Zumba and Mexican Pizza

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Those two things in no way go together. In fact, they didn't even happen in the same night. But Zumba is fun and exciting, as are homemade mexican pizzas (I should know, I talked about them for a week before I made them- this is how exciting my life is). But we'll get to those in a bit.
Yesterday I got off work a little early- is there anything better than your boss telling you to go home early?!- and since I left my gym card at home and the staff over there is less than thrilled when you dare to forget it, I decided I would go home, run 2.5 miles to the fitness center in "downtown" Lincoln (yes, we have a downtown) and take a free Zumba class.
I'm going to digress for one minute and say that a few months ago I did a few "month trials" at a lot of different exercise places- yoga studios, fitness centers, etc. and apparently when you only sign up for a one month discounted offer and never come back, they want you as badly as 12 year olds want Justin Bieber. I have received so many "come back for 7 free classes because we miss you" offers that I have no excuse to not work out.
Anyway, I love this little fitness place, Guiding Fitness. It's small, homey, but they actually offer a unique array of classes and I love, love, love that it's in Lincoln.
I also love, love, love, Zumba. It's getting the chance to dance without some skanky girl spilling her margarita while some skeezy guy tries to dance with you amidst 200 sweaty drunk people. PLUS, you get to say you worked out. Needless to say my run was not so successful, as I lost my driver's license along the way, but there is something about music and dancing that makes me forget my stress.
I'd like to say now that I am TERRIBLE at Zumba. I need to see a move about 100 times before I get it and even then I in no way look like Shakira, shaking my thang. I imagine I look like my granny while she tries desperately to keep rhythm and dance to whatever crap my sisters and cousins make her listen to on the car radio. As much as I suck, I honestly don't care. Zumba is freeing and I didn't realize it until last night.
Running is my thing. This is not to say I'm good at it, but it's like flossing. Sometimes it's a pain and I have no desire to take the extra time to do it, but I know it's good for me and when I'm done, I'm so glad I did it. Running is my opportunity to confront something I never thought I could do, tackle it, and continue to challenge myself with it on a daily basis. It feeds my competitive streak, but also gives me a sense of peace I rarely get any other hour of the day.
Zumba is definitely not that. I have no desire to buy special Zumba shoes or join a Zumba only studio. It's fun, freeing and I somehow lose my competitive streak while I'm there (mostly). While trying to shake my booty last night, I marveled at how little I paid attention to the other women in the class- if they were shaking it more than me, how on beat they were, if they looked good enough to teach the class. Never in my life does the judge in me stop thinking. When I'm in the gym, I'm non-stop thinking about the size 2 on the treadmill and whether I can out run her, I'm counting calories, drops of sweat and the minutes until I'm done.
I challenge you to try something you're not good at and even more importantly, I challenge you to be OKAY with it. Give yourself the freedom to mess up, look like an idiot and smile. Because honestly, what's better than that?

Mexican Pizzas
I came up with this recipe one day while I was on a walk. I'm telling you exercise and cooking really do go hand in hand.
These are super versatile. Use any type of meat, or no meat at all, black, pinto or refried beans, pico de gallo, spicy salsa, whatever you're feeling. I suppose you could add cheese. They're a little throw back to the Taco Bell mexican pizza idea without having to go to Taco Bell.

Serves 6
4-8 small corn or flour tortillas
1 can beans (non lard refried, like Amy's brand, pinto or black beans)
1 cup salsa
1 package soyrizo (or another kind of meat)
sour cream
guacamole (mix 2 avocados with 1 squeezed lime, a dash of salt and hot sauce)
chopped lettuce, tomato and onion (optional)

Turn oven to 400. Place tortillas on a cookie sheet and place in oven. After 5 minutes, check and flip the tortillas. when brown on both sides, remove from oven.
While tortillas are baking, cook meat, beans, and any other toppings. Place all toppings on a counter, table, etc. "buffet style".
When tortillas are done, allow each person to create their own mexican pizza.
Recommended: spread beans on tortilla first, add toppings from there, ending with sour cream, guacamole and salsa.


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