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Yoga With Kids – Tips

Yoga. It’s good for peace of mind, clarity and learning how to breath correctly when your toddler is having a mental breakdown over dropping his last cheerio in HomeGoods. (They never seem to understand why they can’t put it back in their mouth after it’s been on the dirty ground.)

I have come to find that my practice with yoga has become imperative to my fitness routine and my overall mental health. It’s SO IMPORTANT to take at least a little time for yourself each day.

Yoga studios are awesome (and trust me, I LOVE my studio and getting away even for an hour)… but some days, you just can’t get away. Enter stage right, YOGA WITH KIDS. (or kid in my case).

Here’s a couple tips to getting your practice in without knocking your child in the head with your heel, strap, block or anything else:

1. Distract, distract, distract. 

While Mickey mouse might be your arch nemesis at this particular time, he’s great for keeping your kid in the hotdog mood. His squeaky little voice can be drawn out by your controlled breathing or melodic chants.

2. Give snacks.

Yeah, yeah, yeah…. I know. Don’t bribe or distract your kids with food. But hey, maybe you can get a flow in during lunch time? Afternoon snack time?

3. Flow outside.

It’s good to breath in the sunshine and air. I find that my son can easily distract himself when he’s outside. I can get some good breathing or stretching in while he plays. Sure, I have to stop and keep an eye on him, but, anything is better than nothing!

4. Make it work!

My kid is a busy one. He never sits still… (except for one time with Moana… for about 5 minutes). So when he wants to join (or really just kick me off his toys) I let him. He even gets me up from child’s pose with a helpful hairpull from time to time. He’s so great that way!

5. Ask them to join.

I can’t wait until my son is old enough to join me in my practice! He already helps with downward dog and I ALMOST have him convinced to stay on my back during crow. I mean, I should probably start looking for our matching harlem pants now…

 

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Kettlebells For Beginners

I’m newer to kettlebells than Lindsay Lohan is to underwear.

So, when I decided I wanted some awesome KB’s and guidance on how to start, I went straight to The Kettlebell Kings. I had seen them all over Instagram and could tell from photos that these KB’s were solid. (I didn’t want to invest in low quality KB’s just to have them die out early.)

The KB’s from Kettlebell Kings were just what I was looking for. There’s no random coating on the outside to scratch off, they look badass, and they feel great when using them.

Kettlebell Kings KB's

The even cooler upside to these nifty bells? They come with a 3 move beginner program, complete with awesome tips and video demonstrations from a real KB badass.  

I started with the first move, kettlebell deadlifts. I’m a huge fan of deadlifting and different variations, so this was right up my alley. I caught on quickly after reading the first blog post and watching the video.

Take home points from move one: keep your back straight, don’t lift too heavy and BREATHE.

You can watch my video here. 

The second move, the kettlebell swing, was way harder for me. Having only done swings with dumbbells before, it was a whole new world for me. Cue Aladdin & Jasmine. 

Take home points from move one: back straight, deadlift position on the bottom of the move, breathe and (the most challenging part for me) let the KB weight come into your hips before you start to hinge at the hips.

I needed a TON of practice on weight placement during this move. Since I had never really been shown proper form before, I just thought you swung with the weight. I was totally wrong.

It’s really important to hinge when the weight comes into your hips because if you start to bend too early, you place a ton of emphasis on the lower back. You want to avoid doing that. Retraining my muscle memory has been tough.

After numerous videos and corrections, I am better, but still need work.

You can watch my video here.

The third and final beginner move is the kettlebell squat press. I watched the videos, got all of my points mentally checked off and headed straight for the bell.

Instantly, I knew I was doing it wrong. Why? Because my forearm hurt like hell from racking the KB. Such a novice.

So on to YouTube I went. There had to be a way to rack the KB without hurting and bruising yourself. Then I found this video on keeping your hand open and using it as more of a hook to rack your weight. Game changer. 

My form got so much better and I wasn’t hurting myself any longer. AWESOME.

Take home points from move one: rack your kettlebell correctly, keep core activated and keep your elbow high to help maintain good form during your squat.

I loved this move! It was so much fun once I was able to do it correctly. Watch my video here.

Overall, I was super happy with my education and progress while completing the Kettlebell Kings beginner program!

Interested in grabbing some kettlebells for yourself? Check out The Kettlebell Kings!!

 

 

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Full Body Workout

Warm Up – 5 minutes on the stepmill at level 10

Round 1 – 4 sets
250m row
15 reps – 30lb dumbbell swings
10 reps – 40lb back squat with a slow negative

Round 2 – 3 sets (video below)
20 reps – 50lb Barbell alternating toe taps
10 reps – 50lb chest press


Round 3 – 3 sets 
(video below)

10 reps – 50lb barbell deadlifts
10 reps – 50lb barbell upright rows
10 reps – 40lb overhead barbell press


Round 4 – 4 sets

15 reps – 70lb deadlifts
 
This workout should take you about an hour from start to finish. Enjoy! 🙂
 
 

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Spartan Race Review

I am a Spartan… and you can be too!

SpartanJump

Honestly, I always thought Spartan Races were for the Crossfitters who just wanted to prove they are actually crazy and can perform awesomely hard feats while being wet and muddy. Well, I was totally wrong and I’d like seconds of the Spartan Cray Cool-aid. Like now.

I didn’t train much differently prior to the race. I kept my functional approach with lots of body weight work, lifting and a few cardio sprint sessions. If you have a relatively solid upper body regime, you’ll be just fine. I found the upper body work to be the most prominent throughout the race. Between the walls, heavy objects to carry and monkey bar variations, there was quite a bit of upper body work to be done.

Getting in a few trail runs also helps with training for the race. In Lake Elsinore, the paths were pretty flat with some trecks down rocks and hills. You know what also helps? Having a buddy.

While most people are SUPER (and I highly emphasis this!) helpful, it’s always better to have someone to encourage you and…. also let you sit on their back while you make your way across the horizontal wall traverse! 🙂 (Luckily there were two angels from heaven who showed my friend and I how to get across with no feet assistance).

Speaking of obstacles, I thought we had some pretty great ones! While some seemed a bit redundant (numerous walls and two rounds of slightly different heavy carries for example), I enjoyed the variety. The inverted wall was my favorite. Some of the other obstacles we encountered were the barbed wire “crawl” (we all got high off rolling), tire flip, net climb, atlas carry, monkey bars, rings, sand bag carry, bucket carry, plate drag, rolling mud and slippery wall.

SpartanBucketCarry

I approached each obstacle with slight apprehension as I had NO idea whether I’d actually be able to do it. I put my best face on and made sure I at least gave it my best go before succumbing to burpees. To my surprise, I completed all of them except for the rope climb.

What did I love most of all about the Spartan Race? The strong sense of community. It was as if everyone came together (no matter the shape, age or color) to overcome obstacles some never thought possible.

The emcee was amazing at starting the race off with a warm up. He pumped us up before we even left the corral by getting us chanting and encouraging each other. Making sure to set the environment with hearty AROOOO’s, camaraderie genuinely filled the air. This is the cool-aid I’m talking about.

I have never raced with such excitement & fear and I was so proud and inspired by the time I jumped over that fire with my friend. We had completed a race we never thought we could. We joined arms with individuals of all backgrounds and we came together to accomplish everything. Together, we all became Spartans. Together, we worked hard and set forth to do the best we could while helping others along the way. We started as strangers, but we ended as family.

This might seem like some crazy blog post, but honestly…. if you are thinking of doing a race. Do it! I promise, you’ll be changed forever.

SpartanCarry

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A Keto Day For Me

It’s been requested (quite a few times) that I share a typical day in my keto life. While I strongly encourage you to find what works for you, this is what works for me. 

keto

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Calories – usually about 2,000 but I always eat back my exercise calories (because I am in maintenance mode). So this could go up to 2,400 or more.

Macros – I try to hit about 20% protein, 7% carbs and 73% fat. Again, this could change depending on the day. On training days, I typically (but not alwayseat a few more grams of carbs and protein to help with recovery.

Liquids  I always drink a gallon of water. I also will drink a cup of tea, kombucha or sparkling water when the mood strikes me.

Food – A typical eating schedule for me starts from 5am – 8pm.

5am – Bullet Proof Coffee made with 16oz coffee + 1 tbspn MCT Oil + 1 tbspn Heavy Whipping Cream
Between 10:30-1pm – Meal One …. usually I eat eggs, bacon, greens and cheese for this meal
3pm – Afternoon tea or hot cocoa …. I’ll add some sort of fat source (MCT Oil, butter or coconut oil) if I need it
6:30pm – Meal Two …. this usually includes meat, greens and fat
7:30-8pm – Dessert …. typically a fat bomb

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Here are two days from my food logs:

Training Day: Calories – 2,358 | Macros – 51g Total Carbs (33g NET), 180g Fat, 118g Protein

Bullet Proof Coffee (coffee + 1 tbspn heavy whipping cream + 1 tbspn MCT Oil)

Meal One – 3 eggs, 2 slices of bacon, sauteed kale and cabbage & 2oz of Kerrygold Ballyshannon cheese

Snack – keto hot cocoa (16oz hot water + 1.5 tbspn unsweetened cocoa powder + 1 tbspn heavy whipping cream + 1 tbspn MCT Oil)

Meal Two – Spaghetti Squash pasta with meatballs + keto biscuit with butter & 4oz dry red wine

Dessert – 2 peanut butter and chocolate fat bombs + macadamia nuts

Non Training Day: Calories 2,026 | Macros – 36 Total Carbs (25g NET), 162g Fat, 101g Protein

Bullet Proof Coffee (coffee + 1 tbspn heavy whipping cream + 1 tbspn MCT Oil)

Meal One – Spaghettin squash, 2 slices of bacon, 3 eggs, 1 oz goat cheese

Meal Two – pork carnitas salad with salsa, cheddar cheese and sour cream

Dessert – Keto protein bar (40g melted coconut oil + 14g cacao butter + 1 scoop protein – mix and freeze) topped with peanut butter and marscapone cheese

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I really want to stress again that you should eat for your goals and body. I listen to my body and eat when I am hungry. If I don’t hit my macros perfectly, I’m okay with it!

Go forth and keto on.

 

 

 

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Keto Necessities

Keto is amazing.

However, it’s become a fad… something for big name companies to sell you on. Thanks to social media, we are constantly fed what “supplements” we should be taking. This can include anything from artificial ketone drinks to low carb microwavable meals and bars.

The truth is, you don’t need any of this BS to become a successful keto-goer. 

Here are a couple of my favorite, non-gimmick, keto eating favorites:

MCT Oil

MCT Oil – we’ve all heard about it…. it’s the magical component to bullet proof coffee that keeps us full, burns fat and helps regulate our metabolism. And yes, the hype is true. It’s short for moderate chain triglycerides – meaning in simple terms, it’s an awesome form of straight fat. Coconut oil contains some MCT’s, but it’s not as potent as this oil.

I love MCT in my coffee every morning and sometimes in my tea in the afternoon! If you are just starting out with this oil, start small. It’s a natural diuretic and might give your stomach the rolls at first.

Milk Frother

Milk Frother – for bullet proof coffee and/or tea of course! My sister bought me the brand that’s linked and it’s been awesome in the morning!

Here’s a tip for you (learned from hard experience) – only fill your mug half way with the mix-ins (hello MCT!) and coffee/tea. Blend and then add more coffee or tea to fill your mug. Don’t splash by automatically filling up all the way it like I’ve done…. many times LOL.

detourbarkindbar

Kind Bars & Detour Bars – we all need quick on the go bars. I LOVE these bars because the carbs are relatively low and you just get good high quality ingredients!

These also make great pre/post workout snacks to fuel those muscles without downing a ton of carbs.

Did you know, once you’re fat adapted, you can actually train fasted?! YEP!

kale

Dark Leafy Greens – Kale & cabbage are a staple in my diet. I love them both sautéed in bacon fat, NOM. It’s very important on a low carb diet to still get in as much nutrient dense food as possible. Kale is awesome and it even comes shredded in ready-to-use packs… which means, EASY PEASY!

I eat mine usually with eggs and bacon or on the side of some sort of protein.

nuun

Electrolytes – I can’t stress how important electrolytes are on a keto lifestyle. Carbs are what mainly hold on to the water in our muscles. Without them, our bodies need something more. Bring on the pink himalayan sea salt! If you’re experiencing the keto flu, make sure to get your electrolytes in!

Keto Lemonade is a great source of electrolytes – and I drink 40oz every day! I just put the juice of one lemon + a good pinch of pink himalyan sea salt + a couple drops of stevia and 40oz of water (in my awesome HydroFlask) and sip on it for a few hours.

meat

Fatty Meats & Nuts – I mean, this IS the staple of every low carb high fat diet. Bacon, brisket, ribs, whole eggs…. the list goes on!

Most keto-goers eat a TON of bacon and eggs, but there are SO MANY more awesome meats to enjoy!

Nuts are also a great source of fat, but make sure to not over do it. I love pecans, macadamia nuts, brazil nuts and almonds. Nuts do contain carbs and some nuts can be pretty high. Just make sure to eat them responsibly 🙂

calmmagnesium

Magnesium – going number 2 can sometimes take a little effort (if you know what I mean) when you eat high fat. Magnesium not only helps you to stay regular, but it also naturally helps your muscles relax and aids in better sleep. Win win. 

 

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