360 Challenge- The "Snowball" effect

360 Challenge- The “Snowball” effect

As I sit here and write on a beautiful 70 degree spring day, the LAST thing I want to think about are snowballs.  However, I’ve been thinking a lot about how the choices we make can sometimes lead to bigger and bigger habits  very quickly- like a snowball rolling down a hill gathering more and more snow as it goes.

snowball effect

This can sometimes go in a positive way but most people refer to it as a  negative.  The thing that got me thinking about it is that I have noticed over the past couple days that some of my food choices have not been so great- leading to a few days of over eating and including more sugar than I know is good for me.  See, for me- Sugar is a MAJOR snowball.  I think it starts out small and I can just have a little bit after lunch, but then I crave more, and more until suddenly I realize I’m including it several times a day.  The interesting thing about that, and I know there is a lot of psychology behind it, is that once many of us feel we’ve “blown” our diet we are more likely to make worse food choices the remainder of the day. This has happened to me the past couple days…a dinner out, followed by some extra treats the next day to just over consuming what I know I should have. Then, last night a fun family dinner with food and drinks and dessert.


Well- the snowball has gotten too big…. It’s only been a couple days, but I can feel it!

mexican fiestaHere’s a picture of the thing that made my snowball crash at the bottom of the hill.  For those of you that know me, I could eat Mexican food for every meal (and sometimes do).  However, it’s also a slippery slope as it’s really easy to OverEAT it as well. We had a little “Mexican Fiesta” last night which included too much food and of course a drink to go along with it.  From all those calories and the sugar I woke up at 2am and couldn’t sleep. I felt pretty terrible. My body was DEFINATELY  telling me that it did NOT like what I put into it and this was it’s way of rebelling. Hitting me where it hurts- taking away my sleep to make me feel tired and groggy the next day. Blah.  What we do when we realize things are “snowballing” in a way we don’t like or want is the important thing. I mean, I’m only human and I love food just as much as the next person (probably more). So it’s only realistic to think that I will indulge every once and a while and there will be periods of my life where my normal 80/20 rule (of eating really great and healthy foods 80% of the time, with allowing about 20% in indulgences) looks more like a 50/50 or a 30/70 (YIKES!). Anyway, my point being is that a couple days is not going to wreak you.  However, a couple weeks, a month, a couple months will.  The important thing is to pick yourself up and move on.  Start the day like I did today with a really healthy, lighter breakfast.  For me- I made an amazing protein shake with lots of spinach , kale, coconut water, berries, and chia seeds.  It gave my digestion a bit of a break for a meal and now I can spend the rest of the day really listening to what my body needs (which likely isn’t a lot of food since I’m in a pretty big calorie surplus from the last couple days). 🙂

So, I’m not going to dwell on what I did- I just have a plan to move forward.  If you find yourself in the same place today or in the future I encourage you to take a few moments and really jot out your plan and your WHY.  The WHY is what’s going to get you there. My WHY is simply because I want to feel better and I want to SLEEP better.

eat like crap

Now, lets end this on a positive note.  The good news is that I have this challenge that doesn’t let me derail on my exercise plan.  The Altman Fitness 360 Challenge FORCES me to think about how I am going to be active every single day.  The first day after a big indulgence I had TONS of energy to work out. Then, after another day I just started to feel heavy and lethargic. I have had 2 days of big workouts so my body was tired and sore today.  Today it was about all I could do to get on the elliptical for 10 minutes in the morning just to get my body moving, recover and bit and it did help me feel better. I will make sure to get out for a walk today as well and be nice and recovered for a big workout tomorrow (with MUCH better fuel in my body)!!  It only takes one day to break a habit and start eating and living better. And it only takes 1 day to start a pattern of including exercise every day.  Who’s with me!?


360 Challenge Week #8- Treadmill Workout and Keeping Commitments

All of a sudden we are in week #8 of the 360 Challenge! Oops….I haven’t been so great about posting these last couple weeks.  My son was sick for a week and had to stay home from daycare, I wasn’t sleeping well because he was in our bed coughing most of the night, work piled up and then my computer broke!!!

What a crazy couple weeks it’s been!  But, I’m proud to say that my #1 commitment I made to myself (and you guys!) still happened every single day.  Of course some days all I could squeeze in was 10 minutes and I decided that was enough for the day.  Even after only 10 minutes I felt better physically.  And, even more importantly, I felt better MENTALLY knowing that I took care of MYSELF and kept true to MY GOAL and didn’t let an entire day pass by without taking that time.

Everyone is busy and everyone has demands that pull on their time.  It’s okay to sometimes just say “NO” to extra events that take you away from the way you’d like to live each day. I know for me I would like my house to be a heck of a lot cleaner and more organized but I have to take a step back and realize what is REALLY important is that I make the time for myself and become okay with a bit of a mess. That is my choice. But of course there are some things you can’t say no to….like keeping your child home from school or daycare when they are sick.  For those days you just need to get creative of course.  For me I chose to not feel guilty to putting him in front of the TV while I did a body weight circuit on the floor right in front of him.  It wasn’t ideal- but it was something.  There are tons of workouts in previous blog posts that can be done right in your living room.

It’s also not too late to join this challenge- to commit to doing something active and fit in exercise for at least 10 minutes every single day.  Putting your health at the front of your mind is so important! Join our group on Facebook at Altman Fitness 360 Challenge to get inspired and for updates!

For today’s “Workout Wednesday”  I’m going to share with you an awesome “Peak 10” workout I just did on the treadmill and that you can do the next time you are stuck using a piece of gym equipment and you don’t want to do the same old boring steady state cardio. This workout is INTENSE but it’s only 30 minutes and that INCLUDES a warm up AND a cool down.  Please note: this can also be done on a stationary bike, elliptical, stair machine or even with body weight moves that really get your heart rate up!

Side note: I love to run and have been a runner for a long time.  I’m going to post EXACTLY what my number on the treadmill are, but everyone is different.  Use my numbers as a guide, and adjust according to your fitness level.  If you have a heart rate monitor (and I HIGHLY recommend using one during this workout)- you should get your heart rate to over 90% Heart Rate MAX during at least 6 of your “peaks”.   Heart Rate MAX is generally calculated as 220- (your age).  BUT , if you are in good cardiovascular shape you can push it a bit more than that.  I tend to go up to about 95-98% of my number after about my 5th peak.  So….what I’m saying here is – PUSH as HARD as you can during your Peak and then allow yourself 1 full minute to recover before doing it again.

Also, the reason I do 1 minute intervals is because when my treadmill is at a 3.0 speed and a 1% incline, it takes about 20 seconds or so for it to reach that “PEAK” speed and incline so I am really only “all out sprinting” for about 40 seconds. Then, when it gets to the top of the next minute I typically jump my feet to the sides of the treadmill and wait for the speed to go back to 3 for about 20 seconds before I start walking. My legs (and heart!) need that break.

30 Min “Peak 10 Ladder”

1-5min warm up- No incline, speet at 6.0 mph

Min 5- incline to 3, speed at 7.5- ” Warm up Peak”

Min 6- incline to 3, speed to 4

Min 7- incline to 4, speed to 8.0- Peak #1

Min 8- incline to 1, speed to 3

Min 9, incline to 5, speed to 8.0- Peak #2

Min 10- incline to 1, speed to 3

Min 11-  incline to 6, speed to 8.5- Peak #3

Min 12- incline to 1, speed to 3

Min 13- incline to 6, speed to 9.0 – Peak #4

Min 14- incline to 1, speed to 3

Min 15- incline to 6, speed to 9.0- Peak #5

Min 16- incline to 1, speed to 3

Min 17- incline to 6, speed to 9.2- Peak #6

Min 18- incline to 1, speed to 3

Min 19- incline to 6, speed to 9.2- Peak #7

Min 20- incline to 1, speed to 3

Min 21- incline to 6, speed to 9.2- Peak #8

Min 22- incline to 1, speed to 3

Min 23- incline to 5, speed to 8.5- Peak #9

Min 24- incline to 1, speed to 3

Min 25- incline to 3, speed to 7.5- Peak #10

Min 26 incline to 1, speed to 3

Min 27-30 –  light walk at 4.0 or jog at 6.o depending on how you are feeling. No incline.


Whew!!! that was a good workout!



360 Challenge Week #4

I’ve had a few requests from people which is awesome! I love to hear what kind of quick go-to workouts you want to see and this week I decided to give you all a great core circuit.

there are only 5 moves and you don’t need any equipment.

Here they are:

10 Crunch to Bridge

10 bicycle crunches

10 plank with spiderman legs

10 slow scissor leg lowers

10 Penguins

to watch the video of me demonstrating the moves: click on the video below.





360 Challenge Week #3 motivation and NEW video

Welcome to week 3 of the Altman Fitness 360 Challenge!

How many of you are still 100% committed to your goals? I hope you are not a part of the 60% of Americans that fall off the goals they set for themselves within the first month of setting them!

The key to being successful is to choose a goal that is attainable.

Do you think that committing to move your body for only 10 minutes every single day is attainable?

We have 144 Ten minute increments EVERY DAY!  Do you think that you can use at least ONE of them to exercise?

Well, when you put it that way….

The next key to being successful is to have support.  Well- DONE! We at Altman Fitness and the other members of this challenge are here to support YOU!

The next biggest key is to have a “Why” and the Motivation.  I hope with some of these workout videos I am able to show you that anyone can do this – you don’t need any fancy equipment- just the desire to start.  I want to motivate you and help you recognize how much better you feel when you move….

Come on! Give us just one of those 144 blocks you’ve got in your day….I promise it will make you feel better for the other 143 🙂




360 Challenge Week 2- Recipe and Video

360 Challenge Week 2- Recipe and Video

The first week of the new year is over.  How do you feel? Are you still pumped up and feeling like you can conquer the world, and every new goal you have for yourself this year?  Or, have you yet to really sit down and take the time to figure out what you want out of 2015?  As I mentioned in the previous post, I’m all about the new year- and making “resolutions”.  However, if “resolutions” to you are just things that fall by the wayside come mid-February then please lets stop calling them “resolutions” and call them “Goals”.  What are your GOALS for 2015 and what EXACTLY is the way you are going to achieve them.  That is what you need to figure out for yourself and if you haven’t done it yet…..what are you waiting for?  If getting moving, improving your health and fitness are part of your goals then I would love for you to join our new group on Facebook- the Altman Fitness 360 Challenge. The first week has been great with people posting and I’m promising healthy recipe ideas, workouts and even a video each week so you can follow along and get inspired to move around. My goal is to get everyone to commit to 10 minutes. Once you do that- it’s up to you how your body is feeling if you keep going or let your body rest.  I was feeling a little bit sore today from a big workout yesterday, but wanted to create this video for you to show you a circuit you can do at home with no equipment. See how many rounds you can do in 10 minutes. You can start from the top and then for the 2nd round you can start at the bottom and work your way up.

It’s fast moving and is guaranteed to get your heart rateup! check it out here : 

As you move into Week #2- jot down just 1-2 easy and attainable goals.

Here are some ideas:

  • Find (check out the recipe section of our blog!) and make a new breakfast item
  • Find and make a healthy dinner option
  • Drink 1/2 your body weight in oz. of water every single day (and/or- drink nothing BUT water all week)
  • Eliminate ALL sugar (yes, including fruit) for the entire week to get past your sugar cravings
  • Get 7-8 hours of sleep every night this next week- NO exception
  • Get moving for 10 min every single day, but 4 days out of the 7 aim for 30-45 minutes of weight bearing interval style training.

Can you commit to just one of those? How about 2? or 3, 4 ,5???

I’ve gotta admit, I’m not naturally a very good cook. However, I’m super passionate about healthy food and getting my entire family to eat it too. So- I need to spend some time in the kitchen. We all get into our food “ruts” and do the same old thing which can get boring. Last weekend I made the goal to get more creative in the kitchen and follow a recipe from a blog I follow. It was amazing and the best part is we had TONS of leftovers so it’s made the past couple days lunches really easy. Here you go- and a little picture of our version 🙂

Spicy Thai Beef Stew  (original recipe from Against All Grain- made a few tweaks per Jay Altman’s taste buds)
2 TBSP coconut oil
3 lbs of beef stew meat with fat trimmed
½ medium onion, diced
2 cloves minced garlicSpicy Thai Beef Stew (crockpot)
2 tsp minced ginger
1 can full fat coconut milk
6 oz can tomato paste
½ cup thai red curry paste
1 TBSP Fish Sauce
2 tsp fresh lime juice
2 tsp sea salt
12 drops liquid stevia (or 1 packet)
2 Kefir Lime leaves
2 cups broccoli
2 cups julienned carrots
Fresh cilantro for garnish

1. Heat 1 tbsp of the coconut oil in a large skillet over med-high heat. Take about 1/3 of the meat and start to brown it on each side. Once browned, remove the beef and place in the slow cooker and do the same to each of the other 3rd’s of the beef.
2. After all beef is browned (not fully cooked) and in the crockpot, wipe out the skillet if there is water and add the other 1 TBSP of coconut oil. Sauté the onion, garlic and ginger over medium-high heat for 5 min.
3. Pour in the coconut milk, tomato paste, curry paste, fish sauce, lime juice and salt and stir continuously to release any bits of the onion and garlic from the pan.
4. Once stirred and incorporated, pour the mixture over the beef in the slow cooker.
5. At this point, add in your 2 kefir lime leaves and the 12 drops liquid stevia
6. Cook on high for 5 hours or low for 8. Add in the carrots and broccoli for the last ½ hour if on high or the last hour for low.
7. Serve garnished with cilantro

Cauliflower “Rice”
1 large head of organic cauliflower
1 ½ Tbsp of ghee (clarified butter) or coconut oil
2 tsp sesame oil
½ cup diced onion
1 clove of garlic
1 cup water
Salt (optional) if using with the stew you will not need additional salt

1. In a food processor with the grating attachment, cut the cauliflower and process into “rice”.
2. Melt the ghee or oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add onion and garlic and sauté until onion is soft
3. Add the cauliflower and sauté for a few minutes
4. Add the water and turn the heat up to a med-high and cook for roughly 15-20 min until the cauliflower is tender


Now go out there and be the best YOU this week!