Friday, June 29, 2012

Sweet Celery

I don't try to keep it a secret.  I love celery.  It's been about a 2 year love affair and things are still going strong.  My favorite way to eat it currently is chopped in small pieces and I pop it like candy!
Celery and I did have a rough patch, though.  Last summer I realized that celery is on the Dirty Dozen of produce, and I also read an article stating that celery is one of the absolute worst veggies to eat if it is not organically grown because it holds on to all of the pesticides and other nastiness.  Makes sense if you think about how celery is basically just a stem, sucking up all of the chemicals and what-not.

So, I started buying organic celery.  But, to me, the taste of organic celery seemed a bit bitter and strong.  I guess I like chemicals :/  Several times I would be so looking forward to my favorite healthy treat and then disappointed and even grossed out by the taste.  It got me can I fix this?
One of my most favorite easy yet fun science projects is to take a celery stalk and place it in water that has a few drops of food coloring in it.  Ezra and I did this a few summers ago when he first started learning about plants.  So, how does this relate to my celery dilemma?  I decided to do another science experiment.  I washed a few stalks, cut off the ends, and placed them in water (sans food coloring).  I placed it in the fridge, gave it 24 hours to suck up the water, and gave it a try.  

The result?
To me, the celery tastes less bitter and it definitely is more plump.  Maybe this is a kitchen tip that I should have known any way, but I kinda think I invented it ;)
Happy celery eating, friends!

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

10 Minute Workout!

Somedays are so busy it seems near impossible to fit in a workout.  But if you have 10 minutes to spare and space the size of a beach towel, this workout is for you!  
***Common sense tip:  make sure you are in good health and ready to begin a workout plan.  Always speak with your doctor before beginning a new workout***

To get started you can be barefoot or in your workout shoes.  You will need a timer or clock to keep track of time.  When I do this workout at home I like to use the timer on my microwave, but most phones have timers or just use a good, old-fashioned clock with a second hand.  No excuses!
The following workout has 10 steps.  You will set your time for ten minutes and every minute change exercises.  Some you will be able to do for the entire 60 seconds, others you may need to do until failure and then start again when you are able.  Give each 60 seconds your all--you can do anything for a minute, right?

1.  Jumping Jacks  -  Just like you remember.  The bigger the bounce and arm swing, the more you will burn.  Just remember not to hunch your shoulders!

2.  Alternating Lunges  -  Stand with feet hip-width apart, hands on hips.  Step back with one leg and then alternate.

Imagine your back knee-cap is a stamp.  Think of it lowering straight to the floor to "stamp" it.  Keep shoulders over hips and your form will be great!
3.  Standing Oblique Twist -  Stand is Sumo Wrestler stance (wide legs, toes pointed out slightly) and sit back in to a squat, make sure knees are behind toes.  Goal post arms.  Lift your ribs away from your hips and stay in the squat, twisting side to side.

Weight should be even on both legs, stick your booty out!  Shoulders relaxed, and don't twist too fast.  Work "through the mud."

4.  Push Ups -  Start in plank pose with hands directly over wrists.  Keep elbows close to the torso this time through to work the triceps!

Body should be in one straight line, shoulders-hips-heels.  Imagine belly button to spine, chest to ceiling.  Keep your breathing even.

5.  High Knee Running  -  This is one of my favorite cardio bursts!  You can do it in place (as pictured) or you can run around your house or yard.  I have done kids love it when I do high knee running up and down the halls.  Why?  Because if Mom is running that means she won't notice if kiddos are running around, making mischief ;)

Lift your knees high in front, big arm swings, too.  The higher you get your knees, the more you will get your heart going!  Have fun with it!

6.  Alternating Lunges - Same as above

7.  Leg Lower -  Alright.  Here's another ab exercise!  For you Pilates fans, this is more or less Teaser II.  Sit tall on your Sitz Bones (basically the center of your booty)  Arms are up but your ears, bring the shoulder blades together.  Legs are glued together and straight.  Begin like I am in the picture.  Keep your upper body in place and lower the heels to the floor and lift back to starting position.

You can have your knees bent in the beginning.  Also, you can place your hands on the floor next to your hips to help out.  Modify for your body!

 8.  Standing Oblique Twist  -  Same as above

9.  Push Ups -  Follow form cues from above, but this time allow your elbows to be out to the side in "regular" push up fashion to really get the chest.

10.  Calf Raises  -  No picture for this one, I threw it in last minute.  Stand with feet hip width apart, and make sure your toes are pointing forward.  Hands on hips, shoulders relaxed.  Lift your heels, so that you are standing on "tip toes" and lower.  Keep going for the whole minute!  

You are finished!  Congratulations, you took 10 minutes and turned it into a workout!  Grab some ice water, walk a lap through your house, and continue with your busy day!

Trainers tips:

  • Don't forget to breathe and rest when you need to!
  • Don't let your muscles tense up.  Remember, you are having FUN!
  • Repeat this a second time for a 20 minute workout OR do it again later in the day.  
  • Only have 5 minutes?  Thats okay.  Do the first 5!
Leave a comment if you have questions about the workout.  Let me know if you try this!!!  Thanks for reading.

No fancy photographers here.  The folding chair and soap dish served as my tripod and I used my iPhone with a timer.  

Thursday, June 21, 2012

I'm Still Here!

Jeez...where does the time go?  If I had as many blog posts as I think about, then this blog would be quite successful and well-managed.  Unfortunately, thinking about blogging does not equal a blog post.  I am trying to get back on the ball with blogging and get a regular schedule down.  I am currently, actually, REALLY interviewing and gathering pictures for my workout Wednesday posts.  I am also toying around with what else to write about.  I definitely want to talk about health, fitness and nutrition, with an emphasis on Pilates, since that is what I love.  But I am also thinking of having a post maybe every couple weeks (or more?) about how I deal with my anxiety and OCD.  I feel like I have more people, in real and internet world, that talk to me about that than anything else.  What do you, the reader, think?  Please feel free to leave ideas and suggestions.  For today, I will leave you with my 

Replenishing Summer Smoothie
A great post-outdoor workout treat to give your body the hydration it lost in the hot weather!

In a blender, combine 
1 banana (can be frozen if you plan ahead)
8.5 ounces Coconut water -- I used pineapple flavored and it was tasty!
1/2 cup blueberries
1 tbsp peanut butter
A handful of ice cubes
Blend until smooth and enjoy!  This smoothie is on the thin side so it is great for on the go or little ones!

Let me know if you try it :)