Monthly Archives: June 2015

Out of the Pool Water Workouts

Athlete waterskiing

Happy Monday! Today I want to talk to you about some fun ways to burn calories with water outside of the swimming pool. There are so many options out there for fun ways to get active while at the lake or beach.

Stand Up Paddle-boarding has recently become extremely popular. Balancing on the water requires some serious use of your deep core muscles. Not only will you get a strong core from stand up paddle-boarding, but you can burn at least 125 calories doing a 30 minute paddle-board workout. Keeping balance will engage your quads, hamstrings, and glutes. In some cities, paddle-board fitness classes are even being offered where you can practice Pilates balancing poses on the paddle-boards.

Kayaking burns more calories per hour than cycling, but less than running. A 150- lb. person can expect to burn about 340 calories in an hour. It is a fun fitness alternative that often doesn’t feel like “exercising.” Kayaking does requires a lot of upper body use and really tones up your biceps and triceps.

Surfing is a water activity that works out your entire body. You upper body is used to paddle out to the ocean and once you hit the waves, the rest of your body becomes engaged. You can expect to burn at least 125 calories.

Wakeboarding and Water-skiing burn about 245 calories. From having to pull yourself up out of the water and engaging your core and legs during an entire run you are getting in an intense workout.

4th of July BBQ on the Slim Side

Picnic on 4th of JulyIf you were raised in the US, you may have fond memories surrounding the 4th of July. I grew up knowing that day would include a huge meal eaten outdoors, some type of water activity, hanging out with family and friends, and end with some sparklers and fireworks. It’s everything a kid could want in a summer holiday. One thing I never thought about was the amount of calories I would consume on that day. Although I want my family to really enjoy that day, I also want to keep them healthy. For this reason, I have come up with a healthy 4th of July menu that will please your hungry crowd and not add to your waistline.

For your main dish I have two great recommendations. The first is Grilled BBQ Chicken Legs, which are really easy to make and grill up just perfect. The second option is Chipotle Black Bean Burgers. If you’ve never tried a veggie burger, you will be pleasantly surprised by how tasty these burgers are, not to mention how good they are for your body!

Any 4th of July picnic wouldn’t be complete without a scoop of coleslaw. For this I recommend Apple Cole Slaw, which is a healthy twist on an old favorite. This sweet version is just as crunchy and delicious as the original, but much less fattening.

Let me suggest two more delicious sides that you’ll love. The first is Grilled Vegetable Skewers that can be made with any type of vegetable you’d like. Just pick up some skewers, chop the veggies, slip them on and you’re good to go. For a salad I recommend you try this Watermelon Tomato Salad. The combination of fresh watermelon and fresh tomatoes mixed with feta and romaine lettuce is fabulous.

Finish this perfect meal off with a Layered Berry Salad with Cream. It looks like an American flag, can be whipped up in no time at all, and tastes like a dream. I hope you enjoy this amazing meal and have a wonderful holiday!



How Many Calories do you Burn with Water Aerobics?

Two plastic dumbbells for water aerobicsWhen you decide which type of exercise to do, one of the things to consider is the amount of calories you could burn. When I think of water aerobics, I don’t necessarily think about burning large amounts of calories. However, to my surprise, doing exercises in water is a great way to burn calories and tone muscles. Below is a list of the calories you can burn through water exercises. These numbers are based on someone weighing 154 pounds. If you weigh more than this, you will burn more calories. If you weigh less, you will burn less calories.

Swimming (for leisure): 420 calories/hr

Lap swimming (freestyle swimming, light-moderate exertion): 490 calories/hr

Lap swimming (freestyle swimming, vigorously): 700 calories/hr

Swimming (backstroke): 490 calories/hr

Swimming (breaststroke): 700 calories/hr

Swimming (sidestroke): 560 calories/hr

Swimming (treading water with moderate exertion): 280 calories/hr

Swimming (treading water vigorously at a fast pace): 700 calories/hr

Water aerobics or water calisthenics: 280 calories/hr

Water jogging: 560 calories/hr


Water Workouts Round-up

Are your water workouts becoming routine and mundane? Try some of these water workouts to push yourself and get out of your rut.


Toning Water Workout -  This workout provides 5 different exercises you can do in the pool. None of them are your typical lap drills so if you prefer an aerobic style of exercise, this is the water workout for you!

Swimming Drills- Want to start swimming laps? Try these different drills. You can explore backstroke to butterfly. This workout will give you detailed descriptions on how to perform each exercise.

Swimming Drills for Technique- If your typical lap routine has grown boring, try honing your technique. This workout will help you refine your skills and improve your foundation.


Crescent-Topped Ratatouille Casserole

At our home we try to eat meatless 2 to 3 times a week. It saves us on our grocery bill and gives us a chance to get our protein from plant-based foods. This casserole is one of our family’s favorites meatless meals. The kidney beans provide protein and make the vegetable mixture heartier so that the meal does not leave you hungry an hour later.

Crescent Topped Ratatouille Casserole

If you have never tried eggplant before, this is a great recipe to try it in. The eggplant is mixed with the other vegetables and flavorings which makes it friendlier. I personally like eggplant, but my children who are harder to convince are willing to eat it in this dish. The crescent rolls on top make this recipe even more kid friendly. Since the recipe is mainly vegetables, I know my children would be hesitant to eat it without the bread bites. My son does not care for green peppers, but when he takes a bite of veggies with the bread he can eat them.

If you are looking for a meatless meal, try this Crescent-Topped Ratatouille Casserole.

Lap Pool Rules For Newbies

swimming poolIf you’ve never swam in a lap pool, it could be really intimidating not knowing the proper etiquette. In which direction do you swim? How do you know if you should go in the fast or slow lane? Can you reserve a certain lane? These are very common questions most lap pool swimming newbies wonder about. Before you begin your first lap, here are four basic rules to get you started.

1. Be prepared to share a lane. On busy days, lap pools can get crowded, which may result in you sharing a lane. When this happens, the lane turns into a 2 lane road. Make sure to stay on the right side, turn at the end, and continue on the right side going the other way.

2. First come first serve. If you want to reserve a lane, put your swimming bag or water bottle on the edge in front of your desired lane.

3. Don’t fear the slow lane. Pick the lane which matches your speed, even if it is the slow lane. It’s not about how fast you go, it’s about getting in a good workout.

4. Follow the golden rule. Regardless of the pool you’re in, how crowded it is, or the type of swimming you like to do, please be considerate of other people. Leave plenty of room for other people to pass you, don’t fight over lanes, and don’t show off.

Water Works Wonders: Part 2

group doing water aerobics














Happy Monday! This month we’ve been focusing on the different ways water helps us stay healthy and fit. For the past two weeks we’ve challenged you to stay hydrated. How have you done? I know that for me, staying hydrated has helped me feel more awake in the afternoon hours when I usually meet my slump.

While staying hydrated is so important to weight loss and maintenance, water can be an awesome companion for fitness. It provides low-impact exercise that is easy on your joints and less likely to cause injuries.  Also, the resistance from the water helps you tone and strengthen muscles better than land workouts. For the rest of the month, we challenge you to try workouts that use water. Take the time to swim a few laps or try a water aerobics class. Do you have a favorite water exercise?

4 No Cook Dinners for Hot Summer Nights

Close up image of the gas stoveI don’t know about you, but the thermostat at my house is supposed to register 90 degrees this coming week, meaning summer is now in full swing. Summer is awesome for swimming, camping, fireworks and barbecues, but it is not great for cooking. The last thing I want to do on a hot day is heat up my kitchen by turning on my stove. When the temperature rises, my recipes change to ones that require no cooking. Here are four of my favorite recipes I like to make all summer long.

1. Cold Cucumber Soup. Similar to gazpacho, this soup combines fresh veggies and flavorful herbs to give you a light and refreshing soup that tastes good, and keeps you cool.

2. Salmon and Veggie Bagel. If you are a fan of smoked salmon, you’ll love this sandwich. The saltiness of the salmon mixed with cream cheese and fresh veggies is perfection.

3. Hummus Veggie Tortilla Wraps. Feel free to use any type of hummus you like to give these wraps a unique flavor. These also work great for lunch.

4. Bean Corn Tacos. Unlike most tacos, this recipe calls for no cooking, and combines a wide variety of veggies and beans to make a quick and healthy meal. Feel free to use your favorite kind of beans and skip the jalapeno for a more mild taste.


Clean your Body from the Inside Out

acquaYou’ve probably heard that water can help cleanse your body, but what does that really mean? Can drinking water actually clean your body from the inside out?

When you drink water, it goes into your bloodstream.  This water then helps transport waste from your cells to your kidneys, then carries it out as urine. Kidneys control the amount of water in the bloodstream. If this water level gets too low, your kidneys are less effective in eliminating waste. In short, the more water you have in your system, the more effective your body is at eliminating waste.

Drinking sufficient amounts of water has been found to help your body in other ways a well. It can prevent constipation, especially when accompanied with high fiber foods. Water keeps your skin looking young, prevents wrinkles, and can help you avoid complexion problems.

When it comes to keeping your body healthy and clean, water is a simple and effective choice every time.

Motivation Monday: Drink Up!

Staying hydrated is important both for our health and weight loss. Water helps our body function the way that it should. When it comes to weight loss, we often confuse thirst with hunger pains and consume unnecessary calories when we are dehydrated. Staying hydrated can help you better regulate how much you are eating. Below are some ideas of ways to help you keep track of your daily water intake so you can make sure you are staying hydrated.

water bottles


So, how much water should you be drinking?

While there is the general guideline to drink 8 glasses of water per day, use the following calculation to determine how much water your body needs.

Divide your body weight in half. Then divide by 8 to find the number of cups of water you should drink per day.

For example, if you weigh 140 lbs. You would divide that by 2 to be 70. 70 divided by 8 would mean you need almost 9 cups of water per day.

Top Free Apps for Tracking Water Intake:

Plant Nanny (iPhone and Android) – This app makes drinking water fun. Every time you drink a glass of water, you also feed a plant. The more water you drink, the quicker your plant grows.

Waterlogged (iPhone) – This app tracks water intake. You can customize how much your daily intake goal is and you can add your own water bottle as a serving size making it super convenient.

TapIt Water (iPhone) – TapIt Water is a network of places where you can refill your water bottle free of charge. If you’re an out and about person this app could really help you find sources for staying hydrated throughout the day.

OasisPlaces (iPhone) – Like TapIt Water, this app keeps track of water fountain locations. You can use it to refill your water bottle or just grab a sip.

WeTap (Android) – This app is like OasisPlaces, but for the Android. Stay connected to water sources where ever you are. You can also use this app to report broken fountains so they can be fixed.

Non-tech Ways to Keep Track

If you like to keep things screen free, these methods may be your preferred way to keep track of water intake.

  1. Rubber-band Method – After you have determined how many cups of water you need to drink in a day, place that many rubber-bands on your wrist. Each time you drink a cup of water, remove a band.
  2. Free Printable – If you like to keep track using paper and pen then try this free printable from Clean Mama.
  3. Water Bottle Method – Buy a water bottle that has ounce measurements on it. Use a Sharpie to write down times along the side of the bottle that correlate with how much water you should have consumed by that time of day. You can see an example at Modern Mommyhood.