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…But not really.  🙂 That song was just on the radio and it’s a great thought, though!

I need to focus on getting some me-time this weekend. I love nothing more than curling up with a book, and it’s been too long since I’ve done it.

Time to make it a priority!

Also on the weekend list:

  • Chores/Errands/Food Prep for next week
  • Hopefully seeing Inception with hubs
  • Potentially having the IL’s over Sunday for crab legs (they love them. Me? Not so much. I dislike working that hard for my meat! LOL)

Eats

Citrucel on the way to work, as usual…

Breakfast

Red Berry + ½ banana + milk = yum

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Snack

Unpictured string cheese + handful of pretzels

Lunch

The world’s largest taco salad. Ever.

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In the mix:

  • Spinach
  • Leaf lettuce
  • Red + Yellow Peppers (From my garden!)
  • Cucumber (from my garden!)
  • Tomatoes
  • Salsa
  • Carrots
  • Sprinkle of Colby Jack cheese
  • Leftover black beans from last night’s dinner
  • Leftover mexican rice from last night’s dinner
  • Leftover pork barbacoa from last night
  • Guac!

Delicious. Filling. Huge. Definitely qualifies as veggie intake for today! I actually ended up eating ¾ of it at lunch (12:00) and finishing it later (2:00)

Snack

2 clementines + kashi granola bar – peanut peanut butter flavor (found in the depths of my purse during a meeting than ran WAY long)

Exercise

20 minutes on the stationary bike, SSM (steady state/moderate)

Hamstrings, Quads, + Glutes

3 sets; done as ‘giant sets’ or what I normally refer to as ‘circuits’: Complete each exercise 1 time with no rest between, rest briefly, and do it again and again.

Leg Press – 12

Dumbbell Romanian Deadlift – 12

Exercise Ball Wall Squat (on last rep, hold 30 seconds) – 15

Exercise Ball Triple Threat – 15

(Per M&F Hers, at least! This is when you do hamstring curls with the ball…except you do 15 with legs straight; lifting your hips off the ground as your feet are on the ball…then bend legs 90 degrees and lift hips while keeping legs on the ball…then stretch legs out straight, lift hips, and slowly curl the ball in to your butt as you bend your knees)

I’m not gonna lie…when I saw this workout in M&F Hers, I thought it looked a little weak.

I was wrong.

Those 3-part hamstring curls on the ball are KILLER.

Did some stretching (especially for my knotted up back) and then went home and walked the pup for 30 minutes. She lives for when I get home and spoil her with outside time. LOL

Dinner

Easy dinner tonight – Smart Taste spaghetti with meat sauce (lean ground beef). I didn’t even bother making salad…after that huge lunch salad! And we had no bread in the house (because I wasn’t home to make any last weekend) so it was simple tonight 🙂

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Hopefully tonight’s agenda involves my book. I miss it so. 🙂

Cool Links

5 Reasons Why Athletes Should Do Yoga

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Lessons Learned:

  • No matter how long you’ve been apart, good friends always fall right back into a comfortable rhythm when reunited.

IMG_1670  Me and the college roomie

  • Sometimes the best part of an unexpected delay (between wedding and reception, in an out of town location, for example) is finding yourself sitting in a locals bar, drinking Harp and eating loaded French fries, watching soccer with your hubs and college roomie, dressed to the nines.
  • My husband truly does make the best pancakes. He is the Pancake King.
  • I’m a little self-conscious about my food blog when the first thing the bride asks you (after not seeing you for YEARS) is “Was the dinner good? Does it meet your food blogging expectations?” Uhhhh….. LOL
  • The Droid Eris navigation tool is a thousand times better than Garmin on the back roads of Gettysburg. It re-navigated us three times around traffic without even a whimper.
  • If you can successfully mask the taste of cottage cheese, it makes a wonderful addition to foods as a protein booster. 🙂

Here’s The Recap

Friday

Headed straight home from work (no gym) to knock out some errands before my guest arrived. I bought grocery items while the hubs vacuumed and cleaned the bathroom, then I mopped the floors. Hubs headed out to Relay for Life, I walked the dog and awaited my guest.

My college roommate (also Kellie) came to stay with me. I made lemon roasted chicken, garlic rice pilaf, and steamed green beans for dinner and we just chillaxed.

Saturday

Woke up late, ate cereal, lounged around, and finally got ready, had the most amazingly delicious and fresh sandwich ever (homemade whole grain, sliced ham off the bone, lettuce, tomato, red onion) and headed to Gettysburg for a wedding (another Kellie, also from college, was getting married). Got stuck in traffic, was late to the wedding…but saw the vows! LOL Headed over to the reception site only to find the reception didn’t start for 2.5 hours (despite all the wedding paperwork saying “immediately to follow…”. Used the power of the Droid to find a local bar (O’Rorke’s) and hang out, drinking beer and splitting an appetizer (hubs and roomie vetoed me on healthy and ordered loaded French fries!) while watching soccer and awaiting the wedding reception. Headed to the reception – good times had by all! Had a big salad, 1 stuffed shell (it was meh) and ½ a chicken breast (it was meh) and green beans almondine. Headed home late to let my poor puppy out, watered my garden in the dark, and crashed.

Sunday

Had delicious husband-made pancakes for breakfast, got my roomie back on the road towards Jersey, and then started doing all my vegetable prep for the week, making bread, and prepping to have the in-laws over for dinner. Nabbed an onion bagel+ low fat cream cheese for lunch (delish). Had dinner w/ the in-laws (slow grilled pork roast, mashed potatoes, steamed green beans and shrimp cocktail), walked the dog, watered the garden, and crashed.

That brings us to Monday….

Citrucel on the way to work – 7:45 a.m.

Breakfast – 9:15 a.m.

Some of Dave’s raisin bran, ½ banana, milk – I don’t know why…the raisin bran was calling to me last night while I was packing my breakfast!

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Snack – 10:30 a.m.

Quickly, and sadly, realized I didn’t pack any fruit to snack on today. Sad. No snack for you!

Lunch – 12:00 p.m.

Clean eating egg salad on whole grain, veggies for crunch (cukes, grape tomatoes, carrots and peppers)

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The clean eating egg salad was actually really good…I’m not a cottage cheese fan, but can’t deny the protein powder of it, so I’m always excited to find uses for it where I can’t taste it.

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Lessert (Lunch Dessert) 1:50 p.m.

Small amount of dark chocolate M&Ms. Yes, I organize my M&Ms by color. Thanks.

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Snack – 3:45 p.m.

Clif Mojo. How I love thee. You taste like a sinful chocolate treat, but provide me with nutrition.

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Exercise – 4:45 p.m.

Mixing it up a little – I enjoyed the Oxygen workout immensely, and just as I had started it, Gina released her Summer Shape Up 2010 (SSU 2010).

So now that I’m totally bored with the Oxygen workout…onto Gina’s!

I am mixing up a couple of the days to accommodate my schedule, but basically here’s how it’s going down:

Monday – Strength

Tuesday – Speed

Wednesday – Stretch

Thursday – Strength

Friday – Speed

Saturday – Stretch

I don’t normally work out 6 days a week, so this will be unique for me. I’m hoping I can find the time! With summer here, it seems our free-time is jam-packed. Luckily some of Gina’s workouts aren’t super-long 🙂

Week 1 – Day 1 – Strength Workout

5 minute cardio warm up (stair mill for moi today)

3 sets x 12 reps per set

I did these as straight sets today because the gym was super-busy and I didn’t have the luxury of doing circuits.

  1. Bent-over fly
  2. Side lying lateral raise
  3. Ultimate toe touch
  4. Incline bicep curl
  5. Cable row
  6. Reverse crunch on bench
  7. Stability ball back extensions
  8. Weighted ball crunch

25 minutes low/moderate intensity cardio (elliptical for moi)

1h20m @ gym = 532 calories burned

It was god-awful hot in there again today….I wish they could figure out how to keep it cool when it’s hot outside!

Home to walk the pup + water the garden….hubs is cookin’ tonight, as usual for Monday.

Dinner – 7:30 p.m.

Filet mignon (we swap between beef and venison for ‘steak night’…tonight is BEEF!), steamed broccoli, pasta tossed in olive oil

Cool Links

50 Healthy Foods for Under $1/Pound

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Shortly after I posted last night, a package of Special K fruit crisps AND a mug full of peanut butter puffins and milk were consumed.

I get to evening and I’m just STARVED. I get plenty of calories throughout the day, but I’m so hungry after dinner. It’s rather obnoxious. 🙂

Busy Tuesday. I’m not feeling my best, but not sick either. I hate that? I basically feel kind of groggy…like my equilibrium is off or something.

Ah well, sally forth!

Had a super busy day at work today…eats were consumed, but pictures weren’t taken regularly.

Citrucel on the way to work – 7:45 a.m.

Breakfast – 8:45 a.m.

Two whole wheat blueberry waffles with real maple syrup. Delish.

I’d packed the remains of my frozen green monster from last week but I didn’t eat it. I wasn’t feeling it I guess because I wasn’t feeling well.

Lunch – 12:15 p.m.

Taco salad from market. I’m seriously obsessed. My only sadness is they don’t give me much chicken. Boo, more chicken!

Snack #1 – 2:00 p.m.

Obviously I’ve had minimal protein to this point in my day, and the 2:00 slump is when I’m feeling it. Dark chocolate Ghirardelli square and string cheese to the rescue.

Snack #2 – 3:45 p.m.

½ clif bar leftover from yesterday

Exercise

20 minutes HIIT on the elliptical in pyramid form…my ellipticals at my gym only measure strides, not MPH, but I went as fast as I could at each level without holding onto the elliptical at all (that’s cheating!)

Minutes Resistance
00 – 01 6
01 – 02 6
02 – 03 8
03 – 04 10
04 – 05 12
05 – 06 14
06 – 07 12
07 – 08 10
08 – 09 8
09 – 10 6
10 – 11 8
11 – 12 10
12 – 13 12
13 – 14 14
14 – 15 12
15 – 16 10
16 – 17 8
17 – 18 6
18 – 19 6
19 – 20 14

Abs:

Decline Bench Sit-Ups 3×15

Russian Twists 3×15

Hyperextensions on Exercise Ball 3×10

Side Planks 3×30 seconds (each side)

55m @ the gym = 353 calories burned

Headed home and the pup and I took a 30 minute walk.

Dinner – 7:30 p.m.

Beef stroganoff (with lean ground beef) and salad (leaf lettuce, spinach, peppers, red onion, cucumber, tomato, carrot) with red wine vinaigrette.

Some Cool Links

How Blogging Put Me In The Poor House – I know my grocery budget went up significantly after I started reading healthy living blogs…so I can relate to this! I’ve abstained from the ‘gear’ issues, aside from a heart rate monitor. And I’m still working out in my mis-matched cotton t-shirts and shorts bought on sale. 🙂

5 Small Choices That Make A Big Difference – Great tips to remember!

5 Urban Food Legends

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Okay, big news first:

I’ve conquered the Jackknife.

This might not seem like a big deal, but you know how everyone has fitness moves they find impossible?

I have (had?) two:

Jackknife

jack_knife

(Source)

Pistol Squat

squat4

(Source)

And I’ve conquered the jackknife! I always had trouble with the ball/balance to do the movement – hell, to even get into position to do the movement – but last night I changed the surface I tried it on and it made all the difference!

Hurrah!

My only disappointment was I thought it would be a better ab exercise / thought it would be hard because I had so much trouble with it in the past. But I did 3×10 and I can’t even feel it today. I’m going to try again, though…work on my form and slow down my movement, and see if that helps.

That being said, I am NO WHERE near a pistol squat…any tips for working towards that? LOL

Citrucel on the way to work – 7:45 a.m.

Breakfast – 8:45 a.m.

2 Nature’s Path Red Berry Waffles, 1 cup greek yogurt, 1 cup fresh pineapple

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Snack – 10:30 a.m.

Special K Blueberry Fruit Crisps. Damn things are delicious. They’ll be gone soon, thank god.

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Lunch

Tuna salad (greek yogurt, celery, onion, salt, pepper, tuna) with baked wheat crackers and a big salad (leaf lettuce, spinach, tomatoes, carrots, cucumber, yellow pepper) with Vidalia dressing

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Snack

Clif Mojo bar and a citrine (like a clementine)  – I had an afternoon meeting and my snack had to be quick, or it would be too close to my workout this evening.

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Holy crap those Mojo bars are good. They’re like candy…but..with..nutritional value. Sign me up! 

Exercise

10 minutes warm-up cardio

Gentle stretching (for back and hamstrings, which get super-tight working a desk job)

Full body workout from Monday…3 sets. I took my weights from Monday, and used the lightest weight for 1 set, and the heavier weight for two. Next time, it’ll be all three heavy weight, then the ‘heavy’ weight below will become ‘light’ and I will add weight. I like doing it that way…it’s a gentle progression.

Exercise
Reps
Weight (Dumbbells)

Pile Squat
8 – 10
12.5 / 15 / 15

Dumbbell Row
10 – 12
10 / 12.5 / 12.5

Alternating Dumbbell Curl
10 – 12
12.5 / 15 / 15

Dumbbell Step-Up
8 – 10
7.5 / 10 / 10 (high bench)

Flat-Bench Dumbbell Chest Press
10 – 12
12.5 / 15 / 15

Seated Dumbbell Shoulder Press
10 – 12
10 / 12.5 / 12.5

Seated Tricep Extension
8 – 10
12.5 / 15 / 15

Stiff-Legged Deadlift
8 – 10
12.5 / 15 / 15

Cross-Bench Pullover
10 – 12
10 / 12.5 / 12.5

Standing Dumbbell Cross-Chest Curl
10 – 12
10 / 12.5 / 12.5

Dinner

Omelets! (I always want to spell it Omelette, but I can’t figure out if that’s approved, or a throwback to my 8 years of French class)

Spinach/tomato/mozzarella for me….ham/pepper/onion/mushroom/mozzarella for DH

Plus turkey bacon and whole grain toast!

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I loves me some breakfast for dinner 🙂

Some Cool Links

Health Benefits of Flaxseed

  • Just a little reminder for all of us why flax=good!

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Well, my poor little puppy has a belly ache. She was sick when I got home from the gym last night, so I made her hamburger and white rice (which she ate all of) and then she laid on the couch with me and I petted her. Poor thing.

She seemed in better spirits this morning, so hopefully she’s turning the corner!

Onwards and upwards to Tuesday!

Breakfast

A little cereal, milk, and fruit action. Cleaning out cereal boxes:

  • ~1/2 cup Cascadian Farm Cinnamon Crunch
  • ~2/3 cup Cascadian Farm Oats and Honey Granola
  • ½ cup sliced strawberries
  • 1 cup lowfat milk

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Lunch

I pulled a packet of salmon out of the cupboard last night with the intention of eating it over greens. But then I saw the sugar snap peas in the fridge and had to have them. So I whipped my salmon into a ‘salmon patty’ – perfect.

Salmon patty:

  • 1 packet boneless/skinless/ready-to-eat salmon
  • ½ an egg white
  • Dill, salt, pepper
  • Just enough whole wheat breadcrumb to bind it (~1/4 cup? Maybe less)

Pan-fried it in a non-stick skillet until heated through and brown on each side

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Packed that, and a generous (2 cups?) helping of steamed sugar snap peas. Delish!

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(And a string cheese for a little more protein, and entertainment-while-eating factor)

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Also picked up a The Green Drink at my market’s organic stand (spinach, ginger, parsley, mint, banana, orange, apple and ice) to sip this afternoon while working.

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Snack

Gala apple + natural PB was the plan, but snack time came and I wasn’t ALL that hungry.

Granola bar and a fingerful of PB

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Exercise

Janetha kicked my ass today. Holy cow.

I used one of her HIIT workouts today. WHEW!!

20 minutes HIIT (elliptical) + 10 minutes steady state (bike)

Abs:

3 sets:

Jackknife – 10 reps

Planks – 60 second hold

The one where you lay flat on your back with your legs bent at 90 degrees and gently bend your legs together to the left and then the right without touching the ground – 12 reps

1hr @ the gym = 452 calories burned

Headed home to find my puppy in good spirits and Dave reporting that she was feeling better, had eaten, etc – so we went for a 25 minute walk, and then I let her play with the neighbor dog 🙂

Dinner

Oy. My mother in law insisted she wanted to make us dinner one night. This woman doesn’t know how to

  1. Cook for less than a crowd of 10

Or

  1. Make anything with less than a pound of butter and oil in it

This is some seriously heavy dinner, folks. Fried chicken, mashed potatoes (with butter AND sour cream in them), corn fritters and homemade vanilla pudding with fruit.

Oy. I ate a little of each, and after she left I made a salad…I just can’t eat like that!

Female (Monthly) Warning

Aside from my hormone-related migraines, the biggest thing I struggle with monthly is fatigue. God I’m tired. I’ve done some experimenting…last month I tried caffeine (in the form of iced tea) but naturally I suffered from ‘caffeine crash’…rather badly, since I don’t normally drink any caffeine.

So that’s out.

This month, in the week and a half or so leading up to my dreaded fatigue time, I’ve increased my iron intake, predominately through food. While it seems to have helped marginally, I am still literally struggling to keep my eyes open at work for 2-3 days per month.

Any suggestions? What else should I try?

Some Cool Links

Low-Sugar Breakfasts

  • I’m notorious for my sugar intake…I need to cut it. Seriously. These breakfasts remind you there are plenty of delicious options out there!

The Truth About Food Spending in America

  • Neat article 🙂

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….before I pass out!

I’m exhausted — but I guess that’s the mark of a successful weekend, eh?

The weekend was full of family (my dad visited), tractors (dad brought a lawn tractor for the DH with him), friends (threw a surprise party for one of the friends in our group who just became a dad in early april) and food (can we say huge broiled crab cakes angel food cake with fresh strawberries and fresh whipped cream? HELLO!)

I enjoyed every minute!

Now, back to the real world. 🙂

This week’s fitness

Sunday: Walked the pup but it was mega humid today…so only 20 minutes. Also squeezed in some free OnDemand yoga

Monday: Probably nothing. Maybe walking Holly. I have an event for work (again) and won’t have time before or after for a gym sesh

Tuesday: 20 minutes steady state cardio (stairmill), full body strength (i’m going to use the same exercises as last week for one more week to get my strength/weights back up to par after being off 2 weeks) and abs

Wednesday: 20 minutes HIIT (elliptical), yoga

Thursday: 20 minutes steady state cardio (bike), full body strength, and abs

Friday: 20 minutes HIIT (elliptical), yoga

Hopefully that’s do-able this week!

DH leaves Thursday morning for a turkey hunting trip, so I’ll have some additional responsibilities and running around to do (like coming home at lunch to let the pup out. DH normally comes home for lunch and does that!)

Hope everyone has a good week!

Did You See?

There’s supposedly a new “dirty dozen” in the organic world. Article here.

I have a ton of trouble finding the original dirty dozen in organic varieties at my grocery store…so I imagine additions (like celery) will be difficult as well!

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Hellooooooooo! While you’re reading, I’m in Butler, enjoying some time with my family! My folks live in the country, and are rather old school – which means dial-up internet! Which also means I won’t be posting, because I dont have the patience to wait for it! Ha!
Enjoy!

When I was new to strength training and lifting I was often confused by workouts in magazines. Some said do sets of 8 repetitions (“reps”), some said do sets of 12 reps, and so on and so forth.
So here’s a quick guide to how many reps you should be doing.
It should be noted this is my own knowledge gleaned from a variety of sources over time. If youre looking for a print source, there was a good article in the February 2010 edition of Oxygen Magazine on reps and rest ranges(I actually give some tips below from the article, but its a great read). You can order back copies of the magazine from their website at: http://www.oxygenmag.com

I’m not saying this is the only way, or even the right way if you feel differently Id love to hear from you! Leave a comment 🙂

How Many Reps?
Your reps should be focused on your training goals. That being said, I think that using different set/rep combinations, with different weight combinations, is the best solution for most people looking to gain strength and change the look of their muscles. This is my belief because a) it keeps your muscles guessing on weight and how many reps those muscles are expected to perform, and b) because it works for me. You may find different results. 🙂
What Are The Ranges and What Are They Best For?

To Build Strength In Your Muscles
4 6 repetitions per set
Muscles contain two types of muscle fibers: fast-twitch and slow-twitch. When you lift the maximum amount of weight possible for 4-6 repetitions, you employ the use of your fast-twitch fibers, which learn to respond more quickly to strain/lifting. This, in turn, makes your muscles stronger.  Some women worry that lifting heavy weight for low reps means theyll get manly this is not the case! Your female body doesnt produce enough testosterone to make you look like an Olympic Hulk!

Rest Period
Keep in mind, when lifting heavy weight for low reps, you’ll want to factor in a longer rest period between sets – anywhere from 2 – 5 minutes works for me, depending on the muscles worked, and how heavy I am lifting that day.
To Add Muscle or Improve Shape/Size
8 12 repetitions per set
This range is – by far – the most popular range in fitness plans in magazines, exercise books, DVDs, trainers, and everything else. LOL
This rep range uses both the slow-twitch and the fast-twitch fibers, which makes it sound kind of like “the whole package”. By using both types of fibers, the shape of the muscle can improve, and you get a better definition as well.
Rest Period
Resting during this range runs from 60-90 seconds, on average. You can shorten this rest range when trying to “surprise” your muscles, but at least 60 seconds will give you the ability to do multiple sets of 8-12 reps.
To Build Endurance In Your Muscles
15 20 repetitions
I use this range the least, but it serves a very important function. By lifting a lighter weight for more repetitions, you allow your muscles to build their endurance, and allow them to be engaged and lifting for a longer period of time. This can be important if you participate in sports, want to go longer in your running or biking, or want to improve your “functional fitness” (lifting a couch, carrying groceries, etc).
The biggest, most misleading thing about this range is that – women especially – think a lighter weight/higher rep structure will make their muscles long and lean and defined. This is not the case.
This range uses mostly slow-twitch fibers, which are the muscle fibers charged with building and maintaining the endurance of your strength. This is what makes it easier for you to carry all those groceries from the car to the house!
The other big benefit of a high number of reps is it produces more capillaries, which help deliver more oxygen and nutrients to your muscles for more effective work (Source: Oxygen)
Rest Period
Rest for high rep/low weight sets is generally low – maximum of 30 seconds. Since you’re working on endurance here, you obviously don’t want to rest too long, or you won’t be improving your muscle stamina! But a brief rest is good – unless you’re doing circuits!
Ways To Employ All Rep Ranges
That being said, using only one rep range has it limits, and eventually you will stop seeing the shape/definition you are seeking, due to your muscles getting used to the range in which you always work them.  My best results have come from alternating each reps range, to keep my muscles growing, getting stronger, and adding definition.
Ideas for using them all (Source: Oxygen):
  1. Stick with the rep range that best fits your goal – but put one or two of the other rep ranges into each week’s workout – for variety and flavor!
  2. Use each range for a few weeks (2-3 weeks) and then switch to a different rep range
  3. Go balls-to-the-wall: Use all three ranges (1 set of each) on each of your muscles during your workout!

(Source)

Fun Fact:
Most of your muscles have a 50/50 split of fast-twitch and slow-twitch fibers.  Some – like your calves and your abs – have more slow-twitch fibers. Take that into account when choosing reps for those muscles! (Source: Oxygen Magazine)

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