About Me

My Photo

I'm Katy! I'm a Phys Ed teacher, fitness and yoga instructor. I love fitness and fashion! Join me as I kick the crap out of you with my at-home HIIT workouts, and mostly make fun of myself.
Loading...

Wednesday, 29 February 2012

PB & J Quick Oats Recipe!

Pin It Who doesn't love Peanut Butter and Jelly?

If you don't, I don't want to know.

This recipe was so easy, and it actually tastes like you are eating something you shouldn't.

I'm not sure if this looks delicious or disgusting, but let me assure you, it tastes amazing. 
What you'll need:

1/2 cup steel cut oats
OR 1/2 cup quick oats
1 tsp natural nut butter
1/2 scoop to 1 scoop of  GNC's Pro Performance Chocolate 

2-3 dates, ripped into small pieces
Mix protein powder with oats. Cook steel cut or quick oats as directed, adding a tad more water to make up for the extra protein powder in the oats. Steel cut oats will take longer- I often make this snack at work, so I usually use the quick oats as they will cook with just boiling water from the kettle- but I've made steel cut oats in the slow cooker overnight as well! Steel Cut Oats taste heartier and nuttier, almost like a quinoa consistency. Quick oats taste like regular oatmeal!

Once oats are made, add natural nut butter and dates. Stir.


Voila- you have a delicious, clean breakfast made in under 5 minutes!

Is there a certain guilty pleasure food that you wish came in a healthy (and tasty) version? 



Monday, 27 February 2012

A Workout Must-Try: BATTLING ROPES!

Pin It First off, in lieu of the Oscars, I'm immediately buying myself a cape (a la Gwyneth) and watching Legends of the Fall (when most women first fell in love with Brad). Then, I'm getting a dragon tattoo, and becoming Carl, the celebrity seat filler at the Oscars. Dream. Job.

Thank you for continuing to read after that monstrosity above. Last week, I tried BATTLING ROPES for the first time! We had a Professional Development Day and as Phys Ed teachers, we were able to sign up for a few courses throughout the day to keep us up to date. I was lucky enough to present a 30 for 30 Workout (coming soon!) with my husband Carter, and then presented Yoga for Athletes... all the while, so excited to go to my last workshop of the day and try out these mad ropes.

This is when they politely asked me to leave.
This workout made me weep with joy and with pain. Joy, because I love new workouts, especially when #1. I can actually do them and #2. They are rewarding, fun, and HARD. Pain, because I felt my deltoids (that's the fancy way to say shoulders... though it should also mean traps, biceps, ass, core, and legs because that's what I felt, too) for about three days afterwards. So naturally, I wore tank tops in the middle of winter to show off my extreme guns, and took three days off of exercise.

Here's Carter sprinkling the lawn... now how do I get him to cook me dinner?
The ropes were set up so that the two ends were like handles, and they were strung through a weight.


We did 40 SECOND INTERVALS... 40 SECONDS!!! I'M YELLING AT YOU BECAUSE THIS WAS SO LONG... HOLY GOD, IT NEVER ENDED... I would choose 20, MAYBE 30 second intervals. It was SO long and so hard.

That's what she said.

We did a variety of different exercises that work everything from your shoulders to your ankles, and the rope exercise can definitely be done faster for greater cardio and endurance, or slower with higher loops to modify. This is after about 3 hours of straight exercise, so don't expect much of me.


That was the hardest 15 seconds of my life.

We were in groups of 3, but this can be done with many more- just with everyone doing different things (squats, laps, planks, or rest phase) until your turn on the ropes. We even had one person on one end of the rope, and one person on the other end doing push ups or planks on the rope. It was very challenging as the ropes would move and your centre of gravity would change, forcing a stronger push up and plank!

Some bootcamps will offer the use of the battling ropes, as will some personal trainers and even some gyms (they are usually set up attached to a Smith machine (large machine with a bar to do squats on) or the Universal machine (large machine with 4+ different exercise pieces attached like the cables, chin ups, leg extension and leg curl, for example). It looks intimidating but it is a TON of fun and an excellent cardio + endurance exercise. I'd suggest trying 20 second intervals with a 1 minute break in between!

Have you tried the battling ropes before? Would you give them a try? 


Is there any piece of exercise equipment that you'd love to try?

Thursday, 23 February 2012

Create Your Own Home Gym: The Stability Ball 1

Pin It Welcome to the first installment of the Home Gym Creator! I'm a big believer in making fitness accessible, so I will be bringing you different pieces of equipment that you can buy and store at home- giving you the option to quickly complete a home workout (and furthermore- no more "I couldn't get to the gym" excuses!). Otherwise, most of the equipment pieces that I will showcase are available at your gym, if you prefer to use it there.

Up first: the Stability Ball! Aka: the balance ball, aka: the fitness ball, aka: the big ball, aka: that mother#%@$ing ball that kicks the crap out of me but is fun to sit on (to quote Phoebe Buffay, "for the woman in you.").

Nice ball. 
Brands: Energizer, SPARQ, Isokinetics, Thera-Band, etc.

Cost: Can be as low as $14.99 and as high as $69.99, depending on brand and durability (usually comes with a pump)

Where to buy: Winner's, Chapters, Fitness Source, Fitness Depot, Shopper's Drug Mart, National Sports, and pretty much any store that has anything to do with sports and/or fitness.

You can't go wrong with any brand of the stability ball. What you want to look for is the size- based on your HEIGHT and not your weight- "small" balls (ha!) are for those about 5'4" and under (55cm ball), medium between 5'5" and 5'10" (65cm ball), and big (I won't go there) 5'10" and over (75cm ball). The one I'm holding above would be a medium. Don't fret too much about this- but if you are tall and you use a small ball, it will become much more challenging due to the smaller surface area. 

If you can test out the stability ball before buying, sit on the ball- if you are directly on the top, in the middle, and your knees are 90 degrees to the ground, it's the right size for you. 

There are literally HUNDREDS of exercises you can do on the stability ball. I've demonstrated 10 muscular endurance exercises in the video below (more to come!!!). For a great workout, complete 4 sets of 10 reps of all the exercises- will take you about 20 minutes!



Exercise Notes: 
Squat- place stability ball at the small of your back on a sturdy wall, bringing the knees 90 degrees to the ground
One-Legged Squat- Same as above, but really lean back into the ball for extra support, ensuring your knee does not pass the toe. Make sure you do both sides! :)
Push Ups on wall- Elbows wide, feet shoulder-width apart behind you, bring chest as close to ball as possible
Mountain Climbers- place ball against wall and alternate bringing knees into chest
Sit Ups- sit directly on top of the ball, and then move about 3-6 inches forward so you are sitting on the edge of the ball. Lean back, keeping elbows wide, and place toes against the wall. Brace the abdominals and sit up!
Push Ups on ball- place chest on ball and roll forward, placing your hands on the ground until the ball reaches your thighs. For more advanced push ups, keep moving the ball back to the shins and the ankles. Bring elbows wide until 90 degrees.
Jack Knife- Same position as push up, bend the knees into the chest and back to starting position.
Advanced Jack Knife- Bring hips to the ceiling while keeping the legs straight.
Sit Ups with legs up- place calves on ball, back on the ground. Lift shoulderblades off the ground.
Abdominal Leg Lifts- start with ball between the knees. Pass ball to hands, lifting ball overhead and straightening the legs in front of you. Bring ball back to knees and tap feet to ground. Repeat.
 
The stability ball makes a great gift for all ages- you can even activate your core by using the ball in place of a chair at work (try sitting on it for 20 minute intervals), or try sitting on the ball instead of your couch for 20 minutes while watching television.

Do you own a stability ball? Would you try any of these exercises?


Tuesday, 21 February 2012

In Honour of Fat Tuesday...

Pin It So I haven't done a "let's get real" post in a while, but on the weekend I met up some of realest, most amazing, kick ass women of all time. And yes, I know "realest" isn't a word, but you will skip past that and continue reading. I met up with the beautiful and talented makeup artist Angie DiBattista on Friday, my hilarious girlfriends on Saturday, and the lovely and sassy Laura from Scribbles and Sass and Emily from Spare Change in my Back Pocket on Monday. We drank, we ate, we laughed a TON, and we talked REAL. It's so easy to have a mask in the blog world, but I want to assure you peeps, that I do not have one.

Perhaps I should have one here. Emily made me a brownie topped with a marshmallow. RI DIC.

First of all, I want to say that I am thrilled that you are here. I am humbled beyond belief that I have more than my Mom and a fake account my Mom created following my blog. And I hope that I have never made you feel that you can't do anything and aren't good enough, because you can and you are. But I can't tell you how often I go to other people's blogs and see that they have a teaspoon of Nutella or a square of dark chocolate and have a serious freak attack about it, blog about it, and have people comment over and over again "It's okay! You'll get right back at it!" or "We all slip sometimes!"

Do these people seriously feel bad about themselves after a square of dark chocolate or a scoop of Nutella? No offense meant to those peeps, but if that was me, I would feel amazing that 1. I chose dark chocolate over the mass amounts of milk that I eat and 2. that I chose Nutella over melting a chocolate bar on my toast, only to add bacon and cheese and call it a meal.

Don't get me wrong, I eat clean... pretty much all the time. Alright. Well that's a lie. But most of the time. Honestly, about 75% of the time. I do find it rather unnerving, however, that as a "healthy living blogger" (picture Dr. Evil saying that with his air quotes) I feel guilty about my own meals based on the tiny portions I see on other sites. The guilt lasts about five seconds, but it's still there.

Then, I get over it and fist pump myself.
 Yesterday, I ate oatmeal for breakfast, McDonald's for lunch, had a pint of beer with the ladies, ate a brownie that Emily gave me, and ordered pizza for dinner. I had about 4 handfuls out of the KILOGRAM of Mini Eggs that my husband bought me for Valentine's, and I drank diet Coke.

Individual mac n' cheese and olive penguins. Brilliant.

Now THIS I'll take pics of.
Here's your shout out, Edna!


This was the day after I had poutine and mac n' cheese for dinner.

I realize that I promote fitness and all-around healthy living on this blog, but I also believe that healthy living is just what is says- a LIFESTYLE in which should not mean being tied to a calorie counter. I am not a fitness model or bodybuilder, and while I admire the commitment and dedication it takes, I myself could not live in extreme deprivation.

Best blondes ever.

So what do I do when I indulge? I enjoy, then work. Today I got up, did a 30 for 30 workout, ran 2 beep tests with my kids, and I will eat clean. I recognize that eating like I've suggested above is not normal, but I will not feel guilty about it seeing as it happens once every weekend in a blue moon. I will not stay home while my friends go out for dinner because I'm scared of the menu. I will not let a diet run my life. In fact, I do not diet for this reason. I never have, and I never will. You can always make choices- you do every day- and some days will be better than others. It's how you handle them that will make the difference in your own journey to healthy living.

Again, no disrespect meant to other peeps out there, and I do salute you for having such crazy willpower. I'd just like to think I represent the rest of the population that chooses to treat themselves with more than a sniff of a cupcake.

Now if you'll excuse me, I'm going to eat a square of dark chocolate and a spoonful of Nutella and feel f#@!ing amazing about myself.

What do you allow yourself to indulge in? Do you ever feel guilty?


Monday, 20 February 2012

Skinny Jeans or Bust! Workout

Pin It Happy Family Day to my fellow Ontarians, and Happy President's Day to my American friends! Whatever you do today, I hope you did it in your most fabulous way. Don't forget those skinny jeans- the ones that look good on about 1% of the population- but we all try to wear. Keep those in mind when you're burpee-ing, squatting, planking, and jumping in this 30-minute workout!

Warning: if you try this at home, you may look like this.
For this workout, you will need a skipping rope and something to "hop" over. I've used an Equalizer Bar, but anything between knee height to hip height (depending on the challenge you want) will work. A step, a sturdy chair or ottoman, or a keg can do the trick! Yes, a keg.

You will begin this workout with a 15-minute jump rope interval workout. You will jump for 2 minutes and immediately move to an endurance exercise. Complete the following:

Time 00:00-02:00: jump rope
Time 02:00-03:00 front lunges

Time 03:00-05:00: jump rope
Time 05:00-06:00 plank (forearms)

Time 06:00-08:00: jump rope
Time 08:00-09:00 sit ups

Time 09:00-11:00: jump rope
Time 11:00-12:00 squats

Time 12:00-14:00: jump rope
Time 14:00-15:00 plank (hands)

Then you will move into this pyramid workout. You will begin with ONE of each exercise- then move to TWO of each, then THREE, then FOUR, then FIVE. You will then break for 30 seconds and complete all the exercises again, but focusing on the other side. I've showed the entire RIGHT SIDE workout in this video! (please don't mind the music, there was too much background noise and the songs available on youtube are brutes).


This should take you about 30 minutes in total to complete! Happy holiday and let me know how you did!








Thursday, 16 February 2012

Another chance to WIN with the Power of Movement!

Pin It
The Power of Movement is upon us, and yet again, the amazing people who organize the largest yoga fundraiser in Canada have given me the opportunity to share with my readers! I know I've said this before, but I am so proud to be affiliated with this cause. The tireless work they do (Emily, you're my peep!) does not go unnoticed.

Often, we complain about being tired or too busy to be active in our day. For the 4.6 million people in Canada suffering from arthritis or autoimmune deficiencies, being active isn't always a choice.

The Power of Movement has given me the chance to highlight some of the celebrity ambassadors that are taking part in the cause, and give you a chance to WIN an amazing cookbook and yoga DVD!

Now, I know when I say "celebrity ambassador", you're thinking of me and my massive following. But, that isn't the case today. The two people are Anthony Sedlak and Melissa Ramos, two people who promote eating for healing.

Sexy Food Therapy nutritionist Melissa Ramos is a woman after my own heart- she helps discuss the benefits of anti-inflammatory foods for those living with arthritis and other autoimmune diseases. Melissa is passionate about helping others nourish their body, mind and soul through the food they eat. Her high-heeled approach to health and her motto “feel sexy from the inside out” means that we should really be sisters.

Anthony Sedlak has experienced firsthand the benefits of a healthy diet - resulting in his own health transformation and weight loss. He is currently working on a new cook book and two new television series launching in 2012. He recently opened a restaurant in Vancouver called American Cheese Steak that ‘brings the Philly Cheese Steak tradition to the West Coast’. Anthony has a delicious anti-inflammatory heirloom tomato soup recipe to help those suffering from autoimmune disorders and arthritis (see end of post for the recipe!)

Anthony's cookbook, The Main, is a 5-star rated cookbook which features complementary groups of dishes built around one main ingredient. Genius! Think olive-oil poached tuna, chicken and fig ciabatta, maple soy glazed salmon, even wine-marinated flank steak. Anthony's show, The Main, can be seen weekdays on Food Network Canada.

Yes, please.

You will also receive a copy of YogaFit’s Basics & Back Health- a great Yoga DVD for anyone. Often yoga can seem intimidating. This DVD gives you a safe and effective warm up, work and cool down phases as you move through basic postures. It is perfect for any age or flexibility level, giving modifications and options on all basic poses. This DVD, as with all yoga practice, helps builds strength, increase flexibility and balance, reduce stress, and improve respiratory, circulatory and digestive functions.  

Does the beach come with it?
 To win Anthony Sedlak's "The Main" cookbook and YogaFit's Basics & Back Health DVD, please leave a comment for each of the following ways you would like to enter. 

+5 Register or have registered to participate in the Power of Movement (they have a virtual challenge, too!)
+1 Like the Power of Movement on Facebook
+1 Share this contest on Pinterest (there's a Pin It button at the top of this post), Facebook or Twitter (@powerofmovement, @fit_in_heels)

Good luck! Contest will end Wednesday, February 22nd.


Peasant Style Heirloom Tomato Soup

Serves 10 – 12

½ cup good olive oil
2 medium Vidalia onions, finely diced

2 sprigs rosemary, needles removed and finely chopped
½ cup fine capers, minced
3 cloves organic garlic, minced

4 lbs. organic or heirloom tomatoes, blanched, peeled & roughly chopped (or equivalent volume of organic canned tomatoes)
750 ml passata or strained tomato sauce
2 l vegetable stock
3 Tbsp tarragon vinegar

10 – 15 springs fresh, French tarragon, tied in bouquet with butcher twine
½ cup good olive oil
2 Tbsp good balsamic vinegar
¼ cup brown sugar

1 ½ cups grated parmigiano-reggiano
1 recipe, garlic crostini (see recipe below)
Freshly cracked black pepper as needed
Olive oil as needed for garnish

Directions

Peasant Style Heirloom Tomato Soup

Preheat the olive oil in a large soup pot over medium heat.  Add the onions, season to taste with salt and freshly cracked black pepper and gently sauté until caramelized.  Next, add the rosemary, capers and garlic and fry until lightly golden brown, approximately 3 – 4 minutes.  Add the tomatoes, strained tomato sauce, chicken stock and tarragon vinegar.  Bring the mixture to a simmer.  Add the bouquet of tarragon, olive oil, balsamic vinegar and brown sugar and mix to combine.  Gently simmer the mixture for approximately 1 hour, stirring occasionally.

To finish the soup, stir in the parmigiano-reggiano. Season to taste with salt and freshly cracked black pepper.  Serve in deep bowls and garnish each soup with a drizzle of good olive oil.

* Anthony Sedlack.  All rights reserved.

Monday, 13 February 2012

The Revenge Body Workout

Pin It Who doesn't fantasize about running into an ex at their high school reunion? You, looking stunningly gorgeous and fit, and them, miserable and still pining over you.

I know what you're thinking. "Katy, you need to get a life."

Well, fine.

In any case, this workout will give you just what you want: killer cardio, core, and dignity. Maybe not the last, but in any case... it'll kick your ass.

This will be you... stomping on all the hearts of your exes.

You will complete 3 entire rounds of this workout! It is split into 2 parts- Cardio and Core. ALL exercises are done for 1 minute. Rest 15-20 seconds in between!

Minute 1: Cardio Jump Rope

Minute 2: Cardio Lateral Hops

Minute 3: Cardio X- Jumps

Minute 4: Cardio Lunge + Shuffle

Minute 5: Cardio Tuck Jumps

Minute 6-10: Killer Core!

You're done round 1- now do it 2 more times! Good luck and keep breaking hearts!

Tell me how you did!

Thursday, 9 February 2012

Partner Yoga!

Pin It Okay, friends. I'm a huge fan of Valentine's Day.

I know what you're going to say: "Why buy into the commercialism of the made-up holiday?" well, because I want to. That's right. I love the chocolates. Dressing up and going out for dinner. The champagne. The mushy cards.

Who wouldn't love this holiday? I, for one, embrace it by eating as many heart-shaped candies and drinking as many glasses of strawberry-adorned champagne as possible. After all, there's really only so much time before the Easter Bunny comes.

My favourite Valentine's Days in the past with Carter have been usually low key- going for a run on the boardwalk, grabbing a Starbucks, just spending time together like going to the movies or out for dinner. This is, of course after I open my mountain of gifts. You see, I'm such a great wife that I tell Carter not to get me flowers on Valentine's Day. He saves so much money that he replaces them usually with precious gems, designer purses, gold-covered chocolate, and expensive cars. Pretty much the same price as a dozen roses on Valentine's.

A few years ago, I forced asked Carter if he'd join me in taking a Partner Yoga class. Given the weekend, he accepted. He pushed, grunted, laughed his way through the class, and I loved him for it. So much so, that I decided this would be an annual thing.

Oh, and I'd be teaching it.

With him.

Surprise, honey!
Often, people think Partner Yoga is a one-way street- totally untrue! Flexibility and power are both aspects of strength. Partner Yoga works on both!

You can't tell, but we're both screaming.

I've taught Partner Yoga workshops at my gym, in my Phys Ed classes, and to upcoming Phys Ed teachers, and it is always such a blast. Partner Yoga can be- but is generally not-serious yoga. It's fun and relaxed, people laugh and have a good time; we play music, eat chocolate, and drink champagne afterwards. Sign. Me. Up.

Partner Yoga is based on trust and communication- and often, it's the couples who have been together the longest that are the most successful at it. Understanding your body in addition to your partner's becomes easier the more you know them. Here's some photos from last year's workshop:

Partner Tree Pose... Tony and Tash are just simply adorable! 

The pressure from Partner 1 in Side Crane Pose helps Partner 2 go deeper into their downward dog!

Often, partner yoga can actually help people experience the true pose in its full form. And I must say, nice form.

Recognize this hot couple? It's Christina from the Athletarian! Her and Dean came to my class last year :)

Assisted Bridge/Shoulder Stand

Side Plank/Child's Pose

I would highly recommend that everyone try it! It is a great workout for beginners as well as those advanced yogis. And hey, if you're still not sure, think of it this way: you'll be sweaty, hot, and touching each other- guaranteed action, people.

What are you doing for Valentine's Day?


Would you try/Have you tried Partner Yoga?




Monday, 6 February 2012

The "Give Me Chocolate or Give Me Death" Workout!

Pin It We all have a vice. That one thing that we work hard for.

Alright, so I have many. Chocolate, shoes, wine, cupcakes- I could go on- but at least they're all legal! This workout came at a great time for me as it was just what I needed to get me back into the swing of things. This workout has two parts and will take you about 30 minutes in total!

I'm practicing my reach skills... for the cookie jar.





Part 2- you will do 6 different exercises for 20 seconds each.
This video shows you how to do each of the 6 exercises (I've used a kettlebell for the Dumbbell Swings but any 8, 10, 15 or 20lb. weight will do the trick!):


Whew! Once you're finished the 4 rounds, I have a SURPRIIIIIIISE for you!

You will FINISH by completing 10 Jumping Lunges, 10 Front Kicks, 10 Push Ups, 10 Sit ups, and 10 Mountain Climbers!

Please feel free to leave curse words below in the comments. Happy Monday, peeps. 


Thursday, 2 February 2012

Healthy, Hearty Superbowl Chili!

Pin It A recent survey said that 80% of women would rather have sex than watch the Superbowl.

I fit in to the 20%.

I'm not sure if Carter would be pumped or pissed.

But Superbowl=Comfort food. Pizza, stew, indian food, and especially chili are some of the hearty foods we eat while watching football in the winter. Often we spend Sunday nights cuddled up for this reason. That, and Keeping Up With The Kardashians is on at 10pm.

This chili is clean! 
Not interested in football? Make it a party! We always bring a stack of loonies and place loonie bets- "The next big play will be a touchdown/interception/fumble/field goal." And, if you have no idea what any of those are, it's just as fun to watch and place bets! We also place bets on other things. For example, my friend Amanda has already loonie bet that Madonna's half time wardrobe will consist of her wearing some kind of onesie.

This is a loonie. It's a Canadian's dollar dollar bill, yo. Except, it's not a bill. Unless you include the loon's.
The best way to make comfort food is to make it clean! Here's my slow-cooker recipe (adapted from Eat, Shrink and be Merry)! Make this the day before for even tastier chili.

Don't be put off by the ingredient list! You literally throw all this into your slow cooker and walk away. It will take only about 15 minutes to prepare! Layer these in in the order listed:



-3 to 4 lbs. boneless, skinless chicken breasts (about 3-4) or thighs (about 6-7)- omit this if you want vegetarian chili
-3 to 4 tomatoes, chopped
-1 medium onion, chopped
-3 stalks of celery, chopped
-2 carrots or about 20 baby carrots, chopped
-2 zucchinis (one chopped and one grated- this adds amazing texture to the chili and is a sneaky way to add in extra nutrients!)
-1 can red kidney beans, rinsed (you can really pick any bean that you'd like! The red bean works with the colour of the chili)
-1 can chick peas, rinsed
-1/2 to 1 jar (I use the fresh stuff so it's in a container) of your favourite salsa
-1 jar of strained tomatoes (you can use one jar of your favourite tomato sauce, instead- but using strained tomatoes makes this recipe more "clean". Sometimes, I use half  a jar of strained tomatoes and half a jar of my favourite tomato sauce!)
-2 tbsp chili powder
-1 tbsp cumin
-1 tbsp oregano
-1/2 tbsp basil
-Dollop of plain greek yogurt, to serve
-Sprinkle of grated cheese, to serve

*For spicier chili, add 1/2 to 1 tbsp cayenne pepper!

Put all ingredients into your slow cooker and cook for 8 hours on low, or 4 hours on high. If you'll be around, give it a stir at about halfway. If not, give the ingredients a quick stir before you leave! When the chili is cooked, break up the chicken into smaller pieces. It should break apart easily!

Heeeeeeeeey.
You can serve this with a whole wheat bun, or over brown rice or quinoa. YUM!!!

Now if you'll excuse me, I'm going to loonie bet that Tom Brady's ass will look hot.

Superbowl 2012- any loonie bets you want to share?


Are you in the 80% or the 20%?