Friday, March 31, 2017

Fit Friday - Mornings!

Happy Fit Friday everyone! We are all about the morning love here this week! Read more on how to start your day off right with a smoothie from Ruthie and some morning workout tips from yours truly.

Blueberry Coconut Smoothie is a great reason to wake up in the morning! Blueberry Coconut Smoothie is a great reason to wake up in the morning!
 Blueberry Coconut Smoothie is an awesome combination of coconut milk, coconut yogurt, shredded coconut, and fresh blueberries. . . as you can plainly see it's well worth waking up for! :)  Blueberry Coconut Smoothie is a great reason to wake up in the morning!
 I love smoothies!  I drink a protein, kale, veggie, and fruit smoothie everyday~ religiously.  I love getting all that nutrition in one tasty and simple to make way.  I'm a big fan of all kinds of smoothies however so sometimes I mix it up with other varieties too!  Be sure to check out my collection of Smoothie Recipes here.   Blueberry Coconut Smoothie has got to be added to your most loved smoothies list!   Blueberry Coconut Smoothie is a great reason to wake up in the morning! Blueberry Coconut Smoothie is a great reason to wake up in the morning!

Blueberry Coconut Smoothie

Recipe Type: Breakfast
Author: Ruthie
Prep time:
Total time:
Serves: 2
  • 1 cup coconut milk
  • 1/2 cup coconut yogurt
  • 2 tablespoons shredded sweetened coconut
  • 1 cup fresh blueberries
  • 1/2 a banana (mine was frozen)
  • 1/2 cup ice cubes
  1. Combine all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth.
  2. Pour into serving glasses and Enjoy!

Blueberry Coconut Smoothie will make all your mornings even more lovely!

We have talked about the joys of morning workouts in the past, I have given you reasons why you should love your morning workout and how great it is for you. Today I want to talk a bit more about how to really get the most out of your morning workout. I realize that not everyone wakes up and is ready to go, I am lucky enough to be one of those people. My husband is not, in order for him to get to a 7am class he sets an alarm, or has me set an alarm, for 5am. It takes him that long to wake up and get his body ready to workout. Different folks people.

In order to get the most of those morning workouts there are some things to remember.

1) Warm up! Not shuffle slowly on the treadmill until your eyes can focus. No, you need to wake up your body. You can start with a few minutes of shuffling along, but then you need to add some oomph to those movements and get your heart rate up and the muscles moving. Be sure to include workout specific movements, if you are working a lot of legs some body weight squats would be great.

2) Focus! Think through what you are doing. Focus on the muscles being used and be purposeful through your movements.

3) Wake up your whole core. If you are heading straight to the gym your core has been inactive for hours. Get your spine moving and prepared for a powerful workouts.

4) Start light. If you are hitting the weights it is even more important to start light in the morning. Your muscles are still waking up. 

Morning workouts are great, for many they are the only option. But you have to do it right! Don't waste your gym time and your not sleeping time, get the most out of your workouts.

Have a fabulous Fit Friday!!  
Much Love and Peace~ Ruthie  

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Workout Wednesday - Resistance and Cardio

I know I have been at bit MIA the last week, but life gets a bit chaotic and sometimes I get a bit lost in everything else going on around me. My husband and I own our own businesses, if you have ever owned your own business enough said. For those that haven't trust me when I say it gets insane. There is no such thing as a 40 hour work week and your brain never gets to stop. With all that gets going on between work and a life with 4 kids some days I am just trying to survive. This week I am keeping my head above water a bit more. 

I love mixing up weights and cardio, my boot campers should understand this by now. Getting your heart rate up and moving during the same workout that you are working the muscles is a great way to be efficient, especially for those of us that are short on time. 

With that being said, enjoy the workout!

Happy Workout Wednesday!

Friday, March 24, 2017

Fit Friday - Power Style

Fit Friday is here! We are making it is Power Fit Friday this week. Ruthie has brought some power bites to the table with her Mango Coconut Energy Bars and I am following that up with a power based workout. Enjoy! And have a fabulous Fit Friday!

Mango Coconut Energy Bars take 5 minutes to make and are the perfect healthy snack!  Mango Coconut Energy Bars take 5 minutes to make and are the perfect snack!
Mango Coconut Energy Bars are packed with oats, flax seed, chia seeds plus gooey peanut butter and honey to keep it all held together!  Then lets add some dried mango and golden raisins with coconut AND you'll agree they're amazing!  Mango Coconut Energy Bars take 5 minutes to make and are the perfect snack!
I love raw bars and bites Mango Coconut Energy Bars are a delicious and healthy snack! Check out my other varieties of Raw Bars or Bites- Cherry Pecan Dark Chocolate Bites, Coconut Sunflower Seed Power Bites,  Berry Medley Raw Bars, Chocolate Trail Mix Power Bites, Almond Joy Power BitesDark 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) Mango Coconut Energy Bars take 5 minutes to make and are the perfect snack!

Mango Coconut Energy Bars
Recipe Type: Appetiser
Author: Ruthie
Prep time:
Total time:
Serves: 12
  • 1 cup whole oats
  • 1/2 cup peanut butter
  • 1/3 cup honey
  • 1/4 cup milled flax seed
  • 1/4 cup chai seeds
  • 1/3 cup snipped dried mango (I used kitchen sheers)
  • 1/3 cup sweetened shredded coconut
  • 1/3 cup golden raisins
  • 1/2 cup toasted flaked coconut
  1. Combine all ingredients in mixing bowl.
  2. Using a wooden spoon; stir until combined.
  3. Press into 8x10 baking pan, cover, and refrigerate.
  4. Sprinkle toasted flaked coconut on bars and lightly press.
  5. Cut into 1x2 inch bars.
  6. Store in air tight container and refrigerate uneaten bars.
  7. Enjoy!

Mango Coconut Energy Bars are an awesome snack that will keep you full and fuel you with great nutrition too!

  Power Bites, like the amazing ones Ruthie has provided above, call for a Power Workout and nothing says Power to me like Plyometrics. Plyometrics (plyos for short) are one of those wonderfully amazing things invented to make us stronger, more powerful, and all around amazing. They are also invented as cruel punishments for those that are late to football practice or don't clean their room.

Yes, these are hard, they are supposed to be hard! Hard is how we grow. Hard is how we get better. Hard is how we change. So do these hard and to them right!

This is another 10-1 workout. As a refresher for those that need it, a 10-1 workout requires that you complete all the moves 10 times, then all the moves 9 times, repeat until you have completed all the moves 1 time. If you are feeling awesome go ahead and take all those movements back up to 10.

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

Friday, March 17, 2017

Fit Friday - St. Patrick's Day Workout Topped Off With Some Yummy Oats

Happy St. Patty's Day on this wonderful Fit Friday! Ruthie is here with a fantastic Oat recipe to start your day. And I've got your St. Patty's Day workout covered. ENJOY!!

Blueberry Almond Maple Oats are simple to make for busy mornings!  Blueberry Almond Maple Oats are simple to make for busy mornings!
 Blueberry Almond Maple Oats are made with whole grain oats, pure maple sugar, sliced almonds, and fresh blueberries. . . how can it NOT be amazing!  Then to make even better, I just quick cook it in the microwave but you can also follow the direction on your oats for stove top cook method.   Oh my.  It's such an awesome way to start the day!!  Blueberry Almond Maple Oats are simple to make for busy mornings!
 There are so many healthy benefits to blueberries. . . The blueberry's fiber, potassium, folate, vitamin C, vitamin B6 and phytonutrient content, coupled with its lack of cholesterol, all support heart health. The fiber in blueberries helps lower the total amount of cholesterol in the blood and decrease the risk of heart disease. Blueberry Almond Maple Oats are simple to make for busy mornings!
 AND that's just the blueberries!  Almonds and Oats are just as good for you so our Blueberry Almond Maple Oats are going to be tasty breakfast and it's packed with awesome nutrition to help you through the whole day!  Check out these other oat inspired breakfast recipes too:  Fruit and Nut Steel Cut Oats, Blackberry Oat Smoothie Bowl, or Mango Coconut Chia Overnight Oats . . . you'll love them all they are just fabulous!!  Blueberry Almond Maple Oats are simple to make for busy mornings!

Blueberry Almond Maple Oatmeal
Recipe Type: Breakfast
Author: Ruthie
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 1
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 1/4 cup oats
  • 1 tablespoon pure maple syrup
  • 1/8 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/2 cup fresh blueberries
  • 2 tablespoons sliced almonds
  • additional maple syrup for serving
  1. In a microwave safe bowl combine water, oats, maple syrup, and salt; stir.
  2. Microwave 1 minute, stir and cook 30 seconds more.
  3. Top with blueberries, sliced almonds, and a drizzle of maple syrup.
  4. Enjoy!

Blueberry Almond Maple Oats are ready in 2 minutes for a quick and healthy breakfast! 

  It is St. Patrick's Day, which means we have to have a St. Patrick's Day workout....of course! My house doesn't seem to get to crazy for this holiday, but we do still have some fun with it. This year I made sure I was prepared with green clothes, in year's past I have been scrambling like mad the day before trying to find anything green for my kids to wear. And along with being prepared I have planned out a fantastic St. Patrick's Day workout.

We have the letters spelled out. You are going to complete 3 rounds (March is the third month) of 17 reps each.

Working out and being healthy is not a matter of luck. You need a goal and a plan. If you have found yourself in a little bit of a lull get back to it.

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

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Workout Wednesday - 10 to 1

This week's Workout Wednesday is a workout I did yesterday with my fantastic bootcamp group. Every Tuesday and Thursday morning I have a group of wonderful ladies that start their day with me. Many of our workouts are similar to the type of workouts that I post here. Today's workout is one that they completed yesterday.

This is a 10-1 workout. Which means that you will complete each movement 10 times, 9 times, all the way down to 1 time. In between each round complete one man maker.

We love man makers because they work everything. Challenge yourself with the weight that you choose, but make sure you can complete the movement.

This is a fast moving workout, but always remember we don't sacrifice quality for quantity or speed.
Get your sweat on and enjoy!!

Sunday, March 12, 2017

Sunny Days

The sun is coming out, hallelujah! As a runner that means less runs on a treadmill or pushing through some seriously cold temps. As a mom it means I feel way less guilty when I push the kids out the door to get some fresh air. It also means the time limits on electronics for those same kiddos start getting seriously reinforced.

I live in a state that is touted to have some of the best snow on earth. The powder is great fun, at least that is what I hear. My reality is that I am not a fan of the snow and the cold. Once the holidays have past and I am no longer looking forward to a white Christmas I am done with snow. The count down begins til I can start running in shorts and don't have to beware of ice.

I have tried skiing and snow boarding, I want to like it but it just doesn't seem to work for me. I would love to get excited about flying down the mountain, but excitement just doesn't seem to be my primary emotion.

The sun is starting to shine and my soul is smiling. Yesterday a friend and I decided to head up the mountain with the kiddos. We drove up as far as we could and let the kids play in the snow. I was just elated it didn't require serious layering. I got a little teaser for my beautiful mountains in just a few short weeks.

Now I just need to brace myself for the few more snow storms and cold weather days we are bound to get hit with.

Friday, March 10, 2017

Fit Friday - Baked Eggs in Avocado and Packed Lunches

Fit Friday is here and we are talking both breakfast and lunch! Ruthie has brought us a wonderful recipe for breakfast, one my six year old will love! Avocados are a staple at my house for almost everyone in my family (the 4 year old has become impossible) but more so for my six year old daughter than anyone. So I know she will love putting eggs and avocados together.

After that I am talking lunches, specifically packed lunches.  Enjoy!

Baked Eggs in Avocado are an easy and delicious brunch for the weekend!
 Baked Eggs in Avocado are simple way to serve up a fabulous and healthy breakfast!  If you love eggs and avocado's then you simply must give these little babies a try.  I love to eat them with whole wheat toast and a little pat of butter or olive oil too.  When I make breakfast it's usually some combination of eggs with avocado so, I figured why not cook the eggs inside the avocado halves and make my life that much easier!?!  It's a winner in my book. :)  Baked Eggs in Avocado are an easy and delicious brunch for the weekend! Baked Eggs in Avocado are an easy and delicious brunch for the weekend!
Baked Eggs in Avocado
Recipe Type: Breakfast
Author: Ruthie
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 6
  • 3 avocados, pitted and halved
  • 6 eggs
  • sea salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1 tablespoon minced parsley
  • drizzle olive oil to serve
  1. Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
  2. Place avocado halves on baking sheet, scoop out the indent in each half so it's large enough to hold the egg.
  3. Sprinkle avocado with sea salt and pepper, break one egg into each indent.
  4. Sprinkle with red pepper flakes, and bake for 12-15 minutes or until reaches desired doneness.
  5. Sprinkle with parsley and a drizzle of olive oil.
  6. Serve warm and Enjoy!
Enjoy a delicious breakfast today!
  My kids love obscure national days, you know, those weird days that call for a massive line down the street to get a doughnut/cookie/piece of pie/etc. So for Christmas my mom makes a National Days calendar that hangs up for all the kids to see what fun and weird days are coming up. For those of you that aren't up to date on all the days, today is National Pack Your Lunch Day!

National Pack Your Lunch Day fits right in with one common theme in the health and fitness world, prepare! I have talked about the importance of preparing numerous times, so I am not going to go on and on about it again. Instead I am here with some overall tips and what to think about when packing a lunch.

1) Keep fitness and health goals in mind.  Keeping those goals in mind will help you stay a bit more motivated. You will have more control over macros and whole lot less excuses.

2)  Make big dinners. One of the easiest ways to pack a lunch, make an extra big dinner and store the left overs in your lunch containers. That way lunch is packed when you are ready to go.

3) Prep on the weekend. I get not wanting to eat the same thing for 2 meals in less than 24 hours. so instead spend a little bit of time getting stuff prepped on the weekend. Again, if it is ready and easy to grab in the morning you are a lot more likely to skip eating out.

4) Make a budget, this will keep you motivated to pack a lunch rather than buy a lunch. Use the money saved to buy a new pair of running shorts, or just save it and be one of those responsible people.

5) Step away from your desk for lunch. Make sure that lunch time is still a break,. Too often people think that if they brought their lunch they should just stay at their desk and eat it. Instead go sit outside and eat while getting some sunshine, eat while running errands, meet a friend and chat while eating lunch together. You still need to enjoy your lunch time.

Enjoy National Pack Your Lunch Day!!!

Much Love and Peace
~Ruthie and Nichole~

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Workout Wednesday - Explosive Intervals with Some Static Holding

 Another Workout Wednesday. I love having a lot of workouts I can do from home or at the gym, giving me options makes it so much more likely to get done. With four kids life is never boring and constantly up in the air. This is another great workout I can do from home while my littlest one takes a nap.

Intervals are a great way to get in a sweet sweat sesh when you don't have a ton of time. Today's workout is another interval workout, but isn't filled with fast or explosive movements. Instead we are alternating between an explosive movement and a static (holding movement), this is a great way to mix up how those muscles are being worked.

I am more of a moving individual, the static poses are hard for me and I stare at the clock willing the second hand to move faster.

This workout consists of four different sequences. Complete each sequence four times before moving on to the next. Each sequence consists of two movements; 30 seconds each movement with 10 second breaks. One minute recoveries between sequences.

Sunday, March 5, 2017

Little Colds Can Turn Into Big Problems

This has been a rough week for me, an ignored cold took over and forced some down time. There are some pretty simple guidelines to follow when deciding if you should workout when you are sick, above the neck is ok, below the neck or fever is a no go. Pretty simple, right? Well, the first step, the one that seems to be the hardest one, is admitting that you are sick. That was me this week, I was forced to admit it.

Last week I was feeling a little off, I didn't feel great but I certainly wasn't sick. Sure my long run on Sunday sucked and I was super glad it was a cut back week, but I got it done and chalked it up to "just not feeling it." Monday wasn't much better, but I decided I was just a little tired, easy excuse for anyone with a baby that doesn't sleep through the night. Tuesdays run was horrible, decided my cold might be affecting me a little bit. Later that day my husband took one look at me, said he would be home by 5 o'clock and that I should head to the doctor.

I debated all day, go or not. I kept telling myself it was just lack of sleep and a little cold. Certainly not worth going to the doctor. I didn't want any medicine, I am the type that prefers to let my body figure it out if at all possible. But I finally relented and went in. A cold, that if I had treated it in the beginning, had turned into a sinus infection, ear infection, tonsillitis, and overall infection in the left side of my face that was starting to cause my left side to droop. 

My insistence that I wasn't sick, my refusal to take it easy led to a problem that could have been treated so simply in the beginning. Instead I ended having to take a stronger than normal antibiotic and steroids. 

We all have been there, we don't have time to get sick, we don't want to slow down or change our schedules and little things turn into much bigger problems. Small hurts turn into big injuries. A stupid cold turns into a crazy infection affecting half your face. 

Cut yourself some slack. Listen to your body. And accept the fact that you are not least not yet.

Friday, March 3, 2017

Fit Friday - Irish Dinner and Summer Days

Another fantastic Fit Friday is here! Ruthie is bringing some Irish spirit with a traditional Irish Dinner. I am looking a little further down the calendar towards summer with a fun core workout to get your summer body rocking!

Irish Corned Beef with Cabbage is a classic dish that's fun dinner to make in celebration of St. Patricks Day! 
Irish Corned Beef with Cabbage is a classic dish that's fun dinner to celebrate St. Patricks Day!
Irish Corned Beef with Cabbage is always a festive meal in the month of March!  I'm Irish and so I love to fill the whole month with some good ole' Irish cooking.  Wednesday's Irish Soda Farls are part of the photo's with our Irish Corned Beef with Cabbage and actually make a delightful side dish to the meal.  
Irish Corned Beef with Cabbage is a classic dish that's fun dinner to celebrate St. Patricks Day!
In my Irish Corned Beef with Cabbage recipe I recommend trimming all the visible fat before cooking it, I promise it'll still have amazing flavor and less calories without the layer of fat on the beef.  The spices, beef broth, and vegetables make it so, so, so good! 
Irish Corned Beef with Cabbage is a classic dish that's fun dinner to celebrate St. Patricks Day!
One day I dream to visit Ireland during the St Patrick's Festival, Ireland's national celebration of identity, arts and culture, will showcase the very best of Irish and international talent and entertainment with a whole host of fun festivities. 
I'd love to taste all the amazing food, be apart of the parade, and be immersed in all the festivities of the holiday! 
Irish Corned Beef with Cabbage is a classic dish that's fun dinner to celebrate St. Patricks Day!
 You may also enjoy my Slow Cooker Irish Stew or Irish Soda Bread too... and there will be many more delightful Irish recipes making their appearance over on the blog in the next couple of weeks!  I can't wait to share them with you all :) 

Irish Corned Beef with Cabbage is a classic dish that's fun dinner to celebrate St. Patricks Day!

Irish Corned Beef with Cabbage
Author: Ruthie
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 8
  • 3 pounds flat cut corned beef
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/2 cup dry red wine (I used cabernet sauvignon) or beef broth
  • 1 cup beef broth
  • 1 tablespoon worcestershire sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon dry mustard
  • 1 teaspoon caraway seeds
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 medium yellow onion, cut into wedges
  • 1 small head green cabbage, cut into wedges
  • 5-6 carrots, peeled and cut into 2 inch sections
  • 4 celery stalks, cut into 2 inch sections
  • 6 medium potatoes, peeled and quartered
  1. Rinse beef in cold water and remove visible fat as desired.
  2. In dutch oven or heavy bottom stock pot, heat oil over medium high until hot.
  3. Brown beef on all sides over, adding 1/4 cup of red wine half way through and remaining at the end of browning- scraping up bits and pieces from the pan.
  4. Add beef broth, worcestershire, dry mustard, caraway seeds, black pepper, bay leaf, garlic, and onion around beef in pot.
  5. Cover and reduce to simmer for 3 hours.
  6. Add potatoes, celery, carrots, and lastly cabbage to dutch oven, cook for 20-30 minutes until vegetables are softened.
  7. Arrange beef and vegetables on platter and cover.
  8. Bring remaining juices to boil in pot and allow to reduce by half, serve as sauce.
  9. Enjoy!

Irish Corned Beef with Cabbage has just got to be apart of your families St. Patricks Day menu this year!  

We all know the phrase "you spend winter getting your body ready for summer" or at least some version of that. The truth for most people is that they spend spring getting that summer body. Winter is generally spent hibernating, at least for me. The sun has started coming out a bit more, teasing me with some warmth and got my brain thinking about the upcoming summer.

We are working a killer core workout today with that summer sunshine in mind!
We have three rounds of fun here folks. Complete each round twice before moving to the next round.

Have a wonderful Friday!
Much Love and Peace~
Nichole and Ruthie

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Workout Wednesday - Summer Ready HIIT

It is Workout Wednesday and I am not working out. Instead I will post a great workout for everyone else and hopefully I can do it tomorrow. 

The last few days I thought I was fighting a normal old cold. Not feeling great but not slowing down too much either, a cold can't slow me down, I finally had to admit I just might be sick after a dizzy run and a rough day yesterday. So after some strong advisement from my husband I finally went to the doctor's last night. Not just a cold....and now I am drugged up and have to go back to the doctor's office  tomorrow to make sure the infection is being treated by the extra strong antibiotics and the steroids. So needless to say, I am taking the day off.

Today's workout is a HIIT style workout. We are alternating a plyometric move with an awesome resistance move in each round. I love HIIT style workouts, but that comes with a giant *. I only love them if you can do the move correctly the entire time, to often I watch form go out the window in order to stay fast for the entire time. It is much better to get 5 perfect movements than 10 sloppy ones.

With that being said....enjoy Workout Wednesday!!!