Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Egg and Veggie fried Quinoa

I love Quinoa!  (pronounced Keen-Wa)  Alhtough it is referred to as a grain, it is actually a vegetable seed - coming from spinach, swiss chard, and beets!  It is very good for you and is filled with health benefits including:

  • High quality protein with 9 essential amino acids.  This is required by the body as building blocks for muscles.  
  • A "good carb" - a complex carbohydrate with low glycemic index - so it won't spike your blood sugar
  • Alkaline forming.  Alkaline forming foods improve your energy levels, reduce pain and inflammation, slow down aging, and improve your immune function.
  • Rich in manganese and copper.  These act as antioxidants in your body to get rid of dangerous cancer and disease causing substances.
  • High in fiber - great for your digestion!
Quinoa is considered a complete natural food - because it contains amino acids, enzymes, fiver, antioxidants, vitamins and mineral, and phytonutrients.  

Now you see why I love it so much?

I put this meal together last minute - since my fridge was almost empty and I had no time for shopping!

You can double up the ingredients and store it in the fridge as a healthy snack over the next few days!

Egg and Veggie fried Quinoa
1 cup prewashed Quinoa
2 cups water
1 chicken bouillon cube
1 small onion - chopped
2 eggs - beaten
2 cups broccoli (you can add any veggies you like!)
1 Tbs Olive oil 

1).  Boil 2 cups of water with bouillon cube.  Add quinoa and let simmer for 15 minutes or until you see white spiral-like threads appear around each grain.

2).  Boil the broccoli for about 5 minutes - or until it is crisp tender.  Remove from water and chop it up.

3).  In a large frying pan, over medium heat - add olive oil.  Saute onions for 5 minutes.  Add chopped broccoli - sauté another minute of so.

4).  Add the cooked quinoa, salt, and pepper and mix it in with the veggies.  

5).  Push the mixture to the sides of the pan - creating a well in the middle.  Pour the beaten eggs in the middle of the pan.  Scramble the eggs into the quinoa mixture.  Keep mixing until the eggs cook through.

And you're done!  Enjoy it as it is or with hot sauce if you like it spicier!

Read your quinoa package and make sure it is pre washed.  If not - you need to prewash it before cooking it.
You can add whatever veggies you want to this (as many or as little as you like).  I was out of everything except for onions and broccoli!

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Push Yourself Workout

Workout of the Day!

It's a beautiful day today - 65 and sunny!  I'm taking my workout to the track!  The only thing it requires is sneakers and your body.  If you don't have a track by you, you can do it in your backyard, a park, or even a treadmill.

I'm taking my new Nike's for a test run today, so I am very excited!

Today's workout is all about pushing yourself.  When you think you're ready to give up, just push yourself harder.  Your body will do what your mind sets out to do.  So if you tell yourself you can't, well, you're just setting yourself up for failure before you even begin!  If you set your mind into an "I can and I will" mode, you will!  Pace yourself and just KEEP PUSHING!

The first half of the workout is all about cardio, the second is my favorite - High Intensity Interval Training!

Well, here it goes!

     6 mile run

   100 yard run
   1 minute of pushups

   100 yard run
   1 minute of burpees  (without the pushup)

   100 yard run
   1 minute of crunches

   100 yard run
   1 minute of burpees  (without the pushup)

   Repeat this entire interval combination 2 times and try not to stop.  If you feel tired - slow down the pace of your run, try not to stop.

   slow walk and stretch

Don't forget to stay hydrated!!!

You can obviously customize this workout to your own fitness level.  For example - start with a 1 to 2 mile run/ walk.  Cut up the intervals into shorted times and a shorted running distance - for example 50 yards and 30 seconds of pushups, and so on.  

I just finished my workout and refueled my body with some oatmeal, blueberries, and greek yogurt.  Perfect balance of carbs and protein!

Now I feel ready for a great day! Happy and positive thoughts are running through me knowing I just completed a workout I set my mind up to do.  I feel like I can do that with anything I set out to do today!

“Nothing can stop the man with the right mental attitude from achieving his goal; nothing on earth can help the man with the wrong mental attitude.” ~Thomas Jefferson

Monday, June 25, 2012


I just got back from my sister's bachelorette party in the Hampton's, and I am exhausted!

We stayed there for two full days and two nights - I got a total of 9 hours of sleep.  The entire time I felt like my body wasn't functioning properly.  I would wake up in the morning with what felt like a hangover!  (And no, I didn't have anything to drink! - I was the designated driver!)  I came home yesterday, went for a long walk, and was in bed by 9pm.  I slept for 10 hours and still did not feel like my normal, energized self this morning!

The lack of sleep affected my workouts and daily eating.  I could not bring my body to function for a high intensity workout, I had to walk instead.  I also kept craving sweet foods, because my energy level was so low.  My whole body just felt bloated, I was very irritable, sensitive to loud noise and bright light.  Thankfully, these effects are only short term.  Long term effects - from chronic sleep deprivation include obesity, diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, and even early mortality!

I have been on a very regular sleep schedule for a long time.  The more intense my training is, the more I pay attention to my bedtime and amount of sleep.  I normally get 7.5 to 8.5 hours of sleep per night - depending on how tired I am from the day's activities.

Sleep is one of the best things you can do for your body!

Some health benefits of sleep include:

  • Healthier weight - because it reduces cravings you have when you are sleep deprived
  • Improves concentration and focus
  • Improves your athletic performance
  • Improves memory
  • Curb inflammation - linked to heart disease, stroke, diabetes, arthritis, and premature aging. 
  • Lower stress
Good sleeping habits:

  • Try to go to bed and wake up at the same time every day, even weekends. 
  • Avoid caffeine, nicotine, and alcohol.  If you need your morning coffee (like me) - drink it in the morning and try to avoid it at least 5 hours before bedtime.
  • Exercise and diet can help you get better sleep.  However, avoid exercise within a few hours of bedtime - your body needs to relax and unwind.
  • Don't go to bed on a full stomach.  It shouldn't be empty either - it will be harder to fall asleep.
  • Your bedroom should be dark and cool.
  • Avoid napping during the day.  If you are extremely tired - limit your naps to 30 minutes.
A good indicator of whether or not you got enough sleep - is if you wake up and feel re-energized.  

Hopefully I'll be back on track with my sleep schedule by tomorrow and feeling like my normal self!

Tuesday, June 19, 2012


HIIT  - High Intensity Interval Training is a very effective fat burning workout.  It switches between bursts of high intensity activity and fixed periods of lower intensity activity (or rest).  It is a great way to squeeze in a workout in your busy schedule - since an HIIT workouts typically last 20 - 30 minutes.

Some more benefits of an HIIT workout:

  • Burn more fat and calories during and 24 hours after the workout!
  • Increase your metabolism.  HIIT stimulates production of the HGH (human growth hormone) up to 24 hours after your workout.  This is great since HGH is responsible for burning calories as well as slowing down aging!
  • Lose fat - not muscle!  Steady cardio sessions promote muscle loss - if done for long periods of time.  HIIT encourages muscle growth and weight loss from fat stores.
  • Heart health!  Pushing yourself into the anaerobic zone (when you feel like you can't breathe and your heart is about to jump out of your chest) produces excellent results.  After a few weeks you'll notice you can do your normal cardio activity longer than before.  Also, as your heart gets pumping, it flushes out the bad plaque building on your artery walls.
  • You don't need any equipment.  Everything can be done with just body weight.  Just get a good pair of sneakers!  I just got a new pair yesterday and I love them!
My workout of the day:


1 mile run (70% - 80% of your maximum speed and effort)


100 meter jog, 200 meter run, 100 meter jog  (this totals to 1 lap around the track)
  1 minute of burpees
100 meter jog, 200 meter run, 100 meter jog
  1 minute of pushups
100 meter jog, 200 meter run, 100 meter jog
  1 minute of plank and alternating hand reach
100 meter jog, 200 meter run, 100 meter jog
  1 minute of burpees
100 meter jog, 200 meter run, 100 meter jog
  1 minute of squat jumps
100 meter jog, 200 meter run, 100 meter jog
  1 minute of spiderman pushups
100 meter jog, 200 meter run, 100 meter jog
  1 minute of alternating lunge jumps
100 meter jog, 200 meter run, 100 meter jog
  1 minute of burpees


1 mile walk and stretch

I feel so energized and positive after this workout!  I had to keep pushing myself through those 200 meter runs - especially after all the legwork, but the jogs in between allowed me to catch my breath for the next intense session.  I gave it my all on the last 2 intervals - knowing that it will be over soon and I have a nice walk to catch my breath and listen to some great music!    

Monday, June 18, 2012

A Day From My Life

This is a day out of my normal daily routine - including exercise and nutrition.  It varies slightly from day to day - depending on what type of workout I did that day - as well as the day before.  I listen to my body and eat when I'm hungry, and while I'm eating I pay attention to when I start getting full - that is when I stop.  After I eat I feel energized and ready to move around.

7 a.m. -  Banana and coffee with 2% milk

8 a.m. - 6.5 mile run and a high intensity ab routine 

10 a.m. - Old fashioned oatmeal (made with water), 1 cup blueberries, a tablespoon of dried fruit and nuts, 1 cup of greek yogurt, and a splash of honey to top it off.

12 p.m. - 2 cups of raspberries and a handful of dried fruit and nuts

3 p.m. - Mixed greens salad with roasted chicken breast, chickpeas, onions, cucumbers, sunflower and pumpkin seeds with olive oil and balsamic vinegar.

5 p.m. - 1 apple and a small cappuccino (with 2% milk)

7 p.m. - 1 Pint of Blueberries and 1 cup of cottage cheese

You can tell by my food consumption today that I had major cravings for sweeter things - this is why I had so much fruit!!!  I normally have a vegetable and a lean protein for dinner (sometimes a glass of red wine), but I was just craving more fruit.  I paired it with a lean protein (cottage cheese) and it was a well balanced mini meal!

If I feel like I'm still a little hungry after I eat - which happens a lot, I drink a glass of water or a cup of hot tea (sweetened with a little honey).  This gives my brain enough time to realize that I am, in fact, full.  

Water consumption:

1 liter as soon as I wake up.
1 liter during my workout.
1 liter from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
1 liter from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m.
1 liter from 7 p.m. until bedtime (and if I wake up throughout the night for water)

This seems like a lot when I write it all out - but I am used to drinking a lot of water, especially during the summer months when it's hot out.  Also, today I ran and did my workout outside, it was hot out, so I lost a lot of water from sweat - so I felt thirstier than I do when I do a gym workout.

Like I said before, my eating varies greatly on the type of workout I did that day as well as the previous day.  I find myself much hungrier throughout the day when I do a workout using TRX and weights.  When I do a long run (10 or more miles) the hunger kicks in either later on in the day or the following day.  

Learn to be in tune with your body and pay attention to what it's telling you.  

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Start with walking!

Walking is the most natural form of exercise you can do.  All you need is a good pair of sneakers!  If you are just starting, trying to get back into a workout routine, or taking a day off from intense training - walking is a great form of exercise.  I go on long walks on days that I'm very sore or just want to take a break from running.

If you are just starting out with exercise - start slow.  Walk at a comfortable pace and listen to your body.  If you can only do a few minutes - let that be your starting point and build up from there.  After several weeks, build it up to 30 to 60 minute sessions 3 to 4 days a week.

If you're walking on a treadmill, increase the incline a little!  It burns more calories and is great for your butt!  If you're outside - try to find hills and walk up them slowly.

I use an application on my iPhone to measure how far and how fast I walk. It also give you a detailed chart of all the hills you did.  MapMyRun.  You can create an account online ( - and download it on your phone.  Record your activity when you go on your walk, and it will automatically show it in your account when you finish and save.  It gives you a calendar with your daily activity and number of calories burned.  It is a great tool to track your progress!

Some benefits of walking include:

  • Managing your weight
  • Lowering blood pressure
  • Improving your fitness
  • Lowering bad cholesterol while increasing good cholesterol
  • Improving your mood!
I love walking by myself and listening to music.  It's my alone time - my thinking time.  It just gives me a change to look at things from a different perspective and gives me a positive attitude towards everything.

Remember to end your walk with a nice stretch to increase blood flow to all your muscles and prevent soreness and stiffness.  Also, stay hydrated - before, during, and after your walk, especially when it's hot out!

Friday, June 15, 2012

Clean Eating!

Eating "clean" is something I try to do every day.  It is not a diet, but rather a lifestyle.  Once you get the hang of it, it becomes easier to make smart choices on a daily basis.  I make mistakes every now and then, but I don't think that my clean eating for the day is "ruined" and I can eat crap for the rest of the day and restart tomorrow.   That's like taking a perfectly good phone you dropped on the floor and just smashing it until it breaks.

It can be overwhelming at first, especially if you have a lot of changes to make.  Taking baby steps, and making small changes every day will let you get used to this new lifestyle.  Pretty soon, eating clean will come naturally to you.

So what exactly is clean eating and where do you start?

1) Lot of fruits, vegetables, beans, lean meats, and fish.

2) No alcohol.  This is pure sugar.  If you must drink - limit it to 1 drink per day.

3) Nothing white, try whole grain instead!  White sugar, white bread, white rice, cookies, chips etc.  In short, these foods have a high glycemic value - which cause a rapid spike in blood sugar - which releases the hormone insulin.  Insulin prevents the body in breaking down fat.

4). Don't eat anything fried.

5). Drink lots of water!  Avoid sodas and juices - those are loaded with sugar.  The sugar free kind is not good for you either.

6).  Avoid sugar substitutes and anything containing them!  These are linked to weight gain.  They trick your body - thinking it is receiving sugar, so you get an insulin spike.  Since you are not actually putting any sugar into your body, this promotes hunger and increases calorie intake at your next meal.  Besides the weight gain, sugar substitutes are linked to cancer - and are not natural.  You want to avoid putting toxins in your body!

7).  Nuts and seeds are great for snacking.  I always carry some in my bag to munch on when I get hungry.  But don't forget the portion size!  As a general rule - don't eat more than a handful, nuts are a high-fat (the good kind) and high-calorie food.

8).  Try to eat 3 smaller meals and 3 snacks a day.  I try to eat every 2 - 3 hours.  This keeps your metabolism fired up and burning fat!  It also keeps you energized and prevents hunger and overeating.

9).  Chew your food thouroughly!  This is actually hard for me when I'm very hungry (like after a long run).  The first part of digestion occurs in your mouth with your saliva.  Try to get food in an almost liquid state before swallowing.  This makes it easier on your body to absorb nutrients as well as digest!

10).  Read nutrition labels.  Read the ingredients.  If it doesn't look natural to you, don't eat it!

I found clean eating easier to do by cleaning out my kitchen first.  Getting rid of all the "junk" food and just starting clean.  Ok, you can find Oreos in my cabinet and a pint of Ben & Jerry's in my freezer from time to time, but the rest of the food is natural and clean!  Read the ingredients on the labels, if it's those that you recognize and can buy individually (like tomatoes and basil), those foods are OK to keep.

Try to picture a caveman.  They reached for fresh fruits and vegetables, proteins from nuts and seeds or the catch of the night.  They didn't have prepackaged foods with unknown ingredients.  You can apply this concept to eating clean, with a few adjustments of course.

As you get used to eating clean, keep in mind the ultimate goals to help you keep going.

  • Weight loss!
  • Increased energy levels (natural energy, not the sugar rush kind)
  • Detoxing your body
  • Prevention of cancer and diseases
  • Sharpening your mind and senses
  • Clear and glowing skin and eyes
  • Stronger immune system
  • Improved sleep
  • Increased libido ;)
  • Fewer cravings
Keep this in mind.  A fabulous body mostly comes from nutrition!  You can work your butt off on the elliptical every day, but if you don't follow it up with proper, clean nutrition - it will hardly make a difference.

Make a commitment to yourself and you will see positive results.  Your body doesn't lie.


Wednesday, June 13, 2012


My name is Stacey, and I love running.

I love TRX, weights, cycling, Cross Fit workouts, dancing, and anything involving physical activity!

I am currently studying to become a personal trainer, so I can share my crazy passion with anyone who wants to get fit!

I need to stay fueled, hydrated, and energized for all this physical activity... and that is not a problem since I love food!

I always try to eat healthy, but I married an Italian food lover.

And wine connoisseur!

And beer aficionado!

Finding the right balance between healthy and tasty can be challenging, but I'm learning every day!

Everything is good in moderation.  I just try to keep my foods natural and "clean."  But an occasional ice cream sundae or Oreo cookie can't hurt!  A glass of wine or a beer won't hurt either, but it has to be just that: A glass or A beer.  You can't be a party animal and expect to train like an athlete in the morning!  (At least I can't!)

A fit and healthy life is something that you adapt to little by little.  It is not a diet mentality, but rather a healthy lifestyle.  Working out becomes something you look forward to, rather than a chore.

"Motivation is what gets you started.  Habit is what keeps you going."

A healthy mentality encourages you to make healthy choices on a daily basis, that ultimately become a part of your lifestyle and who you are.

You also need patience.  Lots of it.  Patience to make good habits, and patience to see results.