Wednesday, January 30, 2013

simply heat and eat

spinach strata...

So, I went to Target yesterday. I ran in to grab some liquid egg whites and tissues on my way to my mom's house. $86.00 later, I walked out! What is it with that place!? I mean, besides it being amazing. Well amazing, yes, except for one thing... their dressing rooms. The mirrors are 365 degree, pick out every flaw and throw it in your face kind of mirrors. Good golly! Just when you think you have your eating on track, your workouts are consistent, and you're starting to make progress, just head to Target, try something on in their dressing room, and I'm sure you will be given a reality check! Luckily, I don't take criticism from a mirror lightly. Therefore, I made a pact to myself to push even harder on the treadmill today and when I prep my meals for the entire day, not to alter the plan. I was up at 6:00 a.m to prep, bake, and hold strong to my commitment. (As you can see Evil Target Mirror, you really got to me!)

My sister told me she was sick of eating yogurt and oatmeal everyday. Are you sick of eating the same old' same ol' for breakfast, too? Personally, I never get sick of oatmeal with fruit. I could eat oatmeal for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, but I can understand that most people cannot. This recipe for spinach strata is super easy, and super healthy to top it off! It's a quick grab-and-go option for those of you who don't have time to cook for yourself every meal, and although it is a 'breakfast' recipe, I also grab this as a protein enriched snack, which I plan on doing today:

  • 1 package frozen spinach, thawed and drained
  • 1c fat-free cottage cheese (140 calories
  • 1/2 cup fine diced onion 
  • 1 teaspoon parsley (or rosemary)
  • 1 clove minced garlic
  • 1/2 cup fat-free milk (45 calories)
  • 1 cup liquid egg whites (125 calories)
  • 1/2 cup fat-free shredded cheese (your choice; I normally do cheddar because they always have that type of cheese available 'fat-free' in every food store) (90 calories)
  • 2 slices wheat bread (if on hand) (140 calories)
Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Spray your pan. If I have some wheat bread laying around, I will pull apart a piece or two and cover the bottom of the pan to create a 'crust.' That is not necessary to make it delicious though. In a separate bowl, mix cottage cheese, spinach, parsley, garlic, milk and egg. 

Put half of mixture in the pan, top with half the amount of cheese allotted, add the rest of mixture, top with remaining cheese. Bake 35-45 minutes. Voila! 

*note: I slice my baked strata into 12 squares, each coming out to be just 45 calories. Like I said, I keep it in the fridge, and as I feel hungry, can grab a square, heat, and eat! I sometimes top it with a tablespoon or two of salsa (+5-10 calories) for some extra flavor.

..don't be shy, and thanks for stopping by!.. 
*follow me on instagram: everyonedeservesflowers*

Monday, January 28, 2013

.don't let the weekend distract you!.

yummy! in my tummy... at least
Hope everyone did well the past few days, filling their pantries and bellies with healthier choices and making it a point to hit the weights. Today I'm going to post a few quick and easy recipes you will be able to make as meals or sides over the weekend. If you've been reading my blog and are following along with my sister and my weight loss journey, you will probably have a good bit of these ingredients on hand already. Let's hold strong, girls! 

As a stay at home Mom, I get to catch a lot of cooking shows. One of my favorite hosts is Giada De Laurentiis. (How can that little woman eat all that good food and still look so hot? Ugh!)
I specifically make her 'warm vegetable salad' pretty often, normally alongside a red meat. I even served this at our family Easter dinner, because it was a healthier alternative for me to fill up on rather than my mom's to die for mashed potatoes.
I alter her's a little, making it more convenient with a 'Steamables' bag of red potatoes and frozen green beans:


  • 2 whole red peppers
  • 1 1/2 pound red potatoes (I normally buy a 'Steamables' bag and go that easier route)
  • 3/4 pounds green beans, trimmed and halved (or a bag of frozen)
  • 1 bunch scallions, sliced
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons chopped oregano leaves (or 1tblspoon dried)
  • 1 lemon, zested and juiced
  • 2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper


Preheat the broiler. Place the red peppers on a foil lined baking sheet.
Place the red peppers under the boiler. Turning every 2 to 3 minutes cook the peppers until the skin is blistered, about 8 to 9 minutes total. Place the blistered peppers in a plastic bag. Seal the bag and allow the peppers to sit for 10 minutes to allow the skin to separate and let cool
Steam up your potatoes and let sit for a minute. Remove the potatoes to a cutting board. Put green beans in a pan and steam until tender, about 3-5 minutes. Remove the green beans to a large bowl. Slice the potatoes in half while still warm and combine them with the green 
beans in the large bowl. Remove the peppers from the plastic bag. Peel off the skin from the peppers. Slice the pepper flesh into wide strips and remove the seeds and veins. Place them in the bowl with
the potatoes. Add the scallions, parsley, and garlic and toss to combine.
In a small bowl combine the oregano, lemon juice and zest, and white wine vinegar. Whisk in the olive oil. Stir in the salt and pepper. Toss the warm vegetables with the herb vinaigrette. Serve immediately.
Another one of Giada's recipes I frequent often, which Eddie loves as well, is her 'artichoke and tomato panzanella.' It's a salad with grilled, warm whole wheat bread, which makes it filling enough to be a lunch, snack or a side to a meat:


  • 3 cups 1 1/2-inch-cubed whole-wheat bread (I use hamburger rolls since they're thicker)
  • One 10-ounce package frozen artichoke hearts, thawed (about 2 cups) 
  • 2/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt, plus more for seasoning
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, plus more for seasoning
  • 3 large red tomatoes, cut into wedges (about 2 pounds)
  • 1 cup pitted black olives, halved
  • 3/4 cup chopped fresh basil leaves (about 1 bunch)
  • 1/4 cup white wine vinegar


Place a grill pan over medium-high heat or preheat a gas or charcoal grill. Drizzle the bread and artichoke hearts with olive oil and 
season with salt and pepper. Grill the bread and artichokes until golden brown at the edges, about 6 minutes total, turning every 2 to 3 minutes. Remove the bread and artichokes from the grill and transfer to a large bowl.
Add the tomatoes, olives and basil to the bowl and toss to combine. In a small bowl, stir together the olive oil, white wine vinegar, 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper. Drizzle the dressing over the salad. Toss to combine and serve immediately.

This one was given to me from a friend of mine. She used to whip it up to fuel herself after a workout, being it has a good bit of protein from the tuna and eggs. I make this, keep it in a big Tupperware in the fridge, and we munch on it over the course of a couple days, moistening with extra mayo as needed, or we top our salads with it. Everyone who tries it gets addicted. This is 'Meg's Yummo Pasta Salad:'


  • 1 box Barilla Plus elbows
  • 2-3 hardboiled eggs- chopped up
  • 1 large can Tuna (in water) OR 2 small cans
  • 1 small can chopped black olives-drained
  • Block of reduced fat cheese- diced small (your choice, I normally use Colby)
  • 1 cup Olive Oil Mayo  (+ extra to moisten if needed next day)
  • Salt +Pepper to taste


Boil entire box of elbow noodles. Add next 6 ingredients into a large bowl and stir together. When noodles are done, strain and rinse with cool water (make sure they're cooled so you don't melt all the cheese to the noodles) Add to bowl of ingredients and stir all together. Best if you let it sit in fridge for a couple hours until cooled through

Plain steamed veggies everyday will get really boring after a {short} while. To avoid that from  happening and finding yourself reaching for something not so healthy, you have to mix it up. I have my favorite vegetables that I like to enjoy often (for me it's broccoli, green beans, and asparagus) but I like to play with the seasonings on them. This is my favorite way to season my green beans (and sometimes my asparagus), which I got from Undressed Skeleton and just changed slightly, again for convenience, using 'Steamables' green beans. My
'Sweet and Softy Green Beans:'
  • 1 Tbsp Olive Oil
  • 1 bag frozen 'Steamables' Green Beans 
  • 1 Tbsp Sesame Seeds
  • 2 Packets/ 1tblspoon Splenda (or Truvia)
Put the green beans in a microwave to steam them up. After you remove them from the microwave, add them to a skillet with 1 Tbsp of olive oil and 1 packet/some Splenda. Cook on high continuing to stir and flip them until they are lightly brown. When they are lightly brown add the remaining Splenda and sesame seeds and reduce heat to medium. The sweetness of the sweetener will cook down, and the sesame seeds will start to brown. That’s when you know they're ready. 

**one last tip**
I'm a Jersey Girl. That being said, we love our boardwalk food, and a yummy cheesesteak happens to be one of my vices. After I started counting calories, I realized my favorite brand, Steak Eze (sold at Costco and Sam's Club) weren't really that bad for you. They're 180 calories, but hold 18 grams of, our good friend, protein. They're not something I would eat everyday, but they help the 'i need a good fat meal' craving. I make mine in a pan with extra peppers and onions, with reduced fat provolone melted on top, and serve on a wheat roll. Sometimes, we'll even have 'cheesesteak salads' for dinner, and eat them over romaine with veggies and fat free ranch. May sound weird, but try it!

Hope my tips help you get through your weekends. I'll be checking in Monday with some updates!

..don't be shy, and thanks for stopping by!.. 
*follow me on instagram: everyonedeservesflowers*
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January feature of the month

"I became empowered"...

Since everyone in my house is sick today, (my poor little Piper has been battling her first cold and her little cough just melts my heart) I figured it was a good, icy, cold day to throw on a pot of my whole wheat tortellini creamy tomato soup. I originally stole the recipe off this pin on Pinterest, but made a few tweaks to keep it a low calorie meal. We're going to eat it tonight with grilled cheese, as per Eddie's man-cold request. (we like our grilled cheese with tomato, and of course I'll be using honey-wheat bread, reduced-fat cheese, and 'i can't believe it's not butter light' to make it.) The original recipe calls for milk, half-and -half, chicken stock, and a package of tortellini. I simply substituted Fat-free milk, Fat-free half-and-half, low-sodium chicken stock, and whole wheat tortellini. (If you can't find the whole wheat tortellini in the frozen section or the 'International' isle, look at one of the center queues by the hummus and fresh pastas. That's where I found it.) By making these small substitutions, not only did it decrease the calories per serving, but by using the whole wheat tortellini simply made it more nutritious... And delicious I might add! Especially when you top it with some of my homemade croutons. Yum!

Since I was already messing up the kitchen, I put together THIS marinade for some chicken, which always makes it grill up delish, and have it sitting in the fridge for salads/wraps tomorrow.

*Now that you know what you're making for dinner tonight, let's get into the 'feature of the month.' Yup, I have plans on featuring local businesses and highlighting inspirational stories or people on my blog at the end of every month. (So if your interested in that, feel free to contact me.) 

Since the focus this month has been wellness and fitness, I decided to reach out to a friend of mine, and a very popular face around Gold's Gym, Lisa Long. Her body is rockin', and her drive is non-stoppin' (haha- apparently I can rap, too.) 
She has come a ways herself on a fitness journey, achieving many goals most of us would have given up a on a long time ago (pun intended) by believing through focused exercise, healthy eating and smart supplementation, those goals could be achieved. Guessing it was very hard for her to cram 5 years of fitness goals, woes, achievements, and obstacles into a few paragraphs, she wrote up a little something for us all to read in hopes we all stick to our resolutions, just as she did, and to enlighten us on a brand of supplements she advises:

Hi!  My name is Lisa.  I am a Mom to three active children who are 12, 10 and 7.  I am a wife to Michael. I run a household, I volunteer, and I am an athlete.

I am a stay at home Mom.  I used to have an outside job.  In fact, several very interesting jobs… but the moment I laid eyes on my first child, I just knew the only thing I needed to do anymore was to be the best Mom to him.  I did not realize how hard Motherhood was…even after bringing two more children into our home.

I was so joyful to have three wonderful children and be able to stay home and raise them.  Two years after the birth of my daughter, who is my third, I had yet to lose that “baby weight” as they call it.  I had to admit I had let myself go.  Although my husband never complained and my children loved me no matter what,  I was terribly unhappy with the way I looked on the outside not to mention on how I felt on the inside.  I was so tired, had no energy.
January 14th 2008.  I made a resolution, just like everyone else, and joined a gym.

Over time I made changes, I gained energy and confidence.  As I lifted, I changed.  It inspired me.  I became empowered.

In the spring of 2009, I entered the world of competitive figure body building.  Never would I have guessed walking into the gym a little more than a year ago I would now be on stage in a body building competition.
Not everything was easy.  I had set backs.  In fact, in the summer of 2009, I did hit an obstacle, a 
major hurdle to overcome.  My C 5-6 and C 6-7 needed to be fixed...  Surgery.  I lost feeling in my right arm, and I HAD to stop training.  I was told, even after surgery, I may never regain strength.  Good. A challenge.  It was exactly what I needed to hear.  It made me a BETTER athlete and a BETTER competitor.  I still compete to this day.

Outside of the gym, I encourage my family to be healthy and active.  Never underestimate yourself.  So many people believe they can’t do something or achieve a certain physique.  I am here to tell you, if you think that way you won’t….Believe in yourself.

I am an advocate for healthy living.  As an athlete I am always searching for ways to aid in my health and assist in the demands I place on my body, mind and soul on a daily basis.
This year,  I searched and found a company I believe in.  I found a brand to simplify my life.  I found Advocare. Visit Site here.

Advocare is a brand with products for everyone.  They have a full line of health and wellness, energy, weight loss and sports performance.  Their product line is helping me and many others like me to live a healthier life and have the energy to do the things they want to do.

Advocare has also given me the opportunity to help others.  I chose to become an Advocare advisor.  Along with Advocare, my own personal experience and journey will allow me to help others realize their own potential.

Advocare’s business opportunity compliments my commitment to helping people achieve their personal best.  Advocare products do what many other products say they will do.  I believe in Advocare.

Thanks so much to Lisa for being my first feature. She is not only an inspiration to so many at our local Gold's Gym, but I'm sure to a lot of readers as well.  Lisa is also in a photo contest with Bare Performance Nutrition right now, and by clicking here, liking their page, and voting for her, we can all help her win! You can vote once everyday until the end of the contest.

..Dont be shy.. and thanks for stopping by..
*follow me on instagram: everyonedeservesflowers*
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Tuesday, January 22, 2013

turn up the tunes..

work it to the rhythm...

Wow! This 14 degree, cold as fuhhh weather does not make it any easier to get out of my warm, cozy bed and pajamas in the morning to hit the gym. One thing that makes it worth it (besides increasing endorphins, of course): my gym provides free babysitting. I love my little girl dearly, but over the past 2 weeks, she's warped into a monkey! Do you other mommy's remember this stage? She climbs on EVERYTHING, including me if I try to sit down for a second! It's been a non-stop, have your eyes on the baby, constantly grabbing her down from places, (her crib, the dining room table, the kitchen stool) rip my hair out kind of weekend. So, when the oh so dreaded Monday morning rolled around, I found myself let out a sigh of relief, and I made that free hour worth it with a killer cardio session. 
So, let's talk cardio. After my vacation away from the treadmill for some time now and getting back into it, I can see my cardio endurance has decreased. I used to be able to run about 4-6 miles during a 45-60 minute cardio session. Well, forget that now! It's very frustrating to know I am not working at my highest potential, but I know how to reach that level again. One word: HIIT, or interval training, which I had mentioned in one of my last posts. Not only is it highly effective, but it's also time efficient.

HIIT(or high-intensity interval training)involves repeated bouts of high and low intensity exercise. In general, if you are training to increase your endurance, you should set your 'working' intervals to be about 1 minute (or more depending your fitness level) and your 'recovery' period should be enough time to allow your heart rate to come down before bringing it back up again. If you are a beginner to interval training, I would suggest you start at a 'working' interval for 1 minute and a 'recovery' interval at 3 minutes. As you increase your cardiovascular fitness, that 'recovery' interval will come down (by 1 minute, and then 2...) *note: If you think you cant do this because you are NOT a runner, know you don't have to run to do interval training; it can be done on any piece of cardio equipment

If your gym offers classes, try some! Most classes (such as cycling, step, kickboxing, and bootcamp) are based on an interval training workout. Most classes are adaptable to any workout level, so don't be nervous that you aren't "fit" enough to try one. The group of people taking class with you, the instructor, the music... It's all much more exciting! 
I like to mix my cardio up amongst all the different machines so I don't get bored: elliptical, treadmill, stepper, cycle bike, stairmaster.. But, if you are training for one particular event (such as a 5k) don't waste your time on a stepper when you should be working on your running. 

Today's workout:
I don't know if you are doing this already, But I suggest you start a food and workout journal. You need to be able to see if you need to increase your weight when you lift, how much harder you can push yourself on the treadmill next week, and if you can afford to drink another Starbucks latte today. (another vice of mine) You cannot keep track of your workouts and calories if you are not writing them down. 
*note: when lifting weights, your last 2-3 repetitions should be increasing hard. If you are not feeling the 'I don't think I'm going to be able to finish this last set' feeling by those last 3, you need to increase your weight! Start by increasing by 5 lbs. to see where you are and so you don't hurt yourself by trying to lift too heavy.

Today I did my HIIT on the treadmill. I warmed up for 5 minutes, walking at a brisk pace (3.5-4) then, I got ready to sweat and got right into my intervals. I ran at a 7 speed for 1 minute, then reduced that down to a level 4 and put the incline up to 10 and brought my heart rate down for 3 minutes. I repeated that sequence 8 times, then reduced my speed down to a 3.5 and walked for another 5 minutes for my cool down. It was pretty intense (for me) but felt great! You can use this sequence as a guideline for your next cardio session. 
Like I said when I mentioned taking classes earlier, the music is simply exciting! I don't think I would be able to finish a cardio session without my music. If I ever lost my iPod, I would be so distraught!  I'm going to share a few playlists I have on my iPod with you that keep me going and pushing harder. Sometimes, I find myself saying (in my head), "keep going until the song ends" or "whatever you hit first, 500 calories or the end of this song." See, it's a motivator! Plus, I've been told I make a decent workout playlist ;) Most of my interval playlists start off semi-slow for a warm-up, increase rhythm, then a few slower songs for cool down. When I cycle, I go to the beat of the music (hillclimbs, sprints, etc.). If I am not doing intervals and going for a longer run, I like all my music to flow nicely. Here are a few lists to steal from and hopefully get YOU going too:

The Good Run: (1 hour cardio session)
Paparazzi (Lady GaGa)- listen
Wild Ones (Flo Rida)-listen
Too Close (Alex Clare)-listen
Lights (Ellie Goulding)-listen
Colors (April Smith)-listen
Alive (Dirty South & Thomas Gold)-listen
Feel So Close (Calvin Harris)-listen
Mayheim (Imelda May)-listen
Blackout (Beathe Carolina)-listen
Days Go By (Dirty Vegas)-listen
Toxic (Britney Spears)-listen
Take Over Control (Afrojack)-listen
Moves Like Jagger (Maroon 5)-listen
Valery (Amy Winehouse)-listen
cool it down
King of Anything (Sara Bareilles)-listen
Powerful Stuff (Sean Hayes)-listen
Far Behind (Candlebox)-listen

The Masta Mix: (Good 45 min. Run)
Pretty Girl Rock (Keri Hilson)-listen
Dynamite (Taio Cruz)-listen
Bodyrock (Moby)-listen
Kayne's Workout Plan (Kayne West)-listen
Bass Down Low (Dev- listen
Like a G6 (Far East Movement)-listen
Tonight's Gunna Be A Good Night (Black Eyed Peas)-listen
Evacuate the Dancefloor (Cascada)-listen
Bulletproof (La Roux)-listen
Eenie Meenie (Sean Kingston feat. Justin Beiber)-listen
Price Tag (Jessie J)-listen

30 minute Cycle: (Go with the beat)
American Boy (Estelle)-listen
On the Floor (JLo & Pitbull)-listen
Pretender (Foo Fighters)-listen
Show Me Your Teeth (Lady GaGa)-listen
1983 (Neon Trees)-listen
Stronger (Kayne West)-listen
Stereo Hearts (Gym Class Heros)-listen
Mr. Brightside (The Killers)-listen

32 Minute Run:
Stereolove (Edward Maya & Vika Jigulina)-listen
Mika (Grace Kelly)-listen

Give You Everything (Pitbull)-listen
Check it Out (Nicki Minaj- listen
If I Had You (Adam Lambert)-listen
What Makes You Beautiful (One Direction)-listen
Milkshake (Kelis)-listen
I Wanna Go (Britney Spears)-listen
Hook (Blues Traveler)-listen
One (Joy Zipper)- listen

..Dont be shy.. and thanks for stopping by..
*follow me on instagram: everyonedeservesflowers*

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

grocery dilemma?

hungry eyes...

After my last post, I had a few requests for my personal grocery list, and why wouldn't that be helpful? It is a fact that 80% of loosing/maintaining weight comes from what you put into your mouth! Let's visit that factor, but with that being said, let's also not forget it's 100% dedication that is going to help you achieve your goal. 
One of my favorite sites to visit is Undressed Skeleton. The writer is a young girl who has come a long way on her weight loss and lifestyle change journey.  She posts lots of different, easy recipes for the average dieter. She also has a tab on the sidebar of her page entitled "grocery guide" where she does just what I am going to do for you; gives you her weekly list and tips on what you might need. This is her list of items you will need to start your journey:

That being stated, I would like to add several factors that may alter this list for you. 1. Your lifestyle. Do you work full time? A mom always on the go, driving kids to and from school and practices? Well, you might need a more healthy "grab and go" type of list, like yogurts, granola bars, protein bars as meals, 'Special K' protein drinks, 'On-the-Go' Quaker oatmeal containers, etc. 2. How many people are you feeding, and do they eat the same foods? If your family isn't dieting with you (although, I don't consider eating right and making this lifestyle change 'dieting') you may need to take some of my later information about HEALTHY carbs and factor them into your family dinners. Luckily for me, Eddie is just as into fitness and eating right as I am.
Let's get right into it...
I always seem to notice when someone comes to the decision that they want to start eating right, they buy everything low-fat, organic, and every vegetable and fruit they can get their hands on. Well, fruits and veggies go bad rather quickly, and just because something is low in fat, doesn't mean it's 'magically delicious' and your going to enjoy it. You will probably find yourself wasting money, throwing foods away, and getting discouraged. My goal in writing these blog posts over the next few weeks is to let you know you CAN lose weight by eating NORMALLY, and help you stick to your resolutions.

I plan my meals. I sit down, normally on Sunday, look through the circular, see what's on sale, and contemplate 'what's for dinner.' This week, for instance, london broil was buy one get one at Giant. My mom and I went together, so we split the cost. That large London broil will be a meal (paired with some broccolini and a sweet potato) and the leftovers will be put on a strawberry, feta, steak, spinach, and balsamic dressed salad the next day for lunch. Seeing the pattern? 

Note: *Your plate should be 1/2 veggies, 1/4 protein, 1/4 healthy carb.*
Examples of healthy carbs:
sweet potatoes, red potatoes,
Brown rice. Cous cous,
Beans, veggies,
Whole wheat pasta

Just as Undressed Skeleton has her staple items, I do too. Every week, without fail, I have these items in my cart:
If I plan on trying a certain recipe, I write down specifics on what I will need, then go on with my weekly list. I tend to repeat meals for breakfast (normally oatmeal with fruit, which I personally can never get sick of!) and lunch (either sandwiches or salad), not only to cut costs but to embed the calorie intake into my brain, and mix things up a bit for dinners.  This week we will be having the london broil dinner, a chicken, brown rice, bean, salsa, and cheese scramble, salmon caesar salads, my spinach&parmesan turkey burgers, and... Leftovers! We're big fans of leftovers and grabbing pre-made foods out of the fridge as we are hungry or running in and out of the house. I also plan on making breakfast on our lazy Sunday- an egg white, peppers, red potato, and cheese scramble with a side of turkey sausage, which is my go-to, protein enriched breakfast choice in place of pancakes, french toast, or something of that sort.
Note: *you should be eating every 2 1/2 -3 hours to keep your metabolism up. This is why we eat 5 small meals each day. Try to include protein in every one of these meals.*

Ok, so.. this is the added on items I personally needed to complete my grocery list this week:
As I stated in my first post, I am an avid list maker, so, just to add another, here is a list of rules I, and Bob Harper, live by:

Just a tip: I always have pasta in the house. Piper eats it like crazy, and Eddie can't get enough of my meatballs or eggplant. When we sit down to eat an italian style dinner, I substitute pasta for low sodium french-style green beans, right from the can! I'll still eat the meatball or eggplant with the sauce and reduced fat cheese, but the green beans are just as filling and I happen to love them. I do, though, boil 'Barilla Plus' pasta elbows and put a little bit of them on my salad to make it more filling. (thanks for that tip Meg)

Now, I'll leave you with some simple recipes:
Lemon Honey Dressing Recipe(my favorite)Ingredients
  • 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon honey
  • 1-2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • salt and pepper- to taste
  1. Blend honey and lemon juice together and slowly whisk in olive oil. Voila!
Make Your Own Crutons!
  • whole wheat buns (I use hamburger buns) 
  • 'I Can't Believe It's Not Butter' Light 
  • Parsley 
  • salt and pepper
  • minced garlic

  1. Cut wheat buns into small cubes (cruton size!)
  2. heat about 2 tablespoons 'I Can't Believe It's Not Butter' in pan with garlic. Add salt pepper and parsley and bread cubes. Allow bread cubes to absorb all the butter.
  3. Bake in 350 degree oven for 15 minutes+ until crispy. You'll never buy the store bought kind again. Yum!
My Spinach-Parmesan Turkey Burgers
  • 1/2 cup mushrooms- chopped 
  • 1/2 cup spinach- chopped 
  • 1/4 cup Fat Free grated parmesan
  • parsley- fresh or dried
  • 1-2 tablespoons garlic-minced 
  • salt and pepper- to taste
  • 1 package ground turkey meat
  1. Foolproof- Combine all ingredients together in a bowl. Patty out your burgers and grill (or cook in pan)
*I like to melt a slice of Sargento Fat Free provolone or Reduced Fat Feta on top and eat it on my 'Arnolds" honey wheat flat rolls with low fat mayo, avocado spread on top, spinach, and tomato OR without bun, with slice of fresh mozzerella, slice of tomato, basil leaf, and topped with balsamic and eaten with a fork. So flavorful, no other condiments necessary!

..dont be shy, and thanks for stopping by!..
*follow me on instagram: everyonedeservesflowers*
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Tuesday, January 15, 2013

train like a man

let me educate you...

Since a regular diet and exercise routine crept it's little way back into my everyday life, it seems to be all I think about lately. I'm sure everyone with their resolutions is on the same page. You know, what to eat for my next meal, what time I can make it to the gym tomorrow, what cardio machine I'm going to make my bitch... all that good stuff. My sister has chosen to join me on my weight loss journey, feeling it was officially time to do something for herself too, and between the two of us we hope to lose about 50 pounds. 
As I stated in one of my previous posts, I have worked in a gym, doing one thing or another, for over 6 years. That being said, I'd say I'm pretty knowledgable on the ins and outs of diet and exercise. My sister on the other hand, she's just been going with the flow and NOT complaining. I can't stand whining and complaining when it comes to exercise. If you train hard, you'll see results. The end.
I hope this post helps and motivates you to move furher on your weight loss journey as well.

The title of my post is "train like a man." Deceiving to some  probably, but please know I do not want to look like a man! When I say train like a man, I mean it in a very literal sense. In order to burn the fat your body has stored and gain the lean muscle you yearn for, you MUST lift weights, like men do. A lot of women have the conception that if you lift weights, you will be bulky. All I have to say to that is  'get educated.' 

Let me break this down for you on an easy level so you can understand quickly. Testosterone is the hormone responsible for the large increases in muscle mass seen when men lift weights. (I'm a sucker for big biceps, so thank the good lord for that!) So, men have testosterone. Women do too. On average,  men hold about 16 times as much testosterone as women. Studies show men and women do not have to train differently. If you are a woman like me, seeking a leaner, curvy, healthy looking body... You need to hit the weights girlfriend!
That being said, cardio is also an extremely important factor in fat loss and burning carbohydrates. Don't neglect the treadmill.. or the elliptical.. or the stairmaster. These are your friends. Evil, evil friends.. But friends all the same. I have set a routine for my sister and I to follow which includes a complete day for rest, breaking our weight lifting across 4 days and 2 days of high intensity interval training, or HIIT. (She doesn't know about that little secret yet, I was letting her get acquainted with the equipment these first two weeks. WaHaHa <- evil laugh) 

Our training schedule:
Monday: Weight Training- legs
Tuesday: Weight Training- back + triceps 
Wednesday: Stubborn Fat Cardio/ HIIT
Thursday: Weight Training- shoulders 
Friday: Weight Training- chest + biceps
Saturday: Stubborn Fat Cardio/ HIIT
Sunday: Off Day 

I also want to take a short amount of time and focus on another little friend of us women... Protein. I am not a nutritionist so I won't go any deeper into the what you should and shouldn't 
consume,(although I will be posting my daily menus and different recipes) but factor more protein into your diet. Consume it. Enjoy it. It will treat you right. I try to include protein in every one of my meals and snacks. 

Some lean, healthy proteins:
Eggs and Egg whites
Chicken, Turkey, Lean meats
Fish, tofu

I break up my day into 5 small meals, watching my caloric intake based upon my BMR. (To learn more about that,visit: I also downloaded an app on my iPad called 'myfitnesspal' and it is amazing! If you have an iPhone or iPad I suggest you download it as well. It not only helps you figure out what your body's caloric intake should be, but also allows you to track your meals and has a large glossary of foods you can search if you are unsure of calories. If you're one of those dieters that never knows what to eat, here is an example of my pre-planned meals, including calories, for today. I, personally, do not count veggies towards my calories. I figure they're healthy and filling and I deserve as much as I can eat. I try to pre-plan my meals at least a week in advance. It makes it easier for me to grocery shop and prep any foods that I can. (Example- stir fry Monday night dinner, leftovers become Tuesday's lunch.) 

On today's menu:
Breakfast: Lower Sugar Quaker Instant Oatmeal (120 cals) with Blueberries (25 cals) and 5 Walnuts (approx. 120 cals)small cup coffee with nonfat, hazlenut coffee mate (25 cals) + 1/2 grapefruit with splenda (40 cals)= 330 total meal
Snack: whey protein shake- 2 scoops (140 cals)w/ 1 tbl red.fat peanut butter (105 cals)
Lunch: Yummy Turkey 'Chef-Like' Salad
Reduced Sodium Turkey Lunchmeat (one slice- 20 cals), Reduced Fat Feta-25 (everything is beta' with Feta!), 5 walnuts (120 cals)Cucumber, diced peppers, Barilla Plus pasta elbows (40), tomato, 1/4 apple- diced, 1 egg white (17 cals), strawberries on side (25 cals) = 247 total meal
Snack: Monster trail mix (170 cals)
Dinner: Grilled Chicken Gyro Wrap
1 small chicken breast- grilled (200 cals), 2 tablespoon tzatiki sauce (35 cals), 1 Tumaro's 'low in carbs' wrap (50 cals), lettuce, tomato, red onion- slivered. = 285 total meal
Snack: 1 banana (70 cals) w/ 1 tblspoon red. fat peanut butter (105 cals)=175
total= 1452 (not including any calories from drinks)

My Chicken Marinade for Gyro Wrap:

  • 2 teaspoons minced garlic

  • Juice of 1 lemon (2-3 Tablespoons)
  • 2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar
  • 2 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 Tablespoon dried oregano
  • Salt and pepper

  • Easy Chicken and Shrimp Stir Fry (with Brown Rice):

  • 2 chicken breasts- cup into cubes/strips
  • bag of frozen shrimp 
  • assorted peppers- chopped 
  • 1 bag frozen broccoli  
  • 1 can unsweetened pineapple chunks (not in syrup)
  • 1 individual 'Minute Brown Rice' container (230 cals)
  • 1/4 cup Reduced Sodium Soy Sauce
  • 2 tblspoons minced garlic
  • EVOO (to cook Chicken in)
  • Sesame seeds (for garnish)
  • Salt and pepper

  • In a large skillet or wok, stir-fry chicken in EVOO, garlic, and a bit of pineapple juice from can for 5-6 minutes or until chicken juices run clear. Add the vegetables; stir-fry for 3-4 minutes or until crisp-tender. Stir in pineapple and soy sauce; heat through. Top with salt and pepper to taste, as well as sesame seeds (if you have them.) Serve over brown rice.
    Meal= approx. 250 cals (without rice)
    rice container= 230 cals
    total= 480 cals.

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