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Thursday, February 18, 2010

Night Club Gym

Of course this is in South Beach! This is my kind of gym...check out the video.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Asian Lettuce Wraps Recipe

Prepare to fall in love...

I was surprised at how much these tasted like PF Changes infamous lettuce warps. It's definitely all in the seasoning. You can find most of these and seasonings in the 'Specialty Foods' aisle at the grocery store. They definitely add up in price, but if you like Thai and Asian inspired food, you will definitely get your money worth.

This recipe is from the Crock-Pot website.

1 1/2 pounds extra-lean ground chicken or turkey (I used turkey)
1 medium onion, finely chopped
2 medium celery stalks, chopped
1/2 cup hoisin sauce
3 tablespoons soy sauce
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons fresh ginger, grated
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1 tablespoon sesame oil
1/2 tablespoon Asian chile paste (I didn't use this)
5 ounces bamboo shoots, canned and drained
12 ounces sliced water chestnuts, canned and drained
1 cup fresh bean sprouts
4 green onions, finely sliced
1/4 cup fresh cilantro, minced
14 crisp iceberg lettuce leaves
1/4 cup hoisin sauce

  1. In the Crock-Pot® slow cooker, combine the chicken, onion, celery, hoisin sauce, soy sauce, garlic, ginger, brown sugar, sesame oil, chile paste, bamboo shoots and water chestnuts.
  2. Cover; cook on Low 6 to 8 hours (or on High for 3 to 4 hours).
  3. Thirty minutes before the end of cooking, add the bean sprouts, green onions and cilantro. Mix thoroughly.
  4. To serve, place 2 tablespoons of the chicken mixture on an iceberg lettuce leaf and drizzle with hoisin sauce. Roll the filled lettuce leaf into a pocket-style sandwich.
I cooked mine on low for 7 hours, and then my slow cooker automatically turned to warm for about 3 hours. It was a little well done, but still delicious! I didn't use extra hoisin sauce like it suggests, the turkey was very flavorful without it.

Two thumbs up to this recipe.

Friday, February 12, 2010 Fitness quiz: How fit are you?

Go through the five simple self tests to find out how fit you are.

Fitness quiz: How fit are you? Fitness:

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Bodybuilding - Basic Routine

This is a good basic bodybuilding routine. Sets and reps can vary as necessary. It is best to start with 4 sets of 10-15 just to develop a good base. After that you can modify as necessary.

If you don't know how to do a certain exercise, make sure you ask the gym owner/worker for help with your form. Or search for the exercise on for a demo! Have questions? Email us at with questions!

all major groups on a specific day; Back, Shoulders, Legs, Chest, Arms – abs – calves.

i. Chest

1. Barbell or Dumbbell Bench Press – Slow and controlled

2. Incline Barbell or Dumbbell Bench Press

3. Dumbbell flys – Get a light weight and press the dumbbell up to straighten out your arms, then keep your arms straight and lower them so that your arms are parallel with your body.

4. Cable Cross-overs - Similar to flys, but you use the machine

ii. Back Routine

1. Wide Grip Pull ups

2. Wide Grip Barbell Low Rows (Bend over, grab the bar as wide as is comfortable, stay bent and pull it into your chest, lower and repeat

3. Narrow Grip Rows – machine or barbell

4. Lat pull downs

iii. Shoulders

1. Dumbbell shoulder press – Overhead press

2. Lateral Raises – standing move light weight to your sides

3. Barbell shoulder press – Standing presses using a barbell

4. Front raises

5. Rear raises – bend over and let your arms hang, keep your arms straight and move them up to parallel with your back

iv. Legs

1. Squats – Free Weight

2. Dead lifts

3. Straight leg dead lifts – set up a step and do dead lifts with straight legs make sure you feel the stretch in the back of your legs.

4. Leg Presses

v. Arms-abs-calves

1. Curls

2. Triceps pull down

3. Sit ups, or some other ab exercises

4. Standing calve raises

5. Seated calve raises

Recipe: Scallops on Spinach with Walnut Sauce

would have never thought to pair scallops and turkey bacon, but the two really hit it off!

This is from 500 Low-Carb Recipes cookbook by Dana Carpender. She gives this recipe credit to Tanya Rachfal.

Walnut Sauce:
2 cups of water
1/4 cup chopped walnuts
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 teaspoon grated lemon rind (I didn't use this)
4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Remaining Ingredients:
1 pound turkey bacon
12 ounces large sea scallops, about 16 to 20 scallops (I bought a bag of frozen scallops at Costco and they turned out really well)
Peanut oil
1 pound spinach

1. Bring the water to a boil in a small saucepan. Add the walnuts and boil for 30 seconds, then drain. Put the walnuts in a bowl, and combine with the lemon juice, lemon rind, olive oil, salt and pepper. Mix well and set aside.

2. Cut the slices of turkey bacon in half. Wrap a piece of bacon around a scallop and slip onto a skewer. Baste the scallops with the peanut oil.

3. Wash the spinach leaves thoroughly, and cook over high heat until done. Broil the scallops for 5 minutes, turn, baste, and broil the other side for 5 minutes. Serve the scallops over spinach and top with the sauce.

If you follow this recipe, it yields 4 servings, each with 10 grams of carbohydrates and 4 grams of fiber, and 37 grams protein.

Monday, February 1, 2010

Berry Banana Protein Shake

This is a protein packed, refreshing, after workout treat. Making shakes in the blender makes them ten times better!

1 scoop of vanilla protein (I used BSN Syntha 6 Vanilla Protein)
Half of banana
1/4 cup of mixed frozen berries
3-4 ounces of water or milk
5 ice cubes

Blend it on the 'smoothie' setting and you have yourself a nice treat. I like it more thick, so I use more ice, and eat it with a spoon like ice cream.

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Need New Workout Clothes?

Getting new gym gear always makes me want to workout even more.

I just happened to stumble into an Old Navy and what do you know? 30% off the ENTIRE Store!!! Today is the last day. I totally revamped my whole workout wardrobe. They have a really nice collection of yoga/workout pants for women, and in fun colors too!

Today, Saturday, is the last day for the sale...hurry in!

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Mike's Top 4 Eating Principles

1) Eat 6 meals per day

a. This is very important, because doing this will elevate your metabolism throughout the day. High Protein!

2) Don't eat any carbs after 6 p.m.

a. Carbs are not bad, but they are dangerous when used incorrectly. Your body needs carbs to function, but if you eat a bunch of them before bed they will be stored as fat over night. If you are hungry late, stay towards the protein and healthy fats.

3) If you are hungry by all means EAT!

a. You have to eat to maintain muscle, and to gain muscle, which are both very important things that will be covered later on. The key is the 6 meals per day and the slow burning carbs. Slow burning carbs keep your blood sugar and insulin levels under control, which keeps your body from storing fat. This will also keep you from overeating, because it will control your cravings.

4) Eat a large amount of protein, especially after your workout.

a. When you are in a bulking phase you should incorporate a fast burning carb after your workout (Waxy Maize Starch, White Rice, Gatorade)

b. This is incredibly important if you want to build muscle

For reference:

* Examples of Protein, Slow Burning Carbs, and Healthy Fats

a. Lean Protein -- egg whites, chicken breast, fish, Sirloin, turkey, whey protein shakes

b. Slow Burning Carbs – sweet potatoes, oatmeal, Brown rice

c. Healthy Fats -- nuts, avocado, olive oil

* Fast Burning Carbs

a. Waxy Maize Starch, white potatoes, white pasta, heavy sugary items

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Skillet Chicken Florentine Recipe

I made this for myself last night since Mike is on a more strict diet. It was amazing! It only took me a total of 20 minutes to prep and cook Yet another ridiculously good recipe from Dana Carpender's 500 Low-Carb Recipes book. She's amazing. Everyone needs this cookbook in their house.

Olive Oil
2 or 3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (I used 4 chicken tenderloins just for me)
1 package (10 ounces) frozen chopped spinach, thawed
2 cloves garlic, crushed (I used 4 cloves....I have a problem)
1/4 cup heavy cream
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Since this was just for me, I used a smidgen less of everything. I take after my grandmother and never get too scientific when measuring.

1. Warm a little olive oil in a heavy skillet, and brown the chicken breasts over medium heat to the point where they just have a touch of gold. Remove the chicken from the skillet.
2. Add a couple more tablespoons of olive oil, the spinach, and the garlic and stir for 2 to 3 minutes. Stir in the cream and cheese, and spread the mixture evenly over the bottom of the skillet. Place the chicken breasts on top, covers, turn the burner to low and let simmer for 15 minutes.
3. Serve chicken breasts with the spinach on top.

If you follow this recipe exactly, it contains about 5 grams of carbs and 33 grams of protein. Just to give you an idea, I try to stay under 100 carbs a day, and try to eat my weight x 1.5 in protein, so this fits right in with my low-carb diet.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Protein Waffle Recipe

Although I'm usually hungry when I first wake up, it's hard to find time to have a healthy meal before work. I like making whole wheat waffles on Sunday and then putting them in the toaster when I wake up for breakfast. They keep really well in the refrigerator and get super crispy when toasted.

Lucky me, I found a new recipe for Protein Waffles in my new low-carb cookbook, 500 Low-Carb Recipes by Dana Carpender.

1/2 cup raw wheat germ
1 cup soy powder (I used 1 cup of protein)
1/2 cup vanilla-flavored whey protein powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon Splenda
1/2 cup sesame seeds
3 eggs
3/4 cup heavy cream
1/2/ cup water
4 to 6 tablespoons oil or melted butter
I also added 1/4 cup wheat flour to make this a bit thicker if you don't use the soy powder

1) Preheat a waffle iron
2) Combine the wheat germ, soy powder, whey protein powder, salt, Splenda and sesame seeds in a large bowl.
3) Separate the eggs, reserving the yolks. Whip the whites until they're stiff, and set aside.
4) Whisk the cream, water, and oil together the egg yolks, and pour them into the dry ingredients. Mix well, and gently fold in the egg whites.
5)Use a cup to pour the batter onto your waffle iron, and bake until they're golden brown and crispy. Serve with butter and sugar-free syrup, sugar free jam or jelly, cinnamon and Splenda.

If you follow the original recipe, each serving, one waffle, has 8 grams of carbohydrates and 10 grams of protein. Great way to start your day.

Recipe from 500 Low-Carb Recipes by Dana Carpender

Going to work out?

Keep Mike's 3 basic training principles in mind to help ensure a good, productive workout, which will lead to results!

1) Keep it simple: I often have found that going back to basic lifts are the best recipe for success. Squats, Dead lifts, and Bench Press are perfect examples of compound joint movements that really stimulate your metabolism and growth.

2) Maintain Form: We have all probably been guilty of using too much weight and breaking form during an exercise. This is counterproductive. Not only do we hurt our workout, but we also risk injury.

3) Use maximum effort: This is what separates the average from the great. People will often stop long before reaching failure. It is not natural to push yourself to the brink, but when you learn to do so your gains will really take off.

A little about Mike

My hubby is new to blogging, and he is going to be posting on Health & Fitness Break. He is my fitness inspiration. Here's a little about him (he wrote it himself):
29 years old
BS mechanical Eng
MS Biomedical Eng (Biomechanics specialty)
5' 9 225 lbs
I started working out 15 years ago with my older cousins. I didn't know much then but listened to what they told me. I have gone back and forth in weight through the years from 175 - 235 pounds. I am currently cutting down to prepare for my first bodybuilding show. I need to cut down hard to figure out where my weak points are so that I can improve them.

Isn't he cute? Look forward to his posts...he has a lot of good stuff to say.

A Notebook

A notebook is very important. I need something, besides this blog, to document what I eat and do at the gym each day. It's important to keep track of your diet so you can look back to see what you ate, how many carbs, etc. I also use it for the gym to keep track of how much I lift and so I can increase my weight the next time.

Don't get just any notebook..nooooo. Get a fun one! It's going to be your diary, you might as well like to look at it! I splurged on a Moleskin pink notebook from Borders. Borders has a huge selection of notebooks. If you go there, make sure to print off your Borders coupon beforehand. Always Google 'borders coupons' to print the latest and greatest for a % off your purchase.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

My Last Hot Chocolate...

Tonight I had my last chocolate for a long time. The 1.5 cups I drank had the best tasting tiny marshmallows in it. I don't even LOVE hot chocolate, but I made it and drank it as a 'last hurrah!'. Moving forward, I'll be asking myself, 'Do I really want to drink 30 grams of sugar?'

Tomorrow I'll wake up and start the day on my new health and fitness plan. Clean eating, high protein, low carbohydrates, cardio and weights. It's not a crash diet or a challenge, it's a new lifestyle. A healthy lifestyle.

I'll be posting about workout routines, recipes, and general tips and tricks. I'm sure there will be some venting as well, as with any change, there will be frustration, along with blood, sweat and tears....but all worth the end goal: To get healthy and fit.

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We're just your average newlywed couple trying to maintain a healthy and fit lifestyle. Enjoy!