Over the weekend I got a very generous package from the lovely folks at POM Wonderful!
It was their new flavor POM Cranberry
"When the sweet-tart flavor of pomegranate meets the tangy taste of cranberry, the combination creates a mouth-watering blend of two of the healthiest juices. Enjoy two of nature’s most wonderful fruits that fit together, naturally. Available in 16oz bottles"
Like All of the POM Wonderful Products, POM Cranberry:
I have to say that I absolutely LOVE the POM bottles. The shape is perfect for holding and they are so cute!!
I poured a glass half with POM Cranberry and half with plain seltzer water. It was DELICIOUS! It tasted a bit more tangy and tart than the regular POM juice, but just the right amount. The cranberry flavor was not overpowering in the least. THe only thought that ran through my mind was how good this was would taste in martini form! I guess I'll have to wait about 6 more weeks to find out! (WOW!)
I have also been enjoying my oatmeal every single morning. My diet has been a-changing and I am now on some starch rotations, so every time I can have starch with my meals...I bring it on! This is by far my favorite combination of protein+Fat+Carb+Fruit!
1/4 C cooked oatmeal
****The trick to make it look so voluminous and way more food than it acutally is, is that I like to cook it low and slow on the stove top. It takes a while, but I have mentioned this before.
- I let it sit and go do other things around the house that need to get done-whether that be shower or food prep or cleaning. I am quite the multitasker.
- I cook my oatmeal 1/2 cup at a time, so it makes for 2 servings.
- When it is near done, I turn the stove OFF and put a cover on the pot and just let it hang out.
- I let it sit anywhere from 10 minutes-3 hours (depending on what I am doing) It really doesn't matter, the stove it off, and its just sitting there.
- I think that the stove top oats method tastes the best the next day. I find that after I let it sit in the fridge overnight, it gets doughy and thick. I just take out my portion in the morning and re-heat!
I also have been enjoying Dunkins Strawberry Shortcake Coffee I don't know what it is about this but it is so darn good! If you like the taste of true quality coffee, I would suggest not buying this. It tastes well, like candy and thats probably why I like it right now--I need that sweet stuff in my life somehow! I LOVE quality coffee, real good stuff, but right now, this Dunkins Strawberry is satisfying my sweet tooth and tastes delicious paired with my morning oats!
Guess what also happened?! I BAKED! yes I know...well ok, I didn't really bake. I added 3 eggs, 1/3 cup of oil and some water. And I mixed. Funfetti cake for my friend who celebrated her birthday this past week!
If you like funfetti cake...well then I'm your gal...If you like real homemade, amazingly delicious cake, well then Jessica is your girl
I have to say that I was quite proud of my materpiece. I baked two 9 inch cakes, slathered pink frosting in the middle and then doused the whole cake in more pink frosting. Not to mention the DETAIL?! Oh yeah, purple polka dots! Girlie and delicious!
I still am obsessing over this combination you see above. This would be 4oz sweet potato (HOT) I just baked it in the microwave. I topped it with some coconut oil. The second the coconut oil hits the sweet potato--Well, just go try for yourself! It is so so so good. Cinnamon on top would also be delicious!
And this combination here as well. Greek Yogurt + 1/4 C diced Gala apple, 1/2 C cooked quinoa and cinnamon!
Oh and I don't think I need to mention these. yes I am still loving Kale Chips! How do I do it?
- I tear the kale apart before I place it on a sprayed cookie sheet. I don't want any of the thick stems in the mix, so I tear off the leaves in small parts
- I place all of the leaves on the cookie sheet and cover the kale in EVOO Spray. I turn them all around, and spray more.
- I place whatever seasonings look good to me at the time! This time is was a little bit of nooch and some oregano. Sometimes I put on more strong flavors like cumin or turmeric, but tonight I kept it pretty nuetral.
- I bake them at 375 degrees for about 15 minutes (I check and turn them every 5 min or so)
- Place on a plate and eat! I like to dip them in mustard!
FOCUS IN THE GYM!
Since training for my competition, I really have had to focus more than I ever have before with my lifting. I have some tips that have helped me power through, see changes in my body and all the while keeping me focused and ready to rock in the gym!
- Always WARM UP before a lift: I have made the mistake before to just start bench pressing away, not having my body warm and loose. I really have made a concious effort to always include a warm up before I hit the weights. All you need is 5-10 minutes. Moderate warm-up on a treadmill, stationary bike or other form of cardio equipment, you'll not only get a leg up on fat-burning, prior to your lift session, but you will less prone to injury during your lift! If you have some open space you can also practice some dynamic stretches! You can read more here about wam ups AND cool downs!
- Lift heavy: I don't think I have really ever been a gal to lift 3lb weights. I love lifting heavy. It makes me feel strong, powerful and ready to rock with the boys in the weight room :)Training with heavy weight (doing sets of around 6-8 reps) will keep your metabolism higher and elevated for longer after the workout, both of which will result in greater fat-burning potential. Think you will bulk up? That thinking is for the birds---it is nearly impossible for a woman to really bulk up. If you want to read more I wrote about it here
In a nutshell:
When we see huge big muscles on others, this is the result of years of intense training in the gym, following a rigorous schedule, strict diet and extreme dedication. I have found that women tend to avoid the weight room like the plague because they think the only way to lose weight is to stick to the cardio machines. Many are either scared of 'bulking up', don't know what to do or are unaware of the benefits of strength training in achieving a healthy, fit physique! Trust me, you can weight train until you are green in the face-you will not look like Arnold Schwartzenneger!
Another factor and one that needs to be realized and is not under direct control of an individual is the actual amount of muscle fiber that there is to potentially develop. Women, on average, have 30% less muscle fiber to develop than a man does, which means a woman's ability to get bulky, even if she wanted to, much more difficult than a man's. Another thing a woman needs to realize is that any training effect can be reversed and "detrained" if that is something that is so desired. No training effect is permanent, it needs to be regularly stimulated if it is to be retained or improved upon.
- Interval Training: Any cardio is better than none, but intervals, where you alternate intense bursts or sprints with less intense jogging or walking, have been shown to burn more fat than cardio sessions done at a constant slow to moderate intensity. Start out slow with 10 minutes of intervals on a machine (or outside!) Try doing 1:1. ALL OUT hard for 1 minute, recover for 1 minute and repeat for anywhere from 10-30 minutes
Question of the day: How do you SPICE up your workouts?