Monthly Archives: August 2012

The Ab Lab

As you might have noticed, I have a tendency to use “cutesy” titles. Rhyming, Alliterations…I just can’t help myself when I come up with something clever like the “Ab Lab.” When you convert your dorm room (or bedroom) into a personal fitness studio for today’s workout you will have created an Ab Lab ;)

Sometimes workouts need to be quick and convenient. The best go-to exercie for me: CORE! You don’t need any equipment and very little space to work the major muscle group. Core exercises for the Abdominals, Obliques and low back are some of my favorites (the torso twist machine at the gym? So fun.) If you decide to make this a dorm-room workout, you should invite your roommate to join you. Buddy System!

Crank up the music, lay down a towel (sweaty carpet = bad roommate) and get ready for an oh-so-challenging 5 minute Plank Workout:

1. Basic Plank – 30 seconds

2. Right Side Plank – 30 seconds

3. Left Side Plank – 30 seconds

*30 Second Break*

4. Alternating leg raise (as demonstrated below): 10 reps each side

You’re not done yet! 30 second break…

5. Right Side Plank with Hip Raises – 20 reps

6. Left Side Plank with Hip Raises – 20 reps

7. Alternating Leg Raise Plank – 10 reps each side

8. Crank Out 1 Last Basic Plank – 30 seconds

It’s quick, it ain’t easy, but it’s totally building a beautiful core :)

Now that we’ve got that covered, can I show you my “kitchen”? I’ve already told you about the food aspect of preparing for dorm life, but I also came loaded with kitchen supplies to make sure I can cook all the meals I want.

Of course I’ve got the coffee bar. My room would be incomplete without. Space is everything in a micro-sized living situation so organizing everything was so important. After my roommate and I brought out all of our kitchen gear, we assembled into what I call the Kitchen:

The easiest way to ensure you’ll make healthy choices when living on your own is to stock yourself with all the options you’ll need! If you’re starving and grumpy and all that’s left in your fridge is a carton of eggs and some mustard, you’re more likely to run down to the vending machine for some quick food. I always have apples and bananas on hand, plus other snacks and goodies to make sure I’m never in a need-food-now situation that will leave me feeling guilty afterwards.

Can you tell I like organization..?

If you do the PLANK workout, tell me how it went!

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Cafeteria Cuisine: Balanced Breakfast Challenge

Breakfast isn’t a typical cafeteria meal for me, because I prefer to make my own fruit-filled oatmeal or smoothie in my room. But this morning I met a friend for breakfast in our all-you-can-eat style cafeteria. It was a little challenging finding healthy and filling options amid the donuts, biscuits and gravy, french toast and waffle maker. I just gotta laugh when I see fellow students piling their plates high with tater tots, sausage links, bacon, pancakes, chocolate chip muffins AND a bagel….you didn’t eat like that at home, so why would you here?! If you want to avoid the freshman/sophomore/junior 15 you have got to drop the “I have to get my money’s worth” attitude! Or else you’re “money’s worth” meal will cost you a new pair of pants in a couple months…..

Fear not – I created a balanced breakfast with a sweet parfait!

A fruit n’ yogurt bowl is an easy healthy go-to breakfast. Options were limited to canned peach slices and pineapple, and I would’ve preferred to add a banana but in the cafeteria setting it’s all about working with what you’ve got! I topped the fruit with a little Raisin Bran. I know Raisin Bran still has a considerable amount of sugar but look at my options!

Breakfast with a side of diabetes?

Taking out the Froot Loops, Coco Puffs, Cinnamon Toast Crunch and Kellogs Granola leaves good ole’ Raisin Bran looking pretty good! And of course I have to commend the cafeteria on their surprisingly delicious coffee. To round out the meal, I small serving of eggs with diced peppers and some salsa left me full through the morning and into my “Stretch & Relaxation” class!

The pancakes and muffins may look appetizing for an instant but I always feel heavy and full after such a bread-y breakfast. This light and fruity bowl was the perfect start to the beautiful day and kept me sitting tall in a summer sundress through out class!

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Summer Seafood Finale

The LAST post in my Summer Seafood series and YES, it is shrimp. I promise more variety in the future, but this summer I have really experimented with all kinds of crazy shrimp recipes from burgers to quesadillas, so I thought I’d round out the season with a more conventional dinner. A Grilled Kabob Salad with BBQ’d veggies and pesto shrimp.

There really is no “recipe” because it’s so simple but that’s why dinners like these are so great! If you’re a mushroom person, add mushrooms. Like tomatoes? Throw them on the grill! It’s a medley of color and flavor ;) We just seasoned some bell peppers, onions, zucchini and peaches (the best part!!) with a garlic-y blend plus some “Slap Yo Mama” spice….I bought it just for the name alone but love the added kick to veggies or chicken!

After coating the shrimp in some basil pesto, we skewered them and sent them onto the grill master (AKA my dad).

I had to get my seafood fill before I left home for school, because while our cafeteria does a pretty good job of supplying healthy options, shrimp is definitely not one of them. (Speaking of which, ‘Cafeteria Cuisine’ coming up tomorrow!)

Then its just a matter of assembling your grilled goodies onto a bed of lettuce with whatever add-ins you want! And arranging them in a beautiful display of course:

So that concludes the Summer Seafood series. Onto bigger and better things: College Girl Cuisine! Which of course applies to all people not in college as well.

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