Monday, October 21, 2013

make this now.

My blender may be on its last legs, but I'm down with smoothies (skinnied up ones, that is) these days, and you should be, too.

Here's one I made for lunch today:
1 cup Almond Breeze Unsweetened Vanilla Almond Milk (30 calories)
1 heaping tablespoon Libby's canned Pure Pumpkin (5 calories. NO JOKE)
1 tablespoon PB2 Chocolate Powdered Peanut Butter (23 calories)
1/2 c ice
Total calories: 58


Are you kidding me right now? Insanity.

Unsweetened Almond Milk is the BOIMB.

My favorite smoothie essential is frozen, sliced banana. Throw in the equivalent of a sliced banana into your blender, after first, unsweetened almond milk, and then add some PB2, and go. The frozen banana can act as your ice so you don't risk watering down your smoothie, or overworking your blender.

Incredibly low fat. Incredibly filling.

Not all smoothies are created equal. If you're on a fitness quest, avoid Jamba Juice and the like AT ALL COSTS, and stick to making 1-minute smoothies on your own, at home. Stock up on fresh (not frozen) fruits, and fun add-ons like Unsweetened Cocoa Powder (5 calories for a tablespoon, or something crazy like that) or PB2 (I can go on for days about my love for this stuff), and GO.

It sure beats cereal or any high-carb, high-calorie, NOT filling breakfast out there.



Here are some other awesome go-to's that I'm loving right now:
GoodPop® popsicles: I'm a BIG fan of the Banana Cinnamon, Watermelon, and Coffee flavors. In Dallas, you can find them at Whole Foods or Central Market.


Mom Made Turkey Meatball Bites: I love throwing these into my faux pasta (Broccoli Slaw with some tomato sauce). It really makes it feel like I'm eating legit spaghetti and meatballs. I've found these from time to time at Central Market.

behold the broccoli slaw. FAUX pasta.


Mom Made Chicken Apple Meatball Bites: Same deal re: Turkey Meatball Bites.



I'm off to go get some clean foods for the week, and seriously, seriously, seriously get my act together to lose the little bit of excess weight I've put on for various, stupid reasons. It happens.

Just recognize the problem, and fight back...before it becomes out of reach.

xoxo,
KWAK




Monday, October 14, 2013

new look. new life. new workouts.

Just when you think you can't go anymore, keep going.

When I woke up this morning, I didn't feel like myself. I didn't feel like I could physically get myself to put on clothes, get washed and ready, paint my face, walk out the door, and drive the 15 minute ride to work. I just couldn't.

So I "worked from home," monitoring and responding to emails, and mostly, taking it easy. Aside from tonight.

My normal work (read: job 1, not the one on the bike) hours start as early as just before 8AM, or as late as 8:29:59, and the earliest I can actually shut things down for the day is 5:30 (and let's be real. It's advertising. It's brand management. An 8:30-5:30 day is a rare and beautiful thing). My gym is not far from work, distance-wise, but in rush hour traffic, it can take up to 45 minutes to get there, and snag a parking space (not just a good one, but one at all). So being able to attend classes that start earlier than 7PM is impossible, and sometimes even making a 7PM class isn't doable.

Since I found myself at home today, I checked the Gold's schedule online, and decided to set a calendar reminder for 5:30 for a 90-minute cycle class. Not RPM, but a full hour and a half of spinning. Since they started doing repairs and renovations on the roof at Gold's about a month ago, they haven't been able to get the air or A/C quite right in the cycle studio, and couple that with my unusually present exercise-induced asthma makes for quite the challenge, on top of the actual workout. Toward the end of class, I really didn't think I was going to be able to make it, but then, the cool down song came on. And not a moment too soon.



On top of that, my cycling shoes are bunk right now, and I felt really insecure (literally) when doing standing climbs, so immediately after class, I drove to Performance Bike to 1) replace my cleats that have made it through three pairs of shoes and exactly one year, and 2) to buy a second pair of shoes to have as a backup. Today happened to be the last day of their sale, so it was perfect timing.

We launch RPM 60 in two days, and it's one hell of a release. Faster than ever. Harder than ever. So you can get better and stronger. Cut to this design I made for the shirts that my mentor and I are going to wear Wednesday.

I know the A/C won't be fixed in time. I know it's a safe bet my exercise-induced asthma won't be much better. But I know that with launches, I tend to get an extra dose of adrenaline, so let's hope and pray that it gets me through, and that I survive all 9 tracks.

I'm not thrilled with where I'm currently at physically, but I'm taking control (AGAIN) and working to close out the year better than where I'm at now. It's all about changing up the challenges (when your body has all the answers, you must change the questions).

In the past few months, I challenged myself weekly by adding a pilates reformer class into the mix. And oh my GOD. They're incredibly painful and challenging, especially if your main weakness is your entire core. If you're not good at planks, that will become painfully evident in a reformer class. Especially if you have a lot of fear, like me.

I definitely recommend both BEYOND Pilates and BodyBar Dallas if you want to give the reformer thing a try. The instructors will push you, but they will also correct you to ensure you get the right form well before the move is over, and they also have awesome music to get you through.




And for a complete change of pace, I tried out FlyBarre during Flywheel's Plano Open House a few weeks ago. Lucky for me, I got to take a class led by Master Instructor from NYC, Kara Liotta. She's got a body (ABS) that will not quit, and she's the literal Flywheel poster child (on the main page of their site and in studios. She's a fitness model.), and damn, do I need to put in MAJOR WORK to ever get my body in that kind of shape. ASPIRATIONAL.




I definitely loved FlyBarre 10000000x more than the reformer classes, just because I wasn't fighting against a machine with pulleys and boxes and nonstop PLANKS. Rest assured, there was some planking in FlyBarre, but the dynamic arms sequence and the rest of the varied movements and awesome music in class, as well as Kara's motivating, made this class the best out of all of the new ones I've tried lately.

I also got to FINALLY meet Flywheel NYC's Ryan Makely. He was INCREDIBLE and awesome, and I loved every single minute of his FLY45.



(OH, and biggest news of all this month, is that I FINALLY, FINALLY, FINALLY moved into bigger, better, greener pastures. And not a moment too soon.)




I've set the goals.
I've done this before (This year. For someone else's wedding!).
So I can certainly do it again.

Love handles, BE GONE. There's nothing to *love* about you.

Here's to closing out 2013 FITTER, flatter, firmer, and stronger than ever before.

xoxo, stel