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Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Sweet Treat

I have a huge sweet tooth which can be quite a hindrance when trying to watch what you eat.

As evidenced by previous posts, I don't have a problem with artificial sweeteners, so often times my attempt to watch what I eat leads me to products sweetened with Splenda or something similar.  That said, here's a sweet treat that i'm loving at the moment.

Jell-O Sugar Free Snacks - Cinnamon Roll

I've tried most flavors of sugar free/fat free pudding and while they all taste good, none of them really satisfy that sweet craving...until I tried Cinnamon Roll.  It's very sweet (perhaps too sweet for some) and the cinnamon flavor really does the trick.

I say give it a try!

Wednesday, December 23, 2009


I taught my usual 9:30a class this morning.  When I walked in to the classroom there was already one man pedaling away, wearing full cycling gear.  I wasn't sure if he'd stay for class or leave when it started.

He stayed.  He was in great shape.  I was actually nervous that my class might not be challenging enough for him.  (Most of my students are indoor cyclists with a few outdoor cyclists mixed in, but few people like him.)

After class I got to chatting with him.  He complimented me on the class (phew!).  I learned that he was training for the Lake Placid Ironman and was obviously an avid triathlete.  I was impressed.

I told him about my upcoming events, Spin Odyssey in March (six hours of spinning) and my lofty goal of running a half marathon over the summer.  He was encouraging and told me that he'd only started doing tri's about four years ago.  Prior to that he was a runner and had done several marathons.  An injury in the NY marathon put him on the DL and his doctor told him to try swimming.

For me, swimming is the scariest part of a tri.  This guy told me that when he started he could barely swim a lap.  He said it takes about three months of thinking "I can't do this" and then all of a sudden it clicks and swimming becomes your exercise of choice.

He had never done a spinning class or rode outside.  After some rehab he took a spin class, after which he went home and signed up for his first Iron Man (he didn't even have a bike).

I think it takes a certain personality to do an Iron Man, and I definitely don't have that trait.  But his progress and motivation were inspiring and I'm looking forward to channeling him as I begin my training.

I am constantly impressed by what people are physically capable of.  Just thought i'd share.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009


In high school substitutes were rarely treated like the full time teachers.  Students disrespected them and were sometimes outright rude to them.

I was never able to understand why someone would want to be a substitute.

Part of getting started in the Spinning world typically involves becoming a sub.  Usually the process of instructing starts with becoming a sub, then once you have "proved yourself" you can audition for a class of your own.

I'm happy to say that subbing a spinning class is NOTHING like subbing a class in school.

I'll admit though that i've showed up to a spinning class (as a student), seen that the regular instructor wasn't there and toyed with leaving.  Given this knowledge it's my personal mission to make those who stay happy with their decision.

Subbing is good practice.  However, it can be hard.  You're walking in to a group you don't know, with preferences you don't know, and often times, they're watching you with a critical eye.

Some suggestions (from experience) are to contact the instructor you are covering for to find out the class's likes and dislikes as well as how he/she usually runs the show.  Walk in armed with this knowledge and confident and you're sure to do well.

I'm subbing for a friend tonight, but having taken his class for over two years I know exactly what i'm walking in to, and love it!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Sneak in some extra veggies

I'm constantly trying to include more vegetables in my diet (without eating salad all the time).

One of my favorite ways to do this is by using frozen spinach.  I typically have atleast one bag of frozen spinach in the freezer and I add this to anything I make for dinner (when appropriate).

Try adding the frozen spinach to tomato sauce, stir frys, eggs, pasta (or another grain), etc..

Spinach has great health benefits with very few calories.  Give it a try!

Monday, December 14, 2009

Calorie Saving Tips - Mexican Food

If you're anything like me, eating out is part of your social life.  Watching what you eat shouldn't mean that you have to eat every meal at home, but you do have to be aware and exercise restraint.

Here are some tips for making better decisions when eating out at Mexican restaurants (where dishes can have tons of calories)

  • Skip the cheese (often times these dishes are so flavorful that you wouldn't even taste the cheese)
  • Get black beans instead of refried beans
  • Limit your use of sour cream and stick with a pico de gallo or salsa
  • Try to resist the chips and salsa, if need be, have a few and then ask them to take them away, or move them away from you at the table
  • Ask for fajitas to be cooked with less oil or no butter (i sometimes skip the tortillas and just eat the protein and veggies)
  • You might want to try subbing a salad for the rice
  • If you get a taco salad, avoid the deep fried "bowl"

The principles applied here are really basic calorie cutting concepts and can be applied in most situations.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Spin Odyssey 2010

Let me tell you a bit about an event we have here in CT...
Spin Odyssey

Spin Odyssey is a fundraising event consisting of Spinning, Zumba and Tennis.  Participants are able to sign up for various lengths of time in each of the abolve activities.  The maximum is six hours of spinning.  All donations go to breast cancer research.

Since moving to CT 2.5 years ago I had heard all about Spin Odyssey, however, this is the first year I will be participating and i'm so excited.  I've also volunteered to be on the organization committe so that's exciting as well.

Here's the website, check it out!

Thursday, December 10, 2009

My mind works in strange ways

Clearly the thought of running a half marathon is on my mind.

Last night I had a dream that I was doing just that.  The weird part is that in the dream I was doing that with a rolly suitcase in tow.  Yup, one of those (smaller) suitcases on the wheels, like what the flight attendants use.  Random, right?

After mile six I decided I wanted to ditch the suitcase and tried to give it to my sister and parents (who were there to cheer me on) and they have me a hard time.  Bizarre!

The part of the dream that I did like was that after six miles I was looking and feeling great.  Clearly a dream!

Just had to share.

I had had my eye on doing the Philly half with a friend but turns out I have a wedding that weekend.  So, i'm keeping my eyes open for a new race during the late summer/early fall.  I'm thinking maybe the Fitness magazine half in NYC, but we'll see.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Another Spin Ride

I'm currently in the midst of studying for my real estate exam (plus dealing with some other job related stuff), so I don't have a ton of time.  But, didn't want to go too long without a post so i'm sharing another spin ride.

This was one of my first rides and I haven't used this one for a while.  It's a little less diverse (in terms of genres) than most of my rides, but I always enjoyed it.

Because of You - Ne-Yo (4:28)
Warm up - I alternate between seated flat and a standing jog with slight resistance

Staying Alive - Wyclef (3:11)
Running flat (standing in hand position 2) adding resistance

Board Meeting - Timbaland (2:31)
Seated climb

Hungry Like the Wolf - can't remember the artist (3:26)
Standing climb

Body Rock - Moby ( 3:36)
Backing off resistance, heading down hill, fast to flat

Lady - Modjo (5:07)
Seated Climb

One Tribe - Black Eyed Peas (4:40)
Standing Climb

My Life Would Suck Without You - Kelly Clarkson (3:33)
Jumps (although this has now become my go-to song for sprints, so that might work better)

Get It Poppin' - can't remember the artist (3:33)
Quick flat, adding resistance as song progresses, left/right isolation

Izzo - Jay Z and Linkin Park (2:48)
Running with resistance (hand position 2)

Right Now - Van Halen (5:21)
Standing Climb (heavy)

MJB da MVP - Mary J. Blige (4:11)
Backing off resistance to seated flat/cooldown

Happy cycling!

Thursday, December 3, 2009

I'm Impressed

I will admit that I am a big fan of tv.  I won't watch just anything but I do have my go-to shows that I really enjoy watching.  One of these shows is the Biggest Loser.  Yes, I find it hard to find two hours to sit down and watch but thanks to my DVR i'm able to cut it down to about an hour or so.

The holiday last week messed up my tv schedule so I finally got around to watching (most of) the Biggest Loser - Where Are They Now, last night.  Only a bit over a week late.

The only thing I have to say is WOW.  These people impressed me so much and kept me smiling (in between crying) throughout the episode.

Fitness and diet are obviously important to me, but i'm not obese and therefore even my worst day is nowhere near where these people came from.

One man completed the Kona Ironman.  Can you say holy cow?  His goal was to prove to people that you didn't have to be "thin" to do it.  The brother of a father/son team lost over 100 pounds.  Several contestants have become personal trainers.  It really just makes me smile.

When I see where they came from and what they overcame it really tells me that I can do more than I think I can.

So while I may end up changing my mind, i'm thinking now that there's a half marathon in my future.  This is coming from a girl who up until a few years ago couldn't even run a mile.  If they can do it, why can't I?  So, we'll see.  More to come on that once the weather gets warmer.

Aim for the moon, even if you miss, you'll be amongst the stars!