Wonderful Wednesday: 2 Clean Cool Treats Workout Milestone!

Hi Everyone!
I hope you’ve had a wonderful Memorial Day! This is a special holiday for us, as Micah and both have family members who a veterans and on active duty. Freedom is not free. Thanks to all our troops who fought so I could have the freedom to write.
It was another action-packed weekend, and I can’t wait to head to the BB Challenge Group training in Atlanta this weekend to see some dear friends, and stay with Micah’s wonderful sister, Sarah. I’m super excited!!!!I can’t wait to come back with tools to better help my challengers and to help inspire more people to get healthy!
Did anyone notice that all of the sudden, we went from winter to summer here in NC? Well, I’ve made it my mission to come up with some healthy alternatives to frozen yogurt and ice cream. I think you’re going to LOVE these treats, I mean, their nice and cool, and they don’t taste like “clean” treats! πŸ˜‰

Oh, and break a sweat today! Not, that’s it’s difficult to do in this weather…hehe. Try four 1 minute rounds of the cardio move in the picture. If you’re a beginner, step instead of hop, and stick your hips back. See if you can move for 5 rounds. I dare ya.
Have a blessed Wednesday!
James 1:2
Julie

Workout Wednesday: Travel-Friendly Workout

Happy Hump Day!

Wow, what a crazy week! After a film shoot this weekend, and a couple of gigs, I’m ready  for the road trip that Micah and I and our good friend, Elizabeth are going on in l.5 weeks πŸ™‚ Yay!!! I love Holden Beach! A few days of boogie boarding, and running on the beach are going to be amazing!
That being said, I don’t plan to spend much time indoors. Morning workouts will work just fine, and I’ll probably only do a 15 minute workout, utilizing body weight and a band, and for all you cardion junkies, circuit style strength training also provides cardio while giving you that lean muscle that you need if you expect to look “toned”. Even though it’s a circuit,  this routine shouldn’t necessarily be rushed. You need to think about the muscles you’re using, in order to get the full benefit of the exercises. 
Curtsey Lunges – These are amazing exercises for the  legs! Start out standing, with feet hip-width apart and band anchored under your right foot. Maintaining tension in the band, take a step back with your left foot, stepping back and across with your left foot. Contract glutes and thighs, pressing through the front heel to return to standing. Repeat for time and complete reps on the other side before moving on to the next exercise.

Bent Row – Hinge from the hips. Abs in tight. There should be a straight line from your head to your hips. Anchor the band under both feet with 1 end in each hand. Contracting shoulders, pull band towards you, keeping elbows close to the sides of your body. Lower slowly. Repeat for time.

Plie Frog Hop- Standing with feet wider than shoulder width apart, hinge forward from the hips – straight line from head to hips, and squat down, bottom back behind you. Maintaining hinged position, lightly hop feet off the floor, or rise onto your toes. Press heels into floor and squat down again. Repeat for time.

Push Up – From knees or toes, with body in a straight line and abs contracted, and hand shoulder width apart. Lower yourself towards the floor, rise, pushing the floor away from you. Repeat for time.

The trick  to this workout is that it uses multiple muscle groups, and it also uses large muscle groups, so that you burn more calories. Do you workout on vacay? How? Do you like vacationing where you can be active? Comment below! πŸ™‚

see you soon!
– Julie

Workout Wednesday: When Your Hard Work Pays Off and Dealing with Negativity from Others

Wow, so, it’s Wednesday! This week has flown by, and in some ways I’m relieved. Micah’s settling into his new job, and our schedule is beginning to stabilize (as if it’s ever been that way) once again. This week, I’ve been encouraged so much by my colleagues who’ve decided to take place in my accountability/challenge group this month. Let’s face it. No matter who you are, you can never become complacent and decide you’ve got it all together. I’m constantly learning myself. I just want to share what I’ve found with others and maybe, just maybe, make someone’s life better for it.

Today is actually more of a motivational post than a workout post. I would like to deal with a tough topic. Everyone tries to sell people of the highs of achieving your goals, but what really determines your long term success is how you handle failure…that’s right FAILURE. I found this out not too long ago, and it’s changed my perspective on how I do things in general. Don’t get me wrong. I still strive to do everything to the best of my ability, but I’ve learned to accept failure with grace, learn from it, and move on.

I recently got the honor of  having my pic featured in Oxygen Magazine’s “Sporty Girls” section doing what else but my favorite “glutes” move.

it’s me! πŸ™‚

This definitely made me realize that I’m setting an example for others, and is pushing me to go further.  My goals may not be someone else’s goals…respect the health goals of others…. Cheer them on. We’re all in this together, right?….Ok, so that person may have not lost “x” amount pounds, but they started healthier habits and gained muscle. There are too many people out their with the mindset that they need to lose more poundage, so they cut back on foods, and that works for awhile, but the “bucket theory” doesn’t make you healthier, and give you more muscle tone or make you stronger. There are hundreds of ways (it seems) that people attempt to do this, so let me dispel some myths with a lesson it took me years to get through my head: lean muscle make your metabolism run efficiently long term, and one can’t expect to fuel up with junk after one trains, and build muscle…just doesn’t work. It’s 2/3 eating smarter, 1/3 eating less. This is me leveling with you the reader, because I don’t want you to fall for the ridiculousness of diet fads, like I did years ago. I believe in macros, but if you reach your macros by filling up on junk, then you’ll look like what you eat. That being said, there are no excuses, in this United States, for eating unhealthy. This is what I got from the grocery store today for $30.

That being said. There are lots of resources out there to teach you how to fuel your body the right way.
I love Tosca Reno’s book, Just the Rules, for learning about the types of foods and principles to eat by, so you don’t go crazy. and the program 21 Day Fix.
   I also love the Eat Clean Diet: Stripped, by Tosca Reno, and Skinny Ms.com for some amazing recipes! What’s your favorite clean eating recipe? I’d love for you to share! πŸ™‚

Liebster Awards, and the blogs I’m nominating

Hi Everyone,

 It’s Tuesday, and it’s been a whirlwind of a week!
I looked on one of the comments on my “About Me” page and saw that I was nominated by Kimberly Cox – Adventures of But Mom, for a Liebster award! Liebster means “beloved” in German, and I am very honored to be nominated by her!
Here’s my answers to the questions she asked:

   1. What is your favorite smell? the smell of Micah’s aftershave…make me feel snuggly πŸ™‚
   2. Where do you see yourself this time next year? Traveling, finishing another degree, working from home writing and coaching full-time, and teaching the formats I love, and continuing to do worship ministry with Micah, and maybe planning to have our first child. πŸ™‚
    3. How many licks does it take to get to the tootsie roll center of a tootsie pop? (Just kidding) hahaha. To infinity…and beyond!
    Ok, seriously (well as serious as this blog gets anyway) What is one cause you support & believe in? I really believe James 1:27 – standing for the vulnerable….society pushes that you must be the toughest, fastest, and the strongest…but Jesus rescued those who were social outcasts, and changed their lives forever.
    4. What is your favorite blog post you have written? Probably the one on goal setting, and planning…we all see fitness ads and think we want something, but waste so much time because we’d rather take shortcuts and not invest….I was preaching to myself too in that post. http://gracelaceandiron.blogspot.com/2014/03/monday-motivation-setting-goals.html
   5. What is your favorite season? Autumn, like late September and early to mid October.
   6. Rain or Snow? Snow…I love to ski and sled
   7. What is your favorite sandwich?grilled chicken, hummus, and mini peppers on a g-free wrap
   8. What is your favorite childhood memory? Standing on the handlebars of my Dad’s bicycle while he pedaled, and I hung on to his neck. (Not my mom’s favorite.)
   9. Favorite vacation spot? Holden Beach, NC or Bradenton, FL….can’t decide
  10.Favorite SuperHero? Captain America
    (since #3 doesn’t count)
  11.What is the best part of blogging? Meeting new people, trying new things,  and being blessed with the opportunity to make a positive difference in people’s lives!

Now it’s my turn to pay it forward!
These people have blogs that inspire me, and I love reading their latest posts!.

1. Alicia Orozco – Never Ever Been Skinny
2. Melissa Gaines-Mow – Forever Fitting In
3. Kimberly Job – Sublime Reflection
4. Natasha –  Epic Mommy Adventures
5. Annie Brees – Strong Brees
6. Diatta Harris – Femme Fitale
7. Jen Avellaneda – Rich Faith Rising
8. Cynthia Pickett-Steele – You Signed Up For What!
9. Cathy –  A Peek Into My Paradise
10. Tela – Sweet Southern T

Thank you, Ladies for what you do for your fellow bloggers and your genuineness!  I look forward to reading many more awesome posts! πŸ™‚ Who inspires you?

Workout Wednesday: Plyo-what-rics? and last week’s giveaway winner!

Hi and Happy Wednesday!

Today’s post is going to be about a word that I first learned in my strength and conditioning programming class in college – plyometrics! Plyometrics often get a bad boy reputation, because so many people think that in order to do plyometrics, one must jump 30 feet off the ground…That is not the only way to do  plyo… the term “plyometrics” simply means, “an explosive movement, or a powerful movement” Technically, One could simply jump rope and receive an excellent plyometric workout. Jumping lunges and jump squats are popular plyometric exercises, but one needs to learn and practice proper form with regular lunges and jump squats before moving on to the plyometric versions of these exercises. You see, the body  has golgi tendon organs which have the job of gauging how far your muscles can stretch. In order to get more out of a high-impact plyometric workout, the nervous system must be wide awake first – think of a short low-impact warm-up as a cup of coffee for your nervous system. You’ll be taxing out your fast-twitch muscle fibers, which spikes your metabolism. So warm-up with some knee lifts or marching in place for a couple of minutes before starting any plyometric workout, the same goes for shoulders. If you’re doing plyometric push-ups, the you could start with some regular push-ups and arm circles as a warm up. Don’t forget to land with your knees slightly bent. The more spring-like your legs, the safer your landing.

Do plyo moves earlier in a strength workout, when your muscles feel strongest. This will save you from sacrificing form, and thus, injuring yourself. Short plyo workouts are best. I would not do a plyo workout longer than 30 minutes. If you need some fresh moves, and modifications, I like the following 2 dvd’s: “Plyo Fix” from 21 Day Fix.(You can win an autographed copy from Autumn Calabrese this week too!) I love how Autumn clearly explains how your muscles should be engaged, and Mash-Up Conditioning’s “Tempo” dvd has plyo and and modified exercises. If you want to practice the moves without the whole gym watching, this is a great way to go! Quality is better than quantity. Remember that when you’re tempted to show off.

If you want to see a funny video of some sports-based plyo drill s check this out!

These are actually similar to the soccer conditioning drills I used to do!

Last week we had a fun giveaway on the blog, and the winner is…. the lovely Diatta Harris of http://femmefitalefitclub.com/ Check out the awesome link-up she and several other amazing ladies host: