Thanksgiving

Hi there! I hope you all had a great Thanksgiving! We had a great holiday and also celebrated my birthday on Sunday 🙂 I can’t believe it is already December!

I love the idea of fitting in exercise on Thanksgiving morning so that the rest of the day can be spent celebrating with friends and family. Turkey trots and other Thanksgiving day runs have become really popular. Our small town has a turkey trot, but I totally forgot to sign up! 😦 Sad day! So, my husband and I waited until the weather warmed up and did our own version of a turkey trot. We walked for about an hour and it felt great! Definitely a perfect way to start our day!

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After our workout, I started on my crock pot cranberry dish and went to help my mom set the table for dinner. We started dinner at around 7:00 and had all of the staple dishes…turkey, cranberries, potatoes, stuffing, rolls, broccoli and of course pumpkin pie! I tried to take a little bit of everything and enjoyed every bit! I was full and didn’t have seconds but did enjoy leftovers the next day. I have a weird love of leftover turkey with ketchup….odd I know! We had 13 people at dinner this year. It was a great group and we had a lot of fun!

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For my birthday, I was treated to Starbucks and breakfast in bed and then spent the day with family! My mom and I went for a brisk walk in 20 degree weather and we finished the day with dinner at a Mexican restaurant! Margaritas and fried ice cream were great birthday treats! I’m excited for the year ahead!

Okay, that’s all I have for today! I’m planning a post explaining what dietitians do and the different areas that a dietitian can work. So, please comment if you have any questions on that topic!

How was your thanksgiving? What’s your favorite Thanksgiving dish??

Cold Weather Work Out Tips

Hello! I hope everyone is having a great week!

For many of us, November is the start of a long, cold winter season. It can be really difficult to stay active in the winter for many reasons. The weather is no longer conducive to outdoor activities and makes it difficult to have the motivation to get out from under your warm blanket! Also, there is a risk of falling and getting injured that comes with the snow and ice of winter. However, all of these things aside, it is very important to stay active in the winter months! The more active you stay in the winter months, the better shape you will be in for the warm months to get outside and explore 🙂

Morning Run in Montana
Morning Run in Montana

Here are a few tips to help you keep moving this winter:

1. Make a plan! Think about what activities you will do to stay active and make a specific plan. Maybe you will get a gym membership, buy new workout videos, find an indoor walking route or plan outdoor winter activities like cross country skiing or snow shoeing. When we don’t have a plan, it can be very easy to let the cold weeks/months pass by with little or no activity.

2. Find a friend/group and create a workout challenge. Find someone or a group of people that are interested in staying active with you during the winter months. Challenge each other to meet goals such as 150 minutes of activity per week. Having someone to keep you accountable is so helpful!

3. Dress warm for outdoor activities. Make sure you have plenty of warm clothes on hand so that you are ready to go when outdoor activities arise. Dress in layers!

Layers!  I probably even needed more :)
Layers! I probably even needed more 🙂

4. Focus on safety. If you decide to take your workouts outside in the winter, make sure safety is on your mind. You will need shoes with good traction and ankle support to prevent falls. Find a route that is plowed frequently. Also, make sure if you’re body is telling you that you are too cold, listen! Although it is great to go outside in the winter months, some places have dangerous low temperatures that make it unsafe to exercise outside. Do what’s best for your body!

Living in Montana, I am definitely starting to plan how I will stay active this winter. I will be getting a gym membership so that I can attend group fitness classes. I also plan to go cross country skiing with my mom (on days when it’s not bitter cold)! My husband and I still try to go on walks throughout the week in the winter months. The walks do get a little shorter when the temperatures drop too much 🙂

Source: www.ktvq.com
Source: http://www.ktvq.com

How do you stay active in the winter months??

Teaching Group Fitness Classes

Hi there! I hope everyone had a great Halloween! We had surprisingly nice weather for the holiday, so we handed out lots of candy to little kids. I was glad that we handed out the majority of the candy that I bought because it was too tempting sitting by the front door 🙂

Source: Mint.com
Source: Mint.com

Today, I wanted to share one of my new adventures with you guys! I recently started teaching group fitness classes at a local dance studio. This has been a long time goal of mine, and I am so excited to finally make it a reality!

A little history about my experience with teaching fitness classes…I taught group fitness classes when I was in high school at a local assisted living facility! I loved it! The classes were very laid back, and I had a lot of freedom to teach whatever I wanted. I taught four classes/week. Once I graduated high school and went on to college, I stopped teaching. However, I continued to attend group fitness classes all the time. I am definitely more motivated when I have upbeat people working out with me! It took me 3 months to commit to a gym when I moved to Phoenix because I had to try ALL of the different classes first 🙂

So, last summer I decided to dive back into teaching. I am still researching which group fitness instructor certification I want to get (ACSM/NASM). But in the meantime, I attended a training to become a PiYo instructor. PiYo is an upbeat workout set to fun music that incorporates yoga and Pilates moves. My husband (fiance at the time) and I traveled to Spokane, Washington for the training. The training was amazing! The instructor had so much energy and all of the future instructors were so excited and upbeat. The training was 8 hours long, and we did PiYo for at least 4 hours of that time. I was so sore the next day! We had to teach the group a section of the class in order to receive our certification. I was so excited on the ride home and made my husband listen to PiYo music the whole way (which was over 4 hours)! I’m sure he loved every second of it 🙂

Awesome group of future PiYo instructors!
Awesome group of future PiYo instructors!

Now that I was certified to teach PiYo, I had to take the next (much harder) step of actually TEACHING it! I practiced and practiced and thought about continuing to procrastinate but decided I had to start sometime. I don’t think I would have every felt 100% ready to teach my first class. But, I did it and it went great! It was a lot of fun, and the participants seemed to enjoy it. I absolutely love teaching PiYo so far and cannot wait to expand my group fitness training so that I can teach more classes!

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Getting Ready to Teach
Getting Ready to Teach

Here are a few tips for people thinking about teaching group fitness:
1. Make sure that you enjoy doing the class that you are going to teach! The more you enjoy the class–the more enthusiastic and motivating you will be for your class.
2. You will never feel totally ready to teach your first class, but after a lot of practice, you just need to take the plunge, you will learn and improve as you go.
3. Research certifications that are close to your home! Completing the training boosted my confidence a ton.
4. Be confident! Most of us tend to second guess ourselves but the more confidence you have, the more successful you will be!

Any group fitness instructors out there with more tips to prepare yourself for teaching? What is your favorite group fitness class to take or teach?

Happy Monday!

My Blogging Break is Over!!

Hello there! After a long, unintentional break…I am back! Let me catch you up on what has happened since my last post (which was in January 2014!!). Okay….I planned my wedding (with lots of help from my mom, friends and husband), went to San Diego for a college girls’ trip, became certified to teach PiYo, was the maid of honor in my best friends’ wedding in Colorado, completed a course to become a certified lactation counselor, celebrated my bridal shower (x2), celebrated my bachelorette party, got married, went to Cabo for our honeymoon and returned and tried to get back into a normal routine!! Phewww!! And, in the midst of all of those things were the everyday things like remodeling our house, new projects at work, spending lots of time with my cute little niece and many, many more! So, now that I’m back, I have lots to share with you guys!

Be on the look out this week for some nutrition blog posts. I have some fun posts planned covering topics such as wedding weight loss, getting back to meal planning and much more! Stay tuned!

Here are some photos to sum up the last few months!

Engaged!!
Engaged!!
Engagement Photos
Engagement Photos
Bachelorette Party Shenanigans
Bachelorette Party Shenanigans
Bridal Shower
Bridal Shower
Best Friend's Wedding
Best Friend’s Wedding
PiYo Group
PiYo Group
Girls Weekend
Girls Weekend
Amazing Wedding Photos by Patchwork Photography
Amazing Wedding Photos by Patchwork Photography
First Dance <3
First Dance ❤
Beautiful in Cabo

What was the highlight of your summer?!

I’m excited to be back to the blog! Let me know if you have any requests for future posts!

Planning for the Week Ahead!

Hi there! How was everyone’s weekend? We had a nice weekend with a good mixture of relaxation and fun! We got our engagement pictures taken on Saturday…the weather did not cooperate with us so I am very curious to see how they turn out.

I can’t believe it is Monday already! I’m off on Mondays now though, so it kind of feels like an extra day of the weekend for me. I like to use Mondays to get on track for the week. Meal planning is completely necessary for me if we want to eat healthy, home cooked meals all week. Here is the plan for our dinner meals this week!

MONDAY:
Southwestern Stuffed Peppers–I found this recipe on Pinterest and love it!!

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TUESDAY:
Crock Pot Stew–I’m still looking for the perfect stew recipe 🙂 I found a few but will keep you posted on what recipe I decide.

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WEDNESDAY:
Leftover Stew–Love leftovers!

THURSDAY:
Tuna Melt Paninis: We got a panini press for Christmas. I made eggplant Parmesan paninis last week, and they were great! We will have a basic salad with our sandwiches. Easy!!

FRIDAY:
No plans yet. We usually grab something for dinner or go out to dinner on Friday nights.

Moving right along to my week of workouts! I am really trying to focus on maximizing my workouts. I am also making working out a top priority! My goal is at least 5 workouts per week, but 6 would be even better 🙂

MONDAY:
Body Pump and Zumba

TUESDAY:
Oula or Zumba

www.oulafitness.com
http://www.oulafitness.com

WEDNESDAY:
Body Pump–long video

THURSDAY:
Oula or cardio at the gym

FRIDAY:
Rest Day

SATURDAY:
Oula at 9:00 AM

SUNDAY:
Body Pump and a walk (if the weather cooperates)

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I’m hoping that sharing these workouts with all of you will help me stay on track too! What tricks do you guys have for staying on track with workouts and healthy eating?

Have a great week!!

Montana-style running

Exciting Year Ahead!

Happy New Year! I hope everyone had a great holiday 🙂 I love the holidays, but it feels good to get back into a routine too!

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The new year has everyone talking about resolutions. I prefer to make goals rather than resolutions. Resolutions sometimes make people focus on the negative things from the year before. Goals give us the chance to challenge ourselves in a positive way!

Here are a few of my goals for 2014. I like to make goals throughout the year too!

1. Focus on healthy living. This includes eating whole foods as often as possible. It also includes fitting in physical activity at least 5 days per week! My goal is to focus on healthy living in order to feel my best at my wedding in August.

2. Fit in time for relaxation. Wedding planning can be stressful! My goal is to squeeze in relaxation whenever possible. This can include anything from a mini vacation to a hot bath before bed!

3. Run a half marathon!! This is something that needs to be crossed off my bucket list. I have done color runs, dirty dashes, 5ks, 10ks but never a half marathon. I hope to have this off the list by 2015!

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4. Obtain a group fitness instructor certificate. I have been looking into this for a long time, and it’s time to just do it!! Why not squeeze something else into this crazy year 🙂

Well, those are a few of my thoughts for 2014. As I mentiond, this will be a crazy year! By this time next year I will be married!! CRAZY!! I also get to stand by one of my best friends’ side when she gets married. And, we have another wedding of a close friend one month before ours. Exciting times!!

What are your thoughts on resoutions?? Any exciting goals for the new year??

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Adding Healthy to Your Holiday Season

Hello there! Happy holidays! If you celebrate both Thanksgiving and Christmas, I’m sure you are feeling some holiday cheer (and maybe a little holiday stress as well). This time of year can be so busy! It is really important to enjoy every minute of the holiday season. But, it is equally as important to focus on yourself and your health. There are hundreds of “tips and tricks” to stay on track with your healthy lifestyle during the holiday season. This post is going to provide some practical ideas that I use to stay on track during the holidays. Image1. Fit in exercise whenever/wherever you can! I have read several articles that encourage people to continue their regular exercise schedule during the holiday season. Although I think this is a great, lofty goal, it might not be the most practical. If your Ugly Sweater Christmas Party falls on the same day/time as your usual weekly spinning class…I highly recommend attending the party! These fun holiday activities only happen once every year, so enjoy the time with friends and family. My recommendation and my personal goal during busy holiday weeks is to squeeze in exercise whenever possible. Maybe you can arrange a morning hike/walk/jog with some of the people attending your holiday party later in the day. That way you will enjoy your party even more knowing that you were able to fit a workout in that day too! If you can do 10 minutes of uninterrupted exercise, it counts towards the weekly goal of 150 minutes recommended by the CDC for healthy adults.

Image2. Bring a healthy, delicious dish to pot luck style parties. This one is pretty straight-forward. Not only will you have something to eat that you know is healthy and delicious, but you will also encourage others to enjoy healthy, wholesome foods.

3. Start a healthy competition with a friend or family member. Challenge each other to stay on track during this busy time of year. One idea would be to purchase FitBits or pedometers and make a daily step goal and compare each week. It is always helpful to have someone else with similar goals to increase accountability and success!

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Source: http://www.geekinsider.com

4. Enjoy every moment with friends and family!!! Don’t let healthy eating and fitting in physical activity add additional stress. Everything in moderation 🙂

Do you have any other good strategies to stay on track with healthy living when life gets crazy?!

Sunday Meal Planning

Hi there! It’s Sunday again, which means it’s time to plan for another week. But first it’s time for a delicious and healthy Sunday breakfast…after Starbucks! 🙂

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I’m not a huge fan of big breakfasts…I am usually more of an oatmeal or smoothie fan. But every now and then I like to mix it up a bit. This morning I actually had oatmeal with peanut butter and honey as an early breakfast and saved the bigger breakfast for late morning. We had whole wheat pancakes, scrambled eggs and fruit. Adding whole grains, fresh fruit and protein to your breakfast is a great way to keep it healthy!

Okay, now that I’m full let’s talk about meals for this week. I will be out of town for a work training on Wednesday and Thursday night so I will be planning meals for Monday and Tuesday for both of us and just Dylan for those two nights.

I found my recipes on skinnytaste.com this week. I love this website…it’s very organized and has very unique recipes.

Monday
Shrimp Fajitas–I love fajitas so I am excited for this meal!

Tuesday
Crockpot Santa Fe Chicken–We will probably have this over brown rice.

Wednesday
Leftovers!! I’m hoping there will be leftover chicken 🙂

Thursday
BLT sandwiches with tomato basil soup–this will be Dylan’s meal while I’m gone.

Friday
Nothing planned yet…likely go out for dinner or appetizers

No meals planned for the weekend either…I never know our plans!

What’s your “go to” breakfast meal? What about your favorite splurge breakfast meal?

Sunday Thoughts

Happy Sunday!! I hope everyone had a great weekend. This was the first weekend of hunting season…so I have been home alone:) I had a very relaxing, productive weekend. Anyone else have significant others that are die hard hunters? I am quite content staying in my warm house instead 🙂

Here are some random Sunday thoughts. (I am also writing some “normal” posts today to share in the next few weeks!! Finally!)

1. Working full time and commuting to work each day takes a huge chunk of time! Haha I was a student for too long and got wayyyy too used to a flexible schedule. I think it should be a rule that everyone works from about 9:00 to 3:00 and the rest of the time is playtime 🙂 I am very lucky that I love my job though!!

2. Wedding planning is a lot of fun (and a little overwhelming)! I have had three different dreams about my wedding planning not being done in time! I ended up buying my wedding dress at Kmart in one of the dreams. I am taking these dreams as a serious hint to get my butt in gear and plan!

3. I miss dressing up for Halloween! We didn’t have any dress up parties this year…I will have to change that next year! We are having an ugly sweater party in December which will make up for it!

4. I have been back on track with healthy eating and meal planning! Fall seems to be a lot less crazy than summer. So our routine is back in place!

Okay, that’s all the randomness I have to share for now! Stay tuned for some meal planning and nutrition related posts this week.

Enjoy your Sunday!!

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Starting September

There is something so refreshing about the start of a new month! And in this case a new season. Although I am sad to see summer come to an end (especially because I live in MT and winters are longgggggg), I am excited about fall and the next few months too!

I think of a new month as a fresh start and a time to improve areas in my life that have fallen off track! Here are a few things that I will be working on this month!

1) Step Up My Workouts
Since I moved back to MT, my workouts have not been as intense as they used to be. I have still been exercising, but my daily workouts have changed from spinning and strength classes to evening walks. I have still been doing some classes but not like I used to. I miss my old workout habits and am going to try to revert back!!!

2) Be Less Rushed
I feel like I am constantly in a hurry! This is mostly because I overbook myself. I have a difficult time saying no to things! I am going to prioritize things and avoid over booking!! I think this will be a difficult goal! But it will be so nice to feel less rushed everyday!

3) Clean Eating
This one is pretty self explanatory! I want to eat clean, whole foods as much as possible!!

What are your goals for this new month??

Do you like fall better than summer??