Tag Archives: Yoga


26 Oct

Today was a particularly beautiful day here in Chicago.  It reached the mid-70s and the sun was bright!  The only problem with this sudden increase in temperature is that I’m pretty sure there was also some sort of atmospheric pressure change.  I woke up today to a pounding head and could not drag myself out of bed for an early morning gym trip.

I opted to sleep in a bit and ate a homemade chia bar on my way out to my first appointment.  I had a full day today, and lunch was enjoyed at Panera.  I hade a cup of french onion soup that was delicious!


I did not take this photo, but given the consistency at Panera, you get the drift.

When I got home I walked Izzie and did the 40-minute yoga video that is part of the XTreme Slimdown Challenge.  I really enjoyed this video – it was difficult, but not overly so, and focused a lot on stretching and breathing – which my head appreciated!  I had the window wide open while I was working out which felt great.  I’m pretending it’s going to stay like this forever…

For dinner tonight, I whipped up some crispy chicken with butternut squash risotto.  Nick and I have had a lone butternut squash sitting around for a while, and haven’t come up with a good way to use it.  I saw a recipe for a mock risotto on  Peanut Butter Fingers the other day and was inspired!

I opted to use a basic risotto recipe from Giada’s Everyday Italian cookbook and added in the butternut squash.

The Recipe

Heat 2 cups vegetable broth to simmer, and set aside – keeping warm.

Melt 1 Tbsp butter and toss in 1/2 white onion, chopped.  Saute until onion is soft.

Toss in 3/4 cup arborio rice and coat with butter.

Pour in 1/4 cup dry white whine and stir until absorbed.

Dump in peeled and cubed butternut squash.

Pour in the simmering broth 1/2 cup at a time, stirring after each addition until absorbed – about 20 minutes total.

When done, grate parmesan cheese over the top and stir.

The verdict?  Fabulous!

Giada’s recipe for basic risotto is a winner anyway, and the addition of the butternut squash really added a nice fall flavor.  We’ll definitley keep this one in the recipe rotation.

On another note – every single time I make, or even think of making, risotto I immediately think of Billy Madison – and I laugh.


I am well aware that risotto and Phil Rizzuto are two very different things.  But, seriously?  I love me some rirroto.  😉 




Oatmeal Cookie + Legs, Legs, Legs

19 Oct

It is nasty and cold here again today – yuck!  I didn’t have a specific workout planned for this morning, but I knew I wanted to get in some leg and hip strengthening exercises.

After a cold, wet walk with Izzie, I completed 20 minutes of yoga.

The yoga workout was nice because it stretched all of my tight muscles and also worked my abs/core.

After yoga, I completed the following lower body exercises:

Superset 1: squats + resistance band side steps (15 reps/3 sets; 10 steps each direction/3 sets)

Superset 2: calf raises + lunges (15 reps/3 sets; 8 reps per leg/3 sets)

Superset 3: rose wall slides + side lying adduction (8 reps per leg/3 sets each)

Superset 4: bridges + heel slides (15 reps/3 sets each)

Once I finished up, I made myself a bowl of oatmeal…traditional oatmeal raisin cookie style!

I cooked up my oats and added 1 Tbsp chia seeds, 1 Tsp brown sugar, and a handful of raisins.

Just like an oatmeal cookie!  Yum 🙂


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!