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30-Day Get Fit Challenge | Week 4

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Staffer Gretchen Parker, 35, is working out with ExerciseTV celebrity trainer Kathy Kaehler (past clients include Julia Roberts and Jennifer Aniston) for Us' 30-Day Get Fit Challenge! She's blogging a few times a week. Here, Gretchen details her vacation workout routine:

Home sweet home. Time to unpack my suitcase and time to confess my sins.

Well, I can't say I did Kathy's 5-minute workout every day. And I didn't quite make it to 12,000 steps a day either. I did clear 11,000 steps on several days, though – way more than the 4,000 I average on a typical sedentary L.A. day.

And I did make better food choices than I have on my previous vacations, which include many an all-you-can-eat Vegas smorgasbord extravaganza.

It wasn't easy to choose the right foods in Guatemala. Dining out there, as in many tropical regions of the world, is based foremost on avoiding contracting what the locals call "the amoebas." Microscopic parasites can really cramp your style when traveling abroad.

So, perusing the menu requires avoiding all the little booby traps of raw fruits and vegetables, anything with a peel that hasn't been peeled and even anything touching anything that hasn't been peeled. A pile of perfectly steamed veggies, atop a beautiful piece of lettuce, was suddenly my enemy.

See photos from Gretchen's first training session with Kathy. 

Cooked food was safer, so I stuck to that and just tried to avoid fattening sauces.

I did okay, but there were other landmines. I was introduced to fresh, hot pupusas with chicharrón. They’re like flat biscuits filled with fried pork rind. Did I mention I'm Southern? It tasted like heaven stuffed with heaven.

I just tried not to overdo it.

I can't say I shed any pounds over the trip, but I think I walked off what I would have gained. My travel mates made a game of asking at the end of every day, "How many steps have we done??" They loved beating the total from the day before.

Now that vacation's over, it’s back to regular workouts. I miss the pupusas already!

Stay tuned: On Monday, Kathy is answering your health and fitness questions right here on the Get Fit Challenge blog! Comments? Contact me at

Read Gretchen's previous blog entries:

30-Day Get Fit Challenge: Meet Us' Gretchen Parker!
30 Day Get Fit Challenge | Week 1
30-Day Get Fit Challenge | Week 1, Workout 2
30-Day Get Fit Challenge | Week 2
30-Day Get Fit Challenge | Week 3
30-Day Get Fit Challenge | Week 3, Workout 2


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