Posted in: Recipes

Happy Labor Day everyone! I’ve been hosting some friends this weekend so Sunday setup has come into Monday! I know you’re all dying to know what I’ve decided to make for lunch this week. I’ve decided on meatloaf. It’s important to get started on the meal prepping for the week right now if you haven’t. There’s still time for you!

So why meatloaf? I can make one big pan of it and it will last the entire week for the two of us. Willie doesn’t like the abundance of ground turkey/chicken that we have around the house, but it works for lunch. It’s easier. It makes a lot of food which is what I’m going for when I’m planning the meals in the house.

Quinoa Meatloaf

Quinoa Meatloaf
 
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Cook time
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A hearty lunch that will last all week!
Author:
Recipe type: Dinner
Cuisine: American
Serves: 8
Ingredients
  • ½ cup cooked quinoa
  • 1 lb extra lean ground turkey
  • 1 lb lean ground turkey
  • ½ white onion, diced
  • ½ cup cooked spinach
  • ¼ cup egg whites
  • 1 tbsp Mama Francesca's parmesan cheese and garlic
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • ½ tsp black pepper
  • ½ tsp red pepper flake
  • ½ tsp dried basil
  • 1 cup ketchup (or any sauce of your choice)
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Combine all ingredients except for ketchup (or sauce of your choice) in a large mixing bowl. Use your hands to mix everything together.
  3. Put in a greased loaf pan. I used a olive oil cooking spray and a 9x5 loaf pan.
  4. Spread the ketchup or sauce of your choosing over the top of the loaf.
  5. Bake uncovered for 50 mins hour.
  6. Take out of the oven and put the parmesan cheese on top and place back in the oven for 10 mins.
  7. Let cool 10 mins before serving.

This week I used the leftover sauce from last week instead of ketchup or bbq sauce. I prefer to use a homemade bbq sauce or a hoisin based sauce but this week I used what was left in the fridge. I’m thrifty!

Why is my meatloaf different?  I use quinoa instead of bread crumbs because quinoa is a superfood.  Okay, that’s not really why I use it but quinoa adds a little extra protein punch in the meatloaf and it’s a grain.  I think it helps keep the meatloaf moist and is a better binder than bread crumbs.

I also love that there are so many options with meatloaf.  You can add all the veggies you want.  Some people put carrots or bell peppers in their meatloaf.  You can change the theme of the meatloaf too from Mexican to Italian to Greek.  It’s really whatever you want.  Just as long as you have the basics the possibilities are endless!

Steamed broccoli with pepper and parmesan

On the side, we are having mashed sweet potatoes and steamed broccoli.  Nothing fancy but it’s some great food.

Do you like meatloaf?  Do you like a traditional meatloaf or do you like to mix it up?

Posted in: Foodie

It’s foodie pen pal day! I hope everyone is having a wonderful holiday weekend. I’ve been hanging out with some friends and taking it easy. Summer is coming to an end and it supposed to be a weekend we spend outside doing outside things. But it’s raining here so we had to come up with other things to do…

Look what Missy made me do! It was a big task but it's done! #artsandcrafts #wreath #yarn #instacraft #crafty
We made wreathes. It was fun but a little time consuming. It turned out pretty good for a first attempt so maybe one day I’ll try to make another one.

Foodie pen pal August 2014

This month my foodie penpal was Savina! And I think she sent a pretty great box! I was excited for all the goodies.  I was pleasantly surprised with the goodies in the box.

I recieved a lot of goodies from a local market called Market District which included some balsamic glaze, a chocolate covered pretzel, cocoa chia granola, peperonata – sweet peppers, onions and garlic.  I also got some vanilla almond butter, a Good Greens yogurt bar and some oatmeal.  I’m excited to eat everything in the box! And it’s all a really healthy mix of things along with a little splurge or two. It’s so great!

The thing I’m most excited for in the box is the peperonata because I’ve never had it before.  I think I might try to work it into one my snacks this week.

You can join in on the fun too and you don’t have to be a blogger to enjoy.  If you’re interested in the foodie penpal program, read all about it on The Lean Green Bean!

What do you think the best thing I got from my foodie penpal?

 

Posted in: Product Review

The following post is sponsored by FitFluential LLC on behalf of Reebok.

This past weekend I visited my local Six:02 store at Memorial City Mall to buy some Reebok Skyscapes. I must start this off by telling you I knew nothing about Six:02 and I’m not a real big fan of Reebok. Spoiler alert: things have changed on that front.

Six:02 store Memorial City
My first impression of the store: this store is for women! I loved the modern feel of the store. Everything had a place and it was very organized. The store sells different brands from Asics to Reebok so there is a lot of variety there in brand but also a variety in clothing, acessories and shoes. I was pleasantly surprised. Cross training, running, dancing, yoga; this store had you covered on all fronts in all areas. The bad thing is there isn’t plus size clothing in the store, or at least I didn’t see it.  Three years ago, I wouldn’t have been able to purchase much out of the store.

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The store is really inviting and it’s a place you want to stay for a while. The decor was chic and the staff very friendly. I know I was here for the Reebok Skyscapes but I couldn’t help but want to look at everything in the store. The store really takes you in and it made me feel a little special when I walked through the doors.  It felt like a place an active woman would love to be.  But eventually, I got back to the shoes.

Six:02 store Memorial City
The shoes are really really great. As I mentioned before, I haven’t worn Reebok since I was a kid because everyone was wearing those velcro shoes. When this campaign came in my inbox I was a little skeptical but I thought I would give it a try. Once I tried the Skyscape Runaround, I was sold!

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“So lightweight and comfortable, you’ll forget you have them on.” And that is the truth. When I tried the shoes on, it was like I was walking on clouds. How light are the shoes? Skyscapes are only 5 ounces! These shoes are super light and flexible. And the Skyscape Runarounds are MACHINE WASHABLE! That is always a plus because that means you can keep wearing them over and over again.

FYI: I loved how they had this station set up so you could try the shoes on without having to see what sizes they were available in and the variety of colors.  I have a large foot and I was worried they wouldn’t come in my size so I was glad to see this when I walked in the store.

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I decided on the grey pair because I thought that color was the most neutral. But the Skyscape Chase comes in different colors with a subtle design. I wanted something that I could wear everyday. The shoes are plain which kind of bothered me at first. As I’ve worn them throughout the week though, it doesn’t bother me. Even if it did, the sure comfort of the shoes would make that not matter to me at all.

I’ve been wearing the shoes since I got them and I love them.  I want to buy a pair for my mom who needs good shoes like this for everyday.  It’s a great every day shoe.  And don’t be surprised if you find yourself skipping in random parking lots because they are so light on your feet.

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The final verdict:
The shoes are great, reasonable priced at $64.99, and probably the most comfortable shoe I’ve ever put on my foot. I would buy another pair in another color and I think I’m going to have a buy a pair for my mom. I would visit the Six:02 store again for some fitness gear too!

Posted in: Weight Loss, Working Out

It’s no secret that I love Tone It Up workouts! I love these ladies because they have these kick butt workouts and provide a lot of stuff for free. Hello! These a great workouts you can watch on YouTube!
On the days I don’t feel like hitting the gym, I do their workouts. I purchased the DVD at the beginning of the summer and I love it. It was seriously the best $50 I spent because I have noticed a difference.

Missed my 5am workout this morning cause I was tired but I still HIIT it up with #tiuteam workout. #fitfluential #sweatpink #toneitup #ffcheckin #training #workout

I know you always see me posting the pictures and talking about beach barre, sunkissed abs or my hula booty.  I’m not that into myself to speak like that but I’m that serious about my workouts! On the days I don’t do Group Power, you will find me doing a beach barre workout which is basically a strength training workout. I LOVE IT! Here is a similar workout they have for their bikini series:

I do this videos because it gives me structure. I’m a person who needs a lot of that. I know the exercises to do on my own but this just helps.

So what is strength training?

Strength training is a type of physical exercise specializing in the use of resistance to induce muscular contraction which builds the strength, anaerobic endurance, and size of skeletal muscles.

And how does that help me?

  1. You’ll be stronger.
  2. Muscle helps burn fat.
  3. You’ll get tone and lean.
  4. Burn some serious calories with the after burn.
  5. Build stronger bones.
  6. Build a stronger core which will help exercise become easier!

The health benefits go on and on but this is why I like to strength train.  I’m not an expect or anything, but I think everyone should have strength training in the routine 2-3 times a week.  It’s the perfect compliment to cardio for better overall fitness.

Posted in: Daily Life

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Posted in: Daily Life

I’m a serious tea drinker! I will go to Teavana and spend all my money without knowing it. That tea is EXPENSIVE so I don’t buy it that often. I do love all kinds of tea though which is why I was excited for my trip to Denver a couple of weeks ago. I made a trip to the Celestial Seasonings home in Boulder, CO!  This is the place where they do everything. There is only one location for this company and everything is done here.  I was super excited to visit this place.

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I took the tea tour which was free but they also let you sample any tea you want for free.  It was pretty awesome. I fell in love with their new holiday flavor Cranberry Vanilla Wonderland. I drank tea for an hour! It was so good. Last year I went nuts over the holiday teas: Nutcracker Sweet and Gingerbread Spice.  But I wish I would have tried to Sweet Harvest Pumpkin when I was there.

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Like I mentioned before, I took the tea tour.  It was a free tour that lasted about 35 minutes.  The only bummer about this tour was you couldn’t take pictures.  I learned a lot of information about tea in general that I didn’t know, but I also learned a lot about their company.

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I didn’t set out to go there for a blog purpose but when I left, I knew this was something I wanted to share with the class.  Celestial Seasonings is all about providing teas to help people lead healthier lives. I drink a lot of green and black tea but don’t really know that much about it.  I learned that green tea leaves are the top of the plant, black tea leaves are the green tea leaves that are crushed immediately after harvest, and white tea leaves are the buds for a tea plant.  That is why white teas are most expensive!

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So what’s so great about tea? I’ll break it down for you easily but feel free to do more research!

Green tea helps the growth of cancer.
Black tea helps prevent stroke.
White tea has anticancer characteristics.
Oolong tea helps lower cholesterol.

All these teas are packed with antioxidants that are great for our bodies. Plus, tea has less caffeine than a cup of coffee.

There’s been lots and lots of research on herbal teas, that actually don’t contain any tea at all, but there’s been nothing definitive about their health benefits.

It’s been said that herbal teas help with calming, sleeping and fighting off colds. I guess that’s in the eye of the beholder but I do know that when I’m having a hard time sleeping, I will have a cup of Sleepytime to bring on the sandman! And when I’m feeling a little stressed, I do have a cup of chamomile tea.  I really enjoy chai tea though.  It’s probably my favorite of the whole bunch but you can’t keep me away from a good green tea!

Do you drink tea? What is your favorite tea?

Posted in: Motivations, Running, Tips, Weight Loss

It’s different for everyone and it’s going to change over time.  Keep that in mind.  I’ve said it many many times.  The journey I took is different from the one Willie took and will be different from the one many people take. A lifestyle change is about developing new habits.  In our case, our lifestyle change was about developing HEALTHIER habits than what we did before.  McDonald’s drive thru and movie marathons for the weekend soon became weekend running and enjoying a good healthy meal.

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Losing 100+ pounds takes time and commitment.  That has to come from within yourself. No one else is going to walk on the treadmill for you.  No one else is going to make sure you’re eating the right foods.  No one else is going to care about it as much as you will care about it!

That’s why I recommend everyone losing the weight for the right reasons and for yourself.  Don’t do it for anyone else but YOU!  It’s a personal journey.  Correction: It’s a hard personal journey.  There is a lot of social sacrifices. There is a lot of getting to know who you are.  There is a lot of breaking yourself down TO BUILD YOURSELF BACK UP! That’s why you have to have your own motivations that are personal to you to keep pushing when things don’t go the way you want.  But most importantly, you need your own motivations to celebrate your successes along the way.

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So what do I mean about the journey being different?  My journey led me to running and being active.  I love to be outside.  I love running, working out, hiking, biking, traveling to do these things, etc. That is a deep rooted in my being now.  I spend hours in the gym or at home working out!  Fitness has is a huge deal to me and that’s why I wanted to become a group fitness instructor! I spend times blogging about running my races because that is where my journey has led me.  It’s my motivation to keep going in a positive direction.  It’s a strong reason why I’m able to stay healthy and keep my weight off.

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On the other hand, Willie’s journey has led him to cooking!  You know how much I talk about my endurance sports, he’s the same way about cooking. He’s into and he wants to cook good food that good for you.  He’s really come a long way and found his passion.  That’s why he blogs about what he blogs about.

And your journey will probably take you somewhere else.  I know many people who have traveled down the weight loss road and have ended up in many different places.  Some have discovered their love for yoga, Spartan Races, Zumba, vegan lifestyles, cooking, cycling, writing, photography…the possibilities are endless.

It’s a completely personal experience that can’t be forced or even advised.  It’s a journey to build mental toughness, clarity, knowledge and perseverance.

For the people who want to make a lifestyle change, here are some tips:

1. Start small. It’s not going to happen immediately and it’s going to take some work. It’s totally worth it though. Don’t overwhelm yourself by setting too big of a goal too soon.

2. Gather your support. Make sure the people in your life understand what you are doing, where you’re hoping to go, and the steps you will need to get there. There will be people who won’t understand or won’t want you to get there. That’s why it’s important to surround yourself with people who truly believe in you and won’t knock you down.

3. Have a plan and think ahead. Nothing happens without planning so make a plan for your weight loss journey. Figure out how many days you’re going to work out. Plan your meals a head of time. Don’t get stuck in a situation due to bad planning or not thinking ahead. Most importantly, stick to your plan!

4. Give it time. Change happens over time. Don’t expect too much too soon. Just keep working toward what you want, even if you’re not seeing the results. The results will come!

Posted in: Daily Life, Foodie

Happy Sunday!  That means it’s time for meal prepping in our house.  This week I’ve been feeling uninspired with the meals.  We didn’t even make a grocery list when we headed to the store.

It’s my job to deal with the lunch and Willie deals with the dinner.  Collectively we do breakfast and we each like different snacks so we do our own snacks.

Breakfast:

Sunday setup

Overnight oats
Egg white muffins and overnight oats. We’ve been eating the same thing for breakfast everyday for almost two years. It’s quick and easy and we can take it with us if we need.

Lunch:

Meal prep for #lunch! This week it's #meatballs!l what's your Sunday set up? #mealprep #fitfluential #foodstagram
Sunday setup

Meatballs, broccoli and rice with sauce. I was feeling uninspired I tell you but I watched an episode of The Kitchen yesterday which was all about tomatoes.  They made sauce and I thought I should make some sauce.  This is the left over sauce we have so it will do double duty as dinner.

Before you ask, yes this is going to feed us both lunch for the entire week.  I try to make a large batch of something that will last the entire week so I don’t spend a lot of time prepping different meals.

Dinner:

Sunday setup

Like I said, I’m not really responsible for dinner.  But most of the time I end up throwing some protein over some lettuce and calling it a salad.  With this much sauce left over, I’m sure I’ll be using the veggetti to make some faux noodles.  But I always like to have some sweet potatoes on hand every week so I usually make a big pan of those.  I also made some black beans.

We’ll probably end up having a taco salad because we have lots of fresh salsa in the house too.  I have no pictures for that yet, because I’m waiting on Willie to decide what he’s going to cook up.

Snacks:

Sunday setup

I’m going simple this week. Yogurt, nuts and these raw “cookie dough” balls. I saw this on The Kitchen yesterday and really loved it. They were quick and easy to make. I made a couple of different variations of these because I don’t have coconut flakes and I didn’t want the chocolate chips. It’s supposed to be something like raw cookie dough. It’s super quick to make!

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I’ll be having apples and/or bananas with peanut butter.  I stocked up on a lot of this stuff when we went to Trader Joe’s this weekend.  I got some almond butter and cashew butter. And probably some carrots and hummus for mid morning snack and a Luna Bar for an afternoon snack. Plus lots of water. We can’t forget about the water.

Did you do a Sunday set up?  What’s on your eats list this week?

Posted in: Daily Life

I’m excited for a couple of things coming up, but for me to really enjoy those things I have to be healthy and strong.  I’ve got Marine Corps Marathon in October and I never thought I would have the chance to run that race so I want to make sure I make it through all 26.2 miles of that race with a smile on my face. Plus, I running the St. Jude Marathon in December with Willie.  These are some big moments for me.

Wondering when this post #marathon soreness will go away! #ijustwannarun #runchat #running #doms

This week I’ve been pretty beat up.  My knee was really stiff due to a tight IT Band which loosened up after 5 minutes of foam rolling. (Why couldn’t they have had a foam roller at the aid stations?) I’ve been rolling and icing all week long. Note to self: buy a travel foam roller.  The stick just isn’t the same because when it hurts you don’t apply as much pressure.

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Willie has banned me from working out EXCEPT for teaching my cycle classes.  Honestly, that has been the hardest thing for me. Rest days = HELL, for me at least. I haven’t had this many rest days in about 2 years.  I’ve felt like I’ve lost a part of myself though. I even drove to the gym on Wednesday but decided not to go in because I didn’t want to the wrath of Willie.  He still tried to lecture me but I told him I didn’t go in so he couldn’t be mad that I thought about going to the gym.

But that should speak to you on the severity of how beat up I felt after the Revel Rockies marathon.  Yesterday was the first day that I walked normally.  My legs have been really tight this week and I’ve been trying to get stronger.  I’m just glad to kind of be back to normal because I hope to get back to running next week.

I love free #race pics. From @runrevel #rockies. #rinrevel #gobig #marathon #marathonmaniac

Here are a couple of things I will do differently with my next round of marathon “training:”

1. I will focus more on the long run.  My focus has been just to make it through the long runs for the past year.  I want to work on finishing my marathons strong which means I need to put a greater focus into my long runs.

2. I’m going to up my mileage.  My easy run will no longer be 3 miles.  I’m looking for 4-5 miles for my short runs from here on out.

3. I have to work on a better fueling plan.  I was fine during the Revel Rockies because I made some modifications to my fueling plan but I need to make sure it works.

4. Build more confidence.  I think I’m starting to get my mojo back because last weekend was a really hard race weekend for me (the 10K and the marathon) but I made it through…and I had a good time.  I feel like I’m getting back to myself.  I think running all those marathons in the front half of the year without proper recovery really hampered me.  I won’t make that mistake again.

I am looking forward to hitting my old routine next week and I’m sure my body will thank me for the week off, even though I’m going crazy nuts! But I want to change my workouts up a little bit for the fall. I do a lot of cycling, strength training and of course running.

What workouts do you think I should try? What are your favorite workouts?

Posted in: For The Soul, Goals, Q & A, Weight Loss

FYI: This is going to be a new section of the blog.  It’s going to be the question of the week.  Sometimes I’ll take questions from what people ask me or sometimes I’ll talk about some questions that have come to my attention through reading and just normal life.

This week I took the question from almost every person I’ve met in the past 2 years.  This is tricky for me because I really don’t know if people want to know the real answer.  You may not like the truth that I’m about to lay out here…or it may not be a big deal at all.  Keep in mind this is going to be different for everyone when you read this.

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Yes changing my eating habits was hard but it soon became easier, unless it was time to eat out. Making time to work out was a struggle (and sometimes still is) but it’s manageable.  My biggest weight loss struggles came emotionally in not knowing where I fit in and trusting myself.

Emotionally because sometimes I don’t know where I fit in.  I’ve changed a lot due to the weight loss.  I’m more adventurous.  I’m more active.  I’m more “I’ll try it” and “gotta get my workout in” than I was before.  I sometimes feel lost or stuck between two worlds.  I was always the overweight girl and didn’t care about what I ate or what I did before. When I say I didn’t care, I mean there was really no thought behind it.  If I was hungry, I drove to McDonalds.  If I thought I needed to be active, I went shopping to move around. Less thought went into things.  My biggest social activity was eating.

I’m not that person anymore.  I struggle because for so long people knew me one way and I’m not that way any more.  I carry around guilt for it sometimes too.  I struggle now with trying to live my life with my husband the way we want to live it now and not trying to hurt or offend the people who have known us for so long.

The change has been hard for me. Maybe change is just something that I struggle with in general.

When I finally hit my goal weight, I struggled with going back to “normal” life.  Life after goal was the hardest part. Switching your mindset from weight loss mode to maintenance mode was not easy. Anyone who has lost any weight always has that fear of the scale creeping back up, right? It’s like I had to train myself again.  But what I really needed to do was learn to trust myself.

Trust that I wouldn’t allow myself to go back into bad habits like emotionally eat or eat junk.  I needed to trust that I learned a lot of great and healthy things along the way.  I needed to believe that I was capable of living a healthy life even though I led a relatively unhealthy life for so long.

So here I am today, 17 months after my reaching my goal weight.  I’ve gained some of the weight back but I honestly think I had lost too much weight.  The biggest thing about losing weight is being fixated on the numbers.  There’s no way around that.  To track your progress you have to log your calories/points and weigh yourself.  It was hard not to be fixated on those numbers when I reached my destination.  I had to step away from it for awhile because I found myself being consumed with the numbers.

To make a long story short, the hardest thing about losing weight was trusting myself along the way.  I don’t really think that is something most people thing about when they think about losing weight.  But I’m here to tell everyone who is thinking or is on their own journey, trusting and believing in yourself will take you a long way! You just have to learn how to do it!

So that was heavy. Do you have a question you want to be considered?