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
http://4livingthewrightway.com/

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)
http://4livingthewrightway.com/

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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Tips for Staying Active and Healthy on Vacation

Tips For Staying Healthy and

It’s almost 4th of July and with summer many of us are going to be heading out on vacation. I know our family has a few weekend getaways as well as a trip to Hawaii coming up.  When I am on vacation I try to keep my healthy lifestyle and stay on track with my eating.  I know it can be difficult,  but I feel so much better when I do.  Many people including me think of a vacation as a time to skip their workouts, eat junk food and stray from their current diet (the kinds of food that a person typically eats).  This recently happened to me on a weekend getaway.  I went a little crazy and ate a lot of sugar, drank a lot of wine and ate a ton of stuff I usually don’t eat.  Yes it tasted yummy at the time, but I paid for it later.  My sleep was off for a few days, my stomach hurt, and my workouts were sluggish the next week.  This was a good reminder for me that on my next trip I am going to try to stick to my usual routine when possible.  Here are a few ideas to help you stay on track when you are on your next vacation.

  • Try a new class.  My hotel in Hawaii has yoga on the Lanai.  I am totally going to try that!  Many hotels offer classes or you may be able to get a pass to a local gym near your hotel.  
  • Try something active you have never done before like hiking, paddle boarding, surfing, beach volleyball or whatever you can find that is near where you are staying.  We will be going to Hawaii so those are just a few things we found.  We are going to take on the Koko Head stairs, which is going to be quite the challenge.  
  • Stay in a hotel with a kitchenette or a vacation home that has a kitchen.  You will be able to hit the local grocery store and prepare a lot of your foods at the hotel.  
  • Get the entire family involved if you are on a family vacation.  Find activities that the entire family can do.  
  • Workout!  Take advantage of the hotel gym or take your workout outside.  I always throw in a set of resistance bands and have a few workouts downloaded on my iPad to use or adjust as needed.  Get your workout out-of-the-way early so you don’t have to worry about it later!
  • When eating out (which you will) try to select healthy options.  I like to do my research before I got out-of-town and find restaurants with healthy options that can accommodate my food intolerance (gluten and dairy).  A lot of restaurants now show calorie counts on the menu so that will help you be more aware of what you are eating.
  • Be aware of sneaky drink calories!  This may be hard for me when I see all those yummy fruity pool side drinks like a Mai Tai!  Choose lighter options like wine, light beer or sparkling water with lime or diet fresca with vodka.  Don’t forget to drink a lot of water too!
  • Just because you have a free breakfast buffet or free cocktail hour at the hotel doesn’t mean you need to go overboard.
  • It’s ok to indulge, you are on vacation!  However, don’t overindulge because you may pay for it later.  Make your indulgence worth it!!!!
  • Enjoy your surroundings, if you are next to the beach and can run on the beach do it!
  • Avoid airport food!  Take your own food on the airplane for long trips or for road trips.  I pack things like fruit, trail mix, instant oatmeal, PB & J, Jerky, and protein bars.  

This is my go to hotel room workout when I need a quick workout before starting my day.  It can also be done quietly (or I try to be) since my darling daughters are usually asleep nearby.  

Hotel Room Workout

  • Warm Up (3 Minutes)
  • Body Weight Squats
  • Heel Jacks or Jumping Jacks (louder)
  • Toe Touches
  • Walkouts
  • Arm Circles Forward and Reverse

Compete each of the following exercises for 30 seconds.  Repeat 1-3 times or more if you have more time.

Walk Out with Reach or Regular Burpees

Squat with Alternating Front Kicks

  • Mountain Climbers
  • Alternating Curtsy Lunges
  • Squat with a Calf Raise or Squat Jump  
  • Push Ups
  • High Knees
  • Right Side Hip Ups
  • Left Side Hip Ups
  • Skaters  
  • Tricep Dips
  • Bicycle Crunches

Always take time to cool down and stretch.

Hotel Workout (2)Here is a short video demonstrating the exercises:

It isn’t really hard to stay on track while on vacation if you prepare in advance, do your research, use moderation and stay active.   I hope you all have a wonderful and safe 4th of July weekend!  

Thursday Arms, Abs, Buns and Cardio Workout

I hope you guys are having an awesome week.  We have had a busy one but it has been fun.  We have been eating frozen yogurt, watching movies, swimming and hanging out with friends.  I just love the summer time.   I started my morning bright and early teaching my boot camp class.  I had a few new gals in my class today which is always great.  I love getting new members to try my classes and I hope they continue to come back.  This morning’s workout was a good one.  The focus was on upper body, core and glutes with cardio bursts mixed in.  I will definitely be feeling all the core tomorrow.  After my workout I made another one of my smoothie bowls that I am addicted to.  This time I got a picture!   IMG_1122

You can make smoothie bowls with just about anything.  I typically see what  have in the pantry or fridge and go from there.  I always include my protein powder and green vibrance or some type of greens to get my day started out right!  I hope you guys enjoy the day and give this workout a try.   Continue reading “Thursday Arms, Abs, Buns and Cardio Workout”

Tips For Drinking More Water

Tips To Drink More Water

How are you guys!  Can we talk about drinking water and hydration for a bit?  THIS IS SO HARD FOR ME!!!!  I will admit I just don’t like the taste of plain water.  It’s going to be in the upper 90’s this week and that means hot and sweaty workouts!  Am I the only one who struggles to drink water?  Especially during the school year.  When you are a teacher with a tiny bladder and bathroom breaks are slim to none it’s tough to drink a lot of water during the school day.  Since it is summer though I have been really focusing on drinking more water.  I think sometimes we focus too much on trying to get the standard 8 glasses of water in each day and don’t focus on what OUR bodies need.  I think it is different for everyone.  I am a heavy sweater during my workouts so my body needs more water.  There are so many benefits of water and I am sure you have heard them all but I notice when I am not drinking enough water my skin looks terrible, I have low energy, I get bloated and sometimes I get headaches.  So here are a few things I have been trying to do this summer to get more water in.

  1. Drink flavor infused water.  I like lemons, limes, cucumbers, and mint.  So good!  
  2. Set a goal, for example my goal is to drink 1 full water bottle by lunch time.  Then another by dinner and one with my workouts. 
  3. Always have your water bottle with you wherever you go.  
  4. Drink your water early in the day!  Don’t try to drink too much water before bed unless you want to be up all night!
  5. Add electrolytes to your water if you are working out in the heat.  I like Nuun Tablets or Emergen C.

What are your tips for drinking more water?  I would love to hear them so comment below and let me know so I can give them a try.  Have a great Monday and if you are in Boise stay cool!

Can you boost your metabolism?

Tips To Speed Rev Up Your MeatabolismHi Everyone!  Recently I was having a conversation with my dad regarding losing weight and working out.  After talking with his doctor, he has recently decided to lose some weight and start a new healthier lifestyle.  I am so excited to help him out with this process.  One of the questions he had for me was about metabolism.  He asked me how to boost his metabolism especially since he is getting older (mid 50’s) this is an area he is struggling with.  This was such a great question.  So I set out to do a little research and help him and all of my readers too. A lot of this information I learned in my fitness certification courses and some of my continuing education courses as well.  

Tips To Boost Your Metabolism

  1. Get Enough Sleep
  2. Eat A Good Breakfast (carbs, protein and fats)
  3. Strength Train
  4. Reduce Stress
  5. Eat Clean Unprocessed Organic Foods
  6. Increase your protein intake
  7. Add interval training into your workouts
  8. Drink a lot of water
  9. Drink Green Tea

Causes For Slow Metabolism

  1. Eating Processed Foods
  2. Too Much Alcohol
  3. Skipping Meals (especially breakfast) or Not Eating Enough
  4. Not getting enough sleep
  5. Dehydration
  6. Skipping Workouts

*Disclaimer:  I am not a nutritionist or registered dietician.  These are just my tips and suggestions.  I always suggest working with your doctor or Naturopath prior to starting anything new in your diet or a new workout program.

I hope you all have a fantastic weekend! 

 

 

 

 

Low Impact HIIT Workout

Happy Hump Day!  I got the chance to sub for another instructor at the gym yesterday and I love her class.  They are so much fun!  However, her class is a lot different than my insane boot campers!  It is a low impact strength and conditioning class.  Just because a class is low impact doesn’t mean it isn’t a good workout!  This is a great low impact workout that is still tough but will be easier on your joints and require less jumping or plyometric moves.  I got a great workout  and it is always nice to try something a little different.  This workout combines strength training and cardio burst intervals.  Give it a try.   

Warm Up (5 Minutes)

For the warm up you can warm up with a brisk walk or easy jog on the treadmill, elliptical or bike.  Or you can do a combination of dynamic warm up moves.  I like to do a combination of dynamic exercises for 30 seconds each.  Here are a few suggestions:  bodyweight squats, lunges, jacks, jog or march in place, butt kickers, high knees, toe touches, walk outs, or push ups.  These will get your body warmed up and your muscles loose so that you will be ready for  the workout.

After the warm up you will complete each exercise in the circuit at maximum intensity for 30 seconds rest for 10 seconds if needed. Complete 2-3 rounds. 

Low Impact

Always be sure to cool down and stretch following any workout.  Right now I am trying to incorporate more stretching into my workouts and it is feeling really good!  

After my workout  I had a great smoothie  bowl.  I don’t know about you guys but I like to eat my smoothies rather than drink them really fast.  I have been addicted to smoothie bowls lately.  Here is what I had today it was yummy.  Feel free to adjust to your taste.  

Blueberry Almond Smoothie Bowl

  • ½ of a frozen banana
  • 1 cup frozen blueberries
  • ½ cup of non-dairy milk (I use unsweetened vanilla almond milk)
  • 1 scoop vanilla protein powder
  • 1 tablespoon almond butter
  • 1 scoop green vibrance or a handful of greens like spinach or kale

Add all the ingredients to your blender. To get a thick smoothie you will need to use a high-powered blender like a Vitamix.  Once it is blended and has a thick consistency (like soft serve ice cream) scoop it out into a bowl and top with your favorite toppings like fresh fruit, chia seeds, chopped almonds, unsweetened coconut, or granola.  I topped mine with this yummy granola that tastes like a peanut butter cookie.  I seriously love all of her recipes!!!!

http://www.pbfingers.com/2011/06/14/peanut-butter-granola/

Just remember to go easy on the toppings they can add up in calories.  I prefer to measure mine out for portion control.  

On another note, I really need to start taking more pictures of my food!  Next time I promise!

Summer Break and Kale Salad!!!!

All  of my teacher friends know how valuable summer break is.  We all look forward to it and we are always very refreshed when we head back to school in the fall.  Today was my first day of summer break and it was great!  It started off with a quiet run with my dog.  The weather was beautiful and the sun was rising. After that I got to take my daughters to school since they still had one more day.  I always enjoy taking them to school since I don’t get to do it very often.  I cannot believe a year has flown by since I was dropping them off on the first day of school. 

IMG_0955[1]IMG_0956[1]

After that the hubby and I went down to our favorite winery the Teleya Winery in Boise to sit on the beautiful patio and enjoy some wine tastings while listening to the rushing Boise River.  We love the wine and the atmosphere.  Continue reading “Summer Break and Kale Salad!!!!”