Monday, November 30, 2015

A North Woods Thanksgiving 2015

My office was only open for half a day on Wednesday so mom, dad, Miley and I all drove up to the cabin together. This is the smallest Thanksgiving we've had, just the three humans and one little dog.

When we arrived, we unloaded the truck and went to dinner at Jeds. It was free appetizer night, so when in Wisconsin, do what the Wisconsinites do and order cheese curds.

After dinner we were all so full we lounged around the cabin with a roaring fire and watched August: Osage County.

a 9 lb dog with a couch to herself with all her toys
Thursday morning mom made us a lite breakfast since the feast was scheduled to begin around 3:00. In the mean time, dad and I went over to a locals house who had brought my parents back some ham and bacon from one of his last hunting trips. I had heard about this guys house before, but never did I imagine it looked anything like this.

Our Thanksgiving meal was altered a bit from the norm. A couple weeks ago I got sucked in to the food network and mom handed me the reigns of putting together the menu.

Turkey, gravy, rolls, amazing cranberry sauce from Ina Garten (new this year), mashed potatoes, herb and apple stuffing from Ina Garten (also new this year), and sauteed shredded brussels sprouts, also from Ina Garten (new this year).

We all agreed that we missed having the signature green bean casserole this year, but I think we found our new go-to cranberry sauce. It was so good!

After dinner we watched the Packers lose to the Bears. It was bitter sweet. I wanted the Packers to win to justify our loss last week, but I also just really enjoy it when the Packers lose. Now the Vikings are once again #1 and all is right in the world of football.

Friday was the laziest day. I woke up with a swollen throat so I spent the morning napping before going outside and having a fire with my mom. It's amazing what some fresh air can do for you. We built a fire and watched the ice form over the lake as the sun started to go down.

I couldn't believe that the lake was still open in November. However, when we left it was fully frozen over.

Saturday was dedicated to football. We drove around for a little bit and found a hunting lodge that we had recently heard about. It was actually quite lovely considering it's in the middle of nowhere Wisconsin. They have a clubhouse with a small bar with a lot of taxidermied animals and a couple old dogs that wander around.

They also host weddings in the back and my mom got a little too interested on that topic.

After checking out CoyLand Creek, we found our way back to Jeds to watch the Gophers take on the Badgers. I wore a Badger shirt but couldn't help but cheer for the Gophers. I'm so torn on what team I should belong to.

When we got back from watching the game, we lounged around and watched another movie called Bad Words which was quite funny. If you like Jason Bateman, check it out. Its on one of the many streaming services we all have these days.

Sunday morning we packed up and headed back home. I was able to get some food prep in which feels good to know that my lunches are ready for the week. The Vikings came out with another big W and over night we got our first real snow fall of the season.

First real snow fall on a Monday morning means that my 2.5 mile commute on the bus, took one hour and forty blissful minutes. Oh, and lets not forget about the epileptic woman on the bus who had a seizure but refused to get in to the ambulance that was coming for her, which then added more time to our already very long commute.

Mondays. Gotta love em. Or just sleep them away like I wish I had done this morning.

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Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Active Metabolic Assessment Results

A couple weeks ago I walked over to my gym to do my Active Metabolic Assessment. I had to purchase a super sexy blue mask, get hooked up to a computer, strap on a heart rate monitor and then we started the assessment.

The trainer asked if I had my body fat percentage taken the day before and I had not. Since it's a machine for anyone in the gym to use at any time, free of charge, he had me hop on and it took my weight, which I was happy is the same as my scale at home, and he entered my age and height. I'm in the normal ranges for every part of my body, but my body fat percentage is 29.3. Obviously I don't want that much fat on me.

It'll be interesting to check this every couple of months to see what type of progress I'm making.

Before we decided how the assessment would be done, the trainer talked to me about what type of cardio I typically do, and how I use that particular cardio machine.

I love the feeling I get when I get in to a running groove so we chose to do my assessment on the treadmill.

Since most of my cardio is intervals, we started by having me walk at 3.5 for a warm up and I continued to warm up for about 10 minutes at an incline of one. Every two minutes .4 was added to my speed, 3.5, 3.9, 4.3, 4.7, 5.1. At that time we took the mask off, I walked around for five minutes, stretched, grabbed some water.

Then we did it all over again and I went until I couldn't go anymore. I made it through 6.3 and called it quits. They let you go as long as you want, typically between 10-15 minutes. My heart rate got up to 201, I was at the 16 minute mark, and I was exhausted.

If you want to pick up men at the gym, do this assessment. Heads will definitely turn, but maybe not because you're looking smoking hot.

When I reached 5.9, the trainer asked if I've ever seen my heart rate that high, that's when it was consistently staying at 200. To me, that's normal, and he even said he would be on the floor if his heart rate ever reached 200.

I finally got my results and I was pleased with what I was told. I burn fat at a higher heart rate and in a wider range than most people, which is great for me!

I was given some interval training to do that will put me in my specific zones to maximize fat burn, not calorie burn.

My VO2 peaked at 40 which is good/very good, depending on what chart you are looking at. This means that when I'm in specific zones, my body is efficiently burning fat.

I am excited to finally have my results and I look forward to using the information to continue to get in shape.

Since it took so long for my results, the trainer offered to do a complementary Resting Metabolic Assessment to see how much my body burns by doing absolutely nothing and it will help gauge my calorie intake.

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Monday, November 16, 2015

Trixie the Cairn Terrier

I really thought that being a single gal again I'd be out having crazy weekends and staying out until bar close. I guess the fact that I'm now in my 30's my wild weekends have turned in to early mornings, time spent at the gym, running errands and getting my laundry done.

Last Sunday did bring me back to feeling 22. It was a Sunday Funday to the max with bottomless mimosas while watching the Vikings win and bar hoping the rest of the afternoon away.

This weekend on the other hand was spent with movies, family and plenty of football games.

I finally watched Magic Mike XXL and I giggled the whole way through.

Early Saturday morning I tried a new to me barre class at my gym that still has me feeling all sorts of sore. I ran a few errands, picked up my free month of CorePower that I won through work, and browsed the new Total Wine by my parents house.

Later in the day I went over to Kari's to check out the new house her boyfriend recently purchased. We tried going to a nearby restaurant to play some bingo, but we were too late so we ordered some pizza and watched the Gophers lose.

I stayed at my parents over the weekend. When I woke up on Sunday morning and raked their yard for them. I wrapped that up just after they came home from the cabin so we could all spend some time with Trixie, our 15 1/2 year old family dog. She spent the day laying on her ottoman, getting all sorts of extra human treats and some lovin.

Today we will say goodbye to the most loyal little dog.

When I was 15 we moved just outside of Milwaukee, WI and somehow, on April Fools day 2000, we convinced my parents to take us to a pet store (I know, adopt don't shop). There was the tiniest little puppy in a kennel with a miniature schnauzer. When we took our out of the kennel, she gave us the saddest puppy dog eyes and we couldn't put her back.

She was never big on cuddling, but she would always be right next to you. Never really one to want to be alone. To this day, if you can't find her, look down because she is probably at your feet.

She was the speediest little thing. I remember running circles around our house and she would be right on my heels. Or my dad taking her for a walk around our neighborhood that was one giant block and him carrying her because she would get tired and just sit. She never really was a big fan of walks.

Trixie always had a bark way bigger than her bite. She's never met a stranger, whether it be human or animal. There's a walking path in my parents back yard and all the neighborhood walkers know who Trixie is. She just wants to say hi to everyone she sees.

She's come to a time in her little life where when you touch her, she is in pain. She doesn't come when called, and often gets confused and is very forgetful.

These two, Porter and Miley, couldn't have asked for a better, more loyal friend.

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Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Seasons Are Changing And So Am I

They always say when something big happens in your life, don't go and make any drastic changes. 

I'm pretty happy with where I am at in my career, I have my little apartment in a great part of Minneapolis, and I have a pretty solid group of girlfriends and family, but I was feeling like I needed to make some sort of change.

I had recently cut my hair, bought new bedding, purchased new 'adult' clothes, booked a vacation. It was hard for me to figure out what this change could and should be.


Over the course of the last four weeks or so, I got in to a really great routine. I'm going to the gym 4-6 times a week, eating lean, clean and green, and I dropped six pounds and counting.

I wasn't super happy with my gym and I knew it was a change I could make that would only benefit myself.

As of Monday evening I signed up for a new gym that is a block from my office, has endless classes, a different clientele than my old gym, employees that are passionate about health and fitness, and most important, it has a bar. Not like a barre, as in barre class, however they do have that too. There is a legit bar that serves healthy food and alcoholic beverages.

With my membership I received a complimentary consult with a trainer. We talked about my goals, the services offered, and she had me go through some moves to see where I'm at physically/athletically. 

Even though I've been an athlete most of my life, I never really had someone teach me proper form and she was able to tell me what to work on.

I have a desk job, she could tell that my IT band and hips are very tight from sitting most of the day. She gave me some moves to help strengthen and loosen up those parts of my body.

I have bad knees, she could see in my lunges that my knees are not strong and offered alternative moves that will help strengthen my knees but still give me the results I am looking for.

I've always had a very high heart rate, like close to 200 when I get in my groove. A couple years ago when I had a personal trainer, he didn't question it too much. After talking with the trainer at my new gym, she suggested I get an Active Metabolic Assessment to see where my heart rate needs to be to burn fat. Suggesting that I might just burn fat at a higher rate than most people. Otherwise, I'm working hard, my heart rate is super high and I'm not burning fat. This test will help me figure out where my fat burning zone is.

My experience and results to follow!

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