Archive for January, 2013
January 31, 2013
Hello from a cold and snowy day in Michigan! Wait… what?
Yesterday it was 55 degrees, humid, and rainy out.
This winter concept sure is confusing!
Being a “warmer” day here Tuesday, I took advantage of it by going for a run outside. I even thought I might be nuts after the last few experiences, but since I only had about a half hour to complete a workout I went for it.
How was it? Well… let me answer that question by posing one:
What do you think happens to snow when it stops falling and the temperature rises?
Wet, muddy, slippery, nasty slush.
Occasionally, a fog rolls in too.
Just another beautiful January day in Rochester Hills!
(And I thought running on ice was a challenge.)
I actually started my run feeling confident. These days, 55 seems like a dream and I did not have to do any crazy layering besides a sweatshirt. With a glance out into the neighborhood, I thought “I got this!”
Ha. I got it alright.
If it means a first class ticket of two miles into slip and slide central.
The beginning of my run was manageable, but when I got to the main road, the sidewalks were covered with snow, mud and slush. It took all of my concentration to watch my steps and try not to fall and eat dirty snow for lunch.
Slowly and carefully, I hopped, dodged, and maneuvered my way around most of the big ice patches. Weaving back and forth between sides of the sidewalk, I probably spent a good mile running through snowy and slushy grass.
Grass slush > sidewalk slush any day.
Like I said, I only had a half hour to fit in a workout, so I stopped at two miles. I finished it off with a series of walking front and side lunges, push-ups, and plank holds (with those last two exercises happening indoors, of course).
Don’t worry neighbors, it’s just me again. You know… that crazy girl you always see prancing around outside.
Speaking of lunges, I posted a killer booty blaster workout earlier this week.
Check it out! ^
If I only had thirty minutes to workout, you can imagine that I also only had about ten minutes to make and eat lunch afterwards.
It has been ages since I have broken out the blender. After making a Carnation Chocolate Malt shake (1 pack + ice + milk + 1 banana) the other day, I became hooked again.
After my workout, I wanted something lean and green!
What I Blended:
• 1/2 cup frozen strawberries
• 1 sliced banana
• 1 cup Greek yogurt (plain)
• 1 cup fresh spinach
• 1 Tbsp. chia seeds
• 1 cup orange juice
Just like any time I make a smoothie, I got a little impatient and enjoyed a small snack on the side.
This time it was a few handfuls of Reduced-Fat Wheat Thins dipped in Sabra Roasted Red Pepper Hummus.
That stuff is so addicting. I have been enjoying a little bit of it a day for the past few weeks. Somebody stop me!
Looking past the fact that I probably looked like a fool, I enjoyed getting to run outside again. It was a perfect jump start to a busy rest of my day.
Now go have a good one of your own!
January 30, 2013
I have been wanting to try overnight oatmeal in the crock pot for quite some time now.
Oatmeal is such an easy breakfast to whip up, and there are so many different combinations and flavors that work well in it.
It is an easy dish to make in the mornings, but for this recipe I wanted to use steel-cut oats (also referred to as Irish oatmeal), which usually requires a longer cook time. The solution? Throw it all in a slow cooker and have it cooked and ready for you when you wake up in the morning!
1 apple, cored and cut into 1/2 inch cubes (peel first, if desired)
3/4 cup milk (I used fat-free)
3/4 cup water
1/2 cup uncooked steel-cut oats
1 Tbsp. brown sugar
1/2 Tbsp. butter, cut into pieces (optional)
1/4 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 Tbsp. chia seeds
1/8 tsp. salt
1/2 cup raisins (optional)
prep time: 10 minutes
cook time: 6 hours in the slow cooker.
1. Spray crock pot with cooking spray.
2. Add all ingredients except for raisins (optional) to slow cooker.
3. Stir, cover, and cook on low for approximately 6 hours.
4. Spoon oatmeal into bowls, then add raisins, nuts, honey, or maple syrup if desired.
5. Store leftovers in refrigerator.
*This recipe can easily be doubled by using 2 apples, 1 1/2 cups milk, etc. Make sure to add an hour of cook time.
*To reheat single servings:
Microwave 1 cup cooked oatmeal with 1/3 cup milk for 1 minute. Stir, and continue cooking another minute, or until hot.
Core and cut apple into 1/2 inch cubes.
You can choose to peel the apple first, but it doesn’t bother me to leave it on.
Measure out all remaining ingredients.
Don’t worry… it won’t be the end of the world if anything isn’t exact.
Add all ingredients except for raisins (optional) to slow cooker.
Stir, cover and cook on low for approximately 6 hours.
In the morning, oatmeal will form a bit of a top crust. Make sure to stir well before serving.
Spoon oatmeal into bowls, then add raisins, nuts, honey, or maple syrup if desired.
Enjoy and keep the leftovers in the refrigerator…
if there are any!
January 29, 2013
It has been a little while since I have shared one of my workouts with you! You see… I have been getting into the habit of taking group fitness classes, which has taken over a lot of my gym sessions. I guess that is not a bad problem per say, but it just does not leave much room for creating workouts of my own.
Last Friday, I planned to attend an afternoon Fitness Pilates class, then realized I had the wrong time jotted down once I got there. Spontaneous workout time!
Since I have been running a lot lately, I decided to mix it up and do an elliptical workout instead. I did not have a lot of time, and also wanted to work out the gluteals, so I decided to combine them. While scrolling the already existing workouts on the elliptical machine, I found one targeting the booty, tweaked it a little and went for it.
Booty Blaster Cardio + Lunges Workout
After thirty-five minutes on the elliptical, I felt good but really wanted to feel my lower body burn.
Have you ever tried the revolving step mill machine? This is not your average StairMaster. The steps resemble actual stairs, and the revolving speeds can get pretty intense. Without fail, even five minutes on this machine has me dripping! If you have a gym equipped with one of them, go on and give it a try sometime.
I finished working out the booty with two sets of lunges. It had been a while since I had done them, so I went all out and added dumbbell free weights. The weight you use totally depends on what you are comfortable with, but I always try to stick to 10s and max out at 15s.
Hold a weight in each hand and simply lunge forward and back, one foot at a time. Click here for a demonstration. One right and one left equals one set, and you want to total twelve. After a quick break, repeat with side lunges.
If want more, repeat one more set of lunges: front and side! If you do, I promise that you will leave feeling like J-Lo.
Whenever I needed to give my lower body a rest, I kept my heart rate up and workout going by adding in some free weight arm exercises. I often tend to throw in biceps, shoulders and triceps, but do not worry about a certain set of reps if that is not my focus of the day.
I finished my time at the gym with a few minutes of abs and was in and out of there in about an hour and fifteen minutes.
Not too shabby!
Like usual, I came home with a hungry belly. I was craving vegetables and threw whatever I could find already prepped in the refrigerator into a wrap.
• Cajun deli turkey
• Havarti dill cheese (amazing!)
• sliced green peppers
• sliced mushrooms
• spinach tortilla
• drizzle of Ranch dressing
It was one of my favorite wraps yet!
Since I am just getting around to posting this right around lunch, I might just have to repeat it.
Hope you have a good rest of your day! Let me know if you get to try the workout… and if your booty loved or hated you for it.
January 28, 2013
It’s Monday! I know some of you must be wondering what the crazy weather icon I shared on Friday turned out to be. Well, me too.
Today is actually considered warmer in the 40s with the only downfall being ice and slush everywhere. The forecast is clear, but last night’s was a little bit of a different story. Welcome to driving through it all, Scott!
We dodged the talked up alien invasion and snowball fights, but instead got caught in the middle of an ice storm. If you have no idea what I am referring to, scroll to the “crazy weather icon” link above and it will all make sense.
All I can keep thinking is how I’m glad that I was not the one in the driver’s seat!
Lunch in Rochester
Before the intense weather hit, Scott and I were able to enjoy a great (but rather chilly) afternoon in Downtown Rochester Saturday.
You might remember me mentioning this area when I shared the beautiful lights that line the streets this time of year. They are still up!
It had been a while since Scott and I took an afternoon to go grab lunch and walk around our new city, so thought this weekend was the perfect time to explore. We picked to eat at a restaurant we had been eying calling Rojo Mexican Bistro on Main Street.
The atmosphere was very unique and red – as in, “rojo” in Spanish.
Soon after we sat down, we were offered chips and salsa, which is pretty much a no-brainer of a yes between the two of us. Each of us was brought our own bowl of salsa, and appreciated the option of two flavors to add into our bowl, if we chose.
After five years of being together, Scott and I have finally figured out the perfect amount of food to order at Mexican restaurants. We split an entree, and also their specialty soup as an appetizer.
Our waitress was nice enough to split this Chicken Tortilla for us.
It was a lot creamier and cheesier than I expected, but it was delicious!
Not too much later came our main dish of Chorizo tacos filled with sausage, onions, potatoes, queso fresco and a three cheese blend.
It was Scott’s pick, but I have to admit that it was a good one!
With all of the issues my stomach has been giving me, I was worried the amount of cheese I consumed would come back to bite me. Surprisingly, I was fine.
Three cheers for me still being able to enjoy Mexican food!
Fire and Ice Festival
After any large lunch, we like to take a stroll around to walk a little bit of it off. It was pretty nippy out, but quickly became intrigued to find out what the very detailed ice sculptures were that lined the streets!
Did any of you notice the international theme? Scott is posing with the leprechaun at the top left that represented Ireland, while other sculptures displayed well known monuments representing France, Japan, Germany, Australia and more.
Lo and behold, when we got to the end of the street we stumbled upon the 6th Annual Fire and Ice Festival!
After finally noticing the signs, we read that there was a festival taking place right under our noses that offered a few really fun and free winter activities.
The first thing was tube sledding!
It looked like such a good time, and had Scott’s name all over it.
Unfortunately for us, the temperature had dropped at least ten degrees at that point in the afternoon and we were too cold to stand in line!
At the bottom of the hill, we spotted the rest of the activities including ice skating. Also fun, but also a little to cold for us to enjoy at the time.
Besides, we might have been the only ones who did not get the bring your own skates memo.
Everyone who was skating looked like they were having a great time!
We continued to explore, and just as we were discussing where the heck the “fire” part of the festival was, we ran into our first warming station. Hello, S’mores!
If both Scott and I had not just devoured a lunch that almost popped the buttons off of our jeans, we would have been on that roasting station in thirty seconds flat.
Instead, we kept walking around and hovered over any warming station we found.
Umm… can you say obvious Floridians in the crowd? It’s fine… we were cold and not ashamed to admit it!
The last thing we came across were the dog sled demonstrations and rides.
They were cool, but I have to admit that I tend to feel a little sorry for animals that live a life of work. I was pleased to find out they switched the dogs out often and topped out the amount of rides people can purchase.
I also made sure to give some of them a little love in their resting tent!
By this point, our feet were numb and we decided that might be an indication that we needed to head back to the car. On our way there, we walked up on an ice carving demonstration of the coolest sculpture there.
I hope we remember to take advantage of this festival being here next year, because it looked like a wonderful time if you came prepared with the right snow shoes and apparel. I did not want to push it after what happened last time I was under dressed and out in the cold!
Next year I will be looking forward to trying out everything we saw as well as the snow shoeing, cross country skiing, and staying for the fireworks at night.
Downtown Rochester, I am beginning to love you.