30 minute Playlist to Get You Motivated

In my morning readings today I came across this article from the Huffington Post titled:

If This Playlist Can Help The Seahawks Win A Super Bowl, It Will Surely Get You Through 30 Minutes On The Treadmill

Who doesn’t want to feel like they’ve won the Superbowl after a workout?

Like the article says, the right music can get you motivated, and motivated BIG. I like this track list because it’s loaded with heavy hip hop/rap… who doesn’t love a little Luda and Tupac in their mash-up?  Oh! There’s a song you’ll remember from the movie Fast & Furious too.

This mix is a bit slow for a run (for me), but if you’re into lifting, I think this could definitely do the trick. Crank it up and pump it out baby. You’ve got this, ain’t nobody gonna hold YOU back 🙂

Cheers friends, have a great day!

(Image courtesy of http://crossfitinvoke.com)

Raw Food Reset (Day 10-12) and Final Thoughts

Ah ha! I did it!  I actually loved every day of this ‘reset’.  I did it for 12 days overall, and while I may have veered off the raw path here and there, I have pretty much stuck to clean, healthy eating, sans meat, wheat and dairy.

The summary:

  • I’ve lost 7lbs
  • Feel fantastic
  • Have much more energy
  • Sleep better at night
  • More focused at work
  • More productive at work
  • Less sluggish in the gym
  • Ran my first 5k in a very very long time
  • Enjoy running (more than before) because I am mentally able to focus better
  • Don’t crave junk food
  • Don’t eat anything processed anymore
  • REALLY enjoy eating raw, vegan, and now prefer that most of my meals are raw
  • Dramatically reduced bloating
  • Reduced my alcohol intake
  • Have started dehydrating my own food (veggies and fruit) for nutritious snacks
  • Have been turned on to a whole new world of really yummy vegan raw food

In a nutshell (hehe that’s vegan and raw) I am super happy with my new eating an exercising habits. I am loving how I feel and want to continue this new lifestyle.

I’ve had a great time blogging about it as well, and it has helped keep me on track. In the next few weeks I’ll post updates about all the new fun food stuff I’m dehydrating and eating!

If anyone has any awesome raw, vegan or vegetarian recipes they’d like to see, or SHARE, please leave a comment!

Raw Food Reset Day 8 & 9

These posts are getting boring! I’ve been eating the same damn thing for daaaayyysss. Some how not getting tired of it, except for the tart.  I’ve had it three days in a row and today I think I just had enough of sundried tomatoes and hummus.

We hit up the spin class last night.  It wasn’t as successful as I hoped it would be.  The instructor played ONE track the whole time.  She did the same drill, over and over, without any rhythm. At one point she incorporated jumps, sets of 2, then 4 then 6.  None of it was counted or to a beat, so the whole class was up and down up and down up and down… well you get the idea… all over the place.  She looked up at us 4 times in 25 minutes. I had no clue what was going on, and I’m a spinning instructor!! It was definitely not the ideal first class for B. I will go back to the gym but I’ll try another instructor.

I have eaten the exact same thing the last three days.. only difference being dinner:

Breakfast: mixed frozen berries with cashews, banana

Snack: grapes, kiwi

Lunch: sundried tomato tart and mixed green salad

Snack: apple

Dinner: Tuesday I just had an avocado, tonight I had yam noodles with miso sauce.

Nothing more than that to report. I have some cooked carrots and parsnips for lunch tomorrow because that’s what the famjam had tonight with a roast for dinner.  I am out of salad, peppers, broccoli etc. So I will have to get a salad at work.

I really meant to go for a run tonight, but I am SO tired I just couldn’t do it after I ate dinner at 7:30. I’m going to look for vacations for Xmas and head to bed. Hoping I can get to the gym early tomorrow AM and run on the treadmill and do some weights. Here’s hoping!

Have a great night peeps!

Spinning Playlist July 2013

It’s a weee bit late, but that’s okay, right? I used this playlist in one of my July classes and it was so much fun to ride. There are some fun old school songs and some great newbies in there too. This is a tough ride, with a fun upbeat rhythm. It of course, has my favourite tabata workout snuck into the middle.  There is no active recovery built in, however if you want to use track #9 as recovery then go for it.

I hope you enjoy this ride as much as I do!

July 12 2013

  1. Love rollercoaster, Ohio Players – Warmup 4:50
  2. Let’s Go – Calvin Harris – to the beat, hills on chorus 3:54
  3. Blurred Lines – Robin Thicke – (happy) standing climb to rhythm entire song 4:23
  4. Sweet Nothing – Calvin Harris- Alternate every 30 seconds between seated flat and standing flat.  Keep HR up! 3:25
  5. Get Lucky – Daft Punk – seated climb increase 1/4 turn resistance every 1 min 6:10
  6. The Fighter (feat. Ryan Tedder)—Gym Class Heroes (3:49) Start in a seated Climb.  At 1:30 turn it into a standing climb
  7. Don’t Stop the Party (feat. TJR)—Pitbull (3:26)  Standing flat with jumps on the chorus
  8. TABATA TIME! 4:20
  9. Atlas Genius – Trojans – ride to the beat, you pick the resistance 3:36
  10. Thrift Shop – Macklemore & Ryan Lewis – hard climb to the beat ¼ increase every 30 seconds 3:56
  11. Steamworks – 2 min seated climb, finish 2:36 standing climb: 4:36
  12. Dog Days are Over – Seated Flat to flush out the legs 4:13
  13. Hold On – Cool Down on the bike 3:45
  14. Master Blaster – Cool Down Stretch off the Bike 4:50
  15. You are the sunshine of my life – cool down stretch off the bike 2:55

Sweet Potato Breakfast Pancakes (cooked in coconut oil)

I don’t eat enough sweet potatoes. Do you?

I love ’em, but I definitely don’t eat enough of them. I picked one up at the grocery store the other night with the idea of having half as a side to dinner. I didn’t feel like taking the time to bake it, so I threw it in the handy-dandy microwave (never used to use one, until we moved to the new house) and voila! It was done in like 6 minutes.

After dinner I was heating up a cup of lemon balm tea before bed (recipe here), I popped open the microwave (it’s becoming a regular kitchen appliance now) and there’s the sweet potato still on the plate, fully cooked and now cooled. Oops.

Huh. So now what to do with it. I’ve already eaten dinner. Well, I guess I’ll throw it in a container and figure it out in the AM.

The next morning I decided I was going to attempt to go for another run, later in the day (I have to pump myself up for running, it’s not an activity I particularly like). So I started to plan out my meals for the day so I would have adequate energy for the workout (I was planning on having KD for lunch, as awful as that is).

I’m not one for sweet breakfasts. You’ll usually find me having yogurt and organic seed granola, or eggs and cheese. Mmmm… cheese. But today I wanted to try something different, and I had that damn sweet potato to use.

I love pancakes, but NEVER order them when I go out for breakfast, it’s only something I’ll have at home. So off I hopped to the kitchen to figure it out.

An hour later, and I was making breakfast. (Coffee went cold TWICE during that hour, another great use for the micro-ondes, reheating that cuppa!).

Here’s what you’ll need for these tasty, filling and nutritional pancakes.

  • 3/4 pound sweet potatoes
  • 1 1/2 cups whole-wheat flour
  • 3 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon (Add more to taste, I love cinnamon and the health benefits!)
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 1 1/2 cups milk
  • 1/4 cup butter, melted

Since I had the cooked and cooled sweet potato, the skin came right off. I didn’t have a hard time peeling it at all. I grabbed the hand blender and whipped it up. I didn’t want any chunks of potato in my pancakes.

'Mashed' with a hand blender to make it ultra smooth.

‘Mashed’ with a hand blender to make it ultra smooth.

In a medium bowl, I sifted together flour, baking powder, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg. I did not add ANY sugar to this recipe. It definitely doesn’t need more sugar. You could use all -purpose flour or peanut flour for this recipe too.

Dry ingredients

Next, in a separate medium bowl, I mixed mashed sweet potatoes, eggs, milk and butter.

Wet ingredients

WhiskingBlend sweet potato mixture into the flour mixture to form a batter. The mixture took a bit to combine and I used a whisk to bring it all together. Careful of splashing that milk around! I got it all over the counter.

Next, preheat a lightly greased griddle over medium-high heat. I used organic coconut oil. Man, that was the best decision of the day. The light coconut oil flavoured the pancakes beautifully and they were not greasy at all. Perfect combination! There are not many things I like to cook in coconut oil, but this one is being added to the list. Score.

Coconut oil for greasing

Coconut oil for greasing

Melted coconut oil

Melted coconut oil

Pancake batter

Pancake batter

The batter was a BIT thick the first time I tried to pour the pancake. I added a bit of extra milk after to thin it out. You basically just have to move the batter around in the pan with a spoon for spatula to get it to shape. Otherwise you’ll end up with a big blob.

In the pan!

In the pan!

Alrighty! We are making progress. My pancakes didn’t stick AT ALL. They moved around quite quickly in the pan. I waited until I saw the edges bubble then flipped. Just check the bottom of it to your desired doneness, and flip!

Flip!

Flip!

Now let’s see how they turned out! I put a small dab of butter and a bit of syrup. I loooove butter. The pancakes were crispy on the edges and cooked perfectly inside. They are definitely more dense than your regular box-pancake but I’m okay with that. I think the whole-wheat flour attributed to that.

The finished product

The finished product

I ate two for breakfast and cooked the rest of the batter. I stored them in a container, and popped them in the fridge. This morning (day after) I took one out, and put it in the toaster. It was perfectly warmed while still being crispy on the outside. I can’t wait to have another for lunch 🙂 Great on-the-go breakfast too!

As for my run later.. I had a really big salad for lunch with my fresh fenugreek sprouts (see post here). Ahh so tasty. I had a small sandwich later in the afternoon because I got hungry. Ended up going for a 3k run at 7pm. My shins were still really sore from my run two days ago, but I made it. I didn’t like it, but I made it. I felt I had enough energy, but probably should have eaten more during the day. Today is a rest day since I have softball tonight, that will warm my legs up! Hoping to hit the road again tomorrow, maybe I’ll try a lunch run. –

Thanks for reading! I hope you enjoy the pancake recipe. Do you have any fun sweet potato recipes you’d like to share? Post a comment!

Enjoy!

Benefits of a Spinning Workout

I have a long love affair with spinning. I am a huge advocate of it and endorse it as much as possible to friends, co-workers and gym buddies.

A friend once said to me, “I don’t know about it, I’m not into someone screaming at me while I workout”, or something to that effect.  Basically, I get the feeling that everyone thinks that a spinning class is a torture chamber where you’re chained to a bike and screamed at for 45 minutes.  Although I have been in classes where the instructor yelled things like “HEAD DOWN, DO NOT LOOK AT ME, MOOOOOVE IT!!!”, but that is not the norm. In fact, most spinning classes are up-beat, fun, cheerful and pumped with wicked awesome music. You certainly won’t hear me screaming like that instructor did to me, but that’s ’cause that’s just not how I roll.

If you have never tried a class, I strongly encourage you to go. It’s the one class where you can go at your pace (contrary to what people think), you can set your own resistance, and can experience a totally different workout than you’ve ever had before. Here are some of my top reasons to hit up your nearest spin class.

1. Burn Baby, Burn

In a 45-minute class, I burn on average around 450 calories. A 60 minute class kicks that up to 600 calories. Depending on the type of drills you do in the class, that can skyrocket to upwards of 700 calories. Tabata type drills really help increase the HR and catapult you to a whole new level.

2.  Progress at Your Own Pace

The greatest thing about spinning (other than the burn) is that you can progress at your own pace. You can set to a lower resistance if you’re just beginning and ramp it up as you go. If you’re a seasoned rider, you know that you can crank the resistance up and really work it. Either way, you decide what kind of workout you want.

3. Time Flies

Seriously. 45 minutes goes by SO quick. You won’t even notice how long you’ve been on the bike because you’re having so much fun.

4. The Music!

Time flies because of the music. I spend a lot of time creating my playlists. I really enjoy creating them and each song moves nicely into the next. I remember one spin class felt like 15 minutes, all because of the instructor’s coaching and music. It was awesome!

5. Mental State and Strength

Spinning is one of those workouts where I personally, can really push myself. It’s totally all about your mental state. Some days are good, some are bad.. but when I’m having a bad day and really not up to working hard, I realize it’s all about my mental strength. When the right song hits, it moves me. Pumps me up and I can get into a zone, pushing myself. I close my eyes, let my body relax, take a deep breath and push even harder. Spinning is a great way to push your mental strength. I always tell my classes, you have more to give then you think. Dig deep mentally and you will produce!