Feels Good To Be Newtritionsavvy!

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Friends! It’s Thursday. You know what that means? Almost the weekend. I am happy to report after two months of diving into the new year my workouts and progress have beeen quite succesful. I am a bit of a control freak when it comes to planning my week and where my time is spent. I mention all the time that I don’t have alot of exactly that….time. Between 2 jobs, you really have to be disciplined and strategic when it comes to planning 5 workouts a week. I have managed to maintain 3 circuit workouts, one yoga class and one Soul Cycle class a week. At first, I was like holy cow this is alot but the more you do it the more routine it becomes and the better you get. Who can argue with that?

Here are some tips to Track  Your Fitness without jumping on that scale we all love so much.

  1. But first….take a selfie. There is nothing better than documenting progress. Yes, we all want to look great after our first workout but is that realistic? Probably not. What is realistic is seeing the progress you make in just 2 weeks, a month, 2 months etc. I always take pictures to remind myself that my workouts actually ARE working and I am seeing a shift in the way my body looks. Side by side pictures are a great way to track the changes being made. Also remember, you actually DO have to TRY to put in effort to see change!! Don’t forget that!
  2. Tracking is the name of the game. If we don’t remember we didn’t do it, right? Wrong! It’s so important to not only track your workouts but also track the food you are consuming. It’s easy to think we are commited without holding ourselves accountable, but in the end when you write down the action you are completing you will start to see the results. A detailed calendar of your week ahead can really do wonders for your workout/eating routine. I know for myself, when I have things come up during the week- I rearrange ahead of time which workout will work best on each day. Pre planning. Like they say, Fail to plan…plan to fail.
  3. How do your clothes fit? This can be the ultimate tell all of how your progress is coming along. Yes our clothes fit all the time, but the way they fit is the real question. There’s nothing more exciting than putting on your pair of favorite jeans that fit just a little less snug then a few weeks prior. Maybe the scale lies(I think it does haha), but your clothes never will. Let’s face it….they make us! Sometimes we feel sexy, frumpy, athletic all based on how we feel in our clothes. Am I right ladies??
  4. Increasing Strength. I have noticed in the last 8 weeks that my strength and ability to life heavier and go longer during my workouts has significantly increased. The ab circuit no longer makes me feel like I want to die! The barbell cleans are no longer a fear because I can actually add 10 lbs to the bar and do them right! What a rewarding feeling. Progress not perfection. I remind myself of this all the time. If you can do more today than you did yesterday than you are on your way. Believe that.
  5. Stop stressing. The scale is the scale. I speak for myself when I say my weight has nothing to do with the way I look and feel. (Within reason). In the last 2 months I haven’t really lost weight but if you see a before and after picture from January 1 to February 25 you will see inches gone and a major strength increase. Changing my perspective to “where I want to be and am I putting in the work to get there?” has also helped with my confidence. Any success in life takes time and hard work. Your body rewards those that dedicate time to take care of it. It’s your temple. Keep it pure and clean for the soul to reside in.

How do you track your fitness progress? I would love to hear!

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Juice-licious.

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How good does this look? I’ve said it before and will say over and over! It’s not a matter of having time for anything – it’s really a matter of making it. Yes, juicing can be messy and take 7 minutes of your time, but really…if you think of the amount of time you spend trolling though facebook, instagram, watching tv. etc everyday I think you can take a few minutes to juice it up! Not to mention, these store bought juices can be a litttttle pricey. Actually, let’s be real here, A LOT of pricey!!! This weekend I made a quick juice for some extra nutrients and energy. I used:

  • raw beets (sliced, not cooked) [pottasium(essential for healthy nerve and muscle function) and manganese (which is good for your bones, liver, kidneys, and pancreas).]
  • green apple[antioxidants lessen your risk of heart disease, diabetes and stroke]
  • lime [weight loss, skin care, improved digestion, relief from constipation, eye care]
  • kale [great for aiding in digestion and elimination with its great fiber content]
  • ginger [relieving digestive problems such as nausea, loss of appetite, motion sickness and pain]
  • carrots [beta carotene and fiber content. This root vegetable is also a good source of antioxidant agents]
  • cucumber [ decreasing swelling and irritation of the skin and providing vitamin K]
  • grapefruit [vitamin c/maintain healthy heart]

It’s important to remember to have more veggies than fruit but whatever gets you going is better than nothing at all in my eyes. For 2 days worth of juice it was $11. That’s 5.50 a juice. Can we stay steal!?

Soul Cycle Sundayz.

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Happy Monday! I had such a great weekend! It’s not often that I am able to relax and have some down time, but this weekend I managed it quite well. I usually workout both Saturday and Sunday because #1 I love it and #2 I want to be efficient with at least 4-5 workouts per week. Sundays are for something different away from the usual circuit training. Soul Cycle has been on the rotation for quite some time. I set the alarm for 7:30- leave by 8 and hit the class at 8:30. Every week I always ask my friends if they are interested in going and the typical response is,”you are crazy- we want sleep!” I get it but for some reason this week they wanted to join. Would I ever say no to that?? NEVER! I signed them up on Monday when the classes were released and so from 12pm on was a 6 day countown. They made it! Got their butts up, hustled in the class and let’s get real they actually enjoyed it! It might not be something they wake up early for every Sunday but at least they incorporated something new in their weekly routine. After class we headed to Local Union 271 in downtown Palo Alto. The food was great…local and organic. What more can you want? The rest of the weekend was spent at the farmers market, cooking and lounging watching football.

While I hope you all have a great week, remember this:

“You create your thoughts, your thoughts create your intentions and your intentions create you reality.”-Wayne Dyer

Holidayz.

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Burrito’s & Bloody Mary’s

 

 

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Veggie Burrito

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Life lessons w/ this guy!

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Sotelo Selfies

So many birthdays this weekend! The Los Gatos Christmas parade was a success! Let’s just say it was packed with people as the whole downtown area shuts down for the festivities. We had a front line view at Oak and Rye and got to stuff our faces with breakfast burritos, breakfast pizza (that wasn’t mine) & a bloody mary! Those pics pretty much sum up my eventful last two days. The holidays and parties can sometimes get us distracted buuutttt I am happy to be the back to the  [ absolutely m u c h- n e e d e d] gym today. Happy Monday!

Go Vegan for a Night!

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It’s summer and It’s hot so let’s  lighten things up a bit. Sometimes we tend to load up on the refined carbs when its not really needed, so with this recipe I say,  ditch the carbs! I do think the right carbs are okay to consume but if you can eat a healthy meal that tastes great and fills you up without them- then Let’s do it!  Vegan tacos {pictured above} are a great dinner, and if you have leftovers a great lunch as well. I used Smart Ground original crumbles for my protein source. If you don’t want to go vegan you can cook up some ground beef/turkey (organic of course) and substitute for the real thing. I threw in some veggies, made a Pico de Gallo, added avocado and called it a day. These were great!

What you’ll need:

  • tomato (diced)
  • avocado
  • red onion (chopped)
  • cilantro (chopped)
  • asparagus (cut into small pieces)
  • zucchini (cut into small pieces)
  • butter cup lettuce
  • smart ground (or your choice of protein)
  • olive oil
  • cumin/chili powder/salt/pepper (to taste)
  • juice of 2 limes

Directions:

Prepare all veggies and place olive oil, asparagus and zucchini in a pan. Cook on med heat just to get crunch out of the veggies. Add the smart ground, salt, pepper, chili powder, cumin to taste. The crumbles don’t really need to cook, they just need the heat to loosen up the meat. In a separate bowl add red onion, cilantro, tomato, lime juice, and light salt/pepper. Place the meatless  mixture on top of the buttercup lettuce. Add Pico de Gallo & avocado and top with hot sauce If desired. The whole prep from start to finish took 15 min.

Enjoy!

Summatime Ceviche.

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Now that summer has officially hit, it’s time to lighten things up a bit with some fresh and easy recipes! It’s been in the high 90’s the last couple weeks, so what better of a way then to tap into some yummy Latin dishes. I am a vegetarian for the last seven/eight years but I do eat fish on occasion. This particular dish is only jumbo prawns, but you can add other white fish if desired.

What you’ll Need:

  • tomato (diced) (2)
  • organic jumbo prawns 2/3 lb
  • cilantro
  • white or red onion (chopped)
  • lemon (2)
  • lime (5)
  • avocado
  • ketchup (1 teaspoon) (Sounds weird but it’s for the cocktail flavor)
  • salt (dash)
  • pepper (dash)
  • jalapeno (diced-I used half)
  • Hot Sauce (tobacco, or I used Whole Foods 365 brand Jalapeno Hot Sauce)

Dice up your ingredients, throw in a bowl and add lemon and lime. (Yes, it’s that easy!!) For this one,  I added about 5 limes- and 2 lemons. There was extra juice so depending on the juiciness of the limes you could probably use 3 or 4. I always make more than I need to  (my portions are frequently off while cooking  for one) but I would say this feeds about 4 people. I let the ceviche sit in the fridge (covered) for about 45 min. The seafood cooks pretty fast so I would suggest checking depending on the color from uncooked fish to cooked. It’s also recommended to cook the seafood in the lemon and lime as it loses flavor if you cook before and then add. You can eat this by itself, with a corn tortilla, chips or on a tostada. Hope you enjoy!

Vegetarian Stuffed Bell Peppers

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These peppers were soooo delicious! I am so fortunate to have great friends who love to donate to the newtritionsavvy cause. I work near a local farmers market and every Sunday I am lucky enough to be given bags and bags of fresh produce…Sometimes it’s more than I can consume so I end up cooking for my friends. The great thing with stuffed peppers is that you can add just about any vegetable in your fridge and even add some meat for extra protein. In my opinion, they were just as great without it. Go ahead and give these a try…..I would say prep time about 15 min, and cook time 30. Enjoy!

Bell Peppers Prep:

  • Large Bell Peppers
  • Mushrooms (whole or sliced)
  • Zucchini
  • Garlic clove (minced)
  • Tomato (roma or heirloom both work)
  • Jalapeño (optional for more spice)
  • Chopped Dill
  • Salt/Pepper
  • Lemon juice
  • Grated Mozzarella cheese (optional)

Directions:

  1. Slice the bell peppers in half/clean out seads (set on baking tray)
  2. Slice mushrooms, zucchini, tomato
  3. Heat sauté pan to med heat
  4. Saute olive oil and garlic together
  5. Add zucchini and mushrooms and jalapeño with lemon juice, salt and pepper (only sauté to get a little softness to vegetable (you don’t want to overcook here because the veggies will finish cooking while baking.
  6. When veggies are done I add tomato (these will cook in the oven)
  7. Place the rice in the bell pepper, with veggie medley over the top
  8. Bake on 400 for 30 min (if they aren’t cooking fast enough you can up the temperature to 450)
  9. The very last minute you can throw some mozzarella cheese on top and bake until cheese is just melted

Lemon Dill Rice

1 cup long grain rice
1/2 cup onion, finely chopped
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon dried dill/or fresh (I prefer fresh)
1/2 lemon, juice of
1/2 lemon lemon zest (finely grated)
1 teaspoon salt
fresh ground pepper (to your liking)
2 cups water (chicken broth optional)

Directions:

  1. Heat the olive oil in a sauce pan
  2. Saute the chopped onion for 1 minute
  3. Add rice and “parch” over low heat, by stirring until the rice turns white again. Do not let the rice brown
  4. Add the rest to the ingredients and bring to boil.
  5. Lower heat and cover with a tight fitting lid. Cook until all the liquid is absorbed.
  6. Fluff well with a fork, replace the lid and let sit for 5 minutes.

Eat Your Greens.

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I made this last night for dinner. Green beans, asparagus, and mushrooms over quinoa.

What you’ll need:

  • sliced mushrooms
  • asparagus
  • fresh green beans (I prefer fresh over canned)
  • fresh minced garlic
  • salt/pepper
  • garlic powder
  • chili flakes (optional)
  • quinoa
  • vegetable broth
  • white onion
  • olive oil

Start by trimming the green beans. Fill a large pot with water and when the water has reached a boil- put green beans in. If you have ever cooked green beans before you know that they take a while to cook. Boil only for a couple minutes, strain and leave in strainer while putting ice cubes over to stop the beans from cooking. This process is called blanching. In a separate pan, use oil of choice (I use extra virgin olive oil), fresh minced garlic and chopped white onion on a med heat. When the onions and garlic look like they are cooked add about a cup or less of veggie broth- and then add the asparagus, mushrooms, green beans along with salt, pepper, chili flakes and garlic powder. Let simmer on low heat until finished. The veggies won’t take long to cook- I prefer my asparagus with a little crunch.

In a separate pot cook the quinoa. It’s the same as rice, for every cup of quinoa two cups of water, veggie or chicken broth. I used veggie broth to add a little more flavor. Boil water, pour in quinoa and then reduce heat to simmer.

This recipe is easy and you can easily add chicken to it if you would like more protein! Let me know how it turns out.

 

Meet TellSpec.

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I just heard about this incredible product. Have you heard of TellSpec?? This is a device that allows you to scan your food and be able to get nutritional value as well as telling you what ingredients, chemicals and pesticides are in your food.

Many foods contain chemicals and allergens that we want to avoid, but it can be difficult to know whether these chemicals and allergens are in your food or not. Food companies are NOT required to label your food. Transfats, GMO’s and other preservatives are in many items we consume every day. How can you tell if your food contains the nutrients you need? What about things like sodium, gluten or trans fats that you might be trying to avoid? Food labels can give us some information if they’re available, but they are not always intelligible and some ingredients may not even be reported.

The TellSpec handheld device beams a low-powered laser at the food you wish to analyze, measures the reflected light with a spectrometer, and sends the data via your smart phone, computer, or tablet to TellSpec’s servers in the cloud. Those servers use this data to deduce information about your food that is of interest to you. This information is then displayed on your computer, tablet or smart phone so you can intelligently decide if you want to buy or eat the food.

I can’t wait until this is available to the public. I believe using technology to aid in the better knowledge of the food people consume is a brilliant idea. The future of health is in our hands, literally!

Lentil + Barley Soup.

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This was my first time cooking with barley and needless to say it was delicious! I found this recipe and I altered it a little- the recipe called for a crock pot and simply put, I am impatient.

Lentil Vegetable and Barley Soup

  • 1/2 large onion or one small onion, diced
  • 1 green bell pepper, diced
  • 2 medium summer squash (or zucchini), halved lengthwise and sliced thinly
  • 1 C carrots, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 C red lentils
  • 1/2 C yellow split peas
  • 1/2 C barley
  • celaery (diced)
  • 1 can diced tomatoes
  • 3 C vegetable broth (or chicken or beef), plus ~2 C extra water
  • 1/2 t salt
  • 1/2 t sugar
  • 1/4 t black pepper
  • fresh or dried basil to top (optional)

I opted out for the split peas and instead of vegetable broth I used the water that I used to boil the lentil beans in. Start by dicing up your carrots, onion and celery. Meanwhile, in a pot boil 1/2 cup of lentil beans. In a separate pot, boil 1/2 cup barley. Even though it seems like it’s not a lot- the both expand and should be enough for about 4 people. When the veggies are done cooking on med-high heat add can of diced tomato. When the beans are done cooking (they will split if overcooked) drain water. I added the bean water as a veggie broth instead of store bought. I added salt, pepper, dried oregano, 2 bay leaves and let simmer. The barley took over an hour to cook so be patient. When the barley is done cooking- add to soup. Let the soup simmer and allow all the flavors to combine. After the soup is done I added some lemon for extra flavor. This recipe is fairly easy but if cooking raw beans it might take a while so allow time for those to cook! Hope you enjoy!

You can find the original recipe here.