Wednesday, June 27, 2012

If the Shoe Fits......The Running Shoe Glass Slipper. workout shoe shopping. My best friend, Tiffany and I (T & T, yes that's us) were in search of new running shoes. Therapy at it's finest for fitness, shopoholics like us. Even my five year old daughter loves getting a new pair of shoes. With so many choices, styles, and brands how does a girl decide? Fitness industry recommendations are that you get new workout shoes every 3 months or so. Of course we just use that as an excuse to go shopping, but, honestly, it's true. If your feet start to hurt or your knees start to bother you, chances are it's time for new shoes. Trust me, I learned the hard way. I injured myself doing a long training day in an older pair of shoes 4 weeks before one of the half-marathons I was preparing for. I ended up with an illiotibial (IT) band issue. According to wikipedia, this is a common knee injury associated with running or weight lifting that causes a stinging sensation right above the knee joint and can cause pain above or below the knee. Ouch! Needless to say, I had to take some time off right before the race to let it rest. I also bought new shoes and luckily, didn't have any problems with my knee during the race.

     Tiffany, one of my besties and fellow fitness addict, has different issues when it comes to the "right" running shoe. We both wanted something fun and trendy for the summer. Neon, sweet, we'll take it, but not only does the shoe have to look good, it has to fit good. There just so happens to be a local running store that will do running evaluations to find the right shoe for your feet. Tiffany recommended we go there for advice. While I was at Soul to Sole I had a running assessment done. They pretty much told me what I already knew. I have high arches and am a pronator. I needed a support shoe that had a hard insole to support my arch to keep my feet from rolling inward. Although, there were several brands of shoes that make a support shoe, my choice... Asics. Twenty years of research and voted top shoes in America the last five years makes this shoe a definite must have. Here's my new kicks:

      Tiffany has a different issue when she runs. When she did her running evaluation she was a neutral runner. So, she always bought a structured shoe. Then she read Born to Run, about barfeoot runners. Basically, it blasts the shoe industry on all the hype, cushion, and fluff they put into shoe marketing. After reading about this, she decided to try a minimalist nuetral shoe without all the stability elements. Generally, it isn't recommended that you go from one extreme to another but hey, if the shoe fits??  Check out her top pick:

What's your favorite shoe? Check out Shape Magazines's 2012 Top picks for some really hot, shoes to throw in your gym bag now.

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Islamorada Mango Salsa

   One thing I eat a lot of to try to maintain a lean physique is protein. That's why I love vacationing in spots where one of the main staples on the menu is fish. I wasn't always a huge fan of fish, especially as a child, but what I've learned is what makes it so yummy is the type of fish you eat and the way it is prepared. I prefer mild, white flaky fish like mahi-mahi. Luckily for me, on my recent trip to the fishing capital of the U.S, Islamoroda, FL, there was an endless supply of restaraunts that prepare mahi-mahi. The restaraunts, for a fee, will even prepare your personal catch if you take a fishing excursion and bring it back. Usually, they'll prepare it several ways, too.  If you are ever in Islamorada I highly recommend eating at Lazy Days and having your fish prepared Super Lazy Day Style. It's the bomb!!

  One way to add a lot of flavor without adding a whole lot of extra calories, is topping your fish with salsa. I love corn and bean salsa and tropical salsa. Here is an easy recipe that we tasted at the Cheeca Lodge and Spa on our recent vacation. We brought home a little taste of the Florida Keys with us and it's perfect for summertime:

Islamorada Mango Salsa

  • 2 ripe mangos
  • 1/2 red onion
  • 1/2 yellow, red, green pepper
  • 2 T. freeshly squeezed lime juice
  • 8 mint leaves


  Dice the mango, onion, and peppers into small cubes. Add lime juice. When adding the mint leaves, start with 8 and chop them fine and add to the mix. Adjust the amoiunt of mint to your taste (if you like a little heat and spice, you can add a jalepno pepper). Refrigerate for atleast 2 hours so the flavors have a chance to blend (the longer the better). Once chilled try this tasty recipe as a dip or granish over your favorite fish! Voila!!

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Pyramid Sexy Muscle Workout

Barbell Lunges 20 reps each side
1 minute Squat hold (no weight)
Clean and jerks 20

Repeat the circuit 3x but each time add weight 
Decrease the number of reps on the lunges and Clean and Jerks from 20 to 15 to12

1 Legged Deadlift w/ Dumbell Reverse Flyes
Plank hold with 1 Arm Row

Repeat the Circuit 3x but each time add weight 
Decrease the number of reps from 20 to 15 to 12

Barbell chest Press
Chest Flyes
Tricep Push ups on knees

Repeat the circuit 3x but add weight for the Chest Press and Chest Flyes
Decrease the number of reps fron 20 to 15 to 12

Barbell Bicep Curls
Front Raises

Repeat 3x adding weight for the Barbell Curls
Decrease the number of reps from 20 to 15 to 10

I did this workout in one of my classes and some of the members that took class called me 4 days later and said they were still feeling it in their muscles!

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Quick and Easy: Chicken Salad for Lunch

Here's a super quick and easy healthy recipe for Chicken Salad. Perfect for lunch.

4 Grilled Chicken breasts finely chopped, or if you are in a hurry 2 cans Kirkland Brand premium chicken packed in water from Costco.
1/2 c. Sliced grapes (I prefer red)
1/4 c. Diced purple onion
1/2 c. Finely Diced celery
1/4 c Raisins
1/2 c. low fat mayo (or you can do 2 Tbls. mayo plus 1/3 c. low fat plain yogurt)
2 tsp. Mrs. Dash seasoning salt
I mix cashew nuts in it as well, but if you are going to refrigerate it and save for later don't add the nuts. The nuts get soggy, so just top them on later.

Dice and mix all ingredients together. It's so yummy you can eat it plain or top it on one slice of Ezekial or whole wheat bread. Other great ideas,  roll it up in a whole wheat tortilla or stuff a pita pocket. Low calorie, and good for you.

Friday, May 4, 2012

Fitness Friday: Circuit Workout #2

 Here is round two of the Metabolic Circuit that can be done at home or as a quick workout at the gym. This particular one focuses on the muscles of the legs:  glutes, hamstrings, quads, and calves.  Complete the entire circuit three times to create an approximately 20 minute workout.  The leg exercises can be done with a set of dumbells for an extra challenge. Make sure you properly warm up for 5-6 minutes before you begin and coold down at the end.

1. Alternating Front Lunges (1 minute)
30 sec Ski in place
2. Squat with alternating hip abductions (1 minute)
30 sec High Knees
3. Squat with hip Extensions a.ka glute lifts (1 minute)
30 sec Clock hops 12, 3, 6, 9 
4.  Lateral Squats alternating legs (1 minute)
30 sec Quick Feet
5. Jump Squats (1 minute)
30 sec Mountain Climbers

Repeat entire sequence 3 times.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Work That Body Wednesday: Make it Over the Hump

Looking for something to get that body reved up? Here's a quick metabolic circuit workout designed to work your heart and tone your upper body. You can do it at home or at the gym. The circuit consists of high volume reps with cardio sets in between. The weight segments focus on conditioning the major  muscle groups of the upper body including back, biceps, chest, triceps, and shoulders.

Do the entire circuit 3 times with approximately 10 seconds of rest in between each exercise. It will take you roughly 20 minutes to get through the routine. Keep in mind you should begin any type of workout with a warm-up and end with a cool-down.

You will need a set of dumbells and a step (with or without risers):


1.  Reverse Flyes (1minute)
30 sec Step ups
2. Bicep Curls (1 minute)
30 sec Jumping Jacks
3. Push-Ups
30 secs Basic Step up and downs on and off the bench or quick toe taps on the edge of the bench
4. Body weight Dips
30 sec Quick Feet
5. Alternating Shoulder Raises
30 Sec high Knees

Repeat entire sequence 3 times.
Happy Hump Day! Get it done!

Monday, April 30, 2012

Hand Wash *** Drip Dry

Click on the link on the side column for products.
 OMG...they don't slip. I came across these fabulous lil' hair accessories when I was working at the IDEA World Fitness Convention in LA last year. I'm pretty sure my friends and I wiped the Sweaty Bands Booth out of inventory. Of course, you have to have one to match every gym outfit you own. Atleast, that's how we roll;) Super Cute, affordable and best of all they don't move. There are literally 100's of colors and patterns to choose from AND they are even customizable. What a great accessory for a team, fitness format, or gym facility to promote your brand.  Get yours... they are so hot! Perfect item to have in your gym bag just in case that hair is gettting in the way of a good workout.  One more great feature: easy care.... hand wash, drip dry.

Sunday, April 29, 2012

What's for Sunday Dinner? BBQ Chicken Salad, YUM!

Here's a great recipe for BBQ chicken salad that a roommate of mine shared with me in college.  It tastes just like the BBQ chicken salad you get from California Pizza Kitchen. Use low-sugar BBQ sauce and low-cal Ranch dressing and you have a healthy, super delicious meal!!

1 lg bottle low cal Ranch Dressing (I like Hidden Valley)
Romain Lettuce
2 Tomatoes-Romas are best
2 Green onion stalks
1 cup Jicama
2-3 TBL Cilantro
2 Corn on the cobs with kernels cut off
1 can black beans (rinsed and drained)
1 cup Monterey Jack cheese (sub low fat cheese)
3 Chicken breats

Grill the chicken breasts and chop into cubes. Mix heavily with BBQ sauce and set aside.

Dice all the other ingredients. Layer all ingredients into a clear bowl starting withthe Romaine lettuce. Top with low-cal ranch dressing and squeeze 1/2 a lime juice on top. Toss Well. Serve Cold. Garnish with curshed tortialla chips. YUMMY and super easy!

Saturday, April 28, 2012

What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas....unless it's the extra 5lbs attached to your booty.

Opening Day 2012 Marquee Day Club Las Vegas
 Guest DJ Avicii
     Every girl has been there. Vacation is booked, calendar is marked, you've started planning your outfits. You decide you are going to get super sexy so you can finally put on your Betsey Johnson swimsuit and feel ultra confidant strutting around the pool deck at Tao Beach, or on the beaches of Maui, or on that carnival cruise ship. It's easy to commit, hit the gym, and count calories. You have a goal in mind, a purpose. Now that you've worked your booty off,  it's vacation time. But what happens those first few days on your trip? You lose all self control. Party's on. You are free and relaxed and you are going to live it up. Bring it on! .....Fast Forward 3 days....UHHGG!  You feel like crap. On the way home your thinking "what did I do to myself." Now here comes the guilt, you slept bad, had one too many virgin Pina Coladas, didn't workout at all (although, you had good intentions), and you went back for seconds, and thirds at the dessert buffet. So, how do you get back on track?

Here's how to reboot your body and lose that post vacation bloat in two days:


  •  8 oz skim milk, or soy milk
  • 1 cup berries  (or other fruit low on the glycemic index, bananas are not)
  • 1 cup ice
  • Your favorite protein supplement (my choice... Body By Vi Shake)
  • 1 cup green veggies--asaparagus, or cucumbers are a good choice. They both have cleansing benefits.
  • 8 oz green tea ( I love the iced green tea at starbuck's, clear free of the sweetener)

  • 4-6 oz lean protein
  • spinach salad with your choice of additional veggies (try to stick to green veggies)
  • 2 tsp balsamic dressing-Try this flavored one Archer Farms Strawberry Basil
  • 1 cup green veggies
  • 8 oz green tea
  • 4-6 oz lean protein
  • 1 cup steamed or raw veggies
Here are some great ideas for adding flavor without too many extra calories, etc: lite soy sauce, Mrs. Dash, pepper, oil and vinegar, mustard, salsa.

Friday, April 27, 2012

Healthy Snack Ideas

1. Frozen Grapes (I used to eat these in college all the time- they are amazing)
2. String Cheese
3. Banana
4. Frozen Banana (peel it first, stick in the freezer overnight- it's like a yummy popsicle)
5. Low-fat Yogurt
6. Sugar-free or fat-free pudding
7. Apple dipped in Peanut Butter (or spread peanut butter on top of apple slice and top with pecans . . . so good!)
8. 100-calorie bag of popcorn
9. Applesauce
10. Raw veggies with hummus (my new favorite!)
11. Almonds
12. Apple
13. Skinny S'more (two graham crackers with one roasted marshmallow and one small square dark chocolate)
14. Smoked Beef Jerky (about 1 oz- look for low-sodium!)
15. Chocolate Milk
16. Hard Boiled Egg
17. Sunflower Seeds
18. Cottage Cheese
19. Sliced Cantelope
20. Raisins
21. Pita Bread and Hummus
22. Rice Cakes
23. Sugar-free Jello
24. Dried Fruits
25. Frozen Yoplait Whips Yogurt (these seriously taste like ice cream when they are frozen!)
26. Air-Popped Popcorn
27. Pistachios
28. Clementines (we call them Cuties or Clemmies)
29. Fruit Smoothie (or Kristen's Green Smoothie- it's actually delicious!)
30. Handful of olives
31. Pickles
32. Handful of blueberries with 2 tablespoons fat-free Cool-Whip
33. Ants on a Log (celery with peanut butter and raisins)
34. 1 cup mixed berry salad (raspberries, strawberries, blueberries, and/or blackberries) tossed with one tablespoon fresh-squeezed orange juice.
35. Peanut Butter and Bananas on whole wheat bread
36. Trail Mix (make your own! Throw in dried fruit, sunflower seeds, nuts, low-sugar cereals, and even the occasional piece of candy for something sweet.)
37. Orange Slices
38. Cherry Tomatoes
39. Graham Crackers
40. Small Green Salad with light dressing
41. Mango smoothie (frozen mango, mango Greek Yogurt, and a small amount of orange juice)
42. Kabobs (thread low-fat meat, low-fat cheese, pineapple and cherry tomatoes onto a stick- my kids love anything on a stick!)
43. Half of a  Cinnamon-Raisin topped with peanut butter and banana slices
44. Grilled Pineapple (throw them on the grill or a skillet on med. heat for two minutes or until golden)
45. Baked Apples (one tennis ball-sized apple, cored, filled with 1 teaspoon brown sugar and cinnamon, and baked until tender)
46. Animal Crackers
47. Strawberries dipped in fat-free Cool Whip
48. Low-fat tortilla topped with egg salad, shredded carrots and cucumber slices
49. Parfait (build your own with Greek yogurt or plain yogurt, fruit, and granola) 
50. Bowl of bran flakes with 1/2 cup skim milk and berries
51. Guacamole with veggies
52. Triscuit's Thin Crisps dipped in cottage cheese or hummus
53. Cashews
54. Pretzels
55. Sun Chips (portion control! Read the serving amount on the side!)
56. Cheesy Breaded Tomatoes: Two roasted plum tomatoes sliced and topped with 2 tablespoons breadcrumbs and a sprinkle of parmesan cheese.
57. Sugar Snap Peas
58. Steamed Veggies (steam non-starchy vegetables in a microwave safe bag and sprinkle with 1 tablespoon of parmesan cheese or 1/4 cup pasta sauce)
59. Apricots
60. Laughing Cow Light Cheese Wedges
61. Any 100 calorie pack
62. Snack/Granola bar (around 150 calories or less, like Kellogg's All-Bran, Kashi TLC Trail Mix, or Fiber one Bar)
63. Baked chips (about 7-10) with salsa
64. Soy Chips
65. Protein Bar
66. Sweet Potato Fries (one light-bulb sized sweet potato sliced, tossed with 1 teaspoon olive oil, and baked at 400° for 10 minutes)
67. Wrap (I like a slice of turkey, swiss cheese, baby spinach leaves, and cranberry relish wrapped up in a tortilla)
68. Pumpkin Seeds (2 tablespoons pumpkin seeds, sprayed with oil (just a spritz!) and baked at for 400° for 15 minutes or until brown. Sprinkle a tiny amount of salt on top)
69. Bean Salad
70. Broccoli Florets
71. Peaches and Cottage Cheese
72. Chopped Red Peppers (dipped in fat free ranch)
73. V8 Vegetable Juice
74. Tuna with Triscuit crackers
75. Cooked and Cubed Chicken Breast
76. Homemade Popsicles (puree watermelon, strawberries, mango, banana, etc and freeze in popsicle molds)
77. Dates with almond butter or rolled in coconut
78. Quesadilla (whole wheat (or corn) tortillas w/cheese (or not) melted in microwave - adding on tomatoes, beans, corn, olives, avocado or guacamole or whatever sounds good)
79. Watermelon
80. Cubed Apples and Cubed Cheese (this was my husband's favorite after-school snack when he was little)
81. Craisins (I love to eat these with almonds- it's a good combo)
82. Goldfish Crackers
83. Edamame
84. Cheesy Roasted Asparagus (four spears (spritzed with olive-oil spray) and topped with 2 tablespoons grated parmesan cheese, baked for 10 minutes at 400°)
85. Turkey Roll-Ups (Four slices smoked turkey rolled up and dipped in 2 teaspoons honey mustard)
86. Strawberry Salad (1 cup raw spinach with ½ cup sliced strawberries and 1 tablespoon balsamic)
87. Oatmeal
88. Banana Smoothie (½ cup sliced banana, ¼ cup nonfat vanilla yogurt, and a handful of ice blended until smooth)
89. Lime Sherbet (1/2 cup serving) with sliced kiwi
90. Apple Chips (dehydrated apples- they are so good!)
91. Black Beans (mix 1/4 cup black beans with 1 tablespoon salsa and 1 tablespoon Greek yogurt for an added twist!)
92. Lettuce wrap (try two slices honey-baked ham with 2 teaspoons honey mustard rolled in a lettuce leaf)
93. Pecans (try five pecans roasted with 2 teaspoons maple syrup and 1 teaspoon cinnamon)
94. Chocolate Covered Strawberries (dip 5 strawberries in 2 squares of dark chocolate- that is still good for you, right?!)
95. Honeyed Yogurt (½ cup nonfat Greek yogurt with a dash of cinnamon and 1 teaspoon honey)
96. Blackberries (so good mixed with plain yogurt)
97. Frozen Mangos
98. Tropical Juice Smoothie (¼ cup pineapple juice, orange juice, and apple juice, blended with ice)
99. Healthier Banana Bread
100. Peanut Butter Yogurt Dip with fresh fruit Great Ideas and Recipes
Great Ideas and Recipes

The Mind Body Connection and one of the biggest reasons you should workout!

Ever had a day that started off with your alarm not going off, your baby crying, your son not being able to find his shoes and now everyone's running late for school and work. Then throw in the fact your car won't start because the overhead light got left on by accident and now your husband reminds you he won't be able to help get the kids to baseball practice and dance tonight because he has a work meeting. Ahhh! What else could possibly stress you out. This is probably a regular morning in my household. How do I deal with life's stressors.....HIT THE GYM. No matter what the day has in store for me,  if I workout I always walk out of the gym feeling 100 times better. Want to know why? Read this great article below on how even 20 minutes of exercise can help you be in a better mood.