Sunday, January 31, 2010

Take This, Blog Rut!

Good morning :) Thanks for all your comments yesterday about my blog rut. Another thing I love about blogging (there is an endless list) is that I can say pretty much anything no matter how ridiculous and at least 10 people will be like "yeah that happens to me too" haha. It's wonderful.

I have stuff to say today, so hopefully I won't delete it after!

First of all, my friend and I decided to go to a new spin class this morning. I knew it was going to be a challenge because the teacher is really popular and I've noticed the teachers that are harder tend to be more popular (which I suppose is good right?). Wellll...challenge might be an understatement. The first challenge was getting to class at 7:15 on a Sunday. Now, I admit I'm usually up then, but something about having to get there just makes things more difficult. I kept waking up last night and checking the time, I hate how I do that...Anyway, point is, the class was supposed to be an hour, and usually the hour classes barely last 50 minutes. Not this one! I was on that bike for 75 minutes. Whew! That may not sound like a lot to you, but I would be happy with a 45 minute class any day. It was definitely a hard class too and she wouldn't let us sit back on our bike and "recover" even if it was time to get some water. Needless to say I was dripping and dead by the end of class, but it felt good after my lackluster workout yesterday.

Speaking of yesterday, I was in kind of a grumpy mood (if you couldn't tell by my post). I wouldn't say I ever completely snapped out of it, but I did do a couple of things to make myself happier. The first was to make some oatmeal apple muffins. I used to make these all the time and for some reason I haven't been lately. I was hoping I could eat them as a dessert instead of the insane amounts of ice cream I have been eating. Last night I ate it with a little bit of Trader Joe's Cranberry Apple Butter, yum.

Oatmeal Apple Muffins
*Makes 6 Muffins
1 cup apple, peeled and shredded
3/4 cup flour
1/3 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup Old Fashioned oats
3/4 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. cinnamon
2 tbsp. milk (I used soy milk)
1 tbsp. canola oil
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup plain yogurt (I used greek)
3 tbsp. egg whites

Mix all the dry ingredients and wet ingredients separately, then pour wet ingredients into dry ingredients. Spray muffin tray with Pam for Baking. Divide batter into 6 sections of a muffin tray. Bake on 375 for about 10-15 minutes (this really depends on the oven, so I just check it with a toothpick).

Each muffin has about 150 calories, 3 grams of fat, 4 grams of protein, and 11 grams of sugar. A great snack or dessert :)

After my muffin baking fun, Eric and I met up with my friend Katie for some delicious dinner at a Golf Club my Dad belongs to. My favorite thing about the food at this place is how healthy it is. The bread comes with a delicious hummus that I have been trying to convince Eric to try to replicate.

I ordered grilled salmon and it was pretty much amazing.

I left there feeling like one of my friend's had just cooked me a delicious and healthy dinner, I love that! Do you have any restaurants where you leave feeling that way?

I've got a pretty long to do list today, which includes spending a lot of time coloring. My kiddos at work are working on their first multiple page stories. I am trying to do one at the same time so that they can see how I am doing my "best work." Whenever I do a really nice picture, I see their effort go way up, so I suppose it's worth the time. Plus coloring is kind of therapeutic. In case you are wondering, my story is about how I lost my teddy bear. I've implied to the kids that it was when I was "younger", but in fact, I was 18 haha. What? That's younger than I am now!

Hope everyone has a nice Sunday!

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Blog Rut & January Recap

I am in a blog rut.

I love blogging. If a day goes by that I don't have a single second to blog I don't feel pressure that I need to post, but I do feel mad that I didn't have that time to relax and do some blogging. I love reading all of your blogs and getting new eating and work out ideas, and just learning more about other people and other parts of the world etc etc.

But for some reason, I am just in a rut right now. This week I have had a lot of writer's block moments. Then, I have had days where I've written almost a whole post and then just deleted it all. I am not sure why...

Has this ever happened to anyone? What did you do?

Luckily, a little writer's block can be solved with a fun January recap I am stealing from Lisa :)

January Re-Cap

Current Book(s):
I am reading The Girl Who Played With Fire, sequel to the Girl With the Dragon Tattoo. It's really good but I haven't had enough time to read it the past couple of weeks!

Current Music:
Nothing in particular- have been listening to my workout playlist a lot haha.

Current Shame-Inducing Guilty Pleasure:
Definitely the Samoa's Girl Scout Cookie Ice Cream. That stuff killed me last year and it's threatening to get me again. Also, a bit shame inducing is the fact that I buy small cups to control my portions and then pile the cup so high I might as well have just grabbed a giant bowl. Oops.

Current Colors:
green is my current color, pink is my always color

Current Obsessions:
Besides the ice cream?
My future Blackberry....

Current Drink:
Or maybe wine- I had this great red wine last weekend and I've sort of been wanting red wine ever since...weird, I hate red wine.

Current Song:
I am usually SUCH a music person and I am just drawing a blank right now. Must be the writer's block...

Current Movie:
I am not really one to have a current movie, but I have been watching movies more often lately which is a big step for me.

Current TV Shows:
I haven't been watching a lot of TV because of my lifting class being during prime TV time, but I still catch up on Desperate Housewives, House and some of American Idol (though I am not a fan of the auditions)

Current Wish-List:
-Spinning shoes/Cycling shoes (and yes I want one pair that works for both)
-The ability to run again without any knee pain

Current Needs:
-An easier and higher paying job...oh sorry, you said NEEDS:
-new running shoes (though I'm less than motivated since I can't run right now...)
-a trip to the grocery store
-to stop eating (does anyone else really have to drag themselves away from food after they have done a strength training work out...oh man!)

Current Triumph:
-Getting a good night sleep last night
-Strength training 3 x per week all through January
-Doing 120 minutes on the Elliptical every week during January

Current Bane of my Existence:
-Writer's Block
-Wedding Planning
-One particular person at my work who shall remain nameless

Current Goal:
Build muscle. Cut down ice cream consumption.

Current Indulgence:
I think it's clear it's ice cream right? Besides that maybe pleasure reading. I have been totally enjoying reading books for fun lately.

Current Blessings:
-A wonderful maid and matron of honor working hard to plan my bachelorette party.
-A wonderful family working hard to take away as many of my wedding responsibilities as possible.
-A wonderful class of kiddos at work this year. Sure they annoy me from time to time, but they are by far the best I've had yet. So I should never complain really...(but of course I do).

Current Slang or Saying:
I don't know- after New Year's I really wanted to pick up Caroline's "FALSE!" but it hasn't caught on yet...

Current (Fav) Outfit:
Anything with leggings.

Current Excitement:
-Getting a Blackberry in less than 1 week!
-Going out to dinner with Eric and Katie tonight!
-Is it too early to be excited about my bachelorette party in June? haha...okay fine, for now I'll be excited that a date change means that both Ash and Sarah will be able to come :)
-Trip to Arizona two weeks from tomorrow!
oh AND....
Look what arrived in the mail for me!!!!

Joy made it for me! The most amazing part? She knitted it WHILE on the stationary bike during the Bike Challenge I did in November & December! AMAZING. I can't even knit a hat period, forget while doing something else. Oh yeah, and did I mention it's pink and sparkly? yup...that's right, my FAVORITE combination. I love it, love it, love it. And, it's been keeping me warm since it's absolutely freezing in Boston right now. Oh yeah AND, it matches my pink Uggs. Thank you SO much Joy!

Current Mood:
A little blah actually, but clearly for no reason since I have so many blessings and things to be excited about...

Time to go change my attitude and run some errands with Eric. I actually enjoy running errands with Eric and it was one of the things I really missed when he was coaching football. Kinda silly, but hey.

I hope everyone has a great weekend! I hope to have some good posts starting tomorrow :)

Thursday, January 28, 2010

21 Again?

I'm glad to hear everyone is on board for a bit of balance in life :) A lot of you suggested morning work outs as a way to avoid work outs getting in the way of social and relaxation time. I am a morning person. I have definitely been a morning work out person before, and in the ideal world I would absolutely have the time to work out in the morning. But, the fact of the matter is, I get to work between 6:30 and 7 in the morning. It's possible for me to squeeze in an at-home work out before that, but getting to the gym is quite a task. I really have no desire to wake up before 5 am (and this would interrupt my social/relaxation time at night because I'd have to go to bed like 7pm haha) so I've become a bit of a night exerciser recently. I still squeeze in morning work outs where I can, and always work out immediately when I wake up on the weekends. But, right now the night exercising is working for me better. It's funny because back when I was a "runner", I had time to work out in the morning because I have a treadmill in my house, and could always just run out the door. But, when you do other exercises and have to get to the gym to do becomes harder to do (for me) in the morning. When do you squeeze in your work outs? When would you ideally work out?

Speaking of fitting in workouts, last night when I was hanging out with my friend Sarah she showed me her Wii Fit. Believe it or not, I have never tried Wii Fit and I was a bit skeptical about the work out quality of it (I'm more of a gym girl, what can I say?). The first thing the Wii Fit did was give me a fit test. It took my height and age, and weighed me to get my BMI. After complimenting my BMI it told me that having a healthy BMI means I will get sick less often. I had to laugh at that. I literally just had a cold less than two weeks ago, and I've been healthy for *maybe* a week and my throat is hurting again. I certainly wouldn't say I get sick LESS than the average person haha. I'll blame the kindergarten kids though, since apparently my BMI is not the issue.

My favorite thing about the Wii Fit was definitely when it gave me my Wii Fit age of 21! WAHOOO! Nothing better than being 4 years younger than you actually are (but still legally able to enjoy a beer haha). The ironic thing about it was that if Wii Fit had existed when I was 21, my Wii Fit age (compiled using a combination of your BMI and balance skills) would've been much older than 21 because I was much less healthier back then. But hey, at least I'm 21 now! Perhaps I should celebrate my 21st birthday again...Caroline, you'll be able to come out this time!

After celebrating my 4 year age loss, Sarah showed me how to do the exercises which brought me back to reality. I SUCKED. On the skiing game I kept trying to ACTUALLY jump into the air instead of pretending to jump. Skateboarding was another laugh, and my kickboxing rhythm leaves something to be desired... Oh, and bike riding, let's just say it's a good thing I am a much better bike rider in real life than I am on Wii, because I may have bumped into a lot of buildings and jumped off a few cliffs. Oops. The only thing I was not terrible at was yoga, and I only did warrior pose, so I can't get too cocky about that. Let's just say I have a lot to learn as far as Wii Fit is concerned.

I definitely think the Wii Fit could be a seriously good work out for people, though I still see myself going to the gym over playing on it. I love the fact that it gets kids (and adults) being more active when they previously may not have been. Plus, it's a lot cheaper (and probably more fun) than a gym membership! My fiance is a Physical Education teacher in a middle school and they have a Wii Fit that the kids can use during class and before/after school. Yeah, gym class has become significantly more cool than it was when I was 13 haha.

I'm off to dinner with my fam tonight. Tomorrow is Friday!!! Yayyy!

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Lifting at Home?

Tonight I am going to be a rebel. Yup...a rebel.

I'm skipping my lifting class.

If I was talking to my kindergartners, I would likely say, "Kelly, is that a good choice?"

Yes, yes it is. And here's why:
Tonight I am going to hang out with Sarah. Yes, I can hear you thinking, can't you hang out with Sarah another night and go to lifting tonight? Nope, I can't. Because another night never seems to come. I feel like between work, my family, Eric, wedding planning, going to the gym, making healthy meals, keeping the house in order etc etc etc friends ends up so low on my list that it is depressing!

A little fun fact- it's sixth grade we had to take a class called "Adolescent Issues" and we did this fake auction. You got $60 to spend, and you had to buy things like money, an education, a nice house- and other things you might want in life? What did I do? Spent all $60 on friends. Ah, the mind of a sixth grader.

I know that naturally you are going to have other priorities as you get older and life is going to be way busier. But sometimes I just feel the need to re-prioritize. Sarah is going to show me how to use her Wii Fit, so that sorta counts as a workout right?

Even if you are still thinking I don't have a good excuse (you can't be thinking that right? you guys understand me)'ll be happy to know I did my lifting workout this morning at home! I didn't know if I'd be able to get a serious lifting session in at home but it turns out, I can! I even made sure to work opposing muscle groups.

Kelly's Awesome At-Home Lifting Session
Equipment Needed: 8lb weights (or whatever is good for you) and a one big exercise ball. That's all!

Lower Body Work
Squat Against the Wall- 3 minutes (quads)
Straight Leg Deadlift- 2 sets 15 reps 8lbs (hamstrings)

Upper Body Work
Tricep Kickbacks- 2 sets 15 reps 8lbs (triceps)
Bicep Curls- 2 sets 15 reps 8 lbs (biceps)
Overhead Tri Extension- 2 sets 15 reps 8 lbs (triceps)
Concentration Curls- 2 sets 15 reps 8 lbs (biceps)
Push Ups- 2 sets 15 reps (chest and arms)
Dumbell Rows- 2 sets 15 reps (back)

Core- Abs & Back
Prone Jacknives- 2 sets 15 reps (abs)
Swiss Ball Crunch- 2 sets 15 reps (abs)
Plank- 2 sets, 45 seconds (abs + back)
Reverse Crunch- 2 sets 15 reps (abs)
Prone Cobra- 2 sets 15 reps (lower back)
Back Extension on Ball- 2 sets 15 reps (lower back)

I was seriously sweating during this workout and I did no cardio at all before or after. Amazing. What are your favorite strength training moves to do at home?

How do you know when it's time to skip something you are supposed to be doing for "me" time, or quality time with others?

Okay, I'm off! Hope everyone has a great night!

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Let's Get Tropical

Even though most of the snow in Boston melted yesterday because of the warm rain, I am still dreaming of tropical locations. I decided the best way to do that was to make mango part of my dinner tonight:

1 cup of rice/bulgar wheat mixture
1 1/2 cups of carrots, zucchini and summer squash
1/4 cup of black beans
1/2 cup of mango

Mix it all together and it's almost like you are in a warm and sunny place.

Since one of my FAVORITE bloggers Lisa wrote the 10 on Tuesday questions today and they are great, I am going to answer them:

1. What accomplishment are you most proud of?
Probably getting "professional status" (tenure) at work this year. I have my bachelors and master's degree, but neither of those were as hard as my first three years of teaching, so therefore I am most proud of making it through that with my principal still liking me :)

2. How much did you weight when you were born?
5 pounds, 5 ounces. I was 3 1/2 weeks early so I was pretty tiny.

3. What is your favorite perfume?
Not really much of a perfume person...hopefully I don't smell bad.

4. How many siblings do you have?
I have a sister and a brother. They are the best.

5. How many children would you like to have?
Ooo...I think 2. I love having both a brother and a sister, but I could never handle 3 kids haha. Sometimes I wonder if I can even handle 2...

6. What's the best class you took in college?
Hmmm...I really actually liked my philosophy and theology classes and my history courses. Nothing particularly stands out though...I tend to dislike most classes, I know terrible...

7. What was your favorite game to play when you were a child?
Hmm, maybe Chutes and Ladders? I also loved playing the card game War. My cousins and I invented the "Cheating Game of War" where you got to look at what you were going to turn over...pointless, I know.

8. What character on Friends are you most like?
I love this question- Friends is my FAVORITE show. I actually did a paper on this show when I was in Australia (you can see I did some serious work there). Anyway, I can't decide which character I am most like and I asked my sister and she can't either. I am definitely not Monica I know that. But I am not particularly Rachel or Phoebe. Maybe I just love watching them because they are all nothing like me :)

9. Are you a phone person? (ie: Do you like talking on the phone?)
Like so many others have said, I definitely was in middle school/high school. Now I only talk to a couple of people on the phone. I am definitely more of an e-mail/facebook etc person. I also HATE calling people, hate hate hate- unless it's like one of my best friends. I'd rather show up and see someone than call them. Don't know what my problem is...

10. What was the best vacation you ever took?
That would be Eric and my Europe Trip in 2006- we did Athens, Santorini, Rome, Venice, Barcelona, Paris, London, and all around Scotland & Ireland. It was amazing and we discuss how we want to do it again all the time.
Other fabulous trips include studying abroad in Australia and all the trips that involved and spring break with my friends in Aruba!

Well now I am thinking about tropical vacations again. I'm off to go plan my workout for tomorrow morning. I am going to try to do a balanced muscle workout at home if I can do it. I'll post about it tomorrow!

Monday, January 25, 2010


Happy Monday everyone! I gotta tell you, I really didn't miss Mondays last week when we had it off!

Thanks for all of your supportive comments in response to Wedding Meltdown Number ? I am definitely fully aware that it is one day, in fact, I think that is part of the reason I get so annoyed with all the discussions and work it involves. I thought I'd be a good person to be engaged for a long time because it would spread it out, but I think in the end I probably would've dealt better with thinking about it a lot for a short amount of time and then having it be over. Oh well, nothing we can do about that now :)

Anyway, today I want to talk about something completely different: balance. If someone asked me to use one word to describe life, I think I would probably pick the word balance. Think about it: Life is all about balance. You need balance between work and fun. You need balance between your significant other and friends. You need a balance between healthy eating and a few treats. I personally cannot think of anytime where balance is not the best policy.

So I guess it would be no surprise that when I asked my weight class teacher what I should be doing for my third workout each week, she said the most important thing is that I balance the muscle groups I am working. Since my third workout comes three days after Wednesday lift and two days before my Monday one, I don't really have to worry about exhausting specific muscles without a rest day. However, I do have to make sure I balance opposing muscle groups. For example, if I m going to work my quad muscles (front of the thigh), Is should follow it with hamstrings (back of the thigh). This will keep my muscles balanced, which is important since imbalance can cause injuries. For example, patellafemoral syndrome or "runner's knee" (which I was originally diagnosed with in June 09) is often caused by an imbalance in the quadriceps.

On Saturday I designed my own work out, but I focused on balancing the muscles I was using. I wrote it out on a notecard the night before so I could consult with Eric on some of them. My workout ended up looking like this:

Sit Against Wall, 3 Minutes- Quadriceps
Reverse Dead Lifts 8lbs, 2 sets 15 reps- Hamstrings

Push Ups, 2 sets 15 reps- Chest and Triceps
Seated Row 40 lbs, 2 sets 15 reps- Back and Biceps

Shoulder Press 12 lbs, 2 sets 15 reps, Shoulders (front)
Lat Pull Down 60 lbs, 2 sets 15 reps- Lats (back)

Swiss Ball Crunch- 2 sets 10 reps- Abs
Prone Jackknives- 2 sets 10 reps- Abs
Roman Chair Exercise- 2 sets 15 reps- Lower Back

It was very balanced and I could DEFINITELY feel it on Sunday, whew! Much as I love my lifting class, I enjoy doing it on my own sometimes because it is so much faster.

Do you try to work opposing muscle groups at all? Do you like to lift on your own?

Even for those cardio lovers (myself included) among us, this is something to think about. When we use the same machines for the most part, we do sometimes create an imbalance in our muscles. Not sure how to solve that problem though... except to say, change it up!

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Wedding Meltdown Number ?

Well, after my relatively calm, though slightly overwhelmed, post this morning...

Total and complete wedding meltdown. Massive fight.
It was like this...

Except if the girl had brown curly hair, and was dragging her mom in the other hand. Sorry mom.

You may remember (did I mention this on the blog?) that Eric banned me from all wedding talk after 8pm because he says I am too tired after 8 to make good choices and not blow up at people. This worked well, but he forgot that Sunday Kelly is a lot like 8 pm Kelly. Not necessarily tired, but stressed about the week ahead (especially when I am at the Cape and have to think about packing, driving home, and deal with life at home). So from now on I am banned from talking about the wedding after 8pm and on Sundays. At this rate by July 10th Eric will ban me from wedding talk EVERY day!

Seriously though. This is how the wedding meltdown goes...

First: Kelly gets annoyed by some random little thing that tends to happen when several people are offering their opinion on a very important day...or multiple days as weddings seem to be.
Then: While Kelly would normally quickly forget temporary annoyance- after 8pm or Sunday Kelly starts to get VERY angry and lashes out at the person who happens to be fortunate enough to annoy her at that moment.
Then: That person defends his or herself, only further making 8pm/Sunday Kelly very angry.
Then: Kelly says a bunch of things she does not mean, further proving Eric's philosophy about avoiding speaking when angry if at all possible.
Then: Kelly gets upset that she is fighting with very important people to her about something so stupid as a wedding.
Then: Kelly cries and says she hates weddings.

The end.
After recovering from Wedding Meltdown Number God-Only-Knows-How-Many I decided it is time to put a final end to all future wedding meltdowns. I really want to be speaking to all my friends and family come the wedding day and aside from the wedding, I very rarely (if at all) fight with anyone!

Eric and I spent the car ride home developing some new "rules" that will hopefully help wedding planning least tolerable!

1. No talking about weddings after 8pm, or any time that I feel especially stressed about something un-wedding related.
2. When I start to get overwhelmed with wedding details and feel myself getting annoyed easily, simply tell others that I want to talk about a different topic and that we will revisit whatever topic we are discussing at ____ (and name a specific day/time).
*Insert Eric's Note: Just say..."Let's talk about it later, how does the day after the wedding sound?"
3. Get approval from someone any time I want to get angry with someone else. For example, if my parents are bothering me I will have to check with Eric to see if it is okay to get mad at them. He will of course say no, and I will have time to calm down and decide if there is any point at all in getting mad (there never will be). If I want to get mad at Eric, I will have to get approval from Caroline (Maid of Honor) and Katie (Matron of Honor) before I am allowed to voice anger. They will not approve me unless they truly think it will be helpful, and by the time they decide this, I will probably not even care anymore.

Amendments can be added whenever I or Eric feel necessary. Read: Eric will have to add amendments when Wedding Meltdown Number God-Only-Knows + 1 occurs.

Tomorrow's another day...

Details, Details...

Remember that wedding meeting I mentioned I had yesterday? Oh boy- 3 hours of fun and decision making, aren't you jealous?

Thank goodness I fueled up on my new favorite- oatmeal, pumpkin, egg whites, raspberries (new touch as of yesterday, yum) and apple.

I didn't get to eat lunch until almost 3 in the afternoon which is unheard of for me! I guess Amber was right, these oats can keep you full for a long time if they have to!

When we first got to the meeting we took a brief tour of our reception site just to remember where everything was and have a base for talking about it. We also saw the two back up possibilities in case of rain. Obviously I hope it doesn't rain, but it's nice to know there are two options that would both be nice, just in case. Here is Eric with the bar for cocktail hour...

This is one of our favorite features :)
I also love the reception bar because of the pink vases above it...

I swear I do like other things besides the bars. Really...

So post-tour it was time for the 3 hour meeting, yay.

Fortunately the coordinator at my ceremony/reception place is amazing. She is so organized and I think she has been coordinating weddings for 10 years at the same place so she has a ton of experience. All this is very useful because we have no experience planning weddings at all. Her experience and willingness to share her opinions helped us get through things a lot quicker. I mean, yes the meeting was 3 hours but maybe it could've been 5?

We did accomplish a lot though, we picked all our food, decided on a timeline for everything, and just made a bunch of little decisions like whether or not to take a whole group photo (decided not to- takes too much time and organization), who comes down the aisle/when, etc etc. We all know how much I love details! (insert sarcasm here). I still have a lot to work out of course...
*What songs am I doing for my ceremony? No idea where to begin with this...
*Am I going to do fan programs or regular programs?
*Do I want to get beachy and attach a sand dollar or star fish to my place cards?
*Do I want my table names to stand up high on the table or be in a 4 by 6 picture frame that sits on the table?
*What color flowers do I want in my bridesmaids bouquets? (my flowers are going to be pink, but my bridesmaids dresses are pink).
*Who is getting their hair done? What time does this have to start? What am I doing with my hair? How am I going to convince my make up person not to make me look like a different person since I almost never wear make up usually and I looked like a different person at Katie's wedding?

There is more...but let's not overwhelm myself too much...

The good news is, every time I go back to the place I love it more and more. It's nice to be 100 % sure that I picked the right place...

Last night we went out to dinner at an amazing Japanese restaurant. Eric and I sometimes have a love/hate relationship with this place because they are sort of annoying and not always that friendly to us. We have a lot of Japanese restaurants that we frequent at home, and another at the Cape and they are always SO friendly that it almost seems pointless to go to this one. But, in reality it's only the hostesses that are so annoying, the wait staff is always very friendly and for some unknown reason, they seem to be much nicer when we are with my parents. I swear Eric and I are great tippers! (not that the hostess sees that money anyways). Anyway, the food is delicious so we keep coming back.

I started with another glass of wine. It's a little out of character for me to order wine multiple nights in a row, but after 3 hour wedding meetings, keeping it at only 1 glass of wine was an accomplishment.

They also have the best miso soup, period.

I also had a shrimp and veggie dumpling.

I ordered chicken teriyaki for dinner. I get the teriyaki sauce on the side so I can dip and pour some on my rice. The chicken is so good but they cut it in such huge pieces it is a real challenge to eat with chop sticks.

I love the one lone piece of chicken, it looks like it is trying to get away.
I have the second half of this chicken in my fridge right now so I'll be having a delicious chicken sandwich for lunch today.

In other news, it's officially the last week of the Elliptical Challenge! How is everyone doing? It's funny because I have started every week thinking I am going to have a hard time getting in 120 minutes and then I almost always end up with extra minutes. I really have enjoyed doing the elliptical a lot this month, but I am going to enjoy switching it up a bit next month. I think I will still go on the elliptical a lot though :)
I am looking forward to busting out 45 minutes on the Elliptical today, but yet again- the dumb Y at the Cape does not open until 12. Oh well, next Sunday I will be home and I can go back to my regular routine.

I hope everyone is having a great weekend and not focusing on any details at all :)

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Saturday Love

Happy Saturday everyone! Is there anything better than a Saturday? It's by far my favorite day of the week- no work, and no work tomorrow to think about!

Eric and I are at the Cape and it's a gorgeous day. Can you tell I'm in a good mood? That's about to come crashing down though since we (Eric, my parents and I) have an 11 am meeting with the coordinator at our ceremony and reception place. I know I joke about wedding planning being a pain in the butt, but there are times that I truly do not enjoy it. To me it's just another thing to fight with people about, and personally I enjoy harmony. Oh and also, I wouldn't call myself a detail person. I know we are going to have a great wedding whether there is mouth wash in the bathroom basket, or small green flowers in the centerpieces. Just me though.

Last night we went to one of our favorite restaurants for dinner- Roadhouse Cafe in Hyannis. They were celebrating some anniversary so bottles of wine were 28% off (maybe their 28 year anniversary, haha?). We order a bottle of Petite Syrah.

I am usually not a red wine fan, but I enjoyed this wine, and the antioxidants it was providing me :) Since we got there a few minutes before six, we got the early bird special which means $3 off our entrees and a complimentary house salad. I don't do salad, but my appetizer was the bread, SO good...

My mom and I decided to split the Scrod. I am so glad we decided to split because they gave us our own plates that had perfect sized portions. We even got our own small baked potato! How nice is that?

The whole thing was delicious. When I got home I decided to make banana "ice cream" using a frozen banana. I literally just stuck a frozen banana in the blender and then added a few chocolate chips. I got the idea from Chocolate Covered Katie, but I wish I could take credit for it.

This was probably 150 calories and satisfied my dessert craving. I have to remember to get some bananas this weekend and freeze them for more of this. Next time I may try putting in some peanut butter or almond butter. Or maybe blending the chocolate chips into the banana. The possibilities are endless...

Okay guys, what is everyone up to this weekend? What do people do when they don't have wedding stuff to think about constantly? I forget :) I kid! I do have a normal life still I swear. After our meeting Eric and I may go ice skating and we have a reservation at a delicious Japanese restaurant tonight. Yum.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Post Writer's Block

Sorry about the lack of post yesterday, I was just having major writer's block. Well, not exactly block, more like I had a million things to say and I couldn't figure out how to put them into one cohesive blog entry. Not sure why I decided they needed to be all organized all of a sudden. So anyway:

Happy Friday!!!

Last night Eric and I went into Boston to meet up with our friends Katie and Adam for some din din. Ever since discovering the glory of fast lane, we are able to shoot into Boston must quicker than we were before, even during high traffic times. We tried out a adorable Italian restaurant right across from Katie's apartment called Porto Bello. It was so tiny but they managed to make it feel not cramped at all, amazing.

The whole atmosphere was actually a lot like eating at your crazy Italian grandmother's house. When the lady came over to take our order she was basically yelling at us, not in a mean way, just in a crazy Italian way :)

I managed to having only one piece of bread, even though the olive oil was delicious and I could've eaten it all night. I definitely have a problem going overboard with bread at restaurants so I tried the strategy of eating a small snack before we left- a half of an Arnold's Sandwich Thin with a tiny bit of peanut butter. I've never had any lucky with this strategy, but last night it really worked, go figure.

I ordered pasta, and it was good. If you are a big pasta with tomato sauce person, and have also been to Italy you will know what I mean. But basically there is Italy pasta, and American pasta. I've had Italy pasta here, but it's rare. Porto Bello had good American pasta, but not on the Italy level. I still consider this a step up from Eric and my frequent trips to Bertuccis. I love their rolls, but their pasta REALLY leaves something to be desired. Anyone with me on this?

Backing up to yesterday afternoon I busted out 45 minutes on the elliptical before leaving for dinner. Eric and I are going to the Cape this weekend to meet with the coordinator at our wedding ceremony and reception place. I knew we had dinner reservations both nights AND I was going out last night so I was starting to think I was going to be 10 pounds heavier by Sunday. Instead of freaking out, I decided to put all my energy into the elliptical and see how many calories I could burn.

45 Minute Elliptical Intervals/Sprint Mix Up
Elliptical Challenge Workout #5

0-5, Resistance 5, Warm Up
5-10, Resistance 10, Forward
10-11, Resistance 8, Sprint
11-13, Resistance 8, Recover
13-15, Resistance 8, Backwards
15-20, Resistance 11, Forward
20-21, Resistance 8, Sprint
21-23, Resistance 8, Recover
23-25, Resistance 8, Backwards
25-30, Resistance 11, Forward
30-31, Resistance 9, Sprint
31-33, Resistance 9, Recover
33-35, Resistance 9, Backwards
35-40, Resistance 11, Forwards
40-45, Resistance 6, Cool Down

I definitely pushed myself during this workout, but it kept me entertained along with the Dr. Phil show that happened to be on TV. They were talking about mistakes parents make with kids, and let me tell you I've seen a lot of them. But, I don't want to get too cocky, I know I'll make a million mistakes when I have kids too. I'm sure Dr. Phil himself made a few :)
This morning I started my day with some oatmeal...

1/2 cup Old Fashioned Oatmeal
1/4 cup pumpkin
4 tablespoons of egg whites
a handful of blueberries
sliced apple on the top

I covered my oatmeal and pumpkin in water and put it in the microwave for 1 minute 30 seconds. Then, I added the egg whites and blueberries and cooked for about 45 seconds. I find the cooking time on the egg whites depends on the microwave. When I first cooked the egg whites on my home microwave I did a minute and it was like a fried an egg on my oatmeal haha. You don't want the egg to cook so much that you can actually see white chunks, you just want it to change the texture of your oatmeal a bit.

It's funny I thought I was done with pumpkin in my oatmeal because the taste was starting to bug me, but today with the apple it was the perfect combination. I had been using bananas before but I do not think that alone they are sweet enough to go against the vegetable taste of the pumpkin and make the dish a bit sweet. The apple and pumpkin combination was perfect for me. Just something to think about if you plan to make some pumpkin oats. Another thing to think about: I used to hate oatmeal because it was so mushy and soggy. Turns out, the recommended amount of water is too much for me. I just cover my oatmeal in water and that's it. It makes it much thicker and delicious in my opinion.

Do you like oatmeal? What is your favorite mix in or topping for your oatmeal?

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Workout Organization

Happy Hump Day everyone! I had another long day today but I'm trying to squeeze in a quick post before bed.

After my sister's post yesterday about how she wanted to makea workout binder, I got to thinking about my organization as far as fitness is concerned. I definitely never used to be organized, I just kind of went
to the gym and did what I felt like and then came home. I think that's 100 percent fine too, but I find (for me) if I have some plan in action before I will usually push myself more even if I am tempted to be lazy.

Right now I have a couple of different organizational systems going on. The first is that I always plan my workouts in my plan book at the beginning of the week. That helps me prioritize getting in a workout even when I may have a lot going on during a week. If something is in my schedule I am more likely to stick to it.

The second thing that I just started doing is for my elliptical work outs. I had scrap pieces of paper everywhere that had my elliptical "plans" on them and I could never find one when I actually wanted to go to the gym. So I decided to type up my elliptical workouts and put them
on a ring:

Then, I can just grab one of them and stick it in my gym bag. This gives me a lot of flexibility and it's so easy to add on new work outs when I get bored of the old ones. Having a workout on the elliptical has made a huge difference for me as far as enjoyment of the elliptical. It keeps things way more interesting and ensures I will be challenged during my workout. The process of making one took about 4 minutes (I had all the workouts typed for the blog anyways) and it
saves me a ton of searching time before the gym.

I don't tend to keep too close track of my cardio workouts, but when I started getting serious about strength training a few weeks ago I decided I needed to write down what I was doing for a couple of
reasons. The first is that I want to make sure I am balancing my different muscle groups. In my lifting class I have an instructor telling me what to do, but I am on my own on Friday or Saturday when I
do my third lift so I need to know what muscles I have targeted that week so far and how much so I can organize a good work out on Saturday. If I get my quads really strong but never work my hamstrings I will be off balance, which can cause problems in my knees and let's be honest- knees are not something I need any additional problems with! I also
record my strength training because I want to make sure I am always progressing with weights and it's hard to do that if I don't write down what weights I was using the previous time. Enter: The little pink notebook.

Yup, I totally carry this baby around with me at the gym. I write down all the machines I use, what exercises I do, how many sets, how many repetitions and what the weight is. I also figure this will help when I am transitioning into lifting 3 times a week by myself at the end of February. Plus it's nice to see how much heavier my weights are getting :)

Do you organize your workouts at all? It all seems a little "strict" to me, but yet it's very easy and does push me to do new things.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Snacking, Yummy Foods & Pink Uggs! Oh my!

I do not watch "The Biggest Loser" every week, but I heard last week Jillian stated that snacking inhibits weight loss. Sorry Jillian, I respectfully disagree. I understand that some people may go too far with their snacking portions or neglect to take into account snacking calories when planning for the day. However, I do not think snacking inhibits weight loss for most people, as long as it is done correctly.

In fact, in theory, snacking should not inhibit weight loss, but it should help it! Snacking keeps you from being hungry, and it keeps your metabolism working. I eat 3 snacks a day, one at about 10 am, one at 3pm and one at 7:30pm. I find that for me, I will eat less at meal times if I am not concerned about trying to stay full for 5 or 6 hours a time. If I add 100 calories to my breakfast, I will still be hungry before lunch, but by adding a 100-150 calorie snack mid morning, I am easily held over until lunch.

I have lots of favorite snacks. Previously, my snacks were mainly part of my day to keep me from starving. Lately I have been trying to change my snacks a bit so that they can contribute nutritionally to my food intake. Here are some snacks I have been known to eat...

1. Cheerios- Anyone who knows me knows of my love for Cheerios. The little yellow car they have included in the box lately is a reminder that Cheerios are marketed towards little kids, but what can I say? I love them! 1 cup of Cheerios is 100 calories. There are certainly more nutritionally sound snacks, but they always satisfy me because they take a lot of time and chewing to eat. Something about crunching just keeps me full for longer.

2. Baby Carrots and Hummus- Carrots are just so easy to eat and the hummus keeps me full and provides some protein and healthy fats. Eric has been making homemade hummus lately and I am totally benefiting!

3. Greek Yogurt- Delicious and 16 grams of protein in just over 100 calories? How can you go wrong?!

4. Pretzels- Okay, I know- nothing awesome here but pretzels always settle my stomach, and it's that crunchy thing again that keeps me full :)

5. Apple with a tiny bit of peanut butter or almond butter- fruit + protein, yum!

Two of my new favorite "treat" snacks are Tina's oatmeal cookies...

I may have substituted chocolate chips for the raisins...oops!

(also Tina's- what can I say? the girl is a good snacker!) Arnold's Sandwich thin with peanut butter and chocolate chips...

Chocolate chips are getting some use in my house these days.

What are your favorite snacks?

On a similar note, I was reading Carrots N' Cake and Tina listed her Top 10 favorite foods. I wanted to see if I could do it, so here it goes...

1. Ice Cream

2. Bread/Bagels (with butter, olive oil, cream cheese)

3. Apples

4. Stuffing (cooked by my mom)

5. Potato (especially mashed)

6. Peanut butter

7. Cheerios

8. Strawberries

9. Lemon Meringue Pie (only if cooked by mom)

10. Chicken teriyaki

Other things I considered adding to the list include: cantaloupe, yogurt, cookies (must be soft), chocolate, chips, my homemade black bean & veggie pizza, carrot ginger soup, and hummus...

What would be on your TOP TEN?

One final note: Today was kind of one of those "blah"'s snowing again, I'm tired and not feeling awesome still, I had to sit through another boring professional development all day, whine whine whine, but it's all okay because...

And close up!!!

Beautiful!!! And the best part? I did not buy these babies for myself- I've never even seen them. My AMAZING college roommate saw them and just decided to buy them for me. She said it was an early bachelorette present (do people even get those? Let's just say I will not be wearing these outside anytime soon, it's a sloppy MESS outside and I am keeping these looking amazing! For now. But I am wearing them now :) Life is good.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Dreaming of Aruba

Good morning and Happy Monday! I was so happy to have the day off today to finish catching up on everything and now I am currently snowed in by what can only be described as extremely heavy snow. My back is SO not going to be happy when I finally go out and shovel. I am hoping the plows that kept me up all night can get some stuff done so I can go to the mall with my sister to get her a new computer.

Since it's a little more than halfway through the month, I decided to check in on my January goals: elliptical 2 hours per week, strength train 3 times per week, read 4 books, ice skate 4 times, bill paying Thursday. So far:

Elliptical- On Track- I have done 2 hours per week every week so far.
Strength Training- On Track- I did 2 strength work outs the first week and 3 the second week. I am already seeing a little bit of muscle, yay!
Books- On Track- I have read 2 novels and the Lifting for Women book (does that count?) which means I am currently on my fourth book (or third if we don't count the Lifting book). I am loving all the time I am dedicating to pleasure reading right now. I never thought I'd have time but when I make it a priority, I seem to make the time. Amazing how that works.
Ice Skating- Oops. I haven't been once. I need to work on this. That's why I need to check in at the halfway point.
Bill Paying Thursday- I finally do seem to be doing this. Yay!

How are you doing with your goals? Even if you don't have January goals, how are you doing with New Years Resolutions? Check in :)

This weather and the lack of pictures in my posts this weekend (forgot my camera at work, boo!) is really depressing me so I thought I'd flash back to a warm and happy place: Aruba. I went to Aruba in 2004 with my college roommates and some of our guy friends...

Pre-getting attacked by a wave...

Post-getting attacked by a wave...

I feel better already. Now if only I was in Aruba now...

Where do you dream of on cold and dark days?

Saturday, January 16, 2010

That's What I Love About Sunday

It's Sunday, but no need to be bummed because tomorrow is Martin Luther King day. Speaking of Martin Luther King, I chatted about him on my new TEACHER blog. Thanks everyone for all the great ideas for names. I loved Katie's idea of incorporating my "she's..." from this blog. I debated between a bunch of options, and finally just settled on being boring with "She Teaches..." I think "She Teaches Kindergarten" would've been better, but I don't want to limit my blog to Kindergarten teachers only, and I don't know if I'll really teach Kindergarten forever. So "She Teaches" it is! Come check it out and say hi, it's weird to "start over" with no readers again. However, this blog has really helped me set and achieve goals in the healthy living area of my life, so I'm hoping a teacher blog will spice up my motivation in that area. We shall see...

So I got up this morning bright and early ready to tackle a 45 minute elliptical workout at the gym when suddenly I remembered: The Y at the Cape does not open until 12 on Sundays. WHAT?! I think every time I remember this it annoys me more and more. I get that people (not myself, but people) sleep in on Sundays. Do they really sleep in until NOON? Oh...Cape Cod people. Anyway, the elliptical workout I was going to do at the gym this morning (and will now either be doing at noon, or sometime this week when I have to squeeze in an extra elliptical work out now) was:

45 Minute Elliptical Intervals/Sprint Mix Up
Elliptical Challenge Workout #4

0-5, Resistance 5, Warm Up
5-10, Resistance 10, Forward
10-15, Resistance 8, Forward, Legs Only
15-20, Resistance 8, Forward, Arms Only
20-25, Resistance 11, Forward
25-30, Resistance 8, Backwards
30-32, Resistance 10, Forward, Legs Only
32-34, Resistance 10, Forward, Arms Only
34-35, Resistance 8, Forward, Sprint
35-37, Resistance 8, Backwards
37-38, Resistance 8, Forward, Sprint
38-40, Resistance 10, Backwards
40-45, Resistance 5, Cool Down

Instead of working out I decided to make breakfast. I tried out the egg white oatmeal again but this time I made it with just oatmeal, egg whites, a sliced apple and a little cinnamon. I decided even though it does not really taste different, I just like the consistency better than regular oatmeal- or maybe I was just ready for a change. Yesterday I mentioned that Amber was full for 5 hours after eating egg white oats and I promised to report if that happened to me. Truthfully, I'd say it kept me full as long as my regular breakfast does 3- 3 1/2 hours, but it did have slightly less calories than my regular breakfast and I did notice that I wasn't especially hungry all day long after eating it for breakfast. Also, I am going to have to test this experiment again one day at work. When I am home on the weekends relaxing I tend to get hungry (and/or bored) a lot faster than when I'm running around at work not thinking about food.

So what are your thoughts on Sundays? When I was in school I used to hate Sundays because you had to get everything done. They are starting to grow on me, but I still have that "yikes gotta clean the house! gotta get organized" panic every Sunday when I realize how busy my week is going to be. Not on a long weekend though :)

Egg Whites in my Oats?

Good morning everyone! I'm back at the Cape and it is a gorgeous day outside! Bright and sunny and actually kind of warm, relatively speaking.

My cough that I had the other day suddenly turned into more of a cold so I am basically glued to the tissue box right now. However yesterday was a gym day off and I really didn't want to skip my workout today. The fact of the matter is, teaching kindergarten means that in the winter I am either sick, fighting sickness or recovering from sickness 90 percent of the time. I hate it, but if I let it interrupt all of my workouts I'd rarely be at the gym. My college roommate used to always exercise when she had a cold and I swear she got better faster, so I figure why not?

I had 20 minutes left on my Elliptical Challenge this week, so I did a quick 20 minute interval work out and then focused on some strength training. It was a bit hard to organize myself because I was at a different gym, and I definitely feel like I am still learning about the equipment. The isolated machines don't confuse me, but anything that involves switching from a pull, to a bar, or something like that- I'm a bit lost! It's only week two though. So basically my work out today was a bit random. I have to remember to talk to my lifting instructor about what muscles I should be focusing on for my 3rd workout of the week. I don't want to do what I did Monday again necessarily, because I'll probably do that again this Monday. Which might be fine, I'm still just learning about all this.

Today I did:
2 Minute Squat against wall, hold
2 sets, 30 second planks
2 sets, 15 reps, Stability Ball Hand-to-Foot Ball Pass
2 sets, 15 reps, Prone Jackknives
2 sets, 15 reps, Push Ups (only could manage 11 on second set, out of push up shape!)
2 sets, 15 reps, bicep curls- 8lbs
2 sets, 15 reps, chest press- 8lbs (1), 10lbs (2)

I was definitely tired by the end, but I am hoping when I am not sick (if ever!) I can incorporate a lot more arm/back exercises on Saturdays. Again, I have to chat with my lifting instructor about this. I haven't 100 percent figured out the method to her madness about what muscles we are working and how often.

When I got home I decided to finally try the egg white oatmeal that has been so popular in the blog world lately. I used:

1/2 cup old fashioned oatmeal
1/4 cup pumpkin
1 cup water
4 tbs. egg whites

On top, I sliced a banana and added a little squirt of real maple syrup. I cooked mine in the microwave so I cooked the oatmeal, water and pumpkin for 1 minute 30 seconds and then added the egg whites for 1 minute.

Sadly I do not have a picture because I managed to leave my camera at work yesterday (very sad!), but I *REALLY* enjoyed this combination. Honestly, I could not taste the egg whites at all, it simply thickened up the oatmeal a bit.
This breakfast is approx. 330 calories (depending on how big of a banana you use + how much maple syrup). It provides 8.5 grams of fiber and 13 grams of protein.

Amber claimed that this mixture kept her full for 5 hours. I truly do not believe anything can keep me full for 5 hours, but I'll let you know tomorrow. She did make hers with some almond butter, so I'd be happy if mine worked for 3 1/2 hours :)

What is everyone up to this weekend? Eric and I are going to do a lot of relaxing. One of his friends gave us a bunch of new movies to watch on Blue Ray, so we brought all of those down. I also just finished another book Sarah's Key by Tatiana De Rosnay and I'm about to start the sequel to Girl With the Dragon Tattoo called The Girl Who Played with Fire. I am on a serious reading roll this month and I'm loving it!

Friday, January 15, 2010

Lifting for Women

If you missed my post last night about my current lifting routine, you can find it here.

Good morning and most importantly, Happy Friday!

I know I have mentioned the "New Rules of Lifting for Women" several times this week so I wanted to tell you guys a bit more about it. The guy who wrote the book, Lou Schuler, first wrote New Rules of Lifting in 2006 and decided to write this book after he received a lot of complaints from women about being ignored in the previous book. Lou believes that guys and girls should be lifting in similar ways, hence the phrase, “lift like a man, look like a goddess” found on the front cover.

He addresses many of the issues with women and strength training, including:

*Women often talk about wanting to “tone or sculpt” their muscles rather than build them, he says it’s really not possible to “tone” your muscles- you have to build them, and that must be done by adding weight.

*Women often try to begin a strength training routine while also cutting calories. Lou is completely against this plan. It’s bad for metabolism and for building muscle, not to mention a bunch of other arguments about the effect it has on your length of life, yikes. He supports eating frequent meals to keep metabolism going, and lots of protein.

*Using the machines at the gym that only target isolated muscles and often move muscles in ways that are not typical of actual daily movement of your muscles. He believes more on focusing on larger muscles, exercises that work several muscles at once and move muscles in a way that is similar to how you would move them if you were say, picking up a child from the floor, or some other authentic movement.

The nutrition section of this book is written with the help of Cassandra Forsythe M.S. It is focused on increasing your metabolism, not necessarily on losing weight, though that may happen. They give equations and charts for figuring out your resting metabolic rate, how many calories you will probably burn on a day you don’t work out versus a day you do etc. But in the end they admit that these numbers do not take into consideration your own genetics, so you really have to figure out for yourself how many calories you can realistically eat to maintain and/or lose weight. They recommend that when you start the program you just use your maintenance level of calories and see how things go for about four weeks- did you gain weight? How do your clothes fit? How much energy do you have etc.

The exercises in the book are designed by, trainer, Alwyn Cosgrove. They are focused on big muscles and authentic movements. They divided the workouts into six stages and give two workouts for each stage that you alternate between. At each work out, they focus on using more weight than before or on doing a more difficult version of the exercise in a case like push ups where body weight is being used. If you do these work outs 3 days per week (the recommended time, 2 is okay, 1 is too few, more than 3 is too much) it will take you six months to get through the whole program. It appears that many of the exercises need to be done at a gym, but with some modifications or equipment a lot of them could be done at home. There is a chapter dedicated to how to do each exercise, including pictures, and a great explanation of why you are doing each exercise.

I cannot fully start the program now because I am already two weeks into my weight lifting class, but if I wanted to start my program tomorrow, my first work out would be…
2 Sets, 15 Reps of...

1. Squats
2. Push Ups (alternating sets with seated row)
3. Seated Row (alternating sets with push ups)
4. Step Ups (alternating sets with prone jackknife)
5. Prone Jackknife (alternating sets with step ups)

That’s it! A lot shorter than my 1 hour lifting class I’ll tell you that. There is a good possibility I am going to start this after my lifting class is over.

My favorite part about this book was how honest and to the point Lou was in writing it. He admitted times he has been wrong in his previous books, he told us not everyone will get the same results because not everyone is the same and it’s a book not a personal training session etc. I also loved the stress on what you eat, when you eat rather than trying to cut calories. Finally, he was very realistic that we do not all have a million hours a day to focus on our body even if we might like to. The nutrition and the work outs are designed with real people in mind.

I found a couple of aspects of the book controversial, including the fact that Lou really downplays cardio a lot. He advocates short, fast intervals, which are really more like strength training in the end. He is not a big supporter of endurance training. I find his argument interesting, but I am not ready to abandon my spinning and elliptical work just yet. It is nice to hear I can be strong without running though- forget that in the blog world sometimes ☺
He also recommends a LOT more protein than most others do, and while he may be right, I am only willing to do the best I can as far as protein goes. I don’t know if I’ll be reaching his recommendations.

Have you read the book? What were your favorite parts? Even if you have not read the book, what do you think about some of the points I mentioned? I highly recommend this book especially if, like me, you struggle with the strength training aspect of exercise.

On a totally different note, I am considering starting a teaching blog. I wouldn’t update as often, but I’m thinking it might motivate me on the kindergarten front…Does anyone have any creative name ideas for my a teaching blog? I want to design it this weekend so please send creative name ideas my way :)

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Some Eats and Some Weights

Hi kids, Sorry about the lack of post yesterday another crazy day of work, tutoring and lifting class. In the middle of that I did get to eat dinner at my parent's house...

Scallops and stuffed mushrooms. I dream about stuffed mushrooms, seriously. A nice side of...

sweet potato and turnip. Turnip is definitely my new favorite veggie, except I've only had it twice ever.

Today's dinner was less fancy (and served on less wild plates).

Trader Joe's salmon burger and sweet potato with salsa and black beans.

I also found these today...

Okay, I admit it there is pretty much NO nutritional value to these, even though they are "whole grain brown rice" haha. But, there is also nothing too bad in them which is pretty rare for a "rice krispie treat" type of thing. They only have 100 calories so I figure, every once in awhile they won't kill me :)

So, as you guys know, I have been taking a weight class on Monday and Wednesday nights. Last night was my fourth class and I am definitely seeing some improvement in my knowledge of the different machines, and maybe a little in my strength too. In case you are curious, a typical class goes like this:

We "warm up" on a cardio machine before class starts. I have been trying to get 30 minutes on the elliptical for the challenge before each class, but really you only need 5 minutes or so.

We start the strength training aspect with legs. The past few classes our teacher has had us go up against the wall and squat down for 2 minutes. This was tough the first time, but I am improving each time. We also do some additional squats against an exercise ball, while we squat down, we raise a medicine ball above our heads.

After that we move into some different leg machines.

Leg Extension 2 sets 15 reps- 65lbs
(actually I can't do these anymore cuz of my knee- doctors orders)
Leg Curl 2 sets 15 reps- 50lbs
Leg Press 2 sets 15 reps- 100lbs
Rotary Hip 2 sets 15 reps-62.5lbs
(outer and inner thigh)

Then we do some arm stuff. On Monday we focused a lot on the chest, but last night we were more focused on the shoulders. It's harder to explain these exercises because we use the Lap Pulldown machine for a bunch of different things: We pulled down straight in front, 2 sets, 15 reps, 65lbs. We also pushed down from about our waist to our knees using our triceps only, 2 sets, 15 reps, 15lbs. I don't know about anyone else, but I think tricep exercises are TOUGH!

We also used the cable to work our shoulders, pulling down and across our whole body, 2 sets, 15 reps, 15lbs. Then, we used the cables to work the triceps again, pulling straight down with our elbows glued to our sides, 2 sets, 15 reps. Then, we used the dual pulley pulldown, 2 sets, 15 reps, 20 lbs on each side.

We finished the class with 2 sets, 15 reps, 7.5 each of bicep curls and then some abs. For ab exercises we do a fun exercise where you pass an exercise ball from your hands to your feet. I'll have to take a video of myself doing it to show you guys. We also do some back and forth twists with a medicine ball.

I am still working on what muscles I am going to try to work on Saturdays when I do my third lifting session myself. I don't want to put myself on a different track from the rest of the group, but I definitely want to get 3 workouts in a week. I'm thinking I may do one workout from the New Rules of Lifting for Women. Speaking of which, I'm writing up my summary/review of that book for tomorrow's post, which will most likely go up in the morning since I'll be headed back to the Cape after work for the long weekend.

The last thing I want to say is that today I headed to the gym to get some elliptical minutes in and they happened to be giving free "fit checks." They used one of those machines that looks like a video game controller to measure my BMI. They entered my height, weight and age and then I had to hold on to it so it could calculate my body fat percentage. It said my BMI was 22.8 and my body fat percentage was 22%. Here is my question, are these machines accurate at all? I'd love to be measured again in another month or two and see a better percentage (not that I think 22 % is bad, by any means). But I have no idea if it would be accurate at all...

Anyway, that is all from me. Tomorrow is Friday!

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Challenges and Rewards

Is it just me or is life getting more insane every day? We are in the middle of testing in kindergarten. No, you did not read that wrong. Testing- in kindergarten. We cannot be trusted to test our own students so my friend from work and I have been going insane trying to find time to break into each other's classes to "play games" with the kids. After a fun day of that, what did I decide to do after tutoring? Pick out wedding invitations!

I have friends who have enjoyed wedding planning and still have despised this part. Fortunately my mom is amazing (and knows better than to attempt to get me to care about wedding invitations) and she nicely narrowed it down to 3 possibilities (and included pink in the lining of the envelope to get me to care more- can you tell I operate like a kindergarten child?). We immediately picked the invitation but it still took over an hour to discuss fonts, wording, and God only knows what else. How did I reward myself when this was all over?

A beautiful Vera Bradley planner (yes, I bought it in the invitation store- I saw it before we started the process and everytime I got annoyed I would just channel my inner zen aka new Vera Bradley planner) AND TCBY frozen yogurt.
There is not much that ice cream can't fix as far as I'm concerned.

In other good news, last night I was lying awake (I do this when I get stressed, who doesn't?) thinking about how I want to do races but I can't run. I was wishing they would invent a triathlon without running. Come to read Caitlin's blog today where she in passing mentions an "Aqua Bike" which IS the swim, bike of a triathlon with no running. YIPEE! I had heard of a Dualthon or whatever it's called with no swimming, but yay there is an Aqua Bike. I will be on the lookout for these this summer :)
Another fun thing I found while playing on the internet in the middle of the night (clearly I slept awesome last night) was Spin-a-Thons, where you do indoor spinning for a long time to raise money. Ooo, that sounds fun! Anyone want to do the Ride for Jules with me? 3 hours of spinning :) There is also one for Children's Hospital, but it's 4 hours- which I think I could do, but you have to raise $1000, which I don't know if I could do in this economy. So seriously, anyone wanna do Ride for Jules? It's March 6th.

Okay, so enough of my 3 am thoughts. Let's play some Ten on Tuesday:

1. Are you usually late, early, or right on time?
I'd say it depends on what it is for. I am sometimes absurdly early, sometimes right on time and occasionally a minute or two late. In general though, I think it's really rude to be late because it makes other people wait and doesn't show you value their time.

2. What is your middle name?
Gail, it's my mom's name- won't be giving it up when I get married :)

3. What are the last 4 digits of your cell phone number?
More importantly, what kind of cell phone will I soon be getting? A BLACKBERRY. February 2nd. Not that I am counting down...

4. How big is your bed?
A king...the best size.

5. What are you allergic to?
Composine. It's a medicine given for nausea and if I have it I get neck spasms. Just ask my brother and sister who I was babysitting for when it happened...haha

6. What is the first thing you do in the morning?
Weekdays- Whine and complain to Eric about how I don't want to go to work.
Weekends- Usually change and head to the gym cuz Eric won't be up for hours haha.

7. What was your favorite TV show growing up?
Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego? And Ghostwriter. When I got a bit older it was definitely Party of Five. Still miss that show.

8. Will you, or did you, go to your 10 year high school reunion?
I went to my 5 year and it was really fun, so I'll probably go to my 10 year. It's in 2 years, which is very scary.

9. If a tree falls in the forest and nobdy is there to hear it, does it still make a sound?

10. What, in your opinion, is the greatest invention? (You know, since sliced bread...)
DEFINITELY have to agree with Amber on this one, the INTERNET!!! If someone invented teleportation it would give the internet a real run for it's money though...

Alright kids, at least tomorrow is HUMP DAY. Goodnight!

Monday, January 11, 2010


Happy Monday?
Like everyone I am not a fan of Monday, and I have recently managed to make my Mondays so miserable that I am gone from my house from 6:30 in the morning until 8:30 at night, with only a quick 15 minute stop at my house to eat a quick dinner before hitting the gym for spinning and my lifting class. It's pretty much torture. But at least I get it over with?

Why am I blogging then? Well- tonight I am skipping the spinning part of my workout because I have a bad cough and I'm afraid I'll have a cough fit mid workout (it could happen during lifting too, but I don't want to skip my lift because I just got into this lifting stuff!). So...I have time to blog. Monday's are still not my favorite.

Today was a wild day at work, all sorts of crazyness was going on around me and since I had a training session on Friday afternoon, I spent half the morning catching up on what I missed in my classroom. It may not sound like I would miss much between 11:30 and 3:30 on a Friday, but believe me, you'd be surprised!

But enough about Mondays, let's chat about protein. Specifically, are you getting enough of it? Although I have NEVER been into the low carb craze, I have always known the benefits of protein. Hey, anything that is going to keep me full for longer and help me eat less? I am on board. However, I've only paid a small amount of attention to how much protein I am getting versus how much I need. I am trying to change that.

Right now I am in the process of reading The New Rules of Lifting for Women by Lou Schuler and Cassandra Forsythe.

It's SO good. I promise to tell you more about it when I actually finish it, but for now I have to tell you one of my favorite parts is the discussion about what a terrible idea it is to cut calories. Yippee! No complaints here. One of the big reasons is that you end up getting less protein. When you are doing a lifting program (or probably even if you are not) this is a terrible idea because your body will start stealing the protein it needs (not the fat that you want it to steal) and without getting too scientific, this will not be good. In this book, it is recommended that you get 30 % of your calories from protein, so if you eat 2000 calories per day that's 150 grams of protein per day. That sounded like a lot to me (but believe me, they explain in detail why you need that much) so I decided to see how I'd do today:

Bagel- 12g
Cream Cheese (1/2)- 3g
Egg Whites-12g

Pretzels- 2g

Black Bean Pizza- 5g (crust) +1g (tomato sauce) +8g (black beans) + 1 or 2g for mushrooms and other veggies= 15g
Apple- none?

Cheerios- 3g

Tuna- 13g
Sandwich Thin- 4g
Greek Yogurt (mixed with tuna)- 9g

Post Workout/Dessert:
Vanilla Greek Yogurt- 15g
Corn Flakes- 2g

And the grand total IS: 90 grams!

Wow, Lou (author of New Rules...) how in the world are you going to get me to 150? That was me putting in a serious effort to eat a lot of protein! Well, maybe not a serious effort- my dinner's sometimes include more protein but I don't have time for more than a tuna sandwich and some kettle baked chips. However, I also included some egg whites in my breakfast, and a greek yogurt post workout that I don't always have. Some major spots I think I could add more protein would be in my morning and afternoon snacks. But, seriously how many greek yogurts and egg whites can I eat in a day?!

How much protein do you think you get? Do you have any high protein snack ideas for me? I do have to be careful not to bother my stomach, but I'm open to ideas you may have :)