My 3 Favorite Healthy Recipes, A Giveaway & My Fitness Update (...with numbers. ACK!!)

In the past when I heard "we are going to start eating healthy", I imagined people washing off broccoli with their tears. BORING. Boring and yucky and boring and no thanks. That's how I felt about it. I also felt guilty. Guilty for not eating healthy and then I felt bored.

That's the honest truth.

Bored. Guilty.

Through lots of hoops and ups and downs, I don't feel that way anymore. For one, I know that there are a lot of good recipes out there that are healthy and there are healthy options when you eat out that are also good. I also know that it's okay to be balanced.


It's okay to be balanced.

What does balanced look like to me? Well, this morning I ate a flatbread sandwich from Subway BECAUSE I LOVE THEM WITH ALL OF MY HEART. Seriously, I fall asleep thinking about getting one of them the next morning. Yum, yum, yum. I get it with regular egg or egg white, two strips of bacon, spinach, tomatoes, red onion, bell pepper and salt/pepper. For lunch, I had a grilled chicken salad with balsamic vinaigrette. For dinner, I had a tuna steak with broccoli and rice.

For a snack?


There is a new milkshake bar in town that is really popular. I met my sister up there with the boys today to try it out. I'm pretty sure that milkshake had 600 to 800 calories in it. To be honest, I felt really bad about myself after drinking it, but look what I ate the rest of the day! I wanted to be a part of trying out the new place. I should've only had half of it and saved the rest, but that nearly felt impossible. It was soooooo GOOD. Also, the balanced thing?

My point is that I have learned you can still enjoy the things you love and stay on the right track to fitness. I am no expert in this area and I will never look like Jillian Michaels, nor do I want to look like her. I am not a fitness nut. I don't eat organic. I don't try to "eat clean" all the time. I don't stare at labels on food for hours. I am not exactly where I want to be, but I AM ON MY WAY. I keep thinking of a graphic my personal trainer, Sean Millhouse, shared that says it "You have 9 months until the [whatever the milestone happened to be]. A new person is born in 9 months."

It's been 5.

Five months ago, I started on a fitness journey with Sean Millhouse of Fitness 101. We met twice a week most weeks and I tried to watch what I ate more than normal. At the beginning, I followed a meal plan he gave me from his website. After using the meal plan, I began to fall into a routine of making better choices (most of the time). Only recently have I started to use a fitness app consistently called "My Fitness Pal" (MFP). I have used "Lose It" in the past, but am now using MFP, which is also free. This was Sean's suggestion and it was a great one! I really do love using it. One of my favorite features is the one where it says "If every day were like today, you would weigh ___ in 5 weeks."

There were many reasons I loved working out with a personal trainer and especially with Sean and especially at Fitness 101. You can hear more about that in these posts:
4 Great Foods Every Woman Should Eat (Sean wrote this one!)
I will continue on my journey with Fitness 101 via boot camps. I have gone to a couple in the past and need to make it more a part of my weekly routine. My time directly with Sean has been life changing, to say the least. He has helped me immensely in ways that were fun and encouraging.

Below, you will see where I started and where I am today. Sharing these numbers is part of this experience with Fitness 101. I wouldn't normally share something like this with you! It's just that, if sharing these numbers help you in any way, and especially if they encourage you to give Fitness 101 a try, either in person or by liking his Facebook page, it was worth it!

Though you can't tell, I did not lose any weight over the last month. Boo. I ate a WHOLE LOT over the Christmas break. It wasn't that I sat down and inhaled an entire ham in one sitting. It's that I ate a little bit of this and a little bit of that and a little bit of this and a lot of that and multiply that all by the biggest number you can throw out. I maintained my weight, though, and I was grateful for that. I'm not sure how that was possible!

August 2013: 31%                                        Now: 23.7%

Body fat % for triceps:
August 2013: 23%                                        Now: 18%

Body fat % for abs:
August 2013: 28%                                        Now: 15%

Body fat % for thighs:                        August 2013: 29%                                        Now: 25%

*I have lost almost 2 inches in my hips and almost 2 1/2 inches in my stomach.

The goal for total body fat is to be between 20 and 25%. Though I am between that number, I would like to be closer to the 20 mark. This means that I need to lose 6 pounds, though really it is more about muscle mass and fitness than weight, I know. I actually have only lost 7 pounds since August 2013. It varies. Some days I can say that I have lost 8 or 9 or 10 pounds, because that is what my scale tells me at home. This morning, for example, I was 10 pounds lighter than I was in August 2013, according to that particular scale. But, according to the scale at Fitness 101, I have lost 7 pounds. Whatever! I am happy with this number and realize that fitness and weight goals fluctuate!

(And, before I go on, I realize that you can be happy and healthy and fit and have significantly different numbers than I do. You can have smaller numbers or much larger numbers and that is awesome. I know that I could give a lick about any of this many months ago. I think it is all a journey. Some of us want to take it and some of us don't. And that's okay.)

And now...on to the recipes.

I wanted to pick the three recipes that I get most excited about making here that I also know are healthy. In order for me to be excited about making it here, my family has to like it, too. So, these recipes pass that test.  I'm not including tuna steak on the list because I don't really think of it as a recipe, but IT IS GOOD. I made it for the very first time tonight. My kids loved it. If my kids love it, then you know it is good, because they love pizza and cheeseburgers. My 5-year-old actually thought it was chicken and asked to eat it with ketchup. I didn't correct him beforehand because I thought he might not eat it. I will get around to telling him it was tuna later. Maybe. To make them, I just poured olive oil over the top, sprinkled with salt, pepper and a steak seasoning and seared in the skillet for about 5-7 minutes on each side. It was super easy and I wanted to eat all of them.

HONEY PECAN CHICKEN (262 calories, 7 grams of fat)

1 cup Wheat Chex cereal crumbs
1/3 cup finely chopped pecans
2 tbsp. honey
2 tbsp. soy sauce
6 skinless, boneless chicken breasts
salt & pepper to taste

1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees;
2. Cover baking sheet with foil and spray with nonstick cooking spray;
3. Combine cereal crumbs and pecans;
4. Mix together honey and soy sauce;
5. Season chicken with salt and pepper;
6. Dip both sides of chicken breasts in honey mix & then roll into the pecan mixture;
7. Bake for 12-15 minutes on each side or until chicken is done.

BAJA-STYLE BASS TACOS (341 calories, 5 grams of fat)

3/4 cup plain low-fat yogurt
2 tbsp. lime juice
1 tsp. minced chipotles (I always skip this one)
10 cherry tomatoes, quartered
2 cups thinly sliced romaine lettuce
5 radishes, thinly sliced
2 scallions, thinly sliced
1/4 cup shredded red cabbage
1/2 cup mass harina or yellow cornmeal
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. paprika
1/4 tsp. black pepper
1/8 tsp. cayenne
2 (8-ounce) striped bass fillets
8 (6-inch) corn tortillas

1. Combine yogurt, lime juice, and chipotle in a small bowl; cover & refrigerate. Combine lettuce, tomatoes, radishes, scallions and cabbage in a medium bowl; cover & refrigerate.
2. Preheat the broiler. Line a baking sheet with foil and spray the foil with nonstick cooking spray;
3. Combine the cornmeal, salt, paprika, pepper and cayenne on a sheet of wax paper. Dip the fish into the cornmeal mixture and shake off the excess. Place the fish on a baking sheet and spray the fish lightly with nonstick cooking spray. Broil 5 inches from the heat until the fish is opaque in the center- about 3-4 minutes on each side. Transfer fillets to a cutting board and slice into long, thin strips;
4. Warm the tortillas, according to the package;
5. Top each tortilla with 1/8th of the mixture, 1/2 cup of the salad and about 2 tablespoons of the yogurt mixture. Fold each taco in half and serve.

SPINACH MANICOTTI (355 calories in one filled manicotti shell, 5 grams of fat)

8 manicotti shells
1 1/2 cup part-skim ricotta cheese
1 cup part-skim mozzarella cheese, shredded
1/3 cups grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 tsp. table salt
1/4 tsp. black pepper
1 tsp. Italian seasoning, dried
10 oz. chopped frozen spinach, thawed, drained and squeezed dry
1 large egg, lightly beaten
1 egg white
Olive oil cooking spray
1 1/2 cup bottled reduced fat pasta sauce, roasted garlic flavor

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees;
2. Cook pasta, according to package instructions;
3. Combine ricotta cheese and next eight ingredients in a medium bowl, stirring well. Spoon mixture evenly into manicotti shells. Place shells in an 11 x 7-inch baking dish coated with cooking spray. Spoon pasta sauce evenly over shells. Cover and bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes or until thoroughly heated. Serve warm.

I know the last two are Weight Watchers recipes. The first one may be also. I received that recipe from my friend, Julie, many, many years ago. It used to be THE item I served guests when they came over. It was easy to make, it tasted good and it looked pretty!

You can also find really good recipes in Sean's weekly newsletter, in addition to really awesome, useful and practical articles that he writes. I learn something new each and every time I read it. You are automatically signed up for his newsletter when you go to the Fitness 101 website and sign up for the e-book that you will see advertised prominently there. You can also get great tips, find inspirational stuff or laugh at his funny posts at the Fitness 101 Facebook page.

While it would be awesome if you had Sean (if you are nearby) or someone like Sean, you can still get on that road to fitness and improve the way you look, act and feel! If you are in the Spring/Klein/Tomball area, you can e-mail Sean at to get more details. He will be more than happy to help you out. There are so many boot camp classes going on that you can jump right into and they are appropriate for all fitness level types. He can give you more details on personal training. If you aren't sure about a boot camp, you can try a month out with this Living Social deal.
He also has a lot of really awesome advice in his book, The Fad Free Fitness Formula, which he co-wrote. If you want to get a hard copy of the book, you can order it here. It really, really is awesome and easy-to-read.

I would like to spread the Sean fitness love around my giving away another $50 gift card to Target. I would give it to Academy Sports & Outdoors or Luke's Locker or another place like that, but I don't know what you have near you. I know you have a Target near you! (Don't you?)
Everyone who leaves a comment about anything fitness- or this post-related on the Kelley's Break Room Facebook page AND likes Sean's Fitness 101 Facebook page will get a chance to win the $50 Target gift card. Ten of you who enter will also get the option to receive his book above via e-book, if you are interested.
I will choose the winner via by next Friday, January 17th, at 10 p.m.
Now, go eat something good! Or jump around!