Interval Run – Strength and Speed

Here’s a great workout you can do to bring in strength and work on speed as well!

To begin you’ll need to measure out a 1/4 mile track. If you are using your GPS or phone you can just watch for when you hit .25 then  do the strength section.

Run ¼ mile.  Do 50 walking lunges (count each leg)

Run ¼ mile.  50 push ups (complete in groups of 10!)

Run ¼ mile.   50 squats to calf raise.

Run ¼ mile.  50 v push ups

One mile done!

Run ¼ mile. Do walking lunges (count each leg)

Run ¼ mile. 50 tricep dips (off bench or on ground)

Run ¼ mile.  50 jump squats

Run ¼ mile. 50 jumping jax.

Two miles done! Great job!

Pool Side Dinners – Summer 2017 Laura’s Menu

With a week of swim team, dive team and swimming lessons while school is still in session, we have to be at the pool from 5:30 – 8:00 pm every night. So we have four nights of pool side dinners (you can bet we ate out on Friday!)

Some ideas are more detailed and creative than others but maybe it will give you some ideas.

Night One: Make your own chicken tacos with shredded chicken from the crock pot.
Kids ate it so I call it a win!

Night Two:  Ham and cheese sandwiches served with:
Yogurt tubes frozen
And roasted veggies

Just a cooler full of yummies

Night Three:  Grilling out!

Grilled salmon for mom and dad
Grilled hot dogs for kids
Veggie kabobs for all
Fruit assortment


Night Four – Chicken pita pockets

Chicken skewers from Costco (Jackson ate 2!!)

Parent version:
Sautéed peppers, Greek yogurt, and feta for topping in st Joseph’s mini pitas!

Jackson version:
No pita and skewers dipped in ranch

Elli version:
Skewer in pita with ranch and Greek yogurt

Served with go-gurt tubes for kids and salad for parents with fruit for all!

Night Five:  Chipotle people! This mom got tired.



Pool Side Dinners – Summer 2017 PowerFull Moms Menu

As I was sharing some of my pool side menu last week, I had some awesome moms share their pool side cuisine as well. The more ideas the better! Check out these two options…

Amy’s Idea:  Steak Salad.

Grilled steak
Roasted veggies
And a orange sesame dressing!


And Aspen shared taco options!: I made taco filling, rolled up the kiddos some soft tacos, and made Dave and I some 6 layer “dip!” Taco meat, cheese, lettuce, salsa, black olives, and sour cream, plus chips to scoop! It was fun to have dinner by the pool.

Perfection! Bring on summer!!!


Chocolate Chip Cookies with Greek Yogurt

Ok I promise to take a break on the Greek yogurt recipes.

Remember these chocolate chip muffin minis?

Or these blueberry muffins?

Ok well let’s go for one a bit more indulgent! How about a chocolate chip cookie made with Greek yogurt?  For those of you working on ways to add more FITness into your daily routine – consider this:

These have no butter and no eggs.

They do have a healthy dollop of Greek yogurt (aka protein) so boom! No I do not advise you eat all of them in one sitting…but indulging with one isn’t gonna hurt.

I feel obligated to warn you: they are a bit cake-y.  So mine didn’t come out crisp but more like a chewy cake texture.  That did not stop anyone in my family. The kiddos inhaled them. And if you have to pack a nut-free lunch box for school – this is a completely nut free cookie!

Here’s what you need:  Oh I divide the following when I made mine b/c I wasn’t sure if we’d like them. Next time I’ll make the full batch.

  • 2 1/2 cups of flour – I used whole wheat
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup of packed brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup of sugar
  • 2/3 cup of Greek yogurt
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • 2 cups of chocolate chips

Here’s what you do:

  1. Preheat your oven to 375 and prep your baking sheet. I cover mine with foil and spray with Pam.
  2. Now combine the flour, baking soda, and salt.
  3. In a separate bowl, whisk ]the eggs and the sugars.
  4. Add to the sugar bowl your vanill and yogurt.
  5. Now slowly add that to the dry ingredients bowl.
  6. Throw in those chocolate chips
  7. Make balls about 1 tbsp or so on the baking sheet and bake for 9 – 11 minutes then remove and cool on a rack.

Voila! Yummy chocolate chip cookies you can add to your new favorites list!

Oh – you can check out the original recipe here

Move it Monday – PowerHouse Abs

Welcome to 2017 and your Move It Monday.  
In our private Facebook group for members, we are spending January focusing on the PowerHouse. Our Move It Monday routines are all about the abs and lower back (your power core).  Here is a super fast way to get those abs fired up.
Circuit One: Warm Up
Regular plank x 30 seconds
Side plank right with leg lift x 30 seconds (lift and lower the top leg while holding side plank)
Side plank left with leg lift x 30 seconds
Low plank (on forearm) x 30 seconds
Circuit Two: Test your Endurance
Regular plank x 60 seconds
Side plank right with leg lift x 60 seconds
Side plank left with leg lift x 60 seconds
Low plank (on forearm) x 60 seconds

Interval Run – Alternating Sprints and Jogs

All of June, we are focusing on interval runs for our Monday workouts. Here is the second run I gave our PowerFull Fitness crew.

11 Minute Interval Run – Repeat for one round or as many as you’d like.

2:00 light jog
30 second sprint
30 second walk

1:30 light jog
30 second sprint

1:00 light jog
30 second sprint
30 second walk

1:00 light jog
30 second sprint

1:00 light jog
30 second walk

Throw It Out!

Throw Down Thursday – Throwing Out Myths

All of June, our #specialkindofcrazy crew is going to do some reflecting…thinking on where we are (6 months into 2017) and where we want to go. We are going to reflect on our goals, our mental state, and how things are all working together for our wellness. Ill be sending lots of resources, articles, and having guest speakers come to help our ladies do just that.

For our daily challenges, on Thursdays we are going to THROW DOWN AND THROW out some things that are keeping us from feeling amazing about our bodies and our health.  

Maybe you need a reminder that this is a myth too – check out the tip below!!

Today’s Myth:

I’ll love my body when (YOU FILL IN BLANK).

Wrong.  We have to train our minds to love our bodies. Now.  Body image is a mindset and if you are looking for flaws – you are going to find them. So if you fix one thing – you’ll just obsess over something else.  Change that mindset.  Give yourself positive goals because you want to be strong, powerfull, healthy.  Take active steps towards reaching those goals because you LOVE your body – not because you hate it.  Throw out that sentence and say, I’ll love my body TODAY.


Local NOVA Hikes for You

In May, our PowerFull Fitness Crew is focused on Restoration and I got a bit selfish. I hoped that my selfishness benefited them as well as you.

You see for me, restoration comes in the form of being outside, having a cup of coffee, and relaxing in nature. Now I’m not a beach girl – I’m a woods kind of person. Nothing makes me happier than exploring at a leisurely pace in the woods.  Now that my kids are older, this is something I can do a bit more of, even with them.

So for this blog as I focus on Restoration, I thought maybe we would focus on restorative hikes you can do alone or with your family here in NOVA. Some of these I have done and some are going on my to-do list (that is where the selfish comes in!)

I want us to restore our time of leisure together with friends and family.  I want to be sure we are “restoring” those moments too – that we build them into our weekly routine.  So this week and weekend, pick one of these local hikes and see if it doesn’t do your soul some good to get out and move.

Right here locally we have Accotink Park and Burke Lake Park. These are two great loops you can walk with kids.  Accotink Park has a great place to do paddle boats, carousels, mini golf and a play ground too so you can make this an entire afternoon. Burke Lake has a playground as well as Frisbee golf, a train you can ride during the peak seasons and a carousel.  Again, you can just park and walk around the lakes or you can enjoy some of the extras.  Pack a picnic and make it a day! You can make these as long or as short of a hike/walk as you want.  Around Accotink (lake only) is about 4 miles and around Burke Lake (lake only) is about 4.5 miles.

Side note:  we live in Springfield and if you park on Carrleigh Parkway in Springfield and walk into Accotink from there – in a very short distance you’ll run into a train bridge. We often sit there around 5:00 pm and wait for the VRE and Amtrak trains to pass under us – super fun! And then from there you can explore the paved path (steep and winding) down to the lake and walk anywhere you’d like!

Huntley Meadows is a great one too  You have some options here. You can park and walk through the woods, over board walks and really see some wildlife. There are dirt, paved, and boardwalk trails to explore.  Walk about one mile in and climb the tower to see over all the marsh/wetland. Trails wind and bend so there is plenty to explore.

Huntsman Park in Springfield has a great little playground in the entrance. If you walk past the playground there are some fun loops around Huntsman lake to explore. You can take a quick one right around the playground or go out a bit further and circle around the lake.  You can use the address 9150 Dorothy Lane Springfield to check it out.

Hidden Pond Park in Springfield is fun for a more family/smaller kid outing. There is a playground and a Nature Center to explore. There are some smaller trails around the pond there as well – fun to explore and see for shorter hikes and bits of outside fun.  8511 Greeley Blvd Springfield will get you to the Nature Center.

Now if you want to trek out a bit check out:

Roosevelt Island – This is such a fun place to explore and learn a bit of US History along with it. Cross over the footbridge and take the big loops around the island or cut it in half by going through the memorial and seeing all the inspiring quotes and history there.  And in the summer you can splash a bit in the fountains (no standing but little hands and feet can certainly splash and kick!)

Rock Creek Park – This is such a gem in the mmiddleof the city. We usually just park anywhere and have the kids walk around and explore.  Of course we always end up at a Cupcake Shop in DC when we are done – because #balance.  PS for cupcakes we loved Baked and Wired in Georgetown. A MUST HAVE!  Trails here follow along the creek and on the weekends the roads are blocked off so it is actually a great place to bike and not worry about traffic!

And I can’t mention hikes without talking about Great Falls.  Here there are miles of trails and of course – water falls.  You can pick a map up when you enter to help you pick the best hike for your family. Remember there is a parking fee $5/vehicle!

But then I decided to take this a bit further and asked all my PowerFull Fitness families for their favorite parks and I learned of even more!!

Gina and Amy mentioned:  Scott’s Run Nature Preserve in McLean, VA!  Gina says:  It’s a light hike that only takes an hour, great for dogs and kids who can’t handle longer or more steep climbs.

Tara mentioned Green Springs Garden:  We love Green spring Gardens. Not much of a “hike” really I guess but a fun walk by the ponds, through the woods and the gardens!  Check it out here!  I haven’t done this one so I’m adding it to my list to try!

Karen added to Green Springs with River Farm.  This one looks like a super fun summer visit too! My list is growing!

For a fun little trail – try Lake Royal. I have done this one and it does have some fun playgrounds along the way!  Maggie says:  The trail around Lake Royal is nice and has 2 playgrounds around it and soccer fields and a baseball field. Not really a hike,but 2 miles around.  Use 5344 Gainsborough Drive Fairfax on the GPS.

Eileen says:  I have taken my kids..wagons, bikes, walk from the National Harbor over the Woodrow Wilson Bridge and into Old Town Alexandria. This is a path I run at 5am with friends when we can, but its a great walking, stroller, bike friendly trial. I’d say from the National Harbor all the way to Old Town is about 4 keep that in mind..a nice walk is just from the harbor to the bridge..the top of the bridge overpass has historical pictures, benches and looks outs on it. If you go the other way and start in Alexandria under the bridge, there is a nice rubber grounded park there, basketball courts and places to ride bikes and scooters and really really nice BATHROOMS under the bridge!

I will add – we take our kids on their bikes under the bridge all the time for practice!

Leeann mentioned the Aquatic Gardens. I have never tried this one either – adding to the list! Leeann says they are in bloom in July and mostly flat. I definitely wanna do this!  You can see more about the Gardens here – they even have festivals!  From the website, “Hiking, birding, photography, painting, and more are possible. While trails are short (less than a mile each way) and do not loop, there are benches to enjoy the views and invite you to linger. Birding is excellent all year. Many come by canoe to explore the marsh.  Small picnics (no cooking) are allowed in the park so one can relax while a friend is photographing lotus.  Friendly dogs are allowed in the park, but must be on a leash at all times.”

Leeann and Sarah also mentioned Mason Neck. You can see more about the trails there by clicking this link. I haven’t tried this one yet but have heard great things!

Sarah also added Fountainhead Park as her fave!  Look at the fun trails here!  I am not going to STOP hiking all summer!

Heather and Tara both mentioned the nature center, Jerome Buddie Ford Nature Center. You can see it here.  Outside the nature center is Dora Kelley Nature Park (scroll down the link to see it). The website says, “Just outside the Nature Center lies Dora Kelley Nature Park, a 50-acre wildlife sanctuary with a one-mile long nature trail that meanders along streams, wooded hills, and freshwater marshland.”

Wow – friends. We have lots of places to restore. Isn’t that just the coolest thing about NOVA? With all the traffic and chaos and busy – we can slip into nature and restore our souls? Ahh I love it!

Happy trails to you!


#powerfullrestore – balance

This week, I asked our moms as part of our #powerfullrestore challenge to share how they balance it all. How do they get started and stick to a FITness journey while also keeping things running well at home too? How do they balance FITness and nutrition with carpool, nursing babies all night, baseball games, and work?

Here are some of their answers!

Janis said: Fitness Challenge- how do I balance fitness with family and my job? I wake up 4:30 or 4:45am to fit in a morning workout Tuesday-Friday & Sat mornings! Every other Monday, I drop off the kids to religious school and walk or run on a trail behind the church & listen to music!

Monica said: Today’s Powerfull Fitness challenge is about balancing family duties and fitness. On days that I work, I have a gym in the building currently. My schedule allows for about 30-40 minutes workout after work before picking up the kids. I try to fit in a strength training workout, running on treadmill or bike at the gym. I also add in running in the morning before I go to work on some days. Saturday’s are always my long run days. On days that I don’t work or the kids are home with me, I try to do a workout from Laura Waller at home and even get the kids involved. (Gabriel loves burpees, planks and push-ups). It doesn’t always happen, and I don’t always workout. My goal is 4-6 days a week. Life happens, Crohn’s happens and some days I just am too busy. I am still learning to not get discouraged and give up. I am a work in progress. I have to remember I trained and ran a half marathon not too long ago. I will have ups and downs and currently my Crohn’s Disease is challenging my runs and my sanity. I take one day at a time and keep going forward!! (LOVE THAT ATTITUDE!)

Christie says: Answer: I balance taking care of my family with meeting my fitness needs by waking up early to work out before work most days and on the weekends.

Leah says: Not something I’m always so great at (balance)…but for sure couldn’t do it at all without two people. #1 James – hubby extraordinary. I can’t think of a single time when I said “I think I’d like to work out/go for a run/do some yoga” that he didn’t answer with a simple “ok, have fun.” And #2 – the amazing Laura Waller. Bringing the kids to class….how does it work? I don’t understand – but it does! And it makes working out possible.
(ahhhh thanks Leah! I often wonder how it works myself!)

Paige says: I get up before the sun to squeeze in workouts with some of my favorite ladies. This is truly the only time that consistently works for my family’s busy schedule AND it guarantees I’m in a much better mood when they wake up. So everyone wins! After a year of the #special5amcrazycrew I can honestly say you start looking forward to those 5am classes. (yep it does happen!)


I love these tips and tricks. Everyone is different, everyone has a different life stage they are in – so make this work for you!!!  Be proud of each and every step you take in that direction!!