Tag Archives: fitness

PICNIC TIME! Healthy Potato salad recipe

Picnic time has arrived and I couldn’t stop myself from bringing a nice potato salad to the park last weekend. Basically, I made a few adjustments here and there and Voilà! We have a healthier potato salad that tastes as good as the one your grandma makes. 😀

I´m gonna go straight into the recipe and explain the reasons for choosing one ingredient or another at the end of this post.

Salad Ingredients:
  • 3 white potatoes, with the skin.
  • 1 large orange/sweet potato, skinned (it´s not yam! Make sure you read the label)
  • 4 carrots, skinned
  • ½ a cup of cauliflower (or 2 “pieces” smaller than your hand…)
  • 2 large eggs, boiled.
 Dressing ingredients:
  • 2 tablespoons Natural yogurt
  • 1 tablespoon Light mayonnaise
  • 1 teaspoon Light mustard
  • 1 tablespoon Red onion, chopped (the smaller the pieces the best)
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Cut all vegetables on small squares. Place potatoes on bottom of a big pot, followed by carrots and end up with cauliflower. Add water and let cook at high temperature.
On the meanwhile, boil the 2 eggs.
Once the potatoes are done, drain all vegetables and let them cool. Usually, at this point the cauliflower should be super tender or even reduced to very tiny pieces adhering to the rest of the vegetables: don´t panic, this is exactly what we need.
Peel the 2 boiled eggs, cut in the middle and gently remove and dispose of one of the yolks. Cut both in little squares.
Once vegetables are cool, put on a salad bowl, add all dressing ingredients and combine using a spoon. As the dressing ingredients combine, you will note the cauliflower “disappearing” and melting along, which is a good thing… All guests will end up saying “can´t believe this is healthy” 😀

So, why is this recipe supposed to be healthier than a regular potato salad:
  1. Potato with skin: Potato skins are a rich source of iron; if you eat potatoes without the skin you will not lose ALL the vitamins; but yes, very important quantities of vitamins do lay there.
  2. Sweet potato vs. White potato: There´s been a long debate over which one is better and the truth is all kinds of potato are very similar (white, sweet, purple…). They all are healthy carbohydrates, and, in general, they are roughly similar in their vitamin and mineral content. Nevertheless, orange sweet potatoes are vitamin A superstars. Plus, we all know the more colors we have on a plate the healthier it is so: why not??
  3. Adding cauliflower: Cauliflower, the same as broccoli, arugula and cabbage, makes part of the cruciferous vegetables family. This vegetable family is well known for its low calorie content PLUS it has the highest content of vitamin A carotenoids, vitamin C, folic acid, and fiber.
  4. Using only 1 egg yolk: Egg yolks contain most of the calories of the egg, and all of its fat and cholesterol. I know, I know… If you remove the egg yolk, you will cutting all of the Vitamin A, B12 and D of the egg; but that´s why we want to use that sweet potato and cauliflower!!
  5. Last but not least: We are using light mayonnaise and light mustard, plus, substituting the enormous amount of mayo you will usually have in potato salad for natural yogurt. Just in case: Mayonnaise is made by blending an egg with a bunch of oil… I guess I don´t have to explain myself further here?

Thanks for reading! Hope you enjoy the picnic! 😀


Tune up for running: USE music!

Literally! USE it, own it, make it work for you, sweat it!

Now the weather is nice we are all going out, bikers and runner’s season is on again. Today´s topic: How to make the perfect running playlist.

  1. Start your playlist with a song that grows faster… slowly… The Dogs days are over, by Florence and the Machine or Eminem´s Lose Yourself will do the trick. I adore “Lose Yourself” because it mentally prepares me; it makes me feel like am about to enter a kickboxing ring and I’m going to kick some …
  2. Don´t go too fast… Most electronic music goes way faster than we run. For example: Martin Garrix´s Animals; I love the song and it will be perfect for jumping at a rave party or for a spinning class, but not for running.
  3. Beat the wall down: No matter how short or long your runs are, we all usually hit a wall (or several) at some point. Typically, you will know when you hit your first wall because you stop “just enjoying the ride” and look at your watch. I hit my first wall at 18 minutes; therefore, I have one of my favorite songs around that time. Pay attention to your body and discover when you need that specific song to keep you going; good news is: if you hit a wall but continue, you will “beat” the wall down after a few minutes.
  4. Go with your gut. Don´t stick to just one “dream playlist” but get lots of cool music on your Ipod just in case you change your mind on the go. Sometimes you will get more motivation from lyrics than from 140 beats per minute.

So, as I said at the beginning of this post: use it, own it, make it work for you, sweat it… give yourself the freedom to have a little sprint just because the beat got faster.

Don´t misunderstand me, sprinting just because might not be great advice if you are running a marathon but, if you are running for the fun of it: then let it be fun! I don´t see kids getting all stressed up while playing chase; then why should we?? The best runners I´ve ran with will usually loose the pace here or there simply because they wanted to jump on a water puddle… YES, just like kids!

A couple of months ago, I created a running playlist on my YouTube Channel. I put it together for my sister last Christmas and she recons 1st time she used it she kept on running just because the playlist started again, despite of her being in front of her house already. 😀

It lasts 45 minutes and I think the transitions are actually OK. All songs are available on ITunes and the old ones are less than US$1.00. Otherwise, of course, you can always download them somewhere… 😉

Make sure you like the playlist on YouTube so I know it´s worth sharing. I´m working on a new one now 😀

Click the following link or copy paste the address on your browser: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bmXumtgwtak&list=PLS1c32by6N17i_nIPBENlz03QgChYkoEb

Happy running everyone!


Why we all need our own trainer… even personal trainers…

Go back into time and remember your 1st day at a gym. If you’re reading this and you’re over 15 you probably have been at a gym at least once in your life. Isn’t it frustrating not to know how machines work? If you were lucky enough, you had a receptionist/smoothie maker/trainer that would give you a hint. Most of us will simply have to wait for a day when there aren´t 30 people around so one can take the time to read the sticker on the machine and then try to change the settings (so your body looks like the drawing on the stupid sticker) and then use it for the first time hoping its ok; but, mainly, hoping there´s no one making a video of you just to share it with Awkward Gym Moments.com.
We all know that “Im an idiot” feeling…

woman demonstrating an exercise machine, known as the Gymo Frame, to members of the Arsenal soccer team at Highbury football ground in London, UK, in 1932.
Woman demonstrating an exercise machine to members of the Arsenal soccer team in London, UK, in 1932.

You will need a personal trainer at least from time to time, not only to teach you how to use the new machines, not only to give you a program that gets you the exact results you want (yeah yeah, these amazing lunges will make your butt look like J. Lo’s); but you will need a personal trainer because they give you the knowledge and the push you need… even if you are in the business.

My sister “V” goes to the YMCA classes almost every day and trains for 2 hours. Between one class and the other she will go running with her gym mates. This January, while my other sister was visiting, she said to V: – “Ha! You spend 2 hours working out every day, yet, once a year I come and you all look the same to me”. V humbly replied: -“Well… we all work out to “maintain”, we can´t do better than this at our ages”. Funny thing is my sister might be the youngest, at her early 30s and the oldest… well… the oldest died while I was there on Christmas… at 79. It´s not a matter of age, is not that they don´t push themselves enough (God, they do!!); then why are they only “maintaining”?? They could use those 2 hours better… as a matter of fact, with their condition most probably they could “maintain” by doing 20 min of HIIT… And that’s when you want to invest in a coach…

ImageWatching the Champion´s League yesterday, José Mourinho, Manager of Chelsea, ran to celebrate the second score of the night… turns out he was running to tell them what to do next, the game wasn´t over… and he wasn´t sure they were going to win if they kept playing the same way. In the heat of a match, sometimes you lose consciousness of what´s going on. At a Cross Fit class, when you are pushing your limits, you have a coach yelling at you to go deeper on that squat, to go faster, to keep on pushing… And I must say, to all of you who don´t fancy the idea of been yelled at, there´s a scientific explanation to it; when you are really pushing yourself, hearth rate super high, muscles sending info through your nerves, nerves to brain, adrenaline snatching your body, muscles in pain, loud music on… if they don´t yell at you, you don´t hear them.

Last 11K I ran, I was happy doing 59 minutes because it was an easy, plain route. I love running, but my knees don´t anymore and 59 min sounded respectable. By the start line, I glanced at the pace maker with the 55 min balloon, same nice guy who had given me my pace maker bracelet and I thought, if he can do it: I can do it! Easier said than done, yes; nevertheless, at the end, if it weren´t for him and his blue balloon standing from the crowd, I would have done 59 minutes, maybe even 60. I simply wouldn´t have pushed myself as hard.
Look at professional athletes; do they do everything by themselves? Of course they don´t! Now, do you think Mo Farah (just saw him on TV as London Marathon is this Sunday) has his trainer next to him, yelling him to run faster?? Of course not!

So, what´s the thing with coaches, senseis, instructors, personal trainers?
That they (we) have been trained to get the best out of you. We push you, we motivate you, we feel your pain and we share and celebrate your victories. Your knockout punch, your best time at a run, the 2 extra kilos you lifted, the 1 pound you lost this week. Our only job is to yell at you what sometimes, in the heat of that long journey called life, you can´t see: that you are stronger, faster, better than you can even imagine.