This past summer I was getting in shape in anticipation of my wedding and I must have griped to my poor friend Tatiana about a million times that I was so frustrated trying to get rid of that little flabby area around my armpits. Seriously, I ate well, worked out, lifted weights, did my pushups and that little spot would not go away.
I dedicate this post to my good friend Tat for patiently listening (and rolling her eyes a bit). I have finally found the workout that is toning up that underarm excess!
These two exercises take less than 10 minutes to do, so they absolutely fit into my rule that anyone can get a good workout in at some point during their day. If you don’t have free weights pull out some cans of soup. They will do the trick.
These exercises also work your biceps, triceps and shoulders. The perfect combination for beautifully toned arms.
Stand with your feet hip width apart and bring the weights up in front of your sternum approximately a foot away from your chest with your elbows bent. Lift your right arm with the weight above the other arm. Repeat with the left arm, raising it on top of the right weight. As you continue doing this keep those arms bent in front of the sternum so as you repeat lifting the weights you continue lowering the other arm back down so that you aren’t creeping upwards as you go. It will look like you are doing an imaginary stacking game that stays in place. Begin by doing this at 20 reps for 4 sets. I have now built up to doing 30 reps for 8 sets.
Hold those weights in your hands in the same position in front of your sternum with your elbows bent. Press the weights into each other and then start pushing them together (almost a pulsing motion). If you have a mirror you will see your arm pits actually engaging. This also engages your pectorals so I recommend not doing this one out in the open at the gym as you might get a bit of attention from others. Begin with 40 reps for 4 sets. Learn to love that burn!
Finally, I posted the other day that I had been eating the most delicious peanut butter pie. I had several requests for the recipe. The pie came from First Slice in Chicago. Check them out at www.firstslice.org.
I don’t have the recipe for their awesome pie. But I do have a recipe for a peanut butter pie that my husband absolutely loves. It comes from Jessica Seinfeld’s “Double Delicious” cookbook. She adds healthy twists to her recipes and they are always pretty awesome.
Keep in mind that Jessica calls for pureed vegetables in most of her recipes. I am lazy so I substitute baby food for pureed vegetables. Before you turn your nose, give it a try, my husband did and this recipe is always on his request list. Also, prune baby food makes a fantastic alternative for oil in many baking recipes. Try it in brownies for a tasty lighter version.
Chocolate Peanut Butter Pie:
1 1/2 cups reduced fat honey graham cracker crumbs
3 tablespoons margarine
2 cups nonfat milk
1/4 cup corn starch
1/3 cup sugar, plus 3 tablespoons
1/4 tsp. salt
1 large egg
1 large egg white
1 table spoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup yellow squash puree (or squash or carrot baby food)
1/2 cup natural peanut butter
1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder
Preheat oven to 350º. Combine graham cracker crumbs and margarine and press into bottom 9 inch pie plate and up the sides. Bake for 5 minutes and then let cool.
In large sauce pan on medium heat whisk together milk, cornstarch, 1/3 cup sugar, salt, and eggs. Stir occasionally and as it starts to thicken begin to stir constantly so no lumps form. Turn off the heat once it begins to boil and form a pudding consistency.
Add vanilla extract and veggie puree. Pour half of the mixture into a bowl and add the 3 tbsp. sugar and peanut butter to this bowl and stir. Add the chocolate powder to the other half of the mixture and stir.
Pour the chocolate mixture onto the pie crust and top with the peanut butter layer. Cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours. You can garnish with shaved chocolate or peanuts.
I put this in the freezer and we eat it straight from there. It almost tastes like a peanut butter ice cream pie!