Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Fitness Me In Workout Series #18

Cardio Cooking

When I’m frustrated by a day gone by without time for a workout, I add one in as I cook a healthy dinner. Chicken is always a great choice for healthy eating. Here’s a great recipe that I learned during a cooking class at Toscano’s Café and Wine Bar. For more on the restaurant, see http://www.toscanospuyallup.com/

Chicken Picatta

4 boneless chicken breasts
1 C bread crumbs
2 T capers
½ C thinly sliced onions
1 tomato, diced
2 T softened butter
Salt and pepper
3 T olive oil
¾ C dry white wine or vermouth
1 whole lemon, or ¼ C lemon juice


1. Assemble and prep your ingredients as you dance, dance, dance. Keep movin’ as you cut each breast in half lengthwise and flatten slightly so no piece is more than ¾ inch thick.
2. Sprinkle salt and pepper onto chicken, and dredge pieces in bread crumbs. Meanwhile do a hula-hoop movement with your waist 20 times. Do the movement the other way 20 times.
3. Heat the olive oil in a sauté pan. Meanwhile lift your right knee out to the side and up 15 times (so your knee points away from the right side of your body), repeat on the left.
4. Brown the chicken on both sides. Add the onions and let them begin to brown. Do butt pulses as you cook the chicken and onions. HOW TO DO THEM: Squat about ¼ way down, then come up and squeeze your butt.
5. Deglaze the pan with white wine. Add pepper, capers, lemon and oregano. Transfer contents of sauté pan into baking dish. Cover and cook on medium heat about 10-15 minutes until chicken is completely cooked.
6. After the chicken is in the oven, do the “jumping twist” by placing your feet at a 45 degree angle, then twisting and jumping to a 45 degree angle on the other side for 1-2 minutes.
7. Do lunges as you set the table, and keep your body moving as you clean up or work on side dishes while waiting for the chicken.
8. When chicken is cooked, place it on a serving plate. Transfer onions and drippings back into sauté pan. Bring pan drippings to a boil, adding water if needed to make a thin sauce. Add diced tomato. Remove pan from heat and slowly stir in butter. Pour over chicken. As you cook the sauce, Hold your right arm out to the side and make 30 tiny circles. Repeat with the left arm.
9. Enjoy your meal and the afterglow of your workout!

Shape-Up Shopping (Grocery Day)

Here’s one you can do at home as you unload that car.
1. Bring in one bag at a time. With each step, lift your leg so your thigh is parallel to the ground, then snap your foot out to kick so your entire leg is parallel with the ground before lowering it for the next step. Do this for the first 3 trips back and forth to the car. Leave bags on floor in an area that is not near the place your groceries go (for example opposite side of the kitchen from the refrigerator or in the dining room) for later.
2. Bring in 2 bags of about equal weight. Hold your arms straight out in front of you so that your arms are now parallel to the ground. Lower them about an inch and pulse them back up as you walk.
3. For the rest of the bags, raise your knees toward your chest with each step as you walk or jog back and forth.
4. Inside, do a squat each time you remove an item from the first bag and then jump or hop to its destination.
5. Now do a plie squat each time you get into the second bag, and jog it to its location while raising the object(s) above your head.
6. Do a regular squat and jump or hop to the destination for the third bag.
7. Keep your booty movin as you put items from remaining bags away, either by jogging or dancing.
8. Stretch and pat yourself on the back for fitting in a workout!

Cleaning Day
Have you vacuumed out your couch and chair cushions lately? How about giving this chore some new appeal by making it into a workout!

1. Make sure you are dancing or jogging as you get your vacuum out to warm up.
2. Remove cushion 1. Grab your vacuum hose and squat about halfway down. Stay there as you vacuum under that cushion. Make sure to keep your abs tight.
3. Remove cushion 2. Do full range squats as you work on this area.
4. Remove cushion 3. Get into a wide-legged squat position with toes pointed out at 45 degrees and hold as you vacuum this area.
5. Turn off the vacuum, do a set of 10 lunges on each leg, and replace your cushions.
6. Remove cushion 4. As you vacuum lunge out to the side, ending in a wide-stanced squat, come up in the center and lunge to the other side. Try to do 8 on each side.
7. Do a jumping jack movement with your legs as you vacuum any other cushions you have and replace them – yes, you’ll feel like an uncoordinated dork as you do these (at least I did)!

Play Day
How about inspiring a love of gardening in your kids? It’s a lifelong activity that benefits both body and mind, say the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the American College of Sports Medicine.
There are lots of fun projects you can do with your kids.
Ed Hume, Washington gardening personality and host of TV show Gardening in America, says kids can grow trees from any citrus fruit, such as oranges, lemons and limes. Let the seeds dry at least overnight. Plant them about one-quarter to one-half inch below the soil, and care for it like you would a houseplant, giving it water each week to 10 days. Keep it in a location that gets lots of light. Don’t fertilize it because you may burn the new roots.
For more ideas, see an article I wrote for The News Tribune in Tacoma, WA: http://www.thenewstribune.com/soundlife/story/627051.html

Groggy Day

I like to do abs on days when I am tired – perhaps because I get to lie down as I exercise! Here’s a good one on YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-YI0cxuNcq8&feature=PlayList&p=14CBD3AC8ADEB930&playnext=1&index=4

Legal junk/Disclaimer: The information provided on this site is for informational purposes only and is not intended as a substitute for the advice or care of medical professionals. Consult with a healthcare professional before starting any diet, or exercise program, or if you have or suspect you might have a health problem.