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The Biggest Loser: The Workout - Last Chance Workout Review

This DVD gets 4 stars from me. It is a great workout! Definitely a workout I'll be doing for a while.

For this workout you will need:
A set of handweights (beginners use lighter weights, more advanced exercisers can use heavier weights)
A mat if you're working out on a hard floor.

This latest installment from The Biggest Loser: The Workout series is lead by Jillian Michaels. The Last Chance Workout section of the DVD is 'HIIT' or high intensity interval training. In circuits you will move from a strength move (such as hammer curls standing on one leg) for about 30 seconds to a cardio move (like jumping rope) for about 30 seconds. It is a tough workout, it moves quickly from one move to the next with little lag time. You will sweat and burn those calories. There are no ab only exercises such a crunches, Jillian seems to prefer engaging the core throughout the workout; utilizing plank type moves, etc. 

The Upper Body Sculpt and Lower Body Tone sections are mostly strength moves with much less cardio-type moves. At one point Jillian calls them 'supersets'. The moves in these sections are tough, and not strictly upper or lower body, just mainly focussed on these. They include combo moves using both upper and lower body. Your muscles will feel these the next day! Also, the Losers are much more in sync in these two sections of the DVD.

The set for this DVD is the weigh in/gym from the Biggest Loser show. Either the real thing or made to look like it. The music is upbeat and not annoying. 

Jillian Michaels leads former Loser contestants Tara, Sione, Amanda, Danny, Allen, Daniel, and Liz through the workout fitness class style. Sometimes she does the moves a bit, but mostly walks around between Losers. 

Jillian's cueing is good. She calls out the names of the next move, but doesn't always show them. Generally flows nicely, but once or twice the Losers seem confused and miss a beat after she calls out the name of the next move. I would suggest watching this once before doing. After the first time I did it this no longer bothered me. I knew what she was talking about when she called out a move. 

The Losers offer variations of exercises from beginner to advanced throughout the workout. For more advanced you can watch Tara, Sione, and Allen. For average to intermediate Amanda and maybe Daniel. Beginners can watch Liz and Danny. 

The menu choices are: Last Chance Workout Program, Individual Workouts, Training Tips, Trailers, and Credits. There are a Warmup, the Last Chance Workout, an Upper Body Sculpt, a Lower Body Tone, and a Cool Down. 

You have the option of music and Jillian's instructions or music only. 

This workout is set up to where you can do individual sections or the Last Chance Workout Program:
Weeks 1-2 are set up for 30-35 minutes per day for six days a week. Monday you do the warmup, last chance workout, and cool down. Tuesday you do the warmup, upperbody sculpt, lower body tone, and the cooldown. Wednesday the same as Monday, Thursday the same as Tuesday; alternating those two workouts all week and resting Sunday.

Weeks 3-4 are set up for 45 minutes, six days a week. Monday you do the warmup, last chance workout, lower body tone, and cooldown. Tuesday you do the warmup, last chance workout, upper body sculpt, and the cooldown. You then alternate those workouts the rest of the week and rest Sunday.

Weeks 5-6 are set up for 55 minutes a day, six times a week.
You do every workout each of the six days: the warmup, the last chance workout, the upperbody sculpt, the lower body sculpt, and the cool down.
In the Individual Workout section you can choose to do the workouts individually but you cannot program it to customize a workout. For instance you couldn't set it to do upperbody sculpt followed by the last chance workout from the individual workout menu. A bit of a bummer, but it's meant to be done as the 6 week program. The warmup and cooldowns are the same for all the workouts.

The Training Tips sections is basically commercials for The Biggest Loser 'lifestyle' products. Ali shows you resistance cords, Tara shows you a weighted water ball, Ali and Sione demonstrate stability balls, and Tara shows body bands. They do show a few tips and variations on workouts and it is pretty cool stuff. But again, this section is a commercial.

The Trailers sections shows trailers for Biggest Loser Boot Camp, Biggest Loser Yoga, Biggest Loser the Workout and the Workout 2, Biggest Loser Cardio Max, and Biggest Loser Power Sculpt. You see the theme, lol, more commercials. Credit section is, of course, the credits.

If you dislike Jillian's personality you may not like this DVD. In Jillian's typical tough trainer style she yells at the Losers, but laughs with them too. She says things like, "these contestants belong to me", and even calls a contestant her "bitch". If, however, you are a big Jillian fan or Biggest Loser fan you may love it. She is honest and straight forward Jillian, she says "this is your last circuit: it sucks!" and "Do you wanna be skinny or not? Shut up and do your mountain climbers!" She is also encouraging, saying things like "Don't quit on me, because when you quit on me you quit on yourself." I think all the yelling and hollering is hype because it's a Biggest Loser style 'Last Chance Workout'. But what we're all looking for here is a tough workout to blast some calories, and that it is.

Overall, this offers good variations from beginner to advanced and is a well-rounded, full-body, fast paced workout I felt the next day. There are many very challenging moves, yet the workout remains accessible to all levels with the modifications. I was a little distracted by some of the Losers not being in sync and some even not really doing the moves right a few times. This was an easy fix by keeping my eyes on Tara, Sione, and Allen. It is a lot like watching a fitness class, which is not what I'm used to from Jillian. (Merely a personal preference here, I like watching Jillian on a clean set with 1 or 2 others doing the moves in sync, perfectly.) I would have enjoyed it more with just Tara and Sione doing the moves in sync with Jillian. But it was fun to workout 'with' some of my favorite past contestants. While not what I am used to from Jillian, it was a great workout, which really, is the important thing here! 

Brief update: Just realized you get a free download of a biggest loser workout cd: Top 40 Hits vol 1 from when you buy this now. There's an insert in the DVD with the code. Cool.

I am just a blogger, not a doctor or any sort of health or fitness professional. What you read here are my personal experiences and opinions.

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KETO Cocktails: The Lemon Drop

I love a good glass of red wine now and then, I mean it's practically a health food, right? ;) But sometimes I just want a cocktail. I'm all for moderation and having a drink now and then, but I'm just not down with the calorie, carb, and sugar counts of some of my favorites. Seriously, have you ever looked them up? Eek. So, I've set to work at converting my favorite cocktail recipes to be more keto diet friendly!

The first cocktail recipe I'm tackling is the lemon drop. I used to love these, but haven't had one in years because of the sugar in them. In my early twenties I had a friend who used to make them for me all the time. We would have a shaker full of these, a good dinner, and a chick flick on a weeknight, it was kind of bliss. Her recipe called for so. much. SUGAR though! Looking back I think she may have used a wee bit more sugar than most, but they were really good.

I think my keto-ized recipe comes pretty dang close to those delicious memories! It'…

KETO Hot Cocoa Pancakes

OK, I know I've been on quite the low carb pancake tangent lately, but THESE! Seriously, these are yummtastic. Yummazing? Ya, they're really good. They just might be my favorite recipe I've ever done. Ever. OK, that might be my paleo apple crisp recipe, but that's not low, I wonder if I could tweak that low carb...

That would be brilliant!

You know, bloggers area always talking seo this and seo that (seo stands for search engine optimization if you're not a blogger) and I'm just over here yammering. I'm pretty sure when google's spider crawlers (anyone shiver at that word picture? eesh) get to FitViews they just think, "Yeesh, move along. Nothing to see here." Ha ha ha!

Anyway, pancakes. KETO Hot Cocoa Low Carb Pancakes no less. So good. 

As I've mentioned before I'm back to low carb (keto actually) and developing new recipes to make it easier to stick with. I find I just plain feel great when I eat ketogenic, and I definitely h…

30 Easy Prep and Pack Whole30 Lunch Recipes

The Whole30Program is amazing. I highly recommend it. Every time I've done a Whole 30 I have felt AMAZING by the end. It's a very empowering experience. It is not however an easy one. Mostly because the food prep can take much more time if you're used to grab and go options. A little planning ahead and you can definitely make it through the 30 days.

When it comes to Whole30 lunches, 3 things worked best for me:

Quick and easy salads.Prepping food on Sunday.Cooking too much at dinner and eating leftovers for lunch the next day.
I thought I'd share 30 of the awesome Whole30 lunch recipes I've found from my favorite bloggers (and a few from me!). I've included all three options I listed above. Some quick and easy salads, some to prep an entire recipe on the weekend and then portion them for lunches that week, and some to be cooked for dinner and the leftovers packed for lunch the next day. Play around and see what works best for you.

This list of 30 Whole30 Lunch Reci…

Paleo Smoky Grilled Pineapple Burgers

Since going Paleo my family has fallen even more in love with our grill. Paleo and grilling just work well together. The past couple of years I've even been stepping outside my grilling comfort zone more and more. Grilling things I'd never thought to have grilled before and trying new flavor combinations. I have to say I'm pretty thrilled with the results of most of my flavor experiments. 

In the past I'd never have thought to grill fruit, but it's amazing. Grilling fruit and adding it to traditionally savory dishes? Brilliant.

Oh yes, and? New rule: every burger recipe for the rest of forever must contain grilled pineapple. OK, maybe more of a guideline. It's a seriously delicious combination though.

This Smoky Grilled Pineapple Burger is always a crowd-pleaser at my house. It's not only Paleo, but Whole30, glutenfree, lower carb, and clean eating friendly. I promise you won't miss the bun! 

Smoky Grilled Pineapple Burger Recipe Ingredients
2 lbs Lean Grass-…

Jillian Michaels BodyShred Full Review

I have to say my two months of BodyShred flew by! It seems like I just started yesterday. Ah, time flies while you're having fun. Right? OK, in this full review post, I hope to give you a good overview of exactly what the BodyShred program is as well as my thoughts and opinions on the program. So, is Jillian Michaels BodyShred hype or help? Let's chat...

Jillian Michaels BODYSHRED is Jillian's latest total-package fitness program. This set includes:

What's in the box:BodyShred Fitness Guide
BodyShred Meal Plan
BodyShred Rotational Calendar
BodyShred "Let Them See You Sweat" Workout Towel
     8 - Shred Style Circuit Workouts
       1. Launch
       2. Rise
       3. Amplify
       4. Escalate
       5. Conquer
       6. Triumph 
       7. Zenith
       8. Apex
     2 - Straight Cardio Workouts
       1. Fire Up
       2. Ignite
    Plus, bonus workout Opus and a disc on the cast and teaching the moves. So, a total of 12 DVDs are included in this set.

The BodyShred Workouts

Keto Paleo Friendly Coffee Creamer Recipe

Going keto paleo has me missing one thing: the organic grass-fed half-and-half I'd been having in my coffee. Since going paleo over a year ago I've searched and searched and just never found anything else I love in my coffee. I'd just about given up on a keto paleo-friendly coffee creamer!

I was almost to resign myself to black coffee forever, but then I decided to resort again to trying to make my own. This version is simple and quite delicious. Not only is it keto paleo, but Whole30 and 21 Day Sugar Detox friendly as well.

Keto Paleo Cinnamon Vanilla Coffee Creamer
1 can Organic Canned Coconut Milk(the kind in the carton just won't do it)
1 teaspoon Cinnamon Vietnamese Organic
1 teaspoon Organic Pure Vanilla for 100% Whole30 compliant swap for vanilla powder
2 teaspoons raw local honey or Organic Maple Syrup (optional, leave out for KETO, Whole30, or 21DSD)

Blend all ingredients well in your blender. Store in the refrigerator (the cinnamon tends to set…

KETO Sweet Cinnamon Pancakes

I'm completely obsessed with keto pancakes lately. Oh, you've caught on to that? Well, these Sweet Cinnamon Low Carb Pancakes are a seriously tasty addition. They're a quick and super easy breakfast option.  Whether you're getting bored on your egg fast or just a low carb or keto style eater these are for you! With only 4 grams of carbs for the ENTIRE RECIPE, they'll fit nicely into your plan.

This recipe makes 3 or 4 decent sized pancakes and comes in at 340 calories according to my tracking in My Fitness Pal. I generally eat the whole thing and double the batch if hubby wants some too. It easily doubles or triples or feed however many you'd like. I love to make a giant batch on Sunday and have them ready for the week. Just reheat in the microwave and go.

Low Carb Sweet Cinnamon PancakesFor this recipe you'll need:
A mixing bowl (I like to use a large glass measuring cup to easily pour the batter in the skillet), a hand mixermeasuring spoons

Easy Paleo Mashed Sweet Potatoes

This Easy Paleo Mashed Sweet Potatoes recipe was sponsored by Puritan's Pride.
Growing up the only encounter I had with sweet potatoes was at Thanksgiving dinner. I hesitate to even call them sweet potatoes though. They were more like sugar coated sugar, with a side of sugar. Seriously!
The recipe was to coat a baking dish in margarine, add diced sweet potatoes, top with more margarine and a healthy heaping of brown sugar. Bake. And then? At the end you top the whole thing with a bag of marshmallows and bake again.
Blech! Needless to say I was never fond of sweet potatoes.
When I first went paleo I decided to reacquaint myself with sweet potatoes. They’re a great paleo-friendly carb source. I must confess the thought made me shudder, but I persevered. I tried them simple. Baked. I was so shocked. They're so good!
Now, I love sweet potatoes. They’re a go-to side dish for family dinners. Not only are they delicious, but they’re good for us and easy to make. The funny thing about sweet…

KETO Strawberry Cheesecake Pancakes

I'm building quite the little collection of low carb pancake recipes! And, if I do say so myself, these Strawberry Cheesecake Pancakes are a seriously tasty addition. They are a quick and super easy breakfast option for your low carb diet. Whether you're getting bored on your egg fast or just a LCHF or keto style eater these are for you! With only 6 grams of carbs for the ENTIRE RECIPE they'll fit nicely into your plan.

This recipe makes 3 or 4 decent sized pancakes and comes in at 348 calories according to my tracking in My Fitness Pal. I generally eat the whole thing and double the batch if hubby wants some too. It easily doubles or triples or feed however many you'd like. I love to make a giant batch on Sunday and have them ready for the week. Just reheat in the microwave and go. Though, I personally kind of like these cold, straight from the fridge. They taste like little slices of cheesecake that way.

Yes, yes, I know. If you're doing an egg fast…

Paleo Peppermint Mocha Coffee Creamer Recipe

It's just not the holidays for me without a Starbucks peppermint mocha (or white chocolate peppermint mocha, mmm). I generally splurge once or twice during the holiday season with the real thing. Since going keto, however, I'm not sure if I will. Sometimes the sugar just isn't worth it!

Problem is I like them, miss them, and would really enjoy them all season long!
So..... I decided I wanted to tackle the peppermint mocha and come up with a KETO Paleo-friendly version. With this simple recipe, I can have a peppermint mocha anytime.

Not only is this recipe Keto Paleo, but it's also Whole30, gluten-free, vegan, primal, and 100% junk-free.

KETO Paleo Peppermint Mocha RecipeIngredients:
1 can Organic Canned Coconut Milk(Regular, NOT light. Seriously, ew.)
1/3 cup Organic Cocoa Powder
2 to 3 Tablespoons Organic Grade B Maple Syrup (Optional, leave out for keto or Whole30.)
1/2 to 1 teaspoon Organic Peppermint Extract(Depending how pepperminty you like it. I do 1/2 teaspoon)
1 teaspo…