Roasted Garlic Parmesan Brussel Sprouts Fitness

I know what you’re thinking. Brussel sprouts are gross. But really, they’re not. Brussel sprouts is a go-to veggie in our house because there are so many ways to make them! Sweet or savory, brussel sprouts make a perfect side dish- when made correctly.

A lot of people associate brussel sprouts with nasty, boiled, mini cabbages. That is not how brussel sprouts should be made! They deserve a little extra attention because they can really become something incredible.

I decided to give you guys one of my go-to brussel sprouts recipes because it is really easy and it takes about 20 minutes from start to finish!

roasted brussel sprouts

 

 

The nutrition content can really change depending on the amount of oil and cheese you use, but just use your eye and your judgement.

You’ll need|

-Brussel Sprouts (not frozen!)
-Olive oil
-Grated Parmesan Cheese
-2-3 cloves of garlic minced

You’ll do|

  1. Preheat your oven to 400 degrees F.
  2. Cut each sprout in half and place into a large bowl
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  3. Drizzle 1-2 tbs of olive oil over the sprouts. roasted_brussel_sprouts2-1 copy
  4. Add your minced garlic and toss until sprouts are coated with oil and garlic.
  5. Transfer sprouts to a cookie sheet and top with grated parmesan roasted_brussel_sprouts3-1 copy
  6. Bake 15-20 minutes or until sprouts have browned and are slightly soft.

 

Serve on the side of any protein and you’ve got yourself one awesome meal! You’ll never look at brussel sprouts the same 😉


Slow Cooker Recipes for Beginners // Review + Giveaway! Fitness

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slow cooker recipes for beginners

The Crock Pot is probably one of the best inventions ever. When days are busy, it’s a lifesaver to be able to throw some ingredients in the crock pot and let it turn into dinner during the work day.

I’ve made a few crock pot meals this week and they’ve all be amazing!

On Monday, I made shredded Spicy Barbecue Chicken. It was super easy! I just threw frozen chicken into the crock pot with about ¼  cup barbecue sauce, ¼ cup sweet chili sauce, and ¼ cup wing sauce. I cooked it on high for 6 hours, shredded it, then added some more barbecue sauce before putting it on buns. It was so good!

The issue with a crockpot, to me, was lack of variety. I was either making pulled something, chili, or soup. Very rarely did I ever make anything other than that. When Antares Press sent me their cookbook Slow Cooker Recipes for Beginners in exchange for a review, I was really excited! Pinterest has a TON of great recipes for a crockpot, but there are so many that it can get overwhelming.

I made a couple recipes from this cookbook and I was very impressed! The first one, Creamy Mexican Chicken, had 4 ingredients and was incredibly easy. It tasted really good, too! I put mine in tortillas and we had plenty leftover for lunches. It was good without any tortillas as well.

The second meal I made was the Bacon Ranch Chicken. I wasn’t sure about this one because it calls for cream of chicken soup and peas. I omitted the peas and kept the cream of chicken soup even though I’m not a huge fan of it. This dish was actually really good as well! We ate ours on sandwiches, but you could definitely serve it with a veggie on the side.

I honestly probably picked the two most boring recipes out of the book because I had to use the ingredients I had on hand but there are so many amazing recipes in this cookbook and I can’t wait to try more of them!

Some of those recipes include:

  • Cranberry Turkey Meatballs
  • Curried Chicken Breasts
  • Balsamic Almonds
  • Thai Chicken Soup
  • Tex-Mex Chicken Stew
  • Pepper Venison Steak
  • Cheese Ravioli
  • Ratatouille
  • Mashed Sweet Potatoes
  • Chocolate Mousse
  • Cheesecake
  • Cinnamon Apples
  • and a TON more!

 

I would love for you to try some of these recipes with me, so I am giving away 5 copies of the eBook! You don’t have to have a Kindle to read the eBook. You can download the free Kindle reader app on your smartphone. If you have a nook or other reader, don’t worry! I have those formats as well.

You can get entered to win by going to the Keeping Carrie Fit Facebook page, find the giveaway post (it will be pinned to the top of the page), and comment with the recipe from the list above that you want to try most!

The contest will end on Monday, February 23rd and the winners will be announced the next day!

 

 

 

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received one or more of the products or services mentioned above in exchange for an honest review of this product. I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”


Don’t Curl in the Squat Rack (and other Gym Etiquette Rules) Fitness

Gym rules are important to the overall functioning of a gym. There are the written rules (like don’t wear flip flops or street shoes) and there are the unwritten rules.

Unwritten gym rules often vary based on the culture of your gym, but here are some common gym etiquette rules and reasoning behind why they exist.

 

  1. Check yourself!

    Deoderant is your friend. If you forgot deoderant, please please run back home or stop at a store on your way to the gym. Better yet, maybe keep some in your gym bag or in your car so, if you do forget, you can apply. There are few things worse than working out, taking a deep breath, and getting a huge whif of body odor (and yes, there is a difference between body odor and sweaty odor). For the sake of everyone in the gym, please remember deoderant!
  2. Don’t hog the weights.

    If you’re doing a superset with dumbbells, try to use the at least one set of weights that have multiple sets. Especially if your gym is popular or crowded. No one likes to wait on the guy/girl doing triple sets with 3 different weights. And it’s just rude to hog equiptment.
  3. Be open to working in with someone

    Speaking of supersets- if you do have to do a superset, let people work in with you. If you are the one working in, don’t be afraid to ask! You have rest time where they can use equipment and vice versa. Sharing is caring, friends.
  4. Use the equipment correctly

    Have you ever heard “don’t curl in the squat rack?” Well, this rule is why. The squat rack is for squatting. EZ bars and barbells are for curling. Any weight or arm position that would require the use of a squat rack is something you can do with a barbel elsewhere. I went to my gym and a guy was doing shoulder presses in the squat rack–even though there was a shoulder press barbell rack behind him. When you do things like curl in the squat rack, you are using equipment that other people could be using for the right purpose. Some equipment does have multiple uses, but, if it’s a specific piece of equipment, don’t try to use it differently.
  5. Be mindful

    If it’s 5:30 on a weekday and the after-work rush is in full swing, don’t do your Crossfit WOD. Go to a Crossfit gym. I cannot tell you the amount of times the only cable cage at my gym has been completely occupied by 2-3 people doing burpees and kipping pullups for time when people are trying to do tricep pushdowns. It’s impossible to work in because someone is always going and you get kicked in the had. If you get to the gym and it’s fairly empty? Go for it! But don’t hog equipment for a purpose that can be done elsewhere (see #2 and #4). Also, if there isn’t a chalking station at your gym, chances are you probably shouldn’t use chalk. So don’t bring your own. And if you do, wipe down your equipment.
  6. Wipe down!

    If you sweat, wipe your machine down. If you leave a butt print? Wipe your machine down. If you have a cold, wipe your machine down.
  7. Keep it quiet.

    Sometimes people call, sometimes people have workout buddies, and sometimes lifts are so heavy that a little grunt comes out. That is totally fine! I get that. But please refrain from loud talking and grunting so loud it sounds like labor. It’s distracting. (+1 for LOTR gif)
  8. HANDS OFF!

    Unless someone asks for help or someone is on the floor passed out, do not touch anyone. If you need to get around me, say excuse me. Do not touch me. If my form is off, don’t touch me to correct it unless I know you or pay you to do that.

 

 

Do you agree or disagree? What are some gym etiquette rules that you can think of?

 

Carrie Signature

 


Leg Day Playlist! Fitness

Leg Day may be MY favorite day, but a lot of people really dread leg day. Usually, I think it’s because the day after leg day is awful. It’s hard to walk, stairs become your nemesis, and going to the bathroom turns into something worthy of an olympic achievement. All that being said, you can’t have a nice booty without leg day. Unless you are genetically endowed with a nice booty and, if that’s the case, I envy you.

For the rest of us less endowed in the darriere department, leg day is crucial. I decided to honor our need to work for that booty by creating a 30 minute playlist dedicated to butts. Yes, there are a TON of songs dedicated to butts. I picked the ones that are best for workouts. Crank this on leg day and you’ll be more than inspired to build those lovely lady lumps! Here is an amazing leg day playlist!

EPIC LEG DAY PLAYLIST!

 

  1. Miss New Booty- Bubba Sparxx
    Because, obvious reasons
  2. Baby Got Back- Sir Mix Alot
    Because more obvious reasons
  3. Wiggle- Jason Derule
    Because Jason Derulo knows that a big butt isn’t a bad thing. And it’s a pretty catchy beat.
  4. Bootylicious- Destiny’s Child
    What?! Bringing it back. Make your body too bootylicious for them, babe.
  5. The Thong Song- Sisqo
    Because even more obvious reasons
  6. Rump Shaker- Wreckx-N-Effect
    This song makes me smile. And it’s about butts.
  7. My Humps- Black Eyed Peas
    Best for last. Check it out.


Here’s the playlist on Spotify!

 


Pulling Yourself Out of a Rut Fitness

Sometimes, living healthy can get hard. You get in a rut, you get confused as to what you need to do to meet your goals, you feel like you’re not doing enough. There are so many things that go into living well and it’s really easy to doubt yourself sometimes. When you doubt yourself, it’s really easy to give up, but it’s important to keep going!

runner

Pulling yourself out of a rut isn’t always easy, but there are things you can do!

 

  1. Don’t over think things
    I am the WORST at this. I think “oh, well this used to work for me so let me change what I’m doing” and then two days later I think “but what if what I was doing was working?” It can be a nightmare and it’s not worth it! Don’t overthink things. If you’re making progress, then keep doing what you’re doing.
  2. Don’t flip flop
    Piggy-backing off #1- if you keep changing what you’re doing, you’re setting yourself up for failure. Your body needs time to adjust. If you’ve increased your calorie intake, don’t give up on it after a week! Wait 2-3 weeks to give your body (and your mind!) time to adjust to the new intake.
  3. Do an inventory
    Write it out! What is causing the rut? Are you unhappy with your progress? Why are you unhappy? What can you do to fix it? Are you tired? Why are you  tired? How can you get more sleep? Writing is therapeutic and it can really be beneficial when looking for solutions to problems.
  4. Remember where you started
    Have you lost 5 pounds? 10 pounds? 100 pounds? Were you borderline type 2? Were you depressed? If you remember where you started, you can use that as motivation to not want to go back.
  5. Remember why you started
    Did you start living well because you wanted to lose weight? Or because you wanted to get stronger? Or to improve blood pressure? Whatever the reason, remember why you started and it will help motivate you to stay on track.

It is really common to get into a rut, but the important part is to keep going and never give up!

 

How do you get out of a rut?

Carrie Signature


New York City! Life

This past weekend I went to New York City and it was a blast! So many fun experiences and great food. Good thing we walked a lot! I have a feeling NYC is overall a very heart healthy city- I walked 7-8 miles every day I was there!

On Friday, I took a plane to NYC and landed at JFK. I was really nervous about navigating my way into Manhattan alone, but I managed just fine. I had to ask someone where the AirTrain station was because there weren’t too many signs in my terminal, but once I got on the AirTrain it was smooth sailing. After getting off the AirTrain, I paid for my ticket (you pay for the trip at your station- I got off at Jamaica Station) and then headed toward the E train toward the World Trade Center.

 

When I got to the World Trade Center stop, Mike was waiting for me to walk us to the place we were staying. The view was amazing! new york view

    

Shortly after, we met up with a childhood friend of mine for dinner. We hadn’t seen each other in almost 8 years so it was great to catch up and see her!

The next morning (Valentine’s Day!) we went to a cute cafe close to our place. I got a bagel with cream cheese and Mike got a sausage, egg, and cheese croissant sandwich. The sandwiches looked so good! They had one made with french toast!

After breakfast, we got on the R train and went to Times Square. Times Square is amazing, if you’ve never been. I think everyone should see it once in their life. We walked through Times Square and got tickets to Phantom of the Opera from the TKTS station.

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After getting tickets, we went to a sushi buffet called Ichi Umi. This place is SO good. The scallops were so fresh, they were brought in from a local bay that morning!

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After lunch, we went back to Times Square so we could head to the Majestic Theater on Broadway. Seeing Phantom of the Opera has always been something I wanted to do. I saw it in San Francisco when I was a
kid, but I don’t remember much. I’ve always loved the show and I was SO excited to be able to see it on Broadway!

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It was amazing! When we left the theater it was SNOWING!! It never snows in Savannah, so it was so cool to be able to see snow!

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After the show, we went to the new Carlos Bakery location near Times Square.

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We got some pastries and then we went to dinner at Chevy’s- a childhood favorite of mine that I haven’t had since moving from California 10 years ago.

After Chevy’s we went back to our place, took a nap, and went to a bar called The Royal near Union Square to watch the Slam Dunk Competition.

On Sunday, we woke up and ate breakfast at the same cafe and headed to Central Park. It was SO cold!  central park

We wanted to walk through the Central Park to get to the Met, but it was so cold we couldn’t even think, so we hailed a cab and got a ride to the Met. The Met was amazing! I loved seeing all the history and all the modern art.

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After the Met, we went to eat at Katz Deli. The sandwich was so good but it was huge! We split a sandwich before we went back to our place, took a nap, and packed up to get ready to go.

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After we packed, we went to Grand Central Terminal and ate at Shake Shack. Grand Central Terminal is another location that everyone should see. It’s gorgeous! When we were done eating, we got a bus ride to LaGuardia and then flew back.

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It was probably one of the best vacations I’ve been on. Even though it was short, we did so much and had so much fun!


I also got a ton of walking in! Check out my FitBit stats for Friday, Saturday, and Sunday!

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What has been your favorite vacation?

Carrie Signature


Yoga Class // Kiss Me Organics Matcha Powder Review // Matcha Cookies Recipe! Fitness

Tonight I went to a yoga class and it was AWESOME. I used to do yoga on Saturday mornings with my mom, but that was 10 years ago and I haven’t gone to a real class since then. I’ve practiced yoga at home on and off but I really started practicing daily over the past couple of weeks. I’m no yoga expert, but I enjoy doing it at night to wind down before bed. On my own, I’ll practice a few series of asanas (poses), but it’s hard because I only know so many! I have some yoga apps that are helpful, but I wanted to get in an actual class, so I did!

I was nervous at first because it had been so long since my last class. I brought my own mat but there were mats to use if someone didn’t have their own. I didn’t know what to expect regarding shoes because yoga is generally practiced barefoot, but I wasn’t sure if that was going to be allowed since it was in a gym. Luckily, we were allowed to go barefoot (like I said, I used my own mat).

The class was about an hour long and included poses that I was familiar with and some that I wasn’t. It was nice to be led rather than trying to make it up as I went along.

Overall I really enjoyed it!

matcha latte


When I got home, I enjoyed a delicious green tea latte made with Kiss Me Organics Green Tea Matcha Powder. Kiss Me Organics sent me some of their Matcha powder to try in exchange for an honest review. I mentioned this product on Facebook earlier because I made cookies with it. This stuff is awesome.

Matcha is finely milled green tea. It comes in powder form. Matcha is said to have significantly more benefits than regular green tea because matcha is processed in a much different way than green tea. Matcha is said to improve focus and energy without any violent crash, improve metabolic speed (which green tea is known for anyways- matcha just improves it more), and some have said that it has helped clear their skin.

matcha

I have only been using it a couple of days, so I can’t speak on the metabolism or skin claims, but I have noticed that I am more able to focus on the tasks at hand after drinking green tea lattes I have made with Kiss Me Organics matcha. It is really easy to make a latte, too! Just add hot milk, whisk until frothy, and add sweetener if you’d like (I wouldn’t make it without sweetener but that’s a personal preference. I used Stevia for my matcha latte).

What’s awesome about matcha is the versatility. I made cookies with it! It was really easy and the matcha powder didn’t change the texture of the dough at all.

matcha cookies

Matcha Cookies
(adapted from SparkPeople)

Makes about 24 cookies

Ingredients:

2 eggs
3/4 c vegetable oil
2 tsp vanilla
3/4 c sugar
2 c. flour
2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp Kiss Me Organics Organic Matcha

Directions:

1. Preheat your oven to 400 degrees F.
2. In a bowl, sift together all dry ingredients
3. In a smaller bowl, mix together all wet ingredients.
4. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ones and stir together until it is thoroughly mixed.
5. Spray a cookie sheet with non-stick spray (I use Pam).
6. Form dough into balls and place on the cookie sheet.
7. Bake for 7-9 minutes (the bottom edges will turn golden)
8. Let cool and enjoy!

 

Overall, I was very pleased with Kiss Me Organics Organic Matcha powder. I can’t wait to try it in other things! I think it would be great in protein pancakes and smoothies.

Have you ever tried matcha? What do you think of it?

 

Carrie Signature

 

 

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received one or more of the products or services mentioned above in exchange for an honest review of this product. I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”


5 Ways to Get Comfortable in the Gym Fitness

A big part of a good workout is being comfortable at the gym. Some people  avoid exercise all together because they are uncomfortable working out around other people.

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I was one of those people. I wouldn’t even sit in the parking lot of a gym, never mind go in one and workout. When I finally did decided to join a gym, there were some things I did consciously to make myself more comfortable.

 

  1. Find the right gym
    Finding the right gym is really important to being comfortable there. There are somethings that can narrow down your options like price and location, but make sure you’re comfortable in a gym that you pay for. You are paying for a service. There are different cultures at every gym. Don’t be afraid to ask around for trial periods. Most gyms will give you a free trial that lasts anywhere from a day to a week (In my opinion, if they DON’T let you try it for free, they just want your money and will probably be a pain to deal with anyway). Finding a gym that fits your needs is the first way to really be at home at the gym.
  2. Find the right clothes
    When I say “right” clothes, I mean clothes that fit you and that are comfortable. If you are comfortable in a t-shirt and running shorts, stock up! Don’t wear something that is cute but not functional. For me, I find some shirts I have are a little too tight. I wear them anyways, but I notice that I either spend too much time finding pants that will hold me in the right places so I can wear the shirts or I’m really uncomfortable when I’m working out. That’s not something that should be on my mind at the gym! Make sure you’re wearing things that you are physically and mentally comfortable in.
  3. Learn the machines
    Whether you learn them through personal training sessions or just by doing some research online, learn what they do. It’s hard to workout when you’re not sure what everything does, but if you get a chance to walk around the weight room and see each machine, you can look up how to use them online. If you forget, there’s always a little sticker on the machine that will remind you how to use it! One thing I do: I’ll look up exercises on bodybuilding.com as I workout. If I forget proper form or I want to find a different variation of an exercise, I just pull it up on my phone!
  4. Go in with a plan
    Walk around with intention and you’ll look like you own the place. Write down the exercises in a notepad or on your phone so you can go from one exercise to the next without any wandering. You can pick a plan from the internet or make one up depending on what you want to work that day. If you are a beginner, I would recommend always getting some sort of insight when you’re creating a workout.
  5. Be confident
    Most importantly, be confident. While it may feel like everyone is watching you, 99% of the time, they aren’t. The other 1% of the time it’s probably by accident. Everyone started somewhere and you are there to better yourself. Get in there, put your headphones in, turn your music up, and rock your workout! You are there and you are awesome for being there!

 

Even though it can be hard to gain confidence in a new gym- whether you’re experienced or not- it is worth the effort!

 


Guiltless Longhorn Copycat Parmesan Crusted Chicken Fitness

Ok, guys. Longhorn’s Parmesan Crusted Chicken is easily one of the most delicious things on the planet, right? It’s like a scientific fact. Everyone loves it, but what we don’t love is how awful it really is for you. This is one of those “I want to eat it more than just in moderation” type foods, so I had to figure out a way to make it healthier.

parmesan crusted chicken

Guess what? I did. Thank me later.

 

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I originally posted this recipe on A Guiltless Glutton. All nutrition information can be viewed there.

 

Ingredients:

  • 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 2-3 cloves diced garlic
  • 1/4 c grated parmesan cheese
  • 1/4 c light ranch dressing
  • 1/2 cup panko break crumbs
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • salt to taste
  • 1/3 c shredded parmesan (it’s important this is shredded, NOT grated)
  • 2 TBS melted butter
  • 1 c shredded provolone

Directions

  1. Preheat the broiler
  2. Pound chicken to 1/2 inch thickness.
  3. Grease a skillet (I just use Pam) and add the diced garlic and a little salt.
  4. When the garlic browns, add the chicken to the pan and let it cook 7-8 minutes on one side and then 7-8 on the other or until the chicken is cooked through.
  5. While the chicken cooks, mix the GRATED parmesan cheese and ranch dressing together in a bowl.
  6. In a DIFFERENT bowl, mix together the panko, garlic powder, salt, and SHREDDED parmesan until it is mixed together well.
  7. When the chicken is done, move it to an oven safe dish.
  8. Top the chicken with the parmesan/ranch mixture, then top that with shredded provolone, then finish it off with your panko mix.
  9. Broil for about 1-2 minutes or until the cheese has melted and the panko has browned.
  10. Serve with a good veggie (we did broccoli) and dig in!

Parmesan crusted chicken

 

So now my question is: how many times will you make this this week?

 

Carrie Signature


Eating Light at a Sunday Beach Brunch Fitness / Life

After a Saturday filled with yard work and house chores, Mike and I decided to head to the beach for brunch on this morning. We live about 30 minutes from Tybee Island, though we don’t go there as often as we probably should. I want to make a point to go the beach more often this year. It was 70 degrees and it was the perfect weather for a beach front brunch.

The drive there was great. No traffic and just warm enough to let the windows down.

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We went to a little restaurant called North Beach Bar and Grill. It’s a small place (with surprisingly adequate seating) in a more residential area of the island and it is walking distance to a public dock that goes right to the beach. Usually they serve burgers and seafood, but on Sunday mornings they serve brunch. The menu was small but everything looked amazing.

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Eating light at brunch isn’t always easy, but I made it a priority to find a wholesome meal. I ordered the Smoked Salmon benedict. It came with smoked salmon, sliced tomatoes, bacon, poached eggs, chive hollandaise, and home fries (a hash). Mike ordered the Jamaican French Toast which was two HUGE pieces of  Challah bread made like french toast. Mike and I also split an order of their gorgonzola grits. The smoked salmon benedict was seriously one of the best things I’ve ever eaten. It was perfect. The salmon brought the perfect amount of savory to the whole dish and I also liked that there wasn’t an overload of hollandaise.

When looking at the menu and trying to get something lighter, I made sure to stay away from things with bread. Bread is delicious and  I DO eat bread, but I will avoid it if I can. I picked this dish because of the insane amount of protein in it. Eggs and salmon and bacon? That is a LOT of protein. It definitely kept me full during the day.

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Eating out doesn’t have to be a bummer! Pick something high in protein and enjoy yourself. If you really want to try something that you can’t find anywhere else (like the gorgonzola grits) get an order of it and share!

After brunch, Mike and I took a walk on the beach and enjoyed the weather.

tybee island

 

 

 

Do you like the beach? What’s your favorite beach activity?

 

Carrie Signature



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