It's a Monday....it'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
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 livestrong.com 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!