Saturday, August 31, 2013

30 Day Arms Challenge from Eat. Drink. Be Skinny

Teresa at Eat. Drink. Be Skinny.  and the 30 Day Challenge Series has announced September's 30 Day Challenge...Arms!  If you are ready to get in on the Challenge head over to her blog to get all the details.  Teresa asked me to write about the 3 exercises in the challenge and I happily accepted, because every woman wants FAB arms, right?  Head on over to her blog and sign up, I did!  I'm up for the challenge, are you?  Come back and tell me how you do!

Now that you are signed up for the 30 Day Arm Challenge head over and check out my Guest Blog Post!

Thanks to Teresa for the honor of letting me Guest Blog!

Friday, August 30, 2013

Fitness Friday + Staying On Track Series- Part 1 Holidays

Yesterday our air conditioning stopped working...needless to say it was so hot!  However, I got up and got my morning workout in!  I was sweaty and hot, but I figured I was just burning extra calories!  I am happy I got it done, but I can't wait till we get the air fixed.  Did you get your workout in today, or do you have it scheduled for later?  Your mind can make up any excuse, you get stronger when you move past those excuses and just do it!  By now, you may have guessed that I love affirmations and inspirational quotes, I think they keep me going.  What do you use to stay motivated and work past your excuses?  What are some of your favorite quotes that get you moving?

I am starting a new series called Staying On Track.  With the holiday weekend fast approaching I thought I would give you some tips for staying on track toward your goals, and not blowing it just because it is a holiday weekend.

Staying On Track Series- Part 1 Holidays

Okay so it is Labor Day and you are going to a BBQ at a friends house or you are going away for the weekend, now what?
  1. Pack your own food to take.  Even if you can't make every meal that you eat while out of town, you can have some snacks that will keep you from overeating when it comes to meal time.  Packs things like apples, bananas, nuts and seeds, peanut butter, rice cakes, Kind bars, homemade trail mix, protein powder to mix with water.  If you are going to a party take a healthy dish to pass and a fruit and veggie tray, this way you are guaranteed to have something to eat.
  2.  Eat before you go.  Before you head out to that party make sure to eat a meal so that when you get there you will be less tempted to overeat all the goodies.
  3. Plan a cheat meal.  It is okay to have a cheat meal every week, and you need one to help keep you on track.  If you know that there is going to be food that you just can't wait to eat, plan that as your cheat meal.  Just make sure to have only one portion.
  4. Drink in moderation.  Let's be honest you are going to have a few "adult beverages", just don't overdo it!  Alcohol is converted to sugar in the body and will most likely be stored as fat.  If you are going to have a few drinks, space them out and have a large glass of ice water with some fresh lemon wedges in between drinks.  You can also make spritzers.  Add some soda water to your wine or mixed drink to cut down on the sugar and calories you consume.
  5. Have fun and socialize.  Don't hang out by the food table.  Mingle and walk around.  Play some volleyball or lawn games.  Its easy for the calories to add up when you are nibbling the whole time at the party.
Stay tuned for more in the Staying on Track Series! What are some tips that you use to stay on track? 

**I just want to give a quick shout out to my friend and graphic designer Laura.  She re-did my logo at the top of my page for me.  She is awesome and did all my changes, I am super picky!  If you need any help with your website or blog check out her out: Did I mention she is awesome?**

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Baking and such + a HIIT no equipment workout

Yesterday was a fun day!  I took my daughter to a play place so she could run around and play with other kids and to just get out of the house.  I ended up meeting two really nice moms of 2 year old girls, and we talked about getting together for play dates.  If you're a mom, you know it's not always easy meeting mom friends!  We joked that asking another a mom for her phone number is like asking someone out on a date, Ha!  After the play place, little A and I met the hubby for lunch, sushi, Yum!
Since the weather was so muggy and rainy yesterday afternoon, I decided to make the sweet potato cookies I posted a few days ago (see recipe here).  
Cookie prep!
I like to get all my ingredients set out, so I don't forget anything.  It was actually a really easy recipe, the thing that took the longest was peeling and cutting the sweet potatoes.  While they were cooking I put together the other ingredients.  I did a few things different from the original recipe, I used PB2 in place of the nut butter the recipe called for.  This was actually my first time using PB2 and I loved it, it tastes just like peanut butter to me.  I love that it has fewer calories than regular peanut butter and tastes just as good, this will be the peanut butter I use is my shakes now.  Okay, back to the cookies, I didn't have the La Boite Yemen #10 that the original recipe called for so I used a 1/2 tsp of ginger, 1/4 tsp nutmeg and an extra 1/4 tsp of cinnamon and this worked just fine.  A word to the wise, make sure your sweet potatoes are fully cooled, you can even put them in the fridge after they are pureed.  Mine were still a little warm and stared melting the chocolate chips in the bowl, oops!  I also used quinoa flour so they would be gluten free, I am not gluten free myself, but cutting down on wheat is something I am working on.  I also wanted to make this a gluten free recipe for anyone who can't eat gluten, you need cookies too!
Here is the finished product, I got 24 cookies from the recipe. They are really yummy and super moist.  My daughter and hubby loved them.  I like to have healthier cookies on hand, because my daughter, like me, has a sweet tooth.  These are low in sugar and have the nutritious addition of the sweet potato.  I plugged the recipe into my fitness pal for the nutrition info: Calories per cookie- 70, 2 g fat, 11g carbs, 2g protein, 4 g fiber and 6g sugar.  I would say for a cookie that is pretty good, just make sure to only eat one at a time!
Have you attempted this recipe?  I would love to hear how it turned out!
I also made some of my peanut butter energy balls to curb the sweet tooth I had last week.  I have been doing really good at avoiding any white sugar.  I like to have these in the fridge for a quick pick me up during the day.  Have you made these?  Do you love them?

Did anyone else watch the VMA's?  I loved Katy Perry's performance.  She is a great performer and has a healthy and fit physique.  I loved her boxing gear!  I am now obsessed with her song, Roar, it totally gets me pumped up for my workouts!  What songs get you pumped up?

Here is your workout for today or tomorrow (if you have already worked out today).  This HIIT no equipment workout will be my workout for tomorrow.  Try it and let me know how you do!  I'll get back to you after I get mine in tomorrow morning!


You can time your circuits with a Gym Boss or other timer, or you can count your reps, either will be fine.  Do each circuit 2x (beginner)-3x (advanced) through before moving on to the next circuit.
Go to my Workouts page for a photo of each exercise.  If you have any questions feel free to shoot me an email.

Circuit 1-
Pushups (modified on knees if needed)- 20
bicycle crunches- 30
jumping jacks- 30
Burpees- 20
*2-3 minute rest before starting next circuit

Circuit 2-
mountain climbers- 30
plank holds-30 seconds
reverse lunges- 10 each leg (alternate)
jump squats- 30
 *2-3 minute rest before starting next circuit

Circuit 3-
Ice skaters- 30
squats- 30
scissor abs- 20
toe tappers- 30
 *2-3 minute rest before starting next circuit

Well, I am off to get my back, shoulder and cardio workout in!  Time to sweat and get one day closer to my goals!

What are you doing for your workout today?  Are you working on your goals? 

Thanks for stopping by!  I'd love to hear from you!


Monday, August 26, 2013

A Look Into Why I Do What I Do...My Story!

My love for fitness started when I was 15 years old.  I had always been active playing sports and being a tomboy following my younger brother, Joey, and his buddies around.  My mom was a great cook and taught us how to eat right.  Fast food and meals out were not very common, to this day I thank my mom for this.  My brother, aside from letting me play sports with him, taught me how to weight train and this began my love for strength training.  It was around this time that I took up tennis and started playing for my school team.  It was also around this time when my struggle with food and body image started and my lifetime of yo-yo dieting began.  I can't really pinpoint why or when I stared my battle with anorexia, but I will tell you it was not fun or easy to deal with.  I lost a ton of weight and was a staggering 108, which was thin for my 5' 7" frame.  My mom begged me to eat and to stop working out so much.  Eventually two of my closest friends talked to my mom and my high school guidance counselor and talked with me about their concerns.  At first I was mad and felt betrayed, but eventually I realized what I was doing was not healthy and very dangerous.  With the help of those same people I was able to over come that battle.

Fast forward to college, cafeteria food, pizza delivered to the dorm and a snack store open all night and the dreaded freshmen 15!  When I came home that summer, I hadn't realized how much I gained until I saw myself in a family picture.  I started working out regularly again, something I wasn't doing at school, and eating home cooked meals.  The rest of college I was consistent with my working out and eating.  I had found my balance of the college life and taking care of myself.  It was here that I even met the man I would later marry.
My hubby and I on our wedding day!

In 2006, I did marry the love of my life.  But with this happiness came the next and most tragic stop in my journey.  Two weeks after we were married, the day we returned from our honeymoon, I heard the most heart shattering, life changing best friend, Julia, had taken her own life.  We had been friends since we were 14, she helped in my anorexia struggle and stood up in my wedding, how was this even possible?  I entered into a state of depression and utter grief.  I once again stopped taking care of myself.  Long story short and sad to say there was a lot of fast food consumed during this point and no working out.  What was supposed to be the happiest time in my life turned into a very low point for me.  My new hubby, bless his heart signed us up for the gym, when I told him I was unhappy with how I felt.  I started working out again, this was not new for me, the starting over, but I also knew that I needed to really learn more about working out and eating clean.  Reading Oxygen magazine one day I happened upon Tosca Reno and the eat clean diet. This is when things truly changed for me and I knew that I wanted to pursue a career of fitness.  It was working out and eating right that brought me back to who I was and gave me my life back.  I still missed my friend, but I knew how to better deal with it.  I could grieve, miss her and still take care of myself.
My bridal party, my best friend I lost is on my left in the picture, with the dark hair. 

Me at my heaviest.  After this trip to FL, I changed my life!
 After, a few more "jobs", I finally got my NASM Certification and my job at Lifetime Fitness.  This was finally a career that I knew would be what I would do for the rest of my life.  After having my daughter in 2012, truly the happiest day of my life, I became a stay at home mom.  I still wanted to be a personal trainer which is why I started On Fire Fitness Personal training and my Healthy Living blog.  I have since become an NASM Fitness Nutrition Specialist,  I work with clients in fitness and nutrition and I write for my blog to help inspire others to live a healthy life.  Whatever your story and what has happened in the past it is never too late to find what you love and do it everyday!  I have finally come to peace with my body and I love it for the strength I have, the daughter it gave me and the healthy life that I live. No more yo-yos for me, well until I teach my daughter how to use the toy kind!
Me and my daughter.  I am happy and healthy!

If you have a story about how fitness changed your life please contact me at if you would like to share it on my blog.
I would love to hear from you!

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Week 3-Workout week in review + Sweet Potato Cookie Recipe

Good Morning!  I woke up so sore this morning, and I don't know about you but I LOVE it!  I know that I worked hard and its a good reminder to keep my eating on track.  Do you love being sore?

So, I am at the end of week 3 and I am noticing a change in how strong I feel during my workouts, I did burpees twice this week and didn't want to pass out!  I see a burpee challenge coming soon!

Here is my week 3 in review-
Monday- Chest and arms circuits + treadmill intervals 2 mins at 3.5 mph, 1 min at 6.0 mph- repeated for 30 minutes
Tuesday- Jillian Michaels Kickboxing workout 20 minutes and treadmill intervals same as Monday's

Wednesday- I tried out a Baby Boot Camp class (day one of burpees).  You can read more about my experience here.  It was a great workout, and got me thinking about starting my own Stroller Fitness Class for mommies and their babies.

Thursday- Day off.  I had my second Bowenwork session.  Bowenwork is a kind of massage that works to correct muscle imbalances.

Friday- Legs with treadmill sprints circuits- This workout kicked my butt and I loved every minute of it!

Saturday- Jillian Michaels Extreme Shed & Shred (day two of burpees)- 30 minutes and Jillian Michaels Kickboing abs workout.  I was a sweaty mess, but felt so good after my workout!  You can't tell in the photo but I am dripping sweat and my hair is a mess...sign of a great workout!
Working on my fitness!
Saturday's sweat session burn!

My weekly totals! 5 hours and 20 minutes- 2,400 calories!
Sunday- REST

As far as my eating for the week, I started off really strong with meals and snacks prepared.  I had a cheat meal on Thursday night (pizza) and a few pieces of Dove Dark chocolate, until then I had no sugar.  I planned on making dinner Friday night, but my little one wasn't feeling well so I sat with her instead.  We ended up making Friday nights dinner on Saturday, grilled chicken and scallops and those yummy zucchini fries.  All in all I would say a good week.  I have learned not to beat myself up over a few slip ups, no guilt, and to move on with the next meal or snack as a fresh start.  You have to go with the flow, life isn't perfect and neither are we, so we have to do the best we can and know that it is enough.  No negative self talk here!

*You can get all my workouts here.  I will be posting my next 4 weeks soon, so come back for those!
How did your week go?  Did you get all your workouts in? 

Okay, on to the yummy stuff!  I was poking around on Pinterest, as I usually do, looking for healthy cookie recipes for my little one and happened upon these sweet potato cookies!  The recipe is from Kitchen Queen Eats Clean. 
I am going to make these soon and I will let you know how they are.  Let me know if you make them too!  I love trying new it is:

Here is the recipe rundown-

You will need: baking pan, parchment paper, large bowl, food processor, medium pot, mixing spoon. 

Recipe adapted from : The Betty Rocker 
2 cups pureed sweet potato (about 2 medium sweet potatoes)
1/2 cup oat flour (can be sub. w/ another kind of flour)
1/2 cup nut butter
2 eggs
3 T maple syrup
1 tsp vanilla

1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp La Boite Yemen #10 (a blend of ginger, cinnamon, and clove- sub with 1/2 tsp ginger, 1/4 tsp clove, and additional 1/4 tsp cinnamon)
1 tsp cacao powder
1/4 tsp allspice
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
3/4 cup dark chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

1. Boil a medium pot of water. Peel and dice sweet potatoes, add to water. Cook till they can be easily forked. Once they are done add to the food processor and pulse till smooth. Let cool.

2. Mix dry ingredients- oat flour, spices, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Cut in the nut butter with a fork or a pastry cutter if you have one. I ended up using my hands.

3. Add eggs, maple syrup, and vanilla. Mix in sweet potato and then chocolate chips.

4. Scoop onto parchment paper or foil lined baking sheet- I used a mini ice cream scooper. Then press down with a fork.

5. Bake for 15-17 minutes.

Please feel free to share your week in review, I would love to hear from you!

Thanks for stopping by!

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Short & Sweet Saturday Sweat Session

These past few days I haven't been eating as clean as I was at the beginning of the week.  I could give you a list of excuses, but it was my choice to eat the pizza and the cookie, so really there are no excuses.  But that is the beauty of life and your fitness journey.  You can have a few bad days without derailing your whole fitness plan.  So this morning with some help from one of my favorite trainers, Jillian Michaels, I am going to go get uncomfortable with a few of her workouts and I know my body will thank me when I am done.  I am not going to let a few bad choices pull me off track.  I am going to call on my inner motivation, read through my Pinterest boards for some inspiration and go and sweat my butt off!

What are you doing today to sweat and get yourself closer to your goals?

What do you do to motivate yourself when you get a little off track?

I would love to hear from you!

Friday, August 23, 2013

Guest Blog from Teresa at Eat. Drink. Be Skinny! Green Cocktails!

 If you have been reading my blog, then you know I love Green Smoothies, so when I saw this blog post from Teresa at Eat. Drink. Be Skinny!  I knew I had to read and share it!  I hope that you enjoy her post as much as I do, head over to her blog to read more.  Thanks to Teresa for letting me share her post!

Green Drink Cocktails

Green Drink + Booze? I know you’ve seen them! And you wonder…what the heck? Who’s putting kale in a cocktail and why would they do that?
In the spring of this year, I launched my first Green Cocktail, the Lean Green SkinnyTini Machine, as an Earth Day inspired cocktail. I’ve used the recipe at a few other social mixers and it always gets rave reviews. And most recently, to my fantastic surprise, it won the Smirnoff Go Green Cocktail Challenge and was featured on their FaceBook Page this week. And it looks like the Smirnoff fans were in awe as well.
Green SkinnyTini Smirnoff
This bad boy got more Likes and Shares than Sandra Lee’s Green Cocktail…not that anybody is counting ;)
I’ve changed the alcohol  base of this cocktail a few times over, but the mix is always fresh cucumber juice, fresh lime, fresh mint, sweetened with Stevia and topped off with soda water. It’s all natural, artificial sweetener free, low calorie and may have other detoxifying health benefits.

So to Answer the Original Question

Why would somebody put kale in a cocktail? Why mix the wonder and alkalizing health benefits of the green drink and douse them in acidifying alcohol? I don’t know why others do it. Maybe its a marketing trick because the green juice industry is blowing up. It didn’t take the booze hounds long to figure out that energy drinks created a larger buzz (both socially and physiologically), so why not try the next best thing? I can’t speak for them.
Fancy green cocktails are popping up everywhere!
Fancy green cocktails are popping up everywhere!

Why I Created My First Green Drink Cocktail

I can however tell you why I created my first Green Drink Gone Wild and why I’ll probably make a few more. Alcohol does indeed have an acidifying affect on your body’s PH. That means it’s harder to get nutrients inside your cells and toxins out. When your blood is slightly alkaline, things work better. Fresh green juice is one of the most alkalizing tonics on earth. So my logical mind tells me this…I may not be getting the full health benefits of the green drink by shaking it with booze, but isn’t it then likely that perhaps I’m not acidifying my body either? Can’t they cancel each other out?
Green Drink Cocktial
Don’t you feel healthier and more sophisticated by just looking at it?
And guess what? At the end of the day, health benefits aside, this Lean Green SkinnyTini Machine just tastes good! I do think we’ll see more and more of them pop up in specialty restaurants and bars soon. So give one a try. It may not be proven to cure cancer, but at the very least will be refreshing, reviving and relaxing!

And a Word of Caution

Just because it’s green, in NO WAY implies health benefits of any kind. Most traditional liquors that are used to color our glasses green are not skinny or healthy. Apple Pucker, Creme de Menthe, Midori and Sour Apple Schnapps are a health minded, dieters’ worst nightmare. They are loaded with excess sugar and can easily run you 100 calories per ounce for 20% booze (clean vodka is 64 calories per ounce and 40% booze). Read or ask the bartender for ingredients if you’re looking for a potentially healthy tonic and look for things fruit and vegetable juice bases. The murkier the better :)

Do you have a different green drink gone wild cocktail you would like to share? I’d love to hear about and feature your recipe…but only if it’s tasty ;)

Green Drink Cocktails 
To view original post click here
Also stop by Teresa's Facebook page SkinnyTinis and give her a "like".  What's not to love about a SkinnyTini?

Fabulous Friday Mash-up + Zucchini Fries Recipe

Happy Friday Fitness Friends!  I stared off my day with an awesome leg workout with sprint intervals included!  There is something about getting your workout in first thing in the morning, no matter what else happens in my day, at least I got my workout in.  You can check out my workout here, I did legs, however I substituted 7.0 sprints after each circuit, instead of cardio and burned 500 cals in an hour!  What are you doing to stay active today and this weekend?

 It has been a busy week for me and I have some exciting things in the works!  Stay tuned for some guest bloggers and for some guests blogs I will be doing.  I am really loving being part of the blogging community, there are so many awesome bloggers out there and I enjoy talking with them and learning from them.  There is a website and app I found called Bloglovin, it organizes all the blogs you follow in one place (if your favorite bloggers are members), I joined and if you love to read blogs this is a great site/app for you!  While you're there make sure to add On Fire Fitness Healthy Living to the blogs you read, this way you are able to keep track of my blog for recipes or workouts you liked.  Also, check out my cool new widget!  

Okay, so you may have noticed the new Sweat Pink Ambassador Badge on my page, pretty sweet, right?  I joined this awesome community of fitness minded ladies!  We all Sweat Pink right?  It is awesome to have a place to talk about all things fitness with others who love it as much as I do!  If this sounds like a community you want to be a part of head over to Sweat Pink and see what its all about!

Zucchini fries- Recipe from King Aurthur Flour- see the original recipe here
Yum!  On to what's on the menu for dinner!  Tonight I am making grilled chicken breasts, pan seared scallops (okay, my hubby does that part), and the zucchini fries pictured above.  I found this recipe on Pinterest, with my Pin-addiction (no joke). I have tons of yummy healthy recipes pinned and I try to make at least a few of them so all my pinning is not in vain!  If you want to check out and follow me on Pinterest click here.  Also, I'd love for you to share some of your favorite "pinned"recipes with me.  Okay, back to the zucchini fries.  These tasty little morsels are crunchy on the outside and smooth and warm on the inside and are a great side to your dinner!  I didn't make the dip, but if you try it let me know what you think.

I hope you have an awesome, fitness filled and relaxing weekend!
Thanks for stopping by!

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Baby Boot Camp Farmington Hills- Class Review

 Today was a fun change up in my workout!  Michelle from Baby Boot Camp Farminghton Hills, MI let me attend her class to try it out.  If you are a mom that loves to workout and not have to put your little one in the child care at the gym, then this class is for you!  I love that you have the chance to meet other moms, be outside, have the little ones engaged, and get a great workout in.  Michelle has a great class format that keeps you moving and burning calories the whole time.  We stared with a warm up while the babies faced each other in a circle, next we had the babies face us and we side shuffled while singing 5 little monkeys (well sing as best we could while shuffling around).  I know my little one found it amusing and we ended up back by our babies for a few second squat holds.  Next we strolled to another location to do some tababta work.  This kicked my butt!  Burpees, mountain climbers, planks...oh my!  She also worked in some strength moves and kept us moving around the park to keep the babies from getting bored!  We finished up with mat work and stretching and took the little ones out of the strollers for this.  I had a lot of fun, talked with some nice moms and best of all had a great workout, I burned 450 in just under an hour!  Not bad for toting my little one around with me.  If you are in the Farmington Hills and surrounding areas and are interested in trying a class (first one is free!) contact Michelle Kreger at or check out her Facebook page: here

Yeah no, Don't Put Me Down for Cardio + A Few Interval Cardio Workouts

If you are a Pitch Perfect fan, as I am, you will know exactly what the above photo means, if are missing out!  I will be the first to admit that I don't love cardio the way that I love strength training.  That is until I learned about the wonder that is interval cardio training.

First lets talk a little technical about cardio there are two main types, low intensity (steady state) and high intensity or interval training.  Steady state is getting on a piece of cardio equipment, treadmill, elliptical, bike, you get the picture, and staying at a steady heart rate for the whole session.  Some believe that this is best for weight loss because you are in your "weight loss heart rate zones", sounds right but what happens is your body adapts to this quite quickly and you won't be burning as many calories as you once were.  This is okay if you can only stay at low impact for medical reasons, but for those of us looking for a challenge high intensity interval training (sometimes called HIIT).

HIIT is cardio with a twist and there are two ways I incorporate them into my workouts, the first is on the treadmill with 2 or 3 different intervals per 30 or 45 minute session.  I will also add them in during my strength training to burn more calories and not have to do a separate cardio session.  High intensity intervals work by raising your heart rate then letting it recover many times over and over.  This forces your body to adapt and change.  It doesn't know what is coming next and will keep it guessing.  This process also boosts your metabolism and can even burn extra calories once your session is complete.  In my book HIIT is the clear winner.  Now that being said it is good to mix up your workouts and to have some days that are lower intensity to let your body and muscles recover.  It is even nice to get outside and go for a walk on a recovery day, this will also help your sore muscles because it gets you moving and blood flowing to help them recover.  Have you ever noticed that when you are sore and you sit around how stiff you can get?  This is why getting moving will help!

Okay, ready for some workouts?  Here are a few workouts I do that incorporate HIIT!  Let me know how you can thank me later ;-)

Workout 1-
Treadmill Intervals:
5 minute warmup @ 3.0-3.5 mph (do not skip this, you need to warm your muscles up before the HIIT session)
2 minutes @3.5
1 minute @ 6.0
30 seconds @ 7
Repeat with the 2 min @ 3.5 and continue until you have reached your desired time.
I guarantee that you will be sweating and that the 30-45 minutes will fly by.

Workout 2-
Circuit workout (total body with HIIT mixed in)
5 minute treadmill warmup @3.5 mph
Circuit #1- Repeat 3x before moving on to #2
Pushups- 30 seconds
plank hold 30 seconds
bicep curls- 30 seconds
jump squats- 30 seconds
1 minute sprint on treadmill at 6.0-7.0 mph

Circuit #2-
Upright dumbbell row- 30 seconds
tricep kickbacks- 30 seconds
bicycle crunches- 30 seconds
jumping jacks- 30 seconds
1 minute sprint @ 6.0-7.0 mph

Circuit #3- (if you're still alive! Stick with 2 circuits if you are just beginning to workout)
Reverse lunges- 30 seconds
bridges- 30 seconds
toe touch crunches- 30 seconds
mountain climbers-30 seconds
1 minute sprint @ 6.0-7.0 mph

* A few notes:  use a weight that you can lift for 30 seconds but is challenging.  Also, find a fitness timer that beeps at you when you need to change circuits.  I use a Gymboss interval timer.  Its bout $20 but well worth it.  You can set your time and a rest time to get to your next circuit.  I love it!  Make sure to let your heart rate fully recover before starting your next circuit.  You can also just do 2 rounds of each circuits if you are doing these for the first time.  Also, if you are doing this workout at home and don't have a treadmill you can do sprints in the space that you have just run back and forth for the minute at a full out sprint.

Get on that treadmill and get going!
Stop back and let me know how you do!  I'd love to hear from you!
Thanks for stopping by!

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Preparing For Clean Eating Part 2

clean eating
Preparing for Clean Eating-Salmon, veggies, sweet potato, hard boiled eggs

Last night I was a proud momma, I made some wonderful healthy food for myself, my hubby and my daughter and she ate every bite of salmon, broccoli and sweet potato on her plate!  If you have a toddler that you feed, you know how rewarding this is!  I thought that I would share my process with you here so you can see how easy this is!  It took me an hour start to finish and I had 3 meals, hard boiled eggs for the week and extra veggies and sweet potato for my little one. 
Step 1- Prep:
  • Put the pot on to boil with the eggs in the water and a sprinkle of salt, once the water is boiling set your timer for 15 minutes.  When they are done put them in a cold water and ice bath (this helps them to stop cooking and to peel easier).  Write hard boiled on the label so they are easy to identify if you have fresh eggs too. Done!
  • Wash and cut all your veggies. 
  • Dress your salmon- sprinkle salmon with dill and salt, squeeze the juice of one lemon on the fillet, and a few extra slices of lemon to add more flavor while salmon bakes.
    Yum!  Fresh from the farmers market, broccoli, zucchini, tomatoes tossed with roasted garlic and evoo
    Simple eat clean salmon- Lemon, dill, pink Himalayan sea salt, evoo
Step 2-Cook:
  • Heat a little evoo and minced garlic (I use a jar of organic garlic from whole foods, much easier than mincing your own) in a pan on medium heat and cook broccoli and zucchini until tender but not done, add your tomatoes and turn heat to low let simmer until all veggies are the texture you like.
  • Place two layers of foil on baking sheet, place the salmon on top and seal up foil.  Bake in a pre-heated 425 degree oven for 15-20 minutes depending on thickness of fillet.  You will know it is done with fish flakes easily.
Ready to bake
Step 3-Enjoy!
  • After you portion out your meal, put the rest in Tupperware to store in the fridge.

The finished product!  Quick, healthy and yummy!
Below is a picture of my "eat clean treat"!  I am trying to kick my sugar habit, which is hard because to me chocolate is its own food group!  I made this treat for my daughter once and she loved it.  Me not being a sweet potato lover, was shocked at how much I love this and it helps curb my sweet tooth!
To make:
  • Bake sweet potato at 400 degrees for 45-50 minutes depending how "mushy" you like your potato.  My daughter and I prefer it on the less mushy side, so I do 45 mins.  Once the potato has cooled a little but not completely, peel and slice into circles then into square sections, toss with some organic coconut oil and cinnamon.  Enjoy warm!
My eat clean treat!
I hope that you can see how easy it is to cook and eat clean!  If you make the time to be prepared you will see the results even faster!  Proper nutrition is so important in living healthy and reach your fitness goals!
Thanks for stopping by!

Monday, August 19, 2013

Preparing For a Week of Clean Eating

The best thing that you can do for yourself in your fitness journey is to be prepared with clean food.  If you have healthy choices on hand you will reach for those instead of something quick and unhealthy.  Take time either on Sunday night or Monday night to get ready for a successful week.  I will make sure that I have food for two snacks, one can be a protein shake or green smoothie, two meals.  Breakfast is always easy for me, I eat (pretty much) the same thing every day, eggs, sprouted grain Ezekiel nuts and seeds bread and some berries.  I have one cup of coffee with a little coconut milk creamer.  Here are some meal and snacks you can prepare ahead of time, and some ideas of what you can grab if you are out and in a pinch!

Lunch or Dinner:
Grilled chicken breast, quinoa, mixed veggies (broccoli, zucchini, tomatoes, spinach)
 -Make 4 or 5 grilled chicken breasts (approx 4 ounce servings) for the week
-Cook enough vegetables to eat at 3 or 4 meals
-Make quinoa to have 4 or 5 1/2 cup servings
Baked Salmon, sweet potato, salad
-Make enough salmon for 3 or 4 5-6 ounce servings
-Bake 2 or 3 sweet potatoes
-Make one large salad to eat during the week, load it up with carrots, cucumbers, tomatoes, add in lots of mixed leafy greens and spinach.  Choose your dressing wisely: red wine or balsamic vinegar and evoo, or an organic vinaigrette (I prefer the Organicville brand)
* The key here is to prepare enough meals to have 5 days of lunch and dinner.  You can make 2 or 3 different meals, depending on how much variety you need.  When I am in goal mode I can eat a lot of the same meals throughout the week. 

-1/4 cup raw almonds
-Cut up veggies (carrots, celery, snow or snap peas) and 2 tbsp hummus
-1 tbsp organic peanut butter with Sprouted Grain Ezekiel cinnamon raisin bread
-Apples, pears, peaches, plums, etc
-Mixed berries, 1/2 cup organic full fat yogurt, 1 scoop vanilla protein powder (I use Sun Warrior Vegan blend, or for those of you who prefer whey, J Robb Whey is a good choice)
-1 organic mozzarella cheese stick
-Green Smoothie- you can make this in the morning to take with you, make sure to keep refrigerated (will keep up to 24 hours)
-Protein Shake- again make in the morning to take with you.  You can also purchase a blender bottle to keep with you, add water and your protein shake and drink.  It's easy and will keep you from grabbing something bad.

On the go or in a pinch:
If you are able to make it to a grocery store pick up any of these:
-Kind Protein bar
-Portioned out unsalted nuts
-Frozen Amy's meal (if you can get to a microwave)
-Premade salad- skip the dressing and stick with red wine vinegar and evoo

Make sure you are drinking plenty of water (half your body weight in ounces per day) as sometimes you will mistake hunger for thirst.
If you need more ideas check out my approved foods list here.

 Please share any healthy meals or snacks that you eat to stay lean and clean!
As always, thanks for stopping by! 

Saturday, August 17, 2013

My Successful Week in Review!

fitness motivation
I want to take a minute and share my week in review with you.  Since I shared my plan with you I think that it is only fair that I tell you how I am doing with that plan.  I am at the end of two weeks in and I am feeling really motivated.  The first week I was only able to get 4 days in and didn't make it to yoga, but on the plus side I was sore after my workouts, which makes me more conscious of my eating, I don't want to ruin all that hard work with poor food choices.  This week was very successful!  I worked out 5 days and plan to do yoga tomorrow.  Here is my week in review:
Monday- Legs and cardio in the morning, logged my food in my fitness pal app
Tuesday-Chest circuits, logged my food
Wednesday- Day of rest.  I also had some Bowen work done on my shoulder so I wanted to give my body a rest before I had my session.  If you are not familiar with Bowen work, it is a type of trigger point therapy that works to correct muscle imbalances.  I have to say after just one session I was feeling much better.  I plan to go back weekly until my shoulder (a chronic injury that is aggravated from carrying my daughter around) is fixed.
Thursday-Interval Cardio on the treadmill in the morning
Friday- Back circuits
Saturday- Leg circuits from a fellow blogger at Peanut Butter Fingers and Jillian Michaels Kickboxing cardio workout
Sunday- Asthanga Yoga
*I wasn't as good about logging my food toward the end of the week, but I was eating clean.  Also, my days aren't exactly as in my plan, but I got all my workouts in and that's what matters!  Flexibility is important in your fitness journey, just because you don't get a workout in on a planned day does not mean you have to wait another week to start.  Start today with where you are and with what you can fit into your day, you will be happy that you did!
Post workout recovery
Today after my workout I made a yummy post-workout/meal replacement shake.  Since my hubby and I are getting a night out, thanks to my wonderful mom, I made this shake to be more of a meal replacement as well as post-workout, double duty is always good!  I will be more full at dinner and will make good meal choices because it is important for me to stay on track.  If you are heading out this weekend make sure to plan your meals out so you can stay on track too!  

Here is the recipe for my shake:  I hope you enjoy it!
2 scoops Sun Warrior Vegan Blend Protein (I'm not vegan, I just can't process whey protein)
2 tbsp. organic ground flax
1 tbsp. Trader Joe's Cocoa Powder
1 tbsp homemade peanut butter (this one is from our local specialty grocery store)
1 tbsp organic coconut oil
1 frozen banana
1 & 1/2 cup water and some ice
Blend well and enjoy!

I would love to hear from you on your week in review or if you have any awesome, yummy protein shake recipes!

Thanks for stopping by!

Friday, August 16, 2013

My peanut butter pancakes I made for breakfast! Yum!

After all the talk of Peanut Butter Pancakes yesterday I had to make them today for breakfast!  I made a few changes, because I needed enough for 3 of us.  I will say that my 19 month old gobbled these up!  My wonderful hubby (who worked out with me), made the blueberry topping.  It is simple and adds another layer of flavor to the delicious pancakes.
Here is how I made them this morning, it made 8 total pancakes:
1 cup old fashioned oats
3 tablespoons peanut butter (organic if possible)
6 egg whites
1 tablespoon coconut milk
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 teaspoon cinnamon
Pour 1/4 cup for each pancake into a preheated pan on medium heat.  Cook evenly on both sides, Enjoy!

Blueberry topping
1/2 c blueberries
dash of organic cane sugar to balance out the tartness (optional)
Heat blueberries and just enough water to cover the bottom of a small pan, once blueberries are warm mash with for and simmer until desired consistency is reached.  Spread on pancakes.

If you made these pancakes, please let me know what you thought and if you made any changes to yours.

Thanks for stopping by!

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Peanut Butter Pancakes Recipe

Clean eating Peanut Butter Pancakes...YUM!
Breakfast is my favorite meal of the day and with a yummy clean eating meal like these Peanut Butter pancakes, how can it not be?!?

1/2 cup old fashioned oat meal
6 egg whites
2 tbsp. organic peanut butter
1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp cinnamon
*splash or 2 of coconut or almond milk if needed
(optional, top with a few banana slices)
Mix all ingredients in a bowl until well incorporated.  Add coconut or almond milk if mixture is too thick.  You want a little bit of a runny consistency so the batter pours into the pan.  Heat pan on medium heat and coat with organic cooking spray.  Pour batter into pan and cook until pancake is firm and flip, cooking the other side.  Enjoy!
Makes 2 servings-Nutrition information (from Calories: 220, Fat 9.4g, Carbs 17.2g, fiber 3g, Sugar 1g, Protein 17.5g

Please come back after you make this recipe and let me know what you think!  Feel free to share your own quick and clean eating breakfast recipe!

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No more excuses, at home workout!

Results or Excuses, not both
Being a mom and getting a workout in can be tough at times.  I am the first to admit that I can come up with every excuse in the book, but at the end of the day if I really want it I will make it happen.  The best thing you can do is to schedule your workout and make it routine.  It will then become second nature to get that workout in.  Say for example you work a 9-5 and find it hard to get your workout in.   Instead of making the usual excuses (I'm tired, I don't have time, etc) find a way to work it in.  You can find a gym that is close to your work and go right after work, have your pre-workout snack around 4 then head right to the gym.  If you go right to the gym, instead of going home then trying to get back out to the gym, you are more likely to get your workout in.  Before I had my daughter I made sure to schedule my workouts in, either before work when I worked a late day or after work for my early shifts.  Now that I am a stay at home mom, and I don't have a set schedule per se, I can find every excuse in the book to not workout.  However, I know that I am a better mom, wife and me when I am working out consistently.  My new routine is to get up early before my daughter is up and get my workout in.  That way I make sure to get it done first thing and there are no excuses later in the day that keep me from working out.  If there is a day that I have to workout when my daughter is up I still get my workout in, I try to make it fun for her too.  If I am doing crunches I will let her sit on my lap, it makes for some added resistance and she thinks its hysterical!  If she sees mommy having fun while working out, it will create a positive view for her about exercising to have fun and be healthy.  I know that one day (when she is old enough) she will ask, "Mom can you teach me that?", that day will be such a proud day for me.  I want her to feel strong secure and happy in her own skin.  The same way I feel when I am working out and doing good for me!  

My daughter 10 months old, watching mommy workout!
Whatever your situation, working mom, stay at home mom, career woman you can workout at home with no equipment and still get a killer workout in. 
 Here is my no excuses at home total body
Warm up- Jog in place 20 seconds, 15 jumping jacks, 20 arm windmills
Do this circuit 4 times through-
Push ups (modified on knees if beginner)- 20 reps
Crunches- 30 reps
Squats- 30 reps
Reverse lunge- 10 each leg
mountain climbers- 30 reps
jumping jacks- 30 reps
wall sits (knees at 90 degrees and back flat against wall)- hold for 20-30 seconds
*rest and repeat!
If you have time left (or energy) after this workout go for a walk in your neighborhood.  Shoot for a good 30 minute walk at a brisk pace.  As you get stronger and if you are ready for it you can add intervals of running and walking.  Remember it is all about the effort that you put it, if you work for results you will see them!

How do you make sure you get your workout in?  Please feel free to share your tips with me here!

Monday, August 12, 2013

Clean Eating for faster results...and a sample meal plan

In my last post I discussed an exercise plan to help you reach your goals.  However, if you just focus on exercise and do not have the correct nutrition plan you will not see the results that you want.  Exercise will get you the lean sculpted figure that you desire, but you have to eat right to shed off the fat so all your hard work at the gym can show.  When I first embarked on my fitness and nutrition journey I knew that my eating had to change.  I started to do some reading and came across "The Eat Clean Diet" by Tosca Reno, this was before talk of clean eating was everywhere and people were still doing fad diets that were messing with their metabolisms.  Trust me, I have tried fad diets and they don't work.  The only thing that works, and I know because I have lived it, is hard work in the gym, eating the right foods at the right times and consistency!  Last week I covered exercise, so today lets talk about eating right for results and what clean eating really means.
Here is my take on what Clean Eating is: eating real whole foods and staying away from processed foods to help you rev up your metabolism.  When you put real whole food into your body it knows exactly what to do with it, it uses it to repair muscles (from those killer workouts) and it uses the rest for energy.  It burns "clean" in your body so there is nothing extra to be stored as fat.  When you eat highly processed food your body does not recognize it and will most likely store most of it as unsightly belly fat.  This is the opposite of what you want, especially since you are working your butt off at the gym! 

While eating clean you should also be eating 5-6 smaller meals throughout the day to keep your metabolism fired up.  I explain it to my clients like this- Your metabolism is like a fire, and you have to keep it fueled properly to keep that fire burning all day long, the best way to do this is to add the right fuel at the right time throughout the day.  If you go to long without the proper fuel your fire is going to burn out!        

So exactly what should you be eating and when?  The right mix of Complex Carbs (slow burning), lean protein, healthy fats, and fruits and vegetables every 3-4 hours during the day.  Your last meal or snack should be 2-3 hours before your bed time.

Here is a sample of a clean eating day:
Breakfast (within 1 hour of rising):
Steel cut oats, cooked with water, top with blueberries and walnuts
scrambled eggs 

Morning snack:
mozzarella cheese stick

Mixed green salad topped with your favorite veggies
Grilled chicken breast

Afternoon snack (pre-workout):
Ezekiel cinnamon raisin toast
organic no sugar added peanut butter

Mixed veggie stir-fry
Baked salmon

*Depending on what time you workout make sure to add a protein shake in also.  If you workout at night, it is okay to have a serving of complex carbohydrates otherwise no carbs after lunch if your goal is weight loss. 

This is a general guideline for clean eating, serving sizes will be different based on your specific needs and goals.  You can contact me if you are interested in a specific meal plan for your specific goals.  I am an NASM fitness nutrition specialist and can help you with your nutrition plan. 

Thanks for stopping by!

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Post Workout Shake- Quick and Delicious!

It is important to refuel your muscles with protein within 45 minutes of your workout.  Adding a banana will help your body speed the process of getting the protein to your muscles and start the recovery process.
Thought I would share my quick post workout shake recipe:
2 scoops Sun Warrior Vegan Protein blend (note I am not vegan, but I can't process whey protein)
1 tbsp. organic coconut oil (the jar pictured was $15 at Costco!)
1/2 frozen banana
1 1/2 cups water
Blend till smooth and enjoy!
Nutrition information: 338 calories, 21g carbs, 17g fat, 33g protein

Feel free to share your favorite post workout recipe!

Thanks for stopping by!

Planning for Success! 4 Week Exercise Plan

When you are working toward a goal the first step is to make a plan.  If you are working toward weight loss then you need to set an exercise and nutrition plan.  One of my goals for myself is to lose some weight before I get pregnant with my second baby.  As you know, I gained more than I wanted to with my first (most of us do), and I want to be more conscious the next time around.  So I will share with you the first 4 weeks of my exercise plan.  I have a 12 week goal, but it is best to break it down into smaller time frames.  You can take this plan and customize it for yourself to meet your needs and your goals.  I do wear a heart rate monitor to track how many calories I am burning.  I usually burn about 400 on weights day in about an hour and 300 on cardio days!  *Disclaimer-My program is based on my more advanced level of fitness.  If you have not worked out in a while, or ever, please know that you will need to start slow.  Please feel free to contact or comment with questions! 

4 Week Exercise Plan
 * Always make sure to do a 5 minute treadmill warm up and cool down at 3.5 mph, also add some stretching after cardio. 
Day 1- Weights and Cardio
Chest and Arms
Circuit #1- Repeat 3x though before moving on to next circuit
Incline Chest press - 15 lbs 15 reps
standing hammer dumbbell curl- 15lbs 15 reps
dumbbell kickbacks (use bench or ball)- 10lbs- 20
30 second toe tappers

Circuit #2- Repeat 3x though before moving on to next circuit
modified pushups- 20 or until failure
preacher curl- 20 lbs 15 reps (3 count on the eccentric contraction, the lowering back down)
bar tricep pressdown- 35lbs- 15 reps
30 second mountain climbers

Circuit #3- Repeat 3x though before moving on to next circuit
Resistance band chest press- blue/grey- 20 reps
Resistance band cable curl- red- 20 reps
stability ball skull crushers- 5-8lbs- 15 reps
stability ball crunches- 30 reps
30 second kettle bell swings- 15 lbs

*Cardio- treadmill intervals- 2 mins at med pace, 1 min at fast pace (push your self)- repeat for 30 minutes.

Day 2- 45 minute treadmill intervals

Day 3- Back, shoulder and abs and cardio
Circuit #1- Repeat 3x though before moving to next circuit
Lat pull down - 70lbs- 15 reps
standing dumbbell shoulder presses- 8-10 lbs- 15 reps
dumbbell cross punches- 3-5lbs- 10 reps each side
bicycle crunches- 30 or until failure

Circuit #2- Repeat 3x though before moving on to next circuit
Single arm dumbbell row (bench or ball)- 10-15 lbs- 15 reps each side
front to lateral raise- 5lbs- 15 reps
side plank holds- 30 sec hold each side
30 sec jumping jacks

Circuit #3- Repeat 3x though before moving on to next circuit
Upright Kettle bell row- 15 lbs- 15 reps
Y-raises 3-5lbs- 20 reps
Resistance band rear fly- red band- 20 reps
plank hold with alt leg raises- 10 each side

*Cardio- Incline walk treadmill- 8-10 incline for 2 mins at mod slow pace, 1 min at mod fast pace, 30 sec at fast pace, repeat for 30 minutes

Day 4- Kickboxing & 1 mile treadmill run

Day 5- Legs and cardio
Circuit #1- Repeat 3x though before moving on to next circuit
walking dumbbell lunges- 10-15 lbs- 20 reps total
straight legged dead lift- 15 lbs 20 reps
standing calf raises- 20 reps
“air jump ropes”- 30 secs

Circuit #2- Repeat 3x though before moving on to next circuit
Stability ball squats- 20-25 reps until failure
hamstring curl on Stability ball- 15 reps (try for 5 single leg reps at the end)
alternating side lunges- 10 each side
extended plank with knee drive and kicks- 10 each leg

Circuit #3- Repeat 3x though before moving on to next circuit
Seated leg extensions- 20-25 lbs- 15 reps
tube walks- red band- 10 reps each side
bridges- 20 or until failure
plank with alt leg taps- 30 seconds

*Cardio- treadmill or elliptical- 3 mins normal pace, 1 min med fast pace, 30 secs all out, repeat for 30 mins

Day 6- REST

Day 7- Yoga or REST

Stay tuned for my next post which will be my nutrition plan!
Thanks for stopping by!