Friday, March 27, 2015

15 Minute Fat Blasting HIIT Workout

When you are short on time but still want to get a great workout in HIIT circuits can be your best friend...fat blasting best friend that is!  I like to add these kinds of workouts on the days that I am just doing cardio.  Since I am in the process of training for a 5k I am spending more time on a treadmill than usual.  On the days I just have to get my 30 minute run in I will add this on the end to really blast some fat and work on my endurance.  I notice that when I do short, but fast paced HIIT workouts regularly my endurance improves.  Plus, our bodies naturally crave homeostasis (no change) so when we are trying to lose weight our body quickly adapts to what we are doing, it is just a way to keep up alive!  Our bodies don't know short season is fast approaching and we are trying to shed the winter weight (even though I tell it daily!).  I try to fight the plateau by constantly changing up my workouts. 

My schedule recently has been as follows:
Monday- chest, arms and my 30 minute Couch 2 5k training plan
Tuesday- walk on the treadmill- 60 minutes steady state
Wednesday- back, shoulders and abs and my 30 minute C25K plan
Thurs- rest
Friday- C25k plan & HIIT workout
Saturday- legs and a short treadmill walk at an incline
Sunday- rest

Here is one of the HIIT workouts that I have been doing:
Plank Jacks
Squat to Shoulder Press
Fast Feet
Lunge with Bicep Curl
Jump Squats

I will do all 5 exercises consecutively 20 seconds of work then 10 seconds of rest.  At the end of the round I will rest for 1 minute before repeating the circuit 3 more times for a total of 4 times.  This should take about 15 minutes total.  I use my GymBoss interval timer and love it!  It is an easy way to time my intervals of work and rest.  Here is an image you can pin to save this workout for later.  I love going to my Pinterest Working On My Fitness Board when I need to find some new moves or a new workout.

After you finish the workout and are all sweaty, have a post workout shake then come back and tell me what you thought of the workout.  Happy Fitness Friday!

What tricks or workouts do you do to beat a plateau?

Do you have a workout schedule?

Today I am linking up with Nicole at Fitful Focus, Jen at Pretty Little Grub, Fitting It All In, and Running 4 Cupcakes. 

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

MealEnders Helping Me to Stop Overeating and Mindless Snacking

One of the awesome perks of being a SweatPink Ambassador is the opportunity to review some great products and also to share them with you.  Today I want to share about MealEnders, what they are, how you use them and my honest review.  The folks at MealEnders will send 4 full size bags like the ones shown to one of my lucky readers so you can experience the goodness of MealEnders.

MealEnders What They Are:
When I first got the e-mail about trying out this product I have to say I was intrigued by the description.  It is a signaling lozenge that helps to stop overeating and mindless snacking.  It is designed to be a weight loss tool.  I like that they are designed to help with a few things that I myself struggle with.  They are the first ever product of their kind and don't contain any drugs or stimulants, pretty cool if you ask me.  They are designed to work with the body's natural hunger rhythms helping you to stop mindless overeating that may be causing you not to reach your weight loss goals.

MealEnders How They Work:
When you are full at the end of a meal, but are tempted to go back for seconds or reach for or order dessert now is the time to pop a MealEnder lozenge, and yes they are individually wrapped so you can keep some in your purse.  There are 4 different flavors so you can choose which flavor you are in the mood for.  They have 2 layers, the outside layer is sweet like a dessert and the inner layer is a cooling/tingling inner core.  The first layer is to signal the reward portion, like a dessert would do.  The inner core signals your trigeminal nerve (the nerve that senses taste sensations in the mouth) with a cooling/tingling sensation that tells your taste buds that you are done with the meal and it cleanses your palate.  This helps you transition from eating the meal, which can help stop overeating.  I like the cooling and tingling sensation, it feels like you brushed your teeth and you really don't want to eat right after you brush your teeth, everything tastes a little off.  When you use MealEnders at the end of each meal you are also creating a habit that once you have your signaling lozenge that you are done eating.  This helps to create mindfulness with your meals and can end the cravings for sweets after a meal and helps you stop overeating.

MealEnders When To Use Them:
You can use MealEnders as many times during the day as you need.  You can use them right after each meal and in between meals when you feel a craving for sweets coming on.  You can use them at a restaurant to keep you from overeating or ordering dessert.  They would also be great to have on hand at parties where they will be food out and you don't want to stand around mindlessly snacking.  The times I used them the most is at night when the cravings to sit and snack while I am watching TV hits.

MealEnders How TO Use Them:
The first thing I want to emphasize is DO NOT CHEW THEM!  That got your attention right?  They are meant to be savored and melt in your mouth, this helps give your brain time to catch up with your stomach and your mouth is occupied which keeps you from eating more than you want.  They are best used consistently and in conjunction with proper diet and exercise, as they are a weight loss tool.

MealEnders My Thoughts:
I love them!  I was excited to get them and start using them.  During the day I usually am busy so I don't have the urge to sit around and snack.  It is at night after dinner that I want something sweet.  Then later while the hubby and I are watching TV I feel like snacking.  In both of these instances I popped a MealEnder instead and was satisfied.  It allowed me to move on from the craving that I was having.  I will also pop one here and there throughout the day if I feel like I need to get my mind off of food (which is a lot, hehe).  There are four flavors: Chocolate Mint, Cinnamon, Citrus and Mocha.  My favorite was the Mocha because it tasted like sweet coffee and left a hint of that flavor in my mouth which I enjoyed.  Second was the Chocolate Mint, because hello chocolate anything is good, followed by the Cinnamon and last was citrus...can you tell I'm a sweets girl!  I liked to mix up the flavors on different days, it kept me from getting bored with just one flavor.  I also keep some in my purse for when I am on the go or out to eat.  I like it because if you are with friends it just looks like you are having an after dinner mint.  In my opinion these are a wonderful addition to any weight loss program and can help you if you struggle with overeating and mindless snacking.  I would recommend them to my clients, friends and family to help in their weight loss journey.  Thanks MealEnders for coming up with a great product that can help those struggling!

Get em while they're can buy MealEnders right on their website:  Right now you can enter to WIN a bag of 4 MealEnders, one of each flavor. Just follow the prompts on the giveaway!  Good Luck and I will announce the winner next week!

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Wild Workout Wednesday Runner Spotlight: Jess

Hello, it is time for another Wild Workout Wednesday link up!  If you remember last week, I told you a little about my friend Jess who just completed her first half marathon.  I was talking to Jess and telling her how she inspired me, and I also asked her to share more of her story.  I was fascinated as to what made her train to run 13.1 miles in 3 weeks...yes 3 weeks!  She has inspired me to start running again, and as I mentioned last week I am currently training for a 5k, my first in quite some time.  I want to thank my friend Jess for not only sharing her story, but for inspiring me too!  You go girl!

Jess's Story:

Ang asked me to share some of my experience and it's funny because I despite playing softball since I was 7 and then basketball and volleyball, I had never been great at running. I could barely run a mile when I was 17. I did not start running until college and at 27 years old, I had never ran more 6 miles in my life. This January I made difficult, conscious decisions to stop drinking 100% (I wasn't an alcoholic but I do think I depended on alcohol in social settings), start cooking my own healthy meals (and in NYC cooking is rare) and get back into running. All of January I ran EVERYDAY but started out at 2-3 miles per work out (10 min/mile). Slowly I felt breathing was easier by February and I began pushing it up to 4-4.5 miles per work out. Then the last week in February, I decided to push workouts to 5-6 miles.  I remember on a random Tuesday I decided to try 7 miles on the treadmill and that night after work I DID IT! I rotated from my music, to netflix on my ipad, to nothing but I got through it and when I told my cousin, she remembered she had a friend who had a spot in the half marathon but wanted to give it away. 

At that point, the marathon was only 3 weeks away and normal half marathon training is 10-12 weeks prior so naturally I was worried about saying YES to the marathon. The next day I set up a 3 week training program that was based off a 10 week one. That Saturday I ran 9 miles without stopping and I felt strong. Things like energy beans, gel packs or energy gel blocks are good things to take 30 minutes before a long run and then eat some again after several miles in. They help with muscle fatigue and energy in general and during the marathon I ate some gel blocks every 3 miles (thanks to my cousin’s guidance about how to fuel up during a run that long). The next Saturday was 11 miles and I remember during this run my right leg was killing me but I told my body to focus on my left heel since that felt good. And oddly enough, little mantras and phrases like this is what pulled me back in the zone and got me through the runs. I felt strong and was gaining confidence but some runs sucked. “Some days you own the run and other days the run owns you.” The Monday before the half I decided I needed to get a long, hilly run in to set my mind at ease since I had only been running on a treadmill. I ran over a bridge here in NYC and back to my house for a total of 6 miles and realized mile 2 to 3 sucks but I never stopped. At mile 6 when I finished, I felt I could keep going. When the half marathon day arrived, my mantra I used during the race only JUST came to me which was “I am in control of myself.” I would even say this mantra to myself when I was feeling good, kind of like “SEE! I AM in control of myself. If I want to go faster I will but right now I am going to go slow to conserve.” At miles 9-11, I hit a wall and wanted to stop but I kept telling myself, “This is just a wall. My breathing feels good, my legs hurt but I am in control and I don’t NEED to stop. I only WANT to which isn’t a good enough reason.” The common theme here is my MIND was the star during this half marathon. Despite all my years as an athlete, this race pushed me the most mentally and my body was only following my mind’s lead. 

 I consider myself a strong and confident person who will do what I say I will do, but after completing this race, never stopping and beating the time I set for myself, I am so much stronger and exceeded my own expectations. I want to see what else I can do! My biggest advice is to do these types of things FOR YOURSELF. To prove to yourself you can do it. Not to get skinny or be healthy even but to PUSH yourself. And I am so happy for you Ang because you are doing that with this 5K!

I love reading Jess's story, she believed in her self and finished something she set out to do.  She is going to be doing her second half marathon in October for the Staten Island Half, good luck girl and happy training!  You will keep on inspiring me!  It is amazing when we really set our minds to something what we are able to accomplish.  That is where I am in my journey, working on controlling my mind and my mindset.  I truly believe that we are the only ones that stand in our own way.  Keep pushing past your fears and you will accomplish things you never thought possible.  Thank you for sharing your inspiring story Jess!

What mantra do you use?

Are you a runner?  What running tips do you have for the newbies (like me!)? 

Now it's time for this weeks link up info!  If you have a fitness or healthy living post please feel free to link up.  It is great getting to know each of you as I read your posts weekly!

Now it's time for the Wild Workout Wednesday Link Up! 
Here are the rules to join in:
1)  Follow your host and co-hosts in any way you can!

2) Link up with a fitness or healthy living post.  It can be something you just posted or a favorite from your archives as long as it is fitness or healthy living related.   Feel free to link up to 3 posts.

3) Snag our awesome Wild Workout Wednesday Button to make sure to link back in your blog post:

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You can also display the button on your blog sidebar to spread the word about this fun linkup!

4) Make sure to leave a comment on the host and co-hosts link up post.

5) Visit at least 2 other blogs in the link up and leave a comment!

6) Share the with the #wildworkoutwednesday on your posts to share this awesome link up and spread the word.  Sharing is caring!  You can also tag @angelenamarie1, @boldfitmom, @pretty_in_pink_fitness and @fitfoodiemama on social media sites.

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Healthy & Delicious Banana Bread Oatmeal

This morning I made a bowl of oatmeal and it started as an ordinary bowl of steel cut oats until I decided to transform it into Banana Bread Oatmeal.  It was a bowl of oatmeal that was too good not to share with you all!  My daughter scarfed it up, and even my hubby who isn't the biggest fan of oats loved it!  Score!  It was relatively simple, the longest part being the cooking of the steel cut oats, which take longer than the old fashioned variety.  The first thing I did was put my water on to boil so I could get the oats in and simmering while I got everything ready for this delicious bowl.  I was also getting the rest of our breakfast ready...Applegate chicken sausage and eggs.  I can't tell you the last time I didn't have eggs with my breakfast, we love our eggs here.  Anyways back to the oatmeal, I will share with you my recipe, but first a few health benefits of steel cut oats, which in my humble opinion blow the rolled oats out of the water.

The health benefits of steel cut oatmeal:
  • Nutrient Dense- there are plenty of nutrients in just 1/4 of steel cut oats.  5g of fiber, 5g of protein, and its also rich in iron and B vitamins.  
  • Aids in Weight Loss- The fact that the steel cut oats haven't been cooked as processed quite as much as the rolled oats means that more of the fiber and protein is retained. This means your bowl of oats can help you stay full longer and keep the mid-morning munchies at bay.  
  • Helps Control Blood Sugar-  The fiber in steel cut oats called beta-glucan has been found to keep your blood sugar levels stable in the morning and makes it easier to keep it stable all throughout the day, especially if you are eating fiberous rich foods at the rest of your meals.
  • May Help to Lower Cholesterol- studies have shown that the beta-glucan fiber helps to reduce blood cholesterol levels when consumed regularly.  People who eat more daily fiber have been shown to have a decreased risk of developing heart disease.
So if those benefits aren't enough to get you eating your oats, check out this article from PopSugar about Why Oatmeal For Breakfast is Best for Weight Loss.  Now that you are fully convinced, here is the recipe for my healthy and delicious Banana Bread Oatmeal!

Healthy and Delicious Banana Bread Oatmeal
1/4 cup dry organic steel cut oats
1 1/2 cup water (or organic milk of choice, I use water)
1 tablespoon of chopped walnuts
1 tablespoon sunflower seeds
1/2 chopped banana
drizzle of honey or a sprinkle of organic cane sugar (if desired for a little added sweetness)

*Bring water or milk to a boil, add in oats.  Let simmer on low for 15-20 minutes until liquid is absorbed.  Place in bowl, top with walnuts, sunflower seeds, banana and sweetener (if desired).  Mix well in bowl and ENJOY!

I hope that you give this Banana Bread Oatmeal a try, it will become a morning staple in our house for sure.  If you do try it please come back and let me know what you think.
Thanks so much for stopping by!

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Wild Workout Wednesday- Training for a 5k + A Fresh New Look

Happy Wild Workout Wednesday!  I am really enjoying these weekly linkups, I am finding a lot of great blogs to read.  I enjoy connecting with other fitness and healthy living bloggers.  If you are new to Wild Workout Wednesday, feel free to read the info on how to join in here.  Annmarie from The Fit Foodie Mama, Amber from Coleman Fitness and Upala from Pretty in Pink Fitness link up weekly, we would love to have you join in the Wild Workout fun!!

I have decided to run a 5k in May!  I am really excited and nervous because I haven't been running. I used to run races more frequently, but I haven't in quite some time.  Every May there is a 5k Fun Run and Walk that I try to participate in.  It is called Mind Over Matter, which raises money for mental health awareness ans suicide prevention.  I first found this race three years after I lost my best friend to suicide.  After she passed I was really depressed and upset, I ate as a way to avoid the pain.  I ended up gaining a lot of weight.  I then joined a gym, started working out and running, eating better and I lost the weight.  I also noticed that the physical activity made me feel so much better.  It was then that I knew I wanted to become a personal trainer and help other people change their lives with exercise and healthy eating.  So when I was looking for races to do I found this one.  It was so fitting because I wanted to help raise awareness for mental health and suicide prevention and I also knew how important physical fitness is to mental health, as I experienced it first hand.  It was also a way for me to honor and remember my friend. Since that first race, I have tried to be there every year, although some years I couldn't, it is a yearly reminder of how important it is to raise awareness for mental health and suicide prevention and also a yearly way to honor my friend.  This year I have decided to run again, my cousin said "Let's do a 5k" and I said OKAY!  So he and I are going to run.  I think it is a great way for me to get back into running and training for that day to honor my dear friend, who I still miss very much.

So to get ready for the 5k in May I decided to try the Couch 2 5K plan.  I looked it up on my phone and I found an app, awesome!  It gives me what I need to do for each week and each day.  Right now I am on intervals for 20 minutes, plus 10 minutes for warm up and cool down.  I am starting slow and just jogging at about 5.0 mph.  I know I will be able to build up and avoid injury if I work my way up to actual running.  Now that it is getting nicer out I can get out and do some outdoor runs/walks to get ready to run on pavement, which is much different than running on the treadmill.   I am excited to see where this running journey takes me.  My friend Jess, who just ran her first half marathon has really inspired me.  I loved seeing all her posts and race pictures on Facebook, it made me want to get back into running. She has a motto that I love, "I am in control of myself.  I can choose to go faster or slower, but my mind is in control of my body".  I love that!  It is so inspiring and so true!  That is one of the things that I am working on, creating a stronger mind and knowing that I can do anything that I set my mind to.  Thanks Jess for inspiring me, and congrats on your first half marathon, maybe one day we can run one together!  Here is my friend Jess after finishing her 13.1, like no big deal!  You go girl!! 

Did you notice the fresh new look on the blog?  I have a brand new header and logo that my friend Laura designed for me.  She also did our Wild Workout Wednesday logo, as you can see she does great work.  She incorporated my love of fitness, essential oils and healthy eating in my header which I LOVE!  I was ready for some new colors and a fresh new look for my header and logo.  If you need any design work, you should contact Laura, she is so talented!  I would love to hear your thoughts on the new look! 

Now it's time for the Wild Workout Wednesday Link Up! 
Here are the rules to join in:
1)  Follow your host and co-hosts in any way you can!

2) Link up with a fitness or healthy living post.  It can be something you just posted or a favorite from your archives as long as it is fitness or healthy living related.   Feel free to link up to 3 posts.

3) Snag our awesome Wild Workout Wednesday Button to make sure to link back in your blog post:

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<div class="wild-workout-wednesday-link-up-button" style="width: 200px; margin: 0 auto;"> <a href="" rel="nofollow"> <img src="" alt="Wild Workout Wednesday Link Up" width="200" height="200" /> </a> </div>

You can also display the button on your blog sidebar to spread the word about this fun linkup!

4) Make sure to leave a comment on the host and co-hosts link up post.

5) Visit at least 2 other blogs in the link up and leave a comment!

6) Share the with the #wildworkoutwednesday on your posts to share this awesome link up and spread the word.  Sharing is caring!  You can also tag @angelenamarie1, @boldfitmom, @pretty_in_pink_fitness and @fitfoodiemama on social media sites.

What or who inspires you?

Have you ever ran in a race?

Thanks for stopping by today!!

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Raw Green Goodness Smoothie Recipe + Manitoba Harvest Review & Giveaway

Hello!  I want to share with you a wonderful product that I was able to try courtesy of Sweat Pink and Manitoba Harvest.  I was sent the hemp hearts to use in a recipe and review.  The awesome folks at Manitoba Harvest are even offering a giveaway to one of my readers!

I had never tried hemp hearts, so when I was given the chance I was excited!  Once I got the cute little package in the mail and read all the health benefits I knew it would be something that I would add to my healthy living arsenal!  Manitoba Harvest hemp hearts are a great source of Omega 3's and 6's as well as protein, with a whopping 10 grams of each per 30 gram serving.  They have a slightly nutty taste like a sunflower seed.  I also love that they are non-gmo!  They are raw and vegan, which makes them a great source of protein for someone who doesn't eat meat.  I decided that I wanted to add them to a smoothie, which is usually my daily nutritional powerhouse, and since these little guys are so nutritious I figured they would pump up my smoothie.

Raw Green Goodness Smoothie

1 1/2 cup water
1 scoop vegan protein powder, I used chocolate
1/2 Banana 
1/2 Avocado 
1 cup Kale leaves
1 ounce of Manitoba Hemp Hearts 
Place all ingredients in a blender (I prefer the Blendtec) and blend until all ingredients are well incorporated.  Pour into a glass and enjoy! 

The hemp hearts blended right up in the smoothie and tasted great.  I even ate a handful right out of the bag, and they are delicious just as they are.  There are so many ways that you can use these nutritious little hemp hearts, top your salad or oatmeal with them, you can bake with them and add them to your dinners too.  Here are some more recipes from Manitoba Harvest, just a warning, looking at them all will make you hungry!

Are you ready to WIN ans try your own bag of Manitoba Hemp Hearts so you too can feel the #HempLove and get #FuelledByHemp? 

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