Monthly Archives: November 2014

10 Minute Turkey Week Workout

I always tell my clients something is better than nothing. And this week, when you feel as though you have no time, whether due to traveling, the holiday season or you are preparing Thanksgiving dinner for 20, you can still get your workout in.

While you may want to forget exercise all together, set aside a couple extra days this week and just 10 minutes to get a quick at home workout in.

Just 10 minutes a day adds up to over an hour a week and while that might not be ideal, or get you exactly to your goal, it is a great place to start. I bet you if you give this workout a try, at least 3 times a week, you will feel better in some sense, whether it is physical or mental.

I have outlined 3 exercises:

The triceps dip, the step-up and the elevated glute bridge. You will perform 10 repetitions of each exercise for 10 minutes rest as little or as much as you need to. You may get through 5 rounds, you may get through 1.5 rounds, the point is that you are starting somewhere.

 

IMG_3946

TricepDips – Start in the position shown with your knees bent at 90 degrees and your fingers facing forward on the edge of the chair.

 

IMG_3944

Bend the elbows so they are pointing behind and then press to straighten your arms and go back to your starting position. Repeat 10x.

 

IMG_3952

Step-Ups – Start with one foot on a chair (if you feel unstable in any sense, find a step or stool that is not as high and perform the exercise).

 

IMG_3953

Step up onto the chair and with the same foot step back down. Repeat 10x on one side and then switch to the other.

 

IMG_3956

Elevated Glute Bridge. Place your heels on the top of the chair, knees at about 90 degrees.

 

IMG_3957

Lift the hips off the mat until you are in a straight line from your shoulders to your knees, squeezing the butt and then place the hips back on the mat. Repeat 10x.

Each workout you can try to beat your own personal record set for how many rounds you get! Record it in a journal or on a post-it and use that as an incentive to work just as hard or get even one more rep in next time.

“Do it, and then you will feel motivated to do it.” – Zig Ziglar

Bacon, Chive and Pumpkin Biscuits and Beefy Chili

It is safe to say all my recipes are all my own as I NEVER follow a recipe…eek! There is always an ingredient I do not have,  a step that feels like too much work, or a way I want to adjust it to make it more suitable for me. So here is my latest modification on two recipes that I made my own.

IMG_4178

 

Bacon, Chive, and Pumpkin Coconut Flour Biscuits

Ingredients:

4 strips of bacon chopped ( I use the precooked from Trader Joes. It is waaay easier and has less fat).

1/ cup of coconut flour

A sprinkle of salt

1/2 teaspoon of baking soda

1/2 cup of melted Ghee (clarified butter)

1/2 cup of pumpkin puree

3 eggs, 1 egg white

1/4 cup of chopped chives

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350.

1. Cook bacon if you do not have the precooked kind.

2. Combine coconut four, salt and baking soda in a bowl. In another bowl whisk together the ghee and pumpkin until smooth and combine this mixture with the dry mixture.

3. Add the eggs and beat until smooth.

4. Gently mix in the chopped bacon and chives.

5. Place 8 small mounds of dough (or bigger if you would like), on a baking sheet with parchment paper.

6. Bake for 12-15 minutes. DO NOT overbake or they will be extra dry because of the coconut flour.

IMG_4167

Extra Beefy Chili

Ingredients:

1 lb of lean beef, 1 lb of regular beef

1 small onion diced

1 – 4 ounce can of chilies

1- 16 ounce can of diced tomatoes

1 -15 small cans of tomato sauce

1- 15 ounce can of kidney beans drained

1 small, green bell pepper chopped

2 tbsp of chili powder

A sprinkle of cayenne pepper

A sprinkle of Lawyers Seasoned Salt

Directions:

1. Cook onions and beef until the beef is no longer pink.

2. Place all the ingredients in a crockpot and cook on high for 3-4 hours or low for 6-8 hours.

Top with a sprinkle of cheddar cheese and Enjoy!

Feels like fall with these recipes and a little SoCal chill in the air.

Happy Cooking!

 

 

 

Staying Fit As A Mama Interview

If you learn one thing from me, I want you to realize that there is no cookie cutter eating and workout plan to follow. Everyone has their own way based on their goals, preferences, lifestyle, etc.

I love that everyone has their own way and today I decided to share with you, an interview I did with my sister, mother of 2 on how she does her BEST to stay healthy and fit, while raising two precious children.  jen

 

You have the most precious little ones, Peyton at 3.5 years old and Elliott at 10 months old. Having kids obviously has changed your life. What has motherhood taught you so far? What has been the most challenging part?

Motherhood has taught me to be selfless. My children’s needs come first. And it has shown me what my priorities are. Motherhood has shown me that things will not be perfect and that is ok. Some days the dishes aren’t going to get done and that’s ok. It has taught me that the capacity to love is much greater than I ever thought. I never knew that a little tiny human being of my own would make my mama heart melt as much as it does. I’ve learned that time is so precious. Motherhood has also taught me confidence  and self acceptance. I don’t care if I have to walk out the door not having showered, no makeup and yoga pants.

The most challenging part has been recently. Parenting a 3 year old is hard! I’m learning day by day and I know it’s just a phase, but I just want her to listen! Haha. Also, accepting my post baby body has been a little more difficult. It’s taking a lot longer than my first, but I know I will get to where I want to be.

 You have managed to stay in great shape before, during and after both of your pregnancies. What are your top pieces of advice for getting in your workouts?

It was very important to me to say active during my pregnancies. I have always kept my body in good shape. I enjoyed playing volleyball and swimming in high school and college and after that I loved running and lifting weights.

After Peyton was born, I was very eager to get back into shape. I had gained 30lbs with her. I lost my baby weight very quickly due to breastfeeding and not having an appetite the first couple months. I wanted something I could do at home and while she napped. I found out about a workout app from a friend and started doing that, 15-45 min full body workouts, 4-5 days a week because I loved them so much and could choose the workout based on how much time I had.

And about 8 months after I had her I started training for a half marathon as it was one of my goals to do within the year. So I started running 4 days a week along with one or two at home strength workouts. I would run early before she woke up or I would take her on my runs that were 5 miles or less. My husband would watch her on the weekend when I did my long run.

When I got pregnant with my son I had been doing Crossfit at the time so I continued that during my pregnancy. After he was born, I went back to crossfit at 6 weeks post partum, after I got clearance from my doctor. My daughter was in preschool and I could take Elliott with me to class and he would just sleep or sit and watch me workout in his car seat.

I also love doing evening walks with both kids. They love getting outside and really enjoy just relaxing in the stroller while I get a decent walk in pushing both of them.

 

jen2What does your ideal typical eating day look like? And what does it actually look like? 🙂

My husband and I started following a paleo lifestyle almost 3 years ago. My ideal day of eating would be eggs and spinach with a side of sweet potato for breakfast. A handful of almonds and an apple for snack. A green salad topped with tuna and hard boiled egg with green beans on the side for lunch. A green smoothie for afternoon snack. Spaghetti squash with meat sauce and side of broccoli. Homemade banana ice cream for dessert

What I really eat: a ‘rise’ protein bar and then around 10:00 a.m.  I make eggs and sweet potatoes.  Around lunch I snack on plantain chips and guac or salsa. For a late lunch I will try to do a salad or eat leftovers from the night before if there is enough. Sometimes I will just snack again like turkey roll ups or almond butter on celery. Late afternoon snack is usually a green smoothie that Peyton and I make together. A favorite dinner of ours is spaghetti squash or meatballs or bun less burgers made with grass fed beef.

I get hungry after dinner so I usually will snack on fruit, sometimes I’ll have a handful of chocolate chips. At the moment I am not strict with the paleo diet so there are plenty of days where I’ll snack on non paleo things like crackers or one of Peyton’s fruit snacks or a string cheese. And my husband likes to bring me home sweet treats every once in awhile so I can never say no to those. 🙂

 What keeps you motivated to stay fit?

There are many things that keep me motivated to stay fit. The way it makes me feel is one of them. When I work out consistently, I feel like I have more energy and I feel stronger. My children and husband are my motivation as well. I want to be fit for my family. I want my children to enjoy fitness and being active. I want them to know the benefits of exercise and eating healthy foods and what it does for our bodies.

What advice would you give to moms who are struggling to lose some of baby weight?

Make time for yourself to get a workout in. Even if that is putting a cartoon for your kiddo so you can do a quick 20 min workout. Or get your kid involved. Go in the backyard and run around. Have your kid do jumping jacks and squats with you.

I know prepping for meals can be time consuming but doing something like cutting up veggies so they are easy to grab for a snack or to throw on a pan and roast for dinner can make it so much easier.

What are your hobbies outside of being a mom and fitness?

Fashion and styling. I have a  fashion and lifestyle blog (http://lovesbyjenny.blogspot.com/) and I enjoy painting and other art. I enjoy cooking and would love to start a garden one day. The beach is one of my favorite places.

Favorite meal? My favorite meal at the moment is paleo sesame orange chicken with cauliflower rice. My favorite indulgence is anything Mexican with lots of chips and salsa!

Favorite workout to do in the gym? Squats, box jumps and running.

Favorite workout to do at home? Planks and practicing my push ups.

Thanks to my sissy for sharing how she makes fitness fit into her life. Xoxo!

 

 

 

 

 

My Favorites Things Right Now

Here are a few things I am loving right now!

IMG_4049

Great read on the way our brain works. Learn to give up what you want now, for what you want most. “If you tell yourself that you are too tired to exercise, start thinking of exercise as something that restores, not drains, your energy and willpower.”

IMG_4048

Even though the claims of this fermented tea include an aid in digestion, sleep, weight loss and detoxification, I drink it when I have cravings and think I am really hungry and am not. Just a few sips and this sweet, bubbly concoction keeps me satisfied. Do not ask me if it takes good. You will have to decide for yourself as most people either love it or hate it. 🙂

IMG_4046

Coffee and pumpkin. Enough said.

IMG_4045

Loving this plant based protein as an alternative to whey. I mix it with cocoa powder, a banana, spinach, almond milk and ice. Yum! Healthy meal or snack.

 

IMG_4047

Even though peanut butter will always have my heart, I like to mix it up every once in awhile. Loving this Sunbutter!

16 Insights to Improve Your Relationships

IMG_3781

Tomorrow is the last day to sign up for my FREE 10-day  Gratitude Guide, here, that will lead you right up until Thanksgiving, giving you tips, tools and insight, on not only how gratitude can reduce stress, improve relationships, improve your quality of life, change your perception, and even help you reach your goals.

Gratitude cannot only drastically improve perspective in our everyday lives, but it is also so crucial to the relationships in our lives. Relationships can bring us so much joy, happiness, and companionship, and ironically, so much hurt, stress and loneliness at the same time.  In fact, it is safe to say every relationship you have in your life right this very moment, will go through some sort of strain, hurt or discomfort at some point, and probably have gone through this as well.

With some of those relationships we have to learn how to let go and move on from, yet many we keep moving forward despite knowing that there will be challenges and struggles to come. I love reading, discussing and learning about ways to improve relationships and here are 16 insights I have gained in the past year.

1. Surround yourself with people who bring you up, not put you down.

2. Take the higher road. Show respect and kindness to all even when people do not do so in return. “Cruelty is chicken shit.” Brene Brown

3.  Give people you don’t know a fair chance.  Be open to more learning and less judgement.

4. Practice forgiveness and let go of resentment. Resentment consumes you more than the person you are directing it at.

5. Do little things everyday to help others out. And say thank you when people help you out, especially with the smallest of things, to your spouse for doing the dishes, to your co-worker who assisted you, to the stranger who held the door open for you, etc. Those two words genuinely spoken mean so much.

6. Reach out to people close to your heart and let them know how much they mean to you. Write a note or make a phone call to someone important who you do not see often, and leave a note of appreciation for someone you live with, work with etc.

7. Do not make assumptions. Making assumptions leads to make believe stories in your own head, and create drama that does not exist.

8. Have relentless positive thinking. The alternative is drowning in a pool of negativity.

9. Do not take things personally. Remember it is not always about you.

10. Show up authentically in your relationships, imperfections and all.

11. Avoid comparison. There will always be someone out there with more or less than you in some way.

12. Take people for their word. And trust that you will know how to handle the situation if their word is not true.

13. Practice self trust. Be brave to show up in life as you are, and let people respond as they will. You are enough.

14.  Practice gratitude and joy. This is what will get us through the inevitable difficult moments in our life. To be grateful, to have hope and to find perspective, even when times are tough.

15. Communicate with an open heart.

16. Have faith that you will put everything you have into your most important relationships, even when you have no idea what the outcome will be.

I am so excited to share more detail with you in The Gratitude Guide! There are some great frameworks, based on some of these insights that will help improve your relationships so you can in turn improve your happiness and wellbeing. Here is a brief outline.

Part 1. Defining Gratitude, Awareness, Appreciation, Mindfulness. Part 2. Gratitude for Myself, Confidence, Accepting what is, Breaking Perfectionism, In Food and Fitness. 3. Relationships, Expectations and Assumption, Benefit of The Doubt, Personal Responsibility, The Flip side. Part 4. Changing Perspective, Eliminating the Victim Mindset, Taking Action, Four Steps To Make A Change.

Sign-up so you don’t miss out! Last chance until 2015!

 

5 Strategies To Make Better Choices When Eating Out

I use to fear eating out. I mean, I liked it and all, but I feared the lack of control around delicious food and large portions. For a long time I associated eating out with being unhealthy.

While typically, yes, cooking at home for yourself is a better way to know exactly what you put in your food and to control exactly what you want to eat, eating out does not have to be the enemy.

In fact, I know many fit and healthy people who eat out often.  And depending on your schedule it could actually benefit you from time to time. Maybe you are a busy mom, a grad student, work 60 hours a week, or  hate cooking.

You can still have a healthy fit body and eat out. You shouldn’t have to utilize every ounce of willpower but you do have to have some strategies in place to help you make better choices because the reality is you can not just simply eat what you want all the time.

Today I have you covered with my top 5 tips and tools.

IMG_1654

And you guessed it, my first tip, has nothing to do with food itself, simply the mindset.

 Do not let perfect be the enemy of good!

I first read this in a book encouraging love and self acceptance, Daring Greatly, by Brene Brown (a must read by the way). While this thought was intended more for self compassion, I couldn’t help but immediately apply it to eating and working out. Just because you do not have access to exactly what you want to eat does not mean you still cannot make good choices! 

Just because you cannot eat in accordance to whatever way you choose to eat when eating out does not mean you have to throw it out the window altogether. You can still be “good” without having to be “perfect.”

OK now lets get to the food….

Be Aware of Nutrient Content.

Restaurants have nutritional information now (if it is not on the menu, you can ask) so you at least have a better idea of what you are really eating. At restaurants I try to make my choices as close to 600 calories or less as possible, seems like a lot but not when most meal have 1000 or over!  If you are hungry and you knew that a grande, Starbucks Frappacino had more calories than an In N Out burger (bun and cheese included) wouldn’t you go get that burger?

I often hear people complain that they do not want to know the nutrient value of what they are eating, because they are eating out and it ruins the thought of what they are about to eat, it’s simply another tool for us to have at our fingertips. If you don’t care than ignore it, but I personally appreciate the added information.

(Check out my latest blog in case you missed it with my food choices during my weekend of eating out, here .)

Choose Wisely.

Get use to the idea that you CAN have whatever you want but not in the quantities you want. It doesn’t mean you are depriving yourself, it is just reality. If you want to feel good, look good and have the proper energy for daily activities and workouts avoid overeating food that makes you feel crappy.

So rather than having a drink, the bread basket, dinner, and dessert, I choose strategically.  I am going to have my protein, veggie based dinner and a drink or I am doing to have a small serving of pasta but no bread or no drink. I am going to eat that delicious burger but skip the fries completely. Is it the best choices to get fantastic results, no, but you could do so much worse!

Ask for what you want.

Most places will take specific recommendations. Sometimes, not always, I ask for no oil or butter on my veggies or for my chicken to be grilled not fried. Most places will do this, no question, no problem.

Also this is my favorite salad ordering tip: When I order a salad, I almost always  ask to remove ONE thing, not everything (crispy onions, cheese or bacon). I take away that one thing, which is usually high in calories and fat, and still get to enjoy all the other goodies.

 Sample bites. 

In the listed blog above, I also talk about how I sample bites of other people’s foods. This of course works only with people who you are close with, but can also work at buffets, family gathering, anyplace where there is an abundance of typically “off-limit” foods.

Food doesn’t have to be off limits and this allows you to taste everything without going overboard. I get the satisfaction and really do not feel deprived or the need to eat those more indulgent foods in their entirety.

After reading this, it may seem a bit overwhelming, or complicated but really once you start to practice these things it becomes effortless.  I could end up at a Mexican, Italian, Chinese restaurant, a college sporting event, a friends birthday party and I will STILL make choices that support feeling good and supporting the energy my body needs.

Here’s to effortless eating!