Modern Everyday Superwomen

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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.


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!





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: 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:  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). 


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

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.


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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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.



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!




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 that really set my glutes on FIRE:


Image from


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!


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What is up with my glutes?!


Image from

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

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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.

lunch shopping 2


“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.

the wrap1

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??



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.


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