Yoga: I Actually Enjoyed It

Something amazing happened this morning.

I took a yoga class and actually enjoyed it.

Yogi Julie

(You have my permission to point and laugh at the above picture. I posted it solely for your enjoyment. ūüėČ )

In the past I have not enjoyed yoga. At all. Not even a little bit.

I’ve tried to get into it, but I have a hard time keeping my mind quiet and enjoying the poses and stretching. I’m sure the fact that I’m terribly inflexible doesn’t help, either.

In past yoga classes, I feel like I’ve always been next to someone from Cirque du Soleil or something. Of course their extreme flexibility makes me feel insecure as I wobble around and strain to simply touch my toes.

Today’s class was different.

I took a power yoga class and before the class began, I approached the instructor to express my concerns about yoga, but also my desire to incorporate more stretching into my fitness routine.

In my previous attempts at yoga, I’ve tried to blend into the class.¬† This time, however, I found that talking with the instructor ahead of time made her more aware of the presence of a “beginner.” Throughout the class she offered modifications to the more difficult poses, which I really appreciated.

I left the class feeling rejuvenated, relaxed and even elongated. My back and hips really appreciated the extra stretching!

Namaste

(Thanks, Mama, for my new green sweater!)

BodyPump

I actually took my typical BodyPump class before yoga this morning, which was a great start to the morning. After only a week off from the class, I am already feeling more sore than usual. There’s no substitute for the ‘Pump, I guess!

Breakfast

Breakfast today was a W-I-N-N-E-R.

I started by making French toast strips by tearing apart a Joseph’s Lavash Bread and dunking it in a mixture of egg whites and cinnamon.

French Toast Strips

I warmed up a sliced Gala apple in the microwave to add on top of the French toast strips for a fruity punch of flavor.

Apple

After layering the French toasts strips with the apple pieces, I topped everything with nutmeg and syrup.

My Plate

Come Closer!

The addition of nutmeg really made this dish for me. I flippin’ love that spice!

Question of the Day

Do you enjoy yoga?

Gettin’ Him to the Gym

I usually like sweeter breakfasts like berry barley yogurt bowls or brownie batter hot cereal, but occasionally eggs call to me. 

“Juuuuulie…. Eat me…”¬†

Today was one of those days and I happily obliged. 

I made myself a big ol’ breakfast wrap with scrambled eggs, portobello mushrooms, broccoli and onion.¬†

Eggs + Veggies

I wrapped the egg mixture in a Joseph’s lavash wrap and dug in!¬†

Wrapped Up

A Peek Inside

It hit zee spot. 

Gettin’ Him to the Gym¬†

This morning at the gym in between songs during my typical Wednesday BodyPump class, a girl turned to me and said, “I need¬†your¬†tips on how to get my¬†boyfriend to come to the gym with me.¬† He thinks he still has his college body, but, well… he doesn’t.”¬†

Of course we laughed, but it made me feel lucky that¬†working out is a personal interest of Ryan’s.¬†

I started to think about her question in a little more detail during a short run with Sadie after the class. What would I do if Ryan didn’t like working out?¬†

Here are a couple of ideas Ryan and I came up with to try to motivate your significant other, friend or family member to workout with you: 

  • Make it a social experience… Go on a jog outside together, spot each other in the weight room, etc.
  • Take a group exercise class (Even guys like spinning!)
  • ¬†Have a reward waiting after your workout (People at my gym live for the free coffee and will sit in the cafe and enjoy each other’s company after a good workout)
  • Do the workout where they’re comfortable, whether it be outside, in the gym or at home
  • Start with an exercise they’re comfortable with (Some people hate cardio while others are really intimidated by weights)
  • In return for working out with you, offer to do something they’re interested in

Would it bother you if your partner¬†didn’t work out or live an active lifestyle?¬†

Having a partner who didn’t go to the gym would not be a deal breaker for me, but I definitely need to be with someone active who likes¬† to get out of the house¬†and explore, go on walks with me and Sadie and be outside.

Overcoming the Steady-State Cardio Hump

For some reason I seem to have slipped into the mindset that on my cardio-only days, 50 minutes is the correct amount of time to spend gettin’ my sweat on. I tend to prefer steady-state cardio, or cardio done at a continual pace and heart rate (such as running five miles).

Steady Run

Today I was determined to change it up a bit. I was determined to make myself stop after 30 minutes of cardio. This may sound ridiculous, but it’s really hard for me to stop because I have this weird feeling that my workout is incomplete. I’ve read so many articles touting the benefits of interval and HIIT training, done in a much shorter amount of time, so my plan was to complete a 20 minute interval workout.

To fight my natural inclination to do 50 minute of cardio, I planned to attend a yoga class at 6 a.m., so by the time I got to the gym, I only had 30 minutes to spare before the class.

My  interval workout included a five minute warm up and a five minute cool down and 20 minutes of interval training:

Minutes            Speed                                                                      Incline

  • 1-5¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬† 4.0¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†6.0
  • 5 – 12¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬† 9.0 for 20 seconds, 4.5 for 40 seconds¬†¬†¬†¬† 1.0
  • 12 – 13¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬† 10.0 for 20 seconds, 4.5 for 40 seconds¬†¬† 1.0
  • 13 – 23 ¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬† 9.5 for 20 seconds, 4.5 for 40 seconds¬†¬†¬†¬† 1.0
  • 23 – 25¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬† 10.0 for 20 seconds, 4.5 for 40 seconds¬†¬† 1.0
  • 25 – 30¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬† 4.0¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬† 5.0

Total time: 30 minutes, Calories burned: 320

I hopped off the treadmill just in time to make it to yoga. Yoga was meh. I have such a hard time getting into the proper mental state to enjoy a yoga class. My mind is always racing and I have the worst time concentrating on my breathing. I literally start singing songs in my head.

Are you a fan of yoga?

I desperately need to incorporate more stretching into my workout routine… I’m just not sure that yoga is the way for me to do it. I may try taking a Pilates class, because I’ve enjoyed those more than yoga in the past. We’ll see!

Breakfast

Today’s breakfast wrap came together in a flash and included:

  • Joseph’s lavash bread
  • Two slices of Canadian Bacon
  • Laughing Cow light Swiss cheese wedge

Canadian Bacon and Cheese

Wrapped Up

I really wanted to throw an egg in this bad boy, but we’re all out! A trip to the grocery store is a must tonight!

Special Birthday Shout Out

Happy birthday to my best friend, Michaela! Michaela and I have been friends since elementary school and lived across the street from each other in Palatine, Illinois until I moved to Florida after my senior year of high school.

Me and Michaela... and our Miller Lite Microphones ūüôā

Though she’s currently in optometry school at Indiana University (yeahhh, she’s a smartie pants ūüėČ ), we’ve still managed to see each other at least once a year since I moved down south… last year we met up in Arizona to visit our other friends from high school.

You’ll definitely see more pictures of this pretty girl because she’s going to be a bridesmaid in our wedding in October and I’ll see her in Chicago for my bachelorette party before the big day.

I love you Kay Baby! Happy 25th! ūüėÄ

Yogurt Pudding

Doesn’t this picture totally look like a first day of school pic?

Me & Mah Lunch Bag

My mom would always make me and my sister pose for a first day of school photo when we were growing up. Ryan snapped this pic of me this morning so I could show you my snazzy lunch bag (gotta love reusing Bath & Body Works bags!) and I laughed when I uploaded it because it’s totally cheesy.

My lunch bag changes… when one bag finally rips, I take a new one out of my little bag storage. It’s a great way to use those random shopping bags that we typically toss when we get home.

I’m amazed at how excited I get when I buy something and the cashier puts my purchase in a bag that’s the perfect size for my lunch. It’s the little things that matter most, right?

Today my lunch bag actually doesn’t even contain my lunch! I only filled it with my breakfast and two snacks because Ryan and I are meeting for a hot lunch date today since he has the day off.

Ryan has every other Friday off work because everyone at his company works a 9/80 work schedule… meaning he works five nine-hour days one week and four nine-hour days the next week, with that Friday off. Sweet deal, huh?

Would you prefer a 9/80 work schedule or the traditional 10/80?

I would gladly embrace a 9/80 schedule since I’m at work for nine hours most days anyway. How nice would a three day weekend every other week be? I won’t complain because I feel so fortunate to honestly love my job, but that schedule would be pretty sweet.

Breakfast

As I anticipated after last night’s delicious (& healthy!) dessert, I decided to make my yogurt pudding for breakfast this morning.

Chocolate Yogurt Pudding

I mixed a big spoonful of Jello instant chocolate pudding mix into my Greek yogurt and this thick, sweet and decadent lil’ chocolate bowl o’ fun was the result. SO good. You must try this.

Earlier this week I made yogurt pudding using butterscotch instant pudding mix and it was phenomenal as well. I can’t wait to try cheesecake yogurt pudding!

For breakfast I also enjoyed cinnamon “chips” that I made by baking a torn up Joseph’s lavash bread in the oven and a tumbler of my gym’s free coffee. They still have Barnie’s Santa’s White Christmas coffee and I had to take advantage!

Friday Breakfast

Yummy, yummy, yummy, I’ve got love in my tummy! (<– What’s that from???)

Happy Friday!!!

2010 is Here!

In honor of 2010, here are 10 things I’m excited about in the upcoming year (in chronological order):

  • My friend Ashley’s wedding
  • Going to see Wicked
  • Blog redesign
  • Possibly running another half marathon (haven’t fully committed yet ūüėČ )
  • Moving¬†out of our apartment into a bigger¬†place (most likely)¬†
  • Completing Invisalign
  • Food and cake tastings for our wedding
  • My bachelorette party in Chicago
  • Our wedding
  • Our honeymoon

Yay for 2010!

Ryan and I brought in the New Year extreme-relaxation style.

Before dinner we headed to the movies to see Sherlock Holmes.

Sherlock Holmes

Ryan and I both really liked the movie (I think I actually liked it a little more than him) and were glad we went to see it. Jude Law pulls off a moustache surprisingly well. ūüėČ

After the movie we walked around a bit trying to decide where we wanted to eat, but nothing was calling to us. We decided to come back home to enjoy leftover Tuscan bean soup (for Ryan) and lavash pizza (for me).

Lavash Pizza

I made my pizza using Joseph’s lavash bread which I crisped in the oven a bit before topping it with tomato basil sauce, spinach, portobello mushrooms, sliced plum tomatoes and cheese.

Pizza, Pizza

...And Again

I gobbled up the whole thing. Yum.

After dinner we hung out for a bit before deciding ice cream was needed. We took Sadie along for a quick trip to get Ryan a cookies ‘n’ cream milkshake and me a soft serve cone. We ended up sharing both and they were delicious. (I apologize for the lack of picture. I know ice cream is worth its own pic, believe me.)

We rung in 2010 in our apartment, celebrating with our own little family. After reading your comments on my Lame-O! post from yesterday, I realize my blog readers are pretty fantastic. I’m glad so many of us love quality nights at home! ūüėĬ† It feels pretty darn good not to wake up hungover today, huh?

Today

Today I woke up and made a quick breakfast of Flax-Z-Snax butter pecan hot cereal with half of a scoop of All the Whey cinnamon protein powder and two big scoops of pumpkin.

Breakfast

I’m digesting a bit before heading off to the gym for some light cardio before taking a BodyPump class at 9:30 a.m.

Ryan and I have plans to head out to finish up some Christmas exchanges/returns afterward. I’m looking forward to checkin’ some things off my “to do” list today.

Happy New Year!!!