I love that I saw Sarah's Day 18 post today before I got the chance to write my own. Today is "Tips and Tricks from 2015", but I love that we are getting the opportunity to share with you what our Hacks are. I love Hacks articles, I am always amazed at the resourcefulness and creativity. I am NOT as creative and original as some of those articles, but hopefully my suggestions here can help someone. Somewhere.
I'm not someone who follows a diet, but I do gravitate towards paleo-style cooking when I'm at home making food for us. And my reason is that there is just really no sense in eating pasta when zoodles and spaghetti squash are just as delicious without any of the bad side effects (weight gain, sugar spike, bloating, hunger cravings). Anyways, that's NOT my hack. My hack has to do with making paleo baked goods, which if anyone out there has ever tried, never ever ever ever looks like the fluffy delicious bready products in the cookbook pictures. Honestly, I think those have to be fake. Or a one-off oops, it accidentally came out not as dense and heavy as a brick.
Anytime a recipe calls for eggs (and they all do), there is a very interesting way the egg whites will affect the heaviness of your finished product. The recipe just says 4 eggs. OK. You'd just chuck them in, amiright? Well, if you're trying to achieve a loftier texture when making what I would classify as non-bread items (like bars, cakes, brownies, or other treat that isn't meant to rise a lot), it makes the biggest difference if you separate the egg whites from the eggs and beat them until they are foamy, if your triceps can handle it or you're using a blender, even until you have semi-stiff peaks. Then fold it gently into the batter before baking. With breads, I have found that beating egg whites makes the bread too stiff and stale textured, and so we go 180 the opposite direction, to folding gently so that the eggs are integrated but disturbed as little as possible.
My other favorite paleo hack is making those bacon basket weave squares. For 3 full pieces of bacon, cut in half, and weave them together. Bake in the oven until crispy. I like to use these in place of bread - it's so nice to have something solid holding your sandwich together!
The only other food-related tip is to just find recipes that require as few ingredients and steps as possible. There is something about a recipe with 30 ingredients and 22 steps that goes on for 2 pages that I would rather eat pizza than make, no matter how amazing the picture looks. Find the simple staples and you will win that battle more frequently.
Last but not least, here's a great one for Les Mills Instructors! I am absolutely fanatical about electronic organization. I can't have any of those red bubbles on my iPhone full of notifications. They must be clear! And in that vein, I have always kept an extremely organized library of music and choreography notes for the thousands of songs over more than 150 releases in 5 formats of music I have been receiving quarterly for almost 8 years. If you're doing the math, as I absolutely would if I were you, I have lots of back-releases too not just from training on.
Whether I received releases via DVD or download, they've all gone into my iTunes library. And from the first release of RPM I put on my hard drive (RPM 68) I renamed the files so that they state what release they are from and what track they are. The warm up is Hold On. And if you did nothing to it, it would just say Hold On by Les Mills International somewhere on your electronic device. I renamed it RPM 38 - 01 Hold On. And forevermore, I will know exactly where it came from, what else it goes with, and what sequence in my playlist it should reside.
This comes in great handy when you have thousands of songs to choose from and you're building a playlist right from your device. This is what RPM looks like for me this week. I can quickly scan my list and see that I have Tracks 1-9 all lined up and ready. And there's even a handy example of what I do for Alternate songs.
Additionally, I've always scanned my kit notes when they came to us hard copy, so I have all of those, along with the ones we have been receiving electronically in my Google Drive library, which are accessible at any time from the Google Drive app on my phone.
YES?? Yes! I do this same process for BodyAttack (Attack 91 - 09 Take Me To Church) who else is looking forward to that?!?! GRIT, BodyPump, and yes I even keep my BodyStep library organized even though I haven't learned a release since the 80's. I don't know if any instructors struggle with organization, but I've never even considered that it was an issue at all, until I see someone pop a picture of their playlist on social media and I cringe because I can't tell if they're playing 8 warmup tracks in a row, or if it's all legit. It would definitely take some time to play catch up and organize files once you've had them collecting for awhile, but I think it's so worth it.