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Body Pump and Cajun Cooking

{Kathleen} This morning started early with a 5:30 am body pump class with the fellow clinnuts, Kayla, VA, and Rainie. I, per usual, was the first one there (always the early bird) and set up benches in the back row. Body Pump ( a Les Mills based class)  is strictly weight lifting using free weights, the bar and some of your own weight (planks, crunches,etc) but it has no cardio. I have to pay attention in body pump and make sure I am challenging myself with the amount of weight I am using to make sure its a good workout.  I think we all agreed that we enjoy the "strength" classes better as they have cardio burst mixed in between the weight exercises,  but its always good to mix things up in the workout routine :)

This morning was busy at work so I was late getting to eat my breakfast but managed to remember to snap a pic in clinic. The girls in clinic seemed to think eating my overnight oats (yogurt, oats, raisins and pecans) out of a leftover peanut butter jar was weird?? But it is my favorite way to eat overnight oats hands down!!!  Another perk is I could throw it away when I was done and not have to wash out Tupperware when I get home tonight!

Lunch was a salad per usual.  I had some spinach, a bell pepper, pecans and Parmesan cheese but was just not too excited about my salad today. So I went to our cafeteria to get some additional toppings to add to make it a little more exciting.

I was surprised when I was going through the line that they had added tofu, bleu cheese, feta cheese, sunflower seeds, and sliced almonds, talk about adding some variety! I told the lady that was working behind the salad bar "Y'all sure are branching out down here! " she replied "Honey, your telling me!So is my waistline!", I don't think she was strictly referring to the salad bar expanding her waistline, there are probably some other new options around she was referring too, but regardless I thought her response was funny.

I got some bleu cheese, sunflower seeds and a few cubes of tofu to try. I have never had tofu before and always wanted to try it, it was pretty good, didn't taste too much like anything and had a texture similar to mushrooms. Some of the clinnuts agreed it takes on the flavor of whatever you cook it with, I think I would like it better if it was cooked/seasoned vs. cold/plain on my salad, either way it wasn't bad, a little extra protein never hurts.

Snack: Usual PB and Banana

After work VA and I headed to Rainie's loft to eat dinner and study for the PT exam. Emily B came over for dinner, but escaped when we started to study :)  While we were chatting and Rainie and JT were cooking we enjoyed a beverage, the beer of choice tonight was the Abita IPA. I do not usually like IPA's but this one was pretty good. I love all of Abita's beers, and would like to visit their brewery, which is right outside New Orleans, next time I go there. I still think I prefer their Andy gator or Strawberry beer but the IPA was also great.

Last year a group of us clinnuts went to New Orleans for Emily's 30th B'day celebration. While we were there we took a cooking class at New Orleans School of Cooking. I had taken it before when my family visited and thought it was awesome so I suggested we all do it. I think everyone enjoyed it and would highly recommend it for anyone visiting New Orleans.

We had an adorable teacher name Harriet, which I am not sure how old she is but I'm sure she has plenty of grandchildren, possibly great grandkids? Anyways, she was adorable and hilarious and has been cooking authentic Cajun food for years as she has lived in or around New Orleans her entire life. She taught us how to make jambalaya, pralines, and gumbo. We all took home her recipes from the class, so Rainie and JT decided to make her gumbo for dinner, with a few healthy substitutions of course :)

 It was fabulous, possibly better than Harriet's, but we wont tell her that! We had brown rice instead of white rice for a fiber bonus. The baked okra on top was a great touch. Rainie took fresh okra, chopped it, tossed it a little olive oil and Panko breadcrumbs then baked them to make a lighter version of fried okra. The sausage used was also a local Alabama sausage called Conecuh sausage. I don't ever eat sausage, like really never, but I ate this in the gumbo. It was spicy and mixed in great with the gumbo flavors. We also had some 5 grain french bread and for lack of a better term we used it to sop up the gumbo.

Rainie didn't stop there she also made a lightened up version of apple crisp for dessert (adapted from the Eat Live Run recipe). I didn't feel too guilty about eating it either as it had oatmeal, apples, with just little brown sugar and butter added.

We were all stuffed we made some decaf coffee and hit the books. It was more anatomy this week. I think we are getting better at understanding/memorizing it all. But we did realize we are going to have to study some on our own too-- not just at our fun weekly study sessions.

After an hour or two of studying VA and I both headed home as we all were gonna meet up again bright and early Thursday morning for a run downtown!

Happy Hump Day!

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