Sweet Potato Fries, Chicken Wings, and Football

You know fall is getting closer when church goes back to non-summer service times, the produce section at Publix is 75% apples, football is on TV all day, and you start making “fall” recipes like winter will be here tomorrow. You also know that this was a good day.

After going to church (an hour later!) and restocking the pantry and fridge, my brother and I bunkered down on the couch to watch the Colts. For lunch I made these baked sweet potato fries, and got creative using spices this time like Mexican chili powder, paprika, rosemary, and then the called for salt and pepper. The cornstarch is the secret crunchy weapon. I cooked them 15 minutes, flipped them over, and gave them another 12 minutes… before eating them all. Yummy!

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And who can forget a delicious fall (or year-round…) iced chai! EXTRA YUM! I use Oregon Trail Sugar Free Chai Concentrate with original flavor light soy milk from Silk.

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By the time the Packers came on at 4 I had wings on my mind! I picked up a bag from Target and found this recipe. I promise I didn’t eat the whole bag. My brother and his girlfriend approved them, thank goodness.

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You also know it’s fall in Florida because I’m headed out to the pool, where the pool water hasn’t been a refreshing temperature since June and the ice in my cup melts in 5 minutes. Ah, the never-ending summer weather. Good, but a leaf change and white Christmas would be nice…

Before I go, here’s some Bonus Abs! 30 seconds of each exercise, without stopping.
Top half crunch
Plank
Lower half crunch
Plank
Full body crunch
Plank
Heel touches (aka penguins)
Plank

Be done there, or be ambitious, rest a few minutes, and repeat!

Good Things 🙂

FS&JJ

Remember Those Muffins?

Yeah, those pre-workout muffins? These ones. Well, I just made a batch with apples and raisins in them and let me tell you they smell DELICIOUS. I can’t wait to have one before my run tomorrow morning. I just cut up an apple and threw in a handful of raisins. I’m still using ultra grain flour, too. Yay healthy muffins!
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In other news, did I mention I switched to the dark side last week? I finally got a smart phone (dun dun dun). And today my new case came in the mail! How cute!
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It’s been a while, so lets get a few sets of bonus abs in!
25 straight leg raises
25 bicycles
25 crunches
25 kayakers (aka Russian twists)
1 minute plank
Repeat 3 times and feel the burn!

Tomorrow is the last day before Ramadan, a Muslim holiday where you fast during daylight hours and eat after dark. My friend is Muslim, and to celebrate her last day of “freedom”, she, another friend, and myself are going out to lunch. I love that even though we all come from diverse backgrounds and religions, we can still be good friends and have fun together.

Good Things 🙂

FS&JJ

Weekend Challenge April 13-14

We’ve all made it through another week! Hooray! And with that comes another healthy weekend for all of us. Double hooray! Your challenge for this week is simple. Do 300 reps of abs each day. “THREE HUNDRED?!?” you say? Yes! It may sound like a lot, but it will take no time at all to knock them all out. Best of all, it’s your choice of what to do. Switch it up or do the same exercise. Split it up into sets of 100 or 50. Do them all before breakfast or before you go to bed. If you need inspiration, check my bonus abs sections in previous posts. Do them while you’re watching TV, or outside in the sun (if you have any this weekend). In the end, your tummy and core will thank you.

Good Things 🙂

FS&JJ

Weekend Challenge- Easter Weekend March 30th-31st

I’m here! I’m alive! And I apologize for slacking to the highest degree. I promise to be better this week. I already have a yummy meal planned to share with you and I know you’ll love it. Pregame hint: get some salmon and asparagus 😉

I guess you may wander to this page tonight or tomorrow morning to get the low-down on your new weekend challenge. Well, here it is! Between the Easter egg hunt and basket candy, the dyed eggs, and the yummy Easter meal, you may need a little metabolism nudge this weekend. Enter the 1-minute egg hunt training program. It’s all about the stoop and ground touch!

The first 30 seconds go to the squat jump. All-out, as high as you can jump, and make sure you touch the ground with your fingers every time you squat down. As many as you can in 30 seconds! When time is up, immediately switch to speed skaters for the remaining 30 seconds. When you “skate” onto one leg, reach over and touch your foot with the opposite hand (i.e. left hand to right foot). Finish that, and you’ll have a quick minute of exercise under your belt (and the perfect training for getting to those Easter eggs quickly and efficiently without tiring out!) Try to do this before each meal, and maybe once or twice in between meals as well, say when you’re waiting for your afternoon snack to cook or before your morning shower.

And because I feel bad about abandoning my few but faithful followers, it’s time for BONUS ABS!

Do 25 reps of each exercise, and then rest for 30 seconds at the end of the set. Repeat twice more, for a total of 3 sets, 300 abs!

1. Leg raises
2. Full crunch
3. Bicycle
4. Kayakers aka Russian twists
5. Plank- 30-60 seconds.

In other news, tomorrow is already the last Lils’ t-ball practice and these kids are spoiled rotten. If I don’t get the best coach of the weekend award for an Easter egg hunt, medals with their names engraved on the back, and baseball cupcakes, I’d like to meet the person who one-upped me.

Healthy baseball funfetti cupcakes. Yummy :)

Healthy baseball funfetti cupcakes. Yummy 🙂

I’m currently flipping between the FGCU/UF and MSU/Duke basketball games. Go Michigan State!!

A happiest of happy Easters to everyone. I hope that your church services are inspiring, your meals are filling, and your company is loving.

Good Things 🙂

FS&JJ

Let’s talk about snacks.

Snacking is something I do a LOT of. It’s mostly healthy, which is good, but I also have a wicked sweet tooth that gets the best of me some nights. In the end, it’s usually okay to happen once in a while because I am lucky to be very active. However, sometimes you just run into those consecutive days where you’re really busy with work or on a project, and that’s where healthy eating, specifically healthy snacking, can be very beneficial. I’d like to share some of my favorite snacks with you, and I hope that you’ll like them too!

Mix-Your-Own Trail Mix
3/4 cup Fiber One chocolate cereal
3/4 cup Cheerios
1/4 cup Archer Farms (Target!) Sunny Cranberry trail mix (or another nut and fruit blend. I chose this one because it was inexpensive at Target and still healthy)

Sunny Cranberry Trail Mix, Cheerios, and Fiber One Chocolate Cereal

Sunny Cranberry Trail Mix, Cheerios, and Fiber One Chocolate Cereal

Simply mix ingredients in a bag and take it to work or the doctor’s office or on errands or wherever you may need a snack. Only 290 calories.

Blueberry Parfait
1/4-1/2 cup frozen blueberries (or fruit of choosing)
1/2-1 cup Light-and-Fit vanilla yogurt
1/4 cup Bare Naked Fit granola- vanilla almond crunch
(these measurements are up to you to experiment with and see if you like more fruit, more yogurt, etc.)

Light and Fit vanilla yogurt, frozen blueberries, and Bear Naked Fit granola

Light and Fit vanilla yogurt, frozen blueberries, and Bear Naked Fit granola

Microwave blueberries (or other frozen fruit of your choosing) for 14 seconds in the microwave. Mix them around and heat another 14 seconds. Add yogurt and granola, stir, and enjoy!

Another good yogurt option, especially if you’re on the go, is Light and Fit Greek yogurt. Less calories and sugar than many other greek yogurts out there. Greek yogurt taste funny to you, or look too chunky? Give it a really good stir. I know it sounds weird but it really helps to smooth it out!

Light and Fit Greek Yogurt

Light and Fit Greek Yogurt

Caprese Salad
1 serving low- or non-fat cottage cheese
1 roma tomato, sliced into pieces
1-2 teaspoons basil (or fresh basil leaves if you’re feeling
fancy)

Roma tomato, Low-fat cottage cheese, and Basil

Roma tomato, Low-fat cottage cheese, and Basil

Cut up tomato and mix in a bowl with cottage cheese. Sprinkle basil leaves on top and nomnomnom.

And finally…
Rotisserie Chicken
Now I don’t mean make a whole rotisserie chicken, I mean buy one already made from Walmart and de-bone it. Shred it and stick your leftovers in the fridge. You can easily pull some out when you get hungry and heat it up in a bowl with some bbq sauce (or other flavor of your liking). Chicken is high in protein and low in fat (which reminds me, TAKE THE SKIN OFF WHEN YOU DE-BONE THE CHICKEN!)

Whole chicken

Whole chicken

Shredded chicken

Shredded chicken

I also just made these yummy and light snacks for my extra-sweet tooth at night. A snack from the show Biggest Loser. And who can say no to peanut butter (JIF natural, or course)? YUM.

What are your favorite healthy snacks? Try these out and find some more new ones. Remember, just because they’re healthy doesn’t mean they’re not filling and delicious!

BONUS AB TIME!
It’s all about planks tonight. Whether you do them on your elbows or in push-up position with your arms straight, try to hold each one at least 1 minute. Repeat three times, resting about 30 seconds in between. My challenge for you is to hold for more than a minute. Try to max out and hold for as long as you can each time! Doing it again tomorrow? Try to beat your times from today. What’s another ten… or thirty… seconds, huh? No big deal, that’s what.

Good Things 🙂

FS&JJ

Greek Stuffed Peppers

Aloha!

(Yes, Hawaii Five-0 is on TV right now…)

Last night I made greek stuffed peppers and they were DEE-licious. And now I want to share the recipe with you wonderful people, because I want you all to try it sometime and tell me what you think. I actually made this one up myself.

First, you’re going to need the following:
1. 1 lb. lean ground turkey (I use Jennie O’s)
2. 1 package Uncle Ben’s Ready Rice– Garlic and Butter flavor
3. 2 sliced roma tomatoes (preferred) or 1 14.5-oz. can diced tomatoes, drained
4. 1 6-oz. tub fat free feta cheese, crumbled (I used President)
5. 1 small can black olives (or kalamata olives if you’re feeling extra greek)
6. 6 large peppers, tops cut off and peppers carved out
7. Olive oil
8. Basil

Sort of like this:

Ingredients (minus the olives)

Ingredients (minus the olives) Note: I only had baby peppers when I made this. I’ll explain below.

 

And then you’re going to put it all together:
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
2. Brown ground turkey and drain the excess liquid
3. Heat the rice in the microwave (which conveniently only takes 90 seconds. It’s the little things in life…)
4. Mix in a big bowl the meat, rice, tomatoes, olives, and 1/2-1 tbsp basil (just depending on your taste)
5. Add feta and stir again until just mixed (you don’t want all the feta to fall apart!
6. Place peppers open-face up in a glass dish and fill with mixture. If the peppers don’t stay upright you can always slice a thin layer off the bottom until they do.
7. Drizzle olive oil over the top of each stuffed pepper
8. Put peppers in the oven and cook for 30 minutes or until the peppers are softer and a little wrinkly.

And voila! So yummy, so filling, and healthy.

When I made this last night and used the small peppers, I sauteed them in the frying pan and mixed them in with the meat and other ingredients. It was more of a hot dish… like this:

Greek not-so-stuffed pepper hot dish

Greek not-so-stuffed pepper hot dish

Good news is I had enough to take some to work for dinner tonight… and two other nights this week. I am not complaining.

 

And now it’s time for…..

BONUS ABS!

Try this:

50 Full Crunches (lay flat on back, crunch where knees and elbows meet in the middle)
25 Bicycles
10 Horizontal Scissors (lay flat on back, legs straight and 6-12 inches off of ground, move legs from ankles-touching to more than shoulder-width apart)
10 Flutter Kicks (opposite of scissors, vertical)
10 Horizontal Scissors
10 Flutter Kicks
10 Horizontal Scissors

If you can do it 3 times, do it! If not, work your way up, or rest a little bit in between exercises and build up each time you do it. I believe in you! Try to get your three sets in while your peppers are cooking. What else are you going to do, sit here and read my blog?

Good Things 🙂

FS&JJ