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?!


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



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.


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?


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

Christmas Cookie Burner Workout

So, I’m just curious…has anyone else been eating a little more sugar than usual? Or am I alone in the battle. Evenings by the Christmas tree with a warm mug of tea in hand…just makes you crave a little something sweet. Everything in moderation…

While you are traveling and being tempted by all the goodies that the holidays has to offer, this little quickie of a workout will help to balance things out, and insure that you can still button your jeans when the ball drops on the New Year. Even though, I’d live in yoga pants…if that was socially acceptable. 🙂

* Warm up with some light jogging, jumping rope, and stretches for about 5-7 minutes. 

** Set a timer for 20 minutes and complete as many rounds of the following exercises as you can. (AMRAP – AsManyRoundsAsPossible)


1. Burpees (10) – Squat down placing your hands on the floor, jump your feet back to pushup position immediately jump your feet forward and explode in a jump into the air. Here are some other options if you are a beginner.

2. Pushups (20)how to do a pushup

3. Situps (30) – with feet and back on the floor, knees bent at a 90 degree angle and hands placed lightly behind your head. Using your core sit up until your shoulders are off the ground. More advanced, try and touch your elbows to your knees.

4. Squats (40) – Stand with feet slightly wider than shoulder width apart keeping your chest up. Sit your booty back like you are going to sit in a chair, when your thighs are parallel with the floor push through your legs back up to a stand. Make sure you knees don’t go out over your toes when you are squatting. 

5. Elbow plank hold (50 count) – Get in your plank position balancing on your forearms and toes. Keeping your body in a straight line pull your core muscles tight and hold for a 50 count.

**Beginners Tip: Drop the first exercise (burpees) to 5 reps, and then move up by 5s instead of 10s. (5burpees, 10pushups, 15situps, etc.) And modify the exercises as needed.

Put this workout in your arsenal for Christmas travels, it’s quick and gets the job done. Let me know if you try it!

What is your biggest challenge regarding fitness while traveling?
Want to know about some great pack-able workout stuff you can take with you? Check out this post!

Happy Humpday!


Eats & Fitness – 11.17

We had our pig, Otis, castrated this weekend. He squealed like I used to as the youngest girl in the family when my brothers would barge into my room unannounced. However, his life has been altered much more than mine was at the time. 🙂 He is now on his way to becoming fatter, and the most organic-ish pig in the village. We gave him extra scraps yesterday…it was hard day.

IMG_0632 copy

All our Nahuatl friends want to come and help us eat him, but he may not be as delicious as the poop-eating, free range pork that they are used to. Just a day in the life of a gal living in a tribal village.

What’s going on at your place this weekend?

I also did some hair trimming. Their parents kept talking about how the girls would be walking around bald…not sure what they thought I was going to do. 🙂




This little man just watched. Cutie pie.

We’ve again been blanketed by clouds here in the Mexican Sierra that have also brought some rain, and living off the grid with solar power as our electric source means there hasn’t been much online time for this girl this week. I usually check the web for new recipe inspiration, so I was flying solo as I menu planned for the coming week. Even though I do have some pretty amazing cookbooks that I consult often for ideas.

And in fun news: the hubby put up a new light bulb for me in the kitchen today! So excited, it’s right above where I do most of my food prep. Yeah, for men learning to be handy. 🙂

So here’s what we’ll be munching on this week:


Main Meal Ideas:

Mexican Pie

Roasted Zucchini Stuffing

White Bean, Bacon, & Rosemary Soup w/Pumpkin cornbread

Smoked Trout Millet Burgers & Edamame (recipe will be up tomorrow)

Sundried tomato & basil omelets

Weekend prep: pressure beans (using this method), pre-cut zucchini, shell edamame, make snacks:

Gingerbread Snack Bars & Spicy Quinoa Clusters (recipes in process)
And…some Pumpkin Pie Granola! Yum!

Tentative Fitness Plan:

Monday: 6s Leg Burner Workout

Tuesday: Run + Sprints & 6 min Fab Abs

Wednesday: active rest day – walk or yoga & 6 min Fab Abs

Thursday: Run (HIIT intervals) & 6 Min Fab Abs

Friday: Total Body Workout

Saturday: Upper Body + Quick Tabata

Sunday: Run – longer run day + 10 min booty burner (stay tuned for this)

I’m mixing up my routine a little bit this week. I’ve been digging a mid-week rest day as my week days are the busiest, and I’ve been wanting to start running a little longer once a week. I’m thinking this schedule will work a lot better, but we’ll see…this week will be the test run. And Sunday is pancake day, who doesn’t love pancakes after a run?! Sounds like a match made in heaven.

What’s new on your fitness plan this week? What is working for you? Let me know I love new ideas.

And is anyone making their Thanksgiving menu yet? Can’t wait to hear what you are making! I’m experimenting with a veggie cornbread stuffing this week. Mostly because one can never have enough stuffing.

Happy Weekending!


Fitness & Eats – 9.30

Hey everyone! How’s your Sunday afternoon treating you?

I’m posting my weekly eats a little later this weekend as we just got back from sharing El Dia de San Miguel (Saint Michael’s day) with some friends in a nearby village about a 45 minute walk one way. It was a nice time of chatting, practicing the language we are learning, and sharing in the customary food of the day, atole and corn tortillas.

Atole is a hot drink made with water, flour, and sugar. They mix the flour in by hand (seriously…their hand is the spoon) while the water is still room temperature and then cook it over an open fire. While it is cooking they add the sugar. Sometimes instead of white sugar they use something called piloncillo, which is sort of like a brick of brown sugar. And if the family is financially able to afford it they add milk and cinnamon. It is very good, a little sweet, and thick. If it was grainy it would remind me of cream of wheat or a hot cereal.




So, we shared in the meal, chatted and walked home. It was a nice Sunday morning.

This weekend I was thinking about meal planning and was completely uninspired. While cooking is something that I truly enjoy doing, sometimes my energy wanes and I put on my lazy pants. It’s a good thing I’m married and I know I have my man to feed…it would be scary to see what I would eat as a single gal. 🙂

Anyways, here are my uninspired eats for the week, and my fitness ideas, I’m hoping they will inspire some of you!

Meal Ideas:
Minestrone Soup  & Millet bread
Spicy Edamame Slaw & Roasted Salmon
Zucchini Quinoa Burgers
Herbed White Beans & Tuna
Pizza – we have friends flying in to see us Friday night, it should be a BIG partay! Can’t wait!!

Tentative Fitness Plan: 
Monday – Run (if it’s not raining…it’s still been pouring regularly out here) + 15 Minute Workout
Tuesday – Legs Day – workout undecided
Wednesday – Run (HIIT) + Upper Body Circuit
Thursday – Beach Shape Up Workout #2 (post comin’) 🙂
Friday – Run (steady) + 10 Minute Plank Workout
Saturday – Cardio + Strength Workout
Sunday – Yoga

It is now less than two weeks until we head down the mountain on our little beach vacay…and I am so ready! But, still two more weeks to eat healthy, exercise hard, and make the next two weeks great!

So, what’s your plan this week? What are you eating? Are you trying a new workout, if so what?
Tell me about it, I love hearing from you!


Fit Focus: Learning to Burpee

If you haven’t noticed, I really love burpees.

I add them to many of my workouts, and absolutely love how they condition the body, build strength and torch mega calories! Plus you can go as intense as you want when doing burpees so it’s easy to keep challenging yourself. I wrote all about how cool burpees are here!

However, there are many of you out there who are just starting out on your fitness journey. Congrats you are awesome! But you’ve probably thought that burpees are a hard, advanced exercise that is just not your speed. False.

Today I want to tell you that’s the furthest thing from the truth. You can learn a burpee. And like anything worth doing it will take a little time and dedication on your part, but if you follow these progressions before long you’ll be doing burpees like the most seasoned athlete.

– From a stand squat down placing your hands on the floor next to your feet. Walk one foot back, and then the other into a pushup position. Then step your feet, one at a time back to your hands and pop up to a stand, reaching your hands up.


Work on this first burpee progression until you are able to complete 10 quickly and with good form, then move on to the next.

– From a stand squat down placing your hands on the floor next to your feet. Now jump your feet back so your body is in pushup position, then jump your feet back to your hands and pop into a stand reaching you hands up.


Work on this burpee progression until you are able to complete 10 quickly and with good form, then move on to the basic burpee.

– Following the sequence above,squat down placing your hands on the floor next to your feet. Jump your feet back into pushup position (low burpee position) and quickly jump them back to the start and explode into a jump with your hands in the air.


Now that you are burpee-ing like a master, you’ll be doing them with all the glee that I have on my face in the above photo. Cheeser alert. No, actually you’ll want to start trying some of these progressions:

Burpee w/pushup – do your basic burpee performing a pushup when you are in low burpee position and then jumping forward into your squat and jump. (Beginners- drop to your needs for the pushup, and then back to your toes to complete the burpee). 


Hand release burpee – do your basic burpee dropping your entire body to the ground in low burpee position and lifting your hands slightly off the floor. Put your hands back down and jump your feet back to the start and jump up.


Plank Jack burpee – do your basic burpee and in the low burpee position jump your feet out to the sides and then back in like a jumping jack. Then jump your feet to your hands and jump into the air.

???????????????????????????????Plank jacks???????????????????????????????

180 Degree Burpee – perform your basic burpee, but on your jump turn in the air 180 degrees and land facing the opposite direction. Perform your next burpee, twist in the jump again and land facing the same direction as when you started.


Burpee w/ tuck jump – do your basic burpee and bring your knees to your chest in a tuck position as you jump into the air.


Sumo burpees – Start with your feet wide and squat down into a sumo squat position. Complete the basic burpee jumping your feet back to sumo squat and jumping up into the air from a wide stance.


Stair jump burpees – do your basic burpee in front of a stair way, jump up onto the stair and back down instead of jumping straight up.

One leg burpees – do your basic burpee but on one leg only. These are tough, but will shred your legs.


Create your own Burpee Tabata Style workout:
– pick a burpee (whichever progression you’d like)
– set your timer for 8 rounds (20sec hard/10sec rest)
– Perform your burpees during the 20 second intervals and rest during the 10 second intervals
– Push hard…and finish a dynamic workout in 4 minutes!
You can finish this workout while your morning oatmeal simmers away. Just sayin’ no excuses. 🙂

Now when you encounter a workout with burpees you know what to do…no, don’t skip them, start at the beginning. We were all there once, and I’m cheering you on.

Have fun!


Eats & Fitness – 9.15

Hey! How’s your weekend going?

Mine has been nice, lots of the usual happenings; getting the house cleaned up, laundry, food prep, new recipe experiments, a bit of relaxing.

The rain has slowed so we had a little grill out yesterday afternoon with the government doctors that come to work in the clinic in our village once a month. They brought everything, and just used my kitchen. It was grand.

I’m sure you may have noticed, but my posts have been all out of whack this week. We’ve had some internet difficulties over in our corner of the globe, so things didn’t get posted when they were supposed to. Grrr…I try not to get frustrated because there is nothing I can do about it. But still, it is a little annoyance in my life.

This only means one thing…

beware, post-bomb coming this week!!

Ok…back to today’s post…

I’ll be honest with you, it’s September 15th, and I have not been to town since June 15th…yes, 3 months since I went grocery shopping = slim pickins’ around these parts. However, I hope I can inspire you to use what you have on hand at any given time to make something delicious.

Here we go…


Meal Ideas:

Baked Cabbage & Chive Quinoa Cakes
Chipotle Beer Beans w/Fresh Tomatoes
Smoky Maple Lentil Salad
Tofu Spring Rolls w/Tahini dipping sauce
Salmon Dill Chowder

Other recipe teasers:




Tentative Fitness:
Monday – Cardio Steady State (35 min + 10 sprints)
Tuesday – Full Body Workout #2 + 10 min Plank Workout
Wednesday – Cardio Steady (40min.)
Thursday – Full Body Workout #2 + HIIT ME Workout
Friday – Cardio HIIT (20min of intervals, with cool down and warm up)
Saturday – Full Body Workout #2 + Stability Ball Core Circuit
Sunday: OFF/or some type of low impact recovery (yoga, walking, etc.)

Backwards lunge (left)

I’m ready to hit this week running! How about you?

Your Turn: What is your favorite grilled food? Why?
I love grilled 8-ball squash marinated in balsamic, salt, and pepper. It almost melts in your mouth.

Cheers to a healthy week!


Eats & Fitness – 9.8

Hey there!

How’s your weekend been?

We’ve had some serious rain this week, after a bit of a dry spell.  A bonfire sounded grand the other night, but it poured.  I guess rainy season isn’t over quite yet.

On a sunnier note, I got to see these precious faces.


My little Saturday morning cleaning buddies.


Do you not just want to squeeze this little peanut?

Thought I’d take a minute and touch base on why I write this weekend post.

I write it for myself, to keep me on track with my eats and fitness,  throughout the week, but I also hope it helps to inspire you to try something new in the kitchen or at the gym!

With that said, here are some ideas for this week:

Meal Ideas:
Autumn Millet Bake
Zucchini Lasagna
Athens inspired Tofu Quiche – a version of this recipe
Almost Mom’s Lentil Soup
Buffalo Chickpea Calzones (wait until Pete reads this…he’s going to pee his pants…he loves buffalo anything)
Pumpkin Mac & No- Cheese w/ Peas

Other kitchen adventures:
Protein Bars
Superfood bites
This pumpkin amaranth porridge looks delicious for breakfast
Maybe even a pumpkin smoothie…mmmM
PSLs! (have you tried one yet?)


Tentative Fitness plan:

*Often my fitness plan does not go exactly according to how I schedule it. I like to take at least one full rest day a week, and I like that rest day to be flexible. Why…because I’m trying to do better with listening to my body. If it is telling me it needs a rest day, I want to feel like I can take that rest day and not sweat it.  However, I need a plan. It helps me get my workouts done in a timely manner, and encourages me to seek variety in my fitness routine.

So here’s what I’m planning for this week:

Monday – Run (steady 30 minutes finishing w/ sprints) + Upper Body
Tuesday – Glutes HIIT + Cardio HIIT
Wednesday – Run (steady state 40 minutes) + Chest & Back HIIT
Thursday – 6s Legs Workout + Bonus round
Friday – Run (HIIT intervals)
Saturday – Full Body Functional Workout + Core
Sunday – yoga/rest


Did anyone try my full body workout last week? It was a good one; sweaty, and effective. It will definitely be going in my arsenal of workouts to repeat. 🙂

How many days a week do you workout? Do you feel guilty when you take a rest day?
I usually workout 6 days a week, and take one full rest day. I used to feel guilty taking a rest day, but I’m learning that my body needs it. And if I’m taking at least one rest day per week I have SO much more energy for the rest of my workouts!

Cheers to an incredible week!