Friday, November 30, 2012

TGIF


I don't know about you, but I just cannot say or thing "TGIF" without singing it in the way it was used on ABC back in the nineties for their Friday night programming.  I LOVED TGIF.  Full House, Family Matters, Just the 10 of Us...what were some other TGIF programs??




Anyway...its time for my Fresh Friday link up with The Real Food Runner!
Can I just say that I really love this link up?!  Each Friday it is very fun and refreshing to look back at the week and remember some fun things that happened.  I am usually exhausted by Friday afternoon so my first reaction is to say "nothing" was fun or fresh.  But when I take 2 seconds to think about, it turns out that quite a bit was fun!  :)  You should try it!




Size 2 jeans!

Levi requested that I sing Dead Skunk!

I found a new spot for my Christmas tree that feels
less suffocating.


All in all, a pretty good week.  
  • I have been about 5 pounds heavier since June so still being able to wear a size 2 is great.  
  • I love to sing Dead Skunk in the Middle of the Road, so to have Levi request it was awesome!
  • Christmas clutter freaks me out.  See here.  So finding a new arrangement was welcome and quite mandatory.


What 3 things made your week fun???


Just in case you have never heard the song...it's awesome!






Real Food Runner

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Tis the season to be cluttered

So I sat next to my Christmas tree and cried today.  Now, before you go conjuring up images of sweet little Sally sitting next to her tree, remembering Christmas past and being joyful for the present...don't.
I was a sweating, panting mess, crying out of frustration like a toddler rather than tearing up over the beauty of the season. 
I am going to be honest here.  I do love Christmas.  I think twinkling lights are absolutely magical.  I love shopping and wrapping and giving and receiving gifts.  I love baking and visiting Santa and snuggling my kiddos.  What don't I love?  The Christmas clutter!  I thrive when I am in a clean, organized environment and when all of the decorations come out, suddenly my house feels like that scene in Star Wars when Chewy and the gang are getting ready to be compacted.  My walls literally start closing in.  But I am not one to sit back and be frustrated, annoyed, depressed or whatever.  I am my own therapist!  (fist in air)  So, after we got the decorations out and the clutter began to take over and I started to feel smothered, I thought about what I could do to fix those feelings.
Re-organize the layout of the living room!  Okay!  Sounds great.  So yesterday I moved the furniture a bit.  But it didn't help.  So today I tried again.  Moving the couch, loveseat and the tree itself.  Only the tree stand wasn't put together the right way so the tree fell to one side.  A lot.  I was stuck under the tree, pulling, pushing, but the screws in the tree stand would budge.  I wanted to throw the tree across the room.  But instead, I sat back, pounded my fists on the floor, and cried a few tears of frustration.  And it felt great!
Along the lines of Primal Scream Therapy, I let my emotions out.  And then moved on.  I took the tree apart, fixed the stand, fixed the furniture, and sped to pick L up from school.  In my mind I hated the new layout and was still harboring a little frustration.  But, upon arriving home, I looked around and I really kind of like it.
I want to feel guilty for disliking my Christmas decorations.  I should be the smiling Queen of Christmas, with decorations sparkling, not noticing that every inch is covered with something.  But that's not me.  And it's not a lot of people.  Whether you think it is the most wonderful time of the year or not, you don't have to like every single aspect of the season.
Don't let your expectations of how you "should" be ruin who you really are.  I prefer a minimalist approach to decorations, but I love to bake and share.  I love to craft fun gifts for my friends and family.  There are Christmas-y things that I am really good at!
What are your favorite and not so favorite things about the holidays?

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

My bad side



I have been running for years.  I have had a tight right IT band for years.  Or, at least, that is what I thought it was.  It is, but it is so much more, too.  A few weeks ago I proclaimed, via social media of course, that my entire right side was f***ed.  And sometimes it feels that way.  It is always my right side.  My IT band, my hip, my neck even.  And now my foot.  Just 4 short days before I was supposed to run The Northface Endurance Challenge 10K I went out for a quick 3 miler and woke up the next day with really bad pain on the bottom of my foot, my heel, all the way up my calf.  So bad that it hurt to put weight on my foot and leg.  I could barely walk, much less run.  Most of my work shift is spent on my feet, since I am teaching on the Pilates equipment.  By the end of my day my foot would be aching.  A friend recommended that I go to her chiropractor that specializes in sports therapy.  I was hesitant.  I have been avoiding seeing a chiropractor for years.  Stories from friends that have to go 3 times a week, every week, indefinitely.  Stories about pain going away only to return a few weeks later.  Plus, many of my students tell me, happily, that thanks to Pilates they are able to cut back or stop going to their chiropractor all together.  If it's a good thing to stop going, I thought, then why would I even want to go?
But there are some appealing aspects to seeing a chiropractor.  They aren't in it to prescribe medicine.  They focus on proper alignment of the joints.
Plus, I was desperate.  I had to do this race.  My marathon relay team had dwindled and I was forced to dissolve that, but I had then signed up for the 10K with the one other person from the team that had stuck to her word that she was in.  Even with an injury I didn't want to back out.
So I went to the chiropractor.  I went in very much on guard.  Ready to refuse crazy, joint-popping treatments, back away from an enforced appointment schedule, and run out if they tried and weird fourth dimension type stuff.
But you know what?  If felt a lot like a physical therapy appointment.  Or a preliminary Pilates appointment.  She asked what was wrong.  I told her.  She gave me a wonderful deep tissue massage and suggested a couple stretches.  She did align my SI joints by lifting the mid-section of the appointment table and then lowering it quickly.  Sideshow flair or anatomically helpful?  Eh...not sure...but it didn't hurt.
I received the diagnosis of Plantar Fasciitis.  Which means that the muscle tissue that is on and around the foot is inflamed.  She told me to rest, to not do the 10K, but did give me the option that if I was pain-free I could go ahead and run.
This was on a Thursday evening.  The race was coming up on Saturday.  I took to Instagram, of course, to ask advice.  I got everything from "stay off your foot, NOW" to "go ahead and run, stretch and ice after, but you will be fine."  The latter advice came from runners.  I also talked to my race partner, who, it turns out, has had PF herself.   She said running would make the pain go away once I warmed up, and as long as I was okay with more pain post-race, that I could do it.
Poll results:
Chiropractor:  stay off of it, but listen to your body.
Level-headed individuals:  stay off of it.  Rest.  Do the next race that comes along.
Crazy-brained runners:  Go for it!  Run it!  The pain of PF disappears once you start running.  You can rest later!

So...of course I went with my people, the crazy-brained runners.  BUT.  I only ran the 5K.  And I ran it fast!  4th in my age group.  Woo-hoo!  Looking back, I probably could have ran the 10K, but I am glad that I used discretion and shortened the distance.  I do work on my feet and it is important to stay healthy and strong.  If I can't walk or stand, I can't teach!

I had a second chiropractic visit yesterday, this time with the doctor my friend recommended.  This time I got an even tougher, deeper massage on my foot and calf.  Hurts SO good!  I definitely will recommend a sports/muscle-focused chiropractor to people in the future.  He also gave me the go-ahead to run, again, if I listen to my body and stop when it hurts.
I have at least one more visit where we will continue to work on my foot, my IT band, my gluteus medius and that entire pesky right side of mine that gets oh-so-tight.

Thanks to my friends, virtual and real, that have helped me and supplied advice!

Monday, November 26, 2012

Turkey!

I roasted my first turkey yesterday!  I love cooking and baking, but for some reason I have never roasted a bird.  Not even a chicken.  It is surprising because I am a big Martha Stewart fan and one of her favorite go-to recipes, in her books and magazines, is a roast chicken.  I would always look at it, feel overwhelmed, and turn the page.
But this year my mom didn't feel up to making the entire Thanksgiving meal, which is fine, because JF and I both enjoy cooking and have talked about taking over the duty for years now.  So I went to my beloved Everyday Food Magazine and in this years Thanksgiving issue the Citrus-rubbed Turkey with Cider Gravy sounded really good and the recipe was easy to follow.
The turkey itself wasn't too bad.  The neck was creepy yet interesting.  The boys were very interested in helping so we showed them where the head had been, the spine, the rib cage and all that anatomically fascinating stuff.  JF found the bag of goodies in the neck cavity and then I gave the bird a good rub down with a citrus-spice mix.  
Sunday morning I set my alarm so that I could take it out of the fridge, let it sit, and then get it in the oven.  The one way I deviated from Martha is that I used a roasting bag.  Several of my students said it's the only way to go and it was pretty easy from a cooking and clean-up perspective.
And that's it.  No cooking horror stories.  Everyone enjoyed the meal!  I definitely feel brave enough to try a roast chicken now, which is great because my boys love it!
In addition to the other side dishes I made a sweet potato casserole that used coconut milk instead of any other dairy products.  Really good!

I failed as a blogger and Instagrammer and didn't really get any good pictures of the bird or the meal!


Beautiful!

After the meal and halfway through clean-up.


Saturday, November 24, 2012

Small Business Saturday



I love shopping at small businesses.  I have worked for a small business for right around 13 years now. From a restaurant to a Pilates studio, and mixed in there was a Physical Therapy clinic as well.  Today, to help celebrate Small Business Saturday, I would like to share a few online businesses that I will shopping at this season:


Rinse Bath & Body

We sell these items at the studio where I work.  We have carried the line for several years now and I have yet to find a product I dislike.  My absolute favorite are the Pucker Sticks.  I used Burt's Bee's for, geez, 15 years, and never thought I would stray.  Until I tried Rinse Pucker Sticks!  I keep one in nearly every room of my house ;)  



I love words.  I especially love words that motivate.  And this line of jewelry motivates and inspires.  You can pick a word or a running-inspired number, like 13.1 or 26.2.  The products are made in the USA and are perfect for anyone on your shopping list!



Cute clothing for the fashion-forward kid in your life.  Designed by a husband and wife duo and modeled by their adorable daughter, this line is super fun and can be worn by girls or boys.

Friday, November 23, 2012

Fresh

Happy Friday, friends!
One of my most favorite weeks of the whole year is the week of Thanksgiving.  So much excitement leading up to the day, my boys are home from school, and even on Friday it's fun going back to work and helping my students stay motivated the day after the big feast.

We were very lucky this week to have beautiful weather and on Wednesday the boys and I had a fun-filled playdate.
On Thanksgiving we were able to take a couple walks in the woods to help lessen the calorie blow.  I also enjoy getting fresh air as much as possible so it was perfect.

It is Friday so that means another installment of Fresh Fridays.  If you want to link up click here.

3 things that made my week fresh:


1) Celery-grape-carrot juice.  2 stalks celery, 2 bunches dark purple grapes, 8 baby carrots.  My newest favorite!



2) Propping my phone on random objects, in this case old barb wire, to take fun selfies!


3) My one and only Black Friday purchase--second year in a row, so now it's a tradition!  A $5 fresh wreath from The Home Depot.  The bow will soon be gone and I will add red and cream felt rosettes.  Crafty!

Happy weekend, friends!  My plan is to decorate for Christmas and try to not go for an outdoor run.  Sheesh...I need to catch you guys up on my plantar fasciitis drama!

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Posture Perfect

Today I have 3 moves to help you strengthen your core, perfect your posture, and just get a good stretch.

As you can see, I did these with a chair in my bedroom.  You can do these anywhere!  Tomorrow is Thanksgiving so I know a lot of you will be spending time in the kitchen.  There are plenty of chairs in that room, so give these a try...while the potatoes are boiling, between basting or filling a pie.   You'll feel loads better!


Spine Stretch Forward

Sit with your legs long in front of you, about hip (or chair) width apart.  Press your rear into the floor and lift your ribs away from your hips.  Arms are resting on the chair, draw your shoulder blades together behind your back.
Inhale.
As you exhale, slide your arms along the chair, head is relaxed down.  Lift, or round, your belly away from your legs.  Imagine leaning onto a barrel.
Repeat 5 times.

The deep breaths are important!  You will feel energized and more clear-headed, so don't forget to breathe!


Teaser

Start by lying on your back, calves supported by the chair.  Legs are in Pilates "V" which is heels together, toes fist width apart.  Arms reach up towards the ceiling, but are relaxed into the shoulder joint.  Scoop here.
Inhale.
As you exhale, curl chin to chest to look at your navel.  Allow your abdominals to draw you up to seated, "reaching for your toes.  You do not have to get as high as I am in the picture.  Only go as high as you can with the abdominals doing the work.
Roll back down with control.
Repeat 5 times.
For teaser I tell my students "Squeeze a walnut between your shoulder blades and don't let it go!"




Triangle

Stand with the chair behind you.  My right leg has toes facing forward, left foot facing to the side.  Think "Align front heel with back arch" and you will have the right foot placement.  Right arm is resting on the chair, elbow directly under the shoulder.  Keeping both legs straight raise the left arm next to the ear.  If you are tight this may be difficult.  You can keep the right arm (bottom arm) straight if you would like.  Stand evenly into both legs.  The arm is on the chair for balance, but you shouldn't put a lot of pressure on it.
Hold the stretch for 3-5 breaths and then get the other side.


You can get all 3 of these in within about 5 minutes.  Give them a try!  I would love to see you trying these out during your Thanksgiving prep...send me pictures and I will share them!  

Speaking of Thanksgiving preparation.  I often get asked what I eat, how I eat, when I eat.  So, you want to know how I eat the day before a holiday where I know I will be eating a hearty meal?
Today I will be eating raw, fresh veggies and fruit as much as possible.  I will eat a handful of almonds or walnuts at lunch time and dinner time.  Lots and lots of water.  At least 1 glass per hour.  I will *try* to avoid all heavy foods, sweets, etc.  

Have a wonderful, happy Thanksgiving!  Get outside.  Enjoy your family and friends.  Put your phone down.  Okay, that last one is specifically for me to try.





xoxo  Sally

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Brussels Sprouts and Brownies

Brussels Sprouts and brownies.  Seems like a weird combination, and it is, but it is a perfect example of how we should live.  Something healthy, something fun.  Crunchy greens, chewy chocolate.  Finding a perfect balance is what it's all about.

I make roasted brussels sprouts at least twice a week.  They are SO good, even if you think you don't like them, try this recipe, you may just change your mind.

Roasted Brussels Sprouts

10-20 Brussels Sprouts
1-2 tbsp Olive Oil
Sea Salt
Black Pepper
Garlic Powder
Basil (chopped fresh or dried)

Pre-heat oven to 400*

Cut the stump off the end of each sprout and cut each one in half.  *
Place in a bowl along with the olive oil.  Using a large spoon stir until the sprouts are evenly coated.  Spread the sprouts onto a roasting pan or cookie sheet.  Sprinkle with salt, pepper, garlic powder and basil.  Then make sure each sprout is CUT SIDE down on the pan.
Roast for 10 minutes.  Give the pan a nice shake-a shake and put back in the oven for another 5-10 minutes.  You will know the sprouts are done when they start to brown just slightly.  Any of the single leaves that are on the pan will be a wonderful, crispy-crunchy treat!

*I do not wash my brussels sprouts.  I guess I am hoping the high temp of the oven will kill any bad stuff off, plus your sprouts need to be dry in order for them to roast well.  So...if you do choose to wash them, allow plenty of time for them to dry.


Cut off the purplish-brown stump.
Toss to coat in olive oil.
Make sure they are face down after sprinkling with herbs.




Candy-topped Brownie Bites

Okay...this one is super easy and fun.  Use a regular box of brownie mix but use applesauce in place of oil.  Follow the baking/pre-heating directions on the box.  Place the batter in lined mini-muffin tins and bake for 15-20 minutes.  Use the clean toothpick trick to make sure they are done.
Remove the brownies from the oven and immediately top each one with a candy pumpkin or candy corn.

The great thing about making them in mini muffin tins is that your brownie is perfectly portioned to keep from going over board.

Cute and tasty!

 Enjoy!  Let me know if you try these recipes :)


Monday, November 19, 2012

Healthy Holidays Part 1


Keep Calm and Eat Turkey
I know, I know.  The whole "keep calm" thing is a little cliche by now, but it really seems appropriate in this case.  
Every where you turn for the next 6 weeks you will see hearty meals, cookies, cakes, lattes and candy.  You will also see magazine articles, news segments and online pop-ups giving you advice on how to avoid holiday weight gain.  One of my least favorite suggestions is to take tiny portions of the foods you want at the the actual holiday party.
What?
This fitness trainer is telling me not to take small portions?
Yes.  That is exactly what I am saying.  I mean, kind of.
Here, today, is my helpful holiday eating advice.  It involves clear, calm thinking but also indulging when the moment is right.

1)  Eat healthy or healthier than normal day-to-day.
That's right.  You will be faced with peppermint mochas and gingerbread Oreos every time you step out of your house.  Avoid these treats now so that you can indulge later.  Pack lots of cut up veggies and fruit to stash in your fridge, at work, even keep some in your bag for when you are out shopping.  A baggie full of almonds or walnuts is a great idea, too.

2)  Workout!  
It's one of the busiest times of the year, and daylight is at a premium, I know.  But even a 10-15 minute workout will get your heart pumping and clear your mind.  It may just help curb your cravings, too.
Go for a walk.  Do some quick stretches.  Do my 10 minute workout :)  Just get moving now...think of it like a savings account.  Burn the calories and build the muscle now to get your metabolism revved up for the big feast.

3)  Don't nibble
As you are preparing Thanksgiving meals and treats, don't snack on the ingredients.  I am the number 1 prime suspect in this crime.  So much so that in the past I am so sick of the food I am making that I don't even eat it at the actual meal.  Don't be like me.  Keep a glass of water handy.  Again, a few healthy options like celery sticks or grapes.  Chew gum.  Play music (it's hard to snack if you are singing!)  The average bite of food contains 25 calories.  Don't waste those calories on cut up bread, cookie dough or turkey skin.  Wait until you can sit down, with a fork and knife, and actually enjoy it!

The one thing I want you to remember:  One meal will not make you gain weight.  It is how you eat over a period of time, say, Thanksgiving to New Years, that will cause unwanted weight gain.  So...keep this in mind.  Eat healthy, workout, be "good" on a day-to-day basis and then, when the actual holiday meal or party arrives, you can sit back, enjoy the fare, and truly celebrate.






Friday, November 16, 2012

Fresh Fridays - Week 2!

Hello to all of my friends!
What a beautiful week this has been.  In my part of the world we have had lots of crisp sunshine.  I am really loving Fresh Fridays and have been looking forward to this post all week!  Make sure you stop by Real Food Runner to check out Katherine's blog, as she is the one that came up with this great idea!

Three things that made my week fresh & fantastic:



1. Seeing geese fly south.  I love, LOVE, seeing geese fly, the formations they make, how they are constantly squawking to communicate and they all work together to keep moving.  It's a beautiful thing.  I maybe, just maybe, shout to them to have a good trip every now and then when they fly over head.

2.  Chocolate-mint Chia seed pudding.  Sweet and healthy all in one is the best of both worlds.  Watch for my recipe next week!


3.  My Instagram friends.  I could get really sappy here, but I will keep it brief.  I posted a question about plantar fasciitis and running and within minutes my IG friends were giving advice, sharing stories and just being supportive and friendly.  With all of the name-calling and pettiness that I see on Facebook it is just so absolutely wonderful to have an online community where we are all friendly and helpful.  Nearly 30 comments from my IG friends to help me out!  Awesome.

<3 Sally + Instagram = True Love Forever <3


Real Food Runner

Click the box above to join the link-up!  Fun, fast and...FRESH!  Perfect for Friday.
Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Workout Wednesday V5

Today for Workout Wednesday I will be featuring Ed Henry.  I have gotten to know him through the blogosphere as a runner, foodie and lively adventurer.  I have had my blog for just over 6 months and I am really enjoying the people I meet because of it.  Ed is a great example of one of those people.  After we chatted for this post I definitely want to try running in a blizzard (maybe) and I am thinking of joining an adult sports league...something I never would have thought of for fitness!

Name:  Ed Henry
Age:  29
Location:  Seattle, WA
Occupation:  Biologist
Fun Stuff:  Married with no kids (yet) but have an English bulldog.  Spent the past 3 years living in Alaska, just moved to Seattle.  Runner and aspiring foodie.  Visit Ed's blog  everydaylivingpnw.com  He currently has a giveaway going where you could win a ton...okay, 1 quart...of coconut oil, so make sure to enter!

1)  What is your favorite form of exercise?
This would have to be running. There is something about getting outside and hitting the trail or road. A close second is biking and swimming. I enjoy cardio the most because it is something I easily understand and can do at anytime. I am still intimidated by strength training, even though I have enjoyed it on occasion when I understand the program I am utilizing.





2)  Do you lift weights?
Yes. I have started a brand new program from the book “The New Rules of Lifting”. After spending a couple of years doing nothing but cardio, I now understand that strength training is important. I am starting out very slow since I don’t have a spotter or a personal trainer. Time will tell if this will be something I can truly benefit from.

3)You live in a chillier area and have lived in colder climates for a while.  What are your tips for:



     *  Staying Motivated when it's cold outside and all you want to do is hang out on the couch?


I have two tips for this.

Buy proper gear for the climate you are in. If you know all you are going to do is go outside and get soaked or freeze you won’t do it. I use to run in a hoodie and track pants that didn’t fit. This made getting outside not that appealing at the time. Once I upgraded to proper shorts or tights and a nice running jacket I started to really get into training.

Train with someone that is way more motivated than you. I realize this is a luxury that not everyone has and since I have moved to Seattle I have lost that aspect in my training. But when I use to say the weather sucks and not want to go, my co-worker Eric would say, screw that it will be more fun in the blizzard. I would then find myself enjoying the run and even love the fact that we would be covered in ice when we got home!




     * Dressing appropriately for an outdoor workout.  What to bring, what to leave behind?



The key to this is layering. You have to be able to add clothes when needed and strip when it is too warm. Even when we use to run in blizzards I would find myself taking off gloves or my facemask when we would get behind a hill that blocked the wind. Being comfortable is key and layering is the way to do it.

I would always bring on my runs in the winter a facemask, beanie, and gloves. I would put them on and take them off as needed. A good coat with lots of pockets is key to store all this extra gear. Sunglasses are always important too, unless it is at night of course.

What to leave behind? Hmm this is tough because once it is left behind you don’t have it, so then it is useless right? Well the only thing I can think of is if you are running less than an hour I would always leave my water behind. I would get thirsty on those runs but that could be remedied when I got home anyways.








4)  Do you do any form of mind-body exercise, such as yoga, Pilates, Tai Chi?
I really enjoy yoga. When I use to come home from Alaska to Seattle I would have months off from work and would go to yoga three – four times a week. Now that I am working in Seattle I don’t have that luxury. I find that yoga is a great way to stretch and limber up, and I am someone who needs that desperately. It is also a good way to strength train if you are not into weights, which may be an option for me in the future.











5)  Do you keep a regular workout schedule each week or does it vary based on how busy you are with other things?
My workout schedule has varied big time in the past 4 months. It is spontaneous and all based on my schedule with work, home life, and what I have going on. I am going to try to put my foot down soon with that and get some sort of normalcy soon. Starting a new job, buying a house and creating a new routine isn’t making it easy, but I will get there shortly.

6)  Do you find it easier to work out before or after work?
For me it has always been after work. I am not an early riser even though my work requires it. I want to be able to get up in the morning and work out, but I just don’t think it is in my DNA.

7)  Do you fill your weekend with fitness or take those days off?
Both. I would ideally always have my weekends filled with a nice hike, trail run, or even a good long swim. But I also love filling my weekends with relaxing and spending time with my girls. I think the latter takes priority, but we have plans on how to combine both worlds.



8)  Do you follow a pretty strict diet?  What does your daily intake
typically consist of?
I use to be strictly primal. When I did I felt great and looked the part. Since I came back to Seattle I have dropped the primal lifestyle and have not restricted my diet. That is starting to take it’s toll.
My wife is vegetarian and I am not. That can cause difficulties with meal planning, but we are starting to work together to find a diet we both can maintain and use. I am planning on writing about this journey soon on my site.  Usually I only eat breakfast lunch and dinner. If I need to snack at work I have a Lunabar or some almonds. 

9)  When you splurge, what's your favorite treat?
Ice cream! Seriously I can never turn it down.

10)  What is one thing, in regards to your health and fitness routine, that
you feel you need to improve?
Strength training! I have to learn how to hit the gym and build muscle. I do realize like running, it will take time and focus.

11)  Do you have a plan on how to improve it?
Yes. I am following “The New Rules of Lifting” and starting from square one. I am also taking my time and learning how to do it right. I may also get a personal trainer for a time or two; may even join cross-fit if a deal comes along.

12)  Any upcoming fitness events?
 I plan on doing my first non-Alaskan run in the near future. Probably a 5k. I would also like to get out on a few more hikes before the snow falls here in WA. Would like to join an adult soccer league for the spring or summer of next year.




To find out the winner of my Endorphin Warrior bracelet giveaway click here 

Monday, November 12, 2012

Just a bit...

Shadow picture obsessed.

This weekend was a great example of Missouri weather.  On Saturday is was windy and warm, we went for a hike at a local nature trail.  We tend to do this quite a bit in the fall and then the spring, and as we are walking in the fall, I always tell myself that we should try to go for a couple winter hikes.  Bundle up and head out to see what the woods look like when all is cold.  Hopefully we will get a chance to do that this year.
My boys!

Yesterday was rainy and very cold, with a high only in the 30's.  About a 40 degree difference!  That was just fine because Levi spent most of the day in bed.  He woke up tired, clammy and pale.  No, it most definitely wasn't a stomach bug.  It was his birthday party bug.  It seems like Levi must have an allergy to food dyes.  The day after nearly every birthday party he has been invited to since he was eating solid food he has displayed stomach bug symptoms.  Sometimes he actually gets sick, other times he just acts like he is going to.  Either way, he usually recovers by the end of the day.  With his nut allergy I hate to think of having to limit him from yet another "fun" food, but it looks like we are going to have to be really careful when it comes to colors and dyes, especially in icings.

I had the opportunity to sub 2 yoga classes in the last 24 hours.  It is always interesting to me to be the sub.  At the Studio, as the manager, most of the students know me and we exchange friendly conversation before class.  When I go to a new location to sub, none of the students know me.  They barely make eye contact.  And I know what they are thinking:

  • Who is this lady taking over for my instructor?
  • Does she know what she is doing?
  • Is she going to kill us with extra-hard moves?
  • Is this going to be a waste of time because her class is going to be super easy?
I am totally fine walking in to this.  If I am subbing Pilates I LOVE the fact that most people in this area have not done classical Pilates and they are usually blown away by my method of teaching.  When it comes to subbing yoga I tend to take a really, well, yoga approach to the class and assume that the students know more than I do about the class.  I tend to follow their lead when it comes to the set-up of the room, the pace of the class and how long I have them hold poses.  I add my posture corrections (shoulders down the back, watching knee placement like a hawk) and give the class my own touch, but try to stay true to what they are used to.
I am always blown away by how I am treated after class.  Students that were quiet and shy before class become talkative, appreciative and sometimes have a whole laundry list of questions, which is really fun.

It is great to teach to a room of familiar faces but it is great for me as an instructor to step outside of that comfort zone and teach to a room of new people, answering new questions and sharing my approach to fitness.

Friday, November 9, 2012

Fresh Fridays

The weather today is beautiful!  72 degrees and sunny with a breeze.  Couldn't get much better.
It's the perfect day to start Fresh Fridays.  My friend Katherine over at The Real Food Runner has started this fun blog link-up.  I can't think of a better way to end the week than to take a moment to reflect on what made the week fun and fresh!  To see her post click here.

The three things that have made my week fresh and fantastic are:

1)  My awesome new Endorphin Warrior bracelet!
2)  Creating a recipe for and baking Berry-Applesauce Muffins.
3)  Learning a new barrel exercise.



What about you?  Click the box to join in the fun!

Real Food Runner

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Workout Wednesday V4

Today you will get to know Kim Sickels.  She was the first person I asked to be featured in a Workout Wednesday post and we have been chatting about her post since last spring.  Kim is an amazing person and trainer.  Kim is an instructor at the Studio On Main and an all around fitness buff.  In the several years that I have known Kim she has been relentless in her pursuit for physical fitness and continuing education as an instructor.  She is always challenging herself with new classes and workouts and inspires me to try new things.

Shave the Head!

Name:  Kim Sickels
Age:  Just turned 50!
Occupation:  Auditor for a life insurance company
Fun Stuff:  Kim was modest here and put traveling, but I am going to go ahead and add that she is a fitness trainer with a basket full of certifications with Pilates, Yoga, Kickboxing and Cycle just a sampling of what she can teach!


1) How long have you been working out?
All of my life.  I started with high school sports and kept right on going.

2)  What is your favorite workout?
Bootcamp.  Currently my favorite is boxing.

3)  What is your least favorite workout?
Strength training.

4)  You are a busy person.  How do you find time for your own workouts?
It's a struggle.  I try new things, like Pilates Reformer and boxing to stay motivated.  Being in a group class definitely helps me by putting it in my schedule.

5)  How do you stay motivated?
Knowing that not working out is much worse.  I workout now so that I will be healthy in the future!

6)  Do you keep a set workout schedule each week or do you mix it up?
I mix it up each week to fit my day/week.

7)  Do you follow a strict nutrition plan?
No.  But I need to!

8)  What is your favorite healthy snack?
Hummus and cucumbers or a green smoothie.

9)  When it's time for a treat, what do you reach for?
Cereal.  Capn Crunch...sorry!  Or Rice Krispy Treats.

10)  Pick One:  Crossfit or Kickboxing.
Kickboxing.  Crossfit is strength training and that falls into my "least favorite" category!

11)  You have been taking Pilates Reformer classes for over a year now.  What do you love about it?
Sally!  I know it's good for me and I can see flexibility results that no other [exercise] has given me.
**Eep!  Thanks, Kim!  I LOVE having you in class!  You keep me inspired as an instructor!

12)  What is one goal, fitness or nutrition related, that you have?
Always trying to improve my eating and cooking habits.  And to stay moving.

Kim and her friend Jean on the left.
Signing up for a class with a friend makes it fun and hold you accountable!
Perfecting the work.



Kim and my Thursday night group!

Kim's Favorite Cardio Workout

Interval Training!

Go to the local track and run straight ends, walk the corners.  You don't need to go to the track,  sometimes I will just run for 1 minute hard on a longer street and walk the hill or whatever is around the corner. Pick a spot and run hard to it.

Kim's Green Smoothie Recipe

8 oz pineapple juice
1 cup greek yogurt
A handful of spinach
1 Banana

Blend until smooth.  Some fun add ins:  flax seed, chia, coconut flakes.

Monday, November 5, 2012

Keep Your Strength With You - Endorphin Warrior

I am so excited to share with you about Endorphin Warrior.  Endorphin Warrior offers jewelry and clothing that is designed for active individuals.  Among their product line is the Warrior Training Bracelet.  These bracelets are made to wear while working out...running, cycling, hiking...whatever your passion is, take your bracelet along with you.  This is a perfect fit for me.  I work out nearly everyday, and as a fitness instructor it's hard for me to accessorize because I am always moving or sweating.  The great people at Endorphin Warrior let me pick out a bracelet to try.  It was very difficult to choose which word I wanted.  From single words like "Relentless" and "Focus" to bracelets to celebrate your training with "13.1" "26.2" among other distances, it was hard to pick just one.  I decided to go with "Strength."  For a bracelet that I will be wearing everyday, while running and teaching and so much more, it will be nice to be reminded that I am strong.
The bracelet is made from natural leather and nickel-plated metal tag that is securely riveted to the leather band.  A snap closure keeps it all in place.
I have been wearing my bracelet for about a week now and I absolutely love it!  I love that I have my own statement piece to wear while working.  I love that I can keep it on while working out.  I LOVE that I can glance down at my wrist for a little pick me up.


After spending time on the website, looking at the different products, I have realized there is something for everyone.  Whether it's a leather bracelet with "Warrior" on it for a Yoga fan, a "Swim Bike Run" cord bracelet for someone training for their first Triathlon, or a "Courage" pendant for someone facing a difficult situation, I feel like Endorphin Warrior is the perfect spot to go to for an inspiring piece of jewelry or apparel to celebrate yourself or someone you love.

Because I love the bracelet so much I have decided to become an Endorphin Warrior affiliate.  This is my first time ever stepping into this world and I am very excited about it.

Endorphin Warrior is sponsoring a giveaway just for Forward From The Heart readers!  One lucky warrior (winner) will receive a Warrior Training bracelet to pick out ANY of the words/phrases you see on the site.  How cool is that?!  Once again, I am going to use Rafflecopter to take and track entries.  Please know that neither Rafflecopter nor I will share your information.  It's only for the sake of tracking entries.


a Rafflecopter giveaway