Go Green Get Fit – Week One

by Tiffany in Health & Healing

Week one of the Go Green Get Fit Challenge presented by Planet Shoes and the EcoMom Alliance officially starts today.

It is hot on the tail of one of my first timed and judged workouts (this past Thursday). It was a killer, especially since I am still not 100% after my recent cold (still congested and coughing) but it has really made me want to up my game. The workout rotated through 5 different exercises:

wallball -12 pound ball
push press – 45 pounds (for women)
box step up – 24 inch box
high pull – 45 pounds (for women)
calorie row

The idea is to do as many reps as possible within the span of one minute and then switch immediately to the next exercise (5 minutes of grueling work total). After all 5 were done we rested for one minute and then repeated this two more times, trying not to let our reps fall. You add up all your reps and your total is your score. I got a score of 205 and was pretty happy with that since I was still feeling puny and I was one of the only women (out of eight) who used the prescribed weight of 45 pounds. Most of the other women grabbed 35 pound barbells or lighter. They got more reps than me on the scoreboard but I lifted heavier weights.

After all was said and done I was VERY close to puking, which is a badge of honor in CrossFit but one I would rather not win truth be told. At any rate I am writing all this down so I can compare my score at a later date.

There was another killer workout today to get this challenge started right. Not sure if my huffing and puffing was the result of heavier weights or STILL being a little “off” after being sick. Warm up was 2 rounds sprints, high knees, butt kicks, shuffles, carioca, and high kicks. It was so muggy outside that this was no fun at all. CrossFit in the summer is turning out to be a bitch!

Skill/Strength was 5 rounds of 10 back squats (pictured above and demonstrated below) followed by band shuffles, going heavier after each round. I got up to 75 pounds of weight which bests my previous back squat weight by 5 pounds. I may have gone heavier but I had a partner and she was not able to lift heavier than 55 pounds so adding and removing weights after each set got to be too much of a pain for the time we had. I finished the last of 5 rounds at 55 pounds.

The WOD (workout of the day) was 21-15-9 goblet squats, Kettlebell swings (over the head), and situps. You rotate through each exercise for 21 reps, start over and do 15 reps of each, then 9 reps of each on the third round. My time was 5:50 and I used a 25 pound Kettlebell.

Also got to thinking today that I should get some dumbbells and kettlebells for home use. I have been so busy lately that most weeks I am only getting to CrossFit class three times a week and swimming class once. This week will be the same since I am involved in a community garage sale later this week AND I am bartering web work in exchange for child care when I am in Detroit next week. All of it is three counties away and I am not driving that far to attend a CrossFit class. If I had more home equipment I could print out the workouts and do them at home  (or at my mom’s house) on really busy weeks. Something to consider…

How was your workout today?


The LunchBots Trio

by Tiffany in A Green Home

I have been a LunchBots fan for quite awhile. I have the LunchBots Duo and have used it for years now. I use it to store kiddie snacks on the road, I use it for school lunches, and I use it for my own snacks and lunch on occasion. It was this particular lunchbox that I took with me to a seminar I attended recently in fact. So color me overjoyed to try one of their new lunchboxes. I have eyed the Trio and the Quad with much desire.

The folks at LunchBots kindly sent me the Trio and I have used it steadily this week for post workout snacking. I either take it with me so I can run errands directly after or I sit at my computer desk with it and snack while I work. Whereas some of the other LunchBot options make sense for lunches this box seems to be better for snacks or sides to accompany the main event. Since they are all the same size you can easily stack them and wrap them up in a reusable bag for lunch if just one won’t cut it for you.

I like that they are simple in design, plastic free, and easy to clean and care for. The bento style lunchbox is also what we prefer to use here. The compartments keep the food from touching! My original LunchBot still looks like brand new and I have no doubts this one will stay nice too. I also love the brighter colors they have now. This shade of blue/teal is my favorite!

If you want to try one out LunchBots is offering an exclusive code for my readers this week only. Use code NATURE for 10% off and free shipping. Enjoy!

For Snack Time: beef jerky, strawberries, orange slices, almonds, Navitas Naturals Blueberry w/Hemp, dried prunes, and raisins.

Wednesday, May 2nd, 2012

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Feeling Hardcore Today or Why I Joined a CrossFit Gym

by Tiffany in Health & Healing

I joined a second gym this week. Sounds kind of crazy but I badly wanted to try CrossFit and you typically need to find a specialized CrossFit gym or “box” for that. My other gym is pretty darn awesome and I still plan to go there three times a week but they are pretty vanilla and just don’t have kettlebells, rings, jump boxes, or medicine balls. I toyed with the idea of buying some kettlebells but heck good ones can cost $85 a pop. Plus I know myself well enough to know that I will not work out at home. It’s just not gonna happen.

So I joined a CrossFit box and today was my first workout. Facebook folks had me pretty darn scared about how tough it would be. In fact I was shaking as I drove there. I almost had a coronary when I discovered I would have to drive through a roundabout to get there. Those things terrify me! Anyway the roundabout was the worst part by far because the workout was awesome. No tears, I swear. :)

I am in better shape than I gave myself credit for and when I said those exact words to hubby he said “Duh!” I swim about 6 miles per week and lift weights 3 times a week. I also run whenever I get the urge so I am not exactly an exercise newbie but still I was worried because it’s CrossFit, notorious for being extremely tough. I have no doubt I will be a little sore tomorrow but I kept up and think I was probably one of the best in the class are far as strength and times.

The actual gym was a blast too. It was was very… er, rough with chunks of missing drywall, bars and rings hanging everywhere, uneven flooring with astro turf for carpet, and graffiti all over the walls of this big warehouse building. The atmosphere was very ghetto but for CrossFit it just kind of works. Plus they played AC/DC’s Hell’s Bells really loud and that equates to automatic approval for me.

I came, I lived, and I plan to go back two times a week. Booyah!

Have you tried CrossFit yet?


Fall in Love with Exercising

by Tiffany in Fitness, Health & Healing

Is exercise something you consider a necessary evil for staying healthy and fit? Is it more drudgery and duty than an eagerly anticipated activity? If so, you’re not alone – there are a lot of people who would rather go see the dentist than “exercise”. This is why New Year’s resolutions to exercise more don’t last past February more often than not. If it is something you hate to do or are grudgingly obligated to do then you are not likely to stick with it long term.

I think one of the things that prevented me from falling in love with exercise was the fact that I associated it with in home stationary bikes and aerobics via DVD or VHS. I personally can’t stand either of those things and yet that is what I grew up with. Dad rode a bike and mom did aerobics. Blah! Both of them were pretty active but that is not what I ended up associating with health and fitness. Riding a bike in the house or sweatin to the oldies is just not for me. It has to be something you love and are committed to. If you fall in love with exercising, you are far more likely to keep it up.

But how do you go about falling in love with exercise?

Here are some ideas…

Make It a Game

Use SparkPeople and Daily Mile to track fitness goals and workouts. Seeing what you have accomplished, earning points, or seeing yourself at the top of the leaderboard can be a great incentive and make you proud of your accomplishments. Its like a game.

Of course you can also literally  play a game. Some popular gaming systems have workout “games” that have been known to make dedicated “players” out of those who had trouble sticking to an exercise routine. Users say that the reasons why these games keep them interested are the variety (your workout varies each time, reducing the boredom associated with DVDs and videos) and user control. We have EA Sports Active here and I love the virtual running track. There are dance-based games as well, where you sweat and burn calories while having fun dancing. We just added Just Dance 3 to our collection.

Make It “You Time”

Oh heck yeah! My gym time 4-5 days a week is my “me time”. I get a much needed break from my children and I get out of the house. Since I am alone with my kids for much of the day and all of the evening this is soooo important to me. If you can merge your exercise routine with some much-needed time for yourself, you may find yourself looking forward to workouts. Maybe it’s outside in your yard/neighborhood, or in a local park, or the gym – the point is to tailor your workout to fit your personal needs so that it’s your thing, whether it’s time alone or time with others. My weekly CrossFit classes have lead me to make some great friends and develop my lacking social life a bit more. I love walking into the gym and catching up with other CrossFitters.

Do Something You Like

There seems to be a misconception that you have to hate your exercise for it to be effective – sort of like eating your spinach as a kid. If it tastes/feels bad, it must be good for you. But there are so many fun options when it comes to exercising that there’s no excuse to hate what you’re doing!

Certainly, exercise is work and doesn’t always feel great right at the moment. But choosing an activity you love will help you keep it up even when it gets tough. Dancing, horseback riding, hiking, jumping rope, hula hooping, belly dancing, Pilates or Yoga classes, CrossFit, martial arts, etc. are all forms of exercise that can be so much fun you forget that they are work (and you’re more willing to push through when it does feel like work). I get depressed whenever I have to miss even one CrossFit class. I love it THAT much!

Log Your Progress

Write down how you feel as you progress. Do you have more energy? Are you running/walking faster? Are your muscles more toned? Have you lost weight/inches? Have you set new personal records for time/weight lifted etc? Keep notes on how you were when you started and throughout your progress. Looking at this list can be a boost and help you love your exercise routine because of what it’s doing for you. Maybe you haven’t lost that last 10 pounds but perhaps you shaved a minute off that one mile row. That is something to be proud of!

Not only will you be doing something good for you, your kids will see exercise as something FUN and be more likely to pursue fitness themselves.

So, have you fallen in love with exercise? What are your tips?

Tuesday, November 15th, 2011

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Pumpkin Shake Recipe

by Tiffany in Recipes

With the arrival of Fall I have been craving pumpkins. Mostly I want some of my mom’s homemade pumpkin cake with cream cheese frosting but me left alone during the day with that cake is a recipe for disaster. So I got creative and adapted my post workout shake to make it pumpkin flavored instead. Delish!

Pumpkin Pie Protein Shake

  • 1 Cup almond or coconut milk
  • 1 scoop vanilla protein powder
  • ½ cup pumpkin
  • 1 half banana
  • 1 tsp pumpkin pie spice or a sprinkling of cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and allspice
  • A handful of ice cubes
Instructions: Blend together and enjoy!

I used banana because I almost always choose fruit to sweeten stuff before using a processed sweetener but I could have used coconut sugar in this. I couldn’t even taste the banana though, so it worked for me. I also  highlighted that I chose a no soy protein powder. It has nothing to do with taste… I just detest unfermented soy products. Most protein powders have soy, so be on the lookout if you also avoid soy. Enjoy!

Tuesday, September 27th, 2011

6 Comments on Pumpkin Shake Recipe