Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Loving the Crunch workout videos

It's 0940 and I'm at work with my legs twitching to be home doing one of the Crunch fitness videos. The workouts are all "themed" and my favorite is the Bootcamp video, complete with instructor telling us to "pump it up Soldier" and the back up ladies in various camo outfits. The workout are all equally corny, and I embarrass my kids when doing the dance party hiphop style exercises and shaking my money-maker, but each one is motivating and fun and challenging enough to make me sweat.

Totally came to an awesome realization yesterday when tracking my nutrition and fitness on I looked at how many calories a woman my weight expends doing just 30 minutes of aerobics, and how many calories I eat in a day (1200 - 1500) and realized that I can exercise a day's worth of calories by doing aerobics for 30 minutes, 5 days a week. What the heck kind of bargain goodness is that?!?

I'm taking it slow, one breath, one pound, one day at a time. In the past I've always started major diet/exercise plans when I'm unhappy with my life and need something to change (usually myself). It is interesting doing it this time when I'm really happy. Life is good, the kids are all doing well, Duane is the most awesome husband imaginable, and my parents are a huge blessing and living in Utah! Uh-oh, epiphany...this time I'm going to eat healthy and exercise just because I can? Because I have the God granted ability and means and a shred of self motivation? Oh me oh my.

Stuff I know to be true:
1. Whatever "it" is, do it for yourself
2. Today is better than yesterday

Peace y'all,

Friday, December 2, 2011

Meals and Moves Dedicated December

Meals and Moves Dedicated December
Head on over to the and join me for Dedicated December! Janetha is so much fun and her blogs always motivate me to eat healthy and exercise (even when I don't do it, I really really think about exercising). Come on, it'll be more fun if we do it together!

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Pop-Tarts and Politicians

I enjoyed the heck out of my breakfast this morning. After several months of really striving to eat a healthy breakfast, i.e. lots of fiber, protein, and calcium, I broke down, way down. Not only did I eat two cherry Pop-Tarts, I ate them toasted and covered in butter. So much butter, that the butter dripped onto my wrist as I drove down the road and I had to lick it off before it dripped onto my sweater.

Now let's play pretend for a minute. Suppose this is some sort of healthy living blog that you come to for guidance on preparing and eating a nutritious breakfast. Suppose further that I promoted myself as a fitness guru and raised funds for my campaign as the Healthy Breakfast Champion (HBC) of the United States of America (USA). Lots of funds, from lots of big corporations and individual people who send me checks from their personal bank accounts.

OK, still with me? I am running for the office of HBC of the USA and you are one of my campaign contributors. Since you admire me so much that you have sent me money, you are excited to notice me driving just in front of you on your way to work this morning. So excited in fact, that you speed up and drive just next to me with your mug of oatmeal raised in salute as you prepare to pass me with an admiring smile on your face. As you inch past, the smile freezes as you first notice my licking my wrist and then see the butter slathered Pop-Tart clenched in my greasy fingers.

Oh the horror. How does that make you feel? You have been supporting my campaign for the HBC of the USA because you believed that I not only preached the good life but practiced it. Are you going to continue to send people to this blog to read about healthy living with the whole butter-licking image seared into your retinas?

Probably not.

Herman Cain is licking butter covered Pop-Tarts.

I'd be the first to admit that people aren't perfect, and we should not expect perfection. But allegations of sexual harassment aside, this latest information to come forth is that he carried on a documented extra-marital affair for 13 years with a woman. That's enough to count him out of the running for me. I want to believe that someone I would choose to vote into the office of President of the United States will at least be faithful to the person he made private vows to in good faith.

People fall out of love, people have desires, people want things that their partners are unable or unwilling to provide. Those people need to clean up their business before they run for the most public and important office of this country.

The worst, the absolute worst thing he did in my book, is lie about it.

So what do you think? Can he, should he, save himself by coming clean and admitting his wrongdoings publicly? Or does he continue his campaign and make private apologies to the wife who probably already knew everything anyway? I'd really love to hear your opinions.


Thursday, October 27, 2011

What's the Difference?

At forty, I'm beginning to question whether what I eat really matters. I've tried about every diet on the planet and manage to stick to each one for somewhere in the neighborhood of 3 days. I don't eat much meat, but wouldn't classify myself a vegetarian. Low-carb/high protein diets give me headaches and make me inexplicably angry. I have bought various books by fitness and diet "experts" and have read them with great enthusiam and resolved to follow them precisely for the 7-days, 12-weeks, 90 months, etc. that they prescribe. The single thing all of these attempts have in common is that at the end (my end because I never make it to the directed end) I am left feeling like I have failed and then go purchase and consume most of a Costco Red Velvet Cake.

The one thing I know to be true, is that I crave variety and hate to feel like I'm forced (by myself even) to follow any sort of directed eating or exercising plan. Even perfect ones. Especially perfect ones.

Here is a list of the fabulous things I intend to do starting today that will make me healthier (by healthier I mean that I will no longer bash myself for failing to perfectly following anyone's diet and exercise plan).

1. Eat lots of veggies and whole grains. I love all vegetables and all grains so this is the easy part.

2. Have some cheese when I like and 1/2 and 1/2 in my coffee. These things are delicious and keep me from feeling deprived.

3. Eat some protein. This might be greek yogurt, maybe some vegetarian meat in my chili, or even a piece of rotisserie chicken if it's tasty and hot. No rules. If I walk into my mom's kitchen and she offers me a tasty BLT, I am going to eat the bacon, give thanks to the pig and go on with my life!

The truth is that as long as I don't live on bagels and cake, my weight doesn't fluctuate much. The difference in how I feel is enormous when I'm happily eating a random variety of foods that I cook mostly at home and enjoy.

The other half of the equation is exercise. Same sordid story, intense and well intentioned exercise programs starting with Taebo and most recently a weak (less than a week, haha) attempt at a very good 12-week bodybuilding plan. But I'm throwing every single plan away, I'm donating the books that contain them to the D.I. (Utah version of Salvation Army) so that I cannot see them staring at me from the book shelf when I pass by. Instead here is the new and improved exercise plan:

1. Do some Bikram yoga when it's convenient. The studio is 45 minutes away so I only go when I have other business in Salt Lake and some free time. Whenever I go I wish I could go everyday because it makes me feel like a rock star.

2. Go for a walk whenever I can find someone to walk with, it's too boring to walk alone. If I'm on the walk and feel like running then I will, falalalala. Remember, no rules. I'm more of an opportunity runner than a dedicated one.

3. There are many interesting exercises to do with a medicine ball. I have a printout of ten of these exercises that when combined work the whole body. I only enjoy doing six of the ten so I avoid this workout. Tonight I am going to go home and cross the four I don't like off with a sharpie and happily do the fun six. The workout is called the Tarheel 200 and it's available on if you are interested.

4. Swimming is fun. Lifting weights is empowering. My dad loves to play tennis and sometimes I do too. Rollerskating, iceskating, Taebo DVD, 30-Day Shred DVD, and entire cabinet of excellent workout DVDs... you get the picture.

The point is that we all have enough stress and expectations imposed on us by jobs and family obligations. If you are a person who actually enjoys sticking to a plan then by all means, stick to the plan! But do not let it rule you, do not let the anxiety of "have to" keep you from enjoying the things you love. You decide what feels good to your body, what makes your soul sing, what you can put on the calendar for next week and absolutely look forward to with your whole heart.

What's the difference? Doing what you like allows you to show yourself some love, and when you are loving yourself the whole universe will receive and acknowledge that love and return it with joy and abundance.


Question: What do you let the "fun" out of by forcing yourself to do it?

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Good Morning Virginia Beach!

No breakfast pictures for you today, unless you count this one:

First we heard the sound of the waves and the birds, when we stumbled to the balcony this is the sight that greeted us:

Then an hour later:

The dolphins were leaping into the air and being just generally hilarious and gorgeous.
Duane said that if you look at out that and don't feel small you are just missing the point. Love this guy and love this life.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Eggs Static

I enjoyed the rare treat of waking up this morning at a reasonable time (6 am instead of 5 am) then cooking  and eating and  fabulous breakfast with my family.

My parents are staying with us for a few months to give the Utah winter a trail run before buying a house here. Mom had already fed our youngest, Paul, his normal meal of cereal and yogurt so it was just Chloe and I for eggs. I keep thinking that if I let him eat all of the cereal and yogurt he can stand that he will eventually want to eat something else. But it occurs to me that the flaw in that theory is that there are many kinds of yogurt and an even greater variety of cereals, at any rate he is happy and healthy and also eats bananas and peanut butter so life is good.

Chloe has a long happy history with egg consumption, dating back to her YouTube appearance at age two eating and discussing an egg that our chickens laid that morning. Check it out if you want to see the absolute sweetest thing on the internet: Chloe's Egg on YouTube.

My current eating goal is to eat a big delicious breakfast that is filling, contains some quality protein, and keeps me satisfied for a few hours. I find that when I eat a tiny breakfast I want some tasty donuts/candy/bagels, in other words any of the junk my coworkers so delight in bringing to the office.

This mornings creation:

Two egg white omelet stuffed with chopped fresh spinach and tomatoes
Skinny english muffin topped with 1 tsp butter and 1 Tbl marionberry preserves
Four 99% fat free slices of hickory turkey breast from Land O'Lakes

It really was a fantastic breakfast, but my eyes were much bigger than my stomach and I had to leave most of the turkey uneaten. Still, I made it all the way to lunch with Duane and the fabulous Lofte's Pizzeria after my meeting in Salt Lake this morning.

In typical new blogger fashion, I ate first before remembering to take the picture of the beautiful Rosemary Chicken Salad. The salad had mixed green, grilled rosemary chicken, capers, red onions, and celery served with a really nice balsamic dressing (the remains of the dressing are shown below, sorry). Yes that is my finger print running through the dressing on the plate!

All in all a successful day in the healthy eating initiative. One thing that I have learned lately is that the quality of the food I eat is the most important factor in how I feel, and a pretty plate always makes things taste better somehow.

On that note I should mention that Chloe was a little put out that her egg was served by my wonderful mother on a regular plate and that I put my breakfast on a fancy plate so I could take the picture. I promise right here and now that she is going to eat a beautiful dinner on the fanciest plate in the house tonight.

Happy evening all, off to make a nice cup of decaf earl grey tea, Stash Tea is my favorite, and get some work finished.


Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Being a brave, hard-working soul

The advice I like to give is to be brave and work hard to accomplish your dreams. I bet if I take my own advice I can do some awesome stuff!

I'm talking about writing, eating healthy, getting in some daily exercise, using one of a vast selection of cameras to take some pictures, showing patience when helping the little people with their homework, and spending not another minute of my life gossiping.

Care to join me? I'd love to share this journey with you!

Breakfast today was mui delicioso, look:

1. Toast an english muffin and spread with 1 ounce of goat cheese
2. Spray a small glass bowl with non-stick cooking spray and pour in 1/4 cup of Egg Beaters
3. Microwave the Egg Beaters for 30 seconds, flip them over and microwave another 30 seconds
4. Sprinkle cracked black pepper and some sea salt to taste over your eggs and place on one half of the english muffin
5. Add 4 thin slices of 99% fat free ham (I love Land O' Lakes Black Forest Ham)
6. Top with the other half of the english muffin and enjoy!

This was a great breakfast when paired with a giant cup of coffee and a David Sedaris audio book "When You are Engulfed in Flames". I laughed with my mouth full all the way to work!