Monday, January 31, 2011

My January Fav's!

Hello Loves!

It was a blustery, cold day in Kansas, but we still didn't get as much snow as predicted (thank goodness!). Of course, we're still in a winter weather watch until Wednesday at noon, so who knows what we'll get!

After my gluttonous Sunday, I was ready to get back to eating healthy and working out! I started off my day with a new breakfast recipe! Biochemista's protein cupcake:

 The "icing" was 1/4 cup of Greek yogurt (I used Weight Watchers plain fat free) with 1 T of PB2, sea salt and splenda. It was actually pretty good! It was really "spongy" but not in a bad way. I thought about the texture all day and couldn't put my finger on it, but now I know: Circus Peanuts! Remember those orange candy-things??? That's the consistency! 5 PointsPlus

Lunch was super delectable!

 A light Flatout wrap with light tomato herb Laughing Cow cheese, hummus, red and yellow peppers, balsamic vinegar and spinach. REALLY DELICIOUS! 4 Pointsplus. I added a bag of low fat popcorn for 2 points and it was a yummy and healthy lunch!


Following in the foot steps of a few of my favorite bloggers, I thought I would put a list together of my favorite January things, since today IS the last day of January (is Spring here yet?) In no particular order....

My Zumba Finger Gloves
My favorite (and only!) bro got these for me for my birthday and I wear them all the time!! They are too darn cute in orange and pink and have cute "flaps" for my fingers, or I can go fingerless! I wear these to the gym everyday. Before I would have to wear my good black, leather gloves and they just didn't go with my gym I'm stylin'! Thanks, bro!

Soup, soup, soup....I don't care what kinda, I just want SOUP when it's cold! Heck, I want soup when it's 110 degrees, also! I find it super filling and satisfying! V8 soup's are probably my fav! I always eat the whole box in one sitting (supposedly 2 servings but who's counting?) and it has 2 servings of veggies in 1 box-can't beat that!

Apricot Scrub
This is the cheap-o version of St. Ives, but it does the trick! The beginning of January I was noticing my face flaking skin and getting super dry. I tried to use a face mask and scrub hard with my regular cleanser-it wasn't doing anything for my flakiness. So I got this scrub and use it every other day and it's been a GOD SEND! Seriously! After about two uses there was no dry skin at all! I'll be using this all winter!

Sims 2 on PSP
My poor old roommate Jessica knows this all to well....I love the Sims! Some may say I'm addicted! I would say I've changed my ways...but then I discovered Sims 2 on PSP (which my husband owns-a handheld PlayStation) and now I might get addicted all over again;) Except, the Sims on PSP is sooo much different than the computer game that I'm used to, so we'll see how it goes. I'm pretty much a purist when it comes to the Sims!

So there you have it! My January Fav's! What are some new discoveries and fav's of yours during January?

Desserted Tip of the Day: Did you know a pound of muscle DOES NOT weigh more than a pound of fat (they are both a pound!:) But a pound of fat takes up about twice as much room as a pound of muscle, that's why it's SO IMPORTANT to gain lean muscle mass-which means doing some weightlifting! Try this workout for beginners!

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Cause and Effect

Hey Friends!

KU winning the Sunflower Showdown turned into this....

Having a Tastefully Simple party Friday and keeping the leftovers + a Sunday with nothing to do and recovering from KU's win turned into this....

Add in a NCIS marathon + a not-feeling-so-great hubby and sis-in-law with nothing to do = A GREAT SUNDAY lounging around the house!
It was a great mental health day.....not so much a great physical health day!

Back at it on Monday, friends! Happy Sunday to you all!

Saturday, January 29, 2011


Hey Folks!

Yesterday was a glorious day in Kansas: mid-50's and sunny! I also hosted a Tastefully Simple party and stuffed myself with tasty appetizers (my favorite meal!). This morning I made a kickboxing class and then I was off for some volunteering!

In Beloit, I am the president of the Cassiopeia Club, a women's only social philanthropic organization. We do fundraisers throughout the year to raise money for various clubs, but we've never really "rolled up our sleeves" to help out in the community, and that was a goal of the officers this year.

Enter Perdue House:

This big, old, beautiful house has been sitting empty for almost 40 years and it's located right beside the hospital. We have a hospital foundation that raises money for various things the hospital does. The foundation bought this house with the idea of grants and the community to help fix it up so they could move their office into it, but also have 3 rooms available for out-of-town family to people who have to stay in the hospital. Great idea, right? Well, it's very old....and out dated! The Foundation recently invited the community to help with two different wall-paper-take-down days, and today was one of them! Cassiopeia, along with other various volunteers and organizations in town, were there to help!

I've never taken down wallpaper before. And boy, did the owner's of this house ever wallpaper this house TO DEATH! Layers after layers, plus some paint, and then MORE LAYERS of wallpaper were plastered onto every room in this house! BUT, it was actually a neat experience! I got to hang out in this neat, old house's kitchen with some friends and we chatted and overworked our right shoulders!

This is the wall I worked on for 2 HOURS! It was finally complete by the time I went home!

It was really interesting to explore this big house! You can definitely tell where the servant quarters were (a secret passage way from the back of the kitchen up to a very tiny room). Some other notable rooms:

One of the rooms upstairs that will be converted for hospital patient's out-of-town family to stay.

The gorgeous staircase leading upstairs!

My question to you is: Do you volunteer? If so, what have you done? If not, why don't you?

I'm am by no means a regular volunteer! In fact, I rarely do it. I do try to go to fundraisers to raise money for various causes, but after today, it made me think-Why don't I volunteer more often?

I have some theories on this:
*I'm not much of a "get dirty" type of person. I'm so ashamed, but I'm a little more prissy than I am from about 15 years ago when I used to camp and shoot muzzleloaders with my Dad. I definitely like to be clean and pretty;) I will get dirty if I have to though...I just take a shower immediately afterwards:)
*I'm not passionate about the project. This is something I don't like about myself, but I'm not passionate about a lot of things. So to take up my precious time that I could be spending doing something I enjoy takes a lot!
*Am I really making a difference? A "thanks" goes a long ways! I want to feel appreciated for the work I'm putting into it, so if there are 50 people helping, am I going to get lost in the shuffle? Or am I gonna know what the heck I'm supposed to do? (This did NOT happen today! We were very much thanked!)

What I learned from my volunteering today:
*It doesn't take that much time. Even though the wallpaper event was all day, I broke up Cassiopeia member's efforts into 2 hour increments, so we didn't have to spend the whole day away from our families and precious Saturday's to do this event. However, the organizer of the volunteers was more than thankful for any help we could bring. So even though we only stayed in 2 hours increments, she thanked us tremendously for the help!
*It makes you feel good! The hospital foundation doesn't have the funds to fix up this outdated house, but it is going to be a huge asset to the community. Plus, it's great the community gets to keep this historic house and put it to use! So to help out the community by just spending a few hours taking down some wallpaper makes you feel all warm and gushy inside!
*It was kinda fun! I like to think that I could make anything fun, but in this case we had friends working side-by-side to make this house better! We chatted and laughed and caught up on our lives! Plus, you can always learn a few new things about the skills of taking down wallpaper! (HINT: Don't put up wallpaper!)

Overall, I'm really glad our club could help out this great cause! What keeps you from volunteering? What have you learned from volunteering?


In other news....It's the Sunflower Showdown (KU vs. K-State in basketball) today, peeps!

Rock Chalk, Jayhawks!


Desserted Tip of the Day: Do you eat enough fruits and veggies? It's amazing what they can do to fill you up, give you energy and prevent you from eating the other junky junk you crave! Try getting 5 total, and then eventually 5 veggies and 3 fruits. Plus, it will make you look purty;)

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Fab Thursday Eats

Hola, Chickas!

Happy Thursday! I had some fab meals and a FAB workout so all-in-all, it was a FaBoosh Thursday;)

First, the meals:

Ok, this doesn't look like fact, it might conjure up bad thoughts of baby diapers and such...but once you put it in your mouth, you will jump with joy and sing a happy song! SERIOUSLY!!:)

This is a Hungry Girl recipe that I have adapted to make EVEN BETTER!

Choco-Nutty Oatmeal
1/3 c. of regular oats (not instant)
1 packets (or 2 T.) diet hot cocoa mix (around 25 calories)
2 T. PB2 (dry)
Cinnamon, Splenda and salt to taste

Mix cocoa mix, cinnamon, splenda and salt in a bowl with 1/3 c. of hot water. Stir to dissolve. Add a 1/3 c. of cold water. (Use a 1/4 c of each of these water measurements if you like a dryer, chunkier oatmeal). Stir in PB2 (you can use regular peanut butter for more calories/points). Stir in oatmeal. Nuke for 2 1/2 minutes.
You can even add a 1/2 of a banana in this recipe for some more nutrients (or omit the PB for the banana, but who wants to do that!?!?!). 5 PointsPlus

This is like dessert for breakfast! In fact, sometimes I make it in the evening after my dinner FOR dessert! Yummers! Let me know if you make it and like it as much as I do:)

 I had a work lunch today with no control on the menu, which happened to be spaghetti and salad. I like to save as many points as I can for those meals where I don't know what will be served. So, for dinner I had this small, delish salad!
2 Handfuls of spinach
1 Morningstar Chicken Patty
1/4 c. low fat (not fat free!) shredded cheese
squirt of mustard and ketchup.
6 PointsPlus

If you've never had a burger-type salad, you seriously need to try one! All you need for a dressing is what you would put on a burger-mustard, mayo, ketchup-whatever! It doesn't sound great, but is actually really good!

For Dessert:

I just had 1 point left so I had a BIG apple sprinkled with cinnamon and some PB2 mixed with water for dipping. The apple was dripping with natural juiciness, the cinnamon gave it a satisfying heartiness and warmth to it, and the PB on the side was just plain fun and decadent tasting (although PB2 is only 1 point!!) Surprisingly yummy and satisfying dessert!

Now the workout:

A HARD Zumba tonight!

My hair ends were literally dripping sweat on the floor making my shoes slick and squeaky! I don't know what the deal was tonight, but I was sweating up EVEN MORE of a storm than I usually do!

My Zumba participants tonight (who so graciously posed for a sweaty pic!): Becky and Vanessa!
Becky and Vanessa are regulars at all of my classes and I appreciate them so much! They are both hard-core girls who LOVE to sweat-even though they look too cute in this pic!
Thanks for the pic, gals;)

In other news, my sis-in-law, Lyda, (B's sister) is moving to town tomorrow! She'll be living just a few blocks away! She's only 1 year younger than me and we're really alike in so many ways! Funny, my husband is very similar to my brother too-I think we are both sick in the head!;)

Welcome, Lyda!

Desserted Tip of the Day: A personal rest day is just as important as a workout day! Your body needs to take a break every once in well as your mind and soul! When you take a rest day, really rest! Read a book; take a nap; soak in the tub; bake some low-fat, fruity, non-chocolate, soy cookies (That's what I do and then make my husband eat them:) Then the next day-GET AFTER IT IN THE GYM!

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Sweet Potato Review

Hello All!

Today was a Tuesday. You know what's special about Tuesdays? Not a whole lot unfotunately....except I did have my fabulous Interval Extreme class! (It sounds hard with that "extreme" in it, doesn't it;) I had a great class tonight with about 10 people! I asked them if they wanted to participate in my "Sweaty Pic of the Day" on my blog-all of them declined....except VANESSA!

I look downright nasty compared to her! She did just say she wiped her sweat away-but I think she's this gorgeous all the time;) Thanks for braving my blog, Vanessa! Keep your sweaty pics coming! There is a prize to a random sweaty pic person! And here's a hint-it's colorful and you can wear it! More coming soon...

As I told you on my last post, I was getting ready to make sweet potato breakfast pudding from Tina's recipe over at Carrot 'n' Cakes. Verdict? Ho hum...I do think it would be great with a few tweaks though.
*Make sure you cook your sweet potato very well! I cooked mine "good enough" but it needs to be really soft!
*Add a little more milk than it calls for.
*Add more maple syrup or honey than it calls for.
*Get creative with toppings! I put chia seeds on mine but marshmallow fluff (not that I'm condoning that for breakfast!), walnuts/pecans, chocolate chips, baked apples-would all be divine!

Not the most appetizing of meals....maybe I shouldn't have picked a yellow bowl for a yellow food? Hmmmm.....

The recipe is a tad more time consuming than I would like for breakfast, but I made mine the night before and just popped it in the oven while I was getting ready. It really was perfect timing!

Overall, I would give this another shot with my various tweaks. If you try it, let me know! It is a very BIG, filling and healthy meal! 8 PointsPlus.

I'm getting ready to go to my husband's basketball game that he coaches-GO TROJANS! Yes, our town's high school mascot is the trojans.....

Desserted Tip of the Day: Is a quote! From the lovely Zuzana at "If you get tired of starting over again, don't quit!"

Monday, January 24, 2011

I want to see you SWEATY!

Hello Cuties!

I hope you all have enjoyed the Beginner's Strength Workout. Even if you aren't a beginner, I hope some moves are valuable and maybe you can pass it on to someone you know who might want/need it. Plus, some of those exercises would be great to do while standing in the kitchen stirring a pot of tomato sauce-beginner or not;) Please keep your comments coming-whether you want another one-maybe harder, or just some more beginner's moves? Or maybe you didn't like it? All comments are welcomed and appreciated;)

This evening I went to my friend Jen's Zumba class! It's so much fun to go to another instructor's class! You can get pointers and it's interesting how THEY conduct their class compared to your own. In this case, Jen is a dancer so her moves were precise and clean and she gave GREAT non-verbal cues (something I need to work on!). Thanks for the great class, Jen!

I talked her into being in my sweaty pic after the workout!
Did I mention she's preggers-with TWINS! And she's rockin' it with Zumba still! Way to go, Jen!

A close up of my sweaty pic of the day after Zumba!

I would LOVE to see your sweaty pic after a great workout! Let's start a movement! Send YOUR sweaty pic to me at and I'll post it on my site! Just let me know your name, where you are from, and what you did to get sweaty! Let's see how many hard rockin' exercisers are out there and let's be proud of our SWEAT! There might even be a PRIZE in it for you;) Details later..

Today's blog is going to be short and sweet because I'm getting ready to make sweet potato breakfast pudding for tomorrow morning from the lovely Tina at Carrots n Cake! I'll let you know how it turns out;)

Desserted Tip of the Day: Working out with a buddy keeps you motivated and accountable! I have a few friends who push me to do my best! Plus, if you make plans with them to work out, you can't let them down by not showing up;) Find a friend to motivate, support and make progress with through your healthy lifestyle journey! Thanks Sarah and my Mom (my healthy meal and Weight Watcher buddies) and Vanessa (my favorite workout buddy)!

Sunday, January 23, 2011

The Beginner's Strength Workout

Hey there friends!

Today I'm bringing you a beginner's strength workout. A workout for those of you who may not be doing any type of weight or weight-free strength workouts currently but are getting in some cardio (walking, cardio DVDs, etc). The best part is, you can do at home with no special equipment at all-plus, it's only 10 minutes!

I'm bringing you this with the hopes that at least a few people who aren't doing strength training will start! I whole-heartedly believe that this is the best type of workout for ANY BODY! I feel strong, energized, excited and bad-ass after I work my muscles! I hope you get the same sense of "I'm a rock star!" as I do:)

I would do this at least twice a week, but optimally three times a week. Start with this short workout (10 minutes) before you do your usual cardio. Why? You need to do any type of strength exercises before cardio for the shear fact that cardio wears you out and you can't give your muscles your all after they are tired.

Here are the exercises and how to do them:
Arm Circles
-Stand shoulder width apart, abs in and tight
-Outstretch your arms with a slight bend in the elbow, fingers pointing up. Start circling (medium sized) 10 reps forward, 10 reps back

Push Ups
(Shoulders, biceps, abs)
-Hands directly below shoulders, knees on the mat, butt and abs tucked in
(from the head to the knees should be a straight line)
Bend elbows and flair them out while your body goes down. Make sure to keep that butt down!

Squat and Toe Lift
(Butt, thighs, hamstrings and calves)
-Start with feet shoulder width apart.
-Drop your booty back like you are sitting in a chair (pictured above)
-Thighs should almost be parallel with the floor. Knees should not be over toes, but directly above the ankle. -Keep your core tight!
Stand up and lift your feet off the floor onto your toes.

Tricep Dip
(Triceps, butt, abs, thighs)
Start in a crab-like position: butt up, fingers facing the wall in front of you, core tight, up on your heels.
Drop your booty slightly forward (don't touch the ground), elbows bend straight back (no chicken wings!) and then power up to the starting position.

(Full body exercise)
Lie down on your stomach, feet shoulder width apart. Come up with your elbows directly below your shoulders (shown above). Your whole body should be a straight line
(don't bring your butt up or have it sink down)
If this is too hard for you, start with a beginner's plank. Do instructions above, but drop one knee, still keeping the body in a straight line.

Beginner's Strength Workout
Remember to consult a physician before doing this or any other workout. I am not a certified personal trainer.
Equipment needed: yoga mat, stop watch or watch

Arm Circles: 10 circles forward, 10 circles back
Take a 10 second break and do this again
Push Ups: I find that everyone is on a different playing field with these, so the easiest way to push yourself is to look at a watch or get a stop watch and time yourself for 30 seconds. Do as many as you can for 30 seconds-take as many breaks as you'd like, but keep going until that time is up!
Squat and Toe Lift: Do 10 good squat and lifts (thighs almost parallel to the ground). Take a 10 second rest and do 10 more.
Tricep Dip: Do 10 reps
Plank: Again, watch a clock or get a stop watch and hold a plank for 15 seconds, small 10 second break, and hold for another 15 seconds.

Repeat this series three times for a quick ten minute strength workout! For more of an intermediate workout, add 1 to 3 pound weights (or hold two soup cans!) for the arm circles and add 10 seconds or 5 reps for all of the other workous.

-Write down all of your reps. If after a couple of weeks this starts to feel too easy, push yourself to go past your best. You won't know what your best is unless you write it down!
-Start and end with a good stretch. Focus on the body parts that we are working here. Even a quick walk around the block would be a great warm up!
-Add some music or watch your favorite TV show. This will make the time fly by and will make it more enjoyable!

I hope this is a doable task for those of you not doing any type of strength training right now. I really believe that you'll be able to tell a difference in at least your attitude and if not your body just after a few weeks! I truly believe it is one of the most beneficial types of workouts you can do for your body! And ten minutes is all you need:)

For those of you that do strength training on a regular basis: What tips or exercises would you suggest for a beginner? Would you add anything to this beginner's workout?

Please let me know if you like this! If so, I will start doing this more often. I'll even do some for you expert exercisers out there! Leave a comment below!

Desserted Tip of the Day: Is your cardio workout routine getting a little too easy? Try adding some resistance to your workouts by holding small weights (1 or 2 pounds), ankle/wrist weights or just holding soup cans or water bottles. I think you'll really be able to tell a difference! Challenge yourself to be the best you can be!

Saturday, January 22, 2011

It's Ladies Night!

Hello Peeps!

"Oh yes it's Ladies Night, and the feeling's right, Oh yes it's Ladies Night-OH WHAT A NIGHT!"

Wow, that was corny....

Last night (Friday) was Ladies Night! Me and three friends were at the bar one night and decided we needed to do more women only kind of nights! We all love our partners, but come on, sometimes you just need a ladies-on-the-town kinda night! So we decided to start up our own little bunco league.

Have you heard of Bunco before?

I sure didn't until I moved to Beloit, Kansas! It's basically a no-skills-involved dice game: perfect for a few very competitive type girls in the group (like me!) Our first monthly bunco was last night and it was soooo perfect!

January "New Years" Themed Bunco

Amy and me
I'm obviously very excited for this picture!

Leanne and me

Most wins and most loses-Cierra and me!

The 4 "winners" of the night: Me-most loses, Pepper-most Buncos, Cierra-most wins, Vanessa won traveling

Later at the bar a few of us took Wedding Cake shots, and surprisingly, it tasted just like wedding cake-DELISH!
Cierra, Vanessa, Amy, myself

I truly believe that having a girl's night is good for the soul-and a relationship if you are in one! I know it's sooo easy to get in a comfortable rut of coming home from work, getting in some stretchy pants and vegging on the couch with a movie and your fam-but at least once a month a good "fun cleansing" is in order! No family-just good same-sex friends! This is for guys, too! I feel so ....... satisfied, energized, HAPPY today after hanging with my girls! Thanks for a great night ladies!

Do you take a time out from your family for your friends? If so, whats the last thing you did? If not, why aren't you?

Another thing warmed my heart last night. After all of the girls arrived I announced if anyone doesn't want to be featured on my blog since I would be taking pics all night and no doubt, some would end up on my lil' slice of the Internet! Everyone blew up with excitement and gave me all sorts of encouragement about my blog! Since I started my blog about 3 or 4 weeks ago, I wasn't for sure if anyone was reading it or if anyone was even enjoying it? I second guessed myself: Do I give good advice? Is it interesting enough? Is anyone reading it regularly? I had several ladies give me compliments on my pictures (although they are in no way professional!), and several said they read it everyday!

I want to give a BIG shout-out to those who follow me religiously or just happen to stop by every once in awhile! I truly appreciate you being a part of my life! I love hearing from you so please leave a comment if you like! We can all learn from each other-I don't have to be the only one who shares;)

Shout out time! Who do you want to thank in a shout out?

Desserted Tip of the Day: It's so important to exercise and eat right, but please remember to never turn down an opportunity for fun! You always need to take time for ..... memories: My friend Nabil and I's favorite catch phrase! You won't remember that workout in a year, but I bet you remember a night out with friends! Don't miss out!

Beginners Lifting Workout is coming soon! No equipment needed!

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Burritos and Bands

Hey Friends!

Wow-it's been awhile! I'd like to say that I've been busy with something REALLY productive, but alas, Biggest Loser and American Idol have sucked me into their time-consuming webs! Two hours for a show-really?!?! I like watching some TV-but 2 hours a night is asking a little much! Plus, AI is on twice in one week-goodness! I feel some laziness coming in my future:)

I've been eating some really delicious and creative meals this week. That's something I'm so thankful for for this blog because it really forces me to get out of my comfortable meal box and try new things! I love it! Unfortunately, I think if I blogged about all of the delicious eats right now, it might take awhile! So here is a noteworthy lunch I had today (and to be honest, yesterday too! It's that good, folks!) plus a little fast meal tip!

Introducing the egg, bean and tomato burrito!

This thing is super big and filling! Let's get down to it!

1 can of drained and rinsed black beans
1 can of crushed tomatoes
Add ins: garlic, green peppers, onions, seasoning salt, etc
This base can be made on a Sunday and can be used for 4 meals throughout the week: salads, burritos, omelets, pitas-it's delish! 3 PointsPlus

1/4 of the bean/tomato base
1/2 cup of Egg Beaters
1 Light Laughing Cow cheese wedge
1 Light Flat Out Wrap
fat free sour cream, salsa, hot sauce

Start with cooking your egg beaters in a frying pan with a little bit of Pam or similar spray. When it's almost done, add in the bean/tomato base. While this is mixing and warming up, slather the cheese wedge on your wrap. Warm it in the microwave for about 30 seconds. Add the bean/tomato/egg mix on the wrap. Wrap up and plop some sour cream, salsa and hot sauce! Super filling and easy!

Whole Burrito: 7 PointsPlus


Me=Drowned Rat. After Zumba I was a sweaty mess tonight! I can't believe I'm showing this picture:)

As you can see in my picture, I'm wearing a head band. But not just any ole' band-it's a Sweaty Band! Have you heard of these, friends? I'm lucky in that the local clothing store in my lil' town sells these! I've been eyeing them for awhile and just recently purchased one-pretty pink! I'm going through an awkward short hair phase and need all the help I can get;)

Here's my review on Sweaty Bands:

-They are TIGHT! They don't feel too bad when they are on, but getting them on is a chore-your hair will get ruined!
-They run about $15 for thin bands (which I have) and $17 for thick bands. That can be a bit much...BUT

-They didn't ONCE move, budge, slip, slide at ALL during my hour Zumba tonight! Zumba is all over the place crazy and I've never experienced a band that didn't slip! It was so nice to focus on my workout instead of my dang hair!
-They come in soooo many different colors and styles! All are very cute! You could have one for each outfit
-They are for fashion too! You could easily mix these with your everyday outfits!

Overall, I would definitely recommend these! Check out their Web site or if you're in Beloit, Kansas-let me know and I'll hook a sista up:)

Have you tried Sweaty Bands? What is your review on them? Do you have a favorite workout brand or article of clothes to recommend when you workout?

Desserted Tip of the Day: Have you tried lifting weights, or resistance training? If you are stuck at a plateau, I challenge you to start pushing those muscles in a different way! If your workout is based on cardio alone, you are at risk of becoming "skinny fat": small but no muscle definition! I'll be back soon with a starter resistance workout that you can do at home!

Monday, January 17, 2011

My Home Gym

Hey Everybody!

It's a's a very busy Monday which included two meetings after work that lasted until 7:30! Way to start of the week!

This morning I tried a new breakfast: Chocolate Pumpkin Overnight Oats! If you haven't heard or tried overnight oats, they aren't for everyone. All of the foodie/heath blogs I read have some sort of variation of them. The thing is, you usually eat them cold-so again, it's not for everyone!

This overnight oatmeal has:
1/2 cup of oatmeal
1 cup of skim milk (or light vanilla soy milk-even chocolate milk would be yummy!)
1/2 cup of pumpkin puree
1 T. of unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 t. of vanilla extract
1/2 t. of cinnamon
splash of ginger and nutmeg
6 PointsPlus

Mix all of these ingredients together, cover with plastic wrap, and put in fridge overnight. The oatmeal will get soft and the flavors will intensify for a yummy morning treat! I put mine in the microwave for about a minute to take the chill off. I topped mine with some Splenda. Great with a chopped up banana or some PB for more toppings!

I also had a quick and easy taco salad for lunch that I mentioned the other day on my blog:


Over the years, I have saved up some exercise equipment which has become my "home gym." These are my go-to items that can give me a quick and effective workout. Here are a few items I have, how I use them, and what I wish I had!

1. Dumbbells: Dumbbells are a vital part to any home gym. They're incredibly versatile and can be used for resistance when exercises start getting a little easy for you. The black dumbbells above I bought to do P90X. They go from 5, 15 and 20 pounds (I wish it had a 10 pound setting). I also have the blue 5 pound weights with handles. The handles are nice for when you add weights to some light cardio-easier grip with no chance of them shooting across the room! If you are starting a home gym, I would start with 3 and 5 pounders if you are a beginner and 5, 8 and/or 10 pounders if you are more experienced.

2. Ankle and Wrist Weights:  These are extremely helpful and beneficial to walkers! My mom happens to be a walker for many years. I let her borrow my ankle weights and she can tell a huge difference in her half-hour walks now. A little resistance is all you need! I use my wrist weights for some kickboxing routines I do and it adds so much to my jab! I would recommend these to walkers especially!

3. Bands: I also bought these for P90X, although they weren't totally necessary to the program (which I didn't find out until AFTER I bought them;) They are EXCELLENT for starting on pull ups. In P90X you do A LOT of pull ups! So I would connect these to my pull up bar, kneel down a few feet away, and pull the band to my chest to stimulate a pull up. They worked like a charm and I could really feel the burn in my back! But it doesn't stop at pull ups-these can be a cheaper alternative to dumbbells. Almost all dumbbell exercises can be simulated with a band. If you are short on cash, go with the band! Bands come in easy, medium and hard resistance: please use your discretion in choosing one according to your current fitness level. I bought a 3 pack with all resistances, but I only use the hard one.

4. Pull up bar: I couldn't do a pull up before P90X....and I still can't....but I'm closer! Everyone hates pull ups-they are one of the toughest exercises out there-especially for women! But after P90X, I can honestly say that this is one of the best exercises to do (along with push ups)! Seriously! I currently have a chair below me and put one foot on it to pull myself up. The biggest change in my body from P90X was my back-and everyone wants a sexy back! I would recommend a pull up bar for EVERYONE, whether you can do one or not, it's something you can continuously work on and get better at!

5. Workout Ball: I can honestly say I don't use this a lot at my home. I do use it at the gym a lot though! There are so many exercises that can be done on this ball, and for the price, it's almost a shame to NOT have one! Just Google "exercises on workout ball" and you'll get a gillion ideas!

6. Yoga Mat: And last but not least, a yoga mat! This is super important to any home gym! This will protect your knees and hands, and (in my case) catch all that sweaty sweat rollin' off yo face!

And the one item I wish I had:

A dip bar!

Do you have a "home gym?" What items are "must haves?" What do you wish you had to add to your home gym?

Desserted Tip of the Day: Get inspiration from fitness magazines (like Self, my favorite), blogs (like this one:), workout forums (like groups), books (like Eat, Pray, Love by Geneen Roth), TV (like Biggest Loser), your local gym (a personal trainer or group fitness instructor) and inspirational friends and family! They can all help you on your weight loss journey, fitness goals or health destinations! Don't be afraid to ask for help!

Sunday, January 16, 2011

80's Party and Painting: A Picture Blog

Hey Folks!

We had a BLAST at the 80's party last night! With my high feathered hair and shoulder-padded sports coat, I danced the night away to an 80's cover band! Love that!

We also spent ALL day today finishing up our painting and cleaning our incredibly dirty house! With those two events in mind, I thought I would just do a picture blog today to really give you a feel of what has been going on in my life the last week or so!

80's Party

B is going for the tennis country club look and I'm the "working girl" look.

A couple of our friends with B and I.

A close-up of my 80's slicked back side and puffy top hair! I can't even remember the last time I had to break out a curling iron!

A better look at B's full outfit! He had to hike up his shorts which gave him a perma-wedgie-CLASSIC!

Painting DONE!

Ok, this isn't a painting photo, but a photo to show you a before look of our walls/house before we painted. The wall color was called "Diverse Beige." I'm playing a game here at our Ugly Christmas Sweater party-ignore me:)

And after: We went with "Greek Column" for the color-a light gray. We also added some slight texturing to the walls, which you can't really see.

A look at the whole living room, including our fireplace we painted!

A look at the hallway you saw above (in between the TV and fish tank). We painted all the wood work white as well. We think we're going to purchase new windows so we didn't paint those.

This is our accent wall in the dining room, which is connected to the living room. It's about two shades darker than the Green Column, and it's called "Flannel Shirt." Don't you love paint color names!?!?!

A close-up of the accent walls texture. The texture is called carmel apple; it's just swirls. B talked me into this crazy accent wall and I wasn't too sure on it, but now I'm so happy we did it! It's super inviting and fun! It looks yummy! We have some fun ideas for what to put on this wall! More on that later!

Now our home is clean, no plastic sitting everywhere with paint brushes and paint sticks you have to walk over! What a relief! There are still a few touchup spots we need to go over and I'm putting one more coat on the down stairs hallway-but the majority is done! And I couldn't be happier with the finished product!