Monthly Archives: April 2012

Monday Fit Workout

I did this bicep workout today, it kicked my butt! There were some new moves I’ve never done before. I really liked the drag curls, it forced you to have your bicep contracted. By the end of this workout I was toast, just the way I like it ;)

biceps


Thursday Fit Question

Should my breakfast always include dairy?

dairy

There’s nothing magical about eating dairy products at breakfast, but it’s not a bad idea to include them. The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s dietary guidelines recommend three servings of low-fat or fat-free dairy products per day, so including one at breakfast gives you an early jump on meeting your quota. Dairy products are a good way to get calcium, vitamin D and potassium nutrients most people don’t get enough of. One bonus is that studies show consuming dairy can help with weight loss. The best breakfast would be a combination of protein, fiber and healthful fat to rev you up for the day.


Wednesday Fit Recipe

Whole Wheat Pretzel Bites

I love pretzels…these pretzels have are chewy on outside yet soft on the inside. I was skeptical that a whole wheat version wouldn’t measure up but I was surprised. They make great snacks for kids, I put them in their lunch boxes with string cheese wrapped with ham. Or you can call them your carb-loaded dinner;)

Ingredients:

Dough:
1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon sugar
2 1/4 teaspoons instant yeast
1 cup very warm water

Topping:
1/2 cup  warm water
2 tablespoons baking soda
Coarse salt (optional)
2tablespoons butter, melted

Directions:

In a large bowl or the bowl of an electric mixer, place the flour, salt, sugar and yeast. Mix to just combine. Add the water and mix well, adding more flour, as needed, a bit at a time to form a soft, smooth dough that clears the sides and bottom of the bowl. Knead the dough, by hand or machine, for about 5 minutes, until it is soft, smooth and quite slack. The goal is to get a really soft dough that isn’t overly sticky. Lightly flour the dough and place it in a plastic bag; close the bag, leaving room for the dough to expand, and let it rest for 30 minutes or up to 60 minutes.

Preheat your oven to 500°F. Don’t be afraid of the high heat! This is what will help those pretzels to brown up perfectly and stay soft on the inside. Prepare two baking sheets by lining them with parchment paper or lightly greasing them.

Transfer the dough to a lightly greased work surface, and divide it into about four strips of equal length. Allow the pieces to rest, uncovered, for 5 minutes. While the dough is resting, combine the 1/2 cup warm water and the baking soda in a liquid measuring cup (deep enough to dip the pretzel bites into). Make sure the baking soda is thoroughly dissolved. Sometimes I have a hard time getting the baking soda completely dissolved, so I just lightly stir up the mixture right before adding each pretzel.

Cut each strip of dough into about 6-8 pieces, about 1 to 1 ½ inches in width. You don’t have to be completely exact, just eyeball it. Dip each pretzel bite in the baking soda solution (this will give the pretzels a nice, golden-brown color), and place them on the baking sheets. Sprinkle them lightly with coarse, kosher, or pretzel salt. Allow them to rest, uncovered, for 10 minutes.

Bake the pretzels for 7-8 minutes or until they’re golden brown. Bake one sheet at a time – it won’t hurt the other pretzels to chill out for a little longer.

Remove the pretzels from the oven, and brush them thoroughly with the melted butter.  Eat the pretzels warm, or reheat them in an oven or microwave on low heat.

KID APPROVED


Tuesday Fit Challenge

Pump the Iron

In order to maximize lean mass, stick with simple strength training exercises for your major muscles, like squats, lunges, bench presses, and triceps dips. You want to move heavy to build muscle, lift weight you can only do 8-10 reps with.

heavy lifting myth


Monday Fit Workout

Upper Body #1

This is a GREAT upper body workout. A good way to get started lifting weights is to focus on upper body exercises one day and lower body exercises the next. Perform each exercise 10 x’s then rest for 20 seconds and repeat it 3 x’s. Super-set means to perform the exercises back-to-back, do 10 skull-crushers then immediately perform 10 narrow grip bench presses, then rest 20 seconds and repeat 3 x’s. I have added links at the bottom of examples of each exercise. GIVE IT TRY!

P.s. I will post the lower body that goes with this next Monday ;)

seated DB shoulder press          skull-crusher          narrow grip bench press          DB lateral raises         cable chest flys

rear delt cable flys          wide grip lat pulldown          alternating DB curls          bicycle crunches

 

THE BEST KIND OF SWEAT IS THE KIND DRIPPING FROM YOUR FACE

 

 


Friday Fit Advice

5 Foods for a FLATTER STOMACH

flat stomach tips

Most of us all yearn for a smaller stomach, we all know exercise and cutting calories are musts. But new research also shows certain foods have waist-shrinking properties. Here are 5 tummy tamers to add to your diet:

1. Canola Oil

Brazilian researchers say people who incorporate canola oil into their diet gained nearly 20 percent less fat in and around the organs of the belly. Canola oil is high in omega-3 content and lowers insulin levels, ultimately discouraging fat storage in the abdomen.

2. Beans (my favorite)

Not only can switching beats for meat help your heart, the magical little things can do more! A Diabetic Medicine study showed that a diet consuming more beans was most effective at blasting belly fat and stimulating weight loss. Beans can burn more deep abdominal fat, as well as that extra layer just under the skin (you know what I’m talking about ;).

3. Whole Grains (next fave)

When a research group conducted a study of people who only consumed whole grains for their grain serving, they melted significant abdominal fat. Fiber in whole grains defiantly deserve credit, but whole grains are also rich in magnesium and a mineral instrumental in regulating fat metabolism.

4. Red Peppers (orange are my favorite)

Studies show peoples diets that contain high amounts of beta carotene and lycopene (phytochemicals that make carrots orange and give red peppers and tomatoes their brilliant hue) had the smallest waists and the least abdominal fat. Researches think they absorb harmful compounds that promote fat storage. Peppers are also loaded with vitamin C, a nutrient needed for fat burning.

5. Low-fat Milk (chocolate YUMMO)

We all know milk helps us build strong bones, but to loose at your waistline and gain calorie burning lean muscle you may need to eat more. Journal of Nutrition shows dieters who ate 30 percent of calories from protein, including six to seven daily servings of dairy, chiseled off more belly and total fat and gained more lean muscle than those who only cut back their calories but ate less protein dairy.


Thursday Fit Question

How do you keep junk food cravings at bay?

A new study shows that frequent meals are the surest way to fend off strong cravings for junk food. Brain-imaging scans showed that when glucose levels drop, the prefrontal cortex loses its ability to blunt the desire for high-calorie foods, leading to urges that can feel uncontrollable. Nutrient-dense whole foods, including fruit, vegetables, and lean meat are the healthiest way to keep blood-sugar levels steady without any dramatic spikes.

My daily regimen is breakfast at 7:30 a.m., snack at 10 a.m., lunch at 12 p.m., another snack at 3 p.m., dinner at 5 p.m. and finally another treat at 7 p.m. If I skip any of these meals I inevitably end up eating something I wished I hadn’t. Stay in front of your hunger with healthy foods and you won’t be tempted next time by the ding-dongs.

Junk food does


Wednesday Fit Recipe

Chocolate Crispy Treats

Two things I LOVE…rice-crispy treats and chocolate! I just had to find a way to justify eating rice crispy treats! I defiantly wouldn’t recommend eating the whole batch but you will be tempted so have a game plan before you make them, they are devilish. These are a treat!

Ingredients:

3 c. rice crispies ( I used 1/2 brown rice crispies and 1/2 regular)

2 1/2 t. pure vanilla extract

1/2 t. salt

1/2 c. plus 2 T. nut butter

1/2 c. sticky sweetener (I used agave but honey works to)

1/4 c. cocoa powder (or your favorite chocolate protein powder)

Directions:

Mix your pb, sweetener, extract, cocoa, and salt. Melt in microwave, then pour over the cereal and stir well, making sure to coat all the crispsies. Form into balls or line a pan with wax paper and spread the mixture evenly into the pan. Place a sheet of way paper on top of the mixture, then press down as firmly as you can. Freeze for at least a half hour before slicing. These treats can be stored in the freezer, in the fridge, or loosely covered in a  cool dry place. But the best place is in your tummy :)

EAT IN MODERATION!


Tuesday Fit Challenge

I dare you…

Go ahead, be healthy and happy. The two really do go hand in hand, but we lose sight of this simple fact because so many of us get stuck in ruts. We get busy or bored and lose track of who we are and what we truly want. So, I want to challenge you to you to revisit some of those areas that can help you refine your health habits, workout routine and your looks.  Change is always good right? Not changing will certainly hold you back-especially when it comes to your weight, body and confidence. With that, look for one thing-even a little thing-to shake up your life-get a gym membership, journal your diet, sign-up for a race. Are you chicken…cluck cluck cluck?

What are you....chicken?


Monday Get Fit Workout

This workout is super fun just because it’s so different with all the variation. The 5lb. dumbbells really ramp up the intensity. Sometimes you don’t feel like walking a fast pace or running but still want to get a good burn in, this workout is great for that. The extra weight will increase your heart rate a ton. Have fun and get nice and sweaty!

 

 

Something to keep in mind.


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