Saturday, April 21, 2012

Keeping it Real - Back

Workout Log

Set #1
Set #2
Set #3
Set #4 (& notes)
Assisted Pull-ups
5/40 & 5/40
Single Arm db Rows

T-Bar Row
Seated Close-Grip Row
Lat Pull-Down

Cardio:  Treadmill 20 minute Interval Sprints - 1:1.  5 minute warm-up - level 5.5, incline 1.0.  13 minutes sprint intervals - level 8.5, incline 1.0.  (30 seconds sprint, 30 seconds rest).  2 minutes light jog level 4.0, incline 1.0.

Friday, April 20, 2012

Stir It Up - Chicken Stir-Fry

I know in some households trying to get your kids to eat vegetables can be a challenge.  Mine included.  I do acknowledge that each of my children have their own "tastes" and that could be a result of their development or just what they like and don't like.  BUT, I am not one of those parents that will make separate meals to satisfy each of my children.  

I think it is important that mealtime be a family event, where we all eat together, at the dinner table and we eat the same thing.  One eating rule we have when there is something that they don't like or are unfamiliar with, is that they must have one try-it bite.  If it is a vegetable that they don't care for, like broccoli or brussel sprouts, they have to eat at least two.  To avoid any unnecessary tension at the table, I tend to make meals where the veggies are not the main attraction or are disguised in a broth or sauce.  I have tried stir-fry's in the past, but it was such a struggle to get them to eat it.  Until recently!   I made up this recipe, as I remembered that kids tend to favor food that is on the sweeter side.  To my amazement there were requests for seconds!

Chicken Stir-Fry

1 cup

Chicken Broth ½ for sauce, ½ for steaming
2 tbsp ea

plum or apricot jam, reduced-sodium soy sauce (I use Braggs Liquid Soy Seasoning)
1 tbsp ea

hoisin Sauce, grated gingerroot, and cornstarch
1 tsp

sesame oil

clove garlic, minced
¼ tsp

crushed red pepper flakes (optional)
1 tsp


boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut either in strips or cubes
1 cup

red bell pepper, sliced
1 cup ea

broccoli and cauliflower, cut into small florets
1 cup

carrots, diced, sliced on the diagonal or match-sticks
½ cup

purple onion, slice finely
¾ cup

celery, sliced on the diagonal
½ cup

mushrooms, sliced

Note regarding the Veggies:  the grocer where I purchase my produce makes up packages of pre-cut veggies for stir-frying.  I tend to buy this, as it is convenient.  Each package is about 4 cups worth of veggies, including broccoli, cauliflower, carrots and onions.  I then would add peppers, celery and mushrooms (not my kids favorite, but easy to pick out).  The great thing about this recipe is that you can modify it based on your kids likes.

  • To make sauce, combine ½ cup broth, jam, soy sauce, hoisin sauce, gingerroot, cornstarch, sesame oil, garlic, and crushed red pepper flakes in a small bowl.  Set aside.
  • Heat oil in a wok or large non-stick frying pan (or any large frying pan that you would cook chicken in that doesn't stick).  Add your chicken.  Cook and stir until no longer pink inside.  Chicken can be tested by lightly pressing on it and if it is still spongy then it needs a bit more time -
  • Remove chicken to a plate and cover to keep in the heat
  • Add your cut veggies to the wok/pan.  You may need to add a little bit more oil.  This is the stir-fry part.  Over medium high heat, keep the veggies moving until they are tender crisp.  Just remember, the longer you cook veggies, the more nutrients are lost.  Now comes the steaming part...just for a minute or two.  Add the remaining ½ cup of broth and cover the pan.  Note:  I learned this trick by watching a Japanese chef at a restaurant called KOBE's where they cook right in front of you!  Yum!
  • Remove the lid and add the sauce.  Cook and stir until the sauce begins to thicken. 
  • Turn the heat down to medium and add back the chicken.  Stir until the chicken is coated with the sauce.
  • Serve with brown rice (or whatever rice your kids like.  We also eat this with Jasmine and Basmati rice or Soba Noodles)
Enjoy and let me know of any feedback!

Forever (Yours) In the Kitchen,


Keeping it Real - Hams/Glutes/Calves

Work Out Log Book

I am sorry it is so small...I was having formatting issues...ended up converting from doc to pdf to jpg!

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Not So Clean Butterscotch Chip Cookies and keeping this blog going....

Keeping a blog is a lot harder than I thought.  I like to give 100% when I do something, and keeping a blog is difficult when you don't have oodles of free time.  There is always something going on or little people who need me.  In the evenings, once the kids are all nestled in their beds, I then have the time to....finish with the dinner dishes, complete and put away the laundry, address any house cleaning that was not finished or attempted i.e. bathroom, and then, only then, I will sit down and have a little Chelsea time (Yes.  The coveted glass of wine is cherished at this time, on occasion).  However, once I am relaxed, I am too zoned out to write a blog.  I have many ideas and recipes to share, but its finding the time to put out something worth reading.  I am not a selfish person, but I like to share...

I do tend to dabble in Facebook, probably a lot more than I should.  But only because it generally focuses around mindless tidbits that take a few minutes out of my time.  I am usually on Facebook when I am drinking a shake, a cup of green tea or downing my 72 oz of daily water consumption.  Facebook has become a very interesting way to socialize and to catch up on current events (that is a joke, because most of the things I see on Facebook is either witty, thought-provoking or just dirty and rude).  I am a very open minded person, that holds no judgement towards others; however, there are some things that just shouldn't be out there...children have access to the internet too!  

I know...mindless babble!  Here we go with a sweet little recipe that I call my own.

It was the summer of grade three.  As usual, my brother and I were spending the summer at the Leask Farm in Saskatchewan.  This is where I started to bake.  Once back home in Saskatoon, I would have free range of the kitchen and baked quite often.  This is a recipe that I have been using since the eighties; however, it has been modified to make it a "little" on the healthier side, but not too much!

Butterscotch Flaxseed Cookies

First thing, take out your butter and eggs and bring to room temperature.  A good 4 hours is needed for the butter.

Preheat oven to 350 F - Note:  Baking time is dependent on where you live.  In Saskatchewan this recipe was 375 for 10 to 12 minutes. In the Pacific Coast, 350 F for 10 minutes

Prepare two cookie sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking sheet.  I use one cookie sheet without the rim and the other has the rimmed border.

1 cup

Butter, unsalted
¾ cup

Brown Sugar
½ cup

White Sugar, organic or sucanat
1 tsp


1 cup

White Flour,  All Purpose & Unbleached, or whatever you have on hand
1 ¼ cup

Whole Wheat Flour
¼ cup

Flax Seed, ground
1 tsp

Baking Powder
1 tsp
1 cup

Butterscotch chips (or Chocolate)

Cream butter, add sugars.  Mix until creamy in texture.  Add eggs and vanilla and mix again.  Sift the dry ingredients together in a separate bowl.  Any germ and flax left in the sifter can be poured into the dry ingredients and then given a little stir.  Now add the dry ingredients into the wet.  Mix well.  If using a stand mixer, mix for about 3 - 5 minutes on level 4.  Now add the chips and stir with your hand, as the paddle attachment for the stand mixer will just mess up your chips.  Using a small icecream scoop or two small spoons, drop your dough about an inch apart on prepared cookie sheets.  I make my cookies about and inch and a half in diameter.  Cook for 10 minutes or just until the edges start to brown.  This is were the test is, as every stove is different.  I like my cookies a bit soft in the middle, so 10 minutes at 350 F is perfect in my house.  Let rest for 10 before transferring to a cooking rack.  This is a small batch, about 3 dozen.  My kids love this recipe...I hope yours does too!

Enjoy and let me know of any feedback.  

Forever (Yours) In the Kitchen,


Wednesday, February 29, 2012

First Workout Blog - Introduction & Cardio Day

On this blog I will be keeping track of my workouts.  I have recently been following the Jillian Michaels "Making the Cut" workouts.  I am struggling with toning up and losing that last 10 lbs of baby weight.  I guess really I can't call it "baby weight" any more, as Jolie is now 4 1/2!  I am very aware that eating a clean diet with the right proportions of macro-nutrients is 90% of the equation; however, like many women, I struggle with "getting it".  I have to be very careful on what I eat because genetics is not on my side (sorry parents).  Plus now that I am forty, I find that I put weight on very easy.  I am not obsessive about it, I just want to live a long and healthy life and to set an example for my children.  I am also clearly aware that my wine consumption is not helping me reach my goals.  HOWEVER, since starting this routine in January, I am seeing results.  I don't necessarily follow the menu plans/diet in the book, but the workouts are phenomenal.

"Making the Cut" is a good start for those wanting to lose the last 10 to 20 lbs and/or to get toned.  To begin this program; however, your level of fitness must be at least moderate to advance.  The understanding of this workout is that you are already a serious gym goer and know the techniques.  If not, you may hurt yourself and then be discouraged and perhaps throw in the towel.  "Making the cut is an intense, one-of-a-kind, 30 day program designed to maximize your potential so that you get dramatic results at an accelerated pace."  Although I am going to be posting these workouts, I think purchasing the book is a good idea, as it does explain all the techniques in detail, includes recipes and menu plans, has insightful and encouraging tidbits from Miss Michaels and is just a good book to have on hand for reference.

Today was an "Off" day.  On these days I complete 30 to 60 minutes of interval cardio routines.  I started with 30 minutes of "Random Play" on the Stepmill - level 15 working up to level 20 by the 15th minute.  For those of you not familiar with the Stepmill, I describe it as a revolving escalator that is a cross between a stepper and a treadmill.  This is an intense cardio machine.  Seriously.  You work up quite a sweat on this lovely piece of equipment.  I have to do the Stepmill first, or I won't be able to complete my treadmill run, which is my second portion of this workout.

Generally I would do this workout first thing in the morning (5:30 a.m.) on an empty stomach (for burning fat!); however, my husband is out of town.  So I had a 1/2 cup of oats at 7:30 and started this workout at 9:30 a.m. after taking the kids to school.

Indoor Cardio Routine

February 29, 2012
Level (if applicable)/Speed
Random Play
15 advancing to 20 at 15 minute mark
30 Minutes
4.0 mph, incline 0
10 Minutes (warm-up)

4.3 mph, incline 1.0
1 minute

6.5 mph, incline 1.0
30 seconds

Repeat the above for 20 minutes to total 30 minutes on Treadmill.

Monday, February 27, 2012

Ch-Ch-Ch Chia

You know that catchy tune?  This past Christmas it seemed that every second commercial was for a Chia Pet (more specifically the Barack Obama one!)  Yes.  Chia Pets.  You know those crazy looking terracotta figurines with sprouts for hair/fur.  Ah.  The 1980s......

Since my last post was on the superfood Quinoa, I thought I would share a quick recipe on another superfood.  Chia Seeds.

There's that word again.  Superfood.  I will post on that another time.

Chia Seeds are native to central and southern Mexico and Guatemala, and were cultivated by the ancient Aztecs and Mayans going back to 3500 BC.  A little of this food goes a long way; therefore, you don't need much to reap its benefits.  One ounce of these super seeds have 11 grams of fiber, 4 grams of protein and 12 grams of carbs.  They are also high in Omega 3 and 6 essential fatty acids.  Chia seeds absorb nine times their weight in water; therefore, it is best to moisten them before eating.  Chia seeds are not only great for vegetarians who don't eat soy, but they are excellent for people with diabetes (they balance blood sugar levels) and body builders (they aid in the regeneration of muscles).  But for the dieter/clean eater, eating these lovely seeds will keep you feeling full longer, keeps your blood sugar in check, are super low on the GI scale, and the fiber (both soluble and insoluble), will keep you regular!

More info....

This meal is for both adults and children. But be forewarned, as the fiber could upset their tummies if they are not used to eating high fiber foods.  The texture is like a tapioca pudding.  My kids enjoyed the flavor but one child was not crazy about the texture.  I generally eat this as a pre-workout meal, as it provides you with enough energy to fuel a good quality run/workout.  Plus your yoga pants and stomach will like this treat, as it doesn't feel heavy like oatmeal. with the recipe.

Chia Seed and Chocolate Berry Pudding

1 cup  Unsweetened Chocolate Almond Milk (plain or vanilla tastes great too)
1 cup of Berries (I use either fresh or frozen strawberries or the frozen berry mix from Costco)
3/4 cup of Chia Seeds
2 tsp of good quality dark chocolate powder
optional flavors to add - 1 tsp Cinnamon or 1 tsp of Ginger powder
optional sweetness - 1 - 2 tsp of Stevia or sucanat or maple syrup
The night before....In a blender, food processor or hand mixer blend the milk and the berries until smooth.  Add the chocolate powder (and if using any of the other flavors, add them here) and blend/pulse again.  Pour this creamy mixture over the chia seeds and mix well with a spoon ensuring that the seeds are well coated.  Pour into a container or two ramekins and place in the fridge.  By morning (or 6 hours later) you will have a nice thick chia pudding.

Enjoy.  Yours in Good Health!  Chelsea

Banana Muffins

My kids love banana muffins. If you use the small muffin tins, these are the perfect size for their little mouths.  These two-bite morsels are great for lunches, after school snacks or for the quick bite when you are rushing out the door.  I have been playing around with the recipe to make it a little more healthy BUT I do add small chocolate chips!   For the adult version, I avoid the chocolate chips, but add pumpkin seeds.  Try it!

A note regarding the bananas.  They MUST BE be overripe.  Nice and brown and sweet!  I purchase my overripe bananas at the local produce store, in their quick sale section.  Really, they can't ask full price for brown banana's!  I pay approximately $2 for a bag of 15 to 20 bananas.   And they are Organic.  I have seen other stores like Safeway and Superstore with a cart loaded with produce reduced for quick sale.  Overripe Bananas can be placed in the freezer for baking and shakes.

So this isn't your traditional muffin recipe.  I make my muffins with a mixture of Whole Wheat Flour (WW Flour), All Purpose Flour and Quinoa Flour.  I have been baking with Quinoa flour for some time now with success.  You generally can substute it one for one for All Purpose Flour; however, it lacks gluten (the protein that make bread doughs rubbery and stretchy).  For those of you not familiar with the superfood Quinoa (pronounced KEEN-WAH), it is not a grain, but the seed of a leafy plant related to beets and spinach.  Quinoa is an excellent source of protein (22 grams per cup), including iron and calcium.  Quinoa has been one of the primary foods of the Inca Indians for more that 5,000 years and they refer to this sacred grain as "Mother Grain".  I make many dishes where Quinoa is the main attraction; however, it makes a great side dish as it can be substituted for rice.  

OK.  Now for the recipe.....

Preheat your oven to 350 F, prepare your muffin tins with paper or spray with a non-stick cooking spray (I use an olive oil spray)

3/4 cup Quinoa Flour
1/2 cup All Purpose Flour
1 cup WW Flour
1/4 cup Ground Flaxseed
1/3 cup Brown Sugar
2 tsp Baking Powder
1/2 tsp Baking Soda
2 tsp Cinnamon
1/2 tsp Sea Salt
1/2 cup Low Fat Buttermilk
1/2 cup of Applesauce (I like to use apricot  or blueberry flavor by Motts)
1 Egg
3 to 5 really ripe bananas, mashed

Sift all the dry ingredients together (I use a mesh strainer over top of a bowl or lg. glass measuring cup and pour all the dry ingredients into the strainer and shake gently to sift the ingredients together.  There will be germ left in the bottom of the strainer, just pour it in)  In a separate bowl/glass measuring cup, pour in the buttermilk, add the egg, applesauce and the mashed bananas.  Give it a good stir to combine and to break up the egg.  Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients and pour in the wet.  Now to keep your muffins from turning into hockey pucks, gently incorporate the ingredients together. Don't over mix.  Then pour the mixture into your prepared pans, about 2/3 full.  Cook for 15 to 20 minutes.  Keep an eye on them.  Let them rest for 10 minutes before taking out of the pans.  Store in the fridge and heat for a few seconds prior to eating.  Yummy!

I hope these work out for you.  Yours in Good Health! Chelsea