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My new favorite exercise: Box Jumps. I always see guys jumping up on ridiculously-tall boxes at the gym, and I cringe for a moment before they land it. It looks so intimidating! I have done small little box jumps before, sometimes on soft, padded “boxes.” But on Tuesday, I did a series of box jumps, forward and lateral on some pretty decent-sized platforms. I think they just might be better than squats & lunges! My quads were burning and it really got the heart rate up. I’m still sore today (in that totally great way.) :)
Trying something new at the gym pays off; once you do the same routine for a couple months, your body adapts to the exercise and becomes more efficient. You lose the “soreness” feeling and start to burn less calories. In high school, my coach would switch up my morning gym routine every 4-6 weeks. It also keeps you from getting bored! I love my crunches but my muscles are so used to them now, it’s not effective anymore.
Along with my self-imposed challenge to be able to do at least 1 chin-up (don’t laugh) by the end of the year, I want to replace my squats & lunges with box jumps for a while. I like work-outs that you have to get hyped for! Let’s just hope my klutziness doesn’t get in the way and lead to an embarrassing face-plant ;)
If you are experiencing the extreme-cold weather as I am, you will appreciate these spicy Jalapeno Poppers! And by “extreme cold,” I don’t mean the 55 degree weather that Southern Californians are in a tizzy about….. I’m talking negative degrees, bitter chill, freeze-your-face-off extreme cold.
So for a temporary escape from the reality of winter weather, here’s some hot n’ spicy appetizers:
We made these as a fun appetizer, and if you don’t remove all of the seeds and membranes, your mouth will be on fire! These little poppers are “healthified” by substituting whole grain cracker crumbs and Greek yogurt.
Crab-Stuffed Jalapeno Poppers:
- 12 Medium Jalapeno Peppers or Small Sweet Peppers
- 12 ounces Crab Meat
- 2/3 Cup Plain Fat-Free Greek Yogurt
- 1 Egg Yolk
- 1 Green Onion, finely chopped
- 1 tsp lemon juice
- 1 heaping teaspoon Spicy Mustard
- 1/2 cup Whole Grain Ritz Cracker crumbs
- 1 Tbs melted butter
- 1 Tbs parsley, chopped
- Wash and cut jalapeno peppers in half, length wise. Scrape out seeds and membranes to reduce the heat, and set them aside.
- In a large bowl, combine crab meat, greek yogurt, egg yolk, green onions, mustard (plus and salt and pepper to your liking). Pour in 1/2 of the cracker crumbs.
- Spoon the crab mixture into the Jalapeno “boats” and place on an ungreased baking sheet.
- In a small bowl, mix the remaining cracker crumbs and parsley into the melted butter. Spoon this crumb topping over the Jalapeno Peppers.
- Bake at 375 degrees for 20 minutes, or until the top is golden and crispy.
I hope you are staying warm! It’s mornings like these when I appreciate my coffee the most ;)
Tomorrow starts the first day of Spring Semester and the first day of track practice! I’m slightly scared…..this morning I awoke to -6 degree weather. Not the most ideal running situation ;)
Since I am coming off of a 5 week break from running & school, it’s hard to get back in the mode of being a student-athlete. Waking up early again, layering up with lots and lots of under armor and heading to 4 hours of classes after practice is a huge change from my vacation mornings that began with coffee and Pinterest. It is officially Indoor Track season though, which I will just be using to tune up for Outdoor Track in a couple of months. And today is:
This week, training will be fairly easy for me. I can’t just jump into full-on speed workouts on the track because my muscles need a little time to wake back up. So to ease into it, I’ll be doing some comfortable morning runs, increasing in mileage as the week goes on. If time permits, I’ll throw in some short afternoon runs in to the schedule as well. Mondays and Wednesdays we have weight training with a strength coach, though I always add in my own core routines after each run before stretching.
When I started training in college, I got used to doing long runs on Sunday and I really like it! (As 0pposed to long runs on Saturdays with a rest day on Sunday.) Get the week off to a good start and set the tone for the next few days’ workouts. I think long runs are my favorite workout of the week, when we tick off 11, 12, 13 miles before a feast brunch :) The longer the run, the happier I am (which means I should be just ecstatic after my first marathon!).
However today won’t begin with a brisk 12-miler for my first long run in over a month. But since I will be kissing “free time” goodbye tomorrow, I’ve got to take advantage of this Sunday with an extra long trip to the gym (iPod is loaded)! On the menu for today:
Get sweaty on Sunday morning & have the rest of the day to relax!