Thursday, June 30, 2011

Cajun Jambalaya

Oh my Gosh! This was good!!! Cajun Jambalaya!!

I, of course, changed the recipe a bit.

1/2 Raw Shrimp 26/30 size (I used about a pound)
4 oz boneless, skinless chicken breasts (3-4oz breasts)
4 chicken sausages (I used Andouille Chicken Sausage by Amylu)
one medium onion, diced
1 red bell pepper, diced
3 celery stalks, diced
1 summer squash, diced (because my garden is over flowing with them!)
2 tomatoes,diced
2 cloves garlic minced
1 1/2 Tbsp salt free Cajun seasoning
1 tsp cayenne red pepper
1/2 cup brown rice
1 cup low sodium chicken broth
Misto spray

Misto your large saute pan. Saute` the onion, pepper, garlic and celery, until almost opaque. Remove from pan and set aside. Add in some chicken broth and brown your chicken breasts. (season them a bit with the Cajun and cayenne pepper seasonings) I cooked mine completely. Remove and dice into small pieces.

Cook your rice according to the package. I did mine in the microwave. It was a bit al`dente when finished, which is fine because it cooks more when you add into the pan.

Add the rest of your chicken broth  to the pan and add onion, pepper, garlic, and celery. Add your diced summer squash, and diced tomatoes with your shrimp. Cook until shrimp are done. Add cooked chicken, diced chicken sausage and cooked brown rice. simmer for about 5 minutes. Turn off the flame and let sit and meld the flavors for about 10-15 minutes. Enjoy!! I added more Cayenne spice...Ooohhh it was a bit spicy!

Nutrients per 1 1/2 cup serving: Calories 339, Fat 5g, Carbs 24g, Fiber 3g, Sugars 3g, Protein 46g, Sodium 345g

"Only those who risk going too far can possibly find out how far one can go..."
-T.S. Eliot

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Do You Count your Calories?

Calories, our body's fuel source. If you consume way more calories than your body can burn you are going to gain weight and keep gaining.

I came across a blog that was stating that as long as you ate "clean", counting calories doesn't matter. Really? Because I could make my Bison burger sliders with whole wheat buns and my black bean broccoli slaw and eat 4 sliders and the entire bowl of broccoli slaw and gain weight! (Along with my other food for the day!) Couldn't you?!

So I was about ready to leave a comment when I saw that the blogger left a p.s. comment. "Don't forget you have the proper serving sizes on your hands...Your palm is your protein, 2 hands together is your green Veggies, one cupped hand for fruit/nuts, and thumb for fat. 5-6 meals a day making sure you keep to your serving sizes!" Whew! I feel better now! So basically if you don't want to "count" calories you still have to "measure" your food one way or another! I'll use my food scale and count, thank you. What works for you?

It's not about how good you are, but how bad you want it!

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Stability Ball and your Hamstrings!

OK ready...Get your Stability Ball and do this! Really?! We may need to practice a bit on this particular movement. But I've got one for you that you CAN do and it will make a difference with your hamstrings!

Lie flat on your back on the floor. Place your heels on top of a stability ball. Rest your arms by your sides. Tighten your abs, dig your heels into the ball, bend at the knees and roll the ball towards your glutes. Straighten your legs to roll the ball back to start position. If this is not challenging, try to lift your body off the floor as high as possible so that only your shoulders are making contact. If this is still too easy after doing 12 reps with only 45-60 seconds of rest in between, then try one leg at a time.

This exercise strengthens the hamstrings, glutes and entire core. Add this to your leg workout or add it into your total body work out every other day! I be see you with a tighter back side in no time ;)

Success is not a race, be patient.
Success leads to success.
Success is always a work in progress.
Success doesn't come to you--you go to it.
Success is a journey, not a destination. Focus on the process.
Some people dream about success... while others wake up and work hard at it.
Success is achieved and maintained by those who try-and keep trying.
Everyday is a good day to SUCCEED!
If at first you don't succeed-try, try again

Monday, June 27, 2011

Motivation Monday

For all who know me, you know that I am a Gemini  true to the core! I thought this picture was perfect for my post today! Don't we ALL have a "good" and "evil" side?!

I reserve Sundays exercising solely for me, running...! I usually run around 8-10 miles. Not fast, not slow, just my speed...whatever it happens to be that given day. Well, yesterday I just didn't want to go...we got back from church and I changed into my running stuff, did the dishes...let the dogs out...picked some weeds...thought about what I was going to cook for dinner...strapped my ipod on my arm, kissed the boys and left! Jeez! Just go already!  The whole way out to the end of my lane I kept telling myself  "It'll be a quick one!" Picked my music and off I went.

2 and a half miles into my run I have a mile or so long hill that really gets me going one way or another! I trudged up and up the hill! At the top is a house with 3 dogs all the same colors but not the same breed, I find it funny they match! They hate me! They bark like crazy at me! Thank goodness for an electric fence! I get to the top of the hill...what way do I go? Well, I think... the way with the least amount of road kill, and I go right.

I keep on thinking "OK, after this sign I'll turn around" I don't, I keep going... I think, now I'll turn and look behind me for traffic so I can cross the road for my trip back home...42 cars coming. Crap! Keep going! OK how about now...15 more, nope! Keep going. Got a few I know you?! No...Keep going! Almost get hit...teenager texting! Keep going! Here is my spot, mile number 4 turn and go back, all is clear...GO!

I finally get back safe and sound and tired and sweaty. Yes I did it! I feel so much better! I got to empty some of the clutter I keep in my head from the week prior. I am in a better frame of mind. I feel good sliding on my bathing suit and lounging by the pool all day. I moved my body, I did it for me, I did not listen to the bad lazy person in my head that said..."Nah...don't go running today, lay around. You have to teach class tomorrow anyway!" Sometimes you just have to tell that bad person to shut up and just Keep Going! I'm glad I did!

Food for Thought: The starting point of all achievement is desire. Keep this constantly in mind. Strengthen Your Desire! Weak desires bring weak results, just as a small amount of fire makes a small amount of heat.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Favorite Friday!

This is my place for my vitamins, supplements,and protein! The best prices and quickest shipping! My last order I placed on Tuesday at 2:30pm and received the order on Wednesday before Noon! I did not pay for a quick ship...regular rate! Super fantastic customer service, even when you are returning something! I called once to ask a question about something, and during the conversation the girl asked what my goal was, or something like that, I said that I was going to be competing in my first natural figure competition in November...bla bla bla something conversation finished. A week later I received a letter in the mail encouraging me and my journey to compete in my competition! Good luck! Julie wrote! Now, where do you get service like that?! Not in many places! Check them out!

"Failure is not fatal; failing to change will be."
~John Wooden

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Chocolate Mousse!

Chocolate Mousse?! Yep! And I ate the whole thing!

I take 1/2 cup 0% Greek Yogurt (Chobani) and a 1/2 scoop of chocolate protein (optimum whey isolate)
Mix it up with a whisk, and have it for my night time snack! Perfect!
135 Calories
.75g Fat
6.5g Carbs
23.5g Protein!
Sometimes I make it earlier in the day and freeze it for an ice cream snack with some fresh strawberries! Crazy good ;)

We can reverse years of damage to our bodies by deciding to raise our standards for ourselves, then living differently. Old wounds heal, injuries repair, and the whole system improves with just a few changes in what we put into our bodies and how we move them.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Superfoods For Women

Yes! Superfoods for you my friends!!

Flaxseeds are rich in ligans, which help protect against breast cancer and regulate menstruation. They're also full of omega-3 fatty acids and protein and fiber.

Blueberries are bursting with antioxidants.They are essential staple foods that promote brain function and focus. Polyphenols in blueberries help against Alzheimer's. The anti-inflammatory properties found in blueberries also guard against cancer and heart disease.

Leafy greens such as kale, chard and spinach are high in calcium which help prevent osteoporosis. Kale, mustard greens, collards, turnips and other curciferous vegetables contain a precursor to diindolylmethane, a compound that helps the body metabolize estrogen into a more usable form. This helps protect women from breast and hormone related cancers.

Green tea, which contains epigallocatechin gallate, appears to be especially effective in reducing breast cancer risk. ECGC may also fight skin cancer by reversing the effects of ultraviolet damage. It also aids in weight loss,  boosts metabolism, increases mental alertness and fights fatigue.

So here is what I'm thinking...Grab your blender, add ice, a tablespoon of ground flaxseed, 1/2 cup of blueberries, 1 cup fresh spinach, 1 cup green tea steeped and cooled, add all and blend. There you go Superwoman! Drink to you!

You won't fail if you're not perfect, you'll fail if you're not committed to improving yourself slightly each day.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Do you get sucked in to those informercials?

Honestly this is the dumbest thing I have ever seen as person in the exercise business! Really? Who buys this stuff?! 6 minutes a day?! Who believes that?!

Do I have to say beware of gadgets that work isolated body parts...namely abs, but claim to transform the entire body! That Ab Rocker isn't what morphs the whole body; it's the diet and full-body exercise plan that come with it. Please don't get sucked in watching late night infomercials and believe that you too will look like the fitness models that smile and crunch, roll or rock with just a gadget!

To insure good health: eat lightly, breathe deeply, live moderately, cultivate cheerfulness, and maintain an interest in life.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Motivation Monday

Positive affirmations! Do you say them? I live in a house full of men, 2 smaller than one. All male! Sometimes they forget that I'm a female and they treat me as the made, chief, car driver and entertainment organizer! Shocker?! Any way...I was reading the other day about saying positive affirmations to yourself every day. Don't wait to hear something positive, tell yourself something positive every morning. Like..."Yes I can eat clean, because I AM worth it"! Or "I am an awesome mom and I deserve an hour for myself to exercise"! Or...."even though I ate like crap yesterday, I will eat better today and write down everything I eat and drink"! Try it now...or tomorrow morning! If you cannot love yourself, who can? Make a list of positive adjectives that reflect your ideal lifestyle, such as,"fit", "energetic", "lean", and "strong". Keep the list on your refrigerator door!

Friday, June 17, 2011

Favorite Friday...Misto!

Ta-Da!!!! My Misto!  If you do not have one...go get one! Did you know that you cannot use an aerosol spray on your non-stick pans? AND your good stainless steel! (that you just got at the All Clad sale!) Plus you are getting real good olive oil of your choice. And no Soy Lecithin or Dimethyl Silicone?!~ Isn't that worth it? Yes it is!!

Success is not a race, be patient.
Success leads to success.
Success is always a work in progress.
Success doesn't come to you--you go to it.
Success is a journey, not a destination. Focus on the process.
Some people dream about success... while others wake up and work hard at it.
Success is achieved and maintained by those who try-and keep trying.
Everyday is a good day to SUCCEED!
If at first you don't succeed-try, try again

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Grilled Portobello Mushrooms

We love portobello mushrooms here! I kinda threw these together as a side dish real quick one night with the chicken I was grilling. They turned out fantastic!

4 large Portobello Mushrooms
1 or 2 tomatoes
1 clove garlic minced
3 oz Fat Free Feta
fresh basil (I used mine from my garden!) about 6-8 leaves, finely chopped
Misto spray (olive oil spray)

Prepare the grille, medium heat. Cut the stems of the Portobello and chop up. Chop up tomatoes, and add garlic, feta, and basil in a medium bowl. Let sit and marinate for a few minutes. Wash off mushrooms, pat dry. Spray both sides with your misto. Scoop tomato mixture evenly on mushrooms. Carefully set them on
the grille. I grilled mine for about 15 or 20 minutes...but every grill is different, so check often after 10-15 minutes. I do have to say they were awesome! I could have eaten all four!

Portobello Mushrooms are high in potassium 664.7mg to be exact for a 4 oz mushroom! Beats the heck out of a grilled banana ;)
90 Calories, 1.08g Fat, 9.70g Carbs, 12.95g Protein

Food for Thought: The starting point of all achievement is desire. Keep this constantly in mind. Strengthen Your Desire! Weak desires bring weak results, just as a small amount of fire makes a small amount of heat.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Do you eat Breakfast?

Breakfast is the most important meal of the day! Often it is my highest caloric meal. So many people skip breakfast to "save" on calories, or I hear,"When I eat breakfast I get  hungry before lunch!" Well, no kidding!? You should eat every 3 hours to keep your body fueled for daily activities! The National Weight Control Registry found that those who shed 30 pounds of weight or more did so with the help of eating breakfast.

You should eat within 2 hours of waking. By doing so, you kick your metabolism into making use of the energy it gets from food. Your brain function is also improved by this morning meal. According to the American Dietetic Association, "Eating breakfast encourages increased concentration and problem-solving skills through the day." Never let your kids leave for the day without something healthy for breakfast! Lead by something healthy too!

Should you eat breakfast if you exercise first thing in the morning? You bet you should!! During the night your blood sugar lowers and your glycogen stores deplete, which translates into a weaker workout. Who wants to waste  your time with a "weak workout"!

So, do yourself a favor and boil some eggs for the morning and have 4 egg whites on your way to the YMCA...Or go back a few posts and make yourself a Green Strawberry Goodness Smoothie, 1/2 before, and 1/2 after! Oatmeal is awesome option, top it with some fresh fruit. Or if you are a procrastinator...grab a banana on your way out the door! Eat! Fuel your body! Be mindful and smart for the day :)

If you are sick of starting over, you have to stop quitting!  (I love that quote!)

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Kettlebells...get the swing of it!

Kettlebells...Gotta try them!

Kettlebells—cannonball-like weights with thick handles—were the weapon of choice for Russian lifters more than a century ago. They're just now getting their due in America. The weights offer all the benefits of dumbbell training, plus a few more. The super-thick handles challenge your grip, and the position of the weight in relation to the handle works your core extra hard.
Best of all, kettlebells are versatile. They're ideal for explosive exercises that work major muscles, burn body fat, and build power, but they also add a new dimension to classic moves like chest presses and flys. And you don't need a wall-length rack of them to get a great workout.  Use them regularly and you'll see the body you've always wanted.

Why It Works

The weight of a kettlebell hangs a few inches below its handle, which makes it more difficult to control. Everything from your grip to your core has to work harder than if you were using a dumbbell, so you get more out of even standard dumbbell moves. This extra muscle activity means your body burns more calories. Couple that with exercises that target the whole body and you have a formula for significant fat loss.

Go pick some kettlebells up at your local sporting good store, and give them a good swing!

"Any experience can be transformed into something of value. Everything depends on the way you look at things. You cannot have the success without the failures

Monday, June 13, 2011

Motivation Monday

My birthday was Saturday...43! I have never felt so good in all my life! Really! I was a overweight teenager, shy with horrible skin and out of control hair! Oh the drama...glad that is over"!In my twenties I was a pack a day smoker, bartender, drinker and late night nosher, and still overweight! In my thirties I quit smoking and got pregnant with twins gained 70 pounds and gave birth to my boys 14 weeks early, their combined weight was 3 pounds! I was suffering from post pardum depression and inadequacy being a first time mom. We moved 300 miles away from anyone I knew where my husband worked 12 hour days. Diving deeper and deeper into my drepession I tried to "heal" myself by drinking, a.l.o.t! Easily hidden from my work aholic hubby. I had actually had started smoking again. Ready to take the bridge, I sought help (still overweight). I went on zoloft and talked to a therapist for a number of months. I started exercising on a regular basis, because the facility offered 2 hours free daycare! I became a regular group exercise participant! Quit smoking...again...Started to regain a handle on my weight but not grasping the whole nutrition part of it. We moved back to Pennsylvania and I started to word 3 days as a manicurist, stopped exercising and gained 20 pounds! I started crash diets for quick weight loss for vacations, class reunions, and such...then time disappeared and I was soon to turn forty! I really looked at my diet and found that it was horrible! I decided to make some serious changes in my nutrition, which eventually included alcohol, but not right away. Small changes lead to bigger changes that lead to even bigger changes! Right now I can physically do things that I never thought possible at any stage of my life. It feels great to be 43! It was all because I wanted to change. Whether you think you can or you think you can't, your probably right!

Friday, June 10, 2011

Favorite Friday...Inspirational quotes on T-Shirts

If you've seen me around the YMCA, you've probably have seen me in one of these T-shirts by NIKE. I love a good inspirational saying! I just acquired a few more...Not from Nike but from Chewylou...they are more Zen-like...Karma, Harmony, Balanced and Blessed. I hope when I wear these shirts they inspire people to think about themselves and apply it to their lives..."Make Yourself"...Hhhmmm, make yourself what? Eat clean, Move my body, Be nice to people? Do you believe in Karma? Oh boy, I do! You get what you put out! Am I talking about kindness, exercise or a smile? Think about it.... Find yourself a motivating   T-shirt and pass on the inspiration!

Every time you are tempted to react in the same old way, ask if you want to be a prisoner of the past or a pioneer of the future. ~ Deepak Chopra ~

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Roasted Kale

A few of my friends and I have been talking about Kale...Have  you roasted it yet? Well, if you haven't you seriously should! It is mighty tasty! (I'm not kidding either..)

1 bunch of Kale, rinsed dried and trimmed
Misto olive oil (or you ca drizzle olive oil on the Kale)
1 tsp garlic salt (or less)
1 Tbsp dried oregano
black pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 275
In a large bowl place all ingredients
Toss lightly to coat
Arrange leaves in single layer on baking sheet
Roast in hot oven for 25 to 30 minutes

Calories (for 1/4 recipe) 149, Protein 6g, carbs 18g, fat 8g, fiber 4g

Even my boys liked this recipe! I devoured it...:)

Happiness is an attitude. We either make ourselves miserable, or happy and strong. The amount of work is the same.

Francesca Reigler

Wednesday, June 8, 2011


Sugar and other concentrated sweets furnish needed quick energy to the body in a readily digestible form. Sugar is a sedative, painkiller, tranquilizer, sleep inducer, antidepressant, wound healer (if applied externally) and antibacterial agent. Cane and beet sugars, jellies, jams, candy, syrups, molasses, and honey are concentrated sources of sugar. Fruits and natural sweeteners that also furnish bulk, vitamins and minerals in the diet.

White table sugar is a major carbohydrate source but does not contain the proteins, vitamins and minerals that are necessary for its own metabolism.  B vitamins are robbed from other parts of the body to so the job. Excessive consumption of sugar also leads to an imbalance in the calcium-phosphorus relationship and may be a contributing factor in excess weight and obesity, diabetes, Crohn's disease, arthritis, tooth decay, asthma, mental illness, nervous disorders and low blood sugar.

Natural sources of sugar, such as fruits, usually contain adequate supplies of vitamins essential for digestion and metabolism. Honey, maple syrup, barley malt, date sugar, unrefined granulated sugar cane juice, and concentrated fruit juices are preferable sweeteners, more nutritious that table sugar.

Artificial sweeteners, including aspartame or its trade name NutraSweet, have been found in clinical studies to have numerous side effects, especially if consumed in large amounts or when heated. Saccharin, also an artificial sweetener, has been shown to cause Cancer in laboratory animals. A new artificial sweetener on the market sucralose with the trade name Splenda, is produced by chlorinating white table sugar. Far fewer studies exists on the safety of Splenda, but so far animal studies indicate that sucralose in animals can lead to such problems as shrunken thymis glands, enlarged liver and kidneys, reduced growth rate and abnormal pregnancy.

Another noncaloric sweetener is stevia, a leafy plan grown primarily in South America where it has been used for more than six hundred years. Stevia is 250 to 300 times sweeter than sugar.
~Nutrition Almanac 6th edition

Just thought I'd share some information I found researching muscle twitches...(Long story)

He who has health, has hope. And he who has hope, has everything.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Sleeker Legs!

Who doesn't want sleeker legs?

Track sprints recruit fast twitch muscle fiber, which requires more fuel for recovery than do slow twitch (endurance aerobics) fiber. The fuel will come from fat stored in your legs. And a track sprint is just that: your hardest, meanest, most explosive sprint for 30 seconds or less. If you can run beyond 30 seconds, you're not running your fastest. Do eight sprints with 2-4 minutes of casual walking in between for recovery.

Every human being is the author of his/her own health or disease.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Motivation Monday

I was talking with my friend the other day about what motivates people. She was in this contest for weight loss, and her motivation at that time was to win! (Of course!) She did and in the process lost 22 pounds! But now since the program is over she's lost her "motivation". No longer in the program, she had to come up with a new goal. 6 weeks to a big party...she is on a mission to lose another 10 pounds! Yes you can!

When I first decided to compete in a figure competition, I went and told my husband with excitement! (He used to compete in bodybuilding competitions when he was much younger.) His response to my news was not what I expected! He said..."Tam, You have no idea what this will entail...No carbs, no wine, no cheese, no chocolate, no's much harder than you think! You don't want to do that!" What I heard was "You CAN'T do it!" THAT was all the motivation I needed!  He told me later that he was expecting me to quit after 2 weeks...give up...grab my wine and cheese and say "yeah, honey, you were right...I couldn't do it." I proved him wrong!

What motivates you? What will get you to jump off the couch and say "Yes I CAN!"

You must act as if it is impossible to fail.
~Ashanti Proverb

Friday, June 3, 2011

What kind of support do you give your "Girls"?

Are you supporting your "girls" adequately?

I've seen too many women who are not wearing the right (or enough) support bra! We were driving to church this past Sunday, and we passed a woman and a man jogging...Just watching her bounce made my breasts hurt! Oh my gosh! Give the Girls some support!
I usually buy a smaller size support bra than my bra size. Sometimes I'll double up and wear a cami-type top under a top with a built in bra. Think gravity...Need I say anything else!? Oh...replace them often! You cant wear the same one forever!!!!!!

Your time is limited. So don't waist it living someone else's life. Don't be trapped by dogma- Which is living with the results of other people's thinking. Don't let the noise of other's opions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They some how already know what you truly want to become, everything else is secondary. ~Steve Jobs

Thursday, June 2, 2011

OK! So I have PMS!

Yes it's true...I have PMS! It affects my mood, food cravings and well being! (what ever that is!!)
So before I ran upstairs to my Boys rooms, and ate all of the chocolate from their Easter baskets (yes they still have chocolate! Damn, why do I buy the good stuff?!). I smack myself and try to come up with something "better"... Holy moly...I found it! Warning: JUST MAKE ONE!

PMS Protein  Ball
1 Tablespoon Oat Bran
1 Tablespoon Natural Peanut Butter
1 Tablespoon Chocolate Protein
1 teaspoon water

Mix all in a small bowl. I added 1/2 teaspoon of water at a time, until I could scoop it up and roll it into a ball. was a great fix! Perfect size too! It reminded me of a no-bake cookie! Without all of the sugar!
Calories 140, Fat 6.36g, Carbs 9g, Fiber 3.16g, Protein 13.18g.
You may be thinking...140 calories! Believe me I would have done way more damage in the chocolate binge than 140 calories! Plus it didn't make me mad at myself as I would have been if I raided the Easter baskets :)

Life isn't about finding yourself. Life is about creating yourself!

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Vegetables...cook or not to cook?

Is there a nutritional difference between eating vegetables raw or cooked? It depends on the vegetable. Eat them raw when applicable, like carrots, red peppers or celery. Cook vegetables you don't normally eat raw, such as asparagus (although I do like it raw too!) beans, broccoli and snow peas as quickly as possible to preserve nutrients. With a few foods, cooking may enhance nourishment. For example, lycopene, a phytonutrient in tomatoes, is absorbed into the body better from cooked or processed tomatoes.
Eat your veggies!

Nothing tastes as good as fit feels! Kathy Hensler