Monday, February 20, 2012

Motivate Me

People always say to me "You are so motivated" or "I wish I had you're motivation".  To that I say "Ha!"  I'm just like any other woman. I do not have a super-power type will that gets me working out every day. Just like everyone else, I would be happy to curl up with a blanket and watch a movie, read a book,  or just take a nap...and sometimes I do. Most days I NEED motivation. I NEED some sort of push to get me out the door. The motivation is never the same for too long and it constantly changes. Here are some ways I have stayed motivated:

1) Signed up for a race and told people that I was going to run it. Yep, that's it. A) All of those people will hold me accountable and B) I paid for it. I'm pretty frugal, so there is no way I would pay for a race and not do it unless I could not get out of bed. I huffed and puffed and vomited and limped my way through my first half marathon with a fever and bronchitis just because I paid for it.  I would not recommend that. Stupid idea....I wonder why my husband always tells me I'm stubborn....sigh...who knows...

2) Make plans to work out with a friend.  It's much harder to let a friend down than to let yourself down.

3) I constantly create fresh, new workout playlist on my iPod and will only allow myself to listen to it while working out. So, if I want to hear those awesome songs, I better get my butt out there.

4) New gear. I don't care what it is : a new headband, a new hat,  socks, shoes, sports bra, running shorts...whatever. If I have new gear, I will get out there and use it. *see 1B

5) My husbands deployment was a HUGE motivator for me. While he was gone, I was super motivated to work out. It got me out of the house instead of thinking about how much I missed him, it gave me a goal to see how much I could change my body in 18 months, and, I'm not gonna lie, I wanted him to come home to a smokin' hot wife :)

6) Find something you love. Is it dancing, yoga, cycling, roller skating? Find something you love to do and just do it.

7) When I start to get lazy, I will hang a picture of myself in a bikini on my mirror. That just scares me into working out.

8) Create a log book for your workout. I always keep a notebook of my workouts and it really helps to keep me on track.

9) Just think of how great you feel when you are done.

10) Think of that new outfit you want to wear. Tape it to your wall or even buy the outfit and hang it where you see it every day. Wanting to look good in it always gets me out the door.

11) Right now I am motivating myself with a money jar. It's right on my fire place mantle where it stares at me everyday and taunts me with "If you workout today, you earn another dollar". It sounds silly, but I pay myself a dollar every time I work out. When the jar is packed and full, I will buy myself something that I really want. I don't have anything I really want right now, but just watching that jar fill up is enough motivation for me.

So, there you have it...just some of the ways I stay motivated. I would love for you to comment and share how you motivate yourself. Thanks for stopping by. I love getting your comments and emails!

Monday, February 13, 2012

Lemon Pepper Turkey with Asparagus (Super Easy!)

Pin It

Sorry for my lack of posts these days...2 kids with confirmed flu, a very sick old dog, and a husband who was away for all know how that goes. Hopefully, things are calming down around here now.
     This is a very very easy recipe that I like to make on nights that I want to make something fresh and healthy, but don't have a lot of time. You can also use this recipe on the days I forget to take meat out of the freezer to thaw (which happens a lot)! I made it up out of desperation and leftovers. Along with many other things (chicken breast, sweet potatoes, boiled eggs, etc...)  I usually cook a big pot of brown rice, a couple of pounds of ground turkey, and steam asparagus. This is one of those things I threw together one night after a long day of activities, so excuse the lack of appropriate measurements:

1 lb ground turkey
1 bunch of asparagus
black pepper

Brown ground turkey with a little olive oil. Squeeze the juice of one lemon into the meat.  Add salt and pepper to taste. Sometimes, if I'm out of lemons, I will use an msg and salt free lemon pepper seasoning.
While turkey is browning, steam asparagus. I usually just put the asparagus on a plate with a couple of tablespoons of water and microwave it for about 3 minutes. Comes out perfect and still crisp.

Serve meat and asparagus over brown rice.
That's it! Super easy, right? My kids really love this too.  This is a great meal for those busy nights or a healthy lunch you can throw together if you already have the ingredients prepared. Hope you enjoy it. Let me know if you make it. I love to hear from you!
Don't forget me on Facebook.  I'd love to make it an interactive area for discussions and your photos:

Tuesday, February 7, 2012


Today I thought I'd write about the staples I keep in my pantry and fridge. These are the items I am never without and may or may not loose sleep if I start to run low on them. I can be a teeny bit neurotic that way. I went back and forth about writing this because, who really wants to know what I keep in my kitchen???? Well, I guess actually a few people (and by few I think about 3) have requested a blog post on my pantry, so here goes:

1) Walnuts and almonds- Walnuts are full of fiber, protein, B vitamins, and those super important omega 3 fats I discussed in an earlier post. I mix them with salads, oatmeal, hot cereals, or in my protein bars I make. Almonds are packed with protein, omega 3's, potassium, folate, and magnesium. These are my go to snack and I keep a bag of them in my car, my purse, and my gym bag.
2) Frozen Blueberries-I always throw a handful of these bad boys in smoothies, oatmeal, or yogurt. My kids just love them right out of the freezer. Blueberries are low on the Glycemic Index (I'll post about that later) and high in antioxidants. They are a great source of fiber, Vitamin C, and they are just plain good.
3) Whey Protein Powder- Choose carefully here. I have tried many protein powders and they are not created equal! Some of them taste I wanted to scrub my tongue with a brillo pad horrible. And Sweet Baby Jesus, some of them will give you horrible gas. I'm not trying to be funny, just thought I should warn you. The one I have found with the best flavor and no gassy side-effects is Muscle Milk (in powder form).  You have to experiment because everyone is different.  I add protein to my smoothies, yogurt, oatmeal, or almond milk. I use it on the days where I have had a particularly heavy work-out.  I would not recommend using it if you are not working out or it will just cause weight gain...not the muscle kind. I don't use it every day, just on days where I may need the extra protein.
4) Spinach, Asparagus, bell peppers, sweet potatoes, and mushrooms are my favorite veggies. I prep them when I get home and they are so easy to add to my egg whites in the morning, a protein at lunch, or a soup or stir fry at dinner. I usually buy veggies that are in season, but get these every time I shop or grow them in my garden.
5) Hummus- Hummus is one of my favorite snacks. I like to dip the above veggies in it or spread it on sprouted grain toast.
6) Egg Whites-
Egg whites by the carton are an easy way to get protein. I like the because they cook up quickly for breakfast or lunch and go with any vegetable I might want to add. I like to have them for breakfast with a little turkey sausage, veggies, and salsa.
7) Almond Butter - Almond butter is a great source of protein, iron, calcium, potassium, fiber, and monounsaturated fats. I use it on toast, in smoothies, and on fruit.
8)Bananas, Berries, Lemons, and Limes - Like with vegetables, I buy whatever fruit is in season, but always have these around.  They are super easy to bag up and take when you are in a hurry, go great in smoothies and on yogurt, and my kids love them.  I keep lemons and limes in the house because they freshen up water. I also like them on my avocados, and they are great for squirting on your fish and chicken.
9) Avocados-  Avocados are another great source of B vitamins, Folic acid, potassium, and fiber. They are also full of those good fats you need to keep you full and keep your skin and hair soft and smooth. My usual way to have them is just cut up with some balsamic vinegar, olive oil, salt, and pepper on top. This is probably my favorite snack.
10) Ground Turkey, Chicken Breast, and Salmon: These are all easy to prepare, low fat proteins that can be used in so many recipes. I will post some of my favorites on here in the coming months.
11) Almond Milk- This one took awhile for my family to get used to. One of my sons still prefers regular 2% milk, so we have that too. I don't force anything on anyone, but they all seem to come around eventually:)  I sometimes get soy milk, but almond milk is lower in sugar. You can read all about the benefits of almond milk here.  I have found that I have been able to use it in most recipes, but I don't like it as much as regular milk in creamy soups or hot chocolate.

So, those are some of the main staples in my pantry. The things that make it easier for us to maintain a clean eating lifestyle. I'm sure many of you already buy these things regularly, but if not, I hope you can take away some ideas and see that clean eating is not as boring or difficult as some might think. Again, thank you for all of the great support on this blog. You can also follow it on Facebook to get the latest updates, polls, discussions, and FAQ's.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Crotch Sweat and Grunting (Things that make me go "Ew!" at the Gym)

Warning: If you are easily offended or grossed out, do not read this post.

To me gym etiquette seems pretty common sense, but it seems some people treat the gym like their own private home. I mean, it's cool that people feel all comfortable at the gym, but c'mon, let's remember that there are others around you to consider. I have seen some pretty disgusting/hilarious things at the gym so I complied a list of favorite I have either seen myself or heard about from friends.

1) Naked Shaver Lady
The gym I go to has a really nice locker room. In that really nice locker room are benches near the locker area where you sit to change your clothes, counter areas for washing hands, drying hair, applying make-up, and fairly roomy and private showers with benches in case you need to sit down or shave at one point during your shower.  Well, there's this lady that my friends and I call "Naked Shaver Lady". One would think that Naked Shaver Lady might shave in the shower...or at least near the sink to be near some water, right? Oh no! Naked shaver lady shaves in the locker area on the benches where people lay their nice clean clothes or sit down to tie their shoes. Did I mention that she is TOTALLY NAKED when she does this. Ladies, you know how you have to position yourself to shave your legs. Yes. She does this. totally. naked. ...and waterless. Ouch.

2) Body Odor
Now I'm not offended by the typical body odor that comes from a hard workout. I have been in races where we are all sweaty and smelly and packed like sardines. I have been in cars, full of my friends and I after running long and sweaty races. No, body odor does not offend me at all. I smell sweaty almost every single day.  What does offend me is people who will run next to me on the treadmill and smell like their momma never taught them to wipe after they went number two.It's one thing to smell like a diaper after a hard core workout, that happens to me too...but to smell like one before you even start??? To those people I want to say : " One little baby wipe can go a long way". Maybe I should start carrying them in my gym bag and handing them out...just kidding...I think.

3) Loud Grunting
Gentlemen. The loud, obnoxious, obvious grunting. Please. I understanding a little grunting, huffing, puffing, and straining, but when you sound like the Incredible Hulk when he is a little low on fiber, it's a bit disturbing. When I can hear you through my very loud music in my ear buds, it's way too much. It really is not necessary to grunt with every single bicep curl or chest press. So, unless you are lifting very heavy weight and you are on your last set, please grunt quietly.

4) Crotch Sweat
Sweat does not bother me. Like I said, I sweat all the time. My husband, friends, and I give each other sweaty hugs at the end of a race. Sometimes my friends and I will hug or high five in the middle of a workout...sweat and all.  What does bother me is stranger sweat. What bothers me more than that is stranger crotch sweat left on a machine I want to use.  Dude! I do not want to sit in a puddle of your crotch sweat. I also don't want to wipe it with my towel I brought along to wipe the sweat off of my face with.  Clean up your own crotch sweat. Note: When working out in the weight room, bring two towels. One for wiping the equipment, one for your face. Don't get them mixed up.

5) Drying Your Hair
As I mentioned in #1, the gym I belong to has hair dryers in the wall. These are provided to dry your hair...on your HEAD. Well, believe it or not, there was this lady using the hair dryers to blow dry her "other hair". I'm not even kidding. I do not even have words for this. I bring my own hair dryer now.

6) The Locker Room is not a Picnic Area
I have been know to scarf down a protein bar and wash it down with an electrolyte drink between workouts while sitting in the locker room. People do it all the time. Nothing wrong with that. But there are people who lay out their entire lunches on the benches where people sit (sometimes naked) and change their clothes. One time my triathlete friend Luly called me and told me that someone had a whole salad bar lined up on one of those benches.  That's so weird because not only is there a lounge area in the locker room, but there is also a cafe where you can bring your own food. Bet if they had seen Naked Shaver Lady there in the past, they would have never set up their picnic in that spot.

Do you have any funny gym stories???