Sunday, October 26, 2014

Pumpkin Spice Shakeology Cookies

Tis the season for pumpkin spice everything!  So I decided to experiment with a recipe for Shakeology cookies to incorporate pumpkin and pumpkin pie spices!

And I think they were successful.  These are really very tasty.  They are a perfect morning or afternoon snack and could even be a quick breakfast on the go!  Simple to make and so healthy, there is really no excuse not to try them.  Don't have Shakeology?  I can help you with that, just email me and I can tell you how to get some.  I have samples of Shakeology too if you'd like try it.

Ingredients

1 Cup of Vanilla Shakeology
1 Cup of Oats
1/2 Cup of Almond Butter
1/2 Cup pumpkin puree (not pumpkin pie filling)
1/4 Cup Honey
1/2 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/8 tsp nutmeg
1/8 tsp allspice
2 Tbs water or almond milk

Mix all of the ingredients.  It is best to use a mixer but if you stir by hand make sure it is well mixed.

I simply used a scoop to form little balls onto a cookie tray lined with parchment paper but you could use two spoons or even press into a dish and cut into squares (after they've chilled).

I popped them into the freezer to firm up before putting them into a container.

They might not look fancy but they will certainly satisfy my sweet tooth!


Tuesday, October 21, 2014

21 Day Fix Day 3 -- Leg Day!

So today was day 3.  Can I just say I am already feeling a difference.  Last week I bought 2 pair of pants and both were a little snug.  I bought them anyway, keeping the receipts but knowing I was going to follow the 21 Day Fix.  I figured I wouldn't need to return them and I had a few weeks to be able to fit into them.  Ha!  Just 2 days into the Fix and I wore a pair to work today! 

Anyway, I was really hoping to run this morning but it was raining and my running buddy doesn’t want to go out when it rains so I headed down to the basement.  I started off with a mile run on the treadmill and popped Lower Fix into the DVD player.

Workout

The Lower Fix workout has 4 rounds with 2 moves per round and a short break in between each move.  I thought it had a good variety of moves targeting all areas of the lower body.  I can't say I find anything wrong with this workout.  It is tough when you push yourself but it can be easily modified when needed.  

Meals

Breakfast

My favorite weekday breakfast  - Chocolate Vegan Shakeology, coffee with coconut oil and milk.  I had about 8 ounces of water during my workout.

1 red, 1 tsp

Snack
Half serving of grapes, a serving of strawberries and filled my water bottle (21 ounces).

1 ½ purples

Lunch

Moroccan beef over rice with Swiss Chard.  This was very satisfying and held me over until dinner.   Good thing since I had meetings all afternoon and couldn’t grab my snack in the fridge in the afternoon.  I want to point out that this was also made up of left-overs so it was easy to pack, nothing really to prepare in the morning, it was quick to heat up and cheaper than buying lunch.  Perfect.

1 red, 1 yellow, 1 green

Snack

I had meetings all afternoon and wasn't able to make it to the kitchen to get my snack.  Surprisingly I was not ravishing when I got home.  I looked for something I needed for the day -- an orange container so I grabbled some kalamata olives.  Healthy fats are an important component of the meal plan -- don't skip them.  

1 orange

Dinner

Tonight my youngest had gymnastics and my husband had to do our work share at our CSA pick up site so I had both boys.  Quick dinner of eggs, mozzarella cheese, broccoli and tomatoes. 

1 red, 1 blue, 1 1/2 green



Snack

Yogurt!  Tonight I added a little muesli.  I needed another yellow.  I also needed a half a green but I couldn't figure out how to get it in so I was short today.  

Overall another good day with my workout and nutrition.  As much as I wanted a glass of wine when I got home since it was just one of those day, I reached for my water.  I drank 68 ounces of water...2 ounces short of my goal but really a good day!

Monday, October 20, 2014

21 Day Fix Day 2 and Review of Upper Fix

I won't blog about the 21 Day Fix every day but I will for the first few days.  In my opinion, the first few days are always the hardest when you have to get used to something new and make adjustments.

Workout

Despite being that person who gets up early to work out on a daily basis, I could not get up this morning.  Both my youngest son and dog climbed into bed and were snuggling with me to stay warm.  That might sound cute but it doesn’t make for a good night’s sleep.

But I got up with enough time for a 30 minute workout.  I had to skip the 1 mile run on the treadmill in the morning but I fit it in before dinner (I’m trying for a mile a day) and I was able to get Upper Fix done in the morning.  Another good workout.  It is a nice mix of upper body strength exercises (weights and push-ups) and ab work.  It was challenging enough and similar to the Total Body Cardio Fix, it was broken down into two rounds with a few exercises each and short breaks in between.  I did have to do more of my own stretching at the end because my hamstrings are sore and my lower back still tight from my Half Marathon.  


 


Meals

Breakfast

I had my Chocolate Vegan Shakeology, my favorite!  Of course I had water after my workout – about 15 ounces.  Then it wouldn’t be morning without coffee (half decaf) with 1 teaspoon of coconut oil and a little milk.  I usually use a 1/3 cup  of milk but I used a few tablespoons.  The coconut oil helps with that.

1 red, 1 tsp



Snack

A small banana and some almonds and of course I filled my water bottle up (21 ounces)!

1 purple, 1/2 blue

Lunch

Salad of lettuce and arugula, tomatoes, radishes, and all natural turkey breast, half an orange container of oil and vinegar and half an orange of pumpkin seeds. I also had a tasty honey crisp apple.

1 1/2 green, 1 red, 1 purple, 1 orange

Snack

Shakeology cookie.  Snacks are allow but they must be counted as a yellow.  You have to think carefully to determine if they are worth it.  I enjoy having something sweet in the afternoon so it is worth it to me.  Also keep in mind you can’t substitute a snack for a yellow every day.  Twice a week is fine.

1 yellow

Dinner

Pizza turkey burger with sautéed swiss chard on the side.  I ate the turkey burger sans the bun and added a spoon full of sauce and a small, thin slice of fresh mozzarella.  I filled my water bottle up again for another 21 ounces and I had about 8 ounces after I ran on the treadmill.

1 red, 1 1/2 green, 1/2 blue

Snack
I love having my yogurt in the evening!

1 red.

Day 2 is done and I'm feeling pretty good but I'm still feeling those surrenders from yesterday.  Wow, my hamstrings are a little sore. I just a bit over the 64 ounces of water I need minimum...my goal was 70 ounces.  Tomorrow is another day!

For more information or to order the 21 Day Fix click here


Sunday, October 19, 2014

21 Day Fix Post Racing Season: Day 1

For some people running helps with weight loss.  Not this girl.  Well, let me clarify that.  Moderate running helps me maintain my weight but training for longer distances revs up my appetite and I find it hard to keep my eating under control.  Especially toward the end of training when I am getting tired and cranky and I just really want chocolate. 

As you may know I've done a little running this Spring to early Fall.  By little I mean I ran in a 200 mile relay race in May, a Half Marathon in early September, another 200 mile relay race in mid-September, ANOTHER 200 mile relay race in late September and finally a Half Marathon last weekend.  I was training really hard since I wanted to PR (personal record) my Half in October.  And I did, big time.  


I'm collecting a little bling!

So now it is time to get those few pesky pounds off and get my eating back on track.  Not that my eating was terrible but I did eat more junk food than I care to really admit.  The other day I was munching on some of that junk food when a coworker came into my office.  I felt like I was caught! I tend to be a closet eater.  She just laughed when I explained to her the look on my face she mistook for me being mad.  She's actually a participant in my 21 Day Fix Challenge Group that starts today so I actually felt extra guilty.

For me, the weight is mostly in my waist.  Those love handles or muffin top or whatever you want to call it just pop out of no where! Ugh.

So I started another round of the 21 Day Fix.  From time to time I followed the meal plan but it was hard to follow while burning up to 1,300 calories on a long run!

So far so good!

Workout
I woke up and jumped on the treadmill for a 1 mile warm up.  Then I popped in the Total Body Cardio Fix DVD.  It is a total body weighted cardio workout.  Those surrenders are tough.  Thank goodness they are early in the workout.

Meals

Breakfast

Since I started on a Sunday, my first meal was Sunday Breakfast.  I normally cook a breakfast for the family and we all sit down together.  I made some scrambled eggs and diced up some tomatoes and red onion for the side.  I had coffee with a little milk and a teaspoon of coconut oil.

1 Red, 1 Green, 1 Tsp

Lunch

I wanted to head to the market to stock up on good foods so I took my youngest son and headed to Whole Foods Market.  There was traffic on the bridge and it took about an hour when it should normally take about 25-30 minutes.  Ugh.  This is when I would normally comfort myself with a cookie with lunch.  I stayed strong and got baked chicken, steamed veggies 1/2 portion of rice and 1/2 portion of chickpeas.  I felt full even while I watched my son eat his cookie. 

1 Red 1 Green 1 Yellow


Snack

In the afternoon after unpacking and hanging out with my boys I started to get hungry.  I poured myself some more water and I had a few walnuts and a banana (note 1/2 a banana = 1 purple). 

1 Blue, 2 Purple 

Dinner

My son really wanted pasta and meatballs for dinner.  He was such a good boy at Whole Foods -- mommy's little helper -- how could I say no.

For the meatballs I used:
1 1/12 pounds of grass-fed ground beef
1/4 onion, finely diced or grated
1 egg
1 slice whole wheat bread, pulsed in a food processor or finely minced
pinch of salt
generous pinch of italian seasonings

Mix everything and make small meatballs.  Bake in a 400 degree oven for about 30 minutes or until it reaches temperature. 

Whole wheat pasta
Marinara sauce (you can use jar or make your own)

You will use the red container for the meatballs, yellow container for the pasta and the green for the sauce.  I found the green to be too much sauce so I only used half and added some extra salad to my bowl.  For my salad, I simply used oil and vinegar for dressing since I didn't have any prepared and it was a long day. 3 meatballs fit in my red container, this of course will depend on the size you make the meatballs.

1 Red, 1 Yellow, 1 Green, 1 Orange 


I always have to eat a little something after dinner even though most meal plans don't recommend it.  I workout first thing in the morning before eating and I cannot go to bed hungry or I won't have energy for my workout. 

Snack

Yogurt with a teaspoon of real maple syrup. 

1 Red and one extra from the Coffee Bar.

It was a good day.  I am tired now and need to get a good night's sleep so that I am ready for day 2.  

Goodnight! 


Saturday, October 18, 2014

A Summer of Running and a Little Cross Training



I have been running a lot this summer and early fall.  It’s been a while since I wrote because I’ve been so busy running!!  I last wrote about getting ready for my Reach the Beach Relay race a few weeks ago.  But unexpectedly I ran in another relay race in the end of September.  A friend’s team for Ragnar Adirondacks was down a runner because of an injury and I filled in.  Oh, let me tell you, I had fun!!

First, let me talk about Reach the Beach relay in New Hampshire on September 12 - 13, 2014.  We drove out to our hotel on Thursday night.  There were some surprises that night like only getting a Tahoe for a vehicle and not a Suburban, which has a lot more room for cargo.  There also weren’t enough beds in the room for 4 people - but I rented a cot so we were fine. Hey, it’s all part of the adventure.

I was part of Van 2 (see last blog to understand how the relay works) but we had to be at the start line with the rest of the team for our safety talk.  Great (read sarcasm), we didn’t get to sleep in.  Again, it’s all part of the adventure.  We started at  Cannon Mountain ski area.  The White Mountains of New Hampshire are absolutely beautiful.  I knew this was going to be a beautiful racing weekend.  

 


I was runner number 8 and my first leg was 6.7 miles and started at Echo Lake.  It was relatively flat with just little rolling hills.  My partner was fast so I had to run hard.  I made sure to drink my E&E so I was pumped and ready to go. 


About 2 miles before the transition we noticed heavy traffic, which we were running along side.  Then when we had just about 1 mile left we ran past our van.  This wasn’t good.  We were going to beat our vans, and next runners to the transition.  Well, good thing the next runners were experienced.  They jumped out and ran the rest of the way with us.  Crisis diverted!  I had some personal records (PR) on this leg: My average was 8.26 min/mile for a total of 56:17 minutes and my fastest 5K (part of the 6.7 miles) of 25:50 minutes.

My second leg was tough.  It was my “night” run.  It turned out to be closer to 4am but it was dark.  It was supposed to be closer to 2:30 but Van 1 was running behind.  We weren’t quite sure when we’d need to make the transition and I wanted to get up to help my friend prepare for her leg which was right before me.  So woke up at 1am after 2 hours of sleep and then waited.  And waited.  And waited.  

I finally got to run close to 4am.  Not only was this a hilly leg, it was a “wild card” transition, which meant that there was a 2 mile stretch where we could transition rather than one designated spot.  My partner and I took about 3/4 of a mile from runners’ 7 miles.  Their leg was long and literally climbing straight up.  So starting off on a hill that steep wasn’t fun but I dug deep.  I remembered all the training that I had done and the tough workouts like P90X and INSANITY.  I knew I could do it….somehow.  The downhills were hard on my knee, which at one point locked.  It was rough and wasn’t my finest run but I did it.  I was never so happy to see a transition.  I also really had to pee and was never so happy to see a porta-potty!

I tried to do some PiYo moves in between my transitions to help keep loose.  I also drank Results and Recovery to help fuel my muscles.  Sleep was sparse and eating was difficult to time right.  But I pushed on.  That is what a relay race is about after all.  

My last leg was a great one with some small rolling hills.  I was really lucky with my legs.  Some people had moutons to climb up and/or down.  Literally.  Anyway, we ran pretty fast and made up some time.  But I admit, I was tired. We saw some more beautiful mountains and even saw a yard with turkey sitting on the fence and goats butting heads.  It was pretty cool.  I didn’t have as much kick at the end as I usually do but I felt like I finished strong. 

It was a great experience with great people.  I got along well with the other people in my van and our partner van.  I laughed more than I wanted to cry (on that night run).  Actually I can’t remember when I laughed as hard as I did that weekend.  I won’t forget Reach the Beach but I am probably not likely to do it again.  It was very hilly and the end of the relay was cold and wet.  Yes, it started to rain on us. So picture me waiting on the beach for our last runners to come in so we can cross the finish line together while the rain is coming down and the waves are  crashing.  I couldn’t wait to do my next relay but someplace else….hopefully flatter. 

Well, a week and a half later when I just caught up on sleep I get a message from a friend. Do I want to run Ragnar ADK - -they have an injured runner.  My first reaction was “NO!”  Are you kidding me?  Run from Saratoga Springs, up, and I mean up to Lake Placid?  Reach the Beach was hilly — well mountainous but at least it was making its way to a beach.  Ragnar Adirondacks was making its way UP through the Adirondack Mountains!  Then my friend said it was runner 5.  So I checked out the legs for runner 5 and the distances and elevation changes were awesome!

 

If I was ever going to run Ragnar ADK, this was my opportunity to run relatively flat legs!!  Bottom line is I had a blast.  My first leg was in downtown Saratoga Springs.  3.5 miles.  It was hot in full sun but short so I ran hard.  My legs were ready.  Tony Horton, Shaun T and Chalene Johnson prepared me well for this Ragnar and I ran hard coming in at 30:32 minutes for 3.63 miles.  That is fast for me. 

My second leg was around midnight.  For the two other Ragnar Relays that ran, I had a partner team so the night run wasn’t so scary. This was my first on my own.  Strangely enough when the time came, I wasn’t scared.  I just ran hard.  I “killed” three people — I passed them so I did see some people on the road with me.  I admit, I was scared at one point when I heard a loud, heavy crack of a branch.  Maybe it was a deer.  I’m telling myself it was a deer. I ran 5.68 miles in 48:06 minutes for a 8’28” pace. Once again, Beachbody didn’t let me down. 

My last leg was another story.  It was my longest distance in the relay.  7.96 miles in full sun.  I was so hot.  The last half of the leg was really hilly.  Well, hilly is the wrong word.  It was a climb.  There were no down hills.  It was also on a sandy and rocky dirt road, not pavement.  That hurt.  I hate rocks.  But I managed to do it in a decent time.  Actually I can in under the projected time (pace adjusted for a hill factor and considering runners run slower on the third leg).  I managed to run it in 1:14:22 for a pace of 9’20”.  Very respectable. 



My teammates were there with cold water.  I love them for that.  I had 20 oz of water and nuun water (with nuun electrolyte tab) but I finished that with about 1/4 of a mile left.  I rested and stretched a little bit but then we had to go provide support for the last runner in our van and her leg was even harder.  It was a mountain that she had to climb. 

When the last runner of our van was done we hung around the Ausable.  I stuck my feet in and it felt wonderful.  After we rested we drove to Lake Placid to meet up with van 2 when they were done.  We had some beer and food at the Lake Placid Brewery.  That beer tasted so good.  Ok, it might have been empty calories but I burned about 1,700 calories over the course of my 3 runs and I know I didn’t consume enough to refuel properly!  



So now what?


Now I am a little sad.  I won’t have another relay for a while.  We might to Ragnar DC next September.  There are 2 shorter relays that we are considering.  Maybe I’ll do a trail relay in June.  But my running season is coming to an end.  I will run my Half Marathon on October 12.  I am hoping to come in just under 2 hours.  That will be a PR for me.  Then I will start focusing on cross training again.  I’ll run 2 or 3 times a week but the longest run will only be 6-8 miles. I miss Tony so P90X3 will be my next program.  I will almost certainly go back to using the 21 Day Fix meal guide to take a few pounds off that I let myself gain during this running season.  Its not much but I want it off.  I loved cross training with Focus T25 and PiYo these past few months but its back to X time!  When I am done with the 90 days of that the 21 Day Fix Extreme will be out — Autumn Calabreses’ training program for her bikini competition.  X3 will get me ready to take my training to the next level!  Then before I know it, I will be running again.  And I just might consider a marathon.  You gotta dream.   




                 




Saturday, October 11, 2014

3 Day Refresh and 21 Day Fix Challenge Groups

Are you interested in a cleanse to jump start clean eating?  I hate to use the "cleanse" word because this isn't harsh or scary.  I'm hosting a 3 day Refresh Challenge Group starting October 19th, followed by a 21 Day Fix Challenge Group on October 22nd. 

So what is the Refresh?
It is a 3 day program consisting of daily protein shakes, a fiber drink, lots of water, a variety of fruits, veggies and healthy fats throughout the day.  It is designed to keep your body fueled and increase your metabolism.

You will drink Shakeology for breakfast along with a piece of fruit. The Vanilla Fresh protein shakes are filling!  You get to pick your fruit and veggies to go along with it!

You are allowed to drink green tea during the day.  I did have 1 cup of decaf coffee (no milk) in the morning and this is allow but not encouraged.

The fiber drink reminds me of lemon tea.  It really isn't that bad!!

Dinner is a shake and veggies.  It is easy to follow and doesn't require complicated meals preparations.  

This Refresh is a great way to kick start your weight loss or just get back on track after vacation and to help get rid of the bloat!

My coaching is free with the purchase of the 3 Day Fresh package from my site.  You can learn more or purchase on Kat Johnson Fitness

This might be just the thing you are looking for!  Let me know if you have questions. I'd love to chat!



“In 3 days I lost 5.4 pounds, 21⁄2 inches off my waist, and an inch off my hips.” —3-Day Refresh participant, Jennifer C.

“I lost 4 pounds in 3 days. THAT’S INSANE!” —3-Day Refresh participant, Philippa B.

“I lost a couple of inches around my waist. My energy skyrocketed. I slept better. WOW!” —3-Day Refresh participant, Michael B.