Home for the Holidays

Happy 2017 everyone! We were lucky enough to be able to spend the past week together and with family and friends. We celebrated Christmas, knocked out some workouts, and attended an MSU basketball game. Time together always flies by and we are already looking forward to our reunion in Arizona in a few weeks. We hope everyone had an amazing holiday season! Now it’s time to set goals for the new year! 

-A & M –

Holiday Workouts

Happy holidays! It is Christmas week and I could not be more excited to go to Michigan this weekend to see family and friends! As some of you know, I got my NASM personal training certification this year and am passionate about fitness and teaching others how to work out in order to achieve results. I wanted to share some of my favorite upper and lower body moves along with two core blasts that can be mixed into a longer workout or done separately if you don’t have much time. Make sure to keep prioritizing your health and fitness during the holidays with these quick and easy moves!

Upper body: 10-12 reps, 4 sets

  1. Overhead press: hold a barbell at chest level while standing and push it straight up overhead before returning it down to you chest. Try not to arch your back or lean forward as you extend the barbell.
  2. One-arm row on bench: using a kettlebell start in a split stance with one arm on a bench and your other arm holding a kettlebell. Extend the leg on the side you are holding the kettlebell back behind you. Keep your back flat and pull the kettlebell up towards your body and lower it back down while keeping your shoulder blades low and contracted.
  3. Core 1 (see below)
  4. Push-ups: start in a standard push up position with your back flat and your head in line. Lower down towards the ground until you are just slightly above the ground and drive  back up with a big exhale. Try a couple in a full push-up before dropping onto your knees or putting your arms onto a bench.

Lower body: 10-12 reps, 4 sets

  1. Deadlifts with kettlebell: place a kettlebell on the ground, lowering down to grab it while hinging at the hips and keeping your back straight. Power through your legs to stand up straight with the kettlebell hanging towards the ground. Repeat the motion, slowly lowering down and powering up.
  2. Single leg lunges with barbell: hold a barbell across the top of your shoulders. Lower down into a lunge and come back up with your feet together before stepping forward into a lunge on the other side.
  3. Core 2 (see below)
  4. Mountain climbers: start in a plan position with your back straight and body in line. Draw your leg in towards your chest. As you push it back into the starting position, bring in your other leg. Alternative legs increasing the speed if you are able to.

Core 1:

  1. Forearm plank hold: hold a plank position on your forearms for one minute, keeping your whole body in line. If one minute is too much, hold for 20 seconds and take a 10 second break and repeat three times.
  2. 30 second side plank hold: hold a side plank position on your forearm for 30 seconds, making sure to keep your body in line and not letting your lower body drop down.

Core 2:

  1. Walking plank: start in a push up position with your back straight in a plank. Lower down onto one forearm and then the other. Push up off the first forearm that was lowered back into a fully extended push up position, raising the other arm. Repeat for 30 seconds alternating arms (down, down, up, up pattern).
  2. Russian twist: sit on the ground holding a medicine ball in the middle of your body. Lift your legs slightly off of the ground and begin twisting side to side, ensuring you are fully rotating your body and keeping your core braced inward.

– A – 

Stress-Free Holidays

Hi all! We hope you had a great weekend and are enjoying the time leading up the holidays! This time of year can be very busy with holiday events and Christmas shopping on top of completing weekly duties. We wanted to share some ways to de-stress in order to make the most of the holiday season!

  1. Keep a schedule & to-do lists– A great way to keep track of work, school, and holidays events is to keep a planner or agenda and update it weekly. It is a good idea to look at your planner while having your coffee in the morning to see what you have to do that day and in the upcoming week.
  2. Stay on top of your workouts- Many people use the holidays as an excuse to stop working out because they are too busy. We find that keeping our normal workout routine helps keep our stress levels down so we are more productive throughout the day. Having a workout buddy and scheduling workouts ahead of time (even penciling them in your planner) will help you stay on track!
  3. Online shopping- We generally stay away from the mall especially as it gets closer to Christmas. While it can be fun to go shopping a time or two at the mall to get in the Christmas spirit, we do most of our Christmas shopping online to avoid the lines and crowds. Presents delivered right to your door, what more can you ask for?
  4. Meditation – It is important to find times to purify your mind, especially when things get busy and stressful before the holidays. Think of it like showering or working out. It is essential to take time to get in touch with yourself and find peace during a stressful day. One meditation app we like is Mindspace. It is a 10 minute guided meditation that reminds you that meditation is not about pushing away your thoughts but more about being at peace with them. Try scheduling 10 minutes into your morning or night time routine!
  5. Remember to enjoy the season – It is easy to forget the meaning of the season when it feels like there are a bunch of to-dos that come along with it. Remember to enjoy time with family and friends and let the little things go. Looking back you will be much more likely to remember the great times you had with the ones you care about most.

Happy Holidays!

– A & M – 

It’s Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas

Happy Monday and Happy December! This year has flown by, I can’t believe the holidays are already here!

I had so much fun decorating my place for Christmas. I wanted to keep the decorations more neutral, but added some pops of color and plaid. I swapped out simple things like pictures in my gallery wall and mugs hanging above my coffee bar to help make the main living spaces festive. Special thanks to my mom who came over and helped me decorate!

I hope everyone is enjoying this busy and joyful time of year!

– M –

Back Home

We are home! We landed in Phoenix Saturday night after almost 24 hours of travel. Our trip was amazing, full of adventure and some much needed relaxation! Every country was so unique, we enjoyed Thailand, Cambodia and Vietnam so much. It feels good to be home. It cooled off in Scottsdale while we were gone and it finally feels like fall. Now it is time for Christmas shopping and enjoying the holiday spirit! Back to reality… 





– A –

Seasonal Easy Weeknight Recipe 

Happy Monday! I can’t believe it is already Thanksgiving this week, this year is flying by! I wanted to share an easy recipe that is one of my go-to’s in the Fall and Winter. It also makes great leftovers and is healthy. I hope you enjoy it as much as I do!

Ingredients: 

  • 16 oz ground turkey
  • 10 oz sweet potato, cubed
  • 1 yellow pepper
  • 1/3 yellow onion
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp minced garlic
  • 1/2 cup mozzarella cheese
  • Salt and pepper to taste


Directions:

  1. Heat olive oil in skillet pan over medium-high.
  2. Add ground turkey and garlic. Cook turkey until brown, stirring occasionally.
  3. While turkey is cooking, cut up the pepper, onion, and sweet potato (I buy my sweet potato already cubed).
  4. When turkey is cooked through, add onion, pepper, salt, and pepper and stir.
  5. A few minutes later, add the sweet potato and stir. Cover with a lid and let cook for about 10 minutes or when sweet potato is tender.
  6. Turn heat down to low and sprinkle cheese over skillet. Allow cheese to melt before serving.

(thanks to Pinterest for the recipe inspiration) 

I hope everyone has a very happy Thanksgiving full of yummy food and family time!

– M –

Hello from Southeast Asia!

Hi all! I hope you had a great weekend. For those of you who do not know Kevin and I left for Southeast Asia on Wednesday! We are visiting Thailand, Cambodia and Vietnam and we couldn’t be more excited for another adventure together. We started our trip in Chiang Mai, the northern part of Thailand after a long 20+ hours of travel. While we are here we are visiting an elephant camp, taking a cooking course to learn how to cook some local dishes, and enjoying the amazing scenery while we adjust to the time change. 



We then travel to Ko Samui, an island in southern Thailand for four days of relaxation! Here Kevin has some “surprises” he planned, and I cannot wait to find out what he has in store.

Next we travel to Bangkok for a couple of days in the city before we make our way to Siem Reap Cambodia to visit Ankor Wat and all of the surrounding temples. We have a tour planned to make the most of our time there and on the second day we get picked up at 4:30am to watch the sunrise over the beautiful temples.

The last leg of our trip will be spend in Hanoi Vietnam, where we travel to Ha Long Bay to enjoy a night on a boat (or junk as they call it) viewing the gorgeous water and surrounding scenery. If you are not familiar with Ha Long Bay, Google search it and you will see why  I am excited!

I will post some pictures on Facebook as we travel if you are intersted in following our journey. Have a good week!

– A – 

 

 

Seasonal Smoothie

Happy Monday friends!

A while ago I shared my favorite smoothie on the blog 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: 

  • 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. 😉 I have been able to sculpt many parts of my body that I never made progress on 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 fitness 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 fitness 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 week 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. 🙂

– A –