Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Has a workout ever brought YOU to tears?

Most of you would probably say "YES! or at least NEARLY to tears!" and in that comment you'd most likely be talking about pushing yourself to the point of pain and agony because the move you were working yourself through was so difficult. That usually brings me to a point of having to bite the foul words from rolling off my tongue. I've been brought to tears several times during a variety of different moves but the tears were of a different variety.

An article that I found today on MSNBC http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/21073097/ talks about being 'moved to tears' due one of a couple of reasons. First of all, there is research that shows that exercise brings us to a release of pent-up emotions. The 2nd explanation is that people possibly become more contemplative of life during certain exercises (such as yoga, for example). In ruminating over the different times I've had a teary reaction to exercise I've come to the conclusion that, for me, it's a healthy combination of both of those instances.

During my 1st round of BeachBody's rigorous and highly popular P90X program, I found myself on the brink absolutely busting out into tears at the end of the fast-paced, full exersion "Vertical Punches" move of the KenpoX workout. It happened every single time. I'd follow trainer Tony Horton and crew in punching upward and across with alternating fists---starting slowly and methodically at first---culiminating in a frenetic punchfest that left me gulping for air...not because it was beyond my aerobic capacity but because I was moved to TEARS!

In other circumstances, I've noticed that the tears sprung from more emotional responses to exercise. This usually happens to me during yoga. In fact, it happened today (which is what moved me to share). I've finished my 1st round of P90X and am exploring my other BeachBody programs that came with my coaching kit until I start P90X round 2. Yoga Booty Ballet was my program of choice today and it is so me! I loved it! Men and woman alike can glean tons of positivity and an awsome workout from it but it sure made me feel all woman. The music, settings and colors were beautiful and exotic and the harmonizing blend of fun dancy moves, strengthening ballet moves and yoga challenged me aerobically, worked my muscles and stretched and relaxed me. I felt so at peace and balanced by the completion of the YBB dvd. Then it happened again: the feeling welled up from down deep, made my throat clench briefly until I recognized what was happening and just welcomed the tears and gave in to them. It was beautiful. For me, yoga is a special time of getting quiet with myself and with God and the whole hour and 10 minutes I had just spent in my workout felt like a treat at a faraway and beautiful spiritual and physical health spa~

Exercise won't always result in bringing you to tears. Some people never experience that. Experiencing the increased strength, flexibility and endurance I have through regular exercise and the calming peace that results from offering up the effort and then collecting the benefits has shown me, without a doubt, that it is absolutely crucial to a happy and fulfilling life. It has made me an even better person. It has made me more at peace with who I am and, in turn, better prepares me to positively impact the lives of those around me and enjoy all that this beautiful world has to offer.

It's hard to know where to start; you just have to jump in and do it. I'm not a doctor, therapist or nutritionist but I'm an Independent BeachBody Coach and can get you started on a path including an exercise and nutrition program that will change your life in an infinite number of positive ways be it with Yoga Booty Ballet, P90X or any of a number of other programs we've got. When you're ready, leave me a comment, drop me an email, find me on facebook or head directly over to my BeachBody site at www.beachbodycoach.com/LisaErin (be sure it says "Coach Lisa" once you log into the site). Time to get your groove on, folks! Tears, smiles, laughter and high fives...it's all good~~

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Healthy Homemade Pizza Recipe!

Ok, my friends! I got enough pleas--mainly through Facebook--to please post the pizza dough recipe that I use so I'm going to do so right here and right now! I have to give credit where credit it due. All of these years I've been using the recipe I got from Pampered Chef when I ordered my pizza stones and have tweaked it just a bit by adding whole wheat flour. I have to say, using pizza stones makes all the difference in the world in a positive and scrumptious end result. Aside from my Kitchenaide mixer, they're probably my favorite kitchen tool.

So, the basic Pampered Chef "Quick Mix Pizza Dough" recipe a la Lisa Amos is as follows:

1 cup water

2 T olive oil

3-3 1/2 cups all purpose flour, divided (this is where my tweaking comes in...I typically substitute about half of the all purpose with whole wheat flour)

1 package (1/4 ounce) active dry yeast

1 teaspoon sugar

1/2 teaspoon salt

Heat water and oil to 120F (for me, this translates into microwave it in a bowl for about a minute 40 seconds...you don't want it to be too cold OR too hot though so use a thermometer if you need to til you get the hang of it). Combine 1 1/2 cups flour, yeast, sugar and salt in a large mixing bowl. Add warm water mixture and beat w/an electric mixer for 3 minutes. Stir in an additional 1 1/2 cups flour by hand to form a soft dough. Turn onto a floured surface. Knead dough for 10 minutes, adding the remaining 1/2 cup flour as needed to keep dough from sticking. Dough should be smooth and elastic, but not sticky when kneading is complete. Shape dough into a ball and place in a large greased bowl (I use a smidge of olive oil...keeping it healthiest), turning dough over to grease top. Cover with a damp cloth. Let rise in a warm place until doubled in size, about 45-60 minutes.

Preheat over to 450F. Punch dough down and divide in half. Dough may be frozen at this point if desired for later use. Press half of dough out into a 13-14 inch circle directly on the baking stone. A rolling pin may be used if desired. Form a thick ridge around the edge to hold the toppings. Prick the surface of the dough thoroughly with a fork. Parbake the crust for 10-15 minutes until lightly browned. Add your favorite toppings and bake an additional 10-15 minutes until crust is crisp and cheese is lightly browned.

Yield: 2 crusts


Ok, with the exception of what I typed in parentheses above that is the Pampered Chef recipe. Many of you have actually eaten my pizzas and I have to say I bake it a little differently than the recipe states. I do not parbake it. I just roll it out, spread some of my homemade sauce on there, put whatever toppings on that I'm using and pop it in the oven to bake once all together.

Another helpful note: If you'd like the crust to be a little bit on the thicker side then I'd suggest using the above recipe for one pie. If you like thin and crispy (like I do) then divide in half like the recipe states and use for 2 thin crust pizzas. For our family, I typically double the above recipe each Family Fun Friday and use one of the recipes for a thicker pie and the other half of the doubled recipe to make two thin crust pies.

To make a healthy pizza sauce, I simply combine a can of tomato sauce (low salt would be ideal) in a saucepan along with 1 packet of splenda, fresh garlic or some garlic powder (NOT garlic salt!), onion powder and some fresh, chopped basil, oregano and thyme from my herb container garden. Bring it to a light boil then drop the heat and let it simmer for a few minutes. Then I like to toss in a tablespoon or so of grated parmesian cheese for added thickness and flavor!

Our children typically go for the thicker crust and usually just want a half cheese/half pepperoni pizza. Pepperoni is horrible for you! But, I believe in moderation and not being an annoying fanatic....so long as you truly keep it in moderation. There only ends up being 1 slice of pepperoni on each pepperoni piece and if my children eat just 1 or 2 little slices of turkey pepperoni each week I'm cool with that. They're highly active and eat really well otherwise.

On mine and Matt's pizzas I love to get really creative! I will usually stick mainly to all veggies. My favorites to use are spinach leaves, artichoke hearts, roasted red peppers, and mushrooms and sometimes I also use bell peppers, tomatos sliced really thinly, black olives and any number of other things. I will typically toss a VERY light sprinkling of grated mozzarella over our pies...probably no more than 1/3 cup over the whole thing--just enough cheese to give it some flavor and to get that delightful visual effect of melty, stringy cheese without blasting ourselves with unnecessary calories. I mean, really, I enjoy the experience of all of the unique flavors from all of the different ingredients dancing around on my palate--not to be overwhelmed by any one thing. At any rate, I also usually like to sprinkle a weensy bit of feta over the top and then drizzle a wee bit of olive oil--maybe a teaspoon or two--over the top of everything.

~Simply DIVINE!~

I can't tell you how much fun I've had getting creative with my pizza making regarding what toppings to use. Every now and then it's fun to get nuts with a BBQ chicken pizza or maybe a buffalo chicken pizza. In general, when trying to eat as healthfully as possible, you want to keep the sugar, salt and fat to a minimum. So, you don't want to go too nuts too often. Try to stick with those wonderful basics (in all of your cooking): fruit and veggies, whole grains and lean protein. Have fun with your pizzas. If you make a BBQ pizza one day then just shuffle your family out the door together later for a nice brisk walk, a scrimmage game of soccer or maybe a race around the block!

Oh, for those trying to keep track of that calorie intake, I've calculated the basic dough recipe. If you use 3 cups of flour (1 1/2 whole wheat and 1 1/2 all purp) like I do, and slice each pie into 8 slices, your calories would be 189 per slice for a thicker crust pizza and 95 calories per slice for a thin crust. Then simply add whatever calories to that for your sauce and toppings. If you stick to a plethora of veggies and use just that smidge of cheese you'll find this to be a very economically caloric meal! If you need more help determining how many calories you should be aiming for each day please visit my site at www.beachbodycoach.com/LisaErin. You can sign up for free--I'd love to help you set goals for becoming more healthy and help give you the tools to get there. It's all about trekking out on the path to living healthfully and happily and ENJOYING the ride!

~To your health~

Lisa :)