Wednesday, June 17, 2015



Adapted from and photo credit by BodBot

warm up: split stance pec mobilization with staff
2 x 8

warm up: walking pull backs
2 x 8

warm up: overhead lunge walk
2 x 8

3 x 20 seconds

hand stand (or shoulder-press) push up
4 x 8

kneeling hip extension
4 x 8

side bridges - straight arm, elevated leg, isometric
3 x 20 seconds

isometric no-equipment bicep curls
4 x 20 seconds

running - 70% sprints
3 x 400 meters

cool down: calf wall stretch
2 x 25 seconds

running - 100% sprints
4 x 100 meters

cool down: standing quadricep stretch
2 x 25 seconds

cool down: lunge stretch
2 x 25 seconds

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Body-Weight Barre Workout

I've been getting into Barre workouts lately. And by "getting into" I mean trying YouTube videos in my living room :-)  However, I did formulate this workout below especially for my Fitness Friday peeps: 
  • First position: heels together, toes 2-3 inches apart. Each exercise x 30.
    • Squat half-way down and come up (playground ball between legs recommended) 
    • Squat pulses - "down an inch, up an inch" 
    • Swivel hips (hula) from standing to fully lowered position and return to standing 
    • Repeat hip swivel in a fixed seated position 
  • Fourth Position: like 1st position, but one leg behind the other with heel to toe. 
    • Squat slowly all the way down and return. Repeat x 30
  • Leg Series; hands on bar. Each exercise x 15. 
    • "Deli Slicer": 
      • From standing, open right hip to place knee and ankle at approx parallel (knee slightly higher than ankle)
      • Move right knee to bar (or elbow) with toes pointed. 
      • After leg reaches bar/elbow, extend leg behind you
    • Leg Press:
      • From standing, bend right knee and press behind you to straighten (ankle flexed)
    • Straight Lift:
      • From standing, flatten back (more space between body and bar), and raise right leg and extend behind you. Full range of motion encouraged. 
    • Straight Pulses: 
      • Same as previous lift, but pulse at raised position; "down an inch, up an inch"
    • Hamstring Bend and Reach: 
      • From standing, bend right knee and reach leg behind you from raised to lowered position; toes pointed. "Swooping" motion. 
    • 90 Degree Pulses: 
      • From standing, raise right leg behind you and form 90 degree angle with your knee. Pulse: "down an inch, up an inch"
    • Repeat series with opposite leg.
  • Arm Series; legs in pliĆ© squat position. Engage/contract arm and core muscles. Each exercise for 60 seconds, total = 5 minutes.
    • Cross punches
    • Rows (slight forward bend)
    • Triceps (extensions and presses behind you)
    • Biceps (uppercut and hook punches)
    • Scarecrow: Arms extended to the sides, 90 deg angle, rotate wrists up and down, keep elbows fairly stationary. 
  • Finale!
    • "Spiderman" push-ups
      • In, regular push-up/plank position, bring right knee to right elbow while bending left elbow. Repeat with left knee to left elbow while bending right elbow. Repeat 15 times, pausing for rest if necessary. 
  • NOTE: During squats, tract the knees over 1st and 2nd toes.

Friday, October 24, 2014

Pumpkin choc chip cookies

It seems that I try a different pumpkin chocolate chip cookie recipe every year (thanks to Pinterest) and I tried a recipe last week that is calling me, begging me, to make a second batch very soon. Like today. Or tomorrow...I'm also waiting for a baby, so whichever one comes first.

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies
{my new favorite}

Slightly adapted from this delicious recipe.

1 cup pumpkin puree
1/2 cup brown sugar (I used coconut sugar)
1/4 cup sugar (instead of this, I used 4 drops liquid stevia, 2 T coconut flour and added 2 T water or milk...weird, I know :) 
1/2 cup oil (I used coconut oil)
1 egg
1 Tablespoon vanilla extract
2 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 cups chocolate chips (I used a combo of semi-sweet and Hershey's milk chocolate chunks). 
1/2 cup chopped walnuts (I omitted these)


Mix wet ingredients (including pumpkin) in large bowl.  Stir together flour, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg, salt, and baking soda in smaller bowl. Add dry ingredients slowly to wet ingredients & mix well.  Add chocolate chips and stir until well combined. 

  1. Drop by tablespoonfuls onto a baking sheet. Bake at 350* for 9-10 minutes. Let cool on pan for 2-3 minutes, then remove to a wire rack to cool entirely. Store in a sealed container...if they last that long :)

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Puffed Wheat Squares

If you like rice krispy treats (or even if you don' my husband!), chances are that you'll like these puffed wheat squares. I made them a couple of times over the summer and they are a perfect sweet snack/treat. Whether it's a breakfast munchie, lunch box treat, or tide-you-over until dinnertime snack, these always seem to hit the spot.

Puffed Wheat Squares 
Adapted from this recipe
  • 4 tbsp cocoa powder (use more or less depending on how chocolatey you prefer them)
  • 1/2 cup honey or corn syrup
  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • 8 cups puffed wheat cereal

Butter a 9X13″ baking pan and set aside.

In a medium saucepan over medium heat, combine the honey/corn syrup, brown sugar, cocoa and butter and stir until combined and butter is melted.

In a large greased bowl, measure out the puffed wheat cereal.

Bring chocolate sauce to a boil, lower the heat, and let bubble and boil for 1 minute. Stir in vanilla.

Pour the chocolate mixture over the puffed wheat and stir until coated.

Pour into the buttered pan and using a wet hand, pat the puffed wheat down firmly in the pan (or pat with parchment paper). Let cool completely before cutting into squares and serving.


Monday, September 8, 2014

I'm back...with news!

Well hello there.  It's only been, what....6 months since my last post?  Here's why I decided to take a little break from the hobby blog:

and BOOM. I'm suddenly very pregnant :) It wasn't really a decision to stop blogging; it just sort of happened. Unfortunately for this Balance Blog, here's where it lies on the totem pole of priorities:

1)  Take care of Little C and her hard working daddy (make meals, clean house, errands, etc.)
2)  Write on the family blog (documentation--gotta do it!)
3) Fitness Fridays (yes, I've still been able to run the Friday workouts with my ladies! woot). 
4) Be lazy in first trimester...and second trimester. 

So, #5 it is. I'm finally getting back into the swing of writing on here now that I'm in the 3rd trimester (33 weeks!), but I have a feeling that it won't last when a newborn (another baby girl!) joins us shortly (end of October!).  In fact, I have several projects to finish before she arrives, so I will just do my best to add a little snippet of something exciting here on the Balance Blog every now and then. 

Just for kicks, here are some tid-bits from my pregnancy journey thus far: 

I announced my pregnancy around Easter, like this:

and when we found out the gender of the baby, we had a good friend bake us "surprise" cupcakes (she knew the 20 week ultrasound results and we didn't!):

Pink for another GIRL! <3
Needless to say, we are very excited :) 

I hope to keep the posts rolling over the next few weeks along with managing the other (and higher!) life priorities!

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Light & Crispy Waffles

Do you find yourself saying "L'eggo my Eggo"? Do they even use that slogan anymore? Then these are the waffles for you! They are reminiscent of breakfast at Pa & Nana's (grandparents on my dad's side) when I was a kid because they always had frozen waffles on hand that we could pop into the toaster at our pleasure (my parents didn't buy them, so it was a real treat for us). Of course I prefer the real deal made from that my palate is so mature ;)  

Inspired by this recipe.

Light & Crispy Waffles 

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup spelt flour
  • 1 T sugar
  • 1 T baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 3/4 C almond milk (or whatever milk you have on hand)
  • 3 egg whites
  • 2 T oil (I used rice bran)
1. Combine dry ingredients in medium bowl.

2. Whisk egg whites in separate larger bowl until frothy (30 seconds or so).

3. Add milk and oil to egg whites and mix together.

4. Then add dry ingredients to wet until well combined.

5. Cook in your waffle maker!

Hot and fresh out of the waffle maker!

Friday, March 14, 2014

Workout Stations

This is basically a circuit rotation. Here are the exercise "stations" we had with 30-60 second intervals:

1. Mat - Abs

2. Squat to press with 5lb dumbbells

3. Mat w/ foam roller - SMR (self-myofacial release, i.e. massage) or plank push-ups on foam roller

4. 10lb Kettlebell squat swings

5. Mat - stretch or more ab-work

6. Jump rope

7. Lunges with 5lb bicep curls

8. Rows with resistance band (interlaced through top door hinge :)

9. 8lb Medicine Ball: torso twist with lunge steps or tricep curls...or use on next station (mat) for ab-work