Friday’s Five Favorites

Hello and happy Friday!  I hope everyone has had a fantastic week.

I know I have.  It’s been a busy one, but it’s been filled with goodness.  Here are my five favorite things from this week!

1.  This smoothie recipe.  Let’s call it the Glamorous Green Smoothie.  Because it’s green and makes you feel fantastic!  I’ve enjoyed this smoothie a couple times for my quart of smoothie a day challenge (which i’m really enjoying)!  It so satisfyingly creamy.

Serves 1

  • 1 frozen banana
  • 3 leaves of romaine lettuce
  • 1/2 of a cucumber or 1-2 stalks or celery
  • 1/2 avocado
  • small knob of ginger, grated
  • 3/4 scoop of chocolate or vanilla vegan protein powder (great with either flavor)
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 2 ice cubes
  • Optional: 1 tsp of maca powder
  • Optional:  if you don’t want to use a protein powder I would suggest adding 1 date some more sweetness.

Blend everything together and enjoy!

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2. Ingrid Michaelson’s new album that came out this week.  I think she is super cool and her new album does not disappoint!

IMG_20140415_1219423.  This website I came across, ResponsibleEatingAndLiving.com.  I have been looking for a good podcast to listen to that focuses on a whole foods, plant-based lifestyle and I finally found it in this website!  It has some great stuff on it and I’ve listened to some interesting interviews this week while at work including this one with Tom Campbell, MD .  If your interested in eating more whole plant based foods, check it out!

4.  Celebrating Dom and I’s 5 year anniversary.  That’s our total time together.  Next month will be our 4 year wedding anniversary!  Anyway, last night we hiked up to the spot where we had one of our first dates.  It was nice to spend that time together.  I’m a pretty lucky girl to have spent the last 5 years of my life with him <3.

5.  As far as workouts go this was my favorite for the week.  Probably because it involved doing Power cleans, which I haven’t done for awhile!  It felt good.  Well bad, then good once I was done;)

Here we are back in the old days where Dom tried to drop me in nasty water.

Here we are back in the old days where Dom tried to drop me in nasty water.

Here is the breakdown of Brave Fitness Workout #4

 Core Craze Workout

Do 3 rounds for time:

This took me just over 22 minutes.  Let’s see if you can beat my time!

I guess that about covers my week.  I hope you all have a very happy Easter weekend spent with loved ones!

What was your favorite thing from this week?

Are you a fan of Ingrid Michaelson?

 

 

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Brave Fitness Workout #3

Happy friday everyone!

Any plans for the weekend.  It should be an interesting weekend around here.  As I mentioned in this post, my husband, my sister, and I will be shaving our heads to help raise money for the St. Baldricks Foundation.  The big day is tomorrow.  I’m a little nervous and excited at the same time.  A couple day’s ago this happened:

1795709_10152681400519408_1679549324_nI let Dom cut my hair off so we could send it to Locks of Love.  He cut off about 11 inches so right now my hair  is very short and choppy and very Michelle Williams, but not quite as smooth looking.

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Anyway, I’m grateful to be a part of such a good cause and I’m lucky to be so blessed with so much support.  People have been so giving in helping us raise money for children’s cancer research, it’s incredible!

Now, let’s talk about fitness!  Today’s workout is another bodyweight workout.  This is a great full body workout to get in your cardio and strength training at the same time.   It involves plyometrics (aka jump training).  It’s important to incorporate plyometrics when you are doing bodyweight workouts because it helps put more stress/tension on the muscle which creates change.  For me, because I have been training for some time, doing bodyweight air squats instead of weighted squats won’t do as much for me in terms of challenging my muscles but doing jump squats versus air squats, now that’s a different story!  These fast, expolosive jumping movements help improve strength, power, and speed!  Win, win, win.  Plus, plyometric workouts don’t take as long to do as a lifting session would and you still get amazing benefits!  (And some major soreness;)

So here is today’s workout!  I hope you will try it and let me know if you do.

Leg Burn Burpee Time Challenge

Complete this workout as fast as you can.  Remember to use proper form though!

  • 20 jump squats
  • 4 burpees
  • 19 jump squats
  • 4 burpees
  • 18 jump squats
  • 4 burpees
  • 17 jump squats
  • 4 burpees

continue subtracting one jump squat at a time until you complete the last round of 1 jump squat and 4 burpees.

This took me about 21 minutes!  See if you can beat my time!

Have a great weekend everyone!

 

 

 

 

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!

 

 

 

 

Brave Fitness Workout #1

Hello!!

I hope everyone had a great weekend!  I sure did!  Saw a great movie with my Mom (Saving Mr. Banks), church on Sunday morning, and then picked up the husband from the airport:)  It’s so good to have him home again.  And lucky for him, he was home in time to watch the Golden Globes with me;)

Did anyone else watch?  I thought Tina Fey and Amy Poehler were pretty funny!  And here are a couple of my favorite dresses from the night.

f81578cbee971dc4_sandra-bullock-golden-globes-2014-2.jpg.xxxlarge_2xSandra Bullock is gorgeous!  I love the colors in this one!

GG14_LizzyCaplanLizzy Caplan.  Love this fun unique gown on her!  Definitely love the shape on top!

Well that’s enough fashion talk.  What I really want to share with you today is my workout from this morning!  As I mentioned for my 2014 goals, I want to start sharing more workouts with you!  So here is the first Brave Fitness Workout post.

This workout has it all.  Strength, cardio, core!  You’ll love it!  At least I hope you do:) Plus, you don’t need any equipment and you can do this from your living room. But that doesn’t mean it’s easy!  This is definitely a challenge.

Do 5 rounds for time.  (If you don’t have time or you just aren’t up for all 5 rounds then just do 3 or 4.  Or however many works for you.  Let the workout serve you.  Don’t serve the workout.)

Try to limit breaks so you can keep the cardio aspect in there aka keep the heart rate elevated!

Ascending Total Body Workout

I hope you will try this out!  If you do let me know.  If you have any questions, don’t hestitate to ask!

Before I go I want to wish a very  happy birthday to my oldest sister Audrey!  I love and appreciate her so much!  She is one of my biggest supporters for sure.   And she is absolutely beautiful inside and out!

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Now go workout;)

If you watched, did you have a favorite dress from the Golden Globes?

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

 the-fault-in-our-stars

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?

Recap of October Goals and Breakfasts!

Welcome to Monday.  Hope it was a great weekend for everyone!

I’m a few days behind seeing as how we are already a few days into November!  Oops!  But I want to make sure I finish recapping my breakfasts from the month as well as recapping the rest of my October Goals.

As for my goals I reached my goal of participating in the October Breakfast Challenge!  I was able to have a different breakfast everyday of the month and I loved it!  It helped me come up with a few new recipes that I otherwise wouldn’t have and also try several new to me recipes from others that were also awesome!

Here are a few more of my favorite breakfasts from the month:

IMG_20131025_074016I saw this recipe on Kylie’s instagram feed.  But it might be on her blog as well.  It is a pumpkin peanut butter overnight breakfast cookie!  It was super yummy and so easy! I topped mine with banana slices.

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This was a high protein buckwheat pancake that I made based on a recipe from peachypalate.com.

Here is what I did:  1/4 cup peanut flour+1/4 buckwheat flour (I just ground up raw buckwheat groats)+1/2 tsp baking powder+1-2 TB of pumpkin puree+1/4 coconut milk+1/4 cup of water+plus some cinnamon.  Mix everything together and cook just like any pancake!

I topped mine with homemade almond butter, banana slices, and my strawberry lime chia jam!

My final breakfast of the month was a very approriate for Halloween because of the orange color!!  Recipe below.

IMG_20131031_114625

 

Banana Sweet Potato Chia Pudding Parfait

Serves 1

Banana Layer:

  • 1/2 banana
  • 1/4 cup raw oatmeal
  • 1/2 liquid of choice (i.e. almond milk, coconut milk, water)
  • 1 TB Chia seeds

Sweet Potato Layer:

  • 2.5 oz cooked sweet potato
  • 1 TB peanut flour (optional)
  • 1/4 cup of liquid of choice
  • 1 TB Chia seeds
  • 1/4 tsp freshly grated ginger
  • cinnamon to taste

Nut butter Layers

  • 2 TB Peanut flour
  • a dash of salt
  • 1 TB nut butter of choice (I used almond butter)
  • 2-3 tablespoons of water

1.  Blend together banana, oatmeal, and liquid in a blender, place in bottom of jar and mix in chia seeds.

2. Mix together ingredients for the nut butter layer until it reaches a thick sauce consistency.  Top banana layer with 1/2 of the nut butter mix.

3.  Blend together all ingredients for the sweet potato layer except chia seeds.  Mix in chia after blending and place into jar.

4.  Top with the remainder of the nut butter sauce.

5.  Optional:  not with cacao nibs or mixed nuts/seeds for some added texture and crunch:)

Let me know what you think if you try any of these out!

As for my other goals:

Study my Scriptures everyday:  I did still miss just a few days but I was more focused while reading this time and I feel I got more out of them this month than I have.  Still something to work on:)

Prioritize my time better:  I ended up being very busy this month!  Which is a good thing and I feel like a got a lot done this month that will help me reach my career goals so I’m very happy:)

Well that’s all for October!  Now it’s time to embrace this new month of November!  This is one of my favorite months because it really starts to feel like the holiday season and it also includes my favorite holiday, Thanksgiving of course!!  Although I could definitely do without the freezing cold weather!! Anyway, no real new goals for the month.  Just want to focus on being thankful for all I have during the month and enjoying this time of year!

Have a wonderful day!

Hannah

 

 

 

 

Fitness Friday: Hip Abs

Happy Friday!!

Hope it’s been a great week!  For me, this week flew by as usual and I’m really looking forward to the weekend.

So today I have a workout to share, since it’s been a bit since I’ve posted one.

The other day my Mom asked me what some good exercises were for hips and lower abs.  I’m glad she asked because it led me to googling why having strong hips are important.

As I’ve said before, having a strong core is super important.  We use our core/abs basically all the time.  Our core helps hold us up, helps us to lift more weight, squat more weight, prevents back pain and injuries, etc.    I’ve never really thought about how having strong mobile hips might help us though.  Here’s what I learned thanks to this article:

  • Most of us sit way too much. (guilty!) This isn’t good because it weakens our glutes and shortens the hip flexors.
  • When those muscles are weakened the lower back tries to compensate and the back isn’t set up for doing a lot of heavy activity so this causes lower back pain.  No fun!
  • When we strengthen our hips we can gain better mobility which will help reduce any lower back pain or knee pain you may have.

There is a lot more in the article but those are the main points.  So yeah, I would definitely recommend working out those hips and abs with this workout.  Plus there is no equipment necassary although you can add weight if you want for an extra challenge:)

Hip Abs Workout

20 minute workout

Do each exercise for 50 seconds, rest for 10 seconds before moving on to the next exercise.  Complete 4 rounds total.  Remember to push yourself to get the most out of your workout!

 

Let me know what you think if you try this out!

Have a healthy happy weekend!

Any fun plans for the weekend?