Chicken Lettuce Wraps

I love the chicken lettuce wraps from P.F. Chang’s and this recipe is a scrumptious comparable to the finger licking appetizer.  You can make a meal of it by adding a vegetable medley on the side or rice and black beans.  I made a few healthy adjustments that don’t interfere at all with the flavorful dish. The sauce is so delicious, you will want to make extra to have for drizzling on salads and vegetables.

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The recipe is from Brandi Milloy, POPSUGAR Food

Ingredients

2 tablespoons sesame oil, divided

1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breast cubed

1 tablespoon vegetable oil

2 tablespoons garlic, minced or pressed

1 cup mushrooms, chopped

1 tablespoon soy sauce

1/4 cup hoisin sauce

2 teaspoons fresh ginger, minced

1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar

1 tablespoon sriracha sauce or chili garlic sauce

1  8-ounce can sliced water chestnuts, drained and finely chopped

1 head bibb or butter lettuce, separated into leaves

1 small bunch green onions, sliced

Directions

  1. In a medium wok or skillet set over medium heat, heat 1 tablespoon of the sesame oil. Add the chicken, and cook until browned on all sides; transfer to a plate.  Spray with Pam or vegetable spray, the same skillet, and cook the garlic and mushrooms until tender.
  2. Meanwhile, add the other tablespoon of sesame oil, soy sauce, hoisin sauce, ginger, rice wine vinegar, and sriracha to a mason jar, and shake to mix.
  3. Add the chicken back to the pan with mushrooms and garlic. Add the water chestnuts, pour sauce over the dish, and toss to coat; cook until just heated through.
  4. Serve with leaves of butter lettuce and green onions.

Why Resting Is Good For Your Health

1795714_652224321502658_1841336441_n  How much do you care about the things you care about?  Strange question but think about it.  When you struggle with motivation to get in a workout, lose concern for people, stop laughing as much, the creative juices have gotten stale, or you lose interest in things you love then you are too busy.

It’s so easy to buy into the idea that the harder we work the better the payoff, but for all the rushing that we do, it really doesn’t get us farther ahead.  Actually it can diminish passion.  Before you know it you have lost touch with feeling fully alive & wild at heart.  The irreplaceable things like celebrating your own success over an accomplishment to lingering in bed with your husband or playing in the pool with your kid can be squandered by the pursuit of the next thing.

When we lose our passion everything is a drudgery.  There is immense value in rest and taking time for yourself.   God gave us a the gift of the Sabbath, a day to rest and rejuvenate.  The Sabbath is an archaic term but it’s relevant to our health.  Even if you are not religious it can still be a practice to reorient you to living in the present & toward nurturing your spirit, soul and body.

Exercise is a stress on the body.  It can be hard to take day off from the gym but what helps me reel it in is knowing that I don’t get more fit in the gym.  The strength gains come when we are eating, resting & sleeping.  The body gets to work at repairing the heart & muscles that were broken down in the gym so you become stronger than before.

A simple expression might be that every time you work ‘out’, make sure you work ‘in’, Bodyrocktv.

For every withdrawal you make do something to nourish your body and soul.  It could be as simple as reading this blog, watching a segment of ESPN, or making some good homemade food.  Eat well, rest up and take time to care for you, Healthy Justice’s orders:)  Psalm 46:10 Be still and know that I am God.

 

 

Giant Tricep Superset; feel the burn

photoIf you want to tighten, tone & feel the burn in the triceps, then you want to include giant supersets into your weight training program from time to time.  The beauty of a giant superset is that you can hit different angles of the muscle and create a lot of blood flow which develops definition.

A giant superset is when you do several exercises back to back with no rest.  After completing all your repetitions for each exercise, rest for 1 minute and begin again.

I like to start my set with a close grip bench press.  This exercise builds strength and hits the lateral head of the tricep muscle.

Close grip bench press

Lie on a flat bench and grasp the barbell with a narrow grip, closer that shoulder width.  Keep the elbows close to your body as you lower the weight toward the bottom of the chest (ladies, that is where the band of your bra is).

Bench dip (weighted for advanced)

The dip is going to target the long head of the muscle.

Sit on the edge of a bench.  Place your hands outside your hips and lower your body to where you form an “L” position.  Keep your backside close to the bench as your lower.  If you want more of a challenge, I like to place my feet out in front of me on a stability ball.  Another option is to place a weight plate on your lap.

A modification is to perform this with your legs bent.

Rope Pressdown

The priority of focus for this exercise is the lateral head.

Stand in front of the cable machine with the pulley up high.  Position your elbows by your sides and keep them there throughout the exercise.  Squeeze the triceps and hold for a count before returning to start.

Perform 4 sets of 12 reps and feel the burn!

 

Bribe Yourself Fit

We all know someone who seems to be on a perpetual diet.  They are always at the gym & watching what they eat, yet they continue to pack on the pounds.  They might lose a bit but only to gain more back.  Maybe this someone is you?  If so, then I want to propose an idea that will take the pressure off & bring a fresh outlook into the way you approach your fitness and weight.

Lord knows we have enough stress in our lives & we sure don’t need getting fit adding to it!  Not to mention it was probably stress related events that got you going to the gym and thinking about what you eat anyway.

The scary thing is stress makes us fat.  It disrupts our body’s metabolism & causes the body to store fat.  If we don’t learn how to handle to grind of daily life then it’s going to be an uphill battle.

Lets take a step back and instead of calling it a diet, lets call it an attitude change.  I hate the word diet.  How much more negative can it get with the word “die” in it?  We immediately anticipate being deprived and wig ourselves out of success.

Depriving yourself will never give you sustainable weight loss success, but a simple attitude change can transform your experience into something positive.

Your Attitude Change Plan:

  1. Shift your focus away from losing weight & place your attention on being healthy.

For example, instead of seeing food as a guilty pleasure, view it as nourishing your body.

Your body has been depleted from caregiving, working, the demands of everyday life.  Recharge your batteries with eating nutritious food and giving it an outlet through exercise to release the stress.

Instead of thinking about how much you hate the gym & how hard-working out is, view it as a stress reliever and life-giving.

2.    Find a way to make it fun.

A fun idea is to bribe yourself fit.  Place a bet with a co-worker of $50-100 that you CAN stick to a workout and healthy eating program for 6 months.  By doing this you will up your success rate by 97%!

Another version of this idea is to schedule your workouts and for everyone you make put $2-5 in a jar.  The money goes toward a special reward for you like a spa visit or a shopping trip to buy clothes that fit you better with your leaner physique:)

3.    Focus on gratitude.

The law of attraction is always in effect, so when you find your thoughts meandering toward what you don’t like then get back to happy.  You can instantly jolt yourself out of negativity by being thankful.

Instant Mood Lifters that will put you in a state of gratitude:)

  • Call a friend that makes you laugh.
  • Go for a drive or walk by the lake.
  • Dance around your house.  *motion creates emotion
  • Make love.
  • Find a joke and tell it to someone.

This might all seem trite, but it works and you will be the healthier and happier for it!

Get Rid Of Stubborn Fat

I am always on the lookout for the best natural methods to support and enhance fat loss.  It is hard to lose weight as you get older.  Conventional practices like eating healthy and exercise can rid the body of fat, but you might still struggle with stubborn belly or hip fat that just doesn’t seem to come off.

I ran across Ayurveda Medicine & was intrigued by the unconventional approach toward weight loss.  Ayurveda is a holistic healing practice that developed thousands of years ago in India.

Dr. Kulreet Chaudhary, a neurologist & Ayurvedic practitioner, believes that a strong digestive system is the most important key to losing weight.

 Chaudhary says that being overweight is due to problems with digestion.

In an episode on the Dr. Oz show, she explained that when the digestive system isn’t functioning at its’ best toxins start to accumulate fat in places such as your belly, hips, thighs.  The lipid solid toxins get trapped in the fat cells.  Taking an Ayurveda Approach will naturally removes these toxins and weight falls off.

This is an AYURVEDIC Fat Fighting Tea – Sipping on this through the day will help cleanse the body and support your immune system & metabolism.

body cleanse

It will naturally reduce toxins in the body, increase metabolism, and the weight melts off!

1/2 Tsp Cumin Seeds

1/2 Tsp Coriander Seeds

1/2 Tsp Fennel Seeds

Add to 4 to 5 cups of boiling water and strain the liquid out. Drink in a metal thermos so it stays warm. The warm tea works with the ingredients. Drink throughout the day to fight fat.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The ABsolute Truth About Getting Killer ABs

You have probably heard the rhetoric that abs are made in the kitchen & that it’s 30% gym and 70% diet.  I used to believe this until recently.  Now I feel like that is kind of messed up.  It’s actually 100-100 on all fronts.  If one area is being overlooked you will not get the results you are after in your abs.

It’s crazy how obsessed we can get with our abs, & it seems the more we obsess the more they elude us.  In the gym I see people who work out like feans & do all kinds of ab exercises, but they still can’t seem to lean out the midsection.  Sure, they give 100% to their workouts, but notta doggone thing to their diet.

The hardcore truth is that you can’t out crunch a bad diet.

It’s a strange analogy to compare ab training with a love relationship, but there is a strong component they share in achieving success.  You gotta be all in!!!  If one person is holding back, the relationship is going to suffer.

I also bought into that lie that a successful relationship is when both people give 50-50.  I now realize that it has to be 100%.  You can’t hold back & not be totally committed if you want to have a healthy and intimate relationship.

I know you want to achieve results from all your hard work in the gym.  Be all in & commit to giving your body the justice it deserves.  Your body is working hard for you, so give it the nutritious and healthy food it needs.  Stop eating processed & packaged food.  Drink a gallon of water a day.  Pay more attention to food labels.

Not only are you going to have sexy abs, but you will be giving your future self the gift of a stronger core to provide for a better quality of life.

                                                                                                                                                                                                           ab with medicine ball

                                     *Adding weight resistance to your ab exercises is important to toning up the core.  The medicine ball is a great way to do this.

 

A Twist On Push-ups

This week I have been inspired by people I’ve met in the gym who are beginners to the whole fitness world.  They have inspired me by their bravery to try something new that makes them uncomfortable & pushed beyond their comfort zone.

It’s pretty awesome to witness the triumph they find in overcoming their fear.  Their whole person lights up!  They discover they could enter a gym & not turn around to leave right away.  They could take a bootcamp class they didn’t think they had any business being in & make it through the whole workout.

outside-comfort-zone

There is so much more to working out than just the aesthetic reasons.  One of the reasons I enjoy training hard is because it makes me feel strong & alive.  What is something you can do to challenge your comfort zones?  Maybe it’s as simple as trying an exercise you don’t think you can do.

I was so proud of both of my bootcamp classes this week.  I threw in some Spidy Push-ups, & even though they weren’t thrilled about the exercise, they went after it.  Sure, their form wasn’t like Spiderman scaling a wall, but they did their best version!

Why don’t you throw these into your next workout.  You can keep yourself in one spot, or you can find an open area to be able to move forward.  Perform about 16-20 reps.  I suggest doing a giant superset with these thrown into the mix.  For example, if you want to work your abs do decline crunches, then leg lifts then the Spidy Push-ups.

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  1. Begin in a push up position.  Hold your abs and lower back tight.
  2. Move your left hand forward and bring your right knee toward your right elbow.  Keep your body streamlined.
  3. Move your right hand forward as your perform a push-up.  Bring the left knee to the left elbow.