No Cold Shoulders Here!

Shoulders…*sigh*…I must confess, I do NOT like to train my upper body. Even thought I have great back definition, I don’t like that it is not comfortable for my wrists to do push-ups. I used to have a cyst there a few years ago, and had to wear long sleeved compression tops so people would stop saying I had a tumor. I was cleared by my Dr. to exercise upper body, but didn’t like to. Now I don’t mind training shoulders as much, especially when I sneak it in with something else. So here’s a fat-blasting shoulder workout! oh, and btw, that cyst is long gone… 🙂

Shoulder Rotation 3×12

Seal Jack 1minute

Front Raise  3×8 (

use a light weight)

Mt. Climbers 1 minute

Rear  Delt Flye 3x 10 (use a light weight.)

High Knees 1 minute (to make it more lo-impact, do knee lifts.)

Table Top Dips 3x 10

Alternating High Kicks  1 minute

Bent Row 3×12

This workout will give you stronger, better-looking shoulders from every angle, and it’s fun. Let me know how it works for you!:-) Strength training your shoulders keeps you injury free, and will help progress other upper body training.You can use weights or a band, just make sure you can feel the resistance! And as always, use proper form, and ask your doctor’s permission before beginning any exercise program!

What to do with a 10+lb. pumpkin…Eat it!

Ok, so I really didn’t have time to go to the pumpkin patch this year. I teach a class for a corporate fitness program to a group of wonderful ladies who love to bring me something from their latest garden/farm crop and their latest homemade salsas and sugar-free preserves. (Can you say “yuuuummmmy”?) So when one of my students asked to bring me a pumpkin, I didn’t know she was going to bring me the biggest pumpkin in the state…just kidding, but this pumpkin was well over 10 lb. I would’ve paid a FORTUNE for this at the grocery store, and it was organic!!! After I got over the shock, my hubby and I had to decide what to do with this beast…I named it Himey…(I’m really dorky, ok..?) Well, the pumpkin sat and ripened for a little while…but I must confess. I had no idea what to do with this giant!…well, other than roast the seeds. So, I decided to embark on a new culinary adventure, with extreme thankfulness that I bought a new chef’s knife recently. So I cut my very orange pumpkin friend into pieces, scraped out the seeds, and roasted him in the oven, while I roasted seeds in my toaster oven. After I cut the flesh from the pumpkin, I then separated pumkin I would freeze from pumkin I would puree’. It took up my two largest tupperware containers and then some. I thought to myself, great the pumpkin is prepped, but what do I do next?
That’s when my great friend’s at IDEA inspired bloggers were more than happy to lend a helping post or two of their pumpkin recipes. So thank you ladies, there were so many wonderful post to choose from! Friends, please check out their blogs for these great pumpkin recipes! Meanwhile, here’s one of my own:(This recipe has been endorsed, by my husband, Micah Auler.)

Pumpkin Pie Smoothie (Serves 1)
1/4 c. greek yogurt (plain)
1/2 c. pureed pumpkin
1/4 c. unsweetened almond milk
1/4 c. oatmeal
1 tsp. honey
2 packets of stevia
1 dash ground ginger
2 dashes nutmeg
2 dashes cloves
2 dashes cinnamon
Put all ingredients in blender and blend, and enjoy!

Link Love:
Pumkin Protein Granola
Pumkin Pie Greek Yogurt
Pumpkin Cheesecake
Pumpkin Lentil Tacos
Pumpkin Protein Pancakes
Pumpkin Pie Quinoa
Pumpkin Cupcake
Pumpkin Pancakes

As always, let me know your thoughts! Leave a comment or email any time!

Recipe of the Week: Broccoli Slaw Salad

Hi Friends!

Somedays I have absolutely no time to cook…I mean NO time. So, on those days I try to keep it simple. To top it off, we’re on a tight budget, so that limits options even more…but never fear, this salad keeps me satisfied, and all you do is dump the ingredients in a bowl and stir.

Broccoli Slaw Salad:
1 bag of broccoli slaw
1/4 c. of reduced sodium soy sauce
1/3 c. chopped green onions
1/2 c. sunflower seeds

Stir all ingredients together and enjoy! I love this colorful and flavorful salad. It has a lot of nutrients and is a great veggie option for church dinners, besides, it’s super cheap. Let me know your thoughts!

Short Circuit = Time Saving Workout

Wow! I can’t believe we’re almost through with October! My birthday was last weekend, so I’ll admit I splurged, but am now glad to be back into my diet and fitness schedule. I’ve been focusing on building more muscle, but losing some fat, in other words: staying the same weight, but changing my body composition. Which can be a little tricky, because it’s easier to do one or the other. There’s one technique I’ve tried that never fails. Circuits with heavy weight and low reps, as in 8-15 reps. I alternate a lower body exercise with an upperbody exercise, and after only a week, I can tell a difference. Oh, and by the way, for all you outdoor exercisers, this is a great way for you to get in some cardio while strength training if you don’t like the cold. Circuit training involves completing only one set of an exercise, then immediately moving on to the next set of an exercise. Here’s an example:

Band Squats x 10

Tricep Dips x 10

Step-ups x 10

Seated Band Rows x 10

1-legged Glute Bridges x 10 (each side)

Reverse Crunches x 10

Rest 1 min. Complete circuit 3x

Now, understand that this is really simplified, but you get the idea. Add weights or bands to fatigue your muscles before the next exercise, and you’ll get a killer workout!

More Core…Than You Originally Thought

So, It’s midweek. Usually, This is my day of the week where I really blast my core, which involves a lot of integrative exercises, using multiple muscle groups. Usually there is some type of ridiculous balance exercise involved. But I promise my entire body feels more toned once I get the training for this group out of the way! Some people love training abs…I used to, but now I enjoy training legs more, so to keep it fun, many times I train abs and glutes together. You might be thinking…really, isn’t that time-consuming, it’s really not. Besides, by training this way, I ensure good posture and balance on both sides of my body. Which helps prevent injury. Besides, glutes are part of your core too, this often overlooked muscle group can cause severe back pain in people who don’t train properly. The other muscles people don’t think of: lower abs. If you don’t train them, forget a six pack. their connected to your upper abs and your obliques, and inner thighs. Think planks with any kind of leg movement. One thing to be mindful of, pun intended, is to put your mind into the muscle. Knowledge is power, so think about contracting the muscle you want to work during the exercise. I promise you’ll get better results.

I usually train straight-set/ consecutive sets for 2 weeks, then superset for 2 weeks, and then circuit or HIIT for 2 weeks. Depending on whether or not I’m looking for strength or long lines. This is what a sample core workout looks like for me. I’ve trained this way for awhile and it works.

Warm-up: 1min.   marching knee lifts

3x 12-20 hip lifts

3x 12-15 side reach throughs  (each side) with top leg lifted. This can be done from plank position

3x 3-8 plank straddles each side (This one should not be rushed through.) You can even try this move on hands and knees.

 3x 12-20 reverse crunches

 Try this routine. You’ll be breaking a sweat and on your way to stronger core in no time! Think of your core as a belt which goes all the way around when you choose your exercises, and you’ll be much more functionally fit!

Terrific Tabata

Ok…so, I hate cardio…just for the record. I do the occasional 5k, but the idea of spending anywhere from 30 – 60 minutes on a a machine that makes me feel like a two-legged hamster. I realized I haven’t touched on this topic since I started the blog over a year ago. Well, here it is. I love the results I get from sprinting, but I knew there just had to be a form of cardio out there, other than the Zumba® classes I teach, that challenges my mind as well as my body. Well, here lately, I’ve been on a Tabata kick. It’s wonderful. I get my cardio done in less than 10 minutes, am dripping with sweat and actually feel like I got a workout. You might say, Ta-whata? Tabata training was discovered by a Japanese scientist names Izumi Tabata. It works the cardiovascular system and the musculoskeletal system, increasing endurance and strength. Tabata training involves 20 seconds of high intensity work followed by 10 seconds of rest. This pattern is completed 8 times. I usually like to do 2-4 types of tabatas in a cardio workout.

Sample Tabata workout:
20 seconds jumping jacks
10 seconds rest (march in place)
complete 8x
20 seconds squat to kick and punch
10 seconds rest
complete 8x

Well, I thought I would hate Tabata too, but I was wrong. It’s wonderful…(did I already say that?), and it accelerates results, and it saves time. It can be adapted to your fitness level, no matter what level you are, and it isn’t  time consuming! And…you can even do these workouts at home! Try it out you just might like. I like Tabata so much now, that I even teach a combined strength and Tabata class now!