Tag Archives: How To

How Tuesday – Make a Rockin’ Interval Playlist

15 May

image from run like noone is watching on tumblr

If you’re anything like me, music is a powerful motivator to get moving. Heck, let’s be real; if you’re a human with a pulse, music is a powerful motivator to get moving. I made a goal for this week: to do something exercise-ey every day. Today I set the alarm early to get up for a 40 minute Booty Call, and I’m goin’ a-running! I’ve had the idea to make a playlist specifically for interval running sessions – because I find it so much more satisfying to run intervals based on the length of a song than on an alarm on my watch – so I thought I’d take today’s How Tuesday to share mine with you, and show you how to take all the guess work out of making a rockin’ playlist of your own, custom made for your workout needs.

Step One:

Decide what type of a workout you want to make a playlist for. I wanted about an hour of music for interval training. Interval training means changing up your pace, so I decided to shoot for a more-or-less equal number of songs falling within three ranges of BPM (beats per minute). For hard running I wanted a BPM of between 180 (optimum running tempo) and 170-ish, for jogging I wanted songs in the 160’s – 150’s BPM range, and for walking any BPM’s in the 140’s to 120’s would do me just fine.

Step Two:

Head over to jog.fm to start looking for music. What’s that? You haven’t heard of jog.fm? Honey, you need to head over there! It has never been so easy to find exactly the music you need to get you going! Jog.fm lets you search music by name, genre, hottest or most added, and – most importantly – by your target mile time or BPM! I spent hours sitting in front of my itunes with a metronome trying to figure out how many BPM my favorite songs were. This takes all the stress and guess-work out of finding exactly the music to motivate you. From jog.fm you can listen to your music for free on Spotify, which is convenient if you have a printed out workout or one from a magazine that you can do at home, near your computer. Jog.fm also links directly to iTunes or AmazonMP3 so you can purchase the music to make your playlist.

Step Three:

Narrow your choices. I searched for music in my ranges and click-clicked away to add to my playlist. Since I love a lot of music, I ended up with over three hours worth of songs. (Jog.fm also tells you how many songs you have on your playlist and how long it is. So handy!) This is good and bad, good because you can make several playlists with different lengths for different workouts, bad because you have to cut so many great songs. Be brutal though; the song you sing your heart out to on your evening commute may not be the song that makes you push through that last ten minutes. Like Indiana Jones, choose wisely.

Step four:

Song order. Arrange your songs thinking about how each one begins and ends. You want to feel like one song leads into another, or at least makes sense for your musical sensibilities right next to each other. For example, I would feel jarred and disjointed going from Bjork to Bon Jovi, but Bjork to Portishead? Now we’re talking.

Another thing to consider when deciding the order of your songs is how you want your workout to go. Do you want to let your tempo rise and fall, or do true intervals by alternating faster and slower songs? I chose to do the latter. I made sure to start with a slower song for a warm-up. In the last four songs I stacked two fast-paced songs followed by two of the slowest songs on my list. I wanted to really have to push at the end, then have plenty of time for a cool-down. I plan to listen to my playlist as-is until I get tired of it, then change things up by hitting shuffle. I think it’s fun when I don’t know what’s coming next, plus shaking up your routine is great for optimizing fitness.

Step five:

Download your playlist to your music player of choice, lace up your shoes, and get your booty moving!

As promised, here is one of the playlists I came up with. There’s a little bit of everything on there, and it really gave my morning run a boost. I went ahead and included the song titles with BPM’s listed below the image.

(click for larger)

  1. Viva la Vida by Coldplay – 138 BPM
  2. Hey Ya! by Outkast – 160 BPM
  3. Feel Good Inc. by Gorillaz – 139 BPM
  4. Paper Planes by M.I.A. – 172 BPM
  5. Dancing in the Dark by Bruce Springstein – 148 BPM
  6. Ignorance by Paramore – 171 BPM
  7. Spiderwebs by No Doubt – 142 BPM
  8. Clint Eastwood by Gorillaz – 168 BPM
  9. Suffragette City by Bowie – 137 BPM
  10. Objection (Tango) by Shakira (total guilty pleasure) – 179 BPM
  11. Born to Run (natch) by Bruse Springstein – 147 BPM
  12. Misery Business by Paramore – 173 BPM
  13. Love is a Battlefield by Pat Benitar – 181 BPM
  14. The Edge of Glory by Gaga – 128 BPM
  15. Raise Your Glass by P!nk – 122 BPM

What songs do you love to sweat to?

How Tuesday: Make the Best Tasting, Easiest Fish Ever

3 Apr

This is my favorite way to make fish. It’s healthy, yet gives you all the crispy goodness you love from fried fish. It uses only a couple of ingredients, is super quick, and makes you look like a culinary genius with extremely little effort. You can do this with lots of fish; I’ve prepared cod, tilapia, and halibut this way, but salmon is my favorite and what we’re working with today. Please forgive the blurry photos, my kitchen light isn’t the best right now.

Ingredients:

2 (or however many servings you need) 4 oz portions of salmon, cleaned, skin on
Salt and pepper
1 tbsp Dijon mustard
2 tbsp Light mayonnaise
Juice of half a lemon
Panko bread crumbs
Cooking spray (I used canola)

Preheat oven to 425°.
Rinse fish off and pat dry with a paper towel. Line a baking sheet with foil and lightly spray with cooking spray. Place fish skin-side down on the foil and sprinkle with salt and pepper.

In a small dish, mix together mayonnaise and mustard and lemon juice. Or you could go fancy and use a flavored mayonnaise and omit the juice. It’s up to your taste buds.

Spread mayonnaise mixture on the top of your fish. Aim for an even layer, just thick enough that you don’t see much fish showing through.

Sprinkle panko crumbs on top of the fish, pressing them into the mayonnaise mixture to make sure they stick.

Spray lightly with oil, so that the panko will crisp.

Pop into the oven for 15-17 minutes or until fish is opaque and panko crumbs are toasty brown.

Ta da!

If you got the skin crispy enough you can eat it, or just eat the fish leaving the skin behind for an even healthier meal. I love serving this with asparagus, but we went with sweet potato puree and peas tonight.

What are you having for dinner tonight?

How Tuesday: Freehand “Cloud” Nails

6 Mar

Hello, DIY lovers! This week I’m indulging my love of creative nail polish with a super easy tutorial for making freehand “cloud” nails. I love everything about this design; that you need no special skills to achieve it (if you can paint your nails and stay inside the lines you’re golden), and the fact that there are only about a million color combinations you could come up with. I found this tutorial at Nailside. Take a look:

cloud nails!

To get these nails visit Jane at Nailside for the full tutorial.

I’ve done several color combos of this design in the two weeks since I found it. Here’s what’s on my nails now:

my cloudy nails

In. Love.

I did the other hand as a mirror image to this one. I think it’s a little bit glam, a little bit rock. Just like me. :)

The colors are a little off, sorry about that. From the top color to the tip, the polish colors are as follows:

Zoya Maya, a jelly coral that’s way more tropical and bright than my crappy pic does justice to. It’s also on my toes right now.
Zoya Tao, a sofy, slightly shimmery grey.
Revlon Top Speed 880, Black Star, a gun-metal grey.
Clear base & top coat.

Or here:

maya

tao

black star

What colors would you make your clouds?

How Tuesday – Spring Wreath of Awesomeness

21 Feb

This How Tuesday I’m bringing you another upcycled wonder craft. Gotta love it!

While browsing through Barnes & Noble with my mom last Saturday (hi mom! Love you!), she came across a magazine with a really cool-looking wreath on the cover. She knew I’ve wanted a spring wreath for my front door, (yes, I know it’s technically winter, but in NorCal right now it definitely feels like spring) so she showed it to me. I, of course, thought “I can make that!” And for once I actually followed through.

How cool-looking is that? Any guesses as to what it’s made out of? Wait for it….

Continue reading

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 70 other followers

%d bloggers like this: