Stair Workout and Food Friday

The outside world is still covered in ice, so I have been spending the day inside again. I tried to mix up my workout a bit by incorporating a “15 Minutes and You’re Done” workout from Real Simple magazine. Kris and I jokingly refer to this magazine as my “housewife magazine” because it is most certainly targeting that audience and sometimes I find the content quite baffling. I don’t actually subscribe to any other magazines, so it might seem weird that I do this one, which doesn’t seem to match up with many of my tastes. I won a subscription to it about 2 years ago, though, and I really do like a lot of the content (makeup, cleaning, and cooking tips, typically), so I kept it. Also I’m not really sure how to cancel the subscription.

I was hoping I could link to the workout on their website, but it doesn’t seem to be up yet. Therefore, you will just have to settle with my (inadequate) description. The workout makes use of your stairs to incorporate both strength and cardio moves and despite its name, took me about 10 minutes. I did this workout 3 times and then added in 10 additional minutes of circuit-training style workouts in order to get in 40 minutes of exercise and burn about 300 calories today. I found the workout surprisingly intense – I was sweating more after this than after my Jillian Michaels* video I did yesterday. Here are the steps to the (10-minute) workout:

  • Walk up and down the stairs 4 times. Focus on stepping down on your heel to work your glutes.
  • Run up and (walk) down the stairs 4 times, again focusing on the glutes.
  • Stand with one leg on the 2nd step up and do a step up. When you come back down, bring the leg from the 2nd step behind you and go into a lunge. Do 1 dozen of these for each leg.
  • Sit on the edge of the second step with your legs out straight and your arms behind you on the third step in order to do tricep dips. Do 2 sets of 10 and run up the stairs between sets.
  • Do “skaters” up the stairs. Basically go up the stairs 2 at a time swinging your legs out to the edge of the stair. Do 2 sets.
  • Get in a plank position with your hands on the second step up. Do 1 dozen mountain climbers.

Fun fact: doing the mountain climbers reminded me that I could use the stairs to do incline pushups instead of knee pushups. I really struggle with pushups – it is hard to move from knees to full military style! The incline pushups are a nice challenge for me in between these difficulty levels.

Food Friday is going to be relatively boring today. I have worked every evening this week so I didn’t really make very much food! I did, however, try two things for the first time today:

Both of these experiments went rather well!

I have been using beans a lot lately and I know that using dried beans instead of canned saves a lot of money, but I hate hate hate cooking beans. I almost always forget to stir them and they will cook off all of the water and burn sometimes. Using the crockpot took WAY longer, but was so much more convenient because I could just forget about them (until the last couple hours when I needed to go check on them to see if they were done). I separated my pound of beans (chickpeas/garbanzos) out into 4 containers – 1 for the hummus, and 3 for the freezer. This means that for $1.25 I got the equivalent of 4 cans of beans! I bet I could get them even cheaper if I am able to find bulk dried beans rather than 1 pound packages.

The equivalent of one can of beans in each container. I just got dirt cheap containers for this purpose so my Tupperware isn’t always tied up in the freezer.

Covered in bean liquid for freezing.

The hummus is something I’ve been thinking about making for a long time, but I’ve been avoiding it because tahini = $$$. The recipe I saw was on budget bytes, though, which is a blog about how to make cheap awesome food, which helped to convince me that making it myself would actually be cheaper. After buying all of the ingredients I am guessing that even if it is not cheaper it will at least not be more expensive – the priciest thing I had to buy was the tahini, and to be fair it was only $6.50 and will make like a million things of hummus. Hummus runs about $3-5 per tub at my store and we tend to go through about 2 things of it per week so I am thinking that even if this isn’t cheaper it will be more convenient to just always have the ingredients to make more laying around.

Blurry ingredient pic so that you can get an idea of what I used to make this.

Actually making the hummus was incredibly simple. Basically all you do is put all the ingredients in a food processor or blender and mix until it’s nice and smooth. Mine did turn out a little bit runny but I think I know why that occurred. My tahini had not yet been stirred up yet so it was very oily (like natural peanut butter before you stir it). The recipe also called for 1/4 cup of lemon juice, which seemed like a lot, and I was right – the hummus is WAY more lemony than I would want. I think next time I will use only a tablespoon of lemon juice and adjust from there. I will also try blending the ingredients before adding any water to see if it is even needed (the recipe said to start with 1/4 cup and go from there). I might also add more roasted red pepper, but that wouldn’t change much of the consistency – more the flavor. I would say that I am happy with how it turned out, though, and I definitely plan on doing this again!

The hummus, sprinkled with paprika!

Hopefully I’ll have more food to talk about next week. I have a 10 hour shift tomorrow so I should be able to continue my protein bar experiment. I am also planning on trying a new recipe on Sunday. If I don’t get a chance to write again over the weekend, have a nice weekend everyone!

* Something that I feel needs mentioning. I don’t watch the Biggest Loser, so I will let others out there who do be the voices heard concerning the controversy surrounding the winner. I will limit my comments to saying that I find it very sad not only that the show allowed this to occur, but also that they encouraged it (by having her be the winner). I also find it sad that the show probably did this because this is what society values – even if she is predominately facing a negative reaction now that she is underweight, she became that way and the show encouraged her to become that way at least in part because of the value that society places on being thin.


3 thoughts on “Stair Workout and Food Friday

    • Yeah, next time I will surely cut it down. I am seeing most other recipes say up to 1/4 cup rather than starting there. And I added some cumin in….but I might add cumin to everything 🙂

      Thanks for the suggestions!

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