Sunday, August 21, 2016

Sunday Funday...with stairs

Hey I have brunch plans too...Farmhouse anyone? BUT, before I get my eggs on, this was the perfect way to start a relatively chilly day here in KC. You'll be done in 30 minutes flat...and that's including the cool down.

Here's what to do:

Warm up quick run for 1.5 miles or about 12-15 minutes of fast walking or jogging.

Sprint stairs for 20 seconds and go into a 30 plank right away then go back down the stairs. Repeat the stair sprints/planks for a total of 8 times. 


Here is the view of my little warm up run this morning...I love my city! 

Friday, August 19, 2016

Boost your workouts with a cup of joe!

Great news for people like me who love their coffee...a lot...and basically need it to function at all (see rolled-out-of-bed-straight-to-coffee-shop-this-morning photo as proof)! Coffee can boost your workout performance-whoohoo! Check it out: caffeine not only gives you more energy to tackle those burpees, hard walks or long runs but it also gets you in a good mood for your sweat session which can lead to more intense sessions. Something to remember though  is that caffeine is a diuretic (and too much can have a laxative effect), so if you're planning on drinking and sweating, make sure just have a cup or two and drink as much water to keep hydrated. Need more info on caffeine and performance...check out this study.

Friday, August 12, 2016

Playing cards...and sweating

Want a little something different for your workout? Grab a deck of cards and breathe, burn and sweat through this "fun" workout  My class this morning loved it...and hated it...but mostly walked out feeling like they got a fantastic workout.

Here's the deal 
(haha...get dealing cards...ugh):

Spades=Push ups
Diamonds=Jump Squats
Clubs=Kettlebell swings
Hearts=Sit ups
Jokers=20 burpees including a push up-yay!

Shuffle that deck and get to work. Whatever card you pull, do the number of reps the card indicates of the exercise matching the suit. Jacks=11, Queens=12, King=13 and Aces=14.

It took us about 30 minutes to work our way through the deck...yup...all 54 cards (including your two jokers).

When you finish you will have done 104 of every movement (and really 144 push ups since you have 40 extras included in your burpees).


Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Don't lose your cool. Keep calm with these foods.

He's soooo excited...I'm soooo stressed

We all get stressed out every once in a while. Right now I am a ball of anxiety over schedule changes this fall and my oldest starting kindergarten. It's not just about giving up my time with my little guy, it's also about school supplies. Let me tell you. I almost lost my mind trying to find the required 8 pack of a certain kind of crayon when they only come in packs of 10 (think Steve Martin in "Father of the Bride" ripping hot dog buns out of the packages to make the right number...insanity). Anyway, while my eye is starting to twitch at the prospect of putting name labels on piles of school supplies, I am reminded that instead of reaching for the tenth cup of coffee this morning and stuffing my face with chips and cookies that I so badly want, it's actually much better for my anxiety level (and the health of my family relationships) to eat these stress busting foods. Maybe you could use a few too :)

  • Oatmeal: a nice warm bowl of oats boost levels of serotonin which is a calming brain chemical.
  • Spinach: the magnesium in spinach makes sure that you aren't deficient in this vitamin which can lead to fatigue and headaches 
  • Fish (the fatty kind): omega-3 fatty acids found in swimmers like salmon and tuna prevent surges in stress hormones
  • Avocados: reduce blood pressure by making sure you get enough potassium...avocados have a ton of it
  • Crunchy raw veggies: not only do you get filling fiber and vitamins and minerals, the pure act of crunching and chewing a carrot stick, crisp cucumber, jicama or celery causes a clenched jaw to relax
  • Berries: they are yummy and they have stress reducing anti-oxidants as well as lots of vitamin C to boost your immune system.
  • Dark Chocolate: oh yes...but just a bite and it needs to be at least 70% cocoa. It's packed with antioxidants that lower blood pressure and gives your brain a bit of a relaxed feeling
  • Pistachios: this is a two-for-one: they have phytonutrients which give us some antioxidant support and the rhythmic shelling of this diet friendly nut will help you relax and slow down your eating
So, today, I'm having oatmeal with blueberries for breakfast, a spinach salad with raw veggies and avocado for lunch and salmon for dinner with a bite of dark chocolate to finish off the day. 


Tuesday, August 9, 2016

No veggie prep time? No problem!

I LOVE cutting up veggies...I's super weird...but I let myself cut up fresh produce and while I do that, I allow myself to watch guilty pleasure TV (so there is an incentive, for sure). BUT there are many times when I go to the fridge for some chopped veggies and someone (mainly me) has eaten them all. AHH! Enter frozen vegetables. They are awesome. My new fav blend is the Stir-fry blend from Costco. It's enormous, as most things from Costco are, and has all of my favorites in one bag for like $8. I throw a cup or two (or three if I'm super hungry) into a saute pan with a little water and spices and in 5 minutes, I have a colorful array of vitamin rich, fiber packed veggies to add to eggs, chicken, salmon or just a plate. No excuses!!

Friday, August 5, 2016

Friday Fat Blaster (warning: contains 164 push ups, 97 burpees and morefun and sweat than imaginable)

Today, I put my first class through the ringer...and subsequently myself through the ringer since I work out with them. I wanted to share 30 minutes of the 55 minute workout we did because it's amazing for for the upper body, heart and lungs and is just plain hard. Perfect for going into the weekend. Note, I warmed up my class for 9 minutes of planks, jumping jacks/squats, slow push-ups and "sally squats" so make sure you are completely warm as well.

Here's the deal:

For the first 10 minutes, at the top of every minute, do the following:
10 jumping jacks
10 bent rows with either dumbbells or weighted barbell
10 push ups
5 burpees

The faster you can do it, the more time you will have to rest before the next minute starts. So you do that little list a total of 10 it?

Next, you'll do every move 5 times. You don't get a minute this's 40 seconds....BUT you only have to do 3 burpees (repeat 5 times through):
5 jumping jacks
5 bent rows
10 push ups
5 burpees

Now, you'll do every move 4 get 35 seconds....keep the 3 burpees (repeat 4 times through).

And, then moves 3 times each for 30 second (repeat 3 times through). Again with the 3 burpees after each set.

Then the moves 2 times each for 25 seconds (repeat 2 times through). Don't forget to do your three burpees at the end of each set.

Finally, change it up a bit and do just one more set of 10 of each move followed by 5 burpees.


If you did the entire thing without rest (not recommended), it will take you 19 minutes. We rested this morning for 2 minutes each time the sets and times changed. The first 10 minutes were the most brutal for sure.

These are your amazing stats at the end:

164 Jumping Jacks
164 Rows
164 Push ups (WHAT??!!)
97 Burpees (might as well throw in an extra three to make an even 100, right?

Make sure to cool down and stretch and, of course take breaks as you need them.

Oh yeah, and if you don't have a weighted bar or dumbbells for the bent rows, do super-man/woman back extensions instead.

The perfect playlist to get you motivated:

Thursday, August 4, 2016

An apple a day...

So what's the deal with the the saying "an apple a day, keeps the doctor away?" Is it true? Is it something that parents say to get their kids to eat more fruit? Well, it turns out that it might be true. Apples are amazing. When eaten (with the skin on), they provide boatloads of phytochemicals that can decrease cholesterol, fight cancer cell reproduction and help prevent cell damage. .All. Good. Stuff. Plus, apples also have a good amount of fiber to help us feel fuller longer and are easy to come by (and to throw in a bag or purse for a vitamin rich snack). As you can see in this photo of the cutest little girl in the world (totally biased), it is also a wonderful thing to give to your tiny child in the grocery store to keep him/her occupied (just make sure to watch them in case they bite off more than their little teeth can chew). On a side note, this photo was taken at the mega-Hyvee in Overland Park where they have fruit baskets for kiddos if you wish to opt out of the free cookie option while you shop. LOVE IT! (They also have a bar there...another side note). So eat your apples and check out some of the research that proves they are good for us!