Tag Archives: easy

Workout Wednesday: Don’t Stop Now!

Yes yes, I know, “It’s the holidays, I spend all my time Christmas shopping, I don’t have the energy to think about myself, there’s too much bad food around, blah blah blah.” THERE ARE NO EXCUSES. If you read this blog, you probably interact at least a little bit with other health conscious people and, right now, they’re all giving you some wonderful information. It is possible to still enjoy the food, just load up your plate with vegetables before you add anything else. Plan your gifting so you can knock it all out in one day. Focus on yourself for a half hour a day, that’s all it takes!

I don’t care what life situation you’re in, it is ALWAYS better to care for your own health before that of others. You know in the airplane, how you’re supposed to “secure your own oxygen mask BEFORE assisting others?” I know it’s hard but it makes sense. If you’re unhealthy/can’t breathe, you’re unfit, unenergized, or dead before you can even help one other person.

Good thing I’m here for you huh? Because there are these awesome 12 or 16 minute workouts I talk about a lot. Maybe you’ve heard me once or twice? They’re all you need during the holidays. Just do this a few times a week, load up on those veggies, and TA DA! You emerge in January looking and feeling just as svelte as you did in August.

Today’s workout:

Beginner through intermediate (12 minutes)

– 20 seconds on/ 20 seconds off

– each exercise 3 times in a row

Advanced (16 minutes)

– 30 seconds on/ 10 seconds off

– each exercise 4 times in a row

Exercises:

LowJacks1 LowJacks2

1) Beginner/Intermediate- side to side step/ jumping jacks, Advanced- low jacks

PlieSquat

2) Beginner/Intermediate/Advanced- plie squat

ToeTaps(High)

3) Beginner/Intermediate- floor toe taps, Advanced- high toe taps

GoodMornings(hands behind head, no weight)

4) Beginner/Intermediate/Advanced- good mornings

WindshieldWipers

5) Beginner/Intermediate- bent-leg windshield wipers, Advanced- straight-leg windshield wipers

MountainClimber

6) Beginner/Intermediate/Advanced- mountain climbers

plank

Bonus) Beginner/Intermediate- elbow and knee plank Advanced- hand and toe plank

Let me know how it went!

Ps. We’re getting SO close to the weekend/holiday/sleep in time. Hope you’re all having happy Wednesdays 🙂

 

Workout Wednesday: Do You Brace?

The brace: anyone heard of it? Not like for your teeth or a broken limb, for your abs silly! It’s this position that you should be aware of no matter what type of exercise you do. It strengthens your core, supports your back, AND helps give you that awesome 8-pack you’ve been dreaming of.

Brace: tighten your lower abs. Tighten so you feel like your attaching your abs to your lower back. Now keep your abs there and breathe. This is how you should be exercising. There are exercises where the brace is more important but if you can learn to do this throughout your exercise routine you’ll start to see huge differences. This applies to weight lifting, riding bikes, running, swimming, EVERYTHING!

Finally for today’s workout:

Beginner through intermediate (12 minutes)

– 20 seconds on/ 20 seconds off

– each exercise 3 times in a row

Advanced (16 minutes)

– 30 seconds on/ 10 seconds off

– each exercise 4 times in a row

Exercises:

TriDip

1. Tricep Dip

pendulum-lunge-ex

2. Speed Lunges (hold your feet in place. quickly straight then bend legs into lunge. switch sides half-way through each set)

RussianTwist

3. Russian Twist

ProneTrunkRaises1

4. Swimmers

fire-hydrants-moves-to-tone-your-butt-05-full

5. Fire Hydrant (switch sides half-way through each set)

4-bob-harper-exercise-moves-high-knees-lgn

6. High Knees

Now I have a question for all of you: How many times a week do you workout? Once, Twice, 6 times? And for how long each time?

Hope you’re all having wonderful Wednesdays! 🙂

 

Tasty Tuesday: Guacamole!

Who doesn’t love guacamole? And all you people out there that are shaking their head, “no I hate guacamole, that delicious healthy fat combined with all those savory veggies and awesome spices, I hate it.” Obviously something’s wrong with you. The great thing about making your own dip is that you can take out any flavors you don’t like!

With this batch, I decided to try to add some protein. I put in some black beans and they are so tasty. Definitely be doing that again.

Guac is great to bring to parties with some crackers/chips or to put on top of salads. And it makes taco night SO much better. Plus, it’s so easy! This took me about 20 minutes to make and it will (hopefully with some restraint from Mike) last at least 3 or 4 days.

Easy Black Bean Guacamole

Ingredients

3 ripe avocados

1 small onion, diced

4 cloves garlic, pressed

6 oz salsa or 1 medium tomato, diced

juice from 1/2 lime, 1/2 lemon, OR 1 orange (I didn’t have anything else and it actually worked really well)

1 tsp cumin, to taste

2 tsp sea salt, to taste

1 tsp ground pepper, to taste

dash of chili powder

6 oz black beans

Instructions

photo 1

1. Our avocados were unripe yesterday so I took them out of the fridge and wrapped them in a brown paper bag. For some reason they ripen faster in paper bags. This morning they were perfect.

photo 2

2. Cut avocados in half, take out the pit, and scoop into a large bowl. Add all other ingredients besides black beans. Mash it all up with a fork or masher.

photo 3

3. Stir in beans or other add-ins. Taste test it! Mess with the spices however you see fit. It looks kinda gross but it is OH SO GOOD!

What is your favorite way to eat guacamole?

Hope you’re all having happy days 🙂

Thursday Recipe: Bean Burgers

I’m not a vegetarian but good grass-fed, organic meat is expensive! So I’ve started to explore getting protein in other ways like from beans and other legumes as well as seeds and nuts. I just recently (while I was writing this post) learned that legumes form a fuller protein when eaten with grain so I’m stoked that we ate them like an open-faced sandwich. These were really really good. They were a little crumbly (like most veggie burgers) but great on a half-bun and ever better over a salad the next day. I made a double batch so that’s what we’ll be having tonight for dinner too!

TheRealFoodDiet

I got the base for this recipe from this book. This was a written by a chiropractor at our company and is AMAZING.

Bean Burgers (makes 8 small patties)

Ingredients

2 cups (about 22 oz) Garbanzo Beans (chickpeas)

1 onion

splash of high heat oil (coconut is my favorite)

1/2 cup gluten-free bread crumbs (you can make your own from GF bread or just buy some)

6 cloves garlic, minced or pressed

1 Tbsp rosemary

2 Tbsp Tahini

juice of half a lime or lemon

dash of sea salt and pepper to taste

Instructions

photo 1

1. Thinly slice the onions and saute until soft and beginning to caramelize. Season with salt and pepper, then place in a large mixing bowl.

2. Blend or food process garbanzo beans, tahini, garlic, and lime/lemon juice until smooth. Add to bean mixture.

photo 2

 

photo 3

3. Add all remaining ingredients and combine thoroughly. Use your hands to roll form into balls about the size of a baseball (love using my hands in cooking!). Use a bit of plastic wrap to cleanly and neatly form them into patties.

photo 4

4. Heat a little more oil and cook burgers until heated. Serve on top of half a gluten-free bun topped with dijon mustard and ketchup with a side of steamed veggies or salad.

photo 5

Enjoy!

Does anyone have any big events they need to cook for this month? What do you want me to cook?

 

Workout Wednesday: Feelin’ the Burn Yet?

The workout we did last night, in our class, was very unassuming but JEEZ it was difficult. Getting out of bed this morning was a struggle. I could barely make my legs work! While this feeling really shouldn’t be happening every time you workout, it’s good to get it every once in a while. It means that you’ve found new muscles to work. Start to recognize where you feel the most fatigue after a workout and make sure you start working those areas harder in the future. Muscle fatigue shows you where your weaknesses are.

If these workouts aren’t hard enough for you…First, have you tried them? They may be harder than you think. Second, if they’re truly not hard enough, up the ante. I’m officially in training for bike racing next season so I’ve increased my workouts a bit. I am now doing each exercise 4 times with 30 seconds on/ 10 seconds off. WOWZA. It ends up being 16 minutes long and I am dying by the end of it. Actually threw up in my mouth the last two times I did it. (< gross. But it is weird that I get an odd sense of satisfaction out of this? I am sort of proud that I pushed myself that hard).

Without further ado, here’s the workout!

– 20 seconds on/ 20 seconds off (see above for the advanced version)

– 6 exercises, 3 times each

– PUSH YOURSELF. The effectiveness of this workout depends on your effort.

Side Hops

1. Side-to-side Hop (beginner-step side to side, advanced-jump over an obstacle)

HalfBurpee

2. Half Burpee (beginner-step one foot back at a time, advanced-jump feet between hands)

LegLift

3. Leg lift (beginner-bend one knee at a time into chest, advanced-keep legs straight)

Pike Pushup

4. Pike Pushup (beginner-only bend arms slightly, advanced-touch top of forehead to ground)

OneLegSquat

5. One-leg Squat (beginner-hold onto a chair and bend only slightly, advanced-no chair and bend deeper)

SitAndPray

6. Sit and Pray (beginner– bend knees only slightly, advanced-quads parallel to the ground, elbows between knees)

Anyone who was in my class last night: How did you feel afterwards?

 

Workout Wednesday: Sore Wrist Is No Excuse

I woke up on Sunday morning feeling like I had a helium balloon in my stomach and a woodpecker in my head. Haha. I don’t know. I just didn’t feel great. Also, as mentioned on Thursday’s post, I have a bum wrist and was making that excuses for the last couple days. No more! So before I climbed out of bed, I thought of my six exercises. As soon as I was out of bed, I put on my workout clothes and wandered up stairs to see who in the house would join me.

Mike’s mom, Bonnie, AND his sister, Kristen, did this workout with me. AND I have a brace on my wrist. Just goes to show that there are NO EXCUSES.

Structure:

– 6 exercises

– 20 seconds on/ 20 seconds off

– each exercise 3 times

– total 12 minutes!

– PUSH YOURSELF or it won’t work

Exercises:

^ 1. high knees

^ 2. calf raises

^ 3. crunches

^ 4. plank  < because of my wrist, I did these on elbows and stayed in position through the “20 seconds off” as well.

^ 5. jump lunges

^ 6. low jacks

Let me know how it goes!

And as always, have a happy day 🙂

 

Environmental Saturday: Natural Disinfectant

I have realized that I have a series of “life rules” that I strongly believe in and have already accomplished or am working on implementing into my everyday life. Most of them have to do with what I talk about here: health, wealth, and happiness.

Rule #2 (Rule #1 will be explained at a later date) – remove the toxins from your life. I mean this in an literal physical sense as well as an emotional, perceived sense. But today’s lets talk about how to literally start removing toxins from your life.

One incredibly easy and CHEAP way to do this is by clearing out your cleaning supplies. Get rid of the window cleaner, disinfectant, surface cleaner, etc…and replace it with vinegar and water!

 

This natural disinfectant of 1 part water, 1 part white vinegar functions now as my cleaner for every situation. The only thing it can’t do it the bathtub and toilet (I’m working on something for that). It makes house cleaning much faster and simpler but it’s also very cheap. I grabbed a spray bottle at the hardware store and vinegar at the market and, voile! I have enough cleaner to last me at least a year.

Disclaimer: it does smell a little odd but the smell fades almost immediately. If it really bothers you, stick some lemon/orange rinds in the bottle and placate the odor. Yay!

Ashley Life Update: Last night Mike and I had a “family dinner.” What started as a casual invite to a few people on Monday turned into a full on party of 17ish people. I cooked for everyone and we all hung out and ate and drank for several hours before heading out on the town. I let loose for a much needed night and I wake up feeling a little foggy but so happy. I feel like we’re finally starting to make friends!

Anyway, I hope you’re all having relaxing Saturdays. I’m off to a screening at the super market. Time to help more people get healthy!

Smile 🙂

 

Workout Wednesday

The chiropractor I work for also runs really great exercise and nutrition programs. I get to participate in both of them and, on Wednesdays, I lead an exercise group for some of our patients. I combine the technique and overall structure of our company’s workout routine along with some exercises from my own vault.

The Science:

– This workout is anaerobic, rather than low intensity for a long time it’s high intensity for a short time. This means it’s less about cardio and more about developing muscle. Both aerobic and anaerobic exercise is important but I tend to do much more anaerobic not only because of my time constraints but because of the great results it gives me.

– If you do this short, high intensity work on a regular basis your hormones will gradually start to change and your metabolism will increase.

– The muscle you build will continue to burn fat for up to 36 hours after you end the workout.

– All the exercises use only your bodyweight, no other tools, it’s free and easy to do anywhere in the world at any time! THE WHOLE ROUTINE TAKES 16 MINUTES.

– Because they are bodyweight exercises, they compound many different muscle groups in movements that help improve your every day function.

The Warm Up (2 min, 20 seconds) I will eventually record this and post it:

– Upward dog/cobra (5 seconds) into child’s pose (5 seconds), repeat: For upward dog lay on your stomach with your feet pointed, hands by your shoulders, then try to straighten your arms. For child’s pose, kneel then sit on your heels, let your body fall over your legs and, if you can, put your forehead to the ground. Stretch your arms out on the ground in front of you. For both exercises don’t push to the point of pain, just feel the stretch.

– Quad stretch (10 seconds each side): Stand on one foot and grab the other foot behind your bum. Push your foot against your hand. Switch sides.

– Calf/hamstring stretch (20 seconds): Plant both feet on the ground, hip distance apart, bend at the hips and try to touch the ground or hug your legs. Don’t lock your knees, keep a very slight bend in them.

– Quick twist (20 seconds): Spin at the waist and let your arms fall to either side of your body, then go the other direction.

– Arm circles (20 seconds): Small to big, switch directions after 10 seconds.

– Run in place (20 seconds): Jog to get your heart rate up. Do one leg at a time if it’s too high impact.

– Jumping Jacks (20 seconds): If jumping is too high impact, just step out one leg at a time.

The Workout (12 minutes): set a timer for 20 second intervals (find a timer here). Do the exercise for 20 seconds as fast as you can while keeping the right form, then rest for 20 seconds. Repeat each exercise 3 times.

Remember to breathe. Do it in rhythm with your exercises so you don’t forget. It helps take your mind off the pain too 🙂

1) speed lunges – Get in a lunge position, keep your feet there, and do a controlled bounce for 10 seconds, switch legs.

2) push ups – Keep your back, bum, and legs in one straight line.

3) crunches – Lift your head AND shoulders off the ground. Keep them in a straight line and look up at the ceiling the whole time.

4) side hop – Place a rolled up towel or other obstacle in the middle of the floor and jump over it side to side, do it fast! If it’s too high impact, just step one foot at a time, fast.

5) crab dip – Get on all fours with your belly facing the ceiling  and your hands facing your feet (the crab). Keep your bum as high off the floor as possible. Bend your arms! This works your triceps.

6) speed knees – Run in place, bringing your knees up as high as you can without falling over. If this is too high impact, raise your legs one at a time. Do it fast!

Bonus) plank – Get in a push up position with arms straight and legs, bum, back, and head in a straight line. Hold it for as long as you can.

Cool Down (1 min 40 seconds):

– walk in a big circle to get your heart rate down (40 seconds)

– repeat the first 3 warm up stretches

 

Did anyone try this? Or try to read it? Is it very confusing? I may try to record our whole workout tonight and post it here next week.