Healthy Recipes to Keep You Fit and Fabulous

Posts tagged ‘smoothie’

Tabata Method

Raise your hand if you’re ready for the weekend!

You can’t see me, but both of mine are raised.

Tabata Method

Lately, I’ve been trying to take the 7:15AM spin class at my gym once a week, after finding an instructor that I absolutely love.  Yesterday, I decided to sleep in and shoot for the 8:45AM class.  Unfortunately, I forgot that this class is taught by an instructor that I do not absolutely love.  She’s very boring, has a monotone voice, and walks around for practically the whole class.  On top of that, the spin room is under construction at my gym, and they took out the black lights and removed the blinds from all the windows!  Um, hello awkwardly bright room…(spin connoisseurs know that classes are always dark!)

Anyways, I was determined to make the best of a less than ideal situation.  The class was off to a very boring start, but then, the instructor surprised us by introducing the Tabata Method.  She explained that this is a method of working out that activates both your aerobic and anaerobic pathways simultaneously, which optimizes results and gets you in much better shape in a significantly shorter amount of time.  The key to this method is doing a total of 4 minutes of extreme exertion- you do 20 seconds of an exercise at maximum capacity, recover for 10 seconds, and repeat 7 times.  That’s it!  The studies showed that people who did the Tabata Method 3 times a week lost more fat and were in better cardiovascular health than people who did 60 minutes of cardio per day, 5 times a week.  Pretty crazy, huh?

By the time our 4 minutes of misery were over, everyone was drenched and pretty fatigued.  We recovered for a song or two before powering back up for the rest of the class.

I don’t know if I believe the statistics, but I think it’s a very interesting theory, and I don’t see the harm in incorporating this method into my workouts.

Have you tried the Tabata Method?  What do you think of it? 


After class, I was more than ready for breakfast.  I was planning to have a yogurt bowl with strawberries, but this idea went out the window when I discovered that my fresh strawberries had frozen solid overnight!


Frozen fruit can only mean one thing- smoothie!

I made a chocolate strawberry smoothie by blending up:

– 1/2 cup skim milk

-7 frozen strawberries

– 1 scoop Chocolate Muscle Milk Protein Powder

– 1/2 tablespoon natural peanut butter

– Handful of ice cubes

Clearly, not my mug 🙂 .


Lunch was a fabulous repeat, with a twist.

I topped a bed of Organicgirl 50/50! with tuna salad (1 tablespoon  Light Mayo, 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard), garbanzo beans and…pickle chips!  I secretly love pickles on salads, even though basically everyone thinks it’s weird.


I used the help of a box of Annie Chun’s 100% Natural Pad Thai for dinner.

I cooked the noodles according to the directions, while microwaving a bag of frozen vegetables.  After draining both, I mixed everything together in a big pot with 1/2 pound of shrimp and the sauce that came in the kit.  It was ready in 10 minutes flat!


I also just wanted to say HAPPY BIRTHDAY to my fabulous mom!

I love you so much!






A few weeks ago, Corey and I were at our gym having coffee after our workout, and we accidentally did some eavesdropping.  We overheard one of the trainers explaining to a client why it is so detrimental to work out on an empty stomach in the morning.

As someone who almost always does this, I was intrigued.  Her reasoning made sense- basically, your body will use up important things that you need if it doesn’t have some sort of “fuel” to run off of before your work out.  She told her client that even eating one bite of something like oatmeal or yogurt is better than nothing.

Ever since overhearing that conversation, I’ve been making it a point to eat a little protein before my morning work outs.  Enter, the eggcellent hardboiled egg!

I just eat the eggwhite and throw the yolk away, and I’m ready to work out!



Yesterday morning started with yet another BodyPump class.  Afterwards, I got on the elliptical for 20 minutes.  I barely noticed I was sweating because I was so focused on what was happening in the Casey Anthony trial!  It will be sad when this local entertainment is over.


It was ridiculously hot yesterday.  Pretty much every day from here on out is going to be that way, because summer in Florida is no joke.  The perfect breakfast for a sweaty day will always be a nice, cold smoothie.

Into the blender went:

-1/2 cup almond milk

-1 scoop chocolate protein powder

-8 fresh strawberries

-1 banana

-1/4 cup Greek yogurt

-1/2 tablespoon peanut butter

-ice cubes



I had some spare time on my hands in the afternoon, and decided to take advantage of not being in a rush at lunchtime, like I usually am.  I got to choppin’ and threw together a big salad.

I topped a bed of chopped Romaine lettuce with tomatoes, raw broccoli, hardboiled egg whites, red onion, and reduced-fat cheese.  I drizzled some Organicville Sesame Goddess dressing over top and dug in.


When Corey got home from work, we decided to go to happy hour at Caddyshanks.  I enjoyed a Magic Hat #9 while we chatted about wedding plans, work, and house-hunting 🙂 .

Sometimes, the things that happen to us are just comical.  Two weekends ago (when my blog space was dunzo), Corey bought a Groupon to a really expensive restaurant called Funky Monkey (strange name choice for a nice restaurant, no?) Even with the Groupon, we couldn’t afford a glass of wine each if we wanted to eat dinner there, too!  The food we ordered was seriously delicious.  As soon as we handed the Groupon to the waitress, she told us they weren’t taking them that night.  Of course!

The comedy continued last night when we decided we would go there again to actually use our Groupon.  We called to make sure they were taking it and the waiter told us they were, but they were completely booked until after 10PM!  When we were there last week, there were only 2 other people in the whole place.  Oh, well!

After our dinner plans fell flat, it started pouring rain, so we decided to stay at Caddyshanks and order food.  We split a cheesy calzone filled with veggies.

This was HUGE, even after we split it.  I could not finish the whole thing, even if I wanted to!

I’ve got a lot of studying ahead of me this weekend…oh, joy!


One of my greatest discoveries through my journey of living a healthy lifestyle has been group exercise classes.

My very first class was when I was a sophomore in college.  I lived in my sorority house, and a bunch of my sisters were going to a spinning class.  They asked me to join them, and I agreed, not having the slightest clue what “spinning” even meant- sounded more like some sort of “How to Be a DJ” class than an exercise class.  I quickly found out just what I was in for.  By the time the class was over, I was drenched in sweat, yet, instantly addicted to spinning.

Me in college, with some of my sorority sisters watching a UCF football game!

There were many other classes that I wanted to try, but for some reason, I could only get up the nerve to go to spinning.  I always found my college gym to be a very intimidating place, so I just never bothered to try any other classes by myself.

Even now, the only class I take at our current gym is spinning. Well, up until yesterday!

I have been dying to take a BodyPump class ever since reading how much my favorite bloggers, including Julie, Lauren, Gina, and Lauren, love it.  I knew my gym offered it, but it has been hard to find a time to go that works with my schedule.  I found a Saturday at 12PM class, and begged Corey to try it with me.  We went yesterday, and I am in love!  Although everything from my eyelids to my toes is sore today, I feel like BodyPump is exactly the kind of workout I was looking for to add to my weekly routine.  I try my best to do strength training on my own, but I end up doing the same weight, same exercises, and same routine twice a week, with no improvements.  BodyPump is the perfect solution to my strength training slump!  Between the music, the upbeat pace and the entertaining instructor (she would sing parts of the songs, and sounded great!), I was able to get an amazing strength workout.  YAY for BodyPump!

Now that I’m feeling brave about classes at the gym, I might even try out a yoga class this week 🙂 .


Before heading to the gym, I made myself a toasted whole wheat bagel thin with peanut butter and banana slices on top.

Unfortunately, only half actually made it into my mouth.  The other half got angrily thrown into the sink because I am literally losing my mind and the bugs were attacking me while I ate and I thought I could hit one of them with my bagel.  Ugh.

When we got home from BodyPump, Corey and I made his-and-hers protein shakes.

Mine included:

  • 1 banana
  • 1 scoop Muscle Milk Chocolate Protein Powder
  • 1/2 cup almond milk
  • 1/4 cup nonfat Greek yogurt
  • Splenda
  • cinnamon
  • Handful of ice cubes

We changed into our bathing suits and brought our shakes down to the pool.  Apparently, everyone in our complex invited every person they’ve ever met to join them at the pool, and there weren’t any lounge chairs for us to sit in.  We sat at a table, and I enjoyed reading my book (it’s gettin’ good!).


After a few hours in the sun, we came inside and I made lunch.

I topped a whole wheat sandwich thin with turkey and a slice of reduced-fat provolone cheese and some mustard.  On the side, I had some leftover sweet potato fries.  Yum!

We spent the rest of the day lounging around before heading out to watch the basketball games at Buffalo Wild Wings.  I’m happy to see Butler going to the championship, and I hope they win!  I Tweeted about this last night, but the only reason I like them is because the team and their cute lil’ coach remind me of the movie “Mighty Ducks”.


"Quack, Quack, Quack, QUACK!"


What is your favorite group exercise class?


Rainy Day Thursdays…

Karen Carpenter should’ve sang, “Rainy day Thursdays always get me down….” instead of “Mondays”.

Today was a rainy one in Orlando, and that’s exactly how my mood felt!  I definitely caught up on the sleep I missed on Tuesday night, but I think I caught up a little too much.  It was one of those times where you wake up and have to look at the clock 3 times because you don’t believe how late it is!


I was in the mood for a cold breakfast, so I decided to make a Power Smoothie.

Power up!

In the blender went:

  • 1/2 cup 0% Chobani Vanilla Greek Yogurt
  • 1/2 cup sliced strawberries
  • 1 small banana
  • 1/2 tablespoon Skippy Natural Peanut Butter
  • 1 packet of Splenda
  • 1 scoop Biggest Loser Chocolate Protein Powder
  • 3 frozen broccoli florets
  • Handful of ice cubes

Yes, that says broccoli florets.  I’ve read several health blogs with smoothie recipes that add spinach into the mix, because supposedly, you can’t taste it when it’s mixed with the sweetness of fruit!  I didn’t have any spinach on hand, but when I spotted the broccoli in the freezer, I thought, “hey, why not?” I definitely couldn’t taste it, but I think if I had added more than I did, the texture would have been weird.  I’ll just add spinach to the grocery list!

I spent most of the day growing into an actual couch potato.  Around lunchtime, I started searching for something easy to make.


Easy, yes.  Normal? Not really.  I ended up taking a whole wheat tortilla, spreading a wedge of Laughing Cow Light Swiss cheese over it, and then adding diced red pepper and broccoli slaw, topped with Kraft Toasted Sesame Dressing.

Weird Wrap

Colorful bite!

This was strangely tasty!

After lunch, I walked over to the gym for a quick workout which can be found here. Next thing I knew, it was time to make dinner!


I broiled 2 Publix Ready-to-Cook Mesquite Rubbed Pork Chops, and made a random decision to make some mashed potatoes for a side dish.  I brought a pot of water to a boil with 4 Russet potatoes inside.  I wanted to add some flavor, so I also added 4 garlic cloves to the water with the potatoes.  After about 20 minutes of cooking, they were fork tender and ready for mashing!

I drained the water, and then poured in 1/4 cup of almond milk, 1/4 cup fat free sour cream, 1/4 cup shredded parmesan cheese, and 1 wedge of Laughing Cow Light Swiss Cheese.  Mash, mash, mash!

These turned out to be creamy and really flavorful!  The garlic was a good decision.  Corey was just as bored as I was from sitting around all day, so he came into the kitchen in the mood to be helpful!  What he ended up doing was against my better judgement, but I let it happen anyways.  He took some of the skin from the potatoes I peeled, dried them off, and then fried them up in a skillet with olive oil!  He added some garlic powder and a splash of Worcestershire, and after about 10 minutes, he had some crispy potato skins to munch on.

Chef Corey


While the pork finished cooking, I popped this into the microwave:

These turned out to be really good!  It came with a little packet of slivered almonds to put on the top of the green beans.

I topped my mashed potatoes with some of Corey’s potato skin creations, and it was a great addition!  It made the potatoes taste more like smashed potatoes from a restaurant, which I really like.

We ate dinner pretty early for us, which is never a good idea, because we both start to get hungry all over again around 8 o’clock.  I made several trips to the kitchen while watching a movie to grab little treats like chocolate chips, a cookie or two, and then I had the idea to make a semi-healthy milkshake!  I opened the freezer to grab our Publix Premium Light No-Sugar-Added Vanilla Ice Cream….and was UNpleasantly surprised to feel that it was completely empty!  Corey has an awesome habit of placing EMPTY containers back in the fridge or pantry, which always results in a very angry ME.  I settled for a banana and peanut butter, instead.

I have to teach tomorrow, and then I’m driving straight to Ft. Lauderdale to visit my family!  Better get to bed early!

Power Breakfast Smoothie

I’m one of those people who used to never eat breakfast, which always resulted in me stuffing my face later in the day more than I would if I had eaten in the morning.  Sometimes I only have time to grab something and go, so I needed to make something that was quick and portable.  I was in the mood for a smoothie so I made this simple recipe for a great breakfast smoothie.  You can have it as a snack, too!  It also packs a lot of protein (6 grams) thanks to my Biggest Loser Protein Powder, available at your grocery store or drugstores.  I love the chocolate flavor!


Power Breakfast Smoothie

Servings: 1


1 cup almond milk

1 cup frozen strawberries

1/2 banana

1/2 tablespoon Reduced-Fat Peanut Butter

1 packet Splenda

1 scoop Biggest Loser Protein Powder


Combine ingredients in blender and blend until smooth.

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