Friday, August 29, 2014

Getting "YogaLean" starting today

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Happy Friday friends!

Just a quick stop to tell you about the great book I'm reading.  I was given an advance copy of Beth Shaw's YogaLean: Poses and Recipes to Promote Weight Loss and Vitality-for Life!.

I pre-ordered the book ages ago on Amazon, but when Beth Shaw invited people to join her for a little 7-day YogaLean Challenge, I had to say yes.  I wasn't required to give a positive review, in fact I wasn't even asked to blog about it, but I always like to tell you guys when I'm up to something.

I have read most of the book at this point.  If you're looking for specific food lists & meal plans, this is not the book for you.  (really? do we need any more meal plans? how many times do we need to be told that chicken & broccoli are better for us than cookies & potato chips?)

There is a focus on our awareness in this plan.  Meditation is encouraged as well as an entire chapter on de-cluttering.  Mental clutter, physical clutter- this book encourages us to sweep away the things that are not serving us in any part of our life.  (the chips aren't serving me)

YogaLean also recommends a morning run or walk as well as an evening stroll after dinner.  These walks are not only getting me more active, they are very stress-relieving.

This is the post-it that I just put in my planner...

Be Here Now.  Not in the past, not worrying for the future... 
just being a part of this moment.  I think this is healthy, I think this mindset will help me as I focus on healthy living. 

I'm starting my 7-Day YogaLean challenge on a Friday.
Weird, right?  Aren't you only allowed to start things on a Monday?

I'm doing this on purpose because the weekend is when things usually go crazy.  
Not this weekend. 

I started by cleaning out my refrigerator and freezer.  I want to be able to see the foods that will support my YogaLean journey this weekend and in the coming week.

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Monday, August 25, 2014

My P90X3 Summer

Hello friends!  I know- it's been awhile.  I think I can officially say that the blog fell off my radar for a little while.  But, I'm back and we've got some catching up to do.  I think I'll spend the next couple of posts letting you know what's been going on around here.

First, I'm officially a P90X3 finisher!  I did 90 days with Tony Horton and lived to tell the tale.

Before I give you my review, I should tell you that I'm not a Beachbody coach and I don't intend to become one any time soon.  I feel like that's important to note because sometimes it's hard to find reviews of Beachbody products from someone who isn't trying to sell you anything.

So, I spent this summer following the Classic plan.
(there are several plans you can choose from depending on your goals)

I wasn't sure what to expect from the workout series, but I really like it!

The Program

I appreciate the fact that each workout is 30 minutes long.  The 30 minutes includes the warm-up and the actual workout.  There is also a cool down on each video which is in addition to the 30 minutes- but most are only about 2 minutes long.

Each DVD included a "Cold Start" workout.  This is sort of an extended warm-up.  Tony recommends that you use the "Cold Start" if you're doing the DVD immediately upon waking up or if it's February 
and you live in Minnesota.

I actually never did the "Cold Start" so I can't tell you anything about it. Sorry friends.

My Favorites & Not-So Favorites

While I liked all of the workouts, I did have a couple of favorites.  

I really love "The Challenge".  It's a push-pull routine.  All you really do is push-ups & pull-ups of various styles.  Since my upper body is typically my weak spot, this was a real challenge for me.  But, I really enjoyed it!

I also love the Pilates DVD.  I was a Pilates junkie years ago, but I wandered away from it when I fell in love with yoga.  This DVD reminded me why I liked it in the first place.

The "Dynamix" DVD is one that I really think every runner should own. 
(note to Tony Horton: sell it separately.  The runner people need it)
These mobility exercises feel amazing the day after a long run.  I really think they're better for recovery than complete rest - at least for me.

The DVD I dreaded most was MMX.  It's just really stinking hard.  It's the only one that made me actually stop & stare at the screen saying, "What now??".  I never grew to love it, but I did it.  
Someday maybe I'll be hard-core enough for MMX.

My Results

No- I'm not going to show you dramatic before & after pics.  
This really isn't that sort of blog.

The scale really didn't move.  But, I feel stronger & firmer than when I started.

The other day I went for a morning run and when I came back I decided to jump into the pool. (this is my favorite way to end a run in the summer-time)  I took off my running shoes & my shirt.  I was prepared to jump in wearing my running shorts & sports bra when Mandy came outside.
She said, "It looks like your P90X is working.  
There's not as much fat hanging over your waistband as there used to be."  

ha! I'll take that as a compliment and call it a success!

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Friday, August 1, 2014

The Nutrition Rules I'm Breaking

I'm not a big rule-follower these days.  

In fact, there are a couple of nutrition rules that I'm now prepared to break.

There seem to be two camps in the world of fitness nutrition.

First we find those in the Clean Eating camp.  
These diets insist that one must eat all day long.  Meals & snacks must be spaced out every 2-4 hours throughout the day in order to fuel the fires of the metabolism.

The only time you are exempt from this rule is when you are sleeping.

The opposite campers are the Intermittent Fasting folks.

This group believes that going long periods of time without eating is actually good for your metabolism.  
If you're part of this group, you are now ignoring your mother's advice that breakfast is the most important meal of the day.  

Many who practice intermittent fasting do all of their eating in a 7 or 8 hour window.  So for instance, you might decide that you only eat between 1 pm & 8 pm.  No brunch for you.

I've read quite a bit about both of these approaches and I think they both have some merit.

However, I'm not following either plan.  I'm trying something crazy.

I'm going to eat when I'm hungry.

If I'm not hungry, I'm not going to eat.

So for instance, as I write this post it's 9:55 PM.  I'm not hungry, so there's no food near me.  
Will I eat breakfast tomorrow?  Probably.  I usually wake up hungry.  But, if I'm not hungry I think I'll wait a bit before I eat.  No big deal.

It's so crazy it just might work.

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Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Another Open Water Swimmer in the Family

Katie was adamant.  She was not getting in the lake.  But then she changed her mind.  
I'm not sure exactly what conversation went on inside her head but she changed her mind and filled out a form and walked right into Lake Erie.

This was my view at the beginning of the 1-mile open water swim in Lake Erie this past Saturday.  Ken has done this particular event for the past several years.  He likes the challenge of swimming out past the buoys & breakers (where we're normally allowed to swim) and swimming one-mile in open water while being tossed around in big waves.

Last year he was 3rd in his age group.  This year he met his biggest challenge yet... 
a 13 year-old who decided it was her turn to brave the lake.

We saw a few familiar, encouraging faces on the beach while we waited for the race to begin.  Katie was particularly encouraged by Rachel, a family friend who coached Katie a few summers ago. 
(By the way, Rachel won this race last year leaving all the boys eating her bubbles)

You may be asking yourself why Ken & I didn't just say no to her.  You need to know that Katie is an excellent swimmer.  She's on a swim team and she swims at least a mile every day during swim practice.  
We knew she was capable of completing this race.  

We also know Katie.  We know that once she puts her mind to a task, there's just no turning back.  She's not going to be satisfied until the task is complete.  

We've learned to watch her fly.  It's much easier than trying to hold her down.

Now, while we were all pretty confident that Katie could swim a mile, she had never done it in open water.  And open water swimming is different.  There's no big black line on the bottom to keep you swimming in a straight line.  No flip-turns every 25 yards to give you a little momentum.  And stopping to hang onto the wall for a moment isn't an option.

As Katie described it, "You just have to keep swimming.  
And the only one who can get you back to shore is you."

The organizers had set up big buoys along the course and swimmers were instructed to keep the buoys on their right side.  Ken & Katie decided to pick off buoys one at a time.  See the buoy- swim to it.  And they thought perhaps it was an optical illusion when it seemed like the third buoy was refusing to get any closer.

The buoys were drifting out into Lake Erie.

The one-mile swim that my brave girl agreed to ended up being closer to 2 miles.

(I'd like to note here that this is the sort of thing that gives a mama new grey hairs)

I couldn't have been happier when I saw her swimming towards the shore and then running up to the finish line.  (She's on the left in the picture below)

We headed for Bob Evans for some breakfast and celebration.  
I don't think I've ever seen her eat so many hotcakes in one meal!

She asked me if I was going to swim next year.  
I reminded her that she's the brave one.

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Friday, July 25, 2014

Weekend Reads for You

Hey friends!  I hope this is the beginning of a great weekend for you.

Here are a few of my favorite things to read from the last week.  Enjoy!

12 Things You Need to Remind Yourself of When You Wake Up- from Marc and Angel Hack Life

I Think They Have a Calendar- from the Yarn Harlot.  My favorite knitting blogger is about to embark on a 500-mile bike ride and some ornery squirrels wish to thwart her plan.

10 Post-Workout Snack Ideas- from Running to the Kitchen. (these look delicious! I must try them!)

Like a Girl- by Kristen Armstrong.  As a mom of 10 & 13 year-old girls, this really resonates with me.

Speaking of the girls, we've gotta run!  There's swimming, running & other summer fun waiting for us.  Enjoy the weekend!

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Monday, July 14, 2014

Fun Apps for Fit Girls

I have to admit that I'm a bit of a nerd.  I love gadgets and technology in a way that's almost embarrassing.

So I can't imagine why I took this long to get acquainted with the fit-girl apps available on my iPhone!

Let me tell you about the ones I'm loving this week.

1. MyFitnessPal

Yes, I know I'm late getting to this one.  This calorie & nutrition tracker is powerful!  I like that I can scan barcodes of zillions of food and get accurate nutrition information right away.

I have synced MyFitnessPal with these other apps to get an accurate picture of my nutrition and exercise and how they are related.

Best part? It's FREE!

2. Strava

Here's another FREE app that uses the GPS on my iPhone to track my runs.  You can also join groups and get & give Kudos to other runners.  (You can also use it for cycling but I've never done that)

3. Fitbit

The Fitbitt App is FREE,  but you need to invest in a Fitbit to use it.  I just got a Fitbit Zip Wireless Activity Tracker.  It's the most basic Fitbit.  The other ones track other information like your sleep cycles, but I went basic. (for now)

4.  EveryMove

Is a relatively new app that allows you to earn points that earn you rewards for being active.  Right now I'm working toward a discount on SportSuds which we really need.  This family makes a lot of laundry.

5.  Gymboss

As a run/walker I've been a fan of my Gymboss timer for awhile.  They also have a FREE app now!  I use it to time my run/walk intervals.  You can set & save different intervals and name them. You could also use it for other kinds of interval & HITT workouts.

Do you use your smart phone to motivate you 
on your fitness journey?  
What apps do you recommend?

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Saturday, July 12, 2014

I Know You... You're not a Stranger

I'm the sort of person who talks to strangers. A lot.  This alternately amuses and mortifies Katie who is 13 and still cares what people think of her.

For instance, if you and I are standing in the grocery store side by side looking at nut butters I'll probably tell you which kind of almond butter I prefer.  I'll even tell you about the reasons why I like it best and be very interested if you should choose to tell me what nut butter you're looking for and what you plan to do with it.

My mother does the same thing by the way, so I'm guessing Katie will come around eventually.  I never learned the "don't talk to strangers" rule.  I actually don't let people stay strangers for too long.

So you shouldn't be surprised to find out that when I'm out running I'm the sort of girl who (at the very least) waves to other runners.  If you smile, you'll probably even hear me yell, "great morning for a run, isn't it?" or "This hill is wicked!"... whatever seems appropriate.

This morning I was out for my Saturday AM run and I was looping back towards home.  I had about 3/4 of a mile to go and I don't imagine I looked lovely.  I was hot and getting tired and ready for this particular run to end.

This older woman was backing out of her driveway and she slowed down, waved and gave me a little smile and a thumbs-up.

I'ver never met her.  She didn't have to do it.  But I imagine she's a runner.  It's possible that her legs don't take her out for runs, but in her heart she's a runner-girl like me.

Her smile said, "I know you.  Keep going. You got this."

I waved and smiled and in my heart I thanked her.

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