A 15 minute {No Equipment} “12 Days of Christmas” Total Body Workout & A Cranberry-Vanilla Coconut Cream Smoothie

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Now that December is officially upon us and Christmas is just a few shorts weeks away I thought it would be fitting that we have ourselves a fun and festive holiday themed workout, that you can do anytime, anywhere in just 15 minutes!

And yes, this really is my idea of fun 😉

What do you say, are you up for the challenge?!

Here’s what we are going to do – a “12 days of Christmas” progressive ladder workout and it looks a little something like this . . .

12 Days of Christmas {No Equipment} Total Body Workout - www.betterwithcake.com

How it works is, you will progress through the workout just like you do when you sing that much loved Christmas classic . . .

For example –

1 x burpee

Then 1 x burpee + 2 x hand release push ups

Then 1 x burpee, 2 x hand release push ups and 3 x knee to elbow planks

And keep going, starting at the beginning and adding in the next exercise until you get to the 12th and final one.

Oh and FYI – all single leg movements like rear leg raises, mountain climbers, knee to elbow planks, step ups and lunges are reps per leg, you’re welcome 😉

I know it looks pretty innocent on paper, especially when you have it in mind that you’re “just” using your body weight as resistance but, never before will you be so happy to be asked to perform a set of high knees 😉

Trust me, this workout is no joke!

It may be only 15 minutes but, you will be one hot, sweaty mess once this workout is complete.

Hot sweaty mess = yes but, you will also feel like a million bucks, energized, recharged and focused and ready to take on the rest of your day. Promise!

Workout Rush - www.betterwithcake.com

What do you say?

Nothing complicated, basic movements done with good form for a short but effective total body workout.

We will move from one exercise to the next with minimal/no rest in between – I’m not allocating any specific rest breaks in today’s workout but I want you to listen to that beautiful body of yours and rest as needed.

Anytime you feel like you need to take a break to catch your breath and grab a little drink then by all means please do so, and take all the time you need. However, if possible try to wait until you get to the bottom of each round to do so but, do what you gotta do, OK?!

Take your time, concentrate, focus and breathe through each and every exercise. You are strong, you are amazing, you have big energy! You’ve totally got this!

You can do it - www.betterwithcake.com

And because nothing makes a workout challenge more fun than getting a buddy to join you. Why not grab your BFF or a family member or your fave workmate and have them join you, power in numbers baby!

Don’t forget to come back and let me know how you did once you’re done. Either leave me a message in the comments below, or you can give me a shout on the Facebook page or tag me (@EmSwanston) on Twitter , or Instagram (@emsswanston) . I mean it, I wanna hear how you did!

Ok enough chit chat time to work –

12 Days of Christmas
– No Equipment –
Total Body Workout

As always make sure you are nice an warm before you start your workout – Run on the spot, do jumping jacks, jump rope, dance around your living room, anything to get you warm then it’s time to get serious.

12 Days of Christmas {No Equipment} Total Body Workout - www.betterwithcake.com

Finish with a nice little cool down and stretch, maybe take a walk or something anything to help bring your heart rate down. Finish with a few of your fave stretches. Please don’t skip the stretch people, its like dessert for the body.

Now onto our bonus smoothie recipe . . .

Smoothies are a great option for your post workout refuel, not only are they insanely delicious but, they also make it super easy for the body to absorb and digest those precious nutrients, they are seriously convenient, quick and easy to prepare and, a great option for those of us who don’t have much of an appetite post workout.

It’s so important to nourish and re-energize your body post workout, you want to make sure  you give those muscles some fuel so that they can rebuild and repair themselves after working so hard.

How does a nice tall, light, fresh, delicious, nutritious, subtly sweet, creamy, dreamy, cranberry vanilla coconut cream smoothie sound?

Oh you guys this smoothie is straight up heaven in a cup!

The combination of those slightly tart cranberries with the subtle sweetness of our creamy frozen banana, a splash of vanilla and that hint of sweet nuttiness from the coconut yogurt  really is truly incredible!

FYI – this pretty little glass of deliciousness also happens to be packed with protein and  slow release, low GI carbs that will help refuel and re-energize that beautiful body of yours.

It really is simply divine, the perfect way to treat yo’ self and refuel and re-energize that beautiful body of yours on this fabulous Friday.

Oh and I should probably mention that not only does our delicious, nutritious cranberry vanilla coconut cream smoothie taste like an absolute dream but, it also happens to be vegan, dairy free and paleo friendly – so much to love I tell you ❤️❤️❤️

Cranberry Vanilla Cream Smoothie {Vegan. Gluten Free & Paleo Friendly} - www.betterwithcake.com

Cranberry Vanilla Cream Smoothie
{Vegan. Gluten Free & Paleo Friendly}
Makes 1 all natural, light, fresh, thick, creamy, delicious, nutritious, subtly sweet, pretty pink, fun and festive smoothie.

Ingredients –

1/3 cup coconut or Greek style yogurt

2/3 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk (or milk of choice)

1/2 an overripe banana (preferably pre-frozen)

1/2 cup frozen cranberries

4-8 drops of Vanilla Cream Stevia – I use Sweet Leaf Stevia  (could sub 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract)

1/4-1/2  cup of ice – more or less to desired consistency.

For serving –

Coconut Flakes

A sprig or two of fresh mint

Method –

1 – Place all smoothie ingredients into a blender and process until smooth and creamy.

2 – To serve, pour into a chilled glass/mason jar or bowl and top with shredded coconut and fresh mint if desired.

Note – You could also add in a scoop of protein powder (vanilla or unflavoured would work really well in this recipe) and some great lakes gelatin for an extra boost of protein if you’re into that kinda thing – do what you feel baby 🙂

Enjoy xoxo

Don’t forget to give me a shout out when you’re done – hit me up in the comments below via the Facebook page on Twitter or on Instagram

Now go,

Keep your head high, your glutes tight and your coffee strong. www.betterwithcake.com

and have yourself a killer day 👊🏼 xoxo


Question of the day –

What’s your favorite Christmas song?!

Feel free to share recipes, or links to your fave recipes in the comments below or on the Facebook page and please for the love of all that is good in this world when you do make this smoothie (or any of the recipes you find on this blog of mine) go ahead and snap a pic and share it either on the Facebook page, or tag me on twitter or Instagram. Sharing is caring remember.

Do it, do it You know you want to 🙂


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