Monday, August 26, 2013

My first Cathe Road Trip!

Standing in the middle of Cathe's fitness room before our step class
See if you can find me in the pic of ALL of us below :)

(You can click on it to make it bigger)
(This photo was taken by Cyndi)

Ever since I started doing Cathe Friedrich's workouts (on video way back in the 1900's), I have heard about road trips to Cathe's health club in Glassboro, New Jersey.  I had no idea exactly where Glassboro was or what her gym was like, but I thought it sounded like fun to workout with Cathe in real life.  In the back of my brain somewhere, I realized that this was a stretch for me to ever be able to go.  For one thing, I had 5 children at the time under the age of 9.  But I also lived on the opposite coast, so it wasn't a hop, skip or a jump to get there!   As the years have passed and my now 6 children have grown somewhat, I've tried to figure out a way to go on the road trip, but never got close.

Meanwhile, I've been buying and doing her workouts as they come my way.   Cathe is just as much a part of my daily routine as kissing my husband goodbye or brushing my teeth.  I've smiled my way through her stellar step routines, "Hoooahh!"ed through punching and kicking combos, and have pushed myself through a plethora of plyos in her HiiT workouts (High Intensity Interval Training). Her weight workouts expand the realm of Gym Style workouts with barbells and free weights as well as functional fitness and metabolic training with firewalker bands, slide & glide discs, tubing, and (my favorite), the stability ball.  I'm sure I'd do her workout library a disservice by trying to lump them all into one paragraph.  If you'd like to come over some afternoon, I could show you my dvd collection and tell you the ins and outs of each and every workout.  Or just click on her name in the right column of my blog to what I've written about her workouts.  I can see I'm clearly behind on that.  I've done at least 60 of her workouts and only have 13 posts.  Oh well!

Back to the Road Trip, I finally went this year!  I can hardly believe it myself now that I'm back. Last summer, my friend Mandy, (who introduced me to Cathe's workouts), told me that she wanted me to go on the road trip with her next time.  I told her I'd do it.  I didn't know how it would work, but I decided to plan on it.  We didn't really have the money for it, but when January rolled around and it was time to sign up (they sell out in the first 5 minutes), we did have some money and my husband had just told me (long story), that I should take $1,000 and spend it on myself.  I knew JUST what to spend it on!

Yep, I'm happy!

So I signed up on that fateful day, was caught in the server crash and all the heartbreak that so many others experienced thinking they wouldn't get in (or actually NOT getting in), but after getting wait listed (I was 161 and only the first 105 got to go), I received an email a few hours later saying that I was actually in the first 105. The server had signed up many Cathletes two or three times, which made the wait list inaccurate.

High-5ing Cathe after doing a little Step with her on the set!

Then the fun began!  I bought my plane ticket and reserved a room at the hotel.  I soon found out about a private Facebook group for all Road Trippers and could ask ANY question I wanted to in preparation for the trip.  I learned more than anything, that this was one FUN bunch of women and I was privileged to go with them!

But enough of the preliminaries!  I'm sure you'd really just like to hear about the Road Trip!  Or better yet, see pictures!  Cathe has two photographers taking photos at the road trip  -- Steve (her photographer for videos and promos) and Cyndi (who is also a Cathlete.  You can find their photos here on Flickr.   I'll post some of mine, too!

Let's see, how should I do this?  Maybe I'll post about each day separately like I did when I went on my Beachbody trip to film with Debbie Siebers LONG ago.  In fact, I should put those posts on one of my tabs up above so you can read what it's like to be involved in the filming of an exercise video. Very fun!

Okay, I'll post a variety of photos for now and will write about each day of the Road Trip one by one later on. Stay tuned!

Al and Marlo from Xtrain
Friends from "our table"
This guy could JUMP! and I had to see if I could jump that high, too!
Me in the middle -- Cathe's usual Monday class AFTER the Road Trip

Saturday, April 6, 2013

Rebounders -- Great Modifiers!

The older I get, the more I want to modify my cardio workouts here and there.

I have a knee issue on my right knee -- nothing major, but enough to know when certain twisting movements will be a problem.  I don't mind high impact exercises like plyo jumps, but some are not as stressful on my knee if I use my rebounder.  And sometimes, I just want variety from my usual workouts and my rebounder can provide that.

Here are some things I like to do - -

  • Take a cardio/weight circuit workout and make it all cardio by getting on the rebounder during each weight section.
  • Use the rebounder during HiiT (High impact interval training) workouts when my heart rate is getting up too high and I need more time to recover.  I just rebound through an interval and start up again with the floor or step work when I am ready.  
  • When my brain needs a break from a choreographically challenging workout, I get on the rebounder to just run with high knees, do jumping jacks, air jacks or tuck jumps so I don't have to think for a bit, but can still work hard.  I can go back to the step or kickboxing later when I'm ready or just finish out the workout on the rebounder.
  • Rebound for a quick warm-up and sweat before doing yoga.  It loosens up my body so I'm more flexible from the start.
  • Put on an old sitcom dvd (I have quite a few dvd sets from the 60's) and watch one or two while rebounding.  If I watch two, that's about a 45 minute cardio workout and I do some ab work and stretching afterward.
I have the Reboundair -- the basic one that doesn't fold on the trampoline frame, but the legs fold under so it can store flat under my bed or against the wall.  I've had it for probably 10 years now (paid under $200 -- they probably cost more now) and it's still in great shape.  My kids enjoy jumping on it from time to time, too!

Pizza is no longer a threat!

Costco pizza is one of my weaknesses.  Any pizza probably is.  However, the smell and sauce from Costco pizza can send my eating goals into a tizzy.  And it HAS too many times to count.  But not tonight.  And hopefully not ever again.

Tonight was my son's 17th birthday celebration.  He chose Costco pizza (and I had a few Freschetta's in the oven).  Somehow I started re-evaluating my raw eating when I started seeing that melting cheese and could smell it baking in the oven.  And when we opened the Costco pizza box, I wondered how much my eating goals meant to me.

juice photo by brianc

Usually, I'd evaluate and re-evaluate, battling within.  But tonight, I decided to be proactive.  I decided to juice.  While the aromas were filling the air and a few guests had still not arrived, I decided to prep my apples, cucumber, lemon, celery and greens.  Then into the chute they went and out came my heavenly juice.

I was instantly satisfied and didn't visit the need to eat any pizza again -- not even when I cleaned it up!  Amazing!

Three cheers for juicing!

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Legs & Glutes -- Work, work!

If you're looking for a great lower body workout, Cathe Friedrich's Legs and Glutes is pretty fantastic.  As the credits rolled at the end of my workout this morning, I saw that this video was made in 2003 -- it's 10 years old!  Yet it looks like a workout that could be produced today - - standard lunges, squats and leg presses as well as innovative twists on lower body movements and plenty of standing and floor work with ankle weights for the last 1/3.   It's a 5 star workout on and has another workout on the dvd (Kick Punch & Crunch).

Like most of Cathe's workouts, there are plenty of pre-mixes.  Some of the pre-mixes are shorter timesavers, others are made to be a greater challenge.  When Cathe has more than one workout on a dvd like this one, she even has pre-mixes that combine both workouts.  My favorite of the combo pre-mixes is the Kick/Punch Combos plus Standing Leg work.  You get leg presses in between every kickboxing combo and it's tough!

Here's a sneak peak at this great workout.  I did it this morning and I'm sure I'll be sore in the morning!  By the way, it was another great day of sticking to my eating goals.  Yay for that!  TTFN!

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Jumping over Hurdles

Today was my second day of recommitting to my healthy eating goals and I'm happy to say that I jumped over every hurdle that came my way!   I slept in (no school this week since it's Spring Break) and I always have a harder time doing my workouts when I don't get up early.  But I gave myself no slack and got up anyway!  I did Cathe's Cardio Core Circuit, which just about killed me since I haven't done any cardio in over a week.  But I had my rebounder handy and was able to sub some rebounding here and there when my heart rate got up a bit too high.  And this HiiT workout (High Intensity Interval Training) is a bit more manageable since it has core circuits in between the cardio blasts. 

The next hurdle came when I kept seeing the Easter candy that my kids haven't eaten yet.  I even had 1/3 of a bag of Cadbury eggs left that never even made it into an Easter basket.  So I just tossed those.   They do the trash can better than they do any of us.  I took the rest of the candy and put it in a drawer so I wouldn't have to keep seeing it. It may end up in the trash can tomorrow.

At dinner time, my family had taquitos, guacamole, and fresh salsa.  I really love guacamole and realized that it fits into a raw food diet just fine.  But I didn't have any dehydrated crackers or carrots to eat it with.  I came pretty close to justifying just a few tortilla chips, but I knew that just a few would turn into way too many and I didn't want to veer from the raw eating anyway.  But that guacamole kept calling my name!

Then I remembered I had some huge green chard leaves in the top of my fridge.  So I decided to try a guacamole and salsa wrap with a big leaf.  I spread out the guacamole, added some salsa and wrapped it up like a burrito.  I thought of running back to the fridge to cut up some fresh tomatoes, but didn't want to interrupt the flow of dinnertime with my family.  Plus, I was pretty anxious to eat some of the avocados.  Oh, was it yummy!  Super super yummy!  This will definitely be a staple for me in the future.  I can see all the veggie wrap possibilities with either guacamole or raw pesto as the base.  Yum!

I also saw a loaf of homemade wheat bread that I'd made the day before.  Usually that would sink my progress, I'd tell myself that I had to eat some and would stop once it was gone, but I know it would just make me want to eat more starchy foods.  So I sliced it up onto the bread board so my kids would see it as a snack and they ate it all before I came into the kitchen the next time.  I big "phew!" there!

So day 2 down -- probably another 50 or so days left until I get back to my usual weight -- but that's okay.  I have plenty of other reasons for eating raw and that is only one of them.  The other results will come sooner and I can be patient with my weight.  Besides, the alternative is to just stay this size or get bigger!   I am fine with trickle down weight loss if that's what it takes.  And I want my body to be healthy on the inside and out.  TTFN!

Guacamole photo by borman818 on flickr creative commons

Monday, April 1, 2013

Juicing and Smoothies and Greens, Oh my!

Easter is over, It's April 1st and I'm starting a new challenge for myself!  I know, I know.  I'm always doing some sort of challenge, aren't I?  I did a 30 Day Shakeology challenge in February and did those "8 weeks to a Better You" challenges a few times alongside my mom and many other friends.  Not to mention all of the fitness rotations I've done and all my weeks of eating raw foods.  Have you ever read "I Wish that I had Duck Feet?"  It's an old book, it's published by the Dr. Seuss people, but it's not written by him.  (Well, you can see the Cat in the Hat picture at the top).  Anyway, I read this a ton when I was little and read it to my children as they were growing up.  It's a story about a boy who has all of these grand wishes, but each gets him into trouble somehow.  Near the end, he decides to be a Which What Who, by combining all of his wishes (duck feet, tiger tail, elephant nose, and  deer antlers -- they say "deer horns," but we all know that deer don't have horns, they have antlers -- but "deer horns" went better poetically -- I'll give them that!) Back to the story, when he becomes a Which What Who, he scares all the people in town and ends up in a zoo jail cell and realizes that he's not happy that way at all. So he ends up deciding just to be himself and to be happy with that!

This doesn't TOTALLY relate to what I'm doing right now because none of my challenges are destructive, in fact they are all leading me in a path to better health.  But I feel like right now, I'm doing the Which What Who approach by combining them all. And it's not just for 30 days, I want to go at least through all of April and May -- possibly even June.

Looks like a fresh way to juice!

I'm going to clean up my eating through juicing greens & fruit each day AND by drinking my green smoothies AND if I so wish (which I'm sure I will because I love it so much), I will drink my chocolate Shakeology each day, too.  And I want to stick to just eating raw food.........I always felt so great when I was eating raw before.

I am excited to try these recipes!

My favorite from Xtrain!
As for my fitness goals, I have a Cathe Friedrich Road Trip planned for late July and need to get myself in tip top Cathe shape for her classes!  I do her workouts regularly, but need to take it up a notch so I'm ready to work out with her LIVE.  I can hardly wait!  For now, I'm just alternating cardio and weight workout days.  But I'm going to do a rotation with her new Xtrain workouts, as well as some from her other dvds.  Details to come, later on.  TTFN!

Juicing Photo by Tracy Hunter

If you'd like to join in 3 year old Faye and her father reading I Wish that I had Duck Feet, click below:

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

I get to Inhale with Steve Ross!

This Thursday night, Steve Ross is guest teaching a yoga class at The Pad Studios in San Francisco.  It's about an hour and a half from my house, but that's the closest I've ever been to seeing Steve Ross and I'm going!

Steve Ross taught a yoga class on Oxygen Network several years ago called, "Inhale."  I posted about this a few years ago and have received countless emails and comments asking for information on how to get these shows on dvd.  They don't make them.  And it's not on TV anymore.  But a friend of mine recorded them for me and I've been doing them ever since.

You can go and read my older post (I'm trying to be careful not to duplicate what I wrote before), but Steve Ross is a master yoga instructor, knows his stuff inside and out, and teaches with humor and joy. In fact, his book is called "Happy Yoga."  He often says, "Yoga is a celebration!"

I look forward to celebrating with him tomorrow night!  I called the studio after I had paid to register for the class to see if there was room for my friend and was told that not only was the class FULL, but they had a very long waiting list.  I feel blessed to have my spot!  I'm sure it will be packed and crowded (like the class I took at the Baron Baptiste studio in Philadelphia about 5 years ago), but that's okay.  Just getting to be there will be fabulous!  I will be sure to share all about it when it's over!  Until then, namaste!

Friday, January 18, 2013

Shakeology Challenge -- Coming Right Up!

Come join our Shakeology Challenge for February! (and a teensy bit of March.  :))   Drink your Shakeology every day for the 30 days, along with cracking down on your healthy eating and exercise goals.  Measure your weight and chest, waist, thigh, arm, and hips before you start.  Also take a "Before" picture so you can see how much better you look "After."  The three people with the biggest changes in weight and measurements will win the cash prizes. Everyone else will win the support of friends to reach their health and fitness goals!

I know I'm planning on doing this beyond the 30 days because I will need a little more time to reach my final goals, but I will also want to keep up with the good habits I develop (especially after a sugar-loaded Christmas season that somehow keeps going and going and going!)

Let me know if you're interested.  Beachbody is doing some maintenance on my site today, but keep trying and it should be up for ordering pretty soon.  My Shakeology Site.

If you missed my earlier post about Shakeology and just want to read my initial impressions, go here.  (Or just scroll down about 5 or 6 posts, but I'm all about saving you time . . . or am I?  I just made you read more!  :) ).

Also, for your viewing pleasure, here's a video with some more information about the high quality ingredients in Shakeology: