Sunday, July 31, 2011

Loving the Project

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Hiii everyone ☺!
I hope everyone's having a nice, relaxing weekend!

I'm catching up with my DVR'd shows including Project Runway! I'm soo excited for the new season! Lurve Tim Gunn ♡!!!

I also wanted to share some of the pix from our July launch at the gym last weekend! Hubby came in after we were about an hour into it and took some of these photos from up above.

I'm with two other girls that teach BodySTEP (Danielle - far left, Kara - middle). I taught the first 2 tracks out of the 4 that we did. We had a fair amount of participants but not as big as previous launches because it's summertime.

And here's a delicious pasta dish that I made the night before the launch. This would be good if you're carbo-loading, too. I was pleasantly surprised with the dressing as well...since usually "creamy" means "fatty" but it was delish and low fat!
Penne Chicken Salad with Creamy Ranch Dressing (adapted from Weight Watcher's All-Time Favorites)

  • 1/2 cup fat free mayo
  • 1/4 cup reduced fat buttermilk
  • 3 scallions, chopped
  • 1 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tsp. Dijon mustard
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 box penne
  • 1/4 lb. skinless boneless chicken breast halves, lightly pounded
  • 1 bunch arugula
  • 1 cup diced celery
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved

1. To make the dressing, combine the mayonnaise, buttermilk, scallions, lemon juice, mustard, and salt in a medium bowl and set aside.

2. Cook the penne according to package direction. Transfer to a large bowl then set aside.

3. Spray a nonstick skillet with nonstick spray and set over medium high heat. Add the chicken and cook until browned and cooked through, about 4 minutes on each side. Transfer the chicken to a cutting board, let rest for 5 minutes. Cut the chicken on the diagonal into thin slices.

4. Add the chicken to the penne. Add the arugula, celery and tomatoes; toss well. Drizzle with the dressing and toss well to coat. 

Stay coo!!!!

"Epic" Delivery

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Happy Sunday to you all! 'hope you're enjoying the weekend . 

The weather was incredible yesterday.... first time we hit the 90's here in the Inland NW. I taught the new BodySTEP yesterday and stayed for most of BodyPUMP afterwards, then we went to Deer Lake for a little *lake partay* with hubby's friends (I didn't get to take pictures ~ 'cuz they'll think I'm a dork).
Smalls went with us, too but being the introverted, shy dog that he is, he kinda stuck by us most of the time instead of playing with the other "hyper" dogs.

And remember the other day when I told you about my "cleaning escapades"? Well, it wasn't just the office/den but also the basement since I was expecting a BIG delivery.

It came the other day.....

Can you guess????
Yes!!!! It's my own *beast*!
Best part is I can watch HGTV while I'm on it (and in my underwear if I wanted to). 
I've already used it the same day. I did my *speedwork* since it was too late in the morning (and frankly, too hot) for me to go outside on the track. Only bad part was, it took awhile for the belt to catch up to the speed you've set it at. I did 7 x 400 (.25 mile) at 7.5 speed (on the tready) at 5K pace (8:15/mi). Today, I did a 3 mile pace run (9:00/mi) which was about 6.7- 6.8 speed on tready. So far, so good.

We ordered it through Costco online and surprisingly, it's actually a very good quality treadmill. It is an Epic 550.  It's not noisy at all. It came with a built in TV (although I knew I wasn't going to use it) and a connection for your iPod, CD or MP3 player with built-in speakers or plug-in for your headphones. It also has a built in fan and compatible with iFit workout cards (if you have them).

If you would like to see reviews, check it out HERE ☜.

I'm off to take a shower...then I'm checking out TJ Maxx for some home decor.

Friday, July 29, 2011

Cleaning, Haircuts and Dinner

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"It's Friday..Friday...gotta get down on Friday".. ( you'll have that song stuck on your mind the whole day).

I've been cleaning my office/den for the last 2 days. I have accumulated so much crap (especially scrapbooking crap) over the years that I was afraid I'm gonna be featured on Hoarders.

So I got rid of boxes and boxes of *schtuff*! I didn't realize I was  hanging on to so many magazines for far too long.

I just have a little bit more to do...I've rearranged furniture and have a few more decorating things to finish.

Did I mention that I got a haircut, too? I went for a "short inverted bob" this time 'cuz I just can't stand the long hair anymore!

I like it and it will save me so much time now -- wash and go!

I will leave you with a recipe that's easy, delicious and healthy...
Thai Pork and Rice Bowl (adapted from Weight Watcher's All Time Favorites)

  • 2 tsp canola oil
  • 1 lb. ground lean pork
  • 2 assorted color bell pepper, seeded and cut into strips
  • 1/2 lb. fresh white mushrooms, thickly sliced
  • 2 cups reduced sodium chicken broth
  • 1 cup white rice
  • 1 Tbsp. reduced sodium soy sauce
  • 13/4 tsp. Thai red curry paste
  • 4 scallions, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 cup coarsely chopped cilantro
  • 2 Tbsp. fresh lime

1. Heat the oil in a large nonstick skillet or wok set over medium high heat. Add the pork and stir fry until the pork almost loses its pink color, about 4 minutes. Add the bell peppers and mushrooms and stir fry fro 1 minute.

2. Add the broth, rice and soy sauce and curry paste to the skillet, bring to a boil, stirring. Reduce the heat and simmer, covered, until the rice is tender and the broth is absorbed, about 20 minutes.

3. Remove the skillet from the heat; stir in the scallions and cilantro. Drizzle with the lime juice and serve.
I have a BIG delivery coming to the  house today....gotta get ready!

Have a good start to your weekend!

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Kale Chips

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Good Tuesday morning! 

I was somewhat sore this morning after doing back-to-back workouts last night. I taught the new release of BodySTEP which now emphasizes cross training during the "peak" tracks and then stayed for BodyPUMP. Both hours were hard and all my 4 extremities were *shaking* in the end -- I guess that's good.

So this morning I did an easy run at the gym ~ 4 miles at an easy pace of 10:10. Lots of stretching afterwards and I'm teaching the new BodyATTACK tonight. If you'd like to see how my running schedule is for the next 8 weeks --> click HERE.

I've always wanted to try making Kale Chips and I finally got the opportunity after picking 2 bunches at the Farmer's Market the other day. It's a great alternative to potato chips especially if you're craving for something salty. It was sooooo easy and turned out really yummy! 

For more flavor, I used Wild Tree Roasted Garlic Grapeseed Oil that I won from a giveaway hosted by Skinny Runner.
I added pure organic sea salt and grated some Romano cheese to top it off.
Then into a 300F oven for 20 minutes.
....and voila!
Nutritious snack without the guilt. 

What more can you ask for?

Monday, July 25, 2011

Local Farmer's Market ?

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Hi friends!

Did you have a good weekend? The weather here was just perfect. It stayed generally in the mid to high 70's. I feel bad for most of the country that's in the *red* zone and yet feel so blessed during this time when we here in the West Coast are experiencing a "mild summer" so far .

We checked out the local Farmer's Market and it was very disappointing. Our small town is still about a year or two behind bigger towns like Seattle so there was not much to see ☹.
Then hubby and I had lunch at this place we've always wanted to try called Rusty Roof's Burger and Shake Shack. It was voted the "Best Burger" in town.
We shared an Apple Bacon Burger with garlic fries. Oh boy! was gooood! Dangerously good!
The rest of the day was spent running errands then home to take a nap (it's hard getting old - lol!).

We had the new Les Mills launch at the gym this past weekend, too.....details to come!

Anything fun for you this past weekend?

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Cherry Pickers Trot 2011

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The other morning I took DD to the airport. She's flying to Wyoming to see R and spend Frontier Days in Cheyenne. Looks and sounds like fun but it's gonna be H-O-T!!!

Smalls had a peanut butter-to-go the night before she left.
I also hadn't done any runs since the See Jane Run HM a week ago so hubby and I decided to go check out the Cherry Pickers Trot at Greenbluff in Mead, WA this past Thursday. It's a 4 mile family fun run close to town. I didn't even think we'd make it there since hubby got in late from work.

But we managed to make it there. Hubby had to drop me off as they had the roads blocked off for the runners. I had to walk up 1.5 mile of a hill and with 3 minutes left before the *starting gun* was to go off, I paid $10 to register for the race and off we went. It was perfect weather -- low 60's and lots of kids and teens as well.

I had never run this race before and I wasn't familiar with the course. It was a 4 mile run through Greenbluff's orchard country on paved roads. What I didn't realize was that 2 miles out 4 was all uphill. Holy hamstrings!

Me -- whizzing by hubby and Smallsie at the side of the road.

I finished in 36:13.
... then we hung around to check out all the other shenanigans and to buy some cherries, of course.

I had a lot of fun and it was good to get the lead legs going again after some days off.

Any plans this weekend? Any festivals and shenanigans?

Friday, July 22, 2011

What is: Body STEP?

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Hello friends! 

Today I'd like to share with you a little more about BodySTEP™. Our launch for the new release is tomorrow morning and I wanted to take this time to let you know a little bit about this group exercise. It's definitely NOT your Mama's Step aerobic class.

I became a certified Les Mills BodySTEP™ instructor in 2006. I had never taught a group *fitness* class before but I did have some experience in teaching in general. My background as a nurse helped me as I was a Clinical Educator for a dialysis unit at a local hospital here in the past. I also did a lot of patient education as a Nurse Practitioner. 

Fitness training and being an instructor is NOT easy.  There's a lot of time that goes into learning choreography, practicing, thinking and working on your cues for participants.  One of my pet peeves is taking a class from an instructor who is unprepared -- it just messes with your mojo during the workout -- so I try not to be one of those.

BodySTEP™ is an excellent full-body cardio workout!
What is BodySTEP™?
BodySTEP™ is a pre-chreographed group Step aerobic class. A lot of people get intimidated and I hear a lot of "But, I'm not that coordinated". My response is, "If you can march in place, you can do BodySTEP™". Although it takes about 4-5 classes to feel comfortable on the step, most moves are repeated throughout the entire hour and from one release to the next. Also, there are a lot of modifications that you can utilize throughout class. You can even do the whole routine without a STEP if you wanted to. BodySTEP™ caters to all fitness levels and you can increase or decrease the intensity of the workout by raising or lowering the height of your step. There are options for everyone: beginners, those who are injured and even those who are pregnant. BodySTEP™ is for women AND men. I have a lot of men that take my class on a regular basis.

From the Les Mills Website: "BODYSTEP™is the energizing step workout that makes  you feel liberated and alive. Using a height-adjustable step and simple movements on, over and around the step you get huge motivation from sing-a-long music and approachable instructors. Cardio blocks push fat burning systems into high gear followed by muscle conditioning tracks that shape and tone your body".
You will need a STEP and anywhere from 1 pair to 2 pairs of risers (provided by the gym). Make sure that you apply a little traction on the bottom "rubbers" of the bench and risers so that it doesn't slip on the floor.

What to Expect - Class Basics (60 minutes)
Each music track (12 tracks total) has a specific exercise focus. It creates a full body workout. First is the warmup and then onto basic movements, where you'll learn to step correctly. The intensity and range of movement gradually lifts. Your heart rate goes up in the first two fitness peaks each followed by a recovery time that focuses on strength and training. Next is a "party track" where you can let "loose" and then a "speed track" to work on agility. The third and final cardio peak gives you the option to really *push it*. Conditioning work comes after to work on upper body and abs then cool down and stretching.

What to Expect – Class Results
With BodySTEP™, you burn lots of calories for a leaner body by raising your overall fitness. You get out of it what you put into it. It improves strength through core conditioning work as well as coordination. It also improves bone health and density. For best results, aim to take 2-3 BodySTEP™ classes per week with a rest day in between. Just like all other Les Mills programs, a new routine is released every 3 months with new music and choreography. 

What to wear and bring to class?
Comfortable exercise clothes with a good pair of gym shoes (cross-trainers are recommended rather than running shoes). Bring a drink bottle for hydration and a towel beacuse you will get sweaty☺!

  • Les Mills holds a high standard for their instructors but every now and then you will get an instructor that you may not like or who is not motivaing.
  • Great for every type of fitness level.
  • The music is awesome and mostly current but they often mix it up with different genres.
  • Instructors switch choreography about every 2-3 weeks so it gives you a chance to get really good with the current routine before they change to a different one. And remember: most of the moves are the same and repeated, just different music!
  • Sometimes, the *moves* can get "funky" and some people are not able to get used to quick transitions with a *bench* in their way. So be carefull!
  • Proper form and stepping is emphasized so you don't injure anything! But sometimes you still have those who are so focused on the instructor and do not pay attention to the Step. Most of the time, a move is previewed before it happens so listen and watch the instructor -- carefully. Listen to the cues.
  • This is not the *old* way of doing STEP aerobics and I let all the partcipants know that especially if they say they've done STEP before but it has been "years".
My Tips:
  • Come a little early to class and let the instructor know that you are new so that basic moves can be shown to you ahead of time.
  • If you're a beginner, it is best to stay with a lower height on the bench or without any risers at all.
  • Focus on form: whole foot on the bench, strong athletic arms and quick feet.
  • Do not get discouraged. It takes about 4-5 classes to get your BodySTEP™ legs.
  • Have FUN!
Here's a BodySTEP™ video promo:
If you have an questions on finding a Body STEP class near you or if you want to become a certified  BodySTEP™ instructor, feel free to email me and I can let you know the deatils.

To learn more about BodySTEP™, check out the moves, the music, or find a class near you, head to the Les Mills BodySTEP website.

Have you taken a BodySTEP™ class? What did you like/dislike?

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Nuts for Nutella

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Have I professed my   love for Nutella to you?

Nutella is sooo verstaile. You can pretty much put it on anything --- and I mean, a-n-y-t-h-i-n-g. You can use it for baking, cooking, add it to your coffee, fruit or just plain eat it out of the jar ♡.

If you've been living under a rock☺, Nutella is a delicious spread made from a combination of roasted hazelnuts, skim milk and cocoa. It has NO artificial colors or preservatives. Woot-woot!!!

Healthy, right??? BUT wait.....

Nutella also has sugar and modified palm oil as 2 of its main ingredients. So for 1 tbsp of Nutella, there's 100 calories, half of which comes from f-a-t! That is because of the sugar acting as a filler.

So does that mean I should give up the *Devil's* tasty treat?  Hell to the NO! I just have to spend an extra 20 minutes on the tready ☹.

So for dessert last night ...ta-dah...

Nutella Self-Frosting Cupcakes (lighter version)

  • 10 Tbsp softened butter
  • 3/4 cup sugar substitute (I used Apriva (Splenda) no calorie sweetener but I'm sure you could use others)
  • 3 eggs
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • 1 3/4 cups sifted flour
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/3 cup Nutella 

    1. Preheat Oven to 325F. 
    1. Line 12 muffin tins with liners. 
    1. Cream butter and sugar together. 
    1. Add eggs one a time until fully incorporated. 
    1. Add vanilla. 
    1. Stir in flour, salt and baking powder. 
    1. Fill each muffin liner 3/4 full with batter. 
    1. Top each with 1 1/2 Tbsp of Nutella. Swirl Nutella in with toothpick. 
    1. Bake for 20 minutes. 
    1. Remove to a wire rack to cool completely.

So there you have it....

Take me to rehab!

Here's a couple more recipes I've tried.

Also, check out Blond Ponytail...she is hosting a Sporty Girl giveaway.


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