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Workout of the Week: Speed Intervals February 27, 2012

Posted by starshipexercise in General Exercise.
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I have been one busy little lady these past few weeks.  I haven’t really been keeping to a workout schedule and I’m feeling the pain.  I know I’ve backslid, and from painful past experience, I probably can’t just pick up where I left off.  I need to ease back into it to avoid injury and insanity. 

Whenever I’m in this situation, my favorite way of ramping back up is with speed intervals.  Here’s what I do:

Put some bitchin tunes on my Nano
Walk for 2 minutes
Run for 30 seconds
Rinse and repeat for at least 20 minutes

Throw in 20 minutes of strength training and you’ve got yourself a workout!  Speed intervals are also great for weight-loss, because you continue burning calories long after you stop exercising. 

By the way, you don’t have to run to do speed intervals.  You can do a walk interval and a really fast walk interval.   To be honest, my running speed is probably an excruciatingly slow jog for most people anyway.   You don’t have to walk, either, you can do speed intervals on any cardio machine:  row, treadmill, eliptical, bike or step.

Okay, I’m putting this out there so you can hold me accountable.  I’ll aim to do this twice this week, Tuesday and Thursday.  Next week, I’ll extend the run interval to 1 minute, and go for 25 minutes each time.  Slowly over time, I’ll extend the run interval and decrease the walk interval until eventually I’m only running. 

What are you going to do to ramp up this week?

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Eat this, bitches! February 26, 2012

Posted by starshipexercise in Recipes and Food.
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Let’s just get one thing straight.  I’m not a food blogger.  There will be no pretty pictures of the recipes I post as they are in process, nor will I be photographing the finished product.  If you want to know what it should look like when it’s done, cook it yourself.  If it tastes good, that’s what it should look like.

The recipes I’ll be posting here will generally be  lifted from other sources and modified to be lower fat, lower sodium, and/or suit my own peculiar dietary needs.   I also look for recipes that I can cook up on a Sunday, portion out and freeze, and grab for lunches or dinners during the rest of the week.  This isn’t about being gourmet, this is about getting through the day with everyone in one piece.  If you’re expecting fancy schmancy, I am not your girl.

Now that we have that out of the way, take a gander at this insanely fast, good and easy recipe for black bean soup.  I must have lost 20 lbs eating this for lunch every other day for months and I never got tired of it.

Look for no-salt-added tomatoes and beans, otherwise the sodium goes through the roof. You can use salsa instead of tomatoes and diced green chile peppers, I’m just not an onion person. I like to serve garnished with diced fresh tomato and avocado with a corn tortilla, but of course that’s not reflected in the nutritional info.  Enjoy!

Low Fat, Low Sodium Black Bean Soup

Servings: 4

1 spray canola oil cooking spray
1 small shallot, chopped
1 tablespoon chili powder
1 teaspoon ground cumin
2 15-ounce cans black beans, rinsed
3 cups water
1/2 cup diced tomatoes
2 tablespoons diced green chile peppers
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon lime juice
2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro, plus more for garnish
4 tablespoons reduced-fat sour cream (optional)

1.Heat canola oil cooking spray in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add shallot and cook, stirring, until beginning to soften, 2 to 3 minutes. Add chili powder and cumin and cook, stirring, 1 minute more.

2.Add beans, water, tomato, chiles (or salsa) and salt. Bring to a boil; reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in lime juice and cilantro.

3.Transfer half the soup to a blender and puree (be careful when pureeing hot liquids). Stir the puree back into the saucepan. Serve garnished with sour cream and more cilantro, if desired.

Calories: 171.5
Fat: 0.3 g
Cholesterol: 0.0 mg
Sodium: 276.1 mg
Carbohydrates: 33.4 g
Dietary Fiber: 8.7 g
Protein: 9.5 g

 

We are bad ass! February 26, 2012

Posted by starshipexercise in General Exercise.
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Walking Seward Park on Sunday mornings with the girls has become one of the highlights of my week. This week, we didn’t think it would happen due to other social engagements, but last night Jennifer and I realized that we would be able to walk after all. So we dutifully met at Seward Park at 11 AM. Being winter in Seattle, you would expect a little misty rain. What we got was hail. On the plus side, when the stuff falling from the sky is frozen, it mostly just bounces off of you. On the downside, when you’re walking into a headwind, it bounces off your face.

The storm system had passed over my house very quickly earlier in the morning, so I assured Jennifer it would get better quickly. About a quarter of the way through it got worse.  I then assured Jennifer that we are bad ass for walking despite the hail bouncing off our foreheads.  I must have sounded like I knew what I was talking about, because she seemed to buy it.  More likely, she was just humoring me.

Well, we’ll just keep telling ourselves that we’re bad ass.  Whatever it takes to get through the day, right?

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