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Sunday, March 10, 2013

Waging a brutal war...against SUGAR!


My sugar addiction has reached an all-time high. I mean I’m a fitness professional for heaven’s sake! I know how to eat healthy. I do eat healthy. It’s just that darn white hussy in powdered form that I cannot, cannot, cannot say no to.

Sugar is poison in many ways and nothing that I need to be a slave to. So, quite simply I’m quitting the stuff. I’m going cold-turkey.

I am launching a 6-week war against sugar! I want you to join me, because I can’t do it alone. Here’s the plan, it’s simple really:

No dessert for 6 weeks. Period. I can eat fruit, honey, agave nectar (naturally occurring sugar), but cakes, cookies, brownies and candy are out.

If I can do it, I get to buy a new pair of Nike trainers (my other addiction).

There are some rules and parameters that I will outline in a minute, but this is the core of the plan. Skip the sugar. Get shoes! I like that.

The Steps:

1) Clear the Sugar clutter!
Ok, so first thing is first. I need to clear my house of desserts, treats and temptation. On Sunday night (tonight), I’m going to pack it all up in a box and send off to Ad Man’s office. Done. Out of sight, out of mind.

2) Plan for a Treat
In my plan, I’m allowing for TWO special occasions in which I am allowed to eat a dessert. These occasions would include birthdays for immediate family (self, hubby, kids), wedding anniversary, huge news (i.e., promotion.), etc. I’m going to allocate my two special occasions as Easter (March 31) and Ad Man’s Bday (April 13). If you set those in stone (and on the calendar), then you can plan for it. Look forward to it.

3) Reward myself weekly
At the end of each week, I will reward myself with something. Map out your own plan to fit you, but here is what I’m going to do:

Week 1 – Amazingly luxurious bath with some new fun bubble bath
Week 2 – Date night! Get a sitter and go out with hubby!!!
Week 3 – Girls’ Night Dinner!
Week 4 – Manicure
Week 5 – New workout outfit
Week 6 – New Nike trainers!!!

4) Equip yourself with alternates to sweet treats
I have several yummy non-sugar treats that should help curb my sweet tooth without breaking my resolve. Like my banana ice cream recipe. Click here for that. I’ll post a few others throughout the 6 weeks.

5) Motivational Quotes/Pictures
Whether it’s motivational quotes or a picture of a bikini posted on your refrigerator, motivation WILL be necessary. My friend Jill pulled a bunch of quotes and they are awesome. I will also share these throughout the 6 weeks.

Ok, so what are we talking here? What CAN we have?
So oodles of things have sugar in them. Naturally occurring sugar is not bad. It’s just the refined processed garbage that is! There are some things that pass the natural sugar rule:
  • Fruit
  • Flavored Greek yogurt
  • Healthy muffins (think oatmeal blueberry muffin)
  • Cocoa powder (unsweetened)
  • Natural sweeteners (Agave nectar, honey)
  • All-natural coffee creamers (in moderation)

And here is the no-no list.
No cake
No cookies
No brownies
No candy
No ice cream
No pie
No muffins topped with granules of sugar (ugh…I know they are SO yummy)
No chocolate
No chocolate croissants
No slushies
No milkshakes
No doughnuts
No pudding
No dessert
No popsicles. Fudgsicles or any other type of sicle.
No artificial sweeteners (no splenda, equal, etc.)

It is going to be hard. It will take resolve. It will take self-control. If it doesn’t challenge you, it won’t change you.

I hope to beat my sugar addiction and feel better. Cleaner. Healthier. And maybe I’ll lose 5 pounds in the process.

Are you up for the challenge??? Comment here and let me know you are on-board!! I’m going to give everyone who joins us an accountability partner! We are in this TOGETHER!!!!!

Join us!

Thursday, January 31, 2013

Big Game doesn't have to mean big diet killer!


One of my favorite, favorite, favorite Holidays is upon us – Super Bowl Sunday! Ok, I like football, but more in the I-like-entertaining-and-football-brings-people-together sort of way, not in the touchdown-dance-never-miss-a-game-actually-paid-attention-to-my-fantasty-football-team kind of way. The reason Super Bowl is so lovely to me is that it marks the end of football season and means that Spring is right around the corner AND that Sundays can again be spent at the park with my husband and kids – instead of scheduled around the Cowboys or Steelers or Green Bay…

Oy!

Did I tell you that my husband actually burned his Romo jersey after they lost in the playoffs several years ago. Yes, as in lighter to jersey. I was like “I bought you that jersey ding-dong.” But you know, all in the name of football. Right.

Ok, so back to the point – Super Bowl Sunday is here!! I usually prepare some light snacky type dishes for the big game, but haven’t shared the wealth on the health.

One of my fabulous boot campers, Jenai, was wondering if I had any light Super Bowl snack suggestions. And I said, of course I do. So, I got out the old blogger pen to share makeovers for a few Big Game favorites. But here’s the deal, don’t tell anyone! Keep it a secret and I guarantee those football husbands (or fiancés or boyfriends) won’t know the difference. [Insert evil laughter here].

7-Layer Dip > 7th Heaven Dip
Ok, this one is easy! Substitute all the bad stuff with lighter good stuff! Still delish, still low-cal and totally full of fiber.

First layer – Combine refried black beans (you can get fat-free canned versions, preferably “spicy”), 4 scallions sliced, ½ cup salsa, ½ tsp. cumin, ½ tsp chili powder and ¼ cup pickled jalapeno slices, chopped. Spread in bottom of a 2-quart microwave-safe dish and microwave until beans are hot.

Second Layer – Reduced Fat Cheese. Sprinkle sparingly on top of beans, then microwave again until the cheese is slightly melty. And for heaven’s sake, please don’t use fat-free cheese. Probably the worst rubbery substance ever made!

Third Layer – Light (or fat-free) Sour Cream. Spread evenly over melty cheese.

Fourth Layer – Romaine Lettuce (chopped). Sprinkle across.

Fifth Layer – Black Olives. Sprinkle.

Sixth Layer – Avocado (1 medium chopped). Sprinkle on top.

Seventh Layer – Pico De Gallo (1 cup). Spread on top.

Garnish with cilantro to make it extra fancy. Serve with baked tortilla chips, carrots and celery sticks.

Spinach artichoke dip > Creamy Spinach Dip

Skip the mayo, full fat sour cream and stomach-ache inducing fat. Instead try:

Small shallot, peeled
5-ounce can water chestnuts, rinsed
1/2 cup reduced-fat cream cheese, (Neufchâtel)
1/2 cup low-fat cottage cheese
1/4 cup nonfat plain yogurt
1 TBS lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon salt
Freshly ground pepper, to taste
6-oz. baby spinach
2 tablespoons chopped fresh chives

Pulse shallot and water chestnuts in a food processor until coarsely chopped. Add cream cheese, cottage cheese, yogurt, lemon juice, salt and pepper and pulse until just combined. Add spinach and chives and pulse until incorporated.
Pizza > Whole Grain Pizza
You can make lots of lovely pizzas at home with lower fat cheese, whole grain crust, grilled chicken and oodles of veggies. But if you are not into the do-it-yourselfness of that, you can order a healthier delivery kind from Pizza Hut. They allow you to go light on the cheese, choose a whole grain crust and go veggie crazy. Do this online, too, and you are cutting the lion’s share of calories. And for heaven’s sake, PLEASE skip the pepperoni. I can’t think of anything worse for you – processed, oily, fatty, blech!

Wings > BBQ Chicken Tenders

1 cup prepared barbecue sauce
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
2 tablespoons honey
1 1/2 pounds chicken tenders (see Note)
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
2 large eggs
1 3/4 cups coarse dry breadcrumbs, preferably whole-wheat
Olive oil or canola oil cooking spray

Combine barbecue sauce, mustard and honey in a large bowl. Set aside 1/2 cup of the sauce in a small bowl. Cut any large chicken tenders in half lengthwise, then add all the tenders to the large bowl with the remaining sauce; stir to coat. Marinate in the refrigerator for 30 minutes to 1 hour.

Preheat oven to 450°F. Coat a large rimmed baking sheet with cooking spray.

Combine flour, salt and pepper in a shallow dish. Lightly beat eggs in another shallow dish. Place breadcrumbs in a third shallow dish. Coat each tender in flour, shaking off any excess. Dip in egg and let any excess drip off. Then roll in the breadcrumbs, shaking off any excess. Place the tenders on the prepared baking sheet. Generously coat both sides of each tender with cooking spray.

Bake for 10 minutes. Turn each tender over and continue baking until the outside is crisp and the tenders are cooked through, about 10 minutes more. Serve with the reserved sauce for dipping.

You want a cocktail, you say?
Go skinny with my margarita recipe, find it here. Or buy Skinny Girl Margaritas (already pre-mixed with alcohol). Love this stuff. You can buy just at just about any liquor store. But please ladies, it’s Sunday night and you have work or run after kids (and weigh-in) on Monday!

You want more?
Other good options = guacamole or hummus with veggies or whole grain crackers, popcorn tossed with cayenne pepper or turkey tacos with fresh pico, guac and corn tortillas.

I have a SWEET tooth
Me too. I have a raging sweet tooth in fact. My naked stretchers know all about that, though! Ok, for our sweet tooths (teeth) – whichever is more grammatically correct – why not try my favorite banana ice cream with chocolate chips and strawberries and graham crackers for dipping. Get the recipe here.

Or try this EPIC avocado chocolate pudding. Recipe here. Really? Divinely delicious. Just replace the maple syrup with honey.

Enjoy!
Ok. Enjoy the big game. Enjoy the party. And don’t drink so many skinny margaritas that you actually stretch naked. No one wants to see that at the Super Bowl party. That would be awkward.




Certain recipes inspired from Eatingwell.com and AnEdibleMosaic.com Picture from Google.com.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Thankful

As I dig out from what could quite possibly be the world's WORST cold, I had to miss Boot Camp this morning. Ugh. I hate that. My sister, did an awesome job, though, as the sole sister in Fit Sisters. I know she gave the girls a fab workout.

As I sprawled in bed, trying to sleep and not think about all the ninja jumps and burpees they were doing without me, I got all sentimental about the journey leading me to start my own fitness business. Maybe it was the fever or maybe the lack of sleep with two kids who are up more times each night than I care to share, but I was all in tears. Big sloppy wet tears.

I just felt an overwhelming sense of thankfulness for all that I have been given, been exposed to and the people who have believed in me along the way!

One person, really stuck out in my mind as the one who got my foot in the door with boot camp, Christa Mills (my first manager at 24 Hour Fitness).

So, I was totally this kickboxing-and-dance-only girl until Christa suggested that I teach boot camp. I mean I was the girl who was all hips shaky-shaky, not drop and give me 20 until your arms are shaky-shaky.

But Christa is this awesome, totally buttoned up girl (and so encouraging), so I said "what the heck." She believed in me and assigned me a 6 am class at 24 Hour Fitness. {Wow. Ummm that was early for me. At the time I did not have kids and was more of a sleep until the last possible minute before I had to get up for work kinda person.} But I committed.

Fake it, 'til you make, right? I asked the google for help as I planned for my class. I put together a really intense first workout with lots of wind sprints, a solid section of stations and a bunch of strength moves.

After I taught that first class and people said "holy cow, that blonde chick was hard!!" I was hooked.

P.S. my first class, I wore hot pink camo cargo pants and an itty bitty hot pink bra top. I thought I looked all boot campy and tough.

Anyway, in this month of thankfulness, I am thankful for Christa's encouragement and all the steps afterward at 24 Hour Fitness that led me to love that format and become confident in my abilities.

Thank you Christa and thank you 24 Hour Fitness!

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Avoiding an epic treat fail

Have you ever baked cookies, intending to eat 1, but instead eaten the whole lot of them?

No....Me neither. [insert awkward laugh and shifty lying eyes]

But if that ever did happen, you'd feel guilty, right? Like super guilty. So guilty that you decide to wash away your sorrows with more cookies. Ugh! Epic treat fail.

Well, I really wanted chocolate chips cookies today. Like fresh-baked. Like the delicious warm, gooey kind. So, I happened to stop by Target to grab a few grocery items and snagged some break-and-bake cookies.

After dinner, Big E and I broke off a few and plopped them into the oven. I put the rest in a ziploc bag and froze them.

We sat at the table together and share a few cookies and had milk (I had almond milk). It was a nice little moment too, sharing cookies with my first-born. He is getting so big!

So, I only ate 2 (and they were small). Hooray! Applause!

Ok, while not Earth-shattering it was a win in a lot of ways. I was able to portion control, baking a few, therefore not able to eat too many. And there weren't sweet treats tempting my son either.

He is notorious for having a treat at night and then demanding it for breakfast the next morning (ahem...temper tantrum style). But out of sight, out of mind for both of us!

 Just a tiny tip to get you one step closer to your goals in the health department. Or at least you aren't too many steps back.

Enjoy your evening Naked Stretchers!

Picture courtesy of Getty Images.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Boot Camp Sereis launching October 1

My sister, Leslie Hancock, and I are launching a new 6-week boot camp series starting October 1. It's a total body conditioning series that will guarantee you leap over plateaus, burn fat and tone up. We'd love for you to join us! It's a killer workout for a great price. Feel free to pass on to friends and family!

Here are the deets:

What:
Indoor Boot Camp Series 
featuring certified fitness instructors, Meghan Henderson 
& Leslie Hancock.

When:
October 1 - November 9 (Mondays, Wednesdays & Fridays), 5:45 AM

Where:
2129 N Josey Ln
Carrollton, TX 75006

Cost:
6 weeks (18 sessions) = $85

Details:
Total body toning and conditioning class for maximum weight loss 
and toning results. Measurements and weigh-ins on Mondays for accountability 
(optional). 6-week meal plan with recipes and calorie count included. No equipment needed other than a mat or towel for floor work.

You can contact me if your are interested or have questions by posting here or calling 214.708.4123. Please also visit 
facebook.com/FitSistersBootCamps

Naked Stretchers! Gotta do this!!!!

Friday, August 24, 2012

Healthy Grocery Shopping: Cool New App

God I love the grocery store. All those aisles of delicious possibilities. But it's somehow different with two kids in tow. I have approximately 20 minutes before there is a serious meltdown or I end up with a basket full of junk to appease my three-year old. Frustrating and a big suck on the 'ol wallet.

And not to mention that I don't have the time to investigate food labels to ensure that I'm feeding my family healthy foods. As a general rule, I don't buy anything unless it is organic or all-natural. Clean eating. I won't climb on my soap box in this post, but I blog more about clean eating and where to shop here.

Ok, back to my point. [Cue drum-roll]. There is a new site and app that takes the guesswork out of shopping. Not sure if that all-natural granola is really good for you? Well Fooducate.com allows you to scan the barcode on a food and then it generates a grade (like school). "A+" is awesome, F is run away bad. Then the app gives you healthier alternatives if the grade is no bueno.

How flipping cool is that?


The site also has a database of foods so that you can find the healthiest cereal, yogurt, snack, etc. for you.

Love. Love. LOVE.


The app is available for iPhone and Android. Plus visit the site and troll around a bit. It's fab!


Sunday, August 19, 2012

Think before you eat: 5 questions to ask yourself BEFORE eating anything

My Mom always told me to "think before I speak." And I think that simple lesson applies to what we consume, too. Here are five questions you should ask yourself BEFORE eating to avoid guilt, weight gain and diet derailment:

1) Am I really hungry? If yes, then eat. If no, then do another activity instead. Fold some laundry, take a shower, play with the kiddos. Whatever. Just avoid the kitchen if you aren't legitimately hungry.

The scale of 1-10 rule is perfect here. Ask yourself how hungry you are – 1 being not at all hungry (i.e., you just ate a full Blue Mesa Sunday brunch) and 10 being absolutely ravenous (like as in you might willingly eat brussel sprouts). If you are a 6-10 you should probably eat. If you are below that then distract yourself until you reach that point. 6-7 = a snack and 8-10 should require a meal.

Most nutritionists will tell you that you should let your hunger guide you when it comes to portion. Just because it is "snack time" doesn't mean you should eat. Eat when and if you are hungry.

2) If I eat this now, will I feel guilty in an hour? So often I convince myself I "need" a piece of chocolate, or a cookie or a handful of random snacks, when really it is a short-term buzz of delicious goodness followed by the "oh-dear-did-I-eat-that-crap" syndrome. Guilt is an icky feeling. Avoid it.

3) Is this going to fuel me until my next meal? In my opinion the best meal is a balance of fiber and protein. Fiber to keep you full and protein to fuel your body. I blog more about this here.

4) Would I be embarrassed if someone saw me eat this? Ok, this goes without saying, right? But think about it. I mean I would be embarrassed if someone saw me eating a sumo-wrestler-sized bowl of ice cream smothered in caramel, chocolate, cookies, whipped cream and a cherry on top. Imagine the horror if I had gooey treat dripping all over my face. I mean as good as that dessert sounds, I would hate for someone to see me devour that. I would be ok with someone seeing me treat myself to a small bowl of frozen yogurt with some crushed oreos. That is a respectable treat. Sumo-style no.

5) How does this rank against my overall daily food intake? I am not a proponent of cutting any food groups. I think you need all things within the food pyramid to lead a healthy lifestyle and maintain your weight. So, breads, meats, dairy, etc. are ok in my book. However, there is a delicate balance of foods each day.

For example, you shouldn't never go on a carb binge, even if they are all healthy carbs. A day of wheat toast, oatmeal, bran muffin, turkey sandwich, wheat pasta and crackers, while full of fiber, is not balanced. Too many carbs lead to bloating, ultimate weight gain (or no weight loss) and probably hunger. Think about an alternating approach to meals and snacks. If you had toast for breakfast, then have hummus and carrots for a snack. If you ate wheat pasta for lunch, balance that with a more protein-rich dinner of chicken, sauteed spinach and quinoa.I blog more about carbs here.

The big lesson: Think before you eat!

Stretch on my gorgeous friends!

Image courtesy of Getty Images.

Saturday, August 18, 2012

My hiatus from blogging is done.

What is plump, juicy, kissable and helps me lose weight? Why my beautiful baby girl, that's who! Elan Kathleen was born on June 4 at 8:17 am. She is a healthy girl weighing in at 7 lbs. 13 oz. She is delightful, smiley and sweeter than sugar (and I know sugar!)

Here she is at 2 weeks. Isn't she presh? Um, yes, I absolutely HAD to get her in a hot pink tutu and Etsy bow immediately. She is a party girl in training, afterall.

Ok, so now she is now 10 weeks old. I can't believe it!

It was rocky at first.

The dreaded word: Colic. She cried. And cried. And cried. But when she hit 7-8 weeks, she turned into this perfect, sweet amazing baby. She smiles, gurgles and coos all the time. I can tell she is going to be a chatter box like her Momma [insert smiley, winky face].

Oh and the weight loss thing. I am nursing and have lost all but 8 pounds :)

Hooray!

Well, I just had to catch you all up on my time away from you.

I missed you, you gorgeous thing. I can't wait to get back to my blogging duties.

Stay tuned for oodles of fresh content. Here is just a sampling of what you'll see:

1) Fit Clubs on MeetUp.com
2) CrossFit - holy crap will it kill you?
3) Getting your abs back after baby
4) Scheduling exercise with two kids
5) Sleep deprivation and its impact on weight gain
6) Raise a glass, not your weight - healthy alcoholic drinks
7) The scoop on boot camp
8) New classes features - I will take a bunch of different formats and blog about my thoughts
9) Delicious healthy recipes
10) My semi-vegan adventure

It's all coming your way, you fit thing!


Thursday, March 29, 2012

New Discovery: La Croix

I love fizzy drinks. Especially the way they tickle your nose. I mean a frosty root beer or diet dr pepper is just the most in my opinion.

But alas I have sworn off sodas off and on for years. I stopped drinking regular soda in high school to get "lose weight." Seriously? I was already skinny! Anyway the switch to diet happened at age 16 (right around when I stopped eating red meat).

Then I nixed any sodas when I was preggo and nursing E. I introduced them back into my diet very moderately afterwards and am now on the no soda bandwagon again with baby #2 cooking away.

The chemicals, aspartame and high fructose corn syrup just have me heading for the hills. Nothing good can come from those ingredients.

Ok, but I still miss a flavor to my drinks and of course the alluring fizz. I drink water like crazy and it gets boring. And there's just too much sugar in juice. So where does that leave me?

This weekend we were in Kansas for my gorgeous niece's christening and my sister-in-law introduced me to La Croix. Have you tried it? It's carbonated water and natural flavor in a soda can. That's it. All natural. No artificial sweeteners. No calories. No sodium. And it actually tastes yummy. It's a subtle flavor, but I get the fizz and it's not so ho-hum.

It comes in oodles of flavors. My favorite is the coconut one! Love, love, love!


Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Going Bananas!

Ok, so I've seen on Pinterest a couple times (and had a suggestion from my friend Katherine) to try making non-dairy ice cream from bananas. I was like yeah, yeah, I'm sure it just tastes like cold bananas.

Well, my mother-in-law and I had a discussion about going to get ice cream this past Sunday. We opted to save the calories and give this idea a try. We were skeptical to say the least.

All you do is slice a few bananas, freeze the slices and then blend up in a food processor.

And it makes ice cream? Really?

Well I am here to tell you that it is OMG delicious and actually gets the same texture as really thick ice cream! We added about a teaspoon of vanilla and a tablespoon of fat-free milk (just because we needed liquid to get the blender to work!)

You could totally add cocoa powder, strawberries, different types of extracts or even pureed veggies to make this delectable treat even more nutritious.


E gobbled it up too. He had no idea that this was not the calorie-ladened kind that he goes nutty for. Ha ha! Momma tricked him again. I'm going to mix up some more tonight for dessert and try adding some sweet potato or carrot to get some more veggies into E.

And did I mention that a bunch of bananas is pretty cheap, too? Love!

This is a MUST try for anyone who has a sweet tooth but doesn't need the calories. And ok, who really NEEDS extra calories from ice cream. Maybe some skinny little celebrity who is gaining weight for a movie role. But whatever.


Stretch on!
M

Friday, March 23, 2012

A worthy cupcake...

...well my dessert strike backfired, darn it. I had a doctor's appointment yesterday and have LOST weight. Seriously? They did a sonogram and baby is tracking with weight and size, so that is good. But bottom line you really shouldn't lose weight unless you are super sick (first trimester nausea) or started overweight (not me). Occasionally people lose weight during the last few weeks because they are too full of baby and just can't eat.

The doctor said to eat more. Sounds like a good problem, right? Well, I sort of felt all stressy about it. I don't want to eat the wrong things. I want to continue to eat healthfully, but I guess my little sweets indulgences aren't all bad.

So, I found a worthy cupcake. Metaphorically anyway. It took the form of a free chocolate chip cookie at Target. E and I both had one.

And onward through the remaining 11 weeks of my pregnancy I go – pausing occasionally for a cupcake along the way.



Photo courtesy of Dimples Cupcake Factory in Frisco (Frisco Town Square). My absolute FAVORITE cupcake shop ever! Beats Sprinkles, Cupcakery and the rest. You can check out their website here: http://www.dimplescupcakefactory.com/ Can't go wrong with the cookies and cream or wedding cake flavor. Absolute heaven!

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Dessert Strike

When someone tells you (pregnant or not), "wow you are huge!" that can't be well-received. Well, apparently baby girl has had quite a growth spurt over the past week and people have noticed. So, I decided to go on a dessert strike.

I really don't eat a bunch of junk food ever, but when preggo I let myself indulge a bit more in sweets. Well, to combat these comments (and my lowered self-esteem) in a constructive fashion I've decided to go on a sweets strike. Yes. Me, sweet tooth extraordinaire is avoiding sweets. I just have to do something that makes me feel in control of my increasing size, increasing discomfort and DECREASING self-image. So I am on day 7 of no sweets. The only thing I have had that might classify in that category is organic hazelnut granola with bits of dark chocolate. But I hardly consider that a dessert.

I am not decreasing calories, so don't worry. I am eating very healthfully - fruits, veggies, lean proteins, legumes and whole grains. Baby girl is getting everything she needs. What she doesn't need is unnecessary sugar.

How long will I carry on this little charade? Not sure. I suppose until a really worthy cupcake comes along.

I'll keep you posted.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Maternity Fitness clothes

When my workout clothes became a bit snug....ok a lot snug a month or so ago, I started to panic. For some reason I was able to wear almost all my stretchy workout clothes until month 9 when I was pregnant with E, but this little Vixen is making me large and in charge in lots of areas. Darn it.

Ok, so I love any good excuse to shop but I hated to spend money on maternity fitness-wear that I would only wear for 3 months or so. First of all, it's hard to find, and secondly it's expensive. Boo [insert sad face].

So, I started to get creative and came across some must-haves for pregnancy exercise:

Long and lean tank tops from Target
Love these! These little gems are only $7 at Target and come in lots of colors. They can work with a stretchy skirt or maternity jeans with fun accessories for outside of the gym to a lovely little workout top. And yes, I bought like 5. The bonus is that you can wear these after baby arrives, too. Hooray for multi-purpose tops! You can buy these tops here.

Nike Pro Fitness pants
The waistband is very forgiving for these pants. I actually had two pairs from pre-pregnancy that still fit! Plus I bought two more in a larger size for a little bit of extra comfort. They are designed to go underneath shorts or sweats, but I like them just as my single layer pants. And again, they will transition back with your body after baby is born.

Super supportive sports bra
This goes without saying. I blog about this here. But find a sports bra that will hold your ample girls tightly. Nothing is more uncomfortable than the boob bounce. Ugh. Fortunately I've been able to make most of my sports bras work. I have purchased a couple extra that I'll be able to use while nursing.

Hubby's shirts
Creativity and an empty wallet got the better of me. I decided it wasn't to my benefit to buy too much, so I re-purposed some items. I'm so green.

Ad man has some really cool dry-fit Nike shirts that I have now made mine for the duration of my pregnancy. Thanks Ad man!

Hubby's long shorts
And, he has some relatively cool athletic shorts that have made their way to cover my large derriere. Pair them with one of those long and lean tanks and a funky hat and you are one stylin' preggo lady!

Stretch on.
M

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Swimming and Pregnancy

Yep, I'm in my third trimester and really starting to feel heavy and achy. And I tend to moan and groan on occasion. This whole carrying a baby thing is a bit harder the second time around when you are running around after a toddler. And not to mention I'm three years older than the last time...

But I'm keeping as active as possible – still teaching 5 classes a week (modifying the intense bits) and trying to move as much as possible each day.

This weekend we traveled with Ad Man to lovely Tulsa. Yes, Tulsa. Ad Man had a work obligation and we just went along for the ride since he has been traveling quite a bit lately. I had no interest in spending another weekend by ourselves.

Well, it was not the beach vacay I've been dreaming of, but we managed to have a good time. The best part was the indoor hotel pool. E and I had quite a fun time swimming and splashing. And it was awesome for my big, preggo self. I felt less swollen, less puffy and generally rejuvenated from the swim. I of course played with E and then while he was bobbing around with his floaties, I did kicks along the side, ran from one end of the pool to the other ("chasing" E) and bounced around. The water made my belly feel so much lighter.

I didn't take any pics to share of me in my oh-so-flattering maternity swimsuit. Darn it. Sorry.

But I will be swimming as much as possible for the next 2 1/2 months, I think. Entertainment for E and relief for me. 

Stretch on.

M

Friday, March 16, 2012

10 Things Every Woman Needs in Her Closet


There are some key pieces that every woman should have in her closet, and I'm not talking about that little black dress. I'm talking about the most critical elements to your fitness wardrobe.

As a Mom, you sometimes find that you have only 30 minutes to do an in-home workout while the kiddos are napping. Or Grandma swings by for a visit and you have a few hours to go to the gym and the grocery store (what a treat!) I find that I need the right things on hand so that my workouts are as successful as possible.

Ok, so here's the list:

1)     Two pairs of training shoes – Training shoes can easily and comfortably take you from the lateral movements and athletic bursts of boot camp (like Nike Training Club) to the twists and shimmies of Zumba. They are light-weight, have great traction on the bottom and are designed for multiple fitness formats. Plus they are just cute. My favorites right now are the Nike Free TR Twist shoes.
 
They are just beyond in my opinion. You can buy them here.

Ok and why two pairs? Well, shoes get sweaty. And it's best to let them breathe in between workouts. If you alternate pairs, they won't wear out as quickly and won't be stinky. Ugh. Nothing is worse than stinky gym shoes. And why men like to leave their gym shoes IN the gym bag IN the car so that it stinks to high heaven, I will never know.
2) Hand weights
I talk extensively about the importance of adding resistance workouts to your routine. The more muscle you have, the more efficiently you burn fat. And having these little fitness gems on hand at all times makes working in the workout much easier. Hmmm...I like that. Work in the Workout. Ok, anyway. I have light and medium hand weights under my bed (5 pounds and 8 pounds sets). If they are in your house, there is no excuse to take 30 minutes before bed or first thing in the morning to do some reps of curls, squats, overhead presses, lunges, etc. You can buy some cute ones here.


3) Yoga mat
Whether you are a Yogi or not, a Yoga mat is a must. Roll it out and do abs exercises at home. I have loads of awesome exercises on a previous post here about ab exercises. Take it to the gym and use it instead of the...ahem...well-loved mats. Plus it sort of makes you cooler to have a Yoga mat. You never know when you might decide to take a Bikram yoga class. I haven't ever taken one, but hear they are amazing. It's on my fitness bucket list. After baby arrives, I might have to give it a go. You can buy a super cute yoga mat here.



4) Flattering workout pants
You gotta find pants that hold it in and make you feel confident when you hit the gym. The Nike Legend pants are probably the BEST pants that have ever covered my (now amply pregnant bottom). They make your butt look cute with this V-shaped stitching,  plus they don't push up your love handles. I mean not that you have any... They come in various lengths and colors. You can buy them here.


5) A super supportive sports bra
I talk about sports bras in a previous post. Check it out here. I'm normally not a girl who has large boobs to hold tight, but pregnancy (and then nursing) makes them large. Your workout will be more comfortable (and thus you'll be more successful at reaching your goals) if the girls are held tightly!

6) Black and white ankle socks
Now this is just a fashion must! Most importantly ankle socks are the ONLY way to go at the gym. The only exception is if you are wearing funky tall socks (up to your knees). I've been known to wear cool striped socks or retro tall gym socks (circa 1970). But the 1980's mid-calf slouch socks are O-U-T! Please don't wear them. If you could see me, I'm making a grimace and have my hands on my hips.

Ok, now that this point is clear, match your socks to your shoe color. If your shoes are black (which are wildly cool, here's a pic of some of my black shoes)



then your socks should be black.

If they are mostly colored or white-based



then white socks are appropriate.

7) A few funky accessories
You dress the part when it comes to the gym. If you dress in old, grubby T-shirts with holes or dirty, grass-stained kicks, then you certainly can't feel like the amazing, fit, hot athlete that you are! I love to have a few funky, fun accessories to spruce up any workout outfit. My faves include a funky hat like this one (P.S. I'm 5 months preggo here)...


Fun socks


Crazy gel bracelets

Belly chain (ahem…definitely sported this pre-baby #2)

Grafitti top (courtesy of Feelgoodstyle.com)



You get the idea. It makes you feel all fashion-ey even at the gym.

8) Various solid colored workout tops
I love to wear all black because of it’s obvious slimming effect, but I also love bright bold colors to keep me upbeat and rockin’ my workout.

9) A heart rate monitor/calorie counter
You can’t know how many calories you burn unless they are accurately tracked via a heart rate monitor. The machines at the gym are far from accurate and they don’t take into account your individual stats and heart rate. I talk about this more in this blog post, click here. Or here. I SO want a Nike+ FuelBand (hint hint Nike!)

10) A really awesome exercise DVD
There are oodles and oodles of these from Turbo Jam to P90X. It’s like having a trainer in your home. If you find yourself in a pinch and unable to get to the gym, pop in a DVD and get rockin’. Plus the kids will think it’s fun to watch you wiggle around.

If you don't have these items in your closet (or drawer or cabinets), then you must run out and purchase them immediately. Your fitness success depends on it! Plus it's a great excuse to go shopping.

Nakedly Yours,
M