30 July 2013

Favorite Pinterest Workouts

So, this blog isn't just about eating healthy anymore. This blog is about living a healthy lifestyle on a budget, and I want to provide my readers with tons of great ideas. One way you can save money on your journey to a healthy lifestyle is by working out at home, so I'd like give you a list of some of my favorite workouts that I've found on Pinterest.

To help narrow down my selection, I'm using only those workouts that don't require navigating to another site to view. You can find the entire workout on one image, which is helpful when doing the workout itself, because I know that I won't have to scroll down the page or tap for the next slide (I hate slideshows on Pinterest, by the way). None of these workouts require equipment, either. You're welcome to use weights or a cat if you feel that you need a better workout, but you don't need them.

Favorite Full-Body WorkoutNo-Excuses Workout
This circuit workout will leave you sweating.
This workout pinned from Back on Pointe is what I like to call a "doozie". You will curse during, and you will hurt after, but you will love this full-body workout that involves push-ups, jump-squats, and mountain climbers. If you need to modify this workout to make it easier, I highly recommend just doing one circuit the first time, then adding on as you gain strength and stamina.

Favorite Core Workout300 Abs
This is an abs workout. It contains 300 total reps. It hurts. Afterward, though, your abs start to think they can do anything. They can take on a punch from Superman, they can make the masses swoon at your feet, they can grow a pair of legs and kick grown men into pits.

Ok, maybe your abs won't do any of those things, but this is my favorite abs workout on Pinterest right now. If the name isn't enough to bring you over, I dare you to try it. You'll learn to believe.

Not sure where the original comes from as the Twitter account listed at the bottom doesn't seem to exist, so if you know the creator, I'd love to know!

Favorite Butt Workout: How to Get That A$$!
I said butt. Butt seriously, this is an awesome workout that will help you tone your glutes and make you giggle at the same time. And that means an ab workout. As I read it, I could imagine a smokin' hot trainer cheering me on and talking about my booty, which is never a bad thing. Don't worry if your pistol squats aren't completely parallel with the floor, either. Those suckers can take a lot of practice!

When I do this workout, since you might have guessed that there are no reps listed, I do sets of 10 until my butt is on fire. Fire.

I'd love to know the original source for this one, too. The Tumblr provided on the original image isn't correct, so the best place to find it right now is through Back on Pointe.

Favorite Arms WorkoutLean Arms Workout
Arms are my weakness, and I have long joked about my lack of upper body strength. In fact, I much prefer to get an arm workout without noticing until my arms are sore the next day. Unfortunately, that's not the way to build muscle. This workout is short enough that you can fit in any time but intense enough that you'll be feeling it by the time you're done.

Now, this workout does have a "with light weights" component (and a chair to do your triceps dips), but you don't need to use weights to do arm circles if you don't have them. I also found the wrist circles a little silly until I was nearing the end of the workout and my wrists started clearing their imaginary throats. Wrist strength is an easily forgotten component of arm strength, as my right wrist likes to remind me every so often.

This is another of those workouts from Back on Pointe.

Favorite Legs Workout: Cowgirl Legs Circuit
I love this challenging circuit workout that focuses on getting your legs toned and ready for anything. If you've never seen a Heisman, like I hadn't, you can find an example on Self.com.

This workout was pinned from YouMeFit.com, which is an excellent site to explore which you're looking for fitness advice or other workout graphics.

Favorite Running Workout: C25K
C25K is what I used to start my running obsession, and I love that it's available here as a single graphic. I do have other favorite running routines that aren't for beginners, but I wanted to show how easy it is to go from non-runner to I can run three-point-one miles straight in nine weeks. You can even download the plan to your iPod, iPhone, or Android Phone, and it will coach you through the program.

Favorite Cardio Workout: Indoor Cardio Crusher
I chose this workout because it's an indoor cardio workout that doesn't require a treadmill. With the heat of the summer imposing its heat on most of the US (I saw you, California, with your "high of 69" ridiculousness. What do you have to say for yourself?), I wanted to offer a cardio workout that could take place indoors and that anyone could do. This workout will definitely get your heart pumping. You can even use it as a circuit workout if your heart so desires.

The original comes from fitfabcities.com.

Favorite Spontaneous Workout: "Every time you see this, do..."
Okay, so this isn't just one workout, it's a collection of pins. I love that you can be scrolling along Pinterest and doing nothing productive one minute, then doing a short exercise the next. I'll admit, though, that I don't always jump up with enthusiasm to complete these exercises. And, yes, I keep scrolling for about half. Even completing half of these challenges, though, will help you work on your fitness rather than sitting around.

Phew. That was quite the workout!

I hope you've enjoyed my current favorite Pinterest workouts. There are far more workouts on Pinterest than this small collection, and I will bring more to you as we continue on this journey. If you want more workouts, you can follow my "I Work Out" board on Pinterest.

Remember, you always want to consult with a doctor to see if you're healthy enough and if your body can take any workout regimen. My intention is never for anyone to get hurt; that's the opposite of healthy.

Questions? Comments? Let me know in the comments below!

23 July 2013

Civilized Caveman's Paleo Recipe App Review

I just downloaded the Civilized Caveman's Paleo Recipe App. George, the internet's resident bacon-obsessed (who isn't?) caveman has created this completely awesome, functional recipe app. At an introductory price of .99, it's a fantastic deal and, if you get a chance, you should download it.

The first thing you will notice after the download is how gorgeous all the pictures are. This is what I call high-quality, mouth-watering photography at its finest. The app is organized into different categories (Breakfast, Poultry Entrees, Sides...). Each category leads into a list of recipes, starting with a "Featured Recipes" section that you can swipe through. Talk about delicious.

Once in a recipe, swipe past the photo to the ingredient list then to the recipe steps. I love that I can change the units of measurement! I would definitely look into minimizing the amount of swipes between steps, though, because I don't always have a free (or clean!) hand to swipe with, especially when I'm working with raw meat.

In the future, I look forward to seeing a shopping list and a way to check off the ingredients that you do have. I am also interested in seeing a way to convert into a smaller number of servings because I usually cook for just myself. I would also love to be able to share that I made a recipe on Facebook or Twitter through this app—I don't even need to post the recipe, really, just let people know that the recipe is awesome and that they should try it.

The app also includes less bacon than I expected.

Overall, this is an awesome, very usable app that has room to grow. Worth more than .99, so I am glad that the price is introductory only.

Since this is a blog about maintaining your budget while living a healthy lifestyle, I will leave my readers with a small caution. The Paleo lifestlye can get expensive because the ingredients you use are superior in quality and don't have a high demand yet. Plus, you will fall in love with this lifestyle.

Paleo recipes, however, are fantastic and healthy because they use real ingredients and they work with the thought that our bodies have not yet evolved to combat all the various processed foods we eat. You can always scale your involvement when you begin a lifestyle, though, and I encourage you to start by buying whatever you can afford.

It will change your life!

Agree? Disagree? Questions? Comments? Let me know in the comments section!

TIL: I cannot spell lifestyle on the first try, apparently.

20 July 2013


This past year has been absolutely insane. What you haven't seen/read/heard is that, in that past year, I lost eighty pounds, moved to St. Louis, got homesick for Springfield, am trying to find a job, found a special someone, got linked to through Greatist, and have generally had a marvelous time.

I'm back in the blogging world, and I am more ready than ever to bring great content, recipes, and tips for eating healthy on a budget to anyone who might still be reading and anyone who wants to start reading.

Are you ready? Because I am, and so are my fingers and my taste buds.

I also want to encourage you to participate. Let me know what you want to see. Let me know your story. Let me know that you think I'm a big meany head for leaving you alone this long. I genuinely want to know, and I can't wait to hear from you!

28 February 2012

Something Wicked...

So I've changed the name of the blog. And I may change it several times over before I'm finished writing it. I've changed my goals ever so slightly and wanted a name to reflect that change. Why? I don't just want to eat less food, I want to eat healthy food. I want to be healthy, and I want a blog to reflect that and not a misinformed idea that just by eating less I will be healthier, that I will spend less, or that I will lose weight.

I started off the year brilliantly by trying to cut high fructose corn syrup (HFCS) out of my diet. This one thing has made me start looking at the labels of products that I probably shouldn't eat anyway. Sometimes, the product I want does not contain HFCS, but the ingredient list is a mile long, or it contains corn starch, so I take a pass. I slip every once in a while, I know this, but those slips are becoming fewer, and they mostly happen at work (I work at a bakery where I want to eat everything all the time).

In February, my goal was to add running to my routine and, somehow, though the month did not start out strong, I ran the last five days in a row. And I feel great. On top of the running, a co-worker lead me in the direction of Tabata workouts, which I think have also helped me feel so good.

I'm not sure what I'd like to add (or take away) for March. It is my birthday month, and I think I would like to participate in the St. Patty's Day 5K in my neck of the woods just to see if I can improve my time ( I ran 5km in 42:42 last Thursday. It was one of those things that made me know that I was doing exactly what I am meant to be doing).

So, we'll see what my March goal is. I've got another day to think about it, though a part of my thinks I should give up cake. This won't happen, but it's a nice thought.

26 February 2012

Green Machine!

Green, green; everywhere green.
As you can see from the picture, I bought a ton of green things when I went to the store, and let me tell you—this made a super awesome salad when topped with a little EVOO, lemon juice, salt, and pepper. If you'd like to replicate this awesome, just grab some kale, romaine lettuce, spinach, mushrooms, grape tomatoes, radishes, and avocado. This mix will last for days and will cost less than $3 per serving.

The Thin Mints, of course, are making a super delicious desert (though I have yet to check them for high fructose corn syrup). Girl Scout Cookies are never cost effective, but they're always for a good cause, and I was a girl scout for a long time.

On the high fructose corn syrup front, I'm doing rather well. Though the evil stuff is found in far too many items that I love, I have options that don't contain any. Plus, many (though definitely not all) of the food found without the syrup is healthier to begin with. I'm still trying to live without soda, though I've switched to diet in the hopes that I can use it as a gateway drug to drinking only water and juice.

You may also notice the fuzzy thing in the top left corner of the photo. That's my kitty. She likes to look at green things, though she looks at me like I'm crazy when I try to feed them to her.

14 February 2012

Toaster Oven Garlic Kale Chips

After looking at the recipes for kale chips, I thought that I would just go ahead and improvise because there's nothing in the world I like better than to pretend that I'm a chef. Add that to my love for garlic and the fact that my oven doesn't work, and you've got what I came up with here.


  • 4 c. kale
  • 1 T. coconut oil, melted
  • 1/4 t. pepper
  • 1/4 t. garlic powder
  • salt to taste
Rinse and dry kale, then remove the stems and center ribs. Tear into bite sized pieces and lightly coat with coconut oil sprinkle with salt, pepper and garlic. Place in single layer on baking sheet. Cook in toaster oven for approx. 7 minutes until kale has turned slightly brown on the edges. My toaster oven does not have temperatures, just selections for top, bottom, or both. I cooked them with just the bottom setting and they turned out great.

The result is a light and crispy kale chip with a hint of salt and garlic. It's quite tasty, I think, and makes for a healthy snack.

Some notes on this recipe: the drier your kale is before you coat it with oil, the less clean up you will need to do. Drying the leaves also keeps them from steaming. If you've ever dropped water in oil, you'll know why. Also, a little bit of seasoning goes a long way with this recipe. If it looks like you've added too much, you probably have. My first batch was ruined because I put far too much salt on the leaves.

If you're looking for variations on the theme, tons of other bloggers have made different recipes with them. Kalyn's Kitchen goes ahead and lists them at the end of her own kale chip recipe, so I'll just direct you that-a-way.

13 February 2012

Produce Confidential: Kale

The only thing I knew about kale before I picked up a bunch at the grocery store was that kale is green and leafy. I've seen kale chip recipes, a co-worker who put kale in her smoothies, and plenty of other uses for the vegetable, so I was curious.  Kale has all sorts of vitamins and nutritional benefits that counter its bitter taste. Now, when I see health benefits that include "risk-lowering benefits for cancer", I have to take that with a grain or two of salt, but kale, it seems, is a pretty impressive piece of leafy green vegetable.

Kale is what is known as a cruciferous vegetable. All that means is that it is in the cabbage family along with broccoli, cauliflower, and (my favorite) Brussels sprouts. There are three types of kale: curly, ornamental, and dinosaur.

To me, raw kale tastes a lot like raw broccoli (so, delicious), which would make sense. I can easily see kale as a way to spice up a spinach salad.

Peak Season

Kale is available throughout the year, although it is more widely available from mid-winter through the beginning of spring.

Nutrients in Kale*

1.00 cup, cooked (130.00 grams)
Nutrient%Daily Value

vitamin K1327.6%

vitamin A354.1%

vitamin C88.8%


dietary fiber10.4%







vitamin E5.5%

omega 3 fatty acids5.4%

vitamin B2 (riboflavin)5.2%


vitamin B1 (thiamin)4.6%



vitamin B3 (niacin)3.2%

Calories (36)2%

* Hijacked from The World's Healthiest Foods website

Health Benefits

Besides being packed full of vitamins and minerals, kale has a number of noted health benefits. Incorporating kale into your diet can help lower cholesterol and lower the risk of heart disease. Eating kale and other cruciferous vegetables can also lower your risk of cancer. Again, I take that sort of research with a grain of salt, but any chance is better than no chance at all.

Pick Your Kale

Look for firm, dark leaves and healthy stems. Small leaves will be more mild in flavor. Kale can range in color from dark green to purple, so some varieties may be appropriate for adding color to salads and other dishes.


Store kale in a cool environment to keep the leaves from wilting. Kale does best in the refrigerator for up to five days, and the longer it is stored, the more bitter it becomes. You should not wash kale before storing.