Category: Recipes

Workout – Week 3 of Focus T-25 Challenge

I have made it through the third week of Focus T-25 for my challenge group.  The workouts are still challenging, especially Total Body Circuit, but I can tell I am getting stronger and more fit.  This past week of the schedule we did Total Body Circuit twice – on Monday then again on Friday.  That one is still the hardest on in the Alpha round for me.  I think it is because of all the push ups.

Here are some of the photos from my past week:

Monday 8-12 photo after completing Total Body Circuit of T-25 - also notice the shirt I made to work out in.  I bought the shirt and embroidered my own wording on there "Focus to be Fit T-25" by Kimberlee from www.kimberleeskorner.com/blog

Monday 8-12 photo after completing Total Body Circuit of T-25 – also notice the shirt I made to work out in. I bought the shirt and embroidered my own wording on there “Focus to be Fit T-25” by Kimberlee from www.kimberleeskorner.com/blog

photo after Wed. 8-14 workout Speed 1.0 - yes you sweat a lot!  www.kimbeleeskorner.com/blog

photo after Wed. 8-14 workout Speed 1.0 – yes you sweat a lot! www.kimbeleeskorner.com/blog

Me & my 2 personal trainers - my son was up early and watched me do the workout - he & the cat.  Photo taken after 1st workout Total Body Circuit was completed     www.kimberleeskorner.com/blog

Me & my 2 personal trainers – my son was up early and watched me do the workout – he & the cat. Photo taken after 1st workout Total Body Circuit was completed www.kimberleeskorner.com/blog

The end of the week my one son got up early for a couple of days and watched me do the workouts.  He asked me one day why was I making that noise when I breathed.  I told him to do the workout with me and he would be making the noise, too.  These workouts really get your heart pumping and you have to breathe (exhale) to get through much of the workout.  These workouts are 25 minutes of pure cardio and sweat – I am loving it!   Also, in the above photo I embroidered a shirt to workout in – I put the phrase on it “Focus to be Fit T-25”

I also made another new smoothie- protein drink this week.  This one has kale which is very good for you and some berries and Acai juice in it.  Below is a photo and the recipe for the drink if you want to try it.  The Acai juice is suppose to be good for beauty and metabolism, too.

Acai, Blueberry, Cherry Protein Drink Recipe

Today, Saturday, is a non workout day but I chose to do Core Speed again like I did last Saturday.  This is the bonus dvd that comes with the set.  This workout is very fast paced and you are burning tons of calories and sweating the whole time.  There are one handed burpees in this workout that you do multiple times throughout the 25 minutes.

Next week will be week 4 of the 10 week challenge.  I am ready for it!

New Nike Training shoes - perfect for spreading your toes when doing Focus T-25

New Nike Training shoes – perfect for spreading your toes when doing Focus T-25

I hope you enjoyed this post on my fitness journey with T-25.  To receive future updates please subscribe via bloglovin, email or RSS feed by clicking on one of the icons in the sidebar.  Also,  you can like my page on facebook.     I hope everyone is having a great weekend!

 

 

 

Workout – Week 2 of Focus T-25 Challenge

My second week of the ten week Focus T-25 challenge group has been completed.  I am feeling very energized and confident at the end of this week.  I even did the bonus workout today, Saturday, the Core Speed dvd.  That workout is fast paced and has you sweating a lot in 25 minutes.

The workouts this week were:  -Cardio, -Total Body Circuit, -Speed 1.0, -Cardio again, and double day on Friday  -Lower Focus and -Ab Intervals.  I then chose to do the Core Speed bonus dvd today, Saturday.

T-25 week 2 of challenge group - Keep Calm and Exercise

T-25 week 2 of challenge group – Keep Calm and Exercise

This is week 2 of my challenge group but actually my 5th completed week of the program.  I started over for this challenge group.  I am really liking these 25 minute workouts and the results I am seeing from them.  I am not trying to lose weight as I was already pretty fit due to my daily workout regimen but I can tell my clothes are getting a little loose and my core is really getting tighter.

The most challenging workout is the alpha round – which you do for the first 5 weeks, then go to 5 weeks of beta – is the Total Body Circuit for me.  That one has me sweating a ton.  There are quite a few push ups in that particular workout.  I am able to get through at least 1/2 to 2/3 of them on my toes but have to do the rest on my knees.  It is tough!

Also included in this workout program is an eating plan with recipes.  I forgot to mention that in my week 1 post.  I am personally not following that part of the program as I feel I already have a pretty healthy diet.  Also, with 3 kids it is hard to cook something different every night for yourself.  I find it easier to make us one big healthy meal.

One thing I am doing with this program is having a protein shake, or smoothie, every morning for breakfast instead of eating.  I have also been trying to add some greens to my smoothies like kale or spinach.  This way I figure I am getting at least 1 or 2 fruits and 1 vegetable serving at the start of the day.  I also think this helps to influence me to eat better the rest of the day.  A new protein smoothie I created this week has a raw beet in it.  It it very refreshing and gives you energy.  See the recipe in the photo below:

Beet & Berry Smoothie - made with a raw beet, spinach, frozen berries, frozen cherries, protein powder, chia seeds and cranberry juice

Beet & Berry Smoothie – made with a raw beet, spinach, frozen berries, frozen cherries, protein powder, chia seeds and cranberry juice

Well, tomorrow is the Stretch dvd day for the program.  It is a great 25 minute total body stretch that feels great after all the hard workouts.  Monday will start week 3 of the challenge group for me.  I’ll update you at the end of next week on how that goes.

I hope you enjoyed this update.  Please subscribe to my blog via bloglovin, email or RSS feed by clicking one of the icons in the sidebar to receive future updates.  I hope you have a great weekend!

My faithful morning exercise partner - all wore out after week 2 of T-25

My faithful morning exercise partner – all wore out after week 2 of T-25

 

 

 

 

Kale – Cooking and Health Benefits

Recently I have been introduced to kale and now I love this dark leafy green vegetable.  It is full of lots of health benefits and high in anti aging antioxidants.

saute kale with olive oil

saute kale with olive oil

Here are some of the other health benefits:

  • B vitamins to boost brain power and help prevent memory loss
  • contains lutein which helps prevent eye disease
  • a good source of calcium for your bones
  • silica for the skin, hair, teeth and nails

I have been adding fresh kale leaves to my cranberry fruit smoothies in place of spinach and love the refreshing taste it gives them.  Here are 2 recipes I have been using for smoothies:

smoothie made with cranberry juice, frozen mixed berries, protein powder, yogurt, flaxseed meal and kale

smoothie made with cranberry juice, frozen mixed berries, protein powder, yogurt, flaxseed meal and kale

Cranberry and Kale Smoothie 

  -3/4 cup cranberry juice                                            -3/4 cup frozen mixed berries                                  -1 Tbls flaxseed meal or Chia seeds                         -1/3 cup plain or vanilla yogurt                               -1 scoop vanilla protein powder                              – handful of torn kale leaves-no stems

 

Place all of the above ingredients in blender and blend for 1-2 minutes or until all berries are processed.  Enjoy!

 

 

smoothie ingredients in blender before blended

smoothie ingredients in blender before blended

Orange juice smoothie with frozen berries and fresh kale leaves

Orange juice smoothie with frozen berries and fresh kale leaves

Orange Tropical Smoothie                                     -3/4 cup orange juice                                               -3/4 cup mixed frozen strawberries, pineapple,       mango & peaches

-1/2 cup plain yogurt                                                  -1 Tbls flaxseed meal                                                -1 scoop vanilla protein powder                              -handful kale leaves-no stems

 

 

Place all ingredients in blender and blend 1-2 minutes until smooth.  Enjoy!

 

I first learned of putting kale in smoothies after I joined a green smoothie group on facebook.  The group is called Green Cup of MOJO and has lots of interesting recipes posted regularly.  You can click on the highlighted link to find it – I am not sure if you have to be invited to join.

I have also started cooking kale.  It is similar to cooking with spinach or swiss chard.  Here is a recipe I have tried and we enjoyed:

Kale saute with olive oil, onions and garlic

Kale saute with olive oil, onions and garlic

1 bunch of kale                                                            1 to 2 Tbls olive oil                                                      3 to 4 cloves of chopped garlic                                   1/2 onion chopped into large pieces

Directions:  Saute kale in olive oil until it cooks down – stir frequently so it doesn’t burn.  Add garlic and onions and saute 2 or 3 more minutes.  Serve.

 

 

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Homemade Laundry Detergent

I found this recipe on pinterest a few weeks ago for homemade laundry detergent.  I pinned it to my cleaning board and decided last weekend I would give it a try.  I have made my own household cleaners for over 10 years and decided this looked like a laundry detergent that was worth trying.  The recipe is from the blog howdoesshe and if you click on that highlighted name it will take you to the post about how to make the detergent and a printable recipe, as well.

homemade laundry detergent stored in large baking soda bag after all mixed together in large bucket

homemade laundry detergent stored in large baking soda bag after all mixed together in large bucket

First off I decided to cut the recipe down and only make a 1/4 of it to see if I liked it.  I hated to make this huge batch and not like it or have it not get our clothes clean and be stuck with a huge amount.  Also, my first batch I did not use the Zote soap I bought some Dr. Bronners soap at my local health food store, in the rose scent, and grated it up.

Well, let me tell you the detergent is awesome.  It got our clothes (I have 3 sons) clean and made everything smell wonderful.  Even my laundry room smells great.

I have now made a larger batch of the detergent using the Zote soap and all the other ingredients listed.  This detergent recipe is the best and only takes a few minutes to make up.  I set outside on our patio while my boys went swimming and grated the soap.  The soap grating seems to be the most time consuming part although it is not that hard to grate and the blog gives you some tips on how to make it easier.

grated zote soap for homemade laundry detergent

grated zote soap for homemade laundry detergent

If you do not want the detergent to be scented or you are allergic or sensitive to certain things I would omit adding the Purex crystals.  I had never used these before and they are kind of strong but they smell good.

Another thing I noticed is that if you have kind of hard water, like I do, then you may need at least 4 or 5 tablespoons of this for a large load of laundry.

I liked this detergent so well and was so pleased with the results I actually was looking for more things to wash the first day I used it – which is crazy!  Usually I do not have to look too hard to find dirty laundry around here with 5 people in our household.

homemade laundry detergent mixed in big bucket

homemade laundry detergent mixed in big bucket

Well, I hope you enjoyed this post.  Off I go to do more laundry with my awesome new homemade laundry detergent.  Have a great day!

 

Vanilla Chai Iced Tea Recipe

Vanilla Spiced Chai Latte Iced Tea Recipe

Vanilla Spiced Chai Latte Iced Tea Recipe

A sweet vanilla chai tea to cool you off on a hot summer day.  I made this tea following this recipe below:

  • Bring 4 c. water to a boil
  • Place 10 tea bags in boiling water, turn off heat
  • Steep tea 10-15 minutes then remove tea bags
  • Place 3 c. ice cubes in 2 quart pitcher
  • Stir in 1/4 to 1/2 c. sugar into hot tea mixture and mix well, until sugar dissolves (I used 1/4 c. in mine as I wanted it only slightly sweet – chai latte is generally very sweet)  
  • Pour hot tea and sugar mixture over ice cubes in pitcher
  • Stir in 1 c. Vanilla Soymilk
  • Refrigerate
  • Enjoy tea over a glass of ice

I have made this tea several times in the last couple of weeks and my kids really like it.  It does not last long in our refrigerator.   I have made it using the decaf Tazo Chai tea or using the Bigelow Spiced Chai.  I tried it using the Bigelow Vanilla Spiced Chai but we did not care for that as much.  I am now mainly making it using the decaf since the kids like to drink it.   I hope you enjoy the recipe.

Decaf or Regular Chai Tea used to make Vanilla Chai Latte Iced Tea

Decaf or Regular Chai Tea used to make Vanilla Chai Latte Iced Tea

 

New Recipes Recently Tried

I have been trying some of the recipes I have pinned from pinterest lately.   To check out my recipe board on pinterest click on this link.  I wanted to share 2 that I made yesterday that turned out really good.

The first was the date and nut energy bars.  I took a photo of them but they don’t photograph too well.  They taste much better than they look.  Very sweet and satisfying!  I will definitely make them again.  I didn’t have any whole dates so I used some chopped ones I had on hand.  I think they will turn out better with the whole dates as recommended in the recipe.  They are a tad bit crumbly and I think it is because of the chopped dates.  I made mine with dates, dried cherries and walnuts.  They only take 3 ingredients.

Date Energy Bars - with dried cheeries and walnuts

Date Energy Bars – with dried cherries and walnuts

The other recipe was Cheesy Tex-Mex Chicken in the crock pot.  I made it yesterday as well and we had it for dinner.  Everyone loved it!  I made it using my own homemade salsa and without the corn.  I didn’t have any and figured it would be fine without it.  We ate it with some yellow rice and wrapped the chicken mixture in flour tortillas.  I will say that my sons were questioning the meal when they looked at it but once they tried it they loved it!  I told them it is better to try it first than to judge how it will taste by how it looks.  Some things taste really good but don’t always look so appealing.   If you click on the link above it will take you to the recipe and there is a  photo there.

I will be trying other recipes from my pinterest boards during the summer so check back often or follow my blog via RSS feed by clicking on the icon in the sidebar or through bloglovin which is also in the sidebar.  You can also follow me on Pinterest.

 

 

Honey Vanilla Chamomile Iced Tea

Honey Vanilla Chamomile Iced Tea

I love to try out new iced tea recipes when the weather gets warmer.  I decided to try this version of the Celestial Seasonings Honey Vanilla Chamomile tea.  It is very refreshing and relaxing on a hot day.  Chamomile is commonly used to help with sleep so I enjoy drinking a glass in the evening.  You can find more info on Chamomile at this link.

Here is how I made my iced tea:

  • Place 4 cups water in pot or tea kettle – bring to a boil (I used a pot since I no longer have a tea kettle) 
  • Turn off heat
  • Place 10 tea bags in boiling water 

    Tea bags steeping

    Tea bags steeping

  • Steep 10 to 15 minutes (I like mine stronger so I steeped 15 min.) – remove tea bags
  • Add desired amount of sugar or honey to hot tea mixture and stir to dissolve – I used 2 tablespoons of honey, you could also leave out the sweetener if you prefer
  • Place 3 cups of ice in a 2 quart pitcher
  • Pour hot tea over ice in pitcher
  • Refrigerate and Enjoy
2 tablespoons of honey to sweeten pitcher of tea

2 tablespoons of honey to sweeten pitcher of tea

 

 

 

White Chocolate Pistachio Cookies

Cookies baked & cooling on rack

I created this cookie recipe after buying some Pinachio cookies from Trader Joes.  They were so good and I decided I could create my own version of them.

This recipe is for a slice and bake cookie.  The recipe makes 2 rolls of dough.  You could easily freeze 1 roll for up to 3 months and just bake 1 roll now.  That way you always have some dough in the freezer when you want fresh cookies.  Just take the dough out and allow to thaw at room temperature for 1 to 2 hours, slice and bake.

Here is the recipe for the cookies:

yield:  about 3 1/2 dozen

  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 1 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 3/4 cups flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped pistachios – (I used my food processor to chop them)
  • 3/4 cup white chocolate chips

In large mixing bow, cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy.  Beat in the egg and vanilla.  Combine the flour, baking soda and salt; add gradually to cream mixture.  Fold in pistachios and white chocolate chips.  Shape dough into 2 rolls and wrap each separately in plastic wrap.  Refrigerate at least 4 hours or overnight.  Unwrap dough and slice into 1/4 inch slices.  Place slices approx. 2 in. apart on ungreased baking sheet.   Tip: I like to line my baking sheets with parchment paper for even baking and easy clean up.    Bake at 375 degrees for 8 to 10 minutes.  Remove to wire rack to cool.

Sliced dough on cookie sheet lined with parchment paper

White Chocolate Pistachio Cookies