Ten Fitness Products I Cannot Live Without

A few months ago, I was on a hike with some of my amazing friends…these friends…Screen Shot 2014-07-14 at 7.06.23 PMand we started chatting about our top 10 “must have” lists, or favorites, if you will…favorite beauty products, favorite articles of clothing, favorite home items…etc. Since then I have constantly find myself making mental notes of “favorite thing” lists all of the time. I wanted to share my favorite fitness products that I currently cannot live without.

  1. Lululemon speed shorts. Screen Shot 2014-07-14 at 7.09.10 PMI fought the Lululemon phenomenon for a long time because their stuff is pricey, and I knew the second i tried it I would fall in love. Well, I was right. I am a HUGE fan of their stuff, particularly their speed shorts. They fit AWESOME. I love the waistband. They are so comfortable, plus they are darling.
  2. GapFit mesh tank. Screen Shot 2014-07-14 at 7.10.04 PMI may or may not own this tank in 4 different colors. I LOVE it. It fits so well. It breathes. It is super comfortable. It is cute. It washes well. It’s awesome. Get one…or 4.
  3. Nike Roshe RunnersScreen Shot 2014-07-14 at 7.10.34 PM While I wouldn’t recommend these for running. I LOVE them for lifting weights, cross training, and just kicking around town. They are like walking on clouds. So comfortable. Plus, anything green and neon I am always on board with.
  4. Skullcandy Jib Earbuds.Screen Shot 2014-07-14 at 7.12.18 PMI have mentioned several times that I love music. It is what gets me through my workouts. I have been completely converted to these earbuds because they stay put, and they are extremely comfortable, even when i’m sweating like crazy. They also block out outside noise which I love. It helps me to focus on the current show I am hooked on. Which brings me to my next must have.
  5. Netflix. Screen Shot 2014-07-14 at 7.14.06 PMYou may not consider this a “fitness product” but I totally do. If you are trying to figure out how to make it through your cardio, stop staring trying to entertain yourself by people watching (oh wait, I still do that too…) and find a good series to watch on Netflix. I try to keep my TV watching to a minimum, so it is a total treat to me to get my intervals on while watching Serena and Blair duke it out, or Meredith and McDreamy reconcile differences…again, or allowing old episodes of One Tree Hill to take me away. Worth it.
  6. TRX trainer. Screen Shot 2014-07-14 at 7.11.39 PMAnyone who has worked out with me knows my love for the TRX. It is a simple contraption that uses straps to work with your own body weight to get a KILLER workout. I use them to train my clients all the time. They are fantastic because they are portable, so you can literally use them anywhere. They are great for people who are rehabbing injuries because they allow you to displace weight when necessary. They are awesome.
  7. Garmin. Screen Shot 2014-07-14 at 10.58.44 PMWhile I may not be doing much distance running these days, I LOVE my Garmin. I own the Garmin Forerunner 210. It is a GPS enabled Garmin that tracks distance, calories, pace, time, etc. I love it because I can clock my heart rate, time my outdoor intervals, and see how hard I am really working. It’s fantastic.
  8. HMDX Jam Wireless Speaker. Screen Shot 2014-07-14 at 11.02.37 PMI have this tiny speaker, and it BLOWS me away with how loud this little thing is. I will use this when I’m working out outdoors with my clients and it helps so much to keep some tunes blasting while we do so.
  9. GapFit Gfast Leggings. Screen Shot 2014-07-14 at 11.19.04 PMWhen I find a good pair of leggings I get really excited about it. These GapFit leggings are just the right thickness, they wash well, and they are really comfortable. They also frequently go on sale, which makes me love them even more. :)
  10. Shaka Laka Chapstick. Screen Shot 2014-07-14 at 11.23.07 PMThis is another one you may not consider a fitness product, but I %100 do. I cannot workout with chapped lips. It ruins my whole workout. My niece turned me on to this AMAZING chapstick that makes me want to lick my lips. I love the Maui Mint and the Coconut. This product can be a bit hard to find. If you live in Utah county, it is available at Will’s Pit Stop in Provo. Otherwise, you may want to get it online. It is real good.

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Product Review: eShakti Clothing

Let’s just start by saying this may be my favorite product review to date. The wonderful people over at eShakti.com asked me if I would choose an article of clothing from their site to do a review for them. Me & Shopping? Yes please. Processed with VSCOcam with f2 presetI instantly fell in love with this darling skirt. I have a hard time finding skirts that are a length that I like, and this one was perfect. Processed with VSCOcam with f2 presetIt has a super flattering fit, and POCKETS. Hello. I love anything that i can wear with black that has pockets. Win/win/win. I love the fit and high waisted style, and I love the material it is made out of. This particular skirt is a cotton/poly blend that gives it some structure. Processed with VSCOcam with f2 presetI feel like you could dress it up, dress it down. Wear it with tights for winter, or lighten it up for summer. In short, I absolutely love it.

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Muncher Cruncher Monday Melt Down

Tomorrow is Monday! Sometimes I get a little of what I call Sundanxiety on Sunday nights because I love the weekend, so much, BUT I do love getting a fresh start on my workouts and my eating. Mondays tend to bring that on. I want YOU to start your Monday off right as well…with an awesome sweat session. Here is a killer circuit workout to melt your weekend woes away. MunchercrunchermondaymeltdownExercise Details:

  • Squat Jumps w/high knees – Squat down low, and jump back up trying to get your knees as high off the ground as you can.
  • Squat Curl Presses w/DB – Hold a dumbbell in each hand. Squat down low, return to standing, curl your dumbbells, and press overhead.
  • Alternating Elevated Side Pushups – Place one arm up on a basketball, med ball, dumbbell, or step to elevate one side up. Do a full pushup. Alternate from one side to the next if you can. If you can’t do all 10 on one side, and then finish with 10 on the other side.
  • Deep Reverse Lunges w/DB – Stand in place with one DB in your left hand. Step back in to a deep lunge with your left leg. You want your left knee to touch the ground, and your DB to touch the floor. Return to standing, and repeat all 20 on the same side.
  • Triceps Pushups – These are pushups with your elbows as close to the sides of your body as possible.
  • Plank Knees (front, side diagonal) – Get into a plank pushup position. Alternate bringing one knee to your chest, followed by the other knee. Do 10 of each. Next, bring one knee to your outside elbow. Alternate 10 of these on each side. Finish by bringing your knee across your chest, to your opposite elbow. Do 10 of each of these.

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Filed under Abs, Arms, circut training, Core, Exercise of the Week, Exercise Tips, Summer Slim Down, weight loss tips, Workout Routines

Easy Dietary Changes That Will Change How You “Diet” Forever

For a lot of people who have ever wanted to improve the way that they look and feel, the first thing that usually happens is an attempt at some crazy diet. Unfortunately, the second thing that usually happens is the extreme attempts become too much to handle, and old habits return far too quickly. This cycle can be so frustrating. It can also be very hard on a person’s metabolism, making it even more difficult for them to lose weight or maintain a healthier lifestyle. Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset

So, what is an overweight, frustrated, unhealthy person to do? STOP DIETING…and start making dietary changes that will be lasting. I know that this seems impossible to some, but it isn’t I promise. Look at this list, pick something that you can start with and stick to it. When this change becomes habitual, add something else to it, and so on…until you’ve reached your goals!

  • Drink 100 oz of water per day.
  • Cut out processed sugars
  • Make sure you eat 4-8 servings of veggies per day
  • Increase your lean protein intake. Women: 100 grams Men: 150 (Note: This doesn’t mean adding in a bunch more calories by ramping up your protein, but replace some of the food choices that aren’t great with lean protein)
  • Decrease your sugar intake (This will make all the difference. I promise. Remember that fruit has sugar in it to, so decreasing your fruit intake may be beneficial)
  • Eat a diet of whole foods. Get rid of the processed garbage.
  • Eat fresh. Enjoy seasonal produce! It’s so good!
  • Cut out the excessive snacking. Extra calories make for extra pounds. This means grocery store samples, licking the brownie batter bowl, finishing off your kids meals, etc.
  • Start your morning with protein. If you can get 25-30 grams of protein in first thing in the morning, you will get your metabolism going, stay more full throughout the day, regulate your blood sugar, and you will be likely to make better decisions throughout the day.
  • Cut out the treats. Maybe you don’t need a bowl of ice cream before bed every night? Just saying.
  • Cut down on your refined carbohydrates.
  • Cut out full sugar soda.
  • Make sure you always have healthy go-to foods on hand. This will keep you from snacking on empty calories that won’t benefit your goals.
  • Change the way you eat out. There is a common mindset that people have that every time they eat out is a free for all to unhealthy options. If you think this way, it’s likely that you will be packing on the extra pounds. Instead, keep your healthy choices consistent, and save indulgences for occasional meals! Skip the bread bowls, the chips and salsa, and the appetizers. Almost every restaurant has healthy options if you are willing to look!

These tips are all very simple, but they can make a HUGE difference in the way you look and feel!

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Filed under Diet Questions, Dinner, Eat With Me, Eating Tips, Health Tips, Lifestyle, Motivation, Portion Control, weight loss tips

Ten Things That will Keep Your Summer Healthy

Summer is the best. I love the weather. I love the fun family times. I love the holidays. I love the fresh produce. I love the fun vacations. I love the outdoor activities. I love it ALL!! However, With all of this goodness that I love comes a busy schedule that often lends itself to missed workouts, increased summer treats, and excuses for not living the healthy way you are wanting to be living. Make this summer different! The following are some tips that can help you to have a fun, happy, and HEALTHY summer.

1. Pre plan your meals. With summer being so busy, having an idea of what you want to eat for the week can help you to keep yourself on track with healthy meals.

2. Plan meals that are quick & easy. Planning your meals is important, but I find myself wanting to be in a hot kitchen as little as possible. Are you the same way? With that being said, I would make your meals easy and simple. Make healthy salads. Use your crock pot. Capitalize on all the fresh produce that is around. It is so good!aug14132

3. Stock up on healthy snacks you can grab. Having healthy snacks on hand (veggies & hummus, fruit, popcorn, Larabars, Questbars, nuts, etc) allows you to have healthy stuff to take with you on the go on all of your summer adventures. Instead of getting cheese fries and nachos at the pool, bring your own goods and you will be well prepared! 

4. Get your workouts done in the morning. Summer is hot. When you get your workouts done early in the morning, you will not have to worry about sweating during the heat of the day. Summer mornings are magical. The sun rises early and it is beautiful outside! Getting your workout out of the way will allow you to enjoy your busy summer activities without having the need to workout hanging over your head.

5. Get Grilling. Oh, how I love grilling in the summertime. It is the best. You can whip up some amazing healthy options on the grill. Experiment grilling your chicken, fish, and lean cuts of beef with different marinades and rubs. Make shish kabobs. Grill your veggies. The possibilities are endless. The cleanup is minimal, and the taste is off the charts. Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset

6. Hydrate. The heat of summer means an increase in sweat. Don’t forget to stay hydrated. Bring a water bottle with you wherever you go. It will help to keep you cool and hydrated!

7. Make your summer ACTivities ACTive. Find things to do outside to enjoy the beautiful summer weather. Go on hikes. Explore your surroundings. Ride bikes. Go for walks. Go paddle boarding. Just go! You will burn calories and make awesome memories. IMG_7499

8. Choose your “cool treats” wisely. One of the hardest things for me during the summer is to not want to dive into a giant waffle cone of ice cream or shave ice every single day. It is just what sounds good to me with the hot weather. I’m not saying you can’t dig into these delights every now and again, but I’d do so sparingly. These cool treats tend to be backed with sugar, which isn’t going to help you reach your goals. Go for frozen yogurt instead, make your own fruit smoothies, make your own banana ice cream, etc.

9. Change your transportation. Instead of driving everywhere ride your bike or walk! You will up your calorie burn, and you will see your surroundings in a whole new way!

10. Don’t use vacations as an excuse. Summer vacations are the best. I get that. However, going from one vacation to the next with a “vacation mentality” is going to kill your goals. Decide to stay healthy and active while you are on vacation. Keep moving. Make healthy eating choices. You can do it. You just have to decide to do so!

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Filed under Diet Questions, Dinner, Exercise Tips, Family Health, Health Tips, Lifestyle, Motivation, Summer Slim Down, Uncategorized, vactions, weight loss tips

Product Review: Lesser Evil Popcorn

It’s a real good day when a box of popcorn shows up on my doorstep to be reviewed. I’ve become a bit of a popcorn snob in my quest to find healthy snacks that are gluten free. I’ve found that there are actually a lot of pre-popped popcorn options that are available out there, which is GREAT. I’ve also found that they are not all tasty or healthy. The wonderful people over at Lesser Evil were kind enough to send me some of their products to test out. IMG_7614 I tend to like the popcorn that is made with sunflower oil or coconut oil the best. Read your product labels my friends! This product ABSOLUTELY fit the bill. I mean, LOOK at these ingredients…Organic non-GMO popcorn, organic coconut oil, & himalayan salt? YES PLEASE. IMG_7619 The four flavors that I tried were; Himalayan Pink (basically a salty popcorn), Himalayan Sweetness (a sweet and salty popcorn), Chia Pop: Sea Salt & Cracked Pepper, and Chia Pop: Aged White Cheddar. I was a fan of all four. 
IMG_7617You can’t go wrong with these two “Buddha Bowl” flavors. They were light, and delicious. They had a great taste, and they weren’t dry like some bagged popcorn can be. The coconut oil gave it a hint of sweetness, which was delightful. Loved it. IMG_7618The nutrition facts were also right on point. 37 calories per cup? Yes, I think that sounds great. The Himalayan Sweetness was the perfect mix of salty and sweet. I would consider this more of a treat because the sugar content is a little higher, but it was very good.IMG_7620 I had never had anything like the chia popcorn before, and I thought it was wonderful. The Sea Salt and Cracked Pepper popcorn was dusted with seasonings that gave it a savory/peppery flavor…SO good. The aged White Cheddar was also very flavorful…finger licking good, if you will. :) It felt like an indulgence, and yet it was just a tasty & healthy snack.

I found these Lesser Evil products at my local Sprouts. Click HERE to find where you might be able to find this delicious product near you!

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Healthy Disneyland Food: It’s Possible.

Disneyland is the best. It just is. The wonderful rides, the nostalgia, the scent of churros, the magic of it all, and every other amazing detail that makes Disneyland fantastic. I love it. It’s hard not to feel like a kid again when you are walking right down the middle of main street USA. munchercruncherdisney3I write all the time about moderation. I think that eating healthy the majority of the time and indulging in something you love every now and again is absolutely fine. However, most people live with the opposite mindset; eating whatever they want the majority of the time…occasionally dipping into the healthy stuff every now and again. I can promise you, if you want to see any type of progress in your health and weight loss you HAVE to consistently eat well. It is just the way it is.

With that being said, I thought I’d give you some tips on how to be healthy at the happiest place on earth.

1. Pack your own goods. If you are worried about finding healthy options that you will like in the park, or if you just want to save some cash on food…bring your own food! We brought a small cooler pack with our own lunch. I had turkey, hummus, and veggies. It was delicious. I also brought a Questbar, fruit, nuts, popcorn, and water to snack on throughout the day. munchercruncherdisneylandIf you don’t want to carry your cooler, put it in a locker outside the park. It’s like $7, and you won’t have to worry about lugging it around. I would also suggest Larabars, apples, bananas, nuts, dried fruit, turkey jerky, and cut up fresh veggies if you don’t want a cooler because they are easy to carry around.

2. Seek out the healthy restaurants. Believe it or not, there are actually some good finds in the park as far as eating is concerned. munchercruncherdisney2I had grilled chicken and veggie kebabs that were at the restaurant right across from the Indiana Jones ride. These were delicious, and moderately priced as well. Amanda found a similar option with Mediterranean skewers in California Adventure at the Paradise Garden Grill, located on Paradise Pier. Hers came with a cilantro sauce that looked divine.

3. Look for the healthy snack stands. There are kiosks all over Disneyland and California Adventure that offer snack sized fruit bowls, packs of nuts, pineapple spears, apples, bananas, hummus, cut up vegetables,  and vitamin waters. The key here is looking for these options. It is very easy to find yourself starving and reaching for the quickest, (and most heavenly smelling) option that is close by. Plan ahead. Set yourself up for success, not failure.

4. Choose your indulgences wisely. If there is something that you can’t live without at Disneyland, the dole whip, the churro, the chocolate dipped banana…whatever it may be…choose to make the majority of your day as healthy as you can and then enjoy every bite of that waffle cone. Instead of feeling sick after your day of fun, you’ll be proud of yourself for walking like a fool and practicing some self control. It will make your indulgences taste that much better!

Oh…and FYI: On average…Park Hoppers who spend the whole day at Disneyland walk between 15-20 miles, burning 180-350 calories per hour, depending on how much you are walking. THAT is awesome.

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Filed under Diet Questions, Eat With Me, Eating Tips, Fabulous Food Finds, Health Tips, Lifestyle, Order This, Traveling, vactions

Happiness is…

Lots of family time. ladiesSunshine hikes & morning workouts with my sis.
hikingand a road trip in sight.

I’m beach bound, and I’m not even mad about it.

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Filed under Family Health, Lifestyle, Traveling

Whole Wheat Banana Chocolate Puff Pillow Cookies

I had some bananas that needed to be baked, and some mouths that needed to be fed. SO, I pulled a recipe out of the blog archives and made these tasty cookies today!munchercruncher_bananapuffpillowsThese are basically like little banana bread delights in healthy, cookie form. Click HERE for the recipe :)

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10 Ways to Shape Up For Summer…and Forever

Well. we have been talking about getting in shape for summer for quite some time now. Guess what guys? It’s HERE!! YESSSS. As you well know by now, summer makes me the happiest human alive. I LOVE it. Sunshine. Warmth. The outdoors. Yes, yes, and yes. However, now that summer has so quickly come upon us, have you found yourself wondering why you still haven’t gotten into the summer shape you’ve been planning on? If this is the case, the following tips may help get you back on track…not just for the summer, but forever. yhike2

  1. Get into seasonal produce. – There is nothing like garden fresh produce. There just isn’t. If eating your fruits and veggies is a struggle for you, trying some local, fresh produce may help. I mean is there really anything better than fresh, flavorful, right-off-the-vine tomatoes? NO.
  2. Exercise in the morning. – Summertime gets busy. There are always a lot of activities going on. Summertime also gets toasty. As the day gets busier and hotter, you are less likely to want to get your sweat on. If you plan on getting your workout in and over with first thing, you won’t have to worry about it the rest of the day. If you can make this a lifetime habit, you will benefit HUGELY from doing so. Promise.
  3. Make your workouts quick and worthwhile. – You are busy. I know. Guess what? So is everyone else. Use the precious time you do have effectively. If you don’t know how to do this, seek the help of a professional who does. Info on the resources I offer are HERE.
  4. Cut out the crap. – Stop with all the snacking. It’s not helping you. I know that summer can be full of poolside snacks, movie snacks, picnic snacks, and late-night snacks, and they are all great and wonderful. Except they’re not. If you are trying to attain some health and fitness goals, cut out the crap.
  5. Make your summer an active one. – One of the best things you can do to get in shape is to move more. One of the best ways to do this is to make moving more fun! Get your family involved. Go hiking, take bike rides, go on walks, explore your city, go to the pool, make a bucket list or copy mine. :)
  6. Drink lots of water. – Water helps to keep you hydrated and happy. It also helps to keep you keep you feeling full, and in the summer it can be so refreshing. Keep water on hand at all times!
  7. Plan your {simple} meals in advance. – It can be hard to get excited about cooking in the summer when it’s toasty and busy. SO, plan your week ahead of time. Think of simple meals that require little cooking and prep. Use the grill. Throw together some easy salads. Use your crock pot. Take the family on a picnic.
  8. Check your sugar intake. – The ice cream, frozen yogurt, slurpees, shaved ice, and smoothies seem to sound good all the time when it’s hot out. However, if you are wanting to slim down, these items all contain a LOT of sugar. You may want to track your sugar intake to determine if you are over doing it. Try not to exceed 30 grams per day. I think sugar is the KEY element to improving your physique. Want more info about sugar? Read HERE.
  9. Sign up for some races. – Need some motivation to exercise? Sign up for a family fun run, 5K, 10K, 1/2 marathon, relay, or heck…even a marathon or triathlon. This will help you to have a goal to work towards, and will keep you exercising.
  10. Stop making excuses. – Like I said before, summer is here. So, now is the time to stop saying you will “get in shape for summer” and just get in shape. You CAN do it. It IS possible. Yep, it’s going to take some work and some discipline. Yeah, it might be kinda tough at times. First and foremost, it’s going to take you just starting. There is always a reason not to. There is always a vacation, a family event, a holiday, a season change, a sale on your favorite candy, and a neighbor dropping off treats on your doorstep. Instead of finding excuses, find solutions. MAKE IT HAPPEN.

Happy Summer. :)

 

 

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Filed under Family Health, Health Tips, Inspiration, Lifestyle, Motivation, Summer Slim Down, weight loss tips