Author Archives: Amy's Fitness Quest

About Amy's Fitness Quest

I'm a wife and mom of 3 girls trying to keep myself on track to finally fulfill my goal of getting fit. Along the way I hope it all rubs off on the girls and just becomes a "way of life" for them. It's hard making these changes later in life and it's especially hard to convince the kids that the bad habits they already have are just not healthy. We are all getting there, one small change at a time.

Breakfast Oatmeal Casserole

oatmeal casserole

4 C of oats (I use gluten free, but you can use any oats you have)
3/4 C of REAL maple syrup (please, please, please keep it REAL)
1 tsp baking powder
1 Tbs cinnamon
Blueberries ( or any of other fruit you prefer)
Chopped Walnuts, about 2 handfuls ( I don’t always use nuts)

Mix that all together…

Spray a 9×13 pan (I always forget this) and spread the mixture out evenly.

Next beat 2 eggs and mix with 2 cups of unsweetened almond milk.

Pour this over the mixture you placed in the pan.
Then slice the banana on top.
Put in a 400* oven for 30-40 minutes to get finished product! Perfect breakfast to eat off of for the week. I love it with some plain Greek yogurt on top or a drizzle of maple syrup. Super yummy any way you eat it!

Spaghetti Squash Casserole

spaghetti squash casserole

This casserole has been a favorite in our house.  It’s made a great dinner option, but I have also made it up and had it for my lunches for the week.  I find it works great for me as a way to replace spaghetti and still feel like I’m eating it.

1 (4 to 5 lb.) spaghetti squash
8 ounces sharp cheddar, shredded (about 2 cups)
1 Tbsp. fresh thyme leaves or 1 tsp. dried
1/2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
1 tsp. dried Italian seasoning
1/2 tsp. salt
1 Tbsp. olive oil
1 lb. chicken sausage
1 medium onion, finely diced
1 medium green bell pepper, finely diced
1 Tbsp. minced garlic
32 oz. tomato sauce- I use crushed tomatoes
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese (optional)

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with foil and spray with vegetable cooking spray. Line a plate with paper towels and set aside.
2. Cut squash in half lengthwise and remove and discard seeds. Place cut-side down on prepared baking sheet. Bake squash until there is a slight give when you press into the skin, about 45 to 50 minutes. Remove from oven and turn over to cool, about 15 to 20 minutes.
3. When cool enough to handle, use a fork to carefully remove flesh in long strands and place in a large bowl. Cool flesh to room temperature, about 30 minutes, then add cheddar cheese, thyme, Italian seasoning, salt, and black pepper. Stir to combine.
4. While squash cools, heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Remove sausages from their casings and add to pan, breaking meat up into small pieces with a wooden spoon. Cook until no pink remains, about 6 to 7 minutes. Use a slotted spoon to remove sausage crumbles from the pan to drain on a plate lined with paper towels.
5. Pour all but 1 Tbsp. of fat out of the pan. Return pan to medium high heat. Add onions and peppers. Cook 3 minutes to soften. Add garlic and cook 1 minute more. Add drained sausage and tomato sauce. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the sauce is heated through (about 3 minutes).
6. Spray a 9-by-13-inch baking dish with cooking spray. Spread half the sausage mixture on bottom of dish. Spread half the squash mixture over sausage mixture. Spread with remaining sausage mixture and top with remaining squash mixture. Sprinkle Parmesan cheese, if using, over the surface. (At this point, casserole can be refrigerated overnight, covered well.)
7. Bake casserole until the sauce is bubbling up around the sides and the Parmesan cheese has browned slightly, about 25 to 30 minutes, or 50 to 55 minutes if baking from the fridge. Let casserole rest for 15 minutes before serving.

Turkey Taco Stuffed Peppers and Zucchini Boats

August 6, 2014

These were on the menu for last night, but a lack of prep earlier in the afternoon and a kiddo pick up that took longer than expected meant I didn’t have time to get them made when we got home.  Que leftovers last night and the stuffed peppers and zucchini tonight.

I’ve made quinoa stuffed peppers in the past as well as turkey enchilada zucchini boats.  I had them both in my mind when I was planning out how I wanted to make tonight’s meal.  Originally the plan was just for turkey taco zucchini boats, but I realized this afternoon that I might not have enough zucchini.  We had a bunch of peppers left from last weeks CSA box so problem solved.

photo (16)

I should note that the picture also contains the vegetarian version that I made for my daughter.  One zucchini half and one pepper half were stuffed with a similar filling.  I replaced the ground turkey with white navy beans.  I seasoned them with the same taco seasoning as the turkey.

Ingredients:

  • 1- 1/2 lbs ground turkey, cooked
  • 1/2 cups uncooked brown rice (cook per package instructions)
  • Taco seasoning (I found a container of taco seasoning with the spices at BJ’s. I like this because it’s made up of everyday spices and no MSG which seems to be in all the packages of taco seasoning.)
  • 2 medium to large zucchini
  • 2 bell peppers of choice
  • chopped tomato
  • salsa
  • cheddar cheese

Cut the zucchini in half lengthwise and scoop out the inside.  If you’d like you can chop it up and add it to the turkey and rice filling.  I didn’t do that this time. The seeds were on the large side.

Cut the peppers in half and discard the seeds.

Once the turkey and rice is mixed together, scoop into the zucchini and peppers.  I then chopped up a tomato and added that to the top.  Shred some cheddar cheese and add that to the top as well.

Cover in foil and bake at 350 for 45-60 minutes.  The peppers cooked quicker than the zucchini so keep them separate if you make both at once.

Add some salsa to the top before eating.  I also think avocado would be yummy on top.  I had planned to add that, but forgot about it.

That Running Obsession

August 6, 2014

August will be my highest mileage month for running.  This means I will run at least 57 miles this month.

I came into summer telling myself I would run just about every day and I would kill the 56.6 miles I ran in May.  Then the summer heat and humidity hit in July and I managed just 41 miles.  Don’t get me wrong, I’m pretty pleased with that mileage, but I had really thought I’d be running longer runs, if not more of them.

Back in June hubby and I ran 10 miles.  Our longest run EVER!  It was exciting and I thought this was the beginning of longer runs across the board.  WRONG!  While I felt great during and immediately after that run, my legs seemed extra tight for weeks after.  My IT bands seemed to act up off and on and just always have this dull ache.  Whenever I went out for a run I needed to walk a good part of the hills to “baby” my hips and IT bands.   During this time I started PiYo and have found that it helps tremendously with stretching and flexibility.  It’s also making me stronger.  I’m back to running most of the hills, which is a problem because that was also my drink break. LOL.  I love the strength Piyo  is gaining me through my core and hips too because the more I pay attention to my form when running the more I realize my hips, core and glutes  are SO important in my runs.  When I get tired and stop paying attention to form I immediately start feeling the twinges in my knees.

I don’t know if it’s the slightly cooler temps and less humidity lately but I’ve been enjoying my runs a bit more this past week.  Now that August is here I feel like it’s a fresh start and I’m really “craving” the runs.  I went out yesterday because I just physically felt like I had to run.  I don’t really know how to describe the “craving” a run thing, but I suspect other runners understand.  It wasn’t a good run.  My whole body felt like it was lead running through sludge.  I’m not completely sure why.  I ran 5.5 miles the day before and haven’t really run back to back days all summer.  The weather was also warmer and more humid than it had been the day before.  Who knows why it was a bad run.  It just was.  I told myself yesterday that today would be an off day from running.  Yet, today I have that “craving” to run.  I made myself get a good Piyo workout and stretch in because I know my body really needed that.  Now all I want to do is head out for a run.  I’m telling myself to wait until later tonight and see how I feel then.  I’ve gotten a good workout already today and have a huge to-do list.  Maybe a run tonight will be my reward for crossing off everything on the list 🙂

Happy Running

No Bake Oatmeal Peanut Butter Cookies

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

July 30, 2014

I really can’t believe the summer is half over.  Well, possibly more than half over.  We’ve enjoyed it for the most part, but I definitely have some regrets that we didn’t do nearly as many things as I thought we would.  The days are just flying by.  I wish we had a few more months.

One of my big regrets is that I haven’t kept up with this blog like I had planned.  I struggled to find time to post this spring, but told myself that once we were all out of school for the summer I would catch up and make it a priority.    Here’s to fresh starts I guess.

As I was scrolling through Pinterest tonight looking for some “clean” dessert ideas to share with my clean eating group I had a craving for the No Bake Oatmeal Peanut Butter balls that I’ve made in the past.  So I did a quick search for the recipe again.  I quickly realized that if I made the full recipe I would:

1. Use up just about all the peanut butter we had in the house.  That can not happen.  Peanut butter is a necessity for my daily shakes so I needed to leave some for the rest of the week.

AND

2. I would most certainly eat WAY more than necessary.

My solution?  Estimate the amounts of the ingredients so that I made just one cookie for myself.
oatmeal peanut butter cookie no bake

I started with 1 tablespoon of peanut butter, then added about a tsp. of honey, a drop of vanilla, 1/2 cup oatmeal, about 2 tsp flax seed meal and coconut and then a few chocolate chips.

I didn’t actually measure any of these ingredients so this is just a guess.  I’m notorious for creating my own takes on recipes, but then I never have actual measurements to recreate them or explain to others how to make them.

 

 

Here’s the recipe in it’s full amount so you have a better idea of how to make them.

  • 1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
  • 1/3 cup honey
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 cup old-fashioned oats (raw)- I used gluten free
  • 2/3 cup sweetened shredded coconut
  • 1/2 cup ground golden flaxseed meal (I used Bob’s Red Mill)
  • 6 Tbsp chocolate chips

Meal Prep Blahs

March 30, 2014

I have the meal prep blahs today.  I’ve begrudgingly prepped lunches and dinners for us for the week.  I know it’s the only way we will eat anything other than cereal, sandwiches or pasta all week.  I know I will be grateful each afternoon knowing that dinner is either done or close to done when we need to eat on our way out the door for that night’s activity.  I know I will be happy we are eating something healthy and not ordering take out or hitting the drive-through.   I know all that and I’ve been telling myself that, but it hasn’t changed the fact that I’m just not in the mood to do it today.  I feel like I just finished last weekend’s meal prep.

That all being said, since I’m blogging about meal prep I may as well share our plan for the week.  It’s nothing glamorous.  We’re just trying to get through the school year at this point and on to summer vacation.

First off, I prepped my lunch for tomorrow- the entire week will probably be similar. I know boring, but it’s usually easier if I do pretty much the same thing Monday- Thursday.  Then the following week I change it up a bit.   Last weekend I made a double batch of Greek Chicken burgers.

Greek Chicken Burgers

package of ground chicken                                                                                               chicken burger

juice of 1/2 lemon                                                                                                                               minced clove of garlic                                                                                                                            1/4 cup of feta cheese                                                                                                                            seasonings- salt, pepper, basil, oregano ( I didn’t measure)

Make into burgers, cook and eat or freeze.  I froze them all cooked to make it quick and easy to grab whenever I need one for lunch.

With this I will be having steamed zucchini and a brown rice flour tortilla that I will toast in the oven in the morning to make crispy.

I also have some snacks ready for myself and the kiddos.  We have a couple days worth of veggies in snack bags and a couple small containers ready to grab with hummus.  For me I made horseradish hummus.  I tried Trader Joe’s version recently and loved it, so when I was at BJ’s on Friday I grabbed a huge tub of original so we could make our variations. The horseradish version was super easy.  I just spooned a tiny bit into my serving of hummus and mixed.  The great thing is we can make it as strong as we want.  Yum!

Dinner’s are the real struggle in the house.  We are often in and out of the house for multiple activities every afternoon and evening.  It makes it very difficult, if not impossible to make a  meal from scratch.  Therefore I plan ahead for the most difficult nights.

Today I prepped a chicken pot pie filling to go over mashed potatoes for tomorrow.  It was supposed to be chicken pot pie, but I didn’t grab pie crusts and then had no butter to make the crust myself.

Honestly, looking back at this I don’t know what my problem was.  This is by far one of my easier meal preps.  That was all I prepped.  Tuesday will be a shrimp/veggie curry and Wednesday will be sausage and peppers.  I’m not prepping ahead for those since I’ll have a bit of time in the afternoons and they are pretty quick.  Thursday is most likely going to be leftover night.  Friday is my day off and grocery day, so Thursday is the end of a meal plan week for us.

I do still have a couple things to do tonight.  I’ll make a big batch of hard boiled eggs so I can grab a couple quickly in the morning and I’ll also make a batch of oatmeal that I’ll reheat for breakfast as well.  It’s yummy with some frozen blueberries mixed in.

 

Do you meal prep? What works best for you?

Out of Hibernation

March 29, 2014

It’s been far too long since I’ve posted anything here.  I’m not entirely sure why that is.  I’ve thought about posting something here and there, but always decided it wasn’t interesting enough.  Every day does pretty much seem the same.  Get us all up, fed, packed and out the door to school and work.  Come home and do homework, cook dinner, shuttle kids around to after school activities, clean up dinner, get organized for the next day, squeeze in a workout, go to bed.  Not very interesting.

I do wish I had added some updates on programs I’ve done since my last post…especially since my last post was only 5 days into The Ultimate Reset.  Well, that’s long done now.  I got out of it what I had hoped.  I felt refreshed and back on track.

Both hubby and I moved on to P90X3 and are just finishing up week 11 of 13 weeks.  I’ve loved the program and loved doing it with the hubby, even though we do it at separate times.  There’s not enough room where we do it and when weights or the pull-up bar are needed it means we’d have to share.  I’m feeling stronger and definitely have more muscle definition than before.  I had a goal at the start to be able to do at least on chin up without using the assist band.  So far, I’m not there, but I am closer and I do still have 2 weeks left.

Nicer weather is finally on the horizon.  We’ve had a handful of mild days that have been great for running.  Saturday’s have become our “date run” days.  We bought a treadmill after Christmas which has resulted in pretty much picking up where we left off in the Fall.  I will admit for as much as I wanted the treadmill, I don’t really enjoy using it as much as I remember from my past treadmill use.  I really think the difference is the last time I consistently used a treadmill, I was just beginning my running journey.  I hadn’t really done any time outside. I didn’t know any different.  Now, I LOVE running outside.  Using the treadmill is different.  My stride is different, my impact is different, it doesn’t have the same effect on me mentally as outside.   I’m still grateful we were able to get it though.  I do need to make a point of using it more often. Maybe this summer when I can’t stand the thought of running in the humidity.

There will hopefully be some posts in the near future.  Some exciting things are coming up… Birthdays, certifications, races, new programs etc.

Stay tuned. I promise to be around a bit more.