Thursday, 23 February 2012

Yes.. Volleyball

Changing up a routine can not only help your weight loss/healthy lifestyle goal, it will also keep you from getting bored. Nothing is worse than a mundane workout. It will seem to drag on for hours and those last few minutes can feel like torture.

Starting a new class like spinning to kickboxing to zumba can really get you back into the fitness state of mind. Another great way to keep yourself going forward is joining some type of sport team. There are so many different options out there such as: Swimming; tennis; basketball; football; volleyball; softball; soccer; lacrosse; and even golf.

I occasionally take my own advice, and I joined a Volleyball team. We are practicing for a tournament on this upcoming Saturday. I used to play volleyball and loved it! Helps being an amazon of 5'11".

Yesterday was our first practice, and it was so great meeting new people! I already knew we had something in common or we wouldn't be at the gym at 8 o'clock at night gearing up for a 2 hour practice. Once we got the ball rolling (see what I did there?!) I started remembering my old moves and really got into it. I mean if you think about it, you have a good size volleyball flying towards your face, and you are suppose to keep it from landing using your arms as a block and your legs to propel. Now that I am thinking about it, who would come up with this sport?!

Anyways back to the subject at hand, we played/practiced for 2 hours and the time flew by. Before we knew it was 10 o'clock and time to take down the poles and net!

Now I burned almost 900 calories the first night and tonight (combined with a run and 2 hour walk with the family) I burned 1,300 calories! That is almost a days worth of calories!

I know contact sports or those that have large objects flying towards your head can scare a person. Trust me, I KNOW! Not only did I get hit in the face by my own teammate, I have bruised arms,
a bump the size of a golf ball (for future reference, don't try to stop a spike with your wrist),

and a black palm;

I was still there in the gym playing with a great group of people! The pain is only temporary but the sense of accomplishment I get is priceless.

*I am also for preserving one's health. If you are injured PLEASE get it looked at! I dropped out after the swelling on my arm to get ice. I am going to have it looked at if the swelling hasn't gone down in the morning. There is a difference of giving up and not playing and being severely injured! Please listen to your body.

Thursday, 16 February 2012

"I'm not feeling so well"

I know we have all said "I'm not feeling so well" several times in our lives. Though I am living a healthy lifestyle, I am still at risk.

I know there are different opinions on working out while ill; such as above/below (the neck, where if your sick above your neck light work outs are fine, below you should rest), however I believe in listening to your body.

Having two young children, it is hard to have the energy on a good day so when I am full blown sick I refuse to work out. If I have a small sinus problem I will keep on trucking along.

If you do feel it is best to rest while sick, do not beat yourself up! Not only are you punishing yourself over something out of your control, you might be stressing yourself out more and that is not how you get healthy.

What you need to do is; Rest; drink tons of water; rest some more; and build your energy back to where it needs to be. I know it is hard, but try not to get discouraged about losing everything you trained for. You didn't lose it! True when you are healthy again and ready to pound the pavement, you might not have the same mileage as you did before the sickness. Though two or three workouts later you will be right back on track. Now compare those three (workout) days compared to a month of training, it doesn't seem so bad.

Perfect example. I was very ill last week. I could not move off the couch so I decided it would be best if I rested. Now I was running anywhere from 4 to 6 miles a day. After two workouts, I ran 4.5 miles tonight; I would have kept going but they kicked us out!

So, just listen to your body. If it is telling you that you can't do it, I don't. Don't get discourage and quite, turn it positive and say "Once I feel better, I will do better than before!"

Saturday, 4 February 2012

Honey Pineapple Chicken

Sweet pineapple and savory soy sauce season this flavorful chicken dish. With it simmering in the slow cooker all day makes it tender and juicy. Paired with brown rice gives this dish the final touch.

3lbs boneless skinless chicken breast halves
2 Tbsp canola oil
1 can (8 oz) unsweetened crushed pineapple, undrained
1 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup honey
1/3 cup lemon juice
1/4 cup butter, melted
2 Tbsp prepared mustard
2 tsp soy sauce

In a skillet, brown chicken in oil in batch on both sides; transfer to a 5-qt slow cooker. Combine remaining ingredients; pour over chicken. Cover and cook on low for 3-4 hours or until chicken is no longer pink. Strain pan juices, reserving pineapple. Serve pineapple over chicken.

YIELD: 12 servings

302 calories
9g fat
3g saturated fat
73mg cholesterol
180 mg sodium
33g carbohydrate
23g protein

Yummy Raisin Bites

These scone-like snacks are good right out of the oven, but they are great at room temperature. They are also grate when you are on the way to work or school. With no sugar and only 82 calories, you will start yourself and your family's day off right!

2 cups all-purpose flour
3 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
1 cup fat-free milk
1/4 cup canola oil
1/4 cup honey
1/2 cup raisins

In a large bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg.

In a small bowl, combine the milk, oil and honey; add o the dry ingredients and stir just until moistened. Stir in raisins.

Drop by tablespoonfuls onto baking sheets coated with cooking spray. Bake at 425 for 8-10 minutes or until lightly browned. Remove to wire racks.

YIELD: 2 dozen

1 piece equals:

82 calories
2g fat
trace cholesterol
104 mg sodium
14g carbohydrate
trace fiber
2g protein

Friday, 3 February 2012

Chicken Stuffing Bake

I love to cook but sometimes I just don't have the time. This casserole is both good and fast, which makes it my most often prepared casserole. Goes great with a salad or an extra side of broccoli.

1 can condensed reduced-fat reduced-sodium cream of mushroom soup, undiluted
1 cup fat free milk
1 package (6 oz) stuffing mix
2 cups cubed cooked chicken breast
2 cups fresh broccoli florets, cooked
2 celery ribs, finely chopped
1 1/2 cups (6 oz) shredded reduced-fat Swiss cheese, divided

*I didn't have shredded swiss. So I cut 8 slices up to make it "shredded"

In a large bowl, combine soup and milk until blended. Add stuffing mix with contents of seasoning packet, chicken, broccoli, celery and 1 cup cheese. Transfer to a greased 9x13 baking dish.

Bake, uncovered at 375 for 20 minutes or until heated through. Sprinkle with the remaining cheese; bake 5 minutes longer or until cheese is melted.

YIELD: 8 servings

1 cup equals:

247 calories
7g fat
4g saturated fat
42mg cholesterol
658mg sodium
24g carbohydrate
3g fiber
22g protein

Thursday, 2 February 2012


Goals are a great way to kick start your healthy lifestyle. Wanting to reach a certain point can be the motivation some people need to keep with it.

However, I have noticed lately that most goals are short term. How do you expect to achieve the lifestyle you want if your goal has an expiration date?

For example "I want to lose 20lbs before (Friends) wedding"

That is great you want to do that, but what is going to happen after the wedding? Is all your hard work out the window? Doesn't that seem a shame and a waste?

The best way to stay on course is to have both long and short term goals. These goals need to be achievable. I can't say "I want to look like a supermodel (size 0) by the end of the year" when I am a size 10. I will never get down to that and I would get discourage. And where do most of us go when we get discourage?

Into those forbidden goodies that taste so great and go straight to our thighs, and stomachs and of course hips!

So to avoid this endless cycle of short lived goals, what you need to do is come up with where you ultimately want to be. For me it was in a size 10. It had nothing to do about weight but the size of my jeans. When I started I was a size 24.

Now that you have that ultimate goal, now come up with a series of short term goals.

Mine where:

(Start as January)
By the end of the first month lose 5lbs
By summer I want to be in a size 18
By my birthday (November) lose 50lbs
By the start of the new year be in a size 14
by summer be in a size 12
by my birthday (November) be in a size 10
By summer keep the weight off
by my birthday keep the weight off and start setting new goals

New Goals:
Run a marathon
Do a half iron man
Do a 5k in under 30 minutes
Keep the weight off for 3 years
Keep the weight off for 5 years

You can see how setting these goals not only kept me on the path, but changed my life for the better. I am no longer set on LOSING weight, I am set on being healthy, active and happy!

Sirloin Strips over Rice

Its great flavor and the fact that leftovers just get better have made it a family favorite!

1 1/2 lbs beef top sirloin steak, cut into thin strips
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
2 tsps olive oil, divided
2 medium onions, thinly sliced
1 garlic clove, minced
1 can (14 1/2 oz) diced tomatoes, undrained
1/2 cup reduced sodium beef broth
1/3 cup dry red wine OR additional reduced sodium beef broth
1 bay leaf
1/2 tsp dried basil
1/2 tsp dried thyme
3 cups hot cooked rice

Sprinkle beef strips with salt and pepper. In a large nonstick skillet coated with cooking spray, brown beef in 1 tsp oil. Remove and keep warm.

In the same skillet, saute onions in remaining oil until tender. Add garlic; cook 1 minute longer. Stir in the tomatoes, broth, wine, bay leaf, basil and thyme. Bring to a boil. Reduce hoeat; simmer, uncovered, for 10 minutes.

Return beef to the pan; cook for 2 to 4 minutes or until tender and mixture is heated through. Discard bay leaf. Serve with rice

YIELD: 6 servings

2/3 cup beef mixture with 1/2 cup rice:

299 calories
7g fat
2g saturated fat
63mg cholesterol
567mg sodium
31g carbohydrate
3g fiber
25g protein.

Wednesday, 1 February 2012

Turkey Fettuccine Skillet

This dish is very easy to make and was a huge success in this house hold. Great way to use leftover turkey after holidays such as Thanksgiving or Christmas. It taste like the comfort food we all love with half the calories.

8 ozs uncooked fettuccine
1/2 cup chopped onion
1/2 cup chopped celery
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 tsp canola oil
1 cup sliced fresh mushrooms
2 cups fat-free milk
1 tsp salt-free seasoning blend (I used Mrs. Dash original salt free)
1/4 tsp salt
2 Tbsps cornstarch
1/2 cup fat-free half and half
1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
3 cups cubed cooked turkey breast
3/4 cup shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese

Cook fettuccine according to package directions. Meanwhile,in a large ovenproof skillet coated with cooking spray, saute onion, celery and garlic in oil for 3 minutes. Add mushrooms; cook and stir until vegetables are tender. Stir in milk, seasoning blend and salt. Bring to a boil.

Mix cornstarch and half and half until smooth; stir into skillet. Cook and stir for 2 minutes or until thickened and bubbly. Stir in Parmesan cheese just until melted.

Stir in turkey. Drain fettuccine; add to turkey mixture. Heat through. Sprinkle with mozzarella cheese. Broil 4-6 in. from the heat for 2-3 minutes or until the cheese is melted.

YIELD: 6 servings

1 cup equals:

361 calories
7g fat
3g saturated fat
76mg cholesterol
343mg sodium
38g carbohydrate
2g fiber
34g protein