No Gym No Problem: Part 2 Outdoor Edition

Attention: Fit Fam

We have warm weather today! With warm weather comes the inner battle “go to the gym… don’t go to the gym”

Fear no more! Here is an awesome workout you can do outdoors.

I did three sets of 30 with 30 second rest between each move.

  • 30 reverse lunges with overhead resistance band
  • 30 one arm kettle bell row each arm making a total of 60 (work those triceps!)
  • 30 Russian twists
  • 30 walk outs (these are almost as bad as burpees)
  • 30 “box jumps” (I didn’t have a box so I improvised with the curb)
  • 30 overhead lunges (I used a folding chair for weight)

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Firecracker Salmon

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I didn’t have much time to prep food for the week because we came home super late on Sunday from our weekend getaway. We are meeting with our trainer tomorrow night and after a training sesh, we are both exhausted and HUNGRY and need food right away!

The food God’s have graced me with their presence and have provided me with all ingredients to make the perfect Firecracker Salmon.

This is good for 2 Salmon Filet:

  • 2 Salmon filet- fresh or frozen (I have frozen. I will defrost and marinade them)
  • 2 cloves of minced garlic
  • 1 tbls brown sugar
  • I don’t even have a measurement of scallions for you. We love scallions so we chop a crazy amount into our dishes. So the amount of scallions are up to you!
  • 4 tbls Soy Sauce we use the lower sodium kind
  • 1 tbls red pepper flakes (less if you aren’t into too much heat)
  • 1/2 cup evoo
  • 4 tbls balsamic vinegar
  • 1-2 teaspoons of ground/minced ginger… My husband likes the ginger slices they give with the sushi so we always have that on hand. I just drop slices of that into the dish
  • Fresh ground pepper and a pinch of salt (seriously, just a pinch… you’re getting enough salt from the soy sauce)

There is enough of this marinade to throw in veggies too… Like, mushrooms, broccoli, peppers, onions.. mm mm mm!!!

Directions:

  • Mix all ingredients together and let fish marinade for min 2hr-24hrs (longer the better)
  • Oil the griddle pan. Place on high heat.
  • When the pan is hot enough, turn the heat down to medium-high and place filet on the griddle.
  • We cooked the filet about 5-6 min each side.

**We used a griddle pan for this. I am sure you can bake it or pan fry it but I have not tried it like that yet.**

Disclaimer:

This recipe is approved by my Husband. I have yet to join the fish lovers world.

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Hump Day Playlist

Some sexy music to get you in the mood…..

 

TO WORK OUT. Where did you think this was going? You guys are sick!

  • Selena Gomez- Can’t Keep My Hands to Myself
  • Ginuwine- Pony
  • Afrojack-Hey
  • Nick Jonas-Jealous
  • David Guetta (feat. Nicki Minaj)- Turn Me On
  • 50 Cent (feat Justin Timberlake)- Ayo Technology
  • Beyonce- Run The World
  • Swedish House Mafia- Greyhound
  • Major Lazer- Watch Out For This
  • Rihanna (feat. David Guetta) – Right Now
  • Ciara-Like a Boy
  • Nicole Scherzinger (feat. 50 Cent)- Right There
  • Pitbull/T Pain/Sean Paul- Shake Senora
  • Grace Valerie- When the Lights Go Down
  • 50 Cent/Ne-Yo – Baby By Me
  • Keri Hilson- Knock You Down
  • Rihanna- Birthday Cake
  • Beyonce- XO

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Vacations and food

I will start by saying this- I love food but I am scared of it. My whole life food fed me emotionally rather than my body needing it to stay alive. But with making the lifestyle change that I did, I had to learn to eat food because I need it and not because I want it.

One of my biggest reasons for success is my food journal. It is my everything. While some people feel lost without their phones, I feel lost without my food journal. I feel more in control because of it. I guess it is my security blanket. It keeps me in check and holds me accountable for my actions. When people ask me for recommendations on weight loss and how I was able to lose 100 + pounds and keep it off, my first response: food journal. 

I haven’t been on vacation since I’ve been on this journey until this past weekend. My husband took me on a mini-getaway to the Poconos. While I was super excited for some relaxation, hiking, gambling, and a massage, I also feared the food situation. I have a weekly routine with food. All my food for breakfast and lunch is packed for work in advance and we have a set menu for our weeknight dinners. What was I going to do being away?! I kid you not, I began to panic. I started having irrational fears that everything I worked for all this time will go down the tubes and I will become the old me.

It took me a few moments but I gathered my thoughts. First thing I did was write a list of things we need. I like lists. I like being organized. I felt a bit calmer after that and that’s when I told myself to pack non perishable foods and I made a mental list of what I can eat when we eat out.

Foods I packed:

  • Protein bars… you all know I am always obsessing over different bars. My newest obsession is Oatmega
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Here I am doing a free Oatmega advertisement. The company didn’t ask me to do this. I just love this bar so much, I had to take this picture.
  • Nuts
  • Bananas and apples
  • Jerky

Tips for better eating while on vacation:

  • Make a mental list of what you’re going to eat while you are away. Doing this you psych yourself out and know what to look forward to.
    • Breakfast: Eggs and Fruit
    • Snack: Something that I packed
    • Lunch: Lots of greens and protein
    • Dinner: Same as lunch
      • Research restaurants and local food joints. I did research before we left. I looked at the menus and knew what I was going to eat even before we got there. 
  • Exercise/stay active. I get it, you’re on vacation and you want to relax. Personally, I find exercise to be relaxing. I also feel better about myself, Like I’ve done a good thing for myself for the day.
  • Portion control. I’m sorry, call it tough love but you don’t need to pig out while you are away. Pigging out because “you are on vacation” is stupid and you’ll regret it when you get home.
    • I know I’ve said this before…but can the restaurants PLEASE stop serving bread? WHY oh WHY must you do this to me? Next time I am going to “accidentally” hit it off the table.
  • Drink water to fill up. No juice… Juice = empty calories. I know you all know that alcohol is also empty calories. I’d strongly advise you to watch yourself. I don’t drink at all so it’s not a problem for me but I know people love to drink, especially on vacation.

The weather was too nice to spend time indoors so we visited The Seven Tubs Natural Area and did a good 4 mile walk.

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Moments after this picture was taken, I was crawling back up the hill, looking down and almost fell into the water. Thankfully my Husband was watching out for me and told me to stop crawling to my death.

We slept in a bit. Don’t judge me! I wake up the same time every day even if it isn’t a work day.

We had an AMAZING dinner at Ruth’s Chris Steak House. 

Gambled and lost but we played craps for the first time ever!

What do you guys do when you go on vacation? Do you say, “ah, what the hell, I am going to do whatever I want?” Do you pack snacks? Plan in advance? Exercise? Have you gained weight while away? Have you lost weight while being away?

Our next trip is to Japan. This should be interesting…. *If you’ve been to Japan, give me some food advise! I don’t like fish or pork!

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Healthy Does NOT = Expensive

Many people argue that eating healthy is expensive. I STRONGLY disagree.

  • If you eat processed/fast-food because you think it’s cheap…what about the medical bills in the future? What about prescriptions in the future? Cholesterol medicine, blood pressure medicine, diabetes medicine/supplies, etc… it ain’t cheap. 
  • Let’s do some basic math:
    • My household= 2 people
      • Grocery shopping for the ENTIRE week (2-29 through 3-6), this includes breakfast for two, lunch for two, dinner for two and snacks. Total bill $80.00 with the help of coupons and Ibotta
        • Ibotta: This is one of my most favorite money savings apps (I’ve gotten over $100 back just from food/clothing shopping). I’ll give you the basic run down. Over 100 stores (grocery stores, clothing, electronic, etc) participate with this money back app. Each store/company posts rebates on specific items (you will not redeem money if it is not listed on the app), for example, I received 25cents back for buying an avocado. You scan your reciept and barcode(s) to the app, they verify the purchases and money is loaded to your account and you can transfer it to your Paypal account. The more people on your team, the more money you can get back. Please use my referral code so we can be on the same team: ciyalig. I believe the first rebate you redeem, you automatically get $10.00
        • Coupons. They work. If you download the ShopRite app, you can load virtual coupons to your phone. If you clip a coupon and ShopRite has a virtual coupon for that same item, ShopRite will DOUBLE that coupon! Example: You have a 25cent coupon for cheese, Shoprite has a 25cent coupon for that same brand. BAM! You just got a savings of 75cents. I walked out of ShopRite once with 3 Lara Bars, a box of pasta, marinara sauce and toothpaste all for FREE.
          • Total bill for the week is 80.00 thats $40.00 per person for 7 days. $40/7= $5.71 / 3 meals = $1.90 … Isn’t a meal from Wendy’s or McDonald’s like $5 + ? If you get fast food meals 3x a day that is $15+ dollars = approx $105.00 per week… this is for just one person and already costs more than my weekly shopping for 2 people. Someone explain to me how this is cheaper?
  • Purchasing tips:
    • Find store brand products that work for you. Name brand doesn’t necessarily mean tastier. Name brands usually cost more than store brand.
    • Buy in bulk. You can always freeze. We got a great deal on chicken thighs. We bought two packs and froze one for later use.
    • Don’t buy premade food. It’s so silly to me when I see people buy pre-made egg salad…It ends up costing more than a dozen eggs. Make it yourself!
    • Rain check please! If your store is having a major sale and the item is sold out, rain check it. You will get that item at the sale price when its back in store versus the regular price.
    • Look online at brand websites and Facebook for coupons. I’ve gotten some pretty awesome deals on Dannon Greek Yogurt before (6 for the price of 3). Oh, lookie here, a Dannon coupon, how convenient for you!
  • How is this healthier and cheaper?
    • 28oz bag of frozen chicken wings = $5.99
      • wings are the worst part to eat and the least filling. You would probably need to eat half the bag to feel slightly full.
    • 3lbs (48oz) pack of fresh boneless skinless chicken breasts = $5.97
      • Cheaper, more meat, better meat and its versatile in terms of cooking.
        • you can make a crock pot dish, you can stuff chicken with broccoli and cheese, you can fry it up, grill, bake, etc… SO MANY HEALTHY OPTIONS!
  • Stop buying bagged salad kits. This is so silly to me. I see people eat an entire Caesar salad kit mix bag and they cost roughly $3.00 per bag. Let’s say you buy one bag for each work day lunch… 3 x 5 = 15.00 . I bought a family size box of leafy green mix for $6.99 … leafy greens are way healthier than iceberg lettuce and I just bought way more for way less.
  • Stop buying canned soup. High in sodium and how can soup containing meat that lasts for 25 years be healthier than a fresh soup? One can feeds one person for one meal. Make a giant pot of soup and it can last several meals and for more than one person!

I can go on and on with examples. But this ties back to my post on meal prepping. Clip your coupons, find rebate apps like Ibotta (join my team!), have a list, don’t go in blindly, prepare a menu for the week, use the same foods for different meals. As you get into a routine, meal prepping will become easier, shopping will become easier, you will become healthier, and quality of life becomes better.

I truly believe you are doing a disservice to yourself and your family by buying/eating/feeding processed foods. You only live once *YOLO* , be kind to yourself and your loved ones. Take care of yourself. Be wise. Be healthy.

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I Want to See You MOVE!

I am going for the “NOW” music effect here… soon I will have 4893582958520535 playlists for you to choose from. We are so close to the weekend, maybe if we run fast enough, we can get there quicker.

Work out mix #2

  • Rudimental (feat. Ed Sheeran): Lay It All on Me
  • Inna (feat. Pitbull): Good Time
  • Zedd (feat. Selena Gomez): I Want You to Know
  • Chris Brown: Don’t Wake Me Up
  • KSHMR: Burn
  • Years & Years: King
  • Inna (feat. J Balvin): Cola Song
  • Edward Maya: Stereo Love
  • Bob Sinclar: World, Hold On
  • Florence + The Machine: Shake It Out (I think this is a good cool down/stretching song)

 

Happy running, lifting, cycling, flipping tires!

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Serge (hubby) is so manly and strong. GRRR!

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Craving Nature

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Hubby and our dog, Marty

 

I never understood why Professionals (Doctors and Teachers) are so quick to diagnose children with attention disorders the second they “act out” or decide not to pay attention for a split second. I can’t believe I am about to say this…. but, “when people my age were younger” and acted out, all we needed to do was be engaged in an activity.

We didn’t have time to be bored or restless. I remember riding bikes with Dorit, Val, and Co. after school till it got dark out and if I wasn’t riding bikes or running around, I was in karate lessons, dance lessons, acting classes. I didn’t get my first cell phone till the age of 17 when I started driving and now you see children who aren’t even able to walk yet playing with an iPad!

Nature is the best medicine.

I find myself getting so restless, some days more than others. It’s been raining since Sunday and will continue raining through tomorrow… these rainy days are bad but what gets me more is when the sun is shining and I am suffocating inside.

While looking up the forecast for this weekend, I came across this article  titled, “Are You Nature-Deprived?”  It begins by telling a story about a family bringing their child to the Doctor to discuss her temper tantrums. Dr.Zarr learned that the majority of their weekends were spent inside. Instead of diagnosing her with behavioral issues, he advised the family to spend time outdoors. At the follow-up visit, the family noted the tantrums had stopped.

Negative effects of nature deprivation:

  • Obesity
  • Depression
  • ADD
  • Auto-immune disorders

Interesting note taken from Richard Louv’s, “Last Child in the Woods” :

Today, average eight-year-olds are better able to identify cartoon characters than native species, such as beetles and oak trees, in their own community. The rate at which doctors prescribe antidepressants to children has doubled in the last five years, and recent studies show that too much computer use spells trouble for the developing mind.

 

The same goes for adults… People spend so much time behind a computer and phone that they forget how to socialize. We make plans via texting rather than calling, we tell stories via email or texting rather than face-to-face. It seems to be a burden to be around people.

Instead of trying to make connections with people online, why don’t you join a club or group activity? Come on my flower children, go outside, enjoy the world around you.

Positive effects of spending time outdoors:

  • Boosts mental health
  • Reduces stress
  • Boosts your immune system
  • Helps with focus and creativity
  • Burn calories (walk, run, play!)

So, my question to you is, when was the last time you were outside? Did you feel better? Parents- do you find that time spent outdoors with your children result in better behavior?

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I love my fur baby. Missing warm weather.

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Cheesy Cauliflower!

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I have these moments where I need to clear out. Get rid of everything! I don’t like things… I’m pretty sure in one of my most recent posts I touched upon my hatred of chachkas. So this post is dedicated to shopping in your own kitchen.

It’s unclear why we have bags and bags of frozen cauliflower but I was determined to use it this week. Clear out the fridge/freezer and spend less on food shopping… Yes, please!

Disclaimer– this recipe is addictive. In my opinion, it tastes like a really healthy version of macaroni and cheese. If you’ve always been open to sharing your plate with others, this will change everything. You will become selfish and overprotective of your food. This will bring out a different side of you.

My husband hates cauliflower… I was tempted to make him try this last night to change his mind. But beast mode came out and I kept this to myself. More cauliflower for me….More faux mac and cheese for me.

My only regret is that since it was a test recipe, I made very little of it. I will only have enough for 3 days worth of lunches but I want it for lunch forever and ever and ever.

Low Carb Chicken Cauliflower Casserole adapted from here

Recipe yields 3 cups. I recommend doubling up.

Ingredients:

  • 1 bag frozen cauliflower (I used ShopRite steam in bag)
  • 4 oz cream cheese softened
  • 1 cup cooked chicken (I bought rotisserie and shredded it)
  • ¼ cup salsa verde (I used Herdez)
  • Pinch of salt, black pepper, paprika and garlic powder
  • ½ cup shredded cheddar cheese. Although, if you like a kick, maybe some pepperjack cheese!
  • *Optional: Chopped scallions (which I used) and chopped red/green peppers
  • *Optional: Red pepper flakes (which I used)

Directions:

  • Preheat oven to 375F
  • Microwave cauliflower as per directions on bag
  • Place cauliflower into an ovenproof dish (Pyrex is my fave)
  • Add the cream cheese, microwave for another 20- 30 seconds
  • Mix cream cheese and cauliflower together
  • Add chicken, salsa verde,seasonings, shredded cheese and the optional ingredients
  • Mix everything together and cook for 20-30 min. I like mine more crispy and crunchy so I cooked it closer to 30 minutes.

Let me know what you think and if you added any other ingredients.

 

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Personal Gains

This is a “pat myself on the back” kinda post…and one that is well deserved.

I haven’t written about my struggles and weight gains and losses yet. I’ll share those stories with you another time.

Yesterday, my best friends and I (including my blog-mates, Dorit and Val), went bridesmaids dress shopping. Exactly 4 years and 10 days ago I got married. On that day, I wore a size 22 wedding dress. Yesterday, a size 8. I can’t explain that moment. So many emotions. When I was shopping for my wedding, I was hoping and praying that something would fit me and yesterday, the possibilities were endless.

You all know my Husband joined this health journey with me. Today is six weeks since he’s started and he has lost exactly 19 pounds. Hard work does pay off!

What about you guys? I really want to hear your stories. Tell me your accomplishments. It doesn’t even have to be weight loss related! Did you have a goal to run a marathon and you finally did it? Did you finally fit into a pair of jeans you’ve been trying to wear for months? Anything…We all deserve a pat on the back once in a while.

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No Gym No Problem: Part 1

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Good Morning Guys and Gals!

I am super excited about this post as it was a request made by a friend. She contacted me on Thursday asking for a 30 minute workout she could do at home.

Just because you don’t have a gym membership doesn’t mean you can’t work out! You don’t need to spend crazy amounts of money on an at-home gym system or make 1001 installment payments on a boflex machine.

One of my biggest pet peeves is chachkas…I never understood why people buy mass amounts of things to display. What happened to less is more? What happened to feng shui?

I am a fan of keeping life simple and clean. I’ll never forget what my dad used to tell me when I was young and rebellious and my room looked like a tornado hit it, “Your room is a reflection of your life. If you can’t keep your space organized, how can your life be any different?” Now I understand what he’s talking about. If things around our place are messy, my whole day is thrown off balance. If you feel the same way, check out Marie Kondo’s, The-Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up .

I’ve come up with a 30 min work out plan that does not require lots of space or equipment. This circuit can burn approximately 260 calories for someone who weighs an average of 150 pounds. Starting out, this can be exhausting, if you are just beginning, try each move for 30 seconds versus a minute and build yourself up.

Remember, you can customize it to your needs. If you can’t do planks, do push ups or sit ups. If you can’t do jumping jacks, walk in place.

If you need to take a break, take a break! It’s ok!

Work out: 5 rounds x 6 minute per round = 30 minutes

Each round includes: 

  • Jumping Jacks = 1 minute
  • Planks= 1 minute
  • Squats= 1 minute
  • Wall squat= 1 minute
  • Standing lunge= 1 minute
  • Kettle bell swings= 1 minute (Use a dumbbell if you don’t have a kettle bell)

Click below to see me in action:

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