February Kettlebell Challenge

25 kb

It’s time to love your kettlebell and your body!

This month’s challenge will be 9 kettlebell moves divided up into 3 per week for 3 weeks. My biggest wish for you is that you go up in weight on your kettlebell. (within safe reason-I just went up to a 25 lb because I had been hovering around my 10/15/20’s for too long) I am stronger than that and so are you! I just got all comfy and cozy and it was easy and I liked that for a while. It is so easy to get comfortable. But do you know what doesn’t happen when you get comfortable?

Change!

Here we go week by week, move by move….

Week #1:

Double arm  tricep extensions

kb 1

Up right row

kb 5

Lunge-see picture but also know that you can hold the kb in on your chest instead of out

kb 3

Week #2:

Swing-grab kb from ground with feet shoulder width apart, thrust the kb from  low to high position until the kb is eye level or straight above your head

Single arm row

kb 4

Chest press w/bridge-lay on back with feet on ground, knees bent, press the kb while thrusting (bridging) up and down with each one.

Week #3:

Abdominal twist

kb 2

Bicep curl in low squat-lower down to low squat if you can (if not stand) and hold that position while you curl the kb with both hands, elbows resting on your inner thighs

Deadlift-stand with knees slightly bent/ loose (feet together or shoulder width apart and lower the kb down to almost touching the ground and slowly stand to upright position (arms stay straight the entire time but elbows are not locked)

>>> Notes:

*You will do as many reps as possible but ideally you should burn out around 12 to 15 reps on each set because that is where the weight of your challenging kettlebell should be. I don’t want you wasting your time on light weights and a million reps. Get right to the point and challenge yourself.

>>>Do the workout 3 days a week at 3 sets or rounds of each of the 3 moves then move on to week 2 then week 3. If you can skip a day between so for example do the workout Mon, Wed, Fri. By the time you are done you can then incorporate these 9 new moves at home or at the gym all the time, yay!

*For a warm up you can definitely run through each move at a lighter weight-that is always a good idea. You always want to warm up somehow by stretching, jumping jacks, non-weighted squats, arm circles….get your blood flowing then tackle the task at hand.

>>>Perform all moves slowly and deliberately. It is not a race. Make each one count.

*You will rest 30 to 60 seconds in-between each set. Have water nearby and make sure you eat a protein/carb/sugar meal after. Example: smoothie, chicken/sweet potato/ grapes, eggs/toast/avocado, Fuel up after your workout 🙂

I hope you enjoy challenging yourself these 3 weeks 🙂 🙂

***please, please, please use this challenge as a reason to push yourself and go heavier on your kettlebell if you can!

xo, A

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Money $aving food $hopping tip$

money saving shopping tips

I tried to put together a short list that will help guide you when you are in the grocery store. I want to help you save money and make healthier choices as much as I can!

1. Check your current on hand foods in the fridge/pantry and build your meals off of that. Have a plan and a list-do not just go in there and hope for the best. I repeat-do not just go in there unprepared!! Disaster waiting to happen.

2. Stick to the outer aisles-that is where the healthiest foods are found. When buying ground meats also think what veggies you can chop and cook with them to make them bulkier and healthier. You will need less meat that way and get more nutrition. (think mushrooms/onions/tomatoes/peppers with ground beef or ground turkey) p.s did you know meat is more of an accent in meals, not the main dish, in almost all other countries!? Something to consider! Bulk up in the produce section 😉

3. You must avoid as much processed foods as you can….cookies, crackers, instant oatmeal’s, sauces and canned soups,  etc….all processed and loaded with the stuff we don’t want. All located in the center of the store usually.

4. Only buy what you really need-have a list and stick to it. You Need way less than what you Want. Do not go to the store hungry you will want everything you see and it won’t be pretty at the checkout.

5. Use coupons when you can and try to gravitate to the brands that are on sale that week. Careful with coupons though as a lot of processed foods get shown in the weekly ads but remember we don’t want those even if we can save $ on them.

6. This one is a tough one. You must start to lay down the law with the rest of your family members as hard as that is. They will ask I am sure for the bad stuff but if you don’t buy it they won’t eat it. Think of and find healthier options that will appeal to them. The less crap you buy the healthier everyone will be and there will in turn be more money in your wallet.

I hope this helps as a general guide or at least gets you started saving some $$$ and eating a bit healthier.

xo, A

Bean Dip

bean dip

A healthy bean dip made with white beans and mukimame!

Need:

1 15 oz can Great northern beans (or any other white bean)

1 pkg 12 oz frozen bag of mukimame-shelled soybeans (found at Target)

1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt

2 tsp minced garlic

1/4 cup grapeseed, coconut or olive oil

1/4 cup chopper nuts ( I used walnuts and pecans)

Drizzle of honey

Salt and pepper to taste

How to:

Steam your mukimame and then rinse with cold water-add to food processor

Rinse white beans and add to food processor

Add garlic, honey, Greek yogurt and salt and pepper to food processor

Start blending all in food processor and drizzle in the oil as it mixes

I would use this as a veggie dip or even a spread on toast or baguettes! I took mini peppers and stuffed them as part of my lunch today. It is a satisfying dip and tastes great too!

I am even going to try and emulsify it later this week and use it as sauce for pasta (kind of like an alfredo by adding ricotta cheese, butter and milk).

Enjoy friends!

A

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sweet Beets Salad

sweet beets salad collage

Sweet potatoes and beets are what makes this salad awesome!! And then there is the edamame and any extras you want to add like onion, carrots or peppers! Oh and then there is the delicious dressing!!

What you will need:

2 cups peeled cut boiled sweet potatoes (boil for about 8 to 10 min) about 4 small potatoes

1 cup chopped beets (I used canned)

1 cup edamame beans (I bought a bag from Target then steamed them-in the frozen section)

1 cup total of assorted other raw veggies-diced onions/peppers/carrots etc.

Dressing:

1 tsp apple cider vinegar

2 tsp grapeseed oil or oil of your choice

3 tsp water

freshly squeezed the juice of 1/2 small lemon

2 tsp plain non fat Greek yogurt

1 tsp mustard

dash garlic powder

dash cayenne pepper if you want to add heat

dash of honey too if you like

whisk all together and pour over salad then take about 1 cup of mixture and top over mixed greens or eat on its own.

Makes approx. 4 servings

I prepped this on Sunday evening along with cut up fruit and veggies for my bean dip and Greek yogurt bowls. I have been having a great week so far!

>>>Tip>>>Keep a food/drink/workout/to do daily journal!! You are way more likely to be successful if you write down and check off your daily doings!! xo

to do

Enjoy!!! A

Egg omelette breakfast pizza

egg omelette breakfast pizza

Pre-heat oven to 350

Butter a 10 inch skillet so that your pizza doesn’t stick (use a skillet that can go in the oven)

In large bowl mix:

5 or 6 eggs

1/4 cup almond milk or milk of your choice

1/4 cup shredded or crumbled cheese of your choice (I used feta and mozzarella)

2 chicken sausage links (cut into small pcs)-or meat of your choice or no meat

1 to 2 cups veggies of your choice (I used red onion, red and yellow peppers in this one) other suggestions: broccoli, mushrooms, green peppers, white onion, kale, spinach, sweet potatoes…anything you would put in an omelette.

Pour mixture into the skillet and bake for 15 to 18 min in oven

Let cool for 5 min before transferring onto cutting board and cutting like a pizza. Makes 6 pcs of egg pizza-do not eat with your hands 🙂 Eat now and or save for later in fridge for 2 to 3 days.

Enjoy!! xo-A

The Ultimate Pre-Workout Smoothie

the ultimate pre workout smoothie

The Ultimate pre-workout smoothie recipe:

1 banana

4 to 5 ice cubes

1/2 c unsweetened almond milk

1 tbsp. pnb

1/4 c walnuts

2 tsp ground flaxseeds

3 tsp oats

1 pack instant coffee like Starbucks VIA brand

1 pack cocoa dark choc supplement

Blend until smooth and as always supplement with what you have, leave out the dark choc or coffee, use almonds instead of walnuts…..but do it, make it and make sure you have a pre-workout snack or smoothie so that you can crush your workouts appropriately!! 😉

Sweet potato turkey chili

sweet potato turkey chili

Ingredients:

1 lb ground turkey

1 15 oz can fire roasted diced tomatoes

3 med peeled/cubed sweet potatoes

1/2 cup diced red onion

1 small diced zucchini

1 cup diced peppers (any or all colors)

2 cups diced mushrooms

1 1/2 cups water

1 tbsp. butter

juice of one lime

Seasonings:

cumin

coriander

cinnamon

salt

pepper

red pepper flakes

Badia complete seasoning

(or any chili seasoning you make or like to use)

How to make:

Cook ground turkey in skillet while boiling sweet potatoes in large pot for 5 min on stove

When turkey is done, drain and add in canned fire roasted tomatoes and sweet potatoes to skillet and let cook on med/low heat

Meanwhile in the pot that you want to make the chili in place tbsp. of butter on med heat and add in peppers, onions, zucchini and mushrooms and let them cook down for about 10 min

Season the meat mixture with all seasonings and lime juice and continue to cook for a few more minutes

Add the meat mixture to the pot with the veggies along with the 1 1/2 cups water

Cover and let simmer for 30 min to an hour on med/low (I am sure you could also do this in a crockpot)

Add additional seasonings to taste

Top with a tsp of Greek yogurt and avocado slice if you wish

Share with your family and friends or save it all for yourself!

I will be eating mine tonight and tomorrow for sure after my workouts and I will be sharing with a friend too!

Makes at least 6 servings

Happy day! A

 

Workout Tracker

Make a Workout Tracker Calendar-it will really help you plan and see what you have accomplished! I am using mine mostly to make sure I hit all of my muscle groups separately and give enough time for them to rest in between the next workout focused on that same group. My goal is to add the Jan Challenge (see pic below) to my workouts broken into the following categories:

Legs and Shoulders

Biceps and Back

Legs and core

Cardio

Total body

Chest and Triceps

Yoga/Pilates

I will record them on this calendar each month and make sure I do 5 workouts per week either at home or at the gym. They do not have to be long. 25 min and intense will burn just fine! Also, think about variety! Run, Spin, Strength train, yoga…..fit them all in!

I also added a reminder of why I workout…..the benefits of it:

Good mood, more energy, clothes fit, less stress, strong body and sleep better to name a few!

jan 2015 calendar (2)

jan 2015 superhero challenge

db kb workout

Shoulder and Leg Workout that I did this am at home with KB and DB:

Dips x15

Wall Sit x 35 sec

Leg Lifts x15

KB Swings x 10lbs x 20

DB Deadlifts x 20lbs x 15

Push ups x 10

Plank rotations x 10

DB Shoulder Press x 10 lbs x 15

Squat with KB rows x 15lbs x 15

1 min forearm plank

One arm KB swings x 10lbs x 10 each arm

DB Deadlifts x 20lbs x 20

Leg lifts x 15

Wall sit x 35 sec

DB shoulder press x 10lbs x 15

KB swings x 15lbs x 15

Dips x 10

Push ups x 10

Plank rotations x 10

Squat with KB row x 15lbs x 20

Done!

Take the time to track your workouts-not for calories burned (notice I never mention tracking calories burned b/c it doesn’t matter) You simply want to train your body to be strong and eat nutritious foods. Calories in/ calories out method is not a good way to look at being healthy! What you eat matters. Not all calories are created equal 😉

xoxo

A

 

January 2015 10 Day Superhero Challenge

Happy New Year all! It’s January 1, 2015 and I couldn’t wait to share this month’s challenge with you!

3 moves: Dips, Leg lifts and Wall Sits>>>helping to strengthen your entire body! These will work your core, upper and lower body each day you choose to do them, increasing in reps and time.

I am wishing you all a happy & healthy year!! Look for more monthly challenges to come this year from me! Remember what your mind is focused on will show through your actions. Just make moving your body and eating clean foods your goal. Focus on getting better, stronger, longer, leaner and faster and your body will come into it’s own place of balance and happy. Cheers to 2015!

xo, A

Looking to find your own superhero?? Looking to find some strength? Start here with this challenge. You pick the 10 days. You do it when you can this month. Be your own hero….afterall, no one else can save you….unless you happen to meet Batman, then maybe he can 🙂 jan 2015 superhero challenge