Friday, October 24, 2014

Be VERY afraid! Then get over it!!

Time for a check up!

Remember way back when, when I said the theme for 2014 is FEARLESS?  Well I haven't forgotten.  I've been living this year facing fears, identifying new ones and being (temporarily) defeated by old ones.  We've entered the last quarter of 2014 so it's time to check ourselves (before we wreck ourselves…sorry-can't-help-it).

I don't normally curse, but...

I was recently eye to eye with one of my biggest known fears.  As I was excitedly primping myself for a much needed GNO (girls night out).  I bounced my way down my basement stairs to slip into a pair of non-athletic shoes (a rare and special occasion on it's own) only to discover the most horrific thing imaginable slithering it's way out of my shoe.  It was a %$^#^ SNAKE…IN. MY. SHOE.  Seriously.  This is the first time I've been able to discuss the situation without tearing up.  It was AWFUL!  I do NOT have a picture to share with you.  If you think I'm hanging out with the S word long enough to capture an image on camera, well, then you don't know me at all.  Nevertheless, I did not burn my house to the ground or move into a hotel.  I continue to live there (with caution) and each day I find myself entering rooms with a little more confidence.  I'm no longer scanning the perimeter of the house with a flashlight on an hourly basis and I imagine someday I'll enter my basement without boots on or a hammer in tow.  And that, my friend, is progress.  Let's move on.

GNO was still a success!
And that beauty next to me came to my rescue, stopping by my house to hunt down my slimy intruder! 

Summary thus far...

Thus far I'm happy with the way the year is progressing.  Personally: I've made some big leaps into buying and renovating a fixer-upper (perhaps before and afters to share soon?).   I've watched my incredible kids take on some challenges and grow into even more fabulous beings.  Professionally: I've been developing some new programs for 2015 and have been nurturing some that I've had in place.  My hope is that I'm able to expand my reach and help more people discover how fun fitness can be and how it has a positive impact on all other areas of life.  I've spent the past few years diving into experiments and submerging myself into program development so that I can present the ultimate program that encompasses all that is wonderful about living, experiencing and embracing fitness.

Thank you, Thank you!

 For allowing me to ramble, I present you with this token of appreciation: A sample workout:

I call this my "NO FEAR FRIDAY" workout...

I started by supersetting pull-overs (12 reps) and plate pikes (20 reps) for 3 sets.

Once I finished my 3 sets of those 2 exercises, I did a 2 minute boxing circuit.
I love boxing!  It's total body and it get's my heart rate up.

Then I moved on to a new superset.  Bench press (12 reps) and Close grip pull-ups (8 reps) for 3 sets.

Pull-ups are tough!  If you aren't quite ready for them, I suggest standing on a sturdy box so that you have some assistance (a gentle hop) getting your chin up, then focus on lowering yourself down slowly.  You will be amazed at how quickly you progress after practicing this way (focusing on the negative part of the exercise).  Option 3: You could also a cable to do lat pulldowns.

After the superset, I did another 2 min round of boxing.

Lastly, I realized it was incredibly beautiful outside, so I grabbed some dumbbells and walked around the building (outside) doing bicep curls, shoulder presses, and tricep extensions.  I stopped and did 20 burpees between each set.  Let me know if you need tips on modify or substituting any of these exercises.


I love weight training, but I am SO glad tomorrow is yoga day!!  I'm going to need it!

ONE MORE THING KBD (kinda big deal)!!

As I put the finishing touches on my projects for 2014 I am wrapping up with an amazing event.  I get to go to a conference in NYC!! I have NEVER been and I am so stoked!!  What's even more exciting??  This conference is so befittingly titled #FunFEARLESSLife!  How perfect is that?  There are going to be speakers there like Eva Longoria, Jillian Michaels, Sara Blakely (founder of Spanx), Dick Costolo (the CEO of Twitter) and lots of other amazing people who deserve a mention but this post is getting so darn long.
I cannot wait to share this experience with you!! I know I am going to learn so much and be challenged in ways I can't even imagine.

Have you been to New York?  Please share your experience or tips in the comments section!

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Clean it like you mean it!

What is your favorite day of the week?

Wednesday mornings are fantastic because I get to move a little slower than usual.  I get to be home with my kids while they are getting ready for school and nag them with lots of questions like "Are you hungry?  Want an apple?  Want an egg?  Brush your teeth yet?  Want me to iron that?  Are those socks clean? Brush your teeth yet?  Have your homework? Need lunch money?  Seriously, brush your teeth already."  I'm sure they think they are annoyed as I bounce around with my "morning person" spirit as I pinch their cheeks while they roll their tired eyes at me, but I know they secretly like Wednesday mornings too.

Anyhow, you recall that I mentioned I get to move a little slower on Wednesdays.  That doesn't mean I'm actually capable of moving slower.  I function most efficiently in the morning, so before 7am I had already accomplished the following:

Unclogged a drain (bathroom).  Unclogged a nose (Liam's).  Unclogged a toilet (anonymous).  Jumpstarted a car (attempted, apparently a Fiat battery doesn't supply enough juice to get a Silverado running…sorry, dude).  And of course the typical kid drop offs, breakfast, shower etc.  So, while I was already on a roll, I thought, let me just get a quick house-work-out in.  A house-work-out is when you actually turn housework into a workout but with more intention than just cleaning.  This one is quick simple and effective.  Goes like this:

Be so careful with this one.  Warning:  If your glass lid falls off of your crockpot and knocks you in the head, I cannot be held responsible.  Do this at your own risk!  Also, when doing the deadlifts, make sure you have proper form (if you aren't sure if you have proper form, then you probably don't.  Check with a professional/contact me).  You can adjust the resistance by changing the amount of water in the pot.  If you are washing your crockpot anyway, this one is a no brainer.  Again, I'm more so just telling you I did this one.  If you choose to do it and you spill something or smash a toe…it was at your own risk.

This is best done with a laundry bag and not a basket.  The bag reminds me of sandbag training, which I love!  I repeated this 4 times.  It didn't take long.

Try to keep your legs straight with this one.  If you haven't done inchworms before, you really should have a witness around to advise.  Cannot emphasize enough…exercise can be dangerous!  Not exercising can also be dangerous.

Don't slack on this one.  I HATE cleaning my bathtub, but I LOVE a lean upper body, so if I treat this task as a workout I scrub with much more intensity.

If you have time, add crunches & leg raises between each exercise.  I was surprised at how this routine actually didn't add much time to my morning routine at all and it will save me tons of time this evening when I don't have to do that cleaning :)

Post Workout:

I threw together a smoothie with spinach, mango, banana and my favorite vanilla protein powder from Arbonne.  Then I had to clean the blender, which I just did the standard way.  No workout added.  Now I'm headed to the gym for my first appointment of the day.  

Do you incorporate fitness into your daily routine?  Share your tips with me!

Saturday, October 4, 2014

Eat This, Lift That

Sometimes you NEED a snack.

Last time, we talked about things to do that aren't eating.  Obviously, we can't carry on without food forever.  So, here are 7 quick fixes for those times when you're out, you're starving and you have NO FOOD in your possession (shame on you for leaving the house without a cooler bag) and need something to tide you over until your next superfood stuffed meal.

1) Starbucks Perfect Oatmeal:  Who says you can only eat oatmeal for breakfast?  This makes a great snack with fiber and energizing-slow-digesting carbs.  They offer nuts or dried fruit as a mix in depending on your mood.  Grab a black coffee or an iced tea while your there.  You can pick one up for me too if you want ;) ***Trenta Shaken Iced Green Tea, Unsweetened, No Water***-That's my order.  If you can't find a Starbucks nearby, then you have probably left the civilized world and you should just forage for wild mushrooms or spear a fish somewhere.

2) Kind Bar:  Kind Bars have come a long way over the past 10 years.  They are now sold in over 80,000 locations in 30 varieties, so chances are, you'll be able to find them.  Most flavors are made with simple, real ingredients and are primarily nuts.  The newer varieties have 5 grams of sugar or less.  They are filling and usually contain 10 grams of protein (give or take).  Not sure what flavor to try first?    Check out this article!  This guy tasted and ranked all 30 flavors.

3) Fage Greek Yogurt:  It contains Protein, Probiotics, Calcium, Magnesium, Potassium and B vitamins in a convenient single serving cup.  These are easy to find and with the fruit preserves or honey on the side, you can control the amount of sweetnes .  I prefer the plain with honey.  If I'm really hungry, I'll go for the 2% milk fat because it's a little more filling and the extra fat helps keep my brain functioning more clearly.

4) Superfruit Power Smoothie with Ginseng (Panera): If you're in the mood for something fruity and refreshing, this smoothie will give you a natural burst of energy with the added ginseng.  It will stay with you for a little while with 14 grams of protein.  Not quite as nutritious as making one at home yourself (if you're making one of my recipes), but every bit as delicious and you won't have to wash the blender.

5) The Good Bean:  I love making roasted chickpeas at home and they are so simple to travel with, but some mornings I'm lucky to find my keys, let alone  remember to grab the baggy of chickpeas.  Never fear, The Good Bean offers those little brain boosting (i.e. folate containing) bites on your supermarket shelf.  Picking up a bag is as simple as grabbing a bag of potato chips, but with fiber, protein, vitamins and minerals.  Right now they are available in most health food markets and are quickly popping up at more stores nationwide. 

6) Produce: Sorry to be blogger of the obvious, but sometimes the simplest ideas are the most overlooked.  You can grab a piece of fruit or a veggie that requires no more prep than a quick rinse off in the closest fountain.  Apples, carrots, cucumbers, grapefruit & sugar snap peas are some of my favorites that hold up pretty well while you're on the go.

7) Jerky:  One of my secret favorites.  While I've been primarily a plant lover most of my life, I've often found myself with a hankering for a meat treat.  If you're have a carnivorous craving, look for a nitrate free variety with simple ingredients.  Forget the Slim Jim.  There are fancy artisan varieties available now.  You can even fine jerky tossed in trail mix.  A perfect snack if your day is going to be long and strenuous (i.e. Not for lying on the couch while watching re-runs of The Office).

Should bananas be a controlled substance?

About an hour before it was time to get my zen on at yoga, I found myself with a free hour.  Having lots I needed to accomplish in that hour, I decided to procrastinate with a workout.  I needed some pre-workout fuel.  While I rarely eat bananas, I had one handy, so I went for it.  I don't know if anyone else experiences this, but when I eat a banana I turn into a white-girl version of The Incredible Hulk.  There are plenty of reasons for this.  One being that bananas contain 3 different types of sugar.  If the fructose doesn't get you, surely the glucose or sucrose will.  Add a cup of coffee to the mix and I'll be over to re-roof your house.  Anyhow, I used the energy surge to complete the following:

(ummmm, I spelled banana wrong. 
 I don't have time to fix it right now, so let's all pretend not to notice)

I completed 4 sets of the following:

Barbell Squats (95 lbs, 15 reps)
Rear delt. single arm rows (15 each side, 35 lbs on the end of a bar)
Walking lunges w/ lateral raises (8 lb dumbells, 15 each leg)

Then I did this:
Don't worry, you know I'll share it will you, but that's a post on it's own.

THEN…I did 4 sets of these exercises:

Wide grip lat pulldowns (15 reps, 75 lbs)
Hanging Leg Raises (15 reps)
TRX Rows (15 reps)
Box Jumps (15 reps)

THEN…the Bosu circuit again.  


I love sharing my workouts with you, but keep in mind, if you aren't experienced, seek guidance to check your form.  Also, know that weights are not one size fits all.  It's better to start lighter and work your way up.  Let me know if you have any questions!

Now, time for some Ommmmmmmm…..