Friday, December 31, 2010

Fitness Friday-Goodbye 2010

This is the last Fitness Friday for 2010! 
WELCOME 2011-Make it a GREAT YEAR for YOU!

Warm up:
1 minute each
Walk in place (get those knees up and pump your arms)
Step up's (step up and down on a stair or stepper if you have one)
Jumping jacks
Jump rope
Walk in place

Warm-up Stretching:
10 Forward arm circles
10 Reverse arm circles
Spine flexion, hold for 15 sec (reach out in front of you)
Spine extension, hold for 15 sec (reaching behind you)

Note: With weights never go too heavy, everyone is different so pick a weight that feels challenging but not straining. You can use dumbbells, cans of soup, a weighted bar of some kind...get creative with what you have around you.
ALWAYS protect your lower back by pulling in your abdominal muscles, watch to make sure you are neither over extending or flexing your back while performing these exercises. Your upper body/torso is there to keep you upright and strong (your core is always engaged in all that you do) so that whatever muscle group you are working is doing all the work...not the back. 
The workout:
*10 each side, Side to side leaps (as if you are leaping over a puddle sideways)
*10 Push-ups (regular or modified)
*10 Military presses w/ dumbbells or anything weighted (standing, sitting on bench, chair or balance ball)
*10 each leg, Walking lunges w/ or w/o added weight (watch that forward knee does not go over knee, keep torso upright, pull bellybutton to spine or suck in the abdominal muscles)
*Skaters for 30 seconds 
*10 Bent over rows (go lighter on weights)
*10 Triceps dips (on bench or step)
*10 Bicep curls w/ dumbbells
*20 Hop on stairs (Hop on to and off of stair or stepper while in a squat like position, make sure both feet land fully on the step)

Repeat 3-5 times for a great fully body workout!!!

Don't forget to stretch:
And Drink plenty of water today and everyday!!!

It's a NEW YEAR make a FRESH START!!!

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Fitness Friday Eve

The holiday's are busy which is all the more reason to GET MOVING! Burn off some of those cookie calories from all of that baking and the work goodie binges...C'mon, you know you did :) Plus, get rid of some of that holiday anxiety and stress while getting all revved up for the last day before Christmas!

Here's your Fitness Friday and it's a little early which means you have no excuse! You can get up in the morning to start Christmas Eve off RIGHT!

Today's Fitness Friday comes from my wonderful friend Diane. She is a Personal Trainer in MI.
Check out her FaceBook page The Muscle Mechanic.
This is a fantastic full body workout which requires NO equipment! Enjoy...I have!!!


Warm up 20 seconds each x 2 sets (with a 30 sec. break)

Butt Kicks (run or stand in place, kicking butt)

Y Squats (squat with hands over head forming a Y, DO NOT allow knees to go over toes...Sit back like you are sitting back onto a chair)

Cross Body Mountain Climbers (in Push Up position, bend knee and bring to opposite side of body, alternate)

Shuffle (in squat position and shuffle sideways back and forth)

Stretch

The Gauntlet x 3-5 sets with 30 -40 second breaks in between full sets

Push ups x 10

Side Jumps x 15each side (jump side to side)

Tricep dips x 10 (like on a chair but without the chair using body weight keep butt up and try just using arms to lower and raise body)

Mountain Climbers x 20 each side (alternating) (Push up position and "run" keeping butt down)

Reaching Lunge x 10 each each side (squat with one leg, the other leg is behind you while you reach out for balance come back up)

T-Push Up x 10 (total) (Do push up go into a T form on side, back down push up T form other side)

Spiderman Climb x 5 each side. (Push up position, take foot and bring to hand on same side of body)

I challenged myself to do it quicker with each set.

REST for 30-60 seconds

Total Body Abs x 30 seconds each x 2 sets
Night Crawler (Standing with hands over head bring elbow to opposite knee, alternate)

Super Walk (Push up position walk hands out over head as far as you can, walk back in keeping butt down, repeat)

Fantastic Plank (Push up position, hands out over head as far as possible, hold for 30 seconds)

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Christmas Hustle and Bustle - Ways to Beat Stress

We all know that the days and weeks leading up to Christmas can be hectic, crazy and stressful. We want to make sure we've made our lists and checked them twice not forgetting anyone. There are so many people to think about. Kids, moms, dads, grandparents, cousins, nieces and nephews, teachers, coaches, friends and neighbors not to mention the mail carrier, paper deliverer etc...etc...
There's cooking and baking, decorating and wrapping, preparing and sharing. All of this takes place while the routine of daily life must go on. No wonder so many of us are stressed out and cranky during one of the most celebrated and loved holidays of the year!


While we can't take away the stress altogether there are always things that we can do to minimize it and help us through not just this time of year but throughout the year!


First of all...If it doesn't bring you joy, DON'T DO IT! If it's something you do begrudgingly or because you feel you have to but it really just adds stress then omit it from your to do list! Years ago I thought it was my job, my duty as a woman to bake for the holidays. Bake cookies, bake breads, bake fudge and bake beautiful pastries but it didn't make me happy AT ALL! I HATE baking! I really do...for some reason it makes me cranky at the end of it all. Some people LOVE it and they do such a wonderful job making beautiful baked goods that taste so great. If that's you, continue but if it's not then stop! I don't love it so I stopped doing it. A friend of mine said if putting up three Christmas trees in your house makes you happy, then do it! If it stresses you out then don't do it! There are no rules or codes to follow at Christmas time. Christmas is really about celebrating and enjoying, not stressing to the point where you walk around being rude, cranky and miserable...we've all been there and we see it in the parking lots and stores as people scramble to make Christmas happen. Not fun!

Second...EXERCISE! Yes, you knew it was coming! Listen to this...Our bodies are wonderful machines and when we utilize and DO with them what they were made to do our bodies take care of us. Let's take a look at two ways daily stresses can be managed physiologically...

Endorhpin Release - Endorphins...oh how I love you! When we exercise our bodies releases these wonderful, pain-relieving, mood-elevating chemicals in the brain giving us a natural feeling of well being and happiness as they lift our mood. The runner’s high is a perfect example of the increased endorphins in the body. Therefore, exercise keeps your body functioning well and will keep you feeling relaxed and refreshed while promoting a deep and restful nights sleep. Sounds great doesn't it!

Cortisol - Cortisol is an important chemical that the body produces when stress is placed on it as it aids us in the fight or flight response. Excessive amounts of cortisol, however, wreak havoc on the body in the form of weight gain, fatigue, insomnia, fuzzy thinking, depression, cravings and mood swings. Chronic stress forces the adrenal glands to produce high levels of cortisol which, as you can see, can be detrimental not just on a daily basis but over time.  Getting in regular bouts of exercise will curb the amount of cortisol your body releases in response to stress. 

Do yourself a favor by treating the body you were given with respect. Eliminate unnecessary  stress and manage the rest through exercise! You'll feel better and your body will thank you now and for years to come!
MERRY CHRISTMAS!!! 

Dinner - Uncomplicated

Dinner doesn't have to be complicated!
With a few simple ingredients dinner can be ready before you know it.

2-2.5lb Pork Tenderloin Roast
1 box (13.25oz, serves 7) Rotini Whole Wheat Pasta, cooked according to directions
1 Red Pepper, cut in bite size pieces
1 Yellow Pepper, cut in bite size pieces
1 Pkg Baby Spinach
4Tbls drained Muffalata (I used from Muffalata from The Pickle Guy, Mild & Spicy)
McCormick Steakhouse Grinders seasoning to taste
1/8tsp Sea Salt...a little goes a long way so season sparingly!
1-2Tbls Olive Oil
(Some variations are below)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees
Remove pork tenderloin from packaging, rinse under cold water, pat dry.
Place pork in baking dish
Grind McCormick Steakhouse Grinders seasoning all over roast
Cover with foil
Bake 30 minutes per lb or until internal temp reaches 160 degrees
Remove roast from oven when ready, uncover and let rest for 5 minutes

While roast is resting heat oil in pan on stove top.
Add peppers and sautee about 5 minutes
Add drained muffalata, stir for 1 minute
Add baby spinach
Season with McCormick Steakhouse Grinders seasoning
Finally, add cooked pasta and stir

Set on low to keep warm while you slice the pork roast.
You can also add the juice of the roast to the pasta for some added flavor if you'd like.

Serve and Enjoy!
Served 5 with pasta and roast leftover for lunch tomorrow!


 Simple and Da-lish!

Variations: Add squash and onion. Use sweet potato or spaghetti squash in place of pasta or brussel sprouts with olive oil and garlic...be creative and use what works for you or with what you have on hand. Just remember modest amounts of Olive Oil and salt. Use other spices/herbs to add flavor!

Friday, December 17, 2010

Fitness Friday #6

Yep...I'm continuing Fitness Friday's! SO, get up and make Friday Fantastic by getting FIT!
Start w/ CARDIO:
Make your cardio COUNT. Move fast and move on to the next series quickly! Drink water and rest only as necessary!
1 minute jumping jacks
30 second butt kickers
30 second skaters
1 minute step ups
1 minute "jumping rope"
1 minute jog in place
30 leap side to side
30 second high knees
30 second side to side w/ hamstring curl
30 second jump squat

Move on to STRENGTH:
Use appropriate weighted Dumbbells w/ all exercises
Chest Press on bench, stability ball, bosu or on floor 1x/12-15
Standing Dumbbell rows 1x/12-15
Bicep Curls w/ Dumbbells 1x/12-15
Overhead Triceps Press w/ Dumbbell 1x/12-15

REPEAT 2-3x's!!!!

Please get permission and clearance from your Doctor before beginning any exercise program!

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Working Out-An Overview!

Working out, cardio, toning, weight lifting, Pilates and yoga - most of them suffice to accomplish an end if they are applied individually but work best when applied as an overall body composition make over and maintenance. Let’s take a look at each individually:

Working Out

When Joe says he went to the gym today and worked out, what do you think he actually did? Perhaps a bit of abdominal work, maybe shoulders, or legs, or maybe he just strolled around the indoor track for a few minutes and then hit the pool and Jacuzzi.

Following a distinct work out plan would be the ideal way to stay toned and tuned to your body, especially in today’s hectic lifestyle and fast food-a-ramas that line every exit and street. Working out is a term loosely applied and covers almost all aspects of exercise. But the definition of working out is always subject to change according to the person doing it.

Cardio


Walking, jogging, aerobics, skiing, skating, cycling, swimming, kickboxing, and many more are classed as cardio workouts. Cardio burns calories and trains your heart, lungs, and body to coordinate in a combined energy expenditure and physical endurance and wellness training. Yes, your heart is a muscle too, and like all muscles in the body, it requires a workout to stay tuned and fit.

Toning

Weight lifting provides muscle definition and strength. WHAT? Your muscles are always ready for action, waiting for your next move, they are toned. Today’s standard of tone is how defined the muscle appears. There is no magic spot training wizard or a way to lose fat from your stomach by a given exercise. Yes, you can work a specific muscle group and force growth but to achieve the goal of showing off your finely ‘toned’ body, you’ll need to have a serious workout plan that incorporates weight lifting, cardio, and more.


Weight Lifting

The most obvious way to build muscle is to lift weights. Most women scream, “I don’t want to bulk up!” or “I don’t want to look like that!” referring to a body building competition. The basics of weight lifting are not about body building competitions. In order to achieve the muscle mass and fine tuned cuts you see in a competition, it would take much more than an hour a day workout plan. Building muscle – and maintaining it – should be one of your goals for life. Pumping iron tunes, tones, and more. It provides you with a solid foundation of body strength, discipline, and goals; and those are the keys to life.

Pilates and Yoga

Pilates and Yoga are often closely associated due to the basic principal of focus; the mind’s interaction to inspire or unite with the body.

The “Pilates Principal,” created by Joseph Pilates, focuses on mind over matter, breathing, centering, concentration, control, and precision. Pilates also focuses on core strengthening – abs and back – and trains the mind to be aware of and be in unity and control of the body.

Originating in India, Yoga is an ancient spiritual practice. The basic goal of yoga is to experience the spiritual self and gain understanding of the nature of existence. It is also associated with maintaining postures (which focus on the same principal as Pilates) and as a form of exercise.

The overview of Working Out

The key to working out, no matter what label we use, is to just go ahead and do it. We need a strong foundation to take care of the general routine of life and muscle plays a tremendous role in our foundation. Mixing up a workout routine not only adds variety in breaking the tedium of daily ritual, it also forces your body to change its approach to strength and endurance.

The best place to begin is at the beginning, it’s never too late to change an old habit, start a new page, or prepare you for the journey through life. Nike’s advertising campaign said it best, “Just do it!”



Source:HealthNews.com
By Vickie Richter
Published: Thursday, 28 February 2008

Monday, December 13, 2010

Dinner? Try this QUICK and EASY dish!

Rice Noodles w/ Sesame-Ginger Flank Steak

Ingredients

  • 1/3  cup  rice vinegar
  • 3  tablespoons  low-sodium soy sauce
  • 1  tablespoon  hoisin sauce
  • 2  teaspoons  cornstarch
  • 1 1/2  teaspoons sugar
  • 2  teaspoons  grated peeled fresh ginger
  • 1/4  teaspoon  salt
  • 3  garlic cloves, minced
  • 2  teaspoons  dark sesame oil, divided
  • 1  (1-pound) flank steak, trimmed and cut into 1/4-inch strips
  • 1 1/2  cups  shredded carrot
  • 1 1/2  cups  sugar snap peas, trimmed
  • 1  cup  (1/4-inch) slices red bell pepper strips
  • 1/2  cup  fresh bean sprouts
  • 4  cups  hot, cooked, whole wheat or rice noodles
  • 1/2  cup  chopped green onions
  • 1  tablespoon  sesame seeds, toasted

Prep:

Combine the first 8 ingredients, stirring until sugar dissolves.
Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add 1 teaspoon oil to pan. Add half of steak; sauté 4 minutes or until browned. Remove steak from pan. Repeat procedure with remaining oil and steak. Add vinegar mixture, carrot, peas, bell pepper, and sprouts to pan; cook 3 minutes, stirring frequently. Return steak to pan. Add noodles; cook 1 minute, stirring constantly. Sprinkle with onions and sesame seeds.
Top with low sodium soy sauce and/or chili sauce for a little kick!

Nutritional Information:

When made with rice noodles.
Calories:
369 (25% from fat)
Fat:
10.4g (sat 3.7g,mono 4g,poly 1.4g)
Protein:
24.3g
Carbohydrate:
42.9g
Fiber:
4.4g
Cholesterol:
51mg
Iron:
3.1mg
Sodium:
542mg
Calcium:
63mg
Source: Cooking Light, June 2004

Friday, December 10, 2010

Fitness Friday #5

It's Baaaaaaack!
Yes, after a short hiatus it is indeed BACK! Fitness Friday...Do It!!!

Bun's and Legs-Tone 'Em Up!!!

Always warm up before doing any type of exercise. Walk for 3-5 minutes. Do some jumping jacks, butt kicks, jump rope, high knees, step-ups, arm circles, leg swings...anything to warm up the joints and muscles and get the blood in your body PUMPIN'!!!!

Bridges-2/15 (2 sets/15 reps each set) make these more difficult with heels on a Bosu or balance ball!
Glute Kickbacks-2/15
Lateral Leg Raises w/ band-2/15
Walking lunges w/ medicine ball (or anything weighted) w/ front raises-2/8-10 each leg
Plie Squat w/ medicine ball (or anything weighted)-2/15
Squat w/ leg abduction (same as lateral leg raise)-2/15
Mountain Climbers-3/15

Stretch those hamstrings, glutes and quadriceps before you're done! Flexibility is just as important as cardio and strength training so don't neglect that! Your muscles, ligaments, tendons and joints will thank you...especially as you age ;)
Please get permission and clearance from your Doctor before beginning any exercise program!

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

The Purpose of Food!

The purpose of food is and will always remain the same...to give the body fuel to perform it's daily functions in the form of three macro-nutirents which are carbohydrates, proteins and fats. Each nutrient provides ESSENTIAL calories that our cells, muscles and bones need daily to not only survive but to THRIVE!
Unfortunately, with the diet and weight loss industry some of these basic nutrients have been portrayed in a negative light and thus made us believe that we need to stay away from certain food groups.
Nothing could be farther from the truth!

I'm going to make this VERY simple! We NEED proteins! We NEED carbohydrates! We NEED fats! We need them because they are the very basics of what our bodies are made up of. Without them our bodies have no choice but to fail us. They will fail us in the form of sickness and disease, feeling sluggish and tired, immobility and the reliance on drugs from pharmaceutical companies (I'd love to get started on this subject alone...but that will be for another blog!). I often hear people questioning disease, sickness and ailments as if it's some curse thrust upon them by some outside being who is trying to punish them or teach them a lesson when in reality that being, whom I call God, created food for us to enjoy! Food is there to nourish our bodies, give us energy to perform daily tasks and see us through until our bodies, out of old age, cease to function.

Think about your car. The better you take care of it the longer it's going to last. If you don't take care of it you can get by but you're going to run into costly problems along the way with lots of time wasted taking care of those problems. You can take great care of your car, perform scheduled maintenance but eventually without a total rebuild it's gotta go but how well you take care of it will determine how long that car lasts.
The same is true with us...we need to be maintained DAILY!

When eating, the most important thing is to simply....keep it SIMPLE! Eat fresh fruits and veggies (preferably organic), nuts, legumes, lean meats and fish, whole grains (whole grain means that the WHOLE grain was used...novel idea isn't it! Another blog for another time!) and healthy fats such as olive oil, sunflower oil, flax seed oil and even coconut oil. If you want butter, use butter...it's REAL! Margarine and blends of butter have other ingredients that are either harmful or that your body doesn't need. Just remember with fats/oils MODERATION is key! Use spices to add flavor and limit processed boxed food that have long lists of ingredients.



Also, drink water water water. I'll never forget hearing that water is what our bodies use to wash us internally. You wouldn't wash your clothes in tea, pop, coffee or beer so when it comes to hydration and cleansing...water is the only way to go!


While we gain pleasure from eating it's not our taste buds that we should continually try to satisfy. Rather it is the all of the things that we can't see going on behind the scenes that needs satisfying. Your cells, neurotransmitters, synovial fluid, GI tract, brain, heart, lungs, skin and everything in between will thank you for eating the way we were intended to eat....Naturally clean, lean and green!

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Deceptive Advertising

Read those labels!

I was among a group of ladies the other day with a nice little brunch being served during a hurried decorating frenzy for an upcoming event taking place later in the week. There was fresh fruit, fresh veggies, chips, deli meats, cheeses, rolls and croissants. One thing in particular that caught my attention was a long, slender box of Pringles "Multi-grain" crisps.  "Hmmm, multi-grain," I thought. Well, let's take a closer look!


Tempting isn't it? I mean, it says "Multi-grain" so it must be "better," "helathier," or even "good for you" right? WRONG, WRONG, WRONG, WRONG! Sorry to "shout" but it is what it is!

Serving size: 16 crisps (notice that Pringles doesn't use the word chips).
140 calories and 8 grams of fat in those 16 chips.
ONE measly gram of fiber!
ONE measly gram of protein!
Trace amounts of vitamin C and iron...big deal!

So what makes this Multi Grain???

First of all, in reading labels 101 ingredients are listed in order of what ingredient is used most to least.
Just look at the first two ingredients. Rice flour and vegetable oil. Then we have dried potatoes and blagh blagh blagh other ingredients. Notice where it ways contains 2% or less of: malted barley flour then wheat flour. Guess what makes this product multi grain? Rice is a grain...first ingredient. Then the ingredients found last and least used are barley and wheat flour...both grains! Whala...Multi Grain! Is it better for you than regular pringles? Hell NO!!!
Don't fall for deceptive advertising such as "crisps" instead of chips or "multi-grain" or even "natural" for that matter.
Learn to be a label reader! Or better yet, stick to the foods at the stores perimeter where your food will have no need for labels and isn't a mock version of something attempting to be healthy. Deceptive advertising is simply a wolf walking around in sheep's clothing! Guess who the victim is?

Monday, December 6, 2010

My Monster 13.1

A half marathon? If you would have asked me that 10 years ago I would have chalked it up as a nice thought, something that I would like to think I could do someday but would never actually accomplish. Truth is, I admired all those runners I saw out on the road pounding the pavement and I envied the runners I knew.  I always wanted to be a runner but didn't think that I really could and I didn't even know where to start much less how to progress. Every journey begins somewhere and mine began in my mind years ago.
Fortunately, I didn't let that thought hold me back forever. The idea, desire and dream was always there it just came into fruition later...when I was ready!


I struggled for some time when I began to write about my first half marathon and today, 6 weeks later, I decided that I don't need to write the history of how I got here. You just need to know that I did...and YOU can too!!! Don't let anything, anyone (especially yourself) or any excuse stop you from pursuing your dreams and goals! Boom...Bottom Line!!!

 
Race day...Here we go!
Chicago Monster, October 31, 2010!
Me and Joanne waiting to GO!

I spent the weekend downtown with two friends. Vicky was doing the 5k and Joanne was doing the half marathon too. The night before the race we found out that we had a special visitor in town, President Obama! His visit caused the organizers of the race to either cancel or re-route the day before. Needless to say, they decided to re-route. I can't imagine what that must have taken to pull that off...all for one man's visit! This re-route will come into play at the end of the race so keep reading :)
The halfers started first so Joanne and I found our place in the long line of runners and waited for our turn to take off. Joanne and I were talking about our hopeful finish times. I knew I wanted to finish in 2hrs 30mins or less and acknowledged that I would probably be walking on and off throughout as I knew my training leading up to the half wasn't where I needed it to be.
As we crossed the starting line I thought "Here I go, no turning back now, girl!" The air was chilly and I was thankful for the gloves I had purchased the night before, as well as the awesome race day hoodie and skull cap from Team Ortho! Great gear!
Joanne and I started off at the back of the line, not wanting to be too ambitious. Starting off strong we just started running. We started passing people together but after a while Joanne took off ahead of me wanting to stretch her legs a little more.
Every time I run, every time I race, it's MY run, it's MY race! So it was with this one, my first half marathon. I just ran at MY race at my pace! I wasn't looking to earn anything other than the gratification that comes with finishing and maybe finishing within the time that I had set in my head! So off I went!
Since it was Halloween there were many people dressed up in costumes. That made it not only fun but it was easy to remember who passed who and who I was keeping pace with. One in particular was my childhood hero....Wonder Woman! Haha...she was no Lynda Carter that's for sure! She was one that in the beginning constantly passed me up only to stop and walk then repeat. She did this for the first 3-4 miles maybe, then I at some point she fell behind and I never saw her again. In my mind I remember thinking how important it is to just find your pace and stay there. There's no need to expend so much energy, especially in the beginning. This is a long race and there is a lot of energy that needs to be generated to continue and finish.
I wanted to keep my pace but I also wanted to stay hydrated, so I stopped at every water station and walked a bit so I wasn't sucking air as well as water. As, I approached mile 9 or 10 I could feel my legs begin to feel heavier and heavier. It was a cool 45 degrees and I was soaking wet from sweat and I was getting chilly even though I was warm. I stopped and walked to take my hat off and to peel off my top layer which was my hoodie. Because my bib was on the hoodie I actually took the time to unfasten and re-fasten my bib to my shirt. I'd say that took about 3-4 minutes and maybe a good excuse to rest my heavy legs ;-)
It was also around mile 9-10 that I could tell where we were at. We made our way back to the finish line the way we came which was along the lake front. In my mind that made the run that much harder because I then knew about how much longer I had to run. Tired, moist and cold it was a battle of the mind now.
My last little "break" came in the form of a potty break. I had passed many port-o-potty's along the way and at around the 11 mile marker I decided I better go. That took another 3-4 minutes, awkward minutes I might add. But then I was off and running again. Pushing forward, telling myself that I've come this far so there will be NO STOPPING NOW!!!
Approaching the area where we began and would finish was such a relief to see. I passed the mile 13 flag and with an immense feeling of satisfaction within me I pushed myself knowing that I only had .1 mile to go, or so I thought! I ran passed the crowd cheering for us as we ran passed. There were people clapping and handing out high fives. It was so exciting to know that I was nearly there. The finish line isn't far and so I continued to run...and run...and run!
Then confusion set in as I, along with other runners,  began running parallel to the finish line as it began to get farther and farther away. Rather than running toward we were running away from that blessed line. I stopped a couple of times to ask other runners if this seemed correct, they were as confused as I was. Finally we heard a race router clapping and cheering telling us we only had about .25 miles left!!! WHAT??? A quarter of a mile left??? Are you kidding me??? This was SO disheartening to me and I felt myself fade. It was then that I walked here and there for 5 seconds at a time. Why? I don't really know! When I stopped to walk one last time a little fairy angel came along side me (literally, she was dressed up as a fairy :) and she tapped me and said "C'mon, keep going...let's go!" And so I did as she ran beside me! I'll never forget her! She made me accountable to myself and the race.
When I finally saw the finish line I didn't sprint to it, I was sprinted out so I had to stay focused to just cross over it. Although there were lots of people there at the end I didn't see anyone on the sides, I didn't hear anyone cheering, clapping, hooting or hollering. It was just me, myself and I getting over the line. I know it doesn't sound very glorious...but I did it and that's all that mattered to me.

Vicky was at the finish line. She did her 5k and waited for me and Joanne in the cold until we finished. What an awesome friend! Then I saw my husband, kids and father-in-law who came down that morning to see me finish. I hugged my husband and began to cry. I cried because I DID IT! I cried because I was relieved! I cried because they were there to share in that joy and again I cried because I DID IT!!! What an amazing feeling it was. All of the hard work that led to this one day...and I DID IT! Me! The girl who two years ago couldn't run 3 blocks without whining that she wanted to stop! Haha...isn't that awesome?  And guess what? If I can do it....SO CAN YOU!
Here's the kicker and where the re-route comes in to play. Later that day as well as the following day people were posting on the Facebook page that the race was actually 13.4-13.5 miles and not 13.1. Days later Team Ortho acknowledged that the actual distance was 13.4 miles. I finished my race in 2 hours and 33 minutes! I reached my goal time and if the distance had actually been 13.1 I would have beat my goal time. But hey, I had a GREAT time, I'm SO glad I did it!

Believe in yourself, believe in your dreams, set goals and follow a plan to make those goals a reality! You'll be amazed at what you can do if you set your mind to do it!!!

ANYTHING IS POSSIBLE!!!

Thank you for reading my long, drawn out and at times grammatically incorrect blog with extra exclamation points...and all... :)

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Homemade, Grab n Go Oatmeal!

I have been eating this for over 5 years! I love it and I hope you do to.
I do one of two things as prep:
1. I measure out the ingredients (except the water/milk) into individual baggies or...
2. I mix a huge batch and keep it in a Tupperware type container and measure out 1/2-3/4 cup when I want some.
Here's a large batch I keep in the refrigerator!

Here is the recipe for a single serving:
1 cup of water (+/- depending on desired consistency)
*If you're looking for a calcium boost use 1/2 cup milk & 1/2 cup water or go for a full cup of milk (preferably organic)
1/2 cup plain rolled oats (I personally don't like the instant, but that would be fine)
2T ground flax seed
1-2T slivered or sliced almonds
1/8 cup dried cranberries
*Fresh or frozen berries are GREAT too! Personally, I love blueberries & measure out 70 grams
1 Stevia or Xylitol packet (Sugar alternative)
*You can also use 1-2tsp of Agave Syrup. There are several flavors like vanilla and hazelnut. A little bit goes a long way. I don't use sweeteners like Splenda or Sweet n Low.

Put it all in a bowl and microwave in 45-60 second increments 'til thickened. Or heat it up stove top, stirring occasionally.
Sometimes I add the fruit later in the cooking process because I don't want it to get too cooked. Personal preference, try it and see what works for you.
This is a filling and truly wholesome breakfast. Great way to start the day :) Enjoy.


Here's a single serving, this one actually has Chia seeds (1T) in it as well.
Made with water and agave.

Side note: It may take some getting used to because it doesn't have all the sugar like the instant flavored oatmeal's have (blech). Over time the palette adjusts and the sugary stuff becomes nasty tasting...baby steps :)

Why The Scale Lies

Scale Lies
Why The Scale Lies

by Renee Cloe,
ACE Certified Personal Trainer

We’ve been told over an over again that daily weighing is unnecessary, yet many of us can’t resist peeking at that number every morning. If you just can’t bring yourself to toss the scale in the trash, you should definitely familiarize yourself with the factors that influence it’s readings. From water retention to glycogen storage and changes in lean body mass, daily weight fluctuations are normal. They are not indicators of your success or failure. Once you understand how these mechanisms work, you can free yourself from the daily battle with the bathroom scale.

Water makes up about 60% of total body mass. Normal fluctuations in the body’s water content can send scale-watchers into a tailspin if they don’t understand what’s happening. Two factors influencing water retention are water consumption and salt intake. Strange as it sounds, the less water you drink, the more of it your body retains. If you are even slightly dehydrated your body will hang onto it’s water supplies with a vengeance, possibly causing the number on the scale to inch upward. The solution is to drink plenty of water.

Excess salt (sodium) can also play a big role in water retention. A single teaspoon of salt contains over 2,000 mg of sodium. Generally, we should only eat between 1,000 and 3,000 mg of sodium a day, so it’s easy to go overboard. Sodium is a sneaky substance. You would expect it to be most highly concentrated in salty chips, nuts, and crackers. However, a food doesn’t have to taste salty to be loaded with sodium. A half cup of instant pudding actually contains nearly four times as much sodium as an ounce of salted nuts, 460 mg in the pudding versus 123 mg in the nuts. The more highly processed a food is, the more likely it is to have a high sodium content. That’s why, when it comes to eating, it’s wise to stick mainly to the basics: fruits, vegetables, lean meat, beans, and whole grains. Be sure to read the labels on canned foods, boxed mixes, and frozen dinners.

Women may also retain several pounds of water prior to menstruation. This is very common and the weight will likely disappear as quickly as it arrives. Pre-menstrual water-weight gain can be minimized by drinking plenty of water, maintaining an exercise program, and keeping high-sodium processed foods to a minimum.

Another factor that can influence the scale is glycogen. Think of glycogen as a fuel tank full of stored carbohydrate. Some glycogen is stored in the liver and some is stored the muscles themselves. This energy reserve weighs more than a pound and it’s packaged with 3-4 pounds of water when it’s stored. Your glycogen supply will shrink during the day if you fail to take in enough carbohydrates. As the glycogen supply shrinks you will experience a small imperceptible increase in appetite and your body will restore this fuel reserve along with it’s associated water. It’s normal to experience glycogen and water weight shifts of up to 2 pounds per day even with no changes in your calorie intake or activity level. These fluctuations have nothing to do with fat loss, although they can make for some unnecessarily dramatic weigh-ins if you’re prone to obsessing over the number on the scale.

Otherwise rational people also tend to forget about the actual weight of the food they eat. For this reason, it’s wise to weigh yourself first thing in the morning before you’ve had anything to eat or drink. Swallowing a bunch of food before you step on the scale is no different than putting a bunch of rocks in your pocket. The 5 pounds that you gain right after a huge dinner is not fat. It’s the actual weight of everything you’ve had to eat and drink. The added weight of the meal will be gone several hours later when you’ve finished digesting it.

Exercise physiologists tell us that in order to store one pound of fat, you need to eat 3,500 calories more than your body is able to burn. In other words, to actually store the above dinner as 5 pounds of fat, it would have to contain a whopping 17,500 calories. This is not likely, in fact it’s not humanly possible. So when the scale goes up 3 or 4 pounds overnight, rest easy, it’s likely to be water, glycogen, and the weight of your dinner. Keep in mind that the 3,500 calorie rule works in reverse also. In order to lose one pound of fat you need to burn 3,500 calories more than you take in. Generally, it’s only possible to lose 1-2 pounds of fat per week. When you follow a very low calorie diet that causes your weight to drop 10 pounds in 7 days, it’s physically impossible for all of that to be fat. What you’re really losing is water, glycogen, and muscle.

This brings us to the scale’s sneakiest attribute. It doesn’t just weigh fat. It weighs muscle, bone, water, internal organs and all. When you lose "weight," that doesn’t necessarily mean that you’ve lost fat. In fact, the scale has no way of telling you what you’ve lost (or gained). Losing muscle is nothing to celebrate. Muscle is a metabolically active tissue. The more muscle you have the more calories your body burns, even when you’re just sitting around. That’s one reason why a fit, active person is able to eat considerably more food than the dieter who is unwittingly destroying muscle tissue.

Robin Landis, author of "Body Fueling," compares fat and muscles to feathers and gold. One pound of fat is like a big fluffy, lumpy bunch of feathers, and one pound of muscle is small and valuable like a piece of gold. Obviously, you want to lose the dumpy, bulky feathers and keep the sleek beautiful gold. The problem with the scale is that it doesn’t differentiate between the two. It can’t tell you how much of your total body weight is lean tissue and how much is fat. There are several other measuring techniques that can accomplish this, although they vary in convenience, accuracy, and cost. Skin-fold calipers pinch and measure fat folds at various locations on the body, hydrostatic (or underwater) weighing involves exhaling all of the air from your lungs before being lowered into a tank of water, and bioelectrical impedance measures the degree to which your body fat impedes a mild electrical current.

If the thought of being pinched, dunked, or gently zapped just doesn’t appeal to you, don’t worry. The best measurement tool of all turns out to be your very own eyes. How do you look? How do you feel? How do your clothes fit? Are your rings looser? Do your muscles feel firmer? These are the true measurements of success. If you are exercising and eating right, don’t be discouraged by a small gain on the scale. Fluctuations are perfectly normal. Expect them to happen and take them in stride. It’s a matter of mind over scale.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Fitness Friday #4-Time is NOT a factor!

I don't have a lot of time these days. I'm a mom, a wife, a student and I now have two jobs (one that I'm super excited about). I am constantly going, going, going but I don't need to drone on about what busy looks like in our house because we are ALL busy in some way, shape or form, right?!

So here's the thing. Sometimes I have it in my head that I need to dedicate a full 45-60 minutes of exercise, thinking that doing anything less is, well, LESS! But here's reality, sometimes I only have 20 minuets and rather than be upset about it I can put those 20 minutes to good work for me! I make it the best 20 minute workout I can!

Here's a great circuit that you can get done in 20 minutes with little to NO EQUIPMENT!
Warm-up walk for 3-5minutes
TM 5-7% incline 4-4.5mph for 2 min
20 pushups
20 walking lunges (10 each leg)
20 real situps
20 squats
Repeat 2-3x's. This is a FANTASTIC elevated heart rate, muscle engaging, sweaty workout!!!
When I'm limited on time, I make it count and you can too! Even if you only have 10 minutes do one to two rounds!

What if you don't have a treadmill??? Do fast jumping jacks, get a jump rope or pretend you have a jump rope and "jump rope," run up and down your stairs, do burpees, squat jumps, step-ups, high knees, butt kickers, side jumps, speed skaters, or any combination of those.
Bottom line! Don't let yourself believe that time is a factor. If you can squeeze in an awesome 10 minute workout twice in a day and that's all you can do, then DO IT! You'll be SO glad you did!

Make Everyday Count!
 
Please get permission and clearance from your Doctor before beginning any exercise program!

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

The New Noodle In Town

Some of you may have heard about a new noodle product that is out. Well, it's not exactly new because it has been consumed for centuries in Asia, but for us...it's new! The United States can be innovative but when it comes to food...we're WAY behind the rest of the world!
This new noodle is called No oodle and it looks like this.
 If you'll recall I wrote a blog back in July about the
Shirtaki Noodles that I purchased which are pictured below.

My thoughts are simply this. The noodles are a GREAT alternative to regular noodles and I highly recommend them. They taste great, can be brought anywhere and heat up in a minute with no boiling necessary! How perfect is that?! The No Oodle's are a little more expensive than the Shirtaki Noodles I bought but I'm sure that varies from store to store too. No Oodle does have a website with lots of upcoming products that will be sold in stores soon (you can purchase online now) so be on the lookout for those...I know I will! Check out the recipes page too!

Happy Eating and Remember....Make Today Count!

Soup on the Fly!

I was talking with a friend today and the topic of soup came up. With fall just around the corner the idea of bountiful, hot soup sounded so good and I had a hankering for some soup tonight. I took a look in my pantry to see what I could use and here's what I came up with.
I added a scoop of diced tomatoes and sliced fresh spinach to my bowl
and then poured that beautiful hot soup over the top! Mmmm...Dalish!

Directions
20oz pkg 97% fat free Ground Turkey
6 celery stalks cut on a diagonal
3 carrots, sliced or julienned
1 or two cans of cannellini beans
1-2 cups of whole wheat noodles
1/2 large onions, diced
1T OO
4-5 cups of low sodium chicken broth
Spices to taste (remember, I don't measure! You can always add but you can't take away!)
Ground Thyme
Dried Sage
Garlic Powder
Pepper
Crushed Red Pepper (sprinkle or two)

Serves 6-8
Brown turkey with all the spices. Once browned add carrots, celery and onion. Saute over med to med high heat for 3-5 minutes. Then add the beans and heat through, let all the flavors blend and get all over each other. Taste and spice it up a bit more if you need to. DON'T add salt because the broth has salt in it and that will be plenty enough flavor. Plus, we want the spices in there to enhance the soup, not a bunch of sodium.
OK, now add the broth. You may need more or less to make it how "soupy" you want it to be or not to be. Bring that to a nice simmer then add the noodles. Cook through 'til noodles are done and serve!

Super Easy! Super Quick! Super Economical! Super Hearty! Super Good!
The whole family really enjoyed it which is always a plus! 
Bonus! Now I have lunch for tomorrow!

Monday, September 20, 2010

Fit and Healthy~What does that mean?


Unfortunately, we live in a society where fit and healthy have an outward appearance of "thin," "svelte," etc. While I want my outward appearance to look good, my ultimate goal is to be fit and healthy on the inside, to be free of disease, to be happy and healthy in mind and spirit not just with or in my outward physical appearance. 

The debate has been ongoing as to what fit and healthy really are and I'm sure that debate will continue for years to come, but in the end it really comes down to taking care of yourself by eating good, whole, as close to natural food as possible.

 
It means incorporating physical activities with cardiovascular and strength training as part of daily life. 
It means limiting stress as much as possible, getting a good nights sleep and letting go of negativity, bitterness, anger and hurt. 
In my opinion that's living fit and healthy in body, mind and spirit!
I LOVE this! It is now posted in my bathroom as a daily
reminder to start the day off with a positive mindset and let
go of pointless drama as well as NOT create it in the first place.


Saturday, September 18, 2010

Serve over Rice or Pasta


Here are a couple of quick dishes you can whip up and serve over rice, pasta, quinoa or simply enjoy on their own!
Dish #1
  • 10 oz Sliced beef or chicken
  • 2 each, yellow and zucchini squash, sliced
  • 1 large onion sliced
  • 1 large head of fresh broccoli or small bag of frozen broccoli florets
  • 2-3 Cloves of garlic, pressed
  • 2-3T Olive Oil
  • Pepper to taste
  • Salt to taste...less is best!
  • Other spice options include:
    • Basil, oregano, rosemary.
    • Chili powder, cumin and fresh cilantro.
    • Ginger and sesame oil instead of olive oil, green onion


















Sprinkle salt and pepper on to the sliced beef or chicken then saute in 1T OO. Once cooked through remove from pan and set aside.
Add 1-2T of OO to hot pan and add pressed garlic to the oil. Immediately add all the veggies and saute together on high or high/med heat. Don't cook too long, just until squash gets softer and the onions begin to brown. The broccoli should remain green in color and be firm, not mushy! Add the meat and heat all together! Make double for great go to food as well as grab and go lunch! Yummy!

Dish #2
  • 1 bag frozen broccoli florets
  • 1/2-3/4 bag of fresh baby spinach
  • 1 can diced tomato (preferably low sodium)
  • 1 can quartered artichoke hearts
  • Several sliced sun dried tomatoes
  • 1-2tsp OO
  • Several turns of the McCormick Italian seasoning grinder




























I was really hungry one night and just threw this together with what I had on hand.
I started by adding the frozen broccoli to a hot pan with maybe 1-2tsp of OO. I cooked that until it was thawed. I then added the diced tomato, Italian seasoning, artichoke hearts and sliced sun dried tomatoes. Let that get nice and warm and blend together.  At the very end add the spinach to wilt. DO NOT OVERCOOK! We don't want the broccoli to be pale and mushy nor do we want the spinach to cook too much. This is SO easy and SO good! Serve over rice, whole wheat pasta, quinoa or eat alone. I saved some to bring to work the following day!

Fat vs Muscle

Look at that beautiful muscle! Muscle is a beautiful thing (ladies)!

Fat takes up a huge amount of space in comparison to muscle. So while you shrink in size you may weigh the same, or even more, simply based on the amount of muscle you are gaining while losing the yellow stuff. Be encouraged! Over time with strength training as part of your regular workouts, those muscles will pop, you'll be down a size or two and you'll feel amazing! I know many fit-fat people who step on the scale and are in a "healthy" range but they would classify as "obese" if body fat percentages were taken. Don't make the mistake of losing weight and getting smaller while ignoring those muscles. A smaller frame may be the end result but overall, fat will still prevail.
 
BMI or Body Mass Index, you've heard of it I'm sure. Ideally our goal is to be in a "healthy" BMI range. But remember that this is a simple calculation used to generalize where large groups of people fall under simple healthy or unhealthy guidelines. The government uses BMI to get an overview of where the population is based on these simple calculations. We've seen overweight and obesity rates rise dramatically using BMI measurements. There is no way that Dr.'s or the government can do true body fat measurements for all so this is their way of getting an idea of where the general population is based on this very simple weight and height calculation! Don't let that number be a deterrent or depress you from the ultimate goal of being fit and healthy! It's simply a guideline. Conversely, don't let any number fool you into believing that you are "healthy" either. Just because a person has a BMI that falls under a normal range does not mean they are healthy either. 


Good nutrition and cardio will get rid of the fat while strength training will tone and build muscle. I've said this before but it bears constant repeating for women. Ladies, you will NOT bulk up while strength training! I could write a whole blog on why, but that's not important. What is important is that picking up weights is good for you in so many ways. So don't be afraid of those dumbbells. If you're intimidated by weights and machines at the gym, drop me a line through email, I'd be happy to help you out!




 

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Chipotle Style

I love Chipotle Mexican Grill! I love the flavor of their food and I REALLY love the fact that they "serve food with integrity" read more! There is also a site out there called Chipotle Fan where you can build a burrito, tacos or burrito bowl and it will automatically calculate the nutritional value before you head out and mindlessly order. It's also a great site to check out how many calories and fat are in your fave Chipotle dish ;)
 

My favorite dish is the burrito bowl that I fill with their spicy barbacoa meat, their famous lime and cilantro rice, black beans, lettuce, tomato (pico de gallo) and medium green sauce! Yummy Yummy-ola!

So, I thought I would try my hand at making something similar at home. Here is the recipe for the barbacoa meat:

2-3lb beef tip roast
1/2 large onion, diced
1 cup Goya Mojo Criollo Marinade (this is readily available at most 
grocery stores in the Mexican food isle). *Goya alternative at end*
1 cup low sodium beef broth
1 cup water
Salt
Pepper
Garlic Powder

First season the meat by sprinkling some salt, pepper and garlic powder on the meat...all over. Then sear all sides of the meat in a HOT lightly oiled (olive oil) pan. Turn the meat every couple of minutes until all sides are seared, be careful not to burn the meat.

Place the meat in a crock-pot. Then saute the onions in the hot pan for 2-3 minutes. Turn off the stove and add the onions to the crock pot and meat. Then you can add the liquid ingredients. Set your crock pot for a minimum of 4 hours and go on with the rest of your day! 

When the meat has cooked and simmered for at least 4 hours the meat should be ready to shred! You can test it by trying to take a chunk of meat out with a fork. If it comes apart fairly easy it's ready to shred. Take the meat out of the crock pot and let it sit out on the dish or cutting board you will shred on. Just use two forks to pull the meat fibers apart. I used kitchen scissors to cut it into smaller bit size chunks too.
Now, there may be a lot of liquid in the crock pot. We don't want the meat to be soupy so if  you need to remove some liquid go ahead, otherwise simply add the shredded beef to the liquid and stir it up. 
DONE!

Taco Building:
Corn Torillas (I use Ezekiel Sprouted Grain Corn Tortillas)
Diced tomatos
Diced onion
Shredded lettuce
Chopped FRESH cilantro (I LOVE fresh cilantro)
Lime wedge, squeeze a bit of lime over the top of your veggies or on the meat. Tangy!
Shredded cheese (I used a no-no in Mexican cooking...yellow cheese...Yikes, but I had a lot of it so that's what I used...it's all good)
Your favorite hot sauce. We had Cholula and La Victoria Salsa Brava on hand.


Rice:
I wasn't crazy about the rice I made this time around so I won't share that with you :( I used the juice from the meat as my liquid to cook the rice. It wasn't Chipotle tasting, ya know?! It was good but not the same! Anyhoo....this is what I NORMALLY do and I will go back to this next time!
First I saute the rice in 1 tablespoon of olive oil then I add water according to the directions on the package. When it's all cooked up I add some fresh lime juice, fresh cilantro and a little salt to my own serving of cooked rice....Really Easy!



Beans:
Simmer a can of drained and rinsed low sodium black beans in a pot with a couple of tablespoons of the juice the meat cooked in. Or a tablespoon or two of a good white wine is great too along with a sprinkle of chili and cumin powder topped with a bit of fresh lime. ALWAYS remember to add flavor slowly...You can add but you can't take away!


Top is mine, bottom is my husbands.
I got a thumbs up...I made him do that but I think he genuinely liked it :)

This is a really delicious meal, it's fairly quick and can quickly become a weekly favorite! However, there are two things I don't like about this dish. 1)The sodium content is pretty high, that Goya is REALLY loaded so if you have hypertension or are watching your sodium for other health reasons use the Goya alternative listed below. 2) CARB city! I didn't plan ahead and went way over what I should have for carbs that day. This can be avoided by omitting either the rice or the beans or opting for a taco salad or burrito bowl as it's called at Chipotle.
Otherwise, ENJOY! We sure did and it made for some great leftovers for lunch the next day...BONUS!

*Goya alternative* Instead of using the Goya Marinade which is convenient but very high in sodium use the following but remember I don't measure anything and you don't have to either...these are just general estimates:
Juice of one lemon
1/2 cup of white wine
1 tablespoon chili powder
2 teaspoons cumin powder
1/8 teaspoon of garlic powder
Pepper to taste

Fitness Friday #3

It's Fitness Friday!!! WooHoo! What are YOU going to do? Here's an idea...head to the park and get in a workout at the park! 

Always warm-up by taking a couple of laps around the park or fast walk for 3-5 minutes.
*Move on to the next exercise fairly quickly to keep your heart rate up!

Click on links for demo's!

10-15 Bridges with feet on bench
"Jump Rope" 30 seconds
10-15 Bridges with feet on bench
Jumping Jacks 30 seconds
Step-up on bench alternating legs 30x's or 15 on each leg
Speed Skaters
Step-up on bench alternating legs 30x's or 15 on each leg
15 Push-ups with hands on bench
Squat jumps 30 seconds
15 Push-ups with hands on bench 
Squat jumps 30 seconds
10-15 Angled Pull-ups. Find a lower lying bar and perform an similar to this:


V-sit up
10-15 Angled Pull-ups
Run up the stairs, go down the slide Repeat 4-6x's
Russian Twist Admire the abs :)
10-15 Dips on bench Make the dip harder by placing feet out in front of you. You can also raise a leg. To make the dip easier bring your legs closer to the body in a bent position.
10-15 Dips on bench

Always cool down by walking around the park bringing your heart rate down and don't forget to get in some good stretching too!
Great full body (with emphasis on lower body) workout!

Please get permission and clearance from your Doctor before beginning any exercise program!

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Halfway to My Half

I'm on a quest to complete a half marathon this year.  It's something I've wanted to do for two years now and I am going to do it this year...I decided this about 4 weeks ago. Why it's taken me two years to meet that goal and why I simply decided a few weeks ago to just go for it is another story for another time, but today marked the day that I was a little more than half way there. Seven miles! I have more than doubled my initial goal when I began running which was to race in a 5k (3.1 miles). And like I said, I am more than halfway to that half marathon goal! That's pretty cool!
Running, I have learned, is a battle of the mind and a competition with me, myself and I. Every time I increase my mileage those two factors come into play until my body has to fall in line and adapt. Today was no exception and the decision to have a good run came last night. You see, I can psych myself out if I begin to think too much about it, but last night I DECIDED in my mind that today was going to be a good run, I had my route mapped out and "ran" through it in my head. I even set my mental clock to wake up at 6:30 or 7:00 a.m. this morning and guess what? I woke up at 6:35! I knew then that it would indeed be a good run. To top things off it was perfect running weather. The sun was out and it was a cool 58-60 degrees. I geared up and next to my Asics running shoes, I had my most valuable piece of equipment with me, my ipod! 


The run overall was great, however around mile 5 I began to think about where my mile 6 marker was...right in front of my home. HOME! It's usually at the end of a run that I arrive happily at home with the crowd in my head cheering me on through the red ribbon finish (yep, that's what I really see at the end of any run, no matter what the distance :) The thought of being home was tempting to, well, stay home! Right? I mean, makes sense! But once again the mind came into play! I thought about rerouting and guesstimating the last mile, but I wanted accuracy! So, rather than reroute I decided that I was going to pass by my house, give a little wave and stride on through to my last mile. Piece of cake! And so I did! Admittedly the last mile was a little tougher than the first 6 because I hadn't cleared my mind fully. At that point I really just wanted to be done, all the while thinking...it's just one more mile! 
Then the last .1 of my mile, I came across a lucky penny. Those who know me know how excited I get about coinage I find when I am out and about...again,  another story for another time, maybe! With that being said I am always on the lookout for coins on the road when I am out running and I have not found one...until today and boy did it make me smile. It was like the perfect end to a great milestone of a run.


Today was one to blog about and so here you have it...my 7 mile run and halfway to a half!


Apply the battle of the mind, mind over body...whatever you want to call it...apply that to everyday life, in all that you do and just WATCH, WATCH where you go! You may just surprise yourself and accomplish something you never thought you would or could!


Make today count!

Friday, September 3, 2010

Fitness Friday #2...Finally!

With vacation (Ahhhh, I miss you already) and school starting, I haven't had another Fitness Friday in a few weeks. 

Sometimes when we think of working out we envision a laborious session with the treadmill or elliptical wishing the minutes would tick by just a little faster. We drone away on the same speed, for the same amount of time 3-5 days a week, if we're lucky (are you getting in a workout 3-5 days a week?). Sound familiar? No matter what routine you have adopted into your daily fitness routine (do you have one?) it can get monotonous if you let it. Here's a way you can change it up, get more out of your workout and even save some time while torching those calories.

When you're looking for something new, you're short on time and need to get in a good workout get in on HIIT or High Intensity Interval Training! Mix walking with short sprint runs with recovery walking and repeat. Or slow jog then sprint and go back to a slow jog...repeat this alternating pattern for 20 minutes and you've HIIT it :)

Depending on your current activity level the intervals can vary with speed, but an example would be 2 minutes walking with 1 minute jogging and repeat. Or 3 minutes jogging with a 1 minute run/sprint and repeat. Another example split may look like this: 30 second sprint, 1 minute run, jog or walk and repeat. HIIT can be done on a treadmill, elliptical or bike, inside or outside. It's beautifully versatile and super effective!


Here was my HIIT workout this morning:
5 min warm-up at 3.8mph 3-5% incline
1 min run at 5mph at 2-3% incline
2 min walk at 4mph at 5% incline
1 min run at 5.5mph at 2-3% incline
2 min walk at 4mph at 5% incline
1 min run at 6mph at 2-3% incline
2 min walk at 4mph at 5% incline
1 min run at 6.5mph at 2-3% incline
2 min walk at 4mph at 5% incline
1 min run at 6.5mph at 2-3% incline
2 min walk at 4mph at 5% incline
1 min run at 6.8mph at 2-3% incline
2 min walk at 4mph at 5% incline
2 min run at 6.8mph at 2-3% incline
5 min cool down walk at 3.5-3mph at 2% incline

I was a super sweaty beautiful mess at the end of it and I burned the same amount of calories as a my 35 minute run outside!


Try it...get HIIT this week!

Make Everyday Count!
Gettin' this bod to bed, I have a 7 mile run scheduled tomorrow morning.



Please get permission and clearance from your Doctor before beginning any exercise program!