Thursday, May 30, 2013

Core Fusion Barre Basics

Core Fusion Barre Basics is a DVD that helps you tone your body and learn some of the beginner barre moves.  The movements allow you to tone and target your glutes, abs and legs...all of the "problem" places.

The video is divided up into seven 10-minute workouts that you can do separately or together.  I like using the whole video as a progression, but I also love that you can add one of these segments into another workout you may be doing.

These are great activities for both the person new to working out and the person who is a seasoned exerciser.  You will need a chair to complete the video and a little bit of space.  However, it would be a great video to take with you on a trip or to a hotel.

The techniques used work.  Sometimes it feels as if you are barely moving.  However, your legs will shake and really feel the effort you are putting in.  Stretching after the workout also allows you to obtain that "lean" look.

You can pick up this video on Amazon:

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Ballet Body Workout DVDs

I was able to try out the Ballet Body series of DVDs.  This included their Core Workout, Lower Body Workout and the upper body workout.

I didn't know if I would love these DVDs since I was never a dancer and certainly never as graceful as one!

I started by watching the Core Workout and I was surprised at how difficult the seemingly simple body weight exercises were!  You can give yourself a GREAT workout with no weights!  This is awesome for those who have a small space, don't have room for gym equipment or are traveling and are working out in their hotel room.  I will take this with me on business trips.  Even if you didn't have the necessary 45 minutes to complete the workout from start to finish, this DVD is a great resource of abdominal exercises that you can add into your other workouts.

The Upper Body Workout starts out with a bang.  You get moving right away and get started with moved that work your upper body, but also your core.  Almost all of the exercises done in this series help you strengthen your core and build that base that helps you in every activity you do.  I love this type of workout as it give you a natural "lift".  Everything tightens up, works together and strengthens.
If you want those toned arms that are great for summer, give this video a try.

Finally, the Lower Body workout really gives you a run for your money.  You are going to feel a bit wobbly after this video.  However, the workout is amazing and this is the way to gain long, lean, toned legs that have the strength to run, dance, bike and play!  You're going to be shocked at the ways you can position your body and the strength you find in doing so.

Note that there are no modifications presented so you may want to pause the video, or simply take breaks if you are new to working out, have a hard time completing the workout or just need to watch and learn the proper form.

You can purchase all of these DVDs online.
(They are all on Amazon.  Here is one of them:

Monday, May 20, 2013

Five Minute Food

Everyone needs a go to meal and we all know we get into routines.  I have been making my own version of a P.F. Chang's style meal...
It is healthy and, better yet, it takes about five minutes to make.  Seriously.
So I figured I'd share....

Purchase "cocktail shrimp" at the grocery store.  They are usually medium in size and already cooked.  Toss out the sauce, lemons, etc and just cut off the tails.

In a non stick pan (I used a wok) put in a little olive oil, soy sauce, chili paste or garlic chili paste (to taste), and a dash of sugar.  Cook shrimp until they are warm and covered in the sauce.

I then like to use a packet of rice like Seeds of Change microwavable rice....and put it all in a bowl together.

I love to have "cucumber salad" on the side...
I just peel and slice a cucumber, and put it into a bowl with some seasoned rice vinegar.  Add a dash of salt and it is a super easy, healthy side dish!

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Peanut Butter Protein Bars

I've been cooking a few new things lately and I want to share the results.  I should 1.  Take better notes while cooking and 2.  Photograph my process.  I'l do better in the future.  However, here are some of the yummy recipes I've loved....

1/3 cup agave
1 cup peanut butter (creamy)
1/3 cup chunky peanut butter
1/3 cup brown sugar

Put these ingredients into a sauce pan and "melt" together. I started with the agave and the brown sugar, then added in the peanut butter.

In another bowl mix:
4 cups of "flake" cereal.  I used Special K Protein Flakes
1 cup oatmeal
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 scoop protein powder (I used unflavored)
1/3 cup ground flax or chia seeds (I used flax)

Pour the melted mixture into the cereal mixture.  Press into a 8x8 pan and pop it in the fridge.  Even hubby loved it!

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Obsessed~A Book That Rocks Your World

I'm currently reading Obsessed by Mika Brzezinski.  It is an amazing book that will make you take step back and not only think about how you perceive and treat food, but how you view others.

A few of the things I've already taken away from the book...some of these are shocking and some won't surprise you at all.

The first is that we all seem to have food issues.  Overweight or thin, we all face our food demons and eating issues day in and day out.  You can't tell by looking at someone if they are truly healthy, what health issues they may face or what emotional issues they have surrounding food.

We all know that being overweight carries stereotypes.  Obese people are not only discriminated against in the media, Obsessed shows facts that they are discriminated against in the workplace.  Not only do they receive less frequent promotions, they earn less and PAY MORE for health care.  I was shocked at this!

However, what we often don't talk about is how skinny people are discriminated against.  While people often say that obese people are "lazy or dirty", skinny people are often called "mean or bitchy".  I can speak first hand to both of these.  I was called fat before and then, when I lost weight, I was told I was too skinny and called a bitch.  Our weight doesn't make us one or the other.  Our weight makes us who we are and our personalities are as diverse as our pant sizes.

Once upon a time kids weren't provided with junk food in schools.  They had gym class regularly.  However, now only 4% of kids have gym in schools and we KNOW junk food abounds.  Why do we love junk food?  Well I've been reading about this for a little while and although I am not an expert, I have found the same thing over and over again.  Sugars and fats trigger a part in your brain that FEELS good.  You WANT to eat these things because they make you feel good.  And you want that feeling over and over again.  A long time ago, we wanted these feelings as they meant survival through lean months.  Now, we will survive...but we still love these feelings.

I've worked for years to maintain a healthy relationship with weight.  I was once overweight and I worked very hard to lose the weight. However, like Mika, my "new" relationship with food wasn't any better than my old relationship.  I became obsessed with eating less and less and working out more and more.

I finally decided that life was meant to be enjoyed and is all about balance.  I enjoy treats, good food and trying new things.  I workout regularly to maintain my health.  I no longer get panicky if I miss a workout.  I don't worry about what the scale says each and every day.  I eat healthy, whole foods every day.  I don't go hungry and I don't binge.

Obsessed goes into a lot more detail on all of these topics...these are just my musings and thoughts on the issues presented.

Friday, May 10, 2013

My Newest Doggie Treat

I've been trying out new ways to use the pulp that comes from my juicer.  I was in the kitchen and brainstorming. One of the doggie barked at me, wanting a carrot, and I was inspired.  This is what I came up with:

2 cups carrot pulp
1/3 cup pb (over flowing)
2 cups flour (I use wheat)
1 1/4 cups hot water
2 cup oats

Mix in a bowl and then add oatmeal until mixture is firm.

Make at 350 degrees for about 10 minutes.  You can use a rolling pin and cookie cutter, however, sometimes I just make little balls and squish them with the bottom of a glass.  My doggies love them!

Make sure you keep them in an airtight container.  They stay good about a week.

Saturday, May 4, 2013

Slow and Steady

Well after about 6 weeks I'm finally ready to start running again on this ankle. I have thought it was "fine" a few times and ended up with more discoloration, swelling and pain.

I also visited a doctor and when I asked her if I could run she replied "Are you crazy?"  So I babied the ankle and didn't wear any heels on my recently business trip.  I have worn flat, comfortable shoes and babied it by using the bike and lifting weights.

So today I suited up and headed out for a short run.   Let's just say it wasn't pretty.  While it is 60's and spring warmth fills the air in CT, off the coast of Maine it is COLD and blustery.  I had a hard time finding my rhythm.  I was so excited to be out I took out quite quickly.  Too quickly.

The wind took my breath away and my asthma wouldn't let me find it again.  My muscles were all rebelling from the intense weight workout I did a few days ago and my legs felt like lead.  

So while all of this was going wrong, I thought I'd want to give up.  I thought I'd want to sit down.  However, I was so thrilled with the progress I can make in the next few weeks and months.  I have crawled back from injury in the past, and I will do it again.  It is just another challenge to meet.  

I still love running.  I still love the challenge.  Now, like lots of people, I hate running when I'm in the moment and feeling like I can't take another step.  However, after the moment, I can't wait to get back out there and meet the new day.

Now running on Vinalhaven doesn't hurt either.  Waving at everyone who passes by, looking out at the sea and smelling the salt air are all wonderful motivators.  I love running through Main Street and looking in the windows of the toy store, used book store and grocery store. This will always be my favorite place to run and so it is the best place to start a comeback.

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Enfield, CT Doggie Needs a Home!

Dog in urgent need of help in Enfield, CT:
URGENT!    ENFIELD CT   Doggie needs a home before May 6th.

I got Bella when she was just a puppy and she is the sweetest, most gentle loving dog. But my young son has developed severeallergies and Bella was relegated to the backyard months ago and now my husband says she has to go. He has given me until May 6 to find her a new home.

10yo female black lab mix, about 70 pounds
Well-socialized, friendly, wonderful temperament
Great with kids, cats and other dogs
Housebroken, never crated because she doesn’t need to be
Healthy, spayed, current on vaccines, heartworm negative

Bella has lots of energy, she loves riding in the car and going to the dog park. She’s very domesticated and she’s “a lady.” Bella used to love lying on her dog bed in the house near her humans, but she's been stuck in the backyard by herself now for months and now her time is almost up. I feel so sad for her.

Can somebody please give Bella a good home? Please let me know if you can help her.
Dawn Garcia, Bella’s mom
Enfield, CT