AMRAP Workout

I found this little piece of (healthy) “thinspiration” and wanted to pass it along. ¬†For those of you who are just starting out, or maybe have hit a plateau, DON’T STOP! It will be worth it in the end, I promise. ūüôā

Keep GoingToday, I have a little bit of a different workout concept for you all. ¬†AMRAP is a concept that is used in a CrossFit type workout. ¬†The goal is to do As Many Rounds As Possible within the time allowed. ¬†Get it? ūüėČ For this workout, use a 15 minute time limit and knock out as many rounds as you can. ¬†If you are new to this concept, or to working out in general, start slow, then make a goal to complete 1/2-1 more round the next time and increase from there.

AMRAPI’m off to a mud run tomorrow. Five miles of obstacles, water and mud….wish me luck. ūüėČ

Football & Friday Night Workout

My weekend started early, Primetime style. ūüôā ¬†The Rams were playing the 49ers during Thursday Night Football and this game would mark my first real Sunday tailgating experience in St. Louis. ¬†Oh how different my game days have become. ¬†Instead of going carb-less for a week and getting up at the crack of dawn smelling like spray tan, I can now show up 2 hours before the game, eat my face off and even wear (gasp!) a hat if I wanted to. ¬†Let’s be honest, the hat part probably won’t happen unless it’s raining. ¬†I can’t go a day without a good hair tease. ¬†Once a cheerleader, always a cheerleader.

Apparently the tailgate food was actually relatively healthy, compared to most game days. ¬†We had two kinds of shrimp, one bacon wrapped and made by my mom (yum!), bratwurst, rice, Chinese ramen salad and my personal favorite, indoor s’mores (also made by my mom, her stuff is always a hit). ¬†I chose to limit myself to the bacon wrapped shrimp, Chinese ramen salad and indoor s’mores, along with some of the random pretzel mixes and dips that are inevitable. Recipes for the ramen salad and indoor s’mores are at the end of the post!

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The game itself was fun, until the Rams lost. ¬†It just wasn’t our day. ūüôĀ ¬†I still enjoyed watching the cheerleaders every move though, surprise, surprise.

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The players’ tunnel was always my favorite part of the game. ¬†Nothing beats running out of the tunnel with the lights out and pyrotechnics going off behind you. ¬†I may or may not have cried as I watched the cheerleaders run out on Thursday night because I know the exhilaration and excitement they are feeling in that moment and it’s something you never forget. ¬†It’s fine, I’ll get over it. ¬†One day…

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I will say, it was fun sitting in the stands with my parents and Matt and actually being able to enjoy a game with them instead of waving at them from afar!

Needless to say, Friday was a rough one. ¬†When you are used to going to bed like a grandma around 9:00 every night, midnight makes it a little hard to function the next day. ¬†Matt and I reaallllyy were not in the mood to workout after work. ¬†It was very tempting to park our butts on the couch and call it a night, but we forced ourselves to suck it up and go to the gym like we planned. ¬†My workout wasn’t super high intensity but it was upper body focused and my arms were shaking by the end, so I think I did my job. ¬†In the end, we were glad we went. ¬†After all, it certainly didn’t kill us. ūüôā ¬†The workout alone takes 20 minutes and you don’t need any equipment, so it’s easily done at home. ¬†If you don’t have access to a cardio machine, you can warm up with 5-10 minutes of jumping jacks, high knees, stairs, etc.

Upper Body Tabata Workout

(Shout out to Heather for the Side Plank Toe Touch move! ¬†Thanks for the inspiration, it’s a good one!) ūüôā

Exercise Links/Demonstrations for those that may not be familiar:

V-Ups

Plank Push-Ups

Plank Jumping Jacks

Side Plank Toe Touch

Start in side plank position with your top arm straight up.  Keeping your hips up, bring your top foot forward and hand down to touch your toe.  Repeat.

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Oh hey there, Big Foot.

Mountain Climbers

Plank Reaches

Start in plank position.  Keep your hips straight and touch each hand out in front of you, repeating until time is up.

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Tri-cep Push-Ups

Just like a normal push-up, but start with your hands closer to your body, right next to your shoulders. ¬†When you lower your body, make sure your elbows point directly back. ¬†Disclaimer: I did these on my knees during the workout, I barely made it through the one in the demo picture. ūüôā

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Reverse Crunches

Walking Push-Ups

Start standing up, bend over at the waist, place your hands on the ground and walk them forward until you are in straight arm push-up position.  Do a push-up, then walk your hands back towards your body until you are back in standing position, keeping your legs only slightly bent when walking out/back.  That is 1 rep.

Superman Planks

Lower Russian Twists

Start on your back with legs at a 90 degree angle, arms out by your sides.  Bring your knees to one side, only going as far as you can while keeping the opposite shoulder blade and back touching the floor.  Return to starting position and repeat.

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Chinese Ramen Salad

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Ingredients:

  • 1 pkg. shredded green cabbage
  • 1 bunch chopped green onion (or less, depending on your taste)
  • 2 pkg. Ramen noodles (Oriental flavor)
  • 3/4-1 c slivered almonds
  • 1/3 c olive oil
  • 1/3 c rice wine vinegar
  • 1/3 cup Stevia
  • 1/2 tsp ground black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp margarine

Directions:

Melt butter in a small skillet and toss almonds until toasted.  Break up Ramen noodles and combine with cabbage, almonds and green onion.  Mix oil, vinegar, sugar, salt and pepper together.  Pour mixture over dry ingredients and toss until fully coated.  Serve and enjoy!

Indoor S’mores

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(File this one under a Cheat Day!)

Ingredients:

  • 8 c Golden Grahams cereal
  • 5 c mini marshmallows, plus 1 extra cup
  • 1 1/2 c chocolate chips
  • 1/4 c light corn syrup
  • 5 tbsp margarine
  • 1 tsp vanilla

Directions:

In a large bowl, measure cereal. ¬†Butter/spray a 13×9 inch pan. ¬†In a large microwavable bowl, microwave 5 cups of marshmallows, chocolate chips, corn syrup and butter/margarine for about 2-3min, stirring every minute, until melted. ¬†Stir in vanilla.

Pour the mixture over cereal and toss until completely coated.  Stir in the 1 extra cup of marshmallows.

Press mixture in the pan.  Let stand uncovered for at least 1 hour, or refrigerate for a firmer bar. Cut and enjoy!

 

Have a great weekend!

 

Weekend Recap: Sweet Potato Hash & Buffalo Chicken Salad + Workout

Happy Monday!

This weekend was relatively simple, yet amazing at the same time. ¬†Here’s a little recap:

Friday night: Matt went to the St. Louis Blues game, so I spent the evening with my DVR (a little Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders: Making the Team and Real Housewives, don’t be jealous) and went to bed at 10pm. ¬†Glorious.

Saturday: Got up early to go shopping with my mom at the new outlet mall in St. Louis. ¬†Also glorious. ¬†Then spent the evening with one of my best friends, Dana, and her two kids because her husband was out of town. ¬†Glorious in a change-5-diapers-in-one-night kind of way. ¬†Her, not me. ūüôā ¬†But really, it was great to hang with her and enjoy a big girl drink with her again- finally! ¬†Plus, I’m utterly obsessed with her kids, in a totally non-creepy way.

Sunday: Matt and I went to the gym and the grocery store; typical Sunday afternoon.  Here is the workout I completed, after a 20min warmup:

Full Body Workout

I spent the rest of the afternoon making Peanut Butter Granola and Homemade Protein Bars for the week and got a little relaxing time in too.  For lunch, I made Buffalo Chicken Salad and I ate mine in a lettuce wrap.  I loved the twist on the typical chicken salad.  The recipe is at the end of this post!

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We had to eat lunch outside because the weather was B-E-A-U-T-I-F-U-L. I’m beyond excited for fall. ¬†I just hope Missouri actually let’s us enjoy the season, instead of skipping straight to winter. It’s kind of our M.O.

For dinner, we made Sweet Potato Hash and enjoyed it on our patio (again) with a tall glass of wine. ¬†My kind of Sunday night. ūüôā ¬†Now we also have enough food for dinner the next few nights. ¬†Even better.

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I found the recipe here, at Carrots and Cake, one of the many blogs I follow. ¬†I’ve made it in the past and Matt’s a big fan. ¬†Now that the weather is changing, it felt like a good time to bust it out again. ¬†Feels like comfort food. ūüôā ¬†I followed the recipe exactly, but this time I eliminated the cinnamon. ¬†We ended up liking it a little bit better that way, but it depends on your taste!

Turkey & Spinach Sweet Potato Hash

Ingredients:

  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 medium-large sweet potatoes
  • 1 medium onion
  • 1 pound ground turkey
  • 1 tbsp garlic powder
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • 2-4 handfuls of fresh spinach

Directions:

  1. Dice sweet potato into small pieces and then add them to a large sauté pan with olive oil, garlic powder, and cinnamon. Coat sweet potatoes in olive oil and cook on medium heat for 5 minutes. While sweet potatoes are cooking, dice onion.
  2. Add ground turkey to the pan with the sweet potatoes. Break it up with a fork as it cooks. Add onion.
  3. Continue to cook sweet potatoes, turkey, and onion until turkey is no longer pink and sweet potatoes begin to soften.
  4. When sweet potatoes are soft, add spinach and cook until it is wilted.
  5. Remove pan from heat and serve immediately.

 

Buffalo Chicken Salad 

(I found the original recipe  for the here.)

Ingredients:

  • 5 oz non-fat plain Greek yogurt
  • 1/3 cup Franks Red Hot Wings Buffalo sauce
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/4 tsp fresh ground black pepper
  • 1 lb boneless, skinless chicken breast, shredded
  • 2 celery stalks, finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup cilantro, minced
  • 1/2 cup (2 oz) crumbled blue cheese

Directions:

In a large bowl, whisk together yogurt, buffalo sauce, garlic powder, and black pepper. Stir in chicken, celery, cilantro, and blue cheese. Refrigerate until serving or up to 5 days in the fridge.

Yield: ~ 4 cups chicken salad (~8 servings, 1/2 cup each)

Nutrition Information (per 1/2 cup): 100 calories; 2.5 g. fat; 34 mg. cholesterol; 381 mg. sodium; 1.6 g. carbohydrate; 0.25g. fiber; 16.3 g. protein; 1.0 g. sugar

 

50-5 Abs Countdown & Healthy Blogger “Oops”!

How’s this for a little Monday motivation?

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I know I’m a little behind the times, but I’ve been meaning to post this for a couple of weeks now, ever since Ashton Kutcher’s much talked about speech at the Teen Choice Awards. ¬†Such a great message. ¬†I think sometimes it’s easy to focus on how we look on the outside and we lose sight of what is really important. Anytime you doubt yourself just remember, you are amazing and everything else “is crap”. ūüôā

On the agenda today was a trip to Trader Joe’s for a few essentials. ¬†One of those essentials included Greek yogurt. ¬†I was in a bit of a hurry so I just grabbed the only flavored container I saw and went on my merry little way. ¬†Then when I got home, I realized that I committed a big healthy living blogger/fitness junkie FAIL. ¬†I didn’t check the nutrition facts (what?!) and what I came home with was a liiiittle higher in the calories and fat content than what I’m used to. ¬†And by a little, I mean a lot. ¬†I know what you are thinking, “C’mon Christa, this isn’t your first rodeo!”. One cup of this stuff contains 290 calories and 17 grams of fat! ¬†A little too rich for my blood…lesson learned. ¬†It’s also a reminder that yogurt cups and parfaits at most restaurants and fast food places can be a little deceiving, especially when you add in high calorie granola, nuts, etc. ¬†I love myself some TJ’s, but note to self: leave this one on the shelf next time.

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I’m coming to you this Monday with another all-out-all-abs workout. ¬†All abs, all the time. ūüôā ¬†I always incorporate at least a few ab exercises throughout my circuit workouts, but sometimes it feels good to just focus and burn ’em out.

50-5 Abs Countdown

 

Have fun with this one!

 

3 x 3 Full Body Circuit Workout

One more day and it’s Fridaaaayyyyy!!!!!!

I’ve been loving my lunch/dinner combinations the past few days, so I thought I should share. ¬†When I can, I try to find easy/healthy recipes that will make enough food that I don’t have to cook for the rest of the week. I’m such a good housewife, huh? On Tuesday night, I made kale salad so I would have it for lunch during the week, and for dinner I threw together a chicken stir-fry that was just as easy to make as it was tasty. For my lunch the past few days, I have paired the kale salad with plain tuna. ¬†Usually, I would think plain tuna would be gross and boring, but the salad has enough flavor (at least I think so), that I don’t even notice. ¬†For the stir-fry, I used two bags of a veggie mix I found in the produce section that included snow peas, broccoli, sprouts and cabbage. ¬†I grilled it all on the stove, then mixed it together with a low-sodium soy sauce and a little General Tso’s sauce. ¬†Normally, I would try to keep the added sauces and syrups out of my meals, but as long as you don’t over do it, it’s not the end of the world. ¬†I know “food is fuel” (direct quote from my dad) but personally, I prefer my fuel to at least have some flavor. ūüėČ

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Backtracking to my morning workout yesterday, I started out with 15min of light cardio, then put together this full body circuit workout. ¬†For that little extra “kick”, add in 10 burpees or run on the treadmill for 5min in between each circuit!

3x3 Full Body Circuit

 

Exercise Details/Links

Walking Overhead Lunges– walking lunges holding a 15-25 pound plate/weight above your head, arms straight. (I used a 25 pound plate this time)

Superman Planks

Walking Planks¬†¬†(Plank Push-ups…I have a variety of names for this one, apparently.) ūüôā

Plank Spider Squats

Stability Ball Jack Knifes

Walking Push-upsРstart standing up, bend over at the waist, place your hands on the ground and walk them forward until you are in straight arm push-up position.  Do a push-up, then walk your hands back towards your body until you are back in standing position, keeping your legs only slightly bent when walking out/back.  That is 1 rep.

 

Have a great day!

 

Burpee Bonanza & Green Protein Smoothie

Yesterday, my day started like it usually does- half awake at the gym. ¬†I started out with 10 minutes of light intervals on the Stairmaster to get warmed up. ¬†Then, I got to work on the ladder workout below. ¬†Here’s how it works: Start out with 20 Burpees, 10 V-Situps, 20 Air Squats, and 10 Push-ups. ¬†Then, 18 Burpees, 9 V-Situps, 18 Air Squats, and 9 Push-ups, and so on….basically the exercises that start with 20, you go down by 2 each time and the exercises that start with 10, you go down by 1. ¬†I started out trying to do everything at 20 reps and down, but I quickly realized that, #1 I was going to run out of time before I needed to go home and get ready for work, and #2 I might not make it through the entire workout because my body wasn’t havin’ any of that. ¬†I also realized early on that when you don’t do burpees for a while, your mind/body forget how hard they are; aka, your selective memory blocks them out of your mind, for obvious reasons. ¬†I haven’t incorporated burpees into my workouts in a while because I’ve been trying to let my hamstring heal. It was starting to feel better, so I thought I would give this one a whirl. ¬†Turns out, with this workout you end up doing 110 burpees! ¬†Might have been a little aggressive, but I made it through…barely. You can always modify this by taking everything down to 10 reps and decrease by 1 each round.

Burpee Ladder Workout

After my workout, I made one of my breakfast staples- a Green Protein Smoothie. ¬†I had always heard about putting greens like spinach and kale into smoothies, but never believed anyone when they said you can’t taste it. Lettuce in a smoothie? Yeah right…well, I was wrong. ¬† I swear, you really can’t taste the spinach, and as long as it is blended thoroughly you won’t even notice it is there. ¬†By adding spinach, you get the added bonus of the antioxidants, fiber, vitamins and other health benefits it provides. ¬†The recipe is below, feel free to substitute whatever fruit or nut butter you prefer!

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¬†There you have it! ¬†A delicious green- er,¬†grey- smoothie…I promise it tastes better than it looks.

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Green Protein Smoothie

(makes 2 servings)

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup almond milk
  • 1 frozen banana
  • 1/2-1 cup frozen blueberries
  • 1-2 tbsp peanut butter
  • 2 servings whey protein powder (I usually use chocolate, obvi)
  • 2-4 cups spinach (I don’t usually measure this, just fill the rest of the blender with spinach)

Directions:

Blend together and enjoy!

 

Also, if you haven’t already, click the link below or the button on the right side of the page, to follow my blog with Bloglovin, along with all of your favorites. ¬†It’s a great site that allows you to see all of the blogs you follow in one place, and you can also get a daily email letting you know of new posts from those blogs.

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