Wednesday, July 20, 2011

I pick things up and put them down

After reading about 3 million chat board conversations and constant blog posts on all of the health/ exercise sites that I visit I finally purchased this book:

The New Rules of Lifting for Women.

Now let me start by saying that pretty much EVERY single thing I heard/ read about this book was positive. The few negative reviews about the book all said the same thing which was essentially: my gym is too busy to do these workouts as mentioned. I can understand that complaint. But if you workout regularly you know that it is pretty common to have to find ways around switching up your workout when certain machines are being used.

I go to the gym between 4:30-5:00 am and generally it isn't too crowded (though you might be surprised by how many people are there). There doesn't seem to be any reason I couldn't do what is mentioned.

Mostly this book says things that make a lot of sense to me. It debunks the myth that woman should only lift "barbie" sized weights to avoid bulking up. This is why so many women spend hours at the gym and still look the same.

It give you seven stages of workouts and if you follow the program exactly, that is about 6 months of training. The idea is to lift heavier weights and to do workouts that get more challenging as you go along. It also talks a lot about how many exercises people do that really don't make the hundreds of bicep curls or the millions of crunches people log in every day at the gym.

Mostly I like this book because it is giving me a push to lift heavier weights. Lifting heavier weights is the ONLY way to build muscle tissue. And building more muscle is scientifically proven to be the best way to burn fat and boost your metabolism and to make you look toned. I mean who doesn't want those sleek looking arms that don't jiggle in the least when you react them over your head?

It makes a whole lot of sense to me. When you think about the fact that spending an hour on the elliptical at a decent incline and resistance MIGHT burn 500 calories (and that may be a stretch) and then you hop off after that long, boring, miserable hour and you mostly stop burning. OR you can do a 10 minute warm up on said elliptical and then spend 40 minutes lifting..which will have your heart rate at the same level, if not higher. You will burn 300+ calories just from increasing your heart rate and moving BUT you will also build major muscle mass and this will go on to burn calories for you all day and night. ***Of course these are just ball park numbers.

Now of course it is great to get your body moving no matter what you are doing. I still plan to do cardio and all that. The program stresses the value of interval training in shorter lengths, rather than going out and running for 2 hours (which is great for me because I freaking hate running).

I will keep you posted on how it goes for me. This week I am just going through all of the exercises in the first 2 stages that I haven't done in a while. I am not officially starting until we get back from vacation. I may skip stage 1, only because I have been lifting and I think stage 1 is a bit easy for what my body is used to. It did feel good to use the squat bar again..I hadn't done that in a while.

Wish me luck...maybe I will be able to do a real push up and have arms slightly thicker than spaghetti noodles when I am done!

Monday, July 18, 2011

My babies and when health backfires

I just have to brag about my kids here for a second. i just love them to pieces (as all mama's do) and I think they are just so great. Despite the infrequent melt-downs (like the one my son had at the fair last night) they are so sweet and kind. My son has such great manners and listens to others. He shares with other kids and I love that I can let him be when we are with other families and not worry that he is going to hurt someone or be unkind.

I think of them when I am at the gym or feeling lazy. I want them to live healthy, active lives and I know I need to lead by example. I make a TON of mistakes when it comes to parenting my babies. It is seriously freaking hard work. I get down on myself about it a lot...but all in all I have some pretty fabulous kids so I must be doing something right.

Here they are:

Sorry...I was just in the mood to brag about them.

Now onto my health backfiring.
 Last night we went to the County Fair. I am not going to lie, I LOVE me some fair food. I could seriously eat my face off at those things. I knew I needed to get some dinner and I tried my best to be good. I decided on a steak tip/ veggies and rice platter. Now this was probably hugely high in calories and fat. I know for sure the veggies were cooked in tons of oil. But I also knew I would be getting some nutritional value, as the plate did have a good balance of veggies and protein. I also knew it would fill me up so I didn't cave to all the sweet and fried treats.

Well on my third bite of the steak I coughed and sucked a huge piece of steak into my throat. My husband had to give me the Heimlich in front of a huge crowd  of people and some of our friends. I totally drooled on the table and everything. After a few seconds it came up. Holy scary! I should have just got the damn fried dough like I really wanted.

Happy to be alive today.


Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Recipe, Depressing Music and Vacations

I am feeling a bit random lately, and so is this entry;

After gaining a few lbs the last week or so, I was careful to clean up my diet again and decided to try out a few new recipes.

The one I am sharing is not my own. It is from Fitness Magazine. It can be found HERE.

It is for Fish Tacos.
I have never been too big into fish tacos, but my husband LOVES them. He seriously orders them whenever he can. I really liked these. They had so many different flavors going on and were fresh and fun.
The only modifications I made were that I added extra Tabasco to the sauce and I used less mayonnaise. I also used canned corn because I didn't have frozen. The key is to be sure you do NOT cook the corn or black beans. I also added fresh cilantro because we have a ton on hand. I used he bagged coleslaw mix because it had a few more veggies in it and I got low-carb/ calorie tortillas. I also sprinkled on a small amount of cheddar cheese
I tripled the recipe and we both had 3 tacos. 1-lb of Tilapia was more than enough for 6 tacos and a little bit left for the kids. My guess is that for 3 tacos I ate about 700-800 very fulfilling calories.

This morning my daughter decided to wake up at 4am to eat. I fed her and put her back to sleep and decided it was pointless to go back to bed for 30 minutes, so I downloaded some new music before heading to the gym. As I listened to my playlist I realized that I have a tendency to depress myself with music. The majority of my songs have some sort of depressing theme. I don't consider myself a sad person, so I started thinking about what draws me to this type of music. My theory is that I like reflecting on my past, and somehow depressing music pulls out the raw emotions I have experienced over the years. Somehow this converts into adrenaline. For example, if I am listening to a song that makes me think of what a jerk an old ex-boyfriend is, it pushes me to workout harder. Interesting? I think so, but as you can see I am big of being reflective.

Some of my favorite depressing songs:
Third Eye Blind: How's it Gonna be
Limp Bizkit: Break Stuff
Keith Urban: Stupid Boy
Justin Timberlake: Cry me a River
Linkin Park: In the End
Jay-Z: Young Forever (probably not depressing, but makes me sad)
Christina Perri: Jar of Hearts
Garbage: I'm Only Happy When it Rains

And of course the King and depressing hip hop: Eminem. I like many of his songs, but I REALLY love Love The Way You Lie.

Now you may want to try and psycho-analyze me based on the fact that my favorite song is about an abusive relationship....but I assure you there isn't much to it. I just like this type of music. I must be a weirdo. I do however have several other upbeat songs going for myself..but you might judge me even more if I told you about my booty shaking playlist..that's a whole other post.

Now onto the subject of vacation. In 10 days we are leaving for Montana!!! Wohoo. I am so excited. We are going for TWO WHOLE WEEKS. I love, love, love long vacations. This one will be filled with hikes in the woods, sitting by one of the most beautiful lakes in the country, early morning sunrise with coffee, boats, fishing, RV's, rodeos with real cowboys.sState fairs, four wheeling, laughing with my dad, driving around aimlessly and just a lot of laid back fun. So I will be spending the next ten days packing and preparing, because that's what mama's do. Here is where we are going:

I cannot wait.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Summer Clean Eating

I love summer cooking because it is light, easy, and the grill just makes things so good. Plus it is a great excuse to make the husband (a.k.a grillman) help with the cooking.

Here is one of my favorite clean eating summer dinners. Sadly, I prepped this meal tonight and remembered at the last second my son had a karate lesson and had to stuff my face in the car with a Subway sandwich instead. But this will be tomorrow night's dinner:

Pineapple and Red Pepper with Soysauce chicken:

What you need:
A chicken breast for each person you need to feed
1 minced clove garlic per breast
fresh ground ginger to taste (I love ginger and use a lot)
Low sodium soy sauce. I use 1/2 cup for 4 chicken adjust accordingly
Sliced pineapple
Sliced Red Peppers..I use one whole
3-4 scallion or green onions

In zip lock bag or container cover chicken breast with soy sauce, garlic and ginger, seal and set in fridge for several hours (the longer the better but 1-2 hours will do)

On med/ high heat grill chicken breast, pineapple and red pepper. It helps to coat grill with a high heat oil.
Serve over brown rice and topped with chopped up green onions or scallions.

Easy and good. I have also added papaya on the grill..which is very good too.

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Slave to the scale

There are so many resons why you should not weight yourself every day. Of course I am not very good at following this advice.

I do like to weigh myself to motivate me and to be sure I am staying on track. However, daily weigh ins are silly because you can swing several pounds in a matter of a day.

Water retention, how hydrated you are, bathroom cycles, salt intake, etc....all play into what the number on the scale says.

Two days ago I weighed myself and I was 130lbs. This morning I weighed in and was 135! Now, clearly I did not gain 5 lbs of fat in just two days (even though I did eat some nasty fair food at the fireworks). However, it is still a horrible feeling to see a bigger number from one day to the next.

Here is something to keep in mind when the numbers on the scale are not what you expect:

One pound of fat = 3500 calories. So unless you are eating an extra 350 calories 10 days in a row, you are not gaining a full pound of fat.

This tells you two things:

1. Unless you pig out on 3500 EXTRA calories in a day (that is some serious indulgence) then there is no way you can have gained one-two lbs of fat in a day. This means those numbers on the scale that jump from one day to the next, are most likley a result of being constipated or bloated (lovely!)

2. If you are gaining lots of weight it means you are eating way too much. When I think about why I weighed 10 lbs more for the past few years, it sort of grosses me out because I know I was eating too many empty calories.

So, I am taking a break from the scale for a few days. I am also trying to get back on track with my water drinking. Drinking tons of water seems to help keep my numbers low because it reduces water retention and keeps my digestion regular.