Class Cancelled!

So…I am getting my workout groove back.  I even woke up at 5:15AM this morning in order to go to this awesome conditioning class at the yoga studio. I got there at 5:57 and the doors were locked.  The last few times that I went, I double checked the online schedule but go figure, I didn’t check this morning.  And now…the Tuesday morning class has been moved to Friday’s.  Total bummer standing in the parking lot in the dark with your yoga mat.  I wasn’t the only one…another guy drove by and was asking why there were so few cars here today.

 

IMG_2832

 

I headed back home as the sun was just starting to rise.  I was debating what I wanted to do with my morning.  I thought about going back to sleep, but since I was already awake, I made myself a hot tea and blogged a bit.  It was a beautiful morning, so I didn’t want to go to the gym, but I’ve been running the last two days so I didn’t want to run.  I debated back in forth while I enjoyed a still and quiet morning.  Then I figured out a compromise…

 

IMG_2831

 

 

Open the back door, so I got a nice breeze in the house and started doing some body weight strength exercises in the house and a few out back.

 

IMG_2834

 

Who wouldn’t want to do some triceps dips in the back yard with this view???

 

IMG_2835

 

I was a little intimidated to do start doing lunges out back in my not-so-active neighborhood, so I eventually moved myself back indoors.  I used a magazine cut out for some leg strengthening exercises (Fitness March 2012) and alternated them with my ‘favorite’ (I use that word lightly) abs and arm exercises (ie pushups, side planks, and bicycles) for a 30 minute workout.  It was not as challenging as the conditioning class, but much more fun than staring at the meatheads at the gym.

 

IMG_2837

 

Here are some of the best leg exercises.

Add them in to your next workout or combine them for a total leg workout.

 

IMG_2839 IMG_2838

 

IMG_2840 IMG_2841

 

IMG_2843 IMG_2844

 

And then once you’ve worked up a sweat on this 80 degree spring day, cool off with a Chocolate Peanut Butter Green Smoothie!

 

IMG_2847

 

Into the Blender:

Spinach

1 cup almond milk

1 tbsp peanut butter

2 tbsp cacao powder

1/2 banana

Ice

 

IMG_2849

 

It is a delish green smoothie with a hint of chocolate and peanut butter.  I promise you can’t even taste the spinach!

 

IMG_2851

 

It was a refreshing post workout breakfast (my pre workout breakfast was oatmeal) and a great start to a morning with a REALLY early start!

 

IMG_2852

Chickpea Tagine

More and more people are choosing to go meatless for one or more meals per week.  The experts are suggesting this for health reasons and to decrease your carbon foot print.  I love veggies and find myself making more and more meatless meals.  This recipe for Chickpea Tagine comes from Fitness magazine.  As you can see in the pictures below, I find recipes that I like, cut them out, and put them into a notebook.  I have never made this recipe, but it looks colorful and delish!

The first step was chopping…chopping…and more chopping.

I had company in the kitchen.

But she didn’t prove to be much help!  At least she didn’t sit on top of the recipe this time.

After heating the oil, I added the red onion, carrots, butternut squash and spices.  I did not find the Harissa Paste, so I just omitted it.  And I accidentally added extra turmeric.

Add the tomatoes, zucchini, and apricots.  I found turkish apricots at the Whole Foods.  They were so good!  Not as sweet as your typical dried apricots and perfect for this recipe.  Add a little water and then simmer 20 minutes.  Look at the beautiful colors!

Then add the chickpeas and lemon juice.  Stir and heat for another 10 minutes.

I seasoned the dish with some extra Saigon Cinnamon.  The tagine smells amazing and tastes wonderful!  The butternut squash is a fun addition.  It adds nice texture along with the good taste.

The tagine is shown served over couscous but any whole grains (quinoa, barley, brown rice) will do.  Enjoy the unique flavors and the exciting colors of this dish.  Plus, it is easy to make and 4 servings is 4 week night dinners (or lunches).