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Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Temperature Teasers and 2011 staples :)

Hey guys! Is this wacky weather or what?! It was 74F 2 days it's snowing! Man...craziness! posts lately haven't really been "daily eats"...I was wondering what you guys thought of my new format? Yay or nay? I usually don't take pics of all my stuff...just usually when I have an awesome recipe or an exceptionally nice-looking bowl of oats ;) Getting to the point though...What do you think of my new blogging-type? Do you like my informative posts? 
So...while I was checking blogs the other day, I ran across not one, but TWO blogs saying how amazing Target's new Peanut, Almond Cashew butter is...and as most of you could have already guessed, I HAD to get my hands on some of this baby.

No pic, but if you've read many blogs lately, you've already seen this one popping up all over the place :)

Skating is going great :) I've gotten most all of my jumps back since I fell....still tweaking things and improving as I go, but my coach said it doesn't look like I've been off for that long! :D "sigh of relief"!

So...with this BEAUTIFUL (or has-been beautiful) weather I started running daily again...during the cold months I usually only do it 2-3 times a week and get my exercise in other forms (strength, treadmill, workout video, elliptical, stat. bike, etc.) but alas, with warm weather comes my hankering for more runs. I AM ADDICTED TO RUNNING AGAIN! With my knee injury, I obviously couldn't do much except ab + upper body...but now that my knee is good-o again, I have been a running machine! :D And...wait for it...I am  signing up for my first race since my injury! It's a 4-miler at the beginning of March! I am SO excited!
Today I hit up a nearby trail to do a 5-miler with one of my good friends. We had such a blast! The weather was PERFECT and we were the only people out :)

Now for a few foods that will grant you peak performance and make your belly (and your taste buds!!) super happy :D

Most everyone in this day in age would agree with me when I said that it's not always budget-friendly to eat healthy. I mean, fresh fruits and veg, when in season, can be a steal, but other times, you have to be at the right place at the right time, and keep up with sales, etc...who has time for that?! A few things to always have on hand, no matter the season, that won't lighten your wallet to much...

Frozen veggies: To be completely honest, it is pretty hard to go wrong with frozen veg. They are cheap, quick to prepare when time is short, most often come in bulk sizes, and are 99% of the time packages without any added ingredients. Can you beat that?! I am a huge believer in the power of frozen things--I guess that's my inner skater coming out ;)
Canned Beans: These are pretty great too. Amazing nutritional value (high in protein, good source of carbs, loads of fiber, etc.) and also generally low-in cost. My favs? Lentil, kidney, pinto, and garbanzo. Yummy :)

Raisins: As most everything I post is, raisins are a phenomenal oatmeal topper. They also provide great nutrition...especially when ingested during activity. Raisins pack just enough carbs and natural sugar to be the perfect mid-workout (or mid-day, even!) pick-me-up. And they come in generous packages (or in single serving and mini-sizes) to last a while.

I have a pretty exciting dinner planned for tonight. :) I'll post the recipe soon. Hope everyone has a great rest of the week!
Stay happy and healthy.
I read a quote today that I want to share with you all. "You cannot solve a problem with the same mind set that you had when the problem started." -Albert Einstein
Such a simple statement, yet so powerful and thought-provoking!

Tuesday, February 15, 2011


Thanks to yesterday, it is only a necessity that I make tonight's post a dark chocolate/cocoa post!!
As most of you know, the benefits of dark choc. are ENDLESS! A few examples include...

The number one health benefit and most widely known benefit of cocoa is cardiovascular health improvement. Cardiologists actually recommend for people to eat a few squares of dark chocolate every day in order to help keep hearts healthy.
Dark chocolate and cocoa also provide many surprising antioxidants. It tops the charts along with blueberries ad green tea.

Cocoa also reduces blood pressure, improves blood flow, and may help prevent plaque formation in arteries.

Though it is a sweet treat, dark choc. has a low glycemic index similar to...get ready for it...OATMEAL! Yes, you heard right. Our beloved dark chocolate, along with our beloved oats, will keep you full and won't spike your blood sugar.

Just like all plant based foods (since cocoa comes from the cocoa tree), dark chocolate is very high in important vitamins and minerals.

Recent studies are showing that dark chocolate might be one of the many cancer-fighting superfoods! Now...if this reason doesn't convince you to start chowing down, I don't know what will!

Hope everyone had a wonderful Valentine's! Until next time...

Stay happy. Stay healthy.


Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Metaboblism gets a kick

Here we go with a fitness post!! :)
I wanted to start you guys off with a few of my all-time fave forms of working out. As a figure skater, it's a necessity to go throw your jumps regularly to ensure proper technique, better strength in the landings, and over all stronger, more solid jumps. As off-ice (what us skaters call it) training is great for skating only, it doesn't provide you with all of the benefits as say, running 7 miles would. For skating (as most any other sport), you need the ability to put out TONS of speed in a short amount of time (think 4.5 minute programs), endurance for long-programs, or so you won't be dying by the end of any program, and strength in just about...every muscle of your body. One of the great things about skating is you work SO many muscles in everything you do...arms, legs, abs/core, back, even shoulders can get worked if your technique is correct. Otherwise, here's a few other ways I stay in shape for hitting the ice:
Kickboxing is a MAJOR favorite of mine. I love coming up with my own bum-busting combo or popping in the all famous Tae-bo DVD when time runs short (Billy Blanks is a genius!).
The Classic Collection--Oldies, but goodies :)

I know lots of people look down on workout/exercise videos...what's your take on a tape?
Tapes aren't my favorite thing to do, but during these frigidly cold (and ICY!!) months it's not always accessible to go on a in the summer time, I much prefer outdoor forms of working out...but most of the time during winter, I stick to indoor forms, whether it be treadmill (as much as I loathe it...), the gym, or tapes. 
I recently purchased a new workout DVD...heard of the "Jackie" series? Yep, it was one of those...the blue one...not sure what it's official title is...:P
It has 5 complete workouts included on one tape (total body for 40 min, 15 min, upper for 15, lower for 15, abs for 15)...that's a pretty good deal, I thought! 
I wasn't at all impressed with the total body workouts...but the targeted body part ones are really great! 
I also adore Jillian Michaels...she kicks some major butt on the "Biggest Loser" and is such a motivation to many people alike!

This DVD is great for anyone who is just beginning to work out, or if you've been exercising for years--there are 3 intense levels included...1, 2, 3. I underestimated level 1 when I bought this--each workout (ALL of them...level 1 too!) is a hard-core strength, cardio, AND ab workout. Talk about a package deal! And this DVD (along with the others I have suggested) are widely available at any fitness store/fitness section.

Now...onto the title of my post...recently I have been getting back into a lot of plyometric training--excellent for figure skating, running, skiing, basically any sport that requires leg/lower body strength (after I had the o.k. to work out again after my knee healed, this type of exercise caused more pain than most, so I have just been able to start this again). Eccentric contractions (which combines stretching of the muscles + jumping) are much more effective at toning your muscles than Concentric contractions, which are simply explosive movements. Some trainers even call plyo "metabolic training" because it is one of the top forms of exercise to get that heart rate up and boost your metabolism.
Lately, there's been a lot of talk about the importance of strong bones in order to keep total health. I am in agreement with this 100%. It is so crucial as athletes to MAKE SURE you get enough calcium, vitamin D, and proteins. The combination of these vits and minerals + strength training (and cardio) is a simple way to ensure you are keeping your bones in tip-top shape. If you have a family history of bone loss, osteoporosis, etc., you might need to focus more on the vitamins and minerals...but TALK TO YOUR DOC--remember, I'm not a physician...just a health nut + fitness junkie ;)

What about you all...what are your fave forms of sweating? Fave time of day to workout? I'm a tried-and-true a.m. sweater...nothing beats a hard-core run + a power yoga sesh while the sun is rising! :D

As always: Stay happy, stay healthy.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Super, Super, Seaweed

If you read a lot of articles/books/etc., you will already know that seaweed is a wondrously healthy food. But just what benefits can this under-the-sea plant give you? Keep reading, and you'll find out :)
Just about every vitamin and mineral required by the human body are found in this salty sea veggie, including: calcium, sodium, magnesium, potassium, iodine, iron, zinc, Vitamin A (as beta-carotene), B1, B2, B6, niacin, Vitamin C, pantothenic acid, and folic acid.
Seaweed feeds the shafts and the ducts of the scalp to help improve the health of the hair. Studies show that the minerals in seaweed are vital for healthy hair growth.
Seaweed and seaweed extract helps in the detoxification of the body, as well as being benificial for skin conditions such as eczema and psoriasis. Seanol, a powerful antioxidant from seaweed, boosts energy and mental clarity while speeding up the metabolism. WHO KNEW?!
There are so many ways to incorporate the all-amazing seaweed into your daily diet.
This afternoon, for example, I snacked on an Annie Chun's Sesame Seaweed Snack:
Annie Chun's sesame Seaweed snack

The all-famous sushi, of course: 
So, now that we all know what seaweed can do for our health, let's grab some sushi and eat up!

Stay happy and healthy