Category Archives: Working Out

Is it Spring Yet?

Today is going to be 50 degrees in Chicagoland, and I saw a bird and a squirrel. I’m pretty sure spring is on its way!! This winter has felt like forever and I can’t wait for nice weather and to spend time outside.


Danny and I went to the gym yesterday morning. We worked on back and abs. Usually we do biceps also but my wrist is sore so we skipped biceps this time.


The rest of the day we spent relaxing and enjoying the fact that it stays light out longer. Yay spring!


The Bikini Body Mommy DietBet officially started today! There’s still time to join if you’re thinking about doing it! I started out my day with a normal breakfast – Fage Greek yogurt with strawberries and two egg whites.


At the gym, I started with the Bikini Body Mommy strength workout. I did it once and then did some shoulder exercises including lateral raises, upright rows, overheard presses, front raises, cable lateral raises.

After my shoulder workout, I decided to try out the treadmill. I haven’t been on the treadmill in a long time and since I’ve been avoiding jumping exercises for the most part, I decided to see how my Achilles tendon felt. I walked for three minutes and ran for one minute for a total of 21 minutes.


My Achilles felt fine at first, but the longer I went the more I could feel it starting to hurt. I finished up my walk/run and then foam rolled and stretched. It felt nice to run again but I don’t think my Achilles is going to agree. It’s so frustrating to be over hip surgery recovery and then have this happen. My plan is just to take it slow.

Have a great day!

  • How’s the weather where you live? Are you ready for spring?
  • What are you most looking forward to about being outside? I can’t wait to run outside, take family walks, and go on bike rides!





Filed under Breakfast, Fitness, Running, Working Out


Good afternoon!


Danny and I hit the gym first thing this morning to get leg day out of the way! We did:

  • leg press machine
  • squats
  • goblet squats
  • calf raises on the smith machine
  • split squats
  • step-up to kickbacks
  • single leg hip bridges
  • donkey kicks
  • elliptical/treadmill running

After the gym, I stopped at Target and found this flatbread to try:


Doesn’t it look amazing?! Has anyone tried any of the Archer Farms flatbreads? They also had a sun dried tomato and chicken one that looked good.


I’ve mentioned quite a few times that I’ve been doing the Bikini Body Mommy workouts on a daily basis. I am taking a short break because of Achilles tendon pain but hopefully I’ll be back at it soon. Briana, who runs Bikini Body Mommy, started a DietBet and I decided to join.

The concept behind DietBet is that you pay $25 into a pot (via PayPal or credit card). You have four weeks to lose 4% of your body weight. Everyone who loses the 4% splits the money in pot.

I really debated joining because like I’ve mentioned in prior posts, I’m slowly becoming more accepting of my body. While I don’t have a ton of weight to lose, I like that the DietBet helps keeps me accountable about the choices I make on a daily basis and will help me make healthier decisions throughout the day.

Working two days a week has also changed my eating habits a little bit. I was very used to eating my meals at certain times and now by the time I get home a little after 3 pm, I’m starving and eat just about everything in sight. I’m hoping this challenge will help me to not overeat when I get home.

For me, it won’t be exactly about weight loss but rather about sticking to a healthy and happy lifestyle.

I also want to add that 1) 4% of of body weight is not a huge number and even if I lose it, I still won’t be at my lowest and most comfortable weight and 2) I, of course, choose to share flattering pictures of myself (for the most part) on my blog. You might look at a picture of me and think, “well, she looks just fine, she doesn’t need to lose any weight” (or maybe you don’t…maybe you think I could stand to lose a few pounds :) ) But my point is that I’m happy with how my arms look so you might see more pictures of my upper body. But I dislike how my lower half looks so you might not see many pictures of my lower half.

I feel like it’s important for me to be honest here on my blog. I’m not perfect. I struggle with body image. I am slowly becoming more accepting and learning to stay healthy in a way that makes me happy and I enjoy challenges, like DietBet, that keep me accountable. I have done numerous DietBets over the past few years and I while I haven’t won all of them, I had a great experience – Danny even did one with me!

If you would like to join the DietBet, it starts this Monday, March 9th and ends April 5th (which is Easter). You can join here.

And that is that.

Speaking of lower half pictures of myself:


I finally stepped outside my comfort zone and bought a pair of printed workout leggings. All of my workout capris are usually just plain black. I always stayed away from the prints because I didn’t like drawing attention to my lower half but I tried these Champion leggings on at Target yesterday and really liked them. I also tried on a pink pair that unfortunately were absolutely terrible looking!


The weather in Illinois is in the mid 40s today which is a full on heat wave. The nice weather has drawn out the Girl Scouts and they’re outside of the grocery stores selling their addicting cookies. Danny picked up a box of Thin Mints and rented Mockingjay for us to watch.


I think it’s going to be a good night.

  • Have you ever done a DietBet?
  • What do you usually wear to workout? I always wear a tank and capris because I get so darn hot. I made the mistake of wearing workout pants once and I’ve never made that mistake again.
  • Are you a Hunger Games fan?
  • Favorite girl scout cookies?



Filed under Fitness, Uncategorized, Working Out

thinkThin: thinkPositive

This is a sponsored post for thinkThin and All opinions are my own.

Over the past few years, I’ve tried to lose weight, eat better, and become a healthier person all around. I went from being slightly overweight, to losing 30 pounds, to gaining some of it back, to taking BodyPump classes and learning that I needed to build muscle.

PicMonkey Collage9

I used to think I had to do cardio every day to lose weight. Then I discovered strength training was key for me. I loved strength training so much that I became a BodyPump instructor and a personal trainer.


My own personal journey in the world of healthy living has been a bumpy one.  I love to work out, but I also love to eat. I have always struggled with body image, as I imagine many people do.  I work in an industry where, to be honest, looks matter. If I am going to show people how to work out, lose weight, and build muscle, then I need to look the part… and sometimes that feels like a lot of pressure.

What I’ve learned is that healthy living and weight wellness is all about you. You need to find a healthy balance. You have to love the way you look or at least accept it. I tell my clients it’s about eating what your body needs, and then it’s about loving your body.

Eat healthy fruits, veggies and whole grains — a mantra that I instill in myself and my clients.  Being prepared can make a big difference in keeping up with your healthy food choices.  Although it’s not always easy to have fruits and vegetables in your workout bag, you can have a high-quality ingredient bar or drink on hand.

I like thinkThin bars. They are high protein bars that have 20 grams of protein and 0g of sugar.  Protein helps you feel full longer and helps repair those muscles that you tear up in the gym.  The bars come in some pretty awesome flavors. Cookies and Cream and Creamy Peanut Butter, are on my fav list. In addition to being a great post-workout solution, they can complement your breakfast and are a great work snack.





Along my journey, one of the choices I made was to eat a little smarter. That’s where empowerment comes in to making choices.

You have a choice to make every day. To be happy or to be crabby is a choice. It’s important to live life.  Enjoy life.  Have fun and be active!  It’s about learning to accept your body.  It’s about having a healthy mindset. I know that when I’m making good choices of what goes into my body, I feel more confident. I know that living a healthy lifestyle makes you feel good. Embrace yourself and throw those negative feelings out. Choose health! Choose happiness!


Filed under Working Out

VitaEgg Flatbread Sandwiches

I’m back to teaching group fitness! Today I taught my first class since my hip surgery. I am no longer able to teach BodyPump but I am teaching the Women on Weights class!

Before I taught my class, I did a workout of my own. I did the elliptical for about twenty minutes followed by two rounds of the Bikini Body Mommy strength workout.


I’m not back to doing the BBM cardio workouts yet, but the strength workouts aren’t a problem.

Before I went to the gym, I had a VitaEgg Flatbread Sandwich. Vitalicious recently sent me these new flatbread egg sandwiches to try.



They’re the same company that makes the VitaTops which I love!

Today was the perfect day to eat one because I needed something fast, easy, and still healthy.

I had the cheese and veggie flatbread.


They also come in turkey sauce and veggie sausage.



The new flatbread sandwiches are between 120 and 160 calories each. They have 10-15 grams of protein, 7-9 grams of fiber, 1.5-3.5 grams of fat, and 160mg of omega-3 DHA.


I love that these have a lot of protein and fiber because that’s what I struggle with getting enough of in my diet.

Danny tried out the turkey sausage flatbread. He even took a picture of it on his phone without me even asking him to!


He liked the flatbread sandwich but he said that he would have preferred it with cheese. Luckily, the veggie sauce flatbread does have cheese!

These sandwiches leave the yolks in the eggs which is important because they contain lutein for eye health, choline for brain health, and omega-3 DHA for heart health. I’m usually not a huge yolk person but in a sandwich they taste great and have so many  health benefits.

These sandwiches don’t have any artificial preservatives,coloring, or cholesterol. They are available online and in the freezer section at the grocery store.

I’ve really been trying to stick to my healthy eating lately. Yesterday for lunch, I had leftover California roll from Whole Foods and a salad with the organic chicken tenders.


I love this salad. I honestly eat it almost every single day.

For dinner, I made coho salmon which I also got from Whole Foods.


I haven’t had salmon in so long. I seasoned it with a little bit of olive oil, garlic, and dill. Then I cooked it in the oven in a foil packet on 400 degrees for about 15-20 minutes. I ate it with green beans and a sweet potato. Yum!


Lots of healthy eats!

Have a great afternoon!

  • What is your favorite healthy breakfast?
  • Do you like fish/seafood? Favorite?

Vitalicious sent me these new flatbread sandwiches to try out at no cost to me. All opinions are my own…and Danny’s. 




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

Weekend Recap

Good morning and happy March! Can you believe it’s March already?! I’m just waiting for winter to be over and for spring to arrive!


The kids had the day off of school on Friday so I didn’t go to the gym in the morning. Instead, we went to the library.


I love the library. So. Many. Books.

Since, I didn’t work out in the morning, Danny and I went to the gym at night, and Jacob came with too. Danny and I worked on back and biceps while Jacob walked on the track. After we were done, Jacob wanted to jump rope so we spent a little bit of time jump roping.


Jacob was so funny – he was doing a run jump rope thing where he would run down the hall while jump roping. It was hilarious to watch and I couldn’t stop laughing. I usually can’t get him to go to the gym for anything, but he enjoyed jump roping!

And Danny got to wear his new Fitbit to the gym!


Being the super sweet wife that I am, I bought him a Fitbit Charge. I think just about my whole family owns a Fit bit now. :)


We went to the gym again Saturday morning like we usually do and worked chest and triceps. Danny is usually in charge of the chest exercises and the decline chest presses are killer. (I use an EZ bar because my wrist always hurts and the EZ bar is a little less stressful on it.)


The decline chest presses aren’t super hard to do but I really feel it later!


We stopped at the store on the way home and I was excited to find this butterscotch “yogurt.”


I posted it on Instagram and someone that it’s not actually Greek yogurt because it doesn’t contain any active cultures like yogurt does. It’s simply a “dairy treat.” Companies can be sneaky and sometimes you really have to pay attention to food labels. Of course, you assume the Oikos is yogurt but it doesn’t say yogurt anywhere on the packaging.

Regardless, it was still good!

Saturday evening, we went to my dad and stepmom’s to celebrate their birthdays.


We had spaghetti, salad, and bread followed by cake and ice cream.


We had a fun time celebrating and visiting.


Sunday morning, we were back at the gym. No surprise there. We worked legs. I haven’t done just a leg day in awhile because me hip/quad/Achilles tendon always are sore but I also know it’s important to build strength so I am going to add more leg exercises into my workouts.

For leg exercises we did:

  • leg press machine
  • squats
  • leg extension machine
  • leg curl machine
  • step up to kickbacks
  • walking lunges
  • calf raises

After the gym we went grocery shopping and then to Whole Foods for lunch. We stopped for some frozen yogurt on the way home.

Our grocery store had the Rockin’ Refuel protein drinks on sale for $1 each. I’ve never seen them this cheap so I had to stock up.


Overall, we had a pretty quiet and laid back Sunday.


This morning, I went to the gym and worked shoulders. My leg isn’t as sore a I thought it would be after yesterday but my quad is a little sore. I made sure to foam roll it a lot at the gym and stretch.

Tomorrow is my first day teaching Women on Weights class!

Have a great day!

  • What did you do this weekend?
  • Favorite leg exercise?
    Do you read food labels?


Filed under Family Fun, Fitness, Working Out

Circuit Workouts

Good afternoon, friends! How are you today? I must tell you, I am so sick of the snow. I hate snow. If I never saw another snowflake again, I would be perfectly happy. I am counting the days until spring is here!

I have been really good about getting my diet back on track this week, with the small exception of going out to celebrate my dad and stepmom’s birthdays on Tuesday night. Let’s just say there was a lot of Mexican food and margaritas involved. But I am a firm believer of everything in moderation.

I made sure I was back on track Wednesday morning. Before work, I had plain Fage Greek yogurt mixed with a packet of Stevia and topped with raspberries.


I love eating this for breakfast because it’s starts my morning out with a lot of protein!

I went to the gym this morning, but I decided that it was in my best interest to hold off on the Bikini Body Mommy workouts for a few days. They are great short workouts but the amount of jumping and squats involved has really been hard on my body on top of the other workouts I’m doing.

I was a little bit disappointed because I made it 40 days straight without missing a workout but I’m really trying to listen to my body and do what’s best for it.

I still managed to get a good workout in, focusing mostly on upper body and core work. I found a circuit workout in the Sarah Fit book and added a couple more exercises to it.


My circuit consisted of:

  • single leg bicep curls x 20 (10 each leg)
  • triceps dips with feet on a stability ball (I forgot how hard these were!) x 12
  • chest presses on stability ball x 15
  • bentover rows x 15
  • upright rows x15
  • dumbbell deadlifts x 15

I rested about 2 minutes in between each circuit. I did the circuit three times each.

Then I moved on to a core circuit. For this circuit I did:

  • Russian twists with a medicine ball x 16 (each side)
  • single leg heel touches x 10 / double leg heel touches x 10
  • bicycle crunches x 15 each side
  • plank 30 seconds
  • dumbbell side bends x 20 (each side)

I did this circuit three times, resting one minute in between.

After the gym, I stopped at Target where I found these individual bags of Jack Links on clearance.


I love the Jack Links and always buy the big bag. I have never seen the individual bags at my Target and suddenly there was a bunch of boxes on the clearance shelf. Where did they come from?!

Now I’m at home sipping on some Cinnabon coffee and getting a few things done. I’m working on a workout for my first Women on Weights class that I’m teaching next week!

Have a great day!

  • What’s your favorite kind of food? I love Mexican food. I could eat it everyday.
  • Do you ever do circuit workouts?
  • Favorite ab exercise?


Filed under Breakfast, Family Fun, Fitness, Working Out

Booty Workout and Birthdays!

Hello! How are you all today?!

This morning I went to the gym and started with the Bikini Body Mommy cardio workout. These workouts usually require a lot of jumping moves which I was really feeling today. By the time I was done, my Achilles tendon was killing me.

I tend to have an all or nothing attitude when it comes to working out and often decide to push through when I have pain instead of stopping. I realize that this is not a good thing. Moral of the story: do not be like me. If you are injured or have pain, take it easy!

I know something is wrong with my Achilles and I know the jumping exercises aren’t helping. I really am going to try my best to take it easy. The nice thing is that a lot of exercises can be modified so I don’t have to jump. My plan is to lay off the jumping but still do what I can.

After the cardio workout, I worked on glutes. Lots of booty exercises!


I did:

  • step-up to kickbacks
  • walking lunges
  • single leg hip bridges
  • sumo squats with a leg raise
  • donkey kicks
  • single leg deadlifts
  • squats

I did each exercises between 12-25 reps, depending on the exercise. I did three sets of each exercise. Then I foam rolled and stretched. It was a really good workout that left me tired and sweaty!!

Even though I still wear my FitBit Charge HR all day long, I use my Polar FT7 heart rate monitor to keep track of my exercise. I feel like it’s more accurate.

Yesterday for some reason, my Fitbit registered that I climbed 45 flights of stairs!


I definitely did not climb 45 flights of stairs. I didn’t really do anything different than I normally do so I can’t figure out why it thinks I’m climbing so many stairs. This is the first time it’s ever counted so many stairs. Interesting!

Hopefully it’ll be a little more accurate today.

Today is my dad’s birthday and tomorrow is my stepmom’s birthday. A big happy birthday to my dad and Sue!! Can’t wait to celebrate!!

PicMonkey Collage

Have a great day!!

  • For  those of you that have a FitBit Charge, does it overestimate stairs?!
  • Do you rest when your sore/injured or do tend to push through?





Filed under Family Fun, Fitness, Working Out

Straw Propeller Gourmet Foods Oatmeal

It’s Monday! I’m glad today is Monday because I feel like it gives me a fresh start after my horrendous week last week.

I’m back on track with my eating and workouts.

Yesterday, Danny and I went to the gym and worked on chest and triceps.


Everyone has their own way of working out muscle groups – full body, upper body, lower body, biceps & triceps, etc. I usually workout the “pushing” muscles together – chest and triceps. These are the muscles you use for pushing exercises such as chest presses or push-ups.

I workout the “pulling” muscles together – back and biceps. These are the muscles you use for pulling exercises such as lat pulldowns and rows.

Then, I have a shoulder day. I incorporate core and leg exercises throughout the week depending on how much time I have to workout. The bikini body mommy workouts incorporate a lot of leg exercises and I still do some of my physical therapy exercises. My hip and quad still tend to get sore very fast so I take it a bit easier on the legs.

Today, I got back on track with my workouts and worked on shoulders. I did:

  • dumbbell front/lateral raises
  • shoulder press machine
  • plate front raises with a twist
  • kettlebell upright rows
  • overhead dumbbell presses
  • cable lateral raises
  • around the worlds (can be seen at 8:00 in the video)

I also did the bikini body mommy strength workout, walked, and did a little bit of stretching and foam rolling. When I woke up yesterday my quad was seriously killing me and I’m not quite sure why so I’m trying to take it a little easier on leg exercises.

Straw Propeller Gourmet Foods Oatmeal

Lately, before a workout or on the days I work, I have been eating Straw Propeller Oats for breakfast. I love that these oats help keep me feeling full for a long time especially when I’m working.

Straw Propeller was awesome enough to send me four of their oats flavors to try out.


The four flavors I tried were Cherry and Chia, Apple Crisp, Maple Oats, and Orange Cranberry.

Of these four, my favorite was the Apple Crisp. It was delicious! I loved the chunks of apples, walnuts, and white chocolate chips.


I love that Straw Propeller Oats use only real ingredients without additives or preservatives. Their oats are also gluten-free. And I love all the add-ins in their oats!



My all-time favorite oats are their PB&J oats. I can’t even describe how good these are – peanuts, strawberries, and peanut butter chips. I could seriously eat these everyday.


I buy the PB & J flavor at Target. Target and Whole Foods are the stores near me that I’ve found them at and they carry some great flavors!

Have a great afternoon!

  • Do you have a specific workout plan?
  • Do you like oatmeal? Favorite?

Straw Propeller sent me the four oatmeal flavors to try for free. I purchased the PB&J oats on my own. All opinions are my own. 


Filed under Breakfast, Product Review, Working Out

An Off Week

Good morning.

I am so glad that today is Sunday, even though I did wake up at 6 am. I just can’t seem to sleep in on the weekends. This past week has been a really off week for me – diet and workout-wise.

There was no school one day, Jaden was sick a couple of days, my work hours changed slightly. I pretty much ate everything in sight all week and missed two workouts this week, and I never miss a workout!!

I was working until 2 pm on Wednesday and Fridays. Now, I’m working until 3 pm, which means I can’t workout after I get off work those two days because I  have to be home to get the kids off the bus.

Danny usually goes to the gym at 5 am during the week, so I can’t wake up early and go. I suppose my other options are to wake up early and work out at home or workout in the evening. I planned on working out Friday night but I forgot it was bingo night at Jaden’s school.

This week, I plan on focusing more on what needs to be done – planning my meals better so I don’t eat a whole bag of jelly beans (yes, that happened this week) and figuring out when to fit my workouts in.

I completely realize that people work full time jobs and have things a lot harder, but no matter what your schedule is, if it’s something you’ve been used to for years then it’s going to mess you up if it suddenly changes.


Of course, my first priority yesterday morning was to get to the gym!


I started with the Bikini Body Mommy Fit Test because I am a little behind on that workout.


I was happy because I improved all my scores from the previous Fit Test. It’s about an 8 minute workout, but it’s killer. Danny did it too and we were dead at the end. Dead. You’re only resting 10 seconds in between each exercise so it really keeps your heart rate up!

Danny and I worked on back and biceps and honestly it was a so-so workout. I just wasn’t feeling it. I was tired from being up early, my eye hurt (turns out my contact was ripped in half in my eye), and my leg was really bothering me.

We got through all our back exercises and half of our bicep exercises until I threw in the towel. My eye was killing me and I had to go home to fix it. Plus, I was just plain crabby.

After the gym, we stopped at Target where I bought Boom Chicka Pop kettle corn in the frosted sugar sugar cookie flavor!


I haven’t tried it yet, but I’m going to try it today. I imagine it’s going to be delicious. They also had a lemon drop kettle corn flavor but I was a little unsure about that flavor.

On today’s agenda is the gym, grocery shopping, and working for a few hours later. I really need to get back on track with my eating and workouts this week!

Have a great Sunday!

  • Do you ever have “off” weeks? I usually have off days, but rarely off weeks! Too much good food!
  • Did you do anything fun this weekend?
  • Favorite popcorn flavor?




Filed under Family Fun, Fitness, Working Out

Friday Favorites

Good morning – it’s Friday! How is your week going?

Let’s jump right into today’s favorites!

Friday Favorites

  • Cascadian Farm Fruitful O’s cereal

I am such a cereal addict. I purposely buy cereal for the kids that I don’t like because I can eat so much cereal without a problem. It’s addicting. I try to not even start eating it because I can eat about 75 bowls of cereal.


I tried these Fruitful O’s and they were delicious so of course, I had to eat tons of them. I figure they’re better than Froot Loops though, right?!

  • In Death Book Series by JD Robb

I love the In Death series by JD Robb (who is actually Nora Roberts). I have been reading the series for years and years and Obsession in Death is the 40th book in the series.



The nice thing about this series is that you can pick up any book and not be lost with the story line. Of course, you’ll understand more if you’ve read the whole series but each book can be read as a single story.

  • Whole Foods Sushi

Whole Foods sushi is my favorite sushi. It just is. I love their California roll but my second favorite is the Philadelphia roll.


I love that Whole Foods uses brown rice because I am not a fan of white rice. I love the how much more flavor brown rice has not to mention how much better it is nutrition-wise. White rice is so bland and unflavorful to me. Yay for brown rice sushi!

  • Race Season!

Spring is the official start of race season and I am officially signed up for my first 5ks of the year!

I haven’t run a lot since my hip surgery and haven’t really been running at all lately since my Achilles tendon still bothers me. My goal is to take it really slow and just ease back into running at my own pace. I think it’s going to be quite a shock after not running for so long but I’m going to do my best.

The first 5k I plan on doing is the is the Bunny Rock 5k in Chicago.


I was lucky enough to win a free entry on Facebook! Right now, I’m about 75% sure that I’m going to run this race. We have something going on the day before and the day after is Easter. I plan to start walk/running soon so I will see if I’ll be ready in time for this race.

My next race which is a 100% for sure race is the Run Like a Mother 5k.


I have run this race for the past 4 or 5 years and my grandma who had both hip replaced is planning on walking the race so I really look forward to doing this race again!

Those are my favorites for today! Have a great Friday!

  • What are your Friday Favorites?
  • Any plans for the weekend?




Filed under Breakfast, Race, Running, Working Out