Let The Challenge Begin!

I have a new reason to go to cycling on Sunday mornings- a hot instructor! Unfortunately, he only teaches every other Sunday. I still like the instructor that teaches on the other Sundays, so I’m hoping this becomes a habit 🙂

The cycling class doesn’t start until 8, which is when I normally eat breakfast on the weekends. Since I love to have time to cook and enjoy my breakfast, I opted to wait until after the class to make breakfast. Mistake! I was actually weak with hunger when I came home after 9. When will I learn? This happened last week too!

I saw Kat‘s post about black bean pancakes last night, and knew exactly what I wanted for breakfast this morning. Unfortunately, I was out of black beans. Boo! I wondered if lentils would work instead… so I went for it!

Lentil Pancakes

(adapted from Kat, who adapted it from Lori)


  • 1/2 cup cooked lentils
  • 1/4 cup oat bran
  • 1/4 cup egg whites
  • 1/4 cup applesauce
  • 1/2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
  • 1/4 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp agave syrup


  • Combine all ingredients in a food processor and process until smooth. Cook in small batches (they tear easily!)

I will never stop be impressing by what beans or legumes can turn into! I topped my pancakes with honey nut cream cheese and paired them with two clementines.

Lunch was random-

Green smoothie, vanilla yogurt with a Vitatop, and an apple with peanut flour butter.

I’ve discovered the secret to great green smoothies- almond milk! I never thought it would make a difference, but I’ve been making my green smoothies with water this whole time. Since I have so much almond milk, I thought I would use some in the smoothie, and it turned out sooooo creamy and delicious.

Lunch kept me full while I ran a ton of errands. I went to TJ’s and scored five things of peanut flour! I felt bad taking them all, so I left two on the shelf. Whoever gets them- you’re welcome 🙂 I also went to Target, Ross, TJ Maxx, and Old Navy to do some returns. I thought the stores would be less crowded because everyone was watching the game. Wrong! I planned to go to Costco too, but I did a quick drive by and the parking lot was so crowded I decided to go another day.

My snack was ice cream straight out of the carton with cinnamon Cheerios thrown on top. Holy hell- amazing combination! I heated the ice cream a little and oh my god… it was so good.

I made a sort of deconstructed version of last night’s burrito for dinner.

I used refried beans instead of black, mixed the ricotta with taco seasoning, and added some grilled tofu. Rachael Ray was totally talking smack on store bought taco seasoning a few days ago, and all I have to say is- Rachael, I love you, but you are wrong. This stuff is THE BEST.

I’ve been really enjoying going to cycling once a week, but that’s pretty much the only intense exercise I’ve been getting. Even though I’ve been waking up early to go to the gym, I usually don’t sweat too much when I go at that time because I don’t want to wash my hair before class.

To shake up my routine a little, I’ve decided to give myself a little challenge- I want to see if I can go to an exercise class every day this week. Since I have a pass to one gym and I work at another, that’s a lot of gyms I can take classes at! I don’t normally take too many classes, but I never regret taking them because they push me so hard.

The classes I’m going to take will depend on my work / school schedule, but I’m committing myself to going to yoga at least once and trying Body Pump (SO SCARED) sometime this week. Maybe typing that will actually make me go?

Challenge accepted!

What are your thoughts on group fitness classes?

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75 Responses to Let The Challenge Begin!

  1. greekmelie says:

    I really like fitness classes for a change of pace. And I particularly enjoy that I don’t have t think about the schedule and what exercises I need to do and things like that. Cute instructors don’t hurt either. They’re motivational! 😉

  2. Kristina says:

    I always use water…I love my green smoothies but I’ll have to see what almond milk does! I have the same dilemma with yoga…I want to go but the class is 630-8 and I don’t like eating a big meal before and 8is so late to eat!

    • Almond milk makes them way better! I hate eating so late. On Tuesdays and Thursdays, I don’t eat until past 8 because I get off work then, and I go to bed feeling full, which I don’t enjoy.

  3. I love Green Monsters with almond milk, but I make them with water too. Usually I make them with water if I add protein powder but if I don’t add protein, I make it with almond milk. 🙂

  4. I really like fitness classes because they hold me accountable… I’m more likely to actually go when I’ve paid for it! 😉 I also love circuit classes because they make me do some semblance of weights, which I’m *terrible* at doing on my own!

    I definitely don’t tend to get quite as good of cardio but I’m pretty good at doing cardio on my own, so fitness classes tend to help me “diversify” a little and challenge myself a little more. 🙂

    those lentil pancakes are quite an interesting idea! they look amazing 🙂

  5. Hannah says:

    Love recipes that are like chinese whispers through the blogosphere 😀 Good luck with the cycling course!

  6. Good luck with your challenge this week!!!! make sure to stretch and snack accordingly!!!! I took my first intense cycling class wed and couldnt walk thurs.. fri.. and most of saturday! haha! My instructor was a mommy though!

    Can’t wait to hear how you do! =) mwah!

  7. Jenny says:

    I’ve never taken a cycling class but I hear that they really knock the wind out of you. Hope it goes well for you, those pancakes look amazing! I don’t do group classes just because I like to do my own thing at the gym and my workouts are centered around weight lifting 🙂

  8. Yoga has become my favorite workout of all time. I love how long and lean it is making my muscles!! 🙂

  9. Casey says:

    I actually just tried BodyPump last semester and really enjoyed it!
    I’m not a class person at all either. I’ve only recently fell in love with spinning and the occasional BodyPump.
    Usually the instructor will tell you to take it easy your first time, until you know what to expect. Even if the bar feels light, trust me your muscles will be sore the next day!

  10. ~Jessica~ says:

    Water? Eech, I’d never use that in my smoothies. Using milk has hardly any caloric difference and makes things much tastier, I’d imagine.

    I love group classes, particularly Pump and spin. Give Pump a go! It’s not particularly hard or scary and everyone has messed up at some point. I’ve seen some pretty significant increases in strength from it. Just don’t go crazy with the leg tracks because they don’t pair too well with training for longer races: blast your arms instead to avoid injury.


    • Thanks for the advice! My legs definitely feel it today, but my arms aren’t so sore. I need to work on my upper body strength- I have pretty strong legs, but my arms are like spaghetti 🙂

  11. wow! great challenge! cant wait to hear bout it!.. i have never been to a group class since i cactually dont go to a proper gym- ahah! but i for sure will in the future!>. wow! so excited those lentil pancakes turned out!

  12. hot instructors are sometimes the best kind of motivation 🙂 hehe. The only “group” things I do are spinning classes and yoga – I’ve never gotten into the other group classes, but there are so many people that swear by them. It’s great to mix it up like that!

  13. I like group fitness classes because they motivate me to be on my A-game!

  14. Aren’t bean fantastic for so many things? I like group classes when I take them. But my gym really only has a pump class, spin, or you can pay for a bootcamp. They used to have step, but it was only one night and the spin classes are only Tues/Thurs so not much variety unfortunately.

    • I tried a step class once and didn’t particularly like it. Some of the gyms near me have a really bad class schedule, but thankfully there are a lot of gyms I can go to, so between them, I’ve worked out a schedule 🙂

  15. AS long as the class is not too crowded I dont mind group fitness 🙂

  16. You are so sweet to leave some of the PB flour! Look at you. I definitely wouldn’t have been that nice. 😉

    Group fitness classes are fun! Especially if you do it with a friend. 🙂

  17. Oh I used to LOVE spinning classes! Too much cardio for me right now (since I’m working on gaining muscle) but so much fun! Especially if you have some sweaty eye candy up front, right???

    I think group fit classes are a great way to keep motivated! And you always get a wonderful workout that way- usually.

    Those lentil cakes look FANTASTIC! I have to adapt your recipe from Kat’s recipe from my own I think. 😉

  18. Danielle says:

    I’ve never done a group fitness class beyond gym class K-12 (and I feel like that only counted some days). I’ve really been wanting to go, but for some unknown reason my gym only has groups in the afternoons/evenings, and that’s when I have class. I’ll get to one sooner or later!

    Good luck in your classes!

  19. AlisonM says:

    Your peanut flour addiction is so funny! Can you have a small breakfast before cycling, just to tide you over — even just a banana. That’s what I do for very early morning workouts.

  20. I love how creative you are with food!! I would love to try those pancakes with lentils – YUM! I really enjoy most group exercise classes – with a good instructor they can be so motivating! Sometimes I do prefer to do my own thing and not have someone telling me what to do, but it’s nice to switch it up.

  21. Sometimes I like group fitness classes and sometimes I do not. I am not a fan of them when they are overcrowded and that seems to be the biggest problem with them. I try to go during an off hour so I can get the most out of my workout!

  22. runyogarepeat says:

    I’m excited to hear what classes you take! I love group exercise classes if the teacher’s good. I bought a pass for my gym at school, so I’ve been trying to go to at least 2 classes a week (usually more), so I use the pass and don’t waste it.

  23. I am all about group fitness classes. I thrive off of the energy in a room. I also like the element of competition, should you silently compete in your head with others in the class (which I totally do).

  24. Kimberly says:

    I love going to classes! I think you will really enjoy both yoga and body pump. Yoga is kind of a given because it is relaxing and quiet. Body pump is fun because it is not too dance-y and you do not need very much coordination to be able have fun and enjoy the class. I have zero coordination skills and I still really enjoyed it 🙂 Just remember, everyone is just as focused on their moves as you are on your – so have fun and do not get discouraged!

    • I hate dancing classes! I’m really uncoordinated, so I never get the hang of the moves and end up trying to catch up the whole time. I really enjoyed the fact that Body Pump wasn’t like that!

  25. Runeatrepeat says:

    I really like fitness classes, but they have to have a good instructor. I was super spoiled at my old gym – all the instructors were awesome!

    • I like most of the instructors at the different gyms I’ve been to. One of them was CRAZY, in a good way. As in, walking around the cycling room and making you sing into her microphone 🙂

  26. bakebooks says:

    Lentils in pancakes?! You are so creative!

    As long as there’s maple syrup over it – I’m cool with it 😉

    I tried spinning a long time ago when I was part of a gym. It was okay at first – but then I got tired of the instructor yelling all the time…and “she” wasn’t cute…maybe if I had your scenario though…:)

  27. Errign says:

    Love group X – especially when they’re free at school. 🙂

  28. I love group fitness classes! I don’t go often (I’m more of a runner, so I’m usually doing that for exercise), but I always feel like I get such a good workout when I go to them. Also, I find I push myself harder in group classes than I do at home for a workout DVD, ya know?

  29. I want to try Body Pump, too! I’m sure you can rock it… can’t wait to hear how it goes! 🙂

  30. Your pancakes look good! I would have never thought to use lentils!

  31. I went to TJ’s yesterday to stock up on the peanut flour and they were ALL out. Sad day.

    I really enjoy group fitness classes if I feel like I’m being pushed. Sometimes I find them not challenging enough, other times I feel like it doesn’t matter. Spinning is one of those classes where you can determine how hard you want to push yourself. That’s why it’s so rewarding!

  32. Emily says:

    Ohh, that’s a good challenge 🙂

    Definitely try a body pump class, don’t be afraid. I think the key to your first body pump class is not doing more than your body can take on. My first one, I used to heavy of weights and it made me extremely sore. Once I lowered my weights, I felt wayyy better! Good luck 😀

  33. Definately a good reason to go workout!
    Beans have also been amazing me. I made your Single Serving Bean Brownie on the weekened and it was delicious. Thank you!

  34. You find those Vitatops in the freezer section, right? Are the chocolate ones the only kind that you’ve tried?

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  37. Mmm, those lentil pancakes sound just like me! I will definitely have to give those a try! Oh my gosh, GM’s with water taste like poo! Almond milk all the way baby! I don’t know how you did it with just water! Ick!

    I’ve only ever been to one group fitness class. It was a yoga class and I really enjoyed it. I’m a bit self conscious when I’m working out…I don’t do the whole “work out buddy” thing. I prefer sweating it up in my living room alone where I can break into a ridiculous booty shaking dance mid workout whenever I want!

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