Saturday, November 26, 2011

Treadmill workout for Mippa

I cannot take credit for this workout. I saw it on Coach Troy's blog from earlier in November, and I thought of my friend, Mippa, who has a Treadmill at home. I often share workouts with her - either ones that I've created myself or share workouts that I've found online.  This one looks great, and I can't wait to give it a try!  Personally, I have many workout days that consist of high incline treadmill walking, especially when I am trying to get lean.  I thought Coach Troy put a really interesting twist on it.  Let me know if any of you give this one a try!

Coach Troy Jacobson's High Intensity Treadmill Workout
This workout will crank your heart rate and make you work muscles you never knew you had. It's simple, tortuous and soooo effective. Try it, but only if you have an AED nearby!

1. Set the treadmill incline at 15% grade and the speed at 3.5-4.0 mph or at a fairly comfortable pace. Walk uphill for .5 mile.

2. Raise the speed to 4.5 - 5.5 mph (Depending on your fitness) and start to 'jog' with short steps. Drive with your arms up the hill. Go for .5 miles.

3. Increase the speed to the top of your limits for .2 miles while still at 15% grade. Hang in there and don't fall of the back!

4. Decrease the grade to 6-8% and the speed to 3.5-4.0 mph and walk the final .3 miles as a cooldown.

Hop off and collapse.

The entire workout will take around 20 minutes and you cover a total of 1.5 miles. Not much for the hardcore endurance athlete, right. Wrong! Try this workout next time you're in need for a strong hit of intensity and you'll get it.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Training Update

So my training for the past month has been very solid.  I'm taking a class on Tues/Thursday nights for work, so that has put a glitch in my training plans. I am working around it though.  For instance, on class nights, I go to the gym right after work and get in a 45-minute workout before class, either lifting weights or cardio. Sometimes I do early morning cardio on class days, just in case I needed the hour in between class and work to do homework.  I also changed my work schedule from 7:30-4:30, which has really allowed me to balance better.  For the past month, I've also been boxing twice a week and lifting weights 2-3 times per week. I'll be moving that up to 4 days per week of boxing, lifting 3x per week, and at least 1 day of yoga.

I'm feeling really good.  I had a sleep study done, and finally discovered the root cause of my weight loss struggles as of late.  I'm under constant stress and am not getting restorative sleep. So, my doctor gave me some suggestions to change around my evening routine to improve my sleep quality, and I've dropped 6 pounds!  I've always known the importance of sleep and the impacts of sleep deprivation and stress. I knew that I've been under alot of stress, but I couldn't imagine that my sleep was being impacted that badly...but that is indeed the case.  I'm looking forward to making good changes and getting closer to my end of year goals.

Caio for now folks!!

Sharing Recipe: Fall Spinach Goat Cheese Bisque

I was really missing my girlfriend Mippa today, and I thought of how we enjoyed apple and goat cheese salads at Grand Luxe cafe around this time last year.  So, I decided to make a lovely bowl of spinach goat cheese bisque, which was really good!  I adapted the recipe from one that I saw in Eating Well magazine. 

2 tsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1/2 Yellow Onion, diced
1-2 Garlic Cloves, minced
Salt, Pepper to taste
1 tsp dried dill/thyme
1 medium Yukon Gold Potato (peeled & diced)
1/8-1/4 tsp nutmeg
2 tsp sherry cooking wine (or marsala)
2 Cups Unsalted Vegetable Stock
1/2 clamshell baby organic spinach
1 T light butter
1/2 cup light goat cheese crumbles
croutons for garnish

Cooking Directions
1. Heat olive oil in a skillet and cook for about 5 minutes until onions start to brown.
2. Add minced garlic cloves to the onions.
3. Reduce heat under onions, add 2 T water, dill, and thyme. Cover onions and cook for about 20-25 minutes to caramelize.  Stir often, but make sure to return the cover afterwards.
4. In a pot, heat 2 cups of water, add 1/4 tsp salt and bring to a boil. Add the potato and cook 12-15 minutes until potato is very soft and most of the water has evaporated. Do not drain potato.
5. Add nutmeg and sherry to the caramelized onions and cook for a few minutes longer.
6. To the cooked potato pot, add the caramelized onion mixture, vegetable stock, and spinach.  Bring to a slow boil and heat until the spinach withers down but is still bright green in color.
7. Transfer the contents from the pot into a Vitamix blender (or you can use an immersion blender).  Add the butter and goat cheese and blend until smooth and bright green in color.
8. Return to the pot and add salt & pepper to taste as needed.
9. Serve in soup bowls with croutons and a sprinkle of crumbled goat cheese.
Soup should keep for about 3 days refrigerated.

This was very filling, flavorful, and made a lovely dinner on a chilly autumn evening.
Sorry - I gobbled mine up before I could take a picture :-). I borrowed the one from Eating Well magazine.  My soup was blended a more smoothly. The flavor was really incredible.

Approximate Nutritional Breakdown:
Per serving: 147 calories; 7 g fat ( 3 g sat , 3 g mono ); 11 mg cholesterol; 17 g carbohydrates; 0 g added sugars; 5 g protein; 4 g fiber; 447 mg sodium; 514 mg potassium.