Monthly Archives: November 2012

Aerial Silks Training in Florida!!

Winter has arrived in full force here in North Dakota, so that means that I need to get my southern butt back down to sunny Florida!  I just booked my airline tickets for February, and I’ll be heading down there to soak up some sun and FINALLY learn aerial silks and hammock yoga!
Aerial silks collage

For those of you who do not know what aerial silks are, here is a definition (the pictures say more than the words) of Aerial Silks according to Wikipedia:  Aerial silk (also known as aerial contortion, aerial ribbons, aerial silks, aerial tissues, fabric, ribbon, or tissu, depending on regional preference)[1] is a type of performance in which one or more artists perform aerialbatic acrobatics while hanging from a special fabric. Performers climb the suspended fabric without the use of safety lines, and rely only on their training and skill to ensure safety. They use the fabric to wrap, suspend, fall, swing, and spiral their bodies into and out of various positions. Aerial silks may be used to fly through the air, striking poses and figures while flyingAerial silks are an incredibly demanding art and require a high degree of strength, power, flexibility, courage, and grace to practice.


It all sounds and looks pretty neat huh!?!

Aerial silks is something that I have had my eye on and have wanted to try for a few years now, and this winter I finally have the chance to learn all I can in this neat art!  I am truly just beyond excited to finally learn aerial silks.  As you can see from the pictures above it looks like a ton of fun and amazing experience.  Who doesn’t want to swing around and do fun tricks?  Not to mention that silks are a great form of fitness.

One of the fitness studios I took lessons at, Vixen Fitness in Orlando, Florida, started teaching aerial silks right after we moved to North Dakota, and I’ve been dying to go back and learn silks for a few years now, so I decided there is no time like the present (especially since it is freezing here in the winter).


AllisonVixen Fitness in Orlando, Florida is such a great place to take lessons.  Not only do they have aerial silk classes, but they offer a ton of other classes ranging from Spinning to advanced pole.  I first went to Vixen for pole fitness classes.  I would have to say that pole fitness is the hardest fitness class I have ever done when it comes to using your arms and core strength.  Of course, I was sucked in immediately and wanted to learn as much as I could.  This brought me to private lessons with Allison.

Allison is a professionally trained dancer and was a National Junior Olympic gymnast as a child. In 2005 she discovered “aerial arts” and instantly became addicted when she realized she was able to combine the strength and grace of gymnastics with the expression of dance.

Allison was kind enough to teach me as much as she could as fast as she could.  She is an amazing instructor, and I highly recommend her to anyone.  Plus she is beyond sweet and totally supportive about anything and everything you could ever want to learn.  Therefore, I will be doing my one-on-one aerial silks training with her during my 5 days in Florida.  Allison understands how much I want to learn in those few days, and is ready to teach me all that she can.  She has even suggested that we video tape everything, so that I have something to work from when I return home.  If it is not too embarrassing I might share some videos with y’all.  I cannot wait to get to Florida!

Allison also has her own website with online pole lessons.  Online Pole Lessons is an amazing website with great lessons in which a beginner can learn the art of pole from their own home.


On top of aerial silk training I will be doing hammock yoga training with Allison at Yoga Girls Studio in Orlando, Florida.  Hammock yoga is another class that came to Orlando right after I moved (I have all the luck right!?!).  There are so many benefits to hammock yoga…Many newcomers enjoy working with the sling because with the help of gravity there is very little pressure or stress on the joints, especially the spine. Inversions are accessed easily with no strain on the neck, back, or shoulders.  Gravity eases you into optimal alignment with very little effort, and deep postures can be accessed through relaxation and deep breathing. The relaxation response is heightened by the unique sensations accessed in aerial yoga.


Hanging in the sling makes your core muscles fire. It is so much fun you don’t even realize what a great workout you’re getting. Transitioning in and out of the aerial yoga postures builds upper body strength, and resting in the postures heightens relaxation for a balanced effort overall.

Aerial Yoga was designed for anyone of any age or fitness level. Complete beginners to yoga and/or aerial will be right at home.

Check out the video below to learn and see more about hammock yoga.

My long term goal is to bring hammock yoga back to North Dakota!  I know so many people who would love and benefit from the classes.  You have to admit you want to give it all a try just after looking at the photos and video.

Thankfully, I have a few months before I cram as much training in as I can.  I’m going to need that time to strengthen my core and upper body, since I won’t be able to stay and take classes over an extended period at the studios like the lucky people who live in Orlando.  Instead, I’m going to be learning as much as I can in just a few days.  I already know that I will be using my core and arms to control my movements the most and they will need to be in great working order come February.  So…you will see a lot more core and upper body workouts posted in the Workout page.

And…here is the core workout I did yesterday in between my spinning classes.  I’ve also included links to a couple of the abdominal exercises that you might not have heard of or are unsure of.

Get Those Abs


Boy do I have something fun to share with y’all today! It is Yonanas!! I just love saying the name.


This wonderful machine totally rocks when it comes to turning frozen fruit into soft serve. That’s right! It turns frozen fruit into the consistency of soft serve ice cream. So, if you are looking for a fun way to get your kids (or yourself Smile) to eat their fruit this is a great way! Plus it is super easy to use, pull apart, and is dishwasher safe (It doesn’t come into my house unless I can put it in the dishwasher).

All you need is some frozen fruit. You can freeze your own or buy some frozen fruit in the freezer section at your local grocery store. You then put the frozen fruit in the tube and use the plunger to push it through the machine. It is so easy! Even my 7 year old son can do it, and he had a ton of fun doing it too!


Then, the Yonanas machine blends the frozen fruit and turns it into soft serve! I was skeptical at first, but it came out perfect. For our first try my son wanted banana and strawberry swirl. He isn’t one for trying something easy first. We put frozen sliced strawberries and bananas through the machine, and we got our strawberry banana swirl!!


I was next!! Since blending worked so well for my son, I decided to blend some fruit together myself. My choice: blueberry, banana, pineapple swirl! It came out perfectly and I loved the combination. My bowl of swirled fruit had a total of 3 servings of fruit. My son ended up eating 6 servings of fruit by the time we were finished! Our next plan is to freeze Greek yogurt in an ice cube tray and put the frozen cubes of yogurt through the Yonanas machine along with the fruit. It doesn’t say that you can do this, but I love experimenting!


I honestly love this machine! It is such a great way to make eating fruit fun, and there are no added sweeteners at all! This is all 100% fruit and nothing else! I know it will be getting a lot of use in our household, and I bet you will love it too! Yonanas is available at your local Target, Walmart, and Bed Bath and Beyond.

Well, I can’t post without putting something workout related into it, so here is a 30 minute elliptical workout I did last week, but haven’t gotten around to posting yet (sorry). I tend to turn my elliptical time into a spinning routine, so there are some sprints thrown into this one. Enjoy!
30 Minute Elliptical with sprints

A Friend in Need

Injuries from running and/or training suck!  We have all been there, and we all pissed and moaned our way through our recoveries.  Some of us…myself for example…may choose to attempt to ignore the injury and just keep going.  I did this with a knee injury once and learned my lesson quickly.


My good friend Kim (a distance runner who has already done 3 half marathons!) got some bad news a few weeks ago.  She has two different tears in her meniscus and has to have surgery.  I wish I could go down to Florida and be there for her surgery, because she is quite nervous.  Please send a lot of good and positive thoughts her way…she could really use them.  Also, pray that she stops making her injury worse!  Yesterday she called me up to tell me how she decided to do some squats, “because I had to workout.”  Needless to say she was telling me how much that hurt her.  Did I mention that Kim is a runner too?  Yup, that woman is going to need to be chained down, because I know she is out there still trying to do her cardio.

A quick question for everyone…Has anyone torn their meniscus or knows someone who has?  If so, could you please comment here about it.  Kim would love to learn as much as she can about what they went through before and after their surgery before her own surgery.  Thank you!

Kim asked me to post another upper body workout, so she can do something in the workout department that doesn’t involve her legs.  So, for Kim and anyone else out there with lower body injuries, or if you just want to work your upper bodySmile…Here is an upper body workout to keep you happy and keep your lower body injuries from getting worse.  There is a cardio option for this workout that involves using your lower body (don’t do it KimSmile).  I also have a few other upper body workouts on my workouts page.
Rock That Upper Body

Bootie Buster Challenge

I have had such a great week when it comes to working out!


I have to give credit to Tina Reale’s Best Body Boot Camp and the Holiday Bootie Busterburpee Challenge.  These two fitness challenges have kept me motivated and happy all week.  The workouts Tina gave us this week were good.  Nothing like over 100 burpees to keep you going and feeling motivatedSmile!  I feel like I should own a t-shirt that says…”I survived the Burpee Challenge”.  My body is loving the challenge and so am I.  However, I may be saying some 4 letter words while doing themSmile.


The Holiday Bootie Buster Challenge is making working out and eating healthy more fun than it has ever been, and I must admit I’m more motivated to work out and eat healthy with this challenge.  This challenge is about keeping you motivated to stay active during the winter and holidays.  The best thing about this challenge is that you don’t even have to take classes at a gym, or even go to the gym. You can count those workout videos and other workouts you do at home too! Plus this challenge has a ton of great prizes!!

The challenge is divided into groups based on your workout levels:

  • Low Profile:5K, 10K, cardio class master (includes CrossFit)
  • Cushioned:Half marathon/marathon/distance biking
  • Stability:Half Ironman or more
  • Minimalist: Yoga/Weight lifting

You should expect to continue earning points for activity in any area,cross training, but by selecting your primary activity throughout the challenge you can be more competitive for the top points prizes.

And here is a breakdown of the points you earn…


cleaning-girl-cleanI swear I have turned into a kid when it comes to earning points.  I want to do whatever I can to earn as many points in a day as I can.  It makes me so happy to earn a point for something.  For example, those bonus cleaning points that I told you about in yesterday’s post….I was happy to clean, and I was looking forward to cleaning because I was going to earn a point for every hour I spent cleaning.  Oh how I wish I could earn points and possibly get prizes for cleaning all year round.Smile


Thanksgiving was the first day that I earned a point for eating all my fruit and veggies (5-7 servings)!!  It has been hard to get at least 5 servings a day.  Not getting any points in that category for 3 days straight really bugged me.  We always have fruits and veggies with our meals in our home, but I had no idea we were lacking several servings each day.  I posted about this on the Holiday Bootie Buster Facebook Page and received a ton of ideas from everyone.  I’m now preplanning the fruits and veggies my family will eat each day, and I’m also back to making my protein smoothies.  I cannot believe that I completely forgot about all the fruit I put in one smoothie.  So, yesterday I made myself a post workout protein smoothie, and here is the recipe!!  For all you Holiday Challenge girls this baby has a total of 3 servings of fruits/veggies!!!

Power Protein Smoothie

Power Protein Smoothie

  • 1/2 c frozen blueberries
    1/2 c frozen sliced strawberries and sliced bananas combined
    1 c baby spinach…regular would work fine too
    6 oz. Greek yogurt (you can choose the flavor or just plain)
    1 scoop protein powder
    1 T ground flax seed (optional)
    milk (enough to allow everything to blend)

Place everything in your blender and blend!  You will have a healthy protein packed smoothie for before or after your workout.

HBBC Points as of 11/24/12

  • Spinning:  28
    Weight Lifting and core work:  7
    Yoga:  8
    Pilates:  4
    WOW:  1
    Fruits/Veggies:  3
    Bonus:  10
    Total HBBC Points so far:  61

Thanksgiving Rocked!!!

I hope everyone out there had a great Thanksgiving yesterday!  I know I did!

As you have read, in a previous post, I hate Thanksgiving.  Well, things have changed.  Yesterday was such a fun day, and I spent 2 hours of it happily cleaning (no I have not lost my mind…at least I don’t think I have).

I got up early and headed out to teach my “Burn the Bird” 60 minute spinning class.  We had such a great turnout of people wanting to get a workout in before Thanksgiving dinner.  All of us had a good time laughing and sweating a bunch.  I’m so glad our Y decided to stay open till noon today for Thanksgiving.  This is the first year they have ever done this, and it was a hit!


Then, I headed home to the most amazing smelling home ever!  As soon as I walked in the door I was hit by the smell of the turkey and all the other food my husband and son put together for our meal.  It smelled so mouthwatering good!  Both my husband and son had set the table, and had the food all ready when I got home.

We all sat down to such an amazing meal!  I was honestly in heaven.  The turkey we brined for the first time was perfect, and we all agreed it was the best turkey we have had yet and will brine one again next year.  I can definitely recommend Williams-Sonoma’s Apple Brine, it was fabulous!  Best of all, my hubby cooked food I like too!  There were roasted root vegetables, and parmesan mashed potatoes.  All I can say is that Bill can cook every Thanksgiving from now on, because I was in heaven.  A big thank you to my husband and son for such a wonderful Thanksgiving meal!

Sadly Bill had to head off to work, so my son and I decided to watch a few favorite movies.


cleaning-girl-cleanThen, it was time for me to clean, and I was happy about this.  I guess I should explain before someone decides I need to be committed.  Right now I’m doing the Holiday Bootie Buster Challenge.  In this challenge you earn points for working out, supporting others on HBBCFacebook, eating 5-7 servings of fruits and veggies each day (which I met for the first time todaySmile), and for cleaning and cooking on Thanksgiving.  Yesterday we got 1 point for every hour we spend cleaning and cooking.  Since I didn’t cook, I figured I would clean.  I swear I’m like a little kid with these points.  I get all excited about earning points towards prizes!  So, I spent 2 hours dusting, cleaning bathrooms, doing windows, mopping, dishes, etc.  Woohooo!!

After I finished cleaning I lost in a spectacular fashion, 8 times in a row, to my son in Chutes and Ladders.  Sadly my losing streak continued straight into 3 rounds of Go Fish.  At this point my sweet little angel said to me, “Mom, you are not doing to well at these games tonight.  Maybe we should take a break.”  Even though I lost every game I had a ball playing and hanging out with my son.  Tilly did too!


I hope everyone out there had a wonderful day yesterday filled with fun and love!  Which brings me to this question for you:

What was your favorite part about yesterday’s Thanksgiving?

Pre-Turkey Workout

Thanksgiving is tomorrow, and with that comes a ton of food!  I just read a study that said the average American will consume 1 stick of butter on Thanksgiving (the amount of butter in the cooked food and added as a condiment).  How crazy is that!?!  Try to keep this in mind tomorrow, and when you are eating leftovers too!  Here is a chart of the amount of calories in one Thanksgiving meal and the exercises to burn it off.  My friend, Katie, found this, and I thought it was pretty neat.

Also, try to do a workout on Thanksgiving too!  I’ll be teaching a 60 minute “Burn the Bird” spinning class at our gym.  There are also a lot of 5Ks going on around the country on Thanksgiving too.  Get a group of friends together and go to one!  Don’t worry about not running it…just go do it!  You will be surprised at all the walkers out there doing 5Ks!

If you cannot get out of the house to workout, check out some of the workouts I have created that you can do at home on my Workouts page.  I also have a treadmill  and elliptical workouts page with great intervals that will make your time on these machines fly by!

Here is a new 30 minute Elliptical Workout that will really get those muscles burning!
30 Minute Elliptical Burn

Not Thanksgiving Again!

In all honesty, I truly hate Thanksgiving.  I’m just like that turkey on the wire trying to hide.  It is the only time of the year when I’m forced to cook a massive meal (90% of which I don’t like) and then clean up the massive mess I made creating said meal.  Of course, I’m leaving out the preparation of the whole debacle.  Don’t get me wrong, I love to cook, I just hate having to cook a massive meal I don’t like and creates a huge mess.  Not to mention the smell of green bean casserole, which my husband cannot live without.  It makes me want to gag every year.

I know many of you out there are saying, well cook food that you like too.  My response is:  I’m too dang tired from cooking all the other foods to even consider making something for myself.  Then, there is the extra clean up from the extra food I would make for myself.


This year I have had a stroke of luck!  I’m working Thanksgiving morning!!  I think I’m the only person who could be happy about something like this, but I am.  Woohooo!!  I’ll be teaching a “Burn the Bird” 60 minute Spinning class at our gym.  So, since it takes me an hour just to get to work, I won’t be able to cook Thanksgiving dinner, and my husband gets to do it all!!  0000760_300Hubby will also be brining the turkey.  I ordered the brine from Williams-Sonoma before I hadWilliams-Sonoma Apple & Spices Turkey Brine the option of working on Thanksgiving (I’m the only one teaching that day, and the gym is only open till noon).  Everyone raves about their turkeys when they brine them, so I figured that we could give it a try this year.  Since this is my husband’s first time cooking a turkey and brining it, I wish him the best of luck!!  Our son says he will, “help him and make sure that he doesn’t create too much smoke,” in the kitchen while he is cooking.  I may just like this years Thanksgiving after all!

For those of you who would still like to get a workout in on Thanksgiving, but cannot go to the gym, here is another 300 Workout you can do at home!
300 Workout #2

Time to Feel the Burn!

Last week at the gym a student in my class was asking me if I’ve ever heard of CrossFit and if so if I’d ever done any of the workouts.  A small giggle escaped from my lips after I was asked this question.  The first thought that came to my mind was my butt getting handed to me the first time I tried a CrossFit workout at a gym back in Florida.

The goal of a CrossFit workout is to do rounds of exercises with multiple reps and with only  a few exercises while trying not to slow down.  It is a short workout with amazing results!  I have come to love the CrossFit workouts, and they give you great results.  Not to mention you make improvements with each workout.

I went into my first CrossFit session in great shape, and was ready for the CrossFit challenge.  Shortly into our workout I discovered that I was going to get my butt handed to me on a silver platter.  Thankfully, I was doing this circuit style workout with some amazing people who were giving me advice and motivating me through the whole thing.  Without them I would have thrown in the towel.  I should mention that I was an idiot and did not start out with a beginner CrossFit class.  Instead, I jumped right into an upper level class.  Genius huh!?!  Coming out of that class I felt like I earned some kind of medal.  I have done several CrossFit sessions (starting at a beginner level) since and have loved the challenges and improvements I’ve made in each workout session.


The CrossFit workout we did that day was the workout the actors from the movie “300” did for their initial assessment.  The 300 workout was developed by the trainer to the actors, Mark Twight.  The training regimen these actors went through was intense.  According to the studio’s press release and Mark’s subsequent articles on the subject he was training the actors, “To support fight preparation the training emphasized athleticism by combining compound movements, lifting and throwing. Primitive tools–medicine balls, kettlebells, and rings–were used instead of machines.”


Mark’s focus on training these athlete-actors was on full-body movements with heavy resistance, such as that offered by his organization for modern warriors. Mark says that the “300 Workout” was not the actual physical training conducted, but more of a fitness assessment and morale builder. (Livestrong)

‘300’ is a one-time test, an invitation-only challenge undertaken by those deemed ready for it.” Mark says.  The test consisted of the following exercises performed back-to-back:
CrossFit 300

Ya, see what I mean about intense?  Can you say feel the burn?

If you don’t feel that you are up to the “300 Workout”, here is a “lighter” versions of 300 workouts I do at home!  I’ll have another 300 workout posted tomorrow!  Remember to stretch when you finish!
300 Workout #2

Funny Saturday

I saw this picture this morning and just busted out laughing!  Actually I’m still laughing.  The sad part is that it is true.  This year Target put out their outdoor Christmas decorations at the same time the put out their Halloween decorations!  How screwed up is that?  All of it is in the name of money too!  Oh well!

After I found this funny cartoon I went in search of more! There is also a 40 Minute Treadmill Workout that alternates between speed and hills at the end of this post.  You will love it!  Enjoy!


blind farmer



40 Minute Treadmill Interval

40 Min Treadmill Intervals

Overnight Slow Cooker Blueberry Muffin Steel Cut Oats

I’m still on my slow cooker/crock pot steel-cut oat kick.  Nothing is easier than having bbjbreakfast ready for you when you wake up in the morning!  This morning I had my blueberry muffin steel-cut oats.  They taste just like a blueberry muffin but without all the added calories and fat!!  The secret to this recipe is the blueberry jam.  I use organic blueberry jam since all the other jams out there have corn syrup in them, and we all know how bad that stuff is for us!  If I need extra protein in the morning I will add a scoop of protein powder to my oats in the morning.  I hope you love these oats as much as I do!!  Enjoy!

Overnight Blueberry Muffin Steel Cut Oats


  • 2 c Steel Cut Oats
  • 2 c Milk
  • 4-5 c Water
  • 10 oz. Jar Blueberry Jam or 1 c Blueberry Jam
  • 1 1/2 c Frozen Blueberries
  • 1/4 c Brown Sugar (optional…you can sweeten more if you like when you serve)
  • 4 T Ground Flax Seed (optional…but they are so healthy and good for you)
  • Any garnishes you like!


Add all the ingredients to the slow cooker/crock pot and mix.  Set on “low” for 5-6 hours or “warm” for 8-10 hours.  They really do cook up perfectly when set on warm, and the clean up is a breeze compared to when they cook on the “low” setting.  Enjoy!!