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Chickpea Salad, Dance Workout and More!

I’ve been spending quite a bit more time on my .com these days so I apologize for the lack of blog posts.  Eventually, I will be referring all of my traffic from here to there, but until I have my computer wiz hubby do that for me, I’ll just manually direct you to my latest posts.

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Today I posted the recipe for one of my FAVORITE side salads:  Chickpea Salad from ‘Joy of Cooking’You absolutely need to check it out.  If you are struggling to find a healthy side salad to have for dinner, or if you just need a new recipe idea for lunch – you’re going to love it!

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If you’re looking for a fun workout, check out ‘Dance With Me’.  I have listed some of my favorite songs to ‘shake it to’ and links that take you directly to the video instructions for how to do them.  Have a little fun while burning calories!!

Please take a few minutes to check out the entire site:  ModernEverydaySuperwoman.com and let me know what you think!

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Re: ‘What is up with my glutes?!’

Last week I wrote a post titled, ‘What is up with my glutes?’, asking my fit friends to give me and my readers some advice on building a rounder bum.  I received a wonderful letter from a MES reader responding to that post, and I wanted to share it with you.

Here is her response to building the gluteal muscles:

1. Anatomy –  The trick to isolating muscle groups is really understanding the anatomy and the proper form of the exercise.  Be your own trainer.  Learn the anatomy of the glutes: http://teachmeanatomy.info/lower-limb/muscles/gluteal-region/.  Once you understand anatomy and form all the current trending “best butt blaster workouts” or whatever are just revisions of what you already know (and you can easily figure out what would actually work and what is kind of silly). 

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Check out this great article: ‘Butt-ology 101’ at BreakingMuscle.com

2. Recovery – All muscles need recovery time after training to build/repair; it is very important to give your muscles two days or so for recovery and eat protein. Understand the types of muscle fibers (we want both, of course but the slow twitch has the bulk). If you want to build the gluteus maximus (the one that protrudes), building muscle with high weight and low reps is the way to go. At the last rep in each set you want your glutes to be maxed out (couldn’t do another rep) – so you need weights or resistance bands. Also be sure to work all the muscles in the glutes.

3. Embrace what God gave you. Some of it is just genetics and how your hips/spine/muscles/fat deposits are structured.

Exercises:

I love, love, love, the weight machine that isolates the glutes. It takes the thinking out of it. If you’re not not at the gym you need either ankle weights or resistance bands. Here’s how to replicate it at home:

Ankle weights:

Lay down on stomach and bend one knee so foot is parallel to ceiling. Engage your core and VERY slowly, keeping your knee bent only squeeze your glute (not your back or hamstring muscles) to raise the knee off the floor keeping foot parallel to ceiling, hold and lower very slowly. Have enough weight strapped around your ankle/calf that you can only do 6-8 reps. Do 2-3 sets of this on each side.

( ^ I did this on Friday – very effective!)

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Bands:

Place a chair in front of you and secure resistance band with enough tension. Facing chair place one foot in strap and bend knee at 90 degree angle (foot parallel to wall behind you). Engage core and place hand on back of chair for support. Focus! Only using the glutes, and keeping leg at 90 degrees push foot towards the wall behind you. Do not use hamstrings or back muscles. Make sure the resistance is strong enough that you can only do 6-8 reps before maxing out.

Other glute exercises:

Clam shell: Laying on your side bend both knees – feet in line with your hips and shoulders, knees make a triangle. Leaving bottom leg on floor, use the maximus medius / minimus to “open the clam shell”, raising the top knee up. Strap the ankle weights around your top knee so that you’re using high enough weight to max the muscles out.

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Of course, there are squats, lunges, all sorts of leg lifts and all of those are really good too. But, they don’t isolate the muscle groups as much, which is important if you want to build a particular muscle group.

 

Thank you Rachael for a fantastic answer to our glute questions!  I only have two things to add and those are my favorite booty exercises:

The Single Leg Hip Raise is a great one but it BURNS, which is a good thing so don’t quit until you can’t do another rep!

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I switch position of the raised leg and sometimes point it toward the ceiling and sometimes keep in in line with the grounded leg.  If I’m feeling like I need a challenge,  I like to play with the raised leg while in bridge position and lower it to point horizontally and then raise it back to the ceiling before lowering to the ground.  This is difficult, but it does work the glutes nicely!

Last but not least, here is a great workout I found on Pinterest from FitBodyHq.com that really set my glutes on FIRE:

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Image from FitBodyHq.com

 

So there you have it!  If you’re looking to build a bodacious behind – you now know what it takes and have some great workouts to get you started.  Thanks again to Rachael for a great response!

 

Is there anything that we missed?  If you have any suggestions or comments, PLEASE SHARE!  I love hearing from you!

 

Check me out on Instagram, Twitter, and Pinterest!

 

 

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What is up with my glutes?!

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Image from Vrouwen.nl

Ok, fellow fitness bloggers, who can tell me the truth about building strong (and round) gluteal muscles??

Not only have I found it much harder to build my derrière than really ANYTHING else on my body, I’ve found that information on glute building can be completely misleading and totally false.  I am looking for the truth, not just for me, but for all the other ladies out there who are struggling to get results and are being mislead by false claims, crazy websites, or ridiculous videos.

For instance, one website states that you need to work them daily in order to have any results – and they list off about 10 exercises you should be doing to stimulate muscle growth.  On a different website, they advise only working them out once a week to avoid plateau.  Some routines advise doing a full lower body workout twice a week and say you should really burn the muscle out, yet still other programs have you do evertying from lunges to fire hydrants to lyring leg raises to bird dogs and insist you come back every day to do these.

 

So which is it?  What has worked for you?  Is anyone else frustrated with the mixed messages out there?

 

Comment below or contact me at ModernEverydaySuperwoman@gmail.com.

Also, find me on ModernEverydaySuperwoman.com, Pinterest, Twitter, and Instagram.

 

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Making the Switch: Part 3

Part 3:  Lunch Switch

 

Healthier lunch options are becoming more and more popular these days, which is FANTASTIC….as long as you are taking advantage of it.  Today I’m going to give you a few ideas and some helpful tips to make sure you are making the most of your mid-day meal.

Fuel Food

Lunch is like adding fuel to your gas tank, except you can choose fuel that makes your car faster and more efficient or fuel that makes your car run slow and rough.  What you eat for lunch will determine how well you perform and feel for the rest of the day.  Get a much needed energy boost and re-boot your brain by making wise food choices.  What’s worse than being stuck at work?  Being stuck at work while feeling tired and queasy.  So, kick those greasy fries to the curb, fill up on ‘fuel food’ that not only makes your work day better, but also aides in weight loss.

 

Food Preparation

You’ll get further if you learn to prep food on your weekends or at the very least, the night before work.  Having everything laid out and ready to grab is much more appealing than staring blankly into the fridge -toothbrush in mouth, five minutes before leaving- with not a clue of what to take.  In order to prep though, you’ll need to have healthy options around, which means you’ll need a list.  Pinterest is THE BEST source for lists like this.  This will get you started:

You may have a job that allows you to keep food at work – if this is the case, that is great news.  Label your food and store in cabnets and the fridge so that you’re never without a lunch.  Good items to keep at work?  Peanut butter and jelly, a loaf of whole grain bread, canned tuna or chicken, cups of yogurt of fruit, mustard and a healthy salad dressing.

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“Too Late, I’m Here…What Now?”

If you get caught in a bind and HAVE to order out, be careful!  Don’t think you’re eating healthy when you order Chicken Salad Sandwich that has more mayonnaise than chicken and comes with a side of chips…or think that your ‘Crispy Chicken Salad’ smothered in ranch is helping you with your weight loss goals.  Restaurant ordering can be tricky, especially if you’re in a hurry so…here is suggestions list.  Print it for a quick reference.

Restaruant list

Stay away from pizzas, greasy burgers (or other greasy meat), fries, onion rings, sodas, too much mayo, sour cream or ranch, fried or crispy anything, items loaded with sodium or sauces you’re unsure of (I mean sauces that may contain: sugar, salts, etc).

Ask for steamed vegetables, always go for grilled (chicken, salmon, etc).  Order greens!  spinach, kale, etc.  Order wraps with condiments on the side.  Tell them to hold the rice, pasta and rolls.

And remember when eating restaurant food….you don’t have to finish it all.  If you feel full, put it away.  Remember you have your afternoon snack coming up in an hour or two so you don’t have to STUFF IT ALL IN!!!

 

What are some good lunch ideas?

One of my favorite healthy lunch options would be THE WRAP.  There are so many ways to fix a wrap that it would take me a while to get sick of them.  Suggestions?? Pick up some whole wheat wraps, fresh leafy greens and a light cheese like mozzarella and create your own wrap with chicken salad, tuna, mushrooms and roasted red peppers, egg salad, deli meat, Caesar chicken, hummus and veggies, etc.

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If I’m being honest here, my favorite lunch would be a peanut butter and jelly sandwich on whole wheat bread…it’s around 300 calories, so that’s not too bad.

Salads are another great choice.  No, I’m not talking about that dinky restaurant salad…I’m talking a ‘loaded’ salad.  Some of my favorites??

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Last but not least:  lunch sides.  I am pretty boring when it comes to sides.  As long as I have a great main dish, I will eat anything as a side (even the boring plain veggies).  Here are my typical lunch sides:  Scooby’s Coleslaw, any type of melon or fruit, yogurt,  no sugar added apple sauce, carrots or other veggies (with or without hummus), celery or apple with peanut butter, yams with cinnamon, chickpea salad.

 

Now you’re all set up with healthy lunch ideas!  Enjoy!  And let me know what you try, or if you have any quick and healthy lunch ideas that are not mention above.

 

Don’t forget to follow me on Pinterest and Instagram!

 

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I’m Back!

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Image from StealAndShare.com

That’s right, I’m back at it!  I apologize for my two week disappearance – I have missed blogging, but I was able to accomplish quite a bit.  I wish I could say that my absence was due to crossing lots of fun activities off my summer bucket list, but that’s not the case.  I have been working on my DOT COM!!!  I am SO excited to share it with you!  I still have plenty to do, but it is coming along nicely.  Please, take five minutes – right now – to check out ModernEverydaySuperwoman.com.  My main goal for the dot com has been to make all my tips and suggestions easy to access and maneuver, so take a tour and let me know what you think!

My blogging days are not over!  I have lots of great posts coming up so stay tuned for those.  I hope everyone’s summer has been AWESOME and I hope you’re taking care of your beautiful body!

 

 

 

 

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How To Stay Fit On Vacation

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Who wants to exercise on vacation???

……

Yep, that’s what I thought…I probably have one reader who excitedly yelled, “ME!” while the rest of you decided to skip this part and scroll down to the good stuff.  But I hope I still have your attention…this can make your life so much better!

Here’s why you should stick to some form of exercise while on holiday:

 

1.  You’re consuming more…

If you’re anything like me, you’re probably consuming at least 500-700 extra calories a day on vacation.  I know, that sounds terrible, but with all the quick stops during travel (and I like to munch while driving on long trips), and then the restaurants, drinks, desserts, beach snacks…etc…it adds up.  And for me, I start ‘vacation eating’ the day before I leave and keep it up until at least a week AFTER vacation.  You’re shaking your head at me, but I promise I’m not the only one!

 

2.  You’re not working out…

Most of us like to take a break from exercise on vacation.  I mean, lets face it, you’re out of your element, you don’t have YOUR gym, or YOUR workout space/equipment and lounging by the pool is a lot more fun than working out.  So you take the week off.  There isn’t anything wrong with taking a week off – actually it’s good to take time off.  But vacation might not be the best time to do it.  Keep in mind if you combine vacation ‘fun food’ with no exercise, you’ll probably gain.  So, take a week off from working out once you’re home – where you have a little more control over the food you eat and wont be as tempted by junk food.

 

3.  It’ll help the vacation blues…

This is perhaps the most important reason (for me at least):  Keeping up with exercise will help fight off the ‘after vacation blues’.  And I get those BAD.  It’s already hard enough to come home and get back to the real world, but add in a 7lb weight gain (or more) and you’ll feel even worse.  Not to mention, if you didn’t exercise all week, you might find it hard to get motivated after a week of being off.  Chances are though, if kept it up through vacation, it wont be as daunting to jump back in on Monday.  So enough said, do your workout ladies!

 

My suggestions???

 

20 minute brisk walking each day

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^ Last week we took a mini vacation to WV, but didn’t let that interfere with our regular evening walks!  We had a great time exploring the town while getting in some after dinner cardio 🙂

Make up your own HIIT!

This is the best vacation workout option in my opinion.  No equipment?  No way to view videos?  Limited on space and time?  Do a 20 minute fat burning cardio HIIT!  I made up my own and it was harder than a lot of videos I follow.  I was dripping with sweat by the end, but it felt soooo good.  I wrote down everything I wanted to do and for how long and added it up to make a 25 minute workout including warm up and cool down – but not stretches (I did those separate).  Example:  high knees, burpees, jump rope, jogging in place, mountain climbers, etc.

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^ Right after my homemade vacation HIIT last week – you can’t see the sweat, but it was definitely there!  Hope this motivates my Superwomen to get up and move!

Jog

I love getting in a morning jog on days I know that I’ll be busy.  It’s easy, requires no equipment, and is actually quite soothing.

Hike

Last week, we had the opportunity to explore the mountains on our mini vacay.  It was an incredible workout.  So, do a little research and find out what is around your vacation spot that you could explore.

Pushups, Squats and Plank

Set a timer and then run through some basic exercises until time runs out.  Just make sure you warm up and cool down!

 

There are lots of ways to get in a little fitness on vacation, just make sure you set out time for it.  Do a little Yoga in the A.M., swim laps in the pool before anyone else gets up, find some willing participants and play a little football or soccer…just get moving for at least 20 minutes.  You’ll be so happy that you did.

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^ And here is the ‘proof of sweat’ photo.  Gross I know, but this is what keeps me going.

 

So, if you want to maintain the body you’ve been working so hard for, do yourself a favor and keep up with exercise while away.  Would you stop brushing your teeth on vacation??  I certainly hope not!  So treat your body with the same discipline, even when you don’t feel like it.  After it’s over, you’ll be glad you did.

Got a vacation coming up?  Share your ‘post workout selfies’ below to help motivate each other.  Don’t be ashamed!  Be PROUD!  Can’t wait to see my sweaty fellow superwomen!!

And don’t forget to follow me!

 

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Bounce Back with Me!

I hope everyone had a safe and fun holiday weekend!  We filled our entire week with cookouts, fireworks, family fun and or course some delicious treats!  And speaking of holidays and delicious treats….how did you do?

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My Red, White and Blue cake! It looked a lot better right after it was made but hey, it still tasted good 🙂

I’m not going to lie, I went a little crazy…I had brownies, banana split ice cream,  key lime pie, turtle pie, sugar cookies, more brownies, cake and oatmeal raisin cookies.  Yes, this went on all week.  So much sugar that I felt a little sick the next day AND had headaches once the sugar wore off!  It’s safe to say that I took it too far.  But that’s life and sometimes we all do that.  Here’s how to bounce back after a weekend (or week) of crazy eating…

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Sugar cookies shaped like the USA!

Start with water!  Drink two glasses of ice cold water upon arising in the morning to help boost your metabolism and ‘get things moving’.  (Adding a little lemon gives it an extra boost).

 

Eat a super healthy breakfast.  Did you drink a little too much over the weekend?  Grapefruit can help with hangovers and it’s a great metabolism boosting food.  Starting the day with a healthy breakfast will kick your entire day off right.  You’ll have more energy and feel encouraged to make other healthy decisions throughout the day.

 

Make cardio a priority!  Fit it in first thing if you can, if not that’s fine but make sure you do it at some point.  I find that getting my cardio out of the way in the morning is often the only way I make sure it will happen and then for the rest of the day I feel EXCELLENT!  Go for a quick jog, hit up the treadmill, or even follow along with a video – just make sure you fit it in!  Cardio is going to be the fastest way to lose the weight you gained over the past few days…or week.

 

Take a cold shower.  Sounds miserable, but it feels great after a few minutes.  I have never gone to the extreme and put it on solid cold, but I get as close as I can!  Cold showers are a great way to boost metabolism and burn a few calories without doing hardly anything.  It’s also extremely energizing.  So, hop to it!  Go get refreshed!  Need more info?  Check out this article from ImpossibleHQ.com on the benefits of a cold shower – you may never want to take a hot one again…

 

Keep and eye on size.  Last but not least, if you didn’t put any restrictions on portion size this weekend, get back to it today.  No, don’t make your plate ‘skimpy’, just watch your serving size and how many helpings you get.  Sounds like a no brainer but I’ve noticed that after a big weekend of eating whatever/whenever, we tend to stay in that mindset for a few days or even weeks before we get back on track.

 

Keep in mind, today is your fresh start.  Even if you are dealing with yesterdays choices, it’s TODAY’S choices that determine tomorrow – so make healthy decisions!!

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Today is full of

Have a fantastic week, everyone!

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Challenge Your ABS

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I’m going to be honest – I don’t like crunches.  I’m actually not crazy about working on my abs at all.  It’s the worst part of my workout.  Once I learned that the uncomfortable sessions that make me want to quit were the ones that got me results, I started hating working my core, but especially the crunches.  There are plenty of ‘maintaining’ exercises that I don’t mind, like toe taps, side plank, etc…but crunches?? Oh no.

So, I started looking up videos to give me a little variety – and I’ve found some incredible ones that make ‘crunching’ a little less miserable, although, I’d still prefer to skip that part.  (Of course I’m going to tell you my favorites are from FITNESS BLENDER!  No, I am not paid to advertise for them, they just freakin’ rock!  Go see for yourself!)

Home workouts are great.  Except, you have to be your own personal trainer.  Which is all fine and good until you realize you’ve been doing something wrong.  When you are your own coach – you have to PAY CLOSE ATTENTION to the instructor/instructions.  Always keep your ears open while following the motions – don’t just watch and copy.  You might not have it right.

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There are all kinds of things to listen for…”Keep your back pressed into the floor” or “Lift your shoulder blades OFF of the ground” or the one that caught me off guard the other day (I am totally ashamed to admit this) “Make sure that belly button is pulled in toward the spine”.  Nope, I hadn’t been doing that.  And boy did it hurt when I started using correct form!  It made a HUGE difference!

I’m not just lecturing you here – just giving a friendly reminder because I screwed up and I want to make sure you avoid my mistakes 🙂  I would like to point out that one of the MAIN reasons I recommend Fitness Blender is for their very clear instructions and awesome guidance…I just let myself get distracted and quit listening fully.

So, because of my poor form, I decided to take it back to Pilates – where I originally learned to keep my ‘belly button drawn in and back pressed to the floor’.  I figured it would help drill it back into my head…we shall see.  Here’s the first video I followed:

pop pilates

 

This was truly a ‘killer’.  Boy, my abs were screaming at me by the end.  I’m sure that makes you want to try it, right?  Just take a look – you might really enjoy it 🙂

FOCUS

What is your favorite OR least favorite ab exercise?

 

(Please note:  by reading this blog, you agree to my disclaimer)

 

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Postpartum ‘Diet’

(By reading this blog, you agree to my disclaimer)

Welcome back!

Today’s brief post about ‘a new mother’s diet’ is really just to remind you NOT TO DIET.  You need to recover and not worry about limiting your food intake right now.  Obviously, you don’t want to consume an insane amount of caffeine, sodas, sugars, and sodium, but you shouldn’t skip meals or ‘eat light’ in an effort to lose weight faster.

Get an idea from your doctor of what a healthy amount of calories a day would be for your own situation.  You may be surprised that your idea is lower than what you need at this stage.  Don’t just guess – talk to a professional.  And track it!  Not for weight loss purposes, but for your health –  you could find out you are not consuming enough, especially if breastfeeding which could result in low energy.

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Look to fuel not just to eat.  And by that I mean, choose foods that do more than just fill you up, such as veggies, fruits, grains, oatmeal, and eggs.  And LOTS AND LOTS of WATER!

Here are some ideas from my diet the first few weeks of baby’s life (the healthy things anyway):

Fresh veggies and hummus,

Yogurt and fruit,

Peanut butter, banana & honey sandwich on whole wheat bread – yum!

Oatmeal with dried fruit & nuts

Trail mix – (even made my own at one point)

Hard boiled eggs (for egg salad, to add to a salad or just plain)

Lots and lots of greens – kale, spinach, turnip greens, lettuce, etc.

I ate pita chips and crackers with cheese but I would only recommend this in small portions as the cheese can make you MORE constipated…yikes (I ate entirely way too much cheese after he was born)

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Veggie burgers with lots of spinach, cheese and tomatoes!

Salmon with asparagus and brown rice (or quinoa)

All types of wraps – so easy and so satisfying during those first few weeks

Soups and stews – lentil soup, vegetable beef stew, carrot & potato soup…etc

And of course whole wheat pasta (because it was so easy to whip up) – add mushrooms, olives, beef, you name it!

Have you been there before?  What were some ‘go to’ meals for you?  Was there one thing that you HAD to have?  For me it was bagels and cream cheese – and I’m sorry to say but I do regret that – I ate them WAY too much.

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Have you been following this weeks series for new mothers?  If not, check out my previous posts here:

The Quiet Workout

The Truth About Exercising After Having A Baby

&

How To Lose The Baby Weight

Questions?  Contact me at ModernEveryDaySuperWoman@gmail.com or comment below.

Thanks for visiting!  Have a fabulous Thursday, Ladies!

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