The Fit You

Love Your Body. Love Your Life

Zucchini Enchilada Casserole

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This was a fun recipe… even though I messed up the slicing for the enchiladas and had to turn it into a kind of lasagna-casserole dish made up of layers instead 😀  LOL  It still worked and tasted amazing!

And it’s SO healthy!

I created this recipe myself so it’s modified after what I believe to be one of the tastiest, yet healthiest versions of this meal.

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Ingredients:

  • Two Zucchini’s
  • 1 cup Greek Yogurt (Plain – 0 sugar)
  • 1 can Rotel diced tomatoes with green chilis (optional – you can just use diced tomatoes and onions)
  • 1 jar Green Tomatillo Salsa
  • 3-4 pounds chicken (I used breast meat)
  • 2 cups Monterrey Jack Cheese
  • Garlic seasoning to taste (1 tbs on chicken and then mixed into filling)
  • Pepper to taste (1 tsp mixed into filling)
  • Chili powder (optional)

Directions:

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Cut in thin slices, score and season the chicken breasts, then boil until cooked through.

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Slice the zucchinis in the way you’d prefer – either long way to create strips or with a veggie spiralizer if you want more texture.  I tried out my spiralizer thinking the long blade would create wider strips but apparently something went wrong LOL.  They were wider, but they were spirals!

Here’s where I hear Snape’s voice in my head:

After chicken is boiled, drain water and shred the chicken with two forks pulling in opposite directions keeping the chicken in the pot you boiled it in.  Once shredded, add in a little more seasoning to taste (garlic, pepper, etc.), the greek yogurt, the jar of Green Tomatillo Salsa, and the can of Rotel diced tomatoes and chilies.  Mix all this together in the bowl with the shredded chicken to create the enchilada “filling.”

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This doesn’t show the Tomatillo Salsa… Don’t forget to add it!

Now layer your ingredients in a 9×13 greased pan starting with a layer of zucchini strips or spirals/slices, then roughly 1/2 of the chicken filling, then a layer of cheese (1 cup).  Repeat a second time using the rest of the ingredients.

It should make a pretty huge pan full!

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The thing I loved about this recipe is that it’s a healthy low carb (virtually no carb it’d be perfect for people on the Keto Diet) meal that’s packed with flavor, but without the crash later that comes with normal enchiladas.

The greek yogurt (man I love that stuff!) is a powerhouse of energy, and it tastes very similar to sour cream but with ZERO grams of fat.  Yet in that one cup, you get a whopping 20 grams of pure protein!  It’s just a much healthier option than the Crema de Mexicana or heavy cream or even the fatty sour cream that people tend to throw in this recipe.  It’s also been proven to help in losing fat, and we’ve experienced this effect when we added it into our almost daily diet.

I served it with refried beans and spanish rice ❤  Hits the spot and without ANY guilt!

Enjoy!!

Stephanie

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For Leg Day – Sculpting the Perfect… You Know What!

 

This girl is so cute, and redheads are just gorgeous.  Enjoy the video about sculpting the perfect butt!  She’s got a lot of great information.

Anyway….

Phew!!!!!  I am EXHAUSTED recently.  I can barely type, I have like… no energy.  We’ve been training hard since the beginning of January pretty much, and it’s been awesome.  HOWEVER, since I’m curious… and kind of determined sometimes… I decided to try out the keto diet I wrote about earlier.  You know… the one where zero carbs are allowed, the one my fitness ladies said came in last place on the best diets for 2018.

Yea… that one.

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My curiosity may have gotten the best of me this time around.  I’m dying.  I almost passed out (started to black out!) after doing the stairmaster.  And my husband thinks the diet sucks (he’s not doing it – I’d never do that to him LOL… he’s just watching in sympathy and some amusement).

So needless to say, dizziness, low blood sugar, and less productive workouts are normal on this diet.  Your body, even after it’s adjusted, is not able to make ATP-energy.  That burst of energy sprinters use and weight lifters.

 

So… I’ll go back to confusion, light-headedness… trying to workout without passing out, kind of “health.”

LOL

Stephanie

Cycling Your Training

I wrote a post a few years ago about how my husband and I tend to cycle workouts being “on” a few months, and then “off” a few months.  It works out pretty well for the most part, and it’s nice to have a more relaxed period where we aren’t exercising so hard (or at all really), and then feel geared up to go for a few months being hardcore and getting back into excellent shape. 😀

I feel like it brings balance and prevents burnout over the long haul, to cycle your “on” and “off” months.  You don’t get overwhelmed or burned out as much because you have an end in sight and another beginning beyond that to look forward to.  It’s kind of like interval training for runners.  You can go hard for a few months because you know you’re getting a nice “break” coming up, and then once you’re rested, you begin again full power.  And during your rest period, you enjoy a very in shape bod that doesn’t take so much to maintain.

The only problem I could see women having with this is not controlling their eating during their off months, which is understandbly hard – especially during the holidays.  As long as you’re not gaining large amounts of weight through eating excessively (some splurges are normal), then it’s really not such a big deal to get yourself back in shape in a fairly short time frame.  Anything over 10 pounds is probably too much to gain in your off months.  Losing muscle is also something that wouldn’t be fun, but having dumb bells and learning some body weight exercises to use off and on again should keep you from losing too much muscle.

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Here is what I’ve done in the past:

3 months on – Intense cardio and weights or mat workouts (Tracy Anderson)

3 months off – some light exercise every now and then, mostly eating healthy, some yoga, going for walks, playing outside with the kids (easy stuff that feels like relaxing exercises)

3 months on – By this time I’m fully ready for hard training again… it’s like my body craves it!  Heavy weight training upper & lower body, intense cardio either running or HIIT or stair master climbing (doing intervals of fast and slow).  Weight comes off fast but at the same time muscle takes it place.

3 months off – relaxing, maybe some yoga, enjoying feel fit from the months prior of getting in shape, if it’s Summer, we go swimming a lot which becomes our exercise, also a lot of walking at our water park, eating very clean (if it’s Summer lots of fruit and protein smoothies, salads, grilled chicken, etc.).

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And that’s a whole year of cycling your workouts!

In reality, we’ve recently been doing longer cycles.  More like 4-6 months on and then 4-6 months off.  Either way it’s how you personally want to set up your workouts.  There are some very few people who manage to workout hard every. single. day. but our schedules just change too much for that – either because of my husband’s work schedule, our son’s sports seasons, or me being pregnant or having just had a baby.  So now that we have more kids, it’s more realistic to schedule our cycles around what’s happening in our lives at the time or during that particular year.

Anyway, I encourage anyone reading this to try cycling your training in this way!  I swear it makes us feel so much more motivated and like it’s “doable” to know there’s an “end” in sight.  And then once well rested, starting up again feels good.  I’m sure it also lets your body heal and repair muscles and such to cycle it like this.

🙂

Enjoy!

Stephanie

New Year’s Bounce-Back is Totally Normal

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When that muffin top became a full-blown, busted can of biscuits! 😀

Yep, just after writing a post a little disappointed in all the fad diets people tend to try at the beginning of the New Year, I’m going to come out and say that wanting to “get healthy” or “start over” again, is totally normal 🙂 .

There’s something beautiful about a new year.  Maybe it’s the excitement of the fresh days of an early beginning, or the unknown of the future, and the promises that are to come.  I truly do get a little pumped up each time, and not so much in a resolution-making kind of way, but rather a general excitement for the new-beginning the year will bring.  I also enjoy looking back on the past year when it’s closing, and finding beauty in it to treasure moving forward.

So with all that said, I do believe it’s totally normal for people to want to look ahead to new and better things, to make promises to themselves about their fitness or whatnot.  I think it’d be a little strange if a person wasn’t motivated by the optimism a new year can bring… but then again, I am forever an optimist. 🙂

But yes, I am definitely relating to the picture above 😉  My muffin top from Thanksgiving has bloomed into what I would say a busted can of biscuits, as it should be after the holidays ❤  And now it’s my annual time to reset everything and bring a much welcomed balance back to our enjoyment of eating healthy.

The New Year’s “Bounce-Back,” is totally normal.  You’d have to eat ZERO pies or dressing or sweet potato casserole (and live a miserable life) to not feel the need to “bounce-back!” 😀

New Year Resolutions & Diet Fads

It seems every year there are many people planning to pledge or re-pledge themselves to getting healthy or finally losing weight.

And along with those great goals comes fad diets :/

I’m NOT a fan of weird diets… instead I think it’s usually best for people to just eat healthy and see how their body responds to cutting out *some* foods, but certainly nothing that would be longterm forever “you can not eat carbs,” kind of “diet.”

Someone in my fitness group brought up that the Keto diet and Whole 30 both tied for last place in ABC’s list of the Best diets for 2018.  While I’ve known plenty of women who have lost substantial weight with Keto, I still don’t trust it to be a viable option for women longterm (their whole lives).

I think one can lose a bunch of weight while on Keto, but once you start eating normal again (if you ever go back to eating normal carbs, pies, pastries, french fries etc.), you’ll just gain it all back because you haven’t discovered a way to eat that’s truly balanced (“bad” and “good” stuff you can enjoy).

Having been an athlete in school and longtime dancer always interested in health and fitness pretty much, these kinds of diets don’t work in my opinion because they never really teach the person how to take control of their eating longterm (life-long), how to enjoy something once in a while, and not stress about it, and yet still be able to stay on track with their fitness goals.

It’s a careful balance that I’m sure is truly different for every person, but what these fad diets don’t do is to teach individuals how to manage that balancing.

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Are there certain foods that you should definitely avoid when trying to lose weight?  Yes definitely.

But do you need to stick to a very strict diet that doesn’t allow you to eat entire food groups like carbohydrates for the rest of your life just to stay thin and strong?  Heck no!

Again, just because something may work for a season while you’re doing it, won’t mean it’s always going to work for you.  Eventually there may come a time when you’re working a drastically different schedule or maybe in a depression, and you just want carbs again, and there goes your keto plan or Atkin’s diet.

It’s better to learn how to manage yourself through true discipline in being allowed to eat the “bad” stuff, as well as knowing what and when to eat the good stuff.

 

Slender & Strong

I love how slender and yet strong Doutzen’s body is in the ad.  To me, this is fitness as it’s meant to be.

Active, healthy, beautiful, and very very strong.

Over the past months I’ve been doing a lot more strength training with a heavier weight than normal.  It’s a common misconception that a woman with an ectomorph body type doesn’t have problem with gaining weight or having fat.  But oh do we ever!  And personally, with my genetic tree, we look WORSE when we gain fat because it really really shows on our tiny frames.

So… what can help with not becoming what people call “Skinny Fat?”

Weight training, cardio that is more plyometric (jump roping, etc.), avoiding all the “white” foods for periods of time (sugar, dairy, breads, pastas, rice, etc.).  These are the crucibles of what produces this particular, extremely lean yet not “too thin” look.

It’s definitely my goal to attain this, and it’s FUN 😀

Enjoy!

Stephanie

30 Minute Full Body Dumbell Workout!

Depression Darkness & Exercise

I’ve met so many women you’d never guess were actually battling depression inside because outwardly, they look normal, sometimes even have a happy countenance.  Since I started this blog from the experience of gaining weight mostly due to depression, I thought it’d be good to offer at least one person’s thoughts on the topic.

Most women, men too, even though this is a girly blog, have weight issues when depressed.  Sometimes losing weight, but more often than not, it’s gaining weight that tends to happen when you’re depressed.  I know for myself, it’s happened both ways depending on the kind of depression.

Losing-weight depression – becoming emaciated –

I don’t think this is common for most women, and I don’t know enough of the male experience to say whether or not it’s common for men, but some people do actually tend to lose weight when depressed.  The only time I’ve ever experienced this type of depression where you lose all appetite for food and get very thin was when my parents rejected me for wanting to marry my husband, kicked me out, took my car so I had no transportation, and sent me an email telling me I was officially “estranged.”  I’d never heard of the word before, and it was devastating.  Luckily, even through the depression, our love flourished as I was forced to depend completely on him for almost everything.  I had a job, but no way to get there really as our bus system is pretty bad down here.  The only things I did on my own was manage my budget with the earnings I made, buy things I needed out of that, and keep up with my college classes and coursework.  Eventually it got to the point where I couldn’t even get out of bed in the middle of the day to get to class due to losing all motivation.  I was the type who loved my classes and made mostly all A’s, so skipping class was something I didn’t do.  My sweet man pretty much forced me to go to counseling and it helped immensely to get better.  But I remember distinctly feeling as though my body was wasting away.  There was no motivation to eat and just barely enough motivation to go to counseling.  A huge part of my soul believes it was my husband’s love that got me through that trial.

Gaining-weight depression – emotional eating –

I’m not a psychologist by any means, so take all this with a huge cup of salt lol.  I’m generally an optimistic person, probably because of my faith in God, but I do believe in degrees of depression and that even sometimes, it can be a spiritual thing going on.  I know some Christians seem to think depression cannot exist or that it’s the person’s fault, but I do think it’s much more complicated than that.  Yes, of course it can be the person’s fault.  We all sin and do and say things we regret, and (pardon my horrible psycho-analysis lol) if we internalize that anger and shame, it can cause us to feel “depressed” long enough for the length of time needed to be categorized as a clinical depression.

I think gaining weight can be a different kind of emotional response than becoming emaciated, but this is all just me guessing here.  When I’ve gained weight with depression, it was I think because I was trying to repress the pain and go on living instead of really facing it head on and dealing with it (emotionally or spiritually dealing with it).  Holding on to those negative emotions, keeping them underneath the surface, stuffing them down inside, I think doing all that can cause “emotional eating.”  You eat because it temporarily feels good and alleviates those disturbing or painful feelings and strong emotions you wish weren’t there.  Eating becomes an addiction to varying degrees depending on the person, just like any other addiction that springs from self-medicating.

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So… now that you’ve gotten my take on depression, if you’re feeling this way and wanting to lose weight, it is going to be hard 😦  It is not easy to take care of yourself when “taking care of yourself” is literally the last thing you want to do.  Whether it’s eating more than you should, or making sure you’re properly nourished, both problems will take confronting what is going on underneath the surface so that you can heal and move on with life.  There will always be times when a person feels down or has a bad day or week even.  But depression last longer (you can look up the keys here), and usually takes more action on your part to move beyond.

I’ll write more on exercising when depressed soon I hope 🙂

Stephanie

How Do You Have a “Fit” Postpartum?

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My husband took this picture without me knowing 🙂 my body is still not exactly where I want it to be (so much loss of muscle and probably still some fat to lose), but it does make me happy that my body is relatively back to normal.  I feel strong and full of energy, and am so proud of what it can do so soon after having our 3rd baby.  It’s like a celebration! ❤

Going on a beach vacation and celebrating our 10th anniversary this early postpartum was a little difficult, but thankfully the difficulty wasn’t so much because I was “out of shape,” but just due to having such a little baby.  We’re a very active, athletic family… so being out of shape really lessens the quality of my life as I’m not able to keep up or do the things I want to do.

But why is getting back in shape after having a baby important?  Obviously, it may not be important to everyone, but to the majority of women out there who eventually do want to get their bodies back, it seems like it is.

One woman in my fitness group recently admitted that if she had known how much excess skin would be hanging off her stomach postpartum, and how awful it would feel to even look at it, she would have DEFINITELY changed all her eating habits while pregnant and would have kept her weight down and been only gaining the minimum amount necessary.

I think it’s relatively normal for Western women to disregard their fitness while pregnant, not really understanding (or caring at the moment) how hard it will be to lose that weight, or to get the skin to go back in, after the baby is out.  And then once it’s a few months or a year postpartum, they start to realize how hard they made it for themselves and live with regret.

So what is the “secret” to having a fit postpartum?  What is the secret to having a pretty good body almost right after you have your baby?

The simple answer?

Having a fit pregnancy.

That’s it.  And it’s the truth. 🙂 The more “in shape” you are, the stronger you are and yes, even “thinner” you are while you’re pregnant, normal weight gain aside of course, the fitter, stronger, and even thinner you’ll be postpartum.

If you stay active and only gain what you and the baby actually need, you won’t have pounds of excess fat and weight to lose afterward.

I’m lucky to be in a fitness group right now where I’ve seen many ladies go through pregnancy and come out extremely fit and strong and capable.  They not only don’t use pregnancy as an excuse to eat anything they want, they don’t even use pregnancy as an excuse to stop lifting weights!!  Or to stop running and working out fairly hard!  It’s amazing to watch these women conquer the usual setbacks of pregnancy with hard work and discipline.  Very inspiring and motivating ❤ 🙂

Will pregnancy set you back some?  Definitely, in those first weeks, doctors don’t want you to workout again until cleared for a reason – because your body really is still healing.  But they also tell you right after you have the baby (the next day in my experiences with all our 3 kids), to start walking like you’re planning to do a walk-a-thon in a month lol!

Walking IS exercising, and they want you doing that 24 hours after having a c-section!

So yes, while you need to wait until your doctor clears you to do more strenuous things, your doctor also expects you to be walking and gently moving your body around actively on your own the day after a c-section.

Why?  Because they know for a fact that it helps you heal faster if you gently exercise those muscles and it keeps your blood flowing which also aids in a faster healing.

We were created to move, and its really no different during and after pregnancy.  Hence the more fit and strong you are during pregnancy, the better (and easier!!) it will be for you afterward.

So take care of yourself during your pregnancy!  You’ll never regret making healthy choices that make it easier for you when you have your baby 😉

It’s already hard having a newborn, but being overweight or weak and fat make it a lot harder.  Be good to yourself, and keep your body in shape.

Stephanie

“Fat Girl Fed Up” and Her Journey to Weight Loss