Barre Update

Happy Monday everyone! I am especially excited this Monday morning as I am off for a week after working all weekend. I am off to visit Amanda and Kevin in Arizona on Thursday for a long weekend, I can’t wait!

I wanted to share a barre update with you guys as it has been a while since I posted about it. I am still doing barre and LOVE it! I actually switched studios recently as I used to go to Pure Barre and now go to The Barre Code. I made the switch mostly due to location and price along with recommendations from friends, but I am very happy with my new studio. 

The Barre Code offers a large variety of classes including a standard barre class, cardio-based classes, and even stretching classes. My current favorite is called brawl which is kickboxing. I always work up a sweat during this class and love the energy behind it. I normally take a kickboxing or another cardio-based class as well as a couple barre classes each week. I am excited to try Burn which is barre in a heated room… it sounds intense! The Barre Code uses a variety of equipment each class including weights, resistance bands, kettlebells, and balls. 

I have been going with my friend from work which is so fun! Having a workout buddy and a monthly membership motivates me to sign up for classes each week. I definitely enjoy the variety of the classes The Barre Code offers and the times of the classes are easy to fit into my schedule. 

I hope everyone has a motivating Monday! 

– M –

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Seasonal Easy Weeknight Recipe 

Happy Monday! I can’t believe it is already Thanksgiving this week, this year is flying by! I wanted to share an easy recipe that is one of my go-to’s in the Fall and Winter. It also makes great leftovers and is healthy. I hope you enjoy it as much as I do!

Ingredients: 

  • 16 oz ground turkey
  • 10 oz sweet potato, cubed
  • 1 yellow pepper
  • 1/3 yellow onion
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp minced garlic
  • 1/2 cup mozzarella cheese
  • Salt and pepper to taste


Directions:

  1. Heat olive oil in skillet pan over medium-high.
  2. Add ground turkey and garlic. Cook turkey until brown, stirring occasionally.
  3. While turkey is cooking, cut up the pepper, onion, and sweet potato (I buy my sweet potato already cubed).
  4. When turkey is cooked through, add onion, pepper, salt, and pepper and stir.
  5. A few minutes later, add the sweet potato and stir. Cover with a lid and let cook for about 10 minutes or when sweet potato is tender.
  6. Turn heat down to low and sprinkle cheese over skillet. Allow cheese to melt before serving.

(thanks to Pinterest for the recipe inspiration) 

I hope everyone has a very happy Thanksgiving full of yummy food and family time!

– M –

Seasonal Smoothie

Happy Monday friends!

A while ago I shared my favorite smoothie on the blog and now I wanted to share a seasonal spin on a smoothie that I have been loving lately. With fall in full force and the holidays quickly approaching, there is nothing better than a healthy pumpkin smoothie to cool down after a workout or enjoy for an after-dinner treat.

Ingredients: 

  • 1/3 cup pure pumpkin
  • 2 frozen bananas, pre-sliced
  • 2 tablespoons yogurt
  • 2 scoops of your favorite protein powder (I use Protein World Slender Blend vanilla)
  • A drizzle of honey
  • 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
  • Almond milk

Directions:

  1. Combine all ingredients in blender using a splash of almond milk at first
  2. Continue to add almond milk until you reach desired consistency
  3. Pour and enjoy!

(photo cred: Alyssa Rodammer who introduced me to the recipe!)

Happy Fall ya’ll! Hope you are enjoying this beautiful season!

– M –

 

Our Fitness Quiz

Hi all! We know everyone loves quizzes so we took one of our own to share with you everything about how we workout and our passion for fitness in general. We have a lot of similarities, but also have some different preferences and favorites that we shared with each other. Let’s get to it!

  1. What’s your favorite type of workout and why?

A: I love strength training, using resistance to train my upper and lower body using both push and pull movements for full-body training. I have totally transformed my mindset from thinking that weight training is only for guys. 😉 I have been able to sculpt many parts of my body that I never made progress on with just cardio training.

M: It is hard to chose between running and barre. I really enjoy running especially when Michigan allows me to do so outside. I love putting on good tunes, forgetting about to-do lists, and breathing in the fresh air. I balance out the cardio from running with barre classes. It is a great way to keep my muscles toned and lean without having to think too much.

  1. What’s your favorite post-workout snack or meal?

A: I workout in the morning before work and enjoy two scrambled eggs right after my workout. A couple of hours later I’ll have a protein bar and an apple to hold me over until lunch.

M: A smoothie! I love making healthy, refreshing smoothies after a sweaty workout. Sometimes it even serves as my workout motivation. I have currently been making a pumpkin smoothie that is delicious, healthy, and festive!

  1. Where do you look for fitness inspiration?

A: I love following people who inspire me on Instagram (check out: @alexia_clark, @mytrainercarmen or @emilyskyefit) and I also read Scottsdale Health, a local magazine that highlights what’s going on in the fitness industry in Scottsdale.

M: I usually go on Pinterest to find workouts when I am in need of inspiration. I pin focused toning workouts such as arms or abs depending on what I am looking to work on that day. Also, I love reading blogs that are focused on healthy living and fitness.

  1. What’s your current fitness goal?

A: My fitness goal is to increase my strength and build lean muscle through strength training. I’m currently working on my squats, and I have most recently hit the 100lb mark! Although that may not be impressive to some, it’s my personal best and I’m proud of it!

M: My current fitness goal is to find a race, possibly a half marathon, to train for in the coming year. I have ran two half marathons as well as 10k’s and 5k’s with my dad. I love having a race scheduled to train for for since it really motivates me and I feel accomplished when I complete it.

  1. What’s your favorite healthy meal?

A: Eggs! I love breakfast and could eat it for any meal. On the weekends I love a good veggie omelet.

M: I love a good chopped salad that is full of protein and veggies, don’t forget the avocado!

  1. How many days a week do you exercise?

A: Usually six days a week. I try to carve out one rest day, but I’m always anxious to get back in the gym. Some days it’s a quick 25 minute workout before work, but it still counts right?!

M: I usually work out five days a week. When I work multiple nights in a row and have to sleep during the day, it can be hard to fit a workout in. I do Pure Barre once or twice a week and run or do a mix of cardio and strength training on the other days. It’s always good to get moving and work up a sweat!

Have a great week!

– A & M –

Healthy Spin on a Favorite Dinner

Happy Monday!

Nick and I like to cook dinner together and one of the first meals we ever made together was chicken parmesan. We still love this dish, but I was looking for a way to make it healthier. What better way to do this than swap out the pasta for zoodles to add some vegetables into the dish! We also used less breading and cheese than the chicken parmesan recipe we usually use calls for. I wanted to share this recipe with you all. I hope you enjoy it as much as Nick and I did!

Baked Chicken Parmesan with Zoodles

Ingredients: 

  • 1/2 cup bread crumbs
  • 1/4 cup parmesan cheese
  • 1 tsp Italian seasoning
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 egg
  • 3 zucchinis
  • 3-4 boneless chicken breasts (I used thin-sliced)
  • Olive oil
  • Mozzarella cheese
  • One jar of pasta sauce (I used tomato and basil Bertolli)

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Directions:

  1. Heat two separate pans on medium heat and place 1 tbsp of olive oil in each pan.
  2. Combine bread crumbs, parmesan cheese, Italian seasoning, and salt and pepper in a shallow dish.
  3. Beat one egg in another shallow dish.
  4. Place each chicken breast into egg first then breading mixture and into one of the heated pans.
  5. Cook chicken breasts for 3-4 minutes on each side until fully cooked.
  6. While chicken is cooking, use spiralizer to cut zucchini into zoodles.img_9682-2
  7. Place zoodles into other heated pan and cook for a few minutes.
  8. Once chicken is cooked, sprinkle mozzarella cheese (or place a slice of mozzarella cheese) on each chicken breast.
  9. Pour pasta sauce over chicken once mozzarella has melted and cook for a few minutes until sauce is warm.
  10. Serve chicken over bed of zoodles! Bon appetit!

– M –

Fall Fresh Meal 

Happy Monday! We can not believe this week is the official start of Fall! While we think Summer went by a little too fast, we are excited for the football, scarves and booties, and delicious recipes that come along with Fall.

What better way to start off Fall with a warm and cozy meal that is also healthy and easy! We wanted to share  a perfect meal for chilly day that includes white chicken chili and grilled peaches with ice cream for dessert.

White Chicken Chili

Ingredients:

  • 4 cups chicken broth (I used reduced sodium)
  • 2 cups water
  • 4 cups cooked shredded chicken (rotisserie works great!)
  • 2 15 oz cans Great Northern beans, drained
  • 2 cups salsa verde
  • 2 tsp ground cumin
  • Optional toppings: diced avocado, chopped fresh cilantro, chopped green onions, shredded cheese, sour cream

Directions:

  1. Shred chicken into bite-sized pieces.
  2. Combine chicken, chicken broth, water, beans, salsa verde, and cumin into large pot.
  3. Heat ingredients over medium-high heat until boiling.
  4. Reduce heat and simmer for at least five minutes.
  5. Serve warm with desires toppings and enjoy!

 

Grilled Peaches with Ice Cream

Ingredients:

  • 3 peaches, halved
  • Vanilla bean ice cream
  • 1 Tbs olive oil
  • 1 Tbs honey

Directions:

  1. Cut peaches in half and remove pits
  2. Brush with a light layer of olive oil
  3. Heat the grill to medium heat and place the peaches with the cut side down on the grill
  4. Cook for 2-3 minutes and then turn the peaches slightly to create hashed grill marks
  5. Cook for another 2-3 minutes and remove the peaches from the grill
  6. Top with a light drizzle of honey and a scoop of vanilla bean ice cream
  7. Enjoy!


We hope you enjoy this meal as much as we did! Happy Fall everyone!

– A & M –

Ways to De-Stress

Happy Monday friends! There is a lot going on for me right now as I am starting graduate school in the fall and my boyfriend, Nick, and I are moving into an apartment in a few weeks (more info to come)! Add a full-time job into the mix and things can be overwhelming. Between working, studying, and packing, it is important that I still make time for myself. De-stressing and relaxing is so important for your health so I wanted to share some of the ways I like to de-stress throughout a busy week (other than Bachelor and wine).

1. Yoga- Yoga is definitely one of my favorite de-stressors as it allows me to practice mindfulness and be immersed in the moment, forgetting  about my growing to-do list for a while. I like to attend yoga classes (especially ashtanga vinyasa) at my gym on the weekends, however there are also great yoga sequences on Pinterest (love this nightime one) and YouTube (Yoga With Adriene is the bomb).

2. Essential oils- I love using oils to boost my mood and enhance the space I am in. It’s amazing how much a scent can trigger certain feelings and also work to treat health symptoms. My favorite scents are lavender (definitely the best for relaxation), orange (an instant energizer), and peppermint (can instantly cure a headache). I was hesitant to try essential oils, but after hearing about them from fellow bloggers and seeing them in use at work, I had to try them out and definitely don’t regret it!

3. Spending time outside- Taking in the fresh air and just being out in the sunlight definitely lifts my spirits and puts me at ease. I often try to go outside on my breaks at work if I can. I also love taking my dog for a walk after dinner (isn’t she cute?!). When you live in Michigan, spending time outside in the summer is a must!

4. Reading a book- I love reading a chapter or two of a good book after a long day. It allows me put my other thoughts aside and dive into the character’s lives for a short time. It definitely helps me relax and unwind before I go to sleep.


What are your favorite ways to relax and de-stress? I hope you all have a stress-free week!

– M –

Snack Time!

Happy Monday! We can’t believe July starts this week. This year is truly flying by. We are anxiously awaiting our next visit in August when Amanda is back in Michigan!

We wanted to share some of our favorite healthy snacks since we both love snacking. We try to eat 4-6 small meals a day, and we both can’t go more than a few hours without snacking. It’s good to keep our metabolism going but we also make sure our snacks are healthy and aren’t full of empty calories that don’t satisfy us. Here are a few of our favorite snacks:

  • Apple with almond butter: This is the perfect afternoon snack. Combining a protein and a carb satisfies hunger longer and it tastes amazing!

  • Yogurt with no added sugar: Yogurt it a great snack but make sure it doesn’t have a lot of added sugars. Look for yogurt with less than 10g of sugar. They are harder to find and may not look as appetizing, but they are still yummy!

  • Handful of whole almonds: An easy snack to keep at your desk or in your purse. A handful of almonds can easily keep you full until your next meal.

  • Carrots with hummus: This tasty snack incorporates a veggie with a dip that provides protein and essential vitamins and minerals. You can choose from a variety of hummus flavors, our favorite is garlic or roasted red pepper.

  • Smoothie: One of the best snacks after a workout or on a hot day! We love making ours with frozen bananas, fresh fruit, protein powder, greek yogurt, and almond milk. See this past blog post for a peanut butter banana smoothie recipe.

togetheratheart_pb&bsmoothie

  • Cottage cheese with fruit: While this combination doesn’t sound very appealing together, it is so delicious! Just add pineapple or peaches on top of a serving of cottage cheese and enjoy!

    What’s your favorite healthy snack? We’d love to hear!

    – A & M –

    Favorite Health & Fitness Apps

    Happy Monday friends!

    Today we wanted to share our favorite healthy living apps that we use on our phone to keep us on track and motivate us. We love to use different apps to help inspire our workouts as well as our recipes. We hope you can use these apps as well!

    Meg’s Top Picks

    • Pinterest

    I am 100% obsessed with Pinterest, but I especially love using it to find inspiration for workouts and healthy recipes. When I go into the gym without a plan and need some quick inspiration to round out my workout I refer to my workout board where I have pinned many focused workouts such as abs, arms and leg workouts. I also have a couple treadmill workouts pinned that I often refer to. It makes my workout more exciting and different each time! I also love using recipes from Pinterest and most recently am loving any zoodle recipes (refer to last week’s post). Pinterest has never-ending healthy, easy recipes that are great to pin and look back on when you need some fresh meal ideas.

    • Nike Training Club

    I have had the Nike Training Club app for a while now and recently have been using it more often when I am looking for a  strengthening workout to follow an outdoor run (thank goodness for warm weather!). The app is free and easy to use as it groups workouts by type (strength, cardio, lean, focused workouts) and also by intensity (beginner, intermediate, advanced). The workouts are between 15-45 minutes long and include video demonstration of each move which is helpful. There are so many workouts to choose from and the ones I have completed thus far are definitely challenging!

    Amanda’s Top Picks

    • Personal Trainers on Instagram

    There’s not a better place to get fitness motivation than Instagram. Instagram has so many inspiring fitness and health related posts, and most personal trainers post great videos showcasing their workouts. My favorite trainer to follow is @mytrainercarmen. She’s an ACE trainer who posts awesome videos that are easy to follow in the gym when I’m wanting to mix it up in the gym. I also use Instagram to find healthy and beautiful looking recipes. I recently made a recipe from @cremedelacrumb1 that was delicious!

    • MINDBODY

    Anyone who knows me knows how much I love trying a variety of group exercise classes to challenge different muscle groups. Most group exercise studios use the MINDBODY software for their client’s to schedule classes. It’s a great app to have on hand when you’re looking to try a new studio, and want to read reviews and schedule your class all in one app. Most studios offer a free first class making it a no-brainer to get out there and try a new class!

    What healthy living apps do you use for inspiration? We’d love to hear from you!

    – A & M –

    Simple, Smart Dinner Swap-out

    Happy Memorial Day everyone! I hope you were able to enjoy the long holiday weekend while remembering those who served our country. I was working some of the weekend, but was still able to enjoy some sunshine and spend time with family and friends.

    Lately, I have been consciously trying to make healthy swaps in my diet that don’t compromise taste. A few weeks ago I purchased the Vegetti and I have been using it to make zoodles (zucchini noodles) in place of pasta in multiple recipes. The Vegetti is user and budget friendly and can turn multiple vegetables including zucchini, sweet potatoes, or carrots into noodles. I wanted to share one of the recipes I made last week with zoodles. My dad used to make this recipe often and I was craving it, but didn’t want the carb load from the pasta. So without further ado, here is the recipe, enjoy!

    Simple Chicken & Veggie Zoodle Pasta

    Ingredients

    • 2 pounds chicken breast
    • 3 peppers (I used one of each: orange, red, and yellow)
    • 1 container mushrooms
    • 4 zucchinis
    • Mediterranean Dipping Oil (or similar Mediterranean olive oil)
    • Olive Oil
    • Garlic pepper
    • Salt & Pepper to taste
    • Romano cheese

    Directions

    1.Begin by cutting chicken into small strips. Cook chicken in olive oil coated pan on medium until cooked through. Season with garlic pepper, pepper, and salt while cooking.

    2. Using the Vegetti, turn the zucchini into zoodles. I used the thick setting for this dish. Set aside.

    3.  Cut peppers into small strips. When chicken is done cooking, remove from pan and set aside. After adding more olive oil, cook peppers and mushrooms.

    4. While peppers and mushrooms are cooking in one pan, use another pan coated with olive oil to cook zoodles on medium. Season with salt and pepper and turn zoodles regularly to ensure all zoodles are cooked evenly.

    5. When veggies are done cooking, replace chicken back into pan with peppers and mushrooms and heat while zoodles finish cooking.

    6. Finally, top zoodles with chicken and veggie mixture. Drizzle with desired amount of Mediterranean dipping oil and top with romano cheese.

    I hope you guys enjoy this recipe as much as I did! What is your favorite vegetable noodle recipe? I would love to add more recipes to my collection! Have a great week!

    – M –