Sunday, August 31, 2008

Protein Bar Secret Ingredient

I've tried tons of homemade protein bar recipes, and usually they're kinda dry and weird tasting and definitely not as delicious as a brownie, which is what I'd really prefer to eat. But I recently found a new, magical ingredient that makes protein bars taste more like real, live cookies/brownies/bars, etc, and less like crumbly, weird protein smash: gemma protein! It's new (I think), and is extracted from peas. DO NOT make the mistake of using this for a shake - it is chalky, powdery, and nasty! BUT, because it is so much more like flour than whey protein, it works extremely well in protein bar recipes and gives it that magical, flour-based consistency. I got mine from, where it is super cheap (one of the most affordable forms of protein powder out there). I have found that you need to add more water - about tablespoon per scoop of protein to make the recipes suitable moist. Just fair warning. If you try it, let me know what you think!

Thursday, August 21, 2008

100 Push Up Challenge Update

Today was week 3, day 3:

I can tell I'm stronger, for sure. I still can't believe I can get so many out on the 5th set, becauase every time I get to the 4th set, I can barely complete them. Maybe it's in my head. Give me a minumum to do, and I will beat it just to prove I can. :)

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Pull Up Challenge

Since I started the 100 push ups challenge and am seeing so many people doing it along with me, I started thinking: hey, wouldn't a pull up challenge be fun, too? One of my goals for my current JP Fitness women's challenge is to be able to do 5 pull ups, but now I'm thinking I could probably do better if I worked really hard on it. So I poked around on the internet and found this program, which looks promising, and simple. The goal is to earn the maximum score on the Marine Core test, which is to do 20 pull ups from a dead hang.

Recon Ron's Pull Up Program
Do an initial test of your max pull ups to determine which step to start on. Once you have your step, repeat that step 3 days per week for two weeks, then move on to the next step. You'll do 5 sets of the listed number of reps, and rest as needed between sets. Try to complete all of the sets in a resonable time frame, around 10 minutes or less. Yep, that's it. So simple.

Step 1:1,1,1,1,1 Step 16:9,7,6,5,5
Step 2:2,2,1,1,1 Step 17:10,7,6,6,5
Step 3:3,2,2,1,1 Step 18:10,8,6,6,6
Step 4:3,2,2,2,1 Step 19:10,8,7,6,6
Step 5:4,2,2,2,2 Step 20:11,8,7,7,6
Step 6:4,3,2,2,2 Step 21:12,9,7,7,7
Step 7:4,4,2,2,2 Step 22:13,9,8,7,7
Step 8:5,4,3,2,2 Step 23:14,9,8,8,7
Step 9:5,4,3,3,3 Step 24:14,10,8,8,8
Step 10:6,4,4,3,3 Step 25:15,10,9,8,8
Step 11:6,5,4,4,3 Step 26:16,10,9,9,8
Step 12:7,5,4,4,4 Step 27:16,11,9,9,9
Step 13:7,6,5,4,4 Step 28:17,11,10,9,9
Step 14:8,6,5,5,4 Step 29:18,11,10,10,9
Step 15:8,7,5,5,5 Step 30:18,12,10,10,10

I'm not sure that 20 pull ups are in my future, but I think I'll give the program a whirl and see how it goes. Anyone want to join me?

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

World's easiest omelet

This takes less than 5 minutes to cook and comes out perfectly every

Spray a small frying pan with non-stick spray and turn on the heat to
medium low. Add 1-2c of veggies of your choice (I always use spinach
and sometimes throw in other stuff too), 1/2c egg substitute, and top
off with some sliced cheese. Now cover the whole thing, set a timer
for 4 min, and come back when it beeps. Fold it in half and slide it
onto your plate. Mmmmm.

Favorite Healthy Cookbooks

I was looking in my cookbook cupboard yesterday, and I saw a whole section dedicated to "healthy" books. I thought I'd share my favorites here.

Eating for Life: This was my first healthy cookbook, and is still one of my favs. I love that each recipe isn't just a recipe, it's a whole meal. Bill has already planned out your veggies and carbs along with the main dish. It makes planning dinner really easy. Plus, every single one of the dinners in the book are delicious. Seriously, every one.

The South Beach Diet Cookbook: This is a newer one of mine, but has some really yummy recipes, too. I like that it has lots of photos of the food (but not every dish is pictured, boo). There are lots of yummy side dishes in here.

The Eat Clean Diet Cookbook: I love all the photos in this book, and the simplicity of most of the recipes. Tosca is so fun, too. Her personality really comes across in this, which is funny, since it's a cookbook. :)

Thursday, August 14, 2008

100 pushups!

I decided to jump on the bandwagon and add in the 100 push up challenge into my training program. I did the initial test, and surprised myself with 35 consecutive, on-my-toes push ups. But that started my conundrum: should I start on week one of the challenge, which starts out with sets of only 10-15 push ups, or should I skip ahead and challenge myself a little more??

Well, I was debating where to start with my husband, I thought I should start on week 3, column 3, and he said that would be too hard. So, out came my competitive streak, and I said, "Ok, I'll do it right now." So he timed my rests and I did it! Woo woo woo! 25, 17, 17, 15, 26. But I'm not going to lie, I wasn't sure I'd be able to make it through the last set. It was really freakin' hard! But I did! And coincidentally, that turns out to be exactly 100 (non-consecutive) push ups that I did tonight. So, week 3 it is for me. :)

Saturday, August 09, 2008

Green Smoothie

I was surprised at how delicious this smoothie I made up was, so I had to write the recipe down. It's actually purple when you make it, but it has spinach in it

1/2c water or green tea (I used water + packet of green tea to go mix)
1 scoop strawberry protein powder
1/2c cottage cheese
1/2c frozen blueberries
1c baby spinach leaves (next time, I'll probably use more, you can't taste ANY spinachy flavor at all in this!)
1t flax meal
4-5 ice cubes

Blend it. mmmmmm.

Friday, August 08, 2008

Iced Coffee Recipe

My hubby got me hooked on McDonald's Iced Coffees, which are delicious! ....well, usually delicious, but totally depends on who makes it because I don't think I've ever had two that tasted the same. So, that's annoying. Plus also, if you're trying not to eat lots of crap, then a creamer- and sugar- laden mystery beverage isn't going to work out. So, I decided to make my own. I've tried a few different combinations recently, but tonight I finally hit upon the perfect recipe. Seriously, it's so delicious I never need to get a McDonald's one again.

Put 1/4c fat free half and half in the bottom of your glass, then add 1 rounded teaspoon of instant coffee and 2 rounded teaspoons of splenda. Mix it up. Fill the glass up to about 3/4 with ice, and add water to fill it up. Swirl and drink up. Yummy yummy yummy!

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Gourmet Nutrition!

I've been waiting very impatiently for my copy of
Gourmet Nutrition
to arrive in the mail (why is the mail so sloooooooow when you really really really want something??) and today it finally arrived! Even though I'd seen the sample recipes, and knew that every recipe had its own photo, I was still really excited by just how nice it looks. Of course I immediately sat down and read through the whole thing, and picked out some yummy recipes to try. I already made a chocolate mint shake (verdict: yummy, but not something I really needed a recipe for) and the banana nut bars (verdict: yummy, and worth the recipe. I like that they don't have that rubbery egg white texture so many protein recipes have). So obviously, I need to make many more recipes to tell how good it really is, but I can say that I am not sad I spent $30 on it (used), but I agree with those people that say $50 (w/ shipping) is too much for a paperback cookbook. It reminds me of Eating for Life, in that it has full meals, but is more like a real cookbook in that you actually cook everything. No instant pudding mix or salad dressings here, it's all real food recipes. Eating for Life is more aimed at guys who need to cook and have no experience, Gourmet Nutrition is aimed at a more traditional cookbook audience. Not to imply that one is better than the other, they just have a different tone.
This book is a nice complement to healthy eating books like the Eat Clean Diet Cookbook, Eating for Life, and The South Beach Diet Cookbook, all of which are keeping it company on my cookbook shelf. More recipe reviews are coming soon!

Monday, August 04, 2008

Today's workout:

SloMo Warm up +Chest (3 sets of 8 reps for each, 4-0-4 or 2-2-4 cadence for most)
Around the Worlds DB - 2x6
Decline Bench Press BB - 45
Incline Chest Flyes with Internal Rotation DB - 2x9
Staggered Hand Push-Ups - toes

Power Hour Abs - crunches, reverse crunches, planks

Cardio Kicks: first 35 min

I'm sad I had to use one of my 4 10% days today on lunch. I had plans to see a family friend, and I thought we would go out to lunch and i could order a nice grilled chicken salad, but instead, she offered to cook for us - grilled cheese! :O at least it was PWO! But it was with yummy yummy bread and Tillamook cheddar, so it ended up being worth it. Everything else was on track. I made my chocolate peanut butter protein shake into ice cream with my KitchenAid Ice cream attactment, and it was awesome. Protein ice cream is somehow waaaaaay more exciting than protein shake. Especially when it's so hot hot hot. I'll definitely be making more of these.

Sunday, August 03, 2008

Plan details

Here is my workout schedule for this month. I just got Amy Bento's SloMo 3-day split of heavy weights, and I wanted to use it, but I've also just discovered how great the rotations that Cathe designs are, so I wanted both! I took a rotation that Cathe designed using her Slow and Heavy Series, and replaced those workouts with Amy's SloMo, but kept all the cardio and ab work Cathe. And thus, my Amy/Cathe hybrid rotation. I started this last week, so today was actually the first rest day. Tomorrow I do chest, abs, and kickboxing. Woo.