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Sunday, June 30, 2013

Burn of the Day {BOD} 6/30/13

Every Minute On The Minute
1 Squat
1 Push-up
1 Burpee
Add 1 rep to each movement with each successive minute until failure.

Post time to comments!

Lots of love,

Saturday, June 29, 2013

Burn of the Day {BOD} 6/29/13


7 Rounds For Time:
7 Burpees {more info on burpees here!}
7 Squats
7 Sit-ups

Post time to comments!

Friday, June 28, 2013

Burn of the Day {BOD} 6/28/13

CrossFit posts their Workout of the Day {WOD} each day on their website...we're going to start posting our Burn of the Day {BOD} for all you lovely ladies! Do the BOD, and work your bod!

For Time:
25 Squats, 5 Push-ups
20 Squats, 10 Push-ups
15 Squats, 15 Push-ups
10 Squats, 20 Push-ups
5 Squats, 25 Push-ups

Squats: Thighs should drop past parallel. In other words, you should feel the back of the thighs touch the back of your calves.

Push-ups: Modify as needed. Hands can go against a wall, on a desk or chair, or on the floor for strict push-ups. You can also do push-ups on your knees instead.

Post your time to comments!

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Burn and Fuel Woman: Mindy Spencer

Since Burn and Fuel Women is about inspiring and encouraging women, we decided to feature spotlight stories of women close to us who we believe are beyond inspirational. This blog is about all of you, not us. Sure, Mel and I like to write about our runs or various workouts, but at the end of the day, we want to hear your stories and allow others to draw inspiration from your challenges and accomplishments. 

Mindy is a dear friend of mine who I have known {and loved!} for several years from church. She is always such a pleasure to be around and has the sweetest spirit. I asked her to be the first BAFW profile because I have seen her life just blossom with amazing opportunities just in the past several months. She has always been beautiful inside and out to me.  But now she looks smokin' hot! I am so thrilled about her dedication and hard work to get to where she is today...I know it hasn't been easy, friend!

Here's Mindy's story...

My fitness journey begins when I was 20 years old and in college. At the time, I was taking 22 units, working two jobs and at my ultimate breaking point of the amount of stress my body could take. What can I say... I have a high amount of "Achiever" in me. I believe in hard work and doing your very best. 

After awhile I started feeling very ill and noticed I wasn't able to recover from it. It took about two years to get the correct diagnosis. I had Crohn's Disease, an autoimmune deficiency that happens to some young people. I was immediately placed on a steroid, Prednisone, which brought on significant weight gain. 

At that point in my life I was in "survival mode." I was struggling just to get to my next class. But nothing was going to stand in my way of getting my degree, not even an illness. Regardless of my ambition for school, my body was not getting excercise and the nutrition it needed. Emotionally, I was such a mess from everything that I didn't even have time to care. 

Let's skip forward six years...

I am in remission at this point, graduated and in a full-time job. I am finally able to take on the issue that I knew was so important and that I had been almost too "scared" of taking care of. I knew I HAD to get healthy. My body needed it so that I could function fully. I desired to be strong. To not be afraid of the body that I felt had failed me. 

I realized I had a choice and knew that I could do this. I joined Weight Watchers in August of 2012. The nutrition classes they offer were incredibly helpful, especially for a person who has diet constraints due to illness. I also took up running since adopting a rambunctious puppy, as well as getting back to some old loves of mine: hiking and tennis. 

Skip forward to today, June 2013. I am 35 pounds lighter! It's crazy how much you find that you are able to do activity-wise when your body is in shape. I even recently lead a fitness challenge at my work place that had coworkers track their activity level in "steps." It was awesome to get to coordinate that and it definitely kept me in check. 

What's ahead? The same thing. Consistency, I'm finding, is key. Sometimes you have to get to your breaking point to realize that you have to make a change. In my case it was exactly that, and it worked. My hope is to continue taking adventures in the great outdoors and lose about 15 more pounds. Slowly but surely, you can achieve all things!

-mindy spencer 

Monday, June 10, 2013

Bodyweight Series: Burpees

We'll be starting a series on the cheapest, most convenient, and most effective piece of exercise equipment ever...your own body weight!

No gym membership required.
No fancy schmancy equipment.
All you need is a floor...and you!
It's freer than free!
Can literally be done any place, any time, while wearing {or not wearing!} anything.

Let's first look at burpees...

Burpees may just be the single best exercise that you can possibly do.  And yet, burpees are one of those exercises that people absolutely love to hate. It's hard not to hate something that kicks your butt, leaves you a millimeter from passing out, and burns the besqueezus out of every muscle in your body. This will burn crazy calories, shed fat all over, and make you stronger while working your arms, abs, glutes, hamstrings, quads, and chest.

I think there's something wrong with my neurological wiring because I just love doing burpees {strangely enough} for the same reason people want to give them the middle finger.

If you search the web, you'll find a whole heck of a lot of burpee variations, depending on how hard you want to get knocked on your tush. But the idea is that you go from a vertical position to horizontal then back up to vertical as quickly as you can. Like this...

4-Point Burpee

Start standing.


Kick feet back to plank/push-up position.

Pull feet back in to squat.

Back up to standing or jump up.

6-point/Push-Up Burpee: For an extra challenge, there's the 6-point burpee which adds a push-up {chest to touch the ground} from the plank position.

Burpee Box Jumps: Instead of standing up or jumping straight up, jump on to a plyometric box.

There's some burpees that exhibit poor form and good form. For example, CrossFit's version of burpees are the perfect example of the former. It goes a little something like this:

Squat. Kick out {more like flop down} to touch chest and thighs to the ground. Back to squat. Jump up to touch a target 6" above your max reach.

And I have a sorry butt has been doing this version of burpees, thinking I'm all hardcore knocking burpees out faster than you can say "onomatopoeia." In the back of my mind I keep thinking, "Why do people hate burpees so much? They're easy!" Well, no wonder! I've been cheating!

I really have no idea why CrossFit has its athletes do burpees like this. To be able to do more in less time? Doing this version of burpees causes the athlete to hyper extend the lumbar when getting up, which can cause injury.

Ready to do it?  Let's go!

30 Day Burpee Challenge: This is a great way to slowly get into the swing of your new favorite exercise. Modify any way you want, take your time, and try to keep your back as straight as possible.

The Prisoner Workout: What do you do when you're a prisoner...meaning, you have no agenda, no equipment, and limited space? You work out, of course!  You do burpees!  Lots and lots of burpees!  Here's how this one 20 reps of burpees {straight through without stopping, if possible}. Rest and catch your breath.  Now do 19 reps of burpees. Catch your breath.  Keep descending the number of reps you do until you get all the way down to 1.  See how long it takes you to complete this workout.  I have done this once {doing cheater/CrossFit burps} and it took me 26:33.  I'll have to try it again by doing 4-point or 6-point burpees. You can modify by starting at a different number other than 20, like 10 or 5, depending on your fitness level and how much time you've got.

Let us know how it goes!  Keep an eye out for the next Bodyweight Series exercise...

Lots of love, Dawn

New York Times article "What's the Best Exercise?"
Burpee T-shirt
4-Point Burpee Image:
6-Point Burpee Image
Burpee Box Jumps Image
Burpees and proper form

Monday, June 3, 2013

Juicy Juice: Mel's Magic Potion

I am absolutely in love with juicing! It has totally changed my body on the inside and out, increased my energy level, totally leaned out my body,  improved my running and workout routines, eliminated my migraines,  and has allowed me to stop taking all medications! It has literally changed my life and I would encourage all you ladies out there to give it a shot.  

I've been researching juicing for a while now just to make sure I had accurate info. I put together this plan based off of multiple websites I found useful and accurate, and based off of my own personal juicing experience. Let me know what you think and please share your success stories with us! 

Remember, you HAVE to use a juicer when you are juicing to detox and cleanse your body. You do not want any chunks or pulp in your juice. 

The first day may be rough, but hang in there! It's totally worth it. Try very hard to only have the juices and the juices only, that's what will clean you out and reduce bloating. 

Preparing the juice takes time. To make it easier and save time, I juice all of my meals and snacks the night before and store them in mason jars. Makes it easie the next day. You just shake it up and drink up! You can store your juice in the mason jars for 4 days. I would only suggest storing in mason jars and nothing else. I bought a case of 12 16oz. Mason jars at Food 4 Less for under $10. 

When I'm not on a juice fast, I always drink  32 ounces of the green juices and 16 ounces of a citric and acidic fruit juice for nutrition, to boost my metabolism, and the keep me regular. It's a very good and healthy habit to get in to. 

On the days you are juice fasting, try to keep your workouts light......I know...... Easier said than done! You can still workout, just nothing too CRAZY! When you are fasting, you wont have all of your energy to have a crazy workout. 

Remember, drink lots of hot water with fresh lemon and fresh ginger slices. This helps with the hunger pains and cravings. The first day is brutal, but it gets so much better by day 2 and you will feel so much better, lighter, and less bloated. My stomach has never felt this good. My entire life I have struggled with IBS and it's taken a lot out of me. So I am very excited to see such amazing results from juicing, going gluten free and eating more "clean."

After day 3, I  slowly introduce solid foods back in to my eating. This is a great opportunity to see which foods you may be sensitive or allergic to.  Eliminate those foods from your eating in hopes of improving your digestive system. I also suggest keeping a food journal. 

You can also choose to do the juice fast for more days if you would like. I wouldn't suggest doing it for more than one week at a time. If you do decide to do it for more than two days, just repeat the recipes from day 1 & day 2 for your other juicing days or just get creative and create your own recipes. Always remember to have your smoothie transition day before introducing solid foods back in to your diet. If you don't do this, your tummy and digestive system will not be too happy with you. 

3 Day Juice Cleanse to Heal & Repair Digestive System
*Sunday: juice fast preparation day
*Monday: juice fast day 1 (2-3 liters of juice/day 66-99 oz.)
*Tuesday: juice fast day 2 (2-3 liters of juice/day 66-99oz.)
*for more than 2 days, drink the same amount of juice and water as the previous days.
*Wednesday: smoothie transition day. Blended smoothies and blended soup. (see below for recipes)

**Shopping List**
Millet (grain polenta type thing. I get at Lassen's) 
1 tbsp Soy seasoning 
2 avocado 
1/2 banana
Fennel bulb (looks like a big bulb of white/green type onion. I get at trader joes)
Sun flower nut butter (^^^similar to peanut butter)
16 cups spinach 
1 cup vegetable stock
Pure vanilla extract 
1 sweet potato 
Almond milk
2 beets
Ginger root
2 tomatoes 
1 bunch romaine 
1/2 bunch parsley 
4 green onion
4 carrots
1 pear 
4 celery bunch
2 kale bunch
2 green peppers 
4 cucumbers 
1 onion 
Olive oil
Cider vinegar 
Liquid stevia or honey
Digestive tea

*Day #1: 
In total, Drink around 4 liters of water, 2 (64 oz.) liters of juice, and 250mL of digestive tea
*Day #2:
In total, drink around 2 (64 oz.) liters of juice, 4 liters of water, and around 3 dixie cup sized popsicles made from juice, and 250mL of digestive tea if needed.
*Day #3:
In total, drink 4 liters of water and see recipes below for meals and smoothies.

**Juice Fast Preparation (day before actual fast)**
The day before a juice fast is just as important as the fast itself. You want to make sure you’re not eating heavy foods that are going to cause any digestive upsets in the days to come. So, on Sunday plan on having foods like:
Steamed vegetables
Fruit puree
Brown rice
Nut or seed butters
Rice protein shakes

**For more recipes, check out:

**Check out the documentary on juicing called "Fat, Sick, and Nearly Dead." You can watch it on Netflix or you can Google it and watch it for free.

***Juice Recipes***

~~~My favorites! I drink this everyday!
**Green Monster**
Green apple
Lemon (peeled)

**Sweet and Sour**
Green apple 

~~ (DAY 1) Sweet and Green~~ 
Vegan, Gluten free, Dairy free, Sugar-free, Yeast free, Corn free, Grain free
Yield: 750mL or 3 cups (24 oz.)
Servings: 1

1 pear
1 apple
2 cups spinach
1 bunch of kale
1 celery stalk (about 10 sticks with leaves)
1 cucumber

If you have a ‘low’ setting on your juicer, begin with the softer veggies first – spinach, kale and cucumber. Then turn to ‘high’ and juice the pear, apple, and celery. Use cheese cloth to strain out any pulp or chunks that may have passed through your juicer.

~~ (DAY 1) Veggie Overload~~ 
Vegan, Gluten free, Dairy free, Sugar-free, Yeast free, Corn free, Grain free
Yield: 1000mL or 4 cups (32 oz.)
Servings: 1

2 tomatoes
4 cups spinach
1 bunch of kale
3 green onions
1 celery stalk (about 10 sticks with leaves)
1 green pepper
1/2 bunch parsley
1/2 lemon, juiced by hand and added in afterward

If you have a ‘low’ setting on your juicer, begin with the softer veggies first – tomato, spinach, kale, and parsley. Then turn to ‘high’ and juice the onions and celery. Squeeze in juice from half a lemon. Use cheese cloth to strain out any pulp or chunks that may have passed through your juicer.

~~ (DAY 2) Cinnamon Ginger Nectar~~ 
Vegan, Gluten free, Dairy free, Sugar-free, Yeast free, Corn free, Grain free
Yield: 1000mL or 4 cups (32 oz.)
Servings: 1

4 cups spinach
1 head romaine lettuce
1 English cucumber
1 celery stalk, about 10 sticks with leaves
1 apple
1 small knob of fresh ginger, about 1 inch section
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
5 drops liquid stevia or honey

If you have a ‘low’ setting on your juicer, begin with the softer veggies first – spinach, lettuce and cucumber. Then turn to ‘high’ and juice the celery, apple, and ginger. Use cheese cloth to strain out any pulp or chunks that may have passed through your juicer.
Transfer the juice to a blender, add cinnamon and stevia or honey and pulse for a couple of seconds to break up the cinnamon.

~~ (DAY 2) Love Drunk Spinach~~ 
Vegan, Gluten free, Dairy free, Sugar-free, Yeast free, Corn free, Grain free
Yield: 1000mL or 4 cups (32 oz.)
Servings: 2

4 cups spinach
1 English cucumber
1 green pepper, seeds removed
1 celery stalk, about 10 sticks with leaves
4 carrots
2 small beets

If you have a ‘low’ setting on your juicer, begin with the softer veggies first – spinach and cucumber. Then turn to ‘high’ and juice the pepper, celery, carrots, and beets. Use cheese cloth to strain out any pulp or chunks that may have passed through your juicer.

~~ (Day 3 SNACK) Caramel Apple Green Smoothie ~~
Vegan, Gluten free, Dairy free, Sugar-free, Yeast free, Corn free, Grain free
Yield: 500mL or 2 cups or 16 oz.
Servings: 1

1 cup almond milk
1 frozen apple
2 tbsp sunbutter
2 cups spinach
2 medjool dates, pitted
1/4 tsp pure vanilla extract
1/8 tsp ground cinnamon
pinch salt
2 ice cubes

Place in your blender in the order of the ingredients listed, then blend for 30 seconds or until smooth.

~~(Day 3 SNACK)~~
Cinnamon Nectar Ginger Juice (see recipe above)

~~(Day 3 BREAKFAST)~~
Ultra Green Smoothie
1 cup apple juice made from fresh apples in juicer 
2 cups spinach 
1/2 avocado frozen 
1/2 banana frozen 
3 ice cubes

Place in your blender in the order of the ingredients listed, then blend for 30 seconds or until smooth.

~~(Day 3 LUNCH)
Pump up your greens creamed soup
2 cups spinach leaves
1 avocado 
1/2 cucumber 
1 green onion
1/2 red pepper 
1/4 veggie broth 
1 clove garlic 
1 tbsp soy seasoning 
1 tbsp Lemon juice 
Pinch chili powder 

Place all the ingredients and blend in blender. 

~~ (Day 3 DINNER) ~~
Sautéed Fennel and Lentil Soup
Vegan, Gluten free, Dairy free, Sugar-free, Yeast free, Corn free
Yield: 500mL or 2 cups or 16 oz.
Servings: 1

1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1/4 cup diced onion
1 small sweet potato, diced – yield ~1/4 cup
1/4 fennel bulb, sliced – yield ~1/3 cup
1 cup vegetable stock
1/3 cup cooked millet
1/3 cup cooked lentils

To cook the millet, rinse and drain 1/4 cup raw millet before placing it in a small saucepan. Cover with 2/3 cup water. Cover and bring to a boil on high heat. Then reduce heat to low. Cook gently without stirring for 15-20 minutes or until the liquid is absorbed. Remove from heat and set aside.
Place the olive oil, onion, sweet potato, and fennel in a medium saucepan on medium-low heat. Cover and cook for 10-15 minutes, stirring often until sweet potatoes are tender.
Non-power blender version: Add vegetable stock to the saucepan and bring to a boil. Remove from heat and pour in your food processor or blender. Add remaining ingredients and pulse until smooth.

Power blender version (like blendtec or vitamix): Drop sauteed vegetables in blender with all other ingredients. Turn blender on low, progressing to high and run for 2-3 minutes until soup is hot.

~Fruit juice – Juice in juicer 1 orange, 1 apple, 1 cup strawberries 
~Teas: chamomile, peppermint, lemon grass, ginger root, & sliced ginger root with lemon in hot water
~use fruit juice to make Popsicles in Dixie cups

-Keep moving! Stay active!
- When using your juicer, use cheese cloth or colander  to strain out any pulp or chunks that may have passed through your juicer.
-Teas are great when you’re juice fasting. They’re comforting, warming, and calming. Some of my favorites are chamomile, peppermint, lemon grass, and ginger root.
-Green smoothies once per day to increase daily veggie consumption
-Smaller meals more often to lower the impact on digestion. Instead of
having 3 meals at approx. 500 calories each, switched to 5-6 meals at approx. 300 calories each
-Get back to intuitive eating and trust your internal wisdom
-Keep a food journal to rule out sensitivities or allergies
-Increase hydrochloric acid to assist with digestion:
5 minutes before each meal consume: 2 tbsp apple cider vinegar or 1/2 fresh lemon juice with 1/4 cup water.
-Increase healthy fats:
1 teaspoon of fish oil twice a day.
1 avocado per day. Has high fiber and high fat!
-Support smooth moving digestion:
2-4 grams of vitamin C powder per day.
-Give your digestion a break with a two-three day juice fast.
-If you feel hungry, tired, lethargic and a bit volatile while juicing, drink about 1 liter of fresh fruit juice in an hour or so.