May 18, 2016

Healthy Birthday Cake (For Toddlers!)

This weekend we celebrated my son's second birthday. I have no problem admitting that I'm the "crazy mom" who doesn't let her son eat any sugar, dairy, or gluten. Yes, I'm that mom. Say what you will, my son hasn't been truly sick a day in his life soooo there's that.

With that being said, his first birthday cake was a failed attempt at making something delicious and healthy. Let's just say that turmeric icing wasn't the tastiest. Well, I'm happy to report we totally nailed it for the second birthday. I found the most amazing recipe for a chocolate cake with chocolate frosting from The Healthy Chef. Absolutely everyone enjoyed it (including the adults!).

You can find the recipe to the cake here.

And the frosting here.

Highly Recommend!

May 1, 2016

Beach Barre

Hi Babes! Get ready for a great exercise that will help to lengthen and strengthen your thighs. This should take you about 4 minutes (or your favorite song) to complete. Your legs will feel the burn!  When we get into our cardio interval we will also be working the booty and waistline. Love it. 

Leg Lifts
  • Set Up: Engaging the core, float your right leg up as high as you can. Keep your leg straight, starting with your toe pointed. Shoulders stay stacked over your hips. Remember to keep your abdominals engaged the whole time to make sure you don't lean back and to keep this movement out of the hips.  
  • Lifts: With a pointed toe, lift the leg 20 times - this should be a small movement and your range of motion should only be about an inch. With each lift try to get your leg one inch higher and lengthen one inch longer. 
  • Presses: With a flexed foot bend and extend your leg 20 times - again, this is a tiny little bend. Inhale as you soften the knee and exhale, engaging your abs as you press all the way through the heel.
  • Toe Taps: Point your toe and inhale as you slowly lower the leg. Gently tap the floor and exhale as you flex your foot and raise it all the way back up. Point and lower, flex and lift 10 times. 
  • Finishing Move: On your last toe tap, hold your leg at the top for 10 seconds. Finish off with 10 more lifts!!
  • Stretch: Grab your right ankle and bring your heel to your booty. Drop your tailbone under and enjoy the thigh stretch all the way into the hip. You can do this standing, on the floor, or holding onto a chair or wall. 
Modifications & Advancements: To modify, hold onto a chair or wall to help you balance.  If you're more advanced you can work on your balance with arms extended over head or in front of your body. For a little stability, you can use a ball as pictured below. The more advanced you are, the higher you'll be able to lift your leg. But it doesn't matter how high your leg is as long as it's straight you will feel this. Remember, never compromise your form for height!

Squat, Crunch Interval:
  • Set Up: We start with feet shoulder width apart, toes facing forward. Our weight is in the heels as we bend the knees and shoot the booty out behind us. Make sure that the knees are tracking over the toes and we keep the core engaged. Pelvis should remain in neutral.
  • Squat: 20 Times pressing through the heels and squeezing the booty at the top. 
  • Crunch: Continue squatting but at the top bring your right knee to your elbow and engage your abdominals. Squat again and bring your left knee to the elbow. Keep your arms over head as you squat and crunch as you draw your elbow and knee together. Alternate your knees between each squat for a total of 10 on each side. 

 When you're finished with squats, it's time to do Leg Lifts on the Left! 

The tops of your thighs should be burning during leg lifts.... The more they burn, the more your body is changing! During squats, try to go to the beat of your favorite workout song to keep a steady, fast pace. Get your heart rate up to burn some extra calories! Enjoy, babes :)

Apr 13, 2016

How do you take your Coffee?

For Mother's Day I received a hand milk frother (sounds fancy, I know but it was like $5 from Ikea) and it's completely changed my coffee game. I've always liked (more like needed) a little dash of cream or milk, but I've since discovered the "Bulletproof" recipe. Lemme tell ya, I'm obsessed. If you haven't yet tried "Bulletproof" coffee, here's my version:

Teaspoon Coconut Oil
Teaspoon Ghee (or organic grass-fed butter)
Dash of Cinnamon 
Splash of Pure Vanilla Extract

Add all ingredients to coffee cup. Leaving at least 2 inches from top of cup, pour hot coffee over the ingredients. Using hand frother, froth coffee for at least 60 seconds or until you've gotten the right amount of froth. 

Voila! You're left with a creamy cup of hot coffee that's loaded with healthy fats. These fats not only promote a healthy brain and cholesterol levels but can help with weight loss as your body uses fat for energy as opposed to sugar and proteins. 

Side Note: What about sickie pesticides? I think that's one item no one likes in their cup of jo. I realized the other day that I'm adamant about my fruits, veggies and pretty much everything else to be organic and yet, I've completely over looked my  morning coffee. A little research has made me realize the error of my ways. Conventional coffee is not only one of the most highly doused plants with tons of pesticides and herbicides, but those beans also get a good chemical rinse before being packaged. That's why it's so important to buy organic coffee. Especially since most of us drink it every day. 

Mar 15, 2016

Tennis Ball Massage

In a perfect world I would get a massage every week. I lie, maybe more like two or three times a week... what can I say? I love a good massage! I feel relaxed, rejuvenated and with all the classes I teach, my body deserves a little extra attention (at least that's what I tell myself). Truthfully, massage promotes circulation, detoxifies the body, relieves pain, and helps to prevent injury. My sweet husband will occasionally give me a foot massage while we are watching TV or sometimes before bed... but for those days when I need a little extra TLC on a particular area, I love myself a good ol' tennis ball massage. Following the same principals as I explained in this video, you can relieve tension without breaking the bank. All you need is a tennis ball!

  • Lay on the floor or lean up against a wall and place the tennis ball on whatever muscle you want to release. (avoid placing the ball on a bone or your spine)
  • Roll up and down the muscle as you put pressure onto the ball.
  • When you feel a knot or tight spot hold it -- breathing into the tightness until you feel the release.

Again, this can be done on the floor, against a wall, or even sitting in a chair. My favorite spots include my upper back (in between my shoulder blades), my booty and hips, and my feet. I'm not gonna lie, it's not entirely unusual for me to have a tennis ball in my handbag. So, treat yo self and sneak in a little reflexology at work. You know you deserve it :)

Feb 4, 2016

Workout at Your Desk

Original Image
After many friends requesting a list of exercises that they can do at work, I've finally put together a list of simple yet effective exercises you can do at your desk. Apart from getting up and doing push-ups and tricep dips on your desk or holding a plank in the middle of the room (awkward) try incorporating these incognito exercises into your daily work life:

  • Leg lifts: Sitting tall, extend one leg straight out in front of you. Keeping your leg straight, raise the entire leg up one inch off the seat and hold. From there flex your foot and gently take a small bend in the knee and press all the way out again engaging the top of your thigh. Try to do 30 "mini" presses on each leg. 
  • Oblique Twists: With a swiveling chair, hover both feet one inch off of the floor. Feel your waistline getting tighter as your keep your shoulders straight and twist through the waistline engaging the abdominals. Twist 20 times to the right and 20 times to the left keeping your upper body still. 
  • Kegels: Especially important for expecting moms like me, kegels will help to strengthen the pelvic floor and improve your posture, digestion and even your love life. Again, make sure that you're seated tall then imagine like you have to pee and you are holding it in as tight as you can. You should feel your tailbone drop and your lower abdominals engage. Hold for 10-30 seconds and repeat. You can do these all day long
  • Single Leg Squat/Balance: When getting up and down from your chair, try raising yourself up with just one leg. As you stand, remain standing on one leg and try to balance for about 10 seconds before moving on to your destination. Do the same thing when sitting... don't just plop down in your chair! Balance on one leg as you engage your lower body and control yourself to slowly sit back in your chair. Be sure to do both legs! 
  • Inner Thigh Squeeze: Remember the thigh master? Ah yes, this is what we are after. Good news, you don't have to have an actual Thigh Master to get the same workout. Using a pillow, a towel, a pilates ball, a ream of paper, (heck, you don't even really need anything), walk your feet all the way together underneath your desk. Press your knees together and squeeze your inner thighs as tight as you can for 30 seconds. If your using an object, try to squeeze and release the object without letting it fall 30 times. Release for 10 seconds and repeat. Hello inner thighs!
  • Hip and Lower Back Stretch: Sitting tall, with a flexed foot, bring your heel across the body to the top of the opposite thigh (Similar to how most guys cross their legs). Lean forward slightly to feel the stretch going into the outer thigh/booty and hip area. Switch legs and do the other side. For a deeper stretch, come up to your toes of your supporting leg.

Can't wait for you to try out my suggestions... let me know how you feel! Did you get a bit of a workout?
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