Monday, October 14, 2013

5 Core Exercises for Beginners

Sometimes people want to workout, but don't know where to begin. I ran across this article today from Runners World and thought I would pass it on. It gives beginners 5 good core workouts. You can read the article if you would like, but it basically says this: 

  1. The Basic Plank- Hold for 30 seconds, relax and repeat. Gradually increase the number of repetitions and the length of time you hold the pose.
  2. The Side Plank- Hold for 30 seconds, relax and repeat. Gradually increase repetitions and time.
  3. The Superman Pose- Lie face down. Raise one arm off the ground and hold for 20-30 seconds. Release and raise the other arm. Then move to your legs; hold one leg at a time off the ground. Then, try holding an alternate leg and arm off the ground at the same time. Then, try both arms up at one time and then both legs at one time. The most advanced version is holding both arms and legs off the ground at one time; hence the name Superman Pose. Hold each of these poses for 20 to 30 seconds, relax, and repeat.
  4. Abdominal Crunches- Lie on your back, knees bent and bring your chest towards your knees. Keep your shoulders back and chin up. Repeat.
  5. Abdominal Crunches with a Twist and/or Bicycle Legs- Do the abdominal crunches as stated above but include a Twist to work the oblique muscles. Keep knees bent, feet on the ground. Bring shoulder to opposite knee for a twisting motion. Another version is the bicycle, which is knees bent, feet off the ground and bring opposite should to knee at the same time, alternating legs to elbows.

Challenge: Start out by doing this every other day and work up to do it daily. 

Friday, September 27, 2013

Healthy Muffins

So I really like baking. Last night I decide to make some muffins for breakfast. I looked in the cupboard and there was no sugar! It was too late to run to the grocery store and I had already started the process of making them so I looked it up on the internet. As I started making these I realized that these can be some pretty healthy muffins. I modified the recipe and now am publishing it so you can enjoy :)

Lemon Zucchini Muffins
1 1/2 cups whole-wheat flour (I have to be honest. I didn't have that either, but next time I will try it. If you use all-purpose flour, use 2 cups)
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 eggs
1/2 cup applesauce
1/2 cup honey
1/2 cup buttermilk
Juice of 1 lemon
Zest of 1 lemon
1 cup grated zucchini

1) Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray the muffin tins (or use paper) and set aside.
2) In a large bowl, blend flour, baking powder, and salt
3) In another bowl, beat 2 eggs. Then add applesauce and honey and blend well. Add buttermilk, lemon juice and zest and blend together. Fold in the zucchini and stir until evenly distributed in mixture.
4) Pour this mixture into the dry ingredients and mix together with a spoon.
5) Pour batter into the muffin cups and bake at 350 for 15-20 minutes, or until toothpick comes clean.

Enjoy :)

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Goal setting

I read a blog post from my friend that I absolutely loved. I asked if I could share it on my wellness blog and she agreed. Here I am about a year later finally writing about it. I have been keeping up with my other blog that sometimes this one gets neglected. Sorry.

My friend Candi came across a new way to set goals and she writes some wonderful things about it here. I just want to write about MTO goal setting.

MTO stands for Minimum, Target, & Outrageous. It replaces the all-or-nothing mindset of goal setting. Instead of telling your self that you are not going to eat any sweets this week, then you eat one and feel as though you have failed and eat more, you think in MTO.

Candi gives these examples:

MTO for exercise this week
Minimum: Some movember everyday this week (Walking, movement time)
Target: 15-30 minutes of Jillian 3 times this week, walk 3 times this week
Outrageous: 30 minutes of Jillian 6 days this week, walks with her kids

MTO for eating in moderation
Minimum: Not binging (eating over 2 servings of anything)
Target: Eat six small meals in appropriate servings, treats 2 times this week
Outrageous: Six small high protein meals- on servcing and 1 treat this week

MTO for eating for health
Minimum: 1 piece of fruit, 1 veggie per day, 64 oz water
Target: Drink 1 gallon of water, 2 veggies and 2 fruits, Bed by 10:30
Outrageous: 50% of plate are fruit and/or veggies, 1 gallon of water, six small meals, Bed by 10:00

I have fallen into the all-or-nothing way of thinking many times. When I learned of MTO I started to apply it in my own goal setting. It really has helped and it doesn't make me feel as guilty when I eat those yummy homemade cookies. I still have so much to improve upon, but each day is a clean slate to choose to become better.

Each person is different and each person is trying to accomplish different things. Whether you want to lose weight, gain muscle, or eat better, you can incorporate MTO in your own goal setting. Thanks Candi for letting me share :)

Challenge: Incorporate MTO in your own goal setting. If you need help with this let me know!

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Healthy Changes

I have been thinking about this blog and what exactly I should do with it. I know I am not super faithful at writing, but I think, "What if someone, someday, finds this blog motivating and wants to turn their life around?" I love wellness and I love seeing people change. That is why I keep posting.

My dear friend Katie is one of those people that has been making changes in her own life. She has lost 113.6 pounds! She recently wrote about her change on her blog and (with her permission) I wanted to share it with you. I love how honest she is about her journey. I couldn't help but smile as I read it.

We all have things that we want to change. It's not always easy. It's not easy to break a habit that we have formed and have fed for x number of days, months, years. However, when we realize that we want it more than anything, we find the motivation to do it. Don't be afraid to do something for yourself. Don't be afraid to tell people what you want to do. They will be your support. They will love you even more for your courage to change. Whether the habit is overeating, not exercising, putting harmful things into your brain or body, YOU can change.

Katie wrote that, "The combination of taking care of [her] spiritual self, physical self and emotional self has turned into the most amazing thing for [her]." It's all about becoming healthy in your whole being. You can't expect to lose, and keep off, weight if you neglect your emotional triggers that cause you to eat. It will take time to work on everything, but you will notice the change. It took Katie 10 pounds for her to begin to notice that she had more joy. It took 15 for her to see what Heavenly Father sees in her. 

"I still have moments of doubt and self doubt, but don't we all?! It doesn't go away it just varies with how we choose to handle it... I am still progressing and working on my health one day at a time... And, I just have to say that I think I am pretty awesome."--Katie 

Katie, you are awesome and very inspiring! Thank you for letting me share your journey! If you missed the link, click here to read Katie's health journey.

Katie's beautiful smile!!

Challenge: Tell someone you trust one goal that you want to accomplish, then work towards it.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Gluten Free

"Gluten Free" You see it everywhere these days. Why? One reason is because doctors are becoming more aware of something called Celiac Disease. An autoimmune disease where your intestines become damaged from the gluten which results in your body not being able to absorb nutrients that your food will provide you. People with Celiac need to avoid gluten for this reason.

I have been hearing of other people, who don't have Celiac, going "Gluten free" because it is healthier for you. I always listen to what they have to say, but I take things with a grain of salt. I like to hear their opinions, but then go research it out on my own to form my own opinion. I have also noticed, while shopping at the grocery store, a lot of items that slap on the label "Gluten Free". I think to myself, "That never had gluten in it anyways, so how can they make it more gluten free than it already is?"

Anyways, I won't go on. Should you eliminate gluten from your diet? I don't know. It's your own opinion unless you are diagnosed with Celiac, then yes. My husband showed me an article on KSL that I found interesting. I also found this video to share with you. Maybe these resources will help you form your own opinion of "Gluten Free".

Challenge: Learn more about Celiac disease and the pros and cons of going Gluten free for yourself. 

Friday, July 5, 2013

Substitute fat with yogurt

Lately I have been doing a lot of baking. That means that I have been eating it. Too much of it is not a good thing. However, I found this article of how to substitute yogurt for the fat in your recipes. I thought I would share. Here is the whole article if you are interested.

1) Replace sour cream with equal amounts of yogurt. So if your recipe calls for 1 cup sour cream, use 1 cup yogurt.

2) Cut your butter in half and substitute the other half with 1/4 cup of yogurt for each cup of butter cut. So if your recipe calls for 1 cup of butter, use 1/2 cups butter and 1/4 cup yogurt.

3) Cut the suggested oil or shortening in half and substitute 3/4 cup of yogurt for every cup of oil or shortening you remove from the recipe. So if the recipe calls for 1.5 cups oil, use 3/4 cup oil and a little bit more than 1/2 cup yogurt.

4) Substitute 1/4 of milk in your recipe with yogurt. So if your recipe calls for 4 cups milk, use 1 cup yogurt. 

I used #2 in these Rhubarb muffins. Ok, so they aren't exactly the healthiest, but they are really good and moist and you make them healthier :) I didn't have plain yogurt, so I actually used a raspberry flavored yogurt (because I didn't want to run to the store). Here is the recipe if you want:

1 cup buttermilk (or you can be like me and use 1 milk + 1 tablespoon lemon juice)
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 1/2 cups brown sugar
2/3 cup vegetable oil (i actually didn't want to do the math so I did 1/4 cup yogurt and less than 1/2 cup oil)
1 egg
2 1/2 cups flour (I didn't have whole wheat, but next time want to try that!)
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
2 cups chopped rhubarb

1. Preheat oven to 325 F (165 C). Lightly grease two 9x5 inch loaf pans (or muffin pans). In a small bowl, stir together buttermilk (milk & lemon juice) and vanilla; let stand for 10 minutes.

2. In a large bowl, mix together 1 1/2 cups brown sugar, oil and egg. Combine the flour, salt and baking soda, stir into sugar mixture alternately with milk mixture (ending with dry ingredients) just until combined. Fold in rhubarb. Pour batter into prepared pans.

3. Bake in preheated oven for 40 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean when inserted in the middle (muffins get done sooner).

4. Enjoy!

Challenge: Try one of these ways to substitute fat in your food. If you don't like it, at least you tried :)

Tuesday, June 18, 2013


Let's face it. Sugar is everywhere. I am one of those who LOVES baked goods... especially cookies! It's hard to cut sugar completely out of your diet, and you shouldn't have to. Unless you are diabetic, even then you can splurge a little :) But, instead of trying to eliminate sugar completely, try implementing these tips to help curb that sweet tooth:

1) Make your baked goods smaller
2) Buy natural peanut butter
3) If you drink juice, make sure it is 100% and not 10%.
4) Serve oatmeal for breakfast and avoid the sugary cereals
5) Snack on fruit

I took these tips from the article, "How to Curb the Family Sweet Tooth". There are a few more and the article talks about them in more depth as well.

Challenge: Make a list of the things you eat in a day. If you find you are consuming too much sugar, try to use one of these tips to reduce your sugar intake just a little.