Monday, January 5, 2009

Fitness Me In Workout Series #12

Cardio Cooking

Several people asked me for this recipe recently (well 3, but hey, who’s counting?) so here it is for all to share with an added cardio kick:

Sweet Potato Apple Casserole


1 1/2 pounds sweet potatoes, peeled and grated
1 onion, grated
5 egg whites or 3 whole eggs
1 t salt
¼ t white pepper
½ c white sorghum flour
¼ c raisins
¼ cup white wine – sweeter is better
2 large apples, chopped with peel in them.
4 T butter or Earth Balance spread
3/4 c brown sugar (divided into ½ cup and ¼ cup)
1 T lemon juice
1/3 c. broken cashews
1/4 t. ground ginger

1. Shake your thing as you nab the raisins and wine. Soak the raisins in the vino to plump (about 30 min).
2. Prep and assemble the rest of your ingredients as you continue your dance revolution.
3. Take 1/2 t. salt, 1/2 c. packed brown sugar, cashews and ginger. Mix in food processor or blender and set aside. Meanwhile squat and hold as the mix blends. When it’s done come up and squeeze your behind.
4. Place grated sweet potatoes and onion in large bowl. Beat in eggs, ½ t salt and white pepper. Add flour and mix well. Set aside. Meanwhile step from side to side, kicking your heel up as close to your butt as you can get it.
5. In frying pan melt butter or Earth Balance and add apples. Cook until wilted, 3-5 min. Add ¼ c brown sugar and lemon juice. Do mini-squats as you complete this step, making sure to squeeze at the top.
6. Drain raisins and add to apple mixture.
7. In a baking dish, layer sweet potato mix, then apple mix, then cashew mix. Make a second layer of sweet potato, topped by cashew mix. Meanwhile, Stand on right leg, knee slightly bent. Point toe of left foot and tap it to the side, and then immediately next to your right foot. Do 2 reps and switch feet. Do as many sets of 20 as you can.
8. Bake at 350 degrees 30-40 minutes.

***Note: You can also blend all ingredients in a food processor instead of layering.

Shape-Up Shopping (Grocery Day)

It’s still way too cold for me to park far away. Not only do I want to avoid slipping on the ice, I’m what my 5-year-old calls a “snow wuss” when I’m not playing or skiing on the colds stuff (kind of like bugs and camping – they’re OK in the tent but not in the house). Here's what you can do in the nice, warm indoors:

1. For the first half of your grocery list, stand on only one leg (or just keep weight on one) each time you select an item to buy.
2. Walk up and down each aisle in the store before when you are about halfway done shopping.
3. Soldier march: Now, remember those old style marches soldiers of bygone days did? Do a subtle version by straightening your leg and flexing your quadriceps muscles each time you take a step (no, you don’t need to stick your leg way out). Do this down 3 different aisles.
4. Walk 3 aisles
5. Side leg lift walk: Do 3 aisles of lifting your leg to the side and pausing before moving it forward with each step.
6. Either finish shopping or repeat steps 3 through 5.
7. Tighten and release abs while in checkout line.

When you get home:
1. Hop, skip or jump everywhere you need to go as you put your groceries away.
2. Then, after you unload your stuff, hold 2 cans or jars of equal weight in front of the body, on shoulders, or at hips. Stand with feet wide apart, toes turned out and knees tracking directly over the toes. Lunge side to side, keeping torso upright, and hips opened wide. Alternate sides, or do one side at a time. Try for 3 sets of 12, jogging in place in between sets.

Cleaning Day

OK, you are stuck inside, but you can prepare for or pretend you are skiing while you do the never-ending chore of laundry (can you tell I really don’t like this chore so try and make it fun on a regular basis?).

Here’s how:

Dump your laundry on a bed or table.
Do the following circuit as many times as you can while you fold your laundry. I do six reps of an exercise each time I fold an item.

1. Ski jump: Stand with feet together. Bend the knees and jump to the right as far as you can. Land with soft knees and immediately jump laterally to the left. Repeat.
2. Tuck jumps (or just regular if you want): Jump and bring knees to the chest. Land on balls of feet and repeat.
3. Single leg lateral hops: Stand on one foot. Hop sideways onto other foot. Then hop sideways back to first foot.
4. Front scissor jump: Stand with knees bent. One foot is in front of you and the other behind equal distance. Jump up and switch your feet (like a jumping jack but with legs going front and back instead of side to side)
5. Diagonal jumps: Jump forward and to the left (about 45 degrees), then backwards to center. Jump forward and to the right, then backwards to center.

Play Day

Playing with your kids is a great way to gain some exercise time. This one can be suitable all the way through middle school, according to the Web site from the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction, The site has lots of other great ideas.

Sports on the Move:
Say a sport and movement and have your kids repeat that movement for about 30 seconds until a new movement is stated.
Basketball: dribble with fingertips; dribble through legs; dribble around back; jump shot and follow through; bounce pass; chest pass; overhead pass; defensive slide to front and back to start position
Soccer: shot on goal (practice with both feet); inside of foot pass; outside of foot pass; long banana kick; juggle imaginary soccer ball; trap ball with thigh; trap ball with feet
Baseball or softball: swing a bat; windup and pitch; field a ground ball; catch a fly ball; play imaginary catch
Tennis: forehand; backhand; serve; volley
Volleyball: serve, set, dig, spike
Football: quarterback long pass; short pass; catch imaginary ball;
kick field goal; punt; catch a punt; block
Golf swing
Drive a NASCAR
Tae Kwon Do

Groggy Day

Still worn out from all of those holidays and the return to school? Try out this Kundalini Yoga routine on YouTube to gain some energy: This exercise uses a technique called “Breath of Fire” It’s a rapid, rhythmic, and continuous breath that sounds like powerful sniffing. A good description is on the Yoga Yoga Web site,
Or, you can watch the same guy demonstrate at:

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