Friday, May 31, 2013

Fit Friday: Simple Backyard Workout!

Happy Fit Friday all! Here's a simple full-body workout that can be done anywhere! 

In the spirit of summer I did it as a back yard workout! 

Only equipment necessary: lawn chair (optional)

This workout will be done in sets of 20, but first warm up with 100 Jumping Jacks:

Then go right into...

 Incline Push-ups:

Keep the hips, back, head and neck straight. Can also be done without the chair!

Tricep Dips:

For more intesity, keep your legs staright out in front (bend knees for modification).

Mountain Climbers:

Keep shoulders above the wrists and keep your back flat!

Full Sit-ups:

Alternating Lunges:

Be sure to keep knees behind the toes! To increase intensity, do jumping lunges for the last 5!

Body Weight Squats:

Pushing hips back and weight through the heels.

To intensify, add a jump squat to the last 5:

Lastly, end with 10 Burpees:

A push up can be added or omitted depending on what level of intensity you are going for with your burpee. 

Then, REST! Hydrate, and repeat 2 - 3 times!

These are all great body weight exercises that can be done anywhere and are guaranteed to get the blood pumping!

All you really need is about 20/30 minutes to get through this work out, and feel great all day!

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Fridge Clean Out & Odwalla Bar Review

As the week comes near to a close, I usually try to empty out the fridge and use as many veggies as possible so they don't go bad!

This week I used up some carrots, half a green bell pepper, and some sugar snap peas for a delsih single skillet meal:

I cooked them up with my favorite Parmesan and basil chicken meat balls, sprinkled a little Italian seasoning, and bam! Super quick, healthy lunch! 

This mix of veggies is nice and refreshing on a day like today, and I love sugar snap peas because they bring a little sweetness and crunch to the dish!

What a great way to get in those veggies too :)

This week I also tried a bar by odwalla:

These were on sale for a buck! So I bought a few to keep in my purse for those on-the-go hunger strikes! 

The Blueberry Swirl was only 200 calories, is made with real fruit and oats! It tasted just like yummy oatmeal with blueberries! They are relatively small, but it got the job done when I was in a pinch after my Monday morning Circuit Training class!

I will report back on other flavors :)

Have you tried any new bars recently?

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Post Work Out Munch Go To's!

Lately I have been trying to be really on it when it comes to having something to eat after a workout!

Sometimes it is hard to plan ahead, but this is what I've been getting into lately:

A hard boiled egg with strawberries (or some other kind of fruit). These are easy to pack ahead of time and help to satisfy that post workout hunger! The eggs provide lots of essential nutrients along with protein to help your body rebuild muscle. The fruits also contain great nutrients along with simple carbs to help refuel!

My other go-to is a smoothie with protein powder! On days that I didn't prep anything I like to go to Whole Foods and order a fruit smoothie with added whey protein. The "tropical twister" is my favorite right now! It's packed with lots of fruit and coconut milk, then with the added protein powder it literally tastes like a milk shake! I love it! It's also perfect on these warmer mornings!

What is your favorite post workout meal!?

Monday, May 20, 2013

I love Berry Season!

The berries are going off this time of year and I can't get enough! 

Here in Santa Cruz County we are so lucky to be surrounded by some of the best berries in the nation!

Driscoll's is a local berry farm, which I love being able to support on a regular basis. I lucked out this week because all types of berries were on sale! I stocked up on strawberries, raspberries, blackberries, and blueberries! Yum! 

I'll be honest, I finished off the whole vat of raspberries while putting away the groceries!

Not only are these fruits super tasty, they provide us with tons of vitamins! 

According to Driscoll's website:

-Their strawberries contain 160% of our daily vitamin C needs in 1 cup! More than an orange!

-A cup of their raspberries provides 44% of daily vitamin C and they are high in fiber, more than a bran muffin!

-Blueberries are packed with antioxidants and can help with vision and brain function!

-Blackberries contain phytonutrients that may protect against cancer!

Also, every 1 cup serving of these berries is less than 60 calories! 

You can check out Driscoll's nutrition page for more info:

So, take advantage of the summer season and stock up on some berries!!

What is your favorite berry?


Sunday, May 19, 2013

Sunday Runday: New Duds!

Happy Sunday Runday everyone! Today I took the chance to break in some new duds!

Just in time for summer I purchased some new Nike Free Runs:

I LOVE the colors!

They fit great and really felt good during my run. Sometimes you don't notice how worn in your old sneaks were until you slip on a new pair!

I also found some pretty sweet pants:

They are lightweight and fun colors! Perfect for the warmer months ahead!

I think it's so fun to add bright colors in with work out clothes! It's fun and almost even a motivator in some ways! 

Today was one of those perfect mornings for a run, pretty warm already with the sun shining high:

Hope you all have a great Sunday! Get out there and enjoy it!

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Hectic Finals Week Coming to a Close!

It has been quite a hectic week! A take home final and three finals at school (last one is today!) have kept me busy and on the move!

During finals my schedule gets flipped around and it is hard to stay in the normal workout routine and have healthy meals prepared.  I was unable to teach my circuit class yesterday, but I made time to fit in a quick arm workout and mini beach run with the pooch!

It was a great way to get out in the sun and take a break from all my studying! 

Even if it is just for a quick 20 minutes it is really important for me to get a sweat on, ESPECIALLY when I am feeling bogged down/stressed! And every little bit helps!

It is really important to keep up consistency, even if its just a little bit everyday until you get that full chunk of time for a bigger workout, longer run, or even a fitness class! 

Also during these times, staying on track with healthy foods is tough! Sunday was mother's day so I didn't have time to do my normal weekly food prep. So, yesterday I ended up making a quick stop at a local cafe to grab some healthy snacks:

I know it can be hard finding the healthier items when you are on the go or out to lunch, but just remember you always win with veggies!

Yesterday I grabbed a beet and endive salad along with a kale salad! I am not the biggest kale fan, but they used a yummy lemon dressing that added some great flavor along with some baked Parmesan shreds :) 

I am so glad this week is coming to a close! I'm ready to get my summer on!

What are your summer plans?

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Healthy Sweet Tooth Solution!

Here's a great little snack to satisfy any sweet tooth! 

As I have said before, the chobani non-fat Greek yogurt has become my new favorite yogurt staple. This week I found these little guys and decided to give them a try!

I am a HUGE fan of coffee, so I was excited to taste this coffe flavored with dark chocolate chips.

Super yummy! Great coffee flavor and actual dark chocolate chips! The best part? These are only 100 calories! Also, they provide you with protein and calcium, and did I say they were non-fat?!

These will be great for the warm spring and summer days when I need a sweet pick me up!

I also just thoght about putting a few in the freezer for a nice frozen treat! 

What's your healthy sweet tooth solution?

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Hearty Breakfast and Early Morning Run

Took a beautiful early morning run today! 

Yes, it was hard waking up, but now that the sun is shining earlier it helps me to get out the door! 

Also, I love the feeling of having my workout done first thing in the morning! It preps me for my day and sets a great tone!

My other favorite part to getting up early for a workout, is having extra time for a BIG yummy breakfast!

The menu for today: 
2 slices whole wheat nuts & seeds bread, toasted
2 cooked eggs
1 slice 2% cheddar cheese
Sliced avocado
Sliced tomato
Handful of mixed greens

Talk about big and yummy! I love packing on the veggies and fueling up after a run. A nice filling breakfast keeps me full for a long time, which is just what I need for a busy day of commuting and classes!

What's your favorite hearty breakfast?

Monday, May 6, 2013

New Twists on Old Faves

I love trying new recipes and having good options to prep for my busy weeks. I have been totally digging the Turkey Chili. For minimal work, I can get multiple meals out of one batch, and it is great for left overs! 

However, this week I decided to mix it up a bit. I added cauliflower to boost up the veggie content! 

This batch is simmering on the stove as I type and it smells great! I'm excited to try it with this new addition :)

As you probably know, I have been on a protein pancake kick! My first attempt was made with bananas, then blueberries, and yesterday I tried strawberries:

All versions were delicious, but I have to go with blueberries as my favorite! I love this breakfast idea because it keeps me full for a good amount of time and I get to sneak in a serving a fruit!

They were such a yummy, re-fueling meal for right after my run on Sunday Runday!

Here's a pic from my morning run:

I love the Poppies! Especially overlooking the ocean! 

Did you get a weekend workout in!?

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

New Yogurt Discovery!

I love trying new snacks and finding ones that I like!

My new favorite yogurt is Chobani Greek Yogurt with Fruit!

It is non-fat, contains no added sweeteners, and no preservatives!

So far I have tried the blueberry flavor (shown) and strawberry, both are very yummy!

Each container is only 140 calories, 0 grams of fat, and 14 grams of protein!

This is a great snack to help keep you full and provide good calcium.

I haven't always been on board with Greek yogurt, but I really like this brand. The consistency is great and the fruit adds really yummy flavor! 

What is your favorite Greek yogurt?