Thursday, July 24, 2014

Thankful Thursday: New Stages & Steak Strips

It's thankful Thursday time! We all have so much to be thankful for and we love to take this opportunity just to write down each and everything that comes to mind. Please take this time to share with us what you're thankful for as well. If you have a blog expressing your thankfulness, please share the link! Without further ado, here's what we're thankful for:

Mandi's List:

I’m thankful for new stages. Mckenna started school today. It melted my heart and broke it all at the same time to see her with her little backpack on, prancing into school holding the hand of a new friend and an old friend. Our little social butterfly will thrive in school, and it warms my heart to see her eagerness to learn and meet new friends. My prayer for her as she starts this chapter of her life is that she always remains true to who she is and that she is a shining light for Jesus - loving her peers as He loves her.

I’m thankful for workout buddies. I’ve been going to the gym some morning really early with a friend of mine. It’s nice to have an workout buddy who pushes me to work harder, yet is fun to spend time with. It’s also amazing to have an hour workout in before 5AM.

I’m thankful for time with my uncle. My mom’s brother, Brad, is in town. It is so nice to get to spend time with him. He is a funny guy who is always enjoyable to be around…he’s a great addition to family time!

Ronnie's List:

I'm thankful for my big school girl. Granted, she'll probably be in preschool for 3 years, but she was ready to get out of the house and learn! Her first day was a success and she had nothing but good things to say about her teacher and her new friends. Crazy to think that her future maid-of-honor or husband could be in the room :) 

I'm thankful for Kirkland Steak Strips. I don't know if Costco just started to carry them or maybe I finally noticed them, but they are awesome. It's not your average beef jerky. They are thick and almost juicy, and in fact, after you open the bag, it must be refrigerated. Legit.

I'm thankful for new shows. Mandi and I have been killing our downtime with a show called White Collar on Netflix. If you've never seen it, you'll probably like it. If the main character met Mandi before I did, they'd be married...if it was just a show as off camera he is in a relationship with a dude. I'm safe for now :)

What are you thankful for today?

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Fun with Food

I enjoy finding fun recipes for Ronnie, Mckenna and I to try. It's always a fun challenge to find things that are tasty, healthy, and meet our dietary restrictions. Right now Ronnie and I are eating (pretty) clean; Ronnie is avoiding dairy (to see if it helps); and I'm eating gluten free (long story, but I'm giving it a go). At the same time, we like delicious food and flavorful recipes. So I dig around Pinterest until I find something that fits the bill.

Yesterday I found two winners, so we made them both.

Banana Pops

The first was a relatively healthy, but really fun snack for Mckenna (although they look so yummy, I'd consider making a variation for myself). They're cake pops with a healthy twist. They are so easy, Mckenna did most of it herself. Here's what's in them:

1 5.3oz container of Light & Fit Vanilla Greek Yogurt
1 tbsp raw honey
2 Bananas

We mixed the yogurt and honey. Dipped sections of banana on cake pop sticks into the mix. And then sprinkled the sprinkles on top. Put them on a cookie sheet or cutting board covered with wax paper, and put them in the freezer until frozen (we left them in for 6 hours).

**You end up with a lot of extra yogurt and honey mix, so you could do a lot more than 2 bananas.

This one is a winner. A delicious, delectable winner! I found this recipe on Pinterest. It makes clean, flour-less crepes (with just banana, eggs, cinnamon, and vanilla). The beauty of crepes is you can fill them with anything. I ate mine with peanut butter and strawberries inside and a sprinkle of chocolate chips on top. Ronnie had his with honey. Mckenna had hers with blueberries, and some sprinkles (it's amazing how many you have left over on the counter after you make the first I recycled them all day!)...note the side of Banana Pop on Mckenna's plate. These are seriously delicious and really healthy (depending on what you fill them with).

Both of these recipes are really yummy and have a lot of modifications you can do to add calories (for CF kiddos) or keep low calorie for everyone else. They both boast some good fats, carbs and protein.

Monday, July 21, 2014

Mandi Monday: My Favorite Exercises

Ronnie and I do what we can to keep working out interesting. Just like with most things in my life, I get bored doing the same thing for weeks on end...even exercises within our class that we take can get boring. So I try to switch it up. Within all the exercises we do, a couple are ones I always come back to because I feel they're the most effective.

Clean and Presses - I love me some clean and presses. We do clean and presses most days in our class, specifically with kettle bells. The beauty of a clean and press is that it works a lot of muscles, lower and upper body, and it really gets your heart rate up.

Straddle Jumps - We do them on a riser, 4 high. You stand on the riser, jump down so your feet straddle the bench (the narrow way), hit your tush to the bench, and jump back up. You repeat until you feel like you're going to die, and then keep going. It is some of the best cardio, in my opinion.

Plyo Pushups - We do these on a riser, 4 high, also. You put one hand on the floor, one on the riser, do a pushup, and then push off to switch which hand is on the riser and which is on the floor. You push off hard enough so that both hands are off the riser/floor at the same time. These are hard after a few sets. They get you breathing and your upper body burning.

Frog Jumps - These, for me, are one of the best ways to get my legs dead and heart rate up, fast. All you do is jump forward, landing in a squat. They are rough...especially on fatigued legs!

Burpees - I like that you can switch up burpees. I like that you can do normal burpees, or that you can add to them. My favorite is doing a burpee (putting your chest to the ground when you're down) and when you jump up, instead of just jumping into the air, I like jumping up onto a riser. The best part about burpees, though, is that you can modify them a lot of different ways, so you can keep them from getting boring.

Jack Hovers - For these you hold a hover, and you open and close your feet (like you were if you were standing up to do jump and jacks). The key is to keep your tush down and hold your torso as still as possible. I like these because they are a little more challenging than a standard hover, yet the time passes faster.

Plyo Lunges - These are lunges, but instead of just stepping back or forward when you switch legs, you jump to switch (with no stepping a foot down in between). You lunge forward with your left leg, and jump, switch so your left leg is back and right is front, and land like that. I love these because they get your legs burning and your heart rate up. I double dog dare you to try to do these for 2 minutes straight.

Running - Ok, this one is kind of obvious to make the list, but hear me out. I love running. Well actually, I love the feeling after a run. During a run, I don't really love running! Ha. Anyways, what I love about running is that you have options: long runs, short runs, speed work, trail runs, hill sprints, you name it.

There you have 'em...exercises I always come back to, and exercises we do at least once a week (most of these we do 3-4 times a week). They are good ones because most of them you can do at home. Give them a try sometime. Oh, and if you can do plyo lunges for 2 minutes straight, no breaks and WITH the jump, leave a comment and I will send you a virtual high-five because you are super human!