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Last month I did a 7-day plank challenge. It was a lot of fun and of course, challenging (duh!).

I set the goal at the beginning to finish the challenge and really push myself. I am happy to say I did both and I had fun along the way!

If you have ever thought about doing a fitness challenge I would suggest starting with a 7 or 10 day one. Set a goal or 2 before you start and look at it each day. It can be something small or big!

I am almost done with my 4th challenge! It’s a TRX one (check it out on IG!). I love it! And that right there makes it worth doing. Plus, I am learning new exercises along the way!

So go for it! Find a challenge, big or small, set some goals and have fun!

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SMART Goals

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It’s a new month! Have you thought about setting a new goal? What about using the SMART goal method? (Specific, measurable, attainable, realistic and timely). I can tell you from personal experience that it works! SMART goals help to ensure that your goal is reasonable and attainable. You can address any issues you may have towards your goal while also increasing motivation and come up with steps you can use to achieve your goal. Having steps in place will help take the guesswork out of how you will achieve your goal and what you will need to get there.

I don’t know about you, but writing my goals down on paper really helps me be successful! I like to have them out where I can see them often. This doesn’t mean you have to have them out where EVERYONE can see them! It can be on your nightstand, in a notebook you use everyday, in your car, or anywhere else you will see them multiple times a day. If you are the type of person that needs to be held accountable then find a friend you can share your goals with. You can ask them to ask you about them frequently or you could check in with them weekly.

This is a great time to reach for what you have been wanting. It’s a new month. A new week. Set a goal. Dream big. Reach deep. And go for it. You. Got. This.

Gluten free Crispy Quinoa Bites

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A few weeks ago I made these yummy gluten free crispy quinoa bites (from gluten-free and vegetarian). I have been meaning to stay updated on my blog but my life has been SO busy! No excuse! So here is the recipe, I hope you all enjoy!

Ingredients:

1/2 cup uncooked quinoa

1/2 cup uncooked black rice

2 large eggs

1 cup chopped green onions

1 cup mozzarella cheese

3 garlic cloves, minced

1/2 cup fresh basil, finely chopped

1/3 cup grape tomatoes, diced

1/2 tsp sea salt

1/2 tsp ground pepper

1 tsp chili powder

2 cups pasta sauce for serving

1. Cook quinoa and rice according to package directions. Prepare muffin pan with nonstick baking spray.

2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

3. In a large bowl, combine cooked quinoa and rice with remaining ingredients, except pasta sauce; mix well to combine. Transfer quinoa and rice mixture to prepared muffin pan. Using a Tbsp, fill each muffin cup to the top, then using a spatula, press down on the mixture to create a flat surface.

4. Bake for 20 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from oven; set aside to cool for 15 minutes. Using a tsp, gently remove rice and quinoa snacks from the muffin cups.

5. Transfer to a serving platter; serve with pasta sauce for dipping.

Working out too close to bedtime

Do you work out in the evening? Have you ever felt geared up because of this when trying to go to sleep?

There are reasons why you shouldn’t work out so close to bedtime. Although, for some people it isn’t a problem (I envy them!). Your body needs time to bring itself back down to its “resting state” after you workout. How does it do that?

Well, here are a few things that happen:

-increase in oxygen intake

-decrease heart rate

-balancing your hormones

-replenish fuel

that can take a few hours! If you find yourself needing to get a workout in close to bedtime try some yoga, Pilates, or a quick walk. Try to avoid interval or circuit training or doing heavy lifting!

Grain-free, cookie dough energy bites

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On Friday nights we have family movie night and we like to have a treat. I try to find healthier versions of our favorites. It doesn’t always happen, but I try! Tonight was a success! I found these little gems on fooddoodles.com. My family devoured them! I hope you guys enjoy them too!

Ingredients:

1/2 cup natural peanut butter

1/4 cup honey

1 tsp vanilla extract

pinch of sea salt

1 1/2-1 3/4 cup unsweetened shredded coconut, ground in a blender or food processor

1/2-3/4 cup chocolate chips

1. Gently warm the pb and honey if needed and stir together. Add the vanilla and sea salt and stir well.

2. Measure and then grind the coconut just until finely ground. Add the coconut to the pb mixture and stir well adding as much as needed up to 1 3/4 cups. The mixture will be sticky.

3. When completely combined, add any extras add-ins (choc chips, nuts, dried fruit, etc) and stir in. Cool the mixture before adding chocolate chips if it’s still warm as the chips will melt.

4. Chill in the fridge for 30 minutes or until firm enough to handle. Or refrigerate overnight and remove from the fridge for 30 minutes or so until soft enough to roll into balls. Scoop spoon sized pieces and roll into balls.

5. Place in a container and store in the fridge until ready to enjoy.

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Comparing ourselves to others is a bad habit a lot of us are guilty of (I know I’ve done it!). It brings on feelings of depression and unworthiness.

There was a time where I would look at others girls in the gym and wonder “why do I even bother? I will ever look like that!” Realizing I was having these thoughts was like a slap in the face! How did I get here? What made me feel like I had to compete with other women?

I began to jot down things about myself that I liked. At first I felt awkward. But as I continued to jot things down each day it got easier and I felt better about myself, slowly but it did happen! These other women hadn’t been through the exact same experiences I had, they had their own struggles. There is no one else out there identical to me! And that is when it happened. I stopped comparing myself to others and started competing with myself.

And that is such a great feeling. I hope that those of you struggling with this same issue read these and know that you are amazing. No one else compares to you. Because, well, there is only one you!

Romanian Deadlifts

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Tonight I want to talk about Romanian deadlifts (RDL). These are amazing for your glutes and hamstrings.

To start off stand up straight with a moderate weight dumbbell in each hand with your arms at your sides and knees bent slightly.

Keep your arms straight and knees slightly bent, slowly bend at the hips (think of a hinge) and not at the waist. Lower the weights as far as you can without rounding your back, which should remain flat. Think about scraping the weights down your shins.

To pull yourself up, squeeze your glutes and slowly pull up. Do not use your back!

When first trying an RDL start with a lighter weight and work your way up. And enjoy the tight backside you will be rewarded with!