Tuesday, September 20, 2016

45-Minute TRX Workout

One of my favorite pieces of fitness equipment is undoubtedly the TRX suspension trainer. I use it all the time with every single one of my clients—and my clients are fairly diverse. TRX workouts are approachable and absolutely challenging, but also adaptable to individual fitness needs. This is why TRX classes works so well, too.

I recently started teaching a TRX class. I used to teach them all the time, then I went on maternity leave and that stopped. But we added a Tuesday night class and it matches my schedule, so I'm back at it. Hooray!

Here are some quick benefits to using a TRX suspension trainer:
1) The workouts are highly adaptable to individual needs.
2) Modifications can always be made.
3) TRX straps travel well.
4) Your core is always engaged.
5) The straps are the only piece of equipment you need (and maybe a mat).

There is only one thing I struggle with when it comes to TRX workouts: Keeping it fresh. You have to get creative with TRX exercises, otherwise it's really easy to stick with the same old stuff, which leaves you, your clients or your students lacking in the results department.

I'm feeling fresh, though. So I thought I'd share tonight's workout with you.

suspension straps, suspension training, trx, workouts, exercises, at-home fitness, health
This 45-minute TRX workout can be done anywhere you can safely hang your suspension straps. You'll need a mat if your floor isn't soft enough for your elbows, and you'll need to warm up.

Please remember that, while I am a certified fitness professional, I do not now what your individual needs are. Before you try something new, please consult with your physician. Listen to your body, and  honor what it's telling you.

End rant.

suspension straps, suspension training, trx, workouts, exercises, at-home fitness, health
Repeat the following circuit twice. Do each exercise for 45 seconds.
Give yourself 15 seconds (at most) in between exercises.

suspension straps, suspension training, trx, workouts, exercises, at-home fitness, health
Let's break some of these moves down.

Row and Hold
A standard TRX row with a slight hold at the top. Row yourself up and hold it there for 10 seconds, release and repeat this twice.

V-Sit
Otherwise known as boat pose in yoga classes. Face your anchor, press down on the handles. Engage your core and lift your legs into the pose. Hold it there!

Hamstring Curl with Hip Press
Heels in the anchor for this one. You'll be down on your back. Lift your hips just off the mat, then bring your heels into your glutes. This is the hamstring curl. Take it one step further and, before releasing the heels again, press your hips up to the ceiling. Now release and repeat.

Side Plank with Knee Tucks
With your feet in the straps, hold a side plank position. Tuck your knees up into your chest—no twist in the spine, though! Keep everything in line. Release and repeat.

Wide-Leg Shoulder Squats
Raise your hands above your head, pressing the back of your hands into the handle bars. Be sure to position yourself directly underneath the handles. Take the legs into a wide squat position. As you squat down and up, keep pressing the back of your hands into the handle bars.

Any questions?

Question: What is your favorite piece of fitness equipment? How do you feel about the TRX suspension trainer? Ever use one?
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Thursday, September 15, 2016

Corn and Queso Chicken Tostadas

We eat a lot of tacos. They're easy to make, inexpensive and generally quite delicious. So when I had the option to choose a Summer Vegetable and Queso Tostada meal from Blue Apron a few days ago, I went for it—knowing I'd have to modify the recipe just a bit to fit our taste buds.

Let me explain.

When you order from Blue Apron, they automatically select a set number of meals for you. You can switch them out. However, your options are very limited and some meals can't be ordered together. I'm guessing they maximize space in their shipping containers AND do what they can to prevent food waste, which means sending out recipes that cross over ingredients.

So I picked the tostada recipe knowing it wouldn't be one of our favorites.

food swaps, blue apron, meal delivery service, dinner recipes
One word: Eggplant.
We hate it.

But the rest of the ingredients in the recipe sounded marvelous.

Blue Apron, recipes, dinner, healthy meals
Peppers, corn, onions, garlic and cheese, which would ultimately get fried. I mean, yes. So I decided right off the bat that I would swap out the eggplant for chicken.

Their eggplant tostadas became my Corn and Queso Chicken Tostadas.

recipe inspired by Blue Apron, dinner time
You guys.
OMG.

I want more right now. Here's the recipe, which makes enough to serve two hefty portions.

CORN AND QUESO CHICKEN TOSTADAS
Source: Inspired by a recipe from Blue Apron

Ingredients
• 4 Tortillas
• 1/2 Cup Queso Para Freír (cubed)
• 1/4 Cup Sour Cream
• 2 Chicken Breasts (seasoned with taco spices)
• 1 Cup Fresh or Frozen Corn
• 1 Bell Pepper
• 1/3 Cup Green Onion
• 2 Cloves of Garlic (minced)
• 1 Lime
• 1 Tablespoon Fresh Cilantro (chopped)
• Avocado (chopped)
• Cotija Cheese (grated)
• Salt and Pepper

Directions
1) Season the chicken with your favorite taco spices. I like to use the pre-mixed taco seasoning from Trader Joe's. (It's bomb. There are literally ten bags in my spice cupboard.) Bake the chicken in the oven until it's done, then chop it up into bite-sized pieces:

Corn and Queso Chicken Tostadas, recipe inspired by Blue Apron
2) While the chicken is cooking, zest about 2 teaspoons of the lime peel, then slice the lime in half.

3) Chop the pepper and green onions, then sauté them both in a pan with the corn and minced garlic until everything is soft. Add a squirt or two of fresh lime juice and some salt and pepper to taste.

Blue Apron, dinner recipes
4) Remove the veggies from the pan, then add the Queso Para Freir to the pan, which is basically Mexican white cheese that fries up nicely. It'll stay chunky, so if it starts to melt, you'll want to remove it. But try to leave it on long enough to brown a side or two.

5) Stir the lime zest into the sour cream. At this point, all of your ingredients are ready to be assembled! (Assuming your chicken is done, of course.)

Blue Apron recipes, healthy dinner
6) Final step, totally optional: Heat up your tortilla shells. Throw them in the oven for a bit if it's still on, or use a burner on your stove—just be careful with that last option, let's not start a fire, m'kay?

To plate:

Start with the shell, add the veggies, then the chicken and cheese. Top with the avocado, sour cream and cilantro.  Yum:

Blue Apron recipes, dinner recipe, tacos
It's so good, and not so complicated to make. Also, totally adaptable. Maybe you like eggplant! Use it! Maybe you hate meat, then try beans! Experiment with different veggie options, too. The cheese, though? Oh my. It was so good! Try to make it happen. If you can't find this kind of cheese, perhaps a bit of Manchego cheese will work? Or some white cheddar that's barely heated?

Whatever you do, I hope you enjoy it.

Question: Do you like eggplant? We think it's really slimy and flavorless. Am I making it wrong?

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