Exercise Accountability for Week Ending 11.29.15

As I’m sure it was for most people, last week was busy! Between getting ready for Thanksgiving, working on my ebook, and putting up Christmas decorations on top of normal daily activities, there was a LOT to get done! During busy times like this I’m reminded of why I exercise at home!  Not having to fight traffic to get to the gym and get a workout in is so nice, especially when it’s hard enough to find 30 minutes or so to spare! Fitness at home is my preferred method for sure!  At the same time, I also understand that some people prefer to leave their home to workout.  Sometimes out of necessity (no space, too many distractions, etc.).  Other times it’s just a matter of being around other people that helps them to get and stay motivated.  That’s why I got certified to teach PiYo and am working on my personal training certification in addition to becoming a Beachbody coach.

My husband was off for four days straight for the holiday, which was awesome! We weren’t able to go visit family this year but we did have a Skype call, which was really nice. I absolutely love that we now have this technology available to us!  We made our old traditions but in such a way that they are friendly to my food restrictions (no gluten, dairy, soy, refined sugar, artificial ingredients). What we ended up with was every bit as yummy! I’m so appreciative of the fact that more companies are making replacements for traditional foods that are allergy friendly. More and more people have food allergies/sensitivities, so it was only a matter of time before demand for these types of products were filled by companies with the ability to meet the need. Of course, as with any food that is free of one thing, you have to make sure that it is free of all your allergens or other things that are generally not good for you. For example, many low fat or fat free foods replace the fat with sugar, and low carb or sugar free foods replace the flavor with either fat or synthetic sugars (which are often worse for the body than real sugar!).

Here are my workouts for the week:

  • Monday: Body Beast Build Chest & Tris – 49 minutes
  • Tuesday: Body Beast Bulk Legs – 41 minutes
  • Wednesday: Body Beast Build Back & Bis – 50 minutes
  • Thursday: Took a rest day because it was Thanksgiving!
  • Friday: Body Beast Build Shoulders – 38 minutes Beast Cardio 38 minutes & Beast Abs – 10 minutes
  • Saturday: Body Beast rest day
  • Sunday: Total Body – 38 minutes & Beast Abs – 10 minutes

This is my final week of Body Beast and I’m really happy with my results so far. I’m definitely seeing definition where I hadn’t previously. Although, I’m not sure how much weight I’ll actually lose after eating so much food this past week, lol. The plan for this week is to go back to liquid meals twice per day and light eating throughout the day. Hopefully this will help me get back on track from this week. Next week I will be posting my results from the 90-day program. It’s a good thing I had to add an extra week due to my allergies because I would not want to end this program on Thanksgiving week! It’s going to be another busy week.  I need to put the finishing touches on the ebook, teach another PiYo class, get a guest blog post ready, and spend more time working on my personal training certification by the end of the year!  Good thing for me I get to exercise at home (with the exception of teaching PiYo of course)!

Hope you had a very Happy Thanksgiving! And as always, thanks for reading!

Ninja Bender Review

My husband and I have been making smoothies for years on a regular basis. 5 days per week as a quick on the go healthy breakfast since mornings can get pretty hectic. We’ve always used frozen fruit instead of ice to avoid the smoothie getting watered down. That kind of use on a typical blender motor wears it out quickly! We broke several inexpensive name brand blenders this way. Each time one broke, we would buy one that was a bit stronger (and more expensive!). After we burned up the motor in a third one (in less than six months of use this time!), we decided it was time to get a high quality blender.

Because it’s just what I do, I researched. I looked into juicers, but most of them were only capable of making juice. Don’t get me wrong, I love healthy juice, but we make blended smoothies, so we needed a different capability. We decided to get the Ninja since it has three sets of really sharp blades, and a strong motor – a 1,000 watt motor to be exact. We went with the professional series that came with the single serve attachments and blade. This was perfect for what we needed. We use the large attachment when making smoothies for more than one, and the single serve when only one of us needs to make a smoothie.

We’ve had this blender since mid-2012, and it’s still going strong! Let me tell you, we don’t play when it comes to making smoothies, especially with the Ninja. We put in large clumps of frozen fruit & they turn to mush quickly! Add milk & it’s turned into a smoothie! When I use fresh unfrozen fruit the blender turns it into liquid within just a few seconds. It’s quite impressive! We’ve actually saved money on blenders since buying the Ninja. We’re no longer replacing an $80 blender every 6 months or so. If we had continued to do that over the period we have owned our Ninja we would have spent $480 if the prices for the same quality of blender stayed the same for three years. Instead we bought our Ninja on sale for $149. That’s a savings of $331 over the three years we’ve owned it. As it continues to last, it will continue to save us money on replacing lower quality blenders.

A few things to note: 1) it has suction cups on the base to keep it in place on the counter & they are strong! 2) the blender is not the best when it comes to food processing – if you’re looking for finely chopped instead of liquid, make sure you get the processor version (and pulse instead of using a steady blend), 3) if the blade and lid or not secure it will not start – that is for user safety since the blades are sharp and the motor is strong 4) you cannot take the lid off while the blade is moving for safety reasons. It took a bit of getting accustomed to at first, but that’s because I was used to blenders with low-powered motors.

Overall, this is a great product. For us it has been well worth the price. Because we use it so often, we definitely got our money’s worth out of the Ninja blender. We loved it so much we also got the food processing Ninja, which by the way also works for smoothies larger than single serve but not quite big enough to use the large blender for. It also travels well because the motor sits on top of the blender lid. It’s great for when we go on road trips and still want to have our blended Shakeology smoothies. We took it on a trip with us last year when we visited my niece and it was used to make cranberry orange relish and gravy for the turkey. Absolutely a must have in our kitchen!

Hopefully you’ve found this review helpful. If you have any questions about the blender please feel free to contact me and I’ll be glad to help! The blender is available in my Amazon store here:  http://astore.amazon.com/mycrnoli-20

As always, thanks for stopping by!  I hope you had a Happy Healthy Thanksgiving!

Gluten Free Dairy Free Pumpkin Pie with Cashew Crumble

Pumpkin pie is my favorite food item at Thanksgiving!  I want to continue to eat clean and avoid dairy, but I refuse to give up my pumpkin pie!  When I saw this recipe for Pumpkin Pie Minis with Coconut Milk and Cashew Crumble I knew I had to make it.   Wish I had come up with it because it’s really yummy!  The casein in dairy is a no-no for me, and I don’t want to eat all the chemicals in the typical nondairy whipped topping, so we topped it with coconut milk ice cream instead.  Delicious!!

I made a large pie instead of minis, because it’s just the way I’m accustomed to eating pumpkin pie.  This can be made a few days ahead of time, which will save room in the oven on Thanksgiving day.  Hope yours is a Happy Healthy one!

 

Spicy Roasted Cauliflower

Since changing my diet back in late 2012 to help combat my hypothyroid symptoms, I’m always on the look out for new and interesting dishes to try.  So when this Spicy Roast Cauliflower recipe appeared on my social media several times, and it looked so delicious I just had to make it.

The picture above is how mine came out.  There were a few adjustments I ended up making:  1) I completely missed the part about the vegetable oil so I didn’t include it 2) I didn’t have any curry, so I used 2 tsp of Cajun seasoning, 3) I can’t eat the casein protein in dairy, so I substituted coconut milk yogurt for the Greek yogurt.  Coconut milk yogurt has a higher water content than Greek, so I ended up “basting” the cauliflower several times with the yogurt that ran off.

This was absolutely phenomenal!  The yogurt mixture would be great as a sauce on another dish for sure.

I hope this helps you have a Happy Healthy Thanksgiving!  Thanks for stopping by!

Exercise Accountability for Week Ending 11.22.15

Because I missed a few workouts last week, I had to make them up this week. I even added an extra back and bis workout on Monday because I felt guilty for missing three days in a row. I slept wrong last Saturday, so I’ve been dealing with the aftermath of that pretty much all week. Because it feels like I have a pinched nerve, I had to scale back on the amount of weight I was lifting. I went back down to 15 lbs as my heaviest weight on my shoulders and chest. I also was sure to reduce the weight I lifted for reverse flies since that’s where my muscles are bothering me the most. That’s a weak area for me, so I don’t lift much to begin with but I went from 8 lbs at the heaviest to 5lbs at the heaviest. While I do want to get caught up and get back on track, I definitely don’t want to injure myself. I’m too close to finishing the entire program to have to stop now!

One thing I have to be careful of is overdoing exercise – it’s not good for my hypothyroidism.  If you overtax your body and you have Hashimotos, it can sap your energy and the stress can cause your immune system to over react to everyday stimuli.  Friday I did three workouts, which really made my body feel very stressed, so I did a short amount of yoga to calm my body down.  It seems to have done the trick because I was able to complete the remaining workouts without incident.  Now I can focus on doing only the workouts that are on the schedule since I’m back on track.

Here are my workouts for the week:
• Monday:  Body Beast Build Back & Bis – 50 minutes
• Tuesday:  Body Beast Build Shoulders – 38 minutes
• Wednesday:  Body Beast Cardio & Abs – 38 minutes & 10 minutes
• Thursday:  Body Beast Bulk Chest – 30 minutes
• Friday:  Body Beast Build Legs, Beast Cardio & Abs – 38 minutes, 38 minutes, 10 minutes 15 minutes of Easygoing flow Yoga from This is Yoga by Tara Stiles which is available in my Amazon store:  http://astore.amazon.com/mycrnoli-20
• Saturday:  Body Beast Bulk Back & Bulk Shoulders – 29 minutes & 35 minutes
• Sunday:  Body Beast Cardio, Abs & Bulk Arms – 38 minutes, 10 minutes, 35 minutes

This week was also my last 2 PiYo Live classes on the schedule for right now. One person showed up on Tuesday and no one showed up on Thursday.

There are a few likely reasons why I had such a low turnout:
1) I didn’t advertise in enough different places
2) I didn’t invite my local friends to each separate event I created on Facebook
3) it’s close to the holidays, and many people stop or cut back on working out during this time of year

In any case, I plan to try again after the beginning of the year. For now, I plan to focus on writing my ebook and finishing up my personal training certification.  Those two things are going to keep me quite busy!

Thanks for reading and have a Happy Healthy Thanksgiving!

Crock Pot Review

Recently I’ve been posting quite a few slow cooker recipes, so I thought I would share with you which slow cooker I use to make these yummy meals in! Whether it’s chicken soup, pork loin, chili, or quinoa dressing for Thanksgiving, the slow cooker is an essential kitchen tool! It’s a great way to make easy, healthy, delicious meals the whole family will love!  Once I finish my ebook guide to nontoxic living, I’ll be releasing another one with slow cooker recipes.  Can’t wait to share it with you!

When I rented my first apartment, my mom gave me a small 1 quart Crock Pot. It was an old one with an ugly print, but it worked and I was a broke college student, so I didn’t complain. It was perfect for me as a single woman and even a few years into married life. When we got to the point where we needed to do meal prep for an entire week, though, the small slow cooker wasn’t working.

At different functions I attended, I kept seeing these large slow cookers where the bowl was removable from the base. That was one of the bigger selling points for me aside from the size. It was always so awkward to try to wash the old-style cooker where it was all one piece and I was trying to avoid getting the controls/wiring wet. This was pretty difficult with a 1 quart pot, so imagine how much more difficult that would be with a 6 quart pot! While there are several brands of slow cookers to choose from, I chose to buy the Crock Pot brand since that’s what I had before. I think the one I had was the 1970s version and was still working in 2012 when it was time to upgrade. For that reason I felt that I could trust the Crock Pot brand and decided to stick with it. Late 2012 was the time when I reached my breaking point with hypothyroidism and decided to change my eating habits. The problem was that my husband and I both were commuting two hours a day. My husband was doing pretty much all the household chores because I was pretty exhausted most of the time. We really needed something that we could use to make easy, healthy meals for the week. It became a Sunday ritual for us (him) to make a healthy Crock Pot meal and we that’s what we ate for the majority of the week. It really was a life saver for us.

We purchased the 6 quart version so that we could make large meals for the week, for pot lucks and/or family gatherings. It’s all black and the design is sleek and modern. The base is metal, the bowl is ceramic, and the lid is made of glass with metal trim around the edges and a plastic handle. There are also handles on the side of the cooker which make it easy to carry even when the cooker is hot. There are rubberized feet on the bottom of the cooker that help keep it in a sturdy position while it’s sitting on a flat surface. The definitely thought of everything with this product! It’s really been a life saver when it comes to meal prep. I’m so happy that we decided to get this cooker.

If you have a need for quick, easy, tasty meals (who doesn’t?), you need a slow cooker! The Crock Pot brand is the original and in my experience a trustworthy brand and the price is very reasonable for such a useful product. You can get one here: http://astore.amazon.com/mycrnoli-20 .

Hopefully you found this review to be helpful.  Thanks for reading!  Wishing you a Happy Healthy Thanksgiving!!

Fresh Cranberry Orange Relish

I’ll be the first to admit that I’m a little weird.  I like things that are a little off the wall, and I don’t like a lot of things that are traditional.  For example, that red jelly-looking cranberry sauce stuff from a can that was a staple at our Thanksgiving dinner table in my family was NEVER something I would eat.  It didn’t look appetizing and I hated the taste of it.

A few years ago my mom said she was making cranberry relish, and I was immediately grossed out.  She assured me it would be really good, so I reluctantly tasted it.  Well, turns out mom was right, the cranberry orange relish she made was DELICIOUS!

I want to be clear, this is not a recipe my mom or myself created, so we aren’t taking credit for it.  It was given my mom verbally by a former colleague and we don’t know where she got it from.  Since the origin of the recipe is unknown to us I’m not sure exactly who to give credit to.

Ingredients:

  • 1 8 oz bag of organic cranberries
  • 1 medium orange, quartered, rind on
  • 1/4 cup coconut sugar

Directions:

  • Put all ingredients in a blender and pulse until chunky
  • The orange rinds should stay on!

I know it sounds odd to leave the rind on, but it’s delicious!

Honestly I probably never would have changed anything about a traditional Thanksgiving meal if I hadn’t experienced the health issues that come along with Hashimotos.  Even though it really sucks to have this disease, without it I wouldn’t have discovered this and many other yummy alternatives!  There is a quote that I have recently read that I really identify with.  “I’m grateful for my struggle, for without it I wouldn’t have stumbled across my strength” by Alex Elle.   Had I not developed hypothyroidism and not done well on medicine, I never would have discovered the knowledge I’m now sharing with you.

Thanks for reading and have a Happy Healthy Thanksgiving!