Friday, May 13, 2011

LiveExercise (and some delicious crisps)

So sorry about the delayed post! It appears that the good folks behind Blogger decided to shut things down for a bit in order to update some site-related issues on their end. It looks like all is well at this point, so let's get you a dose of fit already!

Do you attend group fitness classes? Most gyms offer an extensive schedule with classes that appeal to a variety of different members. From Spinning to Zumba, Step Aerobics to Circuit Sculpt and TRX, even SilverSneakers classes—you'd be hard pressed not to find one you absolutely can't live without. But, unfortunately, these schedules change and gym memberships end. Or they never begin if you're strapped for cash. While I think the benefits of a gym membership far outweigh the cost of one, I will be the first to understand that there are other things you need (or want) to spend your money on. But don't despair, as group fitness classes exist outside of the gym. And some gyms offer pop-in rates, which help if you just need a break from whatever you've been doing on your own at home.

It's hard to stay motivated when you're working out at home, isn't it? There's nothing like a group fitness instructor barking orders as loud music pumps through a studio. You wouldn't dare slow down, lose step, walk out...especially not when your neighbor (who might also be your friend) is moving right along without issues. But again, group fitness classes aren't always an option, but they don't have to be the be-all, end-all. As in, you don't have to give up if you can't attend them. In fact, you can attend them.


Thank me later for linking you to LiveExercise.

This website brings the group fitness class into your home—and again, it's all free! Just sign up (easy), check out their broadcasting schedule, and then join whatever class you're interested in when it goes live. But what if you miss (or can't attend) the live broadcast? No problemmo. You can always tune in later, as your schedule permits. Convenient, right? I think so.

Make note that you'll want to have a decent set of exercise bands, as they are used throughout each workout. You can order them from LiveExercise, but any good set will work. And you can always modify each exercise in order to get through the workouts without them. Or maybe you can come up with a way to use whatever hand weights you've got on...ahem, hand.

Speaking of hands, I've been shoveling these tasty (and healthy) treats into my mouth as of late:

Aimee of Simple Bites calls them Fruit and Nut Crisps, I call them delicious. Because really, let's be honest with ourselves, anything we make in our own kitchens has got to be much better than anything we purchase in the store. Especially when it comes to crackers. You might disagree, but I much prefer the wholesome taste of fresh, clean ingredients over ingredients whose names I can even pronounce, let alone identify. Know what I'm sayin'?

You can find the original recipe here, or you can make my version (which is a close adaptation of the original). It's up to you. (You can't go wrong.)

Berry Cashew Crisps
1 cup whole wheat flour
1 cup all-purpose flour
2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
2 cups buttermilk
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup honey
1/4 cup almonds, chopped
1/4 cup cashews, chopped
1/4 cup flaxseeds, ground
1/2 cup mixed dried berries

1) Preheat your oven to 350F. Mix dry ingredients, then add the buttermilk, sugar and honey. Mix until combined. Add the chopped nuts, ground flaxseeds and berries, mixing again until combined. Prep a loaf pan, then pour the batter into it before placing the pan in the oven. Let it cook for about 25 minutes. When the bread is done, remove it from the pan and let it cool on a wire rack.

2) Once cool, wrap the entire loaf in plastic or place it in a freezer bag, then let it freeze until very nearly frozen. (Or let it freeze overnight, then thaw it just a tad before moving on to the next step.) Once partially frozen (or thawed), preheat your oven to 300F and begin to slice your bread.

3) Cut the loaf in half, moving across the width of it. Cut each piece in half again, this time moving down the length. Proceed to slice each new loaf into individual crackers. The thinner you make the crackers, the toastier they'll get. (Note: Slightly frozen bread is easy to cut in this way.) Place each cracker on a cookie sheet, bake for 15 minutes. Flip, then bake for another 10 minutes. Put the crackers on a wire rack and let them cool completely before storing in an airtight container.

Now, if you want, you can wrap half the bread and store it in your freezer for further crackers at a later date. Or you can thaw it and eat it as bread. It tastes super good with some almond butter on top. Then again, everything tastes good when almond butter is involved.

Enjoy! And make it a good weekend.

Question: What is your favorite use for almond butter? Do you attend a group fitness class? If so, which one?

REMINDER! Don't forget to enter my giveaway! You just might win two packets of Cocomama Quinoa Cereal! (Contest ends at midnight EST on Friday, May 13, 2011).

1 comment:

Lauren said...

LiveExercise looks great - thanks for sharing! The crisps look delicious, too :) I love almond butter spread on apples, bananas, whole grain name it :)

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