Supplementing Your Workout

Part of being a healthy person and having a healthy lifestyle is giving your body what it needs to perform at that top level. Although buying all the supplements and all the pill forms that promise results, you can get away from making those ridiculous and expensive purchglass_0ases by buying the right food. Every body knows that protein helps build lean muscle, but you really don’t need to go buy a fifty dollar powder at the local fitness store. By drinking a glass of 2% chocolate milk, you get the protein and vitamins needed at 1/50 the cost. Having a healthy diet can get you all the appropriate vitamins and proteins needed without getting crazy and spending an arm and a leg on supplements. Every workout you do, your body is pushed to the limits and the muscles are sore and weak. The muscle fibers are tearing and causing soreness. The same goes for when you do lower body workouts, lactic acid builds up causing soreness and to help build muscles and a quicker repair process, protein within 30 minutes after a workout can have great results. When your body is tired and it is breaking down and is sore it is looking for other places to get what it needs, sugar, potassium, carbs, protein. By replacing the needed energy sources right after a workout you give your body the best chance to heal and repair itself even on the toughest workouts. Of course drinking one 12 ounce glass of chocolate milk after a work out won’t work immediately, yes it will help that one day it is done but you need to get in the habit of supplying your sore torn muscles with protein each and every workout so it knows that it doesn’t have to search for the needed energy sources. So, just like everything else that takes time and consistency, results take time to show but if you start with the right tools for success you are more likely to achieve your individual goal much faster and see better results. Every workout is different but the baseline is the same. Sticking to a game plan and putting it to use is the hard part!

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Photo Credit: http://www.choosechocolatemilk.com/

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The workout with a plan!

The importance of getting a good workout in, is going into your workout with a plan. To target muscles you want to focus on can dramatically improve results, also when you target a muscle group you can rest the muscle groups that you had worked out before so you are never overdoing an exercise. One of my favorite workout days is “Back and Biceps.” The glamor muscles as they are called. Back is really important to keep strong because it stabilizes all the muscles in the upper body. When you go to the gym you really don’t see people doing a lot of pullups, you always see people putting up massive amounts of weights on the bench press and always that guy squatting with two friends helping him yell and get 500 pounds off the ground. exercise.eat.ignore.you

The most basic exercises are basic for a reason, but the basic ones are the ones that work! Doing max pull ups is not only great all around for the back but it works all the muscles in the upper body. Pull ups also burn fat because you are using all of your muscles to stabilize your body to get it up and over the bar. The best thing about pull ups is that if you can only do 1, then do 1. That single pull up will build and if your consistent then each and every day you will be able to do a little more and a little more. Just hanging from the pull up bar as long as you can builds strong back muscles and lean body types. Biceps on the other hand everybody has heard of the saying, “high reps low weight for tone and low reps and high weight for bulk.” That is 100% true. My best bicep workouts are workouts where you are constantly challenging the target muscle group. Little to no breaks in between exercises and high reps low weight. You start burning calories when your body hits that zone. The whole reason to go to the gym is to stay healthy and to be strong. Not just strong muscles but strong minded. A healthy person is a happy person. If you show up to the gym with a plan and a target muscle group you will find yourself focusing on that specific muscle, concentrating on the basics and trying to stay in the calorie burning zone. Back and biceps are the glamor muscles and should be challenged time and time again to keep your body toned and fit. Check out this site for great “muscle group” exercises!

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Back on the treadmill…

Screen shot 2013-04-08 at 6.50.47 PMAnd I’m back on the treadmill… What was with the snow this morning? April 8th = snow day. I usually try to run between 3-4 miles, 3-4 times a week but I’ve been feeling good and wanted to bump up my cardio! I got to run a outside a few times last week, just enough to tease me, then the cold weather hits! I can run in cold weather, but as soon as the wind starts blowing, I’m over it. Running on the treadmill is hard to get in to, but once you hit that 10 minute mark, you get that adrenaline rush and don’t want to stop. Here is the treadmill workout I tried out this morning, it really had me sweating and I felt great afterwards!

Some tips that help me keep focused on my workout, rather than constantly checking on how much time you have left on the treadmill, make a playlist ahead of time so you never get a song that UN-motivates you. And sometimes I take my Kindle Fire to the gym, put a couple of “How I Met Your Mother” episodes on and before you know it, your workout is done! Or sometimes I even read a book, but that’s more for the elliptical or stairmaster days, because it’s hard to concentrate when running! These little tips help make the time go by much faster because being stuck on machines and trying to get a good cardio workout is very frustrating and boring, so when the weather isn’t on your side, try out my advice!

And if you want to follow this cardio session with a great ab or leg workout, check out my past butt kicker and snowy day blogs!

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Breakfast + Pizza = Breakfast Pizza for dinner!

I know, I know, lots of recipes lately, but I’ve had lots of company so it’s been the perfect time to tryout some big dishes! I absolutely love breakfast and I love pizza, so when I saw Guy Fieri from Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives visit a place that made Breakfast Pizza, I had to try it! I didn’t write down the exact recipe that I saw on the show, but I had a rough memory of what was put into making this delicious pizza. I felt like having breakfast for dinner, so I made this pizza tonight and it was killer! It was plenty for probably 3-4 people, I had leftovers. I’m not sure how well the egg will keep overnight but I didn’t want to throw it away. Try it out and let me know how it goes!

Ingredients:

IMG_26642 cups mozzarella cheese

pizza dough (I bough pre-made dough from Safeway, worked perfectly)

1 cup of pesto

4 slices bacon- cooked and chopped

5 green onions- chopped

5 strands of chives- chopped

1/4 cup parsley- chopped

2 tbsp. red onion

4 eggs

Directions:IMG_2667

1. Cook bacon. I just cooked the bacon in the microwave. Don’t cook it too much because it cooks more in the oven. Chop into bite size pieces.

2. Spray non-stick cooking oil onto pan, make dough into about a 12 inch round pizza pie and place it on pan.

3. Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

4. Spread pesto sauce onto dough then cover sauce evenly with mozzarella. Sprinkle bacon, red onion, green onion, chives and parsley on top of cheese. Crack eggs over top of everything (shown above and to your right).

5. Bake for 15-20 minutes, or until cheese is melted, eggs are cooked and crust is done (check   the bottom of the pizza to see if crust is cooked).

6. Enjoy!

Please follow me on Pinterest and Twitter for more recipes and workouts to try! Tomorrow will be a workout blog, so keep following me for a great upper body and cardio workout!

 

Spinach-Ricotta Chicken Parmigiana

This dish is absolutely one of the best things you will ever eat, and the name rhymes! I don’t know how I ever ate chicken parmigiana before this recipe. I’ve made spinach-ricotta stuffed chicken before, and I’ve made chicken parmigiana, but I’ve never thought about joining the two recipes! It’s a little difficult to make but it’s worth it. Total time took me about 45-50 minutes, but hopefully my mistakes will help you out!

Ingredients:

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6-8 thin chicken cutlets

1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese (total of 4 tbsp.)

6 tbsp. ricotta cheese

1/2 cup Italian bread crumbs

6 oz. frozen spinach (thawed and drained)

Mozzarella cheese (I used Precious)

Salt and Pepper to taste

3 tbsp. egg whites

Marinara sauce (15 oz. Buitoni was plenty)

Directions:

-Mix 1/2 cup Italian bread crumbs and 2 tbsp. Parmesan cheese together.

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-Put 2 tbsp. egg whites in a bowl.

-In a medium container, mix 1 tbsp. egg whites, 6 oz. spinach (squeezed dry), 6 tbsp. ricotta cheese, 2 tbsp. Parmesan cheese and grate about 2 tbsp. of mozzarella cheese. Mix thoroughly.

-Preheat oven to 450 degrees.

-Rinse chicken and season with salt and pepper.

-Lay chicken on flat surface, spread a layer of the spinach-ricotta mix on the chicken, roll the chicken loosely with the ends on the bottom.

-Dip chicken roll in egg whites then in the bread crumbs. Make sure bread crumbs are evenly spread on the chicken roll. Place chicken on a baking dish (with the ends down). Repeat.

-Bake for 25 minutes at 450 degrees.

-Remove chicken from oven, spread marinara sauce on top, slice a piece of mozzarella and place on top of each chicken roll.

-Bake for about 3-4 minutes or until cheese is melted.

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I served my spinach-ricotta chicken parmigiana with a simple salad and ciabatta bread. It is very rich so don’t make too many side dishes. And I just cooked this tonight so I’m not sure how the leftovers will turn out, I’m thinking they might be better than it fresh out of the oven! Please try it out and let me know if you have any suggestions or improvements! Follow me on Twitter and Pinterest for more recipes and workouts!

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Who wants to get their butt kicked?

This is the workout that will make your butt feel like it’s on fire and make you feel like you’re 80 years old BUT burn 600-700 calories and tone those legs!!! I’ve been training hard for work these past couple weeks and wanted to get my legs and lungs a great workout. It’s very important to not lift before running, especially on a leg day. You can easily pull something if you were to lift then run, so get the treadmill run in then do the leg workout!

I always get a better cardio workout when I get to run outside but since it was crappy out this past weekend, I was back on the treadmill… The good thing about the treadmill is that you can adjust your incline so easily, running outside takes that aspect away. You’re either running uphill too much or not enough. I came up with an awesome 40-50 minute treadmill run and intense 30 minute leg workout! I like to use a 10-14 lb. medicine ball when I do the leg workout! It adds that little bit of extra weight to really get your heart pumping and legs burning! Check out this website for “how to” videos for each exercise. Good luck!

Treadmill Run:

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Leg Workout:

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Follow me on Twitter and Pinterest for recipes and more workouts to check out!

Pesto Chicken & Potato Salad

Summertime is right around the corner and my salad cravings are kicking in. My all time favorite salad is potato salad! I’ve always thought it was the hardest to make until this past winter. My Aunt Carol taught me how in 10 minutes! And to go along with a good potato salad, I made some pesto chicken in the crock pot that turned out to be one of my favorite crock pot dishes!

Potato Salad ( 6-8 servings)IMG_2627

Ingredients:

8-10 yukon gold potatoes- boiled, peeled (if desired) and cubed

4 eggs- boiled and shredded (cheese grater)

5-6 celery sticks – chopped

5-6 green onions- chopped

10 petite dill pickles- chopped

1 tbsp. celery saltIMG_2628

1 1/2 cups mayonnaise

salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

1. Poke holes in potatoes with a fork. Boil potatoes and eggs for 30-40 minutes (until potatoes are soft enough to stick knife through).

2. While eggs and potatoes are boiling, chop celery, onions and pickles.

3. Once eggs and potatoes are done, let sit for 15-20 minutes to cool. After cooling,                                                                             peel potatoes (if desired) and cube. And shred the eggs (with a cheese grater).IMG_2629

4. Mix potatoes, eggs, celery, onions and pickles in a large container.

5. Add mayonnaise and celery salt and mix thoroughly. Add salt and pepper to taste.

6. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour before serving.

Pesto Chicken

Ingredients:

3-4 chicken breasts

1 packet ranch dressing (powder)IMG_2625

8 oz. pesto sauce

1 cup chicken broth

Directions:

1. Put chicken in crock pot.

2. In a bowl, mix ranch dressing, pesto and chicken broth.

3. Add mixture to chicken and stir.

4. Crock pot on high: cook for 4-6 hours. Crock pot on low: cook for 6-8 hours.IMG_2626                                                                                                                                                         Follow me on Twitter and Pinterest for more recipes and workouts! Happy Easter!