Good morning! I am getting ready to meet up with some friends for my Sunday run. This weekend was a cold and rainy weekend. Last night the hubby and I cuddled up with a bit of popcorn, wine and a movie. This ,is a bit of a side note but I love popcorn! I could eat a giant bowl all by myself. My favorite way to enjoy it is when my hubby makes it the old fashioned way using a giant pot on the stove with coconut oil. I sprinkle it with sea salt and it is sooooo good!
Many of you may not know that I was diagnosed with epilepsy about 8 years ago. This has been a real journey for me. I am planning to share bits of my story on this blog hoping that it helps with my healing process and inspires other people as well. I suffer from catamenial epilepsy which is when your seizures happen around your menstrual cycle. This form of epilepsy is unique and for me difficult to understand. Sharing my story and my condition has been very hard. Some of my close friends do not even know I have it. I have been thinking long and hard about sharing my story and the thing that stands out in my mind is fear. I have decided it is time to get over this fear! In the Bible the phrase “do not be afraid” is written 365 times. I need to remind myself that I need to live my life every day without fear and know that God has a plan for me and I need to trust it. Have an amazing Sunday! I am off for my run with friends, which basically is my therapy session.
Happy Friday and Happy Earth Day! My youngest daughter’s Birthday is today! You may recall that my older daughter had a Birthday last week too. So it’s been a bit crazy around here and we have had a lot of sweets showing up in the form of cupcakes and cake. So I whipped up a batch of my healthy brownie bites today to curb that sweet tooth and avoid devouring too many cupcakes later at her party!
I have been experimenting with a lot of healthy brownie alternatives lately. Can you tell I have been craving brownies? I am a big fan of Larabars for my pre-workout energy, but they can be pretty spendy depending on where you buy them. So I started making my own which is much more budget friendly. They are super easy and quick to make and you can keep them in your fridge for a quick pick me up before your workout. My friend Wendy gave me a recipe for a brownie bite, so I made a few tweaks and came up with this recipe. Give these a try and let me know what you think!
Chocolate Brownie Energy Ball Recipe
(Raw, Gluten Free, Dairy Free, and Grain Free) Makes 16 Balls (1 tbs size)
1 1/2 Cups Walnuts or Almonds (I used raw almonds)
In a food processor pulse the nuts and the salt until finely ground. Add the dates, vanilla, cocoa powder and protein powder and blend or pulse. The mixture may be a bit dry at this point so you may have to add water slowly until the mixture becomes sticky. I added almost a ¼ cup of water, but I also added the protein powder. Scoop the mixture into about a tablespoon size ball (I like a to use a small ice cream scoop) and roll them. Store them in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 1 week (they don’t last that long at my house). You now have a quick easy pre-workout snack or a little after dinner dessert treat!
Wow! My legs hurt today. Tuesday was a fun and challenging workout. For the month of April I have been really trying to emphasize core and total body in my classes that I teach two times a week. This workout combines high intensity interval training, total body strength training, and core conditioning. You can do this workout at the gym or at home.
Materials you will need for the workout: Weights (dumbbells), Mat Towel, Water
Workout: Complete each set of exercises 3 times. 1st set 45 seconds, 2nd set 30 seconds, final set 20 seconds. Always finish your workout with your favorite cool down moves and some stretches. I like to incorporate some yoga stretches like the pigeon, downward facing dog and cobra.
Happy Monday! It’s been a Birthday frenzy at my house. Both my daughters have Birthday’s in April and while I love cake, especially frosting, I cannot eat cake for every party we have. I did indulge a bit in this beautiful cake my mom made for my daughter Chloe, but I paid the price later. I am pretty sensitive to dairy and this cake had a whipped cream frosting, which was very yummy! I cannot eat a lot of dairy or I pay the price. So I searched the internet and found a few recipes and made a few tweeks and came up with a super yummy brownie bite recipe. These brownie bites feature 4 simple ingredients and are quick and easy to prepare. I will say that if you are used to eating the “real deal” brownie bites, this is not going to taste the same. Depending on the protein powder you use it will change the taste and texture. One of my daughters ate 3 of them, the other did not like them at all. I really enjoyed them, but I don’t usually eat a lot of super sweet foods. My hubby plans to top them with a bit of peanut butter or real whipped cream! So next time you have a party or an event and need to bring a dessert give these brownies a try. Or just make a batch when you have a major chocolate craving!
Healthy Brownie Bite Recipe (Vegan and Gluten Free)
Makes 15 Brownie Bites (I used a mini muffin tin)
3 Ripe Bananas
½ Cup Nut Butter (I used almond butter)
4 Scoops Orgain Protein Powder (2 Servings)
4 Tablespoons Cocoa Powder
Optional: Stevia to taste
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a muffin tin or 9×13 pan with non-stick coconut oil spray. In a food processor or mixer blend bananas, nut butter, protein powder and cocoa powder until smooth and fully incorporated. Scoop the mixture into your pan and bake for 20 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Let cool and enjoy!
This morning my friend Rachel and I changed our run up a bit. We usually just meet and go for a longer run or do hill repeats. We wanted to incorporate and arm workout while still getting a few miles in. This was a great workout. I will definitely be feeling my arms tomorrow.
Start off with a 1 mile warm up run. Then complete the strength exercises using heavy weights. Weights should be heavy and you should have a hard time getting in all of the reps. You may need to go to a lower weight to finish. First set complete 12 reps, second set 10 reps and final set 8 reps. Between each set do the running workout.
Hi Everyone! I got the opportunity on Saturday to do the pre-race warm ups for the Cause and Event Race series. There are three runs. A kid’s fun run and a 5k run and 10k. So here is my question for the runners out there. Do you have a pre-race warm up routine? If not, you should. I am just as guilty as the next person, sometimes I get caught up in the excitement of the race that I forget to do my pre-race warm up ritual. I can totally tell a difference when I do it. There are so many benefits to warming up, but here are just a few that I find very beneficial. First, it will lead to a successful race. I have proof of this in some of my race times and how I feel. It can prepare your body both physically and mentally. For me, it just makes me feel better during my run because I don’t feel so stiff and tense. Your pre-race warm up doesn’t have to be long. It can be a short jog, a few strides, or you can do a warm up like I did for the run. One suggestion I have is not do static stretching before your race. Save this for after the race when you really need it
One more tip, show up to the race early so you have time to warm up! Sometimes I am running to the start line pinning on me bib number. NOT GOOD!
Complete the following exercises for 8-10 reps or 30 seconds each before moving on to the next. Your warm up should be approximately 3-5 minutes.
Jog in Place
Hi Skips In Place
Grapevine/Karaoke (if you have room)
Gate Swing or Squat In and Out
Side Lunges (be sure to do each side)
Lunges: Pulse each leg
Reach Down Toe Touches
Leg Swings (both legs)
This may seem like a lot but it goes by pretty fast. Feel free to shorten it or take out a few exercises if you need to .
If you are not familiar with Maca it is a root that is an adaptogen and is getting a lot of buzz lately. I learned about it from my naturopathic doctor and started incorporating it into my diet. Maca has a lot of benefits. I am not a nutritionist, but here are a few things that I have noticed while incorporating it into my diet.
Benefits of Maca
Can help with PMS symptoms
Hormones and Sexual Health
Energy, Mood and Memory
Now you are probably curious about how to incorporate it into your diet. There are many ways to use it. You can even make a drink out of it (I have not tried that). My favorite ways to use it are in smoothies, stirred into oatmeal, topped on yogurt or smoothie bowls with a bit of granola, and I also mix some into my energy balls recipe I make (recipe link below).
Happy Friday ! Yesterday’s workout was a killer one! My legs are still feeling it today especially when walking up stairs. I thought I would share with you this killer workout. I hope you all give this workout a try. You can do it at home or at the gym. Have a great weekend! Things you will need for the workout:
Towel (you will be sweating)
Lower Body and Ab Interval Workout
Jump Rope Series (we did not have ropes, so we faked them)
Regular Jump Rope 15 Seconds
Single Leg Jump Rope Right 15 Seconds
Single Leg Jump Rope Left 15 Seconds
Gate Swing or Air Squats 30 Seconds
Single Leg Swings 30 Seconds Each Leg
Alternating Side Lunges 30 Seconds
Complete exercises in each circuit for 30 seconds each. Repeat 3 times or more if you would like.
Squat with Alternating Side Kicks
Single Leg Back Lunges Right 30 Seconds with weights
Single Leg Back Lunges Left 30 Seconds with weights
Plank Pull Across (in plank pull weight across the body)
Burpee with 8 Punches (come up from burpee stay low and jab right and left)
Weighted Goblet Squat
Push Up to a Side Plank add in a Knee Crunch or Just Regular Push Ups
Sumo Squat with Alternating Leg Lifts (hold weights in front of chest or on shoulders)
A few weeks ago I started a new meal plan with Gauge Girl Training. I have been in a slump and I wanted to change things up a bit with my eating. I was always feeling hungry and my body fat was creeping up. It may have had something to do with the fact that I LOVE LOVE LOVE peanut butter. So I heard about the custom meal plans with Gauge Girl Training, so I thought I would give it a try. I got my meal plan and I noticed there were a lot of protein shakes on it. I do get a bit tired of the plain old protein shake, so I tried a new twist on my protein shakes. I made it into a protein chia pudding and now I am addicted. So I wanted to share my recipe with you. I eat it as post workout breakfast or in the evening for a little dessert treat. I hope you enjoy it as much as I do.
Chocolate Peanut Butter Protein Chia Pudding (serves 1)
1 Tablespoon Chia Seeds
½ cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk (you can use any milk here)
2 Tablespoons PB2 or other powdered peanut butter
1 scoop or 1 serving of chocolate protein powder (I use the chocolate flavored Orgain)
Mix all ingredients together in a bowl or jar and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes. I like to leave mine in longer. Enjoy!
Here is the nutrition breakdown based on my recipe:
Calories 270, Fat 9.2 grams, Carbs 24.5
*Note: I have tried this with a whey isolate protein powder as well and it was a bit runny, so you may need to adjust your milk ratio a bit and use less if you have a different type of protein powder. It still tasted great!
Happy Monday. I have not been posting as much last week because I have had some major sleep trouble. I don’t know what is going on but I am so tired. I can fall asleep fine, but wake up in the middle of the night and cannot go back to sleep. I have tried all types of remedies meditation, calms forte, essential oils….you name it I have tried it. So I am hoping to start this week off better. If anyone has any ideas that are natural and help with sleep I would love to hear from you. Tomorrow morning is going to come very early. This time change throws me off. So my 5:o0 AM boot
camp class has to be ready to go and get the blood flowing. We are going to do a weights and cardio workout. The workout will start off with a 2-3 minute dynamic warm up and then we will complete cardio and weights for 30 seconds no breaks unless they are needed. We will repeat it 3 times or more if we have enough time. Here is what I am planning for Thursday. I hope you guys have a great week!