Something New: Kettlebell Training

TryingSomethingNew

Every once in awhile, you’ve got to try something new. Am I right?! It just keeps the motivational juices flowing whether it comes to nutrition, fitness, fun, rest, crafts, or anything else you can think of. So recently I have added in a new workout to my fitness mix… kettlebell training.

Have you tried doing a workout with kettlebells? I love it! I am instantly hooked. My first kettlebell workout was from Tone It Up and has moves that I continue adding in myself. The video is below for quick viewing if you need some fresh moves…. and if not, just skip on ova…

I am looking for other workouts with kettlebells too so if you know of any, shoot those ideas my way dear friend!

So what else is new? Well, with nutrition I am trying new ways to eat less sugar. I have a sweet tooth and am really trying to reduce my sugar intake. I have a feeling the sugar has been contributing to headaches and has intensified my stress lately so I’m going N’SYNC on those sweets… BYE BYE BYE! My dessert replacement is this sunball snack that I make at home. If you click on that, you will be taken to the delicious recipe from SimpleVeda.

With blogging, I am trying to video blog more in 2015. It’s not as easy at it looks! I did my first yesterday… and of course am now having all these doubts about video blogging, but I do think if done right they can be effective, fun, and simple! Just like I like it! We’ll get there at some point…

What is new with you? Have you tried anything new lately? Join the Fit Dish link up with Jessica Joy and Jill Conyers.

Stay well, friends!

14 Week Wedding Series Vlog

 

Hello, dear friends! One of my goals for 2015 was to start vlogging more. I tried doing a couple vlog sessions last year for “Quick Tip Tuesdays”, but that only lasted 2 Tuesdays. I quickly lost momentum. But, NOT THIS YEAR! I have something to keep me accountable…. my wedding in 14 weeks. ūüôā

I will be doing a 14 week wedding series vlog.¬†(The first one is up top in case you didn’t want to read any words today.)¬†And the point of it all?! To set health goals and be kept accountable. And hopefully other peeps will be inspired to set health goals too. We are all in this together! (For some reason, I had High School Musical in my head after I wrote that last part.. is that a song title?!)

Anyway, I hope you enjoy. This is my first time really doing a vlog series so I am hoping it just gets better and better. I will check in each week and provide feedback along the way… barriers, tips, tricks, reshaping goals, etc.

For my kick-off vlog post, I created an overarching mission for the 14 weeks leading up to the wedding. It is to have a happy and healthy frame of mind throughout the planning process and for the wedding itself. When I set my 3 health goals, I kept this overarching mission in mind.

My 3 goals for this week (and until I make them habits!) are:

  1. Reduce Sugar Intake: No more cookies, cakes, and candy for me unless it is a special occasion. I have been overdoing it in the sweets department lately and I am almost certain sugar has been contributing to headaches and stress. No bueno! So bye bye sweets. The only sweeteners I will use are honey and pure maple syrup if I need them atop anything.
  2. Reduce Caffeine Intake: Lately, I have been getting a TON of caffeine in the form of regular coffee, black tea, and green tea. Too much! So, I will be switching over to decaf coffee and black teas. I will also drink more herbal teas (especially Mint.. so good for digestion!) and warm water with lemon (it is an all day fave). Too much caffeine can also contribute to stress and headaches, which I don’t want (who does?!).
  3. 200 Miles by the Wedding: This is a goal set by the Tone It Up bridal edition and I totally dig it. My main forms of activity will be yoga and walking outdoors. But, to switch it up regularly, I will also add in PIYO, Insanity Max 30, and TIU toning workouts. Yoga and walking are my two cores because they double as a stress reliever and physical activity.

Since this video blogging is new for me, please feel free to share anything you would like to see in a future vlog post! I am ALL EARS. (or eyes, technically, since I would be reading it).

Have a happy, healthy Monday!

Take Your Pick: Health Challenges

challenges

I know I have said this before, but I LOVE health challenges. I love them because they are a fun and simple way to create new habits or delete the old. Challenges give you stepping stones to reach a new goal… we are told to love the journey, right?

So, if you are like me… perhaps you are looking for a new health challenge to embark upon. I am thrilled to the nines for a January yoga challenge I just found out about. And I will mention it here, but since yoga isn’t currently everyone’s thang¬†I have a list of five different health challenges you can do after the holidays.

I do not recommend doing all 5 at once unless you really do want to pull your hair out. Pick a couple and enjoy every moment!

This is not a “best of” list… just one that I put together after hearing of a few random challenges coming up. If you know of any more, please let me know. I particularly LOVE instagram photo challenges and have not seen one lately.

{Challenge #1} If you are like me and want to do a yoga challenge in January, I highly recommend the 30 days of yoga with Yoga With Adriene. You can click here to sign up for the challenge and find out more details. It is absolutely FREE!

{Challenge #2} If you are wanting to follow the next fad diet as your new year’s resolution, I highly recommend you don’t and instead break up with diets. My blogger friend and fellow dietitian has a free 21 day break up with diets forever challenge on her website. You can click here to sign up for the challenge. You will see the sign up at the top and side bar. Feel good in that body of yourS!

{Challenge #3} Have you EVER done a Tone It Up series? They NEVER disappoint and my favorite series is coming up in January, the Love Your Body Series. Tone It Up has not announced the series on their website yet, but it is usually announced the last few days of December. You can click here to visit their website and check back around December 29th. Or you can always check back on my blog. I will be participating in this again this year so will likely post about it.

{Challenge #4} Many of us have the nutrition and fitness down, but need help with stress management. Is that you? If so, try this free meditation challenge through One Mind Live. It’s only one week long and starts on December 24th, ending on January 1st. Just enough time to get you started on a meditation routine! You can click here to sign up.

{Challenge #5} Are you as in love with beachbody programs as I am? I have Turbofire, Insanity, and PIYO. I love them all, but am currently only doing PIYO. I haven’t done a beachbody challenge in awhile, but if you are wanting some extra support during your beachbody workouts I highly suggest hooking up with a beachbody coach for a challenge. Every coach and challenge is different, but the only investment is usually shakeology (which is very tasty!). I know some great coaches if you need recommendations and you can click on their name to be taken to their Facebook page: Johanna Hatcliff, Marisa Owen, and Laura O’Melia. You get hands on support during these challenges and can meet new peeps!

Alright, dear friends.. how is that to end the year and start anew in 2015? Wishing you well!

My Top Healthy Living Tools

The¬†Fit Dish link ups on Tuesday are quickly becoming a favorite of mine. I link up with The Fit Switch and The Fit Pepper every Tuesday for a fun fitness topic. Today’s topic is healthy living tools. I will share with you some of my top tools…

But first, ARE YOU READY?!?!? (to be said like this guy…)

My top tools, in no particular order, include:

  1. Fitbit Flex. I used to have a Fitbit zip and raved about that before, but I have recently upgraded to the flex and love it. It helps me stay active throughout the day. I have a desk job so it is essential that I move throughout the day even if I had a morning workout. I love the app that comes with it as well. I can add friends and we can compete if we want. I can also track my sleep. I don’t use the nutrition part of it, but you can track your food intake if you want.
  2. Favorite fitness DVDs. It is important to have a library of 3-5 fitness DVDs that you just love. There are plenty of days that I do not want to go anywhere to get my workout on. I love being able to get a good workout in at home. My DVDs of choice are Insanity, PiYo, and TurboFire.
  3. Yoga with Adriene on YouTube. I love yoga, but do not live too close to a yoga studio. I have fallen in love with the youtube series, Yoga with Adriene. She is a phenomenal yoga teacher and if I teach yoga someday, I hope that I do it with as much love, grace, and authenticity as Adriene does. Oh and the healthy humor she has is great too. Love it!
  4. Tone It Up on YouTube. I clearly like to mix up my workouts. When I need a quick workout, I will sometime tune in to a Tone It Up workout on YouTube. My favorite is the Love your body with HIIT.
  5. Keeping nutrition essentials on hand. So the top 4 tools are for fitness, but nutrition is just as important. I keep my kitchen stocked with essentials. I always have fresh fruit and vegetables in my fridge that are easy to grab. I love apples and carrots for that reason. One of the previous Fit Dish¬†topics was about healthy foods I wouldn’t want to live without. I listed 10 of my favorite essentials!
  6. Awesome smelling candles or essential oils. These help me with stress management. I love a good scent and quite frankly, I believe in the power of aromatherapy! I am still learning about essential oils, but currently love the smell of Eucalyptus.

Those are my current top tools. I know I am probably forgetting something, but 6 ain’t bad. What about you? What is your top healthy living tool?

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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?

Toned Up-Date Tuesday!

toned update

It’s Tuesday. I am accountable. Are you? Let’s do a little run down of this past week with fitness and nutrition…

  • 150 By Summer? ¬†I am at 125 so that means only 25 more miles to go to reach my goal. I got this!
  • Favorite workout video that Tone It Up has posted this past week? The one today. It was a new bikini series yoga. I loved it! Check it out here… you won’t regret it. It’s perfect if you are new to yoga or do yoga regularly, but want a quick 17 minute series to do after your workout.
  • What does the scale say?¬†Well, it’s no fox, that’s for sure. I am not a huge fan of scales and would never advocate weighing all the time or letting the scale judge your fitness/nutrition. The scale is just a tool like a weight is or a yoga mat. Women tend to fixate on the scale number and if that is you, I would recommend limiting your time on the scale. I used to do that. I don’t anymore. So I am fine with weighing myself about once per week. I am very happy with my weight and my size. I gained about 5 pounds when I moved from Houston to Dallas 6 years ago. I have lost those pesky 5 pounds. I know, I know. 5 pounds isn’t much, but my goal is not really to lose weight so 5 pounds feels like a bonus.
  • Do I eat perfectly? Absolutely not. In fact, I want to laugh at that thought. I do not eat perfectly. At all! Because what am I? Yep, a human. Do not expect perfection. It sets you up for failure! I eat healthy most of the time, but I HAVE to include sweets every so often or I want to grab a cookie tray and devour the whole thing. Get to know yourself, your body, and that is how you will find YOUR health formula.

Only 1 more update to go and I am done with the Bikini Series with Tone It Up. I love this series! Not sure what I will take on next for fitness, but we’ll see. That’s all part of what keeps me excited about working out and staying healthy.

Toned Up-date Tuesday!

toned update

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

toned update

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.

Toned Up-date Tuesday

toned update

It’s toned up-date Tuesday! How about that?! Last week I told you about the Bikini Series challenge, but I don’t want to leave it there. I want to give you an update every Tuesday (next week might be an exception since I will be out of town, but we’ll see). I think updates are important, especially since most people who start a fitness or nutrition plan end it within a month of starting it.

I have told you before that I LOVE working out and eating healthy. I will make it through the 8 weeks with golden stars. But what I have not told you is the reason behind this. I enjoy these things because I make it work with my lifestyle. I have found a way to make living healthy work for me. That’s key because EVERYONE is different.

Another secret of mine: Make progress without seeking perfection.

That wake up call was HUGE for me. I used to be this type of girl: “I started out eating so healthy this week. Mon, Tues, and Wed were such great days for me. I worked out and I ate lots of salads. But then today I had such a bad day. My friend yelled at me so I felt bad. I went to the nearest grocery store and ate a box of cookies. Well now I am just going to blow it and start again tomorrow. Off to McDonalds I go for a happy meal. Maybe that will make me happy.”

Woe is me, right? But see, I wasn’t the problem. I am emotional. I will ALWAYS be emotional. ¬†The problem was my outlook. I was thinking of living healthy as a diet and exercise program. I was also thinking of it as black and white. I was seeking perfection.

Living healthy is now my lifestyle and progress is what I seek. Just like life, it has its ups and downs and I ride it like the wind. With that in mind, here are a few toned up-dates from this past week of the Bikini Series challenge with Tone It Up:

  1. I love the toning workouts.¬†Each day the girls have a toning workout for us to do whenever we can fit it in. I usually fit it in during my lunch break or right after work. They are quick and mostly body weight moves, plus a few with free weights. Sometimes I even do them while watching TV at night. Again, just “fitting it in” is what counts… even if you look silly to your significant other.
  2. I have been better with my snacking at night. I mentioned that one nutrition goal I have during this challenge is to change up my snacking at night. We watch a lot of nightly TV in our home so I was getting into the habit of grabbing the not-so-healthy snacks or even just an overload on any type of snack (healthy or not). Eating in front of the TV is so mindless and can often lead to overeating so my goal was to snack on a serving of frozen fruit. I have been successful for at least 3 or 4 days this past week. Botta-bing-botta-bang! Better than before.
  3. Insanity is still my go-to cardio and I have been successful at doing it right when I wake up, except for a couple of days. I am thinking about changing this up a bit though… just not sure what yet.
  4. I go on vacation next week. Vacations always add a bit of change, but I welcome the change. I think it is SO good for our bodies (and minds for that matter) to get change every so often. I will not have any strict rules for my vacation, but I know that I will naturally be active. I am going to see my cousin and her son in Hawaii. I mean, there will be so much beauty outside that I am sure I will be walking quite a bit. Not much toning, but if I get an itch to do some toning before bed I will just bust out some Pure Barre moves.

And there ya have it… a little toned up-date from me. Have a wonderful Tuesday, dear friends!¬†

150 miles by Summer!

150BySummer

Who is with me? Ready to take on this Bikini Series Challenge and be bikini ready by summer?

This will be my second Tone It Up Challenge. I really enjoy their challenges, because they are 1) FREE and 2) FUN. Two F words that everyone loves. You can find out more about the challenge on their website (which I linked to above for your easy click & go.. aren’t I sweet?!) and then I will blog about my journey throughout the challenge. Please let me know if you are taking on the challenge too.

My cardio of choice for the 150 miles over the next 8 weeks will mainly be Insanity. I am a lover of HIIT training! Since you really should only do HIIT’s a max of 4 times per week, I will also incorporate running or walking into the mix. And of course, booty shaking when I get the chance. I do love to dance!

How many miles will one Insanity video count for? I am so glad you asked. My 40 minute videos will count for 4 miles. So, to keep it simple… 10 minutes=1 mile for the vids.

On top of the 150 miles, the Bikini Series consists of other challenges as well. Toning workouts are posted on the weekly schedule for the challenge so I will do those during my lunch break or after work (whenever I can fit it in).

What about nutrition? Well, nutrition is VERY important. I already eat pretty healthy, but during this series I am going to try NEW fruits and vegetables. Expand my horizons a bit. And, lately, I have had a bad habit of over-snacking on crap at night in front of the TV. I am going to replace that bad habit with a bowl of frozen fruit and a calorie-free hot beverage (like tea or water with lemon). Not going to get rid of my TV watching, though. Too many good shows on these days. Bates Motel or Blacklist, anyone?

And didn’t I mention FUN? Yes, yes I did. Thanks for reminding me. While I find working out and living a healthy lifestyle EXTREMELY fun, I know that not everyone does. So what I also like about this Bikini Series is that the ladies of Tone It Up throw in some other to do’s into the mix, like making a vision board, creating a summer fun list, etc. Summer is meant to be enjoyable so heck, ENJOY it! Every moment of it… and that, I will.