Post Workout Fuel

Happy Thursday friends! It’s almost the weekend, woo!

I wanted to share some of my favorite post workout snacks with you guys today. I generally don’t eat a big meal after I workout but like to eat something to get some protein into my body. These snacks are healthy and delicious too!

Protein Smoothie

This is definitely my go-to post workout snack. It is full of fruit, protein, and is refreshing after a sweat sesh. My sister introduced me to Protein World protein powder (I use The Slender Blend vanilla flavor) and I’m obsessed! It doesn’t taste like typical protein powder and enhances the flavor of my smoothies. I usually blend two frozen bananas, a handful of other fresh fruit (strawberries, blueberries, mango), a couple tablespoons of yogurt, four scoops of protein powder, and a splash of almond milk. Yum!

Waffles & Peanut Butter

If you guys haven’t tried Van’s waffles yet, you need to! I got my whole family on the Van’s kick. It is an quick an easy treat after working out or even just for breakfast. I top mine with natural peanut butter and banana slices. I usually buy the multigrain waffles, but my sister and parents love the powergrain variety. 

Greek Yogurt Parfait

Now that all of my favorite fruit is in season, I am putting it on everything (and just eating it by itself). I especially love strawberries and pineapple. For this easy snack I simply toped vanilla greek yogurt with fruit and granola. In this picture, I used Creative Snacks Co. organic coconut bites that has chia seeds, sunflower seeds, and pumpkin seeds…so good (it’s from Sam’s Club). 

Bars

When I’m short on time, but want to eat a post-workout snack, I will throw a bar in my purse. My favorites are Larabars, Think Thin bars, and Rx bars. I just ordered Rx bars from Amazon per my sister’s recommendations and love that there are only a few natural ingredients in them. Some of the bars you can buy are loaded with sugar and artificial ingredients so be cautious!

Happy snacking! Have a great weekend!

– M –

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Crockpot Spaghetti Squash

Happy Monday! I hope you all had a great weekend, it always goes by too fast! I spent the weekend up north in Cadillac and Traverse City with my boyfriend, parents, and some extended family. My mom and I had a bridal shower to attend in Cadillac so we decided to make a weekend out of it. It was a fun weekend!

I wanted to share a recipe with you today that I made last week. I am always looking for healthy, easy dinner recipes especially on nights that I have to work. Something I can throw in the crockpot while I sleep during the day gets bonus points! I actually got this recipe idea from a friend at work. I have never made spaghetti squash and while I love zucchini noodles this was a nice change since I try not to eat actual spaghetti noodles too often. I hope you guys enjoy this healthy rendition of spaghetti and meatballs. I will definitely be making it again!


Ingredients:

  • Spaghetti squash
  • Turkey meatballs (you can either buy these already prepped or make your own from ground turkey)
  • Marinara sauce
  • Parmesan cheese (if desired)

Directions:

  1. If you are making the turkey meatballs from scratch, you prep them before putting everything in the crockpot. I mixed a package of ground turkey with 2 eggs, about a half cup of bread crumbs and a couple sprinkles of Italian seasoning. I formed the mixture into meatball-sized balls and cooked them in a pan over medium heat until they were cooked all the way through.
  2. Spray the crockpot with pam.
  3. Cut spaghetti squash in half and place seed side down in the crockpot.
  4. Surround spaghetti squash with meatballs and marinara sauce.
  5. Cook on low for 5-6 hours.
  6. Remove spaghetti squash from crockpot (be careful, it’s hot!) and use large spoon to remove seeds. Then use the same spoon to scrape spaghetti squash forming noodles and place the noodles in serving bowls.
  7. Cover noodles with meatballs and sauce. Sprinkle with parmesan cheese if desired.
  8. Enjoy!

    Have a productive week! Don’t forget to take care of yourself among the busyness 😊

    – M –

    Let’s Taco Bout It 

    Happy humpday y’all!

    Sorry I am posting a couple days later than usual, it’s a little busy around here with work and my finals approaching next week. I wanted to share a super easy, guilt-free meal that I made this week and loved. You can’t go wrong with a crockpot meal that is also healthy! I hope you guys enjoy it!

    Crockpot Chicken Taco Lettuce Wraps

    Ingredients 

    • Chicken breasts (I used 2 large ones but you can make as much as you need)
    • Taco seasoning packet (low sodium) 
    • Container of salsa (I used Garden Fresh Gourmet Jack’s Special)
    • Romaine lettuce 
    • Cheese (if desired)

    Directions

    1. Spray crock pot. Place chicken breasts in bottom of crock pot. Pour taco seasoning (I used about 3/4 of the packet) and salsa (about 3/4 of container) on top of chicken.
    2. Set crock pot to low and let cook for 4-6 hours. 
    3. Shred chicken when ready to serve with two forks in crock pot (it should shred very easily).
    4. Place chicken into romaine lettuce and sprinkle cheese on top.
    5. Enjoy!

    I have also used this crockpot chicken for regular tacos and burrito bowls. It’s so versatile and so good! 

    Have a good rest of your week! 
    -M-

    Blue Apron Review

    Happy Monday! I hope everyone had a fun and relaxing weekend!

    I recently tried Blue Apron after receiving a free week of meals from a friend from work. I have been wanting to try a healthy meal delivery service for a while now and this was the perfect opportunity to do so. After making an account on the Blue Apron website, I selected the 2-person  meal option and that I only wanted chicken, fish, and vegetarian dishes (I don’t eat red meat). I was excited for my first delivery and was impressed at how well packaged it was upon arrival. There were large ice packs inside to keep everything cold along with individually packaged vegetables, meat, and everything else needed for the recipes (spices,  cheese, etc.). I always feel like I’m wasting produce when I make recipes and only use a little bit of a package of vegetables so it was nice that they only sent the amount you need.

    I received three meals, spiced chicken chili, baked ricotta cannelloni, and cajun catfish. I really enjoyed the spiced chicken chili and baked ricotta cannelloni. There was definitely enough for 2 people (Mike also approved of the dinners!). The recipes were easy to follow as there were preparation instructions such as washing and chopping vegetables and preheating the oven as well as detailed steps in a checklist format. The meals took about 30 minutes to make.

    I recommend a meal delivery service, such as Blue Apron, for those who don’t have time to dig through recipes or scroll through Pinterest for recipe inspiration and want healthy, easy dinner recipes. The recipes I received were something I wouldn’t normally make, but I really enjoyed them! You can’t beat ready-to-make, healthy, delicious meals at your doorstep!

    Have a great week!

    – M –

    Reunion in Arizona 

    Happy Monday! We had a great weekend together in Arizona! Time together always goes by too fast, but we were able to fit a lot of fun and quality time together in the few days we had.

    On Thursday, Meg arrived to Arizona and we celebrated Amanda’s birthday. We had a nice dinner at FnB which is a farm-to-table restaurant that offers shareable small plates. Then we got ice cream for dessert and had a relaxing night at home.

    We had a full day of fun planned on Friday. We woke up at a decent time to fit a workout out in before heading to Camelback Resort and Spa for massages. After our relaxing treatments, we had lunch. We headed home for some downtime before some more pampering. We got blowouts at DryBar (our fave!) before heading to dinner at Sumo Maya with Kevin. Sumo Maya is a Mexican Asian fusion restaurant and had a super fun atmosphere and lots of food options. We ended the night with some drinks at the bars in Old Town.

    After sleeping in a little on Saturday, we went to breakfast at Amanda and Kev’s favorite place, Butters, in preparation for our hike. We hiked Pinnacle Peak and enjoyed the views, each others’ company, and the beautiful weather! The day went by quickly and soon we were enjoying dinner at Isabella’s, and Italian restaurant. We picked up dessert on the way home and enjoyed a relaxing night at home.

    Before we knew it, Sunday rolled around. We started our Sunday with a sweat session at Bodi. Amanda and Kevin are regulars at Bodi, but it was Meg’s first time. The workout is a HIIT circuit-style class that included box jumps, ball slams, and weighted ropes. It was a killer workout for sure! After our workout, we watched the Michigan State basketball team’s victory against Michigan, Go Green! We are enjoying our final night together before Meg flies back to chilly, snowy Michigan tomorrow.

    It was a great weekend together and it is always hard to say goodbye when we don’t know when the next time we will see each other will be. We hope everyone has a great week!

    – A & M –

    Home for the Holidays

    Happy 2017 everyone! We were lucky enough to be able to spend the past week together and with family and friends. We celebrated Christmas, knocked out some workouts, and attended an MSU basketball game. Time together always flies by and we are already looking forward to our reunion in Arizona in a few weeks. We hope everyone had an amazing holiday season! Now it’s time to set goals for the new year! 

    -A & M –

    Holiday Workouts

    Happy holidays! It is Christmas week and I could not be more excited to go to Michigan this weekend to see family and friends! As some of you know, I got my NASM personal training certification this year and am passionate about fitness and teaching others how to work out in order to achieve results. I wanted to share some of my favorite upper and lower body moves along with two core blasts that can be mixed into a longer workout or done separately if you don’t have much time. Make sure to keep prioritizing your health and fitness during the holidays with these quick and easy moves!

    Upper body: 10-12 reps, 4 sets

    1. Overhead press: hold a barbell at chest level while standing and push it straight up overhead before returning it down to you chest. Try not to arch your back or lean forward as you extend the barbell.
    2. One-arm row on bench: using a kettlebell start in a split stance with one arm on a bench and your other arm holding a kettlebell. Extend the leg on the side you are holding the kettlebell back behind you. Keep your back flat and pull the kettlebell up towards your body and lower it back down while keeping your shoulder blades low and contracted.
    3. Core 1 (see below)
    4. Push-ups: start in a standard push up position with your back flat and your head in line. Lower down towards the ground until you are just slightly above the ground and drive  back up with a big exhale. Try a couple in a full push-up before dropping onto your knees or putting your arms onto a bench.

    Lower body: 10-12 reps, 4 sets

    1. Deadlifts with kettlebell: place a kettlebell on the ground, lowering down to grab it while hinging at the hips and keeping your back straight. Power through your legs to stand up straight with the kettlebell hanging towards the ground. Repeat the motion, slowly lowering down and powering up.
    2. Single leg lunges with barbell: hold a barbell across the top of your shoulders. Lower down into a lunge and come back up with your feet together before stepping forward into a lunge on the other side.
    3. Core 2 (see below)
    4. Mountain climbers: start in a plan position with your back straight and body in line. Draw your leg in towards your chest. As you push it back into the starting position, bring in your other leg. Alternative legs increasing the speed if you are able to.

    Core 1:

    1. Forearm plank hold: hold a plank position on your forearms for one minute, keeping your whole body in line. If one minute is too much, hold for 20 seconds and take a 10 second break and repeat three times.
    2. 30 second side plank hold: hold a side plank position on your forearm for 30 seconds, making sure to keep your body in line and not letting your lower body drop down.

    Core 2:

    1. Walking plank: start in a push up position with your back straight in a plank. Lower down onto one forearm and then the other. Push up off the first forearm that was lowered back into a fully extended push up position, raising the other arm. Repeat for 30 seconds alternating arms (down, down, up, up pattern).
    2. Russian twist: sit on the ground holding a medicine ball in the middle of your body. Lift your legs slightly off of the ground and begin twisting side to side, ensuring you are fully rotating your body and keeping your core braced inward.

    – A – 

    Back to School…

    Hi all! Hope everyone had a good weekend!

    Things have been so busy lately for me and that is partly because… I am back at Michigan State University! I was accepted to their Family Nurse Practitioner program and I just started my first semester this August! I am very excited to begin this next chapter in my career!

    I am going to school part-time and working full-time and it is definitely difficult to fit everything in, but I am making it work. The Nurse Practitioner program at MSU is mostly online so I am able to complete my work from Royal Oak without having to commute to East Lansing. After graduation in about three years, I will be qualified to work as a primary care provider in an office or clinic setting. I have always wanted to continue my education and am glad to be back at my alma mater doing so! I hope to someday make a greater impact as a Nurse Practitioner and be able to contribute to the health of a community. Until then, I will be busy studying and working a Labor and Delivery nurse (thank goodness for coffee)!


    Remember to always follow your dreams, no matter how difficult the path may seem! Have a great week friends!

    – M –

    Happy Mother’s Day!

    Happy Monday! We hope everyone had a lovely weekend and had time to thank the special mothers in their lives. Happy Mother’s Day to all of the moms out there!

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    We wanted to dedicate today’s post to our amazing mom. To us, she is not only a mother and role model, but she is our best friend. We love to spend time with her and know that she is always there for us no matter what. She helps us celebrate our accomplishments and is there for us through our disappointments. Our mom works as a preschool teacher and makes a positive impact on her students every day. We love to hear funny stories about what her students say and how she forms special bonds with each one. She has always puts others before herself in both her professional and personal life and will drop everything to help her family and friends. In her free time, she enjoys traveling, attending Michigan State games, and spending time with family. Our mom is very crafty and makes the most amazing baked good (cookies are her specialty). The list of her amazing qualities goes on and on! We are so lucky to have such a selfless, hard-working, and loving mother.

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    Thank you mom for everything you do for us! We hope you had a relaxing, enjoyable weekend. We love you so much!

    -A & M-

    Ariel Yoga

    Happy Monday friends! We hope you all had a relaxing and productive weekend.

    When we were together in Arizona a few weeks ago, we had the chance to try aerial yoga for the first time. We wanted to share our experience with you as many people have asked us what we thought of the class.

    While we have both been to yoga classes before, this was our first aerial yoga class. The class utilized the colorful hammocks the entire time. We started out with some stretching using the silks to help us stretch further. Then we moved into practicing yoga poses such as tree pose and downward dog. The instructor saved the best for last as we finished with inversions (flipping upside down). We were excited about the inversions since it is the most unique part of aerial yoga however we were a little timid at first since we had to rely on the silks to hold us up. The class lasted about an hour and the instructor was nice enough to save time at the end of class for photos (score!).

    Overall, we really enjoyed the aerial yoga class. It was a unique, fun workout and we were able to stretch and improve our yoga skills. It was definitely enjoyable to take the class together and we recommend using buddy system for your first time. Hopefully we can practice aerial yoga again in the future (bonus if it is together)!

    Namaste and have a great week!

    – A & M –