Monday, December 29, 2008

Fabulous Food Find

You know that I get excited about finding new awesome products, and here is yet another. I was at the store looking for the best whole wheat tortilla and I found these, La Tortilla, Brand tortillas that I have never seen before. I looked at the nutrition facts and seriously couldn't believe what I was reading. Here are the stats: for one tortilla 80 calories, 3 grams of fat, 12 grams of fiber...yeah WOW, i know...and 8 grams of protein. Can you believe that? I just had one for dinner and it was really good. Try it. You won't be sorry.
**I bought these at Albertson's, so i'm not sure where they are available. BUT you can go on the STORE LOCATOR and type in what product you are looking for and your zip code and it will list the nearest stores that have them. Nice work La Tortilla.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Should auld aquantaince be forgot....

With the Christmas tree coming down and three days left until the New Year it's time to put such phrases as, "Next Year I'll be better at..." or "I'll start working on that once the holidays are over..." into action. I've all thought about them; New Years Resolution. I think it's a safe bet to say that there is a heath related resolution or two on everyone's list. I think its also safe to say that a lot of the time these are the ones that are quickest to fail...Go to the gym everyday, lose 30 lbs, start an exercise program, stop eating junk, etc. There are endless ways we want to improve ourselves, and big plans that many of us have to "be better next year." Well....make this year the year that it actually happens. Don't just think about it. PUT IT INTO ACTION! You can do it. You really can. Here are a few tips to help you on your way...
-Write it down. A goal that is floating around in your mind is going to quickly be forgotten. Write it down. Commit to it. Sign it.
-Put it somewhere you can see it. Make yourself a sticky-note reminder and put it on your fridge, your mirror, your nightstand; wherever you'll see it and remember it.
-make it feasible. Don't try to make it to the gym every day if your schedule only allows three times a week. Your destining yourself to fail. Evaluate what you really can do, and start small.
-Baby steps. Don't try to eat perfectly, workout three times a day, start yoga, begin a weight lifting program, cut out junk food, all at once. There may be a few of you out there who can keep all those commitments, but chances are one at a time you'll fail at one or two causing you to give up entirely. Pick one thing, focus on it, accomplish it. Pick something else, focus on it, accomplish it. You get the pattern. Lots of baby steps can get you a long way.
-If at first you don't succeed...(you know the rest.) Chances are you'll slip up every now and again. You'll miss a day at the gym, you'll eat that bag of candy, you'll sleep through a morning run. BUT success doesn't come from perfection. More often than not success comes from a series of failings and the willingness to keep on trying. So...KEEP ON TRYING. After all, you really CAN do it.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Merry Christmas!!

Have a Happy Healthy Holidays!!

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Exercise of the Week: Plank with Tricep Kickbacks.

This weeks exercise comes with a disclaimer. A reminder, if you will, about why I do things the way I do. :)

Ever since I injured my lower back a few years ago, I've been really involving core training into my workouts. After trying to ignore the injury for a few months I decided it wasn't going to go away, and if I wanted to continue working out pain free I needed to get rid of it. I tried everything, Dr.'s, chiropractors, massages, and nothing seemed to help me. I decided to take matters into my own hands. (Not something I recommend in most injury situations, but I was at the end of my rope.) I began to study more about the body's core, and core training. I implemented core exercises more and more into my routines and surprisingly the pain started to subside. In some amazing way, strengthening my core muscles diminished the pain in my lower back, and it hasn't returned since. I now do core training as a part of all of my clients workouts, and two that have previously experienced severe back pain have had the same great results as I have. I can't promise this to be the case with everyone, but it is most definitely worth a shot! So...having that said. I like to take a lot of my exercises and add something to them, so they use your core; testing your balance, working your abs, making you concentrate on which muscles you're using. It can only benefit you. I promise!

Grab one dumbbell; I would say a 8-10 pounder. Get down on the ground in plank position with your arms fully extended. Grab the weight in one hand bring that elbow back, balancing all your weight on the opposing hand. Do regular triceps kickbacks with the arm holding the weight. Aim to do 12 to 15. Repeat on the other side.
*Things to think about
-aim to keep your hips down in line with your body
-avoid opening your hip that on the side you're working to your arm. You'll feel it more in your abs if your hips are turned down, abs fully engaged.
-think about that triceps muscle as your are squeezing that arm all the way back straight.
-if you aren't feeling it in the back of your arm try holding at the full extension for a second or two and then release slowly

Good luck!

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Here it Goes!!

Ok, so. I talk a lot about goal setting and having things to work towards. I also talk a lot about following a program, something you can stick to. Well...if you're looking for a great opportunity to take my advice here it goes. April 18th...around 18 weeks away. What does this significant day mark? Well the Salt Lake City Marathon/Half Marathon of course. I have done the half marathon the past two years in a row, and I'm popping for the full size this year. I HIGHLY reccomend the Salt Lake City half marathon for those of you who aren't ready for the full, and who are looking for a way to challenge themselves. Here is a few things I must tell you...

1) You CAN do it. I know, you hate running, you don't have the time, blah blah blah blah blah...i've heard it ALL I promise. Suck it up and try. You'll be surprised at what you can do.
2) 99.9% of running is mental. Ok maybe not that much but a huge part of it is. Really. The hardest part is getting yourself started, you'd be surprised at what you can do if you really push yourself. I have proof of this. Just ask BENITA, NICHOLE, ELAINE...among many others! (back me up here guys!)
3) You will feel amazing. Yes, it will be difficult. Yep some of the days you'll probably be asking yourself, "Why am I doing this again?" But I can promise you, you'll feel SO great once you cross that finish line. You'll feel accomplished, empowered, able...and a little bit tired ;)
4) I really like the training program's on Hal Higdon's website.
5) The Salt Lake Marathon and Half Marathon is a great one to start with if you're a beginner. The course is great, the whole program is setup really well, and it's close to home. You get a cool shirt and medal too...yep i know, i'm talking you right into this!
6) Training starts this week/next. If you have questions about the programs, shoes, routes, music, injuries, food, etc etc etc PLEASE ask. You can leave a comment or email me directly @

It is SUCH an awesome experience. Set a goal for yourself. Try something new! Who's with me!?!?!?

Biggest Loser Finale!!

Yeah for Michelle! So I absolutely LOVE The Biggest Loser, and I was really excited about the outcome of the show. All of the contestants looked SO great. The winner was Michelle, dropping a total of 110 lbs, with an ending weight of 132 lbs. WOW! SO great. I love this show because they work SO hard. They change their lifestyles which ends up changing their lives. I think that is something we can all take away from this.One of my favorite quotes is simple, but profound. "Nothing changes if nothing changes." If you expect to see a difference in the way you look and feel you have to be willing to make changes!

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Exercise of the Week: Time Saver Workout

The Situation: You get to the gym with limited time. You'd like to do some cardio as well as get some weight lifting in, but it's got to be quick. Here is a quick workout that will benefit you, burn some calories, and will be well worth your time.

The Regimen
First: Hit the weights

Your weight routine should look something like this. (Don't worry I'll explain myself.)

1 set of 12-15 Squats with Shoulder press.
1 set of 15 pushups
1 minute in plank position
(repeat this 3 times)

Next: Get in your cardio
(you can choose whichever machine you like. I'd suggest the treadmill or stairs if possible)

2 min warm up

3 min intensive high - we're talking really push yourself, sprint, go uphill, increase resistance, do whatever it is you need to do to get that heart rate pumping!
1 min breather - take the intensity down, catch that breath.
(repeat this without the warm up to fill the amount of time you have remaining)

end with a 2 min cool down

The explanation: As you've heard me say time and time again. I LOVE squats. Why do I love them so much? Because they are effective. They work every muscle in your lower body. When you do the squat with a shoulder press you are working your shoulders and some of the muscles in your biceps and upper back as well, making this exercise a definite multitasker! Make sure you keep your feet shoulder width apart, avoid letting your knees go over your toes, and sit low! Try and get those thighs in line with the ground. Make your weight heavy enough to really work you! Remember, you're trying to get your bang for your buck here. When doing your pushups, push yourself! Try to start doing some on your toes and then go to your knees once they get to hard. With your plank push yourself there as well. if a regular plank is too easy for you add some weight to your back or lift one foot up in the air. With these three exercises you're working every muscle in your body!
With your cardio this interval program will have you burning maximum calories in your short time frame. Really try and push yourself during your up intervals, and then scale it back and catch your breath for a minute. Weather you are able to do these intervals for 10 mins or 40 you should feel the workout!

Friday, December 12, 2008

Crock Pot Corn Chowder

With winter CLEARLY on it's way I tend to crave warm foods. Soups, in particular. At this point in the holiday season there is always so much going on it seems like cooking is almost too much! The answer...the crock pot of course. I found this recipe on, and I haven't had time to try it, but I think it looks so delicious and SO easy! I plan on making it this week. With maybe a side of homemade whole wheat bread or cornbread? yum! Oh..and you can't beat those nutrition facts!


1 lb frozen whole kernel corn
1 large onion, chopped
1 celery stalk, chopped
1 tbsp butter or margarine
1 ½ cups potatoes, diced
1 cup water
2 tsp chicken bouillon granules
½ tsp dried thyme
½ tsp salt
½ tsp pepper
½ tsp dried dill
6 tbsp flour
3 cups fat free milk
Combine all ingredients except flour and milk in a 3 ½ or 4 quart slow cooker. Cook on low 8-9 hours, or until potatoes are tender.In a separate bowl, mix flour and milk until smooth. Stir slowly into corn chowder until thickened. Makes 7 servings - each serving contains: 180 calories, 2.5 grams fat, 3 grams fiber. 3 WW points

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Project Domestication Guest Post

My darling friend Becky is the author of Project Domestication. It's a fantastic blog devoted to her quest for discovering and perfecting all things domestic. From cooking, to shopping, to'll love it I promise!

She asked me to give a Holiday Gift Guide for the health nut...or even the aspiring health nut. Check it out my guest post for some great gift ideas for your loved ones, or even for yourself!!

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Exercise of the Week: Single Leg Squats

I love my squats, and so in turn I pretty much love any variation of the squat as well. Single leg squats are great, and you'll feel them even if you don't hold any sort of weight which means they are a great one to do at home if needed. Stand on one leg, and get your balance, tightening those abs. Keeping that knee in the same place sit your hips back into a squat. Your goal is to have this look like a regular squat, just on one leg. Try not to allow those knees to shift forward. You'll feel them more in your glutes if your hips are back. Try to go down as low as you can, keeping that balance and straighten back up. Keep that foot up the whole time. Do 12-15 reps on each leg. Happy squatting!

Friday, December 5, 2008

Megan's Workout Jams

I've told you before how much I love my music while I'm working out. It can be the only thing that keeps me going on those hard days!! Here is my current workout playlist.

Just Dance ft. Colby Odonis - Lady Gaga
Great DJ - The Ting Tings
Closer - Ne-Yo
Live Your Life - T.I.
Gives You Hell - All American Rejects
About a Girl - The Academy Is
Womanizer - Britney Spears
In the Ayer ft. Will.I.Am - Flo-Rida
Kelsey - Metro Station
Send Me an Angel - Real Life *who doesn't love sweatin' to some good 80's music??
Cookie Jar - Gym Class Heroes
Fly on the Wall - Miley Cyrus
Rehab - Rihanna
Do You Love Me - The Supremes *Another Classic

Hopefully these give you some new tunes to work out to!! If you need more ideas check out my previous playlists HERE. Enjoy :)

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Deck the Halls with Holiday Goodies

The Holidays are most definitely upon us. From holiday parties adorned with endless trays of goodies, to holiday-cheer filled neighbors adorning your door step with endless goodies it's like being stuck in Willy Wonka's Chocolate factory for a month. A word to the careful. Don't let all your hard work go by the wayside. The average American eats a surplus of about 600 calories PER DAY during the holiday season. No, those two zero's aren't a type-o. 600 it is. Remember 3,500 calories = 1lb. You do the math. So what's a holiday lovin' girl (or boy, of course) to do? Here's a few thoughts...
1. Keep up your workout regimen. Times get even busier during the holidays its true. BUT don't let that throw off your workout routine. Keep burning those calories! Remember that eating more + burning less = uh oh....
2. De-junkify your environment. Have you ever found yourself aimlessly snacking on something that you don't even like just because it's there in front of you? You may love the Johnson family, but you don't have to show it by eating every single cookie on their gifted plate. Your options?
-Freeze them. Most baked goods will last a good three months when frozen. Then you can enjoy them with portion control in mind.
-Gather up all your goodies and take them to a holiday party. Everyone will think your uber-generous, and your home will be calorie-ridden!
-Throw them away (GASP!!!!) I know, I know. It sounds harsh and horrible, but the truth is....if it's sitting in front of you, you're probably going to eat it.
3. Pick your indulgences wisely. If you have a favorite holiday treat wait for it! I'm not trying to tell you that you can't have holiday goodies every now and again, but every holiday goodie that crosses your path??? Not so much. Limit yourself to one dessert. If you know you'll be indulging in some traditional holiday sweets towards the end of the week, be super good during the week. It's doable!
4. Don't Go Hungry. If you show up to a holiday soiree on an empty stomach you'll probably eat, snack, and taste test your way through the evening. Cheese, Egg-nog, Chocolate, Sugar Cookies, and the like. All of these things are surrounded by little red flags screaming "CALORIES!!" My advice to you. Eat a healthy meal beforehand. This doesn't give you the go ahead to eat two meals. But, if you arrive full you'll be less likely to make mindless eating choices from your stomach not your head.
5. Set some goals. There is NO written law anywhere saying you must gain weight during the holidays. I feel like a lot of people just give into the the Christmastime chaos and don't even try. Don't surrender! Why not continue to lose weight during the holidays? Set some goals to prove yourself right... Some examples could be; Attending the gym a certain number of times during the week, not eating sugar, only having one dessert day in the week, continuing to keep track of your calories, etc. You'll find that once you set a concrete goal instead of just saying "I'm going to try and do my best." You'll make progress!

These are just a few ideas. There are many things we can do to keep ourselves off the naughty list. Yes, New Years is close and it's great to set new health goals for ourselves when the resolutions come around. BUT, why not start now? Show the gingerbread man who's boss!

Thursday, November 27, 2008


I don't know about all of you but I'm feeling full. Stuffed to be exact. So much good food it's hard to know when to stop! I am excited for tomorrow, to get back on track. Is anyone else feeling the same way?? Let's just say it's a good thing I started the day with the Turkey Trot! Happy Thanksgiving to all!!

Monday, November 24, 2008

Turkey Day Tip #3: Calorie Fest '08

Have you ever wondered just how many calories were in your Thanksgiving meal? Chances are you probably have not wanted to know, on purpose... But just cause you don't want to know doesn't make the number go away. The average thanksgiving meal is around 4,000 calories. YIKES!! That is more than two days worth of calories for some of us! When you think about the fact that you have to burn 3,500 calories to lose a lb of fat that might make you rethink that second and third piece of pie! I found this really cool website that calculates the calories for what you plan on eating for Thanksgiving dinner.

I'm really not trying to scare you out of enjoying your delicious meal, just remember moderation! No need to eat all the food on the table, leftovers are the best part anyways!!

Friday, November 21, 2008

Turkey Day Tip #2: Turkey Trotting

Thanksgiving Day = a day of gluttony. It's a day completely centered around eating...eating lots of delicious food of course, BUT gluttony none the less. Something that my family has done the past few years which has become sort of a tradition for us is the Thanksgiving Day Turkey Trot. We have been gathering in Gilbert, AZ where my parents and sister live for the holiday. Mesa, the neighboring city has a Turkey trot they put on every Thanksgiving morning. There is a kids fun run, a 5K and a 10K. I LOVE this tradition because it starts your Thanksgiving Day off with some good old fashioned calorie burning. I looked into it and there are actually Turkey Trots all over. To find one in your area just go to Google and search your state. If there isn't one in your area make your own! We all know there are a few extra calories taken in a the Thanksgiving Feast, so it really is worth it to take the time to wake up and get in a good sweat in.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Turkey Day Tip #1: Yams vs. Sweet Potatoes

In the United States we use the terms Yam and Sweet Potatoes interchangeably. They are however, two different vegetables. This topic was discussed on Rachel Ray this morning, and i found it quite interesting. Although the taste is basically interchangable they are quite different in makeup. Here's the facts:

Sweet Potato:
-yellow/orange in color
-very popular in the US
-low in calories (114 for one cup)
-lower in carbohydrates than yams (26grams)

-darker brown in color
-not very readily available in the US (many times grocery stores will inaccurately call their sweet potatoes yams, but more often than not you're getting the yam-scam)
-contain more sugar than the sweet potato and are higher on the glycemic index. (This means they cause more of a peak in your blood sugar, something we want to avoid.)
-1 cup contains 177 calories
-higher in carbs than sweet potatoes (42 grams)

Moral of the story...if you have the option, choose the sweet potato over the yam. You won't taste the difference, and your better off nutritionally. More than likely you are already choosing sweet potatoes, so now you just need to get the name right. ;)

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Fitness @ Lunch Article: Pre-Race Meals

To check out my Fitness @ Lunch article on what to eat in preparation for your big events click

Monday, November 17, 2008

Exercise of the Week: Wheel Lunges

If you're looking to shape up those legs this is a great exercise to do it! I like to do these holding a 35 lb plate. It gives your biceps a great workout and makes you use those abs to stabilize yourself. You can do these with regular hand weights, a med ball, or with no weights at all. Start on your right leg and do a full set on the right, and then do a full set on the left. This will help you to fatigue those legs!
1. Start with your feet together. Lunge to the front with your right leg.
2. Press of your right leg from your front lunge to a side lunge. In doing this place all the weight in that right leg and shift your weight into your right hip.
3. Press from your side lunge into a back lunge. From the back lunge press of that right leg and return to standing.
That makes one full rep. Start the next rep on the same side until you've done 10-15 on the right leg. Repeat on the left side.
These are sure to whip you into shape!!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Forgive me little Nemo

As I was browsing through some of my favorite healthy recipe websites today I skipped over several fish recipes...yep i did just that...skipped over them. Like I always do. I, myself, am not a fish lover. In fact, I hate it. I know, it's SO good for you. (I tell my clients that frequently.) I wished I liked it, I really do. But the fact of the matter is I don't. I do, however, realize that my fishless way of living shouldn't deter me from reminding all y'all that fish is great :)
So, here it is. Fish is great. It really's why.

- It is high in protein
- When prepared well it's lower in calories than most protein sources
- It's full of heart healthy omega 3's! (this will increase the good cholesterol in your body, and can reduce inflammation)
- There is a LOT of variety in eating fish... as opposed to chicken. Which is always just...well, chicken.

There has been a lot of talk as to the mercury content in fish. From what i've found the benefits outweigh the risks. This tends to be a problem with people who are eating fish more than twice a week. The larger, older fish such as shark, swordfish, king mackerel, and tilefish tend to have a higher content of mercury. Those found on the lower end of the mercury spectrum are shrimp, pollock, canned light tuna, salmon, and catfish, are better choices.
Another thing to be aware of when chomping down on our little finned friends is the preparation of the fish you're eating. A very healthy low-cal option can be turned into a high calorie, high fat meal quickly when it's deep fried or served with a calorie dense cream sauce.

Since I'm no fish expert I'd love to hear how you like to eat it. Any great grilling ideas, or marinades? Some tips from you fish experts would go over swimmingly with our readers ;)

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Another Good Find: and full of fiber as well :)

As I was in Target yesterday I came across another great find. I LOVE that companies are starting to catch on to the fact that healthy food can taste good too! FiberOne is definitely one of those companies. I've always been a fan of their basic bran cereal. (Yep I know it looks like rabbit food, but it's perfect with yogurt and strawberries!) I am also a huge fan of their FiberOne Granola bars. They taste like candy to me! Well, they have done it again. FiberOne pancake mix! For a 1/2 a cup of mix (making 3 pancakes), there are only 180 calories, 3.5 grams of fat, 5 grams of fiber, and 6 grams of protein. Not too bad if you ask me!

Sunday, November 9, 2008

More Mac N' Cheese Please

Whilst browsing one of my favorite websites, Hungry Girl, I came across an amazing find! There is a new line of food called Fiber Gourmet. It is pretty much the greatest thing i've ever seen. It's low calorie, high in protein, WAY high in fiber (one serving has 18 grams!!), no artificial flavors or coloring, and Hungry Girl raves about it! You make it the same way you make regular Kraft Mac n' Cheese, so it can still be that easy meal you leave with your babysitter for your kids, but now it's SO much better nutrition-wise! Let's be or no kids, we all want some macaroni and cheese every now and again. Click HERE to link to the Fiber Gourmet website to find out more about their products, order some of your own, or find a location near you that carries it. Bon Appetit!

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

To Cleanse or not to Cleanse...that is the question

I've had a few questions about my thoughts on cleanses so I thought I'd share what I know with you. I'd love to hear your feedback and thoughts on the topic as well.
For those of you who haven't heard of the ever-popular cleanses, detox diets, and "body flushing" regimens here is a quick description. Basically it is a fasting diet that can last anywhere from a few days to a few weeks. The claim is that this process will rid the body of accumulated harmful substances that exert a negative effect on individual health. By omitting food, and living on a diet made up mostly of water, other liquids, lemons, and in some cases raw food, the individual flushes the toxins out of their body. Those who successfully complete the cleanse claim to have seen effects such as rapid weight loss, clearer skin, and increased energy. Sounds too good to be true? Well, in my opinion it might be. Now, let me back my opinion up by letting you know I have been studying journals and articles published on the subject to try and get the best possible answer to this question. I realize that everyone has different view points and thoughts about the subject, but here is mine :)
When going on this prolonged fast you will most likely lose weight, but it is mostly water weight. As soon as you start eating normally again your body will gain that water weight back, putting you right back where you started. Fasting for a few days can be ok, but fasting for too long can be harmful to your body. It can deplete muscle tissue, including your heart muscle, and it can reduce the size and functioning of organs like the kidney and liver. Some nutritionists even say that prolonged fasts can be counterproductive to those trying to lose weight due to the fact that it may slow your metabolism down.
Some may not cleanse to lose weight, but to rid their body of "toxins." In response to this I would say don't underestimate the body. Its more miraculous than you may realize. The body already has multiple systems in place -- including the liver, kidneys, and gastrointestinal tract -- that do a perfectly good job of eliminating toxins from the body within hours of consumption. Increase your fiber intake, and you'll be good to go.
Lastly, many of these fasts reduce you down to eating mainly raw foods and a lot of water. Yes...of course...if you eliminate all the crap that you eat from your diet and start eating healthy foods close to their natural form you will lose weight. This is how you are supposed to be eating anyways, fancy that.
I realize there are people that swear by fasts, but I am not one of them. Some good old fashioned exercise, fiber, and healthy foods will get you feeling your best. And you won't even need to starve yourself.

Monday, October 27, 2008

this just in: Sunflower Market

I was so sad the day they closed down my favorite little health food store Harvest Fresh in Orem, but a new store called Sunflower Market just opened in Orem. I have yet to be able to go, but i've heard great things about it! They have them all over Arizona, New Mexico, Colorado, Nevada, and now Utah. I'm escited to check it out. They also have a great website with recipies, and weekly sales posted. It looks amazing! Check out the link to thier website HERE.

Although each location has a different link on the site for their sales some of the great deals for this week from the Orem location were...

Red and Green Bell Pepper 2 for 1$
Fuji & Jonagold apples 99 cents a lb. (amazing...)
Cucumbers 2 for $1
Red Seedless Grapes 77 cents a lb.
Hass Avocados 3 for $1

These deals go until 10/29 I'll try to keep you updated on good deals!!

Friday, October 24, 2008

Snack Attack

I wrote another article for Fitness@Lunch on favorite subject. Check it out here

Friday, October 17, 2008

Am I Alone in this?? Cause if so I'm happy to be here...

It seems that everywhere I turn there is a new frozen yogurt place popping up, and can I say i'm pretty much in LOVE with this craze!! As I've posted about before, frozen yogurt is one of my favorite treats. It's fat free, refreshing and delicious. There is usually around 90 calories per 1/2 cup which is great. I'm just glad that there are so many places to go now! Here are some of the local favorites. Give them a try :)

Hello Yogurt
Red Mango
Fro Yo
Spoon Me
Yogurt Stop
Frozen Yogurt Junction

*I am not a huge fan of the original tart flavor which i know many people love. My favorites are Hello Yogurt and Fro Yo. They offer a lot of different flavors. Of the original tart crew I like Red Mango the best. Let me know what you're faves are!!

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Vacation workouts?? very possible!

My apologies for the absence of posts, but my reasoning is actually my inspiration for today's post. I've been on vacation. While packing for any trip I am always torn as to whether or not I should bring my workout gear. It's another pair of shoes, another stack of clothes, do I really have room? Will I even have time? etc. I've come to realize that the answer is ALWAYS yes. Those times I've opted to not bring my gear I've almost always regretted it. Most hotels have some sort of facility that you can workout in, and even if they don't, you can make do with what is available. Go explore your new vacation surroundings! Do lunges, squats, pushups, whatever you can fit in your hotel room. Bring an exercise band and a jump rope along on the trip. They are light-weight, and easy to use. "I'll just get back into it when I get home." I have heard it a million times, and that is great. You should get back into your normal routine when you are back at home, BUT don't let everything you've worked so hard for slip. It's easy to fit in a quick workout, even on vacation. Plan for it. Include it in the itinerary. You'll be glad you did!

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Up That Weight

I have touched a lot on the fact that women need to use adequate weight when they are lifting in order to continue to progress and to see the results they are looking for, but I've found it's something that women continue to worry about. When you are lifting weights you don't necessarily have to be sore whenever you work out, but you want to make sure you're pushing yourself every time. After all, if you're going to go through the motion you might as well do a good job of it. When you're lifting weights aim to do 3 sets of 8-12 repetitions. By the time you get to your 12th repetition you want to make sure it's difficult for you. If you feel like you are easily getting to 12 every time, up that weight! Even if you can only get 8 in with a higher weight it will be worth your while. Pushing your muscle to exhaustion will get those muscles tones! You WILL NOT, i repeat, WILL NOT get "huge." Women physiologically can't. Your arms won't get bigger they'll actually get smaller and more toned. So, push yourself. It will be worth it!

Friday, October 3, 2008

I heart my Bosu Ball. You should too...

You may have seen this space ship looking apparatus at your local gym. If you are looking for a great way to change up your workouts grab yourself a Bosu Ball, and go crazy. The basic idea behind the Bosu is; it forces you to use your core muscles in addition to whatever muscles you're working. Ie: When doing squats on top of the Bosu you have to engage your abs in order to keep your balance. It is amazing how you can increase your difficulty level by making the ground beneath you a little shaky. You'll intensify your workout, work your core, improve your balance, and fight boredom. All great things! Trust me. The Bosu is awesome.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Minestrone Soup

There was a chill in the air today, and the first thing that comes to mind...soup! I love soup because it is filling and if you stick to the water-based soups you can get a low calorie meal full of veggies and lean protein. I found this recipe online for Minestrone soup that reminds me a lot of a recipe that my mom used to make. Give it a try :)

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 5 potatoes, peeled and cubed
  • 5 carrots, chopped
  • 4 stalks celery, chopped
  • 1 sweet onion, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 (6 ounce) can tomato paste
  • 1 (15 ounce) can kidney beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 (14 ounce) can vegetable broth (you could also use chicken broth here)
  • 1 1/2 quarts water
  • 3 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh oregano
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 2 cups uncooked elbow macaroni (or any other small shaped pasta you may have)
Heat olive oil in a large pot over medium heat. Stir potatoes, carrots, celery, onion and garlic into pot. Mix in tomato paste, beans, broth and water. Season with basil, oregano and salt. Cook and stir 30 minutes, or until vegetables are tender. Mix macaroni into pot. Continue cooking 10 minutes, or until macaroni is tender.
*note* you really can add any vegetables you want to this to up your veggie servings for the day. Also, to save yourself time pre-cook the pasta while the rest of the soup is cooking and then stir it in at the end.

Nutrition Information: 1 cup of soup
216 calories. 2.9 grams of fat. 6.9 grams of fiber. 6.9 grams of protein.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Biggest Loser Returns

I love this show. If you haven't watched it before, I give you permission to park it right in front of the TV. The Biggest Loser is on Tuesday nights on NBC, and it started last week. If you didn't catch the premier click on this link THE BIGGEST LOSER to check it out. You'll laugh, you'll cry, you'll get some great heath and exercise tips, and you'll be motivated! I highly recommend it :)

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Farmers Market

It's harvest time! Although we all don't have our own garden to pick from there are plenty of people who do, and want to share. Click on this link and type in your zip code to find a farmers market near you. Take advantage of all the delicious, fresh, fruits and veggies while you can. They are less expensive and SO good for you!

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Exercise of the week: Killer Leg Combo

If you're looking to tone up your leg's this will INDEED do the trick. It's a great way to get in a few good sets of leg's while you're working out. This is a walking combination so go down a hallway, or somewhere you've got some space. Grab a med ball, or a 5 or 10 lb dumbbell and hold it out directly in front of you while you do this whole sequence. Yep we're getting the shoulders at the same time as the legs. I told you this one was a killer!
Do one walking lunge forward on the right leg. Do one walking lunge forward with the left leg. (While doing this make sure your knee's aren't going over your toes. You want 90 degree angles.) Bring your right leg back to regular standing position with your feet about hip width apart and do one squat in place. Repeat this sequence again, but this time up the stakes by one. Do one walking lunge forward with the right leg, come up leaving your legs in that lunge position and go back down again. So you are doing two lunges in place. Step forward with the left leg and do two lunges in place with the left leg forward. Step your right foot back to standing and do two squats in place. Repeat again doing three in each position...etc. all the way until you get to 10 reps in every position. Yes, still holding that dumbbell out in front of you. Do this three times, and you'll be feeling it...I promise.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

first you take the peanuts and you smash em...

I LOVE peanut butter. LOVE, LOVE, LOVE. Because of my love for peanut butter I feel it necessary to clarify some of the flack that PB has taken in the past few years. Most people think peanut butter and they immediately think; A) fattening B) stay away C)loaded with calories D)healthy? no, too good to be true. If you are a peanut butter lover, like myself. I urge to you read on. I think you'll be pleased. Let's clear some things up. A) Fattening? Yes, peanut butter does have fat in it. BUT before you drop the Skippy and run you have to realize there are different kinds of fat; Saturated, Monounsaturated, Polyunsaturated, and Transfat. Saturated and Transfats are the ones you should stay away from. You shouldn't have more than 10 grams of saturated fat in your diet in one day. These fats are solid at room temp, and are found mostly in animal products (think animal fat, butter, shortening, etc.) These fats raise blood cholesterol and will increase your risk of heart disease and stroke. Monounsaturated & Polyunsaturated fats are liquid at room temp, and are actually oils. They have just the opposite effect. They decrease blood cholesterol. This means they are actually good for you. Peanut butter is comprised mostly of mono and polyunsaturated fats. B) Stay away? No! you really don't have to. Knowing that peanut butter is full of good fats, and protien, you can start to see that it is actually good for you. Studies have shown that eating 1-3 servings of nuts per day can decrease your risk for heart disease. FYI: Heart diesease is the #1 killer in women today. However, PB is high in calories. Which leads me to C) Loaded with Calories? I would have to say yes to this one. PB is higher in calories, so i'd make sure you are eating it in moderation. BUT as long as you have room for it in your diet, it will be a benefit to you. NOT a detriment like many people believe. Remember, I'm not talking about Reeses Peanut Butter Cups. D) Not Healthy; too good to be true. I hope I've shown you that this isn't the case. Peanut Butter IS good for you, and SOOO tasty. I am not lying when I say I enjoy myself a PB and honey sandwhich on whole wheat bread quite often. Look for brands of PB that are natural, and they tend to be lower in sugar. Some health food stores even have stations where you can smash your own peanuts into fresh delicious PB. However you smash it, don't feel guilty! Remember, it's good for you. Now if that isn't finger lickin' good news I don't know what is!

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Protein: Quick and Delicious

Sometimes it can be hard to get enough protein in your diet due to the fact that it takes a lot of prep time. For that reason I'm always looking for easier ways to get lean protein in . One way that I have found to be quick and tasty is store bought rotisserie chicken. It's usually about $7 dollars for a chicken and depending on how many people you are feeding it can stretch to work for a few meals. I like to take the chicken as soon as i get home, take off all the skin, and shred it. I put it into a tupperware until i'm ready to use it. It will stay fresh for a few days. This can be used with salads, put into quesadilla's or wraps, put on sandwiches, or any other way you can dream up to eat it. It takes out the cooking/cleanup process and it has a great flavor.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Zucchini Overloaded??

I remember it was always about this time of year that our family's garden would begin to produce more zucchini than anyone could possibly want to eat. One begins to wonder if a garden was really a good idea when the 10 lb zucchini's are coming at you like crazy, BUT if you've got some extra zucchini on hand, (or even if you don't), here are some great ways to use your excess!
1. Bake it. Of course, MY number one would be to make my favorite healthy treat; Zucchini Cookies. These are SO easy and SO good. Double the batch and freeze them. You won't regret it, I promise. You can also make some pretty delicious breads and muffins with zucchini. **if anyone has a good healthy recipe I'd LOVE it!
2. Steam it. Slice one up and put it in a Glad Steam Bag. These are AWESOME. You don't even have to add water. You veggies will come out steamed to perfection! There are 15 calories in a 1/2 cup of zucchini. That is pretty amazing.
3. Stir Fry it. Use some lean chicken and veggies and you've got yourself a delicious meal. Throw it on top of some brown rice and you're hitting three food groups in one dish. Bon Apetit!
4. Freeze it. Regardless of the dish you are making you can puree, shred, or slice up your extra zucchini and freeze it away to use later. Pureed Zucchini can be added to a LOT of dishes to add nutrients and chances are you won't even taste it. If you haven't looked at Jessica Seinfelds book Deceptively Delicious, give it a glance. She puree's fruits and veggies to add to her favorite dishes. It's awesome!
5. Shred it. Shredded zucchini can be put into a pasta sauce, a lasagna, a meatloaf, or even a burrito to add nutrition and bulk. Don't let it scare you. Be daring!
6. Grill it. Let's be honest...anything tastes great on the grill. Add some Lawry's or seasonings of your choice.
7. Boil It. In a soup that is. This Potato, Zucchini, & Tomato Soup recipe I found on Rachael Ray's website looks soooo good, and is super healthy!
8. Substitute it. Zucchini sliced thinly lengthwise can take place of pasta. If you're watching your carbohydrate intake this is a great low-cal way to go.
9. Give it. If you have more zucchini than you know what to do with i'm sure a garden-less neighbor would love to take some of it off your hands!

It doesn't matter how you slice it, but don't let that zucchini go to waste!

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Faceoff: Treadmill Vs. Elliptical

I have received a few questions about treadmills vs. elliptical trainers and so I thought I'd touch briefly on the subject. With the treadmill and the elliptical machine being probably two of the most popular pieces of exercise equipment I can see where some concern would come in to play as far as which is more effective. First and foremost I'd have to say it depends on the person. If you've had any joint problems, (knee's especially), I'd go for the elliptical. It is designed to put a lot less impact on your joints. With this said, I don't want you to think that the elliptical is the "easier option." With exercise you have to remember that it is or can be as hard as you make it.

Elliptical machines with handles can give you a full body workout, getting that upper body into motion which is great. It has the option of a forward pedal which targets the glutes and hamstrings more, and a backward motion which targets the quads more. In the past Elliptical machines have lacked variety, making them less desirable than a treadmill, but updated models have proved this wrong adding incline and resistance settings. The key here is using these different settings, and not keeping it on a stagnant pace.

Treadmills are great. They always have been and they always will be. From the walker to the marathon runner you really can vary your workout to fit YOU. You can change the incline and speed making your workout more cardiovascular or more fat burning, depending on your desired goals. I have always felt like running gives me a good workout!

With my clients I've seen that they've generally burned more calories on the elliptical machine vs. the treadmill due to the fact that it is easier to push yourself when on an elliptical machine. Running burns more calories than walking, and if you're comparing walking to using an elliptical, I'd pick the elliptical. You'll burn more calories overall.

If you're looking to purchase one or the other they are both great options, but I'd pick whatever it is you think you'll use. Running 5 miles a day on your treadmill is a great goal, but if you don't think you'll do it, don't buy an expensive piece of equipment just to let it collect dust.

If you're wondering what is the better option for your gym workouts I'd mix it up. Variety is the best thing for your body. Just make sure you're pushing yourself. Break a sweat. For the most part people underestimate their capabilities when it comes to exercise. Push yourself! THAT is when you'll see results.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Kashi: a name everyone needs to know

If you've never had any Kashi products before there is no time like the present. Their products are all natural, contain no additives, highly refined sugars, or preservatives. Everything is made from whole grains, full of fiber, and protein. From cereal, to crackers, to frozen meals; their product line has a wide variety to choose from. Some of my favorites are...the Kashi Go Lean Crunch Cereal, (If you liked the flavor of Golden Crisp as a kid you'll LOVE this cereal!I like to eat it dry as a snack. It has 9 grams of protien per serving.) I really like thier Kashi Rolls, they are comparable to a protien bar, but have no funky textures. They are SO delicious! Thier crackers and granola bars are really good too.
Not only does Kashi have a great line of products they have a great website as well. You can look at great info on eating healthy, exercise, recipes, goal setting, and more. Check out the link here.

Fitness @ Lunch: take 2

I wrote another article for the Fitness @ Lunch website.
To brush up on your knowledge about good vs. bad carbohydrates, (and to make me feel good ;)...) give it a read!

Carbohydrates: The good the bad and the downright ugly.

Enjoy :)

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Exercise of the Week: Circular Bicep Curls

There aren't a whole lot of variations for the bicep curl, so when I discovered this one I was quite happy. It had been a while since my biceps had actually been sore, and this exercise did the trick. Grab two dumbbells and stand with your feet hip width apart, with a slight bend in the knees. (If you are looking for a challenge try doing this exercise while standing on one foot.) Place your elbows right up against the side of your body. Press your dumbbells back and up towards your shoulders as far as you can go without moving that elbow. Circle the dumbbells up towards the shoulders and in towards the center of your body. Slowly lower down towards your belly-button, bringing the dumbbells close together and then down and back out making a full circle. Take this exercise really slow and make sure your dumbbells are heavy enough that you are actually feeling it. It should start to burn pretty quickly if you're doing it correctly. Aim for 3 sets of 8-12, & you'll be ready for the gun show in no time!!

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Caramel Popcorn: A lighter version

I LOVE caramel popcorn. It's been a treat my mom has made ever since I can remember. Popcorn is a great snack that is low in fat, full of fiber, and even has some protein. Dousing it with butter, refined sugar, and karo syrup isn't the healthiest way to eat it, but this recipe I found in Fitness Magazine provides the sweetness without quite so much fat and sugar.

  • 1/2 cup unpopped popcorn kernels
  • 5 tablespoons peanut oil *not needed if using an air popper
  • 1 3/4 cups light brown sugar
  • 5 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1/3 cup honey
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda

In a stockpot or an extra-large saucepan, heat popcorn kernels in 3 tablespoons of oil. Stir to coat all kernels. Cover and cook over medium heat, 5 to 7 minutes, or until kernels are fully popped (shaking pot after 3 minutes). *If you have an air popper you can pop the kernels in the air popper alleviating some fat from cooking the kernels in oil.

Lightly coat 2 large baking pans with cooking spray. Pour popcorn into pans and preheat oven to 200 degrees F.

In a medium saucepan, combine brown sugar, butter, honey, remaining oil, and salt. Cook over medium-high heat, stirring constantly with a wooden or silicone spoon, 2 to 3 minutes. Stir in baking soda until smooth.

Evenly drizzle over popcorn; stir to coat. Bake for 1 hour, stirring every 15 minutes. Makes 12 cups.

Nutrition Facts for 1 cup:
250 calories
1g protein
41g carbohydrate
11g fat (4g saturated)
1g fiber
*the fat content and calorie content will drop if you pop the popcorn with an air popper

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Feel like your putting in extra time and not budging a lb??

I always like to read the MSN health section that pops up when i open my computer up at work. I don't know how scientifically correct all of it is, but i find it interesting none the less. They listed reasons why you might not being seeing any difference in your weight even though you're putting in extra time. Some of them I found valid...others...not so much. Here were some of the scenarios that I agree with.

You get up at 6:00 AM every morning for your daily run.
- problem?? you aren't going to bed until 12:00 or 1:00. Morning workouts are great if you're able to get in bed in time to log in 7-8 hours of sleep. Not getting enough sleep will hinder your weight loss considerably. Studies show that women who got from 5-6 hours of sleep are more likely to pack on the pounds. That sleep time is your body's recovery time. Without it your body can't perform like it's supposed to. Lack of sleep also leads to an increase in cravings...more munching...more calories.

You are logging extra miles on the treadmill to make up for big meals.
-The problem here is the caloric balance. A common misconception with weight loss is that you can work out and eat all you want and you'll lose weight. If only working out was the sole key to weight loss!! Unfortunately, this isn't the case. A healthy diet supplemented by exercise IS the key to weight loss. The bottom line is you have to have a calorie deficit.

You Ignore Age Related Muscle Loss
- This is definitely a problem, one that I think women in their 30's need to be aware of. Around age 30 women can start to lose muscle mass. This is also around the time when women's metabolism slows down and they begin to hold on to more fat. The more lean muscle you have on your body the more calories you will burn all the time. It increases your metabolism. The solution to this problem? Lifting weights! You don't have to be a body builder. Doing a few sets of weight bearing exercises 2-3 times a week will do the trick. Don't let it intimidate you, it's easy ;)

You think a "water-rich" diet means add more water into your diet. The end.
- Water rich should mean increasing your diet with foods rich in water; namely fruits & veggies. When you fill up on these foods you'll feel more full, you'll increase your vitamin and mineral intake, and you'll increase your fiber intake. ALL good things! The greatest addition to these fruits and veggies??? You guessed it...whole grains!

You have the "one goal at a time" mentality
- " I will only focus on going to the gym this month, next month my focus will be to eat healthy." While the building block approach is a GREAT one, accomplishing one thing and then adding another on top of it, far too often we forget about the first block and only focus on the second. I'm not saying have 15 goals....I realize that can be overwhelming. But, the odds of accomplishing something when looking at watching food, exercise, sleep, etc. is more likely than if you only focus on the gym and eat whatever you want. Makes sense, right?

Monday, August 11, 2008

Exercise of the Week: The Plank

I LOVE the plank! It is a great way to work the core, getting your upper and lower abdominals, your lower back, and your glutes. If you've mastered the basic plank position here are some ways to step it up, and challenge yourself a little more. I'd first try to get to the point where you can hold your plank for 1:00 to 1:30 seconds. Once you've accomplished that add a small plate to the small of your back (5-10 lbs) to make those abs work harder to keep that body in line. Really watch your form as you start to get tired. Squeeze your glutes and use your lower abs to keep your body in line. You can also try lifting one foot off the ground and holding, or alternate lifting one foot of the ground at a time. The same can be done with your arms. Punching one arm at a time forward or just holding.

Once you've mastered that there are a lot of variations that you can try. Press yourself up to a straight arm plank, and hold there. You'll feel this a little more in your shoulders, but its still giving that core a great workout. This position can also be done with some weight on your back.

Try the plank on the physioball. In this variation you want to make sure you keep your hips down. The tendancy is to press them up to release the pressure in your back.
Side planks are a great way to work those obliques. You don't have to hold a weight to do this one. Once you've mastered this exercise you can add some variations here as well. Try dipping your hips down to the ground and pressing them back up to starting position. Aim to do 15-20 reps on each side. You can also start from beginning position and curl that top arm around underneath your body so your hips rotate toward your front foot, and then back to startining. By 15-20 of those on each side you should feel it!

The Plank is a GREAT way to finish off a workout. Try to do 3 - 5 sets, and you'll be amazed at how quickly you'll improve your plank, and how strong your abs will get. Keep pushing yourself and making it harder. Fight complacency!!

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Snack Attack!!

Because I have a genetic disposition to snacking I'm always trying to help myself out by finding things that won't ruin my whole day by eating them. Hilary asked for some good snack ideas, so i thought I'd post some new ones that I love. If you didn't see my previous post on great snack ideas check it out here Little Indulgences.

Some new ones I am loving are Popsicle Brand's Sugar free popsicles. The Fudgsicles have 40 calories in 1! AMAZING. They really do taste good too. They have a wide assortment of tasty treats are delicious. Side note (in looking this up i just discovered they have a diet dr. pepper sugar free popsicle...i'm going to be hunting for this!!)

I've also recentely discovered Klondike's Slim-a-Bear line of frozen products, and they are SO good. The ice cream sandwiches taste just like you're average ice cream sandwich, and for only 100 calories and 1.5 grams of fat. You can't beat that! (Can you tell I have an affinity for frozen treats??)

I've also just jumped on the 100 calorie pack bandwagon. It seems as if almost every food company such as Nabisco, Hershey's, Chex, etc. has put out 100 calorie pack variations of thier food Items. I love this idea because you can have some of your favorite snacks, but instead of eating the whole box of wheat thins you can limit yourself to 100 calories worth! With these it is important to remember that they shouldn't be an all the time event, being as how an oreo is still an oreo. Even if it's only 100 calories of Oreo.

I love fresh fruit, and sometimes chilled cut up fruit hits the spot. A lot of my clients will use lack of prep-time as an excuse to not eating fruits and vegetables, but it doesn't have to be a big process. My favorite thing to do is to buy a cantelope or baby watermelon and as soon as i get home from the store i'll cut it up and put it in a tupperware in the fridge. This way its right there on hand whenever you have a craving for a little snack. This could be done with any fruit really. I also love to have a bag of baby carrots on hand with some fat free ranch dressing to dip them in. So good!

I'll stay on the lookout for more great treats for you! Let me know if you have any to add to the list!!

Fitness @ Lunch Article

My fabulous friend Emilie Nuttal's equally fabulous husband Todd has started a website called Fitness @ Lunch. It is a website all about fitness, weight lifting, and proper nutrition, (right up my ally i know!) It is geared more towards men, but has great information for all those who are interested in health and fitness. Todd asked me to contribute to thier website by writing a column about pre and post workout nutrition. I was definitely excited to contribute! Check it out by clicking on the link below. :)

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Swap that Oil for Applesauce

I have mentioned making substitutions in your recipes in the past, but I wanted to touch a little bit more on the oil for applesauce trade out. When baking its easy to cut out calories and fat by making this switch. Most recipes call for about 1/3 cup of vegetable oil which contains 635 calories, and 71 grams of fat. Yikes! Applesauce can be traded out on a 1:1 ratio and 1/3 cup contains 35 calories and 0 grams of fat, a much better set of nutrition facts if you ask me. Using applesauce will give your confectionery goods a bit more of a cake-like substance, but I think it actually makes it more moist. You can use other purees such as banana, pumpkin, or sweet potato if the flavor won't compromise you're recipe. Give the trade-out shot and let me know what you think!!

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Delicious Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins (Low fat too!!)

This is a recipe that I got from my mom a LONG time ago. This is another great recipe to double and throw in the freezer. I highly support breakfast, and this is a great way to have something on those quick mornings.

1 3/4 cup flour (you could definitely use whole wheat flour here)
1/2 cup sugar
1 TBS baking powder
1/2 tsp salt

*mix separately
1 egg
1/4 cup applesauce
1/4 cup skim milk
3 ripe bananas mashed

Mix dry and wet ingredients separately. Stir both together just enough to moisten. Add 1/2 cup chocolate chips and mix in. Bake at 400 for 20-30 mins.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Jam Session Round 2

Heather requested some new tunes to workout to... I have a list of some new great ones I love. (For those of you who didn't see my previous post I gave another list of favorites in my March posts.) Happy Sweating!!

Mercy – Duffy

Elevator – Flo Rida

Run – Gnarls Barkley

Fuego – Pitbull

That’s Not My Name – The Ting Tings

Dangerous – Akon

Come on Come on – Cheap Trick

With You – Chris Brown

Viv La Vida – Cold Play

Leavin’ - Jesse McCartney

SOS – Jonas Brothers (yep I’m 12 years old)

Shawty Get Loose – Lil’ Mama

369 – Step Up II Sound Track

Shut Up & Let Me Go – The Ting Tings

Got to Be Startin’ Something – Akon Ft. Michael Jackson

Hot n’ Cold – Katy Perry

Always Be – Jimmy Eat World

Say Anything (Else) – Cartel

Shake It – Metro Station

American Boy – Estelle ft. Kanye West

*Also. I LOVE my Itunes, but get so sick of spending .99 for every song. If you're looking for a deal go to If you have questions about it feel free to ask!

**OH and...Nicole Don't worry the jump squats won't make your thighs bigger!! I actually posted about your spinning question a few weeks ago. Check it out, it may answer your questions. :)

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Exercise of the Week: Jump Squats

There are so many variations of squats and lunges you can do, and I'm all about mixing it up. I showed these ones to Nichole this week, and I think she gave me the two thumbs up! ;) You can do these with weight or without. Start low in a squat position and jump up as high as you can fully extending your legs off the ground. As you land, land back in your squat position and avoid jarring your knees. The deeper you land into your squat the less pressure you'll feel on the knees. Do three sets of 15 of these and you should feel the burn!

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Change Your Scenery

Something that I've always been aware of, but was just reminded of this week was how important it is to mix up your exercise routine to keep you motivated. I am spending the week in Newport Beach, California with my family, and I've been running outside here. It's like running has suddenly become so much more enjoyable. I was thinking about it as I ran, and I realize that I am definitely one to get stuck running the same path over and over, mostly because I know its exact distance, and how long it will take me. But, I have really enjoyed being able to just go and run and explore new place. I know we can't all run by the boardwalk, but find a new path in your neighborhood, go up the canyon, go for a hike, go for a swim, etc. You get the idea. Finding a new place will help keep your attention and will ensure adventure!

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

One Hundred Pushup Challenge

You've heard me rave about the pushup many times. Its a great exercise that trains so many different muscle groups and you can do it anywhere for free! Pushups are something that I have all my clients do because I think they are a great way to gage your strength. Most of my clients start out doing a few girl pushups and before they know it they are doing 45-50 boy pushups! They are a great way tone those arms. Thanks to Jenna for showing me this website!! I love a good challenge, and for those of you who are looking to mix up your workout and need something new to push you click on this link and check it out!!

Monday, July 7, 2008

be a multi-tasker...

I know that not everyone has time to spend lifting weights at the gym, but it is so important that you do so! So what is the solution to a time crunch? Multi-task! Combine two exercises in one, and you'll get the job done twice as fast. Here are some of my favorites.

#1 Squat with a Shoulder press
Hold two dumbbells, a plate, med-ball, or a bar at shoulder level. Squat down keeping your form correct, (hips back, knees in-line with ankles, keeping that upper body up.) As you return to standing squeeze your glutes and keep your abs tight pressing your dumbbells towards the ceiling. Make sure you aren't leaning back. Slowly lower them down, and return back to a squat starting again. Do 12-15.

#2 Bicep Curls, Shoulder raises, Triceps Kickbacks in a Lunge.
Get down in a lunge position and hold it as you do bicep curls, shoulder raises, or triceps kickbacks. Make sure to keep that lunge form correctly keeping your shoulders back, and alternate legs to keep it even.

#3 Plank Punches
My sister Nichole showed me this one and I love it. Get down in a plank position and get yourself stabilized. Punch your right arm straight forward and then bring it back down to you starting position. Do the same with your left arm. Aim to do 10-15 punches on each side. With this exercise you'll work both your shoulders, your lower back, and your abs.

#4 Bicep Curl to a Shoulder Press
Stand with your feet shoulder width apart, dumbbells (or bar) in your hands. Do a regular bicep curl up and then press it to the ceiling into a shoulder press. Bring it back slowly down and repeat. You could even add a squat in there before you do the bicep curl. (You know I love my squats!!)

There are so many things that you can do to combine exercises. Just be creative and be safe!! remember...good form is always important.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Do YOU know what 100 calories looks like??

A. orB.

I came across this interesting quiz from Women's Health Magazine about which foods have 100 calories in them. It is interesting to see what your eye thinks is correct. Overeating is one of the leading causes of obesity in America. Portion Control is the key! I've been counting calories for quite some time, and I was even tripped up on a few. Click on this link and see how you pan out!