Recovery Day

I had my bags packed to get up at 3:45am and climb Mt. Princeton this morning, one of Colorado’s infamous 14ers (a mountain over 14,000 feet).  Despite my aching hamstrings and exhausted mental state, I loaded Clifbars into a bag.  At 2am, I woke up anticipating my alarm only to have the thought cross my mind, ‘what if I took a day off and got some things done around the house.’  The internal argument began and for the next hour I tried to rationalize both sides to myself.

Well, here I am at the computer with a cup of coffee, watching the sun come up over Denver.  And I’m damn glad I decided to take a break.  But, that doesn’t mean I’m not going to get out and do something active.

We all need those days where we are still active, but don’t kill ourselves at the gym.  For those of you intensity junkies like me, this is the hardest thing to hear!  But, if we don’t take a day to do something kind to our bodies and mind, we tend to burnout mentally, halt our progress, or plateau.

Idea #1: Go for a walk with an 8-10lb. medicine ball and do this series, 1 minute each until you hit 20 minutes:

-bicep curl

-overhead press

-park bench step-ups

-hand-to-hand ball throw

-walking lunges

Idea #2: Kayaking or Stand-Up-Paddle Boarding!  Try something new and enjoy an easy glide around a lake.  Most parks offer rentals.

Idea #3: Can’t get out of the house?  Throw your laundry in and get thee to the stairs:

-walk 5x (up & down = 1x)

-Skip-a-step 5x

-Dips 20x

-Decline Push-ups 20x

-Jump-up, run down 1x

-Side steps 1x each side

-1 Leg Curtsy Squat 20x each side

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Stretch:

Forward Fold

Wide-Leg Forward Fold

Down Dog

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Pigeon

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Now pat yourself on the back for doing something kind to your body!  Or have someone else do it – GET A MASSAGE!

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Snack Week: Sweet Potato Chips

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Eventually I just can’t take another almond as a quick grab and eat snack.  Homemade sweet potato chips are just as easily stored in a plastic bag and a handful is a great source of fiber and vitamins!

1 Sweet Potato – thinly sliced (use a grater)

2 TBSP olive oil

Paprika

Cayenne Pepper (if you like spicy)

Rosemary

Chopped Garlic

Sea Salt

Preheat oven to 400-degrees.  Toss all ingredients together on 2 baking sheets and spread out to a single layer.  Bake for 20-25 minutes, flipping over halfway through.

Store in an air tight container for 2 days.

Snack Week: avocado

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Avocados are the best go to for in-a-hurry snacks.  One of the cheapest options for grabbing something to go when you are on the road and simplest to prepare.

Three avocado ideas – for all recipes cut avocado in half lengthwise and remove seed.

#1  Pour salsa into the bowl of the avocado where the seed used to be. Place the other half back on top and wrap with foil.  Keep refrigerate until the day you need that 911 snack.

#2 Place a big scoop of lime-cilantro quinoa in the avocado ‘bowl’ on each half.  Press together and wrap with foil.  Voila – done!

#3 Fill with red pepper hummus, squeeze lime juice and drizzle Sriracha over each half for a simple on-the-go snack.

Bonus! #4 Slice each half lengthwise (just the inside, not the skin).  In between the folds, place thin slices of brie, drizzle with balsamic vinegar.  Crush up a nut-cracker and sprinkle crumbs on top.

Which one is your favorite?

50s! Part 2…

Sore from yesterday? I hope so. Now hit your lower half with the same method. Get to 50 reps, resting no more than 15 seconds before picking up that medium-light weight again.

Barbell Squat

Jumping Lunges

Deadlifts

Leg Press

Good Mornings:

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Step-Up, Kickback:

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Leap Frog Squats:

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Rear Leg Lift w/ Dumbbell:

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Bonus Round!  Choose 2 exercises from the workout.  Grab a heavy weight and shoot for 5-8 reps max.

50s!

Today and tomorrow are 50s workouts! No we are not going to strap a vibrating belt around our derrieres circa 1950. You are going to complete the each of the following exercise 50 times. You can rest for up to 15 seconds, but must continue even if it is only a few more reps each time. Pick a weight that is medium-light; challenging, but not impossible, after 15 reps.  If you can hit 25 without resting, go heavier. This is all about fatiguing the muscles!

Barbell Shoulder Press

Dumbbell Bicep Curl

Alternate Dumbbell Upright Row

Barbell Reverse Curl

Dumbbell Lateral Raise

Cable Upright Row

Cable Bicep Curl

One-Arm Cable Lateral Raise:

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Decline Hammer Curls

Barbell Bench Sit-Up:

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Incline Bench Weighted Sit-Up (weight behind head)

Overhead Cable Crunch:

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Snack Week: Smoked Salmon!

I love smoked salmon!  I mean I can eat an entire package of that salty, smoky, luxurious flavored fish all by itself as a snack…or a meal.  I’m always thinking of new ways to incorporate my favorite fish into meals – salmon should fear me!  I love wrapping shrimp in smoked salmon at baking it with a little truffle oil, lemon, dill, and capers.  I can’t turn down a simple rolled slice of smoked salmon filled with capers and lemon-garlic hummus.

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Here is one of my fav to-go snacks with, of course, that heavenly smoked fish:

Grill asparagus until lightly charred.  Remove from heat.  Wrap each spear with one slice of smoked salmon.  Here are some filling ideas:

Flavor Explosion #1: Sprinkle with dill and drizzle of lemon juice.

#2: Sprinkle chopped cilantro and a dollop of salsa on the inside of the salmon before wrapping.  Drizzle of lime juice.

#3: Line inside of salmon slice with lemon & garlic hummus and capers, then wrap asparagus.

#4: Drizzle soy sauce and Sriracha on inside of salmon.  Delicious with nut-cracker crumbs, too!

#5: Salmon stuffed with goat cheese, sprig of thyme and dash of rosemary, drizzle of honey.

Refrigerate. Grab a few spears on the run for a perfect, healthy midday snack.

 

Don’t like salmon? Shame on…just kidding, I won’t judge.  Try prosciutto, salami, bacon, thinly sliced grilled chicken!

Snack Week: Nut Crackers & Spread

Bring a little container of this cheese with you to curb midday hunger.

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I choose these Blue Diamond crackers for my snacks.  Completely gluten-free.  This cheese is also delicious on celery sticks.

Cheese spread: goat cheese – toss in handful of cranberries & drizzle honey over the top.  Store in small tuperware or mini Ziploc bags for easy grab on the go.  Keep crackers separate in small Ziploc bags.  I set up 2-3 little baggies of each for the week.