Exercise (My In-the-Middle Approach)

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Let’s be real… most human beings are not exactly fond of working out. And I’m here to tell you that I’m not much different. I know what you’re thinking if you know me… Cassi, you have a degree in Exercise Science, you clearly like to workout.

Here’s the thing… it’s not that I really enjoy performing the exercises. I specialized in the subject because I know how important it is. I just appreciate the many benefits of exercise and want others to understand them as well.

I could go on and on about the never ending benefits of exercise, but there’s always one thing that I like to remind myself about when I’m not feeling all that up to it. Let me be one of those annoying people that talk about the cavemen for just a second here… human beings are not meant to be sedentary!

Take-out, Hy-Vee Aisles, and Hello Fresh have not always existed. Yeah, unfortunately, we used to have to work for our food. And water hasn’t always come out of a tap. And our homes have not always been maintained by someone we pay.

So, since we’re spoiled nowadays… we have to make up for it by doing our own physical activity. And yes, this would involve a mix of aerobic (cardio) and anaerobic (weight-lifting). Unless, you’d like to go hunt and gather for your food everyday… be my guest!

Because I’m also not the biggest fan of working out, here is my #1 way I get myself to do it at least 5 days a week…

Mixing it Up!

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When it comes to exercise, I love all different kinds of activities. And I like to do them all to mix it up and keep it interesting. Who wants to go to the gym everyday, run for 20 minutes, lift for 40, then go home? I mean maybe that’s what works for you… but I’d get pretty bored.

Every week is a little different for me lately, but I highly recommend at least setting a designated time each day to workout. Whether it’s before work (which is what my husband does), after work, during lunch, or a different time everyday (like me). Just try to set aside the time beforehand.

Then, just make sure you’re getting a good mix of both aerobic and anaerobic. You can do this by doing them every other day or incorporating both into one workout.

Aerobic/anaerobic Every other day

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This is typically the approach that I take, but it will take some planning ahead. So, for example, I might lift weights on Monday (usually half of the muscle groups)… then on Tuesday, I go for a walk/jog… Wednesday, I lift the other half of the muscle groups… Thursday, I go to the zoo or for a hike… and Friday, I do a yoga session.

You can do this however you want… you can lift 4 days and go for a run once or twice in between lifting. Or if you’re a fan of running, go for a run 3 days and lift twice in between.

And you don’t have to workout just on the weekdays… if it works better to workout on the weekends and take Wednesday and Friday off… then do it! Sometimes, I don’t feel like working out after a long week on Friday, so I workout Saturday morning instead. Whatever you need to do to get the job done.

Also, if you want to give yoga a try, or don’t want to pay for a membership, or if you’re like me and don’t like doing it in front of others… try this awesome yoga app!

Down Dog is great for any level yogi. You can choose all different options for your workouts and it’s all from the comfort of your home. And the free version is perfect for amateurs!

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Click this icon to download the Down Dog App!

aerobic/anaerobic in same workout

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Now and then, when I’m a slacker I have to incorporate both aerobic and anaerobic into one workout. I, personally, like to do this through circuit workouts. So, working quickly through bodyweight or lightweight exercises. Many of the classes at gyms like HIIT or Tabata are like this. They get your heart rate up while really working your muscles. These are great if you don’t have a ton of time.

But, if you do have plenty of time in your day, you can also get your cardio in and follow it up with weights. The key is to make sure you get enough of both when you do this.

make working out work for you!

My point to all of this is… working out does not have to be boring. It should be fun/interesting/exciting! Don’t be afraid to try something new. Try a new class at your gym, download a workout video you’ve never done before, find a new place to go for a walk/run, or get the Down Dog app and try yoga!

Just make a weekly plan… what time of the day will you workout? What activities on which days? Do you have some aerobic and some anaerobic? Are you staying active at least 5 days a week?

Here’s a couple of my sample weeks…

MondayLift – chest, back, legs, abs
TuesdayIt’s a beautiful day – Push Lily in stroller at Zoo.
WednesdayLift – biceps, triceps, shoulders, legs, abs
Thursday30 minutes full practice yoga
FridayI’m a slacker
SaturdayStill a slacker (but hey, we went shopping and I walked a lot)
SundayOkay, okay… I’ll go for a jog.

MondayCircuit Workout
Tuesday40 min full practice yoga
WednesdayLift – Full Body
ThursdayWalk with Lily
SaturdayGo for a Hike
Sunday30 minutes restorative yoga

So, as you can see… I am not perfect by any means! Everyday is different for me, especially since my schedule is never the same and I have a one-year-old that isn’t exactly easy to workout with. I honestly don’t even plan a week ahead since my days are so random. I literally plan out my next day during my shower the night before.

All I can do is TRY. Try to be active everyday and try to challenge myself in every workout.

And if you want any workout tips or even a personalized plan… I would be happy to put this Exercise Science knowledge to use and help you out! Give me a shout on social media or go to my Contact Me page.

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My (mostly) Healthy Lifestyle

Recently, my husband and I have gotten many compliments on our weight loss. And most of the time, people ask us what we did. It’s true, since our 14 month old was born, we’ve both lost several pounds. I, myself, lost all of my baby weight plus dropped another 20. Alex lost about 30 pounds.

I wish I could tell you we just made one simple change and it did the trick. However, we had to make many lifestyle changes to get where we are now. There’s no one secret diet, workout plan, or supplement that worked for us. Instead, we took several small steps that seemed to add up to the perfect solution for us.

Just remember that every person and every body is different, and our small changes might not work for you, but I hope this might guide you to making your own steps towards a healthier life.

So, here’s a list of our mostly healthy lifestyle changes.

1 – Having a Child

Okay, so I don’t recommend having a child just to meet your weight loss goals. However, for my husband and I, this humongous lifestyle change definitely helped us step in the right direction.

For me, it all started with breastfeeding, which basically sucks the life right out of you. But seriously, breastfeeding can burn up to 500 extra calories a day. That’s the same as jogging for 45 minutes!

For my husband, he lost 10 pounds in just the first 3 days of being a father. I mean, most of it was lack of sleep and food, but also the constant getting up and down to tend to our every needs.

Overall, having a baby can be a pretty good calorie burner. Carrying a 6 plus pound sack of flour will tone the arms. Not to mention the picking up, setting down, bending over, squatting, and chasing you do as they grow.

2 – Reducing those Bad Carbs

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It’s everywhere these days. Keto, Whole 30, Paleo. Cutting out starchy carbohydrates is the way to go. Well, they aren’t exactly wrong. At least, it worked pretty well for me and my husband.

So, did we go crazy Keto and cut it all out? Nope. We were just inspired by all of these diet fads, and took our own approach.

When it comes to our home cooked meals, we do our best to stick to meats and veggies. We eat a lot of rice and potatoes still, but we no longer make pasta or make meals with bread. We even try to stay away from tortillas.

But we are far from perfect, we still give in to our cravings at least weekly, if not more. I’ll talk more about our low-carb meals and such in another future blog.

3 – Cutting Down on Added Sugars

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Now, did I say stop eating sugar altogether? Absolutely NOT! Why would we want to be completely miserable? The key is to cut out as much of the unnecessary sugar as possible.

By simply looking at the nutrition facts on the foods you buy, you’ll find that a lot (I mean a LOT) of foods have more sugar than you think in them. Just be more conscious of it.

But, Alex and I definitely have a sweet tooth. And most nights, you will probably find us on the couch having some kind of dessert. The key is PORTION CONTROL. Look at serving sizes. Look at the sugar content.

Find your perfect balance by indulging your cravings with a taste, but don’t go overboard.

I go into detail about cutting down on added sugars in my blog 3 Ways to Cut Down on Added Sugars.

4 – My Two-Cheat Rule

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My two-cheat rule goes along with the last two points. Because, again, we’re not perfect. I have cravings. I can be lazy when it comes to cooking. I really love sugar and bread and pasta.

I would probably die if I didn’t cheat. So, that’s why I give myself a two-cheat rule.

Everyday, I give myself a TWO serving limit of the foods I probably shouldn’t eat. This could be anything from a piece of toast, a cup of ice cream, a super-sugar-loaded-latte, French fries, pasta… you get the idea.

So, if I have a waffle for breakfast and a cheeseburger for lunch… that means meat and veggies for dinner and no dessert. The key is to limit the bad stuff without going completely crazy.

5 – Exercise (Of Course)

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Working out has always been part of our routine. There’s been many times when I’ve slacked… especially when I was pregnant. So, after Lily was born and it was time to get back to it, it was not exactly easy. It’s never easy to get back to an exercise routine. But, all I can say is keep pushing yourself.

Start light and easy to get yourself into a groove, then keep challenging yourself. Try a variety of workouts.

That’s one way that I’ve managed to workout at least 5 days a week… mixing it up. Depending on the time I have, the weather, and if I can make it to the gym, almost every day is a different workout.

Walks. Jogs. Weight Lifting. Circuits. Yoga. Aerobics Classes. Barre Classes. None of these workouts take more than an hour. They can all be done in a variety of difficulty levels. There’s really no excuse to not stay active.

You can read more about how to keep exercise interesting by mixing it up in my blog, Exercise (My In-The-Middle Approach).

6 – Some Supplements

Image result for protein powder

The few supplements that we take really don’t have much effect on our weight necessarily. However, they do help us maintain our healthy lifestyle.

For starters, we use a typical whey protein powder for protein shakes after workouts or for a meal replacement. We either simply mix it with almond milk, or blend it with almond milk and other ingredients to make a delicious smoothie. Stay tuned for posts about protein smoothie recipes!

We also recently started taking beet root powder. There’s several different brands that make it, but we really like the Nu-Therapy Power Beets.

Nu-Therapy Power Beets Super Concentrated Circulation Superfood Dietary Supplement - Delicious Acai Berry Pomegranate Flavor - Non-GMO Beet Root Powder, 60 Servings

It tastes pretty good just mixed with water. We take it as sort of a pre-workout, because it improves “muscle oxygenation during exercise.” And there’s a ton of other great health benefits. Read all about it in this Medical News Today article.

And last, but not least, my husband and I both became much better about taking vitamins, especially once I had to start taking a pre-natal.

UPDATE: We have also started using greens in our protein shakes/smoothies. We like the Bowmar Nutrition Greens. They barely have a taste and I love that we can add some great nutrition to our everyday diet. We even put them in Lily’s shakes since she isn’t exactly the best at eating her veggies.


These are just the few added measures we take to maintain our health, but there are lots of great products out there that may work for you and your body.

Finding your Perfect Balance

These are six lifestyle changes that my husband and I made after our daughter was born. Somehow, it really worked for us. Could we make even better changes? Of course. We’re always trying to improve our health.

The point is… there really isn’t a secret. If you want to improve your diet, fitness, health, and over-all life, make small changes here and there. Stick with those that work and keep trying new things. Don’t make yourself miserable by never eating a potato again (ugh, that’d be terrible).

And stay tuned for more posts about our perfect balance.

If you liked this blog post, press like below! And if you want to share it with others, click the social media links below. And I would love to hear back from you… feel free to leave a comment!

Like any of the products I mentioned? Please purchase them via the links provided.

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Your support is very appreciated!