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Thursday, December 30, 2010

A new year?



Historically, every year I get together with friends (or family) and celebrate new year's eve.  And every year, we raise our glasses and say that this year is going to be great!  2011 is going to be the best year yet, or something to that effect.

Well you know what?  That isn't always true.

Plus, in terms of our lives, what is the significance of the new year and January 1st?  My birthday is in August, so January 1st doesn't really mark a new year for me, it's more of a celebration 4+ months in to my year.  How is that significant?

So last year, or the year before, I stopped going by the calendar year and instead started going by my years.  After this past birthday, I said, good things are going to happen this year.  And you know what, they did.

But why not think good thoughts and request good things on a day unique to you, not the day that EVERYONE uses as their chance to wipe the slate clean and start over?  If there are forces up there helping out, don't you think the might be a bit overwhelmed on January 1st?

Show of hands, who now thinks I'm insane?  :)

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

get me out of the house

The northeast got pounded with snow Sunday in to Monday, so many of us have been cooped up in our houses for way too long.  And if you're like me, even if you have a full set of weights, you're not exercising when you're stuck.

Take the overeating of the holiday and then follow it up immediately with being stuck in the house, sedentary, with more food.  In my case, it was Christmas cookies that someone forgot to bring to their family.

That said, I'm so happy to be out of the house today and can't wait to get to the gym and get a good sweat going.  I'm not sure I've never been so excited to go to the gym.

What do you do when you're snowed in?  Usually I shovel, but by the time the snow had stopped the shovelling was already being handled by the complex. 

Are you going to try to get in some good workouts this week or are you just coasting until after the new year?

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Happy holidays!!


A little something to make you smile.  Have a great holiday and new year!!

iPad

I'm blogging from my new ipad. Weird. Totally new to this whole thing so I'm looking for suggestions and advice. What do you use your iPad for? Any great apps? Help. Please.

Lovin' this egg mcmuffin!!

Lots of food posts lately, but I guess that's sort of OK since I added "Eater" to the title of the blog. :)

Newest breakfast (lunch, or dinner) discovery, the ability to microwave eggs!  The "friend" gets credit for this one.  He's always trying to minimize the mess of cooking bc he knows that I'm horrible at cleaning.

Enter our own version of the egg mcmuffin!!

Throw an English muffin in the toaster.

At the same time, spray a microwave safe small bowl with cooking spray.  Crack two eggs in to the bowl and beat.  Throw in the micro for about 1 minute.  The egg will grow, so watch it to make sure it doesn't get too crazy.  Flip it in the bowl and do the same for another 30s-1 min.

On a plate, heat up some low fat Canadian bacon, maybe 15 seconds.  We usually use 1 or 2 pieces (only 20 calories/slice).

By now the muffin should be toasted, so take it out of the oven, layer the Canadian bacon on.  Either put down a piece of sliced cheese or throw some shredded cheese on to the egg and throw it back in the micro for another 20 seconds.  Then put the egg on to the muffin, throw the top on and voila!!

As basic as it sounds, I go nuts for this thing and actually CRAVE it.  Historically I've made eggs a part of my meal repertoire because they're good for you and high in protein and relatively low in calories (I have no cholesterol issues so I've been told I can have 5-6 eggs/week), but this makes me actually want to eat them.

Estimated calorie count:
muffin (100)
2 eggs (140)
Canadian bacon, 2 slices (40)
shredded cheese, 1/4 cup (80)
Grand total: 360

YUM!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Hot dog!?


I think that for some odd reason, CT is obsessed with hot dogs.  The food, not the dachshund.

Living in NY I rarely, if ever, saw a restaurant that I'd describe as a hot dog joint.  yet since moving to CT they seem to be everywhere.  Yes, in some cases they're the same name with different locations, but still, is there really such a demand for hot dogs?  I guess so.

While my new office is on a picturesque street, there's not much in terms of food in the immediate area.  There is however a place known as J R's Hot Dog Stand, and it so happens that it's right across the street from my building.  It's pretty much a greasy spoon, but with that extra emphasis on the hot dog.  It's safe to say that not much at this establishment would be deemed as "healthy".

The men in my office don't seem to mind running over there and grabbing a quick bite (often times a hot dog and fries), but I just can't do it.  Convenience is nice and all, but so is fitting in to my clothes.  I'll gladly hop in the car (when time permits) to find a better option.  Is this so wrong?

Are you on the hot dog bandwagon?

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Happy solstice!

I think that just possibly I've been sucked in to a time warp of some sort.  How is it possible that Christmas is in four days?  In some ways it feels like it's way too early, but in other ways it feels like it's about darn time, like the fact that today is (finally) the first day of winter.  In my head it's been winter for months. 

I think it's a weird time of year.  I can deal with December, and suck it up for January, but come February and March, I'm pretty miserable and usually threaten to run away to the Caribbean.  I do this every year, without fail.  I think that Christmas lights should be put up at the end of January because that's when we really need something to brighten things up.  Just my two cents.

I woke up last night to presents from my "friend".  Yay!  Not quite Christmas, but way past Hanukkah (which is my holiday).  Let's just say he did well and I'm now joining the 21st century and will also have warm feet. :)

He got a big old TV from me.  His bday is in January so it's a combo gift and he's had it for a couple of weeks now, which made my holiday shopping easy breezy.  Still putting together something simple, but thankfully I haven't really had to deal with the holiday shopping craze.

As a fitness professional, it's always interesting to see how things go at the gym around this time of year.  We all know what happens in January, but December can be questionable.  Are people too busy with parties and shopping or are they forcing themselves to come in because of said parties?  My classes have been consistent and that's all I can ask for.

Since New Year's day is a Saturday, I'm teaching.  I'm the only spin class on the schedule so I'm doing a 60 minute class (our norm is 45).  The class is at 10 and I'm hoping it will be full.  What do you think?  do you think people will come out for the class or that they'll be too busy recovering from the night before?

Any interesting new year's plans out there?

I'll try to post again in the next day or so, but if for some reason time gets away from me (again), have a most wonderful and happy holiday and enjoy every minute spent with those you love.  xoxo

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Purple potato?

Last night I had the prettiest potato ever on my plate!

While i can't seem to find the official name of it, it seems to be known as a purple sweet potato.  I had never tried them and other than hearing about them had never even seen them.  On a quick trip to Stew Leonard's, my "friend" spotted them and said we had to try them.

I think it was something ridiculous like $5.99 for 3, but he said I had to try it.

Aside from the fact that we were in a rush and ended up overcooking it, it was still delicious.  Just like a sweet potato, but SWEETER.  Given my love of anything with a flavor that can be described as sweet, I was smitten.  Plus, the color is insane!

This is actually what they'd look like if you mashed them.  Seriously!

I did take a picture, but my camera is at home and I am not.  I highly recommend this spud, and from what I'm reading, they also pack a punch nutritionally.

Let me know what you think if you do try them.


Monday, December 13, 2010

Gangsta Style

I'm so sorry I forgot to put up pictures from Halloween.  I wasn't in a ton, but here you go. 

That's me and my co-gangster, we kept things in line.

Unhealthy treat

Here's a sweet recipe for a gray Monday.  Not at all healthy, but tasty and easy.  A good recipe to make and then bring with you to a party or get together.

Saltine Chocolate Toffee Bars (not sure of their real name)

4oz saltines
1/2 cup butter (1 stick)
1 cup packed brown sugar
1 1/2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 375.
Grease a jelly roll pan (aka a baking sheet) and then arrange the saltines in one layer. (I used cooking spray.)
In a saucepan over medium heat, melt the butter and add the brown sugar, stirring constantly.  Bring to a boil for 3 minutes.  The mixture will be bubbly and aerated.
Pour sugar/butter mixture over the crackers and spread to cover all crackers.  Put pan in to oven and bake for 5-7 minutes, until toffee mixture is bubbling.
Remove from oven and sprinkle the chocolate chips over the toffee.  Let sit about 5 minutes to allow the chips to melt.  Using a knife, spread the chocolate over the toffee.
Let cool, then put in freezer or fridge to complete cooling and hardening.
Cut in to squares.

Do you have an easy sweet treat that you break out around the holidays?  If so, please share!

Friday, December 10, 2010

the white devil

Imagine you wake up in the middle of the night insanely nauseaus.  You head to the bathroom only to get that feeling of "should I sit on the toilet or face it?".

What's the first thought that enters your mind?  Food poisoning would be mine.  Very little has woken me up from a sound sleep other than food poisoning or a very bad stomach flu.

That said, what causes these symptoms for me?  Garlic.

The bulb that almost everyone LOVES.  The ingredient that is so common it isn't always listed on menus.

Well my friends, that little white bulb is my arch enemy.

I always knew that garlic bothered my stomach.  A little.  However, as I've gotten older, this has apparently gotten worse.  Only within the past year or so did I realize that if I ate too much garlic, I'd wake up with the same symptoms as food poisoning.  Thankfully I wouldn't actually get sick, but I would very much feel sick.

Let me tell you how annoying this is.  Eating out has become a pain because everything I order must be followed up with "no garlic", to which I usually get weird looks.

But, it is what it is, and those who love me (and cook for me) have learned to make the concession.

Any other odd food problems out there?

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Love laughing!

I seriously LOVE this stuff!
I use it as a spread on my veggie burgers and it makes them taste so much more indulgent.  Plus, with only 35 calories, it's better than most spreads.
Am I alone in this fan club?

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Working is alot of work

Who knew?

And I don't just mean the working part (i.e. the 9-5).  Today is my 8th day back in the working world, although the first 3 don't really count since I was out of state and living out of a hotel.

I promised myself that my gym routine and eating habits would not suffer.  If anything, I hoped that maybe my eating habits would improve a bit as dictated by the structure of a work day.

So far it's going OK.  I've been bringing lunch.  Now who doesn't want to eat the exact same thing for 3 days in a row?  I've made it to the gym 3 out of the 4 completed work days.

However, it's been rough.  By the end of the day, I'm TIRED, so my motivation and energy are a bit off.  Gym routines just haven't had the same intensity as they did before.  I'm hoping (maybe even praying) that this is temporary and just a case of my body adjusting to a new schedule.  I've done the hardcore nighttime workout consistently before, it's just been a looooong time.

To help me along, I pack my gym bag the night before, that way I don't have to come home between work and the gym because that has NEVER worked for me.  I've also been trying to take classes more, which gives me a guaranteed workout.  I'll then arrive at the gym a little early and squeeze in whatever extra activities I can manage.

I think I'm doing OK, but there's definitely room for improvement.  Any tips?  I'm thinking maybe green tea around 3pm. 

Friday, December 3, 2010

Happy Friday!

And happy December.  Weird, right?  I'm so not ready for winter.  It snowed while I was in PA, I hated every minute of it.


I'm so glad it's Friday!  I'm exhausted and can't wait to relax and maybe even let loose a bit tomorrow.  Girls night out!

I need to get back in to the work routine, which for me means preparing and making lunch.  My usual is a veggie burger on a sandwich flat and maybe some veggies.  However, this gets old, plus it doesn't always keep me full.

That said, I'm looking for some suggestions.  The requirements are that it be tasty (most important), but also easy, healthy, and filling.  So if you have any tried and true lunch ideas, please let me know.

Have a great weekend!  Hoping (fingers crossed) to put together another spin ride in the next week, so stay tuned.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Here I am

I had hoped that maybe I wouldn't actually go MIA, but apparently that wasn't the case.

I'm still adjusting to this new and busy schedule.  Plus my first three days were spent out of state at a hotel, which always complicates a routine further.

I woke up Tuesday at 5a to hit the hotel gym.  Better something than nothing, but it was limited and as a result it sucked the motivation right out of me.  Back to the gym tonight, after work, so we'll see how that goes.

I had always gone to the gym after work, but it's been years now so it might take some adjusting.

It's also weird that I haven't been on a spin bike since Saturday.

So I'm thinking about trying Insanity.  Anyone tried it and want to share their experience?  My "friend" wants us to do it together, so I'm considering it.  If I do do it, I'll totally share my experiences with you guys. Maybe even post some before and after stats...maybe.

So let me know about Insanity or any other similar program you've tried.  Thanks!

Sunday, November 28, 2010

I am apologizing in advance

Because I know I'm going to be a bit MIA the next few days...

The new J-O-B starts tomorrow and I'll be out of town for it, so I know things will be hectic and my time will likely not be my own.  But rest assured that as soon as I can, I'll be back.

Hope you had a great Thanksgiving!

Monday, November 22, 2010

thanks!

I've got exactly one week and then I'm back to the working world.  Crazy!

I'm sad about giving up my classes, but am kind of excited about having gym time for myself.  It will be nice to once again be able to do what I want, when I want.  Said goodbye to my second class today, final goodbye is on Wednesday.

Since Thanksgiving is coming up, I figured I'd follow the trend out there and mention a few things I'm thankful for this year...

  • family  
  • friends 
  • the fact that I found a job that I’m excited about 
  • my health 
  • my positive attitude (it really does pay off!) 
  • cars/planes which make visiting friends and family so much easier 
  • my spin classes, which got me out of bed and gave me a purpose
  • those of you who read this very blog!
I'm so excited to see what the future has to hold and will forever be thankful for those things (and people) that I do have.

What are you thankful for?  Give me some unique ones!  :)

Friday, November 19, 2010

TGIF

My mind is elsewhere today but just wanted to say...

 

Happy Friday!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

good things come to those who wait

The past few weeks have been crazy.  But the crazy was SO worth it!

I'm beyond excited to say that I am leaving the world of the unemployed.  In other words, I accepted a full time job!!!

I was a victim of the recession and laid off from my marketing job in May 2009.  Since then I've done everything possible to find work.  I started teaching, got my real estate license, worked for a few months as a consultant, and started working for 8 Minute Dating. All good experiences, but sadly, not enough to pay the bills and sustain long-term.  But I stayed positive and pushed through.  And now, almost 19 months later, it seems like it was all worth it.

So here's to staying positive and knowing that things will ultimately work out!

Unfortunately, entering the world of the working will require me to give up three (3!) of my classes.  I've been teaching two 9:30a classes, so they have to go.  However, I knew in advance and was able to give the club and the members two weeks notice.  My third class was a 6:30p class in New Rochelle, which is almost 30 miles from my home, and just too far to drive with a full time job.  This one was hard.  I had already subbed out my class for the next two weeks due to scheduling conflicts.  The job details weren't finalized last week, so this poor class had no clue what was coming.  So yesterday, I walked in to class and essentially told them they'd never see me again.

It was definitely bittersweet.  This class had been a challenge.  I picked it up from a very loved instructor with a totally different style.  As is often the case, her students didn't stick around because I wasn't her.  Numbers in the class were low to start, but I persevered and kept coming back and slowly (slooooowly) the numbers started rising and a following started to develop.  I had just started to find my groove with them when this happened.

So last night I had to break the news to them, and it was hard.  I'm not good with goodbyes and this was no different.  Overall they were happy for me, but sad for them.  At the end of the class they all clapped for me and I got a teeny bit choked up.  I'm such a mush.

I exchanged contact info with a few and hope to stay in touch, but such is life I suppose.

I always  knew this day might come, but when it did it was harder than I imagined.

But it is all good.  I'm doing this for a great reason and am excited to see what this next chapter brings.

Just wanted to share. :)

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

undies



 
Seductive little title, right?

But in all serious-ness, kind of an important topic.

I spend a lot of time in gym clothes, which lends itself to time spent in cotton undies.  Personally I prefer cotton thongs (TMI?) because my pants are fitted and it just looks better.

In the past, I was a loyal supporter of the Victoria's Secret PINK line of cotton thongs.  However, over the years they've become lower and lower and thus less flattering on a 30+ year old figure.

Which brings me to my dilemma.  I need new undies and don't even know where to start.  Add to that the fact that I'm kind of cheap when it comes to these things and it's a bit of an issue.

Do you have any suggestions for workout undies?  If so, please share!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Spur of the moment baking

I will always remember that years ago, a friend of mine came over to my apartment.  She was hungry so she was opening the fridge and the cabinets, after which she said "interesting that you have no food to eat, yet have all the ingredients to whip up baked goods from scratch".  That pretty much sums up my kitchen.   Lots of raw form baked good ingredients yet no actual snackable food.

Last night I decided to whip something up.  After craving something sweet, and of course not having anything, I figured I'd just bake something.  Only caveat, no butter.  Normally I have butter, but not last night.  My original plan was my raspberry squares, but do to the lack of butter, it was a no go.

Enter google. Here's what resulted, yum!

Oatmeal Raisin Muffins

2 cups flour
1/2 cup packed light-brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 tbsp baking powder
1/4 tsp allspice (I used cinnamon and probably could have used more than the 1/4 tsp)
3/4 tsp salt
1 cup quick-cook oatmeal
1/2 cup raisins
1 egg
1/2 cup oil
1 1/4 cups milk (I used Almond Milk)
1 tsp vanilla extract

Heat oven to 375. Coat 12 muffin cups with nonstick cooking spray or use paper liners.


In large bowl, whisk together flour, both sugars, baking powder, allspice and salt. Stir in oatmeal, raisins and nuts. In medium-size bowl, lightly beat egg. Stir in oil, milk and vanilla to combine; stir gently into flour mixture; do not over mix.

Fill muffin cups two-thirds full. Bake at 375 for 25 minutes or until golden on top. Remove to wire rack to cool.

Having never made this recipe before, I chose to keep the oil in.  I usually play around with swapping ingredients once I've had the recipe.  The exception here was that I didn't have allspice or milk, so I had to use the cinnamon and almond milk.

They tasted delicious last night, warm.  Am going to try another right now and I'm sure it will be just as tasty.

I love it when recipes come out well!

Monday, November 15, 2010

Spin Odyssey Registration



I'm going to mention it now and then I promise I'll lay off the Spin Odyssey stuff, at least for a little while.

Registration opened today!  Yay!

If you live in the CT area and are interested in participating with me and the CyclePaths (yes, that's the one I chose), leave me a comment and I'll be in touch.  Would love to have you!

Here are the details:
March 6, 2011
Norwalk, CT
Ride for 2, 3, or 6 hours and fundraise for breast cancer research

For more info or to register, check out www.spinodyssey.org.

Friday, November 12, 2010

TRX and snot rockets

Now if that's not an alluring title, I don't know what is.

I have always been the queen of random.  My mind jumps from topic to topic with no warning (or reason), so this post kind of goes along with that.

First, TRX.

I've posted about TRX before and was obsessed with it for a while.  Which is interesting since I've never done it.  But I wanted to SO badly!
My boxing instructor sometimes whips out a TRX as one of the circuit stations, but usually people rush over to it so I've never had the opportunity to use it.  Well this changed on Tuesday. 
He asked me what body part I wanted to work, and since the class was predominantly arms and core, I said back.  He gave me an exercise to do and told me to do 15.
I did my 15.  It started easy but by 13, 14, and 15, I was struggling.  But I did them.
Next day, sore, in the best way!  Love it.  Bring back that obsession!
Do you TRX?

Second, Snot Rockets

This lovely topic came up pre-marathon.  What does one do when they're running and have to blow their nose?
Personally, I stuff tissues in every possible spot (the band of my pants, up my sleeve, in any pockets).  However I never use them all and end up with sweaty tissue mounds post-run.
I read an article that actually instructed the "correct" way to blow a snot rocket.  Lovely, right?  If you don't know what I'm talking about, it's essentially blowing your nose, minus the tissue.
I asked my sister her snot plan for the marathon and she said she runs with a handkerchief.  LOVE that idea!  Why didn't I think of that?  So proud to be her sister. :)
Marathon day, we're watching and cheering, and this man runs past and decides as he passes, that now is the time for a snot rocket.  Ewww!  Thankfully he was in the middle of the street and not really near us, but still, gross!
So what do you do?

On another note, HAPPY FRIDAY!!!

Hope to put together a spin ride, if I do, will definitely share it asap.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Thoughts?

I have a lot on my mind (more on that another time) and am feeling a little anxious/stressed.

So the perfect distraction takes me back to the Spin Odyssey team names.  My awesome aunt and some friends came up with some great ones and I wanted to share.  I'd love to hear your feedback!  Keep in mind a (possibly) co-ed team, and shirts that people might actually want to wear again.

Without further ado...


The Second Base-rs
(or Save Second Base or something similar)




The PopCycles




The Cycledelics



Riders on the Storm


The Sultans of SPIN


One more:



The Cycle-Paths
Please leave me a comment :)

Monday, November 8, 2010

Really November?

What's today's date?  Oh right, it's November 8th.  The beginning of November.

We changed the clocks back on Saturday so now the sun sets at 4:45pm. UGH!  And that's if there is sun to set.  Strike one November.

Today the weather was fine when I left the house, but by the time I had taught and went outside, it was snowing and icing.  SNOWING!!  Some schools in upper CT have snow days today.  Strike two November.

Why are you doing this to me?

Complaining aside, this was an amazing weekend!

My sister ran the NYC Marathon yesterday and rocked it to pieces!  I am super proud of her and the whole weekend was just great, start to finish.

Here are a few pics from yesterday.  Any other marathon runners out there, congrats!  It's an amazing accomplishment!


View of 76th and 1st




View of the elite men from the 17th floor, the winner finished in 2:08




Street level




Just a few runners




My family, my sister's number one fans




Heading to the bar (and their fans) after the race




This was their team slogan

Full disclosure here.  I don't particularly love to run and have no desire to run 26.2 miles, but after being a fan and witnessing the support and cheering, I kind of want to run the NYC Marathon.  Weird.

Happy Monday!!

Thursday, November 4, 2010

yum!

Today, just like the past few days, was chaotic.

I normally have lunch at home, but today that just wasn't happening, unless I wanted to eat lunch at 4pm (not that 2:30 is that much better).

I hit up Wendy's.  Wendy's is probably my FAVORITE fast food spot, so I was excited to see ads for their $4.99 pick two.

If you're not familiar with this, you can choose a half salad (of their new "gourmet" salads), plus either a water, fountain drink, small chili, junior burger, chicken wrap, or baked potato.

Given that it's cold and rainy here, I went with the chili as my add-on.

I feasted on half the Apple Pecan Chicken Salad.


The salad consisted of various greens, dried cranberries, asiago (or maybe blue) cheese, grilled chicken, apples, and a pomegranate vinaigrette.

It was DELICIOUS!!

When Wendy's first launched their new salads, the first thing I did was look up the calorie content.  And while definitely not "light", they weren't horrible if you were careful as to what else you ate that day.

The calorie content on half a salad with dressing is about 340, which isn't too bad.  The Wendy's website allows you to customize your salad nutrition facts, but it doesn't allow you to take out the cheese.  The good news is that the dressing is only 60 calories.

In case you were wondering, a small chili has 220 calories, but with the meat and beans, it's quite filling.

So that was my lunch.  Let's just say I LOVED it.

Do you do fast food salads?  Tried other Wendy's salads?  Yay or nay?

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Slogan help...put on those thinking caps

Any creative thinkers out there?

I'm starting to get the word out about my Spin Odyssey team for this year.

I really want a clever name, and ideally something that plays off the word "spin".  Would LOVE to hear your thoughts!

So far I'm coming up with things along the lines of this...
Spin Cycle
Spin-Stoppable
Spintervention (wouldn't really use that one)
the Spin Doctors (which would be great if even one person was a doctor)

Not good.  Please help! 

different strokes for different folks

A few posts ago I shared some music for a ride that I got courtesy of pedal-on.com.

The ride itself was called "unloading the hills".  it consists of a 12 minute hill.  you spend 2minutes adding the resistance on, then add as much as you can handle, holding it for 4 minutes.  then you take a little off, hold it for 3 minutes, then a little more, 2 minutes, then still more, 1 minute, making sure you never lose your hill.

For a 45 minute class, you do this 3 times.  the first 4 minutes are kind of miserable, the rest is better, but still not easy.  The first hill is in the saddle, second is out, and third is riders choice.

While not a particularly exciting ride, it is a great workout and really pushes the class to be honest with themselves and make sure they are always working hard.

I've taught this class four times now.  The first 2 classes though it was fine.  The 3rd class loved it.  but unfortunately I don't think the 4th class liked it.

The 4th class was my Monday morning 6am class.  Perhaps they didn't like it because it made it too easy to cheat/coast by.  Maybe they didn't like spending 12 minutes in the same position.  I'm really not sure.  I know they liked the music, just not the ride.

Lesson learned for me I suppose.  Monday 6a needs high energy intervals. 

When a ride really requires you to push yourself, do you?

Monday, November 1, 2010

What happened to the fall?

It was 35 degrees here this morning!  35 degrees!  I had to scrape ice off my windshield!  Seriously!?!?

What a start to November.

Every year around this time I wonder how in the world I'm going to make it through the winter.  I usually also ask myself why I live here.  Yet every year I get through it, although not always happily.

So happy November to you!  :)  The wish is sincere, I promise.

Hope you all had nice Halloweens.  Any good costumes?  I will work on finding a good gangster picture to share with y'all.

Saturday I used my Halloween ride in class (Scared Spinless).  Plus I dressed up as a devil (horns, a red sequin bow tie, tail, and pitch fork).  I think they enjoyed it.  Just confirmation for them that I am truly nuts.

Today is super busy, but all good things, so I'm keeping this brief.  Will try to post later.  Smile!

Friday, October 29, 2010

Scared spinless!



Source
 As promised, I put together a Halloween ride.  I know I'm a bit late with my timing, but without further ado, here is what I came up with.

Scared Spinless

Highway to Hell, AC/DC - 3:28
Let's warm up.

Phantom of the Opera Remix (unknown source) - 6:29
Let's hit that hill hard!  First hill, high energy.  Starting moderate/heavy, only getting heavy.  I haven't done it yet, but I might mix some jumps in there if the music dictates it.  Play around, but keep it hard!

Tales from the Crypt, Theme - 1:27
Recover

Superstitious, Stevie Wonder - 4:29
Let's find a moderate hill and then jump.  Six counts to start, maybe mixing it up at the end.

Beautiful Moster, Neyo - 4:11 and Screams (sound effects) - 0:34
Add some more resistance and stay in the saddle the whole time.  Let's really start to feel that hill as we progress.

Ghostbusters, Ray Parker Jr. - 4:00
Take it out of the saddle and let's mix up our movements.  Starting at 2 (jog), then 3, then back to the saddle, and keep repeating.

Adams Family, Theme - 1:24
Recover

Sympathy for the Devil, Rolling Stones - 6:19
Out of the saddle, let's climb.  Starting at a 6 or 7 out of 10 and then getting a bit heavier as the hill progresses.  Try to keep those legs at a nice pace.

Devil Went Down to Georgia, the Charlie Daniels Band - 3:36
Take some of that resistance off, but not all of it, and let's sprint.

Munsters, Theme - 2:54
Add some resistance and let's start that final hill.  Moderate and quick to start.

Thriller, Michael Jackson - 5:57
How could a Halloween ride not have this song?  Let's finish up our hill, playing around with resistance (always getting heavier) as well as positions.  Ending heavy and hard!

Monster, Lady Gaga - 4:10
Cool down.

Great work!  Have a happy and safe halloween!

raspberry squares

Lazy day here.  Super sore from boot camp last night and hating and loving it at the same time.  It's my lower back that's sore, which is an odd spot for soreness.  One on hand it feels good to use those muscles, on the other hand you realize just how much you use those lower back muscles for stability in every day activities.

In an attempt to be super productive, I made my contribution to the Halloween party tomorrow night tonight.  Since this was my go-to recipe for quite a while I figured I'd share.  It originally came from some fitness-related magazine, although I can't remember which.

Enjoy!

Raspberry Squares

5 tbs butter, cut in to small pieces
3/4 cup all purpose flour
1/2 cup quick cooking oats
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 cup flaked sweetened coconut
1/2 cup raspberry fruit preserves

Preheat oven to 350.
Coat an 8 inch square baking pan with foil, making sure it overhangs on two sides.  (You will use this overhang later to remove the squares from the pan.)  Spray the foil with cooking spray.
In a food processor, combine butter, flour, oats, sugar, and vanilla.  Process until crumbly.
In a medium bowl, combine 1/2 cup crumb mixture with the coconut; set aside.
Press the remaining crumb mixture into bottom of pan.  In another bowl, which preserves until smooth.  Spread preserves over the crumb mixture in the pan (crust), stopping just short of the edges.
Sprinkle with coconut/crumb mixture.
Bake 25 minutes, or until golden brown.
Cool on wire rack.  Remove from pan with foil and cut into squares.

In case you were wondering, here are the nutritional facts.
Makes 16 servings, 128 calories, 1g protein, 20g carbs, 5g fat, 1g fiber

Thursday, October 28, 2010

All Hallows eve eve eve

Halloween is coming!

Traditionally, I love Halloween!  I love pumpkins and costumes and all the candy and decorations in the stores.  Yet for some reason, this year I'm just not feeling it.  I will however, fake it.

I have a party to go to on Saturday night and the theme is prohibition (aka the 20s).  I'm going as a Gangster.  Just might post photos if you're lucky.

Sunday I plan on either not being home or pretending I'm not home. How horrible is that?  I just don't feel like dealing with trick-or-treat'ers this year.  It's cute to see the kiddies in their costumes but handing out candy to teenagers isn't so fun.  So I'm skipping it.  Bad Jessica, I know.

Just so you know I'm not a total grinch, I did buy a little devil costume and dum dum pops for my Saturday spin class.  Redeemed?

What are your plans?  Any good costumes?

Putting together a spin ride today (hopefully!) and will share asap.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Slacker!

Me silly, not you.

I can't even say I know where I've been.  My schedule has been a bit off, but it's on the mend.

You know that new phase, when you meet someone new, and since you want to see them, you're kind of willing to shake up your schedule a bit?  Well that's where I am now.  I did meet someone (through a mutual friend) and since it's new, it's exciting, which leaves me feeling nice (i.e. willing to uproot my routine).

For example, I normally take boxing at 7p on Tuesdays.  Last night I was told that was too late to have dinner together.  So what did I do?  I offered to go earlier and skip my class.  Seriously?

I actually explained this to the instructor and we had a nice chat about how it's funny how nice one can be at the beginning.  Nice and willing to make sacrifices.  Not to sound like a b*tch, but that's not my usual style.  I'm big on my routine.

So that aside, I said I'd share some good spin music, so here it is.  It all goes with a ride idea that came from pedal-on.  It's a tough, leg-busting hill, but the tunes I chose are good.  Check them out and feel free to use them for your workout.

Memories (clean album version) - David Guetta feat Kid Cudi (this song has been my fave for the past few weeks)
Funky Goes to Hollywood - DJ Earworm (great spin/cardio song)
Samba Trance - Hilight Tribe
Yeah Yeah Yeah - New Politics
Kashmir - Escala feat Slash (awesome instrumental cover!)
Krazy (promo only clean edit) - Pitbull feat Little John (love Pit!)
Clocks (dance remix) - Coldplay
Gone Daddy Gone - Gnarls Barkley
'Till I Collapse - D12/Eminem
Wavin' Flag (Coca-Cola Celebration Mix) - K'naan
Universal Mind Control (clean) - Common feat Pharrell

This playlist/ride uses a bunch of songs that people might not know, however the rhythms are good and it seems to be getting good reviews.

If you choose to use any of these songs (for yourself or for a class), let me know what you think.

Happy sweating!

Monday, October 25, 2010

the weekend in photos

Took full advantage of the beautiful (warm) fall weather that we had here on Saturday.









Then on Sunday I had homemade pizza that was seriously OFF THE HOOK!  (I did not make it.)  I was told it would be good, but I had no clue it would be this good.    Delish and a great way to end the weekend. :)


Sweet italian sausage, peppers, and onions

Cheese

The perfect fall weekend and I am so sad that it is over. :(

Top of the morning' to ya!

Where oh where did the weekend go?

I had a wonderfully pleasant weekend and am sad that it's over.  I have pictures to document but the memory card is at home and I am not.  I will post some later today.

This is my first week back to my full schedule of teaching.  While my cold is pretty much gone, it has left me with a few residual breathing issues, which is interesting since it was never actually a chest cold.  It's very frustrating to be leading a class and getting out of breath for no good reason.  Oh well, it will pass.

Hope you all had beautiful weekends.

Any halloween plans?  Costumes?

I put together a new spin ride on Friday night (thanks pedal-on.com!) and will share the music with you in the next day or so.  I used some songs I knew and others that were new to me, but overall though it was a great pairing.

Have a fab start to your Mondays and I'll catch ya later!

Thursday, October 21, 2010

The weekend is in sight

Happy Thursday!

My first 8 Minute Dating event was last night and it was a SUCCESS!  Everyone had a great time and I got good follow up scores, so what more can I ask for?  I think I may have found my calling. ;)

Tuesday night I went to the Yankees playoff game.  I was with a big group of party-ers, which was awesomely fun.  The game started at 8 and ran long, so it was a long night with quite a few too many drinks. 

Late night + lots of drinks + not enough sleep = miserable spin class the next morning

Like that equation?  Kind of obvious though.

Thankfully my class was at 9:30, not 6a, but still, I was a mess.  I was dizzy and just overall slow moving.  I figured I'd sweat it all out on the bike.  Thing is, I guess I was so dehydrated that I barely even sweat.  It sucked, but I did power through and didn't let it affect the class (just the instructor).  Immediately after class I went home and took a nap.   Lesson learned.

Back to the grind today.  Haven't done boot-camp in weeks so hopefully won't die tonight.

I desperately need new spin rides and am looking for song recommendations.  Any suggestions?  Hit me up in the comments.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Recession Concessions

I like to think I coined that term.  I haven't heard anyone else say it, so I guess in my world I did.

The recession has hit me hard.  Hard as in a 16 wheeler doing 65mph hitting a wall.  In case you were wondering.  I am a recession casualty.

Obviously I've had to cut back on many things.  Those are my Recession Concessions.

Here are a few of them...manicures, pedicures, waxing, car washes, dental insurance (sad, right?), and dinners out (most of the time at least).

Those are the ones that came to mind immediately, yet I'm sure there are others.  With the concessions also came a lengthy wish list for when things get better, but I don't feel like going in to that right now.

Have you made any recession concessions?  Any great finds/ideas in the process?

Monday, October 18, 2010

My my my, it's Monday

Good morning! Back to my routine this week and of course was up bright and early before the sun.  I am amazed at how clear the sky is early in the morning.  There are so many stars and I always try to take a few minutes to stare up and appreciate them before starting my day.  How zen of me, right?  ;)

Last week was a blur, as was the week before.  Totally out of my routine, late nights, skipped gym sessions, drinks...you name it.  And while it was great fun, I am happy to try and get back in to the swing of things as my body definitely feels better when I'm on a schedule.

Class this morning was tough.  While my cold is pretty much gone, I'm in that lovely phase where all the crappy congestion wants to come out.  TMI?  So my breathing is a little off and I can't stray too far from a box of tissues.

After class #2, I'm treating myself to Panera's Orchard Harvest Salad (love!), and then have an MRI of my right knee scheduled.  Will let you know how that goes.  Obviously the ice/Aleve didn't exactly aleve-iate the pain (hahaha).

My first 8 Minute Dating event is on Wednesday and I'm one man short.  Help!  Know any eligible single men in CT between the ages of 25-35?  If so, PLEASE encourage them to sign up.  But I have a ton of stuff to do in preparation for the event.  I think I'm even a bit nervous as most of last night's bed time was spent tossing and turning and thinking about all the ways the event could fail.

When I'm stressed or have something on my mind, it usually comes out at night.  I can be perfect all day, but the moment my head hits the pillow the concerns come out to play.  Anyone else deal with this?

So I'm back and I promise more posts this week, and hopefully interesting ones too.

Have a fabulous Monday!

Quick ? for my spinners out there

Hello lovelies!

This one is a question for any of my readers who spin (as an instructor or student).

But first, do you have orthotics?
If yes, then do you wear them in your spin shoes?

Here's why I ask.  I do have orthotics.  I could barely walk without them, but I never used them in my spin shoes.  Lately I tend to experience some foot pain while riding and am thinking maybe I need them in my shoes.  Thing is, that means I need new spin shoes bc my orthotics are hefty.  Therefore this isn't a decision to be entered in to lightly.

My orthotics cost $500 (yikes, right!?!) and were not covered by insurance.  My other thought was that if I do opt for a new pair of shoes to try a cheaper orthotic.  Right now there are many options out there, although I'm sure none of them are as good as the doctor made version.

Thoughts?  Experiences?

Thursday, October 14, 2010

I've been a-missing

The recipe post was supposed to go up earlier in the week, but in true blogger fashion for some reason it didn't post when it was supposed to.  So the poor blog has been blank since last week.  Uh oh.

So here I am.

Last week my schedule got a little twisted around.  I ended up out late a bunch of nights in a row and not sleeping well, so everything suffered.  The weekend was good but I was still tired, then this week got off to a similar start.

Then Wednesday morning I woke up with the beginning of a COLD.  Yuck!  I'm feeling OK today, but not great.  Going to just focus on eating well and resting up.  I'm visiting my girlies in Philly this weekend and want to be in tip-top shape (or as close as possible).

I'll try to do a better post tomorrow, but just wanted to apologize and explain.  Stay healthy!!

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Gimme some spin music! OK, here it is

I desperately need some new rides.  What I have been doing is modifying older rides by just mixing some new music in, but I'm realizing I need some completely brand new rides.  My goal is to bang out at least one this week.  Fingers crossed!

That said, here's another ride.  As usual, creatively named Jessica 1 (you can see my numbers are definitely not used in order).

Ray of Light - Madonna - 5:21
Warm up.  This is a longer warm up so towards the end I'll try to get the heart rate up a bit more than usual.

Stairway to Heaven - Led Zeppelin - 8:00
Climb, climb, climb.  The beginning of this song is a bit slower than I'd like, but it seems to work anyway.  Come out of the saddle right at the beginning and stay there for the whole 8 minutes.  Starting at about a 6/10 to be sure that your hill warrants being out of the saddle.  Add as desired, ending heavy.

Animal - Neon Trees - 3:32
Love this song!  Recover/sprint.  Sprint on the chorus', 3 times.

Gettin' Over You - David Guetta - 3:06
Time to climb again.  Mix up in the saddle with running.  Play off the song.

Breathe In (or maybe Machinehead) - Bush - 4:16
Keep climbing, take it to the top.  Out of the saddle, ending heavy.

Tainted Love - Soft Cell - 2:39
Recover

Do It - Nelly Furtado - 3:29
Climb, 5/10 to start, adding every minute.  On the rap, jump for counts of 4 or 6.

One More Time - Daft Punk - 5:21
Still climbing, let's take this whole song out of the saddle ending heavy.
My original thought with this song was that I'd have them add resistance every time he says "one more time".  I told this idea to my class, but also told them I realized it would be cruel.  One "show-off" decided she'd try it anyway, she must have added resistance at least 15 times. :)

The Way I Are - Timbaland - 2:59
Let's back the resistance off to moderate and jump!  Jump for the whole song, 6 counts.

Here it Goes Again - OK Go - 3:00
Straight from the jumps to climbing.  Keep the resistance where it's at and add every minute, in the saddle.  Get that hill nice and heavy.  Make those legs want out.  One more song to go.

Requiem - Metallica - 2:59
Nice heavy instrumental to end our heavy hill with.  Out of the saddle, add add add.

Seasons of Love - Rent - 3:05
And recover!  Nice work.

The perfect fall dessert

On Friday I made apple-crisp as dessert for Friday night dinner.  This is the second time I've made this version and since it turned out so yummy I figured I'd share the recipe.

As usual I've attempted to tweak an existing recipe to make it (a bit) more nutritious.

Apple Crisp

6 Macintosh apples, peeled and sliced
1/2 lemon, juiced
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
1/4 cup whole wheat flour
1/4 cup oats
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 stick of butter

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
In a 9 by 12 baking dish, combine apples, lemon juice, cinnamon, and sugar.
In a small bowl, mix flour and oats, brown sugar and butter together using the tines of a fork and your fingers, working until even, small crumbles form.
Sprinkle topping evenly over apples and bake 15 to 20 minutes until apples are just tender and topping is golden brown.

You can of course serve this with vanilla ice cream, but personally I don't think it's necessary.

Enjoy!!

Monday, October 11, 2010

Why are you eating my pumpkin?

Lots of blogs (and friends on Facebook) have been really excited by the influx of pumpkin season, whether that be pumpkin spice lattes or just incorporating pumpkin in to everyday recipes.

I too love pumpkins, although I prefer to look at them than eat them.  But I do plan on playing around with canned pumpkin a bit this season.

As I do every year, I bought pumpkins to put out on my stoop.  Last year I bought one and it's carcass can still be found in the hedges.  I figured the animals would want to eat it.  They didn't.

This year, after being outside for one day, one of my pumpkins had bite marks in it.  Today I came home and it was eaten through to the seeds.  WTF? 

So I want to know, who (or what) is eating my pumpkin and why didn't this same eater partake last year?

Side note:  I started this post, then decided to run outside and take a picture of the pumpkin, so I grabbed my camera and went out.  The moment the door shut I realized it was LOCKED.  Uh oh!  So long story short, the fire department came and saved me.  Embarrassing!

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Follow up

As a follow up to my rendezvous with the pull up...I am SORE.  Not just sore, but SORE.

My workout was Thursday afternoon, it's now Sunday afternoon and I'm still sore.

I did manage to do a little more upper body work on Saturday, then tossed the football around for a bit.  But by Saturday night I couldn't straighten my right arm without a significant amount of pain.

Unfortunately this is still the case.  I know it's just muscle related, so I'm not concerned, I'm just ready for it to go away because it hurts (and I feel like a gimp).

Hopefully tomorrow will be better!

Just a quick way to touch base on the weekend.  Hope you're enjoying it!  I'm off to try to find the energy to finally leave the house.

Friday, October 8, 2010

The dreaded (and revered) pull up

Good morning and happy Friday!  We've just about made it to the weekend.  Woo hoo!

I hope all of your weeks have treated you well.

Yesterday I hit up the gym for a nice upper body strength training session.  I had planned a bunch of the usual exercises plus some jump roping.   As I'm getting settled one of the trainers walks in, we make small talk and somehow the topic of pull ups comes up, so of course i say I can't do one, but it's a goal of mine, to which he says I can do one, to which I laugh. :)  So he invites me to work out with him, and of course I said yes.

He's a really good trainer.  He thinks outside of the box and uses tools that aren't available to the average gym-goer.

Going by memory I will try to explain what we did.

Remember the rope I mentioned here?  Well this was a shorter version and we jumped rope with it.  Definitely felt the burn in the shoulders.

Then it was over to push ups with resistance. (not exactly like this, but close)
      
Then it was pull up time, before my arms got too fatigued.  I did assisted pull ups (he did not).


This is exactly the outfit I was wearing too.  Ha!

Then Bicep curls, only coming halfway up.

Then we switched to a bunch of chest and back exercises using the resistance tubes.  I know I remember all of them, but can't write it all out right here.  Then we finished each of those sets with push ups.  Ugh!!

My arms felt like jello yesterday.  Actually, they felt stiff and fatigued, but still good.

Throughout the moves he was constantly telling me to tighten my abs and glutes (depending on the exercise).  I know that I should tighten my abs but when I'm working out alone I apparently forget.  This time he'd poke me in the stomach, which was a good reminder.  Today my abs are SORE, and I love it because I did not do one sit up.

Is there a moral to my story?  I'd say that maybe working with a trainer one or two times (if you can't afford more) is a great way to bust out of a rut and mix things up.  Try to watch the trainers before choosing one so you can make sure to choose someone who's style you like.  For me, that means out of the box exercises with fun tools.

Do you train?  If so, what do you think?  If  not, why?



Wednesday, October 6, 2010

The show offs

The other day I took a class at one of my gyms.  I was run down, my body was aching, and my mood was just off (with reason).  But I wanted to take this class, so I went.

A few of the usual suspects were there, but in addition, a couple of other girls, who I'll call the show-offs.  I honestly feel that these two were there just to be seen, and what they did in the class was clearly driven by this desire.

The class was specialized (i.e. boxing/step/cardio kickbox), but the instructor held the class circuit style.  Most of the circuits were  related to the class, with a few general fitness stations mixed in.  Personally I was focused on what the class actually was.  However these two girls were much more interested in doing something difficult in front of people than doing anything that had to do with the class.  I'm trying to keep this vague because I never know who is reading this, but it's hard.

So instead of doing a non class specific circuit and then moving on, these two show offs stayed there for a few rounds.  Now why take a specific class if you have no interest in doing things related to that specialty?

Maybe I was just moody, but it drove me nuts.  I'm not a show off, I never have been and never will be.  And when I see people like this it honestly makes me like them less and want to stay as far away from them as possible.   Oh well.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

scaling back, or trying to

The plan today was to try and make a dent in all the leftover veggies that I have from game night, yet all I want to eat are the leftover spinach balls and tater tots.  I will try to overcome, but it may end up being more of a hybrid sort of day.  Hopefully the veggies can hang in there until Thursday.

This morning I did something that I never do, I turned down someone when they asked me to sub for their spin class.  I never do this.  I am Old Faithful and am always willing to help.

Yet I'm taking my leg pain as a wake up call from my body and attempting to scale back on the spinning for a bit.  I'm even toying with subbing out all my classes next week.  I have a doctor's appointment next Wednesday as a follow up for my right knee.  Unfortunately it's now also my left knee and left shin.  Wake up call, right?

Thing is, other activities really don't bother me.  I think it's the repetition from the pedalling.  Although in most cases, I feel fine during the activity, just achy after.

Getting older is not fun.  So I'm trying to scale things back.  Wish me luck.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Blog-o-sphere blowout

Of course I couldn't not mention the healthy living blogging article in the most recent issue of Marie Claire (a magazine I actually really dislike).

Just looked to see if it was on the Marie Claire website, but it's not.  Not that I'm surprised.

It's generating a ton of hullabaloo in the blog world.  My thoughts on it later today.  Stay tuned.

Edited later in the day...

The gist of the article was that there are a "Big Six" of the healthy living blog world.  These six put together the Healthy Living Summit which was in Chicago this past summer.  That's all well and good.  The article proposes that these "healthy" blogs are in fact not so healthy.  The article claims that constant analysis and sharing of food and exercise is leading to eating disorders and body issues.  MC sites examples of severe calorie restriction and over training.  One blogger apparently ran a 5K, 10K, and a marathon all in one weekend.

Before I even knew that this topic had blown up in the blog world, the article struck a chord with me.  However to me the article was in some ways spot on.  I know that blogs have helped many people find healthier habits, shape up, or lose weight and I recognize that blogs are communities and in many cases very helpful.

Personally though, I have found many "healthy living" blogs to have an unintentional (or not) holier than thou attitude.  I feel like some bloggers are almost bragging about how ridiculously healthy they are and how they're cooler because they ran a million miles and consumed two calories.  This is not healthy.

Part of what I hate about being in the fitness industry is the competitive factor.  I can of course be competitive, but in this area, I don't want to be.  I don't want anyone to think I'm better than they are because I can do a push up, or that they're superior to me because I can't.  Fitness and health are specific to each individual.  And yes, there are general rules and concepts, but what works for one isn't necessarily the right choice for another.

My blog is small.  I don't have many readers but I am constantly making a conscientious effort to assure that the information I provide is helpful and NEVER makes anyone who is reading feel like I think I'm better than they are, because that is not the case.  If for some reason I ever make you feel less than great, I encourage you to call me out on it and I'll do everything in my power to rectify the situation.

If you have some spare time, I'm sure a google search on the MC article will yield some interesting results.  And now, I'll shut up.  :)

PS - Sometimes I feel like my corporate background shows through in the words I use (i.e. rectify).  I'm such a nerd!

Just another manic monday...wish it were sunday...

Good Monday Morning loves!

Hope you all had fabu weekend.  Mine was nice.  Game Night was a success (as was the food) and then the rest of the weekend was spent with my parents/sis in NY.

Slept like crap last night so I'm thinking a nap is in my future.  Anyone watching Next Iron Chef on the Food Network?

Speaking of food, here's the butternut squash soup recipe I used.

Easy Butternut Squash Soup

1 onion, diced
about 2 tbs olive oil
1 butternut squash (about 2.5lbs)
6 cups broth (I used 6 cups of water and 5 chicken bullion cubes)
2 tbs brown sugar
salt/pepper to taste

In a large pot on medium heat, saute the onion in the olive oil.  I always choose to brown my onions a bit, but that's up to you.  Once onions are cooked, add broth and squash.  Cook for about 20-25 minutes or until the squash is tender.  Remove from heat and let cool slightly.  Using an immersion blender, puree the mixture.  You can also use a regular blender, blending the soup in batches.  Once blended, add sugar, stir well, then add salt/pepper to taste.  Voila!

I love making this soup and tend to play with the flavor profiles.  Sometimes I'll put some red pepper flakes or cayenne in, other times maybe nutmeg.  I've even heard of people using curry (not something I'd use, but still an option).

Game night left me with TONS of leftovers, so I'm doing my own veggie rich/raw diet for today and tomorrow.  I have dinner plans tonight so that obviously won't consist of the veggies, but besides that I figured I'd give it a go.  I probably have enough to do Wednesday too, but I can't chance stomach issues on a day where I teach twice.  Will let you know how operation raw leftover annihilation goes. :)

OK, off to create some flyers for 8 Minute Dating.  Enjoy your Monday!!

Friday, October 1, 2010

Finally friday...

While I am ecstatic that it is Friday, I'm going to start this post off on a more serious note.

Whether or not you know, I've (unfortunately) been out of work since May 2009.  I had a short term consulting position, but other than that I've been on the job hunt non-stop (more or less) for about 17 months now.  There's no sugar coated way to say this, it sucks.

Do you ever have days where it seems that everyone is moving forward yet you are incredibly stagnant?  People getting engaged, married, having babies, promotions at work, new jobs.  You name it, I feel surrounded by it.  And what's new by me?  A big fat NOTHING.

I am a very positive person and do try to make lemonade out of lemons but sometimes it's just not possible.  On those days I give myself permission to wonder what the #!$* is going on.  As long as the good days outnumber the bad, I think I'm OK.

OK, now that that's off my chest.

Tonight I'm hosting a GAME NIGHT.  I believe it will be just ladies and we'll dine on appetizers and play games.  Very much looking forward to it!

I was really stumped on what to serve and ended up with a hodge podge of cuisines and types of food.

What's on my menu?
  • Spinach balls of course!  (was going to skip them, but then had a request)
  • Hummus - made from scratch! my first time, so I'm psyched
  • Black bean and corn salsa (great recipe)
  • Tater tots (trader joe's) - my friend is bringing pigs in a blanket so i thought they'd be good compliment
  • Onion dip (what's a party without it?)
  • Veggie birds nests from TJ's - these are frozen so if they don't get used I'll try them another time
  • Butternut squash soup - yes, I know it doesn't really fit it, but it's been cool and rainy all day and I thought something autumnal would be perfect.  To make it more appetizer like we can eat it out of coffee mugs.
  • Brownies - thanks to Duncan Hines for these.  Used the lower fat version on the box and was pleasantly surprised
And then we'll see what others bring.  Should be good regardless!

Now I'm off to shower and do some last minute tidying up, not to mention take the immersion blender to the soup.  Enjoy your Friday evenings and have a fabulous weekend!! xoxoxo

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Are you a lurker?

As I'm getting more involved in the blog world, I'm amazed to see the traffic that some blogs get.  In addition, I've noticed the trend of giveaways, a great way to get people involved with your blog.

While I'm not yet ready to do a giveaway (I don't think I have the traffic), I do want to do a tease for the giveaway that I will do once I know who is out there reading.

Here's what I'm going to give away.

No, not all of them, but one of them.

What are they?  No, not snakes on my floor.  Resistance tubes/bands!  As you can see I have three different thicknesses on the standard style.  In addition I have one double tube that has a loop in the middle that allows you to fasten the tube to something stable (like a railing). 

Disclaimer:  These are not new.  I will however do my best to make them nice and clean before sending them your way.

When I do this giveaway, you'll get to choose which one you want.  Sounds fun, right?  There are about a million different exercises that can be done with resistance bands, so they are a great tool to have in the arsenal.

But first, I need more traffic.  I need to know people are reading this blog.  So if you're a lurker (meaning you read but never comment), take this opportunity to say hello.  No pressure, I don't bite.

If you enjoy reading this blog and have a blog, I'd love a link on your site. 

If you like any of my posts (spin rides, recipes, whatever), share a link on facebook or another site.

When I'm convinced that people are reading (and enjoying) my blog, I'll activate the giveaway.  Ideally in a couple of weeks.

You like?

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

behind (no, not that one!)

I'm a little bit behind the blogging ball again.  My apologies.

This morning as I was driving to class, I had all these great topics in my mind and now that I'm actually in front of the computer, they seem to have disappeared.  Bloggers block?

So as you may have noticed, I had asked for input on Glee music, then went ahead and put two (short) songs in my latest ride.  This week was the much talked about Britney Spears episode so I DVR'ed it and sat down to watch about an hour after it's air time.

Let's just say I'm definitely not a Gleek.  Yes, some of the music is OK, but overall, the show does NOTHING for me.  Am I alone here?  Not sure if I'll keep giving it a shot or remove it from the DVR and live a Glee-less life.

Fans?  Foes?

I'm also watching the Event, although I'm one week behind and am not exactly sure what I think of it.  I think it's going to go a little sci-fi and that's not my cup of tea.  Not writing it off yet.

Last night was an example of the power of exercise and why exercise will always be my drug of choice.

I wasn't feeling great yesterday.  I was overall run down, with a bit of a head/ear/face ache.  But it was boxing night and I hate to miss the class, so I dragged myself to the gym.

Did a quick 15 minutes on the arc trainer to get my sweat on and then took class.  True, when we ran at the beginning of class I did more of a jog, but mid-way through the class I was feeling fine and my energy level was up.  It never ceases to amaze me!

This morning I was going to sub out my class but instead chose to teach but take it easy.  I am one of those instructors who is right there with you, I'm telling you to work hard and you're listening because I'm working hard as well.  Due to the beginning of a few injuries I feel that I need to take it easy.  My goal was to try and teach off the bike.  Wow, that's hard.  I ended up on the bike not pedalling, walking around, standing in front, and then back on the bike riding.  I had no clue what to do with myself for the 45 minutes off the bike.

If you instruct, do you teach off the bike?  If you take spin classes, what do your instructors do?

OK, time to prep for class.

My song of the moment:  Just a Dream by Nelly

Monday, September 27, 2010

:)

I love this!  Love love love.
(This is a youtube embed, so give it a moment or two, it will eventually load)

Saturday spin sesh (on Monday)

I really did have the intent to post this on Saturday, so without further ado, here it is.

Special thanks to Annette for her hill repeats.  Love them!  This ride is a mix of a few different things, but the hill repeats do play a prominent role.

A few things about this and most of my rides. My classes are typically 45 minutes long. If you do a 60 minute class, in this case you can just add another hill.  But unless otherwise specified, my classes are 45 minutes including the warm up (not including the cool down). 

Also, I ventured into some unknown territory here, the world of Glee.  So far I haven't gotten much of a response about it, so I say that that's a good thing and I'll keep them in the ride for now.  They're just recovery songs so in my opinion they're not quite as important as some of the other songs.




Get What You Give - New Radicals - 3:54
Warm up

Sweet Child of Mine - Guns N' Roses - 5:56
First hill, 5 minute version.
2 minutes seated, 1 minute standing, 2 minutes seated, followed by 1 minute flat/downhill.
Adding resistance every minute or so, starting with a moderate hill (about a 5 out of 10).

Dance Dance - Fall Our Boy - 3:00
First hill, 3 minute version.  This is the same hill we just climbed but we have to do it in (considerably) less time.  Go go go!
1 minute seated, 1 minute standing, 1 minute seated.  Adding resistance every 45 seconds or so, with the goal of keeping the resistance the same as it was on the 5 minute version.

Halo/Walking On Sunshine - Glee - 2:06
Recover and get ready for hill #2

Wanna Be Startin' Somethin' - Michael Jackson - 6:02
Second hill, 5 minutes up.
I use this as my spur of the moment hill, meaning that I don't plan out what I'll do until class starts.  This morning I did 2 standing, 1 seated, 2 standing.  Then back to the flat road for 1 minute downhill.

Amazing - Seal - 3:02
Second hill, 3 minute version.
Once again, mimic the 5 minute version, but pick up the pace and squeeze it in in 3 minutes.

Sweet Caroline - Glee - 2:00
Recover before our last repeat

City of Blinding Lights - U2 - 5:50
Third (and final) hill.  Seated 2 minutes, run 1 minute, standing climb 2 minutes.  Again, starting at 5/10 and adding resistance as desired.

Magic - B.o.B. (feat Rivers Cuomo) - 3:16
Final 3 minute version.  Seated 1 minute, running 1 minute, standing 1 minute.  Keep that pace up!  We should be nice and out of breath by the end.

Animal - Neon Trees - 3:32
Short (I said short) recovery on the flat and then right in to sprints.  First one is at :45, second at 1:38, third from 2:36 to the end of the song.  Use the chorus as your guide for when to sprint.

Take It Off - Ke$ha - 3:35
Love Is Gone - David Guetta and Chris Willis - 3:21
Final two songs are tough.  Let's do some jumps.  Counts of 8-4-2.  Recover quickly, add moderate resistance and start with one minute of 8 counts, followed by one minute of 4, then one minute of 2.  You may need to adjust the duration a bit, but the plan is to jump for at least 6 minutes.  Good news is, once this is done, the work is over.

Crazy - K-Ci & JoJo - 3:40
Cool down!!!!


Thoughts?  Comments?  Questions?  If you have any good ride ideas or just songs you'd like to see added (or are currently loving), drop me a comment.

Happy Spinning!!!

Gray and rainy Monday

So I didn't post my Saturday Spin Ride as promised, but I will get it up later today.  My word is bond! :)

Saturday was busy and I didn't even turn on the computer (LOVE those days!).  It was a great day!

A few girlies from college came to visit.  Started my day off teaching, then a quick trip to the gap (I had a coupon for 50% off jeans, didn't buy anything though), then the girlies and I all met up to take a private boxing class.  Super fun!  Totally kicked our a$$es and I loved EVERY minute of it.  Then recovery, an early dinner, and then a fun night out on the town.  Not exactly sure how it transpired, but I was definitely behind the bar at one point.  Fun!

Wrapping up my Monday morning coffee break and getting psyched up for class #2.

Read something the other day in Women's Health that kind of stuck with me.  I'm sure I will not paraphrase accurately, but it talked about how women strive to be fit and thin but as we age at one point being fit is actually a detriment to our appearance.  In other words, at a certain point, having some extra weight is a good thing.  Make sense?

I have to agree.  When I see women in their 50s+ and they are very thin, it's kind of uncomfortable.  A little extra padding would likely make them look healthier and thus more attractive.  Agree?  Disagree?

OK, later gators, I'll be back in a few hours.