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Hype or Help: Chalene Johnson's Piyo Workout

Disclaimer: I am NOT a Beachbody Coach and I purchased Piyo myself for this blog review series.

Back when Piyo launched (June, I think?) my social media streams were abuzz about it. I'm friends with a lot of Beachbody coaches, but it wasn't just coaches. So many of my non-coach friends were also excited that Chalene Johnson was launching a new workout.

I was excited as well. I love ChaLean Extreme and Turbofire (and even old-school Turbo Jam). Piyo really intrigued me because it seemed like something completely different from Chalene.

I intended to buy it and blog through it, but...

Life was hectic and I didn't get it done.

Fast-forward to now. I've completely back-slid to basically where I started post-baby. I feel weak and completely out of shape. I even hurt my lower back a few weeks ago and haven't been able to workout at all! I blame that completely on my lack of core strength.

I'm tired of it.

"PiYo combines the muscle-sculpting, core-firming benefits of Pilates with the strength and flexibility advantages of yoga."

I want my pre-baby fitness level back (oh, yes, and my pre-baby weight would be lovely as well)!

Luckily Santa shopped my Fit List!

"No Weights. No Jumps. Just Hardcore Results."

I realize it's going to be a long road back, but Piyo sounds promising as a place to start!

Starting Monday, January 5th I will be blogging my way through Piyo.

Piyo comes with a 60-day calendar. I will be following that and the guidelines from the eating plan (tweaked Paleo of course) and tracking my progress.

What comes with the basic Piyo workout set (ordered through a coach):

With the "No weights. No jumps." and "No matter your age, no matter your body type, PiYo will help give you dramatically visible, incredibly beautiful results." claims I'm really interested to find out what results Piyo will give. 
So, is Piyo hype or help? 
Let's find out!

As I mentioned at the top of this post, I am NOT a Beachbody coach and purchased this workout myself. If you are looking for a coach, or just to purchase Piyo, I highly recommend my coach Rachel.

Getting Started, Day 1-The Workouts, The Meal Plan, Starting Stats+Free Printable Piyo Calendars

First Impressions

My 2015 Fit GOALS #WERK

Yesterday I shared my system for setting and achieving health, fitness, and weight loss related goals. I really, really, really believe in goal setting. You wouldn't believe the changes I've seen in my life since I started setting (and working daily on) goals. 

Today I thought I'd share my fit GOALS for 2015.

  1. 145 pounds. I don't generally set scale goals. In fact, pre-baby I didn't really believe in goal weights (I was about 155 pre-Baby O.). I figured I'd know when I was at my happy weight and didn't want to add pressure. I still feel that way... BUT. I just want to. I want to try. I want to see what 145 looks like/feels like. I want to push myself and see. I'll keep you posted how I do having a goal weight...
  2. Rock a 5k. My running has straight up gotten the shaft since about 36 weeks into my pregnancy. I still haven't gotten back into my running groove. I want that. So, I'm focused on 5k training (though I may extend that to half training depending how the year goes). I want to feel confident about a 5k again!
  3. Try new things! There's a lot to be said for doing what works for you, but I can tend to get in quite the rut. In 2015 I want to try new things in fitness. I don't have anything in mind yet, but just the very notion excites me.

That's it. Just 3 health, fitness, running, and weight loss related goals this year. I have some huge work/income/blog related goals this year that will be a main focus for me. So, it's all about balance and not overwhelming or overstretching myself.

I read somewhere the other day that we should not only write our goals out, but re-write them DAILY. I kind of like that...

What are your 2015 health, fitness, running, or weight loss related goals?? If you have a post on this please share your link with me!

Goal Setting for Health, Fitness, and Weight Loss

The following 8 steps in goal setting for health, fitness, and weight loss can change your life. Strong statement? Maybe, but I believe it. 

There's only one catch: you have to do them

Trust me, I've tried every way possible to short-cut my way around them. Silly me, through them is the best way!

  1. Decide what you want. What do you want? Do you want to weigh 150 pounds, do you want to be able to run a 5k, do you want to be stronger, have more energy, get more sleep... Go ahead and think in numbers, be they scale or pant sizes, but also please think beyond them too. How do you want to feel? What do you want to be able to do? What would you like to overcome? What habits would you like to have in place?
  2. Write it down. Once you've brainstormed and decided what you want: write it down. Write them down as a goals list.
  3. Set a (realistic) deadline. When do you want to achieve these goals by? Set a date. Be realistic here. So many of us get discouraged when we don't reach a goal, but we set ourselves up for it because it was an unrealistic deadline in the first place. Do a little research. Ask a knowledgeable friend what a realistic deadline would be. Then, give each goal a deadline.
  4. Identify your obstacles. This will take a whole lot of honesty with yourself. Take a hard look at what is keeping you from reaching these goals. Why aren't you there right now? What has stopped you? Be especially honest about your responsibility in this. We are often tempted to pass the blame. No negative self-talk here, just get real with yourself. Most everything in our lives can be fixed simply by making different choices.
  5. Identify the knowledge or information (and tools) you will need to succeed. What do you need to learn? Do your research here. Google around, buy a book, talk to an expert. What do you need to overcome your obstacles and reach your goals? Revisit your list of obstacles and problem solve. What tools will help you reach your goals? Do you need running shoes, a reusable water bottle, some handweights, a gym membership, a food scale, a fitness tracker... I realize we could spend infinite money here. My advice is to look at what will really help or motivate you. What will you really use?
  6. Identify (and reach out to) the people you will need support from. Don't skip this step. In reaching health, fitness, and weight loss goals I find this step one of the most important. Do you need your family on board? Your friends? Your significant other? Do you need to find a support group (online or in person)? Support is huge. Ask for it. Ask for it until you get it. Do you need to make an appointment with your doctor, a nutritionist, or a trainer?
  7. Make an action plan. Now sit down and make a plan (again, write it down). What steps can you take each day to reach your goals. Do you need to meal plan, food prep, plan your workouts, find a training plan for a race, find an accountability partner to check in with, find an app or journal to track your food and workouts...? Make a list of every task. Then, move one-time tasks to a to-do list and daily tasks to a planner or calendar.
  8. WORK your plan every single day. With health, fitness, and weight loss goals consistency is your friend. It's your secret weapon. It's the key to success. Work your plan every day. Every day, every day, every day.

Make a promise to yourself today, that no matter what happens you will never give up.

Consistency and persistence are vital to your success. Every time you persist and overcome challenges, stumbles, or downright failures you become stronger. Eventually you will become unstoppable

That is success.

Decide what you want, write it down, make a plan, and work your plan every day.

Start today.

I believe in you.

Paleo Butternut Squash Recipe

My Paleo Dinner Formula is: a meat (or eggs) + a green veggie + a starchy veggie (or sometimes fruit) = dinner. 

When I think that way it makes it so much easier for me to put meals together. The green veggie is usually a salad, collard greens, broccoli, kale, asparagus, or Brussels sprouts. The starchy veggie is often something like sweet potatoes, pumpkin, or squash.

Paleo Tip: Keep frozen greens and vegetables, like diced butternut squash, in your freezer. They won’t go bad in your vegetable draw and you will always have an easy Paleo side dish at the ready!

When it comes to side dishes I like to keep them super easy, especially for weeknight meals. One of my family’s favorites is this Paleo Butternut Squash dish. I can whip it up in a snap, I almost always have these ingredients on-hand, and it’s absolutely delicious!

Paleo Butternut Squash
2-12 oz. bags of frozen organic butternut squash
2 teaspoons Ground Cinnamon
1 Tablespoon Maple Syrup (optional)
¼ Cup water

Add coconut oil to your saucepan over medium heat. When the coconut oil is just melted, add the remaining ingredients and stir well. 

Cover and stir often until heated through.


Let me know if you try it.

Choosing a Word for the New Year

I think I first heard of this concept of choosing a 'word' for the New Year from my friend Carla. That was a few years ago. It never really resonated with me though. I was more about goals.

Until this year. (Though my goal-setting will still be intact.) This year I love the idea of choosing a word. A word that represents an intention, a focus, a mantra. Something that resonates, defines, and represents. One word that sums up all of my hopes and plans for the New Year.

For some reason a word jumped out at me this year. It pretty much chose me. The word downright vibrates for me!

My word for 2015: Reinvention.

That one word speaks volumes to me at this season of my life. To me it speaks of not just change (though it screams that plenty loudly and I love that), but of hope and power over my choices. It speaks of opportunity and success. It speaks of the ability to be responsible for the outcomes in my life. It speaks of newness and freshness. It speaks of learning and improving. It speaks of embracing life and living the heck out of it. Most of all it speaks of the limitless possibilites on the new page of life I am beginning to write upon.

Bring on 2015. Let the reinventing begin!

Do you have a word for 2015?

Paleo Apple Crisp Recipe

This Paleo Apple Crisp Recipe post is sponsored by Puritan's Pride.
Paleo Apple Crisp Recipe

I love desserts with fruit in them. I may even prefer them to desserts with chocolate in them. Maybe…

Apple crisp is a family favorite around here. It’s been greatly missed since we went Paleo. I decided I’d better set to work converting my recipe. We had a lot of fun taste-testing the ‘failures’ along the way!

The final product is one of the best recipes I’ve ever come up with. (Humble, right? But really, it’s so good!) This Paleo Apple Crisp Recipe is my favorite paleo dessert. This recipe is not only delicious, but really easy and Paleo-friendly!

Paleo Apple Crisp

Paleo Apple Crisp


1 Cup Almond Flour
¼ Cup Chopped Raw Macadamia Nuts
¼ Cup Chopped Pecans
½ teaspoon Ground Cinnamon
½ teaspoon Ground Nutmeg
2 Tablespoons Maple Syrup
2 Tablespoons gently-melted Organic Extra VirginCoconut Oil

4 Cups peeled, sliced Apples (I like Honeycrisp or Fuji for this.)
1 teaspoon Ground Cinnamon


Preheat your oven to 400 degrees.

Combine all the topping ingredients except the nuts. Blend well with a fork. Stir in the nuts.

In a separate bowl toss the apples and cinnamon until apples are well coated.
Grease a baking dish with coconut oil and add in the apples. Crumble the topping on top. It will be sticky and I find it easiest to use my hands to ensure a more even distribution.

Bake for 35 to 40 minutes. Crust should be golden brown and apples tender, but not mushy.

Vegan Apple Crisp

Let me know if you try it!

Easy Paleo Apple Crisp Recipe

FitViews' 2014 Holiday Fit List

It's that time of year again! I just love the holidays. The music, the decorations, the extra time spent with family and friends...

What I don't love about the holidays is trying to figure out what to get people! Some people are easy, but for those on my list that are tough to buy for I love gift guides. I've found the best presents on gift guides.

I thought this year I'd expand my best of fitness gift guide to include everyone, not just runners and fitness fanatics. Because really, we want everyone in our lives to have a healthy and happy 2015, right??

FitViews 2014 Holiday Gift Guide

For ANYONE on your list
Fitness Wearables- you can't go wrong with a fitness wearable. The market is flooding with them and they're hugely popular with just about anyone. My 11 year old even wants one to track his steps! You can find wearables in all price ranges too, depending on what capabilities they have. There are models that do everything from simply tracking steps to ones that have GPS and heart rate monitoring capabilites (or even give you email alerts!). 

Wearables for Runners:
TomTom Runner Cardio
(Retail $269.99)

  • Integrated Heart Rate Monitor (NO chest strap needed)
  • Graphical Training Partner helps you train more effectively with full-screen graphics and three unique training modes.
  • One-Button Control allows you to easily navigate through menus.
  • Extra Large Display
  • Quick GPS Fix Technology helps you get out on your run faster.

(Retail $169.99, sometimes cheaper on Amazon.)

  • Tracks distance, pace, heart rate and calories
  • Activity tracking counts steps and calories and reminds you when it’s time to move
  • Compatible with foot pod for recording distance indoors
  • Up to 8 hours of battery life with GPS on or 5 weeks in watch/activity tracking mode
  • Save, plan and share your activities at Garmin Connect

Wearables for Everyone:
(Retail $149, sometimes cheaper on Amazon.)
  • EKG-accurate heart rate data, with no chest strap required
  • Tracks steps, pace, distance and calories to provide a complete assessment of your daily effort
  • Customizable display and configurable heart rate zones
  • Connects to fitness apps with Bluetooth Smart (4.0) 
  • Sync heart rate to bike computers & GPS watches via ANT+
  • Stores activity data and wirelessly syncs to the Mio GO app
  • Water resistant to 30m (3ATM)
  • Mio FUSE Crimson fits large wrist sizes: 156 -208mm / 6.1”-8.2”
  • Mio FUSE Aqua fits regular wrist sizes: 149-179mm / 5.9”-7”

Microsoft Band
(Retail $199.99, but currently only available at a Microsoft Store.)

  • Microsoft Band, the first device powered by Microsoft Health, helps you achieve your wellness goals by tracking your heart rate, steps, calorie burn, and sleep quality. It also helps you be more productive with email previews and calendar alerts - right on your wrist.
  • Device works across iPhone, Android, and Windows Phones.
  • Email previews and calendar alerts appear right on your wrist so you know what you have to do and where you have to be even on the go.
  • For customers using Windows Phone 8.1, ask Cortana to take notes or set reminders with your voice. She'll give you driving directions and keep you on top of traffic, sports, stocks, weather, and more. She is ready to help whenever you need it.

For the At-Home Workout-er

(Retail $59.85 + S&H for the Base Package.)

One of my favorite trainers, Chalene Johnson's latest program. 
"Who says you have to jump, grunt, strain, and punish your body to get amazing results from your workout? Not with PiYo…PiYo combines the muscle-sculpting, core-firming benefits of Pilates with the strength and flexibility advantages of yoga. And, we crank up the speed to deliver a true fat-burning, low-impact workout that leaves your body looking long, lean, and incredibly defined."

Bosu Balance Trainer
(Retail $119.95)

"Known industry-wide for training balance, building strength, fine tuning skills for sport, enhancing flexibility, and delivering killer cardio workouts, the BOSU® Balance Trainer challenges the entire body."

Custom Shoes!

This is so cool. I've designed my own shoes from Reebok and think a gift card to do this will thrill just about anyone.

From Reebok

From Nike 

Under $50

Reusable Water Bottles
Socks (Yes, really. I find fit folks are crazy for specialized socks, myself included. Check out compression socks too.)

Last minute or just not sure?
You can't go wrong with letting them pick their own great gift! Great places for fit gift certificates:
Dick's Sporting Goods

What's on your Fit Wish List this holiday season??

More ideas for runners and triathletes from my friend Amanda.

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