Girls Rock !! 

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Hey fit friends

 Today I am fortunate enough to attend the End of Camp Extravaganza for Girls Rock! Chicago !

The mission of Girls Rock! Chicago is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization dedicated to fostering girls’ creative expression, self-esteem and community awareness through music. Through our music education programs for girls ages 8 to 16, we are committed to educating girls about the musical, technical, and creative aspects involved in musicianship because we believe that young girls are rarely encouraged to explore self-expressive creative outlets and are less likely to be given access to musical and technical instruction or equipment. We believe that rock music can be a crucial tool in allowing young women to respond to preconceived notions of what they can do and what they can become.

I am excited to see this display of talent and ambition in young girls that I still see in myself. Rock on girls!!

For more information on this organization email info@girlsrockchicago.org 

Or click the link below

Girls Rock! Chicago


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The Bikini Gardener: container gardening and you!

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The Bikini Gardener

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Hi there Fit Friends

A couple of months ago I bought a groupon for American Meadows vegetable and herb seed kit. It came with a great variety if seeds & inside growing starter kit. I was excited to plant!

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Because our current home doesn’t have a lot of land to garden on I container garden! I love being able to go out on my deck and just clip off what I need or want to use for that meal. It also is a soothing task that I enjoy doing in a bikini.. Why.. Well then I can get sun all while working in the dirt to create a food source… Ooooooohhh multitasking at its best!

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So far, I have planted bell peppers (red orange and yellow), strawberries, Swiss chard, Brussel sprouts, cilantro, oregano, sage, basil, chives (grew back from last year!!), cucumbers, 3 types of tomato (Roma, grape, and beefsteak), 2 blueberry bushes, green beans , sugar snap peas, 2 lettuces that both keep growing as you pick them(talk about sustainable!)

It has been fun to explore my green thumb and eat some really fresh food. I will continue to update you on my progress !! Xoxo Ss

Outdoor workout: just me & a bench

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Good Morning Fit Friends
As the weather improves we migrate towards outdoor activities! As Chicagoans we celebrate every warm sunny day as if it were our last… and lets face it, you never know if it will rain, or snow, or sleet so you have to take advantage! I got out to do my first real outdoor strength training workout yesterday. It felt great to work outside and all I used was my body weight and a park bench! I did 2 sets of 10-12 reps of each exercise! Check it out!

Split Lunge

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Make sure your knee stays over your ankle as you drop your back knee towards the ground. Keep the shoulders over the hips and core tight to maintain balance!

Decline Push-up

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Hands are just wider than shoulders. Keep thighs, core and butt tight as you bend the elbows to lower towards the ground. Maintain your straight body position as you push back up and at the top pull one knee in between elbows. Repeat using alternating legs!

Bench V Crunch

20130515-063256.jpgHips toward the front of the bench. Squeeze the legs together as you lift the knees toward the shoulders. Drop feet toward the floor on your inhale while maintaining a tight core and not arching the back. Exhale to crunch and lift the legs to the starting position!

Step Up

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With one foot staying on the bench, push thought the heel to stand on top. Slowly lower yourself back to starting position and land softly!

Triceps Dip

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Sitting on the edge of the bench, fingers face forward, and arms are straight. Slide hips off the bench and start to lower body to floor until elbows bend to a 90 degree angle! Exhale to push up to the starting position!

Why this Rocks?!

Outdoor workouts are great… No gym or equipment is required .. Just you! Plus you can catch some rays, people watch and get a killer bod at the same time! Staying fit outside is not just fun and active, but also its FREE! You can’t be free am I right?! So soak up that vitamin D and get your workout on!! That’s pretty rockin’!! Xoxo Ss

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Living Your Fitness: physical activity

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Hi Fit Friends

Recently, I was thinking about how we go through our lives. Everyday we wake up and do any number of things ( go to work, school, travel, run errands, make appointments,etc)! So many things to do, but, there are only so many hours in the day right ?
Right! So, how do we “fit” the fitness in??
Incorporate it in your day!

Schedule it: if you can consistently keep your workout time in your calendar you are more likely to get your workout in. Where can you fit in an hour? 30 minutes? 15 minutes? I like to encourage my clients to make it a part of their life just like brushing your hair or taking a shower … its just something you do.
Does that mean you have to go to a gym?? NO WAY! You can workout in your own home (videos, DVD, wii fitness games, yoga, calisthenics, etc).
I love to encourage participation in a group setting, whether a class or sport, groups keep people positively accountable because when you don’t show up other participants notice “missed you last week!” I don’t know how many times I have members tell me their vacation plans because they don’t want me to wonder why they weren’t in class! And you know what?! I LOVE IT! Plus, isn’t it fun to have fit friends who miss you and want to see your beautiful face?!

Or

Use every opportunity to stay active in your everyday!
– Take the stairs
– Deliver in-office emails in person,
– Park further away and walk
– Take a walk during lunch or after dinner with friends, your spouse, or family!
– keep walking til the bus catches up with you rather than wait at the bus stop
– when you walk the dog add in bursts of speed to challenge yourself
– play a rowdy game of tag (or whatever) with your kids

These are just a few activities that can help you keep a fit lifestyle while still living your life. Which activities you choose is up to you … Find something that suits you, challenges you or that you enjoy and you are more likely to stick with it! Small life changes can make a BIG difference! Keep going, keep moving, keep Rockin’ on!!

Recipe : EGGPLANT PARMESAN

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Recipe : EGGPLANT PARMESAN

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Hi Fit Friends

In an effort to have a more plant based diet I have been trying to find fun easy dinners to cook. Then it came to me eggplant Parmesan is classic and easy…. Oh, but the calories, lots of cheese,and its fried YIKES! I made a lighter and still really yummy dish that was easy and under 300 cals per serving. I added a side dish of garlicky green beans to round out the meal! I won’t lie I had some red wine too but I think I deserved it for a job well done!! Enjoy!

Serving Size: 2 eggplant sandwiches

Makes: 4-6 servings

Ingredients

2 Eggplants
Lowfat Mozzarella
2 cans Diced Tomatoes
Tomato paste

1/2 cup of wine dry white or red

1 1/2 cup Panko
1/2 cup Egg white

Parsley

Oregano

garlic

salt and pepper to taste

Directions

Preheat Broiler 500 degrees. Slice 1/4 in rounds of Eggplant.Spray baking pan with cooking spray.

Place Dip eggplant in the egg white and then dredge in the panko til covered on both sides. Place finished pieces on baking pan and place in broiler 3 min on each side til crust is browned. Flip pieces over and repeat 3 minutes until golden brown.

Once all pieces have been browned sprinkle a little cheese on top and place another piece on top of that making an eggplant sandwich!

To make the sauce: Medium High Heat, In a medium pan, mix the diced tomatoes (I like to use the ones with onion and seasoning in it), tomato paste, wine, parsley, oregano, garlic, salt and pepper. Reduce for 20 min until thickens.

 

PUT IT ALL TOGETHER NOW

Turn oven to 375. Place some sauce in the bottom of the baking dish. Place the eggplant sandwiches in the sauce, top with a little extra mozzarella and a little more sauce .. I try not to cover it completely to maintain the crispness of the panko!! Bake for 15-20 min or until cheese has melted and is golden brown and delicious!! Plate with a yummy green side (I like garlic green beans!) and Nom Nom Fit Friends!!

Circus Practice!

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Hi Fit Friends
I try many different types of exercise because I love to challenge myself and see what I can achieve with my body! As some of you know I started taking aerial arts classes at The Actors Gymnasium almost 3 years ago! Now I practice my skills numerous times weekly and perform on occasion! Here is some video of my recent practices!

Why This Rocks?!
Because … Well.. Circus is awesome… And hard! Like the saying goes ‘practice makes perfect’ and I am practicing my butt off !!

Tales of a Zumba ® Instructor: The Clothes

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20130307-190225.jpgHi Fit Friends

As you probably know I’m a Zumba® Fitness Instructor! Every week I teach my classes and give my students a safe and effective workout with this amazingly fun format! I LOVE to dance and inspire people to a healthier them..but secretly, or not so secretly,one of my favorite things about this format is the clothes…. Aaaaaahh! There…I said it. I am a Zumba shopaholic ! I love it .. The colors, the style, altering the clothes. It is just so fun and funky and can make the class that much more fun! Take a look at some of my in class fashions!

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Why it Rocks?!
Because Zumba® Fitness is all about the party and the party starts here! While its not necessary to wear the clothes to have a great time; it enhances the party atmosphere with fun, colorful, and creative outfits for both the student and instructor!

Want your OWN Zumbawear™? Go to http://www.zumba.com/shop and save 10% when you use my code SYMPHSAVES !!

You can see more pics if you follow me on instagram (@symphomaniac), Facebook, or twitter @symphonysanders

New Workout Skirt!

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Holy Retail Therapy Fit Friends
I was walking through target the other day and I saw the cutest workout skirts! In fun colors and contrasting shorts and the skirt was flouncy and I liked how forgiving it would be on the tush and thighs! Here’s the kicker I happened to see these awesome skirts in the GIRLS section …Le sigh… I am not ashamed to admit it … I am a small person (a triumphant 5’2″and a 1/2 thank YOU!) and sometimes if I get a kids large it will fit like a dream. For the reduced cost I say I’m getting the best part of the deal here! Now I’m ready for summer and some tennis! Serena Williams WHO?! Jk … Xoxo Ss

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Why This Rocks?!
Purchased at target for 12.99! Made by Champion C9. The fit is nice, the skirt is short but I like it like that. The material is comfortable stretchy and flattering! The shorts also stay put and don’t ride up which is a plus in my book!

Do we LOVE??

YES! I see these continuing to grace my fitness wardrobe quite a bit !

Recipe: Lemon Pepper Salmon & Veggie Medley

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Lemon Pepper Salmon & Veggie Medley

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Fit Food Friends

This is a yummy and good for you meal that is also an easy weekday staple in my house! Crunchy baked salmon with veggies is a winner every time! Bon Appetit!

Ingredients
4 oz Salmon Filets
1/2 cup Panko breadcrumbs
1 Tbsp Mayo (I use Hellman ‘s Canola mayo)
Cooking spray
Olive oil
1 lemon
Lemon zest
Salt and Pepper
Asparagus
Zucchini
Yellow Squash
1 Garlic clove

Directions

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Spray baking dish with cooking spray.

Salt and Pepper then spread a thin layer of mayo on salmon.

Mix lemon zest and panko in a small bowl. Cover salmon in mixture. Place in oven for 15-20 min!

Veggies

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Heat olive oil in pan on the stove

Mince garlic, add to oil

Chop asparagus, zucchini, and yellow squash

Squeeze lemon juice on veggies

Salt and pepper to taste

Why It Rocks?!
Salmon is not only delicious but a great source or Omega 3 fatty acids! Of course, it is high in protein, and the “good fats.” But did you know that a 4 oz serving of wild salmon provides a full day’s requirement of vitamin D? It is one of the few foods that can make that claim. That same piece of fish contains over half of the necessary B12, niacin, and selenium, and is an excellent source of B6 and magnesium! So eat up!!

Winter Woes Workout

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Hey Fit Friends

I don’t know about you but here in Chicago right about this time of year we are longing for summer. When the temperature was above freezing and the warm sun beckons you to go outside! In remembrance of that time I wanted to share an outdoor workout I did this past summer in the park! Who knows, it might bring that weather back sooner than we anticipated! Do the exercises one after another, try to do 2-3 sets of all exercises with a 30 second break between sets!! Enjoy!

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We begin with
Alternating Reverse Lunges
10 on each side
Starting with the feet hip distance apart step back with your right foot keeping the heel off the floor, drop the right knee toward the ground, keep the knee under the hip, return to starting position, repeat on other side!

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Spider-Man Push-up
5-7 on each side or to fatigue
Begin in plank position, lift one leg to hip height, bend elbows and bring lifted leg to the elbow, return to plank, repeat on other side!

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Squat Jump
10-15 repetitions
Start with feet shoulder distance apart, squat with the hips pulling back and down, keep the knees over the toes as you sit, spring upward and jump straight up, try to land softly as you return to your squat, repeat one after another without breaks

Why This Rocks?!

Because it couples strength training with heart pumping plyometrics, incorporates bodyweight exercise, and challenges the whole body! Don’t be surprised when this workout has you huffing and puffing at the end!

FIT METER

1. How physical? 8

2. Calorie Burning? 8

3. Sweat Factor? 9

4. Coordination/Awareness? 6

5. Health Benefits? 8