Happy, Healthy, Fit: 2 week check-in & prize announcements

Good morning! I wanted to pop in quickly to see how the Happy, Healthy, Fit Challenge was going for those of you who are participating. I know I tend to lose some steam after the initial “newness” of a challenge wears off, so in case anyone else is like me, hopefully we’ll all get amped up again to finish off the challenge with a bang! The biggest motivation thus far has been seeing YOUR check-ins, posts, pictures, emails, etc. The fact that I’ve got so many of you participating along with me is sometimes just what I need to check off a challenge for the day. Let’s recap!

Week 1

  • Push-up challenge– You guys. No matter how many push-ups I do, they never seem to get easier! With that said, this was tough!

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  • Take the stairs– I may only be on the second floor, but I made a lot of trips up and down as I forced myself to use the bathroom on the first floor.

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  • No Equipment Workout- I did this body weight workout and loved it!! Looks simple enough, but it kicked my butt!

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  • Give a compliment- I complimented one of my associates on her sweater and complimented my downstairs neighbor for her involvement with charities and a Christmas toy drive.
  • Pay it forward- Ha! I was so nervous for this challenge. I’ve always thought it was cool to buy someone a coffee or a drink or pay their toll, but I had never done it… at least for a stranger! My first experience was a little rocky, as there were misunderstandings, but I was able to pay for the person behind me so it all worked out.

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  • Full body workout- I went to the baby gym at the Exeter Inn and completed some running, walking and weight lifting.
  • Go through your clothes & donate- Well, the clothes may still be sitting in the back of my car, but I did go through my draws and closet on the day of the challenge! It always feels good to weed through some clothes and remove what I don’t wear anymore.

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Week 2

  • Burpee challenge- Love this one, of course 😉 Rocked them out in the 6am hour after a run
  • Lower Body Workout– I did this booty burner workout. Gets me every time!
  • Bring your lunch to work- I packed it, although I ended up finishing at my client site early so I ate it at home. That counts, right?

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  • Morning yoga/stretching/foam rolling– This was such a nice way to start the day! I really should try to do it more often because not only is it great for my body, but my mind, too!

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  • Donate– I kept thinking I would see a Salvation Army stand or get asked at a store, but sadly, it never happened. We did, though, donate from the back of a ketchup bottle, which was to support Veterans.
  • Try a new recipe– I didn’t get a chance to try a new recipe from a book, but I DID make these beauties- interested in me putting together a recipe?

Ok, SO! Now that we’ve gotten that out of the way, who wants to know what the prizes are for the top 2 participants?? Here’s what goes into picking those people:

  • Active engagement on Social Media! It’s easiest for me to see you participating when you do this and it also creates a group atmosphere. You can do this by posting on Instagram, Facebook or Twitter. Remember to tag me (@Burpeestobubbly) and use the hashtag #happyhealthyfit !
  • If social media isn’t your thing, feel free to email me or comment on any post letting me know you’ve participated.
  • How many challenges you’ve completed- I have a tracking sheet that I’m updating based on check-ins, so, again, if I don’t know you’re participating, you won’t get proper recognition and credit 😦

And for the prizes….
New Balance has been gracious enough to donate 2 awesome gym bags! I don’t know about you, but I can NEVER have too many gym bags. This one looks like a great size, too!

new balance bag

**DRINKmaple has also agreed to provide each winner with a 2 pack of their Pure Maple Water drink. I was luck enough to get a chance to try a sample and I have to say I really enjoyed it! I’m not a big coconut water fan, so this was a great substitute.

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**A caddy of 16 mixed larabar bars. Larabars have been a longtime favorite bar of mine- have you tried them? Most of the flavors are made up of only a few ingredients, which is key for me. When I look at ingredient labels of other bars, I’m always astounded at how many ingredients there are! A 16 pack should keep you happy for a while 😉

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**Lastly- a customized workout and/or workout video from me! The workouts I post on my blog normally may not be what you’re looking for, so with this, you can tell me exactly what you like/don’t like/want to work on and I can go from there! I can even do a real time workout video for you to have and use.

All I need you to do now, is comment below or in some other form (twitter, instagram, facebook, email), telling me how many challenges you’ve completed up to this point- I’ll check back in at the end 🙂 Stay strong for the remainder of the challenge- we’ve only got a handful of days left!!

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Weekending: Taking time to relax

 

As I’ve mentioned a number of times, this holiday season I promised myself that I would slow down, try to stress less and learn how to say “no”. So far, I’ve actually been much better at it than I thought I would be. As I was looking through my calendar earlier this season, I realized that this past weekend was seemingly clear. I had already decided not to run the Somerville Jingle Bell 5K I always run, and no other parties had been planned yet. As I was chatting with Athena, she suggested I mark the weekend as a “no plans weekend”. Sadly, as soon as I did that, two parties came up (sorry Mary and Steph!!)… obviously this would happen!

I have to say, I fully enjoyed this past weekend where I had no real plans. Sure, we had lots of things we ended up doing or wanted to do, but the beauty of it was we were able to do it on our own schedule and if we decided to change plans or stay in or do dinner, it was our choice. I highly suggest taking weekends like this if you’re feeling overwhelmed or just that you don’t have enough time for yourself. I went into this week feeling so refreshed and ready for a much busier week.

Here are some highlights from the weekend- enjoy!

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  • Treating myself to a Chai Tea Latte at Starbucks thanks to a gift card that a sweet member gave me

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  • A pleasant car shopping experience at Acura. My lease is up in February so I’m in the market for something new!
  • A late lunch at Legal C Bar in Lynnfield

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  • Shopping around the M Street shops, getting some gifts and food shopping at Whole Foods.
  • A quiet night in, consisting of Christmas movies, wine & this delicious baked stuffed acorn squash.

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  • A lazy Sunday morning- breakfast, blogging & cleaning
  • More car shopping, another pleasant experience!
  • Sunday dinner at RM’s mother’s house. I was totally craving an authentic Italian meal (aka, I really wanted meatballs), so it worked out perfectly! I’m so lucky that I love his family and enjoy spending time with them.
  • Sunday night at my place. It was nice to meal prep and watch tv and be surrounded by my Christmas decorations!

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Questions for you: When’s the last time you said “no” in favor of relaxing and doing nothing? Do you often over-book yourself? What was the best part of your weekend?

This Week: Workouts, Countdown to Christmas & Things I’m Looking Forward To

Good morning! Can you believe this is the last full week before Christmas!?! I literally cannot wrap my head around it. But, the good news is I’ve completed almost all of my Christmas shopping, which is half the battle, right? I plan on finishing up a few more things this week and then packing my car up so I don’t forget anything when I head to Maine.

I had some good workouts last week, however none really left me sore or “feeling it” the next day. Well, except for the workout I did in RM’s kitchen on Tuesday morning. I had to make the workout as quiet as possible and therefore eliminated most cardio, but whatever I did seemed to work!

Last Week’s Workouts

  • Monday- I got up early and went to the gym on my own- a rarity, for sure! I ran 3 miles on the treadmill, completed my 1 minute of burpees and a few other upper body and core exercises. Although it’s never fun getting up and going to the gym at the 6am hour, I ALWAYS feel amazing after!

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  • Tuesday- I got up early (again) and worked out in RM’s kitchen, as it seemed as though that would be the quietest place. I did a lot of punches, squats, lunges, core work, etc. It’s amazing how versatile workouts can be. I didn’t want to do cardio and didn’t have any weights, yet I was still able to put together a workout that left me sweaty and sore the next days. The challenge on Tuesday was a lower body workout, so I did Booty Burner #2″ workout. Never fails to leave me shaky 😉
  • Wednesday- I only had time to run 2 miles before class, but I did most of my UXF Burn class as I liked the exercises I put together! The cardio blast between sets was killer.

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  • Thursday- I went to the gym near my office and completed a 15 minute HIIT workout before going to a total body conditioning class, which ended up being the same 45 seconds on, 15 seconds rest format that I did for my HIIT workout.

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  • Friday- Rest day, besides lots of walking. I also got up for some stretching which was a nice way to start the day.

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  • Saturday- I taught my cardio kickboxing class at the Oak Square YMCA. Per usual, it was a packed class with lots of energy! Thanks for coming, Mary 🙂
  • Sunday- Another rest day… cleaning was my source of active rest.

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I got some new lulu and was excited to try it out!

This Week’s Workouts

  • Monday- I’m subbing the 6:30pm cardio kickboxing class at the Watertown BSC. Happy to get some extra subbing in as I’m losing my UXF Burn class for 2 weeks due to the holidays 😦
  • Tuesday- I want to go to the morning Box 360 class at George Foreman’s boxing studio. Any fitness friends want to come? The challenge for Tuesday is to try a new workout class, so I figured this would be great.
  • Wednesday- A little cardio before teaching my UXF Burn class at the Central Square BSC. What should I teach?! Any new moves you’re loving?
  • Thursday- I think I have to do a day trip to Rhode Island for work, so I may try to get up early to get a little something in. Maybe rest. Maybe hit up a 6:30 cardio kickboxing class. We’ll see!
  • Friday- Today’s challenge is an upper body workout, so I’ll squeeze something in- maybe this 7 Minute Body Weight Upper Body Burner. I also have to go to a UXF Burn training for a few hours in the afternoon as they’re releasing a new format- can’t wait to see what it is.
  • Saturday- Teaching my last cardio kickboxing class of the year 😦 I can’t believe it! Come sweat with me and jam out to my Christmas playlist!
  • Sunday- Rest day, besides a core workout as part of my challenge.

Things I’m Looking Forward To

Although this week is busy with lots of parties, teaching and maybe another road trip for work, I’m totally in the Christmas spirit and am just excited! I also know that I have an extended vacation coming up shortly, so that’s helping me make the last final push of the holiday season.

Questions for you: What was the best workout you had last week? Are you trying out any classes this week?

Happy, Healthy, Fit Challenge: Week 3

Good morning! How did you do with Week 2 challenges? I’ve been enjoying the small, daily “task” or challenge as it helps me stay more present and gives each day a purpose. I want to recap my challenges thus far, so hopefully I can do that later this week. For now, let’s talk week 3!

Happy, healthy fit week 3

*Monday 12/15: Give up sugar for the day. Ugh. I have a HUGE sweet tooth, and while I may have enough self restraint to not eat 4 cookies at once, it’s still an issue. Today, I challenge to you remove all sugar from your diet. This is probably going to be the hardest challenge for me, because although I try watch and limit my sugar intake, it still creeps up on me. Read your labels, make food yourself and make sure you’re not adding any sugar in your coffee or tea. I know this is a tough challenge for all you fellow sweet-toothers, but we can do it!

*Tuesday 12/16: Try a new workout class. There are so many amazing fitness studios in and around the Boston area (and I’m sure there are just as many in other states/cities, too!) just begging for you to try one of their classes. The beauty about almost all fitness studios, is they offer a free first class, or at least a discounted one. Also, if you chat with them and explain what you’re interested in and how much you’ve been wanting to try a class, you may even be able to get a free one! If you’re in the Boston area and looking for a new class to try, I list a bunch of great studios in this post. My plan is to take a morning class at The Club as I’ve never taken a full class there. Maybe some gym friends would like to join?!

*Wednesday 12/17: Meditate. Remember how I added 10 minutes of meditation/quiet time time during Lent? Well, it was great throughout those 40 days, but unfortunately I don’t think I’ve done it once since then. It’s always something I’m telling myself I need to do, but, like yoga, it just doesn’t happen enough. Today I challenge you to take 10 minutes for yourself to meditate or just sit quietly and breathe. Try not to focus on your thoughts- let them come in and go right back out. RM gave me a few meditation apps to suggest to you guys. He does this almost daily and enjoys all of these- search for them in the App store: Simply Being, Yoga Nidra, Power of Mind. There are dozens of other free ones, too. Let me know what you do!

*Thursday 12/18: Walk during lunch- This is something I try to do every day, but sometimes (and more often than not recently) work just gets the best of me and I don’t make the time to sneak away for a short walk. Today though, I’m challenging us to step away from our desks and get outside for some mid-day movement. It’s a littler harder when the weather is cold, but I always feel so much better after!

*Friday 12/19: Upper Body Workout– I LOVE working my upper body, and have found that short upper body workouts are a great finisher after a run or other leg-based cardio. Here are some to choose from, but if you don’t like any of those, try this: 60 seconds each, 3 rounds: bicep curls, alternating shoulder presses, upright row, tricep dips, push-ups. Otherwise, here are some I’ve posted on the blog in the past:
Wednesday Workout: 7 Minute Body Weight Upper Body Burner
{Holiday Series} Wednesday Workout: Body Weight Upper Body Blast
Wednesday Workout: Upper Body Tabata Workout
Wednesday Workout: 30 Minute Upper Body & Core Super Sets Workout

*Saturday 12/20: Treat yourself! I think I was most looking forward to this challenge 😉 Today is all about treating yourself. What’s something you’re currently lusting over? New workout top, new mittens, a massage, manicure… you get the idea. It doesn’t have to be anything big (it is holiday season, afterall, so I’m sure extra money is being spent on gifts), but it’s about getting yourself a little something that puts some extra pep in your step. I’m thinking a Fitbit is something I’ve been lusting over… hmmm…

*Sunday 12/21: Core workout. Sunday’s tend to be lazy, lounge around the house days, right? The beauty of this workout is it can be done in your pajamas in front of the TV 🙂

4 minute plank workout

If you don’t like this workout, feel free to choose from one of these:
{Holiday Series} Wednesday Workout: Warm Up Your Core!
V-Sits and Leg Lifts and Planks, Oh My!
Wednesday Workout: No weights? No problem! {Cardio & Core workout}
Wednesday Workout: 4 Minute Plank Series {Video}

There you have it! Have fun with the challenges this week and remember- we’re almost through the 24 days, so don’t give up now 🙂

Questions for you: What was your favorite day of the challenge last week? What will be the most challenging thing for you this week?

Paleo Pumpkin Banana Nut Bread

Ok, so even though this isn’t a recipe I came up with (I don’t even do much to alter it), I feel like I’d be doing you a disservice if I didn’t share it with you. It’s been a staple around our apartments for the past month or so, and I don’t see it going away any time soon. We’ve made muffins and loafs and not only does it taste great right out of the oven, it freezes and thaws incredibly well, too.

What I love about the recipe is how few ingredients there are and that there is very little sugar. It’s super quick and easy to put together and I swear you’d never know it was a “healthy bread”.

I found the recipe over at Paleo Leap, which has a ton of great recipes!

Paleo Pumpkin Banana-Nut Bread (Recipe is directly from Paleo Leap)

Ingredients

  • ½ cup coconut flour;
  • ½ cup almond flour;
  • ½ cup very ripe banana, pureed;
  • ½ cup pure pumpkin puree;
  • ½ cup melted clarified butter or almond butter; (I use almond butter and like the flavor/texture it adds)
  • 1 tsp. baking soda;
  • ¼ cup raw honey;
  • 4 eggs;
  • ½ tsp. vanilla extract;
  • ½ tsp. salt;
  • ¾ cup pecans, chopped; (optional) (sometimes I use walnuts or a mixture of both. Any will do!)
  • 2 tbsp. unsweetened coconut flakes- I’ve been adding these in
  • 1tsp cinnamon- again, I’ve been adding this and love the little extra it gives
  • If you want extra sweetness, feel free to add in some chocolate chips 😉

Directions

1. Pre-heat oven to 350*. Mix together the coconut flour, almond flour, baking soda, salt, coconut flakes & cinnamon. Set aside.

2. In another bowl, mix together the banana, pumpkin, almond butter, honey, eggs and vanilla extract.

3. Combine the wet and dry. Add in the nuts (if you choose to add them in) and/or the chocolate chips (again, if you choose to add them in).

4. Grease either a loaf pan or a muffin tin, depending on what your preference is. Bake for 30-45 minutes.

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RM created the most delicious post dinner faux sweet treat with these muffins/bread, which is also worth sharing. It’s almost like a bread pudding, but a heck of a lot healthier 😉 He warms the muffins/bread and tops them with a little coconut oil, almond butter and cinnamon and holy moly is it absolutely fantastic!!! I highly suggest trying it!

Questions for you: What’s your favorite faux sweet treat? Do you have a big sweet tooth?