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Monday, November 24, 2014

Happy Healthy Holidays Challenge 2014!

Happy Monday Everyone!

The holidays are literally just around the corner, and I don't know about you, but I like to have a plan for how I am going to keep my fitness on track throughout the busy holiday season. Between shopping, traveling, parties, food, food, and more food, it is easy to get derailed from your normal workout routine. This holiday season, I want us all to commit to stay on track together with The 1st Annual Happy Healthy Holiday Challenge!

The Happy Healthy Holidays Challenge is simple. Commit to 3 workouts a week and 10,000 steps a day between Thanksgiving (November 27th) and New Years. This plan will help you increase your muscular and cardiovascular strength while warding off pesky holiday weight gain.

I will provide new workouts for you each week that require minimal equipment and take 30 minutes or less. The workouts will combine cardio and strength segments so you get both elements in one workout while increasing your strength, torching calories, and firing up your metabolism. There will always be one workout a week that requires zero equipment and can be done in a hotel room in case you are traveling.

Have a favorite workout you don't want to miss out on during the challenge? No problem, replace 1 or all three workouts with your favorite activity. The goal is to fit 3 workouts in each week no matter how you do it. For best results, I recommend at least 2 of your workouts include some form of resistance training (strenth training, Pilates, Barre, Power Yoga, etc). If you live in Austin, come join me for a workout at ToddPilates and participate in the Holiday Perkville Rewards challenge we have going on at the stuio as well. Double bonus!

The first part of the challenge is the workouts, the second part is the community of accountability I hope to create with everyone. If you are participating in the challenge, I encourage you to share on the Fun, Fit, and Fabulous facebook page,  post to twitter, and  share on Instagram using the hastag #hhhchallenge14 so we can all cheer each other on! I will also be posting extra tips, workouts, and recipes to these social media outlets as well!

So without futher ado, here are your workouts for this week. Even though the challenge doesn't techniqually start until Thursday, I wanted to go ahead and give you workouts today incase you wanted to get a head start.

The first workout is perfect to take with you if you are traveling for Thanksgiving. It requires zero equipment and works all the major muscle groups of the body while giving you a cardio workout as well! For my wonderful pregnant ladies participating in the challenge, you will want to trade the squat jumps for regular squats, jumping jacks for high knees, and take the plank down to your knees if you need to.

The second workout for the week is a tabata workout. I love tabatas because they get down to sweaty business right away. No gym socializing between sets here. A tabata alternates between 20 seconds of all out work followed by 10 seconds of rest. You repeat that sequence 8x's for 1 complete tabata. This workout includes 3 different tabata sets of two exercises each. Repeat exercise #1 for the first 4 rounds and then repeat exercise #2 for the next 4 rounds to complete 1 tabata. Rest for 1-3 minutes until you have caught your breath and then move on to the next tabata. Be sure to start and end with an adequate warm-up and cool down!

Our final workout of the week is a HIIT (high intensity inveral training) Kettlebell workout. In the video, I demonstrate the 4 exercises you will need to complete this workout. Repeat 12 reps of each exercise and go through the entire circuit as many times as possible in 20 minutes resting when you need to. Enjoy!

Remember, on top of our workouts, we are trying to acquire 10,000+ steps throughout the day as well. If you don't have a fitness tracker to keep track of your steps, you can pick up a fairly inexpensive pedometer at Target, Wal-Mart, Dick's Sporting Goods, Sports Authority, Academy, or pretty much any other sporting goods store. I promise they are worth the investment. If you haven't ever worn one, it could be eye opening to see how many steps you get in every day. Did you know the average American only walks about 3,000 steps each day? Yikes! That is far less than the recommended 10,000. Check back in tomorrow for a post with lots of tips on how to increase the number of steps you take. You'll be hitting 10,000 steps in no time!
So are you ready to make the commitment to workingout 3x's per week and fitting in 10,000 steps a day this holiday season? Then leave a comment below telling me your in. I will be linking up with everyone that is participating each Monday during the challenge!
Don't forget to share your progress on facebook, twitter, and Instagram using the hastag "#hhhchallenge14!" I can't wait to keep track of everyone's progress.

In health,

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Gluten Free Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Bread

Howdy Friends,

As I write this post, I am listening to the rain pour down outside, enjoying a cup of coffee, and munching on gluten free chocolate chip pumpkin bread while the tiny human naps. Life can't get much better! I should probably knock on wood quickly before little bit decides to wake! Pumpkin bread has to be one of my all time favorite Fall foods. I am not a huge fan of pumpkin pie, but don't leave me alone with a loaf of pumpkin bread unless you want me to devour the whole thing. It's quite a problem really! Zero self control when it comes to this stuff!

This pumpkin bread recipe is pretty much as simple as they come and oh so delicious. It is gluten free as is and can be easily be made dairy free and paleo by subbing the regular dark chocolate chips for Enjoy Life chocolate chips. I literally had all of these ingredients (minus the coconut oil which I ran out of last week) already in my pantry and just calling my name. (P.S. the rain lasted all of about 5 minutes.... so sad).

My sous chef has learned how to take her pacifier out of her mouth but hasn't quite mastered getting it back in and letting go so it can stay there. This results in many moments like this... Excited she found the binky followed closesly by pissed off because she can't get it back in her mouth. Life is so hard at 4 months old!

Poor baby! Mommy standing there laughing at her struggles probably doesn't help. After I assisted with getting the binky back in her mouth (about 20 times), we were able to continue cooking and ended up with a beautiful loaf of pumpkin bread!

Gluten Free Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Bread

by Lauren George
Prep Time: 5 min
Cook Time: 25-30 min
Keywords: bake bread gluten-free paleo

Ingredients (8 slices)
  • 1 cup pumpkin puree
  • 1/2 cup coconut flour
  • 5 eggs
  • 1/4 cup melted coconut oil
  • 1/4 cup dark chocolate chips (or enjoy life chocolate chips if you want it to be dairy free/paleo)
  • 3/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tbsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tbsp pumpkin pie spice
  • 2 tbsp honey
  • 1/2 tsp liquid stevia
Preheat oven to 400 degrees and grease loaf pan (8.5 x 4.5 inches) with non-stick cooking spray or coconut oil.
Combine eggs, coconut oil, pumpkin puree, honey, and liquid stevia together. Beat until well mixed.
Stir in remaining dry ingredients.
Pour into loaf pan and bake for 25-30 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean.
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If you give it a try let me know! Now that I have inhaled 1/4 of the loaf by myself, I should probably do the Power Up Circuit I posted yesterday to build up a good sweat! I hope you all have a wonderful rest of your Thursday.

What is your favorite Fall food?

In health,