Friday, March 30, 2012

Exercising Love

This Monday morning flat out sucked. It was horrible. The morning rushing for the bus scored me a ticket.....what the heck...I paused, and let the woman and her dog cross in front of me and THEN floored it to catch the disappearing school bus....what the heck is wrong with that? I paused, looked both ways, even waited for the pedestrian to cross the street, and still get the lights and the whole front of the neighbors and all the kids at the bus stop. I'm a felon. Just go ahead, cuff me and do the pat down. Happy Monday morning to me. Our morning ritual (mine and my son's) was completely ruined by this petty little situation. Poor little guy jumps from the car and makes a run for the bus....while I yell 'I love you, have a great day' in my best 'don't worry I'm ok' voice,  as the officer is approaching, and my son, with his great big brown eyes looks back at me...with worry (while I'm thinking 'no one messes with our ritual!')....then you know, the increased heart rate, the hating yourself, fumbling to get the insurance stuff and license....the whole emotional/anxiety thing you go through when you get pulled over.

Oh Judas Priest,  I'm a mom just trying to get the angel on the bus. Didn't hit anyone, actually let them cross, oh, but I was creeping through, forgive me.

So you get the idea.

There is something amazing about today though, believe it or not. Something wonderful. As sad as I sometimes get when I am rudely smacked in the face with the fact that my boys are getting older and, oh geez, probably won't need me as much anymore, today I appreciated their maturity and loving nature and actual genuine concern over their felon mother who was experiencing random moments of panic over the mornings events.  My 14 year old asked me (after hours of him pondering this), if I'm ok, and they (the police) are just doing their job, but, 'mom, it's ok, you're good and that policeman probably knew that, but had to give you that ticket anyway'. AND THEN, my youngest, gets home from school, comes barging in, arms open running to me, squeezing me tight says....'I can't believe it....I felt so bad all day I didn't get to kiss you goodbye and tell you I love you, I thought about you all day'....oh the pain and love that shot through my heart. My  boys are showing their feelings, and their love, when they see and feel their mom dealing with this Monday shake down. They love me, they proved it. 'They're exercising their love' There's not a better feeling than for a mother to feel the unconditional love flooding back to her from her children. As mom's you know that. Sometimes we question whether or not we are raising our kids the 'right' way. Today, I KNOW that my husband and I are raising our boys, OUR right way. When life gets 'tough' our guys 'gel' together and amaze their parents with a deep and unexplainable love...that only we can feel. I felt very close to my two boys today, as I have many other days when they have been called out of their 'daily pre-teen and teenage norm' lives to the front line to support, love and just be there for their matter what. That's what families do....and that's what they've learned and I am so proud of this.

On a husband and wife level....well, you can imagine having to tell your husband, that, oh crap, once AGAIN, (within 2 months by the way) you've gotten a citation....that'd be another $200, and oh yea, what will this do to our great driving records and insurance rates? And by the way, babe, we're redoing the front porch, they come on Friday...oh I didn't tell you that? I saw the tension and frustration rise in that cute little mans face, and rightfully so, I AM SO disappointed in myself, I mean really, flying up the hill to catch the bus. (he REALLY likes to take the bus, it's a whole social thing, and gosh darn it, I'm gonna make that social opp happen!) The anger and disappointment I have with myself....well, I deserve it. "Stop making careless errors"....the voice in my head keeps telling me. I can only imagine the frustration my husband is feeling with me right now as he's heading to the backyard at the end of the day to find the boys and I....I dread the lecture I'm about to receive.....but, instead of the lecture I KNOW he wanted to give me, he grab me, hugged me, looked deep into my eyes and patted me on the booty and said...slow it down Andretti.  I'm blessed with 3 of the most wonderful men. Thank you God.

 Today....'exercise love'....kiss your husband when he least expects it, (a real kiss) hug your kids...tight, smile at a stranger...and love will be a perfect day.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

You Can Go Hard or You Can Go Home!

The HIIT method is my favorite type of cardio. It is the most effective form of cardio. Especially when you are looking to burn fat without burning through your hard earned muscle mass.  Below is my 'go-to' HIIT workout to be used on the Cybex Arc machine. (easy on the old knees;)) The Cybex has no impact, allows for a huge range of motion, and resistance rocks up to 100.  I'm usually dripping sweat by the time my cardio session is over! Ok, get out there and try it and let me know if you feel the burn!

There are numerous settings on the Cybex. MANUAL is my option when blasting this workout.

The big set up:
1~stand straight with feet flat on pedals, toes should touch the front edge.
2~choose manual setting and start slowly moving, pushing through your heels.
3~slowly raise the incline until you feel it stimulating the glutes and hammies. (this is level 10 for me)
4~keep hips squared and facing front, feet flat, and PUSH THROUGH YOUR HEELS. (no bouncing. If you are looking cute and pretty, your doing it wrong.)

Cybex Arc HIITS
Workout                  Time                        Level
Warmup                   5 min                       25
Steady Intensity       5 min                       30-35 (work at 70-75% MHR)
SPRINT                  30 sec                      50-60 (push hard and fast!)
Steady Intensity       10 min                     30-35
SPRINT                  30 sec                      50-60
Steady Intensity      10 min                     30-35
SPRINT                 30 sec                       50-60
Steady Intensity      5 min                       30-35
Cooldown              3 min                        25

Some Notes:
At times I adjust the resistance level to really engage my glutes. So you'll have to play with the resistance if you feel like it's too much or to little. Now, if you don't use a heart rate monitor, I would seriously consider getting one.  It's important to keep your heart rate at a working rate of 70-75% while in Steady Intensity  and 'through the roof' during your Sprints! I do not hold on to the handles on the Cybex, I love to make my entire core go to work too, another personal option for you to consider.  ALWAYS have your jams on and totally rock's what gets ME through these HIIT workouts. Lately 'Go Hard' with Mick Jagger is blaring in the hearing holes....find it and listen to rocks, and it makes me go hard, baby!  Happy HIITs y'all!

Pumpkin Protein Bars ~YUMMY!

An awesome recipe by Jamie Eason!

I'm the Food Police in this family and am always trying to force feed or sneak random healthy foods into my unsuspecting kids and hubby....but with these protein bars, I didn't have to get to creative to get them into the little bodies that I love! This recipe totally passed the taste test from my ENTIRE family...really, that's something unheard of! I encourage you to make these wonderful protein bars! They were gone in just a few days between sending them with my husband and the kids for mid day snacks and carrying a few with me to the gym. Try 'em and let me know what you think!

*you can use Splenda in place of the Xylitol*
*you can make your own oat flour by grinding oats in a processor*

Nutrition Facts:

Nutrition (without walnuts): 1 square = 47 calories, .7 g fat, 8 g carbs, 3.7 g protein
Nutrition (with walnuts): 1 square = 63 calories, 2.3 g fat, 8 g carbs, 4 g protein



  1. Preheat the oven to 350.
  2. Spray a 9 X 13 Pyrex dish with non-stick spray.
  3. Combine first 11 ingredients and mix well.
  4. Add the final 3 ingredients (4, if adding walnuts), and mix until incorporated. Spread batter into the Pyrex dish and bake for 30 min.
  5. Makes 24 squares.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Clean and Good~My Favorite Breakfast!

Power Pancake

Those of you who know me personally, know that I eat approximately 6 times a day. It's a must for me.  When I trained to compete, my amazing trainer created a nutrition plan and of course a workout plan for me to follow. It was at that time in my life that I realized how AWESOME I felt eating every 2-3 hours AND to my surprise, lost body fat while gaining muscle. For many years I would go without fueling my body and would experience the horrible 'crash'. I become quiet, tired, irritable and shaky. Then I shove the first thing I can get my trembling hands on right into my feeding hole!  I have been asked to post my morning meal, so there it is below. My schedule is fast paced in the morning with my boys, so I fit my breakfast in somehow and I know you can too! Plan it out my friends.

I start my day at 4:30 am with a quick 30-40 min. cardio session. Yes, it's true. I try and talk myself out of this morning ritual almost everyday.....but I feel so invigorated and awake by the time my 40 mins. is up. It also helps that I secretly have the hots for a cute little bald guy I've been watching every morning while he pumps iron;). After my cardio I'm usually starving, so that's when the magic happens. It's a simple, clean and oh-so good breakfast. It's so good that I have it 95% of the time. 

Power Pancake

1/2 cup oats
4 egg whites
1 whole egg
a couple of dashes of cinnamon
a splash of vanilla 
1 Tbs. ground flax seed
a dab of coconut oil (1-2 tsp)

**Mix together the egg whites/egg with the oats, cinnamon and vanilla. 
In a small pan melt the dab of coconut oil over medium heat.
Pour egg/oat mixture into pan and cook on medium heat for approx. 3-4 minutes. Flip pancake when firm and cook another 1-2 minutes.
Top with spray butter, flax seed, fresh berries and sugar free syrup!**
(you can also put oats/eggs/cinnamon and vanilla in a blender before cooking if you prefer a smoother consistency.)

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Coconut Oil and its AMAZING Benefits!

So. Coconut Oil. It's a fat, so naturally I've shunned it, avoided it and flat out ran from it for years. Really, who wants clogged arteries? NOT ME.  This avoidance changed for me a few months ago, when I stumbled across an article from Tosca Reno. I was intrigued and felt a little bit of that obsessive research weirdo side of me coming to the surface. I KNEW I would research this as much as my busy schedule would, know, between shuttling kids around, 2 workouts, filling a few jewelry orders, homework, fixing dinner and of course the daily vacuuming ritual. (that's another story, for a later time) Then, I would find a way to stop and get some of this miracle oil.....THAT day, no exceptions...period. I wanted it in my hands. Touch it, feel it, smell it and taste it.  I wouldn't stop thinking about it until I had it!

 So, I will share some of my research findings with, excuse me, but I'm not a doctor, I only play one at home, or a nutritionist, I'm that too at home, so don't expect big ole' clinical studies and big medical terms etc. I'm going to give this information to you my way and in my language, which is pretty darn basic y'all! It's up to you, if it strikes a chord, to research the entire nutrition/medical studies to see if you would benefit from this. (It's worth the research by the way.) 

The tropics best kept secret: The coconut has been a primary staple for thousands of years for those who live in native tropical cultures. OK, so a little clinical study, sorry. Back in the 30's Dr. Weston Price found South Pacific Islanders whose diets were soaring with coconut to be fit, healthy and trim. OH~and heart disease was almost NON EXISTENT within this group!  OK, then a similar study was completed in '81, in Polynesian communities~coconut was also the primary caloric energy source~and it was found that they too had excellent cardiovascular health and were extremely fit.

The easiest way to give this to you is like this:

Here are the amazing benefits of coconut oil......

*Our bodies convert lauric acid (the miracle compound in the oil) into monolaurin (oops sorry a little clinical), which has unbelievable anti-viral, anti-bacterial and anti-protozoa properties. 

*Hair health: applied topically (go ahead, massage it in)  to hair once/twice a week will give that dry ole' hair some healthy shine and promote growth. Oh geez, I shouldn't forget will also condition your dry scalp and prevent dandruff AND get this, prevent lice and lice eggs, (OK...mother of two boys...who, embarrassed to admit this,  are used to me barging into bathroom once a week to administer a quick head massage with coconut oil...there will be no lice brought into this house;)). Bottom line....have a jar of this in the bathroom for bodily use!

*Hemorrhoids: put it on, it works, enough said.

*Skin Care: excellent for dry skin and aging skin. I should actually be bathing in this stuff! OK, so its said to be safe for sensitive skin and skin with eczema, dermatitis and other skin infections. AND an excellent massage oil....I'm totally handing this jar to my husband;).

*Prevents heart disease. Its the lauric acid...research it. One of those weird but true things.

*Promotes weight loss. Another weird but true situation.

*Improves the digestive system, preventing/aiding irritable bowl syndrome. 

*Immunity: because of the anti-viral/anti-bacterial/anti-fungal benefits, it strengthens the immune system. The claims: aids in dealing with viruses and bacteria causing diseases like, herpes and the flu.

*Heals infections: kills viruses that cause flu, measles, hepatitis, herpes etc. Also effective on yeast infections, ringworm, athletes foot, thrush and diaper rash. 

*Diabetes: helps control blood sugar.

*Dental Care: stops tooth decay.

Here's some basic ways that I use it:

*I use a bit of this in place of non-stick spray.
*Dab on my lips and use as moisturizer (lightly on face) before bed. A little goes a long way!
*Swirl into my green tea or coffee. 
*I try and grab this in place of butter, for baking and cooking.

OK, so there you have it... there are more cures etc. but this should get you at least itching to google it! A natural product really worth researching and trying for you and your family. I've been sneaking it in everyone around here for months. My cute Lil husbands blood sugar was even down from his last major Dr. visit...ha ha, go figure. I got your back baby;). 

God Bless you my friends...and go get some coconut oil, even if just for the massage~hehehe!

Saturday, March 10, 2012

The Gym Rats

I took offense awhile ago when my husband referred to me, ME, as a 'gym rat' to one of his peers. EXCUSE ME! I really didn't think that I fit the bill here....gym rat? I mean, really, the gym is part of my daily grind, but does that make me a 'rat'? So, the next day, with this 'gym rat' label hovering over me like a black cloud, I went and worked out....yes, at the gym. In my usual fashion, with earphones stuffed in my hearing holes, my music pumped up way past the safe level, curling 15lb dumbbells I admired the veins popping out in my arms.....whoa....all to the tune of "Back in Black".  In my zone. Usually I'm in a weird zone at the gym.....seriously following my written out lifting and cardio plan and jamming to my tunes.  Sometimes I forget that I'm sharing the gym with other gym goers. It's just me in my zone.  I usually don't make a habit of actually speaking to anyone.....I'm there to do my thing....and that doesn't include socializing......

UNLESS, on the occasion that my fellow fitness fanatic friends are in the building, then, I may them.  This group and I have ran laps, lifted, pulled, pushed, shared sweat, tears and laughed our asses off all while fulfilling our morning fitness passion or obsession. I even trained with one of these friends for fitness competitions. Through the pain and laughter we've endured together something has happened for me personally. I've come to realize that these gals are my friends. Real friends. Friends who have shown up to support me when I needed it, friends who have laughed with me and at me~like only friends can~ and friends who care. Each of us has different goals in our fitness aspirations and we all respect, support and encourage each other to attain those goals. We watch each other lose fat and build muscle. We ARE the Moms With Muscles......and YES, we are gym rats.....and I'm actually proud to say it. My crazy ass brain is usually making up a music video to whatever situation I am in....let me set the scene for you.

***Ke$ha~We R Who We R playing
Mom's With Muscles walking (imagine slow motion walking...with attitude) through gym....etc. etc.***

You get the picture.

I plan on blogging about the funny things in life, fitness and nutrition, fashion and will also share tips and hints that I have learned through my life and fitness experiences. I apologize in advance for a few cuss words here and there, I am human and sometimes bad words just slip out;)...sorry.

Here's wishing you and yours a healthy and lovely weekend!