Friday, June 3, 2011

Shape up for Summer: DAY 1

Up until now, my work out routine has been pretty sporadic....I usually try to do some kind of intense work out a few days a week, like run, Jillian Michaels DVD, work out class at the gym, circuit training, or a walk! I have never really established a solid routine so I have decided to apply the famous "Those who fail to plan, plan to fail" motto to my work out routine from now on!  I am going to plan my work outs more diligently so that they become part of my weekly routine, and not something that I just randomly do if I feel like it...I am going to track my work outs on this blog so those of you who would like to follow along with me or even steal some new work out ideas are welcome to! My main goal here is to get a little "more fit" by July when I will be traveling back to the homestead with my hubby for his brothers wedding! So I figure I have about a month and a half to follow this little "Shape up" plan! I am also going to adjust my diet slightly and I will get more into that later but I know that for myself, strict dieting=DEPRESSION. I hate it! I love food too much to eat a apple for breakfast, a rice cake for lunch and a salad for dinner...what's the fun in that? Because of my love for food, I realize I need to work out more and I need the energy to do so, so you won't find me eating fat free stuff loaded with chemicals and basically nothing good for your body! (I do however indulge in a sweet treat every now and then even though I KNOW it is bad for me...) Anyways, back to the work out I did today!


5 minutes cardio warm up (arm crosses, jog in place, toe touches)
Dumbbell Lateral Raise- 15 reps (x2)
Tricep Extension- 15 on each arm (x2)
Cardio on treadmill- 1 minute walk, 1 minute run for 5 minutes
Chest Fly- 20 reps (x2)
Upright Row- 15 reps (x2)
Cardio on treadmill- start at 5% incline and increase 1 every minute for 5 minutes
Chest Press- 15 reps (x2)
Push ups- 15 (x 2 )
Sit ups on medicine ball or plan crunches (3 sets of 15)
Cardio on Treadmill- 1 minute walk, 1 minute run for 10 minutes

Basically what I did is the cardio, then 1 strengh move, the next and then repeated them each so I wasn't doing the same move back to back! Let me know if you have any questions about the strength moves!

Ode to Oatmeal

Breakfast is probably my favorite meal of the day. I look forward to waking up and eating breakfast always! I love any type of breakfast like pancakes, waffles, omelets, muffins, and cereal! Recently, I have discovered how much I LOVE oatmeal. Lately, I have been experimenting with all different types of oatmeal options, mix-ins and toppings! Oatmeal really is a great breakfast, good for you and it keeps me full for hours because of all fiber and good ingredients in it!

 The first type of oatmeal I am going to talk about is Steel Cut Oats- I absolutely love the taste of this oatmeal, and it is better for you I have heard! The only down side to this oatmeal is it takes longer to simmer in the morning (about 20 minutes). If you are someone who is usually rushing in the morning, this may not be the breakfast for you, but I like to make it on a Sunday morning before church because we have time to let it simmer!

Steel Cut Oats:
1 Cup Water
1 Cup Milk (I add milk because it makes it creamier...I usually use Pacific Foods Organic Unsweetened Low Fat Vanilla Almond Milk)
1/2 Cup Steel Cut Oats

To make the oats: Bring water and milk to a boil, pour in oats and stir and then turn down the heat to simmer for about 20 minutes or until thick enough consistency to eat. In the last few minutes of cooking, I like to add in salt, maple syrup, cinnamon and shredded Apples for a nice flavor. It's really delicious!

Next, Rolled Oats are a wonderful breakfast as well. I make mine two different ways. The first way is on the stove! This results in a more creamy oat mixture which is normally what I like, but again it involves cooking and dishes and a dirty pan, and some people just aren't into that in the morning! Sometimes I add half a banana into the oats while they are cooking for an added sweetness!

Recipe (Makes one generous serving of oatmeal)
1/2 Cup Rolled Oats (not quick-oats)
1/2 Cup Water
1/2 Cup Milk
To make oats, Bring water and milk to a boil, then stir in rolled oats and cook for about 5-8 minutes stirring occasionally until most of the liquid is absorbed.
Almond Butter
Peanut Butter (Homemade is THE BEST...I'll get to that later too)
Chia Seeds(We will talk about those later)
Sliced Banana
Buckwheat groats

 Finally, There is something I like to call "Breakfast Cookie" or Microwaved oatmeal mix! This is really nice when you want a healthy breakfast, but you are running short on time! Basically what I do is take 1/2 Cup Rolled oats, 1 mashed banana, 1 TBS whole wheat flour, raisins, cinnamon, a few splashes of milk and mix them all together in a bowl and then microwave for about 2 minutes until it is the consistency that I desire. If you like a creamier oatmeal, add more milk. You can really get creative when it comes to oatmeal and add any mix-ins or toppings you want!

I hope you enjoy this oatmeal topic, it is really a delicious healthy breakfast that keeps me full for hours and gives me energy! I love knowing that I am starting my day off right! Don't hesitate to comment with any questions!

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Whole Wheat Pretzel Bites

Last night I decided I wanted a simple salad for dinner because I was snacking on Amish Friendship Bread ALL day! Because I am one of those people that just can't eat one thing for a meal, I have to have a "side dish" or "appetizer" or it doesn't feel like a meal, I decided to try these whole wheat pretzel bites I have been wanting to make for awhile. All I can say is, Why did I wait so long? YUM! These are yummy and very addicting, thankfully I made a half batch and froze the other half of the dough for later or it would have made way too many pretzel bites for just me and the hubby! These are delicious dipped in mustard or ranch or if I would've wanted to get real crazy I could've made cheese sauce! Make these for dinner or for a snack when company is coming over and you will be glad you did!


1 1/2 cups warm water
2 TBS. light brown sugar
2 1/4 tsp. (or 1 package) active dry yeast
3 ounces unsalted butter, melted
2 1/2 tsp. kosher salt
2 1/2 to 3 cups all-purpose flour
2 cups whole wheat flour
Olive oil 
Enough Water to fill a large pot 3/4 full 
3/4 cup baking soda
1 egg, beaten with 1 tbs. cold water
Kosher salt or Sea Salt for Sprinkling
Mustard, Ranch or preferred dipping sauce 

1.  Using the bowl of a stand mixer, combine the water, sugar, yeast and butter.  Mix until combined and let sit for 5 minutes.  Add the salt and 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour and 2 cups whole wheat flour and mix on low speed, using dough hook, until blended together.  Increase the speed to medium and knead dough until it is smooth and begins to pull away from sides of the bowl, about 3-4 minutes. (You can also knead by hand if you don't have a stand mixer).  If dough appears too wet add flour, 1 tbs. at a time.  Remove the dough from the hook and shape into ball.  Place in a bowl lightly coated with oil, and turn dough to evenly coat with oil.  Cover with a cloth and place in a warm spot for about 1 hour, until dough doubles in size (I did this step and let it sit for about 4-5 hours, so that I could make sure the pretzel bites were made when it was time for dinner and it worked great for me).

2.  Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.  Bring the water to a boil in a large pot over high heat.  Add in the baking soda.

3.  Meanwhile, dived the dough into 8 equal pieces and roll each piece into a long, thin rope (somewhere between about 15-55 inches, depending on size).  Place dough on a flat surface and cut into one inch pieces.  Repeat for all of the dough.  Working in small batches (about 15 pieces at a time), place the dough in the boiling water solution for about 30 seconds.  Remove with a slotted spoon and place onto a baking sheet, that has been coated with cooking spray.  Make sure dough pieces are not touching.

4.  Brush the tops with egg wash and sprinkle with coarse sea salt.  Bake 15-18 minutes, or until golden brown.  Remove and place on a baking rack; let cool for 5 minutes then serve with mustard (or other dipping choice) and enjoy! 

As I stated in the post, I made the whole dough recipe and then after it was done rising, I took half the dough and froze it in a freezer bag. This is a great trick for feeding just 2 people! When I am ready to use the dough in the freeze I will take out the plastic bag and soak in hot water in the sink for a few minutes and it will be thawed! 

Original Post from:

Hello World

Well, it's my first post after creating my blog and I just want to throw it out there that I have no clue what I am doing. haha. I created this blog because I wanted to be able to share my recipes with people and also give some friendly advice on fitness ( just the little bit I know about it...). I am excited to see where this blogging takes me! Thanks for reading!