If you know me at all, then you know I am a HUGE fan of core training. Why? Well, your core is your stability center. Your core enables you to move through life injury free. The core also tends to be the weakest area in most bodies! So, here is a simple, no equipment necessary core starter for your hump day
Always warm up with a jog/walk and some trunk rotations.
Opposite arm/leg reach from all 4′s 20x
Basic Crunches 20x
Bridge Lifts 20x
Forearm plank count of 60
Straight leg Pilates roll up 20x
Alternating Supermans 20x
Long arm plank Count of 60
Side plank crunch 20x
REPEAT ABOVE (switch to other side on side plank)
Mountain climbers 50x
Long arm plank Count of 60
Knee to tricep (same side) 20x
Plank knee tucks 20x
I love this workout and get it in about once a week, usually at the end of a workout. You can certainly use it on its own to spark a change in the abs. Try it 3x per week and in 6 weeks (ahem…along with good nutrition people!) you will see flatter abs. Next week I’ll get a weighted ab routine for you and discuss the difference in each core series.
Have a healthy day!
These 4 recipes will get you started toward healthier holidays!
Remember, portion control is your #1 line of defense
¾ cup whole wheat flour
¾ cup oat bran cereal (found over on top of the oatmeal and is super cheap)
½ teaspoon baking soda
1-2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice (to your taste)
½ cup natural sugar (sugar in the raw works)
½ teaspoon salt
1 mashed banana
½ cup kefir (or plain nonfat yogurt will work)
1 egg white + 1 whole egg, beaten
2 tablespoons pumpkin puree (in the can, make sure it says pure pumpkin)
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 carrot, peeled and grated
½ cup pitted dates (optional)
½ cup walnuts (optional)
Mix the dry ingredients in 1 bowl, wet in another then gently mix together. Spoon into muffin tins (the silver liners work best) and pop into an oven preheated to 425 degrees for about 15-20 minutes.
Leftover Turkey Soup
2 cups skinless turkey breasts (white meat has less fat than dark meat)
1 cup diced celery
1 diced onion
4 minced garlic cloves
2 chopped sweet potatoes
1 diced sweet pepper (red, yellow, orange)
1 handful chopped cilantro
Dash of sea salt
Pepper to taste
2 Tablespoons chili powder
2 Teaspoons ground ginger
1 Tablespoon olive oil
1-2 cups turkey or chicken broth (no fat)
Using a large soup pot, place olive oil, onion, garlic, celery and sweet potatoes and cook until onion becomes transparent in color. Then add the rest of the ingredients, adding enough water to cover; bring to a boil and cook on medium heat until the veggies are cooked through. Enjoy!
6 cups low sodium chicken stock
1 large purple onion
2 red bell peppers, seeded
2 chili peppers, chopped
5 plum tomatoes, chopped
1 cup corn kernels
2 cloves garlic, minced
3 bouillon cubes
2 teaspoons chili powder
2 teaspoons taco seasoning
1 teaspoon paprika
1 can red kidney beans, rinsed
Throw all ingredients into your Crockpot and cook on medium heat.
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 pound ground turkey breast, lean beef, or bison
1 tablespoon cocoa powder
Dash of cayenne pepper
1 tablespoon chili powder
1 poblano pepper
1 green bell pepper
2 cups low sodium chicken stock
1 cup chopped cilantro
1 and ½ teaspoon ground cumin seeds
1 can chopped tomatoes
1 can rinsed red kidney beans
Sauté onion and garlic in olive oil
Add ground meat and brown
Season with cocoa powder, cayenne and chili powder
Add fresh peppers (poblano, bell etc)
In soup pot boil broth or stock
Add chopped cilantro, cumin seed, ancho chile, chopped tomatoes (or paste or sauce)
Transfer meat to soup pot and simmer down to your preferred consistency.
Add beans if you want.
This workout can be done with just your body weight OR add up to 20 pound dumbbells (5-8 pounds for beginners) to grow a little more muscle.
20 Sumo Squats
50 Jumping Jacks
20 Alternating Front Lunges
20 Alternating Back Lunges
10 Jump Squats
Recover for 30-60 seconds
50 Bridge Hips Lifts
20 Straight Leg Reverse Planks
10 Broad Jumps
20 Walking Lunges
Light jog for 3 minutes
ALWAYS warm up your muscles before a workout. Feel free to repeat this circuit if you’re seeking a great challenge!
Have a HEALTHY Weekend!
We’re diving in by tackling one of the main causes of Holiday weight gain: emotional eating! Don’t let it claim you as a victim, just take a few steps to be prepared
What’s Your Relationship Status?
No, I’m not trying to pry into your personal life! The status I wonder about is your relationship with food. For some, this relationship is more sensitive than any other. Just as children learn how to treat members of the opposite sex from their parents, studies show that childrens’ relationship to food is also derived from parents. What does all this mean? Well, how you perceive food is more than likely a product of how you were raised. If you are raising children, you’re passing that relationship on as well. I hear a lot of people complain about the fact that they can’t get their food under control because their mom, dad, grandma, aunt, etc. always used food as a crutch. In their household food was used as a reward and at times also a punishment: “No desert if you don’t clean your room!” Getting the picture? Well, although this is very common in most families (especially those of the past 2 generations); it’s still just another excuse. And as you have heard me say time and time again, where excuses end progress begins.
You may be sitting there thinking, “Wait a minute. You have no idea how I was raised and what a toll that had on me”, and you’re right: I don’t. I do however know how I was raised. Food was the center of our house. It was used to celebrate everything, but it was also used as a punishment and as a cure all for everything from night terrors to skinned knees to broken hearts. Food was always there in a very emotional way. I learned to become attached to it. I learned to need it. I had to have it. I was a bonafide, emotional, closet eater. GASP!
So, maybe I know more than you thought. What happened then? Well, it’s simple really. I’m an adult now. I am in charge of my decisions. I decided a few years ago to dig deeper into the nutrition aspect of my life. Here’s what I found out:
It’s not the food you eat, it’s your relationship to that food!
Food is nothing but calories. Calories are units of energy. Units of energy are what keep you alive. Plain and simple. The truth of the matter is that food has no feelings. Food doesn’t love you, nor does it feel your love (hello, chocolate, sigh…). It has NO feelings for you, about you, blah, blah, blah; it could care less basically.
So how do you break those bonds? First off, stop blaming mom and dad! They did the best they could and you know what? You’re alive now, so they didn’t screw up that bad! Everything you do is all on you now. You have the ability to be awesome lurking deep down, but you have to let go of every single excuse, take responsibility for you, accept your own mistakes and take that first step forward. You are in control now. Suck it up and stop handing me the old, “Well, my mom always….” Seriously? How old are you now? Does mom still have to remind you to wipe and wash your hands? Ok then. Make a commitment to yourself, for yourself and your family to be a healthy, fit person. A cycle is only a cycle if it’s repeated.
Now let’s talk about justification.
We ALL do it…….
Well, I can have this piece of cake because I work out so hard.
I deserve an extra helping.
It was bad, but I only ate a tiny portion.
All justifications. Bottom line, if you have to justify your food to yourself, it’s something you really shouldn’t be eating. That’s the part of your brain that’s trying to facilitate change. It’s really trying to help you.
If you feel stuck in a rut, get real! Just because you tell yourself you’re watching it doesn’t mean you’re not justifying several slip ups a week. And several slip ups equals a habit: one that must be changed.
Without a change in behavior there can be no permanent change of body. You have to be fully present in each moment that you fuel. If you start to throw out a justification (“I’ll work it off in class”), then pass it by, it’s not worth your time.
With the Holidays moving to a halt and the new year picking up steam, make a conscious decision to MOVE MORE! All it takes is a few 10 minute sessions 3 times per day top reap major results and benefits. These benefits start with your energy. Fuel all this movement with the pumpkin French toast recipe below and get ready for a new, energetic you by the time January 1st rolls around!
As we wind up this past year (check your calendar, it’s almost over), we can take a look back at what we set out to do.
Did you know that in 2012 over 60% of Americans made the resolution to loose weight? Over 30% said they were going to exercise more. Another statistic is that about 35% of these resolutions were broken by January 7th! Why to we struggle so much with these goals? Well, there actually are answers…
There are 5 stages to making a lifestyle change:
More recent research shows that those starting the new year off at stage 4 (action) are the ones with the highest success rate. This means that in order to make changes, we must implement changes early on. How we go about this will not only be determined by our focus and will power, but will also determine our overall success. In order to get to stage 4 by the time you pen your resolutions, there are a few things to know:
- This is a LIFESTYLE. That means that whatever change you set about making MUST not only be attainable, but they must be MAINTAINABLE. Meaning, goals should be set that will last a lifetime. Giving up an unheard of amount of calories, never eating a certain food group, and working out 4 hours a day do not fall into the maintainable categories. Set your goals mindfully and you will be able to reach them and increase your will power AND motivation with each small success.
- A truly fit life is an accumulation of all aspects of life. Truly fit people do not give up sleep to work out more. It’s quite the opposite as we know sleep plays a major role in the overall function of the body as well as muscle growth and fat burning. Most people who wake early to workout go to bed at a reasonable hour. It’s about finding balance in life by learning where you function most optimally.
- Slow and steady really is best. A good rate of weight loss is 1-2 pounds per week. If you are dropping more than that due to fad diets you are losing either water weight or muscle, most likely the latter. Once muscle is lost, it becomes harder to put it back on. As we age this process can get even trickier, so set your sights on healthy weight loss with good nutrition at the forefront of the mind!
Your best bet towards success is to get started NOW. Plan ahead to ensure you know what your goals will be. Set your sights on what you want and work backwards, making smaller goals that are more easily achieved. This will help 2013 be the year you reach your goals and are finally able to set new ones
Stay tuned for lots more Healthy Holiday tips and come back tomorrow for a video where I answer some of your best questions pertaining to weight loss, lose skin, Crossfit, protein intake and more!
Have a healthy day!
Cancer Fighting Foods and Spices
- Broccoli, cabbage, and cauliflower
- Chili Peppers and Jalapenos
- Cruciferous vegetables
- Grapes, red
Studies show that consumption of green and yellow leafy vegetables has been associated with lower levels of stomach cancer.
- Licorice Root
- Oranges and Lemons
- Red Wine
- Seaweed and other sea vegetables
- Soy products like tofu
- Sweet Potatoes
- Teas: Green and Black
Consumption of fruits and vegetables has been associated with decreased risk of cancers of the colon and rectum.
Kale chips: Make sure that when you purchase your kale it is crisp and never limp. Wash Kale thoroughly and dry between paper towel sheets. Tear leafy parts into sections and drizzle 1 TBSP extra virgin olive oil and season with 1 tsp sea salt and pepper to taste. Place in oven preheated to 400 degrees Fahrenheit for 12-14 minutes or until crisp. Enjoy!
Morning Mushroom Omelet: In a bowl mix 1 egg + 2 egg whites with 1 TBSP non fat milk. In non stick skillet (on medium heat) place 1 cup spinach and cook down, then add ½ cup prewashed, chopped mushrooms: cook for 1 minute then add egg mixture and pepper to taste. Once eggs are cooked through, top with chopped green onion and 1 TBSP hot sauce for a spicy start to your day.
Avocado Smash: Take 2 medium ripe avocados and mash them in a bowl. Add 2 heaping spoons non fat Greek yogurt, juice and zest of 1 small lemon, ½ tsp sea salt, pepper and Tabasco to taste. Stir and use as a dip for veggies or a topping for chili.
Lemon Rosemary Chicken: When dealing with chicken there are 2 things I ALWAYS do. 1) Soak chicken breasts or tenders in non fat yogurt for 2 hours. This keeps the chicken from drying out. 2) I mix it all in a large plastic bag to incorporate flavors and make sure I can easily pound it into even pieces. Place 4-6 chicken breasts into a large Ziploc bag with about ½ cup non fat yogurt, 1 lemon (zest it and juice it, then throw the whole thing in! When dealing with citrus marinades, the acids will begin to cook the chicken, so do not leave in overnight), 3 rosemary sprigs from a plant OR 2 tsp rosemary seasoning, 1 tsp sea salt, pepper, 2 bay leaves, 1 tsp oregano, and 1 tsp thyme. Close bag and mix well then allow it to settle for a couple of hours. You can either grill the breasts or broil them in the oven, cooking the meat through. Pair with a salad with light vinaigrette and some green tea for a great tasting immunity boosting meal.
Hey fit fans!
September 1st I’ll be launching a challenge to lose either the first, last, or in-between 10 pounds. Now, you know I’m not a huge scale fan so you’re not required to share your weight or even weigh in, but I promise you will feel and see a difference in just 8 weeks. So, that means you’ll be a newer you before the holidays! How awesome is that? Interested? Here’s what you get:
- TOTALLY FREE CHALLENGE!!! The only expense you’ll pay is for your food, and I promise you can find it all at the local store. We’ll be eating simple
- Accountability. You’ll get weekly (sometimes more) emails from me PLUS I’m encouraging everybody to sign up with a buddy. No worries if you have to go it alone. Should you lack a buddy, one will be provided for you
- Weekly grocery shopping lists.
- Weekly meal ideas (you are NOT bound to this plan! but it works better should you choose to use it).
- Loads of health, nutrition and fitness information at your fingertips.
- Weekly workout.
- Home DVD recommendations (you may find you own most of these already!).
- Tips to look your best, always!
So, if you’re game to change then all you have to do to sign up is email firstname.lastname@example.org
Simple. Forward this link to your friends and get a whole group together. Post it on Facebook and start a challenge of your own. Get your office involved.
There are no gimmicks, no outlandish exercises or meal plans, just what works. Period. Simplicity and consistency make for results, and that’s precisely what you get.
No challenge is complete without a prize right?
At the end of 8 weeks, participants will send in a written article of their experience. This will include things like a change in energy, clothing size, mood, etc. Weight can be recorded if you like. I’ll post these entries and get the public to determine the most inspiring winner. You don’t have to be a writer! People are inspired by stories
The winner will get a 3 disc workout series on DVD. You will be using these workouts throughout your challenge, but the page will be shut down once the challenge is over so the winner gets all the workouts PLUS a guide to help you sequence your workouts. The winner will also receive a recipe booklet emailed to you with recipe ideas for breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks.
There are NO losers in this crowd and this challenge is OPEN to ALL. It doesn’t matter your starting place or your fitness level, I want you to learn that fitness and health can be fun. What better way to do that than with a buddy? So, get to posting and let’s challenge each other!
Oh, and I promise these workouts won’t take up your whole day! It’s my belief that if you work out efficiently you can gain results in as little as 20-30 minutes a day. Nutrition is the number 1 focus and the workouts will complement it all. Let’s get excited!!!!!
I look forward to seeing you soon,
ALL entries must be received by August 31st. email@example.com
Can you believe we are so close to the weekend already? Hello Summer!
As we enter into the warmer months, it is important to stay hydrated and what better way than with luscious drinks that also increase your beauty and radiance? Yeah, I thought you’d like that! Read on for a few of my current favorite indulgences
Infused Ice Cubes
Water is great in and of itself, but I find it’s much more fun to drink if it has a little personality.
Simply crush fruits of your choice and place them into old school ice trays (about 1/3 of the cube), then cover with water and freeze. Need an extra nutrient and skin hydrating boost? Use coconut water!
Some fruits to choose from and mix are:
- Cantaloupe melon
- Honeydew Melon
You can mix and match too. Have fun with it and get the kids involved!
Fruit Flavored Water Pitcher
OK, I keep this in a large glass pitcher right in my fridge. We can all dig into it any time we need something a little extra refreshing.
- 1 lemon, finely sliced
- 1 lime, finely sliced
- 1 cucumber, finely sliced
- A few mint sprigs
Place into pitcher then cover with pure water OR coconut water if you’re in the mood for more hydration.
TAZO Passion Iced Tea
You can totally get this at the Starbuck’s drive through for less than the coffees! PLUS, it’s packed with antioxidants for glowing skin. Another benefit is the hydration factor. Most of the time when we reach for caffeine, we really need water, or in this case, tea. Skip the sweetening syrup though, it will take fluids out of the body. You can also buy Tazo Iced Teas at your local grocer and make it by the pitcher.
Slimming Berry Smoothie
You know how you wash your berries and then they tend to start molding as soon as you bat your eyelashes? Yeah, embrace that they are in full season and at the peak of antioxidant perfection! Just don’t eat the mold . I place mine in freezer bags once I start to notice them moving into adolescence, then I can use them for a super slimming smoothie. Plus, I saved money by using the food I bought.
- 1/2 cup nonfat plain Greek yogurt (for protein)
- 1 cup almond or coconut milk (I prefer the almond/coconut milk blend on the market now)
- 1 handful blueberries
- 1 handful blackberries
- 1 handful raspberries
- 2-3 large frozen strawberries
- A pinch of cinnamon
- Stevia to taste (you can opt out of this one and leave it plain. At their freshest, berries are very sweet)
You can have a 24 oz glass (whoa! That’s huge) for about 150 calories. Hello slimmer you! The health benefits of this smoothie are a better running digestive system, clearer skin and even a boost in metabolism. If you’re drinking it post workout feel free to add a banana for extra potassium.
I hope you enjoy your slimming sips this Summer! Get creative and make sure you stop by to share your recipes.
Have a healthy day!
OK, so I made these yesterday as part of my food prep day (we’ll get to that in a later post) and they are delish! My kids loved them and they make for a great meal, paired with brown rice and some steamed veg. Plus, it’s one of those things that looks like you slaved over it, when you really didn’t
STUFFED CHICKEN BREASTS
6 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1-2 cups spinach
1/2 cup fresh parsley
1 tablespoon EVOO
1/4 cup feta cheese crumbles (I used the tomato/basil flavor, YUM!)
Food processor (if you do not own one, you can chop it all, but it takes forever! The processor makes it super quick)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F
Place chicken breasts between plastic wrap and get some anger out by pounding them with a mallet until they are even all around. Don’t go too thin.
Throw spinach, parsley, feta, EVOO, and onion and the food processor and zap it until it looks like a paste. This is where you can add a little salt/pepper if desired.
Place about 1 and 1/2 spoon fulls of mixture into chicken breasts and roll (you shouldn’t need anything to hold it).
Place in baking pan sprayed lightly with cooking spray.
Bake in oven for about 20-22 minutes or until chicken springs back when you touch it (totally how you can tell if it’s done).
Let sit for a couple of minutes, then slice and serve warm with brown rice and your choice of veggies or salad.
These are also great to pack in your lunch kit for on the go eating.
1 serving is less than 150 cals and only about 2 grams of fat, PLUS you get loads of nutrients from the spinach, liver cleansing from the parsley, and lean, muscle-building protein from the chicken. It’s a knockout!
From my table to yours, ENJOY!
Hey guys! So, I know for some it's really hard to figure out WHAT to eat right? Below is a sample (and simple) daily meal plan that will get you started. Enjoy and remember: nutrition is 80% of HOW you look but 90% of HOW YOU FEEL. Need energy?
Meal 1 (within 1 hour of waking): 3 egg whites + 1 whole egg , scrambled with no oil. 1/2 cup steel cut oats cooked in 1 cup water, add your choice of fruit (up to 1/2 cup) and sweeten to taste if needed.
Meal 2: 20 almonds and 1 large apple
Meal 3: 4 oz tuna, 2 celery stalks (chopped), small bit of onion if desired, 1 teaspoon light mayo, 1 teaspoon dijon mustard (mix altogether); 10 cherry tomoatoes, 1/2 sliced cucumber, 10 whole grain crackers (or 1 slice whole wheat bread), 1 all natural cheese stick ( I love sargento cheddar, yum!)
Meal 4: 1 scoop whey protein (or SHAKEOLOGY) , 1/2 banana, 4 oz water, 4 oz unsweetened almond milk, 1 handful spinach
Meal 5: 4 oz grilled chicken breast, 1/2 cup cooked whole grain brown rice, 2 cups steamed/roasted veg (light EVOO)
Meal 6: 1/2 cup low fat cottage cheese (may replace with PLAIN, low fat yogurt), mixed with small handful of fruit if needed*, one 1 oz square dark chocolate
*NOTE: if you tend to hold fat around your midsection (like I do), omit fruit before bed as it will store as fat in the nearest place...the abs.
Be sure to drink a minimum of 3 liters of water per day. This does NOT include flavored beverages.
This meal plan is super easy to follow and hangs out around 1530 calories, provided you stay within the portions. Try it for 5 days and see/feel a difference!