Monday, September 30, 2013

Today I Ate... 9/30/13

I did pretty well with my eating plan today. I made a substitution for lunch. I ended up taking my kids to out to eat - it's not often I have the chance to get them together now that they're older.

Instead of having the BBQ pork and salad I'd planned for lunch, I had a wrap with grilled chicken, lettuce, tomato, Swiss cheese and Parmesan garlic dressing. And I skipped the apple at snack time. Other than that, I ate what and when I'd planned:

  • Pre-workout: Amino energy & 1/2 banana
  • Circuit training (cardio)
  • Breakfast:
    • 2 egg omelet w/cheese and yellow pepper
    • coffee w/honey & milk
  • Lunch:
    • BBQ pork
    • baked potato
    • salad: spinach, red pepper, tomato, broccoli, raspberry vinaigrette
  • Snack: apple, cheese
  • Dinner: I may end up at a business dinner tonight - if so, I will choose protein & veggies.
One last thing:
Tonight's desert

Sunday, September 29, 2013

My Nutrition Goals For This Week

Building on my previous post where I said I pledge to not have any days this week of eating horribly (high carb, sugar, calories), I'm going to take that pledge a step further. I'm going to plan out what to eat each day, which will keep me from grabbing whatever is easy or sitting around the office.

I've been reading a lot about different approaches to healthy eating: paleo, ketogenic, zone, atkins, etc. One thing all of these have in common is they are low in simple carbohydrates and low to moderate in complex carbohydrates. It focuses the majority of what goes into your body on being protein, vegetables and healthy fat.

The science is out there to support the benefits of this type of eating. For the past couple of decades, low-fat, high-carb has been pushed down our throats, so much so that considering a higher fat diet is scary. However, our bodies need fat. Fat isn't what makes us fat. Sugar and other simple carbohydrates are what makes us fat. The problem happens when we eat fat plus too many carbohydrates.

I won't be going to the extreme on any of these diets - they go in phases, and I can't see myself sticking strictly with them through all the phases. I plan on my diet being made up of whole food - no fat-free, sugar/chemical/artificial laden food. That whole food will be meat, dairy, vegetables, some fruit and healthy fats. (At least that's what my goal is.) I will probably include some complex carbs, like rice and oatmeal, but I will strive to have very little, if any, added sugar or other simple carbs. I'm not going to count calories - I will instead eat normal sized portions and listen when my body tells me I've had enough. Also, I will drink water all day long.

I've been successful in the past staying on track with my nutrition goals when I plan out my week, or at least a few days at a time, and prepare as much as I can ahead. It takes some time up front, but following through is a snap.

Another thing that I believe will help me stay on track is accountability. So I will strive to post here each evening what my diet plan is for the next day, and how I did sticking with it that day. Keep your fingers crossed for me!

  • Pre-workout: Amino energy drink & 1/2 a banana
  • Strength training
  • Post workout/breakfast: 
    • Whey protein shake made with whey powder, almond milk, yogurt, mango
    • Coffee w/honey and almond milk
  • Lunch
    • BBQ pork
    • Baked potato
    • Salad: spinach, broccoli, red pepper, cucumber w/raspberry vinaigrette
  • Snack: apple and latte w/honey and cinnamon
  • Dinner: 
    • Baked pork chop
    • Raw veggies: broccoli, cucumber, carrot
    • 5 oz glass of red wine  

Saturday, September 28, 2013

My Workout Week: Sept. 22 - Sept. 28, 2013

I skipped two days of my planned routine for this week. On Thursday I felt run-down and ill, and I'm convinced it was caused by my diet on Tuesday and Wednesday. Those days were big days at work and for a couple of events in the evenings, and I ate horribly. By Thursday, it was all I could do to get myself out of bed on time and go through my work day. By evening, however, I was feeling much better because I took care to eat limited carbs and sugar all day and limited my calories. Friday morning, I was back at the gym and feeling great.

I skipped my Saturday workout because of my diet as well. Ugh!!! We had breakfast at Bob Evans with family, and I took full advantage of the occasion to scarf down two of their scrumptious biscuits along with eggs, potatoes, gravy and sausage. The rest of the day was full of family in from out of town and lots of mindless munching.

The way my body performs and how it treats me depends so much on what food I put in my mouth. I know that fact going into a bad eating day, and it never fails to prove true. I'm going to pledge not to have any of those days this upcoming week.

Sunday: Back, biceps
Monday: Cardio (circuit training)
Tuesday: Chest, triceps, shoulders
Wednesday: Legs, abs
Thursday: off
Friday: Back, biceps and cardio
Saturday: off

Monday, September 23, 2013

Monday Moment, 9/23/13

Life's ruff!
Getting Fit Has Never Looked This Good
I've been stalking the FitBit for a while.

30 Day Voracious Reading Trial
Another awesome reading list!

25 Productivity Secrets from History's Greatest Thinkers
I love reading about successful people.

Bookless Public Library Opens in Texas
Mixed feelings...

The Power of Random Acts of Kindness
Food for thought.

One finds limits by pushing them.
-Herbert Simon

Sunday, September 22, 2013

I Am Thankful For...

  1. My children
  2. My husband
  3. My job, which provides...
  4. My income which...
  5. Provides my family and myself what we need and much of what we want
  6. Football
  7. The cool fall weather
  8. My dogs
  9. My comfortable home
  10. My good health
  11. My love of fitness
  12. The energy my young stepchildren bring to our home
  13. The inspiration from my sister's faith and strength
  14. My close relationship with my daughter
  15. My son's happy, positive attitude
  16. The talent and resources of my church and pastors
  17. My parents, who are still young and healthy
  18. My mother- and father-in-law, who add laughter and fun to our family
  19. My sister-in-law for her amazingly loving heart
  20. My love of books
  21. My love of writing
  22. Our freedom to take care of ourselves...
  23. Our responsibility to do so
  24. My love of learning new things
  25. Coffee and chocolate
  26. God's grace
It's easy to get tangled up in the weeds of day to day life, sometimes feeling down about difficult times we may be going through.Take a few minutes to list 20 - 30, or hundreds of things you're thankful for. It's guaranteed to help put everything into proper perspective. God doesn't make mistakes.

Saturday, September 21, 2013

My Workout Week: Sept 15 - Sept 21, 2013

This was my 2nd week with this 12 week program. The weight training portion is patterned after Lee Lebrada's program on I made a couple of small changes, and I'm doing my own cardio and nutrition plan. The basic model for weight training is two days on, one day off. In addition, I'm doing two to four cardio workouts each week.

Sunday: chest, shoulders, triceps and cardio
Monday: legs and abs
Tuesday: cardio and abs (circuit training)
Wednesday: back, biceps and cardio
Thursday: chest, shoulders and triceps
Friday: off
Saturday: legs, abs and cardio

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Book Review: And The Mountains Echoed, by Khaled Hosseini

And the Mountains Echoed was last month's read for my book group, The Novelties. I was excited about this selection because I've read Kite Runner and loved every word.

This book, however, was difficult to follow. It almost felt like a compilation of short stories, all of which connect with each other in some way. I kept waiting to discover where the turning point would come and have the plot come together. It seems there wasn't really a plot to follow.

That being said, I did enjoy the book. It was a challenge trying to keep up with who is who and how they relate to each other, but that was part of the thrill to reading it. Whether or not you like this type of storytelling, Hosseini's style of writing is beautiful. Reading him is like reading poetry. You really get to know each character and can feel what they're feeling. I love that his stories help you see the world from the perspective of an Afghanistan native. I get the feeling, though, that we're only skimming the surface.

The discussion around this book in our book group meeting was animated and mixed. One person loved every word, and someone else absolutely did not enjoy it at all. Whatever side of that spectrum each of us fell on, we all decided it was difficult to follow and puzzling as to what the author's point to the story was.

As you can guess, my review of this book is mixed. I enjoyed reading it, but I couldn't figure out what the story was really about. I would give it about three and a half stars out of five.

Monday, September 16, 2013

Monday Moment, 9/16/13

My Church!
5 Guilt-Free Food Dishes
I made the slow cooker mac & cheese today. Yum!

3 Ways to Boost Cardio Intensity
This article gives some great ideas for mixing up your cardio workouts.

Nerd Fitness
I love the way this guy writes. He's easy to relate to and has some great advise.

Spectacular Apartment with Rooftop Terrace
Love this!

A life spent making mistakes is not only more honorable, but more useful than a life spent doing nothing.
-George Bernard Shaw

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Words... I love them!

Words are extremely powerful. Thousands of years of history are recorded with words. We share knowledge and ideas with words: written, spoken and sung. 

I mentioned in my September is Self-Improvement Month article that I like to listen to podcasts and read books and magazines to learn about new people and ideas in the subjects I'm interested in. A wealth of great material is available via any type of media we wish to consume it with.

When I'm at the gym, I usually listen to podcasts on Stitcher on my phone. (Yes, I'm a nerd that way - most people listen to music when they work out.) If you haven't found Stitcher yet, you should definitely check it out. You can find podcasts on just about any topic you can dream up - and they're free! I've found some really awesome quality talks given by people who are experts in their fields. Of course, there is also amazing material in the form of books, magazines, blogs, news articles and videos everywhere we turn.

Sometimes you can find great content right around the corner, in places you least expect it. I feel blessed beyond what I know how to express to have some of the most amazing content right in my home town at Westwinds, my church. Westwinds is a non-denominational contemporary church. It takes the entire talented staff to produce the uplifting, positive experience on Sunday mornings, led by pastors David McDonald and John Voelz

One of my long-term goals is to read and understand the Bible. David's sermons revolve around teaching us the way the Bible says we should live, delivered in series that last various amounts of weeks. Right now he is teaching us about the book of Mark. He and the staff have provided us with all sorts of material to help us take notes and follow along. David is an extremely skilled speaker, and he's passionate about teaching. During this series about the book of Mark, I look forward to learning what is written about: 
  1. Who is Jesus?
  2. Why did He come?
  3. Why do we need Him?
  4. What do we need to know (that He taught)?
  5. What are we supposed to do?
  6. What are the risks we take in following Jesus?
If you're interested in checking out some of David's sermons yourself, you can find them here: The book of Mark series started on 9/8/13, in case you want to follow along. If you do, please feel free to let David, John and the staff know you're there and engage in the conversation.  

Words... I love them. I get to fill up on Sunday mornings listening to them being spoken and sung, and reading them from the greatest book of all: the Bible. 

I am so thankful for the enormous resources we have right here in my church. I spend a lot of time consuming knowledge from people all over the world. The fact that I have the same or better quality available through people I know and see throughout my week here in my community blows my mind. I just had to share this with you today. I hope you check out some of the links in this article and enjoy.

Saturday, September 14, 2013

My Workout Week: Sept. 8 - Sept. 14, 2013

This week I started a plan that's structured around a program I found on Lee Labrada's 12-week Lean Body Program is a plan that makes sense and covers all the bases: weight training, cardio and nutrition. It starts out with basic moves and tons of information, and moves into more advanced workouts as the weeks progress.

The outline is to do weight training two days on, one day off repeatedly. Muscle groups are split in a three day cycle. I plan to follow the weight training schedule pretty closely and do my own cardio two to four days a week. This week I only got cardio in on two days. I intended to do cross training today, but my body was really needing a rest, so I took it. I may end up doing 30 minutes of yoga later this evening.

Sunday: Rest

Saturday: Rest day and 60 minute massage.

Monday, September 9, 2013

Monday Moment 9/9/13

 Packing Light: Thoughts on Living Life with Less Baggage
One girl's journey to literally living one day at a time.

Finding Time to Read
LOVE this. "We’ve been recording knowledge in books for a long time."

10 Powerful Success Strategies
In honor of Self-Improvement month

"Reading can be ‘a priceless opportunity to furnish your mind and enrich the quality of your life."
-David Ogilvy

Sunday, September 8, 2013

September is Self-Improvement Month

According to this month’s edition of Success Magazine, September is self-improvement month. What are some things you do to grow in key areas of your life? Some of my favorite things to do to keep me moving forward are:

  • Listen to CDs or podcasts while I’m driving on topics like fitness, healthy eating, fulfilling careers, positive thinking, professional development, leadership, etc.
  • Read books by people who inspire me on topics in the above categories.
  • Buy my two favorite magazines – Success and Muscle andFitness Hers - each time a new edition comes out and read from cover to cover. I learn about new people and ideas in the industries I’m interested in most: fitness and entrepreneurship.
  • Network, network, network. Some really great connections can be made when  you’re out and about as much as possible.

There’s a calendar on page 12 of the September, 2013 edition of Success that lists one activity you can do each day to intentionally work on self-improvement. These are some great ideas.

Let's pick one thing and do it together. My challenge to you this month is to buy or check out from your library a book or audio book that will teach or remind you of some important things you can implement into your life or that will motivate you to work toward a goal. Set aside 30 minutes each day to read or listen to it. Who's with me?

Saturday, September 7, 2013

My Workout Week

This week was a re-boot after a couple of weeks of active rest. I typically like to do weight training at least 5 days a week, splitting up muscle groups throughout the week, and cardio 3 or 4 days a week. Since I was getting back in the gym after a break, I modified my weight training accordingly.

Monday: weights (lower body, abs) and cardio
Tuesday: weights (upper body)
Wednesday: cardio (circuit training) 
Thursday: weights (full body)
Friday cardio (HIIT) 
Saturday: cardio (HIIT) and abs

Feel free to contact me with any questions or assistance with this week's workout.









Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Fall, Food, Fun

It's time for apples, scarecrows, corn rows and pumpkins. Fall is my favorite time of year. It brings apple pies, colorful leaves, decorating with pumpkins, gourds and rich, warm color schemes: the colors of the outdoors. Then come Halloween, haunted houses, bon-fires and colder nights.

Fall is also harvest time. This time of year is when fresh vegetables and fruit are abundant. We should always try to eat food in season for the freshest choices possible. Right now you can find these scrumptious goodies and more at farmers markets and corner stands throughout towns all over the country:

  • Apples
  • Corn
  • Green peppers
  • Tomatoes
  • Broccoli
  • Cantaloupes
  • Carrots
  • Cauliflower
  • Celery
  • Cucumbers
  • Eggplant
  • Green beans
  • Lettuce
  • Melons
  • Various greens
  • Onions
  • Pears
  • Potatoes
  • Pumpkins
  • Radishes
  • Squash

Countless delicious recipes for main dishes, side dishes and desserts can be found online, in magazines and newspapers, and from Grandmas generations deep. Here are some of my favorites:

Monday, September 2, 2013

Monday Moment, 9/2/13

10 Powerful Success Strategies
Nice reminders to look over every once in a while.

Hidden Dangers in Diet Soda
More for my 'artificial food' soap-box!

20 Inspiring Books That Will Change Your Life
How many of these have you read?

People Who Live Inside Water Towers
I find this kind of thing super-interesting.

Happy Labor Day!!!!