Hey Everyone! I’m back! We arrived back home on Thursday night last week and it’s been a bit of whirlwind getting back into a routine. Sky has been a little under the weather which hasn’t helped but hoping that once tomorrow (Thanksgiving) is over things will settle down a little and I get back into a proper routine. Then it’ll be Christmas/hanukkah/yule holidays and soon 2015! Holy Moly am I the only one that thinks 2014 went by in the blink of an eye??? This weeks workout is a quickie. Just 5 minutes, but that’s one set/round. Repeat for as many rounds as your time allows. This workout is perfect for Thanksgiving and holidays when people are travelling as not much room is needed. 45s work, 15s rest. Remember if you want to get the videos straight away subscribe to my youtube channel! The full video is below
This weeks workout starts with BURPEE. I added a push-up onto mine but you can do them with or without the push-up. For a further modification simply step the feet back rather than jumping back.
Next up is bodyweight SQUATS. I’ve had a little time off with the vacation and my legs were feeling these just bodyweight! Try and get the butt down and keep the chest up. Aim for hip crease below parallel.
Back down for exercise three which is MOUNTAIN CLIMBERS. For this workout I opted for quick mountain climbers to incorporate core, upper body strength and cardio. You could choose to do them slower for more core strength.
Back up to standing for JUMPING JACKS. You know the drill for these!
The last exercise is an alternating CURTSEY LUNGE. Step the left leg behind and to the side of the right leg and bend the knees, come up to standing and repeat to the other side.
That’s all for this weeks workout! Let me know your thoughts in the comments!
Another workout with the Reebok step You can find some fitness steps for sale on amazon. This weeks workout is interval style, 4 exercises repeated on the right and left. So set your timer for 45s work, 15s rest for at least 2 complete rounds of work. You need at least two, for the eight minutes so that you complete the step ups on both leading legs. Obviously if you want it longer then set your timer for 16 minutes, or more. The timing is an option if you aren’t ready for 45 seconds of work, then just do 30, always make the modifications you need. Remember if you want to get the videos straight away subscribe to my youtube channel! The full video is below
This weeks workout starts with a RIGHT STRADDLE. Starting standing on top of the step, step to the right side with the right foot, then left side with the left foot. So the feet straddle either side of the step. Then step up on top with the right, then left foot.
Standing behind the step for DOUBLE JACKS. Step up with the right then left foot to stand on top, then do TWO jumping jacks on top of the step, finish by stepping down with the right then left foot. You can make this harder by jumping up and down.
Static SPLIT SQUAT next. Place the lead leg on the step then step the other leg all the way back resting on the ball of the foot. Bend both knees so the thigh drops just below parallel to floor. Extend knee to starting position. Harder. place the lead leg in FRONT of the step with resting leg ball of the foot on the step behind you.
Finishing with a bang and BURPEES with PUSH UP and JUMP UP! Standing behind the step, bend over and place hands on top of the step and jump back into a plank. Perform one push up, then jump the feet in. Stand up and then jump up on to the top of the step, jump down and repeat.
Then repeat doing the exercises leading on the left leg this time until your eight minutes is up. Or continue for two rounds of work at 16 minutes, etc.
Do you have a step? Do you use a step in your workouts?
If you love fries and you like sweet potatoes then combine the two with these Sweet Potato fries from Trader Joes. I really prefer to make my own from real sweet potatoes to bake in the oven but sometimes life and time dictate that opening a bag and throwing food into an oven is quicker. So I always have a bag of these on hand.
Note the servings size, which means 5 servings per bag. I’ll tell you that’s bullshit. A serving of fries is TEENY TINY. Nobody eats that few fries, least of all us. The serving size is more like 3 per bag. At 190 calories per regular serving and 9 g of fat that really starts to add up. Hence I don’t recommend these be an everyday food item! Which is pretty much what it says on the bag.
No idea why the hell you’d want to add butter and maple syrup for a sweet treat unless you wanted a heart attack at an early age? Seriously wtf? Anyway as you can see these are crispy coated sweet potatoes so there is a seasoning on them which makes them nice and crispy when cooked long enough. They recommend 18-22 mins at 425° but I find they take around 25 minutes, which allows for the full portion
I use our countertop halogen convection oven we got from amazon for most of our cooking, for two people this thing is PERFECT. Our stove doesn’t get used much as it means heating a whole oven for 2 portions of chips, and the toaster ovens are too small. These suckers give me the choice of putting things on the bottom shelf to heat then the top to crisp and brown. Plus the timer makes things super easy. I love it.
All in all when cooked long enough these Sweet potato fries from Trader Joes are lovely as an accompaniment to a meal, but watch the portion size due to calories and fat content.
Are you meat free on mondays?
By the magic of the internet, and wordpress post scheduling here is this weeks workout. I have had this Reebok step for YEARS but here are some fitness steps for sale on amazon. This workout is an addition to last weeks step workout and next week will be the third in the trilogy. This weeks workout is interval style, 5 exercises repeated. So set your timer for 45s work, 15s rest, you can do the 5 minutes and call it done, or use your time for more sets of work. The timing is an option if you aren’t ready for 45 seconds of work, then just do 30, always make the modifications you need. Remember if you want to get the videos straight away subscribe to my youtube channel! The full video is below
Standing side on to the step for OVER THE TOP. This over the top is short ways. Again stepping up, laterally this time, with the right leg, then the left. So you are standing on top, then come down with the right and left. Think of it more as a lateral shuffle on top of the step. This is similar to last week, except this time you are coming up the narrow side of the step.
Standing on top of the step for STRADDLE JUMP. Jump down so the feet are either side of the step, then jump back up with both feet on top. Land softly with bent knees.
Alternating REVERSE LUNGE is next. So begin on top of the step at the rear of the step. Step the right leg off the back balancing on the ball of the foot. Bend the knees into a lunge then step the right foot back on the step. Repeat with the left leg.
Then it’s time for SIDE LUNGES on top of the step. Starting up, simply take the ball of the left foot down on the floor to the left side of the step, then step up, and repeat with the right foot on the right side of the step.
Finishing off this weeks workout is SLALOM JUMPS. Start standing on the left side of the step. Jump both feet together on top of the step, then jump onto the right side of the step. Repeat up and over to the starting position.
Repeat the workout for your available time.
Do you have a step? Do you use a step in your workouts?
Recently I noticed that Target have gotten in a lot of new vegan foods. They have a range of their own plus they sell some brands I haven’t seen before so in the interests of trying new vegan foods for review here are the Pacific Grove Sweet Earth Santa Fe burgers. These are vegan flame grilled burgers made with black beans, green chilies, flax seed, sweet potato, quinoa, barley and brown rice. The package contains two quarter pound patties for under $4 which honestly is a a little on the pricey side for a burger but they were bigger than your average burger so that is part of the cost I guess.
These burgers are high in protein with 17 g per burger, high in sodium at 380 mg and medium fat content at 5g. The whole quarter pound burger comes in at a whopping 230 calories which is going to put a few people off for sure. For me though I’d rather offset that with a lettuce wrap rather than bun. Everything in life is a trade off. I had a choice that day of having a burger bun or sweet potato fries. For me sweet potato fries will ALWAYS win. I’m not a huge bread fan so potatoes will come out on top every time.
Honestly this Santa Fe burger was a weird combination of sweet and burnt. Bob actually thought *I* had burned it due to the flame grilled char marks on the burger. Nope that’s how it came baby. I liked that these were fairly natural, with lots of veggies and whole grains, but the flavor was lacking. Next time I’d try one of the other versions. The santa fe was too sweet for my tastes. In a comparrison between these and Dr Praeger’s, the Dr Praeger’s wins on taste, and price. My advice skip the santa fe and buy one of the other versions, review it and let me know how it tastes
Ok fitness family time to get workout out and the next few weeks workouts will be step themed. I’ve been meaning to do this for a while and I did plan on spacing them out but I went out in the yard and did three one afternoon, which gave me all the workouts I need for the time I’ll be on vacation. It’s almost like I’m planning this Anyway I have had this Reebok step for YEARS. We picked it up on the curbside for free many years ago and it’s been a part of my workouts since. Always good to see what other people are throwing out, one womans trash is another woman’s treasure after all. You can find some fitness steps for sale on amazon also.
This weeks workout is interval style, 4 exercises repeated. So set your timer for 45s work, 15s rest for at least two rounds of work. You need at least two, for the eight minutes so that you complete the step ups on both leading legs. Obviously if you want it longer then set your timer for 16 minutes, or more. The timing is an option if you aren’t ready for 45 seconds of work, then just do 30, always make the modifications you need. Remember if you want to get the videos straight away subscribe to my youtube channel! The full video is below
This weeks workout starts with a RIGHT LEG STEP UP. Stepping the right leg on top of the step, followed by the left. Then step down with the right leg, then the left. Ensure your full foot lands on the step. Avoid the heel hanging off the edge.
Standing side on to the step for OVER THE TOP. This over the top is long ways. Again stepping up, laterally this time, with the right leg, then the left. So you are standing on top, then come down with the right and left. Think of it more as a lateral shuffle on top of the step.
Step one leg on and one leg off the step to come into a 3 PULSE SQUAT. In that squat position with one foot on top of the step do three small pulses low into the squat then hop over the top of the step to switch sides and repeat the pulses on the opposite side.
Then it’s time for the leg burner BOX JUMPS on top of the step. Starting with a soft knee power up on top of the step, land soft, then jump back down.
Then repeat doing the exercises leading on the left leg this time until your eight minutes is up. Or continue for two rounds of work at 16 minutes, etc.
Do you have a step? Do you use a step in your workouts?
Pre-halloween acorn squash smush hence the spiderweb shirt
Posting even though I am crazy busy prepping for vacation. This week we’re looking at Acorn Squash. These little beauties are everywhere right now, great source of vitamins and minerals, cheap enough and great low calorie alternative to potatoes or other carbs. Not that I care about counting carbs.
So to cook these you are first going to have to cut them in half and scoop out the seeds. This is always the toughest part with squash as they are so darn tough to cut in to. Use a sharp knife and slice in half.
Scoop out the seeds and then season. I added a spray of oil and some Mrs Dash original. Experiment with flavors though you don’t have to stick with my suggestions.
Place cut side down on a baking tray and place in a preheated oven. Cook at 425º for approximately 50 minutes. You’ll know it’s cooked when you can stab a fork in the skin easily. Stab in a few areas to ensure it’s thoroughly cooked, and I like to cook with the squash cut side UP for a further five minutes to brown the top a little.
Acorn Squash Smush
1 acorn squash
1 portion of Trader Joes meatless grounds (or black beans)
1 cup cooked jasmine rice
1/4 cup gravy
1/2 cup green beans
Cook the squash as described above.
Mix meatless grounds, rice, and beans into bowl and reheat.
Add gravy to rice mix.
Remove squash from oven, place on plate.
Pile rice mixture into the hole of the squash.
Black beans work just as well as the soy grounds, but you could use any fake minced meat, or meatless crumbles. As an alternative you can use leftover mashed potatoes. I always precook my rice, quinoa or potatoes for 95% of my cooking. That way it’s quick and easy to make so I can eat it quicker.
I ended up buying more than intended this week and I cannot believe that it’s almost time to fly out to the UK! That means that October is wrapped up and I won’t be updating with grocery posts till we get back and I do my weekly shopping again towards the end of the month. I’ll also have an adjusted budget for November of $168 to account for the days we aren’t here. Moving forward into the holiday seasons it’ll be time to see how I’m doing overall for the year and see if I’m on track. I plan on posting more recipes and reviews over the holiday season and into 2015 so stay tuned!
Just the essentials this week which still turned out to be a lot really. I am changing things up a little in my menu this week so I use all the fresh food in the house before we go. This means some repetitive meals I think, plus making use of the freezer! That means when I get back I need to work on getting the freezer emptied and starting from a clean slate.
Oct 29th – Trader Joes = $47.61
- Chamomile Tea
- Peppermint tea
- BBQ chips
- hamburger buns
- choc bar
- bagels x2
- olive oil wraps
- pop chips
- coconut water x2
- almond milk
- sparkling water
- soy cheddar
- tofurkey slices
Oct 30th – Trader Joes = $5.97
- Canned peas x6
- pizza base
- meatless tenders x2
Total for this week is $53.58 which is nicely under budget not just for the week but making me under budget for the month. I’ve been frivolous lately too buying potato chips for Bob. As he puts it “preparing for British diet” lol. I’m hoping to take lots of photo’s of the trip so I have some UK meatfree options to share!
Weekly Totals – Goal $90 week
November (2 weeks) = $ ($168)
October (4 weeks) = $308.82 (Goal $90 week)
week 4 = $53.58
week 3 = $105.75
week 2 = $73.11
week 1 = $76.38
September (5 weeks) = $504.61 (Goal $90 week)
August (4 weeks) = $476.77 (Goal $90 week)
July (5 weeks) = $439.10 (Goal $89.80 week)
June (4 weeks) = $349.83 (Goal $90.10 week)
May (5 weeks) = $412.96 (Goal $89.20 week)
April (4 weeks) = $389.98 (Goal $89 week)
March (4 weeks) = $330.97 (Goal $88.70 week)
February (4 weeks) = $347.49 (Goal $88.70 week)
January (4 weeks) = $395.87 (goal $88.50 week)
Are you meat free on Mondays?
Week 43 means it’s less than 10 weeks now till 2015!!! Holy crap how is that possible? I have to say I’ve had a blast doing these scrapbooking pages the last (almost) two years. If you haven’t done Project Life I encourage you to check it out. I will say that 99% of my photos are taken with my phone. Gone are the days I used to use my SLR, now I point and shoot. Most times I’m pissed off with the quality but hey that’s LIFE, and it means I can travel light.
The photo quality may change soon anyway as I’m test driving a new phone for a new phone service. I definitely want to upgrade my phone regardless of which service provider I choose so that will be fun for the future. I admit I didn’t take many photos this week. Not sure why, I’ve already taken about double this week and it’s not over yet. I think I need a vacation! Speaking of which I’ve been doing vacation shopping for clothing, as it’s going to be COLD in the UK in November.
One fun thing we did this week was an evening at Disneyland. Though we only went on one ride, the haunted mansion. Yes we’re THOSE people that go for the evening to shop, eat and browse. It was PACKED too. We have passes and Bob gets discounts for food, and free parking so it’s a cheap night out for us I love Disney at Halloween. It’s my favorite time of year to go PURELY for The Haunted Mansion being themed with Nightmare before Christmas. They need to leave it like that, but I guess then it wouldn’t be special. We had dinner at Carthay Circle in Disney California. It’s a fancy restaurant in a 1920’s retro movie theatre.Reservations are required and we had ours for 7:40pm and spent 90 minutes on our three course meal. I have to say it is pretty expensive, after all the chef is an award winner, but it’s just not my taste. I honestly didn’t think the food was that special, although the service was great! I prefered Rain Forest Cafe honestly. We’re simple folk
Blog posts this week:
Freakish happenings on the blog this week with lots of hits. October is officially the most hits I’ve had this month, weirdly November was the highest last year, not sure what is going on with that. Either people start reading about fitness more during these months or I post more. Either way HI! I’ve done my workout videos for the next three Wednesdays so now I need to prep the videos, upload them and schedule them onto the blog… I am going to aim for 2-3 posts a week while I’m on vacation. Debating as to whether to take my laptop to post on the go or travel light with just my iPad. I can post to the blog via my iPad but photo’s are tricker.
Meatless Monday – Daiya cheese pizza review
Workout 12 minute abs routine
Fall fitness fashion from Lorna Jane
I got a post done for examiner.com this week about the Hard Rock Cafe 5k coming up next weekend in Los Angeles. I ran last years race and it was fun! I’d do it again but that early morning was URGH! Unfortunately I can’t run this race this year as we’ll be on vacation so if you’re local sign up to support the local charity helping the homeless kids of Los Angeles.
One Little Word 2014 – Thrive
I mentioned a while ago that I wanted to include the OLW posts into project life and never got around to it, I wanted to keep it here so it was in my mind and I could reflect on my word each week and how I’d thrived.
- Yoga – despite having a ton to do I got yoga in twice this week.
- Managing not to get stressed about the vacation prep
- Learning to relax more, I need to find some inner peace though!
- making decisions about the future
- feeling grounded and centered
I thought it would be interesting to share some search terms that people found my blog from, so here are some interesting search stats for the last 7 days:
- Halloween spinning playlist – I now have three to choose from! I am going to be updating the old lists with iTunes links over the next few months
- cxworx playlists – I have a few on the blog. I’m gonna try and get some of the older playlists up that I’ve missed too, same with Bodypump
- bodypump 91 are plates optional for chest? – yes! you can use the bar instead.
- zumba vs jazzercise injury – these are one and the same really. Zumba is jazzercise rebranded.
- “a punch of salt” – hahaha we laugh at this as it’s what our friend Shrikanth calls a PINCH of salt
- halloween spinning playlist after halloween – some of my songs from the playlists would work. Pick the ones by Lady Gaga, skillet, skrillex, etc. Sometimes you can interpret a theme lightly.
- cough syrup with codeine – had it once and it was the BOMB. Knocked me right out, no coughing fits at night
- lake chumash dry – yep when we were there we could see it was low for sure! California is in an extreme drought though, so no surprise!
And that’s the wrap up for this week! Look for more posts coming soon!
Lorna Jane has some great fall fitness fashion clothing right now, as while I like pattern I do like it a little more subdued than the above outfit, which I why I paired the bra and pants with the orange top. Though pink would have worked too. Honestly I remember not too long ago that I was a black, black and more black kind of person, but I have to say I am fully embracing color, and patterns now. Thanks in part to one of my good friends and clients, Maria. My wardrobe thanks you Maria, I miss you since you moved away! You’d love these pants, no doubt
I’ve reviewed Lorna Jane workout clothes before and have to tell you that the items I got a year ago, still look brand new. Their clothing is AWESOME. I love the tank above because it’s soooooo soft, seriously soft. A year later it’s still uber soft. I love wearing it. You cannot fault the quality of Lorna Jane clothes! I think this was the start of my inspirational tank hoarding. I love the message on this tank “the body achieves what the mind believes”… they don’t do this one anymore but you can find other motivational and inspirational tanks on their store.
I love that they put out a bi-monthly look book. I like seeing new ways to mix and match existing items. For example the above pink and black outfit from the Oct/Nov look book. I like the pink and black together, Having all pink or all black is a little blah but mix and match and BAM awesome. I really love the pink shorts, those are new in too. Very cool! Plus they’d go awesome with the inspiration tank you could get for free is you spend $200. Just enter the code: NEVERGIVEUP on check out online or find your local store.
I am pretty fond of the yellow and grey clothing they have in that’s new. I like the shorts with the contrasting grey band. Again they have a yellow tank to match but I’d pair it with one of the older tanks, like that “Believe” tank, and a yellow sports bra. Yes I’m all about mix and matching bras! The zip up jacket completes the look. In fact I have the perfect sneakers for this outfit too.
The above “beleive” tank would also work with the new Fall white and orange isometric sports bra, with the black Ying core stability pants. Or throw the long sleeve isometric top over the top of the sports bra. Honestly I think I’d put a back sports bra under the long sleeve shirt with the pants though. That would be great for yoga! Argh too many choices.
By far one of the BEST items I’ve seen from Lorna Jane are these venice beach run shorts, which I am absolutely in LOVE with! Not even sure which way I’d go with these, pair them with blue, pink or orange. I’m a recent convert to the whole front/back being opposite colors or patterns. Initially it seemed weird to me, but I have a couple of pairs like this now and LOVE them. I will say the ones I have are grey and *color* so this pair is WAY out my comfort zone but I LOVE them…
If you haven’t checked out Lorna Jane for some Fall Fitness Fashion then get busy, drop into a store or check out their website. Great idea for holiday gifts too, as it’s 8 weeks till Christmas. Oh and it’s my birthday before then too Which of the fall fitness clothing do you like? Any favorites?
They also do a diary for 2015 if you are looking for one. I got one I’ve been using this year and LOVE it!
It’s not just blank pages to write your thoughts and intentions in, but also full of motivation and inspiration along with prompts and evaluations. It’s been a great resource for quotes and something I go to when I feel I need a pick me up as it’s so positive. So I’ll leave you with this snippet of the diary from January 2014 and the Lorna Jane mantra of Move, Nourish, Believe.…
Hey fitness family, time for a new workout here on the website and I decided that this week should be a core workout, mostly because I’m pooped. We went to Disneyland Sunday and had a hella late night which left us both absolutely exhausted. Then I had to work yesterday which I did ok with till midway through my bodypump class at Golds last night when I felt like I’d got NOTHING left, no gas left in the tank. I managed to gather it up from somewhere though and finished the class Even though I did whine through the middle part a little. This week I’m rocking my new workout tank I bought from ebay seller theglobalteecompany. On the front it says “classy, sassy & a bit smart Assy”. I absolutely LOVE it!
New fitness tank from ebay seller: theglobalteecompany
As I said this weeks workout is all about the core. So abs, obliques, and back. I struggled a bit during this workout as I tweaked my back, not sure if from Disneyland , bodypump or swimming, or more likely the combination of all three! So I modified when I felt my form suffering. Set your timer for 45s work, 15s rest for 12 rounds of work, Remember if you want to get the videos straight away subscribe to my youtube channel! The full video is below
This weeks workout has a few static moves and we start with an isometric HIGH PLANK. Hands under the shoulders, feet shoulder width apart, basically in the top of a push up position. Squeeze the glutes and engage the core. Hold for 60 seconds. That means ignoring the bell at 45s and continuing to hold for another 15s.
At the one minute mark you move into a HI-LO WALKING PLANK. From the top position, lower the left elbow, and right elbow until in a low plank, then push through the left hand and right hand back up to high plank. The key is to put the elbow/hand directly under the shoulder and keep the hips as stable as possible. 45s moving interval here.
On the 45s bell, come down into a LOW PLANK and stay there for 1 minute! This means you don’t get a rest after the walking plank, and you push through the whole 60 seconds. Elbows under the shoulders, feet apart, abs in. Modify with knees on the floor if you need to take a break.
At the end of the minute there is a 15s break to come into the SIDE PLANK. Elbow under the shoulder, hand in front. Stagger the legs, with the top leg in front of the bottom leg and lift the hips and arm up to work the core, specifically the obliques. Ensure the body is in a nice long line shoulders, hips and heels and the shoulders and elbows are all in a line. Think about elongating the body. Hold for 45s.
Transition into a MERMAID. Keep the elbow on the floor, lower the butt and roll onto the ‘padded’ portion of your butt with the top arm behind you. Elongate the torso, lift the chest and push through the forearm pushing the ear away from the shoulder. Lift the legs, bend and extend the legs to work the core. For 45s imagine you are a mermaid sitting on a rock shaking your tail
Roll onto the back and set up the SCISSORS. Lift the legs up, lengthen, separate 12″ and criss cross through the legs. Every 10th one lower the legs 6″ towards the floor. or you could just extend the legs 45° to work harder. Keep pulling the lower back down towards the floor, engaging the core. 45s to scissor those legs into submission.
Come up take the 15s break and repeat from the top leading with the right side for the walking plank, side plank and mermaid.