About Me

Sunday, July 31, 2011

My new favourite and quite entertaining Fitness Blog to follow!

Read for some straight up advice! LOVE him!

Fitness Blog- His Tabata Rant! too funny! but so true!

Fitness at Home- The best bang for your time? Circuit Training

a circuit workout helps you lose body fat
I made a mini home gym at home. Nothing fancy about it at all. I will add a picture of it to this post later on, but for now, I want to share my newest circuit routine that I love, since it works the entire body in 40 minutes or less!

Circuit Training Benefits via fitday.com

Due to the lack of rest that circuit training demands, exercisers maintain elevated heart rates for the entire period of exercise. The combination of weight training and increased cardiovascular effort makes circuit training a beneficial type of cross training. The exerciser gains muscle through the resistance training. The exerciser increases his/her cardiovascular endurance during the slightly elevated heart rate that is maintained in between sets and throughout the overall program. The exerciser burns high amounts of calories during the high exertion periods of his/her sets.

Circuit training is also a convenient way to exercise. It maximizes the total exercise volume (number of sets, repetitions, and amount of weight) completed in a period of time. Exercises are completed in a row, and therefore, the time spent exercising is condensed. Separate cardiovascular training is not necessary. All body parts are trained in one session, and therefore, exercisers do not need to work out everyday.

MY current routine:

Start: Put the fans on you, get some good loud music with a fast  beat and ice water.

3 minutes of RUNNING on the treadmill
20 lunges with 10 lb weights in each hand each leg
20 squats with 10 lb weights in each hand
20 side crunches with 10 lb weight in both hands-
20 regular crunches with legs up and 10 lb weight
Resistance band- arms 15 reps


Cool down with a 8 minute fast to slow walk...to finish up at 20 minutes on treadmill.

Why is this a good workout?

In the end you have done a 20 minute cardio segment, 160 lunges, 160 side crunches, 160 squats, 160 regular crunches, and 60 reps on your arms with resistance band ( triceps and biceps). A TOTAL body work-out for beautiful lean muscle and cardio weight loss all in one!

WIN! WIN!  now you can start your day right.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

My Baco Noir grapes--- After 3 long yrs, this is going to be THE year!

It takes at least 3 yrs before you can harvest grapes from a vine for wine. 

This is year 3, and they are looking fantastic.  Still buds and green, they will turn red, but look at them all! I am so excited! This is ONE vine. We have 18 of these in our backyard...amazing...

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Born To Be Alive- Another Spin Class coming up!

I am so excited! I teach another Spin Class on Tuesday , so I am looking for fun music and something " different" as usual...

I love this song.  After a few hard songs of climbs and tabata sprinting, I am going to play this one to  lighten it up and make it FUN!...I'm going to get OFF my bike and walk around the room.  When I tap their bike...I want to see if THEY were born to be ALIVE?  spin it hard!!!    Should be fun!

EDIT! Oh my gosh! Don't watch the video. It is disgusting, but crank the music and dance instead!

Circut Training!

I just started doing this at home and I love it, because it is a TOTAL work out, all over your body, your heart rate stays UP and you get it done quickly.

I spend about 40 minutes, doing the following...

3 minute run
20 lunges with weights
20 squats
3 minute run
resistance tubing for biceps- 30
Tricep lunges-20
crunches with weights-40
3 minute run

over and over again...wow! GREAT work-out and energy!  Give it a whirl!

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Love your Abs- my personal take on it all. I am not an expert though!

I swear, every fitness magazine, heck even non-fitness mags, and I am sure the Bible even has a blurb in it about how to get the PERFECT abs! ok, joking!  but hey.

It is something we all try to achieve and work on.  But what is right, and what isn't? What DO  you do? Do you need to buy all of those infomercial gimmicks?  HECK NO! 

First of all, we all have these muscles in there. ( look down)  YES! you have all of those, even if you can't always see them.

The key is to make sure you don't have too much belly fat, otherwise they get hidden. Plus it is nice to pump them up a bit and make them hard and noticeable.

So what do you do? 

All sorts of things can help. You don't have to turn it into a huge deal...do a bit every day and try and find things that are fun for you to do and pack your healthy snacks and lots of water for the day, so you don't get tempted.

Ok, so see that big muscle in the middle? The Rectus Abdominis?

Well that is our super muscle. It is the one that likes to do all of the work.  But if you only allow that one to do it, then you will end up with a huge Rectus Abdominis that sticks out and nothing else. So it is very important to incorporate ALL of our muscles in there.

There are tons of ways..

Pilates! Oh my gosh! I love Pilates because it emphasizes doing abdominal exercises WITHOUT using our big mama muscle. ( my new name for Rectus Abd)   Lay down. Neutral Spine. Legs flat. Try and come to a sitting position without raising your legs or using your arms and DO NOT allow Big Mama to get used. She will try...believe me, she wants to work....A good way to focus on this is to imagine your belly button is touching your spine...hold it in....look straight ahead....focus...over time it will get easier and easier.  You are forcing all the other abdominal and back muscles to work...they aren't used as much...so that is good.   Doing less, but doing them right is more of a benefit than doing lots, but not necessary the right way. ( in all exercises!)  WORK your Transverse Abdominus....those babies will give you a tight, flat tummy.

SPIN!  We all know how much I love Spin, so much so, that I am now teaching it!  YAY!  Well you are thinking, how can SPIN work my abs?  Well almost everything we do, can work our abs if we are conscious of it.  When you are on the bike....bring that belly button back to your spine again...keep your back neutral. Not only are you burning off the FAT, you are working your abs...all of them.

 Just get one. Put it at your desk, by your computer, where you sit most often. Even in front of your TV. Have it replace your " chair".  You won't even realize it but you will constantly be using your abs more than you think...keeping stable. Plus it is good for your back and is pretty comfy!  So you are at the office working, sitting on your ball. You have  lunch break. Now what?  Go and find a nice small space and do some fun exercises with it.  You can google and find LOTS. Go for it.  Russian Twist is my favourite. Or laying down. Put ball between your feet. Raise it to your arms, and pull over head...and back again. All remaining flat on the floor. Belly button IN!

PICK UP YOUR PACE WHEN WORKING OUT!  Including my beloved SPIN! ...But any form of working out while doing Cardio. Running, walking, step class, Keep it up for at least 20 minutes, 3 times or more a week. Watch your waist get smaller.

FUN things to do that work your abs?

I want one of these...looks like fun!  Paddle boarding- again...balance...belly button IN.


Side Bends:   While standing with one both arms at your side grab a dumbbell with one arm and then lower the weight . Now with your obliques raise the weight to until you are crouched on the opposing side. Return to the starting position and repeat on the other side.  Lots more you can GOOGLE...keep them close by. I take mine down to the water when I am swimming at our beach. Do them there...why not? The view is nicer.

  Now lets talk food. That is the HUGE issue here ( I'd say about 80% of the issue) ...we can make our abs look great, but who would know if they have a nice roll over top? blah! No fun....but here are some simple rules. I need to follow them too.

1. Stay away from the Bread Basket and all of that yummy pasta!  But it is OK to have your whole grains and very filling high fiber oatmeal, brown rice, Bulgar.... get your carbs that way. Eat most of your carbs in the morning and slowly reduce them, that way you have your day to burn them off before they store to fat.

2. Limit your Booze-  sorry. A big culprit. :-(

3. Limit a handful of this or that when you are hungry...force yourself to eat your fruits and veggies for snacks. Eat all that you want.

4. Water!  Lots of it.

5. Lean protein to build up those muscles and not add the fat. Fish, Skinless chicken, Lean Turkey, or Turkey Sausage, Beans, Lentils,  Eggs, READ the labels.

6. CHOCOLATE skim Milk has proven to be the BEST drink after a work out to promote muscle building and speed recovery.

 monounsaturated fats, which stop the blood sugar spikes that tell your body to store fat around your tummy.

8. CUT calories...pretty straight forward- Less IN  more OUT. Smaller, healthier meals.

9. Reduce Sodium.  That just adds more bloating and fluid retention.

10. Increase fiber AND water.  Stay regular.

11. Fill your plate with fruits and veggies. Half of your plate! Not just a little bit....find the ones that you love, eat them raw, steam them, just don't FRY them, or add lots of butter, sauce, anything with lots of fat.  Read the labels.

12. Popcorn! That is my love! Fills me up, full of fiber and satisfies my cravings...I enjoy a large bowl each evening. I just don't add butter. I sprinkle mine with aged balsamic vinegar!  try it! pretty darn good!

These are just a few of my personal suggestions. There is so much more you can do...but this is a start! Good luck!

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Pretty in Pink Girlie Birthday Party ( but for grown up girls!)

So I have a new friend that is a lot like me.   I am a very unique sort.....so this is pretty neat! I have yet to find someone just like me, but Mindy is pretty close!  One of the things we have  in common is our LOVE to entertain and make things " pretty".  Her Birthday is this week, so why not have a perfect little pretty party for her this afternoon!  Let's do it Martha Style! ha!

I found a lovely store called THE FRENCH LAUNDRY in Thornbury, Ontario. All beautiful vintage French Linens from France....so I bought a few washcloths and found some little lavender soaps as favours for the table...packaged in little linen bags and I tied some of my own fresh lavender from the garden to fancy it up a bit..

first course...salad with edamame sauce, crispy panchetta, blueberries, olive oil, tomatoes, crispy fried Parmesan and topped with a jumbo shrimp.

Strawberry Mojito's...

Olive, and roasted red pepper bread with garlic cloves that I roasted on the BBQ with butter and olive oil....

My dear friend Mindy...the Birthday girl with her crepes. I filled them with caramelized onion, herbs de province, sauteed red pepper, grilled portabello's and lots of brie! Topped with a white sauce I made out of the Rose we were drinking...

 Coconut cupcakes...my favourite new recipe! Love, love! Birthday girl blowing out!

Sunday, July 17, 2011

It's HOT here, our A/C isn't working, so time to plan a meal for the water!

I thought we better get organized in the kitchen before the house got too hot. So I looked in the fridge, found some left-overs ( the Arctic Char and Scallops) I put some ingredients to make bread dough in the bread maker..found some leftover meats, cheese, sauces... and came up with this!

Taco salad, and Seafood Salad...sliced up some oranges and veggies, for kids, and brought down a large watermelon...

I made 3 different Stromboli's. Pizza ( Pizza sauce, shredded mozzarella, and pepperoni)
Salami ( Salami's  and some old aged cheddar)
Prosciutto, artichoke sauce and Swiss

  Baked them up, thew some cookies in the oven at the same time. *( I freeze cookie dough balls when I make cookies, and keep them in a large Ziploc bag- so I can bake cookies quickly and easily at any time)*

Got the cooler packed with iced tea, water, and Rose!

Voila! Great day!  We didn't come back to the house until sunset..

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Scallops and Arctic Char

We are so fortunate to live in this beautiful part of the world...we basically live where many people escape to their cottages on the week-ends....  It is a gorgeous Friday night...my husband is off and our lovely " Jimmy the Fishman" was by so we purchased some extra large sea scallops and Arctic Char.

The key to Scallops- Big and Fresh.  High heat, olive oil, white wine, lemon and pan sear them quickly.  It will leave a nice carmelization to them. Very quick.  Season with sea salt and fresh herbs of your choice and drizzle the left over juices on top...

The Arctic Char...Grilled on a pan on the BBQ, keep it simple. GOOD FOOD, doesn't need much. Trust me.  Simply oil and season with salt, pepper, lemon , fresh minced garlic and more wine...  Served it with a half grilled potato with sour cream and chives, grilled portabello mushrooms and salad. Blueberries are in season...so on the salad they went! We drank our meal with a lovely crisp, freshing Rose.

 Bringing in the Sea-Doo...and kids on the tube prior to dinner....Georgian Bay, Ontario, Canada.

the fur baby always joins us too!

Friday, July 15, 2011

Father's Day! The GREEN EGG! surprise!

I have heard raving reviews about this thing called the GREEN EGG.  It is THE newest and best way to eat BBQ food according to many foodie experts.  Many top chefs have them now, so I had to check it out.  It was the PERFECT Fathers' Day gift for Alan!

You should have seen his face when it arrived on Father's day with a big bow!

So I had lots of good meat already to do on the grill and we have a wonderful Father's Day, if I do say so myself. 

I had the table all set with gifts for each dad.  ( A premium oaked  aged beer in it's own box) and a bucket of beers from around the world on ice...  We played down at the water for a bit. Unfortunately couldn't go fishing, due to boat issues, but it was still nice by the Bay. 

and my mother made the MOST amazing cake....a huge hit!

so basically, I am saying...lots of good grilled foods to come when my husband isn't working so much!  He starts holidays next week, while recovering from Surgery....

Food Pictures!

I haven't been here in awhile, but trust me- We are eating well! ha!  Just thought I'd share some pictures..

the truffle oil  and specialty cheeses added to this mac and cheese takes it to the next level...

nothing like fresh oysters and champagne...

or the ooey gooey basic cooking of Honey Garlic chicken wings...

PINK, girlie luncheon!

Ok, as my husband and kids have said..." you are out of control!"  lol

I love to host parties, and make a table especially pretty. I love pink, I love girlie things, I love cooking and experimenting with recipes, I love making people feel special, I love attention to detail, I love entertaining and challenging myself, and I love my friend Mindy.  Mindy's very similar in all of the above things I just mentioned, plus MINDY is having a Birthday next week. Soooo, guess what!? I'm planning a pretty little luncheon in her honour.  I can't wait. Pictures to come soon!

I just had to post something PINK on here...not my picture though!  via weddings.theknot.com

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Lunch today

I'm at home with two exhausted, kinda sick kids today.  They have been doing way too much, and needed  a day of rest from their hockey camp.  So why not make myself a special, healthy lunch? Normally I just grab whatever...I tend to only make nice meals, if I have someone here to enjoy it with.  But not today. I made this for myself. The kids requested plain chicken on a bun.

I had some left over mashed cauliflower ( faux mashed potatoes) in my freezer that I made an earlier day, so I warmed those up. Creamy good, without any fat. All cauliflower. I turned on the Grill  on and grilled some portabello's, chicken breasts and wilted some fresh spinach in balsamic vinegar and garlic.

Put it all together with some feta, tomatoes and a sprig of thyme from my garden. Poured some iced green tea, that I made from good loose green tea leaves earlier...and YUM!  Beautiful day to eat out on the deck



I'm on an EGGPLANT kick right now....such a great fruit ( nope, it isn't a vegetable, it's a fruit!) crazy eh? I just learned that today. I was doing some research on it, as I think it is a pretty good fruit to include in meals on a regular basis.

How interesting it is that the Eggplant is actually a close relative of the tobacco plant! Even with the many varieties of Eggplant available, it is the purple Eggplant which is supplied to most major supermarkets.

It's full of fiber which helps with weight loss, full of good for you nutrients and I am finding that it is a good replacement for lasagna noodles.   It's great grilled, roasted on sandwiches and made into dips.

Eggplant Calories - 1 cup of cubed eggplant contains 20 calories.

1 unpeeled eggplant that is approximate 1 1/4 pounds contains about 132 calories.
1 peeled eggplant that is approximate 1 1/4 pounds contains about 110 calories.

Eggplant makes an ideal substitute for meat. To add a bit of texture, slice, then dip into a slightly beaten egg white OR egg substitute that contains both yolk and white. Dredge the eggplant in flour, then cook until golden brown and crispy in a pan that has been sprayed generously with non stick cooking spray.

Cover with your favorite marinara sauce if desired and add a bit of grated Parmesan cheese.

Eggplant also makes a great sandwich on bread that has been toasted to a golden crust.

So, have you eaten YOUR eggplant today!?

Good-For-You Sweet Potato Salad : 10 Super Salads: Shape Magazine

Good-For-You Sweet Potato Salad : 10 Super Salads: Shape Magazine

Why make the traditional Potato Salad this summer when you can make one that has tons of good flavour, fibre and low fat!? Looks great!

Clean Healthy Eating

My husband and I are really trying hard to stay healthy this summer. Not that we weren't healthy in the past, but we certainly had room for improvement.  Our plan?

Boot camp 2-3 times a week
Bike rides
Spin Class ( I am teaching)
Weight Training  and loooong walks with our pooch.

During the week we focus on HEALTHY eating...low fat, high nutrients, lower carbs, no wine, * or less of it! ;-) * 

Tonight, I am experimenting with this dish

What shall I call it?  ummm...How about " HEALTHY Eggplant/Spinach Moussaka Lasagna!"  ha!

I peeled and sliced an eggplant.  Put on paper towels and salted each piece to remove the bitterness. Rinsed off the salt after 10 minutes.

In a frying pan I sauteed lean ground chicken.  Due to the zero fat, it needed tons of flavour, so I added minced onion, lots of garlic, a little salt and pepper, oregano from the garden, basil and cinnamon to give it a "Moussaka" taste...

I put some tomato puree from the jar on the bottom of the dish. Layered it with eggplant instead of lasagna noodles. Placed some meat mixture, fresh spinach, a little bit of mozzarella, and then another layer of all of above. Feta cheese on top.  Will bake this tonight and see how it goes!