Monthly Archives: June 2014

Fitness Challenge #10: Aqua Aerobics 101

Aqua Aerobics 101

Water fitness can be a great way to do a full body cardio and strength training workout without FEELING like you’ve done a full body workout. It’s both fun and easy on the joints. You’ll often not even feel like you’ve worked out at all…until the next day:)

There are many aqua aerobics classes, probably several in your community, but you can also find some free online! You can do these workouts alone, with your family, or a bunch of friends.

Start by reading our Aqua Aerobics 101 Article. Then try a little aqua aerobics this week.

Don’t forget to share what you’ve done with the facebook group! You can join here.

aqua aerobics

Diet Challenge #10: Red White and Blue

July 4th is this Friday so of course the challenge this week is the. . . . . . .

Red, White & Blue Challenge!

Red and Blue fruits are in season right now, so it’s a great week to fill up on fruits and vegetables like:

  • strawberries
  • blueberries
  • raspberries
  • blackberries
  • bananas
  • watermelon
  • White peaches
  • white nectarines

See how many times this week you can add a red, white, or blue fruit or vegetable to your meal and then share it with the facebook group!

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Exercise Advice: Quality Over Quantity

Running woman in black sports outfit, running up the stairsI used to think the longer I exercised the more weight I would lose, but that is not always  the case. It is true that when I first started running, the longer runs did help me lose weight, but once I had lost an initial 40 pounds, the weight loss seriously slowed down. If you are struggling with stubborn pounds, you might want to decrease the duration and kick up the intensity of your exercise.

Several recent studies have shown that shorter, high intensity workouts can actually burn stubborn fat much better than long, low intensity workouts. With this new information that seems to fit exactly with what I’ve been experiencing, I’ve restructured my workouts a bit. I still run, but don’t run more than 3 miles at a time. I’ve also added sprints, running stairs, and plyometrics.

Lastly, I do some type of strength training with each workout. These exercises include push ups, tricep dips, planks, and other exercises that help tone and strengthen my muscles. My new workouts take me just no more than 30 minutes to do, which leaves me more time for the other things in my life. If you are struggling with stubborn pounds, you might want to switch things up!

Dinner Doesn’t Have to be a Huge Ordeal

Hispanic Family Sitting At Table Eating Meal TogetherAs a mom I sometimes feel like dinner has to be some big event that includes an elaborate meal that takes a good amount of time to prepare. I know this might sound silly, but that’s the way my brain works. Luckily, the older I get, the more I like to think outside of the box. This includes what I choose to make for dinner.

The last month or so I’ve been changing things up a bit and I have to say I like the change. I’ve simplified my dinner plans, partly to save on time, partly to save on money, and partly because it’s too hot to cook. Whatever the reason, my dinners are now more simple than ever and I love it!

Here’s a sample of this week’s dinners:

Monday: Caprese Salad with Artisan bread to dip in balsamic vinegar and olive oil

Tuesday: Breakfast burritos with eggs, potatoes, tomatoes, guacamole and sour cream

Wednesday: Oatmeal Cinnamon Waffles with fresh blueberries

Thursday: Vegan hot dogs with fresh fruit salad

Friday: Smashed chickpea and avocado paninis

As you can see, none of them require turning on my oven, and all of them are quick, healthy and full of flavor. You don’t have to work a miracle to make a good dinner!

Diet Challenge #9: Green and Gold Challenge

This week is the Green & Gold Challenge! Once a day have a green or yellow fruit or vegetable with every meal. Some examples of foods you could add to your meals are: corn, beans, peas, squash, zucchini, peppers, kiwi, bananas, apples, asparagus.

We are in the heart of fruit and veggie sale season so browse your local grocery store and get whatever is on sale! It changes every week so you can get quite a variety of good foods.

There are many ideas of good side dishes on DietTools!

Don’t forget to share your amazing meals on facebook!

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Fitness Challenge #9: Yoga Time

Yoga Time is all about doing a little yoga every day this week. Yoga is both challenging and great for the body. This can be especially good for people with stress headaches. Better stability, increased flexibility and toning the body are just a few of the benefits of Yoga. Do 30-60 minutes worth each day.

Visit the DietTools Yoga/Pilates page to get some workout ideas. There is even a kid-friendly yoga workout if you want to get your kids involved.

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Top 7 Reasons to Sign up for a Race

Half Marathon FinishTomorrow I will be participating in my very first Duathlon and I’m excited to see how it goes. I’ve done other races in the past, including two half marathons, but I’ve never done one that included biking and running. Although I’ve followed my training regimen and know my body is ready, I’m still a little anxious. I find this to be true for every race I do. This is just one of the many reasons I like to sign up for races. If you need motivation to have a race on the calendar, check out my top 7 reasons to sign up for a race.

1. Motivation to Work Out
2. A Goal to Work Towards
3. Fun Event, Good Food and Nice T-shirts
4. Set an Example for your Family
5. Chance to Prove how Strong You Are
6. Awesome thing to do with Friends
7. Who Doesn’t like to be Cheered on while Crossing the Finish Line?!?!

Now it’s your turn. Find a race that challenges you, sign up with a friend, and start working out!

No Cook Meals – What to Do During a Kitchen Makeover

White stove with light in oven, isolated on white backgroundMy husband and brother have been putting in a nice porcelain tiled floor for me this week and it is looking amazing!

They are doing such a great job making it look pretty! The downside to this is I don’t have a kitchen for a week. No oven, no microwave, no stove, no sink.

So I’ve set up a faux kitchen in my living room using a folding table to prepare food on and a cheap shelf unit as my “pantry”. And I wash dishes outside with a hose.

It’s actually not as bad as it sounds. Meals have become VERY simple (like cereal and sandwiches). Lucky for me I found a super long baby gate at a garage sale a few weeks ago that keeps the toddler out of my “kitchen”.

The issue with no heat source is dinnertime meals. I have been on the prowl for no cook options. My search for no cook meals started with the thought that I could use the BBQ or our camping stove, but that just seemed to complicated and messy. So I went to my beloved pinterest (source of so many great ideas) and searched “No Cook Meals”.

This is what I’ve tried so far:

  • Chicken Salad on Croissants
  • Turkey Wraps
  • Picnic in a Jar
  • Homemade Subway Sandwiches

Each dinner also included some kind of fresh fruit. In my area strawberries, cantaloupe, and watermelon have been on sale so that’s mostly what we’ve been eating with our no cook meals.

They have been sooooo good! And I actually do feel more healthy. Because it takes more time to prepare food and clean up afterwards, I have noticed that I don’t overeat and the abundance of fruit has really done wonders for my digestive system.

Still on the menu are:

  • Chicken Wraps
  • Family Muscaletta
  • Brisket Salad

I would love to hear your ideas for No Cook Meals. Share them in a comment!

Fitness Challenge #8: Workout Like an Animal

Fitness Challenge #8 is Workout Like an Animal!

Go to our Animal workout and treat it like a circuit. Again, this workout can be done alone or with kids. Set the timer for 20 minutes and see how many times you can go through all the exercises. Each time you start over, add another 5 reps or 5 seconds to the exercise. Here’s an example:

Circuit 1:

  • 10 Shark Squats
  • 20 Sec. Monkey Climbers
  • 10 Single Leg Hippo Hops
  • 10 Doggie Push ups

Circuit 2:

  • 15 Shark Squats
  • 25 Sec. Monkey Climbers
  • 15 Single Leg Hippo Hops
  • 15 Doggie Push ups

How many reps did you get up too? Don’t forget to post your results on facebook!

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Diet Challenge #8 : Make It Count Breakfast Challenge

Make it Count Breakfast Challenge is all about starting the day off on the right foot. By planning a nutritious, purposeful breakfast for each day of the week, you may find that eating better comes easier all day!

Look at the DietTools Breakfast Recipes and check out the pinterest page for smoothies, breakfast sandwiches, omelet’s, and other great breakfast ideas.

Purposefully plan a nutritious breakfast for each morning this week and stick to it!

Share with our Facebook group what you’ve eaten and don’t forget to record it in your DietTools profile!

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