Monthly Archives: January 2014

Full Body Circuit Workout

Good afternoon!

I worked this morning at the gym for little while and then I did my own workout.

I started with 20 minutes on the Arc trainer while watching Gilmore Girls. I love me some Gilmore Girls.

Then, I did a full body circuit workout.

Here’s the workout I did:

Circuit #1:

  • Single leg biceps curl x16 (switch legs halfway)
  • Triceps dips with stability ball (on bench with feet on ball) – these are killer! x15
  • Chest presses on stability ball x15
  • Bentover dumbbell rows x15

Rest 1 minute after circuit and then complete 2-3 more times, resting 1 minute between.

Circuit #2:

  • Bosu burpees with overhead press (using bosu) x15
  • Kettlebell swings x15
  • Step-up to knee (on box) x15 (each leg)
  • Deadlifts x15

Rest 1 minute and repeat 2-3 times.

Circuit #3:

  • Russian twists with medicine ball x15 (each side)
  • Stability ball pull-ins x15
  • Stability ball side crunches x15
  • Medicine ball v-ups x12

Rest 1 minute and repeat 2-3 times.

It was a really good workout and I was super sweaty by the time I was done!

Post workout, I had a Clif bar.

After the gym, I make a quick trip to Target. Okay, really it wasn’t a quick trip. I never seem to make it in and out of Target quickly. There’s just too much to look at and buy :)

I was looking for a little storage box and found these two super cutes ones.

I ended up buying the pink chevron box. I love it.

Then, I got sidetracked by the coffee mugs. I love coffee mugs but we don’t really have much space for anymore coffee mugs. But I don’t care and I bought one anyway. I’m sure Danny’s going to be thrilled. No. No, he’s not. He hates all my coffee mugs.

But I couldn’t pass this mug up – it has a donut saying “you complete me” to a donut hole. Best. Mug. Ever. You’re coming home with me.

And it only cost $2.54.

I just have to say Happy Birthday to my best friend, Jenny! We have been friends since we we’re 12 years old :) Love you, lady.

Well, I’m off to make a late lunch! Have a great afternoon!

  • Did you workout today?
  • Do you collect anything?

 

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Filed under Fitness, Working Out

Egg Frittata Muffins

Good afternoon!

After having the weekend off and two snow days, the kids are back in school today.

Since school was canceled yet again yesterday so I had to take the kids with me to my appointment at the sports doctor.

Thank goodness for iPads:

The doctor said that it probably isn’t normal that my hip, quad, and glute still hurt after 6+ months and three months of physical therapy, so he said that I should get an arthrogram MRI of my hip. This type of MRI injects dye into my hip and joints so they doctor can get a better look at what’s going on.

He thinks I could possibly have femoroacetabular impingement of the hip, which basically means that my hip bone may be abnormally shaped. I really won’t know anything until I have the MRI next week.

I am a little nervous about it but I just really want to figure out what’s going on.

Breakfast

Our mornings are usually really busy, so I usually eat something quick and easy for breakfast, like cereal. This morning, I woke up a lot earlier than usually so I took advantage of the time and cooked mini egg frittatas for breakfast.

I saw the recipe on The Biggest Loser the other week, so I thought I’d try it out at home. It was really simple and they turned out delicious!

The best part is that you can make them however you like and the possibilities are endless: egg whites, whole eggs, veggies, bacon, sausage, cheese, etc.

For my mini egg frittatas I used:

  • 4 egg whites
  • green pepper
  • red pepper
  • red onion
  • spinach
  • mozzeralla cheese

I mixed up four egg whites in a bowl with salt and pepper. I sautéed the veggies with a little bit of olive oil on the stove.

Then, I poured the egg whites into two muffins tins sprayed with non-stick cooking spray. I added the sautéed veggies and topped them with a tiny bit of cheese.

I baked them at 350 for 20 minutes in the oven and they came out perfect! I only made two, but it would be great to make a big batch of these to freeze and heat up in the morning!

Each mini egg frittata muffin had approximately 64 calories. I ate two of them with blueberries and raspberries.

Today’s Workout

  • Practiced Body Pump at home – 20 minutes
  • Cardio Fusion Class – 60 minutes

Since school is back in session, I was able to go to the gym this morning. I took the cardio fusion class, but tried to take it easy on my hip.

Lunch

Lunch today was some more English muffin hummus melts with some fruit and veggies.

Have a great afternoon!

  • What’s your favorite way to make eggs?
  • Ever had an MRI?

 

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Filed under Breakfast, Fitness, Lunch, Working Out

The Weekend

Good morning! I hope you had a great weekend!

Here’s a few pictures from our weekend:

I stopped at the grocery store on Friday and found these Butterfinger peanut butter cups. What?! I have never seen these before and Danny loves Butterfingers so I had to buy a package.

He shared one with me and they were awesome. I was a little unsure of what to expect but they looked like a Butterfinger on the inside but tasted like peanut butter. Yum!

Saturday night, we decided to go bowling and met my brother, sister-in-law, and niece at the bowl alley. We got there at 6pm which must be a popular bowling time because we had to wait over an hour for a lane. We killed some time playing video games:

I haven’t been bowling in forever and it was a lot of fun. I am not good at bowling. At all. When I actually scored 100 in my second game, I was pretty darn happy. I don’t think I’ve bowled 100 since I was a kid.

Sunday morning, I tried out the Ezekiel bread that I bought at Whole Foods.

I had it with some peanut butter before I headed to the gym. I really liked the Ezekiel bread, I just wish it wasn’t so expensive!

Sunday’s Workout

  • Stretching and Abs – 30 minutes
  • BodyPump – 60 minutes

It snowed a lot Saturday so it took me quite awhile to unbury my car and get to the gym. I was surprised how crowded BodyPump was with all the snow. I started my workout with some stretching and core work and then took BodyPump.

The rest of Sunday was pretty lazy. We watched a few episodes of Dexter, went to lunch with my dad, and went grocery shopping.

Today

The weather, once again, is extremely cold here in Chicagoland. They canceled school, canceled the fitness classes at the gym, and closed down the kid’s room, so I practiced the new BodyPump release at home. I have to go out with the kids in a little bit to pick up my niece and I am dreading going out in the cold. I am soooo sick of winter!

Breakfast

Breakfast this morning was a bowl of Kashi cereal.

Tomorrow morning, I have my doctor appointment at the sport’s doctor. Keep your fingers crossed!

Have a great day!

  • What did you do this weekend?

 

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Filed under Breakfast, Family Fun, Fitness, Working Out

Friday Favorites

Happy Friday!

So glad that’s it’s Friday. I just wish it wasn’t so cold out. I am so over this Chicagoland winter.

Today’s Workout

  • BodyPump – 60 minutes
  • Yoga - 30 minutes

This morning my son, Jacob, forgot his laptop at home so I had to drop it off to him at school which meant I then had to drop my younger son off at school. We got there a little early and hung out in the car a bit because it’s so cold outside.

After dropping him off, I headed to the gym for BodyPump. I decided to stay for the yoga class right after BodyPump. I am hoping the stretching will help with my right leg pain.

Friday Favorites

Here’s a few things I’m loving lately.

  • My morning Bombshell Spell drink

I know this drink has been around for a few years and it was made popular by the Tone It Up girls, but when Suzanne posted the recipe, I figured I’d try it out.

I’ve only been drinking it for a week so I haven’t seen any benefits yet but apple cider veingar has a ton of benefits including:

  • rich in enzymes and potassium
  • supports a healthy immune system
  • helps with weight control
  • promotes digestion
  • helps maintain healthy skin
  • relieves muscle pain from exercise
  • and more!

(Source)

I mix up 4 oz of pineapple juice, 1 tbsp of apple cider vinegar, approx. 1 tbsp of fresh lime juice, and a squeeze of honey. The taste is very strong and might take a while to get used to but I enjoy it.

  • BodyPump

It’s no secret that BodyPump is my all time favorite workout. I love it so much that I because a Les Mills BodyPump instructor. And I just found out that starting in the beginning of February, I will have my own BodyPump class to teach at the gym! I am very excited but very nervous!

I am going to be teaching the Friday morning class. Now, I just have to get my hip, quad, and glute better!

  • Roc Deep Wrinkle Serum

I am 31 years old and will be 32 in a few short months. I have never really felt as old as I am. I know that 31 is technically old but I am definitely out of my 20s. I have always taken good care of my skin in the past because it’s so sensitive, but I never really thought much about anti-aging products.

But lately when I look in the mirror, I see these little lines on my forehead. Call the laugh lines, call them frown creases, call them wrinkles. Call them whatever you want, bottom line is – I don’t like those little lines. I guess my age is starting to catch up with me.

I read really good things about the Roc products so I decided to try out the deep wrinkle serum. I have only using it about a week and a half so I’m not able to notice any difference yet, but we’ll see if it works.

  • Chocolate Milk

Chocolate milk is such a great post workout drink because it’s a good mix of protein and carbs which you need after a workout, especially strength training. I drank a Horizon chocolate milk after my workout today. It’s also good because I don’t always feel like eating right after a workout, so a quick drink is perfect. And it’s so cold out that it can just sit in my car until I leave the gym!

Have a great afternoon and weekend!

  • What are your Friday favorites?
  • Do you use any anti-aging products?

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Physical Therapist Appointment

Good afternoon!

Let’s start with last night’s dinner. I made the herbed salmon recipe from the Tone It Up website.

I have made salmon a bunch of different ways, but this salmon is my favorite. It’s so delicious and flavorful. The ingredients are pretty simple: salmon, parsley, dill, green onion, olive oil, lemon juice, and white wine.

I also had green beans on the side made with a little bit of olive oil, salt and pepper. And fruit – I had a container of pineapple, blueberries, and grapes. I love fruit.

Yesterday

My physical therapy appointment got switched from Friday to yesterday, so I went after the gym. Basically, I need to see the sports doctor to get a new prescription for physical therapy.

My hip, quad, and glute really started hurting again two weeks ago after I started running more. The physical therapist thinks that maybe the running is what aggrevated my right side again. He said that it was okay to keep working out but to avoid running since that’s what always seems to cause the problem until after I’ve seen the sports doctor.

He always said that my hips are slightly uneven and my right leg is slightly longer than the other leg, which can cause the problems that I’m having especially when I’m running. I don’t know if my leg bone is actually physically longer or if my body is just overcompensating on one side because of my injury. I won’t really know more info until I see the sports doctor.

The physical therapist also told me about a technique that he uses called trigger point therapy. It can be done with medication or “dry” without medication. Trigger point therapy is when a needle gets inserted into the muscle to help loosen the muscle and relieve the pain.

A needle. They want to stick a needle in the middle of my butt. No.

But honestly, the glute pain is so intense at times that I’m willing to try anything to get relief.

Today’s Workout

  • Stretching – 10 minutes
  • Trifecta Class – 60 minutes

This morning at the gym, I made sure to stretch my hip, glute, and quad before I took the Trifecta class. I am also really careful with my squats and lunges.

Lunch

Lunch this afternoon was English muffin hummus melts.

I haven’t had these in forever and they were so good. I also had two random pickles slices on the side because I love pickles and some blueberries.

I also just tried out this Aquafina flavored water.

I am a big regular water drinker but it’s nice sometimes to add in something with a little flavor but not a lot of calories.

Have a great afternoon!

  • Have you had a exercise related injury lately?
  • Ever heard of trigger point therapy?
  • What did you have for lunch?

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Filed under Dinner, Fitness, Lunch, Recipes, Working Out

Healthy Swaps: Spinach Salad

Typically when you think of salads, you think they’re healthy. Maybe you go out to a restaurant and you’re trying to eat healthy so you order a salad. However sometimes those salads come with tons of dressing, cheeses, croutons or tortillas strips, and nuts. Those calories and fat can really add up fast.

Take the Maggiano’s entrée sized spinach salad, for example. Their spinach salad includes: spinach tossed with diced red peppers, roasted red onions, Gorgonzola cheese, bacon, pine nuts, and apple cider vinaigrette.

Doesn’t sound too bad, right? Guess how many calories that salad has? Go ahead, guess.

1,060 calories.

1,060 calories for a spinach salad. And 76 grams of fat. So much for eating healthy.

Of course, there are ways that you can cut the calories on salads when you’re eating out – ask for the dressing on the side and just dip your fork, ask for no cheese (or less cheese), skip the croutons, etc.

I decided to make my own spinach salad at home and followed the recipe for the Pecan and Pear Spinach Salad from the Tone it Up website.

This salad includes:

  • 1 cup spinach
  • 1/4 cup quinoa, cooked
  • 10 pecans
  • 10 grapes
  • 1 sliced pear
  • lemon juice
  • 2 tsp. balsamic vinegar

You can also add some chicken for protein.

Maggiano’s Spinach Salad                              Tone It Up Spinach Salad

  • 1060 calories                                                   387 calories
  • 76 grams fat                                                    13 grams fat
  • 1670 mg sodium                                            2 grams sodium

(a little more sodium if you add salt to your quinoa)

This salad was delicious and very filling. Quinoa isn’t a grain like most people think. It’s actually a seed and a complete protein source.

I’ve only made quinoa at home a handful of times, but I need to start making it more because this quinoa was delicious. It was light, fluffy, and has a slightly  nutty taste.

Today’s Workout

  • Butts and Guts – 60 minutes

Today’s Butts and Guts class was great and I burned a little over 500 calories.

My hip and glute still bother me and randomly this afternoon the physical therapist that I used to see called me to see how I was doing. I told him that just lately, my hip and glute really started hurting again. So, long story short, I’m going in for a free 30 minute evaluation on Friday. He said that it probably isn’t normal for it to still hurt and I told him that I exercise a lot. We’ll see how it goes :)

Post workout, I had a sticky bun Larabar. I believe this is a new flavor and it was awesome.

Winner of the Van’s Giveaway:

  • Allison Barra Nicholson – I sent you an email!

Have a great afternoon!

  • Do you try to order healthy at restaurants?
  • Favorite salad topping?

 

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Filed under Lunch, Recipes, Working Out

Whole Foods Grocery Haul

Good afternoon!

How was your weekend? We had a busy one!

On Friday morning, I taught BodyPump. I tried to take it as easy as I could with the squats and lunges since my right hip and glute really hurt. The class went good but I was still really sore, so I decided it would be best to take the weekend off from going to the gym and rest.

I didn’t workout at all at the gym but we did take the kids sledding and that was a workout itself.

Between climbing up the giant hill and chasing the sleds that were blowing away from the wind, I think I burned a few calories :)

On Sunday afternoon, we went to Whole Foods so I could use my gift card from Christmas.

My Whole Foods Haul:

I found two recipes on the Tone It Up website that I want to try out so I bought ingredients to make herbed salmon and quinoa spinach salad.

Some of these things I bought included:

    • Ezekiel bread – I’ve tried Udi’s bread in the past but this is my first time trying Ezekiel
    • Salmon
    • Tilapia taco mix, corn torillas, and mango salsa for fish tacos
    • California rolls sushi
    • Blueberries, pears, and apples
    • Hummus
    • Quinoa and pecans from the bulk bins
    • Pineapple juice, Bragg’s apple cider vinegar, honey, and limes to make the “Bombshell Spell” drink that’s I’ve been seeing around lately. Suzanne from Mix It Mom posted the recipe recently so I thought I’d try it out.
    • Peanut Butter and Chocolate Puffins – I have never seen these before and was so excited to see them at Whole Foods. Yes, cereal makes me excited. It’s peanut butter and chocolate Puffins. What’s not to love?!

Today’s Workout

  • BodyPump – 60 minutes

There was no school today so I took the kids to the gym. Jaden went to the kid’s room and Jacob worked out on the Stairmaster while I was taking BodyPump. He was really excited to show me that he climbed 300 floors on the Stairmaster. That’s pretty darn good :)

After the gym, I took the kids to Chuck E. Cheese for a while. Luckily, it wasn’t too crowded when we got there around 10:45 am. It was getting crowded when we left so I’m glad we went early.

(Instagram: @RunEatPlay)

Lunch

I had a Clif bar while the kids ate pizza at Chuck E. Cheese so when we got home, I had the rest of the California rolls for lunch.

Yum!

Have a great afternoon!

  • Did you do anything  over the weekend?
  • When’s the last time you went sledding?
  • Do you like sushi?

 

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Filed under Family Fun, Fitness, Lunch, Working Out

Van’s Natural Foods Giveaway

I woke up sore this morning from yesterday’s workout. I know I got a good workout in when I’m sore the next day. I usually go to Trifecta class on Thursdays but since my hip is bothering me a bit and I’m teaching BodyPump tomorrow, I figured I should skip Trifecta today.

I took a Piloxing class instead. Probably not the best for my hip but I kept it low impact with the jumping and such. Piloxing is a mixture of kickboxing and Pilates while wearing weighted gloves. I enjoyed the class, but I’ll probably stick to Trifecta class on Thursdays.

Today’s Workout

  • Elliptical – 30 minutes
  • Piloxing Class – 45 minutes

Van’s Natural Foods

I have talked about Van’s products quite a few times on my blog. I love their whole grain and power grain waffles. One of my favorite breakfasts is a Van’s waffle with a little bit of peanut butter and topped with blueberries. Like a little waffle sandwich.

Van’s has recently come out with a whole new line of products. The theme to Van’s new products is “treat yourself.” Van’s believes that people should be able to treat themselves to products that do not contain high fructose corn syrup, artificial ingredients, hydrogenated oils, or GMO oils. A guilt free snack.

Van’s has come out with some new products and I was able to try a few out.

  • Van’s Multigrain Chips – Nacho Nacho Man and Might Good BBQ. They have 18 grams of whole grains and are 130 calories for a serving.

I ate these chips with a egg sandwich for lunch and they really satisfied my craving for something crunchy. I also liked that you get a lot per serving. Since they’re light in weight, there is a lot of chips per serving. I like feeling like I am getting a lot of food basically because I like to eat so these were perfect.

  • Van’s PB&J Sandwich Bars – peanut butter and fruit jelly sandwiched between two whole grain, gluten-free bars. I was most intrigued by this product. Peanut butter and jelly in a bar?! Yes, please.

The hardest decision was which one to try out first – the strawberry or the blueberry. I finally decided on the strawberry and it was amazing! If you can get your hands on these bars, I highly recommended them. So good. They have 10 grams of whole grains and are 160 calories per bar.

  • Van’s Love Your Heart Waffles – Non-GMO Project-certified waffles have 34 grams of whole grains and are a perfect way to start your day!

Van’s Giveaway

Van’s wants to share the “treat yourself” love and is offering one lucky reader five coupons for free Van’s products and a shopping tote bag! Awesome! Enter below.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

I received these products for free from Van’s Natural Foods who is sponsoring this giveaway. I agreed to use this product and post my opinion on my blog. All opinions are my own.

 

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Filed under Breakfast, Fitness, Giveaway, Product Review, Working Out

Pyramid Workout

Good afternoon!

This morning I worked at the gym for a bit before completing my own workout.

Today’s Workout

  • Ran 2 miles – indoor track
  • Upper body pyramid workout
  • Stretching

I started out my workout today by running two miles on the indoor track. I have the 8k in March, so I am trying to slowly ease back into running. My right hip and glute still bother me when I overdo it, so I am really trying to take it easy to avoid injury.

After running, I did an upper body pyramid workout with a focus on triceps.

Pyramid training is usually done ascending or descending. Ascending is done by increasing the weight and decreasing the sets. Descending is done by decreasing the weight and increasing the reps with each set.

My workout today was a descending pyramid workout. I started each set with a heavy amount of weight and low reps. As I decreased my weight each set, I increased the reps. My reps stayed the same for the whole workout: 10 reps, 12 reps, 15 reps.
It was a great workout and my triceps are going to be sore tomorrow. I love the triceps dips – they are one of my favorite exercises.

My brother and sister-in-law worked out the same time I was there, so we decided to get some lunch afterwards. We went to Potbelly’s. I know, I know. On Monday, I talked about a healthy swap for the PotBelly Mediterranean sandwich, and today I ate the real thing. But it was really good.

I ordered my sandwich ”thin” which means they scoop out the bread saving about 100 calories. It tastes exactly the same and you don’t even miss the extra bread. A great way to save some calories and carbs.

This evening we’re going to Buffalo Wild Wings to celebrate my nephew’s birthday!

Have a great day!

  • Have you ever done a pyramid workout?
  • All time favorite exercise?

 

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Filed under Fitness, Running, Working Out

Healthy Swaps: Mediterranean Sandwich

Good morning!

First up, the winner of the Core Power Giveaway:

Arlinda – I will be contacting you by email.

Today’s Workout

  • 3.35 miles – track
  • Stretching/foam rolling – 15 minutes
  • One min. plank and 30 sec. side planks (each side)

Healthy Swaps

One of my all-time favorite sandwiches is Potbelly’s Mediterranean sandwich. It has hummus, feta, artichoke hearts, cucumber, and roasted red peppers. Whenever I order it, I always add red onions to it. So much better with the onions.

For a restaurant sandwich the nutrition facts are decent, but I decided to make it myself at home to save some calories, carbs, sodium, and fat.

Since I had a red pepper at home, I decided to make my own roasted red peppers instead of buying the jarred kind.

Roasting a red pepper is so easy. Since I was only making this sandwich for myself, I only roasted one red pepper, but you could roast up a whole batch of these!

First, preheat the oven to 500 degrees. Wash and dry your red pepper. Remove the stem and seeds, and cut the pepper in half. Place skin side up on a foil lined pan.

Cook at 500 degrees for approximately 20-30 minutes until the skin turns black. Rotate pan halfway through cooking time.

When the skin is black, remove from oven, and wrap the pepper up in the foil so that it can steam and the skin will be easier to remove.

After it steams for about 10-15 minutes, just pull off the skin. It should come off easily. Cut into slices and store in the fridge. So easy!

For my at home Mediterranean veggie sandwich, I used a whole wheat pocket thin flatbread, roasted red peppers, red onion, cucumbers, canned artichokes, hummus, and feta cheese.

Potbelly’s Med Veggie Sandwich        My Med Veggie Sandwich

  • 471 calories                                           223 calories
  • 13 g fat                                                     7 g fat
  • 1379 mg sodium                                   962 g sodium
  • 71 g carbs                                               33 g carbs
  • 23 g protein                                           10 g protein

So delicious and so easy! To cut down on the sodium even more, rinse your jarred artichoke hearts before you use them.

Have a great afternoon!

  • What’s your favorite sandwich?

 

 

 

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Filed under Lunch, Recipes, Running, Working Out