Clean eats!

Have you ever heard of ¬†Zoodles?? Some people I follow on Instagram were making them and I wanted in!ūüôā So last week I finally got a Zoodler! As you can guess it makes zucchini ‘noodles’. Pasta is SO high in carbs, and processed carbs at that. So this is a much healthier option and extremely tasty still!

Tonight I made a delicious chicken alfredo dish with zoodles. The alfredo sauce I made was also healthier than the norm. I used this recipe: (from werefarfromnormal.com)

         2- Tbsp Olive Oil
         3- tsp Minced Garlic
         2- Tbsp Flour
         1- Cup Chicken Broth
         1/4 Cup Plain Greek Yogurt
         1/4 Cup Milk 
         3/4 Cup Parmesan  Cheese
Heat the oil and minced garlic, slowly add the flour stirring constantly. Turn the heat down and add the rest of the ingredients, stirring until it thickens.
We really enjoyed this! I even got Will’s approval on this one!ūüôā
Another recipe I wanted to share was a Kale salad recipe that I had made by a someone while we were on our trip out west. Did you know Kale has protein? Pretty great!
¬† ¬† ¬† 1 bunch of kale- take out the thick stems (I totally made the mistake of not doing this on a ¬†different recipe…ugh!)
      2 carrots- shredded
      1 sweet onion-chopped
      juice of one lemon
      1/4 cup olive oil
       sea salt- about 2 tsp.  
Add in what you like! (cherry tomatoes, black olives) It is good just like this though. I let it sit over night to let it ‘cook’ so that it isn’t so hard. It also keeps for days, which is a great lunch option!
Hope you get a chance to try these out!

Complexes

Hello all! Isn’t it so wonderful to have some warmer weather again! (this is for my fellow Pennsylvanians! We don’t want to hear it from the warmer climate peeps! ha!) I wanted to introduce a different form of HIIT workouts today in this post called complexes.

Complexes are a great way to incorporate a short weighted regiment into your workout routine with only a little time commitment, but a WHOLE lot of effort!ūüėČ

What is a complex?

Well a complex is 2+ movements done in a row without putting down the weight between each rep. For example if you were doing a 3×6 complex of dumbbell curls and dumbbell press you would do 6 curls followed by 6 press without stopping in-between. That would make up 1 of the 3 sets! How long you rest in-between each set is dependent on your level of fitness. For a beginner you would want your rest time to be as long or longer than your work time. You could just start with a 2 minute rest time.

Complexes are so effective because your body continues to “work” even during ¬†your rest time and after you are done with the complex as it works to recover from the movements. Your heart rate will be so high that you will find your cardiovascular system continues to work while you rest in between sets.

For someone who is worried about not getting enough cardio in with a weighted workout, I challenge YOU to try one of these! Just think, your body is working harder in say 12 minutes than it would be during a 30 minute run. That’s a time saver right there!

NOTE! You should be using a weight that is challenging for you, yet you can do all the movements properly. Form is always extremely important so that you do not hurt yourself!

Here was a complex I did today. I video tape myself occasionally to give examples, but also so that I can critique my form! For instance in this hang-clean I am lacking in shoulder mobility to get my elbows¬†all the way forward to rack the barbell properly. I am doing some stretches that will hopefully help with that! My hubby is the crossfit proūüėČ so when he has time he helps me with form as well since it is so important!

 

 

Strawberry Rhubarb Baked Oatmeal

Needing a fresh new way to use some rhubarb this summer??

Will and I inherited some rhubarb plants when we moved into our home last summer. I wanted to make sure we used it this year and thus began my search for rhubarb recipes and came across this one that we really enjoy!

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  • 2 c. rolled oats
  • 1/2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp.salt
  • 1/3 c. brown sugar (I don’t make it a packed amount at all!)
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/3 c. butter* (I use coconut oil)
  • 1/3 c. vanilla greek yogurt
  • 2/3 c. milk
  • 1/2 tsp. vanilla
  • 2/3 c. chopped rhubarb
  • 1 c. sliced strawberries (I have been using ones I froze from last summer!)
  1. Grease¬†an 8×8 baking dish and preheat the oven to 350 degrees. (as you can see I just used a pie pan…I only have one 8×8 and it always seems to be used at the time when I need it!)
  2. Combine the dry ingredients and the wet ingredients in separate bowls¬†(or you can be like me ¬†to save a bowl and do the wet first and add the dry!)ūüôā Fold in the rhubarb and strawberries.
  3. Bake for 30 minutes (until it looks set and golden brown).

Let me know how you like it and PLEASE share some other ways that you may enjoy using rhubarb!

*Did you know that you can substitute coconut oil for butter because of the fact that it is a solid at room temperature? Coconut is a huge rave right now, but for a good reason as it is easier for your body digest and to use as energy!

 

 

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Delicious Peanut Butter Chocolate Bars

These bars are delicious and several people who have tried them wanted the recipe. So better late then never with getting it out there for you all!!

I originally found this recipe on foodfaithfitness.com where she has a ton of great recipes so go check it out!

This last time I doubled it so make a 9×13 & put them in a freezer to pull out as we need! We LOVE these things!

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Here you go:

1 C of peanut butter (preferably natural!)

1 T of honey

1/4 C brown sugar

1 C rolled oats

1/2 C oat flour (simply put 1/2 a cup of oats in a blender for a few seconds and bam! you have oat flour!!)

1/4 C vanilla protein powder

1/4 t. salt

1/2 t. baking soda

1/2 t. baking powder

1/4 c peanuts chopped (once again I just throw mine in the blender for a split second!)

1 t. vanilla extract

1 egg yolk

3/4 C milk (I use unsweetened almond milk)

1/3 C. (mini) chocolate chips

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees and spray an 8×8 dish so you are ready to go!

In a microwave safe bowl heat the peanut butter and tablespoon of honey for about 1 minute. Add the brown sugar to this mixture.

In a bigger bowl mix all the dry ingredients together. Then add the vanilla and yolk to the peanut butter mixture. Once that is well combined mix that into the dry ingredient mixture with the milk. Now add the best part, the chocolate chips.

Press it into the pan and bake for 20 minutes.

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Try a piece warm…SO GOOD! So far all my batches have been almost cake-like, which I am not exactly sure why, but it tastes good so we don’t care.ūüôā ¬†I do cut them into pieces and send with Will in his lunch as a ‘granola bar’ and I enjoy them here at home as well!

Let me know if you like them as much as we do!

 

‘Shamrock’ Protein shake

I know March is over, but we just tried this Shamrock Protein shake here at our house for the first time this past weekend and both Will and I really enjoyed it! I am a sucker for the McDonald’s Shamrock shake that comes around just once a year (ask my college friends!!), but that thing is far from good for you…delicious, yes, but not so nutritious! Here is the recipe I found/modified a tad.

1.5 Cups of spinach
1.5 Cups of almond milk (or milk of your choice)
1 Cup of ice
2 scoops of vanilla protein (or whatever the serving size is for your powder) >>>since we are aiming for the protein here!
4-7 drops of peppermint extract (depending on how minty you like it!)

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It was snowing in April…

**Getting protein in before or right after your workout is important to assist your body with rebuilding muscles that were torn down during your workout. Also, having carbohydrates post workout will help restore the glucose stored in your muscles. Try to have your protein and carb ratio be 2:1 (Ex:  25g of protein with 12g of carbs).

Barbell Work

What a gorgeous day we had here Tuesday! And to think it is only the beginning of February! I was loving it!!!

Since it was so nice out, I got to enjoy a workout in our garage again!

Here is the WOD(workout of the day) I did:

5 rounds of 10 deadlifts at 95#, 10 lateral burpees (demonstration here>>Deadlift/lateral burpee)

5×5 hang-clean & press with 65#

Ended with 50 burprees & 50 air squats.

I had Liam out there with me, so we had to take a couple of breaks to do some pushing in the stroller. I actually just incorporated that into the workout as well & did lunges while pushing him! You’ve just got to roll with the punches when being a mom! ha!

So I thought I would end with this today since it was in the one song during my workout!

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What Nehemiah told the Israelites then, is still true for us today. We can find strength in the joy found only in Christ.  No matter what our circumstances, in God we can find joy and He gives strength for whatever we may be go through!

 

Oat Recipes!

Here are 2 of our favorite things to keep on-hand in the Wilkinson household!

Granola & Granola bars! I first need to give credit to my sister-in-law Kim for the delicious granola bar recipe & I got the granola recipe from my cousin Laura.

Both recipes are easy to make & I usually just whip them up at the same time since a lot of the ingredients are the same.ūüôā

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I had some CUTE company!!! 

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Here’s what’s up for the granola bars:

  • 2 c. oat
  • 1 c. flour
  • 1/4 c. brown sugar
  • 1/2 c. wheat germ
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 c. oil
  • 1/2 c. honey
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tsp. vanilla
  • 3/4 c. raisins

Lay wax paper in a 9×13 & spray it with oil.¬†Mix dry ingredients and then add the wet ingredients. Press the mixture into the 9×13. Bake at 350 degrees for 15-18 minutes. Cut it into squares and wrap individually. These are great for lunches, snacks or just something to grab for on the go! Sometimes instead of raisins I splurge & put craisins in with some white chocolate chips…so yummy!IMG_0991

While those are in the oven go ahead and whip up some of this delicious granola!!

Throw 4 cups of rolled oats into a bowl with whatever else you want to add! I usually put in dried cranberries & almond slivers. IMG_0992

In a saucepan combine 1/4 cup brown sugar, 1/4 cup oil, 1/4 cup honey, 1 tsp cinnamon &. bring to a boil. Remove the mixture from the heat & add 1 1/2 tsp of vanilla. Spread the mixture over the oats & spread in a shallow pan. Bake at 350 for 15-20 minutes.IMG_0993

 

 

 

Allow the granola to cool in the pan until it is hard & ready to break up.

Enjoy it as cereal, in yogurt, or just to eat as-is!

 

 

 

 

Oh & I got my own treadmill this past weekend!! I am stoked to have one here at the house & have already put it to good use! I now can still enjoy doing just some straight-up running, but also include some running in my crossfit style workouts. For example, Monday I did 4 rounds of 10 burpees, 20 kettlebell swings, run 400 meters. It was a fast workout, but definitely high intensity!  I am extremely grateful for this treadmill & very satisfied with how it operates!

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Happy New Year! > Some workout goals.

New year…new beginnings, Right?!

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I don’t really do new year resolutions, but I do have one major goal for fitness this year! That is to get my pre-baby body back (well, back into shape that is)!

Before I go any further I MUST say something to all of those who are pregnant right now (as IMG_0491I have a lot of family & friends who are!)…I really encourage you to do¬†your best to workout during your pregnancy. I know it was my first pregnancy so I don’t have anything else to compare it to, but getting back into working out was honestly quite easy because of staying active up to Liam’s birth. No, I am nowhere close to the fitness level I was before I got pregnant, but getting back to it wasn’t horrible because I was still somewhat in-shape. If you have questions about what kind of exercises to do, just ask & I will do my best to answer!ūüôā

Okay now that I’ve said that I wanted to just quickly post about workouts for those of you who may be setting goals for this new year!

HOW OFTEN? Working out out 5 days a week is a great way to go! That gives you 2 days of the week to rest and let your body rejuvenate. I have found that I always feel the best when I stick to my 5 day workouts.

HOW LONG? I would suggest that you do at least 20 minute workouts. There isn’t any magic number for how long to workout, but 20 minutes is a good amount of time to get a good workout in. The higher the intensity the better!

JMyiYL1426450502WHAT TO DO? STRENGTH train! This is especially for the women out there reading this. I know cardio may be the mindset of lots of you, but honestly you burn more calories while doing high intensity conditioning and weight training. Plus, the more muscle you have, the better body fat percentage you have and you actually burn more calories at rest because muscle burns fat!!! Which all equals, being more toned!! This is why I love to incorporate crossfit style workouts at least 3 times a week for myself.

Now that the craziness of the holidays are over, I am really focusing on being consistent with my workouts since Liam & I are in a better schedule as well. I also am trying to cut out the sweets…I of course didn’t want to do that before Christmas!!ūüėČ Winter finally decided to show up here in PA, so I have to mentIMG_0882ally get myself geared up to head out to the garage if I am doing my workout in there as¬†it is quite chilly without any heat!

I hope you set & stick to those goals this year! I promise you will feel more energized & overall better if you workout!

 

 

Here are some of my latest favorite pictures of our sweet boy!‚̧ He is such a smiler!

 

Now just put it into action! :) IMG_0915

It’s A Boy!!

Well here we are 2.5 weeks postpartum and I am just getting to writing! Our little bundle of joy was a boy…William Grant, 7lb. 10oz. & 21 in. long. We are calling him Liam for short!

It was a long day for Will & I as it took just about 25 hours for Liam to make his entrance into this world! He was sunny-side up, so my doctor said that makes labor longer, but thankfully Liam did turn on his own before I had him! We are so thankful for a healthy boy & safe delivery. God sure has blessed us with our sweet boy and we LOVE being parents.

Liam was 8lb. 6oz. at his 2 week appointment Friday and everything looked good. I also got the okay to do whatever working out I feel up to! I am very anxious to get back to exercising and toning back up!

 

Here are some things I am going to start doing this week to start back into my workout routine!

Squats: I was able to do them pretty much up to having Liam, so my legs are ready for it! I will most likely do air squats and goblet squats (with my kettlebell).

Walking/jogging: I am SOOO anxious to start running again (I have missed it so much!), so I hope to get some walking in this week to work my way up to that. If it is too cold to go out with Liam, I may hit up my parents’ treadmill. I would LOVE for us to get one when we can for our long winters up here, but for now we can make the trip over to my parents’.

Easy weight movement: kettlebell swings and some kettlebell push-press for instance.

I am thankful for the quick recovery, but I also don’t want to over-do it by trying to do too much too soon so it is all about moderation and listening to one’s body. That would be my advice for my fellow new moms out there! I now know how hard having a baby is on your body! But it also is amazing how God has made our bodies to do all that and recover!

Here are more picture of our precious boy!!

Back at it! -Rachelle

 

 

 

Getting Creative for the gym

Since we have been at our new home we’ve been enjoying having a bigger space to use as a home gym…the garage. We had (and still do have) plans to get some more equipment, but are saving up to get those things. For now, Will has done a great job of being creative/frugal with a couple of different ideas.

The first one is our squat rack that he made from a few materials found at Lowes (2x4s, cement, & Lowes buckets). He actually made this while we were still renting the little house. It works great for now & has been nice to have!IMG_0588

He also started using cinder blocks as a hold for bench press. They were left here at the house somewhere & Will just stuck them in the garage to use. It totally works!

Last year he also purchased rubber mats from Tractor Supply. ¬†They are really horse mats, but work great for the gym and cheaper than buying a fitness brand. ¬†That way we can slam down all the weights we want!! (that’s more his thing…)ūüôā

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Here we are at 39 weeks pregnant! I don’t know when this little one is coming, but I am ready! I have a feeling I’ll go late, but we shall see!

I have been continuing with walks and kettlebell workouts. Nothing too intense, but still incorporating light strength training a few times a week. I also have been doing this as part of my “workout” on the nicer days….stacking the wood Will has cut and chopped!

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Lord-willing,  the next post will be about a baby being born!!! Till then! -R