Friday, April 29, 2011

Trinity by Paper Tongues

This is a fun song to do house work to.  Crank it up.  Vacuum.  Repeat.


Thursday, April 28, 2011

My Personal Trainer: Jillian Michaels

Today I only ONE hour to work out and I didn't want to waste 20 minutes of that hour commuting to and from the gym.  This is the story of my life.  Sometimes I don't have the time and sometimes I'd just rather meet up with a friend.  So I checked out Exercise TV on demand with Verizon Fios (I believe other cable companies have it too) and viola!  Several workouts including videos from Jillian Michaels and Bob Harper from The Biggest Loser.  I know, I know I AM the biggest loser but I LOVE THAT SHOW!  One of the workouts was even called The Last Chance Workout.  I was so happy.
The look so sweet until you get them at the gym and make your muscles hate you.

So I dug a little deeper to see what other workouts they had and here is what I found:

Beautify your Booty
Biggest Loser Workouts with Bob & Jillian
Arms of Envy
Boot Camp Cal Burn
Mens Fitness
Tae Bo
Latin Dance
Yoga & Pilates

The list goes on.  The good news is that now I can workout without leaving the house.  The bad news is that I really have no excuse......

Just me and my personal trainer Jillian.

Who knew Jillian could whoop your behind in the privacy of your own home?

Ok, she is now asking me to do Jumbo Jacks which look hard!

Here goes nothing!

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Here is my little secret for you....

Heart.  This.  Song.

Run.  Jump.  Do whatever you want to this song.  I promise you'll feel better.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

When I Dip, You Dip, We Dip

Ok, so in my very first blog post (Perky Tatas + Sleek Arms = 22 Again) I talk about how I do push ups before bed.  I'm glad to report I am up to 15 real pushups and have been going for 5 months strong.  Woo hoo!  While that's great and all what about my under arms (or more officially known as triceps)?  One of my favorite group fitness instructors refers to our bicep exercises as "the boys" and our tricep exercises as "the girls" which I find very entertaining as she kicks my behind during class.  Anyways the goal of doing push ups every night is to keep my upper body toned.  Forgetting to do the opposing muscle group could lead to this:

Is there an official name for this?  Whatever it is it terrifies me!
 What I find interesting is that her bicep seems to be pretty strong looking.  Did she forget about her triceps?

My solution:  Adding 30 tricep dips to my 15 push ups every night.  It should only take 3 additional minutes and I don't even need a fancy machine or gym to do these.  Just find a chair, stair or coffee table.  I did this for the first time last night and I am sore, sore, SORE!

Here is me giving tricep dips a go using stairs.  

Now lower.

If regular tricep dips are too easy for you add weight (or a beagle).  My animals like to participate in the fun, 

Monday, April 25, 2011

Not in Love by Crystal Castles Featuring Robert Smith

Hello & Happy Monday-

Love this song when I'm running and just want my mind to wander.  I used to love The Cure in high school.  Brings back memories of hilarious 90's outfit choices! 

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Finally A Carb That is Good For You!

I was thrilled when my co worker told me that sweet potatoes are complex carbs!  

Complex carbs like sweet potatoes have longer chains of molecules, which take the digestive system longer to break down, so they enter the bloodstream more slowly, raising blood sugars more gradually — keeping you from experiencing a big spike and subsequent drop-off in both blood sugar and energy.

Below is a recipe I got from a good friend (thank you Lindsey) that I thought you would enjoy.  

Here are few other examples of carbs that are good for you
soy milk & non fat milk (less sugar)
Whole grains: Specifically buckwheat, oat bran & oatmeal
Brown rice or wild rice 
Apples, pears, strawberries & oranges

Prep Time: 10 minutes Cook Time: 1 hour Yield: 2 to 3 servings

2 sweet potatoes, cut into wedges (about 8 wedges per potato)
1 tablespoon olive oil 2 tablespoons Cajun seasoning

1. Preheat oven to 425° F.
2. In a large mixing bowl, combine the sweet potatoes, oil and Cajun seasoning. Mix well to evenly coat wedges.
3. Spread the wedges in a single layer on one (or two, if needed) ungreased baking sheets. Bake for 30 minutes or until crispy and brown on one side. Flip fries over and bake for another 30 minutes or until the wedges are crispy on the outside and tender inside.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Are You Crunched For Time To Work Out?

I don't know about you all but my workouts during the work week can be cut short due to my busy schedule.  Sometimes it's just because I want to meet friends out for dinner or drinks!  Either way I sometimes only have 30 minutes to squeeze out the best workout possible.  A trainer once showed me a Bosu ball ( and how I can use it to work multiple parts of my body at the same time.  The Bosu ball has become a staple in all of my workouts.  Here is one of my favorite upper body exercises on the Bosu.  It works both upper body and core.

I suggest 3-4 sets of 12.  I use 5 lbs weights.  There are 4 consecutive moves to do.  Start with an upwards row.  Next do forward shoulder raises.  Thirdly, do shoulder raises to the side.  Finally bend over with a flat back and use your back muscles to do a reverse fly.  The reverse fly should feel like your shoulder blades are touching.  I've put pictures below.

Doing these on the Bosu works the core and burns more calories than doing it just standing on the floor.  It also helps with balance.  Keep your stomach tucked in and abs tights.  While you are at it go ahead and squeeze your butt too.

Hello!  Meet the Bosu ball.  

Step 1: Get free weights (I do 5 lbs weights) and carefully get on the ball as shown above.

Front shoulder raises.  Don't swing your arms just lift slowly.

Shoulder raise to the side.

Finally do the reverse fly.

For more of a challenge use the Bosu the other direction.
This requires a little more balance and core strength.

You can also use a body bar and do squats and biceps.  This is no joke!  You will feel how much harder it is.

Balancing with the Bosu the other direction CAN BE DONE!

Here are a few more ways to use the Bosu

You can do push ups on the Bosu.  Also if you are trying to mix in cardio do one push up and then get on your feet with the Bosu and lift it above your head.  Do that 20 times quickly and you will mix strength with cardio.

You can get an amazing oblique workout if you do a side plank on the Bosu and lift your hips and lower them 6 inches.  3 sets of 10 on each side will build your core & oblique strength.

Friday, April 22, 2011

You'll FLATOUT love these recipes!

Hello Everyone & Happy Friday-

I love these wraps by Flatout!  Go to and check out recipes like the one I put below.  They also posted a pizza recipe you can make with the wrap that looks awesome.  If anyone comes up with their own wrap recipe (that is fun to say out loud) please let me know!

Light Sundried Tomato PackagingLight Sundried Tomato Nutritional Information

1 Flatout® Light Flatbread
2 hard boiled eggs, chopped
1 Tbs fat free mayonnaise
1/2 tsp yellow mustard
freshly ground pepper, to taste
2 slices cooked extra lean turkey bacon, crumbled

Mix eggs, mayo, mustard, and pepper. On one rounded end of each Flatout, spread mixture and crumbled bacon. Roll, cut and Enjoy!

Calories 230 • Fat 8.5g • Fiber 9g

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Build Muscle Burn Fat Workout #2 (With Music Included)

Hello Hello Hello!

Here is my latest treadmill hill workout.  This will build your calves, hamstrings, quads and rear.  Do the best you can and adjust to what fits your needs.  Have fun!

  1. Warm Up - Speed 4.0 incline 2.0 (Song: Singing In The Rain/Umbrella Glee Cast)
  2. Jog - Speed 4.5 Incline starts at 2.0 and increase by 0.5 every minute up to 4.0 (Song: Rude Boy by Rihanna)
  3. Hill Walk - Stay at speed 4.5 - 5.0.  Incline should be at 4.0 and you should increase by 0.5 every minute which will bring you to 6.0 (Song: Please by Toni Braxton)
  4. Hill Jog - Stay at Speed 4.5 to 5.5 and leave the incline the same.  Jog for 30 seconds on the 6.0 hill and then recover for 30 seconds (Song: Howlin For You by The Black Keys).
  5. Hill Walk - Go back to Speed 4.0 to 4.5 and increase incline by 0.5 every minute all the way to 8.0 (Song: ET by Katy Perry)
  6. Hill Walk - Stay at 4.0 speed and 8.0 incline for the entire song & try not to hold on to the side bars!  Butt should be burning at this point (Song: Touch The Sky by Kanye West)
  7. Hill Jog - Stay at 4.0 and increase the hill to 9.0.  Jog for 30 seconds and walk for 30 seconds  (Song: Just A Lil Bit by 50 Cent).  
  8. Hill Walk - Speed 4.0 and increase one last time to an incline of 10.0.  Jog for 20 seconds walk for 40 seconds for the entire song (Song: Little Secrets by Passion Pit).
  9. Hill Walk - Speed 4.0 and incline starts at 10.0.  Decrease by 0.5 every 30 seconds down to 7.0 (Song: Touch by Omarion).
  10. Hill Walk - Speed 4.5 and incline goes from 7.0 to 4.0 by decreasing every 30 seconds.
  11. Sprints - Speed starts at 4.0 and incline is 2.0.  Sprint for 30 seconds at 7.0 or higher then walk for 30 seconds.  Repeat (Song: Not in Love by Crystal Castles).
  12. Cool Down - Speed 3.5 and 0.0 incline (Song: Waiting For The End by Linkin Park).

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Dare By The Gorillaz

Hello & Happy Tuesday-

Great song to lift weights to or warm up jogging.  

Monday, April 18, 2011

Learn From The Caffeine Queen: Favorite 50 Calorie or Under Coffee Beverages

Coffee is something I can not live without and often think about 24 hours a day!  Which I guess is okay since I work for a coffee company.  It's not that I need the caffeine it is more that I need a beverage at all times.  I'm not a smoker, I don't do drugs and my vice is coffee.  I know, I know.....I'm totally wild & crazy with my  coffee addiction.....haha!

Coffee beverages & specialty drinks calories can add up if you're not careful.  Same with any beverage I suppose. While I love coffee I am not wasting calories on a Venti Mocha when I could have 2 pieces of real chocolate or bacon.  Here are my top caffeine beverage under 50 calories:

  1. French Press Coffee - 5 calories.  Get a good brand like Intellegencia, Peet's or Starbucks.  French press coffee (when done properly) is amazing with no sugar or cream.
  2. Cafe Americano - 5 calories.  This is simply espresso & hot water.  It is sweet, nutty and if you add 2 tablespoons of cream it is still under 50 calories.  Can also be done over ice.
  3. Cafe Misto or Cafe Ole with Soy - half brewed coffee & half steamed milk.  I use soy and do 2/3 coffee and 1/3 steamed soy. The steamed soy makes it taste like a latte.
  4. Iced Coffee with Cream (2 table spoons cream) -  Love iced coffee.  If you want to add sweetener like agave or Truvia it wil increase your calories but will still fall below 100.  African coffees taste best on ice because they have citrusy notes which are are in the summer.  Try Starbucks Gazebo Blend or Kenya.
  5. Dopio Espresso Con Panna - 2 shots of espresso topped with a little whipped cream.  Shocking that this is under 50 calories!  Make sure they just top it with whipped cream not douse it in whipped cream!
  6. Dopio Macchiato - 2 shots of espresso marked with a little bit of milk foam.
  7. Cappuccinos - Made with nonfat (12oz) are pushing it at 60 calories but still pretty great!  A good cappuccino is espresso with 1/3 steamed milk and the rest creamy and thick foam.
  8. Starbucks Passion Shaken Iced Tea - Sweetened is 60 calories & unsweetened is 5 calories.  I live it unsweetened.  This one is great hot too.  Also, this one is caffeine free but fulfills my need for a treat.
  9. Starbucks Shaken Green Iced Tea - Same as above.
  10. Chai Tea Bags (Tazo & Bigelow) - This is an acquired taste but if you like something a little spicy (think cinnamon and cardamon).  


    Here is my recent trip to Nicaragua where I was able to scoop my own freshly roasted coffee.  It was literally roasted a few minutes prior to me bagging it up.  Now that is FRESH!

    Me at Flor De Jinotega drinking my fancy cappuccino!

    Don't settle on a cappuccino that looks anything less than perfect!  It is really an art form.

    Me doing an official coffee cupping.  I don't mess around when it comes to coffee!

    Don Domingo and the ladies on his coffee farm.

    Friday, April 15, 2011

    When In Doubt Shake It Out: Thank You Zumba!

    Everyone has been raving about this fitness class called Zumba.  I had no idea what to expect but thought I would give it a try to close out my stressful work week.  I just wanted a mindless and fun workout.  Holy cow!  It is so much fun and quite a challenge.  My calves were sore 15 minutes into the class (note to self stretch my calves).  The class was more full than any class I normally take during the week.  Pretty surprising for a Friday night.  The class is for all fitness levels and a mix between salsa and hip hop.  I've attached a video below.  

    To reward yourself invite some girls over and sip on low calorie, all natural margaritas by Skinnygirl.  They are delicious!  Have a great weekend.

    Thursday, April 14, 2011

    Love. Without The Handles....

    Oh my!  I love this snack.  When I need a salty break I buy the barbecue.  I know, I know.  I should be eating carrots and celery.  Thankfully 19 chips is only 120 calories.  Enjoy!

    Wednesday, April 13, 2011

    Travel Workout Blues: SOLVED

    This was the gym at my hotel for 3 weeks.    Not the most motivating space....

    I was on work travel for 3 straight weeks and subject to eating out every meal.  As I've mentioned before portion control and will power are not my strength so going to the gym was essential to me not losing my mind.  I was disappointed when I arrived to a gym with a stair stepper from 1975.  There was also a bike from the 70's and 2 treadmills that were always occupied every time I tried to work out.  How the heck was I supposed to work off the cheesecake & potato chips I ate 3 days in a row?  Now I have a solution.......

    I have put together a folder with workouts I find from different magazines like Self, Shape, Muscle & Fitness & Men's Health.  I take it with me on travel so that I can workout in the privacy of my own hotel room.  No waiting for a treadmill and no pre historic stair stepper.  This book can also house your favorite recipes.  Soon I will have strength workouts for you (with music of course) but until then I have put some video links to my 3 favorite moves when I'm on the road.  If you want something more challenging use 2lb leg weights.

    Tuesday, April 12, 2011

    I Just Came To Say Hello......

    Hello by Martin Solveig is a great song to get you going.  Fun beat.  Enjoy!

    Monday, April 11, 2011

    Show Your Abs Who's Boss!

    When I begin to gain weight the first place it goes is my mid section.  Ugh!  I decided that I'm not going to let my abs be the boss of me (only my sister is the boss of me).  About 3 months ago I started doing abs every night before I went to bed.  After 3 weeks I noticed an immediate difference.  My pants were a little bit looser and my confidence was a little bit higher.  Below are 3 midsection moves I do that have helped keep my love for chocolate away from my abs. Enjoy!

    PS - The exercise ball I got was from Marshall's.  It was only $12.99.  Marshall's actually has a good selection of small weights and things you can keep around the house to work out with.

    The Jack Hammer
     Put the ball under your shins and get into the plank position.  

    Bring the ball in using your lower abs.  Do 3 sets of 20.

    Lower Back Lift
    Put the ball under your pelvis and hang over the ball with your hands on your head.

    Lift up and hold for 3 seconds.  Repeat.  Do 3 sets of 20.

    This move is the most effective ab workout.  It works the 3 main muscles in your abs all at once.  If you want to challenge yourself add a 2lb weight to each leg.

    Basically you pretend like you are riding a bike on the floor.  Keep the legs low.  Do 3 sets of 25.

    Sunday, April 10, 2011

    Get Up & Go Workout #1 (Treadmill Routine PLUS Music)

    Hello Everyone-

    Here is my first customized workout on a treadmill with music just for YOU!  If you don't like any of the music feel free to pick your own tunes.  I realize Rihanna might not be for everyone.

    If you have workouts you would like to see or feedback on this workout let me know.

    Good luck & enjoy!
    Get Up & Go

    Treadmill Workout (45 Minutes Including Warm Up & Cool Down)

    1. Warm Up (Pumped Up Kicks by Foster The People) - Incline 1.0 with a speed of 4.0 (Don't skip a warm up!) 
    2. Medium Hill - (Ali in The Jungle by The Hours) - Increase incline by 1.0 every 30 seconds.  Keep speed between 4.0 & 4.5.  Try not to rely on the handle bars.  Use your arms to truck up that hill.
    3. Jog - (Please Don't Go by Mike Posner) - Incline 2.0 jog at 6.0
    4. Jog A Bit Faster - (Tighten Up by Black Keys) - Incline 2.0 jog at 6.5
    5. Sprint - (Sexual Revolution by Macy Gray) - Incline 1.0.  For this exercise you will run at 6.0 and sprint at 8.5.  Run for 15 seconds and then sprint for 15 seconds, run for 30 seconds and then sprint for 30 seconds, run for 45 seconds then sprint for 45 seconds etc.  Go all the way up to 1 minute and 30 seconds and then start over at 15 seconds.  Continue into the next song.
    6. Sprint - (Love is Gone by David Guetta & Chris Willis) - Same as above song.
    7. Hill Jog/Sprint - (How You Like Me Now by The Heavy) - Incline 7.5 Speed 4.0.  Every 60 seconds pick up the speed to 6.5 for 30 seconds.  
    8. Hill Walk - (Sail by Awholnation) - Incline 8.0 speed 4.0 entire song.
    9. Jog on a Medium Hill - (Faded by SoulDecision) - Incline 4.0 jog at speed 5.5 entire song.
    10. Run - (Strip Me by Natasha Bedingfield) - Incline 2.0 Speed 7.0 entire song.
    11. Sprint - (S&M by Rihanna) - Incline 1.0 Sprint 8.5 for 60 seconds then run at 5.0 for 30 seconds.  Repeat.
    12. Cool Down - (Home by Engineers) - Incline 0.0 and speed at 3.5.

    Wednesday, April 6, 2011

    Sunday, April 3, 2011

    Lessons Learned From A Lean Cuisine

    When I was single I never bought food that was bad for you and kept it in my pantry.  I'm not saying I didn't eat bad food I just just didn't keep it in my house.  This worked for years until I met my husband and we lived together.  I had and still have a hard time staying out of the Jalapeno Cheetos & Oreo Cookies my husband buys at the grocery store.....

    Imagine your house having the below items.  You can now see my dilemma!



    Even in this article below married people on average gain more weight over time than single people!  The odds are working against me......

    Let me just say I have NO WILL POWER.  When I see that the serving size for peanut butter is 2 tablespoons and I measure it out I am completely disappointed and left hungry for more.  Oh and don't get me started on cereal serving sizes.  Who only eats a 1/2 cup of grape nuts?  Needless to say my downfall is portion control.  I want to eat 7 serving sizes of peanut butter not just 1.

    Well my husband decided to go on a Lean Cuisine diet where all he ate was 1 Lean Cuisine for lunch, 1 for dinner and 3 snacks (apples, carrots, celery, hummus).  He lost 15 pounds in 2 months and taught himself how to eat the appropriate portion sizes.  He's actually been able to keep it off too while giving up Lean Cuisines.  Now I'm not saying this is the best way to go by any means.  Fresh foods are always better for you BUT.......retraining how to eat the correct portion size by switching to Lean Cuisines might not be such a bad idea.  I guess we'll see since I am giving it a go starting April 8th.

    Secretly, I like Lean Cuisines.  Partly because I am a terrible cook and kind of lazy.  Here are my favorites if you want to give take the portion control challenge.  Plus the website is really cool and they have a rewards points program.  You gotta love free stuff!

    For Spa Cuisine (no preservatives) I like:


    For Cafe Creations like:


    For Market Creations I like (these are brand new):

    For Casual Cuisine I like:


    More to come in a few weeks.  There is always the chance that I ditch portion control for some chocolate.