{go green}

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Green juice that is! I have an Omega juicer, and LOVE it! I try to juice at least a few times a week, but with the winter we have been having I haven’t done the best at having fresh produce on hand. It’s probably been more like once or twice a week, but better than not at all. I’ve tried lots of juice recipes and I like quite a few, but my favorite {and my boys’ favorite} is always green juice. My usual green juice always has kale or spinach {or both}, cucumber, parsley, lime {or lemon}, celery, ginger {if I have it} and green apple. Kale is becoming a very popular green, and rightfully so as it is full of antioxidant vitamins A, C, and K and is one of the healthiest foods in the world. There is another green that I like to add to my juice that often gets overlooked, and that’s parsley. Yes, parsley! It is also full of antioxidants like kale, and is a good source of iron. Parsley is packed full of healing goodness, and is a food that has the ability to neutralize carcinogens. Parsley tops the charts as one of the healthiest foods, right next to kale!

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20140227-104009.jpgHave you gone green lately??!!

Peace Out,

Nicholle

{on a quest}

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I really, really, really like quest bars. I am getting low, so this morning I placed an order and now I have my favorites on the way! I’m trying out the NEW Cookies and Cream flavor, can’t wait to try it!!! What other flavors did I order? My all time favorite {and my boys’ favorite, close with cookie dough} is White Chocolate Raspberry, I always run out of this first. Always. Then it is a close second and third with Apple Pie and Double Chocolate Chunk. Three of my favorite Quest Bars with a new flavor to try, let’s just say Tuesday will be a happy day for me {delivery is Tuesday!}. They have SO many  flavors, from peanut butter and jelly, cinnamon roll, chocolate brownie, to vanilla almond crunch, and about everything in between. You are bound to find a flavor you can’t live without! I buy my quest bars from Amazon.com, I’m a prime member so I get free 2 day shipping on them. I’ve priced them out other places and so far this is where I can find the best deals. A box of 12 ranges from $24 to $30 {with free shipping}, depends on the flavor {newer flavors are generally a few bucks more}.

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As a busy mom, a quest bar can really help me out when I need to eat something ASAP and have not prepped! For my son with SPD, chewy things are great for him{chewy foods help calm his brain!}as is protein, making quest bars a perfect fit. He loves them, and I love that they help him and are not a piece of candy {tootsie rolls are recommended to help him if he is having sensory overload, now we turn to a quest bar}.

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If you are on the lookout for a protein bar, or an on the go protein packed snack, I highly recommend Quest Nutrition and their crazy good protein bars. I have yet to try their pasta or Quest Cravings {chocolate peanut butter cups!}, but I imagine I will.

Are you on a quest?

Peace Out,

Nicholle

{ladies, let’s grow some muscle}

I read a good article the other day {I will share it if I can find it} and it really hit the nail on the head on how women need to change their way of thinking when it comes to building muscle. So many women have this misconception in their mind that if they build muscle they are going to get huge, manly muscles, so they use the word “toned”. “I don’t want big muscles, I just want to be toned.” What does toned even mean? Are you saying you want arms that don’t jiggle,  a nice shapely shoulder? Or maybe you want a butt that isn’t flat or doesn’t jiggle? Do you want lean {tight} legs, and maybe be able to see some abdominal definition? Guess what, to have that “toned” body you are after you have to grow some muscle! It’s your body fat percentage that is going to determine how much of your muscle is going to show. That is, if you have muscle. Go check out the get in shape girl. She wrote a blog post all about this topic. Here is a small excerpt from that post written by Kyra Williams:

First of all, we all have muscles.  Some folks have bigger muscles than others just by their genetic make up.  Some have worked hard to develop some muscles more than others.  If your goal is to have lean muscle tone, then you desire the appearance of muscle with little body fat.  If this is what you want, you must develop your muscles.

 If you have a low body fat with underdeveloped muscle tissue, you are not going to see muscle tone or definition.  Think, skinny arms, flat stomach, skinny legs, little butt, etc.  If you have low body fat with developed muscles you will see a nice round booty, a side sweep of the quad, shoulder caps, abs, etc.  But you have to develop that muscle!

She also explains a scenario of someone who has a larger number of body fat to lose, and how gaining and building muscle is very important. When you gain muscle, it speeds up your metabolism!

Normally I like to keep my blog posts short, but this one got a little longer. I practice what I preach, and here is my muscle building workout I did today, give it a try! I warmed up for 10 minutes on the elliptical in cross country setting, think hills, big hills. Total workout took me under 40 minutes!

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Now let us all embrace the word muscle!

Peace Out,

Nicholle

{weekend workout}

Too busy on the weekend to get a good workout in? Wrong!! Try this 23 minute upper body workout. Trust me, you will want to find the time to try this one!

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Warm up with 1 minute of each movement. Tap jacks: as your arms go up, your right leg goes behind your left leg with a side lunge and you tap your toe, arms go down as you bring your right leg back to start, repeat with your left leg. Side toe touch lunges are similar to skaters, same movement but bringing your opposite hand to opposite toes as you do a side lunge.
Workout is 20 seconds of work with a 10 second rest. Do each movement three times before moving onto the next movement. When you finish overhead presses, go back to the top with bicep curls and continue. Again, doing each movement three more times. Chest flys and pull overs will be done laying down.

What you will need:

  • Water
  • Interval timer
  • Dumbbells or plates {go heavy enough that it is hard to go that full 20 seconds, if it’s easy after 20 seconds you need to go up in weight!!}
  • A mat {optional}

No excuses, get a workout in this weekend!!

Peace Out,
Nicholle

{workout wednesday}

One of my favorite ways to set my gymboss timer for a HIIT workout is to 20/10, also know as Tabata. {here is a good article that quickly explains high intensity interval training} That’s 20 seconds you are doing the movement as hard as you can, with a 10 second rest until you either start up that same movement or switch to a different movement. A few reasons why I like this 20/10 format, first the mindset. Anyone can do something for 20 seconds, right?? {until you get to the end of your workout and 20 seconds feels like 2 minutes, just remember “anyone can work for 20 seconds”. Repeat it in your head, repeat it out loud, whatever you need to do to go that full 20 seconds!!} Second, this time format is an ideal fat burner! In a 20/10 workout, my heartrate rarely gets below 165 and I can easily burn 100 calories every 10 minutes. Last, you can do this ANYWHERE! Tabata workouts are great with just doing bodyweight movements! Trust me, the bodyweight movements are always the hardest!! If you don’t have a gymboss timer, I highly recommend it! If you have  a smart phone, there is probably an app interval timer. If there isn’t, someone should get on that, but it won’t be me. I’m technologically not smart!

For a “true” Tabata workout, you will keep that timer set to 20/10 and you will do two movements per set. How many times you do each set is up to you, usually about 4 minutes is a good time to switch it up. That means after 4 rounds of the first two movements, you will go into two different movements for another 4 minutes. Got it?? Anywhere from 10-30 minutes is going to get you sweaty! I will warm up before I lift with 10 minutes or so of Tabata, or I will make it my entire workout and go the full 30 minutes. There are so many ways to format this type of workout, that although you are still using a 20/10 interval, it won’t get boring!

Here is an example of a great Butt Lifting Tabata Workout that I did last week, give it a try. Your glutes will thank you!

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Have a happy hump day!
Peace Out,
Nicholle

{tasty tuesday}

One thing that is really important to me is my family sitting and eating together for supper. Probably because I was raised that way, I have tons of great memories that come from my family sitting around the dinner table as I was growing up. We all took a break from the day and came together to share a meal, almost every night. I want my boys to grow up and remember how nice it was to have that time with their family.

Here are a couple of recipes that I have recently made. Besides being tasty, they were both quick and easy! Supper from start to finish in under 30 minutes, and even better not very many dishes to clean after! {I hate washing dishes, HATE it!}

First up, Italian Wonderpot from Budget Bytes. This was really good, next time I would love to add grilled or baked chicken and maybe some artichoke hearts {olives would be great in this too, but I’m the only one that likes them}. Head over to Budget Bytes for the recipe!20140211-093620.jpgMy boys love orange chicken, so when I found a recipe for Skinny Orange Chicken I had to try it. This recipe is from Gimme Some Oven and worth giving a try!

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Any recipes you have tried recently that were keepers? I’m always on the search for quick, kid friendly meals, that are also full of nutrients! If you have one, send it my way!!

Peace Out~

Nicholle

{motivation monday}

What helps motivate you when it’s time to workout? You know that thing that makes you want to go to the gym ASAP and gets you excited about working out. Yes, I said excited about working out, you read correctly! I have a few things that really pump me up, one being new workout gear! Yep, for some reason a new shirt, or tights, or shorts, even a new sports bra, gets me excited to workout! It may be silly, but if it works, I say go with it!

A good little boost to help me reach my fitness goals is to reward with a new item of fitness apparel. My problem with this is picking what that item will be! Here are some of the things I’m currently drooling over that I found on Pinterest!
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What should I pick??!! What motivates you? Do you use a reward system for reaching goals?
Peace Out~
Nicholle