I’ve moved!

16 Nov

Get Healthy with Heather has moved to www.healthywithheather.com.

Come check out the new site, update your reader, re-subscribe by email and enter my giveaway going on!

Hope to see you there.

The run that kept on going

15 Nov

I just entered into week 3 of my half marathon training.  The first  couple weeks have gone by with different strides.  Week 1 was filled with excitement.  I ran 5 times, felt great and followed my plan.

Week 2 was filled with excuses.  I ran 3 times and they felt like pretty tough runs.

Week 3 started on Sunday with my long run – 6 miles.  My little brother (who’s running the half as well) and I set off in the late drizzly morning.  I could tell another tough run was going to happen.  I struggled and had to tell Trevor to not let me walk.  I just wanted to pack up my suitcase and get out of there, but I knew it would be over soon enough if I just kept one foot in front of the other.

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I had to play tricks with my mind to get through it – I’d find an object about 200-300 meters ahead and tell myself I only had to run till there.  Once I got there I’d pick a new object.  It actually worked pretty well.

In the end it turns out we were running pretty fast which is why the run was so challenging.  Trevor is a fast runner, but usually slows down for me.  Last week’s 5.5 mile long run was done at 8:40min/mile.  Sunday’s 6.1 mile run was at 8:10min/mile.  Yikes!  I’ve never ran that fast but it explains why I had such a tough time getting through it.

Looks like I’m making my way to the 8min/mile goal for the half marathon.  I just have to make sure I run with my buddy because I know I won’t be moving my legs that fast on my own.

Do you run/exercise with anyone?  Does it motivate you to go faster/work harder? It sure does for me.

Crunchy Peanut Chicken Strips

12 Nov

One of my favorite condiments is peanut sauce, or what I like to call saute sauce.  When we lived in Holland that’s what it was called.  My mom would make chicken strips or skewers and we’d dip our chicken in that warm peanuty sauce.  Anytime I eat Thai food I have to order peanut sauce.  I’m slightly obsessed. 

Peanut sauce isn’t loved by everyone in my house though.  Since it’s me and the husband by logical deduction that means he’s the one that doesn’t like it.  I don’t force him to eat it anymore, but I did find a way to enjoy the peanut and chicken flavor profile last night.

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Crunchy Peanut Chicken Strips (gluten free)

makes 4 servings

Ingredients

  • 2 large chicken breasts (about 1.5 lb), sliced into strips
  • 3/4 cup oats
  • 3/4 cup dry roasted peanuts
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powders
  • 1/4 tsp chili powder, pepper and sea salt
  • 1 egg
  • 1/8 cup milk of choice
  • 1/4 cup peanut flour
  • Olive oil spray

Directions

  1. Pre-heat your oven to 350 degrees.  Prepare a baking sheet lined with a wire rack.  Coat the rack with olive oil spray.
  2. In the food processor combine the oats and peanuts.  Pulse until it becomes a finer mixture but still with some larger chunks.  Place oat/peanut mixture in a bowl and stir in the garlic powder, chili powder, pepper and sea salt.
  3. In a large ziplock bag place the chicken and peanut flour.  Shake to coat the chicken with flour.
  4. Whisk together the egg and milk in a bowl.
  5. You should place your liquid and oat mixture placed near your rack.  Take the chicken, one piece at a time, and dip in the liquid, let the excess egg drip off, then dredge in the oat mixture.  Place on the wire rack and repeat with the remaining chicken strips.
  6. Coat the top of the chicken strips with olive oil spray.  Bake for 25 minutes, or until fully cooked through, but not overcooked. 

Variations

  • You could easily make this an almond chicken by substituting in almond meal for the peanut flour and whole almonds for the dry roasted peanuts.
  • Change up the size of strips.  Make little nuggets or large pieces – whatever works for you!

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How to make custard oats

11 Nov

A few weeks ago I posted my how-to on making egg white oats.  Truth be told I eat custard oats much more often than egg white oats.  Egg white oats give you a ton of volume whereas custard oats give you a more creamy bowl of oatmeal. 

In the past I used to only eat the whites of egg – no yolks please.  Those days are in the past and I regularly eat 1-2 whole eggs a day now.  The yolk is full of vitamins and minerals that help our bodies function properly, plus it’s a good source of healthy protein
An egg a day keeps the doctor away, right? Winking smile

How to make custard oats

Begin by heating your water/milk up to a soft boil (I used 3/4 cup water + 1/4 cup soymilk for 1/3 cup oats). 

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Add the oats with a pinch of sea salt, stir and reduce to about medium heat.

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Crack your egg into a bowl.  I use 1 egg for my oatmeal.  Beat with a fork until light yellow and a bit frothy.

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After about 8 minutes your oatmeal should look like this.  Still a tiny bit watery, but the oats have softened up nicely.

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Turn the heat down to low, slowly pour in the egg and stir a lot really quickly.

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Keep stirring until your oatmeal begins to get really creamy and custard like.  That’s when you know the egg has cooked thoroughly.  Add any spices, like cinnamon, that you want.  I added peanut flour + some extra milk into this bowl.

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Pour into a bowl and top with fresh fruit, nut butters, granola, seeds or whatever you like.  Pomegranates go great with a subtle peanut flavor.

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Have you tried custard oats or even egg white oats before?  Which do you prefer?

Did you join in on the mini-challenge?  Those that have, how’s your second day going?  Keep up the good work!

Also, yes it’s a shocker but you CAN train your cat to use a toilet.  It’s a lot of work and persistence at the end, but we’re about 90% there.  It’s the funniest looking thing too.

Wednesday’s Weekly Workout Mini-Challenge: Doubles

10 Nov

So far I’ve gone through 3 weekly workout mini-challenges: pull ups, squats and kitchen lifts (calf raises).  I hope some of you have taken part in them too!  It’s been an easy and not overbearing way to move a bit more throughout the day. 

I have a big challenge I’m working on that will kick off my 2nd year here on Get Healthy with Heather.  More on that fun challenge soon, but for now I’m going to combine 2 recent challenges for this week’s workout mini-challenge. 

I found the most benefit to come from the pull ups and squats.  The pull ups will stay at the bathroom station, but the squats will move to my kitchen station.  I like variety so having both of these going on for the next 7 days will be a fun change.

Doubles Workout Mini-Challenge

I set up my pull up bar in the bathroom door so every time I go to use the bathroom I have to do 2 pull ups.

I’ll switch between close grip pull ups and chin ups for a bit of variety.  Again I’ll try to incorporate a few wide grip pull ups because I have a never ending battle with those.

Check out the original post for modification to the pull up bar exercise.

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In the kitchen I’ve set up my squat station.  I put a note on my fridge that says -10 squats – so each time I go into the kitchen I do 10 squats.  Easy as that.

I’m leaving out my 10 lb kettlebell this time just because I don’t really have a place to put it in the kitchen.

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Make sure your knees do not go forward beyond your toes, so you’re really sitting back and down during this exercise.  Keep your core stable by contracting your abs.

This week will focus not only on one muscle group but multiple with the upper body pull up and lower body squat.

What challenge will you take on for the next 7 days?

Energize Yourself with Food

9 Nov

The past few weeks we’ve been in the process of training our cat to use the toilet (again).  We almost got there last year, but with much resistance had to revert back to the litter box.  I look forward to the day I can finally throw out the litter box for good, and not have to clean up any litter for that matter.

Unfortunately for me, with the time change my cat Stoner decided that he still wanted to wake up at his normal time.  Normally he wakes me up at 4:45am, just a bit before my alarm goes off.  Monday morning 4:45 turned into 3:45am.  Usually I’d just put him in the downstairs bathroom where his litter box is and go back to sleep.

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Why am I telling this story?  Well because with the potty training he has to be supervised which meant I had to be awake.  Once awake I’m awake for good so I was quite the early bird Monday morning.

I was pretty productive for a few hours, but then my productivity dropped off around 9am and the tired feeling hit.  I’d already had my 1 cup of coffee and didn’t want to rely on more.  If I was home I’d take a nap, but at work that’s not an option.

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I opted for food to energize me.  Most of the time when I’m super tired I just crave carbs – pasta, bread or oatmeal are my go to foods.  But when I’m dragging tired I know one food that will actually give me lasting energy. 

Vegetables

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I’ve found that when I eat a spinach salad with nuts, fruits and/or other veggies I become instantly energized.  Same goes with green smoothies. 

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I put as much spinach in them as possible along with banana and peanut butter and after a few minutes of blending I have energy in a cup.

Vegetables are full of water which helps keep you hydrated.  Put that together with the enormous amount of vitamins and minerals you get from vegetables and it makes sense that they would be an energizing food.

Try this – the next afternoon when you’re ready to go for that extra cup of coffee, eat a small spinach salad with some sliced apples and almonds on it.  Drink a glass of water and wait 15 minutes.  I bet it gives you some energy. 

It’s worked for me any times.  Ever since I discovered this I try to keep an extra small salad at work with me just for this reason.  Vegetables really are my go to energy food.

What are your thoughts on this?  Do you think it would work for you?

10 Minute Upper Body Interval Workout

8 Nov

During my first week of half marathon training I ran a total of 5 times.  Wow – that’s a lot for me!  Since I’ve been dedicating more time to running I’ve been including a few more super quick interval workouts instead of my longer strength workouts.  Most of the time I do body weight exercises and really give them my all during each intervals.

Intervals have been so much fun for me lately.  It’s easier to push yourself knowing that you only have to do the exercise for 20-50 seconds. 

Let me know if you try this one out.  I was feeling the workout in my triceps, shoulders and chest the next few days after completing this 10 minute workout.

It’s super quick but super effective.

Set the timer for 15 rounds with 10 seconds of rest and 30 seconds of work (if you don’t have an interval timer here’s a link to a free online interval timer).

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There are 5 exercises you will do, 3 times through.  You won’t get much rest – just enough time to get ready for the next exercise.  If you need more than 10 seconds rest you can change your interval timer to allow for more rest.  Your workout will be longer than 10 minutes then.

Write down how many of each exercise you do.

10 Minute Upper Body Interval Workout

1. Tricep pushups

Begin in a high plank position with you arms close to your body.  Keep your body in a straight line and lower your chest to the ground (or as close to the ground possible), while bending your elbows back.  Make sure to keep your elbows close to your body and use your triceps to push back up to the starting position.

*Modification: Do this on your knees

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2. Swimming supermans

Begin laying on your stomach with legs and arms extended.  Swim your arms out to the side and around (like a breast stroke) and lift your chest up, arms back and legs up.

*Modification:  Keep your legs on the ground and do not lift up as high

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3. Legs elevated high plank to low plank

Begin with your feet on a chair, hands on the ground at shoulder width.  Hold your body in a straight line.  One arm at a time, drop down to your elbows.  Once you are on both elbows, press up back to high plank, one arm at a time.

*Modification: Keep your legs on the ground instead of elevated.

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4. Pike press

Begin in an upside down V position, hands a bit wider than your shoulders, legs out wide.  Bend your elbows and lower the top of your head to touch the ground (not your forehead).  Press back up to the starting position.

*Modification: Do not lower your head to touch the ground, just as low as possible.

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5. Mountain climbers

Start in plank on your hands and feet.  Jump your right foot forward, then switch to your left.  Switch back and forth as quickly as you can.

*Modification: Instead of jumping quickly between your feet, slow it down into a step between feet.

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