Workout of the Week- Back and Chicken Appetizers

4 Oct

Yesterday, Monday, was actually a really great day considering it was a Monday.  I woke up and it was a rest day so I had an ultra leisurely morning.  I drank decaf coffee with added pumpkin spice creamer (such a nice morning treat) while checking and responding to emails, had a great breakfast and got some laundry done all before work.  Work went fast (wahoo) and I had to run to the grocery store after work to pick up some vegetables so we could make salad for dinner.  After work, I lounged on the couch and watched Tia and Tamera before Keith got home from work.  I will admit I contemplated doing my prenatal yoga, but just wasn’t feeling it.  At the beginning of my pregnancy I was doing yoga a lot, but for some reason the past month I have been totally slacking.  I really need to get back on the routine of doing it 3-4 days a week after work. 

Eats from yesterday were as follows:

  • Breakfast-  1/2 grapefruit, bagel thin egg sandwich with cheese and cooked uncured natural ham


  • AM Snack-  organic apple and raw almonds
  • Lunch-  bagel thin sandwich with chicken breast, shredded cheddar cheese and mustard
  • PM Snack-  1/2 English muffin with peanut butter and jelly and a can of Zevia ginger ale (can you tell my body was craving carbs yesterday?)

SAM_6025 SAM_6027

  • Dinner-  flank steak salad with romaine, red onion, shredded cheddar cheese, green bell pepper, tomato, cucumber and ranch dressing mixed with herb balsamic dressing and water (I don’t like thick salad dressings). 

SAM_6033 SAM_6038

  • Dessert-  small ramekin of cookies and cream ice cream (say what?) 🙂


Yesterday’s Outfit of the Day

Bump from all angles!  🙂




  • Purple and Grey Top- Pea and a Pod (Macy’s)  <—Like my favorite maternity shirt ever!  It’s so comfy and makes my bump look really cute, I also have it in gray and white!
  • Flared Jeans- Indigo Blue (Macy’s)  <—Super comfy and reasonably priced.

This morning, we were up first thing and at the gym.  I had 45 minutes of cardio to do and it was probably the workout I had to push through the most since I became pregnant.  While walking on the treadmill I had an uncomfortable pain in the lower stomach and the arc trainer didn’t help it either.  I had read in my baby books about Braxton Hicks starting around week 23 as your body prepares itself for pregnancy.  I knew I wasn’t having them, but the thought of pushing myself while these types of things can be happening wasn’t going to happen.  I like to play it safe!  Now that I’m over half way through pregnancy I’m taking it a lot more easy and really listening to my body.  Hopefully, the baby was just in an awkward position and that is what was causing the pain.  I ended up doing 25 minutes on the treadmill (walking and incline walking) and 20 minutes on the arc trainer to finish up the workout.  I think my running days are behind me unless I get something to hold my stomach in nice and tight.  My last attempt at running was on Saturday and it was just uncomfortable.  I can’t stand my bump moving as I run and also my heart rate sky rockets when I attempt to run which is no bueno.

Lets get to the:

Workout of the Week:  Back Workout

Today, we are going to focus on the back muscles!  A strong and healthy back will keep you from back pain and also help maintain that perfect posture you should all have from sitting up straight! 🙂

Do this workout at least once a week to maintain a sleek looking back.  I’ll admit I used to hate lifting my back, but now, it is my favorite muscle group to strength train.  It makes me feel strong and I love the look of my toned back!


If you want to build strength, do 6-10 reps of each exercise, if you want to tone, do 10-15 reps of each exercise.

*Remember to consult with your doctor before starting any new exercise programs or trying any new exercises*

Back Workout– Do three to five sets of each exercise before moving on –or- do one set of each exercise without stopping and repeat three to five times.

  • Straight Bar Pull Down on Cables  <—Maybe my all time fav exercise!
  • Cable Row or One Arm Row (pick one)
  • Bench Back Extensions
  • Lat Pull Down
  • Assisted Pull Up

That’s it!  Do these exercises to maintain a great looking back!  If preggos can find motivation and energy to workout, you can too!

Enjoy this make up free, just rolled out of bed and heading to the gym pic.  Another wont be posted for a long long time…


Lastly on the agenda for this post is an amazing chicken appetizer I made over the weekend for Football Sunday.  We didn’t plan out what we wanted to snack on during the Vikings game and by the second quarter, we were both pretty hungry.  I had all the fixings for this appetizer on hand, so I whipped up a plate of them and we ate them as our game time appetizers and lunch.  We didn’t have anything else with them and Keith and I couldn’t finish the platter the recipe made.  It was a great high protein snack after our big Sunday morning workout!  We love this recipe and love how simple it comes together.  We will for sure be making these again soon and they will be making an appearance again for the holidays!

Bacon Wrapped Chicken Appetizer

This recipe is from the one and only Paula Dean!SAM_6017


Serves 4-8 depending on what else is served with it.


  • 1 1/2lbs boneless skinless chicken breast (I used two breasts)
  • 1 package bacon, cut into thirds (we had 8 slices of  uncured natural bacon that I cut into 24 small pieces)
  • 3/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 2tbsp chili powder
  • *24 toothpicks

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Cut chicken into one inch pieces.  Wrap a slice of bacon around the chicken and secure them together with the toothpicks and set them on a pre-greased broiler pan.  In a mixing bowl, stir together brown sugar and chili powder.  Dredge each bacon wrapped chicken appetizer through the mixture and make sure each piece is evenly coated.  Place them back on the pan.  Bake at 350 degrees for 30 to 35 minutes or until the bacon is crisp and the chicken is cooked.  Serve and enjoy!



*Other variations, you can add spices to the chicken before wrapping them in bacon.  You could add a slice of apple to the top of each piece.  Swap out bacon for turkey bacon.  I personally like these a little more sweet and tend to use more brown sugar and less chili powder.  I didn’t flip them half way, but I suggest doing it to make sure the bacon cooks evenly on both sides.*


  • What is/are your favorite Sunday Football recipes/appetizer to make?
  • What is your go to appetizer for entertaining?
  • What is the best fall treat you’ve had this year?
  • Do you dress cute and wear make up to the gym?  Clearly I don’t!

*Please feel free to share links!  I’m looking for some more yummy appetizer recipes!






26 Responses to “Workout of the Week- Back and Chicken Appetizers”

  1. Shanna, like Banana October 4, 2011 at 1:33 pm #

    Oh you look so cute! That purple/black top is super flattering on you! Great great look =)

    As for the lower tummy pains when working out, that’s your ligaments stretching from your uterus moving / adjusting to its new location. I had those pains big time from about 14 – 24ish weeks. Very weird feeling, but completely normal.

    Best treat so far? The sweet potato pecan pie I made last Thursday — soooo good! It will be on my blog tomorrow 😉

    • Kjirsten- Balanced Healthy Life October 4, 2011 at 2:10 pm #

      It is super comfy and I could live in it! I wish I had it in like 20 colors! : )

      I’ve heard about that round ligament pain and think I’ve felt it in the past. That could def. be what I felt. Hopefully it goes away quickly because it is so annoying!

  2. JessSutera October 4, 2011 at 2:00 pm #

    Love the baby bump, you look so cute, seriously!

    And that appetizer looks yummy! My go to lately has been shrimp cocktail (weird obsession with it lately) or fresh veggies and salsa and dip or a cheese and fruit plate. Yummy!

    • Kjirsten- Balanced Healthy Life October 4, 2011 at 2:06 pm #

      I’ve been all over the shrimp cocktail lately as well! I think that has to be one of my all time favorite appetizers for taste plus it is healthy!

  3. Jess October 4, 2011 at 2:35 pm #

    Great job getting workouts in while youre pregnant! You are looking great.

  4. Heather October 4, 2011 at 3:18 pm #

    Yup, I agree about the round ligament pain, it hurt pretty bad on me too. I’m glad you’re playing it safe. I ran until I was 34 weeks pregnant and didn’t realize that I was contracting the whole time I ran. I asked my doc why my stomach got so hard and she said I was having contractions. I had to quit running and I’m glad I did. Luke (!) is a healthy baby thank god but I’d definitely not run so long next time. Sorry for the long comment. But one app my whole family loves is taco dip: layer cream cheese (I use fat free), then a can of hormel hot vegetarian beans, and then top with mozzarella. Bake in oven until cheese melts and serve with nachos. SO good 😉

    • Kjirsten- Balanced Healthy Life October 4, 2011 at 4:12 pm #

      I can’t believe you ran until you were 34 weeks and you were contracting! That taco dip sounds yummy, thanks for sharing it!

  5. Allie October 4, 2011 at 3:33 pm #

    You look great!! 🙂 I like the back workout too!

  6. Shayla @ The Good Life October 4, 2011 at 4:31 pm #

    Awww love love the baby bump!! Although I don’t think it’s the top that makes it look cute, you just a got a very cute one in general! 😉 Looking good girly 🙂

    My fav app to bring is veggies with dip and hummus so that I know I’ll have a healthy option there, and for an indulgent one I love stuffed mushrooms…although I may have to try your bacon wrapped chicken one, looks delish!

    In my late teens early 20’s I (embarrassingly) always put on makeup and dressed cute for gym, ha! Now that I’m older and married, I could care less and look like a ragamuffin…and I always like to hide my bed head and no makeup face with a Nike hat 😉

    • Kjirsten- Balanced Healthy Life October 5, 2011 at 7:15 am #

      I had totally forgot about stuffed mushrooms! Yum!

      I used to do the same thing and get dressed up in college to go to the gym! I never knew what cute boys I might bump into! Now I think I look scary when I go to the gym, but I don’t care, I’m only there for one purpose and that’s to kick my own booty!

  7. healthyappletite October 5, 2011 at 12:34 am #

    aww u look gorgeous! 🙂 your toned back looks amazing! xx

  8. Healthy Coconut October 5, 2011 at 7:52 am #

    My favorite appetizer/entree dish to bring to a potluck is Veggie Bars. It’s really good and I’ve had veggie haters loving it (the recipe is on my blog).

    For my wedding, I consistently did strength training including a lot of upper body workouts a few months before the date and I could really see the results. Body Pump classes helped a lot but now that I changed gym…no more classes. Thanks for putting up the workout, I have to teach myself a whole new routine that I’ll do on my own without the classes.

    I think our wedding dress is similar, because that’s what I looked like from the back too 🙂

  9. lisahealthydiaries October 5, 2011 at 8:01 am #

    You’re so cute with your baby bump! 🙂

    Thanks for sharing your back workouts! I’d love to have a strong looking back like yours! 🙂

  10. Heather October 5, 2011 at 12:14 pm #

    Quick question: what’s the difference Btwn lay pulldown and the cable pull down? In my mind, they seem the same. Help?!

    • Heather October 5, 2011 at 12:46 pm #

      Sorry, lat not lay

    • Kjirsten- Balanced Healthy Life October 5, 2011 at 1:40 pm #

      Lat pull works your last if you use a wide grip and works your traps in you use a close grip. Cable straight arm pull will work your lats as well along with your shoulders, triceps and core. They are both great exercises!

      • HeatherB October 5, 2011 at 3:45 pm #

        I’m dense, but im still kinda confused! I still dont know how to do the cable straight arm. Do you stand up and pull it down without bending your arms from top to bottom, opposed to the lat pulldown when you’re seated and have either a close or wide grip and pull down with bent arms?? Maybe I’ll google it!! Sorry if im annoying. But if I can get a back like your picture, then its worth the effort 🙂 🙂

      • Kjirsten- Balanced Healthy Life October 5, 2011 at 4:59 pm #

        You are exactly right. The lat pull down is a machine where you are seated and have a bend at your elbows. The straight bar pull is where you are standing and moving from top to bottom you keep your arms straight. Let me know if you didn’t find anything on google and I can take some pics when I’m in the gym tomorrow morning to help better explain! 🙂

  11. Heather October 5, 2011 at 6:34 pm #

    Ok so I did all the exercises except for assisted pull up but I subbed for pushups with one hand on a medicine ball. I loved it! I’m feeling fatigued now but not sore….yet!! Thanks so much for posting these each week! I feel like I should be paying you 😉 Thanks, too, for the clarification

  12. Claire December 7, 2011 at 6:49 pm #

    This sounds great, thank you. Do you have any more nutritional information?
    – Claire
    thrift savings plan

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