Wednesday, April 27, 2011

5 good reasons to do a plank

Something amazing happened in my class this morning and I just HAD to share.

I was doing my required plank and zoning out as much as possible in an effort to make it a little easier. I heard someone say "way to go T" and I looked around and I was the only one still up at the 1 minute 30 second mark!! I decided to try for 2 minutes and she tricked me into 2 minutes 5 seconds. Yes you read that right. 2 minutes 5 seconds.

That's the second time this week I made it to 2 minutes so I guess that's the new plank standard. Raising the bar once again!

Don't get me wrong, I don't love it but I do it. Here's why you should too. I even included a picture though I prefer to do it with shoes on.
  1. According to my trainer, it's the best exercise to do for all your muscles
  2. It's free
  3. It's fast
  4. Requires no equipment or even changing clothes
  5. Progress happens FAST
Drop and do one now. I'll wait...

Seriously, I couldn't dream of even doing a minute when I started this a just 12 weeks ago.

*I'm so grateful for the encouragement of Karen, my trainer, and all the amazing women in my class for cheering me on even though they barely know me. I'd also like to thank my husband who graciously does them with me.

*That was my 2 minute plank award speech :)

Monday, April 25, 2011

Monday Mix Tape

Beautiful Easter weekend in the ATL! I ate and drank way too much but had so much fun just hanging out with my husband - it was worth it :) We did a TON of yard work including building the first level of a retaining wall/planter with 20 pound (each) blocks. Both days I soaked through my clothes so it was a serious workout. I was barely moving when I went to bed last night but woke up feeling surprisingly good - which is fortunate since I have my Monday training session later today!

Not a lot is happening on the weight loss front (more on that in a minute) but so much great stuff is happening to my body AND my brain so here's a list of non-scale victories. (bullet points of course!)
  • Yesterday I felt like running from the parking lot of Lowes into the store with the big wagon. So I did.
  • I'm so strong these days that I run up and down the stairs without holding the railing
  • Recovery has gotten so fast. So much so I'm looking forward to training this afternoon after a ridiculous hard weekend of yard work.
  • Confidence is through the roof and people are noticing
  • My husband said the face he fell in love with is reappearing (awww!)
  • Yoga on Friday night was easy !?!?!
Now for the scale not moving part. I'm not blaming that on anything but my diet. There haven't been many vegetables and there were several nights of eating out - things were just nutty last with lots of unexpected plans. I haven't gained thanks to all my working out but I do need to be losing. For the next 3 days, I'm not eating any meat and tons of vegetables in hopes of getting a few pounds off before my Scottish niece arrives on Thursday. The old me would have considered this week a loss and "started again next Monday" That in itself is progress.

Okay before I go, I don't know what the deal was with Easter candy this year. It was SO tempting. I was strangely drawn to, and even got close to a giant Reese's Peanut Butter Egg. The smell of it all was intoxicating. I'm glad the candy will be gone from the front door of the store and back somewhere in the middle aisles where it belongs - where I never go anymore!

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

where bananas go to die

It seems like whenever I buy a bunch of bananas, they are great one day and the next they look like this

I had always thought about turning them in to banana bread (which I only started liking as an adult) but I know that traditional recipes have horrific fat and calorie counts.

SOOO after much research into healthier recipes (and taste testing of course), The Hungry Girl Banana bread recipe wins hands down. This is quickly becoming my favorite breakfast on the go.

My kitchen is ridiculously small and I have to use my stove for extra counter space.

Lucy does not help

1 1/4 cups whole-wheat flour
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
3/4 cup Splenda No Calorie Sweetener (granulated)
1 1/2 cups mashed ripe bananas (about 3 bananas)

1/2 cup fat-free liquid egg substitute (like Egg Beaters)
1/2 cup no-sugar-added applesauce
2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. vanilla extract

1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. salt

Optional Toppings: no-calorie spray butter, Cool Whip Free

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a large bowl, combine both types of flour, Splenda, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon (in other words, all dry ingredients). In a separate bowl, mix together the mashed bananas, egg substitute, applesauce, and vanilla extract (all the wet ingredients). Add this mixture to the bowl with the dry ingredients, and stir until just
blended. Spoon batter into a large loaf pan (about 9" X 5") sprayed with nonstick spray. Bake for about 50 minutes, or until a knife inserted in the middle comes out clean. Allow to cool slightly, and then cut into 8 slices. If you like, spritz with some spray butter or spread on some Cool Whip Free. MAKES 8 SERVINGS

Serving Size: 1 (thick!) slice
Calories: 140
Fat: 0.5g

Sodium: 267mg
Carbs: 31g
Fiber: 3.75g
Sugars: 7g
Protein: 5g


share with nice neighbors

Monday, April 18, 2011

the urban garden

It's that time of year around here when eating healthy becomes a little more fun.

Romaine ready to eat almost every day

cilantro, parsley, mint and rosemary

2 varieties of heirloom tomatoes. I'm the only one that eats them or there would be more!

swiss chard - hopefully getting big enough to go in a "gratin of greens" recipe my mom sent.

JalapeƱo - you will be lovely paired with those tomatoes in some salsa

I call this one "sophie with sage " :)

I've been really busy with the garden so far this season and I can do so much more this year than I could last year. It worked outside all day Sunday and then had to go to the trainer today with really sore shoulders and hamstrings. She was very sweet about it and worked around my soreness and I still got a great workout.

Tomorrow is cardio in the morning and yoga and night which is a tough one. It almost killed me last week but I have to keep pushing myself that little bit more. It seems every pound is a fight but it's a fight worth having!

Thursday, April 14, 2011

A little wobble

I've been on a roll now for months and yesterday was my first bad day in a really long time. I don't know what was wrong with me. I made it through yoga on Tuesday night and even with my favorite teacher and all her compliments, I didn't enjoy it. Wednesday morning I skipped my group training class because I didn't even think my body could move. I dragged myself into the office all cranky. I felt like someone had secretly replaced my coffee with decaf. All day I felt nauseous, tired, anxious, and wanting to eat anything with carbs. I had some popcorn and that helped but then had a double serving of red potatoes for dinner. Other than that, I think I managed to maintain control.

It never ceases to amaze me how I can be moving along and feeling great and then all of a sudden, like a switch, want to eat everything in sight and don't want to move. It makes me think about how many times I've given into that after so much progress had been made. I was really scared that it was one of those times again. I went to bed early so I wouldn't eat anything else :)

Luckily, I woke up today feeling much better, though a bit flabby. I got an email from my trainer asking me how I was feeling which lifted my spirits even more so I'm making up my missed class tonight and looking forward to it. I certainly won't feel flabby after that! I ate great all day and am looking forward to a yummy stir fry after my class.

I guess we all have our "off" days where we just aren't ourselves. When our bodies are screaming STOP, REST, EAT! I probably shouldn't panic like I did yesterday because I know I have the strength and the support to get through those days.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Hello from the next level

Thank you so much for all the great feedback on my post about my goals for onederland. I've decided It can't hurt to really try for 2 pounds a week for the next 12 weeks but I'm not going to obsess about it nor will I get upset about it if it doesn't happen. The important part is pushing myself to get there regardless of when it happens.

On that note I have really pushed myself up a level on the exercise front. Thursdays had been my off day but now it's 5k day. I'm also doing at least 30 extra minutes of cardio on trainer day. Today I'm excited I "only" have yoga. I love how a 75 minute Bikram class seems like a light day! I've come a long way and I have no intention of stopping. The more I do, the more I have energy to do. It's truly amazing.

Weekends I could probably be doing a little more but since it's yard work season and I tend to soak through my clothes on a Saturday and Sunday, I count it as a workout. That probably won't be the case when it's in the 100s but that's when the treadmill with the fan pointed at it becomes a great option :)

I really feel like there's no going back now. I'm looking forward to a summer full of activity instead of dreading wearing short sleeves. That, to me, is freedom!

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

The quest for onederland

It's so nice to finally see my hard work paying off on the scale again. If only the weight loss was as consistent as my workouts we'd be fine! :)

As I work my way into the teens, I can't help but think about the next big goal - the almighty onederland. Last time I was there was shortly after my wedding. I look forward to getting there and staying for the rest of my days!

I haven't been setting weight loss goals because it's been so up and down even though I'm being as healthy as I can be. I've been great at accepting that it's just one of those things that comes along with being in my 40s and focusing on the wonderful changes in myself and my body. It got me thinking that it might just be fear of failing that keeps me from setting any real goals.

Is it time to push myself and set an attainable goal?

I have 24 pounds to lose to get to onderland and exactly 12 weeks until I go to the beach for a week. It would be "onederful" to revisit our honeymoon destination close to my honeymoon weight!

I'm interested in what you my dear blog friends have to say about this. I'm really scared to commit to that but then again I was scared to go to Bikram and look at me now - the master Yogini :) Discuss!

Monday, April 4, 2011

Tales from the City

I had a wonderful time on my whirlwind trip to New York. It's a wonderful place but I'm happy to be home where it's quiet :)

As promised, I ate and drank my way across the city

started out Friday at this fabulous French restaurant for lunch

then we went shopping on 5th avenue where the only interesting thing I saw was this
(Barbie Fooseball table in FAO Schwartz - my friend has a kids to shop for - it's the only reason I was there but this made it worth it!)

Friday Nights dinner was another culinary adventurewe shared the pasta and didn't have dessert!

I think there was a bagel and a Latte Saturday morning before shopping which I didn't take a picture of and we really didn't eat lunch because we were saving room for this

Great dinner with old friends too. Went to a beer bar after and stayed out until 1 in the morning.
This is me with my boyfriend from when I was 16!

Sunday Brunch was at Balthazar and it was also divine. I couldn't bring myself to photograph my food in there. Too fancy :) After that we went here

Belive it or not we didn't eat anything but I bought this fancy insulated lunch bag

Okay so now I'm back, stepped on the scale and guess what?? I lost 4 pounds. I bet we walked 15 miles and it paid off! So awesome to have such a blast and have that to come back to!

I'm back to eating like a normal person. Had some brown rice sushi and some fruit for lunch and a turkey burger for dinner.

My trainer is gone this week on vacation so I will have to find ways to amuse myself. Tonight we took a good hour walk but tomorrow morning I'm going to hit the gym in the morning and go to yoga in the evening. It's a good week to start trying to do both yoga and cardio on the same day since I won't be going to her class which is my hardest workout of the week.

It feels great to have taken a break and it feels equally as good to get back to my routine. Have a great week everyone!!