5 Minute Ab Workout

Hey everybody!

With summer just about here, and everyone planning vacations, a common thing I hear is people wanting a flat stomach and/or abs.

 Sure, while a lot of us wants that flat stomach, or nice toned abs, we need to focus more on having a strong and healthy core. Just because you do not have a six pack does not mean anything else about your core!

 It is important in our every day lives to work on having a strong core for functionality. The good thing about this, is you do not have to spend a lot of time with certain movements. Of course, it is more nutrition than it is exercising. Have you heard “abs are made in the kitchen?”

It’s true! The food you eat outweighs the exercise, especially when it comes to your core. Naturally, it never hurts to work on strengthening it. So, today I have you an ab workout that you can do in just five minutes.

5 Minute Ab Workout

-set a timer/stopwatch.

**beginner: 30 seconds work, 30 seconds rest

**intermediate: 45 seconds work, 15 seconds rest

**advanced: 50 seconds work, 10 seconds rest

1. Spider-Mans 

Start in a push-up position. Take one knee and bring it up toward the elbow on the same side. Return leg to starting position, and do other side.

2. Plank up + downs

 Starting again and a push-up position, lower yourself down to a forearm plank. One arm at a time, push yourself back up, arms right below shoulders, back into a push-up position.

3. Leg Lowers

 Lying on your back, with hands slightly under  glutes, start with both legs straight up in the air, lower down to where it is hovering above the ground, and raise back up to starting position.

4. Scissors

 Start in the same position as leg lowers, but this time lower one leg at a time, with a scissor effect. Alternate legs.

5. Toe Reaches

 Lying on your back legs straight up in the air, take your hands and crunch up, reaching for your toes. Return back to starting position.

 

 Repeat this if you want a little more.  This is a great workout with no equipment, and one you can do just about anywhere!

Healthier Peanut Butter Pie

Happy Friday, y’all!

Can you believe it is the first day of JUNE??

For me, this means my beach trip is only a number of days away and I cannot wait!!

Today I am sharing with you a peanut butter pie I made over Memorial Day weekend last week. I wanted something like this, but less in calories, sugar, little to no dairy, etc.

I think this pie turned out great and it seemed to be a hit with the parents too!

Healthier Peanut Butter Pie

Ingredients:

-1 pie crust (pre-made graham cracker OR the kind you have to bake first…I used a gluten free crust.)

-1 8oz container of cool whip of choice (I used this kind)

-8 oz vanilla Greek yogurt (I used 5 oz vanilla Greek and the other I used a vanilla almond milk base yogurt)

-1/2 cup powdered peanut butter (can add a tablespoon or 2 of regular PB if you want)

-Chocolate chips to top the pie with (I used these)

Directions:

1. IF using pie crust that you need to bake, follow instructions and let cool COMPLETELY.

2.Next, mix together the cool whip, yogurt, powdered peanut butter (and/or regular PB) all together.

3.Spoon mixture into pie shell and sprinkle with chocolate chips of choice.

4. Place + store in freezer until ready to eat!

When ready for a slice, let the pie sit out of the freezer 5-10 minutes to soften just a little, and it should be ready to cut!

Question for you: What is YOUR favorite kind of pie??

Chase After Your Dreams, Goals, + Passions

Happy Monday everyone!

I hope you all had a wonderful weekend and were able to relax, have some fun, and enjoy time with family and friends!

Today I want to share a little Monday motivation:

Chase after your dreams, your goals, + your passions.

Last week I had a moment where I almost decided to stop blogging. I wasn’t going to delete my blog…just stop for a while. I was getting discouraged about people not reading it, may not be interested in what I have to say, etc., and I was discouraged that my blog seems to be at a standstill when I want it to grow.

I immediately snapped out of it (after a few hours), and thought to myself, “Emily, what are you doing? People read your blog, they love what you have to say, and growing my blog isn’t something that will happen just overnight.

We all have dreams, goals, passions in life, and one of my passions is this blog. I’ve changed the name a few times since I’ve started blogging (To Love and Live fits me now), and I’ve been on and off with blogging too, when I get discouraged; but whenever I stop blogging, I miss it and I need it back in my life. I love to write and reach out to other people.

My goals for this blog are to not just reach people, and have people enjoy what I write, but for my blog to grow and be able to reach people all over! I want to help people through more than just my personal training, but through writing.

Of course, everyone’s goals, dreams, passions, are all different. Some are small, some are large, some are important and some may be for fun. We all have something we want to achieve though. You may have a goal of being able to do 10 pushups just because you want to, or for someone else it could be to build strength for everyday activities.

You may have a dream of being promoted at work, or just being able to land the job you know you will love. Whatever that is for you, chase after it and don’t give up.

I didn’t get the clients I have now just overnight, and my blog won’t get as big as I’d like it to overnight, but with hard work and perseverance, we can all be able to accomplish things we may have thought we couldn’t.

😀

Coffee Talk with Emily

Happy Tuesday everyone!

Todays post is a little different, but something I want to do every now and then.

Coffee Talk with Emily 

If we were having coffee…

-I’d tell you I am more happy now than I’ve been in a long long time.😁

-Id share how blessed beyond measure I am to be doing what I love with such a great group of people! ( HomeFit Consulting )🏋🏻‍♀️

-I’ll explain how I’ve been trying to do better with styling my non fitness outfits, and when it comes to  pictures, have a lot to learn about posing! 💃🏻

-I’d say how much I am learning about myself lately, and that I’m stronger than I met myself believe (physically, emotionally, and mentally)💪🏻

-I’d tell you how excited I am that warmer weather is finally here, even though fall is my favorite season.🍁

-I’d end with telling you to be more present in the now each and everyday. We worry too much on the future, what we need to do, what are plans are. Be more mindful of the NOW. 😊

April Favorites: Beauty, Health, + Fitness

Hello everyone!

I can’t believe we are ending April! Can you believe how fast this year is already flying by??

I have decided at the end of every month to do a post sharing some of my current favorite products/things. I will post a few in the categories of health/food/fitness/beauty/random.

Anything that can be purchased I will share a link as well if you are interested.

Let’s get to it! 😀

APRIL FAVORITES

Beauty

—Maybelline Lash Sensational—

The majority of what I wear each day when it comes to makeup is foundation/powder + mascara. I love me some mascara! 1 tube lasts me a while and this last time I wanted to switch things up. I picked up this mascara by Maybelline and I am obsessed! The wand is not your normal bristle brush. It’s more of plastic bristles, but I love the way it goes onto my eyelashes. I think it helps make my eyes pop!

—EOS Pomegranate Shaving Cream—

I have been on the search a while for a good shaving cream. I have sensitive skin and it gets worse in the heat, or when I get hot. I came across a sample of this EOS shaving cream and I knew it was at least worth the try.

It leaves my skin SO smooth! I find my skin doesn’t irritate quite as much as it has in the past after using this shaving cream. Plus, the pomegranate smell leaves my skin smelling good and fresh! I had to get the big bottle of this.

—L’Oréal Self Tanners—

The closer we get into shorts and tank top season, the more I realize how white I am…and your girl doesn’t always tan easy in the sun. In most cases I get somewhat burned.

To start me off with a little color this spring/summer season, I bought both the lotion and the spray of self tanner from L’Oréal. Both products smell amazing and they don’t leave any sticky feeling after applying.

Even after working out, you can still smell the lotion. I normally use the lotion after I shower, and the spray before I get my clothes on or change. There have only been a couple of times I have used both in one day. I normally alternate.

The lotion also leaves you with a slight shimmer, which I love! 🙂

Food

—MealFit—

I did a post last week all about MealFit, which you can find here to learn more.

MealFit is perfect for healthy, portion controlled, delicious food and is great if you don’t have much time or you don’t like to cook. I have been loving all of the food they have to offer, including a cauliflower crust pizza that was an option last week!

Check out the website here if you want to check it out!

—Everything but the Bagel Seasoning—

I’ve been seeing people all over loving this seasoning, and I finally got around to purchasing it at Trader Joe’s. It’s just like the name: it’s all the seasoning on an everything bagel you would normally find, but without the bagel.

I have been loving sprinkling some on my egg scrambles! I can’t wait to try it on other things, like maybe avocado toast??

Fitness

—Nike Metcon 3—

Since starting Crossfit, some people at the gym were telling me to get a good training shoe. I had been working out in just my running shoes but knew I needed a better shoe.

I have fallen in love with my Nike Metcons! They are definitely different from my running shoe. You can tell they are made for training and not strictly running.

—The Feeling of Slowly Getting Stronger—

Since starting crossfit back in January, I have slowly been able to tell I’m gaining more strength. Slowly, but surely. I love the feeling! Anytime I’m able to go up in weight for a move, I feel happy and strong!

 

Do do you have any favorite products or things you’ve been loving this month?? I’d love to hear!! 😀

Making Life Easier + Healthier With MealFit

If you look at our society today, it seems that everyone is always on the go, go, go.

Between school, work, working out, running errands, dropping kids off, picking kids up, all the after school activities and sports, its no wonder a lot of people turn to fast food or the quick and easy options like frozen pizzas to provide lunch or dinner.

Not saying that doing that everyone now and then is ok, because it totally is. I am all about finding a good balance…and I love my pizza too. But when we are constantly on the go, we want to be sure we are fueling out bodies with the proper nutrition it needs to thrive and function.

That’s where MealFit comes in.

Thomas Cox, the finder/owner of MealFit takes into consideration those people who are always busy. He says, “We are giving them time.” By providing these healthy meals/foods already prepared, this allows people to have more time to be at their kids games, to spend time with loved ones, and not to worry about what will be for dinner. It takes the extra time out that would normally be needed on a weekend in order to prepare foods for your week.

(Look at my friend Regina’s stash of prepped meals! She enjoys them while at work.)

MealFit started out as meal planning, and has grown into a successful business providing results oriented meal programs: healthy catering, meal planning, meal prep, family meals, personal meals, and even gym nutrition programming, support, + guidance.

MealFit originally started in 2013 in Cookeville, Tennessee, and since October 2017, it has been in Birmingham, the hometown of Thomas.

They provide meal plans, catering, and even gym nutrition programming, but something I love about them are the meal prepped meals.

Every Monday him and his staff come in and cook food for anyone who ordered meals/bowls on his website. Between 4-6pm people can pick up their food from one of several locations in the Birmingham area, most of them being gyms.

You can choose items such as the roasted chicken, ground turkey, and steak, to bowls such as the Baja Beef Bowl, Vegetarian Bowl, or Chicken + Rice bowl. You can even choose what starch you want in some of the meals: sweet potatoes, red potatoes, or jasmine rice (all of which are delicious!)

Every week there are special bowls or foods that are offered. He recently had a Baja Bowl, and this week a cauliflower crust pizza was featured.

You don’t have to order every week, so there is no commitment to ordering all the time. The only requirement is that you order at least 5 items, which is easy to do, and very worth your while!

The food provided is nothing but great quality, wholesome foods to provide nutrition for the bodies God gave us.

Thomas showed me how he cooks some of his meats. He starts off by searing it with some of their from scratch seasonings they make in their kitchen. Then it’s off to the smoker!

Cooking for large quantities of people for catering events and even these prepped meals, calls for a big smoker. This one can fit a lot of meat in there at one time, and it’s smoked with cherry wood, giving the meat it’s delicious flavor.

Full of energy and passion, Thomas gives back by providing not only great food, but time. His business is already thriving here in Birmingham: he is catering a myriad of events, providing meals and plans, and is growing with his pick up locations for these prepped meals. He told me he will soon be providing all the food for the Highlands College Students. God is doing great things and has given him a wonderful gift of outreach and helping/providing to others.

If you want in on what Thomas is providing, check out his website here. If you want to order and try any of the prepped meals, be sure to order by NOON any/every Sunday, and in check-out be sure to click on the location for your pickup.

Pick-up options are everywhere, so there will be one within your area. (Be sure to click on Birmingham and not Cookeville if you’re in the area!)

I can’t wait until my next order! If you try it out, let me know! I’d love to hear what you think and what your favorite is!

DIY Distressed Mason Jars

Now that we are entering some spring weather, albeit mixed in with a little bit of brisk mornings and evenings, I am getting in a crafty mood again!

I have always loved arts and crafts. My major my freshman year of college was graphic design + photography, so I had a lot of art classes.

For my first spring craft project, I really wanted to paint some mason jars for flowers, but I wanted them to have a distressed look.

This is actually a very simple and easy project you can do. You really only need a few supplies for this, and one or two items you may already have around your house.

What you need:

– mason jars (any size you want)

-paint with a chalk finish (NOT chalkboard paint)

-foam paintbrush

-sandpaper/file/sandpaper block

-clear spray coating (optional)

1. First, take your foam brush and paint your mason jars to full coverage. If you need to let dry and add another coat, do this before moving on.

2.Once paint is completely dry, the fun part comes! Take your sandpaper/file/etc, and start working at the jars to get your “distressed” look to your liking.

3. If you want to spray over your jars with a clear, spray coating, do this here. It isn’t necessary, but I wanted to lightly spray it just for extra sealing.

Just like that, you are done! Add your flowers (or whatever else you want to put in there), and enjoy! I plan to put flowers in mine! 🙂

Weekend Eats, Workouts, + Curls

Happy Monday friends!

I hope you all had a wonderful weekend and are ready to take on another week. Can you believe how fast April is flying by??

I have a beach tripped planned in June and it cannot get here soon enough!! 😀

I thought I’d share a little weekend recap with you guys. Let’s start on Friday…

I started my morning with a client, and fixed a quick breakfast of scrambled egg whites with spinach, and a low carb tortilla with peanut butter in it.

I had my bootcamp class at 10:30, and had an 11:30 meeting with the owner of a business called MealFit. I have a blog post all about this I will be posting later this week! I ate a cookies + cream Quest bar on the way there.

I love what this business is and all they do. I cannot wait to share!

After my meeting I ran to the bank, and had a quick lunch in my car.

Ground turkey, spinach, and sweet potatoes, with a banana on the side.

I had a little time to spare before my next client, so I decided to go get my nails done! It has been so long, but I was SO overdue for a manicure and a little self care. I love this shade of purple!

After my afternoon client, I headed home for a quick cup of coffee and a pre-gym snack of dates with peanut butter.

Because Friday was the 13th, we had a 13 themed workout. It was called “Lucky 13”

It was a lot harder than I thought! Of course, I always love the push.

It was a smaller crew on Friday night, but we all still worked hard!

I ended up really wanting ice cream for dinner….I know, I know….terrible. But if you’re a girl, you know the feeling of food cravings when you hit a certain time.

Since I was wanting ice cream, but didn’t want to blow it completely, I went with this Arctic Zero ice cream. A lot of their flavors are pretty good, and some of them have the whole pint at only 150 calories. So if you felt like eating the whole pint…..

I did have this green juice before the ice cream though, so no worries…balance. 😀

Saturday morning rolled around and I got up, drank some coffee, watched an episode of Supernatural, and headed back to the gym for a cardio + abs workout with the group.

We partnered up in this workout and swapped out between ab moves of standing oblique crunches, Russian twists, and sit-ups, and rotated the cardio between rowing, assault bike, jump rope, and running. Total rounds: 10.

I can’t begin to describe how much I love Powerhouse and all the people that I am surrounded by!

After the gym, I ran home to grab a protein shake and an RX bar, and headed out to my mid morning clients.

I came back afterwards, rested and showered, and made lunch: 1 whole egg, egg whites, and spinach, with a side of dates and a low carb tortilla with peanut butter.

After lunch, Dad and I ran some errands before any rain or bad thunderstorms came in. (You never know what to do about severe weather threats here in the south).

I mean….

I ran by Hobby Lobby to get a couple things for a craft project I’ll be doing and blogging about for you guys.

After our stops, I came back home, made some coffee, and ate a snack.

This SILK yogurt was pretty good! I topped mine with a little bit of oats and a tad of peanut butter.

I was waiting to see about going to a friends for a shrimp boil, but I wasn’t sure about any more storms. Driving in downpours or storms makes me nervous and anxious!

I ended up staying home, not sure about what it was going to do, and watched a couple more episodes of Supernatural, worked on this blog post, and by then it was dinner time!

I threw some leftover chicken and some roast meat my dad cooked onto a bed of spinach, and cooked a side of homemade fries on the side.

These are super simple to make. You peel and cut up your potato into your “fries”. Place on a non-stick cookie sheet, sprinkle with desired seasoning, and bake at 350 for 20-25 minutes!

Saturday night ended with Star Wars watching and a little more blog work, and then it was lights out for me!

Sunday morning started with coffee, then Dad and I went to the 8am Church of the Highlands service. The pastor there started a 7 week sermon series on wisdom. I can’t wait to hear the rest!

I was also really excited about how my curls turned out too! I’ve been learning how to curl my hair only in the last couple of weeks. I’ve been using my flat iron. I’m getting better!

Afterwards, I headed to my home church one exit back, and enjoyed a little more coffee and this ONE Birthday Cake protein bar that is delicious!

After the service, it was time for lunch!

I had a Bubba Turkey Burger and a side of a riced cauliflower medley.

For dessert I had this SoDelicious Key Lime yogurt.

I did a little more blog work, then headed over to Austin’s where we decided to go to Sonic!

My favorite thing ever to order from Sonic: tater tots and a diet cherry limeade. Never gets old!

We came back and watched Star Wars: The Last Jedi and I headed back home as he left for work. I ate a bowl of cereal when I got home and hopped straight into bed!!

I hope you all have a great Monday and be on the lookout for some other good posts this week!

Where Do You Want To Be In 5 Years?

Oh, that dreaded question all of us hear at some point in a work interview.

This question came up in an episode of The Office I was watching yesterday and I made the comment how much I hate that question.

Why?

Several years ago I could give you a good idea of where I wanted to be. Better yet, when I was in my senior year in college I could tell you: living in Nashville, maybe married, successful career in fitness + nutrition, etc.

The road of life doesn’t always take us where we expect, though.

In those 5 years, I’ve moved back to Birmingham, tried my hand at a few jobs until finding an amazing personal training job, lost a loved one, been hurt, re-connected with friends, started finding myself and realizing my true potential, and found love.

But something else I’ve learned in those 5 years… life isn’t always what you expect it to be. We have these thoughts + expectations for our life, but God has a way of showing us that it’s HIS plan for us, not our own.

He brings the right opportunities to us at the right times, and brings people into our lives when we truly need them.

I can say with 100% confidence that I am much happier now than I think I would be if things turned out how I thought 5 years ago; and I can definitely say I’m the happiest I’ve been now than I was even at the first of the year.

Things in life are brighter, happier, and colorful; and I have a peace, confidence, and hope, that things will work out.

God wont take you through anything you can’t handle…big or small.

Quick + Easy Turkey Burgers

Hello everyone and I hope you all had a wonderful Easter spent with family, friends, and loved ones!

Today I want to share with you a quick, easy, and delicious recipe that you can make any night, or even make ahead for the week.

I have always loved turkey burgers, and every restaurant makes them differently. I’ve tried my hand at a recipe or two, and wasn’t as satisfied, but I wanted to be able to make some that were not only delicious, but simple to make.

I pulled out the ole trusty George foreman I had in college to make these, and with a few simple ingredients, some yummy turkey burgers were made!

Ingredients

-1 to 1.5 ground turkey

-1/4 cup diced red (or sweet) onion

-1 egg

-garlic salt to taste + season

-everything but the bagel seasoning (optional—found at Trader Joe’s)

-dash of pepper if not using above seasoning

-flour of choice (I used a gluten free flour)

Directions

1.Be letting your George Foreman, grill skillet, or actual grill heat up while preparing the patties. (Medium heat)

2.Mix together ground turkey, egg, and any seasonings.

3.Once mixed (it will be a bit mushier than ground beef), start sprinkling in your flour to thicken up the mixture. Add until desired consistency.

3. Patty out burgers and start to grill! On my George Forman, I let the burgers cook about 5 minutes until I checked them and flipped them over for a few extra minutes. Around 10 minutes (depending on size of burgers) they should be about done. I came out with 6 patties.

I am so happy with the way these turned out! I can eat them without anything on it. Feel free to change up the meat or seasonings. This is what I threw together and it turned out perfectly to my liking! 🙂

After I cooked these up, I made some sweet potato fries to go with it. Something about this combo is so good!

If you guys try this, let me know! Are there other combinations of ingredients that you like with any homemade burgers? If so, let me know!