No Excuses

The last few days have proven challenging to get my exercise! There is a huge fire in northern California, and smoke is pouring into the Tahoe basin. Our visibility has dropped to only a quarter mile, and breathing in the air outside leaves me with a headache within an hour, making it impossible to get any running in. To add insult to injury, the hard drive on my laptop failed leaving me computer-less to update my blog.

Nonetheless, I am fortunate to have a smart phone, and a book full of workouts that can be done anywhere. On Thursday I was pretty sore from Zuzkas workout, so I opted for some yoga instead. I did a 30 minute yoga flow from Melissa Bender. Check it out!

Yesterday I felt like I really needed to get my heart rate up, since I haven’t been able to run for a few days now, so I took a page from my workout book! Β I went with yet another Melissa Bender workout! I told you I was a huge fan! Β This particular workout incorporates strength training and cardio, and is executable in a very small space. I ran through this at maximum reps (20)- two times, and it made me sweat! My time was 26:21 for the two rounds. The workout is called “Abs on Fire,” and can be found at http:/www.benderfitness.com – let me know what your time was after you are done!

20130824_094945 crasty8.23

600 Rep Challenge

Hi guys! Today I have an awesome and extremely challenging workout for you. It comes from Zuzka Light-an amazing trainer with at home workouts that are generally short, intense, and highly effective. She also has great high rep workouts, which are my favorite. You can check out over 200 free workouts on her website http://www.zuzkalight.com.

600reps

This workout is a high rep time challenge. In order to complete all 600 reps, you must go through the workout twice. This is an awesome way to improve your strength! If you are not quite at the level of fitness to finish both rounds all the way through, then just go for one, and next time, try to beat your time for 1 round. You will see your strength improving and eventually, be able to slaughter both rounds in record time! Above is a snapshot from my “little black book.” In this book, I write down every workout that I have done, and my time for each workout. This way, when I return to do a workout again, I have incentive to try and beat my original time. It is a great way to stay motivated, and I find it awesome to always have options for my workouts which are both handy and portable! Try starting your own little black book! There is a video of the workout at the bottom of this post – make sure you watch it to learn the proper form and execution for each movement.

As you can see, I have only done this workout once before, and I was only able to complete 1 full round. It took me 41 minutes, yowza! I went for a 4 mile run this morning, with an 8.3 min mile average, and afterward I was able to complete only ONE full round of this workout… but I beat my first time substantially! I completed the round in just over 34 minutes. I’m telling you, this workout completely kicks my butt. I am going to keep trying for 2 full rounds, but for today, I am quite beat, and it feels great to see how I have progressed so much just since the beginning of the month.

600MEE

As always, do not forget to stretch and warm up before attempting this workout. Remember to keep the proper form, and pay attention to your body! If you are having trouble with any of the movements, such as the 3D push ups (which completely kick my a**), try using a modification, like moving to a push up from your knee. The key here is just to push all the way through the workout, even if you need to modify some of the exercises.

-C

Amazing Protein Pancake Recipe

 

applecinnamoncakes
Protein pancakes with apples, cinnamon and yogurt topping!

These protein pancakes are one of my absolute favorite things to make, because there are so many different yummy variations. They are delicious, low calorie, high in protein, and keep me full all morning. Plus they make a great snack to take to work. I have included a protein powder-free version of this recipe as well.

Enjoy,

Crystal

Protein Pancakes

  • 1/4 cup dry rolled oats
  • 1/2 cup egg whites
  • 3 tablespoons Greek yogurt
  • 1 scoop vanilla protein powder
  • 1 tablespoon coconut flour
  • 1 tspΒ vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon (optional)
  • 1 tsp agave
Calories
362
Total Fat
4g
Sat. Fat
0.8g
Cholest.
36.1mg
Sodium
351.9mg
Carb.
31.6g
Fiber
3.6g
Sugars
10.4g
Protein
47.5g

 

Variation (for those who do not use protein powder):

  • 1/2 small banana
  • 1/4 cup rolled oats
  • 1/2 cup cottage cheese or egg whites
  • 2 tablespoons coconut flour
  • 1 teaspoon agave (optional)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice or cinnamon
Calories
293
Total Fat
4.7g
Sat. Fat
1.8g
Cholest.
5mg
Sodium
380.9mg
Carb.
45.4g
Fiber
4.8g
Sugars
19g
Protein
18.8g

 

** In a food processor, blend Β the oats first, before adding anything else until it becomes ‘flour’ like. Add all other ingredients and blend until smooth. Melt some coconut oil into a pan over medium heat (not too hot or they will burn before they cook!), and scoop the batter into the pan. The pancakes will cook fairly quickly, so don’t forget to watch them. Flip when golden brown.

Enjoy!

-Crystal

Protein pancakes with fresh blueberries!
Protein pancakes with fresh blueberries!

Fitness Junkee

cc

I’m Crystal McGehee and that is my amazing husband, Cody. We live in South Lake Tahoe, CA, with our 2 dogs. My husband is the love of my life, and I contribute much of my success in achieving a healthy lifestyle to him. Having someone who appreciates you and supports you in all of your goals is a very spectacular thing to find in life! He is an amazing skier, an incredibly talented juggler, and a cross country runner. He holds several state records, and really helped coach me to fall in love with running. We are very lucky to live in such a beautiful place, with so many outdoor activities to offer… and the dogs stay happily active too! We take full advantage of our surroundings – running, biking, hiking, camping, river rafting, canoeing, disc golf, snowboarding, snowshoeing, etc. I believe that the key to a long, happy life is to stay moving, eat right, and get enough sleep! It isn’t really that complicated, or difficult when you break it down like that, right? πŸ™‚

Wherever you are geographically, there is always something you can do to remain active. There is something for everyone, right?! I definitely do NOT believe that you need to pay a gym to stay in shape! Honestly, you don’t need anything at all, but yourself. (and maybe a pair of shoes!) Being able to lift your own body’s weight is a great challenge in itself, and will make you very strong. Having that kind of strength actually goes much further in your day to day activities than you might realize. Having a strong core, good range of flexibility, and heightened endurance all contribute to easily navigating through life. Muscles cushion our joints, and protect us from becoming injured, while simultaneously burning fat, improving our posture and metabolism, giving us more energy and actually protecting our hearts from disease. Achieving an elevated heart rate and getting cardiovascular exercise is also very easy to do in a small space with no equipment. Cardiovascular training does amazing things for our circulation, increases our tolerance to exercise, reduces body weight, blood pressure and bad cholesterol, and actually increases good cholesterol and insulin sensitivity. Exercise even increases brain functions such as memory and information processing, and actually treats depression! Are you sold yet?

The purpose of my blog is to share knowledge, and hopefully spark inspiration within some of you who read it. I think one of the main issues which holds us back from achieving our goals is fear! We simply don’t know where to begin, and we don’t have the tools to get there yet. We are also afraid of the unknown! Achieving change requires a challenge…so If we do not challenge ourselves, we are not changing anything. A lot of our behavior only exists because we choose to reinforce it on a daily basis. For example, we brush our teeth on a daily basis because we have trained ourselves to do so over and over and over until it eventually it just became a part of our lives. So, if you are trying to change a behavior such as stagnation, or choosing to eat unhealthy foods, all you need to do is re-train your brain to habitually make decisions that benefit our health. It really is THAT easy. It is actually amazing how we actually begin to crave the healthy behavior, because the reward is mentally and physically beneficial. Our body and mind is capable of re-setting itself and re-learning the proper skills and behaviors for a healthy, happy lifestyle.

I look forward to continually sharing my regimen, along with delicious recipes and random tidbits of information! Let’s feed our needs and nourish a healthy addiction!

-Crystal

Smoothie for a healthy diet

350 calorie smoothie
350 calorie smoothie

I love smoothies. I drink one almost every day either for breakfast, or right after my workout. There are literally thousands of combinations for healthy smoothies, and they all taste amazing, which is good news! As with any meal that fits into your healthy lifestyle, you want to try and keep the amount of sugar at a minimum, while packing in nutrients, protein, and fiber so you also get full! This smoothie is one of my go-to recipes-give it a try!

 

  • frozen banana (about 2/3 of a whole banana)
  • about 2 cups of spinach
  • 1/2 cup fresh blueberries
  • 1 level scoop of protein powder (whichever you prefer really) – Today I used strawberry Designer Whey (only 100 calories)
  • 1/2 cup soft tofu or nonfat plain Greek yogurt
  • 1 tbsp ground flax seed
  • 2/3 cup unsweetened plain soymilk (you can use almond milk or coconut milk instead, if you prefer)

You can play around with your ingredients, of course. Many days I will use vanilla protein powder and replace the blueberries with a tablespoon of peanut butter. YUM! It is very important to keep your portions at a reasonable size, and make sure you aren’t adding sugary items that will undo all of your hard work! Enjoy.

Melissa Bender Workout – Booty and Belly

Hey guys! I figured a great start to my new fitness blog should definitely include a workout! I have been doing at-home style workouts which utilize body-weight exercises, and occasionally incorporate some weight training. This was my workout this morning. I ran through this twice, and am going to follow it up with a yummy smoothie, a cup of ginger lemon tea, and of course STRETCHING. I ran 6.2 miles yesterday, so today I am resting my legs. Recovery is very important to your health, and recovery days should always be complimented by a clean diet, and some stretching. I work as a bartender/waitress, so I am on my feet most of the time. I have to work tonight and I wanted to get in some kind of workout beforehand! Remember, doing SOMETHING active each day is much better than doing nothing, even if it is only for 15 minutes. YOU have to be the reason for your change, not your own obstacle, right? πŸ™‚

As my blog progresses, I will tell you more about my personal fitness regimen, and the items which I use to stay fit. Melissa Bender is an AWESOME trainer who’s workouts have almost single-handedly whipped my butt into shape (literally!), along with running, hiking, and other outdoorsy type activities. I highly recommend that you check out her sight at www.benderfitness.com

Hard work paying off!

Hi guys! My name is Crystal McGehee, and I am very excited to introduce my first blog! I believe that through eating right and exercising, we are capable of curing physical and mental ailments, living longer and stronger, and conquering the world!

Over the past 2 years, I have embarked on a journey of what I like to call “personal realization.” My personal realizations have included a fitness and health discovery which has COMPLETELY changed my life – from my daily thoughts, aspirations, and overall outlook on life, to my physical and mental strength, agility, and endurance. In my late teens, and throughout my early 20’s, I had developed such unhealthy habits, that by 2010, I became nearly 40 pounds overweight! I had an addiction to cigarettes, drugs and alcohol, and food. I was completely drained all the time, and began having symptoms of mild depression, anxiety, and loss of motivation. Not only was I becoming mentally unstable, I was also physically sick on a regular basis–constantly fighting a cold, flu, headaches, and fatigue! THAT was NO way to live, if you ask me.

I began to realize that my lifestyle was not one that I wanted. I thought back to my teenage years, and remembered times when I was racing mountain bikes, hiking all over the place, lifeguardingΒ  on the beach, running, swimming, and going to the gym – I remembered how I used to be an athlete! …how I had tons of energy, and nothing could stop me! I wondered how I “let myself go,” and began to realize that if anything was going to change, it had to be ME and ME alone that was going to change it. This would begin my shift of reality and perception – a journey of personal realization which has only just begun.

I am here to share this ongoing journey with you. I want to inspire others to make healthy changes in their own lives, and help others achieve their personal goals through positive, healthy re-enforcement. Through this blog I want to share recipes and diet tips, fitness advice, workouts, and overall support for anybody who is looking to become a happier, healthier individual.

I hope you enjoy the content that I will be bringing you!

-Crystal

Work in progress folks! Living proof of hard work and dedication.
Work in progress folks! Living proof of hard work and dedication.
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