As some of you know, we are headed to Florida for Thanksgiving. Like so many others, we will be far away from our gym, staying in a hotel. We’ve already scoped out the area, and the options for fitness studios are limited. SO…we’ve been planning out a few ideas for how to make sure we still stay active and get work outs in with fewer resources.
- Utilize a hotel gym: MOST hotel gyms have at least a treadmill and some dumbbells. We love Jason Khalipa’s page of hotel WODs for workouts that don’t require much equipment. You can find that page here.
- Get your steps in: When on vacation, it’s easy to sit on the couch and binge on football and Christmas movies. We get it. BUT if you’re taking a day off from the gym, staying active throughout the day can make a huge difference. Find a nature trail, hit the mall, see the local sights–this is the fitness you’re getting without even realizing it! Check your steps at the end of the day and see how fast they rack up.
- Pick and choose where you indulge: We all have our eye on our favorite dessert or side at Thanksgiving. Maybe it’s pumpkin pie. Go for it and eat it guilt-free, knowing that it’s a special holiday. With that being said, it doesn’t have to be a free-for-all where you throw away your healthy habits. Maybe skip the roll, add some green veggies to your plate, and fill up on protein!
- Keep in mind portion control: Like we said before, the holidays don’t have to be a free-for-all. If you plan on having a taste of everything, here are some helpful infographics that we found here.
We’ll be posting our workouts, steps, and eats (healthy & indulgent) on Instagram, so follow along here!
Back in April, I thought I had been attacked by fire ants the way that my hands were insatiably itchy. My fingers were red, bumpy, and swollen. TMI? Maybe. But it got to the point where my semi-loose wedding bands would not go on or off. I’m telling you, I spent an evening panicking that we would have to go to the ER to get them sawed off. I ended up just wearing my Qalo ring for weeks. After multiple appointments with doctors and dermatologists, it came down to the fact that I was having chronic dermatitis, a reaction to an ingredient in a product that I have been using. It turns out these kinds of reactions can pop up whenever, even if you have not introduced anything new into your skincare routine.
With the encouragement of my doctor, I switched to a super mild hand cream and began looking into the labels of my products As I started investigating the ingredients in my skincare products, I became totally grossed out. I spent way too much time here and here. I HIGHLY recommend the app, Think Dirty, because you scan your products and learn what is inside.
With some research and encouragement from the following sources, I decided to make a change in the products that I am using.
- On this page, click to see Cassy talk about ingredients to avoid and a ton of products that are safe.
- @restoring_radiance: Lex is a huge fan of Primally Pure, the company where I now buy deodorant.
- Here, The Fancy Ashley talks about making the switch with her whole family.
- Amy talks about her switch in this blog post, and she incorporates essential oils into her family’s daily life.
Thinking about spending money on a brand new routine from head to toe made me cringe, especially because I have used the same foundation for 2 years. BUT when I learned that this foundation has ingredients linked to developmental and reproductive toxicity, I am so done with it. I started slowly with three steps:
- I overhauled my makeup routine and body care routine with Beauty Counter products.
- I ordered deodorant from Primally Pure.
- I switched to safer nail polish.
As someone who spends a lot of time watching YouTube videos on beauty, skincare, and makeup, I worried that I wouldn’t find a “glam” line of makeup that is still safe for my skin and health. Lo and behold, I found Beauty Counter. I was SO impressed with the packaging, the options, the quality of the products, that I immediately reached out to become a consultant with the company. This is a company that I believe in and can stand behind. Not only do they provide quality products that I love, but they also work to create better laws that protect public health from harmful ingredients commonly used in the beauty industry. There is very little regulation in our cosmetic industry, especially compared to countries around the world. To give you an idea of our regulation in the US, our government has a list of 30 ingredients that are banned or restricted from cosmetics. Across the European Union, 1,400 products are banned. Beauty Counter as a company is working towards safer skincare for everyone. I highly encourage you to check it out and shop with me if you so choose! I will answer any questions you may have at firstname.lastname@example.org or in the contact form below!
Whenever fitness routines come up in the conversation and people hear that we both lift weights, we often hear the question, “but how do you get your cardio?”
The definition of cardiovascular exercise is any activity that raises the heart rate. Contrary to popular belief, doing cardio does NOT just include treadmills, stairmasters, and ellipticals. That’s the beauty of creating your own programming or choosing to follow programming that includes metabolic conditioning and movements that tend to raise the heart rate.
Deadlifting for sets of 10? Kettlebell swings? Goblet squats with a pulse? Complexes with cleans, front squats, and jerks? I could go on and on, but these movements can be adapted to raise the heart rate.
There are days when I don’t feel like breaking a sweat or getting out of breath, but I still want to fit in a lift. Those are the days when I focus on low-rep upper body compound movements, like overhead pressing and benching. I’ll follow it with accessory movements, like bicep curls and tricep extensions. If I want to modify those to get my heart rate higher, I’ll superset the movements with things like kettlebell swings, dumbbell snatches, or burpees. Lifting weights can easily be adapted to be a slow, non-sweaty workout, or a “leave you on the floor” kind of deal.
A fantastic example of a workout that involves weights and NO “cardio equipment” is the partner workout featured in this post here.
Our point in sharing all of this is that if you find the treadmill as boring as we do, you can easily get in your cardio in ways BEYOND the treadmill and elliptical!
After talking about why we work out together, we wanted to extend some help on how to make it work. Zach has competed in Strongman, CrossFit, Powerlifting, and Bodybuilding. On the other hand, I simply like to lift weights to help me feel strong and stay active. He’s been lifting since the age of 16. I’ve been lifting for 2 and a half years. HOW can we make this work?
- Scale the workout: This is a popular CrossFit term, but it basically just means making the same workout accessible to two different people, based on strength and skill level. That way, you’re both working the same muscle groups and “suffering” together. An example:
- 5 rounds:
- 200m farmers carry: He used 65lb DBs in each hand, I used 25lb DBs
- 20 push-ups: He did push-ups, I did incline push-ups on a tire
- 10 DB push jerks: He used 60lb DBs, I used 25lb DBs
- 5 rounds:
- Partner workouts: Choose a set of reps and movements. Person A completes as many as they can of the movement until he/she can no longer go. Once person A puts the weight down to rest, person B carries on with as many as he/she can handle, until you reach the total reps. This past weekend, we tried working it out a different way. We shared some of the equipment and just took turns until each person completed:
- 30 hang power cleans
- 60 kettlebell swings
- 30 step-ups each leg
- 60 goblet squats
- 60 dumbbell snatches
- 60 abmat sit-ups
- Separate between being the S.O./BFF and being the coach: This was certainly a tricky one for me having been a coach/personal trainer for the last six years. I am very accustomed to pushing people, correcting form, and well….being a coach or a teacher in the weight room. I am not so accustomed to having a workout partner that just wants to have fun, get stronger and get their heart rate up. This is a very fine line. My wife is a badass…but she really doesn’t have any aspirations of competing or trying to set any state or national records. She does this because she knows it is important to me, but she has also grown to love it. Your S.O. may not want to be a National Champion, they just want to have fun and spend time with you. If your partner looks like they are going to hurt themselves or they are really missing the mark with form or technique then absolutely (respectfully) correct them and offer them advice. But do remember: they are there for their own reasons and their own motives that must be respected and appreciated.
Do you have any tips for working out with a partner? If so, comment below! We’d love to hear what works for YOU!
These days, we tend to think we have found the perfect balance of working out together vs. apart. Some people may have ZERO interest in “fitness-ing” with a partner, but for us, it really makes a difference! We each listed our top 2 reasons to work out with a friend/spouse, partner.
- You have someone to check your form: While your partner may not be certified as a trainer, it still helps to have someone to look at your form while working out. A second set of eyes may notice that you’re not hitting squat depth, that your hands are spaced unevenly, or that your posture needs correcting.
- You have a reason to push that extra mile: I mean that in a figurative way, because you won’t catch me going any miles. Zach is super helpful when he tells me that a lift looks way easier than it may feel to me. If the bar is moving faster than I think it is, it motivates me to put more weight on. Another one of his tricks is to slide weights onto the bar that he knows I can handle and not tell me how much I’m lifting. If I brace myself to lift heavy WITHOUT the mental struggle of having a goal in mind, I can usually gear myself up to do something I wouldn’t otherwise do.
- You have great motivation: Some days it just isn’t there for me. Whether its been a long day, the caffeine isn’t kicking in or weights just feel way too heavy. When those days come around, it’s great to have someone to either share your seat on the struggle bus, or pull energy from. Sometimes neither of us are in the mood to push it but once we get going we tend to build off of each other. Lauren is like the “Energizer Bunny” and seems to gain steam the longer we go, this usually forces me to want to keep up with her. Other days I don’t want to do anything, but I will see her pushing the weights or pace and hitting a PR and that motivates me to throw more weight on the bar and go for it!
- You have encouragement when you fail: This is a big one for me, sometimes that bar feel too darn heavy, or I get out of position because of tightness or my technique fails. Like most of us, I can get frustrated pretty easily and want to just say “Screw it!!”. Lauren does not let me get away with this one (unless I’m putting myself at a risk for injury) and will be the first one to call me out and tell me “you’ve got this, take another crack at it.” Even if that means 3, 4, 5 more cracks at it. Even if I wind up not hitting the weight in the end, at least I know that I gave it my all, and that my wife believed in me and pushed me to empty the tank!
You can find the top I’m wearing here: http://shopstyle.it/l/iDAC
The pants are old, but I linked the current style here: http://shopstyle.it/l/iDDg
Last week I decided to surprise my New Orleans-born wife with a little taste of home while we watched the Saints game. This is a super easy crock pot recipe and a great way to get a lot of flavor with low calories and plenty of protein. When most folks think of Southern Low Country cooking I think there is the common misconception to think “unhealthy”. Well, that’s not the case here at all!
Here’s the recipe! We loved it so much that we made a big second plate!
- 1 Bag of small red potatoes from Trader Joes
- 2 Ears of Corn
- 1 Can of Beer-preferably a wheat or lager
- 2 Cups of Water
- 1 tbsp. Smoked Paprika
- 1 tsp. Garlic Powder
- 1 tsp. Cayenne Pepper
- 1 Whole Lemon
- 1 Package of Pre- cooked Chicken Andouille Sausage(Trader Joes)
- 1 Bag of Pre-cooked Large Shrimp(Trader Joes)
- 1 Bag of Shrimp/Crab Boil Seasoning( we got ours from The Spice and Tea Exchange in Grapevine)
Let the veggies, beer, water and spices simmer in the crockpot for about 2-3 hours. Then add the sausage and shrimp about 30 minutes prior to serving.
Here are some articles we’re reading lately. If you have any favorites or responses, leave them below!
“Why Exercise is the Best Medicine for your Brain” — LA Times: a fascinating read!
“Stop the Gluten-Free Trend!“–Food , Pleasure & Health: want to send this to everyone who tells me something’s healthy, because it’s gluten-free.
“What the Health: A Wolf’s Eye Review” — Robb Wolf: in response to the panic that’s seemingly spreading.
“Coffee Break: 20 Favorite Fiction Books” — Emily Ley Blog: great list.
“Strength,Size or Power?”–For those who are looking to program their own workouts, or just have a better understanding of which set and rep schemes are best for their goals, then check this out!
“Animal Protein v.s Plant Protein”— Don’t let the title scare you, this one isn’t TOO controversial, just shedding some light on the protein quality as well as the IMPORTANCE of including a variety of vegetables into your diet!
Zach has always been an avid podcast listener. My podcast addiction started this summer when I found myself running errands and tackling projects that I put off during the school year. The music on the radio sucks, and I can only listen to Pat Green radio on Pandora for so many hours. I referenced Juli Bauer’s list of podcasts and started with Serial. I couldn’t stop, told everyone about it, and got my mom and sister hooked.
I tackled two series of Someone Knows Something and Accused, before my husband said I needed to quit with the true crime. So I moved on to the next topic that fascinates me: health, fitness, and nutrition. I started light with Paleomg Uncensored, and found myself CRACKING up in public. Juli Bauer of paleomg.com covers topics from Crossfit, Orange Theory, conquering sugar addiction, social media, and my favorite-the Bachelorette.
Serial: If you like a good episode of Law & Order: SVU or James Patterson mystery-esque novel, this is for you. I thought the Adnan series was better than Bergdahl, but still…if you’ve already listened, tell me what you think in the comments below.
Someone Knows Something: The first series was about a little boy, Adrien, who went missing while on a fishing trip with his dad, siblings, and family friends. He disappeared literally without a trace, and the journalist explores all sorts of possibilities. The end is fascinating, because they may or may not have found something to help the closed investigation. The second series was about a 20s-something girl named Cheryl who went missing the day after she became engaged on national TV. I’m 99.99% sure it was her boyfriend who killed her, because the situation is suuuuuper sketchy.
Accused: A college aged boy finds his girlfriend murdered in the apartment that they share and is immediately the number one suspect. He is tried for the murder (and again for “wrongful death”?-correct me if I’m wrong) and both times, the jury found him innocent. No other leads were officially investigated, but the journalist covers a lot of leads.
Girls Gone Wod: Two avid Crossfitters, Claire and Joy, have been podcasting for years together and are pretty funny. One is a new-ish mom and shares how that changed the fitness game for her. At first, I picked the ones I wanted to listen to, but then decided to go back to episode 1. I love hearing how they venture into so many different approaches to nutrition–vegan, paleo, macros, zone, and whole 30.
Fed & Fit: Cassy hits a lot of paleo topics, but she also talks about things like brown rice vs. white rice, healthy swaps you can make, how alcohol affects your fitness, and holistic health like non-toxic beauty and sleep health.
Rose Pricks: If you watch The Bachelor/The Bachelorette, this is a must. They totally roast the characters, which is a little mean, but it’s hilarious. Their imitations of Eric and Bryan’s mom have me CRACKING up, because they’re so accurate. They basically say what we’re all thinking about this silly show, anyway.
Zach’s favorites: Here are some of my recommendations as well as personal favorite podcasts!
Barbell Shrugged: This one is an oldie and a goody. The crew will cover anything an everything from CrossFit, to nutrition, alternative medicine and philosophy. Mike Bledsoe, Doug Larson and the rest of the crew have a wide array of interests and wildly different personalities, which helps to keep everything light hearted and interesting.
The JuggLife: Chad Wesley Smith and Max Aita do their best “Step Brothers” impression on the podcast, full of dry sarcasm and an infinite knowledge of strength sport, programming, competition tips and analysis of some of the best 80s and 90s films. If you love barbells, cheesy jokes and some of the best guests in Strength Sport then this is a great podcast for you.
Mark Bell’s Powercast: The podcast that started it all for me, this may be the single greatest combination of some of the greatest guests in training and barbell sport, business, jokes that make you absolutely laugh out loud and a little bit of knowledge here and there. From the biggest names in CrossFit, Powerlifting Strongman and even celebrity trainers and the biggest personalities in business. Caution things can get a little immature…but if you find that hilarious like me, then you’re in for a treat.
Power Athlete Radio: With over a decade playing in the NFL John Welbourn has some of the greatest stories from life inside and outside of the league. Joining him are Luke Summers and Tex, all great coaches who routinely drop knowledge bombs about training, nutrition, lifestyle and talk shop about hunting, cars and the NFL life. With some of the most knowledgeable guests from barbell sport, former NFL players, military personnel and some of the brightest minds in medicine and nutrition this is a podcast you will definitely want to listen to. Prepare for some of the driest and most berating humor you can imagine, its like being in a high school locker room all over again.
We’ve added one meal into rotation to have once a week. When I was younger, I called it “sausage chicken” and the name stuck. It’s super easy and nutritious, so I thought I’d share it with you! There are few measurements to this recipe, because it’s that simple
- Place however much chicken on a pan. Place 1 tsp of butter on each breast or tender of chicken.
- Bake for 20 minutes.
- Flip the chicken over. Add chicken andouille sausage all throughout the pan. Make sure it’s cut up so that the flavor can permeate the chicken.
- Some of the butter will have melted in the pan. Spoon it over the chicken again.
- Bake for 20 minutes.
- DONE! 🙂
We typically serve this with any greens. Okra, zucchini, or asparagus are our favorites right now.
When Zach and I first started dating, my roommate and I joked that she would make flashcards and quiz me on all the “CrossFit” terminology that he regularly used. Many of these are not actually affiliated with CrossFit, but once upon a time, I assumed everything that wasn’t Flywheel or Yoga to be CrossFit. After asking for clarification a million times, I’ve gotten most of them down. That learning curve wasn’t easy, so I thought I’d save you some googling and organize everything here.
WOD: Workout of the Day: self-explanatory. Many organizations post their own programming each day, so it’s called a WOD.
Metcon: Metabolic Conditioning: usually intense breathers, also functional training shoes from Nike (linked below)
AMRAP: As Many Rounds (or reps) As Possible: These usually have a certain time attached to them & you complete a certain movement/set of movements as many times as possible in that time period. Example: 5 min. AMRAP of 10 burpees, 10 squats, 10 push-ups OR 3 min. AMRAP 150-lb back squat.
For Time: There would be a set amount of movements and you just do them as fast as you can!
EMOM: Every Minute on the Minute: Movement(s) to be done on the minute. When complete, rest until the next minute.
PR: Personal record
CTB or C2B: Chest to Bar: a pull-up variation
Tabata: 20 sec work + 10 sec rest for 4 minutes
Reverse tabata: 10 sec work + 20 sec rest for 4 minutes
RX: “prescribed”: doing the workout exactly as it’s programmed vs. scaled (see below)
Scaled: programmers will often provide scaled down versions to make the workout achievable for everyone. I.E. lighter weights or box step-ups instead of box jumps.
1RM: 1 rep max. A lot of programming calls for doing a lift at a certain percentage of your one-rep max. It helps give you an idea of just how heavy a certain workout should be.
#X#: Whichever number is first is the amount of sets you do. Whichever number is second is the amount of reps you do! Example 3X2 = 3 sets of 2.