Thursday, January 7, 2016

Personal Update and new Recipe

So I just wanted to give a short update on my personal goals. To be completely honest I have been in a personal health tailspin for about 4 years or so now. There are numerous reasons for this, without going into all of the details it began with a a back injury during spring training that required surgery, a bad breakup, some academic setbacks, and drinking heavily. After college I fell into a depression not being able to find enough work to support myself and living with my parents. It wasn't all bad to be sure but man it got bad. I don't think I would say I was ready to end it all but I was pretty close. So fast forward to 2015 and I finally got the chance to take a job that would allow me to move on in life. Not only that but it is pretty close to a dream job. So that brings us to now. Without even trying I ended up loosing 23.2 pounds just by working and moving while teaching. We started a nutrition project with the students and then did the Presidential Youth Fitness Test. I had a realization that here I am preaching these healthy lifestyles to the kids and here I am being the exact opposite of what I want my students to be that's when I decided to make a change.

So to begin I am starting off slow. Eating better and slowly being more active. It isn't very impressive right now but I think of it like building a house. It's not really much to look at when all you're doing is clearing the tract of land. Being on my feet all day walking around the gym and demonstrating the activities to the students is a good start. I'm getting to the point where my feet aren't aching immediately upon starting the day so I see that as my first milestone in this adventure. My ecxercise routine has started slow and I use my gym at school to start my workouts. When I say I started slow, I really mean it. For this first week I worked for about 30 minutes each day.

Workout routine

  1. Long seated stretches for the big muscles in the legs and back as well as shoulders and neck.
    1. Hurdlers Stretch
    2. Long Sit
    3. Straddle Stretch
    4. Butterfly
    5. Neck stretch (up, down, left and right)
    6. Arm stretches across the chest and behind the shoulder
  2. I started off with about 10 laps around my gym at a medium pace, that opened up my lungs and really got the heart pumping.
  3. I moved to the floor next and did 3 sets of 10 pushups and sit ups taking a break between each set to do a hip adductor stretch to loosen up my hips and lower back. Basically keep your back on the ground and take your leg as far across your body as possible while doing your best not to move your back. 
  4. Popped back up and hit 10 more laps
  5. Back to the floor for some core work
    1. Superman stretches
    2. 60 second plank
    3. 20 crunches
    4. 10 push ups
    5. 10 sit ups
  6. Finish up with some slow laps to cool off. 
That's it, super easy, really got the blood moving and a good sweat going on and I felt really good afterwards. Also I didn't hate the fact that one of the attractive teachers at my school saw me with a pretty good sweat going on. 

Smashed Italian chicken salad

So a big thanks to my mom and one of my fraternity brothers for giving me the basis for this recipe. My mom is a master of making things go further than you would think possible. It always surprised me how much she could make out of what looked like not much. One of the best ways she did this was to make one chicken breast feed 4 people. So here's what you need.

  • 1 Chicken breast (medium or large) works better with just the chilled breasts but if you are like me and buy frozen breasts in bulk those will work too
  • 4 table spoons of a light Italian dressing. I use Kraft lite Greek for this recipe
  • 1 table spoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 table spoon black pepper
  • 2 table spoons Italian seasoning
  • Cooking spray
  • Bag of salad, I prefer dark greens like spinach and kale because I despise lettuce
  • baby carrots
  • 1 small cucumber
  • Large Ziploc bag
  • Pan
  • small towel
  • Hammer
  1. Put the chicken in the Ziploc and dump in dressing, cayenne, black pepper, and Italian seasoning. 
  2. Remove as much air as possible from the bag and wrap in your towel
  3. Place the wrapped chicken on the counter and using the side of your hammer go to town on the chicken breast. Seriously if there was anything that drove you crazy take it out on this piece of chicken. When you think you've beat it enough, keep going. You should be able to see through it when you take it out. Then stick it in the fridge overnight. You can eat it immediately but everything gets better with time. 
    mad thin
  4. So the surface area of the chicken has expanded a ton and as you'll see in the next picture it is bigger than my pan.
  5. Spray the pan with the cooking spray and cook thoroughly. It will happen super fast since the meat is thin
  6. Take the chicken and cut it into strips and you will be amazed at how much meat comes from one smashed breast. 
    So much meat!
  7. Take the bag of salad, empty it into a big bowl with your chopped carrots and cucumbers then dump the chicken on top and I like to add a bit of pepper and a drizzle of the dressing I used to marinate the chicken 
    I take terrible pictures but it really is amazing
  8. I had a good bit of leftovers and took it to school for lunch the next day and I added some pineapple tidbits for a bit of a brighter flavor. 

Nutrition Info

Chicken Breast (1 lb piece) 
Cals - 231
Total Fat - 1.9g
  • Saturated .0.5g
  • Polyunsaturated 0.4g
  • Monounsaturated 0.6g
Cholesterol 44mg
Sodium 38mg
Potassium 133mg
Carbs 0g
Protein 16g

Kraft Lite Greek dressing (1 tablespoon)
Cals- 30
Total fat - 3g
Cholesterol - 0g
Sodium 160mg
Carbs - 1g
Protein .2g

Bagged salad (1 serving/ 2per container)
Cals - 10
Fat - 0g
Carbs 2g
Protein - 1g

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