Monthly Archives: March 2012

My CrossFit Experience

I finally got a chance to try a CrossFit workout!  One of the mom’s at my kids school, Tonya,  is a CrossFit trainer. She welcomed me and another mom, Lisa, to come in for a trial CrossFit workout. Tonya was nice enough to let my bring my 2 year old since I couldn’t find a sitter. Lucky for me he slept in the jogging stroller for most of the workout. :)

I had no idea what to expect for the workout. When I walked in to the building the front desk area and seating area was warm and welcoming, but then when you entered the workout room it told a different story. It’s a huge warehouse with the front part filled with rowing machines, weight benches, pull up station. More than half of the warehouse had turf to similate open field for soccer or football players to train. They even had a huge tire, like the kind on a construction machine, they use it as part of their workouts to flip the tire over! Off to the one side they had a bunch of rings hanging to do functional exercises,  similar to TRX suspension training system. Off to the right side of the warehouse along the wall, they had kettle-bells, plates that you put on straight or crooked bar for power lifts and stuff; along with some weighted vests, medicine balls, and sandbags! Ohh, I got very excited when I saw the sandbags! I so want one!!!! Ever since I was introduced to BodyRock TV about a year ago, I’ve been telling my husband I need to save my money to buy one. Overall I have to say it was a  humbling experience! :)

Before I share with you my workout, here is a video that demonstrates what CrossFit is all about. Sorry I don’t have a picture of me working out (not that you wanted to see a pic of me) since I forgot my camera. Though I do have one of those cheap cell phones that takes pictures but didn’t bother using it to take a photo of my experience. For some reason it won’t let me download photo’s or email them to myself or anyone. One day I’ll be up to date with technology and get a smart phone! :) Here is a YouTube video on what CrossFit training is all about.

So the workout went something like this:

Foam Roll: The workout started off with using a foam roller to focus on the neural and fascial system of the body. What is fascia? Fascia is connective tissue that wraps around or surrounds group of muscles, blood vessels and nerves; think of it like a cellophane wrap. You roll your body part, such as your quadricep muscle or IT band, on the foam roll to penetrate and break up any knots in your muscle. I like to think of foam rolling as a self massage, hence the name, “self myofascial release” or SMR for short.  Once you have found a knot or tender spot, you hold it for about 30 seconds as you apply your body weight on the foam roll. Mind you it’s painful, very painful but it’s a feel good kind of pain. It reminds of when a massage therapist digs deep into your muscles.

Warm Up: After SMR stretches, we did some dynamic stretches for about five minutes to warm up our bodies. Light jog to the end of the studio and back, karaokes, side hops, etc.

Strength/Skill: Then Tonya had us work on our form for overhead squats and front squats using our own body weight. Then she walked us through the “workout of the day” or “WOD” is what they call it.

WOD (work out of the day): we were timed on this part, she said our goal was to complete the in less than 10 minutes. It went like this:

  • 500 meter rows on the rowing machine.
  • 40 squats
  • 30 sit ups
  • 20 push up (we did them on an incline on a big huge tire)
  • 10 pull ups (we had some help with the use of a huge rubber-band that literally was almost as tall as me)

I finished the “welcome to the jungle” workout in 5 minutes and 23 seconds, not bad for a first timer! :) This was definitely a full body workout, last night I was so exhausted and went to bed just before 9pm. Thank goodness I own a foam roller, I did some foam rolling, drank a big glass of water lemon and went to bed. 

What did I think of it? This style of working is not for everyone, I have been told that you either love it or hate it. Well I loved it! I love HIIT (high intensity interval training) workouts and challenging myself to the next level of fitness. I also like timed workouts where I can measure my progress over a period of time. Actually Cross Fit kind of seemed like a mix of Body-Rock and Power Lifting. I’d like to sign up for a few months of Cross Fit training but I’ll have to figure out a way to fit it into my budget and into my schedule.

What about you have you ever tried Crossfit? If so, tell me about your experience.

Sweet & Spicy Sweet Potato French Fries

 With all of this wonderful warm weather we have been experiencing in Michigan I broke down and made some burger’s on the grill  (post recipe soon). You gotta have french fries with a good burger, right? I made some homemade sweet potato fries, half the batch I made some plain and other half I spiced things up (see my sweet and spicy seasoning below).
Making your own fries is very simple, takes about 5 minutes to prep depends if you have your kids in the kitchen bugging you. :) I have been into making my own not only because it’s easy but because it’s cost effective. One pound of sweet potatoes can cost you around 79 to 99 cents a pound,  so much cheaper than buying the frozen fries from the grocery stores that can cost you close to $4 or more for 20 ounce bag!
When I make my fries,  I leave the skins on for extra fiber, luckily my kids don’t mind it. Just a half cup of sweet potatoes with the skins on gets you about 20 % of your daily goal of 25-35 grams of dietary fiber per day. Not to mention sweet potatoes are an excellent source of beta-carotene and vitamin C.
Do you make your own fries? If so, do you use sweet potatoes?
Sweet & Spicy Sweet potatoes fries
Servings: 4/Serving Size: 1/2 cup of fries
Weight Watcher pts: 3
Calories: 130/Protein: 4 g/ Fat: 2.5 g/ Carbs: 25 g/ Fiber: 4.5 g
3 medium potatoes (~1 pound – 16 onces)
2 tsp olive oil
1 Tbsp sodium free or low sodium seasonings (see my seasoning recipe below)
My sweet and spicy seasoning:
1/4 cup chili powder
3 Tbsp brown sugar
2 Tbsp cumin
2 Tbsp paprika
1.5  Tbsp garlic powder
1/2  tsp kosher salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
1 Tbsp ground cayenne pepper
- mix all the ingredients together. store extra in a small jar with a lid in a cool dry place.
1. Pre-heat the oven to 400 degrees F. Wash and scrub sweet potato, pat dry with a clean paper towel. Cut sweet potato with the skins on into long thin or thick strips.
2.  In a small bowl, add about 2 tsp olive oil. Place the potatoes in a bowl, using a pastry brush, coat the fries on all sides. Sprinkle with seasoning.
3. Transfer potatoes on a baking sheet lined with a silpat mat (works wonders) and bake for about 20 minutes or so, flip them over and bake for another 15-20 minutes until golden brown and crispy.
4. Enjoy with your favorite ketchup or dipping sauce.
 Nutritional Analysis for 1/2 cup sweet potato fries: calories: 130/
 protein: 4 g/ total carbs: 25 g/ dietary fiber: 4.5 g/ sugars: 11 g/ total fat: 2.5 g/ saturated fat: 0.5/ monounsaturated fat: 1.6 g/ polyunsaturated fat: 0.4 g/ cholesterol: 0 mg/ sodium: 118 mg
% Daily Values Based on a 2,000 calorie diet for adults:

Roasted Pepper Hummus~ WIAW

Today is another beautiful sun shiney day, with temps reaching close to 80 degrees! This is well above normal temps for March so I’m enjoying it while I can with my boys. I woke up and ran 4.5 miles in 45 minutes and followed it up with some abs before work this morning.

Since the weather is warm, I like to eat light. I roasted peppers for dinner last night, with the extra’s I decided to add it to my hummus to make a roasted red pepper hummus. I added some fresh herbs, such as basil and parsley to get some greens in there. I’m linking this recipe over at Peas and Crayons for What I ate Wednesday (WIAW).

What do you guys have planned today?

What did you eat today?

Lisa’s Roasted Pepper Hummus
Servings: 10/ Serving Size: 1/4 cup
Weight Watcher pts plus: 2
Calories: 98/ Protein: 4 g/ Fat: 4.5 g/Carbs: 10 g/ Fiber: 3 g
1, 15 ounce can of garbanzo beans rinsed well
1/2 cup of roasted peppers~ I roasted my own and used 2 red bell pepers
1/4 c. tahini (sesame seed paste)
1/3 c. fresh squeezed lemon juice
2 cloves of garlic ~ use more or less
2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
2 Tbsp fresh Italian leaf parsley
2 basil leaves
salt and pepper to taste
1. In a food processor or blender, combine garbanzo beans, tahini, and lemon juice; process until the mixture is smooth.
2.  Add roasted peppers, parsley and basil; process until the peppers are finely chopped.
3. Season with salt and pepper. Transfer hummus to small bowl, cover and chill until you are ready to serve.
Nutritional Analysis: Calories: 98/Protein: 4 g/ Total Carbs: 10 g/ Fiber: 3 g/ Total Fat: 4 g/ Saturated fat: 0.6 g/ Monounsaturated fat: 0.7 g/ Polyunsaturated fat: 1.7 g/ cholesterol: 0 mg/ sodium: 120 mg
% Daily Values based on a 2,000 calorie diet for adults for 4 Tbsp (1/4cup serving) : vitamin C: 21%/manganese: 18%/ folate: 16%; phosphorus: 11%/ copper: 11%/ vitamin K: 9%/ B1: 9%/ iron: 7%/ magnesium: 6%/ zinc: 5%/ selenium: 5% vitamin A: 5%/potassium: 4%/ calcium: 3%/ B2: 2%/ pantothenic acid: 2%

GF Crispy Chicken Tenders on a Stick

I’ve found a fun new way to serve chicken tenders (at least it’s new to my kids). Serve them on a popsicle stick! For some reason kids go crazy for food on a stick. I’m thinking I’ll try to serve steamed broccoli and asparagus on a stick, I’ll keep you posted on how they react to that one! :)

I served the crispy chicken tenders with a mixed green salad topped with sun dried cherries and balsamic vinaigrette dressing.

Crispy Chicken Tenders on a Stick:
Servings: 5 /Serving size: 2 chicken tenders
Weight Watcher points plus: 9
Calories: 348/Protein: 20/Fat: 17 g/Carbs: 29 g/ Fiber: 3 g
1o chicken tenders (~ I thinks it’s about one pound)
1 cup of bread crumbs (see below for my simple bread crumb recipe)
3/4 cup Greek low fat Plain yogurt
vegetable spray ~ 1 teaspoon total – I used my misto spray filled with extra virgin olive oil
My simple Bread crumb:
1 cup of rolled oats ~ Bob’s Red mill gluten free oats
1/ 2 c. of unsweetened corn flakes ~ gluten free
1 Tbsp or more of Italian dried seasoning (rosemary, parsley, oregano, basil, garlic powder, salt and pepper)
Directions for the bread crumbs:
1. In a blender add 1/2 c of rolled oats, Italian seasoning, corn flakes; blend.
2. Transfer in a bowl, add remaining oats; blend. Add more seasoning if needed.
3. makes about 1 cup.
Step by step process:

Remove fat and the cartilage from the chicken tenders. Rinse under cold water and dry with clean paper towels.

Take a knife and insert a slit (about 1 inch deep) in one end for the popsicle to slide into.

Insert popsicle stick.

Dip the chicken in yogurt or egg whites.

Dip the chicken in your choice of breading.

Lay parchment paper or silpat mat on a baking pan, lay the chicken tenders. Lightly spray the chicken tenders with vegetable oil. I use my misto spray bottle filled with extra virgin olive oil.

Bake at 350 degrees F, for about 30 minutes (flipping tenders over halfway through) or until the internal temperature of the chicken reaches 170 F with a meat thermometer.


St. Patrick’s Day Green Recipe Round-Up

Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

I wanted to share a new recipe today on my blog but I didn’t have much time to sit at my computer today or pretty much all this week. The weather in Michigan has been incredibly warm and the last thing my kids want to do is sit inside the house waiting for me to write a post. Can you blame them? It feels great to have the sun out shining down on you; it totally lifts your spirits!

Instead, today I’m going to be sharing a variety of “green” recipes from other food blogger’s I follow. I follow so many, so please don’t be offended if I didn’t share of your “green” recipes. I’ll give you a shout out, I promise!

Hoping some of the following “green” recipes will inspire you to add some green to your day!

Have a Happy and Safe St. Patrick’s day!

Pineapple Green Tea Smoothie by me :)

Pesto Barley & Edamame Salad by Maris of In Good Taste Blog

Thin Mint Chocolate Mint Cupcakes by Geni from Sweet & Crumby

A Slightly Wilted Spinach Salad by ChoJohn of the Bartolini’s Kitchen

Pesto by Charles from Five Euro Food

Rosemary Infused Lemonade by Greg from Rufus Food and Spirits

Quinoa Kale Tabbouleh salad by Juniakk from Mis Pensamientos

Slow Cooker Cilantro Lime Chicken by Courtney from {Mis}Adventures in Cooking

Grilled Brussel Sprouts on Skewer’s by Marie from eNourishment

Zucchini and Salami Pasta by Caroline from Sweet Caroline’s Cooking

Green Beans with Pine Nuts by Kristy from Family Food Adventures

Minted Green Pea and Spinach Soup by Kelly from Inspired Edibles

Mint and Arugala Melon Salad from Linda at Savoring Every Bite

I hope you enjoyed my St. Patrick’s Day “green” recipe round up!

What do you plan on making for St. Patrick’s Day?