Category Archives: Fitness

Yoga & One Pot Meal by Equinox

When I signed on to YouTube to check out the video of the very awesome Briohny Smyth, I stumbled across a slew of videos that Equinox posts. I know they’re an awesome gym/club/spa, but I had no idea they were so involved in the online world! In this post, I mainly want to focus on the dinner I made last night, but I also want to post the Yoga By Equinox video for you to enjoy. It’s truly grace & beauty at its finest.

(note: this video has been under a lot of scrutiny…unwarranted in my opinion, but read about it here if the topic interests you)

After watching this video, I noticed another video on the sidebar – A Healthy, One-Pot Meal. It is The Meatball Shop’s Daniel Holzman demonstrating how to cook a delicious meal of red snapper, leeks, acorn squash, and yukon gold potatoes. Holy smokes. So gourmet, and so easy!

My adaptation here:

HALIBUT WITH LEEKS, ACORN SQUASH, AND POTATOES

2 medium sized pieces of halibut

1 large leek, very coarsely chopped and washed thoroughly

1/2 an acorn squash, cut into half inch half moons

2 yukon gold potatoes, cut in half and sliced into small half moons

1/2 cup of white wine (I used a viognier)

1/2 lemon juice

1/3 cup of coarsely chopped parsely

1/4 tbsp unsalted butter

EVOO, Sea Salt to taste

1.  Pour olive oil into a large pan and setting it up on a medium flame, lay the acorn squash into the pan so that all the surface area of one side is on the pan. Brown one side of the acorn squash, approximately 4 minutes. Remove squash and sprinkle a bit of sea salt on top. Set aside.

2.  Using the same pan (if needed, add just a tad more olive oil), fill with leeks and cook gently. Reduce flame or add water to the pan if the leeks begin to sizzle and turn brown (there should be no color here). After 2-3 minutes, spread out the potatoes on top of the leeks, and pour the white wine on top.

3. Finally, lay the acorn squash brown side up on top of the potatoes. Allow butter to melt on top of the acorn squash, and spread it around a bit. Finally, generously salt both sides of the halibut, and place on top of the squash. Pour the lemon juice all over the top of the halibut, sprinkle the parsley around, and close the lid. Steam this one pot meal until all the white wine/lemon juice/juice from fish is almost all evaporated. Take the steaming pan to the table and serve!

 

***I was originally going to cook red snapper like Daniel Holzman calls for in the video, but they did not have it at the market. When I went on my phone to search for similar fish to use in the recipe, I discovered that red snapper is labeled as the “Eco-Worst Choice” by the EDF due to the drastic decline in red snapper from overfishing. Additionally, there are fairly high mercury levels in red snapper, which makes it an even more debatable choice. If you want some more information, check out the Complete List of Seafood Eco-Ratings and this Red Snapper Alternative article. Regardless, the halibut was an excellent choice and I wouldn’t have wanted to cook it any other way!***

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George Hood Set the World’s Longest Plank Record in 1 Hour and 20 Minutes

Ok, so this is slightly old news, but it came before I started this blog and I feel that it is VERY blog-worthy. On Dec. 3, 2011 (2 days before his 54th birthday), George Hood set an abdominal plank record of 1 hour, 20 minutes, and 5.01 seconds. Yes, you read that right.

This guy is absolutely insane, absolutely inspiring, and absolutely my kind of guy! All of you who incorporate planks into your workouts know how hard 1 little minute of planking can be… No words can express this kind of endurance and strength of mind:

GO GEORGE!!!! 

Watch this before you work out for some guaranteed motivation. We all can do ANYTHING we set our minds to!

George Hood is not new to setting records (i.e. jumping rope for over 13 hours straight) or doing other amazing things (i.e. he’s a former marine). Check out this article that illustrates what kind of athlete this guy is. I’m still in awe!

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You’ll Get There…Just Keep Going

As a trainer, I debated whether or not to post about this topic because it can be so easily construed the wrong way. But I’ve decided to write about it, because I love the truth in this article, plain and simple.

Adam Bornstein, the editorial director for Livestrong.com (one of my favorite sites!) does a beautiful job writing about the dreadful topic “Are You Doomed to Be Fat?” Read it.

So, everyday I work with clients – some of their bodies respond immediately and they are able to lose 45+ pounds, develop defined six-packs, firm up their glutes, all in a matter of very little time. Then there are other clients, who work twice as hard as the ones in the first example, but see a very slow development of these results. Lucky for me (and them) I can continue tailoring their workouts so that their unique body WILL respond, and I also continue to encourage them to WORKOUT, EAT WELL, DRINK WATER, GET SLEEP, and BE HAPPY. Of course, there are also clients in between, at all ranges of the spectrum, whose bodies respond differently. I think Mr. Bornstein says it perfectly in his article:

Genetics are a great thing—if they work in your favor. And if not, your journey to lose weight can be frustrating and at times appear helpless.
So where does that leave you?
With a simple choice: Make excuses or work harder.
YES!
Yes, it sucks. Yes, it’s not that fair. And  yes, it just plain sucks. BUT, it’s no different then your friend who was born with that musical ear, the one born with the height for basketball playing, the one who doesn’t run on a regular basis but enters their first 5K and dominates his/her field. Genetics & life aren’t fair. Fair is a weather condition. But life and genetics are not awful either. Maybe you have the genetics to be overweight and you realize you need to work harder than everyone to look and feel like you want to, but I am POSITIVE that you have some other amazing attributes that others wish came more naturally to them. It’s ok to have to work harder in some areas of your life, and there are a lot of people like me who are committed to helping others be their best selves in the safest way possible. YOU CAN DO IT. You can. You just have to first believe you can, then you have to commit to doing whatever it takes to get there. And don’t stop until you reach that point.
Thank you Adam Bornstein for a very real, very inspirational article!
(image by Tofucubes)
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Inspiration Silverlake and the De-Flowering of My Crockpot

Yay!! A beautifully confusing, but beautiful day. These days the mornings are absolutely freezing (aka 45 degrees) and the afternoons are scorchingly hot (aka 78 degrees), and I bring an entire selection of a tank top, short sleeve, long sleeve, jacket, gloves, and headband, just so that I’m prepared for weather changes while training clients. This morning was stunningly beautiful in Silverlake, and my reservoir run was refreshing as usual. I took some pictures of Silverlake, as well as the Silverlake version of “Santa Monica Stairs” – these sets of stairs can be found all over (totally randomly placed) the neighborhoods by the reservoir. It’s a very fun thing to explore!

…going up…

…going down…

Totally inspired by Silverlake.

I know I’ve written about Silverlake already, but I honestly have a thing for the place. I know it is known for its “hipsters” and whatnot, and to be honest, I have no idea what the people are like because there are pretty much only two people in Silverlake I know and regularly converse with. It’s the land, the nature, the aura that I absolutely have a crush on. I don’t care what anyone says – Silverlake is beautiful. The layered streets of cool, unique houses…the array of foliage interspersed between homes, the reservoir, the cool shops and restaurants that are staggered around town, the hidden runnable stairs waiting to be discovered, the flocks of geese flying overhead (this happened today and made me SO happy!!), and numerous other things that seem just so specific to that particular part of Los Angeles. When I am there, I feel happy, and motivated, and I could run forever outdoors, then drink a bottomless amount of Lamill’s Masala Chai Tea Latte afterwards. Ahhh.

Speaking of Lamill’s. I have now experienced the “Lamill’s Breakfast” (with sausage & baguette), as well as the cappuccino. Both very delicious. However, my favorite will still be the chai tea and the omelet (with gruyere cheese – the BEST!).

De-Flowering My Crockpot.

This happened last night. Ok, so maybe this statement isn’t completely accurate – this Crockpot was used once before. In fact, my boyfriend bought it for his sister when she came to town and wanted to make chicken + dumplings, so it’s not even really mine to claim! But that was at least 4 years ago…and now I’ve determined it’s mine, and I better start figuring out some recipes to use on that thing. Or in it, rather.

On Pinterest (c’mon, you know you’re obsessed with that site as much as I am) I found a recipe & blog that I adore. 365 Days of Slow Cooking. Pretty damn cool blog if you ask me, especially for someone who needed a good recipe to break in her new-ish slow cooker. Remember when I said I had a soft spot for a good soup? Well I wasn’t lying…this recipe is THE BOMB:

TOMATO-BASIL PARMESAN SOUP (via 365 Days of Slow Cooking)

It turned out phenomenal!! The only things I did slightly different were that I only slow cooked for 4.5 hours, then prepared the roux, and continued cooking for about 45 minutes after that. I used dried oregano, and fresh basil. And everything else I stuck by the book on, and it was excellent. Oh, I also served with several pieces of buttered multi-grain toast.

I LOVE THIS CROCKPOT! MY CROCKPOT! 🙂

Starting the Roux…this was such a fun task! I love this part, whisking away…

Not the best picture, but it IS delicious. I promise.

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Yogaworks & Pork Chops

I recently bought a deal from DailyCandy for YogaWorks – $49 for an unlimited month of yoga and a $25 gift card for the shop. And I don’t regret it! Surprisingly, the yoga classes have all been highly satisfying, and was yet again, last night. The teacher I went to last night is Alexandria Crow, and she is INTENSE. In the best way possible. I have been attending all the level 2/3 classes at YogaWorks, which have been challenging me immensely, and Alex’s class in particular stands out. She never had us rest, never gave us any “easy poses” in between the hard ones, and always kept up the “fire” (to use her own terminology). She was AWESOME.

I thought she looked familiar!!!

Anyway, almost immediately after class, my boyfriend and I went for dinner at a good friend’s place. They love to cook and have guests, and the very talented Marc Smith made us a fabulously delicious meal. Although everything was over the top delicious and beautiful, I think my favorite part of the meal was the starter (I’m a sucker for a good soup!)…

ROASTED CAULIFLOWER SOUP WITH DILL & BREADCRUMBS

PORK CHOP BRINED IN CINNAMON, MAPLE SYRUP, SALT & PEPPER

and BRUSSEL SPROUTS WITH A KIMCHI PUREE

and NAVY BEANS WITH BACON

and JALAPEÑO CORNBREAD

APPLE BROWN BETTY & LEMON GINGER SNAP ICE CREAM

Needless to say, MAMBO is still very happy at the moment… 🙂

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Live Your Longest Life

I am touched today by a post via allaboutlemon, and I wanted to share it with you all. This short (4 1/2 minute long) video is created by Julia Warr on the most inspiring, 95 year old Maia Helles, that captures so beautifully the way she lives and ultimately, her philosophy on the secret to a long life. I hope this also inspires you on this lazy Sunday!!

My friend Maia from julia warr on Vimeo.

THANK YOU JULIA & MAIA!!

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Rainy Day in LA

It was rainy today. Which I LOVE. There is nothing better than waking up to the sound of the pitter patter, then putting a pot of coffee on, getting into some comfy workout clothes, and going outside. LOVE IT. My first client today was out in Silverlake, so we had a good time running a couple rounds of neighborhood stairs in a light drizzle, then heading under the garage port cover to do some strength circuits. Afterwards, I ran around the reservoir myself. Again, another HIGHLY recommended workout for those that live in the area. From my client’s house it is about a 2.7 mile run, so I’m estimating that around the reservoir itself is about a 2.25 mile run (give or take). There is a lovely dirt path around the reservoir to stay on, and lots of scenery as you pass by the water, a park, a preschool, a dog park, and numerous Silverlake-folk out for the day. Then, go to Lamill’s afterwards for a scrumptious omelet and Masala Chai Tea Latte (what I recommend). Here’s a pic of this morning in Silverlake:

This evening I was feeling lazy, so made a very EASY healthy dinner.

CHICKEN BREASTS WITH VEGGIE AND QUINOA

Frozen Chicken Breast Tenders from Trader Joe’s

Frozen Organic Vegetable Foursome from Trader Joe’s

Organic Quinoa from Trader Joe’s

EVOO, Balsamic Vinegar, Stubb’s Chicken Marinade

  1. Thaw frozen chicken breasts. I like to put them in a freezer bag, then stick the bag in a bowl of hot water.
  2. When breasts are partially thawed, add a generous amount of Stubb’s Chicken Marinade and let sit for at least an hour. (The longer the better!) Meanwhile, cook quinoa in the rice cooker (a cup will take approximately 20 minutes). In a small saucepan, add water, EVOO, and balsamic vinegar to the frozen veggies. Bring to boil, then reduce to medium/low and let sit until all the liquid has been soaked into the vegetables.
  3. Cook the chicken breasts on a George Foreman (or any other grill!) – be sure to pour all the marinade on top of the breasts before grilling 🙂 Cook for at least 5 minutes.

I particularly love Stubb’s brand of chicken marinade (among other Stubb’s products!!!)

For dessert, luckily recently on of my clients gave me a bar of chocolate made by her very talented chocolatier friend Katrina Markoff. Vosges Haut-Chocolat as they call it, is super-duper fancy, but equally super-duper delicious. My boyfriend and I both LOVED this one.

A HAUT CHOCOLATE DESSERT: VOSGES SMOKE & STOUT CARAMEL BAR

LOVED this so much.

The dark chocolate flavor is subtle (I’m not the biggest dark chocolate fan) and the caramel/ale center is so pleasing on the palate. Even though more expensive than other chocolates, I would definitely buy some as a great gift for family and friends.

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Food, Stairs, and More Food…

Today was a very foodie kind of day. This morning I met a friend for breakfast at La Petite Crepêrie – I’d never been there before, and it was DELICIOUS. There are a lot of hidden gems in the Mar Vista area. We both wanted something proper as well as something sweet, so we decided to split. We got the Saucisse et Oeuf (Brittan Sausage, Gruyère and Egg Sunny Side up) & the Citron (Lemon, Butter, Sugar). The sausage & gruyère were very satiating, while the citron was THE best sweet crepe I’ve ever had. It sounds simple with just 3 ingredients, but if you like a good lemon dessert (and I certainly do – my favorite pie in the world is the lemon cream cheese from Marie Callendar’s), you are in for a treat! I failed to take pictures this morning, but here is one taken of the outside of this lovely place…highly recommended both by me and my friend:

photo by: Mar Vista Mom

After a few more clients, I hit the Santa Monica Stairs. I have not run the stairs in months, and have recently been itching to get back into it. It is an incredible workout you can do 1) for FREE, 2) ANY time of day, and 3) in a short amount of time. The stairs will whoop your butt. I usually run up, and walk/jog/hobble down. I finished 10 up & downs with some jogging in between in about 40 minutes. A good place to start is 3 reps, and depending on your fitness level you can either walk them up and down, or try to run up and down. Trust me, you will still get a GREAT workout walking them. They are located on Adelaide, off of 4th St., and you can usually park on 4th. If not, there is plenty of parking on the streets just south of San Vicente, and what you can do is jog/warmup to the top of the stairs (what I recommend). There are also 2 sets of stairs. The set closer to 4th St. is windy and uneven, whereas the second set has much better footing and spacing. Obviously, it’s up to you! Message me if you need specific details on how to get there or what to do! Another pic that I failed to take:

photo by: Kelsey Wyatt

Finally, the last meal of the day!! I wanted to make a good Italian pasta dish (I am only a quarter Italian, but I eat & cook as though I’m full blooded 🙂 ) so I decided to whip up some gnocchi with homemade sauce, and a salad. I concocted a new homemade sauce that was absolutely delicious. I will list my ingredients, but I never measure my ingredients, so I will tell you approximately rather than exactly. Haha.

GNOCCHI & HOMEMADE SAUCE

*2  package (16oz each) imported Potato Gnocchi

1- 28 ounce can of tomato puree with crushed tomatoes

1/4-1/2 cup fresh cut basil

1 small chopped sweet onion

6-8 cloves garlic, minced

**1-2 roma tomatoes, chopped

8 ounces of LIGHT brie cheese (usually this is half of a pinwheel/cut), cubed (small cubes)

EVOO, Garlic Powder, Sea Salt, Ground Black Pepper, Italian Seasoning (to taste! your preference!)

[*I only used 1 package today, but quickly realized I had way too much sauce in comparison. I added in mini bowtie noodles since I didn’t have another package of gnocchi, and it was a good mix.

**The roma tomatoes at the grocery store do not appear to be in season, so I used standard vine-ripened tomatoes & they worked well]

  1. Boil salted pot of water. Add in gnocchi. When gnocchi float up to the top of the pot, strain and set aside.
  2. Slightly sauté chopped onions in a large saucepan on medium heat. After a couple of minutes, add the entire 28 ounce can of tomato puree. Mix in basil, minced garlic, garlic powder, sea salt, ground black pepper, and Italian seasonings. Mix in chopped tomatoes, and cubed brie. Continuously stir until cheese is completely blended. Season freely, to taste.
  3. Mix gnocchi with the sauce on low heat. Keep warm until ready to consume!
SIMPLE HERB SALAD WITH POMEGRANATE BALSAMIC VINEGARETTE
Package of Fresh Herb Salad
1-2 Chopped Tomatoes
Sliced Almonds
Pomegranate Balsamic Vinegar
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Sea Salt & Pepper
Grated Parmesan Cheese
YUM!!!!!

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