Total Body Circuit Workout

This is supposed to be a fitness and nutrition blog, but so far I’ve focused primarily on nutrition. Today I wanted to share a total body workout that will strengthen your muscles and boost your heart rate. This workout will take about 45-60 minutes, but be sure to include a warm up and cool down. Feel free to modify as needed!

Complete each circuit 3 times through before moving to the next one.

Circuit #1:

-shoulder press into a bicep curl- 12 reps

-walking lunges with weight- 15 down, 15 back

-lat pulldown- 12 reps

-high knees- 30 seconds

1 minute plank

Circuit #2:

-chest press in bridge position- 12 reps

-single leg bridges- 15 each side

-scissor kicks- 15 each side

-mountain climbers- 30 seconds

1 minute plank

Circuit #3:

-reverse fly- 12 reps

-goblet squat- 12 reps

-deadbugs- 10 each side

-power jacks- 30 seconds

1 minute plank

 

 

*Please note that even though I am a certified personal trainer, I am not your trainer. Consult with a doctor and/or personal trainer before starting an exercise routine.

Weekly Meal Plan 9

Hi everyone! Another short week of meals here on the blog because I spent the last 6 days in Canada! Nonetheless, I had a short week of homemade meals as well as some delicious meals eaten out in Vancouver.

Sunday- Turkey burgers with zucchini with a side salad

I usually make my favorite Greek turkey burgers with spinach and feta, but to mix it up I made these turkey burgers with grated zucchini. I love sneaking an extra serving of vegetables into my meals to make them more nutritious and add some extra flavor! This would be a great way to get picky eaters and kids to eat more veggies.

Monday- Creamy lemon spring vegetable pasta

creamy pasta

I’ve made some sort of “spring vegetable” grain dish for a few weeks now. Since spring is usually short lived around these parts, I love taking advantage of spring produce while it’s in season. Not only do seasonal fruits and vegetables taste better and fresher, it is also cheaper to buy them in season and better for the environment!

Tuesday- Grilled chicken bruschetta

chicken bruschetta

This is a go-to dinner of mine once the weather gets nice enough to grill. The tomato, mozzarella, onion, and basil salad that goes along with this recipe is so simple yet so flavorful! For those of you who don’t love the typical garden salad, this would be a great side dish option.

Wednesday- Kale Caesar salad

kale caesar salad

Since I knew we would be on vacation for the next 6 days, I wanted our last meal to be something light (and something that wouldn’t leave us with leftovers!). I used this Caesar dressing (minus the anchovies, plus 1 Tbls. capers) and mixed it with kale, parmesan cheese, and homemade whole wheat croutons. My intention was to throw in a can of chickpeas for protein, but must have skipped them on my grocery list so we were chickpea-less. I did have some sunflower seeds though, so I tossed quite a few in for a bit of a protein boost.

Thursday- Vegan burgers and fries from MeeT

meet

Thursday night was our first night in Vancouver so Michael and I went downtown to explore. We checked out a part of the city called Gastown around dinner time so we checked out the menus of a few restaurants until we walked by a burger place called Meet that had a line out the door. You know that if a place has a line it must be good, so we put our names in and was told it was only a 20 minute wait. While we were waiting, we realized that these burgers weren’t your typical beef burgers, but vegan burgers that are made with a base of barley and vegetables. This kind of place is right up my alley, so it made the experience that much better! We even started with “chiggin’ wings” which were the vegan equivalent of chicken wings but made with pea and soy protein. I wouldn’t say the chicken wings and burgers tasted exactly like their non-vegan counterparts, but they tasted awesome and came pretty close.

Friday- Poke

poke

If you’ve never heard of poke, it’s essentially sushi in bowl form with a rice base, raw fish, and various vegetables/sauces. The seafood in the Pacific Northwest is out of this world, so I actually ended up getting poke twice during the trip. The one in the picture is from lunch the day before and was made with brown rice, salmon (that the owner said was caught and cut that day), seaweed salad, avocado, dried seaweed, sunflower seeds, scallions, and most likely a couple more things that I’m forgetting about.

Saturday- Wedding!

wedding

I won’t say too much about the wedding food, except it was some of the most delicious wedding food I’ve ever had! They had tons of veggie options including 2 types of salad and cooked vegetables as well as lean proteins like chicken and salmon and some pasta dishes. Congrats Chris and Sienna! Your wedding was amazing!

Tropical Overnight Oats

I am certainly not the first person to post an overnight oats recipe on the internet, but there are so many variations on this quick and easy breakfast recipe that it can’t hurt to throw my two cents in. Oatmeal is my absolute favorite breakfast, but as the weather is warming up I’ve been trading my piping hot bowl of oats for nice and cool overnight oats. Overnight oats are great because you can put them together the night before and have breakfast ready for you in the morning, or even as a meal to take on the go. They are loaded with protein from the Greek yogurt and fiber from the oats and chia seeds. Although I opted for a tropical variety, overnight oats are easily customizable. To make the base, combine equal parts rolled oats, plain Greek yogurt, and milk (I usually aim for 1/3 to ½ cup each) with ½-1 Tbls. chia seeds. Some of my other favorite combos include peanut butter and coco powder, strawberries and almonds, and banana and walnuts.

tropical overnigth oats

Tropical Overnight Oats

Ingredients:

  • 1/3 cup rolled oats
  • 1/3 cup plain Greek yogurt
  • 1/3 cup milk (I used almond milk)
  • ½ Tbls. chia seeds
  • ½ banana, sliced
  • ½ cup pineapple, diced into small pieces
  • 1 Tbls. unsweetened shredded coconut

Directions:

  1. Mix all ingredients, except coconut, into a medium sized bowl or mason jar. Stir to combine.
  2. Cover and refrigerate overnight.
  3. Add in coconut when ready to eat and enjoy!

Weekly Meal Plan #8

Hi everyone! I’m so sorry I keep posting these late. I’ve been busy with work and traveling and have fallen a bit behind. In fact, I’m typing up a few blog posts while 35,000 feet in the air on my way to Vancouver! Without further ado, here are the meals we enjoyed last week.

Sunday- Portillos chopped salad

I’ve talked about my love of this salad before, so it shouldn’t be a surprise to see it again on the blog! We had some uncooked turkey bacon in the fridge that I wanted to use up in this recipe, but unfortunately when I opened the packaged it was a gray-ish color and smelt off. Gross. Instead, I added some grilled chicken into the mix for extra protein.

Monday- Turkey sausage, kale, and white bean soup

kale sausage soup

I had a lot of later-nights work wise this week, so I wanted my meals to be quick and able to be prepped ahead of time. I made this soup on Sunday and only had to worry about heating it up on Monday night. It was okay, but I probably wouldn’t make it again. Even though it included a hefty dose of leafy greens, there wasn’t much going on flavor-wise.

Tuesday- Chicken avocado salad with peanut dressing

peanut chicken salad

As opposed to the soup we ate the night before, this salad with bursting with flavor! I loved the Asian flavors in this salad as well as the textural variety that came from the creaminess of the avocado and crunchiness of the peanuts (I watch a lot of Chopped). I had also prepped the salad on Sunday, with the exception of slicing up with avocado and tossing in the dressing, so very little prep needed to be done the night of.

Wednesday- Panzanella salad marinated chickpeas and chimichurri

Three salad based dinner is one week! As I always tell my clients, there is no need to fear carbs as long as you are eating the right ones and doing so in moderation! The bread cubes in this salad were whole wheat (of course) and paired with lots of veggies, protein from the chickpeas, and healthy fats from the olive oil.

Thursday- Crock pot maple Dijon drumsticks with sautéed broccolini and baked sweet potato

maple dijon

I had challenged my weight loss group to branch out and try new fruits and vegetables the week before, but since I had been traveling that week it completely slipped my mind to buy new fruits and vegetables to try myself! I’m sure I’ve had broccolini before, but don’t think I’ve ever prepared it at home. I’ll have to start adding it to my weekly routine because it was delicious! The credit goes completely to Michael who blanched the broccoli then sautéed it in a little olive oil, garlic, and pepper. Kudos to the chef!

Friday (Cinco de Mayo!)- Spicy fish tacos

fish tacos 2

Who doesn’t love a good Mexican feast?? To celebrate Cinco de Mayo, we made these fish tacos that were good, but not quite as good as my beloved clean eating fish tacos. The star of the show was really the chili-dusted mango margaritas we enjoyed them with.

Weekly Meal Plan #7

Tuesday- Crockpot Honey Sesame Chicken with Edamame and Brown Rice

honey sesame chicken

We didn’t get back from Florida until late Monday night, so Tuesday morning was spent cleaning and doing the grocery shopping for the week until I had to leave for work. I needed something quick to make since there was no time to food prep, and this crockpot meal fit the bill. Edamame is a great side dish because all you have to do is microwave it and it’s ready to go!

Wednesday- Spring Vegetable Zucchini Noodle Soup with Chickpeas

As you know, I love making my own vegetable broth. Since it has (slowly) been getting warmer, we’ve been making less soups and our supply of vegetable scraps was starting to build up. I didn’t want to make a winter soup, so instead I made this soup that included all spring vegetables. To bulk up the protein, I added a can of chickpeas.

Thursday- Falafel with Pita, Tabbouleh, and Hummus

falafel

I’m not going to lie, this meal took a lot of prep work, but it was worth it! Falafel that you get at restaurants is typically fried, but this falafel is baked to reduce the fat and calories. I got an extra dose of chickpeas from a homemade hummus. Whenever I have made tabbouleh in the past, I usually replaced the bulgur with another grain like quinoa or farro. I wanted to branch out a bit so I used bulgur, which is the typical grain used in the tabbouleh recipes. With some of the extra bulgur I bought, I made a warm bulgur porridge which was good too!

Friday- Chickpea, Pesto, Tomato, and Mozzarella Pasta

tomato, mozz, chickpea pasta salad

I was on a roll with chickpeas last week! I took a basic chickpea, pesto, tomato, and mozzarella salad and added some whole wheat pasta to make it a feel like more of a meal. The pesto really tied all of these ingredients together. I think this would be a great, healthy dish to bring to a party or BBQ.

Saturday- Wine and cheese

wine and cheese

Saturday was a beautiful, 80 degree day and the best way to take advantage of that was to enjoy some wine and cheese on our freshly cleaned patio! Types Our spread included whole grain bread, Nut Thins, 4 types of cheese, dates, and dark chocolate covered almonds, peanuts, and raisins.

Weekly Meal Plan #6

This meal plan was on the shorter side because I was I Florida for the second half of the week! The Sunday before was Easter which makes it even shorter! The meals we did have at home were delicious though, so here they are:

Monday- Turmeric Chicken Skewers with Cilantro Coconut Lime Dip, Brown Rice, and Grilled Zucchini

chicken skewers

We have kebobs a lot in the summer, but these were hands down the best I’ve ever had! I usually use chicken breasts when grilling but used chicken thighs in this recipe which made a huge difference! The coconut lime sauce was similar to a tzatziki sauce, and mixed well with the brown rice. The zucchini was grilled to perfection by Michael, making it a well-rounded and absolutely delicious dinner.

Tuesday- Warm Spring Salad

warm spring salad

This quinoa salad was loaded with vegetables but includes a pop of sweetness from the strawberries. On its own it’s relatively low in protein, but I added a can of chickpeas to increase the protein content. I ate it warm, but I’m sure it would be great served cold too!

Wednesday- Salmon with Southwestern Black Bean Salad

salmon with bean salad

I am obsessed with this black bean salad! It makes a great side for any protein and is super easy and quick to make. This would also be a great salad for lunch because the black beans make it high in protein.

And that’s it! The rest of the week was me going out to dinner and enjoying meals and snacks by the water!

Weekly Meal Plan #5

Happy Easter everyone! Here is a recap of the meals we ate last week. I hope you get some good ideas!

Sunday- Chicken Rollatini with Prosciutto and Asparagus with Sautéed Zucchini and Brown Rice

chicken rollatini side

See the recipe posted last week!

Monday- Greek Turkey Burgers with Side Salad

I was working late on Monday, so we used the very last of the frozen turkey burgers for a quick meal. I promise this is the last time you’ll see them on the blog for a while! I always tell people who are interested in learning how to meal plan efficiently to make recipes or ingredients that you can use for multiple meals. These turkey burgers are an excellent example. I only had to prep them once and they served as dinner 3 times, and lunch once, for me and Michael.

Tuesday- Chicken Souvlaki with Tzatziki and Mediterranean Orzo Salad

chicken souvlaki

As I’ve said before, I’m a huge fan of Mediterranean flavors as well as Greek yogurt and this recipe combined both! The chicken was very tender and flavorful and paired well with the creamy Greek yogurt tzatziki. I used a recipe for Mediterranean farro salad that I’ve made many times and substituted whole wheat orzo for farro because that’s what I had on hand.

Wednesday- Cobb Salads

cobb salad

There’s nothing I hate more than a boring salad. Cobb salads are typically very indulgent, with plenty of blue cheese, dressing and bacon. I made a healthier version using romaine lettuce, tomato, avocado, scallions, hard-boiled eggs, turkey bacon, and a lightened up blue cheese dressing. I even made the dressing lighter than the recipe called for by taking out the tablespoon of mayo. I never buy it, and didn’t think it would make much of a difference taste-wise, so I left it out.

Thursday- Swiss Chard and Potato Shakshuka

Shakshuka is basically eggs baked in tomato sauce. It works great as a breakfast or as a quick and easy dinner. This shakshuka added peppers, potatoes, and swiss chard to the mix for more veggie power. I added a couple extra eggs to our recipe for more protein.

Friday- Pad Thai

This was attempt number one of a new recipe I’m working on. It turned out good, but still needs a little work. Recipe coming soon (okay probably not soon, but eventually)!

Weekly Meal Plan #4

Sunday- Greek Sheet Pan Chicken Souvlaki and Potatoes

greek

I’m a huge fan of Mediterranean flavors and this one fits the bill. I liked this recipe because it didn’t require a lot of dishes, was easy to prepare, and tasted great! I got some help from my brother, who has always been a picky eater. Besides the sundried tomatoes, he gave this recipe a thumbs up (so you know it’s good).

Monday- Salmon with Mustard Dill Sauce with Asparagus and Brown Rice

salmon with dill sauce

Salmon is good on its own, but this sauce kicked it up a notch. You probably have caught on by now that I use Greek yogurt in everything, this recipe included. It only took a minute to mix together and was sooooo worth it! The brown rice soaked up some of the sauce making it taste even better too.

Tuesday- Buffalo Chicken Tacos

buff chick tacos

For ease of preparation, I made the chicken in the crock pot instead of on the grill and tossed it in some buffalo sauce. The tacos were filled with chicken, romaine lettuce, celery, blue cheese, a Greek yogurt (told you) based dressing. These could also pass as wraps for a more portable option.

Wednesday- Caprese Sandwiches with Strawberry, Almond and Goat Cheese Salad

caprese sandwich

There is no better flavor combination than tomato, mozzarella, and basil. I made mine grilled-cheese style so the mozzarella was warm and melty, but you could also toast the bread and add the tomato and mozzarella after. Drizzle on some balsamic vinegar and olive oil with a sprinkle of salt and pepper to really make the flavors pop. I wanted more than just a garden salad on the side and strawberries have been on sale lately, so this strawberry, almond and goat cheese salad came to life!

Thursday- Greek Turkey Burgers and Salad

I told you these turkey burgers would make another appearance! We used the frozen, leftover patties from last week and the leftover strawberry, almond, and goat cheese salad from the night before, so no extra prep was involved.

Friday- Homemade Margherita Pizza

We were craving homemade pizza on Friday, so I threw together some homemade, whole wheat pizza dough and used the leftover tomatoes, mozzarella, and basil from the caprese sandwiches to top the pizza. Delicious!

Chicken Rollatini with Prosciutto and Asparagus

This chicken dish not only looks fancy, but is simple to put together! With only a handful of ingredients and less than 15 minutes of prep time, this dish is easy to make but sure to impress! Serve with a side of roasted vegetables and brown rice for a complete meal.

Ingredients:

  • 6 chicken cutlets (about 1.25 lbs.)
  • 6 slices prosciutto
  • 1/2 bunch of asparagus
  • 1 cup panko breadcrumbs
  • 2 Tbls. olive oil
  • 1 lemon, juiced

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees F. Spray a 9×11 baking dish with cooking spray.
  2. Combine lemon juice and olive oil in one bowl and panko breadcrumbs in another.
  3. Lay chicken cutlets flat on a clean surface (I used my cutting board). Lay a slice of prosciutto on each cutlet. Place 5 asparagus spears on the edge of each cutlet and roll cutlet until fully wrapped.
  4. Dip cutlets in lemon/oil mixture then coat with breadcrumbs. Place on baking dish.
  5. Bake for 30 minutes until chicken is fully cooked through.

Weekly Meal Plan #3

Sunday- Simple Roasted Red Pepper Pasta with Whole Roasted Cauliflower

Like most families, Sunday dinners at our house are a little more special than the rest of the week. There’s more time to cook, so I’m free to try out more complicated and/or time-consuming recipes. On the menu last week was this simple pasta dish (with a sneaky amount of veggies in the sauce) and roasted cauliflower. The cauliflower was served with whipped goat cheese and feta, made healthier by excluding the cream cheese and replacing the heavy cream with a splash of 1% milk. This is my absolute favorite way to eat cauliflower, and it’s definitely worth the extra time and effort!

Monday- Turkey Burgers with Tomato, Cucumber, and Avocado Salad

t burgs

I’m sure I’ve blogged about these turkey burgers before, but we make them all the time and I always have people asking me for the recipe. I add some fat back into these burgers by using regular feta and the whole egg, which has a ton of vitamins and minerals so there is no need to fear. I actually made a double batch of the recipe and froze half so I’m sure you’ll seeing them again on the blog soon! I served these on a whole wheat bun with tomato, avocado, and the leftover goat cheese and feta dip from the night before. On the side was a simple tomato, avocado, and cucumber salad.

Tuesday- Chicken Taco Chili

taco chili

This is another recipe I’m sure I blogged about before, but I love it so much! I prepped it on Sunday and just had to turn the crock pot on Tuesday morning! I used a mix of chipotle chili powder and regular chili powder, which I think gave it an extra kick because the recipe was much spicier than usual. Spicy food always gives me the hiccups so I toned it down with some plain Greek yogurt.

Wednesday- Steak with Mashed Potatoes and Roasted Beets and Carrots

steak

While I mostly stick to lean protein, I mix red meat in every so often to keep it interesting. I did choose sirloin steak, as meats labeled “round,” “chuck” or “loin” tend to be the leanest cuts. I marinated it the morning of with some lemon juice, Worcestershire sauce, soy sauce, olive oil, pepper, and rosemary. Michael made it in the cast iron skillet and prepared the sides which were mashed potatoes mixed with milk and a bit of Earth Balance butter and roasted beets and carrots.

Thursday- Vegan Naan Pizza with Tomato, Cucumber and Avocado Salad

I cannot get enough naan, but needed to branch away from just serving it with curry. When I saw an article about 9 naan pizza recipes, I knew that was the next step. I added some roasted red pepper to the pizza since I had some in the fridge. I also cheated by not sautéing the onions and mushrooms for as long as recommended, but the pizzas still turned out great. The recipe uses nutritional yeast, which I love, instead of cheese. It has a cheesy flavor, but is incredibly nutritious. It is a complete protein, meaning it contains all the amino acids that your body cannot produce on its own, which is very uncommon for non-animal products. It’s also packed with iron, zinc, many B-vitamins, and fiber!

Friday- Take out from by CHLOE

Our plan on Friday was to get sushi delivered by Postmates or another meal delivery app, but this was a huge fail. After taking a few minutes to decide on and place an order, we found that no drivers were available to pick up the order. We tried a few different sushi places on a few different apps with no luck. After 40 minutes of trying to order we switched to plan B which was to try out the new vegan fast-food restaurant in the Seaport, by Chloe. I ended up super happy with plan B! I got the Classic Burger, which is actually made with tempeh, lentils, chia, and walnuts, topped with beet ketchup. On the side I had Kale and Artichoke Dip. Both were delicious! Michael got the Pesto Meatball sandwich and Sweet Potato Fries which he really liked too! I’ll definitely be back to by Chloe!

 

And that was our week! Enjoy your day!