Sunday, March 31, 2013

"Hardest class ever! "

Student: omg this class is the hardest class ever!
Michelle: what did you say, girl?!?!
Students: it's so hard! But.. In a good way.
Me: ... And that's why it's my most favorite class ever!

I took spin shred with the queen of Fit Girl, Michelle, the past two days. It's obvious why all of Chicago is raving about spin shred. Each time I take it (it is currently offered on Thursday evenings and on Saturday&Sunday mornings at 10:30 a.m.) I'm so inspired by how hard I can push myself. It revs me up for the rest of the day.

Today, our shred portion was all about arms! I was shaking and feeling like jello from the start!

The killer was when we got back on our bikes and started a Tabata drill on our bikes which I've never done before. A Tabata drill is usually done in bootcamp. A true Tabata is a drill of cardio bursts (8 of them) which consist of 20 seconds all out and then 10 seconds off. We did this with sprints today on the bikes and it was amazing! I felt so proud of myself when I was done.

Today's class rocked!

Thanks, queen! :)

Needed some motivation this morning

This morning I woke up feeling sluggish and unable to find motivation to get up and get active. I scrolled through some of my motivation quotes and found myself ready to roll! Hope these help you find inspiration to have a happy, active and healthy day today!

Saturday, March 30, 2013

5 things that make spin girls sweat!

1. "Endurance climb"
Oy! Those two words make a fit girl instantly SWEAT! Climbing for 5-10 minutes. Each time you hear, "...add it on.." You cringe and then push even harder than before!

2. Isolations
So, you're happily running in position two or three and suddenly your instructor shouts , "come on girl- keep those legs moving and the upper body still!" For some reason, I instantly break into a sweat. We're talking not just beads- buckets of sweat rolling down my face! Putting those legs to work, sans the help of the rest of your body, is a killer!

3. Jumps
Playing leap frog on a spin bike is a fit girls favorite game! There are so many combinations of this sweat inducing game- you can hop between one and two, one and three or two and three. The instructor can call our "down then up" or" up then down!" And... Counts vary between 1,2,4 and 8 in each position- so exciting! You've gotta keep your ears open or you'll be that girl left jumping when your lead Fit Girl infact has already said, "leave it down (cue sigh of relief, towels wiping sweat and water bottles poppin')!"

4. Circuits/intervals/ladders
Everytime we start intervals, the instructors shout out the game plan for the next 5-10 minutes. Truthfully, I'm usually so exhausted from whatever came before that all I hear is "womp, womp, womp..." However, one thing is for sure: you go from slightly sweating to drenched within the first 10 seconds! Intervals are like legitimate tricks on your body and brain- they never know what's coming next. Hence all of the sweat!

5. "Keep the resistant high and pick up that cadence! "
Picture being on a difficult climb: You're using all of your power to grind our those revolutions despite the resistance. Then, all of the sudden you hear, "Come on fit girls- pick up that pace ! Don't touch your red resistance knob!" Holy cow! It's like going from a ten to off the charts. I always feel winded, exhausted, tired and proud when I'm done with a fast paced climb!

What makes my other spin girls sweat?!

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Workin those arms, baby!

As I walked into my 12:15 spin class today, at Fit Girl Studio, I was already excited due to the sheer fact that I could workout mid-day because I'm on spring break!

When I went into the spin studio, I got my bike set up and started warming up. Elizabeth came in and asked if I could switch bikes because we were going to workout our arms and I might not have enough room by being so close to the wall. The class was pretty light, it was a class at noon and I'm sure most people were working, so it was totally fine. I switched bikes and got set-up again. I still didn't know what she meant by needing that much room to workout our arms.

About halfway through Elizabeth's first spin class at Fit Girl (she typically teaches Barre and yoga) I was breathing hard and sweating like crazy! Finally, she announced that we're doing to start a crazy arm workout. We began by doing two variations of pushups on the bikes. Then, we got back in the saddle in position one and started with our arms out to the sides. I never knew my arms could be so sore without weights! I can't even explain it. My arms was like jello before I even finished. I was shaking the soreness out immediately! AWESOME CLASS, Elizabeth!

What did I learn from class? Fittttt girlllllllls (and guys) don't ever be ashamed of what weights you use or even if you don't' use weights at all during arm workouts. From now on, I know that you can a workout from the exercises even without weights!

on that note...this made me laugh ;)

Monday, March 25, 2013

Healthy Restart Spring Break: Day 3

It's pretty darn happy when you're on SPRING BREAK!

  • I started my morning with an awesome breakfast at Bakin' and Eggs with a friend who was visiting from NYC.
  • After that, I relaxed at home ALL day until I went to Spin at Fit Girl.
  •  It's funny because Sarah has been teaching so much lately that I've taken 3 classes with her in 3 days. Even better- no two classes are the same with Ms. Sarah! Today it was a full class of circuits! In the middle of the first circuit, I looked at the monitor and couldn't believe that it had ONLY been 14 minutes since class started. I was a hot sweaty mess! But, by the end of class- it felt like time had just flown by! And that's an awesome thing- even when you do love your workouts. I pushed myself REALLY hard today. I am not new to spinning and I know my limits. Today, I went into class with the intention of really pushing myself with resistance and still keeping my pace up. The result of my hard work could be seen dripping down me face (cue music with mental image: I'm Sexy and I know it...)
  • This evening, my husband and I headed to Kuma's Too for the first time (two meals out in one day- feeling like my old city-girl self again). I tried out a delicious burger- the High on Fire- (sans the bun) and a side salad. It was AWESOME!
Looking forward to getting double workouts in tomorrow! What's on your fitness agenda for Tuesday?!

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Sloppy Jills Recipe (Paleo Sloppy Joes)


I never did like regular "sloppy joes" BUT- this is PHENOMENAL! It's SO GOOD that we shall call it Sloppy Jills! ...girls always do things better ;)

1 tablespoon of coconut oil
1lb of grass fed beef
1/4 cup of chopped mushrooms
1/2 of an avocado cubed (optional)
1/4 cup of diced onions

Dry ingredients/Spices:
1/2 tablespoon of minced garlic
1/2 teaspoon of salt
1/2 teaspoon of pepper
1/2 teaspoon of paprika
1/4 teaspoon of chili powder

Wet ingredients:
4 tablespoons of tomato paste (no salt added)
8 ounces of organic tomato sauce (no salt added)
2 tablespoons of organic ketchup (optional)

1 tablespoon of raw honey
1 tablespoon of balsamic vinegar

  • Start by heating the coconut oil in a large skillet over medium heat.
  • Add in ground beef, and cook until it has started to brown. 
  • Add your onions and mushrooms and cook until the meat looks like it is about done.
  • Add the remainder of the ingredients (saving the avocado for last) and cook on low heat for about 10 minutes.
  • Either add avocado at the end and let simmer or simply top your Sloppy Jills with it after.

In my house, I'm the only one who eats Paleo or even gluten free (I'm allergic to wheat/gluten and sensitive to dairy). With that said, I ate my Sloppy Jills over a bed of lettuce and a side of mashed cauliflower. However, for my husband- I made him a grilled Sloppy Jill sandwich on sourdough with melted Swiss cheese. It looked like pure heaven (Even if if would be immediately sick if I ate it...). Either way, you can't go wrong!

Healthy Restart Spring Break -Day 2

This morning, I headed to spin class with two intentions
focus on myself and only myself
Sometimes, it's easy to head to a class and be concerned about those around you. It doesn't happen to me often. But, I'm at a point where I'm restarting my program and ...yeah...I'm self-conscious about my body and my performance. I went into class today and told myself that I wouldn't worry about anyone else. I sat down, got my posture right and was ready to roll. I didn't even notice who was sitting by me and honestly...that was a great feeling!
push myself to MY limits
No one can tell you how far to go. Your 10 might be someones 7 and that's fine. In the same respect, someone else might be pushing themselves to their limit and your max is much further away. Today I set the intention to push myself with resistance, cadence and keeping perfect posture. The end result: a big sweaty mess!
...and I left feeling AMAZING!

Don't ever forget to go into any workout with a solid intention. You'll get more out of your time and effort and the results will shine!

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Healthy Restart Spring Break: Day 1

Today was day 1 of my healthy restart Spring Break!

I am a teacher and therefore, I am fortunate enough to get a spring break! This year, I didn't make ANY plans...and I couldn't be more happy! I'm taking this time to relax and restart my healthy living.
There are multiple parts to living healthy- the most important for me:
  • consistent workout routines
  • planning ahead and sticking to a Paleo lifestyle
  • making sure that I take time to relax/for myself 
  • and getting enough sleep. 
I fully intend of working on all four during my break ;)

Today... I got my booty back to Fit Girl and took barre and spin.

Barre with Andi:
Andi is a ball of energy. I swear she could host workout DVDs. I had a little bit of a tough time doing the excersizes that involved pointing my foot (because I had stitches in it and it's still tight). But, I did try my best. I walked out of class during glutes because I just couldn't point anymore. I felt bad- it always bothers me when others seem like they're taking a break to just slack off. If you really NEED it, I totally understand. But, I always think to myself, "I know it's hard. It's hard for me too. But, we all come to class for the same reason- to be pushed and get results." Am I wrong? At any rate, my first class back wasn't too bad!
Postive sidenote: I could still use my grey weights and was VERY proud of myself for that! WooHoo!

Spin with Sarah:
Sarah added a lot of fun elements into one class. We switching off in teams for sprints and "raced" against each other. We also did a circuit/ladder. I really felt good in spin class today. I truly LOVE spin and getting a nice cardio workout in. I always leave feeling like I've accomplished so much.

After an afternoon of relaxing with my husband, and taking a nap, I just had a nice dinner with my family. I made great choices and I'm heading to bed pretty early. Tomorrow starts day 2 of my Healthy Restart Spring Break!

Have you ever been able to take time to dedicate it solely to getting back into a healthy lifestyle? What are your tips?

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Let's Start Over...

As some of my wonderful readers may know, I was out of commission for the last few weeks (3.5 weeks). I have stitches in my foot and the top of my leg (right where you sit down!!) and wasn't able to put on running shoes or sit on a spin bike for a while.

At first, I figured that I would make the best of my week or two off and still workout my abs and arms at home. I went out and got another set of weights and started doing my arm routines at home.

But, after one week- I was over it. To be completely honest...I was frustrated that I couldn't workout and I went back to a horrible habit that has haunted me from time to time in my life: eating for comfort. Double whammy! I couldn't workout and now I was eating at LEAST one sweet (even if it was gluten free) a day, not planning meals and most certainly not eating balanced. After 3 weeks of not eating right and not working out-while I was on vacation- I even got glutened by some random sweet I ate. That was the end. I realized that I couldnt' do this to my body anymore.

My nice smooth back and flattening stomach have completely gone fluffy and my stomach is a constant wreck from not eating properly. 3 weeks and s later, I hit the studio for spin class!

I'm back at it again! Although I didn't have control over not being able to do my hardcore workouts, I did have control over what I ate and doing strength work at home. However, I didn't do the positive things that I could've. Now...I'm starting over again. It reminds me of a quote...
I gave up for a period of time but..

Stay tuned this week for a series of posts on getting started again on a workout plan. If you've got the spring...let's be real...winter blues- you won't want to miss out! BUT- let's start with YOU, my readers, what's YOUR number one tip on starting a workout plan ?!