Sunday, January 31, 2016

Counting Those Bites

I have been asked numerous times about tracking calories over the last couple of weeks. Do I recommend it? Do I track my calories and food? My answer is this. I recommend tacking for a few days every once in a while. Track when you are wondering about weight gain, energy levels, etc. But do I recommend tracking all the time for the rest of your life? NO!

We live in a day where food has become an obsession. Too many people stress about what they are going to eat and when. And for way too many this obsession leads to very a very unhealthy life, I know this all too well. For many people this obsession doesn't lead down the path of full blown eating disorder but it does lead to an unbalanced life.

Tracking every bite you put in your mouth does not help you find balance in this maddening life. Instead it leads to a constant debate of what you have eaten, what you can "afford" to eat, and questioning if you really want to write that down. That is not healthy or sane.

Now, I did say there are times I have my clients track their food for a few days. Generally this is used with new clients that are just starting on their get healthy path or with clients that have had some unanswered weight gain or have not been feeling like their normal selves. This helps to see what changes need to be made and just a good overall awareness. It opens up the eyes to my mom's that constantly clean their kids plates....who would have thought all those extra bites could lead to an extra 500 calories? It explains why lunch at the nearest fast food place is hindering one's ability to lose weight and why you feel so sluggish in the afternoon. 

Back to the original question; do I track? Only when needed and only for a short period of time. Do I recommend tracking? Only when needed and only for a short period of time.

Remember, my big focus is how to live healthy and balanced. You can't be balanced with the rest of your life if you are constantly stressed about tracking your food. Your brain has too many other things to keep in check.

Friday, January 29, 2016

Fit Friday! Skinnied up Cookies and the Joys of Real Food

Happy Fit Friday everyone! Ruthie is here from Whats Cooking with Ruthie with a skinnied up cookie recipe for those days when you just really need a yummy treat. After the yummy looking food keep reading to hear about why I love food....and not pills. Enjoy everyone!

Chocolate Chunk Banana Nut Cookies are they perfect way to use up those overripe bananas!
. Chocolate Chunk Banana Nut Cookies on are they perfect way to use up those overripe bananas! YUMMY.

 Chocolate Chunk Banana Nut Cookies are not exactly a "healthy" recipe but more of a "skinnied" recipe! Do. Not. Fear. They taste amazing and all things considered they're loaded with good for you ingredients like bananas, applesauce, oats, walnuts, and semi-sweet chocolate. You can replace the sugars with Truvia Baking Blend and Brown Sugar Baking Blends or even honey would work to cut down the sugars a bit if you'd like to. I replaced half the butter with applesauce, which works well in most baking recipes. Chocolate Chunk Banana Nut Cookies on are they perfect way to use up those overripe bananas! YUMMY.
 If you love Banana Nut Bread then you'll fall completely in love with these little guys... they're SO good. They freeze really well to so if you have some left hanging around throw them in a ziptop freezer baggie for a ready-to-eat, sweet treat when that sweet tooth gets to calling! Chocolate Chunk Banana Nut Cookies on are they perfect way to use up those overripe bananas! YUMMY. If you're not a nut person then go ahead and omit them or trade the walnuts for a different variety too. I like to Trader Joes brand of semi-ssweet chocolate chunks- they melt in your mouth and have a pretty high percentage of cocoa in them too- the more antioxidants, the better.
Chocolate Chunk Banana Nut Cookies
Recipe Type: Dessert
Author: Ruthie
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 36
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 cup old fashioned rolled oats
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 cup butter, room temperature
  • 1/4 cup applesauce
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar or sugar replacer
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
  • 1 egg, room temperature
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 cup mashed overripe banana (approx 2)
  • 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chunks
  • 1 cup walnuts, chopped
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Coat cookie sheet with cooking spray; set aside.
  3. In a small mixing bowl combine dry ingredients.
  4. In a large mixing bowl cream butter and sugars for 3-4 minutes until light and fluffy.
  5. Add egg, vanilla, applesauce, and bananas; mix well.
  6. Add dry ingredients and mix until 80% combined.
  7. Hand stir in chocolate chunks and walnuts.
  8. Using a large cookie scoop, drop onto prepared cookie sheet.
  9. Bake 9-10 minutes until edges are lightly golden, remove and allow to rest 1 minute on pan.
  10. Remove cookies to cooling rack.
  11. Enjoy!
Chocolate Chunk Banana Nut Cookies on are they perfect way to use up those overripe bananas! YUMMY.

Enjoy making our Chocolate Chunk Banana Nut Cookies with your kiddos this weekend and have a skinnier-delicious treat!

After all these weeks of fantastic recipes provided by Ruthie I wanted to talk about food, more specifically why food is the best way to get the nutrients your body needs. I realize that you can find a pill or some sort of "amazing" juice to get anything and everything your body could need, but is that ideal? NO! This is a discussion I get into a lot with my clients. I am often asked what supplements I take and what I would recommend. The looks I get when I explain that I don't take anything are priceless. The reality is our bodies know how to use food better than it knows how to use a pill. And we get a lot more from food than we do supplements. For example, there are hundreds of nutrients in an apple along with fiber and lots of essentials, way more than than the just the biggies. Part of the job of all the smaller nutrients in that apple is to work WITH the bigger nutrients, to assure that we are getting the full power of the bigger nutrients.

                                                                   Which one?

Now, don't get me wrong, I do believe that something is better than nothing. If you are just starting out on your healthy venture or you realistically know that your nutrition is never going to be all that great, sure add a good multivitamin. I also am a big believer in following doctor recommendations. If you are having health issues and your doctor tells you that you are low in vitamin D, absolutely add a good vitamin D to your morning ritual. 
So, how?
1) Get a variety of whole foods. We all have our favorites and our fall backs, but step away from the daily apple and have a pear today. Or go even further outside of that box and try something completely new. The key is a whole food, not try a different frozen dinner.
2) Read labels and learn what is in the food you consume. The more knowledge you have the better decisions you can make.
3) Lots of different fruits and veggies, different colors signify different nutrients.
These three little tips can go along way. And we are lucky enough to have Ruthie help with all three. Each week she gives us new recipes and new things to try. She is an awesome resource, so use what she gives us!

Good luck this week!
Happy Fit Friday!! We hope you have a wonderful weekend :)
 Much Love and Peace~ Nichole and Ruthie

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Workout Wednesday - Circuit Time

It is time for another fun round of workouts. I have been stuck on a treadmill at the gym and need to mix it up a bit. I have also found that I have limited amounts of energy to get everything in, so I need to make the most of the energy reserves I have. A few short months ago I was enjoying my steady routine now that routine has needed to be adjusted, I just don't have the energy to complete much more than weights OR running, can't do both.....unless....I combine them for one great workout instead of two great workouts. So let's do it!!!!

Run and Lift - Circuit Time

5-10 min warm up
Jog 1 min
Run 2 min
Sprint 1 min
15 squats with bicep curls
15 dips
15 v-ups
15 pushups
Repeat 3x
Run 1 min 0%
Run 2 min 2.5%
Run 1 min 5%
10 sumo deadlifts with upright row
10 lunges with front shoulder raises
10 supermans
10 narrow pushups
Repeat 3x
Cool Down


Sunday, January 24, 2016

Stop Making Excuses!!!!

Saturdays at my house are chore days at our house. The girls each have to get their bedroom cleaned and one other additional chore. My 5 year old will generally play for a bit in the morning with her little brother, but once she decides to get it done she does. It takes her 30-45 minutes, depending on how much her little brother helps, and she does a pretty good job. Not much complaining or whining involved. My oldest is a whole different story. She doesn't start until she is forced, ie. no more electronics to distract her. The whining and complaining continue the entire time she is cleaning, which takes any where from 2-4 hours and involves lots of whining, complaining, and yes, excuse making. "Its too hard!" "It's not fair." "I don't want to do this right now!" "None of my friends have to do chores."

As I listened to her myriad of excuses yesterday I couldn't help but compare her to a couple of clients I have had along the way. Many of these clients don't last long and definitely don't see results. Results come from hard work and from making changes. I trained one lady for about a year and every week I heard, "It's too hard." She wouldn't push herself, and instead made up excuses for why she couldn't work out more than once a week and why her nutrition sucked! Let me explain a little but about her and why I know these were poor excuses. She got a massage twice a week, she got her nails done every week, she got her hair done once week, and the local bakery knew her daily order. She was simply one of those individuals that did not like to work hard and did not understand what it meant to earn your results.

If you want to get healthier, if you want to see results when you look in the mirror, if you want to feel better you have to stop making excuses and do the work!

Friday, January 22, 2016

Fit Friday - Delicious Chicken Salad and Aerobic Base Training

It is Friday once again. Ruthie from Whats Cooking With Ruthie is here to for our Fit Friday posts. She brings a delicious salad recipe to help us stay out of a rut with out healthy eating, or for some it may inspire more healthy eating. I am following up with some important info for cardio training, specifically for those of you that have started forming your race schedules for the year. Enjoy! And have a wonderful Friday!

Avocado, Tomato, Chicken Salad with Basil Vinaigrette has amazing flavor and it's good SO for you too!
  Avocado, Tomato, Chicken Salad with Basil Vinaigrette on has amazing flavor and good for you too!
 January seems to be the that time of year when we all try to focus in a little more on having healthy and balanced nutrition. I try to eat a salad every day- it's pretty simple to do, actually! Avocado, Tomato, Chicken Salad with Basil Vinaigrette on has amazing flavor and good for you too!
 On your next shopping trip to the grocery store grab a bag of mixed salad greens, a variety of fresh fruits and vegetables, and a couple of different kinds of nuts- I like to have pinenuts, sliced almonds, and sunflower seeds on hand in the freeze so they stay fresher longer. OH and I'm a lover of cheese so I usually have some parmesan and chevre goat cheese in the fridge too. Avocado, Tomato, Chicken Salad with Basil Vinaigrette on has amazing flavor and good for you too! Then let your imagination run wild! Mix and match your salad ingredients to make healthy and ddelicious combinations... then you know you're helping to get your 5 a day fruits and veggies. Awesome :)
Avocado, Tomato, Chicken Salad with Basil Vinegrette
Recipe Type: Main
Author: Ruthie
Prep time:
Total time:
Serves: 4
  • 4 cups mixed salad greens
  • 2 cups shredded chicken breast
  • 2 avocado, halved, pitted, and thinly sliced
  • 2 vine ripe tomatoes, halved and quartered
  • 1/2 cup toasted pine nuts
  • 1/4 cup red onion, small diced
  • 1/4 cup chevre goat cheese
  • sea salt to garnish
  • Basil Dressing:
  • 5 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons white balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons fresh basil, thinly sliced
  1. Basil Dressing:
  2. Combine all ingredients and whisk to combine.
  3. Allow flavors to meld while making salad plates.
  4. Salads:
  5. Place 1 cup salad greens on each serving plate.
  6. Arrange 1/2 cup chicken in a row down the center of each salad.
  7. Arranging tomato and avocado slices to each side of the chicken.
  8. Evenly distribute chevre cheese, pine nuts, and red onion over salad.
  9. Garnish with a sprinkling of sea salt.
  10. Serve with Basil Dressing.
  11. Enjoy!
  Avocado, Tomato, Chicken Salad with Basil Vinaigrette on has amazing flavor and good for you too!  

Getting a healthy salad everyday like our Avocado, Tomato, Chicken Salad with Basil Vinaigrette is sure to keep us on track for a healthy and happy new year!

Nichole here; another week has flown by and I am here once again with some quick tips. Many of my clients, along with the rest of the world, use the new year to make some race goals. Sometimes these goals are new events, new distances, renewed hopes, P.R.s, etc. Whatever the goal you need to make sure you have a solid base and a good training plan.

What do I mean by a solid base? And why do you need one? Aerobic base is the heart rate range in which you can exercise for a long period of time, 60%-80%.
What is the benefit? Aerobic base training increases VO2 max, lowers heart rate, and lead to your body being more efficient.
I realize people love interval training and HIIT style, I love interval training. It is a great way to get in a killer workout in a limited amount of time, but if you do not spend some of your training time developing that base you are more likely to get injured or at least you won't get all of the awesome benefits of interval training.
Most research recommends at least 50% of training to be done at this level. Which brings me back to the beginning, in order to train for those races of 2016, you need to develop that base. Let me explain what that means to me....a runner. This is not a normal year for me, at least not the first half of the year, but once this baby comes I am back to marathon training for the fall. Being a busy mom my goal is 4 days a week of running, if I get any more in that is just bonus. I spend 2 of those days  pushing my heart rate and 2 of those days getting some steady miles in.

Day 1: Intervals; short distances mixed in with recovery runs. For example: 400 m sprints with 200 m jogs.
Day 2: Recovery Run: Mid mileage (5-8 miles) at a steady and maintainable pace.
Day 3: Tempo Run: mid mileage distance for the overall run with a few hard miles mixed in. For example: 1 mile easy, 2 miles at race pace, 2 miles easy for a total of 5 miles.
Day 4: Long run 30-60 seconds slower than race pace.

And there you go! That is just an example of my training. There are lots of different training plans out there. You have to find the one that works for you and your goals, just remember it has to include some of that aerobic base training. Good luck!

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

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Workout Wednesday - Plyos and Ladders

Hello! Hello! It is Workout Wednesday time! The gym is still overly crowded, so I am giving you a no equipment option if you want to get that killer workout without dealing with the crowded gym. I know I need a break from the gym every once in a while and, even more importantly, my little guy needs a break from the daycare every few days.
Today we are working on getting those heart rates up and moving while working on some power-explosive muscles at the same time.
As always, be sure to warm up and cool down with this workout.
We are doing a ladder today, you have to go all the way up and down. The goal today is to complete as much as you can in 20 minutes.

5 Burpees
10 Switch Hops
15 Plank with Bunny Hops
20 Jumping Jacks
25 Squat Hops
30 Ice Skaters

50 Situps

30 Ice Skaters
25 Squat Hops
20 Jumping Jacks
15 Plank with Bunny Hops
10 Switch Hops
5 Burpees

50 Pushups

Lots of jumping, I know. Learn to embrace it and love it like kids do!

Sunday, January 17, 2016

Let's Talk About The Bedroom...How Does It Fit In To Your Healthy Life?

I have started and restarted this post over and over again, not knowing how to start but knowing where I want to go. So let's just jump into the middle....what am I talking about! Why? My husband and I are healthy active adults, sex is an important part of our relationship. I have said from the beginning that I am writing to talk about health and fitness in a balanced and healthy way and relate it back to my own life. A healthy sex life is part of that balance and definitely a part of my own life.

I am probably going to be coming back to this subject in future posts, today I just wanted to share a few thoughts. But as I have done some reading this week I have come across some fascinating articles and a lot of interesting research. Sex and fitness definitely go together and support each other. 

One important benefit of working out is "greater body appreciation", in other words, we feel better about our bodies. I am also going to throw into this one the idea that we get to know our bodies better. This is not a benefit just for the super fit or super skinny. No, this is a benefit that many of my clients have told me about after just a few workouts. When we feel better about ourselves that confidence is also felt by our partner and comes out in a sexual aspect of our relationship. We start to feel more desirable and let our partners share in that new found desirability and confidence more. Don't get me wrong, I still get self-conscious and tend to giggle a bit when my husband asks to look at and appreciate my naked body. But come on....who wouldn't?

As we get to know our bodies more we become more in-tune we get to what feels good. I am a big believer in knowing your body. It helps you have better form when you workout, recognize injured vs hurt, helps you get the nutrients that your body craves, and yes it helps you enjoy sex more.

Along with some of these important things there are a variety of health benefits to sex, I am going to bring up two that I found important but there are are stacks of research articles out there that also discuss how sex prevents different types of cancer, helps reduce diabetes 2, and many many more health concerns.

The two that I found myself reading more about were heart health and better sleep. I tuned into these two benefits because these are two benefits of exercise that I find myself discussing with my clients quite often.

Whenever I have a client ask me how much cardio they need to do I give them the guidelines given by the American Heart Association, and tell them just for a healthy heart this is what you need to do. Apparently I should also add to those guidelines, you should also be having sex at least twice per week. One study I read stated that men who had sex at least twice per week were half as likely to have a heart attack. 

Its the end of a long day, the kids are in bed, my husband takes my hand and starts leading me up the stairs asking me to come put him to sleep. Turns out this is more than just a cute little line, sex does help you fall asleep at night. Why? Because the hormone prolactin is released, prolactin leads to feelings of relaxation and sleepiness. So when you can't fall asleep tonight ask your partner to help out. 

Friday, January 15, 2016

Fit Friday - Power Bites and Legs

Happy Fit Friday everyone! I woke up to a wonderland and snow, wishing I could go run in it. The snow and ice make my husband nervous for this prego mama, one little fall and he becomes a worry wart.
Ruthie is here from Cooking with Ruthie to share a yummy recipe for power bites. My family discovered sunflower butter a while a go, it is a delicious staple at our house. Having a kid with allergies helps you think outside the box at times. Try these out for a fun on-the-go snack.

Cinnamon Raisin Power Bites are packed with whole grain oats, chia seeds, milled flaxseed, raisins, sunflower seeds and sunflower butter- they're so good for you and taste amazing! Cinnamon Raisin Power Bites on packed with good for you ingredients that taste amazing!
I love to keep some of these in our fridge, they're the perfect pick me up snack in the middle of the day! I have a few different varieties for you to enjoy... Raw Bars or Bites are simply different shapes for the same type of raw bar recipe- Berry Medley Raw Bars, Chocolate Trail Mix Power Bites, Almond Joy Power Bites, Dark Chocolate Raw Bars, Healthy Power Bites, and Almond Power Bites. Any of these recipes can be pressed into a pan to make bars or rolled into balls to make bites! Any shape you make them just put them in an air tight container and then into the fridge… they’ll easily keep for up to week. (if they stay around that long) Cinnamon Raisin Power Bites on packed with good for you ingredients that taste amazing!
Cinnamon Raisin Power Bites
Author: Ruthie
Prep time:
Total time:
Serves: 18
  • 1 cup whole oats
  • 1/2 cup sunflower seed butter
  • 1/3 cup honey
  • 1/4 cup milled flax seed
  • 1/4 cup chai seeds
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup golden raisins
  • 1/4 cup sunflower seeds
  1. Combine all ingredients in mixing bowl.
  2. Using a wooden spoon; stir until combined.
  3. Roll into 1 inch balls.
  4. Store in air tight container and refrigerate uneaten bites.
  5. Enjoy!
  Cinnamon Raisin Power Bites on packed with good for you ingredients that taste amazing!

We got the food for our Friday now let's get a killer workout!

Happy Fit Friday everyone! I hope that you are ready for a new workout today to get your weekend started! Last week was tips to stick to your New Years Resolutions, so I figured we needed an awesome workout this week.
After a fun Boot Camp this week I decided I wanted to do something similar for Fit Friday's workout. We are doing a leg workout with your name.

A = 15 hop squats
B = 30 lunges
C = 25 squats
D = 1 min wall sit
E = 15 burpees
F = 30 side lunges
G = 25 hop squats
H = 30 switch hops
I = 30 ice skaters
K = 50 squats
L = 50 lunges
M = 2 min wall sit
N = 30 squats
O = 10 burpees
P = 20 ice skaters
Q = 40 lunges
R = 50 side lunges
S = 90 sec wall sit
T = 20 burpees
U = 40 switch hops
V = 20 broad jumps
W = 40 squats
X = 25 burpees
Y = 35 squats
Z = 40 switch hops

We are going to use your complete name for this workout. 
Complete the exercises for the first 5 letters of your name. 
1 minute plank
Complete the exercises for the next 4 letters of your name.
1 minute plank
Complete the exercises for the next 3 letters of your name.
1 minute plank
Complete the exercises for the next 2 letters of your name.
1 minute plank
Complete the exercises for the next 1 letters of your name.
1 minute plank

I realize that is a lot of letters. If you make it through your name you start over until you are done. As always...have fun with it and do your best!

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

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Workout Wednesday - Full Body Circuit

Yipee! It is Workout Wednesday! Hopefully you are still all on track with your New Years goals and excited for a new workout today. Today is a circuit of full body power moves mixed with fun cardio moves. We aren't getting too crazy with a bunch of moves, so focus on the few that we are doing and get them done perfectly. In other words, make the most out of every move!

As always be sure to warm up good before you get going too intensely.

50 Jumping Jacks
25 Squat with Shoulder Press; some people                     understand thisbetter as a thruster. Complete this        move with dumbells.
50 High Knees
25 Deadlift with Upright Row
50 Jump Squats
25 Lunges with Front Shoulder Raise

1 minute breather

50 Jumping Jacks
25 V-Ups
50 High Knees 25 Pushups
50 Jump Squats
25 Dips

And done! If you have extra time or you had a lot of coffee this morning repeat the circuit cutting every thing in half (50 becomes 25 and 25 becomes 12).


Sunday, January 10, 2016

Cornerstone Habits

Made it through the first week of the New Year! My kids have already missed to days of school due to sickness, but that is the way it goes sometimes. Unfortunately they shared their germs and I have the cold from hell. It started a few weeks ago and lingered longer than any other cold I have ever had, as my husband pointed out numerous times. It lessened quite a bit, but now it is back! UGH!!!! So my workouts haven't been what I was aiming for, but I also must admit that there is a lot of flexibility in my workouts at this point in time. If my workouts can't always be what I want them to be then my nutrition should be, right?!

I read a great book about habits sometime ago. One of the things that stuck in my mind is the idea of what the authors call cornerstone habits. These are habits that other habits build upon. The specific cornerstone habit that I totally related to was exercise. The authors put not only nutrition but also sleep as habits that build upon the habit of exercise. As I thought back at my own experiences that only thing I could do is nod in agreement!

Moments when I have been injured and couldn't workout for some reason or another I easily justified eating complete crap. Those are the days that I over indulged in treats and just said "oh well" as I ate another pudding cup. The days when I was "stuck" were the days that I told myself "I will get back on track later" or I enjoyed a few extra chips because I wasn't worried how they would make me feel as I tried to push through a hard training run.

On the other hand I have also noticed the opposite, if I am teaching an evening class I pay much more attention to how my afternoon snack will make me feel later. I know that a big ole spoonful of cookie dough late at night will not be so yummy as I hit a hard training run first thing in the morning.

Sleep has always been a pretty easy one for me. My body needs sleep and I will not deprive it willingly. I realize this is not the case for many, I have clients cancel because they were on the computer until late in the night or they just couldn't turn the tv off.

The more you can learn about how all these things connect for yourself the better off you will be. And most important, don't skip a workout just because you don't feel like it. Get in the habit of doing something and notice how much easier it becomes to make healthier food choices.

Friday, January 8, 2016

Fit Friday - Chicken Skewers and New Years Resolutions

Hello all! After a slight hiatus we are happy to be back to our Fit Fridays! Ruthie from Whats Cooking with Ruthie is here to offer a yummy recipe that I know my kids will love. A great one to try out as we all get back to living and eating healthier.
Afterwards keep on reading to get some tips to stick to your New Years Resolutions. We all make the, whether you want to admit it or not, and we all struggle to stay on track at some point in time. I have given you a few things to think about in order to lessen your own struggle.

Chicken Brochettes are skewer threaded chicken, red and green peppers, and pineapple - it'll be your favorite game day appetizer! Chicken Brochettes on will be your favorite game day appetizer!
 What is a Brochette? It's the French term for the skewer that small cubed food is cooked on and it's usually grilled. Wikipedia says it like this... In cooking, en brochette refers to food cooked, and sometimes served, on brochettes, or skewers. The French term generally applies to French cuisine, while other terms like shish kebab, satay, or souvlaki describe the same technique in other cuisines. Food served en brochette is generally grilled. **chicken-brochettes 3
 Chicken Brochettes make for the perfect appetizer, they can be paired with your favorite sauce for an added flavor pop. Just make sure to keep the food chopping relatively uniform and smaller in size for uniform cooking.
Chicken Brochettes
Recipe Type: Appetiser
Author: Ruthie
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 16
  • 2 cups chicken breast, cubed
  • 1 cup red pepper, medium diced
  • 1 cup green pepper, medium diced
  • 1 cup onion, medium diced
  • 1 cup fresh pineapple, cubed
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 16 wooden brochettes (skewers)
  1. Soak wooden brochettes in water for 10-15 minutes to reduce charing when grilling.
  2. Coat grill with cooking spray or oil to reduce sticking.
  3. Preheat grill on medium high.
  4. Alternate threading chicken, peppers, onions, and pineapple onto soaked brochettes.
  5. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.
  6. Repeat with additional brochettes.
  7. Grill 2-3 minutes per side or until chicken temps at 165 degrees F.
  8. Serve immediately.
  9. Enjoy!
  Chicken Brochettes on will be your favorite game day appetizer!  

Chicken Brochettes and Fit Friday are a simple appetizer plus a get those Fitness New Years Resolutions set!

Thanks Ruthie!

We are back and we are focused! The holidays have come and gone and now it is time to refocus on our health and fitness.
I debated weather to have today's fit tips be a workout or some tips. I have decided on tips,  staying focused on New Year's Resolutions, if you are wanting a workout today go back to one of the earlier workouts, it has been a while so your body will still feel like it is new.

First of all you need to understand that I am not a big believer in life changes just because it is a new year. I am a big believer in constant growth and getting back on track when we have slipped (which most of us do over the holidays). I preface my fit tips with this statement because I want you to understand that most people do not do well in 180 life changes, they tend to fall back into past behaviors because that is what they know and where they are comfortable. So, look at your New Year's Resolutions and make sure that you are striving for sustainable and realistic goals.
Now, how do we achieve those goals or at least maintain them past mid-January?

1) Make a plan. No one know you better than you do, that means that only you can plan ahead for what your weaknesses and downfalls may be in achieving your plan.Think about those ahead of time and decide how you will combat it.

2) Reward yourself. My favorite rewards are new running shoes or a new pair of running shorts. Do not reward yourself with a trip to your local bakery every time you make it to the gym.

3) Track your progress. All of the little achievements need to be recognized and celebrated. You got up without pushing the snooze button? Awesome! You did an extra mile this week? Fantastic! You passed up ice cream last night? Gold star!

4) Don't beat yourself up. You will inevitably have days that don't go as planned. But just because you have a bite of ice cream doesn't mean you should have the whole gallon.

5) Persistence and patience. New habits take time to form and make part of a lifestyle. These changes aren't going to be easy and happen overnight. Stick with it. Constantly recommit yourself. And before you know it getting gym time scheduled will just seem like a regular part of your day.

Remember, you are important and worth some effort!

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

Thursday, January 7, 2016

January 30 Day Challenge

My first boot camp of 2016 started this week at the American Fork Fitness Center. On Tuesday we met and talked about where the group was at and what sort of 30 day challenge they needed/would be interested in. After that discussion I decided that we needed more than one option. So here is what I can up with:

There seemed to be some varying feedback from everyone on Tuesday. Therefore I am providing 3 options. You need to choose which option you can commit to and sign your name. We have accountability Tuesdays to keep everyone on track.

1) Drink a minimum of 64 oz of water a day. The reality is I would like to see this number closer to 96 oz or half your body weight in ounces, but I will take what I can get.

2) Limited sweets. This is not a no-no this is instead limited. You are allowed 50 calories of a sugar treat per day. You can save these calories for one big treat a week. With this challenge you also have the option for your own accountability. For every 50 calories over you can complete 10 burpees or run ½ mile. This needs to be done prior to Tuesday accountability.

3) Do them both!!!!! Both are important and both are doable.

I was very happy to see that the majority signed up for both! What would you sign up for? What do you need to work on? Feel free to join us in our challenge.

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Wednesday Workout - Tabata Basics

Wahoo!!!! First Workout Wednesday of the year. Let's make it count and start this year off right! My small group fitness classes are all geared toward the same thoughts, let's do the basics and do them right! What is a great way to get the basics done? I hope you all guessed TABATA!!!! For those of you that haven't discovered the joy of Tabata here is a quick explanation. Each round consist of 4 minutes. This is a 20 second HARD push followed by a 10 second breather, repeated 8 times.
Back to the basics means that you are focusing on PERFECT form, not a number not trying to beat your friend, but PERFECT form doing the best that you can do.

Before we get into the meat of the workout be sure to warm up. This should consist of 5-10 minutes of easy cardio, stretching whatever feels tight, and going through some easy full range of motion movements to make sure those joints are moving and are ready to go.
An example of a good warm up I do with my small group classes: 3 laps around the basketball court, lunges to half court with hip stretches in between (pull that knee up to your chest in between lunges), 10 toe touches, 10 slow-deep squats, and 10 full push ups (knees are fine).

Now.....let's get that heart rate up and moving:
We are going to be doing 4 rounds today. Each round will consist of 2 movements that we will alternate between, which means that we will be using 8 different movements today.

Round 1:
Push ups: get your chest to the ground
Squats: your butt needs to get to parallel at a minimum

Round 2:
Dips: use a chair or bench, keep elbows back, and get parallel
Lunges: get your knee to the floor

Round 3:
Sit ups: aim for all the way up
Squat Hops: remember to get low, this isn't just jumping

Round 4:
Superman: hold for the 20 seconds
Mountain Climbers: keep strong plank form and get those knees up into your chest

When you are done walk around and do some light stretching. Then smile because you had an awesome workout!

Sunday, January 3, 2016

Happy New Year! Let's Make Some Plans...

Happy New Year! I hope you all had a wonderful New Year and Holiday season, now it is time to get back on track and back in focus. I have already heard this type of comment from a few of my clients. They are ready to get back on schedule. So here is what I remind them of 3 things:

1) you need a schedule. This does not mean some sort of loosely pencil written schedule that says "go to the gym a few times this week." NO! It means you sit down and make a plan, write it in pen, and stick with it. It may say Monday run 3 miles and lift for 30 minutes, Tuesday Yoga class at 9:30, etc...It is a plan! Notice I did say written in pen, not blood. Life happens, you have to be willing to accept the fact that you may not be able to stick to the plan when you have 3 kids home throwing up. Instead of throwing yourself into a complete funk when that happens you accept it, deal with it, and do the best you can.

2) be realistic. When I get clients that come in and talk plans and goals I remind them to be realistic. When I have someone come to me and say they want a plan that requires 6 days a week of solid workouts we talk schedules and talk about what that really looks like. More often than not we scale that back to 4 days and go from there.

3) excellence is motivating, perfection is demoralizing. You cannot be perfect as you set out on new goals and new plans, life happens. But you do the best you can. This does not mean you seek out excuses, this means when legitimate things happen you accept them and do the best you can.

All 3 of these things tie back to one of my big focuses....BALANCE. You have a life and you have to live that life. You cannot be a complete person if your life revolves around the gym or if you are always worrying about what you are going to eat next. Make health and fitness apart of your life not your whole life.