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Weekly Food and Fitness

**Hey there, I thought I’d bring back my rundown of my weekly workouts and menus to perhaps inspire others to prepare in advance for a week of healthy eating and give you menu and training ideas. Now that I have more of an established schedule and all, it’s easier for me to organize.

I have been doing at least 30 minutes of exercise every morning, 6 days a week, alternating strength training and cardio days. And for cardio, I’ve been alternating steady state and interval training.


  • Monday: 30 min arms
  • Tuesday: 30 min interval run
  • Wednesday: 30 min legs (workout below)
  • Thursday: 30 min run
  • Friday
    • 30 min Tracy Anderson Precision Toning arms, abs and butt
    • 30 min brisk walk with a friend
  • Saturday: 35 min interval run
  • Sunday: 15 yoga from Slim Calm Sexy Yoga
Wednesday’s leg day looked like this. I broke the workout down into
circuits of three moves each. I did two sets of each move.
Friday’s workouts came from this DVD I just ordered on Amazon. I always like to do something different on Fridays, like barre or Pilates. Whereas, Mondays and Wednesdays are usually traditional strength training. The Tracy Anderson Method is one of those things I like to do on Fridays. Kills my muscles in a whole different way.
Sunday is always rest/active rest day and I did an active rest day this past week with a few stretches from this book. I like how Tara Stiles creates routines for different desired effects, like anxiety relief or muscle toning.

On the menu

  • Breakfast: smoothie, eggs and veggies
  • Snack: grapefruit
  • Lunch: rice salad (see below)
  • Snack: two hardboiled eggs + apple
  • Dinners: Asian drumsticks, broccoli chicken bake, hot dogs, chicken salad, etc.

My breakfasts always kinda look the same not only because I’m hooked but also because it’s such a good way to get lots of protein and extra veggies into my day. Plus, grapefruit are in season and I’m happy to partake. I had to make an extra-large batch of hardboiled eggs because Kayne is a huge fan and wanted his very own carton, haha! I’m happy to oblige. Eggs were on super sale, they’re easy to make, and I’m always happy when he requests a healthy snack.

I found this super simple rice bowl recipe in a recent issue of Shape Magazine I was reading on the treadmill. All it requires is white beans, tomatoes and rice along with a few ingredients for the dressing. The prep was so easy. It’s such a simple, cool, summery salad that goes perfect with the unseasonably warm temperatures we’ve been having this week in Wisconsin–like 64 degrees today!!
What’s it like where you live? How are you getting healthy this week?

A Trip to Battle Creek Michigan

A few weeks ago we visited some friends in Battle Creek, Michigan. I was a little leary of taking a 1-year-old on a 5-hour trip. But a few stops to stretch our legs and a few cat naps broke up the trip into manageable legs and we had very little resistance.
Chicago skyline
We didn’t make any set plans for the trip and just played it by ear because we’re casual vacationers like that:) So, what we ended up doing was perfect for us. A few museums, lots of swimming and plenty of downtime.
One of the days we were there, we went to a children’s museum. The children’s museum in Kalamazoo is amazing!!! Their learning centers are so incredible. There are sections that teach about the weather, braille and blind learning, alternative energy, night creatures, music, pretend news stations and a lot more. They even have a special section devoted to tiny kids, so that’s where Rayna and I spent a good chunk of time while daddy took Kayne on adventures through the building. It’s so impressive to me that this museum is completely free! If I lived there, we’d be going all the time.

They had little sections in the baby area
with different animals: amphibians,
butterflies, bugs, jungle animals, etc.
Little wooden farmyard.

Old-fashioned general store
Kayne was learning about the stages of a butterfly life cycle in school at the time.
They had these Eric Carle felt boards where he showed me the entire life cycle of a butterfly.

Wind energy
One of the other days we were there, we visited another museum that was right up my alley! It was a museum about Dr. Kellogg (whose brother is the name behind the Kellogg’s brand) and his research into health and fitness. He ran a huge sanitarium that was basically a cross between a medical center and a health resort. For a good read about some of his contraptions, read this.

This contraption here was a leg vibrator thing
that was supposed to increase circulation in
the legs from sitting too long.

Sitz bath
Here is a picture of the gym on-board the Titanic that was designed by Dr. Kellogg. Cool, huh?

Dr Kellogg believed in the healing powers of the sun and fresh air. So, he brought
the powers of the sun indoors with different light baths, much like today’s light boxes for SAD.

There are a few other historical buildings on-site as well including a one-room schoolhouse and a church.

But, we had to leave the Kellogg museum tour early due to some mini crabby person that needed a nap;) On our way out, I got to see a little weasel that had made a home under a museum outbuilding.
While in Battle Creek, we stayed in a decent motel and so for some of our downtime, we had fun using their pool and fitness equipment. We invited our friends to enjoy pool time too!

On our last night there, we had one last big group dinner with our friends at a Big Boy. We haven’t been to a Big Boy in probably 15-20 years. Even though Hubster had some really bad luck with his meal, but it was fun to go back in time a bit.

After dinner, we hit up the Battle Creek mall for a little while. I found some clothes and a bamboo wind chime at an import store. I also found the most adorable bedtime yoga book and a few other things at Barnes and Noble. I love having a meaningful bedtime routine for my kids and myself, and this book is absolutely perfect! Kayne loves going through the little vinyasa and the pictures are swoonworthy.

We had a great time just doing these easy things on a whim. The trees were changing color and the sun was out, so the timing was perfect. We planned the trip so we’d return on a Saturday and still have Sunday to rest before going back to work.

Weekly Workout Rundown

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  • 40 min AM hill interval run, 3 miles
  • 20 min Beach Yoga
  • 25 min PM run, 2.3 miles
  • 40 min AM interval run, 3.25 miles
  • 20 min circuit training at lunch (my workout)
  • 30 min walk at lunch with mom, 2 miles
  • 45 min AM run, 3.6 miles
  • 20 min circuit training at lunch (my workout)
  • 62 min run, 5 miles
  • 45 min family kayaking trip
This was the last week of the Tone It Up Bikini Series. I finally made my #100bySummer miles on Sunday. And as much as I hate for all the excitement to end, I’m excited to change and charge up my routine this week a bit, perhaps trying out a new challenge. Any 30-day challenge suggestions would be well-received, friends.
I’ve said it before, but kayaking is one of my favorite active things in the world to do. Not only is it active, but it’s so rejuvenating and rewarding. In our kayaks, we can get down little shallow channels that other boats can’t get down. Which means: 0% boat traffic and 100% natural surroundings. I’m so glad I let Hubster talk me into buying kayaks when we were first married. After kayaking, we hit the beach for a little while where it looked like the whole hot city was hanging out.
Overall, we had fun this weekend. I finally got me a new laptop, made Creamsicles with Peanut, prepped food for the week (menu to come) and gathered some supplies from the hardware store for some more fitness-related DIYs. You’ll have to stay tuned for those! They’ve been cooking in my mind for awhile now, but I finally scoped out and purchased the supplies, working out some of the details by bouncing ideas off Hubster. Let the creativity begin!
What did you do this weekend?

Weekly Workout Rundown

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  • 25 min AM interval run, 2 miles, 377 calories
  • 20 min circuit training at lunch
  • 30 min Insanity Cardio Recovery, 162 calories
  • 20 min solo walk at lunch
  • 35 min PM run, 2.64 miles
  • 14 min Sunkissed Abs x 2
  • 35 min AM run
  • 60 min AM run (45 min Bikini Cardio pictured below + 15 min extra)
  • 15 min strength (TIU in Foam Magazine)
  • 40 min AM run, 3.1 miles
  • 15 min of Tara Stiles Slim Calm Sexy Yoga before bed
  • On Monday, my friend and I got schooled by a nice-looking boy at the gym on how to do pull-ups on the available equipment. Now, I know some people are averse to unsolicited gym advice, but my friend and I were grateful for the pointers. He may or may not have had his pretty looks on his side:) I’ve also been practicing pull-ups at the parks whenever I take Peanut. It’s one of my goals to be able to do 5 in a row by the first day of summer.
    Tuesday was the start of the Tone It Up Bikini Series. I am one full week into the Tone it Up Bikini Series, and pretty much right on track. This week, I’m going full back into the Nutrition Plan, after Hubster does the grocery shopping. This morning I finally tried Perfect Fit pancakes (see Insta pic #1). I had been hoarding the one packet I got on Cyber Monday (ha!), and was dying to try the pancakes from the welcome packet, so I finally did.

    The weekend finally brought temperatures in the 70s and our town came alive again. After battling winter temperatures for the past, oh, 6 months (no lie!), we were all more than happy to spend our entire weekend outside without jackets. Literally, if we weren’t sleeping, we were outside. We did some work in the yard, had a picnic at the park, worked out on the porch, did some meal planning in the backyard. Oh, it was beee-you-tee-fulll! Every window in our house was open to infuse it with that spring scent.

    On Sunday, I realized I hadn’t hit my goal of incorporating at least 15 minutes of yoga into my week. Determined to reach that goal, I did 15 minutes of Slim Calm Sexy Yoga before bed. Oh, yoga right before bed is the most amazing thing ever. Maybe this is how I will incorporate more yoga into my routine, by doing it at bedtime. Sounds delicious.
    I’m so excited to dedicate another week to my goals and dreams. Next weekend, I’m taking a mini weekend retreat, so this is a short week for me. Weee!
    1. TIU Perfect Fit protein pancakes with peaches
    2. Meal planning in the backyard, TIU nutrition plan in-hand. Find my menu planner printable here.
    3. My makeshift porch workout station. Dumbbells + picnic blanket + sunshine = best workout idea ever.
    4. The kiddos played with chalk and bubbles while I worked out, natch!
    5. Flowers growing in the gutter are special: A view from my morning walk.
    6. My Tone It Up journal. Got a mini portfolio at work and decked it out. You’ll see my motivational quote and measurement printables tucked in there.
    7. Practicing pull-ups at the park.
    8. Glazed chicken and broccoli, a healthy meal at Ihop.
    9. Peanut pretend fishing with a stick down by the river.
    10. Peanut and I walking the trails after church.
    How was your weekend?

    Weekly Workout Rundown

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    • 20 min circuit-style workout with friend at lunch
    • 45 min Zumba class after work
    • 40 min run before work
    • 15 min walk to work
    • 35 min interval run before work
    • 20 min circuit-style workout with friend at lunch
    • 20 min Shiva Rae Daily Energy yoga after work
    • 45 min interval run before work
    • 60 min long run in AM
    • 35 min strength workout
    • Rest
    This week I was able to squeeze in a short burst of yoga on one of my typically “rest” days. I like to think of this as “active rest.” As I stated last week, I have a standing goal to include more yoga into my weekly rotation. This week–mission accomplished!
    I have also been regularly running on Saturday mornings lately. I’m trying to increase my pace and potentially shave time off of my 5k PR. Hubster and I have our annual 5k date coming up, so I want to see if I can push even harder this year. We’re even signing our Peanut up for the associated kids’ run. My own little posse of runners…I love it!
    What does your typical week look like?

    Babygazing has got to be located somewhere in the realm of the divine. An evening spent burying our feet in the sandbox, playing “fish” in the bathtub, and lap-reading for an extended time felt so great it was almost spiritual. Peering in at the little boy asleep in stillness topped the experience with pure bliss. Could it be that the free ‘Yoga in the Gardens” session that I went to last night carried over into my parenting?

    Could be.

    At this very time, I’ve also been reading a soulful book titled “The Creative Family” by Amanda Blake Soule. The book is filled with gentle reminders about the intricacy and delicacy of childhood. How it’s important to engage your children in meaningful activities, especially natural and artistic pursuits. How you should appreciate the sensitivities of a child. The passage that I remember the most was about how it’s essential to appreciate when your child goes jumping in puddles and playing in the mud because of the crucial learning opportunities they provide. These are natural, tactile adventures. It’s all about exploration and spontaneity and experimentation. You could get mad, or you could get mindful.

    Soule points to mindful parenting in the resources section of the book. Interested in learning more about where Soule may have learned some of her own unique parenting skills, I did a little research about it. Bingo! Just what I needed.

    When I was a brand-new first-time mother of a newborn, the most grounding habit I took up was my yoga hour on Saturday mornings. Afterwords, I approached my son much more gently and the intimidation of new motherhood seemed a little more surmountable. But I couldn’t quite put my finger on it.

    Now I see that the connection between yoga and mindful parenting is phenomenal. Last night, while I was slowing down my breath and thoughts on that beautiful manicured lawn, moving my body gently on all different planes, and being reminded to feel the earth beneath my feet, my patience was restored and “hurry up” was eliminated from my routine. My relationship with my son last night was all the better for it as I was being mindful of the sand shoes on my feet and being sensitive to my son’s whims and curiosities.

    I can feel what nurturing myself and slowing down does for my own body, and now I clearly and firmly recognize what it does for my child.

    Relaxation Techniques for Bedtime

    From http://www.stopsmoking1.co.uk/

    I’ve mentioned before the calming, massage-like effects of bedtime yoga. Another relaxing routine in my personal arsenal is a different kind of progressive relaxation. Instead of tensing and un-tensing muscles from the feet to the head, I progressively relax a little more with each exhalation. I take a total of seven breaths and try to relax further and further with each breath.

    I also like to look at pictures of my dreams. I sometimes print off motivational pictures that I come across or find in Google Image searches. This brings my awareness and focus back around to important or happy things and away from worries and to-do lists. It can also make for some sweet dreams.

    My mom recently dumped off a box of books at my house that I’ve apparantly been storing at hers for maybe 10 years. Some things never change, like my love for growing things and making homemade beauty products. In the stack, I found a Bath and Body Works at-home beauty book that got me thinking about a refreshing, invigorating morning routine:

    1. Try some fired up yoga breathing and gentle stretching before leaving the bedroom. Ease into morning.

    2. Drink a glass of ice cold water first thing when you leave the room. Better yet, throw in a slice of orange an enjoy the energizing effects of citrus. I love that sensation in my throat of the first cold drink going down.

    3. Dry brush the body with a loofa or use a light body scrub to increase circulation and wake up the nervous system.
    4. Give yourself periodic cold spritzes in the shower. The shock can be quite energizing. It will certainly bring you back to life.

    5. A little bit later, you might enjoy a glass of tea. Peppermint tea is very refreshing and the minty steam opens up the senses.

    Now, say ahhhhhhhhhhhh…

    You Know You’re a Fitness Junkie When…

    …You spend over $100 on Amazon in one fell swoop. All on workout DVDs and Yoga decks. No sweat though (well, for the cost anyway). This was my attempt to spend my hard-earned Christmas money (I’ve been a pretty good girl this year) and capitalize on some wellness moola at work. Score!

    On the menu are Ellen Barrett’s Barefoot Cardio, some good ole Quick Fix and 10 Minute Solution DVDs, a Bollywood dance workout, Shape Magazine’s bikini body workout, a ballet-inspired Reach workout, some Iron Yoga, a small bit of capoeira, and some Shiva Rae. Ooooh. Aaaaaah. Endorphins, my drug of choice.

    And as you can tell, I despise workout monotony. I have to refresh every once in awhile or my motivation wanes. I love trying all different types of movements, as you can tell. And if I can multitask while working out, all the better (i.e. learning new dance moves, practicing meditation while I move, getting strength and cardio done in one shot).

    Now, I eagerly wait by the mailbox…

    Swearing off the Boob Tube

    I wrote a letter to a chronically late friend some time ago explaining how this momma needs to take stock of what she’s spending her time on and extinguish all the pesky places where time seems to be meaninglessly burned. In this case, it was waiting around for hours for her. Another huge time-sapping activity for me is watching television.

    So, I watched a movie this weekend and sort of felt robbed afterwards. I couldn’t believe I spent those golden hours while my child napped engrossed in something so stupid, meaningless, unauthentic, and ridiculous. So I feel that I need to consciously rearrange the agenda a bit and zap television from my day-to-day playlist.

    Not only does television provide constant reminders of what we don’t have it also diminishes bodily health. There is a direct relationship between time spent watching TV and the weight of the person watching. The more hours you watch, the fatter you get. It’s blunt, but it’s the gosh-darn truth.

    In an effort to be more productive, energetic, and healthy; to be a positive role model for my son; and to pursue my passions much more rigorously than I have been, I am taking a sabbatical from the boob tube. I’d much rather:

    *Make music like the two delightful young girls we saw at the coffee shop open mic, playing cellos and singing sweetly to their own worthy lyrics.

    *Shop for beautiful antiques saturated with stories like quilts and old-time storybooks and dainty hors d’oeuvre forks.

    *Cook exquisite Gordon Ramsay-worthy food beside my husband

    *Make acoustical noise around the fire

    *Fill sketchbooks with musings and colored pencil drawings

    *Cut pretty pictures from magazines to collage into vision boards

    *Make musical instruments from stuff we have just laying around the house and jam away with my talented two-year-old

    *Perusing the farmer’s market with friends who actually cherish their time with me

    *Hone my flexibility and feelings of inner peace with yoga

    *Honoring my legs and lungs with a sprint around the neighborhood

    Melting into the Sheets

    No, I’m not talking about sex. I’m talking about a soothing nightly ritual that puts me in the mood for…sleep. My ritual feels so indulgent, I sometimes trick myself into thinking that I shouldn’t do it all the time like some other extravagant luxury. But really, it’s the best and easiest thing that I’ve found to do before bed that costs nothing and takes only a few minutes.

    I did a Google search for morning and nighttime exercises and came across a few that I return to time and again. My ultimate favorite thing to do is breath-regulating, stress-relieving Yoga. Something like Fitness Magazine’s 8-Minute Workout: Yoga for Better Sleep. I have a few of these routines printed off and stored within reach in my bedside table. In addition to calming the body through breath, these routines nix any leftover kinks from the day with gentle stretching. And stretching my back and other tight areas is the next best thing to a nice massage or being rocked to sleep as a child.

    I can feel the difference between going to bed after not doing Yoga versus doing Yoga. It’s easier to melt into the sheets after doing a gentle nighttime routine. Something even that simple has the ability to leave the mind a little calmer and the body decompressed. It also changes my energy, giving it a more positive glow that primes my body for perfect sleep. Ahhhh…