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Friday, May 30, 2014

Wanna Tabata ?

So you wanna Tabata?
(Yes this is a play on that super annoying wanna chibatta Wendy's commercial) 
Well,  here is the "skinny" on what the hell that even means. 
The class... not the sandwich. 

Tabata is a high intensity interval workout, much like HIIT.  The big difference is the time and repeats.  HIIT classes I have taken, use two exercises back to back, at 30 second intervals,  repeated for a total of three intervals .  Tabata intervals are 20 seconds of work, followed by 10 seconds of rest, repeated for a total of 8 intervals.  

Tabata is said to be a combination of Cross Fit and Circuit Training and was developed by Dr. Izumi Tabata, a Japanese researcher and physician.  

"Tabata training will raise your metabolism and heart rate immediately. Since you are performing these exercises at a very high intensity, your body will have to work much harder to keep it up. This will cause your heart to pump fast and your metabolism to jump, which you want if you are planning on losing fat. Your metabolism will stay at that high not only during the workout, but after the workout as well. This means that your body will be burning fat for hours after".  Information is from this article- for more details click here!

Like I said in my last post, I have a new groupon to a different gym (I actually tried a few classes last year so not a NEW gym) and have been really enjoying trying new classes.  Boot Camp was treacherous- laugh about that here , but I really liked the interval training (HIIT and Tabata) After trying both, I can personally say I like HIIT better because well, I like the 3 sets opposed to 8.  Liz, Hannah, Tori and I attended the 5:15 Friday Tibata class and while we enjoyed it, the 8 sets of something just got really monotonous (and hard to count).  After we finished the 8 set we would do a 30 second ab exercise before starting the next set of 8.  It just made the class feel longer after I was used to the 30 second 3 set deal with HIIT.   


I like to wear something like capris.  There is a lot of bopping around and capris make it easier and more comfortable than shorts when the weather is still a little springy.  I also wore a tank top with a long sleeve shirt over it.  It has been chilly in Connecticut this week.  That shirt always comes off right after the warm up. 

Here are some of the moves from our workout at the Fitness Factory:
 Not in the exact order... it was 5:15 am and I forgot....(and I am sure I forgot a few moves!) 

Try this Tabata style workout at home and tell me what you think!

Warm up:  Step run or jump rope.
Plank (30 seconds) 
Weighted straddle run, Squat with shoulder press
(20 seconds straddle run, 10 second rest, 20 second squat with shoulder press, 10 second rest, repeat 7 more times) 
Push ups (30 seconds) 
Tricep Push Ups (30 seconds) 
Diamond Push Ups, Walking Plank
(20 seconds push ups, 10 second rest, 20 second walking plank, 10 second rest, repeat 7 more times) 
Bicycle Crunches (30 seconds)
Mountain climbers, Burpees
(20 seconds mountain climbers, 10 second rest, 20 burpees, 10 second rest, repeat 7 more times) 
Russian Twists 
Straddle jumps, wide weighted squat
(20 seconds straddle jumps, 10 second rest, 20 wide weighted squat, 10 second rest, repeat 7 more times).

It was hard, and there were times I struggled, but that's what a good class does.  It also helped that I had three of my amazing friends with me and we didn't feel bad taking things a little slower than the serious tabata members in the front row.  Get it Girl(s).

The hardest exercises for me were the burpees (already knew that..), mountain climbers, and push ups.  But what's nice, is I know what moves I should practice on my own to get stronger for class.  After class today we were all a little sore and a lot exhausted, and our conversations sort of went like this...

Working out with friends makes all the difference.  So beg yours to join you too.
We will all be very sore tomorrow. I promise that. 

Have you tried HIIT and Tabata?
Which do you prefer?

Thursday, May 29, 2014

My first "CrossFit style" class

How does that little saying go?  Variety is the spice of life?  Sure this holds true in every aspect of life, but this one is really my "key to success"  for working out.  I get bored, I get comfortable, and I need to constantly be changing things up and trying new things to stay committed and see results.

Well, as you guys know I am a groupon fanatic.  I bought about 4 groupons to Shoreline Health and Fitness where for 20 bucks a month, I had a 10 class pass.  I was able to try spin classes, body flow (mix of tai chi, yoga, and pilates), zumba, and my favorite:  body pump.  Well finally those groupons ran out and they started to enforce the "new members only policy".  Boo hoo to that.

Well, there was just no way I was going to pay full price for a gym membership, especially in the summer when I can easily work out outside.  But if you are like me, you really need some structure and guidance and this whole "self discipline" thing really doesn't work that well.  So, back to groupon I went.

Finally, I found a groupon to the Northeast Fitness Factory, about 15-20 minutes away in Clinton.  A little far but 20 classes for $70 bucks made me decide the drive was worth the deal.  Better yet, I convinced two of my friends to buy the groupon too-- no excuses now!

My first class was a HIIT 45 class with Liz.  I have taken HIIT before (High Intensity Interval Training) and loved it.  It kicked my butt, but I loved it.  Saturday, I saw there was a boot camp class at 8 am so I decided this was going to be my second class and my chance to try a new class.  Liz couldn't make this one, so I was on my own.  

I walked into class to see everyone setting up benches and a lot of stuff written on the chalk board.  

Like... A LOT of stuff.

The room is basically a big warehouse space and the girl in front must have noticed the confused look on my face.  I thought it was going to be a fun little class full of squats and sit ups, hard, but manageable.  

She asked if I needed help setting up my "space" and I gladly accepted.  She then asks me if I have a partner, and even more confused, I gladly accept her offer again- to partner up.

Well, not so gladly because this girl is a block of muscle and can probably bench press me.  So glad I am not alone (new girl with no partner)  but, terrified that this is my partner for god knows what.... What do I need a partner for? I can't just take numerous water breaks and hide in the back?  NOPE.

The instructor starts talking (anyone new? I raise my hand) 
and she explains the structure of the workout

LEFT SIDE:  Do the number of exercises (example 5 push presses) and rest while my partner does the exercises, and repeat until that time is over. 

WARM UP:  Jump Rope 

5 Minutes of 5 Push Presses:
I do 5 push presses, rest while my partner does five push presses. 
Continue for five minutes.

4 Minutes of 4 Mountain Climbers
I do 4 mountain climbers, rest while my partner does 4 mountain climbers. 
Continue for four minutes.

3 Minutes of 3 Push Ups 
I do 3 push ups, rest while my partner does 3 push ups.
Continue for 3 minutes.  

2 Minutes of 2 Tricep Push Ups
I do 2 tricep push ups, rest while my partner does two tricep push ups.
Continue for 2 minutes.  

RIGHT SIDE:  60's are done alternating (30 each in intervals of 10)
 30's are done with your partner (simultaneously). 

Weighted Squats:  Do 10 squats, rest while partner does 10 squats
Repeat 2 more rounds.

Box Jumps:  Do 30 box jumps in a row start at the same time as your partner.

Kettle Ball Swings:  Do 10 swings, rest while your partner does 10 swings
Repeat 2 more rounds. 

Squat Jumps:  Do 30 squat jumps in a row start at the same time as your partner.

Weighted Lunges:  Do 10 lunges, rest while your partner does 10 lunges
Repeat 2 more rounds. 

Box Jumps:  Do 30 box jumps in a row start at the same time as your partner.

Burpees:  Do 10 burpees, rest while your partner does 10 burpees
Repeat 2 more rounds. 

Squat Jumps:  Do 30 squat jumps in a row start at the same time as your partner.

Full Range Sit Ups:  Do 10 sit ups, rest while your partner does 10 sit ups
Repeat 2 more rounds. 

Now, if you are looking like that like "whoa that is a lot holy hell!"  You are correct.  It is.  I thought I was in decent shape, I ran a marathon a few weeks ago, I did body pump all winter.  Man, was I wrong, and oh was this a humbling experience.

 And let me say NEVER have I EVER felt so defeated in a gym class.  An insane workout, timed, with a crazy partner who does all of these workouts SO fast (aka barely any rest time for me-- did I mention she did all the pushups on her TOES).  The sweat was pouring off my face and there were definitely a few burpees where I pathetically thew myself on the floor, laid there a little too long, and slowly peeled myself off the ground.  Repeat.  

Don't get me wrong, the instructor was motivating, my partner encouraging and supportive, but I was not prepared for this form of ass kicking.    I really struggled with the tri cep push ups, and reallllly with the burpees.  But as pathetic as I looked, I kept (sort of) pushing forward. 

Finally- the burpees are done, the squat jumps over, and I just finished the sit ups, when I hear the instructor announce one of the worst things I have ever heard:  "If you are done, start over, working your way from the end to the beginning".  So here I go, more sit ups, more squat jumps, and back to the burpees from hell.  At this point, you are going to need a wheel barrow to get me to my car.

Finally that magic clock strikes 9:00am, I peel myself off the floor, and semi hobble to my car.  No amount of foam rolling, water or stretching was going to prepare me for the amount of sore muscles I was going to endure.  

I continue to tell my friends about it and they are not suprised.  "wait, you didn't know that was a cross fit style gym?".  No, No I did not.

But man, did I learn.     

I am a little afraid and a lot intimidated to attend this class again, and really unsure if I can take another butt kicking like that, so, I made a modified version of this  TORTURE "workout"  I do at home.   I am doing it a few times a week at home, building up some strength (and courage) so I can attempt this class again.  Will share this mini workout with you guys tomorrow! 

Until then, go try something new.  You may love it.  
Or you may crawl out of the gym swearing you will never come back.

Good luck !    

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Blue Apron: Salmon Roll Sandwiches with Baby Beet and Pea Shoot Salad

Another recipe,
Katie, have you done anything more than stuff your face lately?

Why yes, yes I have. Actually,  a lot!  But I have to sit down and write a cohesive post about that.  So while I do that, I will share another blue apron recipe with you all.  And this one is perfect for summer.  Lemony salmon with mayo, crunchy celery and herbs, and this fresh beet and pea shoot salad on the will not have leftovers here!

Salmon Roll Sandwiches 
with a baby beet and pea shoot salad

Makes 2 Servings
About 615 Calories Per Serving

'This recipe is our interpretation of the traditional seafood sandwiches popular in New England. Rich, flaked salmon is mixed with herbs, mayonnaise, crunchy celery and lemon then stuffed into a soft potato roll. We're also using pea shoots, the leaves and curly tendrils of the pea plant. These tender leaves are full of the promise of spring and its flavor, too."

1 Bunch Chives 
1 Bunch Parsley 
1 Lemon
1 Shallot
1 Stalk Celery
½ Bunch Red Baby Beets
2 Skin-On Salmon Fillets 
¼ Cup Mayonnaise
1 Tablespoon Red Wine Vinegar
2 Ounces Pea Shoots
2 Long Potato Rolls

Makes 2 Servings
About 615 Calories Per Serving

Cook the beets: 
Heat a medium pot of salted water to boiling on high. Add the 
beets and cook 28 to 32 minutes, or until tender when pierced with 
a fork. Drain thoroughly and let stand until cool enough to handle. 
Using a paper towel and your fingers, gently rub the skin off each 
beet; discard the skins. Trim off and discard the top of each beet, 
then cut each bulb into wedges and place in a medium bowl. 
While the beets continue to cook, pat the salmon fillets dry with 
paper towels and season with salt and pepper on both sides. In a 
medium pan (nonstick, if you have one), heat 2 teaspoons of olive 
oil on medium-high until hot. Add the seasoned salmon fillets, skin 
side down first, and cook, loosely covering the pan with aluminum 
foil, 3 to 5 minutes per side. Transfer the cooked salmon to a plate 
and let rest. Wipe out and set aside the pan. When the salmon is 
cool enough to handle, remove and discard the skin. Then, using a 
fork or your hands, flake the cooked salmon into large pieces and 
place in a large bowl. 

Prepare the ingredients:  
While the beets cook, wash and dry the fresh produce. Finely chop 
the chives. Pick the parsley leaves off the stems; discard the stems 
and finely chop the leaves. Using a peeler, remove the yellow 
rind of the lemon, avoiding the white pith; mince the rind to get 
2 teaspoons of zest. Cut the lemon into quarters and remove the 
seeds. Peel and mince the shallot. Small dice the celery. 

Cook the salmon:
While the beets continue to cook, pat the salmon fillets dry with 
paper towels and season with salt and pepper on both sides. In a 
medium pan (nonstick, if you have one), heat 2 teaspoons of olive 
oil on medium-high until hot. Add the seasoned salmon fillets, skin 
side down first, and cook, loosely covering the pan with aluminum 
foil, 3 to 5 minutes per side. Transfer the cooked salmon to a plate 
and let rest. Wipe out and set aside the pan. When the salmon is 
cool enough to handle, remove and discard the skin. Then, using a 
fork or your hands, flake the cooked salmon into large pieces and 
place in a large bowl.

Make the salmon filling:
To the bowl with the cooked salmon pieces, add the celery, lemon 
zest, chives, parsley, mayonnaise, half the shallot and the juice 
of 2 lemon wedges. Season with salt and pepper and gently mix 
until just combined. Set aside as you continue cooking. 

Dress the beets and pea shoots:
Add the vinegar and remaining shallot to the bowl of cooked 
beet wedges. Season with salt and pepper and drizzle with olive 
oil; toss until thoroughly combined. In a separate bowl, toss the 
pea shoots with a drizzle of olive oil and the juice of 1 lemon 
wedge (you will have an extra lemon wedge); season with salt and 

Toast the buns and plate your dish:
In the same pan used to cook the salmon, heat 2 teaspoons of 
olive oil on medium-high until hot. Open each potato roll, place 
in the pan, interior side down, and toast 30 seconds to 1 minute, 
or until lightly browned. Transfer the toasted buns to a plate. To 
plate your dish, fill each toasted potato roll with half the salmon 
mixture. Divide the pea shoots between 2 plates and top with the 
beets. Enjoy! 

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Blue Apron- Fried Green Tomatoes with cajun remoulade sauce and boston red leaf salad

Happy Tuesday-  Hope everyone is feeling refreshed and happy after a long weekend and the kick off to summer.  Now that the sun is shining and the veggie stands are making their appearance once again, I thought I would share a fun recipe with you. 

Let me backtrack by saying how much I love my Nikon DSLR.  The problem is, for a while I got lazy and started to rely completely on "Point and shoot" mode and "auto focus".    The other issue is the lighting is always terrible in my house.  Well this weekend I left my comfort zone, took my dinner outside, put my camera on manual focus, and oh my was it fun and did it pay off.  Now, back to the food.

Every time I get a blue apron package on my doorstep, and start cooking in my kitchen, I love Blue Apron a little more.  I love to cook- love love love.  But I don't always have the time or patience for the grocery store, and never mind spending the money on a jar of something for a recipe that only needs a teaspoon.  

But I have to say my favorite thing about Blue Apron is trying these fun new recipes.  Even more specifically, trying new vegetarian recipes that I would never think to try. 
Well, today I got to try fried green tomatoes for the first time. 

Fried Green Tomatoes 
(with a cajun remoulade sauce and boston red leaf lettuce)
Makes 2 Servings

About 590 Calories Per Serving

"This dish is a taste of what’s to come, using the current crop of green tomatoes (red tomatoes that haven’t had a chance to ripen in the summer sun). Their firm texture and lightly acidic nature make them perfect for breading and pan-frying. We’re adding our own special touch to this  mainstay of Southern cuisine, serving it with a zesty Cajun rĂ©moulade sauce for dipping."

3 Breakfast Radishes
2 Green Tomatoes
1 Bunch Parsley
1 Clove Garlic
1 Head Boston Red Leaf Lettuce
1 Lemon
1 Shallot
¼ Cup Mayonnaise
1 Teaspoon Cajun Seasoning
1 Cup Panko Breadcrumbs
½ Cup All-Purpose Flour
½ Cup Buttermilk

1.  Prepare the ingredients
Wash and dry the fresh produce. Cut the radishes into thin rounds.  Slice the tomatoes into ½-inch thick rounds. Pick the parsley leaves off the stems; discard the stems. Peel and mince the garlic then, using the flat side of your knife, smash until it resembles a paste. Cut out and discard the root of the lettuce, then roughly chop the leaves. Using a peeler, remove the yellow rind of the lemon, avoiding the white pith; mince the rind to get 2 teaspoons of zest. Quarter the lemon and remove the seeds. Peel and mince the shallot. 

2.  Make the remoulade 
In a small bowl, combine the shallot, lemon zest, garlic paste, mayonnaise, Cajun seasoning and the juice of 2 lemon wedges. Stir to thoroughly combine and season with salt and pepper to taste.

3.  Bread the tomatoes
Place the flour, buttermilk and breadcrumbs into 3 separate dishes. Working one at a time, coat each tomato slice in the flour (tap off any excess flour), then briefly dip in the milk before coating  completely with breadcrumbs. With your fingers, gently press the crumbs into the tomato to make sure they stick. Transfer the breaded tomato to a plate or tray; repeat with the remaining tomato 


4.  Bread the tomatoes
In a large pan (nonstick, if you have one), heat a thin layer of oil on medium-high until hot. Add the breaded tomatoes to the hot oil (working in batches, if necessary, to avoid overcrowding) and cook 3 to 4 minutes per side or until crisp and golden brown. (You may need to rotate the tomatoes around the pan to ensure 
even cooking.) Transfer the fried tomatoes to a paper towel-lined plate and immediately season with salt. Set aside as you continue cooking.

4.  Make the salad
In a large bowl, combine the lettuce, radishes and parsley. Season with salt and pepper. Add the juice of 1 lemon wedge (you will have an extra lemon wedge) and a drizzle of olive oil; toss to coat. 

Serve and enjoy!!

Makes 2 Servings

About 590 Calories Per Serving

Friday, May 23, 2014

New England to a New Time Zone

This week has been chaos.  I have been putting in 12 hour days at work with a long commute, and also starting up my part time bartending job at night.   All while my dive friends head out for a 2 week dive trip to Egypt.  Jealous.  Feeling like I need a tropical beach vacation with a frozen drink right about now.

Well, enough of the complaining I have SUCH exciting news I have been waiting to announce.  I had to dot a few Is and cross a few Ts so that was the delay.  But, here it is:    I RAN ON WEDNESDAY!  3 miles!  Okay okay, that isn't the exciting news (well I mean it is but not THE news).  I ran a 5k at an 8:38 average and it didn't feel as terrible as I thought.  Okay now: 

I AM MOVING TO SALT LAKE CITY, UTAH!!  After years of applying to different graduate programs, I have been accepted into the Professional Master of Science and Technology program at the University of Utah in Salt Lake City, Utah.

I got my undergraduate degree from the University of Connecticut.  While I loved the school and the program, I was really limited where I could go.  I had to stay close because I had the horses at home.  I never got to study abroad, or go to school in a fun city.  Don't get me wrong, I wouldn't trade those amazing years with my horse for the world, but now, now I can go experience something new.  

I have been out to Salt Lake City twice to visit Thatcher and I loved it.  And at 26, my opportunities to take on adventures and new chapters like this one are harder to find.  I am really going to miss my friends, my family, and the horses, but this is an opportunity I cannot turn down.  I will be the first person in my family to complete a master's degree and it has been a huge life goal of mine. 

I will be in Connecticut for the summer, working, saving money, riding Bradey, and celebrating all of my fantastic friends weddings.  Mid August after I watch Liz marry the love of her life, I will pack up my stuff and head west.  Thatcher is flying home for the wedding and driving back to Utah with me, Abby, and Olive.  

Looking forward to spending some time and adventures with this guy.  So many amazing adventures ahead.  This New England girl (with a marine science degree) is trading in the water for the mountains!  Better get used to running in those mountains.... 

This New England girl is running the west!

Monday, May 19, 2014

New goals

Well,   Its been weeks after the marathon and I have a confession.  I have only run once.  And it was a measley 2 miles.  And I walked a little bit.  Hell, I am not even mad.  And now that I got my big "running bucket list item" done, the pressure to run has eased a little.  And now I can focus on running for fun... or that's what I hear people call it at least......

I had some excuses for my running hiatus.  The truth is, I had this really funky foot pain.  The entire week after my marathon, the outside of my left foot was really killing me.  It took about 2 days after the race to set in, but then it was really uncomfortable to walk.  I noticed it in full force about 5 days post race, while I was horse showing in saratoga.  But that pain and that excuse is gone so this week is the week I get back to running. 

My schedule post marathon is much more relaxed.  No more scheduled and mandatory run, and my focus is back on the horses.  BUT, I know that if I want to keep up the condition I am in and the weight I lost, I am going to need some new goals, new workouts, and a new approach. 
Kind of a reminder to everyone too--- Keep track of your goals, adjust them to the changes in your life, and keep setting new ones.  

So here are my goals and where I am at:

Keep riding 5-6 days a week- great upper and lower body workout, using completely different muscles than running. 

Get back into fitness classes-  I loved body pump, however my groupon expired and I cannot justify spending $60 a month on a gym membership.   I found a Groupon for another gym in Clinton (20 classes for $70-  3 months) so I will be going there.  Liz and I went to our first class on Wednesday, 45 minute HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) and it Kicked My Ass.  Oh and the Saturday boot camp/ cross fit style class kicked my ass even harder.  (Like Sunday the idea of moving hurt...). I am going to (try to) commit to 2-3 classes a week.  Wednesday 5:15 HIIT,  Sunday 8am Body pump, and one somewhere during the week-  maybe Friday.  

Change up your running.  Now that I conquered the marathon, I want to keep running but with a new focus.   Variety is the spice of life, so I want a variety and a change and decided I am going to do some speed work and hill work.  Instead of focusing on long and slow for the marathon, I want to work on speed for some 5k and 10k races.  
New goal, completely opposite from my marathon.  

More yoga.  I did yoga the day before my marathon, and a few times before my long run, and I noticed a huge difference.  I don't want to spend a ton of money on yoga, but every Saturday there is a free class at the Yoga Shop of Old Saybrook at 4:30.  I want to make an effort to commit to more yoga in my life.

Alright, now that I told you all, it has to happen. 

Its Monday so write your goals down too and (even share them here!).

Happy Monday-