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Endurance Training: WIAW!

High-Fives it’s almost the weekend and vacation for me! I’m so looking forward to getting away for a few days with a good friend and my family. I need a break from my everyday routine. The past few weeks have felt like I’ve just been in cruise control doing the same thing day after day. I know I’m not the only one who gets into ruts like this and usually a good way to get out of one is to GET AWAY and enjoy life, clear the mind, and just have some FUN! I think all of these will be accomplished. ๐Ÿ™‚

Let’s talk food and what I typically eat the night before and day of during endurance training. Endurance training for me are runs that are over 35 minutes and bike rides that are over an hour. This is something that I’ve spent most of the summer improving physically, but also have been experimenting with nutritionally. I will dedicate another post that goes into greater depth about eating for endurance training, but I wanted to share with you, what works for me.

Eating and training is all about experimenting. It is about what works for YOU! You have to be willing to try different fruits, nuts, oats, yogurts, smoothies, proteins, that fuel you through time consuming workouts. You should look at this as being fun, because what better way to experiment with delicious and healthy foods to make you perform better! Plus now there are so many great resources, books, recipes, and bloggers to follow and use as support systems and ask advice. My favorite go-to ladies are Lauren Anderson of Newest Obsession and Lindsay Cotter of Cotter Crunch. Reach out to your friends who have knowledge, passion, and want to see you succeed. So so so important!

Below is what I ate before tackling a 1:06 minute run this Wednesday. I felt awesome, fueled, and no soreness or exhaustion. I wanted to go for longer, but I’m waiting for my running belt to come and don’t want to go longer than this without any sort of liquid or gels to keep me fueled. ๐Ÿ™‚ Check my meals out…Lots of bright colors, healthy fats, protein, and delicious eats. My appetite is rocking right now and cannot wait to prepare dinner.

Tuesday Pre-Run Dinner:

  • 1x medium sweet potato (microwave for 5 minutes)
  • 1 c ground turkey with black beans, onion, peppers, taco seasoning (leftovers)
  • 1x small handful cheddar cheese
  • Lots of lettuce & tomatoes
  • Topped with mango salsa

Fuel-Me-Up Breakfast:

Kitchen Sink Lunch:

  • 1 grilled chicken breast
  • 1/4 c chickpeas
  • 1/2 c beets
  • 1/2 red pepper
  • 1x tomato
  • Handful of spinach
  • 1/4 avocado
  • Seasonings, mustard, and some balsamic vinegar

Perfect Green Monster Smoothie:

  • 1 scoop whey protein powder (plain)
  • 1 apple
  • 1/2 c unsweetened almond milk
  • 6 ice cubes + some water
  • 1/4 avocado
  • Handful of spinach
  • Dash of cinnamon

What is the best advice you have received when it comes to intense training? Do you have a favorite “snack or gel” that you carry with you on long training sessions?

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Back and Core Workout

Hello Monday! It’s SPECTACULAR outside today and it’s supposed to be like this all week…I’m planning on doing most of my workouts outdoors! Are you? After being cooped up inside all weekend, get your booties outside and run, walk, hike, bike, or even do a outdoor circuit. ๐Ÿ™‚ Don’t let these last few weeks of summer slip on by!

My Monday workout included a hour run through the woods. A lot of the roads are still closed, so it was just nature, the pavement, and ME. The past week my running has been awesome. The combination of yoga, biking, and strength training has made me feel so strong. Plus, I’ve been making changes to my eating to fuel my increased endurance training and can totally feel a difference. I’m actually considering signing up for a Rock n’ Roll 1/2 Marathon in Miami with my good friend Val.

After my run, I fueled up on this beast of a salad. My Mom had no power yesterday, so while I was at yoga, she cooked dinner and left me a filet with some sauteed onions. I love meat. ๐Ÿ™‚

I have totally gotten side tracked, but the REAL purpose of this post is to share with you a back and core workout that I did last week at the gym. The total time of this workout is about 50-55 minutes. My core was SORE for 2 days. Awesome! Try it out sometime this week and please feel free to e-mail me with any questions. Enjoy!

Perform 3 sets of 15 repetitions of each circuit with a 1-Min rest between each!

  • Lat Pull Down: 1-Wide Grip, 1-Narrow Grip, 1-Reverse Grip
  • Back Extension
  • Bent Over Row with bent elbows
  • Hanging Leg Raise
  • Single Arm Dumbbell Row on Bench
  • Flat Bench Leg Raise
  • Renegade Row
  • Abdominal Crunches on Stability Ball
  • Stability Ball Y Raise
  • Stability Ball T Raise
  • Stability Ball I Raise
  • Side Extension on Stability Ball

Perform Abdominal Circuit Once with a 30 sec rest between each exercise!

  • Side Plank: 1-Minute each side
  • Plank: 1-Minute
  • Bicycle: 30 Seconds
  • Lower Legs: 30 Seconds
  • Russian Twist with Dumbbell: 30 Seconds

What’s your favorite core exercise? Have you planned your workouts for the week?

Enjoy the Day! It’s that Simple!

This morning at Jeff’s class at Powerflow, he asked us to dedicate our practice to something simple. Sometimes easier said then done. But I chose simple and decided to simply “Enjoy the Day”! Mission accomplished! I felt focused, strong, and fearless in today’s class. I decided to push myself just a little bit further in some of the poses that I have been struggling with (forearm balance & handstand scare the heck out of me!) and to remain focused on my breathing. My inversions are making progress and I believe I will tackle these poses when I least expect it…I so desperately want to be able to do forearm balance. As for the breathing, it felt natural, kept me balanced, and allowed me to go much deeper into my poses. Awesome!

Despite the fact that there is a chance my first Century Ride will be postponed this Sunday, because of Hurricane Irene, I still was able to enjoy the day and get through aย  good amount on my never-ending to do list…

  1. Early morning clients = Done
  2. Yoga = Done
  3. Homemade Pumpkin Spiced Almond Butter = Done
  4. 4 mile run = Done
  5. E-Mails = Done
  6. Mexican Salad for Mom and Me = Done
  7. Business Plan = Avoiding this like the plague! DOH!

We all know my obsession with nut butters, so it will not come as a surprise that I finally decided to try making my own. ๐Ÿ™‚ After searching on many blog sites, I finally found one that well, looks heavenly. Thanks to Ashley at the Edible Perspective (which has an abundance of healthy & delicious recipes), I made her Pumpkin Spiced Almond Butter. This was very easy and took me a total time of 1 hour. While the almonds were cooling down, I went for a 4 mile run.ย 

Pumpkin Spiced Almond Butter

  • 2c raw almonds
  • 2T maple syrup
  • 1T maple syrup
  • 1.5T molasses
  • 2t cinnamon
  • 1/4t ginger
  • 1/8t nutmeg
  • 1/2t salt
  • 1 1/2T canola oil
  1. Preheat your oven to 300*
  2. Spread the almonds on parchment, on a baking sheet.
  3. Pour on 2T maple syrup + 1T molasses.ย  Stir.
  4. Roast for 30min, stirring once every 10min.
  5. Take out of the oven and let cool for about 30min.
  6. Dump into your food processor and turn on.
  7. Process + scrape down bowl as needed, until it butterizes. ~15min.ย  [Past the stage where it has formed a large ball of dough]
  8. Add in 1/2T molasses, 1T maple syrup, 1 1/2T oil, all spices and salt.
  9. Process again until smooth consistency is met.ย  ~5-8min.ย  [If you want it even smoother, add another 1/2-1T oil]

I’ve already used a tablespoon of this in my Green Monster Smoothie and I will high-five myself, because it’s that good. Thanks Ashley for this recipe! ๐Ÿ™‚

Make sure to check back on Friday for a 50 minute Back and Core workout. I did this yesterday at the gym and could feel my abdominal muscles during my run. Usually a good sign of a workout for me, when they are sore. I hope you all had a wonderful Hump Day and enjoy the rest of the week!

What is your favorite yoga pose? Why?

Counting Down the Days…

Monday was SPECTACULAR to say the least! After a sticky, humid, pouring down monsoon yesterday, the skies cleared to leave the start of the week with crystal clear skies, no humidity, and “cooler” temperatures. Perfect morning for a run! When you have mornings like this at the end of the summer, you must take advantage of them. I fueled up with a no surprise breakfast favorite:

After inhaling this quite quickly, I laced up my shoes and hit the pavement. I was a little slow in the beginning (to be expected on a Monday morning), but once I got into the groove, I was in the zone. It was one of those runs, that I could have just kept on going and going and going…Yep, it was that good! I controlled myself and ran for 55 minutes and felt great. How could you not want to keep running when you are surrounded by this type of environment…

I love this house! ๐Ÿ™‚

The rest of the day included running errands; putting together workouts for clients; new smoothie recipe:

  • 1 scoop whey unflavored protein
  • 1 T honey
  • 2 T almonds
  • 1 c strawberries
  • 1/2 c unsweetened almond milk
  • Handful of spinach
  • Ice Cubes

Inspired by Outside Magazine

a yoga class; and counting down the days until my first century ride on Sunday! Yes, I’m so so so NERVOUS, but also excited and just ready to do it, experience it, and hopefully finish. ๐Ÿ™‚ This week I’m focusing on my nutrition and making sure I’m properly hydrated and eating enough of all the good stuff. Workouts this week will not be as intense, but I will be incorporating a ride, strength training, and at least 2 yoga classes to stretch out my hamstrings, clear my mind, and calm my nerves. I get nervous for any event I sign up for and I like the nerves, excitement, and the unknown. I’m also excited, because on Monday, after the ride, one of my old clients is going to give me a Free massage! She owns Table for One in Chatham, NJ. High-Fives!

I hope that if you are on the east coast that you took advantage of this lovely day. ๐Ÿ™‚

What is your next event that you’ve signed up for? Do you get nervous? What’s your pre-race meal?

My Newest Obsessions!

“Life is always moving, changing, shifting into its next shape. The movement is natural. It is how we evolve. Let the shifts happen. Take responsibility for yourself each step of the way. Trust the new shape and form of your world.”- Melody Beattie

While I was drinking my first cup of coffee on this Thursday morning, I read this quote and it made me feel at ease. There has been a lot of shifts and change in my life the past month and it has been exciting, scary, but also very rewarding. Some days are easier than others, but in the end I’m happy, healthy, strong, and have an amazing support group from friends, and especially my Mom. Change is good and I couldn’t be more thrilled…More details coming in the next month. ๐Ÿ˜‰

So let’s talk about some new obsessions I have lately! They are 3 totally random things, but I love all 3 of them and have been using them on a consistent basis. And they are all wonderful obsessions…

  1. Teddie’s Peanut Butter: I didn’t think it was possible to become obsessed with a new peanut butter, but it has happened. My wonderful friend Lauren, who I have mentioned multiple times in my blog and also now has her own blog, coincidentally called: Newest Obsession introduced me to Teddie’s. I bought 2 jars a couple of weeks ago and I’m hooked. It is a great price, healthy, and loaded with flavor. I have used it in smoothies, oatmeal, Greek yogurt, and drizzled over berries for a healthy afternoon snack. High-Fives to all of them! Check them out, try them out, and let me know what you think. ๐Ÿ™‚

    Overnight Oats with chia seeds, almond milk, raspberries & blueberries!

    2. Lululemon: I recently bought some new apparel from Luluemon and of course it’s AWESOME. I don’t really need to explain this obsession, because we all know how wonderful their products are. I bought 2x Cool Racerback tops and 1x pair of the Wunder Under Crops. I’ve worn one of the new tops for yoga and for strength training. Both are comfortable, flattering, and lightweight! Heavenly!3. Bumble & Bumble “hair (un) dressing creme”: I love this stuff! During the summer, I am not a fan of styling my hair, because of the heat and humidity. My hair sometimes has a mind of its own and it’s not worth fighting it. So I just let it do it’s own thing, which usually ends up looking like “beach hair”, which I love! This product is perfect for “beach hair”. Work it through damp hair and then apply some more later while hair is completely dry and voila…crazy hair. Great hold that lasts a very long time! What are you currently obsessed with this summer?

“Before…Middle…”

Happy Monday! I hope that everyone had a nice weekend. It’s another rainy day here in NJ, but I’m actually okay with it. It’s a nice break from the heat and sometimes I actually get more done when it’s yucky weather outside. ๐Ÿ™‚ Yesterday I did laundry, brunch with Mom, Petco, Costco, and a wonderful 6:00 PM class at Powerflow. Not too shabby for a Sunday!

With that being said, I wanted to share a “Before, Middle, and After (which will come in a few months)” story with all of you! This is a client of mine (who would like to remain anonymous), who is not only dedicated, hard working, and optimistic, but has become a amazing friend of mine through his weight loss journey. I would train him through on-line workouts. Each week, I would send him 2 circuit training workouts that would range from 1-2 hours (depending on how much time he has that week or day). I would vary the workouts between full body, upper, lower, and core. The best part about training him, is that he was so open minded to anything I would send his way. No complaining!

He shares his story with all of you below. ๐Ÿ™‚

About 2 years ago I took a long hard look at myself and realized I could not keep living the way I was living. I was the heaviest I had ever been in my entire life and I was starting to have some health issues. My blood pressure was going up and I was on the edge of diabetes.

In the words of my doctor, if I didn’t get my weight under control I was going to have much bigger medical problems. I joined a new gym and over the space of a year I lost 45lbs, lowered my blood pressure and radically improved blood chemistry. Eventually I reached a point where I plateaued. From what I have read plateauing is very common when you lose a lot of weight.

Regardless I had been plateaued for a long time with my weight. I have tried all kinds of things to break the plateau and nothing worked. In April of this year I decided to work with Katie and hoped that she could help me.

She spoke with me in depth about what I wanted to achieve, whether I had any medical issues that she should be aware of and anything else that might impede my workouts with her. After talking with her and explaining that I wanted to break my plateau and not get any larger she put together a program for me which consisted of intense circuit training.

In my opinion and depending on your goals (which in my case was to get leaner), women trainers are better than male trainers because they are focused on being “fit” and being lean as opposed to being body builder big. Many men make the mistake of assuming that because a trainer is a woman that she is not capable of getting a man fit. This is a huge mistake. In Katie’s case she is a former college athlete and competes in athletic events such as marathons.ย  She is more than capable of getting ANYONE fit!

My very first session scared me a bit. In the past I have done little to no circuit training so this was all new to me. With her circuit training there are little to no breaks and she will push you very hard at times. This is exactly what I wanted. Katie explained to me what she wanted me to do in detail and said if I have any questions to ask. She emphasized that I should use lighter weight as I am going to be doing a much higher number of repetitions.

For example the first session consisted of 3 rounds of circuits interrupted by cardio sprints. Here was the first session:

15 minute warmup followed by the circuit:

  • Part 1: 4 different exercises with each exercise done for 1 full minute, 6 minutes on the stair master.
  • Part 2: 4 different exercises with each exercise done for 1 full minute, 6 minutes on the stair master.
  • Part 3: 5 different exercises with each exercise done for 1 full minute, 6 minutes on the stair master.

2 minute break, than repeat parts 1-3.

I burned about 1400 calories in the first session. That’s a lot of calories!ย  Each week I did 2 sessions with Katie and the days I wasnt with Katie I worked out by myself doing 45-60 minutes of cardio. After about a month I could actually see my body starting to change. I started to get leaner and more cut.

Since I have started with her I continue to get leaner and the over all shape of my body continues to change. The workouts are never the same but are purposeful and challenging. Her workouts have been a unique combination of circuit weight and cardio training. Katie is the kind of trainer that encourages you to work hard and push yourself to your goals.

There are some interesting side effects, I have some joint problems which are a result of years of abuse. As time went on my joints have actually improved due to the nature of the circuits. You really cant put a price on pain relief with no medication.

I thank Katie for helping to break my plateau and at the same helping me to improve my joints! Fitness is clearly not just a job for her and she is committed to her clients. Working with her has given me insight, motivation and a new body.

-Client name private

Have you ever tried online training? Do you have a personal trainer?

WIAW

How is it almost the third week of August? And where did summer go? I feel like this month has just been slipping through my fingers. I have so many great projects to tackle, events to compete in, and great posts coming this month. I’m not going to lie, but I had serious writer’s block this past week and just wasn’t in the mood to write. But, I’m back with some new recipes, a “before & after”, my training schedule, and a review of my LOVE for Powerflow Yoga studio in Chatham! ๐Ÿ™‚

With that being said, let’s talk about FOOD and what I’ve been eating these days. I’ve been training HARD and my meals have been keeping me fueled and filled. I’ve come SO SO SO far this past year with my eating. One thing I do need to work on…Fueling up for long bike rides. Still trying to tackle this one! Below is what I ate on Wednesday. My workout included a 33 minute run along with a 1 hour of Hot Yoga. Holy hip openers!

Breakfast: Protein Pancake (Inspired by Oxygen Magazine)

  • 4x egg whites
  • 1 scoop Whey Chocolate Protein
  • 1x diced nectarine
  • 1 “heaping” T Crazy Richard’s Crunchy peanut butter
  • 1/2 tbs chia seeds
  • dash of cinnamon

Lunch: “Big Old Salad”

  • Lettuce, tomatoes, red onion, zucchini, cucumber, and mushrooms
  • 4x slices turkey breast
  • 1/4 avocado
  • 1/3 c Cowgirl bean mixture
  • Dressing: Balsamic Vinegar & Mustard
  • 1x T flaxseed
  • Seasoned with oregano, red pepper flakes, and pepper

Snack: Protein Cherry Smoothie

  • 1 scoop Whey Chocolate Protein
  • 1/2 c frozen cherries
  • 1/4 avocado (if you haven’t tried this in your smoothies, you NEED to)
  • 1/2 c unsweetened almond milk
  • 6x ice cubes

Dinner: Salmon Tostada

  • 4 oz grilled salmon
  • Sauteed spinach and red onion
  • fresh mozzarella
  • 1/4 c chickpeas
  • 1x diced tomato
  • 1x Whole Wheat 110 calorie wrap
  • Topped with mango salsa, sour cream, and chives

Tomorrow is my day off from training….High-Fives! Oh how I have come to embrace my days off. They are simply wonderful. ๐Ÿ™‚ With that being said, I hope everyone has a wonderful rest of the week and talk on Friday!

What is your favorite ingredient to put in your smoothies?

Random Stuff…Literally!

Happy Hump Day Everyone! I hope that everyone is having a good week and staying on track with their eating and fitness goals that you have set for yourself. So far, I’ve been sticking to mine and feeling good. The Yoga class & leg workout I did on Monday left me quite sore on Tuesday. Thanks Naomi at One Fit Foodie! I was not only the only female in the “lifting section”, but I was soaking wet with sweat and was getting funny looks from the men. ๐Ÿ™‚ Yes, I’m doing squat jumps and yes my legs look awesome!

I was going to do a post on What I Ate on Wednesday, but I decided to do something different and talk about 3 totally random things that I LOVE.

Green Monster Smoothie: I have made this combination a few times in the past week and I absolutely love it. It’s perfect for these hot, humid summer afternoons, when prepping a scramble or big salad really isn’t going to cool you down. Sweet and crunchy, this smoothie keeps me full for a good solid 3 hours. My combination includes:

  • 1/2 c unsweetened almond milk
  • 1/2 c water
  • 1/4 tsp xanthum gum
  • 1 scoop chocolate whey protein
  • 2 handfuls spinach
  • 3/4 c frozen cherries
  • 3/4 c Nature’s Path Pumpkin Flax Plus Granola

Grocery Shopping: Yes call me weird, but I enjoy going to Costco and loading up on gigantic cartons of blueberries and strawberries, Almond Butter jars, and Greek yogurt! I did end up going to the grocery store yesterday because I was VERY low on vegetables and fruit, so to the store I went. I have noticed a big change in what I purchase at the store these days. A few years ago, I would buy lots of pasta, packaged foods, and lots of fatty meats. But now, after much experimentation, and learning about how to fuel my body, this is what my fridge looks like now:

  • Red Peppers
  • Spinach, Broccoli, Zucchini, Squash, Tomatoes, Lettuce
  • Greek Yogurt
  • Avocados
  • Peaches, Plums, Blueberries, Melon
  • Whole Wheat Tortillas
  • Greek yogurt
  • Almond Butter, Limes, Lemon, Salsa (on the side of the door)

Leg Workouts: I don’t know what the deal is, but lately I cannot get enough with lifting legs. I’m actually craving it. HA! Maybe it’s my body telling me that you better have strong legs for that 100 mile bike ride you’ll be doing. My body as usual is probably right. Lately I’ve been incorporating a lot more plyometric movements (even though I hate them), I like how they get my HR up, they scorch calories, and they tone the entire core. I find these two supersets to be the most challenging:

  • 1-Arm Kettlebell Swings (15 on each arms)
  • 1-Minute Squats (Bodyweight)
  • Step-Ups with Dumbbells (15 each leg)
  • Mountain Climbers (60)

And of course yoga, helps with the stretching and toning. Now that I’ve recommitted myself to yoga this month, I love the way it has been stretching my hamstrings and opening my hips and shoulders. This is usually the places where I am the most tight and will carry my stress. So is yoga 3 times a week helping…YES!


What are your 3 favorite things this summer?

Workout Schedule: First Week of August

I cannot believe that it is already August! This summer is flying by WAY too quickly for me. As I was looking over my calendar, I realized that I have set a lot of challenges for myself this month and hoping that I can accomplish all of them. It’s going to be a busy month, but a good one both physically, nutritionally, and mentally. Here are my top 3 challenges for the month of August:

  • Gran Fondo Bike Ride: August 28th. This is going to be my first Century Ride and I’m nervous! Not really sure what I’ve gotten myself into, so this to say the least should be the biggest challenge of the month! ๐Ÿ™‚
  • Powerflow Yoga Studio: After a 3 month break from yoga, I recently signed up at my favorite yoga studio in NJ for an unlimited pass for the month of August. I want to go 3 times a week for the month and hope this will help with my cycling.
  • Summer Recipes: To cook a new recipe for my Mom once a week. It’s a simple challenge that I’m excited to do, because what better way to thank Mom! Last week I made delicious stuffed Greek turkey burgers and I got the seal of approval. Mom’s always the most honest critic.

So as I sat in front of my computer, writing out my long list of things that I need to do, while eating this delicious breakfast…I figured let’s tackle a easy “To Do” list:

My Workout Schedule. I like to plan this ahead of time. I look forward to it and it allows me to think of new workouts, running and bike routes, and no excuses to not workout. ๐Ÿ˜‰ So here is what the schedule looks like:

  • Sunday: 2 Hour Bike Ride: DONE
  • Monday: Morning Yoga: DONE/Strength Training
  • Tuesday: OFF…YES
  • Wednesday: Morning Yoga/Strength Training
  • Thursday: Bike Ride
  • Friday: Run/Strength Training
  • Saturday: Morning Yoga
  • Sunday: OFF

“Learn to find places of healing. Learn to find people, places, events, and rituals that work for you. Don’t worry about how to find them or wait for someone to point them out. They’ll call to you, or you’ll call them into your life” -Melody Beattie

What’s your workout schedule look like this week? Do you plan your workout schedule for the week or just decided the day of?