Monday, February 11, 2013

Low Carb "Pasta" Spaghetti Squash to the Rescue!!

If you are trying to cut out wheat, carbs, or just eat healthier in general, spaghetti squash is an awesome substitute!  I know what you're thinking, squash?  REALLY?  Will I like that?  Will my kids eat it?  Is it hard to make? 

Well, all I can say is I like it, my kids liked it, and NO it was SUPER EASY!!  

See below for the simple way to make spaghetti squash:)  

STEP 1: Cut Squash In Half

STEP 2: Clean Out Seeds With A Spoon

STEP 3: Turn Squash Over and Add A Little Water To Cover Bottom Of Pan

 STEP 4: Prick The Outside Of The Squash With A Fork

STEP 5: Bake At 350 Degrees for 45 Minutes to One Hour - Remove From Oven and Let Cool - Use a Fork To Scrape the Spaghetti Strands From The Inside Of The Squash Into A Bowl

STEP 6: ENJOY!!!  Add your favorite spaghetti sauce with some Parmesan cheese and YUM!!

  • Top with some olive oil, toasted garlic, salt, and pepper
  • Butter, salt, and pepper
  • Sun dried tomatoes, olive oil, salt, and pepper topped with grated Parmesan cheese
  • Top with chili and cheese
  • Stir in salt, pepper, and melt cheese over top with some butter
Possibilities are ENDLESS!!

Monday, January 14, 2013

Yummy Roasted Veggies!


OK, it's no secret that we all NEED to eat more fruits and vegetables, but how do we get them in without spending hours everyday cutting, chopping, washing, and etc?

In an attempt to incorporate more vegetables in my own diet and hopefully in those of my husband and children as well, I decided to start roasting them!  The roasted flavor of say broccoli or brussels sprouts and different than any other way that I've tried cooking them in the past.  They come out with a nuttier and toasted flavor that is simply DELISH!

Here is a quick recipe (in a loose sense of the word) that you can follow to get started, but I encourage you to try different seasoning, oils, etc!
Make it your own!

1. I start with Brussels sprouts, carrots, celery, broccoli, cauliflower, grape tomatoes, bell peppers, potatoes, and whatever you want really.  I make sure they are all cut approx the same size.  You can also sweet potatoes, cauliflower, onions, whole garlic cloves, and even tomatoes (if you've never roasted a tomato, omg you do not know what you are missing!)

2. I then put them all in a big bowl and drizzle with olive oil, tastefully simple seasoned salt (or any that you like), and garlic powder and mix to coat. Sometimes I add Parmesan cheese too. You can really use whatever you want. 

3. Then I roast them at 400 in oven for about 30 min or until broccoli starts to brown and get crispy. Sometimes I mix them half way in between if I remember!

I usually store them in a large container and then use them everyday in the following ways:

  • Salads
  • Sandwiches
  • Mixed in eggs
  • Add beans and rice for a great meal
  • Add an Asian flare with a little tamari or soy sauce and some yummy brown rice
  • Add to a broth and make a tasty roasted veggie soup

The possibilities are endless!  
They should last about 5 days in the fridge.  (If you can keep them around that long)

Feel free to leave comments or ideas and please share this blog with your friends!

Friday, January 4, 2013

The Braless Workout

I know.  It sounds weird?

But, I'm gonna be completely honest with you, I HATE wearing a bra!  I don't know if it has to do with the God given blessing(s) that I've been given are more than most (guess I've been "blessed" in quite a few other areas too,lol) or just the fact that bras just aren't very comfortable.  Bottom line is, HAVING to wear a bra to do a workout can be somewhat of a hindrance, for me anyways.  Any excuse I can find to not workout, I will!

Soooo, with the New Year's Resolution, blah, blah, blah, stuff here again, I, like every other living breathing woman, am looking to incorporate more activity into my daily life.

In order to wipe out EVERY excuse this workout is PJ approved, roll out of bed ready, and BRALESS too!  

Hope you enjoy!!

SUPPLIES: You will need some minor workout equipment!  A stability ball and Kettlebells.  I got both of these items at Aldi this week on sale!  A stability ball = $7.99 and a 30 pound Kettlebell set = $24.99!   Worth every PENNY:)



1. Wake up, roll out of bed, and get movin!!

2. 50 Kettlebell swings - no stopping if possible.  Start with 10 lb Kettlebell and work your way up.

3. 20-25 Ball Bounces.  Sit on ball with knees at 90 degree angle and bounce up and down.  (Not too much, remember you're braless:)

4. Ball Planks - 30 seconds (starting out) - 60 seconds or more (advancing).  Rest your elbows on the ball getting your balance and lift your lower body.  Balance and hold this position for 30-60 seconds keeping tummy tight.  Repeat once.  More if you are superwoman!


5. 8-12 Ball Push Ups - Put your torso (easier) and work to your feet (hardest) on the ball and hands at chest and do push ups.  Do as many as you can, concentrating on your form.

6. 8-12 Wall Squats - Place ball behind you and the wall at about your middle back.  Keeping your knees above your ankles (never let knees go over your ankles) and leaning back on the ball, simply squat down as low as you can, but only till upper thigh is parallel with the floor.  Come back up.  Make sure to do this slowly and methodically, concentrating on the muscles being worked!  This is a great leg exercise!  Feel free to do 2-3 sets of these!

7. 8-12 Inner and Outer thigh leg lifts.  Lay on your side with the ball between your ankles and feet.  Bring you feet inward securing the ball.  Now lift your bottom leg off the floor (as far as you can) and repeat.  Then switch sides and do another set.  

8. 8-12 Back Extensions - Lay tummy on the ball and then extend legs behind you (if you can't do this yet, then leave legs bent) and on your toes.  Please hands locked behind head and lift upper torso up and then go back down.  Repeat.

9. 8-12 Ab Crunches - 2-3 Sets - Lay on ball with middle of back resting on ball and feet squarely on the floor.  Place hand behind head and crunch upwards pulling tummy in and not rolling the ball.  You don't have to crunch all the way up, just enough to contract the ab muscles (you'll feel it).  Slowly go back to starting position and repeat.  You can work your Oblique muscles by twisting to the left side then right side as well for a variation.

10. 8-12 Leg Curls - 2-3 sets - Lay on the ground with bottom of calves and feet on the ball.  Lift Hips up so that your body straight.  Pull feet in towards you, bending the knees, while keeping pressure on the ball and maintaining balance.  Then push feet back out.  DO NOT let your bottom touch the floor.  This will work the buttocks and legs.  

11. 8-12 Hip Raises - Rest your upper and middle back on the ball with legs bent and feet squarely on the floor.  Raise your hips as shown below and slowly repeat for 8-12 reps.

12. 8-12 Kettlebell Bicep Curls - 2-3 Sets - Take the 5 lb Kettlebell (or more if you're up to it!) in one hand and do a simple bicep curl 8-12 reps with each arm.

*Just use your Kettlebell instead of hand weights or use hand weights if you prefer.

 13. 8-12 Kettlebell Overhead Tricep Extensions - 2-3 Sets - Take 10 lb Kettlebell (or you can do one arm at a time and do a 5 lb).  Make sure that you can see your elbows in your peripheral vision.  Lift the weight up without locking your elbows and then lower down again.  Repeat.

14. Stretch on the ball - Make sure to take time to stretch!  It'll make your muscles and body feel amazing!  Some of my favorites are pictured below.

15.  Start your day!  It's amazing how this short 15 minutes workout can get your blood pumping!  IF you really want to boost your workout, do it again before bed!  

Let me know how this BRALESS workout works for you!!

** Please note that I am not a licensed trainer and/or doctor of any kind!  Please check with you doctor BEFORE starting any workout program;)