Tag Archives: Weights

mongolian beef

Happy Monday dear readers! I hope your weekend was both relaxing and fun and that all of you on the East coast are safe! 

My weekend was packed. Between going out dancing in costume, helping a friend move, going for a lap swim (with my Olympic qualifying room mate…), and watching the Giants win the World Series, I did not sit down! Unfortunately, the state of my room and laundry piles are extremely compelling evidence to the craziness of the weekend. Usually Sundays are devoted to things like cleaning, laundry, and food prep, but I decided to go watch the Giants game at a sports bar in the Marina. I am so glad that I went. I have never seen so many strangers bond, dance, jump, and scream like that. 

The bar after the Giants won. Champagne showers… 

making new friends!

the streets post-game

I have to admit though, I am happy it is the workweek where I can sink into my schedule, work out, and eat healthy, homemade food all week. Today’s workout is going to look something like this:

Booty Building Workout

The squat pyramid

  • 5 squats, 95#
  • 5 squats, 105#
  • 5 squats, 115#
  • 5 squats, 125#
  • 5 squats, 135#
  • to (almost) failure, 155#
  • to (almost) failure, 145# then 135#, then 125#, then 115#, then 105#, then 95#

3 sets of 8-12 at a challenging weight

  • lat pull downs
  • walking lunges holding DB in each hand
  • rows
  • incline sit ups

The recipe for today is not completely paleo but is far healthier than your typical takeout version of Mongolian beef, which is usually loaded with sugar!

Healthier Mongolian Beef


adapted from very culinary
  • 1 tsp coconut oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon ginger, minced
  • 1/2 tablespoon garlic, chopped
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1/3 cup NuNaturals Baking Blend Stevia
  • 1/2 tsp molasses
  • 1 tbsp coconut oil
  • 1/2-2/3 lb flank steak
  • 2 tbsp white whole wheat flour (or tapioca or potato starch)
  • 1 green onion

Directions – For the sauce, heat 1 tsp of coconut oil in a sauce pan over medium low heat. Add the fresh ginger and garlic to the pan, quickly followed by the soy sauce and water. Add the baking stevia (or sugar) to the sauce and raise the heat to medium and boil for 2-3 minutes, until the sauce is thicker. Remove the pan from heat.

Slice the steak into bite size pieces. Lightly dust the pieces of steak with the flour or starch. Let sit for 5-10 minutes so the starch sticks. During that time, heat up 1 tbsp of coconut oil in a pan on medium-high heat, until hot but not smoking. Add the beef to the oil and saute for just about two minutes or until the beef is darkened on the edges. Remove the beef and place on a clean towel. Put the pan with the sauce back on the medium heat and put the meat back into the pan to simmer for 1 minute. Add the green onions.

Serve the beef with steamed broccoli and your choice of carbohydrate (like soba noodles, quinoa, rice, potatoes, or more broccoli!). Use the extra sauce for the veggies, etc.

“What I Ate” Wednesday…

I haven’t done a

in a while, so I thought I would!

Obviously, the day started out with a high protein, whole wheat Belgian waffle. I was feeling frisky and couldn’t decide which fat to smother it in, so I just put ’em all on there. Half was smothered in coconut butter, a quarter in peanut butter, and a quarter in cake batter cashew butter.

After breakfast, I went to the ARC and had a particularly de-stressing lifting session and followed that up with a small protein shake of just 1/2 scoop of TBC cinnamon bun whey protein mixed with vanilla almond milk.

Current Favorite Lifting Workout 

  • Back squats, 155 lbs – 3 sets of 6 or failure
  • Deadlifts, 155 lbs – 3 sets of 6
  • Pull ups, bodyweight – 3 sets until failure
  • Tricep dips, bodyweight – 3 sets until failure
  • Butt (kick back) machine, 190 lbs – 3 sets of 6 per cheek
  • Lat pull downs, 85 lbs – 3 sets of 6
  • Hamstring curl machine, 70 lbs – 3 sets of 8
  • Abs + pushups

Then, I went to biology lab and was bored outta my gourd for 2 hours. I raced home to make lunch and was so hungry I just kinda winged it. Usually that turns into an epic fail, but this

curry & coconut oil fried chicken and root vegetables

hit the spot.

Recipe: Serves 1

  • ~3/4 cup sweet potato, cubed
  • 1 cup butternut squash, cubed
  • 5 oz chicken, chopped
  • 1 1/2 tbsp coconut oil
  • handful snap peas
  • yellow curry powder
  • dash cayenne pepper
  • handful shredded coconut
  • salt

Directions – Add 1 tbsp of the coconut oil to a pan on medium high heat on the stovetop. Fry the potatoes and squash until slightly soft. Add the other 1/2 tbsp of coconut oil as well as the chicken and snap peas. Sprinkle the spices liberally over everything. Stir fry until the potatoes are crisp and the squash and chicken are cooked through. Garnish with shredded coconut. Enjoy!!

Then,  I ran to the grocery store, snacked on an apple + black walnuts, and studied some.

For dinner, I was craving sweet potatoes again and wanted to try a cuisine from a country I had never been before.


Lomo Saltdado

Recipe: Makes 2 servings

adapted from A Cozy Kitchen

  • 1 sweet potato, cubed
  • 2 tbsp garlic olive oil
  • ~2/3 lb sirloin steak, sliced
  • 1 small red onion, diced
  • 2 handfuls cherry tomatoes
  • 1 serrano pepper, de-seeded and minced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/2 tbsp cumin
  • 2 tbsp ketchup
  • 1/2 tbsp soy sauce
  • fresh parsley, minced
  • salt & pepper to taste
Directions –  Heat 2 tablespoons of garlic olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. While the oil is heating up, sprinkle a liberal amount of salt and pepper over the strips of meat. Fry the potatoes in the oil until slightly soft. Add the meat and cook on first side for 1-2 minutes, until slightly browned. Flip and cook on opposite side for an additional 30 seconds. Remove the meat from the pan and set aside. Add in the onions and tomatoes. Cook until slightly translucent, 2-3 minutes. Throw in the diced pepper, garlic, cumin, ketchup and soy sauce. Cook mixture for an additional 2-3 minutes. Salt to taste. Add in the cooked beef strips and garnish with minced Italian parsley.

After dinner, I went to a DG meeting and got some ice crame with a couple friends. As we were leaving the shop, one of them accidently smashed her boyfriends car into the car next to her in the parking lot :(. It was understandable though, the parking spots were really strange. Instead of being rectangles in parallel to one another, they were diagonal and deceivingly long… But she left a note with all of her information and its all being sorted out!

Question: Do y’all ever make traditional recipes from countries you want to travel to?? Have a lovely Wednesday!

an amazing lunch

So, I started a Pinterest account.

Not because I want followers, not because I want to follow, but because I needed to do something about the sick amount of recipes I have bookmarked on my browser and starred in my Google Reader. It was getting ridiculous – and they weren’t even useful because the mass quantity of unorganized information was daunting. Plus, there were no pictures with the titles, only boring text – which is not inspiring in the least. (I realize this is something I need to fix with my own blog.)

Since this Pinning has started, my recipe-following has skyrocketed! One thing I have learned though, is that just beacuse something is published in print or online does not mean that it is actually going to taste good. Some recipes have bombed, some have been decent, and a couple have blown my mind.

This one is my favorite thus far and will certainly become a staple ’round hurr…

Chicken, Green Bean, Corn, and Farro Salad with Goat Cheese

Recipe: Makes 4 servings

slightly adapted from epicurious

  • 1 cup cooked farro (I used a quinoa mix!)
  • 2 large chicken breasts, cooked and diced
  • 4 cups green beans, cut and steamed
  • 2 cups cooked corn kernels
  • 1-2 green onions, sliced thinly
  • 2 tbsp minced marjoram [Yes, you must go out and find this. I bought dried but the original calls for fresh.]
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 3 tbsp white wine vinegar
  • 3 tbsp minced shallot
  • 2 tsp dijon mustard
  • 4 oz. goat cheese

Directions – Mix farro, chicken, and green beans in a bowl. Add corn and green onions. To make the dressing, combine the oil, marjoram, and salt. Press with a spoon to release flavor. Whisk in vinegar, shallot, and mustard. Pour over salad and toss. Crumble in goat cheese and toss again. Season with salt and pepper.


Corn * gets its yellow color from its antioxidant content, carotenoids! Also has a high fiber content, particularly insoluble, which aids in regularity!

Green beans * are full of carotenoids, flavonoids, vitamin C, and beta carotene, all of which have antioxidant activity and thus reduce oxidative damage. One study showed green beans to have potent anti-inflammatory action.

Marjoram * is rich in vitamin C, A, and antioxidants. It is also one of the richest herbal sources of vitamin K, which is very important for bone health!

Quinoa *  This super food has more protein, fiber, and nutrients than rice, oats, and almost every other grain.


Also, just so y’all know, I have added a workout tab to the blog! It made me realize I haven’t posted my most recent lifting routine. I am actually just about to get my 90% hangover-recovered self to the gym to do it…(First and last Thursday night outing of the quarter – don’t judge!)

Full Body Lifting Workout

This takes me about 50-55 minutes, starting with a half mile warm up jog on the treadmill. Follow with a delicious whey protein shake!

Back squats – 145 lbs – 5 sets of 6 reps (always take a break if your form begins to slip! Remember: Duck ass!)

Pull ups – 3 sets of as many as possible

Dead lifts – 120 lbs – 3 sets of 8

Kickback machine – 190 lbs – 3 sets of 6 for each leg cheek

Lat pull down – 75 lbs – 3 sets of 8

Leg curl machine (hamstrings) – 75 lbs – 3 sets of 8

Tricep dips – bodyweight – 3 sets of 8 (or failure)

One legged lunges (with other leg on bench) with barbell over upper back – 50 lbs – 3 sets of 8 per leg

Hanging leg raises – 3 sets of 15+

Other ab work/pushups if you’ve got the energy!

3 Hotel Workouts

Hi again! Since being in Chicago, my mom, Steve, and I have been staying in the Doubletree hotel. This means warm ooey gooey, chocolate chip pecan cookies on the daily, as well as a breakfast buffet that demands heightened creativity, and your typical hotel “health center.” The workout room is actually better than most hotels; there is a fleet of treadmills, ellipticizers, a large set of dumbells, a bench, and one of those pulley machines that I don’t know how to operate. To keep the fitness going, I have been getting crafty with the workout room and thought Id share a few ideas!


Insanity Inspired Plyo Workout

  • warm up walk 1 mile, 5% incline
  • 20 lateral ski jumps
  • 20 pushups
  • repeat 3x
  • 20 jump squats
  • 30 mountain climbers
  • repeat 3x
  • 20 jump lunges
  • 20 hop-left-right-crunches
  • repeat 3x
  • 20 basketball jumps (left to right to left…)
  • 10 tricep dips
  • repeat 3x
  • cool down walk  1/2 mile, incline 5%, speed 3.5

Lateral ski jumps = stand on the left of a yoga mat (optional). Keeping your knees fairly close together, bend your knees to almost a 90 degree angle and use your arms to jump far over to the right, over the yoga mat.  Repeat to the left, then right..

Hop-left-right-crunches = Put yourself in pushup position, with elbows slightly bent and legs straight back. Hop and bring your knees close to your chest with your feet coming forward about a foot and a half and slightly to the left. Hop back to starting position. Repeat on the right side, then left..

Basketball jumps = Squat down to 90 degrees facing the left. Use your left hand to drive you to the right as you jump out of the squat as high as you can and turn 180 degrees to the right. It looks like you are making a free throw! Repeat back to the left, then right..

Lifting Day

  • warm up on the ellipticizer, 5-10 minutes
  • 15 squats holding a 50 lb dumbbell
  • 10 bicep curls into military presses with 10 lb dumbbells
  • repeat 5x
  • 20 (10 on each side) one legged lunges with other leg up on bench, 20 lb dumbbell in each hand
  • 12 dead lifts with 50 lb dumbbell
  • repeat 3x
  • 12 tricep dips on bench with feet elevated
  • 12 lateral  shoulder raises, 10 lb dumbbells
  • repeat 3x
  • 10 tricep raises with 30 lb dumbbell
  • 15 lower back raises (lay over a bench with feet secure under another bench and lift upper body up with lower back) holding 20 lb dumbbell
  • repeat 3x
  • 60 left cheek leg raises (get on all fours and lift your left leg back as high as you can)
  • 60 right cheek leg raises
  • cool down ellipticizer or treadmill, 5-10 minutes

Cardio Day

  • 10-15 minute warm up swim
  • treadmill, 1 9-minute mile
  • bicep curls with 10 lb dumbbells, tricep raises with 30 lb dumbbell, lateral shoulder raises with 5 lb dumbbells
  • treadmill 1 8-minute mile
  • bicycle crunches, leg lifts, crunches, V ups
  • treadmill 1 7-minute mile (I broke this up into two sprints)
  • booty raises and leg lifts
  • stretch to cool down

Hello from Lake of the Ozarks!

I have immersed myself in summer and it feels so good. This means going to summer school in the morning, workout  in the afternoon, and dividing the rest of my day to studies and fun with friends. I have been lifting weights 2-3x a week and doing most HIIT (high intensity interval training) cardio 2-3 days a week. For your workout inspiration…

Track Intervals #1

12 minute warm up jog (for me, this is running to the track near my house)

200 meter SPRINT

200 meter SLOW walk/shuffle/jog (this totals 1 lap)

repeat 4x or 9x

12 minute cool down jog

Mix Up Workout

This workout was inspired by Lori. It truly is a workout that you have no excuse to not do. No matter where you are or how little time you have, you can drop and do this little routine!

15 minute warm up jog

10 pushups

10 deep squats

10 jumping lunges

10 situps

repeat 4x or 10x

5 minute cool down jog

Lifting #1

1/2 mile warm up jog or run

5×10 squats, 125 lbs  [booty]

3×10 dead lifts, 80 lbs   [lower back/hamstrings]

3×10 lat pull down, 50 lbs  [upper back]

3×10 seated double arm cable pully rows, 40 lbs [mid back]

3×12 seated leg press, 185 lbs [booty/hamstrings]

3×10 military press, 30 lbs [shoulders]

3×10 cable push down, 30 lbs [triceps]

3×12 (on each side) side bend, 45 lbs [abs]

3×12 hanging leg lifts [lower abs]

1×1 whey protein smoothie

If you aren’t sure what some of these are, this is a great website!

My current favorite whey protein smoothie is

Blueberry PopTart Protein Smoothie

1/2 cup frozen blueberries (Rhythm and Blueberries is the best)

1 scoop cinnamon bun whey protein powder

2 tbsp greek yogurt

handful ice

3/4 cup vanilla almond milk

pinch salt

optional toppings: shredded coconut

Blend away!

I updated my Recipes page, so it should be much easier to find the type of meal you are looking for! I have been lacking in the inspiration department as far as cooking goes, but when I return home from my family reunion (from now until Sunday!) in Lake of the Ozarks, I plan on getting back into cooking REAL meals. I have been feeding on very simple things that I almost feel silly posting because they are so simple. For example, breakfasts have included Texas style breakfast tacos…

whole wheat tortilla, 1 egg + 3 egg whites, full fat cheddar cheese, sour cream, cherry tomatoes, onions

yogurt messes…

high fiber cereal, corn puffs, vanilla almond milk, greek yogurt, mixed nuts

And lunches have included homemade spring rolls, salads, sandwiches, burgers, and…

Summer Strawberry & Almond Chicken Salad

1/2 grilled chicken breast (cold), shredded

2-3 tbsp sour cream

~5 strawberries, sliced

2 tbsp slivered almonds

Toss ingredients together and serve on a salad or as a whole grain sandwich or wrap!

perfect for a hot summer day

My housemates thought it was strange I was using sour cream instead of mayo for chicken salad, but I thought it was grreat. Ill be back in a few days, enjoy your weekends!

Parting words of wisdom from last weekend’s adventure in SF…

as I wear my heels…

Falafels with Labneh Sauce

The workout rocked! I am sore today which used to never happen! The boyfriend says that being sore isn’t a good thing and is merely muscle trauma, but I like it :). He is a big proponent of one set with a weight heavy enough to elicit total failure and inability to do another set. I am similar, but I like to do 2-3 sets with a weight that is heavy enough so that I fail BY 12 reps. Then, with each subsequent set I fail earlier and earlier. And by fail I mean I can not for the life of me lift the weight, no matter how ugly I make my face. As promised…

Weights Workout:

3 sets of biceps curls until failure (max of 12 per set). 15 pounds.

3 sets of  tricep drops or until failure (max of 12 per set). 25 pounds.  [This is where you hold the weight over your head and slowly lower it down to the back of your head and lift back up. I actually failed after 2 sets and couldn’t do a third.]

3 sets of shoulder raises until failure (max of 12 per set). 10 pounds. [Lift the weights up from your sides till you make a T with your arms.]

Repeat 3 times:

12 squats holding a 25 pound weight. Immediately follow with…

Stand on a balance bosu ball and hold a weighted medicine ball over your head. Hold for 20 seconds.

1 set of 20 squats holding weighted ball.

Repeat 3 times:

20 lunges to the side holding a weighted medicine ball (do 10 to one side and then 10 to the other). Immediately follow with…

25 bicycle abs. [I don’t work on abs unless its just to kill time and recover from something else.]

1 set of 50 leg/butt raises per leg. [This where you get on your hands and knees and lift your straightened leg up as high as you can and bring it back down, slowly.] [Do the first 30 with a full range of up and down motion and the last 20 up at the top with a smaller motion.]

1 set of 30 side kicks per leg. [This is where you lift your leg out to the side like a dog peeing on a fire hydrant. Kick out. HIYAH!]

3 sets of 20 airplanes. [This is where you lie down on your stomach and lift your upper body up as far up and back as you can. Simultaneously bring your arms straight out and back, like an airplane.]

Within 30 minutes, get at least 15-20 grams of pure, easy to utilize protein. I use All the Whey protein isolate in Cinnamon Bun flavor. Half a scoop of that, half a cup of milk, ice, blend, DONE!


I know that some people believe that this is not necessary and that you are fine with just your dietary protein, but I think this is really important. Unless your body is a total pro and can perfectly utilize every drop of protein you put into it, then if you want to build muscle, you need to supplement with a bit extra and at the right time. Within 30 minutes seems like a good, safe guess. This is just my personal view, some people do not need the extra protein, but I can tell that I do much better with it. Times when I tried other people’s style of eating less protein have lead me to muscle and weight loss and NOT in a good way.

While I sipped my smoothie, I prepared this amazing Lebanese style dinner. This was not difficult to make and tasted amazing. I felt like I was in the Middle East for a little while :).

There was actually 2x the amount of falafel and 3x the amount of labneh, but for aesthetic purposes I took a picture of it before plopping the rest on my plate.

Recipe: Serves 1

Ingredients list: 3/4 green onion, 4 mushrooms, 1 tbsp EEVO (or more if you want!), 2 cloves garlic, 3/4 cup chickpeas, 1/4+1/8 cup whole wheat panko breadcrumbs, 1 egg white, cilantro, cumin, parsley, 1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt, salt, and optional mint

Place a pan on the stove and heat to medium low.

Dice 3/4 of a green onion (both the white and green parts) and a few small mushrooms into very small pieces. Add 1 tsp of EVOO, the onions, and the mushrooms to the pan and cook until soft.

Finely chop two cloves of garlic. Without draining first, blend 3/4 a cup of chickpeas and garlic  in the blender until smooth.

Scoop the mush into a bowl. Add the soft green onions and mushrooms. Chop up 1 tbsp worth of fresh cilantro (this is key!). Add the cilantro, 1/2 tsp parsley (dried or more if fresh), 1 egg white, 1/8 cup whole wheat panko bread crumbs, and several shakes of cumin. Stir.

Pour 1/8 cup whole wheat bread crumbs onto a plate. Shake to evenly distribute. Grab a handful of chickpea mix and toss back and forth in your hand to form a patty. Press the patty into the breadcrumbs. Repeat until the chickpea mixture is gone (this can make 2 large or 3 smallish patties). Use another 1/8 cup whole wheat to cover the tops of the patties. Lightly press the breadcrumbs into the patties so that they are completely covered.

Increase the heat on the stove to medium high and add 1 tsp of EEVO (or more if you wish). Lay the patties in the pan and let them cook. Don’t flip them until they are medium brown on the bottom and a bit firmer! When they are ready to be flipped, scoop them onto a plate and add 1 more tsp of EEVO to the pan. Then place them back in the pan and let the other side brown.

For the Labneh:

Mix 1/2 cup plain greek yogurt with 1/2 tsp fresh ground sea salt. Traditionally, labneh has mint in it. I didn’t have any, but if you do, chop some up and mix it in!

To serve, you can put the falafels and labneh into a pita stuffed with greens. Or, you can place them atop a salad. I used the labneh to cover my falafels and as a salad dressing. Arugula, tomatoes, and mushrooms went together quite well!


I don’t post calorie counts for my dishes mainly because I feel that counting calories detracts from one’s quality of life and I don’t want to encourage that. Our bodies do a really good job of monitoring our calorie intake. If you take in more than usual on one day, you will most likely feel less hungry on a subsequent day, and eat less. In the end, the body is eerily good at balancing energy input and output. However, this ability does begin to deteriorate the more and more overweight a person becomes. Excess fat (particularly on the stomach) becomes an organ that can cause the secretion hormones. These hormones can cause a person to feel hungry when they shouldn’t be or to not feel full when they should. So, I do think that for people who are trying to lose weight, keeping a general idea of your caloric intake (or counting, if that is what you feel you need to succeed) is a good idea. I am going to post the nutritional information for this meal because I want to show that one can make a “bready, fried dish” that is healthy and balanced! Also, there is 30 grams of protein in this dish and it is vegetarian ;).

Nutritional Info: For all of the falafel and labneh sauce (but not the salad or a pita)

Calories: 530

Total Fat: 16.8g

Sodium: 636 mg /  Potassium: 489 mg

Carbs: 71.2 g — Dietary fiber 12.3 g — Sugar 4.7 g!

Protein: 30 g!

Vitamins and percent daily values: B12 – 10%, B6 – 46%, C – 37%, D – 8%, Calcium – 20%, Copper – 22%, Folate – 32%, Iron – 19%, Manganese – 55%, Niacin – 9%, Pantothenic acid – 17%, Phosphorus – 33%, Riboflavin – 27%,  Selenium – 12%, Thiamin – 10%, Zinc – 14%