have been trying to find short intense workouts to ensure I can get my workout in without having to stop for a screaming newborn! I was always skeptical of short intense workouts. I always thought they didn’t get the job done and you needed to workout for a long time to lose weight; however, this go round I am proving myself wrong! I have been able to lose weight at the same rate if not faster than I did after baby #1 – and I am working out fewer days a week. I have to admit my husband has been right – a short intense workout is just as effective! I now present to you a great workout duo that will give you the opportunity to get a good sweat in 20 minutes (go for the more challenging option)!!
Here are some quick workouts that will get your heart going and your glands sweating! Lately I have not been motivated to go to the gym, I have wanted to stay home and workout. Along with the rest of America, I view the gym as an oasis during the short cold winter days. When the sun stays out later I want to get my workout in quickly so I can relax outside after instead of driving there and back. I do miss sitting in the sauna…. tomorrow I will get there!
Get ready to kill it with this heart pumping work-out! I did the video below for four rounds it was a great sweat. If you can add more reps, GO FOR IT!!! I could only do that many as the baby was only amused with me jumping around while he rolled around on the carpet for that amount of time. He even tried doing some “laying jacks” !
Rainy day here, probably will end up doing another work-out at home since we have family in town. It has been hard getting motivation to do home exercises, but once I am done… WOW I feel amazing! If you are procrastinating or have “time anxiety” and watch the clock until you know it is time to do your work-out, just let it all go and go do it. I sometimes find myself saying oh let me eat this and then digest and then I will work-out, but the reality is that I just want to be lazy right now! AND, that is perfectly FINE! No one says you have to work-out at a specific time. Go be lazy! Except, while you’re laying on the couch enjoying your down time don’t watch the clock and dwell on the dreaded workout that is yet to come. Just enjoy the moments and then pick yourself up and pump up your heart rate! With that being said I need to find a workout and take some of my own advice!!
I wanted to start off with introducing the cookbooks I am currently using:
Paleo Cookies By: John Chatham
Paleo Cooking from Elana’s Pantry By: Elana Amsterdam
I will rotate these books once I’ve completed all recipes!! Breakfast details: the standard eggs and thick-cut bacon, a side of sautéed roasted red peppers (from Costco, I will post the image in the bottles section) and onion, a bulletproof coffee using 1tbsp coconut oil and a green shake!!!! Smoothie recipe below…
Cucumber-Mint (2-16oz servings):
3 cups cucumber
1/4 cup raw cashews
1/2 cup mint leaves
2 cups spinach
1 tbsp lemon juice
1/4 cup coconut milk
1/4-1/2 cup coconut water
1 cup ice
1 tsp maca powder
1 tbsp chia seeds
1 tbsp monkfruit sweetener
Add to Nutribullet large container and blend until smooth, add coconut water until thick & creamy consistency is achieved.
Recipe modified and adapted from Superfood Smoothies By: Julie Morris
These wonderful chocolate donuts are from Elana’s Pantry, she has some wonderful paleo recipes in her book! I highly recommend making these delicious treats, I did make a substitution: instead of cocoa powder I used carob powder. And, I still found the wonderful rich chocolate flavor in these donuts. Gotta run to the gym before picking up the little one. I will have some more treats for you tomorrow!!
Welcome March! I am hoping you bring lots of warm weather this month!! I have a full week of sweets coming up!! The following week I will switch to savory dishes – make sure you stay tuned! I have to been going to the gym as much as possible and have supplemented in a few YouTube videos and barre classes. It takes a while to shlep to Gold’s Gym, some nights it is easier and faster to do a workout at home. I have also been forcing myself to try some workout classes at the gym. I don’t like being in a classroom setting with routines to follow, because personally I am horrible at keeping up. I never had the skills to memorize routines quickly. When it came to school plays during the middle school and high school days I really was not one for a main character dancing around the stage. I have pushed myself to be uncomfortable and attend the classes that involve routines that are choreographed to specific songs. Unfortunately, for me, I have also not been able to stand in the back every class – other people seem to be just as uncoordinated as me, so it appears!! When I don’t get my cozy corner spot in the back of the room, I realize nobody is starring at me and outwardly criticizing me, so I might as well get in a good workout and stop worrying about what others think! Thus far I have tried the Insanity, BodyPump, BodyAttack, HIIT, and RPM cycling classes and have fully enjoyed each moment of them all. If you are like me, attempt to go to a workout class even for half of it – just give it a try. You might find that you enjoy jumping around a room looking ridiculous along with everybody in the class.
Today we will review a wonderful paleo granola I created. The recipe calls for a cup of raisins, a cup of whole almonds, a cup of cashews, 1/2 cup flax seeds, 1/2 cup chopped walnuts, 1/4-1/3 cup honey and 2-3 tbsp coconut oil (you can adjust the honey & oil amount to ensure all fruit, nuts & seeds are coated with some liquid). Mix everything together and spread out on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Cook the granola at 300 degrees for 30-45 minutes – cook until the mixture does not have a sticky texture and tastes “roasted” (yes, samples are allowed). Once cooled, break apart the big block and it will quickly resemble granola. I sprinkled this delectable treat over some coconut cream. Thai Kitchen makes a great full-fat coconut milk – the cream is on the top and literally looks like fage yogurt. If you scoop the cream out you will see liquid on the bottom. I pour this into ice cube trays and freeze the remaining part of the coconut cream. I then will use these coconut cubes in smoothies for coconut flavor.
With the snowy days here I will be baking quite a few items; be prepared for sugar overload!!
I have been browsing my cookbook collection and have realized that I need to start using them – they’re getting dusty. I have found myself always researching recipes online – for the obvious reason: the computer is so convenient and easy. I have tried to remove myself from some social media to focus on “the present time” and play with my son. With this I have felt more relaxed and have gone ‘back to the basics.’ I have begun to realize it is wonderful to flip through a cookbook. This being said I have picked a savory and a sweet cookbook to make literally every recipe from cover to cover. Once this is done, it’s onto the next one! My husband loves cookbooks, he is the same way as me; he personally “likes to look at the pictures.” I want him to get through his books too! I encourage you to dig through your cookbook collection and start cooking some delicious dishes.
Stay warm & dry during the snow storm…. don’t forget to BAKE!!!
This past week I went to my first official CrossFit class (the reason I say the preceding is because my husband doesn’t count community classes as a “true” example of CrossFit), and, I went back to Barre class!! I have always been super intimidated by CrossFitters and “their classes.” However, I really enjoyed the routine. I did go to a class at a gym that is just starting, so it was a calm atmosphere and I received a lot of one on one attention to ensure my technique was on point. After I left I was sweaty and excited to return for another round. I can see how people get addicted to ONLY CrossFit classes – I wanted to go back and lift more the next day!! I don’t know how I will do when I’m thrown into a mix a larger gym. I will have to walk in without a guard up, and know that I’m just a work in progress and not the best (I am super competitive, and I don’t like not being able to life the prescribed amount of weight the first day walking into the class).
Likewise, when I’m in barre class I also feel slightly intimidated by those who are ex-dancers and ballet stars, but going to these classes is good for me. Being uncomfortable and working through fears allows me to realize, as scary as it may be, I’m not perfect – no one is – and life is about making progress each day toward a goal. Like the old saying goes: “Rome wasn’t built in a day.” I also was able to get in one of these YouTube workouts (see below) and today I will be doing a stairs run. I’m hoping to keep up this routine of trying to get in a workout everyday, and taking a day of rest here an there.
I don’t want to talk about weight loss specifics, but there definitely has been a faster drop as I have increased the amount and intensity of my workouts. For those of you trying to shed some pounds, get your heart rate up!!! And for those who are just looking to stay healthy, keep your heart rate up!!! Throughout my pregnancy I was able to maintain a low blood pressure and heart rate, which has definitely helped me get back to exercising without feeling like my head is going to explode and heart is going to bust out of my chest cavity.
This morning I woke up and finished off a fresh batch of almond milk before going on a walk in this lovely 50-something degree weather!! When we get back I will begin making my weekly batch of energy ballz.
The batter was like a bowl of honey – I was not expecting that consistency!! I was pleased with the “gooeyness” of the cookie – I do not like crunchy/hard cookies. Essentially, my favorite part of baking is eating the batter. I hope you like macadamias if you are making these because these cookies taste like you are munching on some nuts. I was hoping for something a little sweeter, but my husband was clearly digging them – the batch lasted two days. **I used homemade macadamia nut butter, which is featured in my butter section under the vittles tab.
Next up are paleo oreos!! Yummmm! I do have to admit mine do not look as beautiful as the ones on the website posted below – I don’t have that much patience at this stage to make perfect oreos when we are going to gobble them down. Now if they were for other people to enjoy maybe I would take more time to prepare them as eloquently as displayed on Will Bake For Books’ website. Please go make these treats and enjoy them as much as we did!! The only thing I changed in the Raw Oreos recipe is using 1/2 cup cocoa with 1/2 cup carob powder. I have been trying to use carob powder, I know it is supposed to be good for you, but I honestly have zero idea what it is. I am going to do some research for myself and my readers and get back to you with some mind blowing facts!!
I will work on my presentation skills 😉 . Paired with the oreo is an energy ball, I enjoyed both after eating a salad for lunch one fine day.
And, to wrap up this wonderful dessert feast I have something festive for the holidays and winter hibernation months. Dig your teeth into these Paleo Pumpkin Pie Cupcakes for a light treat after dinner or a snack during the day. I apologize for my coconut whipped cream – I over whipped it and it lost it’s fluff.
I didn’t get a good picture of the inside mushiness – they are like raw banana bread slices. The pumpkin taste is subtle, the spice flavors compliment the pumpkin & banana nicely.
After indulging you might want to hit play on some of these videos!!
I really liked this video – it was a solid workout of the whole body. The only part that was super challenging was the oblique exercises when you are laying sideways on one elbow and one knee – at this point i was like oh my gosh this is really challenging at that point of the workout!!! I pushed through – there are some words of encouragement during the video, which is helpful. I just listened to the music and made some grunting noises as if I was in a meathead gym.
If you would like to keep it easy on your knees you can try this workout, which I also really enjoyed. If you look at the comments lots of people are skeptical of the low cardio workout, but they write they were sweating a lot and extremely tired at the end. I too thought this was going to be an “easy” day, however, my sweatshirt was nicely coated with sweat [sweat makes me extremely happy, I feel accomplished after a sweaty workout knowing my body is free of toxins].
I use this abs vid for a warm-up and a cool down. Add in a 20-30 minute, or challenge yourself and go for the 45 min, workout in between the abs sets. I still firmly believe exercises that focuses solely on these muscles are beneficial. There is so much hyper around the myth that crunches don’t work. Well to some extent this is true – if you are only doing crunches your chance of having a six pack are few and far between. However, if you incorporate other routines along side crunches I believe you will have “abs of steel.” And, not to mention it mixes a workout up – less of a chance for boredom, which will lead you to burn out fast from your workout routine.
The next two videos I did back to back – I did the shorter – squats – video first, almost as a warm-up. Both videos run through routines that will not get your heart rate elevated too high, however, they will give you mildly sore quads the next day. I like mixing up the pace of the exercises, really gives your body a chance to relax – while staying active – and push it to the next level on others.
Not sure how I acquired such a nice foam this morning with the Nutribullet whipped coconut oil coffee, but it was divine!
GOOD AFTERNOON fellow foodies.
Keeping it paleo at Shake Shack with a lettuce wrapped double stack burger with bacon obvs!!
GOOD EVENING to the city that never sleeps.
Brooklyn Bridge Walk
Bryant Park Festivities
Followed by a Korean BBQ dinner at Shilla’s. I ordered the Bi Bim Bap – as divine as I remember it being last winter when I first enjoyed this dish. It is essentially a mixture of vegetables with ground beef and a fried egg with rice on the side. I do have to admit I ate some of these grains, after I regretted it and should’ve kept it paleo without consuming the rice.
Hope everyone is having a wonderful monday after a beautiful weekend like I had!
It’s before noon, I can still say: GOOD MORNING READERS!
Here is some winter, I mean fall, uplifting photos to get your through the cold, actually warm, days here in the Mid-Atlantic!
PUERTO RICO (circa 2012 finale)
Don’t get me wrong I do love winter scenery, cold breezes while bundled up in a Canada Goose, fire place warmth and lounging on the couch covered in blankets beside your loved ones. However, I also enjoy the escape to a warmer climate; this getaway really helps anyone’s mental state during the shorter colder drearier days. The walks on the beach and rich healthy looking scenery helps put my mind at ease. I find true stillness and ultimate relaxation throughout my body while walking on the beach and listening to the ocean waves crash onto the white sand shoreline. One year I believe I managed to pack in a marathon distance walk on the beach all in a days work! Last year I didn’t take a trip to soak up the sun (or sit by my light box) probably since I was in diapers, and I SURVIVED!! I am looking forward to a view of paradise this year. Our baby already hates the cold weather; I think I’ve already conditioned him to being a summer lover too!
Let me change subjects here… FOOD!
The first thing I will cover is the mystery food that was featured on Instagram. This was a remake of an appetizer from Patowmack Farm, which would have been discovered in an earlier post – Kale Chips with Nutritional Yeast. Basically we ripped the meatier sides off the main steam of Tuscan Kale and placed the pieces in the dehydrator until completely crispy. After removing them from this device we sprinkled on Nutritional Yeast, which actually is not as hard, as we thought, to find. The taste is interesting, but a great rich flavor – if my husband will eat this then it isn’t too earthy and actually has a taste other than dirt. A recommendation: since the kale is very crunchy, when you bite into a bigger piece the yeast flies in the air and makes a mess. We quickly learned that making smaller bite size pieces rather than longer strips is actually easier to eat.
You could also use the nutritional yeast sprinkled on a kale salad and dressed with olive oil.
Following this kale treat, you could indulge in another kale app – might as well bulk up on your nutrients today!
This is a carrot paper wrapped skinny veggie roll for all you vegetarians and vegans out there! We sliced avocado and cucumber, ripped of the sides of Tuscan Kale into long strips and sprinkled on a Garden Mix of Sprouts. The carrot paper was bought at Wegman’s in a pack looking like this:
I do have to be honest though – there is some soy protein isolate in the ingredients. Now that we have experimented with this product and would use it again I will look for a paleo friendly version!
Following these random appetizers we enjoyed a roasted chicken from Wegman’s (please excuse the one legged chicken pictured below, someone got into it before we sat down for dinner) and a Creamy Paleo Bacon Pumpkin Soup from Fed & Fit.
We were not sure if the recipe called for bacon fat. We added some of the remaining lard to the soup just because we are obsessed with bacon, like the rest of mainstream Americans.
And to polish off a good meal you must indulge in dessert, no matter how full you are – am I right?!
I, yet again, doubled the recipe. I tend to do this so the treat will last for the whole week since it is hard to make a new batch every few days. The pictured dessert is Living Healthy with Chocolate’s Raw, No Bake Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Brownie. I enjoyed the mixture of cookie and brownie flavors, however, I find myself eating the brownie first and then gobbling the cookie dough section. I am not one to mix all my foods, I like to savor each flavor. Both, cookie and brownie, are pretty much spot on with regard to resembling the taste of conventional Toll House Break n’ Bake products without the unhealthy aspects. This is a great item to make as it will keep in your refrigerator for quite some time without going sour – that’s if you can keep them around long enough to enjoy at a later point in time!
Before eating all this food you might want to engage in a workout because you will be couch bound after this feast!
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