Working Out Week 42 of 2014
October 18, 2014
Well, another week has flown by. I can’t believe we are more than halfway through the month of October. This week my workouts were:
- Monday – Cathe Friedrich – Rockout Knockout – 38 min.
- Tuesday – off
- Wednesday – Cathe – Greatest Hits Step bonus circuit workout – 45 min.
- Thursday – Cathe – Lean Legs & Abs – 37 min.
- Friday – Cathe – Great Glutes – premix 4 – 46 min.
- Saturday – Shiva Rea Yoga – AM Energy Vira Flow + Shavasana – 26 min.
All of the workouts this past week were with my Cathe Friedrich dvd’s that were part of a series I bought last fall. The exception was my Saturday workout which was a yoga workout using one of my Shiva Rea dvd’s. I love doing yoga on Saturday mornings.
The Greatest Hits Step workout is a combination of several different Cathe step workouts and compiled together on the one dvd. The premix I did on Wednesday also used some weights mixed in with step cardio – the cat joined me for most of the workout. He was either on or next to the step.
Lean Legs and Abs dvd is one of my favorites. Even though most of the emphasis is working out the legs and core you still work the upper body a little with having to use the 8 pound dumbbells and doing a lot of compound moves.
The day after Lean Legs and Abs I did the Great Glutes workout. This really works your back side and the hamstrings. I was definitely feeling it by the end of Friday and into Saturday morning (and into the day Saturday). The workout uses minimal equipment and is a combination of light cardio and toning moves that use the 8 pound dumbbells. The cat of course was around to supervise my form. I think he is scared of the new rug I bought for the room though as he won’t walk on it.
I bought this new Juicing book a couple of weeks ago at Barnes and Noble in the sale section. I think it was $10.00. There are lots of great recipes in this book and I have made at least a dozen of them in the past week. I like how the book is set up – it is alphabetized by the name of the fruit or vegetable and gives at least two recipes per one fruit or vegetable. There are also color photos – not of every recipe but at least one or two per page. I have been trying to make up about three or four recipes every other day and store them in mason jars in the refrigerator so I only have to get the juicer out once a day or once every other day. This is a real time saver. It is also helpful to label the juices and put the name and page number of the recipe so you can remember what it was and note if you like it or not.
The above recipe was from the book and called Peach Spice Pie. It was just a peach and 3 carrots juiced and then you sprinkle a little cinnamon on the top. I LOVE this recipe. It is very good! I always feel so healthy and energized after drinking a juice each morning, too.
The other recipe I just made this morning from the Juicing book was called Orange Beet. It is made with the ingredients of the title – 2 oranges and 1 beet. In the one I made my beets were sort of small so I used 2 oranges, 2 small red beets and 1 small golden beet. I love how you can add or take away something from the recipes to create something a little different. This juice here had an earthy flavor to it because of the beets in it. I also felt so great after drinking this juice. Fresh juices are really the way to better health, I think.
I also finally tried a juice with some red cabbage in it. The verdict is still out on that one. It is okay but not one of my favorites. I think I will have to try it again in a different combination of ingredients to determine if I like the red cabbage. The juice was a really pretty color though.
I have fallen of the green smoothie challenge I was doing. I think I had a few at the beginning of the week but I am really into juicing lately and not so much the smoothies. I did try to drink at least one “green” juice a day for an afternoon snack to make up for not having the green smoothie – so I am thinking I didn’t completely drop out of the challenge. I am just having a green juice instead of a smoothie.
Fit Tip of the Week – Eat Well for Better Health
– try out some new healthy recipes
– go to the library for some healthy cookbooks or magazines – or look up some recipes on pinterest
– make it a goal to eat only whole grains, fruits, vegetables, lean protein and limit sugar, caffeine and avoid alcohol for at least 5 days and notice how much better you feel
– try out juicing to see all the health benefits
– try out green smoothies to increase your daily intake of greens and fruits
I hope everyone is enjoying the nice fall weather in their area. It is finally cooling down here and the past few days have been beautiful.
Have a great weekend!
Working Out Week 41 of 2014
October 11, 2014
This past week I got back on track with my workouts. They were all Cathe Friedrich workouts I own and some yoga at the end of the week.
- Sunday – rode bike to store for a few groceries
- Monday – Cathe – Hiit – Double Wave Pyramid – 30 min.
- Tuesday – off
- Wednesday – Cathe Hiit – 30/30 – 30 min.
- Thursday – Cathe Ab Circuits – Stability Ball Abs – 20 min.
- Friday – Cathe Low Impact Circuit – Premix Upper Body Sculpt – 31 min.
- Saturday – Yoga – Find Instant Calm routine from Yoga Journal Magazine – 20 min.
The cat and I were so glad to be able to do our regular workouts again now that the wood floor is done. I like working out on it for the cardio. I chose to do my Hiit dvd- high intensity interval training – for the purpose of testing out how cardio would be on the new floor. It is a little hard on your back for the ab workouts, even with a mat. I am thinking I will have to invest in a thicker mat for ab workouts or yoga.
Here the cat is above waiting to get going with the Hiit workout on Wednesday. He was all over and around the step when I wasn’t using it as seen in the below photos. I had to do a lot of those continuous kicks – at least 24 in a row per side and avoid kicking him at the same time – an extra workout challenge.
I love doing the abdominal workouts that use the stability ball. There are at least 5 or more different workouts on the Ab Circuits dvd and the stability ball one is a favorite for me.
I am continuing to use my juicer almost every day. I have checked out some other juicing books from the library with some good recipes and I also bought one on sale at Barnes and Noble a couple of days ago. I am really noticing a difference in my stomach becoming flatter and in less cravings for sweet foods since I have been trying to drink at least one or two juices per day. I also notice increased energy. One of my sons is also getting interested in trying some of the juices – mainly the fruit ones, no green ones for him yet.
I am also just finishing the second week of the green smoothie challenge that I mentioned in last weeks fitness post for week 40. I have created a recipe of my own that I am really enjoying and drank a couple of times this past week. There was one day that I forgot to drink my green smoothie and that was on Wednesday. I did have a juice that day though. The recipe I made up is below – I am calling it Peachy Green as it has spinach and peaches in it and is a really pretty green color. I think it tastes good and I can not tell there is spinach in it except for the fact that it is green!
Weekly Fitness Tip: Be Patient, Be Persistent, Have Perseverance
– Change takes time – you can not expect miracle weight loss overnight
– Keep at it – don’t let a set back or two get you off track and going back to your old bad habits. Look at how far you have come and how much better you feel.
– Realize that there will be ups and downs but stay committed to better health and you will succeed
In our weekly newspaper, The Dallas Morning News, there was and article on health and fitness on Wednesday. It was very inspiring about a lady who weighed almost 400 pounds when she was around 29 or 30 years old. She got some bad health news from here doctor a few years ago and decided to do something to take charge of her life – the article said she began walking as that is all she could do at the time. Within three or four years she lost over 200 pounds and has gone on to become a personal trainer who is now helping others. I thought that was such a great story about someone who succeeded in taking charge of their life and making a positive change.
Well, I hope everyone had a good week and you are enjoying your weekend!
Working Out Week 40 of 2014
October 4, 2014
This week was not exactly a working out week for me. I did manage to fit in a few workouts and a bike ride but we were in the process of redoing the floors in my dining room and living room so the whole week was spent living in a construction zone. The below photo shows what the room looked like when we ripped out the carpet last weekend.
You can see in the left in the background of the photo the boxes of wood floor that were waiting to be installed. Of course that didn’t go exactly as planned since our house is over 30 years old the floors were not completely level – they had to add some more concrete day 1 of install and then let it dry.
The above photo is day 2 of the install – things did not go well as the floor was not locking in place correctly – so we decide to get rid of the underlayment (that black and red stuff) and go with a glue down. Of course this requires more time, supplies and money so it will now be a couple of more days, they say, before they can finish.
The above photos show our new, almost, finished floor. They still need to come back tomorrow and nail in the trim – they didn’t have the right kind of nail gun with them today for that part. I am so glad it is finally finished and in a couple more hours I can get all of this extra furniture out of my sewing-computer room. It has been very crowded in here for most of the week!
So, in dealing with all of this the past week I was able to get in a few workouts but not the normal amount.
- Monday – workout with exercise bands with door attachment – 25 min.
- Tuesday – ride bike to store for groceries
- Wednesday – off
- Thursday – yoga in evening before bed – 15 min.
- Friday – yoga in morning – 20 min.
- Saturday – off
I was very stressed out this week on Thursday when things were really falling apart with the floor installation. The yoga really helped calm me down that evening – so glad I decided to do a short routine before bed. I think it also helped me to sleep better.
I did keep up with my juicing this past week. I tried several new juicing recipes. There are a couple of them below but I made so many different ones this week I can’t remember what these were called. I know the orange one had carrots in it. My kids are even starting to like the ones with carrots in it – especially if there is pineapple in the juice. The pineapple makes the juices really sweet.
One of the other juices I made was this green one above. I have found that if you get out the juicer and make a few of the juices ahead of time and store them in 12 oz. mason jars they keep well for at least a couple of days. I like the juice cold better, anyhow. You just need to shake it up good in the jar before you go to drink it. Also, it saves me from having to haul the machine out more than once a day.
I also started the 30 day green smoothie challenge this past week on Wednesday. The challenge is through a website (click on the highlighted green text to go to site) and if you sign up they give you free recipes to try. So far they are just okay with me. I think I have gotten used to juicing and prefer the juice over the smoothie but I am trying to do this to increase my fruit and greens intake. So, I am having a green smoothie a day and at least one juice, usually with breakfast or as a snack. The one I made yesterday, on the right in the photo below – was strawberry lime and it was pretty good and refreshing – a great afternoon snack. I am not sure if it is the type of spinach or kale I have or the fact that I am using some frozen fruits in the smoothies but mine are not turning out very “green” – more of a brown to me.
Fitness Tip for the week: Fit exercise in where you can
We all have days or weeks when regular scheduled workouts are not possible. On those days or weeks try and get workouts in during your day. Here are some ideas:
– Go for 20 or 30 minute walk after lunch or dinner
– Ride your bike to the store for a few groceries
– Walk your kids to and from school if possible – this is also a great time to talk to your kids about their day
– Do a short yoga routine or stretching before bed – you will also sleep better
– Do some ab exercises while watching TV
– Do some stretches while waiting for your morning coffee to brew
Also, if it isn’t possible to squeeze in any type of physical activity don’t stress about it – just start up again the next day or week to get back on track.
I hope everyone is having a great week! I am so glad my floor is mostly complete. I am also looking forward to working out in there on Monday!
Working Out Week 38 of 2014
September 20, 2014
It is September 20th already. I don’t know where the time goes but it seems to be flying by this month. My workouts this past week were:
- Monday – T-25 Total Body Circuit + 2 Ab Moves on Ball – 28 min.
- Tuesday – off/ Rode bike to store for groceries
- Wednesday – Cathe CrossFire dvd – fitness blast & firewalker premix + 2 Ab Moves – 29 min.
- Thursday – Shiva Rea Daily Energy – Solar Meditation & Chakra Namaskar sequence + 2 Ab Moves – 27 min.
- Friday – T-25 Ab Intervals + Yoga Breathe For Joy Sequence from Yoga Journal magazine + 2 Ab Moves – 45 min.
- Saturday – Shiva Rea Daily Energy – Heart-Air sequence + Core + 2 Ab Moves – 28 min.
For the next twelve weeks I will be taking Tuesday’s off or just doing a bike ride or light yoga in the evening that day. The reason being is that I am doing a group Bible Study at our church and it meets on Tuesday mornings – I don’t think I want to show up at that all sweaty and in workout clothes. I also don’t want to get up any earlier than I already do, 6:00 am, so I have decided that I am okay with taking that day off and just working out 5 days a week for the next few months.
Monday I did T-25 Total Body Circuit. I remember this one as being a tough workout and it still is for me. Lots of cardio and lots of planks and push ups in this workout. Tons of sweat at the end.
Look who was waiting to workout among the workout bands on Wednesday – my faithful workout friend. He sat there on and off during the workout.
The above photos are part of the Cathe CrossFire workout. I was able to catch some of the jump turn squat sequence in my photos. This is where you start out facing forward and then have to jump and turn 180 degrees to face the back into a squat and then repeat – many times. I really like the CrossFire workout. It is a total body workout. On this particular day I got up about 10 minutes later than normal so I only did one of the premixes that is about 27 minutes long instead of the whole entire workout that I think is over 50 minutes long. That is one thing I love about her dvd’s – lots of premixes so you don’t feel like you have to do a whole hour long if you don’t have the time.
The yoga dvd I used this week on Thursday and Saturday was the same one – Daily Energy from Shiva Rea. This dvd is set up with many different 20 minute yoga sequences that you can pick to do and also some core work, forward bend and some meditation segments to add on to one of the 20 minute ones. I really like this dvd and I love yoga days!
I am trying to continue with my weekly two ab moves after each of my daily workouts. This week I decided to use my exercise ball and do the two exercises with that – the cat approved.
I also watched this documentary dvd that I checked out from the library. I had seen the guy, Joe Cross, who made the movie on Dr. Oz a while back and I also had heard of the dvd. It was a really good and interesting documentary on his journey with following a strict juice cleanse to help himself lose weight and to get his health back as he had a debilitating condition that was causing him to have to be on quite a few medications. After watching this dvd I learned the following day that a sequel to this one was just released this week so there is now a Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead part 2.
The documentary really impressed me as to how juicing can really help you become and be a lot healthier. I had been thinking of getting a juicer a while back but decided not to since I had my Ninja blender. Well, after learning more about the benefits of juicing I decided to buy a juicer. I got a Breville one like the one in the dvd, I think. I had a 20% off coupon from Bed, Bath and Beyond so I used it to buy one. I am impressed with how well it juices fruits and vegetables and how easy it is to clean. There are kind of a lot of pieces but they clean up pretty fast.
So far I have made three different kinds of juices since Friday evening. I am amazed already at how I am feeling and how the juices seem to really fill you up, give you energy and make you less hungry. I was not having any hunger or snack attacks at the normal times I usually do – like around 4 pm. I am not sure I will do a full Juice only cleanse like many people do for a certain amount of time but I am considering doing a partial diet of juices for a few days – like for breakfast, snacks and lunch and then eat a sensible dinner with my family.
Weekly Fitness Tip: Don’t compare yourself to others
– Focus on your goals and realistic exercise programs and time frames not on what others are doing
– Fitness is a journey, not a race. It is okay to start out or go slowly, just do something and don’t give up
I hope everyone had a great week and you are getting a chance to workout and cook some healthy meals.
Working Out Week 36 of 2014
September 6, 2014
This week was kind of short since there was the Labor Day holiday. I kept thinking Tuesday was Monday and Wednesday was Tuesday. Therefore when Friday got here I was wondering how the week went by so fast.
For week 36 I decided to pull out my T-25 workouts and alternate those with yoga. So my schedule was one day cardio and the next day yoga. This was similar to last weeks schedule but I used different workouts. I really liked my schedule this week and the workouts I chose.
- Monday – T-25 Alpha Cardio + 2 Ab Moves – 28 min.
- Tuesday – Shiva Rea Yoga – AM Energy dvd – bonus segment Heart Salutation from Radiant Heart + 2 Ab Moves – 22 min.
- Wednesday – T-25 Ab Intervals + 2 Ab Moves – 28 min.
- Thursday – Shiva Rea Yoga – AM Energy dvd Shakti Flow + 2 Ab Moves – 22 min.
- Friday – T-25 Lower Focus + Find Instant Calm Yoga workout + 2 Ab Moves – 50 min.
- Saturday – Ride Bike + yoga + 2 Ab Moves – 35 min.
The cat and I have missed Shaun T and his T-25 workout. I forgot how much you can sweat in just 25 minutes! I did the entire workout last year from August to October – the whole 10 week schedule with my facebook fitness group. Most of it is written about in my past blog posts. I also attended Shauntervention here in Dallas last year around this time. It was an awesome all day event where I got to meet Shaun T and learn more about him and his positive motivation.
Tuesday we (the cat and I) did the Shiva Rea AM Energy dvd that I own. This one contains three different 20 minute segments plus one bonus 20 minute segment from the Radiant Heart dvd. We did the bonus Heart Salutation and it felt awesome after the fast paced cardio the day before. I love the Shiva Rea style yoga and have many of her dvd’s. I guess the cat missed doing her yoga too as he was around on and off my mat for most of the workout.
Ab Intervals was the second T 25 workout of the week. This one is a combination of floor abdominal work and then some cardio in between. A great session for the abs and the back to strengthen the whole core.
The photos above are from my second session of Shiva Rea’s AM Energy dvd. This time I did the Shakti Flow session. This one has a free flow yoga dance at the beginning and then goes into the yoga poses. Another great workout the day after T 25 and my lower abs were really feeling it after Ab Intervals the day before and the core work in this yoga workout.
Friday I did T 25 Lower Focus, a combination of leg cardio and toning moves. Another sweaty workout session. After this I did a 20 minute yoga workout from a Yoga Journal magazine called Find Instant Calm. This was a good way to stretch out and “calm” down after the cardio.
The entire week I also included these two abdominal moves at the end of my workouts. You can see the cat liked those as well. I found these two moves from a popsugar video last week and decided to make it a goal to do 20 reps of each every day this past week. I almost forgot to do them yesterday but got them in – even though it was a couple hours after my finished workout.
Last Saturday I made some really good sourdough bread using some starter I made earlier in the week. My oldest son has discovered he likes sourdough bread for sandwiches so I decided to make the dough in my bread machine and then bake the oval shaped loaves in the oven. It made two loaves so I was able to freeze one. Everyone has decided (all 5 of us) that the bread is really good. I will be making it again in the near future.
Weekly Fitness Tip: Endurance, Discipline, Determination – Keys to Daily Success
- Starting an exercise program and then sticking with it are one of the keys to becoming more fit and healthy – Endurance
- Getting your workout in regularly is not always easy or enjoyable but the end results are worth it – Discipline yourself to Just Do It and you will be glad you did
- Remember that exercise daily repeated over time will get you results – Determination
-I think that once you begin a regular exercise regime and stick with it that it becomes part of who you are and what you do. There are days I wake up and feel tired (didn’t sleep well) or just not very motivated to do my scheduled workout – but I choose to get up, get going, and get it done – which makes me feel so much better afterwards.
I hope everyone had a great week. The weather here is still hot so I am not sure about getting ready for fall yet but it looks like I need to start thinking about it. I have started stocking up on cans of pumpkin to try some of the new recipes I recently found on pinterest. I also need to make a new fall wreath so I will probably work on that later this coming week.
Working Out Week 35 of 2014
August 30, 2014
I am not sure if it is because it is the end of summer approaching or what but the last couple of weeks have gone by so FAST! I feel like I was just posting about week 34 and now it is week 35.
This past week I chose to vary my workout schedule with some Exhale Core Fusion workouts, Cathe workouts and riding my bike. The change in the schedule was just what I needed.
- Monday – ECF (Exhale Core Fusion) Power Sculpt dvd – 40 min
- Tuesday – Cathe X-10 dvd – 42 min
- Wednesday – Ride Bike + Exercise Ball book – 36 min
- Thursday – ECF Lean and Toned dvd – 40 min
- Friday – Cathe X-10 dvd – 38 min
- Saturday – Ride Bike + Jump Rope + yoga – 35 min
I went back to using some of my Exhale Core Fusion dvd’s this week. I haven’t used them in a couple of months. I have mentioned before how I love the set up of these dvd’s. Each one contains five 10 minutes segments that work a different part of your body. Monday I did the Power Sculpt dvd and did four of the five 10 minutes segments. All of their workouts are done in bare feet and give you excellent toning over your whole body. They are a nice change from the high rep weights I have been doing the past couple of weeks.
So then on the days after doing the ECF workouts I did a tough cardio plus weights workout from Cathe Friedrich called X10. This workout is also kind of set up in segments where you can pick and choose what one or how many you want to do. Usually I do the premix ones that are two workouts combined to make a longer workout. You can do them single if you are short on time and need a 27 minute or less workout. On Tuesday I did the X42 premix which is Hi-Lo plus Fat Burning Circuit. On Friday I did the X38 premix which was Low Impact plus Step. Both of these workouts also have a nice warm up and cool down that is the same. I was very sore on Friday after the step session. I woke up kind of sore in my legs and hips from the ECF workout from Thursday and this workout added to that soreness. It is a good sore though – means I know it is transforming my body.
It is a little harder for me to ride my bike in the mornings with having to make sure the kids get up and off to school. I managed to do one day during the week and then another on Saturday. It wouldn’t be quite so bad if it was light out a little earlier. I can’t really go until 6:45am because it is dark before that. So, for now I am just going to be riding one or two days per week.
I did my jump rope workout once this week. I am getting more stamina with the jumping rope. I found a good workout video on YouTube that is from popsugar for a 10 minute jump rope workout. I also found some other really good workouts on their YouTube channel.
I also did some food prep on Friday (yesterday). I like to buy really large packages of chicken breasts and divide them up and freeze already cut up or marinated so that part of the prep work is done. It is a good way to save some time – that way when you thaw the chicken out it is already marinated and ready to be cooked in the oven, grilled or stir fried. I have been doing this for several years. I also have begun using this meal prep book again for some recipes. The book is above in the photo and is called Once A Month Cooking by Mimi Wilson and Mary Beth Lagerborg. I bought this book several years ago from Sams. There are one month meal plans in the book with shopping lists and the directions for all of the recipes. Some of the recipes are pre-cooked and then frozen and others are just marinated or seasoned and then frozen to cook on the day of, as the ones in my photos. The book also offers tips on making menu plans and shopping lists.
Weekly Fitness Tip: Eat Healthy – one of the best things you can do for yourself, in addition to regular workouts, is eat healthy.
– try eliminating all or most processed foods or pre-packaged foods and replace them with fresh fruits, vegetables, and nuts and seeds. A friend of mine once told me if you stick to shopping the store on the outer parts where the produce, dairy and meats are you are less likely to buy the processed, boxed items. Of course we all need a box of cereal, some olive oil or flour so that method doesn’t always work for everything. One thing I try to do though is not go down the chips and soda aisle at Walmart.
– learn to prep some foods and meals so you will have healthy choices available and be less tempted to go through a “drive thru” for a quick meal. Remember “failure to plan is planning to fail” I know that if I take an hour or two each week to get some meals prepped and in the freezer or just prepare some healthy snack options I am more liking to stick with healthy eating.
I hope you had a great week and have a wonderful Labor Day weekend!
Working Out Week 34 of 2014
August 23, 2014
This week I had a really great workout schedule with doing weights again and riding my bike and jumping rope on the non weight days. I also tried out some new recipes for dinner that were good and made my own almond butter. It was a very busy week with fitness, cooking, errands, knitting, sewing, daily house upkeep and laundry, and getting my kids things together for back to school this coming Monday.
My workouts this week were:
- Monday – Jari Love Extremely Ripped Body Rock, Weights & Abs – 35 min.
- Tuesday – Ride Bike + Jump Rope + Yoga – 35 min.
- Wednesday – Body Bar + Exercise Ball books + ride my bike to the dentist – 38 min.
- Thursday – Ride Bike + Jump Rope + Yoga – 33 min.
- Friday – Jari Love Extremely Ripped 1000 Weights only – 40 min.
- Saturday – Ride Bike + Jump Rope + Stretch – 30 min
My Monday workout was a good mix of heavy, high rep weights and some ab work. This particular dvd is not one of my favorite ones from Jari Love but I decided to use it as I hadn’t done it in quite a while. Overall it is a good weight workout.
The middle of the week I did my own mix of the Body Bar and Exercise Ball book workouts and also used my slide discs with some of the bar moves – creating my own exercises with the two together. I also had a dental appointment that morning and rode my bike the 1 mile my dental office.
The Friday workout was back to weights with Jari Love Extremely Ripped 1000. I really like this workout and how all of the moves are compound moves meaning you work your arms as well as your legs at the same time. This is a very effective workout. She also reminds you during the workout how doing compound moves really increases your metabolism and makes your body burn fat even while at rest.
I have continued to ride my bike every other day and do my jumping rope after the bike ride. I do notice I am able to jump rope a little longer this week than last week – building up my stamina, I guess. Except for on Thursday – I could only do a couple of minutes of jumping rope as I woke up with a mild sinus headache and let me tell you that you do not want to be jumping rope with a sinus, or any kind, of headache. It seemed to make it worse!
As I rode my bike this morning I realized that Monday the kids start school. I knew this of course but it was hitting me at that moment as I rode that I may not be able to keep up with as many bike rides when school starts. The main factor being that I need to be at home to make sure everyone has gotten up and gets some breakfast, as well as making lunches for the 3 boys. Also, the biking route I like to take is right near the elementary school in our neighborhood and traffic will be heavy there with carpool drop off. I might try and ride one day during the week and then just on Saturday’s and see how it goes.
A week or two ago I checked out a couple of good cookbooks from the library. I used them in the past week to try out some new recipes and was pleased with the results. The one above on the left is various different baking mixes, sauce mixes, rice and pasta mixes and other things as well. The other book on the right is a really nice cookbook with lots of recipes for using fresh ingredients and cooking in minimal time – good for those who are busy or work a long day or just when it is hot out and you don’t want to slave in the kitchen for an hour or two.
I made up several mixes from the baking mix section of the Healthy Mix book. I had good results with some and just okay with others. The ones that were okay I had to tweak some to make them better. Like the brownie mix said to make them with milk – well I have never heard of doing this but tried it anyhow and they were kind of different. Not terrible but just not like real brownies, either. I tried it again with oil and a little water like you would normally do and they were much better – the kids loved them and ate them up very fast – I did get to enjoy one which is all I needed anyhow. Also, the quick bread mix in this book was a little odd as the mix seemed very dry when I blended it. It only called for an egg or two and no milk or anything to moisten the ingredients. I took it upon myself to add some milk and it turned out much better and looked like a quick bread mix should look. My oldest son said maybe the book just assumed you knew to add the milk – I don’t know about that but in my opinion it is missing something. I tried another mix in there though and that one is fine. It is hit or miss with this one. I guess you need to have some cooking experience to figure it out.
The Cooking Light Fresh Food Superfast is a great book. The book has lots of color photos of many of the recipes and everything is pretty quick and easy to make, too. Just as it implies. I like the fact that it uses fresh ingredients too and not anything canned or boxed in the recipes, for the most part. I tried this salmon one night – photo above – it was pan seared with a small amount of olive oil with fresh sliced garlic and fresh rosemary from my garden. My kids really like this recipe – that is always a plus. Another one I tried from the book was the italian sausage calzones. Those were a hit with the family, too. I was even able to make my own crust for the calzones using the Healthy Mix book and the healthy baking mix in there. That made it take a little extra time instead of using a premade pizza dough but it was worth it.
Another thing I made this week was something I have wanted to try for a while – my own almond butter. I saw a recipe last week on pinterest and decided to try it out. I followed some of it but had to tweak this one as well to get it how I liked it, or thought it should be. Of course I did this on a whim with not a ton of time so I improvised and heated the almonds in the microwave for about 2 minutes instead of 15 minutes in the oven and then I processed them for about 2 minutes, scraped the sides down, processed them for about 2 more minutes, decided it looked like almond meal so I added about 1 tsp. of coconut oil and processed again for 1 to 2 minutes. This was the best almond butter I ever had – really. I will never be buying it again. I made this in about 10 minutes or less. It stores nicely in the refrigerator, too. If you want the original recipe click on the highlighted link to take you to the blog with the recipe – Flour On My Face.
Weekly Fitness Tip – Variety
– Try different workouts to avoid boredom. Doing the same activity (like walking or running) can get boring and stale. Alternate your activity with some other types of workouts like weights or yoga – this also keeps you interested in continuing to workout, in my opinion, and the change does your body good.
– Give new exercises or workouts a chance, don’t try something once and decide it is too hard and you just can’t do it. Sometimes you have to do things a few times to get a feel for them. Example: Five or six years ago I started doing some step aerobic workout dvd’s. I was terrible with them at first and thought I would never be able to keep up with the people on the dvd. After watching it a time or two and then trying it slowly I got the hang of it – I also tripped or fell off the step a few times but I was determined to keep on – it got easier each time. I still occasionally step wrong and stumble but not like the early days. This makes you feel a sense of accomplishment.
I hope everyone had a great week and you are getting in some exercise.
Working Out Week 33 of 2014
August 16, 2014
The weeks are flying by lately. I feel like this one went super fast! It seems like the first part of our summer was kind of slow and the second half is gone in the blink of an eye! Does anyone else feel that way?
This week I was busy with getting my kids back to school supplies together, the dreaded shopping for those – although this year it is not so bad. The older they get the less they seem to need.
Also, band continues for my high school age son. A pretty rigorous schedule this week with long days and some nights. This morning we had to be up by 5:15 am as he had to be there for group photos at 6 am. So, I was up extra early today – before it was even light out. I did my routine a little different today. Since I couldn’t see to go out and ride my bike that early I did my morning devotional reading first and had a cup of coffee – then by 6:45am I was out for my Saturday morning bike ride. Not too many people out that early on a Saturday morning. It was nice to see the sun coming up and breathe in the fresh morning air.
Workout Schedule for week 33 of 2014:
- Monday – 101 Ways to Workout on the Ball book – 30 min.
- Tuesday – Ride Bike + Yoga – 35 min.
- Wednesday – 101 Ways to Workout on the Ball book + Body Bar Book – 35 min.
- Thursday – Ride Bike + Body Bar book & foam roller stretches – 42 min.
- Friday – 101 Ways to Workout on the Ball book + Body Bar Book + jump rope – 38 min.
- Saturday – Ride Bike + Jump Rope + Yoga – 34 min.
The above book is the book I used several times this past week. It is an older book published back in 2004, ten years ago, that I got on sale in 2006 or 2007. It is still a really great book though and has lots of great ball exercises, some with weights and some without. The book is all color photos and has step by step photos of the moves which I like. Also, the back of the book has various routines for arms, abs, core, legs, total body, etc that you can do.
The above is a sample of what the routines in the back of the book look like. It refers you to the page number where the exercises are so you can get the full explanation on how to do them. I like books that are set up this way.
The above photos are from my Monday session using the ball book which were the 15 minute Morning Wake Up and the 15 minute Arm Toner routines.
On Tuesday I went to the library – a place I visit often and always find new books to read or listen to on audio. I have an ereader, a nook, but haven’t used it in over six months. I am a “book” person and I enjoy going to the library. I was checking out the fitness books and found an interesting Body Bar workout book. The book again is an older book, published in 2006, but it has some good workouts in it.
I have this body bar from some Firm workouts I used to own many years ago. I do not have the dvd’s anymore but kept the bar. I think it is an 8 or 10 pound bar, I can’t remember. Anyhow – I used the Bar book along with the Ball book on Wednesday. The above bar move is called the kayak and you can feel it in your core for sure.
On Friday I used the Ball and Bar books again and I also decided to combine some of the moves using both together – having some creative fun with my workout this day.
The above is a photo of my new 6 pound dumbbells that I found at Academy the other day when shopping for new backpacks and lunch boxes for the kids. They had some odd increments of dumbbells in this brand that you don’t normally see – like 4, 6 and 7 pounds. I thought the 6 would be nice for when 5 is too easy and my 8 is too hard. I used them some for the tricep work in my workout on Friday.
Also, in the above photo is my new jump rope. I had one but had not used it in a while and when I went to go look for it I couldn’t find it. I think the kids used it for something and forgot to hang it back up in the garage, but no one admits to that. I read this article in our newspaper about a month ago about this guy in Dallas who jumps rope about five times a week as his form of staying in shape – I think he is like in his 50’s (I don’t remember his exact age). I decided I am going to try and jump rope for a few minutes when I get home from my biking. Let me tell you I thought I could do 10 minutes but I am lucky to get in 5 minutes. Jumping rope is a real intense workout! You will sweat and get your heart rate up in a very short amount of time.
I discovered this new way to lace my shoes last Sunday on pinterest. The info said it was from a podiatrist. This is the way to lace your shoes if the ball of your foot is wider than your heel – as mine is. It really helps give your toes room to spread. I have now re-laced all of my fitness shoes this way.
Weekly Fitness Tip: Be Patient – Change Takes Time
-Working out for just a week or two is not going to get you dramatic results – as the saying goes “Slow and Steady Wins the Race”
–Stick with a schedule – realize that doing even just 15 minutes a day of exercise 5 days per week is better than none at all. Not everyone is able to workout for 30 to 60 minutes per day. Do what works for your schedule and don’t compare it to others.
–Fitness is about a way of life, a lifestyle change, not a quick fix so you can reach a goal and go back to old habits that are not healthy.
-Not everyone is ready for extreme hard core workouts at the beginning. Start off with something simple like walking or running or jumping rope (which is an excellent workout I am finding, in a short amount of time). You can then alternate that with lifting light weights or some yoga or stretching. If you start something that is too hard it will just frustrate you and you are more likely to give up.
-Make sure you schedule in “rest” days each week so you don’t burn out. I usually only schedule a rest day for Sunday but I like to workout 6 days per week. Maybe you only want to do a 4 or 5 day a week workout routine to begin and then add more days later on.
I hope everyone had a great week. See you next week!
Working Out Week 32 of 2014
August 10, 2014
This past week just flew by. I am a day late in getting this post in because of my dining room painting project that I worked on yesterday for about 7 hours. I painted the lower half of the room, from chair rail down to the floor, with two coats of paint. It took a while and I did have to do some laundry and eat lunch in between the two coats I applied. I had intended to do my workout post last night but I was too tired. After cleaning up I did some knitting while watching an hour or two of television with my husband. I just needed to relax and not worry about anything else the rest of the evening.
The past week I decided to concentrate on using weights and doing high reps and then alternating with my bike riding and yoga workouts. What a noticeable difference -doing three days of weight training- in muscle definition! My workouts this week were:
- Monday – Jari Love Ripped 1000 Weights only workout – 40 min
- Tuesday – Ride Bike + Yoga – 33 min
- Wednesday – Amy Bento Slo Mo Strength NRG mix 1 Total Body Challenge – 47 min
- Thursday – Ride Bike + Yoga – 40 min
- Friday – Jari Love Ripped to the Core – 40 min
- Saturday – Ride Bike + Yoga – 30 min
The Jari Love workouts I have had for many years. I like the results I see from using them. They are very high reps but she does vary the counts and some of the moves so you don’t get too bored. These workouts will definitely define your muscles in a short amount of time. Also, muscle burns fat and increases your metabolism while at rest. Another good reason to do some weight training.
The Jari Love Ripped to the Core workout is a lot of compound exercises – meaning you work the legs and the upper body at the same time. The cat seems to like to be around for most of this workout. I have certain equipment he loves like the long step and he will sit by my dumbbells that are not being used.
The weight workout I did in the middle of the week was Amy Bento Slo Mo Strength dvd. This is also an older dvd that I have had for quite a few years. This workout is pretty long and I chose to do one of the premixes that are a little shorter. The moves are all done with a pretty slow count and with heavier weights. The hammy rocker move in the photo above is a real leg burner. It is sort of a three part move and two of the three parts are shown in my photos.
Another move in the Slo Mo Strength dvd was for the arms called Bicep Bonfire. Your biceps are literally hot to the touch when you get done with 3 rounds of this move. It is also a kind of three part move – it is done with 8 pound dumbbells on the video but I had to go down to 5. It is really an arm burner.
Biking in the early mornings is still on my weekly rotation every other day. It is getting hotter each week though in the mornings. I like to come home and do my yoga outside but it is too hot to do that lately – especially on some of these humid days. I have had to start doing my yoga inside lately. I did manage a few minutes outside yesterday morning, though.
Last Sunday after church I went to Barnes and Noble because I had a coupon to use. I found this book on the clearance section about smoothies to boost your immune system and it looked interesting so I bought it. I have tried a couple of the recipes (with some little adjustments of my own) in the book and they are good. The one I tried is made with blueberries and grapefruit and the other was with blueberries and mango. A lot of the recipes use bee pollen in the smoothies but I didn’t have any so I left that out. I was going to get some but forgot when I went to my local health food and vitamin store the other day. I will have to add that to my list for the next time I go there.
Below is my weekly fitness tip. These tips are just some things I feel are helpful to ensure your success with working out and becoming a more healthy person.
Weekly Fitness Tip: Find a family member or friend to workout with you
-Having someone to workout with keeps you accountable and motivates you to stick with a schedule
-If you don’t have a family member or friend then find an online fitness group on facebook or even a motivating blog or fitness website with helpful advice to keep you focused. I have belonged to a small fitness group on facebook that is a “closed” group, (meaning anything you post is just in that group and not all over facebook for all your friends to see) for a little over a year and I love that group. It is only about 150 people and I think only about 25 of us are regularly on there and posting but I feel I have a lot in common with the others on there and we are all positive and motivating for each other even when one of us falls off the workout wagon or off their clean eating. I also found out that one of the members lives in a city right next to me – others are from all over the US and even Canada.
I hope everyone is having a great weekend – what is left of it. School starts here in a couple of weeks but I feel like we have already started since my oldest son is in the marching band and they have already been back at it for a week – all day long – and I have been to a band meeting one night and volunteered for the uniform fittings one day last week.
Take care and keep working out!
Working Out Week 29 of 2014
July 19, 2014
This past week seemed to go by so fast! I can not believe we are more than halfway through the month of July! It has also cooled down here in Texas quite a bit the last couple of days and we got some much needed rain all day on Thursday. July is normally really hot so it is strange to be in the low 80’s for the high temperature of the day.
This week my workouts were as follows:
- Sunday – Walk + Swimming – 45 minutes
- Monday – Cathe Xtrain; All Out Low Impact Hiit, Step & Disc Cardio – 25 minutes
- Tuesday – Ride Bike + Yoga outdoors on patio – 32 minutes
- Wednesday – Cathe LIS; Turbo Barre, Upper-Lower Muscle Endurance, Legs with Band, Planks & Abs segments – 50 minutes
- Thursday –
Walking+ Yoga – 20 minutes
- Friday – Cathe Xtrain; Supercuts – 46 minutes
- Saturday – Ride Bike + Yoga outdoors on patio – 32 minutes
Normally I take Sunday’s off but this past Sunday I decided to go for a late morning walk and in the afternoon I swam some laps in our pool. It was really hot that day and a great day to go swimming.
I decided to do some Cathe Friedrich Xtrain dvd’s this week. This dvd series is a couple of years old. There are some great cardio and weight routines in this series.
Monday I did All Out Low Impact Hiit. I only did a 25 minute premix of the step and disc cardio that day as I was having some issues with a pesky sinus headache that came on Sunday evening and carried over into Monday. I was determined not to let it interfere with my workout schedule though. My cat showed up at the end for the stretch – apparently he wasn’t into working out that day either.
Wednesday I did the Low Impact Series from Cathe Friedrich – the Turbo Barre workout again. I am going to try and keep including this in my schedule once a week as I really like this workout even though its kind of long. It really seems to lengthen your whole body and strengthen and tone everything. This week I did a couple of the segments of the workout that I didn’t do last week. As you see the cat really likes this workout – he began it by standing on the floor behind the chair and jumping up over the back to get to the seat. Then he continued to jump around and chase his tail for a while. I guess that was his workout for the day.
I am also continuing to enjoy the warmer weather and ride my bike or walk in the mornings. This past week on Thursday I was going to walk again but it rained – thankfully as we really needed it. So, I decided to get out an old workout that I bought years ago. It is the Caribbean Workout Yoga For the Core. The show used to be on Fit TV and they also put out dvd’s. I think I got this on sale at Walmart. The dvd has three 20 minute segments on it. Both of my cats joined me that day for some yoga.
The other Xtrain workout I did was called Supercuts. I did the entire dvd which is 46 minutes long. It is a fun, fast paced and challenging workout that has cardio, weights and lots of core exercises. There are also several exercise that use the band with handles that are really great for the upper body and the core.
I made more granola this week since my one son ate most of the first batch I made last week. You can look at my workout post from week 28 to get the link to the granola recipe.
I also read a post last week on another blog I follow called the 100lb Countdown. The post was on smoothies and it gave me an idea to create this smoothie with carrots, orange juice and a nectarine.
I guess this smoothie came out more like a drink but I thought it had an interesting and pleasant taste. To make this you will need the following ingredients:
- handful baby carrots
- 1 nectarine, cut up, pit removed, skin left on
- 2 spoonfuls plain greek yogurt
- 1/2 cup orange juice
- 1/2 cup water – more if needed
- 1/2 cup crushed ice
Place all of the above ingredients in a high powered blender like a ninja blender and pulse a few times then blend for about 1 to 2 min. on speed 8. You could also add a little honey if you wanted it a bit sweeter.
I have found that I like nectarines in my smoothies and have used them in a couple of my green smoothies as well. I recently read in a book I got from the library called The Juicing Diet that nectarines are good for detoxing, heart and bone health and for your skin.
I hope everyone is having a good weekend!