Friday, June 24, 2011

Feel the Burn Friday

So this week for my "burn," among my normal workouts and classes, I tried out a class at an SPX Pilates studio. Ironically enough it's right down the street from my house, so a couple months ago I bought a coupon for 4 classes, but have been too intimidated to try it out. Since I wanted to do a weekly workout review, and Sean and I are doing our own little "Lifestyle Challenge," I finally got the courage to try a class out. I walked in a little nervous - I've done mat Pilates before, but I've never taken a class using the reformer.... let  alone the Megaformer as the site boasts. There were only two of us in the class, which I would have thought would make me more nervous- hello all eyes on the newbie, but it actually made the class much better because the teacher was able to focus more on me, and fix any alignment/technique issues.

The class was HARD. I thought I was in shape, but apparently, I'm not as in shape as I though. The Megaformer makes you not only work your muscles in a familiar way - the plank, plie, crunches, squats, etc- but you have to move the machine, or keep the machine still while you're doing it. My muscles were burning, and I was dripping with sweat, but it was a GREAT workout. You feel good after (even though I'm wondering if I'll be able to walk/let alone move), but the only thing I wish was different was that there was a little stretching after working your muscles so hard.

Till next week!

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Lifestyle Challenge

Last week Sean and I decided to have our own little "Lifestyle Challenge." We have a pretty healthy lifestyle normally: we try to make hearty, healthful meals at home and work out on a regular basis. However, we decided to take it up a notch. Our main goal is just to have a more healthy lifestyle, that we take more of a conscious effort in. Part of our conscious effort has been to include more Paleo foods in our weekly meals. Last night, Sean was working, so I was on my own for dinner. I normally don't like cooking for just myself because it takes so much more time, and there's no one to share the end result with. Usually I eat leftovers from the night before, but since we didn't have any leftovers because we went out for Sushi on Monday, I decided to try to find myself something quick to make. I found this recipe for Warm Arugula Salad. I must say that there is nothing better than the smell of cooking bacon and onions (except maybe if there was garlic too). I followed OCCaveGirl's recipe, except my chicken was cold, so I heated it in the pan with the bacon, shallots, and walnuts. And I must say, the balsamic vinegar on top gave the whole salad a really nice flavor. Leftover's for lunch!

It's more fun to cook when you have a glass of wine!

warming the chicken...

bon apetite!

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Happy Father's Day

Yesterday was Father's Day. I may not be a partial judge, but I think my dad is a pretty great dad. Sure he has his jokes, that only he gets sometimes, still asks me to pull his finger, and has moments where my brother and I turn red and shake our heads in surprise, but I think he's such a great person, and his quirkiness makes him as great as he is - just like how I tell stories with no point, freak out about driving directions, and like to dance to grocery store music down the baking aisle (well any aisle for that matter) to the dismay of my husband - Sean, don't lie, I know you love my supermarket dance moves!

I must say that my brother and I have been luckier than most to have a dad like we do. He's taught us so many valuable life lessons - How to work for each and every dollar you earn; that you should write handwritten thank you's to people (it's a lost art, and much appreciated sentiment); that you should start a savings and continue to contribute to it; that you should live life laughing and making other people laugh - after all, the only person you can truly embarrass is yourself (I apologize now to my future children for any embarrassment I may cause you in elementary school.... but really I'm not that sorry); that marriage isn't always the easiest, but committing to that person wholeheartedly is one of the greatest things you can do (congrats to my parents on almost 28 years of loving, agreeing, disagreeing, and committing to each other); that although you're family may seem crazier than most, they're all great people, and family comes first; and most of all that being a great father to your kids and spending time with your family, is one of the greatest, and simplest pleasures in life.

A favorite from my wedding

This Father's Day the four of us went to the Dodger game - it seemed like we were young again - Sean had to work, and Nicki was spending time with her dad - so once again there were four. We were invited to the game by friends of our family who go to a Dodger game every Father's Day and have tickets for two suites split between roughly 50 people. The four of us happily joined them and had a great time, eating Dodger Dogs, watching the game, and most importantly spending time with our family.

I know I don't say it enough (to either of my parents), but thank you. Thank you dad for being there, working as hard as you have and continue to do; thank you for being the wonderfully, goofy, crazy, loving, Fungi you are. I love you.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Feel the Burn Friday

OK, so although Friday is a great way to start the weekend - no work (unless you're starting your own business, then you kind of have to work when you have time), hopefully lots of sun, relaxing, and in this case a Dodgers game for Father's Day. But what a better way to prep for the weekend then to Feel the Burn. I've decided on Friday's I'm going to try to review a different workout or different studio - basically let you know how I felt the burn that week. I'm going to try to try something or somewhere new every week. Since I just decided this after my last workout, I'm going to go ahead and review something that isn't exactly new but that definitely gets my muscles burning and shaking.

Barre Class

I'm not going to lie, although during the moment my muscles start burning, and aching, the sweat starts dripping and I close my eyes thinking, how much long can I do this and then the instructor yells out "Ten More! 1...2...3....." At that point I think, "okay I got this..." Having been a dancer all my life, when I first started taking barre classes last December, I thought that it would be tough, but should come relatively naturally to me.... WRONG. Although some of the moves become more doable as I get stronger, I never cease to be sore the next day. After going relatively regularly- for me I try to make it one to two times a week, I get excited as I see results, and feel the class do what it claims - Lift, Tone, and Burn.

The class starts with a short warm up, then we move to abs, arms, thighs, seat, more abs, back, and then finally and thankfully, stretching. It's definitely a great class. Don't be scared if you haven't taken a class before or feel out of shape. There are people of all fitness levels in the class, and the instructor always gives variations on the moves, and even the fittest students have to take a break some times. For me, the thigh dancing always kills me. My thighs start burning and I fear I may never walk again.

Definitely a great class! Now what will I try next week?

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Welcome Back

Okay okay, I know I've been a HUGE slacker, but let's try to get back into this whole thing. I've decided I'm going to get back to blogging and start sharing some of my favorite things with you. So what's been new recently? I've quit  my job and am starting my own insurance agency - AKS Insurance Services, LLC. My agency focuses on insurance for fitness studios and fitness instructors, so I've also started a blog for my business. The blog is sort of a repository for business recommendations and insurance considerations. Having been a dancer for most of my life, and lover of fitness classes, I have been able to gain a lot of insight into what goes into the business. I hope to offer some good advice for all aspects of having a business in that industry and not just for Insurance.

Enough about that, what else is new? Well Sean and I got a second dog - Summer. She's such a little Velcro dog and absolutely the sweetest thing. Her and Ace get along great and I think it's really been a great thing for the two of them to have each other to play with and keep each other company.

How could you not love this face?

I think those are all the biggest changes in our lives. So back to some of my favorite things. Yesterday we celebrated an early Father's Day celebration since Sean is working on Sunday. We had some of our favorite people over: My parents, Josh and his girlfriend Nicki, Sean's dad John and his girlfriend Catina,  Theresa, two of our best friends Eric and Lindsey, and their adorable little boys, Noah and Dean. We had homemade pulled pork sandwiches with homemade cole slaw for dinner, and not so frozen banana "ice cream" for dessert.

This isn't from last night, I forgot to take pictures, but you get the gist. The only difference from the one I made yesterday is we used thinner buns.

And this is how the "ice cream" should have looked. But it didn't freeze long enough and was more like a "ice cream" shake. There's nothing ice cream about this: it's over ripened frozen bananas, blended with just a touch of fat free milk to help it blend, and some honey, with sugar free cool whip, and some honey and chocolate drizzled on top, YUM!

On that note, I still have some in the freezer, so I think it's time for an afternoon snack.

Till next time!