Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Wednesday Word & Weight: Sliders and JOY

Word & Weight: Slider Burpees 

Romans 15:13

New Living Translation (NLT)
I pray that God, the source of hope, will fill you completely with joy and peace because you trust in him. Then you will overflow with confident hope through the power of the Holy Spirit.

A while back I blogged about the Fruit of the Spirit. JOY and peace are part of those "fruits" and this time of year, everyone is talking joy, peace, goodwill, thankfulness etc. But Joy and Peace are different, they are EMOTIONS. The bible tells us that our hearts, in a fallen state, often can't be trusted and I have learned over my Christian walk that my emotions can not lead the way or I will find myself at a dead end. There are days I feel sad, feel fat, feel insecure, but these feelings are false! (please note that discernment from God, and biofeedback like being tired are different than FEELINGS.)

  But the bible ALSO tells us that God makes us NEW creatures in Christ. (2 Cor. 5:17) We are not simply mended, healed, fixed, updated, upgraded etc-- we are NEW! This includes your emotions--your sadness, your anxiety, your doubt, your despair. God can give you HIS emotions, NEW emotions, like Romans says above, he wants to "fill you completely with joy and peace" (his perfect emotions)because you trust him." God means business when he using words like FILL, Completely, OVERFLOW!! Let him give it all to you, he wants to hold nothing back-- trust he wont!

Slider Burpees 
(yes burpees, love em or leave em!) 
Some of the best and thrifty piece of equipment for a great workout are EZ Sliders, for moving furniture! (these are from Bed Bath and beyond!)

Using the EZ sliders at your gym or at home, center your feet hip distance apart on them. Holding 2 dumbbells under your shoulders, tighten your core and slide your feet back, ending in plank position. 

Stabilize your core and drive one elbow up toward the celling pulling the dumbbell into a row. ( you may widen your feet for added stability OR place the other hand flat on the floor as well) Perform a row on each side. 

Then engaged your abdominals, pulling both knees up to your chest and stand. Using the same weights in a fluid motion, perform a bicep curl and then a press overhead. You may take one or BOTH feet off of the slider for safety or you may keep them planted on the sliders. 

Like my basement and my CASUAL 
at home workout outfit? Awesomesauce! 

Using the EZ sliders will lessen the impact of the burpee as you slide in and out of the move and feel the exercise on your abdominals and less on your joints. It's a great way to make the Burpee better on your joints and more effective on your core.  

AND HEY! I got a little kitty! She has no name yet and it's hard to call her--HEY YOU, doesn't have a great ring to it!! 
She is curious and of course, adorable.  We are still adjusting to the BIG new house and where the best places to hide and play are. The other resident kitty isn't so happy, she is hiding and doesn't have perfect peace or joy. 

Happy Thanksgiving week ! 

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Body awareness 101: 60 days, no scale

What is body awareness ?
I think of times when I was aware of my body. When I would fall in High School and skin my knees doing the hurdles. That raw burn, the feeling of asphalt track in your flesh, the hot scream of the blood. When you do a core workout and wake up in the middle of the night to roll over and can't. It's a corset of searing ache. When you embrace bravery and speak up, the adrenaline courses like an angry river through your body, your legs, you think you won't be able to stand, you feel hot all over, light like you may fall over. A skyscraper high on the fear, but ready to topple from the terror. We FEEL everything we want to feel, lots of things we don't want to. 

Here's an example from my life. When I was young, I drank a lot of pop. A LOT. UBERALOT. Incredibly unhealthy amounts. When I stopped. I couldn't BELIEVE how I felt. Not to be disgusting, but my digestive system started to work like it should. I was amazed at how I wasn't bound up, sick to my tummy, how I had more energy and no headaches. It wasn't until I knew what NORMAL felt like that I realized what my body's real bio-feedback felt like and was. (Biofeedback= gaining greater awareness of many physiological functions) Knowing if you are tired, dehydrated, bloated, inflamed, if your skin is reacting to something, if your muscles need more rest or are recovered properly, if you've had a reaction to something, if your body wants to work how you want it to that day, if you are stressed, sleeping well etc... 

SO, since I am taking ONE YEAR off of competing, I am doing an experiment. Keep in mind, I am not going OFF a healthy lifestyle or even a healthy food plan. I am not a real believer in an OFF-SEASON, but a season of preparation, we are NEVER off our healthy journey, we are always on it and always striving forward for our best self! I am eating toward that and working toward that, SMARTER than last time I tired it. In conjunction with my experience of getting my back muscles working and growing the way they should, I am focused on how my body is feeling (biofeedback) and WORKING and I want to rely on only my body for that. I am going to see if I can do it with out the help of the scale, any skin fold measurements etc. For the next 60 days (54 now) I am going to be using only visual progress pics, the way my clothes fit and how my body FEELS. It's a practice in body awareness. Being present in my skin, my bio feedback, trusting my body. 

DO I trust my body? 
WILL I LISTEN to my body? 
Can I lose a little BF while keeping my muscle mass and all just by eyeballing my physique? 

I WILL: stick to my food plan, weigh and measure food, do cardio 4x a week and of course lift. I will also continue with my foam rolling, stretches Holy Yoga all of which are things that I have done poorly in previously and will focus on as much as lifting heavy for my proactive recovery! 

Coming soon: HOLY YOGA and christian meditation! 

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Recipe: Pecan and Coconut crusted Shrimp

Pecan and Coconut crusted Shrimp
I wanted to try a shrimp recipe and a co-worker had breaded shrimp with coconut JUST the week before! With every recipe I wing, or create, I loosely base it on others from the Internet so they don't fail horribly! This is loosely based on a recipe from Skinny taste dot com, so thank you!! 

1/2 LB cooked shrimp (about 16), tail on (OR not, for a more, popcorn style) 

1 Cup shredded coconut
1/4 cup finely crushed pecans 

3 egg whites 

Get started: 
Thaw shrimp. Take each piece and cover in the finely crushed pecans. Dredge in egg whites and then dip into shredded coconut. 

I was SURE that the pecans would come off in the egg and it didn't!! It worked perfectly! I was impressed. Apparently egg whites AFTER your coating is often the way to go... who knew! 

Lightly spray a glass baking dish or use a non stick cooking sheet and lay out the coated shrimp. spray the top with cooking spray and bake at 425 for 7 min, turn over and bake another 7 min!

I served the shrimp with sauteed Brussels sprouts and a Greek yogurt dipping sauce! 

4 Tablespoons Fage greek yogurt 
1 Tablespoon Hawaiian dip mix (tastefully simple) 
1 Tablespoon lemon Juice Mix and use for dipping!

It's spicy and tangy and perfect with the sweeter shrimp coating! 

Working hard to get it in this week. The first few days, I was lacking and SLACKING and it was showing up everywhere. I was tired, groggy, chapped lips, bloated (holding water) and had a headache. When I got it in CHECK, I was taking in FAR too little than usual and just going to coffee when I was running on EMPTY. PRIORITY CHECK--drinking water is a HABIT, I need to focus on it, work to get it in and have accountability partners when I need help! All of which I have done in the last few days. 

How much WATER are YOU getting today?? 

Monday, November 11, 2013

Foam Rolling, honest progress and recap of NANBF show!

Happy Official Fall!! 
The blustery mornings are here, the leaves have fallen and the great fall foods are in full effect!

I have to be honest here and say that I am LOVING Brussels sprouts, squash and sweet potatoes right now... clean and lean eating is making my mouth happy! Three weeks post show and I am feeling good about not rebounding into a world of cupcakes, candy and JUNK! This weekend was some treats and cheats, but also filled with amazing foods to help me grow.

NANBF Northern States Natural Classic recap:

I placed 5th in the novice class and I am so grateful for that! I have entered shows where I didn't place at all. Competitors put in long days, weeks and months worth of work and often give up more than just treats. Many a workout, meal prep etc is done after the kids have been put down or while Dad/Mom does bath and bedtime.

Well, if I get honest and look at my judges comments on my placing, I believe it was more than fair. Their comments? Not lean enough. WHAT you might say, but really what was lacking in my training was dedication to cardio training. I was often missing or behind in cardio workouts for various reasons: we moved, I was working overtime, I chose sleep and food prep over them. 

Either way you slice it those "reasons"  valid or not, came before my training and it was my choice. The results? Placing 5th, not looking as "tight" or "conditioned" as my June show. It's the honest truth and it's more than fair. Does it suck that I those were my results? Sure! Are the judges to blame, my busy schedule? No, It was me! You know that crazy meme that goes around the Internet? "Don't be upset by the results you didn't get with the work you didn't do." That sums up my last show. 

It was a hard prep, a long prep and my heart was in most of it. I am grateful to walk away with a medal and a place. I have renewed vigor for my long, upcoming off season. I will take 1 year off the figure stage and step back up on stage October 2014 with even more changes behind me. From a different perspective, not everyone who comes to the gym and works hard steps on stage so I am thankful that I do. I have plenty of friends and clients who come in and really DO go beast and could give me a run for my money in the gym. Everyone I am around works so hard and it's inspiring to me! Needless to say, I am proud of my pics, here are a few: 

Proactive Recovery: FOAM ROLLING
I am re embracing foam rolling as a lifter. I used the method often when I was running, but even more important now is keeping my muscle tissue and the fascia working properly so I can see results and growth from all my hard work.
If your fascia has knots in it, is tight or is "stuck" your muscles won't have room to grow or even move the way they are supposed to. By making proactive recovery a part of your program you can keep ahead of the muscle recovery game. Foam Rolling is an easy, inexpensive way to do that.

 Foam rolling is a method of Myofascial release massage that you can do on your own, at home or the gym. Most foam rollers are under 20 dollars and your trainer, massage therapist or even sites like can help you navigate through how to foam roll. You can roll out anything, I have been working on my lats, glutes and IT band. I am making it a part of my routine, just like a healthy diet, so my hard work pays off to it's fullest potential!

Do you Foam Roll? Do you do it daily or weekly? 

Friday, November 1, 2013

Fall FEAST: Curry Squash Soup Recipe

Happy Fall! 
It's that time of year again, where we are like heat seeking missiles for warm, comforting, spiced foods. Well, GOOD news is you can create healthy versions of all of them with full flavor! 

Curry Squash Soup: 
AND just for reference, here is a handy squash quide, I NEVER seem to know what I am buying. "Is this the orange one? Or the gold one? Oh... stringy?...hmm...."

In this batch of soup, I used Buttercup. It was PERFECT! 
What you need:
4 Cups Squash 
4 cups chicken broth 
2 apples
1 cup chopped onion 
3 tsp Curry powder 
2 tsp nutmeg 
Greek Yogurt 

What to do: 
Get out your blender, a large sauce pan and 2 mixing bowls. 
Bake 1 medium to large Butter Cup squash, halved or quartered in the oven at 350 for 45-50 min or until soft. Shave off skin and then chop squash into bite size pieces, measure out 4 cups. 

Peel, core and chop 2 apples and lightly warm in a fry pan. Also sauté 1 Cup of chopped onion. Slowly add apple, onion and squash into the blender with the broth, this will be done in 2 batches. in each batch as it blends, sprinkle in 1.5 teaspoons of curry (or 3 total, and slightly less if you don't want it as spicy) and 1 teaspoon of nutmeg(2 in total)so as to evenly blend the spice. When batch one is liquified, add to sauce pan on low heat to mix flavors, add batch two when complete. 

Add a dollop of fat free greek yogurt and nutmeg on top and enjoy! More fall recipes to come this weekend/week and a recap of my last Figure show, the 2013 Northern States Natural Classic, hosted by the NANBF!

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Although Mary from Fit this girl is a CPT, always consult your physician or health care provider before beginning any nutrition or exercise program. Use of the programs, advice, and information contained in this website is at the sole choice and risk of the reader.