Archive | January, 2014

To workout or not workout… the great debate

28 Jan

I’ve been sick… room spinning, sore throat, body aches, tea and vitamin C sick. I even had to call out of work yesterday which I hate doing because I feel like I let people down. Today I tried taking sudafed to help with the vertigo which worked fairly well…until I decided since the room wasn’t spinning as much I could try to sweat it out with a light workout. Not my best idea. I feel like it’s a fine line between a workout helping and a workout making things 100 times worse… what do you think?


Not my image, I found this on Google

Since I did go, here was the light workout:

3 sets:

  • 20 Bosu toe-taps/foot
  • 20 Bosu side to side jumps/foot
  • 12 Bosu push-ups
  • 15 Squats
  • 10 squats with ball toss
  • 15 stability ball leg pull-ins

3 sets:

  • 12 stability ball hamstring curls
  • 15 weighted crunches on stability ball

2 sets:

  • 15 crazy Ivans

20 easy minutes on the bike and then I stretched out. Like I said, not my best idea.



Snow Day

21 Jan


Maryland is weird. Yesterday we went on a great hike with the pups and some friends and today hubby is home on a snow day since we’re expecting up to six inches…



Since we were expecting the snow we went to the gym earlier today and got a short chest and tricep workout in.


  • 30 sec plank
  • 30 sec walking plank
  • 50 Modified Push-ups (or to failure)


  • Row to tricep kick-back (1×20, 2×12)

3 sets:

  • 12 Incline bench press
  • 20 tricep dips

3 sets:

  • 12 TRX push-ups
  • 15 weighted v-ups

1 set:

  • 20 TRX rows
  • 30 sec plank
  • 30 sec side plank/side

It was pretty short but we did finish errands and make it home for lunch before the snow really picked up 🙂 I’m thinking with the snow, some Turkey Chili will be just perfect– I use Jamie Eason’s recipe.

Cinnamon Chicken and Squats Workout

19 Jan

Lately I’ve been pretty good about balancing workouts and physical therapy, in part from having a live in work out buddy for the next couple weeks. Only having “formal” PT once a week has helped a lot too since I can just incorporate some my therapy exercises into my workout on the other days.

A couple days ago we went through a relatively short but pretty good leg workout:


  • 1 min Plank
  • 30 sec side plank/side
  • 1 min Mountain Climbers

2 Sets:

  • 20 squats
  • 20 squats with ball throw

3 sets:

  • 10 TRX lunges/leg
  • 12 lunges/leg

2 sets of 12, 1 set of 20 with decreased weight:

  • leg press
  • hack squats
TRX lunge start

TRX lunge start

photo 2

TRX lunge


Last night I was looking for a quick way to cook up some chicken that had been in the fridge a few days and came across this recipe for Crock-pot Cinnamon Chicken from Gracious Pantry (she has so many great clean recipes). I didn’t have everything the recipe called for on hand so I made some substitutions and I also double her amount of spices. Everyone liked how it turned out but I still want to try it again with the original recipe.

Here’s what my version of the recipe ended up being:


  • 5 raw, skinless, boneless chicken breasts
  • 2 tablespoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom
  • 1.5 tablespoon coconut oil melted
  • 1 C almond milk
  • 1 C diced tomatoes
  • 1/2 C water
  • 5 medium carrots, peeled and sliced thin



  1. Place the sliced carrots and tomatoes in the bottom of the slow cooker’s and top with coconut oil and almond milk.
  2. Place your raw chicken on top of that.
  3. Put everything else on top and turn on the pot.
  4. Cook on low for 6 hours, or until the chicken easily falls apart

We served it with quinoa but I’d like to try it with a brown rice too… I’ll keep you posted when I make it following the Gracious Pantry recipe.

Minor Victories

15 Jan

I finally did it! For the first time since I started physical therapy (if not before) I did 25 min. on a treadmill today! I did intervals and made 2.25 miles in those 25 min, not great but certainly not bad. I even remembered to stretch afterwards (I’ve definitely been getting better about that.)

We have some friends staying with us and it’s been nice at the gym to have someone who’s been more cardio focused because we can balance each other out a bit. I’m also switching back to day shift next week so my sleep schedule etc. will be back to normal for workouts.

Two days ago my friend went through an arm workout with me. Here’s what it looked like…

3 sets of 12:

  • Bicep curls
  • Incline shoulder press

3 sets of 12:

  • Squat to hammer curl
  • Skull crushers

2 sets of 12, 1 of 20:

  • Lat pull downs
  • Push ups
  • Rows

2 sets:

  • Stability running man (15/leg)
  • Lunges with rotation (12/leg)
  • V-ups on Bosu (20)

20 Ball toss sit-ups on Bosu with partner

There’s still some days I have to go to physical therapy instead of the gym but hubby got me a hot pink Bosu ball which is just fun for my at home physical therapy exercises and fitting in a quick at home workout on those days. Might be a life-long journey but I can say I’m back on the right road 🙂


For lunch I sauteed zucchini with garlic powder and pepper and added Andouille chicken sausage then topped it with a little bit of shredded Asiago cheese. It was quick, delicious and healthy!

Choose your Hard

9 Jan

In case you were worried I was getting away from the fitness focus of this blog… don’t be 🙂 Writing about workouts and recipes etc. keeps me accountable so, while a few posts may be more related to life in general, moving forward this will still very much be a fitness and health blog.

In that spirit, here’s my arm workout from today:

Focused Warm-up:

  • 2 min rotation plank
  • Mountain climbers
  • Push-ups

2 sets of 12, 1 set of 20 with lighter weight:

  • Curls
  • Lat pulls
  • Row

3 sets of 12:

  • Deadlift to upright row
  • Alternating hammer curls

3 sets of:

  • Hanging leg raises- 15
  • TRX push-ups- 10
  • Squat with ball toss- 20 (I only did 2 sets with the squats)

Skull crushers, 3 x 12

3 sets of:

  • Tricep pull downs x 12
  • Cable curls x8

As a side note, if you’ve never used TRX straps I definitely recommend you start using them in your workouts! Great way to use body resistance and increase difficulty.


2013… looking back to move forward

9 Jan

As I said in my last post I think 2013 was probably the busiest year of my life. Before moving forward I wanted to take a minute to look back at the highlights of everything we did and appreciate how far I’ve come, not just with finding balance in this fitness journey but life as the bigger picture.

In Jan. 2013, hubby and I were living in Japan and I was running my own personal training business while waiting to start work as a nurse at the Navy Hospital there.

Japan was a great adventure involving new foods, new travels, and life together as a married couple.

In May 2013 we moved back to the states, set up an apartment and I began the job search in DC to find my dream job as an ER nurse. Hubby was gone until Aug., when he finally moved back home and I started my current job. Oh, and we adopted our first dog. August also brought an unexpected loss which meant traveling to Oklahoma for a few days while starting my new job.

October brought our anniversary, buying our first house, and moving for both of us to be closer to work. Once settled in November we rescued our second dog and prepared to have our family out for the holidays. After a year full of joy and some sadness we are heading into 2014 expecting the unexpected as always but my resolution is to take care of myself… not just getting in workouts and balanced eating but taking time out for me. Which means getting back to writing and other things I enjoy. Time to smell the roses and all that.


Let’s try this again…

8 Jan

Oh hey 2014… sorry I’ve been MIA. I don’t think I’ve ever had as busy a year as we did in 2013. Just since my last post hubby and I bought a house, had both of our families out for the holidays, I’m off orientation at work, we’ve adopted another dog, and I’ve been promoted to only one physical therapy session a week.

Since moving I’ve joined a gym out by the new house and been getting regular workouts in again but with the holidays the diet definitely hasn’t been like it usually is. So, not only is it time to get back on track with the blog but keep an eye out for lots of recipes coming up!

As all the New Years resolution-ers (it’s a word 😉 ) fill up the gym, I thought it appropriate to repost What People Won’t Tell You


People are (hopefully) always so supportive when you decide to start a new workout routine or diet. It’s usually a chorus of advice of programs that have worked for other people or magazine articles people have seen. Don’t Be That Girl and Don’t Be That Guy covered what not to do as a newbie at the gym but I thought it only fair to give warning to the New Years Resolution-ers(?) that are sticking with it…

1. You will mess up. No ifs, and, or buts… there will be a day where you eat WAY more than you should or indulge a little too much with the wine or… whatever. It happens, it will happen, it will be okay. This is why we have cheat days.

2. Your scale might become your best friend… but it might be your worst enemy. If you’re starting to lift heavy, chances are you’re putting on muscle. Which means you might not always see the weight drop you were expecting right away. Don’t throw away your scale but make sure you’re taking other measurements too (hit up a trainer at your gym to track your body fat). On that note… your weight will fluctuate. The other day I got on the scale and it was way higher than what I was used to seeing. I told hubby knowing he would say something reassuring and checked it again the next morning (I don’t usually check it two days in a row). It was back to an acceptable level.

3. People will try to screw you up. They might not mean to. It’s a simple “oh come on one night won’t kill you” that turns into 4 drinks later and probably some late night munchies that goes beyond what a cheat day should. See number 1.

4. People will say stupid things. “Aren’t you afraid you’re going to get bulky?” (No) “Are you sure you want to do this?” (Yes) “Men don’t like it when girls look masculine” (Thank you?) Etc. Etc. Take it with a grain of salt, they probably aren’t at the gym busting their butt to accomplish a goal.

5. At some point, you will probably hit a plateau. Look into a trainer, look online for a new program, but you need to change something because it indicates that your body has adapted to a routine.

6. Everyone has advice, it doesn’t all work. Most people are very well meaning but be careful who and what you listen to. If it sounds too drastic or too good to be true, it probably won’t work or isn’t actually good for you.

7. Lastly, you will always have problem areas. It’s been said time and time again, we are our harshest critics. Look at the big picture, stick with it.

If you are already into a solid routine these are probably all things you’ve heard multiple times. What other “unexpected” downfalls or issues did you have when you started working out?