You Can Get Fit!

Posts Tagged ‘working out

Hey everybody!

I’ve been hiding out… hunting down all sorts of new fitness teaching jobs, trying to get back into action. Revisiting my old life, trying out a little bit of new life along the way (preaching some Pilates, since that is truly what has held my body together through poorly-done hip surgery #1, botched recovery, and hip surgery #2).

But but but! If you happen to be a resident of the Seattle area… I know not all of you are, but on the off-chance… I’ve set up a Facebook page so you can figure out where I’m teaching group fitness classes! That’s not the only content; I also add in a few links to recipes I’ve tried, and various other health tips.

Wanna follow along? Here’s the link: Get Fit With Brooke

Meanwhile, I’ve had trouble figuring out more recipes to share with you all. I’ve been cooking up a storm to keep my health in check, but nothing has struck me as wonderful. I have a few more possibilities over the next few days… stay tuned, I promise not to abandon you! I want to try a variation on the quinoa chowder from the beginning of the month with mushrooms, garlic, and artichokes…

Keep on moving!

Hey, you guys!

When’s the last time you had FUN working out? Be honest, now……

Have you tried a gym class? (OK, I’m biased. I teach these gym classes, and most times I’m in front of a group, I truly am having fun leading the group!)

When I talk to people at the gym about the classes, one of the top reasons I hear for not trying a certain type of class is….. FEAR. Fear of not doing it right. Fear of feeling too tired. Fear of looking like a complete idiot.

Well, for one… there’s a reason I don’t teach Zumba! (I dance like a white girl. I got rhythm, but…… believe me, my hips don’t got the moves.) But–I’ve gone to a few Zumba classes! And I’m not afraid. Because people aren’t looking at you. People are focused on themselves, and they’re focused on having a good time! So, don’t think that all eyes will be turned in your direction!

OK, so now that your first fear is out of the way, what if you can’t do it? That’s why the instructor is there to help! Just come a few minutes early to class and talk to the instructor. Tell him or her that you’ve never been to this sort of class before, and ask how they can help! Ask how the more challenging moves can be modified, if necessary. Build a relationship with the instructor–we love this! Take breaks during the class if things get too rough, and there’s no harm in leaving early if you need to. Start with 30 minutes the first class, 35 minutes the next week, and within a few weeks–you’ve built up to making it through the entire class! Go, you!

Now for fear number three: what if you can’t do it? OK, y’all: look at any group fitness class. Is it full of perfect people, executing each move perfectly? 99% of the time… NO! So, unless you’re injuring yourself (and, hopefully your pre-class discussion with the instructor has eliminated this possibility) who cares if you look like you belong in So You Think You Can Dance? Just do your thang! Keep on moving–your calories don’t care if you have the choreography 100% perfect, they’ll still burn!

So hopefully I’ve inspired you to run, walk, ambulate in some fashion… to a new group exercise class. Try it out, bring a friend…

And if you’ve had a spectacularly fun experience, talk about it below!

Hi!

Good busy news from me! I’m running about 12-15 miles per week, I have one more class to go to make 9 fitness classes taught this week, and… while I’m a bit exhausted, everything seems to be in working order! Go, me!

So, I’ve been trying to find recipes that aren’t too challenging (yeah, I really don’t feel like standing up in the kitchen for hours this week, nor do I feel like cleaning a ton of stuff) but provide a lot of nutrition. A quick web search led me to this veggie-filled recipe, which I tweaked in several places.

This is one of those recipes where it’s tough to figure out a name, since it’s full of so much stuff! It also contains spinach, onions, garlic, a few seasonings…. wait, don’t run away! There isn’t a long ingredient list, don’t worry.

I cut back on the amount of liquid in the soup (this was based on the comments at the end) and it ends up giving you more of a stew, not much broth. If you want more broth, increase the amount that you add. THe original recipe calls for 5 cups of broth, and I probably wouldn’t go quite that high.

White Bean, Fennel, and Tomato Soup
based on an All Recipes recipe

1 large onion, chopped
1 fennel bulb, sliced
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 tbsp olive oil
3 c veggie broth (more if desired)
1 can cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
1 (14.5 oz) can diced tomatoes, undrained
1 tsp dried thyme
1/4 tsp pepper
1/2 tsp salt (or more to taste)
1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
1 bay leaf
4 c shredded fresh spinach

1. Saute onion, garlic, and fennel in oil over medium-low heat about 5 minutes, until starting to soften.

2. Add broth, beans, tomatoes, thyme, pepper, salt, red pepper, and bay leaf and bring to boil, Reduce heat to simmer, cover, and let simmer another 30 minutes or until fennel is tender. Remove bay leaf.

3. Add spinach and cook another ~3 minutes or until spinach is wilted. Adjust seasonings and serve!

The weather is wonderfully sunny outside, so I’m going to take advantage with a longer run in a few minutes! (I did see one of the news stations predict a low of 17 degrees today, though–hopefully that’s passed! Brrrr!!!) Go and make it a great weekend, whatever it is you’re doing!

Hi! We’re heading into a new week of a new month, and what better time to revisit our fitness goals?

go team!

A lot of us–myself included–just go through the motions when we work out. “If it’s Tuesday, it must be spin class day.” I applaud us for going and getting our workout on!

But if we had longer-term fitness goals–and tailored our workouts toward these goals–we would likely have greater success! Awesome, right?

So, what do I mean by this? Instead of “just going to the gym and working out”, maybe you want to train for a 5K race. Or, you want to have have a killer upper body. Or, you want to eliminate your lower back pain. Or shed a stubborn 5 pounds.

You get the idea. I find that if I have something more tangible to focus on, I hit my workouts harder! If I’m just working out because I think I should, I tend not to give it my best.

I have a few goals, currently, but a major focus right now is more serious weight lifting. After having been halfhearted for years, I’m going with a bodybuilding routine I found online (and I’m almost done with week 4). What I hope to get out of this:
*More lean muscle mass, increasing my metabolism 24/7
*More upper body strength for a) general functionality and b) for crazy yoga arm balances
*Sculpted shoulders look hot! (This means I have to maintain them ’til next summer… that’s motivation!)
*This is also my first real lower-body strength routine since my first hip surgery in April 2010, so it’s helping me rebuild down there, which has been helpful in my return to running (another goal right now)…

I have another 2 months left in this plan. I don’t know what it has me do after that. I may focus on running and cut back on weights for the month after that, and then restart it (so that I have hot summer arms!).

I would love to hear your goals for the upcoming month, or for the rest of the year! Put ’em down!

**Disclaimer, before I get a slew of comments: I agree that it is perfectly fine, now and then, to work out for the enjoyment of working out. And maybe that is your goal, after all: just to find the joy in every day. In which case… I challenge you to find your favorite workout, and carve out time for it as frequently as possible. 🙂

Hola, Amigos!

I hope those in the Southwest and the Northeast are doing OK! It seems that once we finally got our perfect weather, the rest of the country started going to shambles. Be careful, OK?

As for me, I’ve been playing around with different workout routines (why not…) and started experimenting with a Jamie Eason lifting routine this week. It’s supposed to give me a “whole new body”, but I imagine the “new body” would appear more quickly if I were to follow the nutrition plan (too regimented for me). Anyway, the lifting has been different and challenging–good stuff!

Also, a few home improvement projects this week… but that leaves me wondering: is today’s hamstring strain from 1. more weight lifting, 2. two rounds of pressure washing, 3. back-to-back spin classes and working the second one extra hard (I know, baaaadddd…), or 4. using a Peak reformer (heavier springs) to do Pilates last night? Toooo many variables.

Today’s recipe involves changing only one variable in a recipe I’ve made several times previously–yielding entirely different flavor! Fortuitously, I’d run out of quinoa, so–what the heck–try it with bulgur and see what happens!

The result was a sensory illusion–almost creaminess, despite no dairy at all in the recipe!

So, here’s my rough translation of what I did.

Warm Bulgur, Roasted Corn, and Caramelized Onion Salad
very loosely based on a Mark Bittman recipe

2 c bulgur
2 c mushroom broth
canola oil
2 onions, peeled and sliced into half-moons
1 c corn (either fresh if you can get it, or thawed from frozen)
salt and fresh-ground pepper to taste

1. Place the bulgur in a large bowl. Warm the mushroom broth (not to boiling) and pour over the bulgur. Stir, and allow the bulgur to sit for 20-30 minutes until chewy (it will soak up the liquid).

2. Meanwhile, roast the corn: in a large skillet, heat 1 tbsp canola oil on medium-high heat. When hot, add (thawed) corn, Cook/roast, stirring frequently, until some spots of brown appear on the outside and corn is fragrant, ~7 minutes. (Don’t let it burn!) This should smell good!

3. Also meanwhile, caramelize the two onions using the best caramelized onions technique. Triple multi-task!!! (These things don’t need constant stirring, so it’s easy.) **If you use oil and not butter in the onions, you can keep the dish vegan!

4. When the bulgur is hydrated to your level of doneness, pour off any extra liquid (push it through a strainer so you don’t lose any precious bulgur!). Place it back in the bowl, and stir in the roasted corn and caramelized onions. Add salt and pepper to taste, and serve warm.

I just finished off what was leftover of this to fuel our day’s hike! Go, complex carbs!

So, we’ll see how the hamstring does during the hike… and Sunday, in honor of those who can’t, I’m going to try to (run a minute or two–yikes!) for the first time on my post-op hip and leg. I promise not to do anything stupid… but at the same time, wish me luck!

Tuesday Tuesday……. so it was just last week that I wrote that “I’m going to save the world despite my current limitations” post. I have been doing a lot of writing toward the Big Goal, true.

But… deep sigh. I’ve been getting conflicting advice on how to deal with my medical issue (and I’m definitely out of time to save my college teaching job for the fall). Adding to that, just a few hours ago, I found out that what I thought was “just an old crown falling off an old root canal” is really a tooth that needs an implant. (I’m not that old, yet!!! And I won’t tell you how much it costs, since I’m still in denial.)

I’m just having so much trouble letting all of this sink in…. productivity, while not a standstill, isn’t too great. Sometimes I just need to be in the backyard and pluck weeds. Don’t we all?

Meanwhile, why not kick back for a few laughs and good things to think about:

1. When I’m in charge of the world, I’m going to paste this sign on doors everywhere.

2. This one’s hilarious!!! Batman!

3. 20 ice cream recipes. One of them is the easy and healthy frozen banana puree–I can vouch that it tastes fantastic!

4. Have trouble motivating yourself to exercise? Here are 5 ways to exercise even if you don’t like to exercise.

5. A push in the right direction for our educational system?

On a better note, today, I took a Bodypump class for the first time since my second hip surgery. I held up great! The lunges were the only thing that bothered me a tiny bit, and I just eased up. I’m going to try and add this to my weekly routine! This, plus two spin classes, plus swimming once a week, plus a short hike once a week… wait, wasn’t it just a month ago that I could only handle easy cardio and upper body weights? I have made big-time progress in recovering my body!

If you’re a Pilates diehard like me, and you’re on Facebook, search for the event 30 Day Challenge. It’s led by Mo Wolfe of Evolution Pilates on Long Island (in Bruce’s hometown!)–she’s challenging us to do some Pilates every day for the month of August. We’re a little over halfway there–come join us, if you can!

See you Friday with a yummy recipe!

Hi hi!

Good to see you guys again! Last week, I mentioned that it was time for my monthly swimsuit shot post, with my weight loss progress. Well…. (here come the excuses) I didn’t post last week, since my right leg was covered with nasty bruises from a household renovation project. (I guess I could’ve just shown you my left side.) Now that the bruises have started to fade, I’m looking puffier from a round of prednisone that I had to take, for the month-long bout of laryngitis. (Which is still continuing. Back to the doctor today. Think good thoughts. And loud thoughts. This is too long to be nonfunctional.)

In any case, I have a bruised right side and a thick midsection, even though I’m now working out more, and harder, than the Initial Plan outlined in the first note. Siiiiigh. What to do but keep pressing on, and have faith that things will all work out in the end, right?

Right. So, for now, here are a few fun things to keep you entertained this fine Tuesday!

1. Poor Cookie Monster.

2. A comic on the importance of exercise.

3. Very cute! Decorate your food with vegetable flowers.

4. Make some glow stick lanterns for your end of summer outdoor parties!

5. This looks tasty and easy (and good finger food for gatherings): Cinnamon-Sugar Pretzels

6. Very pretty apples with cream cheese dip!

That’s it for the day, y’all–happy August, and I hope you have fun plans for the month! Friday is my birthday, and we’re still putting together some interesting shenanigans. I’ll try to squeeze in a recipe before the end of the week–maybe homemade mustard!


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