exercise · recipe

T-Minus 5 Days!

How was your weekend? Our’s was pretty good. Two great workouts, our first Christmas Party of 2014, pictures with Santa, and Christmas shopping! It was full of everything!

The husband and I worked out yesterday and then did all of our Christmas shopping and we had so much fun. I think we had too much fun even, especially at Target, he wanted to get all the Lego sets….It was cute. Or when he kept going “Weeeee!” with the shopping cart down the aisles at Target…I love him. 🙂

We even got a few late wedding gifts at Macy’s and we are such dorks, but we have a dish rack now to dry dishes in the sink. Yes, we were pumped about that. Crazy how something like that makes you excited compared to what used to excite us. But I am ok with that.

The Christmas Party we went to was fun, most of the people the husband knew as they were work friends/associates, so I just smiled and nodded my head a lot, but it was still fun. Someone brought bacon wrapped water-chestnuts with BBQ sauce and between the husband and myself, we ate 1/3 of the tray. We love bacon, we can’t help it. Santa made an appearance at the party, so everybody got pictures with him. The husband even got to play the old X-Men arcade game. It was so wonderful to see him having so much fun.

I want to share one of my favorite recipes with you all, it is from one of my favorite cookbooks by The Paleo Parents, from their cookbook Beyond Bacon. They are parents that are raising their kids the Paleo way and one of the things I love so much about their point of view is how they adapted recipes from when I grew up back to when they were growing up into healthier versions that removes added or processed junk from them. So the recipe I am going to share is their Paleo Shake-n-Bake.

“Shake-n-Bake Pork Chops” by The Paleo Parents

Ingredients: 4 rib chops, pork chops (I have even used chicken breasts w/out skin for this recipe), 1/2 cup olive oil, 1 cup almond flour (I use almond meal from Trader Joe’s), 2 tsp sea salt, 1 tsp paprika, 1/2 tsp  dried tarragon, 1/2 tsp onion powder, 1/2 tsp garlic powder, 1/4 tsp ground white pepper (I like to use 1/4 tsp + a pinch of gwp)

1) Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit

2) Pat dry the meat with a paper towel.

3) Use a plate (a flat one works best for this) and pour the olive oil onto it. Set aside.

4) Combine all the dry ingredients into a deep and wide bowl (make sure it is wide enough to dunk meat in and deep enough so you do not make a mess).

5) Dredge the meat in the olive oil, coat all sides, then dunk into almond flour mixture. Place on a non-stick pan, or a cooking sheet lined with parchment paper. (I have found that using the parchment paper works better for this recipe as the olive oil and flour mixture do not stick as bad to it as a non-stick pan thus leaving the outer coating on the bottom of the meat better).

6) Place cooking sheet in oven for 20-25 mins (*might need to cook longer depending on how thick your meat is and also what type of meat you use, so for me regular pork chops tend to need 25 minutes, while the ribs I used last week needed 30-32 minutes, etc).

My husband absolutely loves this recipe and it is so fast and easy to make. And the nice thing too about this recipe is, the use of olive oil instead of egg as the “dredger”. If you have someone who is not able to eat eggs in your family, this solves that problem! Once you try this recipe, you are going to eat it every week like we do. I will warn you, it makes you full fast because you can literally stuff your face with it! I also highly recommend eating this with fresh brussell sprouts, for whatever reason, they compliment each other well.

I also want to share a little workout tips on how to properly work your abdominals during your workout. So here it goes:

We use our abdominals all the time without even thinking about it throughout the day. And strangely enough, during workouts, the average person either does their abdominal workouts all wrong by doing too many or not doing enough. I am a criminal of doing too many abs when I first started being a personal trainer, but over the years I have learned that you need to look at how other exercises use your core and how to space out your actual ab exercises. This means that when you do a squat, your core is getting used, even when you do a bench press you are using your core, so just because you are not targeting your abs specifically does not mean they are not getting worked.

Now for timing of when to do upper abs, lower abs, obliques, and low back, here is how you should space it out. When I train my clients, I will usually work lower abs into the middle section of the workout as the first core-centric exercise. This could be anything from leg raises to flutterkicks. Next I would want to mix it up and have my client do obliques next. Why not upper abs you ask? Doing lower and upper abs back to back can for many people become to much and almost make someone feel “sick” because their stomach hurts from too much of one muscle group. So, space them out. For obliques you can do rotations, chops, or Russian twists, anything that gets you to isolate your hips and focus on that waist line will be good! For upper abs, do those last as they tend to be taxing on most people as most people are very weak in their upper abdominal area. Crunches or sit-ups of any variation are good to put in here. Now, for low back, you might be thinking, how is that core musculature? Well, the low back muscles lie directly (well on the other side of) the body from your lower abdominals, so they are agonist/antagonist muscles to the other. These hardly ever get worked and now it might ring a bell, low back pain when you do abs….yeah got to work these too. Easiest exercise here is to do back extensions. Below is a video for the back extension. If using the hyper extension is not your cup of tea, you can do these on the floor, just keep your toes on the floor and the key is to lift your chest up off the floor.

Hope you enjoy the recipe and exercise tips today people. Here is a little quote I found on Pinterest for you all. It fits in well in how my husband and I are, we are weird but we are more than ok with that. Enjoy!

“The trick is to not let people know how really weird you are until it’s too late for them to back out”!

-Courtny

P.S.- I GRADUATE WITH MY MASTER’S DEGREE IN 5 DAYS!!!!

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