Tuesday, 16 July 2013

Max Interval Circuit Review

Hello readers!

Well I hope I have readers, if not, I am basically talking to myself. That's alright, I like to talk :)

Anywho, I have made leaps and bounds in this crazy workout called Insanity.

Yes, you might remember I posted a while back that I was doing it, I got sick while working and it kind of fizzled out in my third week.

I am proud to say I am on the second month or the "MAX" portion, which if you though month 1 was hard, oh man Shaun T saved the crazy stuff you!!!!!!! You'll see a lot of the same moves, you'll just have a new twist. I have already reviewed all of the first month's workouts (you can find them in my archives if you want to read them). I have now done all of the workouts in the 2nd month, here is the break down of this madness:

You will first start with the 60 (YES an hour) minutes workout called Max Interval Circuit, oh and you'll also kick off month 2 with a fit test! Welcome to INSANITY.

I like the warm up better personally, you'll do three rounds (just like the first month) but the last round is short but you'll go hard.

Warm up:
Shaun T works those Guns
Straight-arm jacks (see you'll see moves, just changed up)
Jump rope
High-knees- arms straight out
Switch Kicks (yes, used to be apart of your work out, now is your warm up)
Hit the floor
S/S Floor hops

Stretch and get yelled at this isn't a coffee break... 30 second water break... get ready to GO!

Now. Are you ready? Really ready? Because you are about to do the most insane workout. I never needed a towel before this workout. I had to refill my water twice. You'll do the workouts four workouts, three times. Ready. Set. LETS GO!

Pedal/Power Lunges

 This might sound familiar (Pedal... pure cardio), you are going to run in place, and when he says go, you are going to jump into a lunge (right leg, then left leg), but your arms going to go UP into the air!

Ski Abs/Push-up Jacks/In-out abs/Oblique push-ups

Mouth full huh?  This is ALL one workout.
Ski abs- go into plank, use your core to jump side to side
Push-up jacks- exactly how it sounds, go down into a push up, your feet jump apart, he LOVES this move. You do it A LOT.
In-out abs- another classic Shaun T move.
Oblique push-ups, a push up with bring your knee to your elbow. FUN! YAY!

Power Strike

Love this move. You are punching the crap out the air (punching down) with your leg going out, every 2 you switch sides. The more power you put behind your punches the more cardio you use. Believe me, 45 seconds and you are breathing HARD.

Frog Jumps

This should be another move you should know by now. Squat down and jump like a frog up, then back. Don't stop! Your a frog.

Now rinse and repeat two more times!

At the end of this series, Shaun T likes to "reward" us with a power move. Nope you don't get a break! Instead, you get a dizzy version of football stance.

You will run in a circle doing football run, clap, then turn and go to the other direction and clap.
Do cross jacks (jumping jacks with one arm)
Run in a circle and clap
cross jacks
Run and circle (I'm dizzy by now)
Cross jacks

YAY you get a water break.

By now you might be pretty tired. But you are about to get into a new set. Remember, this workout is an hour long, and you do four workouts, three times!

Jump Hooks

This is where you hook high for four, hook low (in a squat) for four, then grab your imaginary jump rope and jump high for four.

 High Knee w/Twist

 Its a high knee with a twist!

High – Low Jab w/Squat

 This one WILL burn. I'm warning you now. I may have cried, or have been dehydrated and couldn't cry. I love the kickboxing element he is throwing into this, however jumping from a squat while jabbing isn't my idea of a fun night.

Floor Switch Kicks

 This is what the picture of the girl that looks like she's dying is. You are doing switch kicks, on the floor, and this is death. Pure death. Kudos to Shaun T.

You'll do this again, two more times! You can do it! You are so close.

DING DING DING another "reward" power move!

123- jab across. I actually enjoyed this move. Though I was T.I.R.E.D.

One more set left till cool down....

Ready to find out??
Calories burned for Max Circuit

Side Suicide Jumps

 It's a burpee jumping out to your side.

Squat Hooks

 Exactly how it sounds. Jump down into a squat, as you go down into the squat, throw a hook.

Full Body Drill


1. Arms up
2. Go down, run it out for 8
3. Moving push ups (to the right) for 4
4. Wide run for 8
5. Come in. Go up
6 Go down, do it again
7. Go left...

Plank Punches

Last but not least, plank punches. Exactly how it sounds. You are in a plank, one arm at a time punching, using your core, trying not to fall on your face because you are crazy tired.

At the end... you'll look like THIS:

I will have to say my results have been AMAZING. I have given myself a pat on the back for not giving up even though there has been times when I want to cry, throw up or flip Shaun T off. I have found this to be one of the hardest, full body workouts I've ever done, but I feel accomplished after I do it. 

And here are my results this far: 

(WARNING: I am in a bra. If you don't want to see my "mom" stomach or a bra, then close this page now)

Before Insanity
Taken yesterday






Monday, 8 July 2013

I ain't as good as I'm gonna get, But I'm better than I used to be

I ain't no angel
I still got a few more dances with the devil
I’m cleaning up my act little by little
I’m getting there
I can finally stand the man in the mirror I see
I ain’t as good as I’m gonna get
But I’m better than I used to be

This Tim McGraw song is a few years old, and happened to be on the radio the other day when I needed it. I just happened to catch it as I was rushing to the store, kids yelling, the 6- year old demanding “TAYLOR SWIFT” (yes, she has learned who she is, and they are never ever ever getting back together!), and the rain pouring down out of nowhere.

To me, this song has so much meaning behind it. It is my life, summed up in a verse.
I am not perfect, nor an angel. I know I have people who look up to me as a mom, a role model, a friend, and a motivator. Sometimes, I don’t live up to those roles, I fall apart; sometimes I don’t only live up to those roles, I blow them out of the water. I am very well versed at the one step forward two steps back tango. 

 I make mistakes all the time, I mess up, and I falter. I am weak when it comes to certain types of 
temptations, usually a gold blended beverage with tequila in it… 

But I know my weaknesses, I know where I have failed, and I have changed. I no longer weigh 275lbs, every day I am better than I was yesterday, because I pushed myself to be better. As long as I continue getting better and better, my weaknesses will become less and less. 

I still have learning to do, I am not done, nor do I want to be done. I have learned amazing things that I am capable of. I a “Work in Process”, and as I continue down this path, I WILL get to my final destination. 

But I am happy where I am, right now, today. I can hold my head up high, with a smile on my face, and know that I have given it my all; but I am NOT done. 

And I am better than I used to be.

Sunday, 7 July 2013

Mock Manicotti

My husband has been asking for this recipe for awhile. I will admit it has been marked to make for awhile... and I FINALLY made it!

I will say before I put the recipe that:

1. Check out what is on sale! You'll notice that it calls for 24ozs of cottage cheese, well I could have bought the one 24oz tube for $4.95 OR two 14oz tubes for $3.

2. This is a vegetarian friendly recipe.

3. I found the filling to be double than originally called for. So I just boiled the rest of the noodles and took them with me to bible study, they where a big hit!

4. I liked them with MORE sauce, I found them a little bland if it didn't have enough sauce, I'm also going to add more seasoning next time. With so much cottage cheese it can be over powering, so I will tinker with the seasoning till I get it right for me. But everyone else enjoyed it, even the kiddos.

Now onto the recipe!

Mock Manicotti

3 cups (24 ozs) fat-free cottage cheese, drained
1 package (10 ozs) frozen chopped spinach, thawed and squeezed dry
1 package (8 ozs) reduced-fat cream cheese
1/2 cup reduced-fat sour cream
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon pepper
8 lasagna noodles, cooked, rinsed and drained
1 cup (4 ozs) shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese
1 cup meatless spaghetti sauce, optional

In a large bowl, combine the first seven ingredients. Spread 1/2 cup over each noodle; roll up jelly-roll style. Place seam side down in an 11-in x -in. baking dish coated with cooking spray. Sprinkle with mozzarella cheese.

Cover and bake at 350 for 35 minutes. Uncover; drizzle with spaghetti sauce if desired. Bake 10 minutes longer or until heated through.

 YIELD: 8 servings.

NUTRITION FACTS: 1 piece equals: 287 calories, 10g fat (7g saturated fat), 37 mg cholesterol, 454 mg sodium, 26 g carbohydrate, 2g fiber, 22g protein.

Saturday, 6 July 2013

My Month of "hell"

I know I haven't been blogging lately, and I am so sorry for the lack of attention. I do have a reason, though you be the judge of it being a "good" reason.

So here goes nothin!

We have to go back, way back, to December of 2012. I woke up one day with this splitting headache. I felt like I was going to die. At this point I was training for the Colfax half, so I was trying to get some miles in, but this headache landed me on the couch for days.

After a week of this, my mind started to get foggy, I couldn't concentrate, I felt lost all the time, it was hard to just put a thought together. I decided to go see my doctor, he ordered a CT scan. Everything came back clean and good however my symptoms seemed to progress. I reached a point where I stopped driving. I was still trying to run, but the next day I would be down and out for the count. I was put on the waiting list to see a Neurologist.

I was put on several different types of medications, some made me blow up like a puffer fish, others made me lose all appetite.

Finally, the beginning in May, just a week before my Half, I see my Neurologist and he notices that I'm "off". The feeling in my legs are off, my balance is off, he can see swelling behind my eyes.

Well, he instantly admits me to the Hospital with a very evil dosage of DHE. 5 rounds for 3 days of this vile stuff that cause me the become violently ill, nothing worked. So we tried it again... 5 rounds for 3 days, by this point I am in tears.

What's next? well the next logical thing of course...

A spinal tap!


One of my biggest fears, spinal taps. Having lost a mother to Leukemia (this is how you find out you have the cancer), I was shaking the whole time, the room started spinning at a point, and I know the tech was trying to talk to me to get me to relax but there was no way. I was a lone, scared and just spend 2 weeks hooked up to the vile D.H.E.

I'm the lucky person that he can't get fluid the first try, so with a needle sticking out my back, he leaves me on the table, walks OUT OF THE ROOM, and finds another needle to restick me. Mind you these long needles are IN BETWEEN MY SPINE.

Just typing this makes me want to cry. I hated every second of it. I am finally wheeled off to recovery where you lay flat and don't move for an hour.

The next day I sit up and I'm one of those 20% chance of a Post-LP headache. YAY lucky me! I'm rushed to the ER. What is this headeache? I'm glad you asked. Basically the fluid where you brain is doesn't stay filled so your brain bounces around. Very painful. I couldn't even hold my head up without excruciating pain.

To fix this, they do what is called a "blood patch". Basically an epidural but they are putting YOUR blood back in to patch that whole, like 10 cc of blood.

Thank goodness for pain meds!

So needless to say I did NOT run the colfax half, I was having a spinal tap instead.

Besides numerous busted veins, long nights alone in a hospital and facing fears, I'm finally feeling better.

I do believe I'm on the road to recovery. We still don't know what is wrong with me. I seem to be responding well to my current medications, I still get headaches  but nothing like before. I go back on the 15th to see if the swelling is still there and see what happens from there.

But I'm still training for the Rock N Roll Full Marathon and I'm almost on Month 2 of Insanity. I think I've had enough set backs, time to go forward!

From my fab friend Amanda after my spinal tap

Celebratory Crab Cakes

Tonight I wanted to make something different. I don’t usually make seafood, as the husband is repulsed by it, however he is working tonight and I am celebrating losing another inch off my waist.

Oh, I haven’t shared have I?!

I have been working hard since my “month of hell”, which I will blog about next, but that is neither here nor there. 

Anyways on to something different, I decided to make Crab Cakes with Fresh Lemon.

Crab Cakes, 311 calories

They turned out AMAZING! My 6 year old asked “mommy, are these made out of marshmallows?”
And to top it off, they are only 311 calories for TWO crab cakes. WIN!

2/3 cup yellow cornmeal
1/3 cup fat-free milk
1 small sweet red pepper, finely chopped
4 green onions, chopped
1 teaspoon canola oil
3 egg whites, lightly beaten
1/3 cup reduced-fat mayonnaise
¼ cup all-purpose flour
¼ cup minced fresh parsley
2 tablespoons lemon juice
¼ teaspoon seafood seasoning
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
4 pouches (3.53 ounces EACH) premium crabmeat, drained
1 cup frozen corn, thawed
8 lemon wedges

·         In a large bowl, combine cornmeal and milk; set aside. In a large nonstick skillet, sauté red pepper and onions in oil until tender. Remove from the heat.

·         Add the egg whites, mayonnaise, flour, parsley, lemon juice, seafood seasoning and cayenne to the reserved cornmeal mixture; mix well. Fold in the crab, corn and red pepper mixture.

·         Coat the same skillet with cooking spray; drop crab mixture by scant ½ cupfuls into the pan. Press into ¾-in. thick patties.    Cook in batches over medium heat for 4-6 minutes on each     side or until golden brown. Serve with lemon wedges.

YIELD: 4 servings
NUTRITION FACTS: 2 crab cakes equals: 311 calories, 9 g fat (1 g saturated fat), 67 mg cholesterol, 764 mg sodium, 43 g carbohydrate, 5 g fiber, 17 g protein.

Thursday, 4 July 2013

My never fail Deviled Eggs

So the other day, I had a big BBQ, with ribs, homemade burgers, beer brats, potato salad and supposedly deviled eggs.

However, I HAVE to have my deviled egg recipe. Sounds funny, most people just go off taste, I know. But you don't mess with my recipe, those that have had my deviled eggs can attest to that. . I looked everywhere for it and just couldn't find it. People where coming in, burgers where cooking, ribs where done, and the eggs where just sitting there open and waiting to be mixed.

Before I knew it, I just had to throw in the towel on the deviled eggs, much to my husband's dismay. They are one of his favorites, and he always looks forward to me making them.

So I finally found that elusive recipe, a few days too late. I'm posting it here so I never have that tragedy of throwing away a dozen hard boiled eggs again.

12 Hard-cooked eggs
1/2 cup light Mayo
1 tsp ground Mustard
1 tsp White Vinegar
1/8 tsp Salt
1/2 tsp black Pepper

Trust me when I say, you don't mess with this science.

Friday, 25 January 2013

Food series Breakdown- Spicy Goulash

Tonight's dish is one of my favorites, because it is flavorful, spicy, made in a crock-pot and within anyone's budget! 

It's Spicy Goulash! What is Goulash? Good question, it is a Hungarian stew that is made up of meat, noodles, vegetables and spices. 

My goulash makes 12 servings, so there is PLENTY of left overs or a great dish to make for company; as it totals out to $1.48 PER SERVING! ALSO it's only 210 calories per servings to boot.                                                                                   When was the last time you where able to feed up to 12 people for under $20 and the meal be healthy, chalked full of filling foods, and delicious? I do believe this is a winner for nutritious and affordable.
1lb. Ground Turkey (or beef)
6 cans Rotel (or 4 cans 14 1/2 ozs each Mexican diced tomatoes) undrained
2 cans (16oz each) Kidney beans, rinsed and drained
2 cups water
1 medium onion, chopped
1 medium green pepper, chopped
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
2 Tbsps chili powder
1 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce
2 Tbsps beef bouillon granules
1 tsp dried basil
1 tsp dried parsley flakes
1 tsp ground cumin
1/4 tsp pepper
2 cups uncooked elbow macaroni


In a large skillet, cook meat over medium heat until no longer pink; drain. Transfer to a 5-qt. slow cooker. Stir in the tomatoes, beans, water, onion, green pepper, vinegar, chili powder, Worcestershire sauce, bouillon and seasonings. 
Cover and cook on low for 5-6 hours or until heated through.
Stir in macaroni, cover and cook 30 minutes longer or until macaroni is tender.
YIELD: 12 Servings
Nutrition Facts:

1 Cup:
213 Calories
4g fat
24mg cholesterol
585mg sodium
30g carbohydrate
6g fiver
15g protein

Saturday, 19 January 2013

Food Series Breakdown- Pizza Roll Ups

Tonight is Pizza and Movie night. Usually this would cost a pretty penny AND more than a daily's worth of calories; but not when you do it right with my Pizza Roll ups and OnDemand TV.

2 Slices of Cheese hand toss pizza from Pizza Hut is 640 calories and is $3.80 a serving

My Healthy Pizza Roll Up are 316 calories and $1.83 a serving.

I do believe we have a winner! And bonus round.... my stomach doesn't hurt nor do I feel like pure grease after eating the Roll up.

What do you think? Affordable to be healthy? 

Recipe below:

 1/2 lb lean ground beef (I use ground turkey, Italian style)
1 tube (13.8) refrigerated Pizza Crust
1 pkg (10 oz) frozen chopped Spinach, thawed and squeezed dry
1 jar (7 oz) roasted sweet red peppers, drained and slice (optional)
1 cup (4oz) shredded part-skim Mozzarella Cheese
1/2 tsp Onion Powder
1/2 tsp pepper
1/2 cup loosely packed basil leaves
Cooking Spray
1 Tbsp grated Parmesan cheese
1 can (8 oz) pizza sauce, warmed

In a small nonstick skillet, cook beef over medium heat until no longer pink; drain.

Unroll dough into on long rectangle; top with spinach, beef, roasted peppers and mozzarella cheese. Sprinkle with onion powder and pepper. Top with basil. 

Roll up jelly-roll style, starting with a short side; tuck ends under and pinch seam to seal. Place roll-up on a baking sheet coated with cooking spray; spritz top ad sides with additional cooking spray. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese.

 Bake at 375 for 25-30 minutes or until golden brown. Let stand for 5 minutes. Cut into scant 1-in. slices. Service with warm pizza sauce.

YIELD: 6 servings
Nutrition Facts: 2 slices w/ 2 Tbsps pizza sauce:

316 calories
8g fat
30 mg cholesterol
824 mg sodium
37 g carbohydrate
3 g fiber
20 g protein 

Food series breakdown- Vermont Turkey Loaf

This is my first blog on the series I am starting to breakdown the cost of healthy food made at home.

Last nigh I made Vermont Turkey Loaf, Homemade Mash Potatoes, Gravy and Peas.

This meal made four servings (which we are a family of four!)

This meal breaks down to.... *drum roll*

$14 for the whole family. 

Is that within your budget?! 

Recipe Below: 

 Vermont Turkey Loaf:

2/3 cup chopped Onion
2/3 cup chopped Carrots
2/3 cup Bread Crumbs
1 lb ground Turkey
1/2 tsp Salt
1/2 tsp Pepper

In a small skillet coated with cooking spray, saute the onion and carrot until tender, cool slighty.

In a small bowl, combine the vegetables, bread crumbs, salt and pepper. Crumble turkey over mixture and mix well. Shape into a loaf.

Place in loaf pan that is coated in cooking spray and bake, uncovered at 375 for 35 minutes  or until juices run clear.

Makes four servings.

Nutirition Facts: Per Serving
292 Calories
11 g Fat
90 mg Cholesterol
629 mg sSodium
25 g Carbohydrate
2 g Fiber
23 g Protein

Fast food vs healthy food

I had a discussion (or close to one as you can get on an online forum) about the price of fast food vs healthy food.

I’ve been hearing the excuse “Fast food is just cheaper…” or “Healthy foods are too expensive!”  I felt the need to defend healthy products such as fresh produce and healthy cuts of meats. So, I started to see why they felt fast food, or just processed foods, where the way to go. 

When I ask them what they are buying, I am floored to find out that not only do they buy produce out of season, they feel the need to buy ONLY Organic. Now, if you are into the whole Organic movement, that is fine, but I PERSONALLY feel it’s crazy to ask consumers to pay over double the price for the same product. 

When I finally picked my jaw up off the floor, it struck me that I should start a blog series of my not so secret method of eating right, meal planning and produce.

Know what is in and out of season. You will pay well over triple times the price for out of season fruits and vegetables.  Here is an amazing guide:

Planning can help you get like ingredients, which will cut down on the cost of meals. If I have seven recipes in front of me, and three have the same herbs in it, I will plan those three first .

When I have canned items or items that can be frozen, I stock up when they are on sale. We eat a lot of ground turkey in our house, when I found it at Safeway for $3 a lb, instead of $6 a lb, I stocked up! Turkey can be stored in the freezer for up to 6 months (that’s half a year!).  That is two for the price of one. When tomato sauce is on sale for $.20 a can, I stock up! I think you get the point of this one. When you spot a deal and go “That is a great price” why just buy one? The more you have on hand at the cheaper price, the less you have to buy later for full price.

I saw someone post this great article, this is food for thought:

Now with my steps out there, I am going to start a new blog series I hope you enjoy! I am going to make my delicious healthy meals then breaking down what it costs per person. You’ll be amazed at how cheap it is to eat healthy and at home!

Vermont Turkey Loaf Breakdown: Here
Pizza Roll-Ups Breakdown: Here
Spicy Goulash: Here