Tag Archives: Upper body workout

Playlist Heaven

9 Nov

This morning I headed over to the gym for an easy-on-the-legs workout.  My knee started bothering me last night, so I decided to take it even easier than planned this morning.  No need to injure myself before I even start training!

I completed 20 minutes on the bike, at a resistance level of 5 and RPM of around 100.  When I was done there, I headed over to the weight area (where there was lots of grunting going on this morning; seriously, keep it down fellas!) and did some upper body work:

15 reps, 3 sets each of:

Chest press

Shoulder press

Pectoral fly

Pulldown

Rows

When I was done, I made a quick trip to the store to pick up ingredients for a yummy slow cooker stew that I’m planning for this evening!  Nothing like coming home on a cold, rainy day to a delicious-smelling house!

But, now, on to more important things…

Yesterday I found a renewed love of Spotify…because I can make playlists like this…

…without actually having to purchase any of these ridiculous songs.  I jammed out to Mandy Moore more times than I’d care to admit  5 times yeterday afternoon and it.was.awesome.

I also watched the music video, which took me back to my days of TRL watching and dancing along with Mandy in my bedroom.  I was so cool in high school!

I was also transported back to college where I used to perform renditions of “Only  Hope” on a frequent basis.

My voice is so beautiful, I know all my friends loved it 😉

This playlist was so much fun to create and listen to that it made my work day fly by.  I’m looking forward to finding more gems to add to it!

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Friday the 13th

29 Oct

Last week I saw a recipe for Slow Cooker Chicken Tikka Masala over on Eat Live Run.

I’m a huge fan of Indian food, but our homemade varieties have only turned out OK.  While we are able to hit the flavors, we somehow always end up with a much more soupy sauce then we want.  This Tikka Masala looked so good and simple compared to other recipes that I knew I had to give it a shot.  Plus, it uses the slow cooker, which means I’d get 5 whole hours of the house smelling divine!

*On a side note, I wasn’t always comfortable with the slow cooker.  I tend to freak out a little bit about fires and such when I leave the house.  I triple check my hair straightener, and even came back up from my car last week to check that I hadn’t left the burner on when I was making tea.  As you can imagine, leaving something cooking for an entire day when I’m gone kind of unsettled me.  Yes, I know they are designed for this purpose – I still didn’t like it.  Until Nick convinced me to let him make a slow cooker pulled pork last year.  When I came home and smelled the deliciousness in the hallway, I got over my slow cooker aversion.  Now I’m semi-obsessed with slow cooked meals 🙂

Anyway, back to my Tikka Masala.  I got to work prepping yesterday afternoon so Nick and I could have a delicious Friday night dinner.  You may find the full ingredient list and recipe here, on the Tasty Kitchen Blog.

First, I assembled all the ingredients.

Then I chopped up the chicken into small pieces, sprinkled it with cumin & coriander, and coated it in yogurt.

The recipe calls for chicken thighs, but I didn’t have enough so I used a combination of thighs and breasts.  Trust me, though.  Use the thighs.  They were so tender and flavorful!

Moving on…I let this mixture sit, covered, for 10 minutes while I chopped up the onions and garlic, and grated the ginger.

After the chicken had soaked up the yogurt spice mixture, I got to work browning it.

In melted butter.  I never said this was a healthy recipe!

After the chicken was browned and placed in the slow cooker, I got to work on the onions and garlic.

Onions and garlic frying in butter is one of my all time favorite kitchen smells.

That is, until I added garam masala and ginger to the mix.

Now that is one of my all time favorite kitchen smells.  Amazing!

To this mixture, I added a can of crushed tomatoes and brought to a boil.  The whole thing was then poured over the chicken, with two pierced jalapenos.  The chicken cooked on low for 5 hours.

After 5 hours, I added cream to the mixture and let it cook for another 10 minutes.  And then, we dug in!

This tikka masala was amazing.  The smell was ridiculous, the texture was perfect, and the taste was spot on.  This will definitely be making its way into our weekend recipe rotation!  The only change I would make is to spice it up a bit more – Nick and I like things hot!

We enjoyed the chicken with store-bought naan and some buttered Jasmine rice.  Paired with a bottle of wine and Friday the 13th, this was the perfect kick off to Halloween weekend!

We were in the mood for a scary movie, and I had never seen Friday the 13th before, so we decided to give it a go.  I thought it was good, but the questionable acting made it a little more humorous than scary to me.  That’s the 80’s for ya!

This Morning

I had to work today, so I was up and at ’em early this morning.  I headed over to the gym and rode the bike for 25 minutes.  I rode at a steady pace, but didn’t push myself too hard.  I didn’t want to exhaust my legs, since I’m planning a run tomorrow.  After the bike, I completed the following upper body workout.

15 reps, 3 sets each (all on gym machines) of:

Chest Press

Pectoral Fly

Pulldown

Row

Shoulder Press

Tricep Push Down

Then I was out the door for my meeting.  And now that I’m done, I’m just getting to work enjoying my weekend!

Play it cool boy, real cool.

5 Oct

This morning I was pleasantly surprised to find it quite mild outside.  I took Izzie for a 2 mile walk and was warm in shorts and a light jacket.  My kinda weather!  It’s supposed to be like this through the weekend, which makes me a very happy lady.  It almost makes me forget that I’ll be pulling out my enormous down jacket before I know it!

After our walk, I did 20 minutes of yoga following this video series.  Currently, none of the yoga classes at my gym fit into my schedule, and I am just plain intimidated by yoga studios!  I’m hoping I’ll have the opportunity to take some classes sooner rather than later, but for now this video does the trick.  It is relatively fast-paced and the moves are pretty basic.

After my 20 minutes of yoga, I did some strength training that looked like this. 15 reps, 3 sets each.

Superset 1: front shoulder raises, tricep dips

Superset 2: bicep curls, tricep extensions

Superset 3: upright rows, other shoulder move

Superset 4: wall sits, plank hold (1 minute each, alternating)

You may find examples of all of these exercises here.  I briefly contemplated posting pictures of myself, but I think it’s more productive to show a professional performing the moves.

When I finished up my workout, I whipped up a batch of warm chocolate oats using a packet of instant plain oatmeal and 2/3 cup of chocolate milk.  I added some chia seeds for volume, and once again topped with Kashi Go Lean Crisp.

Paired with a piping hot cup of green tea, this was a great little meal.

Glee-ful Tuesday Evening

Now that we’ve covered my exercise/nutrition for the morning, let’s talk about the fun stuff!  Last night’s episode of Glee!

I had high hopes for this episode, since I kept hearing it was critically acclaimed as the “best of the series”.  Boy, were they right!  What a fantastic episode.  I had a corny smile on my face nearly the entire time.  I loved the musical numbers as well as the story line, although I think sometimes they try too hard to create drama (i.e. between Mercedes and Rachel).  Let’s just stick to the music, ok guys?!

When the new season started a few weeks ago, I was thrilled to hear that they were considering putting on West Side Story for the school musical.  This is one of my absolute favorite musicals of all time, so I could not wait to see the Glee kids tackle some of the fun numbers.  So far, they have not disappointed!

Darren Criss singing something’s coming was the highlight of last week’s episode for me.

And Harry Shum Jr’s Cool  was simply amazing.  I love Mike Chang as a dancer, but he really rocked it with the singing in this number too!  It certainly doesn’t hurt that this is my favorite song from the musical 🙂

My only concern is that they won’t end up putting on the play, since they’ve already performed so many numbers.  I’m keeping my fingers crossed that they will!  Glee Side Story = perfection!

And now as I am enjoying my work from home with the West Side Story soundtrack, and other Broadway classics, courtesy of Spotify.  Great morning!