Adventures in matcha {giveaway}

by Kim on April 18, 2014

Happy Good Friday!

I’m so grateful to be OFF WORK today for the holiday—I’ve never gotten this day off before! The timing is perfect, because Brent’s parents are visiting for the weekend and I have an Easter meal to plan, plus housecleaning, laundry, a grocery store run, and a few other errands I’ve been saving for today.

Visitors/Easter = two great excuses to freshen up the house with some of these:


$10 for 20 tulips (my favs)! Trader Joe’s never fails me.

I felt sort of guilty sending Mason off to daycare, but he has a blast there, and let’s be real: I probably wouldn’t have a prayer of getting everything done with him around. (The Terrible Two’s are in FULL swing…)


The cheeseball attitude is in full swing, too. (He knows exactly how to get laughs—one of his signature moves is the exaggerated eye roll. Or, when I tell him to “say cheese,” he’ll bare his teeth and squeeze his eyes shut.)

So this day might be kind of a wash as far as vacation days go, but LUCKILY…(please don’t hate me when I tell you this)…I took Monday off too! It’s my birthday, and I couldn’t think of a better birthday gift right now than a day off, toddler and chore free, to coffee-shop-hop, do some for-fun writing (because I’m the weirdo who does that), shop?!?, and tackle a few things that have been on my back burner lately.

But for now, it’s chore and meal planning time. I picked up a cranberry and apple-stuffed mini turkey at TJ’s the other night, thinking that might be a good starting point for the Easter meal. The rest is still up in the air—any suggestions??

Ok, enough yammering…on to that giveaway!

The folks at Kiss Me Organics contacted me recently to see if I’d like to try their matcha green tea powder. I’d heard of the stuff before, on other blogs and around the interwebs, and had always been curious to try it, so my decision was a no-brainer.


You might have heard of some of the benefits of green tea, but I was surprised to learn that matcha is actually the equivalent of 10 glasses of green tea as far as antioxidants and nutrients, since you’re consuming the entire leaf instead of brewed water. And matcha boasts 137x more of one particular disease-fighting antioxidant called EGCG than regular green tea.


Matcha also offers:

-Major calorie-torching, fat-burning power. The folks at Kiss Me say you can burn up to 40% more calories just by adding matcha to your diet, and you can increase fat-burning by 25% by drinking it before workouts.

-Stress/anxiety reduction. Matcha contains L-Theanine, an amino acid that promotes relaxation and well-being in the brain, at levels that blow regular green tea out of the water.

-Jitter-free energy boost. Matcha supposedly gives you more energy with less caffeine. Win-win.

-A powder form for easy concealment in food/drinks. Not everyone loves the slightly bitter taste of green tea. I don’t love it myself. But hide it in a smoothie or latte, and I’m game.

Speaking of smoothies and lattes, I’ve tried one of each with my matcha powder so far. Kiss Me Organics sent me a giant 70-page recipe book (!) in addition to my powder, and one of the first recipes was the Kiss Me Matcha latte.


Mine looked *almost* that cool and delicious—except minus all the coolness. But it was very green and it made feel totally earthy and healthy. So there’s that.

The latte was still a little bitter for me, even after sweetening it, but it’s a taste I could get used to. If I were a regular green tea drinker, I’m sure I’d be all over it.

My smoothie was much tastier. I cobbled together a recipe by modifying one from the book based on the ingredients I had on-hand:

Green Tea Smoothie

  • 1 frozen banana
  • 1/2 cup vanilla almond milk
  • 1-2  tsp matcha powder
  • 1-3 tsp sweetener (I used maple syrup)

Blend ingredients together in an electric blender. Adjust to taste.

Sweet green heaven.


(Much more successful than the great green smoothie fail of 2014.)

Another cool thing about Kiss Me’s matcha powder: one ingredient. 100% matcha. No shenanigans.

Want to try some matcha for yourself? Fill out the Rafflecopter below! Giveaway ends next Thursday.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Disclaimer: Kiss Me Organics sent me a free sample of their product in exchange for my honest review. They’re also hosting the giveaway. I’m not receiving any additional compensation.




At home full body prenatal workout

by Kim on April 17, 2014

Hey guys! Comin atcha today with a prenatal workout. I did this bad boy last night and my legs can still remember it veeery well.

prenatal workout
First, here’s my take on prenatal workouts in general.

Ladies who are pretty fit pre-pregnancy might see the word “prenatal” in a workout and think “easy.” I think that sucks–and it doesn’t have to be that way. As long as they have the thumbs-up from their doctors, preggos can still bring it in the gym (to an extent). My doctor told me I should be working out moderately for 150 minutes a week!

Obviously, we preggos can’t lay on our stomachs, so things like swimmers and back extensions are out. Some recommend avoiding the supine position (laying on your back) because of the potential to restrict blood flow to both mom and baby, but really, that doesn’t apply to a lot of women, and if it did, you would know. Dizziness is the big signal–if you feel light-headed (really, ever during a workout), that’s your cue to ease up.

And don’t let anyone tell you you shouldn’t work your core/abs while pregnant. What do you think is holding all that baby up?


Well, that’s not a lotta baby yet. But it will be.

I’ve been disappointed with some of the prenatal workouts I’ve found online because many of them are just modifications of regular workouts.

Personally, I don’t think that a prenatal workout is just a dumbed-down regular workout. There are specific exercises that women should do more of while pregnant, to set themselves up for a successful labor and easier postpartum recovery. For example, the glutes are very important for supporting the pelvic floor during pregnancy, so squats are where it’s at for preggos.

(As someone who didn’t realize this during my first pregnancy and paid the price: truuuuust me!)

Anyway, that’s enough soap-boxing for now. Here’s the workout!

*As always, get the OK from your doc before starting any new exercise program.

What you need: a chair (or other support) and set of handweights. (2-10 lbs – I use 5.)


30 sec. each:

Arm windmills

Jog or march in place

Half burpees


Circuit 1: Legs & Glutes

Forward lungesx15 per leg (hold support if needed)

Pulse lunges – get into lunge position and pulse slowly (down an inch, up an inch) - 10 pulses each leg, x3 rounds

Supported deep squats – (video demo) – x15

Knees and feet pointing slightly out. Squeeeeeze the glutes on the way up! Don’t cling to the chair–just hold lightly for balance.


Supported deep squats to tip-toes - x15

Pause at the top and kegel up!


Small glute pulsesx20 per leg

Holding your chair for support, lift one leg behind you while you lean forward slightly. Find a height that feels comfortable (no higher than parallel to the floor) and allows you to target your glutes. Small leg pulses upward (1 inch up, 1 inch down), powered entirely by the glutes.


Rest - 30 sec.

Circuit 2: Arms

Posture curls x20

Fit21Plies to overhead pressx20


Romanian deadlifts to arm fliesx20

Keep back straight during deadlifts. Squeeze shoulder blades together during flies.


Bent over tricep extensionsx20

Slow and controlled (no swinging!).


Bent over tricep extension pulsesx10

Hold extension at its highest point behind you and pulse upward.

Rest30 sec.

Circuit 3: Core and Pelvic Floor

Plank30 sec.

Elbows or hands! (Elbows if you can.)

Leg slides x20

Either prop yourself on your elbows or put a stack pillows behind you for support. Slowly slide heels away from your body, engaging core.


Heel drops x10

Hold legs at 90 degrees, then tap heels to the floor, engaging core.


Inner thigh squeezesx20

Fold a pillow in half and place it between your legs. Prop yourself on your elbows with your legs at 90 degrees, heels together and knees apart. Slowly squeeze the pillow in and out, engaging your pelvic floor.

Pelvis lifts with kegelsx10

Place feet on the floor, still holding the pillow between your thighs. Lift and lower the pelvis, kegeling as you lift. Hold briefly at the top before going back down.


Abdominal breathing30 sec.

On the exhale: Kegel up and squeeze in your abs. Think about the breath rising like an elevator from pelvic floor to chest. Hold briefly at the top.

On the inhale: Release kegels/abs, down the elevator.


Deep squat posehold for 5 deep breaths

On the exhale: Kegel and squeeze glutes.

On the inhale: Release kegels/glutes.


P.S. You can’t imagine how excited I am to have a picture of me in that position on the internet!! :) Anything for you guys.

As with most workouts, you dictate how hard or easy this ends up being based on how well you monitor your form and use your breath. That boring stuff is so important!

Enjoy :)





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Stress and exercise + April abs

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This morning during my commute, I was listening to a Balanced Bites podcast episode featuring Jen Sinkler. Jen is a trainer and the author of a conditioning program called Lift Weights Faster. (The name is based on her answer to the question “what do you do for cardio?” which was “I lift weights faster.” Haha.) […]

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