60 Healthier Toaster Oven Recipes

freaking YUM2

If you can deny that this looks delicious, you are not human. Or hungry.

I thought I would share a link to 60 Healthier Toaster Oven Recipes for everyone to begin their week. I knew it would be a bad idea to look at Food Porn on a Monday morning after a measly bowl of Life cereal, but I did it anyways. Currently living with the consequences. Excuse me while I shop for ramekins on Amazon.com…

Enjoy!

~Jess

2 Year Anniversary Twisp Vacation

2 Year Anniversary Twisp Vacation

I’ve been MIA for quite a few days! Derek and I went on a 4 day vacation up in the mountains to our friend’s cabin in Twisp for our 2 Year Anniversary, it was absolutely amazing. The views were breath taking and we were blessed with plenty of sparkling white snow as far as the eye could see.

twisp2

We are very fortunate to have great friends that would allow us to spend the weekend in their cabin, it was a beautiful home away from home. Fully equipped, an amazing fire place, awesome leather lounge chairs we spent most of Sunday in, haha, and their decor was bad ass too!

We left Friday morning around 10am, it was about a 2 hour drive there. We stopped in Leavenworth to go to Baren Hauss for their pizza….. CHEAT MEAL! Yeaaaahhh. It was absolutely delicious, carmelized onions, olives, sausage, Canadian bacon and mushrooms…. mmmmm. Super yummy, totally worth it. Guess what? We killed the whole 15 inch in one sitting! OOOOPS!

CHEATMEAL

It was dumping snow when we got to the little town Twisp, we actually had to get chains to get the lil’ Prius up the slick snowy hill! The first shop we stopped at tried ripping us off, charging us $120, AND reminding us they go on the front wheels…. really?! Duh guy! We went to the shop right next door and bought chains for $40, wheww! Trying to take advantage of us city folk.

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We made it up the hill, we honestly didn’t think we would make it up! As you can imagine, we didn’t come back down until today, we stayed nice and toasty inside by the fire drinking Port, mixed drinks, cuddling, and playing games. It was a nice little get away, relaxing, romantic, and time well spent.

I managed to stay pretty ‘healthy’ too. I worked out Friday morning before we left and Saturday morning at the cabin. Derek ran up and down the snowy hill at the cabin twice! 8 miles with an 1,400 foot elevation gain, what an impressive stud. I did a plyometric workout, TRX training, and jump roping. I took yesterday and today off, and we ate really well. Chicken and sweet potatoes Saturday night and spaghetti squash with lean ground turkey on Sunday night.

Here’s the Spaghetti Squash Recipe:

Ingredients:

-1 Squash
-Olive Oil
-Salt
-Lean Ground Turkey Jennie-O 97/3
-Cayenne
-Paprika
-Garlic & Pepper Salt

Directions:

-Split squash in half long ways, scoop out the seeds and place on baking pan with olive oil, bake at 350 degrees until insides are soft and you are able to spoon them out into a bowl. It will take approximately 30-45 minutes

-Cook ground turkey (1-2lbs) in sauce pan with spices – cayenne, paprika, garlic & pepper salt. Use as much as you need!

-Mix ground turkey and spaghetti squash into a bowl, add extra olive oil as needed.

ENJOY!

It was a really great weekend! I miss it already, I can’t wait to go back!

Here’s to the new week 🙂 Happy Monday ~

~Jess

Meal Plan

Hey guys! I’ve been getting a TON of questions about how I achieve my abs and I always like to remind people that ‘ABS ARE MADE IN THE KITCHEN!’ I know, I know, it sucks that there isn’t some magical exercise that you can do ‘X’ amount of repetitions to achieve a rockin’ 6-pack. Sadly we have to sacrifice the refined sugars, pastries, cookies, candies, sweets, and all the junk.

So I’m going to take you through a rough daily break down of what I eat on a daily basis. I aim to eat every 2-3 hours, so approximately 4-6 meals a day depending on when I wake up and how high my activity level is that day. I shoot to stay within 1,200 calories a day as well as a personalized macronutrient ratio. I either workout early in the morning or I run 4-7 miles home at night after work. Here’s a sample of what my day today looks like:

1) 6:00am ‘fasted’ workout at the gym going heavy, hard, and incorporating jump rope intervals for cardio. Total Time: 1 hour and 40 minutes

When I get home I immediately throw on the coffee pot, shower, and get ready for the day! I eat my first meal at 9:00am right before I walk my dog. Today I ate: oatmeal2

-1/2 cup oats
-1/2 cup unsweetened Almond Milk
-2 Tablespoons Peanut Butter
Cinnamon sprinkled on top!

On days where I don’t workout early in the morning and don’t require something so heavy to keep me full, I’ll have a protein smoothie with the following:

-1 cup frozen fruit
-1/4 cup fat-free plain Greek yogurt
-1/2 cup unsweetened Almond milk
-1 scoop Optimum Whey protein powder (24 grams protein!)

2) Today my second meal was at 12:00pm. This meal was decently sized, so I can probably wait 4 hours for my next meal. I enjoyed: lunch

-2 Turkey Muffins (packed with protein and less than 100 cal each!)
-1/2 cup steamed broccoli
-1/2 cubed sweet potatoes with cinnamon

I usually will have a chicken salad at work, since I am fortunate enough to get free lunch with my job! I use about 4oz of chicken (size of your palm), cottage cheese instead of dressing, incorporate plenty of DARK greens, walnuts for healthy fats, and a couple craisins for sweetness. I will either have 1/2 cup of quinoa or 1/2 cup of brown rice on the side for my carbs.

3) Throughout the day I might snack on a couple of items every few hours. My ‘snack time’ time slots are usually: 11:00am, 4:00pm, and 6:00pm My snacks usually consist of:

snackoptions


-Plain Quaker rice cake with 1 tablespoon peanut butter

-Apples
-4 hard boiled egg whites
-1 scoop protein powder mixed with water (milk has a surprising amount of sugar)
-Protein Cookies!

My snack time changes daily depending on when I woke up, how hard I worked out, WHEN I worked out, and when my first meal of the day was. I try to be as consistent as possible. The first week of proteindieting was extremely difficult (mainly cause I was PMS-ing…. oooops, TMI?) and because I wasn’t used to eating 1,200 calories a day. I am coming up on the end of week 3 and can honestly say that I am barely hungry anymore. In fact, I feel more satisfied on this diet than when I wasn’t keeping track of what I ate and when I ate! It’s the greatest!

4) DINNER TIME! Finally, when I get home (whenever that is! Usually 8:00pm) first thing I do is heat up a plate of whatever I meal prepped on Sunday! dinnerThis week I threw in 6 chicken breasts in the crock pot, cooked up some sweet potatoes, steamed broccoli, made turkey muffins, you name it! My fridge is FULL! Last night (and most likely tonight) I will eat 4 oz. of shredded chicken, 1/2 cup steamed broccoli, and 1/2 cup MASHED sweet potatoes (that’s right, switchin’ it up!).

I stay well fed throughout the day on this diet, and it doesn’t have to be boring at all! In fact, I’m cooking more now than I ever have and I’m finding cool new recipes and healthy alternatives to food that I really enjoy. One of my co-workers, Lazaro, was nice enough to bring in healthy cookies for me! Such a sweet heart! He made them with oats, bananas, yogurt, egg whites, vanilla extract, cinnamon, and honey to sweeten. I’m not sure if he baked them, but they were absolutely SCRUMPTUOUS! I’m going to try them at home this weekend. I looked up the nutritional value on myfitnesspal by plugging in the ingredients he used and each cookie has less than 50 calories, 10 grams of carbs, 1 gram of fat, 2 grams of protein, and 4 grams of sugar! Yummmm!

Anyways, there’s the jist of it! Hope this answers a lot of questions. If anyone has a myfitnesspal account you should definitely add me, see what I eat, AND hold me accountable! I record absolutely everything that I eat…. what’s the point in cheating anyways? “What you eat in private, you wear in public.”

Good vibes are still goin’ this week! Last night I ran 6.57 miles after work! I love running, it felt really really good. I always thought running after work would suck, but I must say, I like the late night cardio craze. If you have a mapmyrun app, you should also add me there and hold me accountable for my goal of running 20 miles a week! Tomorrow I have plans to run home after work as well, maybe not 6 miles since I will also be working out in the morning. Who knows though!

I also wanted to thank everybody for the wonderful comments and support for my progress post yesterday. It feels amazing that everybody has my back and are just as excited as I am to see progress! Also, thanks for voting during my ‘Cheat Meal’ poll, looks like Azteca wins HANDS DOWN! Anywho, hope you all have a lovely day, comment or message if you have questions or overall feedback! Please and thank you 🙂

~Jess

Cooking Obsession!

Wow…. it just took me 20 minutes to scrub a freakin’ cupcake pan out! Whewww!

Let’s just say I’ve become a little OBSESSED with meal prep… all the endless possibilities! Those usually aren’t the words you hear coming out of a competitors mouth, but for me, a whole new world has been opened!

There is more than just one way to cook chicken! I can finally put my Crock Pot to use. Moist shredded chicken beats boiled chicken any day. I’ve been neglecting my Crock Pot… you can throw virtually ANYTHING in there, it’s seriously the greatest.

I’ve also been making much more use of my Pinterest account. Check out my Healthy Eats board for all the recipes I want to try. Plenty of protein pancakes, smoothies, sweet potato recipes and so on and so forth. Yesterday I spent 5 hours cooking, which is a rareity for me. Our electricity bill is gonna be high this month.

Trying these next!

Trying these next!

I made the Spinach Upside-Down Cakes which I completely failed at. The recipe called for ‘rice meal’ which I misread as ‘brown rice’, therefore I put neither in the batter. Turns out ‘rice meal’ was very necessary for a thicker consistency. I stored them away in the fridge for this week regardless, they are a great source of protein at only 50 calories each! Yummmm!

I also made Oatmeal Peanut Butter Banana Protein cookies. They are a little bland, and I had to substitute a lot of ingredients that I didn’t have. Still full of protein, ain’t gonna waste that shit!

I made diced chicken seasoned with cayenne, paprika, and garlic fried in a pan with a little bit of olive oil for dinner last night. I also made a big pot of brown rice seasoned with cilantro to last the week and I cleaned and prepared spinach for salads. Pretty exciting Sunday night! O, plenty of cleaning and laundry too, definitely prepared for the week.

This weekend we are HOPEFULLY gonna get out Costco card and stock up on all the yummies. We usually eat the same thing every week, so grocery shopping shouldn’t be hard, and would be cheaper to buy in bulk. I want plenty of chicken breasts, ground turkey, broccoli, Quest bars if they have any, frozen fruit, Greek yogurt, almond milk, oats, almond butter, and the list could go on and ON!

Coconut2

I’m already planning my cheat meal this weekend! I asked Derek if we could make pancakes and he says, “That’s ALL you want for your cheat meal?! How boring…..” So, to make use of the new cupcake pan I bought, and create a fun activity with Kai this weekend, perhaps we’ll make ‘healthier’ cupcakes.

MMmmm food, love trying new recipes and I love the way my body feels when I eat healthy! So far, not too bad. Week #2 on the cutting phase with plenty more heavy and intense training sessions in store. We’ll see how I feel by Friday!

Tomorrow is my strength training day, heavy weights and cardio intervals. This part of my training becomes a little bit more secretive since my husband has bestowed upon me his ‘Derek Formula’ for maximum results. People pay big bucks for that, so I’m keeping it private. I can tell you this much, I am still sore from Saturday and every time I use his formula I am left out of breath and shaking. Perfect workout to torch calories, challenge the body, and push yourself into exhaustion in an hour and a half max.

I think I’m most frightened for Wednesday’s training session! I haven’t swam laps in FOREVER and I hardly know how to use a cycling bike! Hump day will be the toughest yet.

osho

OOooo! By the way, I am going to begin a new book recommended by Derek! I’m sure a lot of you have heard of Osho. I am going to start reading ‘The Book of Wisdom‘ written by him. There are 28 chapters, so I want to read a chapter a day and really meditate on each word. I get stressed out so easily and fret about silly things, my mental awareness is pretty weak. Sooooo, while I exercise my body I am also going to exercise my mind and practice his teachings. I might disappear for few days lost in thought, but I’ll return and share my findings.

On that note, have a good night! Happy Monday everybody, hope your week is fabulous!

~Jess ♥

Get Work Done!

Time to get shit done.

nicole2

Nicole Nagrani, total hottie, love her body and poses!

Day 5 of cutting phase… I’m alive AND I had a pretty intense leg and booty day. I’m proud of myself for staying so strong, stickin’ to my macros and calorie deficit.

Good news, I have a new weekly training outline from the hubby (after he insulted the “extra” under my buttocks, JK! He’s gonna kill me when he reads this) that I start next Monday. It works out with my schedule, hits all the areas I need to focus on, plenty of cardio to shed the fluff, and allows me to continue lifting and building booty. I’m sharing it with you…. feel special 🙂

It’s nice to have some structure, being told what to do, now I HAVE to do it! Everything is falling into place, sent my NPC Card Application, sent my registration for Emerald Cup, have my suit, have my shoes, on the diet, have an intense training schedule that will result maximum results, schedule two-a-days begin March 1st, I have a shoot to get tight for next month…. I feel pretty damn good.

Tomorrow’s workout is Cardio, Core, and Resistance Training:

-10 minute treadmill warm up
 
-1 minute jump rope
-10 push ups with kick through
-1 minute jump rope
-20 squat with leg lift
-1 minute jump rope
-20/20 side plank leg lift with tuck
-1 minute jump rope
-10 dive bombers
-1 minute jump rope
-20 plank with leg lift
-1 minute jump rope
-10 10 high knees to competition burpee x2
 
-30 lateral walk Left/Right
-30 Squats
 
-30 backward duck walk Left/Right
-30/30 Glute pulses
 
Resistance Band Circuit:
 
-30 Glute Bridges
-30 Squat with Bicep Curls
-15/15 Lunge with Shoulder Press
-30 Squat with Back Row

-Lunges with Resistance Band anchored x4

-20 minute treadmill run

Well, I’m calling it a night 🙂 Can’t wait for my cheat meal on Saturday and meal prep on Sunday. I have so many recipes on my Pinterest that I want to try:

UPSIDE DOWN SPINACH CAKES UPSIDE-DOWN-SPINACH-CAKES-ins

Ingredients:

2 tsp. olive oil
1/2 cup chopped onion
2 cups chopped frozen spinach, thawed
1 tsp. garlic powder
1/2 tsp. each: sea salt and black pepper
2 cups egg whites
1/2 cup non-fat plain Greek yogurt
1/2 cup unsweetened almond milk
3/4 cup fat-free ricotta cheese
1/4 cup cream of rice, uncooked

How to Prepare

1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
2. Spray a 6-jumbo muffin tin with cooking spray, set aside.
3. In a sauce pan, heat oil over medium heat and add chopped onion, spinach, garlic, salt and pepper. Cook approximately 5 minutes or until onions are lightly browned and tender.
4. While the veggies are cooking put egg whites, yogurt, almond milk, and ricotta cheese into a large mixing bowl. Stir well until ingredients are well blended. Set aside.
5. Once the veggie mixture is browned, add to mixing bowl with the egg white mixture and whisk or stir with spatula until all ingredients are well blended. Then add the cream of rice and whisk again to evenly blend the cream of rice into the mixture.
6. With a large ladle, distribute the spinach cake mixture evenly into the 6 muffin cups.
7. Place in oven and cook for approximately 30 minutes, or until cooked through and lightly browned on top. Let cool for 5-10 minutes. Remove from cups and turn upside down to serve. Enjoy!

NUTRITION DATA
Per cake (makes 6): 145 calories, 18 grams protein, 15 grams carbohydrates, 2 grams fat

MMmmm so yummy and GOOD for you too!

OKAY! Goodnight for real this time 🙂 XOXO, sweet dreams and enjoy the weekend…..

~Jess ♥

Feels like it’s been forever….

Wow, this weekend seemed looooong. I feel like I haven’t been blogging in ages, when reality it’s been one whole day. With-drawls much?!

I’m super excited, I’ve got all sorts of content I wanna just spill outta my brains to make room for MORE! I’ve begun the ‘cutting phase’ of my training. “Holy shit, comp isn’t until April 25th!” Yeah, I know, I know. I might get a lot of shit from people, especially since I’m already pretty lean. But I want to start NOW, I need to know what my body will respond to. If I end up passing out from lack of nutrients, you can damn well bet I’ll be adding more food into my diet. If I lean out too quick, I’ll adjust my macro plan and gradually add health fats, carbs, and protein in. I’m not going EXTREME either. I just don’t really get the whole concept of ‘bulking’. Stuffing your face hole with more calories than are necessary? I get it, I get it, you wanna build muscle. To be honest, I don’t want to put my body through metabolic shock, so I’m taking it slow, real slow. Gradual cutting, and gradual adding. I respect my body too much to go on crash diets.

muscle

I’m not trying to stir anything, everybody is different. I personally pack on muscle really easily. I’ve been a workout fanatic for years now, love lifting and have been doin’ it for a while. I just wanna see what’s underneath all of this! So yes, I’ve begun the cutting phase…. gradually, just to see what it’s all about.

With that being said, I logged into myfitnesspal and played around with calorie and macro plans that I could do on a 1440 – 1600 calorie diet and a specific macro ratio. It APPEARS to be a lot of food! BUT…… if you read closely, you realize there’s a lot of protein powders, and the servings are so small. Kinda nervous over here, fo real.

I plan on eating 6-7 meals a day, I wake up at the ass crack of dawn so there’s more hours I’m awake and burning calories, therefore I need to eat more. I’m not going to break it down too much for you, check out myfitnesspal (Friday, January 3rd) if you’re really curious. Heads up, I discluded fish because of the radiation poisoning in the water…. yep, way to go humans, but that’s a whole other story:

1) Lean Ground Turkey (4 oz) – Can be had wrapped in a whole wheat low carb fiber tortilla, served with brown rice, sweet potato, or quinoa. Asparagus or kale salad for vegetables.
2) Chicken Breast (4 oz) size of your palm – See above
3) French Vanilla Creme Optimum Protein Powder
4) Almonds – Small servings
5) Oatmeal with almond butter – Only after workouts
6) Rice Cakes with cottage cheese or almond butter
7) Chobani Plain Low Fat Yogurt with almonds
8) Smoothies (IN MODERATION, preferably before workouts) with frozen fruit, protein, chia seeds, Greek yogurt, and/or almond milk

Minimal salt, minimal dairy, and no dressings. Few weeks before comp, I will cut out all salt and all dairy. It’s gonna be INTENSE! I managed to survive today, so we’ll see how this week goes. I prepared all my meals for this week, so I have absolutely everything I need. I want to weigh in on Friday and see where I’m at. My comp weight goal is 105lbs – 110lbs. Mind you, there will be water pills involved to flush out my water weight which will be a huge weight loss.

Leaning out! The tan helps too, teehee

Leaning out! The tan helps too, teehee

This weekend was full of great workouts and plenty of posing practice! When I got home on Friday I immediately thew on my bikini and heels and strutted around the house with a mirror and my camera phone for an hour! Makin’ some progress, but definitely much more work to be done. I practiced today too and sassed up my walk a lot more, figured out what to do with my hands, and pretty much have the outline of my 60 second individual routine down. I have friends who are gonna help me out too, I’m so glad I know people who have done these before! Definitely encouraging and supportive and totally there to help.

I’ve been tanning this week, so I’ve got a little color goin’ on finally! Gotta build that base for show day. Plus, I HATE being pale, I feel more motivated to workout when I’m tan too, haha, like I’m making progress or something. Nope, you’re just tan.

I really wanna share today’s workout with you guys! It was freakin’ phenomenal! Loved it, was completely out of breathe and my muscles were challenged. Tried some new stuff, fulfilled 50 minutes of cardio while challenging my whole entire body with HIIT.

-10 minute treadmill run warm up

-1 minute high knees jump rope
-10 dynamic burpees
-1 minute high knees jump rope
-20 jump lunges
-1 minute high knees jump rope
-10 jump squats to jump tucks
-1 minute high knees jump rope
-20/20 backward jump lunges
-1 minute high knees jump rope
-30 mountain climbers
-1 minute high knees jump rope
-10/10 pistol squats
-1 minute high knees jump rope
-40 air squats
-1 minute high knees jump rope (I know, it just keeps going!)
-10 push ups with kick through (Gotta check out Zuzka for this)
-1 minute high knees jump rope 
-20 sit ups with butt lifts
-1 minute high knees jump rope….. WHEW! Took me 21:45!

-15 Olympic Barbell Squats (Shoulder Width, Breaking Parallel)
-15 Barbell Dead Lifts
-15 35lb Dumbbell Narrow Stance Goblet Squat pulses (elevated toes, sink into heels)
-15 35lb Dumbbell Pull Throughs x4

-20 minutes stairmaster single leg step ups (20/20, 5 sets)

STRETCH!

Whew, yes! Long intense workout, took about 1 hour and 45 minutes to complete. Loved the variety of HIIT and heavy lifting, hit my 45-60 minute cardio goal without even realizing it.

I haven’t quite had the chance to write this weeks workout, but I will post them as the week goes by. Been busy with Kai this weekend, the post Christmas spoilage has made her such a “delight” this weekend…. She’s been swimming in toys and princess… things. Yuck.

Anywho, hope you enjoyed my meal plan items, go try my workout…. I DARE you.

G’nite folks, have a spectacular week, stay fly… XOXO

~Jess ♥

It’s my Friday…. AGAIN!

Today’s my Friiiidaaaaay again! So excited to have the next 5 days off, I have plans to relax as well as be productive. I’m going to wake up at 4am regardless, I’m not going to waste my day sleeping in! Tomorrow I’m doing body weight exercises, plyometrics, cardio and LEGS! Gonna feel the buuuuuurn, really take time to focus on my muscles and core engagement.

groundturkey

Tonight I had one of my easy favorites for dinner! Derek and I love making Ground Turkey & Quinoa Whole Wheat Wraps. Here is the recipe:

1. Bring 1 cup of dry quinoa to a boil in a sauce pan, place lid on sauce pan and let steam on low.

2. In separate medium sauce pan, cook 1lb – 1.5lbs ground turkey with Paprika, Cayenne Pepper, and Garlic Salt. lafactoria

 

3. Once both the quinoa and ground turkey are fully cooked, combine in one pan with an 11oz can of drained corn and a 15oz can of drained black beans. Keep warm on low to serve. 

4. Use ‘LaTortilla Factory‘ Low Carb Whole Wheat tortilla wraps to make a burrito and add shredded cheese! MMmmm delicious! 

 

Try the recipe out and let me know what you think! If you guys have any suggestions for new recipes, please let me know, I’m always open to new ideas for healthy eats.

Right now I’m enjoying some Ginger Tea and honey watching 30 Rock making plans for tomorrow. Aside from working out I’m going to go tanning, getting my Lululemons from ‘Between Friends Consignment’ hemmed, paying some bills, running some errands, and baking an apple pie for Thanksgiving at my Great Grandparents.

I’m so thankful for this time of the year! Spending quality time with the family and relaxing before the craziness ensues again. I definitely need the mental break! Life has been so insane. Finances, moving, work, working out, goals, and losing track of time. Time has been flying by so quickly! January is going to roll around the corner any minute, and I want to be ready for it. The next month I’m going to clear my mind, learn to enjoy and live in the moment, set my priorities, and focus on my goals. I want January 2014 to start fresh and I want to be so motivated to take on challenges and succeed!

With that being said, I better head to bed so I can wake up 4am to crush the day. Good night everybody! Hope everyone had a great Tuesday XOXO

~Jess ♥