April Showers Bring . . . Well, That Is Up to YOU!

I hope by now you have all picked up your April issue of SELF magazine. Not only is it a fantastic issue with a focus on how to “green” your life, but it also includes the second part of the SELF Challenge!

My favorite move from the list of new strength moves is the Thigh Tightener. Any time I have ever gained weight it has always been in my butt and thighs, so I found this exercise to be particularly relevant to my, ahem, backside:


Thigh Tightener — Works arms, abs, butt, legs
Stand with feet slightly wider than hip-width apart, one weight in both hands at chest. Squat deeply (as shown), then tilt forward as you lower weight to floor and straighten legs. Return to squat position, then return to standing. Do 12 reps.
As you move further into the Challenge, I also encourage you all to lean on your friends and family for support. There are also a number of online communities that have been put together to help you toward your goal for a healthier life. Check out the SELF Forum and, if you are a member of Facebook, the SELF 2008 Challenge group created by Eat, Pray, Run reader Cristina.
Reforming your life to find a more healthy YOU is tough, so don’t forget to take advantage of the many support resources that are all around you!
→ Lastly, I am am looking so forward to trying this Red Chile and Pecan Slaw — it looks so fresh and yummy!

Red Chile and Pecan Slaw
Serves 4
32 oz nonfat vegetable stock, divided
2 tbsp cornstarch
1 tsp cumin seeds
1 jalapeño pepper, seeded and diced
1 clove garlic
1/2 shallot, chopped
1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1/4 cup sweet Thai chile sauce, such as Mae Ploy
1/4 cup apple cider (or rice wine) vinegar
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup pecan pieces
1/2 tsp dark chili powder
1 tbsp olive oil
1/4 lb red cabbage, shredded
1/4 lb green cabbage, shredded
1 small green bell pepper, cored, seeded and thinly sliced
1 small red bell pepper, cored, seeded and thinly sliced
1 small yellow bell pepper, cored, seeded and thinly sliced
Stir 1/2 cup vegetable stock with cornstarch in a measuring cup until blended. Bring remaining 28 ounces stock to a boil in a medium saucepan over high heat. Reduce heat to a simmer and slowly whisk in stock-cornstarch mixture. Stir rapidly until stock is the consistency of olive oil. (It should cling to the back of a spoon.) Cool to room temperature, skim off and discard any film on top. Place cumin seeds in a dry sauté pan over medium-high heat. Stir until aroma of seeds is released, about 1 minute. Blend 1/4 cup stock in a blender with cumin seeds and remaining dressing ingredients until smooth. (Refrigerate or freeze leftover stock.) Heat oven to 350º. Combine pecans, chili powder and oil in a mixing bowl; toss to coat pecans. Place nuts on a cookie sheet and roast until the aroma of the chili powder is released, 3 to 4 minutes. Combine dressing and slaw ingredients in a bowl. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.
THE SKINNY 168 calories per serving, 9 g fat (1 g saturated), 21.7 g carbs, 4.4 g fiber, 3.2 g protein
♥ This month, my personal goal is to put a major focus on increasing strength. What are your goals for April?


Filed under Eat, March 2008, Pray, Run

4 responses to “April Showers Bring . . . Well, That Is Up to YOU!

  1. Mom

    Okay these burn…my butt WILL know this tomorrow…on a mission!!! I did 3 sets of 12…pretty darn silly of me!!! Don’t forget Aunt Missy gets one year lovelier tomorrow. I forgot how old she’ll be, but maybe you could recommend a special workout routine?? You know, a birthday special??..xoxo

  2. Amanda

    Those look tough! I will have to try them out tomorrow. 🙂 The only think I worry about is the strain on your knees. I have always thought that you should not go any lower than knee level…
    Anyway, my goal is to get continue lifting and doing other strength exercises regularly. I go through periods where I will only do strength once a week because I get back from running and don’t have time because of class or work. I have been doing good for the last few months..so I want to stay on the 3 times per week routine. I think is essential if I want to be a better runner. I also want to increase flexibility. I love you.


  3. Cristina

    Self Challenge 2008 group via Facebook. Here’s a direct link. All are all welcome:


  4. Cristina — I am so sorry! I just realized that I forgot to link the group to the post. I changed it, so it is now within the post. Thanks for noticing!

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