Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Exercise of the Week: Swiss Ball Jackknife

A lot of people are confused about what it takes to get a flat stomach. First, six-pack abs are the result of a well-conditioned workout routine involving cardio, strength training, flexibility, and good nutrition. Hate to break it to you if you've been doing 500 crunches a day and not seeing any results, but your best bet is to do exercises that involve core stability and isolation. That's why this week's exercise is the Swiss Ball Jackknife.

The Swiss ball Jackknife is great movement for targeting your lower abdominals. Plus, since the ball is unstable, your entire core has to work to maintain the position of your body.

Start by getting into a pushup position with the tops of your feet on a Swiss ball. Your body should form a straight line from your toes to your shoulders with your hands positioned just slightly wider than your shoulders.

Keeping your back flat and abs tight, bend your knees and roll the ball toward your torso. Squeeze your abs for a second and then roll the ball back to the starting position. Try to do 3-4 sets of 20-25 reps with only about 30 seconds of rest between sets.

One other tip: Keep the movement smooth and be sure to keep your spine in a neutral position. You should not feel like your hips are dropping.

Monday, March 30, 2009

Daily Dessert

Dessert cravings always seem to hit at the worst time - like right after you've eaten dinner when all of your snack times are over for the day. But here's a great dessert that is a fantastic finish to a meal - and you can eat the whole thing without feeling guilty every day if you want to!

Broiling fruit brings out its inherent sweetness. Try this recipe with mango, and see how it satisfies your sweet tooth. This technique works with pineapple as well, but mango is my personal favorite.
You will need:
1 mango, peeled and sliced (Find tips on cutting a mango below!)
Lime wedges
1. Position rack in upper third of oven and preheat broiler. Line a broiler pan with foil.
2. Arrange mango slices in a single layer in the prepared pan. Broil until browned in spots, 8 to 10 minutes. Squeeze lime wedges over the broiled mango and serve.
Cutting a Mango:
1. Slice both ends off the mango, revealing the long, slender seed inside. Set the fruit upright on a work surface and remove the skin with a sharp knife.
2. With the seed perpendicular to you, slice the fruit from both sides of the seed, yielding two large pieces.
3. Turn the seed parallel to you and slice the two smaller pieces of fruit from each side.
4. Cut the fruit into the desired shape.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Basketball Burn Intervals

I've done it my whole life. I start watching a sport, and all of the sudden - I want to play. Spectator sports rarely end with me in front of the television. I watch the Olympic games, and before you know it, I've decided to try swimming once a week, or I begin running more sprints. I check the yellow pages to see who offers gymnastics classes for adults. And I'm pretty sure that I can't watch "So You Think You Can Dance" without dancing around my living room.

So what do you think I'm doing right now? You guessed it: trying to figure out a way to incorporate basketball drills into my training. March Madness does this to me every year.
Sure, there are always pick-up games at the gym. But since I'm 5'2" on a good day, I never really seem to get much of a workout since I don't really get to touch the ball...So if you want to imitate some of what you're seeing on TV, here's a few ideas of how to incorporate some basketball drills into your workout.

Jump Shots
Stand with your feet shoulder width apart, arms chest level holding a ball (or pretending to hold a ball). Bend knees and jump up off the ground, extending arms up as if you're releasing a shot towards the basket. Return to start position. Try 25 jump shots in a row.

Squat & Dribble
Start in basic squat position, so your weight is back in yours heels. Hold a squat and dribble basketball with right hand for 30 seconds. Stand up, switch dribbling hands, and repeat with opposite dribbling hand. Try 2-3 sets on each side.

Basketball Suicides
Beginning from out of bounds, dribble and run to the freethrow line. Sprint back with the ball and layup. Next time, run to the half court line, sprint back and layup. Be sure to do this drill on the left and right. Try it at least 5-10 times and see if you're not winded.

Tuck Jumps
Jump as high as you can while bringing your knees to your chest. After you touch the ground, immediately repeat into another tuck jump. Do 20 explosions, then walk and dribble for 2 minutes to cool down. This completes a set. Repeat this drill two more times. If this is too hard, do 10 explosions instead of 20. If it’s too easy (or when it will become easy), you can try it with weights. (How else do you think they get those high vertical leaps?)

Butterfly Drill
Start with the ball in both hands in a position low to the ground. Drop the ball in front of you and dribble first with your strong hand (this should be a crossover dribble), then with the weak (this dribble should be between the legs.) When the ball has gone through your legs, repeat the above behind you. The objective is to get the ball going as fast as possible and to gain total control over the pill. It‘s called the “Butterfly” because when you have mastered it, you will look like a butterfly.

Hopefully, this will help me burn off my frustration...since Memphis' loss last night ruined my bracket! And the Tennessee VOLS got out on the first round. I mean, I've learned to expect this from the guys, but the girls?! :)

Thursday, March 26, 2009

ULTIMATE Fat Burning Secret: EXPOSED!

I'll admit it. I used to be a cardio junkie. I would run 35-40 miles a week. On "rest days," I would get on the elliptical trainer, take a Spinning class, or MAYBE do some Pilates (but only if I was really, really tired.) You would think I would have been in great shape.
Wrong. I was what I like to call "skinny fat." Sure, I was thin, but I had absolutely no muscle tone to my body. I see so many women in the gym doing the same thing - starving themselves and doing constant cardio just to be skinny - and only ending up skinny fat. Why? It simply results in a lack of knowledge of what REALLY burns fat.

Don't get me wrong. I still love my cardio. TurboKick/TurboJam is not something I would ever leave behind! And cardio in moderation definitely helps the weight loss process. But it's not what gives you a lean, firm, symmetrical body. Weight training is the only way to re-shape your body.

Let me rephrase it simply: Muscle burns fat.

I can also puit this way. The more muscle your body has, the more fat you will burn.

So if you want to get rid of the fat on your body, you MUST lift weights and build strong active muscles - not just even if you are a woman, but ESPECIALLY if you are a woman!

Muscle Facts

- Once you reach adulthood, your muscles stop growing on their own, and muscles actually begin to deteriorate. Ever heard, "If you don't use it, you lose it?" Same thing applies to your muscles. - Dieting and cardio WITHOUT strength training will cause you to lose muscle.

- Pregnancy also accelerates muscle loss. Your body needs additional protein for the baby to develop, so if you don't have enough protein in your diet, guess where it takes the protein needed from? Your muscles!

The news is about to get better.

- Weight training can rebuilt lost muscle.

- Because of the way a woman's body works, weight training won't increase their muscle size much. Women will increase muscle strength and density. (What does that mean? Forget the fear of bulking up - all you are going to do is sculpt your body into a fat-burning machine!)

Just in case your not convinced, allow me to give you a little more info.

- Your muscles are the driving force of your metabolism.

I know I already said but, but I'll say it again. The more muscle you have on your body, the more fat/calories you burn. If you have a certain amount of muscle on your body you can eat a reasonable diet without gaining weight. A good metabolism doesn’t happen by accident. Yes, of course genetics will play a part metabolism can be drastically affected by your life choices.

- Your muscles are active tissue and must constantly renew themselves. This requires energy. And guess what burning calories is? Energy expenditure! It gets better! The primary energy source your muscles use to repair themselves is FAT. Did I mention that MUSCLE BURNS FAT?? Just checking. :)-

- Your muscles are very smart. If your muscles are challenged to the limits of their capabilities, they realize that they need to rebuild themselves even stronger. That way, when faced with that same challenge they will be able to perform at a higher capacity. This is the key to understanding your weight training program. You must find a way to challenge your muscles. Lifting the same weight every time you perform an exercise will maintain what muscle you have, but not change them. I don’t know many people that like spending an hour in the gym to stay exactly the same.

That's why I'm challenging you to embark on a 90-day journey with me beginning May 1, 2009. It's called ChaLEAN Extreme, and you don't want to miss out. It will take 30-45 minutes of your day 5-6 days a week AND it comes with 90 days of recipes for all of your meals and snacks. If you've ever wanted to really change your body, I challenge you to email me at coach.chelle@gmail.com and I will give you all of the information you need.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

One-Week 100 Challenge - Part 2

Hope you are loving the results you got from the first 100 challenge! I know that by the last day, I was doing more push-ups without rest than I did on the first day. Your body is capable of more than you give it credit for!

So here it comes - Part 2 of the 100 Challenge! Can you burn an additional 100 calories everyday this week?

About 3500 calories make up one pound. You have to either eat that many additional calories or burn that many calories to make the scale move one number. All I am asking you to do is burn an additional 700 calories this week.

Here's the deal. Your regular workout routine doesn't count! If you normally take a kickboxing class on Wednesdays, the calorie burn you get from that workout can't be calculated into your 100 calories. These are additional calories to be burned.

You can do this anyway you like. Take a walk in the morning before work. Run in place for 5 minutes before work and 5 minutes after work. Do 800 Jumping Jacks over the course of the day. Hop on a treadmill and run for 8 minutes before you leave the gym. Pop your head into the group exercise room and stay for 15 minutes of a cardio-based class. Run up and down a flight of stairs for 8-10 minutes. Put in a DVD like TurboJAM and complete 20 minutes.

You have so many options, and you don't have to choose the same one everyday. So mix it up and keep your muscles guessing! You'll be amazed how easy it really is to eliminate 100 more calories each day.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Exercise of the Week: Dumbbell Squat Press

I don't like to waste time anywhere - but it especially applies at the gym. This is why I'm a big fan of complex exercises. Why would I only work one muscle group when I could do more?
The dumbbell squat press may be the most efficient exercise out there. For starters, muscle groups used include: mayMuscles involved: Quadriceps, Gluteus Maximus, Erector Spinae, Rectus Abdominis, Obliques, Deltoids, Triceps Brachii and Trapezius. Not to mention because of the nature of the exercise, it has cardiovascular benefits as well as strength training.

Here's how to do it:

Step 1: Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and dumbbells at shoulder height. Being sure not to round out your back, lower yourself down by pushing your hips back until you reach about 90 degrees of flexion in the knees. Your theighs should be parallel with the floor.

Step 2: Dig through your heels and press up out of the squat position as you press the dumbbells overhead. Lower the dumbbells back to shoulder height, which should take you you back to the starting position. Repeat.

Tips to remember:

1. Keep your abdominal muscles tight, and keep the chest lifted.

2. Don't let yourself look down. Looking straight ahead keeps your neck in line with your spine - always a good thing!

3. Always keep your knees behind your big toes.

4. Keep the press motion tight as if you're trying to punch the ceiling.

5. Remember that the bulk of your weight should be in your heels. This will help you keep your balance.

Oh, and side note - after today if you've kept up with the challenge, you will have done 700 pushups in a week! YES! Check back tomorrow for Part 2 of the the One-Week 100 Challenge.

Monday, March 23, 2009

National Chips & Dip Day!

Happy National Chips & Dip Day!

I can't decide if you are more surprised that this is actually a holiday or that I would actually observe it...But either way, it is a holiday (google it!), and I plan on celebrating!

Here's everything you will need:

- Whole wheat tortilla shells

- Lime juice

- Chili Powder

- No-calorie non-stick olive oil flavored cooking spray

- Fat free refried beans - 1 large can

- 1/2 packet of Hidden Valley's Fiesta Ranch Salad Dressing Mix

- Fat free sour cream, 8 oz. container

There are a lot of chips out there that claim to be heart-healthy, low-fat, or reduced calorie. While the nutrition stats may look better than the full fat version, many of you know the truth: they are often reduced in taste too.

Here's the best answer - do it yourself! In 15 minutes or less, you can have your own healthy tortilla chips that taste better than any full-fat version right out of the bag. Here's what you need to do.

Head to the store, and buy some whole wheat tortilla shells. Preheat your oven to 400. Lightly spray both sides of the shell with no-calorie non-stick olive oil cooking spray and lime juice. Season with chili powder to taste. Cut the shells into wedges and place them on a cookie sheet in the oven. (This also really helps with portion control - if you only want one serving, just use one shell! It's that simple!) Most of the time, these chips will be done in about 5 minutes. Take them out when they are crisp and starting to brown slightly around the edges.

Don't worry - I didn't forget about the dip. Here's a great recipe that James and I learned about over Christmas break from his sister, Emily!

Preheat oven to 350. Spread a large can of fat free refried beans into a baking pan. Next, pour 1/2 packet of Hidden Valley's Fiest Ranch Salad Dressing Mix into an 8 oz. container of fat free sour cream. Stir until completely mixed. Spread a light layer of the sour cream over the beans. The dip should be done in 10-15 minutes.


Thursday, March 19, 2009


Team Beachbody has done it again. They've come out with a new product destined to revolutionize how the fitness industry works. Introducing the world's healthiest protein shake - Shakeology! With 70 of the world's healthiest ingrediets, you get the ultimate super shake. Not only will it help you lose weight and feel energized, but it's been proven to lower cholesterol and regulate your digestive system! Not to mention, it tastes delicious! (The chocolate flavor is incredible!)

Here are the 4 key ingredients you need to know about:

1) Protein and Essential Amino Acids
* Help build and repair muscles
* Reduce hunger and food cravings
* Help keep blood sugar steady
* Support brain function to help promote alert thinking and reduce anxiety
* Promote healthy skin, hair, and nails

Shakeology includes whey protein isolate, an easily absorbable source of high-quality protein that's ideal for building and maintaining lean muscle mass. It also helps keep your blood sugar steady, reducing hunger and junk food cravings. Essential amino acids, found in protein, help the body repair muscle tissue and heal wounds; support the brain to promote calmness and alertness; and reduce hunger pangs. The whey protein in Shakeology provides a highly bioavailable source of essential amino acids.

2) Prebiotics and Digestive Enzymes
* Aid digestion
* Help boost the immune system
* Increase absorption of nutrients
* Help keep you "regular"

Shakeology contains many ingredients that are beneficial to the digestive system. Prebiotics, natural components of certain plants, help support the "friendly" bacteria in your digestive tract. They may also help with the absorption of minerals such as calcium. Digestive enzymes, from plant sources such as pineapples and papayas, help your body break down food into its individual components, making the nutrients easier to absorb. Cooking can destroy food's natural digestive enzymes, so there's a good chance that you don't get enough of them in your diet.

3) Antioxidants and Phytonutrients
* Get rid of harmful free radicals
* Help decrease inflammation
* Help boost your immune system
* Potentially decrease the risk of degenerative diseases
* May even increase longevity

Many of Shakeology's fruit and vegetable sources have been chosen for their high concentration of healthy natural substances known as phytonutrients, including flavonoids, polyphenols, anthocyanins, and catechins. These substances have antioxidant properties, meaning they help get rid of molecules known as free radicals, which damage cells and may be a key component of the aging process. In laboratory tests, phytonutrients have shown promise in helping prevent a wide variety of degenerative conditions. What's more, studies suggest that the natural mix of phytochemicals you get from whole-plant sources is more effective than taking them individually as nutritional supplements.

4) 23 Vitamins and Minerals
* Get a wide range of essential nutrients
* Get your necessary vitamins every day
* Make up for dietary deficiencies

Most of us don't get the complete range of essential vitamins and minerals in our daily diets. Some important vitamins, such as vitamin C and the B vitamins, are water-soluble, meaning they're flushed out of your body after a short time and need to be replenished regularly. Others, like vitamin E, can be difficult to get enough of in food. Shakeology provides all these nutrients in an easy-to-take, easily absorbable form, so you never have to worry.

With just 140 calories, 1 gram of fat, 9 grams of sugar, and 17 grams of the highest quality protein, you get a well-balanced meal that will keep you full for hours.

Head to Team Beachbody Coach - Michelle Myers to get yours today. Click on NUTRITION, then Core Nutrition, and scroll to the Shakeology Starter Pack. You will get a 30-day supply delivered to your door! Be one of the first to check it out.

Feel free to email me at coach.chelle@gmail.com if you would like more information.

Gettin Crabby at Lunch!

Chicken salad, tuna salad, seafood salad...they all seem healthy enough. But don't be fooled! Most of the time, they are so full of mayonaise that the healthy ingredients are no longer a good choice! But made correctly, these salads can make a great healthy lunch.

Rule #1 - Hold the mayo! This recipe has ingredients that are high in flavor but low in calories—lime juice, ginger, cilantro and chile peppers among them—to make this crab salad both nutritionally sound and absolutely delicious. If you want to skip the pita, serve on a bed of Boston lettuce or mixed greens. But the whole wheat pita pinwheels work great to make a healthy well-balanced meal.

Makes 2 servings, 1 1/4 cups salad each

1 tablespoon red-wine vinegar

1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil

1 teaspoon lime juice

Freshly ground pepper to taste

1 teaspoon minced fresh ginger

7 ounces cooked crab meat, drained - (Imitation crabmeat works great too)

1/2 cup finely chopped celery heart with leaves

2 tablespoons minced red onion

1 tablespoon chopped fresh cilantro1 teaspoon minced jalapeƱo pepper, or to taste

2 6-inch pita breads, warmed and cut in half crosswise

2 large lettuce leaves, torn in half

1. Whisk vinegar, oil, lime juice and pepper in a medium bowl. Add ginger, crab, celery, onion, cilantro and jalapeno; toss well. Line pita halves with lettuce and fill with crab salad. Garnish with parsley if you are serving for guests.


339 calories

10 g fat (1 g sat, 6 g mono)

70 mg cholesterol

38 g carbohydrate

28 g protein6 g fiber

728 mg sodium

250 mg potassium.

And don't forget your 100 push-ups today!

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

One Week 100 Challenge!

Most of the "reasons" people give for not working out involve not having enough time. (Reasons goes in quotes because most of the time, they are really excuses!) However, I do understand that time is precious, and most people desire to get a great workout in the shortest time possible. With that in mind, I want to give you a one week challenge - especially if you are one of those people who doesn't work out because you don't have enough time.

Push-ups are in practically every one of my strength-based workouts. They tone the entire upper body (chest, shoulders, biceps, triceps), and it also strengthens your abdominal muscles and lower back. It's a fantastic total body exercise! Plus, they can be adapted to any level of strength.

Regular push-up too hard? Try it from your knees.

Think it's too easy? Lift one leg and switch every 5 reps, try it with one arm, or clap inbetween push-ups! There's always a way to challenge yourself.

So here's the challenge: For the next week, do 100 push-ups every day. You don't have to do them all at once. You can do 25 before you leave for work, 20 on your lunch break, 15 on an afternoon break, 20 when you get home from work, 10 right before dinner, and 10 right before you go to bed.

Break it up however you need to - just get them done!

I'm starting this today, and I want to ask you to join me. By this time next Wednesday, can you do 700 push-ups? I guarantee you will feel stronger!

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Is your tea GREEN?

Happy St. Patrick's Day! In honor of the green holiday, I just have one question: Is your tea green?

There are no drinks (besides water - of course!) proven to have as many health benefits as green tea. The Chinese have known about the medicinal benefits of green tea since ancient times, using it to treat everything from headaches to depression. In her book Green Tea: The Natural Secret for a Healthier Life, Nadine Taylor states that green tea has been used as a medicine in China for at least 4,000 years. Today, scientific research in both Asia and the west is providing hard evidence for the health benefits long associated with drinking green tea.

For example, in 1994 the Journal of the National Cancer Institute published the results of an epidemiological study indicating that drinking green tea reduced the risk of esophageal cancer in Chinese men and women by nearly sixty percent. University of Purdue researchers recently concluded that a compound in green tea inhibits the growth of cancer cells.

There is also research indicating that drinking green tea lowers total cholesterol levels, as well as improving the ratio of good (HDL) cholesterol to bad (LDL) cholesterol.To sum up, here are just a few medical conditions in which drinking green tea is reputed to be helpful:high cholesterol levels cariovascular disease infection impaired immune function..........What makes green tea so special? The secret of green tea lies in the fact it is rich in catechin polyphenols, particularly epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG). EGCG is a powerful anti-oxidant: besides inhibiting the growth of cancer cells, it kills cancer cells without harming healthy tissue. It has also been effective in lowering LDL cholesterol levels, and inhibiting the abnormal formation of blood clots. The latter takes on added importance when you consider that thrombosis (the formation of abnormal blood clots) is the leading cause of heart attacks and stroke.

Links are being made between the effects of drinking green tea and the "French Paradox." For years, researchers were puzzled by the fact that, despite consuming a diet rich in fat, the French have a lower incidence of heart disease than Americans. The answer was found to lie in red wine, which contains resveratrol, a polyphenol that limits the negative effects of smoking and a fatty diet. In a 1997 study, researchers from the University of Kansas determined that EGCG is twice as powerful as resveratrol, which may explain why the rate of heart disease among Japanese men is quite low, even though approximately seventy-five percent are smokers.

Why don't other Chinese teas have similar health-giving properties? Green, oolong, and black teas all come from the leaves of the Camellia sinensis plant. What sets green tea apart is the way it is processed. Green tea leaves are steamed, which prevents the EGCG compound from being oxidized. By contrast, black and oolong tea leaves are made from fermented leaves, which results in the EGCG being converted into other compounds that are not nearly as effective in preventing and fighting various diseases.

New evidence is emerging that green tea can even help dieters. In November, 1999, the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition published the results of a study at the University of Geneva in Switzerland. Researchers found that men who were given a combination of caffeine and green tea extract burned more calories than those given only caffeine or a placebo.Green tea can even help prevent tooth decay! Just as its bacteria-destroying abilities can help prevent food poisoning, it can also kill the bacteria that causes dental plaque. Meanwhile, skin preparations containing green tea - from deodorants to creams - are starting to appear on the market.

So whether you like it hot or served over ice, give green tea a try! (But beware for versions at coffee joints - they can be full of sugar! Be sure to order it plain, and sweeten it yourself with Splenda or Stevia.)

Monday, March 16, 2009

Bombs Away!

Dive-bomber pushups are a great variation of the classic pushup. They require control, promote strength development and endurance and help teach the body to “flow” through the movement. If you’re body is rigid or stiff, divebombers become very challenging. Teach yourself to flow through the motion, and you’ll find it to be much more effective.

Step 1:

Begin in the “dive-bomber” position by first starting in a classic pushup position. Spread your feet apart, keep your legs straight and push your butt up into the air. Drop your head between your arms.

Step 2:

Flare your arms out and lower your nose and chest to the ground.

Step 3:

Flatten out your body so that it’s parallel with the ground. Imagine you’re trying to do the limbo.

Step 4:

Drive your torso straight up, so that you’re looking directly ahead. Keep the hips low to the ground and your hands directly below your shoulders.

Think you’re finished? Not so fast.

Step 5:

To perform a true dive-bomber pushup, repeat the above steps in reverse order until you’re back to your original starting position. Imagine as if you’re swooping down to the ground, then reversing that swoop back to the starting point, staying as fluid and smooth as possible.

If you’ve never done a dive-bomber before, start with just a few and see how it goes. As your strength progresses, which will happen very quickly, increase the number of repetitions. Jusr think - nose, lips, hips!

Friday, March 13, 2009

EXTREME-ly Good Breakfast

Cinnamon Ricotta Crunch

1 cup - skim ricotta cheese
1 tsp - ground cinnamon
2 TBSP - slivered almonds
1/2 cup - berries of your choice (Blueberries are my favorite!)
**Optional** - Sometimes, I add 1 packet of Splenda for a ltitle extra sweetness.

Place ricotta cheese into a cereal bowl. Mix in berries, cinnamon and optional Splenda. Top with almonds, and enjoy!

This is a GREAT recipe from the burn phase of ChaLEAN Extreme - an insanely awesome workout from Chalene Johnson, the creator of TurboJam. This 12-week workout program comes complete with 12 weeks of workouts and TONS more recipes like the one above. If you are interested in purchasing, let me know or go ahead and get it from my website - Michelle's Team BeachBody

Here's a little more info:

The secret is “Lean Phasing”. The proven circuit training techniques in the ChaLEAN Extreme workout system shifts the fat-burning focus from cardio to resistance routines. Muscle burns fat™ and the more muscle you have the more fat you burn. It’s simple science, it’s all about increasing your body’s metabolism.

MYTH: Lifting heavier weights will make you bulk up.

FACT: Lifting heavier weights makes you lean because the more muscle you have the more fat you burn.

Not a single woman in the Chalene Extreme test group ended up with larger measurements. They all finished leaner, toned, and smaller.

You can burn up to 60% of your body fat in just 3 months! ChaLEAN Extreme is so effective you even burn fat while you’re asleep! Say goodbye to workout plateaus, where you just can’t seem to continue to get results. Say hello to ChaLEAN Extreme! (Email me at coach.chelle@gmail.com for details or head to my Team BeachBody site today!)

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Legs to Stand On

A lot of people who strength train come into the gym and miss the biggest calorie burn. So many people associate weight lifting with lat pull-downs, chest press, bicep curls, and overhead presses. After all, their cardio workouts work their legs, right? Strength training is for the upper body. 


Your legs have the biggest muscles in your body - the quadriceps, the hamstrings, and the glutes. If you don't work these muscles on the days you lift, you are missing out!

Here's a killer routine to get you started - with some extra spurts of cardio inbetween. This is a great lower-body challenge for a high-intensity workout day to help you get a leg up on your competition. 

(If you are confused about some of the exercises, head to http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/exercises.htm. At the bottom of the page, you can search for the exercise and get a detailed explanation!)


Reverse Lunges: Do 2 - 3 sets of 12 reps per leg.

Treadmill: - Run 8 minutes at 6.5 mph

Bicep Curls from a Lunge Position: Do 1 set of 18 reps. Immediately, switch legs and do a Lateral Raise from a Lunge Position. Do 1 set of 18 reps. Repeat this combination 3 times. 

Treadmill - 8 minutes at 6.5 mph

Incline Crunches: 15 - 20 reps

Prone Kneeling Leg Extensions: 3 sets of 18 reps per leg

Treadmill - Walk 5 - 8 minutes at a 3.5 pace with as much incline as you can stand.

Forward Lunges: 3 sets of 20 reps per leg

Traveling Lunges: These are just lunges but instead of staying in place you walk across the room. If this is too easy, try doing it holding a pair of dumbbells at your side. How long can you keep it up? (Each time you do this workout, you should aim to take a few more steps.

Treadmill - Walk 5 minutes for cool down. 

Don't forget to stretch!

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

CLICK Just In!

Hope you got excited about CLICK in my last post! 

On the home page of www.drinkclick.com there is a big pink button.

Just enter RnRclickon as your coupon code and you will receive $2 off each canister of 14 serving CLICK and FREE SHIPPING when 2 canisters are ordered.  

Plus, if you mention my name and this blog in the comments field, they will send you a CLICK shaker absolutely free!

What are you waiting for? Go get yours now!

Make it CLICK

They say admitting it is the first step. So, here it goes. I have several addictions, and most of them aren’t too bad. I’m shamelessly addicted to TurboKick, my early morning workouts, date nights with my husband, Tennessee hills, California beaches…and coffee.

I can’t help it. Hot, over ice, hazlenut, French vanilla – you name it, I like it. That’s why I was super excited when I discovered a new product – CLICK: the expresso protein drink. That’s right – you can get your coffee fix AND your protein at once!

CLICK is a really healthy espresso protein drink that contains 15 grams of protein, 23 vitamins and minerals with a double shot of espresso in a 120 calorie 12 oz. serving. Plus, it has a rich and creamy flavor that will make you think you’re talented enough to be a barista at Starbucks.

That’s not all – CLICK is versatile enough to be able to drink hot or cold. (I tried it both ways, and it’s fantastic.)

I decided to use CLICK to make my own version of an Iced White Chocolate Mocha. If you’ve never had a real one of these, don’t start! It’s best that you don’t know what you’re missing.

Here’s how to do it on your own. You will need:

                  4 oz. Skim Milk

                  8 oz. water

                  1 TBSP Sugar Free White Chocolate Syrup

                  2 scoops of CLICK

                  2 TBSP Cool Whip Free

Pour 4 oz. milk and 8 oz. of water in shaker. 
Add 1 TBSP of sugar free white chocolate syrup. Add 2 scoops of CLICK and shake. 
Open shaker, add 2 TBSP of Cool Whip Free and shake again. Finally, add 2-3 cubes of ice, and shake again.

Let’s talk cost. My CLICK version (a great combination coffee/breakfast or coffee/afternoon snack) only has about 200 calories, 1.5 grams of fat, and 11 grams of sugar.  Each container of CLICK contains 14 servings for $25 – costing you under $2 a meal.

The real thing - if you restrict yourself to just ordering a tall - will cost you 370 calories, 15 grams of fat (10 are saturated), and 45 grams of sugar. (Plus – don’t forget that you haven’t eaten yet!) Plus, it’s twice the price - $4 a visit.

Head over to http://www.drinkclick.com today and try your own today. Feel free to make your own combination and post your recipe here!

Special thanks to my friends at CLICK for sending me a PINK protein shaker to try out their products. J

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Exercise of the Week: One Legged Bent Over Row

How many people do you think hit the gym with the goal of seeing slow and steady results?

Probably no one. 

Today's world wants everything quickly and efficiently. That's why this week's exercise - the one legged bent over row - works more muscles at once than most people's full workouts!

It works the lower, middle, and upper back as well as your shoulders and biceps while also working the glutes, hamstring, and calf on the standing leg. Not to mention, it works to improve your balance, coordination, and flexibility. What more could you want?


Start by holding a dumbbell in your right hand. Balancing on your right leg, hinge forward from the hips until your back is as close to flat as you can manage. Raise the back leg as high as possible and stabilize by contracting the glute and hamstring muscles of that leg. 

While maintaining a flat back, pull the dumbbell up in a rowing motion, driving the elbows as far back as possible. Hold this position for a second, and then slowly lower to the straight arm position, while maintaining a flat back. (Dropping the weight too quickly will not work the muscle in reverse and could result in losing your balance.)

Do as many reps as you can, then do the same amount of reps on the other leg. Remember to start with a light weight until you get the hang of it, and then you can add heavier weight.

Make it easier:

If you are finding it difficult to balance you can try performing it without weights. You can also place your back foot on something for balance like a chair or bench.

Make it harder:

You can always add weight. You can also try placing dumbbells in both hands and rowing with both arms at the same time. 

Monday, March 9, 2009

NUTrition Tip of the Day!

In case you haven't heard that nuts are good for you, I'll give you the 411 in a nutshell! (Couldn't resist - sorry!)

Whether you prefer peanuts, almonds, Brazil nuts, cashews, hazelnuts, macadamia nuts, pecans, pine nuts, pistachios or walnuts, eating 1.5 oz. per day as part of a diet low in saturated fat and cholesterol can:

- Lower your chance of heart disease
- Serve as a good source of protein, fiber, and Omega 3 essential-fatty acids
- Include most of your daily requirements of folic acid, niacin, vitamins E and B6, magnesium, copper, zinc, phosphorus, and potassium...
- May help curb your appetite
- Full of antioxidants and phytochemicals (cancer-fighting agents)

But here's the bad news...

They are extremely high in calorie. In fact, most nuts average about 190-200 calories and 15-17 grams of fat in just 1/4 cup. (Counted out, that's about 15-20 almonds to give you an example!) When you get going, it's sometimes hard to stop...

Good thing I never end with the bad news!

I've recently discovered a new snack - dry roasted edamame!

If visions of Japanese restaurants and fuzzy green pods come to mind, you're right. However, when you remove the soybeans from the pod, dry them and roast them - the result is a nutty texture and flavor, and get this - with all of the same healthy benefits and more!

1 serving (1/4 cup) of dry roasted edamame has only 130 calories, 4.5 grams of fat, and DOUBLE the protein of the average nut - 14 grams! 

So whether you sprinkle them on a salad, eat them plain as a snack, or couple a handful with some fruit or yogurt for breakfast, go nuts! (That's two in one post...sorry again!)

X-Tra info - *If you're a fan of buying in bulk, you can get a huge canister of them at Costco for CHEAP! Just remember to go ahead and put a 1/4 measuring cup inside so you don't get carried away.)*

Friday, March 6, 2009

Pizza Night!

You've had a long week at work, but FRIDAY is finally here! You want nothing more than to get home from work, call Dominoes and curl up on the couch to watch a good movie. You could do that...but if you did, what would all of your hard work being healthy through the week be for? Although the version that comes delivered to your door is less than healthy, pizza can actually be a diet-friendly option if you make the right choices - and it doesn't take much more work than calling for delivery!  

Here is my favorite recipe for Hawaiian Pizza. Enjoy!  

You will need:  

- Whole wheat pizza crust (I prefer thin crust.) 
- 1 can - Organic Pizza Sauce 
- 3 cups - Fat free or part-skim mozzarella cheese 
- 1 package of Canadian Bacon 
- 1 small can of pineapple tidbits  


First, spread pizza sauce on top of the crust. Top the sauce with the 3 cups of cheese. Next, evenly distribute the canadian bacon. Drain the pineapple tidbits well, then place them on the top of the pizza. Bake at 350 degrees for about 20 minutes or until the crust is golden brown and the cheese is completely melted. Let it cool for a few minutes before cutting.  

As an extra tip - cut your 1-2 slices, then go ahead and cover it with aluminum foil and put it out of the way so you are not tempted to go back for more. If you think you might still be hungry, pair it with a veggie-filled salad tossed in a light vinaigrette dressing.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Desk Jockey Domination!

You know the drill: The alarm goes off, and you hit snooze as many times as you possibly can. Finally, you realize that you're going to be late if you lay in bed another second, so you spring up, rush to get ready, and fly out the door - only to get stuck in rush-hour traffic. You finally arrive to work, still frazzled and stressed from the morning. Good thing you had to rush around getting dressed because that's the most athletic activity you're going to get for the next 9 hours...

If you have a desk job, I know you can relate. In fact, the statistics show that desk jockeys:

- Have a slower metabolism

- Exercise less

- Weigh more

- Have more health complications

However, even if you have a desk job, there are things you can do to battle the consequences.

1. Don't skip breakfast.

Get up early enough to eat breakfast before you leave your house. Skipping breakfast will cause you to overeat the rest of the day. If you eat in the car on the way to work, you are concentrating on other things, so it may take your body longer (and more calories later) to recognize that you are full.

2. Bring your lunch.

By bringing your lunch, you can always ensure that you have a healthy option to eat for lunch. Plus, you can control your portion sizes!

3. Have healthy snacks at work, but don't put them on display.

Out of sight, out of mind. If you see food on your desk, you can trick yourself into thinking that you are hungry when you're not. Put healthy snacks like fruit or nuts in the back corner of a drawer.

4. Drink more H20.

Many times, we think we're hungry when we're just thirsty. Before you reach in your desk for a snack, drink some water and wait 20 minutes. If you are still hungry, then head for your fruit stash.

5. Get as much movement as possible.

Instead of emailing someone across the hall, head over there yourself. Don't pride yourself on the front row parking spot. Park in the back to get more steps! ALWAYS choose the stairs over the elevator. Use 15-20 minutes of your lunch break taking a walk outside. There are lots of ways to add small bursts of activity to your day.

6. Workout right before or right after work.

If you are a morning person, take advantage of it and get your workout in early. This way, your workout is done before life gets in the way AND your metabolism will be increased all day long. If you don't function before 8 a.m., pack your gym bag and hit the gym before you come home or do your workout DVD as soon as you walk in the door. You know the second you hit the couch, you're done...and you'll regret it the next day. Get your workout done so you can relax guilt-free!

7. Cooperate with a co-worker.

Find a friend at work who has similar health and fitness goals. You are more likely to stick to it if you have someone close by who will brown-bag it and take a short power walk with you.

8. Lower your heels.

Alright, ladies - the last one is for you. (And guys, if this one is an issue for you - that's a whole other topic for another day!) :) High heels put a strain on all parts of your foot, your ankles, and your knees. 3/4 - 1 inch heels should be as high as you go. Jimmy Choo will forgive you - I promise - and your body will thank you.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Get Perky with Jerky!

One of the first things you learn when you are aiming for a healthy lifestyle is this: Natural and raw foods are much better for you than anything you can get out of a vending machine. But the packaging of chips and candy bars is so much more convenient, isn’t it?

What if you could have the best of both words? You can! Introducing PINEAPPLE JERKY from our friends at Jerky.com!

Though when I say "jerky," most people immediately drift to thoughts of Hulk Hogan and "SLAM INTO A SLIM JIM!" In the words of Lee Corso, "Not so fast, my friend!" Once dehydrated, these foods that would normally go bad quickly can be stored in an airtight container and stay good for months. (Meaning, CONVENIENT and HEALTHY snack!)

Now - be warned. Most packages of dehydrated fruits that you will pick up at the store contain sugars and preservatives - two things you should avoid as much as possible. But our friends at Jerky.com have made sure that their jerky contains all natural ingredients! Meaning - you still get all of the essential enzymes, amino acids, vitamins and minerals that the fruit has before it is dehydrated.

Here's the 411 on the Pineapple Jerky we sampled:

Jerky.com (based in Witchita Falls, TX) starts with only the purest pineapple - straight from Maui, Hawaii! It is dehydrated at a heat that allows all the nutrients to stay. After it's removed from the dehydrator, the jerky is lightly glazed with honey - also full of antioxidants! Then, it's packaged and ready to be delivered to you! This snack not only satisfies your hunger, but it will keep sweet cravings at bay! It genuinely feels like a treat. 

So, whether you head to Jerky.com or call 1-877-97-JERKY - try some today! In addition to pineapple, there are all kinds of meat-based treats as well!

Click on the title of this post to get a package today!

More reviews to come...

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

SUPERGIRL Shoulder Press

Today's fitness programs tend to focus on functional fitness, which refers to exercise that simulates real-life activities and uses a wide variety of movements through a wide range of motion. This concept of “functional training” is mainly composed of compound exercises.

Compound exercises are multi-joint movements that work several muscles or muscle groups at one time. A great example of a compound exercise is the squat exercise, which engages many muscles in the lower body and core, including the quadriceps, the hamstrings, the calves, the glutes, the lower back and the core.

For anyone trying to get the most out of their training program, you NEED compound exercises. Why?

- You burn more calories.

- They simulate things you actually do in your daily life.

- You get a full body workout – only faster.

- They improve your balance, coordination, and reaction time.

- You will increase your joint stability and muscle balance.

- They help keep your heart rate up – so not only are you strength training, but you get a bonus cardio workout!

- Eventually, these exercises will help you be able to exercise longer with less muscle fatigue.

- With time, you will be able to lift more weight because you’ll be stronger!

- By improving balance and stability, these exercises decrease your risk of injury while exercising.

Here’s a great exercise to get you started: SUPERGIRL SHOULDER PRESS

(Men – don’t be offended. You can do SuperMAN shoulder press. I just wanted the pink logo on my page.)

Step 1: Begin by standing with your left foot flat on the floor and your right leg extended behind you, toes pointing down. At the same time, hold a pair of dumbbells at shoulder height, keeping your elbows pointed down. (Each time you do this exercise, you should use heavier weight.)

Step 2: Press the dumbbells upward in a shoulder press, while lifting your right leg (the back leg) straight behind you in a glute raise.

Step 3: Repeat Step 2 15-20 times. Repeat on the opposite side 15-20 times. You will feel this all over, but especially in your shoulders and glutes!