Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Workout Wednesday: Triceps and Calves

It occurred to me the other day that my calves and triceps are often neglected.  While they get worked as part of many of the workouts that I do, I very rarely focus on them.  So, I wanted to give them some love and incorporate calf raises and triceps extensions into a workout.  I guess that I could have just made a full workout of triceps and calf exercises, but that gets kind of boring.  Instead, I combined several compound exercises to create a full-body workout.  

And, since I'm into 50 reps lately (and breaking them up into several sets), I went with the 20-15-10-5 rep scheme.  It seems to work well for me because I can keep my form better throughout the whole thing.  When I'm fresh at the beginning of my workout, doing 20 reps doesn't feel like a struggle.  But by the end, sometimes there's no way that I'd be able to get out more than 5 reps.

Give it a whirl:


Monday, April 14, 2014

Meatless Monday Recipe: Brussels Sprouts and Asparagus Egg Scramble

Sometimes I feel like my eyes are bigger than my stomach when it comes to buying fresh veggies.  Or maybe it's just that I don't go in with a plan and am incapable of estimating what I'm going to want to eat on any given day of the week. Or I just get lazy and don't want to take the time at night to make them. 

Either way, I sometimes end up with a good amount of veggies that are quickly getting past their prime.  I obviously don't want to throw them out, so I usually turn to one of two options: I either chop them all up, roast them, and then eat them as a side throughout the week, or I make an egg scramble out of them.  

Egg scrambles are great.  They're quick and easy to make, they've got tons of veggies and eggs for protein, there's a million ways to customize them, and you can make as much or as little as you want - so if you want leftovers and easy meals for the rest of the week, just double or triple the recipe.  Plus, you can eat them for breakfast, lunch, or dinner. 

Here's one that I made last week when I got home from work kind of late and didn't really know what to eat (and then ate for 3 nights).  Feel free to throw a piece of toast or an English muffin on the side, too. 

It's not the prettiest thing, but it sure was yummy!
Brussels Sprouts and Asparagus Egg Scramble
(makes about 4 servings, unless you're super hungry)

  • 2 cups Brussels sprouts, quartered
  • 2 cups asparagus, sliced into bite-sized pieces
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 6 eggs, scrambled
  • 1/4 cup shredded cheese (of your choice - I used cheddar)
  • Salt, pepper, and garlic powder, to taste
  1. In a large skillet, heat oil and butter until butter has melted. 
  2. Add sprouts and asparagus. 
  3. Sprinkle on salt, pepper, and garlic powder and stir to coat
  4. Cover and let cook, stirring occasionally, until veggies are brown and have softened (about 5-10 minutes, depending on how firm or soft you like your veggies).
  5. Once the veggies are done, add in the scrambled eggs, and cook, stirring frequently, until the eggs have firmed up (about 2-3 minutes). 
  6. Remove skillet from heat and add cheese.  Stir to combine and melt the cheese. 
  7. Serve immediately, or store in tupperware in the fridge and reheat in a skillet or microwave.  
Like I said, this is a very versatile recipe.  Once you have the basics down, you can really add anything that you want - different veggies, meats, cheese.  It's kind of like a quicker version of a fritata, plus you don't have to turn on the oven.  You could also throw in some leftover bread and make it more like a strata. The sky is really the limit here!


Friday, April 11, 2014

Spring has sprung

Spring is in the air!  The birds are out, the sky is blue, the sun is making occasional appearances, and it's just the right temperature to actually enjoy an outside workout. 

There's this one park by my dad's house that I absolutely love to run in.  It's not a very long run - about 3-4 miles, depending on which route you take - but it's hilly (for me, at least) and it's a dirt trail and part of it is in the woods. 

I don't know why, but I actually like to run hills.  I'm a little mental, I know.  But they're so much more interesting to me than flat runs.  And I love anything that gets me into nature for a little bit.  Never mind that I can see the parkway from part of the trail.  It doesn't matter.  I'm surrounded by tall trees and fields and not a lot of people.  

And it's not a trail on the edge of a cliff or something that I'm afraid I'm going to fall off of (I have a serious fear of falling).  It's relaxing and lovely.  Even though the running part generally sucks.

I'd love to go find other trails to run on.  Probably something more up in North Jersey.  There are a few parks up there that I've done mud runs at that have some crazy hills.  But that also means crazy hills to drive on.

Or do the Big Bear 5K.  But that's coming up pretty soon and I'm definitely not ready.  Maybe I should add it to my list for next year. 

In any event, I'm glad that the weather is finally breaking, and people are emerging from hibernation.  I can't wait to once again explore all the county parks and go to the countless street fairs and festivals this summer. 

I really feel like I've been cooped up (and hunched over, trying to keep warm) all winter.  The warm weather and the sunshine and the bright flowers and trees and grass really do make me a much happier person.  I've never been one to really complain about the stifling heat in August (aside from the usual "wow, I need another shower after being outside for 10 minutes" and "crap, my hair's all frizzy"), but after this winter, I definitely have a new appreciation for the warmth and the sun.   

So it's time for me to get to work planning all sorts of outdoor activities for the upcoming weekends.  Runs and rollerblading and kayaking and hiking and whatever else I can think of.  Fire pits in the backyard (hopefully we're better at it this time.  And hopefully we'll make Smoreos.).  Sitting on the deck or the roofdeck reading a book (or taking a nap).  Trips to the park with the dog.  Trips to the horse track.  Outside dining. Boardwalk food and ice cream.  I can't wait. 

Heck, even if it rains, I'll take warm rain over snow any day.  It's too bad that New Jersey is subject to winter every year.  It kind of ruins my vibe.