Wednesday, May 6, 2015

MayBaes Challenge

Because May rhymes with "Bae" (a nod to hip hop), we're going with #MayBaes Challenge! I'm dedicating the month to all strong baes, especially to the strongest of them all...MOM! 

This strengthening challenge involves wall sits and planks and their variations as an addition to your brand of fitness! Let's pursue Wall Sits on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays and Planks on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays, which leaves Sunday as either a day of rest or your challenge choice.

(click picture to see enlarged version)

How to Wall Sit:
Wall Sits strengthen the quad muscle groups and can aid in reducing knee issues due to muscle imbalance. Stand with feet hip or shoulder width apart and back against a wall or other surface. Walk feet away from wall and slide body down until knees are bent at a 90-degree angle. Knees should be over ankles (not toes). Always brace abs/core. Hold up to 60 seconds = 1 set. If you desire more intensity, perform 3 wall sits with a 30 second rest in between each set. Each week, increase the length of time holding the wall sit. Variations target different muscle groups. 
On "2nd Week of May," when using an *Object (such as a medicine ball, weights, rolled up towel or exercise mat), hold between knees or between hands with arms extended and twist.

How to Plank:
Planks strengthen all frontal muscles such as all your abs, as well as the stabilizing muscles (obliques). Even feet benefit! Position elbows under shoulders and raise hips to form a straight line from ankles to shoulders. Always brace abs/core, as if being punched. Breathe deeply. Hold up to 60 seconds = 1 set. If you desire more intensity, perform 3 planks with a 30 second rest in between each set. Each week, increase the length of time holding the wall sit. Variations target different muscle groups. 

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Tuesday Recipe: Cheesy Potato Bake

Mmmm! All around our family post-Easter dinner table decided this side dish was a keeper! I mean, after all, potatoes and cheese and garlic just go.to.ge.therrrr!

Cheesy Potato Bake

1-2 tablespoons Olive Oil
Figure 1 Russet Potato per person (thinly sliced rounds) 4 potatoes for this particular recipe
1 large Red Bell Pepper, chopped
1 Onion, diced
1-2 cloves Garlic, coarsely minced or chopped
1 (8 oz) block or package Pepper Jack Cheese, shredded
S&P, to taste
(optional: fresh Cilantro, coarsely chopped)

  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  • Heat olive oil in skillet over medium-high. Add bell pepper and onion. Sauté until tender. (OR, if you prefer, consider a dry sauté or water sauté.)
  • Add garlic; sauté slightly.
  • Arrange half of the sliced potatoes in a lightly oiled casserole dish.
  • Season potatoes with Salt & Pepper; spread half of the bell pepper, onion and garlic sauté mix and sprinkle with half of the shredded cheese. **Our family really loves cilantro. I sprinkled half of the cilantro, stems and all, on this first layer and saved the rest for after baking.**
  • Repeat with another layer of potatoes, seasoning, sauté and cheese.
  • Cover (with foil or lid) and bake 40 minutes.
  • Uncover and bake until potatoes are tender and cheese is golden, 15-20 additional minutes.
  • Remove from oven, sprinkle with cilantro and serve!

Comfort food with a Latin kick OR NOT, instead use your fave cheese! Play with your food!