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workouts

Tabata 101

If you’re a busy mom and you haven’t tried Tabata… you’re missing out!! This is an awesome way to get your cardio and strength training in all at once, it only takes 20 minutes, and all you need is you! (Well you do need the app or a stopwatch for timing yourself).

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Basically in a traditional Tabata workout there are 4 rounds of 8 repetitions of an exercise.  Each rep lasts 20 seconds, with a 10 sec break between reps, and 60 sec break between rounds. Do as many reps as you can safely in the 20 secs. Below is an example of what your Tabata workout could be:

Example:

ROUND 1 – burpees

  • 20 secs – burpees
  • 10 secs – rest
  • repeat above 7 more times
  • 1 min rest

ROUND 2 – squats

  • 20 secs – squats
  • 10 secs – rest
  • repeat above 7 more times
  • 1 min rest

ROUND 3 – V-sits

  • 20 secs – V-sits
  • 10 secs – rest
  • repeat above 7 more times
  • 1 min rest

ROUND 4 – Lunges

  • 20 secs – lunges
  • 10 secs – rest
  • repeat above 7 more times
  • 1 min rest

As you can see, the traditional method can be very hard to push through 8 reps of one exercise, especially if they are really difficult (like the burpees!). It also limits your workout to only 4 exercises, so you have to choose ones that are pretty challenging to actually get a full body workout in.

What I teach in my fusion classes (YOGATA) and do regularly on my own is a modified version of Tabata. Instead of one exercise per round, we alternate 2 different exercises, therefore getting 8 different exercises. It’s definitely more achievable and still gives you that feel good muscle burn! Remember, you want to do as many reps as you can safely in the 20 seconds.

Below is an example of what your modified Tabata workout could be:

ROUND 1 – burpees & squats

  • 20 secs – burpees
  • 10 secs – rest
  • 20 secs – squats
  • 10 secs – rest
  • repeat above 4 more times
  • 1 min rest

ROUND 2 – V-sits and lunges

  • 20 secs – V-sits
  • 10 secs – rest
  • 20 secs – lunges
  • 10 secs – rest
  • repeat above 4 more times
  • 1 min rest

ROUND 3 – planks and swimming (active shalabhasana)

  • 20 secs – plank
  • 10 secs – rest
  • 20 secs – swimming
  • 10 secs – rest
  • repeat above 4 more times
  • 1 min rest

ROUND 4 – push ups and high knees (run on the spot, knees up high)

  • 20 secs – push ups
  • 10 secs – rest
  • 20 secs – high knees
  • 10 secs – rest
  • repeat above 4 more times
  • 1 min rest

I can guarantee if you push yourself during all your reps, you will sweat and feel all your muscles working. If you have time – try to sandwich your workout with yoga. Begin with a short yoga flow (pick any short 5-15 min flow) and end with a good 5-10 min flow. Happy TABATA-ing!

recipes

cut off your crusts

and SAVE THEM!

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don’t throw away the odds and ends of your bread!

You know how the ends of bread loaves and crusts get the shaft? Don’t throw them out, they can be repurposed into a tasty after school snack or croutons for your next salad! Or blend them up and use them as breadcrumbs. They keep really well in a zip locked bag in your freezer, so don’t be afraid to stock up.

On the weekend my husband made these incredible homemade burgers (filled with oozing sharp cheddar…yum!) and instead of breadcrumbs he used a couple of slices of our breakfast grain bread. To my dismay, he cut the crusts off and put them in our compost! It truly hurt my heart that I couldn’t save them. In his defence, we were running a bit late that day and hangry kids were making him hurry.

I am totally that mom who forces her kids to eat their crusts. Piepie and Boss have always known they can’t get away with leaving their crusts, so one of their favourite things to do is ask us to cut the crust off their toast so that they can dip it in their milk. However, sometimes Piepie will still ask “do I have to eat the crusts?” and my answer is always yes.  But now I may cut it off for her on occasion and save them for this special treat.

So here’s what you do:

Beavertail Crunch Sticks

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if you’re a fan of Beavertails, you’ll love these! hello, killaloe sunrise!
  1. Melt unsalted butter and brush generously over your crusts.
  2. Mix 2 parts sugar to 1 part cinnamon (I would use 1 tsp cinnamon to start, it really depends on how many sticks you’re making).
  3. Toss buttered crusts with cinnamon mixture.DSC_0341
  4. Place crusts in a single layer on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
  5. Bake at 375 F for 8 min or until golden brown, flipping crusts once.
  6. Sprinkle a little more cinnamon mixture over top when they are hot out of the oven. A little squeeze of lemon on top optional.
  7. Plate and ENJOY!

*even if you make these ahead, they are great at room temperature and super crunchy.

Garlic Cheese Sticks

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savoury goodness
  1. Melt unsalted butter with 1 clove finely chopped garlic.
  2. Grate some cheese (sharp cheddar or Parmesan).
  3. Brush garlic butter generously over crusts.
  4. Lay crusts in a single layer on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
  5. Lay grated cheese on top (push gently to make sure it sticks to the buttered crust).CSC_0349
  6. Bake at 375 F for 5 min then switch to broil on high for another 2 min (bubbly golden cheese on top).
  7. Plate and ENJOY!

*These are great as croutons for salad and soups. You can make these ahead of time and store in an airtight container for later use.

recipes

carrot loaf

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a switch up to the usual banana loaf

I pretty much bake up a banana bread biweekly but this week I thought I’d try something new. Also I had a huge bag of carrots from Costco to use up (however … these carrots were enormous so I only needed one large carrot to get 2 cups grated!). It’s a little healthier than the classic carrot cake but let’s be honest, the cream cheese frosting on carrot cake is the best part so I went traditional there with full fat cream cheese and butter. Everything in moderation, right?

what you need:

  • 2 cups grated carrots
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 1/4 cup greek yogurt
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup quick rolled oats
  • 1/2 cup coconut sugar
  • 1 tbsp baking powder
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 1/2 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg

cream cheese frosting (adapted from Two Sisters Crafting)

  • 1/2 block (125 g) cream cheese (room temp)
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter (room temp)
  • 2 cups icing sugar
  • 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp milk

 

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reminiscent of carrot cake, but simpler for a week day treat

what to do:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 F (my oven is convection – if you have a traditional oven your baking time will need to increase).
  2. In a stand mixer with the paddle attachment (or use a handheld beater), beat eggs, oil and sugar together.
  3. In a separate bowl, combine flour, oats, baking powder, baking soda, salt, ginger and nutmeg.
  4. Add carrots to wet mixture, mixing well.
  5. Add dry ingredients and do not over mix.
  6. Fold in greek yogurt.
  7. Pour batter into a buttered loaf pan, bake in the centre rack for about 25 minutes. (Or until top is golden brown and not jiggly anymore).
  8. Leave for at least 20 minutes to cool in the pan before trying to remove your loaf – otherwise it may break on transfer!
  9. Transfer loaf to cooling rack and allow it to fully cool to room temperature before frosting. Plenty of time to make the frosting now:)!
IMG_6181
this little guy was a bit scared of the mixer!

Frosting:

  1. With whisk attachment (or again, using hand held beaters) – cream together butter and cream cheese, until very smooth.
  2. Add vanilla and milk, beat until smooth again.
  3. Add icing sugar, one cup at a time, and beat until smooth.
  4. Spread on carrot loaf once the loaf is fully cooled to room temperature. This is important because if the loaf is warm at all it will just melt your frosting right off and you’ll end up with a sloppy mess!
  5. ENJOY!

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    cool loaf completely before frosting
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enjoy with a cup of coffee or tea