Thursday

70 Calorie Fresca Mojito

In the summer, my drink of choice is a mojito. I grow a mint plant purely to encourage my mojito addiction. It's so refreshing and boozy all at once! Beer can weigh me down and shots...well, I'm not in college anymore.

To make an ordinary mojito even better, I nix the club soda and sugar. Instead, I make it with Fresca!

First, let's start with the mint. I strongly encourage you to grow a mint plant. They're so easy to grow. But be careful, they're infamous for taking over gardens...to avoid this problem, I grow it inside in a pot. It's flowing, pretty, smells great, and can be put into drinks! What plant could be better? 

Then, I get half of a lime and cut it into slices. Squeeze it in the glass. Then drop it in and smush with the mint leaves (with the end of a wooden spoon or whatever you have) with the lime to extract that lovely mint flava. 

Next, add in about a cup or so of ice. Pour in a shot of Bacardi rum (or more, if the feeling is right) over the ice, mint, and lime.

Here's the finale...top it off with Fresca. Mix it up and there you've got a cool and refreshing summer drink. I choose not to strain this lovely concoction because I think it just looks delightful.

Can't really be beat. This is my summer go to! Hope you all enjoy.

Ingredient List
- 5 to 10 mint leaves
- half a lime
- 1 cup of ice
- 1 or more shots of rum
- 2 or so cups of Fresca

Wednesday

Interval Circuit Workout

This workout is quick and dirty that requires nothing but a couple of weights and a step. If you don't have a step with risers, a couple of phone books or a stair could work just as well.

What I want you to do in this workout is do each of these exercises for 45 seconds, then take 15 seconds to transition to the next exercise. After you've completed all of them...go around two more times. A fast workout that gets your heart rate up and the calories burning.


Squat Jump

Start in a squat, then jump up onto the step...landing with your knees bent.
Jump back down with your knees bent. Modification: step up and step down.


Seated Bicycle

Sitting on or off a step, bring your feet off the floor and stack your hands like pictured.
Rotate from side to side, bringing your elbow to your opposite knee, with a brief pause in the middle. Modification: let your feet rest on the floor.

Plank Shuffle

Start in a plank and shuffle your hands across the step, keeping your hips tucked under. Modification: do the same, but on your knees.

Decline Bridge Crunch

Hold a weight. Bring butt up close to the step with feet planted upon it.
Raise up your hips and alternate bringing the weight to your knee. Modification: lose the step! 

Reverse Lunge & Curl 

Holding two weights in your hands, stand on the step. Alternate legs stepping back into a lunge. When you return to standing, curl your weights. Modification: lose the step!

Diagonal Push Up & Pledge 

Place one hand on the step and one hand on the floor. Come down into a push up. Push up off the floor and bring the hand that's on the floor across your chest. Return hand to floor. You can switch halfway through time. Modification: do the pushup on your knees.



Now repeat two more times!


Monday

Tabata


My little niche at work is running "Tabata" classes. What is that exactly? In short, it's an interval training method that is based on timing :20 seconds of high intensity exercised followed by a :10 seconds rest period. And repeat! In long...take a look at this. It'll explain it in more detail. And better than I ever could.
Now, Tabata was made to only be done in 4 minutes. It will give you all of the wonderful benefits of exercise in that short amount of time. That's right...a FOUR minute workout. That sounds wonderful, but you really need to be pushing yourself to the max...as in 10 out of 10. The people I do classes with are not elite athletes who do this. They work hard, but won't break their back to give it their all. So...I make the class longer. It lasts an hour...including warming up and cooling down. Although, it's a full hour, it goes by super fast. And, if you are really going hard...you can probably just do 30 minutes of class. I'll share a lot of these workouts with you.
To make it easy, if you're working out alone, there are apps that you can download on your phone or iPad. The one that I use is Interval Timer by Runloop and it lets you set the amount of rounds/sets/music/etc and you can use it if you're doing other types of interval training like :50 seconds of exercise followed by a :15 second rest. Or just search tabata or interval timer and I'm sure you will find one that you will like.

 
 


 

Tuesday

Half Marathon Trek

This past March, I participated in a half marathon hosted by the Rock 'N Roll Marathon Series in Washington D.C....against my better judgement. In all honesty, I was bullied into it by my very fit siblings. All four of them. I had a very strong feeling that I should not participate in such physical and mental torture, but with enough guilt, I payed the fee of $125 to engage in the sweatbloodtears-athon. In the end, it ended up being a wonderful experience from the training to the finish line.

At the point that I started training in January, I was pretty comfortable running 5ks. That was a good start, but I still had a ways to go. I had many reference guides for how to train for the 13.1, and I strayed from all of them. Since I instruct and participate in HIIT (high intensity interval training), kickboxing, yoga, and spin throughout the week, I thought running just once a week would be good enough because I do many other workouts. Also, I believe that doing HIIT once or twice a week did really help my running.

So, this ended up being a 5K to 13.1 mile - 13 week plan..




Many people would say that this is the "wrong" way to train because it doesn't include intervals, or your body is not running enough in a week, blah, blah, blah. But, I am telling you that I did do it this way and I ended up running this half marathon in 2:03, which is pretty darn good for me. And, I must mention, that I live in Maine...the race was in March. This means that I trained in the snow, ice, temps in the single digits, with face masks and winter vests. If I can do it here, you can do it anywhere.




Here's a pic of my 3 brothers and my sister pre race:



I encourage you to try one if you have never done one before...or even if you have yet to give running a try, I would just do it. It's freeing, good for your health, and extremely gratifying once it's over. I didn't want to do this initially, but I am so happy I gave in and proved to myself I could do it.