Sunday, February 28, 2016

The Journey

My little guy and I go to the gym together about 3 times a week. During this time he goes to the daycare while I get to do my thing. I have learned that it is in my best interest to find the closest possible parking spot to the daycare exit, especially in the winter. Ryker loves to stop at pick up rocks, throw pine cones, jump in puddles, eat snow (no matter how dirty and gross it looks), etc. This adventure can take 15 minutes before we get to the car. Some days I am much better than others at letting him explore, other days I am hungry or in a hurry and end up just picking him up to bypass the adventure.

How often do we let ourselves enjoy our adventures any more? How often do we stop to enjoy what is going on around us? I am a runner. I am happy on my feet, it doesn't matter if my feet are carrying me on trails or roads, that is where I am happy. My pregnancy has slowed me down and allowed me to enjoy the journey more and more. But how often do I get focused on miles, numbers, times, etc and miss out on where those miles are leading me? 

I have had the opportunity to work with a lot of clients training for races. Many times people come to me with a time goal. We set up their training plan and meet regularly to see how things are going and make adjustments as needed. Every once in a while I get some one who is so focused on the time goal that they are missing out on the running, and even beginning to dislike the running because training isn't going as planned. What needs to change? Attitude, instead of running for time for a while run somewhere new and look around. Recognize the amazingness of where your very own feet can take you. 

As adults our life becomes way too focused on our end game. Slow down and enjoy the journey. Obviously this applies way more than to just running but, as I am sure you have heard many times, running is a great metaphor for life. 


Friday, February 26, 2016

Fit Friday - Beet, Orange, and Gorgonzola Salad - Pregnancy Tips

Happy Fit Friday everyone! You have made it through another week...I have made it through another week. The sun is shining and my 3 year old can run and bike to his heart's content. Ruthie from Cooking with Ruthie is here with a wonderful salad creation. I am getting hungry already!

Beet, Orange, and Gorgonzola Salad is a flavorful blend that will make your tastebuds sing! Beet, Orange, and Gorgonzola Salad on www.cookingwithruthie.com is a flavorful blend that will make your tastebuds sing!
 I love the flavor and texture combinations of this salad... crunchy and creamy with a hint of sweet citrus and slight bitters of the beets make a beautiful balance. Then, the gorgonzola cheese just takes it right over the top! You'll be in heaven with a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil and balsamic vinegar. Beet, Orange, and Gorgonzola Salad on www.cookingwithruthie.com is a flavorful blend that will make your tastebuds sing!
 I love to grab a fresh baguette at the grocery store to go with salads. I especially love the whole grain varieties if I can find them, since not all stores carry them I've been able to find them at Trader Joes and Walmart. Beet, Orange, and Gorgonzola Salad on www.cookingwithruthie.com is a flavorful blend that will make your tastebuds sing!

Beet, Orange, and Gorgonzola Salad
Recipe Type: Salad
Author: Ruthie
Prep time:
Total time:
Serves: 4
Ingredients
  • 4 cups mixed lettuce greens
  • 4 petite persian cucumbers, sliced on diagonal
  • 4 precooked beets, cut 1/4 inch slices
  • 4 clementine oranges, peeled and segmented
  • 2 ounces gorgonzola cheese, crumbled
  • coarse sea salt and pepper, to taste
  • olive oil and balsamic vinegar, for serving
Instructions
  1. Divide salad greens onto 4 serving plates.
  2. Place beets in a circular shape in the center of each salad.
  3. Place a slice of orange and cucumber in a circular pattern around beets.
  4. Divide gorgonzola cheese between plates.
  5. Top with sea salt and fresh pepper.
  6. Serve with olive oil and balsamic vinegar.
  7. Enjoy!
  Beet, Orange, and Gorgonzola Salad on www.cookingwithruthie.com is a flavorful blend that will make your tastebuds sing!

Beet, Orange, and Gorgonzola Salad is a flavor adventure and sure to make it on your favorites list!

Thank you Ruthie! My 5 year old is my biggest salad eater, I am sure she will happily try this one out with me!

These days I love Fridays! Why? Well, Fit Fridays are top on the list but also because it means another week is coming to an end which brings me one week closer to having this baby girl out of me and in the world. Right now I am in the mode where the end of April can't come soon enough. I am done being uncomfortable and would like to breath a little easier.

This pregnancy has definitely slowed me down, but it hasn't stopped me. I get asked regularly about working out pregnant these days so I wanted to share a few tips I have learned through my own experience and what my reading/research told me.

First and foremost you have to understand that I have talked to my doctor about everything I do. The only big no I got was to biking outside, so I have stuck to my indoor cycle classes.  Here is what my journey has taught me:

1) Listen to your body. In order to do this correctly you have to know your body. You have to know when your body is telling you to back off or not do a specific activity. I have days where my back is killing me, those are the days when I go for a nice walk and do some stretching or slow easy lifting. For instance, this morning I walked 3 miles and mixed in some single leg deadlifts (I focus a lot on balance work not only with myself but all my pregnant clients), pigeon stretches, and downward dog.

2) Now is not the time to start something new. Just because one of your other pregnant friends can still do pullups does not mean this is the time for you to start.

3) Respect the belly, it will change things. One of the biggest things I had to give in on was understanding how much my center of gravity was changing. This lesson took two falls while out running, but lesson is now learned and I am learning to enjoy the treadmill for every single one of my runs. The belly also changed my lifting. I know some women that were ok doing power lifting throughout their pregnancy, but I found my belly getting in the way too much and making the moves awkward. I adjusted by switching to dumbbells and going lighter. I could still go through the motion of the moves but the bar and belly were no longer getting the way of each other.

4) Stay out of third gear. My doctor told me not to worry so much about heart rate, instead pay attention to exertion level. "Second gear is just fine, but don't go into third gear." Another way to say this is, no sprinting levels of exertion. That means that you should be able to talk to someone while working out. This has affected my lifting and running. I am obviously not pushing the paces like I was running. But I am also moving slower through my weights and giving myself plenty of opportunities to catch my breath.

5) Take care of yourself. This means to make sure you are eating a well balanced and healthy diet. You may need to add an extra snack on work out days. I have learned to eat something RIGHT after I workout or else my heart burn will be horrible for the rest of the day. I am also still running 5-7 miles three days a week. I know that on those days I will be a more tired and definitely need a nap.

These are just a few of the things that I have learned over the last few months. Always refer to your doctor! I am sure my doctor must think I am crazy. At my last appointment I was double checking that handstands and pullups were indeed ok still, probably not the normal questions. But I also have to say that both are fun to do when I work out late in the morning, all the little old ladies look at me in horror as I go through various moves.

Above all take care of yourself and your little one.

 Happy Fit Friday!

 Much Love and Peace~ Nicole and Ruthie

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Workout Wednesday - Tabata Time!

We are back to a Tabata workout today. I love Tabata because it is time efficient and I can generally do it from home. It is also one that is adaptable for all fitness levels. If you can't do pushups on your toes you move to your knees, if you need to breathe for a second you do. It is all about what YOU can do in those 20 seconds.
We are going to be completing five rounds today. Each round is 4 minutes of 20 seconds on and 10 seconds off. Remember, Tabata is about hard core intensity, those 20 seconds are all out!
Always get in that warm up and cool down. It prevents injuries and assures that you can get the most out of your workout.
Alrighty....let's get to it!

Round 1:
Squat Hops

Round 2:
Pushups


Round 3:
Plank with Corner Bunny Hops

Round 4:
Dips


Round 5:Donkey Kicks
Alrighty! You have the workout, you know what you need to do, now go and DO IT!

Sunday, February 21, 2016

Simple Math Simply Doesn't Work

I love learning and researching. Whenever I hear about some new thing or some recent study I am looking it up. I want to get the specifics and see how they got the conclusions, not just what the conclusions were. I take the same approach with supplements and everything in the like. I loved school and I still love to learn. With all of that being said, I read interesting articles on a regular basis, especially from well repudiated sources. One site that I have discovered is Precision Nutrition, I do not have a certification through them but still thoroughly enjoy their information.

I wanted to share some thoughts on an article I read this week....and loved! You can find the article on the Precision Nutrition site, http://www.precisionnutrition.com/metabolic-damage. It was all about the fact that simple math does not work with our complex bodies. We cannot rely on Calories In vs Calories Out to determine our weight loss. Yes, on a simple scale that is absolutely true, but there is so much more to it all than that. I am not going to go into all aspects of the article, but would definitely encourage you to read it. What I wanted to talk about instead were a few points that peaked my interest.

1) The type of food you eat DOES matter. I get clients that come in justifying eating half a batch of cookie dough while making cookies that day because "it was within their calories" or "I saved all my points for it today." Seriously people?!

2) Body change is not the same for everyone. I have worked with so many different clients throughout the years. There are some, although very few, that make a couple little changes and goals are met quickly. There are others that seem to be killing themselves and trying their absolute best and their goals take quite a bit of time to reach (these are the ones that I really help focus on smaller goals).

As always, the better you know your body the better off you are. It will be easier to make better, solid,  realistic goals if you know what you are working with.

Friday, February 19, 2016

Fit Friday - Pasta and Kettlebells

Happy Fit Friday everyone! I hope that you have had a fantastic week. Mine has been full of chaos and business, pretty much the norm at my house. Ruthie from Cooking with Ruthie is here again with a fantastic dinner recipe. I love getting new dinner ideas, especially if they are spin-offs on my kids already favorites.

Chicken Sausage with Red Sauce and Penne Pasta is healthy savory Italian whole grain pasta dish! Chicken Sausage with Red Sauce and Penne Pasta on www.cookingwithruthie.com is healthy savory dish!
I love Italian cooking... every single part of it! I've found I can enjoy all the fabulous flavors but in healthier way by using whole grains, chicken sausage instead of pork, and olive oil. If you haven't switched over to whole grain pasta yet, you've got to give them a try! I love they way they taste with a slightly nuttier flavor and a bit more of bite to it. Whole grain pasta takes just a little bit longer to cook but other than that your family will never know the difference. Chicken Sausage with Red Sauce and Penne Pasta on www.cookingwithruthie.com is healthy savory dish!
 Using chicken or turkey sausage is another great way to save yourself some calories because either of them are a leaner form of protein. Whenever I do a cooking demo using the Italian turkey or chicken sausage people are blown away at how fabulous it tastes. One time, I had a cute older lady pull me aside afterwards and tell me how surprised she was that it tasted the same and that she could prepare it for her husband without him even knowing! Hahah. It made me laugh :) It's really that good.

Chicken Sausage with Red Sauce and Penne Pasta
Recipe Type: Main
Author: Ruthie
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 4
Ingredients
  • 4 Italian chicken or turkey sausage
  • 2 tablespoon olive oil, divided
  • 1/2 cup small diced onion
  • 2-3 tablespoons dry white wine or chicken broth
  • 1 (14.5 ounce) can diced tomatoes
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 8 ounces whole grain penne pasta
  • 2 ounces mizthra or parmesan cheese, to garnish
  • coarse sea salt and fresh cracked pepper to serve
Instructions
  1. In a large skillet over medium high heat , add 1 tablespoon olive oil, allow to heat 1 minute.
  2. Place sausage in skillet and cook 2-3 minutes or until nicely browned, turn and repeat.
  3. Remove from pan; set aside.
  4. Add 1 tablespoon olive oil to pan.
  5. Add onion and saute for 2-3 minutes or until nicely browned.
  6. Deglaze pan by adding white wine or chicken stock; stirring and scraping up bits from bottom of pan.
  7. Add canned diced tomatoes, salt, and pepper; stir to incorporate.
  8. Return chicken to pan.
  9. Reduce heat to medium low, cover, and cook 10-12 minutes until center of sausage reaches 165 degrees temperature.
  10. Prepare pasta according to package directions, drain and hold.
  11. (rinse in hot water to reheat and loosen if necessary)
  12. Divide penne between serving plates, top with red sauce and a chicken sausage sliced on the diagonal.
  13. Sprinkle with mizithra cheese, sea salt, and fresh cracked pepper to serve.
  14. Enjoy!
Chicken Sausage with Red Sauce and Penne Pasta on www.cookingwithruthie.com is healthy savory dish!

Love yourself some Chicken Sausage with Red Sauce and Penne Pasta with your family this weekend!

Now that we have the healthy food section of Fit Friday let's talk about the being active part of Fit Friday:

Every gym seems to offer new toys these days. The standard dumbbells and barbells are still there but now kettlebells, various types of weighted balls, and more are becoming part of the norm for the gym crowd. Over the next few weeks I wanted to add workouts with these various toys to our arsenal. Today we are going to use the kettlebells.
Why use the kettlebell? Many of the exercises that we are going to talk about can be done with dumbbells, so why even bother with the kettlebell? The main reason comes down to the shape of the kettlebell. It is obviously not built like a dumbbell, therefore your body has to make minor adjustments in the grip, the way you stabilize, and the muscles engaged. Just remember, even minor changes in your workout can lead to big changes in your body because your body has to adjust to those minor changes.



Today's workout is a full body, all done with the kettlebell.

25 Sumo Squats with Upright Row

20 Dead Lifts

15 Kettle Bell Swings

10 Single Arm Rows (each arm)

5 Single Arm Snatches (each arm)


Rpt for a total of 20 minutes. This means you need to limit your rest in between exercises and make the most of your 20 minutes. Throw in some awesome core, pylos, or cardio in with this for a solid 45 min workout if you have the time.

Work hard and earn your rewards!

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

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Workout Wednesday - Loving Me Some Running

I know it sounds crazy, but running is something I am still able to do and enjoy. The trick do this is that I have to do it first thing in the morning, by mid morning I am already getting tried and uncomfortable.
If I don't run early I can still get it done, as long as am doing short spurts, which is exactly what this workout is all about.




This is a treadmill workout, playing with inclines as we go. As you warm up find a comfortable pace that you can maintain, the goal is to get through the intervals without adjusting your speed at all.

1 min 2%
1 min 4%
1 min 6%
1 min 8%
1 min 10%
30 sec 8%
30 sec 6%
30 sec 4%
30 sec 2 %

Slow the pace down to 1.0 mph and complete walking lunges for 1 min






Jump off and complete:
15 pushups
15 rotating side planks (15 each side)

15 tricep pushups (15 each side)





Back on the treadmill! Repeat 4x!


Sunday, February 14, 2016

Getting it Done Together

With it being Valentines Day I woke up thinking about some of the great reasons that my husband and I fit together so well and what brought us together in the first place. 

Before I ever met Rory I was asked by a friend if I would ever date someone that was overweight. I answered pretty honestly with a no but then explained. I am a busy active person, I want to be with someone else that understand and respects that. I want to be with someone that wants to go hiking with me, that can go for a run with me and just chat (some of my best conversations happen while running), and someone that will see me get up at 4am on a Sunday in order to get in a 20 mile training run before it gets hot and respect that. I found all of those things in my husband.

Early on in our relationship we went on a 17 mile snowy run. We talked about life and all of those things you talk about early on. We pushed each other through the cold and finished together happily. Since then we have done marathons together, ran Kings Peak 2x, hiked to various summits and enjoyed the views sitting side by side at the top. We have also done every day training together. Knowing when to push each other and when to just have fun together.

Since Rory and I first got together he has sent me the most amazing text messages race mornings. Knowing exactly what I need as I get ready to push hard. He gives me encouragement, reminds me of who I am, and expresses it all in such a way that I know he is proud of me no matter what. I love those prerace texts and wait for them anxiously at the start line.

Our love for life and our need to be active was one of the things that brought us together. We don't get to train together as much as we would like these days, too many little ones at home. But we still support each other and take advantage of the times where it does work for us to get out together. I can't wait until we are the cute old couple still going to the gym together, or going on adventures hand-in-hand to explore the world.

I hope that you all have someone to go on adventures with!




Friday, February 12, 2016

Fit Friday - Sandwiches and Pre-Workout Nutrition

Happy Fit Friday everyone! I hope that you have had a fantastic week and have a wonderful weekend ahead of you. Between the long weekend and Valentines Day it should be pretty great! Ruthie from Whats Cooking With Ruthie is bringing us another wonderful recipe.

Avocado, Hummus, and Feta Grilled Cheese is a savory adventure and will be your new favorite grilled cheese sandwich! Avocado, Hummus, and Feta Grilled Cheese on www.cookingwithruthie.com will be your new favorite grilled cheese sandwich!
 ThisAvocado, Hummus, and Feta Grilled Cheese is a healthier version... although you'd never guess it in a million years! It's still gooey and crunchy and packed with all kind of amazing flavors! Avocado, Hummus, and Feta Grilled Cheese on www.cookingwithruthie.com will be your new favorite grilled cheese sandwich!
 It helps to get a really crispy outside if you first coat the pan with cooking spray and get it really nice and hot before putting the sandwiched on it... it'll brown and crisp beautifully with only about 1 teaspoon butter per side.
Hummus and Feta Grilled Cheese
Author: Ruthie
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 2
Ingredients
  • 4 pieces whole wheat bread
  • 2 slices light havarti cheese
  • 1 avocado, thinly sliced
  • 1/3 cup humus, divided
  • 2 tabelspoons feta cheese, crumbled
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1-2 tablespoons butter
Instructions
  1. Preheat large skillet coated with cooking spray over medium heat.
  2. Spread 1/4 of butter on two sides of bread, place butter side down on skillet.
  3. Layer havarti cheese, half of the hummus, half of thinly sliced avocado with sprinkling of sea salt, and half feta cheese on each slice of bread on skillet.
  4. Spread remaining butter on remaining pieces of bread, place butter side up on sandwiches.
  5. Cook approximately 2-3 minutes until crispy and browned, carefully turn sandwiches over, repeat.
  6. If cheese has not completely melted, cover with lid, reduce heat to low and cook 2 minutes or until cheese melts and sandwich is warmed through.
  7. Slice in half.
  8. Serve!
  Avocado, Hummus, and Feta Grilled Cheese on www.cookingwithruthie.com will be your new favorite grilled cheese sandwich!   Avocado, Hummus, and Feta Grilled Cheese on www.cookingwithruthie.com will be your new favorite grilled cheese sandwich!

Enjoy this Avocado, Hummus, and Feta Grilled Cheese for lunch or pair with tomato soup and salad for dinner!

Thanks Ruthie. I have a 5 year old that loves feta cheese and avocado, this will definitely be one to try on her.
After all of these yummy recipes Ruthie gives us I think it is important to talk about nutrient timing, specifically in regards to before your workouts. I work early in the morning with a variety of clients. At one point in time every single one of these people have had an issue during the workout that would have easily been solved with even a glass of juice or half a banana before our early morning sweat session. What do I mean by issue? The common signs I see our pale faces, excessive sweating, the shakes, complaints of nausea and dizziness.


What you need to eat preworkout will be determined greatly by what the workout is. I obviously am not going to survive a 20 mile run on half a banana, but an early morning lifting session will benefit greatly with that same half a banana.

For longer workouts I am going to want a mix of complex and simple carbs (oatmeal with an apple and cinnamon is a great breakfast before a mid distance run). If I am doing some serious distance I throw in some peanut butter for the slow energy release of the fat and protein.


I have clients that I train as early as 430, and on days that I don't I will sneak in my own workout that early. I totally get that is early to eat, I have found that even a glass of juice to get some quick carbs in my system helps quite a bit.

Some people are tempted to go without in hopes of burning those extra calories, but is it worth it if you have to spend half your workout time sitting on the floor trying to feel up to that next set?

Now, I know that not all of you workout before the sun comes up, you still need to think about getting something in your system before your workouts. A salad at noon is not going to be too helpful for your gym stop at 6 on the way home from work. Some ideas for plain greek yogurt with berries or trail mix, oatmeal with an apple and some cinnamon, apple or banana with almond butter. These are just a few thoughts. Notice none of these are laden with useless processed sugar, simple carbs in the form of fruit much better than fruit shaped gummy snacks.

Above all every one is different! The more you can learn about your body and pay attention to how different foods effect you the better off you will be.

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

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Workout Wednesday - All About the Clock

For today's workout you will need some hand weights, a timer, and a ready-set-go attitude! We are going to be combining a plyo move and a slower weighted move to get that body grooving today. Straight plyo workouts are a bit taxing on the body. Most people generally end up cheating themselves with bad form or not really completing the desired time, that is why we are mixing up the plyo moves with  weighted slower moves.

You have 4 sequences. You will complete sequence one for 1 min each move, 1 min recovery, 45 sec each move, 45 second recovery, and 30 sec each move then move on to sequence 2. The goal is to move straight from move one to move two before you take any recovery.

LET'S DO THIS

Round 1:
Squats with a shoulder press: squat down and as you stand complete the shoulder press
Bounding: squat and explode forward

Round 2:
Pushups: get that chest to the ground!
Burpees: be sure to have that jump in there

Round 3:
Side Lunges with Bicep Curl: planted leg stays straight
Ice Skaters: stay low with that side jump

Round 4:
Dips: get low
Mountain Climber: get that knee high and tucked into your chest

Work hard and enjoy sweet success of a solid workout when you are done!



Sunday, February 7, 2016

My body - My friend

One of my old clients sent me this quote earlier this week, I love it! It has been one of those that I have thought on throughout the week. It is also one of those quotes that I wish more people understood, believed, and lived.
So, the question for the morning; are you a friend to your body? To answer that I think you have to really think about what it means to be a friend both in general and to your body. I asked my family what it means to be a friend and here are some of the responses that I got:

 5 year old:
-You play with them
-You be kind to them
-And you let them play with you and other friends

I loved the images that play brought to my mind. Do you play with your body or do you make it sit on the couch for hours on end? Do you force it to do 30 min of cardio or do you get to go for runs?

My husband:
-Be reliable and loyal

Reliable is the word that stuck out in my mind. Living a healthy life on a consistent daily basis vs. being a weekend warrior and going on crash diets.
As a runner the idea of being loyal to your body brought up some different images. Do I run my race or do I run the race of the annoyingly perfect neighbor? When I jump on the treadmill do I stay true to my workout that morning or do I peak at what the person next to me is doing and try to keep up even though I shouldn't.

9 year old:
-Trust
-Don't fight with them
-Nice to them

Do you trust your body? When it says I can do something do you try or do you let your mind talk you out of it? Do you fight with your body? When your body is injured to try to make it run, lift, jump, etc. anyways?

My challenge to you is to become a friend to your body! Practice all the little things that entail being a friend and really try to live in such a way that your body is truly your friend and your ally in life.

Friday, February 5, 2016

Fit Friday - Yummy Energy Bites and Loving Us Some Abs

Happy Fit Friday everyone! I hope that it has been a wonderful week for you all. I am looking out at a backyard full of snow and already gearing up for the gym later this morning,  some of these snow mornings make me want to cuddle in for the day. After a couple hours in the morning with me energy crazed 3 year old the gym is calling to me though, if only for the ability to put him in the daycare and let him get some playtime in.
Ruthie from Whats Cooking With Ruthie is here with a yummy new recipe, Coconut Sunflower Seed Energy Bites. It looks wonderful! I love having a variety of these recipes for me to try out, energy bars and bites are a healthy and delicious staple to have in any busy house.

Coconut Sunflower Seeds Energy Bites are packed with all kinds of fabulous nutrition- a healthy raw snack!*coconut-sunflower-seeds-power-bites 1

 I love these little power energy bites... they're so simple to make and keep really well in the fridge in an airtight container for up to a week. (if they last that long!) I love to grab a couple on the way out the door for snow shoeing or outdoor adventures all year long! *coconut-sunflower-seeds-power-bites 3
 Here's a few more 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) *coconut-sunflower-seeds-power-bites 5
Coconut, Sunflower Seed, Power Bites
Recipe Type: Appetiser
Author: Ruthie
Prep time:
Total time:
Serves: 18
Ingredients
  • 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
  • 1/2 cup chocolate covered sunflowers seeds (from trader joes)
  • 1/4 cup shredded coconut
Instructions
  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!
*coconut-sunflower-seeds-power-bites 4

Thanks Ruthie! Always great to have some fun healthy snacks on hand!

This weekend is all about food for many of us out there. It is Super Bowl Sunday and I know that means a weekend with plenty of food, friends, and family. I know that is what my weekend will be and I am excited! I recognize this as I give my fit tips for the week. This week is all about abs. Why? Because as I head into my 3rd trimester I am envious of all the awesome abs I see out there. (Really I am envious of everyone out there that can see their feet.)
Today we are going to add some fun workouts to add to your bag of tricks.

PLANKS
We are starting with some variations of planks. Let's talk about a proper plank. I know everyone thinks they can do a plank, but I see some horrible planks at the gym. So remember to keep your core and back engaged. This means to not let your low back bow and don't sink through your shoulder blades. Back should be FLAT! Most often we lose form when we are going for ridiculously long planks.  I feel that more reps of shorter (15-30 sec) planks are much more effective than 1+min planks.
The workout:
Right side plank hold 15 seconds
Center side plank hold 15 seconds
Left side plank hold 15 seconds
Rpt 3x

Right side plank rotations. From your right side rotate your body and touch left elbow to the floor 15x.
Repeat on the left side.

Center plank with alternating leg raises. Keep leg straight and lift 3 inches off the floor slowly. Alternate left and right leg 20x.

After your planks flip over and finish up with 
15 full situps
15 leg drops
12 full situps
12 leg drops
9 full situps
9 leg drops
6 full situps
6 leg drops
3 full situps
3 leg drops

Now....be happy with a job well done! 
Remember, this workout won't make up for a night of cookie dough ice cream. Nutrition is a vital part of those awesome abs. 
Happy Fit Friday! Much Love and Peace~ Nichole and Ruthie

Thursday, February 4, 2016

Workout Wednesday - 50s...Homestyle

Yay! It is Wednesday, which means it is Workout Wednesday. A new challenge to add to the mix. The weather here has been less than pleasant which makes me not want to go outside, but it does make working out a bit nicer because I know that for at least a little bit I am going to get toasty warm.
I have a busy morning this morning between meeting with clients and taking a mom break with a friend later to go to the museum, so I know that a morning workout is not going to happen. This wouldn't even be worth acknowledging if the gym had daycare past noon, but it doesn't. So today's workout is one that you can do from home. That way I know I can get it done while my little guy is taking a nap this afternoon. With all that said....let's get it done!

50s....Homestyle
50 situps
50 walking lunges
50 pushups
1 min cardio push (this can be whatever your heart desires. Example jump rope, run stairs, jumping jacks, etc)
50 russian twists
50 squats
50 dips
2 min cardio push
50 supermans
50 sumo squats
50 shoulder touches from plank position
3 min cardio push






As always, be sure to include a 5-10 min warm up and cool down. I get that it is tempting to skip one or both of these sometimes, but your body needs it!
Enjoy the workout! I know that I will!