Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Wednesday Word & Weight: V-ups

Word & Weight: The V-up

Word:  Psalms 107
Just some GOOD news from the book of Psalms! 
Unfailing LOVE, goodness, deliverance and stability!

Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good;  his love endures forever.
 Let the redeemed of the LORD tell their story— 
   those he redeemed from the hand of the foe, 
 those he gathered from the lands, 
   from east and west, from north and south.[a]

 Some wandered in desert wastelands, 
  finding no way to a city where they could settle. 
 They were hungry and thirsty, 
   and their lives ebbed away. 
 Then they cried out to the LORD in their trouble, 
   and he delivered them from their distress. 
 He led them by a straight way 
   to a city where they could settle. 
 Let them give thanks to the LORD for his unfailing love 
   and his wonderful deeds for mankind, 
 for he satisfies the thirsty 
   and fills the hungry with good things.

Weight: V-ups
I love doing core moves and the V-ups are excellent core stability and balance that can be done between any other set of exercises!! Sit on the edge of a bench or box and envision yourself as a little teeter-totter! As straight as you can with your legs extended and your torso extended. Bring your knees up to your chest and your chest forward, balance for a second and contract those abdominals, then extend out, catch your balance and repeat. Don't mind the 80's music in the video! 

Core strength is SO important. When our core or center is strong and able to hold us, we can do all things we need to. 

It's such a simple concept: 

  • When your core is strong the rest of you is strong
  • When your center is stable, you can move how you need to and do what you are supposed to without injury or set back. 
  • When we are able to BALANCE, we are able to achieve more.  

MANY people jump right into a workout routine or resistance training program with little to no thought to creating a lasting, strong core and foundation of strength and balance. In life too, we need that place where we are centered. That FIRM foundation, those ROCK solid truths to hold us when life seeks to make our way unsteady! For me it's my faith in Christ. HE is my rock and sets my feet on solid ground. 

Everyday I spend time with him, strengthening our relationship and letting him build me how he wants. JUST like when we work our muscles, they tear slightly first, repair and become stronger. Everyday I face a new challenge or trial, I tear a little, seek God for repair and wisdom and am more and more the way he is calling me to be!

What is YOUR FAVE Core move? Do you seek out ways in your life to create strength and balance or do they get lost some days?? 

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Recipe: Lean Turkey muffins

OK, so I love meat!! My body craves lean protein and one of the BEST ways to make sure I get as much as I need daily is to have single servings prepared ahead of time! 

Goal focused Mary always has food on hand, in hand and in mouth! So today I experimented with Turkey Muffins!! Single serving size, lean, tasty and EASY to make and grab on the go!! 

1lb of lean ground turkey
1/2 Cup of oats
1 egg 
1 cup of broccoli slaw (Cole slaw or shredded zucchini) 
Spices to taste *

 Mix ALL ingredients well and form into 8-10  muffins! 
Bake at 425 for 20 min, cool and enjoy!! EASY!!! 

You can use a basic seasoned salt like I did this first time. OR you can add: 
Cajun seasoning or
garlic and pepper... On and ON! 

I LOVE me some meat muffins and these Turkey muffins were just TOO easy to not make and enjoy every week! 
What would YOU try in them??  

STAY posted you guys this week I have a giveaway coming just for you!! It will be Epic, I promise!! 

Happy Tuesday, give a stranger a compliment today and see what happens!! 

Monday, November 28, 2011

Thanksgiving recap and goal check in!

Hey! I hope your Thanksgiving weekend was amazing! I was MIA, spending time with family and Mack, plus my brother Timothy is here from Germany! 

We went for a run thanksgiving morning, it was short and sweet, but it was a beautiful day for a run. Minnesota is really dragging out a GORGEOUS Fall!! I will NOT complain! Confession 1: I have been slacking in my running, my OWN goals fell a little to the way side with the introduction of a busier social life and work schedule and the holidays! Bummer, but I am on track this week! I have a calendar with all my runs LISTED out and my workouts planned! 

Timothy and I after the RUN! 

Men with knives
How many men does it take to carve a turkey?
As many as can fit in the little kitchen to do it. I guess. 
Mack came home with me to meet the family and he fit RIGHT in, it was so amazing. My mom said that she has never seen me be so fully myself with someone! THAT is a great compliment.

I made roasted Brussels sprouts and they were SO amazing, I used garlic pepper bacon in them, onions AND coconut oil to roast!  2 pounds of halved & quartered sprouts, 6 pieces of bacon, 1/2 Cup onion and 1/4 Cup coconut oil tossed and roasted at 350 for 20-25 min, last 5-7 min under the broiler!! BEST Fall dish so far!!! I LOVE these! 

We ate, hung out with family and the next day was picking up a tree for Mack's house, a hay ride, hot chocolate and Christmas tunes. Plus there was a game of foosball in there and I won! (or he let me win, one or the other!!) I am SO blessed by him.. 

Goal Check in
My goals that I am working on over the past 30 days and into the next 30 before the new year is upon us, have been a little lackluster! It's a shame really, here I am working to help and motivate others and am falling short of some simple things I set up for myself to stick to. This past weekend though, was a time for me to really learn about STICKING to who I am and what I do. 

There are habits and routines that I do for myself to be the best version of me, to make sure that I am FILLED up so I can pour out to others. There are things that I do daily, that make a world of difference for me and often it's when I DON'T do them that I see the difference. Not drinking enough water, eating TOO Much processed foods, those are all things now that have been catching up to me and I am feeling it. 

I am reining in the wayward lifestyle habits this week. I started yesterday with carrying a lot of veggies along with me, bringing my own salad to a lunch date....I made SURE I went to church to renew my spirit and spent time with God, I spent sometime reading and working and am on track today to be back into a few other smaller routines. 

It's kind of ironic to me that here I am, by the grace of God, trying to make a difference and help others and I am letting myself fall to the wayside! Lately I have been so reminded of the Proverbs 31 woman, who is an amazing example of strong, successful and productive woman!! She gets up early, spends time with God, works to have strong arms and then launches into her day as a wife, business woman, leader in the home and all around amazing chic!! I am reminded that I am a better worker, friend, mate, and Christian when I fill myself up so I can pour myself out! 

Do I feel like a failure? No, there were small actions that I didn't keep in check as they happened, one day missing a devotional, one day skipping breakfast, one protein bar too many replacing a clean snack...All those LITTLE actions that yield big results...little by little I had the chance to chose differently as the opportunity came up, but I took the easy way out, it's not failure its learning. Luckily, it hasn't been too long, and I can get back on course. Everything is a learning experience if we make it one and if we CHOSE to see it as one. 

Square one? Not quite, but it's definitely a starting point!! 
How did your holiday go, do you feel you made some good choices? 

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Wednesday Word & Weight: Push Press


1 Thessalonians 5:18
BE THANKFUL in all circumstances, for this is God's will for you who belong to Christ Jesus. 

Being thankful is not always something that just HAPPENS. We are called to be thankful, we are asked to be thankful, it should flow out of us, but some days it takes effort! Ephesians tells us to set aside grumblings and negative speak and we are commanded here in 1Thessalonians 5:18 to be thankful in ALL circumstances for it's God's will if we belong to Christ Jesus. 

ALL circumstances? Yes, all. Most of you reading live a safe, full, rich life with ups and downs, with some hills and valleys. We face trials that are HARD, sadness comes into our lives and YES sometimes bad things happen to good people. But we are still blessed and if we are believers, we find our hope and joy, not in our circumstances or what is around us, but in our savior and nothing can spoil, rust or remove that.  
So be thankful!!

 WEIGHT: 1 arm Push Press
I am officially obsessed with the 1 arm push press. It's more than just an overhead press because the idea is you are pressing more than you could just lift straight overhead. AND when you do single arm or unilateral exercises, you use greater forces and engage more muscle fibers. It doesn't allow your dominant or strong arm to overpower, each has to work separately and equally!  

You start with the weight, a single Dumb bell or Kettle bell in the "racked" position on your shoulder. This is shown in the video below, arm tucked in, weight directly above shoulder, not tipped forward. You do a slight squat or dip down and drive your legs up and "float" that heavy weight up over head and lower nice and slow. Repeat for your desired reps on each side. Be sure to engage your core as you press up and RELY on your legs to assist the weight up, don't just press, PUSH with your lower body as well. 

It's an amazing exercise for strength gains, engaging stabilizing muscles and evening out muscle imbalance PLUS it's FUN.
Check it out: 

Have a HAPPY thanksgiving, I will be giving you a full recap of my day, Mack and I are hitting a few thanksgivings and he is meeting the whole LOT of my crazy FAM!! My brother is in town too, there is SO much to be thankful for!! 

Don't forget to try the Dumbbell Push Press and have an amazing day!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

1st RUN together!!!

Happy Tuesday!! 
I feel like I start EVERY post that way, but HEY, everyday IS a happy day! We are all SO blessed and I want to make sure that I have thankfulness coming out of me and not grumbling!

This week, I am thankful for: 
Beautiful SNOW
my family, present and future
Pink shoes
A loving man
my salvation, my RELATIONSHIP with God 
my job
my home
my health 
my mind

1st Run together
Ok, so there is a first time for everything and THIS weekend was a weekend of firsts. 
I took my new running shoes out, in the crisp snowy Minnesota November and broke them in!! They are simply the newer model of the old shoes I have been running in. They are in fact the 4th pair of Nike Free's I own. The first are cross trainers, the second are great, but ran small for my marathon distances, the third carried me through BOTH marathons and a few halfs. 

THESE are the same model, but an upgrade...I am ALL about upgrades. They run amazing, I know I will love them and can't wait to just put on the miles! 

AND, the same run was a first run with Mack too!! I love how is already a runner!! He's not a gym rat, but is working on his "temple" to condition his body as well as his soul...How PERFECT is that for me??? He has only been running a little over a year, but he is FAST! We did 3 miles, running around Lake of the Isles which he had never done before and it was SO much fun... I HAD to get some pics of the antic post run too! 

SOO adorable Mack! 

Remember through out pretty much my WHOLE blog where I am working on shedding my home, and life and body of excess and aiming for the upgrade? I upgraded my bedroom, my closet, my eating habits, my workouts, my spiritual life on and on! The only way to go is UP!! My new Nikes were a little hard to buy...they weren't the SAME as my last pair, they were BETTER, but being different than I was used to, it can be a mental challenge. I put off buying them because they were the NEW version, the upgrade and I wasn't sure they would deliver.  

Yet once I am in them, I LOVE them and I am certain they are exactly what I need. I mean who makes a new model of a best selling shoe and DOESN'T improve it. For the past year or more I would tell all my girlfriends that I was waiting for the upgraded man. Setting aside the 300 thousand miles, broke down Ford Tempo's and rusted out, roaring muffler trucks of my past and aiming for that leather interior sports car that upgrade....well, that's Mack. 

Sure both he and I have our dents, our scrapes, we've been keyed by the past, fender benders and it's not like we just drove off the lot, there are a few miles, but the new to me NEW car with ALL the features your looking for, that's the upgrade. BESIDES we are being restored by the great mechanic--GOD is restoring us unto him from the inside out!! All new parts, all new wiring, all NEW!  

Jeremiah 29:11-13

For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. 12 Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. 13 You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.

God wants to direct us to those upgrades in life, always aiming for the best, always looking up, moving forward with our eyes on HIM!! Seek him first and the Bible tells us that everything will be added on top of that already perfect gift! 

What is in store for your upgrades? Are you getting a new job? Are you getting a new mindset or starting a new path? Have a WONDERFUL Thanksgiving week!!  

Thursday, November 17, 2011

If it ain't Broke..

Happy Thursday!!
Hope your week is ROCKING out and you are keeping your eyes on the prize!! 

Today I checked a TON of my to-do list and am feeling super productive! 
I am going to take today to check in with you on some of my goals that I am aiming for: 

How is it going?? The running could be better!! I haven't been getting it in, so I am going to take ACTION!! I am making a morning DATE with myself!  I put my MILEAGE I am aiming for on the calendar! AND, I got new shoes. I tried the Kinvara's and they were TOO narrow for my feet, even in the half size up, so I stuck with what I knew and LOVED: Nike Free. If it ain't broke, Don't Fix it!! 

New KICKS, Yeah buddy!!

The right result.
You are going to have to do the right thing for a while, before you will see the right results. THIS is often not easy, it is VERY often something we don't anticipate enjoying. Results are
fun, seeing a difference is fun, moving FORWARD is fun, but to do and do and DO and wait?

Not so much.  

And we don't just want ANY result, we don't just want SOMETHING, we want the RIGHT result, we want the destination we are aiming for. Getting the RIGHT result is always worth it, even if it takes a while!

Do I screw up? YEP, do I get impatient, put the cart before the horse and do the WRONG thing sometimes instead of waiting it out? YEP. I eat treats when I don't need to, I miss a workout when I can easily get one in, I slack on water, my "doing the right thing" is a work in progress, just like my faith!

But as I grow, with each little stumble, I learn!! There is a lesson in every action and result. While we wait on the right result, we should be using that time to grow, to learn and to stock our toolbox for the next BIG's on it's way!!

Whoo!! What a great week it's been, I am SO excited about doing the right thing and seeing the right result!! It's time to remember that we can be ROCK SOLID in our decisions!!
How about YOU, what are you waiting on??

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Metabolism and Chemistry

Here is my AMAZING confession: I have a sweetie, a beloved. And my metabolism knows it. This past week, I lost my appetite, I didn't get enough sleep, I have been guilty of being a little out of it.. 

I DID get my workouts in. But that's about it. 

 In the morning I did not want to eat my oats, I was NOT hungry and was really struggling to get my food in. I was preoccupied with an amazing man!! I had that good old fashioned, butterflies in your tummy, 7th grade excitement, first week in a new relationship losing your appetite feeling. I struggled this week to take charge and eat ANYWAY, despite the little flips my tummy would do when I saw a message or got a call from my sweetie, let's call him Mack. Suddenly I realized that if I wasn't eating as often, my metabolism could be nose diving...

 And  sleep? Please! Who could sleep with ALL these amazing things to talk about, connect on and all the time we wanted to spend together! I was ready to sacrifice sleep to spend time with Mack, we have SO much in common and SO much fun talking about our faith! We closed down a few restaurants this past week! So lack of sleep puts strain on your body, despite being in a euphoric state, it causes stress which can take your metabolism down! 

With not a ton of sleep 4 nights this past week, I was drinking JAVA like it was going out of style! The more coffee, the less water and BOOM... I am even MORE tired than I should be. Hello amazing Chemistry, good-bye high metabolism! 

We both FINALLY realized what people talk about when they talk about Chemistry!  
I used to think Chemistry was thinking someone was cute, nice, a "Click", but no, it's really a coming together of two different items that mix together, REACT, form something NEW, create smoke! It's FAST, certain, exciting and unmistakable. If you have had true Chemistry with someone you KNOW it!!  

My whirlwind week, which I am SURE will continue into a whirlwind weeks on end will have to, in all it's splendor, bow to the habits I nearly lost a grip on! I am today, FINALLY drinking a little more water and getting a FULL nights sleep. I am over the next few days, make sure I have enough food with me wherever I go and that I come home with an EMPTY lunch bag! 

Here I thought Chemistry and metabolism with buddies, but not this kind of Chemistry! I am SO excited to see what the end product of all this will be, but for now, this is Mack and I am sure you will be seeing more of him, I know I will!  

Have you ever had a relationship or crush throw your habits, routines and schedule off? What was your best way back on track? 

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Wednesday Word & Weight: DB Thruster


Word: 2 Corinthians 5:17 

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!

This is SUCH good news!! In Christ, we are NEW creations! Our old ways, old mindsets, old habits have been buried with Christ and a NEW creation risen! I love this verse so much, I actually have a tattoo of it on my hip! It's a reminder--Hey God sees me through Jesus, who is perfect, my old nature no longer rules me or defines who I am because of Him. 

Have you ever remodeled a house?  I know kitchens are the MOST expensive part to remodel. Well, you don't just put the NEW stuff in with the OLD, you GUT the place!! You can't have out dated foundation with new over the top, it just won't hold!!  You need to remove everything that doesn't support the new renovations, life calls for constant renewing of our mind and spirit. In other words: out with the old, in with the new!!  

WEIGHT: Dumb bell Thruster  

One move that I LOVE and do often is the Dumb bell Thruster! Take two moderate weight Dumbbells (men 20-30, women 10-20) and place them right at shoulder height, palms facing your head OR palms facing forward. Position your feet shoulder-width apart, then squat down, pushing your hips down and back, weight in your heels bringing your thighs are parallel to the floor. Then power up push the dumbbells above your head until your arms are straight! 

Use your legs to power the movement and have it be a continuous squat to press, nice and fluid so your heart rate rises as well, you will just FEEL that fat melting off! Another variation is to do a burpee into the thrust and really add an explosive element to the move!

Your chest should be lifted the whole time, in that your knees are bending, you are not bending forward at the hips. HERE is a video of the DB Thruster in action! 
This move is excellent in that it's a multi-joint movement: you build more muscle, engage more of your total body, save time and blast fat, why wouldn't you do this! 

Compound exercises are proven to be more efficient at building muscle and strength than isolating... So, are you going to try something NEW today and add DB thruster sets into your workout! I challenge you to! 

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Your Toolbox

Your Toolbox: 
Hey everyone happiest Tuesday!
I had a GREAT weekend, I went to a new church, made a new friend and learned SO much! My new friend was talking about how when God teaches him something and shows him something, he puts it in his "toolbox." I was SO struck by this! He didn't "file it away" in a dark file cabinet, shut away from the light, he didn't "put it on the shelf" like a book in a dusty library, he put it in his TOOLBOX. 

I mean, I have SEEN men's well used and loved toolboxes! They are opened all the time, sometimes left open as they are constantly in and out, finding just the right tool for the problem or project we are working on. They tote the toolboxes with them, SOME men have whole truck beds that are toolboxes, whole workshops of tools. 

When someone has a toolbox, they are working, they are creating, fixing, tweaking their projects OR serving others doing those things. It's a very active outlook on the lessons we take away from life. Are we going to keep them close at hand in that toolbox as we work on our selves, our lives, our fitness, our goals? 

Are we going to keep those nuggets of knowledge we get when we go through a trial, a hard lesson, a character push, with in arms reach or are they going to be "filed away" and possibly forgotten! NO WAY! We are always moving forward toward success and never BACK! 

Get our your TOOLBOXES and get to work!! 

Marilyn Motivation:
I LOVE pictures of strong women! Especially those who are viewed as icons of beauty or symbols of womanhood in our culture. Strong is the OLD, current and future beautiful!

On a lighter note! I baked up some spaghetti squash and piled on roasted tomatoes! No salt even needed and no butter! It was a DELISH fall meal, a HEAPING portion of my veggies I was aiming for and a healthy clean option!! SO easy to make too, bake the squash for 45-55 min in the oven at 350 with just a drizzling of olive oil, top with tomatoes and done!! 

What is your favorite way to make squash in the fall? 
CHOOSE to have a Blessed day and you WILL! Tomorrow is Word & Weight it is a GOOD one!! 

Thursday, November 3, 2011

My own Goals


Hey you guys! I am ONE MONTH out from the Marathon! I haven't been running as much, but have been focusing on lifting, building and eating as clean as I can and with enough protein and aiming high for clean calories! Here I am after lifting shoulders and legs Tuesday:  

And here I am at a photoshoot on Saturday am! It was a BLAST!!

See how your body can change and look slightly different from day to day??
It's a bit of a frustration when some days, abs can be tighter and more defined. BUT this was a little different too. I was JUST getting back to eating the way I had been all summer when I was cut up! Confession: Late summer and early fall was a really lean time for me, I was experiencing some financial pinch, I was changing clients, I was switching jobs etc. What's the first thing to go? The luxury of eating LIVE food all the time. Fresh produce, greens, clean eats, they honestly hit the back burner, not completely, but for a while as I had to eat within a very TIGHT budget which meant cheaper foods and unfortunately, not as much of them. I didn't eat as often or as well. It changed my metabolism a little, it changed my physique a little too. 

It was SO hard. I was lifting heavy, marathon training, TRYING to keep my muscle and fuel for long runs. The eating and the very LONG running and racing took a toll on my ripped up summer body and I am JUST bouncing back by eating as much as I should and of the right things.  SO, needless to say, I am not back to square one, but have a bit of work ahead of me, much like everyone does!! SO, that brings me to my point. 

Since I am asking everyone in the Holiday challenge (which will be closing FRIDAY for participation, get in NOW if you want to, see the right sidebar link for details!!) to write out, HANG UP and send me 2 goals, I figured I would do the same here on the blog, since I am the one who is "out there" public for all to see! 

Here they are: They are simple. Run 15 miles a week MINIMUM, short and fast to work on my physique. Eat 4 veggie and 2 fruit servings a day. PERIOD.  The OVERARCHING Goal? Bring down belly extra from now till late winter and work on those Abs coming back in with diet. More veggies, more green stuff, more LIVE food. Technically speaking the 2 items listed below are strategy's to get TO my main goal.... but nevertheless. They are my smaller goals which will get me to my BIG goal. SMART. 

I LOVE the quote above: we CAN have what we are willing to struggle for!! Don't give up on your goals, we are all here to encourage each other, help, give ideas and make a difference. Remember.... 

And if you haven't started and want you, there is still time to get in on the challenge, make a change and win! 

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Wednesday Word & Weight: The LUNGE!

Word & Weight

Word: Proverbs 3:5
We are SO self sufficient. SO, so self sufficient. We know so much, we have so much, we are independent, we are self reliant, we map things out, have plans, have routes to get there, GPS to guide us. We know what we want, when we want it and most often, how to get it. BUT... at what cost? 

My own understanding of things is SO limited. So small, so biased even. It's this tiny space, this exact time and all the factors that influence my past experience. God transcends all of that. He is outside of time and space, he is beyond my little world, he IS the world and his understanding of my plan and my path is SO much grander and greater than the little things I insist on and the mediocre agenda's I push. 

SO, I trust him, with my whole heart? That is the tough part, my whole heart. All of it. There are times when I struggle and I want to give him this important thing I am struggling with. He wants it ALL. He wants my little struggles and my big dreams, my big hopes. He gets them all and can take it where he wants in HIS BIG world and I trust, know and believe it's better than anything I could try and do on my own. 

There is NO better way to kick your glutes, get those quads burning, tighten and tone than to lunge and adding weights! It's like dropping it like it's hot, at 90 degrees with proper form and it is effective!  

Stand with your feet hip distance apart and take a BIG step out, make sure your back heel is lifted off the ground. Keeping your chest up, slowly DROP your back knee toward the ground until both knees are at 90 degree angles! Keep your weight evenly between both feet, but mostly on the heel of your front foot, and push through that heal as you come up.  

You can step out and back each time you lunge making SURE your knee doesn't come over your toe, to protect your knee from being compromised. OR you can do static lunges in one place and really squeeze those glutes as you come up.  You do not have to hold weight, but doing so increases your resistance which burns more calories by creating more lean muscle throughout the move! Your legs are one of our biggest muscle groups, so push yours and work 'em!! 

I will do a WHOLE other post on Lunge variations as there are many to do( back lunge, side lunge, curtsy lunge, lunge jumps eek!)  For today, in the video I demonstrated a curl with the lunge for your biceps and a ROW for your back. You can also incorporate a side raise with lighter weights for shoulders.  

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