Saturday, August 31, 2013

My Workouts {Week of August 26}

I went back to school this week and loved it! I seriously love school, everything about it! I enjoyed a workout with my friend on Monday during lunch to start off the week - let's just say it only got better! Lovin' this first week of the Fall Into Fitness program! 

Monday: 20 minute stationary bike, 30-Day Squat Challenge (Day 1), 15 minutes elliptical, 40 minute Insanity workout {killa!}

Tuesday: Speed workout: 1 mile warm up, 5 400's @ 9.0-9.2 mph pace with a 400 recovery @ 6 mph, 1/2 mile cool-down; Strength workout #1 {Fall Into Fitness!}; 30-Day Squat Challenge (Day 2)

Wednesday: 2 mile run with Annie (took today pretty easy); 30-Day Squat Challenge (Day 3)

Thursday: 3 mile run, strength workout #2, taught cardio + stretch class; 30-Day Squat Challenge (Day 4)

Friday: 3 mile run; Yoga routine; 30-Day Squat Challenge (Day 5 = REST day)

Saturday: 8.5 mile run; 30-Day Squat Challenge (Day 6) 

Sunday: 30-Day Squat Challenge (Day 7); REST DAY!

Week #1 {Fall Into Fitness Program} Photos!

I'm so glad so many of you were okay with me sharing your photos, because I think it is so fun! Plus, it definitely helps hold you accountable! Don't forget this also gives you points for the giveaway at the end, so keep on sending them each week! None of us look good after sweating, so don't be shy! ;)

Let's be sure to give a shout out to everyone in the comments section! Cheer each other on!

I'll go first - Here I am afterwards getting ready to enjoy my protein shake. You can see the post exercise endorphins on my face! Exercise = Happiness!

Up next is Emily! She's still all smiles and even matches her Hawkeye flag background! ;) Way to go, Emily!

Darlyce made sure to take the time for a photo after her workout. Way to be accountable, Darlyce! While at the gym during a strength workout, she was asked by others what she was doing! Way cool to inspire people all around you every day!

Michelle is super busy with work and her kids (back to school!), but still made time to get in her workout! Keep it up, Michelle!

These next two ladies are "bananas" for their pre/post workout snacks! ;) Awesome job this week, Tess & Kate. Kate even got her mom to do it with her - who else is recruiting friends/family in their efforts? What a great way to encourage others!

 Carie is currently training for her first marathon (coming up in September!) and still made the time to get in her strength workouts, too! If any of you want to be inspired, check out her blog to read all about her amazing weight loss story!

I just had to share this picture of Carie's kids as well. It is too stinkin' cute! It really shows that what you do can inspire so many others! 

Again, thank you for allowing me to share your amazing pictures from the week. I am so proud of everyone this week! It's only week 1 and you are rocking it! Be on the lookout for next week's workouts the next day or so! And, don't forget that even though Monday is a holiday, you do have a workout planned. Try to make time for it if you can, it will make you feel better the whole day!

*What was your favorite part of this week (a specific move, one of your pre/post workout snacks, seeing other people doing the same thing as you, etc)? <-- Earn a point for answering below in the comments!

My absolute favorite part this week was hearing about everyone's successes. I can tell that many of you are becoming more confident and motivating yourselves in all areas of health. This is truly why I do what I do each and every day. I love seeing people grow and become a better person all around! 

Have a great LONG weekend! Hopefully most of you are able to get out and enjoy family and friends and some relaxation after a hard-working week!

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Workouts {August 19-25} + Butternut Squash & Sweet Potato Mash

Another fabulous week with a fun race and a relaxing day at home to finish it out! Keep scrolling for an easy recipe below, too! 


Monday, August 19: Stayed up too late Sunday night, which resulted in me sleeping as late as possible Monday morning. I worked, then had to go home for a Dr. appt. All I got in was 15 quick minutes on the elliptical, but it was a productive day to say the least!

Tuesday, August 20: 20 minute walking warm-up, 4 - 400's @ 9.5 mph with a 400 recovery @ 6 mph in between each, then a 20 minute walking cool-down; 15 minute stationary bike

Wednesday, August 21: Lots of walking (walked Annie, walked over lunch on treadmill, then walked outside later on); Taught strength training class

Thursday, August 22: 5 mile run, taught class

Friday, August 23: REST

Saturday, August 24: Warrior Dash! Lots of hills and obstacles finished with mud!

Sunday, August 25: REST 

On Sundays I spend A LOT of time in the kitchen prepping food for the week! Here's what I made (some for Tyler, some for me!):

*Beef 'n Noodles 
*Ham Balls (Tyler requested these last week so I made sure to make them today!)
*Party Potatoes (Tyler loves these!)
*Taco Meat 
*Applesauce (Tyler loves to snack on homemade applesauce!)
*Roasted vegetables 
*Butternut Squash & Sweet Potato Mash 
*Hard-boiled eggs 
*Turkey burgers 
*Grilled chicken

I LOVE making tons of food to get me through the week. It leaves for absolutely no excuses during the week to have a healthy, home-cooked meal for both Tyler and I. I also do this because Tyler and I don't eat the same foods so it's hard to make two meals at night during the week. Instead, we can pick and choose through what we already have in the fridge and go from there - easy! 

I wanted to highlight on one of the dishes I made today. It may not look appealing, but it is delicious and I can't wait to enjoy some throughout the week! 

Easy, Peasy Butternut Squash & Sweet Potato Mash:
1 butternut squash, roasted 
1 large sweet potato, peeled & chopped 
1 tsp cinnamon 
1.5 tbsp pure maple syrup 

Start by preparing your butternut squash (simply cut in half, then roast in oven @ 350 for 50 minutes) and sweet potato (clean it, peel it, chop it, then boil in water on the stove). Once both are done, mash together and add the cinnamon and maple syrup. Like I said - easy, peasy!

Also, like I said - not appealing but definitely tasty! 

Have a great week! I'm starting back up with school (LAST SEMESTER!) and can't wait to get back into a routine! 


Friday, August 23, 2013

Fall Into Fitness BEGINS August 26th --> Week 1 Schedule, Healthy Eats/Drinks, and Motivation!

Hello all! Are we ready to rock & roll? Thanks again for the excellent turnout and some jammin' referrals from a lot of you! Btw - it's not too late for someone to sign up, either! Keep spreading the word. Let's make this world as healthy as we can!

"If you want something you've never had before, you have to do something you've never done before."
- Anonymous

What you need for the week:
*Water Bottle
*Soft surface or an exercise mat
*Dumbbells {5 pounds for beginners}
*Quality workout gear: focus on it being comfortable, form fitting, and supportive!
*Something to time some of the workouts (watch, clock, cell phone, etc)
*Camera/Cell-Phone to take a pic of yourself before and after for accountability and motivation (you get points for doing this)! Remember to email me these photos each week! I want to see you sweat!

Here's your first workout schedule for the very first week...{All workout explanations are listed below!}

I'm so giddy! I can't wait to virtually do these workouts with you! See if you can't recruit some friends to join you in your workouts! It's so fun to workout with someone!
 Remember, any questions, just let me know! I am here to help with anything along the way!

Steady State Cardio: You can do a variety of workouts for this one including: running, walking, biking/spinning, or using the elliptical or stair-stepper. Remember to keep around the same pace for the whole workout -- for example: running @ 10 mph

HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training): This can also be done doing a variety of workouts including: running, walk/jog, biking, or using the elliptical. For this workout, you'll be alternating from low-intensity to high-intensity every 30 seconds. For the low-intensity you will stay at a steady state pace for 30 seconds, then go all out for 30 seconds (push yourselves!) Do this for 20 minutes.

Warm Up/Cool Down: An easy way to warm up and cool down is to walk or just go very easy on an exercise machine. Remember to stretch following each workout, too! Look up basic stretching on Google if you need assistance knowing what to do!

Strength Workout #1:

Here are links/photos (some are me!) to the various moves:

Shoulder Presses with front kick: 

Plank with leg lifts:

Kettlebell swings:

Leg drops:

Squats w/DB curls:

Plank Jacks:

Strength Workout #2:

Links/Photos to the various moves:


Alternating Lunges: 

Indian Style Crunches:
Mountain Climbers:

Yoga Workout #1 
Simply hold each post for 45 seconds 

Hydration: Each day you should aim for 72 oz. of water. Find a way that works to log your intake and stick to it! Keep a water bottle with you at all times and you'll never have trouble with this. Remember to drink at least 8 oz. of water prior to exercising and at least 8 oz. of liquid following the exercise! Before exercise, your drink should always be water {unless you're planning to exercise 2+ hours, in this case we're not}. Following exercise, there are a few options if you want to mix it up..
*8 oz. water {liven it up with lemon, lime, berries, or cucumber slices!}
*4 oz. coconut water mixed with 4 oz. water

Pre-Workout Snack Ideas: It's very important to be sure you eat something before exercise in order to provide optimum energy levels to power through your workouts! Plan your workouts around snacks and you'll be able to power through with no problem! Eat your pre-workout snack 45-60 minutes before you plan to workout to make sure it has some time to digest a bit.

--> Here are some options for this week...
*Fruity Protein Smoothie
*Oats: 1/4 cup oatmeal, cooked with water + 1 tbsp almonds + 1/4 cup berries
*Yogurt parfait: 1/4 cup nonfat yogurt + 1/4 cup berries + 1/4 cup whole grain cereal (Kashi, Grape Nuts, Original Cheerios, etc)
*Slice of toast with 1 tbsp nut butter
*Banana with 1 tbsp nut butter
*1/2 Larabar, Lunabar, ThinkThin bar, Uberbar, Kindbar, etc. {Choose something with only a few ingredients and lower in sugar}

Post-Workout Snack Ideas: Post-workout is also extremely important in order to provide adequate muscle repair and to prevent your energy levels to drastically drop. Eating following your workouts will also prevent overeating later on because you quickly are refueling your body! Eat your post-workout snack within 20-40 minutes following your workout!

--> Here are some options for the week...
*4-6 ounces (3/4-1 cup) low fat chocolate milk
*1 banana with 1 cup of low-fat milk
*Protein Shake: 1 scoop protein powder + 1 cup low-fat milk
*7 whole grain crackers + 1 hard-boiled egg
*1/2 cup cottage cheese + 1/4 cup whole grain cereal

Questions? Let me know anytime - you have my email!

How to get points this week: 
1) Complete each workout & post a comment on this blog post after you complete EACH workout (1 point for each workout completed AND commented)
2) Send me a picture of yourself during/after your workouts (1 point for each photo)
3) Send me a picture of yourself enjoying a pre or post workout snack!

Monday, August 19, 2013

Workouts {August 12-18}

It was a great week, especially since it was the week before my birthday! I was blessed to hang out with tons of family and friends during the entire week. I am so lucky to have such amazing people in my life! Here's a recap of some excellent workouts from the week, too!

*5 minute elliptical warm-up
*Circuit workout: Jumping jacks, kicks, various ab workouts, criss-cross hops with weights, shoulder press with crunch on stability ball, box side-to-side jumps, resistance band bicep curls
*Squat, Pushup, Leg Drop Challenge
*15 minute stationary bike to finish

*Speedwork: 1.3 mile warm-up, 6 400's @ 6:30 min/mile pace, .55 mile cool down
*Squat, Pushup, Leg Drop Challenge
*Taught class @ work

*Kickboxing + 30 minutes stationary bike
*Taught class @ work
*Squat, Pushup, Leg Drop Challenge

*3.5 mile run
*Squat, Pushup, Leg Drop Challenge
*Taught class @ work

*REST DAY -- well deserved I'd say!

*Stayed active outside all day (mowed, cleaned, walked Annie, etc)

*7 miles!

Saturday, August 17, 2013

A few photos of our home!

What is it with me and photos lately? I guess I just really want to share my life with you all via photos! I'm so excited to show you a few pictures of our home! We are so proud to live here. We have the best neighbors; live in a super safe neighborhood that is close to so many things we use now and will love to be by in the future (park, pool, schools, etc); and the house was move in ready and shows so much promise to fix up and add onto it in the future. Not to mention, our yard is huge! I just couldn't be happier with it! I hope you like it, too. I'll post more photos in the future as well!

Front of our home. I love the retaining walls of bricks and the many hostas that are planted. Plus, how lucky is it that the trees are so perfectly aligned to be on both sides of the home? So quaint! 

Up close look at the front porch! 

Side view - check out our yard! We live on a corner lot, so there's so much space!

The back of the house/back door. I'm planning to plant more flowers, get some nice patio furniture, and overall increase the beauty of the back area. We really do enjoy sitting back here though and leashing up Annie to her cable and letting her sniff and play. 

The garage. Our neighbors call it a "barn" because it's so large for an in-town garage. It easily fits 3 vehicles and Tyler absolutely loves it (what guy wouldn't, right?) It's heated, has tons of electrical outlets, is really secure, and has lots of space in the attic too for even more storage. It is so nice to park my car in a garage!

Now coming inside to my favorite room - the kitchen! I really like the beautiful white floors, cupboards, and cabinets (although this requires a lot of cleaning on my part - motivation, right?). There is so much natural light in here and I have a ton of space to store everything and still have room to prep on the counter tops!

Another view - Hi, Annie! 

Our very small upstairs bathroom, but I'm not complaining! There is lots of space outside this room to add on in the future and for now, it works and it's clean so I am not whining! Plus, I grew up in a home with only one bathroom for 5 people and our house has two (this one and a much larger one downstairs) so there's no need to complain! I painted it a brighter blue and really like it! I can't wait to update and expand this bathroom someday!

That's all for now -- more to come later!

Friday, August 16, 2013

Fun Photo Friday

Here are some fun photos off of my cell phone for a fun Friday post! Have a great weekend!

2013-08-16 14.17.17.jpg
Gorgeous flowers coming up in my yard

Tyler has been working so hard and finally got some extra sleep awhile ago and Annie wasn't one to say no to the extra snuggling..

A few months ago I rolled over to the dreadful 6 car is getting old, everyone! And, don't worry I was parked in my garage when taking this, hence why no seat belt :)

My adorable cousins, Owen (left) and Evan (right) with Tyler. They said they both needed to take a picture with their favorite pilot! It was so sweet!

Annie LOVES looking out the windows for squirrels, birds, our neighbor's cat, etc. I just happened to join her one day in the kitchen..;)

Awhile back my brother decided to try this nasty challenge at the famous Jethro's here in Des Moines. Let's just say he failed and wasn't was huge!

The inside of Tyler's grandpa's big deal, ya'll!

On our way back from Iowa City one Saturday afternoon, we flew over Central College where my brother goes to college before landing at the Pella airport. Again, no big deal! 

Just planning a flight..Can you tell I'm proud of my pilot?

A new haircut last month - chopped it off! 

Tyler, our friend Brennan, and Annie just posing for a family photo with their beers. I laugh every time I see this!

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

{How to} Roast a Squash

One of my favorite vegetables as of the last year is spaghetti squash! It took me awhile to finally be brave enough to buy one because I wasn't sure I'd know how to make it. It's actually quite simple and there are so many ways to enjoy it once done. Here's the quick steps on roasting a squash! 

1) Preheat your oven to 375 degrees
2) Pierce the squash with a knife a few times and then put it in the microwave for 5 minutes (this will make it easier to cut the squash in half) 

3) Let the squash cool for a few minutes and then cut it in half and scoop the insides & seeds out with a spoon. 

4) Place the halves into a deep dish, drizzle with olive oil, and then shake on some seasoning of your choice (I love Mrs. Dash)! Bake in the oven for 50 minutes. 

5) There are so many ways to enjoy it - fork out the squash to make a spaghetti like noodle alternative and serve as your base for spaghetti; put all  your favorite toppings inside the halves and bake for a few extra minutes; etc! Now you know how to make it! 


How I lost 10 pounds without killing myself & a quick, on the go breakfast idea!

This morning started off with a 4:57am wake up call..yes, I set my alarm for random times! I took Annie out to do her thing and then came in to quickly get ready, drink some H2O and head out the was time for some speed-work with friends! We met downtown at the square and did a 1.3 mile warm-up to get to the track @ the local college. From there we did 6 400's as fast as we could. The night before I was thinking of a time goal to shoot for and I decided on 8 min miles. I knew that I had done strength training the day before and so I wasn't sure if I could do much faster than 8, so I made a SMART goal with the 8 min/mile pace. The first 400 felt amazing - I felt like a rockstar going around that track. My average for all 6 of the 400's was 6:30 min/mile! We finished off with a .55 mile cool down back to the square. I am astounded at my success this morning - so happy with the results! Who knew I'd be able to do that on tired legs! I am going to get a 2 hour PR in October @ my next half, YES I AM!

Total workout:
1.3 mile (ish) warm-up to track
6 400's (6:30 min/mile average pace)
.55 mile (ish) cool down back to the square

I came home to complete 130 squats, 12 pushups, and 85 leg drops! Burnin' legs, arms, and abs I tell 'ya!

After a quick shower, it was time for some fuel! I have a bunch of Chobani yogurt (because it was super on sale at Costco last time I went there) so I wanted to use one for the base of my breakfast. I came up with a winner!!

Peachy-Tropical Almond Yogurt Bowl 

Start with a 6 oz. non-fat peach yogurt (I like Chobani) and put into a medium sized bowl.

Then, chop up a fresh peach (frozen peaches would work, too) and top the yogurt with the chunks.

 Next, add 1 heaping tbsp each of slivered almonds and unsweetened coconut flakes

The end product!

Holy yum! There are so many varieties you can try for this dish, too, so have fun with it!

Now onto a subject I'm so excited to talk with you about..

How I lost 10 pounds without killing myself..really! 

First of all, let me fill you in on the back story of all of this. For as long as I can remember I have always weight right around 155 pounds. I don't think I ever considered myself "overweight" and I don't think people saw me that way either. But, I still wanted to lose some weight to be in a healthier state of mind, run better, and be more confident in everyday life. Losing weight just makes you feel amazing all around!

I struggled with my weight more and more as the years went on and tried so many dumb things to lose weight (shakes/bars, cutting my food intake drastically, logging my calories like a crazy person, working out way too much throughout the day, etc). It messed me up to say the least! Then, after changing my major at my college I learned so much about wellness and how to be healthy all around (mind, body, and spirit). I also became so encouraged to run more. I had always ran some, a few miles here and there, but never long distance and often throughout the week.

These two things changed my life: becoming more knowledgeable about health and wellness & running

After about 6 months, I cut 10 pounds without even trying or weighing myself throughout the process. I actually wasn't even trying to lose weight, but instead I was trying to focus more on being healthier and becoming a better runner. Without worrying about the weight, it just sort of fell off! When I first stepped on the scale a few weeks ago, I thought it was just a good day and the scale put me lower than usual. So, I tried it again a few others times throughout the week and there it was..145. I was shocked! I knew I had felt better, but had no idea I had actually lost 10 whole pounds! I still can't believe it today!

This was from a little over a year ago in Colorado. Had a little more weight around my tummy and was less toned than I am today.

Tyler and I in December, a  little over 6 months ago. Was just getting started with running more at this point and had just recently changed my major!

Carie & me at the end of July, just a few weeks ago after a 10k. Love my legs in this photo and you can tell I've lost some weight in my stomach..I'm even starting to slowly show some abdominal toning!

My Best Weight Loss Tips (For easy, gradual weight loss)
*Run or Walk -- This is the single best exercise anyone can do, dead honest. Running, jogging, or walking burns a ton of calories while giving you the greatest endorphin rush out of any other exercise. The endorphins make you feel so happy and you'll be more motivated in your efforts, too! I can't say enough how much running has helped me!
*Drink lots of water -- I always have a water bottle with me and it's generally the only thing I drink besides a little unsweetened iced tea or green tea. Stick to water and flavor it with lemons or limes and you will notice some major health changes!
*Exercise 6 days per week -- I usually get in at least 40 minutes of exercise for 6 days out of week. Then, on top of it I am active in any other way I can be (walking anywhere that's less than 2 or 3 miles depending on time; walking my dog a lot; parking further away; lifting weights while watching tv; etc). Get active and your body will thank you and show it!
*Eat tons of fruits & veggies -- I have at least one fruit for breakfast, 2 veggies for lunch + 1 fruit, and 2-3 veggies at dinner! I load up my plate with fruits & veggies because I love to eat, so it adds bulk while also filling me up!
*Sleep -- I get at least 8 hours of sleep per night, sometimes even more. If you are low on sleep, you're more likely to overeat. Shut off all electronics an hour before your bedtime, hop into bed with a good book, and I guarantee you'll fall asleep sooner and be so grateful for it in the morning!
*Yoga & Meditation -- Stress makes me overeat, so I started doing yoga and meditation (on top of running) to help decrease stress and boy, has it helped! I love it!
*Be knowledgeable -- I read a LOT (textbooks for school, novels, magazines, blogs, etc) related to health and wellness because it gives me the knowledge base I need to succeed. The more you know, the more success you'll have..I promise!
*Follow the 80/20 rule -- I love to eat healthy, but I have a major sweet tooth. So, 80% of the time I eat super healthy but the other 20% of the time I allow myself to enjoy the occasional treat (for me that's any baked good or ice cream!) This has made me so much more in control with food rather than worrying about counting calories and being super strict all the time. When I was super strict, it just resulted in bingeing on junk food because I had restricted myself for so long..totally not worth it. If a craving strikes, eat a small amount of what you are craving and then move forward!

Now, it's your turn..I want to hear about your successes! What have you done that has helped you become healthier, lose weight, etc? Tell me!

Have a healthy day! - Jordan