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Why You Should Go to the Gym Today

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Last night, I wanted something really quick for dinner.  I was tired and hungry, and those two things are NEVER a good combination.

Luckily, I had some veggie burgers in the fridge that only took about 8 minutes to cook.  These burgers were a new brand to me, Franklin Farms, and I truly loved them!

 

The ingredient list wasn’t too lengthy and the first ingredient on the list was “vegetables!”  Each burger has 100 calories, 12 grams of protein, and tasty flavor.  These little burgers are going to be hopping into my grocery cart more often!

This Morning

This morning, I woke up on the tired side of the bed.  I’ll admit it and say that I simply wanted to curl up back into my blankets and close my eyes rather than heading to the gym…but I didn’t.  Of course there are days when a little mid week break is needed, but there are also times when you need to simply push yourself just a bit and say “come on, think about how you will feel after you go to the gym…”

A little self-motivation never hurt anyone 😉

If you are lacking that little motivation to head to the gym this Friday, here are some self-motivating tips that I use when the bed sheets are calling my name:

  • I like to think about how I will feel after the workout.  That energy boost and that feeling of strength and accomplishment is priceless!
  • Put it into your schedule so that if you are a “list” person (which I completely am!) then you can physically cross that thing off the list.
  • If I am not feeling like creating my own workout or really thinking about it, then I will go to a group fitness class so that someone else can plan my workout for me.
  • The end goal is always important for me.  Am I working to build muscle?  Am I training for a race?  I like to keep whatever that end goal is in my head and think about how completing the workout will allow me to go one step closer to that goal.
  • To get that endorphin high!  Enough said 🙂
  • Remember how this exercise, whatever form, is benefitting your health in the long term.

How do you motivate yourself to get to the gym in the morning?

Tabata…Don’t Ya Want Ta?!

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Breakfast this morning came in the form of creamy, cold, deliciousness…



I had been craving something coffee/chocolate the past couple of days, and this satisfied that craving BIG time!

Mocha Overnight Oats

Makes one bowl of oats

  • 1/2 cup of oats
  • 3-4 oz. of Greek yogurt
  • 1/2 cup of water
  • 1/2 tsp raw cacao powder (can also use unsweetened cocoa)
  • 1 tsp instant coffe granules
  • 1-2 packets of stevia
  • sprinkle of cinnamon

Directions:

In a cereal bowl,  combine the oats, yogurt, water, cacao powder, coffee and stevia.  Stir until combined.  Sprinkle the top with cinnamon, and place in the refrigerator overnight or for 30 minutes if you want to eat the oats soon!  Remove from the fridge when ready to eat and enjoy!

Workout

After having such a satisfying first meal of the day, I was more than ready to tackle a new Boot Camp class that I began teaching this morning.

In this morning’s class, I made sure to include circuit training along with a high intensity interval training technique called Tabata.

What is Tabata?

Tabata is a form of high intensity interval training that comes in short bursts.  One Tabata lasts only 4 minutes!  It is a series of 8 intervals that are only 20 seconds of work at your absolute maximum effort level followed by 10 seconds of rest.  These short bursts of activity work the aerobic and anaerobic systems allowing the body to see gains in strength and speed.

Here is a look at the sweaty workout that we completed this morning:

It was a good workout, got the heart rate going, and the muscles working…all things that I look for when I complete my exercise for the day!

Have You Ever Tried a Tabata Workout?

    • This was my first attempt at Tabata…and I think I like it!

High Protein Banana Muffins and My New Spin Playlist

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Last night, I made a pretty big accomplishment….

I took the pit out of an avocado…with just a knife for the first time EVER! Now, don’t get me wrong, as I have tried and failed many times before.  Seriously, it felt great to do that!!

Brian and I then enjoyed that avocado in some homemade guacamole in meatless Mexican salads.  I used the Morningstar Farms meal starters with some chili powder, garlic powder, salt, onion powder, and pepper (all unmeasured), and it tasted so good.

Snack Time

I am so excited for my snack today.  One of my favorite things ever to make is muffins.  I can remember being a little girl using the Jiffy Cornbread Muffin mix to help my mom out with breakfast (corn muffins are a guilty pleasure of mine!).  For some reason, muffins just have a special place in my heart.

On Saturday, I scoured the internet for some high protein muffin recipes, and found tons.  Many of the recipes were similar to each other, so I took some notes, put my creative hat on and came up with a delicious banana creation.  Keep in mind, they do have a slight “protein” taste, so I love them, but Brian thinks they need peanut butter on top 😉

High Protein Banana Muffins

Yields:  10 Muffins

Nutrition Information:  Calories-63.2  Fat-2.1g  Carbs-3.2g Protein-8.3g

Ingredients:

  • 1 large banana, smashed
  • 3/4 cup liquid egg whites
  • 1/2 cup plain, nonfat Greek yogurt
  • 3/4 cup oat flour (oats ground up!)
  • 2 scoops of your favorite protein powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • sprinkle of cinnamon

 

 

 

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Combine all ingredients in a large bowl and mix until combined.  Scoop batter into 10 paper lined and greased muffin tins.  Bake for 15-18 minutes.  ENJOY!

Workout

This morning’s workout was my Tuesday morning spinning class followed by some shoulder and ab work.  I have been rotating the same three playlists and switching out various songs for quite some time now in my spinning class…so I decided to create a completely new playlist.

All of the songs totally got me pumped up and working up a sweat!  I loved it.  At the end of class, I asked for suggestions for next week’s playlist…so keep your eyes peeled for another great workout mix.

On that note, it is time for me to head into work, but first…

Question of the Morning:

  • What is your favorite workout song and why?

I LOVE the Black Pearl song from Pirates of the Caribbean.  For some reason, it just gets me pumped and thinking I can push through and do anything.  It also ALWAYS seems to play when I am getting tired and need that extra energy and confidence boost.

My New Favorite: Frozen Cherries!

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Last night was a pretty simple and great night.

After arriving home from work, I immediately changed my clothes so that I could get between 7 and 8 miles in on my running log.  My time wasn’t that great, there were lots of stops and starts due to stop lights, but I logged 7.5 miles.

Due to a kind of wacko schedule, I have been completing my long runs in Friday evenings after work.  When it comes to working out, it is ALWAYS easier for me to do in the wee hours of the morning…so running after a full day of work is tough for me.

In order to prepare for my long run during the day yesterday, I made sure to do a couple of things thanks to some comments on a post on the Fitfluential Running Board:

  • Eat well throughout the day. (I packed extra snacks so there was no chance that I would be hungry or lacking energy)
  • Drink plenty of water. (I tried to drink a full large Tervis of water every hour!! Boy did I go to the bathroom a lot!)
  • Get up and move around. (I tried to get up and move around when I filled my bottle each hour.)

I think all of those tips were great, and I felt much better than last week when I went for my evening run.

After the run it was time for dinner (gotta refuel!) and grocery shopping.  It was just a quick trip to the store to purchase some veggies, cheese, eggs, and Greek yogurt.

 

Then, it was time to relax…such a nice, stress free evening!

Breakfast

While at the grocery store yesterday, I had the urge to purchase something new.  Frozen cherries.  I have seen them in the stores many times, but I never thought that I would like them so I never purchased them.  Well, I saw a little recipe that Runner’s World tweeted yesterday that called for frozen cherries.  The recipe sounded delicious…so I bought some, and boy am I glad that I did!

Seriously, those little gems taste like sweet sweet candy and I could probably eat the entire bag in one sitting!! Yum!

I made sure to incorporate them into my smoothie this morning:

 

  • 1/2 cup frozen cherries
  • 1/3 frozen banana
  • 1 cup unsweetened original almond milk
  • 3/4 scoop protein powder of choice
  • 1/4 cup nonfat plain Greek yogurt
  • 1 Tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp instant coffee
  • 1 packet Truvia
  • ice cubes for thickness

The cherries gave the smoothie a creamy milkshake-like texture and it was OH SO GOOD!  I just kept mmm…mmm…mmm..ing my way through it 🙂  Thank goodness Brian wasn’t awake so I didn’t have to share with anyone 😉

Workout and Afternoon Plans

Now, I am off to practice Body Pump then teach it.  Then, Brian and I are headed out for a super secret surprise trip…don’t worry, I will tell you tomorrow!

Have a great Saturday!

What New Foods Have You Fallen In Love With Lately???

  • Frozen cherries!!

New Workout Page and Honey Peanut Buttery Granola

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Boy, oh boy do I have a recipe for you!

But first, I want to tell you about some updates I made to the blog yesterday.

After the usual Sunday grocery shopping and food prep, I got out of the house and headed to Starbucks to completely focus on getting some blog work done.

 

The end result was a mission accomplished!  I updated the workout tab on the top bar, and created a drop down list categorizing various workouts that I have created, my race stats, and I compiled all of my fitness related posts into one place.

So, if you are in need of  a workout routine, then head on over to the workout page to check it out!

Now, on to the important stuff…

Honey Peanut Buttery Granola

I had really been wanting to make a batch of granola recently, so I decided yesterday was as good as a day as any!  I looked at several of my usual recipes, took bits and pieces from each and threw in a little of my own flair.  The end result was completely tasty.

Ingredients (warning, this recipe makes a TON!! So you can definitely half it or even quarter it!):

  • 1 1/2 cups honey
  • 1/2 cup agave nectar syrup
  • 1 cup peanut butter
  • 1 cup canola oil
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 8 cups oats
  • 2 cups sunflower seed
  • 1 1/2 cups wheat germ
  • 1 tsp salt

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 350.

In a large microwave safe bowl, combine the peanut butter, oil, honey, vanilla, and agave.  Place in the microwave and heat for about 1 minute, or until it is slightly bubbly and easy to stir and combine.

Place dry ingredients in peanut butter and honey mixture.  Stir until combined.  Place the mixture onto one or two greased cookie sheets.

Bake at 350 for 20 minutes.  Remove from the oven and stir.  Reduce the oven temperature to 250, and place the granola back in the oven for 10-15 minutes removing it to stir and replacing it back in the oven until it is the desired brownness.

When it is done cooking, spread the granola on waxed paper to cool, then store in a sealed container.

ENJOY!!!

A Little Bit of This or That

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Good Morning!

Can you already believe that it is hump day?  It seems as though this week is flying, and I am not complaining one bit about it!

Before heading to the gym to teach my Yoga Sculpt class this morning, I had an interesting first meal of a glass of almond milk (so good!), two plain rice cakes with some Laughing Cow cheese, and some unpictured egg whites.  Usually I crave something sweet first thing in the morning, but this meal totally hit the spot and gave me plenty of energy to teach.

A white but tasty meal

Survey

Do you remember surveys???  Back in the day, I used to love filling out the surveys with all of my information and the e-mailing it to my entire address book of friends!  I still love surveys to this day.  I love reading about other people, and I love answering the questions.  So, when I saw this little survey on Courtney‘s blog and on Clare‘s blog…well I just had to join the club 😉

1.Run/workout in the heat and humidity or freezing temps and snow?

It really depends on the situation.  I am resuming my half marathon training this week, and usually run my races in the summer.  On the fourth of July this year, Brian and I ran a 6 mile race in 90 degree heat and humidity…and I hit a personal record!  Who would have guessed?  On the other hand, when it is winter, as long as the sun is shining, the snow is glistening, and I am dressed appropriately, I love a nice brisk snowy winter run.

2. Have washboard abs or flat abs?

Does this mean to look at or have?  To be realistic, I would have to say flat…I don’t think I could ever have anything near washboard abs due to my body type.

3. Dr. Oz or The Doctors?

Before I had my day job, I had plenty of time to catch  up on my daytime TV, but now I don’t have time to even watch night time TV.  I guess I will say Dr. Oz because I haven’t really ever watched The Doctors.

4. Cardio or strength?

Tough one!  I love the high and adrenaline rush I get while doing hard core cardio, but ever since I started lifting heavy weights on the cruise, I have started getting a high off of that too!  I gotta say both 🙂

5. Cravings: Protein or carbs?

I would probably say carbs J  At least recently, I always love a good bowl of oatmeal, fruit, veggies…but I try to incorporate some form of protein at every meal!

6. Jillian Michaels or Bob Harper?

Recently, I have really been getting into Jillian Michaels.   She has some amazing podcasts that are very informative, and share her opinion but don’t push it on you.  They are great to listen to in the car on the way to and from work.

7. Frozen Yogurt or Ice Cream?

Although I love both, I am going to have to go with Frozen Yogurt.  I love the self-serve and adding my own toppings!

Fro Yo is kind of like ice cream 😉

8. To train: Upper body or Lower body?

I totally neglect my lower body, which I need to change.  I think I see quicker results in my upper body, therefore, I train it more often…

9. Protein powder or food with protein?

Food with protein is always the top options, and I try to get most of my protein from fish, eggs, and dairy.  There are sometimes though that I like to eat foods that don’t have a lot of protein in them, like smoothies and oatmeal.  When I enjoy these foods, I will add protein powder to supplement the protein that the meal is missing.

10. Lunges or squats?

Oh! Tough one!  They both hurt, but I am going to say lunges because for me I think they are harder, so I like to work at them more.

11. Sweet or salty?

Can I say sweet and salty?  I love a good trail mix!! However, if I am just craving something, it is probably going to be sweet 🙂

12. Workout attire: cute or comfy?

Cute.  I really like to have matching outfits, and especially when I am teaching I like to look halfway decent and not like I rolled out of bed.  Feeling like I look good always motivates me to work harder and do better!

13. Body Pump or Heavy lifting?

I have recently been working to become certified to teach Body Pump, and I love it!  However, when I complete my own workouts, the majority of the time I do heavy lifting rather than the lighter weights with higher reps like Body Pump.  I find that I am able to get stronger that way, and increase my weights in Body Pump more frequently.

14. Yoga or Pilates?

Pilates.  I used to hate yoga, then I had to learn a format and teach it on the cruise!  I will say that Yoga feels great, but if I had to pick a class to go to it would for sure be Pilates.

15. Nike or Adidas?

Well, currently, one pair of shoes is Nike and the other is Adidas.  When it comes to workout clothing though I usually pick things up at Target, Marshalls, or TJ Maxx!

16. Running on the treadmill or outdoors?

Honestly, I get so dizzy on the treadmill it is usually just not even worth trying more than walking on the darn thing, however!, Monday I tried a new kind of treadmill and was able to complete three miles!  I will always prefer running outdoors.

17. Whole Foods or Trader Joe’s?

I absolutely love both!  They are both a bit of a drive from where I am currently living, so it is like a special treat when I shop at either one.  I love the selection at Whole Foods, and I love the prices and specialty products at Trader Joe’s.  What can I say, I love ‘em both!

18. Summer or Winter Olympics?

Summer for sure.  I am loving the gymnastics, diving, swimming, a touch of running…basically it is all awesome!

20. Steamed veggies or roasted veggies?

Roasted.  I love roasting up veggies with onion and garlic pieces for lots of flava!

 

Now it’s on to you!! 

  • Do you prefer strength or cardio?
  • Do you prefer cute of comfy workout gear?

Heading to Florida

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Hello and happy Saturday!

I hope all is going well with you, and you are doing something really fun with your favorite people 🙂

Today has been a pretty jam packed day…for a good reason though!  Tonight I am leaving for a family vacation to Florida in honor of my younger brother’s graduation from college.  Because I have been so busy with work and teaching group fitness recently, I literally have not had a spare second to think about packing (or maybe it’s the fact that I truly hate the packing process…)

That being said, I started this morning bright and early with a delicious bowl of what I like to call Monkey Oats!


The Monkey Oats were chocolatey, peanut buttery, bananay, and just plain good!

Monkey Oats

  • 1/3 cup oatmeal
  • 2 tsp unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2 stevia packets
  • 1 scoop vanilla protein powder
  • 1 sprinkle cinnamon
  • 1/3 banana
  • 1 Tbsp peanut butter

Directions:

Place the oats in a microwave safe bowl with 2/3 cups water.  Microwave for 1 minute.  Take the oats from the microwave and mix in cocoa, stevia, protein, cinnamon, and about 2/3 cup more water.  Microwave for about 1 minute and 30 seconds, or until the oats are the desired consistency.  Top with bananas and peanut butter…and enjoy!!

Workout

After my oaty breakfast, I spent the morning reviewing my Body Pump notes.  I was a little nervous for class today because I was teaching the latest release all by myself for the first time!  The class was great, I had so much fun, and I only made a couple of minor mistakes…nothing to sweat about!

After teaching that class, my brain officially went on vacation mode!! I came home to make myself a quick lunch, and Brian had a little surprise waiting for me.

For the past 10 days, Brian had been in London and Ireland with his mom and aunt visiting family (yes I know…I was only slightly jealous he was in London right before the Olympics!)

Brian bought me a couple of souvenirs, the first being an Irish wool sweater!  I absolutely love being warm and cozy all the time, and love bundling up in big chunky sweaters, so when Brian asked what I wanted while he was on the trip, I jokingly said I wanted a wool sweater…I guess he didn’t get the joke 😉

I love it!

He also got a cool Olympic backpack from London!  We are definitely taking it with us to Florida.

After present time, it was time to get down to business.  Brian cleaned our little apartment, and we packed a whole weeks worth of stuff into one bag…

That’s right…ONE BAG!  We are driving to Florida, and in the car will be my mom, dad, Brenna, Brian, and me.  There is very limited space, so we had to be flexible…luckily it is summer, meaning our clothes are small and can easily be rolled up.

The trip down to Florida should be interesting considering we have three adults in the back seat of the car…and my dad hates making pit stops…wish us luck!!