Dumpster Filling and Blog Feedback

You know what’s awesome? Waking up and thinking it’s Tuesday for a solid hour, but then realizing it’s Wednesday! That was a nice surprise.

Construction on the new house has officially started and Rob and I are thrilled to have a huge dumpster to finally clear out the house and get things moving. We move in just a few short weeks, so our contractor is one buys man right now.

A man and his trash pile

As Wrecking Routine moves through its third year, there are a whole slew of ideas floating around my head. However, without you, my readers, this little space would be nothing and I want to be sure WR is bringing you what you want. 

In order to make that happen, I have a quick, 10-question that I would be immensely grateful if you took a minute or two to fill out. Your interests will help guide this space. Thank you in advance for taking the time to do this!

RQ: What was the best part of your day? What is your favorite part of reading, and/or writing, blogs?

Things To Do In Thailand If You’re Not A Heavy Partier

Thailand, and Bangkok in particular, are known for their party scenes. Drugs, sex, alcohol, all-nighters, benders, unlimited mischief, you name it and you can most likely find it in Thailand.

Words to live by in Thailand

Since Rob and I are not heavy drinkers, let alone partiers. Thailand seems like an odd choice. We’re not into drugs, we didn’t need to see a drag show, and we can only take so many cocktails. I mean, you already know why we can’t hang there. However, experiencing the insanity of Bangkok and enjoying the turquoise-green waters of the beaches, makes Thailand a must-visit country.

If you’re planning a trip to Thailand and want to avoid a real life rendition of the Hangover Part II, then here are a few things you should think about adding to your itinerary.

Walk down Khoa San road around dinner time. Khoa San road is the famous backpackers street in Bangkok. While you can find all means of mischief, you can also just walk along and take in the sights, sounds, and smells of the street. It really is a fun place to hang out!

Sit at a bar with a street view and watch the world go by. Even though we’re not crazy partiers, Rob and I do enjoy a cocktail or two. We found this open air bar with street-side stools where we sat, sipped a beer, and watched the evening unfold on the road and sidewalks before us.

Enjoy a beer street side

Between the sexpats and lady boys arriving for their night of mischief, we were able to get a feel for the craziness of Thailand without actually participating.

Visit the Grand Palace. The palace, once home to the Thai King for 150 years, is truly beautiful. Everything is so ornate, colorful, and just mystical. You could easily spend half a day walking around the buildings and grounds.

Grand Palace beauty

Men and women alike need to cover their legs, but not to worry! There are street vendors out front willing to rent you some colorful garments. I also recommend sandals as you have to remove your shoes for any building you enter.

Looking Stylish at the Grand Palace

Sample some street food. – While scorpions on a stick may not be your thing, the gyro with everything on it had Rob hooked. For a sweeter treat, go with the banana pancake covered in Nutella.

For a refreshing one, sip on a fresh fruit smoothie.

smoothie!

Rule of thumb for street food? Don’t eat any where that’s empty. Always go for the crowded spots!

Go to an island. Thailand’s beaches are world renowned and you would be remiss if you spent all your time in the cities. Hop a boat and head to an island for a few days beach side. We loved Koh Phi Phi.

Beach Life

You can take a half-day trip to the island where they filmed The Beach!  (An extremely touristy trip, but a fun story nonetheless.)

Where they filmed The Beach

Rent snorkel gear and see what’s out there. One of days on Koh Phi Phi, we rented fins, masks, and snorkels for ridiculously cheap and hiked over the hill to a deserted beach. We spent a few hours playing around in the water looking at the fish and coral. It’s a great way to active if you’re tired of sitting on the beach.

Snorkel gear!

Stay at a nice resort. Southeast Asia resorts cost a fraction of the price that US ones do, which means you can spend a few nights in a luxury hotel without breaking the bank. We found a smoking deal on Travel Zoo and were able to spend 3 nights at a5 start resort. It was the perfect end to our trip!

Resort living

If you’re considering Thailand, but are apprehensive about all you’ve heard, don’t be! There is plenty to do without getting crazy!

RQ: What is your go-to, non-partier activity for home or away?

8 Easy, Not Totally Healthy Superbowl Dishes to Feed A Crowd

I’m not exactly into the Superbowl for the sport of football. Sure, I get into it as much as I can, but really, I’m about the food.

Growing up, it was sharing a bag of Cheetos with my dad. Now, it’s making some delicious things that I don’t normally put together. Rob’s request this year is wings…that’ll be a new experience for me.

Before I get into the food, I just wanted to recommend that you follow the same  tips you used to stay healthy through Thanksgiving especially if you’re more into the food like I am!

Here are a few dishes that could definitely work if you have a bunch of people coming over for the game. They would be best if you are going the heavy appetizers route, which is my favorite way to eat. A little of this and a little of that.

Sweet and Spicy Meatballs - Keep a crockpot on simmer and serve with toothpicks.

Sweet and Spicy Meatballs

Skinny Veggie Dinner Dip - Serve with tortilla chips, extra sour cream, and a bit of guacamole.

Skinny Vegetable Dinner Dip

Pizza Quick Rolls - Quick, easy, and perfect if you have kids around.

Pizza Quick Rolls

Sweet and Spicy Cashew Chicken Nuggets - Cut chicken into smaller, thinner chunks to make it go further.

Sweet and Spicy Cashew Chicken

Cauliflower Tots - Another fun dish for kids (and adults). Serve with a light dressing-type dip.

Cauliflower Tots

Iron Packed Spinach Bites - A good one for your more health-concious guests, and a fun way to add a bit more green to your spread.

Iron Packed Spinach Balls

Chocolate Strawberry Banana Bites - On a stick means no messy ice cream scooping or oven warming.

Chocolate Strawberry Banana Bites

One more recipe I’ve tried that turned out delicious, but haven’t posted:

Soft Pretzel Bites with cheese sauce from Smells Like Home

Soft Pretzel Bites

Bring on the game!

RQ: What do you like to eat during Superbowl Sunday?

8 Reasons Why You Need to Give ClassPass a Try

*I received a free month of ClassPass in exchange for this review. All opinions are my own. 

For the past few weeks, I have been testing out ClassPass, a unique program where for $99 a month you get to attend unlimited classes at specific fitness studios. ClassPass just recently launched in Denver and after trying it out, I am thrilled it is here! It is such a fun way to get moving!

ClassPass Website Photo

Before I get into why you should give it a try, here are a few more details about it:

  • ClassPass is in currently in 22 cities including NYC, Boston, San Francisco, LA, the twin cities, Dallas, Portland, and Washington D.C.
  • You are limited to 3 classes per studio per month.  However, once the next month starts, you can visit that favorite studio again for 3 times!
  • You can workout in ANY city on ClassPass.  We just announced ClassPass Flex (read more here!).
  • An alternative to a gym membership.

Ok, here is why I have basically adored my ClassPass membership for the past few weeks:

You won’t get bored. ClassPass offers a ton of class options for its members, so you don’t run the risk of getting bored with any one style of class. For instance, in the few weeks I tried ClassPass I was able to try cross fit, pure barre, yoga, bootcamp, and spinning.

You’re supporting small businesses. Since ClassPass partners with boutique studios, you’re giving the little guys some love rather than the box box chain gyms. While I don’t have a problem with either, I do love that the smaller gyms are getting a chance to show off their stuff.

Barre Class @ Ballet Physique

You won’t want to skip the gym. Ok, I can’t guarantee that you won’t want to skip a class, but I can guarantee that the likely hood of skipping a class is extremely low. ClassPass charges $20 if you cancel a class with less than 24 hours notice. Knowing you have to pay to not workout? I’d get my butt in gear.

You can try out classes you’ve hear a lot about. Like I mentioned above, I was able to try a whole bunch of different styles of class. One of the ones I was excited to try was pure barre. I’ve heard a ton about it and, while I enjoyed the class, was able to realize that it is just not for me. Bootcamp and spinning is much more my style!

Fundamentals Class @ Balance Athletics

You’ll get some new workout inspiration. With all the new moves you’re likely to learn at the classes you attend, you can bring those moves back to the gym with you for your solo sessions, or if you decide ClassPass isn’t right for you.

Here is an example of a workout I did with my Lean Mean 2015 Burners that was inspired by the pure barre class I attended:

Barre Tabata

It’s a great way to change up your workouts if you’re getting bored. Need something new after training months for a race? Just bored with your gym routine in general? ClassPass is the perfect way to keep you moving while you change up your routine. So many classes, so little time!

You’ll meet new people. Every person at every class, instructors and participants alike, were so stinking friendly. Everyone made me feel comfortable and was excited to have me there. It was a great way to meet some new faces!

Ladies Only Bootcamp @ Inward Fitness

The website is extremely user friendly. Not only does the ClassPass website keep track of how many class and what studios you’ve been too, but it also let’s you know if you’ve already signed up for a class at a specific time. That way you don’t have to keep referring to your own calendar to make sure classes don’t conflict. So helpful!

Already reserved: ClassPass screen shot

In case you’re interested, here is a list of the classes I took throughout the city:

Overall, I just loved my ClassPass experience and would definitely consider signing up for another month, especially during the winter when running outside is tougher. This is a great option to get me moving and mixing things up.

RQ: How do you breathe new life into your workouts? Is ClassPass something you would consider trying?

Sweet and Spicy Meatballs

With the blizzard-like conditions we had around here most of the day, a hot meal sounds particularly cozy. Since I’m a little soup and stewed out, these sweet and spicy meatballs are just the ticket. Not to mention ridiculously easy to make!

IMG_6300

Sweet and Spicy Meatballs

Ingredients:

  • 2 pounds frozen meatballs (I used Italian style)
  • 1 jar chili sauce (12 ounces)
  • 1 jar grape jelly (16 ounces)

Directions:

  1. Slightly heat meatballs over medium heat in a large saucepan or pot.
  2. Whisk together grape jelly and chili sauce.
  3. Add jelly/chili sauce to meatballs and bring to a boil.
  4. Reduce to simmer and occasionally stir for 1-2 hours.
  5. Serve over zoodles, with a side of vegetables, or just with a toothpick!

Sweet and Spicy Meatballs

These meatballs are a great party appetizer! You can just leave them simmering in a crockpot with some toothpicks on the side. If you’re have a big party, I would definitely double the recipe as these barely last with two of us in the house!

RQ: What is your favorite easy party recipe or non soup/stew cozy dish?

9 Tips on How to Make Meal Prep Possible

One of the suggestions I give to my personal training clients when discussing how to create and maintain healthy eating habits is meal prep. I am a huge advocate of meal prepping as much as you can, when you can, in order to set yourself up for a successful week.

Meal Prep Meme

Meal prepping can seem a little overwhelming when you see some of the images on Instagram of people’s epic meal preps. But, it doesn’t have to be! Here are a few tips on how to make meal prep easy and painless.

1. Know how much time you have to prep. One of the blocks to meal prepping for many of my clients relates to time. Spending a full day in the kitchen on the weekend can be unrealistic, but you don’t have to! You can do a lot in 20 minutes to an hour.

Have everything ready to go

  • 20 minutes or less:
    • wash fruit
    • chop vegetables
    • defrost the next two nights of protein
    • portion out snacks into tupperwares or baggies
  • 30-40 minutes:
    • cook a big batch of quinoa or brown rice
    • make to-go breakfasts, like ham and egg cups
    • poach or grill chicken for lunches or dinners
  • 60+ minutes:
    • pack all parts of your lunches for the week
    • cook a big batch of some sort of soup for the week, like this minestrone

2. Have a list and order of what you’re going to make. I am a list person. It organizes my thoughts and keeps me on track. Before I prep, I list out all the dishes I want to make and keep that list near by in the kitchen when I’m working. Then, I can determine what I need to get started first (oven items), and what I can work on while something else is cooking.

3. Make a grocery list. Before you can even start prepping, you have to buy everything. So after you make the list of what you want to make, make a list of every ingredient, even if it’s already in your cupboards, write it down, then check it off if you have it. It will keep you focused in the grocery store and fend off buying things you don’t need.

Have a list of what you want to make

4. Pull everything you will need out of the fridge and cupboards. I prefer to pull absolutely every ingredient out of the fridge and cupboards before I start prepping. That way, I don’t have to keep running back and forth to the fridge. Then, I put things away as I go, so I can visually see how much I have left and how much I have already done.

Pull out all the food you need

5. Make sure your dishes and tupperwares are ready to go. Have your pots, pans, mixing bowls, and tupperwares washed and dried and ready to go. That way, when things are done, you can just put them right into their respective holders.

Fill all the tupperwares!

6. Have some sort of entertainment going in the background. Spending a decent amount of time in the kitchen can get a bit dull. I usually have a silly movie on in the background that doesn’t need much attention, but I can tune into when I want. A silly movie or Pandora on shuffle does the trick for me.

7. Wear comfortable shoes.  If you’re in for a longer meal prep (2+ hours), I highly recommend wearing comfortable shoes. I’ve made the mistake of doing a 4 hour prep barefoot and by the end of the day, my feet and legs were hurting!

8. Keep a list of what you made for future inspiration. When it comes to the next weekend, you might need some inspiration or reminder of what you made last week. Keep a running list somewhere or take some pictures so you know what you made.

Meal Prep Like a Boss

9. Check out The Lean Green Bean for some serious meal prep ideas. Lindsay does a weekly post on meal prep inspiration. Check her out if you need some ideas!

RQ: Do you meal prep? What is your plan of attack for a week of healthy eating?

ClassPass Special Offer

Happy Three Day Weekend, Friends! If you don’t have a three day weekend, then I hope you enjoy the two days you do have.

I’m popping in this morning, right before Rob and I head to the new house to spackle our hearts out, to share a special offer with you.

For the past few weeks, I have been using ClassPass, which just started up here in Denver and is currently in 20 cities. For  $99 a month, you get a membership to Class Pass, which allows you to try out any fitness class in your city for free.

ClassPass Website Photo

So far, I’ve been to yoga, bootcamp, cross fit, and pure barre. It is such a neat way way to try out classes I’ve heard so much about and I am absolutely loving it! I’m going to have a full review of it later next week, but it’s been so much fun to try out all these new things.

Right now, ClassPass is offering a special deal when you refer a friend. If you use this link (or click one of the pictures), you will receive a $50 Visa gift card for signing up! This means a month worth of unlimited classes with only run you $50!

ClassPass Website Photo

On top of that, because I receive $50 when you sign up also, I am offering a FREE entry to any 2015 Burn when you use the link to register with ClassPass. Just shoot me an email with your registration confirmation!ww

Head over to their website and see if ClassPass is in you city.

ClassPass is only offering this deal until midnight on Sunday, 1/18/15. So if it’s something you’re interested in, you should get on it! Please don’t hesitate to email me with any questions about ClassPass or this offer. I’m happy to chat with you about it.

RQ: What fitness class have you always wanted to try, but haven’t?

All F’s Are Not Created Equal

Warning: The following post is an angry rant on teaching issues. If teaching and rants are not your thing, check back in another day!

Grades were due last week. A full 18 weeks of essays, homeworks, readings, worksheets, packets, and group work logged, graded, and delivered.

Procrastination

Or so I thought.

An student-athlete of mine ended up with two F’s. One in my class. Rules state that no athlete is allowed to play if he receives two F’s.

Well, ok. I understand that. The student comes first in student-athlete. I can get behind that.

When the student complains and my grade book is pulled up I am told: It looks like Student received less than 50% on some assignments. We have a policy that if a student turned in something, he scores at least a 50%. 

What?

So, what I’m hearing is that on a 10-question assignment, if a student answers one question, they get half credit for the whole assignment?

Yes. That’s exactly it.

I sat there and changed his points on multiple assignments. Squirming. Uncomfortable. Livid.

Problems?

“Explain these bad grades”

What are we teaching these kids?

“Oh, hey, you showed up at work for one hour out of your 40 this week, here’s half your pay check.”

“Oh, hey, I know you tried to be prepared for that court case for your client who is facing life, so we’ll just let him go.”

I take particular affront to the fact that this is a student athlete. Where student comes first. Where his grades, throughout the whole season, should have been first and foremost in his mind. Where he knows the meaning of hard work as a varsity athlete. And here we are, just confirming what’s been speculated about professional athletes being above the law. I digress.

Now it’s required that I go back through my entire grade book, change all similar issues for other students, and give them points they did not earn. By doing this, I am telling my students that virtually no effort will still get you what you need.

Retakes

The logic of it all, from what I could understand, was that 50% is the same as 0%. An F is an F.

No. No it isn’t. If this were true, changing his grades to 50′s wouldn’t have brought him from a 40% to a 68. You see, not all F’s are created equal. There is the F where you actually did try, where you answered each question with effort and some semblance of thought. And then there is the F where you just scribbled something on one question and called it good.

Which, for me, begs the question again: What are you teaching these kids?

RQ: What do you think? Does giving half credit for not even close to half the work make sense to you?

1-10 Arm Shaper Workout

So, you know how I talked about getting back to your regularly scheduled blog program?

That was funny, wasn’t it?

The new house, getting back into the swing of it at work, and starting pre-season track paperwork, recruiting, and meet scheduling is taking up quite a bit of time. It’s all exciting though, so I can’t complain. I just feel bad that this space is being neglected. Good thing I have the blog title I do!

Jim Halpert

Even though it’s Tuesday, I wanted to drop in to share this 1-10 Arm Shaper Workout with you. Lately, I have been a big fan of count up workouts that start with one rep of all moves, and then progress to a certain number. They are mentally tough, but man do they make me sweat!

1-10 Arm Shaper Workout

I needed a quick workout to do today and this one fit the bill. I combined it with a 10 minute run beforehand and 20 minute incline fast walk after.

To progress the bicep curls and straight arm flys, try standing on one leg, or standing on your toes!

Alright, back to track meet scheduling!

RQ: How do you fit it all in?

Catching Up With Random Thoughts

Since I have been MIA for a couple weeks, and there is so much going on in my life right now, I thought I would list a few things going through my head to get you a little bit caught up! I’m hoping to be back to your regularly scheduled blog program next week.

1. Thank you to everyone who participated in the Resolution Run Virtual 5k! I just loved seeing you all get up and get active in the first week of the new year. Raffle winners will be emailed out later today! Thank you to Skoop and Energybits for sponsoring!

Resolution Run

2. We are almost ready to paint our walls in the new house. However, our house gets a lot of light and it’s making choosing the right gray a bit tough. Some are too purple, too blue, too dark, etc. It looks like a color wheel threw up in our dining room! If you have any gray’s that you love, please let me know.

Gray paint choices

3. All the Burn-ers from this month’s Lean Mean 2015 Burn are getting after it! It’s so inspiring to see everyone working so hard to make positive changes to their daily routine in both fitness and food. I’m so excited to see where everyone is in another three weeks.

Lean Mean 2015 Burn Workouts

4. Even though tomorrow is Friday, I’m not that excited. I have to go back for a teacher inservice day, so it basically feels like a Monday to me. I really can’t complain though because I’ve had three weeks off. Thank you modified year round school schedules!

Some-people-call-it-Thursday-2C-I

5. Rob and I have decided that we want to get back to reading more. We used to read a lot, but have fallen off the wagon in the past few months. We’re aiming for a minimum of 12 books (to start), and are writing our book lists. Mine is already longer than 12, but please send me anything you think I need to read!

6. Cheese plates for dinner are basically the best thing ever. This is a throwback to our NYE.

wine and cheese

That should about catch you up to the randomness going through my head right now!

RQ: Do you have any paint color suggestions? Any book recommendations? Tell me something random happening in your life!