Liebster Award

This is going to be a fun post today because I was nominated for a Liebster Award!  Sweet Amanda from Amanda Browning Nutrition nominated me:)

I “met” Amanda on Instagram.  Amanda and I both share a love of food, health, and fitness; especially in the form of kale salads and big nutrition packed smoothies!  She is always so kind and supportive of my posts and I just love her positivity!!  She has plans of becoming a Registered Holistic Nutritionist one day and from what I can tell, she really knows her stuff.  Not only that, she lives it!  She will do great things I’m sure of it.

Thank you, Amanda, for the nomination!

Here are the rules of the Liebster Award:

1.  Thank the blogger who nominated you.

2.  Answer the questions you were given.

3.  Nominate other blogs with less than 500 followers.

4.  Post questions for your selected nominees to answer.

5.  Tag and link the nominees and post a comment to let them know you have nominated them and appreciate their hard work.

Here are the questions Amanda asked me:

1.  What “comfort food” reminds you of your childhood?

I’m going to have to go with tacos for that one.  In my house we would have homemade tacos every first sunday of the month.  I try to keep the tradition up because I love it.  The tacos I make look a little different now that I don’t eat meat but beans and veggies are a great sub for that!  Tacos were probably the first thing I really learned how to cook besides toast and ramen;)  My toppings of choice:  tomatoes, lettuce, corn, and hot sauce.  These days I add avocado as well.

2.  What helps keep you grounded in today’s busy world?

Counting my blessings and my husband Dom.  He has the ability to stay very calm, even when I am not.  He brings me back down to earth when I’m going out of my mind for one reason or another.

3.  What is your favorite kitchen appliance and what do you make with/in it?

These days it’s gotta be my Ninja blender.  I use it daily.  I use it to make almond/coconut milk, peanut butter, almond butter, blended soups, sauces, and of course smoothies!  So thankful I have that blender, it saves me lots of money on store bought nut milks/butters!

4.  Is healthy eating important to you?

Yes, absolutely.  For one, I feel a lot better physically when I’m making healthy eating choices.  I want my food to provide me with health, energy, mental clarity, stamina for tough workouts,  and happiness of course.  Healthy eating does that for me.  Also, for me, eating healthy also means buying organic when possible and avoiding GMOs.  This is also important to me because I prefer to support companies/farmers that are doing good in the world and not companies who just want to make a buck by creating inferior products and calling it food.

Now I nominate:

Maria at Maria Trains.  I met Maria at the GPP Intensive Training last July and have kept up with her through Instagram.  She is awesome and very inspiring.  She is a health expert and personal trainer.  Her recent journey of intuitive eating has really inspired me to keep listening to my own body, treat myself with love, and to always keep a positive body image!

Here are my questions for you:

1.  What is your favorite music to listen to during a workout?

2.  What is your favorite vegetable? Least favorite?

3.  What or who inspires you to live a healthy life?

4.  What is your dream job?  Or do you already have your dream job?

5. What is your favorite place you’ve visited and why?

_______

I’ll be back later this week with a new recipe!

Have a great day!

If you’d like, you can answer the questions in the comments below!

 

What is Heavy Lifting and a Brave Fitness Workout #2

Hello friends!

It’s about time I get another post up!

These days my workouts look like this:

Monday:  Legs/shoulders

Tuesday:  Biceps and Back (Pulling muscles) + a cardio booster at the end (I like to finish with these, aka as metabolic finishers, just to push myself a little bit more:)

Wednesday:  Full Body Bodyweight circuit

Thursday:  Core and Deadlifts or Good Mornings + plus some sprints

Friday:  Chest/Tris (Pushing muscles) + a cardio booster at the end

Yoga is also thrown in from time to time.  (But not often enough!)

As you can see most of my workouts are strength training and  I’ve really been enjoying this set up lately.  It works great for me:)  I’ve had a couple people on different occasions ask me how they know if they are lifting heavy enough so I want to address that today, but first here are some benefits of strength training:

  • Increases metabolic rate, meaning you burn more calories throughout the day, even at rest
  • Slims you down
  • Helps strengthen bones and connective tissues which will protect you from injury and prevent osteoporosis
  • Boosts confidence and help you feel empowered—might sound cheesy but I promise it’s true.  Remember how doing deadlifts fights stress/depression by boosting the feel good hormone in your body? 🙂
  • Helps to make everyday tasks (i.e. carrying groceries, lifting and carrying kids, helping someone move, etc) that much easier

So many good things go along with strength training!

Before really getting into working out I thought lifting a 5# dumbbell 100 times was where it was at and I know some may still think this.  I promise you that isn’t serving you any purpose except to make you bored and waste your time.  You must put actual stress on the muscle to create any sort of change and to reap any of the aforementioned benefits!

“But I don’t want to get bulky.”  You won’t.  It takes a lot of effort, food, and time to build big muscles.  For women especially, we simply don’t have the testosterone levels to bulk up as much as men.   But if you want to build strength and burn fat to help you out in everyday life than you must lift a weight heavy enough to stimulate change.  Here are the basics on how I usually go about picking a weight:

For beginners:

  • Pick a weight that you can lift no more than 12-15 reps.

For Veterans:

  • Pick a weight that you can lift no more than 8-12 reps.

For Both:  

  • If you can’t reach the lower number without losing form or injuring your form, pick a lower weight for now.
  • If you can lift past the higher number, time to go heavier!

So simple right?!  Now that you know, go and do it and reap the benefits!

Today’s workout is actually a body weight workout.  Let’s not forget the benefits of lifting your own body!  I love doing at least one bodyweight workout a week because you can really get in such a good workout without any weights or extra equipment!  It’s all about balance right?

10-1 Burpee Ninja Workout

  • round 1:  10 burpees, 1 ninja jump tuck
  • round 2:  9 burpees, 2 ninja jump tucks
  • round 3: 8 burpees, 3 ninja jump tucks
  • Continue this pattern until you finish the last round of 1 burpee and 10 ninja jump tucks

This workout is pretty short and is for time.  Push yourself and see how fast you can complete it!  It took me about 13 minutes!

Good luck and as always let me know if you try it!

 

 

 

 

2014

Happy New Year!!

I realize I am a few days late.  I also know it’s been awhile since I’ve posted, but I’m back!! And I really wanted to share what my goals for 2014 are.

I’m not sure if they are really even goals, more just things Dom and I talked about that we want to do more of this year.

1.  Read More

In November my younger sister let me borrow her copy of The Fault in Our Stars by John Green

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I read it in November in less than a week.  I read it again to Dom a few weeks later.  I never do that, read a book a second time I mean.  I loved this book so much, the moment I was finished I wanted to read it again!  Dom ended up really liking it as well and it was fun to read a book aloud together.  So we plan on continuing this.  It’s his turn to pick a book for us to read:)  I also want to read more on my own.  I love reading, I’ve always been a reader but I want to make more time for it instead of TV in my down time.   Whether it’s fiction or non-fiction, I think it’s a good thing to do.  This is also on my list of things to read Eating Alive by Dr. John Matsen, (a gift from Dom for Christmas)! 

2. Volunteer More and Together

When I was a teenager, service and volunteering was a pretty big part of my life.  I helped with a lot of service projects in my church’s youth group as well as at school.  I really didn’t have to think about it too much because the projects were planned out for us.  These days these projects aren’t usually planned out for me but it’s still something I want to take part in.  I came across this site, volunteermatch.org.  It is pretty cool. You can look up your city and find a lot of opportunities to volunteer in your area.  They have lots of areas to volunteer in such as Environment, Health, Animal Care, Children and Youth, etc.  Pretty cool, huh?! So we definitely plan on doing more this year.

One way we are doing this already is WE ARE SHAVING OUR HEADS!!  Yep both of us.  We saw an ad for St. Baldricks (learn more about them here).  Basically, they are a foundation that raises money for childhood cancer research.  People participate by signing up to get their heads shaved and raising money for the cause!  I think this is such an amazing cause.  When I have children of my own I know I would appreciate every cent toward a cure if (heaven forbid) my children had cancer.  I’m pretty nervous about shaving my hair obviously but it will also be fun to have a change.  Plus I know it’s for a good cause and it will be worth it to help out in this way.  Plus just as Regina Spektor sang in this song, ““Maybe you should cut your own hair ‘Cause that can be so funny It doesn’t cost any money And it always grows back..”

Until we meet again, Hair!

Until we meet again, Hair!

 If you’d like to help us reach our fundraising goal you can go here.  We have until March 8ith to reach our goal.  Any amount is truly appreciated.

For my own goals:

3.  Practice Yoga 

I’m not putting a lot of pressure on myself.  I have a whole year to accomplish this goal.  I used to do a lot more yoga, at least once a week.  I haven’t done it for a long time!  But it is something I enjoy and I know it is very good for the body.  Hopefully by the end of the year it will be something that I do on a regular basis.

4.  Share More Workouts on the Blog!

Since May I have been following GPP workouts so I haven’t thought much about writing my own workouts. I love GPP and will probably always do it but lately I’ve been feeling like I needed a change. So for the past week I’ve been changing it up.  I’ve been focusing on a little more heavy lifting with fun high intensity circuits thrown.  I’ve been really enjoying planning out my own workouts again and that means more Brave Fitness workouts to share:)  Hopefully I will get a couple up this week:)

Well, now you are sort of caught up on what’s been going on lately.  I hope you all had a very happy Christmas/Holiday and Happy New year!

xo

Hannah

Any good book recommendations? Have you read any of John Green’s books?

Any goals/resolutions for the new year?

MIMM: A Marvelous Breakfast

 

Good morning!! Welcome to this Marvelous Monday post!

I hope everyone had a great weekend.  Ours was busy!! But great:)

Dom is moving into his own office for work this week so our Saturday started off early, picking up desks and moving them to his office:)   We had a long relaxing drive in a U-haul van and it was actually kind of fun!

Later that day we met up at a pumpkin patch/corn maze with some of my family!  It was a beautiful day out!! We are usually freezing when we go each year but Saturday was a gorgeous warm day!

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So we made some friends with a goat at the petting zoo.  They are kind of adorable.  We all picked out some pumpkins too!  We got a white on and I got a couple of kuri squashes and a buttercup squash which I’m super excited about!

Dom had a little bit of work to do so we headed home after that.  Later we went to Whole Foods for dinner.  I had been craving salmon all week and although I try to follow a mainly plant-based diet I also try not to ignore any cravings I have either.  In the past I used to and it never turned out well!  Glad I am passed that now:)  And I’m glad I smashed this craving!

I got a piece of lemon salmon and my favorite veggie rolls that come with a yummy peanut sauce.  I dipped my salmon in the peanut sauce too and it was so good!  It totally hit the spot!

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For a treat Dom and I each picked out a french macaroon!  I’ve never tried them and have always wanted to because they just look so cute!!

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Pistachio for me, raspberry for him.  They are pretty tasty:) I like how light they are and the light almond flavor from the almond flour.

The rest of our weekend was pretty low key.  I did make a yummy breakfast on Sunday though that I’d like to share.  This is what happens when you don’t know what to eat!  I just mixed up a couple of my favorite things and it turned out pretty good!  Chia puddings are super yummy, If you haven’t tried them yet, do it!! I know my girl Meg loves them!  I have some other chia puddings here on my blog and Meg has some great ones too on hers.  So check them out!

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High Protein Coconut Banana Chia Oat Parfait

Serves 1

  • 1/4 cup full fat canned coconut milk
  • 1 ripe banana
  • 1 TB chia seeds
  • 1/3 cup of raw oats
  • 1/4 cup of peanut flour or 1.5 to 2 TB of natural peanut butter
  • Pinch of coarse sea salt (if using peanut flour)
  • Sprinkle of Cinnamon

1. Start by mashing the banana in a bowl. Add the the coconut milk, chia seeds, and oatmeal.

2. Mix it all together and let sit for about 10 minutes. You can also make this the night before but it works great in the morning too:)

3. In the meantime mix together your peanut flour, cinnamon and salt with about 4 tb of water until you get a thick peanut butter sauce consistency.   Or if you are using peanut butter instead, mix that with the the cinnamon and 1-2 TB of water until you get a thick sauce sauce consistency.

4. When your oat mix is ready, layer it with the peanut butter sauce and enjoy!

Well I’m off to get my workout in for the day which will be this one!  Have a great monday!

xo

What was marvelous about your weekend?

Have you ever tried a french macaroon?

Five on Friday

For the past couple weeks Dom has been very busy with work.  Which of course is a blessing but its left me having to keep my self entertained during times when we would normally be hanging out.  It has given me the opportunity to catch up on some blog reading though so that’s always fun of course. So I thought I’d just do some link love today and share are some of my favorite things I’ve read or watched this week. Thank Darci  for hosting.

1. How to get flat abs…and rule the world This is not the shallow post you might think it is.  Read it.  Pretty much all of it really resonated with me.  I especially love #s 1, 3, and 4.

2.  Batdad Need a laugh, watch this.  Hilarious!

3.  Coconut oil face wash  My skin has been very uncool lately.  I’ve tried a few different products, including one that has always worked for me in the past but still I’m breaking out.  I don’t feel its diet related either since nothing has really changed. So I was looking up some reviews on a few more natural products and came across this blog post.  I’m totally trying this!  I knew coconut oil was good for skin but I didn’t know it was also good for acne and oily skin. I will let you know how it goes!

4. Can we feed 7 billion people?  I try not to waste food as much as possible.  But this makes me want to be even more diligent at not being wasteful.  This really puts things in perspective.

5.  Neil from GPP Fitness posted this on the gpp website last week and I thought it was really great.  Just another reason why I GPP♥♡. “Question from the Internet about GPP programming. “Hi there.  I’ve been following the site for a while.  I’ve done a few of the workouts here and there, but am afraid of getting big muscles.  So, I cut the weight dramatically and just plain skip heavy days.  Can I get the same results?” Nope. Look, there can be no doubt that GPP will put some “yolk” on a person.  The rigors of daily life demand a greater physicality than most people walk around with.  This leaves them woefully unprepared for  – well, virtually everything.  Greater physicality is the (positive, in our opinion) side effect of obtaining optimal health.  Most folks revel in this new, healthier look. Unfortunately there are some who, for one reason or another, still buy in to that “Cocaine Chic” look.  It’s a shame.  It’s not healthy.  Most “ideal body images” promoted by the popular media (Barbie, Waif, Jersey Shore Goomba) aren’t – unless you are naturally built like it to begin with. Let’s not over-state this increase in muscle mass though.  To think you’d gain a ton of muscle on GPP training is a ridiculous thought.  Especially for females.  Our males tend to gain much more mass than our females.  This is due to chemical and hormonal differences between the sexes.  But, even the males who are looking to “bulk up” are better served by a combination of GPP and the addition of our “Shaping, or Strength” protocol.  GPP just wasn’t intended to add bulk.  The look we obtain from training for optimal health is a very long and lean one.  Using our protocol for bodybuilding types of pursuits is ill-advised.  In fact, if you presented our training to bodybuilders (those in- the-know) as a viable sub for their training, you’d be laughed at.  Bodybuilding and mass building are very unique pursuits with their own specific protocol. People spend years training to gain mass.  Years and years.  To think somehow that you might just stumble into piles of mass by using protocol not specifically designed for it, is just plain silly to imagine.  Especially if you are female.  Especially if you are eating right.  Especially if you’ve taken specific steps to NOT gain mass (doing the workouts as recommended, but going a bit lighter is a viable sub). Bottom line is, you will definitely see changes in your body due to compliance with daily GPP protocol.  You’ll not avoid this.  These changes are healthy and look good ON!  However, not everyone likes the look of these changes (although we can’t imagine why).  Some are dead-set to look unhealthy.  The only way this can happen is to BE unhealthy. To answer your question.  “No – you can’t take something intended to help you achieve Optimal Health, mess with it, and expect to get the same results.”  ”

Hope you enjoyed some or all of these! Leave me your thoughts in the comments if you did!

Have a great weekend!

♥♡

MIMM #1 New Gym and a Birthday!

Happy Marvelous Monday Everyone!

Today is extra marvelous because  it’s my first time participating in Katie’s Marvelous in My Monday Link up:)

Top: new home gym set up complete with rubber flooring bottom left: this morning's workout bottom right:  a delicous lime smoothie

Top: new home gym set up complete with rubber flooring
bottom left: this morning’s workout bottom right: a delicous lime smoothie (see below for recipe!)

Marvelous is getting new gym equipment!!

Yes they always look that beautiful:)

Yes, they always look this beautiful:)

Marvelous is having wonderful friends to help you haul the aforementioned gym flooring.

My beautiful, cool Mom!

My beautiful, cool Mom!

Marvoulous is also having lots of family in town and surprising my Mom at church on her birthday!

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Mmm…avocado

Marvelous is enjoying a birthday dinner of taco salad at the park.

It was a great weekend indeed.

This morning started out pretty great as well.  I was very excited to workout on the new gym floor today (I’m such a weirdo, but whatever!)  I did this GPP workout, lil’ kate. And then refueled with a new protein smoothie.  I loved this one.  The consistency was very thick and smooth just how I like it!   It was very refreshing after lots of running and burpees:)

Sweet Avocado Lime Smoothie

Serves 1

  • 1 frozen banana, cut into chunks
  • juice of 1 lime
  • 1/8 of an avocado
  • 1 scoop of vanilla protein powder (I used this one)
  • about 3/4 cup of water
  • 4 ice cubes

Blend everything together until smooth and enjoy!

Now I’m off to enjoy the rest of the day!

What made your weekend marvelous?

Or, what’s making today marvelous?

Abs and Beets

Happy Monday!! I hope everyone had a fabulous weekend.  Mine was spent in the dirt, trying to catch a chipmunk, and running away from bees. Also known as camping:)

I want to start this week off for you on a healthy note so I have a workout to share with you as well as a great recovery smoothie for you to enjoy!

This is a great workout for your whole body but especially your core.  Having a strong core is so important as it helps protect you against injury (especially in your back).  It also helps stabilize you while doing other movements such as squats, overhead presses, deadlifts, etc.  If you aren’t training your core, you are putting yourself at a higher risk of injury while performing these other moves.

400s and V-ups

Perform 4 rounds of the following for time: (click on links to see how to perform each exercise:)

After your workout, refuel your muscles with this protein shake:

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Cherry Cocoa Beet Smoothie 

Serves 1

  • 1 cup of frozen beets
  • 1/4-1/2 cup frozen cherries
  • 1 TB raw cacao powder
  • 1 cup liquid of choice (may need a little more while blending)
  • 1 scoop of vanilla protein powder of choice
  • sprinkle of cinnamon
  • 1 TB of chia seeds (optional, helps to make the smoothie even thicker)
  • A few ice cubes

Blend everything until smooth and enjoy:)

Health Notes:

Beets:  Detoxify the liver, purifies the blood, helps prevent cancer.  They are very high in vitamins and minerals including B vitamins and Iron.

Cherries:  Aid in muscle recovery and can help improve memory!

Raw Cacao:  Has more antioxidants than blueberries! Is great source of magnesium (helps with heart health), chromium which helps maintain healthy blood sugar levels, and is a good source of iron and zinc.

Talk about a super smoothie:)  And trust me, this is a delicious smoothie.  Don’t be scared of the beets!  This smoothie is not overly sweet but still has a good level of sweetness from the cherries and the vanilla protein powder.  I hope you will try it!

xo

What is the strangest thing you have put in a smoothie?

What did you do over the weekend? 

What is GPP?

As of Sunday I am offcially a certified GPP trainer!!  And I couldn’t be happier:)

This past weekend was truly life changing for me as I attended the GPP Intensive Training.  I met some wonderful people and learned sooooo much!  I feel so much more confident in my knowledge of health and fitness and in what GPP is all about.   I feel even more passionate about this program than I did before and I just want everyone to know about it!  I’d love to share with you now some of the things I learned this weekend and why I’m hoping to bring it Boise!

Like I said, I had an increase of knowledge this weekend and that is thanks to Neil, the founder of GPP Fitness.   He is so awesome and kind, not to mention knowledgeable!!  I appreciated how willing he was to share all he’s learned with us.

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So let’s get to it.

GPP stands for General Physical Preparedness.   It is not about being able to lift the most weight, being the leanest, or fastest human.  Where is the purpose in that?  How will that serve you in your everyday day life?  GPP is all about having purposeful workouts and eating in a healthful way so that you can go out and enjoy life with out the limits of disease or injury.

From their website:

“Instead, get your workout in and go home.  Go be a human.  Do things that interest/edify you.  Let your exercise enable you to contribute to your family, your community and/or society in more positive ways. “

Let your fitness serve you.  Not the other way around.

GPP is about achieving Optimal Health.  This includes having the right balance of the following six aspects of health:

  • mental
  • emotional
  • social
  • spiritual
  • fiscal
  • physical

Physical being at the bottom because it is the base for balancing out  the other 5 aspects.

“To be healthy, truly healthy, you must strive for balance within these.  Too much, or too little of any one, or of several combinations of these aspects will leave you miserable and wanting.  In other words, chasing perfection in fitness (or any of the other aspects of health) generally takes from other aspects.  This leaves you unhealthy over-all.  Some of the least healthy people we know have perfect six-packs and incredible work capacity.  Yet, their work lives, home lives, and spiritual lives suffer greatly.  By the same regards.  One who does not have adequate fitness cannot be healthy either.  Remember – BALANCE.”  

I love that!  It’s so true.  I know in the past I have put too much focus on just working out to look a certain way and the other areas in my life suffered.  I still have a lot to learn but I’ve come a long way in balancing out my fitness and the rest of my life and I’m so much happier.

So this all sounds wonderful and grand right?  But how does it work?

Well, each and every one of the GPP workouts is designed with a purpose.  They are made to give you the best results in a short amount of time, usually 20-30 min.  They follow a minimalist approach.  Doing all that is necessary (including the hard stuff) but not one thing more.  Remember our fitness serves us.

As you can see you can’t sum up what this program is all about in one sentence but hopefully this helps you better understand that these workouts are not just another workout program.  It is a lifestyle.

I will leave you with some of my favorite things I learned from the Intensive training.

1.  “Perfection–we don’t believe in it or the pursuit of it.”

2. “A so called “perfectly sculpted” body may be a result of fitness but it is not the pursuit.”  The pursuit of that may look good on, but it serves no purpose; what does serve a purpose is being being the best version of you.

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On the wall at GPP Fitness

 

3.  “Movement begets better movement.”  It’s ok not to be the best at a certain move at first.   Moving in general serves a purpose and will lead to improvement.

4.  Performing Deadlifts suppresses stress!!  It also causes a hormonal effect by boosting testosterone, which helps build muscle.  It boosts the production of the human growth hormone which helps heal wounds, stretch marks, etc.

5.  It’s not just about exercise, it’s about teaching your body to change:)

I know I probably sound super preachy, but I just really love this program.  I know it works (I’ve seen it in myselft and others).  If your goal is obtaining overall health while also challenging yourself through exercise then I encourage you to check out GPP’s website and try out their workouts!  Please don’t hesitate to send me an email or comment with any questions.  I would love to help you in your training in any way I can.

xo

Have you ever tried one of GPP’s workouts or are you interested in doing so?