Archive for the ‘Health and Fitness’ Category

Some suggestions for fitness at home, for free, and for fun

January 5, 2017 Leave a comment

The holidays… girl, please. They were sorta kinda brutal if everyone really wanted to be honest with themselves. I did more than a bit of baking, cooking high octane meals, and stress eating (don’t even get me started on work). But you know what? Everyone gets a reset in the new year. What counts is how long you keep your reset going to get healthy.

In my experience, it doesn’t have to be high intensity all the time. Don’t get me wrong, if you like HIIT, by all means. The main goal is to do something that you find fun.

If it’s skipping, then do it.

If it’s power walking, do it.

If it’s chasing after your kids, do it.

Just have fun with it.

With that in mind, I thought I might give some examples of the fun stuff that can be found for free on the Youtubes. Examples, nothing more, but if it gets one reader up and moving, then I will feel a Zen-like serenity while I sit in lotus pose on top of the closest mountain. (Note, I live nowhere near a mountain, but it’s fun imagery).




Beginning Yoga (with Lesley Fightmaster):


Cardio Hip Hop (The Fitness Marshal has a lot of routines online and they’re very fun):


Or if you want to learn how to use bodyweight ( is a good resource), then by all means.


Feel free to comment about your favorite online workouts and routines. I can always use more suggestions for my personal fitness aspirations πŸ™‚

Workout Recommendation: Les Mills Combat

January 8, 2016 Leave a comment

This has it all: Different types of Martial Arts moves combined with Boxing and a few HIIT workouts thrown in using bodyweight and either barbells or dumbbells. I’ve done Body Combat classes at the gym before, and this absolutely has a similar feel to it. But if you’re like me and can’t make the class due to scheduling, then the Home version is the way to go because you can do it whenever you have the time and bonus: you’re not in a packed class πŸ™‚

One note though: if your workout space is carpeted, be very careful and mindful in your movement so as to not cause any torque to your knees. There can be a bit of a learning curve if you don’t have Martial Arts experience. Just take it slow at first (there is always someone doing modified moves) and you’ll get there with the jumping kicks in no time.

So my fellow fitness fiends and fanatics, keep on keeping on πŸ™‚

Happy Belated New Year! Here be recipes (links included))

January 7, 2016 Leave a comment

Hope your holidays were great and Sandy Clawz brought you awesome presents. Did you see the new Star Wars movie, and did you get a little weepy here and there (no I’m not going to spoil it)? I did, both times we went. Why lie, right?

Anyway, I thought I’d start out the new year with some boss recipes that I can confirm are pretty tasty and good for you if you’re on a mission to get healthy eating in gear for 2016. Enjoy πŸ™‚

Buff Dudes’ Slow Cooker Turkey Meaballs:

Kalyn’s Kitchen – Tuna Pasta salad with Lemon, Green Olives, and Cucumbers

Kalyn’s Kitchen – Slow Cooker Salsa Chicken with Lime and Melted Mozzarella

Pretty much anything on the Kalyn’s Kitchen website will be good for you if you’re followingΒ  a diet similar to Paleo or South Beach, or if you just want to include healthy dishes in your repertoire.

One of my resolutions is to post more often than I had been lately, so I will get on that with a quickness.

Some Zumba choreography routines that get me moving

October 22, 2015 Leave a comment

Some are taught in my classes, some are not and I learn them anyway because they’re fun. And then there are some that I have to learn 3 or 4 different routines for because all the instructors love to play them. Win win all around for me πŸ™‚

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Product Review: EAS Complete Protein (your choice of flavors) and why strength training is great for women

October 5, 2015 Leave a comment

EAS Complete Vanilla Protein Powder

As women get older, our nutritional needs change. The doctor starts to say things like “you need more Vitamin this this and this. Oh and don’t eat too much salt, drink more water, and exercise.” That’s when you know that you’ve reached the dreaded “adult” stage. How am I an adult when feel like I was 12 like 2 weeks ago???

Recently I decided to incorporate more strength training into my regular routine of Zumba, Yoga, and whatever else catches my interest on a particular day. Strength training has so many benefits for women, including:

  • Lose more body fat (everyone’s favorite, right?)
  • More strength without bulk – women have 10 to 30 times less of the hormones that cause muscle hypertrophy compared to men. That means that except in extreme circumstances, women won’t bulk.
  • Risk of osteoporosis decreases – This is on my mind because in my family history, some females do develop that condition. I also broke a toe not too long ago and realized that breaking things is not a remote possibility anymore
  • Athletic performance improves – I love this bit. I feel stronger in the other types of exercise I do like Yoga and more able to do the poses that require a lot of upper body strength
  • Physical strength! – Carry more of those grocery bags in with more confidence because you got strength, girl!
  • Reduce risk of injury, back pain & arthritis – I have back issues stemming from my years of running, and lifting is definitely getting my lower back stronger.
  • It’s never too late to start – Whether you’re 40, 50 or 60, it’s never too late to start

Anyway, getting into strength meant I had to change up how I ate, and in particular how much protein I consumed. To that end, it was time to select a protein powder to help get me to the levels I needed. And boy, talk about differing price points and reviews. In the end I picked the EAS Complete Protein Powder in Vanilla for a few reasons:

  1. Fairly inexpensive. 1 2-lb tub of powder comes in under 20 dollars and oftentimes there are online coupons specifically for it. And I don’t have to go all the way across town to my hoity toity vitamin store for it; it’s literally down the block from my house at my local supermarket.
  2. The vanilla flavor tastes like melted vanilla ice cream when combined with nonfat milk in a shake. I’m not kidding, that’s exactly what it tastes like.
  3. You can use the powder in tons of different recipes. I like using a scoop in the morning with my oatmeal instead of sugar. Tastes great and it’s sweetened nicely with a hint of vanilla.
  4. At 150 calories for a 2-scoop serving, it packs a 25 gram protein punch, along with other vitamins and minerals including those for bone and digestive health.

So there you go, high protein, great flavor, and a low price. Works for me πŸ™‚

Why the right shoes are important for the right activity (like Zumba and Turbo Fire)

August 11, 2015 Leave a comment

Lately I’ve gotten back into taking Zumba classes. I originally started with them about 10 years ago when they were first offered at my local gym, along with other types of dance like Hip Hop and Bellydance. I had an amazing teacher who would teach them all, but then she moved away and I couldn’t get my dance fix anymore. Total bummer.

If you don’t know what Zumba is, it’s a mix of Latin styles along with a little hip hop thrown in here and there. Very fun, very energetic, but you have to be careful not to torque your knees with the constant shifting and turns. I’d been having some knee issues lately so this was something that was very much on my mind, not to mention the fact that my knees were 10 years older than my last sessions.

An example:

So let’s start with what I started with… running shoes. Obviously they’re great for doing any type of running, but I noticed that when I tried to shift suddenly on the hardwood class floor, it wasn’t very easy to move. And there’s good reason for that: running shoes are designed to propel you forward, not side to side. My knee wasn’t happy with me at all that time.

Then I tried cross trainers. They were better for sure than running shoes, but i still felt some resistance in certain moves. Knee was getting happier though.

I finally broke down and decided to try dance sneakers. Some are very similar to cross trainers, but the key difference is the inclusion of a pivot point on the ball of the sole. So I got a pair of Ryka Exertions online during a sale to try out.

I was not disappointed.

Wearing a dance sneaker takes getting used to, but I actually feel lighter on my feet and my knee hasn’t complained once since I started with the Rykas. I can jump, twist, slide, and get funky with no issues now. I also use them for Turbo Fire at home because even on carpet I can make sudden, explosive movements easier now with them. Even Les Mills Pump has a dance sneaker line out. Interesting how that works, yes?

The Ryka Exertion. Not a top of the line type of shoe, but a great starter.

The Ryka Exertion. Not a top of the line type of shoe, but a great starter.

All in all, a good find. Zumba has their own sneaker line out, but I read the reviews and a lot of customers weren’t happy with them for various reasons (low stability, not much cushioning, high price point). I opted not to get those, but that’s just a personal preference.

Oatmeal and Cream of Wheat Pancakes… a tasty healthy alternative

September 1, 2014 Leave a comment
Isn't it purdy? :)

Isn’t it purdy? πŸ™‚

If you’re like me, you loooooove buttermilk pancakes with a passion. Its a weakness. But what to do if you’re trying to eat cleaner and healthier? Buttermilk pancakes on the regular won’t fit into that equation, moving into the “once in a while treat” zone.

Here’s a healthier, lower in fat version of the real deal, using whole grain ingredients like oatmeal and cream of wheat and nonfat milk instead of buttermilk.


  • 1/2 cup dry Cream of Wheat
  • 1/4 cup dry oatmeal (1 minute quick cook variety)
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 cup nonfat milk
  • 1 tsp sugar (optional)
  • pinch of salt (optional)
  • powdered cinnamon (optional)

Directions: Combine dry ingredients in a bowl, then add in egg and milk and mix again. Let the mixture sit and heat up the pan with your choice of cooking spray or 2 tsp canola oil. When the pan is heated up, pour in half of the mixture. It’ll be pretty thick so you’ll have to spread it around a bit in the pan for a thinner pancake. Flip over when browned. Yields: 2 large pancakes.

Enjoy… I sure did πŸ™‚

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