Friday, December 23, 2016

Fit Friday - Drunken Noodles and Balance

It is a Holiday Fit Friday weekend here! A crazy few days at my house, all full of love and excitement.
Ruthie is here with a fantastic recipe to add to your healthy holiday foods.
With the end of the year comes a renewed sense of goals making and health oriented decisions. Ruthie has us started with Drunken Noodles and I keep it rolling with some fit tips to think about as you make those goals.

Tofu Drunken Noodles a healthy vegan dinner that's packed with awesome nutrition and tastes just as fabulous!
  Tofu Drunken Noodles on www.cookingwithruthie.com a healthy vegan dinner that tastes fabulous!
 I love eating at Thai restaurants, I always get Drunken Noodles if they have them on the menu!  These Tofu Drunken Noodles taste amazing and they're super nutricious too!  The flavors are lovely~ Chinese broccoli, Thai basil, ginger, limes, and sautéed tofu makes for a filling and delightful dinner.   Oh and I just love those rice noodles soooooo much :)  Tofu Drunken Noodles on www.cookingwithruthie.com a healthy vegan dinner that tastes fabulous!
Sometimes life gets so busy that getting to the grocery store and planning dinners seems like the last thing I want to do. . . I think it happens to us all, right?!   I've been loving Purple Carrot. . . they take all the hassle out of cooking!   I've really enjoyed having healthy plant-based, perfectly portioned, power-packed meals delivered right to my door.   It's so awesome!!  I still get to love the cooking-in-my-kitchen part with the rest of the details :)  Win-win in my world this past month! 
Tofu Drunken Noodles on www.cookingwithruthie.com a healthy vegan dinner that tastes fabulous!



Tofu Drunken Noodles
Recipe Type: Main
Author: Ruthie
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 2
Ingredients
  • 1 package extra firm tofu, drain, pat dry, and cut into 1 inch cubes
  • 8 ounces rice noodles
  • 2 limes, halved
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 1/2- 1 tablespoon sambal oelek (adjusted for spiciness)
  • 1 tablespoon fresh minced ginger
  • 4 ounces chinese broccoli, cut into 1 inch pieces
  • 1/4 cup thai basil, rough chop
  • 1 scallion, thinly sliced
  • 2 tablespoons canola oil
  • sea salt
Instructions
  1. Fill large pot with water, add salt, bring to boil.
  2. Add rice noodles to boiling water and turn off heat, let soak 3-4 minutes until pliable.
  3. Drain and rinse with cool water; set aside.
  4. In small bowl, whisk together soy sauce, brown sugar, 1 tablespoon water, juice of 1 1/2 limes, 1/2 tablespoon sambai.
  5. Slice remaining 1/2 of lime into wedges for serving; set aside.
  6. In large non-stick skillet heat 1 tablespoon oil, once heated add tofu- salt and pepper and brown on all sides. (approx 5-6 minutes)
  7. Transfer tofu to plate; set aside.
  8. Return skillet to heat, add 1 tablespoon oil and coat pan, add ginger and chinese broccoli, add salt and pepper; cook 2 minutes.
  9. Add rice noodles and soy mixture to skillet; toss to coat and cook 1-2 minutes to thicken sauce.
  10. Add basil and tofu to skillet; cook 1 minute to heat through.
  11. Serve with scallions and lime wedges.
  12. Enjoy!

Enjoy a batch of  Tofu Drunken Noodles this week and add in a bit of happy and healthy to the Holiday's! 


 As we come upon the end of this year I didn't want to leave you all with another workout, you have plenty, instead I wanted to give you some things to keep in mind as we begin the new year.

Every year the majority of us start out with dreams for a new year. We take those dreams and form goals and plans that may last a few days, a few weeks, or even months. I have given you the all important S.M.A.R.T. goal acronym before and posted about how to form accomplishable goals, this is not a repeat of that. Instead this is about some things to keep in mind as we make those goals.

Balance: one of the most important words in a healthy individuals vocabulary is balance. This is important when it comes to the balance of self and others (family). The balance of enjoying life and taking fitness to the extreme. The balance between weights and cardio.
Balance is truly needed to love oneself and one's family.

Give yourself permission to not be perfect.

Let your kids see you enjoying life and not always saying no to birthday cake.

Find joy in working out, but know your limits.






Loving yourself and having balance in your life allows you to dream, to make goals, to live healthy most of the time but also be able to relax and enjoy some of life's precious moments.

As you make your goals and plans this year make sure that your dreams allow for balance. And make sure there is plenty of room for love in those goals.




Happy Fit Friday and Christmas weekend too!  
Much Love and Peace~ Nichole and Ruthie

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Workout Wednesday - 12 Days of Christmas

Workout Wednesday on this awesome holiday week. I am sure that you guys are just as busy as I am. I am hoping to get this workout in later today, sleep won this morning. My baby decided to get up every couple hours last night, I was not getting up at 5am to go workout, and at 5:45 she was wide awake and ready to party anyways. Along with not sleeping much she also has a killer cold, so no gym daycare today. That means today's workout is one that I can do from home.

With it being Christmas week we have to have a Christmas workout. I know I am a few days late for the 12 Days of Christmas, but we are still going to do the 12 Days of Christmas workout today.


Yes.....bootcampers looking for a sneak peak....this will be visited tomorrow!

Sunday, December 18, 2016

What is Your End Game?

My husband and I have had the same conversation in many different ways and many different situations. The conversation always starts with him asking me, or us, what is it we want? What is the end game that we are hoping for? The question has come up in financial conversations, in deciding the next step for our business, parenting battles, etc.

What is the end that we are hoping for?  If we can't answer that question, if we are constantly trying to figure out the best way to handle the day we are never moving forward. I know it is easy to lose sight of the big picture when the daily grind is hard enough, but it does help to make the daily grind worth it.

So how does that apply to fitness? Each day there are many battles that will be won and lost, especially during the holiday season. You may start out the day with a run and green smoothie, two battles won! But hit the office party and hard, enjoying the open bar and dessert bar, two battles lost. Instead of dwelling on the two battles lost that day celebrate your wins and know that you did indeed make it one step closer to your spring race (an ending to be excited for).

Friday, December 16, 2016

Fit Friday - Quick and Dirty Chili With Some Quick and Dirty Running

Happy Fit Friday everyone! Ruthie (www.cookingwithruthie.com) is here once again delivering a great recipe to add to your dinner mix. Then check out a killer treadmill workout to keep you running during these cold winter days,

Quick and Dirty Chili is ready in 5 minutes flat!  Wha- la. Dinner is served!!  Quick and Dirty Chili on www.cookingwithruthie.com is ready in 5 minutes flat! Dinner is served!!
 I love this Quick and Dirty Chili recipe~ it's so simple to throw together in 5 minutes and requires no more effort than opening a few cans, dumping the cans into a pot, and applying heat!!  Gotta love it!  AND there's really is nothing "dirty" about it. . . it's just fun to say it :)  I make this recipe with two cans of each ingredient but you can easily reduce it in half for a smaller group.  It's nice to keep these simple ingredients in the pantry and have for a back up meal anytime!   Quick and Dirty Chili sure has come in handy for me lots of times over the years!  Quick and Dirty Chili on www.cookingwithruthie.com is ready in 5 minutes flat! Dinner is served!! Note-- one of my favorite time saving tips is buying hamburger in larger amounts and browning it all once.  Then freezing it zip top plastic freezer bags.  It's handy to have it right-ready to go in the freezer whenever I need some browned beef!

Quick and Dirty Chili
 Recipe Type: Main
Author: Ruthie
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 6
Ingredients
  • 2 (16oz) cans of Ranch Beans
  • 2 (16oz) cans of kidney beans, drained
  • 2 (16oz) cans of diced tomatoes
  • 1 pound hamburger, browned
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1 bag tortilla chips
Instructions
  1. In stock pot brown hamburger, drain.
  2. Add cans, red pepper flakes, and chili powder.
  3. Warm through on medium-high heat.
  4. Serve with shredded cheddar cheese and tortilla chips.
  5. Enjoy!

Quick and Dirty Chili is tasty and fabulous to whip up in a pinch.

  -- I know many of you h I know many of you hate the treadmill, I do not. In the winter I tend to embrace my treadmill time, I use it to really focus on speed, form, and my Netflix. I have to run early in the morning and just can't seem to embrace running in the dark and cold, I can really enjoy running with one of those elements. In years past I tried to be the hard core runner like so many of my friends, but I found myself focusing on not falling for most of my run. My speeds sucked and my toes were numb. Not fun at all! For those that can't seem to embrace the treadmill I suggest mixing it up, don't get on and aim for a long steady run, get some intervals going and mix it up a bit.
Here is a great treadmill workout to give a whirl:

First you need to find your base pace. This is a pace that is about 75% effort. A solid pace that you can maintain.

35-45 Minute Workout
Warm Up-spend 10 minutes to workup to your base pace.

At base pace:
1 min at: 2%, 4%, 6%, 8%, 10%
30 sec at: 8%, 6%, 4%, 2%

3 min at 0%

RPT 2-3x (dependant on time and ability)

Cool Down 5 minutes
Stretch

A couple things to remember: don't hold on, pay attention to form, and pick a Netflix show that doesn't make you laugh or cry (both make running on a treadmill exponentially more dangerous).

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

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Workout Wednesday - Chipper Fun!

Workout Wednesday is here with a bang! We are doing a chipper style, it has been a while and it sounds like fun to me! A chipper is a workout with high reps. The best way to attack this type of workout is to break down the reps to a more feasible number, sets of 5 or 10 are a popular way to go.

As always warm up, get the muscles feeling good before hand, and cool down when you are done. This is going to include both resistance and cardio exercises. Push your heart rate while also keeping awesome form!

100 single jump ropes
90 squats (if you know you are a cheater put something below you to guarantee depth)
80 jumping jacks
70 push ups
60 high knees
50 weighted situps
40 squat jumps
30 pullups (modify with high row with a band if pull ups are not an option) 
20 burpees
10 man makers (see image below)




You are done! If you aren't a sweaty mess you need to do it again and put in some solid effort! Taking it easy is not going to get you anywhere.

Sunday, December 11, 2016

Love, Hate and Happiness

A beautiful Sunday morning run and back to my Sunday musings. I love to listen to books while a run and have recently started a new book by an author that I have read plenty of times before, she is a great author and between her writing and the reader the characters of this book have been portrayed amazingly well. So much so that I have found my whole body reacts viscerally to a character that is a white supremacist. 

As I ran today I found myself pondering about hate, love and happiness.In today's world there are plenty of examples of love and hate. The actions that these emotions can evoke have irrevocable consequences to many.

We turn on the news and see another shooting, a profound example of hate. You see the tears shed by on lookers, you may even feel that sadness within your own heart. I know I have felt it. We don't even have to turn on the news to find examples of hate, listen to the hurtful words spoken among our young with no thought of their effect, or maybe you even need to just listen to your own words.

Thankfully there are also plenty of examples of love. The uniting of two people through love can have everlasting consequences.  During this time of year donations are abundant. We had our kids participate with an Angel Tree this year, the 4 year old had a very hard time not taking the Paw Patrol toy he picked out home, but he did it without any tears. Love can be heard through kind words and soft actions.




Which brings me to happiness, a feeling that tends to be so elusive for some and so rampant for others. Those that have a happy heart also have a heart full of love, the anger and hatred pushed aside. 

The only response I have when asked about why one is happy or sad or angry...You find what you are looking for.  If you want to feel happiness look for love, if you truly look for it in your life and around you I promise you, you will find it.

Friday, December 9, 2016

Fit Friday - Muffins and Motivation

It is a holiday Fit Friday! Ruthie from Cooking with Ruthie is here with a fun muffin recipe for you to try out. After that check out the fit tips for this week, staying on track during this holiday season.

Orange Raisin Muffins a lovely combination of savory and sweet~ the perfect addition to any meal!  Orange Raisin Muffins on www.cookingwithruthie.com a lovely combination of savory and sweet!
 Orange Raisin Muffins are a traditional german muffin that I first enjoyed in culinary school. . . they were fabulous!  I love to make recipes a little "skinnier" when I can, I figure that since no one can ever tell + I'd rather save the calories= it's a win-win!! Orange Raisin Muffins on www.cookingwithruthie.com a lovely combination of savory and sweet!
 I made our Orange Raisin Muffins skinnier by replacing most of the butter with low-fat neufatchel cream cheese.  This one of my favorite ways to reduce calories and fat in recipes.  I replace 1/3-1/2 the fat with neufatchel cream cheese,  low-fat sour cream, or applesauce.   It's an awesome trick :)  Orange Raisin Muffins on www.cookingwithruthie.com a lovely combination of savory and sweet!



Orange Raisin Muffins
Recipe Type: Breakfast
Author: Ruthie
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 18
Ingredients
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1/2 cup neufatchel cream cheese
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tablespoon rum
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 3 tablespoon low-fat milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 2 1/4 cups flour
  • 1/4 cup ground almonds
  • 1 tablespoon grated orange rind
  • 1/4 cup raisins
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven 375 degrees F.
  2. Coat muffin tin pans with cooking spray; set aside.
  3. In a large mixing bowl, combine butter, cream cheese, and sugar.
  4. Beat in eggs, rum, vanilla, and milk.
  5. In a medium bowl, mix together cinnamon, baking powder, and flour.
  6. Add flour mixture to butter mixture all at once, mix until 80% incorporated.
  7. Gently mix in almonds, orange rind and raisins.
  8. Pour batter into prepared muffin tins; filling half full.
  9. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until nicely browned.
  10. Serve warm or cold.
  11. Enjoy!

Orange Raisin Muffins will go great with dinner or fabulous for breakfast with eggs. 


  Fit Friday and the Holiday Season, for some those may be opposing ideas but they don't have to be. The holiday season does not have to coincide with a sugar coma and and a butt that can't seem to find motivation to get off the couch. I have given a list of tips in the past, but today I wanted to focus on one thought, one tip Keep Your Eye On The Prize.

Keeping your eye on the prize first means you need a prize, you need a goal. I started a 20 week marathon training program this week, one of the reasons I picked a 20 week program vs a 16 week program was because I wanted to the structure early on. I wanted a plan that would get me through some of the chaos.

During this busy, treat filled time of year you may need lots of little goals leading up to a bigger goal. Small goals should still follow the SMART goal format. Not just "I won't eat too much." Instead focus on something specific and positive, "I am going to enjoy one piece of grandma's turtle chocolates."

With your goals in mind use some friend time to work on goals together, go for a run instead of or before your annual get together at your favorite local restaurant. Or go Christmas shopping together, this may help with lowering the stress level, and therefore sugar/wine intake, as your hurry through procrastinated shopping.












Enjoy your holiday season, but remember, it isn't the end of the world. There will be more mashed potatoes another day, my baby hasn't quite learned this one yet. And great goals await you in the new year.



Much Love and Peace~ 

    Nichole and Ruthie  

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Workout Wednesday - Bike Circuit

I love to run, unless you have just stumbled across this post you probably have already been able to figure that out. But running isn't my only form of cardio, I am also happy on a bike. I teach indoor cycle classes  2+ times a week and have been for years, it is another great way to have some fun and get a killer sweat session! So for today's circuit we are jumping on the bike.

Besides a bike you will also need a timer and some dumbbells.

BIKE:
2x30 sec sprints 
2x40 sec sprints
2x50 sec sprints
2x60 sec sprints
All of your recoveries are half of whatever you just sprinted

20 squat w/shoulder press
20 pushups w/renegade rows
20 forward lunges w/bicep curl
20 plank w/alternating kickbacks

RPT 4x

On your bike feel out your flat, if you are flying and not having to add any of your own power to keep those pedals going you are not on a flat and therefore not getting the benefits out that you should be. Don't waste your time!

Sunday, December 4, 2016

Stop the Excuses

We live in a world where everyone has an excuse and is looking to blame someone else. I hate saying that, I hate admitting that because I want to give people the benefit of the doubt. We all know that is how kids work. I am constantly hearing, "It's all because of her..." But the blame and excuses go beyond kids, it has become a way of life for so many people. My husband and I own our own business and he is constantly having to remind me that we need to protect ourselves, treat our customers right but do so fully protecting our business. 

I also hear blame and excuses from my clients on a regular basis. "I can't fit in working out because my kids are too busy." "My family doesn't like whole grains." "I can't help it, I am a stress eater." "Things are too hard at home." I am sure you have your own excuses you can add to the list, we all do. And with the holiday season upon us excuses and blame are abundant. Don't fall into that trap!!!!!

The reality...the slap in the face...you are in charge of you! It is hard sometimes, I know, we all know. But getting into a fight with your husband doesn't give you free reign in the ice cream section of the grocery store. And if you do go a little crazy with ice cream it isn't your husband's fault, it is yours!!!

With that being said make your health, your fitness, and your sanity a priority. Life may be busy, but at least 4 days a week (more days than not is the standard rule) fit in 30-60 minutes to workout. Don't stress about your diet being 100% perfect, instead focus on solid nutrition 80% of the time. That gives you plenty of room to enjoy a few bites of your grandma's awesome Christmas cookies.

The bottom line....take charge of your life!

Friday, December 2, 2016

Fit Friday - Holiday Smoothies and Your ABCs For Fitness

Hello hello! Fit Friday is back. We took a little hiatus last week to enjoy Thanksgiving with our families, but we are back at it today. Enjoy this healthy holiday smoothie from Ruthie (www.cookingwithruthie.com) then check out my ABC workout. Enjoy!

Orange Chocolate Smoothie is a healthy and delicious protein packed way to start your day! Orange Chocolate Smoothie on www.cookingwithruthie.com is a healthy and delicious protein packed way to start your day!
I was walking around the grocery store the other day noticing all the holiday candy that has recently showed up all over the isles.  It was then that I noticed one of my favorite little christmas time treats. . . those lovely boxed chocolate oranges!   That was it!  The inspiration for our Orange Chocolate Smoothie today :)  Orange Chocolate Smoothie on www.cookingwithruthie.com is a healthy and delicious protein packed way to start your day!
 I figured I could make a healthy, protein packed, delicious version of my favorite holiday treats and enjoy that much more often. After all chocolate milk is a great way to recover from workouts, clementine oranges add that lovely orangy-i-ness we need, and we're hitting the protein with fat-free greek yogurt and chocolate protein powder!  YUMMMMMM.  I promise ya'll that this Orange Chocolate Smoothie is AH-mazing!  Orange Chocolate Smoothie on www.cookingwithruthie.com is a healthy and delicious protein packed way to start your day!
 Orange Chocolate Smoothie will be your favorite way to enjoy the classical combination of chocolate and orange that we all love it this time of year.  I'm planning to make this for my recovery from work outs and probably some night time snacking too :)  Orange Chocolate Smoothie on www.cookingwithruthie.com is a healthy and delicious protein packed way to start your day! Orange Chocolate Smoothie on www.cookingwithruthie.com is a healthy and delicious protein packed way to start your day!

Orange Chocolate Smoothie
Recipe Type: Smoothie
Author: Ruthie
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 2
Ingredients
  • 1 cup low fat chocolate milk
  • 1/2 cup plain fat-free greek yogurt
  • 2 scoops chocolate protein powder
  • 3 clementine oranges, washed and leave skins on
  • 1 1/2 cups ice cubes
  • garnish: 1 square dark chocolate orange chocolate bar shavings
Instructions
  1. Combine first 5 ingredients in high speed blender, blend on high until smooth.
  2. Pour into serving glasses and garnish with dark chocolate orange chocolate bar shavings if desired.
  3. Enjoy!

You've simply gotta whip up this Orange Chocolate Smoothie. . . it's going to make you so happy!

  One of my favorite ways to do workouts these days is using mantras and motivational phrases. These mantras need to be words that you focus on to finish a good solid workout. Some examples are "Finish," "Strong, "Just do it," "Forward," "I've got this," ect. We all have the words we focus on, the phrases that push us just a bit more.

I take these phrases and spell them out with one of my letter charts, this makes for a solid workout. You get 20 seconds breathers in between each movement and one minute breather in between words. I generally pick 5 different mantras, and I am off and running. Pick some phrases and motivate you right now and get ready for a fun workout!

20 seconds          30 seconds              40 seconds
A-  burpees         B-  squat hops         C- donkey kicks
D-  situps           E-   pushups            F- plank w/bunny hops
G-  v-ups           H- situps                I- hop switches
J-  frog hops       K- burpees              L- shuttle run
M- pushup to squat N- donkey kicks       O- frog hops
P-  burpees          Q- shuttle run         R- pushup to squat
S- situps             T- squats               U- side shuffles
V- hop switches     W- squat hops          X- pushups

Y-  donkey kicks     Z- plank w/bunny hops

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

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Workout Wednesday - Stairs and Resistance

After missing last week's Workout Wednesday it is time to get back to it. My whole week was a little screwy last week, but I am back on track this week, even with a crazy snow storm we had.

Next week I start marathon training! Always a favorite!!!!  A huge part of running is a strong core; let's be honest, a strong core is a huge part of living. Because of that I am focusing on pull ups and push ups for the next few weeks. I also picked to focus on those two things because I can do them at home. This means I have no excuses during the busy holiday madness, even if I can't make it to the gym I can still get in a solid set of pull ups and push ups at home.

Today's workout is going to involve pull ups and push ups, along with a few other fun things. A great workout I can sneak in during nap time. I am using stairs for this workout, if you don't have stairs substitute 90 seconds of high knees.

WORKOUT:
5 sets of stairs
5 pull ups (or high band rows if pull ups aren't an option)
10 push ups
15 squats
20 sit ups
4 sets of stairs
RPT resistance exercises
3 sets of stairs
RPT resistance exercises
2 sets of stairs
RPT resistance exercises
1 set of stairs

And another day is done!

Sunday, November 27, 2016

Who Defines a Family?

It has been another holiday week, it has also been a week since I have posted. I have spent the week enjoying (most of the time) my crazy crew and doing all the normal Thanksgiving fun.

This year my husband and I decided we didn't want to do our normal Thanksgiving Day activities of jumping from house to house in order to make appearances with all the different families, We didn't want to have a day of chaos. It is the holiday season, over the next few weeks everyone will be visited at some point in time. Instead we decided to spend the day with those that matter most, our kids. We made Thanksgiving at our house and invited family to join us.

In today's world the word family has a much broader definition. In the last few years my family has grown exponentially. The marriage to my husband brought two beautiful, a hodge-podge of in-laws, and an ex-wife. Yes, I just included an ex-wife as part of my family. The reality is she will always be a part of our lives, whether it is for good or for bad. It has taken a few years to get to where we are today, but today I can say it is for good. Rory and his ex-wife have been able to take a step back from themselves and focus on what is best for the girls that will forever unite them.

Because they have been able to get past themselves and focus on the important things in life this woman is no longer the ex-wife and all the negative connotations that accompany that phrase. Instead she is the girls mom or simply Tiffany.

In the last 5 years we have added two more kids into our family. Both of my own children know and love Tiffany as well. She has come to most of my little guy's birthday parties and he happily greets her with hugs. She held my baby girl in the hospital and more times to count since then.


With 50-50 custody and two households that rely on self-employment we all have learned to work together. Our schedules get crazy and impossible for others to plan on, but together we have been able to consistently provide two warm homes. Two homes where chaos is normal and love is abundant.  Two homes in which these girls can thrive.  Only by including each other as part of our families has this truly been possible.

As I sat at my Thanksgiving table I had a heart full of love for all the faces that I saw. Let's be real, if I was sitting at a Thanksgiving table surrounded by cousins and their families, aunts and uncles I see only during the holiday season, and what ever other odd faces appeared this would not be the same feeling. Instead I looked at the faces of four wonderful children that have blessed me into being a mom, a husband that I love dearly, my mother-in-law, brother-in-law, and Tiffany.
'
That night, as my husband and I talked about the day he asked me "Are you happy ?" It was so easy for me to reply "Yes."

Sunday, November 20, 2016

30 Day Challenge - Core and Greens

This week started a new boot camp session, which also means this week started a new 30 day challenge. With each session we take a few minutes on the first day to discuss a direction for our next 30 day challenge. The next time we meet I come with a challenge prepared. Each individual gets to decide if they want to commit, but if they do the whole group is expecting follow through.

A few sessions ago we started having two challenges, a nutrition and a fitness challenge. This go around we have a core challenge and a green smoothie challenge. For 30 days we have a different core workout to complete. We have often just done 30 sit ups a day, but I get bored easily and I have decided that sit ups are super boring. So I set up 30 days of 30 workouts. Variety is key not only for our bodies but also our brains. 



30 situps
3x30 sec. planks
30 bicycles (each leg)
30 leg drops
30 v-ups
30 russian twists
15 situps
15 pushups
30 sec side planks each side
30 weighted situps
30 single leg drops
15 v-ups
15 bicycles each leg
30 plank with jacks
30 straight leg situps
30 windmill situps
30 russian twists
3x30 sec planks
30 situps
15 v-ups
15 plank jacks
30 single leg drops
30 weighted situps
30 v-ups
30 pushups
30 russian twists
30 straightleg situps
30 windmill situps
30 leg drops
30 v-ups
30 bicycles each leg
30 plank with jacks
10 v-ups
10 pushups
10 v-ups
Along with our core challenge I also challenged the group to 5 green smoothies per week. This gave a couple days of wiggle room. I picked this challenge because 1) I had half of the group requesting a green smoothie challenge and 2) this the perfect challenge for the holiday season. 

Green smoothies have all the vitamins and minerals that are great for our bodies, but they also have a secret hidden power. Green smoothies help curb cravings. When my afternoon munchies hit I can tell what I started my day with, serious sugar craving or cravings I can't quite seem to place generally link back to no green smoothie that day. On those afternoons I end up making an afternoon green smoothie and 90% of the time it is exactly what my body needed. As the holiday treats come out I know that I will be less tempted if I have started the day out right, green smoothie and a workout. This doesn't mean I won't indulge every once in a while, but it does mean that on the days I do I know my body has had plenty of good healthy stuff to go with that bit of holiday sugar delight.

Friday, November 18, 2016

Fit Friday - The Beginnings of the Holidays

Hello Fit Friday! The holidays are everywhere right now, including here. Ruthie is here with a fantastic side to add to any feast this season. And I am talking tips to keep these holidays healthy.

Horseradish Mashed Potatoes are a must try for your holiday feasting this year!  *horseradish-mashed-potatoes 5
 Add a little bit of kick to holiday feasting with our Horseradish Mashed Potatoes, they take mashed potatoes to the next level.  You'll be pleasantly surprised at the tasty addition horseradish makes in this classic side dish!  *horseradish-mashed-potatoes 2
 Horseradish Mashed Potatoes have a bit of butter, half and half, and then most of the moisture comes from reserved water from boiling.  It's a great trick to keep them moist and fluffy without adding a ton of calories!  My grandmother used to put a cube or two of butter and lots of cream into her mashed potatoes- they were tasty but holy-moly SO loaded!  Horseradish Mashed Potatoes on www.cookingwithruthie.com are a must try for your holiday feasting this year!

Horseradish Mashed Potatoes
Recipe Type: Side
Author: Ruthie
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 4
Ingredients
  • 5 medium sized russet potatoes, peeled and cubed
  • 2 tablespoons salted butter
  • 1/4 cup half and half
  • 1-2 teaspoons sea salt, according to taste
  • 1 teaspoon country style horseradish, according to taste
Instructions
  1. In a medium sized pot bring salted water to boil, enough to cover potatoes.
  2. Add potato cubes and cook 8-10 minutes or until a fork pierces through easily.
  3. Reserve 1/2 cup potato water, drain remaining juice, and return potatoes to pot.
  4. Using a potato masher or ricer, mash to coarse-smooth consistency.
  5. Add butter and mix.
  6. Add half and half and mix.
  7. Add reserved potato water a tablespoon at a time until reaches desired consistency.
  8. Add sea salt, adjust to taste.
  9. Add 1/2 teaspoon horseradish- tasting with additions.
  10. Serve and Enjoy!

Horseradish Mashed Potatoes are a tasty twist for your holiday feasting! Enjoy. 


 We all know this next week is all about family, fun, and of course food. I love how many races I see happening Thanksgiving morning, but let's be real Thanksgiving is not about the races, it is all about the food....and the family.

So let's talk about staying healthy this Thanksgiving.



1) Don't skip out on meals earlier in the day
2) Start your day with a sweat session
3) Watch your portion sizes
4) Drink mostly water. Limit alcohol and sugary drinks
5) Fill your plate with salads and veggies
6) Watch your add-ons (gravy, butter, salad dressing, cheese, etc.)
7) Eat slowly
8) Give away leftovers
9) Go for a walk after dinner
10) Enjoy the day! There is so much more to today than what goes in your mouth. Enjoy time with family, old traditions, make new traditions, and strive to finish the day feeling good inside and out!


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

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Workout Wednesday - Running Circuit

After being MIA for a few days I am back with a great workout to get you going. It is the end of the year and I am trying to finish up my Run the Year Challenge, which means most of my workouts will involve running for the next 6 weeks. If there is another baby in my future I need to not take on high mileage challenges the year of that birth.

I also love these types of circuits on days I am tired. I was explaining to couple of my friends the other day that you should always have a couple of cardio-weight circuits in your back pocket for those days that you don't really want to do anything. When you are mixing it up it just seems so much easier to get it done in 5 minute chunks instead of running for an hour or weights for an hour.

Treadmill Circuit
Warm Up 5-10 min
5 min run (this should be at 75% effort)
25 push ups
25 squats
25 sit ups
5 min run
20  push ups
20 squats
20 sit ups
5 min run
15 push ups
15 squats
15 sit ups
5 min run
10 push ups
10 squats
10 situps
5 min run
5-10 min cool down

Enjoy!!!!!

Friday, November 11, 2016

Fit Friday - Yummy Cookies and Sick Kiddos

Fit Friday is here with another fantastic recipe from our favorite fit chick in the kitchen, Ruthie! Ruthie is full of healthy twisted recipes, enjoy this week's yumminess! I love a yummy snack when stressed, tired, and worn out. Those are also things that all bring on sickness, keep on reading for some sick fighting tips from this momma!

Cranberry, Pecan, Dark Chocolate Cookies are a healthier cookie that taste like everything you've been craving in a cookie and more! SO Delish!!  They're packed with plenty of healthy-yummy-goodness too. . .  with the oats, whole wheat flour, milled flax seed, applesauce, dried cranberries, pecans, and dark chocolate!  YUMMMmmm. Cranberry, Pecan, Dark Chocolate Cookies on www.cookingwithruthie.com are a healthier cookie that taste like all you crave in a cookie! Delish!!
 I'm completely telling the truth when I tell you that these Cranberry, Pecan, Dark Chocolate Cookies are one of my all time favorite cookies!  They totally are.   You'll love them too, I promise!  They make A LOT of cookies but the cool part is that they freeze really well, so whenever that little sweet tooth kicks in. . . you've got a healthier way to satisfy it right on hand. :) Cranberry, Pecan, Dark Chocolate Cookies on www.cookingwithruthie.com are a healthier cookie that taste like all you crave in a cookie! Delish!!
 Cranberry, Pecan, Dark Chocolate Cookies recipe originally came to me via a friend who got it from a yoga spa. . . no one will ever believe they're good for you!  Most of the moisture in these cookies comes from applesauce with just a 1/4 cup of butter- which for 70 cookies is hardly anything at all!   Oh, yah.  I did remember to mention that it makes enough to feed a whole a yoga spa, right?!?!  You'll love them fresh or out of the freezer- no worries.  Cranberry, Pecan, Dark Chocolate Cookies on www.cookingwithruthie.com are a healthier cookie that taste like all you crave in a cookie! Delish!!
 

Healthy Cranberry, Pecan, Dark Chocolate Chip Cookies
Author: Ruthie
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 70
Ingredients
  • 7 cups whole rolled oats
  • 2 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
  • 1/4 C milled flax seed
  • 1 tablespoon baking soda
  • 1 tablespoon sea salt
  • 2 cups applesauce
  • 1/4 cup butter, room temperature
  • 2 cups light brown sugar or 1 C agave (or 50/50)
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 2 whole eggs and 4 egg whites (to reduce fat/cholesterol), room temperature
  • 2 cups dark chocolate chips
  • 2 cups dried cranberries
  • 2 cups sliced pecans
  • sea salt to garnish each cookie
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven 350 degrees.
  2. Coat half sheet pan with cooking spray; set aside.
  3. In a large mixing bowl whip butter and sugar or agave; cream until smooth.
  4. Add eggs one at a time, scraping with each addition.
  5. Add vanilla; mix.
  6. In a large mixing bowl combine flour, flax seed, baking soda, and sea salt; whisk together.
  7. Add dry mixture and mix until 80% incorporated.
  8. Add oats in two batches mixing between each addition.
  9. Do not over mix.
  10. Add dark chocolate, cranberries, and pecans; stir to incorporate.
  11. Drop cookies onto prepared pan by the tablespoon or use a large cookie scoop.
  12. Add a sprinkle of sea salt to each dough ball before cooking.
  13. Bake at 350 for 12-15 min or until edges are crispy and lightly browned.
  14. Store in airtight container.
  15. Dough can be frozen for two months or last one week in the fridge.
  16. Baked cookies freeze well for up to 2 months.
  17. Makes approx 70 cookies.
  18. * if using only agave, add an additional 1/2 C whole wheat flour

Cranberry, Pecan, Dark Chocolate Cookies will be you favorite new cookie!  Enjoy!!

  The season of germs and sickness is here. I have cleaned up more vomit over the last couple of weeks than I care to remember. This means that I have skipped right over one of the key tips to staying healthy, avoid sick people, but I am practicing tip number two fervently, clean!!!!

That brings me to tip number three and four (the tips Ruthie and I am here to help with) eat right and exercise. With that being said let's talk workout!

We are doing a chipper today. A chipper is one of those workouts that scare us when we first look at it, instead of looking at the whole you need to break it down into doable chunks. Stay focused on the completing that chunk you are working on and don't stress about what is still to come.

No Equipment Needed Chipper:

100- jumping jacks
90- walking lunges
80- ice skaters
70- situps
60- squats
50- pushups
40-  dips
30- bicycles
20- burpees
10- inch worms with a push up



Don't let the numbers scare you! This is a very doable workout. Break it down and do it right!








~Much Love and Peace~
Ruthie and Nichole