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Fitness in the Yard

I love to exercise and want to make sure that I have the time everyday by incorporating small fitness routines into the things that I also need to get done around the house.  I really wanted an elliptical machine, HAD to have one in my house!  I saved up some money and did a lot of shopping around.  I didn’t need the fanciest, biggest one that there is to offer. I just needed one that would fit in my price range, fit in the area of my house that I wanted it andone that would fit my exercise needs.  I found this little trooper!


When I am doing a cardio workout in the house I can see out of the front window and my grass definitely needs to mowed.  So I will do 20 minutes on the elliptical on a high resistance setting, run out and edge the lawn, mow the front yard at the fastest pace possible and come back in to do 20 more minutes on the elliptical keeping at high resistance.  When that time is up, run out and mow the back lawn just as fast just making sure that it looks great and that you don’t have any mohawks in the lawn.  Mohawks? You know the strip that you accidentally miss! Ends up looking like mohawks!  I am a bit on the crazy side of making sure the yard looks as perfect as I possibly can!  The idea is keeping your heart rate up and burning calories at the highest level that you can while getting your workout in. We call this cross yard training!  I love yard work, when you’re done and your yard looks wonderful, excellent feeling!  If you can incorporate your workout while getting your house chores done, it’s a bonus! I am not one to hang out at the gym, I am not comfortable there and I feel I can workout just as much if not more, at home.

When you have flowers to plant, weeds to pull or any bending over that needs to be done, just squat instead.  Get your full squats in instead of bending over.  If you are only bending over you are not incorporating all of the muscles that you could have.  Do your squats, do your lunges, incorporate as many muscles as possible while getting everything done!  You may feel silly, but have fun in your yard!  I am sure that my neighbors laugh as I totally move fast, almost running while mowing.  Squating, lunging, running to the front yard or backyard, but I don’t care.  I purposely have an older mower, a push mower instead of the newer automatic mowers.  Push mowers means more muscles used, heart rate up and just plain harder which is why I love the push mower! I have a great time and a great yard and my calves are looking amazing, not to mention the glutes and the suntan!! Enjoy yourself 🙂 Here are a few pics of the backyard! Yes, I know, I know, I need a new shed! But, I will keep the old one until I have money saved or until it totally falls apart!

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I definitely get a whole lot of squats in while cleaning out my pond in the back! I keep a couple of small turtles in the pond for fun!



And now pics of the front yard:

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Shameless post to show off my yard?!? Yeah, maybe! But, mostly wanted to say that whatever you enjoy most, you can incorporate it into a workout! If you look at it a bit differently, and make your movements count, it is a total workout! Do what you enjoy most and it turns from work-out to just plain fun with the benefits of working your muscles out while getting everything done. Multi-tasking!  Look at anything you do to making it a workout, any movements can be modified to getting the most out of your activity.



Food Prep Day

Sunday fun day, it’s food prep day.  In the past I would always have good intentions while at the grocery store and buy a lot of fresh fruits, vegetables and healthy natural foods.  Mornings are so busy trying to get everything ready for work and it would take too much time to get a lunch packed, washing, chopping and bagging after taking too much time getting ready to get to work early in the a.m..  Now I take some time on Sunday and get all lunches, breakfasts and a few dinners ready for the entire week.  It takes a little planning, but the money that I save making sure everything is ready and portioned out for everyone to grab and go instead of letting it sit in the fridge and spoil is totally worth it! My only complaint….tripping over my dogs while they follow me around the kitchen!  Poor guys smell everything cooking and are waiting for one tiny morsel to drop! Ha, ha!

I plan what meats I will cook for the particular week’s lunches and I put that in crock pot Saturday night before going to bed so they are cooked and ready for portioning Sunday morning. This week was chicken and salsa.  Place 5 frozen chicken breasts in the cock pot, cover them with a half to 3/4 jar of salsa just making sure the breasts are covered.  In the morning, after coffee of course, shred them and portion into containers.  You can heat and eat them with veggies, use with chips or make a shredded chicken salad.

These pics don’t include dinners that I made as well, just an example as
I was putting them in the fridge.

While the chicken is cooling, I boil 18 eggs and begin chopping. Wash, cut and portion into baggies or containers your cucumbers, cauliflower, carrots, celery, watermelon, cantaloupe and/or any others.  I switch it up weekly for variety.

I like to make salads in a jar, they stay good and crispy for about 4-5 days. Wet ingredients on bottom, I use cottage cheese instead of dressing and finishing with lettuce on top so that when you empty it out on a plate it ends up being with lettuce on bottom and finishing with your wet ingredients on top.  You can do this with fruits or pasta, any kind of salad that you’d like, get creative!

While you are chopping all of your veggies also chop up some sweet potatoes and place in a large freezer storage bag.  Add some meat, I used chopped pork, and some low sodium stock.  Freeze for a crock pot dinner later in the week.
I baked super yummy clean biscuits from a wonderful recipe on The Gracious Pantry, which I then made egg sandwiches for breakfasts, wrapped in saran wrap and froze to reheat one daily. I then baked up some nom, nom cinnamon rolls from another fab recipe at Paleomg for our daily snacks for the week
If you want to try something yummy and have some apples, squeeze the juice from one full lemon and one full orange into a container.  Core and slice an apple and place in the container of juice.  Make sure the apple is fully covered and soak overnight.  The citrus keeps the apple from browning and it soaks into the apple for a wonderful fresh taste! Let those soak in the container overnight and bag the morning that you take them. Also portion some cottage cheese to have with whatever you like to eat cottage cheese with. I chop tomatoes with my cottage cheese.
While you are chopping you can cook some extra lean ground beef or ground turkey that you can fridge-rate for taco dinner during the week.  I cook 2-3 pounds so that I also have some for spaghetti or other meals if you’re cooking it you may as well make what you need for the week right?!  Make sure during the week you are also using any leftovers for lunches as well. I also used some ground beef for these great italian pies that I found from The Gracious Pantry and got 3 dinner meals out of all of that meat.
With a little planning and a set aside time for meals it makes it so much easier to know your calories, and know that you are eating healthy.  Total prep time this Sunday only took 3 and 1/2 hours.  Once you get a system down and already have it planned it goes much faster.

If your eating on a budget, the planning and eating all that you have really helps! Not to mention you won’t be spending the extra dollars going out to lunch.  Happy Sunday Prep Day!

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