Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Wall Exercises- No Excuses

Have you heard of wall exercises?

I remember gym class where we all lined up in the gym and had to hold the standard wall sit for what seemed like 5 minutes but was probably 30 seconds.  It wasn't until an Instagram video came through my feed of someone doing 3 ab exercises with the use of a wall.  The competitive part of me instantly thought, 'can I do that'?  I could but man it wasn't without some heavy breathing.

Exercising without equipment has always been pretty intriguing for me.  What better way to get in an awesome workout with no equipment just your body?  You literally could do these anywhere there is a wall.  We've all had/heard the excuse of not having enough money for a gym membership or not having a room large enough room for equipment.  That changes now!

Everyone has a wall in their house and the natural weight of their body so there are no excuses to not try these out.
** Yes that is my little one in the background.  She's my daily workout partner :)** 

Wall Lunge (Abs, Butt, Thighs):
Stand on left leg with back to wall about 3 feet away, ball of right foot pressed into wall, hands together at chest. Bend left knee and lower into a lunge (as shown). Return to start for 1 rep. 
Do 20 reps. Switch sides; repeat.

Leg Lift (Butt, Hamstrings, Abs):
Lie face up with head away from wall, right knee bent and foot on floor, left knee bent 90 degrees with foot pressing into wall. Extend right leg toward ceiling and lift hips until body forms a straight line from left knee to shoulders (as shown). Pause, then lower hips for 1 rep. Do 15 reps, switch legs and repeat. 

Plank Climb (Shoulders, Back, Thighs, Butt, Abs):
Start in plank, hands under shoulders, feet in line with hips and pressing into wall. Pull right knee toward chest (as shown), then return foot to wall. Repeat immediately on left side. Continue, quickly alternating legs, for 1 minute. 

Wall Push-ups (Chest, Shoulders, Triceps):
Stand facing a wall and ex­tend your arms in front of you. Lean forward slightly and place your palms against the surface. Bend your elbows until your nose nearly touches the wall. Push back out to start.  Do two sets of 15 reps.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Homemade Vanilla Coffee Cream

I love coffee but even more, I love my sweetened coffee cream.  Waking  up and having a warm mug between my hands is such a comfortable feeling.  Sometimes I wonder if I crave the warm routine or the coffee itself.  

Over a year ago, I parted ways with my chemical creamer that I loved oh so much.  Since I started this health journey the past year, I've decided that if I can't pronounce all the ingredients then I shouldn't have it.  Needless to say, my Coffeemate cream was one of the first things to go.  Lately, half and half has been a bit boring so I finally decided to make my own French vanilla coffee cream.  

I had it this morning and boy is it yummy.

French Vanilla Coffee Cream
1 TBSP = 55 calories

14oz Fat Free Sweetened Condensed Milk
1 3/4 Cup Milk or Cream* (I used 1% milk) 
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
*(whole, lowfat, skim, almond, soy, heavy cream, half & half etc.  The more fat, the more creaminess)

1. In a bowl, add all the ingredients.
2. Using an immersion blender, blend for about 30 seconds.
3. Pour mixture into a mason jar or old coffee container, cover and date.

The mixture should be used within a week of making the creamer.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Quinoa Stuffed Peppers

Most of the items in our garden aren't growing anymore with the exception of our peppers.  I personally am not a pepper fan but my husband loves them.  When all the peppers started piling up on our counter, I was lost as to what to do with them other then cut them up for lunches.  I finally decided to make one of my husbands favorite meals with a healthy twist.  

All of the stuffed pepper recipes called for beef and rice.  I decided to switch it up and used sweet turkey sausage and quinoa.  If there's one thing my husband doesn't hide from me it's his approval/disapproval of the meals I make.  This not only received a thumbs up but he was more than happy to take the extras for lunches. 


1 lb ground sweet Italian turkey (removed from casing)
1 1/2 Tbsp cumin
1 tsp kosher salt
1/2 onion chopped
3-4 cloves of garlic, minced
1 can (28oz) Crushed Tomatoes or 2 fresh tomatoes diced
1 can (15.25oz) black beans, rinsed and drained
4 cup quinoa (cooked)
6 medium fresh sweet peppers (I used yellow, red and green)
1 cup reduced fat Colby Jack cheese

  1. Preheat oven to 350.
  2. Wash peppers, slice the tops off each pepper and remove the seeds. Stand each pepper up next to each other in a large baking dish (13x9).
  3. In a large skillet, brown ground turkey until fully cooked with onion and garlic. 
  4. Drain and return to skillet. 
  5. Add cumin, salt, tomatoes and black beans. Simmer about 15 minutes.
  6. Meanwhile, cook quinoa according to package.
  7. Add cooked quinoa to skillet, combining completely. 
  8. Remove from heat. 
  9. Fill each pepper with turkey mixture. 
  10. Cover dish with foil and bake for about 40-45 minutes. 
  11. Remove foil, top with cheese and bake an additional 5 minutes, until cheese is melted. 
  12. Remove from oven enjoy!
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