Working up a sweat doing yard work

Since today was a holiday, I didn’t have to do anything work-related! Yay!

(Unfortunately, I had to do computer-related things… driving all over trying to rid my poor baby of a virus! Ribbit Computers took care of it, but I think they made my hard drive slower… or whatever runs slower when the computer is being slow. Sigh.)

Errands aside, I had a busy day!

Yard work! Our driveway and front lawn was overrun with stick and leaves and composted leaves that had turned in to dirt.

“Hey! Free dirt!”

Still sucked.

So I spent a few hours picking up sticks from my front lawn and driveway with my dog. He was not helpful; he just wanted to run off with the sticks. Silly Ivan.

I also used a push broom to sweep the rest of my driveway of the leaves, sticks and pollen that had collected since fall.

“Since fall, Shae?”

Hey, I was busy.

The point is that I spent hours doing yard work, and now both my back and shoulders are sore from working so hard! :)

I call that a workout!

Aside from more errands and a failed dinner (I destroyed it – I really did), Memorial Day was a good day for me.

Husband fixed my horrible disaster dinner by grilling turkey burgers. They were amazing. :)

Now, I’m tired so I’ll tell you more about everything that is skinnyshae tomorrow… or Wednesday.

I haven’t decided.

Doing any spring cleaning?

Marathon (triathlon) refueling methods

Husband thought about participating in a triathlon (or he was bothered by people to compete in a triathlon with them).

What did I ask?

“Can you swim?”

I’m so nice. :)

I’m not certain Husband will compete. However, if he does, it will completely change the eating habits in our household. Completely.

Marathon runners and triathletes will fail to perform well if they do not fuel up and refuel properly.

Nutrition Advisor Alyse Levine said nutrition plays a vital role in the training process. In an interview with Livestrong.com, Levine said proper nutrition is necessary to train longer, delay fatigue and help the body recover faster after a run, which will, in turn, prepare the runner for the longer marathon or triathlon.

(The interview was focused on marathon running… so advice for swimmers might not apply…)

Levine recommended the following post-run snacks for training.

  1. Homemade Trail Mix: Mix up dried cherries, pretzels, nuts and cereal and stir into low-fat yogurt, or enjoy by the handful. (Recently, I found out that Husband loves Chex Mix –even though I already knew he loves Wheat Chex Cereal –so he should be a big fan of trail mix.)
  2. Chocolate Milk: Are you serious? Seriously? YAY! Milk is 90 percent water, so you are rehydrating at the same time. Have 16 oz. for a good snack serving.
  3. Bananas with Peanut Butter: Put it on a slice of fiber-filled bread! (That’s my advice.)
  4. Bagel with Hummus: Levine said bagels are great refueling foods for runners because they’re a rich source of carbohydrates with some protein, as well as easy to digest after a long run. Hummus just makes the whole thing tastier while adding more protein. Hummus is awesome. Eat it.
  5. Cherry Smoothie: Blend together one cup of non-fat plain or vanilla yogurt, one ripe banana, half cup of orange juice, one-fourth cup tart cherry juice concentrate and one cup crushed ice. I love cherries, but I think this smoothie will be tasty without the tart juice.

In beginning training for a marathon or triathlon, Levine said that as a runner’s mileage increases, his or her need for calories increases –especially those coming from carbohydrates. Carbs load up muscles’ glycogen stores, which are the primary fuel source used during endurance exercise. (Soccer players like pasta.)

According to Levine, at least 55-65 percent of an endurance runner’s general diet should come from carbs –much different from people wanting to lose or maintain weight. The other percent should come from lean protein to help with muscle building and repair, and the balance of calories should come from fat.

Runners should also aim for an antioxidant rich diet that contains plenty of fruit and vegetables, lean proteins and whole grains, Levine said. Antioxidants and phytochemicals help improve recovery and overall health. Two servings of fatty fish a week balances the whole runner-nutrition plan.

Levine also identified several myths about nutrition for marathon runners or triathletes.

Myth #1: Drink as much water as possible on the run to prevent hypernatremia, a dangerously high concentration of sodium in the blood. However, by drinking too much water, you can cause hyponatremia, which is an imbalance of the fluid-electrolyte levels in the blood.

Basically, runners need to drink water in order to replace lost fluids and drink sport drinks with sodium rather than just plain water because, oh yeah, you still need sodium to function.

Myth #2: You must carbo-load before a marathon or long run. Instead of munching gross amounts of pasta the night before a run, runners should consume their normal carbohydrate rich diet and focus on tapering their exercise regimes during the week before the run to maximize glycogen stores.

Myth #3: I am running so much that I can eat whatever I want and not gain weight. (I’ve seen this to be true –nutritionist or not.) Calorie need will increase, but make sure you eat because you’re hungry, not because you can.

Myth #4: Energy bars and gels are better for refueling than actual food. Actually, energy bars and gels are the same as food only more weird. Eat food. Levine also said that chocolate milk is just as good as special recovery drinks (and way tastier in my opinion).

Myth #5: You don’t need to consume any fat when training for a marathon. Um, what? Your body needs fat to function every day and probably more so when training for a marathon. Cell walls and what not… Levine said to consume at least 15 percent fat daily.

And, something new, cherry juice is apparently lauded for its anti-inflammatory and pain-relieving benefits and should be consumed by long-distance runners to avoid muscle pain (not soreness or fatigue) and damage caused by exercise.

Cherries and tart cherry juice are expensive. For a little 8 oz. bag of dried cherries, it costs about five dollars. Let me tell you if I’ll be buying cherries for their anti-inflammatory benefits.

No. The answer is no. (And I’m certainly not buying them to put in smoothies. Strawberries are WAY cheaper.)

Finally, what should runners consume immediately after their fun to help them recover? Levine said the ideal post-workout snack will include lots of fluids, easily digestible carbohydrates, a little bit of protein, and some sodium.

So, a roast beef sandwich and a bottle of water? That’s what I want.

What do you think? Should we, and by we I mean Husband, compete in a triathlon?

No. I’m not going to.

What’s your favorite post-workout snack?
I usually eat a bagel or toast.

Wonderful morning practice

For the first Saturday in weeks, I had a great yoga practice. It felt amazing.

The past few Saturdays, and several skipped Saturdays, did not go well for me. Practice was slow, painful and just not fun.

Don’t get me wrong: I was in pain today, but it was a good pain -the kind of pain that lets you know your muscles are lengthening and strengthening. :) So, while I was in a bit of pain, I feel wonderful now.

I did avoid binds and arm balances, but my Warriors were spot on. My favorite pose today? Pigeon. But that’s my favorite pose every day.

Yay!  Good practice!

Well, that’s really all I wanted to share. What now? Cleaning. Lots and lots of cleaning.

I was also pouring sweat in the studio today. It was hot. So was I.

:)

Cooking! Baking! Exercising! Oh, ouch…

I meant to blog about my workout yesterday, but I was pooped! I had a busy day.

Work, of course, always happens first when you have a big girl job, and that was where and when I found out the company was having a Memorial Day BBQ type celebration. Let me tell you how good I am with a grill.

I’m not.

So I baked! I made my White Stilton Blueberry Cheese Rolls, which were a HUGE hit. Yay!

After baking, I went to the YMCA to make up a workout I missed for that job interview… you  know, for that job I got. :)

Not our usual Bikini Boot Camp, but it made more sense, I suppose. We were in bikinis! (Who has two thumbs and wore a shirt over hers? This chick.)

Instead of killing ourselves on the TRX or Arc Trainer, we drown ourselves in the pool. (Heh. Drown. You get it? That’s probably not very funny.)

Water exercise! In water! I have never worked out in water before -swimming is for fun not for torture. I learned differently last night.

I was sweating in water.

Today: Sore. :) All of me is sore. Swimming is probably the perfect full-body workout -especially if you cannot reach the bottom of the pool like me.

After Bikini Wearin’ Bikini Boot Camp, I came home and made dinner. (This is when the fun happened!)

Simmering white onions on the stove for homemade tomato soup
Simmerin' onions!
Two garlic bulbs roasted in olive oil
This is what roasted garlic looks like. I know. It's like regular garlic, but this time it's hot.
skinnyshae's homemade tomato soup
What do simmerin' onions and roasted garlic (with several other ingredients) create?

That’s right! Homemade Roasted Garlic and Tomato Soup. Every time, it’s amazing.

What else? Well, since we were completely out of food, I had to improvise with what made up the meaty portion of our dinner.

Earlier in the week, I baked tilapia, but had some leftover -two fillets. Covered in oil, breadcrumbs and a mess of spices, I baked the fillets in my favorite Baked Tilapia fashion.

With a twist.

Microwave steamed onions, carrots and peas with baked tilapia
Vegetables!

I’m not good at twists, but this tasted fresh and fantastic. (Oh, the fish are hiding under the veggies.)

Ivan the German Shepherd Dog in a kitchen
I had help.

Sorry – everybody needs a dog moment.

And after dinner I baked banana bread for the company celebration the next, which happened today… Anyway, also a big hit!

I wasn’t finished baking until midnight so you don’t get a finished product picture…

Baking banana bread
But doesn't that bubbly goodness look amazing?

Don’t worry. It was.

I tried a new recipe.

Banana Bread
Ingredients

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup butter, softened
  • 2 large eggs
  • 4 mashed bananas
  • 1/3 cup plain applesauce
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Cooking spray

Directions
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Mix flour, baking soda and salt in a bowl and whisk. Combine the sugar with the eggs, one at a time, and then add the bananas, applesauce and vanilla extract. Blend together. I don’t recommend using a beater… a wooden spoon works just as well in my opinion.

Pour into a cooking spray coated loaf pan and bake for one hour. Remove from the oven and let cool 10 minutes before turning it out and allowing it to set.

Tonight: Tacos with my salsa!

skinnyshae with her homemade roasted garlic and tomato soup
Happy cooking!

Strawberry (Fields Forever) Snack!

Double-post day!

I wanted to share with you how I succumbed to a craving and how absolutely wonderful my afternoon snack really was.

Strawberries and dark chocolate with a tall glass of skim milk. Oh, yummy! (with pictures – as answer to the request of my friend Dana)

Cut fresh strawberries, rich Dove dark chocolate and a tall glass of skim milkFresh cut strawberries, rich Dove dark chocolate and a tall glass of skim milk

Since the dark chocolate is Dove dark chocolate, it came with sweet quotes!

“Live your dreams.”
(Eating chocolate. Check!)

“Chocolate loves unconditionally.”
(So does the dog!)

“Unwrap, breathe, enjoy.”
(Too busy enjoying to breathe.)

“Someone is thinking of you right now.”
(…that’s kinda creepy.)

“The fastest way to my heart is chocolate.”
(Add ice cream and it’ll be like a sprint.)

While running errands in the rain, I stopped by Petsmart and bought Ivan a little treat. :)

Ivan the German Shepherd Dog with a rawhide bone from Petsmart in Wichita, KSMommy got a treat! Puppy should, too! Daddy got some honey-peanut-butter. I think I won the treat war.

Think yourself thinner! (or simply more confident)

Another grumpy morning before a workout? Well, how strange… Why am I a grump before my workouts? I always end the workout on Cloud 9!

Perhaps, somewhere in the back of my mind, I fear that the workout won’t work. I have failed before.

Perhaps, I’m just sweating and struggling for nothing in front of other people who are probably judging me and wondering why I’m even at the gym (and listening to smooth jazz really loudly on their iPod being creepers).

None of that is true, of course.

The logical  part of me -shut up all of you with your woman comments -knows that none of that is true. But the emotional part of me that is concerned with what I look like and how I look doing something like exercise doesn’t believe the logical part of me.

It often ignores me.

I know in order to lose weight or become healthier, I need an attitude to match. Grumpies never got anyone very far anyway…

Follow these guidelines to Think Yourself Thinner!

Ban the word “diet” from your vocabulary…
Of course when you try to explain to someone that you can’t eat this or that, they’ll say, “What are you on a diet?” And then you’ll have to clarify for them and feel like a jerk… So… I’m iffy on this guideline.

What the article means is that “diets” are temporary. Lifestyle changes are more permanent.

Don’t make it all about the dress size.
Skinny jeans inspire skinnyshae, but I’ll be more likely to succeed if I think beyond the superficial. Make meaningful goals, such as getting healthy for your kids, your spouse or your family or avoiding a health condition you might inherit from great aunt Sissy.

Be realistic.
Dropping a dress size in a matter of days is impossible (if not impossible, it is unhealthy). Aim for losing one pound a week. Even better? Don’t focus on the scale; create easily attainable goals (which I sometimes see as not-tough-enough), such as using skim milk instead of cream in your coffee.

Plus, dropping a dress size doesn’t matter as much as feeling good in the clothes you love.

Think twice before you drink.
I usually don’t think at all, so maybe I should listen. Liquid calories still count! And there are countless calories in alcoholic beverages, fruit juices and sugary sodas.

Don’t swear off your favorite foods.
But what if my favorite food happens to be French fries? I’m pretty sure I’m not allowed to eat those!

However, making treats totally off-limits can sabotage weight-loss goals. Boo. Small portions of those treats are best to curb cravings and keep from overindulging. My friend Ashley R. says that we should suck on a piece of dark chocolate every time we get a craving for something sweet (salty or spicy –honestly I think it works no matter what you want).

Expect imperfection.
I tell my students every day that there is no such thing as a perfect speech, and perfect is not something we should aim for in our diets, either.

Did an indulgence turn into a binge? It’s okay! Don’t freak! Let it go and get back on track the next day. (This is how I feel about eating prepackaged cookies when I’m having a lady day!)

Visualize your success.
I tell my students to do this all the time! Wow! I never knew any of my advice applied to weight loss. Woo hoo!

Picture yourself slimmer as you’re walking down the beach I a skimpy (but conservative –haha!) bathing suit. Or think of something that works for you! I don’t live near a beach and rarely wear swimming suits. I visualize that I look fantastic in a pair of yoga pants and a tank top doing the perfect Warrior II!

Mind your table manners.
Don’t wolf down your food; spend some quality time with it! You’re eating, so enjoy it, girls!

Eating too quickly may interfere with the release of gut hormones that help you feel full, leading to overeating and messing up your weight loss goals. Slow down!

Be a picky eater.
This is bad for me because I’ll try just about anything once (i.e. mountain oysters that my parents tricked me into eating; mushrooms, which I hate, but people have convinced me to eat one). (That mushroom wasn’t too bad, either.)

Basically, don’t waste your daily calories on food you don’t love. Love that food! Love it and eat it!

Don’t indulge in a craving the minute it strikes.
Cravings usually dissipate in 15-20 minutes. Hopefully you get that craving while stuck behind your desk or in a meeting at work…

Do you want a cookie and know you can’t have it? Drink a glass of water to put something in your belly, play a game on your computer or talk a walk. Picture anything but cookies!

Avoid peer pressure.
Do you have jerky friends? To avoid social dining sabotage when you’re out with the girls, check out the restaurant’s menu online before dining out and make a healthy choice right away. When you get there, don’t even look at the menu.

Ditch the put-downs.
Why do women always put themselves down and compare themselves to other women when the most attractive thing about us is our confidence in ourselves?

I’ll tell you why: A million eyes looking at us and noticing, like we do, that we are not Heidi Klum. Guess what? It’s not really real.

Stay away from negative self-commentary! (No blame, though. I feel this way ALL the time.)

Good attitude. Good workout. Good health. Some nonsense about stress and cortisol and adrenaline. Endorphins, blah, blah. It won’t work for all of us, but I think by attempting to change our attitudes about the dieting and the exercising and the creepers in the gym, we can feel thinner (which I need because I feel jiggly today).

No tornado… yet (in Kansas)

It’s tornado season in Tornado Alley!

As a Kansas native who has survived a tornado (as a baby – I don’t actually remember it), you could assume that I no longer fear tornadoes.

You assume incorrectly.

I am TERRIFIED of tornadoes. Thunder, rain, hail, lightning – give me all you’ve got! Wind? Pssh! No big!

Put all those things together and make ’em spin around really fast?

Pee my pants scared.

Since 4 p.m., a tornado watch has been in effect and a “potentially dangerous” severe thunderstorm warning has also been in effect -a deadly concoction I cannot quite stomach.

What did I do?

Left work an hour early, got a few errands done before the storm came in and packed a suitcase with underwear, socks, shoes and T-shirts. Toothpaste, too. Just in case.

So what happens?

Shining sun through sparkling leaves
skinnyshae's front yard after a rain storm
My front yard! Well, some of it. That river is my drive way :)

I am sure I angered Husband greatly :) when I woke him up early because I was scared. I feel badly about it.

I do this every time a severe thunderstorm, tornado watch or tornado warning happens, and I’ll never change. One day, my paranoia will save our lives. I hang on to that.

Dana @ mylittlecelebration saw a tornado, which officially inducted her in to Kansas for reals. (You can be born here and never join this club!)

UPDATE: Seven people were killed in Oklahoma and Kansas due to tornadoes and severe winds. Read a story here. Send your prayers to those who have lost in Kansas, Oklahoma and Missouri.

On a much lighter note: I’m probably NOT cutting my hair. Gah. I’m so fickle.

Another light note: Dinner tonight consists of delicious roast chicken thighs with roasted potatoes and lightly roasted green beans, as well as crescent rolls with White Stilton Cheese with Blueberries baked inside for ooey gooey goodness!

Roasted Chicken Thighs with Golden Potatoes and UnCut Green Beans
The flesh-y colored triangles are the chicken thigh bits. We ate most of them before leftovers made it to this container.
White Stilton British English Cheese with Blueberries baked in Pillsbury Crescent Rolls dusted with sugar
Little bundle of all things happy!
White Stilton British English Cheese with Blueberries baked in Pillsbury Crescent Rolls dusted with Sugar
I cannot get enough of this cheese! In these rolls! Lovely little nuggets.

Jealous? Check out my recipes! Don’t believe everything I create (or change completely from the original), make it your own! Also. I am NOT a good cook so my advice is to be taken with a grain of salt.

And yet another light note: I love my summer job! I’m having so much fun working with the people and working on the website and content! I have a uber awesome job.