Ooooo I have an awesome giveaway for you guys. So, you may have heard about Quest bars before (I’ve mentioned them on here a few times). They’re a high protein, low carb snack bar and they taste awesome. The taste is really the best part. I feel like there are so many bars out there that are high in protein, low in everything bad, but taste just awful. Finally, one that is actually edible.
The stats are pretty darn good. For example, Vanilla Almond Crunch has 190 calories, 8 grams of fat, 21 grams of carbs, 18 grams of dietary fiber, and 20 grams of protein. So, the net carbs are only 3 grams and they come from the nuts in this particular flavor. They are a little high in calories, but every bar is if you actually want something substantial.
There are lots of flavors of Quest bars: apple pie, peanut butter, banana nut muffin, brownie (yum), white chocolate raspberry (also yum), and my favorite, chocolate chip cookie dough (many others too). To see a full list of the flavors (you should check them out in case you win!), check out their website here.
Brooke likes white chocolate raspberry
If you pop a chocolate chip cookie dough Quest bar in the microwave, I swear it tastes like a cookie. It’s so good.
microwaved for too long oops
Most bars have ingredient lists that are insanely long, especially protein bars. These are really pretty simple and their website actually breaks down each ingredient they use (link is here).
**I just want to clarify, Quest did not and has not ever sent me bars for free (but they should). I contacted them because I think they’re awesome and wanted to do a giveaway with a product I actually really like. So, here’s the giveaway!!**
Two reader’s will win a box of their choice! If I was a winner, I would probably pick either cookie dough or their new flavor double chocolate chunk!
Again…microwave those puppies…you won’t regret it.
It’s that time of the week again…(I hope I don’t say this every week but I probably do): HIIT time!
I tend to write HIIT workouts that I can do both at home or at the gym. I, personally, love finding home workouts that are equally as challenging as a gym workout. Some days I’m just not making it to the gym so having a home option feels pretty good. My daughter typically naps for an hour so I have no excuses!
This workout is a Pyramid workout so we start with 10 reps of an exercise, then move to 20 of a different one, then 30, etc. all the way up to 60 then back down again. You can go through this once or 2-3 times. I suppose you could go through it ten times if you really want to .
Here’s the workout:
10 Judo Pushups
30 Single Arm Tricep Pushup (switch arms at 15)
40 Lunge Jumps (20 on both leg unless you’re a rock star then go ahead and do 40 on each!)
50 Low Jacks
60 (seconds) of plank
Remember to go back down to 10! Then finish off with another 60 second plank because…why not?
Here’s a breakdown of the some of the not-s0-familiar exercises:
These are awesome. My shoulders are sore every time I do these. You basically start in a downward dog position, then perform a pushups (of sorts), but instead of pushing back up, bring your head and shoulders through so you end up in the last position shown. Then go back the way you came! Here’s a video because this description can be a little confusing.
Single Arm Tricep Pushup
15 of these (on both arms) should burn! This picture is actually a perfect example of the exercise. You’re basically just pushing yourself up using that one arm (focusing on triceps).
I couldn’t find a great picture for this so I’l try to explain it. You’re basically squatting down, hands on top of your head, then jumping your legs out then back together. So, it sort of looks like a jumping jack (same jumping movement) you’re just keeping your legs bent so it starts to burn like crazy.
I think the other exercises you guys probably know by now!
I’m going to try this workout later today at the gym. I hope you guys enjoy it!
I love races with tons of spectators and I’m guessing NYC does not disappoint in that department. I also love the fact you get a tour of the city-Chicago is the same way.
Unfortunately, this marathon is a lottery (so you may or may not get in). If you do get in, you’re lucky enough to pay like $250 bucks for an entry fee…yikes. So, this one is on my list but maybe a little down the road. After Boston 2 years in a row, I think the entry fee alone would make my husband sick.
Oh Boston…what a mess. It’s still on my list because technically I didn’t finish. They extended an invitation to those who didn’t cross the finish line this year but this would have been my third year in a row and it’s just getting exhausting (training, traveling, expenses, etc). One of these days I would love to go back and finish. Maybe I can re-qualify with the NYC marathon?
I’m from Arizona but have never ran a race there. It would be such a great race because the sun is always shining (almost always), it’s relatively flat, and it’s in January so it’s not hot: perfect!
You know what else I’d love to do? Run a marathon-or any race-with someone I know. I usually do all my races alone but I have done a few with friends and it is so much better. So, if any of you have a race you’re going to sign up for (in Colorado maybe?) let me know!
The legendary “Race Across The Sky” 100-mile Run is where it all started back in 1983. This is it. The race where legends are created and limits are tested. One hundred miles of extreme Colorado Rockies terrain — from elevations of 9,200 to 12,600 feet. You will give the mountain respect, and earn respect from all. (source)
So, nothing like a marathon. Not even close. A part of me wants to do this because it is an unbelievably insane challenge. A different part of me is not interested. The part that doesn’t want a life of knee pain. I’m also curious how these runners train for this thing? Do these people have jobs? Just nutty. But awesome.
Speaking of nutty…
Because you’re not tired after a marathon right? Keep going!! Ha.
These people are another group that makes me wonder….do they have jobs? Families? Do they fall off the face of the earth while training for a year? I don’t know but I kind of want to find out.
An ironman consists of a 2.4 mile swim, 112 mile bike ride, and a 26.2 mile run. So…first I need to buy a bike. Then practice riding the bike in a parking lot because it’s been like, 10 years since I’ve been on one. Swimming is a whole different story. Basically this one’s going to take some time to train for.
So, some of you may be thinking, “those girls are way too muscly” or that bikini comps are a little degrading or narcissistic. Maybe they are….but all I know is these girls work their butts off. In the gym and out. An incredible amount of discipline. It’s sort of similar to other races/competitions in that the prepping is the hardest part. It would absolutely be a challenge but I think it would be rewarding in the end (at least to say you did it once). Speaking of, check out Better with Veggies. She just did her first competition and did an awesome job. Hard work pays off!
Where to start? Basically any of these races/competitions are going to be a crazy amount of work. I’d also like to have another baby sometime in there so, like I said, some of these may be fantasies…or maybe just a few more years off. We’ll see!
I guess I shouldn’t be surprised…it is December after all. I’m still not ready for winter though..I miss my flip flops.
We have been pounded with snow today: at least a foot. Brooke’s caretaker came over and her car got stuck in our driveway. I was supposed to be at work this morning at 8:45 and needless to say, I’m sitting at my computer at home.
I had a super fun morning shoveling snow. You want a good workout? Find some snow and shovel it! Wow. It’s like, 5 degrees outside and I was sweating.
So, you’re looking at my driveway. It’s nonexistent. There’s also a road out there…apparently it was plowed at some point?
The start of my snow shoveling morning.
One of my lovely neighbors helped me with a real snow plow or this would have taken me all day!
Brooke was halfway reader for snow…only on the upper part of her body. :)
So, I mentioned earlier that I had a new job. I will be a ski instructor at Vail this winter for 3-6 year olds! Glorified babysitting? Maybe. Free ski pass? Yep!
I didn’t drive to work this morning because Vail is a solid 40 minutes from where I live and buckets of snow + driving = disaster. I am going to try to go in this afternoon though….I guess.
It’s been fun so far although strange leaving Brooke behind. I miss her a lot and feel guilty knowing that someone else is spending the day with her…not me. That aspect of it is tough but I think it’ll be fun for both of us and it’s just seasonal so it’s certainly not a lifelong commitment.
How’s the weather where you live? Any tips on driving in snow? Any working mommies out there?
I personally love HIIT workouts because it’s really easy to do a number of exercise combinations at home with no equipment. On the other hand, there are a million different HIIT exercises you can do at the gym with different equipment which will challenge you in new ways. Good stuff.
This particular HIIT workout is a Tabata workout. Tabata workouts are theoretically done in 4 minutes (although there have been many times when I’ve cheated and rested longer than I was supposed to). Here is the breakdown:
4 minutes total
20 seconds of work/10 seconds off
Total of 8 rounds
Here are a couple Tabata workouts to try:
Home Tabata Workout
Burpees with Pushup
So, start with jump squats for 20 seconds, rest for ten, then on to burpees with pushup for 20 seconds, rest for 10, etc. It’s a total of 8 rounds, 4 of each exercise.
Just remember with these tabata’s to go all out during those 20 seconds.
Here’s another example of a tabata you can do on a treadmill:
Set the treadmill to around 6.0 speed
Incline of 12 for 20 seconds
10 seconds rest incline of 3
A treadmill tabata is a great way to end your workout. It’s short and painful!
Have you tried tabata workouts? Any good combinations?
*First of all, thank you for the comments on my previous post. It’s a touchy subject so I appreciate hearing your opinions on the matter.
Anyway, on to today!
I have a bit of an obsession with nondairy creamers. Not so much because they’re non-dairy, but because they make my coffee taste so darn delicious!! Thank you Coffee Mate for saving me the trips to Starbucks since my coffee now tastes like Peppermint Mocha (sugar free by the way).
I go back and forth between thinking, ” a calorie is a calorie. That’s all that matters so have your sugar free nondairy weird creamer. It’s less calories than half and half.” Other days though, I remind myself that I’m drinking nondairy creamer…what the hell is that? Maybe a calorie is a calorie, but it’s probably safe to assume eating whole foods, even full fat milk and cream, is better than majorly processed pretend coffee creamer.
I love their seasonal flavors. They always suck me in. Damn you Coffee Mate!
So, let’s compare….or maybe we shouldn’t….Here’s half and half (I’m guessing non organic half and half has the same ingredients):
So, that’s pretty straight forward: 2 ingredients. Here are the nutrition facts:
Two tablespoons is 40 calories. That’s not terrible. Let’s take a look at Coffee Mate creamer:
When it comes to non dairy creamer, I always think of my dad. He’s not a health nut by any means but even he was reading the label and asked me, “non dairy creamer? So, what is it?” I responded with, ” I don’t know. Don’t ask questions just enjoy the delicious taste.”
So, non-dairy creamer versus half and half. Half and half wins (clean eating-wise). I need a little flavor in my life so I asked some folks on Facebook what they use in their coffees and here were some responses:
Unsweetened vanilla almond milk is my FAV thing to put in coffee… Try that! Less fat
I just add spices or flavoring to my coffee and use regular half and half … just as tasty and not nearly as expensive!
I went from using creamer AND sugar in my morning coffee to coconut oil and no sweetener!
Try using almond milk or flavored coconut milks instead! Still delicious and much better for you that both coffeemate AND half n half.
I think I’m going to try either coconut oil or coconut milk. Coconut milk seems thick like half and half while giving it a little flavor. My husband put coconut oil in his coffee for a while too. That sounds yummy and a good way to get some fats in your diet.
Here are a couple other ideas I found on Pinterest:
Okay, I’m sure most of you have heard about this by now. This woman, Maria Kang, is a fitness model and blogger with 3 kids. She posted this picture to her Facebook page and it went viral:
That’s her and her three children. She’s obviously pointing out that 3 kids is hard work yet she finds the time to bust her buns to look as good as she looks. That photo enraged some people. People responded to the photo with their gillions of excuses about why they didn’t look like her. I’m not really going to talk about the picture, but I will say, I assume she was speaking to the millions of people out there who are perfectly healthy and able bodied individuals. Was it in an obnoxious way? Maybe. I’m personally not offended by it. Three kids sounds incredibly challenging so I don’t doubt she worked hard to stay fit.
Anyway, she posted another thing recently about campaigns featuring (what she claims are) obese women in lingerie. She goes on a rant about how we should stop celebrating these body types because they’re unhealthy. Here’s what she wrote (Here are the pictures):
I woke up this morning to news stories about how overweight nearly obese women should be proud of their bodies (as they posed in lingerie). I think we should all accept how any healthy body through good nutrition and exercise manifests but I’m starting to get annoyed and here’s why:
1. We have a health issue in America with over 2/3 overweight or obese.
2. We have a healthcare crisis. We spend over 3 trillion in healthcare yearly!
3. We have a childhood obesity issue, with many children suffering from adult diseases like diabetes.
4. We have magazines everywhere praising the celebrity (with all her resources) for being fit after months of giving birth and scorn the “real every day mom” who is able to be successful.
5. We keep blaming the culprit (school lunches, fast food, etc) when the real change starts at home – ESP those who lead, which are the parents.
There are some serious contradictions in our society. I know many people still get riled up with me and my convictions but the truth is I KNOW how it is to work your ass off and not have energy at the end of your day. I know how it feels to be overweight and not drop an ounce after years of disordered eating. I know how difficult it is to raise multiple children – all born a year apart – and make my fitness and nutrition a priority. Lastly, I know how it feels like to grow up with an unhealthy mother wondering if she will live to see your wedding day.
I know it’s hard. I know it’s not easy to break habits and build new ones. I know your environment challenges you and I know making your health a priority amongst the many priorities to stay afloat in today’s world is difficult. But I will tell you this: IT IS WORTH IT.
We need to change this strange mentality we are breeding in the U.S. and start celebrating people who are a result of hard work, dedication and discipline. I’m not bashing those who are proud and overweight, I am empowering those who are proud and healthy to come out and be the real role models in our society. (Vent done)
She was blocked from Facebook after posting that.
Reader’s claimed that she was “fat shaming.” I wouldn’t really consider what she wrote to be “fat shaming.” I think she’s just trying to point out how serious obesity is and at some point, people need to take responsibility for themselves. I have to say, I agree with her on that. If you love your body and you’re considered overweight, then that’s fine. But (almost) promoting obesity, is not okay. Obesity kills people in this country everyday. It would be nice to sit here and encourage obese (I mean obese…not chubby) people to love their bodies but to love their bodies, they have to take care of them. Obesity will kill you. That’s just the bottom line. I understand that it’s easier said than done, but people have to take responsibility.
Of course, I understand a million things can get in your way whether that’s underlying health issues or simply a consuming job. There may have been other ways to point out the seriousness of obesity, but this is how she chose to express herself.
I don’t know about you, but I have seen a million other Facebook posts that are actually offensive. In my opinion, this kind of seems a bit childish. Like, “I don’t like what you’re saying so I’m kicking you off.” Was that necessary?
I went to her blog and read some comments posted below her posts. After reading the comments, I’m not even close to offended by what Maria herself wrote. Here are some comments from classy readers (head’s up there is language):
you are an ugly cunt – inside AND OUT
I hope your (not cute) kids are all huge
That’s nice, bring the kids into it.
C’mon, you are a judgemental fool who thinks we are dumb enough to think your hate filled rant is meant as inspiration. Maybe your parents didnt take care of themselves because they didnt want to spoend too much time with your self centered insulting self? You are sick and mean and derve whatever negative backlash is sent your way. You embody the stereotype of cold hearted asians thinking they are superior to others. GET A LIFE LOSER!
So…she was fat bashing but I’m pretty sure you’re Asian-bashing?
I like this comment:
If you (the generic you) find Maria’s writing so offensive, how about just not reading it? Is someone holding a gun to your head forcing you to read her Facebook page? If so, blink twice and we’ll send help. If not, STFU about how she’s oppressing you (cue Life of Brian clip in head).
And unsourced statistics about random disease X causing you and everyone else in America to be fat (except, apparently, Maria) don’t do anything except make everyone else think you are just making shit up to feel better about your pathetic life.
Kind of harsh, but so are the other comments.
What do you think about her picture and Facebook post? Offensive?
Hey guys! Today’s HIIT is all about your buns. Hopefully, those sweet cheeks of yours will be on fire after this workout. If they’re not, then you obviously already have buns of steel and it’s time for you to move along.
Unfortunately for you there are no pictures of me doing the workouts this week. Apparently my husband had more important things to do like “work” and “make money.” I’ll guess you’ll have to settle for these other sexy people showing you the moves. If you have any questions though, feel free to shoot me an email!
Buns ‘O Steel:
High Knees- 1 minute
Forward Lunge with Kickback- 30 seconds on right leg
High Knees- 1 minute
Forward Lunge with Kickback- 30 seconds on left leg
I like high knees because they give your legs a little bit of a break while keeping your heart-rate up. I’m sure you’ve all done them at least once in your life (soccer practice anyone?). Basically, you’re bringing one knee up at a time (the higher the harder) then switching to the other knee. Switch back and forth as fast as you can.
Forward Lunge with Kickback:
First thing you do is step forward with your right leg into a lunge. Next, push off that right foot back towards starting position but instead of putting your foot down, swing your right leg behind you, keeping it straight, squeezing that right butt cheek, then come back to starting position.
Drop down to a squat position then from there, perform small pulses for the entire 30 seconds. Pulses basically mean move up and down just slightly so you’re in the squat position the entire time. These will burn!
From the position above, lift your butt off the floor squeezing your glutes, then slowly lower back down. To make this even more challenging, try not to let your bottom touch the ground during the 30 seconds of work.
That’s it!! Let me know if you try it!
In other news, check out the Elf for Health program. It’s basically a way to encourage and be encouraged by others whether that’s sending your elf a new workout, new recipe, or just saying hi. You don’t have to have a blog to participate! Here are some more details:
As an Elf, you are expected to support your assigned buddy with their holiday health goals and the daily challenges. Elves & buddies will be reassigned every 2 weeks. You are only asked to email your buddy 2 times per week:
Monday: Send your buddy an email to help them with the challenges for that week. Ideas of things to include/attach: your own personal tips & tricks, inspiring words and/or images, a new, healthy recipe or workout to try.
Thursday – Saturday: Any time during these days, check in withy you buddy! For example, ask them if they tried a new recipe, workout, or had fun with any certain challenges. Feel free to tell them how you did with your challenges, too!
Anything more than those 2 emails is up to you but feel free to go above and beyond this to show your support! Just a few ideas: send your buddy Tweets, shout outs on our Facebook Page, email a fun workout you liked or send a hand written recipe or note.
There are different challenges for each day you participate. For example, Monday was Meatless Monday so posting a meatless recipe on your elfs Facebook page or emailing it to them would be perfect.
I’m looking forward to unsubscribing from all the crap mail I get tomorrow. It’s actually something I’ve been meaning to do! Anyway, you can read more about Elf for Health at The Lean Green Bean blog. There are prizes involved by the way for the best Elves…just some motivation .
My brother got married this weekend! I still can’t believe it. He is my little brother so it’s especially weird. Isn’t he still like, 12? Turns out he’s not.
Anyway, it was a great weekend filled with family and food. What more could you want? Oh, and Arizona rain. It never rains in Arizona except the weekend my brother wants to get married outside.
I don’t know about you, but weekends can be a challenge diet-wise. Sometimes they’re pretty good, just like weekdays. But other times, they’re pretty terrible. Monday’s feel like dejavu: guilt looming over you about how many drinks you had this weekend, nachos you ate, or, in this case, wedding cake and candy tables.
On the one hand, if you are seriously trying to lose weight, or cut down on alcohol, or cut out sugar, weekends are hard because of social pressures. Can you imagine being at a wedding and not drinking? Oh the questions you’d get! Everyone there (if you’re female) would assume you’re pregnant. Once they found out you’re not though, you’d almost be the freak of the wedding. Why are you not drinking?! You’re making everyone else uncomfortable!
Not having support around you can be tough. The best advice I can give on the matter is to stay strong and think about the next day. Tomorrow will come and you will feel so good about yourself that you said no because you wanted to..whatever the reason. If losing weight is important to you, don’t let social guilt bring you down. You are strong enough and capable of taking care of yourself.
That was kind of a random rant. I just want to be clear and say that I had a different kind of guilt this weekend. I indulged because I’m not trying to lose weight. My problem though is feeling bad the next day. In my case, I try to remind myself that 1 weekend of indulgences is not going to ruin my life especially when it’s your brother’s wedding. I have to force myself to stop counting calories, stop thinking about the gym, and enjoy yourself. Live a little!
I love to workout and try to eat healthy but it can be too consuming sometimes. At the point where it interferes with your happiness is the point where you need to take a step back. It’s easier said than done though!
Do you feel guilty after weekend eats? How do you approach it?
You may or may not have heard about Lululemon’s old CEO (but current chairman of the board of directors) and his comments lately about their defective pants. First, I’ll give you some information on the pants. A couple months back Lululemon was called out on the quality of their pants being less than stellar because they were see through. I don’t know about you, but when I buy $100 yoga pants, I expect them to make my ass look tight and to NOT be see through. I don’t think that’s too much to ask right? Especially the see through part.
Okay, so they messed up. They should apologize, return money, etc. and make better pants. End of story. Well, the CEO, Mr. Chip Wilson went on Bloomberg TV explaining what the actual problem with the pants was. It wasn’t that their fabric was crap, it was that women were squeezing their big fat booties into sizes that were too small. To be fair, he didn’t say those exact words…he said this:
“The thing is that women will wear seatbelts that don’t work [with the pants], or they’ll wear a purse that doesn’t work, or quite frankly some women’s bodies just actually don’t work for it.”
“So, more likely that they’ll be see-through on some women than others?” Bloomberg’s Trish Regan asked.
“It’s really about the rubbing through the thighs, how much pressure is there over a period of time and how much they use it,” Wilson responded.
So, I apologize, not fat booties but fat thighs rubbing together. I think I speak for all of us when I say, what????
Obviously his statement is pretty much offensive to every women except the .5% whose thighs don’t touch. Chip Wilson is allowed to have an opinion. His opinions should probably be kept to himself in order to not damage the Lululemon brand, but if he wants to shout them from the rooftops…so be it. My real problem with his statement is he is not taking responsibility for his product. Lululemon has been around years before the see through pant debacle so clearly they were making the pants differently. Take responsibility for your product. If you have the balls to charge women 100 dollars for yoga pants, they better be high quality and you know it. It is such a cop out to blame the pants on the person wearing them.
In a way, this PR nightmare is sort of a good thing for me. It forces me to rethink shopping there and spend my $100 elsewhere. Think of how many yoga pants I could buy at Target for 100 bucks!!
Mr. Colbert is my favorite.
What are your thoughts on this ordeal? Do you shop at Lululemon? By the way, I wouldn’t consider myself a regular shopper. I really only shop there when I have gift-cards because the place is ridiculously expensive. I’m almost embarrassed to say how much stretchy black pants and tank tops cost there. Ugh.