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.