Monday, September 28, 2009

My love for Spin

I love Tuesdays, Thursday and Saturdays. These are my spinning days. I wake up at 4:45 am and I usually get to the gym around 5:20. I do about 40 minutes of warming up, various cardio and weights to get myself warmed up for class which starts at about 6am. I know its bad but I cant eat anything before hand. I know they say that you really should but getting up that early makes it hard for me to eat anything. But I do make sure that I start my day with a big glass of cold water. I absolutely love putting in a hard workout and then coming home to a big cup of coffee and of course, some oatmeal. Overall, to me this is the perfect way to start the day. I get to work around 8:30 and Ive already put in a hard workout and had a nutritious breakfast. Yes it seems really early but for me, once I get home from work I always find small projects of movies I want to watch and that makes working out a bit harder. If I go in the morning I know I will get up and make some me time. Of course when that alarm goes off there are days when its so tempting to turn it off and roll over and go back to sleep but I find my own motivations. If you find yourself in the same situation here are a few ideas that have helped me.

-I always remember how amazing I feel after my workout. I feel super awake and invigorated and really feel like Ive accomplished something for the day.

-I always give myself the 10 minute rule. I tell myself to at least go, workout for 10 minutes and if I still dont feel up to it I can always go home. Almost always once Im there I feel just fine and usually end up having a great workout.

-If this doesnt help, sometimes I just need to turn off the alarm clock, get up and dressed as fast as I can. That way I dont have time to talk myself out of it.

Just rememeber getting a full 7-8 hours of quality sleep is incredibly important as well. Listen to your body. If you are honestly just really feeling like something is off, not just a bit sleepy, taking a day off isnt the end of the world. In fact, your body does need some days to repair itself after intense workouts.

Finding an activity that you love to do is also another way to make sure that you keep up staying active and healthy. If you dont enjoy hitting the gym then find something else! Whether it be walking, running, hiking, biking just about anything! Finding what you are passionate about will help you keep your goals of staying fit, healthy and active!

Sunday, September 27, 2009


Waking up in the mornings long ago I couldnt start my day without a big cup of strong coffee full of sweet and low and milk. Once it was holiday time then I was all about the International Delight flavors. I used to get so excited about the chocolate mint, pecan pie and pumpkin spice coffee flavors. Ooooh yummy. Then I researched and realized I was adding tons of calories, fake ingredients and unnecessary crap unbeknownst to my simple cup of joe. So one morning I decided to to man up and drink it straight. At first, didnt go over so well. Gross, so bitter! But now I LOVE it. I cant stand anything in my coffee and my taste for anything overly sweet has lessened quite a bit, although has not completely gone away. But in its place Ive found stevia. oooh I love this stuff. I have literally probably every single product out there and have tried them all. Here are some thoughts about them.

The Now products...

The French Vanilla powder is by far my favorite. I carry it in my purse everywhere I go. This is my go to oatmeal staple, and on occasion, iced coffee addition. So delicious. It dissolves well in cold or hot liquids and has a faint vanilla taste to anything you add it to. Great product. Pricey but we are so worth it! Only catch, Ive tried baking with it and while I like it, my hubs can always tell. I try to sneak it in there so I can cut back on the sugar in cookies or cakes and he always will take a bite, stare at me and give me that "you put stevia in this didnt you?" look. Sigh. I still have to master baking with it. So if anyone has any tips, please feel free to share!

Next up..the liquids..
Now I love these but in a different way. (We've all heard that before...) I love these in carbonated water. I can make all different flavors with it! I usually hate soda. Never liked it, even growing up but I really like this for some reason. I use the toffee flavor and to me it tastes like cream soda. Its tasty. The chocolate raspberry is great, the vanilla, actually to be honest all are good. I havent gotten a flavor that I didnt like. Again I have no idea if and or how to bake with these pups, but adding it to water, shakes, oatmeal, anything that needs a little boost it works great. Again, little pricey but completely worth it. Plus a little goes a long way. I find that one bottle lasts me a few months. So if you can I highly recommend these picking these up and giving them a shot.

If you were like me and used artifical sweetners for everything it might have a completely different taste. But I find I like the stevia alot more. Plus in my opinion and everything that i have researched on stevia its alot heathier. Artifical sweetners are incredibly scary and I would run far far away if you can.

Theres alot of debate on the safety of artifical sweetners. I think part of the biggest problem is that alot of people seem to be substituting artifical for more nutritious food and drink options. How many people drink cans upon cans of diet soda but not one glass of water? Yet another example, I was at the gym chatting it up with someone and we got on the topic of healthy food alternatives etc etc...(we were at the gym, seemed appropriate.) Anyways she began to tell me how hard it is to lose weight. That she even eats sugar free cookies and still cant lose weight! Ok people...sugar free does NOT mean calorie free and why just rely on that? I asked her maybe to switch to fruit instead if she needed a quick sugar fix and she promptly told me that fruit is too high calorie for her. I have no idea what to say to that either....

So despite the hot debate on whether or not its safe I think it all comes down to the 90/10 lifestyle. In moderation its ok, but if you completely rely on it I think it could possibly have some unfavorable side efects. Im a firm believer in keep it as natural as possible.

Chocolate Banana Granola Bar Heaven

So tonight was some home made pizza and granola bars. But I really just care about these granola bars since I was very uncreative with the pizza tonight due to sheer laziness. (No one needs to hear how I poured sauce on some bread and tossed on some mozz...yea...usually I make my own from scratch but for now its about the bars!) Chocolate banana bars to be exact! Im am absolutely in love with anything with oats. Not only does it keep you full for a looooong time but so versatile as well! These bars I made with banana and maple syrup to sweeten them up a bit. I usually dont like foods that are overly sweet but I think that this was just the right amount. Let me tell you, i could go on and on and about oatmeal. Sad but true. Back when I was trying to lose weight, eating a big bowl of this stuff keeps me full for hours. Literally. Even now that im trying to gain a bit and maintain (somewhere in there) I just throw it in everything! Its an excellence source of fiber and has a decent amount of protein. Oats also contain a good amount of magnesium which relaxes all those tight, overly stressed blood vessels. Happy blood vessels means lower cholestrol..hooray!
Before we get back to these tasty granola bars (they still have a few minutes in the oven anyways) here are some fun oatmeal facts:

-Did you know oatmeal is one of the oldest cultivated grains in history? Does anyone care? Maybe not, but interesting to know that these babies can be traced back to as early as 7000 b.c in China. Movin on....

-The number one non cereal usage for oatmeal is.........oatmeal cookies! Hot damn! I do love a good oatmeal cookie, Im thinking that will be next on my list of foods to healthify=)

-Oatmeal actually stabilizes your blood pressure. So starting your day with a big steaming bowl might help to keep those sugar cravings under control. (Ive tested this...its true!)

-Did you know that one 18oz pack of granola contains about 26,000 oats! Talk about getting alot of bang for your buck! (Thanks to google for that one=)

I know alot of people say that oatmeal is bland. But my secret to awesome oatmeal is vanilla stevia and pepper. Sounds amazingly disgusting, I know. Ive heard it from everyone. When I went home to visit my family for the holidays my mom watched as I poured in some vanilla stevia, which is acceptable being from the north where we sweeten our grains. But then as I reached for the pepper mill she got one of those, "Oh no you just didnt do that..." look on her face. Yup, i did it. And its tasty too! Been eating it this way for the past year or so every morning. Maybe its something I picked up when I lived in GA for a few years where I got schooled in eating my grits with butter, salt and pepper. Growing up we always ate our grains, which in my house was cream of wheat, with brown sugar or maple syrup. So I guess i just merged the two together. Either way its delicious, i promise.

Ok and back to the chocolate granola bars! They are out of the oven and cooling, Looking tasty i must say. (Man I'm good! ahha JK...)

Super tasty! They are a bit creamy tasting and super chocolately. Not overly sweet so you can definetly add more sugar or adjust this recipe as you would like. The texture is a bit chewy, not too crunchy but not too soft either. Overall super delish!!

Chocolate Banana Granola Bars:

1 Medium Banana
.25 cups of maple syrup
.25 cups of pureed silken tofu
1 c. oatmeal
1 c. puffed rice cereal (I used 365 organic brown puffed rice cereal)
1 c. Fiber One
1 tsp. cinnamon
2 TBSP cocoa powder
1 scoop chocolate whey protein powder
pinch of salt

Mix together oatmeal, fiber one, puffed rice cereal, cinnamon, cocoa powder, salt and protein powder. In another bowl rough chop banana and add in maple syrup. Heat in the microwave for about 1 minute and 30 seconds. Mash together to make a syrup. Stir in tofu. Mix with dry ingredients. Press down into a pyrex or any baking dish and bake in oven at 350 for about 10-15 minutes. They should be slightly crunchy and chewy on the inside. Let cool and cut into bars.


Total Fat1.3g
Saturated Fat0.2g
Trans Fat0g
Dietary Fiber4.4g
Vitamin A 4%Vitamin C 4%
Calcium 8%Iron 9%

Not bad! Enjoy! =)


So introductions! This blog is dedicated to fit living in the everyday world. Its not easy sometimes especially when life gets crazy but I think Ive found some quick and great tips to help make this easier. A bit about myself. Ive been overweight from the time I was little. Not hugely but always on the chubbier side lets just say. Well about two years ago I embarked on a weight loss journey that left me a bit underweight! So now Im working on maintaining a good balance between the two and being as healthy as I possibly can. I understand how hard it is to lose weight and how hard it can to gain some back. And Ive found some great tricks for both. I also LOVE to cook and try to stay as healthy as possible. I steer clear of most processed foods, (with a few exceptions here and there..hey cant be perfect all the time!) I try to maintain a 90/10 split. I try and stay on track 90% of the time but I give myself some slack 10% of the time. I find this is the best way to maintain a balance. Trying to stay on track 100% of the time sets yourself up for failure and honestly you just gotta live a little=) So I will honestly give my opinions on subjects, foods, fitness and everything in between. Although I am NOT certified in anything this is just everything that I have learned, researched and experienced on my own...Enjoy!!!