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A Little Bit of This or That

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Good Morning!

Can you already believe that it is hump day?  It seems as though this week is flying, and I am not complaining one bit about it!

Before heading to the gym to teach my Yoga Sculpt class this morning, I had an interesting first meal of a glass of almond milk (so good!), two plain rice cakes with some Laughing Cow cheese, and some unpictured egg whites.  Usually I crave something sweet first thing in the morning, but this meal totally hit the spot and gave me plenty of energy to teach.

A white but tasty meal

Survey

Do you remember surveys???  Back in the day, I used to love filling out the surveys with all of my information and the e-mailing it to my entire address book of friends!  I still love surveys to this day.  I love reading about other people, and I love answering the questions.  So, when I saw this little survey on Courtney‘s blog and on Clare‘s blog…well I just had to join the club 😉

1.Run/workout in the heat and humidity or freezing temps and snow?

It really depends on the situation.  I am resuming my half marathon training this week, and usually run my races in the summer.  On the fourth of July this year, Brian and I ran a 6 mile race in 90 degree heat and humidity…and I hit a personal record!  Who would have guessed?  On the other hand, when it is winter, as long as the sun is shining, the snow is glistening, and I am dressed appropriately, I love a nice brisk snowy winter run.

2. Have washboard abs or flat abs?

Does this mean to look at or have?  To be realistic, I would have to say flat…I don’t think I could ever have anything near washboard abs due to my body type.

3. Dr. Oz or The Doctors?

Before I had my day job, I had plenty of time to catch  up on my daytime TV, but now I don’t have time to even watch night time TV.  I guess I will say Dr. Oz because I haven’t really ever watched The Doctors.

4. Cardio or strength?

Tough one!  I love the high and adrenaline rush I get while doing hard core cardio, but ever since I started lifting heavy weights on the cruise, I have started getting a high off of that too!  I gotta say both 🙂

5. Cravings: Protein or carbs?

I would probably say carbs J  At least recently, I always love a good bowl of oatmeal, fruit, veggies…but I try to incorporate some form of protein at every meal!

6. Jillian Michaels or Bob Harper?

Recently, I have really been getting into Jillian Michaels.   She has some amazing podcasts that are very informative, and share her opinion but don’t push it on you.  They are great to listen to in the car on the way to and from work.

7. Frozen Yogurt or Ice Cream?

Although I love both, I am going to have to go with Frozen Yogurt.  I love the self-serve and adding my own toppings!

Fro Yo is kind of like ice cream 😉

8. To train: Upper body or Lower body?

I totally neglect my lower body, which I need to change.  I think I see quicker results in my upper body, therefore, I train it more often…

9. Protein powder or food with protein?

Food with protein is always the top options, and I try to get most of my protein from fish, eggs, and dairy.  There are sometimes though that I like to eat foods that don’t have a lot of protein in them, like smoothies and oatmeal.  When I enjoy these foods, I will add protein powder to supplement the protein that the meal is missing.

10. Lunges or squats?

Oh! Tough one!  They both hurt, but I am going to say lunges because for me I think they are harder, so I like to work at them more.

11. Sweet or salty?

Can I say sweet and salty?  I love a good trail mix!! However, if I am just craving something, it is probably going to be sweet 🙂

12. Workout attire: cute or comfy?

Cute.  I really like to have matching outfits, and especially when I am teaching I like to look halfway decent and not like I rolled out of bed.  Feeling like I look good always motivates me to work harder and do better!

13. Body Pump or Heavy lifting?

I have recently been working to become certified to teach Body Pump, and I love it!  However, when I complete my own workouts, the majority of the time I do heavy lifting rather than the lighter weights with higher reps like Body Pump.  I find that I am able to get stronger that way, and increase my weights in Body Pump more frequently.

14. Yoga or Pilates?

Pilates.  I used to hate yoga, then I had to learn a format and teach it on the cruise!  I will say that Yoga feels great, but if I had to pick a class to go to it would for sure be Pilates.

15. Nike or Adidas?

Well, currently, one pair of shoes is Nike and the other is Adidas.  When it comes to workout clothing though I usually pick things up at Target, Marshalls, or TJ Maxx!

16. Running on the treadmill or outdoors?

Honestly, I get so dizzy on the treadmill it is usually just not even worth trying more than walking on the darn thing, however!, Monday I tried a new kind of treadmill and was able to complete three miles!  I will always prefer running outdoors.

17. Whole Foods or Trader Joe’s?

I absolutely love both!  They are both a bit of a drive from where I am currently living, so it is like a special treat when I shop at either one.  I love the selection at Whole Foods, and I love the prices and specialty products at Trader Joe’s.  What can I say, I love ‘em both!

18. Summer or Winter Olympics?

Summer for sure.  I am loving the gymnastics, diving, swimming, a touch of running…basically it is all awesome!

20. Steamed veggies or roasted veggies?

Roasted.  I love roasting up veggies with onion and garlic pieces for lots of flava!

 

Now it’s on to you!! 

  • Do you prefer strength or cardio?
  • Do you prefer cute of comfy workout gear?

Super Secret Sample and Bananay Oats!

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Last night, one of the frequent travelers to one of the hotels that I work at brought in a little surprise.  He has been traveling to Indianapolis for months now working on this project and  I got to try some before it even hit the shelves!

Sorry I can’t say what it is, but it will roll out October 1 🙂  It was a fun little way to spend one of my long days at work.

Breakfast

Yesterday, I was a complete slow-poke in the morning….for absolutely no reason at all.  Today, I want to start things off right and get where I need to be on time without completely rushing around like a crazy person.  I helped myself out a bit by preparing my breakfast last night…overnight oats that taste like banana bread!

Instead of peanut butter I put a teaspoon of homemade cashew butter…so good…and I put some frozen bananas in the mix last night.  When I woke up, the bananas were all mushy, and the perfect consistency to mash around in my oat bowl.

The result was a thick, creamy, sweet, bananay bowl of goodness.

Workout

This morning I teach my cardio intervals class.  I usually change the workout, but I have been keeping the same format throughout the entire summer.  There are eight exercises that get completed for one minute each.  During that minute, I want my class (and me!) working their little hearts out to the best of each person’s ability.  We then take a quick water break, go back to the top and cut out the last exercise, so we only complete seven the second round, then six the third, five the fourth, and so on…

The class loves the format and always tells me how quickly class goes by!

Click here for a “how-to bear crawl” video 

I can’t believe that it is Thursday already!! EEK! Tonight, I am team teaching a Body Pump class then I have lots to do to prepare for the weekend…wish me luck and have a great day!

Of Possible Reading Interest

So You Want To Teach Group Fitness

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Yesterday, when I got to work and unloaded the cupcake torches, I had a little disaster on my hands that looked something like this…

source

Unfortunately, I didn’t have my phone or camera to capture a shot of the real thing.  I ended up leaving a note for the rest of the staff to enjoy a little Tuesday Treat.

At that point, I had pretty much given up and was going to toss the rest of the ice cream cone cupcakes I had sitting in the garage.  As the day went on, I continued to think about my little cupcake mishap and how I could have avoided it…surely I was not the first person to try to transport ice cream cone cupcakes!

So, I googled it, and I found a brilliant idea!

 

 

I took cereal boxes and cut little holes in them for the ice cream cone cupcakes to rest.  Perfect!  Another change I made was making my own icing because I knew that it would go through the piping bag better and hold up better on the cupcakes while they sat in my car during my morning gym session.

Yes, that is 110 servings of oatmeal…thank you Sam’s Club

 

Brian’s dad then had the brilliant idea to put the cupcakes in coolers to protect them and try to keep them cool.  Another perfect idea!

 

Let’s cross our fingers that we don’t have another disaster upon delivery this morning….

Breakfast

This morning, my sweet tooth was just as awake as I was, and a strawberry smoothie bowl was just what I needed to tame it.

The smoothie mix contained:

  • 1/4 cup strawberries
  • 1/3 cup banana
  • 1/4 cup nonfat plain Greek yogurt
  • 1 scoop Sunwarrior vanilla protein powder
  • 1 splash of vanilla extract
  • 4 ice cubes
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened almond milk
  • a little water to get things movin’!

I blended everything all together and then topped it with part of a homemade luna bar.  The strawberry, peanut buttery, and chocolaty combo quickly satisfied my sweet craving 🙂

So You Want to Teach Group Fitness?

Recently, I had a request to write a post about how to get involved in the group fitness community and how to break your way into the industry.

I still consider myself very new in the industry, and I am learning new things all the time.  Here are some important tips that I have compiled throughout my experience to help you get more comfortable teaching in front of others, to help you truly get the most out of the group fitness program that you are working in, and to ultimately land your own class slot. I have found that earning your own class slot on the schedule is like gold, and when it’s yours it is yours to do whatever you want with…so don’t take advantage of it and let things fall to the wayside!! Give it everything you got 🙂

1.  Get Certified

Whether it is ACE, AFAA, ACSM, or specific to the type of class you are teaching pick the one that works best with your learning style, time schedule, and will teach you the information that you want to know.  The fact of the matter is, that no matter what you want to teach…you gotta be certified!

2.  Find a Mentor

I was lucky to start teaching group fitness while in college at my school’s gym where we had a huge educational component and a group fitness coordinator that understood what it was like to be a new instructor with many questions and concerns.  Another good thing to do is to find a facility (maybe the gym that you already belong to) that will allow you to sit in on some group fitness classes as a spectator and take some notes.  If you have a friend that is already an instructor, you may be able to sit in on his or her class.  While you may have taken many group fitness classes as a participant, there many aspects to the class that you probably never noticed as a participant that are essential to making it run smoothly.  So, find a mentor, sit in on a class, and take lots of notes.

3.  Treat it Just Like a Job Interview

Because it is a job interview!  I have a separate fitness resume that I have neatly typed up to bring with me when applying for a group fitness position.  Your resume should include:

  • certifications (including CPR, Blood Borne Pathogen, First Aid, etc.)
  • formats you are comfortable teaching
  • leadership experience
  • fitness experience (if you have previously had large fitness accomplishments like placing 3rd in the all-city women’s marathon)

The big question I had was, what do I wear to the interview, or to drop off my resume?  The answer…fitness clothes!  Now, this doesn’t mean the cut-off t-shirt and bleach stained shorts you have had forever, but it does mean to have light makeup on  (if you are a girl!), your hair neatly done, and a nice fitting, matching fitness outfit.

4.  Be Available to Sub

When you finally make it to the gym in your nice fitness outfit ready to turn in your resume, ask to speak with the group fitness instructor.  He or she may be busy and need to schedule an appointment time for you to come back, but he or she may be ready to speak with you right there!  All they will want to do is get to know you, what you love to teach, a little bit about your fitness background, and anything special about you there is to know.  The biggest piece of advice is right here:  be available to sub and let the group fitness coordinator know.  Everyone always needs a sub, and while some gyms have a list of 50 people to call, some gyms have none.  This will help you get your foot in the door, and will allow people to see what you can do on the fitness floor.

5.  Meet People

Once you are on the sub list, the next thing to do is attend as many classes as you can in the formats that you are comfortable teaching.  At the beginning or end of the class, make sure to introduce yourself to the instructor and let them know that you are available to sub.  This will keep you top of mind, and I can almost guarantee that they will call you at some point or another to fill in.  Also, use this opportunity to learn from his or her teaching style and pay attention to the way the class reacts to certain things.

6.  Send an E-mail

Again, once you are on the sub list, send an e-mail to the list of instructors letting them know who you are, what you teach, a little bit about yourself, and of course your availability.

7.  Get Involved

If your gym has special group fitness events, or launches…get involved!  Volunteer your time, attend the event, use it as a chance to meet people, have fun, get a great workout in, and promote group fitness.

There is so much more that could go into how to really make your way in your local fitness community, but these are some of the key tips that have really helped me out in my path.  I hope this helps, and feel free to reach out to me with any other questions you may have!!

 

Koru: Representation of Strength

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First things first…breakfast!

I started out my morning with a batch of protein pancakes topped with homemade almond butter, strawberries, and a side of Greek yogurt.  So good! Breakfast is definitely my favorite meal of the day.

I needed to start out the day with good fuel in my tummy, because today is a very exciting day for me.

The gym that I teach Body Pump at launches the new release of Body Pump today…and I am teaching two of the tracks!

If you are new to the blog, I recently completed the initial training module for Body Pump, and I am loving every step of this new fitness journey.  I worked hard to create a great video tape of a class that I taught, sent it in and I am anxiously awaiting the video assessment results.  In the mean time,  I have been subbing classes and I also started teaching my very own class once a week.

Secret Package

On Thursday, I got a notice in the mail that I had a package waiting for me at the post office.  I had just ordered a Les Mills Body Pump workout tank top, so I thought that is what my package was.  Because I head into work before the post office opens, I had Brian pick up the mystery package.

Once he picked up the package, he called me sounding pretty confused.  I thought for sure that the package was my new workout top, but Brian explained that the package was very small…too small for a tank top, and from Indonesia.  What could it be???

When he opened it up and explained to me that it was a bone carved necklace, I knew exactly what it was!

When I started attending Body Pump and other Les Mills classes, I noticed similar necklaces on the instructors’ necks.  When I was in training, the trainers and some of the participants had necklaces on too.  I didn’t know what the necklaces were, but I suspected  that they were a symbol Les Mills used to represent strength.

My mom, being the sneak that she is, secretly asked her Body Pump instructor about the necklace that she wore and where she could purchase one for me to help me in my new fitness journey.

The necklace is a New Zealand koru, symbolizing growth, new life, strength, and peace.  Because Les Mills originated in New Zealand, several Les Mills instructors wear these necklaces to provide them with personal, mental, and physical strength while teaching.

I received my necklace just in time to teach my first official class and right before the new launch.  It is the perfect symbol of strength and personal growth, and I can’t wait to wear it at each class and see where my new Les Mills and Body Pump fitness road takes me.

Wish me luck at the launch tonight!

Do you have anything that you wear or keep with you to help symbolize strength???

Friday Ants in my Pants

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It’s Friday the 13th!

Any spooky plans on the agenda today??  None for me, however, my day is off to a great start, and I just know that it is going to continue to be great.

 

Breakfast

I started out the morning with a delicious and creamy bowl of overnight oats topped with some blueberries and peanut butter.  Yum in the tum.

Workout

I then completed a super sweaty, intense, high intensity elliptical circuit that completely beats the boredom that can occur while using a cardio machine…trust me, I’ve been there.

And now, I am headed  to work….with the Friday ants in my pants.  I swear that it is almost impossible to sit still and focus for me on Fridays…don’t tell my boss that!!  I am so excited for AFTER work, because I have a special surprise date night planned for Brian and I.  He has no idea what I have up my sleeves!! 🙂

What are your Friday night plans??

 

Bounce the Ball Workout

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I was so excited when last night I realized that the peanut butter jar was practically empty….

because that meant that it was time for a batch of overnight oats in a jar.  Seriously, this little breakfast of champions is to die for (if you love nut butter and oats of course!) and will never get old for me.

This morning, I was off to an early start to teach my cardio intervals class.  I always try to switch up the routine to keep things interesting.  This week, we incorporated the beloved EXERCISE BALL.  I feel like so many people have an exercise ball, but they never use this fun and versatile piece of equipment.  

Today’s exercise uses the exercise ball in every single move.  It is fun, effective, and I promise that you will be sweating within the first 8 minutes 😉

Of Possible Interest:

A Lovely Lunch Surprise!

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This morning, I woke up and did my workout at the apartment.  At first, I had planned on heading to the gym and just getting ready there, but since Brian is leaving for two weeks today (and it is our three year anniversary!) I thought that it would be nice if we ate breakfast together and spent a little time together this morning.

Workout

The workout was quick, but effective.  Because I knew I had limited time, I used supersetting to maximize my time.  To superset is to complete one exercise then immediately follow it with another exercise without having a rest inbetween.  The two exercises work best if they don’t target the same muscle group.  It is a great time-saver and adds a little extra challenge to a workout because of a shortened rest period.

Breakfast
My plans to make a weeks worth of baked oatmeal turned out perfectly!  They were all ready to go this morning, and they tasted delicious.

Blueberry Baked Oats

Ingredients:

  • 2 1/2 cups oats
  • 1/3 cup unsweetened organic applesauce
  • 5 egg whites
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 6 packets of stevia in the raw
  • 2 1/2 cups water
  • 3 Tbsp plus 1 tsp natural peanut butter
  • 1 cup blueberries

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.  Grease ramekins or large muffin tins with nonstick cooking spray.  Combine all ingredients in a large bowl.  Mix until thoroughly combined.  Pour into 5 ramekins or muffin tins.  Bake for 20 minutes.  Allow to cool, then refrigerate for use at a later date, or eat warm from the oven!

Nutrition:

Calories:  248   Fat:  8.2g   Carbs:  40.4g   Protein:   11.9g

Because these little cakes are so filling and dense, I usually eat half before I workout and then half after 🙂

Lunch

Yesterday, when Brian and I got home from our midday date, there was a little surprise waiting for me in the fridge.  Brian’s mom had made me a salad with tuna and egg whites for lunch.  She even packaged up some almonds for a snack!  What a nice treat!

The salad was delicious and filling!  Thanks Kate 😉

Things of Possible Interest:

Freestyle vs. Choreographed

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Good afternoon friends!

Today’s lunch used up some sweet potato that was on it’s last leg.  I couldn’t let it go to waste, but it was super simple to cook up.

Baked Sweet Potato

  1. First rinse off the sweet potato and cut it into whatever shapes you want.  I opted for rounds, but you do sticks, or a mixture of both!
  2. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
  3. Place the sweet potato on a greased baking sheet.
  4. Sprinkle the sweet potato with your desired seasoning (seasoned salt, salt and pepper, garlic salt, cinnamon, etc)
  5. Place in the oven and bake for 25-30 minutes, flipping them over at the halfway point.
  6. Once they are done, you can enjoy them immediately as “sweet potato fries” and dip them in your favorite dip (honey mustard, ketchup, ranch…) you can also enjoy them warm in your salad (like I did today) or you can even store them in the fridge for a snack or for  meal at a later date.

I enjoyed my baked sweet potato on top of a bed of greens with tomato, onion, celery, bell pepper, baked tofu, and balsamic vinegar.  Tasty if you ask me!

Planning My Workout Class

I spent the majority of my morning planning out a new-to-me class that I am teaching tomorrow called Yoga Sculpt.  This is a vinyasa based yoga class that incorporates strength training into traditional yoga poses to improve mind-body balance, body composition, and overall fitness.  I was given an outline to follow as far as what needs to be included in the class, but then it was my job to fill in the blanks.

I typed up my lesson plan, but unfortunately there isn’t a library of stick men in yoga poses, so I had to draw those little guys out.  That task is a lot harder than you think…how would you draw a stickman doing bicep curls in tree pose?

It was fun planning this class out for me, but it definitely took me a little bit to get into the mode.  I feel like I have been Body Pumping it out so much lately along with teaching the spinning classes that I used on the cruise ship that I haven’t really had to think up a group fitness class.  After I got into the groove, though, it was just like riding a bike and the exercise ideas began to flow like water.

There are two basic formats of group fitness:  Pre-Choreographed (like Les Mills and Zumba) and Freestyle (which are things like boot camp, core classes, circuit training, etc).  I can honestly say that I truly enjoy both formats.  I feel like there is definitely a time and a place for each option and, for me, it is good to keep both formats in my repertoire.

Question of the Afternoon:

  • If you attend group fitness classes, do you prefer pre-choreographed or freestyle?  Did you even know there was a difference?

 

Body Combat Obsessed and a Photo Shoot

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Hello!  Long time no see.  I have had a busy couple of days full of driving to Fort Wayne, group fitness classes, Vera Bradley, and birthday celebrations.

On Tuesday, as soon as Brian was finished with class, we loaded up the car and headed to Fort Wayne so that I could be a part of the Vera Bradley Fall into Fashion photo shoot.  Last year, around this time I was apart of their Winter 2011 catalog shoot, and I had a blast doing it!  When I saw that they were looking for more models for their Fall 2012 shoot and that the shoot was taking place in Fort Wayne, I had to apply…and I was selected!  So, Brian and I headed to Fort Wayne a day early to spend a little quality time with my Mom.

 

Last time I visited Mom, I attended a Body Combat class with her.  Body Combat is a Les Mills class that is pre-choreographed to music.  The types of movements used are “fighting” moves like punches, jabs, and kicks.  The workout really gets the heart rate up and makes you sweat.  On top of that, it makes you feel like a badass (excuse the language but it really does).  Since Brian was with us, I thought it would be fun for him to try out this workout class, and I am so glad that we decided to do that!

This time, the classes intensity was ramped up by about 1000%.  The instructor turned the lights out, gave all of the new people glow sticks to holding in their dominant punching hand and cranked the music.  It was awesome!  We all had such a great time doing it, and I can’t wait to visit Mom and go again.

After the class, we were all pretty sweaty and hungry.  Luckily, Smoothie King had free samples waiting for us on our way out 😉

Mom and I after Combat

We headed home, and Mom whipped up a quick and delicious dinner of lettuce wraps.  They kind of reminded me of a saucier version of P.F. Chang’s lettuce wrap appetizer.  Mom and Brian’s wraps were made with ground beef and mine were made with tofu.  I have never been a big fan of red meat, so the alternate menu was much appreciated 😉

While Mom was cooking, I thought it would be the perfect time for me to put together a batch of chocolate protein muffins, however, when I asked my mom to preheat the oven to 350 degrees she accidentally preheated the oven to broil, so the muffins were a little overdone.

In order to let our food settle, we then headed out with my puppies for a little walk.  Mom showed me her raspberry and strawberry bushes…I can’t wait for those babies to grow berries!

We then threw a couple of balls around with the dogs (well Mom and and Brian and I spectated) and headed back home.  Brian unwrapped a couple of belated birthday presents from Mom, and then we all had a little bit of homemade strawberry shortcake for dessert…this dessert is so light and delicious, it really screams summer to me.

We then headed to bed so that we could have our beauty rest for the Vera Bradley shoot.

Vera Bradley

We arrived to the shoot at 7:30am, which honestly allowed me to sleep in a little bit compared to my usual group fitness class time of 6am.  Like most photo shoots, there is a lot of waiting and patience involved, so I occupied my time by practicing my Body Pump combinations.  I always carry some sort of notebook with me, but for some reason I didn’t have one with me at all yesterday…so a napkin had to do the trick.  They also had Luna bars for snacking, I couldn’t have asked for anything more.

After a long day of waiting, the end of the day began to near and it was finally my time to be put to work.  Although there was waiting involved, it was still a great experience because of the kindness of the people working for Vera Bradley, the other models, and being able to watch the entire shoot take place!  I love all of the new patterns (literally!) and I cannot wait to see the outcome of the shoot 🙂

We finally arrived home around 5:30pm and Mom had dinner waiting for us.  Tilapia served along side roasted zucchini with cheese on top.  Those little zucchini medallions were probably my favorite part of the meal, and I could have eaten the entire plate.  Somehow, I contained myself.

We also had a tasty side salad.  Gotta love the veg 😉

 

After dinner, we loaded up the car once again and headed back to Indianapolis.  I practiced a bit more Body Pump in the car, but I was beat!! I fell asleep on the way home, and then as soon as we got home, I hit the hay.  It was a fun, exciting, but long and tiring day.  It’s tough life being a model 😉

Today

Today, started bright and early so that I could review the most recent tracks I have added to my Body Pump repertoire.  Because I woke up so early, I ate my oatmeal breakfast before class.  Usually, it makes me nervous to eat a full meal before exercising, but I had more than an hour to digest and everything was completely fine.  Plus, I woke up hungry, and being hungry during Body Pump can make it harder for me to put in my full effort.

I actually cooked my oats this morning rather than making them the night before.  I added a bit of my Plant Fusion protein powder, raisins, cinnamon, nutmeg, vanilla extract, stevia, 1 Tbsp of Greek yogurt for creaminess, and some chocolate PB2.  It was delicious and tasted like cookie dough. 🙂  Just the way I like to start my day!

I then team taught Body Pump, and had a great time doing it!  I made a small mistake, but because I knew my choreography I was able to recover and continue on. My next goal with Body Pump is to be able to teach the first 5 tracks of class.  My next team teaching session is Saturday….let’s see if I can do it!

I then came home and practiced more Body Pump so that I can achieve my goal on Saturday, and when I was bored of doing that it was time for my run.  I had 7 miles on the schedule today and I was feeling good.  I know we all have those days when running is literally the last thing that on the list that we want to do, and my last attempt at running more than 5 miles was one of those days, so I was a bit nervous starting out.  But as soon as the first Broadway tune (yes, I listen to Broadway while running 😉 ) hit my ears, I knew it was going to be great.

I found my pace, and for me, when I find my pace it is like finding the rhythm of your body.  Once I get in that groove, there is no getting out and the entire run just feels like you are coasting through the air.  I LOVE that feeling!

Completed:  7 miles in just over 1 hour…not too shabby if you ask me.

I then showered, and made myself some lunch.  Lunch was basically the usual, tuna, hummus, and veggies.  I also had a LOVE bite for some healthy fats and a little something sweet.

 

I then headed out to a little coffee shop called Mo’ Joe so that I could change the usual scenery while I did some job hunting and cleared out my e-mail inbox.  To give me a little extra fuel, I sipped on Mo’ Joe’s most popular drink the Honey Bee iced latte.  A cinnamon and honey latte made with skim milk…I can definitely understand why it is the most popular!

I hope you all are having an amazing Thursday and are getting ready for the weekend!

Of Possible Interest:

 

 

Secretly Bad For You???

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Yesterday, as soon as I got home from volunteering, I headed out for a 3.5 mile run.  The run was originally scheduled the day before, but it was raining pretty hard so I decided to postpone it for a day.  It wasn’t my fastest time.  Although I wasn’t sore directly after the Body Pump training weekend, I think that my muscles are definitely fatigued and not able to work as hard this week…but I am pushing through!

I then came in to cool down and bake some cookies for the women I am volunteering with at the Symphony.  The event that they are coordinating is this coming Monday, so Friday (tomorrow) is really their last day to get all of the loose ends tied up and I thought some Oatmeal Raisin cookies would help them power through 😉

And before heading to church choir practice I quickly stopped at Target to pick up some red workout gear.  The colors of Body Pump are red and black, and while you aren’t required to wear the Les Mills clothing or even red and black it helps to be in “the essence” (that is what my trainers called it).  And I totally agree!  When I think of putting on special clothes to teach Body Pump, it is almost like putting a costume on for show choir.  I am able to get in the zone, and it just wouldn’t be the same without it 🙂

Unfortunately, I didn’t have time to try the clothes on and the shorts were just too baggy.  Not exactly the look I am going for.  Looks like I will have to return them!

 

Breakfast

After team teaching my second Body Pump class this morning, I was more than ready for breakfast and luckily had a bowl of overnight oats with y name written all over it.

 

 

10 Foods that Are Making You Fat

Yesterday, Brian sent me a link to an article on Cha Cha about 10 foods that are secretly making it hard for us to lose weight. I thought this article was particularly interesting because for me, I think about this kind of thing all the time and try to always be aware of what I am putting in my body, but Brian pointed out to me that not everyone thinks like that and may not realize the harm in some of these foods.  So, here is the list with a little bit of my own insight about how to stay in the safe zone!

1.  Salad Dressing–Many people are aware that the creamy dressings pack on a lot of fat and calories (sometimes making your salad choice worse than a burger!), but we also have to be careful when it comes to dressings that may seem lighter like Italian and Balsamic Vinaigrette.  When using dressings at home, it is always best to measure out your portion sizes according to the label so that you know exactly what you are getting.

  • Salad Dressing Alternatives–Using simply vinegar along with salt, pepper, garlic, and spices of your choice is always a great option…and has almost no calories!  Mixing vinegar with a tablespoon of hummus or using salsa are some other great alternatives that packs a lot of flavor.

2.  Mayonnaise–Only one tablespoon of this creamy sauce has 90 calories, not to mention the fact that there are a lot of processed ingredients usually used to make the dressing.  On a sandwich, try subbing mustard or a small amount of avocado (1 Tablespoon).  If you are making tuna or chicken salad, sub non or lowfat plain Greek yogurt.  You will lower the number of calories and boost up the amount of protein in your meal.

  • Mayo Alternative–Small amount of avocado or mustard on a sandwich.  Lowfat or nonfat Greek yogurt in tuna, chicken, or potato salads.

3.  White Bread–When it comes to choosing white bread versus whole grain or whole wheat bread, you always want to choose the whole grain/wheat.  White bread is what we can call a fast releasing carbohydrate due to the way the body processes the food.  When the body processes fast releasing carbohydrates it causes a big spike in the blood sugar levels causing the body to release more insulin.  After a lifetime of these blood sugar spikes and your body not utilizing this excess sugar, a person could eventually develop diabetes and this excess sugar is stored in the body as fat.  Without getting too in depth (there is a lot that goes into the way our body processes carbohydrates)

  • White Bread Alternative–whole grain or whole wheat bread

4.  Regular Soda–One can of regular soda has around 150 calories.  If someone were to drink one can of soda a day, that would be over 1,000 calories added to your diet!  By simply cutting out this drink and replacing it with water, you will lower your sugar and caloric intake greatly.

  • Regular Soda Alternative–sparkling water with a splash of 100% cranberry juice with a squeeze of fresh lime, or just plain water!

5.  Ketchup–Ketchup is LOADED with sugar, with around 8g of sugar in only 2 tablespoons of this condiment.  With this sauce, really watch portion sizes and limit your consumption to every once in a while.

  • Ketchup Alternative–salsa, plain tomato sauce, or just limit your portion sizes.

6.  Artificial Sweeteners–There is a lot to be said about artificial sweeteners.  The article by Cha Cha points out the fact that artificial sweeteners are not satisfying to our bodies that want the “real thing” leaving us craving and eating more in order to feel “satisfied.”  There is also a lot of research about the chemical effects of these artificial substances in our bodies.  When it comes down to it, it is always best to be as natural as possible.  And simply because a box says “all natural ingredients” doesn’t mean that the ingredients are actually natural.  We need to actually read the label, and research any ingredients we may not be familiar with.

  • Artificial Sweetener Alternatives–Stevia (to date) is one of the safest sugar alternatives.  Some low glycemic sweeteners that are great alternatives are agave nectar and palm sugar.

7.  Restaurants--This article notes that most foods at restaurants are cooked in butter or grease.  Salads are served with more than a regular portion size of high fat nuts, cheeses, dried fruits, and salad dressings.  Trying to stay healthy, but enjoying a meal at a restaurant can seem like two conflicting tasks, but don’t worry…you can eat healthy and enjoy dining out at the same time 🙂

  • Restaurant dining tips–always check out nutrition information online before heading out to the restaurant so that you can be informed when you make your order. Ask for sauces on the side so that you can control the amount you put on your dish.  Have 3/4 of your plate full of veggies and a portion of protein that is the same size and width as your own palm.  Avoid the bread basket, and don’t be afraid to make special requests (like asking for your broccoli to be steamed instead of cooked in butter 😉 )

8.  Chicken Tenders–Another thing that the article makes note of is that a lot of people think that simply because something is chicken, it is automatically healthy…which is not the case.  Chicken tenders are almost always fried and served with high calorie dipping sauces.  When dining out, opt for grilled chicken or make your own “healthified” tenders at home.

  • Chicken Tenders Alternative–Use organic, free range, boneless, skinless chicken breasts dipped in egg whites and coated in almond meal to bake up your own chicken tenders as a substitute option for high fat, fried chicken tenders.

9.  Specialty Coffee Drinks–We all love a good latte or icy coffee drink every once in a while, but they can pack on a lot of fat, sugar, and calories.  Try to make drinks like this a special treat and enjoy them only every once in a while.  Not only will you save calories, but you will save money too!

  • Specialty Coffee Drink Ordering Tips–Only get these fancy drinks as a special treat, ask for no whipped cream, opt for skim or lowfat milk, and order the smallest size.

10.  Cheese–Cheese isn’t necessarily bad for you, but it is another food where we need to watch our portion sizes.  It is always best to choose a lower fat option rather than a full fat or no fat.  The no fat options tend to have some chemicals in place of the fat to help with the consistency and the flavor, and our body needs fat to process fat…so low-fat is the better option.

  • Cheese Alternatives–Simply watch your portion sizes on this one and opt for low fat options.

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What are some of your favorite tips for healthy eating and watching portion sizes?