Category Archives: fitness

Move It Monday

A couple months ago, someone lit a fire underneath my post-baby butt. Instead of doing my usual elliptical/freeweights, I started going to a few classes at my gym- and the instructor somehow learned my name and has pushed me to my max every. single. class. I am loving the accountability, and also am finding that I have a new love for group fitness.

I tend to be the type that likes to just focus on my own workout alone, go hard, and then be done. I am not the person chatting it up at the gym, in between machines. However, these classes have really pushed me out of the box as far as pushing different muscle groups and breaking out of my plateau. The two classes I attend regularly now are spin and muscle blast {BodyPUMP is getting there}. Each class, I think I’m not gonna make it through- but I always do and I always manage to push myself a LITTLE further. It’s exciting AND it’s addicting. I find that scheduling my workouts and having people notice when I don’t come are HUGE motivators. Also, I’m not going to be the only one that can’t do 8 million lunges- if SHE can do it, SO CAN I!

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On days when we don’t hit the gym, Gabs and I work out together. Usually its a walk or run with the stroller, other days she and I do core stuff. And other days, we eat chocolate chips and salad and cuddle on the couch. This may or may not happen more often than I’d like.

Gabs’ workout compilation comes to you, free of charge.

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Bicycles & Push-ups : She’s laughing at me because I still do modified ‘girl’ push-ups. Wimp.

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There ya have it. She is next Jillian Michaels, and I’m pretty proud. Scared, but proud.

What do you do to stay in shape? I love hearing what others do for exercise!

~M

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Filed under Favorite Things, fitness, Uncategorized

Weekend Faves

Thank you, thank you, THANK you for all your responses and encouragement regarding my last post! I’m touched and encouraged that there are others right alongside me- so encouraged, in fact, that waking up early is starting to almost be funny.

It’s weird to do ‘daytime activities’ in the middle of the night, but weird in a fun, ‘I might as well’ sort of way. Like, bake doughnuts at 3:30 am. And fold laundry. Clean the kitchen. Give Gabby a sink bath. Drink copious amounts of quarter-caff coffee. I could do this for a while! Yeah, probably not.

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Anyways, it’s the weeeekend!! In order to celebrate, I’ve rounded up a couple favorite things for ya’ll to check out in your free time.

1. I could make these at home, but Fatty Sundays just packages them so dang cute. They’d make a great gift!

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2. Old Navy just had their 40% off everything sale= new favorite//affordable//stylin’ clothes for Gabby (or your kid).

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3. Searching for pretty free fonts? Stumbled across these and am in love.

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4. Need. This. Cake.

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5. Favorite run of 2012– time to do it again.

 

6. Can happiness be ‘found’, or is it an attitude? 

7. And my favorite, favorite weekend thing?
Liverpool games with these two goobs.
 

 

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~M

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Filed under Dessert, Family, Favorite Things, fitness, Uncategorized

Spicy Chai Latte Blender Muffins

I love Saturday mornings, and I LOVE cold weather. It might be premature to say it’s ‘cold’ outside, but we’re getting there! Being a nurse, I used to work most Saturdays- especially since weekend shifts are the ones that you want to pick up when you’re new to the profession. I loved Saturdays for a different reason when I was working them- but now that we’ve got Gabs and I’m working less, Saturday mornings usually consist of: fresh brewed coffee, breakfast with the husband, snuggles with Gabs, and watching soccer while watching the sun come up.

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It’s great. I love it.

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Aaaand Gabs is 7 months now!! I’ve been without a phone for a couple days, so I don’t have a good new picture of her (Gasp! The horror!) but I’m sure that’ll be rectified soon. In the meantime, I have some delicious muffins for ya’ll.

You can make ’em in the blender.

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My mom recently got a Vitamix (totes jelly) and it came with a fantastic recipe book for making pretty much anything in a blender! I don’t have a Vitamix, but I just used my regular blender for the muffins and things turned out okay. Deliciously okay.

We changed up a couple things on the recipe to suit our tastes, aka less sugar, less chocolate chips (what?) and spicy chai latte mix.

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If the name of the recipe has ‘chai’ in it, that means it’s healthy right?? I don’t know, but these are super good and a perfect breakfast, snack, or post-workout re-fueler. In this case, a pre-workout snack- I’ve started going to some classes at my gym and am hooked. I don’t know how I keep going back because usually I can’t hardly move for 2 days after the class. Muscle Blast and Spin Class are my recommendations so far- each is led by an awesome instructor who is awesome at motivation and using music to keep up the intensity.

She made me do an extra set of push-ups because I merely mentioned Krispy Kreme in her class. Yeah. I LOVE intense fitness instructors though- I’m a glutton for punishment. Anyways, I usually save breakfast for after class, but these muffins are small enough and not super sweet, so they are a perfect energizer for a good workout.

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Best part about using a blender to make muffins? To clean the blender, Vitamix recommends just blending hot water and a drop of soap for 30 sec or so, and then rinsing. Then wah-LA! Clean! Changed my life.

Hope your weekend is wonderful!

~M

 

Blender Chai Latte Muffins 

adapted from the Vitamix recipe for Jamocha Tea Bread

Makes 12

INgredients:

{dry}

1 cup whole wheat flour

1 cup flour

1/2 cup sugar

1 tsp baking powder

1 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp salt

3 TBSP spicy chai latte mix

{wet}

2 eggs

1 stick of butter, softened

1/2 greek yogurt

1/2 milk

1 tsp vanilla

1/2 cup mini chocolate chips

Directions:

Mix all dry ingredients in a large bowl. In the blender, put all the {wet} ingredients. Once fully blended, add the blender mixture to the dry mixture and stir well. Add more chai mix to taste 🙂 Bake for about 20-22 minutes at 350 degrees.

Enjoy warm with BUTTER!!

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Filed under Baking, fitness, Food Stuffs., Uncategorized

Baked Cheesy Quinoa Mac

Ah, a breath of fresh air provided by my non-vegetarian sister. Felt gooood! I talk to her almost daily and it is so inspiring to hear her talk about her day whether it be at her internship or at work. Way to go Katie! Next step, doctorate. You know it’s gonna happen, even if you don’t accept it yet.

While she’s busy finishing school and eating her meat, I’ve been cooking up quinoa and deciding that cheese is my favorite. My cheese drawer in the fridge (I think that drawer is actually meant for lunch meat, but in its absence, it is filled with CHEESE) is absolutely packed.

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Goat cheese. Parmesan. Feta. Gruyere. Tillamook sharp cheddar. Boursin. Gouda. Fontina. Ay yi yi I can’t get enough! I was desperate for some mac’n’cheesy last week and cheesy quinoa mac is what I came up with, with some help a lot of help from Giada de Laurentiis.

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I got the recipe from her book , Giada At Home. A lot of times, I find that I don’t have half the ingredients that she calls for in her recipes (fresh herbs, weird pasta/grains, gourmet meats) but usually the recipes still work with the substitutions I use. Improv, dudes.

The recipe is actually online and available for you to see without having to purchase the book! Woohoo! My substitutions were: quinoa instead of farro, no mushrooms, no tomatoes, dried thyme, and I added cheese to the topping, obviously. Why didn’t I add the mushrooms/tomatoes?? That would have been delicious… I must have not had them on hand. Don’t leave them out!

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I used my leftovers all week in my lunches- usually just heated up and mixed into a salad, or eaten cold by the giant spoonful.

I’m totally into cooking large batches and eating leftovers for days right now- makes it SO easy to choose good things to eat for lunch. I started logging my eats in an app called “Lose It” and am slightly horrified at my habits- I don’t usually have a hard time eating healthy main meals, but my snackage logs more calories than my meals all combined! Niiiiice. Sounds like I have another challenge to undertake… or just delete the app. 🙂

In other news, we are SOOO ready for fall! I am a lover of cool weather, and bundling up to go outdoors. I am jittery with excitement for when I can wear sweats and put Gabs in a cozy tracksuit and hit the trail!

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~M

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Filed under Baby, fitness, Food Stuffs.

Grilled Flank Steak Marinade

We’ve been on a super delicious dinner kick lately. Don’t look at me! It’s all Joey. The two of us, we make a good pair in the kitchen. Oh, and in life too. 🙂

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Despite the glorious intense heat outside, we love the grill too much to neglect it. I whipped up the marinade and prepped all the food indoors with Gabs while Joey manned the grill. In less than 14 minutes (not including marinating time), dinner was born.

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Maybe it’s because we were both starved? Maybe it’s because it’s summertime and everything is better in the summer? All I know is, we are making this again. And next time, we are having s’mores afterward!

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The marinade was quickly thrown together in about two minutes and not measured, but here are my rough calculations.

-1/3 cup olive oil

-1 TBSP minced garlic

-2 TBSP red wine vinegar

-1/2 cup soy sauce

-1/3 cup honey

-1/2 tsp black pepper

(plus salt and pepper on the steak)

We marinaded the steaks for about a half hour (it’d be even better overnight!) and then continued to coat it throughout cooking. For ultimate yum factor, serve alongside zucchini straight from the garden and roasted sweet potatoes thatsomehowtastelikemarshmallows. I’m not sure how that happened, but they seriously tasted like CANDY. And I like candy.

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Anyways, hope ya like it! I’m writing this post in the evening(now yesterday) and planning to wake up at 4:45 tomorrow(today) am for a early run. I still can’t believe I’m planning on doing it- and the only way I think I’ll follow through is if I make it official on the blog so looks like I’m gonna be taking an afternoon nappy tomorrow! It’s just too hot to go running any later and my jogging stroller has a flat. So… until I pump that up, I go solo and before the Gabby dearie awakens!

Eek!

~M

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Filed under Baby, Family, fitness, Food Stuffs.

More Almond Butter, please

Well, lets start with the good news!

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I’ve been working on improving my average pace and sub 8 minute miles have been a goal for a while now- Joey watched Gabs for a bit this morning so I could leave the stroller behind. I don’t mind running with the stroller, but sometimes it’s nice to run & be able to move my arms!

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I was back around 7:30 and now we are awaiting the Internet guys to come fix us up. Until then, let me tell ya- Gabs is getting sooo big. And loves to talk. And loves to have her cheeks squished. And loves stories & songs. Actually, sometimes she sings along!

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Not sure she’s a true fan of baking yet, but we’ll get there. Apparently the dish soap seems more fun so far- maybe she’ll volunteer to do the dishes? For now, you can just enjoy your pretty little reflection, pumpkin.

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She sat with me in her Bumbo while we whipped up a batch of scones a few mornings ago- my little sister was staying with me for a couple days while Joey was in Washington D.C. for a dairy politics trip, and I wanted to wake her up to the smell of something delicious. Is there a better way to wake up, I ask you??

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Linds didn’t think so, either. These scones are so flaky and melt-in-your-mouth that its hard to tell that they are pretty low-fat in the scone world. Ok, maybe I just tell myself that to condone having one with almost every meal, but hey- I ran fast this morning ok?

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Check these out and tell me what you think! Only thing I’d change about the recipe is to add more almond butter, please!

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What’s your favorite way to wake up in the morning?

~M

Whole Wheat Almond Butter Scones

Ingredients
1 cup AP flour
1 cup whole wheat flour
1/3 cup brown sugar
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1 cup rolled oats
3/4 stick COLD butter
3/4 cup buttermilk
1 egg
3/4 cup almond butter (original recipe called for 1/2 cup)
1 bar (chopped) Dove dark chocolate (original recipe called for 1/2 cup choc chips)
Optional: 1 TBSP butter’ melted with 2 tsp almond butter for brushing on scones

Make your own healthy buttermilk!
Mix 3/4 cup almond milk with slightly less than 1 tbsp lemon juice. Let sit for 5 min before using!

Directions
Preheat oven to 400, and grease a large cookie sheet.
In a large bowl, mix together the flour, brown sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
Cut the butter into chunks and put into flour mixture. Using a pastry blender, cut in the butter until it looks like pea-sized chunks. You want the butter to stay as cold as possible, so touch it with your hands as little as possible! The colder the butter, the flakier the scones.
In a separate bowl, whisk together the almond butter milk and 1/2 the egg (half the white, half the yolk) until combined.
Pour the wet ingredients into the dry flour mixture and add the almond butter. Mix til incorporated, and add chocolate. Mix but don’t over knead!

Pat into a large circle on a floured surface and cut into 8-10 triangles .

Bake for 18-22 minutes and enjoy warm!

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Filed under Coffee, Favorite Things, fitness, Food Stuffs., Fridays

PB & Toasted Coconut Energy Balls

Yesterday we had to say goodbye to my brother, who had come to spend Mother’s Day here in CA with the family- we totally wish it was a longer visit but we’ll take what we can get! It was his first time meeting Gabs, and she is already in love with her Uncle ‘Merck’ 🙂

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My brother just got his helicopter pilot’s license a few days ago- so proud of him! He has a few more licenses that he wants to obtain yet, but pretty soon he’ll be flying me all over Hawaii for free, I’m sure. I mean, why else does he need a helicopter license?? Juuust kidding. Won’t say no though, bro.

Anyways, up early again this morning with a hefty to-do list for the day! I was going to start out with a run, but I peeked outside and saw that it was sprinkling- and decided to put off my run until later and bump a couple other items on the list to priority. Enter: no bake energy balls.

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I’ve heard a lot of people talking about different recipes they’ve used for these nutrient-packed little snackies, and had never gotten around to making any until now. And man, have I been missing out! These are like little balls of cookie dough, dude- SO stinkin’ good! But healthified. A perfect little pre-run bite or afternoon pick-me-up. Or even dessert! Or crumbled on top of oatmeal. Or… I don’t know, probably good any way you choose to eat em.

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You can pretty much throw in whatever you want to make these- these are so versatile! I decided to make mine with the following ingredients:

1 cup dry old fashioned oats

2/3 cup toasted {unsweetened} coconut flakes

1/2 cup all natural peanut butter

1/2 cup wheat germ

1/2 bar of Dove’s dark chocolate, chopped

1/3 cup honey

1 tsp vanilla extract

{Mix all these things together, let chill in fridge for 1/2 hour, then roll into balls and viola! Better than cookies.}

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Now that I’m recalling what I put in them, I’m planning out my next energy-ball attack. Craisins, white chocolate chips, almond butter, pepitas.. ooooo I’m getting so excited.

Any other good combos out there that you’ve tried??

~M

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Filed under Cookies/Bars, Family, fitness, Food Stuffs.

Move It Monday

It’s the start of the work week! Luckily I don’t have to work today like most of ya’ll- work starts for me tomorrow. I’ve dubbed it “Terrible Tuesday”. Even though I’m excited to see my co-workers again and get back into a bit of a routine, I’m dreading not seeing this face for a whole day.

 

 

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My mom will be watching her all day- meaning 7 am to 6:30 p.m. It’s gonna be a killer- trying to get back into work-mode while thinking about Gabs is probably going to make for a frazzled mama. I’m blessed in that I hopefully only have to be away at work about once a week, so that makes it a little more bearable! Still, tomorrow’s gonna be… interesting.

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To rewind a bit, this past weekend was a wonderful blur of events! We started out bright and early at the Walk/Run for Life in Modesto hosted by the Modesto Pregnancy Center. It was a great turnout! Lots of very enthusiastic people all gathered together for a great cause and a little exercise! I had a fun little running group- 2 pregnant friends and 2 mommas!

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I know I said I was going to walk it because of my injured feet, but stubbornness won out. We jogged the whole thing and it felt so good mentally to run that the physical impact on my feet didn’t seem so bad. Probably not my smartest decision ever but eh, Gabs wanted to run and I couldn’t say no. I was so impressed by my pregnant girlfriends for keeping up a fabulous pace!

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Gabby and I had to high-tail it outta there after the run because next up was a baby shower for a sweet friend of mine! Natalie threw a beautiful baby shower for a beautiful mama-to-be of a little boy! Next time I have an event to host, I’m hiring Nat. Forget Pinterest! It was so special to follow up a Run for Life with a celebration of a baby on the way!

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And the most darling little girl ever wanted to help me bring Gabs out to the car after the party- she said she wanted to be a mommy too! Heart = melted.

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After we got home, I needed to rest my achy (and angry) feet and Gabs was sleepy, so we caught a couple rays and kicked back outside in the warm afternoon sun.

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She wasn’t having it with the top, so Euro-style she went! Naughty naughty… I’m gonna have to make sure that changes soon.

Fast forward to today, we had an early morning- so instead of falling back asleep, I decided to do a quick Kettlebell workout. It was intense, and I’m glad my workout is done for the day. Kettlebells are sneaky little suckers! It doesn’t seem like it’d be that hard, but just try one round of a circuit and we’ll talk then. I have been way more motivated to find good home workouts because I finally suspended my gym membership. I went to my gym on Friday for the first time in months (why didn’t I suspend it sooner?? Wishful thinking I guess) just to see if it would work to have Gabs in her carseat by me for a quick 30 min workout, but that’s not allowed (totally understandable) and they don’t do childcare until babies are 6 months old. I wasn’t too disappointed to suspend my membership, because I wasn’t sure if having Gabs at a gym was a good idea anyway- so it just solidified my decision to stay in shape on my own for a while.

Hence, Move-It Monday! Thought I’d share another good circuit with you, even though I’m still sore from the last kettlebell workout.

It’s quick and killer!

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Now I’m off to the mall with my mom- It’s Nurse’s Week! Meaning… free Cinnabon. I get a Cinnabon once a year and it’s always free because we just show our badges and into our hands drops a ooey gooey delicious cinnamon roll that will tide me over until my 2014 Cinnabon. Yespleaseandthankyou.

~M

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Burning Lights Tour!!

I’ve actually really been suffering from withdrawals, I think, from not being on here! It makes me sad. I miss you people. 🙂

So I’m just gonna give y’all a little picture of the last few weeks….

1. My friends Adrienne and James’ wedding two weekends ago….

IMG_1696Gorgeous aren’t they? The wedding was beautiful, and we had a BLAST 🙂

2. My friends Janna and John’s wedding this past weekend….

My apologies for the lighting....:(

My apologies for the lighting….She looked like a princess!! Beautiful!

Another wonderful time with friends and family! Congrats Janna and John 🙂

3. The Chris Tomlin and Kari Jobe concert Curtis and I went to with my mom and stepdad- AMAZING!!!!! Holy cows, guys. I have been to plenty of concerts before but this one kicks all those other concerts little butts.

We were SO CLOSE! Props Dave for the awesome seats :)

We were SO CLOSE! Props to Dave for the awesome seats 🙂

IMG_1802IMG_1803It was so cool to be in a huge room with tons of other people all worshiping God through music. It’s one of those things that kind of renews your faith a little, just by being around others who believe in the same God you do.

Plus, Chris Tomlin was HI-larious! It was a pretty high-energy concert so of course everyone is standing and being enthusiastic until Chris sets up for an acoustic guitar song that seemed like it was gonna be more low-key. So everyone starts sitting down (not us though!! I promise!!!) and Chris stops doing the intro to the song mid-chord and calls everyone out, ‘Why is everyone sitting down? Stand up! Let’s get this going!’ and everyone jumped right back up! He starts laughing, the crowd all starts laughing, and the music starts up again.  Hehe I don’t think anyone sat down again for 40 minutes until he brought his piano down for a solo and started laughing again and ‘gave us permission’ to sit 😉

Not sure how much longer the Burning Lights tour is out and about, but you need  to go. Kari Jobe is amazing also- I didn’t recognize her name but she sang several songs I was familiar with so she must be on K-Love a lot. If you can’t make it to a concert, download these songs…

1. Love Came Down by Kari Jobe

2. White Flag by Chris Tomlin

3. We Are by Kari Jobe

4. Whom Shall I Fear by Chris Tomlin

5. Amazing Grace (My Chains Are Gone) by Chris Tomlin

So that’s the last of the fun stuff til May 25th, when Ashley gets married!

This girl was the first friend I made when I moved to California, and she is the one who introduced me to my husband, who happens to be her cousin, so now we're stuck together forever :)

This wonderful girl was the first friend I made when I moved to California, and she is the one who introduced me to my husband, who happens to be her cousin, so now we’re stuck together forever 🙂

So, til then….

hittin’ the books 😉

~K

P.S. I tried M’s Kettlebell exercise. If I can move my body tomorrow, I may try it again. If it makes me sore like this, that means it’s working, right??!?!

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Filed under Family, Favorite Things, fitness, God, School, Wedding

Kettlebell Love

Last night I went for a quick 2 miler sans stroller- usually running solo makes for a much faster pace, but last night that did not happen. My heels immediately hurt when I started my warm-up jog, but I kept going in hopes that I just needed to warm them up and then the rest of the run would be enjoyable.

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Wrong.

My feet hurt the entire time. Total bummer- and I’ve never had that kind of pain from running before. I thought maybe the stroller had changed the way I run, hence the soreness, but (lucky me) I have a friend in Physical Therapy grad school and so I asked her opinion. She said there’s a possibility that I over-worked my ligaments in my foot, which were more lax from pregnancy/childbirth. That is news that I don’t like to hear- and that I usually ignore in hopes that things will improve. This time though, I’m taking her advice to take it down a notch so that I can enjoy the Modesto Pregnancy Center 5k in two weeks. It is an amazing and life-changing organization that I want to support- and they can always be blessed by your donations if you are able!

So, for now its walking/elliptical for me, and my new favorite- KETTLEBELLS!

Normally kettlebells are between $30-$50 (!?!?) for ONE kettlebell at Target, or $60ish for a set of 3 on Amazon, but this cheapskate found 2 for $10 each at TJMaxx last week. Best score yet!

Here’s the workout I did this morning, before Gabs and I head out for a day of errands (gotta get fit-tested before I go back to work) boo.

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Killer.

~M

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