I Know What’s Missing…

And I think I found the answer.  Thanks Groupon!


It’s no secret that a huge weakness in my workout schedule is strength training.  And since I quit the gym last spring, I have been doing very little lifting.  I still meet with my trainer 2-3 x month and try to go to Hot Yoga weekly, but I have noticed a difference in my strength and metabolism.  So, I have been looking for a new way to get strong without a gym.




I tried a CrossFit class a year ago.  I thought the people were friendly and the workouts challenging.  That specific ‘box’ was just too far from my house and the class times didn’t fit into my schedule.  Fast forward 1 year to a gym-less Jen NEEDING to get back to strength training.  Since I’m not paying a gym membership, my plan is to try out some new and different classes this winter to keep me strong and beat winter boredom.  I knew there was a CrossFit place in the town over, and when I went online to check out their schedule, I found a gym 10 minutes away.  And, Then…I found an awesome Groupon.  For the price of one of my typical training sessions, I got 10!  This was after a few glasses of wine so without even thinking about it, I pulled out my credit card and bought one.




I know enough about CrossFit to have a general idea, but I really wanted to find some nice people and a facility where I felt comfortable.  As expected, the gym was pretty basic.  I got some general information about CrossFit and the Paleo diet from the owner before people started to arrive, each one mentioning the cold.  Once the workout started, we didn’t even notice the cold.  Our warm up was simple but we had ‘Cindy’ waiting for us.




The Monday morning group was really friendly but when the clock started, they got down to business.  I worked hard, doing my pullups with the assistance of the green band, totally frying out my arms with pushups, and getting tips on form for my squats.   Although I finished with the least amount of reps in the group, I was proud for completing the full 20 minutes.  And I definitely felt the effects. I made one quick stop at the store on my way home and had trouble lifting my arm to reach the noodles on the top shelf.  Ah…I’m going to hurt tomorrow, I am sure!




To fuel up before CrossFit and stay warm on this chilly morning, I made baked oatmeal for breakfast (along with my hot water and lemon).




I am a huge fan of this cakey breakfast bar.  I dove right in straight from the oven and the bananas were warm and gooey.




Warning: There is no added sugar in this recipe (perfect for those of you trying to cut back). And I think the blend of spicy pumpkin and sweet banana is a wonderful way to start your day!




But you may want to drizzle on some maple syrup or honey (if desired) or if you plan on sharing with a sweet breakfast crowd.  I was amazed at how filling my baked oatmeal bars were after such a tough workout, and I am looking forward to having leftovers for breakfast throughout the week.  These bars travel well and can be frozen.  I’m hoping to be able to really put my Groupon to use and get to CrossFit 2xweek for the next few weeks.  I think that I can at least do 1xweek adding strength training to my weekly schedule because what can I say, I work harder with someone pushing me.


More classes, I want to try this winter…

Barre Method

Bikram Yoga

Spinning (I used to spin all the time and I miss it!)


Trapeze (this is a reach but I”d do it if I got the chance)



What new new classes have you tried this winter?

What else should I add to my list?



Pumpkin Banana Baked Oatmeal Bars

Based on Peanut Butter and Banana ‘Oats on the Run’

Makes 4 servings



2 cups old-fashioned oats

4 tbsp ground flax

1 tsp baking powder

1 tbsp pumpkin pie spice

1 tbsp cinnamon

1 1/2 over ripe bananas, mashed

1/2 cup pumpkin puree

1 egg

1 tsp vanilla

1 cup almond milk



-Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Spray a 9×9 inch baking pan with cooking spray.

-Combine dry ingredients (oats, baking powder, flax, and spices) in a small bowl.

-Using a mixer, beat the egg, pumpkin, almond milk, and vanilla until smooth. Add in the mashed banana and stir until combined.

-Stir in the oat mixture until just combined. Pour mixture into prepared pan and bake for 30 minutes until edges begin to brown and the middle is set.

-Store in air tight container or freeze individually.


Vegan Option: replace egg with flax egg, omitting the flax from the dry ingredients

Add Ins/Toppings: nuts, dried fruit, coconut, chocolate chips, agave, or smother with peanut or almond butter!

33 thoughts on “I Know What’s Missing…

  1. What a great Groupon deal!! Trampoline sounds like a fun class. I did trapeze in NY and it was so much fun. It was an amazing workout too. I couldn’t believe the amount of people in our class that couldn’t pull their legs up over the bar in mid-swing. It made me feel pretty good about the shape I was in (although my legs and abs were cramping!!)!!

    • I am so jealous! I think I would love that class! I don’t know if they do it in Chicago but I will keep my eyes open for sure! You should definitely be proud of your hard work and strong body!

  2. I want to try crossfit!! I hear such good things about it, but it’s so expensive around my area. I am so shy too with new things!! One day I will. For now I will love my spinning and running. A hot yoga studio just popped up about 15min away so that is way exciting!

    • You would like it. It’s intense…I am still sore! Keep your eyes posted for a groupon or new year sale. I used to have the most amazing spin instructor at my old gym. Since I moved 3 years ago, I just haven’t found an inspiring instructor but I miss it so much. I love my hot yoga studio. They give a discount for working in health care which makes a world of difference.

  3. That oatmeal looks great! I love cardio but have never been very into strength training. I want to try doing some pushups. I would also try the barre method, but I don’t think I’d want to exercise at all if I had to leave my house to do it.

    • Not today…right? I got to do Just Dance 4 at work with one my patients. I was sweating so bad. I want to order it tonight! I think barre method would be amazing. You should check out the 100 push up challenge. I made a goal for less pushups but I liked the workouts!

  4. Way to rock, Cindy! I remember that CF WOD well 🙂 I really need to get back to strength training a couple days a week… my good friend Jen of jensinkler.com just started a women’s only lifting class, so I’m planning to join in next week. Can’t wait!

    Oatmeal + bananas = yes, please!

    • You have the best hookups for exercise. I might need to come spend a week in town with you spinning, yogaing, and lifting…ha ha! It was great to get back into the strength training with such a nice group of people. I’m excited to go again.

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