HIIT | Weekly Max Meps Workout


"Your Only Limit Is You." Get after it this week, Snap Nation! Try this HIIT workout today for a great sweat. 





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Salmon Sushi Bowls


Sushi bowls can be just as delicious as sushi rolls (and much easier to prepare at home)! Whip up this great salmon, avocado, cucumber Sushi Bowl today!


2 wild salmon filets (raw or cooked)

1 cup cooked and shelled edamame

½ English cucumber, sliced

4 sheets nori

½ avocado, sliced

2 cups cooked sushi rice

½ cup mayonnaise with olive oil

1 tablespoon sriracha




  1. Prepare sriracha aioli: Stir together mayonnaise and sriracha in a small bowl until combined. (You can also skip the aioli and just drizzle with soy sauce for a lightened up version.)
  2. To assemble Salmon Sushi Bowls, divide sushi rice between two bowls. Top with salmon, edamame, cucumber, nori, avocado and sriracha aioli. Garnish with sesame seeds if desired.



Lauren Gaskills is an inspirational writer, speaker and food blogger whose passion is to inspire others to lead healthy, happy redeemed lives. Visit her at MakingLiftSweet.com


11 Bad Habits to Quit for a Healthier, Happier Lifestyle


Living a healthier life doesn’t begin and end with the gym-it starts with taking a look at your habits. If you’re looking to live an overall healthier and happier lifestyle, it starts with getting rid of bad habits that may be responsible for keeping you from seeing the progress you should be seeing. What are some of the habits that we should quit to achieve both health and happiness? Here are 11 common bad habits that you can quickly kick to start seeing a better you.


Being a Couch Potato

Downtime is important for you to recover from the stressors of daily life, but too much can be unhealthy. As a general rule, you should be getting around 150 minutes of moderate exercise, 75 minutes of rigorous exercise, or some combination of the two every week.


Included in your exercise should also be strength training. This doesn’t mean you need to train for the Olympics, but at least two days of strength training a week is better for your overall health. You will also find that strength training increases your metabolism and makes everyday activity easier.


Too Much Booze

Drinking a lot is a quick way to become unhealthy. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, heavy drinking is defined as 15 drinks or more per week for men, and 8 drinks or more for women. Going above these amounts regularly can lead to weight gain, chronic diseases or even cancer.


This doesn’t mean you need to cut out drinking altogether! Moderate drinking is perfectly fine- however, keep in mind it’s not necessarily adding to your health. If you are drinking often enough where you are getting regular hangovers, it’s likely you’re overdoing it. Make sure you’re sticking within the parameters to prevent the detrimental effects drinking too much can have on your health.



If you’re a smoker, you’re lowering your life expectancy every time you light up. Smokers boost their risk of heart disease, stroke, lung cancer, emphysema, chronic bronchitis, and a variety of other health issues that are nothing to turn your nose up to.


Contrary to popular belief, this does include e-cigarettes. E-cigs contain nicotine and several other harmful chemicals that are harmful to your health. If you’ve considered quitting but haven’t followed through, now is the time! While quitting smoking is way easier said than done, it’s completely worth it to improve your overall health.


Not Eating Healthy

This goes without saying, eating well is important for your health. However, there is another aspect to unhealthy eating habits- those who constantly attempt strict diets and end up falling off the wagon time and time again.


Consistently attempting restrictive diets, or “yo-yo dieting”, is not a sustainable method to maintaining a healthy weight and healthy habits. When you inevitably go off your diet, it’s likely that you will gain back the weight you lost, and this type of dieting can cause issues with your health such as heart disease or high blood pressure. Building your life around healthy eating patterns that are not restrictive or rooted in deprivation is going to allow you to maintain the balance your body needs.


Using Screens Before Bed

Putting away the screens before bedtime is critical not just to prevent you from losing sleep, but to increase the quality of your sleep. Lowing your exposure to blue light will prevent your sleep from being disturbed and secure your circadian rhythms.


Put your screens away roughly 20 minutes or so before bed to keep your sleep patterns healthy and allow for better quality rest.


Comparing Yourself to Others

This one is hard with the amount of exposure we have to social media. Seeing people posting constantly can cause you to feel bad about yourself, so it’s important to remember one thing: not everything on social media is what it seems. Social media is a mere fragment of another person’s life, and while some seem to have a plethora of positive changes in their life, you never know what is going on behind closed doors.


If you use social media, browse mindfully. Unfollow accounts that make you question your own choices or make you feel down about yourself. Use social media to follow accounts that allow you to feel connected to people you love and admire.


Worrying Too Much

Anxiety, worry, and stress are all some of the most common and often undetected bad habits that affect your health without you even realizing it. Too much stress can lead to a variety of chronic conditions such as a suppressed immune system or insomnia.


Reducing worry and stress is, of course, easier said than done. But there are a few things to remember. Most of what we worry about is not necessarily true. If you’re caught in tumultuous worry, take a moment, breathe, and ask yourself if there’s any rationale to your worry. It’s also important to ask yourself whether your worry is productive to solving whatever potential problem you have. If this doesn’t help you, consider reaching out to a mental health professional for additional coping mechanisms.


Being Too Negative

When things feel out of control or overly frustrating, complaining makes you feel like you’re doing something about it. Unfortunately, you’re not fixing anything by being negative about the situation. You’re ultimately teaching yourself to seek the negative aspects of a situation rather than the good.


If you find yourself being overly negative or complaining quite a bit, redirect your attention to the positive aspects of the situation. This doesn’t mean you’re accepting something you don’t like, it just means that you’re teaching yourself to look for things that you appreciate.


Not Sleeping Enough

We all know getting enough sleep is important to our health, but it’s common for us to deny ourselves of sleep in order to get everything done in our already busy lives. 1-3 adults currently don’t get enough sleep. However, getting between 7-9 hours of sleep each night is vital to your health.


Being well rested doesn’t just keep you from falling asleep at your desk. A lack of sleep could have long-term effects on your cognitive health and prevents your body from recovering. Start going to bed earlier and waking up earlier- you’ll notice that getting enough sleep becomes more of a priority. For details on how sleep deprivation affects your workout, check out our blog.


Being Too Distracted


It’s common for us to enjoy having distractions to keep the negative emotions or feelings at bay- whether it’s scrolling through Facebook, have a few drinks, or turning off our brain to binge a television series. But avoiding the hard things in life is a temporary solution with some dangerous long-term effects.


One of the keys to living a happy life is to face the difficult things head-on with every ounce of strength we have. This will ultimately lead to having better coping mechanisms for when life gets tough rather than turning to a distraction to pretend it’s not. If you find that you have trouble handling the difficult parts of your life, consider talking to a mental health professional.


Setting Unrealistic Expectations


Setting goals is the best way to achieve what we want in life but setting the bar too high for yourself can lead to disaster. Humans are resilient and adaptable, but change is best met with small steps and patience to ensure you develop habits that will cement the habits you need to be successful.


Don’t try to change too much too fast- set realistic goals for the successes you wish to see in your life and continue to make new ones once they’re achieved.


For more health and wellness tips, be sure to check out our blog every week for fitness tips, nutrition, recipes, daily workouts and more! 


HIIT | Weekly Max Meps Workout


"If It Burns You’re Getting Closer." In need of a great weekend workout? Look no further! Complete both sets of this intense HIIT workout two times through. 





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60 Seconds 





Hawaiian Chicken Kabobs


With the first long weekend of summer around the corner, start your grills and get ready for some delicious food! Bring these Hawaiian Chicken Kabobs to your weekend BBQ for a healthy, mouth-watering option!



For the marinade:

1/3 cup soy sauce

¼ cup canned pineapple juice

2 tablespoons coconut sugar

2 tablespoons sesame oil

½ teaspoon minced garlic

¼ teaspoon grated ginger

¼ cup cold water

1 tablespoon cornstarch


For the kabobs:

4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, trimmed and cut into 1 ½-inch pieces

3 bell peppers, cut into 1 ½-inch pieces

3 cups pineapple chunks



  1. For the marinade: Combine first six ingredients in a small saucepan and bring to a simmer. Meanwhile, whisk cold water and cornstarch together until combined. Slowly pour water into marinade, whisk and simmer for three minutes until marinade thickens.
  2. Place chicken in a bag or bowl and add half of the marinade. Let sit for up to four hours.
  3. Preheat grill to medium heat.
  4. Thread chicken, peppers and pineapple onto skewers.
  5. Grill over medium heat, turning every 5 minutes and basting with remaining marinade until chicken is done, about 15 minutes.



Lauren Gaskills is an inspirational writer, speaker and food blogger whose passion is to inspire others to lead healthy, happy redeemed lives. Visit her at MakingLiftSweet.com


5 Ways to Make Living a Healthy Lifestyle Easier


When life causes healthy habits to become more difficult to maintain, what do you do? Push back, turn to old habits, and wait for the next “let’s get healthy” kick. Instead of accidentally sabotaging your own healthy life, focus on ways to make it easier. Being flexible with workouts, relieving some of the mental pressure, and focusing on small, attainable goals are just some of the simple ways to make living your healthy life easier.


If you’re running out of steam, here are a few ideas to get back on the health wagon once and for all. Living a healthy life doesn’t have to be hard!


Challenge: Getting Out of Your Own Way


It often feels hard to live a healthy lifestyle because we’re so rigid with ourselves.

No, you can’t eat that!”

“Today I HAVE to do this workout.”

“On Saturday, I better get to yoga.”

The constant mental bullying makes living this healthy life feel hard and, in many cases, defeating. Suddenly, you’ve sucked all the fun out of taking care of your body and mind.


To make your healthy life easier, lighten up where you can. If you want to be active on the weekend, plan a hike or long walk with a good friend and then enjoy a yummy brunch. Instead of planning every workout ahead of time, choose the days you’ll workout and then let yourself move in whatever feels good for your body that day. If you’re feeling strong, make it a heavy lifting day. If you’re feeling mellow, find a yoga class.


Being healthy feels easier when you’re not bossing yourself around all the time or punishing yourself for not meeting your own expectations. Keep living healthy fun and positive!


Challenge: Busy Schedules


Sometimes the hardest part about working out is getting to the gym. Not only does the drive take time out of your already-busy day, but it seems like you lose motivation the second you get behind the wheel. Still, once you get there, you’re glad you went.


On the days when you’re teetering between the gym and the couch, opt for an at-home workout. Not only do you save time by not driving, but you can get moving right when motivation strikes.


Sign up for a subscription fitness service or turn to the dozens of free full-length online workouts. You’d be amazed how much you can sweat with minimal (or zero) equipment. 


Challenge: Keeping Fitness Clothes in Good Shape


How long does it take your new fitness clothes to get smelly and worn out? Sometimes it’s just a matter of weeks before you’re back online ordering new pants and tops, which is both expensive and annoying. To keep your clothes in better shape, spend less, and make your healthy life easier, do one simple thing: change your detergent.


“In most cases, high tech fabrics are used to make activewear clothes, which tend to deteriorate when exposed to harsh chemicals. Therefore, pick out a mild and eco-friendly detergent that allows a gentle wash that doesn’t contain harsh chemicals. Be sure to pay close attention to care labels as instructions often vary,” suggest cleaning experts at CD One Price Cleaners.


Challenge: Making Healthy Food Choices


Consider this scenario: You wake up late for work, quickly eat whatever you can find for breakfast, and run out the door without lunch. You get talked into going out to lunch with a bunch of co-workers and suddenly you’re digging into a greasy meal of burger and fries. The worst part: you sit at your desk feeling guilty the rest of the day.


If you had prepped your food earlier in the week, you would have had lunch, which may have given you the motivation to say no to your co-workers. Meal prep can also help you with snacks, breakfast prep, and planning healthy dinners.


When prepping, consider every meal and snack you’ll eat that week. Your prep list may include:


  • Freshly cut fruit for smoothies. You can even freeze them for longer storage.
  • Protein that needs to be pre-cooked for lunches. Think: turkey burgers, chicken, or tofu.
  • Snack bags to take to work, including, nuts, crackers, pieces of cheese, fruit.
  • Pre-cut veggies that are easy to toss into a pan throughout the week.
  • Containers of almond butter or hummus for dipping veggies and fruit.


Challenge: Setting The Bar Too High


It’s easy to get excited about reaching for the stars when it comes to your health and fitness goals, but setting challenging, long-term goals is important, it could make your journey more stressful if they’re potentially unattainable. For example, if you’ve never run a day in your life, and plan to compete in a 10k in one month, the training will likely to be miserable. You may even run the risk of injury by pushing yourself too far too fast.


Instead, push that 10k out for 4 months. Then set smaller goals leading up to your ultimate goal. Starting small will lead to better habits and an overall healthier lifestyle. Here are some ideas:


  • Month 1: Run three times each week.
  • Month 2: Beat my PR from month 1.
  • Month 3: Run the 10k distance at least three times before the race.
  • Month 4: Cross the finish line in 30 minutes or less.


In this way, you set yourself up for success while also pushing your body to adapt and change, keeping your stress levels manageable and your goals much more attainable.


Live an Easy, Healthy Life


Your healthy lifestyle doesn’t have to be hard or stressful to maintain. Let a little pressure off, prioritize taking care of clothes (and spend less money on new ones!), and do what works for your schedule and your body. Soon, you’ll love living that healthy lifestyle so much, you’ll never want to go back!


GUEST BLOGGER | Jessica Vanderlinde, Personal Trainer at Snap Fitness Chanhassen

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