Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Grocery Shopping

Making a list and getting to the store is always a priority for my week. I LOVE grocery shopping and tend go frequently throughout the week. I love splurging on the freshest seasonal foods. I feel like I am seriously spoiling myself, but I realized it is cheaper to go to the grocery store/ market/ or farmers market in comparison to eating out. I eat 5-6 meals a day and spend less than my friends who eat 3 meals. I also have more energy and feel great about myself. The result of my grocery trips make me a happier person, so I’M STICKING TO IT!
Where to shop:
Sprouts and Henry’s markets are popping up all over the place! I LOVE buying things in bulk here! I buy most of my nuts, oatmeal, flours, beans, nut butters, bread, fish, meats, yogurt, etc.
Whole Foods: I love shopping here, but in all honesty it is EASY to spend too much money here. Everything is delicious and the best quality. The reason things are so pricey is because most things are local, organic, and fresh. They carry a lot of specialty shipped foods which you can’t get elsewhere SO it is actually worth you spending extra dough. Most items that Whole Foods has which are carried in other markets are surprisingly are priced equal or similar. They don’t rack up prices unless it is a specialty item. My favorite things to get here are freshly ground nut butters, homemade hummus, Ezekiel breads, fresh squeezed juice, fresh organic fish, and sometimes a little splurge on goods in the salad bar.
Costco: I hate the big crowd at Costco, but it is a big deal if you know how to shop. The cost is usually worth the long lines. I buy in bulk things like 60 eggs, chicken breast, salmon, apples for the house, and sometimes other quick needs. I recommend going once a month.
Ralph’s: My bi or tri-weekly grocery haul usually involves a stop at Ralph’s. The prices on eggs, cottage cheese, yogurt, spices, and frozen veggies are hard to beat. If you have a little extra time to stop here I think it is worth it to save you some cash.

If you want to adopt a healthier lifestyle I would recommend starting with your fridge. Get up and moving to the market. Stock up on seasonal veggies and lean proteins. Shop on the perimeter of your store, as most of the best and freshest foods are stored there. Try to buy less things in boxes, and more foods in a fresh natural state. I promise by simply changing your diet you will feel more energized and empowered to continue your new habits.

Stay healthy, stay happyJ

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Goal Setting

I noticed recently, I NEED TO SET GOALS. Yes, yes we have all heard it and tried it. BUT who sticks with it? It isn't realistic to set huge goals, because more often then not we won't achieve them which will just make us feel down and like we've failed. Goals are not easy to make. You always want one realistic, but at the same time something you have to work for.
In my opinion you must start your goal setting off with a big goal.

Some examples of BIG goals:
Be rich
Sleep more
Eat better
Workout more
Make smarter choices
Study more
Call friends more
Lose weight
Reserve more "me time:
Write a book

From here on you need to set smaller goals in order to reach a big goal. For example if your goal is to eat better: Start off by making a goal that you want to increase your vegetable intake this week and not eat fast food. From there you can make another little goal, I will cook and pack all my meals for the next week. Another, I will cut out soda and or alcohol this week etc. The more you slowly start reaching your small goals, the more more comfortable this new lifestyle comes to you.
If money saving is your goal then each week put away a certain percent of your pay check. The more you work, the more you save. The closer to you are to having a bigger bank account. Another way is making a small goal of cutting out expenses that aren't necessary. For me, I sometimes cut out buying a cup of coffee or retail shopping.
With goal setting, other things play a factor. Once you start reaching small goals, the more you feel like your big goal is attainable. At this point MOTIVATION has begun, and it is a crazy thing. Nothing, I mean nothing will get in your way.
My point is, Rome wasn't built in a day. It took hours of hard labor and focus, but if you keep your eye on the prize or goal you will reach it!

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Workout Of The Day: Build That Back

Ladies and gents, it is time to start working out our back properly! Although many ignore working the back muscles out regularly, they are VERY important! They help with posture, and are used in nearly every activity we do each day. By building muscle in your back you give your body that V look which for both men and women is desired. It gives off the look of a smaller waist. Here is a back workout I enjoy doing, try it out and see how it goes.
Remember: keep good posture the whole time. Stretch all the way up. Try to not use your biceps and forearms.

3x12 Pull-ups (can use assisted pull up machine)
3x12/arm Dumbbell row (each arm)
3x12 Lat pulldown
3x12 Cable Reverse fly
3x12 Seated row
3x20 Back extensions

Now go workout, get sore, eat clean, and build muscle:)

Monday, August 15, 2011

What Is Kombucha? Why Should I Drink It?

I have been on a kombucha kick lately, and I thought I'd share with you a little about this healthy drink. Kombucha is a probiotic pro=in favor biotic=life fermented tea drink. Probiotics help balance pH (acidity) naturally (probiotics can be found in yogurts as well), and has a slight fruity/vinegar taste. It is important for many of us to balance pH levels, especially if you drink coffee, eat processed foods, consume aspertame, soda, or sip on an occasional alcoholic beverage. Drinking kombucha will help maintain a healthy pH level in your body, and keep your digestive system working properly. DRINK UP:)

Tip: Buy in bulk when on sale.. can get $$.

Monday, August 8, 2011

Thea's Chocolate Banana Coconut Protein Pancake

I love combining different ingredients to satisfy my cravings. I am someone who loves feeling like every meal is a joy to eat. Today, I opened my fridge and got an idea. Big yellow bananas looked delicious, and I thought what would go well? Here is a deliciously amazing (if I do say so myself) breakfast recipe to jump-start a healthy day.

Thea's Chocolate Banana Coconut Protein Pancake

2 Egg whites
1/2 Scoop Chocolate protein powder
1/4 C. Quick Oats
1/2 Mashed Banana
1/2 Tbsp. Unsweetened Coconut Flakes
1 Spoonful Fat free cottage cheese

1. In a bowl first mash half of a medium sized banana.
2. Add two egg whites, and a spoonful of cottage cheese and mix together.
3. Next, mix in 1/2 scoop protein powder.
4. Finally add in your oats and coconut, mix together.
5. Pour mixture on to pan (coated with non-stick spray).
6. Serve, and enjoy!

Calories: 262
Fat: 4g
Protein: 33g
Carbs: 28g

Sunday, August 7, 2011

What Is Your Motivation?

Do me a favor and just take a minute to think about the Title of this post. REALLY. Why did you click on it? Is it because you need new ways of motivating yourself, you are already super motivated and you want to hear more about it? Whatever your thoughts are, don't ignore them. Listen to every feeling you have and run with it. This right here, is where my motivation comes from.
Our thoughts can be our best friends and worst enemies. They can make a blue day turn around, or they can make a great day go sour. The way we perceive incidents/situations and deal with them changes our attitude which changes how easily we become motivated.
Once I began listening to my thoughts, whether good or bad is when I really became more motivated than ever. Not just motivated to be fit/healthy, but motivated to take life by the horns and run.
I haven't always been bubbly and positive. Heck, I know I still have LOTS to work on to be more positive! BUT I know I am listening to myself and working towards becoming a better person each day. Meaning some days I am still working even if it's a step backwards, usually that helps motivate me to propel forward more quickly.
I get motivated from many different things.
1. Tell Me I Can't- I am competitive, VERY competitive more-so with myself than anyone else. If someone tells me that something is too difficult or it is unattainable I tell them to watch me go get it.
2. Make A Wall Or Screen For Motivation- When I am working on a fitness goal, sometimes going to gym without a real goal can make workouts seem longer and more boring than ever. Something I found that helps me is to go online and search health and fitness magazine cover models before I go. I can mentally picture what I want to look like and that keeps me sweating. I have also found making a motivation board with pictures of people (ie. fitness models, celebrities, Victoria's Secret models, athletes, etc.) helps remind me how hard work can pay off.
3.Live Your Life For You- Sometimes looking for motivation isn't the answer. Looking within yourself can motivate you enough. Why do you want to do the things you want to. What's holding you back? That to me is motivation in itself.
4. Set Goals- If I have set goals, there is no way my mind won't think about them all the time. I know I will feel bad if I don't fulfill them, but if I do I will feel on top of the world. Reaching that end goal helps keep me motivated day in and day out. SET GOALS, and set attainable ones.
This is your life if you are not the person you want to be, then change it. You have the power.

Friday, August 5, 2011

Thea's Simply Baked Salmon

Salmon is one of my favorite protein sources. For some reason it doesn't need much added condiments or flavor, besides some seasoning. This baked salmon is delicious, and can be served with relatively anything. You can serve on a bed of greens, with veggies and brown rice, over some whole wheat pasta, cut up on a tortilla as a taco, etc.

Thea's Simply Baked Salmon
Wild Salmon (try to avoid farm raised, and also none with added artificial color)
Red pepper flakes
Chili powder

1. Preheat oven to 375 Degrees.
2. Spray baking sheet with non-stick spray.
3. Sprinkle Salmon with all the seasonings.
4. Bake for about 20 minutes, or until cooked through.

The Easiest Healthy Iced Peanut Butter Chocolate Milk

I LOVE chocolate, and I have a seriously sweet tooth that I simply can't ignore from time to time. When I am craving chocolate (usually as a late night snack), I know I will feel bad if I go get a tub of ice cream or a candy bar. At the same time, I don't want to deprive myself of the sweetness! I usually drink my iced chocolate milk, and it will satisfy that craving! See for yourself!

The Easiest Healthy Iced Peanut Butter Chocolate Milk

1/2 Scoop Chocolate protein powder
1 C. Unsweetened almond milk
1/2 Tbsp. Unsalted peanut butter

1. In a bowl combine milk, PB, and Protein.
2. Stir.
3. Pop in microwave for 15 seconds.
4. Stir again.
5. Pop in microwave for another 15 seconds (until ingredients begin to mix better).
6. Stir again, then pour over a cup of ice.

"All you need is love. But a little chocolate now and then doesn't hurt." - Charles M. Schulz

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Thea's Zesty Dip It, Dress It, & Spread It

I whipped up the most delicious mixture to eat alone, use as a salad dressing, dipping (veggies, or baked tortilla chips), or spreading (whole wheat bread, tortillas, crackers, rice cakes).

Thea's Zesty Dip It, Dress It, & Spread It

3/4 C. Cottage cheese
2 Tbsp. Organic salsa
1 Tbsp. Pepitas
1 Tsp. Red pepper flakes
1/4 Avocado
Salt and pepper to taste.

1. In small bowl mix pepitas, salsa, red pepper, salt, pepper.
2. Add avocado and cottage cheese.
3. Mix and serve.

Thea's Summer Sweet & Spicy Slaw

Sometimes in the summer, things just don't sound appetizing. I like refreshing things, but salad can get repetitive, and smoothies just don't always fill me up. I wanted a snack and I wanted it to taste amazing. I was planning on eating an apple and almonds, but c'mon in all honesty it is BORING. For this reason, I spiced up and sweetened a little mix of everything.

1 Apple (I used an organic Fuji)
1/2 Cabbage
1 oz. Almonds (raw unsalted)
2 Tbsp. Apple cider vinegar
1 Packet stevia or 1 tbsp honey
1 Tbsp. mustard
About 1/2 tbsp red pepper flakes (or sprinkle to taste)

1. Julienne apple, and chop slaw.
2. Throw in to big bowl and mix up.
3. In small bowl mix stevia (or honey), red pepper, apple cider vinegar, and mustard.
4. Pour mixture over salad, and toss.
5. Add almonds on top of your salad for a little crunch!

I eat this as a mid-day snack, but if you want to make it a meal you can always add tuna, shrimp, tofu, chicken, or any other lean protein.