Wednesday, December 30, 2015

New Years Workout Wednesday

Happy New Years!!!!! For Workout Wednesday we are going to celebrate the end of 2015 and the beginning of 2016, and we are going to love it! I hope that you all had a great year while also looking forward to the next. I love to do killer workouts this week. Ending one year on a high note and starting the next the right way.
I also know that this is a very busy time with kids home and it still being the holiday season. So, this is a killer yet efficient workout.

5-10 min of  warm up cardio; easy jog, running stairs, jumping rope etc

20 - pushups
15 - burpees
20 - squats
15- squat hops
20 - v-ups
15 - plank with corner hops

100 jumping jacks

20 - dips
16 - pushup jacks
20 - right leg lunges and left leg lunges
16 - split hops
20 - star-burst situps
16 - donkey kicks

Nice easy cool down with some easy stretching.
Enjoy your New Years everyone!

Sunday, December 27, 2015

Th End of The Year is Here

Christmas is over, and we are all winding down at my house. Next....New Years! Which means this is a week of reflection. A week of looking at the past year, asking if it was a good year? Assessing accomplishments and failures. And then taking all of that information and moving it into the next year. 

My husband has already told me that for the first month of the New Year he will be having a "reset", this means a green smoothie every day, a gallon of water, and a minimum of 3 miles a day. After a super busy end of the year he needs a reset.
One of my biggest accomplishments for this year has been getting pregnant, we had to work hard for this one. This will also lead to my biggest accomplishment of next year. On top of that though I have already started looking at races and forming plans.  My last little guy was a c-section so my race plans are keeping in mind that I will most likely be having another c-section and knowing that first and foremost my focus is on this new baby. 
This week I will be meeting with my clients and asking them to make health and fitness goals for the next year. Some of my clients have been with me for years and they have learned how to make goals, they know the questions I will ask and will hopefully be prepared. I will not accept the goal of "get healthier," instead I make them think through what that means. Make small and big goals based on the idea of getting healthier. Does that mean adding veggies daily, drinking more water, adding another day of exercise, running at least 20 miles a week, training for a marathon in the fall, getting blood pressure numbers down to a healthy range, etc, etc? Think through the specifics when making your goals.
One of the big things with me is finding balance in life. As you think through your goals think through all the areas of your life. Spend more time with your family, read to your kids every night, spend a few moments every night meditating, keep a gratitude journal, etc. I am a firm believer that you can only find true happiness if you are working on keeping everything in check and growing in all aspects of life.
One of my non fitness goals will be to get my 3 year old potty trained before my baby gets here. Wish me luck!

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Workout Wednesday - Finding Time

First of all, this is a hopeful workout. I write this Tuesday night after an afternoon of sick pregnancy taking over. Hoping that by tomorrow I am back to where I have been recently and ready to rock it. I thought the sick part of my pregnancy was over by now, guess baby had a different thought on that. At least I am still standing and happy to be pregnant.
So, here is my plan tomorrow for one of my small group fitness classes, I am planning on completing the same workout as well.
Tomorrow is all about using your body, no machines or weights needed. Partly because it makes it easier with the group I am teaching tomorrow and partly because we are on the Christmas countdown with errands still to run and not a single present wrapped. I am also still meeting with one-on-one clients and teaching a small group class. Life is forever crazy!

So grab your tennis shoes, put on your workout clothes, and let's get to it!
This is Chipper. We are starting low and working our way up. Break this down however you need to in your head in order to finish. As always be sure to include a warm up and cool down.

10 Burpees
20 Donkey Kicks
30 Pushups
40 Squat Hops
50 Situps
40 Lunge Hop Switches
30 Dips
20 Planks with Corner Hops
10 Burpees

My hope is that this workout takes me 30 minutes all together. I need it to be enough to be effective and get my heart rate up and moving, but allow for plenty of time to get everything else done I need to.

Sunday, December 20, 2015

A Week Of Balance

Life has been crazy at my house and I am sure that is the same story for many. My husband and I finally gave up on finishing up the Christmas shopping without the 3 year old. Instead we took him with us and slyly hid presents under coats while Ryker ran down the different toy aisles finding new treasures around every turn. And the craziness is sure to continue for the next few days. Which brings me to the thoughts I had this morning as I sat curled up on my couch, coffee in hand, enjoy the silence of a sleeping household.

While our health and fitness is important, it cannot come before other things in life. You have to find a balance in life in order to enjoy all of life. There was a time I would have planned this week out. I would have stressed about the holiday treats at the various family parties. I would have worried about getting in my workouts, not because I enjoyed the mental break or the feeling it gave me but because it stressed me out to miss workouts. Life is different now, and with that difference I find that I smile a whole lot more.

I still may dread going to those family parties, but it has nothing to do with the food that will be there. Instead it is simply because I would rather be home with my wonderful husband and crazy kids enjoying time together.

I may really try to figure out a way to sneak in a run, but it has nothing to do with a necessity to burn calories. Instead I will sneak in my runs in order to keep sanity within my mind and enjoy the feeling of my legs propelling me through life.

I may seemed frazzled at times this week but I also know that I will have a smile in my heart the whole time. I encourage all of you to find that own balance in your life. Find the balance that will bring peace to your soul and a smile to your heart.

Merry Christmas everyone!  

Friday, December 18, 2015

Fit Friday - Healthy Cookies and Circuit Killers!

Happy Fit Friday! I can't believe next week is Christmas! As always Ruthie from is here to share a recipe with us. It looks like a great one to try out this next week at whatever holiday party awaits you. But we can't forget about our own health and fitness over the next couple of weeks, read on to get a great workout by your truly!
Now to the yummy stuff:
 Healthy Cherry White Chocolate Almond Cookies will make your sweet tooth happy in a healthier way! Healthy Cherry White Chocolate Almond Cookies and Fit Friday on will make your sweet tooth happy in a healthier way!

 I love these healthy cookies... they're the perfect grab and go snack or treat. This recipe makes a lot of cookies so I like to keep some in the freezer to take with us on all of our adventures. They're kinda like a soft and chewy granola bar but better cuz they're in the shape of a cookie! (AND they taste waaaayyyy better too) Healthy Cherry White Chocolate Almond Cookies are super easy to make gluten free, if you have that need, just replace the whole wheat flour with your favorite gluten free flour and then make sure all the other ingredients are gluten free. It works great! Healthy Cherry White Chocolate Almond Cookies and Fit Friday on will make your sweet tooth happy in a healthier way!
Healthy Cherry White Chocolate Almond Cookies
Author: Ruthie
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 50
  • 7 cups whole rolled oats
  • 2 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
  • 1 tablespoon baking soda
  • 1 tablespoon sea salt
  • 2 cups applesauce
  • 1/4 cup butter, room temperature
  • 2 cups light brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 4 large eggs, room temperature
  • 2 cups white chocolate chips
  • 1 (5 ounce) package dried cherries
  • 2 cups sliced almonds
  • 1/4 cup milled flax seed
  1. Preheat oven 350 degrees.
  2. Coat half sheet pan with cooking spray; set aside.
  3. In a large mixing bowl combine applesauce and butter; mix.
  4. Add brown sugar, and vanilla; mix to combine.
  5. Add eggs one at a time, mixing and scraping bowl with each addition.
  6. Add flour, flaxseed, baking soda, and sea salt; mix until 80% incorporated.
  7. Add oats in three small batches mixing between batches.
  8. Do not over mix.
  9. Add white chocolate chips, cherries, and almonds; stir by hand to incorporate.
  10. Drop cookies onto prepared pan by the tablespoon or use a large cookie scoop.
  11. Bake at 350 for 12-15 min or until edges are crispy and lightly browned.
  12. Store in airtight container.
  13. Dough can be frozen for two months or last one week in the fridge.
  14. Baked cookies freeze well for up to 2 months.
  15. Makes approx 50 cookies.
  16. *Stevia can also replace the brown sugar in equal parts if desired
  Healthy Cherry White Chocolate Almond Cookies and Fit Friday on will make your sweet tooth happy in a healthier way!

We got the goodies now let't talk workouts:

 Hello everyone! It is is Fit Friday already. I don't know about you guys but this week has flown by for me. Trying to get ready for Christmas and wrapping up end of the year work stuff gets a little hectic and the days fly by. With that being said let me remind you one of the tips for getting through the holidays without letting fitness completely get lost, get up and get it done in the morning. You don't have any parties, shopping to do, or family needing this or that first thing in the morning! Even if it has to be short because you have a lot going on get at least 20 minutes of something in. Get that heart rate up and going to start your say off right.

With that being said I am giving you a circuit workout today. We are going to combine cardio and weights in a time efficient manner in order to make the most of every minute we have. This can be done inside or outside, it has been freezing cold here (and this pregnant lady has to pee all the time these days) so I am staying inside, but if you can hit the local track do it!
For this workout remember that a 400 m run is equal to one time around a standard track and .25 mi on the treadmill.

400 m run: this is not a jog this is a heart pumping RUN!
10 v-ups
20 pushups
30 walking lunges or alternating forward lunges
400 m run
15 v-ups
25 pushups
35 walking lunges or alternating forward lunges
400 m run
20 v-ups
30 pushups 40 walking lunges or alternating forward lunges
400 m run

Keeping it short and simple. If you complete this and feel great/have more time work your way back up the ladder.

Enjoy these Healthy Cherry White Chocolate Almond Cookies and Fit Friday fitness tips from Nichole!

Happy Friday! Much Love and Peace~ Ruthie and Nichole

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Workout Wednesday - Med Ball Fun!

I had some fun this morning with med balls in one of my small group bootcamp classes. This group tends to have a love hate relationship with the med balls. Love; because it is a great workout. Hate; because they are always sore afterwards.
As we wrapped up class I realized that I have yet to do a med ball workout for Workout Wednesday. I generally try to keep anything needed pretty simple and recognize that not everyone has med balls, but I have decided that plenty of people do and that they are easy enough to come by. I have also decided that if you don't just file this workout away for another day (like after Christmas when you get a med ball!)....but don't forget about it because you will love it!
As always be sure to include warm ups and cool downs with every workout. Use at least 10 minutes to get the body moving and feeling awesome. For this workout I would recommend a 10-15lb med ball, these are going to be smaller weighted balls. You will also need some space to throw the ball.

Wall balls: squat and throw the ball straight up against a wall as you stand. When it comes down catch it as you drop down into a squat. (I realize for those crossfitters out there that this is usually done with a larger ball, we are going to stick with the smaller balls though.)

Slam balls: from overhead throw the ball hard to the ground, squat and scoop it up before it bounces more than once.

Squat Jumps: squat and accelerate straight up.
18, 15, 12, 9, 6, 3 of each

25 situps with your ball

Repeat the above sequence starting at 3 and going back up to 18.

25 more situps with your ball

Do it all with a heart pumping effort and a smile on your face!

Sunday, December 13, 2015

My Baby Girl

I am now over half way through this pregnancy and everyone, well most everyone, is eagerly awaiting a new baby girl. Still not sure how the 3 year old is going to do with it, when I say anything about a baby sister the only response I get is, "NO baby sister."
I have always been scared of having daughters. I have 5 brothers and feel much more confident in my ability to raise a boy. But the fear that I expected to envelope me hasn't since learning this ball of joy will be a girl. Trust me, I am not complaining, instead I have spent a lot of time thinking about it all and asking myself why. 
First and foremost I have had the wonderful opportunity of being blessed with 2 wonderful step-daughters. They have been a confidence booster for me, but with them I do not have to take on the full responsibility as a mom. At the same time this new little one may never have her hair done, all of my hair battling days are being drained from my very being already.
When this baby joins our family I will be close to 37 years old, which may not sound too old to a few of you but understand I am writing to you from a place where most of my friends have teenagers and were done having babies 5+ years ago. My husband and I joke that we will be as old as other  kids' grandparents when ours graduate from high school. As I think through that age difference all I can say is that I am so grateful that my children are coming to me when they are.
I have spent these extras years finding the balance I needed in my life. I went through the craziness where exercise and calories ruled my life, it wasn't fun and I wasn't happy. Now my health is what is important instead of a number on a scale or any other arbitrary way I would use to decide if it was going to be a good day.

I have spent these extra years finding peace within my soul and becoming an all round better me. I needed to focus more on what was within and not what I saw in the mirror or what I worried others saw when they looked at me. I give my husband a lot of credit here, he has helped me find that peace and learn what true beauty is all about.
I have let go of so many of my insecurities over the last few years that I no longer fear having a daughter like I once did. I am no longer positive that I will completely screw up a girl. Don't get me wrong, I know there will be challenges but I feel much more adept at facing those challenges today.

Friday, December 11, 2015

Fit Friday - Museli and Legs!

Happy Fit Friday everyone! Hope today's post is finding everyone happy and full of Christmas Cheer! Today Ruthie from Whats Cooking with Ruthie is here with another one of her fantastic recipes! I am following that up with some fun leg workouts to add to your bag of tricks. Enjoy!

Apple Orange Cranberry Swiss Muesli is a simple, healthy, and delicious breakfast recipe!
*apple-orange-cranberry-swiss-muesli 3
I love Swiss Muesli! It's such a healthy breakfast plus I love that it's simple to make too! Just make sure to plan for some soak-time; at least an hour or it can go overnight. This is a winter spin on the Swiss Muesli recipe I got from Chef Franz who taught my Garde Mange class in Culinary School. Apple Orange Cranberry Swiss Muesli on is a simple, healthy, and delicious recipe!
 I think Swiss Muesli is the perfect week day breakfast; it keeps for several days in the fridge so make up a batch and then enjoy it all week long! You can throw in whatever dried fruit or nuts you have hanging around the pantry too. I just like to add about equal amounts of dried fruit and nuts then add in a fresh apple, orange, or pear.... you get the idea! Make it work with the ingredients you have on hand or according to your preferences.

Apple Orange Cranberry Swiss Muesli
Recipe Type: Breakfast
Author: Ruthie
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 6
  • 2 cup rolled oats
  • 2 cup low fat milk
  • 1 cup fat free vanilla greek yogurt
  • 1/2 cup dried orange flavored cranberries
  • 2 tablespoons sliced almonds
  • 2 tablespoons pumpkin seeds
  • 2 tablespoons walnuts, chopped
  • 1 red apple, small diced
  • 1 orange, peeled and cut into chunks
  • 2-3 Tbsp agave, adjust according to taste
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • additional fruit and nuts to garnish, if desired
  1. Combine all dry ingredients in bowl; mix to combine.
  2. Add milk and yogurt, mix well.
  3. Rest Muesli in fridge for at least 1 hour but can go over night.
  4. Adjust moisture with additional milk if necessary.
  5. Serve in individual bowls and garnish with additional fruit
  6. Enjoy!
*apple-orange-cranberry-swiss-muesli 2

Apple Orange Cranberry Swiss Muesli is a favorite of mine~ it never last long around my kitchen.

Now For Those Sexy Legs!

Last week we did some killer abs. Today we are working on the lower half of that body, we are talking legs everyone. Some people are genetically blessed, some people work at it, and the ones with really great legs are the ones that do are both genetically blessed and are willing to work. Today we are working 'em!
I love my legs, not because of the way that they look but simply because I am so grateful for all that they let me do. I love running, walking, hiking, playing, etc for that fact alone I work my legs. I want them to continue to carry me through all of my endeavors. With all of that said....let's talk about a great leg workout! We are going to be using weights today, if you are without weights you can go through this routine with just body weight.

Power Legs:
Back Squat: sets of 8-10. Get enough weight on that your legs are working for those reps, but not so much that you can't do each rep perfectly.
Single Leg Squats: no weights. 10 on each leg.

Front Lunges: keep your bar, but you will most likely need to lower the weight.  Sets of 8-10 reps on each leg. Alternate front lunges (right, left, right, etc). You need to be able to step all the way back to your starting position safely and smoothly.
Single Leg Hops: find a good amount space and hop forward on alternating legs. Take it slow and find your balance through each hop. This mean if you hop off your right foot you will land on your left foot. Stay there until you find your balance then hop off and land on your starting foot. 10 on each leg. 

Dead Lifts: we are loving that bar today. Be safe! If you cannot keep your back flat lighten your weight and focus on good form. Sticking with our 8-10 reps for these solid strength lifts.
Single Leg Straight Leg Dead Lifts: 10 on each leg. Slow and focused! You will complete all 10 on one leg before switching to the other leg. Find your balance and strive to complete all 10 without putting your non-working leg down at all.

Form is so important here folks. Focus on staying strong and engaged throughout every singe rep. As always work hard and earn those rewards you are striving for.

Happy Fit Friday! 
Much Love and Peace~ Nichole and Ruthie

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Workout Wednesday - Tabata Style

It is Workout Wednesday! Today we are doing it Tabata style. Why? Well, because it is an awesome workout and because that is what I am teaching today to one of my small group classes. With this group I have learned that it is better to use two exercises with each round instead of just one. It is a great way to help people stay focused and keep pushing through all 8 segments of each round.
Quick refresher for a few of you. Each round of Tabata is 4 minutes. It is a 20 second push, 10 second recovery, repeat 8 times. You will rest 1 minute in between each round.
Enough chatter, let's get to it!

5 min of easy running, getting those legs moving a little faster as we get warmer and warmer. Easy hip stretches getting everything moving. Slow and full depth ; 10 pushups, 10 situps, and 10 squats.
Now that we are warmed up here is the workout:

Round 1:
Mountain Climbers

Round 2:
Walking Lunges

Round 3:

Round 4:
Squat Jumps
Wall Sits

Round 5:
Plank with Corner Hops
Straight Leg Situps

MADE IT!!!!!
Be sure to cool down and let yourself breathe after you are done.

Sunday, December 6, 2015

Being a Runner

I am a runner. How do I know that I am a runner? By the very fact I am super excited to on a 10 mile run this morning. I have been telling my husband for days that come Sunday I am heading out on a nice long run. His reply, "Why?" Which was simply met with a smile and, "Because I can!"

My husband has been working 7 days a week for the last couple of months. Which has meant that my Sunday long runs has been put on the back burner. It has had nothing to do with being pregnant or the fact that it is now winter, it has been because I haven't had the opportunity. 

My husband can and does run, but not for the same reasons that I do. He runs to train. He runs because he feels like he needs to. He runs to punish himself. I run because I love the feel of the ground beneath me as I push forward. I love the solitude of being out on my own. I love to feel the fresh air in my lungs. I love to feel my legs working like God intended them to. I love the connection my body, soul, and mind find not only with each other but also with everything around me.
So as I get ready to head out today know that I have a smile stemming from my very soul that has been looking forward to this for days.

Friday, December 4, 2015

Fit Friday with Sweet Potatoes and Killer Abs

Hello everyone! It is Fit Friday! Ruthie from Whats Cooking With Ruthie is here to share a yummy recipe to add to our healthy recipe collection. My 5 year old will be excited when I try this one out, she loves goat cheese! After getting yummy ideas keep reading for today's fit tips. Enjoy!

Roasted Rosemary Sweet Potato with Cranberry Chevre~ if you love sweet potatoes, rosemary, and chevre goat cheese like I do then this recipe is perfect for you and it's a simple side dish that goes along beautifully with any protein!  I adore chevre goat cheese~ it's creamy and for the most part more mild than the crumbled goat cheese varieties. But, take it up a notch at the holidays with Cranberry Chevre... it'll blow your mind! Wow. Truly amazing!! It's a seasonal item, I've found at it Trader Joes, Costco, or a nicer cheese counters in some grocery stores have it during the holidays. You could also duplicate the flavor by using plain chevre and garnishing with dried cranberries, if you're unable to find the the original.
Roasted Rosemary Sweet Potatoes with Cranberry Chevre
Recipe Type: Side
Author: Ruthie
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 6
  • 3 cups sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/2 inch cubes
  • 3-4 tablespoon fresh rosemary, chopped
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 2 ounces cranberry chevre goat cheese (I buy mine at trader joes)
  1. Preheat oven 400 degrees F.
  2. Coat cookie sheet with cooking spray; set aside.
  3. Combine sweet potatoes, olive oil, rosemary, salt and pepper in mixing bowl; toss to coat.
  4. Evenly spread mixture onto prepared pan.
  5. Bake 35-40 minutes or until lightly browned and roasted; stirring twice.
  6. Place into serving dish and top with cranberry chevre.
  7. Garnish with additional rosemary if desired.
  8. Serve warm and Enjoy!
  Roasted Rosemary Sweet Potato with Cranberry Chevre on is a simple side dish to any meal! Roasting vegetables in the oven is a simple process that works well for most root vegetables. Try it with winter squash, any variety of potato, carrots, celery root, onions- mix and match them too! It's so much fun to create with this simple technique. Then mix up the herbs and garnishments to go on top or don't any all... it all works! Roasted Rosemary Sweet Potato with Cranberry Chevre on is a simple side dish to any meal!

Roasted Rosemary Sweet Potatoes with Cranberry Chevre is a favorite of mine this time of year~ I hope you love it just as much!

It is December and it is COLD! How do I combat the cold, by working out of course! Nothing like getting in a great workout to warm you up from the inside out.  Today's fit tips include a great workout for that core, along with a few tips to help get that core that I know you all want.

Let's start with the tips:
1) NUTRITION: it does not matter how awesome your abs are, if you are eating crappy you will have a layer of fat covering those abs. Nutrition is vital!
2) POWER MOVES: don't just focus on your abs. Do movements and exercises that force you to engage your core. I love Olympic lifts for this vary reason, my ENTIRE body get a good workout when I properly do cleans, snatches, back squats, etc.
3) BREATHE AND FOCUS: when completing any exercises focus on your body. Set the muscles up so that they are engaged and ready to go, and then focus on using all of those muscles. Along with that, don't forget to breathe. It seems silly to say, but I am often reminding my classes and clients to breathe.
4) MIX IT UP: your body gets use to whatever you are doing. If your goal is to hold a plank for 3 minutes. So everyday you do planks and watch the clock. If you stay focused and work on it you will get to a point when you can hold a plank for 3 minutes, but by that point in time your body is not reaping all of the benefits it once did from planks. Your body is now used to it and will find the easiest path to complete the exercise.

Now the workout. After all of the above reading you know that these next movements are not the end all be all for awesome abs. These ab exercises are not the end-all-be-all, instead add these to your arsenal.

1) Hanging knee raises (15, 12, 10, 8)
2) V-Ups (15, 12, 10, 8)
3) Star Burst Situps (15, 12, 10, 8)
4) Russian Twists with  Medicine Ball (15, 12, 10, 8)
5) Straight Leg Sit Ups with Medicine Ball (15, 12, 10, 8)

Add 'em
Try 'em
Have fun with 'em!

Happy Fit Friday!!
Much Love and Peace~ Nichole and Ruthie

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Workout Wednesday - Weighted Bar Fun

Hello all! It is Workout Wednesday, one of best days of the week! It is freezing cold at my house and the bitterness is keeping me inside today. All of my workout is going to be completed with a weighted bar.
I have been working out a little lighter and little less these days. Because I am not pushing any body part too hard any day and I am taking days off in between lifting I have been sticking with full body workouts. Much better with this pregnant body.
Today's workout has 5 moves, all done with the bar. All of my clients are very familiar with these movements, I use them a lot.

Movement 1:
Squat and Push (also known as a thruster)
Movement 2:
Weighted Straight Leg Situps
Movement 3:
Overhead Walking Lunges
Movement 4:
Bicep Curls
Movement 5:
Lying Tricep Extensions with Leg Drops

1 minute of each movement. Go straight into the next movement, no breaks.
Run .25 easy, .25 hard, .25 easy.

Repeat 3-5x.

Sunday, November 29, 2015

Find the Joy in Working Out

I hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving weekends with your families. I certainly enjoyed mine! My husband has been working a ton and Thanksgiving not only means a day together, but it is also the week his work starts to slow down each year. As grateful as I am for having such a hard working husband and for the opportunities this time of year provides for our family, I am also very grateful when things start to slow down and we get to see a whole lot more of him.
This year we decided to run a 10k together Thanksgiving morning. I was so excited because it is a rarity that we get to run together at all. When we were dating we loved to go on long runs together, on our honeymoon we went trail running 3 or 4 times, and when we get away together we always look forward to a run together. It is truly something we enjoy doing together.

Which brings me to what I originally wanted to write about today. Let me take a step back and share part of a conversation I had this morning with a couple of my cycle class members. I asked a couple ladies how the Thanksgiving cycle class was, I knew they would have participated because they do it every year. One of the ladies instantly began sharing how frustrated she was with the instructor's Thanksgiving meal guidance. Apparently the instructor told the class to avoid rolls, desserts, and a variety of other yummy foods. Instead everyone should fill up on turkey....white meat of course.
As the conversation continued I explained how much it turns me off when an instructor tells the class to work harder to burn off last nights treat, to go faster in order to earn that piece of Halloween candy, etc (we have all heard the list).
Why does this turn me off? Because we need to be working out to enjoy working out. Because we love the way we feel when we have pushed our bodies. Because it makes us happy!
Find the joy in working out. Find the smile it brings. Find the pride it brings. Don't find the punishment in it.
Ask yourself; why do I workout? The more positives you can find the more likely you are to stick with it.

Friday, November 27, 2015

Fit Friday - Healthy Muffins and Track Fun!

Happy Fit Friday everyone! After a wonderful day filled with family, love, and food I hope you are all feeling happy and ready to start a new day. Ruthie is here from Whats Cooking with Ruthie with a yummy recipe for the day. Follow that up with a fun workout from yours truly!

Ruthie’s Healthy Recipe… Banana Nut Strudel Muffins are a delicious way to use up your overripe bananas! Banana Nut Strudel Muffins on is a delicious way to use your overripe bananas!
 I'm always looking for delicious ways to use up overripe bananas... we love bananas around our house but it seems like somehow they get away from us and before I know it's they're overripe. I don't mind though, I just have the perfect reason to get in the kitchen and bake! Banana Nut Strudel Muffins on is a delicious way to use your overripe bananas!
 Banana Nut Strudel Muffins use some of my favorite ways to "skinny" down recipes by replacing half of the butter with applesauce and replacing egg yolks with egg whites we can totally lower the fat and cholesterol! These muffins taste great without the strudel topping if you don't want to mess with it or if you'd rather cut back the overall calories- it's just a little added extravagance for special occasions. I like the Truvia Baking Blend and Brown Sugar Blend - they could easily be replaced for the sugars in this recipe, if you're looking make to take it even a notch or two up on the healthy scale!
Banana Nut Strudel Muffins
Recipe Type: Breakfast
Author: Ruthie
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 24
  • Banana Nut Muffins:
  • 1/2 cup coconut butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup applesauce
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 2 whole eggs and 4 egg whites, room temperature (for lower fat/cholesterol or 4 whole eggs)
  • 2 2/3 cups flour
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice (about 1/2 a lemon)
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 4 overripe bananas (approx 2 cups)
  • 3/4 cup walnuts, chopped
  • Strudel Topping:
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup whole grain rolled oats
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  1. Banana Nut Muffins:
  2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  3. Line muffins with paper liners or spray with cooking spray.
  4. In a large mixing bowl combine coconut and sugar; mix 2-3 minutes until light and fluffy.
  5. Add eggs one at a time; mixing and scraping with each addition.
  6. Add applesauce, banana's, lemon juice; mix until smooth.
  7. Add flour and baking soda; mix until 80% incorporated (do not over mix- a few lumps are fine)
  8. Stir walnuts in by hand using a wooden spoon.
  9. Divide batter evenly into paper liners and top with strudel mixture.
  10. Strudel Topping:
  11. In a small bowl combine flour, brown sugar, oats; mix.
  12. Add butter and cut in with fork until small peas sized.
  13. Sprinkle approximately 2 teaspoons on the top of each muffin.
  14. Bake 18-22 minutes or until inserted toothpick removes clean.
  15. Remove from pan and cool on racks.
  16. Enjoy!
Banana Nut Strudel Muffins on is a delicious way to use your overripe bananas!
We love this recipe so much... it's an adaption from my gram's banana bread recipe! It's been a staple in our house over the years!

Enjoy our Banana Nut Strudel Muffins with your family and friends this weekend!!

Happy Fit Friday! I hope we spent the day yesterday finding gratitude for all we have, including how amazing our bodies are. It doesn't matter what the scale says or what size clothes you wear, your body can still do amazing things for you. And if you treat it right and train it correctly it will continue to carry you through. With that being said let's talk about our post holiday workout today!
Today I challenge you to get outside and continue to feel gratitude, I find that easier outside than inside breathing sweaty air and staring at walls and mirrors. So I am heading to the track today! If the weather just sucks wherever you may be adapt this inside and still get your workout in today, your body will thank you!

Track Mode:
Most tracks are 400 meters. So keep that in mind as we go through today's workout.
After you are thoroughly warmed up the fun begins!
400 meter easy run (you should be able to breathe easy and even have short conversations)
200 meter sprint (labored breathing! no talking!)
200 meter walk
50 walking lunges
25 pushups (finish these however you can)

Repeat 3-4x
And do it all with a smile!

This is a solid workout without any crazy moves that make us think too hard. You do, however, have to focus on a strong output and putting in some solid effort!

Much Love and Peace~ Nichole and Ruthie

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Workout Wednesday at the Gym

Once again the week is flying by....did you know it was already Wednesday?! You know what that means, Workout Wednesday! Today's workout is a treadmill with dumbbells workout. Why? Well, because that is what I felt like doing this morning.
Some days the gym daycare is a wonderland in my world. It gives me an hour of freedom and an hour that forces my little guy to socialize (he hasn't quite figured out playing with friends like my girls had at this age.) Today was one of those days I was happy it was available and gladly used it.
Now to the fun stuff, today's workout.

5 min at a pace that you can maintain for a long run
Bump up the pace 2 notches every min for 5 min (ex. start at 6.0, up to 6.2, 6.4, 6.6, 6.8, and 7.0)

Jump off and do:
15 pushups with a row
10 weighted russian twist
5 weighted v-ups

Back on the treadmill and repeat the sequence 3-5 times depending on how much time you have and where you are at in your fitness journey.

Kill it and enjoy it!
Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

Sunday, November 22, 2015

Injured vs Hurt

I have decided that people can be placed in three categories when it comes to workouts and injuries. The first two groups are pretty common but the third type of person is much harder to find.

Group one is a large part of the population; there is no hurt just injured and every ache or pain is reason to not workout.

Group two is a smaller part; there is not injured just hurt. This group doesn't know what it means to slow down or let injuries heal. They try to push through everything, thinking that enough vitamin I (ibuprofen) will cure it and they will be ready for whatever lies ahead. That is until they are injured enough there is no slowing down, instead it is just stopping because running on a broken leg just won't work.

Group three is a rare group; this is the group that actually knows their body enough to know and respect if they are injured or hurt. They know when it is okay to push through and when it is a good day to do some yoga instead of that 10 mile trail run.

I have had to grow into group number three, don't get me wrong I have days where I rotate which group I am in. I definitely have days where I am looking for an excuse to stay home and not workout or get in my run. I also have days where I wake up and say "screw it" and head out the door even though I know I shouldn't.
But this week I realized I have gotten much better at listening to myself and taking the extra hour of sleep in hopes that I little more rest will help things feel better. Wahoo to me! It might just be the pregnant me that is making me be smarter about such decisions, but I will take it!
Now I will be curious to see if  I could keep being smart and staying in group three, listening and respecting my body. Especially since I am already planning my post baby marathon.

So....back to the original question, how do you know the difference between hurt vs being injured?

Some of the questions I ask:
1) Can I pinpoint an exact spot? (injured)
2) Does it get worse as you get going? (injured)
3) Do you feel sore? (hurt)
4) Now the hard question; will get it worse if you keep going? (injured) This is the hard question because I have seen people talk in circles to get to whatever answer they are hoping for.

Here is to hoping we all get smarter, get to know our bodies better, and listen to our bodies.

Friday, November 20, 2015

Fit Friday - Sliders and Holiday Planning

Happy Fit Friday everyone! The last Fit Friday before Thanksgiving and the Holidays really get into full swing. Ruthie from Whats Cooking with Ruthie is here with a yummy snack for these beautiful autumn days. After getting hungry reading through that keep on reading and find some Holiday season survivor tips. The Holidays are hard on our fitness routines, get ready and planned for them in order to stay on track. Enjoy!

Banana Nut Apple Sliders one of my all time favorite hold-me-over, delicious, and nutritious healthy snack anytime of day! Banana Nut Apple Sliders on are a deliciously healthy snack anytime of day!
 I adore all kinds of nut butters- I'm betting most all of us grew up on PB&J's and honestly I'm still quite in love with them. Now, I find my grown-up self grabbing for the jar of almond, sunflower, and chocolate nut butters! (along with a healthy does of peanut butter too) I'll be honest though... I don't always dress up my apples with nut butter the way I make them all pretty for you guys! Most of the time it's a spoonful of almond butter in one hand and an apple in the other. Just saying :) Banana Nut Apple Sliders on are a deliciously healthy snack anytime of day!
 Banana Nut Apple Sliders will help hold you over until your next meal- they're the perfect snack anytime of day. Banana Nut Apple Sliders on are a deliciously healthy snack anytime of day!  
Banana Nut Apple Sliders
Author: Ruthie
Prep time:
Total time:
Serves: 6
  • 2 honeycrisp or fuji apples
  • 1/2 cup chocolate almond or peanut butter
  • 1 banana sliced into rounds
  • 1/4-1/2 cup chopped walnuts
  1. Carefully slice apples cross wise using a serrated knife.
  2. Remove the center of each slice using a melon baller.
  3. Evenly spread one tablespoon of chocolate almond butter on each slider.
  4. Top with 5 banana slices and a sprinkling of chopped walnuts.
  5. Serve immediately.
  6. Enjoy!
  Banana Nut Apple Sliders on are a deliciously healthy snack anytime of day!  

Banana Nut Apple Sliders will quickly become a favorite of your families too! Oh how I love these little things.

Thanks Ruthie! A few of my favorite things all put into one (I eat Adams Peanut Butter by the spoonful....mmmmmm)....

As the holidays creep closer and closer (they always seems to creep and sneak up on me) there are a couple reminders that need to get out there in order to stay on top of your health and fitness over the next few weeks.

1) I am always a fan of morning workouts and have discussed the many reasons why in the past. During these next few busy weeks I want to reiterate how much easier it is to get up and get it done versus trying to find time later.

2) Pay attention to what you eat. I am definitely not saying to be perfect over the next few weeks, where is the fun in that. But I am saying balance it all out, if you are going to be enjoying some goodies at the neighborhood Christmas party make sure to get in a solid breakfast and lunch full of the yummy stuff your body needs (not wants!).

One of the best ways I have found to start my day and help it stay on track is to have a green smoothie in the morning. It helps with cravings and keeps me on track. If I don't have time to make one from scratch I will use Purium's mix.


3) Sleep! You can't spend the next six weeks being sleep deprived.

4) Find balance in it all. Don't miss out on the holiday fun, but enjoy it while keeping the rest of your life in semblance.

Happy Fit Friday!!! Much Love and Peace~ Nichole and Ruthie

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Workout Wednesday! Its Partner Time!

Today is a partner workout. I am very much a solo workout person, but I realize that adding a partner in can add a little oomph to your workout. The trick with a lot of people is finding the balance in your socialization time. Remember, use partners to increase competition and help you push a little harder, not to make your workout take twice as long because you get talking so much. Save your taking for recovery times or for post workout.
If you are going at it alone today you will need a timer. Time how long each movement takes you, that is how long you will hold for.
For every move 1 person is doing the workout while the other is holding a position.

Round 1:
Hold: Wall Sit
Movement: Broad jump width of basketball court. Sprint back.
Repeat so that each partner does the hold and the movement 3x

Round 2:
Hold: Hollow Rock
Movement: 10 pushups with corner hops
Repeat 3x

Round 3:
Hold: Supermans
Movement: 10 burpees
Repeat 3x

Round 4:
Hold: Plank
Movement: Length of basketball court sprints 2x
Repeat 3x

If you are just starting out try to go through everything once the first time. If that feels great go back through it. We all have to start somewhere.

Sunday, November 15, 2015

A 3 Year Old and The Grocery Store

One of the big things I always preach to my clients is that you have to be prepared in order to eat healthy and live healthy. "If you fail to prepare you prepare to fail."
Forgetting to pack some healthy snacks before a day of running errands often results in waiting and waiting to eat until you are starving and stop at the gas station grabbing a Snickers and a Diet Coke on your way to pick up the kids from school.
Staring into the pantry at dinner time and realizing you still haven't made it to the grocery store this week results in making something from random cans and boxes of stuff you happen to have in the pantry but don't even remember buying. I never buy Beef a Roni....why is it in my pantry?
And that brings me to my present state. Trying to talk myself into going to the grocery store, a much needed trip, with my 3 year old.
To many people this may not sound like that big of a deal. That is because 1) you don't have kids, 2) your kids are all adults and you don't remember this stage, or 3) you have those kids that I look at in confusion as they sit quietly while you are out in public. I do not fit into any of those categories. On top of that my child is fast. I don't mean that like other kids are fast, I mean he is fast! My friends that all have kids watch him and remark "Holy cow, he is fast!" He is also a climber, fearless, and thrives on being told no.
I also have a husband that is currently working 12-16 hour days.
Which brings me to today. I have nothing in my house that I really want to eat and the reality is that my kitchen has been bare for weeks now. I have been doing reactive grocery shopping, running in every few days to grab a few essentials. I am gearing up to take Ryker to the grocery store with me. I have learned in the past I have to have a list in order to do this, I cannot stop to think of what we need I have to be ready to grab fast and keeping moving. If I slow down for too long he climbs out of the cart, running down the aisle with one out stretched arm knocking everything off whatever shelf he can reach.
So....wish me luck.

Friday, November 13, 2015

Fit Friday - Yummy Salmon Paired with a Chipper

Happy Fit Friday everyone! I can't believe that it is Friday once again, this week seems to have gone by in a haze.
This pregnancy has kicked my butt this week. Sorry that every one missed out on Workout Wednesday, I have been in such a fog this week that Wednesday came and went without me even realizing it. To make up for the lack of that workout I am giving you an awesome one this week, that I have high hopes of getting done...fingers crossed.
We also have Ruthie from Cooking with Ruthie here with a yummy dinner idea for us today. I am lucky that my kids love salmon. In fact, one of the favorite meals at my house is salmon and artichokes. My kids will love for me to try this one out on them.

Herbed Salmon Fillet is the perfect blend of herbs in an olive oil base that's then baked to salmon perfection plus it's delicious and healthy for you too! Herbed Salmon Fillet and Fit Friday on is delicious and healthy!
 Out of all the seafood that is available to enjoy, I have to say that I love salmon they very best! I just love the flavor and all the health benefits of the Omega 3 fatty acids in salmon are a really great benefit. This recipe is quick and easy to make and can be applied to both fillet or steaks salmon- just adjust the baking time down for smaller cuts so that it doesn't get over cooked. Herbed Salmon Fillet and Fit Friday on is delicious and healthy!

Herbed Salmon Fillet
Recipe Type: Main
Author: Ruthie
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 4
  • 1 salmon fillet or 3-4 steaks
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoon fresh tarragon, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons fresh sage, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon fresh thyme
  • 1 tablespoon fresh rosemary, chopped
  • sea salt and pepper to taste
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
  2. In a small mixing bowl combine olive oil and herbs; stir to coat and allow to marinade 5-10 minutes .
  3. Place salmon on a cookie sheet, evenly spread herbed olive oil over salmon.
  4. Bake 12-15 minutes for steaks, 18-20 minutes for fillet or until the center flakes easily.
  5. Serve!
    Herbed Salmon Fillet and Fit Friday on is delicious and healthy! Remember our Roasted Herbed Tri-Colored Potatoes from last week? They're making an appearance again this recipes photo's ... they are a lovely compliment to our Herbed Salmon Fillet. We loved them together anyways... Herbed Salmon Fillet and Fit Friday on is delicious and healthy!

We got our nutritionally sound food, now it is time for the other piece of out Fit Fridays!

It is a Chipper week. Let me explain what that means before I give you the workout. A Chipper is one of those workout that you just focus on a little bit at a time. You don't look at or stress about it all at once, instead you just chip away at it and focus on each little chunk at a time. This may mean that you get 5 reps done before you stop and catch your breath, or maybe it will be an easy one for you and you will be able to get 20 done in a row. This is all about you and working your way through each movement a few reps at a time.

With that being said let's get to it:

100 jump ropes. If you are new to jump roping keep this as just singles, if you are up for the challenge  make it 100 doubleunders
90 walking lunges. If you don't have space do alternating forward lunges
80 pushups. Remember just a few at a time.
70 squat hops
60 situps
50 russian twists
40 dips
30 lunge hop switches
20 donkey kicks. These tend to be done best if you are kicking up to the wall instead of just done in the air
10 burpees

This is a solid workout! Your heart rate should get going with this one. Challenge yourself, but don't get overwhelmed. For some this is a very fine life.

Good luck! Get this Fit Friday done right! And remember:

Happy Fit Friday!!
Much Love and Peace~
Nichole and Ruthie