How to Create the Perfect “At Home” Gym

 

How to create the perfect at home gym

 

So you have decided that you want to lose weight or get fit. Now what? You have kids and a full time job. Or your kids ARE your full time job. You don’t have the money or the time to join a gym. The perfect solution is to create a home gym.

 

Your home gym is open 24 hours a day. Baby wide awake at 3 in the morning? Pull double duty and get a work out in! OK….maybe not, but you see the potential. So, what exactly do you need to create this home gym? Not as much as you might think.

 

  • Stability Ball- This piece of equipment pulls double duty. Use as a weight bench for chest presses. Use as a chair to help incorporate the core muscles; challenging and strengthening them.

 

  • Yoga Mat- Of course for those yoga/Pilates sessions. Yoga mats are also handy for floor work to protect your knees or for those exercises where you need to lie down.

 

  • Pull up Bar- This simple tool strengthens your biceps, back, abs, etc. This one tool packs a big punch for muscle building.

 

  • Adjustable Dumbbells- The variety for this one piece of equipment is infinite. Of course you can buy regular dumbbells, but you will get more mileage out of the adjustable kind because you will be getting stronger faster than you think. Then, you won’t have to worry about the sales person from the sporting goods store recognizing you every week when you go in for new dumbbells.

 

  • Resistance Bands- These seem so inconsequential….however, you can achieve a great strength training session with these. The plus side? They take up next to no space, so there is always room to store them.

 

  • Kettlebells – These are amazing little powerhouses! They can be used as weights for strength training, or they make an amazing cardio session. They come in a variety of weights and don’t take up much space.

 

  • TV with DVD player- for all your Beachbody workouts of course! Kidding aside-DVD’s  can be an amazing source of training and company. There is nothing quite like feeling that you are right there in that class pushing right along with those on the screen, but in the comfort of your own home!

 

  • Foam Roller- Never underestimate these bad boys. They can work miracles on those tired aching muscles; without the need to be oiled down by Helga. They also can be put to work as props for yoga poses.

This is just the tip of the iceberg for equipping your home gym. The possibilities are endless for equipment to add. However, with just these items to start – you will be on your way to fit and healthy in no time! Just remember, the only equipment that will get you results is the equipment that you use….so make sure to get those workouts in!

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Does Shakeology Really Work?

I decided to answer the question that I get asked all the time “Does Shakeology Really Work”? I reveal whether it really worked for me.

 

Questions? Comments? Drop me a line at candikirkland@yahoo.com, find me on Facebook @Adventures of a Fitness Mom, or leave your comments below!

 

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10 Tips to Drink More Water

 

 

water

 

 

We all hear that we need to be drinking more water. That fact is constantly surrounding us- in health magazines, online, etc. However, we seem to turn a deaf ear to that fact. We get busy, and don’t think to drink water until we are thirsty. Even then, we seem to turn to other alternatives such as soda.

Our bodies are made of 70% water! Every cell in our body is made of water-organs, cells, blood, even our brains! If we don’t drink enough water, our bodies can’t function properly. Drinking more water can make us more alert and have more energy throughout the day.

Here are some ways that might be helpful in helping to hydrate a little more easily.

~ Drink some water as soon as you get up. I used to immediately reach for coffee the moment I got out of bed. When I was trying to get healthier, I tried drinking at least a cup as soon as I hopped out of bed while the coffee is brewing.

~ Maybe drink one cup every hour on the hour. You could set an alarm to remind you. One cup every hour will definitely add up by the end of the day!

~ Every time you come out from the restroom, drink a cup of water. What a good reminder!

~ You could make it a habit to drink water every time you——. You fill in that blank. Could it be while checking emails? Waiting for coffee to brew? Waiting for the kids to get in the car in the morning?

~ Buy yourself a pretty water bottle that you can carry around with you all day. Maybe pink and sparkly? (Or is that just me?)

~ Drink water before your workout, during your workout, and after your workout. What happens when we work out? We sweat, and that is our bodies losing more water. If you want to get the most out your workouts- to go hard and really rock those workouts….make sure you drink your water!

~ Drink water instead of ——. Again, you fill in that blank. I gave up diet soda, and started drinking water instead. With my meals, I realized that I didn’t miss it at all.

~ Sometimes our bodies are telling us that we are hungry. Then we wonder why, because we ate not too long ago. The same part of our brains that tell us that we are hungry, also control our thirst. So we sometimes get our signals crossed. Try drinking a glass of water and wait 20 minutes. If you are still feeling hungry, then it is true hunger.

~ You could try drinking it hot, with some lemon slices. Treat it like a treat, and you might find you really enjoy it.

~ Sometimes we have other ailments that we don’t even think of as being caused by not drinking enough water. Such as constipation and headaches.

Hopefully you will be able to incorporate a few of these ideas into your daily life to help increase you water consumption effortlessly. Watch your energy rise and your skin glow!

 

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13 Flavorful Chicken Recipes Under 300 Calories

Article taken from Team Beachbody Blog

 

13 Flavorful Chicken Recipes Under 300 Calories | Beachbodyblog.com

 

We will refrain from the cheesy “winner, winner chicken dinner” reference (or… oops), but seriously: You will win at healthy meal prep when you make any or all of these chicken recipes.

If you need some convincing, flip your thinking about lean chicken breasts as boring, bland, and dry, and consider them high-protein vessels that allow the other flavors of a dish to shine. If you use the right ingredients, you can transform poultry into something you might even start craving.

Mexican Chicken Zucchini Boats

These boats are a healthier spin on chicken burritos, swapping in nutritious zucchini for flour tortillas. A typical flour tortilla contains 25 grams of carbohydrates, 458 milligrams of sodium, and not much else. One zucchini contains 10 grams of carbs, 26 milligrams of sodium, as well as vitamins A, C, and K, and minerals like calcium, potassium, and magnesium. Using zucchini as the vessel is also convenient way to watch your portions without having to think too hard: 1 boat = 1 serving.

Marinated Summer Veggies with Chicken Sausage

In this flavor-rich dish, colorful summer veggies like zucchini, squash, cherry tomatoes, bell peppers, and green beans soak in a tart marinade; chicken sausage adds a boost of protein. Just make sure to use an all-natural chicken sausage to avoid preservatives and keep the sodium low.

The best part? No “Top Chef” skills needed here — chop, marinate, and cook. That’s it. And if you don’t want to broil it (and yourself) in a hot kitchen, you can throw it all on a sheet pan and cook it on the grill — no muss, no fuss.

Lemon Garlic Chicken Thighs

Under 300 calories? Try this zippy, moist chicken that’s under 200 calories. Granted, this only includes the chicken and not any sides, but you can top a salad or a bowl of zoodles with this light and lovely protein. The sweet and savory flavors of the marinade — you get a fresh, acidic bite from lemon juice, savory complexity from Worcestershire sauce, and a touch of sweet from raw honey — make it unnecessary to dress accompanying vegetables with much more than a bit of balsamic and extra virgin olive oil.

Chicken and White Bean Chili

This craveable chili recipe is lighter than traditional chili, and not just in color. It features creamy white beans and tender chunks of chicken in a flavorful broth, and hints at the fresh flavors of spring with juicy red bell peppers and aromatic cilantro. It’s lightly spiced with cumin and chili powder and mild, roasted green chilies. Instead of high-calorie cheese, this Chicken and White Bean Chili is topped with a dollop of Greek yogurt.

Baked Moroccan Chicken

If you’re bored by grilled or rotisserie chicken, this Moroccan-spiced chicken can help break up the monotony. Redolent of tagine, a spiced, sweet, and savory stew cooked in a dish with a conical lid, this baked chicken uses seven spices plus fresh garlic, ginger, and preserved lemon (if you don’t feel like being fancy, sub strips of lemon peel without the pith) to pack tons of flavor. At just over 200 calories per serving, you can afford to serve this chicken with fluffed whole-wheat couscous with any juice from the chicken pan spooned on top.

Chicken Gumbo

Most Cajun dishes start with the trinity, a mix of onions, celery, and bell pepper, and with a roux, a mix of fat (usually butter) and flour cooked until bronzed and nutty. When mixed with spices and various meats, you get the spicy, savory, satisfying dishes that make this cuisine famous. Our lightened version uses arrowroot — genius, right? — to thicken this veggie-packed chicken gumbo.

Baked Chicken with Carrots, Oranges, and Sweet Potatoes

Bored with the same old baked chicken breasts? This recipe adds a citrus zing that gives white meat tons of flavor, while keeping it succulent and tender. Chicken breasts are topped with orange slices, basted with orange juice, and baked with hearty, inexpensive staples like carrots, celery, and sweet potatoes, which also take on the bright citrus flavor. It’s a crowd pleaser, and kids will love it!

Grilled Chicken Dijon

We know how it is: You got home from work late, you’re starving, and are thisclose to ordering delivery, buuut… you have those chicken breasts in the fridge. Before you submit to the lure of pizza or greasy Chinese, reconsider that chicken. With only a few pantry items, this Grilled Chicken Dijon can be ready to eat in just 15 minutes — and there’s no way that delivery can beat that. Serve the chicken alongside a simple salad, or steamed veggies, and microwaved brown rice (many grocery stores sell precooked rice in the freezer aisle), and you’ll have a quick, healthy, simple meal you can feel good about eating.

Chicken Cacciatore

This light yet hearty one-pot meal adds a Mediterranean flair to lean chicken breasts. Packed with colorful veggies, such as eggplant, zucchini, and tomatoes, the water from the veggies and the sauce from the can of whole tomatoes keeps the chicken moist and tender. Because the recipe calls for dried basil and fresh parsley (you can leave it out if you don’t have it), you can make this dish in the dead of winter and still enjoy the sunny flavors of Italy.

Chicken and Cauliflower Fried Rice

It looks like fried rice, it tastes like fried rice, but this simple dish is a lot healthier than fried rice. By swapping out rice and replacing it with cauliflower, you cut calories and carbs, and sneak more veggies into the meal. Ground chicken gives it a boost of protein. You could also skip the ground chicken and stir in leftover cooked chicken breast instead.

This recipe has a slightly more Thai flavor than Chinese, thanks to the coconut oil and coconut aminos used. Made from coconut sap, coconut aminos resemble a light soy sauce, and add salty, slightly sweet, and umami flavor to dishes without soy or gluten.

Pesto Zucchini Noodles with Chicken

Jonesin’ for pesto pasta, but don’t want to splurge on the carbs and calories? This zoodles recipe flavors the vibrant yellow and green zucchini noodles with a touch of pesto, but doesn’t leave you feeling weighed down. Best of all, zoodles don’t get soggy like cooked pasta noodles can, so you can make a double or triple batch and save them for lunches or dinners later in the week. Top the zoodles with cooked chicken breast, and you have a balanced, high-protein meal.

Chicken and Black Bean Burrito Salad

Part mason jar salad, part burrito bowl, this Chicken and Black Bean Burrito Salad combines contrasting textures —you get crisp freshness from lettuce, radishes, and jicama, and soft, savory flavor from black beans, cheddar cheese, and rotisserie chicken. Even though this salad is brimming with colorful ingredients, and it is as lovely to look at as it is to eat, the dressing is the real star. The recipe calls for fresh lime juice, cilantro, a whole seeded jalapeño, garlic, and cilantro… and it will knock your socks off.

Peanut Chicken with Soba Noodles

Ideal as a meal (an hour or so after your post-workout protein drink, of course) after a tough workout that tested your endurance, this Peanut Chicken with Soba Noodles provides a balance of protein and carbs that’s a satisfying mix of sweet, salty, and savory. Use buckwheat noodles, as suggested in the recipe, instead of plain pasta for an extra fiber boost.

 

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DIY Yogurt

One of the things people start eating more of when they start out on a healthy journey is yogurt. We all have this idea that yogurt is a healthy food…..like granola. But, did you know that the typical yogurt is loaded with sugar? Sometimes more sugar than a candy bar? So I started looking into making it myself. I have ALWAYS been a DIY nerd. If it’s possible to do it myself-I’m going to!

There are many different methods to making yogurt. The easiest method is using large quart size jars. You would incubate the yogurt in the jar, and place the jar (with a lid on it) into a large thermos or cooler of warm water. I used this method for quite some time, until I bought a yogurt maker. I was so excited to find this little gem, at the thrift store….BRAND NEW. Oh….the excitement that day! This yogurt maker makes 7 small jars of yogurt, no cooler required. Plus- it makes me really look like I know what I’m doing. 😉

 

Ingredients:

1 gallon whole milk

1 cup store bought plain yogurt

OK you might be wondering why we are using store bought yogurt to make your own yogurt? This is needed as a starter. Yogurt is full of healthy bacteria- we need that bacteria to make our yogurt. Once you have made a batch of your own yogurt- you won’t need to buy the store bought again, because you will use 1 cup of your own yogurt. Make sense?

 

You need to heat the milk to 185-195° F. Watch this to make sure that you don’t boil the milk, or burn the bottom. I stand there at the stove and stir, to ensure this doesn’t happen. Combine the milk and yogurt in a pot and stir well, to make sure the yogurt is mixed well in the milk.

 

Pour into whatever you will be using to incubate the yogurt. Mason jars work amazingly well. That is what I used before I purchased the yogurt maker. Put the jars into a cooler. Add water that is about 120 degrees. Cover the jars at least 3/4 of the way to the top. They need to be covered this much to incubate and stay warm. Otherwise, the yogurt will never set. Let incubate for about 3 hours. The yogurt should have firmed up. If it looks like it didn’t set quite enough, have no fear….it will firm up more once it is in the refrigerator.

This will make abut 4 quarts of yogurt.

 

***This is plain yogurt. The possibilities are endless though for flavors. You could add:

  • vanilla flavor
  • diced fruit
  • blend yogurt with fruit

 

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Oatmeal Muffins

oatmeal muffins

This is one of those simple recipes that has been around the family for years. We make them all the time, and with variations it might never be the same.

1 cup dry oatmeal

1 cup milk (regular, almond, soy)

1 egg

1/2 cup sugar

1/3 cup olive oil

1 1/4 cups flour (can use half whole wheat and half white)

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon baking powder

Combine all ingredients. Place in sprayed muffin tins and bake at 400 degrees for 20 minutes. We like to double the recipe, and have lots extras for another breakfast or for snacks.

Variations:

  • add 2 tsp cinnamon
  • add diced apple
  • add raisins or dried cranberries
  • add blueberries
  • dream up anything you like to put in!

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Can I Spot Reduce my Trouble Spots?

 

can I spot reduce my trouble spots

 

 

Spot reduction refers to the fallacy that fat can be targeted for reduction from a specific area of the body and that it can be achieved through exercise of specific muscles in the desired area, such as exercising the abdominal muscles in an effort to lose weight in or around one’s midsection. ~wikipedia

 

This term is usually used when we wish that we could make the fat on our bellies disappear or make our thighs smaller while looking for specific exercises for this purpose. For example, doing countless sit-ups to make the fat on the belly disappear. I get this question all the time in various forms.

“How can I make the fat on the back of my arms go away?”
“What exercises can I do to make my thighs smaller?”
“How can I get my belly fat to disappear?”

While it would be greatly convenient if we could just work a specific area to get rid of fat- it isn’t possible.

Maybe a little background in how our bodies work would help in answering this question.

 

When we eat food, our bodies use the calories that are consumed. If we have consumed (or eaten) more calories than our bodies need to function, then these calories are stored by our bodies as fat cells to use for a rainy day. Except, our bodies are really smart. They work more like an episode of “Hoarders” actually. They won’t ever relinquish those fat cells. There is never a good enough rainy day. Especially if we are consuming more calories than our bodies need on a regular basis. Then our bodies just keep hoarding and hoarding until we have to call in the professional cleaning specialists and cry because we were going to use those someday.

So, when we do all those sit-ups then…..doesn’t the fat in that area get burned off? Not exactly. Your body burns fat cells when we exercise, but it isn’t concentrated to an area worked. It is more evenly distributed throughout the body as it is used for energy.

How DO we burn the fat off those trouble areas then? There is a plan, but most don’t want to hear it because the promises on late night tv of those devices that will take care of your “trouble spots” sounds so much better.

1. Consume less calories than your body needs so that it will dip into those hoards of fat stores.
2. Perform cardiovascular exercise.
3. Consume whole foods in a balanced diet so that your body can function with the right nutrients.
4. Start strength training.

Once you start including these principles, your body will start shedding those hoards of fat stores and you will be able to see the belly fat disappear and your thighs getting smaller. Then we can tell those professional cleaning specialists to move on to the next place because we don’t need them anymore.

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How Sagi Kalev and Body Beast Helped Me Heal From Anorexia

 

how body beast helped me heal from anorexia

The following is re-posted from April 6, 2015. The following is what I was honored to have Sagi Kalev write about me when he told my story. I will be forever grateful to him and honored that he cared to hear my story. Sagi Kalev has an enormous heart and cares deeply for everyone who has a story to share with him.

This is one of the only pictures I really have at this time. I was still used to not wanting anyone to take my picture, and my mom took this when she came to visit. I don’t know if you can tell how thin I really was in this picture, but I was completely unhealthy. Anorexia is ugly and hard to talk about, but that doesn’t mean that it should remain quiet. My journey was difficult, but I walked out on the other side healthy and strong. On the inside AND the outside. I am a completely different person. If you think that you may be struggling, please reach out to someone. You may reach out to me if you like- I understand your pain.

This is something I will struggle with for the rest of my life, because there are certain “triggers” that will tempt me to return to those unhealthy practices. I have to extra diligent to make sure that I have healthy food, and remember to eat it. I have to remind myself that I don’t need to workout for hours a day-even if I have the energy to do so. I have to remember to treat myself with love and kindness-because I deserve it.

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“It’s an honor for me to post this amazing story with you guys.
Please please Share it with anyone that you can and keep pushing as hard as you can..
Thank you so much Candi Kirkland. You are simply AMAZING,STRONG,BEASTIE WOMEN.”  ~ Sagi Kalev

Last week I had the most amazing experience. Last week I was blessed with the opportunity to message with Sagi Kalev and the above was his comment to me when he posted my story on his Facebook page. He is the creator of the workout program Body Beast. To most, that would be an experience on it’s own. To me? Priceless. Up until that point, I hadn’t told anyone my WHOLE story. With all the ugly details.I had been too ashamed. So, when Sagi asked if I minded sharing my story- at that moment- I realized that it was time.

Why then? Because here was my chance to let my hero know what he had done for me. Who gets a chance like that? So, I sucked down my pride and told my story. When I saw he had posted about it- I cried. When I saw Barbie Decker Fitness post about it- I cried. When I got messages saying thank you for sharing- I cried.

I never realized that MY story would touch anyone else. It was just that. MY story. Who am I? Just a wife and mom. Living a completely ordinary life. Thank you Sagi for saving me because even though you didn’t know me or set out to- you did. Thank you for sharing my story. Thank you Barbie Decker for sharing my story on your website. Thank you for all the kind messages and thoughts that I was given. It was such an honor for me to share my story with him, so now it’s time that I share my story with you.

 

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I was overweight about 5 years ago. I was exhausted and had read in a magazine that exercise helps to give you energy. I was desperate to gain energy because I had four kids at home to take care of. I started out just for 15 minutes a day and didn’t change my eating habits (which weren’t good). After some time, I noticed that I was a little smaller and my clothes were looser. That was the moment the light went on for me that diet + exercise = weight loss. So, for the next year I continued on. I had started running, so I ran for 3 miles a day. I did exercise videos daily. I read every “diet” book I could get my hands on. I lost a lot of weight. It was addicting, so I continued on. If I ran 3 1/4 miles yesterday, then I couldn’t run less than that today. I was always pushing myself to go farther. If the diet books said to eat 1200 calories, then I should aim for 1000 because I was really trying to lose weight.

I was so desperate not to become “fat” again, that I felt the only way to overcome that was to keep losing weight. I ran more, and ate even less. I tried to see how little food I could get by on before I “caved” and ate something. I was now running 8 miles a day plus workout videos. Surviving on 800 calories a day or less if I could. Diet coke was my best friend if I was hungry. I started using laxatives to excess because I believed that would help get rid of extra calories that I wasn’t working off in my workouts. My breakfast consisted of black coffee and diet pills. I had become so thin that I no longer menstruated. I was wearing children’s clothing because adult women clothing was too large for me. I barely had the energy to get through my day. I felt if I gave in though, that I would get “fat” again.

I was watching tv one morning and saw the infomercial for Body Beast. I saw the women on that and thought that I wanted to look like them. I ordered it and when it arrived a week later, I couldn’t put the nutrition guide down. When I finished reading it, I cried. I felt like you had given me permission to EAT. I heard you telling me that I didn’t need to beat my body up in order to be healthy. I decided to follow Body Beast and ONLY Body Beast. I had been terrible about saying I would follow a program, but it wasn’t “enough”. So, I would add more running to it because the program as it was didn’t apply to me. It was such a relief to only workout for an hour or less instead of the 3-4 hours (or more) a day I was doing before. It was such a relief to eat food.I had so much more energy and felt happy.

I knew that I had a problem, but I couldn’t stop. I would silently beg someone to mention that they thought I was too thin. To hold out their hand and offer me help. I would open up my mouth to say that I was scared, and that I had a problem…..but the words wouldn’t come out. I would gauge whether it was a good day or a bad day by the number on the scale and whether I could feel my hipbones.

I have since become healthy and very happy. I studied and became a certified personal trainer and Beachbody coach. I am now a sports nutrition specialist. I want to share with other women that we are beautiful – even if we aren’t a size 0. That STRONG is beautiful. Muscles are beautiful. That we take care of others, but we need to take care of ourselves in order to continue doing that. Diet Coke, laxatives, and diet pills aren’t our friends.

The back of the “Book of Beast” was my mantra. I felt like you were speaking directly to me. I found my purpose. I now know that I have the strength, power and ability to tackle everyday life. My transformation DID happen on the inside. I found my spirit, confidence, security, and inner peace. I am PROUD to be a Beast. I believe I am a beautiful Beast.

Being able to tell you, Sagi,  personally what you did for me is really beyond words for me. I never thought that would be possible, so I am so touched and honored to have been able to communicate that to you. Thank you for all you do. You write wonderful posts and don’t know whose reading them. There are people that you touch and don’t realize it. I know you didn’t know I existed, but you saved me. Thank you so much for the opportunity to be able to share it with you.

Candi Kirkland

 

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