Friday, April 29, 2016

Fit Friday - A Yummy Salad and At Home Full Body Workout to Add to Your Arsenal

It is Fit Friday again! What a great day for me to get reacquainted with my computer, you, and the world. I know I have been pretty quiet the last couple of weeks, but if you could see how adorable this baby is when she is all snuggled up in my arms you would totally get it. My body is dreaming of workouts and my belly is craving healthy food still. So Ruthie, from Cooking with Ruthie is here with a yummy salad recipe to start off our Fit Friday. 
Pear, Blackberry, and Ricotta Spinach Salad with Lemon Vinaigrette is beautiful combination of savory and sweet! Pear, Blackberry, and Ricotta Spinach Salad with Lemon Vinaigrette on is beautiful combination of savory and sweet!  
 Y'all know I've been loving my Homemade Ricotta Cheese recipe. If you haven't had a chance to whip up a batch then give it try this week. You'll be in love with too! *pear-blackberry-ricotta-spinach-salad 4
 Pear, Blackberry, and Ricotta Spinach Salad with Lemon Vinaigrette has a beautiful depth of flavors with a subtle lemon finish that will leave everyone in awe of it's deliciousness. It's really so very lovely.

*pear-blackberry-ricotta-spinach-salad 5
Pear, Blackberry, and Ricotta Spinach Salad with Lemon Vinaigrette
Recipe Type: salad
Author: Ruthie
Prep time:
Total time:
Serves: 2
  • 2 cups spinach greens
  • 1 cup fresh blackberries
  • 1 anjou pear, cored and sliced
  • 1/2 cup ricotta cheese
  • 5 sprigs fresh thyme
  • Lemon Drizzle:
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons fresh squeezed lemon juice
  • 1-2 tablespoons agave (according to taste)
  • 1/2-1 teaspoon lemon zest
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  1. Arrange greens on 2 serving plates.
  2. Arrange pear slices in fan shape, sprinkle with blackberries, evenly spread ricotta cheese on salad, add thyme sprigs and loose leaves on salad.
  3. Lemon Vinaigrette:
  4. Whisk olive oil and lemon juice until frothy, add remaining ingredients; whisk.
  5. Drizzle on salad.
  6. Enjoy!
Pear, Blackberry, and Ricotta Spinach Salad with Lemon Vinaigrette on is beautiful combination of savory and sweet!   Pear, Blackberry, and Ricotta Spinach Salad with Lemon Vinaigrette on is beautiful combination of savory and sweet!

Pear, Blackberry, and Ricotta Spinach Salad with Lemon Vinaigrette is a beautiful salad and a lovely way to start any meal!

 Well, after a wonderfully crazy couple of weeks it is time for me to start coming back to the land of the living and getting on track again....with a few things at least. This yummy salad recipe will be a great addition to getting my nutrition back on track. I am not quite up to working out much yet, just some easy walks at this point in time, but I am getting some great workouts collected for my clients and classes. I have been having some fun with these workouts because I am eager for some fun workouts myself.
For those of you that are new to working out, or even just new to me, remember you can always modify to your abilities. You have to learn to listen to your body while still pushing yourself. So, let's get it going!

Today is all body weight exercises. Which also means that you can complete this workout at home, which is definitely a bonus for me these days.

Round 1:
25 Squats
25 Pushups
25 Situps
2 min of Jump Roping or Running Stairs

Round 2:
20 Alt. Forward Lunges
20 Dips
20 Windmill Situps
2 min of Jump Roping or Running Stairs

Round 3:
15 Squats to Calf Raises
15 Supermans
15 Planks with Center Hops
2 min of Jump Roping or Running Stairs

Round 4:
10 Alt Backward Lunges
10 Side to Side Pushups
10 V-Ups
2 min of Jump Roping or Running Stairs

And you are done! Push hard and finish with a sweaty smile!

Have a beautiful Fit Friday!!
Much Love and Peace~
Ruthie and Nichole

Sunday, April 24, 2016

Fit Friday - Snacks and Adventures

Well, I am a little late posting my Fit Friday post. I had it ready to go but baby girl took precedence this last week. Instead of waiting til the 25th for the scheduled c-section decided to come on Wednesday. Still had a c-section though, so Friday we were still at the hospital. More baby info to come, but wanted to get out Fit Friday. I love our Fit Friday's with Ruthie from Cooking with Ruthie, I hope that you all do to!

Wild Blueberry and Mini Chocolate Chip Raw Bars are a healthy snack that's perfect for all of your adventures!

 Wild Blueberry and Chocolate Raw Bars on are a healthy snack that's perfect for all your adventures!
I'm loving the warm weather that's been showing up lately, don't get me wrong, I love all the seasons! Luckily, I live in a beautiful state that has all four of them. It seams like they rotate just perfectly for me too because as I tire of the current season, the next is beginning to unfold. Wild Blueberry and Chocolate Raw Bars on are a healthy snack that's perfect for all your adventures!
 AND so with spring in full bloom and outdoor activities beginning to pick up again- I love to make raw bars and raw bites. They're the perfect snack to take along with you on all your adventures! Wild Blueberry and Chocolate Raw Bars on are a healthy snack that's perfect for all your adventures!
 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- Coconut Sunflower Seed Power Bites, 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)
Wild Blueberry and Mini Chocolate Chip Raw Bars
Recipe Type: side
Author: Ruthie
Prep time:
Total time:
Serves: 12
  • 1 cup rolled oats
  • 1/2 cup all natural peanut butter
  • 1/3 cup honey
  • 1/4 cup milled flax seed
  • 1/4 cup chia seeds
  • 1/2 cup mini chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup dried wild blueberries (from trader joes)
  1. In mixing bowl combine oats, peanut butter, honey; mix until incorporated.
  2. Add flax seed, chia seeds; mix.
  3. Gently fold in mini chocolate chips and dried wild blueberry.
  4. Press into a 8x8 pan and chill in fridge.
  5. Once cold, cut into 1x3 bars and serve.
  6. Keep bars refrigerated and air tight.
  7. Enjoy!
  Wild Blueberry and Chocolate Raw Bars on are a healthy snack that's perfect for all your adventures!

Wild Blueberry and Mini Chocolate Chip Raw Bars will be you're families new favorite snack!

Ruthie's snack bites look delicious, I am sure my kids are going to love them.  I am always looking for new ideas for on-the-go snacks. As a busy mom with little kids that have various adventures of their own we spend a lot of time in the car and I am always needing to pack snacks, my 5 year old get especially ornery when I pick her up from school and head straight to the first activity sans snack. I can't really blame her, I get pretty ornery when I am hungry myself.
With that in mind let's talk more about some easy tips when we find ourselves reaching for a snack whether you are off running errands or heading out on adventures.

1) Be Prepared! If you head out on a adventures without snacks readily available you are going to find 7-11 way more tempting than it should be.

2) Variety! If you always have the same old snack around it will get boring and the bag of chips will sound much more tempting. That is the joy of having Ruthie provide all these great ideas.

3) Spend either the time or the money to have fruits and veggies readily available. You can prep your own single sized snacks, but if you know you just aren't going to do it spend the money and buy the single serving bags of apple slices or carrot sticks.

4) If you are being adventurous in your outings don't miss out on the adventurous in your snacks! As the summer comes and you find yourself heading out of town, keep an open mind while still being healthy and balanced.

What else do we need to thoroughly enjoy any adventures that may come our way? We need to be ready to get out and enjoy! This means you want to be able to run up and down the beach, you want to jump in the lake and swim, you want to be able to hike up to the cool peaks and vistas, etc. In order to enjoy adventures to come we need to think of the same tips we just listed.

1) Be prepared! Get out now and workout. Waiting to get in shape the day you want to go hiking will not lead to a fun time hiking.

2) Variety! There are so many ways to go adventuring, get your body ready for them all. Being an awesome runner isn't going to help you try out surfing this summer.

3) Spend time and/or money getting to enjoy it all. There are plenty of free things to go experience, but this generally requires a bit more research on your end. If you aren't going to take the time or energy to plan your own adventures don't just sit on the couch. There are plenty of companies and people that can help plan it all out for you.

4) Try new things! Be adventurous in your adventures. Whether you are home or somewhere new, there are always new things to try.

Much Love and Peace~ Nichole and Ruthie

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Workout Wednesday - Tabata with Weighted Balls

Workout Wednesday! I am down to 5 days til this baby is in my arms instead of in my belly. My workouts are pretty limited this week, so instead of thinking what I wanted to do for a workout this week I decided to turn to one of my small group classes. For one of our workouts this week we are enjoying some Tabata with a weighted ball. I know there are lots of different types of weighted balls out there, just grab whatever kind you can get your hands on and get ready to have some fun!

A quick refresher for those that are either forgetting or new to Tabata. Tabata workouts are all out pushes broken up into short times, believe me the short time does not make this a walk in the park workout. You want to push as hard as possible! Earn your recoveries!

Tabata: 4 min rounds broken up into eight 20 second pushes with 10 second recoveries. After your 4 min round take a one minute break before heading on to the next round.

Round One: Wall Balls

Round Two: Mountain Climbers on the Ball

Round Three: Weighted Situps

Round Four: Slam Balls

Round Five: Pushups on the Ball

Remember....this workout is supposed to be hard! Push it and be happy with your efforts!

Sunday, April 17, 2016

Another Reason To Exercise While Pregnant

As you have all figured out by now, being pregnant has not stopped me from running, spinning, or doing weights. It has slowed me down and changed things up a bit from my pre-pregnancy schedule, but I have not stopped! When asked about it I generally just laugh it off and say that I am stubborn. Most of us have heard a lot of reasons why it is better to stay active when pregnant.

1) Helps with recovery
2) Decrease some of the uncomfortable parts of being pregnant. Notice I did not say that exercise will magically make all of that uncomfortableness go away. I still feel very large, my low back starts to hurt a bit by the end of the day, and breathing becomes interesting depending on where baby girl is hanging out in there.
3) Research shows that exercise decreases gestational diabetes. 
4) Exercise is a great stress reliever.
5) You want to build your stamina and be ready for labor and delivery. One of my bootcamp ladies has a baby 8 weeks ago. A few days after getting home she sent me a text thanking me for helping her get ready to endure 30 hours of labor and still be pushing at the end. 
6) And now there is another reason....researchers have decided that love for exercise begins in the womb. Seriously?!

One of my favorite places to get interesting articles from is Breaking Muscle. This week I was stretching after running 6.5 miles and looking through my phone when I came across an article posted by Breaking Muscle, "Love for Exercise Begins Right in the Womb, Says Researchers." I am not going to go through the research here, if you are interested in it I would highly encourage you to go read it. Instead I am going to celebrate how wonderful that is to me!

I want my kids to find joy in moving, pushing themselves, being outside, etc. This becomes more and more of a battle as electronics become more available. We have set limits on "personal electronic time." We have pushed the kids out the door on nice days stating "no friends in the house today, it is too nice." And now I find out that I don't have to wait until they are here to start encouraging being outside and being active, I can start influencing those decisions while they are still in my belly!  Being a mom is amazing!!!!

Friday, April 15, 2016

Fit Friday - Smoothies and Trails

Another week has gone by. Ruthie from Cooking With Ruthie is here with a delicious smoothie recipe to give a try as the sun is coming out more and more. If you guys follow Ruthie at all on Instagram you know that she has been loving the sunshine and trails out by her house. Keep on reading to get some great ideas on how to get out on those trails and enjoy your own corner of sunshine and nature.

Strawberry Coconut Smoothie is a deliciously healthy way to wake up in the morning! It's made with coconut milk, a little bit of coconut sugar and shredded coconut, and then fresh strawberries to bring it all together. It tastes so good! Strawberry Coconut Smoothie on is a deliciously healthy way to wake up in the morning!
 I'm loving the spring! The snow has melted around our little cabin and the trails are dried out which means me and my dogs, Jack and Lila, have been out hiking on the trails around our place! Do you follow my social media? You can catch all of our outdoor adventures there :) **strawberry-coconut-smoothie 1
 Strawberries and Coconut are one of my favorite flavor combinations in the spring and summer! It's refreshing and bright. Especially in this Strawberry Coconut Smoothie recipe- you'll feel like you're on a beach somewhere while you enjoy it :) Strawberry Coconut Smoothie on is a deliciously healthy way to wake up in the morning!
Strawberry Coconut Smoothie
Recipe Type: Breakfast
Author: Ruthie
Prep time:
Total time:
Serves: 2
  • 1 cup coconut milk
  • 1 cup strawberries
  • 1 cup vanilla fat free greek yogurt
  • 1 cup ice
  • 2 tablespoons coconut sugar
  • 2 tablespoons shredded sweetened coconut
  1. Combine all ingredients in blender and blend until smooth.
  2. Enjoy!
Strawberry Coconut Smoothie on is a deliciously healthy way to wake up in the morning!

Enjoy Strawberry Coconut Smoothie this weekend and then enjoy some time outside and get some fresh spring air!

Ruthie is not the only one that is getting out to enjoy the trails, I am sure a few of you are and even more of you are wishing that you were. I have always loved hiking and in recent years that has morphed into trail running. The trails just have this amazing ability to call to your heart. I have expressed this love to a few of my friends that have responded with saying things like "I wish I dared to trail run," or "don't you get nervous?" Today I am here with a few tips to help you enjoy trail running.

1) Know your trails. This means ask around and get to know what great adventures are near by. Research how technical the trails are, many beginners enjoy nice wide groomed trails to start with. Single track trails are generally more technical, some runners love these trails because they bring a different feel to the experience.

2) Go with a buddy. If that just isn't possible make sure that someone know where you are going. There are definitely some different safety issues to be aware of out on the trails, the trick is to be aware. I often run trail with a phone, I can get service most places I go, and my husband always knows where I will be. 

3) This is NOT the same as running on the road. Don't get frustrated when you can't run the same paces on the trail as you do the road. And always be aware, those dang roots can really jump out at you. This means be aware and leave your ego at home! I have found that it is better for me to train by time instead of distance when it comes to the trail. This helps to leave some of the pacing frustrations in the car.

4) Equipment to consider; trail shoes are built to withstand the muddy trails, loose gravel, and rough terrain. Fluid is a must out on the trail! Don't forget your hydration system of choice. For me that is an awesome pack, it leaves my hands open and allows for some extra pockets to carry some fuel and my phone. Gaiters are a great investment to keep dirt out of your shoes. Trekking poles are useful for the steeper terrain. Also things like a hat, sunglasses, etc are all of great use out on the trail.

5) Be courteous! Uphill runners yield to downhill runners, just remember who has more momentum! Yield to bikers, horses, etc. Stay on the trail. Leave no trace.

6) Enjoy! This can go with the idea of leaving your ego behind. If you get out on the trail obsessed with your time or beating someone else you are going to miss out. Part of the greatness of trail is getting lost in the views and enjoying the non-everyday stuff.

I can't wait to get out on the trail this summer. My pregnant clumsy body has kept me away from it up til now, but not much longer! The trail has been calling my heart!

Happy Friday!
 Much Love and Peace~ Nichole and Ruthie

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Workout Wednesday - Run and Stretch

The weather is beautiful, my belly is slowing me down....I want to be running! Don't get me wrong, I am still running, but it just isn't the same. I am learning real quick what an extra 25 lbs does to your ability and to your fatigue level.  I am still trying tho and I am working as hard as I feel ok going considering I am days away from baby girl joining us. All of this is a long intro into this week's Workout Wednesday....we are running!!!!!

Treadmill Time:
Pick a base pace. This is a pace that you could maintain for a long run. We are going to be referring to this pace, it will be our home point.

5 min at base

Every 30 sec take it up 2 notches (if your base is 6.0 then you will go to 6.2, 6.4....) for 2.5 minutes
Base Pace 2 min
Every minute take it up 1 notch for 5 minutes
Base Pace 2 min
Repeat 2x

Finish with 1 notch every 20 seconds for 3 min
Base Pace 2 minutes

Cool Down - walk or slow jog

Runner Stretches
Hamstring Stretch: scoot your rear all the way up to a wall, legs straight up and hang out there. This is a great post run stretch because it not only stretches your hamstrings but it also helps with blood flow.
4-Square Stretch: great for hips and piriformis muscle

Calf Stretch: drop those heels standing on stairs
Pigeon Stretch: hips hips hips

Sunday, April 10, 2016

Eating Healthy and Affording It

Lately I have been taking an honest look at my budget, without even looking I already knew that I spent more than many of my friends on food throughout the month. I have always used the allergy excuse, which does genuinely add cost to our food bill. We want to make sure that our oldest doesn't always feel like the odd man out, so I happily buy her $6 loaf of bread vs our $2 loaf the rest of the family eats.
Even with the allergy card I have come to realize I need to take a harder look at my food budget each month. It is time to start making some adjustments. Not only for myself, but also to show my clients it is possible. I hear way to often that it is too expensive to eat healthy. Eating healthy on a budget may not be the easiest option, but it is possible.

1) PLAN: You have to plan out your meals each week before hitting the grocery store. This is important not only for the budget part but also for sticking to a nutrition plan anyways. And once you have planned you have to stick to it. When we stray from our plan it costs in money and calories.

2) BULK: Learn to shop in bulk. There is no need to pay for the fancy packaging or the cute little single serving sizes. Instead buy in bulk then spend a few minutes prepping when you get home. We all know that you are more likely to eat your fruits and veggies if they are ready to go, so get them ready to go. Include that prep time into your overall grocery time each week.

3) HOME: Eating at home is always cheaper than eating out. I train a few single people that rarely eat at home, no matter what I say. But guess what, their results are slow to come and with what they are spending they could easily afford that amazing vacation we all dream of every winter.

4) DEALS: Watch for the deals and learn to love your freezer. When deals come up on meat take advantage of them. Again, you have to prep with this one. When you get home divide your meat into meal size quantities and stick them in the freezer. There are also more expensive items that every family loves, remember that these are treats and not needed every week. Then watch for these items to come up on sale. If it is fruits or veggies buy them when they are in season, it isn't really worth it to buy them "fresh" when they aren't in season. My kids love mangoes, in season I can get these for $0.50 a piece vs in the winter when they run almost $2 a piece. Guess what, the $2 mangoes go to waste because they just aren't as good when they aren't in season.

5) COOK: Learn to cook, not just microwave. Learning about spices and how to use them, it is a great way to add flavor to bulk foods.

6) STICK TO IT: It may take some adjusting but really force yourself to stick to this. You will find that at the end of the month the budget is looking better, and your waist line is too.

Friday, April 8, 2016

Fit Friday - Time to Get Ready For Warmer Weather with Healthier Pizza and Tank Top Workout

Another week has passed us and here we are with Fit Friday and Ruthie from Cooking with Ruthie again. It is spring break at my house and we have spent it outside loving us some sunshine. It is time to come out of winter hiding and enjoy the fresh air. With that in mind Ruthie has brought as a fresh new way to enjoy pizza. After that keep on reading for a great workout to get the body looking great as the great delayering commences.

Pear, Thyme, and Ricotta Pizza with Lemon Drizzle is a beautiful combination of flavors that will absolutely melt in your mouth! *Pear-Thyme-and-Ricotta-Pizza 1
 I made a batch of Homemade Ricotta Cheese last week and this pizza is one of the many delicious recipes I made with it! Have you made it before? It's so simple to do at home- and tastes like a dream! Check out the recipe, then make and enjoy this pizza too! *Pear-Thyme-and-Ricotta-Pizza 3   *Pear-Thyme-and-Ricotta-Pizza 5
Pear, Thyme, and Ricotta Pizza with Lemon Drizzle
Recipe Type: Main
Author: Ruthie
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 8
  • 1 package fresh whole wheat pizza dough (I like Trader Joes)
  • 1 cup ricotta cheese
  • 1 an jou pear, cored and thinly sliced
  • 1/4 cup fresh thyme leaves
  • 3 tablespoon olive oil
  • Lemon Drizzle:
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons fresh squeezed lemon
  • 1 tablespoon agave
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Press dough out on pizza pan, drizzle with olive oil, sprinkle 1 1/2 tablespoons on dough.
  3. Arrange pear slices and dollops of ricotta cheese on crust.
  4. Bake 12-15 minutes or until crust in golden brown.
  5. Sprinkle with remaining thyme.
  6. Lemon Drizzle:
  7. Combine all ingredients in small mixing bowl.
  8. Whisk together until foamy and slightly thickens.
  9. Drizzle on each slice as served.
Pear, Thyme, and Ricotta Pizza on is a beautiful combination of flavors that will absolutely melt in your mouth!

I adore this Pear, Thyme, Ricotta Pizza with Lemon Drizzle it's a fresh combination that's perfect for spring.

That sounds yummy! Thanks Ruthie! I get heart burn so bad these days that pizza has not been tempting at all, but this one sounds perfect!

The weather has been teasing us...a little sunshine followed with some clouds and cold wind blowing through. But I hold on to the sunshine and dream for warmer days soon to be upon us. And my go-to tops for sunshine have to be
tank tops. I love them with shorts, jeans, skirts, pretty much everything as long as the weather allows. It is time to shed winter sweat shirts and bare those arms, which also means it is time to get those arms and shoulders worthy of baring.

For those of you that know me you know I am not huge on focusing on specific body parts. I love full body workouts that give me a great killer workout. But that doesn't mean that some occasions call for a little more of a specific burn. I definitely call summer a special occasion! I am still going to mix in some heart rate raisers, just to keep it fun!

Tank Top Worthy:
Jump Rope: 2 min
15 Thrusters with DB: I can't do just a shoulder press...let's add some squats!
15 Bicep curls with DB: focus on good form....those shoulders should be steady
15 Dips
RPT 2x

Donkey Kicks: 2 min
15 Lateral Shoulder Raises
15 Hammer curls
15 Kickbacks
RPT 2x

Pushups with Corner (Bunny) Hops: 2 min
15 Sumo Squats with High Pull (Upright Row)
15 BB Bicep curls
15 BB Skull Crushers

Finish With: do all three of these seated so that you can focus on proper form and keep your low back out of play
1 min of Shoulder Press
1 min DB Bicep Curls
1 min Over Head Tricep Ext.

As heard and enjoy the rewards!

Happy Fit Friday everyone!
Much love and peace - Ruthie and Nichole

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Workout Wednesday - Count it Down!

Hello all! It is Workout Wednesday and it is time to get busy! Today we are going to pick 10 moves and work our way down from 10. I do a lot of sequences where I either work my way down or up (set of 10, 8, 6 vs sets of 6, 8, 10) and most of my clients will always tell me they prefer to work their way down, it is a little easier mentally. So that is what we are going to stick with today.
We are picking 10 of our favorite moves today. But it is hard to remember 10 moves at once and keep moving fast, so instead we will be breaking this up into two groups of 5. Once you get all the way to 1 with the first group of 5 you get to move on to the second group of 5. We are working our way down by one. You will complete 10 reps of all 5 moves, then go back to the top and complete 9 reps of each move, then 8, 7, 6, etc down to 1.
Today is about speed AND form. We never sacrifice form for speed! We want to keep our hearts up and pumping the entire time though.
Let's get started!!!!!

Round One:
1) Box Jumps (this can be done on stairs if you don't have a box available)
2) Decline Pushups (feet up on box or stairs)
3) V-Ups
4) Plank with Bunny Hops
5) Squats

Once you finish Round One take a 1-2 minute breather before moving on to Round Two.

Round Two:
1) Burpees
2) Dips
3) Jump Switch Lunges
4) Windmill Situps (situps with a rotation reaching for your opposite foot)
5) Donkey Kicks

Remember, you have to earn that amazing feeling of accomplishment after your workout. You have to earn the body you want. You have to earn being fit and healthy.

Sunday, April 3, 2016

Letting the Chaos Go

It has been an thoughtful week for me, full of life events that make one ponder and think about IT all. 

First and foremost I am constantly thinking about this little baby girl growing inside of me. The miracle of it all. She kicks all the time, constantly reminding me that I am growing a new little one. We are down to 3 weeks before I am scheduled to have a c-section. Three weeks (or less) before I am holding this new little being in my arms. 

The opposite of birth is death, I spent Wednesday morning listening to stories about the life of a friend who is no longer with us. Listening to his family talk about how much his kids meant to him. Listening to his kids talk about so many different memories with their dad, specifically how grateful his three boys were for all the time spent together. The dedication he had to his boys was amazing. I sat there thinking about my own life and what I would want my kids to remember about me. I want my relationship with my own children to be noticed by all around me. I thought about this as I watched my stomach jump and move with the constant kicking.

Today I got to spend with more family and friends as my mother-in-law got married. I listened to all of the kids talking about how great their parents were, how happy they were for their parents to have found happiness and love. Again, the love these kids expressed for their parents was amazing to me. 

So much love, so many memories all shared at these major life moments this week, all while counting down the days to my own major life moment. As a parent I often sit back and question myself. Am I helping, nurturing, doing all that I can and should be doing? Or am I hindering, getting stuck on the little things, holding my kids back? As a step-mom I double time the questions.
I want a life of memories. I don't want my kids to remember me as the crazy lady that always had them to their activities on time. In this chaotic life I need to learn to let the chaos go and find the memories and stories hiding in the wrinkles of time.

Friday, April 1, 2016

Fit Friday - Veggies and Slumps

It is Fit Friday....and April! Yay! I have so enjoyed doing these Fit Fridays with Ruthie from Cooking with Ruthie and I hope you guys have too. Today she is bringing us a delicious salad. I have so many clients that tell me they don't like salad or don't want to eat salad very often. I get it. But I also know that those people aren't stepping out of their little boxes and making delicious salads like this. Step out and enjoy!
Along with the many discussions I have with clients on food slumps another common discussion is exercise/fitness slumps. Keep on  reading after you are inspired with your nutrition to get some ideas on how to break past those fitness slumps.

Roasted Butternut Squash, Feta, and Pine Nut Salad is one of my favorite way to get those five-a-day veggies!
Butternut Squash, Feta, Pine Nut Salad on is one my favorite way to get my veggies!
 I just love butternut squash and I just happened to have one hanging around the kitchen and needing to be used up, so here's the creation that came of it! I ate some of the squash when it was piping hot out of the oven with sea salt and olive oil. Then refrigerated some and create this salad for lunch or dinner the next day. I'm sorta of known among my family and friends for my delicious salad creations~ I love to find delightful ways to combine healthy ingredients and make eating vegetables an adventure!
Butternut Squash, Feta, Pine Nut Salad on is one my favorite way to get my veggies!
 Have ever eaten cooked butternut squash cold before? It's actually just as good as when it's served warm. If you're a butternut squash lover than this salad will be one of your favorite ways to get your veggies too!
Butternut Squash, Feta, Pine Nut Salad on is one my favorite way to get my veggies!
Roasted Butternut Squash, Feta, and Pine Nut Salad
Recipe Type: Salad
Author: Ruthie
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 4
  • 1 butternut squash
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 2-3 teaspoons coarse sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon fresh cracked pepper
  • 1/4 cup dark brown sugar
  • 4 cups mixed spicy spinach greens (from trader joes)
  • 4 pieces roasted butternut squash, cubed
  • 1/4 cup toasted pinenuts
  • 2 ounces feta cheese, crumbled
  • coarse sea salt and pepper, to taste
  • olive oil and balsamic vinegar, for serving
  1. Roasted Butternut Squash:
  2. Preheat oven 450 degrees F.
  3. Peel and de-seed squash, cut into 8 sections.
  4. Rub with olive oil, sprinkle sea salt and pepper.
  5. Bake 15 minutes, evenly sprinkle 1/4 cup dark brown sugar on squash.
  6. Bake additional 5-10 minutes until soft and very toasted.
  7. Cool to warm and cut desired amount into cubes for salad.
  8. Store the remaining squash in air tight container for up to a week.
  9. Salad:
  10. Divide salad greens onto 4 serving plates.
  11. Divide squash cubes between plates.
  12. Sprinkle feta cheese and pine nuts evenly between plates.
  13. Top with sea salt and fresh pepper.
  14. Serve with olive oil and balsamic vinegar.
  15. Enjoy!
Butternut Squash, Feta, Pine Nut Salad on is one my favorite way to get my veggies!

Roasted Butternut Squash, Feta, and Pine Nut Salad is extra fabulous when you grab a crusty loaf of bread at the store to go along with it! Delish!!

Thanks Ruthie! That sounds amazing!

After an discussion with one of my favorite clients this week I started thinking more about those fitness slumps that we all get in. You know those days (or maybe even weeks) when we would rather sleep in, go hang out with friends, eat some cookies, or even just get sucked into our latest Netflix series. So how do we get past those moments?

1)  Change it up! Fit Fridays have provided an abundance of new workouts for you to give a try. If you are a runner or cyclist try a new route, go faster or go farther. As a runner I hit the trails when I just can't deal with running on the road. When I am bored with my lifting a try out a new class or find a new routine to give a whirl.

2) Find a friend to workout with. A friend makes you accountable. They also help you pass the time by chatting with you and cheering you on. My friends have definitely kept me running on days when getting out there seems daunting.  

3) Track your progress and your workouts. I have a workout journal that I write everything down in. I record my miles and the type of running I am doing (speed, long, temps, etc). I record my spin classes and lifting times. This helps me keep track of what I have been doing and what has been lacking. I also just love to see my mileage at the end of each week/month/year. 

4) Goals! This can be a race, an upcoming marathon definitely helps get me out the door for a long run. Short term goals are also helpful, after 20 workouts treat yourself to a new workout top. Don't make all of your goals based on a number on the scale, these goals can easily be forgotten and frustrating! 

These are just 4 ways to help get past those days where we "just don't wanna....."  Find what works for you and get out there!

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