Tighten Tuesday – Healthy Coffee Crisp

Did you have a lovely Labor Day weekend? – I spent all my down time this weekend on my own. Is that weird? It’s the long weekend.. the last weekend of summer and I spent it reading and watching a ton of movies. Work has been mucho crazy, so I feel like I’ve been in overdrive for the last couple of months. I felt like I needed time to watch feel good movies and get lost in One Day (such a good book! I can’t wait to see the movie!).

Yesterday, I had a few spare hours so I took a drive to North Vancouver and did a small half hour hike up Baden Powell. There is nothing better then putting on your headphones and blasting Foster of People while strategically dodging rocks and roots. I saw a TON of women and men with their babies strapped on to their fronts. I wasn’t sure if I should be impressed or nervous. I stumble a lot when hiking so it kind of freaked me out to have their infant strapped to them but at the same time maybe it helps balance them out? All in all, good for them for taking their child into nature at such a young age!

As promised.. I’ve made the infamous Coffee Crisp “healthy”. Well, as healthy as they can possibly be! They taste even better then the junk filled chocolate bar! Seriously! It only takes 3 ingredients to make these mouthwatering treats. I use 72% Dark Chocolate but you are more then welcome to alter the percentage to whichever you desire. I do HIGHLY recommend using Endangered Species brand chocolate. Not only do they donate 10% of their proceeds to helping endangered species, but these bars are also sweetened with beet sugar instead of cane sugar. There will be very little blood sugar spiking with this sweet treat.

Healthy Coffee Crisp

1/2 72% Endangered Species Dark Chocolate Bar
1/4 tsp Starbucks VIA Decaf Coffee
1/3 cup Puffed Rice (unsweetened)

Heat dark chocolate in microwave for 1 minute. Stir. Add Coffee and Puffed Rice. Mix well until all puffed rice is coated in chocolate. Spoon onto parchment paper and place in freezer for 10 minutes. Leave in freezer until right before serving.

You can get fancy with this recipe! Instead of scooping the rice puffs onto parchment paper in balls, you can use a baking tin and layer like a chocolate bar. I recommend pouring dark chocolate with coffee added on the bottom of a tin, then add crushed puffed rice (to make the wafer layer) and then add another scrumptious chocolate coffee layer on top. Ta-da! You have a Coffee Crisp, or if you are like me and want dessert NOW,  you can scoop into balls. I do the fancy version when guests are coming. 😉

These are great party treats or just a healthy treat for yourself. These little buggers kept me happy all weekend long! They went perfectly with my night of Entourage and True Blood (I have a bit of an Eric Northman crush… ;))

If you could make one unhealthy chocolate bar “healthy” what would it be?!

I hope you enjoy!

xoxo,
Michelle

Tighten Tuesday – Live Strong

Hey Everyone!

Well, it’s mid-summer and unfortunately summer hasn’t really started in Vancouver yet :( It’s been rainy and horribly humid (dreadful for the hair situation) but I’m staying positive and hoping the gloomy Fall-like days will pass and the warm sun will make an appearance. I need a tan!!

I’ll be honest, I kinked my neck last weekend and have been out of commission for the last week. I’ve still been walking but I’ve temporarily put down the weights and stopped the ab workouts. I think I’ve rested long enough and I’ve been given the A-Ok from my Chiropractor so I can start back where I finished. Let’s hope I can get toned in time for August long!

In two weeks, I will be heading up to Kelowna (aka. K-town) for the Center of Gravity Long Weekend party which is full of awesome music, wakeboarding, boating, dancing and tanning! I’m extremely excited to get out of the city for a few days and spend all day at the beach with my besties. For the last 2 months I’ve been striving for a slimmer body so I can feel confident rocking my swim suit, so its the two week home stretch as we speak. ahh…..

Another tidbit I’ve learned over the last two months….Laziness is contagious. I swear it! It does take more effort to change your mindset to workout and eat healthier but once you’ve made that decision to change you will thank your lucky stars you have! I know so many people that say they want to change but they contradict themselves two minutes after we have the long conversation about bettering their health thus proving my point that laziness is contagious. When people around you are more motivated you feel more motivated; if their lazy, you think its okay to be lazy. The changes don’t have to be drastic right away.. make the small changes like standing instead of sitting, parking farther away from the door at the grocery store, carrying your grocery bags instead of using the cart, carrying two baskets instead of getting a buggy, taking the stairs (even running the stairs!), walking on your lunch break (window shop!), or maybe just walk to work?!  These little things will help burn calories during the day. Of course, you aren’t going to wake up after a week and notice a huge difference but you will have more energy and after a few months you will definitely notice some changes.  There is no reason to not get a little active during your day!

Personally, I park 10 blocks from work (bonus: it’s cheaper ;)), park on the top floor and take the stairs, speed walk both ways, stand as much as possible and walk around work like I’m on a mission :D.

One of my new favourite sites is www.livestrong.com. Thank you to Leslie for bringing this site to my attention! I’m hooked! You type in your information and specify how much weight you want to lose per week and it will spit out the number of calories you should be eating to get that goal. Along with telling you the total amount of calories to consume, it breaks down your food journal to show you what your really ingesting! It’s an eye opener for sure! Check it out! It may change your life…

What little things do you do to stay active during the day?

xoxo,

Michelle

Tighten Tuesday – Finding Balance

Hey Everyone!

I feel like it was just yesterday that I posted. This week has just flown by… Happy Tighten Tuesday!

As Kris pointed out in her post yesterday, I was given tickets to NKOTBSB concert and sound check by one of my friends.  Let’s just say I felt totally awkward standing in Rogers Arena with a VIP pass around my neck.  All the girls around me were in tight mini skirts and 6 inch heels.. they all dressed to impress. There I was in torn jeans, sandals and a black blouse.  I obviously missed the memo. These people paid $500 for sound check passes! Were they crazy?! It was like 40 minutes of listening to them sing, talk and walk around. Then  you get a few minutes to talk to them and BAM! it’s over. It’s not worth $500… you could go to Vegas for a weekend! The opening act was Matthew Morrison (aka. Mr. Shue from Glee) and he was bloody amazing! His rendition of Gold Digger was a-mazing! When NKOTBSB took the stage the 13 year old girl inside of me came out… I all of a sudden got very into the concert. I was belting out “Please don’t go girl” and “The Call”. :) Side note: No Wahlberg should ever wear a shirt.. including Donnie. They are extremely fit! 😉

Now back to Tighten Tuesday… the important things! To give you an update, I’ve almost lost the weight I wanted to by July 31st! (yay!) Now I’m onto toning and defining – Finally! The last 10 pounds are really the hardest to lose, but once you get passed that hump its smooth sailing.. or so I hope.

A few of my tricks that really help me out… one is finding balance. I know the famous saying “moderation is key” and it’s the truth! For example, Kris and I went to Whole Foods on Saturday morning for our Rice Milk Latte but after thinking about it I realized that’s almost 2 cups of rice milk I would have had in a 3 hour time span.. so I opted out (I had rice milk with my steel cut oats!). When you actually sit down and think about what you eat in a day and actually measure the amount it adds up very very quickly.  Most of us eye ball our portions which is completely fine but moderation is definitely key for some indulgences like rice milk and other carbs. Eat all the veggies, fruit and drink all the water you want but be mindful of your carbs and sugar intake.

Along with moderating how much carbs and sugar you eat, try using small plates and cutlery.  I know it sounds weird, but its proven to trick your brain into thinking you ate more then you really did. I swear by this… I use a teaspoon instead of a tablespoon when eating oat meal and I eat 1/4 cup less then I would if I used a tablespoon. Try it out!

Do you measure your portions when it comes to sugar and carbs?

xoxo,

Michelle

Tighten Tuesday – 20 Minute Sprints

Happy Tighten Tuesday!! Kris and I still get a good laugh every time we use the “Tighten Tuesday” phrase… it rolls off the tongue nicely – don’t you think?!

I hope you all enjoying the slight tweaking of I Heart Wellness.  We are bringing in more of a real life weight loss story and some tips and tricks that Kris and I have learned over the years.   Right now, I’m on Day 14 of my Summer Slim Down Plan.  My workout schedule has been pretty steady.  I park in Chinatown, so its a good 10 blocks to get to work and back which gives me a little extra cardio to add to my daily workout. When I get home from work, I do 20 minutes of cardio, 10 minutes of legs/arms (I alternate days) and then 10 minutes of abs.  On Day 14, I’ve lost 5 pounds and a ton of inches! I can’t give you an exact amount of inches lost but lets just say I used to be a size 6 in H&M bottoms and now I’m a size 4!

I had someone ask me what my secret is and besides trying to fit in as much cardio in day as I can, I eat a lot! I always stay hydrated and keep my belly full so I don’t venture for all the freshly baked pastries that sit in front of me at work.  I made some healthy changes to my diet as well…  Instead of chips and salsa, I eat unsalted rice crackers with Texas Desert Spicy Bean Dip (30 calories for 2 tbsp!), and instead of a Banana Rice Muffin for breakie from Whole Foods, I opt for quinoa with cinnamon, a tsp of maple syrup and either a banana or fresh blueberries.  It keeps me full and full of energy!

I wont lie my muscles have been very sore these last two weeks.  I keep pushing myself further when I run because I want to get passed that “I want to give up” stage. When I first started running I would die after 10 minutes but now I’m up to 20 minutes without panting like a dog in a desert.  A few nights ago, I had a lot on my mind (boys…) so I went on the treadmill to clear my mind and ended up running for 40 minutes straight without even thinking about it. It felt great!

So my Tighten Tuesday Work Out Schedule that will truly work all muscles and help you lose unwanted inches… My weightloss secret is…. SPRINTS! Yes, sprints! They truly work.

The Beach Ready Sprint Plan:

5 minute jog at 5.5/6mph on the treadmill
1 minute sprint at 7.5/8mph
5 minute jog 5.5 mph
1 minute sprint at 8 mph
5 minute jog at 6 mph
1 minute sprint at 8 mph
2 minute speed walk at 4.5 mph
1 minute slow down at 3 mph

and then add your bikini buster workout with lots of abs, arms and legs! Get toned and trimmed down for the summer beaching days…

Do you do sprints? How long do you normally run/speed walk for?

xoxo,

Michelle

Shapin’ Up!

Hey Everyone!

Did you enjoy your weekend? I sure did! It’s the first time in a long time that both Saturday and Sunday were hot and sunny. Normally, we only get one day of sunshine and mild weather then the next day its raining cats and dogs. Gotta love Vancouver weather 😉 This weekend, I made a point of getting out of the house and soaking up some Vitamin D just like Kris did!

A little weekend recap, on Friday night my best friend and I went to the Richmond Night Market which if you’ve ever been, its a zoo! Most people are like me and go for the food and cheap necessities. Other then the craziness of people it was a lot of laughs, can you say “deep fried” everything! They had deep fried cheesecake, mars bars (actually sounded pretty good), butterfingers, cookie dough, PB&J, you name it.. they deep fried it! I felt my arteries clogging as I walked passed all the people devouring their deep fried “goodness”. As tempting as the smell was, I kept walking…..

After the roller coaster ride that is my life, I decided to have a “Me” day and do something on my own. I’m a Pisces, so I enjoy my space and being in large crowds due to hockey games, shopping, partying and the Richmond Night Market I decided to take time for myself and regain my mindset.

I went to West Vancouver on Sunday and had a lazy day. I picked up lunch from Whole Foods, my vegan Potato Dill Salad and Wheat-Free Pakoras. That meal is pure heaven to me. I took it to the beach and just laid there reading Shape Magazine for hours! I haven’t taken a day to do that in a very very long time, so it was hugely refreshing. Don’t you just feel like you need a day of silence where you just chill by yourself and do what you want, when you want? The funny part is Kris and I didn’t talk on Sunday morning but we both were at the same beach at the same time and had no idea… can you say “losers?” haha..

Besides all the men in “banana hammicks” (ewww .. speedos) I got fed up and felt the urge to get into bikini body shape.  Let’s be honest here, I’ve kind of let myself “go” throughout the winter, but now comes boating, outdoor concerts, camping, tanning and all the outdoor activities that you can’t wear a moo-moo too! So I’ve recruited Kris to be my drill sergeant and get me bikini ready. I have taken a before shot, and I will take the after shot on July 15th! I have a little under a month and half to get into shape. It will take some serious will power, mindful choices, determination, and a huge dose of “go-get em'” attitude! I think the best way for me to push through this and get passed my “comfortable” weight is to share with you my diet, workout and lifestyle so if I drift away you all can hold me accountable. Deal?

I’m a huge Tone It Up fan! so I will be incorporating a lot of their workouts along with hiking, running (daily), and elypitcal. Yesterday marks Day 1 of my get healthy plan. I ran/walked for a 30 minutes and did some medicine ball workouts. :) Day 1 is down… onto Day 2!

Wish me luck! Do you have any weight loss stories? What keeps you going?
xoxo,
Michelle