Posts Tagged ‘books’

*cue the Hallelujah Chorus*

I have fallen in love with strength training. Yes, that does warrant the post title. It’s a near miracle.

I’ve been dabbling with weights for most of the winter. The colder months are my husband’s slower time at work which means we’re able to go to the gym together more often. He’d printed off a few workouts to take try. I was beyond bored with bouncing back and forth between my treadmill and elliptical workouts so I agreed to give his workouts a try. He encouraged me to use something heavier than the 5lb. weights I tended to pick up whenever I did something non-cardio. I was surprised by how quickly I started to notice results, not only in the way I looked, but also in how I felt. I was also surprised by how much more I enjoyed strength training when it was challenging!

Then came this book:

I was hooked from the very first page and read it cover to cover in about 2 days. The author is funny, but it’s clear that he’s very serious and passionate about what he’s saying. A lot of the information goes completely against the things women are either taught or assume about lifting. At first, I was afraid this guy was going to end up being a complete nut job and I would regret reading the book. However, the more I read the more his research, logic and phlosophies seemed to be in line with my goals. The information was enlightening and very, very empowering.
I’m only 3 workouts in to the workout plan so I can’t speak to the whole, but so far I’m LOVING it. The instructions for each exercise are well-written and easy to follow. The workouts I’ve done so far have been challenging without being overwhelming. I feel like I’m making the most of my time in the gym without having to spend hours and hours there. And, when I leave, I feel pretty darn tough. 😉

I will admit, I was a bit skeptical about the protein shake thing. The author suggests that you MUST drink one after every workout for various reasons. He then names his favorite brands…and discloses that he and some of his co-authors write articles for these brands’ websites. My knee-jerk reaction was to discount the information as marketing hype that would result in the authors’ financial gain. However, after my first three workouts, my body had begun to form a different opinion. I’m going to start trying post-workout shakes this week and I’ll share my thoughts later.

I know this book has been controversial and that there will be loads of people out there who disagree with the author and with my love for the reading material. For me, it’s been a fantastic resource and I’m looking forward to continuing with the workout plan. Strength training can be daunting. I’d highly recommend this book to anyone who wants to know more about it and/or anyone who says: “I’m interested. Now what?”

In case you didn’t know, I have a mild obsession with flash mobs. Being part of one is tops on my bucket list. I found this one when I googled the spelling for “hallelujah” (don’t hate) and had to share because it’s particularly awesome.

Have you read NROL4W? What are your thoughts?


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Disclaimer: I am in no way, shape or form being compensated for this review by any party. I purchased this book with my own money. This is not a sponsored giveaway.

My passions for healthy living and reading often cross paths. Most recently, this manifested itself in the form of an audiobook called Taking Care of Yourself by Dr. Andrew Weil, M.D..

In his work, Dr. Weil addresses everything from supplements to sleep, from exercise to macronutrients. This “book” is more of a recorded lecture given by Dr. Weil. I felt as though I were listening to a speaker at a seminar rather than reading a book. It may only be 4 disks long, but there is a LOT of really valuable information. I found myself listening to some tracks over and over to really absorb the information and even pulling over a time or two (since I was listening in the car) to jot down notes about something that seemed especially important to me.

I’d seen Dr. Weil a few times on various television shows, but didn’t know many details about his philosophies regarding nutrition & exercise. In the beginning, he speaks briefly about the numerous cultures he has studied and how he has formed his thoughts based on all of them, not identifying or agreeing 100% with the philosophies of any single one. I was pleasantly surprised by how well Dr. Weil meshed Eastern and Western medicine to form a cohesive practice that includes every imaginable aspect of healthy living. One thing that particularly fascinated me was the connection made between the way we treat our bodies (diet, exercise, getting enough sleep, etc.)  and how that impacts our overall health. We hear so much about how to treat illness and disease so it was refreshing to hear Dr. Weil’s focus on prevention as the primary line of defense.

Would you like to listen to Taking Care of Yourself? Well, it’s your lucky day! I’m giving away my copy to one lucky reader of Up Fit Creek. Here’s how you can enter:

  • Comment on this post with the reason you’d like to win Taking Care of Yourself by Dr. Andrew Weil, M.D.
  • Follow @UpFitCreek on Twitter and leave a separate comment letting me know you’re a follower.
  • Tweet about this giveaway by using this: I’ve entered a giveaway to win a copy of Taking Care of Yourself by Dr. Andrew Weil from @UpFitCreek. https://upfitcreek.wordpress.com
  • Blog about this giveaway and leave a separate comment with a link to your post. A trackback is fine.

The giveaway ends at 12 midnight EST on Friday, January 14th. I’ll post the winner on Saturday, January 15th. Any questions, please feel free to e-mail me.

Happy Entering!

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My friend Linda and I have attended the Dayton Metro Library book sale for the last 3 years and it’s something I look forward to every year. This year was even more fun than usual because my friend Mandy and my sister-in-law were able to join us. We all love to read so it was fun to shop and chat about books, all at the same time. Without realizing it, we spent nearly 4 hours perusing the tables. There were LOTS of tables. This is just a small glimpse of the setup:

Mother of the year right here. Peanut was at the book sale with us, but I didn’t snap even one picture of her. Yes, I took pictures of books and random strangers, but not of my own child. Thankfully Mandy was all over her camera and got some great pictures. Check out her blog for some adorableness. I’m talking about Peanut, not the photo with me in it. 🙂 Too bad I was too obsessed with the books to think about getting a picture of Mandy and I together. 😦

I haven’t counted the books I bought, but I’d say it’s in the 30-40 range, all for just $14! I very rarely buy books except at this book sale so I was excited to have found some things that were on my wish list.

After the book sale, Linda, my sister-in-law and I went to PF Changs for lunch. We were STARVING so I treated the whole table to lettuce wraps as an appetizer. For my main meal, I had the lunch portion bowl of Moo Goo Gai Pan with brown rice and egg drop soup. I looked up the nutrition information later so that I could track my Weight Watchers points. Want to know what I discovered? The lunch bowl is actually considered TWO portions. Really? You get one cup of egg drop soup which is obviously one serving, but then the meal itself is designed to serve two people. I don’t get it. Can someone enlighten me to this logic? I knew I was splurging a bit on calories and had them budgeted. I was just disappointed with the marketing. The menu makes it sound like you’re selecting a reasonable portion but then, like most restaurant dishes, you end up getting way more than a healthy portion. I guess it could have been worse. Yes, I should know what a healthy portion looks like. Yes, I should have looked it up BEFORE I went to the restaurant. I just get tired of confusing marketing tactics that target people who are trying to choose something healthy.

*steps off soapbox*

Peanut and I’s weekend didn’t end there. After the book sale and lunch, we met my mom at a hotel outside of Dayton for a scrapbooking retreat. Yes, boys and girls. I’m one of those crazy scrapbookers. My mom and I got into the hobby when I was a junior in high school and we were immediately hooked. I do some scrapbooking at home, but most of my projects get accomplished at the various scrapbooking events (usually called “crops”) we attend several times each year. Working on my albums at these events is fun, but I attend more for the quality time with my mom and socializing with the other lovely ladies. This particular crop was a 2-day event so we stayed the night in the hotel and got back to work on our scrapbooks on Sunday.

I like being out and about, but it’s always nice to come home. Peanut’s eyes lit up when she saw my husband and again when she spotted the dog. I was happy to see them, too. My husband spent the weekend watching the NFL draft which is something that induces giddiness in him each year. Still, I think he was glad to see us when we returned.

While we were gone, he also watched an episode of Guy’s Big Bites. It’s his favorite show on Food Network. He was so excited about the recipe that he’d seen and I ended up making it for dinner last night because ingredients were pretty basic and we had them all in the house already.

Coyote Quesedillas.

I didn’t specifically make the blackening spice shown. Instead, I just sprinkled the chicken breasts with cumin, onion powder, garlic powder, paprika & cayenne pepper while they cooked on the grill pan. I used fat free refried beans and 8-inch whole wheat tortillas instead of 10-inch flour tortillas.

We skipped the two topping recipes because my husband doesn’t care for corn and black bean salsa and we didn’t have chipotle peppers handy for the drizzling sauce. Instead, we just used reduced-fat sour cream, jarred salsa and fresh cilantro.

If you like Mexican, you NEED to make these. So good! In fact, they were so good that I tweeted @ChefGuyFieri to rave about the recipe. My husband requested that the recipe go in our “make regularly” file. That’s what he says when he REALLY likes something. As Guy Fieri would say, “Winner, winner, chicken dinner.” 🙂

Do you watch cooking shows? If so, what’s your favorite?

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As expected, we were blasted overnight with a pretty nasty ice storm. Here are some pictures I took as soon as the sun came up:






I went back inside and made called in to work to let them know I wouldn’t be there. Ice is pretty, but not very conducive to driving an hour and a half on mostly back roads. My husband didn’t go to work either, but he slept in. I fixed myself a nice hot bowl of oats with some maple syrup, a little brown sugar and unsweetened coconut. I swear there wasn’t that much syrup. It just looks like it in the picture because it got all hot and oozy.


I also had half of a delicious grapefruit


…and some steaming hot coffee in another of my favorite mugs. Little did I know how that quote would come to reflect my day.


I even broke out a placemat!


So there I am sitting at the table sipping my coffee and admiring the winter scape when BAM…power goes out. I checked the breaker to make sure it wasn’t just us. Nope. The power company was busy so I used the automated system to report the outage and then broke out the flashlights and candles.

My husband got up a few minutes later. We listened to a Jillian Michaels podcast I had saved on my laptop until the battery died. Then we sat. And sat. And sat. It’s so funny all the things we take for granted that use power. I kept flipping light switches when I went in and out of rooms. I got the vacuum out of the closet and unwound the cord before realizing that it was futile. Finally I just bundled up on the couch and read a book.

Around noon we still didn’t have power or any word about when it would still be on. My coffee had gone cold in the pot and I had no way to reheat it. My husband was starting to get cabin fever. We decided to ride in (all of 2 blocks) to the only gas station in our teeny tiny town. It’s kind of the gathering point so it was packed with people swapping weather and power stories. While we were there we also realized we were hungry and that there wasn’t much at home that didn’t require a heat source. We ordered subs at their little deli counter and I fixed myself a cup of coffee. My sub was a toasted 6″ turkey on wheat with lettuce, tomatoes, black olives, pickles, mustard and just a little bit of mayo.


I found bags of something called Pogos. I’m not a big fan of most things you’d find in a convenience store “grocery” because of the nutritional information so I was surprised when I read the back of the bag. The nutrition information wasn’t too bad, the ingredient list wasn’t horribly long and there was only 1 thing on the list that wasn’t easily recognized.


They ended up being just okay. They didn’t have much potato taste and the Jalapeno Cheddar flavoring tasted a bit chalky. I might buy them again, but only in a pinch.

After our “adventure” we went home and ate our lunches. The power came back on as we were cleaning up the table. We flipped on the TV and watched all the weather reports for our area. The joy was short lived. It went back off about an hour later.

I bundled up again and went back to my reading. That’s pretty much all I managed to accomplish until the power came back on permanently about 5 hours later. I reheated some Lemony Shrimp leftovers from yesterday for dinner. I don’t think I’ve ever been so grateful for our microwave. 🙂

We’re skipping the gym tonight because on-street parking is the only option there and they’re asking people not to do that so the plows can do their thang. I’m trying to get caught up on all the things I wanted to do today that require electricity and I’m thinking about an early bedtime. I know this storm was a big one so I hope everyone is staying safe and warm no matter where you are.

What’s the last book you read?

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I apologize for my lack of posting last night. It was for a good cause. My roommate from college (whom I love and adore) delivered her 2nd baby yesterday evening and I had to fulfill my promised portion of the phone tree. Welcome to the world baby girl! The name they chose is very, um, unique. Makes me want to watch reruns of the once popular Boy Meets World. There was only one female main character in that show, right? Catch my drift? Yes, I’m serious.

Anywho, on to yesterday’s eats. I slept in a little to make up for my late bedtime Tuesday night. Darn you Biggest Loser! I was in a hurry this morning so I plopped two fried egg whites and a slice of 2% American cheese on a whole wheat english muffin and ate it in the car. I did try to snap a picture while I was rushing around like a mad woman, but I got the ever dreaded “Change Battery Pack Now” message on my camera screen. It really wasn’t that pretty anyway.

Wednesday = Coffee Day(!!!) so I arrived at work to find a crimson cup waiting on my desk. It was filled with my standard venti skim gingerbread latte. I opted for the hot version over the frozen this time in honor of it being 2 degrees outside. The battery pack was on charge so no live picture, but this is as close at it gets.
Crimson Cup

That kept me full until noon when I heated up my Turkey Taco Quinoa Stew. So. Freaking. AWESOME! I’ve had the same thing for lunch every day this week and I’m nowhere near tired of it. Today’s lunch tea was Celestial Seasonings Antioxidant Plum white tea.

After lunch I sat through the most painful training/brainstorming session ever! I love organization. I crave structure. This 1.5 hour train wreck had neither. I left feeling more confused than I was beforehand and I was very anxious. That called for a cup of Tazo Calm tea. Along with the tea I did some breathing exercises at my desk to help me get back to my happy place. Thankfully the rest of the afternoon went by quickly.

I listen to audiobooks a lot during my commute to and from work. I love to read so it’s a great way for me to make the most of my 3 hours spent in the car each day. During my trip to the library earlier this week I picked up Raising the Bar: Integrity and Passion in Life and Business by Gary Erikson, the founder of Clif Bar & Company. I love books. I love Clif Bars. Coincidence? I think not! I started it Tuesday and so far I’m really enjoying it. I’ll post a better review when I’m finished listening.

Early on in the book they outline how Luna bars came to be. I’m ashamed to admit it, but until then I wasn’t aware that Luna bars were made by Clif Bar & Company. You learn something new everyday! In the spirit of the book, I packed this for my drive home snack. I swear this flavor is becoming like crack to me.

It was a quick change into workout gear when I got home so that my husband and I could hit the gym before dinner. Turned out to be a great workout. I warmed up with 10 minutes on the elliptical then did the Week 11, Day 2 workout from Buff Brides by Sue Fleming with bursts of cardio between the sets of upper & lower body exercises. I finished with crunches. I burned 426 calories in 48:13.

Afterwards we headed home and had breakfast for dinner! My husband and I are both big fans of breakfast food so at least one night every other week is devoted to our love of traditional morning fare. Last night it was pancakes and sausage. I had one of each. My pancake was topped with Parkay spray and a little bit of maple syrup.

Not to toot my own horn, but my pancake skills last night were off the hook. My husband deemed them perfect!

I got the baby news just as we finished dinner so I called everyone on my list while I cleaned up the kitchen. My adrenaline was still pumping from my workout so I took a hot bath to unwind and then headed to bed.

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