Slow and Steady Wins the Race

With the new year quickly approaching, there will be tons of people joining gyms (which hey, now is the time to join, as most gyms will wave joining fees) and getting on these crazy fad diets. I am one for changing your life to accommodate a better lifestyle, but ┬ánot at the expense of setting yourself up to fail. Remember to keep the “D” word out! You want to go for a lifestyle change, (like if you were a smoker and wanted to prolong your life, and be in better health you would quit…for good!). A diet is not a for life deal, it’s a “quick fix” and then you end up going back to square one, or sometimes gaining more weight.
So we take the “D” word out, and you start eating healthier and working out the same day. Yesterday you were eating burgers at McDonalds and having cookies as your late night snack, and your form of working out was walking your dog. Now today you are eating lots of good proteins and veggies, and sticking to only complex carbs, plus you totally killed it at the gym today, a full hour! Great right? NO! Your body will almost go into shock from such a dramatic change all at once! Going back to the smoker… if they gave smoking up cold turkey just out of the blue one day, chances are that they are going to end up smoking again. Is it possible to do? Yes. But is it likely? No. It needs to be gradual. You cannot just hope for a magic pill and a quick fix. It takes time and effort, and it can be hard and requires will power, but it is so doable and much easier to make this lifestyle change when your start by dipping your toe in the water, gradually getting used to the cold, easing in until you feel great and are ready.
To gradually get into your lifestyle change, pick one or the other first. Either start by working out 30-60 minutes, 3 days a week for a few weeks ( 4 weeks is a good point, and then add in 3 more days, plus cardio), or gradually start cutting your simple sugars out, and introducing healthier, natural foods a little at a time. For me, I start by my eating habits first. To me it was the hardest thing, plus after a couple weeks of eating well, I felt amazing and had more energy, which pushed me to want to hit the gym or workout at home. Limiting your simple sugars to less than 20g a day will be the most important thing. You want at least 1g of protein per 1lb of body weight a day also. Gradually start doing that, then after about 3-4 weeks, start adding in your 3 days a week workouts. This system will be so much easier, and won’t feel like a chore. You will be far more likely able to succeed for life!
Lastly, don’t deny yourself anything, otherwise you are likely to indulge later (we always want what we can’t have). Instead, moderate what you do want . I love me some Oreo’s and when I am dying for some, I have one. Most of the time after I give my body what its craving, I don’t want it anymore. But if I were to keep saying no, a week later that one Oreo probably would have turned into half of the package. Moderation is key here. If you are treating yourself to a ┬ánight out at a restaurant and your meal is not so healthy, ask for a box when they first bring your meal out, and pack half of it away. Out of sight out of mind. You need to believe in yourself and really want to make a healthy lifestyle change. When you put your mind to something, anything is possible.

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Zucchini Fries

I hope that everyone had a very Merry Christmas! Our day was filled with lots of love and laughter as well as Mommy Zombie mode from late night preparations! I was gifted an Air Fryer form my Mother In Law and I could not wait to try it out, so I whipped up some zucchini fries (which can also be baked for 20-25 minutes at 350 degrees in the oven).
You will need 4 small zucchini, 2 eggs whisked, about 1/2 c of flour and a breading of your choice (you can do panko, italian bread crumbs…I used butter crackers and just crushed them up and mixed them with about a tsp of italian seasoning). Add 1/2 cup of parmesan cheese to your bread mixture. Cut up your zucchini, place in flour, then egg, then bread crumb mixture and place in your air fryer or pan to bake in the oven.
They were so good they didn’t make it to the table! Sprinkle a little bit of dried parsley to top. They are so yummy, you feel like your eating bad, but it is oh so good. They can make for a great appetizer or a side dish to any meal,

 

Santas Cookies

These cookies are perfect for dunking in milk! Use any cookie recipe, roll into ball, stick a popsicle stick (or skewer) in the ball and bake! Here is my sugar cookie recipe:
1c unsalted butter
1 1/2c of granulated sugar
1 egg
2tsp of vanilla
2c of flour
2tsp of baking powder
1tsp of salt
Preheat oven to 400 degrees, mix butter and sugar until light and fluffy then beat in egg and vanilla. In a separate bowl mix flour, baking powder, and salt. Add to the the butter mixture a cup at time, mixing each time. NO NEED to chill dough, make into two balls, roll out on a floured surface and use the cookie cutters of choice, or roll into balls and bake. Bake 6-7 minutes or until lightly browned.

 

BOSU Ball Full Body Circuit

The bosu ball can be great for stability and core work, even when you don’t think you are working on your core. Every move you do requires you to stabilize your abdominals. Do this circuit 4 to 6 times through, 10-15 reps each(and per side when required) moving from each exercise to the next with little to no rest. Rest for 2 minutes and then repeat. When you are required to stand on the ball for any of the exercises, if the ball is facing up, it is a little easier, if you would like more of a challenge turn the ball upside down. Be sure to breath and make sure your core is engaged the whole time.

  1. Push-ups- Turn the bosu ball over so that the ball is facing down, stabilize yourself by evenly distributing your weight, and engaging your core.
  2. Bicep Curls- Standing on the bosu ball (you can stand on the actual ball, or if your up for a challenge turn it over so the ball is down) stabilize and do your dumbbell curls nice and slow, focusing on your muscles.
  3. Wide turned out push-ups- start with the ball upside down and place your hands on both sides, so they are far apart, turn your hands out so that your fingers can curl around the ball.
  4. Strong man curls- Standing on ball (side of your choice) hold the dumbbells out like a “T” and then curl them in toward your head. Stabilize your core and do the movement slowly.
  5. Front lateral raises- Stand on the ball (side of your choice) holding your dumbbells, arms straight down, lift your arms up, palms facing down (as if you were holding buckets) to shoulder height and then lower. Do this move slowly.
  6. Side later raise- Stand on the ball (side of your choice) arms at your sides, palms down and lift to shoulder height and lower, do this slowly.
  7. Rear Delt Raise- Stand on the ball (side of your choice) legs together, hinge forward keeping your back straight, life your dumbbells out to the side (kind of like your flying). Do not bend your back and make sure to keep your abs tight. Do the movement slowly.
  8. Chest Press- Lay on the ball (side up, ball on your upper back) and bring your arms into a “T” with your arms bent at a 90 degree angle, push the dumbbells up and slowly lower back down.
  9. Chest Opener- Laying on the ball side up(upper back), grab one dumbbell with both hands and reach it behind your head, keeping your arms straight and core engaged. Bring the dumbbell back up so it is over your face with your arms straight. Do the movement slowly.
  10. Dumbbell Crusher- Laying on the ball side up (on your upper back area), hold both dumbbells ( you can either hold the dumbbells close together palms facing away from you, or you can hold them with your palms facing one another) slowly bend your arms at a 90 degree angle so that the dumbbells are coming toward your head, then slowly straighten them back up.
  11. Tricep push- Standing on the ball (side of your choice), hold one dumbbell in both hands above your head and then bend your elbows so the dumbbell goes behind you.
  12. Ball Burpees- Standing on the ball side up squat down and jump your feet out on the floor so you are in pushup position, explode back up jumping on the ball and landing in a squat, hold the squat for 2-4 seconds and then repeat.
  13. Squats- stand on the ball side of your choice and keeping your core engaged and back straight squat.
  14. Lunges- Ball up lunge forward and bend so your legs are forming 90 degree angles, come back up and repeat. For this you can either do all reps on one leg or switch legs.
  15. Side jump lunges- standing to the side of the ball (ball up) step your left leg on the ball so you lunge to the side, jump up moving your left leg to the left off of the ball and your right leg on the ball in the center and then lunge. Repeat back and forth.
  16. Ball jumps- Standing in front of the ball, a little back squat down and jump on the center of the ball, squat again and then jump backward off the ball in a squat.
  17. Ball Climbers- ball up or down, get in push up position and bring your right knee to your right side crunching like a frog, then bring it back and repeat on left side.
  18. Crunches- laying on ball toward your lower back, crunch up, core engaged and back straight. Do not curl your back around the ball.
  19. In and Outs- Sitting on the ball side up, making a “V” shape with your body, knees up, arms out straight in front of you, explode your legs out straight and your arms out to the side, then bring them both back to start.
  20. Russian Twists- Sitting on the ball side up in the same position as above, twist your upper body to one side then to the other.

Lay across the ball to stretch out your core, and then stretch the rest of your body! Good job!

Mom Life

There are times when I can use the bathroom in peace….LOL no I am just kidding, I don’t have those times! Today I got it on camera, but I will say I was lucky to just have one little rascal in there with me. Usually they are both in there, and if I am really blessed that day, I will have 3 dogs, and 2 kids crammed into my very small bathroom. They will graciously make room, by climbing in my tub (gee thanks!). But today it was just Wyatt, Maddy was still busy with her school work. To get him off of me (as you will see in the first picture, he is clinging to my legs like a sloth on a tree) I gave him my phone, so I have included his cute little selfies. Enjoy the laugh, and know that if you are a mom and have restroom problems like me, you are not alone! Perhaps when they are teenagers I can finally use the bathroom in peace and I will be a little more normal =)

 

 

 

A Sub For Pasta

It has been a crazy busy day, and I am sick so I am exhausted! I wanted something quick but healthy for dinner. I decided to try out this new Organic Edamame Spaghetti I got from Costco. It has 24g of protein per serving, 11g of fiber per serving and its gluten free. It only takes 4 minutes to make. Yes just 4 minutes! And it is absolutely amazing!I melted some butter with garlic and pepper and that’s it. It is now a favorite in our house and it will be used often now. I encourage you to try it! I whipped it up with some pork chops (accompanied also with a Costco fave Red Chili Pepper Spread). YUM!

Cycle It

The first time I ever took a spin class, I almost died! I literally almost gave up after only being in the class for like 15 minutes! It felt like an eternity! There was no way I could make it to a full hour! But then as I looked through the blurry vision and sting of the sweat in my eyes and saw everyone (people three times my age as well) still going and pushing themselves, there was no way I could give up! I wiped my face with my towel, chugged some water, and lit the fire under my ass to keep going and to exceed at what I said I couldn’t.
After that class, and I made it through the whole hour dead but feeling alive, guess what I did? I kept going back! I know it sounds insane, but man did my body feel amazing! My mind clear, my fuel for a rewarding challenge lit! I fell in love! Now a lot of times I will be lifting weights and I may not have time to do a spin class after, I will go on a spin bike and get in at least a half an hour to myself, or some days I will just go and do a full hour by myself. So if you are weary of trying it, it’s okay! Try it by yourself at first, but I promise you, you will love it and hate it all at once! Its really great lol. The workout below is what I do on my bike, either the spin bike at the gym or my regular bike at home whenever we go on family bike rides. You got this!
Through the workout keep your back straight and your core tight. Push through your heals.
10 minutes regular ride (warm up)
15 minutes of 1 minute up and 1 minute down. Lift your bottom off the chair and lean forward, back straight. Then sit back down after a minute.
15 minutes of one minute full speed, 1 minute moderate speed.
10 minutes of leaning forward at a hoover a nice slow pace.
10 minutes of one foot. 5 minute of left foot only, 5 minutes of right foot only.
2 minute of bonus cool down.

My Little Baker

So I need to have a major bragging moment for my little mini! I already had mentioned how she had started a cooking class, last week she went over kitchen and knife safety. Today she got to put her skills to the test and bake mini pies. She made the crust from scratch all by herself!!! She filled some of the pies with lemon, and the others with pumpkin. They are so delicious and she was beaming when she showed them to me, and even more when we all tried them! Her brother won’t stop asking for them! They are so good!!! I am so freaking proud of her I can’t even!!!! Wait to go Maddy!!!

 

Step Up

The stair climber is one of the most grueling cardio workouts for me. I mean I literally curse my whole way through it, and look crazy trying to talk and push myself not to give up. It is BRUTAL! But I love the way I feel after the fact that I tortured myself. I push myself to do 30 minutes…may sound simple, but its not. Two minutes to me on this thing during a not so good day, feels like an eternity. BUT, the important thing is, is that you get out there and push yourself to do what your mind is telling you it can’t. So here is my awesome 30 minute workout on this hell machine, with an extra two minute cool down. Hold on, push yourself, don’t give up, and don’t fall off!
The first 10 minutes you will be starting your climb normal, facing front, step after step. The first 2 minutes you will go at a good pace, not too fast, but not too slow. The remaining 8 minutes you will switch back and forth from going all out as fast as you can for 1 straight minute, then you will slow down your speed to a recovery pace for 1 full minute. You will switch back and forth between the two for 8 minutes.
The next 8 minutes will be dedicated to what I like to call the crossover walk. Get a good consistent speed, turn to your right and step your left foot up a step then cross your right foot over your left to the next step. Do this for 4 minutes and then switch sides. After you have completed the 8 minutes ( 4 minutes per side) you will do a bonus 2 minutes. Stay facing your left, bump up the speed a bit and as you step your right foot onto the step, immediately jump your left foot on the same step and then hop your right foot an the next step up. Continue this fast movement for 1 minute and then switch sides.
Face forward and slow the machine down, to a slow snail pace. Form here you will be doing lunge climbers. Step your right foot up to the topmost step and then allow it to go all the way down as far as it can. Once you are about to fall off, get into a deep lunge and step your left foot all the way up to the highest step. Complete as many as you can for 5 minutes.
Your final move will be a backward climb. Put the stair climber at a comfortable speed, turn around and start your ascend. Be sure to hold on and pay attention to your steps. After 5 minutes, turn and face the front and do a 2 minute cool down. Then praise the heavens! You are done. Be sure to foam roll, stretch and hydrate!