Change Your Choices

Change Your Life…Tips for a healthier you

New Workouts!



I’ve been stuck in a rut at the gym.  I teach cycle 2 days a week, lift weights 2-3 days and maybe some walking or running tossed in.  Problem is, I do pretty much the same thing everyday and it was getting dull.  I also didn’t have sore muscles for a while so either I was in top-notch shape or I wasn’t challenging myself enough.

I looked through some magazines, pulled out the Big Book of Exercises and did some searching online.  I found a couple of routines that looked intriguing and gave them a try.  Both of these routines incorporate cardio and WOW!  I found out that I was not in top-notch shape and in fact, I needed to push myself.  If you are having trouble pushing yourself, I suggest either getting some workout DVD’s, look on You Tube, or join a class at the gym. And…don’t give up!

The first routine is from a blog called “A Better Bag of Groceries.”  It is written by Melissa, who happens to work for Nu Val.  I changed the routine a bit, this is original Go to Melissa’s blog to see videos of each movement, I need to upgrade this blog to embed videos and I’m not ready to do that yet!

The first time I did this workout, I did all jump roping during the cardio portion and my calves hurt for a week so I switched it up, feel free to use your own cardio but be sure to do it, this really keeps your heart pumping!   Here’s my version:

Warm Up– 5 minutes of walking, running, rowing, cycling, stair climbing or jump roping (though you will get plenty of that coming up!)

Jump Rope for 30 seconds (I don’t use a rope, it’s easier and more efficient without it!)

The original workout has 2 minutes of each strength move.  My goal was 2 minutes, my actual might be closer to 90 seconds.  I also had to decrease my weights when I got going because this is a lot of reps.


Clean and Press- 2 minutes (or so)

Your option to go to tip-toes. I choose not!

Cardio- jump rope, running, rowing, cycling, burpees, jumping jacks.   Your choice for 1 minute.  Sometimes I do :30 of two different moves

Seated Row with band- see video.  This can also be done with weights if you don’t have a band. Goal- 2 minutes 

Seated Row with Band

Cardio- your choice 1 minute

Whew!  Time to take a quick drink of water

Chest Fly– this can be done on a bench or floor, I use the ball for some extra credit. Head and shoulders resting on ball, keep hips pressed up to give your glutes and hams something to do.

Chest fly on ball

Cardio- your choice 1 minute

T-Raises- look at the video, adjust weights as needed, this could be tough on your rotator cuff if you are too heavy.  Otherwise switch to upright rows with dumbbells or band.

Upright row

Cardio- Your choice 1 minute.

**Don’t give up!  Take a drink and keep going!

Bicep Curl with Band  or dumbbells– I gobetween band and dumbbells each workout just to keep it interesting.  Be sure to keep your knees soft, elbows in and don’t grasp the band or dumbbell tightly.  Think about your bicep doing the work, not your hand or forearm.

Bicep curl with band

Cardio- Yes!  1 more minute of cardio

Skull Crushers- Don’t let the name scare you.  And don’t crush your skull!  This can be done on a bench but I prefer to use the ball to once again work my glutes and hams.  Concentrate on your tricep (back of upper arm-yuk!).  Your shoulders and back will try to help but don’t let them.  You will  never get rid of those bat wings unless you make them work.

Skull crushers. This can also be done on a bench or mat.

Cardio- Last 1 minute!

V-Sit– the original workout has knee tucks on the ball, I prefer v-ups. I do :30 active and hold :30 and then do it again. I don’t use weights but might add them later.

If you still have time, do all the strength moves one more time, eliminating the cardio.  I do 10 reps of each as a quickie set.  I also do a squat/lunge series as I need more leg/hip/butt work!

Follow up with a good stretching session. Do this every other day.  I do cardio (cycling or running) on the in between days.

Ahhhhhh…….time to hit the shower!




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I Can’t Believe I’m Eating This!

I tried a new recipe last night and as I was making it,  realized that most of the ingredients were things I would have refused to eat 2 years ago.  Kale?  Tofu? Tomatoes?  Zucchini? eeewww…..I have really been pushing the boundaries to eat lighter and healthier.

This recipe comes from  The Nu Val scores are in parentheses, if you aren’t familiar with Nu Val, it is a nutrition rating system from 1-100 with 100 being the healthiest.  The scores on this fritatta are amazing!  And…only 130 calories in a serving.  Wow.  This eating veggies thing just might work out!

For you tofu haters- the tofu is blended, you won’t even notice it!

Italian Tofu Frittata

1 cup chopped onion (93)                       4 cloves minced garlic (91)

1 cup diced zucchini (99)                          1 cup diced red bell pepper (96)

2 cups finely chopped kale (99)              1 cup chopped fresh tomato (96)

1/4 cup reduced sodium chicken or vegetable broth

2 tbs red wine vinegar                               5 oz. firm light tofu, drained

1 cup Egg Beaters or 4 egg whites (59)

1 tbl. dried Italian seasoning

1/4 tsp tumeric

salt and pepper to taste

Heat 2 tbl. broth in large skillet. When broth begins to steam, add onion, garlic, zucchini, bell pepper, kale, and tomato.  Sautee for 1 minute over medium low heat, stirring often.

Add remaining broth and red wine vinegar.

Puree  tofu, egg whites, and seasonings in a blender until smooth, pour over vegetables.  Cover and cook over low heat until mixture is firm and cooked, about 12 minutes.  Serves 4

This is how the veggies look when steaming

Let’s look at the nutrition info:

Calories- 130

Calories from fat- 30

Protein- 12 grams

Fiber- 4 grams

It is also rich in Vitamins A, C, and K.

All this food is just 130 calories! Lots of nutrition plus low-calorie and easy to make. This one is a winner.

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