Friday, March 26, 2010

Plan it Out

Something that really helps a workout be really effective is to plan it out before you start. Figure out what part of the body you want to work, whether you want to focus on lower or upper body, strength or cardio....yadda yadda.

If you just go into the gym without a plan you are MUCH more likely to not push yourself past your "easy" point. I always sit down and write out a whole workout before I even think about going out and doing something. Then when I'm at the gym I have to push to do everything I wrote down, and its also much more methodical workout, keeps you from jumping to far off your goal.

For instance today I was thinking about heading to the gym, but it was so nice outside I decided to figure out a workout I could do at the park for my lower body. I knew I had to stray from some of my regular workouts because I didn't have weights to use.

Here's what I came up with....
1 min regular squats
1 min step ups right leg
1 min step ups left leg
1 min jump rope
1 min sumo squat
1 min regular squat
1 min jump rope
1 min push ups
3 min walking lunges
1 min jump rope
1 min butt raise
30 sec right leg raise
30 sec left leg raise
1 min jump rope
Then I did a full ab workout...about 7 mins total

But having it written down really helped me make sure I pushed through any tuff points. I ran to and from the park for a warm up and cool down and just carried a jump rope with me. You can always do jumping jacks instead.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

The Pita Pit!!!

Ok so it is MUCH better and healthier to eat at home, but we all know that isn't always a possibility. At that point we need to make good choices of where to eat out.

I have fallen in love with Pita Pit. I first had it on my trip to Florida and thought it was only an east coast place....but when some friends of mine from Florida moved out here they looked it up and guess what...Pita Pit IS in San Diego!!!

I have to be honest and tell you that I have eaten at this place three times in the last 5 days. Yes that is more than I should admit to, but today I grabbed their nutritional info and calculated out the calories for the pita I was eating, and it came out to 390...Not bad at all!! I was so happy because it really is delicious that I thought I would share with you. So go ahead and check out a Pita Pit near you and just make sure to look at the nutritional info because some things can add up, especially their sauces.

I had a Philly steak on a wheat pita with lettuce, onions, bell peppers, mushrooms, banana peppers, jalapenos, tzatziki sauce and hot sauce. And it was GOOD!

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Use What's Left

Let's talk leftovers...

One thing I tend to make a lot of at dinner time is brown rice. It just adds to most of my meals well. But since I live alone and don't have people over for dinner too often my rice cooker always makes too much.

Thankfully I have found a way to use it in my breakfasts the next morning. I just grab whatever vegtables I have in my fridge, which is ALWAYS an onion (since they take a while to go bad) and sometimes some mushrooms, bell peppers, spinach...but you get the idea, whatever is around. I cut everything up and toss them in a pan to cook them a little, then I add my leftover brown rice from the fridge. Let everything get all heated up then I add my egg whites. Yes it is technically some sort of fried rice, but it is really good, and super nutritious.

I top off my meal with some hot sauce, I LOVE sriracha. But any kind works, or none. You could add soy sauce as well but I try to avoid adding too much sodium to my meals. The calorie count when I do it is only around 200 and it is really filling!

Friday, March 19, 2010


This shouldn't be news to you, but Drink your Water! I don't mean have one or two glasses, I mean drink nothing but water ALL day. No more soda or juice, there really isn't much good for you there. I suggest buying some sort of re-usable water bottle, I like the SIGG bottles. Just keep it filled and on you ALL day long.

First of all drinking water all day will help you from over eating. Also keeping your body hydrated is VERY important. If you are thirsty you waited too long to drink something.

Water is crucial for life for a variety of reasons...
1. In blood it helps transport glucose, oxygen, and fats to working muscles
2. It eliminates waste products
3. It absorbs heat from working muscles
4. It regulates body temp
5. It lubricates joints and cushions organs and tissues

If you absolutely NEED some sort of flavor to your water then go buy some crystal light packets to add to your bottle. They have tons of different flavors and they are only 10 calories a packet. It's always better to have straight water, but these aren't bad if it helps you to get your water intake up.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Healthy Chowder =)

Ok I made this soup a little while ago, and it was freaking amazing! It's a chowder, and as we know chowders are not very healthy!!! But this one is good for you!!

It's from Hungry Girl and it's called Rockin' Roasted Shrimp & Asparagus Corn Chowder.

Here's what you need...
4 cups fat-free broth
12 ounces raw peeled and deveined shrimp
20 large asparagus spears
2 medium red bell peppers, seeded and chopped
1 medium russet potato, cut into 1/2 cubes
1 cup canned sweet corn kernels
1 cup evaporated fat-free milk
3/4 cup chopped scallions
1 tsp minced garlic
1/2 tsp thyme
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
salt and pepper

Here's what you do....

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

Take asparagus spears in both hands and snap in half. Discard the tough ends. Place asparagus spears and raw shrimp on a baking pan sprayed with nonstick spray. Spritz shrimp and asparagus with a light mist of nonstick spray and place pan in the oven for about 6 minutes until shrimp are opaque and cooked through.

Remove shrimp from the pan and set aside. Flip asparagus over and cook for an additional 6 minutes. Remove asparagus from the oven and cut asparagus and shrimp into bite-sized pieces. In a large pot sprayed with nonstick spray, cook bell peppers, scallions, corn and garlic over medium heat for five minutes.

Add broth and potato and bring to a simmer. Cook for about 15 minutes or until potatoes begin to soften. Add milk, shrimp, asparagus, thyme and cayenne pepper. Stir and continue to cook for 5 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Makes 6 servings. Per serving (1 1/2 cups): 182 calories, 1.5g fat, 520mg sodium, 25g carbs, 3.5g fiber, 10g sugars, 18g protein

I think it tastes best with a good healthy kick, so I added plenty more cayenne pepper, but play with what you like. But it has LOTS of good flavor!!

Monday, March 15, 2010


Ok here it is, I'm officially doing the Mission Bay Triathlon which is Oct. 3 2010. That gives me six months to get prepared!!

First question is....Is anyone willing to do it with me?? Come on we'll make it AmaZing!

It's a 500 meter swim, 15K bike, and 5K don't worry we aren't doing an iron-man triathlon, I'm not THAT crazy!

If you don't want to do the actual triathlon, I could use a swim partner to actually swim in the ocean, and since I'm afraid of deep water, it's been a challenge to go by myself.

So here's how this blog can relate to you and not just be about me declaring my future goals, it is a great idea to have something to work towards. It gives your workouts purpose and when you reach your goal, it gives you a great sense of accomplishment which helps boost your self esteem and make you a happier person in general! So find something that suits you and sign up for it!

Wednesday, March 10, 2010


Ok so there are a few different types of mushrooms out there, most of us are probably most familiar with button mushrooms, the plain white ones we see most often in the store. But this mushroom is NOT our only choice!

Button mushrooms are great, but they are very mild in flavor and normally take on the flavor of the dish they are a part of. But there are also the brown italian mushrooms, that actually keep a longer shelf life in your fridge!

Then of course we have shiitake mushrooms, which have a more woodsy flavor and used in a lot of asian dishes. It's great in stir fry's, I use them when I make my chicken lettuce wraps.

You also see the oyster mushroom used in a lot of Asian meals, I actually used them instead when they were out of shiitake mushrooms.

Then of course we have the large portobello mushroom. This mushroom is great thrown on the grill and used as a substitute as meat in a sandwich. But if you aren't a vegetarian and want your meat it's still a great addition to any burger or sandwich!

So now we've covered a few varieties, let's talk about what they do for you. First of all they are LOW in calories, between 15-25 for a serving (about 5) depending on the mushroom, and shiitake is a little more, around 45 for a serving (about 5). But mushrooms also contain more protein then most vegetables. They are a good source of phosphorus and potassium. And recent studies show that they are in fact a source of vitamin B12!

Little tip... washing mushrooms ruins their delicate flesh so it's better to take a damp paper towel and just wipe off any dirt. NOW GO EXPERIMENT!

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Nutrition Label, What's That?

It is important to be able to know how to read a nutrition label. Most of us just check the calorie content and we're done. But there should be a little more reading happening...

When checking the calorie content, make sure you take into account the serving size. This one only has two servings but sometimes it can be a lot higher, and your calories will add up quickly.

Next we look at the fat, of course the lower the better, and staying away from trans fats is a good idea. Should be at a maximum of 65 grams per day.

Cholesterol is another lower is better and should not exceed 300 mg per day.

Sodium is not something you want too much of, the max is 2400 mg per day.

Carbohydrates, unless you are diabetic, this is not as important to look at
Dietary Fiber, more is better, should try for at least 25 grams per day.
Sugars, less is better.

Protein is generally desirable, most people need only about 54 grams per day.

So next time you look at a label take everything into consideration when deciding whether or not its healthy =)

Friday, March 5, 2010

Kick the Stress

Stress is the great enemy of weight loss. We can be doing everything right, we can be eating healthy, 5 meals a day, and exercising, but still if we are stressed we won't lose weight.

Chronic stress can damage the immune and other systems. It's linked to the development of insulin resistance as well as hypertension, coronary heart disease, osteoporosis, and other disorders. Basically this stuff is bad for you!

So taking some time for yourself, to work through whatever happens to be causing your stress will not only help you feel better emotionally, but it will make you better physically as well.

Meditation is a great tool to use if you can, yoga works with a lot of breathing exercises that help relieve stress, I use journaling, writing things out can really help you process whats actually going on in your head. Even something as simple as looking at photos of loved ones has been shown to reduce stress levels.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

My Journey Through Cooking a Chicken...

Ok so last night I decided to cook a whole chicken with some roasted veggies. So here it is...
I started with a whole chicken I bought from the store.

Then I made up a mixture of rosemary, sage, thyme, garlic and olive oil. I rubbed the bird with salt and pepper first.

After that mixture was mixed I rubbed the bird all over the outside and inside the cavity. Also inside the cavity I squeezed slices of lemon and left the slices and also added the stems of the rosemary and thyme I used.I put the bird in the oven set at 475 degrees covered with tin foil for the first 45 minutes then uncovered for the second, an hour and a half total oven time. Next I cut up some zucchini,
red potatoes, onions and carrots and mixed them with a little olive oil, salt and pepper, and spread them out on a cookie sheet.

I put the veggies in the oven when I took the foil off of the bird so they were in the oven for about 45 minutes. At the hour and a half mark I pulled both things out of the oven and this is what it looked like..
Needless to say it worked out and tasted wonderful! And after I carved off most of the meat last night I threw the whole thing in a pot, added some chicken stock and water and left it on low heat all night. This morning I took the bones out and added all sorts of veggies to make some yummy homemade chicken soup. I'll let you know how it goes.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Don't Neglect Your Breakfast =)

So breakfast, it's a BIG deal. I can't tell you how many people around noon or one I hear saying, man I'm so hungry I haven't eaten anything yet today. This is the WORST thing to do if you are trying to lose weight or just be healthy! Your body just spent how many hours you were sleeping, let's average about six hours for that, so six hours your body just spent fasting. Then you want to wake up and spend the next six fasting as well? At the same time probably pouring coffee down your throat to give yourself some sort of energy for work. While if you had just managed to eat some sort of breakfast you would have been giving yourself natural energy.

We should be eating within thirty minutes of waking up. Now this doesn't have to be some huge breakfast with eggs and bacon and toast. It can be anything from some toast with peanut butter to some yogurt with granola. Something I do when I'm having a quick morning is I always keep some Balance bars around, and I just grab one and I'm set. When I have a little more time I'll go ahead and make some sort of egg white scramble or breakfast sandwich. But whatever you do EAT SOMETHING!

The thing that happens when we continuously starve ourselves for big chunks of the day, is our body starts hoarding everything we do eat because it doesn't know when it will get anything again. So instead of burning it right away it'll save it up, and so we won't lose any weight. However if we are eating consistently throughout the day our body will also recognize this and since it knows in a few hours its going to get more food it'll quickly burn whatever we put in our mouth because it's not worried about where it'll get it's next energy fix.