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Milkshake for Breakfast??

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Breakfast tasted like dessert this morning.

I woke up, not really craving anything in particular.  I headed over to the fridge and just started pulling things out that looked good, and I ended up making this DELICIOUS treat! Seriously, it tastes like a milk shake!

Almond Cacao Milkshake Smoothie

  • 2/3 frozen banana
  • 1 Tbsp almond butter
  • 1 tsp raw organic cacao
  • 1 cup unsweetened vanilla Almond Breeze
  • 1/4 cup nonfat plain Greek Yogurt
  • 1 packet stevia
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • ice cubes to thicken things up

Combine all things in the blender and enjoy!  Seriously… 😉

 

 

 

 

The Bachelorette…Party

Today, I am headed to the lake and then out on the town for the night celebrating my friend Erin’s bachelorette party!

Last summer at Erin’s white coat ceremony

Because I love to pitch in when it comes to making food, I made a little Greek yogurt and spinach dip.  Again seriously addicting and delicious, I hope you enjoy!

Greek Yogurt Feta Spinach Dip

Ingredients

  • 2 tsp olive oil
  • 1/4 cup red onion
  • 1 tsp minced garlic
  • 4 green onions
  • 10 oz spinach
  • dash of salt
  • 2 Tablespoons of lemon juice
  • 1 cup of nonfat plain Greek yogurt
  • 1/4 cup of reduced fat feta
  • 1 tsp of dried dill
  • black pepper to taste

 

Directions

In a large skillet, heat the olive oil over medium heat.  Cook the onion, and garlic for about 2 minutes until soft.  Then, add in the spinach.  Continue to gently stir until the spinach is completely wilted down.

When the spinach is wilted, scoop it with a slotted spoon into a food processor.  Pulse about 5 times.  Next, add in the rest of the ingredients except the black pepper. Pulse until desired consistency.

Stir in the black pepper to taste.  This dip can be served cool, or warm!  Enjoy!

Nutrition per 2 Tablespoon Serving:

Calories:  32.9  Fat: 1.5g  Carbs:  2g  Protein:  3.4g

No Show

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This morning, I was scheduled to sub teach a spinning class, but no one showed up!  With the beautiful weather outside and the Indy 500 occurring this weekend, I can’t say that I blame people for not wanting to be indoors.  Since I was already at the gym and everyone in my class was a no show, I decided to make the best use of my time and did a strength training workout focusing on chest, back, abs, and I finished off with a good and much needed session of foam rolling.

I then headed home, made myself a smoothie, put on my bathing suit, and headed out to the pool to soak up some more rays.

Today’s smoothie included a bit of frozen peaches and bananas, Greek yogurt, protein powder, water and ice, spinach, and a touch of peanut butter.

Cold and refreshing!

Some friends showed up at the pool a couple of hours later.  Matt, one of our good friends getting married this summer, was heading out on a run, but didn’t have anyone to go with. So, I quickly threw on a running outfit, laced up my shoes and headed out for a quick 2 mile run with him.

It was very hot, and we chatted the whole time.  So, even though it was only two miles, it still felt like a good workout!  We ended up completing the run with a pace of 7:55…not too shabby!

After that, it was back to the pool and time to hydrate.

Yesterday, I bought myself a little coconut water treat.  This was my first experience with Vita Coco and it was very tasty!  Instead of just trying the regular flavored coconut water, I decided to try Tropical Fruit.  While I did enjoy the flavor of the Tropical Fruit Vita Coco, I think I would like the regular better.  I really enjoy the taste of coconut water on it’s own, so I think for future reference I will either choose plain or chocolate 😉

We then laid in the sun, read magazines, and just relaxed for the rest of the day.  Eventually, I was in need of some cooler air, ice water, and dinner.

I made a delicious batch of Spinach Salmon White Wine Pasta, not only as a tasty dinner but for part of a fun project that I am working on.  More details to come later…

I hope you all enjoy your Memorial Day tomorrow!

Women Can’t Bulk Up

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Seriously, the weather here is completely confusing me.  The first official day of spring is not until tomorrow, so it is technically still winter and here in Indiana we have been having near 80 degree weather for the past week.  Now, I am not complaining by any means, I am just shocked that it is so nice out!

I took a little break from the to-do list at lunch time to go for a quick 3.8 mile run in this beautiful weather, which then made me crave none other than a smoothie for lunch.

Choco-Raz Protein Smoothie

It was completely delicious and cooled me down after my run while filling my belly 🙂
Women and Strength Training

I learned many things while I was traveling and working on board the cruise line as the fitness director.  I learned about different cultures, about what is personally important to me, and more about the body than I ever thought possible in such a short amount of time.

Strength training has always been something that I just sort of “did” because I knew I had to incorporate it into my routine, but there was never a rhyme or a reason as to what I was doing.  I would simply throw it in at the end of an intense cardio workout because, like most women, I was/am a cardio addict.

I must say that part of the reason why I didn’t focus more on strength training in the past was for the fear of “bulking up.”  We see men pumping iron in the gym, going to the designated “boy area” toning specific muscle groups, and we automatically think that if we do the same thing that we are going to look the same.

Nice to look at...but I don't want to look LIKE that

Well guess what ladies, that is not true!  Women physically cannot bulk up the way men do.  

While working on the cruise ship, the other fitness director was a male who was very muscular and had a history of competing in Strong Man competitions.  Was I intimidated?  No, but did I think that the same workout that worked for him would be effective for me?  Of course not.

Eventually, we began training together.  I completed the exact same workouts as him.  We would single out a different muscle group (chest, arms, back, legs, shoulders) and work each group a different day of the week.  We would switch up the way we were lifting and the various exercises every four weeks so that our muscles did not adapt, and I was so happy with the results!

Not only has my strength increased and I am beginning to have different muscle tone than I had ever had before, but it has also helped with my cardiovascular endurance.  The strength in my body allows me to propel through a cardiovascular workout with ease, which gives me motivation to complete another half marathon.

Simple things like push-ups are now easy and something that I enjoy doing.  When before I would always opt for the “female” version.  And did I bulk up?  Absolutely not.

No bulk here!

My biggest worry is that now that I no longer have a gym membership and I cannot complete strength training workouts as regularly, I will lose my muscle strength and tone.  So, now I have the dilemma of getting creative with my strength training routines.

Benefits of Strength Training for Women

Burning More Calories

The more muscle you have in your body, the more calories it takes to feed them.  Your BMR (basal metabolic rate) is the number of calories your muscles require to survive in a comatose state (when  you are doing absolutely nothing!).  When you have more muscles, your body requires more fuel, meaning you are burning more calories without necessarily doing more activity.

When we complete a cardio only workout regiment, often times we are using our muscles for energy rather than our stored fat.  When we use our muscles for energy our body stores more fat.  So the numbers on the scale may go down, but we still have a “soft” appearance in those problem areas that we all want to get rid of.

Increase Bone Density

By putting a slight amount of stress on our bones, it causes our bone density to increase which helps to prevent osteoporosis.  It is never too late and it is never too early to start resistance training.

Decreased Risk of Injury

When you strength train you are also strengthening your connective tissue and stabilizing your joints.  It is important to have strong thigh and leg muscles to prevent knee injuries, and it is important to regularly stretch and strengthen your back in order to prevent lower back injuries and pain.

How to Incorporate Strength Training into your Routine

There are so many ways to incorporate strength training into your regular routine:

  • Attend group fitness classes that focus on teaching participants how to use weights:  Body Pump
  • Incorporate pilates and yoga 2-3 times a week into your regular routine
  • Use free weights
  • Use selectorize machines (the weight machines that focus on specific muscle groups)
  • Body weight exercises
  • See a personal trainer

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Florida Weather in Indy

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I am loving the constant sunshine, it completely lifts my mood 🙂  The weather is unseasonably warm here in Indianapolis, and it seriously feels like Florida!

 

Here is a recap of how Brian and I spent the day yesterday.

Because the weather was sooo beautiful, I was able to convince Brian to go for a run with me.  Typically, Brian doesn’t enjoy running because he gets a little bit bored, and he doesn’t really enjoy  trying to hold a conversation with me while running.  So, this time he thought that he would try running with music!

 

We have our head phones in for some music inspiration!

As we were running, I had us do a couple of put stops to incorporate some strength training into our jog.

Stop 1:  Step Push-ups

Place hands on a high step, with the body in a straight line (no booties in the air!).  

Lower the body down toward the step while keeping the body in a straight line.  Complete 15 repetitions.  (We did this two different times).

Stop 2:  Stair Run

Run up and down a steep flight of stairs a couple of times to switch the dynamic of simply running on the flat ground.  

The workout was fun to do together! (at least for me) and a great way to take advantage of the wonderful weather.

 

Lunch

We then came back, showered up, and had some lunch.  On the menu were salads full of:

  • Spinach
  • Romaine
  • Broccoli
  • Cauliflower
  • Guacamole
  • Onion
  • Salmon
  • Salsa

Delicious!

 

Afternoon

We then headed to Brian’s parents house to drop off some storage containers and things that we don’t currently need at the apartment.  When we walked in the door, we were greeted by this beautiful flower arrangement!

Brian’s mom has been taking a flower arranging class, and made this arrangement!  Isn’t it pretty?!  I was very impressed 🙂

Brian’s parents also found us a bird cage to use at the wedding for our guests to put cards in.  I think that this bird cage is the perfect look, it is exactly what I had envisioned when I pictured having a bird cage at the wedding.

 

We then headed to the store to pick up some home gym equipment.  5 lb dumbbells and a foam roller.  Before working on the cruise, I had never used a foam roller and  did not fully understand the importance of it, but after having a therapeutic massage for my super tight muscles (despite stretching and yoga classes daily), I realized the importance of releasing the fascia beneath the skin.

Evening

Brian and I then headed to our friend’s house for another little cookout, but I didn’t take any pictures 😦  I was, however, able to see many of my friends that I hadn’t had a chance to see since my return home.  It was a chill and fun evening, and it was so good to see all of my friends!

 

Today

This morning, I started my day with a boot camp workout. On the cruise, one of the specialty classes that we would teach was Body Sculpt Boot Camp.  The class was a four day workout program.   In each day four different exercises are completed by simply using your body and one dumbbell.  This workout is great because it can be done virtually everywhere!

After the boot camp workout, I did my foam rolling with my new roller.  Since I have been running more lately, I can already feel the tightness creeping up in my IT band and my hamstrings, so although it hurt…this morning it felt “good” to roll out the pain.

 

I then had a delicious smoothie for breakfast to fuel me for the day.  Today’s mix included:

  • 1 cup frozen blackberries
  • 1/3 frozen banana
  • 1 handful spinach
  • 1/2 cup Almond Breeze
  • 1 scoop Sunwarrior protein powder
  • splash of water
  • 3 ice cubes
  • 1 1/2 tsp peanut butter to top it off

What a delicious and creamy way to start the day.

It is almost the weekend…what do you have planned?

Of Possible Interest:

Attitude

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Who thrives on a routine and a daily schedule?  I have always loved a daily routine and being able to plan for future events.  Being on the cruise ship was great for that aspect because every day was exactly the same.  If we were at sea the classes and seminars were always at the same time and if we were in port, then I either had the day off or taught a class in the morning or a class in the evening.  We received a schedule with several months of cruises on it, so we always knew which days we were at sea and when we were in port and we could count down the days until we went home.

Today marks one week exactly of me being home, and I went from an extremely structured and scheduled environment to an environment with absolutely no schedule whatsoever almost overnight.  In one sense, the freedom is nice, but on the other hand it is driving me nuts!

I just have to remember that the situation that I am currently in (jobless and schedule-less) is only temporary.  Starting today, I am going to create a schedule for me, as much as I can, and be on the job hunt constantly!  I can only change my attitude about the situation, and my attitude is going to be positive.

Yesterday Lunch

Moving on to what I did yesterday… (in case you haven’t noticed my posts have been pretty sporadic as well, but don’t worry, I will get everything in order soon!)

I made myself a delicious and refreshing salad of romaine lettuce, spinach, red pepper, tomato, a bit of guacamole for some healthy fat, chickpeas, tuna, and cottage cheese.  Brian and I ate lunch outside because the weather was so beautiful!

I then baked my first batch of cookies since I have been home!  Peanut butter to be exact.  This is my favorite recipe to use for peanut butter cookies because it is so simple and they turn out perfectly every time!  Usually they on’t spread out, which is why they are all so close together on the pan, but for some reason this time they spread a little bit in the oven so they all became siamese cookies…oops!  They still tasted good though 😉

Brian and I then wanted to take advantage of the beautiful weather and go for a bike ride, but literally 5 minutes into our ride his brother called to say he was on his way over…so we turned around and came back home and I went for a jog instead.

 

Yesterday Evening

We then met up with some friends to just hang out and have a little cookout!  The first one of the year…and the second time that Brian and I have used the grill that my mom gave us.

I prepared myself a little piece of tilapia by putting the filet in a piece of aluminum foil with salt, pepper, and 2 garlic cloves.

I then wrapped it up and simply placed it right on the grill with everyone’s burgers and brats.

Brian was trying to be the grill master.

But then Matt took over 🙂  My fish turned out perfectly and everyone raved about their burgers and brats.

Today

This morning, I “slept in” until 6am (my body is still out of wack…especially with such a random schedule).  Lately, I have been loving oatmeal for breakfast, but it was rather warm this morning and I was very thirsty when I woke up so I wanted something cool that could quench my thirst.  I made myself a smoothie to get the day started.

Strawberry Spinach Smoothie

  • 1 cup frozen strawberries
  • 1/3 frozen banana
  • 1/2 cup Almond Breeze
  • 1 scoop Sunwarrior protein powder
  • 2 handfuls of spinach
  • 3 ice cubes
  • a splash of water
  • 1 1/2 tsp peanut butter on top
Directions:
Combine all ingredients except for peanut butter in the blender, blend until smooth.  Pour into a bowl (if desired) and top with peanut butter.  Enjoy!

 

The smoothie was delicious and satisfying and great way to start the day.

I haven’t done my daily workout yet because I decided to get some work done early in the day then “reward” myself with a workout.

Have a great day!!

 

Have you had to change your attitude lately in order to deal with a particular situation?

 

What is your favorite thing for breakfast?

Fit Vs. Athletic

A friend of Brian and I came into town today for the weekend to be home for his fall break.

 

Because it is getting close to crunch time, I am really trying to see everyone that I can at least one more time before I head out next Saturday.

 

We met at a little restaurant called Noodles.  Brian and I actually had our first date there!  It is a very casual restaurant that has pasta dishes in the categories of Mediterranean, American, and Asian.  There are also salad, sandwich, and soup options.  I opted for a small Very Berry Salad and a cup of Thai Curry Soup.  I absolutely love curry at all times, but on a cold rainy day like today it was perfect!

The salad had croutons, strawberries, pecans, red onion, and blue cheese all on top of a giant bed of spinach.  Delish!

 

Fit vs. Athletic

Yesterday, I went to a couple of doctors just to make sure that everything with my knee was ok.  My knee is fine, I just need to rest it a little.  I explained my current job situation and that I am going to be leaving next Saturday for just under a year to be a fitness director on a cruise line. While I was at the second doctor he said something when I explained the situation that really stuck with me that I had never even considered before. He said “You essentially are a professional athlete.”

 

Athlete?!?!  Now, I have always loved being active and in high school I was very busy with show choir and cheerleading, I would run occasionally in the summers and do workout videos.  When I started college, I immediately fit the gym into my daily schedule and became addicted to the group fitness, exercise machines, and weights that were offered.  Staying active is just something I do, and it is part of my lifestyle.  Yes, I am very fit and I ran a half marathon this summer….but athletic?

 

Never in a million years would I ever consider myself athletic or an athlete.  I played soccer and basketball in elementary school, and really only enjoyed it when I was winning due to my competitive nature.  That same competitive nature kicked in when I joined the swim and dive team in middle school and it gave me so much anxiety because I wasn’t the best that I quit (and I’m not much of a quitter!).

 

This question leaves me baffled.  Is there a difference between fit and athletic?  I know that my job will be working out, teaching others about fitness and nutrition, and leading group exercise, but does that make me a “professional athlete?”

 

What do YOU think?   Is there a difference between being fit and athletic?  I want to hear some feedback 🙂

  • To me, being athletic encompasses specific training, agility, and coordination.  I was totally flattered that this doctor thought of me in the “professional athlete” sense, but I just don’t think that is where I would categorize myself.

Craving Veggies

The sun was shining and I was totally craving a bowl full of veggies for lunch.  So that is exactly what I had!

 

I put together a bed of spinach and topped it with celery, cucumbers, carrots, yellow bell pepper, and red onion.  For dressing I mixed red wine vinegar, salt pepper, garlic salt, and dried basil.  Also, on the side I had some extra carrots and celery with the Otria Greek Yogurt Cucumber Dill Feta Veggie Dip.  I just can’t get enough of that stuff!

Totally hit the spot.

 

I am sad to leave Bella’s today, but I know she will carry on without me 😉

She has her green ball to keep her company!

 

Got called into work early again…gotta run!