Category Archives: lunch

New-to-Me Goodies!

Yesterday, I did the usual Saturday shopping circuit – Whole Foods, Trader Joe’s, and Stop ‘n’ Shop. Armed with a slew of coupons, I came home with a TON of new-to-me goodies that I’ll be reviewing throughout the week.

Before my shopping extravaganza, I started my day with an old favorite – almond butter, raisins, and banana on a La Tortilla Factory whole wheat tortilla. I warmed this in the micro for 30 seconds, and ate it alongside some eggs – 1/2 cup of egg whites + 1 whole egg.

This combo never lets me down!

Post-shop, I came home to dig into my new treats. First up, Voskos plain Greek yogurt. I had a $1 off coupon, so this was a bargain at just 99 cents for an 8 oz cup.

I promptly turned it into “chocolate mousse.”

Mixed with 2 packets of Purevia and 1 tbs of cocoa powder

My thoughts?? I loved this yogurt! It was so creamy and filling! The nutritional stats are outstanding, too – 140 calories, 9 g of carbs, and 24 g of protein. I especially love the short ingredient list – Grade A pasteurized skim milk, live and active cultures. I definitely recommend this yogurt. I would love to buy it again, but I’m afraid it’s a bit out of my budget at $1.99 per cup.

To go along with my yogurt at lunchtime, I tried some new-to-mew cereal – Kashi Go Lean. I had been buying Go Lean Crunch regularly but that stuff is like crack! I’ve got to break the habit. I don’t need 13 g of sugar in the morning.

I had just 1/2 a serving (1/2 cup) with a little bit of unsweetened soy milk.

This is definitely a keeper! I was just the right amount of sweet, with just 6 g of sugar. A one cup serving has just 140 calories, and packs 10 g of fiber and 13 g of protein. I’ll be interested to see if this keeps me full when I have it for breakfast.

After a brisk 40-minute walk with the hubby and baby girl, I came back inside and warmed up with yet another new-to-me item – Celestial Seasonings Black Cherry Berry tea.

I love fruit teas, and this one was no exception! It had a wonderful, natural cherry taste. It’s amazing if you take a little bite of dark chocolate and then take a sip…which I may or may not have done. 😉

Dinner was a piece of baked salmon and a sweet potato. Simple and delicious.

Once baby was put to bed and my dinner was sufficiently digested, I squeezed in a 45-minute workout – Biggest Loser Power Sculpt. It was good to change it up. I’ve been doing Last Chance Workout for several weeks.

I then settled in on the couch to watch Food, Inc. All I will say for now is…WOW. I’ll post a full review later in the week.

What a great day of new foods, fresh air, and exercise! I think my favorite new item of the day was definitely the Voskos.

What’s your favorite new-to-you item?

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Chocolate for Breakfast!

Hey everyone! I don’t have a particularly interesting topic today… Just a run down of the day’s eats and exercise.

So who says you can’t have chocolate for breakfast?! I started my day in a sweet way with this beautiful bowl:

plain Chobani mixed with stevia and cocoa powder, with banana and peanut butter

I promptly stirred this all together and it was AMAZING! Mmmmm! I need to have my greek yogurt at breakfast more often.

To make my breakfast even more protein packed, I also had a side of eggs – 1/2 cup of egg whites + 1 whole egg to be exact.

Since I’m still fairly new at my job, I feel weird about taking pictures of my lunch and snacks during the day. So I photographed everything together this morning before I left the house.

Friday’s have become my almond butter and jelly day. I look forward to it all week! Today’s sandwich was almond butter with Trader Joe’s cranberry apple butter on a whole wheat sandwich thin. Awww yeah! 😀

Dinner was pretty simple. Typical end of the week meal…not too many ingredients left in the kitchen.

grilled chicken and microwaved sweet potato

I got a little impatient, so the sweet potato was quite cooked enough. Oh well – still tasted good!

Tonight’s exercise was Biggest Loser Last Chance Workout. I have never loved and hated a workout so much in my life! 55 minutes of Jillian is tough. She gets results though!

Speaking of Jillian Michaels, have you heard of her new line of diet pills?? I must admit I have lost some respect for her as a health and fitness professional. How can you advocate a healthy lifestyle and hawk diet pills at the same time??

What are your thoughts on Jillian Michaels selling weight loss supplements??

Take Time to Stretch

Lately I’ve been really stiff and achy…which definitely takes a toll on my motivation to exercise. Yesterday in particular, my hips were killing me! It was supposed to be my night to ride my Spinning bike, but I just couldn’t do it. It’s my own fault – I hardly ever take time to stretch after I work out. 😦 

Rather than taking the night off from exercise though, I decided to try some yoga. I went to my new go-to exercise video source – ExerciseTV. I pulled up the Yoga Fitness Fusion video, turned off the lights (using only the light of my computer screen to see what the heck I was doing), and got down to business. 

I was pleasantly surprised to find that this video was both challenging (hello quads!) and relaxing. I was able to get some great toning exercises in, and more importantly, stretch out all my tight muscles – namely, my hip flexors. 

I felt amazing after my 45 minutes of yoga! What a great reminder of the importance of stretching after a workout. I plan to incorporate more stretching into my exercise routine – and do a yoga video at least once a week. 

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I’m still working on my exciting blog addition… Hopefully I’ll have that up in the next few days. 

In the meantime, here are some of my eats from today. Warning: I totally failed at taking pictures today. I mean, I took pictures, but they are crazy blurry. I need to slow down a bit and steady my hand before I shoot! 

Breakfast: 

pumpkin oat bran with raisins and walnuts, with 1/2 cup of egg whites + 1 whole egg

 

Lunch & Snacks: 

apple, banana, Chobani, protein shake, turkey wrap

 

Dinner: 

ground turkey seasoned with garlic salt and pepper, zucchini, onion, and Trader Joe's marinara

 

I used frozen, crinkle cut zucchini for this dish. So quick and easy! You can get just about anything frozen. Super convenient and super cheap! 

Exercise: 

45 minutes on the Spinning bike 

Question of the day: Do you use frozen fruits/vegetables? Why or Why not?

1 Year Gym-Free

At the end of this month, it will be one full year since the last time I set foot in a gym. So hard to believe. The gym used to be my second home!

When I was 32 weeks pregnant, I was told I couldn’t work out anymore. That was the end of my gym going days.

After my daughter was born last March – and after I was given the go-ahead to workout again – I quickly discovered that I didn’t have time to get to the gym. I had to make due with whatever time I had at home. This is something I wrote about a few months back.

While I’ve been able to get back in shape and stay in shape at home, there have been some challenges – the biggest being boredom! I’m finding I have to be more and more creative these days to keep myself motivated to workout in the evening.

Here are some of the ways I’m keeping things fresh:

  • Recycling routines. I had been buying a new workout DVD every 6-8 weeks to beat boredom. Now that I have a good collection of videos, I’m cycling back to the ones I did several months ago.
  • Surf the web. There are some great sites out there offering free workout videos and exercise plans. My new favorite is ExerciseTV. You can mix and match shorter videos to create a great workout!
  • Read magazines. There are so many health and fitness magazines out there that have handy tear-out cards and pages with quick and effective strength and cardio plans. I like: Shape, Self, and Fitness.
  • Alternate. I never do the same thing 2 days in a row. In fact, lately I’ve been trying not to do the same routine more than 3 days a week. I’m much more motivated when I’m trying new things.

What’s your favorite outside-the-gym workout?

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It’s been quite a busy week, hence the lack of posting this week. You can rest assured though that I’ve been eating delicious, nutritious food and gettin’ my sweat on!

1/3 cup of oat bran, 1 small banana, vanilla, cinnamon, raisins, and PB

I was definitely a late adopter on the oats and PB mix, but now that I finally tried it, I’m hooked!

1/2 cup of egg whites + 1 whole egg

Apple, Chobani, Z Bar, chicken salad, and TJ's minestrone

I’m not usually a soup person (especially not canned soup) but I LOVE this Trader Joe’s low-sodium minestrone!! It’s loaded with veggies and they’re not overly mushy, like many other soups. It tastes homemade!

grilled chicken with roasted balsamic carrots

This is one of my new favorite ways to cook carrots. I cut baby carrots length wise and lay them out on a baking sheet coated with cooking spray. I sprayed a little more cooking spray over the carrots too and sprinkled on some salt and pepper. I roasted the carrots for about 30 minutes, drizzling the balsamic vinegar over them about 5 minutes before I took them out.

My exercise tonight was more Biggest Loser Last Chance Workout. I have a love/hate relationship with this video. It’s 55 minutes of Jillian Michaels. Yowsa!

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I’m working on an exciting new addition to the blog. I’m hoping to have it up by the end of the weekend. Stay tuned!!

Eating Cheap – and Healthy!

It’s no secret that times are tough for many people these days – myself included. But just because you’re on a tight budget doesn’t mean you have to give up your healthy diet. Don’t get me wrong – there are tons of specialty health foods that I love that are pretty darn pricey, and have been eliminated from my budget. But with a little planning, I’ve been able to slash my grocery bill quite a bit.

Here are some tips for healthy eating on the cheap:

  • Shop the freezer section. No, I’m not talking about frozen entrees! Instead of buying all fresh produce, stock up on store-brand frozen vegetables and fruit. They’re often just $1 or $2 a bag and are just as healthy (if not more so) than fresh produce. Frozen veggies and fruits are frozen immediately after being picked, preserving those oh-so-important nutrients.

 

  • Be a bargain hunter. Every Saturday, my husband and hit 2 grocery stores – Trader Joe’s and Stop & Shop. While I do love Trader Joe’s because of its variety of natural foods, I also love it because there are many things I buy on a regular basis that are actually cheaper than the regular supermarket. Some examples: eggs (just $1.49/dozen!), soymilk ($2.99/gallon), almond butter ($4.99/jar), liquid egg whites ($1.99/carton), and peanut butter ($1.79/jar), just to name a few…

  • Stock up! I used to be hesitant to stock up on things when they were on sale. I’d think, “Well, I don’t need [name of item] this week.” Umm, if I’m going to need it next week, why not buy it now while it’s cheaper?!
  • “Clip” coupons. There are some great coupon websites out there that allow you to browse and select coupons without having to buy up all the Sunday papers. Sites like coupons.com allow you to print coupons right from your computer. But if you’re like me and don’t always (or ever!) have ink in your printer, you might favor The Coupon Master. This is my new favorite coupon source. You can search for and select coupons, and have then sent right to your home. You do pay a small handling fee for each coupon (8-10 cents), but when you’re saving $1.00 or more on some of your favorite items that you’d buy anyway, it’s totally worth it. Net savings of 90 cents!

Unfortunately they're sold out of these now! I think I bought them all. 😉

  • Buy in bulk. Bulk items are definitely cost-effective! If you have the storage space, buy things like nuts and oatmeal in larger containers. You may shell out more in the short term, but overall, you pay less per serving.

Hopefully these tips will help you save a buck or two…and stay healthy at the same time!

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I’m having a hard time getting back into the groove of photographing every meal… So I don’t have pictures from each of the last few days. But here are today’s eats:

Breakfast

1/2 cup of oatmeal,1 banana, vanilla, cinnamon, raisins, and PB

1/2 cup of egg whites + 1 whole egg

This bowl of oatmeal was amazing! The PB mixed with the sweetness of a super-ripe banana tasted like a peanut butter cookie! 😀

Lunch and Snacks

protein shake, greek yogurt, apple, turkey and hummus on a whole wheat sandwich thin

Dinner

It was a fend-for-yourself night since the fridge was getting pretty bare…

greek yogurt mixed with cocoa powder and stevia, banana, and almond butter

Dinner of champions for sure…

Fitness

Tonight I did my Biggest Loser Last Chance Workout DVD. This video just came out last month, and I made sure I pre-ordered it! It is 50 minutes of pure, kick-ass Jillian Michaels. So intense! If you watch the show, you know that the last chance workout is no joke! I highly recommend this one if you workout at home, like me.

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I hope you all are enjoying my more focused blogging. I’d love to hear feedback! Also, if there are topics you’d like to read about, let me know!

POM Review and Sunday Yummies

Happy Sunday! (Or perhaps Not-So-Happy Sunday if you have to go back to work tomorrow…like me!)

As promised, here’s my long overdue POM review:

A few weeks ago (well I guess at this point it was actually a couple months ago!), Kristen from POM Wonderful sent me a box of these little beauties:

100% pure pomegranate juice

Now, I don’t typically like to drink my calories, unless it’s in the form of a protein shake. But after reading so much about POM on other blogs, I was eager to give this a try.

So I cracked one open and took a sip. It was slightly tart and slightly sweet, and reminded me a lot of cranberry juice. Very tasty! And I have to admit, one of my first thoughts was, “I could make a great cocktail with this!” Haha! 😀

I gave it to the hubby to try and he really enjoyed it. For about a week straight, POM replaced his morning OJ with his breakfast.

In addition to its great taste, POM Wonderful pomegranate juice also has some amazing health benefits. It’s extremely high in antioxidants! Read more about the health benefits here.

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Onto the Sunday Yummies…

Just because I took a break from the blog due to my busy schedule, doesn’t mean I took a break from my healthy habits! Today’s eats are pretty typical of what I’ve been eating on a regular basis:

Breakfast – 1/3 cup of oat bran, vanilla, pumpkin pie spice, 1/2 cup of canned pumpkin, 1 tbs of ground flaxseed, raisins, and walnuts, alongside 1/2 cup of egg whites + 1 whole egg scrambled

Lunch – Protein shake made with 1 cup of unsweetened soymilk, 2 tbs of Nutribiotic vanilla rice protein powder, 1 medium banana, and ice; and a chocolate brownie Z bar

Snacks – plain Chobani (mixed with cocoa powder and stevia, of course!) and some mushrooms and roasted garlic hummus that went undocumented

(Greek yogurt and I are currently “on” again, mostly because I have a TON of $1.00 off coupons! It’s inevitable that my tummy will end up hating me though, and then I’ll be completely dairy free again. :-()

Dinner – ground turkey fajita salads

I used frozen bell peppers for my fajita veggies tonight. Super convenient (no chopping necessary!) and super cheap! I’m on a tight budget these days so I’m buying more frozen veggies than ever. I spiced up my peppers and onions and my ground turkey meat with a combination of chili powder, cumin, paprika, and a dash of garlic salt. I topped the whole she-bang with some Pace Picante Sauce that I received in the mail a couple weeks ago, courtesy of Foodbuzz. Spicy stuff! Runny nose kind of spicy! 😉 And that was the Medium variety. I can only imagine what Hot is like!!

Fitness

After baby was all snuggled in her crib, it was time for mama to exercise! Tonight was my circuit training night. I alternate every other day with circuit training and Spinning (on my bike at home). I did 2 20-minute videos from Exercise TV. This is a new find for me! I love the variety. I can mix and match, and keep myself from getting bored.

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Just for fun, here’s a recent picture of me and my baby girl!

Well, it’s 9:19…time for a shower and then it’s off to bed! I’ll be back soon with my baby food making how-to post!

A Day in the Life…

Hey everyone! Long time, no post! Life seems to have gotten in the way of my blogging hobby… Needless to say, I’m way overdue for a post!

I thought, since I’m so busy these days, I’d give you a glimpse into my day-to-day activities – a day in the life of Healthy Fit Mama!

When I accepted this new job, I worried about how I would fit everything into my day. I certainly didn’t want to give up my exercise, and I definitely didn’t want to fall into the convenience food trap. But I’ve since discovered that it is possible to fit everything in (well, except blogging, I guess :-(). It just take a bit of planning.

Here’s what a typical day looks like:

5:00am – Alarm goes off.

5:30am – I finally get out of bed, grab a cup of coffee (thank you coffee pot timer!) and start putting myself together – hair, makeup, etc.

6:00am – Make breakfast. I rotate through a few different breakfasts, but there is almost always eggs, a banana, and some nuts or nut butter involved.

1/2 cup of oatmeal, 1/2 cup of canned pumpkin, vanilla, pumpkin pie spice, raisins, and walnuts

1/2 cup of egg whites + 1 whole egg

6:15 or 6:30am – Baby wakes up. I change her, make her breakfast, and feed her.

7:45am – I leave for work. Luckily, I only live 4 miles from the office!

8:00am – Arrive at work and get down to business!

10:00am – Enjoy a morning snack. I always pack my snacks and lunch the night before. This keeps me from making unhealthy choices. It also keeps my wallet nice and healthy! 😀 Snack is usually a protein shake, a Z Bar, or a Larabar.

12:00pm – Eat my lunch. I always have an apple and a sandwich or a wrap of some sort, either turkey or almond butter and jelly.

3:00pm – Afternoon snack time! I usually pack some Greek yogurt – mixed with cocoa powder and stevia of course! Mmmm, chocolate mousse! I recently started making my own Greek yogurt too. So easy, and definitely a cost savings!

5:00pm – Pack up and head home.

5:15pm – Come home and greet my gorgeous baby girl and get to work on dinner. I’m a big fan of things that take very little prep time and can be thrown in the oven.

6:00pm – Eat dinner with the hubby and baby.

baked chicken and acorn squash

6:45pm – Start the evening wind-down/bedtime routine with baby. My husband and I altnerate nights putting her to bed, so sometimes I get to start my exercise around this time.

7:30pm – Put baby down for the night (she sleep allllll night long now!! :-D). Change into my workout gear and get my butt movin’! I alternate between doing a workout video in the kitchen (it’s the largest room in our new apartment!) and riding my Spinning bike, which is stashed in a tiny extra bedroom.

8:15pm – Watch a little TV and catch up with the hubby.

9:00pm – Make my lunch and set the coffee for the next day.

9:30pm – Shower.

10:00pm – Bed – finally!

In addition to my more structured exercise in the evening, I try to make sure I move as much as possible while I’m at work – using the restroom that upstairs instead of the one right outside my door, taking walks at lunchtime, walking across the building to talk to co-workers rather than e-mailing them (provided I have time, of course).

And there you have it!

To be perfectly honest, I had a couple breakdowns my first week of work, feeling so stressed about how to keep up with my marriage, motherhood, my job, my exercise… But I’ve quickly gotten into the groove and proved to myself that I can make it all work! It’s also been great for me though, because it’s made me realize that I am only human and if I honestly can’t fit in an organized sweat session one day, it’s ok. I’ll be back at it the next day. 🙂