September 28, 2012

Fat Loss: Phil's Way to Success and a "It's Friday" Quiz!

Good Morning!

I have been reading more of Timothy Ferriss's book, The Four Hour Body.  It is just fascinating, although, not really doable for all people.  However, he has some key concepts I think I will take into my own routine, as well as extra resources that may help fat loss in different ways.  He has four principles to run with to keep on track.  I TOTALLY agree with these principles, and mostly use them with my clients.  Here they are:

1. Make it conscious.
2. Make it a game.
3. Make it competitive.
4. Make it small and temporary.

Within these guidelines, I will tell you some of his ideas and some of mine!

1.  The best way to make fat loss a conscious effort is through the art of seeing.  Sometimes you have to see things to believe it, it is the way we function best, I think.  I like using measurements to help my clients see.  So, not only may the scale change (or not!), but inches change.  Ferriss also suggests the "flash diet", studied by the University of Wisconsin, found that taking pictures of everything you consume, before you consume it, found that people consciously made better choices.  It makes sense: you know that the Hershey's bar isn't going to do your diet any good, and as you take that picture of it, it sinks in.  And maybe it gives you more confidence in your decision to throw it away.  Try it for a few days.  Take a picture of EVERYTHING and send it to an invaluable and non-critical friend :)

2.  Games are fun!  Pretend like it isn't work, it's play!

3.  Research states that the fear of loss is more valuable than getting a reward.  Take a friend who also has some weight loss/fat loss goals and make it competitive.  With a friend, give them a dollar for every time you DON'T hit your weight/fat loss goals and make them do it too!  Or find a challenge group online, there are lots out there.  Embrace peer pressure!

4.  Take baby steps.  Make small changes that will create a greater effect on your goals.  They don't have to be big, but if you take a few changes in, the result will be greater!

Ferriss took Phil's example in the book and I LOVED it.  Phil took his laziness and lack of desire to make a change and WATCHED the pounds drop.  I'm not saying this is for everyone, but with fat loss, there is something that makes everyone tick and turns a switch to produce better loss...for Phil, it took inactivity.  He made a chart of his current and ideal weight and added his maximum and minimum-allowable weight for each day.  He plugged in the numbers of his weight each day and watched where it hit on the chart.  Miraculously, it followed his guidelines without him trying to make any changes!  He decided that it was a subconscious thing; if he saw that he was close to the maximum-allowable line, he made decisions that day that guided him into loss.  They must have been minute discrepancies, but it worked.

Just for fun, download the chart and type in the numbers for yourself:  It's kind of fun :)

As I am reading this book, I have decided to take some of his ideas and put them in my own routine.  I will be charting my own weight on the chart above and seeing if some change makes a difference.  Like I said, doing everything he says is a lot.  So, will making some effort to follow his guidelines help?   What have you found to be helpful in reaching your goals?

On another note, take this quiz from SparkPeople to see if you can tell from these weight loss truths or myths!  Have a Happy Friday!

September 27, 2012

Phytic Acid Chart in Grains

I came across this today and thought I would share it as an addition to my last post.

I wanted to know if phytic acid was an issue with other grains and this image shows how it is prevalent AND how soaking oats and corn does not change the amount of phytic acid by much...there ya go!

Benefits of Sourdough: The Superbread!

Good Morning!

Since it is my morning off of early mornings, I like to make myself a yummy breakfast.  And this morning was no exception.  Recently, I have been interested in having my own sourdough starter.  I was listening to Sandor Katz, author of the Art of Fermentation, on CPR (Colorado Public Radio), and how his life of disease changed when he decided to eat all fermented foods (which is more than you think!).  Bread, cheese, wine, pickles, beer, yogurt, sauerkraut, salami, tempeh, and soy sauce are among many fermentable and healthy foods!

In wheat and other grain sources, the enzyme lactic acid is a byproduct in sourdough that can break down phytic acid, which may not be easily digestible according to many studies.  We can talk more about how phytic acid is a problem in our diet, but mainly, it blocks our body's ability to uptake and utilize key nutrients like magnesium, copper, iron, zinc, and calcium.  We need those!  Most breads are very high in phytic acid. I believe this is one cause of many that are making us more fat yet hungry and begging for nutrients.  And other studies show that these nutrients (found in veggies!) help lower health risks caused by obesity.  This Harvard study says so, among many.  If this topic really interests you, I recommend the documentaries Sick, Fat, and Nearly Dead and The Beautiful Truth.

Ever since this research, I have been taking MOST breads out of my diet.  Unfortunately, I still enjoy some baked goods (especially baked with love from my mother) and the occasional bread at someone else's house.  There are none in my cupboards!  The only thing that I keep around is a frozen loaf of Ezekiel bread, which is sprouted which also may help decrease the amount of phytic acid.  (Speaking of frozen, sourdough does not go bad as quickly as regular bread, another plus!)

Another study I came across mentioned that sourdough, not only takes away most phytic acid, it also is shown to reduce the high insulin response found in *GASP* whole wheat!!!  White sourdough AND white breads are less likely to produce a high blood sugar response.  This lack of high blood sugar response in sourdough, if eaten in the morning, also lasted throughout the day, making what you eat for breakfast even MORE important!  And if you are gluten intolerant, the soaking and rising process of sourdough helps break down gluten into key amino acids, making it more easy to digest and use...

All said, here is a recipe for Sourdough pancakes.  They were SUPER tasty and fluffy, and REALLY filled me up (which is hard these days, ha!).

Sourdough Pancakes

*recipe found through this blog: (the weirdest blog name, but check it out because it stands for something cool!)

4 T. melted butter/coconut oil/olive oil (I used coconut)
1/2 tsp salt ( I really noticed the salty flavor, which I don't like, so I will be halving this next time...)
1 egg
2 T sweetener (I used maple syrup)
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 T cinnamon, if desired
2 c sourdough starter
1 tsp baking soda
1T water

Heat up your skillet on low as you mix ingredients!  
Take oil, salt, egg, syrup, vanilla and cinnamon and whisk together.  Add starter and mix again until fully incorporated.  Next, take soda and water in a separate small cup and stir.   Set aside. 
Oil skillet!
Pour baking soda mixture into batter and mix immediately.  Pour it to make your cakes!  I didn't have anything atop my cakes, they were filling and tasty enough.  Feel free to add fruit (banana sounds great), nuts, or syrup!

This is your batter, right after pouring the soda water.  Nice and bubbly:

Here is a blog I found easy to read and has some great recipes/ideas:

Since my "grow" section of this blog has slowed, due to the season that we are in, I figured this is a great new way to "grow" all year round ;)

Next, lets talk HOW to keep/maintain sourdough and a bread-baking post!  Stay tuned!

September 25, 2012

Shrimp, Spice, and Everything Nice!

I was SOOO excited to find that I had finished my peanut butter jar yesterday because that meant I could make my favorite Overnight Oats!  I tweaked the recipe since I was out of cottage cheese and used greek yogurt instead.  I was pleasantly surprised to find there was no sour taste from the yogurt and it was REAL thick and creamy, using only about 1/4 cup yogurt (or less!).  Perhaps the flavor depends on the brand of yogurt?  I used plain low-fat chobani.  Anyway, best batch yet!

Today, I bought more peanut butter to replace my last jar, and realized I bought Honey Roasted peanut butter!!! UGH!  I am a firm believer that added sugar in the diet is a detriment to everyone's health and is a main contributer in health and heart issues.  Having extra sugar in my PB stinks, but I decided I will use it in my homemade granola and take out most of the sugar in the recipe.  Normally, I use a store brand of natural PB, which only uses nuts and oil.  

After a tough boot camp and spin class combo today, I was hungry!  I always drink some protein after my hard workouts, and then I made myself a serving of shrimp and left-over delicata squash from last night's dindin!  Yum!  I chose to sprinkle the shrimp in my favorite spice blend from Savory Spice Shop, Red Cloud Peak seasoning.  I swear by more expensive and creative blends in spices!  It makes EVERYTHING taste so much better, and this one was shrimp-tastic!

** (cherry tomatoes on the side not shown)

Tomorrow I hope to talk about one of my favorite fitness authors, Timothy Ferriss.  His book 4 Hour Body, is a great HUGE book on everything you need to know to be fit and healthy with the least amount of effort or money spent.  To be continued...

Happy Tuesday!

September 23, 2012

Another Day Another Climb

Happy Sunday!

Today was a fun climb up Mt. Bierstadt with two gym buddies!  I love hiking with people, let me know if you ever want to join.  The offer will stand indefinitely.

We started VERY early, which made for some beautiful early morning colors on the surrounding mountains:

Here, we made it to the top and someone brought up a homemade sign!  

I was rushed in the morning (which is not my style), so it was a good thing I pre-made yogurt, strawberries, granola, and cinnamon.  Good protein and fat for staying power, and strawberries help the body recover and produce quick energy.  I munched and drove.

We had a great time and the weather was relatively warm for such a late-season hike, although there was some wind at the be expected!  Unfortunately, the views weren't fantastic because of the fires (in Idaho and Washington?)...but still sooo worth it!

I snacked/ate quite a bit this afternoon because I ate some food, but it didn't stay with me long!  Among the list--an apple, protein bar, yogurt, granola, and a great salad with roasted delicata squash.

Sorry about the lighting!  You can see I made it with romaine, beet greans, fried kale, shaved parmesan, walnuts, and delicata bits with balsamic vinegar on top.  A very interesting mixture, but very satisfying.  Then I ate a cookie my roommate baked.  What a tasty end!

About delicata are some great reasons to like this squash.  By roasting it in the oven at 400 with olive oil (until soft), you can create a sweet, soft squash AND eat the skin as well!  I love squash but HATE peeling the hard exterior.  But not with this squash!  It is so tasty and you can make it with so many different flavors.

As I sit here, I may still be hungry...even though I had greek yogurt for breakfast and 2 protein bars, perhaps I didn't eat enough.  Usually protein and fat help me stay full much longer!

September 21, 2012

Pickling, Best Tea Factory, and Mexican Fare...

Lots has happened in the past few days, including dog sitting, so needless to say, I've been busy!

Here are the highlights:

Celestial Seasonings Tour:

If you have never been to this factory, its no brewery, but it is a close favorite!  Over 100 teas and herbal blends to choose from and a great tour, I learned so much and tasted so many new teas I've never heard CS make before.  Thoroughly impressed...I think my favorite were Sweet Harvest Pumpkin and Morning Thunder (a black tea and mate blend!).  I learned more than I knew about tea and was able to appreciate the great business Celestial Seasonings provides with their partnership in other countries (from when they started in 1969).  My brother and I with our hair nets:

El Centro:

I think this is the best Mexican (flare) food I've had.  Not traditional, by any means, but a fun environment and great fresh food.  Their happy hour is exceptional, and as a margarita snob, their margs were delicious!  It might be on the pricey side, but worth it with fun friends or great celebration.


This was my very first endeavor in pickling!  I helped can pie filling last year, but I have been wanting to learn more so that I can pass on the tradition and live off of my garden longer in the year.  Here are the basic steps:

You need to follow a recipe from a canning book, but you mix vinegar, sugar, water, and salt together to form the brine with which you can the pickles.  We cut up pickles (both dill and sweet style, although they were both dill flavored...):

While you chop, heat up the cans:

Here are the jars filled with pepper corns, mustard seed, dill, and pickles:

Me pouring brine:

But DO be careful that the glass doesn't cool off too fast, because to cook in a water bath, transferring cool jars to boiling water can crack, as shown here:

I will let you know how the rest turn out!!!

Cycle class at 24 Hour Fitness followed by Boot Camp tomorrow in the there or miss out on a fun workout!  

September 18, 2012

Help your Kids Eat Healthy (and you too)!

I have a neighbor who's 1(+a few months) year old has a hard time eating anything but dessert, yogurt, and crackers.  Yikes!  Although she is super healthy and fit, sometimes your kid just latches on to eating sugary.  As they age, it becomes harder and harder to attract the healthy stuff.  This website is a great resource to get your older kids, especially if they can read, to enjoy eating healthy.  It has super kids, each taking on their favorite color of healthy food and making it fun!  There are activities like coloring that are fun ways to make healthy foods cool.  Take a look even for yourself to see the foods that you should be consuming in your diet...

If you enjoy indoor cycling or would like to try your own attempt before joining a class, here is a great workout to raise your intensity:

Hill Repeats

Warm up: 1 song (3-4 min)

Song 1: steady gradual climb from easy-moderate to moderate
Song 2: moderate climb with speed intervals during chorus, with one turn in resistance plus extra speed for last repeat
Song 3: Steep incline that takes you from a 'hard' effort level to anaerobic/breathless (feel free to make this seated or out of saddle)

Repeat 3x and then cool down for a song!  This will get you indoor cycle ready!

September 17, 2012

Take this Calorie Quiz and then Eat a Chicken Salad

After a week of using my roommate's computer, I finally got a new cord in the mail!  Thank you roommate!

Before I forget, COME TO BOOT CAMP in the park this Wednesday at 1pm...check the top of my blog for directions!

I felt like going on a run today, which doesn't happen as often as I want to...mostly because I am afraid I will re-injure my back.  But I warmed up my body really good by foam rolling my quads, doing the dynamic runner's lunge, storks, and a 5 min bike ride.  I ran 4.85 miles (a fave loop by 24 HR Fitness) at a 8:25 min pace!  Pretty good for me, since I haven't been running much.

This was a fun quiz to stumble upon.  I only got 66.7% because I don't know my fast food calories well...but it was fun to see what BETTER options there are when you are at a restaurant, fast food joint, or a party.  Take a look at this quiz and beat my sad score!

Here's a look at dinner (and lunch tomorrow!):

I'm a fan of making 'hearty' salads that won't go wilty, if I am planning not to use my jarring method.  This salad included some of a roasted chicken I bought today at the store...didn't feel like cooking chicken!  Here's the recipe:

Chicken Salad

-Chicken breast, cooked and cut up in chunks
-1 red pepper, chopped
-1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved
-1 cup red cabbage, shredded
-bunch cilantro, chopped

Maple Dijon Dressing
-1 T dijon mustard
-2 t maple syrup
-3 T olive oil
-1 T balsamic vinegar
**shake this all up with some salt/pepper in a small jar and pour over salad!
**if this is too strong, either add more oil or some water

I am a huge fan of red cabbage in salads, mainly because it doesn't wilt!  Enjoy this fresh and tasty salad :)  I will tomorrow!

September 16, 2012

Ode to Mt Sherman and SOOO Many Tomatoes!

We look happy right?

That is my roommate and I on the top of Mt. Sherman!  We did it!  It was her first 14er EVER and my SECOND time on Mt. Sherman.  However, if you ask me, that is two times too many. 
I decided to go along and climb Sherman with a group, even though my first instinct was horrific.  Sherman is windy, rocky, too short, too ugly, too windy, and did I say ugly?  It is a good first 14er, but I must say goodbye to Sherman.  There will be no more trips up to that windy top.
**do note that I recommend Sherman and think I have just been swayed by my bad experiences...if you were planning on it, stick with it!  Maybe just bring a wind resistant jacket...

On Saturday, we gathered all of the ripe tomatoes off our plants...

The perspective might be lost, but that is a LOT of 'brown berry' and yellow pear tomatoes!!!
Yummy and sweet for snacking ;)  For all of the gardeners out there, this brown berry tomato might be the sweetest cherry version I've had.  Seed Savers!

Big thanks for those who showed up to Boot Camp--definitely a success, but we need MORE to come.  It's not too late to start coming!   :)

Have a happy Monday!

September 14, 2012

Fun with Photos!

I am playing with Picmonkey today and wanted to bring a little inspiration to our fab Friday!  Enjoy!

Don't forget to come check out Boot Camp! 

September 13, 2012

C-6 and C-10: A History (and more Pancakes!)

The poll above is for a topic for me to talk about.  The 'diet fad' with the most interest will be discussed!

Real quick, here is a recipe I've used the past two days:

Protein Pancakes

1/2 banana, mashed
1 egg
1 scoop vanilla protein powder (I use Apex's Supreme)
2 T. corn meal or another flour of choice
1/2 tsp. baking powder
 *add milk (almond milk!) to reach desired consistency-I used about 1/4 cup

Combine wet ingredients first and add dry to form into a batter.  As any pancake, pour on med heat skillet until it bubbles, flip, and repeat.  Serve with PB or almond butter if you dare!
**this is for one extremely filling breakfast, or two cakes for a normal stomach ;)

 I felt like adding some chia seeds in the mix, no flavor, possibly some benefit!

This breakfast was consumed after an early morning spin class (on top of the other tough classes this week) and I just couldn't get full!  Still hungry...

C-6 and C-10: A History

There is a great book out there that everyone should read, especially those of us who are gradually getting older (last time I checked, that's all of us!).  It's called, "Younger Next Year" by Crowley and Lodge.  This book explains something that is crucial to our human makeup, and something that is slowly causing us to age and get sick faster than ever before.

Let me take a step back and explain the biology behind it all.  Your body produces cytokines that regulate everything in your body.  Cytokine 6 (C6) controls decay, or inflammation, and C10 regulates growth.  This is very simplistic, obviously there is much more going on, but I want to encourage you with this...There is a steady trickle of C6, decay, that happens every second.  It takes a massive surge in C6 to trigger a response of C10 to clean up after C6's damage.  The only way to trigger that much of a response is through exercise.  You must sweat to rebuild and grow what is decaying in your body.

Many things can cause C6 to continue to release inflammation, on top of what it already releases in the body.  And unfortunately, it only increases with age.  Daily stress, apathy, and worry are huge examples of added inflammation that is caused mostly by our busy lives and jobs.  And, also unfortunately, when we are so busy and stressed out, we don't have time to fit in fitness.

Think back to our hunter/gatherer days...we would chill in the fields, waiting for prey to hunt, playing with the kids...when, all of a sudden, food is in sight.  Adrenaline (stress) rushes into our body as we attack, cook, and eat.  This is good stress--just like working out.  We need to excite that system, help it boost inflammation to produce growth, and start that process all over again, every day.  If you want to stay fit, healthy, and alive for the next few decades, you must exercise!!!

Alright, if this is interesting or exciting to you, read the book and go work out.  Get that inflammation going so that your body can clean up, rebuild, and make you stronger!

Here's lunch: A salad with tomatoes, avocado, deli turkey, red cabbage, feta, EVOO, and balsamic vinegar.  This looks small, but it was actually REALLY big.  Hopefully this will fill me up! Bye for now!

September 11, 2012

Embrace Recovery for a Stronger You!

Hello Everyone!

I am at the local library today.  Not only did my car break down, but my computer cord isn't working (at least, I hope its just the cord!).  What a great reason to head to the library for some research :)
No pictures today, but I wanted to talk about proper recovery.  Sometimes it is important to listen to your body and slow down when necessary, especially if you are highly active, have little time between workouts/exercise modes, and if you are new to fitness and feel the effect of delayed soreness.  When you exercise, your body breaks down proteins necessary to repair the muscles you used during your workout.  Especially if you use eccentric movements, that is, movements where you are lowering your body or weight (pushups, squats, and the downward motion of most exercises), you will feel DOMS kick in.  DOMS stands for delayed onset [of] muscle soreness.  When you try a new exercise, or maybe if you worked REALLY hard, you will feel the effect of DOMS.  There are a few things you can do to help facilitate healthy recovery:

1.  Mild stretching after exercise.  Studies are unsure as to the role stretching plays in the recovery process, but it can't hurt to increase your range of motion and cool down after your workout. 

2.  Cool down and warm up!  Sometimes you can be sore because you didn't warm up properly.  I tell each of my clients to warm up on something 'easy', like an elliptical, or start off slow to let your body pump more blood, get your joints loose, and feel your heart ready climb STEADILY.  That way, you will be primed for a great and intense workout.  Same thing goes for afterward.  Hope on that same elliptical, jog slowly, or walk to let your heart rate drop, clearing away any acidic byproduct of lactic acid. 

3.  Ice baths, ibuprofen, and refuel.  These are in the same category...maybe you need an extra boost in your recovery.  Especially if you KNOW you did something hard, like a race or a new and intense form of exercise.  You NEED to refuel.  I could spend a whole post (and maybe I will) on how refueling your body with the proper nutrients is vital.  Ibuprofen can help with the feeling of soreness and reduce inflammation caused by the workout.  Ice baths are sworn to help by many elite athletes, especially the endurance group. 

4.  Drink plenty of water and sleep!  Water is vital and not limited to how your body brings nutrients via the bloodstream.  There are so many functions in the body that rely on water.  So if you don't like or can't find ways to drink enough, chug!  Or brew some herbal tea.  Just please drink enough to rehydrate that water-depleted body.  Sleeping is essential and it is for a REASON.  There are so many things that take place in sleep for your body to repaire itself.  Let it rest and get the full amount of sleep!

5.  Take supplements.  I am not a huge fan of being dependent on supplements, but there are two things I swear by: vitamins and BCAA's.  Vitamins are important because you would need to eat a TON of leafy greens to get everything you need to function.  Maybe you are tired and sluggish because you don't have enough vegetables and essential vitamins and minerals through your diet.  Get them through some high quality multi's.  Apex and GNC are the best, highest absorbing multi's on the market.  BCAA's are great and that would take another post, so read this to hold you over til then.  It is a great article on why they are important and how it facilitates your health. 

What a wordy post!  Hopefully these things help you in your active lifestyles and journey through fitness.  Any questions?  Comment below!  We need to get this comment thing going ;)  Comments help facilitate more thoughts on this topic so ask away!  Have an amazing Tuesday!

(P.S., that salad in a jar I made yesterday was an AMAZING combination-delish!  Check it out!)

September 10, 2012

Salad Transportation Ideas and The Fruit Fly Battle

What a blazin' Monday!  Hope your weeks are off to a good start.  Mine sure is!  I got my car back AND I got 9 hours of much needed sleep last night.  Dang...

Here is a great idea, stolen from MANY sites and a fave on Pinterest (check out my page):  Salads in a JAR!!!  This has transformed WHEN I eat salads, since they can get soggy way to fast.  And I have plenty of jars around, which are great ways to transport without a plastic-y, here it is:

 The beauty of it is that you get to be artistic.  Layer 'harder' veggies on the bottom, as well as any nuts, meat, or cheese, and then add dressing of your choice, then finish off with lettuce.  I always run out of room for lettuce, but just make sure that you have MOSTLY veggies...

Here were my choices today in order:
-red peppers
-red cabbage
-one deli turkey slice
-a few cherry tomatoes
-splash of balsamic vinegar, touch of olive oil
-romaine lettuce


Are fruit flies invading your household as well as mine?  It is kind of ridiculous here, but I have solved the problem with another blogs idea.  This blog has great, cheap ideas for households...and through much sifting, her idea for fruit flies wins them all!  Take a glass and fill it an inch or two high with apple cider vinegar and a few drops of dish soap.  Swirl, and watch the flies gather!  I took a pic today after I sat the jar down and waited a few minutes:

See how many?  I can count at least thirteen here...anyway, try it.  It saved my sanity.


I am starting up BOOTCAMP this Sat at 1pm.  It is going to be a great, high energy workout, friendly to beginners and hard enough for the advanced.  BE THERE and BRING A FRIEND!

First time is FREE!


At intersections of Dartmouth and Sheridan, go west on Dartmouth until you see Kennedy High School.  There should be a parking lot on the left.  Park and find me!  Questions?  Email me at or post a comment below.  See you there!

Crack Muffins!

This weekend has been a blur, with my car breaking down, hosting a housewarming party, and going to Elitch Gardens (a Denver theme park) for a GREAT friends' 25th birthday (yes, 25 and wild at heart!), I haven't done anything productive.  And sometimes that is wonderful :)

To keep things quick, one of my favorite quick breakfasts has to be the protein pumpkin muffin (in a mug).  Let's not take too much time to mention how I like everything in a mug.  Wine and cereal are best in a mug and I have no idea why.  I just like it.  So when I stumbled upon this recipe on Clean Eating Chelsea, I couldn't resist!  I changed the original quite a bit.  Here it is:

Pumpkin Mug Muffin:

1 egg
1/2 cup pumpkin puree (Chelsea says 1/4, but its good for ya and it fills me for a LONG time)
2 T. flour (buckwheat, whole wheat pastry, cornmeal are faves)
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp vanilla
dash cinnamon
10 chocolate chips (if you are feelin' lucky!)
**any other mix-ins like peanut butter, chia seeds, oats, raisins, nuts, flax, and bran are all welcome!

Combine all together in a big MUG of your choice (it will expand upward), cook for about 3 minutes in the microwave on high, let it cool, and devour!  *I like making this the night before and sticking it in the fridge, so that in the morning, all I have to do is put it in the microwave=brilliant!

September 7, 2012

Friday Art Walk!

Happy Friday!

Breakfast was a little toast and PB.  I was wary of its ability to 'feed the beast', but it filled me up 'til my workout!  Pretty impressive.

Today was beautiful.  Warm sun, yet a slight bite to the air, it was a true September day.  So of course it prompted me to go on a quick run and end with squats (and other fun things) in the gym!  Great 2 mile run, killed the squats :)

Here was lunch, leftover roasted sweet potato, carrots, and some grilled chicken on the side-YUM.  See the purple carrots from the garden?  Those carrots turned out to be a great pick from Seed Savers.  So sweet and delicious:

I've learned the hard way that if you use too little olive oil, it doesn't cook through well.  Don't make that mistake.  Enjoy the extra oil :)  Anyone have ways to make them more crispy without any panko/bread crumbs?

A Word On Seed Savers Exchange:
This is a non-profit, selling and exchanging heirloom varieties of crops.  Their mission statement is beautiful and they are priced just about the same as any other packet of seeds.  Spread the heirloom love .  Buying heirloom varieties helps the sharp decline in unique crop varieties that are becoming lost to a lost agricultural society.  Soils and landscapes need diversity, just as it was created (belief statement to follow ;) ).  If you are interested in starting up a fall crop or getting ready to start your first garden next year, do think about using Seed Savers Exchange or another similar organization that buys and sells heirlooms.

Tonight was a fun time with my two roommates at the Sante Fe First Fridays Art Walk.  TONS of people, food trucks, and of course, art.  There were many favorites, but it made me want to do some art and sell it on the weekends!  And food trucks are amazing.  I had a fresh chicken taco with mango salsa.  Support the local food trucks!

September 6, 2012

A Day of Favorites

Thursdays are days off in my schedule...which means lots of fun things to do!

I started off the day with my favorite oatmeal recipe, overnight oats, a la  She loves her oatmeal, which is one reason why I started following her :)  Usually, this recipe is for a leftover peanut butter jar, but I wanted it this morning and didn't have a used jar...and boy, does it make a difference!  There is something about the oats being soaked in peanut butter scrapings (the stuff your spoon can't get to)!  Also, I add cottage cheese instead of yogurt.  To me, the tart yogurt flavor is weird and over-powering.  Cottage cheese does the trick and adds great protein too...with a Colorado peach and coffee!

I know it doesn't look appetizing, but it has the BEST texture ever.  Don't knock it 'til you try it!

Overnight Oats

1/4 cup Oats
1/4 cup plain greek yogurt OR cottage cheese
1/3-1/2 cup water or milk (depending on how thick you want it)
2 T chia seeds
1 mostly empty jar of PB!  (or scoop 1-2 T into a jar...)

Mix it all together and put it in the fridge overnight.  Wake up to the best cold oats ever!  
**if cold oats really freak you out, you can warm it in the micro :)

Rushed out the door to go on my favorite trail run- Mt. Falcon.  Just south of Morrison, this is a great mountain biking trail and a hiking trail.  Fastest time yet and perfect weather!

For my own record-keeping:  45mins up, 28 down.  This was one of those runs where I had an inner smile pushing me onward...I was LOVING the fact that my body was pain-free and able to carry me to such beauty!  This trail is awesome with a great meadow and historical castle ruin to see.  It may be on the longer side, about three miles up, but it is so worth it.  Put this one on your to-do list!

I then went to meet my dear friend Sara for lunch at Cafe 180--first time for me, finally!  This is a great place.  Wonderful and fresh food from local farmers, and it's all based off of donations.  You can donate money or time cleaning in the kitchen and you decide how much the food is worth.  I highly recommend it!  There was a huge bowl of produce from their own garden, so I took a cucumber.

Fun cuke colors!  Hopefully it will taste fun too!

Off to read Cesar Millan's book, How to Raise the Perfect Dog.  Why, you might ask?  I am preparing for motherhood, to raise my own trail-seeking pup!

Happy Thursday!

September 5, 2012

Why I Stay Fit--My Story

I was talking with a club member today about why I am a trainer and why I work out.  It was motivating me to stay fit just by sharing my passion with her.  So I am going to share it with you too!

In high school, I was not the most athletic kid, but I did play basketball every year.  I knew I wasn't the best on the team and the feedback I constantly received was, "You are a great team motivator and encourager!".  I took a class called Aerobics and Wellness, taught by a young and fun mid-twenties girl, full of joy (thank you Ripley!).  She was someone I looked up to and made me think about encouraging people in fitness, wherever they are in life.

Then I reached college.  When it came to decision time on finding my major, even though there were so many options that sounded amazing, Health and Fitness was calling my name.  I love anatomy and the science behind movement;  it was something I wanted to dedicate myself to (keep in mind, I had no idea where that degree would lead me...).  Even at the beginning of college, I knew that in order NOT to gain any more weight (I probably gained at least ten pounds), I had to keep up my workouts.  They were 'wee' workouts as I look back to them now, but I had the mentality in mind that my body would not stay thin like other bodies who ate just like me.  The dedication and knowledge grew and I began running more, which led to running my first half marathon junior year!  I've done 5 more, and have loved each one.  I still struggle with my body and knowing how much food I need to eat to maintain and lose weight (but that mission is lifelong!).

It's funny how things work.  In my capstone class, we learned about different avenues for fitness.  A beautiful trainer from a high-end resort club in Seattle talked to us about personal training, and I scoffed at the idea of propelling the notion that vanity is a thing to encourage.  When I started working at the front desk at 24 Hour Fitness, I began to get a glimpse of training as something that CAN be holistic and helpful for many people-it just depended on the trainer's viewpoint.

Now as a trainer going on 1.5 years, I can't believe I have found something that I am passionate about EVERY day!  I have my hard days, but that is mostly because I'm not working enough!  I LOVE meeting people where they are and finding a way to help them enjoy and incorporate fitness and health in everyday life and not settle where they are.

I stay fit because I can do amazing things and feel confident, strong, and vibrant every day!  I love hiking 14ers, trail running, cycling, and throwing weights around.  Those things may seem hard, but anyone can get there with time.  There are no limitations to how you can feel great too.  That is the beauty of fitness.  Some people truly have bodily limitations, but for many, the road blocks are in our mind.  Thinking about what it feels like to climb and be on top of the mountain range, I get excited to share that feeling...we are always climbing mountains and it may take more hard work and dedication, but we can all summit!  The body is resilient, strong, and able.  Be blessed that you are able and get MOVING.  Don't settle with where you are at--keep climbing those mountains because they are endless!  And we can climb mountains in community and share the pain and reward of hard work.

Happy trails!

My brother, dad, and I climbing Pikes Peak-a bucket list mountain!

DONT FORGET:  NEW boot camp class in the park starting SOON! Lets start that journey up the mountain together :)

September 4, 2012

Benefits of Cinnamon and Cycling

As with any mode of exercise, cycling can benefit your heart and longevity.  As an intense cardio effort, you can burn hundreds of calories, tone your legs, keep your heart and mind strong.  Here are my top five reasons to pick up a cycle class:

1.  Your average cycle class can help you burn at least 500 calories.  That can change based off of how hard you work, age, and weight.  But a fun cycle class sure beats a boring elliptical any day--and you burn more!
2.  Your heart and quality of life will thank you later.  Not only can you lower the risk of cardiovascular disease and other obesity related diseases, but you will feel better.  Your body will be strong and able to do things you may not have ever thought possible.  Run a road race?  Keep up with your kids?  Climb a 14er in Colorado?  No problem!  I take spin classes ;)
3.  It is fun.  This should probably be at the top of the list because you always want to have fun while working out.  It makes you produce MUCH more energy output when you actually enjoy what you are doing (you may not enjoy the feeling of hard work and pain in the moment, but you will enjoy the feeling of confidence in your body's ability to work and use your muscles properly).  I LOVE picking songs that boost energy, mood, and confidence.  Feel free to shoot a song title my way for more ideas!
4.  Cycling, along with many forms of interval workouts, can keep you burning calories AFTER your workout.  This is what we like to call EPOC.  Excess Post-exercise Oxygen Consumption.  Huh?  Basically, your body has burned so much during a cycle class, which makes your recovery consume more calories than your recovery of another type of workout.  Burn more by hard interval efforts.
5.  I teach it :)  Come to my class!  Its more fun when you know the instructor and the instructor knows you!

On to cinnamon...
I LOVE cinnamon.  Today, I put it in my cottage cheese and strawberries.  Cinnamon is good for you, just like many spices and herbs we take for granted.  This special spice has studies finding that it can help regulate your blood sugar, as with diabetes.  It may also help with stomach issues, circulation issues (hello cold feet!), colds, and nausea, to name a few.  Check out the link at the bottom of the page for more info.  So add cinnamon to your daily brew, oatmeal, and smoothies!  This is my favorite cinnamon from Savory Spice Shop:

*Ceylon cinnamon cannot be found in regular stores, but its worth the extra trip!

I taught another boot camp/cycle combo and am EXHAUSTED.   Follow me Tuesdays at Highlands Ranch (24 hr) at noon and Wednesdays at Belleview at 6:30 pm to try out your first cycle class :)

On another note, I will be adding a Wednesday 1pm At the Park boot camp as well as Saturday.  Stay posted!


September 3, 2012

Boot camp :)

Its boot camp time!

So I teach indoor cycle classes and love every minute of them.  The fun people, energy, and motivation that I feel and receive from each class is so rewarding!  Choosing my own songs and finding ways to train our bodies is a fun and creative outlet for me.  Because I enjoy them so much, I thought that a boot camp would make a similar impact on everyone involved.  So I am going to start one :)

This wont be just any boot camp.  This will be a fun, yet safe, environment for everyone and anyone to try, starting at any level.  Hopefully it will motivate, and not discourage people from working out.  And it will be outside in beautiful Colorado!

Gyms can be a harsh environment to workout in for many reasons and for some people, it can be a place of anxiety and fear related to your view of own fitness goals and the way you compare yourself with others.  It doesn't matter what Johnny is doing with the equipment next to matters that you are working your best at that moment and not letting yourself regret the reason why you went to the gym in the first place--to see results!  Boot camps can help motivate you to work a little bit harder than you would on your own, so it is a great place to move your level of fitness up.

I hope you will join me soon!  Free up your schedule for Saturdays at noon.  We will be meeting near Dartmouth and Sheridan to use Bear Creek Park.  Until then, I will be giving a few small workouts you can do on your own to get ready for this class.  Cheers!

Ladder Circuit: *work your way down and then back up the list and time yourself...beat your time when you do this circuit again.

5 pushups
10 burpees
15 squats
20 lunges
25 jumping jacks
30 bicycles (once)

Sometimes it is hard to get started.  Once you start, I promise you won't regret it!

I picked some peaches today and used them in my smoothie for tomorrow.  I have a busy day just about every Tuesday, so I just pack my food for the day.

Peach Smoothie: 
6 very small peaches (1 large peach)
2 scoops vanilla protein (I use Apex's Supreme)
1 banana (I keep some frozen for the instant smoothie texture)
freshly brewed peach iced tea (you can use water too) to thin

Separate into two jars to freeze and take with you next time!
Makes two servings.
*add ice if you want to enjoy immediately!

September 2, 2012

A Run and Some Beet Greans

I am so lucky to be a part of a church by a wonderful park!  I went to the local coffee place at Wash Perk to work on my computer and then ran around Wash Park.  The park was full of people, happy Labor Day Weekend, but enjoyed my 2.5 miles despite the crowds.  I was able to get another playlist ready for my spin classes this week, but I had the HARDEST time dealing with Excel.  Excited for class, full of new songs!

I made Bean and Corn Salsa, grilled some chicken, and roasted some veggies so that it would be ready for the next few days at work.  Failing to plan is planning to fail.  I always try to have things made or eat a bar and fruit when I am in a pinch.  Otherwise I know my stomach will growl all day long!

Here are some purple carrots and beets from the garden:

With cherry tomatoes from the garden, the salsa was gorgeous and fresh!  This may be my favorite summer recipe.  Salsa and chicken over a bed of beet greens, I felt completely nourished!

I need to come up with lots more recipes for our 14 tomato plants that are starting to burst...canning will have to be in order soon.  I'm sure that will be something to write about!  We can all learn from my mistakes...ha!

What is your favorite summertime meal?  Fun plans for Labor Day I hope :)

Bean and Corn Salsa:

1 can black beans
1 can sweet corn
3-4 roma's or a pint of cherry tomatoes
1/2 chopped red onion
1/4 cup chopped cilantro
1 T. olive oil
juice of one lime
cumin, salt, and pepper to taste

How to Eat Breakfast

Oh, pancakes.  Oh, breakfast.  The best way to start a Sunday!

Now, breakfast may be the best meal of the day, and as health experts say, the most important meal of the day.  My logic is that breakfast is the best opportunity for healthy nutrients and tasty combinations.  Why not fully enjoy and know that tasty food is doing good in my body from the beginning :)  

For some reason I wake up hungry and ready to eat every morning.  Some people don't feel the same way and I do feel bad for them.  Maybe you get nauseous or you just simply aren't hungry in the morning, BUT...breakfast IS important!  Finding a way to sneak in some food in the morning may be a new system you need to get used to doing.  

There will be much more to say about breakfast, since it is my favorite.  I have learned for myself and from others that breakfast foods can be a challenge to make healthy.  But I love creating healthy ways to start my day and can't wait to share some of them with you.  Check out this recipe for pancakes and get cookin!

Banana Pancakes:

2 bananas, mashed
2 eggs
2 T. flour (I used buckwheat flour)
1 T. peanut or almond butter
1/2 t. baking powder
pinch of cinnamon
splash of vanilla extract

Blend all ingredients with a hand mixer, or use those muscles, and pour into pan!  Then eat some delicious and fluffy pancakes :)  Chocolate chips may be needed, and possibly a thin spread of more PB!

What are your favorite breakfast dishes?  What do you think about breakfast?