Saturday, March 19, 2016

#linklove: Good Reads from Around the Internet, March 2016

Saturday night, friends. Here we are! Have you been enjoying the weekend? I started mine off with a nice 6-mile run, as I do most weekends, and I am pretty pleased with the time (and the new shoes):

It was cold out and my muscles were tight, but I got it done. I've been running with one of my trainers who also happens to be a track and cross country coach, and he definitely brings out some of that experience when we're running. I feel like he really pushes me to run faster, simply because he runs faster, so it's good stuff. I signed up for another local 5K in mid-April, and look forward to testing out the feet (and the new shoes) in another official event. It's not about winning medals, but it IS about beating me, myself and I. Sometimes I do, sometimes I don't. Regardless, it's fun to try.

Also noteworthy, I'm headed to Florida tomorrow for a huge fitness convention. My gym is a member of the International Health, Racquet and Sportsclub Association, and the annual convention and trade show starts Monday. From what I've been told, it's huge. It targets the fitness industry from the business side, rather than the fitness professional side, if that makes sense. Here are some of the sessions that I'll be attending:

• Social Media Makeover: Tips & Strategies for Success
• Strength to Sell: Proven Strategies to Sell Personal Training
• Grow Your Business with Small Group Training
• Becoming Results Focused: A New Approach to Group Fitness

I'm also looking forward to early morning workouts and Randi Zuckerberg's keynote. And I can't wait to connect with some of our vendors on the trade show floor. As the Fitness Director, I'm given a yearly budget to buy new equipment, and my wish list is filled with possibility.

Needless to say, I've been packing.

I approached it much like I did for the IDEA fitness convention, and I think I'm ready to go. So here's to a safe, fun-filled trip. And some link love for you. If you're reading this on Sunday, I might be rushing around the airport. Hopefully, unlike me, you are relaxing on this very last day before the new week begins. Enjoy:

1) One of the things I love so much about my gym: The diverse membership. Our slogan is "get fit where you fit in" because we do our best to make everyone feel right at home when they're working out. I think that's why I love this "Every Body Happy" commercial so much. Great job, Blink Fitness, whoever you are.

2) Apparently, extreme yoga is a thing...or at least looks like a thing because some people are so damn flexible that they can get into crazy awesome poses (that I will never, ever be able to get into).

3) Calling all boss ladies! You need to follow these Instagram accounts.

4) Make marriage your new child. Read: When Marriage Feels Heavy

5) Girl power! I love Michelle Obama and the theme song for her new campaign, #62MillionGirls, which focuses on helping girls who don't get the opportunity to go to school. Listen to it, ladies.

6) Self-lacing shoes? Oh, Nike. How futuristic of you. #kindawant

7) I am a runner, and I laughed. Read: 8 Snarky Race Signs Guaranteed to Make Runners Laugh

8) I love pineapples, so I basically want all 28 of these products for people who are super excited about pineapples. I mean, don't you?

9) Hey, you stop that. Read: 25 Things to Stop Doing To Yourself Right NOW

10) Baked Vanilla Coffee Donuts. Get in my mouth.

Question: If you could leave on a jet plane and go anywhere in the world right now, where would you go and why? (Random, I know, but since I'm flying out this weekend, let's have fun with the QOTD.)

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

60-Minute Kettlebell, Cardio and Battle Ropes Workout (...plus, delicious frozen food. #LiveHealthyChoice #Ad)




I tell all my clients and class participants not to overwork themselves, but that's exactly what I did yesterday. I got up at 5:00AM (as per the usual) for a 3-mile run at the gym, then I headed home to shower and get the kids ready so I could return in time for the 8:30AM Power Yoga class. Run, then stretch. Always a great combo, except I probably should have eliminated the yoga class because I was asked to sub the 5:30PM Kettlebell, Cardio and Battle Ropes class. And since I'm the boss, I can't technically say no when there isn't other backup. Duty calls.

And duty left me tired.

Here's what we did, in case you're looking for a 60-minute workout that uses kettlebells and battling ropes. (Remember this, though: Always consult with your physician before you try anything new. This workout can produce a relatively high intensity, which might not be right for you. As a certified professional, I stand behind the workout, but can't verify that it will work for you.)


This 60-Minute high intensity workout challenges your strength and endurance.
Let's clarify some of those exercises:

Side Lunge to Curtsy Lunge with Foot on BOSU
Start with your left food on top of the BOSU and your right foot out to the right, with your legs in a side lunge. Step up and over the BOSU as you bring your right foot back into a reverse curtsy lunge. Essentially, your left foot never leaves the BOSU. You'll repeat this on the other side.

Side Plank with Exercise Ball Squeeze on BOSU
This is not as complicated as it seems! Put your bottom foot on a BOSU, then put an exercise ball in between your ankles. Hold the plank, then switch sides when your time is up.

Alternating Forward Lunges with Kettlebell Side Bends
There's nothing revolutionary about the forward lunges, except that you'll add a side bend to them. So hold a kettlebell above your head—you'll probably want something light—then step forward with your right leg and lunge. Once you hit the bottom of your lunge, side bend to the right. It's a small movement. Step back together and repeat toward the other side

Further directions: Warm up! Cool down! Never forget those two things. You can throw some quick bursts of cardio in between each circuit, too. I make my class run two laps around the short track inside our gym, followed by a slow walking lap to give the heart and lungs a break.

And then, you should rest.

By the time I got home from class, I was sufficiently wiped. In between my first and second shifts at the gym, I had to take my daughter to ballet and visit Target, so it was a crazy, hectic day (for sure). All I wanted to do when I got home was eat, shower and sleep.

Emphasis on the eating part. Evening workouts leave me hungry for all the things, especially when I have to double up with a morning workout (which I don't like to do or recommend doing, just so we're clear). Crazy kids and evening routines, coupled with an empty stomach leave me searching for all the foods in the world to eat right here, right now. Two things keep me headed in the right direction:

1) Meal prepping and/or leftovers. When there are healthy, homemade options in the 'fridge, they're all I ever want and most definitely what I grab.

2) Pre-made, store-bought options that cook up in minutes. Like stuff from the deli at my local supermarket. Or frozen meals—yeah, you read that right. Frozen meals, which typically get a bad reputation. But, hey...they can be downright delicious.

I was recently given the opportunity to test out a Healthy Choice Simply Cafe Steamer meal.

healthy frozen dinners
I picked Lemon Herb Chicken (because someone in my house doesn't like lemon, so I never get to cook with it). I knew this ready-to-go meal option would come in handy rather quickly, and it did last night.

Here's what it looks like before you cook it:

healthy frozen dinners


Technically, you're not supposed to remove the plastic cover before you cook it, but I wanted you to see how good it looks right out of the box. Not always the case with frozen meals! Sometimes they look like a simple blob of ingredients, without a bright color in site, while other times they look...well, nothing like the picture on the box (translation: a hot mess).

Not the case with Healthy Choice Simply Cafe Steamer meals.
I was pleasantly surprised by this—and the low amount of sodium (500mg).

It took about four minutes to cook. And yes, the double bowl actually steams the ingredients in your microwave, which helps retain the flavor. When it's done, I had to combine it with the sauce, which heats up in a separate bowl below the rest of the ingredients.

Seriously, it was so good:

Healthy Choice: Healthy frozen dinners with natural ingredients
Really good, actually. I'm a tough critic because, while I appreciate the value of a frozen meal, I need that frozen meal to be perfect from a health perspective or else I won't eat it. And yes, I do understand that fresh is always best. But in this case, fresh has been frozen. Healthy Choice meals are made with real ingredients, minus the preservatives. And with these Simply Cafe Steamer meals, the ingredients are not frozen in the sauce which makes everything taste that much better.

Have I mentioned how fantastic the whole Lemon Herb thing was?

Tired girl, sore muscles...full belly.
Yesterday was long, but dinner was short because I inhaled it.

Check out all the Simply Cafe Steamer varieties.
Good luck picking your favorite (because they all look good).

Questions about the workout? Let me know: tara (at) adailydoseoffit (dot) com

Question: What are some of the quick-fix meal items?


I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.

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