Sunday, June 23, 2013

Grilled Chicken Avocado Sandwich

Some of my best food comes like a revelation to me. I just try it and see how it turns out. 

This was a fantastic idea and worked out perfect. 

1. Marinate thawed and pounded chicken breast in Italian dressing. I make my own with the Good Seasonings packets. It's just the seasonings in water, oil, and vinegar. Marinate for as little as 5 minutes and as long as all day. 

2. Grill chicken on low on outdoor BBQ. 

3. Cut ripe avocado, lettuce, onion and tomato if you'd like. 

4. When chicken is done cut to size to fit bun. I only used half of the breast. Use provolone cheese on top. Load with the avocado and other goodies.

5. Top with bun. I used a homemade bun that I had in the freezer. Simple to just thaw it. 

6. Serve with sweet potato fries (cut, toss in olive oil, salt, pepper, and bake in the oven at 400 degrees until done) and steamed broccoli! 

Delicious. Healthy. Enough said. 

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

6 Killer Leg Exercises


Toned legs are a beautiful thing, on anyone. How do we work them? By exhaustion and of course, lifting weights. Your legs contain the largest muslces in the body which means they burn the most calories when you work them. So let's get crackin' with 6 exercises that will work all the muscles in your legs. 

Sumo Squat- want to really make this exercise count? Pick up some heavy weights and squat! Do as many as you can until fatigued.

Squat and Jump- time this one or set a number of how many you want to do and continually increase the number to help stamina

Screamer- Put your weight on the heel of one foot with the other leg behind you, like a lunge. Keep your weight planted on the front foot and bring your back leg up (like a knee strike). Repeat for 30 seconds to a minute. the lower you squat the more it'll work, so get down!

Jump Rope- time to start jumping to work those calves. You can use an imaginary jump rope or a real one.

Clockwork Lunges- Just think of a clock and lunge at 9, 12, 3 and then 3, 12, 9. Repeat. Notice how my knee stays over the ankle to avoid injury.

Dead lift- This works your hamstrings. Make sure to keep a flat back the whole time to properly do the exercise and not risk hurting your back. Lower the weights towards the floor and keep your legs straight but not locked. Lift back up feeling it through the back of your legs. I used 20 pounds for this exercise. Go SLOW and you don't have to start as heavy. Do 10-12 reps being the most you can do.

Get to work on those legs. Be sure to warn up first and stretch after. Thanks for stopping! 

Citrus Blend Lemonade

A new lemonade!!! It tastes awesome like the other lemonades. Simple, quick, easy, and tasty. We are up to 3 different tasting drinks you can replace soda with...winner! 

2 lemons
1 lime
1 orange 
1 cup sugar

Blend each one (I did the orange alone and the other 3 together) in water. Strain through into a bowl. Dump into pitcher and add sugar. Fill to top of line, stir, and serve! 

Monday, June 17, 2013

Key West Chicken Kabobs

I found a pin that looked yummy and boy is it a hit. I just have to share!

I have made it a couple times and the family loves it. I like grilling sweet potatoes, veggies, and making salad with it as well. So nice and healthy. 

3 tbsp soy sauce
2 tbsp honey
1 tbsp olive or coconut oil
Juice from one lime
1 tsp minced garlic
2 chicken breasts

1. Cut into chunks.
2. Marinate for at least 30 minutes and as long as a day.
3. Put on skewers and cook low on the grill and turn a few times. Don't cook too high or it'll burn.

For sweet potatoes...
I cut a large one, peeled it, cooked in coconut oil in a pan till soft and just barely crisping. Let cool, put on skewers, and grill with chicken. Add peppers, tomatoes, and onion in between potatoes if you want. Season with garlic salt and pepper. 

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Strawberry Freezer Jam (low sugar)

Something I started doing after I married Kyle was get in on making strawberry jam with my in-laws. I'm not sure how long my MIL has been doing it but it is by far better tasting than any store bought stuff.

With all the kids it's not as easy to get together for a day and make tons of jars for a few families. So I bought some strawberries and made a batch at home today. It doesn't take long and I don't have to buy jam...ever :) 

I made a lower sugar kind this time though. The original (checkout Lindsay's blog post for recipe) has more sugar than actual strawberries so I want to reverse that. Ha. Here's the recipe! 

You need: 
Strawberries (I bought a flat overflowing for $22 at a place just over the Michigan line on Cass. I am freezing what I don't use for another purpose that I'm thinking another post on)
Sure.Jell PINK BOX for low sugar (bought at Martins with a coupon)
Bag of sugar

1 batch:
1 cup water
1 box pink Sure.Jell 
3 cups sugar
4 cups crushed strawberries
(Makes approximately 7 eight-ounce jars...cost for me was $5.00. Way cheaper to make yourself!)

1. Cut off tops of strawberries and wash. You need 4 cups of crushed strawberries for one batch so it's a full bowl. 

2. Mash strawberries with potato masher. Chunks are fine. 

3. Put 3 cups of sugar in a sauce pan of decent size, packet of sure.jell, and 1 cup of water. Stir over heat till boiling. 

4. Once it starts boiling, time for a minute and keeps stirring. 

5. Turn off heat when timer goes off and add 4 cups crushed strawberries. Stir for another minute. 

6. Add to your clean jars. Wipe any spillage off jar and top.

7. Let sit on the counter for 24 hours and then put in freezer for up to you year. Take out and put in fridge to de-thaw. Enjoy! 

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

3 Tips to Toned Arms

Who doesn't want toned arms? Women in particular tend to get that lower "flab" when they lift their arm. Well here are 3 tips to tighten and tone the arms...


#1 Go Heavy

Lifting light weights will give enough definition to the arms. The important thing to remember is LESS REPS brings more definition. Why? Because when you lift heavier you tear those muscle fibers and they have to rebuild, creating more muscle and speeding the metabolism. Your body needs to be unaccustomed to the load you are bearing for change to occur.  It's called the overload principle. So shoot for 6-12 reps instead of 15-25 reps. 

#2 Work all the muscles

If you want a defined arm then you need to work more than just your biceps and triceps. Your arm is made up of many different muscles, which people don't always realize. You have biceps, triceps, anterior deltoid, medial deltoid, and posterior deltoid. 

This is great news because that means there are more than 2 exercises to do! So lateral raises, posterior deltoid fly, push-ups, frontal presses, bicep curls, and tricep push-ups are just a few things you can do to work those muscle groups. 

Lateral raise

working anterior deltoid (my hubby put extra light on me while taking these pics so his efforts took away shadowing on my arms, which took away some of the look of definition...just sayin)

#3 Change up your Routine

I preach this over and over but I can't stress it enough! Don't do the exact same routine everyday or every other day. Do not do the same 3 month dvd program over and over and over in a row. You can do it many times over years but don't do it 3 times a year. Take a break and find a new one then go back to it. If you start an arm routine and do the same exercises, same weight, same reps, same routine of exercises then your body will not change after a few weeks. Your body adapts so quickly. It keeps up better than you think. So when you start a new program you will see success, but if you think you can continue doing it over and over and get more results without changing anything then you will get discouraged when you plateau. 

SO....start a routine and after a month change it. If you are using 8 pound weights, up to 10 pounds. Look up variations of exercises so you aren't doing the exact same ones over and over. Target one or 2 muscle groups and work them to exhaustion, as opposed to working every muscle group in every workout. For example, do different exercises that only target the 3 heads of your deltoids (ant, lat, post) without working the biceps or triceps. 

I hope this helps in your fitness journey and if you have questions, ask!

Monday, June 10, 2013

Woman of Inspiration- Lindsay

I am so very excited to share about this woman, my heart is close to this post. She is my sister (in-law) and I have had the pleasure of seeing this transformation step-by-step. I have prayed for her to have victory in this area for a while. Lindsay is definitely a story that has taught me a lot, and in more than one way. I have seen her at her thinnest (marriage) and through 3 pregnancies.  I have seen her try to lose weight on her own strength and I have seen her just not care about any of it. We have had many talks throughout the last few years and I have tried to help her on my own strength at times, only to fail because her heart wasn't there. But it is amazing when you let go and let God work in the lives of others because the Holy Spirit can have His way, which results in more than just a physical transformation.  Here is her story!

My journey began at the end of last October. Through a significant trial, God was doing a lot of molding in my life. After dealing with some other sins and struggles, He came to the sin of overeating that I have lost the battle with my entire life. So one day, shortly after October 15 (the day my husband truly repented!), I started counting calories using MyFitnessPal. I also added lifting heavy weights (using CheLEAN Extreme videos) to my workout schedule.
For awhile it was easy! And I was enjoying keeping track of everything I put in my mouth. I wanted to choose carrots over tortilla chips, and I went to bed each night thanking God for another day of victory.
Just like a honeymoon, the high had to end. Now it is a daily struggle, but by the grace of God, I still have victory most of the time!
“My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.” Psalm 73:26
I’ve attempted to lose weight many times in the past. Why was this time actually successful? Because it wasn’t about losing weight. It wasn’t even about being healthy. It was and continues to be about glorifying God with my body (1 Corinthians 6:20). I fail a lot and often get distracted by the fact that I finally get to wear basically whatever I want (woot!) and have the metabolism of a teenager (thank you, ChaLEAN!) but God is faithful to remind me that it is only by His grace that I am where I am.
“So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.” John 8:36 

Before (during 3rd pregnancy April 2012):

Before (October 2012):

Weight - 175 

I avoided the camera as best I could so finding before pictures has been hard. And, I honestly just didn’t know for sure if this time would be different until I was down almost 20lbs! So I didn’t take “before” pictures or stats.
Here’s the stats and a picture from when I finally believed I was really going to reach my goal! 

Before (January 2013): 

Weight - 159 Chest - 40.5 in 
Belly button - 39 in 
Left arm - 11 3/4 in 
Left thigh - 21 in
Left calf - 14 1/4 in

Current (June 2013): 

Weight - 137.8
Chest - 36.5 in
Belly button - 35 1/4 in Left arm - 10.5 in
Left thigh - 20.5 in Left calf - 13.5 in 

I am about 1.5 pounds away from being my wedding day weight! That is the ultimate goal for now. We plan to try for baby #4 toward the end of this year so my goal will change to gaining only the healthy amount of weight (20-30lbs) followed by getting back down to the mid-130s and ultimately flattening my pregnancy-abused belly! 

When I think about getting pregnant again, I get nervous! I’ve always planned on keeping the weight under control during pregnancy, and I’ve so far failed. But this time I’ll be doing it the way God wants me to so I will be completely relying on the daily strength from the Holy Spirit Himself. Steph will keep you up to date :) And you can keep up by following my blog also (DandLJacobs). Prayers are always appreciated! 

“Now to Him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine... (Ephesians 3:20) ...Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord!” (Romans 7:25).