1 head garlic (whole) plus 2 cloves garlic, minced, divided
1 tbsp fresh lemon juice
1 1/2 tsp olive oil, divided
4 4-oz boneless, skinless chicken breasts, pounded about 1⁄2-inch thick
Pinch sea salt
1/4 tsp fresh ground black pepper, plus additional to taste
1 large shallot, finely chopped
3 cups broccoli florets
Place cashews in a bowl and cover with cold water. Cover and refrigerate overnight.
Preheat oven to 350°F. Cut a 10-inch square of foil and mist with cooking spray. Slice 1⁄4-inch from top of head of garlic. Place cut side up on foil and wrap tightly. Place on a baking sheet and roast for 1 hour. Set aside to cool.
When garlic is cool enough to handle, squeeze cloves out of peel into a blender; discard peels. Drain cashews and add to blender along with lemon juice and 1 cup cold water. Begin blending on low speed, gradually increasing to high, until mixture is smooth, 1 to 2 minutes.
In a large nonstick skillet on medium-high, heat 1 tsp oil. Season chicken evenly with salt and pepper. Cook, turning halfway, until browned on both sides and cooked through, 8 to 12 minutes. Remove from skillet to a plate and cover to keep warm.
Heat remaining 1/2 tsp oil in skillet. Add shallot and broccoli and sauté for about 5 minutes, stirring often, until shallot is browned and softened. Add remaining minced garlic and sauté for 1 more minute. Remove to plate with chicken.
Add cashew mixture to same skillet and cook, stirring constantly, until warmed through and slightly thickened, about 1 minute. Serve over chicken and broccoli. Season with additional pepper.
Nutritional Bonus: In numerous studies, garlic has been shown to be lipid-lowering, anticlotting, antihypertensive, antioxidant and antimicrobial. The key to the astonishingly wide range of health benefits in garlic seems to lie in a compound called allicin, which is created from the reaction of two other compounds – alliin and alliinase. Nature designed it so that the alliin and alliinase live in different parts of the garlic clove, so how you prep garlic is critical for the creation of allicin. Crushing or chopping garlic releases the enzyme alliinase, which reacts with the chemical alliin to form allicin. To get the most out of garlic’s primo health benefits, crush or chop garlic cloves (the finer the better) to join the active compounds and let them sit for 15 minutes before using.
Did I get your attention with that one???? LOL! For those that don’t know, my fitness journey has been full of peaks and valleys! Lately I have been in a VERY DEEP VALLEY! I’m slowly working my way back up the peak but I must say it is not easy….even with all the previous experience I have had in the gym. Once you fall off the wagon it can seem like you have to practically sprint to get back on it.
Here is the thing…don’t sprint…don’t even jog…..just dance. What I mean is try a Zumba, Jazzercise, or Hip-Hop dance class.
Personally I have only done the Zumba dance classes but I will certainly be trying the Hip-Hop dance class so I can have an excuse to twerk LOL! Seriously though, for those of you just starting out, or just picking back up going to a beginners zumba class is a great way to get your heart pumping and the adrenalin flowing. There are a few things about Zumba I think everyone should know!
1.)Find a GREAT Instructor!
Having someone that is passionate and excited about what they are doing is extremely important, especially when doing Zumba! It is really dull when the music and instructor are not on point so shop around! Kass Martin is a world renowned Zumba Instructor….she’s even on the cover of a video game. So look for someone spunky like her.
Play around and get hurt if you want to! Make sure you get in some good stretches before ANY physical activity to avoid straining or tearing muscles. Maybe the next post will be about proper stretching techniques….and yes this will be you if you fail to stretch before exercising.
3.) Stay Hydrated
Play around and PASS OUT if you want to lol! Nah for real though….please drink plenty of water. I’ve done Zumba plenty of times to know that drinking water is a necessity…just like with any other physical activity. Within the first fifteen minutes I was breaking a sweat….and still had 45 minutes to go….let that sink in.
4.) Just keep moving!
So all of us are not blessed to have the best rhythm. Heck some of us don’t have rhythm at all…..LOL! That should not stop us from shaking our tush if that’s what you want to do. The whole idea is that you break a sweat and HAVE FUN while doing it. Even if you do look like this….
When we fall off the wagon and try to hop back in where we left off….you can cause more harm then good. You can end up straining or pulling a muscle, twist an ankle, or just plain ole give up. Even though it may feel like you are back to square one….THAT IS OK! Why? Being healthy and fit is an ongoing lifestyle. You won’t always get it right Sometimes the cravings will become unbearable. Sometimes you will not want to get out of bed at 6am for that run. Sometimes you’ll want to throw in the towel….but think about all of the work you’d be throwing away. If you have weight loss or muscle building goals you can use ViSalus (shameless plug) and be entered for a chance to win $1,000. Just follow this link http://kmlucas2010.myvi.net/ and if you have any questions about it just let me know! 😉
Hopefully that somewhat risque title got your attention…..and hopefully my mama doesn’t kill me for putting it on her blog LOL!!!! Anyway, we are approaching our cruise slowly but surely. We all know it’s a little less than a year away but it’ll be here before you know it! So to get back on track, we all want to look and feel our best during the cruise….and might even want to rock that itsy, bitsy, teeny, weeny, yellow polka dot bikini….or some variation of it so here are some tips to help motivate us to get moving! *cues song I LIKE TO MOVE IT, MOVE IT!!
1.) CRANK UP THE MUSIC!!!!
Whatever you like to groove to BLAST IT!! So when you go for that half mile walk, 3 mile run, or you’re pumping iron you’ve got something to keep you “turnt up” LOL. Personally, I desperately need music to exercise! When I have music I’m able to get into a zone and put in work…although sometimes I forget where I am and start dancing, but hey I aint ashamed.
2.) Make it a family affair 🙂
If you have children or a dog get them outside and go for a brisk walk in the park. You get the benefit of spending quality time with your family and you all are taking steps to becoming healthier people. If being outside isn’t your thing, and you’re not quite ready for a gym, you can always go to a shopping mall and get your walk on…just STAY AWAY FROM THE FOOD COURT!
3.) Change your eating habits!
I’ve heard people say plenty of times that fitness is 30% gym and 70% diet…..not sure if those numbers are exactly right but for this we’ll work with it. You can put in countless hours in the gym but if you aren’t eating right you’re short changing yourself. Case in point…..
I’m not even gona roast this man cause Planet Fitness is partly to blame…..but please….don’t be this guy….just don’t.
Make sure you keep up with the blog cause we’ll be posting recipes/meal ideas, fitness tips, and motivational stuff too! Subscribe and comment guys and gals!
Okay, family, we know we need to do better….but where do we begin?!!?…..Rome wasn’t built in a day, and those extra pounds weren’t all added in a day, so don’t expect to get rid of them in a day. Let’s just commit to making small changes to get it moving! Start simply
drink a couple more glasses of water everyday
decrease your soda and sugary drinks
park farther away and walk whenever possible: use the stairs
increase your fiber intake: add more vegetables to your diet
Just a few suggestions to get us started. We can do this!!!!
Welcome to the world of blogging…..where I sometimes will sporadically post faithfully for a few weeks…..and then fall off the map for a few months…..but I digress…so as many of you know, we are in the process of planning and preparing for our family and friends vacation….*cues the song TURN DOWN FOR WHAT????!!!* Now I know many of you are excited about the time we’ll get to spend together…others….weeelll not so much. For some it might be a case where traveling on a boat in the middle of the ocean just isn’t your thing *cue the “I can’t drink all that water” chorus*
Here is the thing, although you can’t drink all that water, your cruise ship is the size of several football fields and are typically over-equipped with lifeboats…should the worst happen. The chances of your cruise ship sinking….are about as slim as a number 2 pencil. Each incident that has occurred in the past has been as a result of poor planning and judgement of crew on the ship. As a result of that many cruise lines have taken extra precautionary measures to make sure your time with them is enjoyable AND that you will continue to come back for more!
With all that out of the way let’s get to the good stuff. As many of you know, I am big on health and fitness although recently graduate school has consumed every fiber of my being resulting in me practically heaving myself off the wagon(can I get an amen somebody??) Not to worry, with the help of the 90day challenge I am promoting with ViSalus(shameless plug), cutting back astronomically on the unhealthy snacking and eating in general, and getting back in the gym, I am getting back on track!
I’m sure everyone wants to rock a bathing suit/bikini and swim trunks without wearing a robe on top of it the entire time you’re on the cruise ship….well maybe that’s just me….either way it’s certainly a good motivator. Or maybe some of you would like to be able to enjoy the vacation without getting winded just from walking up a flight of stairs. Or maybe you’ve just got that last STUBBORN ten pounds you want to get rid of…..ViSalus can help with that….(yes another shameless plug) well be sure you follow and keep up with this blog and my personal blog FitGirl2013! We’ll be posting fitness tips, healthy recipes, and motivational quotes to help you along your journey. We really want this vacation to be the experience of a lifetime and we think being healthy while doing it is a HUGE bonus! Comment and subscribe babes and dudes! XOXO-FitGirl