Saturday, October 29, 2011

Power X Tough Mudder Style

  It's October 29 and here in NY it is 36 degrees outside. Along with the huge dip in temperatures it is S-N-O-W-I-N-G.... shouldn't we have another month or so before this happens!? This weather took Power X to an entirely new level this morning.
  After Jump & Drill I flew home, layered up(a tee shirt, 2 long sleeves and a North Face fleece to be exact) and hit the track. By time our workout was over I was soaked through every layer, it was the most envigorating and challenging workout yet. The battling ropes felt ten pounds heavier because they were wet and full of mud. We were COVERED in mud as well, it was awesome.

As I took the hottest shower of my life, I replayed this mornings workouts in my head:

100 push ups
10 minutes of jumping rope
30 minutes of kicking drills 
10 minutes of punching drills
10 minutes of battling ropes
10 minutes of TRX training
10 minutes of ViPR

90 minutes of intense working out all before 10:30 am, on a Saturday morning, in the freezing rain.


Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Thanks Mother Nature

All day yesterday I had planned to attend TWO new classes at the gym, not new to the gym, just new to me. I am always skeptical to try new things, especially when it comes to my workouts because I am the type of person that will quit almost instantly if something isn't appealing. (Note to self: New Years Resolution:: give things a chance) So the plan was get off the train at 6:15, walk to the gym, change, and take the 6:30 abs class followed by Mat Pilates at 7.However, Mother Nature had a different plan in mind. Cue the worst cramps I've had in months at around 5:20 pm, followed by some serious fatigue. Normally I will push through it and go to class but since it was a new class, and a cold Monday night, I let my body get the best of me and went home. I took a hot shower and curled up on the couch to watch baseball with Eddie and the pups.

By the way...

Until my first 5k! Eek this crept up on me, but I feel like I am as ready as I can be. My only goal is to run the entire thing, non-stop. I would love to do it in 32 minutes but I don't want to set my hopes too high and end up disappointed with myself. Eddie offered to come cheer me on and take lots of pictures so I can share it here. Yay!

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Kale Chips, the perfect fall snack!

I have become mildly obsessed with kale. I find myself looking up recipes in my free time and when I came across this idea I couldn't wait to try it!

2 cups of Kale, chopped, and hard stems removed( My favorite is Trader Joe's ready to cook Kale)
2 tbsp Olive Oil
Seasoning of your choice:
I used a pinch of sea salt and garlic powder for this batch
Preheat the oven to 300 degrees
Lay the kale on a baking sheet, make sure to spread the pieces a reasonable distance from each other so they cook instead of steam...

(this may look crowded but I promise it isn't)

Once the oven is up to temperature, place the Kale inside and bake for 25 minutes or until crisp.

When they come out they will look something like this :

They are so full of flavor and you can eat this entire tray for under 150 calories! These could also be used with your favorite salsa or guacamole instead of chips if you used bigger pieces.

Happy Eating!

Thursday, October 20, 2011

How I Got My Groove Back...

Okay, so I really never lost it I just thought it was a good title to reel you in... clearly it worked, WINNING! As much as I loved my spending my Wednesday nights doing Power X the pastt 8 weeks, I have been missing my other favorite class...SHAKIN' IT. Yep, a cardio dance class that is unlike any other. The teacher is not only a great trainer,she is HILARIOUS! The things she says keep us having a good time while working up a serious sweat, the perfect combination.

The second you stop enjoying your workouts is when you start to quit. It is so important find something you love doing, so it doesn't feel like a chore to workout. This has been a huge key in my success so far, I genuinely love my workouts and I refuse to do something that does not interest me. I am always for looking for new and exciting ways to change up my routine both inside and outside of the gym, I suggest you do this too!
Had a little time before class so I snapped a picture...check that attitude out

So "Shakin' it" is a combination of hip hop and zumba dancing, 30 minutes of the class is done with 2 or 3 lb weights. That may not seem like a lot but when you're movin' and groovin as fast as we are they feel like 10 or 15 lbs. To quote Dawn, our teacher, "Respect the three pound weights." The best part about this class is it is for everyone and anyone, whether you are just getting back into your workouts or you are a certified instructor,( we have a Zumba instructor that takes the class along with some of the gym trainers) this class is for you. My friend Lauren and I never fail at enjoying this class, even when we make mistakes in the moves (which happens a little too often) we just giggle it off and keep on going.
No one judges, everyone sweats. 
Sometimes I like to picture myself on a stage and just shake like everyone is watching, anyone who takes the class with me will agree that I get a little too into the moves sometimes. But HEY I'm having fun and that is what matters...

Here is one of the songs we danced to last night and also a personal favorite of mine ::

Shake Senora- Pitbull ft T-Pain

If you are in close proximity to Fitness Incentive and have nothing to do on a Wednesday night at 7 pm, come dance with us.. you won't be sorry!

Here is my post Shakin' It sweaty pic for proof of the work ;)

so attractive


Wednesday, October 19, 2011

What I'm Loving Wednesday!

 It's been a few weeks since I have done one of these posts, but I have been boring in the "trying new things department", until one hungry morning after Power X when I noticed KIND bars at Starbucks.
  If you haven't seen or heard of these until now, here is a little background information from their website:

About KIND

KIND is a brand of all natural whole nut and fruit bars made from ingredients you can see and pronounce and it's also a movement that gives new purpose to snacking.
At KIND we do things a bit differently.
KIND was founded on the principle of holistic kindness, and we pride ourselves on creating new paths that avoid false compromises. Instead of "Or" we say "And". We choose healthy and tasty, convenient and wholesome, economically sustainable and socially impactful.

They really do practice what they preach, the first thing I noticed about these bars was how healthy they looked you can see every ingredient in their bars and I was even more pleasantly surprised by the nutritional facts:

I tried the Apple Cinnamon flavor first, and it was DELICIOUS! It paired perfectly with the pumpkin spice coffee I was sipping at the time. The second time I tried these I went for the Blueberry Vanilla flavor, which reminded me of a blueberry muffin,simply amazing. However these bars are hard to find in the regular food store, but Trader Joe's literally JUST started carrying them this week.
When I came across them in the store I squealed. 
I'm not even kidding, I really did act like a child in a candy store...people stared. 

So I stocked up.

Three new flavors to try! I had the Almond & Coconut right away,and  it tasted just like a macaroon :)
These bars aren't cheap at $1.50 a bar in Trader Joe's and $2.00 at Starbucks, but you can order variety packs through Amazon or on the KIND  website.

Not only are they all natural, they are also gluten and wheat free, and have a low glycemic index. I cannot say enough good things about these little guys and I hope I have inspired you to try them if you haven't already!

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

This Weekends Workouts

This past Saturday was two of my most challenging workouts yet. In Jump & Drill we had almost half of the class missing so our teacher took advantage of the free space in the room. We did side kicks across the room, 5 or 6 times on each leg. It may not sound like much but it was tiring. After that she had us jump rope for 4 straight minutes, instead of our usual felt like eternity! Once class was over I ran home, changed into fresh workout clothes (didn't want to get sick again) and met up with the girls for Power X. Since we had 30 minutes before class actually started we walked the track a few times, then around the soccer field...there may or may not have been cartwheels involved.

Power X was less than fun this week, mostly because of the cold weather plus the high wind. It is Tuesday and the lower half of my body is still sore from Saturday. ViPR- We did a series of squat jumps, toe back lunges with overhead raise and finished with a move that had our arms extended while we hopped from side to side keeping them out. :45 seconds of that move was enough to wear me out. TRX- This week was actually easy for me, normally this means I was doing the moves wrong but since I am still sore I think it just means I am getting stronger. We only did two different moves this week... the first was our feet were in the TRX and from the plank position we had to bring our knee to our elbows, :45 seconds on each side. The second move we stacked our feet and leaned to one side as far as we could, without falling over and extended our arm. We then had to bring our extended arm to touch the hand holding the TRX, repeat for :45 seconds on each side. These moves were challenging but not the hardest we've done.

   At the end of class we had to line up, grab a ViPR and do three rounds of suicides. Don't know what a suicide is? Here's an idea::
After 30 minutes of an already grueling workout, these were certainly not what any of us wanted to do.

I spent the rest of the day running various errands with my fiance and we had friends over Saturday night for drinks and board games, which lasted until 3 am. Although exhausted I woke up at 8 am, rushed to get ready and hit Kickboxing. I honestly do not know how I did it but the workout felt great!

I am sorry I have been so MIA but being sick really took a lot out of me, work has been INSANE to say the very least and I have recently developed an unhealthy obsession with the Vampire Diaries. However I have watched every episode available (2.5 seasons in under 2 weeks to be exact) so that will no longer be a distraction in my life. But look at him, can you really blame me?

Anyways I am back, and I'm staying. Sooo see you tomorrow for a new WHAT I'M LOVING WEDNESDAY!

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

My 5 favorite soups for fall and beating the sniffles!

I spent a little over a  week trying to fight off an inevitable cold. I used emergen-c, rest and attempted to sweat it out Thursday night in Kickboxing. I had a feeling as I was sitting on the train before class it wasn't a great idea because I didn't want to go to class, and that rarely happens. When I woke up Friday morning with a scratchy throat I knew I had lost the battle, but kept trying to fight it off. 

 Saturday morning I had Jump and Drill & my first week of Power x session 3, my energy level was -423097230957 but again I sucked it up and pushed through it. By 11 am I was showered and back in bed where I remained the rest of the day and night. I made a trip to Panera for soup and got back in bed. Thankfully I had a few hot vampires to keep me company. Wait, what? I've been a little bit obsessed with the Vampire Diaries lately and took advantage of being sick to have a marathon, not too shabby if you ask me!

By Sunday I was feeling a little better so I was able to do some of my usual routine but decided to skip Kickboxing and my body thanked me for it. At the food store I stocked up on soup, some favorites and some new for the days I am not feeling well and just to have a quick, light meal.

So my post today is my top 5 favorite soups, and if you have any suggestions/recipes PLEASE do not hesitate to share :)

     (The titles are also links that will give you the full nutritional breakdown of each one!)

     This soup had me so excited I took a picture and texted it to Eddie while I was still in the food store. I LOVE chicken noodle soup, but something about the chicken that is already in soups bothers me. Anyone else have this problem?  So when I was perusing the soup options in the organic food section of Stop & Shop and came across this I just had to stock up. Not only is this low calorie and low sodium(for a canned option) it is Vegan AND Organic. 
     Did someone say SOUP JACKPOT!? 

(I couldn't find a healthy choice image and threw my container away already, plus this is just too cute not to use)

   This soup is like fall in a can. Tons of flavor without the calories and sodium to weigh you down. (also I found out Amy's Kitchen makes a butternut squash soup so I will be trying that along with making my own)
                                                   (this is exactly what I order at Panera!)
    Perfect "fast food" meal or side if you're doing the "you pick two" and it's vegan! However, beware of the sodium in this one because it is much higher than the previous two and 860 Mg a serving.  I suggest having an extra glass of water the day you have this.

    I blogged my recipe for this soup a few weeks ago, this soup has become a staple in our household in the fall/winter. If you haven't made this yet, you're missing out

    Growing up tomato soup with one of mom's grilled cheese was one of my favorite meals. I loved dipping the cheesy buttery sandwich into the creamy, delicious soup. Ahh memories. This soup is more of an adult's tomato soup, I say that because it has a hint of basil and everyone knows that enjoying herbs in your food makes you an adult. This soup is low on both calories and sodium, so it is another great choice for lunch or as a side.

Here's to no more sniffles!!

Thursday, October 6, 2011

POWER X- Session 2, Week 4

Last night concluded my second session of my now beloved, Power X. Just like the last class of the first session, it ended on a positive note.

The ViPR was by far my favorite last night, mostly because it involved throwing them for :45 seconds. Who knew that tossing something that weighed 16 pounds and running to it could be so much fun!? The other moves we had to do involved the spiderman, squat jumps and cannonball lunges, those were not nearly as enjoyable.  This video has a few of the moves we've done these past four weeks.


Battling Ropes was a combination of us standing and sitting for the four different moves. We sat down for the "chariot" move which is this:

Then we did the lateral side to side moves while sitting. I couldn't find any videos of people doing it sitting down but I did find this one of someone doing it while standing:

The two standing rotations involved jumping jacks and the wave. Both of which I felt I was able to push myself much harder for a longer period of time, basically my arms didn't feel like they were going to fall off after :15 seconds.

Last but not least was TRX. I LOVED TRX this week! The moves weren't nearly as complicated as some of the other sessions and I felt like I was finally getting the hang of it. Took me 4 weeks, but I got there!

 We did a combination of the moves below. Instead of doing a set of squats then a set of bicep curls, we did a squat into a bicep curl or squat into a row. Here is a visual:

The other move we did I cannot for the life of me remember and when I tried explaining it at home no one understood so I will save you all the trouble of trying to it out.

All in all I am so glad I signed up for Power X round 2, this class has not only increased my stamina and strength, it has changed my body. I haven't lost any weight but I have toned up considerably. Round 3 starts Saturday morning at 10 am. I cannot wait to see what the next four weeks has in store for us!

OH and we're getting shirts! Who doesn't love shirts!?

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

RIP Steve Jobs

"Almost everything--all external expectations, all pride, all fear of embarrassment or failure--these things just fall away in the face of death, leaving only what is truly important. Remembering that you are going to die is the best way I know to avoid the trap of thinking you have something to lose. You are already naked. There is no reason not to follow your heart."
-Steve Jobs
US computer engineer & industrialist (1955 - 2011)

My father has been a huge fan/supporter/lover of Apple and Steve Jobs since the very beginning. I had my first Mac at the ripe old age of 2 and it still works to this very day.

Today we lost the man that changed the way most of us view and use technology. He has taught the world that you don't have to have a perfect childhood or be a college graduate to be successful, all you need is to believe in yourself and give it your all.

Rest peacefully Steve Jobs

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Monday, October 3, 2011

Measure your weight in inches

I think there are a handful of people in my life who can stand on a scale and not care what the number says.
 And I envy you

For as long as I can remember I have seen my mom get on the scale every morning as part of her daily routine. If you think about it this is a very dangerous way to start the day, what if that number you see is higher than you predicted? Your entire day is ruined, along with anyone else that comes across your path. 
 At least that's how it goes in this house.

Avoiding the scale had become a habit for me that started my senior year in high school and continued until late 2009. All that time I knew I had been gaining weight, because even though I wasn't weighing myself, my clothes were getting tighter and I had to buy bigger sizes, which of course is every girl's favorite thing to do. I honestly thought I had gained 5-15 lbs MAX. 
Boy was I wrong
 Since my lowest weight I had gained 54 pounds.
I am ashamed to admit that

54!  How does one gain this much weight and not realize it? 
My vision may not be the best, but scale or not this is a noticeable difference.

I have since lost 35 pounds, which is great, but the scale has not moved in over 6 months. I work out 4-5 times a week and 90% of the time I am eating healthy, I am only human, and humans like ice cream and cookies from time to time. It is so frustrating that some people can start a diet or new work out routine ::cough, my fiance, cough:: and shed excess pounds in just a few weeks, when I feel like I am literally working my butt off and nothing is happening. 

That's where the inches come in... or in this case, off.

During a weight loss journey you will always hear "muscle weighs more than fat" or "you're loosing inches" both of these are true, and both of these are things you need to remember the next time you are upset about the scale not moving. I took measurements of myself in August 2010 and then again today. That is over a year of weight loss/workouts/eating right.

Let's see how I have changed.

-4 inches from my bust
 -5 inches from my waist
-9 inches from my hips
-7 inches from my arms
-11 inches from my left thigh
-10 inches from my right thigh
(not sure how that happened)

So in addition to my 35 pound loss I have managed to shed 46 inches from my body. 
I guess hard work does pay off ;)

So I want all of you on this journey with me to take out your tape measure and start measuring your weight in inches. 

Note: this isn't me.