Gratitude Journal

Hi Guys, I hope you are having a great weekend.  I just thought I would share something fun I did during the month of July.  I like to start my day with a cup of coffee, read my Bible and write in my journal.  I pinned this on Pinterest and challenged myself to do it for the month of July. 

30-days-gratitude-infographic1

Link to site:  http://textmyjournal.com/gratitude-journal-prompts/

I loved this!  I plan to continue this for August as well.  It turned into a dinner conversation too at our house.  Every night I would ask my family what they are grateful for and it was fun to hear everyone’s answers.  Have an amazing Sunday! 

Beat the Heat: Tips for working out in the heat

Wow has it been hot this week!  We have had temperatures above 99 degrees for most of the week and today is supposed to be 102 degrees!  

My daughter will be starting cross country in a few weeks and she and her friend want to run in the afternoons to simulate practices and meets. I thought I would share a few tips to help you beat the heat during the hot summer days and still continue to workout safely.  These tips and suggestions are based on my personal knowledge and experience as well as recommendations from The American Council on Exercise.  

  1. Workout in the morning if possible.  While I know this is not possible for everyone I try to get my workouts in early to beat the highest temps of the day.  
  2. Hydrate!  Make sure you are drinking enough water throughout the day and not just during your workouts.  If you are planning on running or working out longer than 1 hour or you are a heavy sweater be sure to add in some electrolytes into your water.  My favorites are Nuun tablets.
  3. Wear light colored and wicking fabrics to workout. Add a hat or visor to protect your face from the sun.  Don’t forget the sweat proof sunscreen! 
  4. Acclimate to the temperatures.  Start slow and understand that your workout may be harder because your body will be trying to cool itself so do not be frustrated if you are slower or struggling more than usual.  
  5. Get wet if needed.  Splash a little water on yourself or take a dip in the river/water if possible to cool down.  If you have a towel with you, get the towel wet and wrap it around your shoulders to help cool your body.  

Note:  Always consult your doctor before exercising in extreme heat.

Tips For Working Out In The Heat

Throwback Thursday

It’s almost Friday!  Summer is ticking away and soon it will be back to school and back to the crazy!  I really do enjoy my summer as a teacher I feel rejuvenated and refreshed when I go back to school in the fall.  This week was my birthday and I like to reflect back on the year and look forward to the next.  I started this blog a few years ago and never really focused on it.  In college I was a journalism major before changing to education.  I really enjoy writing and sharing my love of fitness, healthy food and healthy living.  Today I was looking back at some of my early posts and thought I would do a little throwback Thursday post and share one of my very first recipes and workouts.  I am continually improving my writing and always love to hear any ideas you would like to see on the blog.  

This is by far one of my favorite recipes.  My mom gave me this recipe a long time ago and I make these at least twice a week for my family.  They are my go to pre-workout/pre-run snack.  They give me the perfect amount of energy without feeling like I ate too much.  You can adapt this recipe any way you like it.  Sometimes I use almond butter and throw in some coconut or raisins. Trust me these are amazing!  

No Bake Pre-Workout Peanut Butter Energy Balls
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Prep Time
10 min
Prep Time
10 min
Ingredients
  1. 1 Cup Gluten Free Oats (or regular)
  2. 1/3 Cup Natural Peanut Butter
  3. 1/4 Cup Honey
  4. 1 Scoop Vanilla Protein Powder (about 1/4 cup)
  5. 3 Tablespoons Ground Flaxseeds
  6. 3 Tablespoons Mini Chocolate Chips
Instructions
  1. Combine all ingredients together using a food processor or stir ingredients well. Roll the mixture into 1 tablespoons size balls. I like to use a small ice cream scoop and then roll them.
Optional Ingredients
  1. 1/4 Cup Dried Fruit
  2. Chia Seeds
  3. Unsweetened Coconut
  4. *Any nut butter can be subbed in for the peanut butter
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Today’s workout was one of the first workouts I posted on my blog.  It’s a good one.  I called it the buns, guns, and abs workout.  It gets the heart rate up while focusing on total body strengthening as well. 

Buns Guns and Abs

I hope you all have a great Thursday!   

 

Monday Morning AMRAP Workout

I hope you all had a great weekend!  We went for a quick overnight camping trip this weekend.  It was great.  We did some paddle boarding, fishing, hiking, and of course ate some s’mores!

IMG_1599[1] IMG_1589[1]

Today I am starting off the week with a killer workout!  I wanted to change my workout format a bit last week so I put together this workout and boy was it a hit.  It was challenging in different ways.  This workout can easily be done at home or at the gym.  

For this workout you will be focusing on as many reps as possible in the time given.  Set a timer and go!  

Always start your workout with a warm up.  I always start with a dynamic warm up to get the joints active and moving.  Static stretching (when you stretch and hold the muscle) should be done at the end of your workout.  

AMRAP 1

Rest when needed between each round.  

Always cool down and stretch following your workout. I like to include some yoga stretches like:

  • The Cobra
  • Pigeon
  • Downward Facing Dog (pedaling out the feet)
  • Forward Folds
  • Child’s Pose

Have a great week! 

Gym Intimidation

Step_Group_Fitness_Class

Hi everyone, I hope you are all having a fantastic week.  I have been doing crossfit this week and man are my legs sore.  When I sit down or go up stairs they are screaming!  It has been a good experience, but I will admit I had major cross fit gym intimidation going into it.  I thought I was going to walk into the gym and see a bunch of people straight out of the crossfit games and I wasn’t going to be able to keep up with them.  Boy was I wrong.  So far it has been a great experience, the people are so friendly, encouraging and the workout has been killer.  This got me thinking about gym intimidation.  Many people out there, some who are my friends, have said they are very intimidated to go to they gym, try a new type of fitness class, try a new sport, or just go for a run.  Some of the things I have heard people say in the past 20 years of teaching fitness classes are:  “I need to get in shape before I go to the gym,” “what if I can’t keep up,” and “what if I can’t do something.”  My experience is that when I have tried something new, there have always been people there to support, encourage and accept me.  Next time our mindset should be “what can I do,”  “what if I can push myself harder,” “what if I am not the slowest,” and “what if I like it.”  I also know that everyone who comes to my class is welcomed by others, supported by me, given modifications when needed, and encouraged to come again.  My advice for getting over the gym intimidation is:

  1. Try a group fitness class and stand in the back row or middle row.  This is what I did during my first yoga class and cross fit.  I stood in the back so I could watch the proper form and not feel like I had people watching me.  
  2. Go with a friend.  This will help you feel more comfortable and not as nervous especially if they have already been going to the class or gym.  When I first started doing hot yoga I went the first time with my friend Holly and I felt much better even before walking in.  
  3. Ask for help or modifications and don’t feel embarrassed about it.  As a fitness instructor I always appreciate it when my class members ask me questions before class, tell me about injuries, or stay a few minutes after for clarification on certain moves.
  4. Go with a plan.  If you are going to workout in the weight room go with a workout plan, so you are prepared.  There are great workout plans online, in magazines and videos on youtube.
  5. Just go!  The most important thing is to just go and give it a try.
  6. Once you have found an activity that you enjoy pay it forward by inviting someone to join you.  Ask them to join you for a run, for yoga or for a hike, because everyone has had a first time. 

Feel free to comment with any additional suggestions or advice you may have or what has worked for you.  Have a great weekend and go out and try something new!  

Cross Fit and Cookie Dough

This week I am giving Crossfit a try!  I am actually a little intimidated but I have a lot of friends and family who love it, so I thought I would try it for a week and see what I think.  I am always looking for ways to change up my workout and get new ideas to incorporate into my classes I teach at the gym, so this will be a great way to do both.  So I went over to Crossfit Fireside for a free 1 week trial. Today’s WOD was a tough one.  It included a lot of running, which I love!  Here is a breakdown of what we did today:

  • Warm Up (400 Meter Jog and Dynamic Stretches)
  • Back Squats (since I am new I did these) 5×5
  • Run 400 Meters
  • 50 Air Squats
  • Run 400 Meters
  • 30 Goblet Squats with A Kettlebell
  • Run 400 Meters
  • 20 Goblet Squats with A Kettlebell
  • Run 400 Meters
  • 100 Kettlebell Swings
  • Stretch

Overall it was a great workout.  The kettlebell swings killed me!  I had to use a lighter size kettlebell than I usually use but was able to pump out the 100 swings.  On the way home I drank a bunch of water and ate a few protein balls that I made yesterday.  pb balls

I have a new protein ball/bar recipe for you guys to try.  I am always trying to find a good protein bar that is clean, gluten and dairy free.  This is pretty tough.  I have tried a few that I like, but a lot of them are pretty expensive.  So I whipped up a batch of these peanut butter cookie dough protein balls today while experimenting in my kitchen.  You could easily make these into bars, but I rolled them into balls.  I used Less Naked vegan vanilla pea protein powder but you could also use whey protein.  The texture may be better with a whey protein because pea protein tends to be a little gritty.  I also used Naked PB peanut butter powder but you could use any peanut butter powder.   I recommend these for a post workout snack or a treat anytime during the day! 

 

 

Peanut Butter Protein Cookie Dough Balls
Yields 10
Vegan, Gluten and Dairy Free Protein Balls
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Ingredients
  1. 1/2 Cup Vanilla Pea Protein Powder (can use whey)
  2. 1/2 Cup Powdered Peanut Butter
  3. 2 Tablespoons Coconut Flour
  4. 1 Tablespoon Natural Peanut Butter
  5. 1 Tablespoon Honey
  6. 1 Tablespoon Semi-Sweet Mini Chocolate Chips
  7. 1 Packet Stevia (optional)
  8. Water (as needed)
Instructions
  1. In a food processor pulse all the ingredients except the chocolate chips until well combined. The mixture will be dry.
  2. Add water 1 tablespoon at a time to soften the mixture into a cookie dough consistency.
  3. When you reach the desired texture, pulse in the chocolate chips until incorporated throughout the dough.
  4. Form into balls 1 tablespoon in size. You can also form the mixture into 3 bars as well. Store in the refrigerator in an air tight container.
Notes
  1. Nutrition Information Per Ball (may vary depending on your ingredients)
  2. Calories: 58
  3. Fat: 2g
  4. Carbohydrates: 5.6g
  5. Fiber: 1g
  6. Sugar 2.8g
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Hawaiian Fun in the Sun

I hope you all had a great weekend.  We just returned from an amazing trip to Hawaii visiting family and just having a great time.  My uncle in Hawaii is battling cancer and I feel so blessed that I got to spend some precious time with him and that my daughters got see him again.  It reminded me that life is so precious, especially with all the recent headlines in the news and all of the hatred in the world.IMG_4468 

Being with my family this past week really reminded that life is short.  I kept thinking about one of my favorite quotes by Abraham Lincoln, “And in the end it’s not the years in your life that count, it’s the life in your years.”

Abraham Lincoln

Such a great reminder to spend time with the ones you love, be healthy, have fun, and have faith.  

Here are a few highlights of our trip, our workouts, and our eats!  

We did a few beach runs, which I love!  We hit the hotel gym a few times, this was a little more difficult for me since I was unfamiliar with the equipment and it was a different space than I am used to, but I still got in a few good quick workouts.  We did a yoga class at the hotel which was fun and different.   By far my favorite “workout” was hiking up the Koko Head stairs.  IMG_1408[1] IMG_1413[1]

WOWZERS!!!!  That was a challenge.  It was a steep climb up the 1050 stairs to the top.  They weren’t really stairs either!  They were railroad ties that are not really wide enough to take just one step, unless you have really long legs!  About midway through there is a bridge section that was a bit tough to maneuver across and you could easily slip (I did).  Once you hit the top the view is breathtaking! It is an amazing view of Hanauma Bay and the Hawaii Kai area.  On the way down it started to rain making the downhill portion a bit more difficult with slippery railroad ties, sand and rocks.  It was worth it!  If you ever get a chance to hike the Koko Head stairs do it!  

Koko Head Stairs

We also got a chance to eat some yummy food.  A lot of it was made by my aunt Cammy.  I swear she can open her fridge and grab whatever she finds and make a gourmet meal.  I will be posting a few of her recipes she gave me soon!  One of the best places we ate was a small restaurant called Fete.  The food and wine was amazing.  We had the chicken liver mousse, which I was nervous to try, but it was sooooo good.  I shared the burger with my aunt which was also very tasty.  The hubby had the linguine carbonara, which was also great.  We all shared dessert and my favorite was the cherry chocolate pavlova.  It was to die for!!!!!  I was ready to lick the plate, but I didn’t!  This restaurant is highly recommended if you are visiting Oahu.  I didn’t get any pictures of my food, because I was too busy eating it and enjoying a lovely conversation with my family.  

Overall, our trip was amazing!  I think when you are on vacation it’s important to enjoy it.  We still worked out, but we replaced some of our normal high intensity workouts with fun activities like snorkeling, hiking, playing in the ocean, and long slow beach runs.  Our workouts let us enjoy our surroundings and not be stuck in a small hotel gym.  It was also great to try new and different foods that I can now incorporate into my meals at home.  Yes I did indulge a bit with more wine than I usually drink and a few extra desserts, but I still made sure my indulgences were worth it.  

I hope you guys had a great weekend!  I am excited to get meal planning and cooking next week with my new recipes!  

Breakfast Boredom and Boot Camp Workout

Happy Friday!  We are heading to Hawaii this weekend for a little R&R and time with my family who live there.  I am so excited.  I will definitely be taking a ton of pictures to share with you all when we get back.

Today’s workout was a good one!  I am always starving after my workouts and I look forward to breakfast! 

Bootcamp 30

Do you ever get bored with the same old breakfast stuff you eat everyday?  I am a total creature of habit.  I will usually have oatmeal, smoothies, eggs and toast, or my banana oat protein pancakes.  I typically just rotate these during the week.  Lately I have not been wanting any of those things for breakfast though.  I decided I was on a mission to find some new breakfast things to try.  Today I had the sweet potato breakfast bowl.  I topped mine with chopped cashews, cinnamon and a sprinkle of chia seeds.  It was yummy and super filling.  While searching the web I found these things I plan on incorporating into my weekly breakfast rotation. 

Sweet Potato Toast with Avocado.  Yup, I said sweet potato toast.  This idea is so intriguing to me.  I love sweet potato and avocado so it is a total win!  Here is the recipe I found:  http://www.popsugar.com/fitness/Sweet-Potato-Toast-Recipes-41793311  I am not sure about the radish, I may add a sprinkle of chia seeds and sea salt.  

Cookie Dough Cereal.  I love cookie dough and cereal so why not.  I also love this blog.  I use a lot of her recipes.  http://fitnessista.com/2010/08/serious-cereal/  I will probably make the raw version.  

Mashed sweet potato bowls. Here I go again with the sweet potato, but I really do love them and they are healthy and filling.  I usually have sweet potatoes baked and ready in the fridge for left over so this will be quick and easy too! The recipe below is adapted from a few I found on the web. 

 

Mashed Sweet Potato Breakfast Bowl
Serves 1
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Ingredients
  1. 1 Mashed Sweet Potato
  2. 1/2 Banana
  3. 1/2 Tsp of Cinnamon or Pumpkin Pie Spice
  4. Pinch of Sea Salt
  5. 1 Scoop Vanilla Protein Powder (optional for added protein)
Instructions
  1. Mash sweet potato, banana, spices and salt until well incorporated. Microwave for 1-3 minutes until it reaches your desired temperature. If you are adding the protein you may need a bit of almond milk as well to incorporate the protein powder. Stir until well combined and add desired toppings.
Optional topping ideas
  1. Sliced Banana
  2. Chopped Nuts
  3. Nut Butter
  4. Unsweetened Shredded Coconut
  5. Chia or Flax Seeds
  6. Dried Fruit (chopped dates, raisins, or cranberries)
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Current Food Faves

IMG_1260[1]Hi everyone, I hope you all had a great 4th of July weekend.  We sure did.  We got to spend time with family and friends which is always the best.  

Lately I have been trying to incorporate new foods and snack items into my daily meals to change it up a bit.  I am usually a creature of habit but lately I have been getting bored with the same meals and snacks.  I thought I would share some of the new things that I have been trying lately that I love.  So here are a few of my latest food finds.  

  1. Naked PB and Naked Protein Powder.  It is so hard to find a good protein powder that is clean and dairy free.  So I bought the sample pack of Naked Protein Powder and all of the dairy free options were really good.  I tried the goat, rice, and pea.  They were all unflavored.  I added them to my smoothies and my banana oat pancake recipe.  The verdict=I would definitely buy this again.  I am actually going to buy the Naked Pea protein in vanilla and chocolate.  
  2. Organic Black Bean Spaghetti.  This stuff is amazing!!!!!  One serving has 180 calories, 2 grams fat, 17 carbohydrates, and a whopping 25 grams of protein.  The thickness is similar to an angel hair pasta, the taste is not strong and very subtle.  I was expecting a bean taste, but there really wasn’t.  We had it with sautéed shrimp in olive oil and herbs.  It really soaked up the flavor.  Next time I will try it with a traditional spaghetti sauce.  Even my hubby the pasta lover in the family liked it!  The verdict=definitely buy again.  
  3. Crio Bru brewed cocoa.  I am trying to limit my caffeine intake, which is really hard!  I usually only drink 2 cups a day, but I am trying to cut back to one cup.  So based on the advice given from my naturopath I tried this coffee alternative.   Surprisingly it has a similar taste to coffee without the caffeine.  According to the packaging “Crio Bru is the ultimate superfood, a delicious all-natural coffee alternative made from the finest fair trade cocoa beans, roasted and ground and brewed just like coffee. But unlike coffee, it’s 99% caffeine free, high in antioxidants and theobromine for a focused, Honest Energy™ boost that will keep you feeling great all day, without jitters or sleeplessness.”  The taste is similar  to a very dark chocolate.  The Verdict=It’s good, but I am not sure I would drink it a lot.  I may just stick to one cup of coffee if I can.
  4. Kirkland Protein Bars.  These I cannot eat due to the whey protein but I am writing this on behalf of my hubby.  These are almost identical to a Quest Bar in taste and texture.  The only difference is that these are sweetened with stevia and there are only 2 flavor options.  Cookie dough, my hubbys fave and chocolate brownie.  They are also a ton cheaper.  Under $1 a bar.  Quest bars are usually $2-$3 a bar.  I soooo wish I could eat these!!!  The Verdict=Buying these for the hubby for sure!
  5. Humm Kombucha in Pomegranate Lemonade.  I LOVE LOVE LOVE kombucha.  I even tried to  make it once but that didn’t go very well.  So I am back to buying it.  Here in Boise we can get growlers of Humm Kombucha filled up and it is much cheaper than buying it in the bottle.  If you don’t know what kombucha is it is a fermented sweet tea.  It’s a nice alternative to drinking sparkling water, tea, or other sweetened beverages and it’s good for you.  It’s loaded with antioxidants, probiotics, and B vitamins.  My new favorite flavor is pomegranate lemonade, it is so refreshing for summer.  I also love lemon ginger and my daughter’s love coconut lime.  The Verdict=love this flavor and I will keep buying it for sure!

I just wanted to share with you a few of my faves right now. I am NOT getting paid to endorse any of these items (I wish)!  Give them a try and let me know what you think in the comments below.  I love to hear new snack ideas and foods that other people are trying. 

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