I think I got MAYBE two hours of sleep Sunday night. It was terrible. I don't sleep well generally - I think it's a curse. On top of that, during his sleep, my husband sometimes makes this awful smacking sounds with his mouth that would drive even the sanest person up the wall. I think snoring would be better; oh yeah, he snores as well. For whatever reason, all of these things came together Sunday evening and I found myself staring at the ceiling, the clock or my dogs for the majority of the night. On Monday morning I felt as if I had been beaten with a baseball bat and someone had sucked all the thinking processes out of my brain.
However, Mondays don't stop or slow down for you to get your bearing. They come crashing at you full force in all their relentless business and loudness and craziness. For me, Mondays are also very jam packed, not much time to breathe days.
During afterschool snack time, with my youngest, I felt like I just needed something to help me power through the afternoon. I was basically counting the hours until I could crawl back into the bed. My "go to" snack was a rice cake with peanut butter (sometimes it's Almond Butter) with sliced apples. It's the perfect combination of carbs, fat and protein. It's one of my favorites, although I'm such a peanut butter lover that I have to keep myself from sneaking too much peanut butter! It actually did make me feel better for a couple of hours.
My brain was still full of fog, so I completely forgot to order the Chic-fil-a biscuits for one of my sons' bible study the next morning. (Therefore, this morning at 7 am I had to backtrack to feed 16 starving 13 year olds. For them, at that hour, it's all about the biscuits!) During homework, I wasn't very good helping with long division for another son. Have you ever tried to teach long division with no brain in your head? I muddled through preparing something for dinner. However, at this moment I have no idea what it was. I think I was on autopilot.
The best thing about yesterday? Getting into the bed at 9 pm. It was heaven. Even better, was waking up this morning NOT feeling like I had been beaten with a baseball bat.
I've posted before on getting enough rest and how important it is for our overall health. I used to be able to go days with very little sleep. However, I can see how so many accidents happen from merely not getting enough sleep! So, my advice is to do whatever you have can to get enough rest! For me, it will be finding another bed . . .
What do you do to fall asleep? How do you make it through the day when you are dog tired?
Looking at this photo of trainer Jackie Warner, you might think I am going to post about getting 6 pack abs like hers. Well, I'm not going there today. Although I will give you my two cents on getting 6-pack abs, or even 1-pack. They start with three things, in this order: What you are born with (genetics), What's in your kitchen (what you eat) and Hard Work (what you do). I was not blessed with the Ab gene. I fight that daily and and end up just plain aggravated. So, I just try to keep my diet (fairly) clean and work hard. I keep thinking that one morning I might wake up and magically have some good abs, but at my ripe old age and three c-sections in my past, it's just not looking good for me. I'm thinking I'll go more into this topic later. I digress, because I merely wanted to share a workout today.
This is a workout designed to be done at home. Trainer Jackie Warner, who hosts Thinervention on Bravo, is known as a tough, get the job done, trainer. She has been known to "tell it like it is" and is quick to say she works really hard and that's what it takes. I think we all know that! But, being fit doesn't have to sound like a job! Enjoy what you are doing and what you can accomplish. I think you have to find some fun in your exercise or you'll end up back on the couch before you've even cranked out one push-up! Not to mention, any new resolutions will be long gone.
For the workout below, you need some weights, exercise band and an exercise ball. If you don't have the bands, you can modify with dumbells. If you don't have an exercise ball, I would put that on your wish list. It's a great "at home" tool. You can get one most anywhere these days, Target, K-Mart, Wal-Mart, any sporting good store or online.
She calls this the Home Improvement Workout. As we are doing some home improvement ourselves (fixing up our basement AND my home gym area! I'm very excited and the before and after pics are already showing a HUGE improvement!) I thought this workout would fit right in. So, if you are an "at home" exerciser and want some fresh moves or new moves to try at the gym, check it out. Most things will look familiar, but I always say that if I can take away even ONE new idea or learn ONE new thing, it's a success.
Enjoy your week!
What's your favorite at home workout?
In keeping with my 2012 Inspirations to eat more "real" foods and less processed stuff, I have to cut my favorite ingredient: refined sugar. This is such a struggle for so many of us. I find that when I truly lay off the sweet stuff I do feel better and, magically, stop craving or wanting it.
Here are a couple of facts to keep in mind:
1. The Recommended Daily Amount of sugar for the average woman is 5 teaspoons. That's it. No more.
2. The average US adult consumes 22.2 teaspoons of sugar each day. That adds up to an extra 355 calories. Those are empty calories, mind you. They are good for nothing, add no nutritional value and do nothing good for your body. I looked for a picture of the mound of sugar which represents how much sugar we eat on a yearly basis. I've seen that demonstration and have been aghast. Hopefully, you have seen those too and know what I mean.
I guess you have discovered my Fit Tip for this Friday is to look at the amount of sugar in your day and put a hold on it. Here are some of things I try to keep in mind while I try to keep a track of my own sweet tooth.
1. Eat regular meals with healthy amounts of protein, good carbs and good fat. You will not be hungry so won't have the urge to snack. I am by nature a "snacker" so I have to keep this in mind and prepare a real meal BEFORE I start the snack routine.
2. Bring your own goodies or appetizers to to parties. Use sugar alternatives in your treats if you like. (Stevia, applesauce, bananas, or whatever substitutions you like.) I think it's always best to actually know WHAT you are eating and can control what's going in. If you bring it you know you have something good and healthy to enjoy.
3. Brush your teeth or chew a piece of gum. That minty taste signals to your brain that the meal is over. Also, I always hate to ruin that fresh taste once I've done that, and most things taste pretty awful right after you brush your teeth!
4.Drink LOTS of water. It makes you feel full and helps you flush out the junk. Sometimes, too, we think we are hungry when we are actually thirsty.
5. Do Enjoy treats and treat yourself. The worst thing you can do is to constantly deprive yourself of something. I try to make sure it's worth the calories. For me, a piece of Key Lime Pie is ALWAYS worth the calories. I haven't had a piece in quite some time . . .
Remember, the more sugar you eat the more your body will crave it. Haven't you ever noticed that if you eat something sweet in the mornings as breakfast or snack you seem to crave something sweet all day? That's just what sugar does, along with many other unhealthy things to your body!
ALSO, HERE'S MY WEEKLY PET PEEVE
Have you seen this? Taco Bell has a new burrito with beef, cheese AND Flaming Hot Fritos mixed in! How gross is that? Who would eat this? 500 Calories and 22 grams of fat in this little puppy. I'm thinking this should be outlawed.
Do you have any food pet peeves?
Any tips on keeping away from sugar?
We all have our favorites. Depending on what we are doing, we just have to have certain things. If I am heading to the gym I just have to have a few things and if I forget something my entire time is ruined. Maybe these things are crutches, then?
First of all, as I said earlier in the week, I have to have music to work out. How those people run miles and miles with no uplifting beat to follow or give that extra boost is a mystery to me! So, obviously, I am not that tough. I just love, love, love my Nano. It's tiny, pink and full of all sorts of music. It clips right on my top so it can go anywhere.
I also like to download books to my Nano. That's really great for long walks, rowing or riding a stationary bike. Sometimes I just want to keep going because the book is so good. Try it!
I will say that I am a sweater and I hate when the Apple earpieces get sweaty. They will NOT stay in my ears and it makes me crazy. I have difficult ears, too. I thinghin, as those over the ear headphones fall right off my ears. That's really aggravating. I then discovered a fabulous little thing! Yurbuds. They are these little blue, rubber things that fit over the earpiece and right into your ears. They stay in place perfectly and don't slip out, no matter how much I sweat. That's saying something, too, because there's a lot of smelly water covering me when I exercise.
Next, I love Thorlos socks. Yes, these socks can really make me happy. I discovered them preparing for the Susan G. Komen 3 Day Walk. They are the best things going for your feet!
Except for my new running shoes that I just adore! I decided to try a pair of Newtons and I'm so glad I did! My normal aches and pains from running have all but disappeared. I tend to fight plantar fasciatis, but there isn't really any heel striking to aggravate that either. These shoes make me run so much lighter! I Don't think I could be adding miles each week in anticipation of the Half Marathon without these miracle shoes.
I've been growing my hair out so now I HAVE to have two hair clips and a ponytail holder. I can't stand my hair in my face while I exercise. I have also been known to wear a headband in addition just to ensure there are no stray hair strands coming out. However, it has to be the Lulemon one with the "no slip" band inside the fabric so it actually stays on my head.
I wear my Sportsline watch all the time. Basically, I am too lazy to take it off and put on a normal watch, so I have it on whether I'm working out or not. I love being able to track my heart rate, calorie count and time sprints or intervals. I have to admit, though, that I think the numbers on the watch face have gotten smaller over this past year. That means I might be in the market for another sportswatch with a bigger face. That does not make me happy.
I love my foam roller and have really gotten dependent on rolling out my hamstrings, quads and IT band. I even have my boys in on the action. It can definitely be a "love/hate" thing. I've posted about the foam roller before and have included a video showing how to work out sore muscles, if you need to look over it.
I'm going to keep this list short so you won't think I'm a complete nut and high maintenance. However, I can't close the list without including a water bottle. I think my favorite are the Camelback bottles with the straw included. They don't spill, are BPA free and are the perfect size for most cup holders.
That's it. Those are my TOP FAVORITE things. The GO TO, Gotta Have things that make me happy.
What are your favorite, gotta have workout items?
By the way, these are just my opinions. They may not be worth a toot and I haven't been asked or paid to make this post.
Music is the greatest motivator for me while I exercise. Even if I might not be in the right mood or mindset, the music can really get me going. Music is even more important when I am teaching a class and I am constantly playing with new songs and playlists. In the "olden" days, before ITunes, it would cost me a fortune to buy CDs for just one song! Now, I am constantly asking my boys, "What's that song?" "Who sings that?". I'm sure it's really annoying to them! I keep a notepad in my car for songs I hear. (Of course, I do not write while driving)
I absolutely cannot run without music (or sometimes I listen to a book). The thought of running to the silence in my head is just too much for me! So, the first playlist below is for a long run (it really made it fun today!) and the next for most any workout, except it will be for my bodysculpt class.
Hope they give you some ideas or inspiration to beat the boredom!
Have a Great Workout and a Great Week!
If you have any ideas for music, please share!
Whew, it's Friday already. How did happen? Having a Monday Holiday makes for a short week and also really messes with my scheduling. So, this week while I was doing my normal, nerdy health and fitness reading rambling I ran across an article that inspired this post. The article touched on the fact that when we think about health and wellness, we often fall into talking about weight and physical appearance. For example, look at the health magazines on the shelf. The cover models are sickeningly perfect in appearance (should I remind you that I recently posted on photoshopping?). The fact is, even the "health" and "fitness" magazines focus on an ideal of outer beauty and often neglect the inner health and well-being of persons.
I think of how often I have given a compliment with words like, "you look great"or "you are so skinny". Admit it, you have done the same thing. Also, I will admit that if you give me one of those compliments I will prance like a peacock! So, those types of words go right into feeding the media obsession with weight and looks.
I am around so many fantastic and inspiring women each week. I am so impressed with their accomplishments, strengths, intelligence, attitudes and natures! I am equally impressed with their outer strength, fitness and beauty. Everyone is different - whether in the amount of push-ups they can crank out, how flexible they are in touching their noses to the floor in a straddle split, how fast they can run their suicides or how quick witted they are to make me laugh.
This FRIDAY'S FIT TIP is to challenge you all to compliment another on anything OTHER THAN THEIR APPEARANCE. NO COMPLIMENTS ON WEIGHT LOST OR GAINED, SKINNINESS OR PRETTINESS. I'm sure those around you have so many other things going for them that make them healthy and fit. This exercise is about shifting our mindset about what is healthy. 2012 is about GETTING HEALTHY, BEING HEALTHY AND STAYING HEALTHY.
Now this is not to say I do not want to compliment someone on how great they look, how fit they are, but it made me think about also telling people all the things I am thinking about them! I know people have talents and qualities - so rather than just thinking them, I am going to say them. Let's see if we can make a week of looking past the outer appearance and get to the "real" strength and qualities of those around us - and tell them!
On another note, I had a really great breakfast this morning - so great, in fact, that at 3:00 pm I'm still not hungry! I had a little extra time mid-morning and I was starving so I knew I needed something filling. I wanted something warm as it cold and rainy here. I had kale for a soup tonight so I took a handful and sauteed it in olive oil. In the same pan I cooked two eggs (and yes I included both yolks. If you want to just do eggwhites, which I do at times, it will be just as good!) Can you get more healthy, good for you and filling?
Look at that, you know you want some! So, second FIT TIP: eat breakfast!
How do you compliment others? Will this make you rethink?
What is your filling breakfast?
I've always been an arm person. This used to baffle my brother. He couldn't get why I would care about a gal's arms, or my own arms. Maybe I think if your arms are toned, then the rest of the body would be toned. Maybe I see it as a sign of strength. Maybe I just like to see a little muscle. Who knows why we see some things differently as others.
However, a lot has been made lately of skinny arms. Namely, Angelina Jolie's arms. I wouldn't have thought about writing about this, until my teenage son brought it up. When I saw recent photos of Angelina I thought she looked abnormally skinny and did not appreciate the look of her unmuscled, emaciated arms. My son told me he and his buddies were watching the Golden Globes and thought she looked terrible - her arms looked like toothpicks. So, it wasn't just me. I'm glad it wasn't just my "arm thing". I'm not sure her arms could withstand a push-up.
Then, there is the other side of the coin, "Madonna Arms". I think Madonna's arms show a lot of discipline and hard work. They could definitely withstand push-ups, LOTS of them. And Down Dogs, burpees, bicep curls, and slugging some dude trying to steal her purse.
Of course, some folks have negative remarks to say about Madonna's arms, too. I will admit some of the photos show them as particularly cut and veiny, so I get that, too.
Of course, there is a happy medium. There is a balance between the two. A gal can have a fit and strong body with arms that fit right in. These would be arms capable of carrying a load of groceries, a baby for hours daily - or heck, two babies at a time (!), move a piece of furniture without having to wait on a male species and hold a Plank pose for the length of a TV commercial. That would be a healthy, fit arm of a healthy, fit gal. I think that's what it is all about.
Are you an arm person? Would you rather have Angelina arms or Madonna arms?
Fresh Ingredients for Grilled Pizzas
Following the Half-Marathon training schedule, this weekend would be my longest run so far. Saturday around here was really cold (for me that's anything below 50 degrees!) so I ran inside on the dreaded treadmill and waited until Sunday to do a "long" run, which for me right now is 6 miles. Let me remind you, I haven't run 6 miles in quite some time, so I was a bit nervous about it. I ran with a good friend, and I will admit, I initially did not want to. I thought I should go solo in case I couldn't keep up, my knees started aching, I had to walk, or maybe I just didn't want to talk while I was huffing and puffing. Boy, was I wrong and I am SO glad I had a partner! The pace was great, I didn't need to stop and walk (which I might have done had I been by myself) and the conversation was great! Even better, was I felt super afterwards! Although, had it been a cold, dreary day I'm not so sure I'd sound so positive!
Later, as I was trying to think what for dinner, and as my boys were making plans, since there was no school today, husband decided we should do pizza on the grill. By the time, I started getting ingredients together I was getting really hungry! I always make our pizza dough, but normally know in advance and make the dough the day before or in the morning so it has time to rise.
I found a new pizza dough recipe I thought I might try, as it called for using the mixer with a dough hook. That sounded like just what I needed as it would cut a lot of time. I could mix the dough and then head out to the grocery. Well, it turned out so perfectly, and the dough so much prettier and easy to work with, I just have to share! It was so elastic I could even shape it and toss it up in the air (don't be too impressed, just a few inches) like they do on the cooking shows.
I had a yummy Margarita Pizza with fresh basil and mozzerella on a perfectly thin and light crust. My boys had Hot Italian Sausage with Red and Yellow Peppers.
Veggie Pizza hot off the Grill
Half Meat Lovers Half Veggie
Margarita Pizza . . .Doesn't this look like the best?
BETTER PIZZA DOUGH!
1 1/4 oz packet active dry yeast
5 Cups all-purpose flour (whole wheat flour is also a great option, or sometimes I make it half and half)
1 Tb sugar
2 Tb extr-virgin olive oil, plus more for the bowl
Put 1 1/2 Cups warm water (110 - 115 degrees F) in the bowlof a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook attachment. Sprinkle yeast over the water and let stand until foamy, about 10 minutes. Whisk flour, sugar and 1 tsp salt in a separate bowl, then add to yeast mixture along with 2 Tb olive oil. Mox on low speed until the dough starts to come together, about 1 minute. Increase the speed to medium low and mix untilthe dough starts to look smooth, about 1 minute. Increase the speed to medium and mix until the dough is smooth and elastic, 4 - 6 minutes (it should stretch 3 inches without breaking). Transfer to an oiled bowl and cover with a damp towel or plastic wrap. Let rise in the refrigerator overnight. (I DID NOT DO THIS. I COVERED IT AND LET IT RISE FOR ABOUT 2 HOURS, PUCHED IT DOWN AND LET IT RISE AGAIN SLIGHTLY FOR ABOUT 45 MINUTES - AND IT WAS FINE)
The dough was so smooth and elastic - just beautiful!
Do you think it was the recipe or using the mixer instead of mixing by hand?
Hmmmm . . . will need to experiment.
Either way, I'm sure I ate BACK those 6 miles!
Today's workout? Left my legs alone! It was a P90X Chest and Back DVD. My arms are already sore . . .
And thoughts and prayers to family and friends of the capsized cruise ship. . .
I am trying something new this week, and hopefully, will keep it up every week. So, welcome to FIT TIP FRIDAY where I will post a different FIT TIP to help us all stay motivated, try new things or just learn some new or different ways to add a bit of "health" to your routine. Even if you think you have heard 'em all before, there just might be some little nugget that you can take away. . . .
In honor of the first post I thought it fitting to see what tips other healthy bloggers have to offer, so here's what some of them had to say. Hopefully, something in this list sounds worth giving a try.BLOGGERS' BEST HEALTH TIPS EVER "Eat things that are ingredients, not things that have ingredients." --Dawn Dolobowsky
"You didn't put all that extra weight on overnight, so you aren't going to take it off overnight either. It takes time!" —Michael J Schiemer of My Frugal Fitness
"Talk to your doctor. That advice is for real. I have restrictions on what types of exercise I can do, so it was an important discussion." —Danielle Liss of Kittenagogo.com
"Think about health as a journey instead of a destination. You don't magically arrive at "healthy" and then put it out of your mind—it's a daily promise to keep your body and your mind as happy as possible so you can enjoy life as long as possible." --Keelie Sheridan
"Set a goal, like a 5k, and train for it. Crossing the finish line is symbolic for all you went through to get there!" —Christine Hill O'Sullivan of Average Moms Wear Cape
"You can't out-train a poor diet—the importance of nutrition for fitness and weight loss cannot be overstated." —Bonnie Lang of BonnieLangFitness
"From my husband when I was lamenting looking as though I'd never lifted a weight in my life, even though I'd been lifting for years: 'Dude, a calorie isn't a calorie isn't a calorie!' " --Carla Birnberg of MizFit
"One small change leads to a few small changes. A few small changes lead to many. Many small changes lead to bigger changes. Bigger changes lead to lifestyle changes." —Tara Martin of A Life Changing Journey
"Do not measure your success by comparing yourself to others, instead concentrate on improving your own personal level of fitness and celebrate the improvements. What really matters is that you are pushing yourself to the best of your ability." —Dawn Smith Shaffer of Dawnie's Life
"Eat before you're ravenously hungry. It's much harder to make healthy choices when your body is screaming for fast energy NOW!" —Tamara Grand of Fit Knit Chick
"You don't have to be perfect to succeed. Falling off track for a couple meals or even a couple days is fine once you've made it a lifestyle, not a diet." --Theodora Blanchfield of Losing Weight in the City
"Eat intuitively, move often, and love thyself." —Katelyn Block of Chef Katelyn
"Tracking what you eat holds you accountable! It really worked for me!" —Ashley Cornell(credit: Shape.com)
credit: www.shape.com/weight-loss/weight-loss-strategies/bloggers-reveal-1-weight-loss-tip-ive-ever-gottenThat's a lot of tips! Hopefully something speaks to you. If not, I leave you with one final Friday Fit Tip:Find a way to MOVE every day AND if it doesn't have a mother, it's not real food! Have a great Friday!
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I am re-posting this video I ran across on SarahFit.com. I actually put it on Faacebook and have loved the feedback and comments. I think it is a great reminder that what you see is not always "the real thing"! This is a fake TV commercial made to look like a beauty ad, complete with ways to make our skin look younger and more radiant, our lips fuller, our hips and thighs smaller, eyes brighter, teeth whiter. . . .you get the picture. Of course, the answer is not with diet, exercise, beauty products or even make-up - it's by Photoshop! Any photograph can be changed and manipulated to look any way, but real. Even with hours of hair, make-up, and celebrity trainers, nutritionists and diets, the photos of celebrity women in magazines are still photoshopped to make them look impossibly perfect.
Sarah from Sarahfit.com had already done a great did a great video where she had a photographer take her photos and show her how the photos would be photoshopped and digitally changed before they would be printed. It was a great article and very enlightening. Women have such issues with body image - and no wonder since we are constantly bombarded with magazines, commercials, ads and photos of women portrayed to look absolutely perfect, when, in fact, they are just like the rest of us. They merely have all of their photos digitally manipulated.
Jennifer Hudson recently gave an interview and discussed her struggle with her weight and the fickleness of the entertainment industry in wanting her to lose weight for her career and then gain weight for a particular movie role or appearance. She admitted that her first Album/CD cover was photoshopped to make her appear thinner than she actually was. She said this was done without her knowledge and she did not see the photograph until after it was released. She was disappointed in the change made to her body in the photo as she knew her audience would know it was not a true portrayal of her. She knew this was the wrong message to send.
So, when did things get so crazy that women are not allowed to be normal, healthy and beautiful as they are? When and why did we begin to expect impossible images as acceptable? It is hard enough for me in my 40's to remember that a photo I see is not "real". I cannot compare myself to these images. It's also one of the reasons I'm thankful I do not have daughters to teach how to navigate the misleading appearances forced upon them by the entertainment industy.
Isn't this just crazy? Do you think the pendulum will swing back to