Mid Month Check In – What Are You Doing To Shake That Work OUt Up?

15 Feb


Here we are mid February already… a little over two weeks into our first month of the 12K Challenge.  For those participating I would be interested in hearing how you are doing.  Have you hit the challenge goals for this month?  Are you working towards it? 

Stay strong… remember each months goal will increase by a little bit but you will be stronger and healthier for it.  Remember – those of you who are signed up for the challenge did so for a reason… you wanted to challenge yourself, you wanted to be fitter, or stronger, or healthier… or all of the above. 😀

So…. what are we waiting for?

Today I wanted to post about shaking up the work out.  It is hard to get up every morning and do the same thing over and over again.  Not only does it become routine for you – it becomes routine for your body.  This means your body will sort of level  out and you will not be seeing the results you want to on the scale or in the mirror.

This is why it is fun to shake things up in a way that shakes up your work out routine puts a jump start back on your goals and if you do it right… can also be a lot of fun!

I personally have found myself enjoying events that are around the state I live in, fun to participate in and a great way to hang out with friends and make new ones as well. The next one on my calendar is The Get Lucky.  It is a 7k run on March 16th.  Today, looking out the window at all the snow its hard to think I will be doing a 7K in a months time… 😛

But  – here’s the kicker.  By putting an event like that on my calendar, I will train for it.  Knowing that is coming up will motivate me to go to the gym.  I have been doing events like these for a couple of years not and they are super fun… and super addicting. 😀

You probably have events such as this in your area of the world.  Google your state and add the word(s) 5k or mud run or cycling.  Check out the chamber of commerce websites for cities near you.  One website to check out would be Active.com, which lists physical events around the world.  Ortho.com is mainly Minnesota and Chicago but has some fun events as well.

Please share any events that you have participated in or plan to participate in.  😀


SHRED Revolutionary Diet by Ian K Smith MD (And A Giveaway!)

9 Feb


What do you do when you are working out, eating right and you seem to have hit this wall where you are no longer losing weight but you have still not reached your goal?  Author lan K Smith lays out a strategic plan of how to break through that plateau in his 6 week program laid out in this book.  Through a varying workout plan and switching up your food, Ian shows the way to losing those hard to lose pounds and gain control.


Why did I want to read this book?

I enjoy reading about people who are successful in fitness and I am always interested in learning more on healthy eating and ways to work out that mix it up.  I like the idea of the 4 small meals and three snacks a day (eating something every 3-4 hours), while I have not yet implemented anything from this book into my daily eating or lifestyle, I do think I will as I like the foods that are suggested. 

Another part of this book is that each week is laid out with a where you are at section, what to expect at this point and a day-to-day meal plan with many choices.  I also like that each week has guidelines for helping you with food purchases, what to look for when reading labels and all foods are every day items you can easily pick up at your local grocery store. 

While you may think that the smaller and more frequent meals would be hard to keep up on around your daily life, with a little pre planning these mini meals are easy to take with you.  You also get some surprise “shake up” meals within the plan like grilled cheese and pizza. 

I have read many books on this subject and do not find all of them doable or even likable.  I believe SHRED is a good program for those working on that last 10 to 20 pounds and I also think it would for for those looking for a way to kick off a healthier eating and work out program as well.

I was sent this book for an honest review and also had purchased a copy so I would offer a giveaway to one lucky commenter.  Leave me a comment below on one thing you are doing to lead a healthier life style in 2013.  I will choose a winner using Random.Org on Friday February 15th and then I will mail the book to the winner. 😀

This book was sent for me for review by

Krupp Kommunications, Inc

Eat and Run by Scott Jurek

7 Feb


When you think of this worlds “super runners” Scott Jurek’s name has a good chance of being on that list.  He came on the radar in 1999 when he took first place in a 100 mile run over the old Gold Rush Trails in California and continued to take first in that run for the next seven years.  Scott had broke records,  twice won the Badwater 135 mile  Ultramarathon, and set an American record of 165.7 miles in 24 hours.

So who is Scott and what makes him run?

Scott grew up in a “meat and potatoes family” with a desire to run – but not always a passion for it.  In fact he hated running.  As he grew to adult he went to an all plant-based diet and worked his way to ultra running.  Scott’s story is an inspiration to anyone who has a dream to better themselves and for whatever reason felt it was impossible to reach their goals.



For the last year I have had this desire to learn how to run.  I don’t know why or where it came from other than the fact that runners have great stamina, I admire their dedication and dare I say it looks like fun?   Scott’s story was really impressive to listen to.  His story is engaging, he is down to earth and funny.  You do not need to be some sort of fitness guru to enjoy this book and come out the other side with a lot of knowledge on running and a bit of inspiration to boot.

At the end of the audio he shares some yummy sounding vegan recipes that I plan to try.


Lentil-Mushroom Burgers

1. In a medium-size pot, bring 2 1/4 cups of water to a boil, then add 1 cup dried green lentils, 1 teaspoon dried parsley, 1 minced garlic clove, and 1/4 c up chopped onions. Simmer for 35 to 40 minutes.
2. Combine 3/4 cup chopped walnuts, 2 cups bread crumbs, and 1/2 cup ground flax seeds in a small bowl and set aside.
3. In a separate pan greased with olive oil, sauté 1 cup chopped onion, 2 minced garlic cloves, 3 cups finely chopped mushrooms, and 1 1/2 cups finely chopped kale or other winter greens for 8 to 10 minutes. Set aside to cool slightly.
4. Remove lentils from heat, add 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard and 3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar, and mash ingredients together.
5. In a large bowl, combine lentils, sautéed vegetables, and bread-crumb mixture. Cool in a refrigerator.
6. Using your hands, form patties and fry or grill until lightly browned and crispy on both sides, about 3 to 5 minutes each side. Serve on a toasted bun or on their own.

Makes 12 four-inch burgers.


Holy Moly Guacomole

  • 1 (15-ounce) can early or young peas, drained
  • 1/2 cup mashed avocado (about 1 medium avocado’s worth)
  • 1/4 cup fat-free plain Greek yogurt
  • 4 teaspoons lime juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon minced garlic (about 1/2 clove)
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt, plus more, optional
  • 1/8 teaspoon black pepper, plus more, optional
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/8 teaspoon chile powder
  • 1/3 cup chopped cherry or grape tomatoes
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped onion
  • Chopped fresh cilantro, optional
  • Chopped jarred jalapeno, optional
  • Serving suggestion: cut veggies

Place peas in a medium bowl and mash thoroughly with a potato masher or fork. (Or puree peas in a small blender or food processor and transfer to a medium bowl.) Add avocado, yogurt, lime juice, garlic, 1/4 teaspoon salt, 1/8 black pepper, cumin, and chile powder. Continue to mash until blended.Stir in tomatoes, onion, and some cilantro and/or jalapeno, if using. Season with additional salt and pepper, if desired. Enjoy!Per serving (1/3 cup): Calories 83; Total Fat 3.5 grams; Saturated Fat 0.5 grams; Protein 3 grams; Total Carbohydrate 9 grams; Sugar: 4 grams; Fiber 4 grams; Cholesterol 0 milligrams; Sodium 308 milligrams

Kick Off Day – It’s Not To Late To Join In!!!

1 Feb


Happy Kick Off Day!  Yes the 2013 12K Challenge start is right here.  Hopefully you have signed up early, prepped yourself for what this challenge may look like for you – and of course envisioned where you will be 12 months from now. 😀

If You have not signed up yet but wish to do so…. ABSOLUTELY!  Here is where you can sign up and read all about what the 12K challenge is.

And now… here is the February Challenge:


For those who signed up for the challenge as it was laid out:

This month your goal is do do a 1K before the end of February.  That is 5/8 of a mile, 3300 feet.  You can walk it tread mill it, jog it, run it, elliptical…. whatever you wish to use to get you there in a single work out session.

If this is too low a of a starting goal, feel free to adjust to where you wish to start at…. maybe a 2k (1.24 miles)  Remember wherever you start – don’t start too high as you need to add to this each month by a “K” for the next 12 months. 


Modified Version: 

You may wish to start with the 1k for this month (5/8 of a mile) and stick with doing that for the first few months of the challenge repeating it for March and April… until you are ready to do more.  You know your ability, just be sure to challenge yourself, do not make it too easy, but do not over extend yourself either.  You can walk it tread mill it, jog it, run it, elliptical…. whatever you wish to use to get you there in a single work out session.

Set your goal – and work towards it.  YOU can do it!



My recommendation for advanced is to start with a 5K (3.2 miles) for this month.  You can walk it tread mill it, jog it, run it, elliptical…. whatever you wish to use to get you there in a single work out session.  Remember wherever you start you need to add the 1K (minimum) per month, ending the 12 months with a 17K for those of us who start with a 5K (10.56 mile).

Be sure to write down your goal and share it with others.  Its easier to stay on track if others know what you are doing and can be an encouragement to you.  It’s much easier to give up on something that no one knew you were a part of anyway.  DO what you need to hold yourself accountable”

1.  Get a work out buddy

2.  Talk to a friend or family member about your monthly goal

3.  Scheldule your work outs like you would an important appointment.  Do not miss your appointments for a healthier stronger you!

4.  Picture yourself down the road 6 months… what are you doing?  Are you running in a local event?  Are you participating in activities that you have only previously observed?  How do you look?  Are you stronger?  Leaner?  More self assured?  Hold on to those images.

5.  Write it down!  If you blog there is a place to write your own starting post and link it up below.  If you do not blog, write it in a journal or start a goal notebook.  Refer to your goal often.  Know it.  Reach it.


Mini BONUS Challenge for February (optional)

For all three levels of this challenge your February bonus challenge is to drop a habit this month that may not be the best for you.  You are only dropping it for a month and are more then welcome to add it back in March.  Ideas may be:

Lose your latte habit

Let go of a not so healthy snack:  chips, a favorite candy, chocolate,desserts

Fast Food

Lowering your TV watching

To work up to your goals, try to do a little bit 4 to 5 times a week.  Take walks, jog, try something new – snow shoeing, skiing, racquet ball, a class at a  gym, hiking with friends… If you keep it fun and interesting, you will forget you are working out and instead you will be having fun.

We all like fun right?  😛

For myself, I am starting with a 5K this month.   I will probably do it at the gym on the treadmill as Minnesota right now is freakishly cold outside.  😀  My big goal for the year is to at some point this fall, run a half marathon.  For the habit I am going to drop is the delicious green tea Latte I like to pick up from Caribou Coffee several times a week.  Its a good 200+ calories that I can put to better use.

Add your thoughts on this kick off month either by linking them below or writing them in the comment space.  If you have questions or thoughts on a post, please use the Forms provided.

Powered by Linky Tools

Click here to enter your link and view this Linky Tools list…

Be sure to pop in on the other participants and cheer them on!


31 Jan


Here we are Challenge Eve and I hope those of you who are joining me in this adventure are getting ready to work towards a healthier and stronger you!  I know I am.  😀

Water is a huge part of a healthy life style.  It’s funny to think how much money we can spend on these new and fancy waters  and there are a lot out there… H2Oh, Skinny Water, Smart Water, Hint, Pur, Aquafina, ICE, Zero, Vitamin Water, MIO, Glaceau Fruit Water, Smart Sence, Propel, Sobe Life Water, Dasani…  and with names like these, why wouldn’t you drink these?

and even as you look at this list you can probably name many more or at least know what they look like in the grocer isle.  And these can run anywhere from $1 a bottle to upwards of $7, and sure… some of the bottles are pretty cool to look at I will give you that. However, for a lot less money and the same results (AND in many case healthier results) you can make your own flavored water or even good old plain water right at home.

We have delicious water at home.  I like my water to be icy cold when I drink it so I would do out and but bottles of Aquafina and put them in the freezer until they were slushy (*hangs head).  Finally – about a month ago I bought a really nice container for the frig that I now keep full of water.  It’s always cold, and it’s always ready to go. 


my super awesome to go cup I use I bought at Wal-Mart around Christmas time… (I bought two of these, $4.49 each, a red one and a green one… and you can find these in most retail stores now.


What I like about this style is I can take it anywhere, and believe it or not… I like the straw.  It’s always ready to drink.  I take this one to work with me, to the gym, and use it at home.  I try to keep it full and next to me all day long and I am surprised how much more water I drink with it always ready to go.

Now going back to those flavored waters.  I admit… water can get boring.  I can drink a lot of it during  a workout but to try to get in my 8+ glasses a day on just a regular day is a bit trickier.  I started adding fruit.



This one above has slices of orange in it and it adds a nice hint of orange flavor that is all natural.  You can also add slices of cucumber, apple, strawberries, mint leaves , lemon, pineapple, raspberries, grapefruit, pomegranate seeds, peaches, blueberries… and image how pretty these will look in your glass and how trendy you will be when you show up with a beautiful 100% water beverage and “they” are sucking on a Sobe.  😛

And doesn’t this look like a delicious alternative beverage when having friends over?


Drink up!  Do you have any combinations to add? 

Weekend Cooking: Egg White LOADED Omelets

26 Jan


We are less than a week out from the 2013 12K Challenge (hosted right here!) and part of that challenge was changing up our eating habits. 

For the past few weeks at my house we have been working on the “out with the not so good and in with the healthier choices.  One of the steps I am taking is going through a cupboard one at a time and switching it out to good foods for good cooking.  Here is my first cupboard achievement:



Today for Weekend Cooking I thought I would offer up a healthy breakfast/lunch item that I like to make.  I am a big fan of eggs and we are lucky enough to have friends who raise chickens so I am always in full stock of good fresh eggs. 

I like to make egg white omelets (egg whites are 17 calories per egg) and load them with any  vegies I have on hand.  Recently I made this one I am about to share with leftover shrimp we had from a get together and it was DELICIOUS.  Shrimp are extremely low in calories (6 calories each), practically no fat and a nice pinch of protein.  While I have no exact recipe here as it changes every time I make it, here is the basic idea:


3 or 4 egg whites (either use an egg white substitute or I separate the egg whites from fresh eggs)

any vegies you have on hand – for this one I used onion, squash, mushroom and spinach

olive oil

season to taste

shrimp ( I have also used left over turkey, ham, and turkey bacon)

Cut up all the vegies you plan on using. If using spinach, this will be added later so set aside. Heat up your fry pan with a little but of olive oil.  Once the oil is hot pour in your vegies and the shrimp  (not the spinach)and stir fry them for a few minutes until vegies are tender and shrimp are a nice cooked pink.  Have your egg whites ready to go (I usually add about 1/4 cup of water to my eggs), stir it all up and pour on top of your vegies.  Usually I have too many vegies to turn it into a nice looking omelet so I scramble up the eggs with the vegies and shrimp. 


Step 1: stir frying in olive oil

Once the eggs are no longer wet while cooking, I add in a healthy handful of fresh spinach and let that cook with the eggs about an additional three minutes.  Add salt and pepper to taste or other seasonings you enjoy.


Step 2: Adding the spinach in (I know its hard to see the egg because I really over do it on the vegies)

When everything is cooked, pour out onto serving dishes and enjoy.  This is super filling and delicious, a highly tasty dish with few calories and practically no fat.


Step 3: Serve and eat!

This recipe is posted for the Weekend Cooking meme, go to the link to find other recipes!  Who knows what you might find for dinner. 


The Challenge!

15 Jan



Finally!  I am getting this challenge going!  😀  Life took on a BUSY season and I was hoping to have this up mid December and kick off January 1st, but instead we will be officially kicking off on February 1.

So what is the 12K challenge?  It is a fitness challenge that I believe *almost anyone can do no matter your age, weight, or fitness level.  Together I am asking those of you who join me to participate in a wellness program that will hopefully as a group lead us to healthier habits for our bodies, better shape, and a better fitness level.

Each month – your basic goal will be to take it 1K at a time.  A 1K is 5/8 of a mile.  Each month we will add to that another K.  This is your basic goal in this challenge – you can walk it, run it, tread mill it, elliptical it, whatever works for you.  The goal is by the end of each month to have completed the challenge and by January 2014, be able to do a 12K which is 7.46 miles.

You know those people who are always doing 5k’s and you are thinking wow!  That is amazing!  They are actually running/walking 3.2 miles.  When you break it down… it really is doable.




But…. what if there is no way I can physically do this challenge?  No worries, there are no wrong ways of doing this.  If due to health or other reasons this would not work for you, there will be a modified version where we will convert the K’s into minutes of what you can do.  Simply let me know in the form below if you need a modified program.  *As always, be sure any workout you do is approved by your doctor.




But…this is not a challenge for me, I am already doing 5 and 10K’s and need something more to keep me motivated.  In your case, you would be in an advanced challenge.  Maybe by the end of a 12 month period your goal may be a Half Marathon (13.10 miles) or a whole marathon (26.21 miles).  Simply let me know in the form below if you need a modified program.  *As always, be sure any workout you do is approved by your doctor.


This is perfect!  It’s just the motivation I need to get moving towards a healthier me!  Awesome, glad to have you on board!  I hope that as a group we can motivate one another to reach our goals.


1.  I am setting up a Facebook group for additional tips and support of one another.  It will be optional to join but if you are looking for an extra boost, advice, food tips, etc… this may be something you want to take a look at.  Our group will be closed, meaning invite only so you must sign upon the form to request access.

2.  I am also working on a random generator that will be on this page soon.  This generator will give you a random 20 minute work out goal for each day, anything from walking, lunges, stretching to dancing. 

3.  Throughout the week I will be posting here my fitness ideas, goals and anything in between so pop in often. 

4.  A question form will be set up for any questions you may have and if I do not have the answer, I will try to find someone who does and may post your questions anonymously if I feel it is something others may benefit from as well. 

5.  On Saturdays I will post healthy recipes here.

6.  Occasionally there will be guest posts from friends of mine who are reaching their goals, and perhaps even you if you have a story you would like to share that fits with what we are doing here.

7.  At the end of each month we will have a check in post where you are welcome to share how you are doing in the comment section or by writing your own post (if you have a blog) and I will have an area where you can link it so we can visit and cheer you on.

8.  That’s the basics of it.  Again, no matter what your fitness level, this can work for you!  Let’s make 2013 a year to remember, to feel and be healthier, inside and out.

To participate please fill out the form.  Your information will be confidential.

An email will be sent to you confirming your participation.  YAY Team!!!  Lets get moving!  Remember, we officially will start here on February 1, but you may get started any time.