Fitolution Day #16 – Exercise with a candlestick roll

If you’re looking for romance, that’s a different email.  Let’s get to Fitolution Day #16 on your way to a healthier and fitter you.


Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays are strength days so stick to your strength routine. Make sure it’s at least 30 minutes of strength training.

Candlestick Roll

  • Squat deeply, roll back onto upper back and straighten your legs toward ceiling, roll forward onto feet, squat deeply, and stand again. Do all that without stopping, and you’ve got yourself a candlestick roll. “A candlestick roll fires up and connects every muscle in your core while you go from standing to active to standing again,” Widerstrom says. This gymnastics-inspired exercise tends to be tough because in addition to calling on strength, mobility, and coordination, it requires you to be comfortable moving blindly. “You might be a little scared to travel backward—then when you’re in it, expect it to feel a little weird—but then you get the hang of it and know what to expect,” she says. “It actually starts to become fun, and suddenly you’re great at it.” Go from newbie to pro in three simple steps.
  • Master the rocking position (it’s harder than it looks) by doing a hollow hold.  Lie faceup on the floor with arms extended behind head and legs long and squeezing tight together. Pull your abs in tight and press your lower back into the floor, then lift your arms, head, neck, shoulders, and legs 8 to 12 inches off the floor (try to make your body resemble the shape of a rocking chair leg). Hold for 15 to 30 seconds. Repeat 2 to 3 times.(it’s harder than it looks) by doing a hollow hold. Master the rocking position 1.
  • Learn how to rock while maintaining the hollow-hold position by weighting each end. Hold one 2- to 5-pound weight with both hands behind your head and the other one between your feet. Start in hollow-hold position, then, without changing the shape of your body, rock back and forth, letting the weight pull you one way and then the other. Do 2 to 3 sets of 10 to 15 reps.

  • Getting up is the hard part, so here are two ways to help you. The beginning is always the same: Stand with feet together, arms reaching forward. Squat all the way down, and when your butt touches the floor, roll back onto upper back, sending legs up and slightly back. If you struggle with mobility, cross your legs on the roll forward to come to standing, while also using your hands to press into the floor on both sides of your hips. If it’s strength you lack, hold a weight in your hands on the roll backward, and push it forward on the way up to help power you to standing. Do 2 to 3 sets of 8 to 10 reps.
  • The Perfect Candlestick Roll:  Stand with feet together and arms reaching forward. Squat all the way down, and when your butt touches the floor, roll back, reaching your arms behind head, rolling onto your upper back, letting your straight legs come high over your hips to create momentum. Without pausing, roll forward, bringing your heels as close to your butt as you can while connecting your feet to the floor; reach your arms forward to come back into a low squat to rise to standing. “Think of this movement as a seesaw,” Widerstrom says. “Energy transfers from your feet to your head back to your feet.” So if you’re having trouble making it off the floor, roll back with a little more gusto. (Tackle this gymnastics-inspired workout next to sharpen your skills and challenge your muscles.)






  • 1 lb. ground turkey
  • 1/4 cup finely diced red onion
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 teaspoon oregano
  • 1 cup chopped fresh spinach
  • salt & pepper to season
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil


  • 1/2 cup plain greek yogurt
  • 1/4 cup grated cucumber
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon dry dill
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • salt to taste
  • 1/2 cup thinly sliced red onion
  • 1 cup diced tomato
  • 1 cup diced cucumber
  • 4 whole wheat flatbreads


  1. To a large bowl add, ground turkey, diced red onion, minced garlic, oregano, fresh spinach, salt, and pepper. Using your hands mix all the ingredients together until meat forms a ball and sticks together.
  2. Then using your hands, form meat mixture into 1″ balls. (you should be able to get about 12 meatballs).
  3. Heat a large skillet to medium high heat. Add olive oil to the pan, and then add the meatballs. Cook each side for 3-4 minutes until they are browned on all sides. Remove from the pan and let rest.
  4. In the meantime, to a small bowl add greek yogurt, grated cucumber, lemon juice, dill, garlic powder, and salt to taste. Mix together until everything is combined.
  5. Assemble the gyros: to a flatbread (I like to warm mine up so they are more pliable) add 3 meatballs, sliced red onion, tomato, and cucumber. Then top with Tzatziki sauce.


Yesterday we talked about meal prep.  Today, ask yourself a question, is your meal plan working for you?

If your meal plan is making you feel:

  • Overwhelmed.
  • Anxious and fretful.
  • Guilty.
  • Regretful.
  • Bad.
  • Overly rigid and/or preoccupied with food.
  • Any other negative, unproductive emotion.

and/or if you find that meal plans result in you:

  • “Falling off the wagon”, hard.
  • Getting obsessive and compulsive about food.
  • Restricting foods and food groups.
  • Doing “all or nothing”, usually ending with “nothing”.

. . . consider trying another approach.

Talk to your trainer, family, friends re: what worked for them.  Make a list; review it carefully; experiment; try different things; and figure out what would be a sustainable lifestyle change for you. What do you have to lose except inches and weight?

As always, I’m just one click away. [email]

Fiesta Turkey Soup