For those individuals who are wondering what some great HEALTHY gifts ideas may be for their friends and family…I’ll share a few of my favorites.
- Nike Flyknit trainers. I have a pair of these, and I LOVE them. They are so incredibly comfortable. They are lightweight, but still sturdy. I’m a huge fan. Get them in your life. You can find them HERE.
- Old Navy compression capris & pants. Old Navy absolutely NAILED it with these workout pants and capris. I may or may not have 4 pairs of the capris and 2 pairs of the pants. They wear well. They wash well. They stay put. They are comfortable. They are thick enough, but not suffocating. They are awesome. Find them HERE.
- Sorel Boots. These are on MY wish list this year. These are an awesome way to take your exercise outside. They are super warm, and perfect for winter walks, hikes, snowshoeing, and just looking darling. Find them HERE.
- Skullcandy earbuds. As you know, I love my music. It is what gets me through my workouts. These awesome Skullcandy ear buds from Target are inexpensive, and still awesome. They are my absolute fave because they stay in my ears, and they are comfortable. Find them HERE.
- A warm shell jacket. I have this Patagonia shell in black and I’m in love with it! I seriously wear it every day to work. It is lightweight, but super warm. It isn’t bulky, so it’s perfect for layering. Find this jacket HERE.
- Healthy goodies. I would love some Questbars, a bag of Skinnypop, some Turkey Jerky, Extra Gum, and any assortment of nuts in my stocking.
- Other ideas…water bottles, a kettle bell, a foam roller, resistance bands, a jump rope, any assortment of workout clothes, an iTunes gift card, a netflix subscription, healthy reads, a subscription to a fitness magazine, new socks, workout headbands, a gift certificate for a massage or to try some new fitness classes, a gym pass, or a new gym bag! The healthy holiday possibilities are endless!
And with it comes a lot of holiday parties, food, and fun. Annnndd…for many people that can mean extra holiday pounds. So my own personal challenge and motto for the month is.
Eat lean. Eat green. Eat clean. Are you with me??
Y’all know I LOVE a good leg workout. This one is killer.
- Jump squats with dumbbells: These are regular jump squats, holding DB’s in each hand. Land soft and jump right back up.
- Walking lunges with dumbbells: With these walking lunges, do all 20 leading with the right leg, and then the following 20 leading with the left leg.
- Single leg squats with dumbbells: Balancing on one leg, squat down holding DB’s in both hands. Try to touch the DB’s down to the ground.
- Single leg dead lifts with dumbbells: Keep both legs and your back straight with these.
- Single leg jump backs: For these place both hands on the ground, keeping one foot in the air. Jump your standing foot back until you are in a plank. Jump it to your hands, and jump up. Do all 20 on one leg, repeat on the other side.
- Wide plies squats with dumbbells: Turn legs and feet out in a wide position. Keep dumbbells on your shoulders or by your hips. Squat down as low as you can, returning back to standing. Tuck the hips under.
- Wide to narrow jump squats: Start with feet close together, squat down, jump up and land in a wide squat. Jump back up, landing in the narrow squat. (This counts as one.)
Good luck peeps! Oh…and the reason I call this “Legs for days?” Because you’ll probably be feeling this in your legs…for days…
As I mentioned previously, life has been pretty crazy as of late. Between training my regular clients, writing, school, (and lots of fun), I have found myself multi-tasking QUITE a bit. Now, I know that my life is no different than the rest of yours. EVERYONE is busy. We all just have different kinds of busy! What I have learned is that you can either make excuses as to why you are so busy to exercise or make any changes, OR you can make positive health decisions a priority. Sometimes this means multi-tasking.I’ve learned that I can read while I workout. It actually makes my workouts FLY by which is a double win. Multi-tasking means different things for everyone. My challenge to you is to figure out how to make working out a part of your day instead of figuring out excuses as to why you don’t have time for it! So…as I was reading about exercise motivation today I came across this……and I loved it. This was my take-away. 1) Associated exercisers think about how every exercise movement feels, which includes the discomfort that they are likely feeling. 2) Disassociated exercisers distract themselves with music, daydreaming, basically anything else but their exercise. 3) I am DEFINITELY a disassociated exerciser, which is probably why I LOVE it so much. I jam to my music (which i love.) I watch my Netflix (which I love.) And I work out with friends (which I love.) All things that distract me, and make exercising more enjoyable.
Now I get that exercise isn’t always fun. Finding motivation to get to the gym and workout is NOT always easy. HOWEVER, the truth of the matter is, you can make it much more enjoyable if you figure out what makes it more fun for YOU. Not everyone is the same, and what works for one person might not work for someone else. Find what works for you, and you may even find yourself multi-tasking your exercise away!
Ever since eating Blue Lemon’s butternut squash soup, I have become a bit of a butternut squash soup snob. I mean have you had the stuff? It tastes like Christmas in a bowl. I don’t know how they do it, but it’s amazing. It has had me searching for a recipe that rivals theirs, and this one is probably the closest that I have found. This soup is really easy to make, and SO delicious! Butternut Squash Soup
- 1/4 cup unsalted butter
- 2 large granny smith apples peeled, cored, and diced
- 2 pears peeled, cored, and diced
- 2 onions diced small (I used a food processor)
- 3 medium size butternut squashes (peeled, seeds removed, diced in cubes)
- 3/4 cup brown sugar
- 1 tsp allspice
- 1 tsp tumeric
- 2 tsp ground nutmeg
- 2 tsp cinnamon
- 1 tsp ground ginger
- 2.5 qts of chicken stalk
- 1 cup fat free half and half
- ground black pepper, and salt to taste
- Prepare your squash. Peel it with a regular vegetable peeler. Cut it in half, and remove all of the seeds. Cut the squash into 1 inch cubes.
- Prepare your apples and pears. Peeling, coring, and chopping.
- Using a large pot, melt butter over medium heat. Add diced onions, and cook until they are tender. (5-10 minutes depending on how small pieces are.) Add in allspice, nutmeg, cinnamon, turmeric, and ground ginger. Mix to combine. Add in butternut squash, apples, and pears. Add in the chicken stock and the brown sugar. Stir to combine. Bring this to a boil, and allow to cook on medium, uncovered for about 40 minutes. Make sure the squash is tender. Add in the half and half, salt, and pepper. Use a blender or an immersion blender to puree the soup. You may want to add more salt and pepper at this point.
- Serve with slivered almonds overtop. (I thought candied slivered almonds would be delicious as well!)
- Serves 8-10 people.
Fall is the perfect time for delicious soup, and this is an incredibly delicious, low-cal option that is really healthy and flavorful!
I have been absolutely blog M.I.A. But, with good reason. I started grad school! I’m getting my Masters of Science in Health Science. I love it so far, but man…It’s a lot of work. I hope to get life in a routine and get back to my sweet lil’ blog ASAP. Until then, I’ll be at the library. xoxoxo
With most of the female clients I train I hear very similar things. They tend to tell me that they want to drop some weight, decrease body fat, and improve their problem areas. These are fairly common requests, and completely doable requests at that. With regards to problem areas or, “trouble spots,” whatever you want to call them…most women tell me they want to work on their lower half. I LOVE when I hear this. It just so happens that I am a HUGE fan of squats, lunges, step-ups, plyometrics, and leg workouts in general. Afterall..who doesn’t want rockstar legs?? Am I right? Well, a sweet reader named Rene emailed me asking what some of my favorite glute/leg exercises were, so I thought I’d share with the class. Rockstar legs for all!
1) Stairmill. I know, you don’t want to hear those words, but i’m going to say them anyways. The stairmill is a KILLER leg workout. Remeber this sweaty photo?This was taken right after doing my favorite workout on the stairmill that will be sure to WORK your butt and legs over. Click HERE for the workout.
2) Specific lifting workouts targeted for the glutes and legs.
3) Specific exercises that target the glutes and legs
Now, if this info doesn’t get your legs looking like Carrie Underwood’s…You can just come on in and see me at The Lab and I promise I’ll whip ya into rockstar shape!
This is a quick, calorie blasting, full body circuit that will be sure to have you sweating in no time!