Friday, April 29, 2011

Jillian Michaels' Ripped in 30 - Week 4

Jillian Michaels Ripped in 30
Finally finished all four workouts and am putting this DVD to rest for now - I'm sure I'll revisit again when I am more committed.

Week 4 is the final week in this workout series and it did not disappoint.  Definitely a thigh and butt week for me.  I was feeling the burn!  The ab moves are more advanced this week as well.  Most of them I could not do due to a back issue but I was able to modify.  My only complaint with this workout is the actual ab work.  It is only 3 minutes a day.  Perhaps though if I was able to do the moves Jillian was doing I'd feel differently, but I really felt like adding in other ab work would've given me better results.

And speaking of results, how'd I do?  Well, I really didn't do this workout religiously week after week.  My mojo didn't come back until after I did the last workout.  For people doing the entire program 4-5 days a week and following the diet plan, I have no doubt there would be awesome results.  Even though I didn't follow all the rules and pretty much ate like crap, my butt and legs do feel tighter and my stamina has certainly increased (thank God).

I'd recommend this workout to anyone who's looking for a time saving, doable workout.  Looking to get into that bikini next month but don't have a ton of free time?  This is for you.  :)

What's next?  Well, my Asylum workout arrived last week and I couldn't ignore it.  I am presently on Day 5 of that workout and love it.  So far, no missed workouts and I feel great.  Stay tuned for more on Asylum.

Have a great weekend all!!  As always, I'd love to hear your workout stories.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Yummy Steak Tacos

We are a taco lovin' household for sure.  Tell my son we are having steak tacos and he'll burn a trail to the dinner table.  This recipe, found in Bon Appetit, was delicious.  I loved the saucy steak and it made quite a mess while we were eating.  The messiest tacos are always the best.

Steak Tacos (slightly modified from the BA recipe)

1 tbsp olive oil
1 skirt steak
1/2 cup green bell pepper, diced
3/4 cup canned diced tomatoes with green chiles
1/4 cup raisins
1 tbsp tomato paste
1 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp ground allspice
whole wheat & herb tortillas
fresh cilantro, chopped

Heat oil in large skillet.  Sprinkle steak with salt & pepper.  Add to skillet and saute 5 minutes per side.  Transfer to plate.  In same skillet, add bell pepper and cook for 2 minutes.  Add canned tomatoes, raisins, tomato paste, cumin and allspice.  Simmer until sauce is thick, about 4 minutes.  Season to taste wiht salt & pepper.

Cut steak into diagonal slices.  Add steak and any juices to sauce.  Toss to blend.

Heat tortillas and stuff with filling.  Sprinkle with cilantro and serve with homemade guac.  Fresh, delicious and somewhat healthy!  1 large taco or 2 small corn tacos clocks in at 400 calories.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Tag - Easter Party Menu

I'm a little late to the game here today but I was so graciously tagged by Lyndsey of The Tiny Skillet to participate in a dinner menu game and had to partake.  The process appears to be to choose 5-10 recipes from your past posts and create a dinner menu (including links to the past posts and a photo) then choose 10 other bloggers to do the same.

Since Easter is about half over, let's just make it a dinner party for any occasion.  I'm such a rule breaker.  :)

Here is my kid friendly dinner party menu.  Not sure these all flow together to make a nice meal, but then again, mine never do anyway:
Rum Cocktails (no rum for the kiddos of course, but they'll love the coconut "cup")
Lentil Soup with cornbread
Wasabi Tuna Rolls for the vegetarians
Creamy Peach Pie for dessert

Ten bloggers I'd love to see put together a menu:

Kristy from My Little Space
Bo from Bo's Bowl
Michael from Me, My Food & I
Little J from Whisk It Good
Julia from No Face Plate
Catherine from Living the Gourmet

Oops, I think that's 11.  Sorry for any double tagging.  I have about 300 more bloggers I'd love to tag as well.  :)  Thanks Lyndsey for including me in this fun project.  It was great to look back and some older posts.
Happy Easter to those who celebrate!

Friday, April 22, 2011

Want Some Paprika Shrimp??

Well, if you do - and you should - head on over to Jenn's blog and check out my guest post.  In case you need a little more enticement, here's a little food porn.

Paprika Shrimp = sexy!
Thanks Jenn for the guest post opportunity!

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Shrimp & Halibut Curry

One of my most favorite meals in a while from my new fav recipe source! We did this a while back after my first Fresh Direct order came in. Thankfully, the seafood was a delicious and fresh as it looked. This dish is a great intro to curries. Perfect for those picky eaters (which sadly includes me). You can read more about my attempt to introduce more healthy ethnic cuisine into our repertoire tomorrow over at Jenn's place. So exciting!

For today though, why not try out a little mild curry. I promise, it's yummy (and good for you too).

Modified from a recipe found in Bon Appetit.

3 limes
1 tbsp olive oil
1 cup chopped shallots
1 red bell pepper, diced
1 1/2 tbsp minced ginger
2 1/2 tsp red curry paste
1 13-14 oz can unsweetened coconut milk
1 tbsp fish sauce
18 oz halibut, cut into 1 inch chunks
1 lb shrimp, peeled & deveined
1/3 cup chopped cilantro
1/3 cup chopped basil
salt & pepper, to taste
sriracha, to taste

Finely grate peel of 2 limes.  Juice same 2 limes and set aside.  Cut third lime into wedges.

Heat oil in large saucepan.  Add shallots, bell pepper and ginger.  Saute until shallots are tender and peppers are soft.  Stir in curry paste, coconut milk, fish sauce, lime peel and juice.  Simmer, stirring frequently for about 5 minutes.

Sprinkle fish and shrimp with salt and pepper.  Add to curry sauce.  Stir in a little sriracha at this point if you like.  Return to gentle simmer until fish are opaque in center, about 6 minutes.  Season with salt and pepper.  Gently stir in cilantro and basil.  Serve with lime wedges and rice or noodles.
Under and hour, super wonderfully delicious and just over 300 calories?  Yes please.  Tastes even better the next day so make extra.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Jillian Michaels Ripped in 30 - Week 3

Jillian Michaels Ripped in 30
Sorry I'm a little late with the week 3 review.  Had a sore foot for a few days and needed to rest it.  But, week three is complete.  I'll be honest here and say Week 3 felt like a bit of a break.  Sure the moves were difficult and I did sweat, but they just didn't come together to result in a good enough workout for me.  Well, except for my triceps.  This is triceps week for sure!  So that I did like because those little guys are hard to work sometimes.  Shoulders and hips also come into play this week.

What I missed this week was all the core work.  I felt like Weeks 1 and 2 had a huge core focus (moreso in week 1) even during moves that weren't specifically defined "core" exercises.  Hopefully we'll see more core work in Week 4.

All in all though, still happy with the DVD.  There are some great workouts in here that I see myself using from time to time as a fill in or for a day where time is an issue.  I can't adequately comment on results as I have been pretty inconsistent (ok, very inconsistent) and my diet is still garbage.  But I do feel stronger and my core is getting tighter again which makes me happy.  With week three down the tubes, I can still wholeheartedly recommend Ripped in 30!  JM has a very good sense of what body parts cause the most trouble for women and how to work them well.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Less Guilt Chocolate Lava Cakes

Hi Hi!!  Work has finally slowed down (for now) so I figured I'd reward you all for sticking with me with a delicious guilt-free (well, there may be some guilt) lava cake.  Easy to make so go ahead, you can be biting into this gooey deliciousness in less than a half hour!

From The Best of Clean Eating.

cooking spray
1/4 cup plus 1tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
1/3 cup sucanat
3 tbsp unsweetened applesauce
3 tbsp olive oil
1 egg
1 egg white
1/2 cup white whole wheat flour
1 tsp vanilla
powdered sugar, to top (optional)

Heat oven to 400.  Spray 4 ramekins with cooking spray.  In a medium bowl, combine cocoa and sucanat.  Whisk in applesauce and oil.

In a small bowl, whisk egg and egg white.  Add to cocoa mixture.  Whisk until smooth.  Stir in flour and vanilla until just completely combined.  No over mixing.

Pour into ramekins and place on a baking sheet.  Bake for 9 minutes.  They will come out looking underdone.  They are not!  Let stand a few minutes before inverting on dessert plates.  Serve warm for the most warm yumminess.

Friday, April 15, 2011

And Now For the Birthday Girl

Right after the birthday cake for my son's third birthday, off we went to the hospital to await the arrival of the little princess.

Happy birthday to my little peanut.  I hope you have a fabulous day!!

Of course, another journey through pictures.  It's just what moms do.

Thoughtful enough to let her brother enjoy his birthday cake, a teeny little chicklet waited just long enough to come into the world so each sibling would have their own day.
Such a petite little flower, I am constantly in awe of your adventurous spirit and strength (clearly your mother's child).
 Most of the time super sweet,
 But sometimes a little sour,
She's just so cute that even her brother can't pass up the chance for a little hug.
You've got lots to smile about and have given us tons to smile about too.  Can't wait to see what the next year brings for you.  We love you munchkin.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Breaking the Silence for a VIP Happy B-Day

I know I haven't been around as work has been nuts, but I HAD to carve out a few minutes to wish my first born a very happy birthday.

I love you my little big man.  You have made me worry like I never thought I'd worry before, but we wouldn't change a thing.  You are turning into a wonderful and thoughtful fellow.

Life's journey in pictures (a/k/a mom's brag book):

Once upon a time, God granted me a cute and lovable little boy.
He was so wonderful, we decided to try for a playmate.  Sometimes she wants to kill him, but mostly, she loves him too.
We've had some seriously scary times but you are so strong, you pulled through with flying colors and have inspired and helped others going through the "Cranio Wars"
You are the family rock star in more ways than one. 
You are very much a boy but do clean up quite well.  :)
So keep on climbing.  The best is yet to come.
 We love you!  Peace out.

Friday, April 8, 2011

Jillian Michaels Ripped in 30 - Week 2

Jillian Michaels Ripped in 30

Managed to get this workout in 4 times this week which was great.  The fact that it is under 30 minutes has been my saving grace.

Week 2 left me surprisingly less sweaty than Week 1.  I also didn't feel too much post workout soreness.  This week focused a lot on the shoulders and back - which are my weakest links.  Lots of plank work here.  In fact, one of the 2 minute cardio segments has you holding plank the entire time.  30 seconds of plank jacks, 30 seconds of moutain climbers (so hate those), repeat.  Needless to say, I found myself on my knees more than a few times in that 2 minutes.  Ab work was also stepped up this week.  I had to modify most of the moves since a back issue prohibits me from raising my legs (extended straight) and shoulders off the floor at the same time.  But it still felt like a good workout and my husband did comment that my butt felt firmer.  :)

What I'm loving about Ripped in 30 is that even when you are not doing the ab segments, almost all of the moves work the core in one way or another.  A strong core = a happy Betty.

Still not seeing a ton of visible progress with my body but then again, I'm still not eating 100%.  We've gotten much better but the baked goods just keep calling and I'm unable to stop at one (or three).

See you next week with the Week 3 review!  Happy weekend.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Too Much Work - Update

Hey all. Just dropping in with a quick note. I'll be MIA for a little bit to tackle some hefty work projects. I love reading all your blogs and responding to the lovely comments left on mine. I promise to be back at it as soon as possible!

Have a great week.

Friday, April 1, 2011

Jillian Michael's Ripped in 30 - Week 1

My usual workout routine becoming tiresome and never ending, it was time to change it up.  I finally opened up my new JM DVD, Ripped in 30.
Jillian Michaels Ripped in 30
This DVD brought me right back to where the whole getting back in shape thing started for me with 30 Day Shred.

Ripped in 30 consists of four workouts, each one intended to be done for one week before moving on to the next, more intense workout.  I can happily report that Week 1 is in the bag.  Each workout this week consisted of three circuits - 3 minutes of strength (3 moves, repeated twice), 2 minutes of cardio (2 moves, repeated twice), and 1 minute of abs (2 30 second exercises).  Week 1 left me a sweaty mess even though it was only 24 minutes.  My obliques and hamstrings were feeling it the most and I see some definition in my chest from the push ups.

Did I see much progress this week?  No.  Was it because Ripped in 30 is ineffective?  No.  My diet is crap!  I've been snacking like a bear getting ready for hibernation.  Hopefully I can leave this bad habit behind for Week 2.  Also, if this darn weather would start feeling more spring-like, I plan to do a bit of evening jogging.  The kids and I want to run the Maywood 5K again in May so I need to get ready.

No progress pics yet as I'm Still searching for my get up and go that got up and went before Christmas and I've had three 14 hour work days so far that just totally screwed up my schedule.  I will actually probably re-do week 1 before moving on to week 2 now that I think about it.

So, week 2 review next week. Oh, and there is a Ripped in 30 diet you can follow for optimal results.  I took a look at it but know it's not enough food for me, but a link is included with the DVD.
Anybody having trouble getting their workouts in?  Any new DVDs or exercise programs I should know about?