Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Champion Performance Recipe of the Week - 2 Ingredient Recipes, Part VI

It's amazing how many things you can make with just two ingredients! As we hit Part 6 of my 2-Ingredient Recipes Series, let's focus on veggies. Lots and lots of veggies. ;-) Athletes and Clean-Eaters alike thrive on an abundance of vegetables... green leafy, green, red, orange, yellow, brown, white... there are so many to choose from! And when your diet involves a reduction in starchy carbs, you can freely fill up on non-starchy veggies. PLUS... if you use my steamer bag method, it makes your one-day food prep a SNAP!!

Easy Steamed Veggies

Sprinkle veggies with Mrs Dash and steam per your preferred method.

I find the Ziploc Zip'N Steam Cooking Bags to be an invaluable addition to my kitchen. When I do my one-day food prep, I chop my veggies, bag them, add Mrs Dash and toss them in the fridge until I need them. They're easily portable - just toss in your cooler and go! And they make mealtime prep a cinch! Just grab a bag, nuke, and eat!

Some of my favorites....
Asparagus & Mrs Dash Garlic & Herb or Mrs Dash Lemon Pepper. Microwave 2.5 minutes then squirt fresh lemon juice on the asparagus.
Broccoli & Cauliflower with Mrs Dash Garlic & Herb
Zucchini & Yellow Squash with Mrs Dash Garlic & Herb
Green Beans & Brown Mushrooms (baby bella / crimini) with Mrs Dash Garlic & Herb (got room for fat? add slivered almonds!)
Peppers (red, green, orange, yellow) & Mrs Dash Garlic & Herb
Snow Peas & Cherry Tomatoes with Mrs Dash Garlic & Herb. Microwave 1.5 minutes. (got room for fat? add 1 tsp coconut oil to the steamer bag).
Diced Potatoes, Peppers & Onion with Mrs Dash Garlic & Herb and Mrs Dash Southwest Chipotle

Can you tell the Garlic & Herb blend is my favorite? ;-) I also love the Fiesta Lime on Tilapia, the Southwest Chipotle & Extra Spicy blends on beef or chicken, and the Tomato, Basil & Garlic Blend on beef or chicken! So many to play with!

You can find tons of steamed veggie combos on my website:  http://recipeforfitness.com/recipes/sides/index.html

I love, love, LOVE Mrs Dash! ;-)

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Monday, October 28, 2013

Should You Be Taking a Greens Supplement? YES!

Back in July, I introduced you to someone who's made a world of difference in my health - Vitamin Dave. He's the guru of vitamin-ology and seriously changed my life. His recommendations and expertise have drastically reduced the daily pain I live with, and I'm thrilled to share him with you. One of the biggest sources of reduced inflammation comes from the Greens supplement he recommended. I mix it with unfiltered apple juice and it tastes fantastic! Even my hubby likes it! Good Greens Powders are pricey, but this one is worth every single penny. Truly.

This is the one I use, that's Vitamin David-Approved ;-) Paradise Herbs Orac Energy Greens.  I very highly recommend it!

Have you ever wondered if you should be taking Greens? The answer is yes, for a million reasons ;-) In the following article, Dave explains the benefits.

Greens for the Urban Athlete
by David Katcef

One of the best parts about living in Orange County is the perfect climate.  Year round we have blue skies, brilliant sunshine and clean air.  The climate affords an excuse to be active.  Before the sun rises til well after it has set, many adventurous Californians are out and about, improving their health and wellness.  In the O.C. cycling along the road means sharing the road with millions of cars, mingling with traffic, and the business end of an exhaust pipe.

The other day I was stopped at Dover and PCH, and witnessed something familiar.  A pack of four cyclists were waiting patiently at a traffic light.  They stood straddling their bikes, covered in sweat, drinking water, and appreciating a little break.  As the light turned green and nearby cars sped by, the cyclists met a cloud of exhaust which covered and invaded their bodies.

In that moment, I was reminded of how beneficial it can be for exercise enthusiasts to consume greens to stave off the damaging effects of exhaust emissions.  A study conducted by M.I.T in 2013 showed that in America alone, more than 53,000 people die from exhaust emissions each year. Despite living beneath clear skies, we should be aware of how frequently we are in close proximity to vehicle emissions.  Keep in mind, 99% of all emissions are invisible!

According to Environmental Protection Agency, what follows are some of the toxins emitted by vehicles and absorbed by our bodies: 1

Benzene is the most abundant hydrocarbon in automobile exhaust.  A powerful carcinogen, it can cause lymphoma and leukemia as well as inhibit the production of red and white blood cells and preventing immature cells from maturing into their full form and function.  It can shred apart DNA and chromosomes. The damage that benzene causes to your blood will have a huge effect on your performance and recovery.

Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons are a set of compounds found both in deep space and anywhere fuels are being burnt.  PAH vary in carcinogenic effect when inhaled.  They are fat-soluble and are, therefore, harder to remove once embedded.  Especially abundant in diesel fumes, these carcinogens have been shown to adversely affect reproduction for both men and women, disrupt the endocrine system, and cause severe inflammation effects in the lungs.

Carbon Monoxide is an organic compound that inhibits performance and recovery because it binds more effectively to hemoglobin better than oxygen.  Every year, this odorless and tasteless poison takes lives. While waiting at red lights or crawling through traffic, we are guaranteed to breathe an abundance of CO.
Nitrogen Dioxide (NO2) is the reason exhaust smells acrid and poisonous.  Once it comes in contact with moisture on your body, NO2 is converted into nitric acid, which is extremely toxic to the lining of the lungs, sinuses and eyes.  It will exasperate asthma, bronchitis, emphysema and it can damage the cardiovascular system in high dosages.  Emissions from light duty trucks and heavier vehicles mixed with NO2 and sunlight to produce the compound Ozone.  High up in the sky, ozone shields us from UV radiation; while down on the ground, ozone irritates the respiratory system, causing coughing, choking, and reduced lung capacity.

Where do we go from here?  Should we do all exercise inside? Wear a SCUBA tank as you ride outside?  There’s another way—a practical solution older than as civilization itself.  Make yourself a recovery shake or meal full of dark green vegetables and undo some of the damage done from mingling with traffic.  Greens alone can help our bodies rid itself of the payload of carcinogens and free radicals now in circulation.

The green pigment in plants is called chlorophyll.  This unique compound has a host of capabilities that can diminish the devastation of carcinogens.  The ring structure that sits at the heart of chlorophyll mimics the same middle compound found in our blood.  This ring can help negate the effects of benzenes and CO on red blood cells by providing the raw material to manufacture more.  The long tail of chlorophyll is fat-soluble. It can readily bind to the PAH’s embedded in tissue and in circulation and begin their removal process.2 Cruciferous vegetables also contain compounds that can assist in the removal of these harmful reproductive agents.3,4  Chlorophyll loves the UV spectrum of light.  It can easily bind free radicals caused by UV radiation, which will help protect your skin from the sun. 5

Our external immune system is composed of the gut, lungs, sinuses, eyes and skin.  Maintaining proper gut health can have a profound effect on how the immune capabilities in these other areas perform.  Fiber from greens will sweep the gut and promote proper bowel motility, and purging excess waste from the body ensures that these toxins aren't just reabsorbed into our system, where they’d wreak more havoc.
Here are just a few examples of greens that can be mixed together to maximize the detoxification effect: chlorella, spirulina, broccoli, spinach, grasses (barley, kamut and wheat), cucumber, celery, parsley, green beans, cilantro, asparagus and kale to name a few. 

The restorative and mitigating power of greens is nothing short of amazing.  My comments so far have mostly focused on cyclists; it is easy to see how this concept of consuming greens can benefit everyone exercising near traffic anywhere in the United States.

So be safe and take care of yourselves.  See you on PCH sometime!

Vitamin Dave

About Dave:
Working on the retail side of the natural foods and supplement industry for the past decade I have devoted myself to staying up to date on the current information and trends being presented in the field.  After serving in the Marine Corps, I attended Florida Atlantic University to obtain a Bachelors of Science in Exercise Science and Health Promotion to advocate and educate about a healthy and active life style. Perpetually studying physiology and biochemistry as a National Educator, my goal is to provide a unique bridge between the “micro” and “macro” world of supplements and nutrition.

2. Antimutagenic activities of common vegetables and their chlorophyll content, http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/0165121880900579 (1980).
3. Kristal AR, Lampe JW. Brassica vegetables and prostate cancer risk: a review of the epidemiological evidence. Nutr Cancer. 2002;42(1):1-9.  (PubMed)
4.  Auborn KJ, Fan S, Rosen EM, et al. Indole-3-carbinol is a negative regulator of estrogen. J Nutr. 2003;133(7 Suppl):2470S-2475S.  (PubMed)

5. Ching-Yun Hsu, Pi-Yu Chao, Shene-Pin Hu, Chi-Ming Yang, The Antioxidant and Free Radical Scavenging Activities of Chlorophylls and Pheophytins, Food and Nutrition Sciences, 2013, 4, 1-8.

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Where are the words?

This last weekend was... horrible. I struggle to find words to describe it. What was to be a fun filled time was shattered by personal tragedy, leaving all of us trembling in its wake. Could it have been worse? Of course. No lives were lost, but that doesn't diminish the depth of trauma that occurred. Amid the joy of of having my daughter and her husband with us for a birthday celebration, a freak accident changed lives in a heartbeat. No one was left untouched. We hurt, we grieved, we feared, and as we huddled together throughout the night, we did what families do - we loved, we comforted, we prayed.

In times of crisis true natures are revealed. While I have loved my son-in-law from the beginning, through this weekend I saw a core of strength, maturity and compassion in him that was beautiful. My beloved daughter holds my heart, and I saw that same strong center in her - wrapping her arms and love around her friend - literally holding her together. I saw my parents, strong and constant, honorable and supporting. Friends and family stood together throughout, holding tight.  They made me proud. They made me steady. They helped me stand in for a mother who was over a thousand miles away - a mother who I know would have stood in for me, had it been my child hurt.

But, I also saw bitter meltdowns, loved ones viciously lashing out in fear, cruelty and sorrow, causing unnecessary pain and damage. I hope those bonds will heal.

When something happens that's outside of our control, there's no one, and nothing, to blame. There's nothing to point a finger at, no one to demand retribution of. It just is. For most of us, there is no choice but to continue to walk through the fire. We'll all be marked, changed forever. Hopefully we'll all be stronger, too. Forged by that flame, made more than what we were.

Scar tissue is one of the strongest substances in existence. Once it forms, it's stronger than the original muscle, tendon, even bone. We all bear scars - physical and emotional, visible and hidden. I've learned to wear mine proudly. They make me who I am. They show me to be an overcomer, a warrior. They're proof I survive and thrive. It is my fervent prayer that this sweet, beautiful young woman finds strength and pride in her own. I pray that peace, hope and thankfulness rise and reign. I pray for wisdom and grace to walk the road ahead, for all of us.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Champion Performance Recipe of the Week - 2 Ingredient Recipes, Part V

Happy Tuesday! Time for the Recipe of the Week! Ready for another yummy 2-Ingredient Recipe?

The amazing folks at Champion Performance recently unveiled their new brand (formerly Champion Nutrition) and better than ever protein powders. I got my hands on the new and improved Strawberry Sundae and let me tell you.... it's FANTASTIC!! And it makes an incredible, decadent mousse!

This easy recipe whips up in a jiff and provides a whopping 45 grams of protein for your hungry muscle!

Strawberry Sundae Protein Mousse
serves 1

1 cup plain greek yogurt
1 scoop Champion Performance Pure Whey Plus Supplement, Strawberry Sundae

Blend ingredients together until smooth. Serve.

You can prepare this ahead of time, then keep chilled until you're ready for it.
If you use a mixer to blend it, you'll get a fluffier mousse.
Add sliced fresh strawberries.
Sprinkle in crushed graham cracker or granola.
Top with sugar-free cool whip.
This also makes a fantastic frozen yogurt!! Use your ice cream maker or the ziploc method!

Special Note... CERTAIN PRODUCT LINKS THAT APPEAR ON THIS PAGE COME FROM AMAZON SERVICES LLC. THIS CONTENT IS PROVIDED 'AS IS' AND IS SUBJECT TO CHANGE OR REMOVAL AT ANY TIME.  “Recipe for Fitness is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.”

Sunday, October 20, 2013

6 Days Post Surgery, Updates, and 5th Anniversary...

Recovery is going well. Quicker than I expected, in some ways, though I've discovered that having an incision is a sure-fire way to create targeted klutz. I have scraped my elbow, bumped it into doorjambs, wobbled into walls, and smacked car doors more in the last week than I have in many years (combined). The good news is that the stitching is industrial strength, lol, and no matter how severely I've whapped it, my elbow stitching has remained intact. ;-)

I tire very quickly, which irritates the bejeebers out of me. But, my range of motion improves every day - I went from just wiggling my fingers to flexing my wrist, to being able to fully move and extend my arm - all in just 6 days. I wore the sling dutifully, until the dressing came off. Once all the padding was gone, the sling irritates the stitches, so I can only handle it for short periods of time. Mostly I walk around holding my arm as if it were in a sling, lol.

I've also discovered the dangers of ice-packs and vicodin, haha. I took my pills, laid down with an ice pack and fell asleep, not feeling that the ice pack was against my skin instead of just the dressing. I gave myself freezer burn. Oops.

The incision is quite a bit longer than we expected, but I can live with it. If you look at the photo below, the incision goes the whole length of the steri-strips. Around our house we're proud of our battle scars ;-) Though I really hope the ice burn goes away. Lol.  I go back on Thursday for my post-op and will get the dish on where we go from here. Personally, I'm anxious to get the steri-strips off - some of you might remember that I'm allergic to adhesive and those buggers are stinging and itching. No hives, thank goodness, but I'm definitely ready to have them removed!

My youngest had her doctor appointment this week to go over the latest round of test results. We've (finally) been given a diagnosis and she's relieved to have learned the reason behind the last two years of health struggles. We have a path to follow, and in addition she's doing well with implementing her gluten free lifestyle. It was humorous to me that she was the one to bring up nutrition to the rheumatologist, and to see her get angry when he pooh-pooh'd it. I had to remind her that doctors aren't paid by farmers, but by pharmaceutical companies. She got pretty steamed when he told her that nutrition had nothing to do with health. Ya'll can imagine my response, lol, but it pleased me that she's embraced its importance and is quick to defend it. Regardless of his opinion, she's focusing on her nutrition, listening to her body, and adjusting to the struggles she's facing and will continue to face. I'm very, very proud of her.

The house remodel continues... one set of patio doors is in and I just can't get over how much it changes the house! We'd hoped for it, of course, but seeing the reality is wonderful! Now, after tearing down walls inside, and tearing out the back wall and putting in the glass sliders, you can see the pool waterfall from the front door. It's so exciting!

Tomorrow the patio doors go in to the Master bedroom, then once that's complete, we finish up the drywall, then paint, then lay floors! Mom had the awesome idea of having a 'signing party' - where we all sign the floor before we lay the wood down. How fun!! I bought the sharpies today ;-)

This next week will be crazy and full (as usual). Doctor's appointments, work, and the usual stuff, plus Shi and Jared are coming to visit! If all goes well, they'll arrive Thursday (my birthday!) and that will be terrific to see them and spend time together. We've really missed them!  Can't believe they've been married for 2 months already!

So... that's what's happening here. While my own nutrition isn't the usual 6 meals/day, I am getting proper protein, carbs, and healthy fats... and eating a LOT of salad, lol. Not much fruit, as frankly it's been just too much trouble. Today Bill helped me grocery shop (can't quite push that cart around yet), and I've got greek yogurt and cottage cheese for healthy snacking, along with my usual chicken, whole grains, and veggies. It's nice to be able to feed myself properly again ;-)   I'll be using my crockpot again for the majority of this week's meals. The chicken breasts are already chopped and bagged, ready to be tossed in the crockpot. I've also still got a beef stew prepped in the freezer and ready for the slow cooker, so we're stocked and good to go.

I'm anxious to be cleared to hit the gym again. Today is my first full day off pain meds, so I'm hoping to at least be able to hit the stairmaster by mid-week. It'll depend on if I can hold onto the rails yet or not. We'll see.

This week also marks 5 years (FIVE YEARS) of maintaining my weight loss! WOOOHOOO! Throughout my physical challenges, several surgeries, and the vast etc., lol, my nutrition has kept me stable. The years and habit of healthy clean-eating and exercise have allowed me a much appreciated grace period for times like this when I cannot burn the extra calories. I know that physique-wise, I'm soft right now, but my clothes all still fit and I'm still holding steady.

The lifestyle change works, my friends! :-)

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

I'm back... sort of.

Typing is iffy, so please forgive any typos in this post. Monday dawned too bright and too early. I was scheduled for check in at the surgery center at 1:15pm, so my hopes of sleeping away my hunger and thirst burst like an overfilled balloon. Wide awake, I did busy work, even readied dinner in the crockpot - probably not my best idea as soon the house was filled with the scent of a yummy ham and potato casserole. Hangry. Lol. Finally at 12:30 we headed out.

The surgery center was great - they got me in and settled quickly, leaving me little time to think about being nervous. The nurse who put in my IV was the best ever! Hardly felt it! I wrote on my arm in sharpie (left handed, lol), then the doctor initialed it, the anesthesiologist hooked me up and away we went. My surgery lasted all of 20 minutes. Crazy! Though we don't know much yet, my post op appt is next week, we do know that the tendon was successfully stitched back together, debris removed, and he didn't have to reattach to bone (yay!). Ironically, my recovery nurse recognized me from Dec. 2010 when I had my knee fixed. Lol!

Yesterday was mostly sleeping and pill popping, though I did manage to dress myself (pajamas, but still), and I made my own lunch (probably not the best idea). Then my replacement phone arrived. For those of you who didn't see it on facebook, I dropped my phone on sunday and the touchscreen stopped working. Major booo. I made my claim through Asurion (Sprint's 3rd party) and they sent out a replacement (after charging me a huge deductible). Let's just say what they consider "comparable" and "equivalent" is a freaking joke. JOKE. The hubby got home, and we headed out to the Sprint store to contest it. After much drama (I'm meaner when I'm in pain and on drugs) I finally won the war and my new comparable and equivalent phone will arrive this morning ;-)

Yesterday was my son's 22nd birthday and he stopped by to visit for a bit. 22 years. His sister, Shiloh, posted a wonderful photo collage on facebook for him and it was so sweet - until she said, Let's remind Mom how old she is. Lol! You can always count on your kids, right? ;-)

Today I have more range of motion and am one day away from being able to remove the bandages. I'm still trying to scrub off the betadyne, but the oompa-loompa look is in, right? ;-)  The swelling has gone down enough that I can peek under the wrap and see the bandages, trying to figure out how big my scar will be, lol. I peeked until I saw a long piece of stitching then got the heebeejeebees.

It hurts. Not gonna lie. It's more pain than after my knee surgery, which surprised me. I felt like I finally got a handle on the pain yesterday, then never felt my 7pm dose kick in (good bad or otherwise) so off to sleep I went. Made it to 3:30am when apparently ALL the drugs exited my system and wow - it was rough.  Scavenging through the freezers for a frozen-enough ice pack, taking a full dose, then sucking down a bunch of water - it took about an hour and a half for the ice and drugs to help. Note to self... don't skip doses. Period.

Bethany has a doctor appt today, so this afternoon I'll be riding shotgun, lol, and hopefully we'll have some answers for her. She's already feeling the benefits of being mostly gluten-free, so that's a blessing. I've laid out two sets of clothing and hopefully can get myself into one of them. Gotta figure out how to wash my hair, lol. And do makeup... oy!

Hopefully I'll be up enough to also go visit the new house. Mom sent me pics yesterday of the work they've done and I can't wait to see it in person!

Ok, it's taken me way too long to type this, lol, so I'm going back to my movies and elevating my elbow. Kinda kinks the shoulder, lol. Crap. I just realized I can't remember if I took my 7:30 am dose. Dagnabbit! Forget the movie, I'm off to count pills. ;-)

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Champion Performance Recipe of the Week - Mushroom & Swiss Frittata

Today I'd like to share with all of you amazing athletes, a fabulous recipe from The Feed Zone Portables. I've mentioned the book before (see link below) - it's an incredible resource for endurance athletes, and offers a lot to bodybuilders, too! This recipe is easy, packed full of nutrients, and it tastes amazing! If you'd like to boost the protein, add 1-2 cups of diced cooked chicken breast. YUM!!!

Mushroom & Swiss Frittata
Recipe from Feed Zone Portables: A Cookbook of On-the-Go Food for Athletes (The Feed Zone)
by Biju Thomas and Allen Lim

What you'll need:
2 cups sliced mushrooms
1/4 cup diced onion
1/4 cup coarsely chopped parsley
2 cups cooked rice (basmati or jasmine is best)
4 eggs, lightly beaten
1/2 cup shredded Swiss cheese
1 teaspoon celery salt
1 tablespoon grated parmesan
dash of salt and pepper
*optional: add 1-2 cups diced cooked chicken breast

How to make it:
1. Heat oven to 350 degrees.
2. In a nonstick saute pan, heat a small amount of olive oil to coat bottom evenly. Over medium-high heat, saute the mushrooms, onion, and parsley until the mushrooms are tender and onions are translucent. Remove from heat and drain any excess oil.
3. Combine the remaining ingredients in a medium bowl. Stir in the mushroom and onion mixture. (If you're adding the chicken, add it here. Note that it will increase the volume of the recipe so you'll get more frittata/muffins.)
4. Lightly grease a muffin tin and fill six of the forms 3/4 full. Bake 15 minutes or until centers are firm.

NUTRITION: Each frittata has 174 calories, 9 grams of fat, 15 grams of carbs, 9 grams of protein, and 1 gram of fiber.

Image courtesy of The Ravenous Runner

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Sunday, October 13, 2013

Twas the Night Before Surgery...

...and all through the house, ALL the creatures were stirring in panic and general insanity. Ok, not really. It's just me. Lol. My meal plan for the coming week is nearly set. The laundry is about to go in. Everything I have any control over is being addressed, but it's the things I don't have control of that are needling at me. Will I be able to type? If not, Bethany can take dictation, lol. Will I be able to prepare meals? If not, Bethany and Bill can load up the crockpot with the meals I'm prepping today. Will I be able to feed myself with my right arm? Hmmm. No idea. It's incredibly frustrating to not know how limited I'll be.

I know that I'll be able to shower immediately, I just have to wrap up the elbow first... but will I be able to shampoo my hair? Shave my legs? Now that I think about it, that's probably not a good idea anyway, lol. Let's limit the chance of bloodspill and just take leg-shaving off the table, eh? ;-)

Ya'll know I just don't do well without a plan. I'm not a wing it sort of person. I'm the anal retentive gal who creates full notebooks for every event, from family parties to trips to remodeling (lol) to (you guessed it) surgeries. And here I am again, on the eve of surgery, but my notebook is noticeably empty. There's no plan. No way of knowing.

So... I just have to (try to) put it out of my head and roll forward.

The remodel is moving along. It's incredible to see it come together! My parents and Jordan are working so hard and it's awesome!!! By the end of this next week, the master bath will be ready for tile! What??? Holy Cow!! Wednesday the cabinetry for the bathroom will be delivered, and with any luck (please, God) the sliding doors in the living room and master bedroom will be installed. That's been a bit of a struggle. The guy we bartered with for the installation hasn't made it to the house yet. He's promised that he'll start Monday and be done by Wednesday.

The bedroom we're transforming into a walk-in closet for the master has been closed in. The former entry/doorway has been framed in as my new linen closet and it looks great! The kitchen bookcase/nook got its LED lighting and it's fabulous!! All the other lighting fixtures for the house are ready and waiting. Even the hall sconce which took me FOREVER to choose, lol.

See that back wall? That's (at the very left) the doorway then the living room window. That will be a 4-panel french sliding glass door. The next windows you see on the right are the master bedroom windows, and that will be a slider-door. Oh, and the playground you see on the back right - that's gone (it was donated to a church), so that area looks so much bigger! Also, the dog yard is done - the side of the house behind the master bedroom has a nice big tree and large grassy area ideal for a dog yard when we need it, so we reused the pool fencing and it's all complete, just waiting for our future puppies ;-)

Once the sliding doors are in and done, we can do the other things that have been waiting... drywall taping, prep for paint, paint, and then (yay!) putting down the floors. I really, really want to be able to help with that. I've been so anxious to see our wood floors in! And I want so much to be able to DO something, lol. Anyway, so once that's done, the kitchen cabinetry goes in. The island and counter tops are going to be stunning! Bill took me to the warehouse yesterday to show me how it's coming along and he thinks he's got all the kinks worked out. I can't wait to see it finished!

Yeah, I'm trying to distract myself by thinking about the remodel. Lol. I've also packed up a ton of books, the office, and we've cleared out the garage. There is still a ton of packing to be done, and other projects to be completed. We're aiming for December 1st to move in... cross your fingers!

There was something odd we learned this weekend... the washer and dryer were delivered and Mom and Dad got them installed yesterday - they're so pretty! :-)  Well, in testing them out we discovered that they're really super quiet - which is awesome, but also that instead of a buzzer or whatnot to signal the end of the cycle, the machine sings. Yes. I said sings. It plays a lovely little tune that doesn't stop until it's good and ready to stop. Seriously. How odd is that? Lol!!

Anywho... I'd better get myself together and hit the grocery store. We're also moving my youngest back to a Gluten Free diet (her choice, btw!), so shopping will take a bit longer today ;-) I'd better get to it. Hopefully I'll have a post-surgery blog sooner than later ;-) Wish me luck!!

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Champion Performance Recipe of the Week - The Best 2-Ingredient Recipes, Part IV

How about a versatile 'Dessert' that fits into your competition macros? A long standing, and favorite, fruit for training diet is the apple. Often called the world's healthiest food, it's packed full of phytonutrients and polyphenols that help to reduce hunger, glucose spikes, and even reduce fat in the bloodstream. Here is an easy way to enjoy that health-bonanza - it's quick, tasty, and very versatile. Add it to your oatmeal, mash it into applesauce, stir into greek yogurt, serve it hot over a baked or grilled chicken breast... or enjoy it all on its own!

Cinnamon Apples
serves 1

1 apple
1 tsp ground cinnamon
*splash of water, optional

Core the apple and dice it up (keep the skin).
Place apple pieces in a glass microwave safe bowl.
Add cinnamon and stir until all pieces are coated. Add a splash of water if you like.
Cover and microwave on high for 2 minutes.
Allow to sit for 1 minute, then carefully remove cover and test apples for doneness. They should be soft, and easily pierced with a fork.

100 calories, 1 gram protein, 27 grams carbs, 0 grams fat, 6 grams fiber. 21 grams net carbs.

Make a batch of vanilla protein ice cream and stir in or top with Cinnamon Apples. Drizzle with low- or sugar-free caramel.
Add to a protein shake.
Stir into plain greek yogurt.
Serve over lean pork or chicken breast.
Mash into apple sauce.
Stir into oatmeal.

Thursday, October 3, 2013

And the chaos continues...

Well, I had my pre-op appointment yesterday afternoon. The PA who handled it was fabulous, and made sure all my questions had corresponding answers. The only downside is that there's a lot that's up in the air - we won't know until we know. How long will my arm be immobilized? Won't know until Dr. Martin gets in there. How long before I start physical therapy? Won't know until Dr. Martin gets in there. How long will the recovery be? Won't know until Dr. Martin is done in there. I'm right-handed - will I be forced to learn how to eat, type, etc with my left hand only and if so, for how long? We won't know until we know how much work Dr. Martin has to do in there. Oy!

We do have generals... like it's generally 8-10 weeks recovery before I can start lifting again; it's generally a few days until I start flexing and working the elbow; it's generally a sling for several weeks... But if you know me at all, you know that general information doesn't settle my mind. I'm the plan-girl. I thrive on the details. It's a form of control for me in a situation that's otherwise out of my control. And I'm feeling a wee bit out of control at the moment. The PA, Kelly Rhodus, was incredibly helpful and understood my mental state (lol), so she helped me draw up a kind of 'worst-case-scenario' picture. I see much yogurt in my future ;-) and possibly a computer program like Dragon.

So... I'll be working on my list of clean eats to have handy, clean eats for the family to eat while I'm out of commission, and trying to figure out how to pack up a house with one arm ;-) October was slated for the beginning of the weed and work stage... weeding through all the STUFF we've managed to accumulate over the years, and pack up the boxes of what we're keeping. What goes into storage? What stays in the house? All that fun stuff. I'll do as much as I can pre-surgery, but boy it's coming up quick! 11 days away! Yikes!

The remodel is truckin' right along. We were able to barter for the installation of the doors with the appliances we removed.The previous owners had remodeled the kitchen prior to sale - the appliances (oven/stove and dishwasher) are top of the line but they weren't practical for me - for instance, the oven has an infrared grill on top, standard oven on the bottom, but in order to remove anything from the oven, I had to get down on my hands and knees... too low. Not ok. So we found a fabulous oven that has the convection air and infrared grill built into the actual oven (single door). Sweet! Anyway - so we traded those out and Tom will be tearing down walls on Friday ;-) We've got a 4-panel sliding door going into the living room, and a 2-panel slider going into the master. Can't wait!

Also this last week, the last of the pool fencing (the posts) was removed and the huge play equipment was taken out (a friend is donating it to a local church), and the backyard looks even bigger! Woot! The bathroom faucets all arrived this week, as did the pendant lighting for the kitchen island and the hall wall-sconce. It's so freakin' cool to see the pieces and so hard to wait to see the whole picture! LOL! We settled on the flooring design for the master bath, Dad started building the frame for the tub and got all the plumbing done... I cannot wait to see it finished!!!

The only fly in our ointment, lol, is the kitchen cabinetry. Our guy is crazy busy, and there have been delays. We're supposed to physically sign a cabinet door to confirm that the order is correct, then it goes into processing... however, we can't seem to nail him down to go and actually sign the door. ARGH. Then, part of the cabinetry is this beautiful wooden hood... turns out it's hood only, so we have to buy the fan/vent. No problem, we thought. BIG problem. Finding just the fan/vent is a nightmare - and we finally learned that what we're looking for is "custom". Really starting to hate that word. Know what "custom" means? It means you're gonna pay 3-5 times MORE for it! We're actually considering buying a regular hood and ripping out the guts then installing that into our hood, lol! We'll see. Obviously construction isn't one of my strengths ;-)

Here are a few pics from the last week or so...

Moving the kitchen plumbing

The cabinetry plans! Woot!! 

This used to be a small walk-in closet, now it's opened up and the tub will go in that corner :-)

Used to be the shower and separate tub. Now it's going to be a double shower. We'll use glass block for that window.

Can ya tell I'm trying to not thinking about surgery? lol! Focus on the remodel! Dream home! Woot!

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Champion Performance Recipe of the Week - The BEST Two-Ingredient Recipes, Part III

Ready for more tasty 2-ingredient recipes? I've got them! These are designed to fit the bodybuilder/athlete competition diet - they're low sodium, low-to-no-sugar, high protein and low carb. And they're geared to make all that chicken you're eating actually taste good!

Italian Chicken
serves 1 (increase recipe as needed)

1 chicken breast
1/2 cup Muir Glen Organic Fire Roasted Crushed Tomatoes

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Spray a baking dish with cooking oil (I like olive oil for this).
Place raw chicken in dish, top with crushed tomatoes and bake at 350 until meat thermometer reads 165 degrees, or meat is cooked all the way through (no pink).

NUTRITION per 6 oz serving: 234 calories, 38 grams protein, 10 grams carbs, 4 grams fat, 2 grams fiber. 8 grams net carbs.

TIPS:  Increase or decrease serving size of chicken per your own dietary needs. Make extras for future meals! Add sliced mushrooms, Mrs. Dash Italian Medley , basil, diced peppers, garlic, zucchini, onion... You can freely add veggies to this and make it even more nutrient rich! Focus on high-water content veggies and add away! Serve over a bed of baby spinach! If it's a carb-meal, serve with baked potato or Ancient Harvest Organic Quinoa Pasta Rotelle (Gluten Free)! Top with fresh shaved Parmesan if you've got room for it!

Salsa Chicken (crockpot!)
makes about 4 servings

1 jar Newman's Own Medium Salsa, 16 Ounce
4 chicken breasts

Add chicken to slow cooker and pour salsa over it.
Cook on low about 4 hours, or high for about 2 (meat will shred easily when cooked).

Per 6 oz serving: 229 calories, 36 grams protein, 7 grams carbs, 4 grams fat, 4 grams fiber. 3 grams net carbs.

TIPS: Serve with black beans or brown rice. Shred some of the chicken for easy tacos, taco salads, quesadilla's, burritos and more! Need a great low-carb, high fiber tortilla? Check out   La Tortilla Factory Whole Wheat Low Carb Tortillas (Regular Size) .

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