Wednesday, November 27, 2013

A Vegetarian Thanksgiving {The Big Day!}

We tend to over eat on Thanksgiving & other holidays, so here are some tips to help you stick to your goals during this holiday! {from the USDA}

*Tweak the sweats-- {you can choose fruit salad, a lighter dessert, instead of pumpkin pie}
*Cheers to good health-- {drink water instead of other calorie-filled drinks}
*Bake Healthier-- {make healthy swaps in your recipe or choose recipes that use fruits instead of butter/fats}
*Spice it up!--{choose recipes with spices to flavor your food instead of sugar and salt which can add calories or contribute to higher blood pressure}
*Brighten the meal-- {fill half your plate with fruits/veggies! They're full of fiber & will be filling}
*Skim the fat-- {try skim evaporated milk instead of heavy cream}
*Swap the grains-- {try to use wheat flour instead of white}
*Go easy on the gravy-- {it adds a ton of calories & fat!}
{Check out USDA for more tips!}

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What are your tips? Get out & get moving today! Xoxo- Kristin 

A Vegetarian Thanksgiving {side dishes}

To continue on with our Thanksgiving recipes, I'm posting my favorite side dishes today.

Taralynn has one of my favorite blogs & posts awesome food all the time.  She's really health conscious, but still loves comfort food.  One recipe that I plan on making as a side dish for Thanksgiving is her {healthy cornbread}.  Okay, it looks so moist and fantastic.  It would go perfectly with turkey or ham.  It's only 65 calories per serving!

Next up is my all-time favorite-- {light green bean casserole}!! It's a healthier alternative to the regular casserole, which is very calorie-dense. 

Another really great idea for a wonderful side dish is a {pecan-topped sweet potato} is to wrap up some sweet potatoes in foil & throw them in the crockpot, allowing them to cook while you're using the oven for all your other goodies.  After cooking on high for about 4 hours, they'll be soft and ready to go.  Put a little butter in a saucepan on the stove & brown pecans or almonds to top your sweet potatoes. Easy!

Stay tuned tomorrow for the main event-- the main dishes!

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

A Week FULL of Thanksgiving Recipes!

This week is dedicated to posting Thanksgiving recipes.  Since I'm vegetarian, I'll be sharing my favorite vegetarian recipes!  You don't have to be a vegetarian to try these out.  They're still delicious and nutritious.  Today, I'm starting out with some breakfast recipes.

Thanksgiving morning there's a really good chance I'll whip up these delicious {pumpkin pancakes} by Julie, because I will genuinely never grow tired of the pumpkin flavor & she just makes them look delicious.  Can't go wrong there.

Also, this {breakfast enchiladas} recipe is another great breakfast option for those who want to prep breakfast the day before Thanksgiving.  This is a protein-packed breakfast that provides you with a lot of vegetables too!  One of my favorites for a big crowd.  {Tip: I cook meatless crumbles and put them inside the burritos & no one notices it's not real meat.}


 Have a great Thanksgiving & don't let this holiday deter you from your health & fitness goals! Look tomorrow for Vegetarian Side Dishes!

Monday, November 25, 2013

Strong Saturday- Arms!

I missed posting on Saturday, because I was spending time with the family. The good news is.... I was with my dad at the gym.  He is a beast and taught my lots of awesome tips to share with yall. My Saturday workout started out with about 40 minutes of cardio, then right into lifting. I actually use my apartment's free gym, which has about 3 weight machines (plus free weights, ellipticals & treadmills). I was having such a hard time figuring out how to get in a decent routine with so little, but my awesome trainer (dad) came up with about 6 different ways to use each machine. Let's just say my arms were sore the next day! I'll show you my favs!

First off, I have tiny arms. If you remember the cartoon charachter Gumbi, that's what my arms are like. I'm trying to fix it, allright? So today was all about working the arms. We started out with the lat pull machine. That is one of the 3 machines I've got at the free gym. Also, it's my new favorite. I'm determined to build these arms. 

Okay, here are my 3 fav ways to you use the lat pull. 
1- Traditional Overhand Lat Pulls...  Keep your head up, bend your elbows & pull the bar in close to your face, down to your chest. Slowly move back into the original position. Repeat!
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2- Standing Lat Bar Straight Arm Pushdown- watch this video for a little "how-to"!

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(Oh hey, that's me! See the straight arms? Yep.... Training with dad.) 

3- Tricep Lat Pull- this works out your triceps! Stand and hold the bar with your elbows at a 90 degree angle from your body. Squeezing your triceps in close to your body, pull the bar down toward your thighs. Repeat!
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What are your favorite arm workouts? Do you know any other ways to use the lat pull? Let me know. Try this out! Enjoy!!

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Advent Calendar Care Package

In preparation for Christmas, I made a mock of one of my favorite things as a child.... An advent calendar. Remember the days when they used to come with milk chocolates or little candies? You could easy count down the days till Christmas this way. 

Well this year, I made a grown-up version for my boyfriend with awesome presents. I stole this idea from my mom! She found cute little paper boxes from Hobby Lobby that fold together. I put 12 of them together for the twelve days of Christmas! Inside I included Christmas-themed items like this ornament frame, candy shot glass, Pop rocks, & Reese's candy.

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I also love this moustache sleeve for a water bottle or beer bottle. I know the boyfriend will love it! Below are all 12 of the presents--

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Then, I added notecards in each box with quotes or sweet sayings. One of my favorites was, "You are the only fish in the sea for me." 

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Here's the finished product! I wrapped the inside of the box with wrapping paper & everything! What are some of your favorite ideas for presents this year for loved ones that are far away?

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