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Posts Tagged ‘Get Active’

December 31, 2012

Food, Gym and Snow Discoveries

Good Morning and Happy New Year’s Eve!  Any crazy plans out there?

I have yet to blog about how Christmas went once we got home from Chicago, and figured some of you might be a little “over” seeing people holding gifts in front of a tree.  It is almost a week later.

Thanks to a few calls via Skype, Scott and I finally got to open our Christmas presents last Thursday night.  I will share some of the highlights with you… if it is requested.  Let’s just say someone finally got the hint from my Gift Ideas for Winter Runners post and I am a very happy (and warm) girl!

Three pairs of e-tip gloves, an extremely warm beanie and an insulated running jacket came just in the nick of time.  Last week marked my first official drive across town in the snow!

driving in snow

I did it!

It was a nervous start, since the streets in my subdivision had not been touched after a recent snowfall.  Once I got out of my neighborhood, I realized the roads were cleared and my confidence level went from a 2 to about a 9 in not time.  Taking it extra slow, pumping my brakes, and allowing an extra ten minutes to warm up my car has been key.

The timing of my confidence could not have been better, either.  My mom flew in Thursday afternoon to come stay with us for a long weekend, and I was in charge of most of the driving.

I have really enjoyed having her here, especially since this was my first holiday season sans parents.  She came on a busy weekend, however, with practices and two Pistons home games in the books.  Knowing this ahead of time, she understood my busyness and hung with me and my usual game day routine like a champ!


Friday morning started around 7:30 a.m. and it was nice to have someone else up and at ‘em early.  Scott is a bit of a night owl, so I usually spend my mornings on the computer, with the exception of making breakfast in the kitchen.

Being quite the oatmeal fans, both my mom and I were craving something healthy and substantial.  We made a batch of regular rolled oats and threw in a few dried cranberries, slivered almonds and a drizzle of agave nectar just for fun.

healthy breakfast

The combination was fantastic!

cranberry almond oatmea

We sided it with a slice of whole wheat toast topped in homemade apple butter.  This spread tasted extra delicious, coming straight from my step-mother’s kitchen!

homemeade apple butter


(Did you happen to catch my reflection in the spoon? What a creep!) ;)

Breakfast went down with a large cup of what is left of my Mocha Mint Dunkin’ Donuts coffee and kept us warm, until an unexpected adventure surfaced.

escape cat

Aspen (our grey cat) is certainly a curious one.  Every time we open the front or back door she is there.  I am talking an appearance in like five seconds – tops.

She did the same thing at our condo in Florida, but it has gotten worse ever since we inherited a backyard. Oh, and about that white stuff… apparently is not just intriguing to us.  It looks as though all of our pets are wanting to explore!

The funny part is that this was me trying to get her after she had been out for about ten minutes meowing on the porch.  Not to come in, but just to meow and discover what is around her.  Eventually, she jumped off the wood and that is when I had to go fetch her.

They are crazy I tell you!

New Gym Discovery

While waiting for our breakfast to digest, I took my mom around on a few errands then eventually made it to the gym.

If any of you have read the About page, you might have an idea where my love for living a healthy, fit lifestyle came from.  Most likely, this lady right here.


Since I promised not to share photos of her in the gym, I settled for her agreeing to sport the latest gift from Drink Chia.  Shout out to my favorite DC crew down in Florida!

While my mom hopped on the elliptical, it was time for me to kill a decent amount of miles on the treadmill.  It has been a while since I have completed a long distance run, so I started back on the trend by completing 5 miles in 45 minutes.  At a 9:00 pace, I’ll take it.

Trying not to go too crazy before having to perform later on, I did a quick arm workout with free weights, a few sets of weighted lunges and a few sets of plank holds.

I reconnected with my mom in the stretching area, and on our way back downstairs she asked me if I ever used the stretching machines. Ummm…. those have been here this entire time?

stretching machine at gym

These are machines specifically made to stretch you out after a hard workout.  Most of the suggested positions are ones I do anyways on my own after running.

Being able to hold yourself up and use the extra body weight for resistance does wonders!

stretching on stretching machine

 Thanks mom, for that awesome new find!


Lunch came quick after we had both acquired quite an appetite.  We found exactly what we were looking for in the cafe at our gym, and it was the perfect post-workout fuel.

My mom ordered a a salmon sandwich and I ordered a chicken, vegetable and hummus wrap.  Both came with a small side salad with their house vinaigrette dressing.

post workout lunch at gym

We got home just in time for me to shower and get ready to leave for the game.  Man, NBA game days seem to just fly by!

pistons dancers

I will be sure to recap the rest of our weekend, since it was full of more fun (and holiday inspired) discoveries.

Have a great day and rest of your 2012!

December 11, 2012

Hill Climber Elliptical Workout

Good Morning! It’s a chilly one up here in Michigan.

I found it humorous not really when my friends informed me of the 70-80°F weather in Florida yesterday.  Awesome.

I seem to be slowly adjusting to the cold, but I have to say that I do miss that “brisk fall chill” during a run outside.  I can not think of a time where we had a “chill” here.  It is just straight up cold.

So what does that mean for you?  A lot of indoor cardio workouts are comin’!  Here is a great one I completed after a Fitness Pilates class at the gym yesterday.  This time, I have the incline set at 10, and the resistance varies every few minutes to resemble a hill climb.

*Please note: There are instructions to pedal backwards halfway through the workout.  This is to target a different set of muscles, but is completely optional.  As always, every exercise machine varies in settings, so feel free to modify levels as needed.

30 Minute Hill Climber Elliptical Workout

Andddd, I am pretty sure that is why I woke up with sore legs this morning.  It was a good one!

On my way out from the gym, I grabbed a “B Meyer” Lemon Drink Chia from my bag to rehydrate.  I find them so very refreshing!

Drink Chia B Meyer Lemon

Right after getting home, I took Roadie for his afternoon walk and ate it. I literally fell and ate it on the pavement, and I almost wish I had a picture to show you.  Almost.

Maybe I had a case of jello legs?  Yeah… that’s it… jello legs.  We’ll forget it was really just me being a klutz and slipping on ice.

In from the walk, I was pretty hungry for a late lunch.  On the menu was leftovers, and I enjoyed a few cut up peppers and cucumbers dipped in Sabra Roasted Pine Nut Hummus while I heated up my lunch.

Hummus and vegetables

I could seriously eat an entire vegetable and hummus party tray.  If you ever have me over and serve something remotely similar to this, I would advise you to prepare extras. ;)

Soon after, I dug into a hearty helping of Lean Hamburger Noodle Casserole.

Lean Hamburger Noodle Casserole

It was extra satisfying on a very “brisk winter cold” afternoon.

Today is a busy one as I prepare tonight’s Detroit Pistons game.  It will be my fifth halftime performance, and it is with Naughty by Nature!

Big plans to do some online Christmas shopping and finally clean out and organize my closet before then… who’s jealous?

Similar Cardio Workouts

30 Minute Interval Elliptical Workout

2 Minute Change-Ups Treadmill Workout

31 Minute 5K Treadmill Workout

6, 7, 8 Treadmill Interval Workout


Question of the Day

• What do you like to do to change up your cardio routine?

I am a huge fan of interval workouts.  Some might view having to change settings during a workout as annoying, but I look forward to having something to do.  They make a half hour of cardio go by in a flash!

November 15, 2012

Guess Who’s Back?

Guess who’s back… back again? Shady’s Heather’s back. Tell yo’ friends!  Did any of you pick up on the Eminem reference there? (Detroit?)

Ladies and gentlemen, I am very excited to say I am back at it! After an insanely crazy few months of preparing to move, moving, and unpacking (which I still have plenty of that to take care of) I  finally have the time to share my every day healthy living lifestyle tips with you again via blogging.  Try to hold back the excitement!

fleece sweater for dogs

I know Roadie is stoked!

Just about as stoked as he was to wear his fleece sweater and walk in frosty grass yesterday morning.  As much as you might it resembles Bat Dog, it keeps him warm and actually looks cute when he is on all fours.  That was one of the first purchases I made when we arrived to Michigan, and it is from the Martha Stewart Pets line at PetSmart. <- don’t tell Scott!

Since Roadie has been a little on the bored side lately, I took him out for a longer than usual walk yesterday morning.  We took a few minutes to sit by the lake, enjoy the sun (finally!) and watch the geese swim in the lake.

walk by the lake

That’s right… we have geese.  Canadian ones. You know how I know? There are little green presents all over the neighborhood and according to Scott, Canadian Geese are the culprits.  Now do you believe me when I say we are only a bridge away from Canada?  Living this far north is still mind blowing to me. Eh, we will live.

Very Berry Activia Smoothie

After our walk, I wanted to use up some of the excessive amount of berries we have in our refrigerator right now.  They were all on sale, so I had to take advantage.  I also needed to start eating the exorbitant amount of yogurt I bought during the same trip to the grocery store.  Apparently I was craving fruit and yogurt like nobody’s business.

Immediately, a smoothie popped into my mind.  Oh, how I missed making smoothies for the two months I did not have access to a blender.

The Mixed Berry Activia was an easy flavor choice, and with a few simple ingredients I made a delicious start to my day.

mixed berry activia smoothie

There are a million different ways you could make this, but I decided to keep it simple.  Okay, the chia seeds may be a little fancy… but that is it.

very berry activia smoothie

With my kick to use up what is in the fridge, I finished up the last of my Southwest Egg + Veggie Muffins from the weekend.  Topped with a little salsa and sided with a MorningStar Farms Original Veggie Sausage Patty, I had a very nutritious and filling breakfast.

*Note: the smoothie recipe above made double of the amount pictured.

healthy breakfast egg muffins

Run Outside

As much as I like to run in the mornings, I decided to hold off and let the temperature rise a bit before spending a good forty five minutes outside.  I was a bit nervous, but went for it in my new North Face fleece and gloves.

cold run outside

In Florida, I would have never attempted a run outside at 1 p.m. because the sun is blinding and it is very hot.  In Michigan, I wait for 1 p.m. so I can see a crack of sunlight and a bit of a temperature rise.  Very different, but I will adapt.

I do miss my Florida palm trees, but I am loving all of the pine – or according to me, Christmas – trees that line our cities!  We have plenty in our neighborhood to keep me entertained on my run, and I can not stop taking pictures of them.

Michigan Trees

There are even little “rest areas” on every corner.

resting spot outside

I think they are adorable, but am not quite sure when exactly I will ever use it.  During a game of neighborhood Man Hunt, perhaps? ;)


Five miles later, I worked up quite the appetite for lunch.  Again, I had a lot of vegetables to use up, as well as a few left over whole wheat penne noodles.  Adding everything together made of the best salads I have made in a long time!

healthy salad with noodles and hummus

Above is romaine lettuce, spinach, tomatoes, red and green peppers, broccoli, carrots, whole wheat penne noodles, Parmesean cheese and a side of roasted red pepper hummus for dressing.

Have you ever tried that before? I got the idea from Heather from For the Love of Kale.  She is fantastic at coming up with healthy and vegan recipes, and is a barre fitness instructor.  Clearly, I adore her.

I also finished the rest of my Very Berry Activia Smoothie and topped it all off with a handful (or two) of Reduced Fat Wheat Thins.

reduced fat wheat thins

Am I the only one who could eat an entire box of them in one sitting?

I spent the rest of the day trying to get our house in order and made a trip over to the DMV.  Looks like someone is going to be an official Michigan resident in the very new future! :)

Questions of the Day

• How cold is too cold for you to run outside?

 • What are some of your tricks to jazz up your salads? Any dressing substitutes? Ingredients?

November 14, 2012

Pure Elements Barre Classes

Happy Wednesday!  I am so happy to say that.  Not because it’s “hump day” but because for the first time in a long time it actually feels like a Wednesday.

Things are starting to settle in and a normal day-to-day schedule is beginning to surface.  I could not be happier about it!

As some of you might have seen on my Twitter or Facebook feeds, I have really been enjoying my recent gym Life Time Fitness membership.  They have a large variety of group fitness classes, and I am determined to try as many as I can.  As much as I love the environment and energy of a gym facility, I do, however, miss my frequent trips to the barre studio in Orlando.

When we moved up here, I had no idea if there would be any type of barre classes accessible in my area.  I wrote about my disappointment to find out the nearest studio was an hour away, and I have Housewife Glamour reader Amanda to thank for introducing me to two studios within the thirty mile radius.  Thank you, Amanda!

Both are actually Pilates studios that offer a variety of mix intensity classes.  For those of you who are still wondering, barre is about an hour workout stemmed from Pilates, yoga and ballet.  I fell in love with the concept when I tried it out back in May of 2011 and later taught classes at two studios, five days a week in Florida.  To say I enjoyed the toning and stretching crammed into the hour would be an understatement. ;)

I am eager to try out any barre class near me, and first up on the list was at Pure Elements Pilates.

Dressing warm for the gym

You can tell by the background that my first trip was back when we were living in a hotel.  I have to say, after a full three weeks of living there I do not miss those days.  Nothing compares to a feeling of home!  We are workin’ on it.

Bundled up and ready to go, I grabbed some pre-workout fuel found in a Premier Protein Vanilla Shake.  I am really enjoying their products!

Premier Protein Vanilla shake

It was very good, but I have to favor my favorite as Chocolate.  Chocolate trumps vanilla in almost anything in my book!

Feeling ready to take on the day, I picked my friend Yana up and we headed to the studio, located about twenty minutes away.

Pure Elements Pilates Studio

It felt good to get back into a studio again.  Oh, how I miss my classes and community at barre54.  By the way – shout out to Meghann at Meals and Miles for taping a show about your workout there! I loved it! :)

I had already talked to the woman at the front desk on the phone to let her know we were going to be taking class.  She greeted us at the door and welcomed us to the studio.

It looked like your typical boutique Pilates or yoga studio, painted in a cool color scheme, embellished with fancy light fixtures, and stocked with high-end workout clothing.

Pure Elements Pilates and Barre Studio

When I saw the lululemon sticker on the front door, I knew I would love the environment inside.  There is just something about these types of studios that is always so inviting to me.

Pure Elements Barre

Whenever I see a room covered in mirrors with a wood floor and a ballet barre, it reminds me of growing up in a dance studio.  It feels a little like home.

I did not have much time to tour before class, so I put my belongings into a locker and headed in to set up my station.

Pure Elements Pilates Studio

The class lasted just about an hour, and I became genuinely excited to feel the barre burn again.  Directly after class, I could already feel my legs shaking, specifically on my thighs and seat.  If nothing else, that is the tell-tale sign of a good barre class!

Being away from my studios in Orlando, I am now realizing how specialized my barre workouts were.  I have enjoyed taking barre at different places, but nothing has really compared to what I am used to.  The thing I missed the most at this class was a more structured warm up.  At the beginning of class we jumped right into exercises at the barre, or on the floor under the barre.  I have only been to two classes, though, so I am interested to see what happens at the third.

What I liked most about this studio was how much Pilates was incorporated into the workout.  Being a Pilates studio, I actually expected to see some moves I have not done before and that is exactly what I got.  I enjoyed the new versions of exercises that work the same muscles, and certainly felt the burn for the majority of the class.

Overall, the studio is charming and I ended up buying a package for five classes.

Pure Elements Studio

It sure beats trying to teach myself barre classes at the hotel!

barre exercises at home

Ha. You would love the looks I would get in the community gym room when I pulled out the pelvic thrusts and split stretches.  Usually, I got embarrassed and ended up going back to my room, which was not much of a success either.  Lack of space combined with animals crawling over me anytime I went to the floor gets a little frustrating.

Back to the studio I go!

Pilates Studio Dressing Room

Since I do have three classes remaining, I am looking forward to using them and would like to check out the other studio in the area as well.  For those of you looking for an intense workout using small isolated movements to tone every muscle of your body, I strongly urge you to try taking a barre class for yourself.

Say what you want about the low weight… they are not in any way for sissies!

Questions of the Day

• Have you ever tried any variation of barre?

• What is your favorite kind of hour long workout class?

Barre is obviously a favorite of mine.  After that, I also enjoy any kind of cardio-intense class like kickboxing or spinning.  I also enjoy group power classes that require weights, but I am dying to try CrossFit.  I heard it’s unbelievably challenging.  Bring it on!

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I'm Heather, a 28-year-old blogger, writer and NBA dancer who recently moved up north from down south. Housewife Glamour is a spirited blog that follows my love for health, food, fitness, beauty, and finding the every day "glamour" in life. ♥
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I am not a registered dietician, nutritionist, or certified fitness professional. The workouts I post are what work best for me, but might not be the right type of exercises for you.

I do NOT post everything I eat. All content I post on this blog stems from my personal experience and knowledge, and I recommend consulting a doctor or health professional before making changes to your diet or fitness routine.

Also, please understand that affiliate links may pop up on the blog from time to time. I acknowledge when they appear and always genuinely appreciate your support! ♥

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