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MENA MINUTE

10 tips to spring clean your fitness regime.

WRITTEN BY MENA SPODOBALSKI
PHOTO BY JACI GOODMAN

Mena Minute06 wr

Spring is a time of rebirth. Take advantage of the excitement and freshness of the season to bring new life to your fitness goals. Here are my top 10 tips to help you achieve them.

  1. Clear out all workout gear that has seen better days. Donate it to those in need.
  2. Get yourself a new pair of training/running shoes. You often wear out your shoes long before aesthetic signs of damage are visible.
  3. So your old goals didn’t take? Create new ones! Make a list of goals you want to achieve. Make them small and work your way up. (Example: Tell yourself, “I’ll run two miles three times a week,” and then increase your mileage to finally run that 5K.)
  4. Share your goals with others. This will keep you accountable.
  5. Dust off the cobwebs and head outside. Run, bike, hike, or walk the dog. Being outdoors will awaken in you a sense of joy from your physical activity.
  6. Clean out your pantry. Look for anything expired or that doesn’t look fresh. Get rid of the holiday junk that still may be lingering.
  7. Make a list of races or hikes you have always wanted to try. Make it a goal to do them regularly. Enlist a friend to join you.
  8. Start learning to prep your food for the day. It will save you from skipping meals or reaching for unhealthy items because you have nothing ready.
  9. Buy a new swimsuit or swim trunks. Keep it someplace where you will see it regularly. Let it be a reminder of your summer body goals.
  10. Restock your fridge and pantry with fresh ingredients, fresh spices, and lots of clean foods.

Mena Spodobalski owns and is an advanced fitness trainer at Evoke Fitness in Reno. She also is a state champion and nationally qualified fitness competitor. For details, visit Evokefit.com.

RECIPE

This fresh spring strawberry salad with balsamic-glazed grilled chicken, bacon, goat cheese, and pecans dressed in a roasted strawberry balsamic vinaigrette is simple to prep in advance and take with you to work. Just wait to add the dressing until you’re ready to eat.

Strawberry and Balsamic Grilled Chicken Salad

(courtesy of Mena Spodobalski, owner and advanced fitness trainer, Evoke Fitness in Reno. Serves 4)

For strawberry vinaigrette

1 cup strawberries
¼ cup balsamic vinegar
¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon honey
1 large garlic clove, finely chopped
¼ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon pepper

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Lay strawberries in single layer on baking pan lined with foil that is folded up on sides to capture juices. Roast strawberries in oven until they begin to caramelize, about 15 to 20 minutes. Remove from oven and purée with all other ingredients in food processor until smooth.

For salad

1 pound chicken breasts
½ cup balsamic vinaigrette (store-bought is fine)
2 cups baby spinach
2 cups arugula
1 pint strawberries, sliced
4 strips bacon, cooked
4 ounces goat cheese, crumbled
¼ cup pecans or candied pecans
¼ cup roasted strawberry balsamic vinaigrette or balsamic vinaigrette

 Place the chicken and balsamic vinaigrette in a large zip-lock bag and marinate in the fridge for 30 minutes to overnight. Heat grill or grill pan over medium heat and brush with oil. Place chicken on grill surface until cooked, about 2 to 4 minutes per side, and set aside. Slice chicken. Assemble salad with remaining ingredients, top with chicken and strawberry balsamic vinaigrette dressing (or regular balsamic vinaigrette) dressing, and enjoy!

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