Workout Wednesday – Traveling Tabata

The holiday season is full of wonderful things like parties, seeing family, buying presents, making cookies, Christmas plays, and more. While all of these festivities are super fun, they also add in a lot of extra to-do’s to our schedules! I find myself getting stressed out and exhausted from all the busyness. Make sure you take time to find PEACE this season with a little self-care! Below is a body weight Tabata workout that you can do anywhere. It can be fast if you need to squeeze a workout in, or you can do a few more rounds if you can take more time for some self-care. This is designed to be done in a small space, so that, whether you’re waiting 15 minutes for your cookies to bake in the kitchen, or you’re visiting your grandparents and have only 6 sq ft of floor space in the bedroom you’re sharing with your whole family (can you tell I know this situation well??) you can make time for yourself.

No matter where you are, or how long you have to do your workout, take an extra minute at the end to breathe, restore, and refocus yourself for the rest of the day.

Lower Body Tabata Workout: 20 seconds on, 10 seconds rest, for each exercise

  • Complete the pairs 2-4 times before moving on to the next pair of exercises.
  • If you do each pair four times, it will be a 20-minute workout.

Set One:  Sumo squat to releve AND pop squats

Set Two:  Reverse lunges to front kick AND jumping lunges

Lateral lunge to single leg balance AND lateral jumping (Lateral lunges to balance: do a lateral lunge, push off the floor with your lunging leg to center, bringing your knee up past your waist. Catch your balance for a second before setting your foot back down.)

Set Three:  Calf raises AND power skips

(Calf raises can be done on the floor, elevated, or single-leg for an added challenge. Power skips are skips where you focus on getting as high as you can–they can be done in place.)

Set Four:  Bench squats AND jump squats

(Bench squats can be single-leg for extra challenge)

Fit at Disney – No Equipment Needed Hotel Workout

disney-day-4Today’s Fit Tips start with: accountability. I love my group of#specialkindofcrazy ladies. We support each other – we hold each other accountable. If someone doesn’t show up to workout in class, we message them, we tag them we find out WHY. So even on vacation – I am getting all kinds of awesome tags and notices about workouts being done. That motivates me to keep going. And then my #specialkindofcrazy girl Mandi posted a workout she did while traveling so it inspired me to try it. I’m going to share with you! Find a friend or join us – DO SOMETHING to build some community around your FITness Journey.

Love my ladies!!!

Referring back to yesterdays tip – I had to change it up a bit to make it work for my time constraints and lack of equipment so here is what I did.

Set timer for 5 minutes. Do each exercise 10 reps continuously. When you get to the 2:00 minute mark STOP and do cardio indicated. Then after 30 seconds go RIGHT back where you were in circuit and continue. At 4:00 minute mark do 30 seconds of cardio again Then finish out last 30 seconds of routine.disney-day-4-me

Set One: Arms
Cardio: high knees and mt climbers (15 seconds of each)

10 push ups
10 tricep dips
10 v push ups
10 tricep push ups

Set Two: Legs
Cardio: burpee down, plank walk right and left with push up at each end

10 in/out squats
10 running lunges
10 squat front kicks jumping the kicks if possible
10 vertical jumps

Set Three: Core
Cardio: high knees

10 in/out in v sit
10 squat to plank
10 plank jax
10 in/out in plank

Set Four: Cardio
Cardio: Running up down curb (high knees would work)

10 mt climbers standing
10 burpees with tuck
10 jumping jax
10 hop hop squat

Set Five: Recovery/glutes
Isometric Hold: v sit then second time chair sit
10 rainbow arches each leg
10 fire hydrants each leg
10 donkey kicks each leg in plank
10 squat side kicks each leg

Another Protein Boost at Starbucks!

I had so many great responses to our last post on getting your protein in while at Starbucks, I thought I’d share another tip. A great friend and committed boot camper Janis shared this tip.  Another genius way to do it!

Janis says to:

  1.  Bring in a bottle filled with unsweetened almond milk and one scoop max muscle protein.
  2. Ask for two shots of espresso on ice in larger cup and pour that in your protein shake.
  3. It ends up being only $2.50!

Janis’ version comes out to 182 calories, 3 grams carbs & 31 grams protein.
I have like 5 bottles of this in my fridge.  Again another genius way to work that system!


Get Your Protein Boost at Starbucks!

So my fellow teacher and PowerFull Fitness Instructor Sara M. recently told me about how she gets a protein boost at Starbucks. I COULD NOT believe her when she explained what she uses and I had to try it for myself.  And now that I have – I HAVE to share it with you.

Sometimes it is fun to get a little treat and feel like you are enjoying a luxury – sometimes you just need that. But maybe it isn’t a day you really wanted to blow 500 calories on a frapp or you are working towards your goals and just need a little “break” but don’t want to go overboard.

Well thank Sara M for this discovery….

I am not much of a Starbucks drinker so I had to get her to IN DETAIL explain how to order this protein boost and I’m goin g to explain it to you in details now.

  1.  You have to have this Premier Protein Shake. I get mine at Costco (ps they are DELICIOUS even without the Starbucks fun).  You can also buy smaller packages of them at Target.
  2. You take your shake (we used vanilla) into Starbucks and ask for a Iced Skinny Cinnamon Dolce Latte.
  3. Hand them the shake and ask them to use THAT instead of milk.
  4. They will add in three shots of espresso and 3-4 pumps of sugar free cinnamon dolce syrup.  They put all of this in a venti iced cup.

And voila – you have a protein delicious drink.  My Starbucks cashier only charged me $3.25 because I didn’t use their milk.

So how does this work nutrition facts wise?

175 calories, 10 grams of carbs, 3 grams of fat, 30 grams protein!!, and ONLY 1 GRAM SUGAR!!

So if you need a quick caffeine fix but also a protein boost and just want a little treat…this is a great option.

I had  our other instructor Erin try it too since she uses the premier shake a lot just on its own – we are all fans!




I’m so excited to bring you this post from guest blogger and PowerFull Fitness lady  – Mary Jenny! Mary Jenny and I have done a lot of chatting about sugar and sugar intake. She is a French Pastry Culinary School graduate – this girl knows her stuff.  I asked her to help me out for how to enjoy a coffee treat but keep me on track too!  Here is what she has to say!!

I love coffee! I realize not everyone feels that way, but it’s something I truly enjoy.  Coffee itself isn’t a bad thing.  Research has shown it has many health benefits.  I’m not going to cover those here, but if you’re curious, WebMD has some good information.  What I will tell you is although it can be good for you in moderation, many of us add so much sugar, chocolate, cream/milk it becomes a calorie and fat nightmare.  Our daily cup of coffee can easily be made healthier by less sugar and cream, but what about all those fun drinks at the local coffee shop?  Most of what I’m going to explain pertains to Starbucks, but can be applied most anywhere.  If you’ve worked at Starbucks and things are different please know this is what I’ve learned from personal experience and their available nutrition tables.

So where to begin…  Let’s start with caffeine. The most typical specialty hot drinks ordered begin with espresso.  A tall (or small) comes with one shot and a grande (medium) and venti (large) have two shots unless the venti is iced and then it has three shots.  You can always increase or decrease the number of shots in a drink, but did you know you can make one or all of them decaf?  When I was pregnant and nursing, I loved iced coffee, but my kids couldn’t handle the caffeine.  I learned that most coffee shops don’t offer iced decaf coffee but you can order an iced decaf americano (espresso shot topped off with water). The same can be applied to hot beverages, so if you prefer less caffeine you can always substitute some or all the shots.

Next, most espresso-based drinks (latte, cappuccino, macchiato, etc.) contain some sort of milk. Your options include non-fat, 2% or whole milk as well as soy or coconut milk.  Unless you request something different, Starbucks makes their drinks with 2% milk.  The lowest calorie option is non-fat milk.  The remaining options from lowest to highest are as follows: coconut, soy, 2%, and whole.  Keep in mind that each option will have a slightly different texture in your mouth.

Now for the biggie, syrup! One of the easiest calorie savers is to use sugar-free syrup and non-fat milk and Starbucks typically refers to these as “skinny” drinks.  The drinks with sugar-free syrup and non-fat milk are the lowest calorie options on their menus; unfortunately, I really don’t like how the sugar-free syrups taste.  A talle flavored latte has 3 pumps, a grande has 4 and a venti has 5.  Each pump of regular syrup contains about 20 calories, so one of the first things you can do to experiment is reduce the number of pumps in your cup.  I always order mine with half the syrup.  So what about those drinks that aren’t lattes like mochas and macchiatos?  Well, Starbucks has a “skinny” version of these, too.  If you don’t want the skinny version, you can always reduce the number of pumps of syrup or order it with non-fat milk and skip the whipped cream.  The drinks with chocolate have a lot of calories; so unless you have the calories to splurge, it might be best to pass on those.  So, as good as it tastes, the White Chocolate Mocha is one of the worst offenders on the menu.
Keep in mind, all of these techniques can be applied to iced beverages as well.  I’ll leave you with a little something to consider as you’re now exploring your own options.  My favorite drink is a grande latte. This means it has 2% milk and no syrup.  It contains 190 calories, 7 grams of fat and 17 grams of sugar. My other go to drink is a non-fat milk, 2-pump vanilla latte with 160 calories, 0 grams of fat, and 26 grams of sugar.  Although my favorite has more calories and fat, it keeps me full much longer and has less sugar.  It is also creamier which is something I enjoy while drinking coffee.

As I continue on my journey to be more healthy, I realize my Starbucks habit shouldn’t be a daily habit, but I can have it for a treat and make it a little more healthy!

Thank you for your valuable input Mary Jenny! Loved learning from you!


Road Trip Survival Part Six

Today is the last day in our series on road trip survival. I want to end with something that is near and dear to my heart – balance.

Guys – we should not dread trips with our families or going out of town because we are scared of losing our fitness momentum. We can have both – we can have great health and great fun all at the same time.

Many of you have seen this before but it is a message that we need to hear over and over.  We need to be able to enjoy life!  So watch this quick video for a way that I balance my socials and trips with my health goals.

Love you guys!


Road Trip Survival Part Five

Alright friends, we’ve talked about snacks, prepping snacks, eating out in the airport and even our favorite coffee treats as part of our road trip series. Today I want to talk WORKING OUT.  This can be very tricky on the road. We often don’t have the equipment we need, we don’t have a lot of room, and we may not have the privacy we want.  So what can we do?

A couple of things:

1.  BE REALISTIC.  Maybe working out can’t happen as often as you’d like on this trip. Ok – we can deal with that.  Stay on track nutritionally and then you can pick right back up with your schedule when you get home.  Progress not perfection friends!

2.  Work it in when you can. Remember this does not have to be an all or nothing mentality.  So:

  • Park further away and walk to the stores.
  • Take the stairs in the hotel (run up them with your kiddos and race – they will love it and you will be sweating!)
  • Get active on your vacation. Have some activities with your kids that involve movement – go swimming, take a bike ride around the new city, stop at a new park and check it out together.  There are great ways to get moving and see new sights!
  • Do a few sit ups and push ups in your hotel before you go to bed

3. If you have the option, choose hotels with a gym so you can hop on a treadmill.

4.  Be willing to deviate from the norm. So you’ve been lifting weights – well you can’t bring those with you so try a routine that just uses your body weight or do some cardio while you are gone. You know what? Doing something different may actually bring you more results because of the muscle confusion.

Here are a few of our work outs that require no equipment except you and a timer!

absolute abs –  a quick ab work out

Interval Run – Beginner – if you have a treadmill in your gym try this one out!

Short glute circuit – just get a little lower body work in

Tabata-Round-One– a great cardio routine that only requires a bit of space and a timer!

Hope this helps you get a little sweat on!

Road Trip Survival Part Four

Alright – today we get real. Sometimes we just want a treat and we want a coffee treat. We want to hit up Starbucks and just have a cup of coffee and something sweet on our vacation. That is ok! Let’s take a second today and talk about how to do both:  enjoy a coffee break and stay on track.

These options are a bit higher calorie than normal for a usual snack but still provide some great fiber benefits.

Starbucks offers a couple of lower-fat bakery options, both with 3 grams of fat and from 3 to 5 grams of fiber:

  • low-fat Cranberry Apple Muffin (290 calories)
  • low-fat Oat Fruit Scone (320 calories)

Coffee cake options have a bit higher fat content:

  • Reduced-Fat Banana Dulce Coffee Cake: 360 calories, 7 grams fat.
  • Reduced-Fat Blueberry Coffee Cake: 310 calories, 10 grams fat.
  • Reduced-Fat Cinnamon Swirl Coffee Cake: 300 calories, 8 grams fat.
  • Reduced-Fat Orange Crème Coffee Cake: 320 calories, 8 grams fat.

For comparison – something like the Devils Food Doughnut has 430 calories and 23 grams of fat.

These have lower calories but are lacking in the fiber department:

Petite vanilla scone has 120 calories and 4.5 grams of fat but 0 fiber

Flourless chocolate cookie 170 calories, 4.5 grams of fat and 2 grams of fiber

For a warm breakfast:

  • Whole Grain Western Omelet Wrap, with 300 calories, 13 grams of fat, and 3 grams fiber.

Starbucks has plenty of drinks that are around 150 calories and contain almost no fat.

The rules to order by:

  • buy it “tall” (size), buy it “light” and “nonfat:
  • definitely buy it with “no whip.”
  • if you can, order your coffee drinks “decaf” to help keep you hydrated during your travels.
The Tangerine Frappuccino Juice Blend has fewer than 150 calories if you order the tall size.
You can also now order Starbucks’ Blended Crème drinks in “light” — the tall LIGHT Strawberries & Crème Frappuccino Blended Crème totals 150 calories and 0 grams of fat, while the tall LIGHT Orange Crème Frappuccino Blended Crème has just 110 calories and 0 grams fat.
So sip away my friends – guilt free!
This information is from webmd (

Road Trip Survival Part Three

So far on our road trip series we’ve discussed how to pack your own grab and go snacks as well as some make ahead snacks. Today I want to talk about – the airport.  Yipes!  Just walking in an airport you start to smell the Cinnabon and Orange Julius.  ABORT FRIENDS ABORT.  Let’s hash out some ways we can stay on track while in an airport.

1.  Go back to day 1 and 2 and PACK YOUR OWN SNACKS.

Ok if you don’t have your own snacks let’s list some things to do to stay on track.

  • When you are looking for a snack, opt for mixed nuts or pretzels instead of chips.
  • Don’t just settle for the first fast food restaurant you see. Take a second and look for ones with healthier options.
  • If you are getting pizza, get a veggie slice and pair with fresh fruit or raw veggies. You need the high nutrient, low fat option to go with the richness of the pizza.
  • For sandwich shops, look for whole wheat bread and lean meat or vegetarian options.  Dress it with no calorie options like mustard and leave the mayo and extra cheese and sauces off.
  • Mexican options – go for grilled not fried.  Get grilled chicken or shrimp tacos and avoid the creams and extra cheese – just use fresh salsa.
  • Breakfast in the airport? – opt for egg entrees with lean meat. If it has cheese, ask them to use 1/2 the normal amount and check and see if egg white options are available. If you are just having to get pancakes and waffles – top with fresh fruit instead of syrup and butter.

Keep these little tips in mind and you will be just fine on your trip friend!