Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Chicken Salad w/ Greek Yogurt

If you're a mayo lover like me then you're going to love this Chicken Salad that substitutes Greek Yogurt for mayo.

I had some food in my fridge that I needed to use before it spoiled and I had seen different versions of this chicken salad around, so I thought I'd give it a go with what I already had on hand.

Grapes, an apple, celery, yogurt, poached chicken, slivered almonds and seasonings is all it took to whip up something hearty, healthy and most importantly delicious!

2 chicken breasts poached and diced
1 cup diced celery
2 cups grapes halved
1 diced apple of your choice
2 7oz cups of plain greek yogurt
A sprinkle of slivered almonds and whatever seasonings your big heart desires. I chose onion powder, garlic salt, lawrys and dill. I love dill!

Once that's all mixed together you can eat it however you please. Straight up, on a bed of lettuce, on a piece of toast or like me, in a pita pocket.

I had it for dinner, and lunch, and I'll have it for lunch until it's gone. I was pleased with how much I still liked it after sitting over night and that I didn't even miss the mayo!


Monday, April 27, 2015

Weekend Review 52: Docks on Docks on Docks

It was another gorgeous weekend around these parts, which means that I spent it up at the cabin. I scooted out of work a little early and was able to beat any traffic heading North for the weekend.

The main project for the weekend was continuing to put the dock together and get it in the water. I assisted by making sure the parents stayed hydrated and fed. Occasionally I was called in to do some real work, like making sure I still like Big Gingers. Yup, I do!

By mid afternoon it was time to start rolling the boat lift and dock pieces in to the lake. Once the neighbors saw my dad in his waders, a couple of them came over with theirs and the rest came over to supervise.

I've said it before and I'll say it again. When it comes to neighbors, we got lucky. They always offer to help, and even when we say we don't need it, they still help.

We were able to get one piece in and the docking on. The rest of the pieces are in and will be connected to finish the dock this coming weekend.

Miley is already enjoying the sun on the dock. I'm so excited for Summer time and spending most of my weekends soaking up the sun and playing in the lake.

On Sunday morning I packed up and headed home so I could meet some friends out for brunch. We went to Louie's Wine Bar where they have bottomless mimosas and you can switch up the flavor you want as you go! I stuck with the classic orange juice, but you could choose between, grape, grape fruit, hibiscus and cranberry juices.

Since it was so nice out we walked over to another bar that had their garage doors open so we could enjoy the sun and warmth while watching the Wild win the first round of the Stanley Cup playoffs!

My favorite thing about Sunday Funday is that you get to be out and enjoy the weather and you're home and in bed nice and early. I got a solid 12 hours of sleep and feel quite wonderful for a Monday.

I'm counting down to this coming weekend because the weather is supposed to be even warmer, we'll put the boats in, finish the dock, it's WI fishing opener (which I will not partake in), and the Mr. will be coming up for the first time.

Friday, April 24, 2015

She Sweats Week 3 Cont'd + Food

I finally kicked whatever took over my body for the last week and made it back in to the gym for a morning workout. W3D5 felt so good! I walk to the gym every morning because I'm pretty sure it would take me longer to drive there, and that walk helps loosen up my legs and gets me pumped up with some good music so once I enter the gym I'm ready to go.

As I was going along and doing some deadlifts with dumbbells, I dropped a weight on my pen and busted it. Oops!

I decided to wear my heart rate monitor to see how many calories I burn lifting weights and I was impressed!
Legs & Shoulders + plank (includes walk to/from gym)

The other night I went to the grocery store and spent the night prepping food for the week. I've said all along that's the last piece I need and I should see better results. Here's what I had for the week.

I like to workout on an empty stomach, otherwise I feel nauseous and that's not good. When I get back from the gym I have two multigrain waffles with maple syrup and a small glass of chocolate milk.

Mid morning snack is either string cheese with cantaloupe or greek vanilla yogurt with some grapes.

Lunch is a salad with a hard boiled egg, slice of bacon, feta or blue cheese and whatever protein I had left over.

Mid afternoon snack is celery and peanut butter.

Dinner is usually some kind of meat, usually chicken on the George Foreman and a heaping side of veggies, either broccoli or green beans because I have a ton of those right now that need to be ate? eat? eaten?

If I'm still hungry and my sweet tooth is calling I'll go for some dark chocolate chips. If I didn't have my yogurt, sometimes I'll mix the chips in with the yogurt since it sort of tastes like whipped cream, in a not so whipped way.

I wrapped up week 3 with biceps and triceps. Again I wore my heart rate monitor and beginning to end, I burned 371 calories. There's just one more week in this segment before I move on to some new moves.

I picked up some new work out gear earlier this week and realized I matched my outfit to my shoes. #OnFleek

I've enjoyed going in to the gym every other day and picking up the same weight I used a week prior and having it be too light. It's proof that I am getting stronger, even if I'm not seeing the physical results just yet.

Bring on week 4!

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Weekend Review 51: Docks & Rocks

This past weekend really made me believe that Summer is just around the corner. Friday night Mike and I hung out on his patio enjoying the warmth and sun with some pizza and cold beverages. I'm looking forward to more nights outside, grilling up some grub and just enjoying the season.

Saturday morning I packed up my car and headed up to the cabin to enjoy a day of sun. My parents bought more dock this year so we can expand. I helped my dad bring the new pieces down to the lake so he can get everything put together and hopefully put the dock in this coming weekend!

We're moving the location of the dock so that meant also expanding our current 'beach'. For a lake that's called Big Sand, it sure does have an awful lot of rocks. Mom worked on digging out the rocks and I moved them for her. Hopefully this won't be an all Summer long project.

A lot of the neighbors were up and it was a beautiful night for a fire so we all gathered around their fire after dinner. We really lucked out when it comes to cabin neighbors. There's never a dull moment with them.

When I got back in to town Mike and I had plans to take a walk around a lake near his house. The weather decided to do a 180 and it's been cold, rainy, and I even saw some flurries. That worked in my favor since I was tuckered out from the weekend and we were able to stay in and watch the ACM's.

After finally getting over the cold/sinus/allergies I was fighting for the last week I'm getting back to the gym tonight to continue on with the She Sweats 12 Week Program.

I went to the grocery store last night and spent the whole night prepping my food for the week, so everything should finally be on point.

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

She Sweats Week 3

W3D1 - Week 3 is the same as week 2, so it was legs. I really like leg day and am enjoying getting up in the morning and going to the gym. I just wish I had time between getting home and showered and going to work so I could take a nap!

I was able to up my weights for every move which felt good.

With my weekend plans and having to be to work by 6:30 AM Friday, I tried to fit in what workouts I could without missing anything. I'm pretty proud of myself for sticking to the schedule and not skimping out by missing a workout. Let's hope all this hard work pays off in the end!
W3D2 is technically an off day, but since I went out of town for the weekend and the gym at the hotel doesn't look to be very well equipped, I completed chest and back a day early.

Again I upped my weight and I'm definitely feeling stronger. It just kills me though how much more weak my left arm is than my right. That's the thing with volleyball though, if you serve a lot, you're really only working one arm and there are some practices where I'm serving 100+ balls.

I stuff my phone down my bra. Must have been a little warm in there!
W3D3 - OFF
W3D4 - OFF
W3D5/6/7 - I came down with a real nasty cold so I'm officially four days behind schedule. I'm hoping to finish week three over the weekend and I'll start up with week 4 right after. I hate getting sick when the weather is finally nice out!

Monday, April 13, 2015

Weekend Review 50: Wisconsin Dells

Friday afternoon Mike picked me up from work and we started the 3.5 hour drive out to the Dells. Everyone arrived around the same time and it didn't take long before we were all in our swim suites and headed off to the first waterpark of the trip.

Klondike Kavern had a lot of small slides for the little ones, and a few larger slides for the adults. We raced down a few and then would be dumped in to the not so lazy river. This park had a ride called the Hurricane and it was way more thrilling than I had expected. This pool also had an indoor/outdoor hot tub we finished up with.

We went to dinner at a fancy little steak joint called Fields with the couple that we shared a room with. I do recall the food was quite delicious. We all ordered steaks and a couple bottles of wine. I always like to keep the cork from fun dinners or trips.

When we got back to the hotel, everyone came in to our room to play games, and I slept through the whole entire thing.

Saturday we all got to sleep in, well those of us without kids, and we headed to brunch before checking out another pool.

This time we went to the Water Dome that had a wave pool, some kiddie slides and an adults only swim up bar. The swim up bar also had an indoor/outdoor pool so we grabbed our drinks, found a spot outside in the sun and that's where we stayed until the shade came back around.

Being in water with a drink in my hand, the sun on my face and the fact that I was in Wisconsin and not a Caribbean Island, makes me so excited for Summer and getting up to the cabin!

The whole group had an early reservation at a local restaurant where we had a pizza buffet. Just what you need after a day of throwing back Coors Light.

When your whole weekend is spent in a pool, there are zero pictures to document what went on. So maybe I didn't even go to the Dells at all, that's for you to decide.

Today is the Twins Home Opener!

Go Twins!!

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

She Sweats Week 2

I'm trucking right along into week 2 and it was a bit of a mental challenge. I really did not want to get up and go to the gym, but then I thought about how much free time I'll have in the evening to get things done so I rolled out of bed for leg day.

Weeks 2-4 will be the same rotation of workouts. The difference between this segment and the first week is that the number of sets has increased, but the number of reps per set has slightly decreased.

I felt really good and was able to do all of my reps, even the lunges. I think this means that I will have to up the weight I used.
W2D2 - OFF
W2D3 was chest and back. You'll never guess what machine I found today. The Seated Cable Row! I don't know how I missed it last time, especially since there are two of them. I think my comfort level in the gym is increasing and I took more time to actually look for it.

Anyway, I busted through chest and back this morning. I was a little nervous how I would do since my arms were still really sore from the arm workout a week ago! A totally new to me move was the cable cross over. I could only use #10 lbs and with 3 x 10 I totally maxed out on the third rep.

My body has always been able to change relatively quick. When I gained weight, I gained about 30 pounds in 1 year (we'll call that 'honeymoon' weight, that first year in a new relationship), and now with this workout, I can already see my arms changing. It's fun to watch myself in the mirrors as I do different moves and see a little muscle popping. I think once I get my eating down, I'll see more changes all over.

I'm really loving these early morning workouts. I love the way I feel the rest of the day. However, it is a little odd having so much time at the end of the day and I'm not constantly fighting with myself about how I should get off the couch and go to the gym since I already did it for the day. It did give me a chance to get a lot accomplished before the busy weekend though.
W2D4 is supposed to be an off day, but since my gym has limited hours on Easter, I flipped legs and shoulders so Easter Sunday will be my off day. I managed to get myself to the gym, even with a slight hangover, but I knew if I sweated it out, I would feel much better. Legs focused on a lot of calfs,

Although this is a new program for me, lifting weights isn't exactly foreign to me. In high school, a billion years ago, I took a lot of gym classes, so I was often used as the person to demonstrate different machines and help people out. I've also done Crossfit and for a while, a year and half ago, I saw a personal trainer who taught me how to properly do different moves and machines. I can't get over all the guys that go in and are not accomplishing anything. Just because you are using a lot of weight on a seated calf raise, does not mean you are getting the most out of it when you are using 100% momentum. Flying through a move with heavy weight is way less effective than doing the move properly even if you need less weight and you are more prone to injury.

Don't even get me started on the guys that throw on a ton of weight while doing leg press and then extend their legs and lock their knees. If you want to cringe, watch this video.
W2D5 OFF (Should have been legs but flipped days)
W2D7 was all biceps and triceps. I'm happy to report that I've completed my second week of the She Sweats 12 Week Transformation Program, just 10 weeks to go.

The moves alternated between free weights and cable rope moves. That's one of the things I've enjoyed most about this program so far, it switches up the moves enough that you really don't get bored.

Over the week I had to do a little alternating with the Easter holiday and limited gym hours, but I was still able to get all of my workouts in. I still need to get my eating on point, and then I think I'll start to notice more changes.

I'm getting in my daily planks, and can go for about 1:10 after two weeks.

Week 3 begins tomorrow!

Monday, April 6, 2015

Weekend Review 49: Eastering

On Friday night the cousins on my mom's side of the family got together for our third annual girls night. There are so many of us that we try to get together, just the girls (and sometimes babies) for a night of chatting, eating and drinking.

This year we strayed from our normal Irish fare and went with a Mexican theme. I brought a Mexican Corn salad that was pretty good and seemed to go over well with the crowd. There was shredded chicken and beef, tamales, chicken enchiladas, a taco plate, guac and all the taco fixings. And for dessert there was fried ice cream.

There's so much going on with everyone, new babies, babies on the way, upcoming weddings, new relationships, travels, etc.

The only picture snapped was of me showing my old age and falling asleep while others were still going strong. That's the Irish in us coming out.

I got home pretty early in the morning and watched some Lifetime movies on Netflix. Can I tell you how happy I am that Lifetime movies are on Netflix! They're so dramatic!

I somehow found the strength to get to the gym since I wouldn't be able to go on Sunday with the holiday hours. It was all legs with one shoulder move and I'm feeling it today. I wrapped up at the gym just in time to get home and cleaned up before I had to pick up the ol boyfriend from the airport.

We went over to one of his buddies to watch the Badger vs. Kentucky game. We were the only ones cheering for UK, and unfortunately, as we all know, UK lost. If UK won I would have for sure taken 2nd in my work pool, and if they took the whole tournament I would have taken 1st. I'm so bummed WI won, and I'm most likely going to stick with 3rd place. At least I get my entry fee back.

Sunday morning I headed over to my parents pretty early so I could use their mandolin to make the Pioneer Woman's Scalloped Potatoes. I just didn't add ham since we were going to have ham with our meal, but overall they seemed to be a hit with the family.

Both my sisters and brother in law + 'boyfriend' in law came for brunch at my parents. We were each tasked with bringing an item. I brought my potatoes, one brought rolls and the other brought champagne. Since no one was really drinking, there was plenty of champagne left over so I stayed at my parents and helped them drink a bottle or two and get in some solid Miley time.

I'm sad to say that it's a gross, rainy Monday, but we're 1 day closer to going to the Dell's this weekend and the Twins home opener next Monday! Fingers crossed the weather Gods bless us with a warm and sunny day. Sometimes I miss the Metrodome where it was always 70 degrees and sunny.

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

She Sweats Week 1

I've officially started the She Sweats 12 Week program. Day 1 was chest, back and cardio which meant I had to break out of my comfort zone and walk through all the sweaty, grunting men in the weights department and lift some weights.

I go to your standard big box gym, but was surprised that I couldn't find the machine to do Seated Cable Rows. As I was on my way to ask someone if they had such a machine, I got a call from the Club Director for the volleyball team I coach and I got distracted. I talked to him while walking on a treadmill for about 20 minutes and then I had to leave as I was running short on time. I was able to do everything else for Day 1 except the Seated Cable Rows.

My arms and back are sore, in a good way. I love feeling sore. It's like reassurance that I worked hard.

Extra motivation to stick with this and push myself is that I'm now going to the Dells with the Mr. and his friends next weekend. Some of who will be freshly tan from their trip to MX this week. There might still be remnants of snow and it might be somewhat chilly, but the Dells is swim suit season 365 days a year.
Day 2 was nice and simple. I just had to wait in line until a treadmill opened up so I could walk up a hill that went nowhere. Luckily, the Real Housewives of Beverly Hills was on so that made the time go quick.

When I looked  at what the cardio was, I laughed a little and thought, this is too easy, but walking at a moderate pace at a 7% incline is quite tough, especially towards the end.

When I was finished at the gym I went home to complete the two week challenge fitness challenge for the day which was 3 x 12 donkey kicks and leg extensions followed by a plank.
Day 3 was leg day. Looking at the outline for legs I was super intimidated. It was half machines and half body weight/dumbbells. I'm the kind of girl that thinks everyone is staring at her and judging me if I'm doing something that's new to me, but I did it. I got to the gym at 5:30 in the morning, which I think will be when I go from now on for lack of traffic in the gym, and I murdered my workout, in a good way.
I thought I was being watched, turns out it was just the H&M mannequins. 
I only skimped on the lunges because I felt like 3 x 20 per leg of walking lunges with dumbbells would have put me in a wheel chair. I have the home version of this program and I did do 3 x 20 per leg walking weighted lunges and I couldn't sit without pain for days. So that's going to be something I work up to over the 12 weeks.

I was oddly excited for this workout and I'm looking forward to the next one. I know once I get more comfortable using different machines and going in to the the free weights area I won't feel so intimidated, but I really love the way that working out consistently makes me feel. I make better food choices, I sleep better, I'm more energized and my general mood is lifted.
Day 4 - Rest Day Saturday!
Day 5 was cardio again. The same as day 2. The only difference was this time the time flew by! I walked at an 8% incline at 3.1 while I finished reading the book The Best of Me by Nicholas Sparks. I made a bet with myself that I could rent the movie if I went to the gym and finished the book. So I did just that.
Day 6 was biceps, triceps, shoulders and cardio. The whole workout was done with free weights. Luckily the weather was so nice out so the gym wasn't very crowded and I didn't have a problem finding a bench in the free weights area. I used between #5-#15 pound weights, depending on the move and, even though that's not a lot of weight, I definitely maxed out on my third reps for a few of the moves. It's kind of funny to watch yourself because it's very clear that my left arm is a lot weaker than my right arm
Day 7 - Rest Day!
Week one is in the books! I didn't take any measurements, but I took some photos so hopefully at the end of the 12 weeks (11 to go!) I'll see a change in my body.