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Posts Tagged ‘Healthy Eating’

September 11, 2014

Feeling the Burn at Life Barre

Good afternoon! It’s a chilly one up here in Michigan. We slept with the windows cracked open last night and I felt an immediate chill in the air when I awoke this morning.

Today started differently at the gym. I haven’t been to the gym in the morning in… I don’t know… months? I have been more of the lunch time or evening visitor up until today’s Life Barre class.

Life Barre class and eqiupment

As most of you know, I’m no stranger to barre classes. In Orlando, I taught 5-6 days a week at a studio and I absolutely loved it!

I am currently scoping out gyms and studios in our area to potentially teach classes at after I get my CPT. I would love to mix it up and also train to teach other types of group fitness classes too. I’ll be sure to keep you posted on anything moving in that direction!

For now, I am popping into whatever I can and let’s just say I found the barre burn again at Life Barre.

Holy cow, I don’t remember it being that intense. Oh wait, yes I do. Barre is one of those workouts I love to hate during certain exercises, but don’t hate to love in general. It’s amazing how painful even just a few minutes of working the same body part with little movements can be!

I always used to joke with my students that if your legs aren’t burning, you probably aren’t going as low or hard as you can. As weird as it sounds, shaky legs and heels in relevé are a good sign! It just means you are getting stronger.

The biggest difference in the class I took today was the absence of a ballet barre. Instead, the class is given in the center of the room and you spend a lot of time doing isometric and balancing exercises with small weights, a Pilates ball, gliders, a body bar, and down on the floor on a yoga mat.

It was NOT easy, friends. The first fifteen minutes consisted of strictly cardio and strength exercises and my arms were on fire. Half way through our push-up series, I realized my arm (and especially shoulder) strength officially stinks. It’s time to get back to lifting more weights!

Another difference in this version of barre was the time allotted in-between exercises to stretch. There wasn’t any, which I actually missed quite a bit. After working on each main area (arms, core, thighs, seat, etc.) I am used to at least a minute or so to stretch out the muscles I just tired out with repetitive exercises. I never fully recovered and felt out of steam during a lot of the class. I love my active recovery!

I pushed through, however, and realized I need to get my booty back to the barre a lot more frequently if I have any business applying to teach it again. I plan to visit a few barre studios in the next couple of weeks to see what different styles are out there and what I am most comfortable with. I’ll be sure to report back on how my search is going!

Breakfast

I originally planned to knock out today’s easy pace training run right after class, but my legs were jello. Listening to my body, I packed up and headed towards the cafe downstairs to treat myself with breakfast instead.

I sure was hungry after that sweat sesh!

calories burned from barre class

I walked in to a sign displaying “Pesto Egg Breakfast Sandwich” and that is exactly what I ordered alongside a hazelnut cappuccino with almond milk.

pesto egg breakfast sandwich

OH. MY. GOODNESS you guys, this sandwich was incredible!

I MUST try and re-create it at home.

healthy egg and pesto breakfast sandwich

Pesto, eggs, Parmesan cheese, and tomato on whole wheat toast.

I saved the small side of yogurt with chia seeds for later and was on my way home shortly after I finished my meal.

After about an hour or so on the computer, my food settled enough for me to grab Roadie and knock out those three miles that were still lingering over my head. I couldn’t believe it was cold enough for me to comfortably wear a sweatshirt the entire time!

running in a sweatshirt with roadie

Roadie and I took our time and only went on the trails for a hot minute. He has been getting super distracted by smells lately, and I wasn’t really in the mood to stop every two seconds to investigate with him. We still enjoyed the street views!

fall is coming neighborhood run

I also can’t believe how quickly leaves are falling. Fall is certainly around the corner!

As soon as we returned, I rinsed off and was thankful to already have lunch ready to heat up, thanks to leftovers from last night’s dinner.

turkey italian sausage and gluten free pasta

Gluten-free spaghetti noodles in marinara sauce with sweet Italian turkey sausage, mushrooms, and yellow and green peppers.

It was the perfect morning! Now I’m off to work and study a bit before a dance rehearsal at church tonight. Yup, I said dance rehearsal. I am performing a fun little diddy with a few friends at all of the services this weekend. It should be interesting!

I hope you have a great rest of your Thursday, and I will see you back in the morning with Friday Favorites!

***

I can’t sign off without acknowledging the anniversary of 9/11 today.

9/11 never forget

My thoughts and prayers go out to those affected by the tragedies that took place thirteen years ago. #neverforget

“What separates us from the animals, what separates us from the chaos, is our ability to mourn people we’ve never met.” <3 — David Levithan

September 10, 2014

6 Easy Ways to Make Salads Exciting

As I was putting lunch together and drooling over the new salad ingredients I was experimenting with today, it hit me that not everybody does this.

Do you actually get excited about eating and/or preparing a salad?

I do, and am pretty confident in saying I don’t think I have ever made the same one twice.

Salads have always been more than just a “diet food” for me. I make the majority of mine a filling meal and I choose to label them monster salads because of their size and slew of ingredients.

There isn’t a specific art to making salads that are crave-worthy. Generally, I use the produce and ingredients I have on hand and get creative with what I have available.

Here are a handful of my tricks to keep your plates colorful and appealing!

How to make a salad more exciting

• Think outside of the fridge.

I start almost all of my salads with a romaine lettuce or spinach as a base, then pull whatever vegetables that make sense out of my produce drawer and start chopping. But I don’t stop there.

Today I made the same base of the salad I did yesterday, but left off the eggs and added a can of rinsed and drained Southwest beans instead.

chicken and bean vegetable salad

I always stock up on cans of beans (black, navy, chili, garbanzo) and they will show up on my salads more than anywhere else.

healthy salad with vegetables

Occasionally, I will add corn, peas, and edamame too.

Grab almonds and seeds for an extra crunch!

Get fruity.

Some of my favorite salads include fruits like strawberries, blueberries, apples, pears, and oranges.

berry and honey roasted almond salad

Throw in some kind of cheese and protein and you have a well-balanced meal representing the majority of the food pyramid!

Occasionally substitute your need for dressings.

Every once in a while, I will skip the dressing and use something else like salsa or hummus in it’s place.

healthy salad with noodles and hummus

Freshly squeezed citrus like limes and lemons taste great and refreshing too!

Don’t be afraid to add healthy carbs.

Whenever I get tired of the standard “load my plate with vegetables” types of salads, I cook some kind of carb like whole wheat penne noodles or quinoa and sprinkle a generous serving on top.

salad with quinoa and beans

Hot or cold, I love adding pastas, sweet potatoes, and butternut squash to salads when I am looking for something different.

butternut squash and black beans on salad

Get creative with protein.

When I am really hungry or want more of a filling salad, I make sure to load it with plenty of protein.

turkey on salad with veggies

I often top my salads with deli turkey, rotisserie chicken, or crumbled veggie and black bean burgers. If you aren’t a fan of those, go for nuts, beans and hardboiled eggs!

chicken and egg veggie salad

Say cheese!

Unless I am on some kind of strict (temporary) diet, I always add cheese to my salads. And it’s hardly ever the same kind of cheese.

making monster salads

I most frequently use feta because that has become a favorite, but I will also grab shredded cheddar on Southwest or taco salads, blue cheese with fruit salads, and experiment with slicing others like Parmesan, American, or Havarti.

***

• What are some of your favorite salad ingredients?

• What are some of your strangest salad ingredients?

My go-to’s (that show up on almost every one) are black and green olives, red and green peppers, some type of bean, tomatoes and cucumbers! Every now and then I add banana peppers, turkey bacon, pickles, corn, and peas. The strangest ingredient I have ever thrown on a salad is probably a quinoa burger? I really don’t know!

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I am not a registered dietician, nutritionist, or certified fitness professional. The workouts I post are what work best for me, but might not be the right type of exercises for you.



I do NOT post everything I eat. All content I post on this blog stems from my personal experience and knowledge, and I recommend consulting a doctor or health professional before making changes to your diet or fitness routine.



Also, please understand that affiliate links may pop up on the blog from time to time. I acknowledge when they appear and always genuinely appreciate your support! ♥



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