Some Fun (Free) Exercise Routines (Videos)

My bachelorette weekend was great 🙂

I haven’t mentioned (or updated about) my whole “Operation Wedding” routine in a while, but I have been keeping up with it. I’ve definitely noticed changes in my body that I am happy with! Here are some exercise videos that will (quickly) get you lean and toned:

  • Bootcamp Calorie Burn (with Kendell Hogan – a dude). I know I’ve mentioned this one before. I just did it this morning. It’s 30 minutes and it’s a killer workout if you don’t have much time. All cardio, very sweaty, awesome encouraging instructor. Definitely check it out.
  • Crunch: Fat-Burning Pilates (free streaming from Netflix; with Ellen Barrett). This routine is about 40 minutes total. It has 2 parts – standing and mat work. I usually just do the standing bit (just under 30 minutes) which is basically cardio pilates. I am sweaty by the end, but not panting. Definitely good for getting the perfect body shape – long, lean muscles; sculpted tummy; lean arms, etc…
  • Crunch: Super Slimdown (free streaming from Netflix; with Ellen Barrett). Another Ellen Barrett! This is a mix of pilates and yoga; it’s very dynamic yoga (not many long holds). It’s around 40 minutes. I usually do the first part (more yoga-oriented and kind of cario-ish). I think this is my favorite of all the videos I’ve done recently.
  • Pick Your Level: Weight Loss Pilates (free streaming from Netflix; with Ellen Barrett). This is just over 30 minutes. If you’ve ever done a “pick your level” workout before, you’ll know they’re all similar. Ellen demonstrates each move at 3 different levels. I usually do level 3 to make it hard. This is another workout that’s great for toning – it’s a little bit of cardio, but not that much. Some is standing and some is mat work. I really like this because of Ellen Barrett – she is my new favorite instructor.

There are a few other Netflix videos that I’ve done, but these are the ones that are actually worth mentioning. I will recommend against 10-minutes solution: Kickbox Bootcamp – this will give you weirdly shaped muscles in all the wrong places.

My focus recently has been on a combo of cardio, pilates, and yoga. And not too much – I never do more than 45 minutes in a day and I don’t do them every day. I don’t know why this works so well for me! I also try to get in 1-2 miles of walking each day.

The other thing that’s helped me (a lot) is Bran Crispbread. I snack on them after dinner. They satisfy my urge to munch without compromising my waistline. They are definitely what I would call “diet food” (cardboard) but they are not that bad. They have just 12 calories a piece (they’re the size of a notecard).

I like them with guacamole or spreadable cheese. They’re also good topped with cream cheese and jam. And they have free shipping right now if you want to order some. They’re a little pricy but I am always down to try anything and I will probably even order more.

What’s your favorite workout video? Have you ever had bran crispbread?

Papaya Salad Rocks My Socks

Free yoga mat giveaway! (And hot sauce discount.) Now: Papaya Salad. Papaya salad is in both Thai and Vietnamese cuisine. My favoritefavorite is the Vietnamese version of papaya salad, but I suppose this is kind of a mix of both.

I love papaya salad. So much so that I had it for dinner 2 nights in a row.

Ingredients and Method

  • green papaya
  • tomatoes
  • shrimp, sauteed in peanut oil with soy sauce and chili powder
  • dressing: fish sauce, vinegar, peanut butter, soy sauce, honey, hot sauce
  • topping: PB2
  • MIX

To slice the papaya into such tiny strips (which is the only way to enjoy green papaya), I first used my mandoline to slice the papaya in thin strips. Then I just cut up the strips. It didn’t take long at all.

Papaya salad is a good reward and a great way to celebrate…

Celebrate finishing my wedding invitations that is! Almost all of them were mailed out today.

I know I owe you that explanation for why I suddenly have more time. The truth is, I don’t really have that much more time. I cut back to part time at my job and I am taking a class in the evenings, but the class ends up taking up 4-5 hours of my night… so I have about the same amount of free time as I did before. But I love the class. It’s a linguistics class.

Have you ever taken a class after you graduated college? Do you like papaya salad?

Salad Tuesday and Flat Bread

I added a tab on the blog called “Operation Wedding“. I’ll be tracking my workouts and progress over the next 2.5 months… July 24th is quickly approaching! Operation Wedding is well underway – I am very sore this morning.

In other wedding news, I got a caterer. It’s going to be a secret though. You will just have to wait and see because I feel like being secretive. At least for now.

I wanted to share two yummy salads that I have made recently. I always eat more salads in the summer – I just crave them. And I have decided that $2.99 for a bunch of kale is not so terrible. It’s cheaper than eating out, I suppose.

Salad numero uno:

  • base: romaine; massaged kale with avocado, lemon juice, salt, and bragg’s liquid aminos
  • toppings: tomatoes, cucumbers, uncured organic turkey bologna (nitrate/nitrite-free)
  • dressing: pear-feta dressing from trader joe’s

Salad numero dos:

  • base: romaine; massaged kale with avocado, lemon juice, salt, and bragg’s liquid aminos
  • toppings: beets sauteed in butter + some cilantro, uncured organic turkey bologna (nitrate/nitrite-free), shredded cheddar cheese
  • dressing: annie’s lite honey mustard dressing

They were delicious. Reminds me of doing Leng’s salad challenges last year. I hear RhodeyGirl is doing a salad challenge right now too, and so is Lara. I adore salad, and I probably have a salad almost every day without even trying. Don’t forget, I am The Salad Girl.

In non-salad news, I had this amazing flatbread from Trader Joe’s this weekend:

It was called the “Tarte aux Champignons” – a French style flat bread with mushrooms, emmental, and parmesan (love!) cheese. I ate half and Bobby ate half… but I stole his crust. It was amazing. I actually wish the whole thing was just crust. We’ll definitely be buying this again if we can ever get into Trader Joe’s. I had to get this when I was in New Jersey because the Union Square Trader Joe’s lines are always too long.

What’s your favorite salad dressing? Mine is certainly honey mustard! I get it 99% of the time.

New Jersey: Trail Making & Wedding Planning

I mentioned on Sunday that we had adventures in New Jersey over the weekend. I happened to wake up around 7:45 on Saturday morning and I caught up with my dad before he left to go work on a nature trail by my parents’ house. He had to be there by 8:30 so I quickly convinced Bobby to get out of bed and come with us (this took a ton of some effort) and we arrived almost on time.

We worked on the Rockhopper Trail (so named because of the many rocks by and on the trail) all morning. Here are some pictures that the organizer, a very nice guy named Alan, took.

That last picture features Morel Mushrooms that one of the volunteers (Ben) found.

We split up into groups for the trail work. I worked on clearing out some invasive Multiflora Rose (an evil plant that scratched my legs), Bobby got to work on a drainage ditch, and my dad made some really impressive stone steps on a few parts of the trail. We even met another Cornellian – Bobby worked with him on the drainage project and they got to reminisce together.

After the trail work we went with my mom and sister to Whole Foods… for wedding planning. Yes, I think I am going to have Whole Foods cater my wedding. I want something seasonal, reasonable, and Maggie-approved – and Whole Foods fits the bill. I may keep some of my planning secret from now on though. I know that a lot of people that are coming read the blog and I don’t want to spoil the surprise of the big day.

I’m off to watch some Bones – my new Netflix streaming addiction. It’s yet another one of those formulaic crime dramas that I love so much.

What do you do after work during the week?