Fitness, My Journey, Recipes

Cross Core & Ladders


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What a fun weekend I’ve had. On Friday night I did an escape room with my sister and a dance friend at Escape Hotel Hollywood and it was an absolute blast! I highly recommend checking this place out. Then yesterday I went to the wrap party for my dance show and we got to watch the entire show from beginning to end. I am in awe at the amazing job that all of us ladies did and I can’t wait to share more with all of you once I receive photos and videos. And of course, today is Sunday Football, so it’s been a great day since my Viking’s won. Skol!

Even though Sunday is typically a rest day I spent today doing some productive things. I’ve been reading financial books, calculating different scenarios for renting or buying a place to live, and I got in a workout. For tonight’s workout I wanted to do something using my cross core and ladder, so I created a cardio based tabata workout.

On: 0:45 | Off: 0:15 | Rest: 1:30
Exercises: 10 | Sets: 3

Workout
Cross core kneeling plank {set 1: 12 | set 2: 11 | set 3: 15}
– Jump rope {set 1: 64 | set 2: 88 | set 3: 94}
 Cross core reverse lunge {set 1: 18 | set 2: 20 | set 3: 20}
– Ladder lateral side step {set 1: 8 | set 2: 9 | set 3: 9}
– Cross core bicep curl {set 1: 16 \ set 2: 16 | set 3: 16}
– Ladder cross overs {set 1: 4 | set 2: 4 | set 3: 3}
– Cross core chest press {set 1: 18 | set 2: 17 | set 3: 17}
– High knees {set 1: 62 | set 2: 57 | set 3: 62}
– Cross core knee raises {set 1: 15 | set 2: 12 | set 3: 9}
– Ladder walking plank {set 1: 3 | set 2: 3 | set 3: 3}

This workout tired me out. I was shaking during the last set and I was ready to sit back on the couch to watch football once it was over. Unfortunately I couldn’t just rest since it was my night to cook dinner. I ended up cooking a creamy tortellini from the Brown Eyed Baker and it was delicious. I paired it with garlic bread, because you can’t ever go wrong with garlic bread! This recipe was simple to make and only took 30 minutes from start to table. It would have been done sooner had I not made a rookie mistake and put the bread in the wrong oven, oops! Waiting the additional 9 minutes was worth it though because dinner was excellent and it allowed me some extra time before dinner to wash dishes. I highly recommend washing dishes while cooking since it lessens the amount of dishes you have to do after dinner :). Anyways, enjoy your Sunday evening!

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Love always,

Jess

Fitness

Partner Leg Workout


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Tonight my gym buddy came over to my house and we did a leg workout that requires nothing but your own body weight and a jump rope. If you don’t have a jump rope you can just jump in place. For the workout below choose one partner to be A and one to be B. When you are at the section of the workouts where A and B are noted do the exercise that corresponds to your letter.

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Exercises: 14 | Sets: 3 | Reps: 12 | Rest: 1:30
SL = single leg | kb = kettle bell | db = dumbbell

Warm Up
– 15 leg kicks, each side
– Adductor stretch, hold each side for 10 seconds
– Hamstring stretch, hold each side for 10 seconds
– Hip flexor stretch, hold each side for 10 seconds

Workout
– Sumo squat {tempo: 4/2/1}
– 
A) sprint up the driveway and back pedal down the driveway
  B) 50 jump rope {this exercise group is finished when this person finishes 50 jumps}
– 
Hip bridge {tempo: 4/2/1}
A) 50 jump rope {this exercise group is finished when this person finishes 50 jumps}
B) sprint up the driveway and back pedal down the driveway
– SL leg lift right side: lay on your left side and raise your leg up and lower back down
– SL double leg lift right side: lay on your left side and raise your leg half way up, hold,       raise all the way up, lower half way down, hold, lower all the way down
– SL leg adductor lift left side: lay on your left side, and lift your bottom leg up and lower   back down
– SL double leg adductor lift left side: lay on your left side and lift your bottom leg half   way up, hold, lift all the way up, lower half way down, hold, lower all the way down.
– A) sprint up the driveway and back pedal down the driveway
B) 50 jump rope {this exercise group is finished when this person finishes 50 jumps}
– SL leg lift left side: lay on your right side and raise your leg up and lower back down
– SL double leg lift left side: lay on your right side and raise your leg half way up, hold,   raise all the way up, lower half way down, hold, lower all the way down
– SL leg adductor lift right side: lay on your right side and lift your bottom leg up and   lower back down
– SL double leg adductor lift right side: lay on your right side and lift your bottom leg half   way up, hold, lift all the way up, lower half way down, hold, lower all the way down.
– A) 50 jump rope {this exercise group is finished when this person finishes 50 jumps}
B) sprint up the driveway and back pedal down the driveway

Cool Down
– Stretch
– Foam roll

Love always,

Jess

 

Fitness, My Journey

First week results


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This morning was weigh in and measurement day and although I was feeling great and like I had lost weight, the results said otherwise. I ended up gaining 0.4 pounds and losing 2/8″ overall. This was a good reminder that I shouldn’t always rely on the scale to say whether I’ve had a successful week or not. There are other non-scale victories that count as well.

Weight: 184.6 pounds      +0.4 pounds
Right calf: 14 1/8″             -1/8″
Right thigh: 24 7/8″          -2/8″
Hips: 44 2/8″                      +4/8″
Waist: 34 5/8″                    -1/8″
Chest: 37 2/8″                    -2/8″
Neck: 14 1/8″                     +2/8″
Right forearm: 9 3/8″       -0″
Right bicep: 12 4/8″          -2/8″
                                            -2/8″

The non-scale victories I am proud of are: bringing my lunch to work every day last week, eating out less, my clothes fitting more loosely, and reaching my 16 hour intermittent fasting goal for 5 out of the 7 days (the other 2 days were 15+ hours)! Intermittent fasting is something I have decided to try to restrict the hours I eat within a day. I’ve never been a huge fan of breakfast, so I have chosen to skip breakfast, something I did all throughout my childhood up until a few years ago. Doing the 16 hour fast this past week has left me feeling more energetic, lighter, and not as stuffed at the end of the day. 

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I recognize that restricting the hours I eat for the day isn’t going to be a big factor in my weight loss. I still need to focus on the foods I eat and the exercise I do. Last week I brought my lunch to work for 3 of the 4 days I was there (I go out to eat with a friend and her kids once a week) and it consisted of romaine hearts, ground beef, black olives and salsa. Light and simple. For dinners I primarily ate what my family cooked or leftovers. Not grabbing fast food felt refreshing and my wallet definitely appreciated it!

As far as workouts go I only got in two last week. One night I went and danced and then I did a mini workout yesterday morning with my sister. The lack of exercise was primarily due to pain in my upper back, but now that it’s subsided it’s time to get back into a routine. So tonight I went to the gym with my friend and we did back, biceps and cardio.

Exercises: 5 | Sets: 3 | Reps: 10 | Rest: 0:30
SL = straight leg | kb = kettle bell | db = dumbbell

Workout
– Bicep curls {set 1: 8 lb. db | set 2: 8 lb. db | set 3: 8 lb. db}
– 
Cross body bicep curls {set 1: 8 lb. db | set 2: 8 lb. db | set 3: 8 lb. db}
Cable lat pull down {set 1: 70 lb. | set 2: 70 lb. | set 3: 70 lb.}
– 
Cable straight arm push down {set 1: 5 @ 40 lb. & 5 @ 30 lb. | set 2: 30 lb. | set 3: 30 lb.}
– 
Cable row {set 1: 55 lb. | set 2: 55 lb. | set 3: 55 lb.}

Run
– 1:00 {incline 0.0 | speed 3.0}
– 5:00 {incline 0.0 | speed 5.0}
– 1:00 {incline 0.0 | speed 3.0}
– 
5:45 {incline 0.0 | speed 3.0} hit the 1 mile marker here at 12:45 total!
– 4:00 {incline 0.0 | speed 2.5}

Love always,

Jess

Fitness, My Journey

Mini Workout


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This past week I have spent many hours with a lacrosse ball pressed against my back in order to roll out the knots that have been causing me extreme pain. Thankfully this morning I woke up feeling somewhat better so I decided to get a mini workout in with my sister. And when I say mini, I truly mean mini, because all week long any sort of movement hurt. Thirty minutes of workout and ten minutes of stretching later my body felt refreshed.

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Exercises: 8 | Sets: 2 | Reps: 14 | Rest: 1:00
SL = single leg | kb = kettle bell | db = dumbbell 

Warm Up
– 15 high kicks, each leg
– 0:30 arm across body stretch, each arm
– 0:30 arm behind head stretch, each arm
– 5 head circles, each direction

Workout
– Stability ball crunches {tempo 4/2/1}
– Parallel bar hop overs {tempo x/x/x}
– Stability ball kb rows, right side {tempo 4/2/1 | set 1: 10 lb. kb | set 2: 7 lb. kb}
– Stability ball kb rows, left side {tempo 4/2/1 | set 1: 10 lb. kb | set 2: 7 lb. kb}
SL bicep curls, switch legs each set {tempo 4/2/1 | set 1: 6 lb. db | set 2: 6 lb. db}
Narrow squats {tempo 4/2/1}
Stability ball hamstring curl {tempo 4/2/1}
– Sprints up the driveway, walk back down 

Cool Down
– Stretch
– Foam roll

Love always,

Jess

Recipes

Chicken Enchiladas


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If you live anywhere in Ventura County you more than likely had to sit in the traffic yesterday caused by a plane crash on the 101 and an overturned truck on the 118. We are so accustomed to our free flowing drives on these sections of the freeways that when we sit in stand still traffic for 2+ hours it can throw off our entire routine. Last night was my turn to cook dinner for my family and my original plan to get home by 5:00 to start dinner obviously didn’t work out.

As I sat in the traffic I debated whether or not to pick up food instead because I honestly didn’t know when I would get home. Thankfully sitting in traffic gave me time to think about my goals and what steps I need to reach them. In order for me start living a healthier life it starts with not taking the quick way out, no matter what circumstances life throws my way. I ended up getting home around 6:00 and made chicken enchiladas. I kept the side simple by making guacamole and having some chips and salsa.

Chicken Enchiladas
recipe from my mom’s friend

Ingredients
4-5 boneless chicken breasts (I used 2 chicken cutlets since they have less fat)
1 can cream of chicken soup
1 tub of sour cream
1 sm can of chopped black olives
1 sm can of chopped green chili’s
1 large can of enchilada sauce (green or red, I used green)
2 cups shredded cheese (blend of cheddar and jack)
1 bunch green onions chopped
1 sm can of sliced black olives
10-12 flour tortillas

Directions
1. Cook the chicken until done (broil, boil, bake, bbq)
2. Chop or shred the chicken and place in a large bowl (I usually cut the chicken cutlets into small pieces before I cook them so that I can cut off the fat and blood specks)
3. Combine the chicken, soup, sour cream, can of chopped olives, chili’s and 1/2 the chopped onions and mix together
4. Take a 9×13 in casserole pan and spray lightly with PAM
5. Open the flour tortillas and microwave for one minute in the original bag
6. Take one tortilla and spoon the chicken mixture into the tortilla and roll like an enchilada, then place in casserole pan. Continue until all tortillas are filled. You have to gauge the mixture so you have enough for the 10-12 tortillas and nothing left!
7. Pour the enchilada sauce over the tortillas
8. Sprinkle with cheese over the sauce and top with the sliced olives and the rest of the green onion.
9. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.

Guacamole

Mix together:
– 3 avocados
– 1/2 tomato, chopped
– juice from 1/2 of a lime
– garlic powder to taste
– salt to taste 

Enjoy!

Love always,

Jess

My Journey

Give It Your Best!


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To give anything less than your best is to sacrifice the gift. – Steve Prefontaine

Let’s face it, sometimes you have all of these plans to kick ass at every area of your life, but then life decides to stop you in your tracks and make you rethink everything on your plate. At the end of July I was ready to put my focus full fledged into getting healthy again and back into shape. I was working out a few days a week, meal prepping or bringing leftovers to work, and was feeling really good about the track I was on. Then September rolled around. I started to work 14+ hour days, going to dance rehearsals for 3-6 hours twice a week, and taking 2 dance classes on top of that. The old me would have sucked it up and sacrificed sleep and resting time for getting a workout in. Something stopped me though. Two years ago when I was going through a similar season at work I took up boxing and as a result I injured a pectoral muscle. From that injury I have built up deep and painful knots in my upper back that hurt to the point of nausea sometimes. When those began to flare up I knew it was time to take a step back and rethink my plan.

With the Goddesses Empowered The Show coming up (we just performed on Saturday, October 20th), I knew that my priority was the show. It was going to be my last one for a while and so I wanted to put in my best performance. If I continued to beat my body up I would sacrifice my performance in the show, so I made the choice to put all of my efforts into my solo. This turned out to be the best choice for me as I kicked ass up on that stage (I will post videos as soon as I receive them). 

Now that the show is over I can put all of my focus into my workouts and meal preps. As part of my continuing education for keeping my CPT I have decided to take a nutrition course. This is something I am really looking forward to because I believe it will not only be beneficial knowledge to have, but will also greatly impact my weight loss journey. So here I am on day 1 (again) of my journey, ready to give my best! I will have good days and bad days, but that is what this journey is about. It’s about sharing the ups and downs with all of you and showing you the progress I make along the way. With that being said, here is my starting point as of today:

Weight: 184.2 pounds
Right calf: 14 2/8″
Right thigh: 25 1/8″
Hips: 43 6/8″
Waist: 34 6/8″
Chest: 37 4/8″
Neck: 13 7/8″
Right forearm: 9 2/8″
Right bicep: 12 6/8″

Thanks for coming along this journey with me! 

Love Always,

Jess

Letters, My Journey

My Letter To Money


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“One of the biggest obstacles to making lots of money is not a lack of good ideas or opportunities or time, or that we’re too slovenly stupid, it’s that we refuse to give ourselves permission to become rich.” – quote from You Are A Badass At Making Money by Jen Sincero.

The past couple of months I’ve been spending a lot of time soul searching. Really digging down deep inside and finding out what ignites my soul. Within this time frame I’ve been reading two books that talk a lot about money and manifesting financial success. These two books are You Are A Badass At Making Money by Jen Sincero and Earth Is Hiring by Peta Kelly. Both of these books talk a lot about how we should develop a healthy relationship with money and ask of it what we truly want. They suggest that we write a letter to money to ask forgiveness for our past views and provide money a clear picture and understanding of what it is we want. I thought this was a great idea and wanted to share my letter below. I highly suggest writing your own letter and opening the gateway to manifesting the financial success you want in your life.

Dear Money,

One of the very first lessons I was ever taught about you was that no matter what happens in life I shouldn’t worry about you. You are always going to come and go as you are needed, whether to teach lessons, or to bring in abundance. The second lesson was that if I want something in life that requires the exchange of you then I will need to work hard to bring you into my life. You have been there for me on so many adventures, and for that I thank you. I still remember the first time I really earned enough money to go on a trip to Florida with my church. It would cost me two thousand dollars for that trip and my parents brought me to work with them every day that summer. Within a few weeks I had made enough. Not only were you valued by me, but you were also valued by my church friends who showed up to my parents’ work and earned enough money to make that trip as well. You made it possible for us high schoolers to travel to another state and learn more about God. What a great experience and a great lesson in how you work along side us to fulfill our dreams.

You have been by my side through the highs and lows in life. I have created debt with you. I have gained raises and promotions with you. I have traveled with you. I have been faced with pay cuts, times where I was unsure if I could pay my bills, and other heart racing moments of uneasiness. Through it all  you have provided me enough money and clarity to open my wallet and provide loans to friends, pay for house hold items for strangers, pay for necessities for children, and fill up gas tanks of strangers. Even on those days when I’m unsure if I have enough to fulfill my needs you have taught me the valuable lesson of providing for others. Why? Because you are always there for me and I don’t need to worry. Thank you!

I know that I haven’t always taken the best care of you. I have invested you in things and people that didn’t bring out your best light, but I still gained something valuable from each of those moments. I gained new insight into myself and what it is that I truly want for my future. I want you to share in this amazing future I have envisioned for us. I want to use you to discover the world and to help out those in need. I ask that you help me reach my goal of making a million dollars, or more, a year by the time I’m forty. I ask that you help me raise the funds so that I can open a shelter to house homeless people. I ask that you help me find the money to help those who are underprivileged to find the means to make it out of poverty and into fulfilling their dreams and destinies. I ask that you help me travel the world and discover the hidden treasures Earth has to offer. I ask that along those travels you provide insight into the different cultures and how I can be of help. 

Most importantly I ask that you help me build my dream home. One of inclusion, safety, love, and fun! A place where myself, my husband, our children, our friends and our family can come and gather in a carefree manner. I want to build a community where all who come leave feeling happier and fulfilled. I know that all of this is possible with you, money. I also know that my dreams of owning material things, such as an Audi R8, having a home gym, or having season tickets to the Viking’s can also be accomplished with you. I can’t wait to see how everything in my life manifests. Thank you for everything you have done for me up until now, and thank you in advance for all that is yet to come. I love you, money, and am honored to be able to create my life with you.

Love always,

Jess