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Tabata…Don’t Ya Want Ta?!

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Breakfast this morning came in the form of creamy, cold, deliciousness…



I had been craving something coffee/chocolate the past couple of days, and this satisfied that craving BIG time!

Mocha Overnight Oats

Makes one bowl of oats

  • 1/2 cup of oats
  • 3-4 oz. of Greek yogurt
  • 1/2 cup of water
  • 1/2 tsp raw cacao powder (can also use unsweetened cocoa)
  • 1 tsp instant coffe granules
  • 1-2 packets of stevia
  • sprinkle of cinnamon

Directions:

In a cereal bowl,  combine the oats, yogurt, water, cacao powder, coffee and stevia.  Stir until combined.  Sprinkle the top with cinnamon, and place in the refrigerator overnight or for 30 minutes if you want to eat the oats soon!  Remove from the fridge when ready to eat and enjoy!

Workout

After having such a satisfying first meal of the day, I was more than ready to tackle a new Boot Camp class that I began teaching this morning.

In this morning’s class, I made sure to include circuit training along with a high intensity interval training technique called Tabata.

What is Tabata?

Tabata is a form of high intensity interval training that comes in short bursts.  One Tabata lasts only 4 minutes!  It is a series of 8 intervals that are only 20 seconds of work at your absolute maximum effort level followed by 10 seconds of rest.  These short bursts of activity work the aerobic and anaerobic systems allowing the body to see gains in strength and speed.

Here is a look at the sweaty workout that we completed this morning:

It was a good workout, got the heart rate going, and the muscles working…all things that I look for when I complete my exercise for the day!

Have You Ever Tried a Tabata Workout?

    • This was my first attempt at Tabata…and I think I like it!
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Refrigerator Iced Coffee

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**Head on over to Fit for my Fork to check out my guest post in the Fit Body Fit Mind series on my favorite book on healthy living!**

Good morning!

I really enjoyed my overnight oats in a jar yesterday, so much that I craved it again this morning…luckily I had another jar of peanut butter with only the last little bits left on the bottom.  I topped the overnight oats with some delicious fresh strawberries.  Perfect fuel for my 6am spin class!

Last Night

Last night, I actually got done practicing Body Pump, packing my meals, and getting ready for today earlier than expected so I had some time to work on Brian and I’s budget.  We have been trying a new-to-us system…the envelope method, and last night I finally got around to making the envelopes.

These envelopes will be filled with an alotted amount of cash for the month for us to spend on various areas of our life (grocery, car, fitness, fun, wedding, etc) and when then cash is gone…it’s GONE!  I am excited to see how it will work for Brian and me.

Iced Coffee

With the hot hot weather here in Indiana, I have been LOVING the little treat of iced coffee.  It can get kind of pricey to always head out to a coffee shop when the craving strikes, so I figured out a way to make it at home.  Seriously, I think it tastes better than the coffee shop!


The Iced Coffee Method:

When you brew a pot of coffee, put the extra (or the whole pot) in a large glass or jar in the fridge at least for a couple of hours if not overnight.

When you are ready to make the coffee, fill up a large glass with ice to the brim and pour the cold coffee over the top.

I like to use almond milk, my mom likes to use coffee creamer…either works and tastes delicious!  I mix 1/4 cup almond milk with 1 packet of stevia and a little vanilla extract.  I then pour that into the iced coffee.

Stir to combine, and ENJOY!!

I hope you enjoy your tasty iced coffee and have a great 4th of July Eve!!

Group Fitness and It Tastes Like a Frappe!!

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I started out this morning teaching a Cardio Intervals group fitness class.

When it comes to creating a group fitness routine, at first, it can seem a bit overwhelming because there are literally endless possibilities of what the class can do.  I find that things work best when I keep the routine simple but effective and think about what I like to achieve while I am in a group fitness class.

What I look for in a group fitness class:

  • An all-inclusive workout, I don’t want to feel that I barely broke a sweat and I need to hop on the elliptical or lift weights after the class…Believe me, I have been there.
  • Fun and motivating atmosphere.  I like to truly feel like a team when I am in a group fitness class, and that we are all working together to complete the same challenge.
  • Guidance, if I am not sure of a move, if I feel a different muscle working than the one that is described to me, or if I have a question I want to feel comfortable asking my instructor a question.

Today’s workout really challenged the participants.  They were sweating by the second round, but we were all able to power through and finish the workout together.  What a great way to start the morning 🙂

Breakfast

While driving home, I decided that I really wanted something cold and creamy…kind of like a frappuccino. But instead of pulling into the nearest coffee chop and paying a million dollars for it, I got creative in the kitchen and made a homemade healthier version.

A couple of years ago, Starbucks had a coconut mocha frappuccino.  I think it was probably my favorite, but of course it was a limited time only flavor…luckily I figured out how to make it myself!

Healthified Coconut Mocha “Frappe” Swap

Ingredients:

  • 1/4 cup cooled coffee
  • 1/4 unsweetened almond coconut Almond Breeze
  • 1 tsp raw cacao powder
  • 1/2 scoop vanilla protein powder
  • 1 packet of stevia
  • 1/3 frozen banana
  • 4 ice cubes
  • water until it is the desired consistency (you may not need to add any!)
  • 1 Tbsp unsweetened shredded coconut

Directions:

Combine all ingredients in the blender and blend away!  Enjoy  in a cup or a bowl 🙂

Nutrition:

Calories:  159.9  Fat:  5.9g  Carbs:  12.8g  Protein:  16.5g

I thought that it had the perfect amount of coconutty flavor, and the actual shredded pieces of coconut gave it a nice texture.  I will definitely be making this treat again.

I enjoyed my “frappe” along side some egg whites and salsa.

I hope you all have an amazing and productive Thursday!

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Kitchen Gadgets

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Good Monday morning!

This morning’s breakfast was inspired by what I ate while I was cruising around New Zealand, Australia, and Southeast Asia.  Many mornings I would have oats, much like I do now, but another breakfast staple for me was yogurt mixed with cottage cheese topped with fruit.

When eating flavored yogurt (even the light kind), it can sometimes contain a lot of sugar, and while it does contain some protein it could use a little boost in that department as well.  Mixing the yogurt with bit of cottage cheese (this morning I did 3/4 cup of yogurt with 1/2 cup of cottage cheese) gives you more volume without adding in the extra sugar and packs in about 11 grams of additional protein to give this morning meal some extra staying power.

I then topped my yogurt mixture with some chopped strawberries and chopped pair.  It tasted great on the cruise and it tasted great today!

Kitchen Gadgets

Doing all of this cooking at home has had me using my mom’s tools in the kitchen.  My grandma just so happens to be the queen of kitchen gadgets and is always introducing us to new things to use while cooking.

Some of the gadgets she has brought into our kitchen:

Silicone Vegetable Steamer

I used this trinket yesterday, and worked like a charm.  Simply place a small amount of water in the bottom of a pot.  Place your veggies, or whatever you would like to have steamed, into the basket and place the basket into the bottom of the pot.  Cover the entire pot with a lid and turn the burner on to medium high heat.  Allow to steam for about 5-7 minutes or until things are of the desired consistency.

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Krupps Egg Cooker

We have had this egg cooker for a while.  It is great for hard boiling eggs because it simply takes out all of the guess work.  All that you have to do is measure out the correct amount of water for the number of eggs you are cooking and turn on the machine.  A buzzer will sound when your eggs are ready.

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Garlic Roller Peeler

This little tool is pretty  amazing.  Simply place the clove of garlic with the peel on in the little cylinder.  Press on the cylinder and roll it back and forth applying pressure on the garlic.  After a few rolls, remove the garlic from the cylinder and the peel will be removed without leaving any garlic aroma on your fingers or counter 🙂

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Mellita Coffee Maker

Before the single-serve coffee makers came into the scene, my grandparents introduced my family to this little coffee maker.  All that you do is place this little contraption on top of your favorite coffee cup, place a filter inside with a scoop of coffee grounds.  Pour hot water over the grounds, and you instantly have a single cup of coffee.

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Tall Skinny Glasses

My grandpa has a pretty tasty recipe for a bloody mary, and one important ingredient is the tall skinny glass.  Of course, my grandparents supplied my mom with the perfect cups for this tasty drink….virgin or alcoholic 😉

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Wooden Salad Bowl

In my family, we love having a giant salad with dinner, and much like the bloody marys aren’t the same without the special glasses, the salad just isn’t the same without the giant wooden salad bowl.  It is great for mixing all of the ingredients together because of the large size, but it also looks great when putting it on the table to serve.

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Many times, I feel like I see things that look cool but I wouldn’t actually use the item.  I can honestly say that we use all of the gadgets my grandma finds because they are easy to use and extremely practical.  I love seeing the latest gadget my grandma discovers, and I can’t wait to see what she finds next!

 

Question of the Morning:

  • What are some of the kitchen gadgets you have in your kitchen?

 

A Little Surprise!

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Good morning!

 

This morning was one of those mornings where I woke up an hour before my alarm and was completely ready for the day.  I love when that happens!

I headed out of the door at 5:40am (I know I’m crazy) to another BodyPump class.  I do have plans to attend a BodyCombat class with my mom later this evening, but I have a meeting beforehand that might make me unable to attend the class so I wanted to make sure to squeeze my workout in while I could.  If I get to to BodyCombat too, then it’s bonus!!  I know that BodyCombat is another Les Mills group fitness class, but other than that I have no idea as to what the routine is.  It should be fun though!

 

I then came back to the apartment to get some food into my body.  As I walked in the door, Brian was making himself a cup of coffee with our Keurig that we got for Christmas (thanks Mom!…I mean Santa!) so I asked him if he could push the button and make a cup for me.  Well, he hit the wrong button.  There is a button for a big cup and there is a button for a little cup, he hit the one for the big cup and if one more drop of coffee would have dropped into that cup it would have overflowed…so I guess he gave me the exact amount my cup needed 😉

Full to the brim!

He then told me that he had a surprise…

He found one of the missing Easter eggs!  It was on top of the fridge in a clear glass vase…the thing is I don’t remember hiding it there, and neither does he…maybe it was the Easter bunny??  There is still one more egg out there, hopefully we find it soon!

 

I then whipped up myself a raspberry smoothie bowl:

  • 1 cup frozen raspberries
  • 1 handful spinach
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened original almond milk
  • 1 scoop pea protein powder
  • a splash of water
  • 3 ice cubes
  • Topped with: 2 tsp almond butter

Creamy and deeelish!

Now, I am off to shower and pack.  I have a doctor’s appointment in Fort Wayne, so I am headed up North for a couple of days.  I probably should get a doctor down here in Indianapolis, but I have been going to this doctor literally for as long as I can remember.  The atmosphere is familiar, the staff knows me (or at least acts like it)…and I don’t mind having an excuse to go home every once in a while 😉

 

Things to Check Out:

 

 

Running Around Town

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Hello!

Today was an amazing and slightly busy day full of driving from one puppy house to the next, meeting with the Registered Dietician, making dinner for Brian, and heading to a workout class.

When I got to the second puppies house that I am dog-sitting at I made myself a quick little lunch of fresh green beans, tomato, cucumbers, celery, hummus, and cheese.

I then met with a Registered Dietician at Hubbard and Cravens.  I didn’t even know that we had one in town, and for some reason I thought that it was a Canadian thing.  The atmosphere was relaxed, cool, and the coffee was tasty 🙂

The meeting was really great and lasted about 2 hours!  I had lots of questions and she had lots of answers.  It is always great to talk with someone who “gets” nutrition and exercise.  While my family and Brian are a great support system, sometimes I just need to talk with someone who is as passionate about health and nutrition as I am.

I then rushed to the apartment to make dinner for Brian before he headed out for a meeting.  I literally whipped this together in probably 15 minutes, so I don’t really have a recipe!

Dinner was:

  • Baked cod
  • Water sauteed spinach, white beans, and tomato
  • Sriracha (for some spice!)

The meal was simple, quick, nutritious, and delicious…all great things in my book!

I then checked the mail on the way out of the apartment and Brian and I received a wedding invitation!  First of the season I might add.  Several of our friends are getting married this summer, and I can’t wait for the fun to begin, then next summer it is Brian and my turn!

 

Now, I am looking after the pups, creating a workout for tomorrow, and listening to the Wicked station on pandora.

Have a great evening!

Great Family Sunday, But Time To Clean

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Good Monday morning!

First, I will recap my Sunday.  Yesterday, I woke up bright and early and started my day with a delicious strawberry banana smoothie.

Strawberry Banana Smoothie

  • 1 scoop Sunwarrior vanilla protein powder
  • 1/4 Fage Greek Yogurt
  • 1/2 cup Almond Breeze
  • 1 cup chopped strawberries
  • 1/3 medium to large frozen banana
  • 1/4 cup to 1/2 cup water
  • 1/2 cup ice cubes
Directions
Place all ingredients in the blender and blend until smooth.  Drink up!
Nutritional Information
Calories: 228.9g  Fat:  3.1g  Carbohydrates:  34.1g  Protein:  23.5g
It was a delicious way to start the day…boy did I miss smoothies while I was on board the ship!
Sunday Day
After my delicious smoothie, my mom, Brian and I got a dressed and ready head to church.  After a refreshing church service, it was time to load up the car to head back to Indianapolis.  Loading up the car was fine, but I will say that I was a tad bit hesitant to drive since I have barely even ridden in a car let alone have I driven in the past 5 months.  Once I got behind the wheel it did feel a little bit strange, but for the most part, it was just like riding a bike!  I got back to Indianapolis safe and in one piece!  Brian and I had to drive separately since we drove up to Fort Wayne in his car and were taking both of our cars back, so before we headed out I made us a brand new CD of some songs that we are both in love with currently.  This mix of music is high energy and fun, perfect for wasting time on a car ride, singing along with, and working out.
Brian and Tara’s Driving Home, Singing Along, and Working Out Playlist
  1. Countdown–Beyonce
  2. Earthquake–Labrinth ft. Tinie Tempah
  3. Glad You Came–The Wanted
  4. Love on Top–Beyonce
  5. Part of Me–Katy Perry
  6. Princess of China–Coldplay ft. Rihanna
  7. Stronger (What Doesn’t Kill You)–Kelly Clarkson
  8. Take Care–Drake ft. Rihanna
  9. Turn Me On–David Guetta ft. Nicki Minaj
  10. Turn Up the Music–Chris Brown
  11. Wild Ones–Flo Rida ft. Sia
  12. Without You–David Guetta ft. Usher
  13. You da One–Rihanna ft. Beyonce
Sunday Evening
After arriving home and unloading all of my things from both my car and Brian’s car, we then headed to Brian’s for a family dinner and little welcome home celebration.  It was great to see Brian’s family!  His dad loves experimenting in the kitchen and has most recently been experimenting with macaroons.  Not only are they pretty, but they are delicious too!

Brian’s family had been working on a little surprise for me.  While I was gone his mom had found a ton of clothing items at consignment shops that were great quality and barely ever worn!  So, I spent the evening trying on all of the clothing items and giving everyone a little fashion show 🙂  I must say, I left with a dramatically improved wardrobe!!!

This Morning

This morning, I slept in for the most part and started my day with some oats and coffee.

For Christmas, my mom made Brian a homemade Chai tea mix and she got us a Keurig, so I mixed a little bit of that mix in my coffee for a Chai Latte effect and it was delicious!!  Thanks, Mom 😉

With my oatmeal I mixed in some pea protein for added protein and about 2 tsp of peanut butter for some healthy fat.  Lately, I have been using pea protein as my main protein supplement because it is a plant based protein that my body digests well, it is not a genetically modified crop, and pea protein has virtually 0 carbohydrates and 0 fat, which means that I am literally only getting protein form the powder and I can get carbs from fruits and veggies and fat from healthy sources like nuts, seeds, avocado, and fish.

Using the powder in my oatmeal makes is thick, creamy and delicious!

When it comes to purchasing health foods such as protein powders, natural cacoa, fish oil, chia seeds, flax seeds, buckwheat, and virtually any natural beauty product that you can think of I ALWAYS use iherb.com.  This site is amazing because of the quality of their ingredients, the speediness of delivery, and the low cost and constant discounts that they are offering.

Right now, they are offering a special deal for March.  If you visit the iherb.com between now and Tuesday, March 12 at midnight and enter in the code OGA946 then you will receive $8 off of your first order.  Not a bad deal if you ask me!

Cleaning Day

Now, that I am fueled with a good breakfast and coffee it is time to get to work and unpack everything from my 5 months abroad and reorganize the apartment…wish me luck!!

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