All posts by marymonrowe

Wanna Play Ball?


My clients love the variety of training using the stability ball.  Not only are you getting the benefits of strength training, you are also strengthening your core and improving your balance.

Give these exercises a try!  Have FUN!


Single-leg Around the World

Focus: Foot stability

Stand on one leg with the ball positioned in front of the body. Use the fingertips to slowly move the ball in a circle around the body, first clockwise and then counter clockwise. Switch legs and repeat. This move challenges the balance of the entire body, which begins in the feet.

Wall Calf Raises

Focus: Ankle mobility

Using the ball to support the  back, lean back against a wall so the body is at a 60- to 75-degree angle. Complete three calf raises: with toes pointed forward, with toes turned inward slightly, and with heels in and toes turned outward. Then turn around and complete the same calf raises with the belly on the ball. The multiple angles achieved by changing the position of the feet and then facing the wall, forces the ankle into mobility from a variety of directions. Facing the wall also allows for the muscles of the lower leg (gastrocnemius and perineals) to be stretched on the downward part of the movement.

Supine Leg Extensions

Focus: Knee stability

Lying face up on the floor, squeeze the stability ball between both ankles with legs extended at 90 degrees above the hips. Keep the knees in line over the hips and bend and extend the knees while squeezing the ankles together, maintaining the position of the stability ball between the feet. Using the quadriceps as well as the adductors, both of which attach around the knee and hip joints, will strengthen the knee and provide stability to this hinge joint without additional impact on the joint and its structures.

3-way Single-leg Squat

Focus: Hip mobility

Extend one leg out in front of the body and place the ball under that foot, elevating it off the ground. On the standing leg, sit down and back slightly until a stretch is felt in the hamstring of the leg on top of the ball. Next, while standing on the same leg, move the ball to the side of the body and rest the inside of the knee on top of the ball. Perform a small squat on the standing leg, allowing the ball to roll sideways from the body, until a stretch is felt in the adductors. Return to standing and turn so the ball is under the same leg, but the knee and ball are behind the body. Perform a small squat again, until a stretch is felt in the hip flexor of the leg that is on top of the ball. Repeat all three movements with the opposite leg on top of the ball. With the ball supporting the leg in all three directions of this movement, the muscles of the leg and hip are relaxed and mobility is enhanced. By moving through all three directions, the hip joints on both sides are forced to move through multiple planes, which creates mobility in the elevated leg and improved hip stability in the standing leg.

Supported Bird Dog

Focus: Lumbar spine stability

Position the ball under the hips and begin with the toes and fingertips in contact with the floor. Maintain this position of the ball and slowly lift one foot and the opposite hand off the ground. Reach the hand and foot away from the center of the body, creating a straight line parallel to the floor before lowering back down. Switch sides. By engaging the posterior chain and lifting the arm and leg, the muscles of the trunk, particularly around the lumbar spine are engaged and are forced into creating a stable environment on top of an unstable surface.

Seated Crunch With Twist

Focus: Thoracic spine mobility

Sit on top of the ball with the knees are bent at 90 degrees. Place the hands behind the head and maintain an erect spine. Bring one knee up and rotate the upper body, moving the opposite elbow across toward the knee. It is important to not flex the spine forward; rather, rotate as far as possible and keep the chest tall. Return to the starting position and repeat on the other side. This move challenges the rectus abdominis and, by rotating the shoulders, mobility in the thoriacic spine is enhanced while the lumbar spine stays stationary to balance on the ball.

Prone I, T, Y, W

Focus: Scapulothoracic stability

With the stability ball under the hips, leave the toes on the ground and lift the upper body until a straight line is formed from head to feet. Engage the legs, glutes and back while pulling the shoulder blades downward. Begin with the arms extended below the chest, fingertips on the ground, palms facing inward. Lock the shoulder blades into place and raise the arms upward, forming each of the following letters: I, T, Y, W. The neck should stay long and the upper trapezius muscles relaxed. Performing these isolated movements with the shoulder blades “packed” helps to build stability in the scapulothoracic joint and increase overall trunk strength.

Child’s Pose With Reach

Focus: Glenohumeral mobility

Kneel behind the ball and, with arms outstretched, place both hands flat on top of the ball. While sitting the hips back toward the feet, stretch the arms forward, moving the ball away from the body. Return to a kneeling position and bring the palms off the ball, pointing the thumbs upward. Repeat the movement. Return again to kneeling and flip the palms again so the backs of the hands are flat on the ball. Repeat the movement. For the last rep, flip the hands yet again so the backs of the hands face each other and thumbs are down toward the ball. By changing the position of the hands each time, the hips sit back, all aspects of the rotator cuff are reached and mobility can increase over the entire joint rather than in a single plane of motion.

(Acquired from ACE Pro Source)



Easy & Healthy Vinaigrette


Here’s a great dressing for salads, sauteed veggies, steamed fish or grilled chicken!

1/2 cup rice vinegar

1/3 cup reduced sodium tamari

1 t raw honey or maple syrup

2 t fresh grated ginger

5 T toasted sesame oil

1) Combine vinegar, tamari, honey and ginger in a bowl.  Whisk to blend.

2) Slowly add oil while whisking; mix well.

3) Store in refrigerator, tightly covered until ready to use.

If dressing thickens when cold, hold at room temperature for 30 minutes and stir before serving.

Serves 8 (2 T each)

Fix Container–1 Orange

90 calories

I am loving these recipes from the FixAte cookbook.   Each one has been great!

If you would like more recipes like these, leave me a message and I’ll give you the low-down on how you can get your very own FixAte Cookbook.

Also check out my other recipes!

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Eating Healthy While Traveling


When it comes to maintaining healthy habits, nothing can derail our efforts faster than a vaca or work trip!!!!

Temptation lurks everywhere, <pastries, nachos, margs> and it is very challenging to keep to your healthy routine. 

Don’t despair!

Before you leave home, PREPare yourself, PLAN ahead, and read these tips —:

Portable Snacks

Pack as many portable snacks as you can.   

Nuts, whole grain crackers and hummus, homemade protein bars <use your 21 Day Fix recipe book or FixAte cookbook for these>, individual sized oatmeal packets, diced fruit, cut veggies, apple and peanut butter and of course Shakeology packets.  Just put in those handy zip lock bags and GO!

And don’t forget your agua!

PREParing to Keep Eating Healthy

Call ahead to see if your hotel has a refrigerator. 

Even if it doesn’t, you can usually request one to be brought to your room.   Then you can plan to bring along healthy breakfast items, snacks and lunches so you can eat at least one healthy meal a day in your room.  A quick run to the local store for these items will alleviate the stress of having to eat out every meal.  Remember—you don’t HAVE to eat out every meal!  Take charge!

Eat a light snack before going out for dinner. 

Putting a little food in your stomach, will help you be less tempted to over eat and will enable you to exercise more control.

Go easy on the alcohol and other calorie-laden, empty beverages.  I know.  I know.

Been there — done that.

If you are going to drink, order a glass of water too.  Alternate one alcoholic beverage for one glass of water if you know you will be having more than one.  <The 21 Day Fix does allow for one glass of wine three times a week—-Hooray!.>

Scope Out the Nearby Restaurants by your Hotel

Look at the menu online and choose something healthy before you arrive.  That way, you won’t be tempted by all the great smells and order something you’ll regret eating later.

Know that you can order what you want, even if it’s not on the menu.  If the ingredients are on the menu, there’s a good chance the cook will happily make something to your specification even if it’s not on the menu.

When I was in the Lean Phase of my Bodybuilding days, I still wanted to go out to eat with my Honey Bunny or Besties.  I learned quickly that restaurants are so fine taking special orders—

I skipped the bun on a burger, order grilled meat with no seasonings or oils, skipped sauces and dressings all together or I asked to have them served on the side, opted for steamed, plain veggies instead of fries or a baked potato or I ordered a small side salad. 

Don’t be afraid to request what you want.  It’s much easier now than it was for me as most menus include the nutrition info for each entree.

Another thing you can do is order from the Kids’ menu—-yep, you read that right—-smaller portions peeps.  Or ask for your meal to be split in half and that half boxed up before you get your food.  Takes away that temptation of over eating.  Or split it with a friend or spouse!!

Be careful with appetizers

They can be loaded with fat and contain many calories.  Order that glass of water and start drinking to curb your tummy until you food arrives.

And Don’t Forget to Keep Moving!

Pack your 21 Day Fix workout or other workout videos and play them on your laptop or take advantage of Beachbody on Demand!  <available to all Club Members on mobile devices and computers.>

Take the stairs instead of the elevator even showing off by taking two at a time!

You don’t have to be overwhelmed by eating when traveling.

Just like at home…..PREP and PLAN AHEAD.  Sure it takes time but it’s worth it.

You’re worth it.

Don’t undo all your hard work!

Zucchini Bread–Nom Nom!!!

Zucchini Bread

Try this healthier take on zucchini bread for your next brunch.

Total Time: 1 hr 10 min.
Prep Time: 15 min.
Cooking Time: 55 min.
Yield: 20 servings, 1 slice each

Nonstick cooking spray
6 large egg whites
¼ cup melted coconut oil
½ cup unsweetened applesauce
1/3 cup sugar
2 tsp. vanilla extract
¾ cups all-purpose flour
1¾ cups whole wheat flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
¾ tsp. sea salt
3 tsp. ground cinnamon
2½ cups grated zucchini
½ cup chopped raw walnuts

1. Preheat oven to 350° F.
2. Lightly coat two 9 x 5-inch loaf pans with spray.
3. Combine egg whites, oil, applesauce, sugar, and extract in a large bowl. Set aside.
4. Combine all-purpose flour, whole wheat flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon in a medium bowl; mix well.
5. Add flour mixture to egg mixture; mix until just blended.
6. Fold in zucchini and walnuts; mix until just blended.
7. Divide batter evenly between the two pans.
8. Bake for 45 to 50 minutes, or until golden brown and tester inserted into the center comes out clean.
9. Cool bread in pans for 5 to 10 minutes, remove from pans and transfer to rack; cool completely.

Tip: Leftover slices can be wrapped individually and stored in the freezer for future meals.

Zucchini bread nutrition facts and meal plan portions



 one pan mex 2

Prep Time 10 minutes

Cook Time 25 minutes

Total Time 35 minutes

Yield 4 servings

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 jalapeno, minced
  • 1 cup quinoa
  • 1 cup vegetable broth
  • 1 (15-ounce) can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 (14.5 oz) can fire-roasted diced tomatoes
  • 1 cup corn kernels
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1 avocado, halved, seeded, peeled and diced
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro leaves
  • Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium high heat. Add garlic and jalapeno, and cook, stirring frequently, until fragrant, about 1 minute.
  • Stir in quinoa, vegetable broth, beans, tomatoes, corn, chili powder and cumin; season with salt and pepper, to taste. Bring to a boil; cover, reduce heat and simmer until quinoa is cooked through, about 20 minutes. Stir in avocado, lime juice and cilantro.
  • Serve immediately.

one pan mex quinoa

Wonderfully light, healthy and nutritious. And it’s so easy to make – even the quinoa is cooked right in the pan!


Vanilla Peanutbutter and Banana Icecream

It's National Ice Cream Month! Make your own guilt-free ice cream with Shakeology and peanut butter. Yum!
Anything with peanutbutter will always grab my attention!!!


Total Time: 4 hrs. 5 min.
Prep Time: 5 min.
Cooking Time: None
Yield: 5 servings, about ½ cup each

1 cup nonfat milk (or unsweetened almond milk)
2 scoops Vanilla Shakeology
2 medium frozen bananas (cut into chunks before freezing)
2 Tbsp. all-natural smooth peanut butter

1. Place milk, Shakeology, bananas, and peanut butter in high-powered blender (such as a Vita-Mix); cover.
2. Blend on low for 5 seconds; increase power to high and continue blending for 30 seconds until smooth.
3. Pour mixture in a large glass bowl; cover.
4. Freeze for 4 hours, stirring every 30 minutes, before serving.

A Gouda Grilled Cheesa!

I love grilled cheese sandwiches and a good soup!!  Simple.  Tasty.

This grilled cheese is made with…..drooooooling…..smoked gouda!!!  Need I say more? ha

Grilled cheese with gouda in a cast iron skillet

2 slices sprouted whole-grain bread
1 tsp. Dijon mustard
1 oz roasted red bell pepper strips
1 slice medium tomato
¼ cup fresh arugula
¼ cup shredded smoked gouda cheese (1 oz)
½ tsp. olive oil

1. Spread mustard on one slice of bread.
2. Top with pepper strips, tomato, arugula, cheese, and second slice of bread. Set aside.
3. Heat oil in medium nonstick skillet over medium high heat.
4. Add sandwich; cook for 2 to 3 minutes, or until golden brown. Flip, then cook for 3 to 4 more minutes or until cheese has melted.

Smoked gouda grilled cheese


Sneak Peek FixAte Recipe!!!

I’ve been asked to share ONE of Autumn’s recipes that I’ve tried so since you asked so nicely, here ya go!!  Only one though!!




4 medium red or yellow peppers, cut in half and seeded

2 t olive oil

1 chopped medium onion

2 minced garlic cloves

1 1/2 lb raw chicken breast, skinless and diced

1 t chili powder

1 t cumin

1 C Grandma’s Tomato Sauce <see below — I actually just made 1/2 recipe>

2 C cooked quinoa

1 C rinsed black beans

1 C frozen corn

5 T chopped cilantro

1 T lime juice

Monterey Jack Cheese

Hot pepper sauce, optional

Preheat oven to 375

  • Place peppers, skin side down in large baking dish; set aside
  • Heat oil in large skillet over medium heat
  • Add onion; cook until translucent
  • Add garlic; cook 1 minute
  • Add chicken, chili powder, cumin; cook, stirring frequently until chicken is no longer pink
  • Add Grandma’s Tomato Sauce, quinoa, beans, corn, cilantro and lime juice.  Reduce heat to low; cook for additional 5 minutes or until heated through
  • Add heaping 1/2 C of chicken mixture to each pepper half, cover lightly with foil
  • Back for 35 minutes, remove foil
  • Top with cheese and bake additional 3 mins
  • Serve w/more cilantro and hot sauce 

Grandma’s Tomato Sauce   <this can also be used for spaghetti>

2T olive oil

1 chopped medium onion

4 garlic cloves, chopped

1 6-oz can tomato paste

1/4 red wine

2 – 28 oz cans whole tomatoes—-mash yourself

2 T agave

3 T fresh basil

  • Heat oil
  • Add onion and cook until translucent
  • Add garlic, tomato paste; cook 2-3 mins, stirring constantly
  • Add wine; cook 2-3 more mins
  • Add tomatoes, agave and bring to boil.  Reduce to low heat and cook additional 3 mins stirring occasionally 
  • Add basil.  Mix well.

You will really enjoy this.  Don’t be put off by the list of to-do’s.  It’s easy, so worth it and with the leftovers <I used them in burritos>, you’ve just made yourself TWO different meals with one recipe!!  BONUS!!

There’s more where this recipe came from, so ask me for more info on getting yourself the cookbook!!


Fueling to Start Your Day Off Right!

Energizing Breakfast Ideas

(Obtained from the U Rock Girl website)

I’ve always been an advocate of never skipping breakfast.  Our bodies need fueling after 8-10 hours of no food intake!  I’m always looking for ideas as well because eating the same breakfast every day can get boring fast.   I hope you find at least a couple ideas from the list below!

While breakfast has long been touted as the most important meal of the day, a recent study reported that 50 percent of women don’t eat breakfast when they’re busy. If this sounds familiar, be aware that skipping breakfast sets you up for intense cravings later in the day. Eating a meal within an hour of waking provides fuel for both your body and brain, jump-starts your metabolism and can help reduce cravings later in the day. More importantly, a high-protein breakfast stimulates the release of dopamine in the brain, which will calm those food cravings.

A well-balanced breakfast should consist of four things: protein, fruit or vegetables, a high-fiber grain or starchy vegetable, and healthy fats. The carbohydrates from the fruits, vegetables and grains provide the glucose that your body and brain need for energy. Adding protein, fat and fiber to the mix helps slow the release of glucose into your bloodstream, giving you longer-lasting energy and making you feel fuller for longer.

Here are some energizing breakfast ideas:

  • Prepare an omelet with two eggs and two egg whites, spinach, mushrooms and onions, and serve it with sweet potato hash and a bowl of berries.
  • Yogurt parfait: Combine plain Greek yogurt with cinnamon and pure maple syrup and layer it into a glass with fresh berries or peaches, chopped walnuts and pecans, and a spoonful of chia seeds.
  • Rockin’ Green Smoothie: Blend almond milk with a frozen banana, chia seeds, cinnamon, one-half of an avocado, a big handful of baby spinach and a scoop of vanilla protein powder.
  • Nutty and fruity overnight oats: Soak old-fashioned oats in a mixture of milk, Greek yogurt, cinnamon and vanilla extract overnight in the refrigerator. In the morning, add seasonal fresh fruit, chia and hemp seeds, and slivered almonds.
  • Breakfast burrito: Scramble two eggs and cook two turkey or chicken breakfast sausage links. Combine these with a little shredded cheese, a scoop of fresh salsa, and a spoonful of guacamole or a few slices of avocado and place into a sprouted grain or brown rice tortilla and wrap up like a burrito. Hot sauce is always a must!!
  • Tofu scramble: Mash half a block of organic firm tofu and sauté with onions, red bell pepper and mushrooms. At the end, fold in a scoop of cooked quinoa and top with a sprinkle of chopped cilantro.
  • pancake_skyscraper_large
  • High-protein pancakes: Combine almond flour with an egg, milk, cinnamon, vanilla extract, and a ¼-teaspoon baking powder. Whisk well and cook in a pan with virgin coconut oil. Add in fresh, sliced fruit while the pancake is cooking.
  • Very Berry Smoothie: Combine tart cherry juice (anti-inflammatory, great for after a workout), mixed frozen berries, chia seeds, a drop of almond extract and a scoop of vanilla protein powder.
  • Grain-free granola: Combine one-quarter cup each of slivered almonds, chopped pecans and chopped walnuts, 1 tablespoon of chia seeds, ½-tablespoon of ground flax seeds, ¼-teaspoon cinnamon, 1 tablespoon of melted coconut oil, and 2 tablespoons of pure maple syrup. Mix well and place on a baking sheet and bake at 325 degrees F for 20 minutes. Let cool and mix into Greek yogurt or in a bowl with milk and fruit.

I’ve Gotta Fixation

I am excited to announce that the creator of the 21 Day Fix and 21 Day Fix Extreme is releasing her very own cookbook! 


Autumn Calabrese has taken her simple color-coded container system used in the 21 Day Fix and 21 Day Fix Extreme programs that measure perfect portions, and she’s applied it to 101 of her favorite recipes in the Fixate Cookbook.  You’re eating tasty, healthy foods in just the right amount.

Each Fixate recipe lists color-coded container equivalents and nutrition facts, so you can use this system for keeping proper portions and keeping your nutrition on track when you begin the 21 Day Fix, 21 Fix EXTREME, or any other fitness program or healthy lifestyle.

Fixate also includes Paleo, gluten-free, vegan, and vegetarian recipes!

Throughout and after my journey of doing these two workout programs, I have been acquiring Autumn’s healthy recipes for over a year and now you can see what Larry and I eat; learn that we are not deprived of flavor or fun (or starving), and learn how to make recipes from Breakfasts to Dinners to Desserts to Skinny Versions of Adult Beverages!!  Ah, yeah, you read me right, peeps!

fixate margs

Two recipes we love and are included in this cookbook —

Mexican Taco Lettuce Cups

Mex Taco Cups

We don’t even MISS the taco shell!!!


Seared Ahi Tuna with Pumpkin Seed Sauce

Seared Ahi

The Pumpkin Seed Sauce is so tasty and makes a lovely addition without spoiling the taste of the ahi!

And our newest fav–Chicken Stuffed Peppers <with black beans, quinoa and corn>  This was great because there were plenty of leftovers of the stuffing to make burritos for another meal!!  Two-fer!! Gotta love that!!


Check out the Fixate Cookbook and start creating healthy, tasty and EASY dishes!

Please contact me for more info.  I would love to share my love of health and fitness with you.