Tag Archives: healthy lifestyle

Ten Minute Home Workout

I Like to Move It, Move It!

Let me preface this post by saying that I am in no way a physical trainer nor do I have any training in that arena, so please consult your doctor/trainer/fitness junkie friend if need be. I am simply sharing a little home workout I created for those busy days where I can’t find the time for a longer workout, or those freezing cold days (like today) where I don’t want to step foot outside for a walk/jog.

My blog is all about finding easy, healthy meals that go well with “A Pinch of Crazy”; healthy food doesn’t have to be pretentious, expensive, or complicated, and healthy movement and exercise doesn’t have to be either! To read more about my food and movement journey, check out my post 23 Pounds and Other Non-Scale Victories. I sincerely hope you can find an extra ten minutes in your day to do this quick workout to get your heart pumping while working arms, core, legs, and booty. Enjoy!

Ten Minute Home Workout

Repeat each movement for a total of 30 seconds, then move on to the next immediately, or with a short 10 second break if needed. Count your reps so you can measure your growth! It’s amazing to look back and see how much stronger you’ve gotten.

Cardio:

  • March in place
    • Keep your knees high
  • Jumping jacks
    • Keep your arms straight
  • Burpees
    • Start in a standing position, feet hip width apart
    • Squat down, touch the ground
    • Keeping feet hip width apart, jump back into a high plank
    • Jump back to squat
    • Finally, jump up in the air, then return to standing
      • Modification: replace all jumping with stepping (i.e. step back to a high plank)
      • Take it further: add a push up after you jump back into plank
  • High knees
    • Run in place, but bring your knees above your hip line

Legs:

  • Skater jumps
    • DSCN1825.JPG

      Demonstration of “Skater Jumps”

      Jump sideways

    • Land with one leg straightened behind you, hand touching the ground by your front foot
    • Repeat going the opposite direction
      • Modification: instead of jumping side to side, simply step it
  • Squats
    • Keeping your back straight, squat down as low as you can, then rise to standing
  • Lunges
    • Place one foot in front, bending both knees so that your legs are both at 90 degree angles
    • Alternate leading leg
  • Side Lunges
    • Standing with your legs a little wider than hip width, lunge to one side
    • Come back through center, then lunge to the other side

Core:

  • Crunches
    • Don’t crunch your neck- really use your abdominal wall to lift!
  • Bicycle Crunches
    • Touch opposite elbow to opposite knee
  • Leg Raises
    • Lie flat on your back and place hands underneath tailbone
    • With control, raise your legs slowly, then slowly lower them
  • Plank
    DSCN1903

    Demonstration of “Plank”

    • Hold a plank with a flat back from neck to tailbone, either on your forearms or palms
      • Modification: Place your knees on the ground, but keep your bottom in line with your back, not up in the air

Arms:

  • Push-Ups
    • Starting in high plank, lower down halfway, then rise back up
      • Modification: begin your plank on your knees, keeping your bottom in line
  • Tricep Dips
    • Sit on a chair or couch, clasp the edge with your hands, and straighten your legs
    • Slide your bottom off so that you are supported only by your arms
    • Dip down halfway, and rise back up
      • Modification: bend your knees
  • Up/Down Plank
    • Start in high plank
    • Lower down to forearms one arm at a time
    • Rise back up to high plank one arm at a time
      • Modification: plank on your knees
  • Inchworm
    • Start in high plank
    • Slowly inch your hands back to your feet, keeping legs straight
    • Slowly inch back to high plank, keeping legs straight
      • Modification: bend your knees while inching your hands

Booty/Hips:

  • Leg Push Backs
    DSCN1943

    Demonstration of “Leg Push Backs” with a Zemirah cameo 🙂

    • Start in tabletop- on hands and knees
    • Lift one leg and straighten it backwards with a flexed foot
    • Repeat one leg for 30 seconds, then switch to second leg, or alternate legs for one full minute
  • Fire Hydrant Extensions
    • Start in tabletop
    • Lift your leg to, yep it’s gross, but to simulate a dog with a fire hydrant
    • Straighten that leg to the side with a flexed foot
    • Repeat on one leg for 30 seconds, then switch to second leg, or alternate legs for one full minute

Stretch

Some of my favorite stretches include:

  • Child’s Pose
  • Downward Dog
  • Standing Wide Legged Forward Fold

 

DSCN1955

Demonstration of “Child’s Pose” with a child 🙂 

 

As you can see by that last picture, this workout is fast paced and fun enough to do with kiddos around; they can join in, too! I’ve been convicted of how closely Zemirah watches me; it’s so important to model healthy habits for her! Whether that be exercise, eating a nutritious meal, indulging in a cookie, taking a long walk in the sunshine, or (and maybe especially) positive self talk – showing gratitude to our Creator for my body – not trash talking it. You can read a poem I wrote on appreciating our bodies here.

So I hope this quick little workout can help you to move your body in a fun way, while instilling in your kids, and yourself, the importance of healthy movement. If you need a delicious and nutritious post-workout snack, check out my Kale Chips Two Ways, or for a sweeter snack, my Fruit and Nut Granola or Banana Bread with Granola Crumble would be perfect! Move your body, have fun…and enjoy your pinch of crazy!

This Body

I wrote this poem after one day putting on a new dress and critiquing my arms; I felt the Holy Spirit reminding me of my worth in Him, and all that my body is capable of because of Him. It is an eternal struggle with women: finding our worth not in our looks, our capabilities, our accomplishments, our body, but in Christ Jesus. The fact that we are His chosen daughters should be our most important identity and thought about ourselves, yet, so often, we fall into the trap of obsessing over our careers, our appearance, and even service to our families. A book that helped me realize my worth in Him when I was younger, and a book that I shared with a special group of middle school girls many years ago, was His Princess Bride: Love Letters from Your Prince. The more mature version is His Princess: Love Letters from Your King; both are simple and sweet, filled with scripture and words to remind you Whose you are! If you are feeling down about your appearances or body type, I pray this poem can remind you of how amazing you are because of God’s grace. Use your amazingness (don’t worry, it’s a word) for Him, and never forget Whose you are!

This Body

I put on a pretty new dress, and immediately thought, “I hate my arms.”

The Holy Spirit whispered to my heart, “Beloved, speak words of gentleness and not harm.

You are made in the image of Me – just like all my daughters and sons.

Remember all the great things those arms have done.”

 

His words were like balm to my self-conscious spirit,

and I thought of all I’ve accomplished using this body He’s given.

 

These arms have cradled my nursing baby, comforting her all through the night,

now they catch her when she falls, and make everything alright.

These arms have embraced my husband time and again,

and held him tight when I welcomed him home safe from deployment.

These arms are attached to the hands that have taught students to sing and play piano.

These arms have accomplished amazing things, but it is by His grace alone, that much I know.

 

I also loathe my stomach… I hate the flab, hate the way it sags.

But the Spirit reminded me once again,

This body, including my stomach, glorifies Him, not man.

 

This stomach has stretched until the muscles nearly ripped,

which is proven by the ample stretch marks on my hips.

I’ve carried life inside my womb,

My sweet daughter, being knit together, grew

safe and warm inside this stomach.

This stomach also houses my lungs, which allow me to breathe

and allow me to sing.

I’ve sung many arias, art songs, and countless choral pieces,

now, I hum lullabies to my little girl,

which is simply the sweetest.

Yes, this stomach, too, has accomplished many great things.

Thanks only to my Creator and King.

 

  Oh, but these legs…

They’re short and fat.

How could I possibly not hate that?

God speaks to my heart and reminds me that’s not true.

These legs, though short, have accomplished amazing things, too.

A hurtful person once told me that I could never run a mile, I shouldn’t even try.

These legs proved him wrong as they ran across the half marathon finish line.

These legs held me up as I was birthing my baby girl;

I squatted down to bring her into the world.

Even after twenty five hours of long, hard laboring,

these legs supported me, never wavering.

These legs are full of power and strength,

but only because of Jesus Christ and His amazing grace.

 

I look in the mirror and constantly critique,

always looking for the next wrong thing,

and the next thing to fix.

What I don’t think often think about is this:

I am made in His image, I carry His presence with me

Which means this body is so much more than any eye can see.

 

My body is a temple, a holy dwelling that deserves respect and care.

I would never degrade God’s temple; I wouldn’t dare.

And yet, I do it every day…

with every thought and every negative word I say

about this body, His temple, His precious work of art.

I know that must break God’s fathering heart.

 

So I will remember from this moment on,

every time the devil sings his age old song,

to remind myself that I am a unique masterpiece.

I’m unique like my hair texture, body type, and fingerprint

 there is no one else like me.

 

I will take care of myself, enjoy healthy foods and exercise,

and, most importantly, I won’t listen to Satan’s lies.

I am Christ’s temple, so I will glorify Him,

and I won’t ever say I’m sorry

for loving and taking care of myself, His work, this body.

This post contains affiliate links; if you purchase using the links, it is of no extra cost to you, just a small pantry fund for me. Thank you for supporting A Pinch of Crazy!

23 Pounds and Other Non-Scale Victories

This post contains an affiliate link. If you purchase using the link, it is of no extra cost to you; just a small pantry fund for me. Thank you for supporting A Pinch of Crazy!

I didn’t know if I would ever write a post like this because I don’t want this to be a “weight loss” blog, but here I go. I have shared a little bit about my food journey in my first post, here, and how the Whole30, as cliche as it may sound, truly changed my life and my relationship with food. If you want to learn more about Whole30, I highly suggest reading The Whole30: The 30-Day Guide to Total Health and Food Freedom by Melissa Hartwig, the co-founder of Whole30. And for you mamas out there, I have found such encouragement about raising healthy eaters in the Whole Mamas Club podcast; I hope you check out these resources!

As far back as I can remember, even back to first or second grade, I wanted to lose weight; I was a chubby, but happy, girl with crazy, curly hair (in fifth grade, I was nick-named Tornado thanks to my ‘do) who just wanted to fit in like other kids. I recently went through some old journals where I was in 7th grade and documenting everything I ate while berating myself for eating Oreos…a 12-year-old should be out having fun with friends, not worrying about calorie consumption. It was the same all throughout high school, but add in some mean boys commenting about how “you aren’t as hot as your big sisters”, or “you’re prettier when your hair is straight”, so I kept trying to fit in and meet their beauty standards.

Then in college, I gained the classic “freshman 15”, but tried not to worry about it; however, anytime I would go out for late night fast food with my friends, I would feel guilt to the point of wanting to vomit up everything I just ate; that was “bad” food only contributing to my weight gain. I eventually cut out sodas and started running my sophomore year; I also started experiencing symptoms of IBS, so I lost weight fairly quickly. I was, and still am, so proud of myself for running a half marathon that spring semester, but my relationship with food was still off, and my anxiety was high.

Throughout college and into my first year of marriage, my IBS got so bad that if we went out to eat, I would be sick all night. My darling husband saw me throwing up while sitting on the toilet so many times during our first year of marriage that I’m sure he wondered what he had gotten himself in to! On top of being sick so often, I was also an anxious mess, and had gained about 12-15 pounds in our first year and a half of marriage. I had just decided to start working out more regularly when we found out *surprise!* that I was pregnant. So of course from there, I just kept gaining and getting more and more anxious; despite my efforts to have a healthy pregnancy, I gained 40 pounds.

After our sweet Zemirah was born, things took a turn for the worse in a battle of postpartum depression and anxiety (which I will write about at another time), and I not only “hated myself” (actual words I said to David), I couldn’t sleep despite my exhaustion, had zero energy, and felt absolutely out of control with everything: life, weight gain, motherhood, and fear. I tried the best *I* could (never truly handing my burdens to God), to deal with my anxiety, and cooked us healthy-ish meals, but because I was nursing, ate so many carbs, and not the healthy ones like fruit, whole grains, or potatoes. The carbs I consumed were more along the lines of bread with refined sugar and flour, brownies, cookies, ice cream, doughnuts…you know. Carbs, dairy, and sugar are the staple comfort foods when you’re feeling depressed and anxious…but in reality, only make things worse.

Fast forward to the beginning of 2018, Zemirah and I were living with my parents while David was deployed, and I wanted to lose the rest of the baby weight before he came home. I found this “diet” called Whole30, and knew a few friends who had done it. It seemed hard, but I love a challenge, so with nearly all my family joining me, we tackled our first round of Whole30! I was discouraged to learn that I had only lost 5 pounds at the end of it (others in my family all lost 10-15!), but felt so much better about myself that I kept it up, not a strict Whole30, but very clean eating. When I moved back to California, I was surprised to learn that I had lost a few more pounds, now totaling 12 pounds lost! I kept exercising to tone up for David’s return; he was so surprised to see how different I looked! He had just come from a steady diet of pizza, ramen, and soda, and I really wanted him to experience how wonderful the Whole30 was, so we tackled a round together: his first, my second. It was during this round of Whole30, that I really began to notice my non scale victories.

I noticed that my anxiety was greatly reduced; even though we were starting to prepare for a huge career change, I felt down in my spirit that everything really would be okay.  I also no longer struggled with insomnia! I used to take a Melatonin every night before bed just so I could fall asleep, and hardly slept through the night even when Zemirah did, but that was all changing. During my second round of Whole30, I stopped taking Melatonin, and would fall asleep peacefully without help and sleep hard all night, and even if I only got 6 hours of sleep (because, let’s face it, babies wake up early), I would feel so rejuvenated in the morning.

(Just a side note: we are currently a mere four days away from a cross country move, and, though I have my freak out moments, I still generally feel calm, with no chest pain and no insomnia. That is huge for me!)

After that second round of Whole30, I was beginning to notice how much I truly enjoyed working out; I started going to Stroller Strides and doing those hour long work outs twice a week, and on the off days, walking and/or running. I hadn’t run in a while, but I noticed a dramatic increase in my energy levels, and even ran my personal fastest mile! (Once we get moved, I am going to try and break that record again 😉 ) Exercise is much more fun now than it used to be, and I appreciate seeing all that my body can do!

In addition to the changes in exercise, sleep, and anxiety, my IBS is all but gone, and I now know with certainty which foods trigger it. And emotionally speaking, my relationship with food has changed entirely; I don’t view foods as “bad” anymore, but just as something to have very sparingly, and I choose to focus instead on which foods make my body feel good! I’ve found that going through life focusing on the good things (whether food, people, circumstances) as opposed to the bad is a much better way to live.

So, counting from around December of 2017, I have lost a total of 23 pounds. That doesn’t really seem like much; you hear the stories of those pills/shakes/wraps and how you can lose 30+ pounds instantly, but I love seeing the slow change of my body. I have been learning which foods fuel me, which make me feel yucky and anxious (hello, refined sugar), and have been slowly enjoying the process of a true lifestyle change. Weight will fluctuate, and that is simply a fact, so the number on the scale is not as important as the non scale victories! Because, yes, I lost fat, but I’ve also lost anxiety, depression, insomnia, headaches, mood swings, and low self-confidence!

I am working on, with the help of God, losing the desire for other people’s approval, and finding my true worth in Him! It is my prayer that you can do the same. Celebrate your non-scale victories…and enjoy your pinch of crazy!

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