Monthly Archives: December 2012

Take It With You Workout

This morning I’m teaching my Holiday Spinning class!  I’ve been excited about this one for awhile.  I have the door prizes all packed and set to go as you can see from the picture.

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There are a ton of prizes and they all rock.  I would share what they are, but some of my students read my blog, and I don’t want to give away too much.  Plus I will be providing glow-in-the-dark green and red bracelets and necklaces to make things even more fun!  Here is the play list for today’s spinning class (click here to go to the full profile for this ride):

  • The Polar Express    3:23    Tom Hanks
  • All I Want for Christmas Is You    4:01    Mariah Carey
  • Run Rudolph Run    2:41    Phineas    Phineas and Ferb Holiday Favorites
  • Nutrocker    4:06    Trans-Siberian Orchestra
  • A Mad Russian’s Christmas (Instrumental)    4:42    Trans-Siberian Orchestra
  • Rockin’ On Top of the World    2:35    Steven Tyler
  • The Christmas Song (Holiday Remix)    4:01    Christina Aguilera
  • Jingle Bells (Ricky Workout Remix @ 128BPM)    4:53
  • We Wish You a Merry Christmas (Workout Mix)    4:43
  • O Tannenbaum    5:09    Colin Bailey/Monty Budwig/Vince
  • White Christmas    3:04    Bing Crosby
  • Winter Wonderland / Silver Bells / White Christmas    5:31    The Carpenters

I know y’all are most likely starting to travel to other places for the holidays.  With traveling and visiting with family comes a lot of food and little activity.  I also know that many of you have been keeping active over the holidays, and you would like to continue working out while you are away from home.  Therefore, I put together this workout that you can take anywhere with you!  The only weight you use is your own body weight!  Travel safely!!

  • Forward to Reverse Lunge:  The video using a dumbbell.  This is not required for your traveling workout.
  • Curtsy Lunges
  • Tricep Dips side note:  Use a dinning room chair that is pushed up against the wall, since you won’t be traveling with a weight benchWinking smile
  • Check the Exercise Term Glossary for any other exercises you may need directions for.

Take it with you workout 2

Workout Wednesday and a Dysfunctional Relationship

Hi! My name is Andrea and I’m in a dysfunctional relationship…with my BlackBerry. We have been in this relationship for over 2 years and the last 6 months have been a strain. BlackBerry likes to act up/act out, and I sit back and take it all.  I will patiently remove the battery several times a day in attempt to regain internet access, and charge the battery several times a day.  Why you may ask?  Well, because BlackBerry has a keyboard.

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Honestly, at this point there are too many problems between us.  When I took Blackberry into the cell store to see if there was anything I could do I was told no.  The college kid working was kind enough to give me a pat on the back and tell me I would be better off with the upgrade, and would have less stress in my life.

I have threatened to give up my BlackBerry many times at this point, but I always go back to it because of the keyboard. I don’t do well with typing on little touch screens, but at this point I have to end my dysfunctional relationship before one of us gets thrown out of a window (and I don’t want to have to pay for a window repair). Therefore, I’m finally breaking down and purchasing an IPhone this week. It is sad, but putting that in writing is so hard. It is going to be even harder making the switch. Wish me luck! Any IPhone owners out there? Are you happy with your relationship with your IPhone?

Every Accomplishment

Despite my break-up with BlackBerry life must go on, because it is Workout Wednesday!!!  Time to shape up that body, burn some fat, and tone those muscles.  Today I’m doing a full body workout that involves supersets.  Each superset consists of 3 exercises.  Do 2-3 sets of each super set before moving on to the next (each superset is in a blue rectangle)In between each superset is a short cardio section that equals 3 minutes.  I’ve included the links to new workout moves that you may be unsure of.  Proper form keeps you from injuries.  Remember to stretch!

Shape it up

A Winter Wonderland

Last nights book club meeting was a blast!  Since it was our Christmas meeting we had a book swap that involved us being able to steal books from each other, and before it was all said and done with, quite a bit of stealing went down, and there was a ton of laughing to go along with it!  I only had 2 books stolen, but I ended up with the book I started with (I stole it back!!).

The Art of Hearing Heartbeats by Jan-Philipp Sendker - Target Club Pick (Paperback)

I now am the proud owner of The Art of Hearing Heartbeats by Jan-Philipp Sendker.  I have read great reviews about this novel, and I’m looking forward to reading it.

The book we choose for our January meeting is, Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption, by Laura Hillenbrand.  My friend in Florida, Judy, has been insisting that I read this book for 2 years now, and it has sat in my “to read” pile for just as long, so I know it will be a good one!

Have you read either of these books?

Now on to some amazing pictures.  For as much as I hate the cold white stuff that is everywhere right now, even I have to say that we have been living in a beautiful winter wonderland for the past few days.

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Each night we have “snow fog” and it leaves everything coated in white for the whole next day!  It really is gorgeous!

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The above picture was taken by my friend Heather at Des Lacs Wildlife Refuge.  She is an amazing photographer.

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From these pictures you can tell how cold it must be outside too!  Thankfully I had a crock pot full of pumpkin pie steel cut oats ready for me when I rolled out of bed this morning.  The house smelled great too!

As for today’s workout…I’m teaching my 60 minute spinning class, 300 Core/Ab Workout, YogaFit Yoga for Cyclists (which I did for the first time yesterday and enjoyed), and pilates in the evening.  If you are in need of a workout, check out my Workout and/or Elliptical and Treadmill workouts.  What is your workout for the day?

Busy Monday and a CrossFit Workout

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My thoughts and prayers go out to those affected by the tragedy that occurred at Sandy Hook Elementary last week.  There are no real words that can truly describe what everyone must be going through.

There are also several virtual races starting up for Sandy Hook Elementary. Here is one that I found that I thought y’all might be interested it. Sandy Hook Elementary Memorial Half Marathon and 5K. The funds from this race will go to the families affected by the tragedy on 12-14-12.

It is another one of those insanely busy weeks for us!  Somehow we have more than one place to be each day.  Thankfully we are the types that like to be busy and have fun with it, so let this fun week begin!!

Tonight is our local book club meeting.  I love our holiday meeting, because we get to have a book swap!  It is one of those swaps where you have a number, and you can steal the other person’s gift.  Last year we spent the whole entire time laughing, and we hadn’t even had a drink yet!  I cannot wait to have another great evening with the ladies!

Blackberry Winter

Speaking of books…I finally got a chance to finish Blackberry Winter by Sarah Jio.  It was such a good book.  I actually stayed up till 3 am to finish it…Yup it was that good!  I have truly enjoyed all of Jio’s novels, but this one is her best one yet!  Blackberry Winter was such a heartbreaking, enticing, suspenseful, and touching story.  Jio did such a wonderful job connecting the past to the present in this moving novel.  I found myself falling in love with the 2 main characters and found myself cheering for them throughout the novel.  If you have not read this novel yet, I recommend you pick it up (or as a gift from Santa Winking smile).  If I write anymore I will end up totally spoiling the novel for you, so I’ve posted the book description below:

Seattle, 1933. Single mother Vera Ray kisses her three-year-old son, Daniel, goodnight and departs to work the night-shift at a local hotel. She emerges to discover that a May-Day snow has blanketed the city, and that her son has vanished. Outside, she finds his beloved teddy bear lying face-down on an icy street, the snow covering up any trace of his tracks, or the perpetrator’s.
Seattle, 2010. Seattle Herald reporter Claire Aldridge, assigned to cover the May 1 “blackberry winter” storm and its twin, learns of the unsolved abduction and vows to unearth the truth. In the process, she finds that she and Vera may be linked in unexpected ways.

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Before I forget…I have signed up for another virtual race!  I’m going to have my 13 in 13 all done before September at the rate I’m going.  The Clearwater Halfathon and Marathon virtual runs runs from January 12-27.  You can complete the run all at once, or you can break it up into as many separate runs as you need to.  My goal is to break up the half into 3 separate runs.  Net proceeds (after costs of bib, medal, shipping, administration) will be donated to several small local non-profits to be determined, including running clubs and the Partners For Life Foundation, created by Lorraine Yaslowitz to memorialize her husband Jeff, a K9 police officer in St. Petersburg, FL lost in the line of duty on January 24, 2011. The foundation’s mission is to lend support to families who lose loved ones to senseless acts of violence.

Well, it is time for me to go workout, so I can get the rest of the cooking/baking, laundry, and cleaning done for today. Not to mention I have to come up with a dish to make for our book club meeting tonight. Any suggestions, because I have no clue what to make for once?

This mornings workout that I will be doing is an old CrossFit workout-of-the-day.  As you will notice, this workout is only 15 minutes long, but boy does it pack a punch.  With this workout you will complete the 3 five-minute rounds, performing each exercise for one minute.  Then, rest for 60 seconds between each round.  Write down how many reps of each exercise you complete.  This way, when you go back and do this workout again you can see what improvements you have made and try to beat your previous score.  As always…remember to stretch afterwards!CrossFit WOD

Hanukkah Recap

What a fun 8 nights we had for Hanukkah!  My son loved lighting the candles and saying the blessing each night, and I was so proud of him.

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I got a few questions from friends about if we give our son gifts on each day.  My answer to this is a big fat NO!  This year my kid turned into your typical little materialistic child.  I think he hit and new record on the words “I want” this year.  I’m determined not to let him get worse, and I’m hoping to nip this problem in the bud early.

Most Jews that I know make it so you are giving more than you are getting.  This is what I was taught too.  Our son only got 1 gift for Hanukkah, and he was very excited about it, and he didn’t ask for more (big sigh of relief from me…we still have Christmas left so he will get a few on that day too).  The rest of the days were focused on him giving gifts to friends, neighbors, family, pets, and a charity of his choosing.  He and I had a great time giving to others and watching their faces light up with smiles.  Now, he is already talking about what he is going to give to others next year!

I already gave you a few recipes from our first night of Hanukkah, but I didn’t write up how that first night went, because I’m just now getting over being a bit ticked off about a cute stunt my hubby pulled.

I ended up having to clean and prepare the veggies for the evening in our guest bathroom, and here is why:  my husband brought in dead birds and put them in our sink to thaw.  Yup that is right!  The 3 pheasants and 1 grouse he killed earlier in the day froze before he got home, and he needed them to thaw before he could clean them.  See pic below in case you don’t believe me.  Just to let you know, there are no bugs or diseases on them at all.  They are as organic as you can get.  I also made my husband scrub that sink till I could see my reflection in it.

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Now, this gets better…Of course I objected to this whole thing, but I did not get my way.  Well, thankfully the barbeque brisket was already in the crock pot and the baked blueberry doughnuts were all done.  The only thing left was the cheesy garlic polenta (see recipe below) and roasted veggies.  Since I had 2 hours before I had to start making the rest of the dinner, I Trouble Makerswent downstairs to watch a movie with our son and my hubby left for work.  Sadly I should have thought that having 3 bird dogs and 4 dead birds in the house would equal a problem.  Well, I came upstairs halfway though the movie to check on the brisket and found a sink with only 1 pheasant in it.  I then walked around the corner into our living room to find all 3 furbutts having their own Hanukkah feast!  I did not take a picture of this.  Just imagine feathers everywhere!  Thankfully they were not that far into their feast and were kind enough not to have made a bloody mess!  I had caught them just before it could have gotten really ugly.  I shall leave the story there.  I’m sure most of you know what kind words I had for my husband.

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Other than that little bird blip in our 8 days of Hanukkah, we had a great time!  My favorite was each night we had a game night.  Although, we still seemed to play Farkle every night along with whatever other game we chose.  We all had a ton of fun playing different games each night, and I finally won a few games too!

On to that polenta or grits recipe (in the south they are called grits and everywhere else, polenta).  I have my wonderful friend in Florida to thank for pointing me in the direction of garlic cheese.  Yup!  Garlic cheese!!  It is as good as it sounds.  I love using it in pasta dishes and pizza the most.  Never once did I think to use it in polenta.  Thank you Judy for your wise ways in cooking!!

Judy’s Cheesy Garlic Polenta (Grits)

Polenta

Ingredients:

  • 1 c Quick-Cooking Polenta
  • 1 1/2 c. Chicken Broth
  • 1 1/2 c. Milk
  • 8 oz Shredded Garlic Cheese

Directions:

First and foremost:  DO NOT WALK AWAY FROM THIS ONCE YOU START MAKING IT!  It all cooks up quickly, and will burn if you are not there watching the milk and broth come to a boil and you have to constantly stir the polenta once you add it.  That said, this recipe takes less than 10 minutes to make Open-mouthed smile

Shred the cheese.  Then, add the chicken broth and milk to a medium sauce pan and bring to a boil.  Reduce the heat to low and add the polenta.  Constantly stir until it has thickened.  Watch out for the bubbling polenta…it likes to “pop”.  I just stir really fast to keep it from “popping” at me.  Once the polenta is good and thick, remove from the heat and stir in the shredded garlic cheese.  Serve immediately!

A Race, A Recipe, A Run

It is hard to believe that today is already Friday!  This week has been jammed pack full of things for us this week and it has totally flown by!  It still has been a fun week for us even while we were running and doing 10 things in one day.

I did my very first virtual 5K, Once Upon a Time, on 12-12-12!  I ended up alternating between running for 4 minutes and walking for 1 minute for the whole 5K.  I was going to do the run for 3 walk for 2, but I was feeling good with the 4 minute run so I stuck with it.  I wanted to stick with what I knew would work, and I had fun with it.  Sadly I was nowhere near my PR, but I’m getting back into the swing of running again, and I want to enjoy it.

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I cannot wait to get my medal in the mail!  Don’t they look sweet?

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On to that crock pot brisket recipe we had the first night of Hanukkah…Then a treadmill workout to help you burn off the brisketSmile  I must apologise for the picture of the brisket.  My family dug in before I could get a better pic!

I do have a little note to make when it comes to you choosing a barbeque sauce.  Please look at the ingredients in your barbeque sauce before you buy it.  A ton of barbeque sauces out there have corn syrup and it’s many variations in it.  You all know how bad corn syrup is for you, so please stay away from any sauces that contain it.  Thank you!

Easy Crock Pot/Slow Cooker Barbeque Brisket

Easy Barbeque Crock Pot Brisket

Ingredients

  • 2 1/2 – 3 1/2 lb brisket (basically as big a one as you can fit in your crock pot)
  • 1 3/4 cup BBQ sauce
  • 2 T brown sugar
  • 2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 tsp black pepper
  • 1 1/2 tsp garlic salt
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp seasoned salt
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon dry mustard

Directions

Combine all of the ingredients together.  Pour some of the bbq mixture in the bottom of an airtight container that is big enough to hold your brisket.  Place the brisket into the airtight container on top of some of the sauce.  Then, coat the brisket with the remaining sauce, and refrigerate overnight.  The next morning, place your brisket and sauce fat side down into your crock pot.  Cook on low for 9-10 hours.  Enjoy!

Now on to that treadmill run!!  Remember to stretch afterwards!!
35 Minute Treadmill Interval

Workout Wednesday and a “Small” Coffee Addiction

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Can I get a show of hands from all of you out there who might have a “small” coffee addiction…maybe Starbucks related too?  I “might” be one of those people who have a “small” coffee addiction (3-5 cups a day…and I consider a venti non-fat latte from Starbucks as only a cup).  Okay, maybe it is a “medium” sized addiction.  But I know you other coffee drinkers out there know where I’m coming from.

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For our last week of Best Body Bootcamp I made one of my goals, to only drink 2 coffee beverages a day.  I saved this goal for our last week for a reason…I knew it was going to suck big time, and boy has it ever.  I totally failed on the first day.  I had 2 cups of coffee at home in the morning, and then I “had” (you other coffee drinkers out there understand me…right?) to have an afternoon cup.  Ugggg!!

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Yesterday I accomplished my goal of only 2 cups, one in the morning, and then my latte after work.  I won’t lie to you; it got pretty ugly from 3-4:30 pm yesterday.  I was tired and totally crashing and craving coffee.  I swear to you that there was a little voice inside my head saying java, java, java over and over again.  However, I persevered and prevailed!!  Fist pump for me!

As for today…I won’t lie to you, it may get scary.  I only had one cup this morning, and I INDIA-STARBUCKS/always have 2 every morning.  I should probably let you know that I’m not a morning person at all, and with only one cup in me I’m still dragging.  However, I’ll be a good girl and save my other cup for a Starbucks run I will make after my son’s swimming lesson in the afternoon.  Lets pray I don’t bite anyone’s head off today.  Just kidding!!  I’m not that bad…yet Winking smile.  I just realized that I sound like I did when I gave up chocolate for a month…Now there is a month I don’t want to revisit!

Enough of me griping about my lack of coffee this morning and on to the workout for Workout Wednesday!!  This is a workout that will totally Wake Up those muscles in the morning without the added coffee!!  If you are unsure of how to do any of the exercises, you can go to the Exercise Glossary page, and it will have links to examples of many of the exercises that I post.  I have posted the link to the Oblique V-Ups below, since they are a new move that I have not posted before.

  • Oblique V-Ups – If you are a beginner, just focus on lifting your legs.

Wake It up workout