Weekly workouts….thinking outside the box

Since I am new to the DC area, I’ve told myself I’ll step out of my comfort zone and go to things friends invite me to that I may not normally attend because I need to try new things and meet new people.  Well last week the new activity was square dancing, and it was an adventure! I wasn’t sure what to expect since I have never been square dancing before (also I’m pretty sure there is nowhere that hosts square dances in Cleveland), but it was a really great time!

The dance caller would give step-by-step instructions for each dance with a quick walk-through before the band would play and he would call the dance steps to the beat. It made it easy to catch on as a first-time square dancer and I was surprised at how many people I met throughout the night were first-timers too. What surprised me the most though, was how much of a workout the evening was! The initial dance instructions were given slowly, but once the band started to play you were moving nonstop for several minutes.

Things I learned from that night: 1) square dancing is a lot more fun than it is made out to be; and 2) you don’t always have to be in the gym to get a workout in!

I would love to hear what types of “non-traditional” workouts you do to switch things up from the usual gym routine!

Enjoy your weekend,

Rebekah

Healthy eating is…all about the planning.

Hi Friends!  This week has been another great week on working towards my healthy living goals for 2015.  I am making it a habit to drink more water regularly, have been trying lots of new work outs at the gym, and have been experiment in the kitchen a bit.

As a dietitian, I have always felt that two of the bigger tools to improving your diet are:

  • Planning ahead: If you make a shopping list, pack a lunch, prep healthy foods ahead of time for meals or snacks, etc. then you are going to be more likely to make better choices in the moment. When you are tired after a long day at work knowing all you have to do is pop something in the oven to heat up instead of cooking a full meal may make the difference between going through the drive through or making unwise choices!
  • Everyone can cook: No matter how bad of a cook you think you are or you will be…trust me you can cook.  Everyone will burn things, have disastrous flavor fails, set off the smoke alarm, under cook something, or accidentally dump half the container of baking soda in.  It will get better, just like any sport or hobby…practice makes perfect!  And I know I still have disastrous moments every now and then…you just shake it off and throw it away and know what not to do next time.

With those two things in mind, I have become a big fan of Lindsay at the The Lean Green Bean Blog’s  Sunday food prep movement.  This is one dietitian who nailed it when it comes to planning ahead and keeping her fridge stocked with quick and healthy meals.  I have been participating the past few weeks and have gotten a bit more confident on what works and what does not. Follow along with other bloggers, foodies, dietitian, healthy living fanatics on Instagram with the hashtag #SundayFoodPrep.

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Additionally, I wanted to share a few quick tips to make a healthy pasta bowl as a fast and easy dinner option.

Easy Pasta Bowl

2 vegetables (zucchini, squash, broccoli, onion, grape tomatoes, spinach)

2-3 (depends on flavor preference) fresh cloves garlic

1-2 Tbsp olive oil

Pesto or marinara sauce

whole grain pasta of choice

Protein of choice (chicken, beef, tofu)

Optional: reduced fat cream cheese, fresh Asiago/Parmesan cheese for topping

  • Mince garlic and saute in olive oil with chopped vegetables in skillet.
  • Cook pasta following directions on packaging and drain.
  • Prepare protein as desired (either in skillet on stove top or on grill), season as desired–I used Italian dressing
  • Mix cooked protein, pasta, and sauce of choice into skillet with sauteed veggies.  If tomato cream sauce is your thing add in about 1/4 cup reduced fat cream cheese.
  • Top with fresh grated cheese and enjoy!
  • Tip: pay close attention to serving sizes on packaging and added sugar in marinara sauces while choosing/preparing!

IMG_0410For tonight’s bowl I choose grilled chicken in a pesto sauce with whole grain bow tie noodles and sauteed grape tomatoes and onions!

Have a great week and GO BUCKS!

Amy

Healthy 2015, Week 1 and a New Workout!

Hi all,

It’s Rebekah here, finally posting to the blog after moving and settling in to a new apartment! It’s been a crazy week and I’m glad tomorrow is Friday. Here’s my update on how I have been doing with our #WinterWonderWellness goals…

  • Drinking 6-8 glasses of water daily: I have been drinking 5-6 glasses of water a day and have been good about staying hydrated while at work. I am planning on buying a Brita this weekend to help me drink more water in the evening once I get home and get closer to the goal of 8 glasses.
  • 4 work outs per week: If you count moving this weekend as a workout (which I do…my apartment was NOT close to the elevator and this weekend involved carrying too many boxes down a long hallway!), I’m on track to get in 4 work outs this week. One of the perks of my new apartment building is that is has a fitness center downstairs. I’ve already hit the gym once this week when insomnia kicked in, but the goal is to transition to getting a workout in in the morning before work. I’ll keep you updated on how that goes!
  • Trying a new workout per month: In addition to my typical cardio workout on the elliptical, I’ve decided to ad in a 30 day workout that one of my friends posted on Instagram (originally from thoughtsandpavement.com). So far, so good!

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  • Try a new recipe or food each week.  I haven’t been good about trying new recipes this week, but there is plenty of time for cooking this weekend. Check back next week to see what I decide to make  🙂

That’s all for me this week. I would love to hear from anyone who has recommendations for a 30-day challenge (abs, squats, arms, etc) for the month of February! Don’t forget to root for the Buckeyes on Monday and check back early next week for another update from Amy.

Happy (almost) Friday!

Rebekah

Healthy 2015, Week 1 + Green Smoothie Recipe!

Hello friends!  Since this week started a new year, I thought I would share a little bit about what I have been up to since Rebekah and I announced our healthy winter goals for 2015.

  • Drinking 6-8 glasses of water daily: I have been using my MyFitnessPal app to not only track my calories through out the day/week to see where I stand, but I have been using the app to track my water consumption daily.  Most days I have surpassed my minimum goal of 6 glasses and have noticed I am more on track with my hunger cues.
  • 4 work outs per week: This week was a rough week.  I had a sinus infection, so I spent a lot of my time sleeping and praying the antibiotics kick in.  Luckily, I am feeling better and made it to the gym the past 2 days!
  • Trying a new workout per month: I finally was able to switch gyms (the New Years deals really helped) and have been getting back in a grove of picking fun and challenging fitness classes for the week. The past 2 days I went to a pilates and a yoga class, it’s been about 2 years since I did either…so I am counting that as a “new workout.”
  • Try a new recipe or food each week.  This week I made my own green smoothie recipe and prepped a bunch for the week.  See below and give it a try!

Green Smoothie (serves 2)

3 cups baby spinach or kale (I used a combo)

3/4 cup frozen strawberries

3/4 cup frozen peaches

3/4 cup orange juice (tart juices work best)

1 1/4 c plain nonfat Greek yogurt

Optional: 1/4 cup oats or 2 table spoons ground flax (I opted to use both)

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Combine and blend together.  Recipe should make roughly two 8 oz (1 cup) servings!

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Adding up all the calories and grams of protein, this smoothie ends up being roughly 200 calories and 10-15 grams protein (depending on if you add flax or not).

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Stay tuned to read Rebekah’s update later this week on how she is doing (moving into a new apartment and all)!

Peace, Love, and Buckeyes,

Amy

Happy and Healthy New Year!

After lots of debating and realizing we both are busy with various things (master’s thesis, genetics boards studying, full time jobs, and social lives) we decided we were going to challenge ourselves to a 3 months winter wellness challenge! We will be posting our progress and motivation through out the way. Feel free to join us on Twitter and Instagram as we begin this journey.  #WinterWonderWellness

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PS- Let’s Go Buckeyes!

Surprise!

Welcome to our newly formed little blog.  After many months years of pinning endless recipes, workouts, and health tips as well as participating in wonderful initiatives like Elf4Health from Elle and  Lindsay …we decided what the heck, it’s time we find something else to hold us accountable.

Stay tuned as we share our 2015 winter nutrition and fitness goals as well as a few nutrition tidbits from Amy and genetics tidbits from Rebekah.

We look forward to getting to know all of you as you get to know all of us.

Cheers to 2015,

Rebekah and Amy