Walking in Winter Weather: Do It Safely and Know Your Limitations

This is a guest post by Eva McElwain Tucci AKA Gammianne and mom to Hungry

I think that the majority of us would agree that it has been a rather unusual and harsh winter with near record snowfalls in many areas of the country. I was always an active and physical child, however, a  Phys Ed assignment my sophomore year in High School led me onto the path of a more organized exercise regime (Thank you Mrs McCormack!!). Our assignment was to choose two sports which we either had to participate in , or choose a spectator sport. As my family was somewhat limited on funds (I am one of nine children)  I chose to roller skate, an activity which I had been attending with my Church Group for years and asked my teacher if I could design an exercise plan for myself as my second activity. Being a nerd and overall highly graded student,  I was given the go-ahead. That was in 1975 and  little did I know when I made that decision that I would be choosing a path for life .

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Although disabled in 2008 by a rather serious spinal cord injury at C5, I have been exercising since 1975 and spent many years being a gym rat.  I do routinely go to the gym five or six days a week although many of my exercises have been curtailed due to injury and I do have limitations in what I am permitted to do .

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Currently away from home , I have not been to the gym since December 22nd (yikes). Instead, I have been largely walking which has been challenging with all the ice and snow (I cannot afford a slip and fall) so I am writing about how to walk outdoors safely in this weather as I have heard too many stories about people slipping, falling and breaking bones and they are much younger than I , not to mention in physically better shape.

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The photos in this post show my daily walk. It has not been plowed and there are many icy patches as well as uneven terrain. So..what do I do ? I have been walking on top of the snow, simple enough as there is traction to be had there. Rather than walk on the pathway , which is riddled with patches of ice as well as frozen slush making for a ridiculously easy scenario to slip and fall I keep myself on the snow, which today was covered in an icy coating . I am heavy enough to make an impact but light enough not to sink in. Other days there has been more snow and I have,again, learned about limitations.

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The weather has warmed up a bit and that crunchy upper layer is uncertain. Again, I walk with great trepidation over any areas that are icy and I definitely recommend avoiding them (beware as if there is a thin coating of snow there is almost certainly ice beneath that, which is quite dangerous) . I was walking last week and the snow was not solid enough ..there was neither tracks or footprints and at points I was slipping in to the ankle while the other leg went in knee-deep. NOT smart…I did happen to fall into a puff of soft snow, and possibly , for the first time in  my life I stopped in my tracks and turned around and went back  which is something my younger and more fit ego would never have permitted.  At almost 55 and with some serious injuries I made a decision to not take the chance and that is okay .

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I still go out daily and check the terrain. Yesterday, after yet another snowfall, I went to a familiar and quiet neighborhood and walked around the streets (and in the streets when necessary) . It is almost always possible to get in some type of exercise…you need to know yourself, your limitations and be wise about what you are doing . It is always possible to stay Hungry & Fit as I am a testament to this. Hungry used to fall asleep in the crook of my body while I was doing sit-ups when he was a baby. :)

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Mum’s Famous Banana Cake

Okay, so maybe it’s only famous among my friends and family because it’s the only cake they ever got at my birthday parties. It’s the only cake I would eat growing up, and I haven’t branched out much still (but I will take down a cheesecake or carrot cake nowadays). I don’t know, I’m just not a huge fan of cakes. But my mum’s banana cake, ooooh YES! It’s incredibly easy to make and you will want to eat piece after piece (I personally can literally eat endless amounts of this). It came from the same place that she took her scone recipe.

Banana Cake

  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Baking Time: 34-40 minutes

Ingredients

  • 2 eggs
  • 1 stick butter
  • 6 oz sugar (.85 cup sugar)
  • 8 oz regular flour (1.8 cups)
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 2-3 bananas
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 2 tbsp milk

Directions

  • Get out a box/rectangular/circle pan and line it with wax paper. Tip a little flour in and spread it around. Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees F
  • Mix the baking powder and flour in a smaller bowl
  • Cream the butter and sugar together in your main big bowl
  • Add in an egg, mix it, and then add the other egg in.

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  • Now mash your bananas into smithereens and slowly mix them in too
  • Now in a pot on the stove, put the milk in and get to a boil. Now you have to be quick at this. Quickly, stir in the baking soda. It will come up into a fluff that smells amazing. Mix that immediately into the rest of the wet ingredients.
Always fascinated me growing up...still does

Always fascinated me growing up…still does

  • Finally, mix in the flour mixture. Do it nice and slowly, so that it mixes evenly. Now that you have your batter, slowly pour evenly into your wax-papered-pan
Wish I had used 3 bananas in this batch

Wish I had used 3 bananas in this batch

  • Put in the oven for 34 minutes. Weird number. The normal number is 40 minutes, but my mum advised me to check it at 34 and it was ready and done! Take it out and let it sit for a few minutes before putting it on a rack or another cool pan
Now just needs the icing!

Now just needs the icing!

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Lemon Icing

  • Prep Time: 3-5 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 1/4 cup powdered sugar
  • juice of 2 mini lemons (or 1/4 cup)
  • zest of lemon
  • 2 tbsp butter

Directions

  • Pretty basic, just melt the butter in a bowl and then mix everything else in (the zest, lemon juice, and suuugarrrr)
  • Slowly start to ice the cake, using a spoon and then draping it over. It can be runny which is why it is best to do it slow so it starts to solidify
Looks like a little piece but I had at least 4...

Looks like a little piece but I had at least 4…

And then you shove as many pieces as you can in your mouth! Just kidding…but seriously. This cake is so delicious and, for me, reminds me of home. What better combination?  It was a hit at work, a little something everybody can enjoy. The subtle banana flavor with the lemon is a great combo. You gotta try this recipe! And as always…stay hungry and fit!

BONUS PUPPY PIC

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P.F. Chang’s is Going Light!

This is a Sponsored post written by me on behalf of P.F. Chang’s. All opinions are 100% mine.

For this Winter Seasonal MenuP.F. Chang’s is serving up a light and scrumptious menu. Most places put heavy items on their menu during the winter menu. I have beef with that because I don’t need more of a reason not move! I know you guys feel me there. So I was glad to find a restaurant that really suited my needs in the Winter time. Here are some new items on their menu:

  • Orange Ginger Beet Salad—Sliced red and gold beets mixed with fresh oranges and tossed with honey-ginger dressing, finished with crumbled goat cheese, candied walnuts and daikon sprouts. (Wine Pairing: Frog’s Leap Sauvignon Blanc)
  • Shanghai Waldorf Salad—Fresh chopped kale, endive, radicchio, crisp apples, grapes, celery, grape tomatoes and candied walnuts tossed in a light miso-lime vinaigrette. (Wine Pairing: Estancia Pinot Grigio) 
  • Chili Shrimp Bao—Asian-inspired “sliders.” Warm, pillowy bao buns filled with Bibb lettuce, chili-marinated shrimp, pickled daikon, carrots and cucumber topped with tamarind-chili sauce. (Wine Pairing: Mer Soleil “Silver” Chardonnay)
  • Firecracker Chicken—Savory and spicy hoisin-glazed chicken breast, wok-fired with pineapple, Chinese broccoli, Asian mushrooms, Fresno peppers and dried chilies. (Wine Pairing: S.A. Prum “Essence” Riesling) 
  • Red Wine and Pepper Braised Beef—Red wine and black pepper sauce wok-tossed with marinated flank steak, sliced potatoes, broccolini, Napa cabbage, grape tomatoes and Fresno peppers. (Wine Pairing: Alamos Malbec)
  • Miso Glazed Salmon—Broiled and served with grilled baby bok choy and cool julienne daikon radish in a warm savory broth. (Wine Pairing: Tozai “Living Jewel” Junmai Sake)

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The restaurant is also introducing two new desserts and beverages (two categories I can’t get enough of):

  • Chocolate Raspberry Wontons—Handmade, crispy wontons with a creamy chocolate-raspberry filling, dusted with powdered sugar, served with chocolate and raspberry sauces, fresh raspberries and mint.
  • Sweet Vanilla Cream Wontons—Handmade, warm and crispy wontons filled with vanilla cream cheese, dusted with powdered sugar, served with vanilla and raspberry sauces and fresh mint.
  • Crimson Spritzer—Plymouth Gin and Luxardo Cherry Liqueur with marasca cherries, fresh lime juice and muddled kaffir lime leaves, topped with Mumm Napa Brut.
  • Red Goose Martini—Grey Goose Vodka shaken with POM Wonderful pomegranate juice, Thai basil leaves, fresh ginger and lime juice.

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I am thrilled with this new menu. P.F. Chang’s always reminds me of getting together with other families when I was younger and sharing all the dishes. It was so fun for me as a child (and now an adult!) to try all these new foods. Gotta love family style. With this new Winter menu, if you want to stay on the lighter side, there are plenty of options. For me, the two highlights of this menu has to be the Orange Ginger Beet Salad and the Shanghai Waldorf Salad. I know, I know, they are both salads, but just listen to what’s in them! Beets mixed with goat cheese?! That combination can never fail. And I simply will always love Waldorf salads (Fawlty Towers, anyone?) and the miso dressing is going to be mouth-watering.

At P.F. Chang’s, they enjoy toasting to the New Year. I think there is always something to celebrate. Our toast is to health and happiness (and puppies)! May 2014 be the year we all achieve our goals!

So get your tushie over to P.F. Chang’s today and enjoy their light menu for this Winter season before it ends! Also, for a limited time, visit pfchangs.com/winter to receive an offer of $10 off a $40 purchase. Gotta love them discounts. Enjoy P.F. Chang’s new menu to stay hungry and fit! Follow @pfchangs and Follow P.F. Chang’s on Pinterest.

*Question of the Day: Which new dish are you most excited to try?

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How to Keep Your Puppy Busy for Hours

Every day, we learn more and more about how to raise a puppy. We’ve had Noke (noh-kay) for a little over a week now, but it’s felt like longer. She has good and bad moments, as all young things do. What I find the most useful are things that will occupy her. Say I’m cooking, working from home, or doing a home workout, it is very very helpful if she’s focusing on something else…that’s not chewing our shoes. The cats love to stir her up, which is pretty stupid on them, in my opinion, so she’s on alert a lot of the time. One of the people at the Humane Society suggested this trick and I’m thrilled by it!

It’s very simple. It’s the old Kong trick with a twist. Let’s go step-by-step, it’s so easy.

1. Fill up the Kong toy. We use a large Kong toy and we fill it up with high-quality little duck kibble bites. Fill it up close to the top.

Someone's excited

Someone’s excited

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2. Fill the top with peanut butter. And don’t get that hydrogenated oil crap, use decent peanut butter for your dog’s health! We used Justin’s PB which is popular here in Boulder. We put the whole packet in, to give her plenty to dive into, completely covering and blocking the kibble.

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3. Freeze. Not because you’re under arrest, but because this is the magic to this trick! So yeah, without freezing it, you can keep your pup occupied, but imagine the peanut butter frozen! This prevents the pup from just scooping out the peanut butter–they really have to work at it or let it soften! I’m excited to do this as a regular thing, especially while we are gone at work. We freeze it overnight usually.

See? Simple as 1-2-3. Try it out with your puppy or dog and let us know how it goes! Sometimes it’s nice to have some time to yourself if your dog is driving you bonkers. And as always…stay hungry and fit!

BONUS PUPPY PIC

Just being cute n stuff

Just being cute n stuff

Best Ways to Burn Calories: Jump Rope

A long time ago, I started this series about alternate forms of “cardio” and suggested swimming. It was a pretty popular post and we got tons of questions about how to incorporate it into individual’s workouts. Now, since I have started working out a bit… again, it struck me that I should state my opinion on jumping rope.

Every discipline has its hero. Buddy Lee is that man when it comes to jump rope and as a result of watching a recent Buddy Lee video, I decided to go back to trying to get my jump rope game in its proper place. Two weeks ago, with my heavy rope, after 20 minutes of double-unders, I finally got a triple under and then stopped before my shins split in two. It’s challenging yet simple, effective yet easy, and there are tons of ways to jump rope… so let’s talk a bit about them in this introduction to jump rope.

Buddy Lee! (Image source)

Buddy Lee! (Image source)

Most people hit the machines when they need to burn calories or perform their “cardio.” In gyms, the easiest ways of doing this, keeping track of time, your heart rate and burned calories is with a machine such as a bike, treadmill or elliptical. Steppers are getting more popular although I love Jacob’s Ladder (Google it). As I mentioned before, swimming is more difficult because it is naturally more challenging and also makes it harder to really keep track of the calories you burn. Jump rope is in a similar realm which is why you don’t see it being used as a typical form of cardio.

Preparing for jumping!

Preparing for jumping!

But that’s enough of me dragging on, let’s look at some terms and what you need to consider.

1. There are different kinds of ropes. Cheap ropes. Expensive ropes. Light weight and heavy weight ropes. Ropes made of leather, sand filled rubber, cable and more. Your goals and style will dictate what kind of rope you should buy. If you are like me, you have just about every kind of jump rope. My recommendation is to buy a cheap one first before you make a bigger investment since not everyone enjoys it. Once you get serious, look at Buddy Lee’s line of jump ropes. (I’m not sponsored or paid by them, but they have served me well over the years.)

2. There are different kinds of workouts where you can jump rope. Do you want to have fun? Are you trying to get certain results? How about a little bit of both? Is it your warm up for a muscle workout? Is it a cool down or maybe even a part of a circuit? Jump rope can fit anywhere in there and whether you are a boxer, martial artist, sport athlete, or someone trying to stay in shape, it can be very beneficial to you.

3. There are different ways to jump rope. You can go for an hour straight or go in intervals. You could use a heavy rope for five minutes of single unders and then skip to a cable speed rope for a minute of triple unders. You could stay in place or move in any direction. You could stay on flat ground or integrate boxes into the workout. Any of these can help take away the monotony that is often associated with jumping rope for fitness.

4. There are different techniques. Some people at this point might not know what single, double or triple unders are. The name refers to the number of times the jump rope goes under your body. Heavier ropes make it more difficult while speed ropes typically make it easier. You can touch your toes or heels to the ground, use the full foot, alternate feet, hop laterally, high knees, kick your butt, essentially there are tons of variations and you can make your own up. Just remember to take your joints into consideration to properly distribute the impact throughout your whole body.. not just your ankles, knees, hips, spine, etc.

5. You can play with weights. I typically throw on some extra weight. When I used to jump rope every day, I would use a 40 lb weight vest, two 10 lb ankle weights, two 5 lb wrist weights and two 3 lb hand weights. That way I could jump at 306 lbs and then drop down to 225 and feel the difference. Be smart when adding weight, in terms of where and how much you add.

I am going to link a motivating Buddy Lee video below and eventually do a full YouTube video on jump rope because it is my personal favorite form of “cardio.”  Look forward to more content on jumping rope and let me know in the comment section below about specific questions referring to technique, workouts, products, and what is right for you!

OH, and how could I forget to introduce Buddy Lee, an American hero and one of the greatest individuals in the world of fitness. He is an Olympic wrestler, International motivational speaker, and trainer to US soldiers and professional MMA fighters. I’m not anywhere near as skilled as Buddy but I have my own style that focuses on power and explosiveness, which is highlighted when I do triple unders with a regular rope with 100 lbs of added weight. Jump rope to stay hungry and fit!

BONUS KITTY PIC

Caught the cuties cuddling!

Caught the cuties cuddling!

How to Survive the First Week of Having a Puppy

What a week it has been! If you didn’t know, we got a puppy last Friday. I feel like we’ve already had her for months. Our little Noke (noh-kay), a 3 month German Shepherd/Akita girl. We have officially survived the first week of having a puppy (where’s the wine)! I am personally exhausted by 9pm every night. It’s a lot of work. When Chris isn’t at home, I feel like a single mother with her (kind of joking…kind of). She’s a lot of work! But at the end of the day, it’s worth it.

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A few behaviors have developed with her, more nipping, more decisive walking, and better potty habits. She has been super friendly and playful with other dogs and other people which makes me feel happy. She pretty much understands the command, “Go potty.” We are slowly starting to introduce her to the cats and vice versa, and it’s going okay. It’s been a wild journey so far, and here’s what I’ve learned:

1. Be patient. Be patient, be patient, be patient. Do not lose your temper. She’s only a baby, after all. This is the biggest lesson for me and the toughest. Puppies will nip and they will nip hard because that’s what they do with their litter mates. It hurts us and we think that’s what they’re trying to do but they’re not. They just want to play. Or when they refuse to budge on walks. Take a deep breath. Remember, she’s just a baby and it’s your job to nurture her into how she should be behaving.

My arm a few days ago after a rough afternoon

My arm a few days ago after a rough afternoon

2. Learn the potty word fast. You don’t want to be standing outside with your fingers slowly turning to frostbite. Find a potty word (pee, papers, potty, etc.) and use it when he or she is on grass. When they do their business, give them lots of treats and say good potty. Trust me on this one!

3. Understand their mind. This connects back to #1–try to understand what they’re thinking. Although you may not be scared of the dark, your little pup could be terrified! Add strong wind and cars and she will be freaking out. Don’t yell at her if she’s jolting all over the place. Calmly take her where you know she is comfortable. After all, she is just a baby.

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4. Use treats…lots of them. At this point in their life, you don’t need to be worrying about your little one getting fat. Especially not when you’re giving them plenty of play and exercise. I always have at least 5-10 treats in my pocket when we go for walks. Whenever she goes potty, she gets lots of praise and lots of treats. If she’s behaving nicely like chewing her bone or calmly relaxing, she gets treats. Sitting…treats. You get the picture.

5. Encourage more than you discourage. At their infantile stage (under 16 weeks), they aren’t going to understand “No” or strong discouragement. Instead, use lots of encouragement, like the previous point. Give tons of praise when she or he does things correctly. Don’t get upset if they mess up, simply redirect them to something else. If you raise your puppy in a positive environment, it will be a happy positive dog.

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6. Take them out often. My rule is every two hours, when we can. Puppies can’t completely control their bladder muscles so when it’s coming, it’s coming. What goes in must come out. If she goes in your home, don’t scream at her. It’s your fault for not taking her out sooner. Take them out often as a precaution to fight against potty accidents.

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7. Don’t yell. This again connects to point one and it’s tough. But don’t yell. It doesn’t help the situation. You yelling translates to barking for your little one. This will escalate the situation into the puppy becoming more excited or simply scared of you. You don’t want that. Stay calm. Redirect.

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8. See #1. BE PATIENT. If you take one thing away from this post, make it this one. Just be patient, remain calm, take a break and just breathe. It’s really tough taking care of a baby dog, they need constant attention and TLC. And you’re their sole provider for that. Try to put all that love in your heart for each and every interaction.

She was great during our frisbee golf!

She was great during our frisbee golf!

So if you’re preparing for a new puppy, you can do it! It takes lots of work, but if you can put the effort in, it will be worth it. My heart melts multiple times a day over our little Spirit Princess. I know that she will turn into a wonderful dog if we keep consistent positive training. BUT YAY WE SURVIVED!! Get a puppy to stay hungry and fit!

Top 5 Healthy Restaurants in Vegas

Guest post from Peter Wise

We all know how difficult it can be to stay healthy when you’re on holiday, surrounded by exotic cuisine and relying on fast food to keep you going. Just because Las Vegas is synonymous with long buffet lines of overweight Americans and hideous burger joints doesn’t mean you can’t find a sumptuous and healthy spread.

 Spago – 3500 S. Las Vegas Blvd, Las Vegas, NV 89109

Wolfgang Puck’s “Seasonal American” restaurant was at the forefront of cuisine in Las Vegas, and has been a success since its opening in 1992. The Californian cuisine style menu boasts organic produce with daily changes to the offerings, depending on current organic produce. In terms of health food, the Spago has a vegetarian tasting menu and many seafood options for a healthier alternative to a high-class meal, easily located outside of the Forum Shops at Caesars Palace.

(http://www.bestofvegas.com/Restaurants/Canyon-Ranch-Cafe-Venetian-Las-Vegas-SpaClub/)

Canyon Ranch Cafe – 3355 S Las Vegas Blvd, Las Vegas, NV 89109

Between 7am and 6pm daily, the cafe in the Canyon Ranch Spa serves a host of healthy foods at comparatively moderate prices, for the Strip. They have smoothies, healthy teas, organic produce and healthy alternatives to main meals like turkey meatloaf, although they do have some awfully tempting-looking Mexican food, wraps and burgers. It’s an excellent opportunity to get away from the neon lights and crowds for a little while.

Go Raw Cafe – 2381 East Windmill Lane #18, Las Vegas, NV 89123 or 2910 Lake East Drive, Las Vegas, NV 89117

If only vegetarian and vegan will do, try out one of the locations of Go Raw, either on the East of the city at the Smiths Shopping Centre, or out West at the Lakes Centre, where the cafe overlooks Lake Sahara. The salad bar looks incredible and they always have fresh and organic fruit; the main downside is that it’s a little further out of the Strip, so it might be an idea to visit an online casino on your phone while out there soaking up some sunlight and sipping tasty veggie juices and healthy smoothies.

(http://raw-radiance.blogspot.co.uk/2009/09/go-raw-cafe-las-vegas.html)

 Cypress Street Marketplace – Caesars Palace Dr, Las Vegas, NV 89109

A remarkable adaptation of a food court, casual dining takes place here underneath the cypress trees inside Caesars Palace, and is based on the theme of a “picnic in the park”. As you might expect there is a huge range of speciality food cuisines, all of which are value-oriented, but the most healthy options include the much loved Romaine Course which allows you to build your own vegetarian garden salad and Ah So, which sells healthy noodle soups, sushi and wok dishes.

(http://www.caesarspalace.com/restaurants/cypress-street-market-place.html#.UwNbQ4XKg7A)

 B&B Ristorante – 3355 S Las Vegas Blvd, Las Vegas, NV 89109

An authentic experience, the B&B Ristorante is owned by the renowned celebrity chef Mario Batalio and imports its organic items from Italy – whether that’s a good or a bad thing is up to you. There are plenty of healthy meat and seafood dishes on the menu, as well as a few options for a salad if you treated yourself to a fast food burger earlier on.

It’s very rare nowadays to find a restaurant that doesn’t at least have a vegetarian option, which is always a handy fail-safe if you want to eat healthily. But the next time you’re in Las Vegas, try out one of these options for a guaranteed delicious experience that won’t send you to the gym out of guilt.

A Review of Neila Ray Workouts

Now this may be a review and critique of Neila Ray’s workouts, but I want to in no way de-value her workouts. I think what she is doing is great. She is a graphic designer that puts workouts into a friendly and accessible way. I love when people get other people to workout. The action to help other strive for health should always be appreciated. That being said, I wanted to give you how I felt about eight of her workouts, how they treated me, and just a basic review.

Neila Ray likes to put workouts into themes. The ones that my friend, Jamie, sent me are pretty much Superhero workouts with the exception of Jedi and Stormtrooper. I did these eight workouts as a workout challenge, doing one after the other. I didn’t exactly see how the exercises related to their respective superheroes, but I was game to try it. All of them did not require weights which is great for people who don’t have a gym or home gym. Again, I never want to diminish people trying workouts, I am simply giving my own take.

Day 1: Flash

I have no knowledge about the superhero, Flash, so I cannot comment on how the exercises relate to him. But I am assuming it has something to do with speed. This was surprisingly one of the toughest workouts of all eight. The high knees with the other exercises was a difficult combination and definitely left me gasping for more air and sweating. For me, un-weighted squats almost have no effect on me since I’m used to squatting 95lbs or so. A little repetitive with pushup/plank position.

Day 2: Jedi

Now those of you who know me personally, know that I am a Star Wars geek. So obviously I was especially interested in this workout and doubly critical, as well. I enjoyed the added balance into the mix as well as the woodchoppers like swinging a lightsaber. This definitely wasn’t one of the toughest, but it was probably one of the most interesting and unique as most others are repetitive. Don’t worry, Hungry and I are coming out with our own line of these workouts as we see fit (ha-ha). I’m not sure if the Force was with this one.

Day 3: Batman

Lots of core in this one, which I wasn’t too upset about. I was feeling pretty sick the night I did this (can you say caffeine overdose?),  but I was proud of myself when I pushed until the very end of all sets. Again, not feeling normal squats. This was definitely one of the more enjoyable workouts. During this challenge, I really missed my normal heavy strength training. Repetitive circuit after circuit was getting to me! I definitely approve of this one, though. I can see how Batman needs to have a strong core as he doesn’t have any real superpowers, but there certainly could’ve been some tweaks to this.

Day 4: Thor

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In the middle of a push-up

I’m a huge fan of Thor. Thor always reminds me of Chris, in a way. This was an extremely repetitive workout. I’m a fan of supersetting exercises, but usually using different muscle groups so those muscle groups don’t get overused and thus not trained to their full extent. I was not feeling the pushup/plank position over and over. I definitely don’t see how this relates to Thor, the superhero character. It was a good workout, shoulders and arms felt it, but not my favorite at all.

Day 5: Spider-Man

Boy do I hate plank jumps. Again, not the most fun, but an effective workout. The only one I connected to Spider-Man, were obviously the Spider-Man push-ups, and perhaps the climbers and plank jumps. This was another repetitive workout. What I don’t quite understand is how she decides how many sets there are. Some of the hard workouts have 10 sets while others have 7. Shrug.

Day 6: Stormtrooper

Ohhhh Stormtroopers. An accurate workout would be target training, amirite? I honestly have no clue how this connects in anyway to the Stormtrooper. But that aside, let’s continue to the workout. This was absolutely one of the easier ones, much better for beginner fitness participants. I enjoyed doing the kicking, but Stormtroopers never really have to kick. Otherwise, it were pretty similar exercises to the other workouts, with that repetition of the plank position over and over.

Day 7: Arrow

No idea who Arrow is, Chris suggested it may be “Green Arrow.” So I will cut to the chase and just review the workout. An embarrassing slight fear of mine is box jumps. I do them, yes, but I don’t like them. I need to train more with them to get over my fear. This was a great, tough workout. Probably the most advanced since it had box jumps and pull-ups. My rear delts and back were sore the next day. I didn’t enjoy it, but it was a great workout.

Day 8: Wolverine

Didn’t really see how this related, except for perhaps all the jumping stuff and raised leg push-ups for raw strength. This one actually wasn’t too hard. Again, by this point I was kind of sick of these workouts. As you can see, she heavily recycles all her exercises. It was a good workout, but there are many things I would do differently. But I always go all the way.

Before I summarize, I want to underline once more that you should try these workouts! Even if they weren’t my favorite, I love that she’s making fitness and working out more accessible to the public. It’s so important to hook people however you can into improving their health. I definitely raise my glass to Neila Ray. All in all, her workouts were simply too repetitive for me. I missed weighted exercises and was sick of all her plank-styled moves. I think it could be better shaken up with different exercises in a different order. You will absolutely see themed workouts homemade from yours truly (with hopefully our graphic designer, Mandy, who designs our logos and more) based on superheroes and others we know and love. The thought excites me. I love accepting and dominating workout challenges. Try these workouts to stay hungry and fit!

BONUS KITTY PIC

Kitties on a bed

Kitties on a bed

Weekly #Workout Plan

As you may or may not know, we just got a puppy, so it’s going to make our workout lives a little different. One of us should be with Noke as much as possible as she really shouldn’t be left alone for more than 2-3 hours, so that means we split up more. Which means we don’t get to go to the gym together (womp womp) and we have to take turns! This went okay over the weekend, but now comes the work week and I’m not exactly sure how it’s going to pan out. All in all, we just have a lot less time and flexibility to workout. But here is our plan

Hungry

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  • Monday:  Legs, get some power and explosiveness back, hit the jump rope and box jumps hard
  • Tuesday: Core, focusing on strengthening my lower abs, which have always been weak
  • Wednesday: Back and biceps, trying to peak out my biceps and strengthen the lower back
  • Thursday: Shoulders, packing some strength and size onto my front delts, side delts, and traps
  • Friday: Chest and triceps, building that inner chest from top to bottom, thickening the triceps
  • Saturday: Legs, getting some size and strength back, balancing the hamstrings and quads
  • Sunday: Core, focusing on full core exercises such as planks and hanging medleys

Fit

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And all those days will be supplemented with additional walking with the new pup. Who knows if we will hit every workout. I’m sure there will be days where we just want to flop down because of puppy exhaustion, but I believe it is very important to make a plan! Create a workout schedule to stay hungry and fit!

  • Question of the Day: What’s your ideal time to workout?

BONUS PUPPY PIC

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Welcome to the Family: Noke! (Puppy Spotlight)

A 3-month old female Akita, Shepherd mix with lots of energy and love. “Noke” (no-kay), her short name, comes from the movie titled “Princess Mononoke,” a Miyazaki favorite of ours. The name means “Spirit Princess” which we think is pretty fitting so far. We’ve been planning on getting a puppy for a while now, and set an easy date for Valentine’s Day because it’s roughly a month or so since we’ve been back from New Zealand. We know it’s going to be a lot of work, but it will be worth it. We’ve arranged our schedules to make it possible (also helps that Chris works 2 minutes away from home). We got her from the Humane Society of Boulder Valley (which is an amazing place that we love to support and got our kittens from there). We almost weren’t able to get her, but with some secretive work from Chris the day before, he managed to put her on hold and surprised me with the fact. Awesomesauce.

First few moments having her, she did great in the car!

First few moments having her, she did great in the car!

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Ready to be ours!

Ready to be ours!

Noke is very curious and wants to know everything about anything. She likes to know what’s happening at all times whether it be in the kitchen or on a walk (which make them a little longer than usual). We got her yesterday and she’s already fit in at home. Right now, she’s passed out on the carpet after a walk and lots of play. She likes to stay close to us, which is nice on walks because she never really pulls. For the first few months of her life she had parvo (basically the flu for dogs–vomiting and pooping) and mites (making the poor girl itch!). This means she was in quarantine and very sickly for a while. Both fore-paws are shaved as IVs were necessary to provide fluids. She is now healthy and is just a little itchy from the dead mites. Since she was in quarantine for a while, so many things are new to her. She likes to stop in her tracks and stare at new things. If things are scary, she just walks a little closer to me, but doesn’t cry or cower.

A night time walk...she is such a pleasure to walk! No pulling!

A night time walk…she is such a pleasure to walk! No pulling!

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Her paw print next to Chris'

Her paw print next to Chris’

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She has a very sweet nature except for the occasional nip which you find in all puppies. She loves to play, chew, and run around as fast as she can. And so far she’s a big fan of sleeping (yay)! We are crate-training her and she slept through the entire night (almost 8 hours). I was ecstatic. We are so excited to see her personality and body develop. She has small paws, but a big head so we aren’t sure how big this girl is going to get. Basically from the neck down she looks like a German Shepherd and her head and face looks Akita–pretty darn cute. She’s a great listener and already knows the command “Sit” so that’s a nice plus! We’ve researched lots and have a few tricks up our sleeves to turn her into a well-mannered dog. She even got a bath (she smelled awful) and handled it great! No tantrums!

Zzz

Zzz

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Our little babushka

Our little babushka

Our kitties haven’t met her yet. We are keeping them in separate rooms for now until Noke gets her last medication for the mites. They aren’t too upset about it, they get the bedroom with the sheepskin in it, so they are having hardcore nap time. I predict Nymeria will get along with the pup and Sajah will be terrified and avoid it all costs, which is why we will always have escape routes and high places for our babies. I’m excited to bring the household all together.

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Love this picture

Love this picture

So that’s Noke, she’s here and ready to live! We are beyond excited, thrilled, and ready to take on this little monster. Can you say best Valentine’s Day ever? And as always…stay hungry and fit!