15 Minutes to Fit {A Review}

January. The start of a new year, and for many the start of new (or renewed) fitness goals. But let’s be honest. Most of us are super busy, and finding the time for working out an hour a day just isn’t a priority or sometimes feasible. That’s where short, intense equipment free workouts rule.

As you all know (or if you are new around here, probably deducted from my blog’s name) I’m a fitness instructor, so I don’t have to worry about general movement or exercise. I get lots of that by doing my job. But the workouts I give my clients are meant to be their workouts – not mine. I purposely use light weights, and spend more of my (non-Zumba) classes walking around making adjustments and giving advice than I do, doing the actual workout. Because that’s my job. That means that I exercise, but I don’t get my own strength or yoga workouts in during classes. I have to find time to do those on my own. Which is exactly why I love Zuzka’s 15 minutes to fit workouts, and this book.

If getting healthy and fit is on your list of fitness goals for 2016, 15 Minutes To Fit is a must have book!

I’ve been following Zuzka since her days on BodyRock TV, and then her move to her own site. Back then I was teaching so many classes I couldn’t even consider doing my own workouts, so I watched them more for inspiration than anything. But now that I’ve made so many changes in my work schedule and got myself back on track after overtraining (which came from teaching so many dang classes!) I’m ready to incorporate my own regular workouts back into my schedule.

Short workouts are even more important to me now, both for the time factor but also because shorter, more intense workouts are less likely to spike cortisol levels, and someone recovering from adrenal fatigue like I am really wants to limit any unnecessary spiking of cortisol whenever they can!

This past weekend I sat down and read Zuzka’s new book “15 Minutes To Fit” cover to cover, and I was really impressed. It’s not your average workout book where you get your workouts, a description and that it. The first half of the book talks about Zuzka’s life, her journey to fitness, but also dives deeper uncovering the emotional side of living a healthy life, about being accountable, making habits, and nutrition to fuel your workouts.

If getting healthy and fit is on your list of fitness goals for 2016, 15 Minutes To Fit is a must have book!

I really appreciated her focus on whole foods rather than calorie counting. And yes, she runs a tighter nutrition ship (she avoids all processed sugars) than I ever will, her nutrition plan is still more forgiving than a lot I’ve seen in recent years.

I’m still allowing myself another week to re-adjust to teaching all my classes again (after having a light schedule the first half of December, and then having two weeks off over the holidays, my return to teaching 10 classes/week caused my usual fibromyalgia flair-up, so I want to make sure it is well behind me before adding anything else to my plate), but I plan to incorporate 2-3 of Zuzka’s workouts into my week. I think for the first round I might actual cut back and do 10 minute workouts. Since they are AMRAP (as many rounds as possible) workouts it’s easy to cut the time back to 10 minutes without messing up the workouts. Then after I’ve completed all the workouts I may bump it up to the 15, or I might do a second round at 10 just for comparison purposes. 😉

If you are still looking for a program that will fit into your life, that you can do anywhere without needed a lot of space or expensive equipment, I would highly suggest Zuzka’s book. These are definitely challenging and high impact workouts, but most of the plyometric moves (like jumping lunges) can be modified for those who can’t or don’t want to do impact moves.

I wouldn’t suggest these if you are at the very beginning of your fitness journey. If a squat makes you squirm, then these workouts would put you in a full-on panic, but if you’ve been working out for a while – even casually, this might be just the challenge you need! And $27 for a full workout program – it’s hard to go wrong!

To learn more about Zuzka and her online workouts, visit her at ZuzkaLight.com, like her on Facebook and follow her on Instagram and Twitter.

Disclosure: I was provided with a copy of Zuzka’s book free of charge; all opinions expressed are entirely my own.

Soul Goals

Happy Monday friends! I hope the week has treated you well so far. :)

I mentioned a few weeks back that I wasn’t sharing any particular goals for 2016, mostly because I wasn’t really making any. And that is true – to a point. I have a few personal and professional goals, but those really aren’t dependant on the calendar year, or worthy of sharing (for instance, I’m enrolled in a lot of online courses, so one personal goal is to finish one course/month).

But the other part of that is, I’m focusing a lot of my efforts this year on what I’m calling my soul goals.

Being self employed, and someone who gives out massive amount of her physical and emotional energy to others through their job(s), I feel like over the past 5 or so years I’ve worried to much about outside things, and left my inside a bit hole-y. And I think probably many of you have too.

I feel like many of us have created massive holes in our souls. Holes that we don’t realize are there until they are so huge it seems overwhelming to try and repair them.

soulgoals

Thats what 2016 is for me.

A time to try to repair my soul.

Don’t mistake me. I haven’t suffered a terrible tragedy. My life isn’t falling apart. My health is better than it has been in years. But that’s not the point is it? Shouldn’t we want to fix these types of things before they do create massive holes not only in our souls, but the souls and lives of those around us?

They are called preventative measures for a reason. Because they are meant to preventive something worse.

That’s what this is.

One day before Christmas I sat down with not a cup, but a teapot filled with tea. And I just sat there watching TV while I drank the whole thing. And I felt so calm. And relaxed. And happy. And I felt like I hadn’t felt that in way too long. I’ve always enjoyed tea but rarely took the time to really enjoy it. To make it a time for relaxation. To give my soul a breather.

Since then, it’s become a regular occurrence for me to have one or two teapots of tea each day. And for at least one of those, I sit there, doing nothing, just enjoying. And it has been amazing.

I’ve started putting my phone away more. Rarely using it at all in the evenings. This meant losing what is typically the most active time for me to post on Instagram (which means fewer likes, fewer followers, and fewer comments. And as a social media influencer that is always a concern). But I decided my life, my REAL life was more important. So I post earlier. I post less frequent. And my account hasn’t grown much since I’ve done that, but I feel better for it.

I’ve begun (finally) meditation on almost a daily basis. Something I keep meaning to do, but never doing. And now I am. Some days I am very present, some days I’m a million miles away – but as I tell my participants in classes, it’s the trying that matters.

Do I feel like I’ve made huge progress so far in 2016? I’m not sure I’d say that. But with each pot of tea, each evening spent without my phone, and each 3 minute meditation, I can feel the seams being sewn back together a little bit. The holes growing just a tiny bit smaller. My sense of contentment and inner peace growing just a tiny bit larger.

We in North America pride ourselves too much on being too busy, too over worked, too stressed, and too tired.

I’m done with that. I’m busy, I work, I get stressed and I get tired, but I’m also making a conscious effort to do the opposite too. To have more free time, work less, stress less and sleep more.

Because this year I’ve got soul goals.

What about you?

Meal Prep made easy with Snapware

It’s January, which means there are a lot of people who are re-focusing and thinking more about their nutrition and eating habits. The only way to be successful at eating well and staying on track (whatever your track may be) is by planning. We’ve all heard the saying, “failing to plan is a plan to fail,” and it’s true. Without a little bit of thought, your best intentions will go right out the window which is why meal prep is so important.

Meal prep can sound scary, and time consuming – but it’s really not! All meal prep does is make it easier for you to make good choices and save time later on.

In our house, we make supper fresh each night, so unless there will be a bunch of evenings when one of us isn’t home I don’t really worry about meal prepping for suppers. What I do prep for is lunch and snacks. In between classes I work from home so it’s easy for me to forget about lunch, or grab a handful of random food and keep going at whatever I’m working on. Unless I have my lunches planned, chances are I will forget to eat until 3pm, or end up eating something that is lower in protein than what I really need to fuel my workouts.

So on Sunday afternoons or evenings, I take 30 minutes or an hour and put together my lunches and plan my snacks for the week.

This past weekend I documented my meal prep to share with you just how easy it is! While grocery shopping I decided I would have a tortellini salad with ham for lunches, with strawberries, cheese and sunflower seeds for daytime snacks.

Is nutrition or weight loss one of your healthy living goals for 2016? Meal prep is the easiest way to keep yourself on track (and savings money) all week long!

I started by getting my Snapware Total Solution Plastic Food Storage Containers out. I have 5 of the 5.35cup square containers, and 2 of the 3.01 cup containers. I use the square ones for my lunches, and the smaller two for snacks (in this case the strawberries) that need to be prepped.

Is nutrition or weight loss one of your healthy living goals for 2016? Meal prep is the easiest way to keep yourself on track (and savings money) all week long!

After cutting the tops off and washing the berries I divided them evenly between the two containers and in under 5 minutes I had 2 snacks ready to go!

Is nutrition or weight loss one of your healthy living goals for 2016? Meal prep is the easiest way to keep yourself on track (and savings money) all week long!

While I was working on the strawberries I had put on a pot of water to boil, so once the strawberries were done it was time to throw in the pasta. My tortellini pasta salad is pretty basic. I toss the cooked pasta with cherry tomatoes, olives, chopped red onion or scallion, feta cheese, extra virgin olive oil and top with a sprinkle of salt and Epicure sun dried tomato seasoning. Once the mixture had, had a few minutes to cool, I divided it into containers,

Is nutrition or weight loss one of your healthy living goals for 2016? Meal prep is the easiest way to keep yourself on track (and savings money) all week long!

and then left them to cool completely before putting the covers on and storing in the fridge.

Speaking of covers, the Snapware covers are the reason I love them for meal prep. They go on so easily, stack really well, you never find yourself struggling to get a cover on or off (I know you know what I’m talking about!), and you don’t have to worry about the covers falling off if you are carrying one in your purse or bag.

Is nutrition or weight loss one of your healthy living goals for 2016? Meal prep is the easiest way to keep yourself on track (and savings money) all week long!

So darn easy.

The rest of my lunch and snacks didn’t need any prep at all. The cheese was already in single serve packages, the spinach I wait to add to my salad when I’m ready to eat (so it doesn’t wilt), the ham was in a resealable package so I take out two slices at lunch and easily reseal the rest, and the sunflower seeds – well those are more of a “handful here, a mouthful there” sort of thing. 😉

Is nutrition or weight loss one of your healthy living goals for 2016? Meal prep is the easiest way to keep yourself on track (and savings money) all week long!

All in all it took maybe 30-45 minutes to get all of my lunches and snacks ready for the week, and now when I’m hungry I know exactly what to have and I don’t have to spend any time at all getting it ready. And since I’m back to tracking my protein intake, I only had to calculate it once to know how much protein is in my lunch and snacks all week long!

I’ve already mentioned Snapware’s awesome lids, but lets look at all the benefits of using Snapware over your standard grocery isle plastic containers. They are:

Because these containers are so fabulous, and because I want to help you start 2016 off right with some meal prep help, my friends from Snapware  have kindly offered to give one of my readers the same set of 7 Snapware Total Solution Plastic Food Storage Containers I used in the above post.

To enter please follow the instructions in the Rafflecopter widget below.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

This giveaway is open to residents of Canada and the US and will end on January 14th, 2016 at 12:01am EST.

Snapware Total Solution Plastic Food Storage Containers are part of the World Kitchen family of brands. From bakeware, dinnerware, kitchen and household tools to range-top cookware, storage and cutlery, World Kitchen, LLC., and its affiliates manufacture and market brands known and trusted around the world. World Kitchen brands include Corningware, Snapware, Pyrex, Baker’s Secret, Chicago Cutlery, Corelle, and more!

Disclosure: This is a sponsored post for Snapware. All opinions expressed are entirely my own.

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Zumba Mega Mix 51

It’s new music day! Usually the new Zumba releases come on the 1st but because of the holidays Mega Mix 51 just became available on ZIN Now today. As usual, I haven’t really had a chance to listen to it yet as I’m writing this only seconds after downloading the songs. I’m hoping there are some good ones though as I need to put together a few new routines this week! Though honestly, I am still only just starting to listen to Mega mix 49 and 50 since finally burning them to a CD a week ago. Eeep!

Love Zumba and want to know what music is coming up in your fitness class? Check out the song list for Mega Mix 51 sent to Zumba Fitness Instructors January 2016

But let’s move on to it shall we? Here are the songs found on Mega Mix 51!

Hacerlo Lento  (Warm-up) – Pedro Camacho (Nico, feat DJ Polin & Light GM)

Nueva York, Nueva York (Merengue) – Oro Solido feat. Amarfis & Kalimete

Salsa Soca (Salsa) – Oscar D’Leon feat. Mola

Vaivén (Reggaeton) – Daddy Yankee

Kajalu Chellivaa (South Indian Pop) – Ravi Teja, S.S. Thaman

Do me a favour and watch the first minute or so of this video. What in the heck!? hahaha

Doh Tell Mi (Soca) – Nadia Batson

Felicidade (Funk Carioca) – Ceceu Muniz

A Bongo (Electro-Tribal) – Zumba Fitness Original

Come Back To Me (Merengue) – Periko

Better When I’m Dancing (Cooldown) – Meghan Trainer

It might be meant for a cool down but I think Better When I’m Dancin’ will be a great song for my kids classes!

What do you all think? What song are you most looking forward to using or hearing in your Zumba classes?

P.S. If you are new around here, don’t forget to check out the Zumba page for all things Zumba including all past Mega Mix and ZIN song lists!

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2016 Is Bring Vlogging Back!

Remember when I made a decent go of vlogging back last April when I participated in VEDA (vlog every day in April)? I really enjoy sharing random parts of my day but it was just too much extra work to do it even on a semi-regular basis. Not only do you have to record the video, then you have to edit it, and upload it and add descriptions and tags and create a custom thumbnail, and I just don’t have the time for that. So how am I bringing vlogging back in 2016 then? With MeVee!

MeVee is the newest innovation in live streaming, the app launches today (January 3rd!) and is the perfect vlogging platform!

MeVee is a social media live streaming platform that captures the can’t-miss moments. MeVee records your live videos – they won’t disappear unless you delete them. Push the “Go Live” button to start broadcasting worldwide. Explore the app to discover interesting, funny, and newsworthy streams. You can also live stream privately with a friend or a group. The MeVee app is available on the Apple App Store starting January 3.

MeVee is the newest innovation in live streaming, the app launches today (January 3rd!) and is the perfect vlogging platform!

MeVee just launched in the apple app store today, but I got to try it out early as a BETA user. I didn’t get around to broadcasting over the holidays though (mostly because I was in full-on vacay mode!), but in celebration of MeVee going live TODAY I decided to stream my first broadcast this afternoon. As with any new platform, it’ll take me a few uses before I really get the hang of what I’m doing, but it’s pretty simple! Remember how when Periscope came out nobody knew how to end a broadcast so we all stood there looking confused the first time we used it? I’m happy to report there were no such situations like that today!

With so many live streaming applications out there, you are probably wondering why I’m choosing MeVee for my vlogging “channel”, and there are a few reasons. The first is because my broadcasts will stay forever on my profile page (unless I delete them), so people who want to go back and watch older broadcasts/vlogs will be able to do so. The second reason is because you don’t need to have the MeVee app to watch broadcasts, when you go live you can choose to share that you are live on Facebook and Twitter and then the link is publiched there for anyone who sees those streams to be able to click and watch. This is super cool because I know a lot of people miss out on Periscope and other live streaming platforms because they don’t want to download it. And the third reason is one I used above ^^ with MeVee I can embed my videos right onto my blog or any other site if I want to share them there!

MeVee is the newest innovation in live streaming, the app launches today (January 3rd!) and is the perfect vlogging platform!

Will I still use YouTube and Periscope? Absolutely! Sometimes you want content to have an expiry date, and I think of YouTube as more of a content channel (versus a Suzi talking about nonsense channel). But for those people who enjoy vlogging, or enjoy watching vlogging, I think MeVee is going to be the place to be in 2015!

If you want to follow my vlogging adventures but don’t want to download MeVee you can bookmark my page, or make sure you are following me on Twitter when I will be tweeting anytime I go live!

MeVee Peace Sign[11]

Disclosure: I was compensated for being a BETA tester and sharing MeVee with you through this post, however I like it enough that I have decided to continue using on my own. As always all opinions expressed are entirely my own.