Saturday, September 25, 2010

Homemade, Grab n Go Oatmeal!

I have been eating this for over 5 years! I love it and I hope you do to.
I do one of two things as prep:
1. I measure out the ingredients (except the water/milk) into individual baggies or...
2. I mix a huge batch and keep it in a Tupperware type container and measure out 1/2-3/4 cup when I want some.
Here's a large batch I keep in the refrigerator!

Here is the recipe for a single serving:
1 cup of water (+/- depending on desired consistency)
*If you're looking for a calcium boost use 1/2 cup milk & 1/2 cup water or go for a full cup of milk (preferably organic)
1/2 cup plain rolled oats (I personally don't like the instant, but that would be fine)
2T ground flax seed
1-2T slivered or sliced almonds
1/8 cup dried cranberries
*Fresh or frozen berries are GREAT too! Personally, I love blueberries & measure out 70 grams
1 Stevia or Xylitol packet (Sugar alternative)
*You can also use 1-2tsp of Agave Syrup. There are several flavors like vanilla and hazelnut. A little bit goes a long way. I don't use sweeteners like Splenda or Sweet n Low.

Put it all in a bowl and microwave in 45-60 second increments 'til thickened. Or heat it up stove top, stirring occasionally.
Sometimes I add the fruit later in the cooking process because I don't want it to get too cooked. Personal preference, try it and see what works for you.
This is a filling and truly wholesome breakfast. Great way to start the day :) Enjoy.

Here's a single serving, this one actually has Chia seeds (1T) in it as well.
Made with water and agave.

Side note: It may take some getting used to because it doesn't have all the sugar like the instant flavored oatmeal's have (blech). Over time the palette adjusts and the sugary stuff becomes nasty steps :)

Why The Scale Lies

Scale Lies
Why The Scale Lies

by Renee Cloe,
ACE Certified Personal Trainer

We’ve been told over an over again that daily weighing is unnecessary, yet many of us can’t resist peeking at that number every morning. If you just can’t bring yourself to toss the scale in the trash, you should definitely familiarize yourself with the factors that influence it’s readings. From water retention to glycogen storage and changes in lean body mass, daily weight fluctuations are normal. They are not indicators of your success or failure. Once you understand how these mechanisms work, you can free yourself from the daily battle with the bathroom scale.

Water makes up about 60% of total body mass. Normal fluctuations in the body’s water content can send scale-watchers into a tailspin if they don’t understand what’s happening. Two factors influencing water retention are water consumption and salt intake. Strange as it sounds, the less water you drink, the more of it your body retains. If you are even slightly dehydrated your body will hang onto it’s water supplies with a vengeance, possibly causing the number on the scale to inch upward. The solution is to drink plenty of water.

Excess salt (sodium) can also play a big role in water retention. A single teaspoon of salt contains over 2,000 mg of sodium. Generally, we should only eat between 1,000 and 3,000 mg of sodium a day, so it’s easy to go overboard. Sodium is a sneaky substance. You would expect it to be most highly concentrated in salty chips, nuts, and crackers. However, a food doesn’t have to taste salty to be loaded with sodium. A half cup of instant pudding actually contains nearly four times as much sodium as an ounce of salted nuts, 460 mg in the pudding versus 123 mg in the nuts. The more highly processed a food is, the more likely it is to have a high sodium content. That’s why, when it comes to eating, it’s wise to stick mainly to the basics: fruits, vegetables, lean meat, beans, and whole grains. Be sure to read the labels on canned foods, boxed mixes, and frozen dinners.

Women may also retain several pounds of water prior to menstruation. This is very common and the weight will likely disappear as quickly as it arrives. Pre-menstrual water-weight gain can be minimized by drinking plenty of water, maintaining an exercise program, and keeping high-sodium processed foods to a minimum.

Another factor that can influence the scale is glycogen. Think of glycogen as a fuel tank full of stored carbohydrate. Some glycogen is stored in the liver and some is stored the muscles themselves. This energy reserve weighs more than a pound and it’s packaged with 3-4 pounds of water when it’s stored. Your glycogen supply will shrink during the day if you fail to take in enough carbohydrates. As the glycogen supply shrinks you will experience a small imperceptible increase in appetite and your body will restore this fuel reserve along with it’s associated water. It’s normal to experience glycogen and water weight shifts of up to 2 pounds per day even with no changes in your calorie intake or activity level. These fluctuations have nothing to do with fat loss, although they can make for some unnecessarily dramatic weigh-ins if you’re prone to obsessing over the number on the scale.

Otherwise rational people also tend to forget about the actual weight of the food they eat. For this reason, it’s wise to weigh yourself first thing in the morning before you’ve had anything to eat or drink. Swallowing a bunch of food before you step on the scale is no different than putting a bunch of rocks in your pocket. The 5 pounds that you gain right after a huge dinner is not fat. It’s the actual weight of everything you’ve had to eat and drink. The added weight of the meal will be gone several hours later when you’ve finished digesting it.

Exercise physiologists tell us that in order to store one pound of fat, you need to eat 3,500 calories more than your body is able to burn. In other words, to actually store the above dinner as 5 pounds of fat, it would have to contain a whopping 17,500 calories. This is not likely, in fact it’s not humanly possible. So when the scale goes up 3 or 4 pounds overnight, rest easy, it’s likely to be water, glycogen, and the weight of your dinner. Keep in mind that the 3,500 calorie rule works in reverse also. In order to lose one pound of fat you need to burn 3,500 calories more than you take in. Generally, it’s only possible to lose 1-2 pounds of fat per week. When you follow a very low calorie diet that causes your weight to drop 10 pounds in 7 days, it’s physically impossible for all of that to be fat. What you’re really losing is water, glycogen, and muscle.

This brings us to the scale’s sneakiest attribute. It doesn’t just weigh fat. It weighs muscle, bone, water, internal organs and all. When you lose "weight," that doesn’t necessarily mean that you’ve lost fat. In fact, the scale has no way of telling you what you’ve lost (or gained). Losing muscle is nothing to celebrate. Muscle is a metabolically active tissue. The more muscle you have the more calories your body burns, even when you’re just sitting around. That’s one reason why a fit, active person is able to eat considerably more food than the dieter who is unwittingly destroying muscle tissue.

Robin Landis, author of "Body Fueling," compares fat and muscles to feathers and gold. One pound of fat is like a big fluffy, lumpy bunch of feathers, and one pound of muscle is small and valuable like a piece of gold. Obviously, you want to lose the dumpy, bulky feathers and keep the sleek beautiful gold. The problem with the scale is that it doesn’t differentiate between the two. It can’t tell you how much of your total body weight is lean tissue and how much is fat. There are several other measuring techniques that can accomplish this, although they vary in convenience, accuracy, and cost. Skin-fold calipers pinch and measure fat folds at various locations on the body, hydrostatic (or underwater) weighing involves exhaling all of the air from your lungs before being lowered into a tank of water, and bioelectrical impedance measures the degree to which your body fat impedes a mild electrical current.

If the thought of being pinched, dunked, or gently zapped just doesn’t appeal to you, don’t worry. The best measurement tool of all turns out to be your very own eyes. How do you look? How do you feel? How do your clothes fit? Are your rings looser? Do your muscles feel firmer? These are the true measurements of success. If you are exercising and eating right, don’t be discouraged by a small gain on the scale. Fluctuations are perfectly normal. Expect them to happen and take them in stride. It’s a matter of mind over scale.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Fitness Friday #4-Time is NOT a factor!

I don't have a lot of time these days. I'm a mom, a wife, a student and I now have two jobs (one that I'm super excited about). I am constantly going, going, going but I don't need to drone on about what busy looks like in our house because we are ALL busy in some way, shape or form, right?!

So here's the thing. Sometimes I have it in my head that I need to dedicate a full 45-60 minutes of exercise, thinking that doing anything less is, well, LESS! But here's reality, sometimes I only have 20 minuets and rather than be upset about it I can put those 20 minutes to good work for me! I make it the best 20 minute workout I can!

Here's a great circuit that you can get done in 20 minutes with little to NO EQUIPMENT!
Warm-up walk for 3-5minutes
TM 5-7% incline 4-4.5mph for 2 min
20 pushups
20 walking lunges (10 each leg)
20 real situps
20 squats
Repeat 2-3x's. This is a FANTASTIC elevated heart rate, muscle engaging, sweaty workout!!!
When I'm limited on time, I make it count and you can too! Even if you only have 10 minutes do one to two rounds!

What if you don't have a treadmill??? Do fast jumping jacks, get a jump rope or pretend you have a jump rope and "jump rope," run up and down your stairs, do burpees, squat jumps, step-ups, high knees, butt kickers, side jumps, speed skaters, or any combination of those.
Bottom line! Don't let yourself believe that time is a factor. If you can squeeze in an awesome 10 minute workout twice in a day and that's all you can do, then DO IT! You'll be SO glad you did!

Make Everyday Count!
Please get permission and clearance from your Doctor before beginning any exercise program!

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

The New Noodle In Town

Some of you may have heard about a new noodle product that is out. Well, it's not exactly new because it has been consumed for centuries in Asia, but for's new! The United States can be innovative but when it comes to food...we're WAY behind the rest of the world!
This new noodle is called No oodle and it looks like this.
 If you'll recall I wrote a blog back in July about the
Shirtaki Noodles that I purchased which are pictured below.

My thoughts are simply this. The noodles are a GREAT alternative to regular noodles and I highly recommend them. They taste great, can be brought anywhere and heat up in a minute with no boiling necessary! How perfect is that?! The No Oodle's are a little more expensive than the Shirtaki Noodles I bought but I'm sure that varies from store to store too. No Oodle does have a website with lots of upcoming products that will be sold in stores soon (you can purchase online now) so be on the lookout for those...I know I will! Check out the recipes page too!

Happy Eating and Remember....Make Today Count!

Soup on the Fly!

I was talking with a friend today and the topic of soup came up. With fall just around the corner the idea of bountiful, hot soup sounded so good and I had a hankering for some soup tonight. I took a look in my pantry to see what I could use and here's what I came up with.
I added a scoop of diced tomatoes and sliced fresh spinach to my bowl
and then poured that beautiful hot soup over the top! Mmmm...Dalish!

20oz pkg 97% fat free Ground Turkey
6 celery stalks cut on a diagonal
3 carrots, sliced or julienned
1 or two cans of cannellini beans
1-2 cups of whole wheat noodles
1/2 large onions, diced
4-5 cups of low sodium chicken broth
Spices to taste (remember, I don't measure! You can always add but you can't take away!)
Ground Thyme
Dried Sage
Garlic Powder
Crushed Red Pepper (sprinkle or two)

Serves 6-8
Brown turkey with all the spices. Once browned add carrots, celery and onion. Saute over med to med high heat for 3-5 minutes. Then add the beans and heat through, let all the flavors blend and get all over each other. Taste and spice it up a bit more if you need to. DON'T add salt because the broth has salt in it and that will be plenty enough flavor. Plus, we want the spices in there to enhance the soup, not a bunch of sodium.
OK, now add the broth. You may need more or less to make it how "soupy" you want it to be or not to be. Bring that to a nice simmer then add the noodles. Cook through 'til noodles are done and serve!

Super Easy! Super Quick! Super Economical! Super Hearty! Super Good!
The whole family really enjoyed it which is always a plus! 
Bonus! Now I have lunch for tomorrow!

Monday, September 20, 2010

Fit and Healthy~What does that mean?

Unfortunately, we live in a society where fit and healthy have an outward appearance of "thin," "svelte," etc. While I want my outward appearance to look good, my ultimate goal is to be fit and healthy on the inside, to be free of disease, to be happy and healthy in mind and spirit not just with or in my outward physical appearance. 

The debate has been ongoing as to what fit and healthy really are and I'm sure that debate will continue for years to come, but in the end it really comes down to taking care of yourself by eating good, whole, as close to natural food as possible.

It means incorporating physical activities with cardiovascular and strength training as part of daily life. 
It means limiting stress as much as possible, getting a good nights sleep and letting go of negativity, bitterness, anger and hurt. 
In my opinion that's living fit and healthy in body, mind and spirit!
I LOVE this! It is now posted in my bathroom as a daily
reminder to start the day off with a positive mindset and let
go of pointless drama as well as NOT create it in the first place.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Serve over Rice or Pasta

Here are a couple of quick dishes you can whip up and serve over rice, pasta, quinoa or simply enjoy on their own!
Dish #1
  • 10 oz Sliced beef or chicken
  • 2 each, yellow and zucchini squash, sliced
  • 1 large onion sliced
  • 1 large head of fresh broccoli or small bag of frozen broccoli florets
  • 2-3 Cloves of garlic, pressed
  • 2-3T Olive Oil
  • Pepper to taste
  • Salt to taste...less is best!
  • Other spice options include:
    • Basil, oregano, rosemary.
    • Chili powder, cumin and fresh cilantro.
    • Ginger and sesame oil instead of olive oil, green onion

Sprinkle salt and pepper on to the sliced beef or chicken then saute in 1T OO. Once cooked through remove from pan and set aside.
Add 1-2T of OO to hot pan and add pressed garlic to the oil. Immediately add all the veggies and saute together on high or high/med heat. Don't cook too long, just until squash gets softer and the onions begin to brown. The broccoli should remain green in color and be firm, not mushy! Add the meat and heat all together! Make double for great go to food as well as grab and go lunch! Yummy!

Dish #2
  • 1 bag frozen broccoli florets
  • 1/2-3/4 bag of fresh baby spinach
  • 1 can diced tomato (preferably low sodium)
  • 1 can quartered artichoke hearts
  • Several sliced sun dried tomatoes
  • 1-2tsp OO
  • Several turns of the McCormick Italian seasoning grinder

I was really hungry one night and just threw this together with what I had on hand.
I started by adding the frozen broccoli to a hot pan with maybe 1-2tsp of OO. I cooked that until it was thawed. I then added the diced tomato, Italian seasoning, artichoke hearts and sliced sun dried tomatoes. Let that get nice and warm and blend together.  At the very end add the spinach to wilt. DO NOT OVERCOOK! We don't want the broccoli to be pale and mushy nor do we want the spinach to cook too much. This is SO easy and SO good! Serve over rice, whole wheat pasta, quinoa or eat alone. I saved some to bring to work the following day!

Fat vs Muscle

Look at that beautiful muscle! Muscle is a beautiful thing (ladies)!

Fat takes up a huge amount of space in comparison to muscle. So while you shrink in size you may weigh the same, or even more, simply based on the amount of muscle you are gaining while losing the yellow stuff. Be encouraged! Over time with strength training as part of your regular workouts, those muscles will pop, you'll be down a size or two and you'll feel amazing! I know many fit-fat people who step on the scale and are in a "healthy" range but they would classify as "obese" if body fat percentages were taken. Don't make the mistake of losing weight and getting smaller while ignoring those muscles. A smaller frame may be the end result but overall, fat will still prevail.
BMI or Body Mass Index, you've heard of it I'm sure. Ideally our goal is to be in a "healthy" BMI range. But remember that this is a simple calculation used to generalize where large groups of people fall under simple healthy or unhealthy guidelines. The government uses BMI to get an overview of where the population is based on these simple calculations. We've seen overweight and obesity rates rise dramatically using BMI measurements. There is no way that Dr.'s or the government can do true body fat measurements for all so this is their way of getting an idea of where the general population is based on this very simple weight and height calculation! Don't let that number be a deterrent or depress you from the ultimate goal of being fit and healthy! It's simply a guideline. Conversely, don't let any number fool you into believing that you are "healthy" either. Just because a person has a BMI that falls under a normal range does not mean they are healthy either. 

Good nutrition and cardio will get rid of the fat while strength training will tone and build muscle. I've said this before but it bears constant repeating for women. Ladies, you will NOT bulk up while strength training! I could write a whole blog on why, but that's not important. What is important is that picking up weights is good for you in so many ways. So don't be afraid of those dumbbells. If you're intimidated by weights and machines at the gym, drop me a line through email, I'd be happy to help you out!


Thursday, September 16, 2010

Chipotle Style

I love Chipotle Mexican Grill! I love the flavor of their food and I REALLY love the fact that they "serve food with integrity" read more! There is also a site out there called Chipotle Fan where you can build a burrito, tacos or burrito bowl and it will automatically calculate the nutritional value before you head out and mindlessly order. It's also a great site to check out how many calories and fat are in your fave Chipotle dish ;)

My favorite dish is the burrito bowl that I fill with their spicy barbacoa meat, their famous lime and cilantro rice, black beans, lettuce, tomato (pico de gallo) and medium green sauce! Yummy Yummy-ola!

So, I thought I would try my hand at making something similar at home. Here is the recipe for the barbacoa meat:

2-3lb beef tip roast
1/2 large onion, diced
1 cup Goya Mojo Criollo Marinade (this is readily available at most 
grocery stores in the Mexican food isle). *Goya alternative at end*
1 cup low sodium beef broth
1 cup water
Garlic Powder

First season the meat by sprinkling some salt, pepper and garlic powder on the meat...all over. Then sear all sides of the meat in a HOT lightly oiled (olive oil) pan. Turn the meat every couple of minutes until all sides are seared, be careful not to burn the meat.

Place the meat in a crock-pot. Then saute the onions in the hot pan for 2-3 minutes. Turn off the stove and add the onions to the crock pot and meat. Then you can add the liquid ingredients. Set your crock pot for a minimum of 4 hours and go on with the rest of your day! 

When the meat has cooked and simmered for at least 4 hours the meat should be ready to shred! You can test it by trying to take a chunk of meat out with a fork. If it comes apart fairly easy it's ready to shred. Take the meat out of the crock pot and let it sit out on the dish or cutting board you will shred on. Just use two forks to pull the meat fibers apart. I used kitchen scissors to cut it into smaller bit size chunks too.
Now, there may be a lot of liquid in the crock pot. We don't want the meat to be soupy so if  you need to remove some liquid go ahead, otherwise simply add the shredded beef to the liquid and stir it up. 

Taco Building:
Corn Torillas (I use Ezekiel Sprouted Grain Corn Tortillas)
Diced tomatos
Diced onion
Shredded lettuce
Chopped FRESH cilantro (I LOVE fresh cilantro)
Lime wedge, squeeze a bit of lime over the top of your veggies or on the meat. Tangy!
Shredded cheese (I used a no-no in Mexican cooking...yellow cheese...Yikes, but I had a lot of it so that's what I's all good)
Your favorite hot sauce. We had Cholula and La Victoria Salsa Brava on hand.

I wasn't crazy about the rice I made this time around so I won't share that with you :( I used the juice from the meat as my liquid to cook the rice. It wasn't Chipotle tasting, ya know?! It was good but not the same! Anyhoo....this is what I NORMALLY do and I will go back to this next time!
First I saute the rice in 1 tablespoon of olive oil then I add water according to the directions on the package. When it's all cooked up I add some fresh lime juice, fresh cilantro and a little salt to my own serving of cooked rice....Really Easy!

Simmer a can of drained and rinsed low sodium black beans in a pot with a couple of tablespoons of the juice the meat cooked in. Or a tablespoon or two of a good white wine is great too along with a sprinkle of chili and cumin powder topped with a bit of fresh lime. ALWAYS remember to add flavor slowly...You can add but you can't take away!

Top is mine, bottom is my husbands.
I got a thumbs up...I made him do that but I think he genuinely liked it :)

This is a really delicious meal, it's fairly quick and can quickly become a weekly favorite! However, there are two things I don't like about this dish. 1)The sodium content is pretty high, that Goya is REALLY loaded so if you have hypertension or are watching your sodium for other health reasons use the Goya alternative listed below. 2) CARB city! I didn't plan ahead and went way over what I should have for carbs that day. This can be avoided by omitting either the rice or the beans or opting for a taco salad or burrito bowl as it's called at Chipotle.
Otherwise, ENJOY! We sure did and it made for some great leftovers for lunch the next day...BONUS!

*Goya alternative* Instead of using the Goya Marinade which is convenient but very high in sodium use the following but remember I don't measure anything and you don't have to either...these are just general estimates:
Juice of one lemon
1/2 cup of white wine
1 tablespoon chili powder
2 teaspoons cumin powder
1/8 teaspoon of garlic powder
Pepper to taste

Fitness Friday #3

It's Fitness Friday!!! WooHoo! What are YOU going to do? Here's an idea...head to the park and get in a workout at the park! 

Always warm-up by taking a couple of laps around the park or fast walk for 3-5 minutes.
*Move on to the next exercise fairly quickly to keep your heart rate up!

Click on links for demo's!

10-15 Bridges with feet on bench
"Jump Rope" 30 seconds
10-15 Bridges with feet on bench
Jumping Jacks 30 seconds
Step-up on bench alternating legs 30x's or 15 on each leg
Speed Skaters
Step-up on bench alternating legs 30x's or 15 on each leg
15 Push-ups with hands on bench
Squat jumps 30 seconds
15 Push-ups with hands on bench 
Squat jumps 30 seconds
10-15 Angled Pull-ups. Find a lower lying bar and perform an similar to this:

V-sit up
10-15 Angled Pull-ups
Run up the stairs, go down the slide Repeat 4-6x's
Russian Twist Admire the abs :)
10-15 Dips on bench Make the dip harder by placing feet out in front of you. You can also raise a leg. To make the dip easier bring your legs closer to the body in a bent position.
10-15 Dips on bench

Always cool down by walking around the park bringing your heart rate down and don't forget to get in some good stretching too!
Great full body (with emphasis on lower body) workout!

Please get permission and clearance from your Doctor before beginning any exercise program!

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Halfway to My Half

I'm on a quest to complete a half marathon this year.  It's something I've wanted to do for two years now and I am going to do it this year...I decided this about 4 weeks ago. Why it's taken me two years to meet that goal and why I simply decided a few weeks ago to just go for it is another story for another time, but today marked the day that I was a little more than half way there. Seven miles! I have more than doubled my initial goal when I began running which was to race in a 5k (3.1 miles). And like I said, I am more than halfway to that half marathon goal! That's pretty cool!
Running, I have learned, is a battle of the mind and a competition with me, myself and I. Every time I increase my mileage those two factors come into play until my body has to fall in line and adapt. Today was no exception and the decision to have a good run came last night. You see, I can psych myself out if I begin to think too much about it, but last night I DECIDED in my mind that today was going to be a good run, I had my route mapped out and "ran" through it in my head. I even set my mental clock to wake up at 6:30 or 7:00 a.m. this morning and guess what? I woke up at 6:35! I knew then that it would indeed be a good run. To top things off it was perfect running weather. The sun was out and it was a cool 58-60 degrees. I geared up and next to my Asics running shoes, I had my most valuable piece of equipment with me, my ipod! 

The run overall was great, however around mile 5 I began to think about where my mile 6 marker was...right in front of my home. HOME! It's usually at the end of a run that I arrive happily at home with the crowd in my head cheering me on through the red ribbon finish (yep, that's what I really see at the end of any run, no matter what the distance :) The thought of being home was tempting to, well, stay home! Right? I mean, makes sense! But once again the mind came into play! I thought about rerouting and guesstimating the last mile, but I wanted accuracy! So, rather than reroute I decided that I was going to pass by my house, give a little wave and stride on through to my last mile. Piece of cake! And so I did! Admittedly the last mile was a little tougher than the first 6 because I hadn't cleared my mind fully. At that point I really just wanted to be done, all the while's just one more mile! 
Then the last .1 of my mile, I came across a lucky penny. Those who know me know how excited I get about coinage I find when I am out and about...again,  another story for another time, maybe! With that being said I am always on the lookout for coins on the road when I am out running and I have not found one...until today and boy did it make me smile. It was like the perfect end to a great milestone of a run.

Today was one to blog about and so here you have 7 mile run and halfway to a half!

Apply the battle of the mind, mind over body...whatever you want to call it...apply that to everyday life, in all that you do and just WATCH, WATCH where you go! You may just surprise yourself and accomplish something you never thought you would or could!

Make today count!

Friday, September 3, 2010

Fitness Friday #2...Finally!

With vacation (Ahhhh, I miss you already) and school starting, I haven't had another Fitness Friday in a few weeks. 

Sometimes when we think of working out we envision a laborious session with the treadmill or elliptical wishing the minutes would tick by just a little faster. We drone away on the same speed, for the same amount of time 3-5 days a week, if we're lucky (are you getting in a workout 3-5 days a week?). Sound familiar? No matter what routine you have adopted into your daily fitness routine (do you have one?) it can get monotonous if you let it. Here's a way you can change it up, get more out of your workout and even save some time while torching those calories.

When you're looking for something new, you're short on time and need to get in a good workout get in on HIIT or High Intensity Interval Training! Mix walking with short sprint runs with recovery walking and repeat. Or slow jog then sprint and go back to a slow jog...repeat this alternating pattern for 20 minutes and you've HIIT it :)

Depending on your current activity level the intervals can vary with speed, but an example would be 2 minutes walking with 1 minute jogging and repeat. Or 3 minutes jogging with a 1 minute run/sprint and repeat. Another example split may look like this: 30 second sprint, 1 minute run, jog or walk and repeat. HIIT can be done on a treadmill, elliptical or bike, inside or outside. It's beautifully versatile and super effective!

Here was my HIIT workout this morning:
5 min warm-up at 3.8mph 3-5% incline
1 min run at 5mph at 2-3% incline
2 min walk at 4mph at 5% incline
1 min run at 5.5mph at 2-3% incline
2 min walk at 4mph at 5% incline
1 min run at 6mph at 2-3% incline
2 min walk at 4mph at 5% incline
1 min run at 6.5mph at 2-3% incline
2 min walk at 4mph at 5% incline
1 min run at 6.5mph at 2-3% incline
2 min walk at 4mph at 5% incline
1 min run at 6.8mph at 2-3% incline
2 min walk at 4mph at 5% incline
2 min run at 6.8mph at 2-3% incline
5 min cool down walk at 3.5-3mph at 2% incline

I was a super sweaty beautiful mess at the end of it and I burned the same amount of calories as a my 35 minute run outside!

Try it...get HIIT this week!

Make Everyday Count!
Gettin' this bod to bed, I have a 7 mile run scheduled tomorrow morning.

Please get permission and clearance from your Doctor before beginning any exercise program!

Pet Peeve

There are many mistakes that are made in the gym, especially when just starting out not knowing what to do and thus doing it improperly. That's where a Personal Trainer can be invaluable ;) 
Anyway, when I am at the gym I always see at least 2 women (I have not seen men do this, but I am sure they're out there too) making this mistake. I just want to gingerly walk up to them as they pound away for 20, 30, 60 minutes on the treadmill with the incline cranked up to it's highest setting while holding on for dear life and secretly tap the incline button down to something more reasonable for them.
Please, don't "workout" this way! First of all, 99% of the time proper form can not be maintained at that incline without proper training. Second of all, I know those calorie counters may say that a certain number of calories are being burned at that incline and pace, but those numbers are often off to begin with and while holding on for dear life the amount of calories used will not be anywhere near accurate to what that digital readout may say.
So, maintain proper form with shoulders back, chest up, tall and aligned. Walk at an incline that is comfortable for your body and get those arms in on the action to propel each step you take. The workout will be better and safer :)

Have a Fabulous Labor Day weekend...or as my friend Diane puts it have happy labor free day!

Make Everyday Count!!!