Archives for January 2014

So Much Snoozing, So Little Time…

A trainer once told me…

10 Minutes

I think I need to reintroduce that mantra into my life.

Backing up to Wednesday morning…

5:15 – Alarm sounds. Immediate snooze. Pretty sure I didn’t even open my eyes.

5:25 – Alarm sounds. Alarm off. One eye open this time.

6:00 – Both eyes open…CRAP!

Fast forward 15 minutes and I’m at the gym, with 30 minutes to get in and get out. I hadn’t put together a workout in advance (whoops) and I wasn’t really in the mood to do a multi-circuit, detailed workout, so I warmed up for 10 minutes on the bike and then decided to combine some of my favorite exercises into one workout and just go-big-or-go-home for 20 minutes straight. Here’s what it looked like!

20 Minute AMRAP

Between the kettlebell swings and split box jumps, my inner thighs were pretty sore for a couple days afterwards so mission = accomplished!

(For those of you who aren’t familiar, for Split Box Jumps, instead of starting with the box in front of you, start with one foot on the floor on each side of the box then jump up onto the box so your feet meet in the middle.)

I hope you all have a great weekend!

 

WIAW #10: Putting That Meal Prep to Work!

It’s been a while since I have posted my daily eats as a part of What I Ate Wednesday, and today I wanted to feature the benefits of my weekly meal prep. In order to keep myself sane, I have to make the extra effort on Sundays to make some of the food I know I will use during the week in advance.  Less cooking during the week = a much less-stressed Christa.  Trust me, it’s better for everyone involved.

As always, I post most of what I eat throughout the day…aka it doesn’t include the random handfuls of trail mix, extra bites of this or that, and the ever present chocolate. 🙂

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Thanks to Jenn for hosting!

Breakfast

Meal Prep #1: Breakfast “Potatoes”

For the past couple of weeks, breakfast “potatoes” have been #1 on my list of meal prep items. I’ve been trying to change up my breakfasts from the standard eggs and fruit or smoothie to something a little more hearty, yet still healthy. Usually, I make some kind of combination of sweet potatoes, butternut squash, turnips or parsnips.  Today, it was just butternut squash. Chop ’em up, toss in olive oil, salt and pepper, and then roast them at 400 degrees for about 30 minutes, or until golden brown.  Then you have an easy and healthy option to heat up quickly in the morning.

DSC01947Of course, I love my coffee and almond milk in the morning; can’t leave the house without it! Target came out with a new flavor that is a MUST try.

DSC01942Paired with my new favorite mug (love the vintage Tiger) and a little vacay reminiscing, and the morning wasn’t allll bad. 😉

DSC01948Snack

Do I even have to say it? Apple and almond butter, naturally.  Have you tried Justin’s almond butter yet? Delish!

DSC01949Lunch

Meal Prep #2: Crock-pot chicken

On Sundays, I make chicken for the week in a crock pot. It literally could not be easier…7 frozen chicken breasts, cook on low for 6-7 hours and then shred. Sometimes I add in salsa or just olive oil, salt and pepper. It’s so nice to have chicken already made for both Matt and I for the week.

Today added the chicken to a salad and topped it with chickpeas, carrots, zucchini, chopped almonds and chicken.  Dressing was homemade and simple – olive oil, apple cider vinegar, salt, pepper, and stevia.

DSC01951I also had a few of these. Trader Joe’s for the win, always!

DSC01950Snack

Meal Prep #3: Protein Bars

I’ve changed my usual recipe up, eliminating the oats and experimenting with more of a paleo-esque  approach. I’m still making tweaks, so I’ll share the recipe when I think it’s worthy. 🙂

DSC01954Dinner

Mahi Mahi with roasted broccoli and topped with avocado. Avocado is a great healthy fat that I’m going to try and incorporate into my meals a little more. It’s so good!

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That’s it for today! Have a great one!

30 Minute At-Home Workout

It’s no secret that I definitely prefer a 5AM workout over a 5PM workout but don’t be fooled, that doesn’t mean that I pop out of bed like kid on Christmas morning every day. Some mornings are easier than others and earlier this week, I hit the snooze one too many times. Ok, so I actually turned it off in my sleep. Obviously, that was my body telling my sleep > the gym. I took the hint and didn’t let it stress me out that my morning didn’t go as planned. I actually woke up with 30 minutes to spare; not enough time to get to the gym but I decided I wanted to take advantage of it and put together a quick tabata workout- no equipment needed. It was just enough to get a little sweat on and feel like the morning wasn’t a total waste. Every little bit counts!

At Home Tabata

Not only is this workout good for my fellow snooze-ers but if you also live in what feels like the arctic tundra right now, you have an excuse not to leave the comfort of your own home. 😉

Happy Weekend!!!!

Vaca Photos & Easy Canvas Print Discount!

Hola, mi amigas!  I apologize for being MIA for the last week or two but Matt and I took a little vaca to San Diego and Cabo San Lucas and then coming back to work after that is never easy, so blogging had to take a backseat until I could get it together. 🙂  I hope you enjoyed Jessie and Heather’s guest posts while I was away.  Matt and I had an amazing trip!  I’ll spare you the details and give you a photo dump instead. To sum it up, a lot of food and a lot of sun.  Considering it was below freezing in St. Louis, we were pretty happy campers!

DSC01659And so it begins. 🙂

DSC01663The first restaurant we went to had a lot of paleo options, which was a nice surprise!  Matt and I split two dishes, he had the pork tacos and I chose the paleo burrito- wrapped in jicama. Not too shabby!

DSC01667 DSC01705 DSC01696We had amazing sushi at Kamakaze 7 in the Gaslamp district. We let the chef surprise us and we weren’t disappointed! This was one of 4 dishes we were served. Definitely got our money’s worth!

DSC01700 DSC01728 DSC01741Best. Lunch. EVER. George’s in La Jolla. The view was amazing and the food was delish.  If you are ever in San Diego, this is a must!

DSC01753 DSC01756Goodbye San Diego, hello, Cabo!

DSC01762Day 1. Mexican food and champs. Life is good. And that’s pretty much how the rest of the week went. 😉

DSC01764 DSC01770George Clooney and Cindy Crawford’s house was right next to our resort. #NBD So obviously I had to take a really obvious I’m-Obsessed-With-Celebs pic. Obviously.

DSC01795Standard vaca pic #1:

DSC01811And #2:

DSC01814 DSC01843 DSC01877 DSC01880 DSC01906 DSC01917

It was an amazing trip, we really didn’t want to come back!  Now we need to plan another vacation to look forward to….but until then, it’s back to business!

Although I’ve been away for a bit, I come back bearing gifts. 🙂  Easy Canvas Prints contacted me (thanks to a referral from Jessie!) and asked me if I would like to review one of their products on my blog in exchange for a free canvas print. Anyone who knows me knows how obsessed I am with taking pictures and “capturing” any and all moments and memories so of course I jumped at the chance.  A while ago, I found a photo taken of the cheerleaders in my last season during our game in London. It was an incredible trip and I thought the photo really captured how amazing the experience was.  When I saw it, I thought it would make the perfect canvas print so it was easy to choose what photo to use!

The process was super easy.  Choose your canvas size, wrap thickness, photo (they even check the photo quality for you!), display option and border option, preview and you’re done!

Shipping was much faster than I thought and took less than a week so I was so excited to find the package on my doorstep when I got home from vacation.  I was really happy with the results!

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The quality was great and it looked exactly like it did in the preview before I ordered it (you never know sometimes!).  It can easily stand up on a shelf or hang on the wall.  I think I’m going to add it to my office decor or start a wall collage for our basement!

If you are interested in getting a canvas print of your own, Easy Canvas Prints is offering several discounts for Sit-ups & Sequins readers!  You can find the promo codes here. All you have to do is click “apply coupon” and it will automatically apply your coupon and start your order.  You get free shipping too.  Bonus!

50% off Canvas Prints – Use 50FREESHIP

60% off Wall Displays – Use 60WALLDECOR

Buy One Canvas Get One Free – Use BOGOMONTH

With Valentine’s Day coming up, this could make a great gift so take advantage of this offer!  Feel free to also check out their affiliate sites, Build a Sign and Allied Shirts, for custom yard signs and t-shirts.

Have a great week!

 

(Although I received a free product, I was not compensated for this review and all options are my own.)

 

Guest Post: 5 Ways to Stick to Your Fitness Program

Good morning!  I’m coming at you with another guest post today.  I know that’s two in a row and I promise I’m not abandoning you, but I just can’t resist sharing some of my favorite fellow bloggers with you!  Today, Heather from Mrs. Murphy’s Law of Fitness is sharing with us her tips to stick to your fitness program.  I thought this was appropriate with the start of the new year upon us and this being the time of the year when many of us make a goal to start a new fitness program.  This can be a daunting goal for some, especially if you are new to fitness, so Heather’s tips come at a perfect time!  And by the way, if you haven’t visited Heather’s blog yet, it’s a must read! She’s a certified personal trainer, talented yogi and full of intense (and quick!) workouts that I absolutely love.  In addition to great workouts, Heather is all about finding balance in your life, which I really appreciate.  Plus, she’s a super cute southern gal with an equally adorable baby boy, of whom she shares plenty of pics that always put a smile on my face!  (and when you see her bod…yes she’s had a baby…) Impressive, I must say. 😉

Here’s Heather!

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Hi Sit-ups and Sequins readers.

I am Heather from Mrs. Murphy’s Law of Fitness and I’m extremely excited to be hanging out with all you beautiful people! I love Christa because she is just as crazy about fitness and healthy living as I am, so when she asked me to guest post for her I jumped at the opportunity.

Since it is the beginning of the year, and I am sure some of you have set some high expectations for yourselves to lose weight and begin an exercise regimen. As a personal trainer, and health nut, I know a thing or two about how to stick to a fitness program, and wanted to share a few with you.

5 tips

1. Take baby steps- This is crucial. Too many people vow to exercise six days a week, cut out sugar completely and lose 15 lbs. in a month. It’s too much pressure! You’ll be hitting up happy hour and canoodling with Ben & Jerry’s in two weeks.  Start out by making an effort to get in some sort of physical activity everyday- even if it is just a thirty minute walk after dinner, or a few quick, intense workouts throughout the day- just move! Once you realize how great it makes you feel you will enjoy working out and make it a priority.

2.  Create a great playlist- It seems simple, but sometimes I will workout because I want an excuse to listen to music. Save certain songs for the gym so you won’t risk getting tired of them and you’ll be more motivated to go! Music can define your mood and determine how motivated you are, so choose wisely!

boot camp playlist

3. Make it personal- Everyone wants to look good and feel confident about their bodies, but if you want to stick to your new exercise program you have to realize why you haven’t been successful in the past. Do you binge eat when you are stressed? Are you lonely or depressed? Maybe you are just bored. All of these things will hinder your weight loss. Exercise will help with these issues, and ultimately, working towards fixing them will be what keeps you doing the squats and running that extra mile.

4. Find a friend- This is especially beneficial in the beginning when you will find any excuse to skip your spin class. You are less likely to bail when you know someone is counting on you to be there.

5. Keep it interesting-

weights

People quit working out because they are bored or have hit a plateau. Keep your workout interesting by changing it up frequently. Try out different exercise classes, or one of the million workouts you’ve found on Pinterest.

Good luck with all of your goals and stay positive!

Guest Post: Smoothie Recipe from Jessie Loves 2 Run

I thought it would be fun to change it up a bit and feature another one of my fellow bloggers. Today, Jessie from Jessie Loves to Run was nice enough to write a little somethin-somethin for ya! I stumbled across her blog a few months ago and it’s one of my favorites. First of all, she’s so adorable you just want to put her in your pocket 😉 but more than that, she is incredibly thoughtful and funny, and I love the positive message she sends with her blog. I always look forward to her recipes- especially her smoothies- so I thought it would be great if she could share one with you all!  If you haven’t stopped by her blog yet, please do!!!
So, without further ado, take it away Jessie!
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Hello Sit-ups & Sequin readers! I’m Jessie & I blog over at Jessie Loves To Run
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Words cannot express how excited I was when Christa asked if I’d write a guest post for her. I only started following Christa’s blog a few months back, but its quickly become one of my favorites. Christa’s not only beautiful, but her sweetness & honesty shines through on a daily basis. I can only wish her the greatest success in life.
<3 <3 <3
Even though I’m sure many of you are dealing with freezing temperatures this time of the year, I see no reason why cold beverages can’t be consumed. If you happen to be a faithful reader of mine for even a month, you’ve probably figured out by now that I’m a huge smoothie fan. Negative degrees – no problem, grab a blanket & turn up the heat.
A couple months back I purchased a Keurig & have quickly become obsessed. For someone who used to never drink coffee, I’m finding myself having 2 glasses of iced coffee with peppermint extract daily. #sorryimnotsorry.
Up until this past week, it’s never dawned upon me to swap out the milk/water in smoothies with chilled coffee. Sure I’ve seen recipes involving instant coffee packets, but never with actual brewed coffee. I figured this would be the perfect time to share a smoothie I’ve been loving.
Breakfast in Bed Smoothie
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Ingredients:
  • 1 scoop CLICK Vanilla Latte Protein Powder or Vanilla Protein Powder
  • 1 cup brewed & chilled Medium Roast Coffee – I use Wolfpuck Breakfast in Bed kcup
  • Silvered almonds & Unsweetened coconut flakes for topping
  • Xanthan gum
  • 6-8 ice cubes
Preparation:
  • Add protein powder, coffee, xanthan gum, and ice cubes to blender
  • Blend until smooth
  • Put in freezer for 30-60 minutes
  • Add silvered almonds & unsweetened coconut flakes
  • Enjoy!
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 This smoothie is the perfect beverage to get you moving first thing in the morning. Feel free to include some spinach for added nutrients – I promise you won’t taste the greens one bit.
  • Have you ever used brewed coffee in your smoothies?
  • Any other ways you’ve used coffee? I just tried brewed coffee in my oats this week – delicious!