Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Dancing with the Stars - Latin Cardio

The next DVD up for review is Dancing with the Stars - Latin Cardio.  I've always loved dancing but unfortunately my husband hates it.  I once drug him to a couples dancing class and he managed to make fun of it nonverbally.  I haven't taken him back since.

I was excited to find out that the cast from Dancing with the Stars has multiple exercise videos.  I'm not quite sure how you can get a Latin dance workout with just one person but I'm excited to find out.  It should be arriving in the mail soon.  Thanks Netflix.

Anne Hathaway

I secretly wish that I was Anne Hathaway.  She just seems like a fun, really nice, kindof quirky person who just happens to be stunningly beautiful.  Somebody that could enjoy almost any situation and be able to tell a funny story about it.  (There I was, sitting beside the highway with steam coming out of my car and this guy on a Harley pulls over to help.  Now, his beard was so long it got wrapped in his handlebars.  When he tried to get off, he fell off the side of his bike and sprawled out on the ground.  His pants fell down and there, for all the whole world to see, was a tattoo of Tinkerbell on his butt.)

I don't stay up late enough to see late night television but I saw the funniest clip on Blog Site List.  Apparently, Anne relives stress by making up songs.  This is a hilarious rap about paparazzi.

Friday, September 9, 2011

Lara-Type Bars

One of my family's favorite snacks are Lara-Type Bars from Enlightened Cooking.  My six year old daughter actually broke down in tears this morning when she found out we were out and she couldn't take any with her to school.  I'll leave the recipe to her blog.  She did an excellent job describing and showing how to make them.

I found this by accident when I was searching for home-made snacks for my recently diagnosed wheat allergy husband.  (I believe it came up on a gluten free search.)  This snack also works perfectly for me since I am hypoglycemic.  The mix of protein and complex sugars fill and satisfies everyone in the family.  I had never had a Larabar before but we are now hooked on these!

I have three notes of advice.  First, make sure to buy pitted dates.  The first time I made this, I didn't realize that I had bought the wrong type of dates.  It sounded like I had rocks in my food processor.  Second, it will seem like the paste will never form.  Right when I'm getting ready to give up - the nuts at the bottom will start to incorporate.  Finally, buy the ingredients on sale.  If all the items were purchased at full price these bars would cost a fortune.  However, by watching for sales I've bought the items for half price.

Now, I'm off to try to make some apple pie bars.  Yum!  Thanks Camilla.

The Verdict - Bollyrobics

I wanted to do a Bollywood exercise video first because the dancing style is so exburant and fun to watch.  It looks like a blast to dance to.  I was first exposed to this style on So You Think You Can Dance.  (This show is excellent to work out to.  How can I complain about being tired when these kids are leaping all over the stage.)  There were several different DVDs available from Netflix so I picked this one out at random.

It proved to be an interesting but much shorter workout than expected.  There are three dance workouts on the DVD but they all share the same Warm-Up and Cool-Down portions.  Here is the set-up for all three routines.

Step By Step

It makes sense to reuse the first and last parts but they make up a HUGE portion of the routine.  Using my highly unscientific method of glancing at the clock during the middle dance segment, these sections took up 40% of the routine.  The Step by Step portion is an extremely light workout since the instructor layers the moves.

The instructor is very hard to see since she wears all black.  This makes it impossible to tell where her legs are located.  Is the right or the left leg supposed to be in the front?  The editing in the Step by Step is very jumpy and the picture is fuzzy.  During the dance routine, the producers have copied the same dancer into three spots.  It is very disconcerting.  The first routine involves scarves which seems pretty cheesy and the computer animated background completes the cheese.

I started out really disliking this DVD.  It didn't seem like much of a workout or much fun.  However, once I moved on to the second and third songs I started to enjoy it more.  The more I do the routines, the more I like them.  Now, some of the songs are stuck in my head.

Verdict:  I wouldn't count on this DVD to provide a vigorous workout but it would be an occasional nice change of pace.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Who am I to Judge?

Before I rate the first exercise DVD, maybe I should talk about my exercise "IQ".  I am not a natural athlete!  In fact, I have no hand eye coordination or balance.  I have been hit by or hit myself with almost every type of sporting equipment possible.

Bowling ball --- Check
Badmitton shuttlecock --- Check
Field Hockey Stick --- Check
Field Hockey Puck --- Check
The list goes on and on....

Needless to say, I missed out on the athletic gene.  I also missed out on the ability to balance and anything resembling coordination.  We have a friend who is a police officer.  Jokingly, I told him that I was scared that I would fail an alcohol sobriety test just because I am such a clutz.  He put me through my paces and, well, I failed.  I couldn't walk in a straight line, hold one foot up without falling, etc.  He told me that if I ever got pulled over by the police to beg for a breath analyzer test.

After college it became very apparent that I needed to do SOME form of exercise.  (Nothing like having rapidly tightening waist bands to prove that point.)  I tried Jazzercise and found it annoying.  I really hated having to hop up and down the step to the beat of some old song.

Next, I tried yoga.  I loved it.  Unfortunately, as I've mentioned, I am very uncoordinated.  It took me two years before I could do a basic tree pose without falling over.

Then, we moved into the country.  No classes were to be found so I started to exercise the more conventional route - walking, weights, etc.  It isn't the most fun way to get exercise but it gets the job done.

The first DVD that I am going to review is Bollyrobics.  I thought I would try something that sounded super fun and different.

Wish me luck.