Saturday Sweatfest and Reebok Body Board Review

This morning I did some strength training (my first workout of the Bootcamp series – I’m a little behind!) and followed it up with some cardio of dancing around my living room.   Whatever gets your heart rate up and is fun, right!?

Some of the moves in the bootcamp workouts call for the use of a Bosu ballTina, our bootcamp guru, graciously included modifications for people working out with no tools as well so I didn’t really need one.  And unfortunately, my gym doesn’t have any (bare bones Planet Fitness) and they’re so expensive to buy.  I found this Reebok Balance Board and thought it could be a decent alternative to add some challenge to my workouts.  I ordered one from Amazon and tried it out today.

Unfortunately the board is much smaller than a Bosu, both in height and width.  I knew this, but wasn’t sure if I could still work around that.  It’s great to add some balance/core work for arm moves (bicep curls, shoulder flys, etc.), but it’s really narrow for push-ups and not very stable for lunges.  The board has a solid pivot point on the bottom, so it rocks quite a lot while you’re standing on it, really forcing you to focus on tightening your core and engaging your quads, hamstrings and glutes as well.  Probably better to use on a carpet or area rug as it might slip on or dent hardwood floors.

Overall I like it as an addition to my fitness tools, but it’s definitely not a replacement for a Bosu ball.

Now, off to drink some iced coffee and write a paper before visiting with my friends tonight.  One of my best friends (and former roommates!) is visiting from out of town for a job interview and I can’t wait to see her!

Yup, green nails for St. Patrick's Day!



Friday Favorites

I’m starting a new weekly routine where on Friday’s I will round up my favorite things from the week – exercises, products, foods, recipes, anything.

Favorite foods

Champagne mango – I’m so happy it’s champagne mango season again.  If you haven’t tried on of these, do it immediately. They’re sweet with a smooth and velvety texture.  You might also see them as yellow mangoes.  They’re in season right now so you can probably find them on sale too!

Cabot Greek yogurt – I’ve been hooked on Chobani Greek yogurt for the past year, but this Cabot low-fat Greek option is cheaper and delicious.  The vanilla bean has flecks of vanilla bean and the texture is really smooth and creamy.  It’s more smooth and less tart than Chobani too – a nice change.

Favorite products

Neutrogena hand cream – Washing my hands constantly while working at the nursing home leads to dry and uncomfortable hands.  This product is an old favorite that I hadn’t used in years and have no idea why I stopped.  It’s great for dry hands, doesn’t feel slimy when it goes on.  I put it on every night before bed and wake up with smooth soft skin again.

Badger Balm – I love Badger everything!  I use some on my lips, some on my hands, some as aromatherapy de-stressers on my temples, and I even sometimes bring them to clinicals to put under my nose to help with some unpleasant scents!  (Better than Vicks Vapo-Rub – less sticky and far better smelling!)  Plus, they are organic and made with only the most natural ingredien

Hope you enjoy these recommendations!

Banana Oat Bars

I always have granola bars around me – I keep one in my purse, my backpack, my car, my gym bag.  They are my go-to snack for when I’ve forgotten to eat or need a quick burst of energy or sugar before or after a workout (if I don’t have fruit).  I have tried many different brands and flavors but ultimately hate that they’re expensive and come with so much packaging.

So today I began experimenting with making my own granola bars when I found this recipe for 4-Ingredient Oat Bars on The Kitchn (such a great resource if you haven’t checked it out before).

These are quick and easy and you probably have all the ingredients already.  I had five overripe bananas in the fridge that have been waiting to be incorporated into something delicious and a Mason jar full of oats in the pantry.  I added some shredded unsweetened coconut as well to give them a little more sweetness and chewiness.  Delicious and so easy!

4-Ingredient Banana Oat Bars (With Options!)
Makes one 9×9-inch pan (12 bars)

2 large, very ripe bananas
1 teaspoon vanilla (optional – I used vanilla made by a friend!)
2 cups rolled oats
1/2 teaspoon salt (optional – I used medium ground sea salt)
1/4 cup pitted, chopped dried dates
1/4 cup chopped nuts — such as walnuts, hazelnuts or pecans (I used hazelnuts)
1/4 cup shredded coconut (optional)
Grated nutmeg or cinnamon (optional) (I used nutmeg)

Heat the oven to 350°F and lightly grease a 9×9-inch square baking dish with olive oil or butter.

Peel the bananas and mash their flesh in a medium mixing bowl. Mash very thoroughly until no large chunks remain; the bananas should be essentially liquid. (You will have between 1 cup and 1 1/4 cup.) Stir in the vanilla, if using. Add the oats and stir them in. Stir in the salt, dates, and nuts.

Pat the thick mixture evenly into the baking pan. If desired, sprinkle the top lightly with nutmeg or cinnamon. Bake for 30 minutes or unti the edges just begin to crisp up.

Place the baking pan on a rack to cool.  When the pan is mostly cool, cut into 12 bars.

Nutritional info:

100 calories per bar
2.5 g fat
2.6 g fiber
2.2 g protein