About Me

Friday, December 30, 2011

YAY to Spin! I had a great day! 1000 plus calories!

So as I have said before, I volunteer at our local YMCA and teach Spin, solely for fun on Friday mornings. I call it my Advanced Killer 1 hr hour 800 plus calorie work-out to get ready for the week-end.

I adore my class, I have so many regulars. All great people, that love to have fun on the week-ends, but also want to be in great shape. So they want a hard Spin class.  Spin is the best calorie bang you can get and I make sure we get full use out of our hour on Fridays as we are all busy people, so lets get it done!

I normally have a sign up, as people are always asking. " Are you going to be here Steph!?"  I am not on the regular schedule, as I do this just for fun, I am not part of the " staff"...just a volunteer.  Well, this past month I have been noticing my signs that I post  have  gone MISSING.  Imagine that.  No comment. ps: I am not the only Spin Instructor at our local Y.

Since it is the Christmas Holidays,  my sign has been removed  and things are slow, I assumed that it might be a quiet class,. Perhaps just Alan and I. Which is OK, as we both need the caloric burn after all the drinking and eating we have been enduring.

We got home Thursday night  and there was a message from the lady at the front desk at the YMCA.  " Stephanie- people have been calling -asking if you are going to run a Spin Class tomorrow morning!? ...are you?  as they want me to call them back?"  wow!? Really? People calling about ME!?  crazy.....so I called back and said, yes. the class is still on, even though my sign was taken down. So sorry for the inconvenience.

So then I thought I better make sure I have a kick butt class, as if these people took the time to call the Y, and come in  over the holidays for Spin, I better not disappoint.  I made sure I had a good routine, new music, challenging, as we all need the extra kick!   I made sure the room was booked for me as you just never know.....got it done. ( ps: even though it was suppose to be booked- it wasn't! Good that I called!)

The next day, I get there.  Arrive to the room.  The night staff put way too many bikes in the room.  I was thinking.." oh gosh! Now I have to put them all back, ugh... waaaay too many bikes!"...ha!   Well-  lots of people walked in- strangers- and my regulars-  bikes got taken...we had to go to the storage room and get MORE bikes....those were all gone, then we had to go to the Conditioning room and get the last 3 bikes...that was it.  MAXED out!  The room was crowded!  It was great! I couldn't believe my eyes.  I thanked them all!  NEW people that I have never seen before- All via word of mouth.... ( remember- NO sign, I am NOT on the schedule, and it is Christmas Holidays)

That totally MADE MY DAY!

SO- I had to kick their butts!

HOW!? I had a great routine ready for them. I warned the new people.  1 hr.  Intensity will be too high to talk, you need water, and will get a break half way in between to get MORE water if needed.  This is an intense class to burn maximum calories, get your water ready, your towel for the sweat, get your groove on- LETS GO!

Well ..20 minutes into the class- not even near our half-way mark!   people got off their bikes to get more water already!!!  Then one girl came in---more towels anyone!?  I knew I did my job! All was good!  YAY! These people are working! ( I had to joke! come on girls!  2-3 water bottles for this class or get yourselves a camel back hydration back-pack!!)

OH! and today we learned that the Keiser Spin bikes can't go past the 1000 calorie burn. After that it starts at zero again! HAPPY! wow! 

So off we went... Here was my routine....

1 Hr spin

All My People- 3:52- warm-up. Pedal with just enough tension to feel in control, push-pull, feel the entire pedal stroke, don’t hammer down. Knees’s straight ahead, not over your toes- if so, adjust seat backwards. Shoulders up and back, neutral spine, abs engaged and IN. Look straight ahead- 3 different hand positions for intensity. Vision yourself running over hot coals, quick, light steps..fingers loose,

Good Feeling- 4:06- Zone review along with hand positioning. How HARD do YOU want to work today!?!?! come ON!

We found love-3:36 Hills- Zone 2- 30 seconds, Zone 3- 30 sec, Zone 4- 30 seconds, Zone 2 fast-30, Zone 3- 30 seconds, Zone 4- 30 seconds.

Sexy Chick-3:16- Jumps- Zone 3- UP 2, 3,4, DOWN 2,3,4- Entire song.  Work that BUTT! 

Hey Baby- 3:56- Pyramid- Zone 1, 2, 3, 4, 3, 2, 1 ( 30 seconds each)

Party Rock Anthem: 4:23- Cruise at Zone 2 for 1 minute, “ shake that”- stand up- Zone 3, go hard ( 15 sec), sit back down, Zone 2 ( chorus) bring up the tension every 10 seconds..until “ shake that”…seated and drink. “ step up fast”- get up again, slowing bring up tension to maximum until music reaches peak, then back down, Zone 2, flush it out…sprint..Body posture check. GOOD WORK!

Pain-3:51- LONG Endurance Tabata- 20 and 10. - Called PAIN for  a reason! 

Feel So Close- 3:28- * Musicality Spin* Zone 2 for 30 seconds, - music changes, Zone 4, 20 seconds, then standing jog Zone 3, Sit, Zone 2, stand, Zone 4, then Zone 3 standing jog when music is fast.

Jumpstart- 3:29- Zone 2-3- sprint during chorus. Keep the beat

Bon-Bon- 3:36- Jumps-  UP 2-3-4 DOWN 2-3-4 Zone 3!

Keep the Beat Dirty-5:34- BREAK song- Refill water, wipe the sweat- breathe…chat about the week-end!

Ready to Roll- 3:11- Tabata Strength.- OK, party is OVER!  Everyone is going to hate me again!  WORK IT GIRLS!!! give it 100%

Club Can’t handle me- 3:53 Zone 3- sprint during chorus.

Sexy and I know it- 3:19- Zone 2- “ girl look at that body”- get up- Zone 3- increase slowly…peak out…. “ sexy and I know it- Zone 3- seated” sprint to beat, until “ girl look at that body” * repeat*

“ Enter Sandman- Metallica” 5:31: We’re going to start off this class with an out of the saddle climb. Jack up the tension Zone 2 and find the beat. Get aggressive for the choruses, just like Metallica.

Meet me Halfway- 4:44 Guys vs girls. Zone 3. Will I am, vs Fergie. Go hard when up.

The Scientist-5:09- Cool down

Someone like You- Adele- Stretches

Hi Jody!

That is  crazy!  I just saw your response- so sorry I didn't see it earlier.  Alan is the KING of the deep dish pizza making. It isn't a quick easy process- just saying, but I will have him write out the recipe and how to make it.

I think he bakes the crust before the entire pizza though???

So happy you are following along my Blog though! I do this for fun, fitness, healthy food,  bad yummy food, and more fitness! See the circle!?

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Stuffed Pork Tenderloin, Pesto Potato wedges and Festive Salad

Grab a tenderloin and make a slice down the middle-
Stuff away! I chose Sun dried tomato, goats cheese and balsamic vinegar

 Then I thought I'd dice up a pear, a pomegranate and some onion to make a chutney to bake over it for extra flavour.

now I need something to go with it- something SUPER easy, as I don't feel like doing much---something that can bake at the same time- OH! Slice up some potatoes, and coat them in store- bought PESTO!

* make sure you put the pesto on liberally- I didn't and they could have used more*

Clean out your fridge- make a salad- this one? Romaine, pomegranate, orange, carrots, and almonds.

Bake the pork in white wine and the potatoes on a cookie sheet until done.

Not a bad end result- It was quite tasty and I put it on a " healthy list!"

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Chocolate Truffles- Because it is Christmas of course!

Alyssa and I made these today- I have never made truffles before and I don't know why!? Here I thought they were really hard to make, but we whipped these up quite quickly.

We divided out dough and made 4 different kinds.

Coconut Truffles
Chocolate Truffles
Orange Liquor Truffles
Creme de Mint Truffles.

Alan was in his glory! He loves Truffles!

Healthy Shepherds Pie to order!

I love to make individual dishes, so the meat lovers can get more meat, the veggie lovers get more veggies, the hot sauce lovers get it hot, etc...

So I cooked up some extra lean ground turkey and beef. Seasoned it lightly.
Made some mashed potatoes- we always add a bit of fat free cream cheese, shredded cheese, fat free sour cream , garlic, and a dash of bacon bits to ours.

Then I assembled them. Load them up with the veggies they prefer, the sauces they like, and put the potatoes on top.  It was a great hit at dinner- Everyone loved theirs. Next time I am going to make double and freeze them for a busy crazy day.

Marshall's meat lover one.

and mine- a bit healthier- full of broccoli, mushrooms and less meat!  ( not their idea of a good meal!)

Busy Mornings!

Marshall has to be at the Arena at 6am-  Alan has to get to work, Alyssa has to get on the bus by herself, I do the pick up at the arena, then take Marshall out for breakfast,  grab a few groceries to school, then I teach a 1 hr spin class at 9am!

Busy mornings- plus this particular day we had hockey in the evening after school as well. Alyssa was playing out of town, while Marshall had a game in town. So Alan went with her, I went with Marshall.

Dinner wasn't going to be until 7:45pm that night- so we had to get prepared.

How can a busy family still eat right?

I'll show you.

The night before I had a Chicken/Squash/Veggie Indian stew all set to turn on in the crock-pot.  I leave it in the garage to stay cold, until I turn it on in the morning.  I put the ingredients together for my whole wheat seed bread to turn on , on timer.  Just need to add water and hit start. 

Alan has early morning protein smoothies for breakfast to drink on the go.  I pack my oatmeal, protein in a bowl and just add hot water when I am ready to eat.    Hockey bags, lunches and gym bags all packed to go!

Leave apples in the car- always a good quick snack, and you are set to go!

Christmas Time Fun in the kitchen! Shortbread day!

Christmas Shortbread Day! 

We always forget the recipe, fight over the cookie press issues, then we pour ourselves a glass of wine ( Cranberry ginger-ale for the kids) 

We have a hierarchy of jobs- The cherry cutter and pan preparer at obviously at the bottom, then you can work up to the Mixer- then the decorator, and decision maker for the oven...

Then we always have to call my Grandmother to get the recipe.  You'd think we would know it off by heart  by now, but my mother and I have terrible memories and always second guess ourselves- we do NOT want to screw up our favourite cookies.

Mom is at the top of the hierarchy in the Shortbread process.

Alyssa normally has the decorating job- but she had hockey and was doing a little shopping, but the boy filled in nicely!  Serious face!

Someone got home in time from Hockey  to help out as well!

Obviously I am the supervisor!  ( aka- clean up and picture taker! )

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Today's AWESOME work-out! woohoo!

I woke up- ZERO interest in working out today- nothing, nada, ugh, ick! NO!

But I forced myself, and next thing you know, I did this!  Absolutely LOVING the feeling now! Huge amount of endorphins!  So much accomplished to start my day right, that I have to share.

Jumping Jacks X20
High Knees- X20
Step Toe Taps- fast with arms- X20

30 second rest- but do some dancing moves, as you LOVE the music you have blaring so much!

Jump back and forth over step side to side, swinging arms X20
Squat Thrust X20
Side Punches- GO HARD! ( beat them!)  X20

30 second dance rest- grab a drink

Jumping Jacks X20
Incline Mountain Climber with step- X20
Toe  Taps with arms- fast! X20

30 second dance and drink rest

Squat Thrust X20
Side Punches X20
High Knee's X20

30 second drink and dance rest

Incline Mountain Climbers FAST!  X20
Butt kickers X20
Reverse Lunge and then KICK hard!  X 20 ( 10 each leg)

Treadmill for 10 minutes.  Light run

Abdominal crunches X20 ( using weights)
Russian Twist with weight X20
Ball roll-outs X20

Put on the punching bag gloves and punch the bag as hard as you can for 20 seconds, followed by 20 seconds of lunges, X3

Squats with weights X 20

Treadmill for another 10 minutes- 2 minute light run, then 3 minutes of a hard run, followed by 5 fast paced walk with arms.

Repeat Abs one more time: I like defined Abs- so I always add more.

Abdominal crunches X20 ( using weights)
Russian Twist with weight X20
Ball roll-outs X20

Stretches for 5 minutes...ahhhhh!

LOVE IT!  Time for my oatmeal with protein powder added, a big glass of water and shower!

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Exercise Tips for Extroverts, Introverts, and Neurotics

A great article I had to share- Click below

Exercise Tips for Extroverts, Introverts, and Neurotics

Pumpkin Cranberry Muffins

Working on a good recipe right now. I need to tweak these a bit, as I think they need more liquid.

But I have them full of whole wheat flour, molasses, flax seed, pumpkin seeds, pumpkin puree, cranberries, egg whites, skim milk and vanilla protein powder.

Not bad, pretty good actually,  but I will post recipe once I get them a little bit better.

Easy-Nutritious-Indian Inspired Crockpot Stew

I tend not to follow recipes, but whip things up with whatever I happen to have in the fridge and pantry.  The other day, I put the following in my crockpot.  WOW! It turned out so good, that the family wanted seconds and luckily I made enough for them to take in a thermous to school the next day.

Pure Health Food too!

Steph's Healthy Indian Chicken Stew

4 chicken breasts- cut up into large bite size chunks
1 can diced tomatoes
1 package of slice mushrooms
1 butternut squash- diced into bit size chunks
1 jar of VH Indian Market Vindaloo sauce of your choice- You decide how spicy you want it.

Turn crock pot on- let simmer all day.

Near the end I added some frozen corn kernels that I had  sitting in the freezer. You could also add 1 can of drained/rinsed chick peas if you'd like.

Basically, the more vegetables you add, the lower the calorie content per serving. SO have fun with it!

I served this on brown basmatti rice that I cooked with LITE coconut milk instead of water to add more flavour.

Friday, December 9, 2011

Rewards from exercise and nutrition

YOU feel GREAT! 

Even though we had that wonderful, over-indulgent dinner party on Tuesday, the rest of the week has consisted of fish, vegetables, lean meats, lots of protein, fiber and fruits.  5 days a week of working out. Boot camps, Tabata, Cardio and weights, and now today was my 1 hr Spin Class.

I feel fabulous!  I love starting my week-end out this way.  My 1 hr Advance Spin class has  such a great group of people.  They work SO hard, they are there to do their best and it shows!  They drip in sweat, ( we have had to mop the floor afterwards! ) but we all have a smile on our face at the end.  WE DID IT! We feel Accomplished!

There really is something to learn about fueling and treating your body right....it will do the same right back at you, by giving you  extra energy, endorphins for happiness,  sleep, good posture and form, and lean calorie burning muscle.  Negative people and comments  just roll off of you when you are in this state of mind.....it doesn't matter. YOU are happy and that is what counts. 

Live and LOVE your life.  You and your body deserve it.  Remember, you take care of it- it will REWARD you. Every little bit counts. 

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Good Friends, Relaxing Atmosphere, Planning ahead, Good wine and food..

Makes a GREAT night!

Set the table...

Pay attention to your guests and give them a little " something" to take home..
Personalize it.

One time of the year, where the red walls in my dining room- really work!  ( Easter? Not so much! )

( My mom wanted lots of table pictures- hence so many!)

Prepare as much as you possibly can. If the meal is all last minute prep- then it might not be a good one if you want to be with your friends, instead of the kitchen.

Here are my Truffled infused, Mac and Cheese with Pancetta. ( I kept it comfort food all night- the kids had their own bowls as well)

Right before people arrived, I had all the plates ready to go for each course....Just needed to add the cheese that was melting for the fondue in the pot.

Well it wouldn't be fancy if we hadn't started the night with a little Amuse Bouche.

Escargot- Made ahead, just had to broil in the oven before serving. I sauteed the button mushrooms in red wine to soften them the night before, placed in dish with garlic herbed butter, splash of wine, and lots of cheese. ( All easy to make ahead)

reducing the cranberry sauce and searing the fois gras before guests arrived.

Get your breads baked during the afternoon- This is a Stramoli filled with pesto sauce, italian meats and cheese for the kids to have...

I made the bread sticks and a different loaf of bread ( filled with pesto and sundried tomatoe) for us.  I used the same bread dough...so that made it easy.

TERRIBLE picture- Terrible. But all I have of the huge Slow Cooked Braised Short Ribs. We braised and made the vegetable puree sauce the night before- Then slow cooked for 4 hrs the following day. Smelled and tasted delicious!  I made up the smashed potatoes the night before as well, with roasted garlic, cream cheese, chives, and cream.

Served with sauteed carrots and green beans. Au jus from beef poured over top.

I kept desert simple, since we had about 8 courses!  Chocolate, and cheese!

Lots of good wine to pair with each course.  Alan even gave us all a wine lesson. I added some local apple cidar to the mix as well...always good this time of year with cheese.

The end of the night- All happy, full bellies, Angela took the picture for us! Thanks Ange!

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Having a formal dinner party tonight! I can't wait! Honestly, this is TOO much fun for me!

Amuse Bouche

Foie Gras Pate with black truffle in shells with  sauteed apple

First Course

Swiss Cheese fondue with baked bread, and tart apple

Second Course

Escargot Bombay

Third Course

Truffle infused Macaroni and Cheese with crispy Pancetta

~Lime Sorbet~

Main Course

Braised Short Ribs- slow roasted in red wine, smashed garlic herbed potatoes, and green beans with carrots, drizzled with au jus.


Aged Canadian and French Cheese, Chocolate truffles, Chocolate mints and Chocolate Salted Caramel Cookies

FOODIE PICTURES TO COME!  But I better go for a long hike with the dog first!!!  Lots of calories ahead!

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Lean&Healthy- Sausage Soup

Sausage? Lean and Healthy?

YES!  Check it out- read the label of the Turkey Sausage the next time you are at the grocery store. I love to buy the Hot Italian Turkey Sausage Links. Packed with tons of flavour!

There is so much you can do with it. Here is one recipe.

Steph's Healthy Turkey Soup

In a large cast iron pot, with 1 Tbsp olive oil,  add 1 chopped onion, a clove of minced garlic and a package of turkey sausage with the casing removed.

Saute until onions and turkey are cooked.

Add a half of a head of green cabbage- thinly sliced

Add 1 L of  low sodium chicken broth, mushrooms, chopped carrots, chopped celery, diced tomatoes,  ( ANY vegetable you happen to have in the fridge- add it!)

Seasoning of choice- pepper and Italian seasoning is what I added.

Let simmer most of the afternoon...

Yes! It looks kinda ugly, but it was packed with flavour, filling, and even the kids wanted more!  No left-overs. Darn!

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Cookie Exchange time!

A dear friend of mine has a " cookie exchange" each year, the first week-end in December. She is super organized, always on top of everything, and 100% attention to detail for the holidays.  Her invitation was even out of this world- cute! This is my very first time going, so I wanted to do something fun.  She gives a prize to the best decorated cookie presentation.

I love Ginger Cookies, so that was my choice.  Now, to fancy up the presentation?  geesh!? I had no clue, but I knew these other ladies are big scrap-booking, card making people with all the fancy papers, cut outs, etc.  Me? not so much. hmmm?


AH! I got an idea!

What do you think?

I had to make 8 dozen!!


LOTS of GINGER'S!  And inside is a dozen Ginger Cookies in a sealed- re-usable container. VOILA!

Tuesday, November 29, 2011


My husband and I with his MO-vember mustache...gotta love it...but only for one month of the year! thank goodness!

Looking forward to see how much we raised again this year.

here we were last year!

But this year, we added our Casino Fundraiser party to it all.  Sorry, no pictures from this year, but lets just say it was  a great night. Too much fun to even think about picking up a camera- that is a sure sing of a good party!

 Many tuxes, happy, dressed up people, great dealers, great cocktails, dancing and lots of money raised. However...I. AM. EXHAUSTED and this is my last year...sorry folks!  Time for  a  new Charity. We have raised so much for Prostate Cancer, now it is time to find something new...

 and these always cause a bit of fun- perhaps TOO much fun, but everyone is always warned!

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Healthy eats- then week-end splurge!

Egg Whites , my home-made flax seed bread, salsa, sour cream, cheese and grapes. YUM!

head to the gym...

Have an apple after..

then a packed to go- great lunch! Protein!
Quinoa Indian salad, turkey sticks, egg, skim cheese, and grapes.

but the week-end?

Marshall's 12th Birthday- his request!?  Alan's " Cardiac Burgers!"  Two West Grey Beef patties grilled, served on a garlic grilled bun, with  Salt Lake city " fry sauce, fried egg with gooey yolk, lettuce, home-made dill pickles, bacon, Swiss and cheddar cheese. TO. DIE. FOR. Literally!

and another one of his favourites the following night- Bacon Wrapped Filet mignon, with herbed butter on top, twice baked stuffed potatoes, garlic bread and garden salad.

Yes, the kid likes his meat and grease!

All in moderation, right!?

Monday, November 21, 2011

Love this Quote-

Celebrate every change you make today, no matter how small. Because every step you take today, will lead you farther away from where you were yesterday, and closer to where you want to be tomorrow. ~ Be it a better life, a different life, or a dream we long to realize, we reach our destinations by taking many, many small steps in the same direction, one single step at a time.