Friday, March 30, 2012

Exciting News and what Pasta and Power Squats Is

  Pasta and Power Squats: A Girl Fires Up the Gym and Kitchen is a blog about my adventures as a group exercise instructor, runner and triathlete as well as my kitchen experiments, good or bad as they are. I was certified as a fitness instructor in 2006 to supplement my nonprofit income at my first job. Now, I love both jobs equally and don’t think I could give one of them up. 

I just added twitter to my blog so you can follow my posts on twitter and a gadget to receive P&PS by email.  Super getting social today!

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Quick Cooking: Fast and Healthy

I am typically running from one meeting to the next and constantly in a rush to squeeze in a workout before running to work so I am trying to find new ways to satisfy my hunger and not eat junk food.  I made a deal with myself which I mentioned in a previous post to cook dinner 5-6 times a week and bring lunch to work a few days a week. The salad bar can be a dangerous place if you don’t know what you’re doing.  

In the past week while I was exhausted while I didn't really COOK I did come up with fool proof quick and easy recipes for days you just can't bring yourself to do any cooking. 

After a long run when it was cold I was eating oatmeal but I usually and unfortunately find myself starving 5 minutes later.  However thanks to seeing Run Eat Repeat mix it with PB (at which I first thought - GROSS! but then "eh").  I started mixing MY OATMEAL with peanut butter.  I took it in a Ziploc container or from a snack pack to work and I find a can make a satisfying meal with no fuss that lasts longer than 10:45.  And when it's warm - I always love smoothies while getting ready.   

This week I made a quick stir fry that used pre-cut bought veggies from Garden of Eden and a can of tuna paired with lime and soy sauce it was super easy and no extensive cooking or multi-pots required. Last week for dinner, as I mentioned I wasn’t doing swell making dinners aside from pasta and peanut butter but I also made a relatively healthy pizza using tortillas. I had leftover sauce and no energy to cook pasta – heated up the oven put the tortilla on Reynolds wrap and covered with sauce and a little low fat cheese.  Couldn’t be easier and it was delicious cut up like a pizza or rolled like a tortilla – pair with salad – done! Just like this post. Happy and Healthy!

Pumped Up Week: Back on Track

Daily Workouts: running, bootcamp and sculpt
Recipes: Grillin' fish, Potatoes, and Quinoa Salad with Red Pepper and Pineapple
Much like the stall in blog posts, my recent efforts to do my best to track my food, calories and budget, meaning cook more and take lunch to work were seriously stalled last week.  I couldn’t drag my bum to the store which meant no food in the house which meant a lot of eating pasta and peanut butter sandwiches and buying salads at work – not completely unhealthy but not cooking at home the 5-6 times a week I promised myself during the New Year, it was on my list.  Billy and I both made resolution lists on our new Ipads at the start of the year but haven't kept the resolutions too well. 
In spite of it being St. Patty’s day, I managed to start the weekend off right with a 10 mile run and then left to watch Billy play the fiddle.   After a weekend of a few beers, ice cream, pizza and other grease, it was time to tip the scales the other way. Though technically with my long run, limited food intake and rushing to NYC to the bar to see Billy play, myfitnesspal told me I’d weight 20lbs less if every day were like this (10 mile run, 3 beers, 3 pieces of pizza – super healthy). 
This week was FABULOUS in NYC!  It was close to 70 degrees all week – it was time for some serious grilling.  I forced Billy to pull out the grill on Monday evening and we grilled up some tilapia and I made roasted brussel sprouts and cauliflower.  It was delicious and low-carb.   I also roasted some potatoes but they didn’t quite finish in time for dinner.  Oops.  However, I did use them the next day in a stir fry – normally I’d use rice but what the heck?  I put a can of tuna in the stir fry with lime and soy sauce.  Delish. 
Tuesday started my non-stop gym workouts.  I’d done a tempo run with speed intervals Monday but Tuesday began the Sky Club Marathon of subbing and teaching classes right through next Thursday when I get a big rest day. Tuesday morning I taught my bootcamp class and we really worked hard – we did high intensity intervals (i.e. burpees and squat jumps on the step) for 50 sec, 10 sec rest 2x each, so 4 min total, then we got 1 minute recover. 
Wednesday I taught my scheduled spin and went to teach abs but no one showed so I went to work and that night went for a light run. To steal myself to continue and get up on a day when I normally take a nap, Thursday, – I made roasted potatoes and sweet potatoes on the grill (however I preheated in the micro for 5 and 10 min, respectively).  I also made chicken breasts with lemon and rosemary on the grill and some grilled asparagus. Thursday morning I taught a sculpt class where we focused on legs and push-ups.  For legs my new favorite move is having one foot on the step standing in front of it (like your going to do lunges with one foot on the step) and powering up into a jump – such a great move and good for outside too. Strong women in that class!  After class I went for a run and worked speed intervals – 3 half mile repeats with a mile warm up and cool down. I forgot to mention Tues and Thurs I rewarded myself with fro yo – it was that warm. 
Friday I woke up in so exhausted, super sore and my knee was aching despite my best efforts to get to bed early last night and ice my knee.  I totally missed Golden Girls at midnight because I was asleep and I had busted my butt to get dinner on the table. I made tuna steaks for the first time and the result was so-so.  I think I may have cooked them a minute too long.  Ah, well. Live and learn.  We marinated them in lime and soy sauce.  I paired it with a quinoa salad.  I sautéed red peppers and zucchini (Billy bought them) and cooked the quinoa in coconut water and a pinch of crushed red pepper.  I chopped the pineapple tiny and mixed it all together in a bowl.  Billy thinks in the future we should grill the pineapple, which is a good point –but it was delicious anyway– the veggies had canola oil and salt and pepper and little cilantro which made a nice dressing. Billy took a picture of it so I will post it soon. So back to this morning – exhausted I told my class I needed to teach on and off the bike – they were great.  I ended up on and off the bike anyway trying to combat the horrible heat that cranked the room up to 76 degrees.   Bikram spin is not fun – thankfully management is on the case and it's fixes (yay!). I think our surprising warm weather is coming too fast.  Also, that’s one of the downsides to being the first one in the room – any elements that might impair your ride or AC that’s not kicked in yet, you’re left to deal with but we managed to sweat and get in an early AM workout.  I came home went for a slow run/walk and went to work, drinking my Ellie Krieger PB smoothie as I got ready. 
This weekend is going I have to squeeze out some running and sub kickboxing on Sunday (I ended up bailing on running Saturday opting for sleeping in with Billy rather than running - we went for a nice bike ride 17 miles which worked off the calories we ate at dinner at Hoboken Bar and Grill last night). I've always thought if you don't wake up feeling it and I are in too much pain - take a rest day. 

Monday, March 5, 2012

High Energy and Hard Ass

High Energy and Hard Ass...Best compliment you can get as an instructor - that you've walked that fine line between too easy and too hard and kept them motivated.

I subbed my first kickboxing class in a long time this past weekend and overall it was a success! It helped to have friends in the crowd, walking in as a sub to another class can be a horrifying experience. People are skeptical when they don't know you - their first instinct is to be critical, I've had the sighers who complain about ruined workouts. The worst is when they pack up their stuff before you even get started, or worse yet decide to leave one song in to your class. You have a strong desire to prove yourself; however if you go to crazy - they may run in the other direction if they ever see you again. Keeping your confidence is key - if you trust yourself as a professional instructor so will they. Be yourself, but be strong and challenge them - they'll remember you and your workout. And, best advice, keep it simple, they don't know you or your cueing style so better to keep it easy.

I saw several of my attendees from the class tonight - and they were feeling sore. Good news!!
Tonight I subbed a boot camp class, which built on my "back in action workout" but slightly different to assess where the class was at since I don't teach them regularly. We used the body bar (for squats and lunges), 2 sets of weights, mat, step with 2-3 risers. After the warm-up I always do (basically getting the heart rate up, no weighted basic moves and some light stretching). We did:
100 skips
50 squats
10 pushup - any fashion
15 goal post press
15 curls
100 skips
25 R/L Lunge
10 pushups
15 curls
15 overhead press
100 skips
50 squats
10 pushups
15 skull crushers (tricep)
15 rows standing (back)
100 skips
25 L/R lunge
10 pushups
15 chest press
10 tricep dips (those are hard!!)
2 min HIIT interval (shoot squat jumps, lunge w/cross jab, jump rope, football run, heisman)
rest (walk about, more water)
plie squat with elbows out holding one heavy weight
wood chopper R
French press tricep
wood chopper L
both weights curl
no weight - one leg squat jump (if you saw my last punch - this is the sucker punch move)
dead lift
other side one leg jump
dead lift
power squats on the step
ABS - crunches, double crunch, reverse crunch, right side oblique, left side, sitting on step double crunch, plank (hold for 15 seconds).

Now a long hot shower as I prep for boot camp tomorrow.