Core and “Bottom Drawer” Workout

Today on the blog, I bring you a workout that will improve your core and booty (or, “Bottom Drawer” as I call it here).  This workout will challenge all of those important derby muscles that help with skating AND blocking.
I used glider disks at the gym when I made the video, but you can use a couple of old rags on a wooden floor, or paper plates (works on carpet too!).

Core and “Bottom Drawer” Workout

  • 12 curtsy lunges each leg
  • 20 skaters
  • 12 push ups (open feet on the way down, close feet on the way up)

Repeat the series 3 times through! 


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Da Do Run Run Run, Da Do Run Run


ChallengeQuote_WEBWell, here it is – the week before my first race of 2014. I am super anxious but so excited to get out into the running community and push myself to see what I can accomplish. You see, I have always wanted to be a runner, but I always let fear stand in the way. For one, I smoked for most of my twenties and even a bit into my thirties and I always knew that I could never be a good runner if I smoked. Once I kicked that habit, I then let the fear of being too slow stand in my way. I even secretly thought about volunteering to be the last person to finish 5K races so that some other poor soul wouldn’t feel horrible for coming in last. Apparently, my fears are not unusual. The mental obstacles, such as being out of shape or too slow, are the hardest part of starting a running program, says Jonathan Cane, a running coach for Brooklyn-based JackRabbit athletics store. When he starts with a new beginners running group, he always asks them who is afraid they will be the slowest and he always has half the group raise their hands! So, if you are afraid, you are not alone! Here are some great programs that will get you started on your running journey. All you have to do is tell the voice in your head that says that you are never going to be fast enough to shut the $%&^# up and get out on the road or hop on a treadmill and get started.

Beginnner Walking/ Jogging/ Running Plans:

Not readyFeb 043 to run yet but have a goal of a 5K in the future? Try this walking plan:

Feel like you could run a mile and a half already and want to slowly increase your distance?  Try this 5K training plan:

Here’s a super popular plan that also has an App (Couch to 5K).  It’s great for those who want to build up to running by doing a walk/jog combination:

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5 ways to improve your skating in everyday life

So many people liked the crossovers post from yesterday, so I thought I would share this amazing blog post by Aline Decat. Here are Aline Decat’s 5 ways to improve your skating in everyday life. Enjoy!


1.  Stairs

This is a very simple but still great occasion to improve your crossovers, both concerning balance and power. Instead of putting your feet perpendicularly to the stair, put them in parallel with it, both in the same direction. And now push to go up sideways!

Try to do this on every stairs you need to climb, and try to switch sides, there is no great skater who can’t handle clockwise skating too.

If it feels all right, put some difficulty into it: try to switch direction on the same stairs, go 5 up, then 2 down and start over, take the stairs 2 by 2, go faster, carry a bottle of water in each hand…

2. Sloping Street

Make a stop every 5 steps. Sounds easy, right? But on a sloping street, you can use the same muscles as onskates. Going uphill? Good for your sprints. Going downhill?…

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Clean Thai Coconut Soup

The other night, while I was meal planning, I came upon this book that I had totally forgotten that I had! It was a book I had found on the bargain shelf (see the price in the bottom right hand corner of the picture!) and it has some really great stuff!  Unfortunately, most of the recipes are laden with fat and calories, so I must have shoved it in the back of the cabinet and forgotten about it. 

But, I flipped through (I love food porn!), and as I was flipping through, I saw this next picture, which not only caught my eye, it made my MOUTH WATER.  I LOVE Thai coconut soup and green curry became one of my FAVORITE flavors when I was vegan.  I was determined to make this soup in a healthy, clean way.  Here is my version of their recipe (including amazing nutritional content!).  ENJOY!!!!

Clean Thai Coconut Soup

based on the recipe from “Simple Weeknight Favorites”

Thai Coconut Soup

3 tbsp. fish sauce
2 chicken breasts (6 ounces each), skinless with fat trimmed
2 tbsp. green curry paste
1 pound Sweet Potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/2 inch chunks
4 cups chicken broth (low sodium and organic, if possible)
1 can LIGHT coconut milk
1 cup snow peas – cut on the bias
2 tbsp grated fresh ginger (you can use a few dashes of dried ginger if you are in a pinch)
a few drops of liquid stevia
3 tbsp lime juice
1/4 cup fresh chopped cilantro
Fill a medium saucepan halfway with water and add chicken breast and a tbsp of fish sauce and allow to boil.  Cook chicken until it is around 160 degrees.  Take off heat and set aside.  In another pot, add the green curry paste and the ginger and saute on medium heat until fragrant (around 30 seconds).  Add chicken broth, coconut milk, remaining fish sauce and sweet potatoes.  Cook until the potatoes are almost tender (around 8 minutes).  Shred the chicken and add to the pot along with the lime juice, snow peas, stevia, and cilantro.  Cook until the snow peas are bright green (around 3 or 4 minutes).  ENJOY!!!
Per Serving (makes 6 Servings):
Calories: 180
Fat: 4.9g
Carbohydrates: 18g
Dietary Fiber: 2.2g
Sugar: 5g
Protein: 16.6 g
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Week 2 of the 90 Day Challenge

Coach sent me my nutrition plan on Sunday JUST as I was headed to the grocery store. Talk about timing! I was able to pick up all the clean eats that I will need to rock the next week or so. Since the program is proprietary I cannot share exactly what I am doing, but I can give you an idea of the type of food I am eating. And remember- my macronutrients are around 150 carbs, 145 protein and 35 fat (in grams). I am eating almonds, greek yogurt, eggs and egg whites, veggies, veggie burgers, protein shakes, fruit (like apples and berries), chicken and brown rice. I am making sure that I eat every 3 hours to get and keep my metabolism revving along.

My workouts are split into two leg days, a day just for arms and a shoulder and back day. Cardio is 4 days a week split between steady state and high intensity intervals.

I must admit…. I was a little hungry last night as my body is not yet adjusted to the different types of foods I am eating. But, I soldiered on and went to bed, dreaming about winning this challenge (and getting through the holidays looking like a babe as I lose some of this bodyfat🙂

Week 2 - 79 days to go!

Week 2 – 79 days to go!


So, we have 79 days to go…..  Stay tuned!  I have some awesome recipes coming soon so stop back!



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Ready to Smoke the Competition (and a Smoky Chili Recipe!)

Coach delivered my workouts into my inbox today and I am psyched! We are doing traditional bodybuilding workouts 4 days a week and cardio 4 days a week (2 steady state workouts, which will be my running workouts and then 2 days of HIIT – High Intensity Interval Training). In addition to these workouts, I have my secret weapons…. DERBY PRACTICES twice a week, which burn an average of 600-800 calories.
As for nutrition, I will be starting with the following macronutrients: 150 grams of carbs, 145 grams of protein and 35 grams of fat. If you are following along with my transformation and are interested in changing your diet but don’t know where to start, I highly recommend reading this post by one of my favorite bloggers – Andrea Valdez.  It will explain how to figure out how many calories you should start with and how many carbs, protein and fat grams you should eat for fat loss (I do a 40%protein, 40%carb and 20%fat split). 

So, that is the plan for now.  I have started prepping my food in advance during the week (usually on Sundays and Wednesdays).  This weekend, I made a pot of yummy smoky chili that is high in protein, has moderate carbs and almost no fat.

Pepper’s Chipotle Chili



16 ounce package of extra lean ground turkey
1 can cannelini beans – drained
2 mini cans of chiles (I used the fire roasted ones)
1 pack of Trader Joe’s pre-chopped onion, shallot and garlic (you can just chop your own onions and garlic if you don’t have access to the TJ’s pre-chopped pack)
1 bell pepper
1 large pack of mushrooms
1 medium zucchini
1 15 ounce can of tomato sauce (look for the one with the lowest amount of sugar possible)
1 Tbsp. chipotle chili powder
1 Tbsp. roasted cumin (regular cumin works fine too!)
 IngredientsTurkey and VeggiesDec 057ChiliDec 063Dec 062


In a large pot sprayed with pam or coconut oil spray, cook the lean ground turkey.  While the turkey is cooking, you can chop your veggies (zucchini, mushrooms, bell pepper).  Add veggies to the pot along with the onion, shallot and garlic mix. Once the veggies are tender, add the cannelini beans (rinsed and drained) and the can of tomato sauce.  At this point, see how the consistency is and add a little water if needed (my hubby likes his chili thin – I like mine thicker).  Add the cumin and chili powder and stir.  The last ingredient to add are the canned chiles.  I like a lot so I put in 2 cans, but you can put one in and see how the chili is and add more if needed.  Let the chili simmer for a half hour until the flavors meld together. 


Per serving (5 servings total):
Calories: 209
Protein: 27g
Carbs: 19g
Fat: 1 g

I don’t eat a lot of dairy, but I do like to shred an ounce of this cheese on top of my chili:


It is totally yummy and has 40 calories, lots of protein and no fat or carbs.  If you are nervous about eating it let me reassure you.  I learned about this cheese on youtube from this lady:

Pauline Nordin

This is Pauline Nordin, creator of the “Fighter Diet”.  Trust me – if you don’t have an issue with dairy, eat the cheese🙂.  You can find it at Whole Foods!




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Beast Mode is Officially ON!

One of my best friends (who happens to be my fitness coach) is an amazing transformation coach. She is having a 90 day transformation challenge with her clients and I have decided to participate! I am ready to smoke the competition! I am so motivated right now it is crazy!


She will be giving me workouts and a diet to follow and I have decided to blog about it here. I did something similar on another blog last year where I did a 30 day vegan bodybuliding challenge (you can check it out here). It was so much fun! 

I will be doing the weight workouts that Krystal gives me and I will be running a lot more to get ready for my 14 races in 2014. 

I will be starting to blog more about my running times and workouts, playlists for workouts and of course – lots of recipes!  Check back to see how things are progressing! 

Let’s DOOO this!



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Running Down A Dream

I have decided that 2014 is going to be my best year yet. I can feel it. I have some pretty lofty goals that I plan to achieve and I hope that you all come along for the ride!

I really want to switch from being a roller derby blocker to being a jammer. Jammers require great endurance and need to be agile and light on their feet. Don’t get me wrong – I love being a blocker, but there is something so awesome about putting the star panty on your helmet and breaking through the pack.

I need to up my game in order to reach this goal.  I have a great handle on my strength training and have been working hard on my core stability. What I need is endurance.  Therefore, I will be embarking on a challenge. I learned the other day that a blogger that I am fond of has proposed the idea to run 14 races in 2014. I officially signed up today to take on this challenge with her. You can check out the deets by clicking here.


I will be putting my road race schedule on the blog sidebar so that you can see what the plan is.  See you on the road! 



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I Heart Eggs

 You hear it ALL the time. Breakfast is the most important meal of the day (blah blah blah)and sets the tone for the rest of your day (blah blah blah). But If I had a dime for every time someone said to me, “BUT Pepper, I don’t have the TIME to eat breakfast!”, I would seriously be able to retire.

My good friend and fitness coach recently told me to eat eggs for breakfast – WITHOUT complex carbs. After I shed a few tears for the loss of my gluten-free oats, it really sunk in WHY it was important to eat protein alone first thing in the morning. It makes my body less carb sensitive and thus better able to lose fat (basically, when insulin is high, you can’t release fat. Click here for a great blog post about it from Coach Calorie.)

So, what’s a gal to do when she needs a high protein, easy to make and take, low carb breakfast? 

Eggs.  So versatile that I will even show you THREE ways to do them so you can be out the door in NO TIME FLAT. Yes, they may require some advance cooking (no, not advanced silly – they are easy!) but trust me, the time you will save is priceless. 

Behold the EGG MUFFIN.  With hot sauce (well in my case, I put sriracha sauce on it – so yummy!)  These little beauts were made by putting 6 whole eggs and one whole quart of egg whites in a bowl and mixing well.  I heated the oven to 350 degrees, poured the egg mixture into a muffin tin that makes 6 extra-large muffins* and cooked them for 45 minutes.  DELISH!  *If you don’t have an extra-large muffin tin NO PROBLEM!  Just use a regular muffin tin that makes 12 and eat 2 for breakfast.  Put them into individual containers or ziplock baggies and reheat before eating them.  I promise they will NOT taste like rubber.🙂

Egg Muffin with Sriracha

The next way that I love to make eggs in advance is in a lasagna pan with LOTS of veggies.  Now, I tried to make these in muffin tins, but with all the veggies, it was just too difficult to only make 6 servings and have them be well measured….  Let my disaster work for you folks.  Anyway – same recipe as the muffins above, but for this recipe, you put lots of whatever veggies you like in the egg mixture.  I use mushrooms, peppers and onions.  Spray your pan with pam or coconut oil spray and bake for 45 minutes.  Cut into 6 pieces and reheat as needed!  Yummy! 

Raw Mixture

Cooked Egg “Casserole”

Okay , here’s the last way that I love to eat eggs when I am pressed for time.  BUT in THIS scenario, I am in a pinch and DO NOT have prepared eggs already in the fridge.  This is where I take 6 minutes to actually COOK my eggs that morning.  I spray my glass Tupperware bowl with pam spray and then put in one whole egg and 4 egg whites.  I mix them a little with a fork and a put a dash of stevia and a sprinkling of cinnamon while I am mixing.  Sometimes, when I am feeling particularly saucy, I put some vanilla extract in too.  I put this in the microwave and cook for 4 minutes.  There you have it!  French toast eggs.  So delicious and easy and really, is 6 minutes THAT much time out of your day to set the tone for great eating? 

French Toast Eggs

Let me know if you have any questions! Until next time, eat your breakfast! 



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Block and Roll Workout

Boy do I have a workout for you!!! This is a gym workout that I designed to improve my roller derby blocking AND endurance, but I think it is a beneficial workout for anyone! The equipment can be modified for a home workout with just a pair of dumbells.

This is how I felt afterwards! 

Nov 008

In case you have questions about how to do some of the exercises, here are some videos that can help. 

Squat Row:


Push Ups:

This is how I like to do them, but you can just do a regular push up on your knees or toes.

Alternating Biceps Curl: 

I know most of you know what this is, but I wanted to put this video on here just for the eye candy😉.

Triceps Press:

Reverse Lunge:

Dumbbell Shoulder Press:

Then you are going to pick a speed on the treadmill that feels a little bit uncomfortable and go for 5 minutes.  When you are done, rest for a minute and go right back to the first exercise.  Cycle through 3 times!

Work hard!

Pepper XOXO

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