Friday, November 8, 2013

October Goals Recap and New November Goals + Sweat Pink Ambassador Healthy Moms Spotlight

Since we are well into November I decided it is time to take a look at my October goals and see how I did.  I also want to set some new goals for November, although a few might carry over from October.  Did you set goals for yourself in October?  How did you do?

Here are my October goals and a quick recap-
1) Do at least 2 art projects a week with Ariana.  We did a few art projects.  We focused on numbers, letters and colors.  She can count to 10, recognize her letters, and knows her colors.  I am a proud momma!

2) Listen to my body.  I did this quite well. 

3) Read 2 books.  I read a fiction book and stared a few non-fiction ones.  I will get through them this month.

4) Walk outside once a day with Ariana and talk about what we see.  This was fun, she loved picking up leaves and spending time outside.

5) Spend some time with just me and the hubby after Ariana goes to bed, doing something other than just watching tv.  Well, we spent time together, but we mostly watched tv.

6) Go to Church!  I fell short on this one.  I will try to make it this month!

7) Do more yoga!  I didn't make to any yoga classes, but I did more at home.

8) Read more of the blogs in my bloglovin feed and make more blogger connections.  I did this one!  I really enjoy reading other blogs and will continue to do so.

9) Take time to just sit and be.  This one is hard with a toddler, but I did take some of her nap times to just sit and relax or read.
10) Cook more meals at home!  I nailed this one!  My hubby is part of a biggest loser competition at his gym (he's lost 17 lbs so far, so proud of him!), so we are cooking more meals.  We talked about how important having healthy food prepared is to weight loss success.  Go babe!

November Goals- 
1) Read a non-fiction book.  The two I stared are Wheat Belly and a parenting a toddler book.  I will get through at least one!

2) Stay consistent with my workouts.  Working out at least 5 days a week.

3) Doing more things with Ariana.  Taking her to a story time, or play classes.  We do Kindermusik weekly, but maybe add in a few other things throughout the month.

4) Go to my Kickboxing class at least once a week!

5) Try 3 new recipes.  Sometimes I get stuck in the same meals rut.  I want to try some new meals and maybe a few crock pot recipes too.  If you have any great ones to share I would love to try them.

Okay, I feel like these 5 goals are attainable for the rest of this month.  Since Thanksgiving and my best friends wedding are coming up I know I am going to be busy, but I will make the time for my goals. 

  I am so excited to be a part of the Sweat Pink Ambassador Healthy Moms Spotlight.  If you are on Google+ make sure to join us on Tuesday November 12th at 8:00 EST.  Here is the link to the event, make sure to RSVP.  You can ask questions and learn more about these healthy moms.  

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Why Am I Not Losing Weight?

One of the questions I get most frequently is..."Why am I not losing weight?  I am doing everything right!"  As someone who has gone through weight loss in the past I know how frustrating it can be to feel like you are doing everything right, but the scale is just not moving.  When I was working at Life Time Fitness as the Nutrition Coach I was fortunate enough to go through their coaching program.  I learned a lot about the process of losing weight and unfortunately it is not always just about calories in and calories out.  There are many other factors that can go into the process of losing weight, however there are some things that you may be or not be doing that is affecting your weight loss progress. Remember that every person is different and will react to nutrition and exercise differently.

Here are the top 6 reasons that you may not be losing weight:
1) Sleep.  In this fast pace day and age chances are you are not getting enough sleep.  When you sleep your body goes though the process of resetting itself.  Ideally you should be getting to bed around 10 and waking up around 6, which makes for 8 hours of quality sleep.  From the hours of 10-2 your physical body resets and from 2-6 your mental body resets.  You should at a bare minimum be getting 7 hours of sleep.  When you constantly deprive yourself of sleep it is stressful for your body and you will release cortisol which is the hormone that causes weight gain in the mid-section, exactly where you don't want it!  Try to wind down and turn off the TV, cell phone and iPad at least an hour before your head hits the pillow.  Spend this time reading something enjoyable, doing some light yoga or taking a hot bath.  Your body will thank you after you give it the rest it so needs. 

2) Stress.  You are booked to the max and stressed to the gills.  Your life is demanding and you are not taking the time to relax and rest.  Does this sound familiar?  If you are not giving yourself adequate rest you will be stressing your adrenals which in turn produces more cortisol, that not so fun stress hormone.  You need to find some time each day to relax your body and mind.  Try to free up your schedule a little more and don't be afraid to ask for help from friends or family.  You deserve a break, and time to tend to your health.

3) You're not eating enough or you're eating too much.  The amount of calories that you need to consume for weight loss will vary from person to person, based on things such as weight, height, and age.  If you need help determining how many calories you need to eat for weight loss try using a website such as My Fitness Pal.  Here you will enter your information, weight loss goals and how often you will exercise and you will be given a calorie goal.  You may have to play around with this number, say give or take 100 calories.  It will take some adjustment, but if you pay attention you will learn what you need.  This will make sure that you are getting enough calories.  When you go below 1,200 for too long your body thinks that it is starving and will hold on to the food that you do eat and store it as fat, which is the opposite of what you want.  Conversely, you may be eating more than you think.  You should weigh and measure your portions until you can eyeball your portions.  This will ensure that you are tracking your calories correctly.

4) You're eating too many processed "foods".  All calories are not created equal.  Imagine a healthy dinner with  4 ounces of grilled chicken breast, half a sweet potato and a cup of broccoli this meal is around  300 calories.  However, these are all whole real foods that your body recognizes and they are nutrient dense foods.  Now say you eat 300 calories worth of chips and ice cream.  You think just because you are staying within your calorie range for the day that it is okay.  This is not food that your body can use, and will most likely be stored as fat.  Now, I am not saying that you can't have a few treats here and there, I am saying that you can't replace your nutrient dense meals with junk and expect to see the same results.  Put real, whole nutrient dense foods in and you will be much happier with how you look and feel.

5) You are gaining muscle.  This one only applies to you if you are lifting weights at least 3 or more times per week.  When you start lifting weights you will start to put on muscle if you are eating correctly and getting enough rest.  So even though you may weigh the same you are changing your body composition.  Muscle weighs more than fat, but takes up less space.  I suggest taking your measurements and body fat percentage monthly.  I have had many clients not lose a pound, but lose several inches.  Don't focus too much on what the scale says.
6) Your body craves homeostasis.  What does this mean you ask?  This means that while you are working your butt off and eating right your body just wants to stay at a comfortable place.  This is why it can be so hard to lose weigh sometimes.  If you feel this is the case for you, you may need to push yourself harder in your workouts and clean up your diet a little more.  You have to challenge your body and push it to change sometimes.  Think about how you like the comfort of the same routine, well your body does too.  Stay consistent and your hard work will pay off!

All good things take time and hard work.  Remember that your weight loss is a journey and you are learning how to live healthy for the rest of your life.  Be kind to yourself and don't engage in negative self talk.  Stay positive and you will get there!  If you have any questions please feel free to e-mail me.  I would love to hear from you.

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Sorry I've Been Away + Clean Eating Meal in a Bowl Soup

Hello my fitness friends!  It has been a little over a week since my last post, because our house was infected by a stomach bug that lasted 5 days to fully recover from.  It was not a fun bug to have (are they ever?), we even missed handing out treats on Halloween this year, but we didn't want to spread the bug, and the weather here was icky so we didn't miss much.  How was your Halloween, were you able to avoid raiding your kids candy bags?  A friend and fellow mom posted something about a "Switch Witch", which is where your kids trade in their candy for a toy or something non-food related.  I love this idea and when little A is old enough to get candy (hopefully I can hold out until she's 5), I will do this with her.  Candy, these days, is full of a lot of chemicals that I don't think belong in little bodies, not to mention choc full of GMO's (see my post on GMO's here).  It is sad that our food system is so tainted and we have to worry about what we eat and what we are feeding our little ones.

So, after not eating much and not working out after Monday of last week, I jumped back in today.  I did the new Jillian Michael's Yoga Inferno and I loved it!  It was challenging and she has some new killer moves (I don't know where she gets this stuff!  I also did her kickboxing too.  I always know that I will get a great workout with my Jillian DVDs.  I will finish out this week with more Yoga inferno, Jillians Kickboxing and my "real" kickboxing class.  I have also been busy getting ready for my best friend's bachelorette party on Saturday.  I am looking forward to a night out with the girls.  The wedding is in 3 weeks and our dresses are strapless so I am going to be doing a lot of upper body work until then!  What do you do to get ready for special events?

This weather calls for some yummy and hearty soup.  This is one of my favorites from Tosca Reno's Clean Eating Recharged book.  I omit the cabbage (my stomach does not like cabbage), but it still tastes great.  Do you have a favorite clean comfort meal when it is cold and rainy?

Here is the recipe: 

I am sorry that I was away, and it feels good to be back.  I have some update posts to do this week along with setting new November goals for myself, and showing you what I got in my Rose Vox Box from Influenster!  I also have some product reviews in the works so come back from those. 

Stay Healthy my fit minded friends!

Monday, October 28, 2013

Week in review + Honey Crisp Apple Oatmeal Recipe

Happy Monday fitness friends!  I hope that you had a wonderful weekend. I went to a kickboxing class on Friday night, it was the first time I have worked out anywhere but home in over 2 years, that is hard to believe!  It was a great class and really challenging, I woke up sore in places I haven't been sore in for a while.  Then Saturday the hubby and I had a date night, which was nice and yesterday we had a family party for a few cousins of mine that were in town visiting.  What did you do over the weekend?  Do you stay active or take a few rest days? 

Like I mentioned over last week, I have finally gotten back into my weight lifting groove.  I got 6 days of workouts in and a day of rest.  I was also able to keep my eating on track, and I feel like I am eating more normal after the whole IIFYM debacle.  How was your week?  Are you working on achieving some goals or are you in a maintenance phase?

Here is my week in review:
Monday- Chest/arms
Tuesday- Kickboxing legs and abs
Wednesday- Back and shoulders and kickboxing legs
Thursday- kickboxing legs and yoga meltdown
Friday- Kickboxing class
Saturday: Legs and yoga meltdown
Sunday: Rest!

This week will look mostly like last week, except I will do my kickboxing class on Saturday morning and legs on Friday.  I am looking forward to another great week.  What do you have planned for your week in fitness?

My menu for this week is pretty simple, and since my hubby is doing a Biggest Loser competition at his gym, we will be making a lot of food so we have healthy eats on hand!
Chicken and veggies, baked potatoes or sweet potatoes
Salmon and Brussels sprouts
Mexican night- black beans, brown rice and ground beef with a salad
We always make extra to have leftovers for lunch.
Breakfast is usually Ezekiel Sprouted grain toast, eggs and fruit or oatmeal and eggs.  I will probably make some peanut butter pancakes this week too.  What is on your menu?

This morning I made oatmeal with honey crisp apples and walnuts.  It was the perfect bowl of oatmeal for a chilly fall morning.  It was filling and tasty and will keep me full and ready for my morning workout.  I paired it with a ham (Applegate, nitrate free) and feta cheese omelet.  The perfect meal to start my day.  Here is the recipe for the oatmeal.  It is delicious!

Honey Crisp Apple Walnut Oatmeal
1/2 fresh honey crisp apple
1/2 cup oatmeal, uncooked
1 cup water/milk or milk alternative
5 walnuts
cinnamon to taste

Instructions :
1. Boil water or milk add oatmeal and simmer until water is absorbed
2. While oats are cooking chop up apple to small pieces
3. Place cooked oatmeal in a bowl,  mix in apples, walnuts and cinnamon. Enjoy!

A few notes this week:  
-I have added a testimonial page from some clients I have worked with. 
-I have added a services page with some awesome online personal training packages.

Have a wonderful week!  As always I would love to hear from you.  If you have a topic you would like to read about or if you have any questions please email me at!

Friday, October 25, 2013

Consistency + Balance= A Healthy Lifestyle

Good Friday Afternoon!  I have had a great week so far, it has been just busy enough without being overwhelming.  I have been able to get in all my workouts and I love that I am back to my weight lifting routine. I feel so strong after each workout.  Ariana has been wanting to be carried more often and I am thankful that I am strong enough to do so.  We were at the park last weekend and I was able to climb, crawl and keep up with her.  My purpose for working out and staying healthy is solidified when I know I am able to do these things with her.  I also want to stay fit and active during my next pregnancy, whenever that is, and I know I am setting the foundation for that now.  What are your reasons and motivation to stay or get fit? 

Since I my mission is to inspire you to live a healthy lifestyle, I want to share some tips on what it means and how you can start making changes to move toward a healthy lifestyle.  Over the next few weeks I will post some of the things I do in my life and also share with my clients.  I would love to hear any things that you do to live a healthy lifestyle.

When it comes to losing weight and keeping it off there is no quick fix, one size fits all, magic pill that will get you to your goals. There are however things that you can do that will help you to be successful in not only losing the weight but being able to keep it off for good. You have to set goals that are realistic and achievable, and set short term and long term goals. This will help to ensure that you are working toward a goal with a purpose. This is important because it helps to keep you motivated when you need it. Weight loss and living a healthy life is a journey, you have to embark on it mentally ready to stick with it even when things are not always going your way. This is where consistency comes into play.

Consistency is important when you are making healthy lifestyle changes. When I say consistency, I mean having a plan and sticking to it. You will be making a commitment to working out and eating healthy, not just until you reach your goal, but for the rest of your life. In this consistency you also need to plan in some cheat meals, one a week should help you stay on track and give you a meal to look forward to. When you start to have consistency in your day, eventually it just becomes habit. Working out is now a part of your day, it is no longer will I work out today, but when am I going to make the time to exercise today? When you start to have the mentality that this is how I live my life, it no longer feels like you are “on a diet”, it is just how you live. You become a strong person who is goal driven and makes time to take care of yourself. You deserve every second that you spend making yourself a better person, mentally and physically.

Balance comes in to play when you are making lifestyle changes, because it is important to keep everything in balance if you want to keep on track to reaching your goals. When you start out on your journey, it is quite easy to be excited and go all in, but if you are not taking rest days and are not eating the right foods to keep your body fueled you will burn out. Make sure that you plan out your week and take your rest days, you need it to feel refreshed and for your body to rest and for your muscles to repair. I also want you to have balance with your meals, in a few aspects. The first is not depriving yourself of all your favorite foods, you can either work in these in one cheat meal a week, or by making a healthy version of your favorite foods. If you can eat a little of something that you love, ie. chocolate, and stop after one or two pieces then it is okay to have a little a few times a week. However, if one or two pieces are going to make you go into a landslide, then take it out completely. You have to know yourself when it comes to these types of food choices. On your journey you will start to learn about your eating habits and why you are doing some of the things that you are doing. Make sure to keep notes in your food journal, these will come in handy. The second is to eat balanced meals throughout the day. Make sure you are eating enough protein, healthy fats, complex carbs, fruits and veggies. This will help to keep you full and satisfied.

Consistency + balance= Healthy lifestyle 

Have a wonderful fit weekend!  I look forward to hearing from you. 

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

The Mind Body Connection + Yoga Meditation Stretches

I took this photo at a local Metropark.  Before I had my little one I used to do trail walks a few times a week.  I loved this place it was so quiet and peaceful. 

Hi Fitness Friends!  I hope you are enjoying this Wednesday afternoon.  I have been away from posting for a few days, but I missed it and I'm back.  I hope that your week is treating you well.  I feel like I have finally gotten back in my rhythm with my workouts.  I have made sure to plan when I'm going to get it in and in sticking with it.  Today I did my back and shoulders workout followed by kickboxing lower body.  When I finished I had that euphoric feeling that comes with having an awesome workout.  Do you get that feeling after you workout?  I love that feeling and crave that feeling.  That is what keeps me coming back for more.  When I am not feeling like getting my workout in, I take a moment and think about how great I'll feel in about an hour and then I get it done!  There is a definite mind and body connection that comes with working out.  It has been said that working out is the most underused anti-depressant.  I truly believe this.  No matter what kind of workout you love to do, get moving and you will feel awesome when you are done.  Have you ever started a workout not really motivated, but once you step on the treadmill to warm up and put on your favorite song you are getting into the groove?  When you are warming up, take some time to visualize your workout, maybe challenging yourself to try heavier weights  or finally adding some burpees.  This is where your mind can strengthen your workout.  

Your mind is such a powerful tool.  When you are doing your sets and reps be present in that moment, really focus and concentrate on what you are doing.  This focus will have a positive impact on how your workout goes and the progress you will make.

Also, learn to take some time each day to sit and meditate.  Quiet your mind and just let yourself be.  If you have a hard time getting to sleep at night, right before bed is the perfect time.  On the nights that I am feeling too wired to sleep I will do some light yoga stretching along with deep breathing and meditation.  Here is a series if moves you can do after a great workout, when you're feeling stressed or before bed.  Remember your mind is a powerful tool, take the time to nourish your mind, body and soul.  You will feel the benefits and hopefully let go of things that are bothering you easier.  

Yoga series for calming the mind and body:
Standing forward fold
Down dog
Up dog (or cobra)
Child's pose
Seated butterfly
Pigeon pose (each side)
Cat/cow (alternate poses) 
* hold each pose for 5 deep breaths and move slowly into each pose.  Repeat series 3 or 4 times. 
Feel the peace in your mind and heart. 
Namaste my friends! 

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Workout Timing + Clean Eating Treat Recipes

Good Afternoon!  It is cold and rainy here, a true fall day.  So far my day is going well, I woke up early to get my workout in, 40 minutes of Kickboxing with Jillian Michaels.  Then Ariana and I met my mom for a Halloween kids show and had lunch after.  When we got home, I snuggled up with Ariana for a rainy day nap!  Later we are meeting with our friend who moved to FL for a nice dinner out while he is in town.  I am going to plan my meal ahead of time so I don't go too far off track, which is easy to do with Italian food.  Do you plan what you eat before you head to a restaurant?  

I usually work out in the afternoon, but last night I worked out around 7 and then I did my kickboxing this morning at 6:30.  So it got me thinking about workout timing.  Does it really matter when you workout?  I did some research and came to the conclusion that it doesn't actually matter what time you workout.  You just have to pick a time that works for your schedule so you are more apt to get your workout in.  I usually plan the time I am going to workout the night before based on what I have going on during the next day.  If we have a lot going on in the morning I will plan to workout while little A naps, or at night.  It just takes a little planning and scheduling to get your workout in.  However, what you eat before and after you workout matters.  If you are planning a weight training workout you should have some protein and complex carbs about 1 to 1 1/2 hours before you plan to train.  I will usually have a snack of a mozzarella cheese stick and an apple if I have already eaten breakfast for the day.  Then after my workout I will have a protein shake, see some recipes here.  It is important to have protein after a workout to help repair your muscles and to help with building them as well.  I choose a protein shake because it is quick and easy.  I usually don't feel like eating a full meal right after my workout.  Do you schedule your workouts?  What time of day works best for you?  Do you have any favorite pre or post workout meals/shakes?

Recently I started using PB2 in my shakes if you remember.  I ran out and when I was at The Vitamin Shoppe I found this little treat, Organic Chocolate Peanut Butter!  It is so good in my shakes, it gives it a nice taste and kicks it up a notch. My sister asked if it tastes like a Reese's PB cup, and I think that if you close your eyes and pretend, it does!  You can't deny that putting chocolate and peanut butter together was a genius idea, and now I have this little baby to add to my shakes...YUM!  I haven't made it as a spread yet, I will let you know when I do!

I am going to leave you on this rainy Saturday afternoon, a perfect day for baking, these two links for some clean eating treats.  I am going to gather some of these ingredients tomorrow when I am grocery shopping and make some clean treats to have on hand.  Like I always say, you really can't have too much chocolate! 

Apple Walnut Bread from Fit Kim

9 Clean Desserts from Oxygen Magazine online

 Let me know what you think of these yummy clean treats if you make them this weekend!  

I will talk with you tomorrow for my weekly review and some weekly meal planning ideas.  Have a wonderful Sweetest Day!  I hope you spend it with someone you love!

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Total Body Circuit Workout + Clean Eating Pizza Recipe

Good Thursday morning.  I hope that you are all having a fantastic week.  Mine has been great so far, I have gotten in all my workouts and I am enjoying a rest day today. Last night I had 2 of my favorite clients over for a training session and lets say by the end of the workout they tired and drenched in sweat.  Program design is one of my favorite things about being a trainer.  Here is the total body workout that I took my clients through, let me know what you think!

I love doing Kickboxing and since I had two clients working at the same time we did super sets with running on the treadmill while the other client did boxing with me.  I think I have mentioned before that I add the Jillian Michaels Quick Fix Kickboxing to my weekly routine and I absolutely love how I feel when I am done.  While chatting with my clients last night we decided to take a weekly kickboxing class together.  We should be starting next week!  I will let you know how that goes.  Do you like kickboxing?  What workout leaves you feeling awesome? 
Photo Credit here
 As I am sure I have mentioned before, I love pizza!  Here is a clean eating personal pizza that will take care of those pizza cravings from Clean Eating Magazine online. What is your favorite cheat meal?

Personal Pizza with Garlic, Spinach and Mozzarella
Serves 2
1/2 cup natural salt free tomato sauce
1/4 to 1/2 tsp Italian seasoning to taste
2 or 3 medium garlic cloves (passed through garlic press)
2 whole wheat, sprouted wheat or gluten free pitas
1 cup loosely packed spinach leaves finely chopped
2 oz fresh mozzarella, thinly sliced in rounds
2 tbsp minced fresh basil leaves

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F
  2. In a small bowl combine tomato sauce, seasoning and garlic, mix well
  3. Place both pitas on a foil lined baking sheet, evenly divided the sauce between two pitas, leave 1/4 inch around border edges.  Sprinkle with spinach, then arrange mozzarella rounds over top of greens.
  4. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes, until greens are wilted and cheese is melted.  Remove from oven and sprinkle with basil.  
Nutrition Information per pizza: Calories: 183, Total Fat 5g, Carbs 24, Fiber 4g,  Sugar 3g, Protein 11g

I hope that you are having a great week!

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

I'm an IDEA Inspired Blogger + Banana Bread Oatmeal Recipe

I am so proud and excited to announce that I was chosen as an IDEA Inspired Blogger.  This means that IDEA loves what I stand for and how committed I am to helping others live a healthy lifestyle.  It is such an honor to be chosen to be a part of this group and to share this title with some amazing bloggers.  I don't take this lightly and I know that it is my job to stay committed to helping others live healthy and take control of their health.  I will make sure to keep posting content that will motivate, help and inspire.  You can check out the IDEA Inspired Bloggers here

Our weekend up north was so much fun and very relaxing.  We got up there Friday night and had a great dinner at the Bearded Dog.  Saturday we had a nice relaxing morning while the Joe and his dad went 4 wheeling.  When they got back we headed to Petoskey to have dinner and to walk around.  The weather was perfect.  Then Sunday we got up, Ariana and I played outside and enjoyed the brisk air and beautiful colors.  Her favorite thing is collecting leaves in her bucket, its so cute!  Once we were all packed we hit the road, on the way we stopped at a great brunch spot called The Willow Tree and then finished our trek home.  It was beautiful up there and it was wonderful for Ariana to spend some time with her Grandpa and Grandma Riggs.  I think she had a great time too, and loved playing with their 3 dogs.  How was your weekend? 

Usually I do a weekly recap, and last week was pretty uneventful.  Monday-Wednesday I did the Ripped in 30 DVD and a Kickboxing DVD.  I also did Chest and Arms on Sunday when we got home because I took Thursday- Saturday off.  I decided that I really love lifting and that is what I am going to stick to.  
Here is my plan for this week:
Sunday- Chest/Arms
Monday- Kickboxing and 30 minute interval treadmill sprints
Tuesday- Back/Shoulder and 20 minute interval treadmill sprints
Wednesday- Kickboxing and 30 minute interval treadmill sprints
Thursday- Rest
Friday- Legs with HIIT intervals mixed in 
Saturday- Total body HIIT workout
Sunday- Rest
 I feel that this is a good plan for the week and I am working in 2 rest days since I will be getting back to the weights regularly.  It is my first love...lifting weights!
What are your plans to stay fit this week?

For breakfast this morning I was inspired by the bananas on my counter what are slowly turning brown.  They are a little sweeter and I decided to mix them with my oatmeal.  I topped it with cinnamon and a few chopped walnuts and the result was something like warm banana bread in a bowl.  Ariana even scarfed hers down.  This is a wonderful filling bowl of oatmeal for these chilly fall mornings.  Give it a try, you are sure to love it!

Banana Bread Oatmeal
1 cup water (or milk substitute of choice)
1/2 cup Old Fashioned Oats
Ripe banana
1 tsp cinnamon
5 walnuts

Bring 1 cup water to boil, add oats and turn heat to low.  Let simmer until all water is absorbed.  While oatmeal is cooking mash the ripe banana in your bowl.  Top with cooked oatmeal, sprinkle with cinnamon and top with walnuts.  Mix well and enjoy! 
Simple, healthy and delicious! 

I hope that you are all having a wonderful week so far.  I have some great posts scheduled for you and I look forward to hearing from you.

If you ever have a heath and fitness question please feel free to contact me, I enjoy hearing from you.

Saturday, October 12, 2013

Guest Post- Q & A with Alicen from Former Fitness Flunky


Hi Fitness Friends! My name is Alicen and I'm an NASM certified personal trainer based in Kansas City. My own weight loss journey led me down a path of fitness and I've been making it my business to help other people get in shape since I became certified as a trainer in 2009. Angelena has been kind enough to let me share a selection of Question and Answer posts from my website Former Fitness Flunky. Everyone has fitness questions so I have set out to answer the questions that I hear the most from my clients. Here are the top ten questions I get asked. Follow the links to see my full answer to these fitness quandaries.

1) Why am I sore after exercise? Soreness after exercise, also called delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS), usually happens a day or so after exercise – hence the “delayed” part. Microscopic tearing of the muscle fibers during your workout typically is thought to cause this pain. Inflammation may also be a culprit in the pain. [more...]  

2) Why am I Gaining Weight if I am Working Out? You've started a workout routine to lose weight and though you’ve been diligently working out just like you planned you find that instead of losing weight you’re actually gaining weight. What gives? A question I get frequently from new exercisers is why are they gaining weight if they are working out. [more...]  

3) Why is Balance Training Important? Balance training is a crucial part of your fitness routine for a number of reasons. One of the most critical reasons is that improved balance can translate into stability. Stability helps you move efficiently through a variety of challenges while maintaining proper control and alignment of your body. [more...]

 4) What Should I Tell My Personal Trainer? When working with a personal trainer it is important to be honest and open. Your personal trainer is tasked with designing an effective program based on your needs, but they need to know certain information to make that happen. [more...]  

5) Why Should I do Resistance Training? You should do resistance training because it is an important element to your overall fitness. Resistance training can help you build lean muscle mass, improve bone density, increase your strength and balance. Each person may gain different benefits from resistance training, but overall it is an excellent compliment to a cardio routine. [more...]  

6) How Much Weight Should You Lift? How much weight you should lift really depends on your goals, your abilities and your experience. A common method of determining how much weight you should lift is to determine your one repetition maximum (1 RM), or more easily explained, the maximum amount you can lift in one repetition while still maintaining proper form. [more...]  

7) Why Has My Weight Loss Stalled? You weight is dependent on the calories you consume and the calories you expend through every day activities and exercise. When you lose weight by cutting calories or exercising your body may become accustom to the deficit you have created, thereby settling in to a new “normal”. [more...]

 8) Is Running the Best Exercise for Weight Loss? Running is an excellent cardio activity and it can definitely help you lose weight, but I would not say it was the “best” exercise for weight loss. The best exercise for weight loss is the one that you actually do and enjoy. [more...]

 9) Why Have My Strength Gains Slowed Down? Your body is an amazing machine. If you have been working out for some time you have no doubt watched your body change. Perhaps you have slimmed down, gained muscle, toned up or lost weight. [more...]  

10) I Cannot Afford a Gym. Should I Even Bother to Work Out? You don’t need a gym membership to workout so you should definitely consider finding fitness a routine that works for you outside the gym. While a gym may offer an assortment of equipment to aid in your workout, there are many activities you can do that require little to no equipment and cost very little or are free. [more...] Alicen Ronan
Thanks for joining me for this Q and A! If you have a burning fitness question please feel free to Email Me. You can find more articles, advice, recipes and personal musings when you keep up with me through my website Former Fitness Flunky, Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest.  

Friday, October 11, 2013

Busy week...Relaxing weekend!

 Happy Friday Friends!  It has been quite a busy week so far!  I took Ariana to the Cider mill with a friend and her little one, they had a great time and little A even had her first cider mill doughnut and cider, she loved it!  She got to see the animals and play on the play ground.  Wednesday we had Kindermusik, and I had 3 clients.  It is great to start back up with training, I really enjoy it and look forward to doing more as Ariana gets older.  Yesterday we spent some time with my mom, little A really loves her and it is nice to have some time with her.  I got a new pair of sketchers with the memory foam, more for running errands than working out, but they are cute nonetheless.  Today, has been busy already, I had to take my little dog, Bella, to the vet, she has a small eye infection, but will be okay.  Now I am about to pack and we are heading up north to stay with my father in law and mother in law at their cabin.  It should be a nice relaxing weekend.  I am excited to see the colors and have some down time.  If you have ever been up north Michigan in the fall you know the colors are breathtaking.  I am going to pack my workout clothes and shoes, in hopes of getting a jog and some body weight exercises in while A naps.  What are your plans for the weekend?

I have a great guest post scheduled for you tomorrow, it is a Q & A session with Alicen from Former Fitness Flunky.  I am happy to have her here with some great info that she has to share from working with her clients and the questions she gets the most often.  Stop by her blog and check it out, it is a great site!

I found this today when I was shopping for some healthy snacks for our trip up north.  A client of mine was asking for quick healthy breakfast ideas for her early days.  I think this is a great option.  It has all real ingredients and can be prepared quickly.  Add a few hard boiled eggs for some protein and you are good to go.  I usually have time to make breakfast, a benefit of being a stay at home mom, but I bought this to take up north.  I have a feeling little A will like it too.  I found it at Target and it was a great price for the quality of the ingredients compared to some of the others with chemicals and more sugar.  If you try this let me know what you think?  What are some of your favorite "quick and clean" go to breakfast food choices?  

Have a great weekend!  I look forward to telling you about our trip up north, sharing some pictures and hearing about your weekend!

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Guest Post from Beautiful to the Core blogger Stephanie- Favorite Fitness Wear

Good Wednesday Morning!  I hope that you are having a wonderful week so far.  Mine has been going really well, I have been getting my workouts in and today I have 3 clients.  I really enjoy 1:1 training and I am looking forward to my sessions.  I also get to write some workouts, which you know I love to do!  Tonight for dinner I am making a lasagna for Joe and little A to eat while I am training my clients.  I am excited to have Stephanie here from Beautiful to the Core with her guest post about her favorite fitness finds.  After you read her awesome post stop by her blog, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram and give her some social media love!  Thanks again to Stephanie for stopping by today.    

B2C title

 Hello On Fire Fitness readers, I am Stephanie and I am a Health & Fitness blogger from Scottsdale, Arizona. Today I am honored to write a post for Angelena regarding my Favorite Fitness Wear. As a Doctor of Physical Therapy, Pilates Instructor, and Bikini Competitor I am in Fitness clothes all the time. Probably too much! So I have tried many many different brands of fitness clothing: from Adidas to Nike, Lululemon to Lucy, Reebok to New Balance, name it! So when it comes to shopping for the right athletic wear, I am YOUR GIRL! I have put together some of my favorite tops, bottoms, and shoes that I own. Instead of just posting links to items I like I wanted to share with you what I have in my own closet. Because it is proof that they are the best quality, best prices, and most comfortable clothing since I wear them daily. So let's start with my favorite tops...  

B2C Tops
 1) Flex Till You're Famous is one of my favorite companies for tops. Their prices are usually $20/tee. Each top is always so catchy with the sayings they put on them. So everyone at the gym loves them. They are colorful and eye catching. Comfort is perfect because they are cotton and not too tight. Although the only place you can buy them is online here, it is well worth your investment. Since they are a smaller company, they usually do clothing drops 1-2/month so you have to keep an eye out on drop dates. Buy them fast before they sell out! 2) Lululemon is by far my favorite gear for more Pilates/Yoga wear. I like them better than Lucy or Lorna Jane. Simply because of the quality. I bought a plain black pair of yoga pants about five years ago and still wear them constantly to this day. They last so long without looking worn out. They also offer many different sizes besides just the usual S/M/L. So regarding their tops, I love all their tops. They have padding inserts so you feel more supported and covered up. My favorite style is the No Limits tanks pictured above. I have three of them actually! It has a built-in sports bra with a flowy feel. You can find these tops and much more from Lululemon here. Now let's move on to my favorite workout bottoms...  
B2C bottoms
3) NIKE PRO has my all time favorite workout bottoms. Their capri core compression leggings and bootyshorts are amaaaaazing! They are a staple in my wardrobe. I like them because they are sweat-proof, comfortable, stretchy, and sleek looking. They also have an elastic waist band that can be rolled down easily if you want them to ride lower on your hips. Affordability: definitely! The capris are usually around $45 and the shorts around $25-30. Everyone has GOT to have a basic plain black workout capri, right?! You can find them here. Or they also sell them at most sports stores like Sports Authority and Sports Chalet. And
lastly, take a look at my favorite shoes...  
B2C shoes
4) NIKE makes my favorite workout shoes. I sound like a walking Nike advertiser. But honestly, they are the best. As physical therapist, I urge you to spend the money on a good pair of workout shoes. Without the comfort and support of a good pair of shoes, you are much more likely to injure yourself (especially if you are a runner). Regarding colors, my favorite workout shoes are always black. Why?? Because they always look brand new! They don't show scuffs and dirt like most other white or lighter colored shoes. So you can find some cute Nikes here. Or at your local sports store or mall. 

Thanks for reading my guest blog! I hope you enjoyed it and gained some quick tips about shopping for workout gear. For more health & fitness tips, feel free to checkout my blog at Stay beautiful!! And remember, healthy is happy! God Bless :)
xo, Stephanie

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Clean Eating Chocolate Muffins- Guest Post for Beautiful to the Core

I am excited to be guest posting for Stephanie today!  We were chatting about how much we love to eat clean, but also how much we love desserts.  If you know me at all, you know that I can't (and won't) live without chocolate.  I feel that eating a clean diet is a lifestyle and not a so called "diet".  It is easy to maintain, and in my opinion allows for a cheat meal once a week.  I also incorporate my little treats here and there, but in moderation.  This recipe for Clean Eating Chocolate Muffins will allow you to have a clean eating treat and tackle that chocolate craving.  I hope that you enjoy it!

Clean Eating Chocolate Muffins
Servings- 12 muffins 117 Calories per muffin (calculated with My Fitness Pal)

1 3/4 Cups Oats
3 egg whites
3/4 cups unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 cups unsweetened applesauce
1/2 cup plain greek yogurt (organic when possible)
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp cream of tartar
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1 cup hot water
2-3 drops liquid stevia (to taste) or 1 cup of your favorite no-calorie sugar substitute (Stevia in the Raw)
1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Line 12 cup muffin tin with foil cucpcake liners or spray pan with non-stick cooking spray.
  2. In a blender (or food processor) mix all of the ingredients together, except for chocolate chips.
  3. Place a mixture in bowl and fold in 1/2 of the chocolate chips (set aside the rest)
  4. Scoop mixture evenly into muffin pan.
  5. Cook for 10 minutes, top with the rest of the chocolate chips, and bake for additional 2-5 minutes (muffins are done when toothpick comes out clean)
  6. Enjoy!

This post also appeared at Beautiful to the Core.

Check back tomorrow for a guest post from Stephanie at Beautiful to the Core, she wrote on awesome post about her favorite fitness gear!

Monday, October 7, 2013

Motivational Monday + One hour HIIT workout

Good Monday Morning Fitness Friends!  I hope that you had a great week and weekend.  I did!  Last week was fun, I did a lot of activities and spent some quality time with little A.  My hubby and I also had a date night with some friends and we ended up dancing which was a lot of fun!  I also took a rest week from working out, if you read my post on Wednesday you know how I was feeling last week.  I also took a few days off from the blog world to rest my mind and come back refreshed.  Sometimes it is good to take a break, as even too much of a good thing can be too much (unless it's chocolate!).  I feel that after giving myself a break, I am ready to get back to my fitness loves...working out and blogging.  How was your week and weekend?  

Here is my plan for this week:
Monday- Ripped in 30 workout, kickboxing, arms
Tuesday- Ripped in 30 workout, kickboxing abs
Wednesday- Ripped in 30, interval sprints on treadmill, back & shoulders
Thursday- Ripped in 30, kickboxing abs
Friday- Ripped in 30, legs
Saturday- Ripped in 30, kickboxing
Sunday- Rest!

My sister is getting back in her routine this week too, so we are going to keep each other accountable and on track.  I also have 3 clients that I will be working with this week, so I am excited for that!  That is one of the things I miss about training regularly, working with my clients.  I am looking forward to a great week, getting back to my normal eating and working out habits, training some clients and writing some great posts.  What are your plans for the week?

Here is a one hour workout that you can fit into your day!  You should be sweaty and feel like you kicked butt when you are done.

Circuit #1- Repeat 3x through then move to circuit #2
mountain climbers- 30 seconds
bicycle crunches- 30 seconds
pushups- 20 reps
curtsey lunges- 10 each side
* 1 min sprint on treadmill @ 6.0 mph

Circuit #2- Repeat 3x through then move to circuit #3
jumping jacks- 30 seconds
squats- 20 reps
side plank with rotation- 10 each side
jump squats- 2- reps
 * 1 min sprint on treadmill @ 6.0 mph

Circuit #3- Repeat 3x through
side lunge to a hop- 10 each side
burpees- 10
plank hold- 30 seconds
wall sit hold- 30 seconds
* 1 min sprint on treadmill @ 6.0 mph

I hope that you have a wonderful week planned!  

Do you give yourself a break when you need it?  

What is on your workout or meal plan this week?

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Getting Back in the Right Mindset + October Goals

Good Wednesday Afternoon, I hope you are enjoying this gorgeous day!  Today has been fun so far and I am looking forward to the rest of the day.  We had Kindermusik this morning, met with Joe for a few (Ariana sure loves her daddy), went shopping and I finally got Ariana her Halloween costume (pics later).  I also had a few great adult conversations today, a mom at Kindermusik and I had a nice chat before class, and I ran into a friend at Target.  Later today we are meeting my sister for lunch and then while Joe is at the hockey game (Go Wings!) my friend is coming to hang out.  It is the perfect day to pull me out of the funk I have been in the past two days.  I am not sure if I was just still tired from the long weekend and Ariana not sleeping well or that I was dealing with the mental switch to and then off the IIFYM plan. 

Have you ever been in that place where you just don't feel like doing anything and working out is the last thing on your mind?  That is how I was feeling Monday and yesterday.  I can't really decide exactly what was going on, but my mind and heart were just not there.  I did workout, just 20 minutes with Jillian Michaels for the Ripped in 30 workout, but I couldn't push myself to do more than that, which is unlike me.  So I just decided to stop thinking about it so much and just let it go.  I was reading through my Bloglovin feed and came across The Workout Mama and Tamara's post about needing Jesus.  It was simple and very beautifully written and made me change my mindset about all the things that were swirling around in my head.  I decided to stop worrying so much about what I was doing with my fitness goals and nutrition plan and realize that I need to just live in each moment and create balance in my life.  I want to live healthy every day and for me that means, eating the right healthy foods most of the time, allowing myself a dessert or glass of wine when I want it, working out daily (one rest or yoga day), spending time with Ariana (doing 1:1 activities or sitting and playing, spending time with my husband, reading, cooking, blogging and finding time everyday to pray and be thankful for all of my blessings.  What does a healthy life look like for you?

With that I decided to create some October Goals for myself, some fitness related, some not and share them with you.  I hope that you decide to do the same, and I would love to know what yours are.

1) Do at least 2 art projects a week with Ariana.  Thank goodness for Pinterest, I am going to load up my board with stuff to do!

2) Listen to my body.  If I am hungry I will eat, if I am tired I will go to bed, if I need a rest day I will take it.  I will also work to push myself just a little harder in my workouts.

3) Read 2 books.  One fiction and one non-fiction.  Any good suggestions would be appreciated!

4) Walk outside once a day with Ariana and talk about what we see.

5) Spend some time with just me and the hubby after Ariana goes to bed, doing something other than just watching tv.

6) Go to Church!  This will be hard with a toddler, but I might try a mass during the week when it isn't quite as busy.

7) Do more yoga!  I miss my weekly yoga practice and I would like to get back to it.

8) Read more of the blogs in my bloglovin feed and make more blogger connections.  I got a great idea from a fellow SPA sister and blogger and I am going to post it later this week or next.

9) Take time to just sit and be.

10) Cook more meals at home!  I love to cook, its the cleaning up that I don't love.  I am going to try and cook more meals at home, this way Joe will also have more meals to have at work.

Well this is my list!  I am going to reflect next month and see how I did.  Now it is your turn, what goals are you working on for this month, fitness and non-fitness related?  Share with me...I would love to hear!

P.S.  I had a tall Starbucks Salted Caramel Mocha (iced, non-fat no whip) today and I enjoyed every sip!  What is your favorite fall drink?

P.P.S.  I made the Clean Eating butternut squash soup yesterday and it was delicious!  If you haven't tried it yet, you must! 

Monday, September 30, 2013

Week 8 in Review + Butternut Soup Recipe

Good Monday Morning!  I hope that you had a great weekend.  We sure did, as I mentioned on Friday we went to visit my brother and sister in law in Cleveland.  We went to a great dinner at an authentic Italian restaurant in Little Italy on Saturday night and then went to the Cleveland Zoo on Sunday, which Ariana loved!  It was a nice visit and we are excited they will be moving back to Michigan after they have the baby.  How was your weekend?  Did you do anything fun or go anywhere exciting?

Before I get to my week 8 in review I wanted to update you on my IIFYM program, or lack thereof.  After 5 days on the plan with a lot of planning, cooking, weighing, and scheduling my meals not to mention too much food (for me at least) I have decided to stop with the IIFYM.  It is not for me.  On Thursday night I ate so much food (mind you it was all healthy food), but I was eating just to reach a number and it hit me that this really isn't going to work for my lifestyle.  It was taking over my whole day, and for me that is not balance.  I have been working on reaching that good balance and the IIFYM was taking me out of that.  I wasn't listening to my body and didn't stop eating when I was satisfied, I was eating just to hit my macro goals.  I am going to return to my normal healthy eating habits and I will track for a few weeks in My Fitness Pal to make sure I am getting the right amounts of food for me.  I think that for the right person IIFYM would work, but in the end I had to do what I felt was right for me and my body and stop before it did damage to all the work I have been doing on creating a healthy lifestyle that I can maintain.

On to my week 8 in review!  I took 3 rest days this weekend, mostly because we were so busy, but also because I was so sore from my heavy lifting week.  Even though I had one week left on my original schedule, I changed up my week a little.  This week will be a new plan with some Jillian added in!  I can't believe that I am moving into weeks 9-12!  I definitely have more definition than when I started, and I am feeling much stronger so I will continue to work toward my goals.  I know that it takes time commitment and consistency to reach my goals, and I know that I have what it takes to get there.  Check back tomorrow and I will share my weeks 9-12 workout plan. 

Monday- Heavy chest/arm day
Tuesday- glutes and abs
Wednesday- Heavy back/shoulders
Thursday- heavy arms and some quads
Friday-Sunday- REST

This week I am going to do 3 days of lifting and 6 days of the Jillian Michaels Ripped in 30.  I did this DVD program before and I love it!  I am going to work it into my week and see how I feel at the end of the week.  The few things that I was doing with IIFYM and will continue are eating a pre-workout snack about an hour to hour and a half before my workout and then 30 minutes before taking half scoop of super pump maxx with creatine on my heavy lifting days.  I feel like these two changes helped with my workouts.  How was your week?  Did you get your workouts in?

 photo credit

Here is a clean eating butternut squash soup recipe that is sure to please even the little ones in your house.  This chilly weather makes me crave warm soups. 

Clean Eating Butternut Squash Soup 
(original recipe here)
 Makes 8-10 servings

2 tsp unsalted organic butter
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 large onion, chopped
2 to 2 1/2 lb butternut squash, peeled and chopped
5 1/2 cups low sodium vegetable broth or water
2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp cumin
3/4 cups 1% organic milk
sea salt and pepper to taste

1- In a medium stockpot on medium high heat, melt butter and saute garlic and onion for about 5 mins
2- Add squash and broth.  Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low and add cinnamon, nutmeg and cumin.  Simmer on low for about 2 hours.
3- Using a handheld blender, puree soup until smooth.  Add milk and blend until combined.  Season with salt and pepper, to taste, and serve with sliced whole-grain bread.

Nutrients per 1 cup serving: Calories: 132, total fat 1g, Carbs 30g, fiber 5g, sugar 6g, protein 3g. 

As for the rest of my menu for the week it will include:
Breakfast: eggs, toast, fruit
Lunch: salad with lots of veggies and a protein (chicken, salmon, etc), Post-workout shakes (meal replacement)
Snacks- almonds, hard boiled egg whites, apples, bananas, mozzarella cheese, kind bars
Dinner- butternut squash soup, and I think I will pull out the crock pot and make some slow cooked meals this week. I will share recipes throughout the week.

What are your workout plans for the week?  Do you try to plan your meals for the week?

Friday, September 27, 2013

Five Things Friday

Happy Friday Fitness Friends!  I have seen Five Things Friday posts on some of my favorite blogs, and I wanted to join in the fun on this beautiful day.  I would love to hear what 5 things are on your list this fab Friday.  These are not all fitness related, but what the heck, I wanted to share anyway.  I also have a love for fashion!

1) Embellished sandals

I got these super cute sandals for a steal at DSW today.  Kind of a funny story actually, my friend Kim and I went out for a girls night and traded shoes (mine were killing my feet!) and she ended up wearing mine home.  Her and her fiance just rescued a new dog and he decided they looked like a good chew toy!  She gave me a gift card for DSW which led me to this great find!  I think I can squeeze a few weeks out of these bad boys before I have to put them away until Spring.

 2) Fall Colors

With the money left over on my gc I saw these awesome fall colors at the register (they get me every time!) and I just had to snag these to pain my nails for the weekend.  Ariana, my mom and I are headed to see my brother and sis-in law (who is preggers with my first niece or nephew) this weekend and I wanted to have fresh polish!  I never do my nails anymore and it felt like a nice treat.  These are colors I will use all season long.

3) Cute messages on shirts

Since, Ariana is growing like a weed these days we needed to do some fall shopping for her today.  My mom told me there was 40% off all kid stuff at Old Navy so after DSW, this was our next stop.  I got a ton of super cute stuff for her, she is going to be a little fashionista (although I am sure she could care less right now, but will thank me later).  While I was there I decided to peruse though stuff for me, and one of my finds was this super cute and lightweight sweatshirt.  It is so comfy and will look cute with a tank and jeans.  There were others with little saying, but I loved this one, its a reminder to live with your heart and soul!

4) Patterned workout leggings posted these on their Facebook page and I just had to order them!  There was a 10% off your first order on the site, which paid for shipping, so I thought I'd try them out.  I know I workout by myself at home, but I thought if I ever get back to my yoga practice these would look cute and be comfy!  You may catch me wearing them out and about, but hey that is one of the advantages of being a stay at home mom, Ariana doesn't care if I spend the day in yoga leggings.  I also found a super cute back and grey pair at Old Navy, what can I say... I am a sucker for cute workout clothes!

5) Spending time with this sweet girl

I am so blessed that I get to stay home and take care of our precious daughter.  She is growing up so fast and learning so much and I get to be here to experience it all.  She was quite the trooper during our shopping trip today and fell asleep on the way home.  She is so much fun and has her own (strong willed) personality.  I thank God for her every single day.  She is the reason I keep myself active and healthy.  I want her to grow up with a good role model, not have body image issues, eating the right foods (or at least knowing the right way to eat), and staying active.  I want to be here for my grand kids (yea, I know I'm getting ahead of myself here), so I will take good care of myself so I am here for her!