Posts Tagged by fitness
|March 25, 2016|
Going out to eat is one of my favorite things to do. Most people have a weak spot for a particular food or place; my weakness is restaurant dining in general. But when you’re on a diet, eating out can be devastating to all your hard work if you don’t make the right decisions.
This weekend I tried the new CUT Fitness Menu at Bluewater Grill in Tustin, CA. The menu was designed in partnership with Tamra Judge from Real Housewives meant for the restaurant diner looking to order something that fits within their personal diet or fitness goals.
Before any food ordering comes to play, we ordered drinks. Sure the healthiest drink is water, but if you’re trying to have a fun cheat day, what’s the harm if you don’t overdo it? Just know that cocktails are usually higher in calories than a beer or wine, and a blended drink is usually higher than cocktails.
I ordered the cucumber mojito. What caught my eye was that it’s made with VeeV Açaí Spirit. If you haven’t heard of Veev, it’s a spirit made of the Açaí berry which is thought to be one of the world’s super fruits with an incredible amount of antioxidants. Are those same antioxidants present in the spirit? I don’t know, but if there’s a chance this alcohol is better for me, I will happily order this over another drink.
The cucumber mojito was so light and refreshing! It wasn’t overly sweet and you could barely taste the alcohol. Also, how could you resist anything served in a mason jar with the lime and cucumber on top? It was picture perfect.
My boyfriend ordered the bloody mary. Since Bluewater Grill is known for their seafood, having it garnished with a shrimp was the perfect touch. Personally, I hate bloody mary’s… sorry world. So yes I tasted it; but no, I will not tell you what I thought because my answer will be the same same for all of them: gross.
But the shrimp was good! It was a cold cocktail shrimp. Also, my boyfriend is a shrimp nazi; aka prior to eating any shrimp, he inspects the hell out of it to make sure it was cleaned properly because the vein grosses him out. He said it was the cleanest shrimp he’s ever seen! That means a LOT coming from him.
Looking at the CUT Fitness menu, the first thing I noticed was the way they added commentary-type descriptions to the food. They didn’t focus on the calories like other restaurants. They listed “Good For: …” This made it really easy to order. For example, I eat a balanced diet of carbs, fats, and proteins; so anything that said “Good For: Low-Carb Diets” I stayed clear of.
Between my boyfriend and I, we ordered:
- Appetizer: Oysters on the Half Shell – “Good For: An Aphrodisiac”
- Appetizer: Ahi Poke Lettuce Wraps – “Good For: Building & Repairing Muscle”
- Entree: Herb Free Range Chicken Breast – “Good For: A Well Balanced Diet. Proteins, Carbs & Healthy Fats”
- Entree: Grilled King Salmon – “Good For: Strength & Muscle Building. High in Protein”
Oysters are a great appetizer option because even if you add the sauces to them, they will always hands down be better for you than any dip or creamy soup. This is one of those things that people often buy when they want to “splurge” because yea, a cup of soup might be cheaper. But by “splurging,” you’re actually ordering healthier. So indulge away!
When you order this at Bluewater Grill, you can pick what oysters you want on the platter. We ordered the sampler which had two each of Hood Canal from Washington, Chef’s Creek from British Columbia, and Sol Azul from Baja. The Hood Canal oysters were my favorite. They was the largest of the oysters and had a mild flavor. They weren’t overly fishy or briny. The Chef’s Creek oysters were my second favorite. They were very similar to the Hood Canal except they were slightly sweeter. If they were larger, those would have been my favorite… I like them large, haha. The Sol Azul oysters were more briny than I would like.
The Ahi Poke Lettuce Wraps were amazing. One bite and I was sold on these. They were a little messy… but they did give us chopsticks and we completely forgot they gave us those. They used romaine lettuce as the “shell” of the taco. It had ahi, avocado, cucumber, and cilantro inside. Ginger, sesame oil, and Bragg’s aminos were used to create the sauce. It was mildly sweet with a salty kick. The flavor was less intense and had more depth than a soy sauce. I could eat those all day! I’m definitely going to re-create that sauce and use it in my own cooking.
The chicken was recommended to me, which I why I ordered it. I was a bit hesitant initially because Bluewater Grill has so much great seafood, I didn’t really think chicken was the way to go. I was also hesitant because if you follow any meal prepper on Instagram, you’ll notice chicken with herbs is a stable. Why? Because chicken is high in protein, low in fat, and generally inexpensive so you can make it in bulk for cheap. It’s a go-to “diet food.”
But I gave it a shot and boy did I have it all wrong. First-off, this chicken was free-range which is not the cheapest chicken in the market. It was juicy and the herbs added so much more flavor than I’ve been able to accomplish in my meal prep.
It was served on top of a bed of locally grown spaghetti squash and sautéed brussel sprouts. I was shocked when they said it was local. I can expect a small one-location restaurant to use local ingredients, but I didn’t expect it from Bluewater Grill. I was pleasantly surprised.
As far as taste, I don’t know what they did to that squash but it was amazing. If you overcook spaghetti squash it can get mushy and be very watery. If you under cook it, it doesn’t come anywhere close to pretending to be real noodles. Not only was it cooked perfectly but the sauce or seasoning they had on it was rich and exquisite. The brussel sprouts were also heavenly and bursting with flavor. I cleaned my plate for all it was worth.
The Grilled King Salmon was what my boyfriend ordered. It was served with quinoa, asparagus, and a lemon that was grilled with paprika and some other form of sorcery. Again, if you’re a meal prepper or follow any on Instagram, the ingredients are pretty identical to what those body builders might eat. What made this stand out from what I would normally make when I’m meal prepping is the flavor. That lemon… the magic that occurred in the kitchen to that lemon was the key to this dish. Next time I’m going to ask for an extra lemon. Whatever they did to it, it was slightly sweeter than a normal lemon and it really was the cherry-on-top to the salmon. A good salmon doesn’t need seasoning or a dry rub. If made right, all it needs is some salt and lemon. It was textbook perfect and definitely the star of the dish.
Lastly, we finished off with some dessert. They did offer fruit and whipped cream if we wanted a lighter dessert… but I figured since we made good choices for the rest of the meal, indulge! Start my meal off with a cocktail; finish off with some dessert. The basic structure of a perfect cheat day.
We ordered the Chocolate Lava Cake which was served warm with a molten chocolate center that oozed out when we cut into it. It was plated with a berry drizzle that wasn’t listed on the menu, but a great addition.
Overall from this experience, these are the things I learned:
- Bluewater Grill has officially been added to my list of favorite places to dine out. Their regular menu is also pretty diet friendly since you pick the fish you want and how it’s prepared.
- When I meal prep, I need to channel my inner Bluewater Grill and step it up on my seasonings.
- There is a lemon god and he wants me to grill my lemon with paprika and put it on everything.
- Brussel sprouts can taste good if you prepare them right.
Things for you to remember when you eat out and want to eat healthy:
- Calories aren’t always the answer. The quality of ingredients used are just as important. Pay attention to the descriptions.
- Sometimes the items often overlooked are the healthiest options. Oysters at a seafood restaurant; ceviche at a Mexican restaurant; etc.
- If you order drinks or a dessert, just be conscious of your decision. Don’t go with the flow and let your regular restaurant routine take over. Think about your choices. If you choose to go for it, enjoy it! By thinking things through, you won’t regret the decision you make.
- Look over the menu before going to the restaurant. Take mental note of the healthier options so once you get there, you can easily decide what you want based off the list you mentally prepared.
|February 13, 2014|
Happy Valentine’s Day!!! Have you gotten your loved one a gift yet?
It’s pretty standard to buy a girl flowers and chocolates. For me, of course I like the flowers, but when I get chocolates I say, “thanks, yum” but I’m really thinking, “I won’t be able to eat these.”
For all those guys out there, do a girl a favor. Don’t give them something they can’t eat. I complied a list of great ideas for those last-minuters. So instead of turning to the nearest 7-11 to pick the shelves clean of the left over reject chocolate boxes (because by now the good ones are gone), head to the sporting goods store. I promise they won’t be sold out.
- I’m nuts about you – While a box of chocolates is traditional, a package of nuts is far more enjoyable for a health nut. Even chocolate covered almonds is more likely to get eaten than traditional chocolates. I’d eat nuts. If they were covered in chocolate, I’d just pace myself. Just don’t confuse a chocolate truffle with a whole almond with a chocolate covered almond. Still two completely different things.
- You got me all shook up – Can you really have too many Blender Bottles? I only have one, so maybe someone that has 5+ might tell you something different. But I keep loosing mine or forgetting it at the office. To me, I could definitely use a few extra bottles. Might as well get some in a few colors and sizes too 🙂
- I like how you roll – Having a good foam roller is good for any fitness junkie. Foam rolling is a sweet treat for your muscles. There are a TON of foam rollers and other similar products, everything ranging from $5 to $50. It does make a difference to have a good foam roller. Sure my black PVC pipe does the job, but having the actual thing would be a nice gift. I’ve borrowed the RumbleRoller from my trainer and I can tell you for a matter of fact – it works better than my PVC pipe.
- Your pace or mine? – What girl doesn’t love a new pair of shoes? And when they’re a dedicated gym goer or regular runner, getting new fitness shoes is a treat. If your Valentine is a runner, steal one of his/her running shoes and take it to the store with you. Tell the staff that you are looking for a shoe that has a similar amount of cushion, stability and motion control. If they are not as experienced in shoe fitting for runners, you can pick a shoe out and just keep the receipt. Pictured are the new Reebok ZQuick. Aren’t they cute?
- You get my blood flowing – Compression socks help improve blood flow, resulting in better, more consistent performance with less fatigue and faster, more efficient recovery. Not to mention you can get some really cute colors and designs. I picked up a pair of Pro Compression Marathon Socks from an Active.com deal and have been in love since. I’m looking forward to adding more colors and designs to my sock drawer. Compression socks are the way to go … especially for long distance runners.
- You’re whey out of my league – Whey … It’s pretty much a standard. Just like anything in the cupboard, it eventually runs out. I’m nearly out of my vanilla whey. But it could be cute to get chocolate and do a play-on-words with that … “whey better than a box of chocolates.” I had trouble with my last whey powder clumping when I used my blender bottle so I’m on the prowl for a new brand. My trainer Emily recommended I get Gnarly, so that’s why this one is on my list. Hoping to try this one next.
***All opinions are my own. I was not compensated by any mentioned brands.
|January 27, 2014|
|January 2, 2014|
I know I have been a little MIA the past few months… let me explain. The past few months I have been on a roller coaster. One minute I am super motivated and eating right and the next I am picking up old habits and saying things like “tomorrow I will go to the gym” and “tomorrow I will be more strict on my diet” … but waiting until tomorrow is the oldest cliche in the book.
Yes, every day is a new day and new opportunity to start fresh and make good decisions, but every time you take another bite is a decision. You don’t have to wait until the next day to make a change. Why not start (or re-start) with the next fork full of noms?
I know very very well how temping the gooey artichoke dip can be or happy hour at the local sushi place. Trust me, I will admit that in the past 3 months I have gained 10 pounds. I felt like I couldn’t preach to the blogging world about my weight loss journey when all I was doing was gaining – sitting on my couch while eating Thai take-out. That’s not a positive journey at all – a journey to the dark side. I was feeling so guilty about my new habits but didn’t have the motivation to do anything about it. Even my trainer started to get more on my back about what I ate and my lack of exercise because it was noticeable.
So what happened? I had the right mindset and I was on top of my game…. life happens. No one said it was easy. If it were easy, there wouldn’t be so many people out there struggling with the same things I am. You have to make time for your goals because no one is there to micromanage your every decision.
I was talking to a friend of mine on new years eve who recently lost 50 pounds. There are no miracle diets or workouts any one person can do that works for everyone across the board, but the true secret to her success was and is her mindset. I know it sounds cliche but even I have said that in the past (when I was on my weight loss streak). She told me that every day she took some “me” time to keep her on track, just thinking about the future.
This leads me to my new year’s resolution:
I will wake up every morning and stretch. Side Tangent: I am not a fan of yoga. I’m going old school with traditional stretching because if your muscles are tight, you have a far higher risk of injury when working out. While stretching, I wont think about my scary long to-do list. This time is for reminding myself who I want to be. Where do I see myself next year and how do I get there? I am the only one holding me back from my goals. This year will be a year of change.
Also, from now on I am counting macros (macronutrients). So all my new recipes will have the fat, protein, carbs and fiber listed (throwing in fiber for good measure). My trainer Emily Mraule thought it might be easier for me and my creative cooking to calculate my macros rather than just tell me what to eat. So I am keeping a food journal to keep me on track. Too bad I didn’t get that food scale I wanted from Santa this year, haha.
Did you make a plan-for-sucess to keep you on track for your new year’s resolution?
|June 18, 2013|
I’ve never really felt comfortable or confident enough to show a side-by-side before and after photo. I think it’s because I was ashamed of how I looked in addition to not being happy with where I am right now. I am definitely not ready for a before and after photo yet. But I am finally feeling comfortable to show a side-by-side.
I refuse to call it “before and after” because it’s not. After insinuates that I am done and I am where I want to be physically, and that’s not the case. And before insinuates that there is one point or one photo that symbolizes before you began to get into shape and show progress. Well, I have had ups and downs my whole life when it comes to weight loss. Of course there were times that I was at my heaviest, but there were also times where I was almost at my goal weight. Right now, there is still a lot of body fat to lose and a lot more toning to get done. But honestly, I feel great right now and I think I look pretty good too. (Photo below is a year’s progress)
One of the biggest struggles I’ve had to overcome is to let go of the past. It’s hard to see yourself overweight and actually wanting (or willing) to share any of those photos. But the truth is, those photos exist and I can’t change that, nor would I want to. All my photos have some great memories attached to them. It’s only been recently that I can look at those photos and think to myself, “wow, look how big I was“ – versus, “wow, look how big I am.” I don’t think I will ever look at old photos and see only the good memory and not see overweight girl in addition . But the important thing is that I can recognize that it’s past. I see that I’ve changed, both physically and mentally. I’m not the person in those photos. I am much more confident, driven, and overall much happier.
Losing weight is as much a mental game as it is a physical one. Our bodies can achieve so much more than we think they can. I gave up alcohol for about 5 months just to prove to myself that I could do it (and I love my happy hour.) You have to test your limits and then try to break them and climb higher and higher every time.
I used to only have my long-term goal for what I hoped to look like after losing all my weight. Now I constantly set new short term and long term goals that really don’t have much purpose or reason other than to test my limits. Currently, my goal is to do 10 pull-ups by July 4th without any resistance bands or help up from my trainer. Why did I set this goal? I just wanted to see if I can do it – and I know I can with hard work.
I won’t ever say losing weight is easy. If it was, I wouldn’t still be trying to get there. But once you learn to embrace the mental game and are willing to challenge everything you thought you could do, it will get easier.
|November 19, 2012|
Check that off my bucket list! I completed the Disneyland Half Marathon in September and wanted to relay some things I wish I knew before running. Words of advice and encouragement that you can use if you decide to run a half. (Ok, I know it’s been a while since I ran, but it took a while to get the photos I ordered and I wanted to get some good recipes up first.)
Firstly, let me tell you a little about my experience. I registered for the half marathon in January of 2012, a whole nine months before the actual run was to take place. I registered because I was having one of those moments. We have all experienced them. I was on Pinterest and pinning away – all these motivational quotes and healthy recipes and I was really in the mood to take a leap and really turn up the heat on my healthy lifestyle. I saw all those photos and I just wanted to get up and work out and eat healthy. That’s what Pinterest is for, right?
So I registered for the half marathon. Well precious training time went by and nothing happened. I continued my regular routine: gym 3xs a week, mostly healthy eating, 8hrs of sleep. But I never really started actually running. In late June, my gym trainer convinced everyone to do a 5k. I ran it with no prep but I fell in love! I loved being among other people that liked running (because I hated running). Feeling accomplished, I decided to start training for my half marathon. Too bad I still didn’t like running so I failed. I could not run more than a mile on my own without getting bored and walking back home.
I ran a few more 5ks before the Disneyland Half Marathon. I figured it might be enough. After all, a half marathon is only 4x the distance as a 5k. That meant I was 25% there! Well, I couldn’t have been more wrong.
Day of, I woke up at 3am (more like 3:15, hello snooze!) and drove over to Disneyland. I thought I was all set with my favorite workout shirt, my iphone to keep time and for music if I needed it. Wasn’t feeling nervous at all.
The first 5 miles or so was all fun and games because we ran through the park and I was totally pumped with all that Disney music feeding my inner Disney Fanatic. At one point, I realized I had so much adrenaline that my legs were numb. I was having a blast! It was after we left Disneyland when the fun started to fade.
Up until that point, I had no doubt I would make it. But at the 6th mile marker, I was thinking I might want to take a break. BIG MISTAKE! I am not a walk jogger by any means. Stopping to walk, for me, makes it so much harder to get back and run. I never walked in any of my 5ks (not even my first one). MIND OVER MATTER! But I stopped. I stretched. Then kept running. About a mile later, I stopped again… and so on. My goal was to run that last 5k so around the 9th mile I was all set to start running again. But the muscles in my legs were spasing and going crazy. I ended up only being able to run that last mile instead of 5k.
But I finished, and that is the most important part! I did it! My time was 3:33:45. (Ignore the time on the photos. That’s the time for corral A, and I was in E.) With little training and no experience, mission accomplished. Besides more training, here are a few things I wish I had known I needed for the half I thought I would share with you:
- Running Belt – I saw this Spibelt at the RunDisney Health Expo but I didn’t think I needed it, especially for the price. But now I wished I had gotten one. They expand to hold however much stuff you need to carry. Great for holding your snacks, phone and travel vaseline. And I would have preferred this for my phone over my arm band because I ended up not needing my music and my arm band just became an annoyance. There are so many options/brands, so get one that suits your needs.
- Vaseline – This is a MUST! There are also brands like BodyGlide made specifically for runners that I hear do a better job than vaseline. But there are also a lot of runners that tell me Vaseline does the job just fine. Your call. Rub some in between your legs, under your arms (where your arms rub against your shirt) and if you’re a guy you might want to put some on your chest. It keeps the chaffing at bay. I would also suggest carrying a small bottle with you just incase you need to reapply. Take it from me, I was in some serious pain!
- Lara Bars – Half way through I was craving Lara Bars. Pick whatever snack you choose, but have it on hand for when those cravings hit.
- Good Shoes – Hopefully you train more than I did so you are able to recognize how bad of shape your shoes are in before you run. I didn’t, and by the end my feet were killing me. Wear good shoes. End of story.
- Sweat Band – I saw the HALO head band at the expo and thought I’d try it. I sweat a lot and would get sweat in my eyes (ouch) during 5ks. So I could only imagine what it was going to be like doing a half. So I splurged and got one. It has a Sweat Block Seal that is basically like a rubber sweat catcher that makes it so your sweat falls on the side of your face versus into your eyes. It worked like a charm! I highly recommend this.
- KTape – Also known as kinesiology tape. At about the 7th mile, my muscles were throbbing and cramping and there was nothing I could do. In my attempt to stretch, another runner suggested next time I use my KTape. Well if I had KTape and knew what it was, I would have used it. Basically it’s a fitness tape that gives a little extra support to the applied muscle. Some tape brands are pre-cut to give you the right shape for the right area and some provide a how-to for each muscle location on the body. I haven’t tried it yet but I will give it a go next time I do a long distance run and let you know. It’s best to get to know your body during training so that you know where you need to apply the KTape. Most commonly, KTape is applied to support the knees.
**This post is in no way affiliated or sponsored by RunDisney or any of the companies mentioned. All content is of my own opinion.
|September 20, 2012|
Running has never been my thing. When I was in middle school, I used to fail every mile we ran (if you took more than 13 minutes to run the mile, you got an F). When my gym decided to get together to run in a 5k, I was skeptical. I hate running. But then again I did, for whatever reason, sign up for the Disneyland Half Marathon. So I joined in on this 5k. Mentally preparing myself, I decided that my goal was to not stop. If I stopped, I was worried it would be that much harder to start back up again. My only stop was for a sip of water because at the 1.5 mile mark, I failed at drinking water because I was running and ended up pouring it all over my face. But I had so much fun running with everyone, I am now addicted.
I’m not going to lie and say that I miraculously now like running. I still hate it. But I loved the feeling I had after the race, the natural high and feeling of accomplishment. AND it is so much easier to run when you are running with a bunch of people that do like running. If you haven’t tried a 5k yet, I suggest you do so. You might just surprise yourself. I’ll post about my Disneyland Half Marathon weekend as soon as I get my photos in the mail, so sit tight.
My First 5k Time: 39:28
My Second 5k Time: 39:10
My Third 5k Time: 36:38