Tag Archives: healthy-living

Popcorn Cookies and Clockwork Abs

Yesterday I told you that I was working on a clockwork abs workout and here you go! The whole time I was actually doing the workout I was trying to come up with a clever name for it…Like “Rockin Abs Around the Clock” or “Rock Hard Abs Around the Clock” but I couldn’t come up with something that just seemed to roll off the tongue. Sooo Clockwork Abs it is.

For this workout, you simply go down the list of exercises and do each for a minute straight, except for the ab circles clockwise and counter clockwise, do each for 30 seconds. If you get to the point where you can complete them for a minute straight each…that’s amazing. I have included some videos to go along with the exercises to clarify what I’m talking about but couldn’t find a few…so I have described them. If you have trouble understanding…let me know I will try to clarify 🙂

Clockwork Abs

Leg Lifts

Side to Side Pendulum

Ab Circles Clockwise and Counterclockwise: Lie on your back and lift your legs a few inches off the ground.  With your legs completely straight the entire time, begin drawing a large circle with your feet in either a clockwise or counter clockwise manner. Your arms should be placed in the same position as the Side to Side Pendulum.

Ab Circles Alternating: Staring with your feet at the top most position in the ab circles, move your feet in a clockwise motion. When you reach the top mot position again, pause and move them back in a counter-clockwise motion. Continue pausing at the top and alternating between clockwise and counter-clockwise.

V-Crunch

V-Crunch Alternating Sides: Get into your starting V-Crunch position with your knees pulled in and your shoulders off the ground. Instead of extending your legs straight out, twist your body onto your left hip and extend your legs out to the right side. Bring them back to the middle with your body centered. Then twist your body onto the right hip and extend your legs out to the left side. Bring the back to the middle with your body centered.

Please let me know if any of this is confusing. I will keep looking for the appropriate videos if the description is confusing.

I had Maggie do this workout with me yesterday and she loved it. You don’t have to count how many you are completing, just push yourself through each minute and get as many reps in as you can. The workout is also going to target every muscle in your abs. We are both feeling sore today and looooove it.

Popcorn Cookies

A little while ago I can up with the idea of putting popcorn into cookies. I know this isn’t an original idea but it was in my head 🙂 I added some white chocolate chips and cranberries to the mix because I am really a big fan of cranberries in cookies (if you couldn’t tell). They are extremely healthy and packed with flavor. When my family was eating them, they at first weren’t really sure what to make of them because they have such a different texture in comparison to a typical cookie. My mom thought they should be cut into bars and be called a snack cookie or something to the effect. They are extremely crunchy is what I’m getting at. But delicious. I really recommend you give them a try if you are looking for something that is sweet but on the healthy side. Because they are so crunchy, it takes you a little longer to eat…which isn’t a bad thing if you are looking to cut down on the number of cookies you are eating 🙂

Cranberry Popcorn Cookies

Ingredients:

1 Stick of Butter, Softened 1 Cup Sugar
1 Egg 1 Teaspoon Vanilla
1 1/4 Cups Flour 1/2 Teaspoon Baking Soda
Salt to Taste 3/4 Cup Popcorn Kernals
1 Tablespoon Canola Oil Pinch of Salt
1/2 Cup Dried Cranberries 1/2 Cup White Chocolate Chips

Directions:

1. In a sauce pan, add in a tablespoon of canola oil and the popcorn kernals. Over medium heat, heat until popcorn popping has slowed down. Make sure you put a cover on the sauce pan or your will have oil and popcorn EVERYWHERE!

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2. Cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy.

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3. Add in the egg and vanilla.

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4. In a separate bowl, mix the flour, baking soda and salt. Then gradually add it into the wet mixture. Top it off with the lightly CRUSHED popcorn, chocolate chips and cranberries.

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5. Spoon dough onto cookies sheets lined with parchment paper. Bake them at 350 degrees for approximately 14 minutes. You want them to be slightly browned.

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Just let them cool before you start tasting them, but I was really happy with the way that they came out. Such a different take on a cookie. They were sweet and healthy at the same time.

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And just a little update on the Oreo, my little problem child. She is doing much better. She is walking around and has a ton more energy. She still won’t attempt going up stairs but in just a few days she will be as good as new 🙂

Have you ever tried to combine two of your favorite snacks to see if you can make a better one?!

 

Catching up with things

I haven’t really been keeping up with posting lately, simply because there has just been a lot of new and exciting things going on and I haven’t really been able to get into any sort of grove when it comes to a schedule. It’s been only slightly nuts. I am planning on getting back into my regular posting…starting…now. 🙂

Since New Years, I have said good bye to my old co-workers and started training for my new job. I am really, really, really excited for it but so far I have been sitting at home for the most part studying like no other. And when I get bored of that…I head to Starbucks, grab a tea and study some more.

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As of right now…the studying is paying off because I just finished up my second exam and got a 100 percent! I had the loudest sigh of relief post exam today because there was one question I couldn’t really decide between two answers.

Brent has started his first day of work…and I snapped photos. Bahaha

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So Handsome.

And I have officially started…seriously…working out again. I did take a little break over the holidays simply because I didn’t really have the time. Now, I am back to my regular workouts…and I have made sure that they are unrelenting.

Yesterday, I went for a slow jog around my gym, which ended up being the first run outside since coming up to Boston. I had been putting it off because for the first two weeks a haunting cold and the freezing cold outside were providing some solid excuses for myself. Once the head cold passed, some delightful 50 degree weather made it’s way in. It was almost a sign…Anyways..the run felt great.

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After the run, I went inside to complete Tina’s Best Body Bootcamp. I have to tell you…the girl knows how to put a circuit together.

The first exercise in the circuit was A Push Press on a Bosu Ball. She is absolutely fantastic because in each of her workouts, she includes links to videos on how to do the exercise. I watched this video on how to do the exercise and didn’t really think too much of it. Cool, stand on a Bosu ball, squat, stand up and do a shoulder press. Can’t be too hard.

Okay. Wrong. I put the Bosu ball on the ground, stepped in the middle with my two weights in hand, and could NOT get my balance enough to get my second foot on and move my feet to the outside. The lady in that video makes it look so much easier than it is!

I stumbled a few times. Slid off it a few more times. Tripped myself with the Bosu ball. Stopped and stared at it for a while. Fell off a few MORE times. Looked around and noticed all the people laughing and probably thinking…what the hell is she trying to do?! Then gave in and moved the ball against the mirror and used the wall to keep my balance while getting onto it.

The first set I went to do, my legs were shaking so bad that the ball was violently rocking back and forth. I started laughing at myself because I really looked crazy at this point. Not only did I have so much trouble getting on the thing, but I also couldn’t keep the thing still!

My second set, and third one I looked a little more coordinated and the ball didn’t shake violently at every squat. I’m thinking my muscles didn’t get the break between the run and the squats that they probably wanted. One day though…I will look like this lady atop a Bosu ball.

She looks so calm!!!

Whelp, I’ve got another Tina’s Best Body Bootcamp for myself today, and some yummy granola to share with you as well. Even though posts have been MIA, I have been writing them up in my head so I’ve got bunches to share!!

First Half Marathon = Conquered

This morning Brent and I FINISHED our Half Marathon. I am pumped. The race started at 7 this morning, so we were on the road by 615. I lined up at the 9 minute mark hoping that having some faster people around me would get me going. But, I ended up starting at a pace that was too fast. I ended up having to convince myself that I was going to go at my own pace and not try to BEAT everyone else that was running.

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Around mile 5 or 6 my knee legit just said no thanks. It hasn’t done this in a while. Out of all of my long runs…it had to be this one that it just said see you later. I was limping a bit and struggling a lot for the next two miles. I stopped a few times to really stretch it out a bit, but it never seemed to calm down.

At mile marker 7, I started thinking in terms of the miles that we had left. However, my math was wrong and I for some reason though we only had 5 left at that time.

When we got to mile 9, the number of people cheering us on really started to pick up. Their signs…were AMAZING.

  • You trained for this longer than Kim Kardashian’s marriage lasted.
  • Run faster, I just farted.
  • Sweat is fat crying.
  • Run like you stole something.

Those were just a few favs, but people can be really creative. We finished and immediately grabbed a banana, which I fell in love with after the Rock N Run in Sept. Grabbed some water and headed over to the grassy to start stretching.

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I think Brent wanted to shoot me because while we were sitting there chatting away, I couldn’t help but start thinking about the next one! I loved it. I am absolutely doing another one. Brent just responded, can we just talk about this tomorrow?? Haha.

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Tired elves. After we gained some strength, we started walking around the tents that they have set up for a little after party. One of the things that they were giving away was chocolate milk. Brent found this out before the race and may or may not have been running towards that chocolate milk.

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The route that we ran was really, really nice. It had several areas that were cobble stoned, which wasn’t amazing to run on towards the end. It took you all through downtown Orlando, and around all of the little lakes in the area. If you aren’t from Orlando, I would say this is a great way to get a good sense of what living in Orlando is like!

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They had tons and tons of volunteers and police officers marking the way. Every mile and a half there were Port A Johns and water stations to grab something. Even more towards the end. At mile 8.5 they had supplements to give you that extra boost. There were bands playing in several spots along the way. Tons of spectators cheering you on. They also had a medic about half way through.

At the end, there were tents to get ice wrapped on your shins, knees or whatever else and cooling stations that you just stuck your head into and it showered you with a light cool mist. Yes.

The weather, was perfect. There was a little chill in the air in the morning, and it warmed up to about 75. The light, long sleeve shirts that we wore were perfect. I had so much fun that I am sure this isn’t going to be my last half marathon. Only next time, I’m running for time!

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Post race, I didn’t really want to eat or drink much. The thought of food was just…mer. After about an hour at home, I was ready for something light. I ended up making a little twist on a tuna melt, that was so good.

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Ingredients:

1 Can Tuna 2 Tablespoons BBQ Sauce
1/4 Cucumber Chopped 1/2 Slice Provolone Cheese

Strange, but delish. Brent loved it. I love everything with Sonny’s BBQ sauce on it anyways,

I ended up resting for a bit of the day because tonight, we are going to a BIRTHDAY PARTY!!

Slow Cooked Buffalo Chicken Flatbread

This morning, I woke up at 6 to try out the Jillian Michaels Yoga DVD Workout. Today was supposed to be my rest day after the 7 mile run yesterday. Instead, I wanted to give her DVD a try because it was low impact and yoga does great things for healing muscles. I have also heard GREAT things about her DVD workouts and really wanted to give one of them a go.

I actually really liked it! She has a different take on yoga in the sense that she doesn’t focus on the static movements that many others do. I find yoga to be slightly boring, but Jillian incorporates deliberate movements that target just about every muscle in the body. FOr an early morning workout, it’s perfect. All you have to do is roll out of bed and flip on the TV. Not much to it. And she will DEFINITELY make you sweat.

After the workout, I sat down at the computer for some work. whipped up some breakfast and headed out on the road. For breakfast I indulged in a LOVELY Spinach Protein Smoothie. OH GOOD YUM.

 

Ingredients:

1 Frozen Banana 1 Handful of Spinach Leaves
1/2 Cup Frozen Blueberries 1/2 Cup Almond Milk
2 Full Tablespoons Chocolate Protein Powder

It may not look all the pretty, but it was good. I have been dying to give the spinach deal a try just to see how it went and I really enjoyed it! You will definitely be seeing a few more smoothies with spinach leaves in there!

Work was crazy. I just ran around all day. I also had to deal with some shenanigans trying to find the pups a place to stay on saturday night because Brent and I are going camping with some friends. That was a headache. I got a new dishwasher! Fun! But it’s legit been washing the first load for the past two hours…annnnnnd it’s still going. Mer.

For dinner, I delved into that Slow Cooked Buffalo Chicken and made a little flatbread! Oh and did I do good things! LOVE! It had some spice, and some zest and some SIZZLE! Yup, I said it!

 

Ingredients:

1/4 Cup Slow Cooked Buffalo Chicken 1 Tablespoon Jalapenos
1/4 Slice Muenster Cheese, Shredded 1/4 Cup Mozzarella Cheese, Shredded
Buffalo Saice to Taste 1/4 Cup Onion, Sautéed

Directions:

1. Sautee your onions. Place all of your toppings on your flatbread and bake at 375 for 5-10 minutes depending on how crispy you want it. Enjoy!!

 

 

 

 

 

This was actually very low calorie as well! The bread I used was only 60 calories, and with all of the toppings, we are talking about 200 calories! AWESOME. Now, you obviously need more than that to fill the tank, so pair it with a salad, or in my case…Moose Track Ice Cream!

 

I mean really?! What doesn’t complement something spicy better than something sweet?! Hahaha.

Oh well! I’ve got Tina’s Best Body Bootcamp waiting for me in the morning! She’ll definitely zap the ice cream right out of me.

I was supposed to start the program on Monday, but really needed to get a solid 7 miler in. My plan is to use Tina’s Bootcamp as cross training during my half marathon training. It’s only 6 weeks away! That’s actually terrifying to me. I am only at 7 miles and that’s just a bit over half…Tina’s going to help…I hear she does wonders like that.

What’s your favorite DVD workout?? When do you like to turn them on?? In the morning? Or when you just can’t seem to get the motivation to drive to the gym??

I am really only experienced in Insanity. I LOVE insanity. It gives me no excuses to NOT workout. All you have to do is press play! (I may or may not have stole that line from a Shaun T commercial for insanity)

Egg and Chive Salad Wrap and Running Fuel and Tips

This morning was another runner. I took the puppies for a walk, grabbed a protein bar and ran out the door, coffee in hand. At some point, it would be awesome to think that sleep would be less attractive than actually giving myself a solid amount of time in the morning. But, who knows if that will ever happen.

I did give myself enough time to make an egg salad sandwich for lunch. Working in an office environment again has made me realize how easy it is to eat terribly. There is always junk food lying around, begging for the taking. The candy drawer doesn’t help much either. We were having lunch brought to us today but I figured if I prepared something myself I would end up eating a bit more healthy than whatever showed up at the office.

Last night while I was making the pasta, I boiled another pot on the side and made some hard boiled eggs. There are so many things that you can do with a hard boiled egg, and they are such a great source of protein that I believe it’s something that you should have on hand always. Whelp, a delicious Egg and Chive Salad Sandwich!

 

Ingredients:

3 Hard Boiled Eggs, Chopped 1 Tablespoon Yellow Mustard
1 Tablespoon Greek Yogurt 1/2 Tablespoon Chives
Salt to Taste Pepper to Taste

Just mix all of the ingredients up in a bowl and put it into your wrap. You can also just put this on regular wheat bread as well. It was really light but filling at the same time. To bring it to work I packed it in a Tupperware that allows a freezer pack to be placed on the top of it. Keeping it chilled for the hour and a half drive.

 

Best purchase ever. Well, Tupperware purchase I guess.

Tonight, on the Half Marathon Training Schedule is a 4 mile run. Whoooooooo. But with that said, I wanted to share some little tips that I had gotten about a week ago at Track Shack. Track Shack is a running store located here in Orlando. They have run a few races that we have been in and actually will be the group for the Half Marathon as well. But, they are absolutely fantastic for another reason.

When you walk in to get a new pair of sneaks, the guys there will actually watch you run to determine the best type of shoe for your running style. Then, they bring out a couple of different options for you that  vary in the amount of support and cushion just so you can get the PERFECT sneaker for you. Serious stuff.

Brent and I had stopped by looking for some new training shoes and I made my own little scene in the store while I was talking to the guy fitting my shoes. He measured my foot and told me that I was a size 9…like it was no big deal. I corrected him and told him I was most definitely an 8. I don’t have a shoe in my closet that isn’t an 8. He just laughed at me and told me to look at the measuring stick, which CLEARLY said I was a 9. I might have raised my voice a little in surprise and objection because I AM NOT A 9. THAT THING IS WRONG. He actually grabbed another measuring tool, and sure enough….it said 9 too.

Brent and the other guy were now laughing hysterically at me because I was fitting this guy over my shoe size. He ended up bringing out a few pairs in a 9…I tried them on…they seemed to fit great. WRONG, the guy said…well actually, you might need a 9 1/2. Nope. Negative. Not happening. I am not a 9. He’s laughing at me, the whole store is actually laughing at me. It’s fine.

I ended up getting…a 9…But I LOVE them! I did end up trying on the 9.5 and he agreed they were too big. Whew.

 

Beauts right?!

I love ’em. In between causing a scene in the sneaker store, I was just chatting with him for a bit and found out that he is an avid runner…surprise surprise…he works in a running store. Well, he is training for his first ULTRA. An Ultra is a race anything longer than a marathon. I didn’t even know anything like that existed. He has a mile run in about a month and a HUNDRED mile run in February. He’s thinking about signing up for a second HUNDRED mile run in March. Yes. HUNDRED.

Apparently he bought a really energetic dog that just chewed everything up so he started taking it out for runs. He couldn’t seem to tire him out and just kept running farther and farther until whoops, he’s running 30 miles 3 times a week. Crazy man. So no excuses…there is a guy in Orlando that gets up at 5 every morning and runs 30 miles.

In my chat, I picked up a few SNEAKER SHOPPING TIPS:

  1. You should have at least half a thumb nail distance from the end of your shoe to the tip of your big toe.
  2. Too big of shoes is always better than too small. If you go too small, you are at risk for much bigger issues like your feet going numb while running or loosing a toe nail…woof.
  3. When putting your running shoes on, always tap your foot back into the heel as far as possible, then tie the laces. Tying the laces will lock your foot far back in the shoe and prevent injuries associated with too small of sneakers.
  4. Your running shoes should be replaced every 300-700 miles of running. The heavier you are the lower the milage would be because you will be pounding down on the soles a bit harder.

Another thing that I talked to him about were energy gels. As I’m climbing up in the miles, I was told that energy gels actually help you get through the runs. I picked up 3 different kinds and have only tried one so far. I really didn’t care for it much…

 

The one I have tried, was the far left, Power Bar Energy. I took it just before my run and it did not go down smoothly. I had to force it down because the taste was just awful. I didn’t end up finishing the shot and just threw the rest away. I had been warned that they could mess with your stomach, and this one definitely did. My stomach was NOT happy for the rest of the day. I don’t think I’m going to give that one a go again.

But I will let you know how the other two end up. These are really great energy sources for those runs that are 45 minutes plus. That would be the only time I dip into this little stash.

 

What is the farthest that you have ever run?? Would you ever consider a half marathon?? A marathon?? Or and ULTRA?! What is too far??

I am working on my first official marathon in december and could honestly see myself going for a full marathon at some point. At the moment…anything more just seems nuts. But who knows?!