Monthly Archives: October 2012

I Will Not Fear The Holidays! New Goals, No Meat, Running 200 Miles, Firefly and Scorpion

Thanksgiving is right around the corner. Feasting will begin, then on to Holiday parties with more feasting. Blah! I love the holidays with all of the decorations, festivities, meaning, family, friends etc. I do not love the shopping and the excessive amounts of food that always seem to tempt me. I think now is a great time to set new health and fitness goals. Why wait around for the New Year? I will go ahead and work on myself now. Setting new goals will help me become disciplined during these tempting times. So here is what I have been pondering.

I finally watched Food, Inc.  It was eye-opening. I knew what it was about, but I never took the time to sit down and watch. The Husband and I have been talking here and there about cutting back on meat over the past couple of years. I cook a fair amount of vegetarian dishes anyway, so after watching the documentary I thought now would be a great time to challenge myself, however, The Supermodel Piper may not enjoy those 17 days. Let me make this clear, I am not converting to be a vegetarian, I am just going to challenge myself to go meat free for a period of time and get creative with plant-based meals. It will be very interesting to see how I feel after this challenge is over. This is how this goal will go down. I will not eat beef, pork, or poultry for 17 days beginning on October 31, 2012. Why 17 days you might ask? Well, my first Thanksgiving feast will be held at my Dad’s on November 17th and I am sure beef, pork, or poultry could be involved. I would not want to offend the cook. 🙂

Remember at the beginning of the Workout Warrior Challenge when I said “If you state to someone your goal you will probably become more accountable and disciplined to reach your goal? Well anyway, this is my new fitness goal. I will run a total of 200 miles between November 1, 2012 and December 31, 2012. Sounds exciting, does it not? I will tell you that I have not been running distance mileage since 2010. All of my runs have been usually 2.5 to 4 miles each. I have no desire to run distance so all of my 200 miles will be a compilation of short runs. I will just have to do bunches of them which will be the fun part; short and sweet.

Now I think you all may know I love to practice yoga. I confess I have not been practicing as much as I would like to, so my new yoga goal is to conquer a couple of poses I have said before I wanted to learn but never really followed through with. I will conquer the Firefly and Scorpion yoga poses by December 31, 2012. Whew! I am scared now. This is good though. I believe the way to change and grow, mentally and physically, is to challenge yourself. I will definitely be leaving my comfort zone but I think that is the only way to reach my goals.

Now, how am I going to go about reaching these goals? First, not eating pork and poultry will be easy, but beef is tasty. I will be strong and come up with some delicious plant-based dishes. I may not even miss it at all. I will be glad to share my exciting new meals. Second, if I run 3 miles every day until December 31st that will total 183 miles. Looks like I will have to up some mileage. Now I am not going to run every single day but I will do a few 4-5 milers and probably some short two-a-days:) Note: I do not run on the treadmill, so all of my running will be outdoors. Another note: I hate cold weather so I sure hope we have a mild November and December. Now I am more scared of this than I am of attempting Scorpion! Challenge to Change, Challenge to Change. Now for Firefly and Scorpion (pics are below so you will know what I am talking about). I have to step it up on my practice. I teach yoga 2 times per week now. I am going to practice 3 more days on my own, specifically poses to prepare me for these two challenge poses. I am tired thinking of this, but it is exciting all at the same time.

Some of you may think I am nuts for thinking this is exciting. It is exciting to me because I know the sense of accomplishment and growth I will feel at the end, which will be worth the effort that will go into getting there. I will also take a before picture of myself and document the whole journey to see what happens to me mentally and physically during the next 2 months. Follow my little journey, it may give you a giggle or two.

I had to find pics because I can’t do these yet. The first picture is Firefly. I took the picture from www.yogajournal.com  Credit to David Martinez. The second picture is from www.about.comCredit to Barry Stone. Looks like fun 🙂

Do you make New Year Fitness Resolutions? Are you going to wait or make it happen now?

Workout Warrior Challenge WOW#5 and Fit Test

The end is near. This has been a great month for the Warrior Challenge. My favorite workouts are high intensity short duration. These types of workouts give me the best results. This week is no different. I will do two different workouts and I will do the fit test again to see how I have progressed. This is how I will start the week.

Day 1

I will warm up with an 800m run (1/2 mile) or cycle 2 miles. I will do 4 rounds of these exercises with correct form.

  • dumbbell chest press – 1 minute
  • triangle pushups (my hand position will be the shape of triangle) – 1 minute
  • squat dumbbell press – 1 minute
  • jump rope – 1 minute

I will finish with an 800m run or cycle 2 miles.

Day 2

I will warm up with an 800m run or cycle 2 miles. I will set my timer for 15 minutes and perform AMRAP of these exercises with correct form.

  • 20 spider knees
  • 20 reverse lunges with bicep curls
  • 20 plank rows
  • 20 lower body jacks

I will complete this workout with an 800m run or cycle 2 miles.

I will do these exercises with a positive attitude and to the best of my ability.

Day 3

I will repeat the fit test I took at the beginning of the challenge. I will time myself to compare my result from the beginning fit test. My result should be good. Excited!

I have to set small challenges like this to help me stay focused so I can achieve goals I have set for myself. Right now I am training to run a 5k on November 17th. My goal is to increase my speed and finish under my last 5k time. This Workout Warrior Challenge has kept me focused. I will keep you posted on my training and my race:) Below is a picture of me about to cross the finish line of my first marathon. I set the goal, trained hard and completed the marathon under my expected time. It was a great feeling of accomplishment that I will never forget.

Have you set any new health and fitness goals?

In Love With Pizza and Pasta ROW#4

Two of my faves are pizza and pasta. Who says you can’t be fit and have them both? Well, portion control and the right ingredients are important to enjoy these two dishes without being frightened of an expanding waistline. I just wanted to show you in this ROW how you can do this. First is the vegetable pizza.

I whipped this little pie up last night. I used a thin whole wheat crust with pizza sauce. I chopped green pepper (still producing from my garden), onion, fresh basil (from my garden), tomato, and a little mozzarella (the pic shows I may have gone a little nutty with the cheese). I baked on 400 degrees until golden and bubbly. See pic below.

Now, I did not go nuts with my portions. I had a couple of slices with a healthy side salad.

I love pasta and I enjoy whole wheat variety even more. I got home after the gym tonight and put together this dish.

I call this Easy Pasta Primavera. Just boil the noodles while lightly steaming cut broccoli, asparagus, carrots. Dump pasta and veges in a bowl and drizzle 1 tbsp of EVOO, dried oregano, sea salt, and coarse pepper. Toss together and top with tomatoes and avocado. It is delightful. Again, I exercise portion control so I can enjoy my faves.

Workout Warrior Challenge WOW#4 and Stretch

This month is flying by. Last WOW was another tough one, especially day 2 & 4 workouts. How did those overhead squats feel? The dips were tough for me. I am going to rock WOW#4. This is how it will go down.

Day 1 &3

I will complete 3 rounds for time.

  • run 400m (1/4 mile) or cycle 1 mile
  • 10 jump squats (modify by lifting heels up instead of jumping at the top of the squat)
  • 20 deadlifts
  • 30 KB or DB swings
  • 40 walking lunges holding dumbbells by the side or a or broomstick overhead

I will go as fast as I can with correct form and I will record my time.

Deadlift starting position

Deadlift midpoint – back straight/abdominals engage

Day 2 &4

I will warm up with an 800m (1/2 mile) run or cycle 2 miles.   I will do as many reps as possible with correct form.

  • mountain climbers – 1 minute
  • pushups – 1 minute
  • burpee (without pushup) – 1 minute
  • dips – 1 minute
  • one arm rows – 30 sec each side
  • situps – 1 minute
  • repeat this 3 times

I will finish with a 1 mile run or 3 mile cycle.

BRING IT ON!

I will make an extra effort to stretch a little more than usual this week. Many times I have finished a workout, and then just run out the door without taking a few extra minutes to stretch.  Does this sound familiar? Do you neglect your stretching? I love yoga! What kinds of stretches do you do?

Disclaimer – This blog is written and managed by me. These are my own personal opinions and experiences. I am not a doctor. Consult your own doctor before beginning a new fitness or nutrition program.

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Workout Warrior Challenge WOW#3 And Dreams Of Lululemon!

Last week’s WOW was a blast and now it is in the past. It is time to kick things up a notch. I am so motivated and committed to this challenge. It can be a good thing to reward yourself when you reach a goal, so I might just do that. After I complete this challenge I will reward myself with some Lululemon workout clothes that I have been dreaming about:) Now on to the WOW#3.

Day 1 & 3

I will warm up with an 800m (1/2 mile) run or cycle 2 miles

I will do 5 exercises for 1 minute each (one after the other) and then rest for 1 whole minute. I will repeat this 2 more times. I will finish with another 800m (1/2 mile) run or cycle 2 miles. These are the exercises.

  • sumo dead lift with high pull – 1 minute
  • push press – 1 minute
  • situps – 1 minute
  • alternating bent rows – 1 minute
  • jump rope – 1 minute

I will use dumbbells and my 20 lb bar.

Day 2 & 4

I will do 4 rounds for time so I will go as fast as I can with correct form and record my time when I am finished. I will do these 5 exercises.

  • run 400m (1/4 mile) or cycle 1 mile
  • 20 pushups
  • 20 reverse lunges with bicep curl
  • 20 dips
  • 20 overhead squats (use broomstick or very light weight – beginners use no weight)

Just for kicks and giggles I will do a sprint challenge one day this week (on a day other than a WOW day). This is what I will do.

  • 1 minute sprint/1 minute recovery (slow down or walk)
  • 2 minute sprint/2 minute recovery
  • 3 minute sprint/3 minute recovery

I will do 3 rounds of this running circuit. Giggle!

Okay, I am pumped up about this WOW. I will demo exercises over on my YouTube channel so go to www.youtube.com and search me at nthefitzone.

Sweat Everyday!

I can picture my Lulu’s now. What are your fitness goals? What would you reward yourself with ?

Disclaimer: This blog is written by me about my own opinions and experiences.  I am not a doctor. Consult your own doctor before beginning any exercise or nutrition program.

ROW#3 Beer and Chicken

I thought beer might get your attention. I really liked last weeks ROW because I love the chili garlic sauce. I am obsessed with that right now. This weeks ROW is Crock Pot Beer Chicken. It is so easy to prepare, high protein, low-fat and you get to put a beer in it. I found this recipe over on laaloosh.ziplist.com This is how it was done.

  • 2 lbs skinless boneless chicken breast or thighs
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 2 cloves chopped fresh garlic
  • 1 tbsp dried oregano
  • 1 tsp coarse black pepper
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 1 bottle or can of your favorite beer

You can use more or less of the seasonings to your liking. I put in the fresh garlic because I like it very garlic-y. Dump all that in the crock pot and cook on low for 6-7 hours or high for 4-5 hours. Done.

I served the Beer Chicken with Sweet Potato No Skins (better than potato skins) and steamed asparagus. The Sweet Potato No Skins recipe came from Prevention Magazine and I think it was a “Biggest Loser” recipe. This is how they are done.

  • 3 large sweet potatoes peeled and cut into 1/2 inch rounds
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • sea salt
  • cayenne pepper
  • low-fat cheddar cheese
  • non fat Greek yogurt
  • just a few bacon bits (the real deal)
  • chopped green onion

In a big bowl toss cut potatoes with olive oil. Line pans with foil and place potatoes on pan without them touching. Sprinkle with salt and cayenne pepper. Cook on 400 for about 10 minutes and then turn them over. Cook for another 7-8 minutes or until done. Top with a little cheese, Greek yogurt, bacon bits, and green onion. These are so tasty and healthy, a definite do over at my house:)

This is how it looked plated.

Are you ready for this week? Please comment and let me know how you like this recipe.

Handstand Touches, Arm Balance Fun, Sweating Pink, WWC Update

Hi. This is an update of my progress in The Workout Warrior Challenge. I can tell a difference already in my strength. My legs are firmer and it is only the second week. I have heard from a few of you that have also have experienced positive results, so keep it up! Make sure you comment and let me know how you are doing.

WOW#2 started great. I did 6 rounds in the 20 minutes for the day 1 workout. My goal for day 3 is to increase my weight(I used a 15 lb KB) for the sumo squats. My goal for Thursday is 7 rounds in 20 minutes using a 25 lb DB for the sumo squats.

I did Day 2 yesterday. Runs with Tabatas! My total time was 18:39 with the 800m run. I felt good.  I modified one round on the lunge jumps. I know I can go faster on my runs and I will lower my time when I do this workout again on Friday.

Today I will be Sweating Pink! Every Wednesday for the rest of October I will wear pink to raise awareness for breast cancer. Join in and put on your pink (boys too:) and Sweat Pink during your workout. I always try to think about the challenges that many people with cancer face on a daily basis. I look at how strong they are and it inspires me to push and work hard to do the best that I can and be the best I can every day. I have so much to be thankful for.

A friend challenged me to do these handstand touches to see how many I could do. It is harder than it looks. I completed 30. I will practice on that. I got in handstand (not a very good one though) and alternated taps on my abdomen.

I was just goofing off attempting eight angle pose. I have not attempted this arm balance in a while. It needs a little polishing but not bad.

Well it has been a great week so far. I hope your week is going well. Let me know how your workouts are going. Did any of you do the stir fry?

How about a quick challenge? How many burpees (without the pushup)  can you do in 1 minute? Get it done! I want to know your number. Remember sweat everyday and love it!

ROW#2 Vegetable Stir-Fry with Grilled Sirloin

This week I decided to go with a beef dish. This is a personal favorite of mine. I love stir-fry and I love steak so I am going to health it up. When I cook stir-fry, I do not measure because we love leftovers and lots of veges. You could say I bulk stir-fry (the husband & supermodel love my cooking), but we do exercise portion control 🙂

  • lean beef grilled (I used sirloin seasoned with a citrus garlic blend)
  • broccoli (a bunch)
  • carrots
  • onion
  • squash
  • zucchini
  • shredded cabbage
  • asparagus
  • EVOO
  • Sea salt and ground black pepper
  • chili garlic sauce (optional)

I washed and cut up all the veges while I grilled the steak.

I  very lightly steamed the veges except the cabbage then lightly stir fried all veges together in a tiny bit of EVOO (except cabbage) just until tender. I like mine crunchy not soggy. I removed from pan when it was done and stir fried cabbage lightly. I sliced the beef. Place cabbage on the bottom then top with the veges and the beef. I love the chili garlic sauce (a little goes a long way) so I drizzle mine delicately. This is a low carb meal full of nutrients.

For all of you vegetarians, just skip the beef and try tofu.

OMG! So good! Are you going to try this? I want to see your pictures! Holla!

Gives it a kick!

Chow down!

WOW#2 Workout Warrior Challenge

Last week was a busy week with the fit test, the first workouts etc… It motivated and inspired me to hear that some of you are following along. I am excited for week #2. This is my workout for WOW#2

Day 1

First I will warm up with a 400m run (1/4 mile) or cycle 1 mile. I will set my timer for 20 minutes. In the 20 minutes I will do AMRAP (as many rounds as possible) of the following exercises and reps:

  • 10 burpees without the pushups
  • 15 pushups
  • 20 plank side toe taps
  • 25 scissor abs
  • 30 sumo squats

I will do AMRAP within that 20 minutes. I will write down how many rounds I did. I will finish with a 400m run (1/4 mile) or cycle 1 mile.

Day 2

I will be doing Tabata intervals meaning each exercise will be done as hard as I can for 20 seconds and then I will rest for 10 seconds and repeating. You will need a timer or a clock with second hand that is easy to see. A full Tabata is only 4 minutes but it is high intensity. I will do 2 Tabatas for a total of 8 minutes with 4 different exercises. I will also time myself and record the time it took me to finish with the warm up and the finish run.

I will warm up with an 800m run (1/2 mile) or cycle 2 miles. I have my timer ready for 20 seconds work 10 second rest intervals. I will do each exercise 4 times 20 seconds work 10 seconds rest then move to the next exercise.

  • Mountain climbers – 4 times
  • Kettlebell (KB) swing or Dumbbell (DB) swing – 4 times
  • Plank spider knees – 4 times
  • Lunge jumps or reverse lunge for the beginner – 4 times

I will finish this with an 800m run (1/2 mile) or cycle 2 miles.

Day 3 -repeat day 1

Day 4 – repeat day 2

Go to my youtube channel to view video of the workouts. Go to www.youtube.com and search nthefitzone. Video demos are labeled WOW#2. These are my first videos. Future videos will get better I promise:)

I will record my times, reps, exercises etc… Anything to help me keep track of my progress. I WILL SWEAT AND I WILL LOVE IT!

Are you ready for a new week of challenges? If you are following along, I love reading your comments, seeing your workout pics, etc. ARE YOU GOING TO SWEAT AND LOVE IT?

SUPERHERO PLANK CHALLENGE – I did this the other day to see how long I could hold it. This exercise challenge requires strength and mental focus. One side I did 35 seconds, the other 40 seconds.

Forearm plank lifting opposite arm/opposite leg and holding for as long as I can. The Supermodel in the background was not impressed:)

Disclaimer-This blog is written and managed by me. This blog is a journal of my experiences and my opinions. I am not a doctor. Consult your own doctor before beginning any exercise and/or nutrition program.

WOW Day 3/Whey Protein/Green Machine Nutrition

Hi, I did WOW day 3 yesterday. It was tough. It was a morning training WOW. I had a pretty big smoothie just before I started, mistake. I do like to eat a little something before I train but this was a bit much. Lesson learned. I felt slower and full during the whole session but I managed to push through and get it done. My time was 24:00 minutes. That was with 800m runs. I know I can do better and I will. I did increase my weight which I am proud of. Anyway, it is a new glorious day and I am ready to finish my WOW workout day 4. Excited!

Do you feel tired and cranky with no energy? Sometimes I feel tired with lack of energy from teaching and all of my own workouts, so I incorporate a whey protein shake after my workouts to help with recovery. Right now I use Muscle Milk Vanilla Whey Protein or this heavenly tasting chocolate dreamy whey protein.

I get this at Costco. So delicious!

Another favorite I like to whip up when I need more veges is The Green Machine. Love:)

I just blend a bunch of spinach, frozen pineapple, a little fresh squeezed lemon juice and a little spring water in my beloved NINJA blender. So refreshing and full of goodness.

So how are your WOW’s going? Are you looking forward to next week WOW’s? I will post it on Sunday.

Sweaty me after WOW Day 3

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