Tag Archive | healthy

Beach Body Challenge Day5

I’m a little behind on blogging about my Beach Body Challenge.  Days 5-8 I was in Vegas. It was a last minute trip that was kind of a whirlwind, but I was determined to stick to the Challenge.  How is it possible to stay on track while in Vegas?

First and Most Importantly, I Made it a Priority. I packed my TurboFire DVD’s (only the ones I needed), workout clothes, running shoes, and healthy snacks. As soon as we got settled into our hotel,  I made sure we went and got plenty of water.

Workout Clothes

Asics Running Shoes

Laptop, Turbo Fire DVD's and Workout Calendar

Healthy Snacks: SnapeaCrisps, Kind Bars, Luna Bars, and Cliff Bars

Two Six Pack of Arrowhead Water

We landed at 7:30a and couldn’t check in until 3p so we had a lot of time to kill. After we picked up our luggage and rental car, we ran around doing some errands for the hubby. Things did not quite work out as planned for him so he was upset and we almost went straight home. He worked a few things out  and we wound up staying.

I had Luna bar on the plane for my Breakfast. I always keep a couple in my purse ;-) By the time he settled everything, I was getting hungry again so we went to Serendipity’s for Breakfast #2. If you’ve ever been to Serendipity’s – you know the portion sizes are huge! We learned that from our last visit.  So instead of getting separate gigantic meals, we split a breakfast quesadilla. It wasn’t a super healthy breakfast. I wound up taking the bacon out of my second piece because it was actually making me nauseous.  It was the perfect portion size and saved us some money :-)

I really don’t remember what we did after breakfast… lol. I think we walked around a bit. Stores were just starting to open. We walked through the Forum Shops.  I looked through a Guess Marciano store. So cute But so Expensive! We decided to catch a movie that was starting in 30 min. to help pass the time. We went to Town Square and watched the new Underworld movie. Not great but Not bad either.  Then it was Lunch time.

We decided to try out a Sushi Restaurant that was by the movie theaters. We ordered two rolls. I got the Avocado and Eel roll which he wound up liking better than his Alaskan roll :-) Tried out their Mango Ice tea which I realized was probably loaded with sugar. lol. We figured that we could head over to our hotel and check in even though it was only 2p.


Alaskan Roll with cooked Salmon on top

Avocado Eel Roll

Closeup of my Yummy Avocado Eel Roll

We stayed at the Mirage and lucked out in getting a corner room. That meant we were at the end of a very long hallway but I figured it was a great way to get exercise every time we came and went :-) Since we had only gotten 3 hours of sleep, we decided to take a nap after checking in.

Once Ben got up, we got ready to go out. We wanted to ride the roller coaster inside NY NY hotel so we decided to do that first before eating dinner. It was so much fun! The highlight was the drunk wedding party that was behind us. They asked if they could go in front of us so they could all ride together. We didn’t mind since we were in no rush. The mother was so funny and kept thanking us. They obviously were having a great time.

On our way to the Roller Coaster inside NY NY

We were craving steak and there happened to be a really good one inside our hotel: Kokomo’s. It is a Fine Dining Restaurant so it’s pricey, but the food is amazing! They brought out a bread basket with several types of bread. We split a few to try them out. My favorite was the cranberry wheat. He ordered a 16oz. steak and asparagus. He says it’s he Best steak he’s ever had. I got the Red Snapper with veggies.  My snapper came with a lemon butter sauce that I didn’t use. I didn’t have any of the crispy onions that topped my veggies so I think I did pretty good :-) The dinner was delicious.  We were still tired from traveling so we just went back to our room to relax and go to bed.

Bread Basket

Ben and his 16 oz. Steak

Red Snapper

Green Beans, onions and tomatoes

———————————  Turbo Fire Day 3 ———————————–

Luckily it was a Rest Day for my Turbo Fire workouts. I really needed it. I only napped for a couple hours then got up. I had my afternoon snack – my favorite: Almond Coconut Kind Bar. I decided that while Ben napped that I’d do some toning workouts.

Started with a 2min plank on my forearms

Followed by  Tone It Up’s Vday workout X2

A Custom Booty Workout X3:

20 Sqauts

20 Lunges each leg

20 Side Lunges each leg

20 Single Leg BootyLifters each side

20 Heatwaves

Ended with a 2min plank.

I promise that this will be longest post. I didn’t have as much time to take as many pics for the rest of the time I was in Vegas.

Trying Tempeh Bacon

I’m always looking for healthy alternatives to foods that I love that are not the healthiest – like bacon.  One of my fellow Tone It Up sisters on twitter (@FrancesGetsFit) posted a pic of a BLT using tempeh bacon.  I decided to look for it the next time I was in Whole Foods.  I didn’t see the brand she used (Fakin Bacon .. I think). But I did find some tempeh bacon.

Tempeh Bacon

It took me a week to get around to trying it.  Not because I didn’t want to. I don’t cook bacon that often to begin with so I had to think about using it.

When I opened the box and took out the package, it looked like thinly sliced tempeh so I was really curious to see what they tasted like.  I just used olive oil cooking spray and placed the pieces on there.  Cooked it a couple minutes on each side.  It was really very easy to prepare and it smelled just like bacon.

Cooking the Tempeh Baking

I served it with 2 egg whites on top of spinach.

Served with 2 Egg whites and Spinach

So now for the taste….. It had a really great flavor – definitely tasted like bacon. The thing is, the texture.  It wasn’t firm like bacon and it still felt like tempeh. It was a weird combo in my mouth.  It went well with the egg whites and spinach though.  I think that it would be great to crumble up and toss in a salad :-)

What I really liked was how healthy it was. 7 pieces of 1 serving!! I only had 4 and that was plenty. Only 1g of fat, 130 Calories, 3g of Sugar, and 5g of fiber!

Nutrition Facts

Tempeh isn’t my favorite but it is great for a change. I’ve really opened up my mind to trying out new foods. It never hurts to try something out and I have been very pleasantly surprised with a lot of my new discoveries. So don’t be afraid to try out new foods and recipes :-)

Red Sauce

So I’ve decided to start posting some of my recipes. Some of them are new ones that I’ve recently found, and some are old goodies. I’m really into natural healthy foods lately so I’ve been looking for ways to make some of my old recipes healthier. Cooking is therapeutic for me. It allows me to be creative and there is so much to learn. When I’m trying a new recipe, I will follow the measurements to the tee, but once I’ve figured it out, I will tweak it to what I like. Eventually, I won’t use measuring spoons and just wing it. I am a firm believer that every one (men and women) should learn to cook at least one dish – preferably your significant other’s favorite. It’s always nice to know that some one took the time to make something you love. Cooking is fun so don’t be afraid to give it a try :-)

Here is my Red Sauce recipe. I use it for spaghetti, rigatoni, lasagna, and pretty much any red sauce pasta dishes.



Ground Turkey

1 – 2 c. Spinach (frozen or chopped)

1/2 onion – chopped

5 – 8 mushrooms (use as much as you like) – chopped

1 clove of garlic – minced

Italian Seasoning

Sea Salt

Garlic Powder

Red Wine

1 Jar Red Pasta Sauce

Warm Large cooking pan with olive oil. Brown ground turkey and salt and garlic about 1/2 tsp each)

Brown Ground Turkey and add Seasoning

Add Mushrooms and Onions – cook until softened.

Mushrooms and Onions added

Add Spinach- I like to use frozen spinach but fresh spinach works just as well :-)Season some more with Garlic and Italian Seasoning.

Add Spinach

Once spinach is soft, add 1/4 c of Red Cooking Wine, some more garlic and italian seasoning. Lower heat and allow to simmer for 10 -15 min.

Add Red Wine

Mix well and let simmer for about 10-15 min

Add Red pasta sauce. I add water to the jar to make sure I get all the sauce out.

Add Red sauce and water

Add 1/2 c. of Red Cooking Wine.

Add wine, season one last time, and mix well

Cover and simmer.

Season with Garlic and Italian Seasoning one last time. Make sure all ingredients are mixed well then cover and let simmer on low for at least 30 min. Stir occasionally. The longer you let it simmer, the better it tastes :-)

I love to pour it on top of quinoa :-) You can easily make this vegetarian by replacing the meat with your favorite veggies. The more you use the better!

Or mix with your favorite whole wheat pasta.

On top of Quinoa - My Favorite!

Staying Healthy on Vacation

I recently went to Vegas to celebrate my 30th Birthday :-) We were there for 5 full days. This was the first time I’ve been on vacation since starting my healthy lifestyle. And it was definitely different.

I did not tell myself that I wasn’t going to eat certain foods or that I wasn’t going to drink at all. This was Vegas and my birthday celebration after all :-) But I didn’t want to throw away all the hard work I’ve done either. If you’ve been following my blog, you know that I did the Slim Down right before my trip. (Click Here for my results).

So… How did I have a Great Time And Stay Healthy? Well…. I did my best to Make Healthy Choices. What does that mean? It means, I made Staying Healthy a Priority. I planned on it.

Pack Healthy:
First, I made sure to pack my tennis shoes. That way I had no excuse to Not at least run. I planned on being active. (Other great things to pack are a jump rope and resistance bands. They don’t take up much room and you can do some great workouts.)

I also packed healthy snacks both in my purse and in my suitcase. This really helped me stay on track with eating 5 meals a day.

Set Alarm and Get Up!
I slept in but set my alarm for 8a. I got up and ran 3 miles every day (for the first 4 days). We were lucky enough to stay with a friend of mine for the first few days (Thanks Missy and Kendall), so I had a buddy to run with. Let me just say, running 3 miles on flat terrain is way easier than running 3 miles up and down steep hills. I didn’t worry about my time or pace, I just did 3 miles.

Don’t Stress!
Since the rest of the day would be spent running around doing activities, I did not stress myself out about getting more workouts in.

Eating Out…. It’s just one of those things that happens. Our meals tended to be later than usual and there were a couple nights where dinner was at 8p. This is where will power plays a big role. Every night, But One, I kept myself to two drinks. For my body size, this was perfect. For meals, I did my best to eat lean meats and veggies -especially if it was late at night. At the same time, I did not stop myself from having a bite or two of something tasty like the veggie fried rice from Tao.

My one downfall was that I did not stay hydrated :-( I fell back into my bad habit of forgetting to hydrate before leaving because I was so preoccupied with preparing for my trip. And when we got to Vegas, I just continued to forget. But I will definitely make sure not to do that again :-)

All in all, I think I did pretty well. Yes, I could have done better with some things but I know that before finding Tone It Up and changing my lifestyle, I would have done A LOT worse. The last time I was in Vegas I didn’t even think about being healthy at all. I drank myself drunk every night, ate maybe 2 meals a day, and would have laughed in your face if you suggested I go run.

When I look back at myself 3 years ago, I’ve come a long way – especially with how I view health and fitness. It is such a Big part of my life. My friend’s daughter asked me about eating fast food, soda, and candy. I told her I don’t eat or drink that stuff. She told me I was weird. Lol. I have no problem with that. I know that it probably seems weird or strange to some people that I’ve given up fast food, soda, and most sweets. Before it would have bothered me, but now it doesn’t. Peer pressure on vacation can be tough to deal with too. I just ask myself “how will I feel about this tomorrow?” If I am going to so disappointed than I won’t have it. You  have to be selfish with your health. I have gotten better at ignoring what others say and don’t care what they might think. I can be Healthy and have a Great Time!

Getting Toned and Healthy!

I don’t consider myself to be unhealthy, but I am prone to weakness (candy and rice). There is always room for improvement. One of the hardest things for me was getting exercise.

As a mom, it’s easy to use my kids and my busy schedule as excuses to avoid exercising. But I’ll be 30 this year and I wanted to get active! I know that it will only get harder as I get even older. I’ve been trying different exercise programs and diets over the last couple years, but nothing really worked for me. I’m not a fan of diets anyways. I want something I can incorporate into my life, not just for a few months. Plus, I’m not concerned with losing weight.

My main focus is to tone up and I finally found something that works for me: Tone It Up!Two ladies,  Katrina and Karena based out of L.A. who are trainers that focus on toning, strengthening, and living healthy.  I found them through Twitter and was instantly impressed by their YouTube channel(ToneItUpcom). Free workouts!! I decided to sign up for their Bikini Challenge Series to get 8 weeks of  workouts, tips, and motivation.

My Awesome Trainers: Katrina & Karena

I have been doing their workouts for the last 3 weeks.  They are challenging but fun. What I love about the Bikini Challenge is that there are new workouts every week – keeps it interesting. The emails are motivating and I’ve learned so much from my trainers. What stands out is that foods can claim to be “natural” or “healthy” but really aren’t.  The key is to read the Ingredients. I make sure that I can pronounce what’s on the label and keep chemicals out.

They also have a Nutrition Plan for a reasonable price.  It’s a one time fee for a Life time membership to the Tone It Up Team and there are so many amazing perks to becoming part of the team.  For details check them out: toneitup.com. I’ve tried the LarBars and ChoBani Greek yogurt as alternatives to my Fiber One Bars and Activia. It’s different, but not bad. In fact, they taste pretty good.  The biggest difference is the sweetness. You wouldn’t believe how much sugar is in a lot of  health foods. I plan on joining the Tone It Up team very soon.

My favorite tip from my awesome trainers: Get in tune with your body and listen to your body. Tone It Up works for me.  Find what works for you and get Healthy!