30 Day Raw Fitness Challenge – Exercise Guidelines & W.O.W.

Here we go people! 30 Days to Re-Vamp Your Health!
So, I was hoping to get this post up yesterday, but we experienced ‘hurricane-like’ storms here in my area of Parkville, MD this past Friday. So when I returned from my vacation down at the ocean, I returned to no power, no air conditioning, 93 degrees in my house, all of my refrigerator food warm, and so on…we may not get our power back until FRIDAY which would be 7 whole days. Let’s just say I look pretty fabulous right now…sarcasm… I WILL DO MY BEST TO GET POSTS UP ON RAWFITNESSTV.COM and FACEBOOK to keep this challenge going during this time of challenge due to power outages! I promise:)

BUT!!!!! Let’s get our workout in still. I need your motivation people, in times like this, it’s so easy to find an excuse NOT to get a workout in, but just 10 minutes…start there and see where it goes! So let’s help each other out in this 30 day challenge! The previous post defines the ‘Nutritional Guidelines’ for the 30 day challenge, so please print those out and put on your refrigerator or somewhere you view daily. View ‘Exercise Guidelines’ below.

  1. Log in 3-7 workouts per week on our Get Fit with RawFitnessChick Facebook Page
  2. I will post a Workout of the Week (W.O.W.) on Sunday for you to do throughout the week. Make sure you give your muscles 24 hours to recover and rebuild. So do ‘cardio’ (run, jog, bike, aerobics, zumba, etc) in between strength training days or the W.O.W. days.
  3. If you’re a beginner start with 3 workouts per week as your goal and add 1 additional workout every 1-2 weeks until you reach 5-7 workouts per week. A workout can be as short as 10 minutes. ANYTHING IS BETTER THAN NOTHING. Listen to your body. If you’re exhausted, do something less intense or give your body a break that day. Just try to get at least 3 workouts in per week. And space them out every 1-2 days. Try to get a workout completed at least every 1-2 days.
  4. Have a combination of ‘cardio’ and ‘strength’ workouts. If you are already lean and are looking to build lean muscle mass, your weekly cardio:strength workout ratio will be leaning more towards strength training and less time on the cardio aspect. If you want to shed excess body fat, lose weight, slim and tone up…aim to do 3-5 workouts per week that involve strength training to build or maintain lean muscle, and aim to do 3-7 workouts that involve cardio every week. I usually combine my strength and cardio into one workout, I complete my strength training first…then hop on the ‘arc trainer’ or ‘elliptical’ for 20 minutes of ‘cardio intervals’ (30 seconds of all-out-effort, 30 seconds of active recovery). Great way to blast fat & increase your metabolism!
  5. If you’re intermediate-advanced. Don’t workout more than 60 minutes at-a-time. WHY??? Because when you workout more than 60 minutes, your body will begin to produce cortisol because it is ‘stressed’. Cortisol is a hormone linked to belly fat. You can get in a great workout in 60 minutes or less, trust me! If you aren’t seeing results from your workouts, don’t increase the duration of your workouts, increase the intensity and take a look at your diet. No matter how hard you workout, if your diet isn’t on track, then you’ll have extreme difficulty achieving your fitness goals.
  6. If you’re pressed for time or just plain tired and don’t have the motivation. Get up and do at least 10 minutes of exercise for me! I don’t care what your excuse is…everyone has 10 minutes to spare! And if all you’ve got is 10 minutes, just increase the intensity and give it your all for that 10 minutes…then get on with your day!
  7. AGAIN…POST YOUR WORKOUTS ON THE GET FIT WITH RAWFITNESSCHICK FACEBOOK PAGE!
    1. Do the W.O.W. that I post or your own workout.
    2. If you have the time, try to post what you did for your workout on the Facebook Page to help give others ideas and motivation!
    3. Also, post your workouts on your twitter account and use hashtag #rawfitnesschallenge if you wish to:)

Workout of the Week: W.O.W.

“Building a Foundation” – This workout will use basic body weight moves, strengthening and toning moves, and incorporate a cardio-endurance aspect. Beginner’s, listen to your body, take your time, and just do your best, shoot for 1-2 rounds and if you get through 3 rounds, WAY TO GO! Intermediate & Advanced – aim to do 2-3 rounds and use alternative or less intense moves when necessary. EVERYONE, I want you to focus on form over ‘just getting through it’. Our goal is to build a foundation of strength and endurance. Push yourself, but when you lose form…that means you hit your max for that move. Take a breather and move on!

Circuit: Perform 1-3 rounds. Do each ‘move’ for no more than 50 seconds. Take a quick 10 second break and move onto the next move immediately. Therefore you will spend 1 minute on each move, including rest. If you perform 3 whole rounds, it will be about a 30 minute workout. I have give you ‘goals’ to hit in terms of # of reps for each exercise. Try to get as many reps per exercise in that 50 seconds. Use a stopwatch or interval timer app on your phone. Perform 1 round straight through, take a quick breather, and perform a second and third round if you can. Remember form is the priority as well as listening to your body.

  1. 100 High Knee Jump Rope Skips (Perform high knees while jumping rope/or just high knees if you don’t have a jump rope)
  2. 15 Reps Push Ups (Advanced: Feet elevated on chair; Intermediate: On toes; Beginner’s: On knees)
  3. 100 High Knee Jump Rope Skips
  4. 50 Reps Jump Squat (Sit down into a squat with feet shoulder width apart, tap floor, power up and jump up)
  5. 100 High Knee Jump Rope Skips
  6. 100 Mountain Climbers (Get into a push up position, tuck one knee into chest, hop/switch feet, 1 hop = 1 rep)
  7. 100 High Knee Jump Rope Skips
  8. 30-40 Reps Dips off a Chair
  9. 100 High Knee Jump Rope Skips
  10. 50 Reps Plank Jacks (Get into plank position on your elbows and toes, jump feet out and together similar to motion you do with feet when doing jumping jacks, 1 hop out and together = 1 rep)

Click on the exercise to be taken to a youtube video showing the exercise move if you aren’t familiar with what the exercise is. Make sure to have a nice big bottle of water nearby and write down how many reps you get per exercise and how many rounds you get done. Then post your results on our 30 Day RawFitnessChallenge Facebook Page! Keep a journal of your workout results so you can track your progress!

Disclaimer: I am not a nutritionist or a doctor. What I write in my blogposts is simply information that I have gathered over the years from reading and researching several health related topics from credible resources as well as personal experiences. I urge you to consult with a physician before changing your diet. The purpose of my blogposts are to share my experiences and fitness knowledge with everyone I possibly can to help others in their journey to improve their state of well-being.

Hop on the Macrobiotic Train, Next Stop…The Sky’s the Limit

So, whether this is the first post you’re reading on my blog or if you’ve been following me through my 30 Day Challenge…let me just say and announce that I have been converted to the Macrobiotic Way. Go back and read my posts from May 1st to May 30th and you will understand more about what the hell I’m talking about!
To sum it up, I’m sad it is the end of the 30 Day Challenge because I want to keep going with it and the group of ladies that I’ve been doing the challenge with are AWESOME! SO I’m sticking with it baby! Why in the world would I go back to my old ways? I’ve learned so much and experienced how amazing and energized and clear-minded and strong I can feel and be when sticking to the macrobiotic way 100% (I did not cheat!). In fact, I think I can take it another step and incorporate more of the macrobiotic way into my life, there is so much more to learn! This was just the introduction, now it’s time to educate myself more and improve upon that knowledge. Some may say, “She is crazy”…but I say that anyone would have to be crazy to regress to what they were doing before. Once you learn something that will improve your quality of life, why in the world would you let it “go in one ear, and out the other”? Why would I go back to my old ways in which I had a lower quality of life? WHY? I ask myself this all the time when I share a VERY USEFUL piece of knowledge with someone, a piece of knowledge that could improve their quality of life greatly, and see that they don’t incorporate that new piece of knowledge into their life because it seems ‘too hard’. Well, isn’t it even harder to go day-to-day feeling like crap and isn’t it frustrating when you can’t seem to reach your health and fitness goals?

GO out and get a book on Macrobiotics (‘The Macrobiotic Path to Total Health and/or Healing with Whole Foods: Asian Traditions and Modern Nutrition are two that were recommended to me and are great) OR Master Macrobiotics in 10 easy steps!just start doing research on the internet. Learn what the principles and rules are and stock your pantry with Macrobiotic friendly foods and learn new recipes and start your own 30 Day Challenge. GIVE IT YOUR ALL AND YOU WILL ‘SEE THE LIGHT’.

Before Kara’s 30 day challenge I ate mostly ‘clean and whole foods’ (or thought I did). My ‘vices’ that I got rid of for the 30 day challenge were my vegan protein powder, coffee (8 cups/day…organic though! Lol..), oatmeal (microwaved rolled oats), LOTS of vitamins/minerals, fiber supplement, fish/meat/chicken/eggs (didn’t drink dairy), my beloved ‘processed, store bought’ almond milk, alcohol, seltzer water and those were my ‘vices’. My first day of the 30 day challenge I stated in my blog post, This is a 30 Day cleanse/makeover/challenge and in no way do I plan on restricting my diet to this extreme after the 30 days is finished…BUT, I plan on taking a lot of what I learned and implementing it in my nutrition & lifestyle habits post-30 day challenge. Will I stay ‘vegan’? To be completely truthful…I doubt it…nothing personal to any ‘vegans’ but it seems very restricted and I don’t do well with extremes. I do want to lower the impact I have on the planet and the types of products I use to be of no harm to animals…we will see how much ‘veganism/macrobiotic’ I keep with me after the 30 days, how about that?”

Well…I’m not turning back!!! The funny thing I notice when I look at that statement is the word ‘restricted’ because this 30 Day Challenge has been the opposite of restricted. It has opened my eyes to the great variety of foods, recipes, ways of living and joy for life that you experience by living the macrobiotic way. Before the 30 Day Challenge, eating wasn’t fun because I ate the usual ‘healthy’ chicken and broccoli for dinner, salad for lunch, and my beloved oatmeal for breakfast. Now, the options are endless, and they make me feel good after eating too which I always had problems with. Follow me on pinterest.com where I ‘pin’ all the recipes I find, there are SO MANY great and tasty recipes out there!

Since I was a little kid, I dealt with horrible digestion problems, I remember I used to hate eating dinner because immediately afterward I’d be in severe pain from stomach issues, no matter what I ate this problem persisted. Even later in life, when I was eating ‘clean’ and correct portion sizes (ex. chicken and broccoli for dinner) I still experienced stomach issues. One of the most relieving moments on this 30 day challenge was around day 3 or 4. I ate my first meal in years in which my stomach felt COMPLETELY normal after finishing the meal and I was SO happy! As I’ve already stated, this new feeling of weightlessness and surge of energy and clear-mindedness and awareness have emerged & materialized. Everything I sense seems so ‘crisp’, from the blue sky to the green trees to the birds chirping and light warm breeze and smell of the fresh spring air. When I run I feel that energy surge just as I used to feel when I was 5 years old. When I take my pup for a walk, I literally start running as fast she is and we’re flying across the field, be it I probably look like a lunatic but I don’t care one bit because I feel amazing. Running never felt so good, I feel weightless and strong. I finally feel what ‘living’ should feel like and I’m ecstatic. THIS is why I’m not turning back to my old ways and I’m going to continue on after this 30 Days truly living life by fueling my body, mind and soul with what God wanted us to consume and how God wanted us to live!

Kara, thank you from the bottom of my heart. No words could ever express the amazing and life-changing impact your 30 Days Challenge has made on me. You saved my life, because now I can actually live it! Kara’s site: Natural Body Makeover

From here on out I’ll be sharing with you exercise routines, exercise videos, recipes and my journey to optimal wellness in hopes that you can enjoy life and really start living! Hop on the macrobiotic train, because when you truly feel alive and well, the sky is the limit baby!

Yours Truly,

Nat

Tushy Toner & Strawberry Orange Mint Cream Smoothie

I tested out a recipe last night, there are some tweaks that I’ll have to make but it is actually a perfect light energy snack to have on hand during this heat wave we are experiencing here in Baltimore. It’s called socca bread and is made from chickpea flour/water/salt and what ever flavoring (sweet or savory) that you add to it is up to you. Chickpea flour is just finely ground up chickpeas (that have been soaked/sprouted/or not soaked/sprouted, this is your preference and I’ll be experimenting with the two options). So I had a ton of leftover cooked chickpea that I didn’t want to go to waste, so I used them. The original recipe for socca bread does not involve cooked chickpea, it is chickpea flour. But I figured, what the hey!
Socca Bread: My ‘Test’ which will need adjustment

  1. 1.5-2C Cooked Chickpeas
  2. 1-2 tsp salt
  3. 1-2 TBSP Agave
  4. 1-2 tsp lemon juice
  5. 1 tsp cinammon
  6. 2 tbsp almond nut cheese
  7. 2-3 tbsp water
  8. 375F for 15-30 minutes in square coconut oiled pan

Place all ingredients in blender of food processor and blend until combined. Then put in a 8X8 baking pan and throw in the oven on 375F for 20-30 minutes. Turned out light, a tad sweet and delish! I will need to tweak though because it crumbles easily and I want it to stay together. Maybe arrowroot powder or something else, I will update you when I figure it out!

On to the workout…

I woke up ready to tear up some legs and core exercises down at a park near my house with my TRX and straight up body weight moves. I tuned my bike up yesterday so I hopped on my bike, brought my backpack with my workout gear (TRX, phone for music, exercise journal, water) and hit the road for a pre-workout quick bike ride which was perfect warm-up, took me about 7 minutes to get to the park.

Then I did the fabulous workout below baking under the warm morning sun.

Tushy Toner Workout:

Do each exercise for given # of reps and sets. Then move onto next exercise. Complete workout one time through or if you’re really feelin’ it that day, go for 2 rounds!

  1. Pistol Squat (10R/Leg; 2 Sets) (Hold out 1 leg straight while you squat all the way down then back up on other leg, I used TRX for a bit of assistance on way back up)
  2. TRX Reverse Lunge (10R/Leg; 3 Sets) (Make TRX into 1 Foot Strap, place foot in foot strap, hop forward on other leg so you about 4 feet away from anchor point, squat down on leg as you reach foot that is in foot strap back OR do same motion resting one foot on stability ball) (OR do a reverse lunge)
  3. TRX Ham Curls (10 Reps; 3 Sets) (Lie on back facing TRX w/both feet in foot straps, raise hips up, curl feet into butt-back out-then lower hips down OR do same motion w/heels on stability ball) (OR Lie on back, place both heels up on edge of chair, raise hips up and down)
  4. TRX Jump Squat (10 Reps; 5 Sets) (Facing TRX holding handles lightly, feet wide and plie/toes point out, squat all the way down then power up and jump up OR do same motion without holding TRX handles)
  5. TRX Knee Tucks (10 Reps; 5 Sets) (Do plank w/feet in TRX foot straps OR on stability ball, from plank you tuck both knees up to chest and back out) (OR do plank and hop both feet up to hands and back out)
  6. Burpee minus push up (10 Reps; 3 Sets) (From standing, squat down, place hands on ground, jump feet out to plank, jump feet back in, stand up/power up/jump up, repeat)
  7. Shoulder Taps Feet Elevated (20 Taps Alternating; 3 Sets) (Get into plank w/feet in TRX foot straps, on a stability ball or elevated on chair, contract core & right arm as you tap right shoulder w/left hand, repeat w/right hand tapping left shoulder, do 20 reps)
  8. V-Up Knee Tuck Reach High (10 Reps; 2 Sets) (Lie on back, hands at sides, raise upper body up and tuck knees up to chest as you come up into V shape w/body and reach hands up to sky, lower back down)
  9. Side Plank Reach Unders (10 Reps/Side; 1 Set) (Get into side plank on left hand w/feet in TRX OR on stability ball OR elevated on chair, take right hand and twist torso as you reach under left side, do 10 Reps/side)
  10. Side Lift Splits (10 Reps/Side; 1 Set) (Lie on Left Side, split legs pressing feet up against a wall, press left hand into ground right under left shoulder and raise hips up off ground and lower back down, do 10 Reps/Side)

Then I biked back home taking a longer route that included a BIG hill, so biking for just a total of 15 minutes but with intensity! DONE! ENJOY!

After my workout I continued to be quite active. Took my pup for a long walk, hit up the organic market for some goodies, played baseball with my boyfriend and then I needed to cool off from the 90 degree heat with a tasty and refreshing Strawberry Orange Mint Cream Smoothie (VEGAN)!

Strawberry Orange Mint Cream:

  1. 8 Frozen Strawberries
  2. 8 Sprigs Fresh Mint
  3. 6 TBSP Fresh Almond Milk
  4. 1/2 Fresh Squeezed Orange Juice
  5. 1 TBSP Lacuma Powder
  6. 2 Shakes Stevia/Agave/Brown Rice Syrup
  7. 1 TBSP Shredded Coconut
  8. Ice to desired thickness
  9. BLEND!

As you can see, I had already taken a big gulp of the smoothie before taking the picture! It was just too good to wait! Perfect treat to chill off and cool down from one fabulous Sunday!

Health & Happiness,

Nat

Arm Ripper & Core Workout & Fresh Homemade Almond Milk!

This morning, I woke up SO ready to take on Saturday in full force. I felt excited about getting outside this morning for a Upper Body, Core & Cardio Workout. Also, my almonds that I had placed in a jar of water the night before to soak were ready to be blended up to make my first ever batch of home made almond milk! Before my 30 Day Challenge, I was drinking that processed, pasteurized almond milk from the store…during my 30 Day Challenge this has been one of my ‘vices’ that I had to let go of. I’ve known the whole time about being able to make my own home made almond milk (which I can have during the 30 day challenge), but haven’t had the time until today!
First I wanted to post a picture (pic above) from my Arbonne Spa Party I had the other day. I made up some macro/vegan meals for my lady guests, and they were a hit! I served up ‘Mock Chicken Salad’, Hummus, Salad w/ citrus ginger vinaigrette and my beloved raw vegan chocolate pudding!

The ‘Mock Chicken Salad’ was a hit, even my boyfriend likes it! And of course, chocolate pudding was phenomenal! Me and my lady guests had such a great time getting our mini-facials and makeup makeovers, the before and after was amazing. Kristy is SO talented at doing our makeup makeovers! Thanks Kristy!

I served it fresh and cool out of the refrigerator in cups and my guests couldn’t believe that this chocolate pudding was raw, vegan and made from simple and super good for you ingredients! It’s so tasty and there are so many different variations to this recipe!

On to my fabulous home made ALMOND MILK! Oh good lord was it SO much tastier and satisfying then the crap I bought in the store! First, I soaked 1 Cup of Almonds in a jar with filtered water. Fill jar up with filtered water to cover almonds completely + 2 inches more of water. Sit on counter top to soak overnight. Then follow directions below!

Home Made Almond Milk:

  1. 1 Cup Soaked Organic Raw Almonds (drain water)
  2. Blend Almonds in good blender first.
  3. Then add in 2-3 cups water until you get desired consistency.
  4. Strain almond milk mixture through nut milk bag into a big glass jug or jar.
  5. Squeeze all of almond milk from nut milk bag.
  6. Place nut ‘cheese’/leftovers to side (DO NOT THROW OUT!)
  7. Put almond milk liquid back in blender.
  8. Blend in 1-2 tbsp vanilla extract, 1-2 pitted dates/agave/stevia, these are optional and for whatever your preference is.
  9. Also, you could add mint, raw cacao, fresh squeezed orange juice and so on to add different flavors!
  10. Store in fridge, keeps for 3 days or so. You can flavor you leftover nut ‘cheese’ to taste like cheese or use it in different recipes, so don’t throw out the leftovers!

For my Ripped Ass Woman Upper Body, Core & Cardio workout, I took it outside under the sun and to a park near my house that has chin up and dip bars. I hooked up my TRX around one of the chin up bars. Below I give alternative exercise moves if you don’t have a TRX:). Enjoy!

Ripped Upper Body, Core & Cardio Workout:

Part 1: Strength – Do 1 Round of following exercises.

  1. Chin Ups 12 Reps
  2. TRX Atomic Push Ups (OR Push Up and Squat Thrust) 10 Reps
  3. TRX 1-Leg Shoulder Press 16 Reps (8R/Leg) (Do Pike Press w/feet Elevated on Chair)
  4. TRX Atomic Push Ups 10 Reps
  5. TRX Dips (OR Dips off Chair or Bench) 15 Reps
  6. TRX Low Rows (OR Inverted Rows or Bent-Over Rows) 15 Reps
  7. TRX Y Flyes (OR Incline Bench Back Flyes) 15 Reps
  8. TRX Atomic Push Ups 10 Reps
  9. TRX Tricep Overhead Extension (Or Standing Overhead Tricep Extensions) 15 Reps + 20 Pulses (Upper Half Range of Motion)
  10. 1-Leg Elevated (On Dip Bars, 4 feet high) Push Ups 5R/Leg; 2 Sets
  11. Hanging V Leg Raise (Holding body off ground on dip bars, raise legs up in V) 10 Reps; 2 Sets
  12. Inverted Rows (Overhand Grip 10 Reps/Underhand Grip 10 Reps) 2 Sets
  13. Body Dips on Dip Bar 10 Reps; 1 Set

Part 2: Cardio

  1. Set Timer for 10 minutes. You will perform exercise movement for 45 seconds of effort and have 15 seconds rest. So you will do 10 intervals of 45 seconds of effort and 15 seconds of rest for total of 10 minutes.
  2. You will alternate between two exercise moves. Start with Sprint Runs for first 45 second interval. Rest 15 seconds. Then perform High Knee Jump Rope Skips for 45 seconds, rest for 15 seconds. Keep repeating and alternating between these two exercises for 10 minutes.
  3. Sprint Runs: I ran ‘suicides’ in outdoor basketball court between one end, to mid court & back, then from one end to the other end and back. Basically, just sprint between two points for 45 seconds and you’re good.
  4. High Knee Jump Rope Skips: I used my rock climbing rope for extra challenge because it is heavy, but any rope will do. Do jump rope while doing high knees. Or just do your best and go your hardest at jumping rope or high knees.

Now, chug some water, lie down and congratulate yourself because you just completed a Ripped Ass Woman workout!

I had a surge of energy later in the afternoon, and decided to take my bike out for a spin around town. So fun, relaxing and got a good 45 minutes of hills and flats in! Now time for an ice cold frosty home made lemon drink!

To Your Health,

Natty Mac

Cauliflower-Carrot Patties & No Equipment Bootylicious Workout!

Oh boy did I do an amazing workout today! It’s SO beautiful out here in Baltimore, so instead of hitting the gym I worked out by my pool on my patio. This workout was just with my body weight for the most part, so you can get off the couch and do this workout while you read on to learn about Cauliflower-Carrot Patties! ‘Learn while you Burn’ baby!
Workout:

Part 1: (Strength/Toning) 1-3 Rounds (I did 3 Rounds)

1. 10 Reps/Leg Forward Lunge

2. 10 Reps Plie Jumps (Wide stance, toes point out, sit down into squat and power/jump up)

4. 10 Reps/Leg Reverse Lunge

5. 10 Reps Squat Jumps (Same as plie jumps, but feet are shoulder width apart and toes point straight forward not out)

6. 10 Reps/Leg Step Ups (Step up onto a chair, bench, or even from kneeling down on one knee-up to standing)

7. 10 Reps Side Bridge Lifts – 10 Reps Side Bridge Leg Raises (Right Side) (Lie on right side, on right elbow, right leg bent, left leg straight, raise hip up and down off mat for 10 Reps; then hold hip up (Side Bridge) while you raise left leg up and down 10 Reps)

8. 10 Reps Side Bridge Lifts – 10 Reps Side Bridge Leg Raises (Left Side)

9. 10 Reps/Leg of Elevated 1-Leg Hip Lifts (Lie on back, place feet/heels up on chair or bench, raise left leg straight up, now raise hips/butt all the way up by pressing right heel into edge of chair or bench, lower hips down and up for 10 reps)

10. 20 Reps/Leg Donkey Kicks (Get on all fours, come down onto elbows, flex both feet, now press heel back and up like you are trying to kick a door closed behind you, do 20 Reps w/Right leg than 20 Reps w/Left leg)

11. Perform a Wall-Sit for 100 seconds

Now do #1-11 for a second and third round.

Part 2: Cardio – Do each exercise for 20 sec effort, 10 sec rest interval twice than move onto next exercise. Perform 1-2 rounds of circuit below for a good cardio & fat burn after toning those bootays!

1. Pendulum Hops (Come into an ‘Upside Down V’ or ‘Downward Dog’, bring feet close together, raise one leg out to side, as you lower that leg to center hop other leg out to side, resembles pendulum on clock)

2. Pike Jumps (Come into ‘Upside Down V’ position again on mat, bring both feet to left side of mat, hop feet up and over to right side, keep hopping side-side of mat in upside down V for 20 sec)

3. Squat Thrusts (Come into plank up on hands, feet together, hop feet apart and up toward hands, then hop feet back and together, repeat)

4. V-Up Bicycles (Lie on back, hands behind head, knees up/feet up so legs make right angle, twist torso to bring right elbow to left knee as you extend right leg out and raise upper body up off mat to make V with body, return to start, now bring left elbow to right knee as extend left leg out and raise up, keep alternating)

5. Prisoner High Knees (Standing, hands behind head, do high knees)

6. Kick Ups (Sit on bum, place hands behind you flat on mat, raise one leg up and bum off mat, as you lower raised leg, hop other foot off mat and kick that leg up, alternate and repeat)

7. Plyo-Jacks (Do jumping jacks but reach down to tap ankles when you hop feet out)

8. 1-Leg Hop (Right Leg) (Balance on right leg, squat down on right leg and tap shin, power up and hop up)

9. 1-Leg Hop (Left Leg)

10. Sandbag Rotation Swing (Use KB/Sandbag/or Backpack filled with weight) (Stand in wide stance, hold weight, swing weight down between legs as you bend at waist, swing weight up to chin level as you squeeze your bum/core and bring upper body vertical)

Now on to the recipe!

Cauliflower & Carrot Patty:

  1. 1/2 C Grated Cauliflower
  2. 1/2 C Cooked Mashed Millet
  3. 1/4 C Grated Carrot
  4. 1 tsp Dijon Mustard
  5. A few drops Ume Vinegar or use Tamari/Soy sauce
  6. 1 TBSP grated onion or chopped green onion
  7. Dash oregano, basil & 1 TBSP fresh cilantro
  8. Optional: 1 TBSP Vegenaise or substitute vegenaise for 1 TBSP ground roasted pumpkin, sunflower or flax seed OR 1 -2 TBSP mashed chickpeas
  9. 1 – 2 dashes cumin powder
  10. Combine all ingredients and make into patties.
  11. Put 1 -2 TBSP Sunflower oil in pan over medium-high heat. Don’t let oil get so hot it smokes.
  12. Pat a little bit of coconut flour (or any flour you want or have) on your cauliflower cakes (to help them brown).
  13. Throw cauliflower cakes in pan when pan is hot. Cook until browned on both sides.

I served up my cauliflower-carrot patty next to a side of my zucchini pasta! So good!

Health & Happiness, Nat

Insankness – Upper Body Workout – New Video! Tone Up & Slim Down!

It’s time to bring it! This video is RatedRAW, I named it ‘Insankness’ because it is insane and sick…in a good way! Enjoy, as Tony Horton says, “Do your best and forget the rest!”. Health & Happiness, Natty Mac;)

Do You Have the WILL POWER???

So, Do you have the will-power?Will-power to do what, Natalie? Well, the will-power to make new and positive habits that will benefit and improve your health, wellness and fitness.

Will you stick to your guns and stay on the right track by following the commitments you made to yourself?

What commitments?
 The commitments you chose to make; the lifestyle, nutritional and fitness changes you need to put into action in order to achieve your fitness goals.

I’m sorry….you can’t just start exercising and expect that this change alone will get you past your weight loss plateau or help you lose 10, 20, 30 pounds…it’s just not how it works. You have to make changes in ALL areas of your life in order to accomplish your fitness goals! You need to change your mindset, your diet, your lifestyle… I hate to tell you but you didn’t get where you are (if you’re not happy with where you are) by simply not exercising. Slowly but surely you made “unhealthy or destructive” changes in your lifestyle over time. And when you put all of these negative changes together you get your current state of health, wellness and fitness.

So What do I do to get on the right track to optimum health and wellness?
Remember we all started out “fresh, healthy and non-toxic” when we were born. Over time we all mature and change, we made lifestyle changes that had negative impacts on our mind and body. You need to figure out what changes you made in your life that got you where you’re at. So…if you are overweight, what did you start doing or not doing that caused you to slowly gain weight over the years? Eating fast food, having too much sugar in your daily diet, overeating, not drinking enough water/day, no nutrition in your diet (eating pizza, pasta, processed foods?!). What did you start doing that decreased your energy levels to almost nothing? No daily activity or exercise, toxifying your body with processed foods that are void of nutrition, too much work and lots of stress? Assess all areas of your life and figure out what you need to “fix” in those areas to improve your health and wellness.

Now it’s time to make positive changes in your life1. Write all of these “negative” changes you made over the years. Write down the actions you must take to reverse the destructive habits. For example: A negative change could be transitioning from eating healthy, well-rounded, home-cooked dinners at home to eating microwave meals or take-out for dinner. To reverse this, you must stock your refrigerator with ONLY healthy options and plan for the week ahead for what you will eat for dinner and prepare meals in advance when needed.

2. Now, you are going to write down your “I WILL’s” and “I WON’T’s” (What you will do & won’t do to have positive change in your lifestyle habits) on this piece of paper and place it somewhere that you visit daily (like your refrigerator!). Try to follow the commitments you made for the next 7 days. Re-evaluate them, and then commit to another 7 days. Repeat this process until you have achieved your fitness goals. And remember, jot down some longer-term goals (1 month, 3 month, 6-12 month) so you have an end goal to motivate you when times get tough!

Some areas to evaluate and improve upon to work toward optimal wellness:

Exercise: Work your way up to getting three to five 30-minute cardio sessions/week and three to five 30-minute strength training sessions/week.

Nutrition: Daily water intake, majority of diet from whole, unprocessed food, 3-5 well-rounded and balanced meals/day.

Lifestyle: Decrease couch potato time and increase healthy activity time. Work on managing stress and other areas of your life that have been lingering in the back of your mind, such as your social life, family life, career, hobbies and so on.

Good Luck, You ARE Capable, You MUST Commit, You MUST put it into Action!
Nat

Keep it Fresh, Make it FUN!

Change it UP!!! If you have recently implemented an exercise routine into your lifestyle OR if you have been exercising for years…this post is for you!

DO NOT LET YOURSELF GET COMFORTABLE WITH YOUR ROUTINE! Make it exciting and change it up often, now I don’t mean you have to every day or even every other session. But at least do a different exercise routine every week. You will see better results and you will feel it too!

SO…What if you runout of ideas? Be creative! Did you play sports as a kid or in high school? Do you have any hobbies? Download some new soundtracks for your workout. Use a different type of equipment (use a kettlebell or medicine ball in your next routine).

If you change it up, you won’t get used to your routine, and you won’t know what to expect or when to expect it. I know people all too well, and I do this myself as well if I do the same routine over and over…do you ever hold back because you want to leave some steam for what’s to come later on in your workout?! If you change it up, you won’t know what’s about to hit you later on in the workout and you will give each and every part of the workout your all, or at least I hope you will!!!

So in honor of today’s blog post I brought back some sport specific training into my workout. I used to play soccer a lot as a kid and absolutely loved it. So I took my soccer ball up to my local high school field and did a little training. I used some bodyweight techniques and meshed them together with soccer specific conditioning skills. It was a blast! I felt like a kid again and kicked my own butt while workin’ up a mean sweat. My favorite exercises of the day were soccer dribble sprints and soccer ball burpees!

Post your creative exercise routines here, I’d love to hear them!

Health & Happiness,
Nat

At-Home Work Out Equipment and Home Workout Video!

I love using my TRX® to get a quick workout in. You can do some intense versions of push ups, plank/crunch/pike, back rows, 1-leg squats and lunges…and this is just the start of it. The bundle I bought, which I think was the ‘pro’ bundle, came with a dvd to start me off which helped a lot. From there, I just used my creativity and YouTube to find out about more exercises. I posted a exercise video on this blog a while back, CLICK HERE FOR VIDEO. I jibber jabber in the beginning of the video for a while, but eventually get to the point lol!
Next, my Ultimate Dip Station. You can do way more than dips on this piece! I do hanging leg raises and oblique knee tucks, inverted rows, push ups, dips, use your imagination and have fun with it!

I have plenty of body weight and kettlebell videos on this blog for you to check out to get some good ideas for exercise routines, so make sure to watch some of those videos when you get a chance. BUT, I went ahead and made a NEW VIDEO for you all that includes some body weight exercises as well as exercises using my Dip Station, Sand Bag, Stability Ball, and Resistance Bands. The NEW VIDEO is at the end of this post:).

If you are aiming to get your heart rate up there in the ‘cardio’ zone and increase your metabolism and fat burning capability of your workout, then choose exercises that target large muscle groups and are compound exercises(squats, rows) that hit many muscle groups, those that involve 2 or more joints and large groups of muscle working together in a coordinated movement. Only do 2-3 compound exercises per workout, because they take a lot of energy and tire you out, also do them at the beginning of your workout. End with isolation exercises (involve the movement of a single joint), such as the bicep curl.

Also, you may count reps and sets or do the exercises in an interval format. For example, if you are doing squats, push ups, dips, and rows; you could do 3 sets of 10-15 reps of each exercise (enough resistance for each movement that you’re almost at point of total fatigue by 10-15th rep). Or, you could time yourself while you perform each movement, and try to get in as many reps as possible (with good form) of each exercise during your ‘effort interval’ and have a short period of rest in between, before moving onto the next exercise. You can do the exercises in a circuit format (in which you move from one exercise to the next) and perform a given number of rounds of the circuit. For example, perform each exercise for 45 seconds of effort with 15 seconds of rest & move to next exercise, do all exercises in circuit for 45 seconds of effort with 15 seconds of rest, back-to-back until finished 1 circuit. Rest for 1-2 minutes at the end of each circuit and perform as many circuits as desired for your goals. I usually pick 10 exercises and do 2-3 circuits.

For my routines, I do reps and sets when I’ll be doing a lower number of reps/exercise because I’m lifting heavier weight that day. On the days in which I’m aiming to get more of a ‘High Intensity Interval Training’ effect, I do timed intervals and use lighter weight in order to get a higher number of reps and obtain a ‘cardio aspect’ to my strength training routine. It is great to change up the format of your routines day-to-day and week-to-week, not only to accomplish muscle confusion, but also to avoid boredom!

Exercise video is below!

Multi-Taskin’…Healthy Diet & Exercise No Matter How Busy Your Day Is!

A day in the life of Natalie!

Don’t fret, I don’t really think that you care what my day is like, I’m not that vain! I wanted to give you an example of how I fit in healthy eating habits and consistent exercise into a very busy schedule.

I usually wake up at 5am and don’t finish work until 7:30pm. So as you can see, I have LONG days…don’t be misinformed though, I LOVE what I do for a living and I DO get breaks here and there throughout the day. I use those breaks to eat healthy and exercise and it makes getting through my day all the better and easier! Exercise gives me stress relief and stamina, healthy eating gives me a clear mind and energy!

I wake up early enough so that I have at least 1 hour to get ready and eat breakfast before I need to hit the road to train my first client. Right out of bed I down 1 scoop of fiber dissolved in a 16oz. glass of water. Then, I usually eat oatmeal & Shakeology (for protein/vitamins/energy/health). I have a cup of coffee with a splash of unflavored almond milk. I head out to train my clients usually until noon or 1pm. Then I have my afternoon ‘break’. I eat lunch, which is either a salad with chicken or a ‘green smoothie’ (pics below) and get to work in my ‘office’. This is when the multi-tasking comes into play!

In my ‘office’ (which I’ve moved outdoors since the weather is beautiful right now in MD) I do admin, marketing, blog, emails, and anything else it takes to make my personal training business run! During this ‘office work’ I fit in intermittent workouts. I use my body weight, dip station, TRX, stability ball, kettlebells, resistance bands and sandbag. I will do a post tomorrow on exercises I do using these different pieces of equipment.

I also have a gym membership. I go there daily as time permits and do cardio on the arc trainer, step mill, treadmill, and spin classes. I also use the bench, barbells, smith machine, cable machine, kick boxing bags, dumbbells, and other equipment that I do not have at home. While I’m working in my ‘office’, I do exercises for the muscle group I’m focusing on that day that I can do using my home workout equipment so when I hit the gym, I can get in and out of there faster. For example, I do push ups/chin ups/dips/core work at home while working on my upper body days so that when I hit the gym I only have to do the remaining exercises on the equipment that I don’t have at my house, such as bench presses and cable rows and the step mill!

When I need a power packed lunch but will be working out within an hour or so and don’t want to feel ‘full’ or ‘heavy’ from undigested food, I eat a green smoothie! I throw 8 oz of water, a few dashes of cinnamon, a handful of spinach salad leaves, a scoop of my chocolate Whey protein supplement and 1/2 scoop of my Shakeology, a couple frozen organic strawberries, ice cubes in my Bullet Blender cup and blend. I LOVE the ‘Bullet’ because it has single portion cups that you throw all your ingredients into and blend and drink out of the same cup, then throw the cup in the dishwasher and go!

Finally, after my last personal training client, I come home to eat a light dinner. I won’t be doing anything quite physical after dinner so there is no need for a huge dinner, you just don’t need the fuel because you’ll be sleeping soon! Today, I trained a client outside at a park that overlooks downtown Baltimore City…it was BEAUTIFUL today! I came home and threw a salmon filet in my skillet and cooked it in 8 minutes on my stove top, I also threw together a quick side salad.

So that’s my day! Jam packed yet I get in my workout and healthy nutritious meals to fuel my body and help me achieve my goals!

If you find that your schedule is busy and it is hard to get a workout in or eat healthy food while on the go, YOU’VE GOT TO PLAN AHEAD. I prep meals the day in advance if I know the following day will not allow me time to cook or I won’t be home for lunch. I ‘schedule’ my workouts in my calendar so I know exactly when I am scheduled for my daily workout and don’t end up at the end of the day, out of time and no energy to exercise.

Hope this helps! Health & Happiness,

Nat

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