Thursday, April 29, 2010

Gracias mi amigas.

1st of all. Thanks so much for the great response of people wanting to try out my new workout routine. I've been doing it all week, and let me just say it's been a while since I've been this sore. I love it! I have left each time feeling like I have put a really good workout in. LOVE it!
(Laurie, your email address came back to me saying it was wrong. Will you tell me it again?? THX!)
If anyone would still like to join in leave me your email in a comment and I'll get you on board!

Now on to the delicious favorite food item of the week:

Whole Wheat Pita's!

I have been purchasing mine at Sunflower Market, but you can get them at any grocery store. Most have about 200 calories for a medium sized pita, around 4 grams of fiber, and 8 grams of protein. I love the fact that they are fairly low in carbohydrates (about 40 grams for the whole pita) and hardly any sugar.

You can use them for anything! Dipping with soups or hummus, toasted, as a sandwich, for pizza's, or even just eaten plain. They are TASTY.

Monday, April 26, 2010

I need some lab rats.

I have been in a state of stuck-ness, if you will. We all get there. Plateau's, bored streaks, you know what I mean. I have been really looking into some ways to kick things into gear and change up my normal routine.

In my studying I've created a new program that I'd like to have a few people try. I want people who are willing to work hard, these workouts are tough. I'll send you the workouts via email and then you can ask any questions you might have about what things are, how to do them etc.

My sister Nichole, Benita, and I have all gone through the first day of the workout today, and I think we are all in unison that it's pretty tough. It's fun, different, and will mix up your routine. A lot of it can be modified to be done at home if needed.

Leave me a comment with your email, or email me at if you are interested and I can give you more details.

THX! xoxoxo megs

Friday, April 23, 2010

Exercise of the Week: Weighted Burpees

These are tough...but awesome.
If you are a beginner start with 10 lb dumbbells. If you feel like you can step it up go with 10 or 15 pounders.
Start in a standing position.
Squat down setting the weights down a little wider than shoulder width in front of you.

With your hands on top of the dumbbells, like handles, jump your feet back so you are in a pushup position.
Do a full pushup, down and up, (with your hands on top of the weights still.)

Jump your feet in.
Stand up, holding the dumbbells.
Do an upright row so your elbows are up, and your weights come up to your chin.

Do a full military press, pressing the dumbbells over your head and then back down.
Repeat 15 times.
Work these in to your exercise routine so you do 3 full sets of them.

Congrats are in order!

Last Saturday was the Salt Lake City Marathon. I had a bunch of friends who ran both the half and the full marathon, and I must say CONGRATS to everyone who did it.
A special good job to my darling friend Janae who OWNED the freaking marathon. Her finishing time was 3:20, which qualifies her for Boston, and lands her at 1st place in her age group.
Read about her experience HERE.
So awesome! Congrats darling. :)

Monday, April 12, 2010

Tortilla Chip Fake out

Meet my newest creation. Fake out tortilla chips, folks. I've talked about the La Tortilla Factory Low Carb Tortilla's several times before, but I've found a new use for them; homemade baked tortilla chips. I love tortilla chips, but one serving (1 oz = about 13 chips), is usually around 150 calories, and with the open, bottomless bag in front of you, most people don't stop at one serving.

My solution?
Preheat the oven to 450
Take one tortilla and use a pizza cutter to slice it up into strips.
Spray a cookie sheet with a non-stick spray.
Spread the tortilla strips onto the pan.
Spray them with a bit of non-stick spray to help them crisp up.
Stick them in the oven until they are slightly browned.

Result: Baked tortilla chips. Portion controlled for your delightful ingestion. 80 calories, 8 grams of protein, and 12 grams of fiber. Dang.

I ate dipped mine in my lentil soup for lunch today, and even dipped a few into my favorite Costco mango salsa. Divine.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Sweet Potato Fries...repeated but revised

Three words for you. Easy, nutritious, & delicious. How can you disagree with those three words? Seriously?
Confession: I make these probably like 3 times a week. They are so good, very filling, and super nutritious. I have made some revisions to THIS recipe I posted a few months ago.

A few things I've learned about making these since then.

1. My nutrition stats weren't perfect.
When I looked up the nutrition facts for the sweet potato fries previously I thought what I was using was a "medium" sweet potato. False. Thanks to my trusty food scale I now realize that the sweet potatoes/yams that are sold in the stores are generally around 10 oz, which is about 320 calories total. For a little visual help for you...The photo above contains 5 oz of sweet potato fries which is about 160 calories. (.2 grams of fat, 38 grams of carbs, 5.5 grams of fiber, & 2.3 grams of protein.) I feel so much better now that we have that cleared up. I don't like when my stats aren't right!!
*This is a GREAT example of how we often underestimate what we're eating. Take a day and measure your portions out. It might surprise you.

2. The olive oil wasn't necessary.
Although a great alternative to butter, and great for cooking when needed, I found that taking out the olive out entirely lowered the fat and calorie count significantly. I now just spray the pan with cooking spray, put the cut up fries on the pan, give them a little spritz of spray and then season. Works like a charm.

3. You don't have to cook the whole sweet potato at once.
Since I have found out that the calories in one sweet potato is higher than i'd thought, I've been cutting mine in half, and wrapping the unused portion in plastic. I throw it in the fridge for another day. Easy peasy.

4. Dang, these are good.
Every time I make them everyone seems to want some because they are so incredibly tasty. They make a great side dish, or even a great snack. If you haven't tried them yet, you're foolish, and depriving yourself of some culinary deliciousness.

Oven Bakes Sweet Potato Fries Round 2
Preheat the oven to *450-500-ish depending on how crispy you want your fries. (The higher the temp the crispier the fry.)
Wash your sweet potato, and cut into strips.
Spray a cookie sheet with a non-stick cooking spray.
Spread the sweet potato strips on the cookie sheet.
Give the strips a quick spray with the non-stick.
Season however you might like.
(Salt, pepper, Lowry's, garlic salt, cinnamon, brown sugar, etc. etc. etc. Get creative.)
Throw them in the oven.
They usually need to cook for about 10 mins, but check them every few minutes. Turning them with tongs about 1/2 way through.
DONE. Eat. Enjoy.

Friday, April 9, 2010

Pain in the rear...seriously.

Injuries are the WORST. Nobody likes it when you feel like you're just getting into the groove of your workout routine, and some random thing happens causing you injury. So now what? Keep going? Push through the pain? Take it easy?
One of our awesome readers asks...

"I have a question- how do you know when it's okay to work through some pain. I have a sore groin muscle, but once I get running the pain pretty much goes away. Is cutting back and extra stretching and ice okay, or is complete rest required for all aches and pains?"

Such a good question. Because of our different tolerances to pain it can be hard to determine what is too much, and when you're just being a wimp. ;) Kidding. I'm sure none of you are wimps. First, of all you need to detect when the pain started. Was it mid exercise? Was it sudden? Did you start to feel it the day after a strenuous workout? Do you feel like it was exercise related at all?

(nothing like a hairy man's leg for some photo-age, right?)

Overuse Injuries - One common way we are injured when exercising is when overuse comes in to play. Doing the same routines over and over again is a big factor here. Your body needs some variation, not only to progress, but to make sure that over usage doesn't occur. I recommend rotating muscle groups when lifting (ie: Monday...back and biceps, Wednesday...legs and shoulders, Friday...chest and triceps) This allows for adequate muscle rest and repair. Mix up your cardio. Switch up your tempo. Change is good! Over usage can lead to pulled muscles and stress fractures, both of which i've experienced, and neither of which are very fun. Be careful not to give yourself too much credit here though. unless you're doing over an hour a day of intense exercise I wouldn't rack it up to overuse.

Just plain sore - Remember that being sore is uncomfortable. It is going to hurt, and sometimes the best way to get over it is to get your muscles moving. When you're lifting weights you're literally breaking down the muscle fibers. It is in their repair and in the rebuilding process that you gain strength and muscle mass. This doesn't mean you HAVE to be sore every time you lift, but if you never are I'd up that weight or increase your difficulty level.

Instant Pain - You definitely want to be careful here. If you are mid exercise and you feel something pull, twist, twinge, in some uncomfortable way, back off. If the pain is extreme go see a Dr. and have it checked out. This is why good form is CRUCIAL. If something doesn't feel right when you're doing it...knee pain, hip pain, etc....chances are you are doing it wrong. Ask me! I'll help you fix it. If the pain isn't severe, but is still relevant I'd recommend RICE. R- Rest, I-Ice, C- Compression, H- Heat. It's the best remedy for minor sports injuries. Lay off it until you feel like it's somewhat healed, and be careful with good form from there on.

Constant Pain - This is where it gets tricky. Constant pain can come from so many different places. If you are suffering from back pain it could be a result of a lack of flexibility, causing your joints to have more pressure and tightness than necessary. STRETCH. It's important. Foam rollers can also be very helpful in this scenario. Back pain can also come from a lack of core strength. This can be remedied by building up that core strength. I'm a huge advocate of core strength. Changed my life...Seriously. Do it. I could talk about that all day, moving on. With a muscle pull, like our reader, I'd take about two weeks off from exercise that aggravates it, and apply the R.I.C.E. principle. I know, time off is the last thing you probably want to hear. BUT, it's not worth causing yourself more problematic pain in the future by worsening the problem. I wouldn't quit the exercising all together. Swimming is a great form of exercise that can be less impactful on injured muscles and joints. You can also still do resistance training with the non-injured muscles. I would also recommend taking ibuprofen for the swelling and pain. After two weeks of rest gradually get back into your normal activity level, trying to avoid extreme inclines, or speeds. Listen to your body, and make sure you're not overdoing it. If you feel like your injury still isn't healing after two weeks of rest, R.I.C.E., and ibuprofen, I would go see an orthopedic surgeon who can give you a specific diagnosis.

The BEST advice I can give you is to be preventative. Warming up, cooling down, stretching, using proper form, resting when necessary, wearing correct shoes, and varying your workout can keep you from getting injured and on the road to reaching your goals!