Healthy Greek Layer Dip

 Sometimes I struggle to stay on track when an event comes up. It doesn’t even have to be a big event-if there are snacks, I will partake. 

I had been doing really good so far this year, eating clean and working out daily so when my monthly book club meeting was coming up, I started looking for a healthier dish to bring. (It helped that a fellow member vowed to stay on track with me at the meeting. I need all the support I can get!) 

I decided on a Greek layer dip and it was amazing! We ate almost all of it! Even the girls who weren’t watching their food intake raved about it! So here’s the recipe…

  • 1-10 oz container of garlic hummus
  • 1 cup plain Greek yogurt (mmmm protein)
  • 1T  dried dill
  • 1T lemon juice 
  • 1/2 cup grape tomatoes-quartered
  • 1/2 cup chopped cucumber
  • 1/3 cup chopped lala maya olives
  • 1/3 cup goat cheese
  • Parsley for garnish

First, mix the Greek yogurt, dill and lemon juice together and set aside.

Spread garlic hummus on the bottom of an 8×8 dish then dollop the Greek yogurt mix on top and spread even to form the second layer. Then top with everything else, sprinkling parsley on the top to garnish. 

  
I served it with cucumber slices (and also brought pita chips for everyone else) Between my dip and the delicious low carb pinwheels that my dieting-partner-in-crime brought, it was easy to stay on track. I’ll be bringing this to many a party from now on!

   
See the nice little layers? And the cute scribble on my cutting board from my child.

   
Seven of us devoured this!

6 Tips For Eating Healthy on a Budget

6 tips for eating healthy on a budget

Planning meals for a family can be hard, planning healthy meals can be expensive!
Here are 6 tips for eating healthy on a super tight budget.

1. Make double recipes and freeze the leftovers.

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When making healthy dinners, you can stretch your dollar further by doubling or tripling the recipes and then freezing the leftovers for future meals. Just a few extra bucks can make the difference between 1 dinner or 4. Try things like casseroles or crock pot meals that freeze well and reheat easily. One of my go-to’s is baked spaghetti. I can make 3 meals for my family of 4 for super cheap!

2. Go to the Farmer’s Market at the end of the day.

BFM produce for blog book

BFM produce for blog book

Produce at the farmers market is usually around the same price as the grocery store but at the end of the day, the vendors want to unload as much as they can before packing up and leaving. This usually means a discount on your fruits and vegetables and most of the time, they will throw in some extras for free!

3. Buy fresh veggies when they are in season and freeze them.

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We all know fresh produce can be expensive, but when it is in season, its a lot cheaper. Buy as much as you can and freeze them for future quick meals like stir-frys.

4. Plan your meals around what is on sale.

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Instead of making your meal plans and then shopping for whats on your menu, try looking to see whats on sale and planning your meals according to that. If you find a good deal on chicken, stock up and look for recipes to coordinate.

5. “Day Old” doesn’t mean “expired”.

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A lot of grocers have pre-cooked rotisserie chickens which are budget friendly to begin with. You can shred the meat and use for salads, stir fry, tacos…anything throughout the week. But they don’t always sell all of the hot and fresh ones every day. Usually you can find yesterdays rotisserie chickens on sale in the deli section for a couple bucks less.

6. Add hearty grains or legumes to make a meal stretch.

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Your protein doesn’t always have to be the star of the show. Things like brown rice, quinoa and black beans can be a cheaper option to fill you up without breaking the bank on expensive meat.

Shakeology Fudge

Trying to stay on track during the holidays can be such a struggle. My sweet tooth goes crazy and wants cookies, chocolate, cocoa and FUDGE!
Fudge is a huge weakness for me.
I’m trying my best to not stray from my healthy eating course so I decided to make some healthy fudge to get me through these horrendous cravings.
Behold Shakeology “fudge”. IMG_6450.JPG
I’m not sure if you can really call it fudge but it’s super easy and does the trick for me. I actually came across this concoction by messing up a recipe for shakeology brownies that a friend sent me. Sometimes mistakes are blessings!
Ingredients:
1T peanut butter
1T coconut oil
1 scoop or packet of chocolate shakeology
1/4t stevia

Instructions:
Melt peanut butter and coconut oil in microwave.
Add shakeology and stevia.
Mix well and flatten into storage container.
Cut into squares.
Refrigerate (sets up in 5 minutes)

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I’ve also made this with vanilla shakeology and added 1/4t pumpkin pie spice. Delish!
Want more recipes? Need help staying on track? Email me!  jmkpeterson@gmail.com
Want to join my New Years health and fitness group? Shoot me an email jmkpeterson@gmail.com and sign up for me to be your free coach here. https://www.teambeachbody.com/signup/-/signup/free?referringRepId=319016

Happy Healthy Holidays!

Insanity Max 30 Finished!

Its done! Well it was actually done months ago and I forgot I was blogging about it! Super freaking typical of me. But its cool, I can pick up where I left off.

Month 2

It was harder, there were less breaks. I sweat…a lot. I was tired and I didn’t want to do it and it took me a week longer than it should have. BUT I did that ish!

I did it hard! And I lost 8 lbs and 8.25 inches!! Not bad for 60 (67) days of working out and eating clean. Oh yeah, and only following the modifier! I didn’t even go balls to the damn wall and I feel like I got rill, RILL good results.

I also got super strong. Like super human strength! I was able to finish out my final week without maxing out in any workout!

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If you want to give it a try, head here –>> http://www.teambeachbody.com/shop/-/shopping/MAX30Base?referringRepId=319016 

Or try it with Shakeology and maximize your results –>> http://www.teambeachbody.com/shop/-/shopping/BCPIM205?referringRepId=319016 

Month 1 of Insanity Max:30-Modified

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Month one is DONE! And I was finally able to make it through Friday Fight without maxing out, it only took me 4 tries 🙂

I have to say, for someone that really hates cardio, this was FUN!! I’m really excited to see what Month 2 will bring. Thats where the “magic” happens and you really see your body transform.

I have been doing this program following the modifier and it was still a challenge. I was quickly able to make it through most workouts without maxing out. But that doesn’t mean it was easy! It was CHALLENGING! I tried to push myself until the next break, “If I can make it 2 more minutes, I can take that break and I can make it through the whole thing.” I talk to myself a lot through my workouts, I also talk to Shaun T. a lot too, mostly yelling at him. And even though I hate him for that 30 minutes, he really is awesome. He is super motivating, I actually feel like he is in my living room making me push harder, go longer and cheering me on.

In week three, the schedule changes just a bit, adding Tabata Strength in place of Tabata Power. It may be my favorite one. There are no water breaks, just the 10 seconds “off” between each 20 second move. I feel like I got my best workouts in with Tabata Strength.

I loved seeing my improvements week to week. I am so competitive that I loved trying to beat my last time. Once I made it through a workout without maxing out, the challenge was to push harder next time. The one that had me maxing out dang near every time was Friday Fight, Round 1. I felt like a BADA** when I finally completed the whole thing!

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Even more bada**, I lost 6 pounds and 5 inches! BOOM! You CAN get results using the modifier, working out 5 days a week. I didn’t do anything extra, I ate clean and I stayed committed to my workouts, clean eating and my shakeology! No pills, no wraps…hard work, dedication and proper nutrition=results!

Speaking of results, my last challenge group lost over 100 pounds in just 3 weeks!! I host an online challenge group every month in a private Facebook group. I provide my personal meal plans each week and we get group support and motivation. This last group was so fun! A lot of the ladies continue in the groups each month to help them stay on track. If you’re interested, send me a message or friend request on Facebook and I can get you set up in my next group. https://www.facebook.com/julia.kelly2 or shoot me an email jmkpeterson@gmail.com

Insanity Max:30 Week 1, Modified

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Finally, my first post on my new page! This has taken waaay longer than expected so I appreciate your patience with me, especially because I really shouldn’t be allowed to “do technology”. I also welcome ANY advice on any of my screw-ups you see along the way. (It seriously took me half an hour to get that photo at the top)

So week one of Insanity Max:30 is done! I freaking LOVE IT! It’s intense, it is fun, it is HARD and Shaun T. is super motivating. If you haven’t heard of it, the point of the program is to go as hard as you can for as long as you can. When you finally hit your max and need to take a break, you write down the time. That is your “max out” time. Each time you do that workout, you try to go a little longer and push a little further than the last time. I am extremely competitive so this is fun for me. You’re competing with yourself and getting better and stronger as a result.

IM:30 is the first Beachbody program to offer a modifier track where the person modifying the moves (doing a low impact version of the workout) is on the screen the whole time. I decided to follow the modifier for the whole 60 day program for a few reasons

1. The modifier track is really cool and I wanted to try it out.

2. I just finished Body Beast and I was super “cardio-light” for awhile and I was scared of an intense cardio routine.

3. I saw before and after pics of a girl that followed the modifier for only 30 days and she had INSANE results!

4. I often have people scared to do a program because it seems too hard but they are afraid they won’t see results if they modify.

So here it is, week one! My experience, my loves, my hates, my struggles and my tips for surviving. Oh and my son sometimes decides to do it with me. He’s cute, his form is bad and he’s better than me at 5 years old. He may have some tips too.

Day 1: Cardio Challenge

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If you’ve ever done a Shaun T. workout before, there is a “fit test” that you take at the beginning and the end to gauge your progress. “Cardio Challenge” is the fit test for IM:30. So for my records, I was fit enough to make it through 17 min and 29 seconds of the modified (low impact) version before I needed to take a break.

Ok, this is harder than I thought. Ive been doing Beachbody workouts for over a year. I was just sure that I could do the modified version with ease…WRONG! I maxed out at 17:27. And that doesn’t mean it was easy up until then. I was sweating, I was pushing hard and I may have even cried a little during “plank-jack/in and out abs”.

It starts with a “warm up” for the first 5 minutes. I use that term loosely, it is still pretty intense. Then you get a 30 second break before he jumps right into the hard stuff. The good thing is that there is a 30 second break every 5 minutes. So if you can push through, you’ll get your breaks without maxing out. I think it was the scissor stance jacks that did me in and I’m not sure I could have held out for 2 and half more minutes until the last break. I’m actually not sure if I even tried to finish the rest of the set, its all a blur really. The moves are about 30-45 seconds each and you repeat them 3 times in each set. I think that knowing the time of each move is your frienemy. Sometimes its uber helpful and other times i think I’m done and realize theres still 28 god-forsaken seconds left and I want to throat-punch Shaun T. through the screen…but I just don’t have the energy.

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Next time. Next time will be better.

(Parker didn’t max out…jerk)

Day 2: Tabata Power

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Somebody shoot me! What the hell did I get myself into? I effing HATE cardio!! The 4 minute warm-up had effing lunges in it! LUNGES people!! I hate those jerks more than cardio itself! Ok, but just for 30 seconds, repeated twice…I survived.

30 second break before the Tabata madness begins. If you’re not familiar, Tabata is 20 seconds of a high intensity move (or in my case, modified) followed by a 10 second break. The ten second break sounds doable. I can handle it. Oh crap, its all LUNGES! Four moves, 20 seconds on, 10 seconds off, repeated twice. I made it to the second water break at 8:30. I deserve a cupcake.

The second set is all planks and pushups tabata-style, 4 different moves, repeated twice. I maxed out at 12:35. The push up/rows defeated me. But what really ticks me off is that had I pushed through for another freaking 25 seconds, I would have made it to the next water break at 13:00. Gonna make a note of that for next time.

LOVED the next set, all power jumps and high knees, which modified meant mostly high knees which I kind of rock at. The four and a half minutes flew by and there was another break.

Oh, now abs. Greeeeaaaat. Only 4:30 to my next break, I can do this! I kind of did it.

So the next 4 moves are variations of tricep dips which I’m super excited about because I really need to work on my triceps! I maxed out again. Man I really need to work on my triceps.

Last break at 26:30 (There are a LOT of breaks in this one, thank God) The last 3 minutes were a combo of every move that I hated in all of the sets- all 30 seconds each. I finished!!!

2 minute cool down

I deserve a cupcake.

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Once again, Parker didn’t max out although I’m not sure his form was really on point…but whatever.

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Day 3: Sweat Intervals

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Five minute warm up followed by a 30 second break. Easy, I’m getting used to this. Oh wait, not a water break, a stretching break. Can you call that a break?

First set, four and half minutes of some pretty fun moves even though squats were invoked. 30 second break at 10:00 i’m ROCKING THIS!

Ok so the next set wasn’t necessarily super hard but the moves were 45 seconds each. Home-girl don’t play that. Not with moving squat jabs and wide pike-ups. I maxed out at 13:35. Note to self: Effing BREATHE and tough it out for 1:25 longer next time. Water break at 15:00 I almost puked.

At 30 seconds for each move, I was able to stick this round out until the next break at 20:05

Next set, I’m feeling pretty good. 30 second moves, I’ve got this…Until the power knee. I maxed out again.

Break at 25:00 ( I really should be able to tough this crap out for 5 minutes at a time!)

Burpee lunge, cross-jack/jab, I got this ish yo!

DONE! Cool down-2:00. I’m feeling pretty damn good. I think I’ll do Ab Attack.

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Ab Attack:10

Why the eff did I do ab attack? Right because I want abs. Well this should do it! 10 ab-wrenching moves-1 minute each. I maxed out at about 30 seconds on each freaking move!

I’ll do better next time.

Day 4: Tabata Power

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Lucky me! I get to do it twice in 1 week!! I wish there were an italic just for sarcasm.

So I increased my max out time by almost 13 minutes!! I wanted to quit around the same time I did Tuesday but I remembered that a break was coming so I stuck it out until 25:10! Feeling like a total bada** even though the cute little jerk didn’t max out…again.

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Day 5: Friday Fight-Round 1

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So I don’t really know when the warm-up ended and the workout began because THERE IS NO BREAK UNTIL 15:00!!! I maxed out at 11:39. I think it was “speed in and out abs” that did me in. I really need to down some E&E before this one next time.

As tough as it was, this may be my favorite one so far. Super tough but lots of fun. Combat, mixed martial arts type workouts are my favorite.

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(Really bad form, but he’s doing it man!)

I actually beat Parker. He maxed out at 9:08. In all fairness he said his tummy hurt. He jumped back in with me at the second and final break around 25:30. We are both POOPED! We deserve a cupcake but we settled for shakeology instead.

Day 6: Pulse (optional)

I decided not to do the optional 20 minute “pulse” workout because I didn’t feel like it and I’m grown and I do what I want! You’re not my dad! But Parker did it and I’m glad I skipped it. Although the extra stretch would be nice, it looked like a bunch of my most hated moves for about a minute each and then stretches for about 30 seconds in between the (much needed) static movements. I think it will be a good workout for the weeks that really kick my a**.

I will CRUSH week 2. Week 2 is my B$&*^!!