Patience is a Virtue
I for one can admit that patience has always been one of my weakest points. What is it about patience that is such a difficult quality to have? I suppose one could look at the world we live in nowadays and understand a bit why people do not have patience. We want everything to happen quickly. We want everything to come to us without work. We are programmed as such to make things happen now. So it’s no wonder why people are stressed out, have short tempers and make bad decisions. For myself, I know I can have patience in some areas and then fail miserably in others. Many times, when we set goals for ourselves we put high expectations on ourselves to achieve them in a short period of time. This however is not always the best plan if we want to see that goal through to the end. That is where patience comes in. I had a very wise for her age friend say to me one day, “Renee, patience is a muscle.” I didn’t know what she meant so I asked and she said, “Think of patience as a muscle. You relate to building muscle and you know that it takes a lot of work and time to build muscle. It’s something you can relate to.” Wow. That was a great analogy. I thanked her and I’ve been working on it ever since. She is correct, I can definitely relate to that and I remind myself of it quite often of her words. Obviously, I also tell my clients that weight loss, eating habits, healthy living is not something that will happen overnight. These things take time. Since I tell my clients that, I then have those same expectations for myself. Just like I do not expect my clients to be able to do something I can’t do, I’ve decided that I need to put ‘work’ into this area of my own life. It is a new goal for me. Yay! I love new goals because they make us stronger and promote growth. So I invite you to find an analogy for whatever area or goal you may be struggling with; maybe patience is also something you find difficult as well. Think of a way for you to relate to whatever that may be and when you find yourself frustrated, remind yourself. Trust me, seeing goals or struggles in a new light puts a whole new perspective on reaching it.
It’s been a while since I’ve taken the time to update my blog and I do apologize. With the holidays and then the whirlwind of suddenly deciding to open a business and getting everything ready for that in literally just a little over a month….whew! What can I say? You know, it’s funny as I look back on this event like so many others throughout the years. I realized along the way that I was just being, well, ‘me’. What do I mean by that? I am a procrastinator. There, I said it. Yep, I am. I procrastinate and that is how I do my best work and I don’t know how to do it any other way. I realized that years ago when I was then married with a young daughter, and I was an independent contractor for a company. I had a deadline of picking up and bringing back my work every other day, and I got very good at knowing how much work I should take home and how long it would take me to complete it. I would even push the envelope a bit and take a ‘little extra’ sometimes to challenge myself. But I would procrastinate, leave it to do in one day and then work like a mad woman to finish it. But I always did. I was one of the best independent contractors this company had. I was very good at working under pressure and I put myself in that situation almost the entire 10 years that I worked for the company. Over the years since then, I realized this is what I do and I unconsciously do it on purpose. Good stress? Yes, I would call it good stress for me. So over this past month of making the decision to open a business and actually putting things together to make it happen, I’ve found myself doing the same thing; knowing what I need done and when, but also waiting to do certain things until the last minute. I realized midway through when my boyfriend would go through the same checklist more than once and I would say, “Yes, I know what I need to get done,” and still put it off, but then power through and finish. Once again, I am finding that this is how I do my best work and I am accepting myself as such. Of course I’ve had tremendous help from family and friends along the way and I wouldn’t have been able to get this all put together in one month by myself, procrastinating or not. But either way, once again I’ve done my best work going at my own pace and I’ll be racing to the finish. Probably a good thing I’m working for myself J
Holidays, Schmolidays...Now What? How do you Stay on Track of your Health?
Here we are in the midst of holiday chaos, as some would call it. One down, three to go; how did you do on Halloween? No matter which holiday it is or if it is every holiday for that matter, it seems as though during this ‘tis the season’, many people’s pants get a bit tighter and you may have to loosen the belt a notch or two. Or do you? There are ways to ‘survive’ the 5 to 10lb (yes, you read that correct) weight gain, belly bulge of the holidays.
We all love the sounds, smells and sights of the holiday; the aroma of the turkey and stuffing in the oven, for us pumpkin lovers the deserts galore (and I don’t know about you, but I’ve been in the pumpkin spirit since the weather turned chilly), the sounds of Christmas music playing, beautiful lights, pine smelling candles and nuts roasting over an open fire, lest not forget the ringing in of the New Year. Wow, all of that makes my head spin! If that’s not enough, the parties, the food, the drinks – oh my! How can a couple of innocent months out of the year make us turn into stressed out, sugar addicted, belly bloated people?
Well, it doesn’t have to be that way. Let’s be smart about this. I want you to remember what the true meaning of each holiday is. Give thanks on Thanksgiving and Christmas for the wonderful family and friends you have, give thanks to the nourishing meal put before you and as you are eating it, take your time to enjoy it with your family; have gratitude. Don’t give in to the commercialism that has become of this time of year. Those are the reasons we get stressed out and overeat. Sure, it’s okay to have a few treats and cheers; even I will be having a few cheats and glasses of wine; it is the holidays after all. But using the excuse that it’s the holidays and having a “this is just the way it is attitude” may definitely land you in a larger size!
So I have just a few suggestions to pass along to those willing to listen. Really, these aren’t much different than the everyday tips I give to clients trying to lose weight or inches!
1. Be prepared. Yep, that simple. Wherever you are going; make sure you have a cooler packed with snacks or simple meals and water.
2. Exercise. Yep, that simple. Don’t let your workouts fall by the wayside because you’re “too busy;” schedule it in if need be, like you would an appointment. Exercise will be vitally important during the holidays because of the extra stress people put on themselves anyway. We all have the same 24 hours – make time for you, even if it is just 20 minutes!
3. Stay hydrated. Water, water, water; fruits & vegetables. Nothing more to say.
4. Don’t ‘starve’ your body because you know you’ll be eating extra calories at that party you’re going to. I can’t stress this enough – eat your meals/snacks just as you would any other day; which will actually help you not go overboard.
5. Eat your 5-6 small meals everyday; make sure you get plenty of fruits and vegetables, lean protein, healthy fats, fiber and whole grains. You’ll need the energy!
6. Plan ahead. Back to that party your going to…have a plan in your mind how many desserts or drinks, for example, you’re going to allow yourself; then stick to it! We are grown ups, you can make your own decision of what you want to put into your body; no one ‘makes you’ do it. Stand firm (there are sabotages out there) and don’t give in to ‘pure pressure’.
7. Don’t hover by the food tables. Seriously, standing by the foods will make you want to eat it, even if you’re not hungry. Go mingle!
8. If you’re bringing a dish bring something healthy that you can eat. We all know that many pot- luck style parties are usually not the best food choices. You can control some of that by sharing a healthy something.
9. Munch on the fruit and veggie trays (watch the dips!) before dinner and then look for the leanest cuts of meat, baked potato; hold the gravies/sauces.
10. If you’re going to drink try not to indulge in the fruity, sugary, high calorie ‘festive’ looking drinks. And for gosh sakes, do not drink and drive!
11. Don’t bake a ton of ‘goodies’ if you can’t control yourself from eating many before they leave the house! Equally, don’t participate in the cookie exchange unless you want them lingering well after the holidays.
12. Don’t overbook yourself. My goodness, let’s go back to the true meaning of the holidays; yes it’s a time of joy but it’s not meant to put added stress on your life or your pocketbook for that matter.
13. Meditate and/or get a massage. This can be a very nice gift to yourself during this time. Take it!
14. Go outside and be active; kids off school, good family sledding, ice skating, skiing time. Even this girl who does not appreciate winter will be outside cross-country skiing.
15. If you are a person with a goal of losing weight, put the “losing” aside and put in your mind “maintaining” instead. You will put less stress on yourself with that mentality and it will help you stay more focused.
16. Get sleep! Enough said.
Whew! I think I’ve covered most of them. Just remember, the holidays are a special time of year that hold different meanings for many. Stay in tune with your body and your health. It’s not worth all of the effort you’ve put in thus far to have it thrown away in a couple of months; nor is it worth it period. Food is our bodies’ nourishment. Food has meaning and purpose just as the holidays do. Be thankful for all of the good your healthy mind, body and soul do for you.
-In good health
Here is the next series of recipes from my FB page (ReneeSchoenFitnessForever) - Enjoy!
No bake protein balls:
1 Scoop chocolate whey protein powder
1/3 cup any nut butter (I used almond)
1/3 cup maple syrup (I used 1/2 the amount- can use honey if you choose)
1 tbsp Real Vanilla Extract
1 1/2 tsp Cinnamon
1/3 cup dark chocolate chips
Optional: Extra coconut for rolling them in
**My spin** - cut the Cinnamon down to 1 1/4 tsp and added ALMOST 1/8 tsp Cayenne Pepper (yes, you saw that right)
1. In a food processor (I use my mini FP and it works great) combine protein powder, nut butter and coconut until ingredients are mixed well and start to clump
2. Add Maple syrup, vanilla, cinnamon (Cayenne if you're using it) and pulse to combine. Add chocolate chips and pulse again to mix.
3. Roll into golf ball sized balls and roll in coconut, if desired. Place on Parchment lined container and place in refridgerater until firm. Makes approx 8 protein balls.
Enjoy pre-workout! Cayenne and Chocolate go very well together, if you like a little 'kick' and with the Cinnamon even better! (Start out with a bit less if you're unsure of the flavor). Let me know what you think!
10 eggs + 6 whites
12 Slices of Low Sodium Turkey Bacon, each cut in half
½ Pepper, finely chopped (I used green)
½ cup Red Onion, finely chopped
Sun Dried Tomatoes, finely chopped (dry; not in olive oil)
1 Large Clove Garlic, minced
2 Handfuls of Baby Spinach, chopped
1 tbsp. Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Sea Salt & Pepper, to taste
Heat oven to 350 degrees and coat large muffin tin (I used two-6 cup tins) with cooking spray or lightly brush with olive oil. Line each muffin cup crossways with 1 piece of turkey bacon. Heat 1 tbsp. olive oil in pan on medium heat; add onions and peppers and garlic; sauté until translucent, about 2-3 minutes. Add baby spinach and sauté until spinach is wilted. In small bowl whisk together whole eggs plus egg whites until mixed well and slightly frothy. Add in spinach mixture; sun dried tomatoes and salt & pepper, do not over whisk. Spoon egg mixture into muffin cups; do not fill more than ¾ full to avoid spillage. Bake approximately 25-30 minutes or until eggs are set and top starts to brown. Cool in pan for about 10 minutes before removing from cups and allow to cool on rack completely before refrigerating.
To reheat: Place on microwave safe plate and either cut in half or cut into chunks so it heats evenly. Serving suggestion: Toast one, 100% whole wheat English muffin, spread on 1 Laughing Cow Cheese and add Egglet on top; serve with ½ piece of fruit.
*Egglets are very low in calories and good source of protein so you could have two (not two English muffins☺) – Approx. protein per cup is 7 grams
Top: Egglet w/oatmeal & strawberries
Bottom: Egglet on English Muffin w/ LC Cheese & 1/2 peach
I added low sodium chicken broth; about 1 1/2 containers for my crockpot (make sure you have enough because when noodles they will soak up some juice)
1 bag frozen cut green beans, 1 bag fresh cut carrots, 1/2 chopped white onion, chopped celery (add veggies to your size crockpot)
garlic salt, rosemary, fennel seeds, cracked pepper, to taste
I put it on low for about 6 hours and when I got home I turned it off and added Healthy Harvest wide noodles and covered again. It sat about 30 minutes while we put salad together and ate, so by then the noodles were perfectly done; not soggy. That is the trick to noodle soup - don't add the noodles until the end!
2lb lean ground turkey, browned
2 cans medium spice chili beans
2 cans black beans, drained & rinsed
1 large can low sodium vegetable juice
2 cans diced roasted tomatoes
1 large can whole stewed tomatoes
2 large bunches of celery, chopped
2 green peppers, chopped
1 orange pepper, chopped
1 large yellow onion, chopped
3 large garlic cloves, minced; another 2 cloves, optional
1/2 cup Quinoa, rinsed thoroughly
4 bay leaves
2 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp onion flakes
1/2 cup McCormick Chili Powder
2 tsp McCormick Chipotle Chili Pepper seasoning
2 packets Stevia, optional
Large Crockpot or Stockpot
Brown ground turkey with chopped onions, drain on paper towels, add to crockpot or stock pot. In same pan, heat 2 tbsp olive oil and add 3 garlic cloves; sauté for 1 minute then add peppers and celery and sauté for about 5 minutes. Add vegetables, tomatoes, juice, bay leaves, onion flakes, 1/4 cup chili powder and 1 tsp Chipotle seasoning to pot. Cook on low. After chili has cooked approx. 4 hours stir in quinoa. Optional to add remaining, 1/4 cup chili powder, 1 tsp Chipotle seasoning and Stevia. Cook at least 2-4 additional hours. Remove bay leaves before serving.
Refrigerate remaining/freezes well.
*Adjust seasonings to your liking; Chipotle seasoning will make it spicier but gives great flavor :)
2/3 cup organic Cocoa powder (I used Hershey's Special Dark)
1 cup almonds, ground - I ground mine in my food processor
1/4 cup organic unsweetened coconut flakes
3/4 cup fresh Medjool dates (pitted) -easy to do, just cut open and remove the pit
3 tbsp extra virgin organic coconut butter, gently warmed to melt
1/4 tsp sea salt
hemp seeds or chia seeds to roll them in, optional
1. Combine cocoa powder, ground almonds and coconut flakes in food processor.
2. Add dates, coconut butter and sea salt; puree until mixtures sticks together. If needed, add a bit more melted coconut butter or dates to adjust texture to desired stickiness and level of sweetness.
3. Roll into 1 inch balls and sprinkle or roll in hemp seeds or chia seeds - I used chia seeds (which yes are messy when eating :)
Anyway, I bought the 100% whole wheat Naan Flatbreads for this batch (found them at Wal-Mart), but you can use pitas as well. I'm just going to list each pizza and its toppings from top left to right...
Breakfast Pizza: 1 Light Laughing Cow cheese for 'sauce'
Sprinkled w/Garlic Powder, Baby Spinach Leaves, 2 Scrambled Eggs, Cooked Turkey Breakfast Sausage, Red Onion, chopped, Crumbled Feta Cheese, sprinkled lightly on top.
Chicken Sausage Pizza: No Salt Added Tomato Paste for 'sauce', Sprinkled w/Oregano, Italian Seasoning, Garlic Powder, topped w/Red, Yellow, Orange Mini Peppers, chopped, Red Onion, chopped, Chicken Sausage, cooked and Mozzarella Cheese.
Chicken Pesto Pizza: Homemade Pesto for 'sauce' (or store bought), Grilled Chicken, cubed, Julienne Sundried Tomatoes (not in Oil), Mozzarella Cheese.
Chicken BBQ Pizza: Ken Davis 2Carb BBQ 'Sauce', Grilled Chicken, cubed, Mini Peppers and Red Onion, chopped, Mozzarella Cheese.
Bacon N' Pineapple Pizza: No Salt Added Tomato Paste for 'sauce', Sprinkled w/Garlic Powder, Oregano/Italian Seasoning, Pineapple Tidbits in Natural Juice, drained, Mozzarella Cheese, Jennie-O Low Sodium Turkey Bacon - not cooked (it will cook while baking the pizza, just be sure to lay it on top)
Turkey Pepperoni Pizza: No Salt Added Tomato Paste for 'sauce', Sprinkled w/Garlic Powder, Oregano/Italian Seasoning, Mini Peppers, Red Onion, chopped, Low Sodium Turkey Pepperoni, Mozzarella Cheese.
Use your imagination - I love Chicken Alfredo - use the Laughing Cow Cheese, Baby Spinach and Broccoli, Chicken
How about Vegetarian? All Vegetables that you love!
Renee's Recipe for Healthy Life Goals:
1 dose of motivation
1 nudge of inspiration
1 heaping scoop of determination
Several dashes of support
Mix together well with several sprinkles of positive. Add plenty of faith.
Spread over a lifetime and share with everyone :)
Want a challenging workout that will get you in and out of the gym in under one hour? This workout will give you a total body workout plus cardio! I challenge you to give it a try, adjusting weight/speeds as needed, and then every couple weeks bring it into your workout again and see how you've improved! Let me know what you think.
Tabata Workout (20 seconds work/10 seconds rest)
Well fall is in the air whether we are ready for it or not. I for one am not ready for it because I know then that winter is right around the corner. Why do summers go so fast? How about time in general? As I get older every summer, I realize how precious our time is on this earth how fast paced this world is. This world of technology; IPhones, IPads, Xbox, Electronics paired with fast food and drinks; McDonalds, Taco Bell, Caribou, Starbucks. Wow, it’s no wonder 65% of adults are overweight and 31% are obese and at risk for chronic disease and one out of every three kids are either overweight or obese! And a staggering prediction that 42% of Americans will be obese by 2030! How did this happen? This fast paced world, where work and stress have become the norm and convenience meals have taken place of home cooking and Facebook & Skype have become our communication routes. Where all of the electronic ‘stuff’ consumes us, kids included; myself included at times. When one day we realize that time, the one thing we have too little of on earth, is passing us by; at least in my world I’m realizing how quickly time is passing by. How about you; do you stop and look in the mirror and wonder where the years have gone? Or are you so busy you don’t even have time for that? What a shame if that is true.
Fall, another changing season. I don’t mind fall actually, though if you know me well, you know that I prefer summer all year round. The one thing I look forward to in the fall are soups and stews in the crock pot; comfort foods essentially. Yep, I love food if you haven’t figured that out already. Food can get me in trouble however, if I don’t watch my portions and what choices I make, especially as the weather turns colder and I too am less active in the winter months. And it must be an instinctual thing to have food a plenty in the house before winter. My fridge & freezer are full, my cupboards and pantry are full and yet, I keep buying more every week! I seriously need to take an inventory; I think I could open a store. I am looking forward to my first pot of homemade chili. It’s the first thing I make when October rolls around and the wind is blustery and I don’t want to go outside. Again, I will make a ginormous amount and send some home with my boyfriend and my daughter and we’ll be eating it for a week. The second comfort meal that I make will be lasagna, with leftovers for sure. I rarely eat pasta so this is a splurge on my part, which I make about twice a winter. So how do I still manage to stay fit and healthy with all of this food? I cook my meals and I watch my portions. I keep eating clean 90% of the time and I still workout (though I have to push myself harder to do so); oh and you won’t find me in the drive-thru at the fast food chains at all or even at a restaurant too often. Though many seasons will come and go and time passes by ever too quickly, I keep one thing in check no matter what the weather is outside; and that is my health. Health is not something I am willing to compromise. I cannot prevent the wrinkles on my face or my eyes from needing reading glasses (Lol, if you know the joke; I may need them but am not willing to admit it or get them yetJ), or my joints from aching now that I am older. I can prevent myself from feeling older by exercising and eating healthy; I can give myself permission to slow down and relax sometimes, I can feed my mind, body and soul with all of the nourishment it needs and what better time to do that but in the winter? Take a good look at yourself in the mirror. Are you getting older? Do you feel older? Do you look older? Has time been passing you by so quickly that we’ve forgotten the importance of yourself? Are you in such a fast paced whirlwind that you lost sight? Time is precious. Your health is precious. Your body is a gift and you only have one. Be good to yourself. Be good to your body. Nourish it and move it. Don’t wait until you look in the mirror and realize that all we have is time and with that there are no guarantees.
-In good health
Zucchini Bread (I make muffins)
Here is the original recipe: http://allrecipes.com/recipe/moms-zucchini-bread
Here is my cleaned up version:
3 cups whole wheat pastry flour
1/2 tsp teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
4 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 egg + 4 egg whites
1 cup canned pure pumpkin puree (or you may use unsweetened applesauce)
1 1/2 cups Sucanat (organic brown sugar) or Coconut sugar
3 teaspoons Pure Vanilla Extract
3-4 cups grated zucchini
1 cup chopped walnuts
1/2 cup Golden Raisins
Follow mixing directions as stated on allrecipes.com; grease small or medium muffin tin with coconut oil and bake at 325* until toothpick comes out clean. Baking times will vary depending on size of muffin tin; my small took 10 min, medium took 15 min. Cool on baking rack and freeze.
Here's the added bonus: Take one muffin (or two if they are the smaller) and thaw/warm in microwave. In small container take 2 TBSP Plain Greek yogurt and mix with 1 packet Stevia and serve on top of muffin. Tastes like cream cheese frosting. Enjoy for pre-workout snack
1 can of tuna (I used Albacore today) or Salmon packet
chopped red onion
minced chives (I used fresh from my herb garden, optional)
dill (I just used McCormick today)
zest of 1/2 lemon
pinch of cayenne pepper
1 tbsp Olive Oil Mayo
2 tbsp Greek yogurt
1/2 cup Panko whole wheat bread crumbs
Mix everything except Panko together in a bowl until mixture is wet; add Panko and mix well so it becomes 'sticky'. Divide mixture into 2-3 balls (mine was a bigger can of tuna so it made three); press to make a patty. Heat olive oil in a pan and when HOT, put each patty in the pan and cook until browned on both sides. Top with salsa or take 2 tbsp Greek Yogurt and mix with add'l seasonings to your liking.
Homemade Pesto Chicken Pizza
Pesto: (or you can buy it in the store)
3 cups basil 1 cup parsley
3 to 4 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil (or as needed)
2 to 3 cloves garlic, peeled and sliced thin
2 tbsp pine nuts, lightly toasted
S & P to taste
Put basil, parsley, garlic, pine nuts in blender or food processor and blend. Add oil slowly as needed; keep blending. Add cheese and S&P; blend all until smooth.
Spoon into individual snack baggies and freeze - take out to that in fridge as needed. (snack bag = approx. 1/2 cup)
1 whole wheat pizza crust (such as Boboli)
Spread 1 baggie or 1/2 cup pesto on pizza (more if desired, but remember pesto has a strong flavor)
Top with sliced cooked chicken (I cooked mine on my George Foreman)
Top with Julienne Sun Dried Tomatoes (not in oil)
Top with sliced red pepper
Top with Shredded Monterey Jack Cheese