Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Fall Into Fitness for Free

Have you ever thought about using an online personal trainer? Had some doubts? Now’s your chance to try it out for FREE with no strings attached! Well, one string – space is limited!

With this 2-week, no obligations, FREE trial, you have the opportunity to find out what online personal training is all about. Not only do you get the workouts, you get videos and 2 weekly email check ins for accountability.

This is truly an opportunity you don’t want to pass up!

So, you might be asking yourself, "Why Choose an Online Trainer?" Here's what you get when you have me as your trainer:
  • Accountability 
  • Motivation 
  • Support 
  • Affordability 
  • Ability to work out anywhere you prefer 
  • Ability to work out on your schedule 
  • No more guesswork with our workouts 

Is online training isn't for everyone? Honestly, no. So, how do you know if online training is for you?

Online training is right for you if you are …
  • Self-motivated 
  • Willing to follow a plan 
  • Ready for a change 
  • Willing to work hard 
  • Able to workout alone 
  • Able to learn quickly by watching videos 

If you think online training might be for you OR you want to test it out, now's the time to try it out for FREE. But, spaces are limited!

What do you need to do next? Just sign up now through October 14, 2015. On October 18, I will send you all you need to get started. I’m ready! Are you?

Fine Print: 1) Not open to past or current clients. 2) Spots are limited. 3) When you sign up, you are acknowledging and accepting the waiver of liability.

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Shoulders and Triceps Circuit Workout

While I'm on a roll for time-saving circuit workouts, I thought it'd be appropriate to share another upper body circuit that you can use in conjunction with the Biceps and Back Circuit.

This one is for Shoulders and Triceps with pushups to target chest.

As a caveat, after having my blood clot, I apparently have scar tissue that makes it uncomfortable to do heavy chest exercises like chest presses and flyes. The way this circuit is set up is that you have 3 exercises for each muscle group. So if you want a more complete chest workout, add in chest presses and chest flyes into the rotation. 

Please properly warm up for 5-10 minutes with dynamic moves like butt kicks, shoulder rolls, lunges and/or spin on stationary bike, walk on treadmill or elliptical.

This workout is done as a circuit meaning that you do one exercise then quickly move to the next with little to no rest. After completing all exercises, rest then repeat. I suggest doing this circuit 3-4 times depending on time, preference and fitness level.

And if you would like to follow along with me, check out my video.

*Disclaimer: Although I am an ISSA Certified Fitness Trainer, you should consult a physician before starting any exercise program or diet plan. If you choose to do any of the workouts featured on this website, you do so at your own risk.

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Biceps & Back Circuit Workout

Oops. She did it again!

Would you believe me if I said I had 5 or 6 draft blog posts just sitting there waiting for me to finish and publish? True story. But am I publishing one of those? Of course not.

But, I think this is one you might like. I recently shared a Full-Body Blast workout (with video) and talked about some tips for getting in a weight workout when you are crunched for time.

Because I know time is something precious to us all, I thought I would share some more circuit workouts you can do quickly, but that are also effective. It's not always about how long you work out, it's about your efficiency and the quality.

I like to split out my muscle groups so that I can really focus on a couple of muscle groups at one time, plus it makes for a shorter workout, perfect for me to get done during a lunch break. That being said, there is absolutely nothing wrong with full-body workouts either. It'a all about what works for you and sometimes just switching things up.

Here is a Biceps and Back Circuit that I did on Monday and wanted to share. Working the biceps and back together is also a great way to really work the biceps even more as they are going to be engaged during many of the back exercises as assisting muscles. Double bonus right?

For this workout, I ask that you warm up for 5-10 minutes. This is so important in helping prevent injuries so please don't skip out on the warm up trying to save time.

The set up is simple, you have 6 exercises that you will do for 8-12 reps with little to no rest between. Once you complete all 6 exercises you rest 40-60 seconds and repeat 2-3 times. I do give 3 optional standing abdominal exercises if you want to add those in.

Do you prefer to split up the muscle groups or do full-body training? And fess up, do you skip out on your warm up?

And just for fun, here's the video. No laughing. I need to move the bike ;-) Enjoy!

*Disclaimer: Although I am an ISSA Certified Fitness Trainer, you should consult a physician before starting any exercise program or diet plan. If you choose to do any of the workouts featured on this website, you do so at your own risk.

Friday, July 17, 2015

On the 5s HIIT Cardio Workout

To say that it's hot outside is putting it quite mildly. Summer has hit us hard here with heat indices well over 100 degrees. Even if I wasn't injured and unable to run, I would be highly tempted to take more of my workouts indoors.

While I can't run or do any weight bearing exercises, I found that I can ride the bike (outdoors or spin with it set up on the bike trainer). Of course, just pedaling indoors can get old really fast, even if you're watching tv.

One way that I like to break up a potentially monotonous workout is with intervals or HIIT (high intensity interval training). Not only will intervals make the time go faster, they are an excellent way to rev up your heart rate fast and burn fat all in a shorter amount of time. Who wouldn't want that?

Ready to get started? All you'll really need is a timer, either your watch or a phone app, a bike (or cardio equipment of choice) and at least 25 minutes.

On the 5s HIIT Cardio

Warm up for 5 minutes with an easy spin. Gradually increase bike tension just enough to where you're working harder, but you don't feel like you're grinding up a hill. The intensity will come from a sprint rather than hard tension.

For the intervals, sprint all out for the indicated time followed by the prescribed recover time. Repeat each Interval five times through for a total of 5 minutes for each Interval.

Interval 1

Interval 2

Interval 3*

Repeat these intervals as many times as you like depending on the time you have available remembering to take 5 minutes for an easy cool down.

*Repeat this interval a total of 10 times to = 5 minutes. Each 20:10 segment is 30 sec.

Note: You can easily do this same workout on a treadmill (or the pavement), elliptical, rowing machine, or stair climber.

Are you a fan of HIIT workouts? 

Friday, July 10, 2015

Full-Body Blast Circuit Workout

Raise your hands if you find yourself saying, "I don't have time to lift weights?"

I hear this so often, especially from runners. But I also hear it from working moms (and dads). As a runner, especially training for a marathon, it's so easy to focus on the running. If you're a mom (or dad) who has to contend with work, family, chores, etc., time becomes extremely precious. Let's face it, time is precious period.

What if I told you that you could get in an effective weight workout in 30 minutes or less? During your lunch break, first thing in the morning, right before dinner? It's true. It can be done.

How can you get in an effective workout in 30 minutes or less?

Two words: Be Prepared.

1. Write down the workout

2. Know the weights you'll use (in general)

3. Have your workout gear packed (or laid out)

4. Set up your workout area (this goes back to #1 and #2)

5. Get in and get started

Being prepared means not wasting time figuring out what exercises to do. That also helps you have an idea of the weights needed, which allows you to set up your workout area for efficient transitions.

Pack your bag the night before. Even keep doubles of everything from socks to workout gloves so there's no excuse of, "I forgot [insert item name]." If you workout at home, have everything set out and ready to go. The last thing you want to think about is finding a sock, a hair tie, even your iPod.

When it comes to the type of workout, there are many options depending upon your training plans and goals. Today I'm focusing on Circuit Workouts.

Most people want the biggest bank for their buck. I think a full-body circuit workout is fantastic for getting in, getting it done and still being effective as a fat burner and muscle builder. Circuit workouts move quickly and allow you to get in resistance training while keeping your heart rate elevated. Again, it's about personal goals of course.

Give me an example you shout (you're shouting right now right?)! Here is a Full-Body Circuit Workout using complex moves that will fire up the muscles and elevate your heart rate in 30 minutes or less!

Full-Body Blast Circuit Workout

Start with a 5-10 minute warm up then do each exercise 8-12 reps moving quickly to the next exercise. After completing all exercises, rest up to 1 minute and then repeat up to 4 times depending on your time availability.

Squat with Shoulder Press
Deadlift with Double-Arm Row
Static Lunge with Bicep Curl
Plie Squat with Overhead Triceps Extension
Standing Woodchops

What's your "be prepared" tip? Favorite time-crunched workout?

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Eggplant Chickpea Quinoa Burgers

Lately I've been cooking with quinoa quite a bit. What I like about it, other than the fact that it's a complete protein source, is that it cooks up fast. It's also super versatile and can be used in many different ways, such as a base for a veggie burger.

I try to keep veggie burgers in the freezer for a quick meal. I'll admit that I used to buy them out of convenience. But they can be quite pricey. Plus, if you make your own, you can control the ingredients and choose whatever flavor combos you fancy most. Did I mention it's a lot cheaper too?

Since I make veggie burgers often, I try to get creative with ingredients and flavor profiles. I had an eggplant on hand that needed to be used quickly, so for this veggie burger recipe, I decided to go with more of a Mediterranean flair.

While I used chickpeas, you could use another bean of your choice, but I like the texture of chickpeas for veggie burgers. Other beans can often be too soft I find. But, it's absolutely up to you. That's the beauty of a veggie burger!

Eggplant Chickpea Quinoa Burgers

1 small eggplant, cubed
1/2 cup red quinoa (white would be fine)
1 cup water
5-7 sundried tomatoes, rehydrated
1 can chickpeas, rinsed and well-drained
1/2 cup rolled oats
2 tbsp ground flax + 3-5 tbsp water (I let mine get thick)
3 oz tomato paste
Splash of balsamic vinegar (to help loosen mixture if needed)
Salt, to taste
Handful of fresh basil, as much as you like

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Place cubed eggplant on a prepared baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil and lightly salt. Bake until soft.

In a small pan, combine quinoa and water. Cover and bring to a boil, lower heat and cook approximately 12-15 minutes or until liquid is absorbed

In a food processor, puree quinoa, oats, chickpeas, basil, salt, sundried tomatoes, tomato paste and balsamic vinegar. Transfer to a large mixing bowl and add in the flax mixture.

Next puree the eggplant then combine in the bowl with chickpea and quinoa mixture. If you have a large enough or powerful enough processor, this can be done at the same time.

Mix well then form into patties (I got 6 patties) and place on a prepared baking sheet. Bake approximately 20 minutes, flip and continue to bake until browned and firm.

I topped these with caramelized onions, spinach and Daiya Vegan Mozzarella Shreds. Of course, there are plenty of other options for topping these veggie burgers!

What's your favorite veggie burger recipe? 

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Quinoa Heirloom Tomato Basil Salad

Sunday, we decided to walk over to one of the local farmers' markets a few blocks over from our house. We actually have several farmers' markets around town. I'll admit that we don't frequent them as often as we used to though.

But this past Sunday, the Bernice Gardens Farmers' Market was having a tomato festival, so we decided to stop by and check it out. It's not a large space. Most definitely local vendors, but a unique little variety none the less.

We quickly spotted some Purple Cherokee Heirloom Tomatoes that we snagged up. I should back up and admit that I'm not really a tomato fan. What? Why go to a tomato festival you ask?

While I don't just love and crave tomatoes, I have found that I can enjoy a really goooood tomato. I like the smaller tomatoes, almost always cooked, but that's progress (trust me). Last year, I randomly bought some Purple Cherokee Heirloom Tomato plants and discovered that, while larger, I still really enjoyed the flavor.

I later learned that my grandmother used to plant those in her garden. Seems fairly perfect that I'd like them right? So when we saw them at the market, we grabbed up a container as mine have not started producing fruit just yet.

We had no plans for them exactly. We just knew we liked them. This is par for the course for many of my concoctions though. I just take what I have, what I like and toss it all together. Taste, re-season, add something more, and so forth.

Quinoa Heirloom Tomato Basil Salad
1 cup red quinoa (you can use any color you prefer)
2 cups water
Large handfuls of fresh basil - use approximately half for dressing then mince remainder for salad
1-2 cloves garlic
1/3 cup - 1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
1-2 Tbsp olive oil
2-3 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
Honey or agave, to taste
Salt, to taste
1 block tofu, pressed
2 Purple Cherokee Heirloom tomatoes (or your favorite tomato)
Fresh spinach (to liking, I used half small package)
Optional: feta (we also purchased a locally made feta)

Combine water and quinoa and cook per package directions.

In a blender or food processor, combine basil, garlic, balsamic vinegar, olive oil, apple cider vinegar, salt and honey or agave. Puree until smooth.

Cut tofu into fourths then marinate with half of the dressing for an hour or more. Once marinated, bake at 400-425 for approximately 15-20 minutes, flip and continue to bake 15-20 minutes or until extra firm to the touch.

In a large mixing bowl, toss spinach, remaining basil, quinoa, tomatoes, tofu and remaining dressing. Re-season as needed.

Note: Wet ingredients are mostly to desired consistency and the flavor profile you prefer. 

This turned out fantastic. It's a perfect spring or summer dish that you can make ahead for a get together, meal prep for lunches or just enjoy for dinner with some freshly made ciabatta on the side (which is what we did).

Are you a recipe follower or do you tend to just make things up as you go?