Archive for the ‘Exercise’ Category

Morning Scones

Guess who woke up at 5:30 am and got a 3.1 mile run and 1.5 mile walk in before 7am? This girl right here. I finally dragged my lazy butt out of bed and completed a morning workout. I don’t understand why I fell off the morning workout routine. I literally use to go to the gym at 5am 4-5 times during the work week and complete my weekend workout by 9am. I use to love it SO much. I think it helped that my roommate would go with me and if I heard her stirring in the wee morning hours I felt a tad guilty and lazy if I didn’t get up.

It’s been tough going since then. I go long stretches with no morning workouts and then I do one and realize I still love it. But ultimately I fall off the wagon again. Failure over here. My goal is to do at least 2 morning workouts to start off and slowly build myself back up. So one down for this week and one more to go.

Last week I scored a sweet and cheap deal on a ton of delicious strawberries. I can eat berries like they are going out of style but it was tough for me to get through 2 pounds of them. They were getting close to being trashcan food. I HATE wasting perfectly good produce so I scrambled to find a recipe to salvage them. Luckily Skinny Taste always comes through for me. I used this recipe as my base and added chocolate chips – because I’m cool like that. I stretched my batch to 12 (instead of the 8) and they still came in just around 150 calories a piece. I promise you no one will no they are low fat – Darren was surprised (as he was shoving a second one in his mouth) that they were. Score!

Strawberry Chocolate Scones

Adapted from: Skinny Taste


  • 1 cup fresh strawberries
  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1/4 cup sugar plus
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 cup frozen butter
  • 1/2 cup chocolate chips
  • 3/4 cup reduced fat buttermilk
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • Cooking Spray


  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Chop strawberries into small pieces.
  3. In a bowl mix all the dry ingredients (flour, ww flour, salt, baking powder, sugar) minus the chocolate chips and strawberries.
  4. In that same bowl use a cheese grater and grate the frozen butter into a bowl. Mix well with the dry ingredients.
  5. In another bowl mix all the ‘wet’ ingredients (buttermilk, vanilla) .
  6. Using a fork slowly fold in the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients.
  7. Slowly fold in the chocolate chips and strawberries.
  8. Spray a cookie sheet and place 12 large spoonfuls onto the cookie sheet. Don’t press or compact – simply let them do their thing and make their own shapes.
  9. Back for 15-20 minutes depending on your oven.
  10. Remove and let cool for 10 minutes.
  11. Eat and enjoy a delicious and guilt free sweet treat.

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You should try out this bad boy I did yesterday at the gym. Total body workout that made me a sweaty mess. I started out with a 30 minute elliptical warm up and finished it out with some stretching and a few ab exercises.

I like to be honest and ‘keep it real’ in my life so lets talk sweat. Yes, you read that right – sweat. You know that liquid substance that seems to drip and congregate on all your favorite work out gear. I sweat when I work out and I’m not afraid to admit it. Do I feel gross? Not usually. Sweating is the body’s way of regulating temperature. It’s a healthy and necessary bodily function. Plus, if you exercise regularly you might sweat easier and more aggressively than people who live a more sedentary life.

You’re probably asking why is this crazy lady bringing up sweat out of the blue. I over heard a conversation in the locker room of the gym when I was grabbing my stuff the other day. Two girls were like “OMG did you see that girls shirt covered in sweat. So gross. She was so sweaty she had to use a towel to wipe it from her face. It’s so sick.”

I couldn’t help over hear because lets face it they were practically yelling their business to everyone in there. The conversation bugged me because I know the woman they were talking about. Yeah she was sweaty but that lady was working her butt off. She ran up a storm then got down with her bad self on the elliptical and then moved to some weights. She put nearly everyone else in the gym that day to shame with her workout. I was impressed not disgusted by her sweating because girl was doing work!

When I first started going to the gym I was terrified if I had any sweat on me. Now I wear it as a badge of honor. I sweat because I worked my butt off and I’m 100% OK with that. I wipe down equipment and use a towel and expect others would do the same. So to all you sweaters out there. Sweat it out!

Besides sweat I had a great weekend that involved some unsuccessful shopping and Bay to Breakers craziness. It was another nice weekend to put under my belt.

Only in SF

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Killer Arm Circuit

I haven’t run since the race because I despise the dreadmill and it’s been way too windy for my liking to run outside. So instead I’ve been hitting the gym and trying out some workouts I’ve made up and a few from apps on my phone.

Don’t throw things at me but I still have been unsuccessful in getting to the gym in the morning before work. It really is annoying that I can’t just pop out of bed like I use to. Ugh. I LOVE working out in the morning because it’s less crowded and I generally have better workouts. But for the life of me I can’t drag my butt out of bed anymore at 5am. Anyone have any tips or tricks that work for them? I really want to get back in the habit of morning workouts. I miss my 6am spin class and seeing the same 10 faces in the gym each morning.

I can attest that I feel this workout in my arms today. My muscles feel the burn. I burned quite a few calories in this bad boy too followed by a 20 minutes on the elliptical.It was a good one that I’m definitely going to throw in more often. I have a fun recipe for you guys tomorrow so stay tuned.

Killer Arms

3 sets of 12 reps with 8-10lb free weights

  • 30 seconds Jumping Jacks
  • Standing V Raise
  • 30 second Plank
  • 30 seconds Jumping Jacks
  • Shoulder Press
  • 30 second crunches
  • 30 seconds Jumping Jacks
  • Renegade Row
  • 30 second Plank
  • 30 seconds Jumping Jacks
  • Dead Lifts
  • 30 second crunches
  • 30 seconds Jumping Jacks
  • Overhead Triceps Extension
  • 30 second Plank
  • 30 seconds Jumping Jacks
  • Bicep Curl
  • 30 Second crunches

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Recently I’ve discovered it’s really important to invest in good quality fitness accessories. When I started running I used my same crap shoes I had used in the gym for nearly a year. Needless to say I would come back from runs more sore than if I had lifted an elephant. I finally made the decision to change things up and invest in some new shoes. Along with new shoes I’ve got some other great fitness accessories that I’ve collected over the years and that I use almost on a daily basis.

Garmin 405cx + Heart Rate Monitor

I got this as a gift for Christmas after some not so subtle hinting. Best gift ever. I really wanted to commit to tracking my runs and my workouts and this bad boy does a great job. I know there are mixed reviews on the accuracy of the calorie burn but in all honesty if nothing else it gives me a good idea of how my workouts are going if nothing else. One of my big goals for the new year was to have better and more effective workouts and this has helped me gauge if I’m accomplishing that. Plus knowing if I need to slow down or pick it up when running is something has really helped me improve my runs, distance, etc.

Asics 1150 shoes

I didn’t buy these but received them as a Christmas gift. They were exactly what the running doctors ordered. My runs are pretty much pain free except those times I get lazy and don’t stretch. They are pink, relatively inexpensive in the running shoe department and help me feel great when I run. I haven’t had a single issue since I started using them. I only use them for running and have separate shoes for cross training. I think they have a customer for life in me.

C9 Running Tights

I need another pair or 5 of these bad boys. I have the all black ones.

Does anyone else have problems with their pants falling down or needing to be adjusted while running or working out? I had that problem and saw these one day at Target. Best purchase I have made in a LONG time. They were relatively inexpensive at like $30 and fit great. They are warm, stay right where they are supposed to and are a steal for the price compared to other tights I’ve seen.

My Fitness Pal

I don’t count my calories everyday but it is nice to check in every few weeks or so to make sure I’m right around where I should be. This app and site is a great tool for the everyday calorie counter and also the casual counter. It’s right there at my finger tips whenever I need it and has never not had something I searched for.

iPod Shuffle/iPhone

This brings all my music needs straight to my ears when I run. I love people watching and seeing the sights when I run but nothing beats tuning out everything and rocking along to a great song. Days when I don’t want to run music helps me get pumped up and get it done. I don’t know if I could ever do an entire run with no music.

There is a glimpse into things I use almost every time I work out. These are my go to products that have changed the way I workout.

*Disclaimer: All products were bought with my own (or families) money and I was not compensated by any company. These are my opinions honest opinions of products I regularly use.*

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Circuit Craze

Yesterday and today I did some circuit workouts at the gym. I’ve been focusing a lot on running the past few months and feel like I’ve been neglecting strength training. I know how important it is so I’m making an effort to do more of it.

Boy oh boy was I a sweaty mess after both circuit workouts. Even though I was a dripping mess I’m so glad I did them because I felt great afterwards. I roughly based these off the model of Julie’s 100 Circuit but made some modifications. I didn’t think I could do 100 of anything at one time because I’d get bored. Instead I split them in half and repeated the circuit twice. I started each workout with a 20 minute warm up. You can choose anything you want but I choose a 20 minute elliptical warm up one day and then a 20 minute incline speed walking on the treadmill the other day. I like to mix it up because if I do too much of the same cardio at the gym I get really bored and my workouts aren’t as good.

For the record me and leg lifts are not friends. Those suckers were hard!

Leg Circuit (Monday) – Repeat this list twice

  • 50 Jumping Jacks
  • 45 Crunches
  • 40 Squats
  • 35 Leg Lifts
  • 30 Jumping Jacks
  • 25 Crunches
  • 20 Squats
  • 15 Leg Lifts
  • 10 Jumping Jacks
  • 5 Minute Run on Treadmill

Arm Circuit – Repeat this list twice

  • 50 Jumping Jacks
  • 45 Crunches
  • 40 Bicep Curls *
  • 35 Dead lifts*
  • 30 Dumbbell Overhead Triceps Extension*
  • 25 Jumping Jacks
  • 20 Crunches
  • 15 Bicep Curls *
  • 10 Dead lifts*
  • 5 Minutes on the Stair Climber (or stair master)

I used 10 lb dumbbells for the ones with asterisk. For the weights I would suggest you use what you normally would or go a little heavier to push yourself.

Both these workouts were awesome and have motivated me to try more circuit training. I’ve been forcing myself to wake up at 5am to go to the gym this week because I love having it done in the morning. The gym is not crowded at that time and It makes me feel better all day. I use to do it for nearly 2 years straight and fell off the morning workout bandwagon and have found its WAY harder to wake up now. But I know I can get back in the habit if I keep doing it and then it will be a piece of cake again. I mean – as easy as getting up at 5am can be. Lets hope my relationship with my alarm clock gets a little better. 🙂


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Ravioli Workout

So you know when I said yesterday I was going to kick my butt back into shape. I never imagined It would feel like I really got kicked in the butt. I did some cardio and then some strength training. Holy cow my legs act like they have never done squats or lunges before. What’s up with that? Due to my hitting the snooze button mixed with no desire to trudge to the gym at 5:30 am I skipped morning boot camp and have opted to move my run to today. It’s supposed to rain Saturday when I had it planned so this is the perfect opportunity to get it out of the way and see how awful I do.

This was me this morning.

I’m not sure if I mentioned that I LOVE Vampire Diaries but I do. Most Thursday’s I spend it on the couch with my friend Elisabeth after a few week break we will be commencing our dinner and a show dates. Good thing because I have about half a dozen cupcakes left over that have her name on them because I want them out of the house. Hope you’re bringing your appetite my friend.

A traditional Filipino dish is on the menu tonight. Not sure I mentioned I’m a quarter Filipino so clearly that makes me a culinary expert in Filipino food. Not really but a simple search for the recipe will make me a 5 star chef. Right? My mom has tried to ‘share’ the recipe with me but she’s like pour some of this and pour some of that and see if it tastes or smells right. With dishes I make all the time I can employ that method but with things like this that’s like speaking another language to me. The language of the experiment that could end very badly for Jillian. So in me fashion I’ve employed my superior Google abilities and found an easy recipe that even I don’t think I could screw up. Maybe next time I’ll get more fancy and try my mom’s method but since I’m feeding someone other than Darren I like to play it safe. I don’t want to kill the few friends I have. 😉


But before I skip ahead to the deliciousness you will feast your eyes on tomorrow.  I made crunchy baked raviolis last night loosely based off this recipe. I would share how I did mine but I didn’t measure anything and kind of haphazardly threw things together. It was good – but lets be real Jessica’s looked better, probably tasted better and she actually has measurements and such. You go girl! I’m no where near that organized most nights. Many times I simply look in the kitchen to see what I have and throw things together and do a dance hoping it turns out edible.

I do promise to step up my cooking game and share some recipe creations I make. I can cook and enjoy it but haven’t had the time, energy or desire to get creative or document it lately. I’ll get there.


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After a long baking session a vacation was much needed. OK not really but I did take a nice and way too short vacation. Darren’s birthday was yesterday so on Sunday-Tuesday we joined his family in Tahoe for snow, relaxation and a little gambling. I thought the lucky 14 dollars I found in a parking lot a few days ago would win me millions – it in fact did not. I lost it all in a few short minutes. Lame. However, I did try my first game of Blackjack. I was up $10 but in true gambling fashion I got greedy and tried to make more. Can anyone guess what happened?


While our trip was short it was still nice to get away, play in some snow, eat cupcakes and enjoy a few glasses of wine in good company. However – I need to get my butt in gear. As you can imagine working out has been one of the last things on my mind as of late. I have gone a few weeks with minimal not so great workouts mixed with some not so great food choices and being thrown off my normal day to day schedule. I can tell I feel lethargic and exhausted which could be a combination of dealing with things as well as food and exercise choices. So it’s time I kick my own butt and get back into gear.

So in order to get myself back into gear I planned a workout schedule for the rest of this week and am making myself stick to them unless I physically can’t move. I’m going to give myself a break for a few days of running and ramp up the cardio and weights. I tried a few runs the past few days and have been disappointed. So a few days off may rejuvenate me. Here is what I have planned.

Wednesday – Cardio and Strength 60+ minutes (combined)

Thursday – AM Boot camp 60 minutes

Friday – Spin 60 Minutes

Saturday – Run 60 minutes + Bike Ride 60 minutes + (leisurely with Darren)

Sunday – Cardio and Strength 60+ minutes (combined)

Monday – Evening Boot camp 60 Minutes

Tuesday – Off

Wish me luck and if you don’t see me posting about what I’ve been up to in the workout department I give you permission to send me nasty comments and/or kick me if you see me around town. I’m off to finish up some work then head to the gym for my evening Cardio and Strength workout. Also stay tuned this week for some tasty recipes I’ve been hoarding

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