Balsamic Roasted Chickpeas (Garbanzo Beans)

 

I call them Chickpeas because I think it sounds cuter… but whether you know them as Chickpeas or Garbanzo Beans they are nutrient rich & have a wide range of healthy benefits. In addition to being high in Fiber & a great source of vegetarian protein they are also a low glycemic food which helps promote weight loss by controlling your appetite.

This week I made Oven Roasted Chickpeas as part of my afternoon snacks & I wanted to share with you how easy they are to make. What I love about chickpeas is that they have a relatively neutral, almost nutty, flavor that goes well with all kinds of ingredients. It is super rare that I use the same seasonings twice in a row so this recipe is the base to most of my creations & can easily be tweak it to fit your taste.

[Attn: You will have to let the Chickpeas marinade for at least 2 hours so either plan to start these early or, like me, you can mix them up & let them sit in the fridge overnight.]

 

For this recipe you will need the following ingredients:

  • 2 Cans of Chickpeas (I used low-sodium)
  • ¼ Cup Balsamic Vinegar
  • 2 Tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • Salt & Pepper to taste

You can also add ½ tsp of one or more of the following: Garlic Powder, Italian Seasoning, Dill Weed, Rosemary, or just about anything else.

Other things that will be helpful:

Instructions:

  1. Drain & rinse canned Chickpeas
  2. In a Medium bowl, mix rinsed Chickpeas with Balsamic Vinegar
  3. Cover & refrigerate for 2-8 hours
  4. Pre-heat Oven to 375 degrees F
  5. (also make sure your rack is placed in the middle of your oven)
  6. Cover a sheet pan with Aluminum Foil & spritz with Cooking Spray
  7. Drain the excess Balsamic Vinegar from the Chickpeas, then mix in olive oil & any seasonings you choose to add.
  8. Spread the Chickpeas in a single layer on your sheet pan, then sprinkle with salt & pepper. (I use fresh ground sea salt & pepper)
  9. Bake the Chickpeas for 25-30 minutes, making sure you “stir” them every 10-15 minutes so they brown evenly.
  10. Once they are cooked to your liking, remove them from the oven & allow them to cool slightly before serving.

This recipe makes 5-6, 2 oz. servings which is how I packaged them for my snacks. You can also make these using dried chickpeas prepared according to the package… about 3 Cups prepared should be a similar substitute for the canned beans.

There are so many different ways to make Baked Chickpeas so if you have tried a different recipe that you absolutely love, please share it with us in the comments below!

Follow me on Instagram: @_Fit2BeQueen_

Setting Goals

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Alright Ladies (& Gentlemen) it is Sunday yet again! Since everyone knows you can only start a new meal plan or exercise routine on Mondays (that is baloney, quit stalling, START NOW!) I figured today was a perfect day to plan for the week ahead. We are only a couple weeks into May and Spring is in full bloom, however, before we know it Summer will be creeping in…
The season of shorts, sleeveless shirts, & yes bathing suites. So before time gets away from us lets set some goals and show them what we are made of!

Why Set Goals?
Because that is what successful people do. Goal-setting is used by top athletes, successful business people and just about everyone else who is amazing at what they do. When you set a goal it helps you envision your future & motivates you to stay on track. By setting goals you are able to focus your time & attention on being your best. Also, as you reach goals you have set for yourself it will give you a greater sense of accomplishment & confidence.

Can You Give Me Some Examples?
Sure! As I mentioned earlier, goals work for a variety of people in different fields. You can set goals as a Mother, as a Friend, as Spouse or Employee… but of course, I would like to talk about health & fitness goals. Your goals can range from simple to long term depending on what you choose to accomplish. For instance…

>> Drinking your daily recommended amount of water.
>> Eating more raw vegetables.
>> Eating less sugar.
>> Working out 5 days a week.
>> Losing 50 pounds of body fat.
>> Being able to bench press your body weight.
>> Running a 5k.

Ok, I Have a Goal, Now What?
Now it is brainstorming & research time. What will it take to reach your goal? If you have settled on a larger or long term goal, split it up into smaller ones, this will make it easier for you to see your progress & stay on track. For example if your goal is to lose 50 pounds, set 5 and 10 pound goals along the way. Decide when and how you will track your progress. Every day, once a week… will you use a chart or app to keep you organized? Give yourself some deadlines to help keep you motivated & lastly, make sure you have a planned reward that fits the goal & does not undo hard work. For instance maybe new clothes when you reach your goal weight as opposed to treating yourself with a chocolate cake.

My current goal is to reach a healthy weight. I am proud to say that so far I have lost 38 pounds! The main things that I am focusing on to reach my goal weight are eating healthy, drinking plenty of water, getting enough sleep, and exercising. This past week my co-workers and I started a weight loss challenge to encourage each other to get healthier. Below are two of the charts I am using to measure my progress during the challenge in case they might help you too.

(Click to Print) Body Measurment Chart

(Click to Print) 8 Week Progress Worksheet 


      

Ok, Your Turn…

Leave A Comment Below:
What are your goals and what are you doing to reach them?

(P.S. Happy Mother’s Day to all you fantastic Mommies!)

AmiN.O. Energy – Pre-Workout Supplement Review

There are people on both sides of the supplement fence, those who say they would not be where they are without them and those who prefer to go natural all the way. I can see the merit in both sides of the argument. Personally, I like taking supplements because it helps give me that extra push that I don’t get from my diet. I always make sure to research the supplements I take and I feel like Optimum Nutrition’s AmiN.O. Energy is an excellent low key energy booster that will help get you to your goals.

Low Cost
I am always looking for ways to save, so I usually buy this supplement when it is on sale. Generally, this product ranges from $0.60 – $0.70 per serving.

Flavor & Texture
Optimum Nutrition offers 7 lovely flavors: Blue Raspberry, Fruit Fusion, Grape, Green Apple, Lemon Lime, Orange, & Watermelon. By far the Blue Raspberry is my favorite! I have tried a few of the other flavors and they are good but I always come back to Blue Raspberry. I generally mix 2 scoops in 8-10 oz of water in my blender bottle and it dissolves perfectly, no grit. I think most of the flavors are pleasant, no chemical aftertaste, and actually kind of remind me of Kool-Aid.

Energy

  • 1 Serving (2 scoops) is about as much energy as a cup of coffee.

  • You can adjust the amount of Pep you get by changing the # of scoops.

  • In addition to pre-workout energy it is mild enough to be used in place of other energy supplements such as coffee or energy drinks.

  • Not a crazy pump like some supplements, just steady energy. I have never gotten jittery or hot like with some other pre-workouts I have tried.

Recovery
Perhaps you have heard it before, but Amino Acids are the building blocks of protein. Our bodies require 20 amino acids to run properly. Essential Amino Acids are the 10 that our bodies can not create on their own. AmiN.O. Energy includes 9 of 10 Essential Amino Acids including the Branch Chain Amino Acids (BCAAs) which are the most important for muscle recovery.

Nutrition Facts
Lastly, AmiN.O. Energy has only 10 Calories, 2 Carbohydrates and no Sugar!

Do you use pre-workout supplements? If yes, what do you use? If no, why not?

Strawberry Banana Protein Smoothie

Today’s post is less a recipe and more a snapshot of my meal plan. It is a quick smoothie I have been using for my first and second meals this week. If you need an easy way to get your morning protein, smoothies are a great option!

Ingredients:
2 Cups Water
1 Cup Frozen Strawberries
½ Frozen Banana
2 Scoops Vanilla Whey Protein Powder
1 Tbsp Chia Seeds

Directions:
>> Place all ingredients (except chia seeds) in the blender.
>> Blend until desired consistency.
>> Mix in Chia Seeds.
>> Drink & Enjoy!

Tip1: To save time in the mornings, I went ahead and measured out my fruit for the week.

Tip2: I split my smoothie into 2 blender bottles, that way I can mix them up again later.

I used Bob’s Red Mill Chia Seeds, Cellucor Whipped Vanilla Protein Powder, and Season’s Choice Sliced Frozen Strawberries. I split the smoothie in to two servings to cover my first and second meals for the day. Each serving is (403)Calories, (8g)Fat, (39g)Carbs, & (55g)Protein. 

If you like smoothies, what are some of your favorite ingredients?

Getting Back In The Groove – HIIT

After a couple months of maintaining, I am finally getting back in my groove. My friends on MyFitnessPal and Instagram have really helped get me motivated! I have been eating good and working out on a consistent basis, but it is time to up the intensity! In addition to switching up my meal plan, I am going to start incorporating more cardio into my workout sessions. Something that I have found which really helps me burn fat is High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT).

What is HIIT?
It is a technique for training your body in which you alternate between high and low intensity periods of exercise. After warming up, you would work as hard and quick as possible (full intensity) for a short period of time, followed by a recovery (low intensity) period. An example of High Intensity Interval Training is if you were to sprint full force for 30 seconds and then walk for 60 seconds. Rinse and repeat. In addition to cardio, you can also use weights in a HIIT format.

What are the benefits?
>>   It is efficient – You can get an hours worth of progress in just 15 minutes
>>   No strings attached – Many HIIT Programs don’t need equipment
>>   Great for your Heart – Helps build endurance
>>   Boosts Metabolism – You burn more calories during & after HIIT
>>   Keep your Muscle – Unlike steady state cardio which can damage it
>>   Improved Insulin Sensitivity – Muscles get energy, not your waist

When to HIIT it?
HIIT is not something you should do on a daily basis. Most advise that you should limit this type of training to 3-4 times per week. Since research shows that HIIT raises your calorie burning power for up to 48 hours, I would suggest adding it to your routine every other day. That will give your body time to recover and be at it’s best for your next HIIT session. As far as what time of day, its really up to you. In general, it is a good idea to workout in the morning because it will kick start your metabolism and give you a nice energy boost to carry you through your day.

At the moment I am focusing on my cardio for a run so I am doing HIIT on the treadmill to increase my endurance. I have a handy mobile app, Gymboss, that helps me keep up with my intervals. To start, I have been doing shorter sprints and longer rest periods…. slowly increasing my sprints and spending less time recovering. Here are a couple examples of intervals you can try out…

Option 1:

5 minute warm up
15 second sprint (5-8mph, give it your all)
45 second recovery (2-3mph, catch your breath)
[repeat intervals for 8-10 rounds]
5 minute cool down

Option 2:

5 minute warm up
30 second sprint (5-8mph, give it your all)
60 second recovery (2-3mph, catch your breath)
[repeat intervals for 8-10 rounds]
5 minute cool down

If you have tried HIIT before, share in the comment section below what kind and what results you saw.

References:
www.builtlean.com
www.shape.com
www.fitnessblender.com

Weight Loss Secret Weapon & MyFitnessPal App Review

I want to share with you one of my personal weight loss secret weapons…. Food Journaling!

The best way for you to gain an understanding of what you are putting in your body on a regular basis is to keep track of the meals you are eating. If writing down everything you eat all day sounds like a headache in the making, don’t worry, there is an app for that!
Check out MyFitnessPal!

 ***

       Some of my favorite app features:

  • It takes just a few minutes to set up an account.
  • The app creates a plan that is based on your personal information.
  • They have a huge database of foods so all you have to do is search & add.
  • It will remember your most used foods & you can also save meals to use again later.
  • A great recipe function, just add ingredients & it will calculate nutrition per serving.
  • Oh & you can access your account from any computer.
    (in case using your phone at work is taboo)

Another awesome feature is that you can connect with other MyFitnessPal users! I love being able to share motivation and progress with my friends and family. If you are already on MyFitnessPal or you are signing up for a new account, be sure to add Fit2BeQueen so we can encourage each other along the way!