Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Make a New Year's Resolution that Sticks this Year!

Let’s face it, New Year’s Resolutions (NYR) aren’t hard to make; they’re hard to keep. In fact, 45% of Americans usually make NYRs and only 8% of them successfully achieve their goal according to a 2014 study on NYR conducted by the University of Scranton. So what can you do to make sure you aren't in the 92% of people who fail to succeed at their New Year’s Resolution? Follow these 7 steps to ensure a successful healthy goal.

1. Set a goal. According to Psychology Today, if you make a specific resolution, you are 10 times more likely to succeed the desired outcome. So write your resolution down in detailed terms. (ex: I will lose 15 pounds by June 1st. I will quit smoking using the patch by March 15th, I will eat two fruits and four servings of vegetables every day.) 

2. Be reasonable. Just as important as setting your goal is making sure that your goal possible and something that you want to achieve. If eating more fruits and veggies does not appeal to you on any level do not make it your resolution to eat more fruits and veggies just because you know it’s good for you. If you want to lose weight, remember that you can only safely lose 1-2 pounds per week, so don’t make your goal to lose 100 pounds by February 2013. Setting unrealistic goals like this will just ensure another failed NYR. Find something you can be passionate about and stick to and go for it. 

3. Have a game plan. Sure, you have your ultimate end-game goal, but knowing how you’re going to get there is super important. Think baby steps. If your resolution is to lose those extra 30 pounds, aim for 1-2 pounds of weight loss a week until you reach your goal. Or if you want to get 8 hours of sleep a night, you could back up your bed time by 10 minutes every couple of days until you are snoozing for 8 hours.

4. Tell the world. This is an important step in the road to NYR victory. Tell your friends, co-workers, family, even the cashier at the grocery store that you are vowing to quit smoking, lose 10 pounds, or get to the gym 4 days a week. When your will wanes, the peer pressure that you’ve created for yourself will help you keep on track.

5. Be positive. Ever heard of the Little Engine that Could? With her mantra of “I think I can, I think I can I think I can..” she accomplished her goals. Even though the mountain was steep and took a lot of hard work, she kept positive with her eye on the prize. 

6. Become a journalist. No, not the kind that goes out and gets “the scoop,” but the kind that writes everything about your progress in a journal or on your phone or wherever. Studies show that people who keep a running tab on their progress are 50% more likely to succeed at their goal than those who do not. It doesn’t have to take much time…just a sentence or two each day (that’s like 15 seconds of your time). For example: I went to the gym today, lifted weights for 25 minutes and ran for 30 minutes on the treadmill. Weight today: 175…I’ve lost 2 more pounds!

7. Don’t be your own worst enemy. Many times, people fall off the NYR bandwagon because they experience a set back. Maybe they missed a session with their trainer, had a cigarette at a party or ate half a pan of brownies. No matter what your goal is, you will experience a relapse from time to time. Write it down in your journal and then move on. No beating yourself up…just get back on track.

Remember, your NYR should be flexible. If you start working on a goal and find that there might be a better goal or better way to achieve your goal, don’t quit, just change it.

Happy resolution making!

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Non-holiday sweat-it-out playlist

There are few people who love holiday music more than I do. But I draw the line at working out to Mannheim Steamroller and Baby It's Cold Outside. So I thought I'd share my new favorite playlist for sweating it out.


Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Fight "Festive" Fat: Stay Fit this Holiday Season

It's here...the Holidays. We just passed Thanksgiving and hopefully good choices were made, but now comes a plethora of parties, office goodies, family dinners, etc. all of which are laden with salty snacks, sweet treats and fatty holiday fare. Plus, now that it’s cold, food becomes less light and more hearty in every day life…think chili, casseroles and other warm and rich food. That, along with our busy holiday schedules can sometimes make exercise less of a priority. So more food, richer food and not enough exercise really is just a big ol’ recipe for disaster. But not to worry, you don’t have to finish out 2011 with a belly Santa would be proud of; just have a plan. 

Be assertive. No means NO people. So when someone offers you a second slice of pie or helping of buttery mashed potatoes, say “no thank you, it was delicious” and then stick to your no-guns! The "no-guns" also work when saying no to treats at the office.

No excuses. “But it’s the holidays” is not a good excuse for throwing out everything you know about eating healthy. Just because you can eat a dump truck load of cookies, drowned a pot of chili or drink a lake full of eggnog, doesn’t mean you should. Think about how overeating junk will make you feel a few hours later and about all the hard work that will disappear because of a month or two of binging.

I repeat: No excuses. “It’s the holidays and I’m too stressed and busy to workout,” is possibly the lamest excuse ever for not working out (check out other worthless excuses that should never come out of your mouth by clicking here). Exercising reduces stress, helps us to think more clearly, banishes irritability and so forth…plus, it burns calories that we inevitable consume more of during this time of year. Just do it…even if it’s 20 minutes a day…get your body in gear. Want to shave off the time driving to and from the gym? Try this quick and very effective workout at home.

Split it up. Because your time is valuable, split up your workout routine into 10 minute sessions throughout your day…you’ll get the same result, but wont need to find an entire 30 minutes to and hour at a time. 

Write it down. Studies have shown that writing down your food (every morsel that goes into your mouth) can double your weight-loss. And with computer programs and smart phone apps, this has never been easier. Write down what you are going to eat at the beginning of the day and then after you've eaten all your necessary calories, stop! Some great (and FREE) online/app rescourses are http://www.caloriecount.com/,http://www.livestrong.com/, and http://www.myfitnesspal.com/.

Don’t go hungry. A great tactic to ensure that you don’t overeat at big meals or parties is to not go to them hungry. Eat a light but satisfying snack before you go. A half turkey sandwich on whole grain, veggies and hummus or a protein shake should do the trick. This also works in every-day life...eat a small meal or snack every three hours so that you don't end up eating a ton of food out of starvation.

Exercise portion control. Parties and your kitchen should never be viewed as all you can eat buffets. Fill up on fresh or steamed veggies, lots of fruits and a small amount of meat and side dishes. Make it your goal to have one plate of food per meal…half of it being fruits and veggies. 

Say “bye-bye” to leftovers. Send the fatty and high calorie leftovers off with your guests, put them on festive plates and deliver them to your neighbors, take them to the office or “gasp!” throw it away. Whatever you do, try not to leave them in your house for you to snack on day and night.

Armed with these tips, you are ready to face the holiday merriment and wherever else the rest of 2014 takes you. Remember, it’s okay to indulge every once in a while, just don’t make it a habit.

Monday, November 17, 2014

It's almost TURKEY time...prepare yourself!

Looking forward to the Thanksgiving meal but dreading the bloat, possible weight gain and sleepiness afterwards? The average Thanksgiving dinner clocks in at 3.000 calories…gasp!! So follow these simple tips and swap outs and be thankful for a fun filled, guilt-free day of celebration!

1. Start the day off right with a metabolism boosting workout like a Thankgiving Day 5K or an at home gut busting burn.

2. Fill up on the good stuff.
  • Start with soup…yep…hot liquids make you feel fuller, so scoop up a healthy bowl full of goodness like this festive butternut squash soup.
  • White meat turkey (15% less calories than it’s dark counterpart)
  • Raw, steamed, grilled or roasted veggies like these tasty Brussels sprouts
  • “Lighter” mashed potatoes (make yours with Butterbuds to save a hundred calories and several grams of fat per serving)
  • Gravy…that’s right, I said gravy. It’s only about 80 calories per 2 tbsp and is more than half the calories of the sugary cranberries.
  • Bring a protein and fiber packed dish like quinoa. I make a yummy one with sweet potatoes and black beans; you have to try it!
  • Pumpkin Pie (180 calories vs. 250 in apple and up to 700 in pecan!!)
3. Skip the bad stuff.

  • Bread…you can eat bread any day…don’t waste your Thanksgiving calories on bread
  • Butter…there is butter in nearly everything on Thanksgiving so give your mashed potatoes the benefit of the doubt (that they taste great) and leave the butter on the table
  • Pass on the green bean casserole…yes, this tasty dish contains veggies, BUT it’s not enough to count this dish as a side vegetable what with all the fried onions and cream. Grab the steamed for fresh veggies instead

4. Ditch the drinks…just kidding. But remember that alcohol lowers your inhibition with what you put in your mouth (as well as what comes out of it) so just be careful.

5. Stay awake. While napping during the game might seem like a good idea, a better idea for increased energy is to go on a brisk, post-feast walk. Not only will you get your blood circulating, heart rate up and thus an avalanche of energy, but you’ll also be burning off some of the pie you just ate!

6. Relax…it’s a holiday. Although you don’t need to overindulge so much you make yourself sick, it’s still a holiday with some special food that is a one-day-deal. So, take a bite of everything that’s special to you and skip the stuff that’s not.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Warm up while you slim down in five minutes flat

Are you like me and just can't seem to warm up when winter comes calling? You don't need to wear 5 sweaters and a hat inside 24/7 when you integrate this 5 minute warm-up workout several times a day! Plus, it's double duty: burn calories all day long AND save on your gas bill.

  • 25 jumping jacks
  • 15 push ups
  • 50 walking lunges
  • 10 jump squats
Repeat twice and revel in your toastiness!

Chicken corn chowder: warm up while you slim down

Looking for a hearty and soul warming meal for these cold nights? My client, E.M., shared this amazing recipe with me and I adapted it for my own purposes as can you. The point is, ditch the calorie bomb comfort food and make something just as satisfying and slimming at the same time.

What you need: 

  • 1.5 lbs chopped chicken breast (I definitely recommended taking it off a rotisserie chicken...great flavor)
  • 2 red bell peppers chopped
  • 1/2 yellow onion chopped
  • 1.5 cups fresh corn cut off Cobb (frozen if in a pinch)
  • 1 small can green chilis
  • 1 tbsp minced garlic 
  • 4 cups far free chicken stock
  • Few dashes of Tabasco 
  • 1 tbsp corn starch
  • 2 tbsp heavy whipping cream
  • Fresh cilantro 
  • Salt and pepper to taste

What to do; 
  1. Put chicken, peppers, onions, corn, chilis, garlic, chicken stock, and tabasco in a crock pot and cook on low all day or on high for 3-4 hours.
  2. 30 minutes before serving, whisk together cream and corn starch untill smooth and stir into crockpot
  3. Chop cilantro and stir in right before serving
That's it! :) 

It's still a delicious soup without the cream/cornstarch, so don't disregard this recipe if you are dairy-free, just leave the dairy out of it.

Each cup serving (makes about 10) has some pretty awesome nutrition facts: 140 calories, 3.5 grams fat, 18 grams protein, 8 grams carbs, 1 gram fiber.

Just as with any soup, you could totally change this recipe up...next time I'm going to add a ton of celery and maybe some carrots and perhaps a few diced potatoes to thicken it up even more...yummy!


Monday, October 27, 2014

Keep your kids healthy (aka out of a sugar coma) this Halloween

Even though I didn't give my own child any candy until he was about three, it's like he knew what it was and that he would love it more than any other food out there...and let the sugar addiction fight begin. So if you have a little sugar-monster in your house (or several in your neighborhood), check out these ways to ease the sugar high, and subsequent drop this Halloween:
  • Feed your kids a high protein and vitamin rich meal so that they are full and satisfied before trick or treating. Think grilled chicken breast with steamed broccoli and roasted sweet potatoes.
  • Race from house to house or trunk to trunk to get the body moving
  • At your own house, consider ditching the candy and giving out mini-bottles of water, fruit strips, no sugar added apple sauce pouches, cuties, etc. 
  • If your little ones come home with bags of candy, limit the intake to one piece a day for a week and then toss/donate/give it away
  • Instead of trick or treating, throw a Halloween party. Serve healthy snacks, carve pumpkins, roast some delicious and nutritious pumpkin seeds and forget the candy all together!

Don't let Halloween massacre your health and fitness goals!

Halloween is this week and one of the scariest things about the holiday is how many empty calories you can consume in the days surrounding October 31st (not to mention the day of) because of all the darn candy. So what is a person to do when candy is EVERYWHERE? Well, just don’t eat it (or buy it)! Easier said than done, right? Well here are a few tricks and tips to keep the candy out of your tummy and off of your waist.
·         Buy candy to hand out to trick or treaters  that you don’t like. Don’t be your own undoing. Pretty simple, eh?
·         At the office, make sure you have cut up fruit, veggies and nuts on hand so that you have something to munch on other than handfuls of candy corn and “fun sized” chocolate.
·         If your kids bring home candy that you can’t resist, do something like the “Halloween Fairy” and have them pick out their favorite 10 pieces and put the rest on the front doorstep for the “Halloween Fairy” to trade for a non-edible present on Halloween night and then get rid of the bag. (Healthy kid tip too!) 
·         Extra Halloween candy? Throw it away! OR better yet, donate it to our troops overseas. Click here for where you can drop your candy.
·         If you just have to have a piece of candy, keep it at just that: one piece. Or check out this awesome chart of what 100 calories of your favorite candy looks like.
If you’re interested in the best and worst candy picks, choose Three Musketeers for chocolate (avoid Butter Finger and peanut butter cups), Dum Dum Pops for fruity candy (avoid Air Heads and Skittles) and tootsie rolls for a chewy fix (stay clear of Twix).  Click here for a little quiz to test your knowledge of the best and worst candy for your waistline. 
Happy and Healthy Halloween!

Saturday, October 18, 2014

The 10 calorie pumpkin spice latte

Did you know that your typical pumpkin spice latte can upwards of 300 calories...in a SMALL?! That's an entire breakfast, people! I just made my own delicious one at home and saved myself 290 calories with my super tasty 10 calorie version:
  • Coffee
  • 1/3 cup unsweetened almond milk
  • several dashes of pumpkin pie spice

Viola! Your waistline (and wallet) will thank you! (If you want it to be a bit sweet, you can totally use sweetened almond milk...it adds about 20 calories...still a good deal in my book!)

Thursday, October 16, 2014

A quick energy boosting workout

It's beautiful outside, so skip that second (third or fourth) cup of coffee and give your body a long-lasting energy boost while burning calories, building lean muscle and taking time to enjoy the autumn weather.

What you need:

Nothing (but your body)

How much time:

7-28 minutes (you choose how many circuits you do)

What do do:

  • Take a fast walk for 3 minutes. It should be fast enough that you are out of breath (you don't need to be an Olympic speed walker, although impressive, but get your butt moving fast).
  • Drop and do 20 push ups (on your knees, feet, one leg, one arm, whatever, just do 20)
  • 2 minutes of walking lunges
  • 1 minute bicycle crunches

Repeat for up to 4 times. Be sure to stretch out afterwards :)

A perfect autumn pasta substitute

We love making pasta dishes in our house (my boys could eat them every night), but if you, like me, are trying to steer clear of gluten or carbs or calories in pasta, this is the perfect time of year to try out an in season pasta substitute. Try it under my chunky, tons of veggie spaghetti tonight, sneak it into your family's normal pasta or even do half spaghetti/half spaghetti squash for a slash in calories and boost in vitamins and minerals. Spaghetti squash even has the word "spaghetti" in it, so I think it's the perfect substitute. Plus, spaghetti squash is loaded with every essential mineral that your body needs including potassium for your tough workout recovery, magnesium, calcium and phosphorus. 

How to make it in the microwave...super easy!
1. Put whole squash in the microwave for about 5 minutes to soften it before you cut it (unless you have super human strength, and then just be really careful)
2. Cut the squash longways and place cut side down down in a microwave safe dish.
3. Pour 1/4 cup water in the dish and cover with plastic wrap or a loose fitting lid
4. Microwave on high for 8-10 minutes, let rest for 10 minutes.
5. Use a fork to loosen the "noodles"
6. Top with your favorite pasta sauce


Spaghetti Squash has 42 calories and 10 carbs  per 1 cup serving. One cup of whole wheat spaghetti has 174 calories, 38 carbs. Nice switch, right? :)

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Pumpkin Muffins...for under 80 calories!

I fed these muffins to my husband, who loves calories, fat, wheat and dairy, and he was shocked that they were low-calorie, low-fat, gluten-free, and dairy-free. Ha, I totally got him! Taste for yourself; they are crazy addictive. My pre-schooler ate six of them behind my back (I guess it's fair since he helped me make them). I know that it's pumpkin mania right now, but these are a must try. Plus, you can make these in 30 minutes flat.


Yields 18 regular muffins, 36 mini muffins
(10 min prep, 18 min bake time)

What you need:

  • non-stick cooking spray (or muffin tin liners)
  • 1 cup old fashion oats made into flour (don’t freak out…just put them in your blender/food processor/magic bullet/etc. for like 10 seconds. Congrats, you just made your own oat flour)
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 3/4 cup old fashion oats
  • 1 1/4 cups pumpkin puree
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened, original flavor almond milk
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/4 cup 100% pure maple syrup

What to do: 

Pre-heat the oven to 375 degrees. Combine all dry ingredients (oat flour that you made, sugar, salt, pumpkin pie spice, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, old fashion oats), then mix in all wet ingredients. Tough, right? Fill your muffin tins ½ full (like ¼ cup for regular sized muffins and about 2 TBSP for mini muffins).  Bake normal sized muffins for 15-18 minutes and mini-muffins for 10-12 minutes. They are done when a toothpick comes out goop-free. Cool before diving in.

Here are the crazy-unbelievable nutrition facts…but don’t get carried away; the entire batch will still set you back over 1,300 calories. But for one normal sized muffin: 76 calories, 15 carbs, 1 gram fiber, 1 gram fat and 2 grams protein. For the mini ones: 38 calories, 7 carbs, 0.5 grams fiber, 0.5 grams fat and 1 gram protein. 


Wednesday, September 24, 2014

30-minute calories blasting ladder work out-get ready to sweat

I did this workout last week with a very brave group of women and it was such a relief (and feeling of accomplishment) to finish it. If you aren't familiar with how a "ladder" workout works, it's simple. For this workout, you will start by doing every exercise listed 8 times, then 12 times, then 16 times, then 20 times, then 16 times, then 12 times and finally end with 8 reps again. It should take you about 30 minutes if you don't rest between sets and a bit longer if you do.

  1. Lunges (each leg for the assigned reps)
  2. Jump Squats
  3. Push ups
  4. Jumping jacks
  5. Single let bridges (each leg for the assigned reps)
  6. Kick backs (on all fours, take one leg behind you with the leg at a 90 degree angle and push the foot up towards the ceiling with a flexed foot)
  7. Straight leg kick backs (same as above only with a straight leg and pointed toe)
  8. Tricep Dips
  9. Mountain climbers

An apple a day...

We've all heard the old adage "an apple a day keeps the doctor away." That may very well be more than just a fun little saying. Studies have shown that eating apples can ward off all kinds of cancers, improve neurological health, reduce the risk of diabetes, lower levels of bad cholesterol and prevent dementia. Plus, they are a great source of vitamin C and fiber. 

I took my 3-year-old son to pick the apples in the photo above last week and it was a blast...so get out there and pick some at your local orchard or grab some at your grocery store/farmers market and crunch your way to better health!

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Burn calories like crazy outdoors!

There are a million ways to burn calories and shed pounds right in your neighborhood, at the lake or at a park without any gym equipment. Here are just a few ideas to blast calories in one hour while getting some fresh air.
  • Walking briskly with the dog: 225 calories
  • Jogging with a friend: 476 calories
  • Running after your kids: 680 calories
  • Tennis-singles: 476 calories
  • Mountain Biking (yes…there are hilly trails around here): 578 calories
  • Roller Blading: 476 calories
  • Pick-up Basketball: 544 calories
  • Playing Catch with your kids or dog: 170 calories
  • Sand Volleyball: 544 calories
  • Croquet at a BBQ: 170 calories
  • Swimming with the family: 408 calories
  • Ultimate Frisbee: 544 calories
  • Water Skiing: 408 calories
  • Family Bike Ride: 272 calories
  • Coaching little league: 272 calories
  • Building a deck or fence: 408 calories
  • Mowing your lawn (not a riding or self propelled mower): 374 calories
  • Planting flowers, pulling weeds, mulching, etc: 272 calories
*Caloric values based on continuous movement of a 150 lb person. You will burn slightly more if you weigh more than 150 lbs and slightly less if you weigh less.

Get outside and move it...safely

Have you all looked at the forecast for the next week?! At least here, in Kansas City, it's going to be highs in the 70s and lows in the 50s; time to get your booty outside!! Walking, jogging, running and bicycling are all great ways to burn calories, keep your heart healthy and a perfect way to get outside and enjoy the beautiful weather on your own or as a whole family. Just keep a few things in mind when taking to the streets.

When you’re biking:

  1. Ride with traffic, not against it. This makes you more visible to motorists on the street and especially in intersections.
  2. Follow traffic laws. Just because you’re not in a car, doesn't mean that you don’t need to follow traffic signals such as stop lights, signs, etc. Not doing so can put you at risk for an accident.
  3. Wear a helmet. A helmet is a MUST when bicycling. And not just for children…for adults as well. Over 700 people died in bicycle crashes in 2008, 70-80% of those deaths are cause by brain injury. Wearing a helmet protects your brain from 88% of injuries (from the Brain Injury Association of America). With those statistics, there is no reason not to take three seconds to strap on a helmet to your head or to your kids’ heads.

When walking/jogging/running:

  1. If you can’t walk on a sidewalk, you should always face traffic when exercising on foot in a street. Though it might seem counter-intuitive, you do this for several reasons. First, you can see motorists on your side of the street to avoid being hit by a absent minded driver. It’s also a good idea because motorists expect you to be on that side so you are more predictable.
  2. If it is dark, either in the morning or in the evening, you should wear light colored clothing or even reflective clothing so that you are more easily spotted by traffic (see photo of my obnoxiously colored, but very visible running shoes!) Remember, only ninjas need to dress in all black at night!
  3. Pay attention. You should also be following traffic signals such as stop lights and always, just like when you were a kid, look both ways before crossing the street.

Things that apply to all:

  1. Check the weather before you leave the house and dress appropriately. Layers are always a good idea when the weather is chilly so that you can take clothes off when you start to warm up.
  2. Carry a cell phone and I.D. on you in case of injury or an emergency.
  3. Be alert, not only of traffic but also of other people so as not to collide with others and also to protect yourself from assault.

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Exercising in the heat...stay safe!

I suppose it's okay that it's finally hot outside since it IS August, but I sure enjoyed the mild summer weather we were having! As I started my run this morning, I was drenched with sweat two minutes in. And then later today, my active three-year-old came to me thirsty and red-faced with his hair wet with sweat. Keep your family and yourself safe while being active in the heat! 

Exercising in the heat:

• CHUG-A-LUG! Down about two cups (16 oz) of water and hour or two before exercise. Drink ½ cup (4 oz or about 2-3 gulps) every 15-20 minutes during exercise. And be sure to continue drinking water even after your workout is complete to ensure that you are properly hydrated. 

• TAKE IT OFF: Wear light colored, breathable clothing. If you’re starting your workout in the morning and it is cool out, make sure to wear layers that you can remove as your body heats up.

• SLATHER IT ON: Working out in the sun is a great way to work on your tan, but also an easy way to get too many rays. Don’t forget the water proof sunscreen, hat and sunglasses to protect your skin and eyes from the sun’s damaging rays.

• SLOW IT DOWN: Your body may need up to 14 days to acclimate itself to warmer weather, so when you start out, slow down for the first few workouts to see how your body responds to overloading when in the heat. Slowly increase your duration and intensity as your body becomes used to the heat.

The biggest thing when working out in the heat is to stay hydrated. As long as the body is hydrated it can regulate its temperature, but if you aren’t ingesting enough water, your body starts to store heat inside, raising your core temperature which puts your organs and central nervous system at risk…yikes!

So what happens if you get overheated? You can be at risk for heat exhaustion or heat stroke. Check out the symptoms of each in case you or someone your know needs help.

Heat Exhaustion:

• Dizziness, fainting, headaches

• Moist skin

• Upset stomach/vomiting

• Weakness

Heat Stroke

• Dry, hot skin (no sweating)

• Confusion

• Loss of consciousness

• Seizures

If you or someone your know is experiencing heat exhaustion or heat stroke:

• Call 911 immediately

While waiting for help:

• Move to a cool, shaded area

• Remove any heavy clothing

• Drink cool water

Watermelon time!

When it's not outside, there is not much that satisfies more than a cold, juicy piece of watermelon. I've hear people describe this fruit as "just water and sugar" but did you know that watermelon is a great source of flavonoids, carotenoids and triterpennoids that make this fruit super! These compounds are anti-inflammatory and are antioxidants. Watermelon also contains a high amount of lycopene which is great for heart and bone health. Plus, you can eat a whole up of this refreshing fruit for only 46 calories, 0.2 grams of fat, 11 carbs, 0.6 grams of fiber and 1 gram of protein.

Now if you're like me, watermelon cutting (and eating) is messy business. Today, I NEEDED to eat watermelon, so I tried this new little kitchen hack that is kid friendly (and messy adult friendly).

STEP #1: Cut your watermelon in half with a large, sharp knife (using a sawing motion, it's super easy)

STEP #2: Flip one half of the melon over and cut into 1 inch strips.

STEP #3: Do the same cuts only the opposite way. Viola!

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Tabata Tuesday!

Grab a pair of dumbbells (heaviest that you can lift over your head about 8-10 times) and get ready to sweat it out during this 30 minute workout.

Do each of the eight exercises below for 20 seconds then take a 10 second rest. After finishing all eight exercises (a "round") do a 30 second plank before repeating the round SIX times.

1. Jumping Jacks
2. Overhead Press
3. Lunges
4. Butt Kicks
5. Wall Sit
6. Overhead Tricep Extension
7. Jump Squats
8. Push ups

You have 6 times through the round so get creative! Hold dumbbells while doing your wall sits and lunges or do different kinds of push ups and planks. Go onto one leg or squat down while doing your overhead press or tricep extensions.

Need a playlist to motivate you through the workout...click here for my newest favorite!


Tabata Tuesday Playlist

It's good for running, dancing and, of course a great Tabata Interval Training workout. Enjoy!

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Do anywhere workout!

Feel like you’re too busy to workout? Well, you’re not. Your too busy NOT to workout. Exercise relieves stress and is one of the most important things you can do for longevity and health. So here is my gift to you: a do-anywhere (office, park, kitchen, parking garage, hotel room … get the picture?) workout.
Repeat each tri-set/cardio blast 3 times before moving to the next tri-set.
Warm-up: High knees/jumping jacks
Tri-set #1
  • 8 incline push-ups on bench/bed/chair and 8 push-ups on the ground
  • 1 minute traveling lunges
  • 12 tricep dips off chair
Cardio blast: 1 minute jump squats
Tri-set #2
  • 30 seconds walking planks, switch sides for 30 more seconds (start on forearms, move to hands, and then back down)
  • Side planks (45 seconds each side)
  • Hip-ups (1-leg bridges. 20 each side)
Cardio blast: 1 minute burpees

Cold Soup for Hot Summer Days

I have always thought soup should be piping hot. However, I have been freaking out about gazpacho lately and thought I’d put together a super tasty, super healthy recipe for this super soup.
Makes 5 cups
Time: 15 minutes
10 ounces of tomatoes, diced (you can still find good ones at the farmers market)1 cucumber, peeled, sliced, and seeded
1/2 red onion, diced2 teaspoon garlic, minced
1 red bell pepper, chopped
LOTS of FRESH basil  (if you don’t have any growing in your garden and can’t swipe some from a neighbor, pony up and get some fresh from the store)
1 teaspoon Tabasco10 ounces spicy V8 (if you don’t want much of a kick, just use normal V8)Salt and pepper to taste½ tablespoon light agave nectar
1 tablespoon olive oil1/8 cup red wine vinegar
Throw everything in a blender and turn it on. Blend until it’s soup. Crazy easy, right? Put in the fridge and serve super chilled!
Nutrition (per one cup serving): 71 calories, 3 grams fat, 10 grams carbs, 2.5 grams fiber, 1.5 grams protein