Operation Nutrition

nutrition, fitness, motherhood, & everything in between

Category: Fitness (page 1 of 4)

Strategies for Sticking to Your Workout Routine

Happy New Year! Many of us have set healthy goals for ourselves for 2017. You can read about my 2017 fitness goals here. For me, it’s pretty easy setting goals for myself. The hardest part is sticking to them.

Here are some strategies for sticking to your workout routine.

Whether you decide to start working out more often thanks to a New Year’s resolution or another reason or you have been exercising regularly for years, it can sometimes be tough to get your feet out the door and have it be a habit that you keep and that you continue for the foreseeable future. Fortunately, you can take advantage of several methods to get that extra jump back in your step.

Positive Visualization

The experiences that we imagine for ourselves are what invariably end up resulting, and many people who have trouble sticking with a workout routine are those who keep on visualizing themselves not being active for one reason or another. Change that mindset and start visualizing yourself as becoming – or continuing as – an active person, one who sticks to a workout routine and who is better because of it.

Think of The Example You are Setting

If you have people that look to you as a role model, particularly if you have children, remember that everything that you do sets an example for them, and this includes how physically active you are. Thinking of exercise as something that you do for others, not just for yourself, can really help propel you out the door and into a more physically healthy routine.

Set a Goal

If running is part of your workout routine, picking a race is a perfect way to stay motivated. You can choose a local race or even pick one that would require a road trip, maybe even an overnight stay, in a city that is on the other side of the state or perhaps even the other side of the world. Regardless of the goal, having something specific to push towards has been proven to keep people more motivated and result in them being more successful than not.

Of course, this strategy can still be used even if you are not interested in running a race. Plenty of competitions revolving around swimming or bicycling also take place all around the world while you could also do something like have a healthy weight-loss target or make your ways towards a goal of walking a certain amount for a number of times a week, lifting a specific weight, something like that.

Make sure that the goal is a mix of being a challenge while being realistic as well. If you realize that your goal is not at all realistic, feel free to adjust it. You want to be challenged; you don’t want to be demoralized.

Insert Workouts Into Your Schedule

Start treating workouts as an integral part of your day, of your week. You have to be at work at 8 a.m.? Children need to be picked up in the afternoon? Your run or workout session should be treated similarly. It’s even better if you can do it at the same time every day although it is understandable if your life is not as structured as would be necessary to allow that. But whenever you do schedule it in, stick to that time.

If you can do it then, morning or mid-day workouts have specific benefits in that they tend to energize you for the rest of the day. However, evening sessions are great too if that’s the time that you have free or are most motivated.

But Don’t Be Too Structured!

Of course, when you work out can remain structured, but the types of workouts that you do should vary at least a little, or you may end up bored or, worse, burned out. Make sure to incorporate fun, relaxing workouts as well as intense ones and more run-of-the-mill workouts. And change up what you do. For example, if you are training for a 5K or longer race, incorporate things like bicycling, dancing, basketball or volleyball, things to break up the monotony.

More Visualization

As you are going to sleep, visualize as specifically as possible your workout for the following day. If you’re going to work out first thing in the morning, you can even leave out some Fabletics clothes so that you can sleepily roll out of bed, put them on and step out the door before you fully wake up.

Check out this adorable outfit!









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Whenever you are going to exercise, visualize every step of the process as vividly as you can, from dressing to warming up to the workout itself and then the cool down. This works in all aspects of your life, and that includes the workouts that you have scheduled into your days.

Surround Yourself With Supportive People

If possible, surround yourself with supportive people. Of course, don’t let unsupportive family members stop you from stepping out the door, but it does help if they back you. Also consider working out with like-minded people who want to get into and continue exercising on a regular basis as well. Knowing that a friend is waiting to go on that run with you is a very strong motivating tool.

This post is sponsored by Fabletics

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Fitness Now & 2017 Goals

Hi everyone! I hope you had a nice holiday. Our Christmas was wonderful. I’ve always loved Christmas, but I love it even more since having my daughter. Seeing Christmas through a toddler’s eyes is truly magical.  As 2016 winds down, I wanted to share my personal fitness goals for the upcoming year.

In 2016, I was fairly consistent with my workouts. A typical week consisted of 3 full body strength training days, and 2 or 3 days of cardio. My cardio workouts were a combination of Zumba, running (not as much as I would’ve liked to do), LISS, and HIIT. Some weeks I got 5-6 workouts in and other weeks I would only manage 3 days. Even though, I stayed pretty consistent, I haven’t reached my personal fat loss goal. I don’t really focus on the scale that much, but I do weigh myself every few weeks. I mostly take my measurements and gauge how my clothes fit to determine how my body is changing.

This past year, my body has been fluctuating due to hormonal imbalances. When I was nursing my daughter, my body fat was lower and I was losing inches. As soon as I stopped nursing, my body stored every ounce of fat (as if a switch went off). Despite my healthy eating and exercising, my body continued to hold on to the unwanted body fat. This upcoming year, I am determined to lose it. So, I thought I’d share my goals on here as a way to hold myself accountable.

Here are my 2017 fitness goals:

  • Run at least once a week (preferably outside)
  • Exercise 5-6 days a week
  • Strength train 3 times a week
  • Zumba once a week
  • Lose body fat

I have some really fun (and new) things that I’ll be doing in 2017 to help me reach my goals.

First, I’m taking part in Young Living’s 60-day Slique Challenge.





picture source

Young Living has an incredible product line called, “Slique”. The Slique Essence  (which is the supplement that I’ll be taking) combines the following essential oils: grapefruit, tangerine, lemon, spearmint, and ocotea.

Some of these oils help to:

  • support healthy digestion
  • control craving
  • provide powerful antioxidants

For 60 days, you pair your Slique supplement with a nutritious diet & regular exercise. Young Living will be giving away fun prizes to everyone that participates. In addition, they are offering some amazing prizes to people that have the biggest transformations. You can read more about the challenge here.

The other fun thing I’m going to be doing is the 2017 Tone It Up Challenge.





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The Challenge starts on January 1st and it will run for 6 weeks. Karena & Katrina from “Tone It Up” will be providing a meal plan & workout plan. I’m really looking forward to trying something new (as I am getting bored with my own workout routine).

What are some of your 2017 Fitness Goals? I’d love to hear them!

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Just a little update & Strength workout

Hey everyone! It has been a long time since I last posted. I haven’t tried many new recipes, but I have some in the works. Hopefully, that means I’ll be posting more often. I haven’t had much to write about and I have been super busy enjoying my days with my sweet toddler. It’s hard to believe she’s a toddler already. When people told me it goes by fast, they weren’t kidding. She is always on the move and I love watching her learn. I can easily get 10,000 steps in (according to my Fit Bit) each day, by just chasing and playing with her. It’s fun and every day is a new adventure!

My 2015 Holiday Shred wrapped up and was a huge success. It was so very inspiring seeing everyone’s encouragement and successes. We had a great time. I hope to do another one in the summer.

Food Update

Like I mentioned, I haven’t tried many new recipes, so meals have been a little more boring lately. We are really lucky though because the little one is an incredibly good eater and eats pretty much everything we do. Every week we’ve been enjoying Zoodles. My husband and I like these because they are a healthier alternative to regular pasta and the little one just gobbles them up! I use this spiralizer to make them. It works SO well and cleans up very easily.

Workouts Update

I usually have about 30 solid minutes to workout, so I’m all about quick and effective workouts. I typically do 3 days of full body strength training, 1 day of HIIT, 1 day of steady-state cardio, and 1 or 2 (depending on the week) rest days.

I finally got back into taking Zumba on a regular basis. Besides strength training, it’s my favorite workout. For my HIIT workout, I’ve been doing 20-minute sprints on the treadmill (30 seconds as fast/hard as I can go with 30 seconds rest). I’ve never been a fast runner, but this past week I was able to sprint at 7.5mph. This was a big deal for me since I have only ever been able to sprint at 6.0 mph.

I’m really looking forward to getting outdoors and running this spring. I signed up for a 5K just to give me a little extra motivation.

Here’s my current strength training workout. All you need is a set of dumbbells and a timer.


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Fall Shred 2015


Fall Shred


Fitness and nutrition go hand in hand, so by signing up you’ll get over a month’s worth of meal plans, workouts, and chances to win prizes.

Whether you’re trying to lose weight, eat healthier, or just want to do something different, the Fall Shred is for you!

If you did my Fall Fitness & Nutrition Challenge back in 2013, you’ll find that the format is very similar. However, there will be one major addition to this year’s Fall Shred. I’ll be posting videos to help you with some of the fitness moves.

Here’s everything that you’ll receive for signing up:

Meal Plans:

  • Every week you will be emailed a meal plan for the upcoming week (usually on a Friday).
  • Meals will consist of breakfast, lunch, dinner, snack, & dessert options.
  • You will have a couple of options to chose from in case you don’t like certain foods or have dietary restrictions.
  • Meal plans will come with recipes that are fast, healthy, & perfect for those busy week nights.
  • Prior to beginning this challenge, I can do a free calorie assessment for you, so that you know how many calories you should be eating each day.

Fitness Plans:

  • Every week you will be emailed a fitness plan for the upcoming week (again, usually on a Friday).
  • The fitness plans will consist of 5 different workouts that include cardiovascular training & strength training.
  • The workouts included in the fitness plan are extremely flexible so you can do them anywhere (at home, at the gym, etc.)
  • The best thing about the workouts is that you can tailor them to meet your individual needs. They can be pretty challenging, but there are modifications that you can make to get a great workout.
  • You will not need expensive equipment to do the fitness plan. You will only need dumbbells ranging from   5 lbs. to 20 lbs. (depending on your fitness level). You can even use your body weight for most of the workouts.
  • I will be providing videos to demonstrate proper form and certain exercises.

Additional great things you will get:

A Private Fall Fitness & Nutrition Challenge Page

This will be a private Facebook group where you can interact with others that are doing the challenge. It will be a place where you can ask questions, and encourage and motivate one another.

Coaching (This is the part that I’m most excited about!!!)

I will be helping you throughout this entire challenge. If you have questions, need modifications, or just need clarification, I’m here for you. You’ll be able to contact me whenever you need to!


Throughout this challenge, I will be giving away prizes. This is just a fun way to keep everyone motivated. Smile

What is the cost to participate in this challenge?

The cost is only $30!!! This breaks down to about 85 cents a day for an entire month’s worth of meal ideas, workouts, and a private group (not to mention some pretty cool prizes too)!!!

When does the challenge start?

The challenge begins on Monday, November 2, 2015.

When does the challenge end?

The challenge ends on Sunday, December 6, 2015.

When does registration begin?

Today! Wednesday, October 21, 2015

When does registration end?

Saturday, October 31, 2015

Sign up here:

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Busy, Busy, & Fun Things Planned

Hey there! I’ve been meaning to post, but things have been pretty busy here. I’m still going strong with the Tone It Up Bikini Series. Monday marked the beginning of week 5! I’m really loving the workouts and the amazing community. As far as results go, I’m starting to see definition in my legs, arms, and abs. But more importantly, I feel healthy & strong!

I’ve also been busy with making baby food. I’m very fortunate that I have the time to do this. I know if I were still working, I wouldn’t have this luxury. I’m so grateful. So far I’ve made: sweet potatoes, avocado, peas, green beans, butternut squash, pears, apples, and zucchini. Everything has been a huge hit except for the peas. My little one absolutely LOVES zucchini (which really surprised me). I’ve also given her carrots, but I haven’t made them for her because I got a little freaked out when I read about nitrates in certain foods (carrots were one of them). I felt more comfortable buying an organic brand from the store. Although, that doesn’t guarantee that there won’t be nitrate in those either. I just felt a little more comfortable with it. I have a couple of baby food recipes I’ll be posting.

On my mission to switch out a lot of the more toxic products I use for less toxic options, I have discovered some great new beauty products (that actually work)! I’m in the process of putting that post together for you. In case you missed it, I explained here how I was able to determine the toxicity levels of every day products. I’ve even found some great baby products too.

Since I’ve been slacking on the recipe front, I’m making an effort to post some new recipes in the next couple of days.

So as you can see, I have a lot of fun posts planned for Operation Nutrition. Smile

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Bikini Series Week 1 Completed

Happy Monday! I hope you had a nice weekend. If you follow me on Instagram you’ve probably already seen my daily Bikini Series check-ins. Not sure what this whole “Bikini Series” talk is all about? Check my post about it here.

Here’s what my first week’s workouts looked like:

photo 1 (5)photo 2 (4)photo 3 (2)photo 4 (2)photo 5photo (44)

As you can see, as the days went on I started posting what I did for my workouts. Day 1 was the “Ultimate Booty Call” workout. For clarification purposes, “Booty Call” refers to the first workout of the day, not the traditional meaning of the phrase. Smile Day 2 was the “Total Body Mermaid Workout”. Day 7 ended up being a complete rest day.

So far I’m loving so much about this challenge. The community is incredible. Everyone is very motivating and uplifting. It’s a lot of fun to see everyone checking in on Instagram and Twitter each day (since we’re all following the same program). Yeah some of the workout names are a little cheesy (“Mermaid Workout”), but they are definitely challenging (and fun too).

As far as my nutrition for week 1 goes, I have been sticking to a balanced diet of fruits, veggies, proteins, and limited processed foods. One of the most delicious meals I had this week was this Slow Cooker Tex Mex Quinoa. I also have been making a lot of recipes from the Oh She Glows Cookbook. I have a lot of cookbooks, but this one is by far my favorite. There are so many healthy & delicious recipes in it. I’m planning to make a couple of new recipes from it this week.

Last night I wrote down my workouts for the 2nd week of the Bikini Series. I’m looking forward to Week 2!

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Full Body Strength & Cardio Home Workout

Happy Wednesday! I hope you’re having a good week. My week has been great because I’m at home spending time with my little one, but it’s a little sad because it’s my last week of maternity leave.

I’ve been so fortunate to have this time at home. I’m just still not ready to return to work. In addition to that, (without going into too much detail) my work has been less than helpful regarding my return. Rather than being a little flexible to make the transition a bit smoother, they are being pretty difficult. I’m not asking for any special treatment. I am just asking for a little flexibility  with my schedule since I’m exclusively breastfeeding and need time to pump (sorry if that’s TMI, but that’s what’s going on). The thing that is so upsetting to me is that I am a teacher working with families and children. In my opinion, you’d think an environment like that would be more understanding to working moms. Okay, enough of that because it gets me too upset (and if you read through all of that, thank you). Onto a new workout routine!

As you know, I like my workouts to be short but efficient. This workout is great because it takes less than 30 minutes from start to finish. I also love it because it incorporates strength training, cardio, and can be done at home (no equipment necessary).

The cardio warm-up and intervals can be anything that gets your heart rate pumping. If you have cardio equipment at home (an elliptical, treadmill, bike, etc.) you can use that for your cardio. I alternate between cardio equipment and plyometric exercises (jumping jacks, burpees, etc.).

I perform 15 reps of each strength exercise while moving continuously from one exercise to another. I do this workout two times through (with the exception of the warm-up). You can use hand weights, resistance bands, or just your own body weight.

full body strength and cardio workout new.docx

Here are pictures of the donkey kickbacks and the ab v-hold:donkey kickbacks healthpicture sourcev holdpicture source

If you give this workout a try, be sure to stretch and cool down at the end. Also, I’d love to hear from you if you give it a try!

As always, be sure to check with your doctor before beginning a new workout routine.

Working mamas out there, do you have any words of advice/encouragement for my return to work? I’d love to hear from you!

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How My Workouts Have Changed

Happy Monday! I thought it would be fun to share my current workout routine with you.

During my pregnancy, I remained pretty active. For cardio, I did Zumba, steady state cardio on the elliptical, and walked on the treadmill. I continued lifting weights, but had to change the amount I was lifting. I also stopped doing some exercises that were too intense for my body. I continued wearing my heart rate monitor to make sure my heart rate didn’t get too high. Mostly, I just “listened” to my body and did what felt right. Some days just coming home from work and taking a nap were what my body needed (I wouldn’t dare argue with this).

Despite staying active and eating healthy during my pregnancy, I gained 50 pounds. I retained SO MUCH fluid (especially once I reached the third trimester). The doctors were monitoring me because I began showing signs of preeclampsia. The fluid retention was the first sign. Once I reached 35 weeks, I was retaining so much fluid, I was too uncomfortable to exercise.

I was cleared to exercise around 6 weeks after having my baby. I started out really slow by taking walks. My body just had a baby and I needed to honor that. It was probably around the 10-week mark when I felt comfortable starting back up with strength training and more intense cardio.

Now that I have a baby, the only thing I want to do is sit and hold her all day. I seriously cannot get enough of her. However, I know that I need to make the time to exercise. After all, I need to be healthy for myself and for her. So how have my workouts changed now that I have a baby?

First of all, I never have a set time for my workout (and I’m completely fine with this). I workout when the babe is napping. Her naps vary from day-to-day, so I don’t have a set time. I just know that as soon as she goes down for a nap, I throw on my workout clothes and get started right away.

Secondly, I don’t want to spend a lot of time exercising. I no longer have the desire to spend more than 30 minutes exercising. My workouts are much shorter in length (but more intense). Since I’m not exercising more than 30 minutes, I work harder (quality over quantity).

The number of days I workout have changed. Before I used to exercise about 6 days a week. Now I aim for 4-5 days a week.

One of my favorite cardio workouts right now is T25. The workouts are literally 25 minutes long and are extremely effective.

photo (26)

Here is my current strength training routine:

Full body strength and cardio intervals february 2015

I do this routine twice through (about 3 times a week). For the cardio intervals, I hop on the elliptical for 1 minute.  Each exercise is done @ 15 repetitions.

Exercise is still very important to me, but my life doesn’t revolve around it. I exercise to be healthy for myself and my daughter. Not only does exercise help me physically, but mentally as well. It is such a stress reliever for me. I’m a better mom when I’m not stressed out. Smile

What exercises are you loving lately?

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My Spring Fitness Routine

Hey! How was your weekend? Hopefully, you are still enjoying it today for Presidents’ Day! I ended up having a 5-day weekend due to some extra snow days last week. As much as I love a good snow storm (and a couple of days off), I’m completely over it and am ready for some warmer weather. Speaking of warmer weather, I’m so excited that spring is only 31 days away!!!

I thought I’d share with you what I do to get ready for shorts & bathing suit season.

This is the time of year when I really focus on cutting my body fat. During the winter months, I continue with my daily workout routine and I continue eating healthy meals (for the most part). But during the winter, I tend not to be as “strict” with my plan. Don’t get me wrong, I still exercise and watch my calorie intake, but between Thanksgiving, Christmas, and a bunch of January birthday celebrations, I indulge more than normal (I don’t deprive myself ). So needless to say, I spend most of winter maintaining my weight (definitely not losing) and I’m okay with that. Life is just too short to deprive yourself of the things you love, it’s just about finding that healthy balance between it all.

Now that the holidays are past us and spring is quickly approaching, I’m more focused on reducing my body fat and building more muscles. In order to do this, I focus more on “clean eating” while counting calories and tracking macronutrients (protein, carbohydrates, fat, etc.). I track all of this on the MyNetDiary app. I also make sure that I am strength training 3 times a week. In addition to strength training, I also make sure that I do 3 days of cardio.

Here is my spring fitness routine:

spring fitness routine

This is the routine I’ve been following for the past 2 weeks. I plan to continue with this routine for the next 4 weeks and after that, I’ll switch things up (to prevent boredom). The great thing about this schedule is that it is very flexible. It’s easy for me to change days around when my schedule gets busy. 

On days 1, 3, and 5, I do the exact same strength routine each time. Later this week I will be posting this routine. It’s a fat blasting, calorie burning, muscle building workout that can be done at home! I love, love, love this routine!

When creating a workout plan, remember to include things that you enjoy doing. I look so forward to my workouts each day because my routine is filled with things I enjoy doing. It’s also important to make sure that your routine is tailored to your goals and ability level. Also, be sure to check with your doctor before beginning a new fitness routine.

Have a great day! [

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Weekly Workouts January 27-31

Hey! I hope your weekend is off to a great start. We have a busy one planned (post to follow), so I wanted to make sure that I posted your weekly workouts before time slipped away.

Last week’s routines were more focused on full body strength. For this week’s workouts, you will do the upper body/lower body split routine again, but with heavier weight. Be sure to focus on proper form and lifting heavier weight.

Here is your calendar with this week’s workout schedule: Click here for your printable calendar

January Workout Calendar Jan 27-31


Complete the Upper Body Strength Workout #1.

Perform each exercise with the prescribed number of repetitions. You’ll do this routine a total of 3 times through.

What you will need:

  • 5-20lb. dumbbells (depending on your fitness level)

Click here for the printable version




Be sure to maintain proper form & listen to your body.


Complete the 20-Minute Cardio Interval Workout. Burn that fat cardio!!!

Choose your favorite: treadmill, elliptical, stair climber, or stationary bike.

If you’re using a treadmill, follow the “Incline” column. If you’re using an elliptical, stair climber, or stationary bike, use the “Resistance” column.

Keep in mind that the speed/resistance numbers are suggestions. If they are too easy, increase. If they are too hard, decrease. Be sure to challenge yourself, but also listen to your body.

What you will need:

  • Treadmill, elliptical, stair climber, or stationary bike
  • Timer (optional since most cardio machines have times displayed)

Click here for a printable version



Complete the Lower Body Strength Workout #1.

Perform each exercise with the prescribed number of repetitions. You’ll do this routine a total of 3 times through. Please keep in mind that your lower body is made up of larger muscles, so you can generally heavy weights (give it a try…you’ll probably be surprised at how strong your lower body really is).

What you will need:

  • 5-20lb. dumbbells (depending on your fitness level)

Click here for a printable version





Perform 30-45 minutes of steady state cardio. It doesn’t matter what you do, just stay active for 30-45 minutes. Some options are:

  • elliptical
  • treadmill
  • stationary bike
  • stair climber
  • row machine
  • going for a walk
  • taking a group fitness class
  • going for a jog/run


Rest Day! Congratulations on completing a month’s worth of workouts! Celebrate your hard work!

Spend some time stretching today. You’ve worked really hard this week. Allow your body to rest and build those muscles! Remember recovery days are the days when your body is repairing muscle tissue. In turn, this is what will give you the definition you’re looking for.

I hope you enjoyed this special January feature of workouts. Hopefully this gave you some new exercise ideas and at the same time helped you get closer to your reaching your fitness goals. I won’t be posting monthly workouts next month, but I will be adding new routines to this site periodically.

Have a great week! If you have any questions, please feel free to email me at kristin@operationnutrition.com or just leave a comment on this post.

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