Finish February Fit Challenge – 4th & Final Week

Hey, it’s Saturday and I am writing this weekend post from Albuquerque, NM where Pete and I are spending a few days as a late anniversary trip.image

I’ve been hittin up all my favorite places, which is super fun when you are buying groceries for the next 6 months. It’s easier to justify buying one of everything…well, maybe not, exactly, but I’m doing a shout out for Trader Joes, and Sprouts Market. Supplying my pantry one 5 mile long receipt at a time. 🙂 Funny…but true.

Also I’ve been eating my bodyweight in hummus and berries, drinking lots of yummy coffee, working out at a new gym (woot for guest passes) and enjoying some together time with the hubby, which is always awesome.image

And freezing my bootay off! Who knew Albuquerque was cold! This WI girl has truly turned beach babe forever.

Oh…and firsts:
I could have won a pair of free jeans at AE just for trying them on…but alas, we are like the only people in this country without a smart phone, so I couldn’t text the coupon code to the # to see if I won. Fail.

I drank kombucha with chia seeds in it…holy yum. I’m definitely doing that at home.

Had our order taken at a restaurant on a tablet…I know, welcome to the first century Liesl.

And we ate lunch everyday in our truck. Cheese, crackers, hummus and veg! Yep…we are classy like that.image

Anyways, it’s been a fun time, and I hope you’ve had a great week too.

How did your workouts go? Bodyweight…what did you think? Did you try my Burn IT workout? Feedback?

Well, it’s week 4, hard to believe that February is almost over. I’ll be traveling more this week, and working on paperwork, but that doesn’t mean I’m not going to Finish February Fit!

This week is all about staying consistent with your workouts, plus adding a bonus strength sesh to each day to really get you feeling your very best as you move into spring. So…ready to hit this last week hard with me?!

Week 4’s Challenge – 100s! image

This week’s challenge is simple:
Do – 100 squats
100 pushups
100 situps or v-ups
100 count plank hold
Every single day, in addition to your normal workout routine.

Some things to remember:
* You do not have to do all 100 reps at once, consecutively. You can break them up however you like, and do them throughout your day. I like 4 sets of 25.
* Make sure you are using proper form as you do each exercise, they are not meant to be done quickly.
* If you get sick of regular pushups or squats, mix it up! Try plie squats, or some wall squats, or one of these pushup variations.
* Have fun with it!!

You’ve done an amazing job this month and you should be really proud of yourself. This week I’d love to hear what you’ve learned about your fitness potential, and about yourself in general. I’d love to hear about gains you’ve made, or set backs you’ve had. And what you’ve liked or disliked about the challenges.

This blog, Fitness in the Kitchen, is for you guys. Free tips, exercise routines, and healthy recipes that encourage me to be creative and to keep things fresh, however, it is my hope that they also encourage you to live a healthier lifestyle. 🙂 So…let me know what’d you’d like to see more of in the future. I love your feedback.

Thanks for reading, and stay strong this week, I’ll be pounding out those 100s with you!

~ Liesl

Chocolate Chia Breakfast Pudding w/ Strawberries

Recently I’ve re-kindled my love for chia pudding.

It’s incredibly easy to make, and a fantasticly portable breakfast to take with you on the go, to work, to an early class or other commitment. Chia seeds are loaded with healthy fats, protein, and fiber, and made into a pudding make for a breakfast that will keep you full and away from those tempting Valentines treats that you know will be lurking in the break room.image

image

This chocolate version with berries is a little decadent for everyday (at least for me), but it is Valentines week after all so I deemed it worthy! And served in these adorable heart-shaped ramekins, a gift from my mother in law last year, what’s not to “love.”

image

Chocolate Chia Breakfast Pudding w/Strawberries
(Serves 1)
1/2 c almond milk (or milk of choice)
2 Tbsp chia seeds
2 tsp unsweetened cocoa powder
1 Tbsp almond butter
1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
1 tsp pure maple syrup
tiny pinch sea salt
3-4 whole strawberries, sliced thin

In bowl, or glass jar combine the almond milk, and chia seeds. Stir until combined. Then add the cocoa powder, almond butter, vanilla, maple syrup, and sea salt. Give the entire mixture a good whisking for about 1-2 minutes.
Refrigerate overnight. (I think it would only need about 30min-1hour, but I haven’t tried it that way.)image

In the morning top your pudding with sliced strawberries, and sprinkle of shredded coconut and some chocolate chips if it’s Valentines Day! 😉

Dig in…or eat like a dainty Valentine…whichever you prefer, but mine’s already gone. 🙂

~ Liesl

High “Reppin” Workout + Meal Ideas

Happy Sunday! What’s on your schedule today?

Meal & fitness planning? I hope so…because I have a quick, effective High Rep workout to share with you!

I did the workout yesterday, and it was a really fun change of pace from my usual strength routine. And it was challenging! Which is always awesome. 🙂 I warmed up for 5 minutes, and then did the entire workout, 1 circuit, took me just about 14 minutes. So…it’s a quick one…great for those days when you want something intense, but don’t have much time!

This week I’ve challenged you all to 2-3 High Repetition workouts…to shake up your routines, and give you a fresh outlook on how to train! Are you ready?

Here’s the workout:

image

Instructions:
*Warm up – 5 minutes of dynamic movements + some stretching
* Complete the entire workout, all 6 exercises, for 50 reps each with no rest, for time.
Focus on keeping your form strong, and using your entire body for each movement especially your core muscles.
You are doing this workout for time, so move quickly, but as I said above do not sacrifice your form.
* Once you’ve completed the workout, cool down.

Equipment:
– set of light weights (I would recommend 5lbers for beginners, if you are more advanced, try 10s or 15s)

The Exercises:
1. Dumbbell Swings
??????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????

2. Pushups
imageimage

3. Deadlift & Press
Keep your back straight and knees slightly bent as you go into the deadlift. Pull through your glutes to bring yourself up and at the same time using your legs and core to swing the weights to shoulder height. Then push them overhead into a press.
imageimageimage

4. Half Burpee Get Up
Squat down, hands on your weights which are on the floor on either side of your feet. Jump your feet back into a pushup position and then jump them back forward. Bring the weights with you as you use your legs, glutes, & core to stand up..
imageimageimage

5. Narrow Squat Thruster
Feet exactly shoulder width apart squat down holding the weights at shoulder height. Push through your legs to stand and push the weights up overhead.
imageimage

6. Russian Twists 
Balance on your booty, legs up, core tight, back flat. Hold your weight in front of you. Using your abs quickly rotate from side to side tapping the weight to the floor. A tap on each side = 1 rep.
imageimageimage

Tips:
*If you are new to high intensity workouts, take it easy and listen to your body. If you need to take a break, step back from your exercise, count to 5 and then start again to finish your reps.
* Also, if you are really feelin’ it…like you can’t finish your 50 reps, drop your weight down and finish your set with a lighter weight.
* Modify the exercises if needed. For example, start your pushups on the floor, and move to the edge of the couch, or to a wall pushup to finish your set.
* If you are a more advanced gym goer, complete the entire workout, rest 1-2 minutes, and then move through the circuit a 2nd time. Try to beat your first round’s time!!

Also you can modify any of your favorite workouts to be high repetition workouts. So be creative and if you come up with an amazing workout I’d love to hear about it!

Have fun!

This weekend I didn’t do a whole lot of meal prep because we are leaving for a road trip to do VISA paperwork in about 10-12 days. So, we’ll be doing our best to finish up all the fresh goodies we have and some things in the freezer as well.

Here are some healthy meal ideas for the week:image

Vegetarian Quinoa Chili (leftovers from the freezer=5 minute dinner)

Smoked Paprika Chicken Salad

Vegetarian Fried Rice

Veggie Pita Pizzas

Grilled Chicken & Zucchini w/ roasted veg salad
(probably our Valentines meal…)

And…I’m trying out a new to me bread recipe, I’ll have to let you know how it goes. 🙂

What’s on your menu this week? What are you doing for Valentines Day? Share your recipes, pretty please! 😉

Also if you try the workout, let me know what you thought in the comments.

Have a great week!
~ Liesl

Feb Fit HIIT

Hey everyone! How’s your Super Bowl Sunday going?

We had a morning brunch over at our friend Katie’s house…muffins, eggs, LOTS of coffee, and some prayer time. A good way to start the morning. 🙂

image

image

image

Yesterday afternoon I threw together a big pot of Buffalo Chicken Chili, and in just a bit the beer bread will be going in the oven for some game time eats later on! What did you make at your place? Usually I like to go the “snacky” route, but I was just feeling something warm and hearty this year…it’s been SO cold lately. But it had to be “buffalo” at the husband’s request. He lives for wings…I thought one day he might grow out of it, but considering my Dad still loves em I don’t think there’s much hope for that.

As promised I have a sweaty, awesome HIIT workout to share with you!

You can do this workout as part of your HIIT IT week of the Finish February Fit Challenge, you put it in your workout archives for later.

I’m planning on doing it at least once this week, and hubby says he’s in too…looks like it’ll be a date!

All the “how to” for the workout is below, but if you have any questions leave them in the comments below and I’ll get back to you! Have fun!

image

Instructions:
Warm up – do a 5 minute dynamic warm up of jogging, jumping jacks, jump rope, and some light stretching before you begin.
* Set a timer for 30 rounds of 40 seconds hard/20 seconds rest. Each exercise in each round will be done for the 40sec, and then you will rest the 20 sec.
The workout will take you 30 minutes total, not including warm up and cool down. 

Equipment:
– Light weights
– Chair or bench for tricep dips (couch works too)
– Something to keep time, there are some great free interval timers out there! I love this one that I have on my IPAD from Deltaworks.

Round 1: (cardio)
1. High Knees
2. Burpees
3. Mtn Climbers/Pushups (5 each) – do 5 mtn climbers, then 5 pushups, etc.
4 . Squat Jump & Twist – squat down, jump up in the air and twist 180 degrees, land, squat, and twist again
5. High Plank Jacks – in high plank jump your feet out and in like a jumping jack

Round 2: (strength)
1.Plie & upright row – standing feet wider than shoulder width apart, toes turned slightly outwards, holding two weights in front of you. Sink down into a plie squat, push back up to start, and lift the weights up to your collar bone, leading with your elbows.

imageimage

2. Reverse lunge & press (L) – Stand up straight holding two weights at your sides. Step your right foot backwards and drop into a reverse lunge. Step back up to the start, and press the weights overhead. Repeat. 

imageimage

3. DB row – Bending your legs, keeping your back straight, and holding weights in each hand, pull the weights up to your chest, leading with your elbows. Squeeze your shoulder blades together as you perform the row.

imageimage
4. Reverse lunge & curl (R) – Stand up straight holding two weights at your sides. Step backwards with your left leg into a reverse lunge, holding steady in the downward lunge position, perform a bicep curl, then return to the start.

imageimage
5. Skullcrusher & bridge – Lying on the ground on your back, hold two dumbbells overhead palms facing in. Without moving your upper arm, drop the dumbbells slowly down like hammers close to your ears. Return to the start, and then press through your heels to push your booty into a glute bridge position. Lower and repeat. 

imageimageimage
*Repeat Round 1

Round 3: (bodyweight)
1. Pushups
2. Tricep Dips
3. High Plank Hold
4. Up & Down Plank – starting in high plank, using just your arms walk down into low plank, and then back up to high, etc.
5. Low Plank Hold  
*Repeat Round 1

Bonus Round: 
High Knees
Low Pushup Hold
*during this round you will be doing high knees for the 40 sec interval, and when the 20 sec interval begins you will drop immediately to pushup position, and lower your body until your chest is just above the floor…and hold…for the remainder of the 20 seconds. When the next 40 sec interval starts hop right back up and into high knees…yep, no resting. 🙂 That’s why it’s the bonus round. DIG!

Also, to give you some other workout ideas for your HIIT IT week here are some links! I have tried many of these workouts, and they’ve made the “I’d do this workout again” cut…which means they are in my workout notebook. So, enjoy!

HIIT Strength:
Killer Conditioning Circuit (scroll to bottom of post)
Upper Body HIIT Blitz
Dumbbells only HIIT
Get Glutes HIIT
Power Circuit

HIIT Cardio:
Treadmill Torture (if you have gym access)
HIIT & Steady
Holiday HIIT (this one will kill ya)
Snooze Button HIIT

Happy Super Bowl Sunday, and Happy HIIT week!
Go Seattle! (the hubby informed me we are cheering for the Seahawks)

~ Liesl

JSJ 2014 Challenge – Week 3 in Review

Hey everybody! I feel like I’ve barely posted this week…which is true. Life just gets busy sometimes.
Whenever I have a house full it seems I’m in the kitchen, A LOT more, and trying to keep up with my weekly duties, keeping the house clean, and visiting with those that come by during the day. Which is quite often.

image

Yes, I still have my Christmas decorations up. 🙂

Don’t get me wrong, I love my life. I love being in the kitchen and cooking for others…especially those that are eager to try my experiments. Dairy free, vegan creamy pesto pasta with roasted eggplant and tomatoes? Don’t mind if I do. I think it was a hit with everyone.

image

It’s the weekend and now the house is quiet. It’s the two of us again, and it’s good. Hoping for some relaxation this weekend, we’ll see what happens. Without a doubt I know The Lord is always aware of my needs, and gives me the strength to handle what each day brings. So…as always, bring it on.

How was your week? How did Week 3 of the JSJ 2014 Challenge go for ya?

imageWas it hard to keep up with your food and fitness journal from day to day; did you love it/hate it? What did you learn?

While I don’t necessarily like to admit it, I like making lists, and organizing things. I know, I know…..with that said, I kind of loved keeping track of what I ate and my workouts. Plus it was very eye-opening for me to see where my diet is thriving and where it is lacking. Now I know what kind of changes I need to make.

I kept track of my daily eats on MyFitnesspal…which is awesome by the way, and here’s my weekly breakdown:

43% Carboyhydrates
36% Fat
21% Protein

I ate between 1,400- 1,600 calories, 50-60g of fat, 160-180g carbs, 75-80g protein, and about 30g of fiber per day; on average. Not bad, but there are always things to work on.

Observations:

1. Mindful protein consumption – While I eat a decent amount of protein during the day without even thinking…I don’t eat enough. For me to truly get the protein that I feel that my body needs I have to be “mindfully eating” if that makes sense. Thinking as I’m making a dish how much protein it is going to provide my body per healthy serving. Along with that comes mindful snacking. I’ve talked a bit about this before…not grabbing the first quick snack that I see, but rather preparing healthy, balanced, high protein snacks, that I love and that are easy to grab and go on a busy day. Like these raw chia bars.

image

I would like my protein consumption to be around the same percentage or higher than my fat, so I’ve got some work to do. Apparently I love me some healthy fats. Hello avocado, almond butter, and olive oil!

2. IRON! – I was severely lacking in iron throughout the week. I’ve had difficulties with iron deficiency before and need to figure out how to get more of it into my diet. Supplements are not an option for me, as they make me sick to my stomach…so this will be an area of investigation in the very near future. Any ideas out there for me?

3. Boost that potassium – Another shocker…I just figured my potassium consumption was a-okay, but apparently not. Who knew? The next coming months I’ll be looking to incorporate some higher potassium foods into my diet.

On a positive note: I was super excited to see that I’m getting plenty of Vitamin A, C, and calcium. Awesome! I may even quit my calcium supplement that I thought I needed. Holler for saving money!

On Fitness:
I don’t know if it was because I was documenting things or what…but I stuck to my fitness plan like glue this week. I won’t lie, I feel amazing. I feel energized and ready for another week of amazing workouts, healthy eats, and LIFE!

20131210-135216.jpg

Overall the food and fitness journaling was an incredible experiment and I learned a ton. I hope you did too.

Since this post is SO long I’m planning to post Week 4’s challenge tomorrow, so stay tuned!

How did Week 3 go for you? Did you enjoy keeping a food & fitness journal? What did you learn about your diet routine? What did you learn about your fitness? How did you feel overall?

Can’t wait to hear about it!

See you tomorrow!
~ Liesl

JSJ Challenge Check-in + Ab Ripper

Hey there! How’s the week treatin’ ya? I’ve been keeping busy with language study, working out, and spending time with my Nahuatl peeps. Since it’s Wednesday, I thought I’d check in with all the JSL 2014 Challengers to see how the Week 2 Challenge is going for you.imageWho’s loving 50 burpees a day? Not to mention some squats and pushups. 🙂

I for one am loving this week’s challenge. Moving everyday is awesome, and having a goal makes me get it done. Who’s with me? Up until this week my body was feeling like it was still in holiday mode…sleeping in, slacking on the workout front, and a few more dietary indulgences, but I think I’m finally over the hump.

How are you guys feeling this week? What has been your biggest challenge as far as getting back on track with your fitness and eats since the holidays?

Time for some up front honesty about getting back on track…I used to really love running. I ran 3 half marathons, and several other races, and lived for the training regimen and the “runners high.”???????????????????????

This is from 5 years ago when I was in the last 2 weeks of training for my 4th 1/2 marathon. My body was also ridden with colitis at the time, which I found out about 3 days after this pic was taken. Needless to say I didn’t run the race.

I would  say as of late I’ve fall out of love with my old flame…what can I say, I’m just loving on the quick effectiveness of HIIT workouts as of late. I still try to run 3 days a week, because I do love how it makes me feel, but it’s been hard to scrape myself out of bed when it’s cold and dark for an activity that I’m just “not so into” anymore.

But…I didn’t want to just throw out running, because I know that deep down I’m still a runner, I just need some inspiration. So, I’ve made myself a 10 week training plan for running a 10K. I don’t have a race scheduled, but I know with a plan I’ll be more likely to get back into running and start enjoying it again. I’m still only running 3 days a week, but with a goal in mind.  Also with my favorite workout partner beside me, the husband, it will be fun.Us 2Even though sometimes we get ridiculously and unnecessarily competitive when it comes to fitness.  Anyways, I’m looking forward to this fresh start with running.

Maybe you are in the same place with running or with fitness in general. I encourage you also to set new goals, try something new, find a workout buddy to help you achieve what you’d like to achieve, and have fun while you are at it. And if a fitness activity just isn’t fun anymore…find something new. If you aren’t doing something you love and look forward to you won’t stick with it, and that’s just a fact.

Here’s something new to try: 5 Minute Ab Ripper
Tack this little core gem on to the end of a cardio or circuit workout to really burn out your core. Or try it right before bed, or first thing when you wake up in the morning, before you hit the coffee. 🙂

1min. elbow plank hold   keeping your back straight, booty down, and core tight.
 Low plank
30 sec. up & down planks – 
walk up & down from high to low plank using your armsimage
30 sec. mountain climbers – in high plank bring your knees in to your chest quickly one at a time, like you are climbing a mountain
???????????????????????????????

1min. high plank hold – keep back straight, booty down, and core tight
High Plank
30 sec. knee to elbow (alternate sides) – in high plank bring your knee into your opposite elbow and back, then do the same on the other side
Twisting plank right
30 sec. T planks  – in high plank rotate your whole body left into a “T” position, then back to high plank, then to a “T” on the other side and back. Keep going.
High PlankHigh Side plank
1 min. elbow plank hold – straight back, tight core, and booty level.
Low plank

Let me know if you give it go, I’d love hear about it!
Also, who’s following the Jumpstart January Workout Calendar? How are the workouts treating you? 

See you Friday!
~ Liesl

Jumpstart January – “The Workout”

For a jumpstart workout, I thought it was more than fitting that this workout would have a decent amount of “jumping” in it.???????????????????????????????

Plus, I know I’ve said it before, but plyometric moves like jumping jacks, jumping rope, burpees, lateral jumps, etc., are a fabulous way to get in some heart-healthy cardio without leaving your living room! And doing them HIIT style, creates some major all day calorie burn! High fives for quick, and effective home workouts! This particular workout I have modified several times to make it either more intense, a total body workout, a body weight only workout, and an outdoor workout…and you know what?  I have loved the after-burn of an awesome workout every.single.time.

The workout has two sequences which you will repeat. The first being a EMOM. Which is where you complete one exercise for the designated number of reps, every minute on the minute (EMOM) for the designated number of minutes.

For Example: Burpee EMOM – 10reps for 4 minutes.
Set your timer for 4 rounds of 1 minute each. When you start the timer complete 10 burpees as quickly as you can. Rest until the next minute begins. Complete another 10 burpees, and so on at the start of each 1 min interval. Make sense? Cool.

The second sequence is a full body strength circuit with four combination exercises. You will complete the exercises one after the other, and then move right into your next EMOM. Oh…and don’t give up to soon…I know some of you are starting fresh, or still getting the hang of your new fitness lifestyle…and I want to assure you, anyone can do burpees. Refer to this post for a starting point, and some progressions as you get stronger!

Okay, let’s get our schweat on!

image

Burpees – all about em’

????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????

 Kettlebell/Dumbbell Swings- here’s how
If doing the swings with dumbbells complete 10 with each arm.
**Beginners – Start with a light weight on these so you can practice the form. 

Weighted Jumping Lunges – Holding a light weight (5-10lbs) in both hands step forward into a lunge position. Then jump up switching your legs in the air like a scissor and land in a lunge position on the opposite leg. Keep going for the designated number of reps.
**Beginners- Try these first without weight. If you can’t do the jumping quite yet, do lunges walking forward, and then turn and come back to start.

?????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????

 Squat & Press – Stand w/ feet hip width apart, and toes slightly turned out, holding two weights in line with your shoulders, palms facing inward. Pushing your booty back & keeping your chest up; squat down until your thighs are parallel to the floor. Using your glutes push back up to a stand and at the same time press the weights overhead until your arms are fully extended. Come back to start and repeat.
**Advanced – try these with HEAVY weights…push yourself.

??????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????

Dumbbell Plank Row – Get into a high plank position with your hands resting on dumbbells, and your feet spread about a foot apart. Keep your core tight, back straight, and booty down. Bring the weight on your left side up to your chest, with your elbow going up. Slowly lower back down to the floor and repeat on the other side.
**Advanced – complete a pushup each time you finish 2 rows (1/per side).

P1080111

No I didn’t change my outfit for every shot, it is quite the collage of old pics. 🙂
It is one of my goals this year to get better fitness pics for you guys, and figure even more efficient ways to share my workouts with you. Any tips, or suggestions are appreciated? What would make the workouts easier for YOU to follow?

Also, let me know if you try this workout, or any of my workouts, I’d love your feedback!

Are you following the Jumpstart January Workout Calendar? What is your biggest fitness goal for 2014?

Weekend!! Do something fun!

~ Liesl