My Go To Recipes

Hey everyone! So everyone says that a healthy diet is the most important thing when you are trying to lose weight. This was and still is a big thing for me because I am all about convenience especially when it comes to lunch. I’m sure many of you can relate when I say that getting 5 minutes to eat at work on any given day is a win. I’ve been super swamped at work lately…short staffed, new year and a ton of projects to prepare for. So meal planning and prepping have been my new best friend. Prepping on Sundays for my lunches and dinners for that week has kept me on track and kept me from making some major mistakes. Below are some of my recent go to receipes. I hope that you enjoy them! 

My first go to meal is a Grilled Chicken Breast with side salad dressed with my homemade Italian dressing. This is one of the easiest meals you can prep. 

Season your chicken with a low sodium seasoning of your choice and grill until done. My favorite is the Mrs. Dash Fiesta seasoning. Toss spinach and roman lettuce together with cherry tomatoes, cucumbers and red onions. Dress your salad with the homemade Italian dressing. 

My favorite Italian dressing recipe is:

Ingredients:

1 cup Apple Cider Vinegar

1 1/4 cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil

1 tbsp garlic powder

1 tbsp onion powder

1 tbsp italian herb

1 tsp Dijon mustard (no sugar added)

1 tsp dried basil

1/2 tsp ground black pepper 

1/4 tsp sea salt

Directions:

1. Combine all ingredients in a blender and blend very well. 

2. Transfer dressing to a container and keep in the fridge for up to 2 months. 

3. Shake well and serve.

NOTE: Best to let it sit for a day or so to allow the herbs to infuse in the oil and vinegar. 
Greek Turkey Burgers topped with Tzatziki sauce and a Tomato and Cucumber salad

This is a favorite of mine and hubbies! The office is usually pretty jealous when I make these as well because the office normally smells amazing when I reheat them! 

Recipe is super easy as well:

Ingredients:

3/4 cup grated zucchini (squeezed to remove as much water as possible)

1 1/2 lbs lean ground turkey

2 cloves of garlic minced

1/4 cup of diced red onion

1 Tbsp dried oregano

3/4 tsp sea salt

3/4 tsp black pepper

1/3 cup Feta Cheese, crumbled

1/2 tsp fresh lemon juice

Directions:

1. In a large bowl, combine all the ingredients and mix well by hand. 

2. Divid into 6 Raquel patties. 

3. Cooke burgers on medium heat, about 5 minutes per side or until no longer pink in the middle. 

4. Top with tzatziki sauce and serve with your side. I chose a tomato, cumber and red onion salad dressed with my homemade Italian dressing (receipe listed above). 

You will have to forgive me…I forgot to snap a picture of this final receipe but this recipe has saved me so much time! This is called the 4 ingredient slow cooker salsa verde chicken! 

Ingredients:

6 Bonless, skinless chicken breast

2 Cups salsa verde

1 Bottle of beer (light of course!)

2 teaspoons ground cumin

Directions:

1. Add chicken to the slow cooker. Top with salsa verde and beer, and sprinkle with cumin and season with a few pinches of salt and pepper. 

2. Coat chicken by turning chicken over.

3. Cooke for 3 to 4 hours on high heat or 7 to 8 hours on low heat. 

4. Once chicken is done, remove from slowe cooker shred with two forks and place back in the slow cooker to toss with the sauce. 

NOTE: Store in the refrigerator in an air tight container for up to 5 days or freeze for up to 3 months. 

This chicken is great for tacos or burrito bowls or even to eat on a salad. Great for lunch or dinner! 

I hope that you all enjoyed these recipes! Let me know if you try any of them! If you enjoyed this post and wish to see more like this let me know!

Just a personal update…..I’ve lost a few more pounds and just that much closer to my goal!! Stay strong and keep moving everyone!

XoXo,

Jen

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At Home Work Outs

So….yet again life got in the way of my blogging! The holidays are always such a busy time for me both in my personal life as it is in my work life. I have done my best to keep eating clean and working out as much as I could but lets face it….its the holidays! The time to be with family and eat amazing food prepared by your loved ones….if you are going to indulge the holidays is the perfect time to do it. Needless to say I only gained 3 lbs over the holidays and for me that is a win!!! From the last time we talked I had lost 17 lbs…..and since then I have lost 10 more. I am now 20 lbs away from my goal! I need to lose these last 10 lbs to start the next step in my fertility journey. With that being said, I was looking to mix up my workout routine a bit because the workouts I have been doing were getting old and I needed to step it up a bit. So on the hunt I went for something new.

If you have been following my blog, you know that I enjoy watching UFC and I happened to find the at home UFC Full-Body Intensity Training dvd set. I’m going to be honest…when I first started this program I was having second thoughts. The workouts were very tough for me and some of the moves weren’t that easy for me so I ended up modifying some of the moves to accommodate my physical level. The important thing is…..I KEPT GOING! The program has gotten easier for me to do and I’m having a blast! If you are looking for a new workout program and enjoy kick boxing or martial arts, I highly recommend this program!

ufc-home-workout

Some of my other workout programs that I have gotten and loved are the 21 Day Fix Program, Zumba and Tae Bo with Billy Banks. I will touch base with you guys next week with some of my go to lunch recipes!  Until then….drink your water, have faith in yourself and keep moving!

XOXO,

Jen

Fertility Update

baby-dust-needed-hereIts been a few weeks since my last post. Life has finally slowed down long enough for me to breath a little easier. Just an update on what’s been happening in my life…we were finally able to get hubby’s swimmers checked. We also  had the chance to schedule our follow up appointment to review our test results and get our game plan from our wonderful doctor at Shady Grove. Here is how the appointment went:

I walked a little slower into the office that morning….anxiety had officially overtaken my body. Hands trembling and sweating all at the same time. Head spinning from all the thoughts running a mile a minute. What if both of us have issues….would conceiving a baby even be an option for us anymore? It took me about 15 minutes to walk into the office which normally takes be about 5. I finally made it to the second floor and just about 5 feet from the office door. Reaching for the knob felt like I was reaching for my ultimate doom. While signing in I looked at the other women waiting to be seen wondering if they had the same cards dealt to them that I did. I sat in the small leather couch right across from the reception desk hoping the wait wouldn’t be forever for my own sanity….I needed to know what were my options…..would it be possible for us to conceive our own baby? Finally about 10 minutes go by and the doctor comes out and walks me back to his office. I took a seat and he starts off with “the small talk”. In side I’m screaming at the top of my lungs…..JUST SHUT UP AND TELL ME MY FATE ALREADY!!!! After we caught up on what’s been happening in my life, he says “ok lets take a look at what we are dealing with”. FINALLY! He first takes a look at all of my test results because lets be real…I had to endure to most testing so its only fair I go first right! So my results were great! My tubes are open and filled nicely, no fibroids or pulps in my uterus, blood results were great…my only issue is my PCOS. That brings us to hubby. His blood work came back great….all levels looked great and his swimmer count was amazing! Low normal for count is from 5 to 10 million and hubby came in at 64 million so we are in great shape there! (Yes he gloated a little and that made him walk a little taller that day). The shape of his little guys were off a little bit but doctor proscribed a prenatal vitamin for him that will take care of that. The best feeling in the world was knowing that he was ok and the only obstacle we have to deal with is my PCOS. After the test results were revealed then came the, “How’s the weight loss coming?” questions. I was honest and told him that I had struggled a bit with this when I first saw him. I had lost 30 lbs. when I first saw him and then I ended up gaining about 10 of those back…the holidays, stress and depression got the best of me. Since then I have lost those 10 lbs. and 23 lbs. on top of that!

So what’s the next step. Well I have been given strict instructions to lose another 30 lbs to decrease my chances of getting gestational diabetes. Despite my weight the doctor told me that I am very healthy and I do carry my weight very well. He also had a great outlook on my additional weight loss…..when I do get pregnant and I am full term I will be approximately the same weight I am now. So I have set a new goal for myself to lose these last 30 lbs by January in hopes to have a fall baby in 2017! I guess I have my new years resolution!

XOXO,

Jen

Polar vs. FitBit

polarWho doesn’t love a good fitness gadget! I’ve owned my Polar Ft7 for a while now and I fell in love the moment I first used it. I am a very competitive person by nature so I was in constant competition with myself. Watching my calories burnt increase was the best feeling in the world. It really helped me push myself harder every time I strapped it on but it really left me wanting more. I only put it on when I worked out and it didn’t count my steps and I really had to track my progress manually. The heart rate monitor strap was a little uncomfortable as well. Don’t get me wrong….I still think the Polar fitness trackers are an amazing product and work really well but there had to be a better option that fit my every day needs.

Recently my company started a FitBit challenge on September 1st. Each participant was supplied with the FitBit zip which we all received in August so I got to use it for a little before the challenge started. All the ladies in my office are participating so I have the best support group anyone could have. After using the FtiBit Zip I was instantly hooked so I decided to splurge and get the FitBit Blaze watch. BEST DECISION I EVER MADE! The FitBit app is multifunctional and really helps me track everything in my daily life from my water intake to my sleep patterns and it even monitors my heart rate like my Polar does.

fitbit-blaze

Working in an office I knew my activity level was pretty sedentary but I never fully understood how sedentary I really was until I got the FitBit Watching my co-workers hit 4,000 to 6,000 steps before lunch and I was at 1,000…..I knew I had to step up my game (pun intended). I work in a mall that is just shy of 2 miles long if you walk an entire loop. I have the best work place for those trying to get some major steps in…..so why wasn’t I taking advantage of it? I set a schedule for myself because lets face it…working in an office its hard to walk away from your office if you don’t have it on your calendar! So I walk at least 3 times a day….once in the morning, once after lunch and once right before I leave for the day. So for all my non-fitbit users out there your daily goal is 10,000 steps which approximately 5 miles and if I walk my mall 3 times a day like I have scheduled I hit that 10k mark every single time. Now you may ask….should I really be walking 10,000 steps every day? Here is the link to the FitBit Blog that explains why you should:

Should You Really Take 10,000 Steps a Day?

Another great function of the FitBit app are the challenges you can do with your friends. All the ladies of my office love doing the Work Week Hustle. Like myself, my coworkers are also competitive so it’s a constant battle in my office to beat each other….who doesn’t love to have bragging rights in the office! The first two challenges I came in dead last because I underestimated the ladies I work with…so here I am pushing myself even harder to keep up with these amazing ladies. We just ended this weeks challenge and I finished 2nd with a total of 59,351 steps for the week! Whoop Whoop! I can’t wait for next week!

So if you are on the fence about purchasing the FitBit…..do it! It has changed my life and really pushed me to keep moving throughout the day. So much so that I have lost 17 pound in the last 2 months! Yes…..17 pounds!!!!!! Thanks for reading!

xoxo,

Jen

 

What’s your favorite in home workout equipment?

InMotion Compact EllipticalSo I know its been a while but like I always say…life just gets in the way! So….recently I have been exploring other pieces of workout equipment that is suitable for the home that doesn’t take up much space. Of course weeks of research went into looking for that perfect piece of equipment that was both compact, easy to put together and didn’t cost me a small fortune. I came across one of those pesky ads in my Facebook feed for a compact elliptical made by InMotion. My first thought was….how can an elliptical be compact? Then I clicked on it and watched the video and instantly I HAD TO HAVE ONE!! Now for those of you who don’t know me….I’m cheap! I refuse to pay full price if I don’t have to and that is how Amazon and eBay have become my best friends. I do feel kind of bad for the delivery drivers who delivery my packages every other day! Any who….I found the same item on Amazon and it was the same price as their website but I did find the older model for under $100! SCORE! The only major difference was the new version had resistance bands attached for an upper body workout which I figured…I could use some weights or my own resistance band. Now like most wives (insert laughter here) I discussed it with hubby before I made the purchase. My birthday was just a few days away…Happy Birthday to me!

3 DAYS LATER…..

My package arrived!!! I couldn’t wait and made hubby put it together which was SUPER simple…..I could have done it! After the 15 minutes it took for him to put it together I was ready to use my compact elliptical. Since the machine is compact the stride is much smaller than your average elliptical but for me and my short legs its perfect! After 15 minutes I started to feel my legs BURNING!!!! It did however take about 30 minutes before I actually started to break a sweat but 2 miles later I was sweating and my legs started to feel like stretched out rubber bands. Now not only can you use this piece of equipment by standing on it like a normal elliptical but you can also use it like a bike while sitting at your desk! What is better than sitting there pedaling your heart out while finishing those spreadsheets or power point?

I would recommend this to anyone who has bad knees and wants to get a little cardio in because it is versatile and you can use it standing or sitting. Is it the best cardio workout…..probably not but it will get your blood pumping and will add some variety to your everyday exercise routine. I love mine because I can use it and watch TV with hubby without him complaining that I’m hogging the TV with my workout DVD’s again. So whats your favorite piece of home workout equipment?

XoXo,

Jen

Where have I been?

Ugh….so here we are months have gone by and I haven’t posted an update. Well life has gotten in the way yet again…what’s new. In my last post the doctor had finally released me to workout again from where I sprained my back….well two weeks into getting back into my routine I had a pretty nasty fall down an entire flight of stairs. Not only was my pride broken but so was my tailbone and several nasty bruises. Yep…..I broke my ass…..literally! So I had to face 8 weeks of sitting on donuts and popping pain killers to help me get thru the day. It just hasn’t been the greatest few months for me physically. To top it off at the beginning of the year my husband was facing the possibility of being without a job because not only was his company selling his division but the building he worked in was also selling the building and their business. Luckily the company who purchased the business and building kept his contract intact. That ordeal took about 4 months to workout….so making a baby was put on hold until we knew exactly what was going on. 

So now that hubby has a job and I’m finally feeling great…..it’s time to jump in with both feet and hit the ground running superhero style. I’m sorry it took me so long to catch everyone up and I promise to get better at this stuff.

Xoxo,

Jen

I’m back!!!!

I'm BACKI’m back!!!! Did you miss me?? LOL! My doctor FINALLY released me to start working out again!!! Thank the good lord above for giving me patients to get through the last few weeks! Since my injury I have tried extremely hard to keep things as healthy as I could but I’m going to be honest with you…..I found myself slipping into my old habits. I chose the convenient foods instead of the healthy foods. Over the past 6 weeks, I’ve gained a few pounds which I’m not proud of but today is a new day. The past is the past…..the damage is done. I have a choice to make, I can either choose to continue down the same path or I can choose to get back on that horse. So I’m saddling up and getting back on that horse!

When I started this journey last year, I knew that it was going to be hard….but nothing prepared me for exactly how hard it was really going to be both physical and emotional. Dealing with PCOS is never easy…..sometimes you feel like your trapped inside your own body, which is how I feel about 95% of the time. fatigue is another major factor for me….no matter what I do, I’m always tired. I’ve been taking vitamins to help and still tired ALL THE TIME!! I’m hoping that once I start working out more that my energy levels will increase. But to keep myself motivated I’ve joined a few free 5 day clean eating challenges which I am super excited about! I am only allowed to workout 3 days a week for the next 3 weeks and then I can go back to my 5 days a week as long as I feel good. I am super excited to get back at this and onto a healthier me.

xoxo,

Jen