Friday, April 28, 2017

Fit Friday - Strawberry, Chicken and Kale Salad with a Side of Tabata

Another week has flown by and Fit Friday is back at ya! Ruthie has a follow up to last week's delicious dressing. We love our salads! And I am done with recovery and enjoying my workouts this week. Enjoy...

Strawberry, Chicken, and Kale Salad is a lovely spring and summer lunch!  Remember last Fit Friday's Raspberry Balsamic Dressing?  Well, it goes perfectly with our Strawberry, Chicken, and Kale Salad today!  They're a match made in heaven if I do say so myself!! :)  Strawberry, Chicken, and Kale Salad is a lovely spring and summer lunch!
I love the spring time not only because all the flowers and trees are beginning to burst into bloom but it's also when all the fresh berries start coming into season!  Strawberry, Chicken, and Kale Salad has shredded chicken breast, red onions, fresh strawberries, mint, and the most moth-watering cheese ever made!   The cheese on our Strawberry, Chicken, and Kale Salad is from one of my favorite stores, Trader Joes.  I can't even begin to tell you how fabulous it is. . . FOR REALS!  You've simply all got to give it a try! Strawberry, Chicken, and Kale Salad is a lovely spring and summer lunch!
 Here's what TJ's says about it. . .  Creamy Toscano Cheese Soaked in Syrah- begins with a Wisconsin-crafted cheese that seamlessly blends the nutty flavor of an aged Parmesan with the creamy texture of a farmstead Cheddar.  In a twist that's exclusive to Trader Joe's, each wheel is soaked in our very own Coastal Syrah.  The wine imparts subtle blackberry and plum jam flavors to the cheese, creating a marriage of flavors that's destined to make you say "I do," over and over again. Strawberry, Chicken, and Kale Salad is a lovely spring and summer lunch!

Strawberry, Chicken, and Kale Salad
Recipe Type: Main
Author: Ruthie
Prep time:
Total time:
Serves: 2
  • 4 cups baby kale leaves
  • 1 cup shredded, cooked chicken breast
  • 1 cup sliced fresh strawberries
  • 1/2 red onion, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 cup cubed Creamy Toscano Cheese Soaked in Syrah
  • 10-12 fresh mint leaves
  1. Divide kale on serving plates, divide remaining ingredients between plates, and serve with raspberry balsamic dressing.
  2. Enjoy!

Strawberry, Chicken, and Kale Salad with a crusty baguette makes the perfect lunch or light dinner!

  One of the greatest things about working out is finding that limits are not set in stone, they can be pushed and they can be broken. Weights that seemed impossible one day become liftable. Speeds that seemed a bit insane are now within reach. And workouts that seemed daunting become your bread and butter. This is one of those workouts.

Today we are doing a Tabata style workout with a weighted ball. Tabata is hard, it is supposed to be. You have to learn to embrace the hard, seek after the hard, and you will find that hard is fun. Hard is how we get better. Hard it how we make changes.

Quick reminder: Tabata is 20 seconds all out with a 10 second rest for 8 rounds (4 minutes). The 20 seconds is meant to be all out!

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

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Workout Wednesday - Track

I got a bit sidetracked last week in Boston and missed Workout Wednesday last week, but no worries,I am back today and hitting the track. Yesterday the gym I teach boot camp at was closed for maintenance so class was on the track. The weather was cold and the sun wasn't quite up, so most of you missed. I am posting the workout we did so that you can go out and enjoy the fun you missed. 

I love the track, it is a great place to be outside and get in a great circuit style workout. The distance is easily marked and allows you to just go. For today's workout we are running the straights and walking the curves. Really push on those straights, this is a chance to work on speed and pay attention to your form. It is easy to focus on fast and good form for such a short distance.

We are also throwing in push ups and lunges. Our first round calls for uneven push ups. Pay attention to your shoulders on this. Uneven push ups are a great exercise for your shoulders, but don't strain them or try to push through something that hurts. I have a lot of clients that do this exercise on a wall or at an incline, feel free to play with it and find what works best for you.

Above all, try your hardest!

Friday, April 21, 2017

Fit Friday - Dressings and Recovery

Happy Fit Friday everyone! I hope you have had a wonderful week. I have been a bit MIA with the Boston Marathon, but I am back with a great post for today, Ruthie is here with us again, dressing up our salads with some deliciousness! And I am talking recovery and rest days. Enjoy!

Raspberry Balsamic Vinaigrette is my most favorite salad dressing ever!  Ohhhh my.  It's just so amazing!! Raspberry Balsamic Vinaigrette is my most favorite salad dressing ever!
I fell in love with this dressing at one of our local restaurants years ago and it was one of the happiest days of my life the day I was given the actual Raspberry Balsamic Vinaigrette recipe!   Really.   You'll be so happy to have it now too!:) Raspberry Balsamic Vinaigrette is my most favorite salad dressing ever!
 Raspberry Balsamic Vinaigrette is made with olive oil so it's healthier than most salad dressings.  BUT, the flavor, now that's what will totally rock your world!  Wowzers.   You'll want to have more salads just to eat this dressing. . . and truthfully I love to dip my whole grain artisan bread in it too. Mmmmmm hmmm.  Raspberry Balsamic Vinaigrette is my most favorite salad dressing ever! Raspberry Balsamic Vinaigrette is my most favorite salad dressing ever!

Raspberry Balsamic Vinaigrette
Recipe Type: Appetiser
Author: Ruthie
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 18
  • 3/4 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1/4 cup dijon mustard
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 teaspoons shallots, minced
  • 1 cup raspberries (preferably fresh)
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 2 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • salt and pepper to taste
  1. In a small sauce pan over medium high heat, add berries and water; bring to boil, reduce to simmer until thickened and sauce-like consistency. (approx 8-10 minutes)
  2. Strain raspberries through a fine meshed strainer to remove seeds, gently press to release all juices; set aside.
  3. In a blender add raspberry puree, mustard, sugar, shallots, and vinegar until blended and aireated; approx 2 minutes.
  4. Slowly drizzle in oil while blending, to form an emulsion.
  5. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  6. Serve with salad.
  7. (Leftover will keep well fridge for 3-4 weeks)

Raspberry Balsamic Vinaigrette is the perfect excuse to eat more salads! 

We all know what it is like to be sore, whether it is a good sore or a bad sore we still all know it. Hopefully we all know how great it can also feel to get in that amazing workout where everything just comes together, whether that is for a race or just a great day at the gym. Once we have felt that greatness we want it over and over again. In order to reach that we expect some soreness, but how do we know when it isn't just simple soreness? How do we know when it is time to take a recovery day? And what do you do with a recovery day? (Eating as much as possible is not the correct answer to that.)

First, how do we know it is time to take a recovery day?

1) You are always sore. Some soreness is okay and should not scare you off of a workout. But if your body is not seeming to recover, it is time to think through what you are doing.

2) You are always tired and/or moody. This is a sign that endorphin levels and cortisol levels are out of whack and need a chance to calm down.

3) Heart rate is too high, both while working out and when you are in recovery mode.

I just finished a marathon this week, I know my body needs some recovery. I am stiff, sore, and tired. I would not be doing myself any favors by forcing myself back into workout mode. So what is the best  way to recover? How do I let my body repair?

I am a believer in active recovery, sitting in front of the television does not help, in fact it seems to make my body hurt more. It is better to have some light movement and activity. This might mean an easy walk or an easy yoga class (I stress easy here, power yoga is not helping). Get lots to drink and still eat a healthy diet throughout the day. 

You might just need one day or you might need three or four. Listen to your body and let it recover and heal before you start getting ready for your next monster move. 

Hope your Fit Friday is amazing! 
Much Love and Peace~ Nichole and Ruthie

Friday, April 14, 2017

Fit Friday - Easter Dinner and a Hopping Workout

Fit Friday coming at your this Easter weekend. I don't know about you guys, but it is a busy weekend at my house. I am lucky enough to be running Boston , which happens to fall on Easter weekend this year. So today I am doing last minute Easter prep in order to make Easter morning run as smooth as possible for Uncle Matthew and Aunt Amanda, my awesome brother that is helping with kiddos this weekend. I am also cleaning house and getting ready to get on a plane tonight with my awesome husband. So from my busy house to yours, happy Fit Friday!

Lamb Meatballs with Mint Tomato Sauce and Quinoa is delicious spring time meal! 
 I'm so happy that spring time has made it's way around to us again!!  I love all the spring flowers and having warmer sunny days is always a lovely feeling after the long winter!  
 Happy Easter on Sunday. . . I thought a little Lamb Meatballs with Mint Tomato Sauce and Quinoa would be a lovely way to celebrate spring!  It's hard to believe we are going to be up to a high of 80 degrees around my neck of the woods today- it's just wonderful!!  Lamb Meatballs with Mint Tomato Sauce and Quinoa is delicious spring time meal!
 This lamb dish is a fresh take on Easter dinner that I think you'll find quite festive.  I love lamb and especially enjoy it in the spring time.  I found ground lamb at the Whole Foods Market meat counter, I had to ask for it to be ground and they were happy to do it for me.  It may be more readily available in more stores with the Easter celebrations happening this weekend.  If you can't find it ground don't be afraid to ask your butcher if can prepare it that way for you.  Lamb Meatballs with Mint Tomato Sauce and Quinoa is delicious spring time meal!
 It's really important that you don't over cook your lamb. . . ground lamb should be cooked up to 160 degrees F but there's a hold over cook time which means you want to stop applying heat at about 155 degrees F and the heat that is already in the pan will continue to cook the meat up to 160 degrees.  So basically, pull the pan off the heat once you hit 155 temperature in the center of the meatballs.   Then you'll have perfectly cooked lamb! Mmmmmmm hmm. :)  Lamb Meatballs with Mint Tomato Sauce and Quinoa is delicious spring time meal!

Lamb Meatballs with Mint Tomato Sauce and Quinoa
Recipe Type: Main
Author: Ruthie
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 6
  • Lamb Meatballs:
  • 1 pound ground lamb
  • 1 egg
  • 2 slices day-old white bread torn into very small pieces
  • 1 small onions, minced
  • 2 tablespoons fresh squeeze lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons mint, minced
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • Mint Tomato Sauce:
  • 1 cup onion, medium diced
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 (28 ounce) can diced tomatoes
  • 1/4 cup dry white wine
  • 1 teaspoon worcestershire sauce
  • 1 teaspoons balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
  • 5 tablespoons mint, thinly sliced
  • 2-3 tablespoons parsley, rough chopped
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • sea salt and pepper to taste
  • 6 servings cooked quinoa
  1. Lamb Meatballs:
  2. Combine lamb, egg, bread, onion, lemon juice, mint, salt, and pepper in a mixing bowl.
  3. Roll into 2 inch balls; set aside.
  4. Heat a large skillet over medium high heat and add oil, heat to oil, add lamb meatballs and brown on all sides.
  5. Remove from skillet; hold to the side.
  6. Mint Tomato Sauce:
  7. In same skillet add onions and cook 2-3 minutes, stirring constantly, add half of white wine, and cook stirring 1 minute more.
  8. Add garlic; cook 1 minute while stirring.
  9. Add remaining wine; stirring and pulling up bits from the bottom of the pan.
  10. Add tomatoes; reducing heat to medium low.
  11. Add worcestershire, balsamic, tomato paste, 3 tablespoons mint, salt, pepper, and sugar; stir to combine.
  12. Add lamb meatballs back to sauce, cover and cook 8-9 minutes or until center temperature reaches 155 degrees F. (hold over cooking will finish the temperature to 160 F for serving.)
  13. Remove skillet from heat, add lemon juice, remaining mint, and parsley; gently stirring to incorporate.
  14. Serve over quinoa with additional mint and parsley to garnish.
  15. Enjoy!

Lamb Meatballs with Mint Tomato Sauce and Quinoa is lovely way to celebrate spring with your family! 

  We are hopping into this Easter weekend with the workout this week. I don't know about at your house but my kids always seem to get jump ropes at Easter, the Easter bunny loves to keep our house hopping. It is a great activity we can do outside and fun for all ages. I have talked about the benefits of jump roping in the past, so we aren't going to spend a lot of time on that, but let's talk a little bit about how to get better at jump roping before we attack our jump rope workout.

First; you have to start with the right rope. You want a rope with handles that turn freely and is made of material that turns over smoothly. Cloth ropes are too light! It also needs to be a good length. While standing on your jump rope the handles should come to your arm pits.

Second; the bounce. You need to stay on the balls of your feet and and stay soft, this will protect your knees. You also need to keep your bounce lower, jumping two feet in the air and kicking your heels to your butt wastes a lot of energy.

Third; your arms. Again, we don't want to waste a bunch of energy. Keep your arms and elbows in close to your body with the wrists rotating.

Fourth; start simple. Work on a single bounce first and go from there. You don't need to worry about a bunch of fancy tricks or chaining together a bunch of double-unders until you have the single bounce mastered.

Have a wonderful Easter Weekend and Happy Fit Friday! Much Love and Peace~ Nichole and Ruthie

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Workout Wednesday - HIIT Core Style

With the nice weather I have gotten a lot of core questions. I actually get core questions year round, when the sun comes out I get much more determined and focused core questions. So that is what we are working on today.
Before we begin, let me remind you all that you cannot target body parts for fat loss. Your body is it's own unique being and will lose fat where it wants to and at it's own pace. So stop comparing yourself to your neighbor and don't be so shocked when the boobs are one of the first things to go. It happens. And just because you stop doing pushups does not mean you will suddenly get your boobs back. So while we focus on core we still have to eat healthy and work on cardio. If you want those abs to make an appearance you need to focus on overall fat loss and being healthy.

Now, all that being said let's talk core. Our core is our foundation for everything. A strong core makes you a better runner, swimmer, laundry doer, basically a better functioning human being. So train it and use it!

Friday, April 7, 2017

Fit Friday - Skinnied Up Dessert and Tabata Fun

Fit Friday is here! Mine is a little later today than normal....the server decided it needed a break at the end of a hard week. We've all been there.

Coconut Banana Cream Petite Cakes are simple and fun to make! Coconut Banana Cream Petite Cakes are simple and fun to make!
 This recipe is great because it starts with a cake mix and then we throw in a couple of fun extras and you've got an amazing dessert! Plus, I worked a little of my "skinnied" magic on them so they taste amazing without all the calories! Win-win!!  Coconut Banana Cream Petite Cakes are simple and fun to make!
 Coconut Banana Cream Petite Cakes will be the hit of any gathering you take them to!  I shared them with a group of my friends last week and they were all begging for more! Next time I'll just have to make a double batch! :)  Coconut Banana Cream Petite Cakes are simple and fun to make! Coconut Banana Cream Petite Cakes are simple and fun to make!

Coconut Banana Cream Petite Cakes
Author: Ruthie
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 24
  • 1 (15.25 ounce) yellow cake mix
  • 2 tablespoons canola oil
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 cup shredded sweetened coconut, divided
  • 2 1/4 cups low-fat milk, divided
  • 1 pkg. (3.4 oz.) Coconut Cream Flavor Instant Pudding
  • 1 pkg. (3.4 oz.) Vanilla Flavor Instant Pudding
  • 1/4 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 tub (8 oz.) light whipped topping, thawed
  • 3 ripe bananas
  1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
  2. Line muffin tins with paper liners.
  3. In a large mixing bowl combine cake mix, 2 tablespoons canola oil, eggs, 1-1/4 cup milk, 1/2 cup coconut, and dry coconut pudding mix into batter.
  4. Divide batter into prepared cupcake pans.
  5. Bake 18-20 minutes or until toothpick remove clean from center of cupcakes.
  6. Remove from pans to wire racks; cool completely.
  7. In a small mixing bowl, combine dry vanilla pudding mix, powdered sugar, and remaining milk with whisk for 2 min. (Pudding will be thick.)
  8. Stir in whipped topping.
  9. Refrigerate until ready to assemble cupcakes.
  10. When ready to serve:
  11. Slice bananas into 1/4 inch angled slices.
  12. Remove liners from cupcakes and cut in half.
  13. Place bottoms of cupcakes on serving plate, spread 2 tablespoons of filling on each bottom, add 3 banana slices, a sprinkle of coconut, and place top on each cake.
  14. Finish with a dollop of filling, banana slice, and sprinkling of coconut.
  15. Keep in fridge until served.
  16. (banana's will start to brown with in an hour so assemble right before serving)
  17. Enjoy!

Coconut Banana Cream Petite Cakes taste like coconut-banana-creamy heaven in a little cake! 

I don't know about you guys, but I am getting anxious for more sunshine and less clothing. I want to be able to walk outside in shorts and a tank top instead of jeans and a sweatshirt. There have been a few of those glorious days, but not enough of them. They have completed their purpose though, those few glorious days have reminded everyone that we want to be rocking and ready for summer. Today we are attacking that summer body Tabata style.

Tabata is a fantastic interval workout that requires maximum effort and produced maximum sweat. I promise your heart rate will get moving and your muscles will enjoy. Tabata requires 20 seconds of all out effort and in return you get a 10 second breather, repeat this cycle 8x (4 minutes). In between each round take a one minute breather, use it to grab a drink and reset your body.

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

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Workout Wednesday - Back to the Track!

It has been a while since I have been to the track. It isn't exactly warm this week, but the sun is shining and I want fresh air. Plus it is spring break and I can take the kids to the track with me, let them run or bring some scooters and they are pretty happy.

This workout is based on a standard track, during the winter I run a bit on an indoor track at my local rec center, but little circles tend to drive me bonkers so I do very minimal stuff on it. Big circles tend to drive me bonkers too, but they are much more doable and the fresh air makes it a hundred times better.

Push your pace on the runs, these are meant to be hard!

Saturday, April 1, 2017

30 Day Challege for April

30 Day Challenge
April 1-April 30th

We are focusing on our water intake this month. Remember, the minimum is half your body weight in ounces.

30 moves in 30 days. Each day will have a move listed, you need to complete 30 reps of that move. We will be doing the movement of the day in boot camp, so Tuesdays and Thursdays will be covered.

1- Squats
2- Situps
3- Dips
4- F. Lunges
5- V-Ups
6- Pushups
8-Flutter Kicks
9-Sumo Squat
10-Jumping Jacks
11- Straight Leg Situps
12- Rev. Lunges
13-Wide Pushups
14- Moving Plank
15-Plank with bunny hops
16-Donkey Kicks
17- Side Lunges
18-Bird Dog
19-Squat to Calf Raise
20- Squat Hops
21- Moving Pushups
22-Leg Drops
23-Single Leg V-ups
24- Hop Switches
25- Russian Twists
26-Toe Touches
28-Plank with shoulder Touches
29-Frog Hops
30-Star Situps