The Frisky Fall Challenge Starts Today

Frisky Fall Goals

A new Tone It Up challenge starts TODAY! It’s the Frisky Fall challenge.

If you have been reading my blog for awhile, you know I love the Tone It Up girls. I like their approach to fitness, nutrition, motivation, and a healthy lifestyle in general. They are not in your face nor do they preach strict diet and exercise. They keep things light and fun, which is totally my style too. Because, let’s face it… who really enjoys anything strict and rigid? Nah.. ain’t got time for that! Especially if you can be healthy with less rigid habits and have fun at the same time.

So if you are interested, take on the challenge too. Heck, it’s FREE. Did I mention that yet?! And if you get lost or aren’t sure where to find all the details once you get to their site, hit me up. I will help. Consider me extra support!

I did my workout this morning to start my day off right. I knew I had some busy stuff to get to at work. And boy, was it nice! I went for a 20 minute run and then followed it up with the challenge workouts for today.

The PM challenge for today is to write down 3-5 goals. I came up with my own above. These are simple goals, but they are important to me. I have not been drinking much water lately and can feel it. So, I need to bump up my water intake. I also find myself reaching for fruit a lot more than vegetables. No biggie, but I think it’d be fun to increase my vegetable intake over the course of the challenge, especially the green good stuff! Trying a new recipe each week will motivate me to cook more. I love trying new things! And then the 10K and teaching Piyo are also goals I have, but really for Fall AND Winter so I am shooting for the end of the challenge, but will extend my deadline if these are not done. I don’t know why but the Hot Chocolate 10K sounds enticing! I may have to find one near me…

What about you? What would your Frisky Fall goals be?

Motivation to Move

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I am still participating in the Active Living Challenge on Instagram and Twitter. This challenge has reminded me of what motivates me to move. Motivation is key when it comes to active living!

What motivates me? Many things. But most of the time, I still need a little help to get moving. However, when I see the sun shining, 60 to 80 degree temps, and a chance to connect with nature… I jump head in! It’s a natural motivator for me. I love the way a good walk or run feels outside.

I live in Texas so realistically it is not always between 60 and 80 degrees. What do I do when I do not have my natural motivator? I give myself 20 minutes. I can do anything for 20 minutes.. can’t you?! I tell myself I am going to do this workout DVD or roll out the mat for yoga for 20 minutes and THEN decide if I want to keep going. Most of the time I do. Wanna know why? Because movement makes us feel good. It makes us feel bad ass. And that, keeps me motivated to move even more. I love that feeling!

In addition to sharing a little motivation to move, I want to also share the other pics I posted for the Active Living Challenge this past week.. this first one is my favorite place to relax. It happens to be my office. I call it my “zen” room because I can transform it easily by dimming the lights, rolling out the mat, lighting a candle, and playing some tunes.

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My second pic is a post-workout selfie. I am in love with Piyo these days and am actually getting certified this Sunday. This was after doing Piyo. It’s a tad blurry.. I hate taking selfies and am quite frankly not good at it! They didn’t teach me that in grade school. 😉

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My third pic is of my favorite way to workout with others. I grew up skiing and it is my favorite workout to do with friends and family. My day-to-day workouts are usually solo (I prefer it that way), but there is something about skiing with others. You all get to take in the scenery together and have an adventure! I love it.

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My fourth picture is something (or someone in my case) that I am grateful for. I am grateful for my mother. She is a remarkable human being and I am blessed to know her. I really miss her right now too. She is in Colorado for an extended period of time.. and really, I can’t blame her. I would be there too if I could.

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My fifth picture is a picture of my favorite super food. You may have seen this picture already on my Monday post. I got really excited about berries after taking this picture that I felt compelled to write more. What can I say, I love berries!

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My sixth picture is the first time I tried coconut water straight from a coconut. All I can say is, I learned of my love for coconuts in St. Lucia. And the love grew even deeper in Hawaii. Bring on the coconuts!!!

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My last picture is a two for one. It symbolizes the way I make active living a daily thing. I roll out my mat, lace up my running shoes for a run, or put on my cross trainers for a workout dvd or walk. The second part of the pic is the fact I chose to create an F. This F stands for fun, fitness, fuel, and FEEL GOOD! My requirements for movement. Movement should be fun (at least to some degree), help me increase my fitness, provide me fuel for my day (in addition to healthy foods), and help me feel good.

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Lorna Jane promotes active living. I love what the brand stands for. I did not get paid for this post nor was it mandatory for me to write this post. I just wanted to provide a weekly update on the Active Living Challenge. To find out more about active living through Lorna Jane, visit MoveNourishBelieve or LornaJane.

Empower Day 3

Empower day 3

 It was day 3 of Empower today. I did my yoga sesh first thing in the morning. In order to get the “full experience,” I set an intention before each practice. Not only because Adriene tells me to, but also because I like it. I am digging it. It gives purpose to little things throughout the rest of my day.

So with that, today’s intention was “Listen.” I know, it’s simple. But sometimes the simplest things bring the biggest joy in life. And today was no different. I did the following…

  • Listened to the rain as I went through my 45 minutes of yoga. It was peaceful.
  • Listened to my cat as she purred while attempting to do a few yoga poses with me (including one of her favorites in the pic above- corpse pose). It was entertaining.
  • Listened to my breath as I moved through each pose. It was calming.
  • Listened to my body as it told me to back down a bit or go a little deeper into a pose. It was reflective.

The above was during my yoga, but I also kept listening throughout the rest of my day. I had a deep desire later in the day to go for a quick 30-minute run. Why would I ever want to run, you ask? Good question. I don’t always want to run, but I do love running when I get the urge to, especially post-rain. I love taking in the fragrance of fresh rainwater. I love the break from 100 degree weather in Texas. I love connecting spiritually with nature and God. And I do love the way I feel after a good dose of cardio. Blame it on the endorphins!

I had a day where nothing was officially planned (except for my job, of course) and I literally got to check in with myself and listen to what I really wanted or needed right then and there. I want more days like today. I get it that it is not always possible to be spontaneous, but heck, we sure need to enjoy it when we do get to be. There are joys in the busy and there are joys in the calm. We just have to appreciate those joys. And often it is about finding purpose in what you are doing in the moment.

Here’s to being more in the moment. Namaste, friends!

Toned Up-date Tuesday!

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I am definitely feeling toned today. So this toned up-date is on the right day, my friends. I have stepped it up this past week. Last Tuesday, I talked about my vacation and needing to get back on track. That I did.

I am now at 95 miles completed towards my 150 by summer goal. Can I make it? 3ish weeks to go and 55 miles left. Hmm, for all my numbers people out there that is about 2.89 miles per day. Oh heck yeah I can make it! See, I actually needed to see that number before I made an answer. If it were 4 or 5 per day (and definitely over that), my answer would not have included a “heck” before the yeah and I would have taken a big gulp (aka given a less confident answer).

I am back on the running bandwagon. Just not as much as before. I find that I enjoy 2-3 mile runs (and a walk afterward), as opposed to anything over 4.5 miles. The half marathon training taught me that. I thrive on less runs.. plus, I really like to add in the toning/strength training too.

I am mixing in Pure Barre and yoga to my workouts. Aiming for daily yoga, even if for 10 minutes on some days. It’s good for my overactive mind. And you know, flexibility is important.. especially as you age. I am taking about 1-2 Pure Barre classes per week now. I would totally do more, but I do not live close to the studio anymore. I try to take after I teach. 

Favorite fruit and veggie of the week are: apples (gala and golden delicious) and green bell peppers. I am making stuffed peppers tonight. Booyah! I have also perfected the art of the green smoothie I do believe… I add in a little milk. It makes ALL the difference. Yum, yum. yum!

And favorite tone it up video of the week is: Bikini Arms

Anyone else doing a challenge right now of some sort? Let me know by commenting on the blog or via facebook or twitter.

Toned Up-date Tuesday: Week 5

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Yeah, yeah.. so I have missed a couple weeks of these updates. Not on purpose though. I had a good excuse. I was enjoying the beach and ocean breeze. In fact, the past couple weeks I have also been less active on facebook, twitter, instagram, and my phone in general. It’s been glorious I must say. My priorities have changed… in a good way. And that’s just what I needed. So to any of you who are stressing out a bit too much or feel like you can’t ever keep up, take a vacation. Live the island life for a week. It will remind you that life is not about the to do list and staying connected 24/7. It’s about letting go and enjoying all that life has to offer. All that nature has to offer. The little moments. The simple delights if you will (wink!).

Wow, so I went on a tangent there. But, I hope you enjoyed it. Now to the tone it up challenge stuff. It is week 5. How am I doing?

  • 66 miles achieved so far towards my goal of 150 miles by summer (June 21st). I walked a lot on my trip, but did not “workout” much. I took my fitbit and just aimed for 10,000 steps per day. Let me tell you, friends, this little device has been awesome to use. On days I do not have time to workout, I just get up more and take breaks throughout the day to reach 10,000 steps. I don’t have to stress about not getting an actual workout in AND I am still active. Win-win!
  • The HIIT workout is still one of my faves. I go to this whenever I need a good 20 minute workout in the morning before breakfast. Honestly, some days I look forward to it instead of going for a run or doing some other cardio. I count 20 minutes as 2 miles towards my 150 by summer.
  • My biggest goal was to eat more vegetables. Boy, am I doing that. And loving every minute of it. Guess what I had today? Beets! I know, call me crazy.. you would think this health nut eats all sorts of vegetables, but not always. Even I have to think about it and make an effort to increase my consumption. Favorite new vegetable over the past 5 weeks? I’d go with spaghetti squash or fennel. Have you tried those?

Living a healthy lifestyle is about simple and fun choices. It is not about a strict diet, workouts that break your back, or stressing out over this and that. A number on a scale does not define you, but finding everyday joy in your life does. I cannot stress that enough. And that is why I love simple challenges like these. They work for me. They are fun for me. They bring me joy.

And with that, I feel like saying namaste. So, namaste, dear friends.

Donate to a Hunger Fighting Charity!

30 Day Nutrition Challenge

 

Happy Sunday night, dear friends. Today’s challenge is all about awareness. Did you know that 1 in 6 people struggle with hunger. Over 50 million Americans struggle to get enough to eat each night. Ponder on that a bit.

When you are enjoying your meals with your family or friends this week, consider donating time or money to a hunger fighting charity. There are PLENTY out there!

Here are some ideas:

  • Donate canned goods to your local food bank
  • Donate funds to Feeding America online
  • Volunteer with your local chapter of Meals on Wheels
  • Donate to Action Against Hunger online
  • Spread awareness through your twitter or facebook this week with statistics from Feeding America

Let’s fight hunger! No child deserves to go hungry…

Choose Whole Grains Today!

25 Day Nutrition Challenge

Choose whole grains today. I wrote  an article about whole grains while I was completing my dietetic internship back in 2010. I found it in my archives so thought I’d share…

Have you had any quinoa today?  How about any amaranth?  Bulgur, perhaps?  These items have interesting names to say the least, and they could be tasty additions to the whole grain products in your pantry.

At this point you may be wondering just exactly what a whole grain is.  Whole grains contain all the essential parts of the grain seed (i.e. bran, germ and endosperm).  Whether the grain has been processed or not, it should deliver the same nutrients found in the original seed.  The Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommend at least 3 to 5 servings of whole grains a day.  Even children should consume at least 2 to 3 daily servings.  Study after study has shown that eating whole grains, instead of refined grains, can reduce your risk of stroke, type 2 diabetes and heart disease as well as help you maintain your weight.

Now let’s take a closer look at a few of the less well-known whole grains.  Quinoa (pronounced like keen-wa) is commonly considered a grain, but is actually a seed that was a staple in the Incan diet.  Higher in protein than other grains, it makes a great addition to soups, salads and casseroles and can even be eaten as a breakfast cereal.  Amaranth was a popular food of the Aztecs and just one-fourth cup supplies 60% of the recommended dietary allowance of iron.  Amaranth is gluten-free and can be added to gluten-free flour blends, sauces, soups, and stews.  Bulgur is a cereal made from several different types of wheat, and is most often found in Middle Eastern cuisine.  Bulgur can be used in pilafs, soups, baked goods, stuffing, and tabbouleh salad.  Other whole grains include: barley, buckwheat, millet, oats, brown rice, wild rice, rye, sorghum, teff, triticale and, of course, whole wheat.

If trying a new whole grain isn’t your thing, don’t worry.  There are plenty of other ways to choose whole grains today like the following:

  • Buy whole grain pasta for your weekly spaghetti dish
  • Try a cereal with the Whole Grain stamp*
  • Make your favorite sandwich with a whole wheat bread or bun
  • Serve brown rice as a side dish instead of white rice
  • Try popping your own popcorn to serve as a snack
  • Make your favorite soup recipe with added barley or wild rice

*For recipes and information on the Whole Grain stamp, visit the Whole Grain Council’s website at www.wholegrainscouncil.org

Make a New Breakfast Recipe!

23 Day Nutrition Challenge

 

Today is the day of my first half marathon. My nerves are running rampant so hopefully by the time you read this, I will have FINISHED the half. That’s my goal- to finish. I don’t need to set any records, because quite frankly just finishing it is record enough for me.

So anyway, today’s challenge is Make a New Breakfast Recipe. I will be making mine AFTER the half and here is the recipe I will use:

Fancy Oatmeal

  • 1 1/2 tablespoons nonfat plain Greek yogurt
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons fresh or dried pomegranate seeds
  • 1 tablespoon dark chocolate chips
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • 1 teaspoon chia seeds

Prepare 1 cup of steel-cut oatmeal and then add the toppings above. I found this recipe in Self magazine in February of last year and have been wanting to try it ever since.  Today is the day! Although I may have more than one serving, because I anticipate I will be starving after the race. I cannot run on a full stomach so will be having a very light bite before.

What new breakfast recipe will you try? Don’t feel like you have to spend hours upon hours in the kitchen. Play around with your favorite breakfast recipe and tweak it a tad. Or make a breakfast casserole that you have been eyeing lately. Ever wanted to try a healthier version of cinnamon rolls? Take a look at this recipe from the Nutrition Twins. Yum! I will have to try these someday.

Feel free to share your favorite breakfast recipe! Leave a link to your blog post, share via twitter/facebook, or comment below.

Stop Eating When Satisfied!

21 Day Nutrition Challenge

 

Okay, let’s get the obvious out of the way. We, in general, as a nation, eat too much! Diet-related diseases and obesity are a big problem here. That’s no surprise to us… we hear it all the time.

What are we to do? We all know what is healthy and not healthy, for the most part. We know eating less and moving more are keys to preventing some of the diet-related diseases and obesity. Many of us just lack motivation or support. Many of us are just too stressed. Some of us even eat crap BECAUSE we are stressed (think emotional eating).

We need to slow down. We need to savor our food and check in with our bodies. We need to end our memberships to the “clean our plates” club.

Take time this week to check in with your body before and after a meal. Practice putting your fork down after bites to check in with yourself. Are you satisfied? If the answer is yes, be done with your meal. Have no judgment. If you get hungry later, you can have a snack. Don’t feel the need to overeat just because your plate is full. If the answer is no, keep eating. But then check in with yourself again to stop whenever you are satisfied.

Stopping when satisfied is different than stopping when full. Let me explain the difference. Stopping when you are satisfied means you are not hungry, but are also not completely full. As a guide, you are about 80% full- give or take. Stopping when you are full means you cannot put another morsel in your mouth (or don’t want to). You have no room for anything else.

You may be surprised at how less you eat naturally whenever you listen to your body. Savor your meal, the experience, and that meal time with loved ones (or if you are alone, the time to be still with no agenda).

Have Milk or Yogurt with Breakfast!

18 Day Nutrition Challenge

 

We have the dairy queens and the dairy haters! But one thing is for sure, both need calcium and vitamin D for strong bones. Add in some milk or yogurt to your morning meal.

If you are lactose intolerant or a dairy hater, stick with coconut milk or almond milk. I don’t always feel great after drinking milk so currently have both. I sometimes enjoy the taste of milk and am not a dairy hater so will purchase Mootopia from Central Market (it’s a lactose-free milk, much like Lactaid, and tastes soooooo good).

Yogurt is another good option. It has calcium, but also serves as a probiotic. Probiotics help your good bacteria flourish! I particularly like Greek yogurt since it is high in protein and can be much more filling than other varieties. If Greek is not your thing, stick with regular yogurt but find a variety without much added sugar. The flavored varieties are the worst offenders. Try buying plain and creating your own topping or stick with a flavored variety that uses the whole fruit and doesn’t have many other ingredients.

I leave you with two words that will remind you of every commercial and print ad you witnessed in elementary school growing up…. Got milk?