The Weekly Grub + a HIIT Workout

Hello! How was your weekend (Note: I meant to post this yesterday, just roll with it for me ok? Thanks)? I went to bed on Sunday feeling very rejuvenated, grateful and hot (it’s 104 here!). We stayed local and enjoyed all the activities around us, which was nice for a change. Saturday was spent on the lake, speeding around on a jet ski. It felt so nice to be back on the water- where I grew up. I will always be a lake girl at heart. I ventured over to Napa on Sunday to bike through the rolling hills with a friend. My legs appreciated the inclines and my eyes enjoyed the beautiful scenery. It’s amazing how much more you notice your surroundings when on foot or bike. Sunday ended with a delicious dinner, an ice cream run and the Game of Thrones season finale.

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Evening walks
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Jet skiing adventures!

We have both been traveling so much, together and apart, that our weekly meal plan has been neglected. When Kevin leaves, I revert back to eating a veggie mush or eggs every night for dinner as a way to make sure we use everything in the fridge. As much as he tolerates and mostly enjoys the vegetables I make for us, the fridge’s leftover vegetable scraps aren’t necessarily his jam. Since we have a break from traveling, I was able to meal plan and even do some prep for this week! It felt wonderful to get back into the swing of things. 

This Week’s Grub

  • Sunday: Grilled zucchini taco boats (recipe coming soon!)
  • Monday: Red snapper fish tacos with a mango salsa + corn
  • Tuesday: Grilled sausage + corn, cucumber and cauliflower salad
  • Wednesday: Picnic in the Park (Farmer’s market, live music & food vendors=Night off from cooking!)
  • Thursday: Chinese chicken salad
  • Friday: Pizza night! It’s our current weekly themed meal and has been quite fun!
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Taco stuffed zucchini boats
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Cauliflower, cucumber and tomato salad
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Fish Tacos

I’ve been doing more HIIT (high intensity interval training) workouts recently, because they are more time efficient. Research shows that if you really push and perform this method correctly (you should be going all out) you get the same positive health benefits in a fraction of the time as moderate-intensity (ex: steady state cardio) exercise. I also like that you are constantly switching exercises and get more variety in your workout. However, if you haven’t been regularly physically active, I don’t recommend jumping right into this type of exercise at 100% effort. Take things slower and listen to your body, then slowly increase the intensity.

HIIT Bodyweight Workout

30 seconds work, 30 seconds rest between exercises, 1 minute rest between rounds X 3-4 rounds. There are links for some of the exercises!

Tip: To ensure that I am truly pushing myself, I like to set a goal before each exercise. If I meet that goal, I keep going and set my goal higher for the next round. If I don’t meet it, I just try harder the next round.

  1. Push-Ups (get that chest to the floor!)
  2. Floor touch jump squats– focus on sitting your hips back and landing softly
  3. Crossover mountain climbers
  4. Push-Up to side plank
  5. Switch lunges
  6. Hollow rocks
  7. Shoulder taps
  8. Skaters
  9. Plank jacks
  10. Jumping jack toe touches

Try it and let me know what you think!!

Get Movin’ Pal

It’s safe to say things got a little crazy around here the last few weeks. There was lots of traveling for work and play, birthdays, wedding events, work events, family BBQ’s and not enough blogging. During the first week of the craziness, I was trying to find time to set aside to write a post. I would look at my schedule and convince myself I could squeeze in some time here and there. Then I asked myself, why am I doing this? As much as I enjoy writing, having some “me” time and just walking or reading to keep my sanity sounded much better. So I said, let’s lower the bar and take a break. But guess what? I’m back!!

Luckily, I have a pretty awesome job where I get to constantly learn about health and wellness. During this recent crazy time in my life, I attended the annual American College Health Association conference in San Francisco. Basically, I spent 5 days nerding out about new health and wellness research and best practices in college health promotion. I soaked up tons of new information and ideas, but the main thing that stuck with me was the negative impact sedentary behavior has on our bodies and how we can motivate individuals to decrease sedentary behavior.

The majority of public health campaigns have focused on increasing physical activity. That’s great! But it’s not enough. We need to reduce sedentary behavior. Sit less, move more. This really hit home for me. Sure, having a sweaty, heart pumping workout for 60 minutes is awesome, but you know what’s not so awesome? Sitting for the rest of your day. I’m not saying that your exercise doesn’t matter, but research is showing that it does matter less if you are sedentary for the rest of the day.

But Shantille, I have to sit at work for 8 hours a day. Yes, many jobs (including mine) require that we sit for most of our work day. Unfortunately, we can’t really get around that. However, even small increments of movement such as standing up during a phone call or meeting can add up and reduce the deleterious effects of sedentary behavior has on our health. The conference schedule had 30 minute breaks between sessions. My first thought when seeing this was, “Can’t we have shorter breaks and just get done earlier in the day?” By the end of the week, I realized that I really actually enjoyed those longer breaks, because it gave me time to move. Rather than sitting and perusing social media or email, I told myself to go walk. I ended up logging about 16,000 steps a day…at a conference! I was shocked.

We need to stop saying we can’t. Instead, we need to capitalize on opportunities or find opportunities to move. Prioritize your health. Since coming back from the conference and adjusting to being at a desk most of the day, I have some tips that I started using to reduce my sedentary behavior:

  • Schedule an alarm on your computer to go off every hour to tell yourself to get up and move for 5 minutes. You can go on a short walk around the building, go refill your water glass, do some stretches, go say hi to a coworker, head up and down some stairs. Just move for 5 minutes.
  • Request walking meetings with your coworkers. I take notes on my phone when I do this and email them to myself.
  • Instead of calling a coworker in the same building, walk to their office.
  • Subscribe to UCLA’s Move Mail! You get emails sent to you at 10am and 2pm daily with office friendly exercises: http://www.recreation.ucla.edu/fitwell#168711080-movemail
  • Are you in charge of planning a long meeting or training? Schedule stretching/walking breaks into the agenda.
  • Lead by example. Ya sure, people might think you are weird when you are the only one standing in a meeting. Eventually though, you will start to influence others. You will be that annoying “healthy” person. Embrace it.
  • Invite others to take 15 minute walking breaks with you. I am terrible about taking my 15 minute breaks. I get caught up in something and completely forget. If I schedule a walk during my break with a coworker then I’m held accountable and take my break to move.

Do you have any tips that you use to be less sedentary during your work day? I would love to hear about them below!