Thursday, May 31, 2012

Sunny Benefits

You know my thoughts on this beautiful season...I LOVE summer. It makes me feel happy, healthy, alive, warm...etc. etc. etc.
 This was part of my day today...hellooooo summer. 

A few weeks ago I had an anonymous commenter ask how I could consider myself "healthy" when I promote laying out. Before I answer this question...I have to say a few things.

1) I realize that blogging, and including any sort of detail about your life, is opening to door for scrutiny. While I do consider myself a trained expert and professional in the areas of health and fitness, I am not an expert in ALL things, nor do I claim to be. Some of what I write about is simply my opinion. I ALWAYS try to clarify when I am inserting my own feelings and beliefs. I realize that not everyone will agree with my opinions, or with what I state is fact, and that is fine with me. We all have the right to our own opinions, and I love that.
2) I LOVE to hear your opinions. If you don't agree with me, I like to hear it, and I like to hear why. There are many different ways to look at things in life, and our diversity is what makes us all so great and interesting.
3) I really REALLY do love your questions. I love your questions about why I believe the way I do, what you are struggling with, and how I can help. So, PLEASE keep them coming.

Now, with that being said...back to the question at hand. How can I consider myself "healthy" and promote laying out.
Well...I do consider myself healthy. I don't, however, consider myself perfect, and I never have claimed to be such.  I understand that there can be some health risks involved when there is excessive or dangerous sun exposure. I think how much sun you can handle, how much sun block you need, and how easily your skin does or doesn't soak up the sun is a completely personal issue. I haven't EVER said that in order to be healthy you should lay out. I may have said that I love being in the sun, and that is a true statement.

I will tell you that there are so many facets that go into being a "healthy" person. One of those facets is happiness, and being outdoors/soaking up some good vitamin D definitely makes me happy.

We hear quite frequently about the dangers of the far as overexposure and skin cancer, and I KNOW these are very real scenarios that can be life threatening if you aren't careful. I would advise you to be careful when you are in the sun, and use proper judgment, hats, sunscreen, wet suits, umbrellas, and whatever else you feel like you need.

I do think you should know some of the benefits that the sun provides as well...
The sun provides vitamin D which can...prevent high blood pressure, reduce the risk of diabetes, prevent bone disease (it is needed for the body to absorb calcium), prevent muscle pain, boost the immune system, increase energy levels, reduce the severity of cataracts, and reduce the chances of MS.
Some sun exposure can also lower cholesterol, decrease your chance of osteoporosis, improve kidney function, reduce stress, reduce anxiety, and help to fight seasonal affective disorder...just to name a few things.

There are definitely some benefits to sun exposure, but it is all about being safe in the sun! SO, enjoy the summer and do so in a way that is right for you!

Do you like being in the sun or are you one who avoids the sun altogether? Are you as happy as I am that SUMMER IS HERE?!?!?

Don't forget that today is the last day to enter in the May's Music to Move to Mix Giveaway!

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Product Review: Element Bars

There is just something awesome about people who get good, whole foods. We have become a society that likes things quick and easy. I get that. However, when did quick and easy come to mean processed, full of sugar, and completely unhealthy as well? The sad thing is that there are plenty of options out there that can be quick, easy, AND healthy. Crazy, right? Well, it's true. The people at Element Bars have taken the concept of healthy eating on the go, and made it totally possible. Not only have they made it possible, but they have made it customizable. You better believe that I love everything about that.

Well, the peeps over at Element Bars sent me a whole slew of their favorite combination to try. 
The verdict: Awesome.
What I like about these bars versus a LOT of other bars out there. 
- The ingredients used are all natural and organic
- You can create your OWN bar with whatever you want in it. This is great for those who have food sensitivities and allergies. 
- You can choose from their tried and true, favorites that are already made for you. This is a bonus for the indecisive. 
- There are endurance bars for athletes. Hello awesome. I had one before I did a run, and it was a great form of nutrients. It didn't upset my stomach, and I ate it on the go, which was exactly what I needed. 
-You can take a quiz, and they will tell you which bars will fit your tastes best. How great is that?
- You can also watch the nutrition facts calculate for your bar as you add and take away different ingredients. Awesome.
I loved reviewing these bars, and I love that so many awesome companies are coming up with WHOLE foods that are healthy and that don't taste like dirt. ;)

Try em out. They're tasty!

Monday, May 28, 2012

Sunday St. George Outings

I saw on a friends instagram that the weather in Provo was not so great while we were away...which makes me glad that we got away to enjoy some warm sunshine. 
We spent Sunday doing some more relaxing and exploring.

It was an absolutely beautiful day.

Happy Memorial Day to You! 
Click HERE for some Memorial Day Recipe Inspiration!

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Weekending and Tips for Eating Out

About 15 of my fabulous friends and I decided to take off to St. George this weekend to enjoy some care free sunshine. I am a huge fan of road trips, especially when they include all of my favorite people.

After we arrived to our condo we took all watched a movie/took a nap, and then I talked my friend Amanda into doing a circuit workout with me. We headed down to the resort gym and this was our view...not bad, right?
Amanda and I made it through a series of cardio intervals with burpees, pushups, squats, and some weights. I absolutely love having people to workout out with me. It makes getting through a workout so much more fun.
A workout is always by some good relaxation and a good meal...both of which we nailed perfectly.
Group gaming on the Ipad followed by some Texas Roadhouse.
I am usually not a huge Texas Roadhouse fan...GASPS...I know. Probably because I knew I was going to have to smell those cinnamon buttery rolls without delving in. However, I ordered a baked sweet potato and some fresh veggies and it hit the spot. Just another reminder to me that if you are willing to put some effort forth, you can almost ALWAYS find something healthy to eat on the menu. The safest bets when eating out...

- Dishes that are NOT a combination of lots of different things. AKA...noodles covered in cream, doused with fried shrimp and cheese. A better option? A grilled cut of meat with veggies. Ask to have your veggies steamed without butter.
- Avoid the pre-meal binge fest that can get a little out of control. With restaurants that serve appetizers before your meal like a loaf of bread, chips, or rolls, it is SO easy to sit down and dive in out of sheer starvation. If you feel like you are lacking self control, ask your waiter to skip the appetizer and order your meals right away.
- Watch your portions. Ask for a lunch portion, or ask your waiter to bring a to go box with your meal. As soon as you start to eat. take half of your food and box it up so you don't overeat.
- Remember that eating out doesn't have to mean taking a vacation from the healthy lifestyle you are trying to live. You can eat out and be healthy too! Far too many people use eating out as their excuse to choosing foods that aren't a great option. Using this excuse every now and again is fine, but when it happens ALL the time you are only stopping yourself from making any progress! A few healthy choices can go a LONG way!

I hope your Memorial Day Weekend has been great so far!

Do you tend to choose healthy options when you go out to eat, or do you fall victim to the vacation eating mentality? What helps you to make good decisions when you are ordering at restaurants?

Don't forget to enter May's Music to Move to Mix Giveaway!

Saturday, May 26, 2012

May's Music to Move to Mix Giveaway

Where in the world has May gone too? My goodness. I can't believe it's almost over! It is definitely time for some new tunes!! I am absolutely LOVING some of the songs on this months giveaway. Like I mentioned yesterday, the Gym Class Heroes song is amazing. Perfect for keeping you motivated through a hard workout!
The Fighter feat. Ryan Tedder - Gym Class Heroes
Live My Life feat. Justin Beiber - Far East Movement
She doesn't Mind - Sean Paul
Can't Stop Me - Afrojack & Shermanology
Living in the Moment - Jason Mraz
Wide Awake - Katy Perry
Where Have You Been - Rihanna
Ghosts 'n' Stuff - Deadmau5
Scream - Usher
Don't Wake Me Up - Chris Brown
Demons - Imagine Dragons
Moving In the Dark - Neon Trees
Beautiful People - Chris Brown
Walking on a Dream - Empire of the Sun
Save the World - Swedish House Maffia
Take Our Hearts - Jesper Nohrstedt
Brokenhearted - Karmin
About Today - The National

To enter to win this awesome mix...

1) Become a follower/leave a comment telling me so (or if you already are one)
2) Tell me what is getting you moving this May??
3) Tweet about it, blog about it, Facebook it, pin got it...comment and tell me you did so

Good Luck! The contest ends Thursday May 31, 2012 at midnight. Winner will be announced April 1, 2012. If you want to see past mixes click HERE.

Friday, May 25, 2012

Last Long Run! Can I get a woot woot?

I realized something today...Well, I guess I already knew this, but there is something about running and the combination of awesome music that makes me so very happy. The same goes with a great spinning class, awesome kick boxing class, or whatever else...I just love great tunes.

I am always looking for new good songs, and I love when people give me tips on new music. My friend Whit told me to listen to The Gym Class Heroes Song, The Fighter. She nailed it.
Oh my goooodness. I love it. I listened to it on repeat for the last few miles of my run. It kept me pumped! You mark my words...this song will be played during the Olympics. It is one of those. It is AWESOME. If you are needing a song to pump yourself up this is definitely a good one!

I did my last long run until my marathon! I kinda can't believe it. I had a twelve mile run today, and it went really well! I felt great and nothing hurt while I was running. I am having my same back/rib issues that I have been having all along, but I hope that I can manage without too much pain there! Let's get this marathon OVER with baby!

Don't worry...this song will be included in my mix giveaway that will go up tomorrow! It's awesome.
I hope your Friday is awesome! xoxoxo megs

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Dear Thursday...

Dear Thursday...
I like you. I like you because you are real close to Friday, which I LOVE. Sorry if that offends you, but it is no secret that Fridays hold a special place in my heart. Always have always will.

Tomorrow I will do my LAST long run, 12 miles, before the big race on June 9th. How crazy is that? I feel as if I have been training for 800 years, and I'm ready to get this elephant out of the room if you know what I mean.

This weekend is Memorial Day weekend. Awesome. Although I wish I was going to be lying on Duck Beach in the Outer Banks all week long like last year, I will have to find something else that is fun and fabulous to do.
Thanks Thursday, for helping me find some extra time to clean my house today...much needed. Isn't having a clean house just about the best feeling in the world? Aside from finishing a tough and awesome workout, I think so. Speaking of working out and cleaning...did you know that you can burn an extra 200-300 calories cleaning, per hour? I'll take that. 

Today's workout was killer. Box jumps, squats, pull ups, push ups, bicep curls, and lunges. I loved it. 

Tuesday history was made...My dad came into The Lab and worked out with me! This is the first time EVER that this has happened! I loved it...and I hope he did too. He's coming back in today for round two, and I can't wait. He's going to be coming in twice a week now. I loooove this. He was an athlete all growing up, and he has always been pretty active, BUT we're getting him hooked up with some sweet strength training. 

The sun is shining, and I LOVE that too. :)

Anyways...Thursday, you've been good to me. 

Yours Truly...

How has YOUR Thursday been? Do your parents/family members work out?

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Wednesday Workout: Get Your Circuit On!

It is no secret that I love a good circuit workout. In fact, I am STOKED to get this marathon over with so I can get back to my circuit loving self. I know a lot of you have come to love the circuit as without further ado...Wednesday's workout.

Warm up 5-10 minutes (walking/jogging/elliptical)

Set #1
15 burpees with a push up and a jump
1 minute plank hold
20 quick air squats (these are just regular squats with no weights)
**repeat 3 times**

Set #2
15 squat curl presses w/DB
15 pushups
40 slow mountain climbers
**repeat 3 times**

Set #3
15 kettle bell swings (this can be done holding a single dumbbell as well)
20 jump squats
15 narrow push ups (with arms right by your sides targeting your triceps)

**repeat 3 times**

Finish with a ten minute bout of cardio of your choice at full exertion (AKA really push it!)

There you have it!! Now go and get your circuit on!

Product Review: New York Naturals Kale Chips

I have wanted to try making Kale Chips forEVER. I have had so many people tell me that they are a great snack alternative, and they are jam packed full of a bazillion nutrients. Well, do you know what is better than having to make Kale Chips yourself? Having an awesome company like New York Naturals send you some.
These kale chips are seriously tasty. They are definitely VERY flavorful. The flavors they sent me were Bombay Ranch, Spicy Miso, Sea Salt, and Vegan Cheese. 
 My favorite flavors were the Bombay Ranch and the Sea Salt, but they were all delicious.
 Each of these delightful little chips is dried and seasoned with all natural ingredients. The nutritional facts are fabulous as well. New York Naturals uses nutritional yeast, which gives an awesome flavor and adds some protein too!
These awesome kale chips are the perfect snack if you are looking to cut back on your carbohydrates, and you are still needing some healthy snacks. You'll love them!

Have you ever tried New York Naturals kale chips? Have you ever made your own kale chips? I have a feeling my version would be sub par after trying out these tasty delights!

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

So This is Funny...

I have been meaning to post this since, I went home to Arizona a few weeks ago because I think it is so funny. My sister's husband some how inherited this piece of equipment called, "The Rom." It is an exercise machine that is supposed to get you fit by working out 4 minutes a day. My sister always jokes about how ridiculous she thinks it is, and we have had quite a few laughs over it. Now, you should know that my sister's husband has run a few full marathons, half marathons, and has done some triathalons as well. He watches what he eats, and he is in great shape...but we think it's so funny that he thinks this machine is going to do much for him. It has been in there garage for like a year, and I think it looks like the Wonkamobile that Willy Wonka rides in the movie. You tell me what you think? 
The Wonkamobile
Hard to tell the two apart right? 

So...after my sis and I had, yet another, good laugh about The ROM...and the fact that it costs $14,615 plus $185 crating. WHAT?!?!? I happened to be getting a pedicure, and flipping through Fitness Magazine, and lo and behold...look what was being advertised...
You guessed it...The good ole' ROM. I mean why would you want to spend an hour when you can get a workout in four minutes? Hahaha...I'm sorry if you are currently reading this while burning some major calories on your own personal ROM, but I may just have to advise you to get your money back, or see if they are looking for some equipment for the next Willy Wanka Movie?

Moral of the story folks...the best way to get in shape, lose weight, and feel great is through REAL hard work and effort. If it could be done in 4 minutes...wouldn't we all look phenomenal? Just a thought. It's hard to say if I like this as much as I like the shake weight, or the miraculous weight loss girdle that you simply wear all day, and the pounds "melt away." Don't fall for it peeps. Please. Don't. Fall.

What is your favorite infomerical/health gimmick? Have you ever seen or tried the ROM? Do you like the movie Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory as much as I do?

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Product Review: Skinny Pop

I have a LOT of people ask me about good snacks. One think I always suggest to my clients is air popped popcorn. It is light, filling, SO low calorie, and it takes some time/work to eat. The two things I don't like about air popped popcorn are
1) It makes your whole house smell like popcorn
2) the kernels (or grannies as my family calls them) I have no idea why.

The people from Skinny Pop sent me a giant box of their popcorn to try. I kid you not, this stuff is UNREAL. Now, I know some of you are trying to follow the Paleo way of eating that I have been following. This snack is not Paleo approved. However, I know that the majority of you aren't trying to eat that way, and I am looking out for you too!! I promise this stuff is going to change your life. It is SO SO SO SO SO good. Are you sensing my enthusiasm?
Skinny Pop takes air popped popcorn to the next level. It is simply popcorn, a little bit of sunflower oil, and sea salt. I'm telling you, it is BOMB. Oh...and it's already made for you with NO unpopped kernels which also means your house/office will not smell like popcorn for the next week.
I gave some to my mom, dad, sister, and roommate to try and they all loved it. Devoured may be a better word. My sister and I both said that we felt like we could take this to a movie and feel totally satisfied with our own popcorn, and not worry about missing out on the movie theater popcorn at all. You can have one cup for only 39 calories which is amazing. Just for a frame of reference...a large movie theater popcorn has around 1,200 calories and 60 grams of SATURATED fat. Gross.
The other great thing about this fabulous snack is you can use THIS finder tool on their website to find the store closest to you that carries Skinny Pop.When I was home in Arizona last week my mom and I used it, found her some, and stocked her up. If you like popcorn, you will love this stuff, and you will not feel one ounce bad about munching on it. TASTY!! 

Do you like popcorn? Have you tried Skinny Pop? Are you a movie theater popcorn eater?

Friday, May 18, 2012

Fit Facts Friday

Happy Friday! I hope your day has been amazing. I did my twenty miler today, and it went really well! I set out to do it outside, and there was a lot of fickle rain going on. I am a bit of a weather/running snob, so I opted to start inside with hopes that the weather might clear up, and I could take it to the streets. The weather did no such thing, and it was 20 miles on the treadmill. I can promise you that a LOT of people came and went beside me while I entertained myself with just about anything I could think of. Television, music, people watching, etc. I was more than stoked when it was over, but it really did go well. My back/rib is pretty dang sore as the day goes on, but I have iced it and hopefully that will help! Here's to tapering. Let me tell you...I love a good taper.

Because it's are is some fun fitness factual food for thought. That was a lot of f's...

- Each muscle fiber in your body is thinner than a hair, but can support more than 1,000 times it's own weight. That is pretty dang amazing, and goes to show that we underestimate our potential strength.

- Between the time you are born and the time you die, you will walk about 70,000 miles.

- Oreo's are the best selling cookie in the world. For just three Oreo's you'll be taking in about 7 grams of fat and 160 calories. You should just eat some Low Fat Zuchinni Cookies instead. 
  • Serving size: About 3 cookies
  • Fat: 7 grams
  • Calories: 160 (about 50 calories per Oreo)

  • - Fauja Singh is the oldest person to complete a marathon, doing so at age 100. He completed the Toronto marathon in eight hours, 25 minutes, and 16 seconds. What's even cooler...he took up running at age 89, and trained for his race by running 10 miles a day. No more excuses about being too old to do something!

    - Usain Bolt is currently the fastest man in the world, holding the world record of a 9.58 100 meter sprint.
    - The United States has won more medals (2,189) at the Summer Games than any other country. AWESOME. I am obsessed with the Olympics. I will cry a minimum of 5 times while watching the games in London this summer. I just LOVE watching people who push themselves and achieve such incredible things. 

    -Bananas are not only tasty, but they are also a natural antacid. They can soothe heartburn and gastric distress.

    - The worst "Healthy" smoothie in America comes from The Smoothie King You may want to avoid the Smoothie King Skinny Cranberry Supreme (40 oz) with 908 calories it has 146 grams of sugar. YIKES. 

    I hope your weekend is full of fun! Do you love the Olympics as much as I do? I seriously am STOKED for them. I will probably watch more TV during the Olympics than during the rest of the year combined! Do you like Oreo's? I feel like there are better cookies out there... just saying...

    Tuesday, May 15, 2012

    On the "to cook" List...

    I always have a long list of healthy recipes that I want to try. Thanks to Pinterest, that list just continues to grow. These are the ones I'm currently eying...

    My own rendition of these Paleo Pizza Stuffed Sweet Potatoes from 

    This Guacamole Salad, also from, looks DIVINE to me. It would be a great side dish to any meal.
    The recipes on this site are all paleo, and there are some really incredibly delicious looking ones. Just saying. 

     I think these cheesy cauliflower tater tots look pretty dang tasty, and I even think I could health-ify them up a bit more.

    I would love to turn these Puffed Quinoa Peanut Butter Balls into Puffed Quinoa Almond Butter Balls!

    Who isn't looking for new ways to cook chicken? Then again maybe you have more of an expansive meat palate than I do...anyways...this Maple Mustard Glaze Chicken looks awesome, easy, and extremely delightful. 

    Oh, and don't these Mini Cauliflower Pizza Bites look pretty tasty? I think so.

    If you'd like to check out my Pinterest Boards you can check HERE for my Healthy Recipes and HERE for my Paleo board.

    Do you have any recipes that you have been dying to try? OR...any that you love already and know I should be trying?

    Monday, May 14, 2012

    Make it fun and Make a plan

    Yesterday was an incredibly beautiful day. My friends and I decided to go for a leisurely bike ride. It started out with like five of us heading out for a quick stroll, and turned into quite the posse. We rode all over Provo which was so much fun. We were on our bikes for a couple of hours, and it didn't even feel like exercise because it was such a good time.
    Just another reminder that being active, and living an active lifestyle doesn't have to be painful and boring. Find things that you enjoy, and make your exercise fun! You will be far more likely to stay active if it doesn't feel so arduous and hard all the time.

    With today being Monday, I always try to think ahead as to what my workouts are going to look for for the week, so I can be sure to fit them in. My plan looks somewhat like this:

    Monday: 60 mins of intervals on the elliptical
    Tuesday: Circuit/Weights workout
    Wednesday: 10 mile run, Barre Bootcamp Class
    Thursday: circuit/weights workout (light)
    Friday: 20 mile run
    Saturday: Yoga, light weights workout

    My challenge for you is to make a plan for your week as far as your exercise is concerned. If you know what you need to plan around, you will be a lot less likely to make it to the end of the day suddenly realizing you never got your workout in. Just like I always say...PREPARATION! Preparation really is the key to success.

    What is your favorite way to get leisure exercise in? Do you know what your workouts look like for the week?

    Product Review: Just Tomatoes

    I have a lot of nieces and nephews. I absolutely love each and everyone of them. One thing I have noticed about them, and little kids in general, is that they are little snackers. Whatever I happen to be eating, they usually want a bite of. I totally had them in mind as I was reviewing the products that Just Tomatoes, Etc. sent me.
    Sadly, so many of the foods that kids are fed for snacks are sugar based, made with processed white flour, and full of all sorts of processed products we can't pronounce. It is almost as if we are forcing kids to have a sugar addiction right from the start. Now, I know that a lot of parents make a very valiant effort to feed their kids good, high quality foods and snacks. Having healthy snacks that are easy to grab can help parents in a big way.

    Just Tomatoes, Etc. describes the process that they use to create their product in this way...
    "Our Process
    Just Tomatoes, Etc.! dehydrated fruits and vegetables are vine-ripened (or tree-ripened), hand-picked at peak condition, washed, cut and then placed in specially designed dehydrators and dried at low temperatures to preserve color, flavor and nutrients. Both dehydrated and freeze-dried products are an excellent source of nutrition.

    This line of unique dried fruits and vegetables have been carefully selected and combined for your ultimate enjoyment... as great snacks and terrific ingredients for culinary treats.
     The snacks they provide come in pouches that can be resealed and taken anywhere. They are fresh, and full of flavor. I had a friend of mine test out these fruit munchies with me, and she LOVED THEM. They have a ton of flavor, and I think they would be awesome mixed into some oatmeal, cereal, muffin mix, or yogurt.
    There is also a line of organic and pure powder products that can make adding nutrition and flavor to shakes, cookies, muffins, etc. I think the idea is absolutely brilliant. We may not always be able to have fresh produce on hand, but by using products like this you can have good healthy options at your fingertips anytime.
     In regards to the topic of children and poor nutrition, a big problem comes in the fact that kids are not receiving the education and knowledge they need at a young age. Just Tomatoes, Etc. Is really trying to do something about that. If you click HERE you will see a collection of free downloadable teacher/parent resources to help teach your kids about eating healthy in fun and interesting ways. You can also go HERE to print of a coloring sheet to have your children color and enter into their coloring contest.
    I love what this company is doing! I think that these products offer a tasty alternative for snacks. I know that healthy adults come from healthy children. Starting now to introduce good health habits will be so beneficial to your kids! Thanks Just Tomatoes, Etc. for the opportunity to review your product!
    Do your kids eat healthy? Do you have to force feed healthy foods down their throats, or will they willingly eat healthier choices? Do you find that they are already addicted to processed and sugary foods and snacks? How do you introduce the idea of eating healthy to them?

    Sunday, May 13, 2012

    Happy Mothers Day!

    Mothers are the BEST. I don't know what I'd do without mine! I just have to take a sec and say Happy Mothers Day to the amazing mothers in my life.
     My mom is one of the most caring, genuine, fabulous women I know. She is so full of love. She is absolutely beautiful on the inside and out. She has taught me so much, and she is always so positive. I love spending time with her, and I hope that when I am her age I can look as amazing as she does! You cannot meet Elaine and not fall in love with her!
     My sisters are also pretty much amazing. They have both always taken such good care of me, and I wish they lived right by me so we could hang out all day, everyday. They are both such strong, beautiful, and talented women. They are kind, funny, and they have produced some pretty ridiculously awesome kids too. I love them so much!
    I have so many other "mother" role models in my life. I have clients that take such great care of me, aunts that are incredible women, friends who look out for me, and I can only hope to be even a smidge as amazing as all of the mothers I know. I hope YOU have an amazing mothers day! 
    Happy Mothers Day! Give yourself a pat on the back for all that you do!

    Saturday, May 12, 2012

    Weekend Ramblings...

    Saturday's are like little drops of heaven. Sunny and warm Saturdays are like little drops of heaven with a cherry on top. Today was one of those. This weekend has been fantastic thus far. Here are some weekend ramblings for you..

    - My workouts this week have been AWESOME.
    Monday: 60 mins of cross training intervals on the elliptical
    Tuesday: Kettlebell Burpee Pyramid workout from Hell = sore inner thighs for a week
    Wednesday: 7 mile run up the Provo Canyon Trail & I taught my Barre Bootcamp class = sore on top of sore.
    Thursday: Power Lift Circuit: Combo of deadlifts, power cleans, squat presses, overhead presses, and back squats + a one mile sprint.
    Friday: 12 mile long run and a sweatshop yoga class
    Saturday: Restorative Yoga class + a quick sprint/squat/lunge circuit with some core work

    - I have had some pain in my upper back for like the past 6 or 7 weeks. I thought at first that i might have torn or strained my rhomboid or lat muscle, but even when I laid off it for a bit it still really bothered me. Lucky for me there is an awesome chiropractor that comes to our restorative yoga class, and he took a look at my back for me. Turns out I have a rib out of place, and that is what has been killing me. He did an adjustment for me, and gave me some rehab tips. I hope it helps!

    - 4 weeks until the marathon. Yowza. That came quick. I am ready to be over with it. I am excited to focus my training more on lifting and circuit workouts!

    - I tried Gu Chomps for the first time yesterday and I LOVED them. I usually go with Shotblox, but I decided to switch it up, and they worked like a dream. I don't do well with the Gu gels, the texture isn't my fave.

    - I saw The Avengers last night. I was surprised that I actually really liked it. I am usually not one for a superhero movie. However, Robert Downey Jr. made that movie.

    - I have a few awesome product reviews coming up. I can't wait to share them!

     - I managed to squeeze in two post-workout lay out sessions in the park. That is happiness right there. I LOVE summer. L-O-V-E. Love. I can't wait for warm nights, outdoor runs, driving with the windows down, family visits, vacations, BBQ's, pool time, night walks, etc. etc. etc. ahhhh I love it!
    What is your favorite way to refuel on your long runs? Did you get some good workouts in this week? What are you most excited about this summer??

    Wednesday, May 9, 2012

    Challenge of the day: Push Yourself

    I have been thinking a lot about what causes people to push themselves. In training for my marathon I have found that there are a lot of times when I start a run or a workout with the thought..."I don't really want to do this right now..." I'm sure you all have been there and have felt the same way.

    For whatever reason, even when I am less than stoked at the get go, I know deep down inside that I get some strange satisfaction out of finishing a hard workout. It isn't that I'm loving every minute of it. Some days I do, a lot of days I'm cursing myself for deciding to do so in the first place. I felt this way towards the end of my kettlebell pyramid workout yesterday. However, I know how good it feels to finish something hard. I think this is what gets me to push through on the days that I'm just not feeling it. I love knowing that I have accomplished something.

    I know I love the "After" feeling. I also love the after effect. I like the way exercise makes me feel and look. The same goes for sticking to a clean diet. Yes, sometimes it is way hard. However, I know that in pushing myself towards something hard leads to some good progression. I can't tell you how often I hear people say.

    "I could never eat like that. It's too hard."
    "Well, there is no way I could ever give up eating _____ so I couldn't ever do that."

    Do you want to know what I think is unfortunate about both of these statements? And all other statements just like them for that matter. There is %0 effort being put forth. How do you have any idea what you can and can't do until you try? Yes, things may be difficult. You may not be able to run up that hill the first time you try it, you might not be able to eat perfectly as you try to change your diet, BUT you have to try. Make baby steps. PUSH YOURSELF to do something that you maybe don't fully think you can do. When you push yourself you will see growth. You will learn that the limits you are placing on yourself are probably just that, limits that YOU have predetermined. Why not break those limits? Why not do something you think may be too hard?

    I think the perfect analogy to go along with this is the way the human body works. If you want to improve muscle strength, you have to push your muscles to the point where they become fatigued. This is the point where it is hard for them. Muscle fibers that are pushed to the point of fatigue will tear, which hurts. This is, in part, where muscle soreness comes from. As muscles heal and repair themselves, they become a little bit stronger, and so the process continues. Muscle strength comes from pushing yourself.

    If you want to do increase your ability to do something you have to PUSH YOURSELF. It may be hard. It will probably hurt a little, but you will grow. You will improve. You will become better.

    So, my challenge for today. STEP UP! Choose something that you want to improve on and PUSH YOURSELF. Stop finding a million excuses as to why you can't, won't, or shouldn't do something and PUSH YOURSELF. Stop living a life of "wouldn't that be nice" and "maybe someday.." and do something today. Accomplish something hard. I can guarantee you that you will be surprised with just how capable you are. The bottom line is that you will never know until you TRY.

    What are you going to do to PUSH YOURSELF? 

    Don't forget! Tonight is another free Barre Bootcamp class at The LAB. 7:00 PM!

    Tuesday, May 8, 2012

    PROOF: You don't need a lot of equipment to get your sweat on.

    Happy Tuesday Y'all! Like I think I'm from Texas or something? I hope the start to your week has been great. Although coming home from vacation is always a little bit rough, I am always glad to get back into my own eating and exercise routine.

    This morning my workout was extremely simple, but killer. I have done workouts similar to this one in the past, but anything combined with 8,000,000,000 burpees is always a guaranteed sweat fest.  All you need for this workout is a kettle bell or a dumbbell. Which means, you can do this workout ANYWHERE.
    I used a 20 lb Kettlebell for my workout. I would recommend 15 lbs at least, but if you are just starting out, or you don't have anything else, go with 10 or 12 pounds. If you are using a single dumbbell, just hold one hand on top of the other and swing it that way. You only need to know two exercises for this workout.

    1) The Kettlebell swing
    2) The Burpee 

    Kettlebell Burpee Pyramid Workout
    To begin the progression you will do:
    20 kettle bell swings
    1 burpee

    19 kettlebell swings
    2 burpees

    18 kettlebell swings
    3 burpees

    17 kettlebell swings
    4 burpees

    16 kettlebell swings
    5 burpees

    15 kettlebell swings
    4 burpees

    14 kettlebell swings
    5 burpees

    13 kettlebell swings
    6 burpees

    12 kettlebell swings
    7 burpees

    11 kettlebell swings
     8 burpees

    10 kettlebell swings
    9 burpees

    9 kettlebell swings
    10 burpees...

    And you continue on until you get to
    1 kettlebell Swing
    20 burpees
    It is VERY simple. It is VERY killer. I was sweating like crazy by the time I finished, and I can already tell you I'm going to be sore.  You should try it, such a great challenge!!
    Warning: You may feel this way after... 
    Add caption
    I have such a love/hate relationship with burpees. They are SO dang hard, but they are SUCH an awesome workout. My clients probably think I love them. ;) 
    We are offering one more FREE Barre Bootcamp class at The Lab tomorrow. It has been such a fun class, and we have had a great turnout. Come and try it if you are in the neighborhood. It starts at 7:00. Let me know if you have any questions!

    How do YOU feel about burpees? Try this circuit out. It'll get ya!

    Sunday, May 6, 2012

    Product Review: Larabars

    There is something to be said about convenience. As I have been eating Paleo, one of the things that I have had the hardest time with is the time that it takes a lot of preparation time as far as food is concerned. Sometimes life gets real busy, and eating has to be done quickly. The great people from LaraBar sent me a bunch of their bars to try.
    They sent me some delicious kinds to try like Banana Bread, Coconut Cream Pie, Chocolate Cookie Dough, Chocolate Brownie, Gingersnap, and Blueberry. What doesn't sound good about those? The best part about them? They all have like three or four ingredients...

     The Banana Bread Bar consists of almonds, dates, and unsweetened bananas. That's it. 
     They are simple and clean and REALLY good. I am a big fan of things that I can throw in my bag and have with me if I get in a situation where I don't have time to make something.
    I say it all the time, but preparation is a HUGE part of being successful. If you are prepared with your food you will most definitely have more success. I can promise you that.
    The verdict? I really, really liked these bars. I am very picky about which bars I eat, and I would totally recommend these to anyone. They are just about as close to whole foods as you can get in packaged form. I think they are super tasty, and they are the perfect food to have on hand if you are ever in a time crunch!

    Have you ever had Larabars? If so, what is your favorite flavor? I loved the Banana Bread and the Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough!