Friday, May 31, 2013

Pinterest Fitness Day 15: Kitchen Tips for Weight Loss

I was inspired by a Pinterest post to make my own list of things I do in my kitchen to stay healthy. They are all important and they are in no particular order. Enjoy!

1. Keep a pen and pad of paper by your side all day long. Draw a line down the middle. On one side, write "Food" and on the other, write "Calories." Record everything you eat. has a great App for that. This way, you can calculate the calories you need and record the calories you consume. It's on old tip, but has stood the test of time!

2. Stock your kitchen up with produce. Make it just as accessible as a bag if chips. Cut and wash ahead of time if you need to.

3. Keep in your kitchen and cook with healthy fats--- Flaxseed, Chia seed, Coconut oil, Olive oil. As long as you measure your portions, these healthy fats have great benefits.

4. Have measuring cups and spoons available and use them! Food scales are pretty cheap and those come in handy as well.

5. Own a good blender or food processor. When choosing the healthiest option for dressings and sauces, especially if you are watching your sodium intake, it sometimes is best just to make your own. You may be surprised how easy it is!

6. Have a little bit if dark chocolate everyday. Yes. One square of a Trader Joe's chocolate bar does it for me and I believe that is 1/16th of a serving! If you deny yourself those things every single day, you may just binge!

7. Put veggies in your smoothies. Spinach and carrots actually work very well.

8. DRINK WATER! Lots of water! No juice! No monster drink! No sugary coffee drink! Most of those drinks are either made up of calories or chemicals or both. Mineral water is an acquired taste, perhaps, but it is very refreshing when ice cold! Drink 8oz of water before a meal to feel up faster.

1/2 cup Greek Yogurt w/ berries and Stevia = YUMMY!

9. Pre-package your snacks. Pack 100-150 calorie snacks like string cheese and a small apple. It is way easier than walking to a vending machine and just as easy as reaching for the bag of empty calories you may consume while watching the Dr. Oz show.

10. Take your vitamins. Everyday. For those of you who are inside most of the day, talk to your doctor or do some research on the benefits of taking extra vitamin D.

11. Use your kitchen. Cook at home. Take meals with you when you are away from home. It is always healthier.

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Pinterest Fitness Day 14: Waking Up to Exercise & Protein Poppers

The sound of crickets chirping from my iPhone alarm is not my favorite sound.  The crickets chirp is probably to best sound to wake up to, but it still isn't fun.  It is very hard to push myself to get up at 5:30 in the morning, but I must in order to get my workout in.  I found a post on Pinterest the other day that had some really good tips on how to make getting up early to exercise a bit easier.  (Find that post HERE).  One problem I have is trying to get breakfast down before a morning run.  The blogger even covered that!  She recommended Protein Poppers, which are basically balls of oatmeal peanut butter goodness!  I made them today and they are super easy!   (The recipe is included in the link above).  I will have to be disciplined and save them for my pre-workout meal because each ball is 100 calories.  They are small, quick, and packed with protein, which is perfect for a quick bit of nutrition my body needs in the morning.
Early morning yummy-ness  awaits!
Another favorite tip of the blogger is to sleep in your workout clothes.  This works wonderfully.  If I am in my comfy PJs, I am less likely to get up and exercise!  I hope you find these tips as helpful as I did!

PS:  I got 3 1/2 hours of dental work done today.  This was unexpected.  Needless to say, I just did an ab workout.  Here is one of my favorites!

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Pinterest Fitness Day 13: Yoga for Runners

I know.  I know.  I've posted a whole lot of Yoga so far, but I'm finding that weight/resistance training and running can be super hard on my muscles.  To help avoid injury and give my muscles the stretch that they need, Yoga seems to be the answer for me.

Guess what?  I ran 60 minutes for the first time in my life today!  That's right!  A whopping 6.53 miles!  I'm officially over the mileage it takes to run a 10K!  Woohoo!  Right after I finished my run today, I went in my backyard on a beautiful, overcast ("May Grey") morning, and did some yoga geared towards runners.  It felt good to stretch out my hamstrings and calves, which I find are very stiff after running for a long period of time.  The video I did this morning, by Fusion Cross-training,  is included in this post.  I especially liked the "full camel" position!

Pinterest Fitness Day 12: Good Morning Yoga

I chose day 12 to be an active rest day.  This basically means I take a breather from resistance training, weight training, and running.  I decided to treat myself to a morning yoga session with BodyFlow from the BodyRock website.  The video is below.  I love how this routine makes me feel in the morning.  It gets all my blood flowing and wakes me up!  Enjoy!

Pinterest Fitness Day 11: Runner's Strengthening Workout

The other morning I passed an older gentleman on my run.  He is usually out walking when I am running.  He yelled to me, "How many miles?"  I replied "Five this morning!"  He shouted as I passed him, "I used to do that too.  And then my knee went out."  I was sad for him, of course, but this short conversation all the more verified my need to keep up with my weight lifting, resistance, and strength routines. 

There are many workouts on Pinterest for runners.  I picked this one in particular because I liked how the creator of this workout, found HERE, covered all the bases.  I did this workout after a warm up of jumping jacks and high knees, three times through and it took me about 45 minutes.  I was such a great total body workout!  I don't have a pull up bar (which I REALLY want), so I did leg raises on my ball.  That was more challenging than just doing them laying down.  Instead of pull ups on the bar I did an alternative.  Like I said, I really, really want a pull up bar!  :)  Below is a good video that explains how to do exercises if you don't have a pull up bar.

This was a good, challenging workout and I look forward to trying out the plethora of workouts for runners on Pinterest!  Plethora.  I really do like that word.

Exercise Ball Leg Raises.  Sit on ball.  Roll ball to the small of back.  Plant palms of hands on ground, fingers facing out.  Find your balance.  Lift legs to make your body straight.  Start from this position and lift legs up and back down.

(Video on how to do exercises if you don't have a pull up bar.)

The kids liked the workout too!

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Pinterest Fitness Day 10: Little Bit of Everything Smoothie

Little Bit of Everything Smoothie
Yeild:  About 3 22oz servings.


8 oz Lime Mineral Water (Optional)*
8 oz Water
2 Servings of Protein, Unflavored (I use Whey)
2 Tbsp Ground Flax Seed
1 Banana, peeled
1 Orange, peeled
1/2 an Apple, cored
1 cup Strawberries
3-4 Carrots, cut into several pieces
3 cups Spinach (1/2 of the Trader Joe's bag)
3/4 cup Pineapple (1/3 of the Trader Joe's bag)
Handful of Ice


1) Add everything to your Vitamix in the order listed.  (If you don't have a Vitamix, you may have to cut the fruit and veggies into smaller pieces and/or your smoothie may have carrot chunks in it.)

2)  Blend on Variable, from 1 to 10 quickly.  Switch to high and blend until smooth.

3)  Enjoy!

*If you have no mineral water, add just water and you may need to add a dash of Stevia as well.

PS-  This post isn't from Pinterest, but I'm adding it to Pinterest!  :)

Friday, May 24, 2013

Pinterest Fitness Day 9: AR Fitness Abs and Arms

About a year ago, I started following Amanda Russell of AR Fitness on Pinterest.  She posts free workout videos, most of them under 20 minutes, on YouTube.  I like her.  She doesn't workout with shoes most of the time (which feels wonderful to me!) and she seems down to earth and comfortable with herself.  I've found that a good amount of women who are trainers and or competitors, are really into the way they look.  Why wouldn't they be?  I mean it's their business to look that way, right?  Well, it may be just be my opinion, and that's it, but I find a lot of these women tend to *ahem* enhance a certain part of their body.  Then they model it in bras a few sizes too small.  Or their websites are focused around a provocative theme. What does this say?  To be fit is all about being sexy or attracting others with your not-so-natural enhancement?  I would hope not!  At least not for me!

So, back to Amanda Russell.  She is a Canadian who came to America on a running scholarship with the hopes of Olympics.  She got a really bad injury and the doctors said she may never run again.  She set out on a journey that would prove them wrong.  She ran and won races and started a fitness company.  You know why I like about her?  She is just herself.  She isn't trying too hard.  She isn't adding things to her body or showing off too much of it.  She is always smiling.  She dresses up for themed workouts.  She's fun.   Check her out.

Find her on the web:

Find her workouts on Pinterest:

And, finally, below are the workouts I did today!

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Pinterest Fitness Day 8: Taco Stuffed Bell Peppers

I love tacos.  I love stuffed bell peppers.  Why not put them together?  A blogger over at Skinny Mom was brilliant enough to make a healthier version of just that.  I found the recipe through Pinterest a few weeks ago.  You can find the recipe at

I, however, don't really like ground turkey that much, so I used organic grass fed ground beef and quinoa.  The quinoa has a very similar texture to ground beef, so when mixed all in, you can hardly tell the difference. It really is delicious!  It also reduces the calories.

Taco Stuffed Bell Peppers
Yields 4 servings


1/3 cup Red Quinoa
6 oz beef Broth (Low Sodium)
Trader Joe's Taco Seasoning
1/2 Onion, chopped
2 Green Bell Peppers
12 oz Ground Beef (Preferably Organic!)
1/2 Cup Light Shredded Cheese
1/2 Cup Salsa
Canola oil cooking spray
Greek Yogurt


1)  Add quinoa, broth, and 1 Tbsp taco seasoning to pot. Bring to a boil and cook according to instructions on quinoa package (usually covered on low for 20-25 minutes).
2)  Cut peppers in half length-wise and clear out seeds.  Put them in a pot covered with water.  Bring to a simmer and cook for 20 minutes.  Remove from pot carefully.
3)  Spray skillet with cooking oil and sauté onions until transparent.
4)  Add ground beef, 1/4 cup salsa, and 1-2 Tbsp taco seasoning (to taste).  Brown beef.  Turn off heat.
5)  Add quinoa and another 1/4 cup salsa to skillet and mix well.
6)  Turn on broiler in oven.
7)  Fill pepper halves with beef and quinoa mixture.  Top with 1/2 of the cheese.
8)  Put in broiler until cheese is slightly brown.
9)  Top with remaining cheese and a dollop of Greet yogurt.  Enjoy!

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Pinterest Fitness Day 7: Late Night Abs & Yoga for Sleep

Sometimes when you do a silly thing like drop a knife on your foot and get a deep cut that swells and hurts all day, it's hard to fit in a workout. But, thanks to Pinterest, just before bed, I was able to fit in this "Late Night Ab Challenge" and finished it off with a few Yoga moves that are supposed to promote sleep. We shall see about that! (Update:  I did go to sleep pretty quickly!)

The Ab workout is above. It was pretty challenging, but easy enough to do right before bed. is where this workout originates from.  I checked them out and it is a site that will give you all sorts of plans to get you into shape.

The yoga moves I did are directly from this video.  I just ignored the music. :)

PS- My foot is fine-just hurt a bit to walk. The doctor said I can even run as long as I ice it afterwards. Woohoo! I will try to run again on Friday so I can get to a 10k distance before the race!

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Pinterest Fitness Day 6: Resistance Band Workout & Hollow Rock

I love resistance bands because you can have access to them anywhere.  It's no problem to throw them in luggage because they take up hardly any space and weigh less than a pair of shoes.  You can use them at home while your children are running around you, in the yard, in a hotel room, a park...anywhere!  I LOVE this Pin on Pinterest that lists 33 exercises you can do with resistance bands.  It explains each exercise and has a link to photos or videos that further explain each exercise.  I used this to workout and completed a full body workout in about 30 minutes.

This is the exact workout I did, and I completed these 2 times through:

Front Squat
Leg Extension
Standing Adductor
Standing Abduction
Glute Bridge
Overhead Press
Standing Double Bicep Curl
Overhead Triceps Extension
Tricep Kickback

And to complete it, I tried out the CrossFit exercise, "Hollow Rock."  This isn't a band exercise, but, still, OUCH!!!  Wowzers!  That worked my core!  The video explains how to do that.  Happy workout!

Pinterest Fitness Day 5: Backyard Workout for Kids!

One of the most important things to me is that not only am I fit and healthy, but my family is also.  Kids tend to want to spend time in front of a screen, weather it be the TV,  Kindle, iPad, iPhone, or all those other brands of smart computers that I don't know because I'm an Apple user.  

I've looked many times on Pinterest and pinned some backyard workouts for the kids, but none of them were quite what I wanted for them.  I love when my kids desire to work out with me, so I decided to make a workout geared towards my three kids, ages 2-5.  They enjoyed it!  Here is what we did:

Supplies needed: 

Tonka Trucks (or vehicles of that same size)- 1 per child
2 Pool Noodles
Stools- 1 per child
3-5 Pound Dumbbells- 1 per child
Crawl Tube
Ball (the size of a soccer ball)
Bench (optional)

Warm up:

15 Jumping Jacks  (have them count with you!)
20 High Knees (or just run in place and count to 20)


Truck Crawl:  Get out your kids' Tonka Trucks or anything about that size.  I used pool noodles to park start and finish lines.  Have your kids bend over and put their hands on the trucks, and keeping their hands on the trucks, have them run and push the trucks from one line to the other.  Repeat 2-3 times.

Stool Jump:  Get the stools from the bathroom or anywhere you keep them.  Put them on the lawn and have the kids jump over them and jump again to return to their starting place.  That is one rep.  Do 8 reps.

Dumbbell Race:  Use the same set up of start and finish lines as the Truck Crawl.  Give each child a dumbbell, making sure each child feels comfortable carrying the weight in both hands.  Have them hold the weight with both hands in front of their chest.  Have them run from one line to another.  Repeat 5 times.

Bench Step-up:  I used my kids' picnic bench for this, but you can also use a stool as long as it is sturdy.   Have the kids step up and step down to make a rep.  Repeat 15 times.

Tube Roll:  I used on of those expandable tubes for this.  Use the pool noodles for the start and finish lines again.  Have the kids stand at one line and behind the tube.  Tell them to work as a team to roll the tube to the other line and back.  Repeat 5 times.

Kick and Crawl:  Have the kids line up in front of the opening of a tube.  Have each child, one at a time, kick the ball through the tube.  Then have them crawl through the tube, pick up the ball, and run back to the starting place.  Repeat 8 times.

Sprinkler Run/Pool Time:  After the kids are done, reward them with some water play to wash that sweat off!!!

I hope you join in this workout with your kids!  How else do you stay active with your kids?

Monday, May 20, 2013

Pinterest Fitness Day 4: The Wet Foot Test

Have you ever purchased shoes that were just not right for your feet?  I have.  They felt comfy and supportive when I bought them.  It didn't take very long...4.69 miles to be exact to realize that the shoes I got on clearance for 18 bucks (down from 70!) were not made for my feet.  In fact, they made my arches throb---for days after wearing them!  I had several people suggest that I go to the running store that tests your feet to see what kind of shoe you need.  I have to admit that this month has been way too busy for such excursions, so, with the help of Pinterest, I found a foot test I could do at home.  Pictured above is my foot test.  I followed the directions of the test and matched my foot to the images on the Runner's World site.  Then I searched for shoes for my foot type, a normal or medium arch.  In my research, I found that Saucony was a good brand.  I tried on Saucony, New Balance (which my old running shoes were...loved them!), Asics, and Nike.  All of those are good brands, but the Saucony were most comfortable on my feet.  And guess what?  I got some 85 dollar Saucony running shoes for 40 dollars, plus 10% off that price!  $36 dollars for good running shoes!  Yea!  So, I took them for a test run in the morning.  4.64 miles later, my feet were very happy and so was I.
These shoes are made for folks with high arches, not for me!  Ouch!
My new Sauconys!  Happy Feet!!!

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Pinterest Fitness Day 3: Medicine Ball Workout

I have a medicine ball but I've rarely used it in the last several years. I love the idea of being able to toss a weight around. It makes the workout fun. I found a really good workout on Pinterest that is supposed to go with Alicia Keys' Girl on Fire song, but I just turned on my favorite "80's Cardio" station on Pandora and I was good to go! I did these exercises two times through and finished in just under 30 minutes. I did the workout this morning in my backyard in the sunshine. This workout turned out to be so much fun! I loved the Medicine Ball Overhead Slams. Seriously a fun exercise! I would recommend warming up your shoulders before this workout. Now, if you are not sure what some of the exercises are, I didn't know either and did some research.  Below are some videos of exactly how the exercises should be done! Also, check out for their Music Monday workouts!

Medicine Ball Squat Toss:

Standing Oblique Twist:

Medicine Ball Overhead Slams:

Lateral Medicine Ball Hops:

Diagonal Lifts with Medicine Ball:
Medicine Ball Halos:
 The video wouldn't upload, so visit this link to view how to complete this exercise.

Do you own a medicine ball?  If so, how often do you use it?  If you don't own one, it is a fun tool to add to your workout!

Pinterest Fitness Day 2: The Ninety-Nine

I must admit that I think whoever came up with The Ninety-Nine workout is crazy. But, I suppose I enjoy the challenge. I only completed the 99 set and the 88 set. That took me nearly 30 minutes. I thought I was going to die, especially during the leg lifts! I also added a few more push-ups at end of both sets. I hope to be able to complete through the 77 set next week! I estimate that the whole of this workout would take an hour and a half, and as a busy mom of three, I like to keep my workouts short and sweet...well sweet may not be the right word, but you get the point. This whole workout is a bit long for me, but completing the first three sets would make the workout about 40 minutes for me, which is perfect. Are you up for trying out this workout? Have you ever tried it and completed it? If so, I want to shake your hand!

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Pinterest Fitness Day 1: At Home CrossFit

If you fail, try, try again.  And again.  And again.  (I still am a crooked L, but there is always room for improvement!)
Inspired by many Facebook friends, friends, and friends of friends who are into CrossFit, the first workout I wanted to try on Pinterest was an at-home CrossFit workout.  I always liked the idea of climbing up walls or standing on my hands, but that certainly takes strength!

The pin I used led me to's Home CrossFit Workout. The article laid out several exercises, instructed me to do each exercise for 16 reps as fast as possible, with the bear crawl in between each exercise. Even though I was used to many of the exercises used in the article, it certainly was a challenge doing those exercises as fast as I could. The most challenging exercises were the box jump and the L Stand. I completed the exercises in a little over 6 minutes, if you don't count all my attempts to do the L Stand! By the way, the L Stand made ab muscles hurt that I had no idea I had!  I look forward to improving! The next time I do this workout, I'll do it at least 3 times through.

Pinterest Fitness

There are exactly 30 days left of my 28th year. As I head into year 29, I want to be in the best shape of my life! What better way to do that than to actually do all those exercises I pin on my "Witness My Fitness" board? That is just what I'm going to do! I will test out a Pinterest-inspired workout, nutrition technique, or recipe everyday for the next 30 days and fill you in on the details! On my birthday, June 15th, I will be running my first 10k, so I'll be finishing up a great Pinterest Fitness month with a race! Follow along or join me! On your mark, get set, go!!!