Now Eat This! Diet

I have a secret I hardly share with anyone. So why I'm sharing it on a very public blog, I don't know, but... I love The View! I like hearing all the ladies share their, often, varying opinions.

Watching The View has kind of become a morning ritual for me. I wake up, put on a pot of coffee, make my breakfast and snuggle up on the couch to watch the show.

Well getting to the whole point of this confession, on today's show they had Rocco Dispirito on to share his  new book Now Eat This! Diet.

It seemed like any other diet (claiming the book offered food that tastes good and makes you lose weight at the same time), until he said (paraphrasing) it's medically proven that if you eat more you'll lose more weight. That got my attention!

The funny thing is, the woman's plan only lets you eat 1200 calories a day!!

Does anyone else have a problem with this??


Food Post :)

I promised you guys a food post. So here it is!

These are meals that I've been eating almost daily for the last couple of weeks. What can I say? I'm a creature of habit!

1/2 cup steel cut oats, 1/2 cup egg whites, cinnamon, and almond butter.

1 serving plain Greek yogurt, grapes, and cashews.

Vegetable frittata with salsa.

Smoothie with vanilla protein powder, spinach, unsweetened almond milk, strawberries, and ice.

Protein muffins with cream cheese frosting. I keep a batch of these on my counter, and a tub of light cream cheese in my fridge at all times! I crave them daily.

Chicken breast with green beens (I barely cook them at all. I like my veggies to be crunchy!) and teriyaki sauce.

Cajun chicken breast with salsa and avocado.

Hope this gives you guys a little inspiration. I'm loving these right now.

I also made these granola bars a few days ago. They're incredible!! I can't stop eating them.

I'll talk to you guys soon. Thanks for the comments :)


Bad, bad blogger

Hey guys,

Sorry for being MIA. I was away from home for a few weeks visiting family, and now that I'm back I'm playing catch up with school - doesn't leave me much time to blog.

But any ways... I've made a few changes to my workout plan and diet plan I can share today. Tomorrow I'm planning to post meals that I've been eating a lot of lately. I know the food post are always my favorite!

So I've made changes to my plan because I'm trying to cut out about 4-5% of body fat. I never wanted to gain a ton of muscle, in fact, I'm more than happy with how much muscle I have now. I just want to trim off the fat. So I'm trying new ways of doing that.

Workout plan: I've added lots of intensive interval training to my current plan. Bodyrock.tv has been amazing site to get my workouts!

I love Zuzana's approach to fitness. The short workouts are super tough and often times leave me feeling shaking and sick to my stomach. So don't try them thinking they're too short or easy.

Eating plan: I've dropped my carbs significantly! I've taken on the "earn your carbs" approach. This means that I have to complete a workout before I can eat oatmeal, bread, and most fruit (excluding berries and green apples).

                                   (I just love this picture haha)

If you haven't noticed from my blog, I get bored easily. I need to keep on changing things to keep myself interested in fitness and eating right. There's nothing wrong with trying new things (I encourage it!). Go out there and try something new today! It's the best way to get out of a rut.


Why I Do Cardio

This is the post I was telling you all about. Dane -- a trainer in Seattle -- wrote this post. He's the one who has convinced me cardio should remain part of my program, and you know what? I've actually really enjoyed it. I like the feeling of pushing myself to the limit, and cardio is a great outlet for that.


I can’t tell you how hard it is for me, as a fitness professional, to read all the hate mail that has been put out there against cardio in recent years. I hate cardio as much as the next guy and have tried to find a good bit of evidence, that can be studied out and maintain its standing as a valid argument against cardio, that well let me feel good about ditching it from my workouts. Unfortunately, I don’t think substantial enough evidence exists to convert me to that camp.
                Granted I do not hold a Ph.D. in physiology, but my research and humble knowledge of fitness and the cardiovascular studies done throughout my certification process, as well as continued education, shed light in my mind on holes in the arguments against cardio. Frankly, I think there is a demand to acknowledge the importance of cardio in any fitness regiment.


                I do not dare refute the fact that that traditional cardio is not the most effective overall calorie burner, it is absolutely not. If you are simply trying to burn calories do a good leg workout. You will definitely burn more overall calories during and after your workout and for a longer period of time post-workout.
                I would like to take this time to draw your attention to some benefits of incorporating cardio into your workouts. I had thought about writing this in such a way as to cover a more broad view on cardio but on second thought I am going to keep it focused on how it can benefit you as a bodybuilder/weightlifter.
                I think it’s safe to assume that we all understand what cardio is. Doing anything that gets your heart rate up and increases circulation. But not all cardio is the same. Increasing your intensity on the weights definitely counts and can be greatly beneficial in the overall consumption of calories and in the end burning fat, getting lean, etc. but its important to understand why. Basically, the number one consumer of fat in your body is muscle. The more muscle you have the more fat you will lose. But just like any other muscle in the body, your heart must be trained and exercised as well. If you are seeing all the gains you want in the gym and looking lean and mean, but, you get winded walking up the stairs in your house, there is need for a change.

                The heart is exercised with cardio. But the increase in heart rate experienced during a set of any particular lift is not sufficient enough to actually increase the strength of your heart. You must sustain the increase of demand on your heart, by getting into your target heart range and staying there for 20-30 minutes.
                The heart is so important to your bodybuilding aspirations too. An improved heart means improved performance. When you train with cardio, cardio actually forces your body to develop more capillaries. These capillaries are microscopic delivery paths big enough for one red blood cell to squeeze through and are delivery pathways for nutrients to be delivered to your body. The better conditioned your heart and circulatory system is, (lungs too. Also improved with cardio), the harder you can lift and the faster you can make gains.  Furthermore, cardio can decrease your recovery time as well. After a hard lifting session doing a few minutes of cardio exercise will help carry away some of the byproducts produced during your workout and reduce your D.O.M.S.,(delayed onset muscle soreness). Cardio strengthens your body’s ability to send oxygen rich blood to your recovering muscle group, aiding in the rebuilding and recovery process, letting you get back quicker.


                Because of its affect on the metabolism, cardio will also help you maintain weight as well. Or lose depending on what the case may be. As for the “getting lean” aspect of the world of bodybuilding, I still swear by traditional methods of cardio as well. I know I touched on muscle being the largest consumer of fat in the body, it still is. But cardiovascular exercise actually imposes a stress that creates an environment for utilizing fat as a means of energy. The University of New South Wales in Australia recently put out a study showing that interval training such as interval sprints burns three times more fat than slow consistent cardio.
                Finally, cardio is cardio, yes. An increased heart rate is an increased heart rate. But, it is not all created equal as it relates to benefiting your results in the gym. The cardio method I signed onto for a long time was increasing my intensity in the weight room. Active rest, abs in between sets, supersets, burnouts. Whatever I could do to keep my heart rate going. The problem I ran into, was being so sore! It would take me a full extra day of rest to recover from a workout because my body was so traumatized by the stress I imposed on it. The problem I was running into was the over-exertion of my muscle groups. Yes, technically I was doing cardio and it was burning calories. But I was further increasing muscle fatigue, increasing my DOMS. Traditional cardio allows the same burning of excess calories, but without slowing recovery time. Thus, enabling the more frequent working of the same muscle groups, bringing about bigger gains!


Catch Up

It's about time I blogged the rest of my workouts this last week! Sorry it's taken so long, but I didn't have time to blog until now.

Shoulders and Arms:

Superset 1:
Upright Rows: 20 pounds (each arm), 12 reps, 12 reps; 25 pounds, 8 reps, 8 reps
Barbell Curls: 22.5 pounds, 12; 32.5 pounds, 10, 8, 8

Superset 2:
Push Press: 30 pounds, 12; 40 pounds, 12; 50 pounds 10, 10
Preacher Curls: 30 pounds, 8, 8, 8, 8

Superset 3:
Bridge Press: 32.5 pounds, 12; 45 pounds, 9, 8, 8
Reverse Grip Barbell Curls: 32.5 pounds, 8, 8, 8, 8

Superset 4:
Barbell Front Raises: 20 pounds, 12, 12, 12, 12
Skull Crushers: 30 pounds, 12, 12, 12, 12

Superset 5:
Machine Shoulder Press: 40 pounds, 8, 8, 7, 7
E-Z Bar Tricep Extensions: 30 pounds, 9, 8, 6, 6

Time: 53:23
Calories: 269
Max HR: 158
Average HR: 122

Legs and Abs:

Superset 1:
Barbell Squat: 50 pounds, 14, 12, 12, 12
Leg Raises with swiss ball: 12, 12, 12, 12

Superset 2:
Barbell Front Squat: 50 pounds, 12, 12, 12, 12
Crunch on swiss ball: 20, 20, 20, 20

Superset 3:
Leg Press: 130 pounds, 12; 145 pounds, 12; 160 pounds, 12, 12
Decline Sit Ups: 12, 12, 12, 12

Superset 4:
Quad Extensions: 115 pounds, 12; 130 pounds, 10, 10, 10
Flutter Kicks: 30 seconds each set (4 sets)

Superset 5:
Lying Hamstring Curls: 55 pounds, 12; 70 pounds, 6, 6, 6
Crossover Sit Ups: 10, 12, 12, 12

Time: 1: 03
Calories: 420
Max HR: 170
Average HR: 139

On my leg days, I never go heavy on squats. 50 pounds is very light for me, but I'm worried about my hips and my knees (I have issues with them, and need physical therapy to keep them pain free), so I tend to go for more reps than more weight.

The rest of workout days this week (two other days), I'll either do yoga, or cardio. My cardio has either been incline walking or the stepmill. I love the stepmill. It feels like I'm working really hard, and my heart rate is always super high.

I hope this gives you all an idea of where I'm at, lifting wise.

Please, if you have any questions send my an email, or ask in the comment section and I'll try to answer them as best I can.

I'm no expert on lifting or fitness. It's really just a hobby for me at this point. I like to be healthy, and have active goals I can work towards. This goes for fitness, school, and my personal life. I think to be healthy as humans we need to be continually growing and bettering ourselves.


Back and Pumpkin Muffins with Cream Cheese Frosting

I slept in today. It was wonderful, but left me feeling pressured for time. Considering how long my workouts have been lately.

So I shoveled in breakfast. No picture, but it was 40 grams oats, 1/2 cup egg whites, and 90 grams of apple, with splenda and cinnamon.

My workout this morning was not easy. Day 2 of week 1 is a back workout. Just like day 1, I do each exercise in the compound sets back to back with 1 minute rest in between each set, and I do 4 sets of each compound set.

Warm up: 5 minutes on the crosstrainer.

Compound Set 1:
Wide Grip Lat Pull Down: 50 pounds, 12 reps; 70 pounds, 12 reps, 10 reps, 8 reps
Seated Wide Grip Cable Row: 50 pounds 12; 70 pounds, 8; 60 pounds, 10, 9

Compound Set 2:
Reverse Cable Grip Pull Down: 70 pounds, 12; 80 pounds, 8, 8, 8
Neutral Grip Row: 60 pounds, 8, 7, 7, 7

Compound Set 3:
Neutral Pull Down: 80 pounds, 8, 6; 70 pounds, 10, 10
Underhand Row: 60 pounds, 8, 8, 8, 8

Compound Set 4:
Bent Over Barbell Row: 45 pounds, 8; 40 pounds, 10, 10, 10
Straight Arm Pull Down: 30 pounds, 10, 10, 10, 10

Compound Set 5:
Straight Leg Deadlift: 60 pounds, 12, 12, 12, 12
Shrugs: 60 pounds, 10, 10, 8, 8  

Cardio: 15 minutes on the stepmill at the end (this is all I had left in me, I would have liked to do 20 plus minutes, but I didn't have time for a second workout today).

My heart rate monitor wasn't working for the first 15 minutes and a few other shorter times throughout my workout, so these stats aren't accurate, but it gives you some sort of idea.

Time: 1:14: 04
Calories: 441
Max HR: 172
Average HR: 147

Post Workout Smoothie:

Same as always:

  • 1 banana
  • 1 scoop vanilla protein powder
  • 5 grams glutamine
  • 1 cup unsweetened almond milk
  • ice
About an hour later I ate some leftovers for lunch

  • 4.5 ounces salmon with a dill yogurt sauce on top 
  • 1/4 cup (measured uncooked) wild/brown rice
  • 1 baby zucchini cooked with garlic and olive oil
I also made these Pumpkin Muffins with Cream Cheese Frosting today.

I found this recipe somewhere online (I don't remember!), but tweaked it. 



    2 Eggs, beaten 1/2 cup pumpkin 1/2 cup almond breeze 1/4 cup applesauce 1 1/2 cup oat flour 2 scoops vanilla protein powder 1/3 cup splenda (could use more, if you like things sweet) 3 tsp baking powder 1 tsp cinnamon 1/4 tsp nutmeg

What to do:

Preheat oven to 400 degrees
Mix first four ingredients together, add splenda, vanilla, cinnamon and nutmeg. Add flour and baking powder together 
Pour into greased muffin tins
Bake for 20 minutes

Cream Cheese Frosting (for two muffins):


2 tablespoons light cream cheese
1 tsp splenda
1 tsp almond milk

What to do:

Mix the ingredients really well and spread them on top of the muffins. 

Stats for 2 muffins with the frosting: 214 calories, 8.3 grams fat, 32.6 grams carbs, 16.2 grams protein 

Shortly after I gobbled these two muffins up, it was time for dinner. 

Another chicken stir fry. I'm not going to post the ingredients, cause they are the same as always. 

After I ate this it was time for class. During my class I ate this. 

After class I had another one of April's protein cake:

I ate it with a serving of plain yogurt and 80 grams of strawberries. 

Well there you have it! I'm gonna finish watching the Bachelor (yes, I watch the Bachelor. I love it!), and call it a night. 


Chest and Abs (AGAIN)

Well I got a couple comments the other day about posting my workout details. Sooooo I've decided to redo week 1 of my program and post the details for you guys!

Day 1 of week 1 is chest and abs.

I try to only rest for 1 min in between supersets and I do each superset 4 times. It gets tiring quickly!

Superset 1:
Dumbbell Bench Press: 20 pounds (each arm), 12 sets; 25 pounds, 12; 30 pounds 8, 8
Leg Raise with Swiss Ball: 15, 12, 12, 12

Superset 2:
Dumbbell Incline Press: 22.5 pounds (each arm), 12 sets; 25 pounds, 9, 8, 8
Bicycle: 20, 20, 20, 20

Superset 3:
Dumbbell Flyes (machine was broken at the gym): 15 pounds, 12, 10, 8, 8
Russian Twist: 20, 20, 20, 20

Superset 4:
Machine Chest Press: 55 pounds, 12; 70 pounds, 7, 7, 7
Machine Crunch: 55 pounds, 15, 15, 15, 15

Time: 54:41
Calories: 323
Max HR: 147
Average HR: 128

So there you have it. I'll try to be diligent and post every workout I do this week. Thanks for reading :)


Wake Up Call

Well it's that time in the semester where things start to become real again. I have a plethora of projects with deadlines looming that need much attention, so I thought I'd do one of those traditional posts for you guys.

Breakfast was blue (kinda fun):

Egg white oatmeal:

  • 40 grams oats
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened almond milk
  • 3/4 cup egg whites
  • 1 cup frozen blueberries
  • splenda and cinnamon 
I then went to the gym and killed myself in a shoulder and arm workout. My shoulders were burning the entire time! Seriously, these are some of the toughest workouts I've done in a loooong time. I've had to break my cardio (post coming on why I'm choosing to keep cardio in my program), and my weight workouts into two-a-days. If I don't, I just have zero energy. 

Post-workout smoothie:

  • 1 banana
  • 1 1/2 scoops of vanilla protein powder
  • 5 grams glutamine
  • 1 cup unsweetened almond milk
  • lots of ice
This has been my favorite post-workout meal lately. 

Shortly after I drank this and cleaned up, I went to active release. I don't know if you guys know about active release, but it can be pretty painful. I have trouble with my hips and now my knees (as a result of the problem with my hips), and if I don't go to these appointments it shuts down my workouts from pain. Today's appointment was pretty brutal. My left knee is still sore, but I know it'll make things better in the end. 

As soon as I came home I made lunch:

  • 1 serving tortilla chips
  • 5 ounces extra lean ground beef with cajun spices 
  • 1/2 cup salsa
This is UNREAL! Seriously, I would eat this several times a day if I could. 

Homework, homework, homework and then snack:

Homework, homework, dog searching (I want to buy a dog. Cross your fingers that my man will let me :)), and more homework and then supper:

Teriyaki Shrimp:
  • 20 medium sized shrimp, cleaned
  • 90 grams green beans
  • 1 cup broccoli 
  • 1 tablespoon teriyaki sauce
  • garlic powder and ginger powder to taste
Cook everything at the same time. Once the shrimp have curled into circles, it's done! 

Homework, homework, homework, snack:

April's protein cake with plain yogurt. 

Daily stats: 2033 calories, 62 grams of fat, 181 grams of carbs, 201 grams of protein. 

After this last snack, I did a little bit more homework for my Criminology class and then made an inspiration board. I got this idea from The Fitnessista. Since I'm a visual person, and wanted to find a way to keep myself motivated throughout the year, I thought this would be the perfect way to combine the two! 

Have a great night everyone, chat with you all soon. 


Chest and Abs

The very first day of my new workout cycle was completed today. And let me tell you... it was a dooseee!

Chest used to be an easy day for me, not any more. Thanks Dane!

As I mentioned earlier, Dane, a trainer in Seattle made this new program for me. The next few paragraphs I simply copy and pasted out of the email Dane sent me.

Week 1 is "Fixed Motion and Power." This is any movement or workout that keeps both sides of your body "tied." Pretty much barbell lifts and machine lifts.

Your focus: breathing, your core, and form form form!

Rest: 60-90 sec between each set/superset/compound set

Sets: 4; superset with accompanying muscle group

Rep range: 8-12. Always work to the top of your range. Start at 12, if you reach 12 reps easily increase your weight by a comfortable increment and again try for 12 reps, or failure, which ever you reach first. Every time you reach the top of your rep range, increase your weight.

Day 1: Chest and Abs

Barbell bench press
Reverse grip barbell incline press
Standard incline press
Pec-deck machine flye's
Machine press
*Build Your Own Abs (choose from list below)

Day 2: Back and Posterior Chain (compound sets)

Wide grip Lat pull down
         -> seated wide grip cable row
Reverse close grip pull down
         -> seated neutral grip mach row
Neutral grip pull down
         -> seated underhand cable row
Bent over barbell row
         -> straight arm pull down
Straight leg deadlift
         -> smith machine rear shrug**

Cardio 20 min. Moderate intensity.

Day 3: Shoulders and Arms

Power snatch
          -> barbell curls
Push press
          -> preacher curl
Bridge presses***
          -> reverse grip barbell curls
Barbell front raises
          -> skull crushers
Machine shoulder press
          -> O.H. E-z bar tri extensions

Day 4: Legs and Abs

Barbell squat
Barbell front squat
Leg press
Quad extensions
Lying hamstring curls

Build your own abs.

Day 5: Free Day, Core and Cardio

I will leave this day up to you. Whatever you feel has been neglected through the week go ahead and work that. Do some core/ab work and then do some light to moderate cardio on the bike to loosen up the legs.

Day 6: REST

Day 7: Cardio

Moderate to high intensity.

Build Your Own Abs:

Upper abs: crunch, weighted crunch, cable crunch, decline cable crunch, machine crunch, roman chair sit-up, supported crunch, exercise ball crunch, medicine ball throw.

Lower abs: reverse crunch, hip thrust, scissor kick, exercise ball roll out/in, reverse incline crunch, hanging run in place, hanging leg raise, hanging knee raise.

Obliques: oblique crunch, bicycle, jackknife, decline medicine ball twist, crossover crunch, standing oblique cable crunch, Russian twist.

So this is what my workout looked like today. I did make a few adjustments to Dane's plan. 
Dumbbell Bench Press - 4 sets of 27.5 (each arm) of 12, 12, 10, 8 reps
Roman Chair Straight Leg Raises - 4 sets of 15 reps           

Incline Press - 1 set of 27.5 (each arm) of 8 reps; 3 sets of 22.5 of pounds, 11, 10, 10
Scissor Kicks - 4 sets of 40 

Pec Deck machine Flyes - 2 sets of 55 pounds, 10, 10; 2 sets of 40 pounds, 12, 12
Decline Sit Ups - 4 sets of 10 

Machine Press - 4 sets of 55 pounds, 12, 10, 10, 10
Russian Twists - 4 sets of 10 pounds, 20, 20, 20, 20

Time: 55:59
Calories: 364
Max HR: 163
Average HR: 134


Home Gym

WARNING: The following pictures use flash and are just plain terrible. These images may be offensive to some viewers (mainly professional photographers). Viewer discretion is advised.

Well we got a home gym this week! My husband has been scouring the city, looking for the best deals around. He did a great job people!

This is part of it. The most I could capture in one shot.

Starting from the left: kettle bell, power blocks, and free weights.

Our yoga gear. Power blocks and mats. I like to do yoga about once a week, just to keep my muscles loose.

This is our squat rack. There is a lat pull down and a seated row (there are different handles that go with the cable machine. So you could do bicep curls, tricep extensions, etc.).

Not sure what this one is called. But you can do a hanging back extension and hanging sit ups. This machine is killer!

Here is where we do pull ups. I love working on my pull ups. I can do about three in a row, then I have to switch to jumping pull ups.

There is a roman chair on the other side of the pull up machine. There are also handles that you can use for tricep dips.

Starting on the left: rower, bench, and Drew's bike that he has on a stand, so he can ride it inside during the winter.

Things that went unmentioned so far: punching bag, plyo boxes, medicine balls, and swiss ball.

We're moving to a home we're building now. It won't be ready till October, but in our gym there, we're planning to install mirrors on most of the walls. Can't wait for that. It's so nice to see your form when you're doing an exercise. I would argue that it's vital.

I am still going to keep a gym membership. I like having the variety of all the equipment a commercial gym contains.

I hope you all have a wonderful weekend! Gotta get some school work done now.


Food Log

My post today is another adventure in my daily eats.

I don't know what's up, but for about a week my hunger has gone through the roof! About a month and a half ago I upped my calorie intake from 1500 calories per day to 1800 calories per day. Even with the added calories, I wake up at night to my stomach growling, and all throughout the day I can hardly go two hours without being hungry.

Any idea what's up? I'd love to have some advice!

Breakfast this morning was a little different.

I didn't add any fruit to my bowl of oats, so I added... cover your ears... splenda (I know... very bad. Tisk on me).

  • 30 grams oats
  • 1 tablespoon chia seeds (gelled overnight)
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened almond milk
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 3/4 cup egg whites 
  • 1 tablespoon almond butter
Lunch was pretty plain-jane.

Just a piece of whole wheat toast with 3/4 tablespoon peanut butter, and a serving of 1% cottage cheese.

Snack 1 was a Muscle Cook's protein bar. LOVE these bars, even though they are pretty sticky. 

Snack 2 (consumed maybe an hour later) was leftover turkey meatballs. 

Supper was really good. Usually I get super sick of eating stir fries, but tonight's was awesome. 

  • 5 ounces chicken breast
  • 1 cup broccoli 
  • 1/3 cup green beans
  • 1/4 red bell pepper
  • 1 tablespoon teriyaki sauce 
Lastly, dessert

My sister has me hooked on greek yogurt and honey. Perfect combo! Eaten with this, Jamie Eason's carrot cake protein bars. 

All in all, 1,787 calories, 58g fat, 150g carbs, 177g protein. 

I have some exciting posts coming up! One of them is a guest post written by a trainer out of Seattle, and the other is my new workout cycle, Dane (the trainer from Seattle), has made for me. So stay tuned! 


Turkey Meatballs

Another recipe!

Hello friends. It was a busy weekend... filled with morrrrre snow!

Anyways, before I go off on another tangent about our terrible weather, let me tell you about our dinner last night.

It was another tomato sauce based recipe. Turkey meatballs with tomato sauce.

For the meatballs:

  • 32 ounces ground turkey breast
  • 1/2 cup panko breadcrumbs 
  • 1 egg
  • 3 tablespoons tomato paste
  • basil, oregano, garlic powder, onion powder (all to your taste)
Mix all the ingredients together (with your hands works best), but don't over mix. Mix just until everything is combined. Form the mix into meatballs. I got 17 out of this recipe, and they were pretty big. Bake them on a greased baking sheet at 350 for 20-25 minutes. 

For the tomato sauce:
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/2 an onion, chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon ground basil
  • 2 teaspoons dried oregano 
  • big pinch of red pepper flakes
  • 1 28 ounce can of tomatoes
  •  1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar 
Heat the olive oil on medium heat. Add the chopped onion and let cook until soft. Add the garlic and spices and cook for about a minute more. Then add the tomatoes and balsamic vinegar. Don't skip out on the vinegar! It adds a great depth of flavor. Again, the longer you cook the sauce, the better it will taste. If it gets too thick, just add a little water. 

You can serve this meal with spaghetti squash, pasta, or a salad like we had.

Here's what our backyard looks like with all the snow. They say we've had more snow this year than we've had in 20 years!

Makes me wanna cry looking at it.... 


Shrimp Soup Recipe

I love answering questions on my blog. One of the commenters from my last post, asked me if I could share my recipe for Shrimp Soup

It's the simplest recipe I can think of!

  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • half an onion
  • 6 cloves garlic
  • 1 tablespoon ground basil (didn't have fresh, but it's better)
  • 2 teaspoons dried oregano 
  • 1 generous pinch of red pepper flakes
  • 1 28 ounce can of tomatoes 
  • 40 medium sized shrimp, cleaned and shelled
  1. Heat the olive oil over medium heat, add the onions and cook until they are soft.
  2. Add the garlic and spices. Cook them for a minute.
  3. Add the tomatoes. The longer you cook these ingredients the more flavor will be developed. 
  4. When you are about 5 minutes away from serving the soup, add the shrimp and cover the pot. Shrimp take hardly any time at all to cook. You'll know they're done when the curl up and turn pink.  
Nutritional Info: 286 calories, 27.8 grams protein, 18.1 grams carbs, 9.3 grams fat

If you make it, let me know what you think. I love it. It's one of my stand by recipes actually. We love shrimp, so I have it on hand always. 


Stuck in the Snow

You know you're dedicated to working out when you get stuck in the snow twice trying to get to the gym!

This is the view outside my front door. If you can see those tire tracks, it's on that very road that I got stuck. BRUTAL conditions here in Alberta, Canada. We got about six inches of snow last night. That plus the snow we had before last night, goes past my knees when I step in it! There's still a heavy snowfall warning in effect, and it's supposed to snow until tomorrow night.

I think it's probably pointless to say that I'm missing Hawaii more than ever! Being locked up in your house, with zero groceries is less than ideal. My diet has consisted of oatmeal, egg whites, and smoothies. That's about all I can make with the food that I do have in my house.

I wanted to talk a bit about post vacation meals today. After I travel for more than a week, my body is usually craving homemade food, protein, and green tea. This vacation was special because we had a kitchen to cook healthy meals in, so my body wasn't really craving anything at all when I came home. Never the less, there was plenty of cheating in Hawaii (think oreos, wine, and nacho chips). So I've been making a special effort to get my meals back to normal.

Pumpkin Oatbran with egg whites and almond butter

Berry Oatmeal with egg whites and almond butter

Green Tea (trying to stay warm here!)

Toast with peanut butter and cinnamon


Tomato Shrimp Soup

Scrambled Eggs

That's about all it's been for the last few days. Can't wait till the roads are good enough to make a Cosco trip.

Hope the weather is better where you are!