Shoulder/Core Burnout

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It’s one of those lazy Sunday’s where I’ve had great plans of all I wanted to get done, but blame it on the rain and the Saints game, I’m just kinda unmotivated.  However, I’m going to show compassion to myself by remembering that rest is equally as important as work.

With all the “working out” that we do, it’s important to put focus on “working in.”  In other words, if we are going to hit our workouts out of the ballpark and bring our ‘A’ game to work and to our daily lives, then finding ways to recharge our batteries and renew ourselves is necessary.

So today I’m allowing myself to enjoy some downtime, especially considering how yesterday I did my domestic “thang” with cooking and cleaning,  I was also inspired to put together this shoulder/core workout for you pool side -:)

This is a workout you can do easily at home or in the gym.  It can be a good circuit to get in a fast and efficient workout or a finisher to a shoulder and ab workout.  To view the complete workout click on this link:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_hsFsUMkJmc

Here is what you’ll need:  a mat and light dumbbells (I’m using 8lbs) (guys-maybe 12-15lbs)

The Plan:   Perform 16-20 reps of each exercise.  Do not rest between exercises.  Perform 3-5 rounds and feel the burn!🔥 You will be glad you have those light weights;)

1st exercise:  Balance shoulder press

*8-10 reps balancing on each leg
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Second:  Alternate weighted leg lifts

16-20 TOTAL reps

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Third:  Russian Twist

16-20 TOTAL reps

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Fourth:  Walking Planks

16-20 TOTAL reps

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Fifth:  Weighted Jacks

16-20 Total Reps

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I would love to hear from you about what recharges your batteries and renews you mentally and physically?  Share your feedback about the workout too!  

 

Homemade Almond Milk

Those seconds between the alarm clocking going off and our getting up can be the most challenging part of our day, but once we get ourselves vertical, we’re good.  We wash our face and leave the house with the intention to give our best.

There is great satisfaction in a hard days work.

Most of the significant contributions that have been made to society have been made by people who were tired.  Winston Churchill

I left the house a couple of days ago with a spring in my step and came home creeping to the door and unable to stream words together…(I’m sure being carb deprived had something to do with it).  I guess I can blame some of this on the fitbit I just starting wearing.  It’s causing me to be crazy competitive with myself!  If I don’t get in at least 10,000 steps I’m disappointed in myself.  Does it have this effect on you too

With trying to increase my steps through the day, health coaching clients in route between visiting a patient and officiating a funeral I was a deflated balloon when I got home.😖  

However, today was a different kind of day and I was feeling great coming home, until I got pulled over by a cop on the Causeway Bridge.  I just knew my crazy fiance’ was playing a joke on me.  He knows how terrified I get when I see a police car when I’m driving.😓 I think I asked the cop twice, “are you messing with me?”  LOL!  Luckily the officer took it all in stride, and when I told him who my man was, he laughed, and I skedaddled!

📝Note to self…never ask a cop if he or she is messing with you, even if you think you’re guy is playing a practical joke on you.

When you’ve come home tired from a long work day, sometimes you just need the comfort of good old fashioned milk to soothe and refresh you.  When I got home I was thankful that I had some homemade almond milk in the frig.

Let me tell you, it hit the spot!!  Once you try this stuff you will never want to buy almond milk from the grocery again!

Store bought almond milk doesn’t compare to the flavor of fresh almond milk.  It’s so much more rich and creamy and delicious!  Not to mention it is free from all of these ingredients!

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Making homemade almond milk is actually really simple, and here is my easy peasy recipe and process:

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Ingredients

3 cups filtered water

1 cup raw almonds (soaked 4 hours or overnight)

1 Tbsp maple syrup (*optional)

1/2 tsp vanilla extract *

Other optional sweeteners: honey OR 1-2 pitted dates, OR 2-5 drops or 1 tsp of Stevia

*Experiment to find the perfect flavor for you -:)

Directions

  1. Place all ingredients into a blender
  2. Gradually crank your blender up to high
  3. Blend for 45 seconds to 2 min until smooth.
  4. Strain through a nut milk bag

This is the one I used and it was AWESOME!  http://www.amazon.com/Commercial-Lifetime-Guarantee-Reusable-E-Booklet/dp/B00K2IN692/ref=cm_cr_pr_product_top?ie=UTF8

Here is the process:

First you want to strain the almonds and rinse them off.  Soaking them unlocks their inherent nutritional goodness.

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Then you put these babies into your blender with all of the ingredients.

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Blend them until it becames frothy and you have a smooth consistency.  I used a Vitamix so I only had to blend for 1-1.5 min.

At this point you could taste the milk, and adjust the vanilla and sweetener or you might want to add a pinch of salt.  The salt brings out the other flavors in the milk.

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Place your milk nut bag (or cheesecloth) over a bowl and gently squeeze from the bottom up.  This takes a few minutes, but it’s actually kind of fun to milk the bag!  It makes me feel like a farm girl;)

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The almond pulp is what holds all the fiber.  You can make into almond flour to make cookies with or put it in your oatmeal or smoothies.

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I decided to freeze mine until I’m ready to make almond flour with it.  To do that I will bake it on 170 degrees for 3-4 hours.

When I first made this I was so amazed at how delicious it was, and I know you will be too!  Enjoy!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Roasted Coconut Protein Truffles

These are quick and tasty treats that satisfy hunger cravings and guarantee energy.

All you need to make these delicious lil’ truffles is 4 ingredients:

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1 cup vanilla whey protein

1/2 cup unsweetened coconut flakes

1/2 cup coconut flour

1/2 cup unsweetened almond/coconut milk

Optional ingredients:

*2 TBS dark chocolate melted

*smidge of coconut oil on hands to form truffles

*1/4 cup Cacao Nibs

1st step:  roast the coconut flakes until it browns nicely.  Set it aside to cool.

2nd:  mix your protein powder with coconut flour (you can sub this with almond, oat or quinoa flour, these flours can be eaten raw).  Add the coconut flakes.

3rd:  add the milk of your choice, I prefer the almond milk.  You want a consistency that will bind the ingredients together.

4th:  shape into various balls.

5th step is optional:  Coat or dunk the truffles in melted dark chocolate.  I melted dark chocolate morsels in a glass bowl in microwave and stirred every 10-15 sec. until melted.

Put in refrigerator for 20 min or longer and Enjoy!  😁

This is a batch I made w/out the chocolate and instead I used Cacao Nibs.

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Cacao (ka·cow) is the raw, unprocessed form of chocolate.  These untreated seeds are nutrient packed and can even be considered a superfood!  Cacao beans offer a wealth of antioxidants and essential vitamins and minerals so I throw them in my healthy baked goods all the time.

Here are just some of the benefits that make Cacao a Total Superfood!

  • Magnesium and other essential minerals including calcium, sulfur, zinc, iron, copper, potassium, and manganese
  • Beautifying:  extremely high in antioxidants to protect cells from premature aging.
  • Vitamins: B1, B2, B3, B5, B9, E
  • Essential heart-healthy fat: oleic acid a monounsaturated fat
  • Fiber

 

 

Plateau Busting Exercise For The Upper Chest

Are you frustrated with not seeing strength and size gains in your chest even though you’ve been faithfully powering through your workouts every week?  I am right there with you.  I reached a personal best a couple of years ago when I was powerlifting, and I’ve not been able to get past that in spite of  all the traditional techniques like overload, dropsets and negatives.

Muscles are inherently lazy and you’ve got to change-up your methods to wake up those stubborn chest muscles.

IF YOU WANT SOMETHING YOU’VE NEVER HAD, YOU MUST BE WILLING TO DO SOMETHING YOU’VE NEVER DONE. 

THOMAS JEFFERSON

The reverse grip bench press (RGBP) is a gem of an exercise that is often overlooked because people have the wrong idea that it’s dangerous.  The obvious danger would be if you put too much weight on without having proper form, but that is true for any weight training exercise.

If you are having shoulder pain and/or elbow pain the RGBP can give your joints time to heal while still improving your pressing strength.

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When performing the RGBP, the elbows come in toward the rib cage.  This motion maximizes the involvement of the upper chest and, depending on the width of your grip, it can also target the triceps.

One study shows that muscle activity of the upper pectoralis increased by 30% when using the reverse grip as opposed to the regular overhand grip. (1)

Tips For The Reverse Grip Bench Press

  1. Start with a light weight to get used to the feel of the exercise.
  2. Position yourself farther back on the bench.
  3. Place your hands a little further than shoulder width apart.
  4. Bring the barbell down to your lower chest, pause and press up.
  5. Pick a spot straight above your chest to stare at which will ensure that you emphasize more of the upper pec.

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I would suggest starting your chest routine with this exercise and perform 3-5 sets of 10-12 reps.  Really focus on squeezing the upper chest at the top of the movement.

Tip To Help Your Child Have Good Dreams

FullSizeRender (13)There is a story I heard years ago that continues to haunt me in a way that stirs my curiosity and wonder.

It’s a story about a three-year-old girl who was the only child in her family.  Her mom became pregnant again, and this three-year-old girl was very excited about being a big sister. The day came when the mother delivered a baby boy. The little girl was delighted and so excited when they brought him home.  

After a couple of hours of the baby being home, the little girl told her parents that she wanted to be with the baby in the his room, alone, with the door shut. She was absolutely insistent about the door being shut. It kind of gave her folks the willies.  They knew she was a good little girl, but they had heard about sibling rivalry, so they were a bit hesitant.  

But, they were able to put their worries aside when they remembered they had installed an intercom system in preparation for the arrival of the new baby.  They reasoned that it would be okay because if they heard the slightest weird thing happening, they could be there in a flash.

So they let their little girl go into the room. They closed the door behind her. Then they raced to the listening post. They heard her footsteps move across the room. They could tell she was standing over the baby’s crib, and then they hear her say to her two-day-old baby brother, “Tell me about God. I’ve almost forgotten.”

This story captures the sense that as we grow up, as we become more influenced by the world, we engage in a process of forgetting.  There is something about the process of growing up that wounds us all.  In spite of this we can still  renew our purity and connection to God.  Allowing ourselves to be fully in the moment with children and engaging in their world can be a help.

Children have a purity of heart that allows them to believe and love with ease.  It’s heartbreaking when the negative messages from our society seep into their hearts and cause them to fear and doubt themselves.  These influences can be revealed when our children have nightmares.

I want to do everything I can to protect the spirits of the children in my life, so when my fiance’s granddaughter continued to cry out at night because of bad dreams, I wanted to do something. Native American spirituality has always fascinated me, and I remembered their use of dream catchers for preventing nightmares.

I thought it would be a healing and fun craft project for us to make our own dream catchers.  She was all about it!  It was not only fun for her, but it was a relaxing way for her to talk about her dreams and fears.

You can make this with items you more than likely already have in your home.

Here is everything you will need:

*Yarn

*Plastic or paper plates

*Sticky gems & stickers

*Beads

*Feathers

*Tape

*Hole puncher

*Scissors

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  1. Your little one can help you punch holes in a paper plate.
  2. Cut different colors of yarn and tape it to the back of the plate.  Let your little one thread the yarn through the loops.  (here is where you can thread in the beads onto some of the strings)
  3. He or she can choose the feather colors and you can tie it on the string.
  4. Put stickers or gems on the plate

 

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“Dream catchers are one of the most fascinating traditions of Native Americans. The traditional dream catcher was intended to protect the sleeping individual from negative dreams, while letting positive dreams through. The positive dreams would slip through the hole in the center of the dream catcher, and glide down the feathers to the sleeping person below. The negative dreams would get caught up in the web, and expire when the first rays of the sun struck them.”  http://www.dream-catchers.org/

When we asked her the next morning if she had any bad dreams she said, “no.” 😇