Stress Relievers

Happy Friday all! Sorry for the late post this week, things have been a little crazy in the Michalzuk household this week. Fittingly, I wanted to share some of my tips on how I deal with stress during busy times, but I would love some tips on what works for you. I am always open to trying different methods to take care of my body and mind. Some of my go-to stress relievers are:

  1. Exercise: A no brainer for me. I can go into a workout feeling totally out of touch with myself, stressed and tired and come out feeling like a whole new person. Exercise works wonders for me in terms of relieving stress. Enough said..
  2. Meditation: I was consistently meditating for a few months, but I stopped when we moved and my morning scheduled got shaken up a bit. I decided to pick it up this week since I was feeling extra stressed. It is not naturally easy for me to sit for 10 minutes and not let my mind race around all of my to-dos for the day. I am working on it. šŸ™‚
  3. Personal goal setting: This one is counterintuitive, but sometimes taking a step back to priortize and set my personal goals allows me to re-center on my own priorities that sometimes get lost when things get busy.
  4. Indulgence: If all else fails a little dark chocolate, ice cream or wine never hurts. I try to not indulge too much when I am stressed,Ā but who doesn’t love a piece of chocolate or two when you have had a long day.


I would love to hear what works for you. Any suggestions I should try?

Have a great weekend!

– A –

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Nutrition Tracking

Happy Monday! I hope you had a great Easter weekend with family and friends. Kevin and I were busy moving into our house! It is so exciting but we are both exhausted after lots of unpacking and organizing over the weekend. We have a lot of furniture shopping to do, but I will post some pictures of the inside of the house once we start to furnish our place and decorate. We are already looking forward to some family and friends visiting in the upcoming months!

I wanted to share the nutrition tracking I have been doing through MyFitnessPal with some of you who have asked me about it. I have been tracking using the app for a over a year now. Recently, I have been strictly counting my marcos (carbs, protein and fat) and working to hit my goal percentages for each macronutrient. Some of you may of heard of tracking macros as it’s popular in the fitness and nutrition industry. Although macros are important, the biggest thing is hitting the number of calories recommended for your current weight and future weight goals. Obviously I’m not trying to lose weight but I’m working on building lean muscle to better achieve my fitness goals. MyFitnessPal makes it very easy to input your food and the app has many popular brands and restaurants to make it pretty accurate to what you are actually eating. The app calculates your recommended calories and carb, protein, and fat daily percentages for you and shows you how you are trending to those goals each day. The key is constantly tracking so that you have good data for the app to analyze.


The best part of a diet centered on macros and calorie intake is you can really eat what you want as long as it fits within your goals for the day. Now, it’s still important to make wise choice for your long term health, but I have enjoyed some of my favorite splurge foods (pizza, ice cream, burgers) while tracking macros and I have still been able to reach my goals without feeling one bit guilty! I do eat “healthy” the majority of the time, but I think the 80/20 rule for healthy versus less healthy options definitely holds true.


I have seen some good improvement in my energy levels and my body with the tracking I have been doing, and I am always pushing towards my next goal in my fitness and nutrition journey!

– A –

 

 

Favorite Pinterest Workouts

Happy Monday! Hopefully everyone had a relaxing, refreshing weekend!

If you are looking for some extra workout motivation this week, I have just what you need! While I go to barre classes a few days a week, I go the gym the other days I workout to mix things up. Sometimes the gym isn’t as appealing to me because I have to create my own workout…and that’s where Pinterest saves the day! I will normally start my workout with a cardio session either on the stair master or treadmill before moving on to strength. I have a few Pinterest workouts, mostly created by my favorite bloggers, that are my go-to’s when I want to feel the burn without thinking too hard. I thought I would share a few of Ā them with you today, I hope you enjoy them as much as I do! You do need equipment that most gyms have for most of these workouts. Happy sweating!

Bodyweight Workout

Kettlebell Tabata Interval Workout

Core and Cardio Circuit with Rowing Machine

Total Body Workout with Bosu Ball


– M –

Seasonal Smoothie

Happy Monday friends!

A while ago I shared my favorite smoothie on the blogĀ and now I wanted to share a seasonal spin on a smoothie that I have been loving lately. With fall in full force and the holidays quickly approaching, there is nothing better than a healthy pumpkin smoothie to cool down after a workout or enjoy for an after-dinner treat.

Ingredients:Ā 

  • 1/3 cup pure pumpkin
  • 2 frozen bananas, pre-sliced
  • 2 tablespoons yogurt
  • 2 scoops of your favorite protein powder (I use Protein World Slender Blend vanilla)
  • A drizzle of honey
  • 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
  • Almond milk

Directions:

  1. Combine all ingredients in blender using a splash of almond milk at first
  2. Continue to add almond milk until you reach desired consistency
  3. Pour and enjoy!

(photo cred: Alyssa Rodammer who introduced me to the recipe!)

Happy Fall ya’ll! Hope you are enjoying this beautiful season!

– M –

 

Our Fitness Quiz

Hi all! We know everyone loves quizzes so we took one of our own to share with you everything about how we workout and our passion for fitness in general. We have a lot of similarities, but also have some different preferences and favorites that we shared with each other. Let’s get to it!

  1. What’s your favorite type of workout and why?

A: I love strength training, using resistance to train my upper and lower body using both push and pull movements for full-body training. I have totally transformed my mindset from thinking that weight training is only for guys. šŸ˜‰ I have been able to sculpt many parts of my body that I never made progress onĀ with just cardio training.

M: It is hard to chose between running and barre. I really enjoy running especially when Michigan allows me to do so outside. I love putting on good tunes, forgetting about to-do lists, and breathing in the fresh air. I balance out the cardio from running with barre classes. It is a great way to keep my muscles toned and lean without having to think too much.

  1. What’s your favorite post-workout snack or meal?

A: I workout in the morning before work and enjoy two scrambled eggs right after my workout. A couple of hours later I’ll have a protein bar and an apple to hold me over until lunch.

M: A smoothie! I love making healthy, refreshing smoothies after a sweaty workout. Sometimes it even serves as my workout motivation. I have currently been making a pumpkin smoothie that is delicious, healthy, and festive!

  1. Where do you look for fitnessĀ inspiration?

A: I love following people who inspire me on Instagram (check out: @alexia_clark, @mytrainercarmen or @emilyskyefit) and I also read Scottsdale Health, a local magazine that highlights what’s going on in the fitness industry in Scottsdale.

M: I usually go on Pinterest to find workouts when I am in need of inspiration. I pin focused toning workouts such as arms or abs depending on what I am looking to work on that day. Also, I love reading blogs that are focused on healthy living and fitness.

  1. What’s your current fitnessĀ goal?

A: My fitness goal is to increase my strength and build lean muscle through strength training. I’m currently working on my squats, and I have most recently hit the 100lb mark! Although that may not be impressive to some, it’s my personal best and I’m proud of it!

M: My current fitness goal is to find a race, possibly a half marathon, to train for in the coming year. I have ran two half marathons as well as 10k’s and 5k’s with my dad. I love having a race scheduled to train for for since it really motivates me and I feel accomplished when I complete it.

  1. What’s your favorite healthy meal?

A: Eggs! I love breakfast and could eat it for any meal. On the weekends I love a good veggie omelet.

M: I love a good chopped salad that is full of protein and veggies, don’t forget the avocado!

  1. How many days a week do you exercise?

A: Usually six days a week. I try to carve out one rest day, but I’m always anxious to get back in the gym. Some days it’s a quick 25 minute workout before work, but it still counts right?!

M: I usually work out five days a week. When I work multiple nights in a row and have to sleep during the day, it can be hard to fit a workout in. I do Pure Barre once or twice a weekĀ and run or do a mix of cardio and strength training on the other days. It’s always good to get moving and work up a sweat!

Have a great week!

– A & M –

Core Blast

Happy Monday! I hope everyone had a great weekend. Kevin and I went to the Keith Urban concert on Saturday night and had a blast with some friends. I also did some killer core workouts and wanted to share some of my favorite core strength exercises.

First is my favorite, stir the pot on a stability ball. The goal is to resist rotation and control the movement as you make small circles with your arms while in a plank position using a medium – large size stability ball. Do 8-10 circles in both directions and you’ll feel your core fire up right away!

 

Next, i did a circuit with a series of four movements. Complete the circuit three times at the end of your workout for a core finisher.

  • 10 bicycles in each direction
  • 10 plank reaches on each side
  • 20 pulse ups
  • 20 flutter kicks

I hope you enjoy these core moves as much as I do! Your core will thank me. šŸ™‚

– A –

 

Healthy Spin on a Favorite Dinner

Happy Monday!

Nick and I like to cook dinner together and one of the first meals we ever made together was chicken parmesan. We still love this dish, but I was looking for a way to make it healthier. What better way to do this than swap out the pasta for zoodles to add some vegetablesĀ into the dish! We also used less breading and cheese than the chicken parmesan recipe we usually use calls for. I wanted to share this recipe with you all. I hope you enjoy it as much as Nick and I did!

Baked Chicken Parmesan with Zoodles

Ingredients:Ā 

  • 1/2 cup bread crumbs
  • 1/4 cup parmesan cheese
  • 1 tsp Italian seasoning
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 egg
  • 3 zucchinis
  • 3-4 boneless chicken breasts (I used thin-sliced)
  • Olive oil
  • Mozzarella cheese
  • One jar of pasta sauce (I used tomato and basil Bertolli)

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Directions:

  1. Heat two separate pans on medium heat and place 1 tbsp of olive oil in each pan.
  2. Combine bread crumbs, parmesan cheese, Italian seasoning, and salt and pepper in a shallow dish.
  3. Beat one egg in another shallow dish.
  4. Place each chicken breast into egg first then breading mixture and into one of theĀ heated pans.
  5. Cook chicken breasts for 3-4 minutes on each side until fully cooked.
  6. While chicken is cooking, use spiralizer to cut zucchini into zoodles.img_9682-2
  7. Place zoodles into other heated pan and cook for a few minutes.
  8. Once chicken is cooked, sprinkle mozzarella cheese (or place a slice of mozzarella cheese) on each chicken breast.
  9. Pour pasta sauce over chicken once mozzarella has melted and cook for a few minutes until sauce is warm.
  10. Serve chicken over bed of zoodles! Bon appetit!

– M –

Fall Fresh MealĀ 

Happy Monday! We can not believe this week is the official start of Fall! While we think Summer went by a little too fast, we are excited for the football, scarves and booties, and deliciousĀ recipes that come along with Fall.

What better way to start off Fall with a warm and cozy meal that is also healthy and easy! We wanted to share Ā a perfect meal for chilly day that includes white chicken chili andĀ grilled peaches with ice cream for dessert.

White Chicken Chili

Ingredients:

  • 4 cups chicken broth (I used reduced sodium)
  • 2 cups water
  • 4 cups cooked shredded chicken (rotisserie works great!)
  • 2 15 oz cans Great Northern beans, drained
  • 2 cups salsa verde
  • 2 tsp ground cumin
  • Optional toppings: diced avocado, chopped fresh cilantro, chopped green onions, shredded cheese, sour cream

Directions:

  1. Shred chicken into bite-sized pieces.
  2. Combine chicken, chicken broth, water, beans, salsa verde, and cumin into large pot.
  3. Heat ingredients over medium-high heat until boiling.
  4. Reduce heat and simmer for at least five minutes.
  5. Serve warm with desires toppings and enjoy!

 

Grilled Peaches with Ice Cream

Ingredients:

  • 3 peaches, halved
  • Vanilla bean ice cream
  • 1 Tbs olive oil
  • 1 Tbs honey

Directions:

  1. Cut peaches in half and remove pits
  2. Brush with a light layer of olive oil
  3. Heat the grill to medium heat and place the peaches with the cut side down on the grill
  4. Cook for 2-3 minutes and then turn the peaches slightly to create hashed grill marks
  5. Cook for another 2-3 minutes and remove the peaches from the grill
  6. Top with a light drizzle of honey and a scoop of vanilla bean ice cream
  7. Enjoy!


We hope you enjoy this meal as much as we did! Happy Fall everyone!

– A & M –

Ways to De-Stress

Happy Monday friends! There is a lot going on for me right now as I am starting graduate school in the fall and my boyfriend, Nick, and I are moving into an apartment in a few weeks (more info to come)! Add a full-time job into the mix and things can be overwhelming. Between working, studying, and packing, it is important that I still make time for myself. De-stressing and relaxing is so important for your health so I wanted to share some of the ways I like to de-stress throughout a busy week (other than Bachelor and wine).

1.Ā Yoga- Yoga is definitely one of my favorite de-stressors as it allows me to practice mindfulness and be immersed in the moment, forgetting Ā about my growing to-do list for a while. I like to attend yoga classes (especially ashtanga vinyasa) at my gym on the weekends, however there are also great yoga sequences on Pinterest (love this nightime one) and YouTube (Yoga With Adriene is the bomb).

2. Essential oils-Ā I love using oils to boost my mood and enhance the space I am in. It’s amazing how much a scent can trigger certain feelings and also work to treat health symptoms. My favorite scents are lavender (definitely the best for relaxation), orange (an instant energizer), and peppermint (can instantly cure a headache). I was hesitant to try essential oils, but after hearing about them from fellow bloggers and seeing them in use at work, I had to try them out and definitely don’t regret it!

3. Spending time outside-Ā Taking in the fresh air and just being out in the sunlight definitely lifts my spirits and puts me at ease. I often try to go outside on my breaks at work if I can. I also love taking my dog for a walk after dinner (isn’t she cute?!). When you live in Michigan, spending time outside in the summer is a must!

4. Reading a book- I love reading a chapter or two of a good book after a long day. It allows me put my other thoughts aside and dive into the character’s lives for a short time. It definitely helps me relax and unwind before I go to sleep.


What are your favorite ways to relax and de-stress? I hope you all have a stress-free week!

– M –

Pure Barre Platform

Hey everyone! Hope you had a great weekend and are having a happy Monday so far! Amanda, along with her husband, our dad, and some family and friends, are hiking Macchu Picchu in Peru. Amanda will be sure to share the trip with you when she returns, but for now you’re stuck with me! 

This week I wanted to share my experience with a new form of Pure Barre…Platform! The class started at my studio a few months back and I finally was able to fit it into my schedule. I was a little nervous because I am so used to the original Pure Barre class. However, I really enjoyed the workout and was able to catch on to the format throughout the duration of the class. 

The class differs from the original Pure Barre class by utilizing the platform while still toning your abs, arms, and legs. There were also incorporated cardio bursts throughout the class to increase your heart rate. We were able to jump off the platform with one leg extended in the air for some of the cardio intervals which was fun and worked up a sweat! The class was very fast-paced and overall I liked the cardio aspect of it without losing the lift, tone, burn (LTB) that Pure Barre is known for. I left the studio drenched in sweat and will definitely be returning for more! 

What is your favorite workout class? I would love to hear from you!

Until next week! 

-M-