Sunday, September 30, 2018

6 Things I Learned at the End of the 100 Squats/Day Challenge

I saw this video on social media about a month ago with these 3 brave souls who endured a whole month, 30 days of 100 squats per day.  It was a challenge to see what that could do to their bum and legs.  I thought it was easy enough and invited all of you peaches to join me. Well, many of you did and I am so glad! The challenge came to an end and 70+ clients, campers, friends and family joined me in this crazy month!

We had a Facebook group where we all posted videos of ourselves doing the squats, we had memes, we had encouragement and a ton of motivation!! It was so much fun! I had no idea that I was going to get so into it! I did not miss one day!! I was ON IT!! Even if it as after a crazy hard day, I still did them!! Some of our fellow squat buddies did miss a day here or there, but I was so surprised that most of them did 200 the next day, or some that missed more than one day at the time made a plan to make sure they did all the squats they owed. Even my mom joined the challenge.  My mother in law did not join the challenge per se, but I motivated her to join me for one day at our vacation! And I have the videos to prove it!!

6 Things I learned at the end of the 100 Squats/Day Challenge

1. My legs do look firmer, but my booty did not lift up as much as I wanted it to!! My before and after pictures (I asked everyone to wear the same clothes for before and after pictures) are not what I imagined. Truthfully, I thought I was going to have a bit more lift based on how firm my muscles feel!

2. I was not alone!! The encouragement we all provided each other was so great! I swear, each time someone posted "I did 200 today" motivated me to never miss it.  I didn't use weights until the very last day (why I didn't see a bigger change before and after).

3. We all seemed to have fun doing it! So many people are ready for the next challenge! An abs challenge is in the works and many already signed up. We have a great community that supports each other! I would not have been able to finish it if I didn't have the support of my squatting buddies!!

4. You can take squats literally everywhere!! I did mine in 4 states while on vacation. I even did squats in a train from NYC to Connecticut. I needed some firm ground to stand on and that was it. Some of my friends did them in their office (and got caught doing it) and a few took their squats to exotic places like Hawaii and Bahamas.  I wasn't that fancy, but it goes to show that squats are very portable and quick and easy to do!

5. To really see changes personally I needed to challenge your body more. This time around I didn't want to add weights to the challenge, just to see what would happen. Only one day I did get the weights out and did all 100 squats holding them.  It felt much harder and definitely more of a challenge.  So assess where you are first before you begin, you might have to add weights if you do the challenge.

6. And lastly, I also found out that no matter how many squats you do, if you eat what you want, you will gain weight. I say that because I noticed in my private "before and after" photos that I had gained weight around my midsection. Just being really honest here. Legs looked amazing! My tummy not so much! I was on vacation, had the vacation mentality, and was eating my feelings (and stress) too... All has gone back to a more normal state now, I am less stressed and taking better care of my body by adjusting my nutrition.

No matter what the next challenge is, I know I have an amazing group of friends by my side that will keep me accountable! I dare you to find a tribe (or just join ours) and push each other to finish a fitness challenge. I know you will love it!

Wednesday, August 8, 2018

Gluten Free Chocolate Chip Muffin

I make these gluten free muffins at home for breakfast all the time! They are so easy to make and I know exactly what goes into it! My husband is gluten free and he likes muffins for breakfast.  He doesn't want extra sugary ones, so I started trying to make my own since that way I can control the ingredients that go in it. They are easy to make, I basically just throw all ingredients in mix, add extras mix a bit more and bake. I literally takes me 5 mins to prepare it. They are not the prettiest to look at, but they are very tasty!

6 tbsp of melted butter
1 cup coconut palm sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp of vanilla extract
2 cups of gluten free flour (I use the Bob Mills 1-to-1 gluten free flour)*
1 tbsp baking powder
1 cup of water (sometimes I use half water, half orange juice)
Plus additions**
**make it chocolate chip muffin; add 1 cup of semi sweet chocolate chips
**make it chocolate muffin; add 3-4 tablespoon of unsweetened cocoa powder
**make it blubbery muffin; add 1 cup blueberries (not frozen)

How to make it:
Preheat the oven to 355F. In a large bowl, add the melted butter, coconut sugar, eggs and vanilla extract.  Mix it well. Then add flour, baking powder and mix a bit more.  Then lastly add the water. Mix until smooth consistency and add to greased muffin cups.
Bake on 355F for 19-24 mins until an inserted toothpick comes out clear.

I keep mine frozen until it is time to serve each morning.  Hubby gets his from the freezer and pops in the microwave for 30 secs to thaw out.  Easy peasy! Now my kids are also eating them.  The fact that I use coconut palm sugar makes me feel better about them.  ENJOY!!

If you don't have the need to be gluten free feel free to make it with regular wheat flour.  I've made it before too!

Monday, June 4, 2018

Shrimp Fried Quinoa

I made this recipe the other day and was impressed how easy (it has a few steps, but it is still easy) to make this is. I just threw this all together with what I had at home, but it turned out SO GOOD!! I like that it is high protein and hopefully healthier than takeout!

Shrimp Fried Quinoa

1/4 small onion
2 cloves of garlic
1/3 cup Carrots (cut in cubes)
1/3 cup Peas
1/3 cup Broccoli Florets
1 TBSP soy sauce
2 tsp toasted sesame oil
1/2 lb frozen cooked* shrimp clean and deveined (mine had the tails on, but next time it will be tails off!)
2 eggs lightly beaten
2 cups of cooked quinoa**
Chili paste to taste (I like mine spicy!)
Salt and pepper to taste (soy sauce already has a bunch of sodium, so be careful)
Olive oil (to sauté)
Water (if you need a measurement, I would guess 2 TBSP… I just add a bit in the pan to let veggies cook!)

How to make it:
Sauté onions in a bit of olive oil until starting to get transparent. Add garlic, cook for another 1-2 mins. Add carrots and broccoli (save peas for later so they don’t overcook), and a little bit of water and cook covered for another 3-4 minutes just so veggies start softening up a bit. When it starts drying out again, add sesame oil, shrimp and soy sauce. Cook for 3-4 mins until shrimp is no longer frozen*. Set aside. In the same pan (if you need a bit more oil you can add a bit more) fry 2 beaten eggs to soft consistency (don’t overcook). Add the quinoa, veggie and shrimp mix and peas to the pan. Fry until heated thru. Add chili paste and salt and pepper to taste.

* I used frozen cooked shrimp. If you prefer raw shrimp, cook lightly with veggies until pink before you set it aside.

** 1 cup uncooked quinoa makes 2 cups cooked. I cook my quinoa like I cook rice.

Let me know how it turns out for you!

Thursday, November 9, 2017

Cauliflower Couscous With Black Lentils Salad

Using a food processor to grind cauliflower into tiny “grains” makes a couscous alternative that’s perfect for gluten- or grain-free diets. Use French lentils or canned chickpeas instead of black lentils, if you prefer.
⅔ C black lentils
1 large or 2 small heads of cauliflower
2 T olive oil
1 small onion, finely diced (1 C) 
3 cloves garlic, minced (1 T)
3 carrots, finely diced (1 C)
1 medium golden beet, peeled and shredded (1 C)
2 C chopped arugula or kale
¼ C shredded fresh basil

¼ C feta cheese, optional
Bring 3 cups water to a boil in medium saucepan. Add lentils, reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer, partially covered, 20–25 minutes, or until tender. Meanwhile, pulse cauliflower in food processor in batches until florets are chopped into small, couscous-like pieces. Heat oil in large skillet over medium heat. Add onion, and sauté 3–5 minutes, or until softened. Add garlic, and cook 30 seconds. Add cauliflower, carrots and beet, and cook 6–8 minutes, or until cauliflower is tender. Stir in greens. Drain lentils, rinse, and drain again. Stir into cauliflower mixture. Fold in basil and feta, if using. Season with salt and pepper, if desired. Serves 6. 
Nutrition per each ¾ C serving: 184 calories; 10 g protein; 5 g total fat; <1 g saturated fat; 28 g carbohydrates; 79 mg sodium; 9 g fiber; 7 g sugar.
Key: C = Cup; T = tablespoon; g = gram; mg = milligram

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Want It Wednesday - Back To School

I am always looking for new workout clothes. I always want one thing or another.  So here I share with you what I've been browsing these days in case you want some inspiration.  It is back to school, and when I was looking for my son's backpack I might have gone a little bit off course and saw this Sweaty Betty one.  Isn't it so adorable! I need that! 

1. Ivy Park Bodysuit - For some reason I love this piece.  I saw it the other day at Nordstrom and I showed it to my friend.  I don't know how to wear it (I sure would not wear it like they style on the website) but the idea of this bodysuit makes me happy! // 2. Alo Moto High Waist Leggings - These will be perfect for when the weather starts to cool down.  Lots of details and you can certainly go from the gym to errands and still look interesting. And the high waist means it covers the belly well. // 3. Sweaty Betty Backpack - LOVE this one! Don't need to say anything else! // 4. Ivy Park Mesh Racer Back - Another piece by Beyonce's new athletic line.  She has very interesting pieces, and they are not so outrageously expensive. // 5. Mira Water Bottle - I don't like plastic bottles for many reasons.  I also cannot think about spending twice as much on a designer water bottle.  I was so surprised when I found this one.  They have many colors and no plastic! // 6. Sweaty Betty Weight Lifting Gloves - because mine have seen better days...