SUMMER CORE WORKOUT SERIES

Summer is officially here, so I am going to be sharing a workout series that is PERFECT for getting your CORE ready for Summer. Yes, it is great to have a strong sexy core that looks good during the summer, because let’s admit it, we all wear a lot less clothing, and who doesn’t want to rock their swimsuit?!?!? But building a strong core is not just about the physical appearance. When your core is strong, your posture is better, your overall training is more efficient and effective, your daily activities are easier, and doing all those fun summer activities are a heck of a lot more fun.

SUMMER CORE WORKOUT SERIES

This core workout that I have put together for all of you is versatile, challenging, can be done anywhere, requires no equipment, and strengthens not just your core, but your entire beautiful body. A little-known fact about my workouts...I make sure that they are efficient and effective because I know how busy everyone is these days, so I make sure my workouts get the job done!

Here is what you need to do for this core workout series:

Crunches - Dig your heels into the ground, while keeping your arms straight and above your head. Keep it ALL engaged. Slowly come up to a seated position and then slowly lower back down. Inhale when you come up and exhale when you come down. 3x sets of 15 repetitions.

Side Plank with Hip Raises - Make sure that your wrists are aligned with your shoulder and your feet are stacked while keeping your legs engaged. Slowly lower your hips towards the ground and then slowly bring them back up. 3x sets of 15 repetitions on each side.

1 - Leg Crunches - Just like crunches, dig your heels into the ground, while keeping your arms straight and above your head. Keep it ALL engaged. Slow and steady wins the race with this move. 3x sets of 15 repetitions on each side.

Plank to Forearm Plank - Make sure that your wrists are aligned with your shoulders. Keep your legs engaged, neck in a neutral position, and suck that belly to the back of your spine. Slowly lower down to your forearms and then slowly come back up to plank position. 3x sets of 10 repetitions.

Here are my tips when doing this core workout series:

  1. Keep everything ENGAGED! This is key for not only strengthening your core but also for building your overall strength and balance.

  2. SLOW and STEADY! There is no need to rush through these moves. The slower you go, the more effective the move is, and the better the burn!

  3. Focus on your breathing...Remember to always exhale when you are going against gravity.

  4. Think outside the box! Do this workout all at once...Add one or two moves into your next strength training workout...Add more sets or repetitions depending on your strength and energy levels.

  5. DO WHAT WORKS FOR YOU!!!

Let me know how it goes and if you have any questions, feel free to ask! Cheers to summer and looking and feeling your best inside and out! ENJOY!!!

4 THINGS I THINK ABOUT WHEN I RUN

As y’all know, I love to RUN! I love to talk about my running adventures, my running schedule, my running goals, how I fuel for my runs, and how I incorporate yoga and strength training into my runs. I look forward to writing more about these topics and sharing with you tips, videos, and inspiration.

4 THINGS I THINK ABOUT WHEN I RUN

But let’s start with something more whimsical, like what exactly goes through my mind while I am hitting the pavement. Is it a random question? Not really, as I get asked it a lot and I find it fascinating what other athletes think about when they are training. We are all different and have different goals and training schedules, but finding what makes people tick and what keeps them motivated is really fascinating.

Random Note #1 – When I do my runs on the treadmill, I do not have these same thoughts, as I am just all about the workout…pushing myself…building strength…and yes just getting it done. Treadmills are not my choice of training, but when the weather is crap and you need to work on sprints, intervals, and hills, I opt for the treadmill. There are ZIP ZERO hills in Charleston!

Random Note #2 – I am a Pisces. I dream BIG. I am emotional, artistic, and intuitive. So when you read about my running thoughts, they are very relatable to my sign and who I truly am. Running is when I let myself DREAM!

4 THINGS I THINK ABOUT WHEN I RUN

1. LOVE – MY RELATIONSHIPS – This is probably the topic that I think about the most. I am obviously in a much different place than I was almost two years ago. I am no longer single and I am head over heels for someone. I spend a lot of time with this person and I would not have it any other way. He is very special to me and I am grateful that we met. That he is in my life. The things that he does for me on a daily basis. Oh geez, I could ramble on and on about this, but that story is for another time and post.

Those above thoughts…They go through my mind when I run! I daydream about the first time we met…The first date…The first kiss…The honeymoon stage…All of our trips. They make me smile when I run, so why wouldn’t I think about these things. I also have thoughts about the times we struggle, because as y’all know, no relationship is perfect. We have our moments. We have our disagreements. It’s called life. So YES, these thoughts also go through my mind.

How can I be a better partner?

Am I opening myself up to this person 100%?

Am I holding back with my thoughts, frustrations, opinions?

What am I afraid of?

There is no other place I would rather have these thoughts than on the open road. It’s the perfect place for me to just let it out. To figure it out. And then work through it, when I am ready.

4 THINGS I THINK ABOUT WHEN I RUN

2. HOW CAN I BE THE BEST VERSION OF ME – I am all about self-care and taking care of myself. It is important to be selfish when it comes to YOU. When we take care of ourselves emotionally, physically, and nutritionally we are a happier human. When we are a happier human, we give off good energy and attract good people and good opportunities.

Running is ME time. I like to run alone. I like to take that time to disconnect from the world, work, relationships, and focus on my thoughts, my body, my mind, and the good and the not so good. And just like with love and my relationships I think about topics like:

How can I better nourish my body when it comes to training?

How can I be more available to my friends?

How can I practice more self-love?

What holds me back from being 100% FEARLESS?

3. BUSINESS GOALS – I try not to let this topic take up too much of my running time, as it is probably the most stressful. I can be a worrier and I am scared shitless that I won't be successful. But I am beyond grateful to be working with an amazing woman; to have a support system that spreads across this country; to work with brands and influencers who are just BAD ASS!

I do notice that once I do start thinking about work, my running steps can get a little bit heavier and I probably start to scrunch up my face more, and the overall run just doesn’t seem as fun. It becomes more like work...HA! But business goals are part of life. It is my income. It is how I pay the bills and for all that food to fuel this body. So it is a hard topic to avoid.

4. NOTHING – My absolute favorite!!! It is that moment for me when I honestly forget that I was running. It is silent. My thoughts are silent. I am in the moment. I am in the zone. I am flying. It is that runner’s high and then POOF it is gone. For me, thinking about nothing typically lasts no longer than 5 minutes, but it is PURE BLISS and that feeling is why I continue to run. I live for that NOTHING moment.

What do you think about when you run?

What thoughts help you run fearless?

THREE WHOLE30 & PALEO RECIPES BY THYME AND JOY

And just like that, it feels like summer in Charleston! The past week we have hit 80 degrees almost every day and the humidity has already drastically increased. I am not complaining, as I love these kinds of temperatures (Lucy not so much). I love my early morning runs when I come back soaking in sweat. I am happy walking around in tank tops and shorts and being able to soak up the sunshine and longer evenings outside on my deck. I also love how my appetite craves fresh, easy, simple, and nourishing eats as the seasons change. Bring on ALL the salmon, salads, and summer produce. 

Thank goodness my friend Valerie LOVES to cook and create these kinds of recipes! Since we met a couple of months ago, she has become an amazing friend. We Jersey girls are REAL, LOYAL, and won't put up with any bull shit. It's why I love her and lean on her for a lot of things. She's my "go-to" for when the social media world kicks my ass and I want to throw in the towel. She always comes over to help me create my workout videos and to help me edit photos and give me tips on all the new apps and gadgets. When you manage an abundance of accounts, you need to lean on friends and ask for help, and glad that I can do that with her. 

I am also grateful for her support, honesty, and professional advice. I am also grateful for her chef skills. These recipes are PERFECT for summer! They are paleo, Whole30 approved, and great for meal prep, so you can get outside more and enjoy the beautiful weather, wherever you may be. Hurry up and put together a shopping list...go to the store...and start cooking! If you need a taste tester, I will be right over. ENJOY!

Mango Cucumber Salsa

Mango Cucumber Salsa

Ingredients

  • 1 Mango, small diced
  • 1 Cucumber, small diced
  • 2 Limes, juiced
  • 1/2 Red Onion, small diced
  • 1 tsp Sea Salt
  • 1/4 cup Cilantro, chopped

Instructions

  1. Add all ingredients to a bowl and toss until fully combined.
  2. Flavors will be even better 30 minutes after tossing together
  3. Keeps for up to 3 days in the fridge

Sonoma Chicken Salad

Sonoma Chicken Salad

Ingredients

  • 4 cups Shredded Chicken, cooked
  • 1 cup Mayonnaise
  • 3 stalks Celery, small dice
  • 1/4 Red Onion, small dice
  • 2 cups Red Seedless Grapes, halved
  • 2 tbsp Fresh Parsley, chopped
  • 1 tbsp Celery Seed
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • salt/pepper to taste

Instructions

  1. Add all ingredients except grapes into a large bowl and stir until fully combined
  2. Toss in grapes
  3. Garnish with extra parsley
  4. Serve over greens

Tangy Mango Salmon

Tangy Mango Salmon

Ingredients

Instructions

  1. Preheat your oven to broil.
  2. Pat Salmon Dry with a paper towel
  3. Glaze each piece of salmon with 1 tbsp Tangy Mango sauce
  4. Broil on HIGH for 12-15 minutes
  5. Top with Mango Cucumber Salsa

Which recipe are you going to make first?

PIZZA AND GIN & TONICS: THAT TIME I PARTNERED WITH KATIE UHRAN BY SHELBY RING

PIZZA AND GIN & TONICS: THAT TIME I PARTNERED WITH KATIE UHRAN BY SHELBY RING

Today we meet Shelby Ring, she's a branding consultant, avid partner dancer, traveler, videographer + photographer and an overall Queen B, and today she takes the floor and shares her experience working with me personally in her fitness journey.

Why did you reach out to Katie?

I reached out to her because well… have you seen this woman’s abs with she does side plank lifts? #canthandleit #notevenalittlebit

I took Katie on as a branding client back in October/November, and like any relationship, the more hours you log, the more you get to know someone beyond the scope of just business as usual.  After filming, photographing and immersing myself in understanding her business from a marketing perspective, somewhere along the way I came around to my resolution of wanting to quit F-ing around with my own fitness/eating goals and get my $#!+ tight and back in gear, so I asked her if she would partner with me in my fitness journey and offering some guidance. Best Decision Ever.

TAZIKI'S MEDITERRANEAN CAFE

Friends...I am so excited to share with you that I am partnering up with Taziki’s Mediterranean Cafe here in South Carolina to help promote the restaurant...talk about their delicious and healthy menu...and share events, happenings, and why I frequent this restaurant twice a week. We spend a lot of time eating here and Shannon actually does their plumbing for both the location downtown and the one in Mount Pleasant, which is the one we go to ALL the time. It is a place where everyone knows our name and it is not a bad thing, I LOVE IT and I LOVE their food.

Taziki's Mediterranean Cafe

I was first introduced to Taziki’s thanks to Shannon about a year ago when we first started dating. I remember going after a long hot and humid run one evening sometime in May. I logged in some good miles, ran to his house, and then we drove to Taziki’s. I was a sweaty mess and starving...The story of my LIFE!

The atmosphere in the restaurant is clean, relaxing, inviting, and they have a great outdoor patio, which is always a nice option on those warm not too humid summer nights here in South Carolina. I like to meet friends here for lunch during the week and then Shannon and I typically do takeout on Friday or Sunday nights, because let’s face it, there are those nights toward the end of the week when the last thing you want to do is cook. And I like having a healthy and nourishing takeout option that is a mile away from my apartment.

Taziki's Mediterranean Cafe

What I love about the food from Taziki’s is that there lots of healthy options to satisfy all your taste buds!!! With the warmer temperatures, my body just wants salads, seafood, and lots of healthy fats. So what do I do...I listen to my body and feed it exactly that. My absolute FAVORITE salad to order at Taziki’s is the Mediterranean Salad with salmon. It is so FREAKING GOOD!!! And for those nights, when I am “hangry”, we will split an order of their crunchy seasoned pita chips with a side of tzatziki sauce. It’s perfect for dipping and for digging through that mile high salad.

Taziki's Mediterranean Cafe

I am trying to venture out and try their other options as there are so many choices, but I am a creature of habit, and when I know what I want, I go for it. I promise to all of YOU that I will start trying new things because with this new partnership, it is going to be about just that...having fun...and promoting a company that I truly love. All good stuff!!! Maybe next month, I will start trying their gyros!!!

If you have never heard of Taziki’s here is their story -

TAZIKI'S MEDITERRANEAN CAFE

In 1997, Keith Richards and his wife Amy were vacationing in Greece where they discovered small-table Mediterranean cafés where everyone in the community gathered together to connect around healthy flavors and to celebrate life! They enjoyed the food, but also observed a deeper kind of warmth and connection that moved them to say – “That’s what I want to spend my life doing.”  But how do you capture the feeling of family and friends around the table and the healthy Mediterranean lifestyle? Inspired, Keith and Amy returned home with a stack of photographs and a vision to import their experience by opening the first of many Mediterranean cafes in 1998.   They created a place free from the noise of the world and the fast pace of our busy lives.  They created a time to reconnect over refreshing Mediterranean flavors.  They designed a menu of interesting flavors real, home-made food.  Through all these years, and the addition of new Taziki’s across the country, they became a family of big-hearted foodies committed to making an impact in the community.

At Taziki’s, they embrace the “Mediterranean Lifestyle” which emphasizes:

  • Eating primarily plant-based foods

  • Replacing butter with healthy fats such as olive oil and canola oil

  • Using herbs and spices instead of salt to flavor foods

  • Limiting red meat to no more than a few times a month

  • Eating fish and poultry at least twice a week

  • Enjoying meals with family and friends

  • Drinking red wine in moderation (optional)

  • Getting plenty of exercise!!!

I 100% agree with the “Mediterranean Lifestyle” and that is why I love to support Taziki’s. Make sure to learn more about the restaurant HERE and follow them on their social media channels:

Do you have a Taziki’s in your state?

Are you a fan of the “Mediterranean Lifestyle”?