Lower Body and Cardio Workout

Today I'm sharing a lower body and cardio workout.

This workout is pretty straight forward. You'll do each strength exercise is blue for 12 reps, and each cardio exercise in pink for 30 seconds. After each cardio exercises rest as much as you need. Repeat the whole thing 2 to 3 times for a full workout.

I've listed descriptions for each exercise below just in case you need a refresher for any of them.

Bodyweight squat

With feet hip width apart and hands in front of you to help with balance, use the glutes to lower your hips back and down while bending at the knees. Once you’ve reached the lowest position you can without leaning forward too much or letting the knees collapse in, return to a standing position, using your glutes to propel yourself.

Alternating lunge

Stand with feet hip width apart. Step forward with one foot so that the forward leg’s thigh is parallel to the ground, and the back leg’s shin is parallel to the ground. The back knee shouldn’t touch the floor. Use your quads and glutes to step the front foot back towards your back foot and end by standing straight up with feet hip width apart again. For the second lunge step forward with the other foot. 

Burpees

From a standing position crouch down with your hands in front of your feet on the floor. Jump your feet back behind you so you're in a plank position. Jump your feet back in towards your hands and then jump up while clapping your hands above your head.

Leg press

Sit down in the leg press machine. Place your feet hip width's apart so that your knees are over top of your toes. Release the safety and push your feet away from your body using your glutes and quads. Once your legs are fully extended, slowly bring your feet back towards yourself, once again using your leg muscles to stay in control of the speed. Repeat. At the end of the set rest the platform on the safety again. 

Clam shells

Lay on your side on the floor with your hips bent at a 45 degree angle and your knees bent at a 90 degree angle. With your legs stacked on top of one another, slowly lift your top knee up while keeping the top heal on the bottom heal. Then lower your knee back down. Make sure to use your glutes do the movement. Once one side is done flip over so the top leg is on the bottom and repeat with the second leg.

High knees

Starting in a standing position, quickly bring your left knee up in front of you as high as you can. Step back down and repeat with your right leg. Repeat.

Deadlift

With a dumbbell in each hand. Stand with your feet shoulder width apart. Slowly bend forward at the hips, letting your arms hang down and keeping your back straight. Using your glutes, lift your torso back up to the starting standing position.

Donkey kicks

Get on all fours with your hands under your shoulders and your knees under your hips. Keeping your knee bent, lift your left leg so that your knee is parallel to the floor and the bottom of your foot is parallel to the ceiling. Lower you leg back down and repeat with the right leg.

Side shuffles

Stand with feet hip width apart and knees bent so you're slightly squatting. Leading with your left foot, shuffle sideways. Then shuffle to the right with your right food leading. Move as quickly as possible.

Let me know if you do this workout and how you liked it. 

As always, check with your doctor before beginning to workout. Honor your body and modify this workout as needed for you.

10 Easy Snacks to Eat on the Go

Today I'm sharing some of my favorite easy snacks to eat when you're on the go. 

It can be tough to eat healthy when you're busy. Between work, school, or getting the kids to where they need to be, it can be tempting to make unhealthy choices when you get hungry. 

Luckily there are a ton of healthy options for snacks if you're willing to put in a bit of work and forethought into your day. I'm sharing 10 of my favorite easy snacks to eat on the go. 

Trail mix

First on my list is trail mix. It's one of my favorite portable snacks. It's so easy to put in a tupperware and go. It's easy to eat with one hand if you're doing something else. It doesn't require utensils. Trail mix is packed with healthy fats and protein from the nuts. 

Protein shake 

Protein shakes are super easy to make – all you need to do is add water to protein powder in a shake bottle and shake. I'm always looking for ways to add protein to my food intake, so it's a great snack for me. It's also super easy to transport, whether you're in the car after the gym or running errands. 

Yogurt and frozen berries

While this snack needs to be kept cold and you need a spoon, it's one of my favorite snacks to take with me. As long as you keep an eye on the sugar content of the yogurt, it's a really healthy snack. And if you opt for Greek yogurt you'll get some added protein too. 

Hummus and pita

This snack is a great combination of carbs from the pita and protein from the chickpeas in the hummus. If pita isn't your thing you can swap it out for veggies – carrots, celery, and bell pepper strips work great. 

Protein balls

There's no shortage of protein ball recipes online. They're everywhere from healthy living blogs to Pinterest. Some of my favorite flavors include peanut butter and chocolate. Yum! 

Apple and nut butter

Whether it's Granny Smith or Fugi, everyone has a favorite kind of apple. Pairing an apple with your go to nut butter is a delicious combo. My favorites are peanut and cashew butters. Apple are easy to cut up into slices before you leave the house and put a couple spoonfuls of nut butter into a tupperware. 

Homemade muffins

While muffins definitely take more prep work than most of the things on this list, I think that they're worth the extra work. If you make two dozen of them, you can put most of the min the freezer and take them out one at a time as you need them. They're easy enough to defrost in the microwave before you leave the house.

Fruits and veggies

Whatever your favorite is, whether it's a handful of berries, a banana, or a bell pepper cut into strips, they're easy to prepare and eat while you're on the go. Both fruits and vegetables are really healthy and full of vitamins and minerals. 

Jerky

It's important to check out the nutrition information and ingredients when picking out a jerky, but it can be a great source of protein when you're out and about because it doesn't require refrigeration. Jerky is available in a number of different flavors, so you can pick your favorite. 

Tuna and crackers

You can find these two packaged together at the grocery store or you can put them together at home. Tuna is packed with healthy fats and protein so it'll keep you feeling fuller for longer. The crackers add some carbs and crunch, so it's the perfect combination. 

What's your favorite snack to take with you when you're on the go?

10 of my Favorite Recipes

Today I'm sharing some of my go to recipes that I find myself making regularly. 

One Pot Creamy Sun Dried Tomato Pasta

While it's a pretty simple meal, it's still full of flavor. This recipe is super easy to make with ingredients you probably already have in your pantry. You can find the recipe here

One Pot Chili Pasta

I clearly like the one pot recipes since they're the first two on my list. This recipe is one of my go to ones when it's cold and snowy outside – which happens a lot here in Calgary. This one pot chili pasta has a ton of protein in it from both the ground been and two types of beans. I think it tastes even better the day after.

Taco Salad Skillet

This recipe is full of flavor – from the spices that you probably already have in your kitchen rather than the sodium packed taco seasonings that are available at the grocery store. This Taco Salad Skillet is one of those recipes that's perfect for taking to school or work for lunch. 

Pork and Dragon Noodles

With only seven ingredients, this recipe is another really easy one to make. It's packed with flavor thanks to the dragon sauce (chili garlic sauce, soy sauce, and brown sugar). You can also adjust the spice level depending in if you want it more or less spicier.  Click here for the recipe. 

Sloppy Joes

It's hard to go wrong with a classic meal like sloppy joes. Once again, this recipe's ingredients are pretty basic and you most likely already have them in your pantry and fridge already. You can find the recipe here.

Beef Stroganoff

This is probably my favorite meal on this list – I make it pretty regularly. The mushrooms give it so much flavor. It's super easy to make, and the prep is pretty easy – just cutting the meat, onions, and mushrooms. I like to make it with egg noodles, but beef stroganoff also goes great on rice too. 

Honey Mustard Pork Chops

Honey mustard is one of my favorite sauces, so I knew that I had to make these when I saw the name of the recipe. I wasn't disappointed – this recipe is delicious. Browning the pork chops before they go into the oven gives them some extra flavor. They're also pretty easy to make – they don't take a lot of effort. The recipe is here.

Stir Fry Beef Noodles

This is another one of those recipes that has a flavor packed sauce. It uses the same combination of ingredients as the Pork and Dragon Noodles, and it works so well in this recipe as well. I don't typically make rice noodles a lot at home, but I love that they're included in this recipe

Skillet Cheeseburger Pasta

This is another great recipe for those cold winter days. It's a hearty meal that will keep you warm and full for hours. Think of it as a better homemade hamburger helper. Plus it's substantially more healthy than the boxed ones at the grocery store. It has a great mix of protein from the chicken, carbs from the pasta, and veggies. Click here for the recipe.

What's a favorite recipe of yours that you keep coming back to?

Yoga Teacher Training Weekend 3

This past weekend I completed my third weekend of yoga teacher training. I feel like I've finally gotten into the flow of these trainings and have a better idea of what to expect now when I go into them on Friday evenings. 

Friday PM

We started off the weekend by doing a couple breathing exercises – bhramari (humming bee breath_ and kumbhaka (breath retention). I'd never tried either of them before, so they were both brand new to me. We talked a bit about breathing before we finished off the night with an hour long yoga nidra practice. 

Saturday AM

The topic for Saturday morning was rooting and grounding. We did a practice where we focused on grounding ourselves with each movement. We did it with out eyes closed so that we could focus more on the grounding instead of watching what was going on around us. Having my eyes closed for the practice was new to me. It turned out to be a pretty cool experience because I was less worried about doing the poses just like everyone else because I couldn't see them and they couldn't see it.

Saturday PM

We started off Saturday talking about the muscles of the hips that we didn't cover last week. We then covered the adductor muscles and discussed how they worked. We ended off the day with practice that focused on the muscles of the hips that we had been talking about. 

Sunday AM

Our last day of yoga teacher training for the weekend started off with going over the external hip rotators, the quads, and the hamstrings. It was great to get a refresher on those muscles because they're so important to so many yoga poses.We ended the morning with a great yin practice that focused on the hips. I typically have tight hips so it felt great to focus on that area. 

Sunday PM

We finished off the weekend with some yoga philosophy. We discussed the paths of yoga (kharma yoga, jhana yoga, bhatki yoga, raja yoga, and hatha yoga). We didn't do any meditations or breath work during this sessions, and instead just focused on the lecture. 

Final thoughts

The philosophy that we discussed this weekend made more sense to me than the weekend before. I'm not sure if it was because I was more open to it this time around or the content was just easier to understand, but I “got” more of it this weekend that I did the last weekend. I spoke to the teacher and told her that I was struggling with the philosophy side of things, and she recommended a cook to me called Yoga and the Quest for the True Self by  Stephen Cope. I'm looking forward to getting my hands on a copy and reading it. 

Have you ever looked into the philosophy side of yoga outside of a yoga teacher training? Have any book suggestions about it for me?

Friday Favorites October 12 2018

As usual for Fridays, I'm sharing some of my favorite things from the past week. 

Thanks to Thanksgiving on Monday, this four day week flew by. I'm definitely not complaining about that. I always seem to be a day late though when Monday is a stat. The entire week I had a tough time figuring out what day it is. 

I'm looking forward to yoga teacher training this weekend. We'll be talking about yoga philosophy and some more hip and leg anatomy. I really do love learning, so learning about something that I've loved for years now has been really fun, even if it is a lot of work. 

Friday Favorites

Friday the 13th movies

I've been making my way through the Friday the 13th movies on Netflix since October started. I'm a huge fan of cheesy horror movies from the 70's and 80's, so they're right up my alley. I forgot how utterly terrible they are – they're definitely more funny than scary.

Do you have a favorite cheesy horror movie? Mine are probably the Halloween movies – they get worse and worse later on in the series. There was one in the early 2000's that had Tyra Banks and Busta Rhymes in it. Yep, it was that bad. 

Rogue Marionberry Sour Ale

This is a seriously delicious beer. I tried it at my boyfriend's place on Saturday. From the first sip I liked it. I'm a big fan of sour beers, and this one is near the top of the list of my favorites. If you're looking for a new beer to try, give Rogue Marionberry Sour Ale a go. 

L'Oreal Defense Eye Cream

I've been using this eye cream for 2 or 3 months now and I've really been liking it. It smells great, it absorbs into my skin quickly, and it doesn't cause my sensitive skin to react. It can be a struggle to find skincare sometimes because my skin is so sensitive, but L'oreal Defense Eye Cream (affiliate link) gets the job done. 

Discovering a new park

On Wednesday I went for a walk in a new to me park with my dad. He had told me about it a few weeks ago, so when I was in the mood to get outside and move a little, we thought that park would be the perfect spot. 

There's a ton of little gardens and trees everywhere. I expect that it'll be really pretty in the spring and summer with all the flowers. It's too bad that my first time visiting was with a layer of snow everywhere.

It's also an off leash area so there were lots of dogs running around, both playing with each other and coming to check us out to say hi. Even though I've only been once so far for a walk, I can tell that it'll be a park that I'll be to frequently now that I know where it is. 

What's a favorite of yours from the past week? Do you have any exciting plans for the weekend?

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