Archive for the ‘Group Power’ Category

Gym’n it

No new blog yet. Sorry to disappoint.

Like I said, when you are changing your domain name and updating the graphics of your blog, road blocks happen. I can only promise you that I will unveil it when I feel it will make the most impact. I could give you a sneak peek or start posting on the new and improved template, but what fun would that be?

I like a good shock to the system, so let’s keep our fingers crossed for the end of the week. šŸ™‚

Moving on to today’s post-gym machine equipment! I’m always curious if those stand-alone machines are doing as good of a job as when I’m in group power-turns out, some of them are…

Fitness Magazine had an article on what to “hit” and what to “skip” regarding the best work-out machines at your gym…I found it pretty useful so I thought I would pass it along…

The next time you are roaming around in your gym, know that the above mentioned machines (and stability ball) are the best types of machines that often use your own body weight to help you get the best work-out possible.Ā  For a detailed description on the ways these machines really work your body, click here.

Looks like I will be spending more time on these types of machines because this is what my Group Power class looks like these days:

No bueno.

We are practically on top of each other.

I will leave you with my embarrassing gym playlist. While I may look innocent, rap and other not so classy songs are my true motivation for getting my butt in gear. Feel free to judge.

What jams get you pumped up? Are your gyms still swarming with new faces that joined in January??

4 months!

4 months from today I will be Mrs. Claire Cilip! Things are rockin’ and rollin’ in the planning phase, it seems like every day is filled with decisions on flowers, cake, travel arrangements and bridesmaid dresses.

Basically, I’m in heaven.

Our invitations have been approved and I can’t wait to ship them off! Here is a sample of what they look like…

They are supposed to represent our color scheme along with the feel of our wedding…classy and beachy? Does that come across??

I’ve been living a pretty organic life this past week. Keeping with my practice “detox,” green tea has become a staple every morning.

I wish my meals were a little more interesting but the truth is, I’ve been so busy so I’ve had no time to get creative so they are relatively simple.Ā  Sticking to a dairy and meat-less diet isn’t as bad as I initially thought it was going to be. Here are some things that I have happily been eating since I started:

  • Carrots
  • Salads topped with bell peppers, mushrooms, nuts, fruit, etc
  • tofu
  • couscous/whole grains
  • Peanut butter bread
  • Green smoothies
  • Beans
  • crackers
  • Hummus
  • Veggie Burgers
  • Celery
  • Spaghetti with tomatoes
  • Sushi
  • tomato soup

I’ve noticed my energy has picked up and I’ve even lost 5 lbs. I’ll take that, thanks. I can’t wait to see what other things improve based upon a more plant-based diet.

I think it’s important to recognize that while I’ve cut out dairy, I am aware that my body still needs calcium as well as other nutrients, especially when I’m working out. However, what some people may not know is that you can get calcium from all the foods below and honestly, the average person takes in way too much protein, way more than needed.

  • Almonds
  • Brazils Nuts
  • Soya flour
  • Oatmeal
  • Wholemeal bread
  • Black molasses
  • Dried figs
  • Parsley
  • Kale

“The fact that vegans have a slightly lower protein intake and exclude meat from their diet encourages their bodies to retain calcium so their dietary need may be lower than the typical omnivore. In fact, the excessive protein in cow’s milk depletes the human skeleton of calcium and actually weakens bones.” -Thinkquest

Before I went to the gym, I grabbed a quick piece of bread with some peanut butter…YUM.

January is still in full effect at the gym…unfortunately. I was denied access into my Group Power class because it was at capacity and I was even 5 minutes early. Arg! Instead I did some strength training on my own with the machines and caught up with Newsweek on the Elliptical.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, I love the gym. It’s like my own little private getaway where I can think or zone out or completely sweat it out=feeling fantastic.

For dinner I had some Capellini Pomodoro and a salad.Ā  Roma tomatoes, garlic, fresh basil and extra-virgin olive oil tossed with capellini.

Off to bed, dreaming of our very own, far away destination location….

(Las Caletas, Mexico)

A Celebratory Weekend

Saturday night I went uptown to Crave, a dessert bar, to help celebrate my friend’s Jane and Stephanie’s birthdays! There we feasted on some really great food, had laughs and caught up.

The menu had lots of great dishes and so we dove right in. First we ordered the crab cakes which were delicious, but then again I’ve never met a crab cake I didn’t like….

Chocolate cake was next up on the list, I chose not to eat it but heard it was awesome.

After gabbing and dancing the night away, the next morning I wanted to go to the gym but was still sore from upping my weight load at Group Power or dancing,Ā  hard to tell. For breakfast I went with my usual but added a half bagel with cream cheese, YUM!

I just love this mixture, it’s a perfect combination: oats, yogurt and fruit. TRY THIS! You can add whatever fruit or yogurt flavor you wish. It reminds me of a parfait but healthier version and for some reason does not get old.

After breakfast it was time to meet my mom and sister for a bit of bridesmaid shopping. I loathe this process. I hate them all. I’m trying to walk the fine line between picking something the girls will really like AND trying to keep it affordable. The hunt continues…

After the errands we decided to head back to my mom’s house to make homemade pizzas. It was my step-dad’s birthday and so the agenda included dinner followed byĀ  cake and a hilarious movie, Despicable Me.


Not the best looking pizza, but it was good. My sister did a great job baking and icing the cake…she is definitely the baker in the family.

I pretty much headed straight to bed when I got home in order to feel rested for the beginning of the week. BUT, then we got this SURPRISE!!!!!!!!!

Charlotte is officially having a snow-day today! I was surprised that my boss urged me to work from home but I am relishing every bit of it. Chris and I instantly knew we had to celebrate with this:

Hope every one is having a great Monday and for all you Charlotte readers, wa-whooo if you get to stay home like us!

How do you like to spend your snow-days??

Get off my Treadmill.

Dear New Gym Members or former members coming out of the woodwork,

This place isn’t big enough for the both of us. I lift weights…I could take you down. But further more, please don’t send me back to working out in my living room. It’s boring there.

Does anyone else’s gym look like this??


I much prefer it being empty. Just me andĀ a few other regulars roaming around. We communicate with polite head nods as if to say, “hey there..same time, same place…again.”


Alas…it is January and this is when everyone decides that healthier living is moving to the top of the priority list. Good for them! Just get off my treadmill šŸ™‚

I’m kidding of course. While I was super annoyed that my group power class was too full to join and the fact that I had to do ab work until a treadmill was free last night, I am glad to see more faces joining the gym. Although, I think I am going to stick to the morning work-out schedule for a while until some of theĀ “newlyĀ motivated”, fall off the wagon.

While I hope this isn’t a monotonous food post, I did switch up the breakfast…from apples to strawberries.

Verdict: Not as good as apples.

Lunch this week has beenĀ boring and usually involves anything that I don’t actually have to assemble. I’ve been sleeping like a rock the past few days and sleeping in till the very last-minute! Soup & carrots have been the winners this week.

Interesting? No. Fast and Easy? Yes. I swear I will get better about packing my lunches next week. Leaving my house un-organized on Sunday completely put me in a tailspin. I opted to drink wine on the couch if you recall. ThereforeĀ I can’t get up on time, have not packed lunches for myself and don’t even get me started on my lack of work outfits from little to no laundry being done.

We had moreĀ prime ribĀ for dinner and let me explain. We bought too much for the Christmas Eve dinner so some we froze and now we have to eat. I couldn’t stand another meal with just red meat and sides so Chris and I decided to do subs. This was awesome.

I told him he is just going to have to take down the rest of the leftovers because I don’t want to see Prime Rib again for months.

After dinner, I plopped down on the couch to finally relax (the gym wasn’t as relaxing as it is normally) and devoured some SexĀ and the City, thanks E!

After the back-to-back episodes (every weeknight mind you) I did a little wedding planning before bed. There are a few items I have yet to check off from my lists but all in all, things are running smoothly.

Looking for invitations this weekend, can’t wait!

The Tree vs. Me

Me and the Tree had quite the showdown.

To say that taking down a Christmas tree isn’t as fun as putting it up, is the understatement of the year…so far.

Everytime I thought I was done, I kept finding ANOTHER strand of lights that just happened to be so intertwined that I was literally thinking of just cutting the strand with scissorsĀ to be done with it!

What?…I can always just buy new $4 lights next year.

I didn’t give up. Eventually, I won (sans scissors) but there was major loss of limbs.

After all of the shredding and finger plucking I was ready for some food! A homemade pizza was sounding really good so I fell back on a great recipe I got from a friend earlier in the year,Ā Buffalo-style Chicken Pizza.

With some shredded chicken breast, ranch, hot sauce and mozzarella cheese-this hit the spot. Full disclosure: I ate this while getting sucked into “The Craigslist Killer” on Lifetime. It was bad. I want my two hours of life back…

For the recipe, click here.

It wasn’t the greatest day yesterday, even aside from the tree fight. Being back at work was busy and hectic, wedding pressure is brewing and to top it off I haven’t been to the gym in days. My body has slept like a rock and it’s telling me that rest is what it needs at the moment. My early morning work-outs have been minimal but I’m going to Group Power tomorrow night, yay! One good thing that did come out of the day, came from trusty UPS…

My monitor for the office came!

I’m off to hook it up, but hope you guys had great Monday’s!

We Meet Again!

I made it to the gym last night! It was my first time backĀ in weeks but after reading a Meals and MilesĀ post the other day, I finally got the motivation. I am so HAPPY I did because I left feeling great.

I’ve noticed a trendĀ in posts this morning in the healthy living community (at least the ones I read) about a runners body vs. a strength-training body. I must admit that since I have taken up running more regularly I have not been as happy with my body šŸ˜¦ I think I have gained around 10-15 pounds and while some of the extra lb’s must be muscle I don’t feel nearly as toned as I did this time last year.

Just look at the difference. Last year I was in the gym 3x a week in preparation for our Caribbean cruise. I did very little running.

…and now (albeit I’m a ton whiter and that makes a small difference) I’m not nearly as “fit” or so it would seem.

(I realize I’m tailgating in this picture but trust me, there was no shortage of that last year)

My jeans are hardly fitting and I just feel so heavy. This could be due to the fact that I’m not getting enough aerobic itensity out of my runs but honestly, I think my body just flourishes more with strength training. This is not to say I’m cutting out cardio all together, I just need to incorporate more of what I was doing in the past, and not soley rely on runs.

I think people have to find what works best for them and after last night’s gym session, it was oh so clear that I want to be back more regularly. This is what works for me:

  • 7-10 minute warm-up on the Elliptical
  • 20-25 minutes circulating on the machines, either working on legs or arms
  • 10 minute ab-work-out conisting of 130 crunches
  • 20 minute cardio: 5 minute warm-up, 10 minute run, 5 minute cool down

Last night, I even caught the spread in Glamour on Reese Witherspoon during my warm-up!

I know some people don’t love the idea of working out in a gym, but I’m not one of them. I find it satisfying and like to people watch. They have good tunes playing without having to use my i-pod and most importantly…it’s warm.

Backtracking a bit, I had my normal breakfast-last photo, I promise. I’m switching it up a bit next week.

Oats, yogurt, apple slices and cinnamon.

For lunch, Chris packed me an awesome lunch using our leftovers.

I love how he used the compartments in the Tupperware so wisely. That brownie for dessert fit in there perfectly! Thanks hubs!

On to dinner, this was Chris’s concoction. He called it “Chicken with Strange Sauce.” All I could make-out were the mushrooms, onions and capers but it was pretty darn good. He likes to boast he does not use recipes.

After dinner me and Daisy sat on the couch and watched Finding Nemo. I am pretty sure I fell asleep on the couch arond 9:00pm.

That is what going back to the gym will do to you! Can’t wait to hit up a Group Power class tonight!

What works best for you when it comes to exercising? When do you feel at your peak?

Packs A Punch!

Hi there! Happy Friday and 3-day weekend to you bloggers šŸ™‚ Hoping some of you at least have that luxury…

Before I delve into this post I have to let you guys know how upset I am that I am missing Camp Morton on this fine 2010 Labor Day. My parents in California have a huge Labor Day Bash every year and it saddens me that I have to miss it this year. With the wedding in NY in August, it just wasn’t feasible. BUT, we are going out for Thanksgiving which is my father’s favorite holiday-so I’m happy about that. Here are a few past memories from Camp Morton!

Camp Morton Sign, Dad built it.

Me & Dad

Astro! Our dog šŸ™‚

Plenty of hula-hooping….

…and neat adventures!

…and sibling LOVE.

I’ll MISS you guys!!!!!!!

Dinner has been a bit off track this week. One night I was over at my mom’s for dinner and one night Chris grilled steak (again) which was fine with me but I didn’t feel like I needed to post about it again. We are such creatures of habit and had the exact same meal a few weeks ago. It was that tasty.

Last night I decided to get back in the swing of things and I actually attended Group Power! It had been so long since I was in the class and being back brought on a spur of happiness that stayed with me throughout the rest of the night. I can’t explain how this class makes me feel leaner, stronger and buff all at once! I highly recommend if you STILL haven’t tried it (ahem Jess, Emily…)

After dinner I decided to go for the easiest thing off my meal plan or list of foods I was going to cook. I decided that the tuna pasta with capers and white wine sounded good, and it was. This picture, is poor quality sure (as I am still using my camera phone) but it also does not do this dish justice. Capers and white wine are a match made in heaven and this meal packed a punch! The flavor was great and it was easy. I’m thinking I should change the name of this blog to “easy, good recipes” because those seem to always be my favorite. Also, we all know how the meal ends up if there is any kind of challenge involved…in case you forgot, click here and here.

Tuna Pasta with Capers in White Wine Sauce

Recipe from Simply Recipes


  • Salt
  • 4 ounces bow tie (farfalle), linguini, or spaghetti pasta
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil (plus more)
  • 1/2 medium onion, chopped
  • Pinch chili pepper flakes
  • 1 (6-ounce) can tuna packed olive oil, drained
  • 1 Tbsp capers
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup dry white wine
  • 2 Tbsp chopped flat leaf parsley
  • Freshly ground black pepper


Bring a large pot of water to a boil, add salt (1 teaspoon for every quart of water), return to a boil. Add the pasta and cook according to package directions until cooked through, but still firm (al dente).

While the water is coming to a boil and the pasta is cooking, prepare the rest of the recipe. In a large, wide sautĆ© pan, heat a couple tablespoonsĀ of olive oil on medium heat. Add the chopped onion and chili pepper flakes and cook until translucent, about 5 minutes or so. Mix in the canned tuna, the capers, and the salt. Add the wine, bring to a simmer then lower the heat to low. Cook for 10 minutes or longer, while the pasta is cooking. If the mixture begins to dry out, add a little more wine.

When the pasta is ready, drain it and add it in to the pan with the tuna. Toss to mix. Drizzle on a bit more olive oil over it all, then add the chopped parsley and a few grinds of black pepper to taste.

I wish I was going to California, or even Charleston (where everyone else is going) but instead me and the hubs are staying home and taking advantage of a quiet 3-day weekend. I plan on still doing some major re-organizing (like my closet), maybe thrift-store shopping to find a great lamp for the bedroom andĀ of course sipping on some $1 Margs with some friends after work. Happy Hour is a must sometimes šŸ™‚