Wednesday Workout: 24 Minute Bodyweight Tabata Workout

Hello! I’m popping in quickly to share a workout I did in a one-on-one training session with one of my bootcampers last week (Hi, Kerri!). She specifically told me to post it because it sufficiently kicked her butt in less than a half hour- and with our busy schedules these days, who doesn’t want that?! I am all about short, but effective workouts and this one satisfies both of those things. Even better? It can be done anywhere since it requires no equipment- no excuses ;)

The way it works is I picked 2 strength moves in each set and tried to compliment those with the tabata cardio rounds. You’ll do the strength moves for 30 seconds each and 2 rounds then you’ll do the tabata cardio (20 seconds on, 10 seconds rest X8 rounds= total of 4 minutes).

24 minute bodyweight tabata workout
Continue reading

Loaded Quinoa Salad

As I mentioned yesterday, I randomly threw together a quinoa salad that ended up coming out good enough to share! In the summer, I love light and refreshing meals (similar to this zoodle recipe) because they pair so nicely with the hot weather ;) Winter time? Sure, I love being in the kitchen for hours with the stove going, whipping up a bunch of delicious things, but when it’s hot, the last thing I want to do is start my stove.

Loaded quinoa salad 2

Our plan last Friday was to grill up some burgers and when I asked what RM wanted to go with them, he just said “veggies. you pick what kind”. Since I am not one to go boring or basic with side dishes, I spent some time thinking about what I could make that would be quick, easy and veggie-filled.

Thinking about what I had in my fridge helped get things going:

  • cucumbers from my dad’s garden
  • tomatoes from the fresh garden section at Whole Foods
  • mozzarella cheese
  • avocado

From there, I thought about how I could throw those together, while coming up with something different than the Caprese Orzo Salad I made when my parents were here. Enter: Loaded Quinoa Salad. In addition to the ingredients above, I picked up an ear of corn and can of black beans… and frozen microwaveable quinoa! Have you guys heard of this? It’s amazing- in three and a half minutes I had some delicious quinoa ready for my use. Normally I’d just make it on the stovetop, but I had already packed all of my pots and pans so I needed to figure something else out. This worked perfectly.

Loaded quinoa salad

Ingredients

  • 1 bag of frozen quinoa, cooked according to the package
  • 1 ear of corn, steamed and kernels shaved off
  • 1/2 can of black beans, rinsed
  • 4 small garden cucumbers, chopped into small pieces
  • 1 big handful of cherry tomatoes, cut in half
  • 1/2-1 cup mozzarella, chopped into small pieces
  • 1/2 avocado, chopped into small pieces
  • 1/2 cup EVOO
  • 1/4 cup white wine vinegar
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • S&P, garlic & basil

Directions

  1. Cook quinoa according to the package and steam the corn. Chop up the veggies & cheese and drain the beans and add to a big bowl.

IMG_2394

2. Once the quinoa has cooked, let it cool. Once the corn has cooked, take a knife and shave the kernels off.

3. While the corn and quinoa are cooling, assemble the dressing by combining the EVOO, white wine vinegar, lime juice and herbs/seasonings in a small container or glass.

4. Once the corn and quinoa have cooled, add them to the chopped veggies, beans and cheese and mix well.

IMG_2391

5. Drizzle the dressing over everything and continue to mix until it looks as though everything has been coated with the dressing.

IMG_2395

We just ate this as a side dish with our burgers, but there are so many other ways to enjoy it, too!

Loaded quinoa salad 5

The other night I topped a bed of spinach with this and it was such a nice change up to my normal, boring salads!

Loaded quinoa salad 3

The colors and various textures/flavors in the dish created a little party in my mouth and I found myself continuing to go back for more spoonfuls!

Loaded quinoa salad 4

Not only is this great for weekly dinner sides and lunches, but this is also a great dish to bring to a party as it’s different than most salads you’ll see. I highly suggest giving this a try!

Questions for you: What’s your favorite summer salad? What do you make when you don’t want to start the stove?

 

Weekending & Preparing for the “Big Move”

Good morning! It’s hard to believe we are entering into our LAST week of summer, huh? I mean, I know September generally bodes good weather, but it’s crazy to think that Labor Day Weekend is right around the corner. The Cape seemed to be a bit quieter than normal this past weekend, and I wonder if it’s because a lot of schools have already started so people don’t hang around as long on Sundays anymore? Whatever the reason, I’ll take it! Here are some pictures from the weekend- it was a good one!

Part of our dinner on Friday night- whipped up this delicious quinoa salad… hope to share it with you this week!

IMG_2400

RM had a bunch of stuff to do for one of the apartments he’s renting so after I taught I went to the beach in East Boston for a few hours.

IMG_2406

Ahhh, finally made it to the Cape just in time for cocktail hour ;)

IMG_2410

Have you guys tried these Spiked Seltzers? I loveeedd it and want to try more flavors!

IMG_2411

Soaking up the sun on a beautiful Sunday beach day. The water was the perfect temp and was so fun to play in!

IMG_2413

Traffic was on our side on the way home, too- love when that happens :) What I don’t love, though? Is packing… it’s just the worst. I haven’t talked much about it on the blog, but RM and I have decided to move in together! We are moving into a house his family owns in Watertown/Newton Corner and while I’m sad to leave East Boston and the “city” life, it will be nice to have a bigger apartment… with a yard… and a big driveway, so even though we won’t be a few short T stops into the city anymore, it will be nice to have all of those things. Plus, I think it’s going to be a lot of fun living together and it is going to make my life so much easier because I won’t have to pack a bag and head to his place every night like I’ve been doing for the past year+.

While I’m a little nervous about moving in with a guy (this is a first for me!), I definitely feel like it’s the right time and something I really want to do. We spend so much time together anyway, that it will be nice to be able to do that in a place of our own, which is much different than doing it at his apartment, even though I feel super comfortable there. I’m sure there will be some adjustments that we will both have to make, but at the end of the day, I think our lives in terms of living will mesh really well together and I’m excited to have someone to come home to every night! I’m also excited to cook and shop together (even though we already do this all the time now) and have one “home base” to share so that no matter what our schedules are like, we know we will at least both be going to bed together every night.

So, I’m moving out of my place on Thursday and then we are both moving to Watertown officially on Tuesday the 8th. I know you’re probably going “why wouldn’t you just move in at the same date together?!”, and I get it… we are questioning the same thing! I think originally the plan was to have me moved out in early September so the new renters could move in. They are doing some renovations to the apartment we are moving into (new countertops, new sink, new dishwasher, new stove, putting in a washer and a dryer, etc.), so we were hoping to have that finished before officially moving in, which is why his move date is a few days out past mine. It’s going to be a little chaotic, but hopefully things will go smoothly!

I’m hoping to keep my blogging fairly regular over the next few weeks, but if I seem to go silent, at least you’ll know why :)

Questions for you: What was the best part of your weekend? Have you tried the spiked seltzers? Do you feel ready for summer to end? Any tips for moving in with your significant other?

 

Wednesday Workout: Ramp Lunges & Total Body Circuit Bootcamp

Hi! I hope your Wednesday is off to a fantastic start :) I think you’re really going to like today’s workout… 1. because it’s no equipment necessary so you can do it anywhere and 2. because it makes the booty burnnnn! I’m always trying to come up with fun and unique workouts for my Tuesday night bootcampers. These girls are paying me money to workout for an hour, so I want them to feel like they’re getting their money’s worth AND be able to hopefully take some of the workouts home with them to do on their own.

I usually try to get to the gym during my lunch break to do MY workout so that I can focus on them during class, but last week it just wasn’t in the cards for me to get to the gym before teaching so I ended up doing it with them. It was fun to be getting sweaty and breathing heavy with them- I think they appreciated seeing me work as hard as them ;) I also heard one of the girls asking another how class was since she wasn’t able to make it. I walked in on her going “oh, that must have been a hard workout. She always makes the workouts harder when she does them with us!” I had to laugh because although this workout did leave me sucking wind, I had planned the workout long before I realized I’d be doing it with them! It worked out perfectly, though, because this was a workout I didn’t want to miss- hope you like it as much as we all did!

Ramp lunges & total body circuit bootcamp

So, the way it works is you’re always going to be going back to the benchmark exercise, which is: lunging up the hill or ramp (we used the ramp in a parking garage!), jog down, sprint up the hill/ramp, jog down and then repeat it once more. When you finish 2 rounds of that, you’ll do each bodyweight pyramid circuit above. The moves should be fairly common moves, so I’ll spare you (and myself!) from writing out all the details :) I will give you some notes in terms of reps:

  • 30 side dips- 30 to each side
  • 20 side lunges- 10 to each side
  • 30 butt kicks- each leg comes up 30 times
  • 20 1-legged deadlifts- 10 on each leg
  • 50 high knees- each knee comes up 50 times
  • 30 mountain climbers- each knee comes in 30 times
  • 20 plank w/shoulder taps- each hand taps to the opposite shoulder 20 times
  • HRPU= hand release push-up

This is a great workout to take on the road or to do outside near your home if you’re looking to try something knew and not go to the gym. I don’t know about you, but I’m trying to avoid the gym as much as possible as the summer comes to an end. We’ll have all winter long where we won’t be able to workout outside, so soak it up!

Questions for you: Have you ever tried lunging on an incline? Do you like to sprint? Are you avoiding the gym, too?

“What Does A Healthy Person Like You Order At the Bar?”

A while back at my company outing, while standing in line to get a drink someone came up to me and said “what does a healthy person like you order at the bar?”. I had to laugh to myself because my immediate response was “whatever I feel like drinking!”, but when I thought about it a little more, I understood what she meant in her question. If health and fitness isn’t a passion of yours, making “healthy” decisions and choices may not come as easily or naturally to you. In fact, it may even be totally overwhelming for you. I’m not saying they have always come naturally to me, but at this point after all of the articles and blog posts I’ve read, choosing the healthier option generally comes pretty easy to me.

IMG_1903

So, with that in mind, I responded saying that I normally drink wine, well, #becausewine ;) But I also said I drink whatever I’m feeling… in moderation. I’m not going to go out and have 5 glasses of Sangria or 5 margaritas because those can be laden with sugar and calories, but one or two? Not going to erase all my hard work. A few beers? Same thing. If I’m going to have drinks, I want them to be something I ENJOY (again, which is usually wine!). I’m not going to drink straight tequila just because it’s supposedly the “healthiest” alcohol (Paleo approved! It’s got to be good for you! <– hope you can sense my sarcasm…). And I’m not going to slay back beers because everyone is doing it- I was the girl in college ordering wine at dive bars when that totally wasn’t the “thing” to do ;)

IMG_1757

But, as long as I’m enjoying what I’m drinking and being mindful about my decisions, I’m not going to worry about it or regret it… well, unless I have one too many of whatever I’m drinking! Here are some tips to help me make healthier choices at the bar or restaurant:

  1. Think about what I feel like: If it’s a hot, summer day, I’ll probably want a cold, refreshing beer. If it’s a cold winter night, a nice glass of red wine. If I’m at a Mexican restaurant- hello margarita! Cocktail hour- usually white wine. Out at a bar at night- definitely white wine- way less stains that way ;)
  2. Order a water with your drink: alcohol can cause some serious dehydration and because it tastes so refreshing on a nice, hot day, you will probably drink more than intended in order to quench your thirst. However, if you drink water consistently while you’re enjoying your bevvies, you’re likely to drink less and feel less of the effects the next day.
  3. Pick one “fun” drink and then switch to something lighter: If you’re really craving a daiquiri or margarita or something else like that, have one! … but then switch to something that’s maybe not going to be filled with so many calories.
  4. Don’t let others drink choices or drink quantities influence you to do the same: I get it- you’re out getting drinks with friends or coworkers and every time your drink gets low it seems someone is ordering another round. It’s so easy to get caught up in that and then next thing you know you’ve thrown back 4-5 drinks in a short amount  of time. Not only is that possibly a recipe for a hangover, but it’s also going to up your calorie intake and if you’re looking to monitor that, you might want to skip out on a few rounds of drinks.

These may not seem like earth shattering tips, but sometimes the simplest of tips/tricks to making healthier decisions can be exactly the ones that often get forgotten. Being healthy and making healthy choices doesn’t have to be boring and doesn’t have to be all about sacrifice. Sometimes it’s more about making small compromises in order to get the best of both worlds- consistency and splurging. And lastly, even if you don’t make the “right” decisions all the time and have a night where you throw back 6 margaritas, it’s ok. If you had a blast of a night then there’s no need to fret- you can always get back on track tomorrow!

Questions for you: What’s your “go-to” drink of choice? Do you prefer simple or do you order fancy drinks? Do you have a tip to help you drink and enjoy your night mindfully?