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This tasty treat was 2 cucumbers, a lemon and some parsley - JUICED.  Pretty GREEN and a great detox drink to help start boosting my liver.

This tasty treat was 2 cucumbers, a lemon and some parsley – JUICED. Pretty GREEN and a great detox drink to help start boosting my liver.

Bob Harper’s online group has really saved me from giving up on my workouts this last year.

Keeping it fresh with workout plans, and videos for “Living Fit” (one on one session examples) and “TEAM BOB” group workouts.  Always great explanations, and usually 15-30 workouts.  The library stays on there, so you can access them whenever you’re feeling like something fresh.  Personally, I love it.  There are also recipes, message boards, and tons of great insight and encouragement.  I don’t utilize half of what it entails – it’s worth the investment to me.

One of the recent ones I loved was a 10 to 1 workout.  You need a set of weights, a kettle bell and a mat if you have one.  The moves were:

Thrusters (weighted)

Renegade Rows (push up with a weight pull)

Kettle Bell Swings (American style – all the way up)

Broad Jumps (mat length)

You do exactly what it sounds like – after a warm up, you start by doing each exercise 10 times, then 9, then 8, etc.  So following 10 thrusters, you do 10 renegade rows, and so on… until you’re doing 1 of each rep, and have a cool down.  It reminds me of a chipper – but something a little different for the W.O.D. (workout of the day).  He has always been incorporating warm-ups of a half mile or mile.  I have just been running in place while watching a quick show, or catching up on some news briefly – you really CAN run anywhere.  No excuses!

I worked out 6 days in a row this week, that hasn’t happened in a while.

I even did a longer (hour-long) workout from Bob that I haven’t tried in a few months.  I felt pretty good about that, and praised God for the progress He is making in my health.  The multiskeletal pain is so much less, it’s insane.  I feel like the “bleeding” as far as that is concerned, has stopped from increasing out of control.

I know it’s stress, and mineral/vitamin/food related – but I can tell you taking out those inflammatory foods that were wrecking havoc – due to leaky gut – makes me wonder how many people have mega fibro/chronic fatigue/auto immune issues with symptoms from various foods doing the same thing!!

I know – I wouldn’t have believed it either – until I experienced it… 

“And wherever He came, in villages, cities or countryside,

they laid the sick in the marketplaces and implored Him

that they might touch even the fringe of His garment.

 And as many as touched it were made well.”

Mark 6:56

Working Out, Air-Force Style

Oh Bob, Bob, Bob…  funny boy.

I really enjoy that he can make me laugh in a workout… because that’s really what you need when you’re feeling like you can’t go on, and hurt in every way.

Comic relief is essential in life.  At least in MY life.  It’s good medicine.

This week I learned something NEW – which is probably old hat to those in the military…

Bob called it the “Air-Force Style” of training.  It combined circuits of moves, and burpies in-between each circuit.  It looked like this:

Warm up for 5 minutes

4 burpies

ONE MINUTE Right arm presses

4 burpies

ONE MINUTE – Left arm presses

4 burpies

ONE MINUTE – Goblet squats

4 burpies

ONE MINUTE – Jumping lunges

4 burpies

ONE MINUTE – Plank hold

ONE MINUTE REST

Start with burpies again… and REPEAT 2 MORE TIMES!

Cool Down

Obviously, you can throw in whatever moves you want – but the burpies in-between, sure were a “treat” to look forward to.  (Don’t forget to give a happy jump and clap at the top!)  The entire workout was about 30 minutes, but without instruction – and based on your warm up or cool down you could get it done in 20-25 minutes.

** Also, on the weighted presses – even though you were working ONE arm at a time, you held BOTH weights for balance.

“Blessed is the one who finds wisdom,
    and the one who gets understanding,
for the gain from her is better than gain from silver
    and her profit better than gold.
She is more precious than jewels,
    and nothing you desire can compare with her.
Long life is in her right hand;
    in her left hand are riches and honor.
Her ways are ways of pleasantness,
    and all her paths are peace.”

Proverbs 3:13-17

AMRAP – As Many Reps As Possible

2 month garden update. Everything is lookin’ good! My gardener does a great job watering it 2x a day! (Thanks son!)

It’s a cross fit term if you haven’t heard of it.  We’ve done chippers, and tabata… the theme seems similar…. move as much as possible, without sacrificing form.

Who doesn’t what to shorting a workout while increasing the effectiveness now and again.

*Raises hand!*  Me.

Like Tabata, this can be a number of different ways.  You always start with a warm up for 2-5 minutes…. then a cool down at the for another 2-5 minutes, but what you do in the middle is – Make it count!

The AMRAP that Bob Harper had us do went something like this:

– 10 ARM PRESSES with weights

– 15 PUSH UPS

– 20 AIR SQUATS (he really likes these… and they work well to really POP up and tuck that behind – ouch!)

– 25 STRAIGHT JUMPS

Your goal is to get through as many reps as possible in that 7 minute time range.  The whole workout together was 25 minutes from warm up to cool down, and I was a hot mess after that.  It really got my heart rate up – and it was good to mix it up!

He tells the girls to shoot for a goal of 7-8 rounds in that 7 minutes, but I’m not sure what he’s on – most of them did a little over 3 rounds.  I’ve done it twice and did over 6 once, and over 5.5 yesterday – it definitely matters how you do the moves – with purpose and concentration – vs just flying through it all.

Make your workout count – and DO NOT out eat all of that hard work!!

“You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.”

Exodus 20:13

A Chipper That Isn’t Chocolate?

These are hands down, the best gluten-free cookies I’ve had.

I have cookie brain – often.  That was always my downfall.  I loved baked goods.

Scratch that, I still love baked goods – just differently, and undeniably baked goods that aren’t readily available and that are better for me.  Some might consider that a downer.  I’m more in the camp of a reality check – and it’s better, for me in the long run.

Well, when I find a (GOOD) cookie, I delight in that.  Not just for me, but for my kids as well.  I’ve made several … and found lots that I like – but nothing store-bought really knocked my socks off.

Then, on my birthday – we took a trip to Whole Foods… yes, to me this is a delight!  I found this new brand of cookies on their shelves by WOW brand.

Oh. My. Goodness.

Well all of that was fine and dandy, until my daughter (who is also lactose intolerant) mentioned to me… “Mommy, these have MILK in them…”

*Gulp*

Well… I didn’t FEEL sick.  I had 4 tiny cookies the evening before… I felt fine, I assured her.

I decided I’d have a few more the next day…  man, they were good.

…and just like a bad dream comes back to haunt.  My body kindly reminded me… NO THANK YOU on the milk.

Uuuugh.

By mid-evening I was in quite a bit of pain and really mad at myself.  I was also disappointed as the cookies are CRAZY good.  As the pain and discomfort continued today… I came to terms that the cookies are for the kids in our family who can have them.

They’re not for me.

Those naughty little balls of lemon goodness, wrapped in sugar.

*sigh*

So if you don’t have issues with lactose – then YUM these up, because they were deliciousness, and they make ALL kinds.  Just not worth the inflammatory response my body gave them from the MILK ingredient.

To combat my failed cookie endeavor, I did Bob’s “chipper” work-out today.  It consisted of 350 reps…

50 – tuck jumps

50 – push ups

50 – air squats

50 – jumping jacks

50 – superman

50 – sit ups

50 – lunges

Now that’s a CHIPPER, {minus the chocolate} – my body needs.

See there, I’m still guilty of putting my cookie-goggles on and focusing on only gluten-free vs. lactose free too.  I apparently want them that badly, that I use poor judgement.  Perhaps I’m just still hoping my gut will be magically healed and I can eat it again… SOMEDAY!

Until then, I will continue to ask God to bless my efforts in shopping for the RIGHT foods – and help me to keep chipping away and challenging my body in GOOD ways!!

“The natural person does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are folly to him, and he is not able to understand them because they are spiritually discerned. The spiritual person judges all things, but is himself to be judged by no one.  “For who has understood the mind of the Lord so as to instruct him?” But we have the mind of Christ.”

1 Cor. 14-16

Tabata, Tabata, TABATA

See my good reason for skipping my formal workout yesterday? More on this little “project” later…

TAB-ATA

Say THAT really fast in row!

So I just finished a mean Tabata workout and WHEW!  That was fun!

If you’re like me and have no idea what Tabata is…

It was founded by a man with the last name Tabata, from Japan.  (Hence the name)  Basically, he conducted tests on two groups of athletes; comparing moderate high intensity training with high intensity interval training.  Through this, he discovered that the athletes training in high intensity interval training improved their aerobic systems as well as their anaerobic system.  The athletes who only did the moderate high intensity training only improved their aerobic system and had little to no increase in their anaerobic system.

So what it is – is 4 sets of some type of cardio interval – 20 seconds of work, 10 seconds of rest.  So for the one Bob Harper had me do… it was 4 minutes of push-ups, then 4 minutes of walking (alternating) lunges, 4 minutes of sit ups, and 4 minutes of air squats. (OUCH!)

Ok, so I’m thinking… how hard can THIS be?  You get a rest? Since you’re doing 8 reps of each for 20 seconds on, 10 seconds off…  very quickly, you feel pain.

The goal is to keep track of your TOTAL NUMBER OF REPS.  (Think Cross-Fit Training)  So you keep counting from the first push-up, and add onto that number when you move onto the next interval.  So if you’re at 51 push ups total, when you get to the walking lunges – you start at 52.

So my total number was 399.  (I know, I was frustrated too… but I’m being honest – SO CLOSE to that even number, but it was my first time!!)  The advanced person in the workout did 477.  Wowza.  Your goal is to keep a journal and each time you do the workout – increase your number!

Fill me in if you’ve tried this – and what types of exercises you’ve done.  If you Google it, as with anything… you’re bound to come up with lots of ideas.  The difficult thing (without a workout partner or trainer, or video) is obviously the timing, and counting.  For me, it was hard enough trying to workout, count and listen to Bob… with the clean up circus going on around me!

But ta-dah… I sort of skipped my time with Bob yesterday (see reason above)…  but I feel great today!  Have an excellent day!

“Therefore consider carefully how you listen. Whoever has will be given more; whoever does not have, even what they think they have will be taken from them.”

Luke 8:18

My New Home

The grocery store.  It’s a necessary evil isn’t it?

I naturally spent quite a bit of time at the store.  With 10 mouths to feed, I was there at least three times a week.

I kept supplies on hand to make our usual menu, and stocked up on fruits, veggies, bread, milk, cheese and eggs.

Beautiful fruit!

Lately it seems, I go to the store almost daily… and usually I go to three different stores on any given trip!  Mostly for produce and label reading.

I’ve learned a lot in a short amount of time, but I still have LOTS to learn.

Soon it won’t be like this – but the past two weeks have been a bit of a blur.

Watching for gluten-free labels and having to read ingredients on every product I pick up is pretty time-consuming, and then trying to remember *I* still can’t have lactose or milk protein (casein) in anything either is quite confusing in my brain fog state.  It’s almost impossible to go WITH multiple children.

I really wish that people could just put (in english) what is in the product… so I didn’t feel like I needed a chemistry degree to figure it out.

I think the word “gluten” on my Google app should be a button I push, as I’m often searching, “contains gluten?”  Why can’t my smart phone just KNOW I’m going to ask about gluten content?

You see quickly why it’s much easier to just eat whole foods.  For me, that’s simple… most products make me sick.   For the kids?   I hope their food intolerance stops here… but for the most part, they’ve been fantastic about the changes.

We got signed up with our local food co-op and got some great foods.   We are now “members” in our local co-op grocery store.  We bought somethings online at iherb.com and vitacost.com as well.  We bought some bulk things from amazon.com – and hopefully soon – we’ll be restocked, and I can exhale a bit.

When I realized I needed to start planning food for our vacation as well, I went into overdrive!  The no brainer items suddenly became a bit more complex.

My husband suggested maybe we just cancel the vacation, the task of feeding everyone – and finding some safe restaurants seemed too daunting, and he could tell I was wearing low from being sick, and struggling to eat much lately.

BUT – cancel vacation???

I can’t do that.  I knew I had to figure out a plan to make it work.  I prayed God would fill me up and allow me to see what we needed to do to keep us healthy while traveling.

Things won’t wander too far from how we already do things, the main thing is making sure we have the right snacks available!  We’ve had floor picnics in our hotel for a few years now.  We spread out a tablecloth, and the kids think it’s a blast!  I can go to the grocery store and get fruits, veggies and some supplies to make sandwiches easily, and it’s often WAY cheaper than eating out!

One of my favorite snacks! Carrots and gluten free peanut butter!

{Personally, it’s a lot less stressful than going to a restaurant at the end of a long, nap-less day.}  Now that we’d be going in as a large “picky” group, wanting specifics – I doubt we’ll eat out very much at all, and that’s just fine with us!

We do have some options for when we’re tired of sandwiches, and I’m so thankful for the restaurants who offer gluten-free menu options – especially for the kids!  Back to baking – I have a lot of food to make!

Oh, and if you’re wondering if I’m still working out.  YES.  I am…  and I’m thankful that part of my life has been consistent!  Also, thank you for putting up with my typos and grammar errors, it’s been quite humbling to me.  It’s always easy to being an editor to other people’s writing.  I stink at editing my own and the brain fog only made that worse.

“These things I have spoken to you, so that in Me you may have peace. In the world you have tribulation, but take courage; I have overcome the world.” 

John 16:33

My Favorite Kettlebell Workouts

(Top left and around)Bob's Workout, Sculpted Body, Cardio Shred, and Shred it with Weights are just a few of my favorite kettlebell specific workouts.

Of course most kettlebells come with some type of tutorial DVD, to get you introduced to some of the key moves, and instructions on how to do things. One could REALLY hurt themselves if they do not hold the bell correctly or if they swing it into their body, lacking control.

While I’ve never launched my kettlebell through a wall, I can see how that could happen. I have accidentally swung that puppy into the side of my leg before – and trust me, it hurts!

There are plenty of kettlebell workouts on the market, and honestly you can use your kettlebell in workouts that don’t even suggest a kettlebell. Especially squats with weights, sit ups with weights, jumping lunges or clean and presses.

Once you become comfortable with the moves that it works best with – you’ll discover you can challenge yourself and your muscles in new ways just by adding in the kettlebell.

When I first got my kettlebell, I used it with Shred it with Weights (Jillian Michaels), and doing level 2 – I could burn about 320 calories in about 30 minutes. Not bad!

Later, I read some of the reviews about her kettlebell moves – which seemed to indicate they’re not “beginner” moves, and one could hurt themselves starting there. After learning more about this type of workout, I would agree. I started with a 7 lb kettlebell, as mentioned before, so it wasn’t AS dangerous, but I think it would have been safer starting with one of Bob Harper’s Inside out “kettlebell specific” workouts, and focusing in on that 10lb kettlebell size.

Bob’s Cardio Shred workout is faster paced, and I’d say I like it more than the sculpted body. Both are good about introducing you to the specific moves before picking up the pace. I would also recommend his plain “CARDIO REV” Inside Out workout (not pictured) – which you can definitely use a kettlebell with. I actually prefer it to just a free weight in that workout.

Lastly, “Bob’s Workout” DVD also has a series with stepping up kettle bells – with at least 3 weights. This can be done with a heavier set of free weights also, but it’s nice to have those additional muscle challenges that the kettlebell exercises provide.

So fill me in, do you have kettlebells – sound too strange to you? Thinking about trying them? I can’t say enough good things about them – definitely worth the investment (your inner thighs will thank you).

“Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own…”

1 Cor. 6:19

Feel That Bell a Ringin’

That’s right, I said FEEL, vs. hear.

If you haven’t met yet, let me introduce you to the kettlebell.  This fun little (or big) dandy is a surprise of a good time…  and the only ringin’ you’re going to be feeling, are your muscles burning.

My 7lb Kettlebell from GoFit™ (Bob Harper)

The good time is that when you’re in the workout, it doesn’t seem like you’re doing that much…  I remember the first time I’ve done each new kettlebell workout, I didn’t feel like I had done much at all.  HOWEVER, the surprise comes the following day or two… or three, when it feels like someone squeezed the tar out of your inner thighs and rear.

Sound good?  It is!

Let me advise you to skip the 7lb kettlebell purchase.  When I was getting introduced, I just didn’t know what I’d need so I bought the smallest one.

That was pointless.  My children sometimes use it, so I suppose it’s not completely worthless at our house – but for you – save the money on my mistake.

The 10lber is where you want to start some hurtin’…  and it really isn’t that bad.  (Remember what I said at the beginning!)  I usually use the 15lb kettle bell, and then the 20 lbers for some reps, and other action in a few of the workouts I have…  but I started with that 10lber, and it was plenty of a challenge for many months.

My 10lb, 15lb and 20lb Kettlebells from GoFit™ (Bob Harper)

Now there are several brands of kettlebells out there, and they do have different designs.  The kettlebell originated in a completely different purpose of exercise than what I use in my home.  A quick Youtube search on the bell will show you how weightlifters throw that baby around.  Believe me, you won’t want to do those moves in your house – but that’s where the more “ball” or round shape comes from.

The ones I’ve purchased are from Bob Harper.  The moves he, and some of Jillian’s DVDs require, fit more in line with the contoured shaped kettlebell.  If you have bad wrists at all (like I do), then you’ll appreciate the side being smoothed out vs. a ball smacking against your wrist bone again and again, causing further damage.

Stay tuned we’ll be talking more about my favorite workouts with my special kettle bell weights later this week!

Need a giggle today?  Check out this 16 month old doing some killer dead-lifts.  If she can do it, so can YOU!

“Seek the Lord and His strength; seek His presence continually.”

1 Chronicles 16:11

He’s Doing It AGAIN!

Just in time for your NEW YEAR start… or your start over, or your beginning to a healthier for Him life…

Bob Harper is having a big sale on his DVDs HERE!

Just $5 each! GO NOW! No excuses!! 🙂 Try at least ONE of the super strength series. You’ll be so glad you did.

You can send me a thank you later. Or not.

“There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under heaven…” Ecclesiates 3:1

Workout Review Time

So, if you’re still following along – I mentioned a few weeks back that I got some new workout DVDs from Bob.  He was having a special… some friends and I teamed up and ordered a few to get cheaper shipping.  Unfortunately, the company sort of fell through on shipping all of our orders!  We each ended up only getting one DVD!  Thankfully we each got a different workout though, so we could trade them and at least see what they were about!

Despite contacting the company twice, I’ve yet to hear where my order is, and unfortunately – their big sale they were having (at $4.99-$6.99 per DVD) is now over!  I guess if we never hear something back we’ll just order again.  I’m too dedicated to get THAT upset – since I obviously haven’t been charged!

Okay…  all of that to say – these are some GREAT workouts.  The “MY WORKOUT” (meaning – Bob’s workout) is fantastic.  It has two 25-30 minute workouts, which can be done separately or together.  Personally, I wish it was set up with the first one second, and the second one first, like my friend Steph suggested – and then maybe I’d feel like doing them combined.  By the time I get done with the first part for a quick workout… I feel like passing on the second part, because the “hard work” is done.  The second one is definitely less cardio madness.  Both are still great workouts, just in different ways.  This workout is only available on Bob’s website… it’s still not available on Amazon.com.

Personally, I don’t think they’re offering it yet, because most beginners would be running for the hills after this workout… it’s high paced, and non-stop movement.  Different from his circuit training where your body takes more of a break in-between the heart throttling.  I wouldn’t suggest it being your first workout you buy from Bob Harper.

Bob's TOTAL BODY Transformation - totally worth the money!

The next workout we ordered will be available on amazon.com soon.  You can pre-order it now actually.  It’s called “Total Body Transformation” – and he says several times in the workout, “This will be the hardest workout you’ve ever done!”  I’ve done it three times so far, and it’s gotten easier every time… like most workouts.  Don’t confuse that to mean it’s easy… because it’s NOT.  It’s an arm sculpting, rear busting workout.  I spent most of the workout rotating between which part of my body hurt the worst… my arms… no, no… my legs… uuuuugh….  OUUUUCH.  LOL!  I really do have a love/hate relationship with Bob.   I keep telling myself that pain is weakness leaving the body… I’m getting stronger.  Someday I’ll have abs again!

Side note:  Women have to have about 8-14% body fat to see their ab muscles defined.  This core strength isn’t about vanity (at least for me, my bikini days are long gone, nor would I go there again if I could – modesty yo!) it’s about over all strength and back strength for LIFE!  Being healthy for Him – in every way.

“Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation.  The spirit is willing but the body is weak.” – Matthew 26:41

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