Huskies and Happiness, HIITs and Hips

motivational monday
taking a moment for yourself
A year ago, when I first began my obsession with fitness and exercise, nothing stopped me. Nothing. If I was to be in motion for forty minutes, I was to be in motion for forty minutes and that was that.
I wouldn’t stop to smell the roses, because in my messed up mind that would mean I was in some way hindering my caloric burn.

What the heck, right?

Anyways, this weekend my boyfriend surprised me with a weekend in celebration of our one-year anniversary. As a result of this, I couldn’t very well do my at-home body weight workouts (thinking my downstairs neighbors don’t want to hear my rump jumping around like a maniac, but who knows). So, I got out my new Nikes and committed to two different outdoor interval-styled work outs. One focused on mostly using the outdoors to tone (like a bench, and rocks) and the other was just a ladder interval run (holy heck it was hard… I’ll type it up down below).
Regardless, on my outdoor toning workout, I finished up with a 6 minute jog around the cottage. During this short sprint, I saw this older couple walking with their two dogs (huskies). They were a bit in the distance, so I booked it for them and stopped.
That’s right. I stopped.
At first, I didn’t think twice. I asked the kind owners if I could get a photo of their dogs to show my boyfriend, who absolutely loves Huskies. They obliged and I got this bad boy!
It was not until after I chatted to the older couple and continued running that it occurred to me.
Lately, I’ve been stopped. Smelling the roses… looking at huskies. Even when I am downstairs, sometimes I’ll stop just to laugh at how silly I may look.
This will just be a short entry – more to come later.

But I just want to remind everyone to exercise for the right reasons. I now exercise to feel strong and empowered. It reminds me of how far I’ve come. Back when I didn’t eat, I wouldn’t have been able to do interval runs, at all. Or strength training. I would get too weak and too shaky for all that. But now, I’m stronger. I’m more alive.

If you’re of the variety of people who force themselves to work out, please take a minute. Evaluate your fitness goals and your personal needs and remember to work out so that you love your body. Not the other way around. Your body is your friend, treat it that way. Love it. Don’t hurt it. You’ll only be hurting yourself, right? 🙂
Now, without further ado, here are two awesome work out routines from my weekend!
Strength training Workout 


Cardio Workout
Warm up: 5 minutes moderate effort
20 minutes of intervals (roughly)
This will be interval work! Get out that timer folks. I set mine to beep every 15 seconds, and counted in my head how many beeps equaled the required time. 
15 seconds ON (maximum effort) / 15 seconds rest (moderate effort/light effort)
30 seconds ON (ME) / 30 seconds rest
45 seconds ON (ME) / 45 seconds rest
60 seconds ON (ME) / 60 seconds rest
75 seconds ON (ME) / 75 seconds rest
90 seconds ON (ME) / 60 seconds rest
105 seconds ON (ME) / 60 seconds rest
2 minutes ON (ME) / 60 seconds rest
105 seconds ON (ME) / 60 seconds rest
90 seconds ON (ME) / 60 seconds rest
75 seconds ON (ME) / 75 seconds rest
60 seconds ON (ME) / 60 seconds rest
45 seconds ON (ME) / 45 seconds rest
30 seconds ON (ME) / 30 seconds rest
15 seconds ON (ME) / 15 seconds rest
Cool down: 5 minutes moderate effort
Anyways, stay sweet
Caitlyn =)

Thank You for my AZzzzzzz

simple sunday: surveys and afternoon sleeps
I know for a fact that I’ve completed this survey on my previous blog (or, perhaps, on my current one… I can’t recall). When I saw it circulating again (via http://www.pbfingers.com) I knew I had to do it again. I’ve done so much changing in the past… few months, to be honest, that I thought it would be fun to do this again and see if my answers differ, at all.
simply a to z

A – Apples (and all fruits – banana, berries and peaches). I absolutely love fruit. They’re so naturally sweet and tasty! Not to mention extremely good for you! I aim (and succeed) to have three to four servings of fruit, daily. Usually this consists of an apple, berries galore, bananas and perhaps a pear/peach/apricot. Typically speaking I prefer my fruit in the natural and fresh form, instead of dried and/or juiced, but whatever cranks your chain, right? My all time favorite go-to fruit at the moment is Pink Lady Apples. They’re such a treat! I eat an apple daily, I’m sure. I love them.

B – Barre/Pilates styled workouts are definitely going to take the cake for B. As you know, when I started to incorporate more Yoga/Pilates and Barre into my fitness regime, I noticed so many changes in my mind and body. I feel beautiful, graceful, elegant… the list could go on. Let’s be honest, I feel girly. I love to feel girly. 

C –  The clean eating lifestyle. I absolutely love the feeling of eating clean. Knowing that the food I put into my body is extremely healthful and good for me has helped me – in so many ways – overcome my struggles with disordered eating. Instead of focusing on what I shouldn’t/couldn’t eat, it caused me to focus on what I should and need to eat. If you’ve never tried out the lifestyle of eating clean, I strongly advise you to give it a go. 🙂

D – I love being able – or being surrounded by people who – dress up. I know it sounds kind of ridiculous but ever since I took part in a high school program a few years back where one of the events require me to dress up, I have loved the whole concept. I am not huge into dressing up like a total skank, though. Halloween to me is about being cute or funny, not looking like I just walked out of a porno, thank you muchly!

My friend, Shelby, from work at the Sunshine Bear and I!

E – Exercise has become an important and required part of my life. I love to create work outs (see below for this weeks ‘Love Your Body Toning Every Inch’ work out).  I used to think I didn’t have it in my to design a good work out, but now I love making them up. Every morning, over my oats, I plan my work out. I live for it. Some people don’t understand and some people take the whole concept for granted (which, never should be the case). I feel grateful that I am able to sprint, sculpt, spin and stretch! It makes me who I am; it makes me feel beautiful.

F – Friends the TV show. It’s actually almost ridiculous how much I love this show. I – at the drop of a hat – can reference the show without even a thought! My mother and I have kind of turned this into a small game. OK, OK. A really large game. It’s embarrassing, really.

 

Truth!

G – Games are like my all-time favorite pass time. Mostly word, card or board games. I am in LOVE with crazy eights, cross words and… pretty much any board game under the sun. I love challenging my mind and thinking, so trivia games are a big plus. Lately I’ve been kicking serious rump at them, too! I just love them. My Friday nights are usually spent curled up with a tea and some kind of word game. I think that I found my perfect match considering last Friday night, Omar didn’t hesitate to join me on the coach with a book of Suduko. 🙂

I – Intellectual conversation with strangers (and friends, too). I absolutely love exchanging knowledge on virtually any topic with a multitude of people. If I don’t know something, I want to learn about it! I don’t feel the need to be an expert on every topic, but I love expanding my vocabulary  and knowledge everyday of my life!

J – Jewelry of all kinds. Typically I find myself drawn to elegant and simple pieces, with a timeless flare. Currently my favorite is the necklace Baba got me while he was away. 🙂 It goes with virtually everything I own!

K – My dear friend Kathryn who has always supported me and has always been there for me. I love her so much, I can’t even begin to explain it. We can go months and months without seeing each other and the moment that we see each other again it is as if no time has passed at all. I absolutely love her and am so grateful to have her. No matter what happens, she will always be my dearest friend. My very own kindred spirit :).

L – Laughter (mostly from small humans… yes, babies). I absolutely love the sound of a laugh. More than you can even understand. It’s the most beautiful sound there is. When people laugh, it makes me smile. When babies laugh it makes me feel like nothing bad in the world could happen.

M – Me time. I knwo it sounds odd, but I’ve always been a pretty quite and to myself person. I require so quiet quality time with me, or I will go completely nuts. I’ve discovered that this is best done in the early morning between 6 and 8 AM. This is when I work out and eat breakfast and plan out my day. I love it. After that time, I want nothing more but then to be surrounded by those to whom I love, I’ll admit. Too much me time can also make me a little crazy. But in that hour, I love just quietly sitting with myself.

Okay, Zooey didn’t get the memo and joins me. In fact, now she comes and gets me if I am not up at a certain time. She tends to be a quiet attendant in my morning routines, so I decided to let her stay.

N – Spending time with  nature would definitely be the number one on here. I love trees and trails and birds and butterflies. All of it. In the summertime and fall, most preferably. I love sitting among the trees and reflecting on life. I just love nature. It’s simple beauty makes me truly calm and relaxed.


O – My amazing boyfriend, Omar, who has come into my life in the most beautiful and profound way. Before him I was an honest wreck. I didn’t know who I was or what it meant to be loved by someone other than your family – in that very special way. H’es made me come to terms with the fact that I am strong and beautiful and smart. When I am with him I feel safe and able to do anything. He makes me happier than I ever thought I could be.

P – My loving and incredible parents.

It is no secret that my mother is my best friend. Our relationship is unlike any mother-daughter relationship I’ve seen. We talk about everything, enjoy doing everything together and I am not the least bit embarrassed about it. Why? Because my mother is truly one-of-a-kind. She’s the most generously beautiful woman I’ve ever met and I feel very fortunate to have someone like her in my life.

My father is also no joke. He’s odd and strange, albeit, but he would bend over backward to keep the people he cares for happy. I’ll never forget about the kind and thoughtful things he’s done for me over the years and will never forget the many wise words he has bestowed upon me.

I really don’t know how I got this lucky, but I am certainly glad I did. 🙂

Q – Quotes and quoting. Whether is be awesome Friends references, or quoting the famous words of Dr. Suess, the whole concept of a good quote makes me happy. To know that words have had such a great impact that they’ve – in many ways – been eternalness, makes me happy. I would absolutely love to one day be quoted.

My favorite quote of ever:

 
R – Roses and all other flowers cause me to feel at complete and utter ease. If I could live in a flower garden, I probably would. I’d sleep of the petals of a rose and dance along the stem of a sunflower. Life would be perfect!

S – Anything related to the sea or the ocean. As I’ve said in the past, I absolutely love large bodies of water! I love them even more if there is waves involved! Anything in this category makes me truly happy shells, dolphins, swimmingsailing (though I am not a sailor, I’ve gone out of boats many a’time), sand! Okay, until this moment I didn’t realize how many ‘s’ words related. The sea makes me extremely happy! 🙂

T – Telling people you love them

It might be the best feeling in the world to see the smile on the face of a person who knows they’re truly loved.
Mama, I love you. Omar, I love you. Daddy, I love you. Zooey, I love you. Kathryn, I love you.
I LOVE YOU 🙂

U –  Unusually child-like behavior….

Like eating off a child’s plate…

FYI: There is an owl smiling at you under there, I promise.

V – Vegetables! All of them. I haven’t met a veggie I didn’t like.

W – One of my largest passions has to be writing. Every moment that I can sit down and write, I will. I love the feeling of constructing a well-thought out sentence and sharing it with the people I love. Lately, I’ve been getting a lot of positive feedback regarding MY writing. I love it! Typically speaking, I’ve never felt like I was all that good at it, but wit all this kindness, I feel I am really starting to develop a true belief in myself.

X –  Total Cheat: x-mas Eve is probably my favorite time of the year. I absolutely love the feeling of family and togetherness. Typically speaking, the idea of squishing so many people into my Grandparents house causes to me feel a sense of claustrophobia, but Christmas Eve night is something completely different. If we weren’t crawling all over each other, it just would NOT be worth it, it wouldn’t. Chrisrmas Eve night is also the one night a beg for snow to come. More often than not, I find myself wanting to get a hold of one of them snow removal cans from Frosty Returns and get rid of it all, as well as the cold. But, the two weeks leading up to and Christmas Eve itself is a whole other thing. I love snow at Christmas time.

It’s so x-citing 😛

Y – Yoga! You all know how I love me a good bend and stretch! Lately I have been loving Tara Stiles yoga via Livestrong woman, The routines are short enough that you COULD do a few of them, or add it to the end of your own work out for a new stretch. I absolutely love the feeling you get after completely a yoga routine. Light and relaxed. I fell out of love with yoga for a bit, but we have reconnected in a more healthy and practical way! Thank Heavens!

Z – Zooey, my dog, is absolutely the number one Z in my books, I love everything about her :). Including (but no limited to) her strangeness, her goofy moments, her snuggles… everything. 🙂 She’s a true keeper.

Also…

Nap time.
Yesterday Omar, Zooey and I took a solid two hour nap together and it was total bliss.

Oh, yes, and the work out 🙂

stay sweet 🙂

Caitlyn

Why you need to be a Warrior sometimes…

Good Morning, you lovely lovely people!

over the breakfast bowl

I am not sure why people are such grouches sometimes. I really don’t.

I mean, we only live for, like, a hundred year max, which doesn’t give you a lot of time, when you really put things into perspective. So, why is it that some people waste time being a royal pain in the rump?

Being a retail associate I am forced to surround myself with a multitude of different people every day of my life. Now, contrary to what most people suggest, I don’t find the vast majority of customers that annoying. In fact, the customers make my job worth going to in a lot of cases. I love to get to know them, find out what they’re going to use their purchases for and so on and so forth. Generally speaking, I love that aspect of retail.

This might just have something to do with my need to, you know, talk.

Nevertheless, yesterday I was plagued by a not-so-kind individual who actually caused me to – I’ll say it – cry. Now, I am not going to sit here and suggest that I didn’t overreact. I’ve always been of the variety of people who wear their heart heavily on their sleeve. I hate disappointing people, so when some one is disappointed, it gets to me.

This woman was cruel, however. It was as if nothing I said would calm her down. She began to holler at me, while I was working, which – let’s be honest – is not only hurtful but embarrassing in a public setting. Eventually a member of management stepped in and allowed me to go calm myself down.

This is when it occurred to me.

I’ve been doing this for five years. Should I not be used to it by now?

I’ve dealt with a great number of these customers and it never seems to get any easier for me. I look at other people, like my father, my boyfriend and even my mother as of lately, handle these customers without letting it really get to them. For some reason, I have an issue doing that.

I know I need to toughen my skin; I do. I just couldn’t be less informed as to how to do it.

So, I am going to just put out a little message:

First, customer, our jobs are not easy. We’re constantly pooped on and not treated with respect. We work hard and receive very little recognition – well, most of us. So please, take it easy on us. OK? And I promise we will be good to you.

Now, to everyone like me, we need to toughen up our skin! Find something that makes you feel strong. I think of my boyfriend and my Mama. I think about how strong they are and how far they’ve come, and I realize we’re all capable of anything.

Then, I think of my fitness and progress. I think about how far I’ve come and how physically strong I feel. I think about my 35 minute mornings; the best sweat sessions there could be.

Then I think about my plans for the future and how they’ve developed. I plan to go places and one day these people will mean nothing to me.

Lastly, I think about that person. I think about why they’re so angry. Then, I smile because I know that my life is probably going to be so much more fulfilling because I treat people kindly, instead of hurtfully.

today’s work out

Today’s theme is toughening up, and being a “warrior”. So, today, I designed a work out fit for a Warrior. 🙂

Warrior Woman Workout
This is a lower body yoga fusion work out
You’ll need: Yoga mat, interval timer.

Set your interval timer to 3 rounds of 6 minutes (30 seconds low, 1 minute high) with 5 minutes ‘rest’ in between – again, not used for rest, so rest as needed.
Begin with a Warm Up: 1 minute of jogging and 1 minute of sun salutations, AMRAP

Start with your five minute cardio AMRAP
50 high knees, 30 jump squats, 25 jump lunges, 30 skaters

Series One: Warrior One/Warrior Two Series
30 seconds hold Warrior One Position (left)
1 minute forward lunges (left) – last 20 seconds pulse in the lunge position
30 seconds hold Warrior One Position (right)
1 minute forward lunges (right) – last 20 seconds pulse in the lunge position
30 seconds hold Warrior Two Position (left)
1 minute right side lunges – last 20 seconds pulse in the side lunge position
30 seconds hold Warrior Two position (left)
1 minute side right side lunges – last 20 seconds pulse in the side lunge position

Complete your five minute AMRAP (above)

Series Two: Chair Position Series
30 seconds hold chair pose
1 minute squat with right left raise to the side
30 seconds hold chair pose
1 minute squat with left leg raise to the side
30 second hold chair pose
1 minute pulse in a low squat
30 second hold chair pose
1 minute full squats

Complete your five minute AMRAP (above)

Series Three: Warrior Three series
30 seconds hold warrior three position (balance on left leg)
1 minute back leg raise on left (keep leg straight and raise)
30 seconds hold warrior three position (balance on right leg)
1 minute back leg raise on right (keep leg straight and raise)
30 seconds hold warrior three position (balance on left leg)
1 minute curtsy lunge with leg raise (with slightly bent knee; on left)
30 seconds hold warrior three position (balance on right leg)
1 minute curtsy lunge with leg raise (with slightly bent knee; on right)

Complete your five minute AMRAP (above)

Stretch and done! 🙂

That is all!

Here is something pretty to look at:

Mama told me the other day that she loved this picture. So I found it to put it up.
Love you, Mama Bear. 🙂

Stay sweet,
Caitlyn

Mama Bears goes [un]Nuts and Pancake Perfection

Many months ago, tragedy struck this household…

MamaBear discovered a negative reaction to, you guessed it, peanuts – both in nut and butter form.

sweet treats

That creamy, sweet and nutty indulgence was one that she would never be able to enjoy again. Now, I know what you might be thinking: ‘so?’ Well, allow me to inform you of MamaBear’s deep obession with all things peanut butter related. To quote, ‘peanut butter was a staple…a staple in my diet. I miss it so so so much!’

Well, something clearly needed to be done about that.

So, I did what any rational foodie would do.

Almond butter.

No dice.

Cashew butter!

Ain’t happening.

Sunflower seed butter is clearly the –

Nope. Not interested.

Then, I found it.

Then, I found what she wanted.

WOWbutter is gluten, dairy, peanut and tree nut free. All of which, is admirable. The aim of this specific butter is to provide peanut butter-y spread that is 100% safe for schools. In MamaBear’s opinion, this guy definitely delivers. I actually think the word ‘wow’ came out her mouth upon sucking back on a spoonful. Which, being the pun loving gal I am, pleased me to no end.

In regard to the nutrition, this little guy proves to be pretty clean, it does:

“Non GMO Toasted Soy, Soy Oil, Granulated Cane Sugar, Monoglyceride (from vegetable oil, prevents oil separation) and Sea Salt.”

I can read all the words, know what they mean and can count them on ONE hand.

So, this is Caitlyn approved!

However, I’ll happily stick to my all-natural almond butter, thank you! 🙂

today’s work out

Today the plan was to tackle every ‘s’ of fitness: strength, speed and stretch. So, I completely a 16 minute HIIT routine, a 10 minute AMRAP routine (compliments of ZuzkaLight and my Long and Lean Routine from the ToneItUp Beach Babe DVD. At the end I felt amazing! And – you know – sweaty!

sweet treats

Along with being addicted to the TIU work outs, I also love the TIU protein pancake, which I’ve yet to perfect…

My Protein Pancake
1 scoop protein powder of choice
1/4 cup of egg whites
3 tbsp Fat Free Greek Yogurt
2 tbsp Unsweetened Almond Milk
Sprinkle of cinnamon

Mix all ingredients into a bowl and wisk;
Heat a pan over medium heat and spray lightly with an olive oil cooking spray;
Pour mixed ingredients into bowl and cook until showing side starts to bubble;
Attempt to gracefully flip;
Fail at any sort of grace;
Let other side cook for approx the same amount of time;
Get something that looks like this…

Allow mild depression to ensue for a few moments, then decide that the show isn’t over…

Cover pancake with your choice of toppings, smile and mow!

My toppings included three strawberries, almond butter and additional Greek Yogurt. 🙂

Stay sweet,
Caitlyn