Trick-or-Treat Workout!

Trick-Or-Treat Workout

Welcome to a special Halloween edition of Workout Wednesday!~ Have you ever heard of the workout where you do different exercises during each commercial break while watching TV? It’s a great idea~ This is a slight modification of that. What to do with the time you have between each doorbell ring on Halloween….hmmm….why not some interval training? Perfect! So, here’s how it works:

  1. the doorbell rings
  2. trick-or-treat!
  3. do as many bicycle crunches as you can before the next doorbell ring
  4. repeat
  5. switch it up! Make a list of exercises to do between doorbell rings:
    1. run up and down the stairs
    2. jumping jacks
    3. hold the plank position
    4. push-ups
    5. triceps dips
    6. supermans
    7. squats
    8. dead lift/hammer curls
    9. wide squat/overhead press
    10. wall mountain climbers
    11. jumping rope
    12. triceps kickbacks/bicep curls
    13. now add your own!

So, by the end of the two hours, you’ve just gotten a great workout and emptied bags and bags of candy…. Kind of ironic in the best way possible, don’t you think?

Have a Happy Halloween!


Tasty Tuesday~ Halloween Style! :-)

Healthy Halloween Trick-or-Treats…..For you and the kids!

Halloween has evolved over time from “All Hallows’ Eve,” a night of warding off the evil spirits of the dead, to a night centered around children, costumes and candy.As childhood obesity has escalated, more parents have become wary of the calorie-laden trick-or-treating tradition. We asked some of IDEA’s expert nutrition authors and presenters how they keep their kids healthy without spoiling the holiday fun.

Don’t Spoil the Fun

Jenna A. Bell, PhD, RD, senior vice president and director of nutrition at Pollock Communications offers these ideas for collecting and eating less candy without cutting it out altogether:

  • Use a plastic pumpkin head for trick-or-treating instead of a garbage bag or pillow case and call it quits when it is full
  • Only allow kids to take one candy per household
  • Put candy out of kids’ reach and sight after trick-or-treating.
  • Set boundaries, such as one candy after lunch and one candy after dinner.

Healthier Treat Options

“Remember it’s trick or treat,” says Lourdes Castro, MS, RD, nutrition sciences instructor at New York University and cookbook author. “Kids just want to be surprised. They will be just as happy with a calorie-free treat.” (From IDEA Journal article)

Non-candy options include:

  • Halloween themed pencils, erasers, glow in the dark toys, stickers, tattoos, or Play- Doh®
  • fruit leathers or roll-ups
  • popcorn that you can put in small party bags or plastic gloves, or homemade popcorn balls
  • pudding, Jell-O® or applesauce cups
  • raisins or yogurt raisins
  • sugarless gum
  • nuts or trail mix
  • dried fruits
  • hot chocolate or apple cider packets
  • caramel apples
  • Rice Krispies® treats
  • clementines (you can even draw faces on them to make them little Jack-o-lanterns)

I love these recipes for healthy and fun Halloween treats you can even pack for kids to take to school:

If you’re looking for something sweet, try these dessert and shake recipes:

“Boo-ful Jello Cups”


¾ cup  boiling water

1 pkg.  (3 oz.) JELL-O Sugar Free Orange Flavor Gelatin

2 cups ice cubes

2/3 cup  thawed fat free Cool Whip Whipped Topping, divided

8 miniature semi-sweet chocolate chips


ADD boiling water to gelatin mix in large bowl; stir 2 min. until completely dissolved. Add ice; stir 3 to 5 min. or until gelatin is thickened. Remove any unmelted ice. Whisk in 1/3 cup Cool Whip until blended. Pour into 4 dessert dishes.

REFRIGERATE 30 min. or until firm.

DROP remaining COOL WHIP by spoonfuls onto desserts to resemble ghosts. Add chocolate chips for the eyes.

Nutrition Facts:

Makes 4 servings

Per serving:

Calories: 120

Total fat: 1g

Sodium: 10mg

Protein: 2g

Sugars: 6g

Honey Pumpkin Spice Shakeology

“When witches go riding, and black cats are seen, the moon laughs and whispers, ‘tis near Halloween.” ~Author Unknown

This Motivational Monday is, of course, all about Halloween!

Bags and bags and bags of candy, candy here, candy there, candy everywhere. Turn the corner: candy, open a door: candy, walk into the grocery store: candy paradise. I don’t know when Halloween became the biggest party day of the year for Hershey’s, Mars, and Willy Wonka, but I’m pretty sure back in the day kids were bobbing for APPLES 😉

As you look around at all that candy, the volume of your inner voice can turn up to an ear-piercing level saying: “This stupid holiday is just torture, look at all the candy I can’t have. I don’t get to enjoy anything.” “I am a horrible person with no willpower if I eat this mini Twix bar” “Why can everyone else defeat the temptation of eating all of this candy and I can’t? I must just suck. I might as well forget it and start digging in. I’m just not worth it” All I hear is a lot of negative self-talk, beating yourself down, and this dread that you are going to have to fight temptation allll night or else you’ve failed. Does anyone hear that? Well STOP it!

“It’s not who you are that holds you back, it’s who you think you’re not.” I love this quote and I’m sure this isn’t sure first time you’ll hear it. Stop telling yourself who you AREN’T instead of standing up for who you ARE. Guess what? The only person you’re battling with is yourself. Halloween, or any holiday for that matter, should be about fun, family, laughter, and celebrating, not about struggling with this internal doubt, pain, and frustration. Change your thinking, because if you are always thinking you’re not this or not that, how are you ever going to reach any goal?

Believe in your strength and willpower, and cut yourself some slack. Have a piece of candy; it’s gonna be okay!! Just don’t eat the ENTIRE bag of Snickers mini-bars! It’s all about moderation. Enjoy that candy in the moment instead of feeling like the only way you can reach fulfillment is by eating ever single piece. That’s when the guilt creeps in. I don’t want you to dread Halloween because all you do is worry about whether you can win this internal candy guilt battle. Is it really about candy, or is it about your beliefs about yourself? You are surrounded by temptation every day and can overcome it, so you can do the same thing on Halloween. It’s just another day! Don’t give up what you want most for what you want now.

Halloween and Trick-Or-Treat Tips

If you’re like me, you love handing out candy on Halloween. All of the kids dressed up in their costumes, so excited to walk from house to house saying “trick-or-treat!” and having candy put into their bags, the first-timer’s look of total and complete shock that all they had to do was say three words and they get candy, carving pumpkins and putting out the jack-o-lanterns, hiding in the bushes and jumping out at them as they run screaming down the driveway…. Wait, just pretend I didn’t say that one 😉

Now, you’ve done a fantastic job of not taking a couple of pieces of candy for yourself each time the doorbell rings, but what do you do at the end of the night when trick-or-treating is almost over, there don’t seem to be many kids left, and you have at least two whole bags of candy left?? You don’t want to be stuck with that candy in the house, softly calling you name as you take a couple out thinking “ok, just a couple more and I’m done.” Next thing you know, those two bags are gone! There must have been a candy thief or something that broke into the house and ate all of it!! Oh wait, that you would be you.

So, how you solve this? Well, here’s a strategy I use: Check the clock every now and then so you know how much longer you can expect trick-or-treaters, knowing that the traffic will slow down as it gets closer and closer to the end of the witching hour. If you notice you still have a ton of candy leftover, give the next couple of kids a little more than you typically would…..say, a couple handfuls? That way, you know you’ll run out by the end of the night or maybe even close-up shop early. Their parents may not be super thrilled, but the kids will be! So will you when the temptation is no longer there.

I LOVE Halloween, so I’m so excited to share this love with you all this week!

Time to ROCK your workout!!~ The Power of Music

Music is by far one of the most powerful influences on our emotional and physical state, linking us to memories, helping us to get up and move, making us happy/sad, etc. but what is music’s influence on exercise? When you go to the gym these days, it seems like EVERYONE has their ear buds in and I Pods turned up. Science has shown us that what each person is hearing in those ear buds has a direct correlation to their exercise performance. Have you ever seen someone look like they are in “the zone” or when you exercise, can you feel your energy levels increase and decrease depending on the song? I know I can absolutely feel it when a song really gets me to work harder, but we sometimes just don’t realize it. If you aren’t sure how your body reacts, try to stay tuned-in to it the next time you workout, and use these tips for picking the right music for getting the most out of your workout!

In an article written by Carl Foster, Ph.D., John Pocari, Ph.D., and Mark Anders, they reveal the science behind the music. In an interview with Costas Karageorghis, Ph.D. from London’s Brunel University School of Sport and Education, he states that “Music is like is a legal drug for athletes. It can reduce the perception of effort significantly and increase endurance by as much as 15 percent.” Karageorghis has identified three primary things about music that influence exercise performance: 1) the tendency to move in time with synchronous sounds (e.g., tapping your toe in time with music or the beat of a drum); 2) the tendency of music to increase movement (e.g., the desire to move rather than to sit); and 3) the tendency for music to distract the exerciser from discomfort that might be related to exercise.

exercise your right to rock

So, what do you put on your playlist? Sure, we all have our favorite songs, and sometimes memories connected to a song also evokes an increase in energy simply due to the positive feelings associated with it. However, the most effective way to improve your workout performance is by looking at the song’s beats per minute (BPM). The stronger and faster the beat is, the more likely you are to follow it, and when it goes faster (in cardiovascular exercise), you go faster

Beats per minute       Exercise

160 and up                Running, jumping rope

140 to 160                 Jogging, Spinning

125 to 140                 Power walking, stair-climbing, elliptical

105 to 125                 Walking, toning, weightlifting

60 to 115                   Stretching, yoga, warming up, weightlifting

Here is a list of songs from every fitness music genre I could think of! This is just a selection, so check out the website resource links below to help create YOUR perfect playlist!




“Eye of the Tiger” Survivor




“Forever” Chris Brown


“Don’t Stop the Music” Rihanna


“Wake Me Up” Avicii


“Wild for the Night ASAP Rocky


“Part of Me” Katy Perry


“Beat It” Michael Jackson


“Feel This Moment” Pitbull ft. Christina Aguilera


“Waiting for Tonight” Jennifer Lopez


“Honey (Def Club Mix)” Mariah Carey


“Turn Me On” Nicki Minaj ft. David Guetta


“Smooth Criminal” Michael Jackson


“Make Me Proud” Drake ft. Nicki Minaj


“DJ Got Us Fallin’ in Love” Usher ft. Pitbull


“Bottoms Up” Trey Songz ft. Nicki Minaj


“Right Now” Rihanna ft. David Guetta


“Don’t Make ‘Em Like You” Ne-Yo ft. Wiz Khalifa


“Beauty and a Beat” Justin Bieber ft. Nicki Minaj


“My Songs Know What You Did in the Dark (Light Em’ Up)” Fall Out Boy


“Cruise”(and “Cruise (Remix)” ft. Nelly Florida Georgia Line


“Back in Black” ACDC


“Thunderstruck” ACDC


“The Other Side” Jason Derulo


“Party Rock Anthem” LMFAO ft. Lauren Bennett and Goonrock


“Can’t Hold Us” Macklemore ft. Ryan Lewis


“Moves Like Jagger” Maroon 5


“Love Somebody” Maroon 5


“Good Vibrations” Marky Mark & the Funky Bunch


“Raise your Glass” Pink


“Hit Me With Your Best Shot” Pat Benetar


“Domino” Jessie J


“Any Way You Want It” Journey


“Don’t Stop Believin’” Journey


“22” Taylor Swift


“Berzerk” (warning- explicit) Eminem


Great websites to use for creating your own playlists! DJ BPM studio is a database of songs and how many bpm are in a given song. You can search by artist, album track, or bpm when searching for songs. You can’t download anything, but it will help you create a playlist based on the tempo you’ve chosen so you can download the songs in ITunes. This website is awesome because it not only allows you to create custom mixes of music, of every style and genre, but then you can actually pick what bpm you want the music to be at yourself. So, if you want a 120 bpm song to be 138 bpm, all you have to do is enter that in and the site will alter the music to fit the speed you’ve chosen. Keep in mind that these are all remixes of songs and many songs are not sung by the original artist, but still sound almost the same. Steady130 was created to offer high quality music that is suitable for working out to. The one thing that all songs will have in common is that they are in the range of 130 BPM and have an intensity that will help motivate the listener during a workout. This site has single tracks to test out as well as mix ideas for workouts they compiled together.

Every single journey, no matter the distance, begins with just one step….

” What saves a man is to take a step. Then another step.”

– C.S. Lewis


After a long day, we are all tired, our brains are fried, and sometimes, we just really don’t want to go to the gym or workout. “Nap? Gym?.. A nap sounds sooo good… But I’ll feel so much better if I workout…”  Yes, these thoughts go through your head all the time; don’t deny it 😉 It happens to me too, trust me! You’re fighting a war within your mind, and honestly, it’s like walking up the down escalator. You’re going to fight and battle, use all your energy, and then find you haven’t gotten anywhere. You are still in the same place that you started. There isn’t a winner. (well, maybe the escalator I guess!?)  Instead of focusing solely on your final destination, only looking at the top of the escalator and how much farther you have to climb, take it in steps. (And no using the elevator, that’s cheating! ;-))


First, take the step to just simply drive to the gym. Yeah, you might sit in your car for a while talking to yourself, going back and forth between: “It’s been such a tiring day. I have no energy. I really don’t want to do this. It would be easier to just go home” and “I can do this; I’m amazing! Nothing can stop me from reaching my goals! I am in charge of my own life and I’m going to live it the best way I can! I can’t wait to feel awesome after this workout!” During this debate with yourself, deep down you know which side has the strongest argument, which side will lead you towards a healthy life, and which side truly wants you to be the incredible person you know you are!! So, pick a side~

Second step: Let that positive self-talk fuel you to make the decision to get out of the car and walk in. Next step done. Now, walk into the locker room and change, third step done. Finally, walk out into the gym, pick an exercise to do or class to take, and just start, fourth step done, and bam! That’s it! Challenge yourself and DECIDE to take the next step, because you are in charge. That’s right, you are in charge of your own life! No one else! You might have the greatest circle of friends that encourage you or family that tells you they are proud of you and love you every day (and you’d be very blessed!), but in the end, only YOU can decide.

It’s all about looking at the steps instead of the whole picture….. Think about two different kinds of pyramids, one with steps and one that is triangular with flat sides~ Wouldn’t it be easier to climb the pyramid with steps rather than one with flat sides, where you’re only step is from start to finish? Don’t just go for the top, because you will slide down. It becomes all or nothing. That’s when people just give up. “Well, I can’t do it, might as well not try.” Change happens when you take it step by step, each a phase you’ve conquered on your journey. Then, you can look at how far you’ve come instead of how far you still have to go. You work your way up, step by step, until you reach that goal. You’ll find that the better you get at climbing those steps over time, the easier and easier it becomes to get to the top. You’ve got this…. next time you feel one of those debates coming, that’s what you tell yourself! 😉



Tasty Tuesday!~ Fire-Roasted Turkey Chili


Fire-Roasted Turkey Chili

I just made this on Sunday, and let me tell you, it is sooo good! Perfect for the fall~ It’s amazing comfort food, with a healthy twist 😉 Bonus! Try it and let me know what you think in the comments below. I also have this on my Recipes for a Fit and Healthy Life page on this blog under “categories” if you want to go straight to it! Enjoy!