Tag Archives: smoothies

Yes, those are minus signs

16 Jan

It’s been a cold, busy week that’s kept me from posting. But I have lots to catch up on 🙂

First a brief rundown of my 100 Days Challenge workouts:

  • Day 10: Ran dogs. Got to run two teams even!
  • Day 11: 30 easy minutes on the treadmill. So much going on that day that I didn’t get onto the treadmill until 7 PM (which is WAY late for me). But I got that 30 minutes in.
  • Day 12: Ran dogs. Good thing we ran today too—the temperatures dropped again that evening and have been too cold to run ever since.
  • Day 13: 30 minute treadmill workout.
  • Day 14: Sled dog race canceled because it was too cold (officially -44°F at the airport). Used the “free” time as an opportunity to finally try the full balance ball workout that came on a DVD with my stability ball. The “Total Body Balance Ball Workout” has 3, 20-minute segments (upper body, abs and core, and lower body)  that could probably be done separately if time crunched, but that’s supposedly what the express workout is for.
  • Day 15: back to Zumba with Phoebe. Almost didn’t go because it was -49°F at my house and vehicles would prefer not to run at those temperatures, but I really wanted some Zumba. It was a great class and I’m glad I went. Plus it was a little warmer in town.

It’s nice to hunker down at home when it’s really cold like it’s been. We’ve made a couple more recipes from our new Mark Bittman book. The White Bean Stew was awesome and super-easy. Crisp Tofu and Asian Greens in Peanut Sauce was okay, but seemed to me like it needed another flavor. Chris thought it was too peanut butter-y.

I’ve been experimenting with my smoothie recipe too. Here’s my current recipe:

  • 7 oz. package Fage Total 2% or 0% greek yogurt
  • 3/4 c. Silk Light Plain Soymilk
  • 1 banana
  • 1/2 c. frozen strawberries
  • 1/4 c. frozen blueberries
  • 1/4 c. frozen raspberries
  • 1/4 c. baby spinach leaves
  • 1 T chia seeds
  • generous sprinkle of cinnamon

I picked up some unsweetened vanilla almond milk to try instead of soymilk and we found a new frozen fruit mix, so those will be in my next iterations.

Now to get on the treadmill so I can report on day 16 in my next post 🙂

Advertisements

Options are good

9 Jan

Day 9 of the 100 Days Challenge: made myself do a 30 minute treadmill workout. I was tired this afternoon and the thought of skipping a workout today crossed my mind. But I’m determined to lose some weight and get myself in better shape, so I did it.

Today I had my first of six Individualized Health Planning sessions (IHPs) that I can do through work. This first session is where you set your goals and plans for attaining them. My main goals are to 1) improve my overall health and fitness, and 2) lose weight. My wellness consultant loved the idea of the 100 Days Challenge. When we talked about my plans for exercise, I realized that I now have lots of options: treadmill or other running, stability ball workout (with or without resistance or weights), running dogs, learning to skate ski and eventually skijoring with a dog, and Zumba. My next IHP session is in two weeks and we’ll assess how things are going with my exercise plan. I hope to report that I’m on Day 23 of the 100 Days Challenge 🙂

My diet is another aspect of my life that I’m working on: eating less, eating healthier, and eating better food. We recently purchased Mark Bittman’s Kitchen Express: 404 inspired seasonal dishes you can make in 20 minutes or less at the recommendation of Chris’ brother. We like Mark Bittman‘s simple, healthy, quality recipes plus he’s a runner and contributor to Runner’s World.  I purchased many of his recommended pantry items over the weekend and tonight Chris made the first recipe: Potato Cumin Curry. It’s just potatoes, onion, curry powder, cumin, coconut milk, and chickpeas. It was quite easy and tasty. Looking forward to making more from this book.

Finally, thanks to the FitFluential twitter feed I discovered a new blog to check out with more healthy smoothie instructions and recipes. Woo hoo! More things to try!

Currently craving: Zumba and smoothies

2 Jan

A friend and coworker has been going to Zumba® classes for quite a while now. Before the holiday break she sent an email to the office offering to treat anyone who wanted to join her for a Zumba class. I finally couldn’t resist and had the time free, so I joined her for Zumba with Phoebe last Tuesday evening. Zumba is advertised as a way to “party yourself into shape” with Latin-inspired dance-fitness moves and high-energy music. It’s supposed to be fun and burn a ton of calories.

I was a little worried that I wouldn’t be able to keep up or follow the moves, or worse: look stupid doing them. I worried that I would travel in the wrong direction and run into someone. I was worried I’d be the fattest, most unfit person in the room. Turned out I had none of those things to worry about. Well, I might have looked stupid, but everybody else in the room was focused on following the moves themselves to notice if I looked stupid or not. I didn’t knock anybody over by going the wrong way or flailing my arms too wildly. There were easy ways to modify the moves if I got a little tired, but mostly I kept up just fine. And the couple of moves I couldn’t follow? Neither could a lot of other people. Phoebe, the instructor, was awesome and so welcoming. Her instruction when we were introduced was, “if you get lost, just keep moving and smile.” I can do that 🙂 I had such fun at that class, I went back for more on Saturday morning!

Unfortunately the holiday break from work is nearly over and things will be getting busier again. Many of the Zumba classes are offered at challenging times for me to go. If they’re during the lunch hour, how do I get cleaned up and go back to work? I sweat … a lot. We at least try to go to bed on the early side (9-9:30 PM) so if I go to a class that starts at 7 PM or later, I won’t get home until close to bedtime. When do you eat dinner? And what about a shower? The Tuesday 6 PM class I went to was a decent time, but normally we train dogs Tuesday afternoons, so I wouldn’t have time to get home, feed dogs, change clothes, and get back into town for a class. That just leaves weekend classes, which might be doable on non-race days if we can get our errands done at other times. So that’s what I’ll try to do: a Saturday or Sunday Zumba class and Tuesdays when possible. At least I’ll get a little Zumba fix.

I wasn’t sure how or what to eat before Tuesday evening’s Zumba class. We normally eat dinner between 6-7 PM, which was the time of the class. I knew I needed some energy to get through the workout.

I got an immersion blender about a year ago with the intention of using it for making creamy soups and smoothies. That didn’t happen. I had the excuses: what a hassle to prepare the fruit; I don’t know what I should put in them and in what proportions. So I never made smoothies; soups either for that matter. Chris recently decided he wanted to try making smoothies and I convinced him the immersion blender was the tool to use. He eats lots of yogurt, so we had that around, and one of his colleagues told him where we could find frozen fruit. I know, every grocery store has frozen fruit, but it’s amazing hard it is to find frozen fruit that is just fruit and doesn’t have other stuff added, and even harder to find organic frozen fruit. So far we’ve found strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, mango, a mix of pineapple+peach+strawberries+mango, a berry mix, and cranberries. I love bananas, and don’t mind fresh for smoothies, but I can only eat organic bananas (non-organic ones make my tongue and throat itch) and finding ones that aren’t bright green is a big challenge. Chris is MUCH less picky than me, so he’s been making smoothies with whatever we find. They’re okay, but not something I would crave. I’ve made a few of my own with low-fat yogurt (regular or Greek), a banana, a bit of light soymilk, and frozen strawberries, peaches, and blueberries. I’m guessing on proportions, so they’re kind of soup-like, but they seem to work and I enjoy drinking them. Now I’m looking at what else I could add to smoothies to make them even healthier. I will try switching to fat-free Greek yogurt and keep experimenting with different fruits. I’ve seen some recipes with cocoa powder, peanut butter, and orange juice (not all at the same time) that seem promising. Maybe I should try Chia seeds? Add veggies like carrots or spinach? Possibly.

Here are a few smoothie recipes I’ve found that look promising but I haven’t tried yet:

And I’ll keep looking for other smoothie recipes and ideas for tasty things to put in them. I’m also looking for suggestions on how to take smoothies to work with me for later in the day. Maybe a small thermos? Chris uses a jelly jar. Please leave me a comment if you have suggestions.

%d bloggers like this: