With snow comes ski conditioning…and cookies.

Let me bring you to now. Sitting upstairs in our painful bright-yellow office room (played up to our best ability as a “panther” room despite the gross mismatch of yellows), digesting my oatmeal array of breakfast and mentally preparing for my ski conditioning class in an hour. As I mentioned in my last post, Tyler and I finally got our hands on a gym membership. After almost settling for a small (yet nice) workout facility in Eagle, we caught wind about a bigger, better facility in Gypsum about 10 miles away. Bigger and better is quite the understatement. In fact, the size of this could probably compete with the entire population of Eagle. It’s been a great investment, especially as the snow starts to roll in outside (and yes, it has started). Not that I don’t like doing in-house workouts, but I like some variety and unless I’m going to bundle up as the Michelin man – running outside will soon not be an option. Plus, I wanted a chance to get to meet some new people.

SO, as new Gypsum Recreation Center members *flashes badge*, we now have access to an indoor track, indoor swimming pool (with a slide, lazy pool, and hot tub in addition to lanes – whaaat!), rock climbing wall, large assortment of cardio machines, free weights, equipment, lifting platforms and racks, basketball/volleyball courts, and even a gymnastic area (I’ve only seen it used by kid’s classes but that wouldn’t stop me from channeling my inner Shawn Johnson should I get the urge). Besides all of this, perhaps the most beneficial factor this gym has to offer is the classes. I mentioned last week that Tyler and I did a spinning class together, which was brutal, but what I’ve started to really get into is their ski conditioning class. A fancy, mountain-name for something that is much like cross-fit. It’s an hour of complete butt-kicking and I love it. Each class, each week, each day, is different and challenging in its own way…but the theme remains the same. One day of the week is an endurance day, testing how quickly you can get through a specified exercise. Another is a strength day, usually a circuit focused less on time or reps and more on weight and quality of form. Lastly, there’s a power circuit day, where you are given a circuit to continuously go through for about 30 minutes – and you’re counting and competing for the number of times you can get around the circuit. I love workouts like these because you have people around you to compete with and it continually challenges you to get better. Reminds me a lot of what we did in college, but not at 6,000 feet. Sea level is for sissies:) Here’s a look at some recent workouts this past week:

These were all challenging in their own aspect, but that middle one was killer and not just because it was Monday. Our warm-up on the bottom was enough to get us sweating, then we jumped into our time challenges. First was 40/40, where we had to do 40 TRX rows and 40 TRX atomic push-ups as quickly as possible. Next was 40/40/40, the same first 2 40’s with an added 40 of TRX squat jumps. The last 40/40/40/40 was the previous 3 with an added 40 burpees. We recorded split times as we went along so we could see how our splits stacked up to the previous rounds. Although having an instructor with you is great for challenges and workouts like this, it’s not necessary…you can easily do this on your own in the gym or even at home, as long as you have a stopwatch. Don’t have equipment? Fill in bodyweight exercises like some sort of pushup, lunge, squat, jump, or anything else that challenges you. You’re one excuse away from having a good workout and feeling great so don’t let the little things get in the way! Be creative and push yourself. Most people think of Pinterest as a creative outlet for food and DIY projects, but you can find lots of good workout ideas on there if you would just get out of the food porn section and head on over to the “health and fitness” category. Not a Pinterest person? There are a ton of good phone applications that can get you moving. Nike Training Club, BodyRock.tv, Workouts, and Sworkit are just a few that I’ve found useful. More of a runner? The Nike running app will track your run, GPS your route, and give you feedback during your run about pace, time, and distance. Like to bike? MapMyRide may be a good choice for you. Take advantage of all the resources you have and remember that everyone has to start somewhere and even if it just means going for a walk it’s better than doing nothing! Just like you should look at the food you eat and think “how will that make me feel after?” , start looking at your workouts that way.

Okay, I’m off my fitness soap box…until next time. And since the next best thing about working out is your post-workout MEAL, I will share with you that there are a few things I need in my kitchen at all times. Plain greek yogurt, almond milk, and oatmeal. Bananas are a close 4th. So, naturally, when I realize we are out of yogurt on my way home from the gym, an immediate trip to CostCo all of a sudden becomes necessary…despite being in spandex. Lets be honest, I learned to deal with the “stares” of wearing spandex everywhere in college. A quick trip to CostCo while it’s snowing is really not an issue.

Sometimes I look back and wonder what the world was like before greek yogurt…what did I eat? Oh yeah, Doritos *sighs in reflection*. I get plain because it’s the most versatile and has less of the processed sugars that the other flavors do. I get greek because it packs more protein and, again, is more versatile. By versatile, I mean you can play it up to be sweet, spicy, tart, tangy – the options are endless by what you choose to mix it with. A few of my favorite combinations are 1) with cocoa powder to make a good chocolate dip 2) with pumpkin, spice, and PB2 (powdered peanut butter) to make a good pumpkin spice dip 3) PLAIN as a veggie dip (when I’m not already using my chili hummus or dill dip) and 4) mashed fresh fruit or fresh jam. Beyond dipping and nibbling, however, it’s an amazing healthy substitution when cooking and baking. Fettucini Alfredo is well-known to be one of the absolute worst items on an Italian menu. It’s also well-known for being absolutely delicious. So you’ll be happy to know that there are healthy recipes out there that can give you both. Like this healthy chicken alfredo dish in my recipes that uses greek yogurt as a main ingredient in the sauce. For other ways to make healthy greek substitutions, print this chart out and stick it on your fridge for reference:

Okay, I need to be cut off. I’m telling you I could blab forever about this stuff because I want everyone to be educated. I’ve come to realize the switches to eating cleaner and feeling/looking better are so simple and easy, but most of us just don’t take the time to figure it out. So this is me trying to do my part and help you get on the right track. Long-term success and a starting a healthy lifestyle begins in simple steps like being aware of the things you’re putting in your body. An application I preach about is called Fooducate. It’s an app that reads the barcode of your food or drink item and grades it, telling you what is good & bad about it and even providing healthier alternatives to what you scanned. Another good one is ShopWell, which is more directed towards those who are watching certain areas of their diet (like sugar, calories, fat, or salt). It scans food just like the other, but grades it based on what you are or aren’t trying to stay away from. Do be aware that once you start, you will never shop the same again…like this guy below who I found wandering off trying to find the worst thing in the store (he started with queso dip – not a bad start). You also will likely be found digging through your entire pantry in search of anything and everything with a barcode to find out what you’ve really been doing to yourself all these months. Don’t say you weren’t warned.

Other exciting things this week included…

VOTING! Whoooo! One step closer to an ad-free inbox. But in all seriousness, I want all of you complainers out there to know that you are actually more annoying than the people who are voicing their opinions because you know what? People who feel strongly about the election feel strongly about their country and where it is headed. It’s a reflection of someone who cares about their country and exercises a right that not many people in this world have. So stop your yapping and get to the polls. As always, this week was filled with lots of food. Because I like to live and food helps me do that. So check out the latest additions to the recipe pages this week:

Quinoa Mac n’ Cheese

Pumpkin Oat Chocolate (Carob) Chip Cookies


Margherita & BBQ Roasted Corn (cauliflower-crust) pizza

Slow cooker turkey white bean pumpkin chili & Peach Cobbler

But better YET, check out the new ReaganRambler Pinterest page! I know how much I use Pinterest to bring up recipes in the kitchen, so I thought what better way to help out you AND me by creating this page? Also be sure to re-pin your favorites and spread the love around cyberspace. More people trying recipes = more critiques = better recipes = better food = happier people.

Okay, so I have to admit this post got severely delayed throughout the day. I am no longer digesting breakfast and am instead actually hungry for dinner. But anyways, my mom gets in tomorrow to visit Tyler and I – praying we get some nice weather to go hit the trails. Happy Friday everyone! Enjoy the weekend!!

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