Posts Tagged ‘workout’

An Oldie but Goodie

I have no idea how it got there, but I found a September 2008 issue of SELF magazine in my magazine stash before I left for my trip and took it with me to read on the plane. Yes, that says 2008. I have no idea how it got there. I haven’t subscribed to the magazine in a very long time and it’s rare that I purchase magazines on the newsstand. All I can say is that I’m glad it was there because I put it to good use.

The workout on the tear-out cards looked interesting and I decided to break it out yesterday since I was feeling back up to par after my bout with food poisoning. I wasn’t clear about how to execute a couple of the moves so I found this video to clarify:

Holy. Heck.

That’s all I can say. I warmed up with with 10 minutes of light cardio. Then I did 3 sets of 15 reps for each exercise with 1 minute of jumping jacks between sets. It didn’t *look* that hard, but I was dripping with sweat. My muscles were dead tired when I was finished and it made me feel amazingly strong!

The other thing in the magazine that caught my eye was a recipe for something called a World Plate. It wasn’t so much a recipe as a suggestion for things to throw together. I took inspiration for my post-workout lunch from their idea and created this.

~brown rice
~sliced mushrooms
~cannelini beans
~cherry tomatoes, halved
~cilantro, chopped
~artichoke hearts, chopped
~fat free feta cheese
~1 tsp. EVOO

The picture is kind of deceiving. It really wasn’t that much food and I was skeptical about whether it would keep me full for very long. I was wrong. I still wasn’t very hungry when dinner rolled around.


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If a little of something is good, then a lot of it is better, right?

Peanut and I headed out to the craft store yesterday to buy a zipper for a sewing project. We came home with this:

Did I buy too much? Is there really even such a thing as ‘too much’ when you’re talking craft supplies? I like to think not on both accounts.

Our area has been in desperate need of rain for the last several weeks. Well, yesterday we got the rain. And the high winds. And the tornado warnings.

The rain was a good thing. Spending an hour in an empty bath tub with a 1-year old? It was a bit much.

The storms put a damper on my plan to run outside. I did this workout from The Firm instead:

while watching this on the DVR:

Was that workout overload? Nope. I call it multitasking. 😉

Meal swap pickup was delayed a day at the last minute. I have enough food in the house that I could have fixed something, but I was drawing a blank and the only thing my husband was craving was Chipotle. So, that’s where we went. My husband and I never go out to dinner on weeknights. Never. Neither of us can remember a time that we’ve done this in the 2.5 years we’ve been married. It was a nice change of pace. I didn’t photograph my barbacoa bowl, but I’m pretty sure you all know what that looks (and tastes) like. It’s a good thing. I ate the whole thing. On any other day that would have been too much, but my meager lunch wasn’t sticking with me and I was really hungry.

What good thing can you never have too much of?.

Note: I do realize that the above question is horrible grammar. What should it be?!? It’s driving me nuts, but I couldn’t figure out an alternative.

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Is it seriously Wednesday already? It seems like I *just* woke up on Saturday morning. It’s been go, go, go since the 5k with entertaining, shopping and visiting. I didn’t forget about you, bloggies! As promised, I’m back with my race report from the 5k on Saturday. Gold star to you if you finish reading this whole post because it’s LONG. 🙂

I’ve run 5ks before, but for some reason I was all jittery and butterfly stomached for this one. I think it was part excitement and part pressure that I was putting on myself. This was my first race post-baby (not counting the disastrous race 3 days after I was cleared to run again) and I had one very definite, very concrete goal: I wanted to run the whole thing. I didn’t care how long it took me to run it, but I was NOT going to walk.

I was a little preoccupied with getting Peanut up, packed and loaded in the car so I didn’t get to snap a picture of the gorgeous morning. The race was only about 5 minutes from our house so I wasn’t up to see the sunrise, but the morning could not have been any more clear and perfect for a run. My husband drove us down to the park where we met my sister-in-law and got checked in. For being a small race, the event was VERY well organized and the race crew was extremely friendly.

The half marathon stepped off at 9am on the dot. About 5 minutes later they called for the 5kers and everyone made their way to the start/finish line. My stomach completely bottomed out when I saw that there were only about 30-40 participants. One thought immediately came into my mind: “I’m going to be last.” I got really panicky all of a sudden and thought about bailing. I shared my concern with my sister-in-law and she told me to just do my best. Honestly, that statement should have made me feel better, but it felt more like pity coming from someone who is as fiercely competitive as she is. One thing that helped me loosen up was that all the competitors were very friendly. The whole lot of us stood there chatting and laughing while we waited for the start. One couple were owners of a local bike shop and gave me some great advice about what to look for when buying a running stroller.

For the last minute before the race, I closed my eyes, put in my headphones and just kept repeating my Baz Luhrman running mantra: “The race is long and, in the end, it’s only with yourself.” I got goosebumps in the 10 second countdown until the start. When they yelled “GO!” my whole mindset shifted. I felt calm and relaxed and just started running. I kept pace right behind my sister-in-law for the first quarter mile or so, but quickly realized that I couldn’t sustain that pace and settled into my own rhythm.

There was a volunteer yelling out times at the 1-mile mark. I was at 11:23 and completely fine with that. I felt really good so I decided to push a little bit harder on my way to the turn-around. My sister-in-law passed me on her way back and gave me the thumbs up and told me that I wasn’t even close to last. While that shouldn’t have mattered but, not gonna lie, it made me feel good.

I rounded the cone at the turn-around and headed for home feeling pretty good. That lasted for about another half mile. With one mile left to go, my breathing got difficult and I was having trouble getting it under control. I slowed my pace a little, determined not to walk, and kept plugging along.

The bike path where we were running has mile markers so it was easy to know where I was. I’d told myself that when I hit the 0.5 mile mark I was going to bust a move and push as hard as I could to the finish. Unfortunately, I was still struggling a bit when I got to that point and facing a bit of an uphill section. I told myself to keep running and putting one foot in front of the other, but decided I wasn’t ready to sprint.

The finish line banner was hanging from a bridge overpass. I spotted it as I rounded the corner about .25 miles out and decided it was time to make my move. I have no idea where that extra gas came from, but it was there. I bolted like lightening! I picked up the pace even more when I spotted my husband, sister-in-law and baby girl waiting at the finish line, cheering me on.

My official time was 36:24. My heart rate monitor (which I started & stopped as I hit the line) said 36:12. Either way, I was beyond thrilled. That’s only a few minutes off the time of the last 5k I ran before I got pregnant. I think I was a bit shocked, too. 40 minutes was sort of the time I’d had in my head as a realistic expectation of what I’d be able to do.

Peanut gave me a huge smile that melted my heart when I got to her stroller and my husband gave me a giant hug. The whole rest of the day he told me how great I did and how proud he was of me. That was really nice to hear. He also took this post-race photo of me. I am being VERY brave and posting it here even though I look like complete crap. Please remember that I just had a baby 6 months ago. Oh, and if anyone knows of a good hairdo that keeps your hair out of your face without exposing the fivehead, I’d really appreciate some tips. 🙂

Also very nice was this beer that I drank after I’d gotten showered:

My in-laws came over for a cookout around noon. My husband insisted that I relax while he did all the grilling. I did get the task of setting up the buffet. I got caught up in my task and forgot photos again. My husband made chicken & shrimp kabobs, grilled baby bella mushrooms and some yummy bread. My mother-in-law brought pasta salad and my sister-in-law made some healthy cream cheese bars that were HEAVENLY. Recipe and review of those to come because I am going to be making them very, very soon.

The rest of Saturday evening was really low-key. I read while Peanut played in her ExerSaucer and my husband played Madden. I love evenings like that.

Sunday morning my husband asked me the thing every woman likes to hear first thing in the morning. Get your mind out of the gutter! 😉 I meant that he asked me: “Do you want me to make breakfast?” Of course my answer was yes! I was treated to a delicious omelette made with turkey bacon, sharp cheddar cheese and leftover baby bella mushrooms. Nom.

I’m planning a special Earth Day event for Peanut tomorrow. Check back tomorrow, probably late afternoon, for a photo recap. I promise adorableness. 🙂

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I don’t mean this kind of rebound:

While we’re on the subject…congrats to the Duke men for winning the NCAA championship last night! I’m not a big basketball fan, but I do tune in during March Madness.

I’m really talking about rebounding after a disappointing workout.

I had a bad run last Friday. I’m talking HOR-RI-BLE! I set out to run the same route I’ve been doing for a week or so, but just past halfway I was complete toast. My legs felt like Jell-O, my feet felt heavy and I couldn’t slow my breathing no matter how hard I tried. When I looked down, my heart rate monitor was reading a little over 200. Being in the 190s when I run isn’t uncommon for me, but I’ve never seen a number that high. I decided to walk a little to calm my body down. When I tried to pick up a run again, I immediately felt exhausted. I walked the rest of my running route, then doubled back around to cool down. The whole time I was mentally beating myself up and questioning my ability. “Why couldn’t I run that? I did it just fine two days ago.” This one subpar run had me doubting whether I could ever really get back to where I was pre-baby.

One thing that kept me from completely berating myself was knowing that I’m not alone. Just last week, Caitlin posted about the first race in which she bonked. The week before, Allison posted about her less-than-stellar marathon training run. Granted, these ladies are running a LOT further than I am, but I admire both of them (through their blogs) and asked myself WWHLBD (What Would Healthy Living Bloggers Do)? Did they quit running altogether? Nope. Did they use that fluke run to define themselves as runners? Nope. They’re both still running…and kicking booty!

I very easily could have slipped into a funk over my lackluster run. Instead, I started my “rebound” as soon as I got home.

  • Positive Self-Talk: We are our own toughest critics, but we can also be our own biggest cheerleader. When I walked in the front door, I vowed to only say positive things to myself about the workout. I applauded myself for getting out the door and exercising in the first place. I mentally thanked myself for getting outside and enjoying the beautiful weather. I commended myself for how far I’ve come in the 7 weeks I’ve been back to running. “Remember when you couldn’t even run for a minute?”
  • Retrace Your Steps: While I was showering after my workout, I tried to think of anything I’d done differently that day that could have had an impact on my workout. The four things I identified were 1) not drinking enough water throughout the day; 2) eating lunch about 30 minutes before running instead of my usual snack before, lunch after schedule; 3) running in the late afternoon rather than late morning; 4) first day of 80+ degree temperatures rather than the 60ish I’ve been running in lately. I didn’t set out to find excuses for hitting my wall. Identifying these things just gave me an awareness of how my body might react to certain variables.
  • Look forward, not back: A funny thing happened when I started being nicer to myself. I started getting excited about going on my next run. The “bad” run was over. Done with. Finito. Dwelling on it would accomplish nothing. I laid out a complete workout outfit on top of my dresser (including my running shoes) for the next time. Because there would be a next time. I was NOT giving up.

That “next time” came yesterday and guess what happened? I rocked it! Not only did I run the whole route, I actually added an extra .25 miles or so to the end. I took hydration and eating schedule into consideration and ran at my more usual time of day. Those might have helped, but I know that setting out with a positive attitude was the most crucial key to my success.

Post-run lunch was a humdinger of a salad:

~organic greens
~cherry tomatoes
~1/4 cup Sabra Hummus with Roasted Pine Nuts
~1oz. President fat free feta cheese

The star of dinner was the spinach & asiago chicken sausage I reviewed yesterday. I cut the three leftover links into rounds, then cut those in half (to form crescents) and reheated them in a skillet with a little extra virgin olive oil. + a jar of spaghetti sauce + a handful of mushrooms = delicious spaghetti sauce! My husband raved about it’s deliciousness.

(Sorry for the blurry pics. My camera battery is going.)

Have you ever had a disappointing workout or race? What did you do to rebound?

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Knee-d Some Help

I must be sleeping pretty well at night because I’ve been up pretty early, but still feeling really energized. A big part of that is Peanut sleeping for an 8 hour stretch most nights.

Peanut and I both had oats for breakfast.

I think she’s a little jealous that she can’t have toppings yet. She gets plain, single grain oatmeal while I get PB&J oats.

I managed some much-needed gym time in the early afternoon. I did Week 3 Day 3 of the Couch-to-5k program. I really feel like I’m starting to get back into my running groove. I’m able to relax into the runs and focus on my breathing and posture. I was worried that my body would reject running this time around, but I think easing back in has been the key. I walked briskly on an incline after my run intervals to make an even 30 minutes. Peanut fell asleep so I took advantage of the time by doing squats and then grabbed some weights. I cranked out 3 sets of 12 of these exercises:

~bicep curls
~chest press
~chest flies
~skull crushers
~overhead press
~lateral raises
~tricep kickbacks
~front raises

I managed to squeak in 2 sets of 50 crunches before Peanut woke up. That means time to stretch and head home.

This is where I need some knee help.

The last few times I’ve done cardio I’ve had a weird knee thing happen afterward. It usually happens 1-2 hours post-workout. Basically the outside half of my left knee feels like it fell asleep. I always stretch really well. I’ve tried massage, ice and elevation when it’s occurred, but none of that seems to help. I just have to let it go away on its own which usually happens after just a few minutes. It’s not exactly painful, just an odd sensation and my knee buckles a little when I put weight on it. I injured this same knee my freshman year of high school. That was followed by physical therapy that helped with the big stuff. I’ve continued to have minor discomfort here and there. Usually it’s at the top of bottom of my knee cap so this side thing is new. The tingling sensation makes me think that maybe it’s a nerve. Anyone ever have this happen to them? Any tips for what I can do to prevent it?

Last night’s leftovers for lunch! I think it might have tasted even better reheated.

Bacon, Ranch & Chicken Mac & Cheese with a side of sugar snap peas:

Dinner wasn’t very photogenic. It was Beef & Mushroom Meatloaf from a Weight Watchers recipe, but something about the ratio wasn’t right
and it ended up crumbling as soon as I attempted to slice it. Thankfully it still tasted great. So did the roasted Yukon Gold potatoes I served on the side. My ‘meat and potatoes’ husband was thrilled. 🙂

Peanut and I have a busy day in town today that culminates in my weekly weigh-in. The battery in our scale went kaput a couple days ago so I have no idea what to expect. I don’t have high hopes, though. I skipped most of my workouts this week in order to take care of other people’s needs. I enjoy helping other people and I enjoy (and need) exercise. Finding a balance between the two is so tough. Either I shortchange myself on the workout time I deserve (like I did this past week) or I disappoint/upset someone when I make my workout a priority. I just wish it were easy to find a happy medium.

Hope everyone is enjoying their Thursday so far. Don’t forget to do something nice for yourself today.

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Today’s post will be a quickie.

I was running a little behind yesterday morning so I only had time to either snap a picture of my lunch and snacks pre-pack OR stop for coffee.

Guess which one I chose?

(observe blank space here)

Don’t worry. You’re not missing much. The snacks were a repeat of Monday and lunch was leftover angolotti topped with leftover zucchini from Monday’s dinner.

Dinner was a request from my husband. We happened to have all of the ingredients so I happily obliged as it fit with my theme for the week.

Baked Spaghetti with whole grain pasta, lean ground beef, four cheese sauce and topped with 2% mozzarella cheese. Not rocket science. It was quite tasty and not too bad nutritionally as long as the portion is kept under control.


Our home phone became Grand Central Station just after I snapped the above picture so I didn’t get a picture of the small salad I had on the side.

Inspired by Sarah‘s wonderful post earlier this week, I did the Love Your Body workout from FitPregnancy.com after cleaning up the kitchen.

That makes 2 days into my goal of 15 minutes minimum strength training every day this week. I’m already feeling an increase in my energy level and resdiscovering muscles I’d nearly forgotten I had. Hello hip flexors and triceps! It feels good to do something a little more “workoutish” than just the walking I’ve fallen back on lately.

Tea for 2?

My caffeine intake has been creeping back up into the “not okay” category over the last few weeks. I’m working hard to bring it back down and have decided that I need to restock my supply of tea. It has a much lower caffeine content than coffee, but still fills that hot beverage need that I have almost every morning at my desk.

The problem is that my doctor has deemed herbal things off limits during pregnancy. As much as I love my herbs, I’m choosing to err on the side of caution and heed his advice. Unfortunately, this means many of my favorite teas of the herbal variety have been banished to the back of the cabinet.

Anyone have any recommendations for non-herbal teas? Any favorite brand?

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  • The average American uses 150 gallons of water every day.
  • 1 in 6 people on Earth do not have access to safe drinking water. 😦

How can you help?

  • Drink tap water instead of bottled water. It helps our planet and gives you a really great excuse to buy a cute, reusable bottle. WIN-WIN in my book! 😀
  • Be conscious of the water you use and try to reduce your consumption.
  • Share information about water conservation with your friend.

In honor of this special day, Nubius Organics (LOVE ’em) is offering 20% off all reusable bottles, including those that are already on sale. Just enter promo code WWD20 at checkout. The offer is good through March 23rd, so hurry!

Here’s a recap of my eats from the past two days:


I woke up STARVING because I didn’t eat much of a dinner last night. Two Kashi waffles with a little butter and lite maple syrup filled me right up. I’d really like to start posting pictures of my first-thing-in-the-morning meals. It’s still dark when I leave the house so I can just never get the lighting right.

I ate the last bit of my strawberries after getting settled in at my desk.


I ate what was supposed to be my lunch about an hour and a half before workout time. Morningstar Farms Spicy Black Bean Burger, a wedge of Laughing Cow Light Swiss cheese and lettuce all on a La Tortilla Factor EVOO Tomato & Basil Softwrap. Here it is pre-rollup.


I was trying to decide what to do about being lunchless when my coworkersaid she was calling in an order to the fancy hotel bistro across the street and would pick it up after our workout. Clearly, it was meant to be. 🙂

Our workout at work today had tougher cardio stations than normal and I could feel the burn. My favorite exercise today was the BOSU trainer plank. I was grateful to have food on the way when I returned because I was hungry.

I had the spicy vegetarian rice rolls. All I can say is HOLY WASABI! They came with a veggie blend (tossed in balsamic vinegar) and their homemade chips. I ate everything except the onions from the veggie salad and about 1/2 of the chips. I’m a little worried that these will become an addiction. They were sooooo good.


I had an afternoon craving for something sweet, but the only thing available in the office was candy. I ran over to the cafe across the street for a chocolate chip oatmeal cookie and ended up with a cup of unsweetened raspberry iced tea, too.

It always feels so good to leave work on a Friday evening. There’s just something so exciting and freeing about knowing you have those 2 days ahead of you for fun. I called a few close friends and family members during my commute to share our baby news. Everyone was thrilled and offered lots of encouragement.

I wasn’t even a little bit hungry for supper. I had toast with butter and jam at some point, but no photo because I was really into the Ohio State vs. Siena basketball game. The outcome didn’t help my bracket any, but man that was a good game! I’m not usually a big fan of basketball on TV, but that’s changed a bit since I’m in the office pool this year. 🙂


I slept in a little and was worried that the grocery would be crazy busy since I was going a couple hours later than normal. I ate some Kashi waffles and was out the door.


The grocery was actually quite peaceful. I had freedom to browse without being crowded or pushed along by the flow of cart traffic. This resulted in some new products which I’ll be reviewing here soon.

After the grocery, I stopped at the bank and then the local coffee shop for a light iced java chip frappe. It’s one of my favorites.

By the time I’d put groceries away, I was hungry for lunch. I tried something new and made my organic whole wheat couscous in the microwave per the directions from the box. It worked perfectly! Actually, I think it turned out even better than on the stovetop. I added some black beans and Tastefully Simple Mild Red Pepper Salsa.


I also had VeggiePatch Veggie Nuggets with mustard for dipping.


After lunch, I headed outside to do some reading for my Nutrition & Wellness Consultant at-home study. That’s where I spent most of the afternoon into early evening. The sunshine felt great! We didn’t have an “official” dinner. I just did a repeat of lunch because it was so yummy and then hung out with my husband until time for bed.

Just FYI, this is where I’m blogging and blog reading today:


I have some water (in my reusable bottle of course) and fresh iced sun tea for refreshment. Those are clothes drying on the line in the background. That’s one of my favorite parts of warm weather. I love the way they feel and smell. The real perk is that it’s more eco-friendly than the dryer. Plus, it cuts down a LOT on our electric bill.

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