Slam Ball Finisher Workout

Happy Fitness Friday!

On Tuesday when I hit the gym after my lifting session I decided to do a little finisher workout, similar to the conditioning workouts performed at CrossFit.

I decided to do a whole body finisher to get my heart rate up, feel the burn and sweat it out before leaving the gym. The best thing about this workout is you can add as many rounds as you’d like to make the workout fit your needs. It could easily be a full workout rather than just a finisher!

Slam Ball Finisher Workout

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Slam Ball Squats
Starting with the slam ball overhead and slamming it down catching it in the squat before standing back up. Scale the weight to your tolerance and physical demands, this is a great cardio component!

Split Lunges with Slam Ball Overhead
Set up a plyobox or aerobics step to mid-shin or knee height, place your rear foot on the aerobics step making sure your front foot (on the ground) is far enough forward so that when you go into a lunge position your knee will not go over your toes. Press the slam ball overhead and lower into a squat, try to get full depth each rep

BOSU Get Ups
Set up a BOSU ball with the ball side up, recline over the ball reaching the slam ball overhead touching the ground above your head. Perform a sit up bringing the ball to your chest & going to a standing position.

Split Step Jumps
Start with one foot on the top of the riser, jump and switch feet on the top of the riser. Each foot counts as 1 repetition.

Slam Ball Finisher Workout

I hope you guys add this to the end of your workout or try it for a quick cardio blaster during your week, or just pin it for later 🙂

Have a happy & fit Friday!

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WIAW – AdvoCare Edition

Happy Wednesday!!!

Today is Day 24 of my THIRD AdvoCare 24 Day Challenge. I love this challenge and each time I try to do something a little different which always leads to different results. I LOVE to challenge myself and the foods that I eat to help myself continue to find the best & optimal health situation.

Yesterday actually remembered to take a picture of (most of) my food that I ate throughout the day. This is a pretty typical day of eating for me the past 24 days so hopefully it helps you see that when doing the 24DC you still get to eat real filling and DELICIOUS foods, nothing boring over here.

My day started with a Spark+Rehydrate combo along with 3 catalyst’s before my workout. Then I headed to the gym for a shoulder workout & a quick 4 round for time finisher that I will be sharing on Friday. When I got home I took my pre-breakfast supplements and whipped up a Chocolate Mocha Meal Replacement Shake.

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Linking up with Jen for this Wednesday food party!

The Chocolate Mocha is really good, basically it tastes like yummy chocolate milk. I wasn’t feeling the plain MRS shake so I mixed it up with a few scoops of ground flax seeds & a tablespoon of cherry juice to give it some extra flavor. I forgot to take a picture, sorry!

Morning Snack

Morning Snack

The MRS shakes hold me over for about an hour & a half but then I get a bit hungry and need a snack. I grabbed a few dates and a small handful of cashews to snack on when I was driving to a meet with a few coworkers for a brainstorming session. I LOVE dates & cashews they have definitely become one of my favorite foods, a healthy treat that makes me feel like I am cheating!

WIAW - AdvoCare

On my way to the clinic from our brainstorming session I snacked on a pear. I usually have a couple pieces of fruit a day to help keep me full. This was my first piece of fresh fruit. Bosc pears are currently our favorite.

WIAW - AdvoCare

Lunch was a usual bowl of lots of veggies mixed with some sort of protein. This week I sautéed mushrooms and then wilted kale-arugula-spinach in their juices and piled all the veggies in a big bowl. For the protein I made pulled pork pibil from StupidEasyPaleo which is amazing, you need to make it now and threw that in with the veggies when I heated it all up.

WIAW - AdvoCare

Mid-Afternoon I got the snack bug so I snacked on an orange and some roasted carrots, parsnips & cauliflower in-between treating patients.

WIAW - AdvoCare

On my way home from work I am always a bit hungry so I ate my THIRD piece of fruit (this is rare!) and had an apple. I think this was the best apple ever, it was the perfect combination of crisp, sweet and tart!

For dinner I had 3 cabbage rolls with a side of healthy nachos?

Paleo Cabbage Rolls FTW!

Paleo Cabbage Rolls FTW!

I had to laugh at these “nachos” or Ants on a Log because I think it epitomized the idea of healthy eating. So many people when I tell them I am doing a healthy eating challenge they immediately say “so what you just eat vegetables?” YEP!! I eat lots of veggies but to be honest the Avocado goes with everything and celery is the perfect boat for something yummy!

Celery stick smeared with a little smashed avocado and topped with halved cherry tomatoes. An adult version of a childhood favorite!

Celery stick smeared with a little smashed avocado and topped with halved cherry tomatoes. An adult version of a childhood favorite!

Some nights for dessert I will have a few dates with cashew butter on them or a few energy balls, OR a combo of them both if I am feeling crazy!

WIAW - AdvoCare

For the record this plate was for both Brent & I… everything in moderation friends!

Hope you have a delicious day!

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Chocolate Cashew Coconut Butter

This Dark Chocolate Cashew Coconut Butter is rich & nutty with the sweet balance from the coconut that will leave you licking the spoon. Oh and did I mention its Gluten free, Sugar Free, AdvoCare & Paleo Friendly?!

Chocolate Cashew Coconut Butter

Alright kids I have another tasty treat for you guys!

I swear the past week I have been loving the blender and blending up some tasty, healthy, sin-less treats! On Saturday Brent & I spent the morning in a marriage prep course and when we got home I was really craving an apple with some peanut butter, but I knew peanut butter wasn’t on our Whole30 challenge guide and we were trying to avoid high fat foods. PLUS peanut butter triggers my cravings for more peanut butter and more of everything is never a good thing.

I decided to try my hand at making my own nut butter. I have seen soooooooo many homemade nut butter recipes lately which look tantalizingly easy to make that I knew I had to try it myself.

Chocolate Cashew Coconut Butter

With Brent’s watchful eye I broke out my Ninja blender, dug out some cashews, flax seed & dark chocolate cocoa powder and went to work. I pulsed, blended, scraped down, pulsed, blended, scraped… repeated this process a handful of times until the cashews started to form a nut butter consistency. I then added in some melted coconut oil to help the nuts get moving, this was the golden ticket!

That coconut oil made everything smooth and pretty!! I added a bit of cinnamon & cayenne to pump up the flavor even more… and boom… my first nut butter was made!

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Now I will say that the coconut oil that we used (Organic Coconut Oil from COSTCO) has a very distinct coconut flavor so this cashew butter was more of a coconut cashew butter than a pure nut butter & it was 100x better the next day after the flavors melded than right away when we were attacking it with a delicious honeycrisp!

Go break out your blender or food processor and made this delicious nut butter spread now! It requires a little time but you can make your nut butter and eat it too in less than 15 minutes!

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Chocolate Almond Date Energy Bites & Friday Favorites

Happy Friday!

I was planning on sharing this recipe on Wednesday but I got distracted by life and while most of the post was written it wasn’t completed soooooo you get it in a different form on Friday!

This week has been so productive I have to say it felt amazing! I love being able to cross things off to-do lists, and while I don’t make to-do lists often earlier this week I quickly jotted down a few phone calls that I needed to make to hold myself accountable.

On Tuesday I woke up craving something delicious to snack on during the day. Since we are in the home stretch of our 24DC I knew that something sinful was not in the works, and honestly I didn’t even want something sinful just something easy to grab and snack on.

Chocolate Almond Date Energy Bites

I quickly decided on making some energy bites, the trick to these were that my usual energy bites include oats, peanut butter & honey, and while on our 24DC we are trying to eliminate all three of those. I decided to try just 4 ingredients and see how it turned out without the combo of oats-PB-honey.

I am happy to say they were delicious!!! The chia seeds add some extra texture so if you’re a texture freak you might not be a fan. They are packed with fiber, energy & the dark chocolate cocoa powder definitely makes you think they are 100% sinful, without sinning a second!

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These balls are not overly sweet but they have the sweetness from the dates & the chocolatey goodness from the unsweetened cocoa powder makes them feel extra indulgent. You will not miss the honey, peanut butter or oats in these little balls filled with yummy energy!

Chocolate Almond Date Energy Bites

On Wednesday I had a surprise slow day at work and decided to take 2hours of PTO and tackle some of the phone calls on that to-do list. I am happy to say that I got them ALL DONE and was able to add laundry & some meal prep before heading to the gym at 5.

The face of a happy girl with a surprise 1/2 day!!!

The face of a happy girl with a surprise 1/2 day!!!

I think having time off in the middle of the day/week was the best thing I could have done for myself all week. I felt so refreshed, accomplished & motivated yesterday at work because some of those big wedding things were done & I knew that I had food to eat when I got home from work.

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I am so happy that it is Friday. We don’t have any huge plans for this weekend, have a wedding prep course that we will be in all day tomorrow and then just likely relaxing and doing our usual weekend chores. The next few weekends are going to be very busy & packed with lots of events so I am happy to take another relaxing weekend for the team!

Linking up with Katie, Heather & Claire for some extra Friday Love!

Hope you have a happy & healthy weekend friends!

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p.s. go make those balls NOW! they are so good you won’t regret it! 

TRX Tabata Workout – Fitness Friday

Happy FRIDAY!!!

I am really excited that its friday, if you can’t tell. Since last weekend was spent with some of my favorite running masterminds I didn’t get to just relax, so I am excited to have some of that time this weekend!

One of my goals since starting our All In challenge was to make a bigger commitment to the gym. When we lived in Rockford I worked out 4-5days a week and sometimes would workout 6-7, but since moving to Arlington Heights my workouts have drastically decreased. Some weeks I am lucky if I make it to the gym 3x/week and cannot remember the last time I worked out 5days. I miss our Rockford gym, probably more than anything else, and the regularity of my workouts but I am loving the change from CrossFit and learning new areas of fitness.

On Tuesday night when I was driving home from work I decided that I would dig my TRX out of the storage room and do a TRX at home workout. When I workout at home, I don’t want to do anything longer than 20-30minutes, and since we don’t have a lot of equipment, or room, a 30 minute workout is perfect.

TRX Tabata Workout

This TRX Tabata workout is a fun whole body workout with a core burner at the end. Can be a short finisher to your workout or your whole workout you decide!

#noexcuses on not having room in your house. I literally took 5 minutes and moved my loveseat & coffee table so I would have a clear area around our patio door to do this workout. I live in a 760sqft apartment, if I can find room, SO CAN YOU! 🙂

This Tabata workout can be a short finisher, as short as 6minutes, or a long workout by increasing the number of rounds you do. I did about 3 rounds (plus an extra round for recording!) and it took me around 20minutes with a few rest breaks between rounds.

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I split the workout in two the two parts, performing the upper body/lower body split first & then going down to the ground to perform the suspended core burner. fair warning the core workout, is just as tough on your arms!

Now for your Friday entertainment, head over to my instagram to see the high speed version of this workout!

Have a great Friday friends, go out there and move your body this weekend!
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Weekending IV

Happy Monday!

I hope you all had a great weekend. While I have only been posting 3x/week I really do love these weekly recap posts where I can reflect on the past week and take a step back from life which often feels full speed ahead.

Last week was the first week of our ALL IN AdvoCare challenge. To be honest I was a bit worried about this challenge, as I am currently on an antibiotic and worried about the cleanse with the antibiotic. I am happy to say that I feel great!!! And the cleanse is definitely doing its job, even though it took a few days to start working.

When you eat lunch that is this good, there is no way to have the after lunch slump!

When you eat lunch that is this good, there is no way to have the after lunch slump!

I think my favorite thing each time I do the challenge is that I don’t have the post-lunch sleepys… I don’t know about you but I always feel sleepy after lunch so having the extra energy through eating healthy food, supplementing my body completely & the extra energy from my beloved spark have helped me overcome this hurdle and feel better during the second half of my day.

Challenge friendly fruit-yo has been a delicious addition to my menu this week! **Recipe on Instagram**

Challenge friendly fruit-yo has been a delicious addition to my menu this week! **Recipe on Instagram**

Besides the challenge last week was a pretty “normal” week, however after taking a break from working out over Christmas & New Years due to travel, I returned to the gym for 3 brutal days of workouts. I haven’t had that extreme soreness in a while so having some good soreness in my body was a welcome start to the new year.

Working on some back mobility and hip flexibility..

Working on some back mobility and hip flexibility..

On Thursday morning I couldn’t muster my way to another lifting day at the gym so made a makeshift yoga mat (I do not have one, how is that?!?!) and rocked out a 20minute yoga session on my YogaFrog towels. It felt so good to do some serious core work and stretching first thing in the morning. After I played around with a few of the poses that I wasn’t comfortable with during my New Years yoga class.

Charles Blake (L) & Dr. Romanov (R) are two sincerely inspirational and motivational people. If I could have 1/2 of their knowledge I would be one happy trainer/therapist, runner & athlete!

Charles Blake (L) & Dr. Romanov (R) are two sincerely inspirational and motivational people. If I could have 1/2 of their knowledge I would be one happy trainer/therapist, runner & athlete!

Over the weekend I got the opportunity to hangout with my friends from Pose and assist with the training of our next group of coaches. I love Pose Method & the whole concept with running & movement; so I was really excited to review the training and learn it all over again, plus spending time with Dr. Romanov & Team is always amazing. {you can read more about my Pose training & experiences here, here and here}

There are a few times during Pose Training when the class becomes moderately intense and Dr. R goes on a tangent... those are my favorites!

There are a few times during Pose Training when the class becomes moderately intense and Dr. R goes on a tangent… those are my favorites!

On Saturday night after the training I tried to be proactive since I knew my food prep time would be very limited, and threw some pork in the crockpot to cook overnight. Well when I woke up on Sunday morning the lid appeared cracked, so when I went to lift it up the handle came STRAIGHT off and the glass was completely shattered. I tried to save the meat but it didn’t work & after an IG & FB poll, I was advised to just toss the meat & not risk my stomach lining. SO much for planning ahead, the bright side is I got a new & bigger crockpot on Sunday which was on sale! #winning #brightside

serious crockpot #fail

serious crockpot #fail

I am excited to start the #StopStrivingStartThriving challenge group today. I joined the Facebook group for BODYpeace last week and reading the stories shared has already moved me!

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I hope you all had a great weekend and are ready to start another healthy & happy week in 2015!

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Stop Striving Start Thriving Challenge

Happy Friday!!! I don’t know about you but this cold weather has been making this week feel forever long… I sort of feel like that each week until Friday comes and then the weekend goes by super fast, whats up with that?! Okay enough on the moaning about the cold…

2015 Intention

Remember that intention I set for myself on New Years day to practice more Self Love in 2015. I want to love who I am, where I am and achieve a healthier relationship with myself.

When I started my blog I was so incredibly inspired by Kasey, her blog and her story really resonated with me & inspired me to not only start my own blog but find peace with my diet & food rules. Kasey led me to Heather, whose messages always seem to be right on target with my feelings & struggles.

When I heard about Heather & Kasey’s book BODYpeace I knew that I wanted to get it and read it. I knew that if nothing else it would open my eyes to the areas in my life that I still struggle with. When I was given the opportunity to receive the E-Book through my ambassadorship with FitFluential I signed up about as fast as I was able.

Now by e-version of BODYpeace has been sitting in my inbox waiting for me to take the plunge… I just couldn’t find it in me to open the book. WHY?!

On Monday January 12th Heather & Kasey are starting a 30 day challenge called Stop Striving Start Thriving. Its like they read my mind! What better way to start the new year and practice some extra self love than through 30 days of inspiration and motivation?

** Starting Jan 12th!! **

** Starting Jan 12th!! **

Heres the official information on #stopstrivingstartthriving from Kasey:

Do you feel ridden with anxiety, fixate on body parts you hate, obsessively count calories, restrict your food intake, binge uncontrollably, compare yourself to other women’s bodies, eat foods to look a certain way, or deny yourself of food and exercise that brings you pleasure? If so, then I have two words for you: welcome home.
 
SURPRISE!
So many of you have asked for a BODYpeace challenge to ring in the New Year and so we made it happen for you. Join us starting NEXT Monday, January 12th, for the Stop Striving Start Thriving challenge!
 
Kasey and Heather spent YEARS experiencing all the above BODYshame symptoms and, over the past four years, have gone through a major BODYpeace transformation ourselves. And we want the same for you! Everything that we outline in BODYpeace is EXACTLY what we did to reach this place of freedom today. We want you to make 2015 your best year yet! LET’S DO THIS!
 
This is unlike any other New Years’ challenge out there, BODYpeace babe! This is a 30-day challenge in which you will go along with us for the BODYpeace ride. Heather & Kasey will be by your side the whole way as you journey through the BODYpeace book yourself and receive daily tips, motivation, and inspiration straight from us! We’re here to guide you to finally reach that place of BODYpeace that you’ve been longing for.
 
Are you ready to STOP letting your obsessions with your body, food, and exercise run your life?!
WHAT YOU CAN EXPECT
  • Amazing daily challenges to help you release BODYshame and achieve BODYpeace
  • Accountability and support from the incredible BODYpeace community
  • Giveaways from some of our favorite companies!
WHAT YOU NEED TO DO
  • Grab a copy of BODYpeace. Here is the link: http://amzn.to/1xAKicq. (Ebooks are coming VERY soon too!)
  • Get yourself a special journal just for this challenge
  • Join the BODYpeace Facebook group Here is the link: https://www.facebook.com/groups/bodypeace/. All of the challenges, motivation, tips, and giveaways will be given to you right here, so make sure you’re in! 
When you complete your daily BODYpeace challenges, you’ll be posting them in the community and on Instagram for extra entries! We will be using the hashtags #bodypeacemovement and #StopStrivingStartThriving and don’t forget to tag us @heatherwaxman and @powercakes!
 
Tag a soul sister here to join you! It’s always better with your girls by your side. We couldn’t have reached BODYpeace without each other. Its been a huge part of our journeys too!
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So what do you think? Will you join with me and practice a little more self love the next 30 days with the help of BODYpeace.
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DIY Hair Ties – Emi-Jay Inspired

Remember that DIY project I hinted about on Monday & on Instagram? Well I am here today to share with you the easiest and BEST hair ties ever!!!

A little IG tease never hurt anyone ;)

A little IG tease never hurt anyone 😉

I first made these hair ties in 2013 when I was living in Wyoming. It was right when the Emi-Jay fabric hair ties became a HUGE thing and when I realized that paying $$$ for hair ties was pretty ridiculous. I was lured by the idea that the EmiJay hair ties would leave your hair crease-less and set out to find the material I needed to make them myself. After a quick stop on Pinterest I was able to find a link to Sunshine Shoppe Supply. A cute little website that sells the fabric elastic that you need for the hair ties. They have SOO many colors & styles of the fold-over elastic that you need. I ordered a bunch and when they came made a bunch of hair ties. Sadly for my super thin fine hair they still leave a crease but I had them so I used them. After a while I realized that they worked better, didn’t hurt my wrist when I was wearing them, pulled out less hair than normal elastics and looked cute!

DIY Hair Ties

Recently I noticed that my stock of hair ties was getting low, I could find 3-5 on average and thats just not acceptable! So I headed back to Sunshine Shoppe and got myself a colorful order shipped to my house.

DIY Hair Ties -EmiJay Inspired

1 yard length of 5/8ths inch Fold Over Elastic (buy it here)
Scissors
Lighter or Lit Candle

  1. Fold elastic in half & make first cut

  2. Fold 1/2 yard section in half again and cut

  3. Now you have 4 pieces of elastic, fold shiny side out and meet ends

  4. Tie a knot close to the end but leaving a bit of length on the tails, make sure your knot is tight

  5. Hold ends of elastic in the fire (candle or lighter) to melt the edges, this will help keep your hair-tie from fraying and falling apart

  6. DONE!! pop that sucker on your wrist or in your hair & enjoy!

A Note: the glitter elastics while super cute do not hold hair up very well and they pull a lot, so save yourself some money and just get the plain elastic, unless you want to make headbands then the glitter might work! 

DIY Hair Ties

So easy even a guy can do it!

So easy even a guy can do it!

These hair-ties really are the best! They last so long, never break and just stretch out a little. You will lose them before they break on you.

I ordered 24 colors of 5/8th inch fold-over elastic, which comes in 1yard lengths, for a grand total of $10.69 with shipping!!! (disclaimer: they were having a sale and they have a 10% off coupon you don’t want to miss!)

This $11 and a little bit of time scored me 96 hair ties which will likely last me another 2 years or longer! On the Emi-Jay site you pay $11 for 5 hair-ties… 

DIY Hair Ties

Hope you enjoy!!

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Weekending III

Happy Monday!!!

I have to say that I am not super excited about having to work a FULL week this week. It was really nice to have a day off in the middle of last week & three days off the week before. Oh Holidays why do you have to go by so quickly!?

Friday night we watched Biggest Loser and I worked on a little DIY craft which I will be sharing with you guys later this week. My fit female friends will LOVE it!

A little DIY to end the week!

A little DIY to end the week!

Saturday started like most do with open gym at EPC. There is something about open gym and getting to work on different moves that is a lot of fun. The chill vibe of the gym and just being able to hangout, chat and throw down some heavy weight is something that I really love about our CrossFit gym & community. Our Olympic lift workout for the day was snatches and power clean & jerks. I worked on both for a while getting a 95# snatch & 105# C&J then I decided to work on my biggest weaknesses. Pull Ups & Handstands.

Action shots are my favorite!

Action shots are my favorite!

I did rounds of pull up negatives with a band (started with green then moved to blue) holding chin above bar for 10-20seconds then in super slow motion lowered to the bottom. During my “rest” I did a handstand & held the position for a while (I couldn’t see the clock) until my arms got jello-y. I focused on getting my core tight and body in more of a straight line. I continued this cycle of pull up, handstand for 6-8 rounds making sure I took some good rest after the handstand.

Overcoming a fear & channeling my inner athlete to perfect the skill!

Overcoming a fear & channeling my inner athlete to perfect the skill!

Concurring my fear of falling on my head during a handstand and being able to start focusing on the skill of the movement was more exciting than I thought it would be. I  still need to get the confidence of finding the wall each time but I no longer fear falling or killing myself, which is AWESOME!

Last week I mentioned to Brent that I wanted to start making a conscious effort to have a date night each week (or at least every other week). We spend a lot of time together but some times I don’t think it is the most quality time, so by focusing on having a date night where we can connect, talk and do something fun we will be hitting all those key relationship factors!

Sometimes I take the extra time to actually put on makeup and wear cute clothing... and I kinda like when I do :)

Sometimes I take the extra time to actually put on makeup and wear cute clothing… and I kinda like when I do 🙂

So Saturday night we got our date night cloths on and headed to Coopers Hawk for dinner & wine. We are Wine of the Month members but didnt want a white wine with dinner so we swapped our wine for a Malbec (Brents favorite wine ever). The Malbec was delicious and so was dinner! I ordered the Soy Ginger Salmon & Brent got the Jambalaya both dishes were amazing and so filling.

Coopers Hawk

Coopers Hawk my Salmon dinner!

Coopers Hawk

Coopers Hawk

After dinner we headed to the tasting room to taste the January wines. We got to sample 8 different wines and surprisingly enjoyed most of them, even the whites! We are definitely a red house hold! We were chatting with the bar tender and asked if they saved the corks, this landed us with a big bag full of corks, WIN!!!

Date Night Selfies!

Date Night Selfies!

Date Night Selfies

Date Night Selfies are MARVELOUS!

Sunday was a chill day, sorta. We are starting our second (my third) AdvoCare 24 Day Challenge & so Sunday included a trip to Costco & the grocery store followed by a few hours of meal prep.

I decided to add a little extra challenge by including the principles of the Whole30 (Paleo based diet) to our 24DC. Brent & I eat pretty clean during the week, with the exceptions of work demons and weekends, so I wanted to give our bodys a bit of a change and challenge. I think it is really important to change up your diet every once and a while, it helps your see bigger changes in your body and gives you more variety in life.

ARE YOU ALL IN!?

ARE YOU ALL IN!?

I intend on sticking to the Whole30 principles pretty closely, with the exception of one sauce I made this week with peanut butter (sorry $12 on sunflower seed butter just wasn’t going to happen when i have some PB in the cupboard!) For this week to give myself a boost I am following the week 1 meal plan by Melissa. She has a killer website with SO MUCH Whole30 knowledge, and while I could use my brain and pinterest, I decided to stick to someone who was successful and let it go from there. I did make some modifications to the meals & mashed up my own stuff, because following a recipe to a T is way too easy!

Heres our meal plan for the week:
Breakfast – veggie quiche (larger version of these mini quiches)
Lunch & Dinners –
Carnitas Power Bowls (sautĂ©ed veggies, spaghetti squash & Melissa’s Carnitas)
Chicken Pad Thai
Chocolate Chili

Hope you have a wonderful week, and good luck to all my friends starting the 24DC this week!

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Have any good date night ideas?