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.

decor2

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 ūüôā 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 ūüôā

~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 ♥

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 Р1.5lbs 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 ♥

Motivational Monday

Happy Monday everybody, it’s a short week, thank goodness it’s Thanksgiving in T minus 4 days! I’ve been looking forward to this week all year, love me some Turkey, stuffing, candied yams, mashed potatoes, green bean casserole, pecan and pumpkin pie, eggnog, Sparkling Cider, and all the goodies!

That being said, since it is Monday and knowing my track record for skipping out on Mondays and sleeping in…. you can bet I did the same this morning too. I might just stop setting Monday as the beginning of my workout week. This week I am working out Tuesday through Sunday, and will be taking NEXT Monday off as well. Mondays I like to recover from the weekend and start off the week well rested. What’s wrong with that? Absolutely nothing. Fresh outlook….

Anyways, I wanted to update you guys on my decision about getting a David Barton Gym membership. I discussed finances with Derek with Christmas coming up, our desire to go on a vacation next year, and all of the items I need to make this competition happen like ridiculously high heels, sparkly glittery suit, tanning and spray tanning, hair, make up, and registration!

The answer is apparent, I will NOT be getting a David Barton Membership…. YET. I also won’t be joining a team. I’ve decided to do my first competition on my own and see what opportunities lie ahead after the competition is over. Who knows, maybe I’ll earn my training cert and be able to train at David Barton Gym and workout there for free! It’s a beautiful facility and a great goal to work towards. I really love fitness and hope something great can take off. This could open a door to a whole new realm for me; I am just going to be patient, work my ass off, and hopefully talent scouts will see that and offer me something amazing!

Favorite Magazine! Cover Girl Ashley Kaltwasser is an inspiration

Favorite Magazine! Cover Girl Ashley Kaltwasser is an inspiration

I have always been so intrigued with the fitness industry! Anytime I have downtime my face is in a magazine like ‘FitnessRx for Women‘ or ‘Muscle & Fitness Hers’¬†reading up on the latest fitness and health articles, I’m on YouTube getting workout¬†ideas from Zuzka, I’m writing my workouts, I’m blogging about my meal plans and workout plans to be held accountable, or I’m at the gym getting my sweat on! I even follow a couple hundred Fitness Instagram¬†accounts¬†to get ideas for workouts, recipes, and to get motivated to kill this competition. I follow all the IFBB Bikini Pros looking at their progress over the years in competing and seeing the changes in their bodies and getting inspired to make changes in my own. You could say I’m some what of a freak! I love it!

Ahhhh, I’m feeling so motivated right now! I can’t wait to kick tomorrow’s ass! I posted my workout for tomorrow above. I’m so excited for Wednesday too, it’s all MY day! No work, no obligations….. I’ve got a date with gym, gonna set an intention for my workout and destroy it! Gonna tan and get rid of this pasty complexion, it’s killing me! This week I’m eating clean until Thanksgiving Day! Right after that¬†I’ll be eating clean again until whatever Christmas parties might roll my way this year.

Much needed 5 day weekend ahead, I’ve worked really hard and have taken a lot of stress lately, you can bet this mini vacation will be well spent. Happy Monday everybody, getcha’ sweat on today and plow through that Turkey on Thursday! XOXO

~Jess ‚ô•

Decisions, decisions…

*Le siiiiiiigh* I woke up this morning thinking it was Friday! BOOHOOOO! 2 more days?! IS THIS REAL LIIIFFFFE! 

Today definitely broke my back. Didn’t stop moving, literally… I worked late and JUST sat down to eat Turkey dinner and write a short blog.

O yeah, I didn’t tell everybody! I’m living off Turkey for the next few weeks! It’s Derek’s and my tradition to cook a turkey a week before Thanksgiving to feed us for a week. It’s a great story every year, because for some reason we forget that it takes a looooong time for the turkey to thaw. Of course we go all out and buy ourselves the 22 pounder for just us.

It started about 4 years ago when we first got together. We were so broke and could hardly afford to eat, so his mom suggested buying a turkey, cooking it up, and eating it all week. We thought this was a great idea! Little did we know it took DAYS to thaw! UGHH! We weren’t home to keep an eye on it either to butter it every hour, our schedules were different. We made it a party the following weekend and had a couple friends over and cooked it all night until about midnight. We feasted and passed out. Delicious times.

wild rice

Now we cook one ourselves every year and feast for weeks! I’d say that’s a great diet too, lean turkey meat, haha. We also make this amazing stuffing! I’ll include the recipe, it’s so good! It’s Wild Rice Sausage Stuffing. Make sure you use spicy Italian sausage too! The mushrooms soak up the flavor and create a hearty flavor with the wild rice. Mmmmm, you could even add chicken stock to add a little more flavor.

I have some good news! Well, kind of good news. At this point it’s just an idea until I go over finances.

In a recent post I mentioned that Tanji Johnson, Founder of ‘Save Fitness‘ reached out to me about joining her team for Emerald Cup. She sent me Membership Options and break downs I’ve been reading over and tossing ideas back and forth. I ALSO got in contact with a Membership Advisor at David Barton about Membership Pricing and Specials. Currently they are running a $21 initiation fee in celebration of their 21st Anniversary; opposed to the $400 fee. The deal runs until next Wednesday, November 27th.

Since I work for Microsoft, I would only pay an $89 monthly fee, opposed to the $109 monthly fee. I was looking for something less than the triple digits, so this is great news to me! I have to discuss with Derek this weekend though before I can finalize anything.

Here’s my dilemma though, I can’t join a team AND have fancy ass expensive new gym. I can’t afford both right now. So do I join a team with a renown athlete? Do I go with David Barton Gym who has clean, excellent equipment, and a great facility and classes? These are all just questions, I very well might not be able to have either.

Here’s my thought. Go with David Barton Gym, treat myself. The gym is my Zen, my Sanctuary, my home away from home where I blow steam. Once I compete in my first competition, I will have MORE opportunities offered and I won’t feel obligated to a team I joined before I started competing. I dunno guys, input and feedback would be GREAT! They both seem really awesome!

Well I gotta get some shut eye! Waking up bright and early for a date with the gym. Core, back, biceps, and cardiooooo! Seriously though guys, have any of you tried one of my workouts? That’s why I post them! G’nite ya’ll! XOXO

~Jess