Sunday, March 26, 2017

Elvis Baked Quest Bar and Vacation Strategies

The recipe that I have for you today is so easy that it is hard to call it a recipe LOL But it tastes incredible. So good that I have been eating it everyday for weeks straight now. No lie!

But before we get to my recent food obsession recipe, I wanted to share with you some pics and thoughts from our recent vacation!

Pretty much all my favorite people in the world met up to spend the week in my in-laws cabin in the mountains where we skied, ate, drank, and/or did puzzles all day. My bestie Jenny and her son flew in, and both my sisters-in-law came with their whole families. We had a grand time! But old me would have been FREAKING out about how much fat I was gaining...

...The Venus veteran side of me was cool and collected though. No guilt because I had a GAME PLAN!

Vacation eating strategy revolves around timing for me. Left is breakfast, right is night ;) In 9 days, I ate once before noon. Coffee, water, and tea are all I want and need before lunch whether I am sitting around working puzzles all day or skiing for 7 hours. It saves a few calories when you are already probably going to hit maintenance or higher for the day. The only day I ate breakfast was because we went out to a restaurant and it is weird if you do not go along. (Don't be that guy!) Booze was plentiful but it makes me want to eat more so I saved it for 5 pm or later. Other than that, I ate what I wanted or was offered. It was not always "healthy" or "ideal" but that is OKAY! It is a a little over a WEEK, and in the scheme of things that is fine! I will fast a couple days this coming week and I am certain I will be back to where I left ;) even if I am up when I get home, it is mostly bloat. You cannot do a whole lot of damage in that little of time! Keep it sane ladies. Enjoy vacations, that is what it is for!

This is a group of us before running up the mountain, we only did 4 miles but I was croaking for air like a beached fish.

My workout strategy was aiming to do SOMETHING every day- whether it was a run, band/bodyweight workout, or skiing. One something every day.

I even did a 7 mile run with family and friends! Always plan to sneak in activity everyday. If someone is training for a run, join them even if you are not sure you can keep up ;) you might be surprised that you can! Certainly good to push your boundaries. Look at all that flat nothing in my hometown in the Texas Panhandle, you can see for miles!

My sis-in-law Erin and I doing a bodyweight/band workout at her house! Get other people involved if you can, it makes your workout more fun ;)

This is my "bag of bands" I throw in my carry-on bag: 2 mini bands, 2 Sprii super bands, and a tube band. I tried to get in a run or band workout in every day we didn't ski. I waited to eat until noon or later most days, and never drank alcohol before 5. Otherwise, I ate and drank what I wanted ;) easy peasy and stress-free! Hope my 3 pronged vacation strategy helps you whether it's a week or a month. Number 1 priority should be to enjoy yourself and relax!

Whelp made it home and was the exact same metrics I left at (and a pound down!). This is the day after I got home. Post-vacation bod, metrics were still bang on but my legs are holding water. It will clear in the next few days though! Feels SO nice to be back in my home gym! Does anyone else feel like a rainbow unicorn Jane Fonda with leg weights on? πŸ˜‚ I totally dig them! Was doing loaded dead bugs then pranced about during rest time ;)

So onto my new recipe obession... my mother made me peanut butter and banana sandwiches growing up. An Elvis special, if you will! They taste like love to me and I ADORE that flavor and texture combination. Problem is that for about 400 calories, you get a ton of carbs and zero protein.
This is where my idea for this recipe came from. Do not skip baking the Quest bar, this is what MAKES the recipe! I have been having this for breakfast, snack, or dessert at least once a day for about a month now LOL

Elvis Baked Quest Bar

Serves 1


  • 1 Quest bar of choice (I have tried PBJ, Coconut cashew, and cinnamon Quest bars and all were great in this combo!)
  • 1 tbsp peanut butter (I prefer creamy)
  • 1 medium banana, sliced
Preheat your oven to 350 and half a Quest bar. Place  halves on piece of foil or oven safe cookie sheet. Bake for 5 minutes and smash thinner with a fork, bake for 3 more minutes. Place baked halves on plate, top with 1 tbsp peanut butter and 1 sliced banana 😍 soooo great!

Nutritional Info:

370 cals
25 g protein
56 g carbs
14 g fat

Sunday, March 5, 2017

Sneaking Greens In

I think most mothers worry about their kids' nutrition. Kids getting in enough vegetables and/or protein seems like a universal concern. If you are like me, you are also concerned about your husband's intake of vegetables as well ;) so today I am sharing how I sneak greens into dishes without screaming, "HEY CHECK OUT THESE VEGETABLES!" Yep, you would never even know they are there. And in some cases, I am pretty sure the family likes them better WITH the addition of the vegetables!

Dumbbell snatch - super, duper full-body exercise but love for #bouldershoulders especially! I did 3 sets of 10 snatches per side. Inspired by #crossfit #17point1

28 days in February = 28 different workouts
✔16 strength training days
✔12 runs
Rewards? Are those new lines I see?! (it's better further down but that was just too scandalous lol) Alas, I have vacation coming up next week so I will be breaking my no days off streak. I am fine with that, I cannot keep that kind of schedule indefinitely. Rest is good too!

Chopped turkey patty and quinoa veggie bowl drizzled with Sriracha (really leftovers thrown in a bowl with fresh veggies I had on hand for volume, but the other name sounded better πŸ˜‚)

So people like you and me WILL EAT the above plate, we actually ENJOY it ;)

My family is not quite the same however. They pick and choose what they like. My kids like Brussels sprouts, everyone likes asparagus, my husband likes onions... you get the picture and I am sure you can relate. Sometimes, I just feel like they can do better!

I sneak greens into my own oatmeal or quinoa at breakfast. I use my sweet friend Anne's Emerald Spoon Garden Greens blend. Buy HERE.  Between a teaspoon to a tablespoon depending on what else is going into my bowl. If you need to cover the slight green tinge to feed your kids or husband, dark cocoa powder and/or chocolate protein powder works marvelous! I like to top that combo with berries and PB myself! I you do not want to invest in a greens powder, you can blend a handful of spinach and/or kale with the amount of water needed to cook your oats or qunioa. You can also do this for protein shakes, I swear you cannot taste it!

The other places I like to sneak greens into are meat and soups. Yep. Ground beef just soaks it up, you cannot tell at ALL. I almost always use greens powder in my taco meat or meatballs. I am almost certain my family prefers it too, I notice when I add it, they eat more. So I want to share my favorite taco meat recipe with you, and how I bulk it up for me, but easily make something for the whole family to enjoy!

Sneaking Greens In Tacos!

Serves 5

1.25 lbs lean ground beef
4 tbsp Emerald Spoon Mexi Medley Greens  Buy HERE
Tortillas of choice (my family likes regular flour tortillas, I prefer small corn tortillas or Flat Out wraps)
Cabbage, shredded
Other toppings as desired: cheese, avocado, sour cream, etc.

Brown the ground beef with the Emerald Spoon Mexi Medley Greens powder. Drain fat and keep warm in another bowl. Warm up tortillas and get out salsa.  From there, the kids and husband are ready to eat ;)

Using the same skillet over high heat, saute your cabbage until it is wilted and slightly crunchy (about 3 minutes). I use about 3 cups for myself. Then top with about 4 oz of cooked ground beef, topped with 2 tbsp salsa. This time, I served alongside 3 corn tortillas.

Tortilla options- fam likes the ready to cook flour tortillas, I prefer the nutrition of the corn tortillas or Flat Out wraps

Nutritional info 

(3 cups cabbage, 4 oz lean ground beef with greens powder, 2 tbsp salsa, 3 corn tortillas)

453 cals
28 g protein
44 g carbs
20 g fat

Monday, February 27, 2017

Full Body Foam Rolling Routine

I have been foam rolling since about November, faithfully. I used to think it was ju-ju hogwash, but I can honestly tell you that it aids in recovery and range of motion. The research on the subject is just starting to come out in support of those facts too. So, here is my routine :)

Sunday, February 19, 2017

Southern Secret Meatloaf

I saw a recipe in Southern Living magazine that caught my eye, they had used vegetables in the meatloaf recipe to sweeten it up naturally. And so I set out to give it a try and tweak it a little just to make it a littler lighter.  The other side bonus was the whole meal was ready to go in 45 minutes on 2 sheet pans!

The results were super great! The whole family, including the fussy husband, all gave it the gold standard "make again". And sssshhhh pretty sure nobody knew I was sneaking in extra veggies!

Shoulder bombs - great finisher for those delts! Shoulders may be the one other body part I am obsessed with as much as glutes ;) I hit them 3-4 days a week. I try to get a mix of lateral, overhead, and front plane work in over the week. I also try to vary low, moderate, and high reps. Just like glutes (or any other part), variety does the shoulders good! If you don't want to have to think of all these factors, that is when solid programming like the Venus workouts come into play. You can always add extra sets in of something you want to really hit hard too ;)

Meh don't care if my hair is perfect, I mostly notice my good glute days πŸ˜‚ pump courtesy of glute bridges, barbell hip thrusts, crissover step ups, and banded clamshells!

Hanging to stretch? Yep. Super great for stretching your tight lats, shoulders, spine as well as the rest of your back, core, and chest! I literally just hang for a few seconds before or after my workout. Any grip works too :)

Grabbed these handy probiotic packets at GNC the other day! Gut health is of paramount importance to overall health, weight loss, and weight maintenance. A good probiotic will have a variety of strains with 8 billion or more CFU. Since variety is key, it is best to swap brands/types every purchase. Exercise and diet also play a role in gut health, so ✔ that too ;)

So, onto the recipe!

Southern Secret Meatloaf

Serves 4

20 oz, 85% Ground Beef
1/2 cup chopped, Carrots, raw
1 large, Egg
1 onion (medium), Onion
1/4 cup, dry Oats (I used old fashioned)
1 tbsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp salt
1.2 tsp pepper
2 tbsp Ketchup
1 tbsp Soy Sauce
1 tbsp parsley (optional)

Optional for two pan dinner
Sweet Potatoes (1/2 per person)
Brussels Sprouts (4 oz per person)

Preheat oven to 400*F. If you are serving the vegetables along side, cut the potatoes in bite size pieces and slice the Brussels in half. Spread them out into a large, greased cookie sheet and place in the oven. In a food processor or Ninja (you know I used my Ninja haha), shred your carrots and onion finely. Pour them into a large mixing bowl along with your ground beef, egg, oats, garlic powder, salt and pepper. Mix with your hands and form into 4 mini loaves onto a greased cookie sheet. Bake for 35 minutes. While the meatloaves are baking, mix together the ketchup and soy sauce. When the loaves and vegetables are done, remove from oven. Top the loaves with the ketchup mixture then the parsley. Serve alongside the vegetables. Enjoy!

Per serving of meatloaf:
Nutrition Facts
Servings 4.0
Amount Per Serving
calories 412
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 23 g36 %
Saturated Fat 9 g46 %
Monounsaturated Fat 1 g
Polyunsaturated Fat 1 g
Trans Fat 0 g
Cholesterol 140 mg47 %
Sodium 354 mg15 %
Potassium 164 mg5 %
Total Carbohydrate 11 g4 %
Dietary Fiber 2 g8 %
Sugars 2 g
Protein 30 g61 %
Vitamin A55 %
Vitamin C5 %
Calcium2 %
Iron22 %
* The Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet, so your values may change depending on your calorie needs. The values here may not be 100% accurate because the recipes have not been professionally evaluated nor have they been evaluated by the U.S. FDA.

Sunday, February 12, 2017

Chicken and Cornbread Dumplings

I have not made chicken and dumplings in FOREVER. I knew it was time when I suggested it and my daughter thought I meant Asian style dumplings to dunk in soy sauce LOL she is a hot mess!

So we had to make it together for her Southern training, and I thought I wanted to try a cornbread twist to the dumplings. They turned out divine. Both kids declared them a make again! I really liked the macros and all the veggie goodness hidden inside ;)

Ealier this week, we made flat out pizza using a flat out wrap! Huge and so tasty! This time I added mushrooms and olives with my turkey pepperoni and spinach! 429 cals and 33 g of protein πŸ’ͺRecipe HERE if you need more deets!

This is our "supplement cabinet" (it also holds coffee and teas, but I digress). Perks of our new huge kitchen! I was asked for a recommendation for a pre-workout the other day, and my answer is the Optimum Nutrition Amino Energy in Blue Raspberry (I am pointing to it). My husband ALWAYS does a pre-workout and I am an occasional user. When I lift in the morning, I prefer my normal coffee with creatine in it. But today I lifted in the afternoon, and I prefer this. It tastes good, and does not have extra junk. I use creatine separately so it does not have that.  I just need something for energy and focus, the amino acids are a bonus ;) we have tried a lot of different ones, and we keep coming back to this one. Do you have a favorite pre-workout need to try?

Tempo can completely change your weight lifting game. πŸ’―Here are feet-elevated glute bridges done with a 2-3-3 tempo in the middle of my workout. So 2 counts up, hold for a count of 3, then lower on a count of 3. That is 1 rep. I did about 20 reps for 3 sets. The 3 count isometric hold at the top and the 3 count slow eccentric will LIGHT your glutes on FIRE πŸ”₯πŸ‘πŸ‘πŸ”₯You can use this tempo for any set on any body part to really increase the complexity of your workout and get those #gainz πŸ’ͺ It also hones your mind-muscle connection which is HUGE for progress!

Some pull-up action! I just got this grey tank in from Lululemon ...Their stuff washes and wears so well but DANG the $ hurts my feelings! Coach Jenny got me hooked by sending me an outfit for my birthday πŸŽ‚ totally her fault that I love it! What is your favorite gym wear line and what item?

Anyway, onto the recipe :)

Chicken and Cornbread Dumplings

Serves 4

3 stalk large (11"-12" long), Celery, raw
4 T., Butter- divided
3 medium, Carrots, raw
1 medium, Onion
0.50 cup, Masa (can also use corn meal)
3.50 cup, Chicken Broth (can also use water)
16 oz (112g), Chicken Thighs, Boneless, Skinless (I used frozen)
4 oz, Milk
0.50 cup, All Purpose Flour
2 tsp salt and pepper, each
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp tarragon

Bring broth to boil with chicken in a large Dutch oven. Meanwhile, chop onion, celery, and carrots into bite size pieces and add to Dutch oven. Stir in 2 tbsp butter, salt, and pepper. Cover and cook until chicken pulls apart and vegetables are tender; using frozen chicken, it took mine about 30 minutes.

In a large bowl, add 2 tbsp butter with flour and masa. Using a pastry cutter or potato masher, chop butter into flour mixture until resembles course crumbles. Stir in milk, tarragon, baking powder, and baking soda until combined.

Drop flour mixture by the tablespoon into simmering soup. Cook for 15 minutes. Enjoy!

Southern girl in training ;)

Nutrition Facts
Servings 4.0
Amount Per Serving
calories 424
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 16 g25 %
Saturated Fat 7 g36 %
Monounsaturated Fat 0 g
Polyunsaturated Fat 0 g
Trans Fat 0 g
Cholesterol 133 mg44 %
Sodium 302 mg13 %
Potassium 547 mg16 %
Total Carbohydrate 30 g10 %
Dietary Fiber 4 g14 %
Sugars 5 g
Protein 33 g66 %
Vitamin A166 %
Vitamin C9 %
Calcium8 %
Iron4 %
* The Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet, so your values may change depending on your calorie needs. The values here may not be 100% accurate because the recipes have not been professionally evaluated nor have they been evaluated by the U.S. FDA.