Last Tuesday I had the opportunity to attend a Miel Pura/National Honey Board Natural Energy event with Barbara Trujillo-Gomez, author of "...Barbara por Atras" A Latin Woman's Guide to Fitness at the beautiful Japanese Garden of the Kyoto Grand Hotel in Downtown Los Angeles.

I learned there really are no excuses when it comes to working out. Instead of aiming for 30-60 minutes of straight exercise, I can aim for 10 minutes 3-6 times per day. I can wake up ten minutes early and do some planks and jumping jacks (OK, jumping jacks). Instead of coffee I can have a pomegranate apple honey shot. There are so many beneficial uses of honey for athletes, I think you'll be surprised.

Some fun facts:
  • Honey is an all-natural energy booster. It's a carbohydrate that your body can easily use to give you a little extra oomph when you need it.
  • Honey has 17g of (good) carbohydrates per tablespoon. That's fuel for your muscles pre- and post- workout.
  • Honey is great for working out: 
    • When consumed before working out, it is released into the bloodstream at a steady rate.
    • During exercise (a dash of honey in your water) it helps delay muscle fatigue.
    • After working out (Whey Better Berry and Honey Shake) it's a great ingredient to add for refueling your body and decreasing muscle soreness.
  • My son isn't crazy for liking peanut butter, honey, and banana sandwiches. These ingredients are a good nutritional combination of carbs, protein, and fat.
  • Add some honey to your water for a sweet way to stay hydrated all day long. Make sure it is pure and natural (pasteurized) or raw (not pasteurized) honey.
  • 1 TBSP Honey = 1 ½ to 2 TBSP Sugar.
  • Honey can be used instead of neosporin on small cuts and abrasions
  • Honey is a great natural moisturizer for the skin.

Recipes, exercises and giveaway are below the jump


Pomegranate Apple Honey Shot

• 1 teaspoon honey
• 2 ounces of pomegranate juice
• a touch of apple juice

• Blend or mix all ingredients by hand
• Serve in a glass or small glass and enjoy a quick energizing boost

Whey Better Berry and Honey Energy Boost Shake
Serves 2 - 3

3 - 4 tbsp honey
½ cup water
½ cup skim milk
1 scoop vanilla whey protein
½ cup strawberries
½ cup blueberries
¼ cup raspberries
½ banana
3 cubes of ice

Slice strawberries and banana.
Combine all ingredients in a blender.

Blend. Be sure ice is crushed and all ingredients are well mixed before serving. Enjoy a great breakfast on the go!

High Impact Honey Vanilla Ricotta Spread with Pear
Serves 1 - 2

•2 tsp honey
•½ cup part skim ricotta cheese
•¼ tsp vanilla extract
•1 pear in half

1. Mix together ricotta cheese, honey and vanilla.
2. Spread honey vanilla ricotta over the pear and serve chilled.

I'll highlight more honey recipes in the weeks to come, so visit often!


The orginal videos from Miel Pura are in Spanish, so I have included English instructions and in some cases, English videos from the event.

Figure Eight - A great exercise for the arms, core and back

  1. Stand with legs shoulder-width apart and hold medicine ball with both hands, arms extended over your right shoulder.
  2. In one continuous motion bring the ball down at an angle toward your left leg in a curve-like motion, bringing the ball up straight over your left shoulder and down toward your right leg and back up to the right.
  3. One movement, one flow, as if you were making the figure eight.
  4. Bend your knees slightly as you are bringing the ball toward that leg.
  5. Keeping body fully engaged, belly tight.
  6. Perform 3 sets of 12 reps.
Figure 8 with weights

Medicine Ball Oblique - Great for the core and obliques

  1. Lie on your back and bend your knees at a 90 degree angle so that your calves are parallel to the floor.
  2. Place the medicine ball between your bent knees and hold tightly.
  3. Holding the ball between your knees and keeping them at a 90 degree angle, bring both legs to the right and get as close to the floor as you can without letting them touch, then back to center and hold.
  4. Repeat over to the left and return to the center. Be sure to keep your back as flat on the ground as possible so that you are using your core to move and hold your legs on each side.
  5. Perform 3 sets of 12 reps.

Ball Toss - Fantastic for the arms, core and back

  1. Stand firm, feet hip-width apart.
  2. Hold the medicine ball with both hands.
  3. Bring ball up in front of your chest and slightly toss up and catch.
  4. Toss up and down, keeping feet firmly on the ground only using the core muscles and arm movement.
  5. Repeat tossing upward and catching.
  6. Perform 3 sets of 12 reps.
* If you do this exercise with a partner, toss the ball back and forth as opposed to up and down.

Squats - Squats are a great exercise for those who want to tone their lower body: hips, glutes and thighs.

  1. Stand with your legs shoulder-width apart.
  2. Bend your knees so that you are in an upright sitting position and hold for a few seconds.
  3. Bring yourself back up in standing position and repeat.
  4. After 15 reps stay in squat position and hold for 10 seconds.
  5. Keep your arms along your sides, keeping your abs tight and body fully engaged.
  6. Add 15 jump squats for added challenge.

Curtsy Lunge - This twist on the classic lunge is excellent for your legs and glutes.

  1. Stand with feet hip-width apart and hands on hips.
  2. Take a big step back with your left leg, crossing it behind the right.
  3. Keep your belly/core tight, shoulders back and body fully engaged.
  4. Bend the right knee and lower the hips until the right thigh is almost parallel to the floor.
  5. Repeat motion with the opposite leg.

Plank - Full body action and toning.

  1. Lie face down on a mat resting on the forearms, palms flat on the floor.
  2. Push off the floor, raising up onto toes and resting on the elbows.
  3. Keep your back flat, in a straight line from head to heels.
  4. Tilt your pelvis and contract your abs to prevent your rear end from sticking up in the air or sagging in the middle.
  5. Hold for 20 to 60 seconds, lower and repeat for 3-5 reps.
  6. For an extra challenge, do 20 push ups (modified is OK) followed by a 30-second plank.
Kickbacks - Excellent exercise for the glutes.

  1. Kneel on the floor and get on all fours with your knees hip-width apart and back parallel to the floor.
  2. Place hands slightly wider than the shoulders.
  3. Keep head steady as you lift the left leg until thigh is in line with torso.
  4. Bend knee and slowly push flexed foot up toward the ceiling.
  5. Squeezing butt, hold for one second and continue the slow movement for 12 reps.
  6. Bring leg down, back on all fours, and repeat on opposite leg.
* Don't do this one if you have low back trouble

Back to the Basics – We all know what they are, but we just forget how great they are for the body. These can be implemented when you travel or even during your lunch break.

  • Jumping Jacks
  • Jump Rope - a few minutes worth burns as many calories as going for a light jog or a brisk walk
  • Hula Hooping
  • Walk/Run Intervals - up/down increase and decrease in heart rate helps you burn more calories longer
  • Power Walks
  • Heel Walking - great for your legs, calves, and your balance
  • Push ups

For a total body workout, don’t forget the arms! Grab your 2 lbs jars of honey and work those biceps and triceps!

Now to thank you for reading this far, I have a giveaway. One lucky commenter, chosen by random.org, will win the following:

A bottle of sage honey (from a local SoCal honey producer), a Miel Pura water bottle, a yoga mat, and a mielpura.org bag. My daughter keeps trying to run off with the yoga mat for her own purposes.

In the comments, tell me what you use honey for and/or if this has changed your mind about how to use honey. Also, of the eight exercises above, which is your favorite.

Thanks for playing!
*Open to U.S. residents only.

Resources: National Honey BoardMiel PuraB&B Fit LLC  / Barbara Por Atras

About the National Honey Board
The National Honey Board is a federal research and promotion board under USDA oversight that conducts research, marketing and promotion programs to help maintain and expand markets for honey and honey products. These programs are funded by an assessment of one cent per pound on domestic and imported honey.