Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Thank you!! ....uh....I think?

Walking out of church this past Sunday a woman came up and put her hand on my shoulder.

V. "Anne, your spin class Wednesday was torture."

me "ha ha! Did you have fun?"

V. "I wanted to get off my bike and hit you, but I don't think I would have been able to walk."

me *awkward giggle*

V. "It was a fantastic workout! I needed it...but I wanted to kill you. I wanted to get off my bike and kill you."

me "Ok...well...see you Wednesday?"

V. "ha ha! Yes! I need workouts like that! You'll see me Wednesday!"


Healthy Recipes to Try (plus a healthier snack option)

The first two recipes are ones I like to do the night before and have on hand in the fridge...ready to be eaten when the need arises. LOL...the second two are ones we have on the weekend as a family. Try these!!! They will not disappoint you :)

Deliciously Healthy Shrimp Ceviche!
*warming!* this dish will make your breath wicked fired-up..but it's worth it

2 -3 lbs shrimp, peeled and deveined
2 large tomatoes, diced
1 red onion, diced
1 bunch cilantro, diced
1 serrano peppers or 1 jalapeno, diced
8 limes, squeezed
8 lemons, squeezed
2 oranges, squeezed (preferably sour oranges)
2 large avocados, diced
2 large cucumbers, peeled and diced
*I also added one garlic clove, pressed.

Prep Time: 30 mins
Total Time: 4 1/2 hrs
1 Blanche shrimp in boiling water for about 5 minutes, then shock in ice cold water. Strain when cooled.
2 Cut shrimp into 1-inch pieces and add to bowl.
3 Add citrus juice and marinate for 2 hours.
4 Add red onion, tomatoes, chilies and cilantro, marinate for 2 more hours.
5 Add avocados and cucumber before serving.

Yummy Fruity Curry Chicken Salad

4 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves - cooked and diced
1 stalk celery, diced
4 green onions, chopped
1 Golden Delicious apple - peeled, cored and diced
1/3 cup golden raisins
1/3 cup seedless green grapes, halved
1/2 cup chopped toasted pecans
1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon curry powder
3/4 cup light mayonnaise (or fat free greek yogurt *lotsa protein!!!*)

In a large bowl combine the chicken, celery, onion, apple, raisins, grapes, pecans, pepper, curry powder and mayonnaise. Mix all together. Serve!

Grilled chicken with Watermelon Feta Salad Salsa

Watermelon feta salad
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
1/4 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
1 teaspoon dried oregano
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon pepper
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
no-stick spray
Watermelon-Feta Salad

1. Whisk first 7 ingredients in a shallow dish; remove and reserve 2 tablespoons marinade for Watermelon-Feta Salad. Add chicken to dish; cover and chill 30 minutes.
2. Spray cold grill cooking grate with grilling spray; place on grill over medium heat (300° to 350°). Place chicken on grate.
3. Grill 6 minutes on each side or until done. Serve with Watermelon-Feta Salad

Rosemary Chicken Kabobs!!!!

1/3 cup red wine vinegar
1/3 cup olive oil
4 garlic cloves, pressed
1 tablespoon fresh rosemary leaves
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 pound skinned and boned chicken breasts, cut into 2-inch pieces
1 large green bell pepper, cut into 2-inch pieces
1 pt. cherry tomatoes
1 (8-oz.) package fresh mushrooms
16 (6-inch) metal skewers

1. Preheat grill to 350º to 400º (medium-high) heat. Whisk together first 6 ingredients in a small bowl. Pour half of olive oil mixture into a shallow bowl or zip-top plastic freezer bag; add chicken, turning to coat. Cover or seal, and let stand 10 minutes. Pour remaining olive oil mixture into another bowl or freezer bag; add bell pepper, tomatoes, and mushrooms, and toss to coat; cover or seal, and let stand 10 minutes.
2. Remove chicken and vegetables from marinade, discarding marinade. Thread chicken onto 8 skewers. Thread vegetables alternately onto remaining 8 skewers.
3. Grill kabobs, covered with grill lid, 10 to 12 minutes or until chicken is done and vegetables are tender, turning occasionally. Remove kabobs from grill. Let stand 5 minutes before serving.

Super Snack (doubles as a house air freshener as well)
Homemade Healthier Roasted Pecans!!

1 egg white
1 tablespoon water
2 1/4 cups pecan halves
1/2 cup white sugar (I use splenda instead)
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon clove

Preheat oven to 225 degrees F (105 degrees C). Lightly grease a rimmed baking pan.
Combine the egg white and water in a mixing bowl; beat until fluffy. Fold in the pecans to coat evenly. Combine the sugar, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, and clove in a bowl or cup with a lid. Dust the pecans evenly with the sugar mixture. Spread the nuts over the prepared pan.
Bake in preheated oven until toasted and fragrant, stirring every 15 minutes, about 1 hour. Cool on pan, and store in an airtight container.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Dino Dreams

In the minivan...

Gabe: Mom, I already know what I want to be for a job when I grow up.

me: Cool! What is it?

Gabe: (in a gravelly voice) A DINOSAUR TRAINER!!!!

me: Very exciting! But, you think you'd really enjoy that? You get very frightened by houseflies Gabe.

Gabe: Ugh, MOM! Flies might be hiding stingers and they could STING you?!

me: Hmm, but dinosaurs are gigantic meat eaters. They could kill you.

Gabe: Not if they are trained.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Plateau Poison

So you start up an exercise program, lose the first XX lbs and then you just sit there, close to your goal but not making any strides. This is what is called a plateau. You are staying the same...working hard, but not seeing any results. There is a cure for that. It's called an early morning interval session. Take one every morning with water (5 or six days a week) for 12 weeks and the plateau will be gone.

*You have to finish the can't take it a few mornings and stop!! Give the prescription the time it needs to work for you. It will work...assuming you are human.*

This will kill your fitness plateau faster than you can say "is Anne absolutely insane???!!"

Doing the same old, same old exercise routine will not actually yield the same old results. Your body gets very efficient and adapts. A workout that takes so much effort that it burns 300 calories for you, after doing that same thing--same time, same intensity--over and over, your body will get so good at it you can perform the same task but expend less energy, making it burn less calories for you. That is why I NEVER encourage people to put much weight in the calorie count of cardio machines. They are too generous, in my opinion. Look at the people on the same cardio machines, day after day...they aren't usually the most fit in the gym. is an easy (by easy I mean it is possible to do, although it may make you want to vomit and hit me--in reverse order) early first-thing-in-the-morning interval routine you can add to your already existing exercise routine to give your plateau an eviction notice.

Wake up, throw on the exercise clothes you laid out the night before (or sleep in them, whatevs) and start your interval session:

jump rope for one minute (if jumping rope for one minute is too much for your coordination, just pretend you are holding a rope and jump)
no rest, two minutes of lunges
back to one minute jumping rope
now two minutes of squats
back to one minute jumping rope
back to two minutes lunges
finish it strong with one minute of jumping rope

That is all. Try it five or six days a week and see what you notice!! I find it increases my metabolism all throughout the day...boosts my early morning energy level and mood...and best of all, my exercise regime seems to get an extra ooomph! I overcome the slum of not getting stronger, faster, fitter!! :)

Monday, May 2, 2011

Leading little feet with faith

Some days, as a parent, I can feel a little lost and confused. Being completely responsible for another person (x3!) is not something I take lightly. It can totally stress me out and make me second guess myself like CRAZY! This morning I was doing just that as I got Eliza's lunch ready in the wee hours of the morning. Then a song came up on my playlist. It's written and sung by my cousin, Ryan. As the song came on I just sat down with my coffee and enjoyed the sun that was creeping through the crack in the curtains. I opened the curtains, relaxed in the sun and felt totally at peace. Here are some of the lyrics to his song, "Pray"

"...Pray to the spring that will teach you how to sing when your words have all run dry. Then give your soul, empty and used, to the light that knows what the tree needs to grow, the breath that breathes when the gentle breeze blows, the faith that teaches every mind what it knows. He's going to lead these wandering feet. He's going to lead these wandering feet..."

Friday, April 22, 2011


I worked legs oh man...fatigue has already set in!

Squats: I used the bar and two 45lbs plates. I did 10 sets of 10 reps.
If you are partial to just using your body weight, I recommend doing explosive jumping squats (called jumpies) 10 sets of 15-20 jumps

*difference between using weights and using body weight* bigger weight = bigger muscle. If you are like me and you have no hips, a more then modest backside, and thighs that never fill a pair of skinny jeans you probably want to try to go as heavy as you can.

If you are pear shaped, have a curvy backside, or just want to shave off AND tone your butt/thigh area then jumping is the way to go. Your body is a very smart machine. The bigger your body is the harder it is to jump. You keep jumping and your body will respond by getting smaller--because being smaller will make jumping easier.

One-legged squats: no weight, just your body weight. This is best done with a partner. Stand on top of a box (or a chair at home) stand with right leg on box/chair and your left leg dangling, squat and go back up to start position. Try to get your left foot as close to the ground as possible. Hold onto your partner's hand and have them assist you as needed. Ten repetitions, three sets.

*one-legged squats are great for coordination, balance, and while you're only using your body weight, it's one leg doing all the work. It won't add shape/bulk, but it will strengthen your legs significantly. This is an athletic training exercise.

Lunge-walk with medicine ball toss: hold onto medicine ball handle with right hand. Lunge forward with left leg, as you drive up with your left leg (specifically glute) use that momentum to toss the medicine ball slightly in front of you. Catch the ball with your left hand as you step forward with your right leg and repeat. I do this the length of our track (1/6 of a mile). It's will add shape, tone, and definition to your leg. You can't be sheepish and do draws attention to you and you will drop the ball at least once. No biggie :)

Step-ups super-setted with frog tuck jumps: need a good bra for this exercise. What? Just a friendly heads-up! Ok...step-ups: I used a set of 15lb dumb bells. Stop judging me, I was fatigued!! You can go heavier (if you have something to prove) if you really need some added volume to you badonkadonk...or you can go lighter/no weight if you would just like tone and slimming effects. Put right foot on bench (or chair). Make sure you heel is on the bench/chair...put all your weight in your heel and drive up...push so you are standing up on top. Lower yourself back down s...ll....ooooo....wwww...llll....yyy. No, slower! Make it TOUGH! Do ten on each leg (alternating). Then no time for rest, grab a medicine ball (10 lbs max) or nothing and squat as low as you can (think softball catcher position) and jump up as high as possible and drive those knees UP and into your chest. Try for ten. I got eight in. Rest and repeat for a total of three sets. I had a guy who thinks he is so funny keep saying "Ribbit" as I was doing this. Rage-o-meter = seven

Calf-raises: to really get your calves good you have to mix it up. I did one set of 100 as fast as possible with no weight. Then I put 135 lbs (in the form of a bar and two plates) on my shoulders and did ten calf raises. Then I reduced the weight to 65 lbs and did one legged calf raises (10 reps on one leg, 10 reps two legs, ten reps other one leg). Then I finished it up with seated calf raises: four sets of 15 reps...70lbs.

That, my friends, was all the juice I had in me..

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

3 kids for sale...

I love my kids. I did not love them slinking silently into my bedroom at 4:30am, crouched at the side of my bed stiffling giggles. Eliza motioned "1, 2, 3" and they all screamed