An Open Letter to the Zac Brown Band

August 26th, 2010

Dear Zac Brown Band,
If there was a clean version of Toes available to the public, I would use it in my Zumba classes.

Thank you,
Rencsi

I was looking for a fun end-of-summer song to add to my Zumba playlist and I decided on Toes by the Zac Brown Band. I had the choreography ready to go. All I needed was a clean version of the song…

No such luck – there isn’t one. The clean version made available to radio stations is not available to the public.

I’m all for free speech, but I can’t blast the word “ass” over a loud speaker system to a captive audience of all ages. So Toes is a no-go and I’m sad.

“The Puck Stops Here” Tom Emmer Billboard is Ridiculous

August 26th, 2010

** Please note before reading. I am not a politically-minded person whatsoever. **

“The Puck Stops Here” Tom Emmer billboard is ridiculous. Here’s why:

In the picture on the billboard, Emmer is wearing the typical old-man softball uniform: 100% polyester white baseball umpire shorts and an old school, 3-button softball jersey. He is leaning forward with one arm extended, as though to shake someone’s hand. The other hand is resting on his thigh, but yet has A CARTOON HOCKEY STICK photoshopped into it…?

Adding a hockey stick to a picture of a man in a softball uniform makes no sense. That’s the best they could do? The billboard is by far the worst billboard I’ve ever seen for any product or political candidate.

I don’t have a picture yet, but I need one. You can find this billboard on Highway 10 in Blaine, Minnesota and 35E in Saint Paul.

I’m not a political person, but please don’t vote for Tom Emmer. This billboard is ridiculous.

What to Pack for a Ragnar Relay

August 15th, 2010

I’m getting ready to run my 3rd Great River Ragnar Relay. A new friend, one of my Zumba participants, has joined the team this year. She has a lot of questions. To help her out, here’s my suggestion on what to pack for a Ragnar Relay.

Clothes: Pack your favorite running clothes, but don’t over pack. You also get a very nice shirt from Ragnar in your race goodie bag.

1 or 2 Pairs – Running Shoes
3 – Running Tights or Shorts
3 – Running Tops
3 – Running Socks
4 – Comfortable Underwear
3 – Sports Bras (or if you’re like me 6 sports bras – why do sports bras have to be so terrible?)
1 – Long Sleeve T-shirt
1 – Light Jacket
1 – Comfortable Shoes or Sandals
1 – Comfortable Top
1 – Comfortable Pants or Shorts
1 – Baseball or Running Cap
1 – Swimsuit
1 – Towel
1 – Gym Towel
1 – Wet/Dry Bag
1 – Reflective Vest
2 – LED Lights
1 – Headlamp
1 – Sunglasses
1 – Glasses with Clear Lenses
1 – Small Hand-held Mace (for those wild animals they warn you about in the race bible!)

Toiletries: You might not need all of these all of the time, but hopefully someone in your van has them when you need them.

Sunscreen
Chapstick
Gum
Bug Spray
Deodorant
Toothbrush
Toothpaste
Floss
Hairbrush
Moist Body Wipes
Moist Facial Wipes
Pepto Bismol (Beware Runner’s Trots and Dehydration)
Tums
Travel-size Contact Lens Solution
Contact Case
Travel-size Shampoo
Travel-size Conditioner
Travel-size Toilet Paper
Travel-size Vaseline
Band-aids
First Aid Kit
Nail Clipper
Ibuprofen
Garbage Bags
Paper Towels
Hand Sanitizer

Food: This is for the whole van. Bring any special food items that work for you before/during/after running. Avoid new foods on race days.

Water (bottles of various sizes)
Sports Drinks
Protein & Energy Bars
Sandwich Materials (bread, peanut butter, & jelly for me)
Fruit (not too fibrous)
Nuts
Trail Mix

Entertainment: Race rules have changed and a lot of legs are non-support legs. Keep yourself occupied.

Camera
Magazines
MP3 Player
Travel Pillow
Car Games
Sense of Humor
Good Attitude
Team Spirit

I’d love to hear suggestions and recommendations based on your experience with Ragnar Relay!

July Zumba Playlist

August 14th, 2010

Taking a cue from Zumba with Alena, I am now sharing links to choreography or the choreography that inspired my own choreography when available. Enjoy! (Sorry, I don’t post any videos of my own choreography… yet.

Startin’ Somethin’ (Pop / Warm Up)
Michael Jackson
Choreography by Rencsi, Inspired by CarlyandJanelleZumba

Disturbia (Pop / Warm Up)
Rihanna
Choreography by Rencsi, Inspired by Zumba with Renee

La Bamba (Latin Hip Hop / Warm Up)
Wyclef Jean
Choreography by Rencsi

Waka Waka (Latin Pop)
Shakira
Choreography by Rencsi, Inspired by Shakira

Suavemente (Merengue)
Elvis Crespo
Choreography by Rencsi

Que Te Pica (Reggaeton)
Notch
Choreography by Rencsi, Inspired by this YouTube video

La Agarro Bajando (Salsa)
Zumba Megamix 4
Choreography by Rencsi, Inspired by Mary Pirela

Shake (Latin Hip Hop)
Ying Yang Twins Featuring Pitbull
Choreography by Rencsi, Inspired by this YouTube video

Boro Boro (Bollywood)
Zumba ZIN 22
Choreography by Rencsi

Kalinka (Russian Folk / Pop)
Yamboo
Choreography by Rencsi

Lean Like a Cholo (Zumba Toning / Latin Hip Hop)
Down AKA Kilo
Choreography by Rencsi, Inspired by this YouTube video

La Negra Tomasa (Cumbia)
DJ Kane
Choreography by Rencsi

Te Extrano (Bachata)
X-Treme
Choreography by Rencsi

Take Me Home Country Roads (Reggaeton / Cool Down)
Toots & the Maytals
Choreography by Rencsi

Is Santino Rice Gay?

August 14th, 2010

I love Project RunwaySeason 2 with Santino Rice, Nick Verreos, and Daniel Franco was definitely my favorite season. I watch Project Runway – The Musical on a regular basis.

Now, I love On the Road With Austin & Santino. Each episode is short and sweet. I’m a big Santino Rice fan, but tonight I was wondering, “Is Santino Rice gay?”

According to his interview with Windy City Times posted on ChicacoPride.com on February 1, 2010:

WCT: (Windy City Times) You are bisexual, correct?

SR: (Santino Rice) Well that is a whole other interview right there. You can just call me gay but I like men and I am attracted to beautiful women. I didn’t like the negativity that was attached to being gay growing up so that is why I have problems with the label.

So I guess technically, the answer is yes, Santino Rice is gay.

santino rice and nick verreos

I Hate Clif Bars

August 6th, 2010

My mom used to say, “I hate the word ‘hate.’” I don’t use it very often, but when I use it, I mean it. I can only think of a few things I hate – like February. I also hate Clif Bars.

I mean it when I say, “I hate Clif Bars.” I don’t know what’s wrong with me. Everyone I know loves Clif Bars, but the thought of eating one makes me gag. Even after long, grueling runs, I can’t choke down more than a few bites of a Clif Bar simply for nourishment.

I admit, Clif Bars are hard to beat nutritionally and unfortunately, they’re everywhere: race goodie bags, grocery store checkouts, gas stations, sports supply stores… What’s a good alternative to Clif Bars? Here are some suggestions:

Snickers Marathon Bars
I got one of these in a race goodie bag and I now buy them on the regular. They are so good, I feel like I’m eating a candy bar! I get them at Wal-mart in the pharmacy section near the Boost and Ensure meal replacement drinks. It seems unnatural to eat anything with the Snickers name on it for nutrition before or after exercising, but I’ve had success with them. I will continue to buy them and eat them until further notice.

Kashi Go Lean Protein & Fiber Bars
Eh. These bars are OK. I like the Chocolate Caramel Crunchy Protein & Fiber Bar, but it’s the only one I’ve found that I’ve liked.

Luna “The Whole Nutrition Bar for Women” – Lemon Zest
Yes, I know Luna bars are made by the Clif company. I never said, “I hate the company that makes Clif Bars.” I said, “I hate Clif Bars.” I can’t eat Clif Bars, but I can eat Luna Bars. I don’t know why. I’m a woman – maybe that’s why. Lemon Zest is my favorite so far.

As I noted, Luna Bars are The Whole Nutrition Bar for Women. So can my boyfriend eat a Luna Bar?

From the post Will Eating Luna Bars Make a Guy Grow Breasts? on Chow.com:

Clif Bar, manufacturer of the Luna nutrition bar – marketed “for women” – is asked this question all the time. The concern is baseless, however. Luna bars, which come in flavors including Lemon Zest, S’mores, and Dulce de Leche, contain no estrogen or other hormones that might cause men to grow mammary glands. They’re for women because they’re fortified with nutrients females typically need more of or sometimes have a hard time getting in their diets. These include folic acid, calcium, iron, B vitamins, and fiber.

Kashi Go Lean Protein & Fiber Bars – Chewy PB & Chocolate Versus Crunchy Chocolate Caramel

August 6th, 2010

Some days, meal replacement bars are a group fitness instructor’s best friend. On my latest trip to the grocery store, Kashi GOLEAN Protein & Fiber Bars were on sale 10 for $10 so I decided to give them a try. I bought four Peanut Butter & Chocolate Kashi Go Lean Chewy Protein & Fiber Bars (13 grams of protein, 6 grams of fiber, 290 calories) and six Chocolate Caramel Kashi Go Lean Crunchy Protein & Fiber Bars (8 grams of protein, 6 grams of fiber, 150 calories). These two varieties were my only options at the time.

I started with the Chewy Peanut Butter & Chocolate Go Lean Bar on day one. I eat in the car between classes. I opened the package and it looked like a giant chocolate bar, and in my opinion, that is a good thing. The first bite was sadly disappointing. Inside the chocolate was a grainy, flavorless mass that did not resemble any peanut butter I’ve ever tasted. I forced myself to eat half the bar for nourishment, and I left the rest in my car to melt in the summer heat while I taught Zumba.

After my bad experience with the Chewy bar, I hesitated a couple of days before trying the Crunchy Chocolate Caramel Go Lean Bar. Actually, my boyfriend tried it first. He described it as a Rice Krispies bar. I tried it and agreed. It was something like a soggy Rice Krispies bar or Special K bar with chunks of marshmallow on a bed of chocolate. Between me and my boyfriend, all six are now gone. I will buy these again.

The Kashi Chocolate Caramel Crunchy Go Lean Protein & Fiber bar is low in calories and protein, but it was the clear winner of the Rencsi.com Crunchy versus Chewy taste test.