» Fitness

Meal Plan + Fitness for the Week (09/09/13)

Posted on by Susan Posted in Food, Uncategorized, Workout | Leave a comment

Friends, I’m about to seriously change my (currently barely existent) exercise routine. I’ve gained a few too many lbs. over the past few months and it’s time to stop blaming it on the move to a different country, paperwork to do, etc. It’s time to make it a priority again.

Yeah, my legs don’t look nearly as slim as they did a year ago. Ironically, I was in a much better shape the first 12 months after giving birth to our son. I was not as toned as pre-pregnancy, but my weight was at it’s lowest, since I was a teenager.

Living car-less in Vancouver, we had to walk everywhere, so I naturally was a lot more active than I am here in Southern California. You might think: “But what about surfing/going running on the beach/hiking?” Umm, I have a two year old to take with me. ;)

Plus, walking in a million degrees feels like death to me and I have sweat running down my face from a short 20 minute walk in the blazing sun.

But then I remembered the pool!

My gym has a huge lap pool. With the little guy being taken care of in the child care area, this was the perfect workout for me this morning and I cannot believe I “forgot” about the awesomeness of swimming. Assuming the pool is 25m, I swam 1 km (40 laps) in about 30 minutes. My arms are a sore mess this afternoon, but I’m definitely adding this back into my life!

I’m hoping to get rid of about 15 lbs over the next few motnhs, and here’s my tentative workout schedule for this current week:

This might not seem like a crazy workout schedule for you, but let me tell you, I’ve been lazy those past few months, and it WILL make a huge difference in my calories-burned account.

On to the food. Meal planning is one of my favorite ways to make sure we’re not a) going over-budget and b) keep eats clean(ish) and healthy.

Some dinners for the week: 

  • Monday: Baked Butternut Squash Pasta – we had a butternut kicking around in our kitchen for the longest time, and I decided it would make the perfect base for today’s Meatless Monday!
  • Tuesday: Chili + baked sweet potatoes
  • Wednesday: leftovers
  • Thursday: Swedish Pea Soup and Pancake night
  • Friday: Braised Chicken Taco Salad

Do you have any fun workouts planned for the week? What about your meal planning – do you plan ahead or go with the flow?

Nothing to Reveal but Coconut Chicken

Posted on by Susan Posted in Random, Recipes, Workout | 1 Comment

Actually it’s Foodie Penpals Reveal Day, but I have nothing to show you. Either my Foodie Penpals partner forgot about me or decided not to participate any longer, or my package got lost in the mail. Either way, I have nothing to share with you this month. :( I hope next month there will be some fun foodie treats in my mailbox. ;)

In other news, I am so impressed by some of the great blogging mamas and mamas to-be out there. First of all they take care of their babies, go to work, then they cook for themselves, exercise and even blog about it – often on a daily basis! And I can barely write up a single post per week, although I really try.

I’ve been trying to blog more often, but I get caught up in life’s events (and paperwork…), and dreaming of pretty things. Like this Lululemon bag for example.

Sackasana Bag

Sackasana Bag

Back to reality…

I did workout a bit more lately than my usual long walks and yoga. I’m trying to take one mom & baby fitness class per week (for $15/class they are pricey though), because we’re going on vacation this summer and I want to look and feel good and be fit to do some scuba diving. It’s been a while, but we are PADI certified and we love the ocean, so when we will be at the west coast of Sweden this August, I really hope to get some bottom time in.

Brittle Star in Hawaii (2010)

So, as far as exercising goes, I’ve taken Stroller Fitness and Mom & Baby Spin in the past couple of weeks and I love the classes. Hello sore thighs!

I missed yesterday’s Fitness class and I missed today’s yoga. :( The little man is napping right now and there’s no way I’m waking him up, just so I can get there on time… I’ll try Mom & Baby Spin on tomorrow again, but our son is getting a bit mobile now, so I don’t know for how long I can keep doing this. I also still have a punch card for Zumba classes and they welcome kids in their little play area inside the studio…

And with exercise comes a starving mama! Good thing I have green split peas soaking for tonight’s soup. And I really wanted to share this easy chicken dish, perfect for appetizers, snacking or party-food.

Baked Coconut Chicken Bites

perfect for dipping…

For an appetizer-sized portion for two people, you will need:

  • 1 boneless, skinless chicken breast (organic, if you want to avoid extra hormones, antibiotics and other medications often given to conventional chicken)
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened coconut flakes, mixed with 1/2 cup bread crumbs and chili flakes, if you’re feeling the heat :)

Cut chicken in bite-size pieces or strips. Prepare 3 bowls, one each with flour, whisked egg and the coconut-breadcrumb mix. Coat chicken pieces in first flour, then egg and finally the crumb-mix, place on a slightly greased baking dish and bake for 12-15 minutes at 180°C/400°F (make sure chicken is thoroughly cooked though – every oven is different).

Sweet & Spicy!!!

Mrs. Renfro’s Mango Habanero Salsa works great as a dipping sauce!

Go make this right now! ;)

I’m sure if you leave out the chili and serve with a mild salsa, this could be great for kids too.

Let me know if you try it and what you think about it.







It’s Spring: Time to Get Fit for Summer (and the Rest of the Year)

Posted on by Susan Posted in Fun, Health, Workout | 5 Comments

With the beginning of Spring today, it is the perfect time to remember that the summer months are not too far away. And summer means hikes, runs, swim sessions at the pool and playing Frisbee at the beach – at least it used to.

For the past 3 and a half years, I have been working hard at living a healthier life. I lost a significant amount of weight by starting to focus on eating whole, less processed foods, as well as incorporating exercise into my daily life. I fell in love with yoga and zumba, started walking more (although that was already part of my life without a car), and two years ago, I even committed to running my first 10k race – the Vancouver Sun Run, followed by another 10k.

I even kept up (modified) regular exercise until I was 9 months pregnant (lots of walking, swimming and yoga). When I had my baby boy last summer, things changed. A lot. Not only have I become a mommy and my son is my top #1 priority, but I am even more committed to being healthy for the sake of my family. The pregnancy weight was never an issue for me, because it came off fast (I didn’t gain too much to begin with), but my fitness level is a whole different story.

my little snuggle bug

I healed quickly from my c-section and was up on my feet in no time – when people tell new mommies to nap when baby naps, they mean it, but after a week in the hospital, all I wanted was to get out (and show off my little guy). :)

We’ve been going on daily walks since the little Mr. was born, and I took him to mom & baby yoga twice a week, since he has been 7 weeks old. But I was ready to run and dance, as well. I’ve been to the gym only a few times, and did some short runs, but in the past 6.5 months there hasn’t really been any exercise routine back in my life. At the same time we have been relying on lots of takeout, frozen foods, and delivery – taking care of baby leaves little time to wash, chop, peel and cook veggies, fruits and prepare healthy dinners – but this is something that I have already started to tackle this month by planning my meals and spending more time in my kitchen again.

Spicy Black Bean Soup

Exercise-wise, I’m running the Sun Run in 3.5 weeks. It’s a 10k and I’ve ran it before, but this year – although I’m at my lowest weight since about 8 years – I am so out of shape, it scares me. So here are some of  my health goals for the next few weeks (and after):

Sun Run training pamphlet

- run 2-3 times per week (for this I REALLY need the support of my partner – he works long hours and sometimes forgets that I exist too)

- continue meal planning and focusing on healthy, whole unprocessed foods to maximize nutrients

- continue yoga: so good for body and mind

- reward myself with a pedicure after the race (well, not right after… I will need to shower my sweaty feet first, of course… ;) )

- shop at my local farmers market, when it returns later this Spring – so many healthy fruit and veggie options that inspire me to eat better

So, what are your plans to get fit this Spring? Any races planned? Meal Planning? Farmers Markets?

I would love to hear from you and get inspired, so feel free to leave a comment!

Happy first day of Spring,