The kettlebell has easily become my favorite piece of workout equipment. That one cast iron bell with handle is a power-packed, punch to the gut workout that you can pretty much do anywhere. As many of you know I instruct Kettlebell AMPD at the studio and at Cazenovia College, but did you know that I incorporate kettlebells into my personal training sessions, circuit trainings and personal workouts? I've been joking as of recently that I feel like a traveling salesman because I have been traveling around CNY with a suitcase full of at least 70 pounds of kettlebells at any given time. During a class I stick to using a 5, 8, or 10 lb bell depending on the day or circumstance. At home or in the gym for my personal workouts I use between 10 and 20 lb bells.
Let's start with a brief history of kettlebells.
I incorporate traditional russian style kettlebells into my workouts, training, and classes. Russian kettlebells can be dated back to approximately 350 years ago. They were used as counterweights on the scale in the marketplace to help with weighing out dry goods. People started to toss them around and juggle them for fun and eventually were used for weight lifting. Russians measured items in "poods" so kettlebell weights were reflected in poods. 1 pood is 36.11 pounds or 16.38kg.
We will fast forward to 1948 where kettlebell became the Soviet Union's National Sport and then in 1985 a specific set of rules, regulations and weight categories were finalized. Fun fact: the Russian Military requires its recruits to train with kettlebells. In the 90's a Russian Former Special Ops trainer, Pavel Tsatouline brought his russian style kettlebell to the US. From then to know the kettlebell phenomenon has exploded especially with the help of the popularity of CrossFit and other olympic power training.
Let us talk about the reasons I love kettlebells and then I will treat you with my favorite quick Kettlebell Anywhere Workout.
1. A kettlebell workout can be done anywhere.
All you need is a bell and a few feet of safe space around you. Your apartment, front lawn, beach, studio in a gym.
2. Improves your cardio-respiratory fitness.
Constantly changing the center of gravity, swinging and fluid movements get your heart rate up and also employ the afterburn effect.
Try sprinting to catch a train while carrying a heavy package or pushing a stroller, did all that “cardio” training you did in “step class” or on the recumbent bike really help that much?
3. Builds powerful forearms and a strong grip.
Kettlebells possess a thicker handle than their barbell and dumbbell counterparts taxing your grip and developing greater forearm strength. Grip training becomes a combination of dynamic and static muscular contractions in an attempt to control that moving center of mass.
4. Allows you to reduce overall training time.
Kettlebells combines cardio and strength training. Combining the 2 facets will help reduce your overall training time.
5. Builds a strong core.
The kettlebell is designed to constantly change your center of gravity which helps to build a strong core.
6. Easier on the joints with fluid movements.
The moves are smoother, with many passes and swings. This reaches muscle fibers on a deeper level, you will moves parts of your body that you don't normally target in an average exercise. Less impact, as well.
7. Builds power, agility, and endurance.
Kettlebells increase power endurance and strength endurance which will make you a better athlete, have longer and stronger bouts of training or output.
8. Helps increase muscle mass.
Build a lean muscular physique. No, women won't bulk up. It employs whole body movements that are superior to machines that isolate muscles. This helps improve muscle tone, body composition and strength. Kettlebells also strengthen tendons and ligaments which will make you less susceptible to injury.
9. Helps with functional training.
Functional training helps with you with movements of everyday life, especially as you get older. Many moves that are done with the kettlebell replicate moves in everyday life. Doing these moves will help you keep those skills as well as the balance, tone and range of motion needed to do those skills. Think: stand taller, carry packages easier, climb stairs with less effort and have more energy. Not to mention reducing your chance of injury.
10. Never boring.
You can endlessly combine a bunch of basic drills into compound sets, circuits and intervals to challenge yourself differently every time. The only limit is your imagination.
Kettlebell Anywhere Workout
(I would recommend a lighter than kettlebell weight to start. You can always increase for the successive sets or at another time.)
10 squats, bell in basket hold
10 bicep curls, basket hold
10 crunches bell in basket hold over diaphragm
30 second russian twist
10 2-handed Russian style swings
5 2-handed deadlift
10 tricep raises
10 alternating front lunge with twist
30 second V sit , arms extended
10 chest presses holding squat
Open to sumo squat, 10 alternating calf raises
10 R bicep curls followed by 10 L bicep curls
10 R tricep raise, 10 L tricep raise
10 R hand swings, 10 L hand swings
Added Bonus to Ramp it Up:
30 second plank taps
10 offset push ups R
30 second Mountain Climbers
10 offset push ups L
If you give this workout a try let me know what you think!
Last Friday morning I agreed to try a new fitness class with a friend at a new-to-me studio in town. I had been looking forward to trying this class for awhile but our schedules hadn't worked out for a couple of months.
When I walked into the studio about 15 minutes early the studio was busy with people coming in for the next class and those that had finished a class and were purchasing apparel. It seemed like a really nice atmosphere. The woman at the desk, the Owner- unbeknownst to me, was very friendly, helpful, and informative. I filled out the demographic, liability waiver, and was perfectly candid on the paperwork that I am an instructor from another local studio and what my certifications are. (Often times questions like that are asked on waivers because they want to be wary of copyright or trademark infringement or competitors.) Its good to be the student every once in a while and let someone else kick your ass.
The Owner showed me where I could put my things, where I could grab equipment needed for the class, and showed me to a spot. We chatted for a couple of moments. I sat down to stretch, warm-up, and wait for my friend to arrive. The moment the Owner left, the woman in front of me started looking me up and down. She said, "Are you new? You aren't going to be able to do this class. If you can even make it through the whole thing today you won't see any improvement for at least 3 months. It takes WORK to take this class. You probably won't even know what muscle to use when she is instructing the moves." Did I mention when she said this I'm surrounded by other students? My initial reaction was to say something back and stick up for myself but I just stood there with my mouth agape. Granted, I am not the cookie cutter image of the typical student at this studio. I am average height, athletic build and I have thighs. I mean, I have THIGHS. And guess what? They aren't going anywhere. No matter what size I am. As I look around the room I swear every other woman in there has at least 4 inches on me; tall, slender, thigh gaps. I could have told this woman I am a fitness instructor just trying out another class. I could have explained to her that I am coming off of a couple injuries and I know I am deconditioned. I could have told her to mind her own effing business. I was so taken off guard. I do a pretty good job with the self-deprecation, and cutting down of my self confidence all on my own lady, I didn't need your help.
The old me would have quietly left before the class had even started with some lame excuse. The new me wouldn't have left my friend hanging, so I stayed. Then it began. The scrutinizing myself in the mirror. Adjusting and fidgeting in my workout clothes, refusing to take off my warm-up jacket; trying to hide myself. I wanted to shrink in the corner, but there I was front and center where the Owner had placed me. (Gee thanks.)
Kicker is- I would have really enjoyed this class if I wasn't so embarrassed and ashamed. It was tough. It engaged muscles that I haven't used in quite awhile. I took it easy, I used light weights or none and concentrated on my form. I modified when I needed to using the knowledge I have gained from instructing my own classes. I took short breaks when I needed to and went down into child's pose. I made it through the whole 55 minutes and for a beginner, I don't think I did so bad. My upper body could use some work, its never been my strong point. My lower body and ab work was pretty great. The worst part about the whole class was me staring at myself in disgust in the mirror the entire time.
I'd like to say that I got into my car feeling accomplished from a great workout and put that horrible woman behind me. But I didn't. I cried. I cried on the way to coffee with my friend. I cried on my way home to shower and change. I cried on the way to work. I was mad. I was mad because I was put into a situation and something happened that was out of my control and I didn't stick up for myself.
The thing is, the lady wasn't wrong. In any fitness class its going to take a few sessions to get the hang of it and then months before you see any actual improvement. But the scrutinizing of my appearance. Telling me I couldn't do something. Implying that I couldn't handle the class because of the way I look. Telling me I probably wouldn't make it through a class. Assuming I wouldn't know my ass from my elbow. As women why do we cut each other down? Shouldn't we be supporting each other? Building each other up? Hoping that we succeed? Or at the very least encouraging someone who is trying to better themselves and get healthy? What did that woman have to gain from cutting me down? She clearly had been taking the class for a couple of months. I mean, shit, did the Owner put me in "her" spot? Maybe I am naive or fortunate enough to have never experienced that kind of treatment in other studios and classes I have taken over the years- even when I was at my heaviest or most out of shape. Maybe that woman just really hates herself and wants others to feel the same way.
Dear Lady Who Publicly Shamed Me at Fitness Class,
People come in all shapes in sizes. Fit comes in all different shapes and sizes too. Shame on you for being the kind of woman that builds yourself up by cutting others down. So I'm going to meal prep. I'm going to continue to eat right. I'm going to get my PCOS under control. I'm going to get my conditioning and tone back now that I am healed from my injuries. Then I am going to come back to class and stand in your spot. I am going to smile at other students when they walk in the room. I'm not going to fidget with my clothes. I'm not going to use the mirror for anything else other than adjusting my form. Not because of you and your words; in SPITE of you and your words. I'll see you soon.
P.S. Should you ever walk into the studio where I teach looking to shake things up and trying something new. Don't worry- I will smile, pleasantly greet you and welcome you, and treat you with respect. Yes, because I am a professional, but also because you are a human being and you should be treated as such.
What happens when you get an injury? You stop working out. The longer it takes to heal, the more motivation and sense of routine you lose. Pretty soon you lose progress- you can see it in the changes in your body. You begin to resent the way you look, you get depressed. Does any of this ring true?
So what do you do? Do you allow yourself to go down the rabbit hole? Bury yourself in the self loathing and wallowing? OR do you claw your wake back up to the top?
I struggled with a foot injury for the greater part of last Summer. I tried to work through it- teaching classes, keeping up with running, doing my daily workouts. I would wake up every morning unable to even walk. It came to a head in the Fall and I knew I couldn't continue at the rate that I was going. I stopped the running, I cut back on the daily workouts, I was having to cancel classes. After a few months of PT, night braces and foot orthotics I was finally healed back up. So I jumped back in at full intensity, eager to recover any progress that I had lost. Guess what happened? I re-injured myself. Another setback.
So now I am in the precarious predicament of trying to scrounge up some motivation and put the fear of re-injuring myself behind me. I thought I would share some helpful tips that I am implementing to get motivated in the New Year.
Find a way to ask for help. Seek the help of a like-minded peer. They will help you break out of the cycle of self-pity and try to motivate you. Enlist a friend to keep you accountable to workouts, healthier eating, or even drinking more water. Having someone to remind you of your goals or keep you on task is a helpful tool. Its easier to say "no" to yourself but a little harder to say no to a friend, peer, or family member.
Make it a date. Schedule your workout like you would a doctor's appointment or a job interview. You are less likely to skip it.
Have a light, healthy snack. Fuel your body before a workout so you are less likely to skip a workout due to fatigue or hunger.
Put on your workout clothes. If you lay out your workout clothes the night before, pack a gym bag, or even sleep in them you are more likely to go workout.
Drive to the gym. Getting there is half the battle. Even if you get in there and only workout for 10 minutes, its only 10 minutes more than you did the day before.
Reward yourself. Set small goals and reward yourself for meeting them. Reward yourself with fitness related treats for hitting the gym a certain amount of times a week, meeting water goals, or heathier eating. A new water bottle, a new workout music mix, fitness apparel or sneakers, or even trying a class at a fitness studio.
These are just some ideas to get you moving and motivated to a happier and healthier New Year. A couple of clicks on the internet will have you swimming with more ideas to motivate yourself if you don't find any of these helpful.
To get started you should write down the goals that you would like to accomplish. Here are my goals:
1. Quit drinking soda.
2. Drink more water.
3. Cut back the carbs and sugar.
4. Workout 5x a week.
Now its your turn.
Even though I am not Irish, corned beef and cabbage is one of my MOST FAVORITE meals!
It is possible to stay loyal to the 21 Day Fix and still indulge in this St. Patrick's Day favorite! With that said, please keep in mind even the most lean cuts of corned beef is still cured with salt. Since there is a lot of sodium in this dish it is really important for you to make sure you get ALL of your water in! This would also not be the day to skip you're workout! Remember, you can still indulge in a St. Patrick's Day alcoholic libation but you DO need to count it as a yellow substitute container and measure your ounces.
Since we are talking about our containers, here is the container count for the dish:
2 green, 1 red, 1 yellow, (mustard as condiment is free)
Okay, so let's get down to the recipe. Here is what you will need to make this very low maintenance meal:
1 piece of lean corned beef
2-3 large cooking onions, peeled and halved
1 head of cabbage, trimmed and quartered
red potatoes, cleaned and left whole (if large- okay to halve)
bag of organic baby carrots
I'm not joking when I say this is a super easy meal to cook. I throw everything in a large stock pot. I generally put the onions in first, followed by the potatoes, then the corned beef, then the carrots and cabbage. It is okay to use the packet of spices that come with the corned beef. (Please note, if someone does not like cabbage, or makes them too gassy you can always boil it separately from the corned beef. In that case I would throw it in a pot to boil when the corned beef has about 1 hour left.) Anywho, I fill the stock pot with cold water to JUST cover all of the ingredients. Bring to a rolling boil and then reduce to simmer for about 3 hours. The rule of thumb is to simmer for about 50 minutes per pound of corned beef. Alternatively, if you like firmer veggies you can add the carrots and potato to the pot about 30 minutes before the corned beef is done. In all honesty, I just throw everything in together and don't fuss. Since I leave the skin on the red potatoes, they do no reduce to mush on me. I'm still able to cut into them.
When the meat is done it will fall apart and be tender. I transfer it to a cutting board and let it sit for about 10 minutes. Then I scoop out the veggies with a slotted spoon and place them into a serving dish. Did you know there is a way to properly cut corned beef? First, I would trim off any excess fat and discard of it. Next you should take note of the direction of the muscle fibers. You should cut against the grain so you are shortening those long muscle fibers. This will help you chew and digest the meat better. It will also help to reduce bloat related to meat consumption! Only thing left to do is measure out your red, yellow and green containers! Enjoy! As always please feel free to reach out with questions and feedback! Happy Saint Patrick's Day to you!
I'm proud to say I finished my first 10k race yesterday! In January when I started this journey if someone told me I would be running 5 and 10ks this year I would have told them they were crazy. A lot of hard work, determination, motivation, and accountability went into this achievement. 40 pounds down, 40 all over body inches lost, down 2 1/2 pant sizes, 1 1/2 ring sizes, and lowest resting heart rate I've ever had. Not to mention all of my intestinal issues are healed. I'm not through with my journey yet but forever grateful for everyone that has helped me on the way.
This race was a really tough one. Matter of fact I was sure that I was not going to be able to do it. I have committed myself to a day trip to NYC the day before the race. I was swollen, sore and sleep deprived from walking 11 miles throughout Manhattan and spending nearly 12 hours on a coach bus. I would definitely not take a trip before a race ever again.
I mentally psyched myself right in the beginning of this race. If it weren't for my race buddy, Lindsay, I would never have gotten through it. She kept pushing me, kept me focused, gave me helpful tips....I can't even put into words everything she did for me during this race.
It wasn't a pretty race, and I didn't run the whole thing but I got it done and I finished in a time that I was happy with. On to the next chapter.
Hello All! This month is flying by! I wanted to take a moment to thank those that shared and commented on my last blog entry. I appreciate your support of my efforts to get my blog out there. In case you missed my Facebook post on The Gym Struggle like page, Melissa M. was the lucky winner of the Fitumi.com fitness tank of her choice. Stay tuned because I will have more giveaways to come, including a biggie!
So let's get down to business. In less than a month I will be running The Burn Run in East Syracuse, NY. The Burn Run was created by the East Syracuse Fire Department and has been running for the past 9 years. It started as a race for firefighters to encourage physical fitness among fire departments. Although this race is popular among First Responders, it is open to all and there is even a kid's fun run. The Burn Foundation of Central New York benefits from a donation from the proceeds given by the ESFD. If you would like more information about The Burn Run, The East Syracuse Fire Department or The Burn Foundation please click the corresponding links.
Some of you may already know the story if you keep up with my Facebook page but for the last few years I have volunteered at the Burn Run. Whether it was handing out water at one of the water stations, helping with the kids fun run, or manning the information tables I tried to be present on race day. There is something about that race culture, runners are some of the most motivated, encouraging and interesting people I have ever met. I wanted to be part of that culture but I had always classified myself as not a runner. Last year I told myself that next November I would be running that race no matter what.
Finally this past February, I said enough with the excuses and started training for my first 5k. I could not have done it without my cross training. It would not have been possible at all. I started out doing the Insanity Max: 30 program. Its high intensity interval training. (HIIT). Not only did it help me lose weight, it taught my body how to breathe through a workout. I learned an astonishing amount of endurance. The girl that could only run a hundred yards before becoming winded found herself being able to run at a steady pace with controlled breaths. In the Spring I tackled my first 5k and I tackled another in the Summer. I have been able to steadily improve in my training so I decided, what the hell, I will try for the 10k race instead of the 5k. What was I thinking? After a rather tough run last night I am honestly wondering why I had to open my big mouth and say I was going to run the 10k. Then I remembered. These last 9 months I have been "raised" and coaching others in a community of accountability. I opened my big mouth that I was going to run the 10k because then I would be held accountable to my actions by others.
I'm very excited and feel lucky to say that I am not going to do the 10k run alone. One Sunday afternoon a few weeks ago I was sharing my story with a fellow coach, Lindsay, who is getting back into running. I told her my story about my 5k and my weight loss and she said that she would do it with me knowing how important it was to me. Its an awesome feeling when you can work toward a goal with someone that is passionate about the same things as you are. Earlier this week Lindsay and I shared our running and cross training schedules with each other. We officially started our "crunch to 10k" training last night. Sweaty selfies, pace time, run time, and all.
you will want to get it done so you don't let that other person down. In my challenge groups I use accountability to keep my challengers motivated and on task with their clean eating and workouts. It works for those that truly want to meet their goal; for the people that have come to the point that they are ready to throw all of their excuses away but need that little push when times get tough.
So maybe this is a good time for you to reflect. What goals are you trying to reach? Have you been on the right track to attain them? Do you find yourself rationalizing excuses; talking yourself out of reaching your goals at every turn? Who knows about your goals and aspirations? Its important for you to take the time to let someone in by sharing your goals with them. Sometimes it just takes one extra person to be that motivating factor to get you moving. xoxo- court
Hello October. Now begins the season of couch potato nights, dark sleepy mornings, candy, food, holidays, shopping, gatherings, and more food. Did I mention FOOD? To so many people this time of year is synonymous with comfort, hoodies, and crock pots full of home-cooked meals. Well, I'm here to tell you that its all well and good but don't lose sight of your goals. So, what do you do when you don't want to pack on the weight, don't want to go backwards in your progress but have ZERO motivation to get off of the coach? I'm going to share with you 7 ways to get your buns moving and I'm not talking the ones you put on the Thanksgiving dinner table.
1. Baby Steps. Start out small. If you have lost your motivation to work out then chances are its not going to come flooding back all at once. You need to build it back. So start by parking far back in the parking lot. If anything that crisp, cold, air will fill your lungs, invigorate you, and make you high tail it into the store. Increased heart rate. You're welcome. Seriously though, don't ask your kids, roommate or spouse to hand you the remote- get up and get it yourself. Take the dog for a walk instead of letting him do his business on the front lawn or just letting him out in the backyard. Do a couple laps in the parking lot on your lunch breaks. Just get moving again.
2. Read about it. Find a book, magazine, blog, article- whatever, but read about fitness, running, lifting- hell even look at a fitness apparel catalog. If you are seeing it, you are reading it and if you are reading it you will be thinking about it. It can be a silent push that you need to get back on your game.
3. Share your struggle. Tell someone that you are in a slump. Preferably someone fitness minded because they will get it. If you tell the postman or the cashier at the grocery store, chances are they are going to think you are a whacko. Telling someone fitness minded; they know the struggle because they have undoubtedly been there before. Motivation ebbs and flows for everyone. EVERYONE. Even if that person is a Facebook acquaintance that you see is consistently doing fitness related activities. Break the ice. Reach out, comment on a post. Tell them you are struggling, see if they want to hold you accountable. Its been my experience that people that are fitness minded LOVE when they meet other fitness minded people. We love to talk about what we are doing, what our goals are, how far we have come, the whole 9 yards. That might be just enough to inspire you to get off of the couch.
4. Know your strengths. Are you a morning person? Do you accomplish more in the evenings after work? Is your day so jam packed that you literally only have your lunch break? You know you. So if you read this blog post and decide, "I'm going to wake up tomorrow at 5 am and workout! Yea!" You better be someone that regularly sees 5 am on the clock. I will tell you right now. You will never see me up at 5 am to workout. Why? I'm a night person. I do better when my body is loose-y goose-y from the day and I can mentally function. Plus, exercising a few hours before bedtime does not keep me awake. For me, it does the opposite; gets all the jitters out and I have a more restful sleep. So, know who you are and align your goals accordingly. You would do yourself a disservice if you set yourself up for failure from the jump.
6. Treat yo' self to some shiny. Nothing. I mean nothing gets me more motivated to workout than new workout clothes. Okay, let's be honest, new workout clothes, new sneakers, gym bags. It doesn't take much and yes I'm a bit of a shopper- hey back off! I'm not on trial here. Really though, get yourself something new. Practical/impractical or new/new to you. Wanting to go out and use whatever that "new thing" is might be the push you need to excite you to get out there.
So I really like new fitness apparel. Nothing motivates me more than getting to wear a new, funny, ironic, or branded fitness tank. As an Independent Team Beachbody Coach its helped with my brand recognition and to draw attention to my posts. As a Fitness Instructor its helped to draw attention to my classes through word of mouth. Plus, I like them a whole bunch. Pictured below, are 2 tanks I got from www.fitumi.com. The red one is a simple one that I had custom made and the blue one is one of the their designs. I LOVE this company. I have ordered from them multiple times. I have 2 stock shirts from them and 2 custom shirts. Every time I order it is uncomplicated, they are made right away, and shipped right out. I get them in a few days and they are always flawless. They use quality shirts and they are pretty true to size. Plus, after multiple washes the screen-printing is still holding strong. They are on Etsy too, which is where I do all of my ordering from them. Did I mention all of their designs on their site are at an awesome price point of $18? So this morning when I decided to feature their apparel on my blog I Googled what "fitumi" means. Get this, "fake it till you make it." Which basically couldn't be anymore perfect in going with the theme of this whole post.
7. Get Inspired. Google people that have achieved greatness in the workout/activity you like to do. Do you love Pilates? Google "Plyoga" the things creator Stephanie Lauren can do with her body are Ah-MA-Zing. (In Jimmy Fallon, white suburban girl voice). Its totally normal to be inspired by the accomplishments of others. Its also totally to normal to be a little intimidated but don't psych yourself out for no reason. Get out there and go do something great. Even if your version of great is running around the block without getting winded or getting a workout in 3 out of the 7 days next week. Just go do it.
Okay, so there ya have it. 7 Ways to get out of that Snuggie and moving. xoxo- court
WIN A FITUMI FITNESS TANK Compliments of The Gym Struggle.
GIVEAWAY INSTRUCTIONS: 1. Read the blog post. 2. Comment below in the comments section. 3. Share this blog post on Facebook or Twitter. 4. Comment on my Facebook post or Tweet "done". So I know where you read it and so I know that you did it. Drawing will be on Friday 10/9.
A couple of weeks ago, one of my group fitness students introduced me to the Pact App. I was skeptical but after 2+ weeks in I am hooked. So what's it all about? I am going to give you a little breakdown so you can get to getting paid for working out. You'll thank me later.
So what's Pact?
So first off, let me say that in no way has Pact asked me to write this review or endorsement. I just think the app is pretty cool and wanted to share it with my fit fam. The Pact app is available from the Apple Store or Google play. The premise is to make a pact to hold yourself accountable to workout more or eat healthier. If you do it you can earn some money- if you don't do it you pay money to other users. Money is often a really good motivator for most people, including myself.
So once you download it there are a few steps to get it set up. They are pretty easy to follow instructions, so I'm not going to bore you with the details, but you do need to link a form of payment. I use my Paypal account.
The nice thing about this app is that if you don't go to the gym to get your fitness on, you can still earn money. The screenshot on the left shows how you can check into a gym. You have to stay at the gym for at least 30 minutes. The app uses your GPS location to make sure you are at the gym. Guess what? They verify the gym locations, so Courtney's couch does not a gym spot make.
The screenshot on the right shows you that the app syncs with some other popular apps. If you are a runner you can sync your RunKeeper or MapMyFitness workouts OR if you have a Fitbit like me- you can sync your steps. As long as you hit 10,000 steps for the day you have met your workout requirement. Note: manually entered steps do not count. So you need to wear your Fitbit and it must be charged up. No manually entering your walk or run after that fact.
Now if you don't go to the gym and you don't use any of these apps you can use the motion tracker option in the Pact app.
You can make 2 other types of pacts: Food Logging Pact and Veggie Pact. The food logging pact is done by syncing to My Fitness Pal and it syncs all of the food that you logged for the day, the Veggie Pact requires you to snap a picture of one serving of a fruit or veggie that you are eating. The picture is voted on by the Pact community to verify that it looks like its being eaten and that it really looks like a serving of fruit or veggie. So basically, no, you cannot snap a picture of your Crunch Berries at breakfast time and earn some cash.
I decided to be a little adventurous this week and add another Pact. I added the Veggie Pact. Above is a screenshot of my lunch; an Arugula salad with chicken. If it gets a thumbs up from the Pact Community it will count as one of my veggies. If it doesn't (bummer!) I will have to snap a picture of another fruit or veggie that I am consuming.
So that's the gist of it. If you have workout anyways, this app is a no-brainer. If you are looking for something to motivate you then put your dough on the line. I bet it will get you moving! www.pactapp.com for more info or feel free to ask me any questions in the comments. xoxo court
Last night I posted on Facebook a sweatie selfie after my Insanity Max: 30 workout; Sweat Intervals. Yes, it was 10:30pm, yes, I had just finished instructing Cize LIVE, yes, I probably drove my neighbor downstairs bonkers (Sorry!) I had to get it done. As I was looking in the mirror last night at the studio I noticed I lost some muscle tone. I was pissed. Mostly at myself but also frustrated that even though I'm working out 5+ hours a week- that is still not sufficient. That I still need to incorporate my Body Weight Fitness, that I still need that HIIT workout, that I let myself slack.
As I was looking in the mirror I could have stopped right in the middle of class and cried. I didn't, but I sure wanted to.
I could not get that bummed feeling of letting my hard work go down the drain out of my head the entire errand run to Target at 8:45 pm, or when I got home and had to pick up the house, put away the purchases, mop the kitchen floor, walk the dogs, and feed the cat. So I sucked it up and got the workout done.
Here's where that thoughtful Thursday comes in:
I may have lost some muscle tone but I have noticed a few other changes. I can jump and Jump and JUMP. I could never do a lot of jacks before and I blamed it on my knees but let's be real- it was the WEIGHT on my knees- and it was the inability to catch my breath. Not this time. I could do open and close jacks, jack cross uppercuts, plyo jumps with a crossjab, Y planks to pike-ups- basically a whole slew of high intensity moves with no modifier. (A modifier is a low intensity form of a move for people that have knee problems or any other reason they are unable to do the full move) Have you ever amazed yourself? Done something that you never thought you could? That was me last night. Flying through the high intensity moves without a hesitation and the actual motivation and mental push- that voice in my head saying, "You can do the full out move, stop being lazy." I have never had that before- that voice used to say, "Yea right, no way, or conserve your energy- if you go too hard you will never get through this workout. "
After a shower and some wind-down time I was laying in bed. I couldn't stop thinking about how far I have come. Three months ago I couldn't have instructed a class while giving verbal cues and breathing- I just didn't have the stamina, endurance, whatever you want to call it. Six months ago I couldn't do any of the moves in Insanity Max: 30 without the modifier and many breaks. So, I may have lost some tone but I have improved in other places. Six months ago I would busy into treats everyone Shaun T said, "You maxed out " Yes, I cried after every single workout. It was a cathartic release that I desperately needed. I cried out all of my frustration and depressed feelings, cried tears of joy that I made it through another workout, cried because I was getting my own 2 feet back on solid ground and earning back my own self esteem. So how dare I almost break down tonight because I have been slacking?
Weekly, I am telling at least one of my challengers that it is all about small daily improvements and correcting small behaviors one day at a time. I need to follow my own mantra. I need to stop being so hard on myself and make the daily improvements I need to get back to where I was.
So I'm pledging to push play on my Max: 30 workout everyday. I'm going to do the full out moves because I CAN do them, I'm going to get my tone back and take my fitness to a level that I have never before. Why? Because I CAN do it. So can you.
With that said, I try to blog with a purpose. I try to send a positive, motivating or empowering, message without too much self promotion. So here goes. I'm a real person, I'm human and I make mistakes. You too. Our journeys aren't always one directional. There are detours, there are freeways and sometimes you make a U-turn without even meaning to. So keep plugging and strive to get a little better everyday. xoxo court
In honor of Tasty Tuesday, Fall- like weather, the ever publicized pumpkin-everything & those that are thinking "can a girl just get a cheat day?!" I am sharing with you a cheat treat recipe: Clean Eating Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies. They are also 21 Day Fix Approved! What? Whoop!
I made these for myself and the twins I nanny and they are very yummy. They are a little chewy but you do get sweetness from the chocolate chips and the maple syrup. If you are looking for a super sinful treat- this isn't it. If you are looking for a simple guilt-free cheat treat and you ate caught up in all of the pumpkin craziness- these little cookies are for you.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
29 oz can pure pumpkin
1/8 cup pure maple syrup
2 tsp nutmeg or pumpkin pie spice
2 tsp pure vanilla extract
2 cups organic flour preferably whole wheat or almond flour
2/3 cups dark chocolate chips (semi sweet morsels if you must )
Combine all ingredients except chips in a bowl and spoon mix or use your stand mixer.
Once blended through, fold in chocolate chips.
Scoop in tablespoon sized drops onto your cookie sheet. Put into the oven for 10-15 minutes. You want them to darken in color, (you will see from the pictures the difference) but you don't want them to start to dry out on top. So keep an eye on them.
Okay, now for you 21 Day Fixers: 2 cookies is 1 yellow and 1 orange. Remember, this is a great so you are using it as a yellow substitute. Not to be exceeded 3x/week.