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Go Heavy!

Happy Earth Day!

I decided to join fellow blogger and BodyPump instructor Q (check out her fun blog) on her challenge to GO HEAVY on squat weights. I’ve been toying with the idea of adding a second big plate for a couple of months now and tonight I decided to go for it! Luckily, it was my co-instructor’s turn to teach the first half of class so I could focus on the new weight. It’s amazing to me how much you have to engage your core to protect your low back when you are lifting heavy weight. A strong core truly is the foundation of a strong body. I think I tell my class “abdominals on tight” in every single track! We’ll see if I’m feeling it tomorrow!

And just because I just want to say it…can I tell y’all how much I LOVE teaching group exercise! I love seeing familiar faces every week and watching them progress with their weights and perfect their form. We are so lucky at the Y to co-teach BodyPump classes. We divide first half/second half of class so one of us can walk around and correct form and control the music while the other teaches – and of course we participate as much as possible. And I love the first timers too for a whole slew of other reasons. I might have to write a post one day dedicated to “how to survive your first group exercise class.” I know how intimidating/overwhelming it can be.

Now the next big decision is what to become certified to teach next? I’m thinking spin?

Breakfast this morning was another bowl of banana oats but with a little twist.

1/3 cup oats, 1/3 cup vanilla soy milk, 1/3 cup water, pinch salt, 1/2 thinly sliced banana, raisins and cinnamon. Topped with almond butter, a little Crofter’s and a crumbled banana/wheat/flax mini muffin. From time to time I use crumbled muffins as a topping. It adds an interesting twist – not something I’d want every time but good to mix it up!

I was NOT feeling lunch today which isn’t normal for me. I didn’t head home until 1 p.m. and once I got home I kind of wandered around the kitchen with no inspiration for lunch. Nothing was sounding appealing. I finally settled on drinking my lunch.

Green Monster made with 4 crushed ice cubes, 1/2 cup vanilla soy milk, 1/2 banana, 1/2 scoop chocolate protein powder and about 1 1/2 cups spinach. Served in an ice-cold Panthers pint glass in honor of tonight’s NFL draft! 🙂 I don’t know what I did differently but today’s green monster was SO good. Thick and creamy – like a milkshake. Yum!

Afternoon snack was my favorite – a cherry pie Lara Bar!

I love Lara Bars. They are unprocessed, raw, vegan, gluten-free and have no added sugar. Sounds yuck, right? Wrong. They are so very tasty. Take today’s Cherry Pie Lara Bar – the ingredients were dates, almonds and unsweetened cherries. You’ll find that with all the flavors – short ingredient list, all stuff you know! If you haven’t tried Lara Bars I highly suggest them as snacks. They seem small but really stay with me through my workout.

Dinner tonight was supposed to be a Veal Scallopini recipe from the 1940’s for 68 Days of Gourmet but for the second time this week Harris Teeter didn’t have veal. I’m going to swing by Earth Fare tomorrow to see if I can pick some up there.

I almost walked out of the grocery empty-handed but I knew that I would struggle at home to come up with dinner. I decided to pick up two tilapia fillets because they were on sale for $3.99 per pound. Our fish tonight ended up being $2.40 total and really hit the spot.

I sautéed Brandon’s with Cajun seasoning and mine with Dizzy Pig’s Shakin’ the Tree. I can’t say enough good things about Dizzy Pig rubs. My dad introduced us to them years ago and we have every single variety of rub in our pantry. We use these not only for grilling but also for indoor cooking, vegetables and more.

Salad and bread (unpictured) on the side.

Don’t forget about the 30 day soda challenge! A big group on Twitter (#NoFizzCLT) is giving up soda starting today, Earth Day, through May 22. Hopefully, by May 22 many people will have kicked the habit. Consider joining us because really, there is nothing good for you in soda.

And in the spirit of Earth Day…what are you doing to be a little more green? Brandon and I have gotten serious about recycling the last couple years. I also try to always bring my reusable bags to the store and we’re getting much more into local produce and meats and sustainable seafood. I love this idea I saw on Wedded Whittaker today to build rain barrels. Might have to see if Brandon wants to take up that project at our new house. I would also like to start composting!

{ 12 comments… add one }
  • 1
    Lelia King April 23, 2010, 2:18 am

    I’m going to stick to the #NoFizzCLT, no matter if it kills me! I didn’t miss my diet coke too much today, but it’s only day 1. 😉 Now if I can just remember to bring my reusable bags to the grocery…

  • 2
    kathryn April 23, 2010, 2:44 pm

    ok jen. i am taking the go heavy challenge. starting tomorrow 8:30. thanks for the rally.

    • 3
      Jen April 23, 2010, 3:12 pm

      Haha – thanks for jumping on board Kathryn! I managed to make it through the whole class last night with nothing less than a big plate (even shoulders and biceps!). It was painful but a fun challenge! Sometimes we get too set in our routines/comfort zones!

      • 4
        kathryn April 25, 2010, 1:49 am

        i did it… though only on squats. i told the class about your ‘go heavy’ challenge and encouraged them to join me. i had 2 takers (that i know of). i told the class to increase one plate size. do it this week and next then increase again. i know that you are supposed to increase your weight slowly. so in the time frame of a month i/we should see an improvement with safe–and not too punishing limits. i am going to talk about it all month long. i needed some motivational juice. thanks for providing. i told em you were doing it too… so now backing down now:)

        • 5
          Jen April 27, 2010, 2:28 am

          kathryn – you totally motivated me to stick with 2 big plates on squats. i did it again this morning. it was suuuppperrrr challenging at 6 a.m. but i made it. several people in my class tried it with me too. maybe we can start a “go heavier” (or at least TRY to go heavier) revolution at the CK Y!

  • 6
    Tracy April 25, 2010, 7:04 pm

    Love the new blog! I’m sure it takes so much more time than B&E – but is so worth it! I would LOVE to see a post on surviving your first group fitness class – I’ve been to plenty but am almost always intimidated – probably why I stick to running if I can!

    • 7
      Jen April 27, 2010, 2:26 am

      tracy – thank you so much for you comment. i’m not really sure what this blog will become in the long run but for now i’m just hoping that i’m able to provide a little inspiration that balance is possible for my friends and family. i’m really enjoying your blog lately now too that you’ve made it more of a hybrid life/food blog. i used to be run, run, run all the time and now i don’t know what i would do without my bodypump and yoga classes! i feel much more well rounded! 🙂

  • 8
    Stephanie April 26, 2010, 2:00 am

    I had no idea you had a health blog too! I have been reading your cooking blog for some time now- this was an exciting surprise!

    Anyway, I really need to kick my soda habit. I gave it up for over 2 yrs but then went back. You are so right, there is nothing good in it, but ugh… I still drink it! Gross. I wish I had seen that challenge sooner, although I might hop in now.

    • 9
      Jen April 27, 2010, 2:24 am

      stephanie – thank you so much for the comment and thanks for checking out my new blog. i feel you on the soda – i have a love/hate relationship with diet coke. i’ll go months without drinking it and then if i have a few i’m hooked again! but i’m holding strong this time! join the challenge 🙂 never too late!

  • 10
    laq1013 April 26, 2010, 3:35 pm

    I’m pretty much a no-soda person all the time anyways! Occasionally I’ll crave it – but usually only when I’m eating something not-so-good for me like delivery pizza. Pizza and Diet Coke is just classic:) Fortunately, I very very rarely go there:)
    How are the Green Monsters? I’m thinking about trying one soon. Can you do them with regular milk? I don’t do soy products.

    • 11
      Jen April 27, 2010, 2:23 am

      green monsters are awesome. you really can’t taste the spinach at all. there are so many variations – you can really add/try whatever you like and change it based on what you have on hand. i make mine with regular milk all the time. just happen to have some soy in the fridge this week.

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