Friday Five: Healthy Tools

Hello and happy Friday!

I wanted to take the time to share a few tools I use to stay healthy. Some of these I’e been using for a while, some I’ve only recently found. Hopefully some of these will be able to help you on your journey to a healthier you!

  1. My Fitness Pal App. You probably know of this app already, but I do think it is a great tool to help you get back on track. I don’t like to use it constantly because I really hate counting calories. I use it as a way to “relearn” how much my body needs. We tend to overindulge over holidays, and sometimes it is difficult to go back to healthful habits. My Fitness Pal also tracks your steps, and adjusts your calories accordingly. Definitely worth checking out if you haven’t already!
  2. YouTube. Because of the amount of fitness videos available on YouTube, we have no excuse to not exercise! There are yoga videos, kickboxing videos, pilates videos. You name it, YouTube probably has it. Some of my favorite channels include Yoga With Adriene, Blogilates, and Tone it Up.
  3. Charity Miles. It’s an awesome app that is totally free. Basically, this app tracks how many miles you walk/run/bike. For every mile, a sponsor donates a quarter to a charity you specify at the beginning of your workout. It definitely encourages you to, excuse the cliche, go the extra mile 🙂
  4. The Blogosphere. Seems simple enough. I love following the blogs of real people who are on the same health journey I am. It’s super inspiring, and a lot of them post healthy recipes that are simply delicious. I also follow people who are already where I want to be. Some of my favorites include SimplyTaralynn, MindBodyGreen, YourZenLife, and Wellness Mama.
  5. A well-stocked kitchen. Obviously. But sometimes, it’s harder than you’d think. Make sure you always have some healthy staples (fresh fruits, veggies, and lean sources of protein) ready to go. It’s hard to make healthy choices, but keeping your kitchen stocked with good-for-you foods makes it much easier.

Motivational…. Tuesday?

Hey ya’ll!

I apologize again for being MIA. Last week, hubs was in Florida for work and I was in northern KY to visit with family while he was away. Not being in my kitchen=no cookin happenin.

BUT, here I am, back. I promise I won’t abandon you again. I promise.

I figured I would catch up with a day late Motivational Monday post. In this one, I want to identify something we all probably need to do more of….

 

DRINK WATER. 

I don’t do it nearly enough. I like to think that I get enough, but my dry lips, super oily skin, and appetite would argue otherwise. I did some water research on WebMD. The website gives us 6 reasons why we should drink water. 3 of the most motivating (for me, at least) are below.

1. Water can help control calories. Drinking water instead of juice or soda is kind of a no brainer. It’s zero calories versus way too many calories. Drinking water with meals can fill you up and prevent that inevitable “crash and eat a lot of carbs” feeling later. I try to drink at least 2 glasses of water with dinner. Try is the key word here.

2. Water helps energize muscles. Cells need to maintain a balance of water and electrolytes. Dehydration causes muscles to fatigue, which means they get tired. Tired muscles=no workout.

3. Water keeps your skin look awesome. Dehydration causes your skin to essentially “shrink.” Almost like it’s shriveling up. This can make wrinkles look more harsh or pronounced. Drinking lots of water can also “dilute” the oil on your skin, which can help keep it clear.

Water is awesome. So drink it.

I’ve declared October Fit-Tober. I’m going to be challenging myself–and YOU–every Motivational Monday to alter/begin SOME habit or practice that will lead to a healthier person. Week 1? You guessed it!

DRINK MORE WATER. 

I am challenging you to drink half your body weight (in ounces) of water, every day. For me, right now, that’s about 76 ounces of water. This amounts to three large tervis-fulls. Lol.

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Let’s go, ya’ll! Make this your fittest month of the year! We’re going out with a bang!

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Creamy Tomato and Spinach Tortellini

I have another delish recipe for ya’ll! This super decadent pasta dish packs lots of flavor, creaminess, and veggies, and is definitely under 500 calories. A pasta dish under 500 calories? WITH cheese? Sign me up.

I adapted this recipe from several creamy pasta dishes I found online. Again, please excuse the terrible picture quality. We are working on getting a decent camera.

Creamy Tomato and Spinach Tortellini

Ingredients:

  • 1 bag of Kroger frozen cheese tortellini
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 2 c. fresh spinach
  • 1 can petite diced tomatoes, with juice
  • 1 tbsp + 2 tsp flour
  • 1 c. fat free half and half (I used Kroger brand)
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • Shredded parmesan cheese for topping
  • Salt, pepper, basil, red pepper flakes to taste

Method:

Cook tortellini according package directions. I added a tiny bit of olive oil to keep the tort from sticking, as well as some salt for flavor. Once cooked, drain and set aside.

Meanwhile, heat the olive oil over medium heat in a large skillet. Add in minced garlic and sautee until fragrant.

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Meanwhile, roll and chop the spinach. I chopped mine pretty small because, you know….braces. Spinach was the last thing I wanted stuck in my brackets lol. Add the chopped spinach to the garlic and olive oil.

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Once the spinach has wilted, add in the can of tomatoes. Do not drain! You need that juice to help make the saucy goodness.

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Allow this yumminess to bubble.

Meanwhile, whisk the half and half into the flour, very gradually. This is going to give the sauce a creamy, thick quality.

IMAG1006 IMAG1007 It should be nice and creamy, well mixed. No chunks of flour here.

Once the tomato mixture is bubbling, carefully stir in the creamy mixture. Add in salt, pepper, basil, and red pepper flakes, all according to your preference.

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Doesn’t that look awesome?

Allow this mixture to come to a bubbling awesomeness. Make sure to stir occasionally, or the sauce will stick to the bottom of the pan, and that is gross.

Very carefully add in the drained tortellini. Stir very gently and very slowly, so you don’t tear the tort.

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Yummmm.

I shredded some parm with a potato peeler (because that’s how I roll) to top the pasta.

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It was so good. So creamy, and so decadent.

Now to totally blow you away. This recipe makes 4 hearty servings. And each serving only has…

439 calories and 13 grams of fat

(as determined by MyFitnessPal)

What are some of your favorite pasta dishes? If you try this out, be sure to post a pic so I can see!

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Motivational Monday: Setting Yourself Up For a Great Day!

Happy Monday!

I have a love-hate relationship with Mondays. Yes, it’s the beginning of the work week… BUT, it’s the beginning of a new week. And with the beginning of a new week comes a motivational Monday post!

Today, I’m talking tips and tricks for going from sun up to sun down with plenty of energy and peace of mind. To me, starting and ending the day with good energy is the key to a good day.

 

Continue reading

A Mess of a Post

Hello!

This post is going to be a mess of everything that has been going on since Monday.

 

You’ve been warned. But you should stick around anyway! 🙂

So I got the brackets for braces this past Wednesday. This Monday, I get 8 teeth removed, so the wires aren’t in yet. I feel like I look like I’m 15 (I’m 24 and look young anyway). I will be almost 27 when I get these suckers off. BUT, I will have straight, lovely teeth. And a much healthier mouth, for sure. I don’t have extra teeth, just less space than normal. Also, those pesky wisdom teeth are coming out!

Anyway, I won’t be posting any new recipes in the next week or so, because my diet will be limited to mushy foods. I’m assuming no one needs a tutorial on how to remove the lid from a jar of unsweetened applesauce…. 😉

Here is a LOVELY picture of myself with my brackets.

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Annnd a lovely picture of how I’ve had to eat my FiberOne brownies…

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*I know that FiberOne brownies are not considered “clean.” I try to follow the 80/20 (ish) rule when it comes to clean eating!

Since I’m going to have these braces on for a pretty good chunk of time, I’ve decided to declare the next 2 years the “Katie Becomes Awesome” years. I know, I know. I’m SO modest.

Let me explain a little bit. The next two years, I’m going to focus on becoming the person I want to be. This includes physically, professionally, socially, and most importantly, spiritually. If I feel up to it, next week I will write up a post going into a little bit more detail. Yay for goals!

 

I went to the gym the other day and took a few progress pictures.

 

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Not a whole lot of progress happening right now, but as soon as I can (after the surgery) I will be getting back to it!

 

Until then, I need some help with my “braces diet.” I need some smoothie, protein shake, and soft food recipes! Leave me your favorites in the comments section below!

Leave post or recipe requests in the comment section! 

Follow me on Instagram, Twitter, and of course, click the follow the blog button!

 

Thank you all so much for reading. You all are appreciated!

 

 

Motivational Monday: Progress

Happy Labor Day! So this post is sort of a double whammy, if you will: Motivational Monday in the form of a progress report. I’m going to do monthly progress reports to keep myself accountable!

Normally, I’d like to post progress on the last day of each month. But, since this was a long weekend, I figured I could wait until Monday!

I’ve only recently started taking pictures to document my progress, so I have very few. However, I believe that taking photographic evidence of your hard work is one of the best ways to keep you motivated!

I don’t know if it is as obvious, but the difference between 2012 and last month is about 25 ish pounds.

Spring of 2012

Spring of 2012

Spring of 2012 Man, I miss clogging.

Spring of 2012
Man, I miss clogging.

Summer of 2012, engagement pictures.

Summer of 2012, engagement pictures.

Summer of 2012. If this isn't the perfect depiction of a weight struggle... Idk what is!

Summer of 2012. If this isn’t the perfect depiction of a weight struggle… Idk what is!

August 2014, side view

August 2014, side view

August 2014, front. Wayy too pumped about something!

August 2014, front. Wayy too pumped about something!

What keeps you motivated? Tell me in the comments below! Also, leave a link to your blog if you’ve got one! I’d love to follow your blogs!

Alsoooo, expect me to be MIA for the next 2 weeks. I am getting braces and 8 teeth cut or pulled in the next two weeks, and will be living on applesauce!!!

And don’t forget to follow me on Instagram, Twitter, and on here!!!

Coconut Curry Chicken

Hey guys! I haven’t done a quick dinner post, so I thought I’d go ahead and post what I made for dinner for us tonight!

It’s creamy, super flavorful, and decently healthy! Except we paired it with naan……haha.

Coconut Curry Chicken

Ingredients:

2 chicken breasts

1/2 onion, chopped

3 garlic cloves, minced

2 tsp+ curry powder (I used quite a bit, hubs looooves him some curry)

1/2 can diced tomatoes with chili seasoning

1/4 c. light unsweetened coconut milk

Serves 2!

Cube the chicken and season with salt, pepper, and chili powder.

Cook chicken in a little olive oil until brown and thoroughly cooked.

IMAG0957 I like my chicken with that nice, golden color. Lots of flavor!

Set chicken aside, and add the onions to the pan. If needed, add in a little more EVOO or a splash of chicken broth. Once onions are translucent, add the garlic into the pan. Sautee about a minute

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Add the tomatoes and curry powder to the the onion-garlic mixture.

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Raise heat to medium and allow to become a little bubbly!

Spoon in the coconut milk. Don’t go too crazy! 1/4 c. is plenty!

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Let the mixture bubble for 5-10 minutes. The longer it cooks, the thicker and yummier it’ll get! Watch it though so it doesn’t stick. If it starts to get dry, add in a splash of water or chicken broth.

Add the cubed cooked chicken back in and allow to reheat, about 5 minutes.

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I served this awesomeness with some naan, but brown rice would be lovely also!!

Let me know if you try it!

What recipes would you like to see on the blog? Any questions? Let me know below! And don’t forget to follow me on Instagram, Twitter, and on the blog!