by MJ

AIR  ~  Movement of the Day:
The Jump Squat infuses some extra cardio into your squats! Try a tabata format or add these to any routine for a higher intensity session!  [Click here for additional Workouts]

FUEL  ~  Dish of the Day:
Cook up a batch of Basic Easy Stew this weekend and have a “something” full of nutrients at your disposal all week long! [Click here for additional Recipes]


SPARK  ~  Thought of the Day:
Quote of the Day: There is no stimulus like that which comes from the consciousness of knowing that others believe in us. ~ Orisen Swett Marden

 Essential Element: Who do you spend your time with and what behaviors do they promote?  Where you spend your time and with whom can be two of the most influential forces in your change effort’s success – or failure.  Choose them well.  [click here to read Spark Insight: Creating Change]

Journal: Are those people you spend the most time with moving you towards the person you want to become? If not – why not? We may not be able to simply ‘get rid of’ certain friendships – but we can certainly evaluate our time spent and what conversation is spent on. In your journal, consider the three friends you speak with most frequently. Jot down one question you can ask each of them that will turn conversation towards belief – their belief in you and your belief in them.  [Click here for additional Journal exercises]


by MJ
FUEL  ~  Dish of the Day:
Start your Easter Sunday off right with Yummy Eggs with Spinach! This is a very simple, quick, satisfying and nutritious way of preparing eggs that also adds vital nutrient-rich vegetables to a dish that often doesn’t have “plants”.   [Click here for additional Recipes]

AIR  ~  Movement of the Day:
Easter egg hunts aren’t just for kids! Get outside today with the youngsters and make sure to put some FUN movement into your holiday weekend!    [Click here for additional Workouts]


SPARK  ~  Thought of the Day:
Quote of the Day: Come to me all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for our souls. ~ Jesus, Matthew 11: 28
Essential Element: As a society we have bought into the idea that rest and rejuvenation is a luxury, not a requirement.  This is fundamentally untrue, physically damaging, emotionally crippling and psychologically devastating. [click here to read Spark Insight: Rest and Repair]
Journal:  Where do you rest? In whom/with whom? Doing or not doing what? Where can you lay all that’s racing through your brain and feel genuinely restored? Write down where/who/what this place of rest has been for you for each decade of your life.    [Click here for additional Journal exercises]


by admin
FUEL  ~  Dish of the Day:
As good as leftover chili is cold and straight from the fridge, there’s another way to put that delicious dish to use! Our Chili Omelet puts a new twist on your traditional egg breakfast.    [Click here for additional Recipes]


AIR  ~  Movement of the Day:
Movement of the day? Vitamin F! Put some FUN and inspiration back into your exercise routine! Instead of heading to the gym, go dancing! Take a few laps around the mall! Or even cartwheels around the yard! Make sure you switch things up, so your motivation to exercise doesn’t dwindle. [Click here for additional Workouts]


SPARK  ~  Thought of the Day:
Quote of the Day:  The question for each man is not what he would do if he had the means, time, influence and education – but what he will do with the things he has. ~ Frank Hamilton
Essential Element: Regardless of orientation, most everyone agrees that we live by an internal compass that guides our behavior with feelings of good and bad, knowledge of right and wrong. [click here to read 'Living in Alignment']
Journal:  If you had $10,000 to donate to three causes of your choice, what would they be? Organizations, charities, radio stations, publications, churches? List your top three.    [Click here for additional Journal exercises]


by admin

AIR  ~  Movement of the Day:
This amazing spring weather has everyone at Bonfire Headquarters itching for an excuse to be outside! Get your daily dose of sunshine AND an amazing workout by dusting off your bicycle this week! Whether biking to work or riding around the block with your kids after school, this exercise is sure to get your ‘gears’ moving! [Click here for additional Workouts]

FUEL  ~  Dish of the Day:
Has chicken for supper lost its excitement for you? Try this Bonfire-approved recipe for Chili Lime Drumsticks! Our zesty marinade will remind you how tasty (and protein packed) chicken can be!  [Click here for additional Recipes]


SPARK  ~  Thought of the Day:
Quote of the Day:  Be yourself. Above all, let who you are, what you are, and what you believe shine through. ~ Anonymous
Essential Element:  A key step in moving toward a life of alignment is articulating our highest values. [click here to read 'Living in Alignment']
Journal: What are the most important motivators in your life – the things that drive you to do what you do every day? Compassion? Freedom? Diligence? Authenticity? Generosity? List three of your life’s top values.  [Click here for additional Journal exercises]

MJ’s Bouldering Adventures

by MJ

Today, I started the morning with one of my favorite (non-traditional) workouts…a full hour of bouldering!

Bouldering is a version of rock climbing that brings you across the wall, instead of higher up. As a result, you don’t need a rope or a belayer and it involves a lot of flexibility and strategy (spark!)…also, you don’t get that fluttery feeling of being far away from solid ground! Its a great workout for forearms, shoulders, biceps, abs, legs…you name it!

When my hands became raw and gripping was no longer an option, I headed home for a delicious post-workout salad.

AIR for today: CHECK.
SPARK for today: CHECK.
FUEL for today: CHECK.

It’s going to be a good day.

Gearing Up for Wellness

by MJ

If I told you there was an activity that would…
a) get your heart rate up,
b) get you “sweating and panting,”
c) was not only free, but SAVED you money, and
d) was super fun

…you’d think it was too good to be true, right?!

Well guess what folks… all it takes is hopping on your BICYCLE!

It helps that I live in a mild-weathered, bike friendly town, but I literally bike everywhere I need/want to go. For groceries, to yoga class, downtown for fun events, and to coffee shops to write brilliant articles like this one!

It feels great to sling everything I need onto my back and head out for the day. Not only are you getting your movement in covertly, but it saves a ton of money on gas if you can get into a consistent routine.

Granted, some days/nights, its harder to summon the motivation to bike when the car is sitting warm and pretty in the driveway, but I absolutely NEVER regret the decision to saddle up.

Enjoy the road from a new perspective today/this week! And always be sure to have your bike lights, helmets, and warm layers at the ready. Happy cycling!

Week 9 Air Insight: Vitamin F

by admin


Critical Concept:  Our modern culture is desperately deficient in Vitamin F – fun.
When was the last time you saw someone on a treadmill laughing?  And I don’t mean because the TV looming above their head was featuring some outrageous guest on the Jerry Springer show.  I mean that they were truly having fun?

A big reason that so many people have trouble sticking to their exercise routine or reaching their health and fitness goals is because they are trying to get themselves to stick to an activity that they hate!  This will never work.  You cannot expect to successfully maintain a regimen that you detest doing.  You will always find a way to avoid, make excuses around, or straight out sabotage your fitness effort if you dread your program.  So don’t do it.

Do what moves you.  Choose the activities that you love to do and get to it.

Build your passions into your fitness program.  If you love swimming – make it the anchor of your fitness program.  If you hate running – don’t build your routine around running.  Fill your activity calendar with the things that you love doing.  If you love to be outside, don’t plan on spending every day on a stair climber in your basement.  You should focus on outdoor activities.  If you are very social, join a club or a team.  Don’t go it alone.

Ultimately your health goals should include you achieving well-rounded, balanced fitness.  This opens the door to a great variety of choices for activities.  Don’t be narrow minded when designing your conditioning program.  Open yourself to the possibility of trying a new sport or getting back to one that you loved, but lost years ago.

A Bonfire best practice is to join a club or team that engages you in an activity that you love to do.  Committing to a team leverages a powerful source of social influence.  If you have a group of people who are expecting you to show up and have fun with them, you are far more likely to make time for it.

A vital behavior is to schedule it.  Your life is probably over-obligated, over-whelming and over-booked.  Don’t expect that you’ll simply “find time” to have fun.  You must schedule some “spontaneous time.”  As paradoxical as that may sound, in today’s culture if you don’t write it into your day-timer, life will fill in the blanks.  Schedule your playtime.

Ask yourself the most revealing question:  What do I really love doing?

Our lives are so stressful and our schedules are over-booked.  We should try to capitalize on every opportunity to have fun.  If we get creative with our workouts, we can get two birds with one stone – get the movement that our bodies require and expect, while feeding our minds, hearts and spirits with the joy that comes from doing what we love.

Summary Checklist

  • Add activity every day in every way
  • Calculate Energy Balance
  • Add Functional Training
  • Use variety in your workouts
  • Focus on the Intensity of your workouts
  • Gradually progress to a higher intensity
  • Adopt the Buddy System
  • Get your Spine checked by a chiropractor
  • Do what moves you – HAVE FUN!

Vitamin F – FUN!

by admin

In the same way that it is much easier to eat things that have pleasing flavors, and to think about things that create good feelings, movement requirements are much easier met when supplemented with Vitamin F – FUN!  With the right choice of activity, feelings of achievement and a general sense of increased physical wellness can be immediate results making the effort much more play than work.

As it is with all preferences, the definition of “fun” is as varied as the people who define it.  What matters in terms of effectiveness is that the means of acquiring the essential element of movement is appealing to the person engaging in the activity.  As two-time World Cup downhill champion and Olympic gold medalist Picabo Street shares with SUCCESS Magazine, fun is a primary factor in maintaining commitment and deriving the most benefit from movement:  “If you’re procrastinating about working out, then whatever you’re doing isn’t working for you.  You need to check into something different.”

Here are ten ideas for injecting Vitamin F into our pursuit of fitness from the BeachBody.com newsletter:

• Try something new
• Play a sport
• Get a buddy
• Get the whole family involved
• Go dancing
• Use an MP3 player
• Bedroom athletics
• Shop it up
Fitness vacations
• Share your wisdom

In addition to helping us to improve the shape, composition, and performance of our bodies in an enjoyable way, acquiring our daily essential element of movement through fun and play offers more than physical benefit – it’s part of our stress-coping arsenal and helps us to manage the less-than-enjoyable aspects of life.  Suzanne Nottingham, in an October 2006 cover story in Parks & Recreation listing many benefits of play as a means of exercise, learning, and development at any stage of life, states that “Play is essential to health and wellness.  When an activity is enjoyable, adherence is the by-product.  Pleasurable activities stimulate the nervous system, which affects your physiology.”

Exercise machines, personal trainers, free weights, run buddies, WODs (Workout Of the Day), yoga instructors, hockey games, kickball, and long stretches of sunlit beach are all examples of tools we can use to administer our daily dose of movement.  Which will work best depends purely on which delivers the maximum Vitamin F in the time and resources allotted, and is subject to personal preference.

We know we need it – it’s time for us to get away from forcing WORKouts, and get to enjoying our PLAYouts!  Let’s get moving and have some FUN doing it!