10 tips for frugal fitness + cheesy sriracha cauliflower bowl

It’s been a week.

A very adult week, filled with all sorts of adult responsibilities. Joseph’s 15 hour work days, sickness (both Joseph & I had the flu), my Blendtec jar broke (what with being sick, a lousy time to not have a blender!). But we got our tax refund (all going towards debt baby!) & a huge student loan payment from the Air Force also went through (we had been patiently awaiting months & months for that one, blessed bureaucratic system).

But the weekend is nigh, & there are all sorts of good things ahead–my in-laws are coming to visit! Joseph gets two days off next week! Joseph & I are going to watch this movie this weekend (I’ve been waiting in high-anticipation for months)!

And, if you haven’t seen, there’s quite the discussion going on over on facebook about yesterday’s post. If you haven’t read about my thoughts about mom guilt, homeschooling & SAHM’s vs. working moms, read it here & chip in on the discussion! I always love to hear what you have to say.

Also, since I shared my friend Leanne’s new cookbook, I’ve gotten a few questions & emails from you guys. This book is absolutely for anyone, including those of you who just are in a smoothie rut & needing more inspiration, as well as those of you who have wanted to do a cleanse but didn’t know where to start. You also DON’T need a juicer, but you do need a blender–a high-powered blender is recommended.


Now, for the weight loss update. 

Starting Weight: 204 pounds
Last week’s weight: 181 lbs.
This week’s weight: 179.2 lbs

Woo-hoo! A net loss of 1.8 lbs for this past week.

{Here, for a recap of all previous weeks losses.}


Ever since my no lose week a few weeks ago, I’ve been focusing on eating these foods & it’s made all the difference. I’m not hungrier or eating less, just focusing on the right foods. It’s true, I probably ate one too many Lara bars this past week & I didn’t get in as much exercise as I would have liked, but I still lost. Maybe next week I’ll share another progress pic.

(To get all the details on what I’m doing to lose weight,
check out my Fit, Strong, Lean ebook.)


For today’s Fit Friday edition, I thought I’d share some insights on how to work out on the cheap.


My affinity for frugal fitness is actually what got me into the fitness teaching profession in my twenties.

I was paying to take early morning aerobic classes at BYU (my alma mater). One day the thought struck me, “Hey, the teacher is getting a workout for free and she’s getting paid. What do I need to do so I can do that?” From there, I got training, made some awesome connections & landed a few sweet gigs. For the next six years I was able to support my family on a rather decent income considering the hours I put in (& I got my workouts in, without paying for a gym membership!).

Since I’m semi-retired (who knows, maybe I’ll go back to teaching again if the time & place is right), I do all of my working out at home. It’s cheap, it works, & it’s flexible.

Here are 10 tips for keeping fitness frugal (& fun):

1. Skip the gym membership.
I almost bought one last year. The childcare aspect was alluring (very alluring, if I’m being honest), but when all was said & done, my better judgment won out. Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE, love group fitness classes (after all, I was a group fitness instructor for six years)–there’s nothing like the energy & connections made when you’re surrounded by a ton of high energy, motivated people (think Zumba or kickboxing–so fun!). But, if you’re really tight on money &/or getting out of debt (like us), or just don’t want to pay $60-$100 (or more) on a gym membership, consider working out at home or joining up at a community center (yearly family passes are often very reasonable) or a YMCA.

2. Get a pedometer.
I love wearing my pedometer! It’s sort of addicting & really motivates me to find any excuse to move. There are all sorts of recommendations for how many steps you should get a day. I think aiming for a minimum of 5,000 (about 2.5 miles) is a good starting goal. My favorite thing about walking is that it’s natural & free! I walk my kids to school, to the park. Any time I can find an excuse to walk, I do. And wearing a pedometer helps you to see & track how much movement you’re actually getting.

3. Buy some handweights.
Strength training, a few times a week is the #1 piece of fitness advice I recommend to busy people. You can creatively fit cardio into your days through housecleaning, gardening, & other functional day to day activities, but you really need some sort of structured weight workout, which you can easily do at home if you have a few pairs of handweights–I have 3, 8, 10, & 15 lb. weights, including a few kettlebells.

4. Get (& use) a jump rope.
Try doing 1 minute intervals with 30 seconds, repeated 8-10 times a few times a week. Huge calorie burn, great for the arms (especially if you have a weighted jump rope), & awesome way to get the heart rate up.

5. Get a few classic workout videos.
I recommend any Jillian Micheal’s videos. I also love Cindy Crawford’s two VHS workouts (they’re old now, but so effective & classic). I also have some free video workouts (14 of them!) that you can check out.

There are a lot of online fitness streaming subscriptions available as well. I recommend Giam TV (only $10 a month) because it has over a thousand videos (including most, if not all of Jillian Micheal’s & the Firm’s videos) that include a ton of yoga & pilates workouts as well. (You can try a free 10 day trial of Giam TV, here.)

I tried Daily Burn for a month, but wasn’t impressed with their instructors or workouts so I didn’t continue my subscription.

6. Clean your house.
Housework is seriously underrated in terms of calorie burn. Especially if you have a large-ish house–you’re moving around a lot. I know I’m much more motivated to keep my house clean knowing I can get some extra steps in (more reason to wear a pedometer–see point #2).

7. Dance.
Turn up the music & just move for a few songs. Especially fun with your kids.

8. Make intimate time with your hubs.
This can actually be a great workout & can have so many positive, feel good benefits. If you need even more reasons to do it, see my, Let’s talk about the, ahem…importance of sex post.

9. Garden or work out in your yard.
Mowing the lawn, weeding, gardening–all fantastic ways to get moving & burning calories, while at the same time getting out doors. I miss our huge yard back in Utah. It provided me with hours of gardening each week & I loved spending time outside. Our Texas yard needs to be mowed each week, but let’s just say it leaves much to be desired in terms of gardening, so I do miss that.

10. Do body weight exercises.
Really nothing quite so effective in terms of total body toning as a push-up (if you’re a beginner, do modified push-ups on your knees). Sit-ups/crunches, lunges & squats are all other great examples of simple & effective body weight exercises that you can easily do at home–no equipment required!

Since being in weight loss mode, my meals look a lot like the ones I’ve been sharing on my Friday posts. Simple, quick, high in volume, low in calories.

Here’s another one for you today.

cheesy sriracha cauliflower bowl

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 10 minutes

Total Time: 15 minutes

Yield: 2 servings

Serving Size: 1/2 recipe

Calories per serving: 302

Fat grams per serving: 11 g

cheesy sriracha cauliflower bowl

An easy meal in a bowl -- vegan + gluten-free


  • 1/2 TBS. olive oil
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 1, 14 oz. bag frozen cauliflower
  • 2 c. mixed frozen veggies (I use the organic pea, carrot, green bean mix from Costco)
  • 1/4 c. water
  • chopped cilantro for garnish (optional)
  • 1 TBS. no-salt seasoning
  • for the sauce:
  • 1 oz. cashews (about 17 whole pieces)
  • 1/4 c. nutritional yeast
  • 1/2 c. water (+ more, for thinner sauce, add 1 TBS. at a time)
  • 1 TBS. sriracha sauce
  • 1/2 tsp. garlic powder


  1. First, I should note, I like thin sauces (usually). So if you like your sauce thicker, you can begin with a 1/3 cup of water to start, & add more water if you want it a bit thinner (1 tablespoon at a time, or until desired consistency is reached).
  2. In a large cast iron skillet, heat oil.
  3. Add diced onions & saute for 2-3 minutes.
  4. Add the frozen cauliflower & mixed veggies.
  5. Turn stove on medium-high, add 2 tablespoon of water & no-salt seasoning. Stir & cover.
  6. Cook for 5 minutes, making sure to stir & add more water (1 tablespoon at a time) as needed, then covering again.
  7. In the meantime, combine all ingredients for the sauce in a blender. Blend on high until smooth. Add additional water, if needed.
  8. To serve, dress mixed veggies with sauce, stirring to coat. Since the veggies are warm, this should warm up the sauce.
  9. Top with additional siracha & chopped cilantro if desired. Eat immediately.

Additional nutrition info: 40 g carbs, 17 g protein, 13 g fiber, 10 g sugar, 291 mg sodium; 8 WWP points

{Want more recipes like these? Check out my Fit, Lean, Strong: The Diet ebook–where I share over 25 recipes & meal ideas plus outline the entire plan I’m doing to lose weight.}



Hope you have a great weekend.





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