Thursday, April 27, 2017

Health & Fitness: What's working for me

Health and fitness are funny things, aren't they? I've come to this space quite often to share what challenge I'm doing or what routine I'm following and nothing has seemed to be the right fit for me.

There's so much information out there about both topics that it has stressed me out to the point of throwing my hands up and saying 'I don't care'. Even though I do care, I really truly care.

I want to be healthy and fit for my future so I can freely continue to move around as I get older and not have to worry about regulating blood pressure or cholesterol (not that I do now), joint pains, or not even being able to bend over to tie my shoes.

I've talked with a lot of people about what they do to stay healthy. I've met with personal trainers and nutritionists about how I can become healthier and more fit, and you know what I've found out? There's no one right way to live a healthy and fit lifestyle.

From intuitive eating, to counting macros, to just limiting carbs.

Cutting cardio to just one to two days a week and a lot of resistance/weight training, to cardio three to five days with just a couple days of resistance/weight training.

When I broke up with my trainer because he didn't want me drinking anymore, ever, I said I wanted to try things my way for a while and see what happens. He gave me some advice as far as my workouts should look, and I've taken those in to consideration since the last trainer I saw had me doing cardio just once a week and that didn't jive for me.

Leading up to the TIU Bikini Challenge, I started to track my food so I could see every day where my carbs are coming from, how much protein I'm getting, and is the reason my rings don't fit in the morning because I slept funny and I can't feel my hands, or am I eating just that much sodium?

I've adjusted my macros to 1,400-1,700 calories a day; 20% carbs, 40% fat, 40% protein and ya know what? It's been working for me.

This includes sitting around a bon fire with wine and putting down a couple ciders while putting the decking on the dock on a warm sunny Spring day.

This includes pasta with garlic hamburger buns for dinner and a Chinese feast for Administrative Professionals Day with my team at work.

For me and the life I want to live, it's all about balance.

To find balance and lessen my stress, I've found that grocery shopping and food prepping are two very important pieces of my puzzle.

My plan includes eating more throughout the day, making smaller meals for dinner and limiting carbs as the day goes on. A week and a half in and this has proven successful so far for me.

Breakfast: Sprouted bread with salty crunchy peanut butter with flax and chia seeds (both from TJ's), and a side of fruit


Mid-Morning Snack: Prosciutto and cantaloupe or half cup of cottage cheese.

Lunch: Turkey chili with cauliflower (just dump that frozen riced cauliflower in there and you won't even know you're getting some extra veggies). Or when time and money are really tight, canned soup.


Afternoon Snack: Carrot sticks with garlic hummus and a couple slices of deli turkey.

I absolutely love this hummus
Dinner: Turkey taco salad, chicken caesar salad, baked chicken and veggies, etc.


Bedtime Treat: Godiva dark chocolate with sea salt.

When it comes to the fitness side of things, I'm even more committed and consistent with going to the gym than I was when I was seeing a trainer three times a week. Mentally, I thought that's all I needed, three thirty minute sessions and I'd hit my goals. Not so much.

Just two days a week are cardio free where I follow the TIU plan and just do their daily workout. Every other day I aim to get in a solid 60 minute session in a spin class or on the treadmill, whether that be jogging to stay in my fat burning heart rate zones or walking at an incline.

I've learned to be happy and comfortable in the body that I am in, but if I can make that body even better by fueling it with smart, healthy foods, lots of water and good sweat sessions, then all the better ☺

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Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Weekend Under The Sun

I don't know about where you live, but here in Minnesota, once the snow melts and the temps stay above freezing for a couple of days, every piece of asphalt or concrete becomes covered in orange cones. Yup, Winter is officially over, there is no Spring, there is no Summer, it's just Construction season until the next snow fall.

Due to Construction season affecting almost every major interstate or highway in the metro area (gotta get those roads nice and purdy for the Super Bowl!), I left early on Friday to avoid delaying my weekend at the cabin.


Not long after I arrived, some friends came over to pick me and the parents up to go to dinner. We ventured to Webb Lake to go to the Lumberjack Saloon and Eatery. The restaurant is right on Big Bear Lake and the views were spectacular.


This place is apparently known for having great homemade spaghetti so a few folks ordered that, mean while I went for the fried chicken and baked potato

It was fun to try a new to me restaurant Up North.

Saturday morning started with breakfast of eggs, bacon and LaMarca. Is there any better way to start a warm sunny day on the lake? I don't think so!

Since the ice heaves did some damage to our yard and boat lift, mom and dad had been up working on getting things back to the way they were. Half of the beach was flat again, and most of the dock was in the water.


As the dock pieces became secured in their places for the Summer I brought out the decking. It sounds easy when you think of it, but these are wooden 4'x4' heavy pieces of decking. No easy way to carry them and the gusts of wind didn't help much either. My arms are bruised, my wrists and fingers are sore, but it's worth it.

In between putting the decking on, I took a lovely nap under the sun with my little side kick. It was one of the most glorious naps I've had in quite some time, and it allowed me to get some color besides just the purple bruises.


When we woke up on Sunday morning it was cloudy, cold and sleeting. I didn't waste much time before packing up and heading back to the cities. The closer to home I drove, the nicer it became. I did some grocery stops along the way, prepped my food for the week, then felt extremely guilty I wasn't embracing the beautiful day and instead just watched some Hallmark movies. Eh, it's all about balance right?

Monday was the first day of the TIU Bikini Series and so far I've smashed it! I finally got into a spin class that I've been wanting to try ever since I signed up for my gym and I'm so glad I did. These classes usually fill up a week in advance. The guy that does the #AMP classes in my gym is the instructor who is training it out nationally, so you know it's going to be a great class.

I've taken other group classes at my gym, but something about the people in this class was so different than anything I've experienced before. From the two guys who helped me find my bike and cheerfully introduced themselves, to the two girls on either side of me giving me encouragement that it's a tough class, but super fun, to the instructor who calls out the new kids in class (in a good way), and has a big welcome introduction to the group! It was an incredibly welcoming and supportive group of people, all in for a good time and a sweaty ride. Looking forward to my next class!



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Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Play Ball!

This past weekend was just what I needed to relax and recharge.

Saturday started with breakfast of eggs and bacon. I forgot to defrost the bacon so I had to make a whole pound. Simple hack if you too have forgotten to take out your bacon the night before. Throw the whole brick in a pan on low and cover, flip every so often and peel the pieces away as they start to defrost. Easy peasy.

After breakfast I headed to the gym for some cardio, then quickly showered, dropped off my bag at my car and walked over to Target Field. My main reason for going to the game was to get their giveaway, I got one of the last three hats at my gate. #winning


Not only did I receive one of the hats, the storms that lingered around all morning cleared up and it turned out to be a beautiful afternoon to watch the Twins win 6-0.


I purchased the Ball Park Access package which allows you access to the stadium for all home games in April and May, you just don't have a seat. Since I'm going to these games solo, I don't mind not having a designated seat since it allows me to walk around and check out the game from different views. So far my favorite place to grab a drink and find a spot at the rail is at the Barrio Bar down the third base line. It stays sunny and you get a great view of the field.

When I got home from the game I took a nap! I can't tell you the last time I purposely took a nap. It felt great! A couple friends came over just as the storms rolled back in and we had a relaxing night of take out and movies.

Sunday I finished off the bacon I didn't devour the day before and I took my time getting ready to meet family for Easter lunch.

This year Easter had two 11 month old girls! It's fun to get together with family and their little ones, especially since so many little ladies were born in the last year. My niece and her second cousin are just one week and one day apart and it's fun to watch them interact with each other, especially now that they are 'talking' and more on the move.

After lunch I decided I would sneak in the last half of the Twins game so I ordered an Uber and arrived during the bottom of the 4th. I grabbed a beer and headed to my spot at the Barrio Bar just in time to see Dozier take the plate and hit an infield home run!


Unfortunately the Twins lost in the 9th inning. They started out the season strong so hopefully we can keep the momentum.

I know Monday's aren't a part of the weekend, but they really should be. My girlfriends and I do a Girls Dinner once a month and this month we went to Blackbird Cafe in South Minneapolis. It was really cute inside and they had some interesting to me menu options.

I ordered the market burger which was a beef patty with chorizo aioli, black radish, spring greens, roasted red peppers and cheese (but now I can't remember if it was goat or feta) with their delicious fries.


I think it's safe to say that everyone left dinner fully satisfied. Including me, the girl who would normally ask for no peppers, radishes, or chorizo. 👍👍
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Thursday, April 13, 2017

Breaking up with your trainer

Breakups are never easy, whether it's a boyfriend or a trainer, it's someone you've given your time to and have opened up to.

I have to break up with my trainer.

I was given an ultimatum to stop drinking all together, or he would not be able to work with me any more.

Now, this sounds like I'm a raging alcoholic and showing up to the gym slurring my words and smelling of alcohol. Not the case at all (I'm also getting my sessions in over my lunch breaks from work).

On average, I'd say I drink 2-3 nights a week. A glass of wine or two while I'm cooking dinner and watching a show before I go to bed at 9:00 PM. And then going out and being social with my friends on the weekends, trying out new breweries, distilleries and restaurants.

As much as I would love to lose 40 pounds and have abs of steel in a snap, I'm not in a place in my life where I'm willing to give up having fun and enjoying social situations by being the girl drinking club soda with a lime.

To me, life is all about finding balance. I want to live a healthy life, but I want to live my life and that life includes wine at dinner and vodka lemonades on the lake.

Our sessions will end just as the TIU Bikini Series kicks off. Those girls know balance and allow a glass of wine here and there throughout the week because they know life's realities. I'm going to do my best to follow along. The series also ends just as I'll be heading off to Seattle for a wedding. Could this be any more perfect?

I've been successful in the past losing weight and enjoying my cocktails, it's finding the balance in other ways. Like that stress I've been talking about. Now that it's Spring I'll be spending more time outdoors which is a huge stress reliever. The winter blues are real! Getting to the gym more than just when I have a training session and really getting in that cardio (the last trainer I saw said I did too much and only needed to do it 1-2 times a week). Not eating cheese curds three times a week (oops!).

I'm breaking up with my trainer and I'm going to give this a shot on my own.

I've broken up with boyfriends and have made it on my own.

I can do this too.

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