Personal Goals, Personal trainer!

So, I finally did it! I joined a gym! I have always been pretty active. In college I took fitness classes, and would go to the gym pretty frequently throughout the week. When I moved to Phoenix I would utilize my apartment’s gym. It was actually pretty decent for an apartment gym! Not having to pay for a gym membership seemed worth it at the time, when I could easily get an elliptical machine, or treadmill. Unfortunately, my apartment complex’s gym here is pretty bad. Only 3 treadmills, and 2 are broken…. it is impossible to get any piece of equipment, and its all hot and crowded. I don’t know about you, but I like my personal space when I’m working out and all sweaty!

Not only did I join a gym, but I also signed up for a personal trainer twice a week. I have ALWAYS wanted to do this! I have been lacking motivation to work out lately, so I thought this would be perfect time as any! My first training session was yesterday morning, bright n early!

Day 1:

I went to the gym to meet with my personal trainer. When I arrived he asked me a few questions, took my weight, and my BMI. Stepping on a scale in front of someone (especially a nearly 300 pound body builder) is always uncomfortable, but I just kept reminding myself that you have to start somewhere! and it’s only going to get better from here. I have never ever in my life had my body fat percentage taken, so naturally I was very nervous. There are 3 ranged of BMI – bad, good, and excellent. Thank goodness I fell into the “good” category! That’s a “good” place to start 🙂

After this, my trainer had me do a light warm up. So I immediately went up to the track and ran about a mile and a half. Im usually an avid treadmill runner, having just started really enjoying running in January, so this was different for me, but I LOVED it! There’s something about actually moving, and not being stationary that really intrigued me. It was also nice to have other people running on the track next to me, and being able to peek down into the weight room & around the gym while I was going. I will definitely make this part of my routine!

Rope test

After my light run, my trainer ran me through a few strength tests. And, boy oh boy, am I SORE today! I can’t believe how weak I am! We did a giant rope test, where I had to take 2 heavy ropes in each arm and lift them over my head 20 times.. it was awful. And SO difficult. I cant wait for it to be easier….one day….The photo above obviously is not me (yet 😉 ) but this is what I had to do! I find it very hard to believe this lady’s smile is genuine 😉

Ab workout

After this we did a few ab workouts (which I loved!) Where I fastened my feet into little harnesses, into a pushup position, and did mountain climbers and burpee-type moves. It felt like I was flying! (Again, this is not me in the photo)

After this we were finished. I could barely even catch my breath for quite some time. Im excited to get stronger!! My trainer said the reason I was hurting so bad and didn’t have energy was because of my breakfast. Or, in his words, lack there of. This morning before the gym I ate a greek yogurt, topped with blueberries and a small handful of cinnamon bunches of oats. Normally this breakfast would fill me up just fine before a run or just to fuel me until lunch, but as soon as I told my trainer I had eaten this, he shook his head in disappointment! I was shocked! He said this would make a great snack, but not a pre-workout breakfast. He suggested eating 4 egg whiles, 1/2 cup of oatmeal, or eggs and vegetables. I will definitely do this next time to ensure I have more energy for these difficult workouts Im about to embark on.

breakfast

Smoothie

After my workout I was ravenous! I went home and made myself a filling, post-workout smoothie:

Green Smoothie:
• A big handful of Kale
• 1 frozen banana
• handful of blueberries
• 1 scoop of chocolate protein powder
• a scoop of greek yogurt
• a little bit of almond milk to get things moving
 

It hit the spot and kept me full for awhile! After getting ready, I went to meet up with my dad & brother. My brother just moved back to Columbus for law school! I am beyond excited to be living in the same city as him again, and being about an hour and a half from our parents 🙂 I helped him move in a little bit, and then my dad took us out to lunch.

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After lunch I headed back to my apartment to meet Alex and we went to see maybe the best movie I’ve seen in a LOOOONG time…MONSTERS UNIVERSITY! It was amazing. I love all Pixar movies, but this one was exceptionally amazing! GO SEE IT RIGHT NOW! 🙂

salad hummus

After the movie we went to grab some takeout from Aladdin’s for dinner! I love Mediterranean food, but had yet to try this place. And let me tell you, I may eat there every day for the rest of my life. It was THAT good. There were tons of options, I was almost overwhelmed with all the goodness! I opted for the Greek Chicken Salad, and a side order of pita and hummus for me and Alex to share. It was yummers!!! I will definitely be going back again very soon.

Today is about being lazy, grocery shopping and preparing for the week ahead! Hope you have a wonderful Sunday 🙂

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Healthy Cashew Chicken

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On Mondays (since I have Sunday/Mondays off) I like to make a big meal to have throughout the week. This week I had a craving for chinese food, so I decided to try a new recipe — cashew chicken! It was soo delicious and very easy to make! I almost feel guilty about how easy this recipe was. I’ve always been a fan of throwing a bunch of things in a skillet and calling it a day, which is pretty much exactly what this is! It’s colorful, and super healthy with all the vegetables!

I got this wonderful recipe from www.howsweeteats.com! This site is full of amazing recipes.

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Cashew Chicken
serves 2-3
2 large boneless, skinless chicken breasts, chopped
2 tablespoons cornstarch
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 cup mushrooms
1/2 red pepper, sliced thin
3 green onions, chopped
1/4 cup shelled edamame
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup unsalted cashews
3 tablespoons honey
3 tablespoons low sodium soy sauce
 
 
 
Directions: 
Heat a skillet on medium heat and add 1 tablespoon olive oil. Add mushrooms and saute until soft, about 5 minutes.
 
Remove from skillet.
 
Season chicken with salt and pepper, then sprinkle cornstarch on chicken pieces and make sure each piece is somewhat coated.
 
Add the remaining olive oil to the skillet and add chicken.
 
Brown on both sides until cooked, about 5 minutes per side.
 
Add garlic, red pepper, edamame, half of the green onions and cashews and stir for 30 seconds.
 
Turn heat to medium low.
 
In a small bowl, mix soy sauce and honey. Pour into skillet, coating chicken and vegetables. Serve with rice. 
 
 
 
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Monday Munchies [stuffed portobello mushrooms & zucchini/eggplant bake]

Since I was actually home for dinner tonight (I work nights Tuesday-Saturday…) I decided to take advantage of being home and make dinner! I try to use up my produce as soon as possible to avoid it from spoiling, so that was my main goal tonight. I made pesto grilled chicken, spinach, kalamata olives, and feta stuffed portobello mushrooms. With a side of zucchini, eggplant bake with marinara sauce and mozzarella cheese. They both were absolutely delicious! And made so much that I have leftovers for dinner for tomorrow 🙂

Stuffed portobello mushrooms:

• Portobello mushrooms
• Spinach
• Grilled chicken
• Feta cheese
• kalamata olives 
 
Directions:
• Preheat oven to 400 degrees
• Bake mushrooms for 10 minutes (or until they are dark grey and a little squishy)
• While mushrooms are baking, cook chicken in skilled with pesto (I used philly cream cheese – creamy pesto cooking creme
• Once chicken is done cooking, add a few handfuls of spinach.
• Cook spinach down.
• add olives.
• remove mushrooms from the oven
• spoon the chicken, spinach, olive mix into the mushrooms
• sprinkle with feta
• bake for 8-10 minutes or until cheese is bubbly 
 
 
 
zucchini/eggplant bake:
 
 
Zucchini & eggplant bake:
 
ingredients:
• zucchini
• eggplant
• marinara sauce
• mozzarella cheese 
 
Directions:
• preheat over to 400 degrees
• slice eggplant and zucchini into half circles, and place along the bottom
• bake for 20 minutes 
• remove from oven
• spread desired amount of marinara sauce on top
• sprinkle cheese
• bake for 10 minutes (or until cheese is golden brown and bubbly)
 
Enjoy! 🙂