Quinoa Squash Muffins

Muffins can’t be healthy, right? You’re WRONG! Check out this yummy recipe from PT Kalyn.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup water
  • 1/2 cup uncooked quinoa, rinsed and drained
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 pinch ground cloves (optional)
  • 1 pinch ground nutmeg (optional)
  • 1 cup of mixed berries
  • 1 pinch ground allspice (optional)
  • 1 pinch ground ginger (optional)
  • 1 pinch cayenne pepper (optional)
  • 1 1/2 cups shredded squash or zucchini
  • 1 1/2 cups plain yogurt
  • 1 scoop protein powder
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Directions

  1. Bring water and quinoa to a boil in a saucepan. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer until quinoa is tender and water is absorbed, 15 to 20 minutes.
  2. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Grease 18 muffin cups or line with paper muffin liners.
  3. Mix all-purpose flour, whole wheat flour, cinnamon, baking powder, baking soda, cloves, nutmeg, allspice, ground ginger, and cayenne pepper, and the rest of the dry ingredients together in a bowl.
  4. Stir squash, yogurt, brown sugar, protein powder, eggs, mixed berries and vanilla together in a large bowl. Add flour mixture to squash mixture; stir. Spoon batter into prepared muffin cups.
  5. Bake in the preheated oven until golden brown, 30 minutes.

Happy Halloween

MelissaHappy Halloween everyone!

I hope everyone has had a safe and fun Halloween. Most of
you probably do not know but I am a Halloween fanatic! When I won this contest in January, I remember thinking to myself I am going to have so many more custom options.

I typically do not buy from Halloween stores anymore for 2 reasons.
1)They didn’t fit me and 2) They were never extreme enough for me. I typically make my own costumes. I have to admit that I am not in my ideal weight or where I would have hoped to be by October, but I have made the best out of it. I decided to be Maleficent from Sleeping Beauty this year. Even though I did not try on any costumes at a costume shop, I was able to purchase a Maleficent style dress online and when it came in– it fit! I feel confident and so empowered in my costume. I look fit and in control!

Halloween is a perfect time to “not blend in and STAND OUT” like my good friend Dr. Seuss would say. I hope you like the photos and I hope everyone, no matter what their size, takes Halloween as a chance to “not blend in but to STAND OUT!”

Melissa

-Melissa

Water Workouts

Hey THRC!

So many of you don’t know but back in junior high and the beginning of high school I was on the swim team. That was “my sport”. I love to swim and I love being in the water.

On October 5th there is a aquatic 5k that myself and trainer, Molly Mihovil will be participating in. Yes, I said an aquatic 5k. Which means it is just like a regular 5k but instead of running 3.2 miles– you swim 3.2 miles!

I am super excited about it because I am not the biggest fan of running and this way I will be able to do a 5k the best way possible, in the water!

To get ready for this 5k we have added some new water workouts. I could not love these workouts more. A few weekends ago, my family and I went to Inks Lake– my father and younger sister were on kayaks and pulled me out to the middle of the lake and let me swim around. I had a blast!

Now I am implementing at least one water workout a week. I plan on going to Sewell Park on Saturday mornings. I will swim upstream to the very top of the park and then will float back down and then do it again.

I have already tried it and man…it’s not easy! The current is very strong at some places and makes it very hard to keep going. At the same time, even though it is hard, it is fun as well. Hopefully this will get me ready for my aquatic 5k.

If anyone would like to join me on Saturday mornings at Sewell Park you are more than welcome to come! I would love the company! Send me a Facebook message and let me know if you are interested.

-Melissa

Diamonds Are a Girl’s Best Friend

There are many ways you can reward yourself for doing something well. You can reward yourself with food, you can reward yourself with pampering or you could reward yourself with presents!

During my weight loss journey I knew I would have to find a way to reward myself to keep myself going. So my mother and I came up with a plan. For every 10 pounds I lost I would buy myself jewelry!

A little background on myself, I love jewelry. I am almost obsessed with jewelry. The bigger the stones and jewelry, the better. There is no piece of jewelry too large or too flashy that I will not want. We all have our one thing we obsess over a little and mine is jewelry. I have a total of 6 large jewelry boxes all completely full. All of my jewelry is primarily costume jewelry and if I don’t watch out–I could buy a new piece of jewelry every week!

So I know I didn’t want my reward to be anything food wise, and I love being pampered but I didn’t want a massage or to get my nails done as a reward either. So I picked jewelry! Because, you know, diamonds are a girls best friend.

Buying jewelry makes me so happy and losing this weight also making me so happy–so I wanted to combined these two happy events. I have lost 30 pounds now and I have gone on 3 jewelry shopping trips and I could not be happier.

I love this reward for myself and it works so well for me. If you’re trying to lose weight, even though losing the weight is a reward in itself– it gets hard to keep going if you have a lot to lose. Set up a reward system for yourself for mini goals to keep yourself going!

-Melissa

Sweat It Out!

Are you having trouble sleeping? Do you constantly struggle from allergies? 

For many years I struggled with sleepless nights and couldn’t find a simple natural cure. Before I started working out at THRC I didn’t have the luxury of sitting in a sauna at any other gym in San Marcos. Once I signed up at THRC I was eager to utilize all the awesome amenities and programs the gym offered, including the sauna for the first time. I never thought in a million years a sauna could be beneficial to your health in any way. For a few weeks I began to sit in the sauna for about 10-15 minutes after a little cardio and weight lifting. Immediately I noticed a change in my sleeping habits. I was living a more relaxed and stress-free life, and I was LOVING it!! I began to do a little research on saunas and steam rooms and discovered some interesting facts about the two.


Sauna Versus a Steam Room

  • Benefits range from relaxation to weight loss to cleansing
  • Both invoke therapeutic use of hight heat to relax muscles and promote sweating
  • The key difference between the two — the type of heat
  • Sauna — 160-120 degrees
  • Steam room (lower type of heat) — 110 degrees with 100% humidity

Pain Management/Sickness

Heat has an analgesic, or pain relieving effect due to a more effective blood flow. Painful conditions caused by inflammation such as arthritis and fibromyalgia can be temporarily managed through heat treatments like those found in both saunas and steam rooms. Sweating helps remove stored toxins in your body. Saunas may be preferable for people negatively affected by humidity. The steam room is more preferred to people dealing with built up mucous or allergy symptoms. Wet heat thins and opens the mucous membranes in your body, including in your sinuses, throat and lungs.

Relaxation

Saunas and steam rooms may provide emotional and physical relaxation benefits. Wet and dry heat simulate sedative effects that generate feelings of calmness and relaxation, and some people who suffer emotional or mood disorder may find relief with regular trips to saunas or steam rooms.


Hopefully you’ve gained a little knowledge about saunas and steam rooms that you find helpful. If a sauna or steam room isn’t something you’re familiar with and need time getting into, begin your time at five minutes a day until you feel comfortable enough to increase. Enjoy your sauna or steam room time!

Read more: http://www.drwhitaker.com/health-benefits-of-a-sauna?promocode=SUMMER

 

Who Says You Have to Give Up Delicious Snacks While Dieting?

Stop spending your money on expensive store-bought granola bars and make your own! Not only are these homemade peanut butter granola bars a lower cost on your budget, but they are also made in large quantities that will last you longer. And the best part about it all… you can keep chocolate in your diet!

Chocolate-Peanut Butter Granola Bars

by: Steve Dunn (inspired by Emma Christensen at The Kitchn)

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 cups old fashioned oats
  • 1 cup crispy rice cereal, like Rice Krispies (we used Nature’s Path Organic Crispy Rice Cereal)
  • 1/2 cup chopped peanuts
  • 3/4 cup dried cranberries
  • 1/2 cup chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup brown rice syrup
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cardamom
  • 2 tablespoon peanut butter
  • 1 tablespoon cocoa powder

Method:

  1. Heat the oven to 325℉.  Spread the oats on a cookie sheet and pop into the preheated oven to toast for 10 minutes, remove them from the oven to cool but keep the oven on.
  2. Line an 8″x8″ baking pan with parchment, leaving about a 2″ overhang on all sides (alternatively, you can use a silicone pan sprayed with a little oil which works beautifully in this type of application).  Lightly coat the parchment with cooking spray.
  3. Mix the oats, cereal, peanuts, chocolate chips, and dried cranberries together in a medium sized bowl.
  4. In a small saucepan, heat the rice syrup, vanilla extract, peanut butter, cocoa and spices, stirring until it achieves a pourable consistency.  Pour the syrup over the dry ingredients and mix thoroughly to completely coat.
  5. Dump the mix into the prepared pan and press into place with an offset spatula, or with your hands.  If the mix sticks to your hands, spray them lightly with cooking spray before proceeding any further.
  6. Cook the bars for 20-25 minutes (20 for chewier bars, 25 for crispier), then remove them from the oven to a cooling rack.  Press them again with an offset spatula to re-pack them where they might have puffed during baking, and let them cool completely in the pan.
  7. Once cooled, remove them from the pan by using the parchment paper handles, peel the paper from the bars and cut into whatever size and shape your little heart desires.  They will store well in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks

Stress & Health – a guide for what not to do

Stress and fitness – it seems so simple. Exercise relieves stress. It is proven… endorphins start flowing, your brain starts to relax, body gets tired and rest comes easier.

Yet, it is so hard. Maybe it’s just me, but I think not. The minute I get over-stressed I stop exercising and turn to food. We all know I have a major food problem. And I was taught early on in life that emotions can be cured by stress. Feeling blue – a piece of chocolate cake can fix you right up.

Also, when I am stressed I stop taking care of myself. I am the first to go. I give up routines when I need routines the most. I wake up in a hurry and drink two cups of coffee. I ignore my things-to-do list and start any project I have that isn’t related to the projects I need to be completing. And, I will go all day long without eating, without exercising and ignoring myself. I bet there are others of you out there that do the same thing.  Why eat right and exercise when you can eat Reeses Peanut Butter cups on the couch watching reruns and ignoring life…

And the next day the list of uncompleted to-do’s is even more overwhelming and the circle continues.

I am a mess. My friends/fiance call me a “hot mess train wreck” but, I realize the word “hot” and the size of my butt are not coexisting well. HAHAHAH – that’s not really funny.

Why am I stressed? See the word fiance up there?? I AM GETTING MARRIED IN 8 DAYS! I haven’t been married in 14 years and I am not one of those women that has had their secret Pinterest wedding board going since the dawn of time. (how did women live without Pinterest is another topic)

I don’t know anything about weddings. The preacher looked at me like I was crazy when I told him I was going to greet my guests before the ceremony…with Michael. I want to wear my hair DOWN and everyone is telling me to wear it up. I am not an up-do person. So I am questioning myself on nearly every decision to the point of being in tears and then just not making a decision. I am getting married in 8 days and I didn’t write my vows until this week. My wedding dress (the third one I have bought) comes in the mail TODAY! If it doesn’t fit I will have to pay $25 for next day shipping.  I still don’t know what shoes I am wearing. Who is walking me down the aisle, my dad or my son??? I spent $35 dollars at Hobby Lobby and I am not even sure what I bought or why. Mason jars with cute stuff are all over the place but I don’t even have any jars. I am so broke I am considering a title loan to pay for flowers…and shoes….and mason jars.

But, I digress…   in the meantime I am sneaking breakfast tacos in the corner of the parking lot of the GYM I work at. Wearing workout clothes and flip flops. I am taking off next week so I am spending as much time as possible working now, and forcing myself to work-out for even 30 minutes is next to impossible. My gym friends are asking where I’ve been and my trainer Sara just looks at me because she sees me failing every day and she knows I am better than that. A month ago I was training to teach a spin class. Today I am hiding a Dr. Pepper under my desk.

And this not exercising thing has caused my sciatica issues to flare up again. I’m in so much pain some days I can’t move when I get home. Pain – that’s really good for stress.

But, today is a new day and the first step is admitting you have a problem. So, I am going to put on my shoes – RIGHT NOW! And once this bean, potato, and bacon taco settles I am going to walk on the incline treadmill for 15 minutes, do some upper body strength exercise, and foam roll. It is ESSENTIAL for my health to get back on that horse and go.

I have 8 days till I get married and I know the only way to relieve my stress for these 8 days is to start eating right, taking care of myself, and going for a long walk every day. I have to stop this pity party and do it.

Thanks for letting me vent.

~ Jodi

Summer Grilling Recipes!

Time to fire up that grill

Hey y’all! The summer season has begun! The days are longer, the sun is brighter and occasionally you can smell a BBQ infused breeze making its way through the neighborhood. With the warm summer nights, its great to spend a few dinners eating outside. So, I thought it would be a cool idea to whip up some healthy summer recipes you can throw on that grill.

All recipes are best served with texas tea or fresh lemonade.

First, we have a spin on the classic burger – A Grilled Hawaiian Teriyaki Burger

Ingredients:

  • 2 lbs 93% ground beef
  • 1/2 cup grated carrots
  • 1/2 cup chopped scallions
  • 1 tsp fresh grated ginger
  • 1 tbsp reduced sodium soy sauce
  • 1 tsp sriracha sauce (or more if you like it spicy)
  • 8 slices fresh pineapple
  • 8 whole wheat 100 calorie buns 
  • 8 lettuce leaves

For the pineapple teriyaki sauce:

  • 1/2 tbsp cornstarch
  • 1/4 cup cold water
  • 1/4 cup low sodium soy sauce
  • 1/2 cup pineapple juice
  • 3 tbsp brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon fresh grated ginger, very fine
  • 1 small garlic clove, minced

Gently combine the ground beef with grated carrots, scallions, ginger, soy sauce and sriracha sauce. Form into 8 equal sized patties.

Mix soy sauce, pineapple juice, brown sugar, grated ginger and garlic in small saucepan over medium-low heat; bring to a boil and simmer until sauce reduces, about 15 to 18 minutes. Add cornstarch water mixture and simmer until thick, about 2 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside to cool.

Heat the grill. When hot clean the grates and spray with oil. Place the patties on the grill and cook on high heat for about 5 to 7 minutes on each side, or until burgers are cooked to your liking. While the burgers are cooking, grill the pineapple slices for about 2 to 3 minutes on each side.

To serve, place a piece of lettuce on the bottom of each burger bun. Top with the cooked burger and 1 tbsp of teriyaki sauce, then top with grilled pineapple.

This next recipe is a quick and easy side – Grilled Sweet Potato Nachos

  • Make a tin foil tray by layering two pieces of tin foil and crumpling the top sheet. Spray with non stick cooking spray
  • Preheat grill to medium 400 – 450 Farenheit
  • Place one layer of sweet potato waffle fries on aluminum foil & close lid
  • Grill for 20 – 25 minutes of until sweet potato fries reach desired color and crispness – Turn once or twice during cook time
  • Top with jalapeno slices, sour cream, barbecue sauce, chopped chives, and feta cheese
  • Serve and enjoy! (Told ya it was easy)

 

Lemon Grilled Salmon Recipe

Cooking fish on the grill adds a great smokey, flavorful punch to the taste buds. As an alternative to heavy burgers and sausages which can be loaded with calories, salmon can also be placed on the grill and cooked to seafood perfection. If you aren’t already, I would recommend adding it to your diet as a frequent protein staple. It has amazing health benefits including being packed with vitamins D, B3, B12, Omega – 3 Fats, Biotin, Potassium, among others. Check out this delicious and light recipe, just right for summer:

Ingredients:

  • 1 salmon filet (1-1/2 lbs)
  • 1/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 3 tablespoons chicken broth
  • 3 tablespoons canola oil
  • 3 tablespoons reduced-sodium soy sauce
  • 3 tablespoons finely hopped green onions
  • 1 small lemon, thinly sliced
  • 2 onion slices, separated into rings
  • 2 teaspoons snipped fresh dill
  • 1/2 teaspoon lemon-pepper seasoning
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt, optional
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder

1. Sprinkle dill, lemon-pepper, salt if desired and garlic powder over salmon. In a large resealable plastic bag, combine the brown sugar, broth, oil, soy sauce and green onions; add salmon. Seal bag and turn to coat. Cover and refrigerate for 1 hour, turning once.

2. Drain and discard marinade. Grill salmon skin side down, over medium heat; arrange lemon and onion slices over the top. Cover and cook for 15 – 20 minutes or until fish flakes easily with a fork.

 

Make your grilled meal extra healthy by adding a crisp veggie on the side such as corn on the cob or asparagus. As a drink, don’t forget the lemonade or tea. Sit back, pat yourself on the back for your master cooking skills and soak in the summer night. Happy Grilling!

 

A Change of Pace

On a scale of one to ten, how much do you enjoy running? Be honest. For many people, running is one of their biggest fears about working out. I want to tell you that there is nothing to fear if you do it your own way. The great thing about running is that it allows plenty of freedom to go at your own pace. There are just a few essential ingredients to keep in mind.

First of all, running is one part physical challenge and two parts mental determination. Make a mental note in your head that you WILL accomplish the goal your set for yourself and don’t allow yourself to resist. As soon as your feet start moving you have already done half of the challenge.

As you set out on your run, just keep putting one foot in front of the other. Now, the fun part I really enjoy about jogging is that I can focus on breathing and keeping up the pace while I am listening to my new favorite song. I honestly give credit to whatever playlist I have created that day to the quality of my workout. I turn up the music on max and just go. When you are listening and enjoying your favorite song you worry less about the struggle of the run and more on the catchy lyrics. Of course, pick a fast paced song with a good beat that makes your want to run fast! Currently I’ve been listening to Big Boi’s “Shoes for Running.”

So you have your playlist ready to go, but there are a few other elements to consider as well. Some people like running on a treadmill while others enjoy the outdoors and open air. Personally I like running on a treadmill because it tells me the exact pace I am running and the exact distance. This way if I feel like I want to stop I just check the info on the treadmill-only a tenth of a mile left? Keep going. Find your own preference and stick with it. It will help you have a more successful run each time.

Now you have your favorite spot to run and your best songs in your head to keep you going, but there are a few things that should stay consistent no matter where you are or what you’re listening to. Challenge yourself to do better each time. You WILL improve if you push yourself with each run. Also, keep in mind the goal of each run. Is it a warm up or a marathon? Don’t let yourself get bored with the great simplicity of being able to go on a great run! Change up your pace and throw a great run into your workout mix. Runner’s high is a real thing, which is why you’ll feel awesome every time. 

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