I’ve got a new obsession, and it’s not tahini.
I mentioned last Wednesday that I’d been to my first barre class, and holy hip flexors, was it ever a humbling experience! Because I love trying new things – especially when it comes to fitness – one of my new work buddies and I decided to shake things up again this past Sunday at a new studio.
Depending on where you live, you may have heard of Lagree West, a studio that opened here in Vancouver back in October. I’ve been told by several friends about how amazing it is, and their Instagram account piqued my interest. We booked a week in advance because there are only 10 spots per class and they fill up quick, then braced ourselves for the experience.
So what the heck is it? Think of a Pilates reformer class, only better with a hella intense burn. Myself and the 9 other ladies there each had our own machine, which is called a Megaformer. It’s a big, slightly intimidating-looking reformer-like frame with a slidey platform. It’s also got multiple handles, some bungee cords, springs of varying resistances, and a few other features that I’m sure could be used to slingshot a body across the room if you really wanted to. There was no human catapulting going on though – just a LOT of sweat and pain faces!
The workout was 40 minutes long (trust me, it was plenty) and led by an instructor who walked up and down the row of machines, providing instructions and correcting form. We did a ton of core work, and while I thought my core was pretty strong, this class taught me that it still has a loooong way to go. There were also some moves that were very similar to the ones I did in the barre class last week, only with the added component of the slidey platform which fires muscles up even more.
As the instructor cued the moves coming up next, loud music was playing which helped to serve as a minor distraction from the muscle burn factor – and the beads of sweat coming down my forehead! But at the most intense times, like during the final 20s of tiny pulsing slidey lunges (which of course, were done immediately after a whole bunch of full-range lunges ?), I tried to take my mind to a different place entirely. Naturally, as a food blogger, it went to recipe creation.
Seeing as Sundays are synonymous with brunch around here, I began dreaming up a simple, satisfying, high-protein brunch recipe. I randomly tossed some sundried tomatoes into my grocery cart a couple of weeks ago and figured this was their time to shine, so along with some leafy greens, mushrooms, eggs and a few other goodies, this frittata was born.
The cast iron skillet is where it’s at with this recipe because it allows you to lightly sautée the veggies before pouring in the egg mixture and tossing it all into the oven. (Pro tip: It also ups the iron content of food that you cook in it, and if you’ve got an iron deficiency like me, that’s a big win!) Mine took about 20 minutes to cook, which just so happened to be just enough time to get my sweaty self showered when I got home from the class. Hooray for efficiency wins!
Sundried Tomato, Chard and Mushroom Frittata
Prep Time: 15 mins
Cook Time: 20 mins
Ingredients (2 servings)
- 1/4 cup diced red onion
- 1 cup sliced mushrooms
- 1/3 cup chopped sundried tomatoes
- 1 cup rainbow chard or Swiss chard, cut into small pieces
- 2 tbsp each chopped fresh parsley and basil
- 4 eggs, or 2 eggs + 1/2 cup egg whites
- 1/2 cup unsweetened almond milk (or non-dairy milk alternative)
- dash of sea salt and black pepper
Preheat the oven broiler to 400F.
Mist a cast iron skillet with olive oil or cooking spray and place over medium high heat on the stove.
Add the minced purple onion and sautee, stirring frequently for 2 minutes.
Mix in the mushrooms and sundried tomatoes, and stir occasionally for another 2 minutes.
Finally, add the chard and fresh herbs. Cook for 1 more minute to allow the greens to wilt slightly.
Whisk together the eggs, egg whites, almond milk, sea salt and black pepper. Pour it into the skillet and allow the frittata to cook just long enough for the bottom to set, about 3 minutes.
Using a dish towel or oven mitt to protect your hands, transfer the skillet to the oven. Continue cooking for 15 minutes, or until the top is slightly golden and the middle has set.
Remove the skillet from the oven (again, be careful as the handle will be hot!) and allow it to cool slightly before slicing and serving.
My mind managed to travel over to recipe creation land for about 10 seconds, before returning to reality and moving straight into the next set of exercises. The 40 minutes passed so slow yet so fast at the same time, and by the end, every inch of me was ready to sprawl out on the Megaformer like a pancake – or a flat frittata I suppose.
Wondering about the after-effects of the experience? I did too as I fell asleep on Sunday night, a little concerned about whether I’d be able to physically get back out of bed in the morning. Monday was definitely one of those lower-into-your-chair-slowly-with-two-hands sort of days, but I am totally hooked and can’t wait to go back to another session.
Not only did it work my body in new ways, but the afterburn made it very evident that these are muscles I’m clearly neglecting in my usual training regimen. I’m really excited to see how this strengthening (specifically of my core) translates into running performance, and if it means more muscle definition in my summer shorts and sundresses, well hey… I’d be ok with that too. ?
So tell me…
- What was a highlight from your weekend?
- Do you divert your mind during the toughest bits of your workouts in order to keep pushing through? What do you think about?