For starters I am most certainly NOT a morning workout person, unless by morning you mean 9 or 10. Not 6. However, I am no stranger to teaching classes at 6 in the morning so I thought I would pass along a few tips for early morning workouts. The best part? You get to enjoy the sunrise! The light is so beautiful early in the morning. You’ll also be done with your workout by 7 a.m. and can spend your evenings doing all sorts of fun things! Are you a morning workout person? What’s your favorite part about early morning workouts?
1. Get a good night’s sleep. This one is obvious and almost not worth posting. If you go to bed super late and wake up to work out early in the morning you probably won’t feel too different after the first day. If you try to keep this schedule up for any length of time you’re not helping yourself and you’ll be really tired all the time. Sleep is good.
2. Lay out your clothes the night before. This is probably the biggest part to working out early. You’ll be able to get out the door much faster if you don’t have to think about what you’re going to wear to your workout. The one time I thought I was “too good” for this step I ended up going down to the basement to get bike shorts and socks from the laundry and I came up with my husband’s bike shorts and two different socks. Your brain doesn’t want to pick out outfits at 5 a.m., trust me.
3. Have a snack. Maybe you don’t have time to make a full breakfast before you workout but make sure you have something! I prefer sleep over waking up early to have breakfast so what I do is have a granola bar or a banana on the way to class and then make sure I eat a real breakfast right after.
4. Make a plan. Sign up for a class or make plans to run with a friend. If you have a plan you’re much less likely to hit the snooze and skip out on your workout. If you sign up for classes and go regularly, people will start to notice if you all the sudden don’t show up. If you sign up for a spin class, most places charge you if you don’t show up. Get your money’s worth and get out of bed! If you make plans with a friend and then don’t show up you will probably ruin your friendship because no one likes being stood up at 6 in the morning.
5. Turn up the heat. It might just be me, but this trick totally makes a HUGE difference. In the winter it’s even harder to get out of bed for those early morning workouts because it’s dark and freezing out there! Make it easier for yourself by making sure your house isn’t too cold when you wake up. Maybe preset your thermostat to come on 15 minutes before you get up? It totally works for me!
Did you know that you can grow your own green onions and basil simply by putting the roots in a cup of water? It’s true! So far I have saved about 6 bucks by growing my own green onions and I’m excited to continue to watch the savings grow! The basil is a little trickier and I tend to kill my plant every once in a while (it takes A LOT) of water.
So, here’s how you do it… put the little white parts of the green onions into a mason jar and fill about 2/3 full of water… the green parts will grow back! Chop them off when you need them and put the white ends back into your jar and watch the onions grow again and again!
For the basil: buy one of those basil bunches from the grocery store that have the roots still attached. Here in Maine “Olivia’s Garden” basil is the kind you’ll want to buy. Stick your basil in a cup and fill 2/3 full of water and your plant will start multiplying and getting bigger! Beware: you’ll need to water this one quite often or it will die.
Put both “plants” on a sunny windowsill and enjoy your little indoor garden!
It’s a rare morning when I can actually sit down and drink my tea or coffee at my house. I’m usually off to teach a spin class or up early on the weekends to go skiing. While there are plenty of travel mugs out there this one definitely takes the cake for me. I’m one of those people that will microwave a cup of coffee about a million times before I finish it. I love iced coffee but lukewarm hot coffee does not work for me. For this reason, coffee on the go tends to be less than awesome for me. However, this mug has changed everything! Here’s what I do: I make my coffee or tea and then put it in my Klean Kanteen and then put the lid that comes with it on tight and chuck it into my gym bag, teach a spin class or two, and then take it out of my bag and change the lid to the “cafe cap” (doesn’t come with the mug but is well worth the 7$ purchase) and enjoy my piping hot coffee when I’m ready for it! It’s almost impossible for coffee to get cold in this mug. Sometimes it will take me three hours (seriously…) to drink my coffee and it stays HOT! If this wasn’t good enough, last week I discovered that this amazing little mug can KEEP SMOOTHIES COLD. Now I make smoothies before class and drink them afterwards and they are still delicious and frozen. Awesome, huh?
This year I’m trying to keep running throughout the winter so my legs aren’t shocked come spring time when I start running more to get ready for triathlon season. Usually I just end up cross country skiing and going to the gym in the winter- great cross training but my legs are always angry when I start running again. After my snowshoeing adventure on New Years Day I was left with some pretty massive blisters on my feet from my hiking boots. Yesterday I thought I could probably run again and I made it about half a mile before I “reblistered” my blister and hobbled on home. When I got back I decided to do this little strength workout.
If you primarily run, bike, ski, walk, etc. etc. for your workouts why not try adding a little strength session at the end of the workout? Just 15 minutes of strength at the end of your run can make a huge difference! By adding some strength, you’ll likely find that you can do your cardio-based activities even faster and you will be less likely to get injured. Awesome, huh?! Okay now go for a run and resist flopping on the couch when you get back and spend 15 minutes doing my workout. 🙂
Post-Run Strength Workout
1 minute plank
15 push ups
20 alternating reverse lunges
15 push ups
40 oblique twists (20 on each side and with a med ball is great if you have one!! If you don’t then just tap the floor with your hands)
20 squats (jump squats are also a good option)
1 minute plank
15 push ups
40 bicycle crunches (each time you bring your knee to your elbow counts as 1)
15 push ups
1 minute glute bridge
DONE! If you have any questions on how to do the exercises shoot me a comment or an e-mail 🙂
Who doesn’t love pizza?! Here’s a fun (and healthier!) twist on the traditional pizza: Eggplant pizzas! Here’s how to make these delicious little guys.
Eggplant Mini Pizzas
- 1 eggplant
- olive oil
- toppings of your choice!
1. This is by far the most important step. Don’t even think about skipping it! slice your eggplant into 1/2 inch slices and throw them into a colander and add some salt. Then let your eggplant slices hang out for about 45 minutes. This will remove the bitterness from the eggplant. If you’re pressed for time and skip this step you will be sad because your eggplant will be gross. DON’T SKIP THIS STEP!
2. Preheat your oven to 400 degrees. Then take your eggplant slices and rinse them off. Pat dry with a paper towel then spread your eggplants out on an oiled baking sheet
3. Drizzle or brush your eggplant slices with a bit of olive oil, add some salt (I always like sea salt) and pepper then stick them in the oven for 15 minutes.
5. Take the eggplants out of the oven and get ready for the fun part: adding the toppings! Today I went with tomato, basil, fresh mozzarella eggplant pizzas. You can add anything you want though.
6. Put the pizzas back in the oven for another 10-15 minutes or until the cheese is all melty and it looks done.
7. DINNER TIME!
Here are some ideas for flavor combinations:
-Tomato, basil, fresh mozzarella (pictured)
-Sausage, caramelized onions and sauteed green pepper
-Roasted red pepper, kalamata olive, spinach, and feta cheese
Okay, as promised here is the link to my New Years Resolution photo project. I’m going to take one photo a day and upload it to this account on flickr. The few “rules” are as followed:
1. I must be the one who takes the picture.
2. The picture must be actually taken on the day it’s supposed to be taken on. (No cheating!)
3. I can upload the pictures on a different day as long as they’re taken on the day they should have been taken on.
4. The pictures will be of anything and everything!
I’m really excited to see my year in pictures when I’m done! Here is the link. Everything will be taken with either my Iphone or my Nikon 1. Hopefully I’ll make an effort to get my Nikon out a little more often. The Iphone is just too darn easy!
Happy New Year! What a busy couple of weeks it has been. What have I been up to? Christmas, turning 25, going to a wedding, cross country skiing in Jackson, and I kicked off 2014 with my first winter hiking/snowshoe adventure on a 4,000 footer in New Hampshire in the most frigid of temperatures. Now that the holidays are behind us it’s time to get back on track with blogging and everything else AND to start my New Years resolution: to take one photo every day for 365 days. Yep, this was also my new years resolution last year but about three months in I decided I cheated too many times and I gave up. SO it’s time to try again! I’ll have the link posted here later tonight or tomorrow for anyone who’s interested in following.
What are your New Years resolutions? Thinking of trying something new? Here are some good things to remember when setting goals:
- Set “SMART” goals. What does that mean? Set a goal that is Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Time-bound.
For an example: ” I want to lose weight this year” or “I want to exercise more” or “I want to eat healthier” are all good goals…. but you’ll likely have a hard time seeing any results by having such broad terms. Try to get more specific with your goals and this will give you a clearer plan and help make them more attainable.
Instead of saying “I want to exercise more” why not say something like “I want to take spin classes 3 days a week for the whole year”
- If the traditional goal setting tends not to work for you try doing mini challenges. Maybe for a month you will challenge yourself to go to those three spin classes a week. Maybe you’ll find that by the end of the month going to the 3 spin classes a week isn’t a challenge anymore and rather something you will continue to do through the rest of the year.
- Break bigger goals up into smaller parts. If you want to eat healthier try changing one thing about your diet a week. It will be much easier to make permanent changes if you don’t try to go cold turkey on the desserts and french fries overnight.
Here are some images from my holiday week!