Welcome to my website, if you are searching for some educational articles about health, fitness and healthy diet, then you are in the right place. You can find various articles about these topics here in one place. I always try to use my personal experience as an example or to share that experience with the visitors in order to help them learn.
Makes 20 servings, 2 tablespoons each
Active Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 2 hours
- 1 C Puréed Pumpkin
- 1/2 C Vanilla Greek Yogurt
- 1/2 C Marshmallow Fluff (you can substitute with more Greek Yogurt)
- 1/4 C Unsweetened Applesauce
- 2 T Agave Nectar
- 1 t Ground Cinnamon
- 1/2 t Ground Ginger
- 1/4 t Ground Nutmeg
- 1/4 t Ground Allspice
- 1 T Flour (whole-wheat, oat, almond, etc.)
- 2 T Maple Syrup
- 1 T Honey
- 2 T Pecans, chopped (optional)
- To make spread, put all ingredients in food processor until smooth.
- To make frosting, mix ingredients together and drizzle on top of the spread. Chill in fridge for 2 hours.
- Serve with graham crackers, wafers, pretzels, apples, or veggies.
30 calories, 0g fat, 0mg cholesterol, 4mg sodium, 8g carbs, 6g sugar, 1g protein
I think that people just forget how tasty and good pumpkin pies are and after some time we all need a reminder. To make it even better I prefer to make my own fresh Greek yogurt using my trusty Greek yogurt maker. For me, creating this pie was a very good reminder and I am determined to make many more pies with various flavours. I feel like we can experiment with pies a lot and we can create something new and delicious. This is a great example for that because if people didn’t experiment we wouldn’t have pumpkin pie apple butter that is for sure. The best thing about it is that you don’t need to waste a lot of your time. This spread is very versatile! I brought it to a party and used the leftovers to make the following:
Hot Pumpkin Oatmeal:
Just add 2 tablespoons to your hot oats and you’ve got pumpkin oatmeal!
Just add the following ingredients to a blender and blend until smooth: a frozen banana, 3/4 cup milk, 1/2 cup yogurt, 2 tablespoons Pumpkin Pie Apple Spread, and ice to taste.
Pumpkin Overnight Oats
Mix 1/3 cup rolled oats, 3/4 cup milk, 1/2 cup yogurt, 2 tablespoons Pumpkin Pie Apple Dip, and 1 tablespoon ground flax seeds and let chill for a few hours or overnight.
Follow me on Instagram (@wellofhealth) for more fun food ideas! What is your favorite way to eat pumpkin?
There are a lot of people all around the world who have this same exact issue and that is being overweight. The reason why I say it is an issue to a lot of people is that they don’t know how to get rid of all this extra weight they have gained. Some people go to the gym looking to find a solution, but because they don’t know the key ingredient, they will never succeed. If you are one of those people who doesn’t know how to lose weight and you have tried going to the gym and got no results, then you are in the right place to find out everything that you need to know.
First of all, I would like to share with you a little secret and that is an exercise is only a small part of losing calories. The bigger, or the more important part is actually your diet plan and if you don’t have one that was designed by a professional nutritionist, then you will have a really hard time achieving your results. The reason for this is very simple, you might be burning calories at the gym, but you gain double the amount when you come home and start eating.
As mentioned above, you must have a diet plan that was designed by a professional nutritionist because that is the only way you are going to see any results. You can go to the gym as long as you want and do the hardest exercises, but losing calories is much harder than gaining them. If you don’t know anything about the foods that you are eating, then you cannot monitor how much calories you actually lost.
To get the best results, I suggest that you visit a professional nutritionist and pay him to create you a personalized diet plan that will fit your current health. He will give you a specific time when to eat and what to eat. Also, he should say how much of the food you are allowed to eat, before and after each exercise. Usually, it will take some time to see the results that you get, but after a month, some visible results should be appearing and if you continue doing that diet, you will soon reach your goal.
The Right Exercises
Just going to the gym and lifting weights might not be the best option for you, especially if you have a lot of fat issues. People who are skinny, they are allowed to use any equipment that they want because they have to build muscle mass, and you want to lose fat. By building muscles, you are actually not losing a lot of calories. The reason for that is because your heart rate isn’t going up during those exercises because you need what is called cardio exercises the most. The more you sweat the more calories you will lose and that is what you want.
If you just go and lift weights, you will become stronger and you will build a lot of muscles, but you won’t lose the fat that you initially wanted and that is a mission failed. When you set yourself a goal, you have to stick to that goal to show yourself that you can do it. Later on, once you lose weight, you can go and build up your muscles to the point where you are satisfied.
Combining Diet with Exercise
If you haven’t figured out yet what I am trying to say, well then here it is. In order to lose calories or fat the fastest way possible, you not only have to exercise regularly, but you also have to combine that exercise with a proper diet plan. These two things go hand in hand and if you leave out one of them, the results of you losing calories will not appear that is for sure.
How to burn more calories on the ellipticalIf you are going to a gym and you want to burn calories, you will have to leave the weight for some other time, it is time for you to hit the cardio part of the gym. A lot of people make the mistake of trying to lift heavy weight thinking they will gain muscle mass and lose fat, but that doesn’t work like that. You first have to lose fat and then later work on your muscles. This article will show you how to how to burn more calories on the elliptical machine.
Increase Resistance Settings
When you get on the elliptical machine in your gym, you will see that there are various settings that you can use in order to personalize your workout. Most people don’t like to change those setting because they think they will break something, but you don’t want to be that person. It is your right to change the settings on that machine and you should do it every time because you have to work out at your own pace. The first setting that you will have to change in order to burn more calories is the resistance setting. This will change the machine to put out more resistance than before and you will have to try really hard to make it move. Of course, you have to keep it at a resistance where you feel comfortable, you don’t want to struggle.
My next advice for you would be to simply set some goals for yourself such as the distance that you want to cover for that one session. It is just like with treadmills, you can set or monitor the distance that you covered and that should be one of the goals. For the first time, you need to do as much as you can and see the distance. Then the next time, you need to add to that distance because that way you can push yourself to burn more calories. Each time you finish a workout, you need to set a new goal for the next workout session.
We all need to exercise on a daily basis in order to keep our body healthy, but unfortunately only a very low percentage of people are actually exercising daily. Of course, even if you exercise two or three times per week is quite good, but you don’t want to be that person who never gets up from their chair. There are many reasons why exercising is a good thing, first of all, it will prevent you from gaining a lot of extra weight. If you are exercising, you can eat unhealthy food and you won’t get fat that easy, but it is still not recommended to consume a lot of unhealthy food.
One of the best ways to stay healthy is to have a good heart, and that can be easily achieved. You have to stay away from food that has high levels of fat and you have to do exercises to increase heart rate. If you don’t know this by now, your heart is a big muscle that is constantly working and just like any other muscle if you want to keep it in good shape you have to exercise it. The only way you can exercise your heart is to increase the heart rate. Here are some of the best exercises for increasing the heart rate.
All of these exercises are called cardio exercises because they are all focusing on the cardiovascular system in your body. As you can see the first exercise is running and it is an exercise that won’t necessarily build a lot of muscle mass, but it will train your heart and that is exactly what you want. I believe that running is one of the best exercises for your heart because once you start running, your big muscles in your legs will need fresh blood full of oxygen and your heart rate will have to go up.
You can go running anywhere you want, you can go to a gym and run on treadmills if you like or if the outside weather is cold, or you can go outside for a run. Of course, I suggest that you go for a run outside, maybe in some part that is nearby because nothing is better than fresh air. The cleaner the air, the more you will be able to run because it will be full of oxygen and that is what your muscles and heart need the most while running.
Some people don’t realize this, but swimming is actually a very good exercise for your heart and your entire body. While in the water, most of your muscles will need to work in order to keep you above the water. If you don’t know how to swim, this is the perfect time to learn, go to a local swimming pool and get some classes. Your heart rate will most definitely go up once you start swimming, especially if you go on long distances. Also, all the other muscles in your body will get a proper workout.
One of the major problems that people all around the world have is that they just cannot stop thinking about food and they get fat really fast. When they realize what they did to themselves, it is usually too late, and they are heavily overweight. The reason why people don’t realize the issue immediately is that they are afraid of the truth and they actually find a relief in food. If you are one of those people who is struggling with extra weight, and you want to know how to stop eating and lose all that weight, then you are in the right place.
I have specially designed this article for people like you who have weight issues and need some professional help. The first thing that I suggest you do in order to lose weight is to educate yourself about healthy food as well as about the unhealthy things that you were eating. The reason why you need to learn about food is that it will open your eyes to all the bad factors that are affecting you if you are consuming fast and unhealthy foods. Also, it is good to read about healthy food to see all the various benefits that you can have.
Find a Hobby
If you cannot stop eating, and you want to know how to stop thinking about food all the time, then one of the things that I recommend doing is finding a new hobby. Most people don’t even think about this, they try to quit eating food by forcing themselves and that never leads to good results. The reason why this is such a good method is that you will take your mind off food while you are busy with your new hobby. It can be really anything, but I suggest that you find something that will require you to at least walk around. Don’t find a hobby like playing video games, try something like golf, or table tennis. You don’t need to be in perfect condition to play golf or table tennis, that’s why they are so good starting hobbies that will keep your mind away from food.
Healthy Diet Plan
The easiest way to lose weight is not to quit eating as some people might think, in fact, that is a very hard way to do it and most people fail to do it. What I suggest is that you find yourself a professional nutritionist who will make you a personalized diet plan that you will have to follow. That’s right, in order to lose weight, you just have to change up your diet to something much healthier that is full of nutrients. Of course, you will have to combine the diet plan with a daily exercise because you still have to burn the fat and the calories. Not only you will lose weight with a diet plan, but you will also have a much healthier body. Your immune system will become much stronger and you will feel that you have far more energy than ever before.
When working out, our body is put through a lot of stress, but that is not a bad type of stress. The workout stress is very good for keeping your body healthy because if you just sit in your chair for the entire day, you will gain a lot of fat. In case you are trying to change up your lifestyle and trying to live a healthy life, then working out might be the right thing to start with. Of course, in order to see the results that you want faster, you will need to follow a strict diet plan because believe it or not, exercising isn’t enough to lose all the extra weight that you have.
I have created this article to answer one of the questions that I get all the time and that is how long does it take to turn fat into muscle with exercise. The reason why I want to answer this question is that the question itself isn’t right because you cannot turn fat into muscle. That’s right, if you thought that muscles are built from fat, then you were wrong, but you came to the right place to educate yourself. Here is everything that you will ever need to know about muscles and fat deposits.
As previously mentioned, you cannot turn fat into muscles, the reason is that you are actually burning the fat deposits that you have in your body and that fat is just disappearing and not turning into muscle as some people think. Muscles are built from the hard workouts and the proteins and nutrients that you are eating. That’s why it is very important that you follow a good diet plan if you want to build a muscle mass. Your muscles are beneath all the fat that you have, and they are not made from the fat that you burn with exercise. Now that I have explained that part, let’s talk about the fat burning part and how to achieve it.
If you have a lot of fat in your body, you are most likely not happy about it and you want to find an easy way to get rid of it. Well, I have news for you, you cannot get rid of your fat deposits easily, it requires a lot of time and effort, but it is possible, so don’t quit! The key to burning fat is motivation to exercise because, during various exercises, you are actually burning both calories and fat through sweat. The more sweat you have at the end of a workout the better because that means that you are pushing your body to a limit and that is very important.
So, if you are here to find out how much time you require to gain some muscle mass and lose fat, then here is everything that you need to know. It usually depends on the person, how much fat you have and how does your body work. Some people are able to achieve their results in just a few months and some require years of exercise. Overall, it is a process that will take time and you will have to put a lot of effort into it. The key is not to quit on your dreams because everything is possible even if you don’t see it happening right away.
How to Pick
To pick a ripe honeydew melon, look for a creamy yellow skin and one that is heavy for its size. It should also have a waxy or almost velvety surface and free of any bumps or bruises.
How to Store
If you pick an unripe melon, hasten the ripening process by putting it in a paper bag at room temperature for a few days. Ripe melons should be wrapped in plastic wrap and refrigerated for up to 5 days. Try not to wash and slice the melon before you are ready to eat it, since it will go bad faster once it is exposed to oxygen. Keep sliced melon in the fridge.
How to Prepare
Cut the melon and scoop out the flesh with a melon scoop or just chop it up using the instructional video below. You can toast the seeds, mash the flesh for babies, or use the melon flesh in the recipes below for snacks, desserts, or drinks!
Healthy Honeydew Melon Recipes
There are various recipes that include healthy honeydew melon and no matter which one you end up making, you will enjoy the dish. If you don’t know any recipes, we suggest that you simply search online for the best one, but if you want to try some that we liked, then here is a short list that we found very delicious. The best thing about all the recipes that you will find is that they all require this honeydew melon and it will mean that you will be creating a very healthy dish that will benefit your health, especially if you have weight issues.
- Drunken Melon Balls
- Green-Tomato and Honeydew Melon Salad
- Melon Madness Popsicles
- Three Melon Mozzarella Salad
Fun Honeydew Melon Facts
- Honeydew melons have only 60 calories per cup, 70% of your vitamin C for the day, and include health benefits like preventing vision problems, cardiovascular diseases, high blood pressure, diabetes, and cancer.
- The high water content, low calorie count, and sweet taste also makes the honeydew melon and excellent choice for a snack or dessert for people who are trying to lose weight (or for anyone, for that matter!)
- Honeydews are also known as Temptation Melons. So maybe they would be a good dessert for a date night.
- Honeydews are the sweetest of all melons when ripe, so make sure it’s ripe before you eat it!
- Christopher Columbus brought over the first melon seeds to North America on his second expedition. We thank you, Christopher Columbus.
What is your favorite way to eat honeydew melons?
Kumquats should be ripe when they are picked from the tree, so if you see one that is slightly green or bruised, don’t pick it! Only get the ones that are bright orange, firm, and smooth, and even ones with the leaves on them. The reason for this is because you don’t want to end up with a fruit that isn’t fully developed. The taste will not be the same and more importantly it won’t have all the valuable nutrients. If you are not sure when is the best time to pick it, it is best to leave it to professionals or simply learn more about the fruit. The more information you learn about this special fruit the better for you.
You may store kumquats in room temperature for about 3-4 days, or inside the refrigerator for up to three weeks! If you have a surplus and want to freeze them for a few months, I would recommend making a puree first.
The funniest thing about kumquats is that you can eat the whole thing: skin, baby seeds, and all! The skin is a little sour, but the inside is sweet, so be prepared. To lessen this effect, roll the kumquat on the counter under your palm or just between your fingers to mix the juices inside. Be adventurous!
You can eat them straight, or slice them thin for salads, garnishes, marmalades, etc. Just make sure you wash them well before eating since you are consuming the skin too. If you need any more ideas, see the recipes below!
- Kale with Caramelized Kumquats
- Kumquat Garlic Chicken
- Kumquat Marmalade with Brie Cheese
- Kumquat Tart with Almond-Date Crust
Fun Kumquat Facts
- 8 kumquats are only 100 calories, 24g carbs, 10g fiber, and 2g protein, and almost all of your vitamin C for the day!
- They are also called “the little gems of the citrus family” but I call them “baby oranges.”
- However, there are not even part of the citrus family at all but were given their own genus (“Fortunella”) in 1915. They’re that special.
- There are two top varieties of kumquats in the United States: “Nagami” and the “Meiwa.” There are so many Nagami kumquats in Saint Joseph, Florida, that it was named the kumquat capital of Florida. People there have kumquats at every meal because there are so many.
- 1/2 C Oats
- 1 Scoop Chocolate Protein Powder (or substitute 2 tablespoons flour of choice)
- 2 Packets Stevia
- 1/2 t Baking Powder
- 1/4 C Egg Whites (or 2 Egg Whites)
- 2 T Almond Butter
- 2 T Yogurt
- 1/2 C Blueberries (frozen or fresh)
- 2 T Almond Butter
- 1 T Unsweetened Vanilla Almond Milk (or other milk of choice)
- 1/2 t Ground Cinnamon
- Combine first 4 dry ingredients in a medium-sized bowl, then add the rest of the ingredients and mix well.
- Pour into two mugs, ramekins (this is what I used), or 1 microwave-safe bowl, and microwave for 2 minutes or until done. If it still looks liquidy, it’s not done.
- Meanwhile, mix the frosting ingredients together and drizzle onto cake when baked. Eat while still warm!
385 calories, 20g fat, 15mg cholesterol, 235mg sodium, 30g carbs, 7g fiber, 6g sugar, 25g protein
I adapted this recipe from Heather but who apparently got her recipe from Tina, so I’m not sure who has the original; but basically everything came from God anyways so I’m going to give him credit for this one too 🙂 I really love oatmeal bakes, but since there are only 2 of us we have too many leftovers with a whole pan of oatmeal, so this recipe is perfect for 2! You can easily make this for one person by cutting the ingredients and cooking time in half. And plus, this recipe takes about 5 minutes max, so it is perfect for me since I am pretty hungry when I wake up.
I personally think that a breakfast needs to be something light and that you can make it in no time because we all know that sometimes you just don’t have an hour to make a dish. Before work, I think hat this is a very good solution because it will keep you full for quite some time and you can make it in 2 minutes. This is truly a bake made easy breakfast solution that will make your mornings ten times better.
What is your favorite thing to eat for breakfast? Have you ever tried baked oatmeal cakes in the microwave?
Thanksgiving is a really fun foodie holiday, but this post is just a reminder that you can still indulge and have a feast with friends and family without going overboard. Mattox and I will be in Georgia next week visiting family and I will be in a wedding, so I will probably just be serving as a helping hand rather than planning my own menu.
However, if I did plan my own Thanksgiving menu, I would love for it to look something like the recipes below. Of course, I probably wouldn’t have a big breakfast or lunch, but instead I would be busy making the big Thanksgiving meal! I hope this post gives you some good ideas for Turkey Day and thank you to all of the bloggers below who created the recipes!
Pumpkin Spice Donuts with Creamy Cranberry Frosting by Better with Veggies
Green Smoothie by me
Depending on what time you are eating your big Thanksgiving meal, as well as how many meals your are eating with different families in one day, you might want to choose something light and easy. And what’s easier to prepare than a pear?
Blackberry Hot Toddy by The Framed Table
Simply Spiked Cider by Running to the Kitchen
Cranberry Whole Wheat Buttermilk Biscuits by How Sweet It Is
Roasted Butternut Squash Salad with Warm Cider Vinaigrette by Brown Eyed Baker
“Make-Ahead” Mashed Potatoes by Moni Meals
Skinny Green Bean Casserole by Dashing Dish
Brined and Roasted Turkey by Cooking Classy
Honey-Baked Ham by the Food Network
Raw Pecan Pie Tartlets by The Sweet Life (VEGAN)
Pumpkin Chiffon Pie by Guilty Kitchen
Blueberry Muffin Pancakes
They can be a great addition to your thanksgiving dinner because they are very healthy, and they are very tasty. Finding a healthy and affordable thanksgiving dinner plan is not easy, but luckily for you we have done all the hard work and all that is left for you to do is follow our advice. Of course, if you have some better ideas for a dish you can change it or even implement it in this dinner plan. Most people have issues finding a dessert for thanksgiving because they always try to change it up. Having the same dessert for thanksgiving each year can be very boring and people won’t enjoy it that much. That’s why you have to constantly change up your dinner plan and create something unique that nobody was expecting to see or eat.
You don’t have to change your entire dinner plans, just making small changes and adjustments, you can easily please all of your loved ones. Adding these blueberry muffing pancakes can help you out a lot.
Oh, the choices!
Sometimes choosing a group fitness class is like going to the grocery store. All you want is a box of cereal or an aerobics class, but you have to go and read through dozens of choices before you make your pick. Group Fitness may have officially started out with Kenneth Cooper Aerobics, but the industry has gained a lot more popularity in the recent years. Group fitness is like being in a huge personal training class where you can have fun, make a lot of friends, and bond through mutual pain.
I have been teaching group fitness for about 5 years now and have taught classes from Spin to Boot Camp to Group Power, and they are not only challenging for everyone in class, but challenging for me, too! Nowadays, you can find complementary classes included with your gym membership, or you can go to specialized pilates, yoga, or spinning studios.
Go with the flow [chart]
The choices can be overwhelming, so hopefully the flow chart above can help direct you to the right class to fit your needs. This chart is by no means all-encompassing, but it does list the most popular classes out there right now. I have listed each type of class below with a link to an explanation of that class. The best way to find a class in your area is to simply type the class name and your area code in Google search. That usually produces the best results and is easy to remember!
Most people want to have a good looking body, but they are missing one major thing and that is motivation that will push them forward. You can find this motivation in these group trainings because you see other people progress and you might even make some new friends who are going through the same tough process as you. No matter what fitness type group you end up joining, you will most definitely enjoy the time that you spend there working out and that is the most important. If you don’t feel comfortable, then maybe try changing up with some different fitness program.
- Step Class
- Water Aerobics
- Body Pump
- Boot Camp
Cardio and Strength:
- Cross Fit
- Circuit Training
- Boot Camp
- Pilates (focuses more on strength)
- Sport Conditioning
- Boot Camp
- Cross Fit
- Kangoo Class
- Belly Dancing
- Urban Rebounding
What’s your favorite group fitness class?
Makes 4 servings of 1 cup each
Active Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
- 1 Bunch Dino Kale
- 5 T Olive Oil
- 1 t Chili Powder
- Dash of Seasoning Salt and Pepper
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees
- Rinse Dino Kale, strip the leaves from the stem, and dry in salad spinner or paper towels.
- Drizzle with olive oil, mix spices together and sprinkle evenly over kale. Mix well with tongs, then spread evenly on pan.
- Pop in the oven for 15-20 minutes, or until crispy.
43 calories, 7g carbs, 1g fat, 3g protein, 1g fiber
What better way to celebrate Earth Day this Sunday than eating some veggies from the Earth?! My friend Abby would be proud that I was celebrating her favorite holiday. I adapted the recipe above from Smitten Kitchen. These chips are truly tasty, portable, and a more fun way to get in your veggies. I took them on a hike one time since they don’t need to be refrigerated and don’t need any kind of dressing, and it was perfect! And they are way more addicting than Pringles.
This is a day when you have a very good excuse not to go to a fast food restaurant and make something natural for yourself. Not only you are using veggies that are very healthy, but you are making a meal that will you and your entire family enjoy. Preparing this dish is very easy and you won’t have any troubles if you follow our instruction closely. Even if you are not good in the kitchen, you can surprise your loved ones with this simply yet tasty dish.
I have also used them as a side for things like turkey burgers and chicken sausage dogs, but you can also crush them and sprinkle on top of popcorn or stick them in a sandwich for a little extra crunch. Also, they taste the best and hold their crunch when eaten same day. Let me know what you think and enjoy!
When you have a limited budget with a small cooking space, which are the best kitchen tools to invest in for healthier cooking? When it was time to get out own place together when Mattox and I got married, I had to ask this same question. Now I don’t have a Kitchenaid or a Vitamix, but I can tell you the five tools I use or need on a regular basis when cooking healthier meals.
1. Chopping Knife
Mattox and I use our blender literally almost every day. Since we both love sweets, we blend up smoothies for a healthier dessert, blend up a better frappuccino, or I will make a green drink for a meal if I need something on-the-go. We love our Ninja blender, but recently it broke blending up a pitted date for a coconut smoothie that I was experimenting with. We are currently accepting donations for a Vitamix
3. Food Processor
A food processor is another tool that I use just about every day. If I need to whip up a quick dip, sauce, cookie dough, banana ice cream, or power bar, I take out my food processor. It saves so much money, calories, and even time to make your own sauces and healthier desserts in the food processor rather than buying tubs of ice cream, oil-laden sauces, and bars full of additives. We had the food processor attachment for our Ninja which worked great up until recently (see above).
5. Oil Mister
Makes 6 servings, about 1 cup each
Active Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 3-7 hours
- 1 lb. Extra Lean Ground Beef
- 1 Medium Red Pepper, chopped
- 1 Medium Onion, chopped
- 1 (28 oz.) Can Diced Tomatoes, undrained
- 1 C Water
- 1 Garlic Clove or 1 t Minced Garlic
- 2 T Semisweet Chocolate Chips
- 2 T Chili Powder
- 1 T Ground Cumin
- 1/2 t Salt
- 1/2 t Dried Oregano
- Reduced-Fat Sour Cream (optional)
- Fresh Cilantro, chopped (optional)
- 1 C Self-Rising Cornmeal Mix
- 1/2 C Plain Greek Yogurt
- 1 Jalapeño, minced and seeded
- 1 T Canola Oil
- 1 Large Egg
- Heat a skillet on medium heat and add the ground beef. Cook until brown, then drain the fat and add to the crock pot.
- Add the rest of the chili ingredients to the crock pot, except the optional items. Heat on low for 5-6 hours or on high for 2-3 hours.
- About 45 minutes before dinner time, preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Mix the wet corn bread ingredients until well-blended, then add the cornmeal mix.
- Coat 12 mini muffin molds with cooking spray and pour in batter.
- Bake at 425 for 13-15 minutes or until slightly golden brown. Serve warm with chili and optional sour cream and cilantro.
Chili: 210 calories, 7g fat, 68mg cholesterol, 685mg sodium, 18g carbs, 2g fiber, 6g sugar, 25g protein
Corn Bread (serving size=2 mini muffins): 115 calories, 2g fat, 35mg cholesterol, 302mg sodium, 18g carbs, 1g fiber, 2g sugar, 5g protein
I adapted the above recipe from Cooking Light: Fresh Food Fast. It’s probably the only real cookbook I use outside of online recipes. Outside of pizza night, Mattox requests chili every week but I told him summertime wasn’t really the best time for chili. But now, it’s chilly so that means it’s time for chili! The chocolate chips might seem a little strange, but trust me on this one! If you have ever had mole at a Mexican restaurant, you know how good it can be. You can also make this without the crock pot by simmering the chili ingredients for about 7-11 minutes in a covered pot.
Tabata training is very effective for burning calories, increasing VO2 Max, and strengthening your cardiovascular performance, especially if you are wishing to increase speed. Basically, you go as hard as you can (about a 9 on a scale from 1-10) for 20 seconds, then rest for 10 seconds. It is not recommended to go more than 4 minutes in a row, especially as a beginner.
In this spin class since most of the songs are are less than 4 minutes, I keep it safe and only go up to 2 minutes of tabata drills every other song. I do this routine the first Thursday of every month, and the class really likes it because it makes the time go by pretty fast when you have those short-term goals of 20 seconds with rest in between, so I hope you like it too!
Whenever I teach a spin class, I will call out a resistance level (how you feel on a scale from 1-10) and a speed (RPM). I enourage everyone to stay at the same RPM, but the resistance level will be relative to their fitness level. A good way to tell if you need to increase your resistance is if your body is bouncing all around with increased speed.
I always start with a warm-up on a flat road with upper body dynamic stretching, steadily increase the effort until halfway through the class, then decrease the effort level towards the end for cool-down. Since I base my classes around the music and a balance of strength and speed, I tell class to take 30 second water breaks after each song ends. That way, we will work hard to that recovery period and increase our lung capacity during the hard intervals.
R is for Resistance on a scale of perceived rate of exertion from 1-10 (Resistance level 1 = R1)
RPM is for speed on a scale of perceived rate of exertion from 1-10 (Speed Level 1 = RPM1)
- Warm-Up @ R1-2
- Hill: Pedal to the beat. Start at R7 at a standing climb until you reach halfway through the song, then shift down to R5 and ride downhill, increasing your speed to a sprint at RPM9 until you reach the end of the song.
- Tabata: Pedal to the beat. Start at R7 at a standing climb until you have 1 minute of the song left. Kick up your gear to R9 and your speed to RPM9 and pedal for 20 seconds, then rest for 10. Repeat til you reach the end of the song.
- Hill: Pedal to the beat. Start at R7 at a standing climb until you reach halfway through the song, then shift down to R5 and ride downhill, increasing your speed to a sprint at RPM9 until you reach the end of the song.
- Tabata: Pedal to the beat. Start at R7 at a standing climb until you have 1:30 of the song left. Kick up your gear to R9 and your speed to RPM9 and pedal for 20 seconds, then rest for 10. Repeat til you reach the end of the song.
- Hill: Pedal to the beat. Start at R7 at a standing climb until you reach halfway through the song, then shift down to R5 and ride downhill, increasing your speed to a sprint at RPM9 until you reach the end of the song.
- Tabata: Pedal to the beat. Start at R7 at a standing climb until you have 2 minutes of the song left. Kick up your gear to R9 and your speed to RPM9 and pedal for 20 seconds, then rest for 10. Repeat til you reach the end of the song.
Repeat the Circuit for songs 8-13!
The above format fits pretty well with the songs below, since they alternate slow and fast to match the hills and intervals. The easiest way to get this music is to buy Rdio, then follow me or subscribe to my playlists. You can also see this playlist on Rdio here.
Makes 8 servings
Active Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 3 hours
Hemp Granola (makes 2 cups)
- 1/3 C Shelled Hemp Seeds (or a packet of instant hemp oatmeal)
- 2/3 C Rolled Oats (get gluten-free if that’s what you’re into)
- 1/3 C Shredded Coconut
- 2 T Sunflower Seeds
- 2 T Slivered Almonds
- 1 T Ground Flax Seeds
- 2 T Coconut Oil
- 2 T Honey
- 1/4 t Vanilla Extract
- A Pinch of Salt
- 8 Frozen Bananas
- 4 C Vanilla Almond Milk
- 4 C Frozen Fruit (I used blueberries)
- In order to make this for breakfast the next day, I would recommend making the granola the night before.
- Preheat oven to 250 degrees F.
- To make granola, mix dry ingredients, then add wet ingredients and mix until covered.
- Spread in a single layer on a sprayed baking sheet.
- Toast in preheated oven for 2 1/2 hours, mixing every 30 minutes to toast it evenly.
- A few minutes before the granola is done, make your smoothie (or alternatively, heat up the granola in the oven or microwave before serving).
- Mix smoothie ingredients in blender until smooth.
- Spoon 1/8 of the smoothie into a bowl, top with 1/4 C granola, fruit, coconut, almond butter (HIGHLY recommended), or other healthy fruit and nut toppings. Repeat for the rest of the servings.
Not including any extra toppings other than granola: 400 calories, 16g fat, 0mg cholesterol, 280mg sodium, 60g carbs, 9g fiber, 24g sugar, 10g protein
I have fallen in love with Healeo. Neenah, Nadia, and I ran there a few Saturdays ago and it was 100% worth the 6.6 mile trip. I got the Heavenly Hemp Smoothie and I’m hoping they will be in heaven too, because it was amazing. We split the Acai Bowl, and I decided I needed to make one at home because I didn’t feel like going on another run to Capitol Hill. This recipe is based off of the ingredients of the Acai Bowl, which are “Acai, banana & soymilk blended thick, then topped with hemp granola, berries, and/or superfood toppings.”
Honestly I only had a pack of hemp oats because my friend gave it to me to try, so that’s how I made my granola. It only makes 2 cups worth, but since you are using only 1/4 cup per serving, I just doubled the recipe to fit the 8 servings of granola. If you are making just one serving, it is 1 banana, 1/2 C milk and 1/2 C frozen fruit.
If you have at least 1 1/4 C of shelled hemp seeds, then make this recipe that makes 10 cups so you can have more to store! If you don’t have 3 hours, you might want to just make the above smoothie and top with store bought granola and your toppings of choice. Healeo had amazing toppings like goji berries, acai berries, cacoa nibs, mulberries, shredded coconut, flax seeds, etc., but I tried it with sliced banana, shredded coconut, and almond butter and it was 10x tastier with the almond butter. Those fancy acai and goji berries are expensive..
I have recently had the privilege of meeting another fitness-lover in Seattle though this blog, and it turns out we had a lot in common! Olivia Exline is a Personal Trainer with Fit Your Life Personal Training, which is her mobile in-home personal training business. She also teaches classes for Sassy Fit and is an intern at Mars Hill Church Downtown. Needless to say, she is pretty busy, but thankfully she took some time to sit down with me and answer some questions that might be helpful for you:
1. How did you get your start in personal training?
I was in interior design for years and always ended up doing something undesirable like sitting at a front desk. I needed a change, so I moved to Seattle! I really wanted to have a job where I could help people. I have always been a gym rat and my mom was a personal trainer when I was in high school.
A friend convinced me to get my personal training certification, so I eventually did, even though it was intimidating. I wanted to work with women who would be intimated by going to the gym. I had my profile on ACE and got a hit with a company to be hired for in-home personal training and boot camp classes. I was mentored and then started teaching classes with them, and am now in my 2ndyear of personal training and teaching group fitness.
2. What is your daily workout routine?
In a perfect world I would get to do my workouts first before I trained anybody, but I don’t want to get up at 4am, so I fit them in when I can during the day. I get bored with routine so I vary my workouts quite a bit. I aim for 4-5 days a week, usually 2 days on/1 day off and trying not to go more than 2 days in a row off. I do a mix of running, swimming and circuit training.
I try to keep it intense (like a 7 on a 1-10 scale) even when I’m lifting weights I want my heart rate high—that way I can get an intense workout in 30 minutes if I am crunched for time. I like taking boot-camp style classes to change it up (and sometimes steal exercises ). And Zumba is a BLAST, but I don’t get the chance to take it often.
3. What is your favorite pre/post workout snack?
I probably don’t do pre-workout snacks much; I try to place my workout in between meals so that I’m nourished but not too full. But in a crunch, Luna or Clif bars or a piece of fruit is great—something quick-digesting but not all sugar. Post-workout I probably lean towards smoothies. Dashing Dish’s recipes make smoothies taste like milk shakes which is great if you’re hot. Salads are another fave. Stuff that’s quick to throw together cause I get hungry fast!
4. Do you take any supplements?
Not really. I take high quality vitamins that have a mix of greens, anti-oxidants, oils and a ton of other stuff that I’m forgetting. I was feeling really low-energy not too long ago and realized that it might have had to do with the fact that I was taking a basic one-a-day. I feel so much better taking those. I also take a vitamin D3 during the darker 9 months and probiotics. Nothing too serious.
5. What are your fitness goals?
I think I have general and specific depending on what I’m doing. Like running, I set weekly and/or monthly mileage goals, or I may train for a certain minute/mile pace. Swimming is generally endurance—that whole breathing bit is tricky. Lifting weights, I often don’t feel like I challenge myself enough, so I aim for higher weights and muscle failure (which also elevates your heart rate). If I discover an area I am weaker in, I’ll generally focus on that more.
6. How do you inspire your clients to reach their goals?
Clients generally have weight loss goals, which includes nutrition in addition to fitness, so I pretty much mirror what I do with myself. We train in circuits or intervals mixing strength and cardio. While we’re warming up/cooling down, I usually ask how their eating was since I saw them last (or look at their app if they use one), what successes and failures they felt they had. And tailor the conversation per their answers. The general rule is to listen to your body—and most of us don’t slow down enough to hear it. It’s a lot like listening to the Spirit
7. Why would someone need personal training?
It’s a mixed bag, some people don’t know how to exercise or do so with good form, but I would say that for the most part people need encouragement and accountability. If you are paying for something and it’s scheduled, you’re less likely to flake out and stay in bed. Honestly, I’d love to have my own, someone to remind you what you can do, to push you out of the mental battle telling you to stop. Yes please!
8. What should someone look for in a personal trainer?
That’s tough too. I think it depends on your goals (weight loss, maintenance, etc). Personal compatibility is a big component, but ultimately it’s whether they’re going to get you to where you want to be. Generally trainers will offer a free intro session, so feel free to try some on. Meet with them ask them questions, if they specialize in anything, what types of workouts they do, why they’re a trainer. Be clear about what you want as well, and when they put you through that first workout, decide if they’re a good fit. If not, try another.
9. From a personal training perspective, what are some of the biggest issues for women?
I see first-hand the image issues women have based on what we think guys wants and what we see in society. We draw comfort in eating. And people don’t talk about it publicly or to each other. We especially don’t talk about the heart underneath why we are going to food for comfort or escape.
10. Do you have any other words of wisdom to share?
Your workouts—with a trainer or not—are YOUR workouts. That means that you are responsible for at least 75% of the work. I think it’s a common misconception that by hiring a personal trainer, everything will be fixed. That’s putting a lot of weight on the trainer who doesn’t eat every meal or do every workout with you! We are here for encouragement and we will do that, absolutely, anytime. We’ll check on you and give you home work, etc. But know that you have to make a commitment to the process as well, and that’s gotta come from the place in you that wants to change.
Change is uncomfortable, and your mind (and the enemy, the devil) will tell you it’s too hard and that you should quit. But if you always stay where it’s comfortable, you never grow – this is true in any capacity. Our bodies are amazing machines, created to be capable of many things and superior to all other creatures on the earth. Often our focus gets skewed by our ‘priorities’ and taking care of our body usually gets dumped first. But it is a gift to you, and the only one you get in this life, so consider leaving your comfort zone. The possibilities are near endless!
For the month of October, I have created a blank workout calendar for you to plan and record your fitness activity, as well as a Push-Up Challenge Calendar. If you haven’t decied what to be for Halloween, how about a body builder? By the time Halloween rolls around, you will not only be wearing the bodysuit, but you will also be able to play the part! At the end of this month’s workout challenge, you will be able to do 3 full push-ups on your toes! The challenge below is for beginners, but if you can already do a push-up then keep reading for more challenges:
Beginner Push-Up Progression
Why push-ups? Push-ups are like the squat for the upper body. They work all of the major upper body muscle groups, you can do them anywhere, and they are very effective for building strength and burning calories. Herschel Walker, a famous University of Georgia and professional football player, primarily did 3500 sit-ups and 1500 push-ups per day for his training! I don’t expect you to be able to do 1500 push-ups, but if you can do 1 push-up on your toes at the end of this month then I would be so happy!
Refer to this push-up progression calendar, and do your push-ups every other day (or in accordance with your “arms” workout days). Do as many as you can until you reach muscle fatigue and move on to the next week’s step. If you can complete 15 repetitions without tiring, and then go ahead move on to the next step.
- Add 2 Push-Ups per week
Mark Sisson from Mark’s Daily Apple demonstrates all four pushup movements as a part of the Primal Blueprint Fitness program.
More Intense Push-Up Challenges
Record Your Workout
If you aren’t sure how to build your workout program, read this post. Planning out your workouts for October (National Candy Month) helps to motivate you to actually get out there and do them! Make sure to add variety and do workouts that you really enjoy. If you are stuck in a rut and need some ideas, you can see one of my legs, abs, cardio, or workouts in the park! If you don’t want to do this push-up challenge, try and test your own fitness once per month to make sure you are on top of your game and progressing instead of degressing during the upcoming holiday seasons.
Print Your Calendars
I just came down with a sore throat and a big headache, so should I go ahead and teach my fitness classes? According to Jillian Michaels, as long as the sickness is above the neck (think stuffy nose and sore throat), then moderate exercise is okay. High-intensity exercise will only exacerbate your symptoms and shut down your immune system. On a scale of 1-10 of physical exertion, exercise anywhere from a 3-6 when you have a cold. I did end up teaching a Total Body Conditioning Class and took it easy for the most part, and it actually took my mind off of my relentless sore throat and headache for an hour, which was a nice perk!
Can Exercise Make Me Sick?
Regular exercise is great for your immune system. In fact, people who just walk at a brisk pace for 40 minutes per day report half as many sick days than those who don’t get in regular exercise. However, you can definitely over-do it and make yourself sick by exercising too much. The Get-Fit Guy also says that even as few as 90 minutes of intense exercise (think marathons, triathlons, or even back-to-back group fitness classes) can weaken your immune system up to 3 days after you exercise! I feel like this is an easy one for me to do. I might not do 90 minutes of intense exercise every day, but I will teach two 60 minute classes in one day, and be sore for days on end. If you think you are in danger of over-exercising, Kristen from Be Fit With Kristen has a great post on the symptoms and treatments of over-training.
Just Don’t Say It Out Loud
The funny part about me getting sick is that I literally told a lady at Fred Myer yesterday that I haven’t been sick all year since I have been in Seattle! She had this terrified look on her face and said, “Oh no, don’t say that out loud!” Now I definitely am not a superstitious, knock-on-wood type of gal, but I thought that was pretty funny, considering the fact that I did get sick. I used to get sick in GA all the time, mostly because I would run myself into the ground and it was kind of God’s way of saying, “You need to rest. Let me have control for a while.” I talk a little more about this in my “Everybody Needs A Sabbath” post.
My Cold Remedies
If you think you might have something more than the common cold like the flu, please consult this CDC page on how to take care of yourself. Personally, if I feel like I am coming down with something, I will try and sleep as much as possible, wash my hands (because I live in the state of WashYourHandsingTon), drink a ton of water, and make sure I’m getting all my proper nutrients. Right now, I am really enjoying the hot and cold liquids. I have already had coffee, so I heated up a mug of vanilla almond milk for 1 minute, 10 seconds (who knew I would be in to the glass of warm milk?!), have downed 4 huge glasses of water, and am sucking on cough drops and butterscotch discs. A few other snacks I enjoy to soothe my throat are green tea with a splash of milk and honey, frozen orange juice diluted with water, fruit popsicles, plain ole reduced-sodium chicken broth, Frozen Yogurt Bites, and green smoothies for special treats.
I am also running out of cough syrup for when I go to bed, but Everyday Health says that 2 spoonfuls of honey is just as effective (and tastes WAY better!) Another helpful thing to remember is not to touch my eyeballs, since I have this bad habit of fiddling with my eyelashes :/ The studies are not clear on whether you can reinfect yourself, but I’m going to try not to touch my ears, nose, and eyes for the time being. Oh, and I won’t reach for a pack of Emergen-C. That’s a waste of money, people. It hasn’t been proven that mega doses of Vitamin C can help prevent or treat colds. I will, however, go get myself a bowl of chicken soup right about now!
Have you exercised while being sick? What are your favorite cold remedies?
If you want a great workout that keeps you guessing and is great for a solo routine, working out with a partner, or even with kids, this is a fun one that is based on a deck of cards! I have been to Las Vegas, and I have played the slot machines. I have also lost some money on the slot machines. The good thing about this gambling game is that you always win a great workout!
The number on the card represents how many repetitions you do (see key below). Face cards all equal 11 reps, but an Ace equals 20 reps. If you pull a Club for cardio, always do one minute of cardio plus plyometric jumps corresponding to the card number. For example, if I pull an Ace of Clubs, I will do a minute of cardio with 20 plyometric jumps mixed in.
Pull a card, do the exercise. Pull another card, do the exercise. Try not to rest in between. I only did half of the deck and the workout took me 30 minutes, but feel free to try and push yourself through the whole deck!
What You Need
- A Deck of 52 Cards
- This FREE Printout
- Optional weights, mat, jump rope
- Clubs = Cardio for 1 minute
- Hearts = Upper Body
- Diamonds = Lower Body
- Spades = Stomach (Core)
- Joker = 1 Minute Dance Party!!!
- Jump Rope
- Jumping Jacks
- Mountain Climbers
- Plank Jacks
- Butt Kickers
- High Knees
- Jumping Lunges *
- Jumping Squats
- Superstar Jumps
- Tuck Jumps
- Sumo Squat Jumps
- Back Extensions
- Chest Flys
- Bicep Curls
- Tricep Dips
- Shoulder Presses
Each person has half of the deck of cards. The first person to go flips over a card face-side up. The other person flips over their card. Whosever card is higher makes the other person do the higher card exercise.
I have done a few kids fitness camps, and the #1 motivator of fitness for them are games. This could be a fun game to do with you and your kid for the 2-player game, or you can play this with a whole group! If you are playing with a group, you are the coach and the kids are the participants. Pick a card and have everyone do the exercise (pick something appropriate for their age). Pick out the kid with the best form, and then it is their turn to come up and pick a card for the group and pick the exercise. Make sure everyone gets a turn in picking the card and give the kids exercise options if they get stuck.
Have you ever done a workout with a deck of cards? What did you think?