GLUTES

EIGHT MINUTE GLUTES
This exercise will work your booty and you will be surprised at the burn from only eight minutes total. Keep that timer running!


30 seconds squat pulses
30 seconds squats (make sure to tuck your pelvis underneath and squeeze your glutes with each rise)
30 seconds leg lifts at three angles (30 seconds right leg each of the three spots, 30 seconds left leg each spot)

That’s four minutes per set.

Repeat 2-3x, the second time through with added weight or a resistance band above your knees, if you can.
*If you choose to do the third set, push to do 1 minute per leg for the leg lifts.
 

Meg's Spanish Hot Cocoa

Nothing cheers me up like hot cocoa... especially after being outside in the cold!

I've been trying to figure out a recipe for hot chocolate for two big reasons.

ONE, because it's alllll I've craved for the last part of this pregnancy (and I think the 7-11 down the street has my name memorized by now)... and

TWO, because as soon as I tried this hot cocoa, it took me RIGHT back to the days I lived in Spain when I studied abroad in college. We'd get a group of us students together and go treat ourselves to "chocolate con churros" at the restaurant across the street from the city park. If you've never had Spanish hot chocolate, you're in for a treat. It's rich, thick, and creamy, and you'll be satisfied with a smaller serving (because it's so rich!), but the chocolate taste is SO WORTH IT.

Fun part about this recipe, is that it's also dairy/gluten free for all you out there who need that too. You'll love it, and I hope it keeps you warm this winter season!

Ingredients:

Yields: 3 cups... so 3-4 servings

1 cups unsweetened vanilla almond milk *Califia Farms is my favorite brand by far!

1 (13.5 oz.) can lite coconut milk

1/3 cup dark chocolate chips *for all you dairy free peeps out there, substitute your favorite dairy free chocolate chips

1 Tbsp. + 1 tsp. natural cocoa powder (you can start with 1 Tbsp. and add from there)

a pinch of salt

1/2 - 1 tsp. vanilla extract

1/4 tsp. peppermint extract *optional

Instructions

1. Combine almond milk and coconut milk in a medium saucepan over medium heat and heat for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.

2. Add the chocolate chips and cocoa powder and whisk until smooth. Heat for another few minutes, stirring the whole time. The chocolate should melt and become smooth. It will be thick and creamy.

3. Add in your vanilla and peppermint extract, if you choose. Now it's ready to pour into your favorite mugs and ENJOY! Add desired toppings and serve!

*You can store this in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to one week. Just reheat when you are ready to serve.

*My husband enjoys this thinned out a little bit, and so I've also added more almond milk and regular milk to it before, and it's still been delicious!

ENJOY!

LEGS

Due ONE MONTH from today! Woot woot! Getting a tad bit excited over here. Here's a circuit that had my legs like jello this morning!! Repeat this circuit 3-4x through and 10 reps of each movement!

1. Squat holds... pause at bottom for a second or two before rising

2. Curtsy lunges into single leg deadlift, both sides

3. Weighted ski jumps

4. Mat hop-overs

5. Narrow squat bicep curl

6. Sumo squat weave-through

7. Squat jumps

That's it! 10 reps of each move for 3-4x through. BURN baby BURN.

Upper Body

UPPER BODY

You'll repeat this 3x through. 

First round 12-15 reps each movement (use heavier DB when possible!)

Second round 12-15 reps each movement

Third round 60 seconds (use lighter DBs if needed for this round!)

 

1. Tricep extension + pulls

2. Rows, each side

3. Unilateral front raises, each side (even 10# DBs will work you!)

4. DB swing - bring it all the way up

5. Push-up pulses... pause halfway down, and then finish full movement

6. Tricep dips with alternating leg kick

Kodiak Cakes Quiche

Okay quiche lovers, my family loved this one, and it was so simple. If you don't have Kodiak Cakes Mix on hand, you can also do it crustless... just be sure to spray that pie pan. But the crust added the perfect touch, and some extra protein. Here is a recipe you'll love.

And about this solo picture... we ate half the quiche the second it came out of the oven, and so this picture was snapped the next morning before I heated up another slice. I was so hungry I couldn't really wait to style it better than this, and so that's what you're going to get. Expect it to taste even better than this picture. ;)

Serves 6-8 depending on size of pie dish.

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INGREDIENTS

For crust:

  • 1-1/2 cups Kodiak Cakes Buttermilk and Honey Flapjack and Waffle Mix
  • 4 TBSP unsalted butter, chilled
  • 2 TBSP extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 cup ice water

For filling:

  • 8 oz. mushrooms, sliced
  • 1-2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 onion, diced
  • 3-4 oz. spinach
  • 2 oz. feta cheese
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 cup 1% milk
  • 1/4 cup parmesan
  • 1/2 cup mozzarella
  • salt and pepper, to taste

INSTRUCTIONS:

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Pour Kodiak Cakes mix into a bowl. Cut chilled butter through Kodiak Cakes mixture with two knives or pastry cutter until butter is in very small pieces. Add the olive oil, then add ice water slowly until dough comes together. You may not need to add all the water! I didn't! The crust dough should be sticky enough to hold together as a crust, but not gooey or too sticky. 

2. Roll out the crust and line your pie dish with a thin layer. I used a 9" and 2" deep pie dish, and it worked great. I like just a thin crust, and you may have some left over. Put in refrigerator and proceed.

2. Saute mushrooms, onions, and garlic, 2-3 minutes. Add the spinach and saute until wilted and combined. Add mixture to crust that has been chilled in refrigerator.

3. Top the warm mushroom mixture with feta cheese. In small separate bowl, whisk your eggs and milk and cheese together. Add the egg mixture to the crust. Top with additional mozzarella if you desire. 

4. Bake in oven at 350 degrees F for 45-55 minutes or until the top is slightly brown (I slightly overcooked my crust because I wasn't watching it close enough) and the eggs are cooked through. Add salt and pepper to taste. Enjoy warm!

Total Body

The "one-circuit wonder!" Today’s workout is perfect for you busy peeps with long to-do lists today. It is less than 7 minutes long, but if you are feeling like you’re able to repeat the circuit, then go for it! I’ve learned that working out is not always about quantity, or time, but quality. This is quality enough to make you feel accomplished for the day. 

  • -20 modified push-ups
  • -10 jumping squats
  • -20 ski jumps
  • -10 plyo lunges

20 second rest

  • -20 butt kick
  • -10 front kicks
  • -20 X Reaches
  • -10 modified push-ups

20 second rest

  • -20 lunges
  • -10 curtsy lunges
  • -20 lateral lunges, 10 each side
  • -20 head smashers, 10 on each side

20 second rest

  • -20 high knees
  • -10 plyo lunges
  • -20 jumping jacks
  • -10 squat pulses

Weekly Goal Sheet

If you've followed along for a while now, you know how much goal-setting is a part of my life, and how important it is to me. Each and every week with my clients, we make goals around a healthier lifestyle and we work toward them.  I wanted you to have access to the same goal sheet I use with them. Click on the link below to download or print for free!

Let me explain how this works.

At the top of the sheet is a place for three weekly goals. I let my clients choose ANYTHING THEY WANT and write them down. These goal can be anything from "30 grams or less of added sugar each day" to "clean out my car" to "exercise 5x this upcoming week." They can be physical, mental, spiritual, or miscellaneous goals.

In the boxes underneath labeled with the days of the week... this is where we write in our exercise plan. What we're going to do to get out and MOVE each day. I always plan in two rest days (usually Sunday and Wednesday), and then write in the rest of my week. It can be as complex as writing in your exact workout at the gym, to just "Arm day" or "TRX class." It helps to write things down and hold yourself accountable.

Underneath the chart are four rows of circles. These circles are circles we cross off once we've completed each of the four categories to the side: "EXERCISE," "UPLIFT," "NUTRITION," and "SLEEP." Once you've exercised for the day, you cross off or fill in the circle. "Uplift" is for anything that is going to boost your mental/spiritual health. This can be anything from doing 3 positive affirmations each day, to scripture, to meditation, to prayer, to listening to an uplifting podcast, to finding five minutes to sit and breathe. Whenever you feel you've done something to uplift your day, you cross that off. "Nutrition" can be crossed off when you've done your best to be conscious of your food choices throughout the day. If you have a more specific nutrition goal for the week, you can cross it off if you've completed it. In order to cross off the "sleep" circles, it means you've gotten in 7-9 hours of sleep each night. Sleep is the best supplement! Your body needs it to fully recover, and it's the reason I stress the importance of it with my clients.

I hope you this will help you to get organized and turn your goals into action. Good luck and let me know if you have questions!

German Pancakes

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Ingredients:

1 egg

4 egg whites

1/2 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk

1/4 tsp. salt

1 Tbsp. coconut oil

3/4 cup Energy packed Kodiak Cakes Flapjack and Pancake Mix

**(for a fun pumpkin version... which is amazing... do 1/2 cup of the regular energy packed Kodiak Cakes mix + 1/4 cup Pumpkin Flax energy packed Kodiak Cakes mix... SO good!)

Instructions:

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. In 8x8 baking pan, melt 1 Tbsp. coconut oil. Blend all other ingredients for 3 minutes in a high speed blender. Pour into hot dish and bake for 20 minutes. DONE.

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GLUTES

Please try this! Best glutes circuit of the week! Grab your heavy resistance band, put it right above your knees, and get to work!

1. One minute banded steps, moving in a backwards/forwards zig zag pattern

2. One minute banded side steps, left to right

3. Airplane squat pulses, 8-10 reps each leg. These look funny, but HOLY cow they are hard and burn like mad. Keep the leg in the air pulled outward away from your body as much as possible while doing 8-10 squat pulses on standing leg. Switch sides.

4. 30 seconds banded jump squats

5. One minute of this pattern: 4 banded forward marches + 2 lateral marches on each side

Repeat 2-3x through. You are welcome to modify the amount of time for each move, if it gets too difficult. Good luck!

Instant Pot Tortilla Soup

Another favorite of mine for these cooler days breezing in. A super easy, throw-it-all-in type of dinner that nobody will be complaining about.

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Ingredients: 

Serves 6-8: (1 - 1.5 cups = one serving)

1/2 white onion, diced

1 (4-oz) can diced green chilis

2 cans corn, drained

6 cups chicken broth

2 frozen boneless, skinless chicken breasts

pepper to taste

1/2 tsp. smoked paprika

1 tsp. oregano

1 tsp. minced onion

1/4 tsp. chili powder

Juice from 1 squeezed lime 

*optional: sour cream, Plain Greek Yogurt, avocados

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Instructions:

Combine all ingredients into your Instant Pot. Set on manual/high for 40 minutes. When done, let naturally release for 15 minutes and then manually release steam until lid is ready to open. Shred the chicken (this should be EASY), and serve while warm. Add a spoonful of Greek yogurt/sour cream and avocados to top, if desired.

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Instant Pot Fall Tortellini Soup

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Yields: 6 servings

Ingredients:

1-2 Tbsp. olive oil

1/2 large white onion, peeled and chopped

1 red bell pepper, seeded and chopped

4 oz. mushrooms, chopped

3 large carrots, chopped

4 garlic cloves

2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts

6 cups chicken broth

1 tsp. parsley

1/2 tsp. oregano

1 tsp. thyme

1/2 tsp. crushed red pepper

8 oz. package Tortellini

1 cup mozzarella cheese

1/3 cup heavy cream

1 cup packed spinach, 2 cups loosely packed spinach

salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

In Instant Pot, drizzle your olive oil. On "Saute" mode, saute onions, bell pepper, mushrooms, carrots, and garlic for 3-4 minutes or until soft.

Add chicken, broth, seasonings, and set on soup mode for 30 minutes. Let it do it's thing. 

While cooking, grab a pot of water and bring to boil. Cook tortellini according to package directions. Usually the cooking time is 5-9 minutes or so. Drain water and set aside.

Once soup is done in Instant Pot, add tortellini to the soup and stir in your heavy cream, spinach, and mozzarella cheese. Add salt and pepper to taste. Let sit for a few minutes before serving. 

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LEGS

After saying five kind things about that body you have, begin this circuit. Your body will thank you back. 12 reps of each move. Repeat 3-4x through.

1. Weighted step cross-overs, side to side equals ONE rep, 12 each leg

2. Banded step squat jumps, 12 reps

3. Banded donkey kicks, 12 reps each leg

4. Weighted bulgarian split squats, 12 each leg

5. Pistol squats to chair (or to a lower step for more advanced!), 8-12 each leg

Rest and repeat. Enjoy!