Sunday, April 29, 2012

W.O.D. HIIT Workout

Here's a great workout for those wanting to do some HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training).

You workout as hard as you can go for 1 full minute and then perform a mild exercise as an active recovery for 2 minutes.

You can do any exercises you like but here is the workout I did:

  • Push Ups x 12
  • Squats x 15
  • Spiderman Climbs x 20
  • Jumping Jacks x 30
Perform 2 sets to get you warmed up.


  • Sprinting (in place)  1:00
  • Squats - 2:00
  • Mountain Jumpers - 1:00
  • Lunges with a twist - 2:00
  • Side to Side Ski Jumps - 1:00
  • 1 Legged Alternating Reach - 2:00
  • Heismans - 1:00
  • Squats - 2:00
  • Bowling Lunges (modified ice skater) - 1:00
  • Alt. Lt & Rt Lunges with Reach - 2:00
  • High Low Punches 1:00
  • Reverse Lunges - 2:00

Be sure to keep moving for a few minutes and perform some stretching!

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Coconut Oil - Has Beaten It's "Bad Rap"

I have had several people email me asking if the coconut oil that I consume and that Jorge Cruise uses in some of his recipes is safe to eat.  I will admit that when I first heard about the idea of eating coconut oil it brought on the same concerns I have heard throughout my entire life.  Coconut oil has gotten a bad rap all these years.  It was believed that it would clog up your arteries and cause heart disease.  After all of these years and thanks in part to the vegan community coconut oil has made a huge comeback and the scientific studies are making this natural oil a new healthy fat alternative.
Coconut oil is also great as a moisturizer for your skin and a conditioner for your hair. 
Keep in mind that any fat that is overly consumed can be unhealthful and lead to obesity.  Portion control is always key to a healthy, clean eating lifestyle!

Read this to find out some more amazing benefits of coconut oil!

  • Coconut oil is antiviral, antifungal (kills yeast too) and antibacterial. It attacks and kills viruses that have a lipid (fatty) coating, such as herpes, HIV, hepatitis C, the flu, and mononucleosis. It kills the bacteria that cause pneumonia, sore throats, dental cavities, urinary tract infections, meningitis, gonorrhea, food poisoning, pneumonia, and many, many more bacterial infections. It kills the fungus/yeast infections that cause candida, ringworm, athletes foot, thrush, jock itch, diaper rash and more.
  • Coconut oil is called the "low fat" fat. It actually acts like a carbohydrate in that it is quickly broken down in the liver and used as quick energy. It is NOT stored like other fats. It boosts one’s energy and endurance. Many athletes use it blended into their drinks. It also supports thyroid function and increases your metabolism (great if you want to lose weight).
  • Coconut oil improves digestion and absorption of fat soluble vitamins, minerals (especially calcium and magnesium), and amino acids. It improves the body’s use of blood glucose and improves insulin secretion and absorption (great for type II diabetes). In fact, many diabetics (type I and type II) use it to reduce their symptoms. One’s risk of diabetes decreases with regular use of coconuts and coconut oil. And as we already mentioned, cooking with coconut oil does not create any harmful byproducts.
  • Coconut oil helps the body heal and repair faster. It aids and supports immune function, protecting us from a variety of cancers.
  • Coconut oil, contrary to much hubbub, is good for your heart. It keeps our blood platelets from sticking together (and causing dangerous clots). Regular users of coconut oils have a much lower chance of atherosclerosis (clogging of the arteries), arteriosclerosis (hardening of the arteries), and strokes. Coconut oil can lower your blood pressure.
  • Coconut oil is a natural antioxidant. It protects the body from free radical damage and prevents premature aging and degenerative diseases.
  • Finally, coconut oil is the best massage oil on the planet. What it does to your skin, you simply have to witness. It forms a barrier against infections, softens and moisturizes your skin, and prevents wrinkling, sagging, and age spots. It promotes healthy hair and complexion, protects from any damaging UV rays.
Excerpt from:

Here is another great article about coconut oil:

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Cauliflower Crust Pizza - Perfect for Jorge Cruise Diet

Finally, a wonderful, healthy alternative to a beloved, fattening, American pastime!  Pizza!  I love it but since I am not eating grains or "white stuff" it can be difficult to come up with tasty ways to enjoy our favorite foods.  I posted a recipe for a terrific flax meal pizza crust.  It is also a delicious recipe but for those who have to watch their flax seed intake or want to eat more vegetables then swapping out the flax seed for cauliflower is the way to go!  Cauliflower is one of my favorite vegetables that one can use in so many unique, flavorful and healthy ways.  More recipes to come soon.

My Version Was Topped with Mushrooms and Golden Peppers!

Photo by Beth from Eat, Drink, Smile

Cauliflower Crust Pizza


  • 1 cup cooked, riced cauliflower
  • 1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1/2 tsp crushed garlic
  • 1/2 tsp garlic salt (I use Granulated Garlic)
  • Olive oil (optional)
  • Pizza sauce
  • Shredded cheese
  • Favorite toppings*


To "Rice" the Cauliflower:

  1. Take 1 large head of fresh cauliflower, remove stems and leaves, and chop the florets into chunks. Add to food processor and pulse until it looks like grain. Do not over-do pulse or you will puree it. (If you don't have a food processor, you can grate the whole head with a cheese grater).
  2. Place the riced cauliflower into a microwave safe bowl and microwave for 8 minutes (some microwaves are more powerful than others, so you may need to reduce this cooking time). There is no need to add water, as the natural moisture in the cauliflower is enough to cook itself.
One large head should produce approximately 3 cups of riced cauliflower. The remainder can be used to make additional pizza crusts immediately, or can be stored in the refrigerator for up to one week.

To Make the Pizza Crust:
  1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Spray a cookie sheet with non-stick cooking spray.
  2. In a medium bowl, stir together 1 cup cauliflower, egg and mozzarella. Add oregano, crushed garlic and garlic salt, stir. Transfer to the cookie sheet, and using your hands, pat out into a 9" round. Optional: Brush olive oil over top of mixture to help with browning.
  3. Bake at 450 degrees for 15 minutes.
  4. Remove from oven.
  5. To the crust, add sauce, toppings and cheese.
  6. Place under a broiler at high heat just until cheese is melted (approximately 3-4 minutes).
*Note that toppings need to be precooked since you are only broiling for a few minutes.

Source: Eat. Drink. Smile.
Adapted from Your Lighter Side.

One More Week, Then Back to Running!

I am giving my ankle/foot 1 more week of rest.  It feels so much better.  I had some therapy on it.  It is believed that I actually had some sort of injury to the bottom of my foot or strain or trigger point to the muscles there instead of my ankle.  (Plantar Fasciitis).
The therapist was able to pinpoint the actual area of pain. It really wasn't my ankle but rather more in my arch of my foot to the outer part of my heel. The therapy was so painful, I thought I was going to faint.  The next day it almost hurt more but I was told that that was normal.  Sure enough, the pain subsided the next day and I was able to put my weight on my ankle/foot and walk fairly normally.  I still have some stiffness, but I think that is from limping and "babying" my ankle.  I plan to start slowly again, stay off of the "wonky" sidewalks and just be careful!

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Exercises For An Injured Ankle

My ankle is feeling a bit better.  I want to rest it, but I also want to strengthen it while it is getting better. 

Here are some easy exercises to do that are non-weight bearing:

Isometric Strengthening Exercises

Do these exercises to strengthen the muscles around your ankle. This will provided added support to the joint. Each exercise should be repeated between 5 and 10 times; increase the number of repetitions as you get stronger.

Eversion Isometrics

  1. While seated, place the outside of the injured foot against a table leg or closed door.
  2. Push outward with your foot into the object your foot is against (your ankle joint should not move) causing a contraction of your muscles.
  3. Hold this muscle contraction for 15 seconds.
  4. Relax for 10 seconds.

Inversion Isometrics

  1. While seated, place the inside of the injured foot against a table leg or closed door.
  2. Push inward with your foot into the object your foot is against (your ankle joint should not move) causing a contraction of your muscles.
  3. Hold this muscle contraction for 15 seconds.
  4. Relax for 10 seconds.
I have also been doing some resistance band strengthening:

Friday, April 13, 2012

Couch to 5K Running Program - Still Recovering From Ankle Injury

Well, I am sad to report that I am still recovering from my ankle injury.  It has been hard not being able to run or work out very strenuously.  I like to be active and instead I find myself limping around trying not to put any weight on my right ankle/foot.

I have been researching this injury.  I am supposed to stay off of it as much as possible, do non weight bearing exercises, ice it and keep it elevated.  It  has been over 1- 1/2 weeks since the injury.  I think when I was running on the "wonky" sidewalks in my neighborhood, I came down on it wrong a few times trying to navigate the horribly dangerous sidewalks.  I also think that since I have never been a runner before that I was trying to do too much too fast.  My personal trainer teacher seems to think I was not running fast enough, causing the impact on my ankles and knees to be more frequent and more intense.  That makes sense, but really I feel it was more due to the un-level, cracked and raised sidewalks. 

It feels a bit better.  I am hoping it will heal and that I will be able to run again, but I must say, I am scared.  What if I just keep injuring it?  I am going to try and be patient and give it the rest it needs.
Has anyone else had problems like this?  So frustrating!

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Dandelion Tea - Alleviates Bloating

Are you feeling bloated?  Backed up?  Miserably "blubby"?  I know when I am experiencing water retention I feel like everyone around me is looking at me and noticing my extra flab.  I know it is all in my head but there is something you can do to alleviate some of the symptoms and get back to loving yourself and feeling good.

Dandelion Tea!  (Yes, from those weeds you see around the yard, lol)

The dandelion plant contains bitter compounds in the root that stimulate digestion and help with constipation.  It also has a diuretic effect that can alleviate bloat and water retention.

Just drink 1 cup of dandelion tea with each meal to benefit from it's effects.  It has a nice nutty flavor.  If you are not a tea drinker you can take a supplement (500 - 550 mg) 3 times a day.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Running Shoes - My New Kicks.

Having the right running shoes is so important to overall performance. Everyone seems to be singing the praises of the new barefoot experience style shoes that have gained popularity lately.  I decided to give them a try.  I ordered 2 new pairs of shoes.  The first are the Reebok RealFlex Run for Women.

I chose the black suede with overtly pink soles.  This is a short excerpt from the Reebok site about the shoes:

RealFlex Run Women's - Suede
RealFlex is all about natural movement. Engineered with 76 individual flex-friendly sensors, these shoes are designed to help your feet move and flex as you run, jump and stretch. Through the footstrike, through the pushoff - you have 76 new running buddies to help you along. It’s natural movement - perfected.
  • Suede upper for comfort and fit
  • RealFlex™ sole design - 76 individual sensors that allow for multi-directional flexibility and optimal foot feel through entire footstrike
  • Low-profile, minimalist silhouette for low-to-ground feel and added mobility; form-fitting design and sock-like feel keeps shoe in contact with your foot
  • 3D Ultralite outsole provides lightweight support while encouraging natural footstrike; PU sockliner for added cushioning 

I love the look of these.  They are super lightweight and have a nice slim profile which is flattering to the foot.  I haven't run in them yet since my ankle is still healing, but as soon as I can I will let you know what I think!

W.O.D. Killer Circuit Bootcamp Workout

So, I am still resting my ankle and I am trying to rest my body, but I hat not working out.  We had a great lab at school yesterday.  We did an awesome killer bootcamp style circuit workout that hit all parts of the body.  I was careful not to put any stress on my ankle (injured from running).  If an exercise required that I jump or hop on my right foot then I just did the work on my left foot instead.  I can tell you that my leg leg/foot got a good workout, lol.  After this workout my ankle actually felt warmed up and a bit better.

Killer Barbell Bootcamp Workout!


5 minutes Cardio: 
Normally I would run on a treadmill for 5 minutes but with resting my ankle I decided to try a rowing machine instead.  I also worked a bit on a stationary cycle.  It worked out well.

Prone ISO Hold - 30 seconds, 10 seconds rest x 2 rounds.

Push Up - Scapular Protraction / Retraction - Hold 30 seconds - alternating 2 seconds each  of protraction and retraction.

Reverse Crunches - 1 minute as many reps slow and controlled, spine rolling up and down 1 vertebrae at a time.

2 Legged Jump to single leg land and hold - 1 minute - steady, balanced, as many reps as you can maintaining stability. (Photo shows take off, but landing on 1 foot to balance.)

Lateral 2 Legged Jump to single leg land and hold - Same as above but jumping to the side. 1 minute - steady, balanced, as many reps as you can maintaining stability.

CIRCUIT 1 -  No rest, do not put the barbell down at all (unless you have to), throughout entire circuit.
Barbell Burpee to Press x 30
(This is a squat thrust with a push up, jump up and pull barbell up into a press, jump back down into burpee).
Barbell Bent Over Rows x 30

Barbell Squat Press x 30

Barbell Squats  x 30

Barbell Ab Crunches (don't let elbows touch the ground) x 30
(I have never seen this exercise before.  You lay on the ground with the barbell in a lowered chest press position and crunch up and down without letting your elbows touch the floor.  Ouch!

Rest for a few minutes.


Dumbbell Scapular Depression Dip Hold - 30 seconds hold
(This is like a bench dip, pictured but you hold onto dumbbells on the floor and push yourself up as high as you can , depressing your scapulae and hold)

Single Shoulder Barbell Squat Right x 30

Single Arm Barbell Row Right x 30
(as pictured but we had to stand in a bent over row position.  This can be dangerous as the barbell's gravity can be off center.  Often times this will be performed with only 1 plate on the end the the other end without the plate is on the floor.  My classmate Chrystian ended up smacking himself in the jaw with the plate of the barbell as he lifted it up.  He was really hurting after that.)

Single Shoulder Barbell Squat Left x 30
Single Arm Barbell Row Left x 30

Rest for a few minutes.

Overhead Barbell Scapular Elevation - 30 seconds hold
(push barbell up as high as you can and press arms inward)

Bent Over Scapular Protraction & Retraction - Hold 30 seconds, alternating 2 seconds each of protraction and retraction.

Dumbbell Scapular Depression Dip Hold - 30 seconds hold
For more of a challenge, elevate feet on a step or bench.
(This is like a bench dip, pictured but you hold onto dumbbells on the floor and push yourself up as high as you can , depressing your scapulae and hold)

Push Up - Scapular Protraction / Retraction - Hold 30 seconds - alternating 2 seconds each of protraction and retraction.
For more of a challenge, have feet elevated on a step or bench.

Rest for a few minutes.
Cooldown - You earned it!


5 minutes Cardio followed by stretching and SMR.

Minor Set Back - I Hurt My Ankle

I am sad to report that I had a minor set back last week.  I injured my ankle.  I knew I should have rested it but I pushed myself last Monday and really caused my ankle to become inflamed and irritated.  It hurt so badly that I had to limp to walk.  The pain has been in the back near my Achilles tendon and radiating out laterally in the back.  It doesn't hurt to do dorsiflexion or plantarflexion (going up on toes), but it really hurts when I go through the motions of a stride.  When my heel initially strikes there is no pain but as my foot rolls through mid stance the pain is bad.  The ball of the foot is okay, no pain.

I have been resting my ankle the best that I can.  I ice it for 15 minutes at a time in the evenings.  I have been wearing a mild compression ankle brace during the day.  It is slowly feeling better.

On Easter Sunday (5 days after I stopped running), I had to wear high heels.  I was wondering if I would be able to walk in them.  To my amazement, I had no pain what so ever.  My ankle felt better in the heels than when I wear athletic shoes or go barefoot.  The theory is that since the ball of my foot is bearing all of my weight and the heel of the show is supporting it, the pressure is taken off of the injured area.  No, I am not going to walk around in heels, lol.

It is feeling much better, so I will continue to abstain from running.

Week 7, Day 1 - Couch to 5K running program

Today is the 25 minute 2 1/2 mile run.  I am sure I can do it.  I am getting close to that 5k!
I plan to keep a good pace.  Not too fast, not too slow. My ankle has been bothering me.  It started last week.  I probably should rest it but I don't want to miss a run.

Warm up: 5 - 10 minutes Static Stretching:
  • Hip Flexors
  • Quads
  • Calves
  • Adductors (inner thighs)
Podcast - Week 7 - Day 1:
  • 5:00 minutes brisk walking
  • 25:00 minutes running
  • 10:00 minutes brisk walk - cool down
   I was fine for the first 20 minutes.   Those last 5 minutes were a killer.  I think it is more of a psycological thing.  I hope to get past that soon where I am not thinking about the clock so much.  I am beginning to be able to let my mind go and think of life rather than the time.

I had a nice cool down walk and then finished with a good stretch:

COOL DOWN - Stretch
  • Hip Flexors
  • Calves (Gastrocnemius)
  • Hamstrings
  • Quads