Monday, December 27, 2010

Christmas Re-cap

At the request of a few family members this will be a photo-heavy, Christmas-lovin' post only. Well they didn't exactly ask for that only.. but it's already late and it has been taking me forever to load photos in my BRAND NEW photoshop! on my BRAND NEW laptop!!!! So, I'm not complaining, but this will be short and sweet, with no mention of food, running or any of the usual obsession-driven topics.
Christmas was crazy busy and crazy wonderful this year. As a newly married couple, the husband and I spent a lot of time working out the logistics of our new blended-fam Christmas, but it all ended up being so worth it.


We started the festivities with "Little Christmas Eve," a traditional dinner for the Soltman family. Because they are sweet, the whole family agreed to move the dinner to our condo. Lucas works into the evenings so it made it much more feasible to enjoy the dinner at a reasonable hour. The guests included Lucas's two brothers, Mom, Dad, and 1 Girlfriend. Sidenote - new girlfriend is Canadian, which I am very happy about...

It is a well known fact that Bella has to be either playing fetch or on someone's lap at all times.. I swear one day we will try to train her a little better.

Keith's new girlfriend, Bonnie

After dinner, doing what we do best: drinking wine and chatting

Even Bella wasn't left out of presents.

Love this picture of Lucas and his dad, stinking cute!

Prom Pose!

Some dessert

And finally the night ended with some Kinect boxing action.. I wish this was a video, as it was so funny to watch them.


Next stop was my Dad's on Christmas Eve. I am a poor blogger and only took one picture.. what do you know.. of food. (I am obsessed with taking food pictures right now).

This is my dad's prized Key Lime Pie for dessert - Lucas's favorite!


We spent the night at my Mom's so that Santa would know where to go. Bella tried to stay up all night hoping to catch a glimpse of the Clause, but when her bone ran out, she fell asleep. Maybe next year girl..


After we had breakfast and opened stockings & gifts at my mom's, we made the short trek up to Vancouver to see more family. Every year, we go back and forth for Christmas with each other; this is absolutely my favorite tradition and I like to ignore the fact that some year soon, we won't all be able to get together anymore. My cousins are maybe top 6 funniest people I know (and there are 4 of them) and my Uncle John even officiated our wedding ceremony. Not to mention, our Grandma always makes it over as well, which adds to the laughter and warmth.

Uncle John opening his gift from my Mom

My cousin Tobin caught me trying to sneak a pic of he and Ali, his fiance. Don't worry, he's not really mean-mugging, just being funny.

Grandma and I looking through the wedding album Lucas and I gave her for Christmas. This picture cracks me up because everyone is looking different places, and I don't know if Tobin was trying to be funny or not.

Grandma opening her gift from all the Grandsons... what could it be???


A digital camera. She definitely needed one!

And finally, Christmas dinner.
Lucas and I felt so incredibly happy and blessed with all of our family over the weekend. Thank you guys so much.


Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Obsessed!! - Mumford & Sons

Weekend Update

First and foremost, I would like to apologize to my many many readers (insert sarcasm) for the delayed post.

I am proud to report that over the weekend my friend Jif and I ran Kirkland's 12 K's of Christmas. Now to many runners out there, this may not seem like much of an accomplishment, but for team J & J, it was. Not because it was the longest run we've done, but because we both entered the race relatively un-prepared and a lot less "trained" than we probably should've been. The wonderful part about this accomplishment was realizing that we were both in much better running shape than the previous year when we ran our first half marathon.

It's such an empowering feeling to know that your body is strong and will carry you through.

Add to that the beautifully cold, sunny day and of course the delish Mac & Jacks afterward and it was the perfect Sunday/Runday/Funday. I completely forgot to grab a picture of the race - a major blogging no no - but here is instead a picture I found of a cute couple that got all dressed up!

So stinking cute right? There were plenty of fun outfits and cute dogs runing as well. The only downside to such a laid back run was that it took forever to get going at our normal pace. There were a lot of walkers that we had to weave between. Next time I'll definitely be starting a little closer to the beginning in order to avoid this.

Sunday was an incredible day and it made me so happy to be able to call myself a runner. For those that want to start running and are feeling at all overwhelmed with the idea, DON'T! I know this is cliche city, but if I was able to do it, anyone can! It just starts with a mile.

If anyone is interested in running with friends let me know. I'd love to start a running club at some point. Trust me, it makes running way easier and there's so much joy in sharing your milestones (HA! no pun intended) with others. Plus, it's way more fun to get a beer afterward if there are others to join.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Yoga for Everyone!

Recently, while on a run with miss Annie, we were discussing the different practices of Yoga. As someone that has love/hate relationship with Bikram, I am always inspired by Annie's dedication to her own practice. Unlike those of us who have jumped on the Hot Yoga bandwagon, my dear Annie hates the heat and much prefers her "warm but not hot" version. We were trying to figure out which style of yoga she practices; it sounds like it's super challenging and full of mastering intricate poses. My guess was that it fell under Ashtanga but she wasn't sure.
I know most people could really care less, but get two semi obsessive personalities together and we were determined to learn more.
Fast forward to today - I was perusing one of my very favorite sites, Lululemon in search of things I really should probably own when I came across their education page. Low and behold, the answers were there! So this post is mostly for Annie, but I thought others may want to learn a bit about the differences in Yoga land as well.. if not.. well too bad.

anusara
Expect a playful class with a strong focus on proper alignment and Tantric yoga philosophy (not what you're thinking). It (like most yoga) is derived from Hatha yoga.
ashtanga
This practice is very athletic and made up of six vigorous series of postures. It's one of the oldest forms of yoga and is considered to be the foundation of much of the yoga we see today in the west.
bikrams
You're going to sweat in a Bikram's class, more than you ever thought was possible. Bikram yoga consists of 26 postures and breathing exercises repeated twice (that's right 90 minutes) in a room heated to 105 degrees. Heads up - humidity is 40% and will knock you over the first time.
hatha
The foundation of every style of yoga mentioned here. Traditional Hatha yoga is a holistic path that includes disciplines, physical postures (asana), purification procedures, breathing (pranayama), and meditation. Hatha practiced in the West consists of mostly physical postures and is also recognized as a gentle introductory yoga for people new to yoga.
hot
By adding heat it is said that classes will help you lose weight, loosen your muscles (by adding increased range of motion) and improve your cardiovascular system. It differs from Bikram's in that the series of postures are not always (but can be) in any particular order and modifications are often offered.
iyengar/restorative
Expect a class emphasizing healing the body and mind through use of supported postures. One of the oldest forms of yoga, it's for a person who loves technical intricacies and is also great for people who are new to yoga or have any issues with their health.
kundalini
Don't be surprised if your waving your hands like you just don't care or laughing uncontrollably (it's a type of meditation- I swear), this practice is intended to wake up the kundalini energy coiled at the base of your spine while activating chakras (energetic centers in the body), as well as detoxing the body and mind.
power
Many say Power yoga is the Western interpretation of Ashtanga. It is sometimes done in a heated room and focuses on the breath as fuel for the practice. This practice can be challenging for beginners, but is a nice balance to more gentle forms of yoga once you become comfortable with the different postures.
vinyasa/flow
Derived from Ashtanga yoga, expect a class full of rhythmical flow (often combined with music) connecting each moment with unifying pranayama (breath). Classes can be more meditative or focused on the natural movement of the body, almost like dancing through postures. A great transition from Hatha when you're looking for more of a challenge.
yin
Some believe that Yin yoga is the oldest form of Hatha yoga, since it is the ideal method of physical conditioning for prolonged meditation. Don't let the props and gentle movement fool you, this is not a form of restorative yoga. The long holds require that you focus and release all effort from the muscles.

Which practice is your favorite??

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Running in the Rain

As some of you know, I'll be running the Rock & Roll Half Marathon this year in June. There are many reasons to be excited about this. I shall list them for you:

1. It's my 2nd half marathon, so - in theory- I already know that I can finish (I just knocked on wood so I wouldn't jinx myself)!
2. I am running it with Team Jiffy & Janine (if you think of a better team name or would like to join the team let me know!)
3. My dad signed up as well!
4. There is music at every mile!
5. Now that training has begun, I get to bribe myself with Lululemon gear!

Pretty exciting right?

Anyway, this past Sunday was the first of many "Sunday Runday Fundays" (jiff and I made that up ourselves.)
Although it was raining cats and dogs, we were well prepared. I had called my running mentor, Annie to see what she suggested for very rainy runs and she gave good tips:


Annie's Rainy-Day Running Tips

No Cotton!

Wear Fleece or Wool- this way you will stay warm, even when wet.

Have fun with it - she is always good for a nice pep talk.




We dressed accordingly and started the run with a smile on. Both Jif and I enjoyed running in the rain, but my Smartwool running socks that I had been so sure of ended up giving me a blister after getting wet. Next time I will try my thin lulu socks instead.

The other lesson we learned is this. Just because it is raining heavily, does not mean you will be cold. We mistook rain for cold and both dressed too heavily.

We did discover one very important Rain-run necessity though - post run Pho with a side of Mac & Jacks. So delish!


All in all, it was a good 5 miles. The run felt way longer than that, but it may or may not have been due to the wine we drank the night before.


This next Sunday will be a bit of a jump for us as we are running a 12K Christmas race. 7.5 miles to be exact. It's a bit daunting after the tough 5 we did this past week, but my guess is that there won't be wine drinking the night before. Plus, organized races are always more motivating!



Thursday, December 9, 2010

Turbo Kick Fever

"all I'm asking of you guys tonight is to just throw-up in your mouth a little; that's it.. just a little bit" - Anne, 24hr Turbo Kick instructor extraordinaire.

I had such a good workout last night at Turbo Kick with Anne. I used to go to this class with a different instructor a couple years ago but quickly got very used to it and felt less and less of a good workout after finishing. So I stopped.. on to more intense classes.

That is until I stumbled upon Anne's class Thanksgiving morning. My husband and I had arrived at the gym around 9:30 to get a quick workout in before I worked out my stomach later, but when I realized there was a random class going I quickly decided to join it instead. I soon noticed that it was a Turbo Kick class and thought I'd have an easy little cardio sesh. Boy was I wrong. I worked so hard that morning! Anne taught her class much more quickly than other instructors and made sure to add a lot of muscle-building moves as well. The music was perfect (top 40 all the way) and she had a crazy fun sense of humor.

While deciding my workout for yesterday afternoon I noticed that Anne teaches ever Weds at the 24hr in Kirkland. I will definitely be making her class a priority. At one point during class last night she had us doing fist pump squats to Pauly D's new track.. freaking funny I tell you.

If you're looking for something during the winter to really spice up your workouts, I definitely recommend this class!

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

My Computer, the Hater

At first Lucas thought I was being paranoid, but now he also sees the truth; our computers are turning against us. First it was his laptop with the deathly blue screen and now it is mine, sporatically turning the internet connection off on me. I have to actually close everything out and restart it to get the connection back --> A-NOY-ING.
So now I'm hesitantly starting a post and hoping that my computer is taking a break from trying to drive me into crazy-town. So far, so good... let's do this.
Many very interesting things have been happening in my life since we last met. Work, gym, online shopping... verrry interesting stuff. Since most of my health/food obsessions have come and passes since then, I'll stick to one topic tonight.
SKIN!!
As I've mentioned before, I have never had the perfect porcelain skin that some of my beautiful girlfriends carry around with them. Instead, I've dealt with breakouts, pores and what I think is a slightly red undertone.
I honestly hate to think about how much money I've spent over the years trying to correct this. Seriously, it's bad. I've tried Proactiv (honestly, what girl didn't), Arcona (allergic), Dior (breakouts), Clinique (too drying), and probably every drugstore brand out there (most bleached my pillow cases). Oh, and the gadgets! Reviews told me that the Clarisonic would change my sink forever...I obviously had to have one. So here I am, 28 years old and still coveting that porless skin.
In the midst of this search, I came across a newer skin line called Skintactix. Its system includes products for natural acne treatment, developed by a dermatologist and a biochemist.
As a part of their marketing campaign they are asking bloggers to use and review their products for one month, being honest about the results.

Never one to shy away from a new product, I sent my info in along with the Tratsie address and someone wrote me back saying that I had been approved for the trial.

As of Dec. 1st, I've been using the products and so far I really like them.

I'm currently using the following system:


Septicide Cleanser:
Ideal for rosacea, acne rosacea and dry or sensitive skin types. Effective bacterial control against P. acnes and other undesirable bacteria and their acne promoting lipases. Additional anti-inflammatory benefits. 5 ounces. pH 3.6
INGREDIENTS: Deionized Water (Aqua), Sodium Olefin C14-16 Sulfonate, Sodium Lauroyl Wheat Amino Acids, Glycerin, Wild Marjoram (Origanum Vulgare) Extract, Turmeric (Curcuma Longa) Extract, Licorice (Glycrrhiza Glabra) Extract, Salicylic Acid, Lavender (Lavendula Angustifolia) Oil, Citric Acid, PEG-120 Methyl Glucose Dioleate, Methylisothiazolinone.


Gentle Follicle Exfoliator:
Ideal for rosacea, acne rosacea, dry and sensitive skin types. Keeps follicles clear. Effective bacterial control against P. acnes and other undesirable bacteria and their acne promoting lipases. Powerful anti-inflammatory benefits. 2 ounces. pH 3.3
DIRECTIONS: Apply sparingly following cleansing and lightly rub into the skin. Leave on the skin, do not rinse off.
INGREDIENTS: Deionized Water (Aqua), Rosemary (Rosmarinus Officinalis) Extract, Lemon (Citrus Medica Limonum) Extract, Glycolic Acid, Bilberry (Vaccinium Mytrillus) Extract, Sage (Salvia Officinalis) Extract, Soybean (Glycine Soja) Phospholipids, Proline, Alamine, Arginine, Willow Bark (Salix Alba) Extract, Panthenol, Benzyl Alcohol, Xanthan Gum, Zinc, Acetylmethionate, Phenoxyethanol, Salicylic Acid, Triclosan, Potassium Sorbate, Ethylhexyl Glycerin, Captyloyl Glycine, Capryloyl Glycol, Tetrasodium EDTA.


Green Tea Poultice:
For most skin types. Poultice action literally pulls infection and developing infection up and out of the skin. Provides extraordinary acne benefits against P. acne and other undesirable bacteria and their acne promoting lipases. Blocks the action of 5α-reductase. Powerful anti-inflammatory benefits. 2 ounces. pH 3.8
DIRECTIONS: In the AM apply to all areas that are affected by acne. Apply very lightly and immediately rub into the skin so the poultice disappears. Leave on all day, do not rinse off. In the PM apply slightly more liberally as the poultice does not have to be invisible. Leave on all night, do not rinse off. If Poultice rolls or does not penetrate, the prior product(s) was applied to liberally and is creating a barrier.
INGREDIENTS: Deionized Water (Aqua), Montmorillonite (Clay), Safflower (Carthamus Tinctorius) Oil, Vegetable Glycerin, Green Tea (Camellia Oleifera) Extract, Betaglucan, Sulfur, Turmeric (Curcuma Longa) Extract, Willow Bark (Salix Alba) Extract, Aloe Vera (Barbadensis) Extract, Hydrocotyl (Centella Asiatica) Extract, Grapeseed (Vitis Vindera) Extract, Neem (Melia Azadirachta) Seed Oil, Phenoxyethanol, Salicylic Acid, Caprylyl Glycol.
Specialty


I absolutely love that these products don't include Benzoyl Peroxide, which is an ingrediant that has ruined my beautiful new pillow case by bleaching it. I mean, something can't possibly be good for my skin if it bleaches fabric, can it??

Also, my face has been a lot less dry. Make-up goes on smoother, and I find that the redness is already lessening.


I will be checking in here and there with my progress throughout the month and look forward to seeing how this goes!

Monday, November 29, 2010

Family, Fun & Glitter

After our computer continuously tried to undermine my blogging efforts last night by shutting down in the middle of my picture uploads, I cursed it and decided to sleep instead. I now cautiously sit down in front of our other crazy comp to try once again. I WILL share my weekend with you, damnit.


After an amazing Turbo kick class at the gym in the am, Lucas and I hurriedly got ready for Thanksgiving with his fam in Olympia. Although traffic was annoying to say the least, a warm house and cold beer made me feel much better and ready for a great evening.


Bella loves it there and has so much fun running around a real backyard. For some reason, running up and down condo stairs isn't the same to her.


As many know, she is OBSESSED with balls and will try her very best to make anything into something she can play fetch with. We had a good laugh as we watched her try to play fetch with the siding that was in their yard. For the life of her, she could not figure out why it wasn't working. Pretty sure she is nuts.


My brother in law Keith.


I made the family "HOLD!" right before prayer so I could capture the dinner table. They probably loved it.

My first try at Gluten free baking - Pecan Pie It actually ended up being less of a Fail than originally thought.. although there will be many more attempts in my future, as my Mother in law and new brother are both Gluten Free now.








Bella actually fell asleep like this... and we wonder why acts so entitled all the time.. hmm








Wonderful ending to a wonderful dinner.. custard with pumpkin butter! I may or may not have eaten the whole thing..




Since Lucas had to work the next day, we drove back that night and I left to go see the Farrow fam in Bellingham Friday morning. My mom and I spent time hanging out downtown and doing some lazy Black Friday shopping, then came home to watch a movie...


Bella loves her Grandma.



Saturday brought more shopping.. weird, then dinner at my Dad's with the broham. Brian just loves it when I go camera happy.


I mean, this smile is not sarcastic at all...


He let me take one more though... please ignore the girl needing a shower in this one and just pay attention to how much Brian loves his sister.
Sunday brought me back to Kirkland for a Runday/Funday with Jif that was a little more Fun than Run.. actually no run - all fun. We swear that this coming Sunday will be different though!
What we did do was walk around Kirkland before meeting Janae for a beer and and the movie Burlesque. Ahhh loved the movie.. so cheesy and dancey, my perfect chick flick.

And I promised glitter.....





While "window shopping" Seduce Boutique in Kirkland, Jif and I decided that we probably needed to buy a couple new polishes. While she kept it chic with a great red, I couldn't help to grab the pink glitter. And I am oh so happy I did.
This is THE greatest nail polish I've seen in a long time and I am officially obsessed. "Rosie Lee" is my new bff and I love her very much. The picture really doesn't do it justice and I honestly can't stop looking at my super cute finger tips.

I feel like a mix between Katy Perry and Niki Minaj minus the weird outfits. Also it's pretty great how glitter polish stays on the nails - no chipping at all in the past three days... although I'll probably be cursing it when I try to take it off. For now though it's definitely staying on and I vow to go back to get the red glitter for the holidays. So fun!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Baked Breakfast for Dinner

What does a snow day, bald tires and leftovers bring??? Well breakfast for dinner of course!

Since I had the house to myself and time to research, I spent more time than I'd like to admit searching for a good, healthful egg dish. I kept running into issues because I wanted it to be healthy, but also very 'comfort food'esque. Thanks to my fave blog right now, peanutbutterrunner, I kind of mixed and matched to come up with my own. I completely believe that hers would've been tastier but I was a little too lazy. Here's hers: http://bakinandeggs.com/2010/11/15/english-muffin-egg-casserole/

And here my - a little less fattening, but mostly just lazier version.

3 whole eggs
5 egg whites (or you can just use 6 whole eggs)
3 whole wheat english muffins
1 1/2 cup skim milk
1 Cup shredded swiss cheese
1 bag of spinach
1/4 cup mustard *
1 lb turkey sausage
salt & pepper

Set oven to 350

While sausage is browning, beat eggs, add milk, mustard salt & pepper, then beat again. Tear english muffins into little pieces, and add along with spinach, turkey and half of the cheese. Dump it all into your casserole dish and top with the rest of the cheese. Then smile and proudly place into oven. **

Then let cool a bit and serve. YUM I am a huge fan of things that taste way worse for you than they actually are. I may put less sausage in next time though because I got a little sausaged out, but Lucas loved it.

* - One recipe I saw said to use dry mustard but I had none and I thought hmm I do like mustard, it couldn't hurt right? and it didn't.

** - Just about all of the casserole dishes I came across suggested keeping it in the fridge for a few hours to overnight before baking. I am not patient enough nor do I have the forethought to actually plan dinner that far ahead of time, but it was still just fine.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Snow Day

So I never quite made it to my last workout class of the week on Friday. To my surprise, Lucas chose Pilates on Thursday which was a good change of pace from my usual cardio/strength classes, but I just got a bit too busy on Friday. I did however go for a good hill run with Jif on Saturday morning, so I still feel good about getting my 5 workouts in.
Saturday brought with it a trip to Yakima to see our bestie Mandi and her kids, then Sunday was a long drive back. It was definitely worth it though to be able to spend such quality time with loved ones.

Mandi's little bugs, Ashlyn and Kailer
















Skipping forward to this morning -

Lucas informed me that it was not worth it for me to try driving to work today and what can I say, it didn't take much convincing. So instead I got up to make my husband breakfast. We really wanted french toast but only had English muffins so I improvised.
It was actually very good and pretty darn healthy after our alterations to the recipe.



Here's what I used:
4 English Muffins
1 Egg + 2 Egg whites
1 cup skim milk
2 tablespoons Splenda
1 tablespoon Cinnimon (could've used more I think)

Wisk eggs until frothy, then add milk, splenda and cinn. Wisk well and transfer to a shallow bowl for dipping.
Place muffins cut side down in egg mixture for about 3 minutes, then turn and leave for 1 more minute.
Place on greased pan (heated on medium) for about 3 minutes on cut side, then another minute on the flip.




















We used sunflower seed butter, nuts and sugar free syrup as toppings.
I should mention that I'm not a low-carb follower by any means, and I usually don't suggest using sugar free things instead of natural sugars, but splenda (both for baking and coffee) and syrup are two things that I will continue to buy SF. What can I say, it's worth it to me to save the calories.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Thank Goodness for Wine..

WTF was that, that just happened to me last night??? I don’t want to be rude, but that Zumba class I took yesterday could only be properly classified as a joke. Honestly, I’m not exaggerating. It was even the first time I’d ever wished for one of those Bodybug things that display the amount of calories you’ve burned, just because I was sure that it would be under 100, which wouldn’t even cover the glass of wine I was going to have.
There was one point especially, where we were in a semi-squat position and trying to act like we were “drumming a metal drum” to the drum sounds of the music. This would have been almost acceptable if there was any way of knowing at all when the drum sounds were going to play on the song. I don’t know if I can explain this in a way that any of you would know what on earth I’m talking about, but just imagine a room of about 15 women in various levels of squatting, with their arms out like “a calypso drummer” (her words, not mine) trying to guess when the drum sounds were going to come and for how long.. it was a mess. And I swear to you, Ms Zumba Teacher herself wasn’t even on the beat.
Thankfully, Black Shirt Girl drumming next to me started laughing at my obviously annoyed expression and told me that she had never once been to a Zumba class like this one and that I should not let this wack job deter me from it all together. I laughed and agreed to trying the other instructor on Monday. So, to be continued on that one..
After an annoying workout though, I came home to a loving husband and my favorite Purple Chop Salad… YUM!


Oh, and I obviously still had my glass of wine.

So for today I have two choices; Pilates or Muscle Blast. My decision will be based on two variables: 1. When I get out of work today, since Pilates is at 4:30 and Muscle Blast at 5:30, and two, whether or not the Husband would like to join me (he’s not necessarily a fan of Pilates).

Most likely, I’ll be going to the Muscle Blast which is a strength based class, using the barbell and free weights. There’s basically no cardio involved which is a hard pill for me to swallow in classes, but then it also lends itself to being able to concentrate on, and perfect form, which I’m obsessed with. And let’s face it, any class that gets me to use weights for a full hour will pay off in my running later.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Wednesday = ???

I am sore today. Very sore; especially in the shoulders. All the upward facing dogs, to downward to high plank then chaturangas made damn well sure I would be. I was definitely not ready for what 75 minutes of hot power vinyasa was going to give me, and Gaga made only a very small dent in the ouch factor.
I don't know whether it was the two months since my last class or my recent habit of one or two glasses of wine a night, but every time I came into downward dog it felt as if a bag of rocks was rolling down to the top of my head. It hurt. Thankfully this didn't start until the middle of class, so I improvised by just kneeling while others were in the usually relaxing posture.

There's a weird thing that happens with yoga though; while normally, with other forms of exercise, this type of pain would deter me from coming back, the pain or nausea felt in yoga just makes me want to do it again the next day... it's strange, but I know the yogis out there understand.

I say that, but I won't actually go again today... instead I will continue with my week-long group exercise adventure and choose a completely different class for tonight.
I'm having a difficult time choosing though and because I can't get a friend to go with me tonight, I'm feeling pretty unmotivated.. I will continue though! I just have to choose between two classes offered at my gym.
Here are the two being pondered:

1. Turbo Kick - a choreographed cardio class. Pro: really good ab workout Con: not very challenging.


2. Zumba - also choreographed cardio. Pro: I've never actually done it before and I love dancing. Con: people get REALLY into it at my gym and I don't know how I feel about that.



What do you think? Which should I do?

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Going Gaga for Yoga

I realized last night that I picked a great week for my workout class extravaganza (everything sounds better when you call it an extravaganza). Not only does Tuesday bring one of my all time, life-altering, favorite classes, but the one I'm going to this week is 100% more exciting because of one little eccentric blond named Lady Gaga.
You see, a couple of weeks ago my best gal pal Jif e-mailed me about a hot vinyasa class that was going to be done entirely to the songs of this musical genius. I guess the Urban Yoga Spa had offered the unusual class once before and it received rave reviews. I mean, honestly, how could it not?? It combines two of life's greatest inventions!
I could go on and on (what's new) about the benefits of hot yoga and why I personally enjoy Vinyasa more than Bikram, but I don't necessarily want to bore you. Let's just say that this is a great group class for the Winter; it combines strength training, cardio and flexibility while cleansing your body of toxins and challenging your mind. Not to mention that when it's as cold and rainy as it's been in Seattle, it feels darn good to warm those muscles up.
So imagine my excitement upon remembering our plans to attend this group class together. First of all, going to any class is way better when you can drag a friend along with you and when both of you are as excited about something as silly as this, it doesn't even seem like a challenge anymore to get up and go.
The only wrench that may slow our roll today is that neither of us have been to Bikram or hot Vinyasa in quite some time... but as my good friend Kylee says.. "well you've got to start somewhere." And I believe that Gaga Yoga is indeed the perfect place to start again.





Equipment Needed:


Yoga Mat

Skidless Towel (shown in picture)

Minimal Clothing

Water!

Monday, November 15, 2010

Monday Motivation

It's pretty well known that I've always enjoyed group fitness classes. Though my actual attendance to them can rise and fall depending on my state of mind, I know that they're there for me when I need a little more motivation to get my body moving.

Since it is clear to me that this week is going to be one of those low points in motivation, I thought I'd figure out a way to get my ass in gear.

My solution is to hereby, promise you, my four readers, that I will attend a different workout class each day this week. I'll be going to my favorites; some I've been a longtime follower of, as well as couple newbies.



The first is Step Aerobics - an oldie but goodie and my personal Monday favorite. Don't let the image of the late 80's/early 90's women in wrist bands fool you; these days Step is usually highly choreographed to a fun top 40 mix that challenges both your mind and body. A good instructor comes equipped with new moves and the latest tunes each week. And though it's mostly a cardio/stamina workout, by adding or subtracting risers, you'll definitely be changing up the muscle groups a bit.

Tonight's class is taught by Tim of 24hr Fitness. He is so freaking fun and it is obvious by his cult following that I'm not the only one who thinks so. I have to get to the gym by 6pm tonight just to get on the list and line up. Though it can be a turn off for some, it's still worth it and once he gets the music going, my energy rises and I smile because I know I'm in for a fun hour.

Equipment Needed:
Water Bottle
Cross Training Shoes (NO running shoes! you can easily twist an ankle)

Friday, November 12, 2010

Green Been Casserole - Lazy Style

I'm starting to realize that I've been in a bit of a slump lately with my veggie consumption. This happens every once in a while, mostly because I get pretty lazy with greens. I absolutely love salads from restaurants, but whenever I make salads of my own, they never measure up. For me, it's just one of those meals that automatically tastes better when someone else makes it for me. The solution, I've found, is to cook vegetables differently, instead of going for my usual spinach salad.
So, while at Trader Joes tonight, their samples gave me my answer- green bean casserole. Their sample of it was delicious but obviously packed with butter so I decided to just grab the ingredients and improvise when I returned home.
I looked on the web for a bit to see if there was a good healthy recipe that I had all the ingredients for, but there wasn't - I never seem to have all the ingredients for anything due to my poor grocery shopping skills. So I had two choices.. jump back in the car or just try to make it anyway...obviously I chose the latter, grabbing from a few different ones to come up with my own. It actually turned out pretty well... at least satisfying my hunger and helping my green quota.



Here's what I used (so easy breezy)

2 cans of green beans

1 carton of TJ's cream of mushroom soup

1 Cup water

Crumbled goat cheese

Crunchy TJ onion pieces (the splurge)

Preheat oven to 350 - I always forget to do this first and it drives me nuts!

I mixed the beans, soup and water together, put it in the dish then added the cheese.. I used goat cheese 1. because I had it, and 2. because I knew it would add a lot of flavor. Oh, and I have no clue how much I used.. just enough.

I sprinkled the crunchy onion stuff on the top, then baked it for about 25 minutes.

This was the result

It doesn't look very pretty but it is honestly delish. I love love the crunchy onion things though.. and next time will not snack so much on them while waiting for dinner to cook.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Lunchtime

Yep, still obsessed with greek yogurt!

I finally remembered to bring lunch today:
Quinoa, mahi mahi and greek yogurt.. overall yummy but very bland looking and I could've really used a veggie... oh well, next time.

The Trias Wedding

This past weekend, my husband and I had the pleasure of attending one of my very good friend's wedding. Danica and i have known each other since our Nordstorm days and have since kept in contact and stayed close. She was SUCH a beautiful bride and just to give you an idea of how special their wedding was, there was a picture of the couple as toddlers together, a picture as teenagers, and a picture from their engagement session all on the guestbook table. They have known each other all their lives and dated on and off since Jr. High School. They have a hilarious son, Max, and I still remember the day Danica told me about her pregnancy; in the back room of the shoe floor at Nordstrom. I am so thankful that they invited us to witness such love - thank you guys and I already know that your life will be filled with happiness and laughter. Max was wondering what his dad was looking for under there...