The Vegan In Me

While I am not a full throttle vegan, I do limit meat intake to at least one serving a day; and sometimes, depending on how I feel, not at all.

My love for being a part time vegan/vegetarian came from boredom in the kitchen honestly. Also, I found that as I upped my yoga practices, a primarily meat diet was just not conducive to the lifestyle. Meat is very heavy, and in large quantities, not that healthy for us even aside from the high protein content.

But, back to boredom…

I found that I would just not cook because I was bored, so when I came across recipes from a challenge I was doing, my inspiration was found! They had so many meatless options that, when seasoned correctly, actually tasted like meat, but didn’t leave that heavy, bloated feeling. This left me with an adventure to seek out my own recipes. It has been really fun to mix it up, so today, I want to share some recipes with you.

The first one is from the challenge I did: Fit Girls Guide 28 Day Jump Start Challenge. and they are called

SWEET POTATO STREET TACOS

2 soft corn tortillas
1/4c mozzarella cheese 1/2c sweet potatoes
1c baby spinach
1/2c mushrooms
2T chopped onion
5 sliced strawberries
1 hardboiled egg (not pictured)
1t olive oil
2 slices avocado or 2T store bought guac 1t hot sauce or 2T salsa
spices

Coat a non-stick frying pan with cooking spray. Sauté mushrooms and onions for 2-3 minutes. Add sweet potatoes, olive oil, and a small sprinkle of cumin, oregano, and garlic for a taco flavor. Cayenne too if you want a little spice. (Tip: We partially pre-cook our cut sweet potatoes in the microwave for easier sautéing. 1-2 minutes in a bowl with a splash of water does the trick.) Sauté a few more minutes until everything is a nice golden brown, stirring occasionally. When the veggies are almost done, add the spinach. It will quickly wilt before your eyes. When it does, you’re done!
Set the veggies aside and put the corn tortillas in the pan (which will have a little oil left in it). Sprinkle half the mozzarella cheese on one side of each shell and heat on medium. Cook until melted and the tortillas are soft. Fill with veggies, avocado, and hot sauce or salsa. Enjoy with a side of strawberries sprinkled with cinnamon and a hard-boiled egg!

Next recipe is:

Baja Tempeh Tacos
From plantfoodfabulous.com

Prep time
2 hours
Cook time
25 mins
Total time
2 hours 25 mins
Cuisine: Mexican
Serves: 4-6
Ingredients
~TEMPEH AND MARINADE~
1-2 8 ounce package(s) of tempeh
1 ale style beer
3 cloves of garlic, crushed
3 tablespoons sunflower oil
3 tablespoons lime juice
3 teaspoons chili powder (the spicier the powder the spicier the finished tempeh)
1 teaspoon cumin powder
~SLAW~
4 cups of shredded cabbage (mix white and purple for nicest result)
1-2 carrots, shredded
⅓cup apple cider vinegar
1 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon pepper
2 pickled jalapeños, diced
~LIME CREMA~
¼ cup plain greek yogurt (or soy yogurt to keep it vegan)
3 tablespoons lime juice
2 tablespoons sunflower oil
⅓ cup packed cilantro
½ teaspoon salt
½ package of corn tortillas
any garnish/toppings you like
Instructions
Boil a large pot of water.
Take a block of tempeh and slice it into three equal parts, the long way. Then cut those strips in half, the long way. This gives you 6 long strips.
Once the water is boiling place the tempeh strips in the water with tongs and let cook for 10 minutes.
Combine all the marinade ingredients in a large shallow dish. A glass dish is preferable,
As soon as the 10 minutes timer goes off, gently place the tempeh into the marinade. (don’t worry if a few break, it happens to the best of us)
The longer it sits the better. I really like to make the tempeh and slaw first thing in the morning and let it sit. You can get away with only marinating an hour, but the longer it goes the better the flavor. The kind of chili powder you use will greatly effect the heat of the final tempeh.
Shred the carrots and cabbage and place in a large glass bowl with the other ingredients, then mix well.
Weigh the cabbage down with a plate and something heavy- then set it aside for at least an hour. In a food processor combine the yogurt, lime, cilantro and salt. Whiz it up and taste it. You might want more lime or more salt. Then place it into a container and refrigerate it for at least an hour to combine flavors.
When you are ready to make dinner (lunch) heat up a grill pan. I have the Le Creuset one that fits over two burners and I love it. It makes quick work of grilling. If you don’t have a grill pan you can fry them up too.
Baste the grill pan with coconut oil then lay the tempeh down and let it sit until grill marks appear. About 6 minutes.
Right before flipping baste the tempeh with the marinade. I just spoon it over top. It can get smoky, so have the oven fan on.
Flip and cook the tempeh on the other side.
If you are doubling the recipe- preheat the oven to 200 and keep the cooked tempeh in the oven- covered in foil- while you cook the rest.
Shred the tempeh a bit, by cutting it into even smaller strips.
When you are ready to assemble the tacos, put all your components out with any toppings you like. We always have some avocado, diced pickled jalapeños, finely sliced radishes, and some cilantro ready.
You can use any kind of organic corn tortilla though. Heat them up first either in the already warmed oven, or on a dry pan.
Build your tacos any way you like. I put the crema down first, then the tempeh and slaw, the toppings, and a little more crema.
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And let's not forget a healthy dessert…

Healthy Protein Cookie Dough

Ingredients:

1 15-oz. can of chickpeas
½ cup creamy peanut butter
2 Tbsp agave syrup
1 Tbsp maple syrup
1 tsp vanilla extract
½ cup dark chocolate chips or sweet cacoa nibs
Instructions:

Combine chickpeas, peanut butter, agave, maple, and vanilla in a food processor and blend until smooth.
Transfer your “dough” into a mixing bowl and stir in chocolate ships by hand.
Chill in the fridge or freezer until cold. Note: This treat tastes much better chilled than at room temperature.
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I hope you enjoy these recipes as much as I did!
Have a Happy and Healthy day friends!
~Cait
(StayAtFitMom)

Abs After Baby : The Right Way

Today is the day friends!

I have received so many questions over the last few months from fellow mommies about what workout they can do for their abdominals after baby and because of that I thought it only made sense to put together a little mini-series that really focuses on CORRECT abdominal excercises to help tighten and tone that belly while protecting your core muscles from permanent damage.

I don’t think ab separation is talked about enough along with the fact that just because you are cleared for physical activity (usually around the 6 week postpartum mark), it can take MONTHS for your abs to actually come back together. For instance, I was cleared for fitness at 6 weeks pp, but I still had very slight diastisis recti until about 4 months pp. What is diastisis recti? Click here for a brief overview.

Diastisis recti can happen in anyone. Men and babies can have it, but it is true that it is very common in females because we have babies. Our abs have to separate to accommodate our growing baby and everything surrounding them. If dealt with properly, ab separation will not be a long term issue. It’s pretty awesome how the body can stretch and distort that much and then come back together. However, the wrong kind of workouts too fast can lead to permanent damage. Those muscles could rip and not only will you carry what looks like a 4 month pooch permanately but the only way to fix it at that point would be surgically. Sometimes, the muscles rip just from multiple pregnancies and pregnancies close together. However, getting ahead of the game and making sure to have a strong core and strong body before pregnancy, during, and–properly–after can lower your risk for permanent damage.

Over the next couple weeks, I will be posting abdominal/core excercises that anyone can do. Pregnant, not pregnant, or postpartum. Why do I say abs AND core? Well, having a toned stomach isn’t solely based on abdominal work. Our core is all the musceles surrounding our spinal column. That includes the back muscles. Proper posture that comes from a strong back actually aids in keeping our stomach tight and toned. Spinal health is just as important as that six pack ladies. You don’t just lift weights on only the left arm and not the right, RIGHT? Same with the abs. We work the front AND the back.  Basically, with all the questions about what to do post pregnant know that any workout I feature over the next few weeks is #PPaproved. When you see that hashtag you know it’s okay for postpartum mommas. I will specify or talk about a modification if it is not.

NOTE* If ANYTHING hurts or does not feel good-modify! IF modifying and it still hurts-wait and don’t do it! You will get there eventually–I PROMISE!

Many people rush the process after baby. This is not healthy. We should be of the mindset of being healthy, not skinny. If your perspective is focused on health, then you will wait and go slow and be patient with the process. Period. Risking long term and permanent damage is NOT worth trying to get back into those skinny jeans. Even if you are super fit before and during pregnancy, it still took 10 months for your body to change and a accommodate a life. This means you need to give it the same, if not more patience and time, to heal completely. You owe it to yourself and your future. You only have one body and the choice is yours whether it will sustain you and keep you healthy for life or whether it will quit on you before it should.  After almost 5.5 months post partum I was finally able to do my first crow pose in yoga. It was worth the wait because I knew my body was healed and ready. It was a super exciting moment for me! God made our bodies to be able to handle pregnancy and birth and he made it able to come all back together. Your body will never be the “same” after baby, but that doesn’t mean you can’t be fit or that it can’t be better. I am and feel in better shape post baby than ever before. Changes after baby aren’t always drastic, but your body still changed nonetheless. I am in love with the changes my body took on. For me, my hips got a little curvier. My pant size didn’t change, but I just feel more feminine in them! 🙂

Let’s change our perspectives, let’s be patient, let’s love ourselves in every moment of our journey. The human body is amazing–let’s treat it as such.

*Don’t forget that abs are made in the kitchen, too. Workouts and nutrition go hand in hand and actually, nutrition is about 70-80%. The right foods work with your body to help build and maintain lean muscle. *

Follow my Instagram—-> @stayatfitmom. This is where you will find all my posts on Abs after Baby and so much more.

 

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Have a great day beautiful and remember:

Stay fit. Stay Healthy. Inside-Out.

Muscles After Baby: Wednesday Workout and Form Tips

Hello friends!

 

Here is Wednesday’s workout below. I am so sore! I haven’t done this much concentrated strength training in awhile. It’s a good hurting though and I’m excited to watch my body transform.

 

Here a few tips to remember:

1) Never lock out your knees

2) Tummy pulled in tight

3) If you’re hurting in your joints or are having to sacrifice form to lift, you need to lower your weight

and

4) Breathe

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Here are some examples of a few of the workouts pictured below:Processed with VSCOcam with a2 preset

Muscles After Baby: Tuesday Workout

Tuesday Workout 5 min Cardio warm up followed by this workout below: Photo Mar 25, 1 27 33 PM Here’s what it looks like: Processed with VSCOcam with m6 preset

 

I finished this workout off with:

Tricep pushups:10 reps

Regular pushups:10 reps

Squats with chest squeeze using the stability ball: 15 reps

Reverse lunges with ball over head tricep extensions: 15 reps

Standing inner thigh squeezes using the ball and pulses forward and back (no weights)

To see a short video of what these look like, go to my instagram —->@stayatfitmom

You can also get to it by clicking the photo grid on the right side of this page.

Have a happy and healthy day!

Muscles After Baby

Hi friends!

It’s inevitable that even when you are as active as you can be during pregnancy, you end up losing some of your muscle definition. I am on a mission to get that back plus some! I am revamping some of my old workout styles and adding in new ones.

Anything “Cardio” related looks more like HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) or Tabata ( a different variation of HIIT) instead of steady stream cardio. If you’re a breastfeeding mom, you understand that our babies are sucking everything right off of us, so in order for me to keep/build muscle tone, I can’t have workouts involving just straight running for 30 minutes. I have to do lots of strength training which means even cardio has to involve muscle building. I am a lover of HIIT workouts so I am having a lot of fun so far. I am really sore so I will be adding lots of yoga into these regimens. Good news is, yoga is still a fabulous way to not only stretch and elongate, but to tighten and tone so I’m still targeting those muscles.

I will be posting my workouts, videos, and my progress here on the blog and also on my fitness instagram—>@stayatfitmom. Please feel free to jump on the boat and do it with me if this sounds like something you need. I am doing this because I need it and want to share my experience with you all.

All the workouts posted are created by yours truly unless marked otherwise. I will always give credit to a workout I did from someone else.

*These workouts are done at your own risk. If you are postpartum, these workouts are safe to do once you have been cleared by your doctor (usually the 6 week mark) and any crunch related exercises are safe if you no longer have diastisis recti. Click here to find out how you check for that. 

I’m not a trainer, yet, but I have been in the fitness world for a very long time. It’s what I love, it’s what I do, it’s my passion, and I just want to share my health journey with you!

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Monday’s Workout

Today I am working my back and biceps. I started out with body weight training circuit only doing one round to warm-up.

Here is my back and biceps workout

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Here is a picture of each workout for each section so you understand what each one means. Huge thanks to my hubby for taking these for me!

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Finish it off with a good stretch!