Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Mountain Dew Reveals a Breakfast Beverage!? No Thanks!

I just saw a couple articles about Pepsi Co's release of a Mountain Dew Breakfast Beverage, Kickstart! Before even reading about it all I could think was, EW!

These "energizing orange citrus" and "energizing fruit punch" are supposed to provide you with a new way to start your day:

They think they can promote something like this just because is has a hint of fruit juice!? 5% to be exact! 5% fruit juice in the whole 16oz can!? What is the point!?

According to here are the nutritional facts:  
Nutrition score per serving (16-ounce can): 80 calories, 0g fat, 20g carbs, 19g sugars, 0g protein, 170mg sodium

OK, so great no fat, I guess. 

The funny thing is that a glass of natural orange juice may have the same amount of sugars and carbs, but it is coming from 100% fruit and contains electrolytes, there are no fake additives and who knows what else!

I have not been able to find an exact list of ingredients, but Therese Bonanni, R.D. the writer from called the company to get that info from them.

This is what she had to say about that conversation: "When the customer service rep had trouble pronouncing them, I knew it was going to be a long list. In the interest of the company, I will not divulge the complete can contents (nearly 20 items long), but I will say that they are not fresh off the tree or vine—without further processing. For each variety, the 5 percent juice is comprised of white grape juice concentrate or concentrated orange juice, which comes after high-fructose corn syrup. I don’t know about you, but I’d prefer 100 percent juice and 0 percent HFCS."

I completely agree with her! Why not keep it natural?

Still need some caffeine (I know I do!)? Black coffee is very low in calories, a non-fat latte (small) has around 100 calories, so you can still get your wake-up!

Don't want that much caffeine? Try breakfast teas, chai, or yerba matte!

Overall, I urge you to not jump to the newest thing on the market that may seem like a great idea, but in the end it may not be. These big companies have endless amount of cash for advertisements and promotions, be aware of what they are actually selling and read your labels!! If there is a laundry list of ingredients that you can't even pronounce, skip it!!

Strive for healthy and natural, not fake and processed!

What is your favorite breakfast beverage?

Morning Snack Prep!

Wednesdays are always a hectic day for me, I teach a Circuit Training class at 8 am and the have class in San Jose at 10:30!

Good thing I had my morning snack prepared:

Two hard boiled eggs for protein after my workout and a sliced grapefruit for snacking while I'm in class and of course, my morning latte!!

Any little prep that I can do is helpful for my packed days!

What does your prepping look like?

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

First Turkey Chili Attempt!

Right now I am really into meal/snack prepping for the week, so this time I decided to try a big batch of Turkey Chili!

I got the idea from Jess @ Blonde Ponytail Fitness and decided to make my own little variation. 

It only takes a handful of ingredients most of which a practically prepared already:

I used:
-1 lb of lean ground turkey meat
-2 cans of beans (one black one pinto)
-2 cans of diced tomatoes
-1 carrot, peeled and diced
-1 green bell pepper, diced
-1 can green chilies
-1 can diced jalepenos
-chili powder as needed

The prep time is about 5-10 minutes! All I had to do was prepare the bell pepper and carrot and crack open a few cans!

I have yet to purchase a crockpot, so I put all of the ingredients into a large saucepan for the stove. I added the raw, ground turkey in last (it will be cooked thoroughly during the simmer). Brought everything to a boil on high, and then brought it down to a simmer and let it cook for about 2-3 hours.

And ta-da!

Now we have a great deal of chili to last through the week and it hardly took anytime at all!

This is a great dish with lots of protein that will keep you nice and full! Also, you can get creative and add whatever else suits your fancy; more veggies (great way to sneak them in), spices, legumes, you can even make it vegetarian style, just add more beans!

Do you have a favorite chili recipe?

Monday, February 25, 2013

Simple Veggie Sandwich

Here's a tasty and super easy veggie sandwich idea! 

I whipped this up yesterday when I needed a quick fix and was craving vegetables!

- 2 slices whole wheat nuts & seeds bread (slightly toasted)
- 2 slices 2% Provolone cheese
- 2 or 3 leaves of romaine lettuce
- half a roma tomato, sliced
-sprinkling of shredded carrots
-spread of mustard (I added some mayo too, but just a smidgen!)

This was a snap to make and satisfied my veggie craving all with a great crunch in every bite!

I try to get in my veggies as easily and tastily as possible!

How do you get yours?

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Weekly Snack Prep!

Doesn't it seem like the weeks just keep getting busier and busier!?

How is it possible to eat healthy while constantly on the go!?

This week I bought a vat of yummy strawberries:

Looks good huh? Well, the chance of me eating all of these by the end of the week is rather slim...UNLESS I cut and prep some for the week!

This only took me about 5 minutes on Sunday afternoon (while I was hard boiling my eggs for the week) to prep a healthy snack for while I'm running around!

Just remember, an extra 5 or 10 minutes of your Sunday afternoon can save you lots of time and calories during your week! 

Start small and begin with prepping small and easy things like fruit and snacks and see how much it helps you out!

What do you prep weekly?

P.S. You can now follow my blog by email! Put your email address in the box on the right side of the screen and get updated by email!

Monday, February 18, 2013

Lentils for Lunch!

We are experiencing some cool weather today, so a nice warm bowl of soup was just what I wanted for lunch! 

Today I had yummy Lentil Soup! 

OK, so the color isn't SUPER appealing, but still very delicious!

Lentils are very low in fat and high in protein (16g) and fiber (6g)! This also supplied me with a full serving of vegetables for the day :)

Nice warm lunch on a chilly day = happy me!

What did you have for lunch today?

Sunday, February 17, 2013

From Lazy to Sunday Runday!

I had been dragging my feet for the morning and wasn't feeling like doing much of anything, but finally decided to lace up my sneakers and get into some kind of run, and I am SO glad I did! 

I wasn't putting much pressure on myself to go fast or for a long amount of time, but after about the first mile I was feeling great! My endorphins were pumping and I suddenly had a new burst of energy! I even decided to keep going and add in the Capitola stairs, yikes!

The view at the top of the stairs pretty much makes up for the burn :)

I ran for about 3.5 miles, taking up less than an hour of my time! And I still burned 300 calories! 

So remember, we all have those days when we don't feel like getting in a work out, or think we are too tired or busy, but if you really think about how good you feel when its all over and how little time it really takes to get a nice sweat going, you know its well worth it in the end! 

I know I'm glad I went!

What will you do today!?

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Work it Out with a Buddy!

Working out is fun! But working out with a buddy is even better!

Having a workout partner is a great way to get in your friend time, stay motivated, and work out harder! 

A study at the University of Oxford found that exercisers who rowed with a group of five people in a gym had a higher pain threshold, suggesting higher endorphin levels then those who rowed alone. 

The lead study author Emma Cohen, PhD stated that, "The social high created by working out with others may increase your ability to go harder and/or longer".

More endorphins? Increased ability? Harder workouts? SIGN ME UP!

Using a buddy system is a great tool when trying to achieve your fitness goals. By making a set time and place to meet up and sweat it out, makes you less likely to flake!

Yesterday my workout buddy was my Mamma!

We got super worked and had a great time doing it!

Whether its a walking buddy, running buddy, gym buddy, or just you and a friend busting out your own workouts at home (my buddy Rose and I do that!) keeping each other accountable and on track is a great way to stick with it!

Another great buddy idea: try a new class together! No one likes to try something new alone, so take a buddy and experience a new yoga studio or spin class!

What do you and your buddy do to work out?

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Suspension Training: Single Leg Lunge

I love suspension trainers! I use them in almost ALL of my Circuit Training classes! 

They provide a full body workout and all it takes is your own body weight! 

There are many different kinds out there in the fitness world I have used the TRX  brand (probably the most popular) and now at the gym we have a Lifeline USA Jungle Gym XT. Both of these work great, and I am sure there are many other great ones out there too!

Demonstrated below is a Single Leg Lunge: 

Step 1: Facing away from the suspension trainer, use just one of the straps for one of your feet:

After securing one of your feet in the strap, you will have to hop your front foot forward a bit.

Step 2: Bend the knee of your front leg and push back into a lunge with your other leg:

Keep your head up, back straight, and your core tight, engaging multiple muscles! 

This is also a great exercise to improve balance and coordination!

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Quick Pre-workout Fuel

If you are like me, you tend to push the snooze button one too many times, especially those Monday mornings! 

This is often the case for me so my mornings can be a little rushed, but one thing I MUST do is eat a little breakfast. So, something quick and easy is just what I need!

Lately I have been on a peanut butter/ English muffin kick!

I like this because its simple, but fuels me up with carbs and protein for my morning workouts! 

I just toast up half a Thomas Light Multigrain English Muffin (only 50 calories!) and spread about a serving of peanut butter on top!

While it's toasting I have time to do other things to get ready for my day!

I have been using Skippy...I know, I know, SKIPPY?! Yes, Skippy! They came out with a "Natural" peanut butter with 1/3 less sodium and sugar! I love this because its super tasty, not super oily and only has the bear-minimum of ingredients: roasted peanuts, palm oil, sugar, and salt. It also happens to be super cheap :) gotta love that! 

Breakfast is an essential part of our diet, so please take the time to fit in a little grub! ESPECIALLY if you are going to a morning workout! Your body needs fuel to get through a sweat session and eating before a workout will help your intensity and allow you to keep up endurance!

Even if you arn't going straight to a workout, eating breakfast will get your metabolism going for the day and will help you eat less calories during they day over all!

What is your favorite easy breakfast?

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

She Is Beautiful 5 & 10K!

Hey all! As some of you already know I am running in the She Is Beautiful PINKEST 5K on St. Patty's day!! I am super excited because this will be my first organized run EVER! 

 Thanks to one of my besties Danielle ( I will be running with a great group of ladies (with matching tanks!!) so its going to be really fun and relaxed.

I just received and e-mail from their "Sass Squad" informing me that space is becoming limited as the race date approaches (Sunday, March 17th 2013). Therefore, I wanted to pass along the info to anyone who might be interested in joining us!

Here is the link for the Santa Cruz race:

This year the race is benefiting the Walnut Avenue Women's Center which is a great local organization. 

The race is taking place on the beautiful West Cliff Drive, home of some of the most epic views in the Monterey Bay! I don't know if I am more excited about that or wearing hot pink spandex!

Like I said the race is filling up, so sign up today if you would like to come along for the fun!

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Sunday Salad

Home workout complete: Check!

Walk the dog: Check!

Now for a yummy Sunday Salad!

I had some grilled salmon left over from dinner last night so I just topped it on:

-chopped crisp romaine lettuce
-shredded carrots
-halved cherry tomatoes
-a few sliced black olives

Drizzle with olive oil and fresh lemon juice!

There's you're yummy Sunday Salad!

What kind of salad will you have today?

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Motivation :)

Don't let the weekend slow down your workout momentum!

Life is busy and hectic, but don't forget to do some thing for YOU!

Whether its the gym, a spin class, a walk/run, even a quick little home workout, take the time and get it done! It will leave you feeling great all day (maybe even all weekend)!

Easy body weight work out to sneak in:

-60 Jumping Jacks
-50 Air Squats
-40 Lunges (alternating)
-30 Crunches
-20 Push-ups
-10 Burpees

I use this one a lot for a warm up in class, but just go through it once. For a good, no-brainer workout; repeat at least 3 times!

A sweat session as simple as this will rev up your metabolism and get the endorphins going so you can feel great! Trust me: you NEVER regret a work out!

How many times did you do it!?

Friday, February 8, 2013

Friday Fit Tip: Push-up to "T"!

Happy Fit Friday! 

Here's another exercise that is great for working multiple muscle groups: Push-up to T!

Step 1: Start in plank position with arms fully extended: 

Step 2: Hinge at the elbows (keeping them tight to your body) and descend into a full push up. To modify: push-up can be done from the knees.

Step 3: Push back up and release left hand from the ground, bringing your left arm into a full "T" extension, keeping your core tight, while twisting entire torso:
(Next time do this on the right side)

Ta-da! That's a push-up to T! This is a great exercise that works multiple muscle groups and can be added to any routine at home or in the gym! Added resistance (dumbbells) can be used for that extra burn if desired!

What work out will you add this to?

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Sneaking in Veggies!

This morning I loaded my little breakfast sandwich with some fresh butter lettuce! 

This is an excellent way to jump start my day and start my veggie intake early!

This breakfast is also super easy:
-1 Thomas Light Multigrain English Muffin
-1 egg
-1 slice 2% cheese (I used provolone)
-1 or 2 leaves of butter lettuce

Its quick to make on these early mornings and helps keep me full well into my long day at school!

How do you sneak in your veggies?

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Super Bowl Sunday Runday!

Super Bowl Sunday is always a fun day to enjoy lots of food and drinks with family and friends. Therefore, I got a good run in this morning (helloooo chicken wings!).

I ran down towards the beach from my house and ended up at The Hook, where I often stop for a good stretch and add in some stair intervals to mix things up!

Today was a little chilly and we've had quite the swell the last few days my feet actually got caught by a wave while I was stretching! (Shoes are in the dryer now!)

During my run today I was focusing on posture. This is something that many don't think about, but it is very important in our everyday lives, not just when exercising. 

Keeping good posture: head up, chest slightly out, shoulders back, and back straight is a great way to keep your core engaged and strengthen those abdominal muscles! This is something that you should keep in mind while running, walking, at the gym, even at work and while driving! 

Maintaining good posture also helps reduce your risk for injury and keeps your muscles strong! It is hard to get used to, but keeping yourself in check is the way to go :)

Now on to the fun stuff...Super Bowl Snacks!!!

It is hard not to indulge on days like today with dishes of dips, bowls of chips, and coolers of beer surrounding you and every turn! Have no fear! I have a few ideas on how you can feel like part of the crowd, but with a healthier edge! 

I found these Terra Chips yesterday when I was looking for an alternative to standard potato chips!
They are made from root veggies like sweet potato, taro, and parsnips, and provide a full serving of vegetables in every ounce! The ingredients list is short (excellent), only 150 calories for 14 chips, and they are sure to satisfy those potato chip cravings!

Oh, and they are kitty approved...

If you are not providing the snacks today, other healthier snack options are items like pretzels (low in fat), fresh popcorn, NOT smothered in butter and salt (provides lots of fiber), and of course any type of veggies that are provided :)

So! Enjoy today, indulge a little, give into a couple cravings, but try not to over do it! You will thank yourself later and won't have to be popping Tums the rest of the night!

Happy Super Bowl Sunday! What are you plans for the day!?