Friday, December 11, 2015

Fitness Friday Round 2!

This week has been a bit of a rough one. I had been dealing with a nagging cold/sinus infection for about a month that never quite got to the point that a Dr. would give me meds, until this week. Monday was a butt kicker with a repeat of last weeks Arms and Cardio workout. I'm still sore from that one.

Monday

Tuesday and Wednesday looked a little something like this. After going to the Dr. again, I was finally given a z-pack, cough medicine that will let me sleep through the night and an inhaler. To make sure I fully recover in time to enjoy the next three weeks of Christmas and New Years celebrations, working out had to take a back seat.

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It's crazy to me, someone who never really loved working out, just how much I miss going to the gym. I feel like a little part of me is missing when I miss more than a day.  Thursday evening I tested the waters by doing the Tone It Up Holiday Hunny HIIT routine two times through in my living room. I didn't give it 110%, but I went hard enough to satisfy my craving.

Thursday


Fingers and toes are crossed that come Monday I'm super healthy and I can go in to the week with my workouts planned and just kill it. 

Happy Friday to all!

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Friday, December 4, 2015

Fitness Friday

Since becoming a single lady a little over a month ago, I really found a new love for fitness and taking care of myself. The cravings that were once there for a glass of wine after a hard days work are replaced with the need to sweat out my frustrations and emotions with weights, a cardio machine and some kick ass music.

I joined the Tone It Up nutrition plan mid October and that provided me with a unique community of like minded people to chat with, follow on IG and even do a fitness class or two with. The amount of workouts available are endless with new combinations of moves coming on the reg.

I thought I'd start sharing my week in fitness with you all in case you are looking for something new.

Most of my workouts consist of 20-30 minutes toning/weights followed by 20-30 minutes of cardio. I have bad knees so I try not to do many jumping moves and keep my treadmill days light and easy.

Tuesday

After not working out for close to a week, I needed something that would keep me moving and work my whole dang body. This was just the ticket!

The cardio portion was something I received after getting the results for my active metabolic assessment.

Wednesday

I did the first part of this workout with a trainer recently and I was feeling it for days! We split it up by doing two sets of the TRX move and stability ball, then moved to the weights for two sets and repeat.

I love the stair stepper routine here because I DRIP sweat! It's a Tone It Up booty killer! Oh, and the middle number is intensity level on a scale from 1-10.

Friday

Cardio is another routine I received after I got my results from my active metabolic assessment. I just never feel like a workout is complete without a good cardio session.


If you're looking for fitness/food related pictures, follow me on IG at alifit84!

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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.

Fitness! 

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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Monday, November 2, 2015

Weekend Review: New Beginnings

Friday after work Mike and I drove out to the suburbs to celebrate a friends birthday and have some dinner and a few drinks. When he dropped my off later that night he ended our year long relationship and that was that.

Isn't it crazy to think about how much time you spend getting to know someone, try to figure out if this is someone you want to date and then in the blink of an eye, with one sentence, it all just goes away.

My weekend plans changed from a scary movie night in on Halloween and watching football at a friends, to spending the weekend at my parents. Since the weather wasn't very nice, they came back from the cabin early on Saturday morning and they were ears to listen to my thoughts, and arms to give me plenty of needed hugs.

Last weekend we started watching Fargo so we got in a few more episodes on Saturday and ordered my favorite pizza and drank plenty of wine. Of course Miley was there so I could get some forced cuddle time out of her.

On Sunday we were all up extra early thanks to daylight savings ending. We waited for what felt like days for the Vikings game to start. I'm so happy they were able to pull out another win on the road. Especially when a lot of it came down to Walsh. We all know he hasn't had a great start to the season.

Did anyone watch the RHOC reunion last night? What on earth is going on with Vicky? She claims she only took half a valium, and I can't say I've every had one my self, but good golly she never showed any emotion. It was a little scary since we know her as someone who is always exploding at other people.

Well, that's all I've got for you.

Now that I'm not tied to anyone, maybe I'll be able to bring some more fun weekend recaps your way. I'm sure that would be fun for all of us.

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Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Stockings For Stuffing

*Disclaimer: I was given these socks free of purchase and all opinions are 100% my own.


While watching the morning news I heard a word I was hoping I wouldn't have to hear for a couple more weeks, but alas, the time has come and the worst four letter 's' word was muttered. Snow.

We should be expecting our first dusting of snow this week. 

Christmas is just 57 days away.

You only have 8 shopping weekends remaining!

Have you started your shopping yet? I'm beginning to think of gifts I'm going to purchase, but it's tough!

Growing up, my parents always gifted each other socks and underwear, because, practical.

As I've gotten older, those are items I'll request on occasion as a gift.

Santa never lets us down and always stocks our stockings with socks or tights. Santa's a practical man.

Made with a reinforcing yarn made of gold linen into the toes of its socks, GOLDTOE® has become an iconic American sock brand over the last 80 years. They have socks for men, women and kids in all sorts of different colors, patterns, and styles.


I don't know about you, but I love a cute, festive pair of socks. Especially one that is thin enough to wear under my riding boots, but thick enough to keep my toes warm in the Minnesota cold.
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When I first opened the box of socks, I was so excited to see the seasonal socks with deer, but oh my, you should have seen my face when I discovered the socks with the deer heads. It was as if Santa stopped by my mailbox a little early this year!


If you know me well, you know I rarely wear socks. I'm like a kid in that I need them to be fun to be put on my feet. GOLDTOE® accomplished just that!

If you are looking for an affordable gift or a stocking stuffer, head over to their website and check out all their different patterns and styles. If you would like to pick out the socks in person, you can find them in stores such as Kohls. Macy's, Von Maur, DICK's and many more.
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Monday, October 26, 2015

Weekend Review: L.A.Z.Y.

I wish I was coming at you with a fun story from the weekend, but I was the laziest bum and didn't do much at all.

Friday was a killer day at work so I spent the night at home with a bottle of wine and Pitch Perfect 2 and Age of Adeline. Both good movies in very different ways. Regardless, I cried during both movies.

Saturday morning I went to the gym as soon as it opened and loved every minute of it. I'm getting in to a fitness groove that really seems to be working for me. After an hour and a half of sweating out the wine from the night before, I rushed home to get ready for brunch with some family.

One of my cousins lives in Milwaukee and came back for the weekend with her son. We had brunch at my aunt and uncles house that they just moved in to and are remodeling. It's so fun to have a little man running around. He was so chill while we ate and caught up. Next time we see them will be Christmas! He'll be walking with no assistance by that time, I'm sure of it.

After brunch I went over to my parents to get some laundry done and spend quality time with Miley. My parents were dog sitting Porter, so the dogs and I had a good cuddle session while watching tv.


Miley and Porter are constantly battling for Queen/King of the house. One can not get attention without the other one right there wanting the same attention.

I spent the night at my parents chatting, eating, drinking more wine, and removing their old jacuzzi tub from their bathroom. While big, those tubs are surprisingly light weight.

Sunday was the ultimate lazy day. I watched some of the Vikings game and the movie Wild, followed by a ton of Lifetime movies.

November is the first month in what feels like an eternity, that I don't have my weekends full. After this relaxing weekend, I'm looking forward to a couple quiet weeks before all things Thanksgiving and Christmas begin.

Only eight shopping weekends left! What?!

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Thursday, October 22, 2015

A Day In The Life

Last week I had this great idea to share what a typical day in the life of Ali looks like. I kept forgetting to snap pictures so you missed a doozy of a day Monday. I arrived to work and found a two inch rip in the butt of my dress with my bright purple with pink polka-dot 'laundry day' undies peaking through. It resulted in me scrambling to find a thread and needle and sitting on the toilet in nothing but heels, my bra and undies sewing up my hole. Let me confirm, I was sewing the hole in my dress.

I set my alarm on Wednesday morning to remind me to share what a day looks like. Don't worry, I spared you the 'I woke up like this' photo because it's not very pretty.

6:10 My alarm goes off and I start my new normal which is the Tone It Up #bootycall. 


7:00 - 7:30 I get ready which usually means I shower and throw on whatever is on top of my clean clothes pile and brush on some mascara, blush and if I'm feeling particularly pretty, some lipstick.

7:30 - 8:00 Is commuting time! I walk to the bus station down the street. Some mornings I'm greeted with a beautiful sunrise and others I'm greeted by a man going through the dumpster out my back door.



8:00 - 4:30 Working for the man. No two day's are ever the same when you're an Administrative Assistant. Most day's the work comes at different times, from different people, from different departments. Everything from expense reports, putting together decks for client meetings, training a new employee, setting up travel and interviews to working with a photographer to take biography head shots. Hardly ever a dull day in the life of an AA.



4:30 - 5:30 Is the commute home that usually involves a stop at my local grocery store. I tend to buy groceries as I need them, make a meal, eat it for dinner and the next day's lunch then go to the store the next day. My grocery store is the equivalent of your Target. I love to cook, grocery shop and seek out new items on the shelves. Target I'm in, grab my TP, deodorant, razors, toothpaste and I'm out in under 10 minutes.



5:30 - 6:00 I either make dinner for myself, make dinner to bring to Mike's, or catch a quick Bravo show on demand before jumping in the car to head to Mike's. 

6:00 - ??? Mike and I spend a few nights a week together. We like to cook together, he lets me do my laundry for free, and sometimes I'll help him with yard work and I'll tag along on his many Home Depot trips. Once all that is said and done, it's time to put our feet up and catch up on our weekly shows of Law & Order: SVU, Chicago Fire/PD, The League and then whatever sports game is on.



I'm not a busy person and I quite prefer my daily routine. It's simple, fun, and you never quite know what you're going to get. Kind of like me.
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Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Weekend Review: Fall Colors

With this lovely mild Fall we are having, the colors seem to be much brighter and lasting much longer than most Minnesota Falls.


I went up to the cabin early Saturday morning since it was going to be a top weather weekend. It was the perfect morning to be on an open road with the sun shining and trees still turning.


When I arrived we popped a bottle of champagne and mom and I had some mimosas while we enjoyed the little bit of dock that is still in the water. We watched some people kayak and paddle board on the glass water.


After mimosas, I made my favorite cold weather drink of apple cider, brandy, cloves and cinnamon sticks. Heat it all up and sip away. Don't sip too fast because this drink really sneaks up on you.


I made a fire and raked a little while burning the leaves and a tree that my parents had taken down a couple weeks ago. Nothing smells as good as burning pine. In a controlled fire of course. Safety first!


Later in the afternoon, the neighbors arrived after spending the morning shooting clay pigeons at their tree farm.  There was a whole crew which is more fun because then more ladies are there to chat with.


Before it got too late, I made one of my best spaghetti and meatballs. I couldn't tell you how much of anything I put in the meatballs or sauce, but the combination of pepper, thyme, oregano, parsley, garlic salt, onion powder and most likely a shake of cayenne pepper resulted in some top balls and sauce.


We enjoyed dinner with Frank Sinatra pandora playing in the background before heading back out to the fire with the neighbors.


I sure am going to miss these mild weekends.  

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