Pajamas & Coffee

So many things going on lately I haven’t been blogging.  Here are some thoughts on this mindful morning.


To be completely open and honest with you, I have started being very selective in the group of people I coach.  I have stopped trying to put myself “out there” on Facebook because it was not always feeling genuine.  If people would like help, I will always find a way to help them but it is no longer a focus of my energy.   So I’m thinking of repositioning the blog a bit away from “beachbody”.

I really see 3 aspects of my life.  My career, my kids & my marriage.  My career has been and is amazing.  I absolutely love going into work every day and helping drive the business forward, and the feeling of being a part of something big.   


My kids are the light of my life and marriage has its ups and downs.  This is them right now, Saturday morning watching Sesame Street.


I had such an awakening last May while doing the 21 day fix.   I lost a lot of weight, got super toned, met amazing and inspiring people, and really found myself again.   These past 2 months have been rough.  I haven’t had the same “intense” drive to exercise and I’ve definitely indulged more on weekends.  I know everything in moderation is healthiest, but I feel the best when I really am on point with my nutrition and exercise.   

I’m working through what should be healthy for me.  Maybe it isn’t being 100% every day, but maybe exercise 5x a week should be my goal, and working in indulgences 2x a week or something to that affect.   I can make arguments for both sides!  

I’ve also been working through a lot with family.  We had a death in the family this week and today will be the wake.  It’s made me think a lot about family and my values.   

More to come, lives are so complex.  Just remember everyone has a story and a battle they are fighting.  Be kind. 

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Call to Action- Let’s Get Fit For Summer

With the warm weather upon us, we are reminded that summer is coming. I for one am so excited to do more outdoors. I just wish I didn’t have to cook dinner when I come home! Looks like I’ll be making more on the grill.

That being said, what I also love about this time of year is how committed people are to their health and fitness goals.

What are you doing to get fit? Is it working? Are you open to something NEW?

Last year, I started helping people achieve their health and fitness goals, and it has been the most rewarding experience.  A few highlights include

  • A mom who was on the verge of tears daily who is now content and enjoying her kids childhood
  • SEVERAL running PRs (2 5Ks improved by 4 minutes and a half marathon by 20)
  • 30 lb weight loss
  • A few women who were able to advance their yoga practice (hello headstand)
  • New friends made by all

I am looking for women, specifically working moms with little time on their hands. People who aren’t the best cooks and need quick and easy kid friendly recipes. Women who rarely take the time to take care of themselves and always put everyone else first. Women who are exhausted and just don’t know how they could possibly even find time to exercise. Women who have a gym membership, but never go. Women who are living on coffee for breakfast or their go to cereal they have been having since their college days. Women who used to have time to train for races before they had kids but now running takes too long.

I’m looking for you, because last year I was you! 30 minute workouts, easy food, and most of all SUPPORT have changed my life.

I’m not saying I can change your life, but you can. The power is in your hands and I have had the pleasure to connect with so many women this year, women who were hanging on my a thread and now just feel good.

MAY 1st is the start date. Send me a message and we’ll work together to find something that will work for your unique situation and preferences.

We are going to have an awesome summer, you ready to join us?

Jessica Heidi's photo.

Almond Crusted Chicken 

  First of all… Happy St. Patrick’s Day! 
Tonight I wanted to make some Almond Crusted Chicken.  It is absolutely delicious, healthy, and the kids LOVE it.  

Here is the official recipe- but I modified because that’s just too many ingredients for this busy mom and Samantha is allergic to eggs.   
Makes 6 Servings

Ingredients:

6 (4-oz) raw chicken breasts, boneless, skinless

1/2 cup almond flour

2 cloves garlic, finely chopped

1 1/2 tsp. finely grated lemon peel (lemon zest)

1/4 tsp. sea salt

1/4 tsp. ground black pepper

1 large egg, lightly beaten

1/4 cup water

1 Tbsp. olive oil

3 tsp. olive oil

6 cups mixed vegetables
Directions:

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

Place a chicken breast on a cutting board. Hold it flat with the palm of one hand and, with a chef’s knife in the other hand, carefully slice it in half horizontally (parallel to the cutting board). Repeat with the remaining chicken.

Place each chicken breast half between 2 pieces of plastic wrap and pound with a mallet or tenderizer until 1/4 inch thick (or about twice the original size). Set aside.

Combine almound flour, garlic, lemon peel, salt, and pepper in a shallow dish; mix well. Set aside.

Combine egg and water in a shallow dish; whisk to blend.

Dip each chicken breast into the egg mixture; dredge in almond flour mixture until evenly coated. Set aside.

Heat oil in a large ovenproof skillet over medium-high heat.

Add chicken breasts; cook for 3 to 4 minutes. Turn chicken.

Place skillet in oven; bake for 10 to 12 minutes, or until a thermometer instered into the thickest pat of each breast reads 165 degrees Fahrenheit.

While chicken is baking, heat olive oil in medium skillet over medium heat.

Add vegetables, cook stirring frequently for 2 to 3 minutes or until tender-crisp.

Serve chicken with vegetables.
WHAT I DID

Almond flour, Trader Joes Salt Grinder Everyday seasoning, garlic salt.  

   
 Cut chicken breasts in half, coated in milk then almond mixture, heated on skillet a few minutes each side then popped in the oven.

  
Side of asparagus, recipe courtesy of my brother in law.  Olive oil, salt, pepper.  Roasted in the oven until crispy, topped with lemon juice.  

Enjoy! 

Ps- for all you amateur cooks out there, I can’t live without this meat thermometer!  You pick the meat (chicken, lamb, pork, steak, turkey) poke the meat, it beeps when it’s cooked.  LIFE SAVER!

  

A running & steak kind of day

I needed to get some fresh air.  Work has been totally hectic and I’ve been spending so much time at meetings and conference calls I needed to step away so I took my lunch break to go for a wonderful run outside.   There were so many people out!  I think we all had the same idea.  I made sure to pack my clothes just in case the opportunity presented itself!

I love my bridesmaid gift from my sister in laws wedding.  The perfect tote for sneakers and a change of clothes!
  

Running has such a transformative power.  You are outside, the sun is shining, you are pushing your limits, and all the stress from your brain starts melting away and you are able to really think.   I came back in totally refreshed and with new ideas for how to innovate in the lab.

run

James came home with some Chinese food but I already had dinner cooking.  I still took my fortune cookie though!  I agree with this sentiment whole heartedly!

   

I don’t know about you but I just love steak.   I’m super happy to report I made this recipe by winging it and it was delicious!  

1 package skillet steak ($6.50 at ShopRite).  I used 3 slices

Montreal Steak seasoning, lift coating

1 onion

1 pepper

1/2 cup quinoa.

Softened the onion and pepper in olive oil in a cast iron skillet, cooked the steak on high heat about a minute or so each side. Had a side of quinoa for carbs.  

Quick, easy, inexpensive, and delicious.
  

My favorite dessert is a container of yogurt topped with fruit.  Strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, and kiwi.

 

Ingredients for the beginner cook

I am not a natural cook,  the other day I was on the treadmill and the cooking channel was on.    There were these little snippets in between shows called ingredient intel.  I LOVED it!  

http://www.cookingchanneltv.com/shows/ingredient-intel.html

You can go on any ingredient and learn about the history, how to cook with it, what NOT to do and some fun tips.  Definitely check it out.  

Ingredients for spring are artichokes, carrots, radishes, salmon, and spinach.  

Did you know that carrots that still have their green tops are sweeter?  That mini carrots are tender but full sized have more flavor.    Carrots also cheer you on!

  

Black Bean Soup-Dry Bean Adventure

A few months ago my son and I were devouring a black bean soup so I knew I wanted to make a batch myself.  I love the website Skinny Taste, the recipes are easy to follow and super healthy too.    They always fit in my 21 day fix meal plan! You can find the original recipe here.

Confession, I have never made anything with uncooked beans before.  I have always used canned beans!   This is going to be interesting…

I actually made this recipe over two days.  I only have about 2 hours every night after getting home from work before the kids go to bed.  Luckily they are toddlers now and would rather watch Disney Junior and unwind from their school day than play with me, so I do get do some some things (like cook and clean and do laundry) before spending quality time with them.

The first day I rinsed and cooked the beans, I also chopped all the veggies and put them into bowls so I could just dump and heat everything the next day.  I seriously envy all those people on the food network.  I am not a fast chopper.  Have any of you ever used the slap chop?  That thing is seriously my best friend.   It is one of my most used wedding gifts!

The kids are professional slap choppers.

Don’t you just love the rainbow of colors!?

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Day 1 in the books.

Day 2, I cooked the beans with the veggies, added the spices and liquids, sauteed the other vegetables, did the whole combo thing, cooked and blended.

The whole second day process took about an hour and half.  Just lots of heating and waiting.    The recipe made about 10 cups!

All in all, this was pretty delicious!  I would definitely try it again with canned beans to see if I can cut out all the soaking time and see if it impacted the taste.  Gina from Skinny Taste says “Yes, you can,  You could add beans with broth and boil, then add the vegetables in the last step and season to taste, cook until about 20 minutes.”  I would also cook a little longer to make it thicker and maybe blend a little less.

All in all, a super nutritious meal.  I would estimate that if following the 21 day fix meal plan It would be 2 Green and 2 Yellow, or if you are vegetarian, 2 green and a red.

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Black Bean Soup 
Servings: 8 • Serving Size: about 1-1/2 cups • Points +: 5 pts • Smart Points: 6
Calories: 234.4 • Fat: 2.6 g • Protein: 13.6 g • Carb: 40.1 g • Fiber: 19.6 g

Ingredients:

For the beans:

•    1 lb dry black beans
•    1 small bell red pepper
•    1 small onion, quartered
•    2 cloves garlic
•    3 bay leaves

For the soup:

•    1 tbsp olive oil
•    1 large onion, minced
•    1/2 cup chopped parsley
•    1 red pepper, minced
•    2 medium carrots, shredded
•    5 cloves garlic, minced
•    1 tbsp red wine vinegar
•    1/4 (2 oz) cup white wine
•    1 tsp cumin
•    1 tsp oregano
•    1 chicken bullion (vegans use vegetable bullion)
•    salt and black pepper

Directions:

Rinse beans and place in a large pot with about 8 cups of water. Cover and bring to a boil, then remove from heat and let the beans sit, covered for one hour. (Or you can let them soak overnight in cold water)

Drain the water, then add 8-10 cups of cold water when ready to cook.

Add 1 bell pepper, 2 garlic, small onion and bay leaves to the beans. Bring to a boiland reduce heat to low. Simmer for about an hour, or until tender, stirring occasionally. (Add water if necessary)

Meanwhile, in a large frying pan, heat oil on low. Add chopped vegetables (onion, parsley, carrots, pepper, garlic) season with salt and pepper and sauté for about 5 minutes, or until soft.

Add the vegetables to the soup after it has simmered an hour, then add wine, vinegar, cumin, oregano, bullion, salt and pepper and adjust water if needed. Cover and simmer on low about 15 – 20 minutes. Remove bay leaves, then using an immersion blender, partially blend the soup for about 10 seconds to thicken. If you don’t have an immersion blender, put about 3 cups of the soup in a blender, then add it back to the pot. Adjust salt, pepper and cumin to taste and ladle about 1 1/2 cups into each bowl.Top with sour cream (extra points), chopped onions, scallions, chives or/or cilantro and enjoy!