I learned how to do this recently, and I kind of wish I had more plain shirts so I could cut them all and make them look this awesome.
WHAT YOU NEED
- A flat clean surface
- Sharp scissors that have NEVER cut on paper
- Shirt that you want to cut
Here is a recipe that I have been making pretty often lately. It doesn’t make the chicken look pretty but it tastes AMAZING. Trust me, you want to try it.
2 teaspoons garlic powder
2 teaspoons chili powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon ground red pepper
8 skinless, boneless chicken breasts
6 tablespoons honey
Combine all spices in a bowl.
Mix well, then add chicken breasts to the bowl and make sure they all are coated evenly with the spice mixture.
Broil chicken at 350F for 5 minutes on each side.
After the chicken is done cooking, brush the honey (make sure to only use 1/2) on the chicken and broil for another minute. Repeat this on the other side. Enjoy!
- Servings Per Recipe: 4
- Amount Per Serving
- Calories: 273.2
- Total Fat: 5.8 g
- Cholesterol: 114.5 mg
- Sodium: 716.0 mg
- Total Carbs: 28.4 g
- Dietary Fiber: 1.0 g
- Protein: 27.8 g
Well, finally, last Saturday I became a Zumba Instructor. It was an amazing experience, I learned a bunch of VERY useful stuff and danced like crazy for hours.
One of the perks of being a ZIN member, is that you get a pretty great discount on the Zumbawear® so you can sport it when you teach your classes and look more professional. Since I begin teaching at the YMCA on Wednesday (woot woot!) I went ahead and ordered a few things so I can look good my first days at work.
Deciding which size to buy was not an easy task though. It seems like their sizing is a bit different than other stores, so according to the reviews I read, it’s sort of a hit or miss until you figure out what works for you.
I had previously bought a pair of their cargo pants and a shirt, and I knew this much: The shirt fit true to size, and the pants were too short.
I’m writing this blog to try and help other people figure out their size and save them from having to exchange things. I was pretty lucky and everything fits great, but I know that is not always the case.
Anyhow, here are my measurements to make this easier.
YELLOW CARGO PANTS (size S)
These pants are great. Neon-purple grommets accent the pockets, they have fun snap details wherever you look, and ribbons (located inside the pant legs) with neon-colored Zumba logo snaps that turn these cargos into capris. They also have a purple foldover waistband.
They fit me very well, except for the length. They are about two inches too short, but then again, my legs are longer than most people’s. The good thing is that I didn’t have to return them; I just wear them as capris all the time.
ILLUSION CARGO PANTS IN GREEN (size M)
These cargos are very cool. They have a stretch waistband for added support, an adjustable drawcord at the leg opening and the print is so unique! They also have the inner ribbon and snap to allow optional leg roll-up.
They are supposed to be loose, a relaxed fit. I think I would have fit in the S, but it would have been a little tight, which is not ideal for dancing! The length on these is great. They pretty much touch the floor, which might be a problem for shorter people, but it’s the perfect length for me.
The only con is the fact that the stretch waistband is a bit loose. Some reviews on the website complained that if they did a squat their butt would pretty much hang out, but I tried doing a few squats with these pants on, and I was fine. Sometimes it’s good to have a butt!
SHOUT OUT CARGO PANTS IN LOLLIPOP (size M)
As soon as I saw these I knew I had to have them. My Basic 1 instructor was wearing them at the training, and they looked sooo good! I mean she has an incredible body (she’s the one on the pic above) so I risked looking like a tool, but I’m glad they look the way they do on me!
They have an all-over Shout-Out print also a stretch nylon waistband that makes them very comfortable, and it’s not as loose as it is on the green Illusion cargos. They have adjustable drawstring leg openings. They come with two removable tassels with snap closure and zipper cargo and back pockets.
The length is also great. They might be a bit shorter than the Illusion, but they still touch my shoes, which makes me happy. They are comfortable and breathable, and I think they make anybody’s butt look good. I have seen them on a few people and they looked good on EVERYONE!
UP DOWN CARGO CAPRIS IN BLUE LAGOON (size M)
I really like these capris. I knew I wondered if I should get them in a size S since my problem was the length, but I decided to go with an M once again just to have more room to move around. It was the right decision, because they don’t look too baggy or too snug; they fit perfect!
The stretch waist is just as comfortable as on the other cargo pants, but the stretch leg cuffs are way too loose. My calves are pathetically small, so probably most people won’t have a problem with it, but I did see a couple other reviews that mentioned that.
I love the breathable material and the colors are great, especially the yellow contrasting zippered pocket .
Overall, all the Zumbawear® that I bought is pretty great. If you’re about to buy some stuff make sure you read a few reviews and measure yourself and you should be fine. These clothes are good quality and they are amazing for working out and obviously for doing Zumba! I’m very excited to start teaching in these!
Okay, I randomly found this recipe online yesterday and I decided to make it. I love how my confidence is growing in the kitchen and how I try new things every week. Me and my husband LOVED this one, and it’s actually good for you, since it has tons of protein, not too much fat, and barely over 200 calories per serving. I changed a couple of things and made it my own, so you should do the same! I hope you like it:
- 1 can tomato sauce (reduced sodium, if you can find it)
- 8 oz. crushed tomatoes (reduced sodium, if you can find it)
- 3 cups of penne pasta
- 2 cloves of garlic
- 1/2 cup of chopped onion
- 1 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
- 1/2 cup low-fat cottage cheese
- 1/2 cup part skim ricotta cheese
- 2 oz. fresh grated mozzarella cheese
- 2 oz. fresh grated Parmesan cheese
- 1/2 tsp. rosemary
- 1 tsp. oregano
- 1/4 tsp. crushed red pepper
- Boil 3 cups of penne pasta
- Sautee onion and garlic in olive oil until golden brown
- Add crushed tomatoes and tomato sauce to onion and garlic
- Add rosemary, oregano and crushed red pepper to sauce and simmer
- As sauce simmers, mix ricotta, mozzarella, and cottage cheese in a separate bowl
- After 10 minutes, remove sauce from heat and add cheese mixture
- Add pasta to sauce/cheese mixture
- Transfer to baking dish and top with Parmesan cheese
- Bake for 10 minutes at 350ºF
- Let cool for 5 minutes and serve
- Servings Per Recipe: 8
- Calories: 206.3
- Total Fat: 5.3 g
- Cholesterol: 7.9 mg
- Sodium: 463.7 mg
- Total Carbs: 29.4 g
- Dietary Fiber: 1.7 g
- Protein: 9.8 g
Well, I have been quite busy for the past few days, but I’m glad I’m back and ready to write some!
Since I decided I wanted to become a Zumba instructor and possibly go deeper into the amazing world of Fitness, I have been reading and researching a lot. I want to be able to help people achieve their fitness goals, and I can only do that if I’m informed myself. One thing that I have been hearing and reading a lot about is how people try to lose weight and “change” their body only by doing cardio. Surely 3 hours of Zumba a week can help you lose fat and make you feel energized and happy, but you NEED strength training if you want to achieve more than just losing a little weight.
The common fear is that strength training will add bulk and therefore add weight. But this is a myth. Strength training will build lean muscle and burn some of that fat. So in the long run, you not only become stronger, but you can lose weight as well. Women, in fact, are more likely to tone up from strength training rather than bulk up. So why not give it a try? Here are six good reasons to strength train:
1. Strength training preserves muscle mass during weight loss.
According to a University of Michigan research study, at least 25% to 30% of weight lost by dieting alone is not fat but lean tissue, muscle, bone and water. However, strength training helps dieters preserve muscle mass while still losing weight.
2. Strength training elevates your metabolism.
Starting in their twenties, most people (especially women) lose half a pound of muscle every year if they aren’t strength training to preserve it. After age 60, this rate of loss doubles. But regular strength training can preserve muscle throughout the lifespan, and rebuild the muscle lost.
3. Strength training helps you lose weight more easily (or eat more without gaining weight).
Since muscle is active tissue (unlike fat, which is inert), it requires energy to maintain. The more muscle you have, the more you can eat without gaining weight. Strength training can provide up to a 15% increase in metabolic rate, which is helpful for weight loss and long-term weight control.
4. Strength training increases bone density.
A study conducted by Miriam E. Nelson, Ph.D. of Tufts University found that strength training increases both muscle mass and bone density. Dr. Nelson’s research showed that women who lifted weights did not lose any bone density throughout the study, and actually gained an average of 1% more bone mass in the hip and spine. Non-exercising women lost 2% to 2.5% of bone mass during the same period of time.
5. Strength training helps you age more gracefully.
As you age, muscle mass decreases (if you’re not working to preserve it), which can cause skin to sag in not-so-pretty ways. By strength training, you can fight age-related muscle loss and maintain a more youthful physique.
6. Strength training improves your quality of life.
Building muscle allows you to get more out of life. Everyday activities, such as lifting children, carrying groceries, and working in the yard are much easier when you’re not struggling with the effort. Being in shape also makes you more confident, helps you stand taller and makes you feel great about yourself. And what’s better than that?
So what part of the body should you work? The answer is simple: All of it – your upper body, core, and lower body.
Your upper body is made up of your arms, chest, shoulders, neck, and upper back. This is the most popular part of the body to work for strength training. Here are some possible exercises for the upper body:
Dumbbell Shoulder Raise
Dumbbell Shoulder Press
Working your core is very important because you derive much of your balance from the middle section of your body. Also, having a strong core allows you to do other exercises better and more effectively. Almost everyone takes care of their stomachs with sit-ups, but there is much more to your core, including your obloquies, lower back, hips and groin. Here are a few exercises for the core:
Last but not least is your lower body. While the legs are sometimes forgotten during strength training, they are also very important. The reason for this is large muscle groups like the ones in your legs burn more fat and help you last longer during aerobic exercise. The key is finding exercises that specifically work your quads, hamstrings, and calves. Here are a few lower body exercises:
Make sure to give your body a rest after a strength workout. Whichever part or parts of the body you work, give it two days’ rest before you work it again. This gives the muscles time to repair themselves and allows your metabolism to do its thing. And before you know it, you will not only be strong, but on the way to hitting your weight goal!
Here are a few of my favorite Lower Body exercises that I can do at home with only a towel or mat, dumbbells, balance ball and bands.
1. Wall Squats with Dumbbells and Ball
Place ball between lower to mid back and wall. Keep your spine in a neutral position. Spread feet shoulder width apart and make sure toes are pointed forward. Grasp dumbbells, palms facing in, at your sides.
INHALE: Slowly (about 3 seconds) bend knees to 90 degrees. Hold for 1-3 counts here.
EXHALE: Slowly straighten legs and return to starting position, making sure to keep knees bent slightly, to complete one rep.
Muscles Worked: Quads, Glutes, Hamstrings
2. Standing Hip Abduction with Band
Grab each handle and place feet on band, hip-width apart, toes forward. Stand tall with back straight, abs engaged, legs straight and arms at your sides. Shift your weight onto left leg, keeping knee soft.
EXHALE: Push right leg out against the resistance band using the other thigh.
INHALE: Slowly return leg towards the midline of the body to complete one rep.
Stay balanced and finish set on this side before switching sides.
Muscles Worked: Outer thighs
3. Standing Hip Adduction with Band
Make a loop at one end of the band and place it around your left ankle. Hold the other handle in your right hand. Stand with your right foot on the band with back straight, abs engaged, right hand on hips and knees soft. Lift your left leg off the floor just slightly, foot flexed.
EXHALE: Keeping both legs straight, use the inner thigh to pull the left leg towards the midline of your body.
INHALE: Slowly return left leg to the side, returning to the start position to complete one rep.
Finish set on this leg and then switch sides.
Muscles Worked: Inner thighs
4. Single Leg Hamstring Extension with Ball
Begin this exercise by lying on your back with a Swiss ball under your right or left heel. Your opposite foot should be off to the side of the Swiss ball and off the ground at approximately the same height as the foot on the Swiss ball. Place your arms straight out to your side for support.
Lift your hips so that you create a straight line with your body. Do not use your arms at any point. Take the leg on the ball and bring the ball in towards your body using your heels. Keep your opposite leg straight, slightly higher than the ball. Reverse the movement and lower your hips back to the ground. Trying doing 2 sets with 10-12 repetitions for each leg.
Muscles Worked: Hamstrings, Glutes
5. Bridges on Ball
Begin seated on the ball. Walk your feet out while lying back until your mid-upper back is on the ball while your feet are flat, knees bent. Without moving legs, roll the ball forward so that your hips and butt drop toward the floor.
EXHALE: Using your glutes to pull you, roll the ball back as your hips rise up until your torso is in a straight line, parallel to the floor.
INHALE: Slowly lower down to start to complete one rep.
Muscles Worked: Glutes, Hamstrings
6. Dumbbell Squats
INHALE: Arch back slightly, squat down as if sitting back into a chair until thighs are parallel to the floor.
EXHALE: Straighten legs to the starting position.
Muscles Worked: Quads, Glutes, Hamstrings
7. Laying Double Leg Rises
EXHALE: Keeping legs squeezed together, lift both legs simultaneously up into the air. Hold for 1-2 counts here. Be sure that feet are flexed and toes point forward.
INHALE: Lower to start without letting bottom leg touch ground to rest to complete one rep.
Switch sides and repeat to complete one set.
Muscles Worked: Inner thigh, Outer thigh, Hips, Obliques
8. Forward Lunge with Dumbbell Press
Step forward with one leg and lower your body to 90 degrees at both knees. Don’t step out too far. There should be 2 to 2.5 feet between your feet. Keep your weight on your heels. Don’t allow your knees to cross the plane of your toes. At the same time, lower the dumbbells down to the sides of the front foot, creating a flat back and keeping your core strong. Push off with the front foot and return to the starting position. Try doing 2 sets with 10-12 repetitions.
Muscles Worked: Quads, Glutes, Shoulders
9. Single Leg Bridge-Ups
EXHALE: Squeeze glutes and lift hips, keeping them level.
INHALE: Slowly lower to starting position to complete one rep.
Complete all reps and switch sides.
Muscles Worked: Hamstrings, Glutes, Calves, Lower back, Quads
10. Calf Raises with Wall
Raise up on balls of feet, and hold for 2 seconds, Return to start position and repeat.
Muscles Worked: Calves
There are many more lower body exercises out there, but these are some of the ones I use the most. I hope this is helpful! Next week: Upper Body!
This blog post is for those of you who don’t know what Zumba is and are wondering what the heck I’m getting myself into. Or for those that have heard of Zumba and are interested in learning more, and maybe getting involved. Even for those who just randomly found my post and find yourself reading these lines.
I can give you the official definition of what Zumba Fitness is:
Zumba Fitness® is the only Latin-inspired dance-fitness program that blends red-hot international music, created by Grammy Award-winning producers, and contagious steps to form a “fitness-party” that is downright addictive.
Since its inception in 2001, the Zumba program has grown to become the world’s largest – and most successful – dance-fitness program with more than 12 million people of all shapes, sizes and ages taking weekly Zumba classes in over 110,000 locations across more than 125 countries.
To me, that sounds like any other infomercial trying to sell some silly fitness apparatus that is going to make my stomach so flat that I will be able to do my ironing on it, and honestly, if it was for that advertising, I would have never tried it.
I was lucky enough to be introduced to Zumba through my friend Krista. I had never heard of it, I just randomly found myself at a class, and I loved it!
I feel like Zumba is way more than just a “dance workout”. Every instructor makes it his/her own and going to different classes can be a completely different experience; with some instructors you will dance to different Latin styles while others enjoy choreographing to fast-paced hip-hop music.
I haven’t been to a master class by one of those award-winning producers, but I have been to two classes by two different instructors here in Kentucky, I do the Zumba Fitness Wii workout a few times a week, and I have watched videos of many instructors online. All the routines are always great, fun, easy to learn and I always end up sweating like crazy, which means I am getting some serious cardio (I barely ever sweat).
But the greatest thing about Zumba is that nobody is there to judge you. Sure there is always the sexy Barbie dancing in the first row and making everybody else feel silly, but no matter how old you are, what music you like or what your fitness level is, there is always a Zumba class that will be good for you.
I believe that these are some of the reasons why I have decided to get certified as a Zumba instructor. I do want to join the party. I want to have fun while helping people get fit by having fun.
Check out the video below. It is one of the greatest I have found on Youtube, and though I know that I am far from dancing like that or looking that great, I think that I may be able to become a good instructor.