You had me at goat cheese. Seriously, you could put goat cheese on cardboard and it could make it taste good. So, when I saw a goat cheese and arugula salad on a menu, I just had to try it. The beets (in my mind) were my cardboard I thought, but I just had a feeling that this salad was going to surprise me – and it did. So, over the weekend, I picked up some beets and decided I’d repeat this yummy salad I had on vacation. I searched google for something similar to the menu item and this is what I found.
First, I must confess, I’ve never even bought a beet before, much less cooked one. I don’t even know if I had ever had one (that wasn’t pickled or something). This means I actually had to follow directions, which were simple: Peel, chop, boil. I just had to boil them like I would a potato. It was kind of fun getting my hands “dirty” in this new experience – literally! I never thought about the extreme red juice that would come from this vegetable while cutting it up and boiling it. I swear I think I could have dyed clothes with the water I boiled it in. It reminded me of coloring Easter Eggs. What can I say, I am so easily entertained.
All in all, this recipe was super simple – and SUPER yummy! I added grilled chicken, which I marinaded in Lemon Pepper marinade and topped with seasonings, to complete my meal. Besides my typical substitutions, like trading sugar for stevia and diluting olive oil with water, I pretty much followed this recipe (for once) to the T!
I don’t think Steve was as excited about my beet salad as I was, but judging by his empty plate and full tummy, I’d say it was a success in his eyes too when it was all said and done! The sweetness of the beets paired with the flavor of the goat cheese complimented each other so well! This salad will be a regular treat at the Pfiester Pfit Cafe for sure!
Arugula Salad with Beets and Goat Cheese Recipe
- Beets – (boiled until a fork easily goes in it, about an hour), peeled, sliced into strips
- Fresh arugula – rinsed, patted dry with a paper towel
- Goat cheese – chevre (just a little if you are watching calories!)
- Walnuts – chopped (don’t use too much)
- Olive oil (as always, I cut my olive oil with water)
- Dry powdered mustard
- Sugar (I used Stevia)
- Salt and pepper
Get the rest of the directions and measurements at Simply Recipes.com
I’ve never heard anyone say “I feel so fat, if only I could be stronger in the gym”. No, that never happens. What they say is, “I’m so fat, I just wish I could be stronger around food”. The fact is, what we do in the gym is the easy part. It’s what we do in the kitchen that is tough.
We need food. It’s fuel for our body – BUT we have to learn to control food like we learn to control a weight. Think about this: When people first lift free weights, their weights are all over the place. Every movement feels a little unnatural. Newbies are shaky, wobbly and unbalanced. Lifting weights takes a certain amount of practice, which require repetition. Then, once we are able to control the weight, we work to improve, increasing the weight, and improving our skill.
We could use some of those same principles in the kitchen. We must first do what comes unnatural for us. For example, you may need to force yourself to eat 5-6 times a day at first. Like trying a new exercise, we have to try new things with our diet, like counting calories or making protein shakes. Then, you have to practice those things over and over – yes, you heard right. We have to practice eating healthy. You will practice new recipes and try new snacks – and just like when we practice anything else, we will not always get it right. So we keep working on it.
Look at the definition of what practice:
Practice: repeated performance or systematic exercise for the purpose of acquiring skill or proficiency. “Practice makes perfect.”
Don’t you think we could all use more practice when it comes to eating right? This means we have to REPEATEDLY keep trying to improve our eating habits, even when we fail, until we are proficient in healthy eating. Like anything else, it will take work. We can’t rely on shortcuts or happenstance. But, just like the work we put in the gym, the work we put in the kitchen comes with a great reward! You will get stronger.
When it comes to living healthy, working out and eating right, there is no one-size-fits-all system. There is not one grocery list that everyone would be happy with, and there is not one particular exercise that would work for every single person on the planet.
We all have different goals and different needs. We all have different activity levels and food preferences. Therefore, we have to supplement what we are missing, or don’t like, in order to get the most out of our life and health.
Sure, anyone can go hard-core on their eating or exercise for a season but, when it comes to a healthy lifestyle, you have to be realistic with what will work for you. This is where supplements come in. Before we continue, let’s take a look at what a supplement really is. Here’s what Webster says.
Supplement: Something added to complete a thing, make up for a deficiency, or extend or strengthen the whole.
Synonyms: Add to, compliment, reinforce, augment, extend, fill out.
Unfortunately, many people don’t use supplements how they are designed. They rely on an energy supplement for ALL their energy, or their protein supplement to get ALL their protein. That isn’t how a supplement is supposed to work. Supplements were created to reinforce your diet and exercise program, not replace it.
Getting all the nutrients you need to succeed is challenging in today’s world, and with our hectic schedules. If you are like me, and you work hard in the gym and care about your health, you don’t want to throw it away on a poor diet. You want your body to be as healthy as possible, to heal as quickly as possible, and to get results as fast as possible. THAT’S why supplements are so valuable.
For example, one of my favorite quick fixes is the Total Lean Breakfast Bar. Some would argue that a homemade healthy balanced meal would be a better choice. My response is this: if I am eating a Breakfast Bar, then the only other choice was eating nothing at all. So, the Breakfast Bar was an excellent choice.
You see, I don’t rely on protein bars and/or pre-packaged meals and snacks for fuel. I use them when whole food isn’t an option. Protein shakes and bars are a fantastic solution for people on the go. Before I supplemented my diet, I skipped breakfast and never got enough protein in my diet. While I eat very healthy, now supplements help me get the nutrients I was once lacking, so I can reach my health and fitness goals.
If we lived back in the old days, we may not need to add a workout to our schedule. Working on the farm, or doing daily task might have kept our bodies more fit naturally. However, in today’s computer age, where we drive everywhere we need to go and communicate with everyone by a computerized device, we do a lot less walking and expend a lot fewer calories. So, we have to supplement. That’s why exercise is SO important today. The same way most people don’t get all the nutrients they need in their food, most people don’t get enough exercise through regular daily living.
Once you begin exercising, then you learn that not every workout works for you. One thing I love about the Total Lean Challenge workout program is that Steve shows all kinds of modifications. If you don’t have weights, he makes suggestions of how you can “supplement”. Whether you are making the exercise easier or harder, he shows various options so you can adjust that workout to fit your needs.
A healthy lifestyle is doable for everyone at anytime in his or her life – we just all need to learn to get the right supplements. If you lack activity, you supplement it with exercise. If you don’t have all the right tools to exercise, you supplement with what you do have. If you can’t get all the nutrients you need, you supplement it with what you are missing. Whether you supplement a little or a lot, you are better, healthier and happier because you are more complete – reinforced, augmented, extended, fulfilled.
Today’s Surprise Saturday Workout
Try one of the workout routines led by Steve Pfiester or do the Surprise Saturday workout for today (described below). I’m doing the Saturday Workout today! I will be running the bridges with my BFF, Kristie. The route: 5.5 mile loop from Riverside Park, over the Barber Bridge to Indian River Drive, then over the 17th Bridge back over to A1A back to Route 60 to Riverside Park, which will take us about an hour.
CLICK HERE to check out the Total Lean challenge. Try one of the workouts, or try them all. The Total Lean challenge offers a 90 day meal plan and workout program – and you can join the challenge anytime!!
5 Ways I Supplement
1. Total Lean Vitamins. I simply cannot get all the vitamins in nutrients I need, and stay within my desired caloric allowance without vitamins.
2. Total Lean Shake 25. I have one shake right after my workout, and another shake before I go to bed if I haven’t met my daily protein goal. For me, I try to get .75-1gm of protein per pound of ideal bodyweight.
3. Total Lean Breakfast Bars. I keep these on hand in case I am in a hurry and need to eat on the run. They are super yummy and go so good with my coffee!
5. Activity. I wear the Jawbone UP that helps me track my steps. My goal is to walk 10,000 steps a day. If I know I won’t reach my goal, I go for a 3-mile run to supplement my lack of activity on inactive days.
Realistic Healthy Lifestyle Tips:
1. Cook in advance. I cook all my meat on Sundays (see my vlog below) so I have meat already prepared for all my meals. My favorite meats to cook is grilled chicken, pulled chicken in a crock pot, turkey meatloaf, apple, walnut & chicken salad, curry chicken salad and tuna salad. Chicken and tuna salads are a great solution for eating on the run when a microwave isn’t handy.
2. Plan my workout for the week. If I don’t make a plan, I am not as motivated to workout. If you are new to working out, or don’t like to think, the Total Lean Challenge workout program makes planning easy. Today’s workout is the Saturday Surprise workout, so today I just have to walk, hike or bike for 60 minutes! How’s that for easy planning?!
3. Set weekly goals. I have a few guidelines I try to follow so I never get out of my routine. Workout no fewer than 3 times a week, and never go more than 3 days without exercise. No matter what happens, always start fresh and strong Monday.
Curry Chicken Salad
Mix it all up and pop it in the fridge to chill. Cut a cucumber in half, longways, and scoop out the seeds with a tablespoon until it makes a nice boat. Serve the chicken salad on the cucumber boat. Serve with wheat thins if you are serving guests. Dieters skip the chips and just enjoy it as is.
FitFluential LLC compensated me for this Campaign. All opinions are my own.
Yesterday, I posted this statement on facebook and twitter. It got such a good response, I decided to make it one of my mantra pics – and then I got to thinking about all the excuses we make.
We come up with many lame reasons why we can’t workout but, in the end, we are making the choices we want. We want to be lazy, we want to watch TV, we prefer to be on the computer, we like to eat unhealthy food, and we want our freedom to do what we want. We choose to do many different things each day – and rarely is anyone making us do any of them.
Sure, we “have” to work – but even that is a choice. We only work to have a certain lifestyle. We don’t NEED a lot of the things we want in life, but we CHOOSE to work to attain them. Exercise will become a priority when you realize your health is more important than the best movie, the tastiest food, the greatest job, the newest car, and the latest facebook status.
TUFF TALK: Things to Think About
Many people don’t realize how exercise affects their life until they grow older, or when it’s too late. Your health affects your relationships, confidence, performance, mind, energy, and even your purpose in life. No matter what you are called to do in life, you can’t possibly do it to your best of your ability if you are unhealthy and/or overweight.
These are very harsh words, but in most cases, they are the honest truth. Although I wish our body didn’t affect us the way it did, and that we could be ok when we are heavy, but we normally can’t. And even people who once struggled with their weight, but were seemingly ok, confess they were not as OK with it as they seemed. They just settled for less than best, and that’s no way to live.
What is your goal in life? To be the best parent, to move up the corporate ladder, to serve at your church, to have a great marriage, to leave a lasting legacy? Well, let’s think about that for a moment.
- You can’t be the best mom or dad you can be if you aren’t the best you.
- How can you take care of others, when you can’t take care of yourself?
- How can you convince your children to not smoke and damage their body, when you damage yours with food?
- How good of a friend can you be if you are unhappy, unhealthy and no fun to be with?
- How do you expect your spouse to feel if you don’t even want to see your own body naked.
- You can’t treat your body how you want all your life, and expect it to treat you good back.
- It’s hard to go far in your career when energetic, healthy, fit, sharp people are competing against you.
- Inactive adults rarely grow up to be active seniors.
- How can you travel, and explore the world, if you lose your breath going up a flight of stairs.
- Material things are worthless if you aren’t healthy enough to enjoy them, and share them.
- How can you say your thankful for your life, but treat one of God’s greatest gifts to you (your body) poorly?
Your Body is a Gift.
If your car got out of shape, you’d fix it. Mostly because you’ve invested in it and you don’t want it to fall apart on you. But even more importantly, you want to use it. You didn’t buy that car for it to sit your drive way, and you want to USE your body too. You want it to be there for you when you need it most. You need it to be reliable and strong. All of those things take maintenance and work. YOU take maintenance and work – and you only get one shot so make it count. Unlike a car, you can’t trade it in on a newer model. You are stuck with you. Like it or not.
Don’t say “I will. Tomorrow”, because tomorrow may very well be too late.
How has improving your health affected you in ways you did not expect?
“Are you American?”
“What is your business here? “
“Where are you headed?”
We may think of Border Patrol as a bother, but we know it’s necessary to keep our country safe, as well as our surrounding countries. Not only does it keep the bad people out, it helps keep the good stuff in, protecting our assets and making certain people don’t take valuables out of our country illegally.
In many ways, I believe WE need better personal border patrol when it comes to our fitness journey. We need specific boundaries and rules in place that help protect our assets while we “travel”, as well as road blocks in place to prevent us from harm on our way to our destination.
Unfortunately, while we live in the land of the free in a nation that pretty much allows you the right to do just about anything, we get comfortable without rules, without borders. Borders are helpful and necessary – especially when you are trying to live healthy.
Think of how much better off we’d be if we were to ask these questions every time we encountered a new friend or yummy temptation.
Are you who you really say you are? How many foods out there are not really what they say they are? Low-fat foods often still are packed with fat and no-sugar added foods can still be loaded with natural sugar or other high-calorie ingredients. This is why we should read labels as closely as a Border Patrol Officer studies your driver’s license and passport.
“Are you Healthy?”
Just like you are either American or you are not, something is either healthy or it is not. It’s more black and white than you think. Vegetables are healthy, but as soon as you deep fry them they instantly turn unhealthy. Even salads can appear healthy, but after you add 1,000 calories of fattening cheese, nuts, dried fruit and dressings, you officially made something healthy unhealthy.
“What is your business here?”
Food has business to conduct too – and it can either be good for you, or it can be bad for you. When you eat something healthy, it continues working for you long after it hits your tongue. The same goes with unhealthy food. It continues wreaking havoc on the body after it’s eaten and forgotten. Besides the weight we may gain from eating too much food, most of the damage caused by letting unhealthy food in goes undetected for years. Like a fugitive on the run, you must catch it before it causes more harm and stop it in it’s tracks. The only way to do that, is to put up better borders and keep the bad stuff out of your precious territory.
Where are you headed?
Every decision you make determines where you’re headed. If you want to be in control of your destination, YOU have to make those decisions. If you let anything in, then food and people will make those decisions for you, and THEY are in control of your destination.
If you want to succeed, you need to realize every decision and every friendship can either help you reach your goal, or prevent you from reaching your goal. If you ask these questions to yourself, you will likely reveal what friends and foods shouldn’t cross your border.
Fitness is a lot of things to a lot of people. However, people can be so focused on the small stuff, they lose focus of all the right stuff. Some people get led astray by specific aspects of fitness that tickle their fancy in the moment. Others get turned off by the obsessed fitness freaks who treat fitness more like it’s a cult than a healthy lifestyle, shaping their bodies into something that looks more like a cartoon character than a picture of health. Then there are the people who really have never experienced fitness, so the only impression of fitness maybe a self-absorbed coworker mocking them at the office every day.
Fitness: Keep Your Eye on the Big Picture
It’s more than a trend.
Fitness is cool and everyone knows it. People don’t look at fat, lazy people and want to grow up to be that guy. They want to be the guy or girl they see running the beach in the morning or hitting the weights religiously in the gym every day. They want to be the celebrity in the tabloid shot leaving yoga or doing a quick workout while on vacation, like Matthew McConaughey from Magic Mike.
Fitness is cool, but we need to remember the impact it can make on people’s lives. People who live the fit lifestyle are leaders, whether we like it or not. People are watching us and we have the opportunity to use that cool-factor to encourage others to get healthy. We can ACT cool and turn people off, or we can BE cool and turn people on to fitness. Just think, you may be the only flesh-and-blood fit person someone comes in contact with. Are you going to attract them to fitness or make them run back to the couch and ice cream?
It’s more than a sport.
It’s not just one sport, fitness has a ton of sports and games. Bobybuilding, Figure competitions, Crossfit Games (#CROSSFITGNC), Marathons, Triathlons, Mud Runs, 5Ks, Power Lifting…you name it. Then there’s the competitive side outside of actual sporting events like the P90x Challenges, Biggest Loser contests at work, 90 day challenges, etc.
It can be easy to get so deep into the sport of it, you forgot why you started the whole fitness thing to begin with. Some people get so focused on the sport, they become judgmental toward others that don’t take their fitness to the competitive level they have chosen. Before you know it, someone can focus so much on their particular sport, they begin to neglect their actual health and let other areas of a healthy lifestyle slide.
Yes, it’s a sport, but it’s not just about winning and losing. We need to make sure we don’t get so caught up on our performance that we forget our improvements – and where we are headed.
It’s fixes more things than you think.
Although most people depend on fitness to fix their waistline, no one should expect fitness to be a quick fix – or just fix one specific problem. It fixes a lot of problems – and if you realize that, you will feel even more successful in your fitness journey than you would ever feel if your only concentrating on finding your six-pack.
Sure fitness can whip your body into shape, but it improves (and can completely fix) many ailments and physical issues like heart disease, obesity, cardiovascular health, diabetes, asthma, poor flexibility, body pain due to weak or tight muscles, and many other issues that can make life pretty miserable. Not only that, it helps our mood and is scientifically proven to drastically improve, and sometimes completely eliminate, depression.
Remember, there are no quick fixes, but there are REAL fixes – and fitness shouldn’t be about just fixing only one of them.
Fitness is a lot of things to a lot of people – what does fitness mean to you? - B -
What is your quiet time? I don’t listen to Metallica, but I can say most of my quiet time does involve heavy metal – weights, that is!
On a serious note, I don’t get a lot of quiet time. My fitness time is my quiet time, however my quiet time is not always quiet – it’s just “me time”. My “me time” may be playing DJ Special Ed‘s latest mix while hitting weights or listening to a Joyce Meyer podcast while on my morning run. It might be running the bridges with my BFF or doing a BCx Boot Camp workout at home. No matter what my quiet time looks like (or sounds like), it’s so important to make time for it.
We need to take some time out to work on ourselves and to get away from facebook, texting and emails. We need the time to actually think, focus and release stress. Even if your time isn’t quiet, I guarantee you’ll enjoy a certain level of peace after it – no matter the noise around you. -B-
You live healthy, you exercise and eat right – and you want to make a difference in the lives around you. You are a fitness ambassador – a representative of healthy living. But, are you effective? How do others view fitness through you? Are you a turn-off or a turn-on?
If you’re like me, you want fitness to become contagious. However, that is not accomplished by preaching to everyone around you, telling people they are fat, and telling them how awful their food choices are. With fitness, there is a right way, and a wrong way, to spread the healthy love.
Let’s look at someone else who also has a message to spread: a preacher. What preacher do you think is the most effective? The guy who waves his bible at everyone on the street corner telling people they are going to hell or the guy who simply lives by example and shares his message though his actions not his words? Both of them have the same message, but one is going to be a lot more effective. The question is: Which one are you?
6 Steps to Becoming an Effective Fitness Ambassador
We need to look at our area of influence and our effectiveness. If you have lost weight, or just live a healthy lifestyle, you have the opportunity to impact those around you – for the good OR the bad. Either way, people are watching you. It’s important you realize your responsibility and the opportunity you have to encourage others, as well as the risk you have to discourage others around you if you go about it the wrong way. Here are 5 tips to making your influence a positive one.
1. Less is more. You will make a bigger impact on people around you with your actions, not your words. Talking about fitness and diet all day is a big turn-off. Aside from my blogs and tips, I try not to start conversation about fitness. People know they can come to me if they want to talk about it, but I never want people to think that hanging out with Bonnie means talking about diet and exercise – that could get old quick.
2. Be sensitive. If you have a friend who struggles with their weight, you just being ‘you’ is already a reminder that they need to get healthy and fit. Your actions will speak loud and clear. The last thing you need to do is tell them what they should be doing or announce how many calories are in their meal while dining out. Although you may want to convince them to take action – the only action they may take is running away from you.
3. Be real. No one likes to be around someone who acts like they have it all together. Don’t try to act like a rockstar or constantly brag about your new PR (personal record) to your unfit friends. They don’t want to hear it. Instead, on the days you struggle, share it. Be honest with your own fitness journey – not just highlight your awesomeness. By exposing your own weaknesses, you will give others around you hope and encouragement.
4. Love them where they are. One of my friends who was 100lbs overweight once told someone that we made her feel comfortable. As a fitness leader, that was one of the biggest compliments I had ever received. I believe you actually have to go out of your way to even be more loving and sensitive to those who maybe insecure or overweight. Often times their first thought of anyone who works out is that they are self-absorbed or vain. It’s your job to prove them wrong – by loving them where they are.
5. Invite them in. Many unfit people feel like outsiders because they live outside your life and you forgot to invite them in. This is one of the trickiest things for me as a gym owner. People always say “Oh, you should give her a free pass” and then I often don’t do it because I don’t want her to think I’m implying she’s fat and needs to join my gym. However, in comparison to church, I’m surprised how many people will say stuff like “no one ever invited me”. Wow! Can you imagine? Someone out there is ready to go if someone just would invite them? Now, here’s a warning: Invite them occasionally, but don’t stalk them. If they agree to show up and they flake out on you, don’t make them feel bad about it. The key to a really good invitation is being able to let them off the hook if they say no. Otherwise your invitation becomes more like a prison sentence.
6. Never give up. We all know people who have taken YEARS to reach. Whether it’s getting them to church or the gym, people are always worth investing in. This doesn’t mean you wear yourself out trying to fix them, but you should never quit planting little seeds and making sure they know you will be there for them when they are ready.
Don’t hoard your fitness – Share it! You may be the ONLY person who cares enough to help those around you. Your impact on someone can be greater than even some of the biggest fitness celebrities. YOU can play your part to help America get fit and fight obesity.
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“We all have garbage to deal with. You can chose to handle it now or later – the choice is yours.”
Desperate paparazzi catches poor Jessica Biel in her robe taking out the trash. Wow. Are we really shocked that stars have garbage too? We seem just as surprised when they have other life problems as well. Ironically, garbage and our physical, as well as mental, problems have a lot in common.
My dad once gave me some great advice about life, and not handling the “garbage” we carry. He said, “It’s like trash. You can just let it pile up and packing stuff on top of it, but eventually it’s gonna start to stink and you’ll have to deal with it.”
Life is truly like that – especially with our health. We can ignore the trash in our lives – our weight, health, weakness, tight muscles, poor diet and inactivity. No matter how we cover it up with nice clothes, fancy cars, money, pretty make-up and a fake smile, eventually you won’t be able to hide it, and life will start to really stink.
It is so easy to procrastinate. It’s so easy to push it back and let something else take priority. But, our bodies talk, and believe me, it will start screaming at you eventually. We can fool ourselves into thinking our back pain will go away, our weight will come off, and “we’ll kick this”, but what exactly are you really doing about it today? Are you just covering up the stench or are you really dealing with it? So often we do things to mask the problem, or to help us live with the problem, but we aren’t handling the problem.
4 Steps to Dealing with the Garbage Affecting Our Health:
1. What stinks? As you read this, what things come to mind that you know you need to get a grip on? Make a list. Is it your weight? Is it pain? Is it confidence? Is it your overall health? Is it a lack of discipline to maintain a consistent fitness regimen? You can’t fix it until you know what needs to be fixed.
2. How do you handle it? Some trash isn’t stinky, but it sill has to be taken out. On the other hand, some trash stinks so bad, you need to get it as far away from your house as possible. How bad is the “garbage” you have to deal with? Can you deal with it yourself or do you need a hazmat team to contain the situation? Some things can be handled on your own, but other issues require a pro. Beware of trying to handle heavy stuff alone.
3. How long will you commit to maintaining it? We all know that taking the garbage out once is not enough. We get NEW garbage that will have to be delt with too. It’s really unrealistic to think this will be a simple fix and not require maintenance. As you work on one problem, don’t be surprised if another problem pops up. Just add it to the list and work on it too, knowing in the end result will be a clean bill of health.
4. What are things that need to be tossed out? A lot of us have extra garbage we deal with because we are not letting go of crap that clutters our lives. Not only will you need to work on stuff that stinks, but sometimes things need to go that are either getting in the way, are useless, or are hindering you. The first step is to “clean house” of food, people, bad habits, excuses, etc. that will interfere with your plan. Just like cleaning house, it’s constant. Success will require a continual cleaning and straightening of priorities.
Don’t wait for the perfect conditions, the perfect situation, more money, more time, less pain, more energy, more motivation, friends, kids to grow up, workload to get lighter, or anything else to start working on your health.
“Farmers who wait for perfect weather never plant.
If they watch every cloud, they never harvest.”
Note on Pain: Many aches and pains are due to weak and tight muscles. Unfortunately, many people avoid exercise in fear of making it worse. Pain rarely goes away on its own, and often gets much worse. Even many skeletal issues are due to muscles pulling you out of whack. As you strengthen weak muscles and loosen tight muscles, your skeletal system won’t have all these tweaked muscles yanking on them. There are SO many pains that would go away just from stretching alone, but the combination of strengthening and stretching literally can be a miracle worker.