Happy Wednesday!!! with the winter months I don't know about you guys but I LOVEEEEE A

Buffalo Chicken soup!

  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • pepper to taste
  • 1 small yellow onion, chopped
  • 3 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 cup of baby carrots
  • 2 cups of chopped celery
  • 1 cup of frozen/fresh corn (optional, my husband requested the corn in it)
  • 32 ounces low sodium chicken broth
  • 1/2 cup Frank’s Buffalo Wing Sauce
  • 2 habaneros (we love extra spice in ours so I added these, you can replace them with jalapenos for less spice or leave them out completely)
  • 5 chicken breasts
  • green onions, chopped for topping (optional)
  • blue cheese crumbles for topping (optional)
Directions


  1. Add onion, garlic, carrots, celery, corn, habaneros (or whatever peppers you decide to use) and Frank’s buffalo wing sauce to the Crockpot. 
  2. Add chicken breasts (whole, no need to dice up or shred before hand) to the Crockpot.
  3. Season with pepper (you don’t need much seasoning as this soup is already pretty flavorful)
  4. Cook on low for 6 ½ hours.  Once the soup is done you can take a fork and shred the chicken breasts while it’s still in the Crockpot.  It should pull apart and shred super easy with a fork.
  5. Serve and enjoy!I like to mix in some brown rice or quinoa too!
White Bean Chicken Chili
Ingredients:
1 can red kidney beans
1 can chick peas
1 can white beans
2 chicken breasts (I diced mine first)
1 can of no salt added tomatoes
1 can of no salt added tomato sauce
1 jalapeno
1 green pepper
1 onion
2 cloves garlic
spices: depends how hot you like it: I addedd cayenne, Franks red hot, paprika, chili powder, and pepper
1 packet of masa flower
1 packet of white chicken chili mix
1/2 c corn
Feel free to add any other veggies you like as well!

1) cut up all veggies and chicken
2) put it all in the crock pot and cook for 6 hours
3) ENJOY!


 
 
Last week of Body Beast: Build Phase

So this is my last week of Build phase of Body Beast and I can honestly say I am LOVING it still!

My review so far:

Build is 3 weeks of single sets, super sets, drop sets, pyramid sets, and compound moves. The goal is mass gains and really getting stronger.

Within those 3 weeks you work: Legs, back and bis, shoulders, chest and tris, as well as an ab workout and cardio or total body. And the work outs last about an hour (usually just under).

For equipment all you really need are some dumbbells, a pull up bar, and either a bench or a ball to sit/lie on.

The nutrition/supplements:

The break down for nutrients is 50/25/25 (carbs/protein/fat). The reason being if you want to grow you need to keep the body consistently fueled with carbs in order to spare your muscles from breaking down.  You can pick any of the foods from the list/meal guide as long as it meets your caloric needs (the guide helps you break it all down depending on phases).

For supplements:

I am taking creatine, shakeology, whey protein, and fish oils (first time ever using creatine and i have not experienced any of the sometimes side effects thankfully!!)


From this entire program my biggest goal is to really add some muscle and then focus on leaning down come spring time just in time for bikini weather and competing. For me usually my goals change with the seasons and how "exposed" my body actually is, so winter = gain muscle and warm months = lean out and let's see the abs!

The hardest part about all of this is not even the lack of cardio but I USED to be one of those people who cared about the scale so watching the number would have ruined me before...right now I know the goal is to grow and also the carbs and creatine cause water gain too so looking at the number is not going to help and honestly, at this point my jeans fit the same for the most part (my stomach is where I notice the water gain the most) so I am not going to let it bother me. I know it will all go away once I stop the creatine next week and switch in more cardio.

Results so far:

  • I know for a fact I have gained at least 2lbs of muscle (pretty good for only 3 weeks!)
  • I have increased what I lift ever single week
  • I am noticing more size and definition in almost all areas
  • Even though my stomach is not as cut as before I can still see my abs so I know I am not gaining much if any fat (balancing muscle growth with not gaining fat is tricky but doable!!)
  • I am loving the work outs and it is really bringing Mike and I closer working out together!




Have any of you ladies ever tried creatine?

Do your goals tend to change with the seasons and what will be out?
 
 
Buffalo Chicken Mac & Cheese
Adapted from Sweet Tooth Sweet Life--(http://www.sweettoothsweetlife.com/2011/08/23/buffalo-chicken-mac-cheese-saves-the-day/)

Ingredients:

  • 8 ounces uncooked elbow macaroni
  • 2 slices bacon
  • 8 ounces skinless, boneless chicken breast, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 1/4 cup chopped onion
  • 1/4 cup chopped celery
  • 1/3 cup Frank’s Red Hot (Original or Buffalo – I used buffalo)
  • 1 tablespoon canola oil
  • 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour (or 1/2 tbsp corn starch)
  • 1-1/2 cups fat-free milk
  • 1/3 cup condensed 98% fat-free cream of chicken soup, undiluted
  • 3/4 cup shredded six-cheese Italian blend
  • 1/2 tsp onion powder
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/4 tsp chili powder
  • 1/4 tsp dried dill
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup shredded reduced-fat mozzarella and cheddar cheese blend
Directions:

  1. Cook pasta according to package directions, omitting salt and fat; drain.
  2. Cook bacon in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat until crisp. Remove bacon from pan, reserving drippings in pan. Finely chop bacon; set aside. Increase heat to medium-high.
  3. Add chicken to drippings in pan; sauté about 5 minutes, then add onion, celery, and hot sauce. Continue to sauté for another 3-4 minutes.
  4. Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium heat; sprinkle flour (or cornstarch) evenly into pan. Cook 2 minutes, stirring constantly with a whisk.
  5. Combine milk and soup, stirring with a whisk; gradually add milk mixture to saucepan, stirring with a whisk. Bring to a boil; cook 2 minutes or until thick.
  6. Remove from heat; let stand 4 minutes or until sauce cools to 155°. Add Italian cheese blend, onion powder, garlic powder, chili powder, dill, and salt, stirring until cheese melts.
  7.  Stir in pasta and chicken. Add additional hot sauce, if desired (I added about another 1/4 cup here).
  8. Preheat broiler. Spoon mixture into an 8-inch square baking dish coated with cooking spray.
  9. Sprinkle evenly with reserved bacon and mozz/cheddar cheese. Broil 3-5 minutes or until cheese melts. ENJOY!
 
 
Happy Hump Day!  Whew I cannot figure out why but I cannot get enough sleep this week!! I really think it has to do with the muscle building and the need for more sleep but more on that later. I have received a lot of questions asking what I am eating, how often, and why I am doing what I am doing so I figured I'd give you guys the insider scoop!

Right now I am trying to add muscle to my body with a program called Body Beast. It's an at home work out built to add muscle to the "scrawny guy" in all honesty. The program was designed by an ex body builder Sagi and he is HUGE! So funny and one of my favorite trainers from Beachbody (Tony Horton will always be number one!). And since I have always been the scrawny girl it seemed fitting. I'm 5'8 and I have always had a thin-esque look (Even though I was a total skinny fat girl for most of my life) but the plan is to add some new shape to this body! I am a lot leaner now than in the past so I am only doing cardio1-2x a week to really give my body the chance to grow! But more importantly than that I am eating the proper way to actually build muscle.

Fact: you cannot "lean out" and gain muscle at the same time. The 2 are opposing ideas so right now I am thankful it is sweater season and in bulk mode.

My diet right now is between 2000-2500 calories per day (that is sooo much for me!!) with 50% of those calories being from carbohydrates such as fruits, veggies, and complex carbs and starches. The key is to eat a little over what your "maintenance number" is so that the calories go mostly to muscle and very little is stored as fat.  The other 50% of my diet is broken into roughly 25% protein and 25% fats though it varies a little day to day. The kicker here is that I really need to sit down each week and lay it all out so that there is no guess work but I haven't done so well with that as of yet!

So my meals range from the minimum of 300 calorie snacks to 500 calories. I am eating 5-6 meals a day and also I haven't been super strict. If I want a little chocolate I allow it and so on. I am by no means going over board but for me if I deprive myself now I will only over eat later!

For supplements I am doing a few new things... Pre-work out if I am tired or low in energy I take a supplement called Energy and Endurance...great stuff but it packs a punch so I try not to use it too often. And most importantly post work out nutrition, for this I do 1 packet/1 scoop of chocolate vegan shakeology (YUM!!! First time trying this and I love it!), 1/2 scoop vanilla whey, 1/4 Greek yogurt (plain), 1/4 oats, 1 TB Pb, some ice and almond milk and water, and my creatine. This is my first time using the creatine...ever so I am curious to see how it will help. I can already notice a difference in my lifting (the whole purpose is to increase endurance during the work out by helping the body store more creatine). The only downside to all of this is it can upset stomachs (has not for me) and also causes water retention. Like I said though...it's sweater season so not too problematic right now.

At first the scale freaked me out but then I just stopped checking because in all honesty it does NOT matter!! I am trying to grow and add muscle so hey if I look better, fit into clothes better, and feel better who cares about the scale?

Any ways that is pretty much where I am right now but more on the work outs a little later I have already talked your eat off a ton!!
 
 
So what am I doing any ways? Well my life is mostly back to normal now…this week will be the first “normal week” since my accident and I am pretty pumped honestly. It was nice being driven around but I am ready to drive my car and have my usual schedule back.  I am feeling 100% better…no more headaches, no more pain, no more anything. I still get nervous when it gets cold with the roads but all in all and I am super happy and feeling super blessed!

The other thing that has really gone back to normal is my work outs, they have actually gotten even better!! Mike and I are working out together and we are actually loving it! We have tried it before but it just wasn’t for us but with Body Beast it has been amazing and this whole accident plus the work outs have brought us so much closer! Not to mention after not being able to do much for work outs for a month I am just sooooo pumped! I love the soreness, love that I can feel my body getting stronger again, and of course love the challenge that this work out is presenting!!

So that’s my work out now as far as food goes HOLY COW! I get to eat SOOO MUCH FOOD! It’s pretty heavenly honestly. I am currently trying to build and add muscle to my body so I am only doing cardio once a week (but trust me the way the work outs are set up your heart rate still gets up there!) and eating 50% of my diet as carbs, 25% protein, and 25% fats (at least I am trying!!) It is fun but also challenging to eat that much food. When I was on “light duty” I was eating about ½ of what I am now and was just trying to maintain and stick with clean eating. With this program I need to eat a TON of food and often too. My current calorie count is anywhere from 2000-2500 depending on the muscle group/work out plan. I promise I will give you some more details on what the workouts, foods, and s

As far as supplements go I will share a little later what I am doing with those!!

So what are your current work out plans like?

 
 
Ahh Tuesday! So I have really been thinking and honestly, nutrition really is 80% of the battle! Why? Well for a little over a month I couldn't work out...nope not even a little (yes it was tough to go from working out sometimes 3-5x to 0!) but guess what? I LOST BODY FAT AND WATER WEIGHT AND KEPT IT OFF!!!! 7 lbs of water and 3lbs of fat!! Take that any day right?

While I really did miss my work outs, I knew I needed to rest and allow myself to heal so that is exactly what I did and focus on nutrition!  See Resetting My Life

So many people think that they can out exercise a bad diet and then get the results that they want...well it just doesn't work like that. I know we all wish it did sometimes but the reality of it is if we focus on our nutrition that is 80% of the battle! Honestly I used to follow this school of thought too that I could eat what I wanted no matter what as long as I got in a work out but then I would wonder why I had no abs or real definition. So I made a change..sure sometimes they aren't my favorite things to do  but I know for my health and how I want to look and feel they are worth it!
So what should you do?? Well follow the 80/20 rule! 80% of the time focus on clean eating and then the other 20% you get a little wiggle room. No one says you need to be perfect but the key is to be progressing! So maybe one meal a week will be a "treat meal" for me.

How often do you cheat or slip up?