Thursday, August 30, 2012

Friendly smack on the head!

Sometimes the sh*t hits the happens.  Guess what, all hope is not lost.  You are not defeated.  So you can't pass go.  So you can't collect $200.  So it has been too long since you've played Monopoly, I digress.

When you feel like throwing in the towel and saying, "It's too hard to be so good" just find something or someone who helps you get back on your savvy 'horse'.  Do not call your Debbie Downer enabler and wallow in the shallow water of pity...worse thing you can do.  Call up Positive Paul and get thee to a Whole Foods.  Smell the aromas of fresh Tarragon and regain control.

I've been having some doubts in my own abilities/capabilities and then, wouldn't you know, I got a call from a friend and I remembered why I'm still playing this savvy game.  

It's my life.  It's my health and damnit, no one else can do it but me.  

Press play and let the music inspire've only got this one life.

Bring the 'beet' back!

My fabulous Veggie friend, Tambra Riddle, introduced me to a delicious spin on a burger,  (click on her name to check out her website which is chock full of other savvy ideas!).  She dropped the beets in this healthy burger and I was impressed with the yumminess so I cooked 'em up for the fam last night.  The results were overwhelmingly positive and now I'm passing the love along.

What's in a beet?  This powerful little phytonutrient (ala Belatins) provides a great source of fiber, potassium, vitamin C and iron...just to name a few.  They are also anti-inflammatory and give their consumers a boost of antioxidants.

"In recent lab studies on human tumor cells, betanin pigments from beets have been shown to lessen tumor cell growth through a number of mechanisms, including inhibition of pro-inflammatory enzymes (specifically, cyclooxygenase enzymes). The tumor cell types tested in these studies include tumor cells from colon, stomach, nerve, lung, breast, prostate and testicular tissue." --

The recipe also incorporates brown rice, flaxseed and lentils...more sources of fiber and protein.  What's not to love?  I promise, after you try one of these beets, you won't miss the meat.  Hey...I'm a poet and I know it!

What's in your burger?
The good stuff - 
These portions will yield (approximately) 12 burgers...I highly advise freezing any unused portion and then cooking them when the next meal comes around.

If you don't want to put this in the food processor, getting to this step was yummy enough for me to eat as is! 

12 Tbl water
6 Tbl ground flaxseed (you can also use ground Chia seeds)  - DO NOT SKIP THIS INGREDIENT, this is the binding agent
2 Tbl olive oil (divided) - I used more than 2 via eye balling 
2 cups crimini mushrooms, cleaned and coarsely chopped (I don't like mushrooms, so I skipped this)
1 cup yellow onion, coarsely chopped (I just used a small little onion, no measuring needed)
6 Tbl tamari (or low Sodium soy sauce, which is what I used)
2 tsp minced garlic
1 tsp Dijion mustard
1 tsp salt (eye balled)
1 tsp ground rosemary (which, let me tell you is nowhere to be found, so I used 1/2 tsp all spice and 1/2 tsp coriander) 
1/2 tsp black ground pepper (eye ball)
3 cups cooked green lentils (drained)
3 medium sized beets finely shredded
2 3/4 cups cooked short grain brown rice, divided (p.s. short grain takes about 50 to cook)

This truly looked like raw meat, kind of made me think I could really fool some of my favorite carnivores...hmmmmm
1.  In a small bowl, combine water and ground flax or chia seeds.  Stir and set aside to thicken
2.  In a saute pan over medium heat, heat a splash of olive oil.  Add mushrooms and onion and cook for 12 to 15 minutes, stirring infrequently, until onions are caramelized.  Add tamari (soy sauce), garlic, mustard, salt, spices and pepper.  Fold in lentils, beets and 1.5 cups of brown rice.
3.  In a food processor, add saute pan contents and seed/water mixture and process for (roughly) 20 seconds.  Transfer processed mixture into medium sized bowl.  Stir in remaining rice.
4.  In a saute pan or skillet over medium heat, heat remaining oil.  Once pan is hot, form small patties and cook 'em up.  Cook for 5 minutes until golden brown, flip, and then cook 5-7 minutes longer.  This time will varry.
5.  OR preheat oven to bake at 350 - place patties on a foil covered cookie sheet.  Be sure to put a bit of oil on the foil first!  Then slightly coat top of patties with olive oil.  Bake patties on one side for 20 minutes, take them out, flip them over and return to oven for another 10-15 minutes.

I put a bit of mustard on mine.  It's also fabulous with sliced avocado.  You can use a sprouted grain bun (or other types of buns). 


Monday, August 20, 2012

Fun at the Barre! graceful, so elegant, so sculpted.  Well, they don't get that way just sitting around thinking about it.  They get to the barre and WORK!  The new fitness craze brings ballet to the people!!  

I tried the Xtend Barre class on Saturday and 72 hours later and I'm still hurtin!  This is a crazy cool workout that fully engaged...EVERY PART OF MY BODY.  The instructor at  VFusion Studio handed me two 1 pound pink (super adorable and cute) hand held weights.  1 pound?  I didn't even know they made them so light.  Let me just tell you...those little pink adorable weights will make you cry, scream, curse and bring you to the edge of insanity.  
The Barre torture involves exercises using rubber balls, yoga straps, weights and bands.  I was moving the entire 70 minutes.  I had to take mini-breaks on my own, as the class just wouldn't quit!  I loved it!  I was sweating like a hooker in church and I wanted to get the hek out of dodge, but I endured the sweet pain.  

I'll be honest, this was a rather humbling experience.  This class challenged me and helped me realize I still have a lot to tone.  I took two Advils after class and two the next day.  It was an amazing class and I eagerly plunked down more cash to make it hurt so good (yet again).
This class came highly recommended to me and now I'm passing along the good word.  CHECK IT OUT! 

Xtend barre (60 mins):  Xtend™ is the most effective barre workout and the most efficient way to create a strong and healthy body at any age. The system focuses on sculpting the body proportionally with the use of a ballet barre, playground balls, hand held weights, and yoga straps. Using a series of isometric exercises and orthopedic stretches, clients can achieve firm and fast results.
The Xtend workout targets all the major muscle groups. Classes begin with an invigorating warm up, which increases the heart rate and prepares students for the work ahead. Then, the upper body segment begins using light weights to target the shoulders, biceps, triceps, and upper back muscles. Next, students challenge their entire body, including intense seat and thigh series, with the support of a ballet barre.
Xtend then engages the core deeper with an intense abdominal series performed on the floor. A calming stretch series relaxes the body and mind, concluding the Xtend class.

Thursday, August 9, 2012


I've been dutifully going to my gym now for 18 months.  I do a weigh in every six months, just to make sure I'm decreasing the space I take up in this world.  The folks at Lifetime have informed me they have done away with the skin-fold method of calculating percentage of body fat.  I was not disappointed at all, as I never thought this was a very reliable method, but whatevs! this test required me to fast for three hours prior to the test.  Arriving for my weekly circuit training workout I am, at this point, hungry and quite thirsty - I hop on the fancy looking scale and hold my breath.  WOWZER!!!  My body fat percentage is nothing I can post here.

Crushed, defeated, confused and trying to make sense of the world (DRAMA!) I just don't know what to think.  Based on my weight and % I'm 45 pounds of fat??????  How, what, where, why and WTF?

After consuming protein and mass amounts of water I begin to get a grip.  I know I still have a pesky 10 pounds until goal weight...but 45 nearly sent me over the *freaking edge.  I quickly contacted my trusty support system and asked if I truly put stock into this new machine.  My conclusion is - NO.  If I lost 45 pounds I'd be too thin (is there such a thing?).  My family would most likely diagnosis me with a severe eating disorder and off to the hospital I'd go for some serious nutrient replenishment.

I'm not beating myself up.  I'm not changing my "diet" (I hate using this word).  My trainer suggested re-examining my food intake and she encouraged me to keep a food journal so we could take a look at it.  She said, "You're probably not eating enough".  Initially I was offended...I'm a savvy foodie!!  But then I realized there are steps I can still take in order to reach my ideal weight.  Don't get me wrong, being a size 6 is fab...but there are still parts of my body I'm working on minimizing and toning.

1.  Keep food diary - this will keep me honest
2.  Up cardio level to new zone levels - this will require me to run into levels best left to sprinters
3.  Increase protein consumption - this does not mean more chicken, there are numerous opportunities to up the protein without eating more dead animals
4.  Continue with Pilates and Yoga - but now I'm going to increase weight training days
5.  Stop looking at workouts as 'it's done' - I tend to do my class and then I'm done...I'm going to expand my workouts

These are just a few additional steps I can take in order to continue losing and toning.  I feel rather Bridget Jones here.  But seeing my thoughts on the page really helps me from

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Toss the scale!

I just heard that Shakira song "hips don't lie" and I was inspired to write.

The last few weeks I have been coming back from a bike injury and I've been going hard core because my scale is telling me I'm five pounds heavier...HOLY S*!T!  How did this happen?  I've been working over time at the gym, going to Pilates boot camp and balancing on my head/hands like some type of Cirque du Soleil contortionist.  WHAT GIVES?

I just recently watched an interview with Mary Lou Retton and Shawn Johnson, two of the cutest (and fittest) people in the world.  They both admitted to struggling with body image.  Can you even imagine?  Mary Lou was told she was 'heavy' when she was at the peek of her career and Shawn confessed the need to be 'lighter'.  SERIOUSLY????

Mary Lou now has five, I think, girls and she said there are NO scales in her house.  I already loved this woman, now I'm officially smitten.  She has inspired me to toss my scale and realize my pants don't lie.

My trainer has reminded me muscle weighs more than fat and let me tell you...I'm gettin' some 'guns'.  My abs have more definition and I feel comfortable in my shorts.  I used to think shorts were only for 5 year olds, but thanks to all my training I've made peace with these little monsters.  BUT, this does not mean I should be squeezing myself into shorts that make me look like a sausage casing!  NOT CHIC.

I'm taking a deep breath and carrying on.  Being a woman I know weight can fluctuate more than a mood swing.  I trust my pants, they won't lie.

Now, I'd like to extend the same mentality to savvy readers.  Put your big boy/girl pants on and toss your scale out the window!  By getting properly fitting pants and not creeping up a size, we won't have a thing to worry about.  Staying strong and motivated are the keys to success.  Trust me, my hips and my lips don't lie.