Monday, August 31, 2015

Recipe: Banana "Ice Cream"

This "ice cream" was inspired by the cookbook Well Fed 2, which, like the original Well Fed, is a wellspring of recipes and inspiration.  The kids like to make it, or eat it (or both!).  It is good both freshly made, as soft serve, or we freeze any leftovers in our popsicle molds, or if those are full, in little cups with popsicle sticks in them.

3 frozen bananas (freeze after they get brown spots on them)
4-6 fresh pastured egg yolks
1 T vanilla
1/4 cup raw milk

Combine all in food processor.  Serve with soaked and dehydrated pecans (3 per serving).

Pin It

Sunday, August 30, 2015

Kids' Cooking: Prairie Sushi

We stole this from Ree Drummond's show, but it's really great.  These are basically a sandwich wrap but sliced to imitate sushi.

It's a tortilla with cream cheese spread on it and fresh parsley and basil sprinkled over that.  Then, across the middle, is lunchmeat and matchsticks of carrots and cucumber.

This is rolled up tight then sliced into one inch (or so) thick segments and served flat.


Pin It

Friday, August 28, 2015

Upper Body Workout

This series will take about 30-35 minutes.  Do the exercises shown together as a superset.  Do 3 sets of as many as you can.  If you get to 12-15 reps, use a heavier weight.  Breathe.  

pull up
Cable chest press (shown here)
ab roller

bench press
seated row (the cable machine, show here)

Hammer press (the standing machine, shown below)
Lat cable press down (long bar on both cables)

clean and press kettlebell

  Pin It

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Core Series

 This is about a 10 minute series.  It can be done after your workout, or as a standalone, and at home or the gym.

TRX side plank x3 as long as you can (go side to side to side to side...)

swiss ball pike
swiss ball saw (superset these)

wobble disc plank x3 30 sec (hands on disc~ go longer if you can)

Pin It

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Kids Yoga Ages 3-7

This is approximately 45 minutes long.

Names/ hello/ welcome

Cat/ Cow (in cow, lion breath out)

Warrior series (if older kids)

Stand in tree (challenge- close eyes, move arms around), tree jumps

Pilates Balls: toss to partner, roll on it, hold in feet overhead, happy baby, ask kids for ideas

Foam Roller: roll on it, ask kids for ideas, make trees around room and move around them

Walk like a bear, Walk like a crab

Froggy jumps, Star jumps (can hold onto a tree*roller)

Snakes slithering on mat on bellies or waving upward

Down dog tunnel – snake through the tunnel, then become part of the tunnel

Seated stretches- over one leg, over both, butterfly

Lying butterfly, twist to each side

Put everything away

Sit cross-legged, Ohmmm chant

Song: goodbye, everybody and namaste

Pin It

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Kindergarten Yoga Routine

This series is meant to be done with a small group of kids (4-8). It takes about 8 minutes.

Cat/ Cow (in cow, lion breath out)

Stand in tree (challenge- close eyes, move arms around)

Walk like a bear

Walk like a crab

Froggy jumps

Snakes slithering on mat on bellies or waving upward

Down dog tunnel – snake through the tunnel, then become

part of the tunnel

Sit cross-legged

Pin It

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Giving Back to Yourself: Week of Workouts

Sometimes the best way to find the energy to give to those around us is to make sure that our own cup is full.  One way of doing this is to keep your body in good working condition.  Here is a week of workouts to help you do that.

These can be done at home or at the gym, and with or without a little LITTLE company.  

Before all of the weightlifting days, warm up. Do some jumping jacks and some plank hand walk outs (Google "inchworm exercise" for help if you need it).  Do some stretching like rolling on a foam roller and some hip flexor stretches.

Also, some of the exercises below are grouped together ("sets").  Do one then the other without a break.  Take a break if you need it before starting from the top of the set again.  Repeat the set three times through.  You should choose a weight that is hard enough that the last three repetitions are difficult but manageable.  Try for 8-12 reps of each exercise.  If you need a break, try to do it between sets, but by all means, take it when you need it.

If you are unclear about what any of the exercises are, YouTube has an amazing library of videos of people demonstrating these exercises.  You can also use the daily themes as a general guide and do exercises that are more familiar to you.

Above all, have fun!  Remember that you are giving yourself an amazing gift: your health, both mentally and physically.  You are also giving the gift of being a better you to your family.

Monday~Never miss a Monday!:
Upper Body

  • band or assisted pull ups- can also substitute laying under the kitchen table and pulling up
  • band or assisted dips - can substitute by putting your body between two chairs as your dip station; use your legs as much or as little as necessary to assist

  • bench press or chest press or even a floor press- use dumbbells or a barbell
  • seated row at the gym (the cable machine) or double bent over row at home- use a dumbbell or barbell (or a weighted bar or sandbag)

  • push ups (on your knees is fine- make sure your back stays flat and head is up)
  • dumbbell row (back flat, lean over, do one arm at a time)

  • cable lat pull down (sub with a pull up at home or TRX row or bar hang)
  • cable chest press (angle down~ set the bar higher than your chest)

  • cable cross abs high (can sub standing and crossing the body with a band in both hands from high to across the chest- or bicycle sit ups)
  • cable straight abs (can sub Pallof press- which is using a band and pressing hands in and out while standing- or sit ups)

  • dumbbell shoulder press (keep your shoulders down)
  • ab roller (can sub a plank)

Lower Body~Friends don't let friends skip leg day!

  • jump rope/ trx squat and trx lunges at end of warm up (can sub walking lunges)

  • deadlift (kettlebell)
  • kettlebell swing 
  • jump rope
  • farmer's carry 

  • kettlebell rack squat (or goblet squat, can also use a dumbbell)
  • trx pistol squat (or bodyweight squat- go just below 90 degrees)
  • front lunge (harder is Bulgarian split squat)

  • ball hip bridge (harder is one legged)

  • dead bug with ball (the swiss ball here helps remind you to keep the opposite arm and leg up all the time)
Cardio and Core

  • easy cardio 45 min
  • swiss ball plank (hands on ball)
  • swiss ball saw (hands on ball, roll the ball in and out)

  • hold a forearm plank for a minute
Full Body

  • Pull ups or TRX rows (try the assisted pull up machine or bands to help if you need them)
  • Push ups or TRX push ups (knees are fine, or try elevating your hands)

  • Medicine ball slams (overhead to full squat position)
  • Squat and press (bodyweight or holding an object like a baby, dumbbell, kettlebell, or two of any of these)- go low and use the momentum to press the weights up high

  • Walking lunge holding arms overhead with something in them (kettlebells, dumbbells, or whatever, making sure your arms are straight and by your ears)

  • slider side lunge (using Valslides or paper plates or socks or towels- whatever slides)
  • slider mountain climbers (play with the pacing and see if you need to be going fast or slow)
  • side plank thread the needle (easier is regular side plank and easier than that is one leg bent and the other straight; harder is holding something in the threading hand like a medicine ball)
Cardio and Core

  • warm up 20 min cardio
  • sprints on and off 10 min
  • cool down 15 min cardio

  • bird dog (opposite hand and foot reach out while on all fours)
  • Pilates bicycles
  • Russian twist 
Saturday/ Sunday:

  • take a long easy walk one day or go to a yoga class 
  • make sure to take the other day off

Pin It

Monday, August 17, 2015

Lower Body Metabolic Circuit

jump rope/ trx squat and lunges to warm up

kb swing
jump rope
farmers carry
3 rounds

kb rack squat
trx pistol squat
pulses w front lunge
4 rounds

slider side lunge
slider mtn climbers
side plank thread the needle
3 rounds

dead bug w ball
1 round Pin It

Sunday, August 16, 2015

Upper Body Metabolic Circuit

Do 3 rounds of each grouping, after warming up.

trx push up
trx row
KB swings

rogue bar bench press
lat pull down
KB swings

hammer press
pull up
KB swings

cable chest press
KB swings

cable bar press down
KB swings


Pin It

Saturday, August 15, 2015

Metabolic Circuit: Full Body Blast

Do your normal warm up.

Then do 5 to 8 rounds of:

  • pull ups (assisted, band, or bodyweight)
  • dips (assisted, band, or bodyweight)
  • sled push or squat (DB or KB goblet or KB rack, depending on what equipment you have)
  • run around the block

Finish with a plank for a minute.

Stretch/ cool down as you normally do.

This one is great!  Not my creation, but worthy of sharing. Enjoy!!

Pin It

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Recipe: Leftover Veggie Muffins

4 cups leftover steamed green veggies (like broccoli, cauliflower, green beans, zucchini)
2 cups cooked winter squash (like butternut or pumpkin)
1/2 cup butter
4 eggs
1 t. vanilla
1 T cinnamon
1/2 t. nutmeg
1/4 t. cardamom
1/2 t. sea salt

Mix in food processor until very smooth.  Spoon into buttered muffins or loaf pan (or use muffin papers or parchment paper).  Bake at 325 for 20 minutes for muffins or 60 minutes for a loaf. My kids went crazy for these!

Pin It

Monday, August 3, 2015

Review: FitBit Charge HR

I was a little hesitant to purchase a FitBit because I wasn't sure if I wanted to track all I was eating.  It sounded like a lot of work, and I didn't want to get obsessed with it.  I knew that the FitBit could help you track some of the variables surrounding overall health and fitness, and was curious about what I could improve.  I decided to take the plunge because it takes data to make changes.  You need to know what you are doing in order to decide what to act on.

I decided to get the FitBit Charge HR.  I have had heart rate monitors in the past, and know a bit about heart rate variability and training in the zones, and have enjoyed playing with this to improve my workouts.  This device, though, doesn't require you to wear a chest band.  I have always felt the chest bands to be a bit unwieldy, though the information is really useful.  I was unsure if this wrist monitor would be as accurate as a chest band, and have been pleasantly surprised by the accuracy.  I like the heart rate monitor feature when exercising, and am getting to know what my heart rate is based on what it feels like and then checking to see if I am right.  This is useful to me to see if I can be working harder, or if it is a good time to take a break.  When taking a break, it's useful to see if I am fully recovered or not. As you (may) know, the length of time it takes you to recover is a good indicator of overall health.

Another feature I was looking for and use is the pedometer. This actually helps motivate me to take more steps.  If it is late afternoon and I am low on my steps, I have been taking the kids out to walk up and down the street.  We all enjoy it, and it's helped us to be more active.  It does, however, add some false steps, like when I am sewing or fling my arm in my sleep, and it skips steps when I am carrying something in that hand (as expected but notable).

It also functions as a watch. Yes, an old-fashioned watch.  I mention this because I often look at my phone to see what time it is, then end up distracted by an incoming email ~ ETC!  I really like having a watch so I can see the time then move on.

Another unexpected thing I like about having this device is that it reminds me to stay on track all the time.  Wearing it is a subtle reminder of fitness and health wherever I am.  I think it helps me make better decisions... about eating, drinking, walking more, and the like.

Now... what I don't like about it is the battery life.  It would be nice if it came with a watch battery or something like that.  It needs to be charged for about an hour or so every three days.  It is unclear how long you have from after it tells you the battery is low until you *must* charge it.  I think people probably get into a routine plugging it into their USB port when they with at the computer, but I don't sit down at the computer every day.

It is "sweat resistant" but they say to take it off in the shower.  When I exercise, I drip sweat (hello, Bikram Yoga!). I am concerned that this will cause it to short out at some point.  But I've been diligent about removing it to swim or shower.  Which reminds me, it's too bad it can't track your movements when you are swimming.

I also think their app could use some streamlining from device to device to desktop.  On the desktop version, you can tag foods as favorites but they don't come up on the mobile app.  And on both, there is a spot for "recent" but recent foods never show up on it.  Same with frequent foods.  Their food database could also expand a bit.  On the desktop version of the app, the quantity of food adjustment button doesn't toggle very smoothly.  The mobile app lacks a way to see food macros for the day, though it is nice to see these on the desktop version (fat, carbs, protein percentages and grams). Both apps, though, have interesting graphs for viewing your data.  I would like a graph for the macros in relation to each other on both apps.

I still don't know what to do with the sleep data I am gathering.  It is interesting to note how many times I wake up/ am restless while sleeping, but I don't know what to do with this information.

All in all, I've been really happy with the device.  It translates how hard I'm working into calories* and steps (well, unless I am biking; in that case, only calories).  I haven't been surprised by the data per se, but it's nice to be able to see what I am doing and having the FitBit Charge HR has helped me organize myself a little better.


*As an aside, I'm not sure how much calories matter- but they are an interesting data point.

Pin It

Saturday, August 1, 2015

Metabolic Circuit: Jump Rope/ Legs/ Kettlebell Swings

Equipment Needed:

  • Jump Rope (Could sub for air jump rope or sprints or high knees 30 sec.)
  • TRX (could do bodyweight instead)
  • set lighter kettlebells (ex: 16 kg each but gauge yourself) (sub with dumbbells if needed)
  • set heavy kettlebells (ex: 50-60 lb each but gauge yourself) (sub with barbell if needed)
  • sliders (Valslide or similar) (sub with paper plates or socks)
  • step (can use a stair or a Step with two risers)
  • core ball 6-10 lb. (sub with dumbbell if needed)

+/- 55-75 min (do fewer rounds for a quicker workout~ as posted here is about 75 minutes)

Warm Up : 

  • start by rolling and some light stretching ~ can be brief, even 1-3 minutes

Warm Up continued: 
do 2-5 rounds, depending on time of day (do more if it's morning and/ or you or the weather is cold):

  • jump rope (50-100 jumps)
  • TRX deep squat (just work on range of motion here)
  • TRX lunges back and curtsy 
Here comes the workout...

Do this for four (or even five if you feel invincible) rounds (yes, do three rounds if you want a quicker workout):

  • farmers carry your deadlift weights (or one size heavier)
  • deadlift (can do one or two of the heavier kettlebells) x 12-18
  • kb swing (can do two or alternating single arm swings- use the lighter bells) x 20-25
  • jump rope x50-100
  • double kb rack squat with lighter kettlebells (pulses w/ squat is the harder option- to do this, go to the bottom, then come up a little less than halfway, then go back down to the bottom, then come up- that is one rep) x10
  • TRX pistol squat x8-10 each side- make sure you line up your standing foot with the anchor.  Go so low.  Try to eventually not rely on the TRX as much.  To make this easier, modify by doing a one-leg squat onto a chair (see video below for some more modifications).
  • front lunge on step- back knee comes almost all the way touching the floor (pulses is the harder option- again, to do this, go to the bottom, then come up a little less than halfway, then go back down to the bottom, then come up- that is one rep) (to make it even harder, hold weight at your sides) x10 each side
Take water between rounds instead of between exercises if you can wait, and make sure to catch your breath between rounds (1-2 minutes, even, if you need).

Here is a nice video of a one-arm KB swing.  If you want to do an alternating one-arm swing, switch grip at the top.  I like to start by doing a few (5) double arm swings, then alternate most of the set (15), then finish with one with both hands, then put the bell down.

This is a KB double rack squat. Go low.

Here is a TRX pistol squat.

Here is the pistol squat onto a step (and some other pistol modifications).

Now, for some leg work (ha)- three rounds:

  • slider side lunge - straight leg on slider, bend base leg as other leg goes out. To make this harder, hold the core ball and send it up for counterbalance as you go down. x10-15 each side
  • slider mountain climbers - slow pace x20, sliders are under your feet
  • side plank thread the needle- use the core ball in your upper hand as you thread the needle.  To make this easier, bend the bottom knee to the ground. To make it harder, have both legs out straight or even raise the top leg.

Finish with one to three rounds:

  • dead bug w/ core ball at top (or swiss ball is fine- or nothing)

Stretch and have some water. You're done! Pin It


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...