Thursday, December 8, 2011

My Fav Online Workout Video (it's free and not easy!)

I am very excited to see that SHAPE magazine recognized for their free youtube exercise videos, which as I mentioned, I steal moves from frequently because they are interesting, creative and dynamic.

Additionally, I tend to use Bodyrock in the gym. I love the concept of a home workout. Some people do not like to leave their house for a workout- be they scared of the gym equipment, worried about working out in front of others or just don't want to pay for the gym - the at home video provides a great alternative. However, there are downsides. If you don't know how to create a workout or change up your workout, you may get bored or plateau. Also, buying videos can get pricey and you may need to purchase quite a few to get a variety. This is why I love that bodyrock is free and the workouts change all the time. I also love, as SHAPE mentioned, that Zuzana provides beginner alternatives and really takes the time (and photos) to show you to make the move work for you. I will always remember the first instructor I had in they gym, and my future boss, telling the class you don't need to jump and offering levels 1, 2 and "crazy." I try very hard to provide the same alternatives in my classes. I have found that not all videos offer these varying levels and may provide too difficult for the inexperienced. I think P90X is great - if you have worked out before or have a base. My boyfriend bought the series four years ago and still has yet to do any of the workout because after watching the first one he was totally intimidated. I did a few of them and found that the workouts were very intense. He went back to working out on his bike and bike trainer set up in the apartment. Due to our space limitations I am hoping he learns to love the gym.

While I like the concept of the home workout, I can never bring myself to do it. I like going to the gym, yoga studio, pilates studio or wherever to work out and then come home and my house is a place to relax and decompress. Perhaps I feel this way because I have been working for clubs and studios for quite a few years and haven't paid for a gym membership in awhile, otherwise I imagine I would feel differently. However, I've really grown accustom to the feeling of the gym or going outside to workout.

However, I do use Bodyrock even with the gym. I used to love spending all my time at the gym. I had lots of free time and I lived by myself so aside from popping in the frozen dinner - the gym seemed like an ideal place to kill some time. I would take class after class - Saturday mornings usually meant hours at the gym. However, now with a new job that requires a commute, changing lifestyle and dinner and a house to take care of - I don't feel like being there all day or getting up before 4AM. Also, I teach the spin classes at 6AM and there's not another class that morning and I never feel like returning back to the gym at night for a class - I'd rather just get my workout all done while I am in the gym - I need something quick and fast to compliment the days I'm not spinning or add to the spin so I get some strength training.

And for those who do go to the gym at night or in the 7-8am time slot - you can't always make it to the perfect class. Sometimes even when you go to the gym, there may not be a class that's for you or you may have missed a class due to work or school and you're at a loss. You want to move quick and get the hell out but you want a high calorie burn. Do you do the elliptical for hours or lift weights without knowing what you need to do? How do you get your heart rate up for a short period of time without being a the gym all morning/evening? I think Bodyrock is a great solution. I watch the videos the night before - copy the workout down or commit it to memory and do the workout in the gym. I may look crazy doing some of the moves in the gym but I usually hit 250-300 calories in anywhere from 7-15 minutes. Sometimes I will combine a workout together if I've allotted 15 minutes for the workout.

Typically, I spend 4-5 days on cardio - 2-4 days of spin/biking and 3-4 days running (anything from an outdoor run to an interval on the treadmill). I usually add in swimming (once a week in winter and more before and during tri season) and I usually incorporate strength training, which is usually the bodyrock moves and my bootcamp class 2-3 times a week. I am not a fan of spending a ton of time lifting - I like power moves more. I remember another gym supervisor used to say "you don't need big weights (or any) for big muscle results). I am trying to also make sure I add back in some kickboxing, yoga and pilates back to my schedule, especially now that it is winter and if you're not traveling for races and taking some time off - this is a great time to try new workouts. One of the things I love about bodyrock is that they use all the basics - lots of squats, pushups, planks, burpees and other moves that either are the base moves or build on the base moves to make you stronger. I believe that any trainer/instructor wouldn't doubt the importance of a push-up or squat in your exercise diet.

Anyway, as winter sets in - if you're looking for a home workout or new moves to add to the gym check out bodyrock and give their videos a whirl. These are especially needed during X-mas cookies season!!

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Burning Up: Raining Sweat!

Yesterday, we did a fabulous workout in my Tuesday morning bootcamp class. Fabulous because it left my ass sore and legs burning. When I saw one my students this morning, she let me know that the class had left her exhausted (good exhausted and good sore) and that I should do that class once a month to turn up the intensity every so often. *note taken!

The class idea was snagged from one of my favorite sites - The workout, called "It Will Rain Sweat" was a series of 10 difficult moves times 10 reps. And it did. While I've been interviewing I've spent a lot of time in the rain - miserable hot disgusting rain - and covered in sweat. Rain and sweat that have left me with a ridiculous dry cleaning bill and a newfound kinship with our cleaner. I seem to interview every time there is a mass rainstorm and also a November "heat spell." I end up sweating my ass off in a rain jacket riding in on the Path and then getting soaked while I walk over to interviews (though I am grateful for the opportunities-don't get me wrong!). I've spent a lot of time in office bathrooms under dryers or stripping on the Path train post-interview ripping off a suit jacket that was too hot under a rain jacket. And hair is not meant to be survive this weather. There's been a lot of buns.

As I mentioned, the name "raining sweat" certainly was accurate as I finished the workout totally soaked through as if I'd just left the sauna. The workout was meant to be done 10 times through; however with the task of trying to balance many different levels of fitness and defer repetition that may risk boredom from some patrons - I added my own twist and incorporated the "fit ass" workout using a high step (3 to 4 risers) instead of a chair. By the end of the workout you'll have 50 reps of fit ass and a solid 360 reps of high intensity exercises. For more on bodyrock or if you're short on time check out Bodyrock on facebook for "it will rain sweat" and "fit ass" or their website

We did our regular warm-up - 5-7 minutes.


90 second JUMP ROPE

20 reps L&R of squat step up knee drive on the step. (Turn left side to step, stand with feet wide apart, step right foot in, step left on step, drive up right knee) SWITCH.

Set of 12 exercises (this is what I used that incorporated some of the bodyrock workout and some changes)
10 burpees
10 weighted (or not) squat jumps
10 pushups (on knees, regular, or legs on step with hands on floor)
10 legs in and out (abs)
10 rows
10 tricep (french press)
10 plank jacks
10 lunge jumps
10 curl and press
10 tuck jumps
10 squats
10 roll ups



60 second jump rope

Set of 20 fit ass again

Repeat set of 12 exercises again


SET THREE (slight changes)

30 second jump rope

Set of 10 fit ass (to make 50 on each side)

Repeat set of 12 exercises again reaching total of 360

obliques - L&R
reverse crunch
repeat 2x
planks - rock side to side

Cool down

TOTAL TIME - 45 to 50 minutes

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Shake Your Tail Feather - Thanksgiving Spin

Wednesday Pre-Turkey Thanksgiving Spin - 50 minutes.

Young Blood 4:07 The Naked and Famous Passive Me Aggressive You (warm-up)

Track 10 3:48* Up in 2 jog for 20 sec - drop down touch right, pick up pace 45 sec, 15 sec jog in 2, repeat until song ends)

Firework 3:48 Katy Perry Teenage Dream (Deluxe Edition), seated climb, faster intervals at chorus

Good Vibrations 4:29 Marky Mark And The Funky Bunch & Loleatta Holloway, back to flat, 30 sec rest, 4x 45 tempo, 15 sec sprints

Howlin' for You 3:12 The Black Keys Brothers, 30 sec rest, 1 min up in 3, 30 sec in saddle on flat - repeat

30 sec recovery then entering rolling hills (my favorite), 4x - 1 min in saddle (no bouncing, working hard 80% of heart rate), add a seated climb 30 sec, then 15 sec increase the pace - shoot up to 3 for one minute get that heart rate to 92%, then recover in 2 on a flat for 30 sec. You should end in time with 4th song - use that last 20 sec to sit in the saddle get water, etc. They should have worked HARD 4x.
We Found Love (feat. Calvin Harris) 3:36 Rihanna We Found Love
We R Who We R 3:25 Ke$ha We R Who We R
Bulletproof 3:26 La Roux La Roux (Bonus Track Version)
What Doesn't Kill You (Stronger) 3:42 Kelly Clarkson Stronger

Shake It Out 4:38 Florence + The Machine Ceremonials, seated climb

Marry the Night 4:25 Lady GaGa Born This Way, shake it out 1 min in 2 jog, start on a flat and every 45-60 sec add a good turn right and keep the pace like you are headed into the wind by the end the heart rate is hard and you are working on the highest intensity

Thank You 5:07 Duran Duran With Honors Soundtrack, cool down
Favorite Year 4:29 Dixie Chicks Taking The Long Way, cool down

*Editor's Note - long ago I copied tons of spin music from my friend Tara who was big into dance and techno - the song titles were not copied so unfortunately this girl has alot of dance and techno music that's unnamed - find a good song with a quick beat that's 3:45 to sub in.

Helleva Holiday Week Workout: A big HIIT!

It's back -- the Thanksgiving pre-panic. In preparation for Thanksgiving, in addition to stocking up on turkey stock, pumpkin pie and whipped cream, people are trying to shed those last few pounds before they pack everything back on Thursday. I noticed I had several more people in my classes or new people who normally I don't see in the gym. Regardless of how you are attacking the holiday gain - there are plenty of ways to avoid the extra pounds -

A. Plenty of gyms offer their own Thanksgiving day menu - try a pre-turkey zumba, spin or step class before the turkey.
B. Go for a run - Turkey Trots are as popular as turkey - and some let you sign up on race day - and get a free t-shirt.
C. Grab the Kids and a football (rugby ball) and head to the park - the days not just about watching it on TV.
D. Make sure you look at what you're eating instead of swallowing it whole. Also try some new green veggies for Thanksgiving - give your tired String Bean Casserole a break for Giada's sauteed green beans or perhaps Ina's roasted brussel sprouts. YUM!!

And if you do end up trying the pumpkin, apple, and pecan pies - know this, as Denise Austin says, tomorrow is another day. Friday you'll get back on your regularly scheduled programming.

I am absolutely in LOVE with the concept of HIIT training - high intensity interval training. I find myself using it frequently in my Bootcamp class. And it's a big hit or "hiit."

Bootcamp Class
Warm-up 5-7min - we do the same warm-up each week - you can bring your own
I like to bring the heart rate up a bit from the warm-up - we did some light kickboxing here - some punches, knees (alternate) side kicks L&R, front kicks, back kicks, jacks, speed bag, lunge, football runs.

Then grabbed some water and we did our first weights/HIIT set

Using heavy weights
One weight held in 2 hands reverse lunge side twist 10x
reverse fly 10x
other side
10 squats, 10 pushups

First High Intensity set
20 sec 1/2 burpee jump turn 1/2 burpee. 10 sec rest
20 sec high knees 10 sec rest
repeat 3x


Then using heavy weights again up on the step- curtsy squat 10x and reverse lunge, 10x, R
tricep dips
repeat set on Left
tricep dips
Sitting on the step, relax back on sit bones and knees in and out, front, side, left, 20x
wide plie squat with overhead triceps 10x


Second HIIT set
MT climbers with hands on step, 4x
4 jump lunges
alternate for 45 sec.
15 sec rest
moderate weights using the step - step knee with a curl - 45 sec
15 sec rest
back to Climbers/lunge


Grab your light weights hold overhead - kick left step or lunge back - repeat 10x switch
row to the stomach, row to the chest
sit on the step - chest press

repeat the 3 point abs on the step
relax it back - straight up crunches, obliques - elbow to knee, reverse crunch
bicycles x20
off the step - plank off the step hold 15 sec, 10x knee to opposite shoulder L&R, 5 sec rest on knees, repeat twice.

Cool Down.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

HIIT and HEAT - healthy recipe and high intensity workout

Last night I made a great dinner. I know it was good because Billy actually liked it and it was gone before I could take a picture. I based the recipe on a Giada at Home recipe, which was on yesterday. She cooked a whole chicken with a rosemary, mustard butter. Since cooking a whole chicken was too much work and we are trying to eat healthier - I amended the recipe a bit.

Rosemary Mustard Chicken with Vegetable Bolognese
In a bowl I mixed together 2 tbsp of plain greek yogurt, 2 tbsp of honey dijon mustard and chopped up rosemary (about 1 sprig) with a lil salt and pepper. I soaked the chicken in the mixture and then placed the chicken in a 375 degree oven in a dish with reynolds wrap and Pam.

Heat a lil olive oil in a big nonstick pan. Chop up roughly 2 red peppers and 4-5 carrots (mine were super skinny) in a pan on medium heat. Let heat up for 5 minutes. Add some S&P. Chop up a box of cremini mushrooms. Put them in the pan. Let the mushrooms brown - add a can of diced tomatoes (no salt). Then add some rosemary, thyme and a lil oregano. Let sit for 20 minutes. The veggies get tender and absorb the tomatoes and it's delish.

Scoop the veggie mixture on the plate and layer the Chicken on top. The chicken stays moist and the veggies make a kick-ass sauce. You could add whole wheat pasta or brown rice if you wanted but we ate it as is. You can also use the veggie mixture on it's own with pasta. So if you make a double portion of the veggie mix and use it the next night.

I didn't feel like I was moving enough in the morning and banging it out so I wanted to use the HIIT concept and get going for 3 two to three minute intervals. If you have not heard about HIIT training see here

We started with our warm-up and then did a little aerobic workout to raise the heartrates.

Then we did 30sec intervals jump rope and power squats for 3 rounds. My heart rate was up to 175. Then we kept moving got some water and grabbed our heavy weights for a set of 15 each of squats, rows, clean and press, lunges and tricep (french press).

Lil march and then using the step we did 20 sec plank jacks on the step, jump up and side to side plyo jump. 2 minutes, 3 rounds. Then we used our lighter weights and did a curtsy squat off the step, 15 and 10 pulses L&R with side raises in between. Then spiderman push-ups, a set of 10. Heavy weight one handed rows and then down on the mat for staggered arm push-ups, 10 on the R&L. Then come all the way down and tuck your arms in by your sides and extend straight ahead and come up on your forearms. Press into your palms and come up.

Then we stood up and did lunges with a front raise, wood choppers. Then for the obliques, lean to one side and center. L&R.

Then jump rope 20 sec, high knees, 3 rounds.

Abs - crunches, 20. Side crunch, 20 L&R. Reverse crunch, 20. Table top. Leg raises in tabletop R&L, 10 each side. Forearm plank, push up to plank knee cross 10x each, come down to rest in tabletop 5 sec, 3x repeat. Side plank L&R, thread the needle 5x each. Boat pose, knees in and out, twist side to side.

Cool down.

Monday, October 31, 2011

Pre-Race Pasta, Post Race Cocoa: A Freezy 5k

This past weekend was the second annual HoBOOken 5k race, which benefited the Hoboken Homeless Shelter. I am a member of the shelter's development committee and helped spearhead a fundraiser with the Elysianettes that provided over 600 meals for the shelter so I signed up for the 5k and was later joined by my friends Eileen and Jen.

Now, initially the weather looked gorgeous but as the Oct. 29th race date closed in the forecast turned ugly - I mean super, fell down the ugly tree and hit every branch on the way down ugly. It went from rain to intense rain to cold to cold, with rain and snow. But, the race was to go on - snow or shine.

So the night before the race we held a pre-race slumber party and I made dinner at home - full at of carbs, zippo nuts (allergy), and packed with protein. Also, I must say it was mighty sensitive to my stomach, which tends to hate any meals pre-race. I think it gets jittery. The problem I faced was not tummy troubles, but rather standing out for 2 hours pre-race in the rain and cold, rain-weighted clothes, not being able to feel my toes or fingers and a runny nose.

Our Pre-Race Pasta Dish - Tomato Basil Sauce and Turkey Meatballs with Mushrooms

Preheat oven to 375
1 package Shady Brook Farm - 93/7 turkey
Use a paper towel to clean about a dozen cremini mushrooms, chop finely and saute
Mince about 6 cloves garlic (average size) drop in over the mushrooms saute until brown
add a little salt, pepper and a little rosemary (fresh)
let the mix cool
add 1/4 cup egg whites and 1/2 cup bread crumbs and 1/2 cup parmesan cheese to meat mixture - add cooled mushroom mix and some basil - dig in and mix with your hands.
Shape into golf ball sized balls - in a frying pan add a little Pam and brown a bit on each side place on a baking sheet and bake in the oven for 20 minutes.

Sauce and Whole Wheat Pasta
In a large saute pan - heat up 2 tbsp olive oil - chop up tomatoes, I used a variety of tomatoes, vine tomatoes and Campari tomatoes as well as a few big slicing tomatoes. I cut them all up in 1 inch pieces and put them in the saute pan and let them start to stew and simmer on med-high heat for about 10-15 minutes, adding salt and pepper and 2 or 3 cloves of minced garlic, Eileen stirring occasionally. I then added a lil oregano, a small dash of red cayenne pepper and a pinch of cumin. Then, stealing from Bodyrock TV, I intended to put in a pinch of honey in lieu of sugar, but since I couldn't find honey I used a dash of agave nectar, which seemed to work fine. I continued to let it simmer and sit, while I cooked a box of whole wheat linguine to package instructions, rinsed and drained some white beans and chopped some basil. I turned the sauce down and added the chopped basil and little bit of pasta water and those white beans. In a large bowl I added the linguine covered it with cheese and then added the sauce. Top it off with the meatballs and use a big spoon to get the juices and you're set. We served it with a big salad - Organic Gurl Green and baby Spinach. It got rave reviews from the crowd (though I will add Billy was not fond of the mushrooms in the meatballs nor the turkey but the 3 girls voted him down). It served Jen and I well when we battled the elements the next day and tided us over until we found refuge and, more importantly, brunch and hot chocolate at Hoboken hotspot 10th and Willow. It was delicious all around.

And to all those who ran in the snow covered race - hope the cocoa was warm - you did a wonderful thing for the shelter and those in need !!

Sunday, October 30, 2011

The Ultimate Halloween Spin Playlist

I've seen a lot of playlists and recently gotten quite a few in my email but I still think mine rocks. Total Time is 45 minutes.

Theme from the Munsters 0:45 Starlite Singers Halloween Party for Kids, WARM UP
Halloween (Theme) 2:59 The Essential Movie Soundtracks (40 Tracks), WARM UP
I Want Candy 2:45 Bow Wow Wow The Best of Bow Wow Wow, 40 SEC run in 2, 20 SEC in saddle
candyman 3:14 Christina Aguilera Back To Basics, add a little resistance, JUMPS t0 2
Sugar, We're Going Down 3:49 Fall Out Boy From Under The Cork Tree, 1 min up high resistance, saddle 1 min recovery
Halloween 5:08 Dave Matthews Band Before These Crowded Streets, endurance saddle seated
Psyco Train (Crazy Train ReMix) 3:14 Joe Burgess, 3 sprints, 15 on, 45 recovery
Black Cat 4:51 Janet Jackson Janet Jackson's Rhythm Nation 1814, seated climb add on 1 min marks, climb last min in 3
Disturbia 3:59 Rihanna Good Girl Gone Bad: Reloaded (Exclusive Edition), JUMPS to 3
Thriller (Single Version) 5:12 Michael Jackson The Essential Michael Jackson, fake wind resistance, start at 20 RPM, add on 1 min strugggle to keep same pace
Somebody's Watching Me 3:23 DJ Brian Howe #1 Club Hits 2008 - Best of Dance & Techno (New Edition) , recover in 2 running
Ghost Train 5:27 Counting Crows Across A Wire: Live In New-York City, COOL DOWN

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

New Title!

I decided, with a lot of thought and input from friends, to change up the name of my blog. Thanks to the friends who took part in my email poll. It took a lot of pondering, trying to decide what meant most to me, but I think Pasta (which I eat a lot of) and Power squats, most closely identifies the crux of what I want to convey.

I will Keep on Tri'n and that is still in the title - but it was also important to me that the name and URL start to match up. I will use this space mostly to post recipes, hopefully get some new ideas for cookin', and posting bootcamp workouts and spin profiles. Speaking of which - I was so excited this past Tuesday to have a half dozen people out for bootcamp at 6am and I think we got one hell of a workout. They asked where I get my ideas from and I told them my secrets - I love, Men's Health, Fitness, and my old boss who had some zinger moves. Here was our workout - a Plank and Pushup Paradise!

Warm - Up
Round 1
-Using a bench, face sideways with one foot on step, squat low step up L (10x) (weights optional)
-Switch Sides to R (10x)
-Jump push up (5x)
Repeat 3x

Cardio interval - 90 sec rope skip, football run with jump turn in all directions, 8x power squats

Round 2
-One leg squat with weights on L (10x)
-One leg squat with weights on R (10x)
-Super girl push up (3x each side) extend opposite arm and leg
Repeat 3x
Cardio Interval - same as above

Round 3
- Side step with weights - step wide (10x)
- Staggered arm push up (5x)
Repeat 4x

Challenge -
Ten pendulums either standing or on hands in a downward dog position for a super challenge, Drop onto the floor, roll over arms overhead, pop up on all fours, lower to forearms, tap side to side with feet OR for a super challenge jump right left 10x, drop down roll back, repeat 3x.

Recover with lighter weights in hand - 20 reverse lunges with bicep curl, alternating R&L. Deep Breathe and do 10 FrenchPresses for triceps. Finish with 10 Overhead Press.

ABS - Plank - 10 sec hold, 5 sec drop - repeat 5x. Roll over, plain crunches 20x; side crunch, rolling to one side R&L; plank with knees to chest 3x each side then outside elbow 3x each side; repeat plain and side crunches, boat pose lower and lift back up. For the back - cat/cow

Cool Down

It was quite a work out and burned about 500 calories in less than one hour. I am looking forward to posting more workouts, spin profiles, and exciting recipes soon! I have great soup ideas as the snow rolls (my lemon parsley chix noodle and roasted cauliflower w/ veg soup) as well as the new pasta recipe I am going to test out on my friends for the big HoBOOken 5k this weekend.

Keep on Tri'n! & Remember - Work Hard, Play Harder, Eat Hearty & Healthy!

Monday, July 25, 2011

Jax Approved! New recipes from the farm.

Last week during the incredible, awful, ridiculous heat - I escaped the safe haven of my completely air conditioned apartment to drive through New York City traffic to go sit outside. Sounds crazy - perhaps a little bit - but fortunately I was sitting pool side in the shade at my friend's apartment. Aside from the pool being 90 degrees it was delightful.

Since my mother told me never to show up empty handed I decided to make go ahead a few recipes to bring with me. They are jax - approved and a good addition to anyone trying to find something to do with summer veggies. I would advise grilling unfortunately we (Billy and I) have failed once again to be timely in getting a grill - if you know us we've had ceiling fans since last summer, a fireplace for the wall since last october and we've been talking about this grill since last summer - even sadder my parents gave us $500 to purchase a grill. We enjoy stowing stuff in our closet. Oh yeah, we also have 2 TVs we've yet to hang going on 2 years. Procrastination station stops in hoboken.

Big Veggie - Little Flavor
Unfortunately, while impressive huge summer zucchinis grown in gardens often lose some of their flavor so steamed or sauteed they might not make a big impression. I decided to make a lasagna replacing noodles with the big circles of zucchini from a zucchini my aunt gave me from her garden. I made a quick sauce with some canned tomatoes - however this is also a great place for a good store bought sauce. I took a roasting pan and placed sauce on the bottom then layered big slices of zuccini, sauce and mozzerella cheese and on the top both mozz and parmesan cheeses and some basil. I added a few pats of butter to brown the top and drizzled with olive oil and baked at 350 degrees for about 35-40 min until the cheese was bubbling.

Life's a Peach
But not when they go bad then it's the pits..get it? Bad joke. Last week when Billy was up at fiddle camp we met in Highland, NY on Sunday (start of the heat wave) and biked 20 miles in the awful heat around the bridge over the Hudson River and to FDR's homestead. On the way home to Jersey we stopped at a farm stand and got loads of veggies and fruit which Billy was eating before we left. But we still had some peaches so I peeled them and cubed them up and put them in a baking dish with 1/2 cup blueberries. I mixed together a 1/2 cup Bisquick, 1/4 cup brown sugar, 1 cup of oats, and a few dashes of cinnamon (my mom's recipe). I combined the fruit with 1/2 the crumble topping and mixed it and then put the remaining topping over the top with a few pats of butter. That went in the oven with the lasagna for 30 minutes until brown and bubbly. Billy and I ate it post movie with vanilla ice cream we barely got home from the ice cream truck - it melts fast - non of the crumble made it to Jackie's - but it is Billy approved.

Roasted Corn
I tend to roast a lot of veggies - I love the flavor so when my 3 ears of corn were sitting in the fridge with no grill in buying sight - I decided to roast them in the oven with olive oil, salt and pepper for 35-40 minutes. I let them cool and then cut the corn from the cob. I used one ear in a roasted corn salad. On a base of baby spinach, arugula, and mixed greens I layered tomatoes, corn, 1/2 can black beans (be sure to rinse), cubed avocado, cucumbers and topped with a salad dressing of one lime's zest, 2 lime's juice, olive oil and salt and pepper. Jax approved and healthy and cheaper than Panera. If you're on the broke side and want to get together with friends - make it at home and have a food party. Have food - will travel.
For dinner that night I took the 2 remaining ears and combined with half a can of black beans (other half was in the salad), tomatoes and 1 red pepper with a lil of the lime dressing. served it with

Corona Lime Chicken
Nothing says summer like Corona, right? I've heard of chicken cooked on the beer can and once had amazing corona mussels at 10th and willow - I will recreate those one day - but I've never cooked with beer and chicken breast, which I always use since they are healthy and good for you and let's face it - easy. But, chicken is always bland and with no grill I was at a loss so we'll go with beer. I rinsed and dried the chicken and put on a lil salt and pepper, lime zest and cilantro flakes (I would use fresh but mine had died outside that day). I put the chicken in a glass baking dish, popped a corona and poured it on top. I baked it in the oven for 30 minutes at 350 and then browned it a grill pan until the outside was brown and the inside was cooked through. Having not cooked through chicken a few times I tend to cook chicken too much and always cut it open to make sure - if you are more confident - more power to you. The chicken remained moist and delicious and tasted delightfully like corona and summer. Went great with the corn salad and together with whipped sweet potatoes was a delish, healthy summer feast despite no grill. I really want a grill.

Jax Desserts - Watermelon Granita
Totally a Giada special. And a perfect dessert for a sweaty summer day or for those watching their weight - made a simple syrup. 1 cup water, 1 cup white sugar. Let that cool and combine with watermelon (I used 1 package pre-cut from the A&P) and maybe 2 tbsp mint. In the blender or Magic Bullet - blend until smooth - put in a baking dish or freezer safe plastic dish and let sit in the freezer - let sit for 3 hours then every hour use your fork to fluff it up. It looks like shaved ice. It's delicious. Jackie loved it - perfect pre-birthday dessert on a hot day.

Hope you get to tri these recipes and you enjoy them! Happy cooking!

Friday, July 8, 2011

Channeling my inner Ina

One of the perks of having some "free time" in the summer is that I am able to take day trips, including a day trip to the beach. The other day I went to meet friends in Long Beach and got to sit on the beach! Delightful!

I hate to arrive anywhere empty-handed so I brought a salad with me. My friend, Christine was a might impressed by my summer salad and asked how I came up with it. Well, here was my quick summer salad.

Strawberry Summer Salad
Need: Couscous, lemon, olive oil, S&P, 6 Large strawberries, ricotta salata cheese, mint and Basil
Cook 1 package of couscous following package instructions. Let it cool.
In a large bowl - wash and zest lemon and then juice it and add 1/4 cup olive oil and some S&P.
Add the cooled couscous and mix in with the dressing.
Hull and chop 6 large strawberries.
Chop mint and basil - bout 1/4 cup of each.
Cut ricotta salata cheese into 1/2 inch pieces.
Add remainder of ingredients to bowl - stir.
I actually made a bit more dressing in a lil bowl - lil lemon, olive oil and S&P and put that on top and gave one last stir.
Christine approved at Long Beach.

Now, when we were at the beach Christine and I talked about cooking and how infrequently she cooked because she's not sure of what recipes to use or how to "throw things together." Meanwhile I am constantly making up my own recipes or using the food network stars recipes as a base for imitation since I can't stand looking at a recipe unless it's baking.

I thought of this when I decided to cook Billy a homecoming meal today. Channeling my inner Ina I went with a roast chicken and potatoes with broccoli. Anyone who watches Ina knows that her favorite meal for Jeffrey on a Friday is a roast chicken so I went with that. I also made a side lentil salad. While I was cooking I tried to think about exactly what I was doing so I could repeat it and perhaps Christine could repeat it as well. (should she want to!)

Lentil Salad
I started off by rinsing and draining the lentil - combining 1/2 cups with 1 cup chicken broth and let it simmer for 30-40 min.
I let the lentils cool then added them to a medium bowl.
I chopped 2 tomatoes into 1 inch pieces - add them to the bowl
Chop 1/4 cup basil - add to the bowl
Chop mozzerella into 1 inch pieces and add to the bowl
Make the lemon olive oil dressing and add to the bowl - stir.

Roast Chicken
Preheat oven 400 degrees
Rinse and pat the chicken dry, removing the packet of insides
Olive oil the inside of a roast pan - add the chicken
Olive oil the chicken - it's like his sunscreen - and add S&P
Tie his little legs together and tuck in his wings (I must admit when I have no strings - sometimes I fudge this step).
Zest one lemon onto the bird and chop and squeeze half the lemon onto the chicken
Cut the other half into four and insert the four slices and fresh rosemary and thyme into the chicken.
I took a little crushed rosemary and thyme on the chicken
Add a lil chicken broth and white wine
Cook for 30 min at 400 degrees then reduce heat to 350 and cook for another 40-50min or until juices run clear.

Rosemary roasted potatoes
While you put in the chicken at 400 - you can add the potatoes.
Wash 5 large potatoes dry and put in the micro for 2 min - let them cool
Take a dish and drop some olive oil down add the potatoes
Add a little more olive oil, S&P and some fresh rosemary chopped
Mix with your hands - and put in the oven for about 30-40 mean until potatoes cooked through and brown.

Garlic Broccoli
Nothing compliments dinner like something green and billy loves broccoli.
I added a little olive oil to a pan and chopped some garlic and added that - letting it get a nice beach tan and then added the broccoli and sauteed it in the pan. I added a splash of white wine and some lemon zest and juice to the pan.
I toasted almonds - you could also use pine nuts and added them to the pan - let it get warm and put in a dish.

These recipes were delicious, sprint quick and also they allowed me to use all my home grown herbs in my garden - rosemary, thyme, basil, mint, etc.

Go ahead - tri them!

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Fourth of July - Livin' in America Hills & Speed Ride

Spinning recently posted a status on FB about putting together a Fourth of July Spin - this is my spin (pun intended) on a fourth of july ride.

The Star Spangled Banner (Woodstock Festival Excerpt) 0:43 Jimi Hendrix
Independence Day 4:19 Melanie C
American Girl 3:32 Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers
American Boy (feat. Kanye West) 4:45 Estelle
Blister In The Sun 2:09 Violent Femmes
The Boys Of Summer 4:02 The Ataris
I Love New York 4:35 Madonna
Lubbock Or Leave It 3:54 Dixie Chicks
Lump 2:14 The Presidents of the United States of America
American Pie Madonna 4:33
Young Americans 3:15 David Bowie
Firework 3:48 Katy Perry
America 3:38 Simon & Garfunkel
Ice Cream 3:03 Sarah McLachlan

Monday, May 23, 2011

Start of the Season!

Yesterday was the start of triathlon season - despite the dreary weather it was a great race! I did the Independence day triathlon at Eisenhower Pool on Long Island. The one thing I love about racing on Long Island - delicious post race bagels! The race was a nice way to ease my way into the season with a 500 yard swim, 6 mile ride and 2.25 mile run. The race usually takes place on Independence Day and I've actually never started the season this early (this is my 3rd year experimenting with triathlons) but it felt great to get started and was an excellent motivator to keep going. Despite having kept up with the healthy eating and exercising since the half marathon, last week I hit a bit of a wall with Billy's birthday and him being away - I had no desire to cook anything so today we're starting over. I can't wait to post the pics that Billy took from the race. Today we're heading to the gym to teach spin and because of the pouring rain we'll probably hit the treadmill for a 20-30 min interval workout and then some intervals and weights and hit the spin bike. I don't mind running in a drizzle or getting caught in rain but heading out in a downpour is not for me.

Cauliflower Mac and Cheese...

Mac and Cheese is one of those feel good recipes that always makes a dark day seem a little better. Last Friday when it was cold, dark and rainy, I decided that mac and cheese was a perfect meal to eat while catching up on the DVR. I tried to make it a little healthier with some veggies and complimenting the mac with cauliflower. You can use your own fav veggies with it.

I used roughly 2-3 servings of macaroni about 1/2 cup uncooked. Cooked and drained the pasta according to the directions.
I used one head of cauliflower, rinsed and drained. With 3 minutes left on the pasta I put in the cauliflower to cook slightly.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
In a separate pan I sauteed some mushrooms in a lil EVOO with salt and pepper and then added a little white wine. Removed them from the pan and started a cheese sauce with some margarine about 3 tbsp then whisked in flower 1 tbsp at a time - I added about 2 and 1/2 tbsp. Then I added 1 1/2 to 2 cups of skim milk slowly while whisking. To that I added 1 cup each low fat shredded mozz and shredded sharp white cheddar. I poured in the pasta and cauliflower and added the mushrooms and I also put in the some cooked peas because Billy loves peas. I put in a sprinkle of parmesan cheese and then put in a 9x12 baking dish that was buttered and topped with panko and parm and spots of margarine. I baked for 25 to 30 minutes.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Hills n Thrills Spinning ride

Hills and strength training are an important and sometimes overlooked part of the Spinning program. This was the ride I put together.

Lovers In Japan (Osaka Sun Mix) 3:58 Coldplay - WARM UP
Sun Is Shining (ATB Remix) 3:38 Bob Marley - SEATED 2 min, Standing 1:30
Radioactive 3:28 Kings of Leon Radioactive - SEATED 2 min, Standing (faster pace) 1:30
Suck My Kiss 3:35 Red Hot Chili Peppers - SEATED 2 min, Standing 1:30
Howlin' for You 3:12 The Black Keys - seated 50 seconds 10 sec run in 2 (fast pace)
The Fixer 2:58 Pearl Jam Backspacer- CLIMB in 3 1 min, 8 jumps, repeat
It's My Life 3:44 Bon Jovi - SEATED climb
Nice Guys Finish Last 2:51 Green Day - RECOVERY
Rope (Deadmau5 Mix) 5:53 Foo Fighters Wasting Light (Deluxe Version) - run in 2 (flat) 1 minute - 3 minutes jump seated to 2, 2 minutes flat road race to hill
Rock the Casbah 3:43 The Clash - seated climb (moderate road)
Body Movin' 3:04 Beastie Boys - CLIMB in 3
This Years Love 4:06 David Gray -
Waiting On An Angel 4:27 Ben Harper & The Innocent Criminals

Chicken Apple Hash

Billy loves potatoes so whenever he goes shopping we end up with tons of potatoes in the house. So there I was with a ton of little red potatoes and white potatoes and I needed a way to use them. I decided to create a hash dish and once I was in the kitchen I found some green apples and decided to use those in it too.

I used
8 small white potatoes cut up into small 1 inch pieces
8 small red potatoes 1 inch pieces
3 small green apples 1 inch pieces
1/2 package ground chicken meat
1 red pepper 1 inch pieces
2 green peppers 1 inch pieces

I cooked the ground chicken in a lil pam with salt and pepper, removed on paper towels on a plate. Then I added a little EVOO and sauteed the peppers while I boiled the potatoes for 5-7 minutes then I added the apples for an additional 2 minutes, drained everything well and added it to the peppers, I added a little rosemary and thyme and got everything nice and brown and added back in the ground chicken with a lil bit of white wine and chicken stock. I let everything sit and get nice and melded for 10-15 minutes on simmer and served with ketchup. because everything is better with ketchup.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Peanut Butter Banana Muffins

I've had some bananas going bad on the counter for awhile and I've been meaning to use them in PB banana muffins. I love anything peanut butter and banana - hence the smoothie in a previous post - it makes a great pre or post workout or on the go meal. I love making super healthy muffins to have around to take on the go. I have made Ellie Krieger's pumpkin pie muffins and apple walnut muffins - yum! So I used a slight variation on one of her recipes with peanut butter and banana. The muffins are in these awesome reuseable muffin cups from Crate and Barrel my cousin gave me - now these are no waste of money - they mean no spraying no lining muffin tins with wrappers just plop on a cookie sheet and pour in the muffins.


Preheat oven to 400 degrees

In a medium bowl
2 cups whole wheat four
1/2 cup oats - can you tell i love oatmeal in everything I try to keep Billy healthy and kickin'
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt

In a large bowl
3/4 firmly packed dark brown sugar
3 tbsp molasses - if you run out of molasses as I did I added a drizzle of maple syrup (like I said I tend to fly by the seat of my pant - not always good for baking but hey they taste good)
1/4 cup canola oil
add one egg

Add a second egg

1 mashed banana
melt 1/4 cup country crock spread and 1/4 cup peanut butter in micro about 30-45 seconds
pour in slowly while whisking

Add half the dry ingredients in between add 3/4 cup nonfat milk then other half dry

Add the mix to muffin cups or the re-useable cups like I had. I did spray just a bit of non stick spray. Tap on the counter and bake about 20 minutes until a knife comes out clean. Enjoy!

Saturday Morning Blueberry Pancakes

Blueberry Oat Pancakes

This recipe originally hails from Ellie Krieger's book Eat What You Crave but because I don't always have all the all the ingredients I made up this one this morning.

1 1/4 cups whole wheat flour
1/2 cup instant oats
3/4 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
pinch of salt
mix all dry ingredients together in a medium bowl

I melted 1/4 cup country crock spread in micro for 30 seconds
3/4 cups nonfat milk
1 tablespoon honey
1 tbsp vanilla
1 tbsp canola oil
1 large egg
stir together all wet ingredients in a large bowl

whisk the wet ingredients into the dry and stir like crazy. I always test the batter here to make sure it tastes up to snuff. Mix in blueberries. Batter is somewhat lumpy. I use a lil country crock on the griddle and laddle them on. Keep warm in 200 degree oven. Top with blueberries and maple syrup.

Friday, May 13, 2011

Go Gaga

Today for spin class I put together a Lady Gaga based spin class. Lady Gaga was seemingly everywhere...on glee, on american idol, in a new why not...I broke it up with some Madonna and a few other ladies to not go completely well gaga. I've been experimenting with themes - recently I did a ladies spin with pink, cyndi, madonna, spice girls, a duets spin, a mother's day spin (all mom's - dixie chicks, madonna, britney) and a cinco de mayo spin featuring santana and ricky.

Here's the profile

Open Your Heart - Warm UP
Judas - increase speed in the saddle and jump to 2 with some speed. 60 seconds down, 20 in 2
The Fear (Dresden & Johnston Radio Edit) - standing climb add a little pace every minute
Bad Romance - seated climb, adding every minute
Telephone (Ming Extended Remix)- take the resistance back to about a 7 out of 10 and run in 2, add jumps after 60 seconds, jump 30, run 30
Get Outta My Way- recover one minute, reminder for water and settle into the saddle for a quick flat road
Born This Way (Dada Life Remix) add a lil road for 30 sec, seated climb 30 seconds, 20 second sprint in 3, 20 second recovery, last recover is a slightly longer
California Gurls (feat. Snoop Dogg)- seated climb
Blow- run with resistance
Just Dance- standing climb
Poker Face (Glee Cast Version) [feat. Idina Menzel]- recovery
Shanti/Ashtangi - stretch