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Better than a Cup of Joe

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Hello and happy Saturday!

My Saturday was off to a great and early start with an 8am spinning class this morning.  But before we dive into that, let’s talk about last night.

Friday

Originally, I had great plans to take Brian through a workout at one of the gyms that I teach at.  This was a test week for Brian (who is in dental school for those who didn’t know), and by the end of these weeks he is literally exhausted.  I completely understand and appreciate that, so when the topic of heading to the gym came up last night Brian kindly asked if he could take a rain check on my offer.  To me, working out makes me feel alive and completely pumped up…but I realize that it is not like that for everyone, and I would never want to someone to feel like I was forcing them to workout, so I headed to the gym by myself.

I completed 3 miles earlier in the day, so I did some upper body strength training.  Usually,  I try to go in with a specific plan, but yesterday I was much more go-with-the-flow.  I then taught a 30 minute abs class with this routine:


Touchdown exercise:  This exercise really works your rhomboids (muscles in your upper back).  To do this move, lie on your tummy and pull your belly button into the spine so that you feel the hip bones into the ground.  Extend your arms out in front of you, and lift your upper body up.  Pull your arms down to your sides as if making a touch down goal post:

Touchdown Arms

As you are pulling your arms down, really focus on squeezing your shoulder blades together.  I always imagine that there is a pencil between my shoulder blades and I want to keep it there.  Then, lower your body back to the ground and extend your arms back into starting position and repeat.

Superman:  Begin on all fours, making sure that your hips are in line with your knees and your shoulders are in line with your hands.  Extend one arm and the opposite leg.  Keep your belly button pulled into your spine to keep the abdominals activated.  Pull the extended knee and elbow into each other, then extend back to starting position and repeat.  Do the same on the other side.  Make sure to keep your hips level with the ground and your body in a straight line.

Superman starting position

I then came home and baked up some tofu and placed in on some veggies for a nice little tofu salad for dinner!

I have never baked tofu, so last night I just gave it a try.  It was soooo simple!  I cut up the tofu into little cubes (after squeezing out the excess liquid), I then tossed it in some spices that sounded good to me (garlic salt, pepper, cumin, red pepper, you can use whatever!).  I then placed it on a baking sheet and baked it at 400 degrees for 15 minutes.  It came out a little bit crispy on the edges, and had delicious flavor.  I will definitely be doing that again 😉

Brian and I then headed to a little bar/pizzaria to visit our friend, Cassie, who was working there.  It was a great, chill way to spend a Friday night.

On to today…

Today

Like I said, I started the day bright and early with a spinning class, and LOVED it!  I swear, spinning gets me going better than a morning cup of coffee!  Afterwards, I feel like I could run a marathon (well not literally…), but I feel pretty darn good.

I then headed home, and am now prepping my to-do list for the day:

  • Do the dishes
  • Pick up the bedroom
  • Bake Easter goodies
  • Decorate for Easter
  • Plan a fun activity for Brian and I to do
  • Run 5 miles (it’s on the sched…)

Lucy and I are going to be spending some quality time together this afternoon.

Lucy...my mixer

I hope you all have something fun to do on this beautiful Saturday 🙂  Happy weekend!

Happy Monday!

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Yesterday was truly a productive day, just as I had hoped that it would be!

I was able to go for a run, grocery shop, and prepare snacks and food for the rest of the week.

The Groceries

It was fun trip because I got to use my reusable grocery bag that my grandma made for me!  I got so many compliments on it while I was at the store.

It is made out of very durable mesh that literally expands to basically double the size so you can fit a TON of groceries in it.  And the fact that it is super cute is another great factor 😉

Last Night’s Dinner

For dinner last night, I thought I would try out the Romertopf clay pot cooker that my mom gave me.  She showed me how to make a delicious, nutritious, and easy meal of fish and veggies so I thought I would do the same.

I soaked the clay pot for 10 minutes, just as the directions stated:

I then placed green beans, broccoli, and onion on the bottom and topped the veggies with two fillet of haddock.  It smelled delicious while cooking, but when I pulled it out the veggies were not bright, fresh, and crisp.  They looked more soggy and wilty…so I think I overcooked them.  Luckily it still tasted great!!

Overcooked?...Nah!

Next time it will turn out better 😉

After dinner, Brian and I spent the evening reading the Hunger Games.  Seriously, that book is addicting!!!  I honestly feel like we could sit and read it all at one time…if I could stay awake… We are making our way through slowly but surely, I can’t wait to finish it and see the movie.

source

Breakfast

This morning, I woke up on the right side of the bed, ready to conquer the day.  I started the morning with a little ab routine to wake up the tummy muscles.  I am attending a group fitness class later in the day at Butler and plan on doing a little run for some cardio beforehand.

I then made myself a bowl of protein oats with a sliced apple.  I am feeling ready to knock down my to-do list for the day.

I hope that everyone has a happy Monday and isn’t suffering too much from a weekend of St. Patrick’s Day fun!!

Of Possible Interest:

Eggplant Parm…Saucy

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Tonight, I taught Core Intensity with this workout:

Core Intensity

We completed the routine in 30 minutes

Abs (30 seconds per circuit with 10 jumping jacks between each station, repeat for a total of 2 run throughs)

  • side crunches (do the opposite side the second time)
  • clam crunches (upper and lower body)
  • side plank dips (imagine you are in a toaster and can’t touch the sides)
  • regular crunch with 8lb weight held above head
  • lie on side, bend knees and crunch up in a sideways v
  • put exercise ball between calf and back of thigh, lift ball of the ground and twist knees to the opposite shoulder
Back and Butt (30 seconds per circuit with 10 jumping hacks between each station, only do circuit once)
  • arm rows with 8 lb weight
  • wall sit
  • bicep curl with back step lunge
  • swimmer
  • back extension
  • squat, overhead lift with 5 lb weights
STRETCH!
Cycle 45
I then taught spin with this workout:

Warm Up 5 minutes: start pedaling with your gear at a low resistance, This is our workout so work where you are comfortable

  • Imagine you are on an open flat road, evenly press pedals, keep the knees over the middle toe, make sure shoulders are relaxed

Hills 7 min:

  • Climb hill for 1 min 30 seconds adjusting gear twice
  • Stay seated and raise gear up 2 notches for 1 min
  • Recover/race pace for 30 seconds
  • Climb back up the hill 2-4 gears and sit (30 seconds)
  • Stand and increase to high resistance for 1 min
  • Recover/race pace for 30 seconds
  • Stand high resistance 1 min 30 seconds
  • Recover/race pace for 30 seconds

Birthday Drill 6 min:

  • Begin at standing jog at high tension
  • When I call out the month of the year, if it is you birth month sit for 30 seconds until I call the next month 

Sprints 6 min:

  • 4×15 sprint
  • 2×30 sprint
  • 45 sec sprint
  • 15 sec recovery
  • Repeat once

Jumps 3 min:

  • 4 up 4 down 1 min 30 sec
  • 8 up 8 down 1 min 30 sec
  • repeat once

Abs:

  • 15 slow controlled crunches
  • 15 side crunches on each side
  •  20 total bicycle crunches

Cool Down

Dinner

After teaching those classes I was more than ready for dinner, so was Brian after a long day of studying and class.  I purchased mini eggplants from a farmer’s market that I had planned on making eggplant parmesan with…and tonight was finally the night!  The recipe I use includes a recipe for a deeelicious sauce, but I actually used the sauce I made a couple of nights ago since I already had it on hand.  My dad is such a sauce person, especially when it comes to marinara, when I made this dish for my family the first time he couldn’t stop raving about how much he loved the sauce…because of that I knew the recipe was a keeper.

So cheesy!

Eggplant Parmesan

Ingredients for Sauce:

  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 1 Tbsp minced garlic
  • 1/2 Tbsp oregano
  • 1/2 tsp ground thyme
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 1/4 tsp chili pepper flakes
  • 1 tsp evoo
  • 6 and 1/4 cup canned, diced tomato
  • 3/4 cup vegetable stock
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 tsp parsley
Preparation for Sauce:
  • In large sauce pan, saute onion, garlic, oregano, basil, thyme, pepper, and red pepper in evoo until onion is soft.  Add diced tomatoes and simmer.
  • Add remaining ingredients except parsley and boil.  Reduce heat and summer for 1 1/2 to 2 hours.  Stir in parsley and stir frequently.
Eggplant Parmesan Ingredients:
  • about 1/2 lb of eggplant
  • 1 egg
  • 3 1/2 Tbs milk
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 1/4 cup bread crumbs
  • olive oil cooking spray
  • Marinara Sauce
  • 1/2 cup low-fat mozzarella cheese
  • 1 Tbsp grated parmesan
  • 1 1/3 cup cooked whole wheat pasta
Eggplant Parmesan Preparation:
  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees
  • Cut eggplant into 8 slices about 1/4 inch thick
  • In small bowl, beat egg with milk.  Dredge eggplant slices in flour, then milk mixture, then breadcrumbs
  • In large saute pan, saute eggplant in evoo cooking spray over med-high heat for 3-5 min per side.
  • Transfer the cooked eggplant to baking dish.  Top with marinara and sprinkle cheeses over top.  Place in oven until cheese is bubbly.
Serve 2 eggplant slices with 1/3 cup cooked pasta and 1/2 cup cooked broccoli.  4 servings.  380 calories a serving.
Brian and I had a bunch of little pieces instead of two large pieces, and we had steamed green beans and broccoli…simply delish!
After Brian and I took Bella on her evening walk, we worked out some wedding details…hopefully I will have some news to share with you all soon!