Tagged: fitness tips

Zucchini Bread Recipe

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Good afternoon, this has been a childhood favorite of mine for years. Smelling this bread cooking takes me right back to the kitchen I grew up in. I remember coming in out of the fields and sitting down on my bar stool at the island waiting for my mom to take this bread out of the oven.

Below you can find the original recipe and if you want to make it healthier I will give suggestions next to the ingredients. I always make this bread in small mini loaf pans because my husband and kids like to eat it for breakfast, snacks, it makes it easier to grab and go. It may not be the healthiest recipe but when I bake I always use the everything in moderation rule. I’ll only eat one mini-loaf at breakfast in place of my Ezekiel bread.

Zucchini Bread: 

1 1/2 cup flour (wheat flour)

1 tsp. cinnamon

1/2 tsp. baking soda

1/2 tsp salt

1/2 tsp. ground nutmeg

1/4 tsp. baking powder

1 cup sugar (brown sugar)

1 1/2 cup shredded zucchini

1 egg

1/4 cup oil (applesauce)

1/2 cup chopped walnuts or almonds

*(healthy substitutes) 

  • Mix first 6 ingredients together
  • In a mixing bowl beat sugar, zucchini, egg and add oil
  • Stir flour mixture into zucchini mixture and fold in nuts
  • Bake at 350 for 1 hr (mini-loaf pans, require less time and you will need to check every 10-15 minutes, they don’t take a full hr to cook)
  • grease pan and cook until a tooth pick comes out clean

 

Enjoy and Blessings,

Michelle

 

 

 

Four Ways to Stay Motivated All Year Long

Greetings Live Fit!

It’s February  and I’m sure you have seen countless buzz words floating around the internet since the first of the year highlighting “new years resolutions.” I feel like everywhere I turn from my inbox to the television that I hear the New Year, New You push.

I love the buzz, the energy, the gym being packed and people are aiming to live a more fit and healthy lifestyle.

As I work with personal training clients, teach group fitness classes and motivate myself to stick to my own personal workout plan I continually ask myself how can I encourage and motivate people all year long?

Personal Trainer Michelle shares about Four Ways to Stay Motivated All year long

Personal Trainer Michelle shares about Four Ways to Stay Motivated All year long

Below are four tips that I came up with to help you Stay motivated all year long:

1. Believe in yourself. Have confidence that you can do anything you put your mind to. That confidence brings a positive energy that will keep you from negative feelings about your workout that may un-motivate you to stick to the new excitement you first felt when you were beginning to feel good about consistency and striving to live a fit and healthy lifestyle.

2. Love what you do. This is going to look different for every single person. In this day and age there are so many options when it comes to working out. Maybe you just want a personal trainer to do the work for you and prepare your workouts, maybe you like doing dvd’s in the comfort of your home, or holding poses longer in Yoga. Try a little bit of everything(for some people variety is what they like!) and narrow down the one thing that absolutely makes you feel like you want to keep coming back for that endorphin rush.

3. Find the accountability of a partner. That person who meets you at the gym at 5am is pretty special. You aren’t going to want to let your partner down and this is a way to motivate you to get to your workout and have someone to share in the journey right alongside you. You can text and encourage each other every step of the way.

4. Set realistic short-term goals. Think of one extremely big long-term goal. (write it down on a notecard RIGHT THIS SECOND and put it up on your computer screen or a place you will see it often). Now each month of the year set two very realistic short-term goals that will help you move closer to you long term goal. By Making small changes each month of the year you will begin to see improvements and this will give you the confidence to keep that healthy energy and motivation all year long.

What motivates you? How can you keep that motivation all year long?

 

Make 2015 the year you said “I Did.” instead of “I should”

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Blessings, Michelle

If you are in need of an accountability partner or unsure where to start on your health and wellness journey please don’t hesitate to contact me below:

 

Cook With Michelle Thursday: Homemade Wedding Soup

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Good MORNING!

It is blustering cold here. My oldest has a snow day and I want to stay wrapped up in my bathrobe and drink coffee all day. I have wedding soup cooking on the stove and the house smells immaculate as the wind gusts bang against our windows and the girls clang around in pretend high heels and frozen dresses.

As a new season of resolutions and goals begins, my husband and I have really made a commitment to cut out snacking and eating out in the New Year.

Evening snacks are our nemesis. We used to be in a very good grove when it came to preparing a meal plan, eating clean, not snacking past 8pm and limiting our eating out as a family to one time per month.

But, life happens. Right. It throws you for a loop and some of our good eating habits sustained through a difficult season while some of the negative ones returned.

You learn from setbacks and mistakes and use them as knowledge to become better.

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Soups are great to freeze for future lunches

One thing I love to do is prepare meals for lunches and freeze them. Easy and quick to grab when you are in a rush and this also prevents my husband from buying his lunch. I feel the winter can be a hard time to fit your daily serving of vegetables and soups are a great way to get those servings of vegetables in.

Here is my homemade wedding soup recipe:

Ingredients:
1 bag of celery
1 bag of carrotts
1 full chicken
1 3lb can of chicken broth
meatballs (you can make your own or buy tiny meatballs) I cheat sometimes and buy a frozen pre-made bag at a little mom and pop Italian Store in town
escarole (we buy it frozen at the Italian Foods store)
Romano cheese (I also buy this at the local Italian store, can you see the trend that we love Dioguardi’s)
salt
pepper
Acini De Pepe 1lb

Cooking Directions:
I created some of my own chicken broth by boiling the entire chicken in water; enough to cover it a few inches. I cooked on medium to low for 2-3 hours. I removed the chicken (carefully) and let it cool. I bought a Ninja last year at target and am in love with how it dices the vegetables for soups and salads and it is a huge time saver. I placed the carrots and celery in the ninja one at a time and diced them up. I ladled out any remaining chicken and made sure the broth was ready for cooking. I added the 3lb can of broth and diced veggies. Once the chicken was cool I shredded it and added it back to the pot of soup. Add meatballs, Romano cheese, salt, pepper (to taste), and escarole.

Cook the carrots and celery until soft. Boil the pound of pasta separately and strain. Add to soup once cooked and ready.

Enjoy, What’s your favorite winter soup? Hope you will enjoy this Wedding Soup recipe and that it keeps you warm on this cold winters day!

Fitness Tip: 1 cup of escarole is rich in fiber, vitamins K, A, and C. It can help aid in prevention of osteoporosis and hypertension. Dark leafy green vegetables like escarole may produce healthy eye health and prevent development of cancers.

Blessings, Michelle

 

 

Homemade Wedding Soup

Homemade Wedding Soup

 

Monday Morning workout Circuit with Michelle:Full Body strength and Cardio

Monday Morning workout Circuit With Michelle : Full Body strength and cardio workout

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Welcome to the Live Fit Community! I’m Michelle the creator and owner of Live Fit Fitness Personal training.

 For those who don’t know me I am reintroducing myself to the fitness industry. I have been away from Live Fit’s site for awhile. I am firstly a woman chasing after God’s heart, a wife to a wonderful man, a mother to three beautiful girls two on earth and to one beautiful Angel who is shining down on us from heaven.  In high school I ran Cross country, played basketball, and ran track. In college I ran cross country and track. I eventually went on to coach 400 and 800 runners. I have a bachelor’s in communications and worked in college admissions after graduating from college. Six years ago after the birth of my first baby I became extremely passionate about my health journey. I gained a lot of extra weight and was having trouble losing it. I never had trouble in the past being a avid runner and was feeling extremely discouraged. My clothes didn’t fit, at the time in our lives we had a treadmill and a few free weights, and I was at a cross roads. I made a decision to lose the extra weight I had gained. I didn’t buy a gym membership, or buy expensive equipment, I just researched workout plans and changed up my eating habits. Experiencing this low point made me feel such compassion for women who are struggling on their health journeys and motivated me to want to be able to help them. I started a fitness group at our local church, became a certified trainer and teach group aerobics. Over the last six years I have talked and encouraged countless women on their health journeys and am passionate about helping them meet their health and wellness goals. As a trainer I am extremely passionate about meeting women where they are at in life with whatever equipment I or they have to utilize.  I always say all it takes is short and long term goals, small steps, setting your mind to start (because that is the hardest part), a solid 6-8 week workout plan created that changes to meet your fitness needs, someone to hold you accountable, and to help you be consistent.

Join me on the Monday Morning Workout circuit with Michelle for a full body strength and cardio workout.  Abs are included! If you are looking for fit tips, daily encouragement, motivation, clean eating idea’s, and new exercise idea’s join the Live Fit Community. You can find us here on the blog by subscribing to get the latest post (entering your e-mail in the upper right hand corner), on instagram: @livefitfitness and on facebook: https://www.facebook.com/LiveFitWomensFitnessGroup

This Workout Circuit will include a full body strength routine, cardio drills , and abs to do in between each weight lifting circuit. Circuits are a great way to get cardio and strength training completed together to save time.

equipment needed: free weights, elastic band, timer.

If you don’t have weights, get creative. Use canned goods or water bottles. If you don’t have an elastic band you could use a scarf for resistance. Use the timer on your stove, iPhone, use music, or count to yourself.

Warm-up ( jog in place 3-5 minutes, or whatever you do to get your muscles nice and warm)

Once you are warm Perform the Bicep/triceps exercise. 8-15 reps depending on fitness level 3-4 sets. Give yourself 30-60 seconds to recover if you are training for endurance or 1:30-2:00 minutes recovery if you are looking to build lean muscle mass. Performing each exercise back to back in this circuit. Make sure you are exhaling on the up phase of the bicep curl to get oxygen to those working muscles and inhale as you relax. The same goes for the triceps kickbacks featured under the bicep curls. Exhale as you extend the weights back and inhale as you release the weights back to starting position. (During the tricep kickback make sure your back is flat and core tight. You don’t want to be all the way standing up or all the way bent over.To engage your core muscles focus on pulling your belly button toward your spine).

Bicep/Tricep

Bicep/Tricep

 Perform these three drills for 30 seconds: Butt Kicks, Jumping Jack, High knee’s 

Followed by abs (abs exercises are featured below): Start in Plank 30-60 seconds (all the way at the bottom of the page) Plank Tips-lift those abdominal to prevent low back from sagging, keep head, neck, and spine aligned, anchor shoulder blades to avoid from hunching , Mountain Climb 30-60 seconds and Twist your opposite elbow to your opposite knee while in plank position 30-60 seconds.  Keep your core tight, your shoulders over your hands, and go at your own pace. You can go all out with the mountain climbers or step and tap. Focus on form and technique if you are a novice exerciser. When twisting the knee to opposite elbow keep your shoulders over your hands and really focus on your obliques (sides of your abdominal muscles twisting across) Make sure to breathe and not hold your breath during abs.  

Abs

Abs

Grab water, Give yourself 30-60 seconds to recover while sitting in extended child and move to the next weight lifting circuit.

Lat row working the back muscles 8-15 reps of 3-4 sets. make sure your back is flat and core tight. You don’t want to be all the way standing up or all the way bent over.To engage your core muscles focus on pulling your belly button toward your spine. Squeezing the shoulder blades together exhaling as you come up and inhaling as you release the arms back down in front of your body. Push-up’s you can modify on you knee’s and over time work yourself up to a full body push-up. Listen to your body and push yourself as you get stronger. Make sure to engage your belly button keeping the core tight, not allowing the hips to sag and keeping a straight line from the head to the toes.

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Back/Chest

Perform these three drills for 30 seconds: Butt Kicks, Jumping Jack, High knee’s Followed by abs (abs exercises are featured below): Start in Plank 30-60 seconds (don’t let those hips sag and keep a nice straight line from head to toe. You can also modify here on your knee’s and build yourself up, Mountain Climb 30-60 seconds and Twist your opposite elbow to your opposite knee while in plank position 30-60 seconds. 

Grab water, Give yourself 30-60 seconds to recover while sitting in extended child and move to the next weight lifting circuit.

Shoulders. Perform this with most likely a lighter weight then the back/Bicep/and legs. 8-12 reps of 3-4 sets. Performing a lateral raise. Keep in mind to keep those hands in line with your shoulders and keep the neck in neutral (not squeezing your upper back when you raise up your weights here and staying nice and controlled when raising the weights). Shoulder fly You don’t want to be all the way standing up or all the way bent over.To engage your core muscles focus on pulling your belly button toward your spine. Slight bend in the arm squeezing your shoulder blades as you raise the weights up exhaling and inhaling as the weights come back down in front of you palms facing each other. Shoulder press. Keep your arms in a nice and controlled motion as you press up.

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Shoulders 

Perform these three drills for 30 seconds: Butt Kicks, Jumping Jack, High knee’s Followed by abs (abs exercises are featured below): Start in Plank 30-60 seconds (don’t let those hips sag and keep a nice straight line from head to toe. You can also modify here on your knee’s and build yourself up, Mountain Climb 30-60 seconds and Twist your opposite elbow to your opposite knee while in plank position 30-60 seconds. 

Grab water, Give yourself 30-60 seconds to recover while sitting in extended child and move to the next weight lifting circuit.

Legs. Perform each exercise 8-15 reps/3-4 times total. Weights are optional here. They bring up the intensity of the exercise. Squat, belly button is pulled in, driving the hips back, weight is in the heels and slowly come up slight bend in the supporting knee and perform a leg lift. Pile squat. Toes at a 45 degree angle pointing out and not forward. You can also perform bridges here. Working the glute muscle. Keep your hips square as you raise up to the ceiling, using a scarf, elastic band or resistance band is optional. It will bring up the intensity of the exercise

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legs

Glutes/Abs

glutes/abs

Perform these three drills for 30 seconds: Butt Kicks, Jumping Jack, High knee’s Followed by abs (abs exercises are featured below): Start in Plank 30-60 seconds, Mountain Climb 30-60 seconds and Twist your opposite elbow to your opposite knee while in plank position 30-60 seconds. 

Grab water, Give yourself 30-60 seconds to recover while sitting in extended child and Stretch 3-5 minutes. Make sure to hit all the large muscles that we utilized during this workout. Chest, Back, Tricep, Bicep,core, Hamstrings, quads, Inner and outer thigh and shoulders! Way To Go You just finished your workout and are one step closer to your health and wellness goals.

What are your favorite exercises to circuit? Thank you for joining me on the Monday Morning workout Circuit with Michelle:Full body Strength and cardio Workout!

 Blessings, Michelle

(Remember it’s always crucial to warm-up your body prior to working out and cool down the body, stretch once you have completed your workout. I am not liable to any injuries/health issues that result from exercises from this site. Consult with your healthcare provider before beginning any workout regimen. If you feel pain or any discomfort while exercising stop immediately. )

If you are looking for workout plans to specifically meet your goals and hectic lifestyle. Please fill out the form below and we can connect during a free 30 minute consultation. I train both Locally and online.

 

 

My Fit Pregnancy | A Recap

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I can remember riding in my dads F150 with him as we pulled into the local YMCA. He was heading to his forty and over basketball league. He would be playing basketball while I ran around a tiny indoor track, with my Walkman listening to ace of base.

My love for fitness started even before my running around the tiny indoor track at the Y. I often would roller blade pretending I was a ice skater in the basement or the best was seeing how many times I could ride my bike around my house. Their was the jump rope competitions in the basement between my brother, dad, and I. Late night games of pig and cow in the drive way in the intense humidity of late summer nights.

My dad often thought it was hilarious to go on an after dinner run with me on Sunday evenings. We would run around three miles, an out and back course. He would always turn around early and try to beat me. I would end up catching him and a few times we literally had a race off for the last 200 meters!

Fitness gave me discipline, routine, and motivation. It helps me plan my day. It helps me stay energized. It gives me focus. It helps me connect with God. It gives me a tiny sense of freedom in a world full of diapers, potty training, and bottles. It’s a habit and part of my everyday routine. When I don’t work out I am cranky, exhausted, and what I call out of sorts. It is my escape and the only ‘medicine’ I want to have to take during this lifetime.

I remember my father quoting this throughout my life on a frequent basis: “When you have your health, you have everything. It is a gift.”

Over the years my love for health and fitness not only grew but has become my passion. I yearn to help women incorporate fitness into a routine that they carry out for life LONGTERM. When I became pregnant with Angelina I wanted to journal my third pregnancy. I wanted all my baby girls to be able to look back and see my ever changing belly photo’s. I used my photo’s as motivation and they helped me stay on the path to a healthy pregnancy. I believe progress photo’s help similarly if you are trying to loose weight. The scale often does not reflect what is happening inside during a weight loss program or if you are trying to get into shape. Progress photo’s show gradual changes and give us such confidence to move forward on the journey of becoming more fit.

I am so glad that I tracked my photo’s. This was my third pregnancy and by far my best feeling pregnancy. I worked out almost to my 37th week and I felt fabulous. I ate so many vegetables, fruits, and nuts. I drank a lot of water and ate lots of steak :). I felt amazing and I was so excited that I gained 30lbs a healthy amount of weight and kept my blood pressure down. It was so important to me to care for my little peanut while she was growing inside. In my first pregnancy I did not take good care of myself and ended up delivering 5 weeks early and having hypertension.

Until the moment I gave birth. I lost that excitement in caring for my body due to my daughter who was born at 4lbs, 3oz. I just didn’t get it. Why was she so small? I kept asking myself: Did I eat enough calories, Did I overdue it even when I felt good exercising, Did I rest enough and many more thoughts circled through my mind. I was upset with myself for a long while. I felt like it was my fault that Angelina was born so small. I kept telling myself if she was only bigger she would be able to fight harder. You can read about our little fighter here:Angelina Hope

I continued to blame myself until I finally made it to my 6 week check up at my OBGYN. It was around 13 weeks and I looked at her and asked her: “Was it my fault, was it something I did or didn’t do?”

In that moment and her response I felt such a huge burden lifted of my chest. She said: ” Michelle in caring for you body the way you did, you did nothing but help Angelina come into this world happy and strong. She went on to tell me about studies that have been conducted on moms who work out during pregnancy and how much it benefits their babies. She told me that everything I did helped Angelina.

When Angelina was first born I blamed myself a lot. I now know that she was brought into this world to bring HOPE and for a specific purpose. I did nothing wrong, nothing I did or didn’t do would change how God created her and we are so quick to blame ourselves when things don’t go as planned in our lives.

Maybe it’s your family life, career, you aren’t content with where you are at in life currently, or a weight loss journey that you are on that feels like it’s spinning out of control. Know that ultimately God has his hand on each step of the journey. In each season he is molding us into who he ultimately wants us to be.

I have felt a lot of closure in this area lately. I feel happy to have done everything I could have done for Angelina while she was growing inside of me. I am feeling extremely blessed at what this little girl has shown us about life after only four short months and so excited to watch her grow.

I would love to help you turn fitness into LIVING FIT FOR LIFE! Stop blaming yourself in life and start living life healthier!

Blessings, Michelle

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Contact me today to start your affordable training plan and to Live Fit For Life

Motivation Monday: Start this week off with a healthy breakfast

Where does the weekend go seriously? Well I have really learned the hard way in the past. Working out hard and putting in my hours and not seeing results. That is when I realized how much diet and fitness work together. Our diet is just if not equally important as our fitness regimen. You want to be rewarded for your hard work by seeing results. Thats when I realized that my mom was right, It has to start with a healthy breakfast. Not with somedays, everyday. Consistency here is the key. Eating a healthy breakfast is the basis of any good and healthy routine in life.

If you have kids, or a crazy work schedule, believe me I get it. It’s hard to plan out your meals and I have fallen victim to starbucks, dunkin donuts, the big breakfast (oh man it’s good), countless times because I failed to plan. I also extend out grace on certain occasions, well because come on Starbucks is a nice treat. Most days I have gotten into the routine of making breakfast that provides lean protien, fiber, and carbs out to my kids. At first it was hard, I mean MOMMY, Mom, I NEED Water, I’m hungggery, I pooped(ya, gotta love my middle child so dramatic in the morning), I just want to throw anything I can at her because I feel a bit scattered brained and then I remember, hey I have to feed my kids healthy breakfast too!

It was also overwhelming to me when I got online to find out healthy idea’s that I could make quick for my husband and kids. I get asked a lot at the gym about my diet so I thought I would share breakfast on most days and my oatmeal trick with you:0

A few Tips why breakfast is important:

1. Eating breakfast starts us off on the right foot, helping us make better choices throughout the day
2. By skipping breakfast to cut back on calories, it could cause you to over eat at other meals
3. It helps balance your fitness regimen by fueling your workout
4. Helps control your hunger and keeps you from reaching an unhealthy mid-morning snack

A few things to incorporate with your breakfast:

1. Lean protien-holds you over longer and helps you feel full until lunch (eggs have the highest quality of protien-grab an omelet instead of a bagel!)
2. Fiber- helps digestion, decreases cholesterol, controls our blood sugar, and helps with weight loss
3. Complex carbohydrates- whole grains, veggies, fruits are high in essential vitamins and minerals. They contain fiber and polysaccharides(which require more energy to digest and are released into our blood stream slower). (USDA recommends 55-60% of our total caloric intake be from this form of carbohydrates). While only 10% is coming from simple carbohydrates. These are refined sugars, table sugar, low nutrient density food, honey, corn syrup.

We usually have this variety for breakfast:

chobani yogurt w. peanut butter and honey 100% whole wheat toast (smoothie mid-morning)
Malt o meal w. peanut butter and honey 100% whole wheat toast (smoothie mid-morning)
Omelet w. butter 100% whole wheat toast (smoothie mid morning)
Oatmeal w. nut mixture and a pinch of brown sugar (smoothie mid morning)

Below is a picutre of how, (If I know the week is going to be hectic) I store my oatmeal. I make a big batch on Monday and then I pull it out throughout the week warm it up and add some brown sugar and nuts. The kids love all of this!

Please share your idea’s below, on our Facebook page, Instagram, or twitter. I love getting new ideas and it’s healthy and good for our bodies to change up the foods we eat. #livefitin2014

Blessings, Michelle

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Tone it Tuesday

Hey live fit,

This is anther one of my go to moves. A cutesy squat with a lat row. Working the Glute muscles and lat muscles In the back. It’s great to alternate sides and get that heart rate pumping.

If you want to modify here: quarter squat or just take out the lat row.

If you are looking to tone 12-15 reps, 3-4 sets, if your weight seems light the last 3 reps of your last set then maybe it’s time to grab a set of heavier weights (3-5lbs).

Fit tip:machines in the weight room are great. Free weights give us the opportunity to use weights more functionally as we would doing our daily activities. They also are a great way to increase your heart rate.