30 for 30 Challenge

My friend picked me up late for dinner and confessed to something serious: “I pumped out 45 pushups before I left”. Awesome. Now before you think I keep company with crazy body builder/exercise obsessed maniacs let me explain. I am an advocate of healthy living in a world where such an idea is losing meaning. I work in the fitness industry and surround myself with naturally healthy and holistic individuals. But even we get off track sometimes, especially during social gatherings and music festivals.

Now on to the good stuff…

There is a school of thought supporting improved fitness and strength gains through minimal activity but constant commitment. I am a believer in this for several reasons:

  1. Consistency is the key to change
  2. You don’t have to hurt to see results30 for 30 Challenge
  3. Exercise doesn’t need to suck

The theory behind this idea is that by doing a little everyday you will change the way you look and feel. Sounds easy but is it? How many mornings do you wake up and dread getting out of bed, let alone heading to the gym and sweating like a pig for an hour. Thoughts like that make me want to hit “snooze” and roll over for another 30 minutes of cozy bed time.

But guess what? That 30 minutes could be yoga, a run or body weight calistenics. And what’s more, it would be done before breakfast! Be honest with yourself. Do you really NEED that extra 30 minutes of pillow talk? Or would you feel better with 30 minutes of movement?

So here’s my challenge to you…30 minutes for 30 days. Find an activity (or several) and move your body everyday for 30 minutes (or more). The 30 for 30 Workout below is gentle enough to be done daily. Do one set to start and increase weekly until you can comfortably complete three full sets. Throw in some cardio (walking, running, cycling, swimming, aerobics, bedroom antics) and you will be on your way to a fitter you!

30 for 30 Workout

Complete each exercise for 45 seconds. Rest 15 seconds before moving on to the next exercise. Do one set to start and increase by one set every week. Ramp up the intensity by adding weights and decreasing rest time.

  1. Steam Engine Standing Twist
  2. Power to the People
  3. Tornado Turns
  4. 3/4 Squat with Overhead Reach
  5. Sumo Squat with Lateral Reach
  6. Alternating Backward Lunge with Twist
  7. Pushup
  8. Tricep Dips
  9. Bicycle
  10. Plank

Disclaimer – I encourage ALL types of movement, not just the solo type 😉

Chocolate Macaroon Delights

I work in a gym and along with new exercise ideas comes nutritional trends. My philosophy has and always will be a focus on whole food – the closer the food is to its natural state the better. A few friends are currently testing out a gluten-free diet and to compensate for the lack of wheat I made some chocolate macaroons. While on the gluten-free train I figure I would make these delights raw and vegan as well. Seems that one thing just leads to the other and make no mistake, these power-houses of nutrients are satisfyingly delightful!

Chocolate Macaroon Delights

A raw, vegan, gluten and dairy-free cookieMacaroons

  • 1 cup shredded coconut
  • 2 tsp chia seeds
  • 5 tbsp quality cocoa powder
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil
  • 1/4 cup almond milk
  • 1-2 tbsp maple or agave syrup
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla

Pulmarize ingredients in a food processor until desired consistency. Scoop teaspoon onto parchment-lined pan. Press down gently and top with toasted nut (I used walnut). Refrigerate until your willpower gives way.

Kitchen Sink Smoothie

If you’ve been over to my house for breakfast (lucky you!) I have probably made you a smoothie. We’re not talking your run-of-the-mill banana yogurt concoction. The various kinds of smoothie I make involve any and everything on hand and are for the culinary adventurer only.

Fruit? Check. Vegetables? Check. Yogurt? Check. Chia seeds? Check.

I am of the opinion that the more you throw in the blender the healthier it will be. Seriously, anything can go into that machine and after 45 seconds of turbine magic will pour out delicious. The beauty of the Kitchen Sink Smoothie is that it is essentially a non-recipe. The ingredients for my smoothie are listed below, but I encourage you to try out whatever you have on hand. And then report back to me so that I can test and blog about your culinary creations.

Kitchen Sink SmoothieKitchen Sink Smoothie

  • Spinach (or kale)
  • Beets (cooked and peeled)
  • Cucumber (or celery)
  • Banana (or mango)
  • Strawberries (berries of any sort)
  • Ginger (grated but powder is cool too)
  • Maple Syrup (agave or honey work)
  • Milk (cow, soy, almond, rice, quinoa, etc)

Locate produce in your kitchen that must be consumed. Stuff into your blender and blend until smooth. Drink until satisfied. Prepare for excess amounts of energy and go for a run!