Archive for the ‘Health’ Category

Even the most “fitness oriented” and “healthy minded” individual gives in from time to time. I truly believe that people can only follow the straight and narrow for so long before caving in just a little. And a little is okay. Really, I just said that. BUT don’t go all apeshit crazy now. That is NOT okay. 🙂

Oh, I have to add here that I HATE the word “cheat”! I work damn hard and once in awhile it is okay to eat a slice of pizza at a birthday party. That is not cheating in my book. It is living. It is the Yin and the Yang of life. I eat salad and chicken and Greek yogurt and all the good “non-cheating” stuff 80% of the time. And there are times that the Twizzlers and the rye bread and butter somehow make their way into my shopping cart. When I am at a birthday party I do not pack a “healthy” meal, I go ahead and indulge in a little lite festive fare. I don’t party every week, so it is okay. I do workout 6 times a week though. I challenge myself physically and I am always looking for a new workout to try. There is balance. There is an ebb and a flow and that is what matters.

Here are the “cheating” ground rules.

1. Make SMART choices when you cheat. If you are craving a piece of chocolate choose a dark, organic variety. If bread and butter are your cup of tea, choose a whole grain variety (toasted rye is my FAVORITE) and a healthy butter alternative like Earth Balance or Brummmel and Brown All Natural Yogurt Butter (also my favorite). And stop at one SLICE, not one loaf.

2. Only eat what you love. How many times have you eaten something just because it’s in front of you? How many times have you cleaned your plate and the meal wasn’t even that good? Save your cheat calories for only foods you absolutely love.

3. Make good choices and healthy tradeoffs. Think about what you like the most. Do you want the appetizer more, or the dessert more? Instead of having every course offered, narrow down the choices to what’s most important to you.

4. Plan to cheat. One of the best things you can do is plan your cheat meals out. If you are jonesing for your favorite cheat meal for dinner, eat healthy during the day or do an extra cardio. Save calories on other snacks and meals to allow more room to cheat. If you are actively trying to lose weight, planning ahead will help you keep to your daily caloric requirements for fat loss. Which leads me to….

5. Pick one: Overeat or Over indulge calorie wise. If your idea of splurging is overeating, then eat healthy. If your idea is eating a high calorie cheat meal, then eat less of an unhealthy meal.

6. When in doubt – GRAB AND GO! Sweets and other “cheat” foods mess with your head, literally. The sugar and preservatives cause chemical reactions in your little brains that drives you back to that candy bowl. From now on, grab your Kit Kat when you are headed out of the door, and also grab a piece of fruit with it. Eating the fruit will ease the crash after the sugar high and it will also add in some fiber to the mix. And being no where near the candy bowl will help a lot too. Genius right?

7. Lastly, remove the guilt from your day. We are all human and we all experience moments of weakness. Dwelling on the bad of today whether it be about food or something else completely won’t change what happened, nor will it enhance you in any way. No body is perfect and that is what makes the idea of tomorrow to be so full of hope and promise. Awe…. a ray of sunshine.

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so true

Posted: September 25, 2012 in Bootcamp, Health

So, I have been training for some AWESOME new classes that Bodyshaping by Sandy will be offering in the Fall. I am SO excited! Here are some teasers to get you pumped too!!!!

Wanna Kick-Ass?????

Um, can I just say this workout is insanely intense and so fun. It is super hard, but at the same time flies by so fast…. I can honestly say I have never sweat so much as I have during this class, this training…. and lets face it, I am a sweater 😉 If you want to bring out your BADASS side, this is the class for you!

Just feel like dancin’ it out????

Side note… I have always said, and still stand by the notion that I am just not a dancer any more. I feel silly. I feel out of place and frankly “uncool”. However, Sh’bam is seriously so much fun. It has simple, easy to follow choreography that makes even the most uncomfortable dancer (ie. me), look kind of awesome 🙂 I have been practicing my hip shakes and I think I got it down!!!

There is always a choice…

Posted: August 1, 2012 in Health

Be the change!

Posted: July 29, 2012 in Health

Take a look at this picture of Kathy, a 62 year old woman who can really “pull her own weight” in the gym! She is lifting 75lbs doing her glute bridge. Just shows that we really have the power to set our own limits to what we want to achieve.

I am re-blogging this post because I have have found myself smack in the middle of many conversations lately in regards to this topic. I have heard a lot of “oh you are young, its eaaaaaasy for you.” Or, “You aren’t old like me. Someday when you are old you will understand.”

Aside of my feeling a tad bit “dismissed,” and my hard work, sweat, and efforts being pushed aside to make room for other peoples “excuses” as to why they are the way they are…. aside from all of that… because this isn’t about me after all 😉 Not only is my hard work not being acknowledged, the “Dismisser” is setting him or herself up for failure BEFORE A GOAL HAS EVEN BEEN MADE. To me that is such a shame.

I am 33, not 55 and definitely not 20. I have two kids and a husband. I have responsibilities and choices that I make on a daily basis that lead me towards my goal that I made to be the healthiest, fittest role model for my family that I can be. I walk the walk and I talk the talk. I DO more than I SAY (or I REALLY try to… I am kind of a Chatty Cathy sometimes). Do I eat pizza and wings? Um, yea! Do I skip workouts and just hang on the couch some nights Googling random stuff and getting lost in the intricate social-webs of my Facebook “friends”. Yep. But my path is longer than that one night. I have worked hard and have traveled a long way down my path leading to my goal already and I am proud. You and I both know 33 year olds who are not fit, who make poor nutrition choices daily, and who SAY they want to change but make no efforts towards becoming the person that they want to be. I am not that person and you need to make the decision for yourself to not be that person either. BE that person!

I am officially off of my soapbox now… now for your reading pleasure….

This is a fantastic article from Oxygen Magazine’s website that goes over the importance of exercise in all stages of life. It is never too late or too early to begin your quest to better your health and the overall quality of your life. It is a quick read, but a great one.

The Irrelevance Of Age In Fitness
By Kim Dolan Leto | Wednesday, May 23, 2012 | Comments: 1
I happened to catch a post by Tosca Reno, it was about her birthday. She is turning 53 and it got me thinking. Living this Oxygen lifestyle changes all the rules about aging. It isn’t just her body, or her skin, it’s everything.
I have been told, I look younger at 43 than I did in my 20’s. I never really worked out or understood the importance of eating clean until I was 30, and once I started; these are the changes I’ve noticed.

• Lower cholesterol, resting heart rate and lower blood pressure
• Clearer more youthful skin
• Fat loss
• Muscle gain
• Increased energy
• Great reduction in stress
• Inner peace
• Everything in my life runs more smoothly
• My days are more productive
• Better sleep
• The way I look at life is much more positive
• Confidence
• I’m so much happier

People think they don’t have time to exercise or cook clean meals, but the truth is they don’t have time not to. When you look at all the women over 40 that have graced the cover of Oxygen, you’ll be stunned, Francisca Dennis-mother of 6, Dara Torres, Elaine Goodlad and of course Tosca.

I don’t like to compare, but it’s hard not to notice the difference. When I think of women like Francisca, a mother of six, she motivates me and shows me, there is NO EXCUSE! I’m so grateful to have found fitness and to have adopted it as my lifestyle. I shutter to think how unhealthy I would be without it.

Some people reduce fitness to a look, and even find comfort thinking it’s all vanity, but the truth is when you take care of yourself from the inside out you gain an inner confidence and self-respect that helps you to continue on this fitness path. What you look like is only a small part of it.
May I ask you to consider the fact that you too will age? Don’t you want to do it the way these women have? You are worth the investment.

What I have been doing…..

Posted: July 22, 2012 in Health

Boy have I neglected all of you! So sorry!!! I always dream of summertime being full of long, lazy days in which I spend my copious amounts of spare time lazing around the patio with a lemonade, watching my boys frolic in the sprinkler as I blog about food, fitness, and life lessons… sigh…. dreamy, huh??

Well, sadly, that is basically all that it is – a mere dream BUT, man, do I love hanging out with my boys all day. They are truly the funniest, sweetest, smartest, most imaginative little boys that I have ever had the privilege of knowing. I am so in love with them – really, it makes up for the lack of icy cold lemonade in my hand.


Good news, I have just returned from a fantastic vacation in the Outer Banks. In this picture, my super-awesome family and I climbed the enormous sand dunes at Jockey’s Ridge. It was incredibly hot but such a sight! Definitely worth the trek. Today, I am rested, rejuvenated, and I cannot wait to see you all again in just over a month! The all new, fall session from Body Shaping will be starting. Registration will start soon… let me know when you start to get your brochures! I will be teaching more classes for Body Shaping and I am SO excited and I really hope that some of you will be able to join me as I broaden my fitness repertoire! Don’t worry though, my heart will always be with Boot Camp and I will be back at Highland Tuesday and Thursday nights to make you all LITERALLy, sweat your butts off!

I can’t wait to share the information for my new fall classes, however, I cannot as of yet. You all will just have to wait in suspense until I am given the “go ahead”!

What I CAN share with you now is that I will be teaching Pilates at Dani-Fit starting July 30th! I am hoping to see some familiar faces in class!

I will do a separate post about my Pilates class and about Dani-Fit next, so check back.

Also working on the workout for the week…. check back for that too!!!

Hope your summer is amazing and I hope you are finding ways to keep active and fit!!!!

Well the crops are a-changin!


As you can see, I have a lot of veggies to prep this week! Four heads of lettuce, kale, garlic, turnips, beets, Russet potatoes, peas, and a ton of garlic scapes to cut and freeze. A friend just shared a garlic scape pesto recipe with me which I am very excited to try out. I definitely have enough to experiment with!

Here is the recipe if you would like to give it a try!

‎8oz of scapes cut in 1 inch pieces
Process them with 1 cup of olive oil
2 cups parmesan cheese, and
1/2 cup lemon juice

I’m going to try it out in the next couple of days. I will let you know how it turns out!

Anyone out there have a home garden they are tending to this summer? How are they coming? I picked my first four tomatoes from my tomato plants yesterday. They are so delicious!

So you just came home from a killer Bootcamp class. You are sweaty. You are tired. Most of all, you are hungry! Here is a yummy and easy recipe for one of my favorite after-workout snacks. These are protein bars, and they are homemade. Store bought protein bars are okay in a pinch, but not only are they are highly processed, they also are full of refined sugars and high in calories. This is a healthier (and tastier) alternative!

Dry ingredients
2 cups Old Fashioned Oats
1 cup chocolate whey protein powder (I use Pure Protein brand. It is low in sugars and calories and super yummy!)
1 cup cranberries
1 cup almonds slivered
1/4 cup cinnamon

Wet ingredients
1/4 cup applesauce unsweetened
1/4 cup dk choc chips unsweetened
1/2 cup pb (or almond butter)
1/4 c honey
1/4 c almond milk
2 tbsp vanilla extract

Combine and microwave wet ingredients in the microwave 30 seconds. Stir. If not combined completely, microwave again and stir.

Combine dry ingredients in a large bowl. Incorporate wet ingredients into the dry ones. Press into a lightly greased 8×12 baking dish. Freeze for 20 min. Cut into bars. Store in freezer.

After making this recipe a bunch of times I have perfected the method some. The mixture is very gooey when all complete and sticks to everything. I stick my hand in a ziplock baggie and spray it with oil. I use this to pat down the mixture into the pan.

You MUST freeze this for 20 minutes before cutting. It is just a bloody mess if you try to rush it. Also, if you happen to forget about the pan in the freezer before you cut them up for storage (this may or may not have happened to me a few times), just pull the pan out and let it sit on your counter for 5-10 minutes until it thaws out some.

I hope you try these! They really are good and they are fantastic for you too! Lots of protein to repair those muscles!!!!

I have written in previous posts about my veggie share at Thorpes Organic Family Farm.

Well, it has been three weeks of travels to the farm once a week to get my share of freshly picked (they pick the day of your pickup, can’t get fresher than that!), organically grown veggies. So far, I must report that I am in LOVE. The farm itself is so well organized for pickup. I literally am there for minutes gathering my goodies. To my delight I was able to pick an unlimited amount of peas from the fields myself twice already. I cannot wait until I am able to do this with veggies like tomatoes and squashes come fall! I have already frozen enough garlic to last my family quite awhile. I must say here how grateful I am that I scooped up a vacuum sealer back in December. It was a great deal and I figured it may come in handy some time, boy was that an understatement! My next scheduled purchase is a salad shooter – if you know me and knives, you know why this is a necessity 😉

I will take a picture of my goodies each week and post them for you to drool over. Right now, the variety is limited as it is still early in the season. I must say though that usually, I spend about $55 a week on veggies and fruits for my family at the grocery store. Some I buy organic and some I do not. Since the veggie share started I have been spending half that, which is great, and I hope that will only get better as time goes on.

First… here is a picture of my two boys. I talk about them from time to time. They are the loves of my little life. And really, how stinkin’ cute are they?

Now on to my veggies….

We picked over 15lbs of peas this week, no thanks to my youngest son. He ate more than he picked in the fields. But he is cute. So he can stay for another week 😉

And here is the pea field…

So far, I am Über happy with the farm… I can’t wait to see what I get to bring home this week! Stay tuned for the update!