Moved Blog! Come Follow Me!

Hi everyone!

I moved my blog host and in the process my subscribers are no longer getting¬†emailed when I post a new blog! ūüė¶

If you would like to follow me at the same domain (still happilyforeverfit.com!) please visit my new site and re-sign up to follow HappilyForeverFit via email on the right column.

In case you missed it, I have some new posts up you should check out including my favorite healthy desert right now!

Be happy. Be fit.

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Daily Dose of Cardio WORKOUT

Happy hump day! Have you worked out yet?? If not, do this quick 30 minute workout.¬†It focuses on the cardiovascular system and will definitely get your heart pumping and your lungs doin’ their thang!

Remember: cardio is like medicine for your heart! You wouldn’t skip a day of taking your really important, doctor¬†prescribed¬†medication would you? Well don’t skip a daily dose of¬†your¬†cardiovascular workout¬†medicine either! ūüôā¬†

 

Your Daily Dose of Cardio WORKOUT

Do each exercise for 45 seconds w/ 15sec rest. Rest 1 min btw rounds and do 5 rounds

  1. Lunge Switch-outs (Start in a lunge with your right foot in front, jump and switch to a lunge with the left leg in front) (No impact: Just do alternating forward lunges)

  2. Jumping Jack Plank – Get into a push-up position and then jump your feet wide, then narrow, wide, narrow…. staying in that plank position the whole time; wrists under shoulders!

  3. Karaoke (aka Grape-Vine) 10 meters right, 10 meters left, repeat (Karaoke = cross in front, cross behind, cross in front, cross behind…)

  4. Kettle Bell Swings (IF you know how to do them!!) Otherwise do squats ūüôā

  5. High Knees in place – bringing each knee up to 90 degrees

  6. Core move of your choice! (Drawing a blank? Do a forearm plank and alternate lifting up one leg and then the other)

cropped-cropped-photo-6.jpg

Mountain Climbin’ like Crazy

So many mountain climbers, so little time! Here is a workout for you all that requires NO EQUIPMENT and just a little bit of space. Warm-Up for 5 minutes and then set a timer for 30 minutes. Do as many rounds as you can in that 30mins. Remember to grab water when you need it, and have fun with it!

  • 30 Mountain Climbers (Right+Left = 1)
  • 20 Squat Jumps (do a squat, then jump as high as you can; Beginner or Knee issues? Just do squats, avoid the high impact of the jump)
  • 30 Wide Narrow Mountain Climbers(Jump out + jump in = 1)
  • 30sec Side Plank Right (More advanced? Hold for a minute)
  • 30sec Side Plank Left (More advanced? Hold for a minute)
  • 20 Knees to Opposite Elbow Climber(Each leg up is 1; aka Right+Left= 2 reps)
  • 2 minute Run or Power Walk¬†(no room? Just jump rope – or invisible jump rope – in place for two mins)

photo (17)

 

Be happy. Be fit.

Kale Chips!

Kale chips are easy and delicious!! Follow the simple steps below and enjoy this healthy, crispy, snack!

baked-kale-chips-recipe-1

PREP: 10 mins
COOK: 10 mins
READY IN: 20 mins

Ingredients

  • 1 Bunch Kale
  • 1-2 Teaspoons Salt
  • 1 Tbsp Olive Oil
  • (Feel free to use other spices too! Pepper, paprika, chili flakes, dill, etc. you pick!)

Directions

  1. Preheat an oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Line a non insulated cookie sheet with parchment paper.
  2. With a knife or kitchen shears carefully remove the leaves from the thick stems and tear into bite size pieces. Wash and thoroughly dry kale.
  3. Throw the kale in a large gallon plastic baggie and drizzle kale with olive oil and sprinkle with seasoning salt. SHAKE SHAKE SHAKE what your mama gave ya while shaking the bag to cover kale in olive oil and salt.
  4. Bake until the edges brown but are not burnt, 10 to 15 minutes.
  5. Let cool and then devour!

Monday Workout – All you need is your BOD!

Hello world! Here is an excellent no equipment needed workout to start your week off right! Head to a park or do it at your house. Time to beat those Monday Blues!

Do 45 seconds of each exercise, with a 15sec rest btw each exercise. Rest 1 min after the whole round. Do 4-5 rounds ūüôā

Monday workout!

1) Russian Twists Рlike this video; keep back straight! The more you lean back, the harder the exercise! You could also hold 5-10lbs in your hands to make it harder

2) Squats w/ something 20ish lbs at chest (remember to keep your heels down, and butt goes back like you are going to sit on a bench)

3) Down Dog Push Ups Рsee video HERE

4) Standing T’s – Stand on right leg, kick left leg behind you and reach your left¬†arm forwards like superwoman. Do that same side for 22sec then switch sides (reaching leg and reaching arm are on the same side!)

5) Forearm Plank w/ Alternating arm lifts – while in your plank, lift your right arm up and hold for 1-2 seconds, then lift left for 1-2 secs. Keep alternating sides

6) Alternating Reverse Lunges (aka backwards lunges) Рdo one right backwards lunge, then one left backwards lunge, repeat. (Knee pain? Just do backwards big steps)

Be Happy. Be Fit.

The Medicine Ball Workout!

All you need for this killer workout is a medicine ball! This workouts gets your heart rate up, strengthens the legs, & tones your core and back!

Warm-Up and then do as many rounds as you can in 30 minutes!

**Use a 8-10lb hard MB (medicine ball) for moves below

  • 10ea – Stand next to MB, Squat to pick up MB, reach it up an over head (straighten your legs when the ball is overhead) and then squat to place MB on ground, then sideways jump over MB. Repeat 10 in a row going right, then ten left. (Keep back straight in squats!!!)
  • 60sec. Plank on HDs (like push up position) with both feet balanced on the MB
  • 5ea SFT Squats, hold MB at your chest. (These are the squats in 6 different foot positions… right in front, left in front, wide, narrow, toes in, toes out)
  • 3 Sets of Box Drill – Run forwards 5m, shuffle left 5m, backwards run 5m, shuffle right 5m
  • 10ea Single Leg Decelerating Squats – stand on 1 leg in front of a chair, box, couch etc. Slowly decelerate your butt down into a single leg squat until your butt just barely touches the chair, then stand up!

Enjoy!

Be Happy. Be Fit.

Black Bean, Sweet Potato, Quinoa Smoked Chili!

This is another one of my favorites from Ambitious Kitchen! Perfect for a chili cook off this summer! Or just any lunch or dinner ūüôā This recipe is loaded with FIBER and PROTEIN, enjoy!

chili
Ingredients
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 medium carrots, diced small
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • pinch of nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 2 teaspoons chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon Smoked Chipotle Tabasco sauce
  • salt, to taste
  • 1 can (15.5 oz) low-sodium tomato sauce
  • 2 cups cooked quinoa
  • 2 can black beans (15.5 oz), drained
  • 4 cups low-sodium vegetable stock, plus more to thin if desired
  • 1 large sweet potato, peeled and diced into small cubes
  • For Chipotle Creme:
  • 1 cup plain greek yogurt
  • 2 teaspoons Smoked Chipotle Tabasco sauce, plus more if desired
  • 1/2 teaspoon honey
  • 1/4 teaspoon dijon mustard
Instructions
  1. Heat the olive oil in  a medium pot over medium-high heat. Add the onion, garlic, carrots and salt; saute for 5 minutes or until onions become translucent.
  2. Add the entire can of tomato sauce to the pot. Next add the black beans, vegetarian broth, all spices, and quinoa. Bring to a boil; reduce the heat to medium, add diced sweet potatoes. Cover and simmer for 30 minutes, or until potatoes are tender. Taste and adjust the seasoning if needed.
  3. Make the smoked chipotle yogurt combine tabasco sauce, honey, and dijon mustard in a medium bowl.
  4. Spoon chili into bowls and add yogurt sauce on top. Enjoy!

chili2

Mango & Avocado Black Rice Salad with Cilantro-Lime Vinaigrette

This is so delicious! A great recipe to make for dinner with friends or a significant other! Enjoy ūüôā

Mango & Avocado Black Rice Salad with Cilantro-Lime Vinaigrette

 

IngredientsMango black rice avocado salad
  • 1 1/2 cups organic black rice
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 large ripe mango, diced
  • 1 small ripe avocado, diced or sliced
  • 1/4 cup roasted almonds
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1/2 cup diced red onion
  • For the Vinaigrette:
  • 1/4 cup freshly squeezed lime juice (about 3 limes)
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon honey (agave nectar if vegan)
  • 1/4 teaspoon Kosher salt
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • lime wedges, to garnish
Instructions
  1. Rinse rice in mesh strainer. Add to medium saucepan. Add 2 3/4 cups water and a pinch of salt; bring to a boil. Cover, reduce to a low simmer, and cook until rice is tender and water is absorbed about 30-40 minutes. When rice is done cooking, remove from heat and transfer to a bowl. Cool for 10 minutes before adding dressing.
  2. While rice is cooking prepare the dressing: Combine lime juice, olive oil, garlic, honey (or agave), cilantro, and salt in a food processor. Process for 15-30 seconds or until dressing is combined. Once rice is done cooking and has cooled a bit, stir in dressing and . Cover bowl and place in fridge for an hour or until cool and you are ready to add in the rest of the salad ingredients.
  3. Before serving, toss salad again with dressing and fold in cilantro, mango, and red onion. Pour into cold salad bowls and top with roasted almonds and avocado. Garnish with a lime wedge or extra cilantro if desired. Enjoy!

*Original recipe by Ambitious Kitchen  Рmy favorite food blog!!

Be Happy. Be Fit.

 

How to Have both a Social Life and a Healthy Life

Happy Thursday everyone! I g397061_10150813175798056_1526232110_net this question from my clients all the time: How do I stay on track for my goals and living a healthy lifestyle and still maintain a social life?

That is a great question!! It can be tricky, especially if your social life consists or eating at cool restaurants, drinking at fun bars, baking for girls night and then eating some more… sound familiar??

 

Here’s my best advice on this sticky situation…

One of the best things you can do is tell your friends/family¬†about what you are doing & your goals. Most likely they’ll be super supportive! Then suggest that you guys go for a hike or run on the beach together and then grab some lunch, instead of just grab lunch.

When going out for food, just try and do the best you can!
  1. Try and pick healthier options. With the health and fitness craze going around these days, there are usually plenty of hip, healthy restaurant to try. You could try a cool juice/smoothie bar, a salad place etc.
  2. If you do go to a restaurant that has tempting unhealthy options, here’s a good rule…
“Try to and make at least half of your plate healthy. For example, if you are going to have a burger, then get a¬†side salad instead of fries; or if you reallyyy want those fries then get a salad as your main course. Same for Italian¬†and other restaurants¬†– get some pasta but don’t eat the bread they put on the table, OR get a chicken salad and then eat the bread. Think either/or, not both! That way, not everything you eat at that meal is bad for you”
As for going out, that get’s tough. Obviously, you want to try and avoid alcohol if you are going for weight loss; but you also don’t want to be a buzz kill if you are meeting friends for drinks right? Here are two¬†tips…
    1. Get red wine or a super dark beer like Guinness if you are meeting up for drinks with people (red wine isn’t terrible and actually has some anti-oxidants that are good for you! Dark beers like Guinness have the least calories of any beer… shocking right??)
    2. If you are going out then try and stick to vodka sodas or vodka waters (I call that disco water – some bartenders know what I mean and others don’t haha) and then squeeze some lime, orange, and/or lemon slices into it and it actually tastes pretty good and it is about 100 cals (instead of 200-500 in a normal cocktail).
Hope all that info helps! And most importantly just keep in mind your goals and why you are changing your diet and routine. That will be your best motivator ūüôā
– Amanda
Be Happy. Be Fit.

Losing Belly Fat Isn’t Just About Diet & Exercise!


LOSING BELLY FAT ISN'T JUST ABOUT DIET AND EXERCISE!
Ready to hear something that just might blow your mind? Diet and exercise, although VERY important, are not the only factors to weight loss, especially fat loss in the stomach area! If you’ve ever felt like you have hit a weight loss plateau,¬†or that the rest of your body is toning up but¬†your waistline just won’t budge, there is something else to consider: hormones! There are many different hormones in our body that affect how each of us burns and stores fat in the stomach area. But basically it boils down to two major hormones: cortisol and insulin.¬†

Let’s pause about the hormones for a second and talk about fat. There are two types of belly fat: visceral and subcutaneous fat. The visceral fat is deep inside, surrounding our organs. This fat cannot be seen by the eye or pinched. On the other hand, subcutaneous belly fat is what you can pinch at your waistline and is often nicknamed a “muffin top”. The good news is that visceral (deep inside) belly fat¬†recieves a lot of blood supply, is rich in beta-receptors, is more responsive to cortisol, and is less sensitive to insulin. Those are bunch of fancy scientific words basically saying that visceral fat is hard to store and easy to burn, thus can more easily be managed by exercise and diet.¬†

However, our subcutaneous belly fat is a different story. It has more alpha hormone receptors, meaning that it is less responsive to fat-burning hormones. It also is far more insulin sensitive and less reactive to cortisol. In a nutshell: subcutaneous fat is easier for our body to store and harder to burn and get rid of. This is where healthy hormone levels come in!

Hormones, specifically cortisol and insulin are responsible for the storage and release of fat cells, especially in that pinchable¬†subcutaneous¬†belly¬†fat. Simply put, if these hormones are out of¬†whack, they cannot do¬†their¬†jobs correctly. What effects¬†these¬†hormones? You can think of cortisol as the “sleep and stress” hormone and insulin as the “starch and sugar” hormone.

It is a known but often overlooked fact that we all NEED 7-8 hours of sleep a night. Even slight sleep deprivation can cause a stress response in the body, which alters cortisol levels. Other stresses such as work, relationships, and physical stress (ie. over-exercising, posture) can also alter cortisol levels. Thus, it is very important for each of us to manage our stress in order to shrink that waistline. This could be a nice long walk, a restorative yoga session, massages, spa treatments, meditation, laughing, reading, or any other activity you find relaxing. Eliminating stress and increasing sleep are the keys to keeping your cortisol levels in check, and therefore promoting belly fat loss.

The other main hormone, insulin, is more affected by how many starches and sugars you consume. Foods high in sugar and simple carbohydrates can cause your insulin levels to spike (bad news for the subcutaneous fat!). However, consuming more complex starches (brown rice, quinoa, and other foods with a low glycemic load) has the opposite effect and actually helps maintain a stable, healthy insulin level.

Phew that was a lot of information! Take some time to understand it. If you would like to read the entire article, and learn a bit more about the science behind burning subcutaneous and visceral stomach fat, check it out here!

Now get some sleep and de-stress! See below for one of many de-stressing ideas.

– Coach Amanda

Full Body Quick Workout

Hope you all had a great Valentine’s day and weekend! I spent the weekend in beautiful Monterey CA ūüôā Did a bunch of hiking, ran along the coast, went to the aquarium and indulged in some delicious food and wine.

Running out of time for a workout today? No way! Try this short one, anything is better than nothing, just get moving! Do the circuit below as many times as you can in 20 or 30 minutes (or even 15min if you are really pressed for time). Enjoy!

Full Body Quick Workout

  • 30 sec Plank, Alternate lifting up your right/left arm (extended out like superman) every 5 seconds. The tricky part? Don’t let your hips tilt! Keep them square to the ground
  • 20 Sumo Squats with Bicep Curl (wide legs with toes pointed out,¬†every time you come up from the squat curl the dumbbells up, when you¬†go down into the squat, straighten your arms out of the curl)
  • 100 Jumping Jacks
  • 10 Push Ups¬†– from knees, toes, or elevated with hands on a couch
  • 7 sets of : 1 right side lunge + 1 left side lunge + burpee

Monterey CA

Monterey CA

NO butter & NO Flour Peanut Butter Cookies!!

Peanut Butter Cookies, no butter nor flour

I have to admit I was skeptical of this recipe as I plopped very gooey blobs of this cookie dough onto the cookie sheet, BUT THEY TURNED OUT SO GOOD!!!

This peanut butter cookie recipe has NO BUTTER, and NO FLOUR, and still turns into a perfectly textured, very delicious treat! It does have a lot of peanut butter and some brown¬†sugar, so it’s definitely not perfectly healthy but it is a better option for sure.

Peanut Butter Cookies, no butter nor flour

I mean look at the perfect cookie! MMMM! I didn’t put chocolate chips in it, but I’m sure you could add that if you wanted to. Below is a picture of the dough. It is very gooey and even hard to shape into balls and put on the cookie sheet. But don’t be discouraged, they’ll turn out beautifully. Give this recipe a try! ūüôā

Peanut Butter Cookies, no butter nor flour

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 cup creamy or chunky peanut butter
  • 2/3 cup packed dark brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2/3 cup rolled oats (gluten-free if desired)
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda

STEPS:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F
  2. In small bowl mix together the oats and baking soda; set aside.
  3. In a large bowl beat peanut butter, brown sugar, eggs and vanilla, I just used a fork to get it nice and mixed up. Mix in dry ingredients
  4. Roll cookies into 2 inch dough balls and place onto cookie sheet 2 inches apart – this step is tricky because the dough is so sticky, do your best!
  5. Bake cookies for 8-10 minutes and remove right when the cookies start to turn golden brown. Don’t overcook! The cookies may look a little underdone, but they will continue to cook once you remove them from the oven. Cool for 2 minutes on the cookie sheet then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

ENJOY!

Be Happy. Be Fit.