Category Archives: Working Out

Thursday – Workout, Lunch, and a Magazine

Good afternoon! I can’t believe it’s so late in the day already! Do you ever feel like you have so many things to do but not enough time to do them all?!

Easter seems early this year so I’m trying to get all my Easter stuff done before the kids are off of school next week for spring break. Easter actually falls during spring break this year so that makes things a little more hectic. The nice part is that hopefully April will bring us some spring weather!!

Since I work on Wednesdays, I usually use that as my rest day. That means I was back at the gym ready to go this morning!

Workout

During my workouts, I usually drink Cellucor’s Alpha Aminos. They help increase endurance, reduce muscle soreness, promote muscle growth, and prevent muscle breakdown. And it tastes good. :)

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Today’s workout really got my legs and glutes working and left me tired and sore!

Exercises:

  • goblet squats
  • weighted donkey kicks
  • stability ball hamstring curls
  • barbell reverse lunges
  • curtsy lunges
  • deadlifts
  • weighted step-ups to kickback on bench
  • kettlebell swings

After the gym, I stopped by the grocery store and picked up a fitness magazine.

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I’ve never seen this magazine before and thought it looked interesting. I just started reading it but so far it has some good training tips. The only thing that bothers me is that the print is so small! Is that weird?! It hurts my brain!

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Lunch

Lunch this afternoon was one of my new favorite’s – a chicken tender salad with honey mustard dressing.

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I use the Applegate Naturals gluten-free chicken tenders and the Bolthouse Farms honey mustard dressing. This salad is seriously one of my favorites!

I’m off to finish the millions of things that I need to get done! Have a great day!!

  • What’s your thing to drink? I love water and coffee!
  • Favorite magazine?
  • If you have kids, when are they on spring break?

 

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Filed under Fitness, Lunch, Working Out

A Birthday Dinner at Gordon Biersch

Good morning!

Yesterday morning, my dad joined Danny and me at the gym! I was excited to have my dad come work out with us and he came on our hardest day of the week – leg day!

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Yesterday was the first day I did lunges with a barbell since my hip surgery. I was a little wobbly but they went pretty good.

We also did the leg press machine, sumo squats, calf raises on the Smith machine, plate squats, and step-up to kickbacks on the bench. My hip and adductor were really feeling it by the time we were done, but it was a great workout!

Later yesterday afternoon, we went out to dinner to celebrate my grandpa’s 79th birthday!

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We went to a restaurant called Gordon Biersch. They are a restaurant and brewery. We go a few times throughout the year with my family and my grandparent’s have a point card where you earn points for every dollar spent.

They finally saved up enough points for a free brewer’s dinner for ten people. The brewer’s dinner consists of a tour of where and how their beer is made and a five course meal with a beer pairing for every course.

I’m not a beer drinker but Danny loved all the different beers. The food was amazing. Each course was presented and then the employees and chef of the restaurant explained what each course was, the type of beer, and why it was chosen to be paired with that particular course.

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I admit, I didn’t pay much attention to the beer information but I paid attention to the food information!

Our first course was salmon cakes with remoulade.

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I’ve had crab cakes before but never salmon cakes. These were amazing. They had a salmon taste but I liked that it wasn’t too overpowering. I only ate a little of the remoulade because it was a little too spicy for me.

The salad came next. It was a spring mix with a house-made vinaigrette.

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The star of the salad was the breaded artichokes and pretzel bread with brie cheese. Lucky for me, Danny doesn’t like artichokes so I ate his. They were delicious.

After the salad, we had two main entrees. The first was a sirloin steak with leeks, asparagus, cauliflower puree and a wine red reduction.

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I am not a steak eater at all but I was brave and tried the meat. I was pleasantly surprised how good it was. Usually the texture of steak turns me off but this meat was so tender and really flavorful. I had three bites of it and then gave the rest to Danny.

I am also not a huge cauliflower fan, but the puree was absolutely delicious.

After the steak, was a seafood course. This was probably the best course of the night.

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It was pecan crusted halibut with butter sauce over roasted garlic mashed potatoes. Amazing.

I like fish but I usually stick to salmon or tilapia. After having the halibut I wouldn’t hesitate to order off a menu next time we went out for dinner. The pecan crust and butter sauce really took it to the next level.

All the food items we had for dinner were specially prepared by the chef so they aren’t even on the regular menu. Too bad because I would order any of them in a heartbeat.

Finally came dessert. We had fresh berries topped with house-made whipped cream, a cookie crumble, and beer caramel sauce.

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This was the perfect dessert. It was satisfying and sweet without being overly sweet. And since Danny isn’t a berry fan, I got to eat his too. :)

By the time we left, I was stuffed. It was probably one of the best meals I’ve ever had and the prefect way to celebrate my grandpa’s birthday!

Have a great afternoon!

  • What did you do this weekend?
  • What was the best meal you’ve ever had?
  • Favorite food?

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Filed under Dinner, Family Fun, Working Out

Weekend Workouts

Good morning! How’s your weekend going?

Friday

Friday night, Danny and I went to the gym.

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I work during the day on Fridays so I can’t work out until the evening. Honestly, it wasn’t a very good workout. We got to the gym about 6:15 pm so I didn’t want to eat dinner before we went. I rarely feel like a get a great workout in the evening. I was hungry, tired, sore, and crabby.

We did some chest and triceps exercises for about an hour and then called it a night.

Saturday

Saturday morning, we went back to the gym for our normal Saturday workout. This workout was 1000x better than the previous night’s workout. We started out with about five minutes on the Arc trainer to warm up and then we worked on back, biceps, and abs.

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I wore the KT tape on my wrist again. It helped during the workout but last night, I woke up because my wrist was killing me. Blah.

Our workout included some of the following exercises:

Back

  • close grip lat pulldowns
  • reverse grip lat pulldowns
  • seated cable rows
  • bentover barbell rows
  • deadlifts
  • renegade rows
  • good mornings

Biceps

  •  barbell curls
  • reverse barbell curls
  • alternating incline bicep curls
  • single leg hammer curls

Since my wrist does hurt if I go too heavy on biceps, I use a light weight but do a lot of reps.

After the gym, the kids wanted to go to a park near my dad and stepmom’s house so we asked them if they wanted to meet us there.

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The weather was a little cool yesterday but the sun was shining and it was a great day to play at the park.

I think the adult’s had just as much fun as the kids!

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Fun Fact about Heather: If I’m not wearing workout clothes, I’m wearing Victoria’s Secret sweatpants. I hate jeans with a passion. And I’m wearing my workout capris under those sweatpants. Sorry, not sorry.

Sometime over the weekend, I tried out the Dannon Oikos Triple Zero Greek Yogurt.

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The peach flavor was soooo good! It’s been too long since I’ve had peach yogurt. I usually alternate between eating plain Greek yogurt with fresh fruit and flavored Greek yogurts.

Tonight, we’re going out with my family to celebrate my Grandpa’s 79th birthday!!

Have a great Sunday!

  • When do you usually workout? Is there a time of day when you don’t like working out?
  • When was the last time you went to the park?
  • Favorite yogurt flavor?

 

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Filed under Family Fun, Fitness, Working Out

St. Patrick’s Weekend Fun

Good afternoon. I hope you all had a great weekend!

Saturday morning, we had a nutrition fair at the gym I work at so I was working all morning. I didn’t get a chance to workout because my family was coming over on Saturday evening to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day and I had to get home to start cooking!

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My cutie niece:

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We really seemed to like those glasses.

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I made corned beef, cabbage, boiled potatoes, and carrots for dinner.

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I have made corned beef a few times over the years and usually I don’t eat it. I tried a bite a couple of years ago but didn’t like the texture. I tried it again yesterday and actually liked it. I think I might have cooked it a little better yesterday because it was a lot more tender. I ate two small pieces and then filled up on chicken Caesar salad with bowtie pasta.

Of course, we also had to have pie since it was Epic Pi Day on Saturday. We got a mint chocolate pie.

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Sadly, I thought the pie was just okay. It was extremely sweet and minty. Overly sweet and minty. I gave my piece to Danny to finish. Then he laughed at me for not eating the pie crust. I don’t like pie crust and I never eat it. I just eat the pie filling.

On Sunday, we made it to the gym. We worked back and biceps and I tried out some KT tape on my wrist.

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KT tape is an elastic tape made for muscle, ligament, and tendon pain relief and support. Since my wrist usually bothers me the most when we do biceps, I thought it would be a good time to try it out.

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There are videos online on how to apply it. Since it stretches, the tape has to be applied with different degrees of stretchiness. The KT tape provides neuromuscular feedback that relaxes stronger firing of muscles and tendons.

I think they KT tape really helped with my wrist pain. I made it almost the whole workout pain-free. Towards the end of my workout, I tried doing a plate twist bicep curl and I immediately felt a pain shoot through my wrist. Any twisting motion really seems to bother it.

Overall, I think the tape really helped and I’m going to try it out on my Achilles for running.

Today

Today at the gym, I did a full body circuit workout that left me tired and sweaty.

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It felt nice to get a great workout in and I burned 522 calories.

Have a great afternoon!

  • Did you celebrate St. Patrick’s Day at all over the weekend?
  • Favorite pie?
  • Have you ever tried KT tape?

 

 

 

5 Comments

Filed under Dinner, Family Fun, Fitness, Working Out

Mother/Son Running

Hello!

Yesterday, I ran outside! Can you believe it?! Well, it was more of a walk/run but still. I haven’t ran outside since before my hip surgery last summer. The last time I ran outside was probably the Bud’s Run 5k  last June.

Next month, we’re running a Color Run so Jaden has really been wanting to practice running. He also wears my old FitBit Flex so he’s trying to get lots of steps.

Since the weather was so gorgeous yesterday when Jaden got home from school, we ran outside.

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I’m not sure exactly how far we went but it was probably right around 2.75 miles. We started out running slowly and then incorporated a lot of walking breaks as needed. Jaden did a lot better than I expected him to (the FitBit is great motivation) and surprisingly my Achilles tendon felt fine.

I was really worried about my Achilles so I’m happy it was okay when I was running. I think running on the treadmill might bother it. I also ran in my Mizuno shoes yesterday so I’m wondering if the shoes I’m currently wearing bother it.

It’s still not 100% so I made sure to ice it yesterday and stretch it this morning. But I’m happy it felt okay with outdoor running!

This morning I went to the gym. I did the Bikini Body Mommy strength workout and then I did a butt/leg circuit workout.

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I did the following exercises back to back, rested for about 2 minutes, and then repeated the circuit.

  • step-up to kickbacks (use a box or bench) x12 each side
  • walking lunges with a medicine ball oblique twist x20 each side
  • hip bridges x15
  • single leg hip bridges x12 each side
  • donkey kicks x15 each side
  • sumo squats x20
  • band walking side to side
  • backwards band walking

After repeating the circuit twice, I decided to try out the Stairmaster. Back when I finished physical therapy a couple of months ago, my physical therapist said to avoid the Stairmaster for the time being because it required a lot of hip extension. Since it’s been a couple of months, I decided to try it out.

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I did 10 minutes and tried to stay slow. My hip felt fine during it so we’ll see how it feels tomorrow. Even though my hip surgery was last July, my hip still isn’t fully recovered. It still aches when I do physical activity and my quad still bothers me a little, but it’s a lot better and I can tell it slowly getting back to normal. The doctor said it could take up to a year to fully recover so I’m on the right track!

It’s another beautiful day outside so we’ll see if Jaden wants to run outside again later today!

Have a great afternoon!

  •  When was the last time you ran outside?
  • What kinds of physical activities do you do with your kids?

 

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Filed under Family Fun, Fitness, Running, Working Out

Waffles for Lunch

Good afternoon! How is everyone doing today?

Day #1 of the DietBet went good. I stuck to my meal plan all day yesterday and had a small treat in the evening.

For dinner, I made chicken, sweet potatoes, and green beans. Usually I just bake skinless, boneless chicken breast in the oven. But yesterday I used a grill pan and grilled the chicken for a few minutes on each side before putting into the oven to finish cooking.

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I think it turned out tons better than just baking it. And I just stuck the grill pan right in the oven so I didn’t even dirty another pan.

Today

This morning I went to the gym and started out with 10 minutes on the arc trainer. I did a circuit workout and then finished with 20 minutes on the elliptical. After my workout, I taught a Women on Weights class. By the time my workout and Women on Weights were done, I was a big sweaty mess. So, of course, I took a selfie.

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I hit my steps by 11 am.

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I think my Women on Weights class is going really good. I love teaching on the fitness floor rather than in a classroom.

After the gym, I stopped at Target to buy lettuce and carrots. I also was having an intense craving for waffles so I picked up a box of Van’s Power Grain waffles.

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I love these waffles because they have 10 grams of protein per serving and they taste great. They have a tiny hint of cinnamon which I love. I also got some blueberries so I could make a waffle sandwich for lunch. I love blueberries.

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I toasted two waffles topped them with one tablespoon of peanut butter and added some blueberries. This combination is absolutely delicious.

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After lunch, I drank my last candy cane coffee in a Halloween mug.#WinningAtLife

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I’m off to do some stuff around the house before the kids get home. Have a great afternoon!

  • Do you track your steps?
  • Favorite way to cook chicken or chicken recipe?
  • Favorite fruit?

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Filed under Dinner, Lunch, Race, Working Out

Is it Spring Yet?

Today is going to be 50 degrees in Chicagoland, and I saw a bird and a squirrel. I’m pretty sure spring is on its way!! This winter has felt like forever and I can’t wait for nice weather and to spend time outside.

Yesterday

Danny and I went to the gym yesterday morning. We worked on back and abs. Usually we do biceps also but my wrist is sore so we skipped biceps this time.

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The rest of the day we spent relaxing and enjoying the fact that it stays light out longer. Yay spring!

Today

The Bikini Body Mommy DietBet officially started today! There’s still time to join if you’re thinking about doing it! I started out my day with a normal breakfast – Fage Greek yogurt with strawberries and two egg whites.

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At the gym, I started with the Bikini Body Mommy strength workout. I did it once and then did some shoulder exercises including lateral raises, upright rows, overheard presses, front raises, cable lateral raises.

After my shoulder workout, I decided to try out the treadmill. I haven’t been on the treadmill in a long time and since I’ve been avoiding jumping exercises for the most part, I decided to see how my Achilles tendon felt. I walked for three minutes and ran for one minute for a total of 21 minutes.

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My Achilles felt fine at first, but the longer I went the more I could feel it starting to hurt. I finished up my walk/run and then foam rolled and stretched. It felt nice to run again but I don’t think my Achilles is going to agree. It’s so frustrating to be over hip surgery recovery and then have this happen. My plan is just to take it slow.

Have a great day!

  • How’s the weather where you live? Are you ready for spring?
  • What are you most looking forward to about being outside? I can’t wait to run outside, take family walks, and go on bike rides!

 

 

 

3 Comments

Filed under Breakfast, Fitness, Running, Working Out

DietBet

Good afternoon!

Workout

Danny and I hit the gym first thing this morning to get leg day out of the way! We did:

  • leg press machine
  • squats
  • goblet squats
  • calf raises on the smith machine
  • split squats
  • step-up to kickbacks
  • single leg hip bridges
  • donkey kicks
  • elliptical/treadmill running

After the gym, I stopped at Target and found this flatbread to try:

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Doesn’t it look amazing?! Has anyone tried any of the Archer Farms flatbreads? They also had a sun dried tomato and chicken one that looked good.

DietBet

I’ve mentioned quite a few times that I’ve been doing the Bikini Body Mommy workouts on a daily basis. I am taking a short break because of Achilles tendon pain but hopefully I’ll be back at it soon. Briana, who runs Bikini Body Mommy, started a DietBet and I decided to join.

The concept behind DietBet is that you pay $25 into a pot (via PayPal or credit card). You have four weeks to lose 4% of your body weight. Everyone who loses the 4% splits the money in pot.

I really debated joining because like I’ve mentioned in prior posts, I’m slowly becoming more accepting of my body. While I don’t have a ton of weight to lose, I like that the DietBet helps keeps me accountable about the choices I make on a daily basis and will help me make healthier decisions throughout the day.

Working two days a week has also changed my eating habits a little bit. I was very used to eating my meals at certain times and now by the time I get home a little after 3 pm, I’m starving and eat just about everything in sight. I’m hoping this challenge will help me to not overeat when I get home.

For me, it won’t be exactly about weight loss but rather about sticking to a healthy and happy lifestyle.

I also want to add that 1) 4% of of body weight is not a huge number and even if I lose it, I still won’t be at my lowest and most comfortable weight and 2) I, of course, choose to share flattering pictures of myself (for the most part) on my blog. You might look at a picture of me and think, “well, she looks just fine, she doesn’t need to lose any weight” (or maybe you don’t…maybe you think I could stand to lose a few pounds :) ) But my point is that I’m happy with how my arms look so you might see more pictures of my upper body. But I dislike how my lower half looks so you might not see many pictures of my lower half.

I feel like it’s important for me to be honest here on my blog. I’m not perfect. I struggle with body image. I am slowly becoming more accepting and learning to stay healthy in a way that makes me happy and I enjoy challenges, like DietBet, that keep me accountable. I have done numerous DietBets over the past few years and I while I haven’t won all of them, I had a great experience – Danny even did one with me!

If you would like to join the DietBet, it starts this Monday, March 9th and ends April 5th (which is Easter). You can join here.

And that is that.

Speaking of lower half pictures of myself:

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I finally stepped outside my comfort zone and bought a pair of printed workout leggings. All of my workout capris are usually just plain black. I always stayed away from the prints because I didn’t like drawing attention to my lower half but I tried these Champion leggings on at Target yesterday and really liked them. I also tried on a pink pair that unfortunately were absolutely terrible looking!

Tonight

The weather in Illinois is in the mid 40s today which is a full on heat wave. The nice weather has drawn out the Girl Scouts and they’re outside of the grocery stores selling their addicting cookies. Danny picked up a box of Thin Mints and rented Mockingjay for us to watch.

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I think it’s going to be a good night.

  • Have you ever done a DietBet?
  • What do you usually wear to workout? I always wear a tank and capris because I get so darn hot. I made the mistake of wearing workout pants once and I’ve never made that mistake again.
  • Are you a Hunger Games fan?
  • Favorite girl scout cookies?

 

7 Comments

Filed under Fitness, Uncategorized, Working Out

thinkThin: thinkPositive

This is a sponsored post for thinkThin and Womensforum.com All opinions are my own.

Over the past few years, I’ve tried to lose weight, eat better, and become a healthier person all around. I went from being slightly overweight, to losing 30 pounds, to gaining some of it back, to taking BodyPump classes and learning that I needed to build muscle.

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I used to think I had to do cardio every day to lose weight. Then I discovered strength training was key for me. I loved strength training so much that I became a BodyPump instructor and a personal trainer.

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My own personal journey in the world of healthy living has been a bumpy one.  I love to work out, but I also love to eat. I have always struggled with body image, as I imagine many people do.  I work in an industry where, to be honest, looks matter. If I am going to show people how to work out, lose weight, and build muscle, then I need to look the part… and sometimes that feels like a lot of pressure.

What I’ve learned is that healthy living and weight wellness is all about you. You need to find a healthy balance. You have to love the way you look or at least accept it. I tell my clients it’s about eating what your body needs, and then it’s about loving your body.

Eat healthy fruits, veggies and whole grains — a mantra that I instill in myself and my clients.  Being prepared can make a big difference in keeping up with your healthy food choices.  Although it’s not always easy to have fruits and vegetables in your workout bag, you can have a high-quality ingredient bar or drink on hand.

I like thinkThin bars. They are high protein bars that have 20 grams of protein and 0g of sugar.  Protein helps you feel full longer and helps repair those muscles that you tear up in the gym.  The bars come in some pretty awesome flavors. Cookies and Cream and Creamy Peanut Butter, are on my fav list. In addition to being a great post-workout solution, they can complement your breakfast and are a great work snack.

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Along my journey, one of the choices I made was to eat a little smarter. That’s where empowerment comes in to making choices.

You have a choice to make every day. To be happy or to be crabby is a choice. It’s important to live life.  Enjoy life.  Have fun and be active!  It’s about learning to accept your body.  It’s about having a healthy mindset. I know that when I’m making good choices of what goes into my body, I feel more confident. I know that living a healthy lifestyle makes you feel good. Embrace yourself and throw those negative feelings out. Choose health! Choose happiness!

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Filed under Working Out

VitaEgg Flatbread Sandwiches

I’m back to teaching group fitness! Today I taught my first class since my hip surgery. I am no longer able to teach BodyPump but I am teaching the Women on Weights class!

Before I taught my class, I did a workout of my own. I did the elliptical for about twenty minutes followed by two rounds of the Bikini Body Mommy strength workout.

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I’m not back to doing the BBM cardio workouts yet, but the strength workouts aren’t a problem.

Before I went to the gym, I had a VitaEgg Flatbread Sandwich. Vitalicious recently sent me these new flatbread egg sandwiches to try.

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They’re the same company that makes the VitaTops which I love!

Today was the perfect day to eat one because I needed something fast, easy, and still healthy.

I had the cheese and veggie flatbread.

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They also come in turkey sauce and veggie sausage.

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The new flatbread sandwiches are between 120 and 160 calories each. They have 10-15 grams of protein, 7-9 grams of fiber, 1.5-3.5 grams of fat, and 160mg of omega-3 DHA.

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I love that these have a lot of protein and fiber because that’s what I struggle with getting enough of in my diet.

Danny tried out the turkey sausage flatbread. He even took a picture of it on his phone without me even asking him to!

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He liked the flatbread sandwich but he said that he would have preferred it with cheese. Luckily, the veggie sauce flatbread does have cheese!

These sandwiches leave the yolks in the eggs which is important because they contain lutein for eye health, choline for brain health, and omega-3 DHA for heart health. I’m usually not a huge yolk person but in a sandwich they taste great and have so many  health benefits.

These sandwiches don’t have any artificial preservatives,coloring, or cholesterol. They are available online and in the freezer section at the grocery store.

I’ve really been trying to stick to my healthy eating lately. Yesterday for lunch, I had leftover California roll from Whole Foods and a salad with the organic chicken tenders.

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I love this salad. I honestly eat it almost every single day.

For dinner, I made coho salmon which I also got from Whole Foods.

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I haven’t had salmon in so long. I seasoned it with a little bit of olive oil, garlic, and dill. Then I cooked it in the oven in a foil packet on 400 degrees for about 15-20 minutes. I ate it with green beans and a sweet potato. Yum!

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Lots of healthy eats!

Have a great afternoon!

  • What is your favorite healthy breakfast?
  • Do you like fish/seafood? Favorite?

Vitalicious sent me these new flatbread sandwiches to try out at no cost to me. All opinions are my own…and Danny’s. 

 

 

4 Comments

Filed under Breakfast, Dinner, Fitness, Product Review, Working Out