The Journey Begins

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I have always had an interest in health and fitness. I remember when I was young my mom would play a Denise Austin home workout video on the TV every morning and we would workout to her cues together. I really enjoyed this time spent with my mom working out, and it helped form fitness into an early habit for me. Despite this, there are times that I have not always been the best about working out, or eating healthy. During these years I would eat too much, too little, or too much junk! I also was not regular about working out anymore. I remember being embarrassed about how I looked in the mirror and ashamed of what I had eaten. I just felt guilty because I knew that i could do better.

Today, I am doing better! I don’t feel nearly as much guilt over food choices and I don’t feel ashamed of how I look. Yes, there are plenty of things that I nit pick about myself but, I do not have an overwhelming feeling that I need to change myself in any way. I credit this to learning to exercise every day, and learning to make healthy food choices. I am still learning about health and fitness everyday and still pursuing a healthier lifestyle everyday. The journey of health and fitness is not something you ever stop, it’s not something to achieve, but rather something you work toward every single day.

My name is Julie, and this is me working toward health and fitness every day. I am glad you are here! Drop a comment and say hi!

 

Good company in a journey makes the way seem shorter. — Izaak Walton

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Cardio At Home

I wanted to do some light jogging today to start on increasing the amount of cardio I’m doing in a week, but it is raining outside and I don’t know when it is going to stop! For now I plan on doing an at home cardio workout to get my blood pumping, and then maybe (hopefully) later in the day the weather will clear up!

My at home cardio workout for today:

Warm-up:

  • Jumping Jacks x 8
  • High knees (across the room) x 8
  • Torso Twists x 8
  • Arm Circles (backward and forward) X 8

Circuits:

  1. Squat jacks to jumping jacks
  2. Kettlebell swings to jogging in place
  3. Jumping Lunges to jump rope
  4. Mountain climbers to step ups
  5. Push-ups to high knees
  6. Hip thrusts to butt kicks

each circuit should be gone through x3 before moving to the next circuit, break between circuits should be 1 minute.

Cool Down and stretch!

Total time working out will be 33 minutes. I think I died a little bit when I did this!

You can use this easy timer that I found to time your workout. Tabata Timer. This workout is organized for 60 seconds on 30 seconds off times 3 and then a 60 second break in between that and the next set. Because of the way it is organized it is not a true tabata workout! Tabata work outs are described as 20 seconds on and 10 seconds rest repeated throughout the workout.

Edit: I actually ended up going on a walk right after this to cool down before stretching, I was so sweaty I didn’t even care about the rainy weather at this point!

Broccoli Breakfast Pizza

Pizza for breakfast is the best pizza! I love this recipe because it is so simple to make, AND it is easy to store in your fridge and reheat on a skillet to eat in the AM when you just.don’t.want.to.cook.

The process of making the pizza is super simple once you’ve done it  a couple times! Follow the recipe below and you will see!

Crust:

2 heads of broccoli riced

1 clove chopped garlic

2 eggs

1/2 cup chopped basil

1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese

1/4 cup shredded Parmesan cheese

a little salt for flavor

Crust Instructions:

Cook the broccoli with a small amount of water until all of the water boils off and it becomes a sort of past-y texture. Once you’ve reached that texture, combine with the rest of the crust ingredients use a rimmed baking sheet lined with parchment paper and oil to pat the mixture into a thin rounded shape with a slight lip. Put the crust into the oven at 400* for 15-20 minutes. You will know the crust is done when it has a slight golden brown color along the edges and the top of the crust.

Toppings:

1/4 cup ground turkey/chicken breakfast sausage (cooked) (I have a recipe that I use to make my own to avoid extra grease)

1/2 cup mozzarella cheese

2 eggs

any other veggies you want on top (I like to add mushrooms)

Topping Instructions:

Crack both the eggs and spread equally over the baked crust, top with cheese and cooked sausage. If you want to add extra veggies, this is the time to do it! Put pizza into the oven for another 10-15 minutes until the eggs turn hard. You know the pizza is completely done when you can see the egg has turned white and the cheese is completely melted.

pizzabreakfast2

Devour! You can eat up to a third of the pizza and it counts for about one serving of protein, one serving of vegetables, and one serving of fats (cheese).

If you give this a shot, let me know what you thought!

Forms of Cardio for Highest Calorie Burn

I wanted to know, “what are the best forms of cardio for the highest calorie burn?” I want to burn as many calories as possible through cardio along with keeping up my current weightlifting routine. The way that I have my workout routine set up currently, I work out six days per week with four devoted to weight lifting and the other two devoted to cardio. Right now, I do at-home cardio videos, but my curiosity lies in whether it would be better to go for a jog on these days or do some other sort of intense cardio. The program that I am doing currently involves 30 minutes of cardio two times a week which means I am only getting one hour of cardio per week. The American Heart Association recommends that you get at least 150 minutes of cardio per week. This boils down to 30 minutes of cardio 5 days per week. Much more cardio activity is recommended than I am getting currently. This looks to be a large area of improvement for me that I wasn’t even aware of!

SO I know that I need to focus on getting to 30 minutes of cardio for 5 days every week. I also need to know what forms of cardio burn the most calories. Here is what I found out about some activities that I would enjoy from livestrong.com:

Sprint Intervals – burns 400-500 calories per 30 minutes

Tabata Intervals (20 seconds on, 10 seconds off) – burns 400-450 calories per half hour

Rock Climbing – Burns about 400 calories in a half hour

Swimming – Burns 300-400 calories in a half hour

Running – Burns 300-375 calories in a half hour

These activities would add more variety to my workouts and be add-ons to my current weight lifting routine that would easily increase my minutes of cardio per day and therefore increase my calorie burn. Once I get to thirty minutes of cardio per day, I can expect to burn an extra 2,000 or so calories per week. That’s a lot of extra calories burned in a very short amount of time.

Tell me what your favorite forms of cardiovascular activity are! I’m interested to know what other people do, how often, and for how long!

 

 

Benefits of Weight Lifting

Weightlifting is one of my favorite forms of exercise that I use to increase strength, maintain or lose weight, and use as a form of stress relief.

One of the things I love about lifting weights is that as you gain strength through whatever program you are utilizing, you are able to progress by increasing the amount of weight you are lifting. You can do this however quickly or slowly you want as long as you are using proper form!

I started lifting on a more regular basis about a year ago and I have noticed some major changes with this. I used to get worn out doing simple bicep curls with 10 pound dumbbells and now I’ve increased to 15 pounds! Lifting weights gives me such a sense of accomplishment because I can track the results easily and see how I am improving day by day and month by month.

Using weightlifting in order to maintain or lose weight is super helpful. Lifting weights increases the amount of muscle tissue you have. If you have more muscle tissue, you are able to burn more calories than a person with a smaller amount of muscle tissue would be. Increasing muscle increases your metabolism in general. An increased metabolism means that you are able to lose excess fat, or at least able to maintain your weight much better than a cardio only version of working out.

I feel that increasing the number of days per week that I lift to at least four days a week has really helped me to lose some extra fat and feel a little bit more toned. I know that I still have improvements to make as far as my overall physique goes, but I am very happy with the changes that lifting about one hour four days a week has made. I also feel like I don’t need to restrict my eating like I used to at all because of the increase in my metabolism. I used to try to restrict my calories to between 900-1200 a day. I don’t do this anymore, but rather focus on eating my vegetables, fruits, proteins, and healthy carbs and fats.

Stress relief is provided through any form of exercise, I think that  lifting weights is a great form of stress relief just because it requires so much more focus than straight cardio routines. With weight lifting you need to focus on your timing, repetition count, and round count. Focusing this much on one activity really helps to distract from whatever issue may be causing stress.

I feel that getting my blood moving in any way helps put me in a positive mindset and that usually helps me feel more relaxed after a stressful day.

I really do think that weightlifting is one of the best forms of exercise that someone can choose. Even when just beginning to lift weights, it is really easy to find different workouts online or through YouTube and utilize those to ensure you are using proper form and to build your own program off of.

 

Breakfast Acorn Squash

If you like squash, you will love this recipe! I had it for breakfast today and it was delicious. Starting with baked squash makes this recipe so quick and simple!

acorn sqaush

To bake your squash (acorn for this recipe), put it in the oven whole for 45 minutes at 375* F. You will be able to touch the skin (careful) and leave an indentation when it is completely done. You can store the squash like this until you are ready to use it.

this morning when I got up, I went ahead and cut the squash in half and used a spoon to dig the seeds out. Then I proceeded with all the good stuffing.

Stuffing:

1/4 cup oats

1 teaspoon brown sugar

1 tablespoon peanut butter

3/4 cup greek yogurt

Cook the oats with some water and the brown sugar. Whip together the greek yogurt and the peanut butter. reheat the already baked acorn squash half and then layer in the oatmeal and top with the greek yogurt mix. You can use some honey to add more sweetness on top of the squash if you like too.

try it out and let me know what you think! I know squash isn’t for everyone, but I personally love it!