Friday, December 23, 2016

Fit Friday - Drunken Noodles and Balance

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Give yourself permission to not be perfect.

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

Find joy in working out, but know your limits.

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

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

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

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Workout Wednesday - 12 Days of Christmas

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

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

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

Sunday, December 18, 2016

What is Your End Game?

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

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

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

Friday, December 16, 2016

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

3 min at 0%

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

Cool Down 5 minutes

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

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

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Workout Wednesday - Chipper Fun!

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

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

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

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

Sunday, December 11, 2016

Love, Hate and Happiness

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

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

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

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

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

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

Friday, December 9, 2016

Fit Friday - Muffins and Motivation

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Much Love and Peace~ 

    Nichole and Ruthie  

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Workout Wednesday - Bike Circuit

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

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

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

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

RPT 4x

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

Sunday, December 4, 2016

Stop the Excuses

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

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

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

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

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

Friday, December 2, 2016

Fit Friday - Holiday Smoothies and Your ABCs For Fitness

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Y-  donkey kicks     Z- plank w/bunny hops

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