LiveFit Review

The rain finally stopped and the sun finally made an appearance.  Good thing too, because despite the billion things I have to do today (clean, laundry, grocery shop, etc.) I’m hoping to find some time at the pool.

My in-laws open their pool at the first glint of warm weather, so their pool has already been open for a couple of weeks now.  Now let’s talk LiveFit.  I’m done!!!  I completed Jamie Eason’s LiveFit Trainer Program!  (You can find all my workouts on my Itz Fitness page.)  I did not follow her suggested meal plan or supplements, just merely the workouts which was great for me.

Phase 1:  This phase consisted of 4 – 5 days of weight lifting and no cardio.  Prior to beginning this program, my workouts tended to be pretty cardio-heavy, so this phase was important for me to build more muscle.

Phase 2:  Building muscle continued during this phase as I lifted 6 days a week.  The sets were shorter (8 – 10 reps), so I really focused on increasing the amount of weight.  A bit of cardio was re-introduced here.

Phase 3:  Fat burning and maintaining muscle were the goals as the workouts consisted of cardio mixed in with supersets and additional cardio tacked on at the end.  I loved how the workouts changed in this phase.  One downfall I found was that the workouts took the same amount of time as in the previous two phases, but 30 – 40 minutes of cardio was expected to be completed at the end.  This was hard to squeeze in during my morning workouts due to time constraints.

All in all?  I loved it!  I can definitely without a doubt lift heavier weights and I learned several new-to-me exercises, as well.  Towards the end of the program, I grew a bit antsy as I was ready to finish it up.  This was not because I didn’t like the program; I did and I do.  After I finish any training program for a prolonged period of time, I get anxious to not be on a schedule anymore.  I like being able to do what I want when I want.  Like long walks with Zoey when the weather gets nice.

Did I see a change on the scale?  No.  However, I did not follow the meal plan or get in quite as much cardio as was suggested.  I do believe that I gained muscle and my body fat percentage decreased, though I’m not 100% certain on this since I didn’t measure myself before and after.  I do know how I feel and how my clothes fit which is a much better indicator, in my opinion.

Do I recommend it?  YES!  I highly recommend this program to anyone.  The beauty of it is that it can be tailored to everyone’s needs: beginners or expert weight lifters.  The workouts change each day and then you repeat each week just one time.  It wards off boredom, but allowed me to see gradual changes as the weeks progressed. The website is a fabulous resource that shows how to do all of the exercises.  I referenced it time and time again during the program.

Best Body Bootcamp Update: I have been very successful with my goals this past week.  I know that getting to bed before 10pm has made a difference as I was able to wake up each weekday morning and get my booty to the gym!  Since my LiveFit program has ended, I am stoked to finally try out some of Tina’s workouts!  I’ve heard nothing but positive things regarding them and I’m ready to get my butt kicked on a whole new level.  That being said, I am going to keep my goal of going to sleep before 10pm the same, but I’m going to change one new goal.  Since I am not following any type of program and this is my first week for Tina’s workouts, I am going to set my goal at lifting weights at least 3 times this week and cardio 3 times this week.

And now it’s time to catch some rays.

Happy Sunday!

Have you ever followed a workout regimen?  Which one?

Spiralizer

I’m in love.  Of course with Jonny, but this weekend I found a new love.  A spiralizer!  Remember when I attended that raw vegan cooking class at Pura Vegan?  (Of course you do!)  Well, the kind people at Paderno World Cuisine sent me one to try.  Oh.  Em.  Gee.  This Spiral Vegetable Slicer (aka: spiralizer) is the.best.thing.ever!

Seriously.  I love it for so many reasons.  One of the reasons is just how easy it is to use.  You literally stick whatever you want [zucchini] in between the blade and the prongs and then you crank the handle and wah-lah!

It was so nice outside this past weekend that I did, in fact, take it outside to do some spiralizing. 🙂  Check out how pretty it looks once you turn the handle:

That cylindrical looking thing that’s coming out is just the center of the zucchini.  Once I’m done spiralizing, I simply cut it up and stick it in whatever dish I’m preparing.  I don’t let one ounce of the veggie go to waste!

In addition to its convienence, the spiralizer comes with three blades, all of which can be easily stored as part of the spiralizer.  The blades literally slide in and out on trays as part of the spiralizer and you just have to pop it in to use.  It’s awesome because you can really have fun with your veggies as it produces three types of “noodles.”

Jonny and I had so much fun with this I can’t even imagine how much kids would love this!  What a great way to incorporate veggies into a child’s diet in a fun, productive manner!  Also, one little zucchini produces an entire bowl of “noodles.”  Pictured above used three zucchini.

Now let’s talk toppings.  There are endless possibilities.  Since we were using the zucchini as noodles, I wanted to make a “pasta-like” sauce.  I recently visited our local farmer’s market, so I sautéed a ton of veggies in a little bit of olive oil.  In the mix: onion, corn, green pepper, red pepper, jalapeno, and broccoli.  Then I added some spices, garlic, white beans, and marinara sauce.

When we were eating, Jonny commented, “This has to be the healthiest pasta ever!”  True that.  Talk about being regular.  Heh heh.  Spiralized veggies will definitely be making an appearance in my lunches and dinners quite often.  Plus, cleaning is a cinch.  The two parts that touch the zucchini simply slide out and are easily washable.  I’m all about convienence in the kitchen, and this definitely makes it easy.  I would strongly recommend (aka: GO!) that you get yourself one of these immediately.

Thank you Paderno World Cuisine for my new love and for making it so stinkin’ easy to spiralize veggies.  You’re awesome.  For the rest of you, you can thank me after you get yourself one.

In other very exciting news, this is my last week of the LiveFit training program!  Week 12 will consist of a repeat of Week 11:

Now let’s address Best Body Bootcamp.  I am going to keep my goals of going to bed before 10 pm and waking up to workout the same for this week.  Getting enough sleep sure makes a difference in terms of my energy levels and just the mere fact of being able to wake up super early to workout.  So here’s to another strong week of living healthy!  And eating spiralized veggies. 😉

What vegetable would you spiralize?  Do you have a spiralizer?

Taking The Time

Sometimes life feels so busy that everything is constantly go-go-go.  Sometimes itz important to remember to slow down and take the time to enjoy the simple things in life.  Sometimes those days come on days that someone [ME] doesn’t have to go to work.  This morning I took the time to snuggle a little bit longer  in bed with Zoey.

Aka: A good excuse to sneak in a picture of Zoey. 🙂  This morning I took the time to make the bed even though I usually never do and kind of strongly dislike doing it because I think it’s pointless.

I do like the way it looks though.  Even though we’ll just mess it up again tonight when we go to sleep.  I took the time to enjoy a cup of coffee and a light breakfast outdoors pre-workout since I was in no rush to get to the gym.

After my leisurely morning, I took the time to go to the gym and arrived at 7:30.  (I “slept in” until 6:15.)  Surprisingly, the gym was a lot less crowded at 7:30 than it typically is at 5:30.  I was loving this since I had my own workout area totally to myself.

Then I took the time to get in a great workout.

Week 11 Day 5: Shoulders, Calves, & Cardio

  • Circuit:20 reps each
  • Dumbbell Shoulder Press: 15 pounds
  • Seated Bent Over Rear Delt Raise: 12.5 pounds
  • Front Dumbbell Raise: 12.5 pounds
  • Side Lateral Raise: 10 pounds
  • Standing Dumbbell Upright Row: 12.5 pounds
  • Calf Press on the Leg Press: 150 pounds
  • Standing Calf Raise: 80 pounds
  • Complete circuit 3 times
  • Cardio: 30 – 40 minutes

20 reps of each exercise is no joke!  I definitely had to use lower weights than in Phase 2 because of the high number of reps.  I like the change and the new challenge though.  When I was finished, I took the time to sit in the steam room and loved how the sweat poured out of me.  (Luckily for you, this went unpictured.)  I also took the time to do some good stretching in there.  It’s no bikram or hot yoga, but it still felt nice!  When I got home, I took the time to cook breakfast #2 and burn my kale.

[Not recommended.]  After topping it with nutritional yeast and eggwhites, it tasted just as good fine.  While typing this blog post, I took the time to link up to Lindsay’s Fitness Loves of the Week.

In Sweetness and In Health

My FLOW is my new green workout tank top I purchased last weekend.

Perk of being at the gym with no one else: taking pictures of yourself in the mirror. 🙂  I’m also taking the time to recognize an accomplishment for Meg’s High Five Friday.

I high-fived all of my students for working so hard and sustaining the long hours of the state standardized testing this past week.  Third grade is the first year that they take the test and the mere process of taking the test is pretty challenging since it’s new to them.  We do take tests in third grade, but state testing is different as it entails long hours and consecutive days.  I am incredibly proud of all of my students and told them they brought tears to my eyes for working so hard and staying focused during the three days of testing this past week.  One more week to go!

Have you taken the time to enter my giveaway yet?

What have you taken the time for as of late?

Silverlicious

When I got up early to workout yesterday, I must have grabbed the wrong card because I actually did yesterday’s workout today and today’s workout yesterday.  Since I pre-write my posts for the morning and I didn’t think it was a big enough deal, I just left it and decided to admit to my mistake today. 🙂  Plus, I don’t have school tomorrow, so yesterday kind of was my Thursday.  Chelsey felt the same way on Wednesday apparently.  Let’s take a looksie at the workout I completed yesterday, but should have been today:

Week 11 Day 4: Arms, Abs, & Cardio

  • Circuit: 20 reps each
  • Barbell Curl: 20 pounds
  • Lying Tricep Curl: 20 pounds
  • Dumbbell Alternating Bicep Curl: 15 pounds
  • Standing Dumbbell Tricep Extension: 20 pounds
  • Bench Dips
  • JackKnife Sit-Ups
  • Crunches
  • Complete circuit 3 times
  • Cardio: 30 – 40 minutes

My arms were shaking by the end!  Love that feeling.  My school started the state testing this week which is pretty intense.  I try to remain calm though really I’m feeling stressed, but I want my kids to stay as relaxed as possible.  The days are grueling because it is so important and our schedule is changed – that affects everyone, students and teachers alike.  I have been very impressed with my kiddos thus far though.  Because they have to endure sitting for so long, I make sure to get them up and moving whenever possible.  Right before the test, we do 25 jumping jacks, 10 push-ups, and 10 sit-ups and after the test they get an extra long recess.  Got to get that blood flowing!  And my kids sit on stability balls, so I think that helps as they are allowed to move or “actively sit.”  I love teaching my students the importance of moving and staying active and they seem to enjoy it, as well.

Anyway, last week we had a rally week to get pumped up for the test.  We had different themed days.  Wednesday was dress-up like someone you have studied or learned about, so my co-workers and I decided to be the character from the Pinkalicious books.

If you have a young child, you have GOT to get this book and the others that follow.  Even my third grade boys love these!  It’s hilarious and gives everyone a good laugh while providing a good storyline.  (And from a teacher standpoint there are lots of good examples of tiny actions!)  Pinkalicious is the original; the others are Purplicious, Goldilicious, and Silverlicious.  Silverlicious is the newest book and I got to be her.

Purplicious, Pinkalicious, Silverlicious, & Goldilicious

I love my job and the girls I teach with!  We seriously have so much fun and work extremely well together.  Goldilicious Kait got engaged this past weekend after seven years.  Congrats to her and her crazy self as she is planning an August wedding.  August as in four months from now.  Maybe she’ll let us come dressed like this?

Because things have been so crazy at school, I haven’t felt like spending as much time in the kitchen by the time I get home.  Last night’s dinner was simple, nutritious, and delicious.  It also doubled as lunch for today.  Leftovers are the best.

I prepared some of the long grain brown rice that Whole Foods gave me while the chicken was cooking, and then when it was almost ready I threw the kale in a pot on the stove and misted olive oil on top.  So simple, yet so good.  And guess what today’s snack will be?  A Gnu bar, obviously.

What is a simple dinner you have made recently?

Itz WIAW + A Regular Giveaway!

Itz WIAW (or as my husband would say, “WEEEEEE-AAAAAAW!”  Yes, he actually does that.  In Arizona, he got his brother to do it, too, and they just thought they were freakin’ hilarious)!  Anyway, the theme of April’s WIAW is: [Veg It Up] with an Extra Cup!

This fits perfectly with my Healthy Eating Challenge and eating more whole foods.  In the morning I made a chocolate strawberry smoothie and I, of course, added spinach!

The workshop introduced the Bowl of Goodness, so I made one the night before and took it for lunch.  They talked about how all veggies and whole foods provide different nutrients.  Even spinach and kale which are very nutrient dense lack some things that other veggies have.  I added both spinach and kale to my BOG, but next time I go grocery shopping I’m going to pick up various kinds of greens.

Along with the greens were black beans, quinoa, carrots, celery, corn, garlic, cilantro, and salsa.  It was very tasty!  So tasty in fact that for dinner…

I ate it again!  This time with a dollop of hummus on top and I ate it cold as opposed to warm as I heated it up for lunch.  Same meal just as good. 🙂  These bowls of goodness helped power me through my latest workout:

Week 11 Day 3: Chest, Calves, & Cardio

  • Circuit: 20 reps each
  • Barbell Bench Press: 30 pounds
  • Incline Dumbbell Press: 15 pounds
  • Dumbbell Flyes: 10 pounds
  • Push-Ups
  • Standing Calf Raises: 80 pounds
  • Seated Calf Raises on the Leg Press: 150 pounds
  • Complete circuit 3 times
  • Cardio: 30 – 40 minutes

So I didn’t post any snacks in today’s WIAW because they’ve all been the same lately.  Well, different, but the same.  Gnu Foods recently sent me an entire box of their Flavor & Fiber bars.  They have amazing flavors including: Banana Walnut, Cinnamon Raisin, Chocolate Brownie, Orange Cranberry, Peanut Butter, Espresso Chip, Lemon Ginger, Carrot Cake, Blondie, and Blueberry Cobbler.  Is your mouth watering yet?  Mine was the moment I tore into the box.

Gnu Flavor & Fiber Bar Stats: (taken from Gnu)

  • Only 130 – 140 calories
  • Made with 6 Whole Grains
  • Loaded with both Soluble and Insoluble Fiber
  • No high fructose corn syrup, refined sugars, cholesterol, trans fat, hydrogenated oils, sugar alcohols, dairy (except Blondie), or soy
  • Made with Organic Whole Wheat & Kamut Flours
  • Vegan (except Blondie)
  • 12 grams of fiber per bar – That’s 48% of your DV of fiber!

Needless to say, I’ve been very regular happy lately.  🙂  They kind of remind me of Larabars in terms of their consistency as they are a bit sticky and chewy.  All of their flavors were so.unbelievably.good!  The only downfall I saw is that they contained only 3 grams of protein.  Typically I try to eat more protein with my snacks, but the amount of fiber definitely helped me stay full from the snack.

Blueberry Cobbler Bar

I have a secret to share with you.  Don’t tell anyone.  Scratch that.  Tell everyone you know.  Gnu Foods has graciously sent me an extra box with 16 bars (2 bars of each of 8 of their 10 flavors) to share with one lucky reader.  How to enter:

Mandatory: Become a fan of Itz Linz on Facebook and leave a comment at the bottom of this post telling me you did so.  Want to earn extra entries?

  • Leave a comment telling me what flavor sounds best to you.
  • Follow Itz Linz on Twitter and tweet, “I want to be regular with @ItzLinz and @gnufoods Flavor & Fiber bars! Get regular: http://wp.me/p264zq-lE “
  • Subscribe to Itz Linz by clicking on “Follow Itz Linz” in the upper right section of the screen and entering your e-mail address.
  • Share this giveaway on Facebook or your own blog.
  • Become a fan of Gnu Foods on Facebook.

That’s right.  Six entries for your chance to get as regular as me.  Whoever thought that’d be as much fun?  Don’t forget to leave a comment below for each entry.  The giveaway ends on Tuesday, April 10th at 9:00 pm CST.  I will randomly select a winner Wednesday, April 11th in my next WIAW post.  The winner will have 24 hours to contact me or another winner will be selected.  Happy entering! 🙂

*Edit to add: This giveaway is now closed.

Disclaimer: Gnu Foods sent me the bars to try, but all thoughts and opinions are strictly my own as I was not compensated for this review.

Eat Whole Foods

So last night I attended the first of five sessions of the Healthy Eating Challenge hosted by Whole Foods.  The class was sold out at 23 participants and was held in a small room at my local Whole Foods.  When we walked in the room, each person received a bag filled with Whole Foods goodies!

I’m really excited about the red lentils.  I’ve eaten lentils before, but bought the pre-made kind, so I’ll need to do some experimenting with actually cooking them.  The other items are always good to have on hand and I can always use another reusable bag and kitchen utensils!  We also got a suggested meal plan with tons of recipes.

The class began with a short introduction on what the “challenge” would entail.  I quickly learned that the class was more geared to the common person, which unfortunately, does not have a lot of knowledge of what it means to eat healthy, whole foods.  I wasn’t sure what to expect, but hoped it went a bit deeper, but it did give some good information for someone who is just getting started on their healthy eating endeavors.

This 28 Day Challenge included a daily food intake of vegetables, fruit, nuts and seeds, beans, and whole grains/starch vegetables with recommended portions of each.  They suggested limiting fish, eggs, poultry, and meat and eliminating dairy, oils, white bread/pasta, processed foods, and sweets.  They did stress that each choice is a personal one and every person can decide how they want to attack this challenge.  Personally, I don’t necessarily agree with completely “restricting” particular foods such as dairy and oils and I don’t feel the need to limit eggs when I am eating mostly eggwhites.  (I usually consume two yolks a week which is fine.)  Dairy is not a category I typically eat a lot of anyway as I prefer almond milk to cow’s and I do keep cheese out of the house because I know it’s just not a super healthy choice.

Then we toured the store and I learned a couple of things.  For one, I did not know that the seasonal and on-sale items were kept in the front of the store in the produce section.  Also, Whole Foods is really trying to develop their “Health Starts Here” initiative, so they have placed that label on a lot of products to make shopping easier for those with specific goals in mind.

When we got to the meat department, I noticed a label on the glass which was a 5-Step Animal Welfare Rating.  This provides a rating on all of the meat on a 1 – 5 scale.  I do appreciate how Whole Foods stresses the importance of treating animals humanely and maintaining good relationships with their farmers.

I don’t buy or cook with a ton of meat, but if/when I do, I’ll be sure to check out the rating first.  After the tour, we went back to the room for a cooking demonstration.  The room was neat in that there was a slanted, hanging mirror, so we were able to see what was going on in the front of the room.

They made two “Bowls of Goodness” for us which includes a whole grain or starchy veggie, beans, greens, veggies, herbs & spices, and condiments or sauces.  Oftentimes I find myself making a bowl similar to this though I never named it. 🙂  It is a good basis for where to start in preparing a healthy dish using whole foods.  In fact, I made one for my lunch tomorrow!  You’ll have to wait for WIAW to see it though.  The first bowl they made included a greens mix of kale, spinach, and one other leafy green that I can’t remember, quinoa, peppers, onions, carrots, olives, and a Health Starts Here salad dressing with no oil.

The second dish was similar, but had chickpeas, avocado, brown rice, and a different Health Starts Here dressing.  A bit creamier due to the chickpeas and avocado and very tasty.  I love the simplicity of these bowls.

All in all it was a very good class and I am looking forward to delving deeper into some of the upcoming topics.  I’ll definitely be trying some new recipes, so be on the lookout!

My new goals of going to bed earlier, waking up, and working out are two days strong!  I typed furiously last night to complete this blog post in order to get in bed by 10, and I made it!  It makes so much of a difference if I get to bed before then in terms of waking up and getting to the gym.  Another circuit was on the docket today:

Week 11 Day 2: Back, Abs, & Cardio

  • Circuit: 20 reps each
  • Barbell Deadlift: 40 pounds
  • Bent Over Barbell Row: 40 pounds
  • Wide Grip Lat Pull Down: 45 pounds
  • Seated Cable Rows: 20 pounds
  • Hyperextensions: 25 pounds
  • Knee/Hip Raises
  • Airbike
  • Complete circuit 3 times
  • Cardio: 30 – 40 minutes

Due to morning time constraints, I must save my cardio for soccer practice this evening with my girls.  It’s not the best cardio, but I try and do as much as I can with them and it’s better than nothing!

Have you ever taken any sort of “healthy eating” class?

Wake Up & Work Out

After a fun weekend, itz Monday once again.  Shocker, right?  Not so much. 🙂  I am thrilled that this week marks the second-to-last week of the LiveFit training program I have been following!  I am in Phase 3 and it’s definitely my favorite phase, but I am ready to be done with the program.  I go through total phases in terms of working out.  I crave to have a workout schedule and then I get sick of feeling bound to a training plan.  Then, I do my own thing for awhile and I’m excited to get back on a schedule.  I guess that’s what makes it exciting, eh?  Here’s today’s workout:

Week 11 Day 1: Legs

  • Circuit:  30 reps each
  • Barbell Squat: 70 pounds
  • Leg Press: 135 pounds
  • Stiff Legged Barbell Deadlift: 50 pounds
  • Barbell Lunge: 40 pounds
  • Calf Press on Leg Machine: 150 pounds
  • Complete circuit 3 – 4 times.

I like this circuit.  30 reps is a lot to do, so it definitely challenged me during the workout.  Update time:

I did meet my goals, but I think it’s time for a change.  I’ve got the plating my food and drinking enough water thing down pat.  For some reason, last week I went to bed later than usual (after 10 pm!) and this made waking up in the morning much more difficult.  It was a snowball effect.  Some mornings I took the extra sleep, so I had to get to the gym after school which I don’t love.  I like having my freedom when work is over.  When I don’t workout in the morning, I don’t feel as good throughout the day.  Also, I didn’t follow Week 9 as closely as I should have.  I did complete five days of activity, but that’s it.  And two of those five days were walks with Zoey.  So not my usual workout pattern and I didn’t like it.

My new goals for this week: Go to bed before 10 pm and wake up and workout before work.  Ready, set, go!  Thanks, Best Body Bootcamp for a little extra motivation.

Speaking of motivation, tonight is the first session the Healthy Eating Challenge hosted by Whole Foods.  It is completely sold out; I think that is a good sign that it will be an awesome event.  I’ll bring you the update tomorrow.

What’s your motivation?

Healthy Eating Challenge

My Spring Break is officially ending.  It was a fun and relaxing week of traveling, working out, hanging with family, lots of walks, sparkly pink nailsslicing, fro yotasty eats, productivity, and goodies!  Yesterday, the weather was gorgeous; I got outside for a couple of walks to simply enjoy the fresh air.

My girls had a soccer game and we won!  That makes our team 4 and 1.  It’s awesome to be able to coach such a wonderful group of girls with positive attitudes and true talent.  My brother, nephew, and husband came to the game and then we all went to dinner after.  Jonny and I have been dog-sitting his parents’ dogs for the past few days. One of the dogs, Zorro, is Zoey’s brother.  The other dog is Paris and they are absolutely best friends.

We are best friends!

Zoey, on the other hand, prefers her own space and tends to be a bit of a loner.

I like to call it "independent."

This morning I rocked it at the gym [again!] with the last workout for Week 9.  This is definitely my favorite workout of the week.  I’m not sure what it was, but I felt really strong throughout the whole workout and was just enjoying all the iron pumpin’!

Week 9 Day 6: Shoulders, Triceps, Calves, & Sprints

  • *Superset – Bench Press: 3 sets of 15 reps (30 pounds)
  • *Superset – Jump Rope: 3 sets of 1 minute
  • ^Superset – Bench Dips: 3 sets of 15 reps
  • ^Superset – Mountain Climbers: 3 sets of 15 reps
  • *Tripleset – Dumbbell Upright Row: 3 sets of 12 reps (15 pounds)
  • *Tripleset – Arnold Dumbbell Press: 3 sets of 12 reps (15 pounds)
  • *Tripleset – Jump Rope: 3 sets of 1 minute
  • ^Tripleset – Side Lateral Raise: 3 sets of 12 reps (10 pounds)
  • ^Tripleset – Tricep Pushdown (rope): 3 sets of 12 reps (30 pounds)
  • ^Tripleset – Jump Rope (high knees): 3 sets of 1 minute
  • *Superset – Medicine Ball Push Ups: 3 sets of 10 reps
  • *Superset – Push Ups: 3 sets of 10 reps
  • ^Tripleset – Standing Calf Raise: 3 sets of 20 reps (70 pounds)
  • ^Tripleset – Sitting Calf Raise on Leg Press Machine: 3 sets of 20 reps (150 pounds)
  • ^Tripleset – Jump Rope: 3 sets of 1 minute
  • Cardio: 30 minutes Run/Walk Intervals

28-Day Healthy Eating Challenge

I signed up for this event through the Whole Foods in St. Louis.  (There are always TONS of events going on here!) What is it?  They are weekly meetings during April that include a quick lecture and cooking demonstration.  Why did I sign up?  I do know how to eat healthy, yes; however, I am not a professional and feel like I can always learn more.  I am stoked to see what new information will come my way.

Here are the topics that will be covered:

  1. Whole Foods
  2. Plant Strong
  3. Healthy Fats
  4. Nutrition Dense
  5. Celebration

Also, I signed up with a friend.  Sometimes it is hard to find time to hang out, so now we are guaranteed to see each other once a week for the month of April.  Yay!  Don’t worry, I will definitely share what I learn in this class with you.  If you are in the St. Louis area, I highly encourage you to sign up, too!  I mean if nothing else, I’ll be there!  😉  Pre-registration is required, so sign up before it gets sold out.  (Sign up here.)

I’m off to seize my last day of break before returning to my kiddos!  And I have grocery shopping, laundry, food prep, and family dinner to accomplish today/tonight, so I best get started!  Happy Sunday to you!

Have you ever been to a Whole Foods event?  Do share!

March’s Conscious Box

My positivity continued throughout the day even despite the crazy weather.  There was a lot of rain in the morning followed by sunshine and then showers on and off.  Jonny and I took a walk and watched the clouds change multiple times.

Crazy, right?  We did make it home before the clouds opened up, but I just couldn’t believe the changes we saw during our twenty-minute stroll!  Today I went to the gym when I woke up to complete a back, biceps, abs, and sprints workout.

Week 9 Day 5: Back, Biceps, Abs, & Sprints

  • *Superset – Wide Grip Assisted Pull-Up: 3 sets of 12 reps
  • *Superset – Medicine Ball Twist: 3 sets of 12 reps (14 pounds)
  • ^Tripleset – Seated Cable Rows: 3 sets of 15 reps (10 pounds each side)
  • ^Tripleset – Low Pulley Row to Neck: 3 sets of 15 reps (8 pounds each side)
  • ^Tripleset – Reverse Crunch: 3 sets of 25 reps
  • *Superset – Bent Arm Dumbbell Pullover: 3 sets of 15 reps (20 pounds)
  • *Superset – Decline Crunch: 3 sets of 15 reps
  • ^Tripleset – Wide Grip Lat Pulldown: 3 sets of 15 reps (45 pounds)
  • ^Tripleset – Underhand Cable Pulldown: 3 sets of 15 reps (45 pounds)
  • ^Tripleset – Exercise Ball Crunch: 3 sets of 15 reps (14 pounds)
  • *Superset – Standing Bicep Cable Curl: 3 sets of 15 reps (20 pounds)
  • *Superset – Spider Crunch: 3 sets of 15 reps
  • ^Superset – Hammer Curls: 3 sets of 15 reps (15 pounds)
  • ^Superset – Tuck Jumps: 3 sets of 15 reps
  • Barbell Curl 21’s: 3 sets of 21 reps (20 pounds)
  • Cardio: 1 minute Run/Walk intervals (30 minutes)

These Phase 3 workouts are long and totally kick my butt!  I love it.  You know what else I love?  Conscious Boxes!  What is Conscious Box?  Conscious Box is a monthly delivery of pure and sustainable products that are handpicked from businesses that care about the planet – just like you!”  Basically, it is a box delivered to your doorstep filled with goodies that benefit you and your body without harming our environment.  Love in a box.  The kind souls at Conscious Box sent me a box to share with you.  Right inside the box is a quick blurb to explain the given month’s theme.

How perfect for Spring!  The “stretch your body” part really hit home for me as I have been trying to stretch on a more consistent basis.  Stretching is not difficult, but I have been having trouble actually making time for it.  I think this Conscious Box’s message is pretty clear. 🙂  On to the goodies:

MixtBag: Haven’t tried these yet, but how can you possibly go wrong with tortilla chips?  Answer: You can’t!  Especially chips that are all natural.  Crunchmaster Multi-Grain Crackers: These had a good flavor and were strong to withstand some serious dipping.  And the ingredient list consisted of only 11 recognizable ingredients.  Score!  The next six items all go with the energy theme.

Tera’s Whey: Goat protein with high-antioxidant superfruits.  I can’t wait to make a smoothie with this!  Java Juice: I don’t love coffee, but do drink it when I need the boost. This extract would be a fast and easy way to get the boost I need!  Good Kind Coffee Creamer: When I do drink coffee, I need to use cream of some sort.  This kind is GMO, gluten, trans-fat, and artificial flavor, color, and preservative free!  What more could you ask for?  Tea Forte Minteas: Perfect for popping in your mouth after a meal and I love the ginger pear flavor – different and tasty!  Healthy To Go! Acai Energy Boost:  You know how much I love acai.  This will be the perfect pick-me-up once spring break is over and I return to work.  EBOOST:  This reminds me of Airbore or Emergen-C, but EBOOST uses real ingredients to boost the immune system. And the pink lemonade flavor was good!

Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds: We have a mini-garden in our backyard thanks to my father-in-law.  Maybe carrots could be our next garden project?  I promise to help!  😉  Olivella:  I’ve never used lotion with olive oil, but now I’m going to start.  This left my hands so silky smooth, and there are no added weird ingredients.  Double win.  Olbas Lozenges:  I’m saving this guy for when I really need it, but they claim to fight coughs and soothe sore throats.  The Conscious Box also included numerous coupons to use online for purchasing products.  Isn’t it amazing?  I told you so!

Have you order your Conscious Box yet?  It is a fabulous way to find out about companies and products that are good for our bodies and our earth.  For me, both factors are crucial when purchasing food, household items, and/or body products.  In addition, Conscious Box makes for such a fun gift!  I gifted a box to my parents and in-laws during the holidays. You can choose a single box or a package.  They are reasonably priced for ALL of the goodies you get.  Thank you, Conscious Box, for sharing this amazing box with me!

What would you want to try out of March’s Conscious Box?

High Five Friday

I think all my go-go-going kind of caught up to me yesterday.  I helped my sister with a photoshoot in the morning, and I planned on waking up extra early to squeeze in a workout.  After laying in bed for awhile, I decided a cup of coffee may do the trick.  Well, that cup of coffee kept me by my computer for too long and the next thing I knew it was time to get ready for the shoot.

When we were finished, I ran a few errands, and by the time I got home I was famished.  I snacked way too heavily instead of plating my food.  I dilly-dallied around the house and knew I was just procrastinating getting to the gym.  Earlier this week, Meg talked about taking a challenge.  I decided that the gym was my challenge and I would tackle it by getting started on a workout.  Usually once I start a workout I am good to go.  Yesterday was not the case.  The whole thing was challenging; I just wasn’t feeling it.  I powered through the weight section of the workout and was thrilled to be done.

Week 9 Day 3: Chest, Shoulders, Abs, & Sprints

  • *Superset – Incline Dumbbell Press: 3 sets of 15 reps (15 pounds)
  • *Superset – Dumbbell Shoulder Press: 3 sets of 15 reps (15 pounds)
  • ^Superset – Cable Cross-Over: 3 sets of 15 reps (15 pounds)
  • ^Superset – Push Ups: 3 sets of 12 reps
  • *Superset – One Arm Overhead Kettlebell Squats: 3 sets of 15 reps each side (12 pounds)
  • *Superset – Jack Knife Sit-Up: 3 sets of 15 reps
  • ^Tripleset- Side Lateral Raise: 3 sets of 15 reps (10 pounds)
  • ^Tripleset – Standing Dumbbell Upright Row: 3 sets of 15 reps (15 pounds)
  • ^Tripleset – Burpees: 3 sets of 10 reps
  • *Superset – Dips: 3 sets of 15 reps
  • *Superset – Push Ups: 3 sets of 15 reps
  • Knee/Hip Raise: 3 sets of 15 reps

This workout was supposed to be followed by a thirty minute cardio session like yesterday’s.  However, since I was totally not feeling it, I called it a day at the gym and headed home.  When I got home, I was pretty grumpy since I didn’t have the best workout.  It was absolutely beautiful out, so I decided to take a walk around our neighborhood for about thirty minutes.  Not the same as doing run/walk intervals on the treadmill, but definitely better than nothing.  And for getting the workout in, I’m giving myself a high-five. 🙂

Sure you can give yourself a high-five!  Because I just did.  Especially on High Five Friday.  I do believe that my workout was crummy because I anticipated it being crummy.  I went in with the mindset of, “This is totally going to suck,” and it did.  Am I glad I got it done?  Yes, but I like to enjoy my workouts (which I usually do), and yesterday I didn’t.  I did, however, enjoy my walk and the weather.  My experience re-confirmed that I have to get my workouts done in the morning.  That is when I feel my best and it helps set the positive tone for the day.  Afterall…

(source) True story.  This morning I woke up with a positive attitude just knowing that I was going to kill it at the gym today.  And you know what?  I did.  Mind over matter, my friends.

Week 9 Day 4: Hamstrings, Glutes, & Calves

  • *Superset – Seated Leg Curl: 3 sets of 15 reps (80 pounds)
  • *Superset – Barbell lunge: 3 sets of 15 reps each side (40 pounds)
  • ^Superset – Stiff Legged Barbell Deadlift: 3 sets of 15 reps (60 pounds)
  • ^Superset – Bounce Bounce Squat: 3 sets of 15 (25 pounds)
  • *Superset – One Legged Kneeling Leg Curl: 3 sets of 15 reps (15 pounds)
  • *Superset – Split Squat: 3 sets of 15 reps
  • ^Superset – One Legged Barbell Squat: 3 sets of 15 reps (40 pounds)
  • ^Superset – Mountain Climbers: 3 sets of 20 reps
  • *Tripleset – Standing Calf Raise: 3 sets of 20 reps (70 pounds)
  • *Tripleset – Seated Calf Raise: 3 sets of 20 reps (120 pounds)
  • *Tripleset – Jump Rope: 3 sets of 1 minute

I intended on doing the 30 minute cardio session on the treadmill, but I happened to spot Annette at the gym just before she began her Zumba class!  Knowing that this would be the last time I would be able to take one of her classes in quite some time (she’s moving! :(), I jumped at the opportunity.  Plus, watching her dance and trying to keep up just puts me in an instantly good mood.  Pretty sure Annette shakes it 100 times faster than I do – quite impressive!

What are you giving yourself a high five for today?  Go ahead, celebrate your successes!