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

Lemon & Fresh Herb Hummus

There’s a lot going on right now, with having a few house guests, and working on team projects.

So, I thought, I’d leave you with a little hummus recipe to spice up your snack routine! This hummus is super easy to make and tastes SO fresh. Spread it on a slice of homemade bread and stack veggies + a few slabs of tofu for a vegetarian sandwich, or eat with veggies, pita chips, or pretzels for a killer of a healthy snack.

Lemon & Fresh Herb Hummus

3 cups chickpeas, canned or fresh is fine (reserve about 6 Tbsp of bean water)
2 cloves garlic
1 Tbsp tahini (*a sesame seed paste found in health food stores)
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 Tbsp Braggs liquid aminos (or low sodium soy or tamari sauce)
Juice of 1/2 a lemon
Handful of fresh herbs: I used chives, basil, and parsley – however feel free to use whatever herbs you may have on hand
Reserved bean water
Salt & pepper to taste

In the bowl of your food processor combine the chickpeas, garlic, tahini, olive oil, braggs, and lemon juice. Blend well.
Next add the handful of fresh herbs, no need for chopping just throw them in there, and blend.

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Through the top shoot of your food processor add the bean water by tablespoonful until your hummus reaches desired consistency. Ideally I would have added probably another tablespoon of bean water, but I was in a hurry…so my hummus is a little thicker than I normally would like, but it still tastes amazing.

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Finally, taste…add salt and pepper to your liking, or if you’d like your hummus with a little “kick” add a touch of cayenne.

Enjoy!!

Also, just wanted to check in and see how everyone was doing with Week 3 of the JSJ Challenge?

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I’ve noticed that I’m lacking in the protein department…which I actually already was aware of. Also, I’d like my healthy fats to be riding side-car to my protein, meaning less consumption percentage-wise, but all in good time. 🙂

And I know it’s only Tuesday morning, so it’s a little early to tell for the week, but I am killing it in the fiber, Vitamin A, Vitamin C, and Calcium departments! Who knew? Cool.
However, my potassium intake is a little lower than I’d like, and my iron could need some work, so I guess I need to start chowing some more leafy greens, which is one thing we seriously lack access to out here in the middle of nowhere.

Either way, I’m enjoying seeing how things add up, and can’t wait to make a full assessment for you guys on the weekend!!

Who’s been keeping a food and fitness journal? What have you learned about your eating habits so far? What workouts have you been loving this week?

Write me and let me know how it’s going!!
Also, if you are looking for a quick 30 minute bodyweight workout for today’s fitness, try this one!

Later,
~ Liesl

Eats & Fitness – 1.12

Hey! How’s your week been?

I know for a fact of few of you are feeling more fit after an amazing Week 2 of the JSJ 2014 Challenge. It was pretty glorious to have motivation to MOVE this past week. Let’s keep it up! Feels good to sweat…am I right?!

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Yesterday it rained most of the day, and was miserably cold. Great day for prepping meals for the week, and healthy snacks.

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Homemade bread and hummus action…it’s going to be a good week.

This morning there were rain clouds aplenty, but after some protein pancakes, coffee, and rainbows the skies started to clear and now the sun is shining bright.

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In fact I just got back from a 4 mile run with husband. I haven’t run in the sunshine in a long time. I’m usually out of the house before the sun begins to rise, so this was a nice change.

Our co-workers are coming in tomorrow for a few days, so it should be a fun week. Whenever we have company I usually meal plan, but they are also bringing us a load of groceries, so I’m kind of thinking I might end up changing some things up, but we’ll see.

Meal Ideas:

Grilled burgers w/oven roasted sweet potatoes

A Hearty Soup; like Italian Lentil

Homemade Pizza

A Curry or Indian dish – kinda craving this lately

These Quinoa Falafels – so yummy…

Also, as you saw I made some homemade bread and hummus, for veggie sandwiches and snacking. Or late night toast…love me some late night toast, warm and crusty with fig butter. MMMmmm.

Who’s doing Week 3 of the JSJ Challenge?

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With guests here it’s going to be a lot of work for me, but I thought, how better to really get a feel for how I naturally eat and see how I can do better.

Whenever we have guests I try to get in my workouts just the same as I normally would while being social, and spending time with them. That means LOTS of early workouts. Here’s the plan for this week:

Monday – Legs + Ab Rippers
Tuesday – Run day
Wednesday – Rest/this yoga inspired workout
Thursday – Run day, speed work
Friday – HIIT + Strength
Saturday – Upper Body Tabata workout
Sunday – Run day 

Are you meal and fitness planning today? What’s on the menu? Need some workout inspiration? Check out the January Jumpstart Workout Calendar! 

To another awesome week!

~ Liesl

Eats & Fitness – 1/5

Happy first Sunday of 2014!!

This morning we branched out and enjoyed a Sunday breakfast of tostadas rancheros; creamy cumin spiced white beans, a fried egg, a sprinkle of sharp cheddar and few slices of avocado all layered on oven toasted, fresh ground corn tortillas made by our neighbor. Yeah, it doesn’t get much fresher than that. All washed down with a hot, steaming french press of dark roast coffee. It was lovely.

And in other exciting news the fruit and veggie truck was in town yesterday, and she brought me lots of fresh fruit.

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Mandarines, pineapple, papaya, bananas, just to name a few, and of course the “must buys”, tomatoes, and garlic.

Speaking of fresh, I haven’t shown you guys our winter crops. Pete, the hubs, planted all kinds of greens, tomatoes, peas, and we just finished harvesting the poblano peppers.

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There are definitely benefits to living in a warmer climate, even if we’ll never have a white Christmas. 🙂

So…Sundays are kind of like my “me day”. I like to meal plan, prep food for the week (kind of a calming hobby of mine), and just enjoy the things in life that I don’t get time for during a busy week. This morning I prepped a batch of quinoa, lentils, pinto beans, (I always cook from dry beans), green curry bean burgers, and a BIG batch of this Simple Tomato Soup to put in the freezer for quick lunches, or a night when I just don’t feel like cooking.

Here’s a sneak peak at what we’ll be feasting on:

Meal Ideas:
Beer Bean Tostadas w/Pico de gallo
Green Curried White Bean Burgers
Skillet Herbed Frittata w/Sun-dried Tomatoes
Quinoa Lentil & Apricot Salad
Spaghetti w/Pumpkin, Thyme & Walnuts

What are you craving this week? What is on your meal plan?

We are starting the second week of the New Year, and I don’t know about you guys, but I have kind of felt like I’m still in holiday mode. Time to get real!
If you are following the JSJ 2014 Challenge this week is all about fitness!

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I’m actually super excited about it, and can’t wait to internationally move my behind every single day this week. No excuses!

Besides the challenge here’s what I’ve got planned on the fitness front:

Tentative Fitness Plan:
Monday – Sixes Leg Burner
Tuesday – Run (HIIT intervals) + 5 min Ab Ripper (post coming)
Wednesday – light yoga
Thursday – Run steady state + sprints + 7 min. Glutes on
Friday – Chest, Back, & Core Tabata
Saturday – Christmas Cookie Burner + Pushups & Dumbbells workout
Sunday – Run steady state

Are you following the JSJ 2014 Challenge? If not, it is not too late to start. Check out this week’s challenge here.
Also, if you are looking for new workout inspiration, check out the Jumpstart January Workout calendar for ideas!

Cheers to healthy living in 2014!

~ 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!

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Burpees – all about em’

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 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.

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 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.

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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).

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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

Jumpstart January Workout Calendar

Hey! Happy New Year everyone!!

I hope your New Years’ Eve celebrations were festive, with lots of good food, fun, and fellowship with those you love most!

Ours was a quiet night with just the two of us. P1030247

I was wearing something MUCH warmer than that last night. House w/no heat + 40 degrees= Freezing my booty off.

I wanted something “New Year-ish” for dinner..my family always did a huge spread of appetizers every year, and I was craving something along those lines. After about 5 minutes of staring at the shelves in my pantry I created a hot, creamy tofu dip with homemade pita chips. We almost ate the entire pie plate full…it was epic, and I will definitely be making it again. We watched some Elementary, ate entirely too much dark chocolate in the name of New Years Eve…and then called it a night around 10:30pm…I know, party animals.

It’s the first day of 2014…how are you feeling? Is your day off to a good start? I was up at 5:30 to workout, and made some of this for breakfast. The sun is shining, we literally haven’t seen each other in days…so yeah, I’m happy with how my 2014 has begun. 🙂

Everyone who is joining me in the Jumpstart Challengeimage

How is the H2O tracking going? I’ve actually been surprised at how much water that I’m drinking even though it’s so COLD. Stay tuned for a full recap on the weekend.

Since it’s January 1st, I thought it would be fun to post my first ever Workout Calendar for you guys! I have brainstormed workout ideas for every day of the month of January, but I didn’t put specific dates on the calendar so that you can flex it to work with your schedule. Hope you love it!

Jumpstart January

Not all of the workouts have links (January Jumpstart, and ab ripper), but they are coming. 🙂 I have added the links to all the existing workouts, and when I post the others I will update this page, so check back to get the updated workout list.

Workout links:

Sweaty Bodyweight Circuit
Lean Legs
10 Minute Plank Burner
No Excuses November Workout
Snooze HIIT
Loads of Lunges
Get Out & Move
Get Glutes HIIT
20 Minute Interval Challenge
Christmas Cookie Burner
31@31 Tabata Workout
Beach Shape Up Circuit
Jumpstart January The Workout

*As always, please check with your doctor before making drastic changes to your fitness routine, honor your injuries, and modify the moves as needed for your current fitness level. And most important have fun with your fitness!

Also, I’m here for you guys, so leave any questions or concerns you have in the comments and I’ll respond as soon as I can.

Here’s to a great 2014!

~ Liesl

Meals & Fitness – 12.15

Hey! Hope you are having a fabulous weekend so far.

We just got back home Friday night from a week on the coast. Yesterday was spent decorating the Christmas tree, and holiday-ifying the casa.

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Now, it’s time to get down to meal planning and prepping for the week.

While our time in Mazatlan was relaxing, there was loads of supply buying and just plain running around. I enjoyed beyond my fair share of grilled meat (not my usual diet staple) and little treats here and there as we toured the coffee shop/ new & trendy restaurant scene in Mazatlan.

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All that to say, my body is ready for some salads, and vegetarian proteins. Quinoa, lentils, hemp seed…you always knew I’d come back.

Here’s what is on the menu:

Creamy Roasted Asparagus Soup
Stuffed Poblano Peppers
Warm Winter Wheatberry Salad
Papaya Quinoa Salad (benefits of living in Mexico…tropical fruit anytime) 🙂
Weeknight Bean Tostadas

My fitness routine has been a bit scattered as of late. Having five house guests for four days and then traveling for a week will do that.
While in Mazatlan I made a few trips to the local gym and also went for a few runs…can’t beat running in the ocean breeze. But, I honestly can say I missed working out at home. So I’m excited to get back in the groove this week.

Tentative Workout Plan:

Monday: HIIT + Arms Circuit
Tuesday: Run + sprints
Wednesday: Total Body Workout + HIIT
Thursday: Run steady
Friday: off, rest
Saturday: Legs day
Sunday: Run HIIT + Upper Body

So…I know it’s the holiday season, but how are you doing with your workouts? Has it been tough? Remember planning is key. So sit down this afternoon for 10 minutes and plan your workouts. You’ll be glad you did.
This week I’m posting my favorite pack-able workout gear, and a travel workout, so stay tuned.

Have a great week!

Liesl