Monthly Archives: March 2014

Monday (Travel Day) Workout

Like I said last week, I added “Travel Day” in parentheses to my Monday workout since it is a quick weight workout that can be done on the road or when you are pressed for time.  It’s March 31st (end of first quarter), which means for the next week and a half I will be swamped at work.  I’m sure that some of you can relate.  When my alarm went off this morning, and I thought about hitting the snooze button, I reminded myself of how busy my week will be.  “1-2-3”, I’m up!

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Little to no equipment today due to the fact that I wanted to squeeze some cardio in here (and no, by cardio, I do not mean running/cycling).  I do want to point out that I am not just making these up for the blog, I am actually doing them every day.  Although I might walk in the afternoon with my daughter, what you see out here is what I am doing.  I used to feel the need to work out for two hours a day, several days a week, but I have found if I can effectively work out, I don’t need to spend that much time at the gym.

Warm up – I started my stop watch when I started my warm up.  I walked in place, raised my arms, clasped both hands together and took a big exhale in.  Holding hands together stretch to the right and the left.  From here, I dropped my arms and gradually increased my walk until I was jogging in place.  After a few deep body weight squats and hamstring stretches, I was ready to start my workout.

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Workout – Right at 25 minutes, and I will explain why.

1 – Kettle bell swings/Burpees super set – This is where I added the cardio.  When I was planning out my workout, my husband told me to try this.  I didn’t understand how it could be so hard until I tried it.  Start by doing 10 kettle bell swings.  Put your kettle bell down and do 10 burpees (push up and all).  Pick your kettle bell up again and do 9 kettle bell swings.  Now do 9 burpees.  Keep counting down your reps until you get to 1.  This took me almost ten minutes, and I did take a second in the middle to catch my breath.

2  – V Raise/Knee Tuck – This is where I started my circuit.  The following four exercises I completed sequentially 3 times through.  This is an ab exercise. Lay flat on your back on the floor.  Raise you feet so your legs are at a 45 degree angle with the floor.  Now raise your chest so your back is at a 45 degree angle with the floor.  Bring your hands up, so your arms are parallel with floor.  Drive your right knee in slowly, then take it back to 45 degrees.  Repeat with left leg.  Do 12-15 each leg.

Modification – Keep your back flat on the floor while you do your knee tucks or drop your left leg to the ground and do all reps with your right leg before switching to the other side.

3 – Weighted Kick back/fire hydrant – Start in an all-fours position. Place dumbbell behind your leg where your knee bends (you should be able to hold the dumbbell in place when you perform both exercises).  First part of exercise, flex the foot that is holding the weight and kick your heel back and up.  Don’t extend the leg.  Keep it bent.  Do 10.  Next up, fire hydrant.  Bring your leg back to starting position.  Keeping knee fixed at a right angle, raise your leg out to the side.  Do 10.  Repeat on opposite leg.

Modification – These can definitely be done without a weight.

4 – Dumbbell lunge, curl and press – In a standing position, hold weights in each hand by your side.  Step your right leg forward into a front lunge.  Lower your body forward until you tap the dumbbells to the floor.  In one move, curl weights to shoulder level as you come back to standing.  In the standing position, press dumbbells to ceiling.  Repeat with left leg.  Do 10-12 each leg.

Modification – You can do these without dumbbells.  Break up the press and the lunge if it is too much for you to stay in control.  Really try to avoid rounding your back when you are lowing the dumbbells to the floor.

5 – Swiss ball, dumbbell, lying tricep extension – Lie on swiss ball so middle and upper back are supporting you.  Feet are planted flat on floor.  Raise hips so they are in line with the rest of your body.  You will feel this in your legs.  Raise dumbbells above your head, so that your palms are facing each other.  Lower dumbbells until forearms are just past parallel to floor without moving upper arms. Do 10-12.

At this point in my workout, I had 1 minute left.  No sense in wasting it.  I held a wall squat for 1 minute.  BURN. IT. OUT.  Hold your weight or medicine ball for an extra burn!   Let me know what you think about the workout. I love feedback!  Weather is supposed to be awesome in Charlotte this week, so keep an eye out for some great outdoor workouts!

In other news – The first friend that I ever made in Charlotte and someone that I have learned so much from, released her new blog this weekend!  Dillan and her husband are entrepreneurs on the road.  They are documenting their experiences on their blog.  Check it out!




Saturday Cheat Day, Sunday Recipe + Workouts

Saturday afternoon classes at Flywheel were rocking!  I don’t know if it was the weather or what, but the stadium was packed all day.  Starting last week, my 2:45 PM class was designated as the “March Madness” class for the week.  The top 8 male and female power numbers advanced to this week.  The top 4 male and female power numbers from this week will move on to next week (until we have our champions).

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You didn’t have to be on the torqboard to move on, but I wanted to show the awesome numbers that were cranked out today.  Nice work!  Since I teach a double later in the day on Saturday, I am starving by the time my second class is over.  We do love going to eat on the weekends too, so we typically head straight out shortly after class is over.

At our house, one or two of our weekend days are designated “cheat” days when it comes to food.  During the week, we definitely don’t deprive ourselves, but we do try to refrain from alcohol, fried food and desserts.  Two reasons for “cheat” days:  One, we typically workout harder on the weekend (so we need the extra calories), and, two, I truly believe you need days like this to enjoy life.  I love good food (and a lot of what I would classify as good food is not healthy).  I grew up about an hour from the country, where my dad’s side of the family is known for the dessert table at a family reunion and tailgating is  a must before a Hokie football game.  My husband grew up in a family that eats ice cream out on Sunday nights and has been known to have more than a few cold beers at the horse race track.

photo 2-2Like I mentioned in my post yesterday, when we have our daughter, we frequent “kid-friendly” restaurants.  Tonight was no exception.  Mellow Mushroom it is!  We made ourselves feel better by ordering small side salads prior to our pizza coming, but we took the time to indulge on our “cheat” day.

That takes us to Sunday.  Yet another rocking class for 7:30AM.  Brunch today was much cheaper than last week at another one of our staples – Flying Biscuit.  You can’t go wrong here with children. Other than my biscuit, I went the healthier route today: Hollywood Omelette (made with egg whites and includes spinach and mushrooms), chicken sausage patties and fruit.


Since it’s Sunday, we typically cook ALOT of food for dinner so we can use it for leftovers during the week (keeping with the theme of time management).  I wanted to share with you one of our favorites.

Baked Russet and Sweet Potatoes – SO EASY!  Like the recipe last Sunday, little to no prep.

IMG_08021.  Set your oven to 425 degrees.  Go ahead and slide the pan that you will be using to cook the potatoes into the oven while it is preheating.  That’s right.  In the oven.

2.  Cut potatoes into wedges.  The russets can be bigger than the sweet potatoes.  For whatever reason it is harder to crisp up sweet potatoes.

3.  Throw the sliced potatoes into a big bowl.  Mix with a little bit of olive oil, sea salt and pepper.  You can even chop up an onion, peppers or jalapeño to add to the mix.

4.  Once the oven is preheated, take the pan out and pour the potato mixture onto the pan.  You will hear a sizzle if you did this right.

5.  Slide pan back in the oven with the potatoes for 45 minutes to an hour (depending on how crispy you want them).

It is as easy at that.  Let me know what you think!  You can get that french fry taste using your oven.

Date Night (Healthy) Sushi

My husband and I love going out to dinner with our daughter on the weekends, but we typically frequent the stereotypical “kid-friendly” restaurants (Mellow Mushroom, Flying Biscuit, Pacos Tacos, the list goes on…). My parents were in town this weekend, so we took advantage of a free babysitter and decided to spend our “date night” out at a restaurant that we probably wouldn’t normally take our daughter to – sushi. (She is super cute in that high chair, but we need some time to ourselves every once in awhile!)

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In 2009, when the Metropolitan had just started to become popular, I purchased one of the last loft units in the building. Pisces restaurant opened shortly after. At first, I wasn’t sure that any restaurant would make it at this location (the Charlotte restaurant industry seems cut throat). Pisces proved me wrong. After getting married, we decided to do a renovation on our home, and moved back to Metropolitan for several months. Pisces was one of our staples. Owner, Bryan Li, is so engaged with the customers (he has been working every night that we have gone).

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Enough said, on to the food! They just revamped their menu and there are so many healthy choices.

Appetizers – Edamame and steamed vegetable gyoza (Our waitress recommended this. Delicious!)

Sushi – See picture above. We got FIVE rolls. So many people will tell you that to make this healthy you can add brown rice, take rice out, etc. You can do that, but that completely changes the roll at that point. We opted to keep most rolls as is, and we could still get very healthy options.

– First Love – Crab, Mango Roll topped with Shrimp & Avocado

-Metro – Crab, Avocado Roll topped with Spicy Tuna and Crunchy Flakes

-Leo – Tuna, Mango Roll topped with Avocado and chili oil

-Panthers – Spicy Tuna Roll topped with Tuna and Avocado

-Bobcats – Crab Tempura, Avocado Roll topped with Crab Salad and Tobiko, with Eel & Aori Sauce (OK this was one was a splurge, but we removed the Tobiko and Aori Sauce)

Clearly we like avocado! As I mentioned in my post yesterday, we gave up sweets for lent, so no dessert for us. That didn’t stop us from taking advantage of the Trader Joe’s there. We picked up something to add to my work snack drawer.

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The Work Snack Drawer + Workouts

I used to have a co-worker that referenced her favorite part of the afternoon as “3:00 Snack Time”.  When you have nothing more than work to look forward to, sometimes food is your only thought (everyone has to stop to eat right?). As an auditor I spent a lot of time in a conference room with a team.  It is funny that the second we got back from lunch we were talking about where we wanted to go for dinner.  The anticipation of what to eat next was always worse with the women too (my audit teams would talk about this too).  Why does it seem like guys can work and work and work without thinking about stopping to eat, but I am always trying to decide if I need a snack or not?

I finally got to the point that I started bringing snacks with me to both the office and clients.   Sometimes I am glad that I have snacks and other times I wish that they would go away (I definitely don’t need the temptation some days). Why does it seem like the days that I don’t work out I want to snack the most?   Either way it’s all about moderation.  Now that I am not traveling anymore (and therefore I have my own desk), I have filled up a drawer with snacks.  With everything going on in my life sometimes my snacks are a meal or the best thing to hold me over between meals.

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Here is what I’ve got:

Oatmeal – Easiest, healthy breakfast food to make without being conspicuous. Yes, we can smell your eggs when you try to heat them up in the microwave.  You don’t need a refrigerator for any part of this.  Almost every office has a coffee machine. Use the hot water from the machine if you don’t have a microwave.  You also don’t have to save this for breakfast.  Have it any time of the day.

Almonds – People have been saying to eat these for a long time.  Do it.  So filling. If you don’t dig the unsalted, there are plenty of flavored options (just watch the salt!)

Pretzels – Not as filling as Almonds, but they are a nice little hold over. Plus, if you don’t want to buy a bag of chips every day for lunch, you have these in your drawer.

Lance Peanut Butter Crackers – Did you know Lance started in Charlotte? Perfect hold over. Love the peanut butter!

Luna Bars – Full disclosure, my husband and I gave up sweets for Lent. This is as close to chocolate as I can get. It’s not a sweet right?  The Chocolate Dipped Coconut is out of this world good!

Gum – For the times that I am not really hungry but thinking about eating a snack. You know the feeling!

Ready-brew coffee – Sometimes the office coffee just doesn’t cut it.  These aren’t that much better, but they give you a different flavor.

Take away from this is that I have found that trying to go the whole day without a snack only leads to me going home and rummaging through the refrigerator until it is actually time to eat dinner.   You don’t have to have a drawer for snacks, but it never hurts to have some healthy options!

On to workouts –

It FINALLY started to warm up in Charlotte Thursday. As soon as I got home from work I wanted to take advantage of the opportunity to get a run in. This time baby was coming along! I knew I had to teach early in the morning Friday, and I was still a little sore from my Wednesday workout, so I didn’t want to overdo things.  Easier said, than done.  Pushing a jogging stroller with an infant car seat and a fifteen pound baby is one of the most difficult workouts you can imagine.  I give anyone who does this a lot of credit.  I planned out a three mile loop that ended at Reid’s grocery store, and circled around the pond in Freedom Park (when the weather is nice, I have time, and we need groceries, we try to walk).   Pace was much faster than I thought it would be.  Something about pushing a stroller in general makes you go faster (maybe because you have to keep up with it?).

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As a new mom, I am worried about so many things that I shouldn’t be, so of course I bundled my daughter up way too much.

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This is how I felt after this run was over! Ha.  I have to give a shout out to a rocking 5:30AM class this morning. Love “Dawn Patrol”. Lots of great rides planned this weekend, but I will still throw out some other fun stuff this weekend on the blog!