Stir Crazy

I know a lot of you all are snowed in and perhaps not able to make it to the gym and are bored out of your minds.  Well, don't let that be an excuse to not workout.  You can get in a great workout almost anywhere with little to no equipment.  Trust me, I have been doing this type of workout for awhile and especially now when my baby is napping or most recently when we were rained in, here in Charleston. The streets were flooded and snakes were venturing above ground, and if you know anything about me, it's that I'm deathly afraid of snakes!   I'll kill a spider with my bare hand, swim with sharks but put a snake in my facinity and I honestly cry with fear. Needless to say, I stayed away from the outdoors for awhile. Here's my workout that can be done indoors with the smallest of space and minimal equipment....also I've been searching for new and creative ways to play with Claudia because I'm not the only one going stir crazy. Below the workout you'll find a few things she loves to do that can be made from things lying around your house. 

STIR CRAZY AB WORKOUT  

Depending on the amount of time you have choose 5 to 10 ab exercises and repeat them twice. Do each move for 30 seconds and then quickly move onto 30 seconds of cardio of your choice, I like jumping rope with high knees.  You can download an interval timer app that you'll set to 30 seconds  work, 10 seconds rest for 10 to 20 sets, less or more depending on your fitness level. Sometimes I do longer intervals but 30 seconds is good place to start, plus it's so short that you can really push yourself to the limit with each move. Don't quit until the bell rings! 

Here are a few examples of some abdominal exercises you can do: 

  • Plank (Plank Jack, Plank with side kick, Plank March.....)
  • Bicycles 
  • Suitcase Crunches
  • Russian Twists 
  • Side Plank hip Dip 
  • Pike Up 
  • Leg Raises 

Here's a list of cardio options that you can do anywhere:

  • Jumping rope (pretend if you don't have one)
  • High knees
  • Butt Kicks
  • jump squats
  • Burpees
  • Jumping plyo lunges
  • Step ups ( when I'm at home I use my coffee table) 
  • Toe taps (I use the edge of my bed or sofa) 

STIR CRAZY BABY ACTIVITIES

BOTTLE OF ROCKS - Take an old water bottle and fill it with rocks or small pebbles or marbles that I had leftover from a flower arrangement. I then crazy glued the lid on and watched Claudia shake that bottle to death. Being loud and ruckus is something a baby must do! haha

DISCOVERY BOTTLE- aka the Black Sea. Similar to the bottle of rocks, you'll need another old water bottle but this time fill it partially full with water and the rest with oil now here comes the fun part, pick a food coloring of your choice and add a few drops. Seal the lid on with some more crazy glue and slowly a sea will appear as you tilt the bottle side to side. It's soothing to look at and as Claudia gets older it will teach her a little science ;)

WATER PLAY  - Claudia is like most babies and absolutely loves her tubby time so I wanted to find another way for her to enjoy her love of water besides getting in the bathtub every evening.  I gathered up bowls, basins and bins and filled them with water and bath toys.  I would definitely recommend keeping this activity to a tiled area like the kitchen or bathroom where you can put down towels because let me tell you, Claudia splashed and splashed till her heart was content and diaper was soaked from the outside in which is usually quite the opposite! 

POTS AND PANS BAND  - This is a great activity for when you've got to get dinner on the table and can't continue to entertain the baby.  Search your drawers for wooden spoons, spatulas, bowls, pans and Claudia's favorite, a wire whisk and let the noise, whoops I mean, music begin! 

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TUPPERWARE DRAWER - another great activity to keep your tike busy so you can cook or tidy the kitchen is let them play in the tupperware drawer.  Most parents have the kitchen on lock down with every safety latch and gate you can think of, but it's smart to leave at least one drawer, cabinet or cupboard open to your child where they can explore kid friendly kitchen items such as tupperware.  Claudia loves pulling everything out and putting it back in and to my husbands dismay mixing all the lids up so its an absolute mess, but honestly who cares....I've got way more important stuff to worry about then my completely unorganized tupperware drawer and it makes her surprisingly happy. 

SOCK SORTING - similar to the tupperware drawer trick, but this one is when you just need a few more minutes to get dressed or find the right pair of shoes and the baby is being less than patient.  The sock drawer offers ball like objects to toss and sort, and if your like Claudia she sits in front of them tossing socks over her shoulder, huffing and puffing, like she's working so hard.  It is the absolute cutest thing. 

SHEET SWING - My mom typically changed the sheets every Saturday and would come in while saturday morning cartoons were on, but I didn't mind the interruption because that meant I got to swing in the sheets! My mom would grab one end and my brother or Dad the other end while i laid in the center of a fitted or top sheet and got swung in my own personal hammock.  It's simple, but fun and Claudia loves it too. 

AGILITY COURSE - Once Claudia started crawling at 7 months I thought it would be fun to create a little agility course to help her learn how to maneuver over or under things just like an adult agility course but of course, less dangerous and she wasn't racing anyone but herself.  I laid out pillows, stacked and slanted with a few stuffed animals and I later incorporated a tube my husband, Brent got Claudia for christmas that she tunnels through like a champ. It's all a ton of fun!

Have fun and stay warm out there!

Nutty Breakfast Cookies

I know I look like something out of a horror movie, but I'm loving these tissue masks I picked up at CVS.  They are cheap and just feel good.  I have dry skin, but in the winter it feels extra thirsty therefore before I applied my tissue mask I used another one of my new favorite CVS purchases, Freeman Facial Polishing Mask with Charcoal and Sugar to slough off any dead skin and grime to really drink in the tissue mask.  I love to use a good exfoliator to give my skincare products the time to really absorb overnight. So, while my cookies baked I took a few minutes to unwind and soak in the goodness from my masks.

I know I look like something out of a horror movie, but I'm loving these tissue masks I picked up at CVS.  They are cheap and just feel good.  I have dry skin, but in the winter it feels extra thirsty therefore before I applied my tissue mask I used another one of my new favorite CVS purchases, Freeman Facial Polishing Mask with Charcoal and Sugar to slough off any dead skin and grime to really drink in the tissue mask.  I love to use a good exfoliator to give my skincare products the time to really absorb overnight. So, while my cookies baked I took a few minutes to unwind and soak in the goodness from my masks.

Who am I kidding these cookies can be breakfast cookies, snack cookies, anytime cookies for whenever you have a sweet tooth and are trying to stick to a healthy lifestyle. This is a modified recipe I found in a Paleo cookbook but after making several batches and feeling like they still tasted "really healthy" I think Ive finally come up with the right mix of ingredients. I added chocolate protein powder to this recipe because what's better than peanut butter and chocolate?  I told Brent one of my biggest fears was having Claudia be allergic to peanut butter I'm not sure I could kick my habit😝 thank goodness she is nut allergy free!  Hooray! You can use any nut butter you desire, almond, cashew, etc. I chose peanut butter because it was what was in the fridge. I actually used a combo of two peanut butters. First I used Low Sodium Better'n Peanut Butter which has way less calories, sugar and sodium than regular peanut butter but because it doesn't quite taste the real thing (it's good don't get me wrong, but I wanted some additional crunch) I added a little Trader Joe's Peanut Butter with Flax & Chia seeds in it for some additional nutrition (FYI, Trader Joe's carries both peanut butters). Heck yeah!  I hope you enjoy these as much as Claudia and I do! 

INGREDIENTS:  

  • 2 bananas, mashed
  • 3/4 cup nut butter (I used 1/2 cup of Better'n Peanut Butter and 1/4 cup of Trader Joe's Peanut Butter with Flax & Chia Seeds) 
  • 1/3 cup coconut flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tbsp cinnamon  
  • 1/2 cup almond milk 
  • 1 packet of Isagenix chocolate protein powder (vanilla is good too)
  • 1/3 cup of Chocolate chips (just a little to make the cookies feel decadent) 
  1. Preheat oven to 350°
  2. In a bowl, use a fork to mash the bananas
  3. Next add the remaining ingredients and mix well. 
  4. Cover two cookie sheets with parchment paper and spoon heaping tablespoons of the cookie batter onto the sheets, placing about an inch apart. 
  5. Bake for 25 minutes

Makes approximately 20 cookies

If you are a big fan of pumpkin like I am, try this version of my breakfast cookies as well. It's basically the same recipe as above with just 3 different ingredients, so follow the above instructions. 

Pumpkin Breakfast Cookies 

  • 1 banana
  • 1/2 cup canned organic unsweetened pumpkin  
  • 3/4 cup nut butter 
  • 1/3 cup coconut flour 
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda 
  • 1/2 tbsp of cinnamon
  • 1/2 tbsp of pumpkin pie spice
  • 1/2 cup almond milk 
  • 1 packet of Isagenix vanilla protein powder

 

 

Progress Report

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I haven't blogged a lot lately or made a lot of posts simply because I've been busting my butt! My new definition of a hustler is moms and dads that work hard, play hard and make stuff happen. That's exactly what I've been doing making sh happen. When I'm not training my clients, washing bottles, doing laundry, making playtime with Claudia not only fun but educational, I squeeze in my workouts. I used to have the luxury of going to the gym whenever I wanted to and hopping on the treadmill or other cardio machine and deciding what workout I wanted to do that day. Now, I must hit the ground running and hit the gym, living room or park as soon as her little head hits the crib mattress but the best thing about working hard and hustling is it pays off! I have now lost close to 60 pounds since giving birth to Claudia, who turned 8 months September 16th. At times I thought I would never lose the weight. Several weeks would go by and I wouldn't see the scale budge, and let me tell you that was devastating. I was working so hard, exercising, eating clean, drinking tons of water and then, nothing. So I decided to do what I pretty much never recommend to a client, I stopped weighing myself. The numbers on the scale were a deterrent rather than a motivator. The lack of movement at my weekly weigh-ins, despite all my best efforts, were so damaging to my self esteem that it would plummet to an all time low and I would wonder who am I if I'm not fit, healthy and happy Monica.  The realization came to me again as it did with pregnancy, that my body is going to do what it needs to, in order to provide sustenance for my baby and keep us both healthy. Therefore, until my hormones got back to normal I might as well quit upsetting myself on a weekly basis and do my best to set negative thoughts aside and enjoy this time with our baby.  

My husband and mom always assured me that I could and would lose every last pound. My husband would help prepare healthy meals but when he is not around or I simply don't have a moment to spare my handy shakes and bars keep me full and healthy. Parents know it's hard to find time in the day to fix a meal when you've got work to do and children to look after or in my case a baby crawling at 7 months that won't sit still. My trick is to fix 2 shakes at a time so I've got one for breakfast and another on hand with my shaker tin so I never walk around hungry because when I get too hungry that's when bad decisions are made.  My shakes are a lifesaver, I can play with Claudia or nurse her while I drink my shake, without having to sit down with a fork and knife.   My mom and husband would also both watch Claudia so that I could go workout or better yet, take a nap.

I'm 99% positive that the sleep deprivation was also another reason the pounds wouldn't dissolve. When you are sleep deprived your body goes into a survival mode similar to when you aren't eating enough. I felt it was retaining everything in order to have enough energy to function.

Long story short, weight loss takes time, proper eating, rest and exercise and everyone needs a cheering section!  Even weight-loss can't be done alone.  They say it takes a village to raise a child and the same goes for weight loss. 

The “I’ll Start Tomorrow” Excuse

We wake up in the morning all excited and shiny eyed to start our ”new” diets, we spend the whole day dodging all the things we essentially think are ”bad” for us, only to then find ourselves stuffing our faces with all of the wrong foods only a couple hours later while we think to ourselves, “I’ll just start tomorrow.”

Tomorrow would be a great idea, if we stuck to it. 

Let's change the way we think and see food.  What if you made sensible, healthy food choices every-time? Even when you were out or celebrating a special occasion. Sounds easy right ? Well …. It really is that easy.

You can make a huge difference to your body image in a few weeks of healthy eating and training hard – a few months can achieve the goals you have always wanted. It’s all about making conscious effort to pick the right foods that will compliment your training and fuel your body. By choosing healthier menu options & eating sensible portion sizes, with the combination of regular exercise everyday there is nothing standing in the way of you achieving your goals.

There’s a quote I love – ”Nothing worth doing is easy” – and this is true of any goal you aim for in life. There will be times when you feel like giving up, & that’s where I come in and my team. I'll be your very own cheerleader and my team can provide you with a support system that will motivate, encourage and keep you focused, driven and inspired to continue on your journey, all you have to do is set your goal and get involved!

So next time you are out grocery shopping, or eating out, ask yourself – does this food support my training and goals? Remember "A moment on the lips, forever on the hips"  I’m not saying this is going to be easy, but I promise you it will be worth it. 

Start Today – No Excuses

Just so you know…

  1. Just so you know trainers often don't want to go to the gym either. This morning I was feeling less then chipper and wanted to crawl back into bed. Daylight savings time has made the mornings darker and on this cool Friday the 13th I wanted to snuggle back up in my sheets but something pushed me on. I knew that if I just went to the gym even if it was just for a quick 30 minute workout I would feel so much better than I did when I woke up. And sure enough as I'm writing this and having just left the gym, I feel more awake and in a way better mood. I love getting my workout done in the morning because "life" doesnt get in the way. What I mean by that is often times as the day goes by more and more stuff comes up. Errands arise, children need to be dropped off and picked up from school, someone comes down with a cold and must go to the doctor, dinner needs to be fixed and by the time that's all done you're too tired to fit in a workout. So I say get in there this morning. Get in there before shit hits the fan and make time for yourself because often times no one else will. And if you need more of a reason to get moving in the A.M., a workout in the morning will read up your metabolism helping you burn more calories throughout your day... just so you know.