Exercise of the Week- Box Jumps

And now, my personal favorite….

Box Jumps

Equipment: A plyo box, you might need to ask a trainer where these are in your gym. If you’re crazy, you can use a park bench.

Works: Cardiovascular system, glutes, hams, quads, core

The Move: Stand in front of your box of desired height.

Bend your knees into a modest squat and jump up onto the box.

Extend the hips and stand up tall, pausing before either jumping back down or stepping one foot at a time. Be sure to get your whole foot onto the box- no heels hanging off the edge!

Do this as many times in a minute as you can, rest for 30 seconds and continue for up to 5 sets.

A modification for non-impact would be to step onto the box quickly and step back quickly, keeping your pace fast and no rest.

High box jumps challenge us in ways that other exercises can’t.  First there is the very real fear of the height.  The mental and, dare I say, spiritual gains from overcoming an admittedly scary jump are huge.  The physical benefits of high box jumps range from increased explosivity to faster hip flexion. The biggest benefit of burst training is it will convert you from a fat-storer to a fat-burner. If you want to lose fat while building lean muscle you must create the correct hormonal balances. Burst training is the most effective routine for turning on your fat-burning switches and there’s scientific evidence to prove it.

So get hoppin!


Pick Me Up Off the Floor Chicken Salad

We survived South Sister!! It was cold, cloudy, windy, treacherous and glorious! We didn’t make it to the summit due to intense cloud cover (which burned off as soon as we got down, of course) but we get dang close! Personal victory was doing it all Paleo style!!

Here’s a summary of what I took to eat:

Dinner Saturday:

Turkey, bacon, tomatoes and avocado wrapped in red leaf lettuce

Organic Butternut Squash Soup

Breakfast Sunday:

Paleo Banana Bread, banana, almond butter  and hot coffee :0)


Apple, sweet potato (actually an amazing hiking food!)

Lunch on the mountain:

Albacore, tomatoes and a hard boiled egg

Dinner in Bend:

Salad with chicken, avocado, mango (not my idea) and cucumbers

Drive home:

Carrot Cake Lara Bar (iffy on the Paleo side because of raisins), cucumbers/carrots, zucchini hummus and beef jerky.

I had so much energy and felt so great! I noticed that even though we gained 5,000 feet in 6 miles, my soreness was like a 1 on a 10 scale!! I’m thanking the Paleo lifestyle for that!!


So, after having my butt handed to me @ Crossfit this morning and spending almost 5 minutes on the floor gasping for air, I was suuuper hungry and wanting something to help my poor muscles recover! And this is what I came up with!! I hope you love it is as much as I do!!

Pick Me Up Off the Floor Chicken Salad


Leftover Kale Salad (If you don’t have any, chop up some veggies and kale and mix together)

Chicken Breast (I like to saute mine in 1 inch of water for about 4-5 minutes on each side)

1 heaping tablespoon Nutritional Yeast (or more if you like it cheezey!)

2-3 teaspoons red curry powder, to taste

1-2 tablespoons olive/coconut oil (omit if using leftover kale salad)


Cook chicken (bake, saute, grill) and cut into strips. Add to kale salad. Add nutritional yeast and red curry powder (and oil if using fresh veggies) and mix thoroughly. Put on your plate and dive in!! (The heat of the chicken help soften the kale a bit, which I like).

I added a cooked sweet potato too. They are so easy to make fast!! Wash (I leave the skin on) and poke with a fork a few times. Wrap in a paper towel and microwave for 2.5 minutes. I like to wrap mine in tin foil after to let it cook a little more. Just be careful not to do it too long or you will end up with a flat, dry lump.

The health benefits of sweet potatoes are numerous to be sure! Though the primary nutrient in a sweet potato is carbohydrate, they are also good sources of fiber, beta carotene (vitamin A), vitamin C, and vitamin B6 — and despite being primarily carbohydrate, some studies have shown that sweet potatoes can help stabilize blood sugar levels and lower insulin resistance.  They are high in fiber and have a lower glycemic index rating (50).

Research has also shown that phytonutrients in sweet potatoes may be able to help lower the potential health risk posed by heavy metals and free radicals.  This is helpful not only for digestive tract problems like irritable bowel syndrome and ulcerative colitis, but also for anyone who wants to reduce the potential risk posed by heavy metal residues (like mercury) in their diet.  Other benefits of sweet potatoes may include anti-inflammatory effects.

Have an amazing day!!

CrossFit Experiment

“CrossFit is the principal strength and conditioning program for many police academies and tactical operations teams, military special operations units, champion martial artists, and hundreds of other elite and professional athletes worldwide. Our program delivers a fitness that is, by design, broad, general, and inclusive. Our specialty is not specializing. Combat, survival, many sports, and life reward this kind of fitness and, on average, punish the specialist. The CrossFit program is designed for universal scalability making it the perfect application for any committed individual regardless of experience. We’ve used our same routines for elderly individuals with heart disease and cage fighters one month out from televised bouts. We scale load and intensity; we don’t change programs.” (Emphasis mine)

So, essentially, it’s training to become a cage fighter.


My co-worker, Jack, was the first to introduce me to the wild world of CrossFit training. Evereyday he would pull wht WOD (Workout of the Day) and drool over the list of insane exercises. Since then, I have been terrified of Crossfit, thinking it was waaay above my ability level. Then, a couple of months ago, my friend Brian, who is no workout buff, told me HE was doing Crossfit!! I was amazed! If Brian could do it, I was sure I could. So, after wussing out two times, I told him I was finally ready to give it a try!

So, I laced up my Nikes and drove over to this little box gym that specializes in fighting.


There I met Lindsay, who was super nice and encouraging! My friend from Cascade, Selena, was also there which made it a lot more fun. We started with a warm up that consisted of very “ADAPT” like movements, so I caught on fairly quickly. Warming up with movement is the best and safest way to prepare your body for exercise.

Then we moved into the instructions for the WOD. We were to do what they call Tabata. For twenty seconds do as many reps of the assigned exercise as you can – then rest 10 seconds.
Repeat this seven more times for a total of 8 intervals, 4 minutes total exercise.
The score is the least number of reps for any of the eight intervals.


The four exercises were:

1) Deadlift to high row

2) Curve Rockers

3) Kettlebell Swings

4) Box Jumps

We practiced the squat with deadlift with high row for about 10 minutes before adding in the 45 pound bar. Yes, 45 pounds in the bar alone! I thought I should stick to the lighter weight for the first day. At the end of the first 4 minutes, I maintained the number 7 for my deadlift rows. Not too shabby!

Next up was the curve rockers. I could not stop laughing since I couldn’t figure out how this was supposed to work. I finally figured it out and scored only a 2 on that one :0) I’ll have to work on those abs a bit more.

Then my favorite- kettlebell swings. Being slightly over confident, I grabbed a pood (36 pounds!) and got ready to swing. In this one, you have a slight squat and swing the bell up over your head and back down. Sounds easy, right? I was DYING by the end!! My arms were shaking and I thought about dropping to the floor. But oh no, we still had box jumps to do!

These were no ordinary boxes either! Standing 20 inches high, these bad boys made my shins quiver! I was nervous about not being able to jump high enough to get on top. However, I was able to maintain 5 jumps for each round of tabata! Not bad for my first try!

After a few minutes of foam rolling, Brain and I practiced handstand pushups (I know, a glutton for punishment). It was awesome! Then I decided it would be a great idea to ride my bike to work….Let’s just say it’s Friday morning and I am still suuuper sore, lol. I’m going in for round two of torture in a few hours, so this should be entertaining at best. I’ll be sure to let you know how it goes!

For more information about Crossfit, checkout their website at Crossfit.com to find a location nearest you. But keep in mind, everyone who does this goes in knowing that they will, at some point, get hurt and that if you have any muscular imbalances (like I do) or injuries, that you should consult a trainer before you do it. This is not for the faint hearted my friends.

The Great Fitness Experiment

One of the things I love about Tim is how much he reads. When we first were dating, it drove me bonkers!!! I have picture after picture of him sitting and reading.

 Since I have the attention span of a hummingbird, this drove me crazy! 2 years later, it has rubbed off on me and I can now not only appreciate his love of literature, but I can read usually 5 pages at a time before needing a movement break! Go me!

Tim loves the library. I’m fairly certain he could live there. But, this tends to work out for my benefit because more often than not he comes home with a book for me. Some books have been good like Fitness for Dummies and Vegan Table. Others, like Idiots Guide to Self Massage, not so much. However, his latest find for me has been great!

The Great Fitness is experiment is written by Charlotte Hilton Anderson. It chronicles her journey through trying different types of workouts. She is super witty and will keep you highly entertained as she goes through the pros and cons of varying workouts. Some of the ones she does are CrossFit, Monkey Bar Gym and Jillian Michaels!! She also has a great website that you can check out! I highly recommend giving this book a read!

I was so inspired by her diligence that I busted out the following workout this morning:

20 Crossover toe touches

20 Plank Ups

20 Oblique Twists

20 toe rollercoasters

20 tricep bridges

20 elevated shoulder bridges

20 elevated rear foot lunges (I love this one!!)

20 plie squats

20 leg straight tricep dips


I was dripping sweat! All of that with absolutely NO gym equipment! Gotta loooove using your body weight.

Well, I am off to make us some Kale Salad w/ raspberry vinagrette for dinner! Enjoy the rest of your weekend!

Day 6- Protein Power!

It’s weird- yesterday I slept in until 10, but this morning I was up @ 6!! I did something I rarely do- I watched the morning news. It was slightly depressing hearing about global warming, recession in the economy and an escalation of gang violence in Portland. Sigh….

So, I decided to make some breakfast! I love breakfast but without grains my usual go to of oatmeal or toast, it takes a little  more planning and work. I don’t mind the challenge though! Here’s what I came up with:

Power Protein Plate


4 oz ground turkey

3 egg whites

1/2 small avocado

1/3 cup green onion

1 tablespoon nutritional yeast

salt, pepper to taste

Salsa (optional)

Cook ground turkey in small suate pan.

 Set aside. Cook egg whites.


Mix eggs, turkey, green onions and add in nutritional yeast, salt and pepper to taste.

Top with avocado and/or salsa. Yummo!

I ran a ton of errands today and came home hungry because, yet again, I failed to pack more than almonds! I made some black bean dip and put it on romaine leaves and added ground turkey. Yay lettuce wraps!! One of my errands was to pick up some cocount flour to try for some muffins or bars. so, I found this delightful recipe and made some Blackberry Lemon Coconut Muffins. They were ok, but when I added a drop of raspberry jam, they were awesome! Here’s a pic from the recipe which you can find by clicking on the title.

I had some really good sessions tonight that challenged me as a trainer. This happens a lot and it’s good for me to be stretched in the areas of patience, verbal cuing and support. Before my workout, I grabbed a Promax Low Sugar (sweetened with Stevia!) Bar for some fuel. I had a great 35 minute work out with the following:

15 jump squats

Low Row- 80# @ 12 reps

Deadlifts- 85# @ 12 reps

Chest Press- 35# (just the bar) @ 20 reps

Walking lunges- #50 bar, 20 reps

Assisted Pullups- 50# @ 10 reps

Rear Foot Elevated Lunges- 40# @ 12 reps

Tricep Dips- Legs straight @ 20 reps

Body Ball Plank- 30 second hold

I repeated this 3 times through- it felt great!! I like to incorporate upper and lower body in a circuit style for maximum fat burn by spending most of the workout in an anaerobic state (higher heart rate!!)

Dinner tonight was more ground turkey (I looove turkey spiced with rosemary and basil!) and black bean dip with a little bit of feta cheese.

I felt great about staying 100% to the diet today! Go ME, lol.

Have a great day!


Day 5- Hunger Be Gone!

One of the things I have always had trouble with is how hungry I get when I work out a lot. I feel like I need to be eating a lot more food than I normally would. That’s one of the things that Ben the Bod Pod guy said was that I am working out too much and my body is burning food rather than fat. So his suggestion, since 80% of this whole game is nutrition, to lower my workout level and focus on eating fewer calories, which seems to i with what the Tajeta’s are saying in their book.

So, the last five days have been amazing! I feel rested, not sore (finally!!! Stupid lunges!) and I less hungry! What a concept! I am still working out every other day (today I rocked Level 3 of Jillian’s 30 Day Shred and did some great ADAPT stretching and foam rolling) to keep burning fat and building lean muscle. I have been using veggies to provide the “bulk” that I am used to and monitoring my fat intake (I love me some nuts and nut butter!!) and varying types of protein.

Breakfast  consisted of the same thing I made for dessert the night before, Chocolatey Almond Butter Dip w/ Cinnamon Apples. It was quite delightful! I paired that with the leftovers from my salad and a cup of coffee. My snack was some almonds (I was running errands and didn’t pack much). Lunch was a veggie saute that was absolutely divine! It had:

1/2 yellow pepper

1/2 zucchini

1/2 tomato

1/2 avocado (added after the saute)

1/3 cup edamame

1/4 cup chopped snap peas

1 tablespoon feta cheese

pepper, salt, rosemary and oregano- oh my! I snapped this before it was gone!!

I just added the chopped veggies into a s saute pan and added a touch of olive oil from my Misto. I cooked it for about 3 minutes on high and then added my cheese and avocado. It was amazing!! I had some hummus on the side to dip my fork in for sort of dressing. Mm good!


Dinner was pretty laid back. I made some turkey rolls with feta and cheddar- oh my! I also had my allotted bites of Food Should Taste Good Multigrain chips. (Which I am totally feeling today….guh). Dessert was where it was at!!!

I mixed Almond Breeze, Truvia and Vanilla in a mug and put it in the freezer, stirring every hour. I blended the icy chunks into a smooth ice cream! It tasted just like the homemade ice cream we used to make when I was a kid!! Add in some fresh blackberries from the back yard and a scoop of almond butter and it was exactly what I wanted!

We strolled around the neighborhood this evening and met several new neighbors and cats. It’s was a beautiful evening with my best friend :0)

Hope your Monday is filled with the simple things.


Day 1- Completed!

Yesterday was a great day! I got to sleep in, got an amazing facial at Angelique Salon, went shopping at Dick’s Sporting Goods and had some great training sessions with clients. I also got to bust out a fabulous 20 minute workout. Here’s what I did:

Weighted combo w/ 12# dumbbells: Burpee w/ overhead press, push up, row w/ rotation repeated 5 times in a row

Weighted (20#) dumbbell rear foot elevated lunges

Weighed (50#) barbel walking lunges

10 sec 90 degree Lat hang (Ouchey!!)

I made it three times through and called it a night!

In the afternoon, I filled up on some ground turkey with tomatoes and steamed asparagus. Asparagus is one of those tricky veggies that it’s easy to butcher. So, here’s a quick easy way to have deliciously crunch yet tender asparagus without cooking out all the goodies!

Steamed Asparagus


Roughly 10 stalks asparagus

1/2 c. water (or vegetable broth for more flavor)

salt and pepper to taste

Earth Balance Spread (optional)


Wash and trim 1 inch off bottom of asparagus. Heat up water in a large saucepan. Add asparagus and cover- let cook on medium/high heat for 4 minutes, or until bright green. Sprinkle with salt and pepper (or try a lemon pepper spice!). I like to drizzle a little lemon juice on mine too.

Asparagus is a delicious veggie that is super versital and can be used in many dishes. Some awesome health benefits include:

1 – can detoxify our system

2 – has anti-aging functions

3 – is considered an aphrodisiac

4 – can protect against cancer

5 – reduces pain and inflammation

6 – can prevent osteoporosis and osteoarthritis

7 – reduces the risk of heart disease

8 – can help prevent birth defects

What an awesome veggie!!! It also is packed with fiber which helps feel full and stay full :0)

Happy Steaming!