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!

 

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!

 

Lake Weekend & Back to School Ladder Workout

Following up on my last post, in case anyone is dying of curiosity ;), Matt was promoted at work, so that was the reason for the celebration! ¬†I’m really excited for him, he is the most determined person I know, and his hard work is paying off!

This past weekend, Matt and I went to Table Rock Lake, near Branson, Missouri with his parents for a little getaway. ¬†The lake is about four hours away from St. Louis, and although I’ve been to the Lake of the Ozarks more times than I can count, I’ve never made it to this lake so I was excited to see what it was all about. ¬†I’ve heard that Table Rock much cleaner and more calm than Lake of the Ozarks…when there is a place called “Party Cove” things can get weird. ¬†Maybe it means we are getting old, but we were looking forward to a nice, relaxing, Party Cove-free weekend. ūüôā

We were a little skeptical because the day before we left because we heard on the news that Branson got 6 inches of rain. ¬†Yep, that’s right, HALF a FOOT of rain, highways closed, the whole shebang. ¬†Anyone who knows me, knows that I love myself some sunshine and that rain is not good for the hair “poof”. ¬†Lucky for us, the rivers decided to recede before we made the trek down there. ¬†Friday was pretty cloudy so Matt and his dad spent the day golfing and I spent the day with his mom shopping at the outlet mall. ¬†I mean, what else better to do on a rainy day?

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DSC01119 We had a delicious dinner Friday night and then went to go see a Beatles tribute band.  Matt and his parents are huge fans of all things music, and what family vaca would be complete without a good serenade?

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On Saturday, Mother Nature gave us a break, and we ended up having a great day boating and fishing. ¬†And by fishing, I mean the guys fished and the girls read a book. ūüôā

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Today, it was back to reality.  And things for us are about to get REAL.  We have to take one of the busiest streets in St. Louis to even get to a highway, and when school is in session, it literally doubles our commute time to work.  Welp, that time is now and the kiddos will be going back to school this week. Goodbye summer, hello road rage.

On that note, I came up with a Back to School Countdown workout! ¬†Do 10 reps of each move, then 9, then 8, and so on. ¬†If you’re feeling extra motivated, repeat until you can’t anymore!

Back to School Ladder Workout

For all of you teachers out there (shout out to my mom!), enjoy these last couple days of summer while they last! ūüôā

Most of the exercises are probably self explanatory, but here is a link to the Ball Jack Knifes, in case that one throws you for a loop.

Peanut Butter Granola

I took Sunday off from working out, so I wanted to make sure my workout on Monday made up for the Oreo Cheesecake I made and ate at our Memorial Day weekend BBQ.  I was pretty tired afterwards, so I think it was a success!

Run

 

I think all of the exercises are pretty self-explanatory, but here’s the step-by-step instructions for a Stability Ball Jack Knife, in case you aren’t familiar.

Step 1:  Start in straight arm plan position, feet on the stability ball

Step 2:  Using your core, pull your knees towards your chest, keeping your back as level as possible

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After our workout, I decided to make some homemade granola for the week. ¬†I found this recipe on Pinterest (where I get SO many of my recipes lately) and had to give it a try. ¬†Turned out to be another Pinterest success! ¬†This would be delicious in Greek yogurt for an added crunch. ¬†I have found the problem with most granola is that it is high in calories and fat, so this seemed like a better-for-you version, plus anything homemade is better because you eliminate all of those ingredients no one can pronounce. ūüôā

The original recipe can be found here, at Shape.com.

PB Granola

Ingredients:
Makes four ¬ľ c servings
2 tbsp. creamy peanut butter
2 tbsp. honey
¬ľ tsp. cinnamon
¬ľ tsp. vanilla extract
1 c. oats

Directions:
Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Spray cookie sheet (or foil) with non-stick cooking spray and set aside. Combine peanut butter and honey in a bowl and microwave until peanut butter melts (approximately 20 seconds). Stir.

Stir cinnamon and vanilla into peanut butter and honey mixture. Add oats and stir until oats are completely covered in peanut butter mixture. Spread out oat mixture onto prepared cookie sheet and bake for 7 -8 minutes until granola is slightly browned. Let cool until granola is crunchy.

Full Body Circuit Workout

For those of you who don’t know me, I thoroughly despise going to the gym in the evenings, and would MUCH prefer getting my butt out of bed at 5am, if only to beat the after-work crowd. ¬†Plus, I like the feeling of starting my day with a workout. ¬†I feel more refreshed and it’s nice to get it over with, because usually the last thing I want to do when I leave work is go to the gym. ¬†Couch and my DVR, yes please!

Anyway, I decided to accompany Matt to the gym after work the other day. ¬†The ONE bonus of breaking my routine is that at least I get in a little more face time with my husband. ūüôā ¬†After a 10min warm-up on the stair climber, I completed the workout below. ¬†Enjoy!

Full Body Dumbbell Circuit Workout

Man Maker

Step 1:  With weights in hand, squat down and jump legs back to plank position

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Step 2:  Row one arm at a time

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Step 3:  Jump legs back in and up to squat position, weights on shoulders

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Step 4:  Thrust weights above head

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Leg Lifts

Step 1:  Lay flat on the ground, abs pulled in and back flat against the floor.  You can place your hands under your hips for additional control.

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Step 2:  Keeping your back against the floor, use your core to bring your legs up, perpendicular to the floor

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Single Leg Squats

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Upper Russian Twist

Step 1:  Start with shoulder blades on stability ball, arms straight above your body

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Step 2:  Keeping your hips level, rotate your upper body to one side, then the other

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Sumo Squat to High Pull

(I usually use a kettlebell for this exercise, but since I didn’t have one handy, I used a dumbbell)

Step 1:  Start with your feet wider than your hips, toes turned out

Step 2: Squat and bring the weight up to chest level as you stand

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180 Burpees

Step 1:  Start in a squat position

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Step 2:  Jump and do a 180 degree turn, landing again in a squat position

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Step 3:  Place your hands on the floor and jump your legs back into a straight arm plank position

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Step 4:  Come back up to a squat position, then repeat

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Up Down Planks (Plank Push-Ups)

Step 1:  Start on your elbows in plank position

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Step 2:  Push up, one hand at a time, until you are in straight arm plank position

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Step 3: Return to starting position, one arm at a time

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Hand Release Push Ups

Standard push-up, but bring chest all the way to the ground, bring hands off the ground and then push up to starting position

 

Piloga Rookie

Last night, I decided to be adventurous and try a “Piloga” class at my local gym. ¬†Piloga is supposed to be a combination of Pilates and Yoga, neither of which I have done before. ¬†With all of the issues I have been having with my hamstrings, I decided I would like to try to get into yoga, and I thought the addition of Pilates would make for a challenging, yet low-impact, workout. ¬†This particular class was a little slow for my liking and didn’t incorporate as much Pilates as I had hoped (a lot of breathing and self-reflection, which I think I am a little too high strung for)….let’s just say I’m not convinced, but I’m not totally opposed either! ¬†I actually think a regular yoga/Pilates class would be very beneficial to my overall health, I think I just need to find the right class. ¬†It might just be a little trial and error for now!

Although last night’s workout was a bit of a bust, I did, however, get a great workout in this morning! ¬†I wanted to get some good cardio in, but without the usual running routine. ¬†I started with a 10min¬†warm up¬†on the elliptical, and then got to work on the ladder workout below. ¬† It ended up being a pretty good full-body routine, with more abs than I expected, and my heart rate was up the entire time. ¬†After I was finished, I realized I ended up doing 210 situps! ¬†Kettlebell swings also work the core….so I will probably be feeling that tomorrow. ūüôā

Cardio Ladder