Tag Archives: weight

2 Key Moves for Toned Legs & a Firm Booty!

Toning your legs and booty doesn’t have to be a series of complicated & confusing movements. Nor does it require equipment. Using equipment is optional, and only includes one dumbbell or kettle bell (when you do it my way). You can stick to basic moves and still reach your goals and get the results you want.

Squats and Lunges

are two moves that will effectively target the biggest muscles in your body. Your leg muscles are dense and expansive, making them highly effective calorie burning machines. Furthermore, when you work these muscles, you are elevating your heart rate and increasing your metabolism. This will help your overall health, fitness and ability to keep fat off.



There are many different squat variations; my favorite of which is the sumo (or plie) squat. Here are some key pointers to keep in mind while you perform a sumo squat.

1. Walk each of your legs out so they are a bit wider than shoulder-width apart.

2. Point your toes away from your body at a 45 degree angle.

3. Keep your posture strong with your butt back, shoulders back and chest out.

4. Bend your knees and drop your butt down so that your knees form 90-degree angles.

5. Do not let your knees drift farther forward than your toes. (Letting that happen will encourage knee injury).

6. Drive your weight down through your heels and push your body upright.

Sumo squats target the inside of your quadriceps and your glutes a bit more than a traditional squat does. Refer to the above picture for depictions of the correct form. Proper form is crucial in effectively engaging all prime movers (muscles) as well as preventing injury.

Advanced Variations:

As pictured, you can add weight to this move to make it a full body workout. Driving weight above your head in combination with the sumo squat move will engage and tone your shoulders. Making the move an explosive jumping motion is another way to exhaust those muscles for a quick, challenging workout (while also engaging your calf muscles). If you fancy yoga, you can hold this pose with weight (as pictured) and will feel the same burn!



Lunges are an absolute powerhouse move for toning the back of your legs and glutes. They also happen to be one of my favorite exercises. I love the added challenge of balance, especially when using weight. Just like in performing squats, there are some key pointers to keep in mind when lunging:

1. From a standing upright position, take a large step forward with one of your legs.

2. Bend & drop your back knee so that it touches (or comes very close) to kissing the ground.

3. Like in performing squats, do not let your knee exceed your toe.

4. Make sure you are maintaining a strong posture through the duration of the movement. Keep your shoulders back, butt back and chest out. As you fatigue, you will be tempted to lower your torso each time you drive your leg down. Challenge yourself to keep your torso perpendicular to the ground the entire time.

5. Drive your weight down through the heel of your front leg, push your body back to an upright standing position.

Refer to the above picture for depictions of lunge form.

Something that applies to both squats and lunges: when you are driving your weight back up, the part of your foot that you are driving weight down into will target different muscles in your legs. For example, if you drive your weight down through your toes in performing a squat, you will feel your quadriceps (the front of your thigh) engaged, whereas if you drive your weight down through your heels, your hamstrings and glutes will be more engaged. I generally recommend pushing your weight down through your heels (as I love a great booty workout) but it also tends to keep your center of gravity more controlled and keeps you more stable. I urge you to experiment with both!

Advanced Variations:

Add weight! Adding weight ups the challenge, which makes you stronger, which makes you leaner, etc. You can also incorporate a trunk twist mid-lunge to challenge your core and engage your oblique muscles. To take it up another notch, try lunge jumps. In a lunge jump, you are propelling your body into the air each time you drive that front heel down. In other words, you are jumping up from a lunge position and landing with the opposite leg in front of you. This will incorporate your calf muscles and elevate your overall heart rate in a hurry. Like with merely any exercise, you can morph a lunge into a yoga move by holding this lunge pose for as long as you can. You will work the same muscles, while also improving muscular endurance and overall balance & flexibility.

Happy squatting & happy lunging–challenge yourself to get your patootie firmed up for summer time!


Primal Blueprint Primal Fuel Meal Replacement Review (Keto Friendly)


Primal Blueprint: Primal Fuel

Overall Rating: 4-stars

About Primal Blueprint:

“The Primal Blueprint is about helping you discover how amazingly simple and fun lifelong wellness can be. We provide a complete diet, exercise, and lifestyle philosophy with various products, services, and community support to help you enjoy effortless weight loss, vibrant health and boundless energy. The Primal Blueprint is based on lifestyle principles that have governed human health, evolution and peak performance for over two million years, and supported by respected research in the fields of epigenetics and evolutionary biology. The Primal Blueprint principles challenge many elements of Conventional Wisdom that are deeply flawed, and are making people fat, sick and burnt out – even well-meaning fitness enthusiasts who are trying to do the right thing.

We offer a progressive, free-thinking, grass roots movement that has become a true community. Besides the numerous products, services and events you see on this site, MarksDailyApple.com has hundreds of thousands of active followers who enjoy free daily health articles, a weekly newsletter, and a thriving forum.

Primal Blueprint Founder Mark Sisson has spent the last several decades on a quest for health, wellness and the truth in a world littered with flawed Conventional Wisdom. The Primal Blueprint offering of multimedia products, educational materials and service, and nutritional supplements supports the theory that health and fitness can be simple and fun, instead of the mainstream approach that involves struggle and suffering.

Mark Sisson founded Primal Nutrition, Inc. nearly 15 years ago, presenting a popular line of direct-order, premium quality nutritional supplements and supporting health education. Sisson’s publishing of the Primal Blueprint book in 2009 kick-started the evolution of the organization to become a full-service diet, exercise, and health education operation. We are committed to providing you with a comprehensive set of tools to help you navigate the hectic modern world in a way that honors your genetic requirements for health.

The Primal Blueprint is about changing lives; it’s about giving you hope if you’ve been discouraged; it’s about making health, even weight loss, effortless and enjoyable. If you’re ready to make a change in your life, please join us! We’d love to be your partner, your coach and your biggest supporter in getting you the life you want.

Primal Fuel:

Choc30_powder_reflect__72057_zoom Vanilla30_powder_reflect__89448_zoom

Primal Fuel Makes Low-Carb Eating Quick, Simple and Delicious

-20 Grams of the Highest Biological Value Protein per serving
-9 Grams of Delicious Fat (From Coconut)
-5 Grams of Natural Sugars (No HFCS)
-6 Grams of Soluble Fiber (as Prebiotics)
-Natural Chocolate and Vanilla Flavors

Now Available in 15 and 30 Serving Canisters (choose your size above)

The Perfect Primal, Paleo and Low-Carb Meal

Whether it’s for breakfast, lunch, dinner, or as a snack or dessert, Primal Fuel is perfect for any occasion. Quick, easy, cost-effective and convenient, Primal Fuel provides balanced, healthy doses of high-quality fat, protein and carbs in a delicious and incredibly satisfying shake. There is no other product on the market that comes remotely close by comparison.

Maintain Lean Muscle Mass with Generous Doses of High-Quality Protein

At 20 grams of the highest biological value (BV) Whey Protein Isolate in each serving, Primal Fuel beats most other popular meal replacements hands down. And with no soy in sight, you can rest assured that you are giving your body the best supplemental protein available in a rich, creamy shake.

Beat Hunger with Satisfying, Healthy Fat

Primal Fuel uses the finest coconut milk as the primary source of healthy fats. This higher fat content imparts a great taste and a creamy texture to take the edge off your hunger and leave you feeling satisfied for hours while providing exceptional nutrition.

Eliminate Sugar Cravings with Less Than 6 Grams of Net Carbs per Serving

At fewer than 6 grams of natural sugar (and no HFCS) per serving, Primal Fuel fits perfectly into any low carbohydrate eating style: Primal, Paleo, Atkins, South Beach, Protein Power, or Caveman Diet. Get off the sugar roller coaster and drop those cravings forever.

Rebalance and Re-Establish Healthy Bowel Terrain with Vital Prebiotics

Primal Fuel contains Inulin from Jerusalem Artichokes (the first choice in prebiotics), natural kelp extract and other important soluble fibers intended to help support healthy gut bacteria and excellent bowel health.

The Ideal Weight Loss Tool

With very few carb grams per serving you’ll keep your insulin levels low and help reprogram your body to burn stored body fat all day long. And Primal Fuel is also low in calories. With only 181 calories per serving it’s perfect as a small meal or snack, to take the edge off hunger and appetite, and to keep your weight loss goals on track.

Cheaper Than a McMuffin “Value” Meal and 10x Tastier and Better For You

Nothing is more important than health. And nothing comes close to having a larger impact on your health and well-being than what you eat. For the cost of a daily gourmet coffee you get an entire meal and the peace of mind that you’re fueling your body with Primal fuel.

Creamy, Delicious and Available in Both Chocolate Coconut and Vanilla Coconut Creme

The most impressive Nutrition Facts panel in the world would be useless if the product didn’t taste great, too. We spent months in the lab perfecting this formula so it would taste fantastic when mixed with just water.


Great care has been taken to avoid artificial sweeteners and flavors, and to source only the most natural ingredients for the ideal weight loss, muscle-building tool in the supplement world.

Convenient and Time Saving

One of the biggest challenges low-carb dieters face is what to eat for breakfast or for snacks throughout the day. Omelets and other early morning staples are often time-consuming and a hassle to make. Primal Fuel is the elegant solution to this problem. It takes seconds to make and can easily be consumed on-the-go. And as a snack at any time of day (yes, including late night) Primal Fuel deliciously takes the edge off hunger while giving you the satisfaction that you’ve stayed Primal.”



My Thoughts:

My first thoughts on these two blends were: Holy cow–delicious! Both of these flavors are absolutely scrumptious. They taste like a hearty, decadent dessert.

I have been using primarily whey protein in my daily nutrition, as I believe it to be one of the most bioavailable (absorbable by the body) proteins. I choose to rotate whey with some vegan blends like brown rice protein and sacha inchi; this is an effort for me to resist acquiring food sensitivities (which can happen when you frequently have a lot of one particular food.)

Though the ingredients are fairly recognizable, I do wish I saw more organic ingredients (at least they are not stated as such on the label).

The thing I like most about this meal replacement is its compatibility with the ketogenic approach, in which you consume a large amount of fat, an adequate amount of protein and a small amount of carbohydrates. Practicing keto eating has been something I’ve found success with. Thus, I’d recommend it to someone looking for a meal replacement that lives the ketogenic lifestyle.

I particularly enjoy listening to Primal Blueprint founder Mark Sisson talk about all thing nutrition and health. This podcast with Melissa Ambrosini is my favorite thus far, I’d highly recommend listening to it for a deeper look into what the keto lifestyle can offer you. He also dishes out a ton of solid wisdom on his site, MarksDailyApple.com

Body Sculpting Exercises Women Can Do at Home to Build Muscle as featured in the Houston Chronicle

Body Sculpting Exercises Women Can Do at Home to Build Muscle

by Jesica Salyer, Demand Media Google

Women can make their home routine just as effective as a gym routine.
Women can make their home routine just as effective as a gym routine. 

Taking your workout to a gym is not the only way to effectively build muscle as a woman. With some space and a few free weights, you can challenge and strengthen your body so that it becomes more sculpted and muscular. Remember, diet is one half of the equation in gaining muscle. Make sure you eat plenty of lean protein, vegetables, fruit and healthy fats to fuel your body properly so that it’s able to replenish itself and grow.

Incorporating Weights

Though body weight exercises will allow you to strengthen your muscles, you will witness more noticeable results if you use extra weight. Having a dumbbell or kettlebell at home can mean endless possibilities for your workouts. Start with a moderate size weight — at least 15 lbs. You want this weight to challenge you, as lifting too light will not help you sculpt your body. According to “Fitness” magazine, increase the weight you lift, not the reps, to increase your strength. In addition to having weights handy, find a spacious area in your home that allows a range of movement.

Deadlift to Upright Row

Your focus should be on integrating moves that target your upper and lower body, simultaneously. An effective example of this is performing a deadlift into an upright row. Start upright with your feet shoulder-width apart, gripping your dumbbell or kettlebell with both hands. Bend forward at the waist, bending your knees slightly as you come down. Bring the weight down to the ground, then use your hamstrings to pull it back up. As you become upright, pull the weight up to your chest by elevating your elbows. These moves target your hamstrings, glutes, shoulders and back. Do three sets of 15 repetitions.

Squat to Shoulder Press

A squat into a shoulder press is a move that will help sculpt and build your quadricep, hamstring, glute, lower back and shoulder muscles. Start by standing with your feet shoulder-width apart, holding your weight to your chest. Bend your knees and drop your butt down so that your knees are above your toes. Drive your weight down through your heels and push your body up. As you come up, extend your arms and push the weight upward. Maintain good form by keeping your shoulders back and chest out throughout the entire movement. Complete that sequence 15 times. Do three sets.

Lunges with a Twist

Weighted lunges are highly effective at sculpting and building your hamstrings and glutes. When combined with a twist, this move becomes a full-body exercise. Start with your weight in hand and arms extended in front of you. Take a large step forward, bend your knees and let your butt sink down. While in this tense position, rotate your torso and bring the weight to one side of your body. You should feel tightness in the top of your shoulders and your obliques. Repeat starting with your other leg, bringing the weight to the other side. Do three sets of 15 repetitions.

Read the published article here: http://livehealthy.chron.com/body-sculpting-exercises-women-can-home-build-muscle-9134.html

My Favorite Post-Workout Recipe


(topped with my Lemon Poppyseed protein cookie)

After a long, exhausting workout or run, my body craves replenishment. If you’re anything like me, my hunger doesn’t set in until at least 30 minutes after my workout concludes. Therefore, right after finishing my workout, my body needs primarily hydration with a kick of nutrients–nothing super heavy. I throw these ingredients into a blender for the perfect post-workout smoothie:

-2 Cups of filtered water (I filter my water with a Berkey filter)

-1 Tablespoon of spirulina (a robust, nutrient dense powdered sea plant)

-1/2 scoop of vanilla protein (I use Jay Robb’s vanilla protein)

-1/2 cup of fresh or frozen pineapple (pineapple contains enzymes that minimize bruising and aid in recovery)

Blend, enjoy, replenish!

Manitoba Harvest Hemp Review


Manitoba Harvest Hemp Products

Overall Rating: 5 Stars

About Manitoba Harvest:

“We heart hemp foods SO much we see no reason to love any other, and that’s why we ONLY manufacture and sell hemp foods.

When it comes to hemp foods, we want to know as much as possible and be involved at every level – from seed to shelf. Luckily we are! We are tremendously proud to be the world’s largest hemp food manufacturer to grow, make and sell our own line of hemp foods.

We are in the fields educating farmers and encouraging more hemp acres.

We are making everything on-site at our world class manufacturing facility. Our manufacturing plant has achieved the highest level of global certification in food safety and quality.

We are proactively spreading the word about hemp foods to all those that will listen. We share over a million sample packages per year to hemp fans young and old all across North America.

Sharing the hemp love is just what we do best.

Our Mission

To manufacture and market the highest quality hemp food products, to educate on the health and environmental benefits of hemp, and to strive for sustainability in all that we do.

Vision Statement 
To be the global leader in hemp food products, promoting health and wellness, and fostering positive change for community and the environment.

Core Values

  • Passion
  • Health
  • Quality
  • Integrity
  • Transparency
  • Fun.”


Hemp Hearts

Manitoba Harvest’s Description:

“There’s no need to grind the seed as they are ready to eat straight from the bag. Hemp Hearts™ make it easy to add omegas, protein & fiber straight into your diet.

Hemp Hearts, the very best and most nutritious part of the hemp seed, the heart. By shelling the hemp seed, you get only the center, with its raw nutrition, rich nutty flavor and tender crunch. So easy to use, eat them straight out of the package or sprinkle on anything – salad, cereal or yogurt. The only limit is your imagination!

Unlike some other seeds, there is no need to grind Hemp Hearts to get at the incredible nutrition. They are full of protein with 10 grams of complete plant-based protein per 30 gram (3 tablespoons) serving size. Hemp Hearts are also a great way to add omegas or EFAs (essential fatty acids) to your diet. According to the World Health Organization, the ideal ratio of Omega-6 to Omega-3 EFAs is 4:1 and the naturally occurring ratio in Hemp Hearts is 3.75:1. Hemp Hearts contain more protein and Omega-6 & 3 and less carbs than a similar serving of Chia or Flax.

Our farmer partners deliver whole seed directly to our state-of-the-art, globally certified facility. Here we remove the hard outer shell of the hemp seed, leaving just the soft, tasty Hemp Heart, which are tested for quality then sealed in a modified atmosphere, light impermeable package to lock in the freshness.”

My Description & Thoughts:

I have been a fan of the hemp plant for several years now. It’s a nutritionally dense plant and the seeds, or hearts, are incredibly delicious. These hemp hearts by Manitoba Harvest are of the utmost quality, and you can taste it. These are a staple in my pantry–as I use them in baking grain free baked items, sprinkled over bowls of fruit, in salads and ground up in a smoothie. They are so versatile and  they add a yummy, nutty flavor to any dish you put them in.

I’d highly recommend these hemp hearts to anyone! In my opinion, more individuals should be incorporating hemp seeds into their diet. They are an absolute superfood and a delicious addition to your diet.

2013111813572342744_med 2013111814263359237_med 2013111814285141885_med

Hemp Protein

Manitoba Harvest’s Description:

Hemp Pro 50: 

“The ‘essential’ hemp protein powder.

  • Raw, whole food made with a single ingredient – hemp!
  • Tastes great! Blends well with your favorite smoothie ingredients!
  • A complete plant based protein great for vegan/vegetarian diets.
  • Incredibly nutritious – per 30 gram serving, HempPro 50 contains 15 grams of easy to digest, plant based protein, 7 grams of fibre and 2.6 grams of Omegas.”

Hemp Pro 70:

“The world’s first easy-to-mix hemp protein powder.

  • Water soluble – mixes easily into any delicious drink! Just add to shaker cup and go.
  • Smooth, creamy texture that tastes great!
  • Can also be stirred into yogurt, or hot cereal and is great for baking.
  • Easily digestible, complete, plant-based protein.
  • Incredibly nutritious – per 30 gram serving, HempPro70 contains 20 grams of protein and 3.4 grams of Omegas.”

Hemp Pro Fiber:

“Restore your digestive health with HempPro Fiber.

  • 13g fiber (52% RDI) per 30g serving.
  • 11g protein and 2.7g omegas per 30g serving.
  • Organic, raw whole food.
  • Easy to digest plant-based complete protein.
  • Blend into smoothies or add to baking.”

My Description & Thoughts on the Proteins:

The quality of the ingredients is of the utmost quality to me when I try new products. When I see that a product boasts great ingredients, I am merely sold right there. This is the case for these proteins. They are nutrient powerhouses and deliver a whole lot of plant based protein to your body.

The different in between Manitoba’s three proteins is mainly protein density. The Hemp Pro 50 is 50% protein by weight, Hemp Pro 70 is 70% protein by weight and the Hemp Pro Fiber is hemp protein combined with hemp fiber powder.

Hemp protein tastes a bit earthy, green and a tad nutty. I have yet to find a combination that doesn’t work in using this protein in smoothies. It goes well with any fruit–the flavor of the fruit often times masks the hemp flavor altogether.

You can’t go wrong incorporating these proteins into your diet. I am not vegan nor vegetarian, but these proteins are suitable for individuals who are, as they are 100% plant derived. Go hemp! These are fantastic products and absolutely have my stamp of approval.

*These complimentary products have been generously provided to me for the purpose of trying them in order to write a review on my experience.