Monthly Archives: September 2012

Ab-Tastic 30 Workout

This abdominal workout is designed to hit every muscle in your abdominal region.  It will help tone and tighten up your abs and help you work your way to that “beach belly” you have always wanted or want to keep!  If you are a beginner you may want to turn this into an ab-tastic 20 workout.  Remember to stretch afterwards!Smile


Abtastic 30 Workout

100 Workout

This morning I was going through a lot of the old workouts I did after my son was born.  I was searching for something I have not done for a long time and would challenge me.  Well, I came across my 100 Workout!  After doing this workout I think I have an idea as to why I hid it to begin with…it is hard.  Here is how it works:  Do each exercise back to back with no breaks.  Then, take a 1 minute break after you finish the first circuit (after the 10 burpees).  After you take your 1 minute break go right back into it starting at 10 burpees and going back up to 100.  Your goal is to keep a good steady pace through the whole thing and try not to slow down.  To show off, my husband did this whole thing and then went through and did it again, so if you are in good shape and need even more of a challenge feel free to do both circuits twice!!!

100 Workout

A Killer Lower Body Circuit

This morning was beyond crowed with things I needed (and still need) to get done before I became busy with household chores (we only have 3 people in this house and there is enough laundry for a family of 10…where does it come from?),  volunteering at my son’s school and running my son to his various sports afterwards.  I needed to get in a quick workout that I knew would kick my butt and get my muscles going this morning.  I did jumping jacks in-between each set of leg exercises (not enough room to jump rope in our basement).  You could also jump rope in-between each exercise too.  If you are a beginner you may want to cut the number of sets back to 3 sets.  Remember to stretch afterwards!Smile

Lower-Body Blast Circuit

Lower-Body Blast Circuit

After my workout I made a quick bowl of steel cut oats with blueberries and ground up flax seeds.

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I’m a huge fan of steel cut oats, blueberries, and flax.  It is a great combination of healthy fat burning food.  Actually, studies show that eating a diet rich in blueberries will help decrease belly fat!  This is the same fat that is also linked to cholesterol and diabetes.  Normally I have some egg whites to go with it, but I just didn’t have the time to make them.  However, the oats really hit the spot before I started my next workout….doing the daily laundry.Smile with tongue out

What I’m Reading

Right now I am re-reading Those Who Save Us by Jenna Blum, and reading Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn.  The most exciting news is that I will be Skyping with Jenna Blum, author of Those Who Save Us, with my local book club!!!  So, if you have questions…post them!!!  Happy Reading!!!

For fifty years, Anna Schlemmer has refused to talk about her life in Germany during World War II. Her daughter, Trudy, was only three when she and her mother were liberated by an American soldier and went to live with him in Minnesota. Trudy’s sole evidence of the past is an old photograph: a family portrait showing Anna, Trudy, and a Nazi officer, the Obersturmfuhrer of Buchenwald.

Driven by the guilt of her heritage, Trudy, now a professor of German history, begins investigating the past and finally unearths the dramatic and heartbreaking truth of her mother’s life.

Combining a passionate, doomed love story, a vivid evocation of life during the war, and a poignant mother/daughter drama, Those Who Save Usis a profound exploration of what we endure to survive and the legacy of shame.

On a warm summer morning in North Carthage, Missouri, it is Nick and Amy Dunne’s fifth wedding anniversary. Presents are being wrapped and reservations are being made when Nick’s clever and beautiful wife disappears from their rented McMansion on the Mississippi River. Husband-of-the-Year Nick isn’t doing himself any favors with cringe-worthy daydreams about the slope and shape of his wife’s head, but passages from Amy’s diary reveal the alpha-girl perfectionist could have put anyone dangerously on edge.Under mounting pressure from the police and the media—as well as Amy’s fiercely doting parents—the town golden boy parades an endless series of lies, deceits, and inappropriate behavior. Nick is oddly evasive, and he’s definitely bitter—but is he really a killer?

As the cops close in, every couple in town is soon wondering how well they know the one that they love. With his twin sister, Margo, at his side, Nick stands by his innocence. Trouble is, if Nick didn’t do it, where is that beautiful wife? And what was in that silvery gift box hidden in the back of her bedroom closet?

With her razor-sharp writing and trademark psychological insight, Gillian Flynn delivers a fast-paced, devilishly dark, and ingeniously plotted thriller that confirms her status as one of the hottest writers around.

Creamy Roasted Red Pepper Pasta with Chicken

Have you ever had one of those nights where you look in your fridge and pantry and wonder what in the world you are going to make with the few items you have on hand.  Well, this happens to me more often than I would like to admit, but I have made-up some great recipes this way and this is one of them.

Creamy Roasted Red Pepper Pasta with Chicken


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Ingredients

  1. 1 1/2 lbs of cooked chicken sliced or cubed
  2. 1 lb of cooked pasta (your choice, I tend to use penne)
  3. 2 Roasted Red Peppers or 12 oz jar of Roasted Red Peppers
  4. 1/3 cup pine nuts
  5. 2-3 Garlic Cloves
  6. 4 T Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  7. 8 oz Mascarpone Cheese
  8. 3/4 – 1 cup Parmesan Cheese
  9. Salt and Pepper
  10. Reserved Pasta Water
  11. Fresh Basil

Directions

Add your garlic cloves (I use more than directed, because I’m a garlic fanatic) and pine nuts in your food processor (a blender should work too). Then add your olive oil.  Process until ingredients make a paste.  Add your roasted red peppers to the processor and puree.  Then add your Mascarpone Cheese and blend again.  Transfer to a bowl. Then, add your shredded Parmesan cheese. At this point I taste the mixture and add salt and pepper to suit our tastes.  When I cook pasta and make sauces I always save some of the starchy pasta water. This sauce is quite thick, so I add some of the reserved pasta water to thin it out a bit. Just add however much you want to get to the consistency you would like your sauce to be.  Add the sauce to your pasta and cooked chicken, and garnish with basil (The basil is a must! It really makes the dish). Enjoy!!

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Add your garlic cloves (I use more than directed, because I’m a garlic fanatic) and pine nuts in your food processor (a blender should work too).  Then add your olive oil.

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Process until ingredients make a paste

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Add your roasted red peppers to the processor and puree

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Then add your Mascarpone Cheese and blend again

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Transfer to a bowl.  Then, add your shredded Parmesan cheese.  At this point I taste the mixture and add salt and pepper to suit our tastes.

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When I cook pasta and make sauces I always save some of the starchy pasta water.  This sauce is quite thick, so I add some of the reserved pasta water to thin it out a bit.  Just add however much you want to get to the consistency you would like your sauce to be.

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Add the sauce to your pasta and cooked chicken, and garnish with basil (The basil is a must!  It really makes the dish).  Enjoy!!

A New Job!!!

Good Morning Y’All!  Sorry I have not posted in awhile.  Things got beyond busy with my son’s swimming and my own crazy schedule.  However, out of all of this I have some wonderful news!  I have a new job!!!  I will be back in the gym teaching again!

Here is the short version of how this all came to be.

After not being in a gym for 2 years I just about lost my mind.  I’m one of those crazy people who walk into a gym with a smile on their face and are ready to workout.  So, I joined the closest gym to us (over an hour drive one way) the day my son went back to school.  During my first week at the gym (YMCA) the fitness class director found out that I was a Spinning instructor and asked me if I could start teaching classes there.  Well, of course I started jumping up and down and saying yes!  Talk about a great week for me!

I will start teaching 3 cycling classes a week starting Oct 1st.  Tuesday and Thursday at 9:15am and a 30-minute express ride Fridays at 12:15pm.  I’ve already started putting together new ride profiles, so if you live in the Minot area head over for one of my classes!  I’m putting together a Pre-Halloween ride on the 30th of October.  There will be glow in the dark bracelets and necklaces, along with door prizes and other goodies!  I’m an absolute nut when it comes to Halloween!  I mean what more could you want from a holiday other than fun and goodies!?!

Keep checking back, because I will start posting my cycling profiles that I teach!

Sweat and an Easy Protein Smoothie

Shoulders, Jacks, & Abs

This is an easy shoulder circuit that I do when I need a quick workout!

You will do 3 sets of shoulders while doing Jumping Jacks and Abs in-between each shoulder rep. I usually do a 1 min recovery time in-between each set. Get ready to sweat!


After my workout I made a quick and Easy Fruit Protein Smoothie.



I used already cut frozen fruit (using frozen fruit makes the smoothie thicker), 6 oz of Greek fruit yogurt, protein powder, and milk.

I then blended it in my little blender



And you end up with a super easy, delicious, and healthy smoothie!!  Enjoy!!

Birds…and Hank Loosing His Mind!

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For the past few weeks Hank has been under one of our apple trees standing on his hind legs for most of the day.  The poor boy is loosing his mind because a dove has built a nest, laid eggs, and is on said eggs all day, and this nest is on the lowest branch of the apple tree.  So, Hank is now on constant bird patrol all day under the apple tree.  I have the hardest time getting him to come into the house.  Hank wouldn’t even come to me while I was holding a handful of treats out to him.

Then, one day Hank decided he had to get closer to the dove.  I was inside doing dishes when I heard a huge commotion in the tree outside along with Hank whining, so I ran outside as fast as I could to see what was happening.  When I get to the tree I discover my bird dog in the tree!!!  Hank had actually climbed into the tree and worked his way out onto part of the lower branch of the apple tree.  Well, you can imagine my fear and disbelief that Hank had gotten himself stuck in a tree.  Thankfully the branch he was on was close enough to the ground for me to lift him off of it.  I think Hank has learned his lesson when it comes to climbing trees to go after birds, and I’m looking forward to the day that this bird and her future babies leave the nest!

Creamy Crock Pot Potato Soup

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Yesterday when we woke up it was a freezing 39 degrees outside.  So, before I jetted off to the gym I put some potato soup together in the crock pot.

Now, this recipe is a base recipe, and you can really add a lot to it if you want.  If you would like to have Parmesan Potato Soup, save the rind of your Parmesan cheese in the freezer and add it to this base.  You will wind up with a cheesy potato heaven.  Or, you can add 1-2 Tbs of fresh rosemary.  My husband sometimes asks me to add chili powder or chili pepper flakes.  As you can see, you can add whatever flavors you like, or you can stick with just creamy potato soup.

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Chop 5 lbs of russet potatoes into about 1/2 in cubes.  Leave the skins on!  Add them to your crock pot.  To that dice half a yellow onion.  Then, grate, mince, or chop 10-12 cloves of garlic.  Sprinkle 1 Tbs of seasoning salt on top.

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Pour 2 quarts of stock in on to your mixture of potatoes, onion, and spices.  I know it looks like it could overflow when cooking, but I promise you it will not.

Set crock pot on low for 10 hours or on high for 4-5 hours.

Once finished add 16 oz of low fat cream cheese (sometimes I just use 8 oz if I’m trying to be healthier).  I then use a food processor to blend the soup to a creamy consistency.  However, if you are lucky enough to have a hand immersion blender use that instead.  Once you have the soup blended add salt and pepper, and I usually add about 1 cup of milk at this point too.

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I bake up some bacon in the oven to sprinkle on top of the soup.  Plus bacon makes everything better!

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Garnish with your favorite toppings!

Creamy Crock Pot Potato Soup:

  • 5 pounds russet potatoes, washed but NOT peeled. Diced into 1/2 in cubes
  • 1/2 medium/large yellow onion, diced
  • 10-12 cloves of garlic, minced (I use a small grater and grate the garlic)
  • 1 tablespoon seasoned salt
  • 2 qts organic chicken stock or broth
  • 16 oz cream cheese, softened (I use low fat)
  • About 1 c milk
  • optional garnishes: crumbled bacon, shredded cheese, green onions

Slow Cooker Baked Potato Soup Directions:

  1. Add potatoes, onion, garlic, seasoning, and chicken stock to slow cooker.
  2. Cook on high for 4-5 hours or low for 10 hours.
  3. Add the softened cream cheese and puree soup with an immersion blender or in a regular blender until the cheese is incorporated and the soup is blended to the consistency you like. Add salt and pepper to suit your tastes.
  4. Stir well, top with your choice of garnishes and dive in!