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50-Rep Upper Body + Abs Challenge

50-Rep Upper Body + Abs Challenge

Merry Christmas Eve! If you’re looking for a fast-but-challenging workout to do today, you’ve come to the right place! 🙂

I’m all about challenges, both mental and physical. Pushing limits means making progress for me, and if you feel the same way, you’ll probably like this workout.

50-Rep Upper Body + Abs Challenge from Hungry Gator Gal

 

Exercise videos:

The workout may not look difficult on paper, but trust me when I say it’s a doozy, especially if you’re not accustomed to endurance workouts. I used lighter dumbbells (affiliate link!) for the curls and raises, and my biceps and shoulders were ON FIRE.

I had already completed 250+ push-ups, so this workout was a “finisher” that brought me to muscle failure. If you do this too, you’ll combine strength and endurance into one session and get more bang for your workout buck.

However, you can also complete this workout by itself if you’re new to strength training or short on time. I started strength training 3.5 years ago with these basic moves and still complete them today.

Regardless of what you choose, let me know what you think of the challenge if you try it. Also, stay tuned for more “challenge” workouts in the next week or so. I’m home for the holidays and actually have time to share my fitness creations. <— Yay for vacation!!!

Until next time,
Brianna

Questions:

  1. Do you ever combine strength and endurance in one workout?

 

Related HGG Posts:

Upper Body Drop Set Circuit Workout

Upper Body Drop Set Circuit Workout from hungrygatorgal.com

Chest + Back Supersets Workout

Chest + Back Supersets Workout from Hungry Gator Gal

Quick Bicep & Tricep Blast

Quick Bicep & Tricep Blast Workout from hungrygatorgal.com

Christmas 2012

Christmas 2012

Merry Christmas! I hope you are enjoying food, fun and festivities with your loved ones. 🙂

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Sprinkled Cinnamon Roll Cookies (recipe courtesy of Krusteaz)

Double Chocolate Gingerbread Nut Bars

Double Chocolate Gingerbread Nut Bars

Happy Christmas Eve!

I just wanted to pop in quickly to share a recipe for an awesome holiday treat I made Saturday night. As I mentioned earlier,  I had an itch to bake because Saturday was quite chilly by Florida standards. I concocted the following Christmas treat as I snuggled up in a blanket to watch National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation by a warm, crackling fire.

The following dessert isn’t exactly healthy, but what would Christmas be without a few indulgences?

Double Chocolate Gingerbread Nut Bars

 

Like me, you’ll probably be heading out to a holiday party or two soon if you’re not hosting one at your own home. These dense but moist and cakey treats would be a perfect addition to any gathering.

Even though the recipe calls for a mix, you can let everyone “ooh” and “aahh” about your dessert. Don’t worry – your secret’s safe with me. 😉

Serving Size: 24 snack bars

Difficulty: Zero!

Total Preparation and Baking Time: 35 minutes

Ingredients:

  • One package Betty Crocker White Chip Macadamia Nut cookie mix
  • 1/3 cup softened butter or margarine (I used Country Crock Calcium plus Vitamin D)
  • Two large eggs
  • One teaspoon nutmeg
  • One teaspoon cinnamon
  • Two teaspoons ginger
  • 1/4 cup molasses
  • One teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • Splash of milk (for the eggs)
  • 1/4 cup chocolate chunks (I used Nestle’s semi-sweet variety)

Steps:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and grease a 9-by-13 inch pan with cooking spray.
  2. Open and pour cookie mix into a large mixing bowl. Add the spices and stir.
  3. Whisk eggs, vanilla, milk and molasses in a separate bowl.
  4. After whisking, add the egg mixture and butter or margarine to the cookie mix. Stir by hand with a spatula until the mixture is well-combined.
  5. Pour the mixture into the pan and place in the oven. Set timer for 25 minutes.
  6. Remove the pan from the oven when 15 minutes remain and top the somewhat-baked bars with the chocolate chunks.
  7. Return pan to oven to finish cooking. The bars are completely cooked when a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean and the top of the bars have a deep golden-brown color.
  8. Allow the bars to cool for at least 15 minutes before cutting.

You can enjoy a bar (or two) with this healthier homemade eggnog or top with warm milk like I did.

 

These little snackers also taste pretty darn good all by themselves.

Questions:

  1. What treats are you baking for holiday parties?
  2. What is your No. 1 holiday indulgence?

Related HGG Posts:

Healthy Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cookies

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Baked Pumpkin Oatmeal

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Glazed Pecans

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Other Interesting Articles:

Dreaming of Holiday Sweets

Dreaming of Holiday Sweets

Aren’t the holidays the best excuse to bake?

They most certainly are for me! In fact, discovering holiday baking recipes on blogs, websites and Pinterest has been my go-to method of procrastination. I’m even daydreaming about cookies, muffins, brownies, trifles and casseroles as I write this post!

Even though I’m not at UF this semester, I definitely have the “finals fever” (a.k.a. the panic and mental exhaustion that result from studying for hours upon end). I only have one final exam Monday, but I’m still tired from responding to never-ending emails at work; writing a 20-page research paper on domestic violence; assembling a portfolio about my semester in Washington, D.C.; and trying to find housing for the spring semester, which is turning into a nightmare.

Luckily, last week was a bit of a break because I flew home to Florida for Thanksgiving. Besides enjoying the perfect weather, I spent most of my time in the kitchen ringing in the holiday season. Here’s a few recipes I made to kick-off the best time of the year:

Baked Pumpkin Oatmeal

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If you love oatmeal and you love pumpkin, you MUST try this recipe. I ate a few brown-sugar-topped slices filled with raisins for breakfast and dinner the day I made it. My brother ate half the pan on his own!

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As you can see, I enjoyed my first serving fresh out of the oven with a small, sliced banana and a spoonful of peanut butter. Yum!

The recipe is courtesy of Kath at Kath Eats Real Food. Trust me – she knows her oats. In fact, she loves oatmeal so much that her blog includes a tribute to them.

Healthy Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cookies

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These cookies from were an instant hit! One of my best friends and I whipped up a small batch the night before Thanksgiving, and the cookies quickly disappeared at both my house and hers before the night was finished.

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The cookies boasted a unique but awesome flavor and texture due to the mix of oats, dark chocolate chips, dried cranberries and chopped walnut pieces. Unfortunately, my friend clipped the recipe from Shape magazine, and I can’t seem to find it online. This recipe seems like the one we used, but it uses all-purpose flour instead of whole-wheat pastry flour; about 1/2 cup more sugar; and a whole stick of butter as opposed to a half.

Healthy Banana Applesauce Mini Muffins

Note: this recipe makes about 30 mini muffins, which means they are perfect for snacking!

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These mini muffins were literally bursting bananas. Just look at the chunks peeking out! I topped a few of these puppies with melted butter each morning. The moistness and flavor reminded me of really good banana bread.

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I followed the method used to make my Healthy Pumpkin Pie Spice muffins. However, I substituted two mashed bananas for the one cup of pumpkin, and I also omitted the pumpkin pie spice. I added about two teaspoons cinnamon instead.

Sadly, I know this is just the beginning of my holiday baking obsession. Luckily, I’ll be back in my beloved home kitchen cooking the recipes you’ll find below in 11 short days!

Warning – Although the recipes in this post were healthy, I do like to indulge from time to time. 🙂

Interesting holiday recipes: