Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Bad Manners at the Gym - Stop It!

Hey, lady sitting on the exercise machine yakking away on your cell phone while other people are waiting...move!

You've seen it time and time again, people in the gym just walking around in their own little worlds. The "it's all about me" population. They stay on machines longer than the alotted time during peak hours, leave equipment sweaty and greasy with their sweat and hair products, and, oh no, can't be bothered to wipe it off after they use it, the ones who monopolize two machines at once by keeping a towel on both, and let's not forget the people jumping ahead on the circuit and picking the machine you are supposed to go on next out of turn....the list goes on and on.

In the exercise studio, it's the ones who dont want to share space by moving over, answer their cell phones while class is in session, and those who think it's okay to leave the weights, mats and equipment they just used out on the floor for someone else to put away, even though they know exactly where it's supposed to go and where they got it from. Oh, and the ones that think a particular spot on the floor in the aerobics/toning class has their name on it - and don't you DARE stand there. "This has been MY SPOT for YEARs!" Uh...yeah.

Hey... whatever happened to MANNERS???

And why, oh why, didn't your mama teach you better than this??? One can only wonder!!


Friday, January 22, 2010

Brasilian Style Collard Greens

There is a Brasilian buffet up the street from me, and let me tell you, they can cook! On the occasions that I decide to drop in and grab a plate, my taste buds are always treated very well! ;) Aside from the typical Brasilian fare, this place does a variety of a typical items like lasagna and such, but the one thing that stands out quite a bit for me are their collard greens, which they call "couve".

Now, me and collard greens go way back. My parents and all of my people are from the southern part of the US, and my mom and grandmas cooked these all the time. We grew up on 'em! However, as much of southern cooking goes, they tended to add pork meats like ham hocks and neck bones to the greens to give them "flavor". Well, that it did! Mmmmm, mmmmm, mmmm! Thing is, though, my mom and grandmas seemed to cook everything "in grease" or with pork in it, not that I complained at all! LOL! That food was bangin'! However, I try to find the less greasy less fatty way to go about it when I cook the dishes they made, and the Brasilian way of doing collard greens is more up my alley.

I had to charm the chef into telling me how he does them, but Brasilians understand completely the art of being charming, and so he let me have the recipe! ;)

You take a large head of greens, break the leaves apart, and soak them for an hour at least, steeped in room temperature water. This gets all of the garden dirt and soil out.
When done with that, rinse each leaf separately under warm running water. That should do it for the cleaning part.

Roll a few leaves together tightly, and going from tip to stalk, slice off half inch strips all the way down to the stalks.

In a deep saucepan on very low heat, put a few tablespoons of virgin olive oil and some diced garlic. Allow garlic to simmer for about 2 to 3 minutes and then add in a half cup of water, followed by your greens and a little salt.
Cover with a ventilated top, and allow them to steam a bit. Check on them from time to time, stirring and turning them so that they cook evenly and the olive oil and garlic is distributed throughout.

Cook anywhere from 20 minutes to a half hour! Remove lid, stir around one more time, and voila! Couve a mineira (Brasilian style collard greens).
And do I need to stop here and tell you all the benefits of eating collard greens and kale? Thought not!~ This is one yummy, healthy dish! Enjoy! ;)


Thursday, January 7, 2010

Woman Falls Off Pole During Pole Dancing Class - Now Wants to Sue Crunch first thought is, who told you to get up on that pole in the first place??? I keep telling people, every new fitness trend you see coming down the pike is not necessarily for you. Yet, if they ever come up with a "Let's throw big heavy boulders til we pass out" workout, I do know several guys who will run to try it, even though they don't spend one hour at the gym. People love to jump on trends and be "with it", sometimes even if it has the potential to kill them!

I do, however, expect that if I, or anyone else, does venture into your acrobat, flying trapeze, or swinging from the chandeliers class that some modicom of safety is guaranteed. If it's an activity where one can really incur serious damage and injury, then extra safeguards should be put in place.

This woman took a class at Crunch in New York (hey, I once worked for them - great classes!), and says that the instructor didn't spot her when she climbed high up on the pole. She had informed the instructor that she wasn't strong enough to hold herself up there beforehand. Well, I'm thinking, if you know you don't have the upper body strength to do that move, why attempt it? Am I wrong to think that?
We all know our limitations. Just because you're trying some trendy new workout doesn't mean that you should just throw caution to the wind and just forget them.
Yes, the instructor should have been there, but I'm sure that there were probably quite a few other people up on poles at the time? How can you spot them all?
As an instructor myself, I really couldn't imagine having to try to catch someone as they come tumbling down off a pole. Perhaps that's one of the reasons I don't teach pole dancing! ;)

So, who's more at fault here? The woman who decided to attempt something beyond her ability, or the club for not having enough safeguards in place to prevent this?
And, by the way, this is my first time hearing of a pole dance injury of this sort, although, pole burn aside, I'm sure they happen.
And, how exactly would you do that? You can't have a spotter for every pole, it wouldn't be cost effective.

I say stick to the ground moves if you know you're too weak to hold yourself up. You already know the dangers. And if it's really that important to you to be this amazing pole dancing wonder, build up that upper body strength a bit in the weight room before taking this class. That's just my opinion.....

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