Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Dinner is served! Super Quick "Krabby" / Salmon Patties Over Salad:

Here's what our Super Quick "Krabby" / Salmon Patties Over Salad meal looks like. You can totally dress it up with tomatoes, some cheese, carrots, or whatever other toppings you'd like.  We were just pressed for time and ingredients.  Which is why this was the perfect meal-done in less than 10 minutes!

Did you try this meal? What do you think? Let us know by posting in the comments below:

What's for Dinner? Wednesday

We don't know about you, but we can't believe it is already Wednesday! This week is flying by.  With time moving so fast, it's a good thing our dinner tonight will take less than 10 minutes to make.  Tonight's "What's for dinner? Wednesday" meal is Super Quick Salmon Patties over Salad.  Have picky eaters? If they are fans of Sponge Bob, tell them you made Krabby Patties.  When they wonder how you found the secret recipe, say it was in Mr. Krab's House under his mattress. Alright, let's get to business!

Ingredients to serve two
1 can (7 oz) of pink salmon 
1 egg
1/2 cup of whole wheat crackers crushed
2 scallions diced
1 tsp Old Bay seasoning
1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
2 tbsp peanut oil
4 cups of greens (spinach or mixed)

The Recipe (not really from under Mr. Krab's mattress...and thank goodness because it might be all wet!):

Step One: Grab a bowl, open your can of salmon, and crush up your whole wheat crackers.  Throw the salmon, crackers, egg (crack it first, but you knew that!), scallions, Old Bay, and red pepper flakes into the bowl.

Step Two: Form your master mix into 2 -4 salmon or "Krabby" patties, place a nonstick skillet on a burner, and fire up your stove top to a medium heat setting.  Add your 2 tbsp of peanut (or other favorite) oil.

Step Three:  Place your patties on your pan and cook them for 3 minutes on each side or until they have a nice golden color on the outside.  Once you've achieved this, take the patties off the stove and remove any excess oil with a paper towel.  

Step Four: Arrange your patties on a bed of spinach or mixed greens.  Feel free to toss the greens with a light dressing.  Lately, we've really enjoyed apple cider vinegar as a dressing (just make sure you mix it well first).

Step Five: Serve your dinner.  You decide if you're serving Krabby or Salmon patties ;)

Are you going to try this dinner tonight?  Let us know what you think by posting in the comments below: 

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Tighten + Tone Tuesday

Happy Tighten and Tone Tuesday! This week we're looking at the push-up. Loved by men and often feared by women, the push-up is an exercise you should embrace if you want to see results!  Although the push-up focuses on strengthening the chest, triceps, and shoulders, it can act as a total body exercise when done correctly.  So, how do you do it correctly? We're so glad you asked! Here are your Perfect Push-Up Guidelines:

Step One: Find a spot on the floor and set yourself up on your hands and knees.  Place your hands shoulder width apart with your thumbs directly below your shoulders. Pull your shoulder blades down your back by contracting or squeezing these muscles.  Engage (tighten) your abs.

Step Two: Extend your legs so that your body weight now rests on your hands and toes.  Check to make sure your entire body is straight. Your head should be aligned with the spine. Your feet should be together and your abs should be tight.

Step Three: Get ready, get set, go! Now you're ready for the push-up.  Slowly lower your body by bending the elbows. Your elbows should bend back at a 45 degree angle away from the body.  Continue to lower your body with your glutes (butt muscles) and thigh muscles contracted (squeezed) until your chin or chest touch the floor. If you can't get this low, don't worry. Do focus on keeping your hips, shoulders, and neck in one straight line.

Step Four: Return to your starting position.  As you move, think about gripping the ground with your hands and pushing the floor away from you. This helps engage your muscles. Extend your elbows until you are back to your starting position. Make sure that you are maintaining a straight line with your body. Don't let your hips lift up or dip down.  

Check your form against these perfect push-ups from our friends at ACE (the American Council on Exercise):

Repeat for 10-15 repetitions. After 60 seconds of rest try another set, working up to 3 sets.  Having trouble performing your push-up? The closer your legs are together., the harder the push-up will be.  Try widening your leg position.  Still too hard? Drop to your knees or perform your push-up on an incline. Try resting your arms on a bench and lowering at an angle.  Still too hard? Try your push-up off of the wall. Continue practicing and focusing on staying in alignment. If your hips dip or rise up, discontinue the exercise.

Did you do any push-ups today? What do you think about this exercise? Share your thoughts with us in the comments below:

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Put that baby down! You don't want to look like a bodybuilder, do you?


We just spent this past weekend at the SCW Fitness Conference in Dallas. In addition to learning some great fitness tips to share with our clients, we were able to meet some awesome fitness colleagues. As we talked to exercise instructors of formats from aqua to Zumba, we were happy to realize that we're not alone.  We're not the only ones having difficulty getting our female clients to stop fearing weights.  

If you're a woman who is afraid of lifting any dumbbell with a number bigger than 5 on it, stop right now! Take your purse and put it on your scale.  Does it weight more than 5 lbs? If you are anything like the average woman, the answer is likely yes.  Do you ever lift your purse? We're guessing the answer is yes as well.  Now, go back to the bathroom and look in the mirror.  Do you look like a bodybuilder? We're assuming no.  Interesting....

OK, let's try something else.  Go on a normal grocery store run and weigh some of your bags. Got milk? Throw that on the scale.  Unless your scale is broken, it should weigh a little more than 8 lbs.  Check yourself in the mirror again.  Do you look like a bodybuilder now? No? Interesting...

Go walk around town doing, well, whatever you want to do with one exception.  Look out for any women with children.  Carefully watch them.  Observe their every move, but try not to be creepy.  If these moms are like any mom we've ever known, you'll see them pick up their kids a few times.  Don't worry, we're not going to have you weigh their kids. We will ask you if you think any of these children weigh more than 5 lbs. If you've ever known anyone who has had children, you probably know that a healthy baby weighs more than 5 lbs on its first day out of the womb.  So the answer has to be yes.  If these kids are even one year old, they weigh more than twenty pounds.  Look back at the mom. Does she look like a bodybuilder? No? Interesting.....

Ladies, listen up! In your everyday life you pick up many items that weight more than 5 lbs and so do many other women. Have you and your entire neighborhood started looking like bodybuilders?  Stop fearing heavy weights! If the weight you're working with isn't making you tired after 15 repetitions, you're not going to be able to increase your muscle mass (please don't fear this phrase!).  You want to increase your muscle mass and muscle:fat ratio. Why do you want more muscle than fat? Other than the obvious reason of looking more lean, muscles burn more calories than fat does even while you're watching TV. As women, we need to do weight bearing activity to help prevent osteoporosis.  So, stop  fearing the weights!  Embrace them, lift them, just don't fear them anymore. You're not going to look like a bodybuilder and you're lifting more than 5 lbs during the day anyway.

We can't wait to see you rocking more than 5 lbs in the gym! Thoughts? Share them with us in the comments below: 

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Dinner is served! Shrimp and Grits and Peppers and Tomatoes, oh my!

Here's a look at tonight's dinner: Shrimp + Grits + Peppers + Tomatoes! With this meal you and your guests will enjoy healthy doses of protein, iron, vitamin A and vitamin C.  Had a picky eater tonight? Don't get mad, get glad! You can tell them to literally kiss your grits for not appreciating the whole 10-15 minutes you slaved over the meal.

Have you had grits before? What do you think of this southern fave? Did you cook with us? Share your thoughts in the space below:

What's for Dinner? Wednesday!

Do you know what day it is? Go ahead and check your calendar (or just look up one line). Yup! It's Wednesday! Here at Fit Armadillo Wednesdays have a special place in our and our husband's hearts because it means we're cooking up one of our favorite recipes!  This week's "What's for dinner? Wednesday" meal is a southern favorite: grits! We've added shrimp to get in some protein and peppers for some veggie power. Sometimes we've made this and thrown in corn. Tonight, we might add in tomatoes (the food wasting police have been on us to use them and we don't want to get arrested/hate being nagged). Feel free to get creative! If you subscribe to our newsletter, you are one of the most awesome people in the world AND you already got the grocery list for tonight.  If you don't subscribe, CLICK HERE to change that and check out the list of items you'll need below:

Shrimp and Grits Grocery List   - Serves Four

Olive oil cooking spray
1 medium red bell pepper
12 oz medium raw peeled shrimp
1 tbsp safflower oil
1 tsp paprika
1 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp ground pepper
1/2 tsp sea salt
2 medium scallions

1/2 Cup Quick-Cook Grits
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
1/8 tsp group pepper
1/2 tsp sea salt
1 oz shredded reduced-fat sharp cheddar cheese

Ready to get cooking? So are we! But, we'll finish typing up the recipe instructions first.  God knows we've already wasted enough time watching and re-watching all of the Zesty Guy commercials on YouTube.  Did you miss our Facebook post to help you find a beautiful pepper? Don't worry, we got you! Zesty Guy's showing off the most beautiful pepper he's ever held here.  Watch the video for inspiration ;)

OK back to business! Total time is only 20 minutes and total hands on time is only 10 minutes (so save inviting Zesty Guy over via twitter for another meal or make a salad with your grits).

UNO: Whip up those grits, y'all!  Haven't made grits before? Don't worry, we're here to help.  Pour 2 cups of water into a medium-sized pan.  Bring your water to a boil and then add in your 1/2 cup of grits.  Let the water to return to boil.  Bubbling? Good! Reduce the heat to medium-low and cover your pan.  It should take about 5 minutes for your grits to cook. Once they're all done (the grits have absorbed the water), remove the pan from the heat, stir in your garlic powder + Worcestershire + pepper + salt.  Put the cover back on and put your pan off to the side.

DOS: Pepper time!  Make sure you have a good pepper by checking here. While you're watching the video, heat a large nonstick skillet on medium-high.  Coat the skillet with cooking spray, add your red pepper (unless you determined that it's no good....If it's not good, tweet @TheZestyGuy and see if he's really at our culinary service) and coat your pepper with some cooking spray.  Keep stirring your pepper for about 4 minutes so that it's lightly brown on the edges. Done? Set that pepper aside.

TRES: In a medium bowl, combine your shrimp and all other ingredients except for your scallions and cheese (save the best for last)!  Add this mixture to your skillet and cook on medium-high for 2 minutes without stirring.  After those first two minutes, go ahead and stir it up for two additional minutes.  Once your shrimp is opaque you can remove it from the stove.  Stir in your red pepper and scallions.  

CUATRO: Divide your masterpiece between four plates.  Sprinkle the cheddar cheese on top. Before adding extra cheese, try it like this! We think you'll like it just fine.  Plus, if The Zesty Guy pays you a visit, you'll want to save room for that salad.  Have a dinner guest who you think might try to use up all your cheddar? Kindly, remind them they'll never have abs like The Zesty Guy if they OD on cheese.

Did you try this meal? What did you think? Share your comments with us in the space below: 

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Tighten + Tone Tuesday

Happy Tighten + Tone Tuesday! In our last post we told you that the squat is a must-do strength training move. However, you need to do it properly!  That's why this week we're focusing on perfecting your squat form.  Get ready to work those legs and up your metabolism!

Step One:  Start with your feet shoulder-width apart and feet slightly pointed out. Stand up straight and pull your shoulders down.  Contract your abs to stabilize your core.

Step Two: Keeping your chest lifted and chin parallel to the floor, shift your weight to your heels, inhale, and begin the downward phase by bending your knees and hips at the same time.  Pretend you're about to sit in a chair. 

Step Three: Continue to lower your body until your thighs are parallel to the floor.

Check yourself before you wreck yourself with these tips and a friendly mirror:

        __Knees are in line with NOT over your toes (really stick that booty back!)
        __Abs/Back are engaged (muscles contracted)
        __Back is flat (no arch in the low back or tail bone tuck!)
        __Your body weight is focused in your heels and balls of the feet NOT in your toes

Step Four: Exhale and return to standing by pushing through your heels while keeping your core (abs and back) engaged.  Your hips and torso should rise together. 

Aim to complete this move for 10-15 repetitions three times during your routine. 

Here are some visuals to help you perfect your form from our friends over at ACE Fitness:

Did you squat it out today? Did these form tips help you? Let us know with a comment below:

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Four Secrets the Fitness Industry Doesn't Want You to Know (we just couldn't help ourselves....please DON'T read this!)

Yesterday, Women's Health magazine announced the winner of its "Next Fitness Star" contest.  After interviewing thousands of contestants nationwide, the mag announced 40 yr-old wicked ab sculptor and mom of two, Stacie Clark, as the winner. We can't wait to see Stacie as a fitness video vixen!

To be honest, we didn't even know about this contest until flipping through the morning news while typing our What's for Dinner? Wednesday post. However, when we heard that 5 fitness professionals were going to compete based on their INNOVATIVE moves we HAD to watch.

Here are the moves that were shared:

1.) Sumo Squat with Rotation
2.) Lunge with Squat
3.) High Kick and Punch
4.) Plie Squat with Side Bend
5.) Modified V-Ups

Have you never seen these before?  If you've ever taken a strength training class or worked with a personal trainer (shout-out to our clients-we heart you!) you may be scratching your head like we were after waiting through the commercial break to tune in because:

a.) You've likely seen ALL of these moves before. 
b.) Even if you haven't seen these moves, you can't help but notice that THREE of the FIVE include that five-letter word: SQUAT!

What's going on?!  These moves are obviously not innovative! As certified personal trainers, we couldn't be happier and really shouldn't have been so surprised after that commercial break. That's because after watching many similar contests, viewing hundreds of workout videos, and attending many fitness trainings, we know the following secrets of the fitness industry to be true.  We feel a little guilty sharing these, but then again, we never were good at keeping secrets. Especially, if we thought they could benefit our friends. (Sure, telling Jenny* that Sam* had a crush on her back in middle school didn't end up in them getting married or even dating, but that's another story and middle school is, like, so weird!*names changed to protect the innocent)

***Before Jillian Michaels orders us to take this down or we have a change of heart, please commit the following to memory****

Four Secrets the Fitness Industry Doesn't Want You to Know :

(Guide Yourself to Fitness without Buying That New DVD or Workout Toy!)

Secret ONE: 99.234% (give or take 0.5 percent) of ALL successful fitness routines (classes, training sessions, workout videos) include SQUATS.
Muscle tissue burns more calories at rest than fat. To lose weight and tone up you NEED to work large muscle groups. Squats work your leg muscles which, it's hard not to notice, take up a substantial percentage of your overall muscle mass.  Learn to love to hate this move!

Secret TWO:  Functional fitness moves are key to efficient and effective workouts.
Functional training gets you out of that stationary weight machine and moving as you would in everyday life: dynamically.  The fact that all of the moves from the contestants really involve TWO moves (note the "WITH "or "AND" in the first four moves) demonstrates this point.  Keep moving and switching between moves to add cardio to your strength training routine and involve your core (read: abs and back) at every turn. That's how these ladies, including the winner (did we mention she's a 40 yr old MOM of TWO?), got their bods!

Secret THREE:  Proper form and safety are key (so maybe don't fire that trainer or stop going to class just yet...) One of the reasons we HAD to see what exactly these crazy innovative moves were: we were worried about fitness fans trying something unsafe.  There are only a few basic fitness moves.  The way you combine moves, change the weight used, or alter the number of repetitions will make them innovative for YOUR body and help you continue to see RESULTS.  However, the basic moves will never really change. Yea, all those crazy infomercials with videos and wild products are based on the same thing! Once you learn the proper form for the basic fitness moves from a professional, you'll be good to go on your own.

Secret FOUR: Move to Lose!
Every day we see another crazy fitness tool or "gotta have it" fitness video.  If the instructor or color of the tool will FINALLY motivate you to start moving, by all means buy it But do know that just MOVING and getting started is all you really need to start losing weight.  Buying the product won't impact the number on the scale.  YOU have to decide to make that first move. 

And there you have them: four secrets of the fitness industry that you can use wisely to jump-start your routine....SHhhhhhh.....!

If you know someone else who shouldn't read this, feel free to share it!  Have a comment or question? We'd love to hear from you-post below or send us an e-mail.