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Tag Archives: Morning

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?

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:

Picky About My Equipment

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Yesterday evening I did something fun and unique…

I sang the National Anthem at an Indiana ICE hockey game.  In high school, me and my group of friends called ourselves the Lemon Sistas and sang at nearly every sporting event that needed the National Anthem in high school.  We also sang at churches and events throughout the community.  Even with all of that experience singing The Star Spangled Banner, I realized last night that this was my first  time singing at a sporting even alone.

It was an excellent experience!  I have to admit that I was a little bit nervous about slipping on the ice, but once I was out there everything was fine.  As I was singing the lyrics though, I started to think about the words too much, and realized how easy it really could be for someone to forget the words to a song we all know so well.  Luckily, I didn’t leave any words out 😉

Dinner

Last night, I made Brian his birthday dinner because tonight (his actual birthday) we are going to to eat with his parents.  Brian never really craves certain foods, or offers much input while I make the menu and grocery list for the week, but when I suggested salmon for his special meal he was quick to agree!

My mom had a salmon rub at one point (literally years ago) that had a touch of cinnamon in it, but it was sooo delicious.  The hint of cinnamon mixed with the salmon simply complimented so well and made for a flavorful dish.  Last night,  I tied to recreate that rub:

Cinnamony Salmon Spice Rub

Simply combine all ingredients in a bowl and rub onto the salmon before baking.

  • Cinnamon
  • Garlic
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Onion Powder
  • Ground Red Pepper

I am not quite sure of the measurements because I just started mixing and pouring and tasting, and when it finally tasted good to me, I rubbed it on the fish.  No oil needed! 

Served with asparagus, my favorite springtime veggie, this meal hit the birthday spot.

Workout

Today, I revisited an old friend, the elliptical.

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In my college days, the elliptical was my go-to.  Since I have graduated, I have been much more involved in running outdoors, and spinning when it comes to cardio.  It was nice to zone out on the elliptical for 20 minutes before I lifted some weights doing my 4 move shoulder routine, but I must say I am a bit picky when it comes to elliptical selection.

I like to be able to move forward and backward and change the incline and resistance myself so that I can create a little routine.  This machine, however, shut off whenever I switched directions or resistance, and I couldn’t adjust the incline.  At least I got a little sweaty 😉

Breakfast

For breakfast this morning, I tried something new for the second time, and both times it just hasn’t turned out the way I expected it to.

I have been trying to make Make-Ahead Oatmeal Smoothies, and they are just turning out really runny….and I know why.  It is because I am not using chia seeds.  I thought I could get away with it, I even tried to use hemp seeds instead….and it just isn’t cutting it.  The chia seeds absorb liquid and create a gel like substance, so they are great as thickening agents in these overnight concoctions, but without it…they simply get runny.  Looks like I am going to have to invest in some chia seeds…soon!

I hope you all have a wonderful Monday!  I will be spending the day on the golf course with the Maestro Open for the Indianapolis Symphony…hopefully the weather holds out!

Question of the Morning:

  • Are you picky about your exercise equipment?
  • What do you do to get your cardio in?  Run outside, bike, elliptical, walk, group exercise???

 

What to do with Chocolate Goo?

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Good Friday Morning!

Today is my workout “OFF” day this week because I have my BodyPump training all weekend and I hear it is pretty intense, so I want to be all rested and ready to show them who is boss 😉

Yesterday, I filled in as an instructor for a class called Total Burn.  I taught the class last week and had a great time, but this week I wanted to switch up the routine.  I took one of the boot camp style classes that we taught on the cruise and pumped it up a bit by adding some running in between rounds and about 20 minutes of ab work at the end.  By the time the class was finished, everyone was sweating and struggling to finish the last rep…just the way I like it!

 Here are some pictures for reference of each of the exercises:

Cross Body Single Arm Snatch

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Sumo Squat

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Punches

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Walking Lunges

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Crunches with Weight

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Clam Crunch

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Bicycle Crunches

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Straight Leg Full Sit Ups (starting and ending position)

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Chocolate Goo

After coming home from class and getting dinner ready, I decided to check on some fudge that I had made earlier in the day to see if it had hardened up nicely.  Well, it hadn’t.

Cooking is a science, and that is one of the things that I love about it!  Recipes are all little experiments.  Well, when I set out to make fudge yesterday, I used a recipe of my mom’s that never fails…except when you don’t have several of the ingredients needed.  Did I have marshmallow fluff?  Nope…but I had marshmallows and thought that melting them down would be the same thing.  Did I have chocolate chips?  Nope…but I thought that mixing sugar, cocoa powder, and butter would be the same.  Did I have evaporated milk?  Nope…but I thought that using unsweetened original almond milk would be the same.  None of it worked the same as the ingredients called for, and when I went to cut the fudge into slices, I realized that I had a ton of chocolate goo…great tasting chocolate goo I might add 😉

I thought…hmmm, what can I do with this? I know!  I’ll roll it into balls and coat it with unsweetened cocoa and it will be like little truffles…The balls turned into little piles of flat goo.

I hate to put it all to waste, so I simply put the goo in some jars so that I can think about what I should actually do with it…I have no idea!!!  It just goes to show that you never know what to expect when you experiment in the kitchen.

This Morning

This morning, I was woken up by the lovely voice of my mom on the telephone singing me “Happy Birthday…”  Brian, being the scrooge that he can be sometimes ;), heard this and immediately said “Go do happy birthday in the living room!”  haha!  Granted, it was 5am…what can I say, my mom and I are morning people.

After getting ready and waiting for scrooge Brian to wake up, it was time to open the last present from my mom.

That box had been sitting in my room all week just staring at me, waiting for me to rip it open…what can I say, I have serious will power.

 When I opened it, I saw the first glimpse of the blanket and knew exactly what it was!  A t-shirt blanket made of shirts from the sorority I was in at Butler.  Before I left for the cruise, I gave my mom a giant bag of t-shirts and asked if she would make one for me.  I had no idea when it was coming, and I am so happy that she made this for me!  It is absolutely perfect.

 I am glad that I waited until my birthday to open it.

 Breakfast

Then, it was time for breakfast…the most important meal of the day, and probably my favorite meal of the day.  Today, I had spinach and cheese egg whites with a little peach, strawberry, and banana fruit salad and some coffee.  What a great way to start the day!

Now, I am off to do some last minute BodyPump studying before going out for a birthday dinner with Brian and the Freshly Brewed concert (that is the women’s a cappella group that I was in during college).  Should be a great day!

Questions of the Morning:

What kitchen disasters have you run into?  

What ideas do you have for me to make with my chocolate goo?

Links of Possible Interest:


 

Foam Rolling Magic

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Sorry about the lack of postage yesterday, I was having some internet difficulties…but as of right now, I am back online!

This morning, I started my day off early with some speed training on the track.  I completed a routine of 6×400 interval training, and ended my time at the gym with a session of foam rolling.

I am pretty new to the world of foam rolling, but I must say that I honestly feel that it is one of the best things I have ever done for my extremely tight muscles.

What is foam rolling…

Last fall, I ran my first half marathon.  I followed a combination of a two different programs.  It was a learning experience in many ways.  Although I made sure to stretch daily, it still wasn’t enough.  I didn’t have any knee pain until after the actual race, but the pain that I had in my knee made it very difficult to walk.  Both of my parents have bad knees, and I thought that I was getting my share of the problems early.  After continuing to stretch and rest, the pain didn’t go away fully until I left for the cruise and I did not run for about a month.

Things seemed to be fine once I was working on the cruise ship, until I taught spinning (among several other classes) 5 days in a row.  My knee started acting up again.  Luckily, the fitness center was part of the spa, and my roommate was a massage therapist who specialized in therapeutic massage.  She felt around on my knee, and assured me that it wasn’t the bone.  She then felt my outer thigh and was shocked at how tight my IT Band was.  She said that I needed to come in for a massage immediately.  

When I came in for the massage, she performed a technique on my calves and thighs that released the fascia (a layer of fibrous connective tissue that surrounds the muscles that can become restricted in movement from overuse causing “knots”).  The massage was very “deep” and a little bit painful, but afterwards, my knee pain was gone!  I simply could not believe it.  In my studies to become a personal trainer, I had read about myofascial release, but I didn’t have much experience.  I decided to do a little reading on the topic to figure out why this worked and what I could do to prevent the soreness in my knee from occurring again.  Since weekly massages are a bit out of my price range, purchasing a foam roller was the next best thing!

Just like the massage, using the foam roller realigns the elastic muscle fibers from the “knotted” position into a straighter alignment.

One should use the foam roller to apply pressure to tender areas within the muscles, known as knots.  The foam roller is used on muscle groups such as the calves, adductors, tensor fascia latae (upper outer hip), iliotibial (IT) band, and the glutes.

While foam rolling is used as a therapy to aid in stretching and muscular wellness, it is important to note that it is also hard work and can often be borderline painful.  When foam rolling, one must pay attention to what is a moderate “good” pain and a pain that could potentially cause injury.  The foam roller should make the muscle feel better, not worse.

According to the American Council on Exercise, one should foam roll in small, continuous back and forth movements over the tender area for 30 to 60 seconds prior to stretching.

Here are some poses that can be performed on the foam roller daily:

IT Band Pose

Lie on your side, with your outer thigh on the foam roller.  Roll the area between your knee and your hip, focusing on areas with more pain.  To decrease the pressure, you can place your top foot on the ground for added support.

Quad and Hamstring Pose

When focusing on your quad, lie with both thighs on the roller and your stomach toward the ground.  Roll between your knees and your hip flexors focusing on areas with more pain.  To decrease the pressure, do one leg at a time.  When focusing on your hamstrings, place the back of your legs on the foam roller and roll back and forth from the back of your knee to your glutes.

Middle Back Pose

Lie with the foam roller on your middle back region, knees bent and feet flat on the ground.  Cross your arms over your chest.  Simply roll the area from your lower back to upper/middle back.

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Breakfast

After a good session of foam rolling, I then came home to get ready for the day and refuel with some overnight oats.   But today, I added something different.  Oat bran.  Oat bran is the outer husk of the oat grain, which is usually thrown out while the oats are being milled.  The bran contains most of the dietary fiber in the grain.  I am running low on oats, and I had some oat bran on hand…so I decided to combine the two in my breakfast bowl.  This breakfast bowl seriously tasted like a Reese’s peanut butter cup in breakfast form.  It was good 🙂

Chocolate Peanut Butter Overnight Oats and Bran

  • 1/4 cup oats
  • 1/4 cup oat bran
  • 1 tsp raw cacao powder (can also use unsweetened cocoa powder)
  • 1 tsp of peanut butter
  • 1 scoop of Sunwarrior Vanilla Protein
  • 1/2 NuNaturals stevia packet
  • Top with: 1/3 frozen banana, and 1 tsp peanut butter

Combine all of the ingredients (except for banana and 1 tsp peanut butter), and allow to sit in the fridge overnight or for 30 minutes.  When ready to eat, top with banana and last teaspoon of peanut butter.  Enjoy!!

Nutrition for Entire Recipe:

Calories–269.5  Fat–8.6g  Carbs–48.3g  Protein 23.6g

 

Questions of the Morning:

  • What is one of your favorite flavor combinations?
Mine would definitely have to be chocolate and peanut butter 🙂
  • Do you use a foam roller?  What do you LOVE about it?

The Same Foods Over and Over

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This morning started the way I prefer every morning to begin…with a sweaty workout session.  When I complete my workout in the morning, I just have a lot more motivation throughout the rest of the day to stay productive, and today I need that extra motivation.

My workout this morning was another BodyPump class.  The reason I am attending so many BodyPump classes is because these classes are choreographed to music, and when Saturday rolls around I need to have the class memorized and be ready to teach it…basically.  So the more repetition I can get in…the better!  But I still don’t want to over-do it so that on Saturday and Sunday I can actually work.

After coming home from the gym, I showered, and refueled with the same breakfast as yesterday.  My Overnight Oats in a Jar. When I find something I like, I could usually eat it every. single. day.  My mom thinks I am crazy for that, because she likes a lot of variety in her diet 😉 What can I say…I know what I like!

I even added the peaches again.  Prepping my breakfast the night before really streamlines my morning when I have a lot of things to get done.

Off to start my busy day!!

 

Question of the Morning:

  • Do you like to eat the same foods everyday, or do you try to switch it up???