Oops…I “Forgot”

G’morning guys! 🙂 How we doin?

It feels like old times over here. I just got back from the gym where I did an awesome cardio and iron pumping workout! I’m finally beginning to ramp up my strength training again and it feels great. I have a feeling that if I didn’t let it slip so much as my mileage increased that I wouldn’t have the injuries I do now 😉 It’s easy sometimes to get ahead of ourselves and “forget” what’s good for us, am I right?

Anyway, today at the gym I worked legs, shoulders and abs with the following super sets:

  • Squat w/ olympic bar – 3×12
  • Arnold press – 3×12 – 10 lb dumbbells

  • step ups w/ 15 lb dumbbells – 3×12
  • hanging leg raises – body weight – 3×12

  • walking lunges w/ 15 lb dumbbells – 3×12
  • external shoulder rotation – 10 lbs – 3×12 each arm

  • single leg deadlifts w/ 35 lb kettlebell – 3×12 each leg
  • saxxon side bends – 5 lb dumbbells – 3×12



Another thing I’ve “forgotten” about? How amazing acorn squash is!!

Before leaving to train a client, I slow roasted a HUGE acorn squash at 275 degrees. That way, when I came home an hour and a half later, all I had to do was crank up the heat to 400, stick some veggies in the oven for my meal!

 IMG_0054  IMG_0056

A BIG bowl of kale and brussels sprouts. I promise there’s brussels under there 😉

I filled the acorn squash up with pumpkin butter tofu (cubed tofu marinated in coconut oil and pumpkin butter – got the idea from Averie) to round out the meal.


It was stupendous! However, I still think my tried and true maple black beans stuffing takes the cake gord.


Keeping up with the old times feelings, I had another memory inducing meal for breakfast:

Another old-time-feeling is looming…the end of daylight savings time! It’s happening this Sunday!! 😦 I’ve been savoring every droplet of light before dusk that I can.


Love that extra hour of sleep, but getting dark out at 5:00 p.m. is no bueno.

I have to get to work early this morning for a unit meeting – off I go! But when I “come back,” since so many of you said you never wash your makeup brushes, I’m going to post the quick and cheap way I wash mine – it takes 5 minutes and is NOTHING fancy!

Have a great Thursday!

What do you prefer – falling back or springing ahead? I’m TOTALLY all for springing ahead!


Go Ahead and Tri(set) Me

Happy Friday, friends!! How was your week? It went by pretty dang fast for me. Thank you SO much for all of your advice on Plantar Fasciitis. I was especially thankful for these additional tips that I hadn’t known about:

Beth and a couple others mentioned freezing a water bottle – it doubles as ice and a massage all in one!

Kasey who works at a running store mentioned wearing socks or boots to keep foot at a 90 degree ankle would help

Niki who is a physical therapist, said to stretch the plantar fascia before getting out of bed to ease it into a stretched position.

Thanks for the tips, guys!:D


I just got back from training an early morning client, and it was a great session! In fact, I plan on going back to the gym here in a bit to do the exact same workout myself. I would have done it right after training, but I didn’t get a breakfast in before I left, and there was no way I was going to lift for an hour on a completely empty stomach.

So instead, I came home and tried the fitnessista’s breakfast cookie dough cereal!




I made mine more fall-like by adding a 1/4 c. pumpkin, some golden raisins, and a little pumpkin pie spice.



After that digests (and after Niko’s morning walk,) I’ll be heading back to the gym to pump some iron. But, I love this workout so much that I just have to share it with you.




Confession: I love quick-paced, hard hitting, triset workouts.

disclaimer: before trying any of these exercises or beginning any exercise program, please check with your physician.

Exercise Sets Reps
1a. Behind Neck Press 3 10 w/ 20 lb. barbell
1b. Long Arm Pullover 3 10 w/ 15 lb. dumbbell
1c. Barbell side lunge 3 on each leg 10 w/ 20 lb. barbell

Go through exercises  a-c three times for the first three sets of exercises, resting for 30-60 seconds between each triset

Exercise Sets Reps
2a. Single Arm Twisting Seated Row 3 on each arm 10
2b. Pushup 3 10
2c. Dumbbell Deadlift 3 10 w/ 15 lb. dumbbells


Exercise Sets Reps
3a. O/H tricep cable extension 3 10 w/ 20 lbs.
3b. Lat pulldown 3 10 w/25 lbs.
3c. Step ups 3 on each leg 10 w/ 15 lb. dumbbells


Exercise Sets Reps
Plank on medicine ball 3 60 seconds each
Back extension on ball 3 10 w/ 10 lb. plate


The entire workout should take you about an hour to complete. I will also be posting this workout over on Fitconomy.


Sahale Snacks Anniversary Giveaway Winner!

The winner of the Sahale Snacks giveaway is Cynthia from Pretend Cook! Congrats, girl:) Send me your info and I’ll forward it on to Debby to get you your goods 😀

Well I’m off to go do Friday! Bring it on:) Hopes are that by the end of the day, my car will be cleaned out and my house will be spotless. I also have plans for a Bloomington/Normal blogger run this afternoon that I’m really looking forward to 😀

But before I go, I have to show you this hot and steamy picture…




haha. Shane and I went out for Mexican the other night, and my veggie fajitas were so sizzling hot that they wouldn’t stop steaming for like 5 minutes!! I could barely see my date on the other side of the table for a minute!

Also – today kicks off 30 days of Vitamix meals on the blog! So far I’ve only made smoothies, so I’mma have to get creative up in here 🙂

Ok…off I go!

What’s your favorite breakfast of the moment? If you guys are like me, you’ll get stuck on one breakfast for a while before moving on to the next. Lately, mine is smooothies, but I have a feeling the cookie dough cereal could stick around for a while.


Have a fantabulous Friday, everyone!

The Easy Way Out’s OK w/ Me


Today I woke up to a pain in my ass. Literally. I did a pretty intense superset-style weights workout yesterday that left the tops of my glutes, my chest, and my back siiiiiinging the chorus today.

Here’s what I did:

1a. Walking lunges length of gym   2 sets w/ 25 lb plates
1b. Overhead press 2 sets w/ 15 lb. dumbbells
2a. Single leg stiff deadlift 2 sets w/ 35 lb. kettlebell
2b. Single point row 2 sets w/ 25 lb. dumbbells
3a. Deadlifts 3 sets w/ 45 lb. olympic bar + 20 lbs
3b. Lat pulldowns 3 sets w/ lat pulldown machine @ 35 lbs
4a. Prisoner jump squats 2 sets 10 reps
4b. Pushups 2 sets 10 reps
5. Swiss ball jack knifes  


Ahhhh it was a good workout. Wait ‘til you see what I had as a post workout snack…

IMG_8030well, an epic fail of HEAB’s protein ice cream (I neeeed a vitamix. NEED. Hear that, husband?! 😉 )

But THEN, I had a new Carrot Cake Lara Bar!!


Sarah over at Lara Bar sent me the new flavors to try out, and Carrot Cake tastes amazing! If you liked the tropical flavor from last year, you’ll love the Carrot Cake flavor! The only thing I wasn’t so sure about it was that it tasted more like pineapple than carrot cake. It was still amazing, nonetheless, and only stood about 10 seconds against me. Its ingredients are: dates, almonds, walnuts, raisins, pineapple, coconut, carrots, cinnamon, and coconut oil. Yummy stuff! 😀

Yesterday was pretty much an insanely busy day that started with a pre-dawn client, followed by four more. In between clients, I had to take Niko to the groomers, work a little at home on BIC stuff, and get ready to host bunco!

I took the easy way out.

IMG_8033When in doubt, order Jimmy John’s. Life philosophy lesson right there folks. Only on RAN.

I also took the easy way out for dessert. Janetha told me this dessert was easy and 100% guaranteed to be a crowd pleaser. It’s a good thing I trust her.

I made the crust…

IMG_8032  Topped it with the sauce and fruits…


And watched it disappear before my eyes!

IMG_8035 DEFINITEY a crowd pleaser. Janetha, so many people loved this!

While making, I munched on some veggies and hummus:


Bunco was a blast, and I ended up winning my money back for being the biggest loser (most losses,) wahoo!

Today’s supposed to be my long run day: 9 miles. I’ve yet to find my iPod (tear…) so my question for you all today is this:

What’s worse: running outdoors for 9 miles without an iPod or running on a treadmill for 9 miles while watching your show? I can’t decide! It wasn’t bad for eight miles on a treadmill last weekend, but I don’t know if I can do it twice!

Stay tuned on Monday morning for an amazing blog anniversary giveaway (yes, I can still celebrate from last week! 🙂 ) Hint: It has something to do with what I reviewed above 😉

Get on My Level

What a B-E-A-Utiful weekend we’re having so far! Here in Central Illinois, it’s 80’s and SUNNY. I’ve been soaking it up for the most part, but thought I’d take a little bloggy break. How’s the weather where you’re at?

So as you know, yesterday was my last day at my full time job. I submitted my notice three week’s ago, and today it feels…freeing. I need to clean my house, but I don’t have an urgency since I only have one day to do it. Pretty awesome, I gotta say.

My last day ended a few hours early, however. Around 1:00, I realized I had everything done, so I took off and headed home to get in a run. Planning on running a quick, 3 mile interval run, I was on mile two when I got received quite the startle. A dog came running by me, turned around, and jumped on me. I wasn’t scared for myself, but was for the dog. This was a busy street we were running on! My instinct was to check the dog’s collar to see if I recognized the address, but unfortunately didn’t. So I walked Lizzie up to the first house I saw, and we called the number on her tag. No answer. By now I felt responsible for the dog, so I had it run with me for about a half mile until it decided to peace out. Hope you’re OK, dear Lizzie dog!

My interval run ended up being a 4 miler, run in 37:31. Not bad. Especially since I was walking around freaking out with Lizzie for a bit there.

Once home, I needed some post-run fuelage. Remember my Sweet Tortilla Breakfast wrap? Well, I took it to the next level for and made this snack:



Because apparently an Ezekiel English muffin is the next level up from an Ezekiel Tortilla?


Oh, wait. Adding almond butter is taking it to the next level. To make this, I simply mixed together 1 T. of Tofutti cream cheese, 1 t. honey, and 1/2 a banana and topped it on a toasted half of an Ezekiel bran English muffin. And added almond butter of course. Surprisingly, I liked it sans almond butter better! Never in a million years did I think I’d utter those words!

Shortly after devouring, I was off to train my only Friday client. This woman is a hoot! Never a dull moment when training with her 🙂

I had plans to relax on my girl, Carmody’s back deck for the evening, so before I headed over there, I whipped up a hubski non-friendly meal.


Shane had to work on a test from 8-midnight, and whenever he’ll be gone for the night, I have my chance to make meals he’s not fond of. Tonight’s choice? Quinoa!

Savory Succulent Veggie Quinoa:

1 c. quinoa

1 1/4 c. water

1/4 c. EVOO

14 c. Balsamic vinegar

1/2 cremini mushrooms, chopped and grilled

1/4 c. chopped artichoke hearts

1 c. chickpeas

Salt and pepper.

Cook quinoa per directed. While quinoa is cooking, mix together the EVOO, vinegar, mushrooms, chickpeas, and artichokes. When quinoa is almost done, add the veggie mixture to the quinoa, and finish cooking until all the water is soaked up. Top with the hummus.


Amazing, amazing, amazing.

With it, I had roasted Brussels sprouts.


IMG_6835   IMG_6838 

The rest of the evening consisted of a couple glasses of wine at my girl, Carmody’s house, and then hanging out with one of my best friends from my home town. She was in town for the night, so we watched Sex and The City episodes and caught up:)

This morning, I made everyone oats!

IMG_6839 IMG_6840 Oat bran for Jessica and me, and cream of wheat for Shane.

IMG_6841The lovely, Jessica. She said she really liked the oats 😀

Since breakfast, we took Niko to the dog park, and when she headed home, I headed to the gym for a kick booty weight workout.

Now I’m off to meet my friend Heidi for her first outdoor run! She’s been doing couch to 5 K on the treadmill, and today will be her first run outside. I hope she likes it as much as I do! 🙂

Not sure what’s going down tonight, but I have a feeling it will be pretty low key.

What are you up to this weekend?

Easing Low Back Pain with Exercise!

Happy Birthday to my Dad!! Love you, Daddy!

Hey loves! How’s the first half of your week shaping up? Mine’s been not too shabby!

I just finished a very circular breakfast:



Ezekiel English muffin w/ Almond butter and organic blueberry jam, and 1 egg + 1 egg white with sea salt. Yum!


This came after a blood pumping weight sesh with the husband. We were supposed to hang out with Shaun T., but we both ditched him for some iron. We woke up a little late, and only had about 40 minutes for a workout. We rescheduled with Shaun for Friday 😉

Remember my NROLFW part 1 review?


Well, I’m starting to incorporate some of the workouts into my strength training workouts. I’ll review it when I get through, but note that I won’t be following it to a T. I’m kinda going with my own plan with this one; pretty much like I do with everything else in life 😉 We’re only doing Insanity every other day, so I’ll either run, lift or both on the off days from that. If it proves too much for me, I’ll weed it down a bit. Today’s NROLFW workout 1A was pretty killer though.

The hubski’s doing a strength training plan that I created for him. He’s not going to join a new gym for a couple weeks, and the weights we have here at home only go up to 15 lbs., so the plan I created for him over the next two weeks involves mostly body-weight-based strength training. He uses 15 lb. dumbbells for the smaller muscles, like the anterior and posterior delts.

Yesterday I had a morning training session, was off to the office to work all day, and then had one more training session afterward.
But in between it all…I RAN! Yep, I ran for the first time since last Saturday’s half marathon. I had a good hour or so in between office work and my evening client, so I hopped on the treadmill for a glorious three miler. After a 5 minute walking warm up, I ran 3.3 miles in 30 minutes, followed by a 5 minute walking cool down. The owner of the gym got some new kettle bells so then I did some single leg deadlifts alternating with swiss ball crunches afterward.

When I got home, I wanted food NOW. There’s a lot of produce in our fridge right now, and raw food is fast food, so I told Shane I was making a salad for me, and unless he wanted the same he was on his own.

Pile o’ raw veggies in a Pyrex bowl:


Spinach, romaine, edamame, sugar snap peas, cucumbers, cauliflower

Topped with cooked veggies:

grilled portabello mushrooms, vegan veggie burger, and a dressing combo of 1.5 T. hummus, 1 T. Tahini, 1 T. water, + 1 T. Bragg’s Amino Acids. I initially was going to use Susan’s idea of watered down hummus as a dressing, but then saw the other ingredients kickin’ it in the fridge and thought, "why not?"


I still can’t think of a reason why not! This dressing will about knock your head off 😀

But I wanted MOAR.



x’s two of some protein cookies


Easing Low Back Pain

My dad’s pretty much amazing, everyone. He’s always been there for me and has been supportive of everything I do (minus those few years in high school – LOL) In fact, he’s so amazing that the article below is dedicated to him. My dad’s had low back issues ever since being side-swiped in a car accident in the town he lives in. Every once in a while it gets so bad that he needs to use a cane. Dad, readers with low back problems, and readers who want a stronger back, here are some exercises that can help strengthen and stretch that pain point at the center of your bod.

As always, I am not a doctor, just a personal trainer. Please check with your doctor before beginning this or any exercise regimen. If you question the form on any of these exercises, please ask a personal trainer to show you.

Did you know that 80% of the population will experience low back pain at some point in their life? It’s usually caused from overuse or strain. Back pain actually tends to get better if you stay active. That said, the below exercises have been shown to help ease back pain in both long and short term duration

Press Up Back Extensions This exercise will strengthen your erect

Knee to Chest This exercise is great for stretching your lower back

Knee to chest rotation: In a supine position, hug your knees to your chest and slowly rotate knees from side to side while keeping them together

Cat Pose to stretch your low back, begin on hands and knees, and arch your back up like a cat, hold, and return to neutral spine.

Hip Lift In a supine position, flatten your back against the floor by contracting your abs and slowly rotating your hips backward.

Ball squat or wall squat – squat down so your lower back in pressed against the wall or ball and move your feet out from the wall to bend your legs to a “half-squat” and hold. Gradually straighten legs out.

Additional activities to strengthen and stretch the core and surrounding muscles to protect the spine include side stretch, abdominal curls, modified push-ups, lateral leg raises, groin stretch, hamstring stretch, calf stretch and the quad stretch.


If you have any questions on the exercises above, please feel free to shoot me an email 🙂 This is just a snippet of the exercises that can ease lower back pain.

Back injuries and sprains are the number one disability for people under 45. It’s the most expensive benign health condition in America as it accounts for 10% of all chronic health problems, which results in lots of days off from work.


Late, late, late! Gotta run!


Do you have to deal with lower back pain? Have you ever had lower back pain?

Itchy Legs

Hiiiii there! How are you!? Sporadic Posting McGee here 😉

I’ve been going since 5:15 this morning (where my first client overslept!) to just now. Gotta say, it feels amazing to be kickin’ the ol’ feet up!

After my two one morning training appointments, I was off to the office work where it was day one of training my replacement. It was also where I enjoyed this lovely mess:


Overnight Oats is perfect for on-the-go breakfasts. In this version was my usual – oats, maca, stevia, sea salt, carob powder, Jay Robb, almond milk, half a banana, and almond butter. Oh, and coconut butter drizzled on top. Phew! That’s a lot of ingredients.

It was around lunch time when my throat started getting soar. For a minute I thought I was getting sick. Then I realized I’d literally been talking and training someone since 6 this morning LOL. My last day at the office isn’t until next Friday, so I have a feeling these last two are going to be long ones! Kind of like a race…the end is near but those last two miles are the toughest!

Speaking of running, I’ve yet to run since my half marathon. My legs are itching to break out into a run on the pavement. However, I just haven’t made it out. Instead of running, I’ve been jumping around like a crazy person while working out to Insanity and lifting on off days. I’m not too worried about losing endurance though since my next race isn’t until June. It’s a 9 miler at a race called Steamboat Classic. I’m pretty excited for it 😀
I did get in a killer weight work out this morning though

Deadlift with bar and 10 lb weights on each side – 2 sets, 15 reps
Alternating sets:
Dumbbell shoulder press – 15 lbs – 2 sets, 15 reps
Wide grip lat pull down – 27.5 lbs – 2 sets 15 reps
Alternating sets:
Lunges w/ 10 lb dumbbells – 2 sets, 15 reps
Swiss ball crunch – 2 sets 10 reps

NROLFW, anyone?           

Lunch was lovely as well!


Rabbit rabbit! Looks like rabbit food…it’s hummus + spinach + cucumber in a w.w. Flat Out wrap.
"Dessert" was protein pudding:


1/2 scoops of Jay Robb, sea salt, 1 T. carob powder, stevia, almond butter, dash of almond milk. I needed something filling for lunch, because I didn’t want to snack away all afternoon like I usually do with my trainee sitting with me in my cube.

After it was quittin’ time at the office, I headed back to the gym to train two more clients, and work a little before closing up shop. ‘Twas a fun time! I haven’t seen one of the clients for a long time, so it was great catching back up with her. And the other I always have a good time training. Hard to call it work, in reality…

When I finally got home for the night, I was stah-ving. My girl Amy saved the night:


Holy Mexican deliciousness. These enchiladas almost knocked my head off!


They tasted so decadent and naughty! (Actually, no food is "naughty" but ya know what I mean.)

However, it didn’t put too much of a dent in the hunger department. When I saw chocolate Cheerios in the pantry I knew nothing else would satisfy:



So good, but the ingredient list is a little long and leery so I’ll probably stick with something else next time…


The rest of the night entailed a load of laundry and teaching Niko to "shake." She already knows sit, lie down…

IMG_6720 IMG_6722

stay, and rollover, but for shake, she just kinda flips out and jumps on your hand lol.

My parents’ dog, Buck knows the command, "poison." It’s so freakin’ cute. If you hold out a treat and say "poison," he’ll turn his head like he wants nothing to do with it until you say, "OK!" Poor guy’s 14 years old, though.

Well it’s time for me to call it a night.I have a pretty full day tomorrow as well with a client before and after work. I’m going to try reeaaally hard to squeeze in a run somewhere!

Have a great night and a beautiful Tuesday, everyone!


Beautiful flowers from my mom’s garden 🙂


What’s the coolest dog trick you’ve seen a dog perform? Another one I’ve heard about is my parents’ friends’ dog freaks out and growls if someone flips him off! haha

Mickey Mouse Meals

Hi there sweet peas! Happy almost Friday! I actually didn’t remember tomorrow was Friday until I just wrote that, so I’m feeling pretty excited right now:D

So did you pull any April Fool’s pranks on anyone?! Or were YOU the one doing the pranking? 😉 I’m not much one for April Fool’s, and luckily for me, neither is Shane 🙂

Although I did pull one on myself this morning… I made myself what I thought would be a delicious bowl of overnight oats!


That doesn’t even look good! Well it was horrid! Word to yo mutha the wise: don’t make overnight oats with steel cut oat groats. Unless you like crunchy oats. Me? Notsomuch. I even tried microwaving them (plastic container and all) when I got to work. Didn’t work. However, I forced them down because a) I was starvin’ and b) my muscles needed some of that Jay Robb protein powder swirled in after my morning workout!

I met my girl Heidi at the gym, and we did about 35 minutes of hill walking before splitting different ways. She to the elliptical and me to the weight room.

Bulgarian Split Squats w/ 10 lb dumbbells 10×4 sets
Wide Grip Lat Pulldown w/ 27 lbs 10 x 3 sets
Deadlifts w/ 50 lb. barbell 10 x 3 sets
Bent Row w/ 30 lb. barbell 10 x 3 sets
Alternating Grip bicep curls w/ 12 lb dumbbells 10 x 3 sets
Calf Raise Farmer Walkouts w/ 35 lb. dumbbells 10 x 3 sets
Rear delt flies w/ 8 lb dumbbells 10 x 3 sets
Rolling around like a worm on the foam roller Until I can’t stands it no more!

Done and done! Took me about 40 minutes to get through this weight workout. I then showered and got ready for work at the gym and had aforementioned nasty oats.

Today was actually a day where countless things went a little haywire to both Shane and myself. I won’t go in to too much detail, but I will say that we dropped off Shane’s car, and they did more damage than harm, and wouldn’t compensate us for our trouble. Ahem. Not April Fool’s.

We both left work a couple hours early to deal with the car situation, so I was able to make a quick stop by the store to pick up some necessary items, one of which I am more than excited to delve into:


Goat’s milk ice cream!! Nom! Hopefully.


It reached 80º (!!!) here in Illinois today, so I also took advantage of the unseasonably amazing weather and took the Nikster for a walk before heading to the gym to train a few clients.

Once home, it was late, and I was hungry, so I turned to Mickey Mouse Meals.




TJ’s Roasted Red Pepper and Tomato bisque, romaine + organic honey mustard + strawberries, Millet toast + avocado + Quorn meatless chicken nuggets and dollops of ketchup. Fast and fabulous.




The hubski also got a gourmet Mickey Meal:


Romaine + ranch, TJ’s soup, AB&J, kettle chips

A lot of you have been asking how I squeeze so much in a day. Well, I cut corners. Lately, instead of black bean enchiladas or roasted chicken and noodles, I make my husband Mickey Mouse Meals. All about priorities, people.

On that note, I’m off to go not think for a while and watch Real Housewives of NY 😀 And perhaps dabble in some La Loo’s Goat Milk Ice Cream.

Have a fantastic night, folks! See ya tomorrow!


When your schedule gets busier and busier, where do you cut corners to save on time? Mine are clearly on dinner making skillz. And you know what? I’m more than OK with that. My Mickey Mouse Meal was awesome! 😀