Friday, August 31, 2012

#FoodiePenPals: Sweetness Hunter

Someone who hunts down sweets wherever she goes? Sounds like a blogger of my own heart. Ha! Y'all know I have a massive sweet tooth that rages out of control almost every day despite my greatest efforts otherwise, so when I assigned to Kathleen for this month's Foodie Pen Pals swap, I knew it would most likely be a match made in Heaven. Check out her blog—I did so quickly because she's got a variety of sweet recipes posted therein.

That's pretty much why I participate in the Foodie Pen Pal program. To meet new bloggers, albeit virtually. And, well...let's be honest. Getting a package of goodies isn't that bad of a deal, either. Here's what I got this month:

Let's just stop for a second and reflect on the attention to detail. The stickers rocked. As did her creativity with the box.

Unfortunately, it all got covered in barbecue sauce as the jar busted in transit.

I'm certain this wasn't Kathleen's fault. Make note, all you FPP peeps, whenever you send glass—send it in Ziploc bags, just in case! But Kathleen is awesome because she sent me another box with a new jar of sauce:

Complete with more stickers, of course.  Cupcake stickers, so cute.

We are certainly barbecue sauce people, typically Sweet Baby Ray's with a little Frank's mixed in. But we're never opposed to trying new things, which typically don't compare to our mixture. But this jar,'s good. Even the hubs liked it and we didn't mix in a single extra.

So glad she sent me this extra which, by now, is almost completely gone. The S'Mores mix didn't make it past the day I got it.

Not the healthiest, but certainly one of the tastiest things I've ever eaten. Then again, I'm not a hard sell when it comes to S'mores. (A'hem. Sweet tooth.) I am so glad she only sent me one serving.

Also included in the box: Two tubs of peanut butter, one infused with chocolate (love). Some corn chips and a bag of granola. All in all, a good month for this Foodie Pen Pal.

If you want to participate, here are the details:

And before I go, I  must wish my little sister a very happy birthday. She would never let me live it down if I forgot to. So, Alyssa...a very happy birthday to you!

Note: There's a very good chance I'm pinching her in this picture. It's how we do. We'll never grow up.

Like, ever.
Love her.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Sweaty Circuit

I love it when the studio is empty. When it's just me, Pandora and a sweaty circuit. This doesn't happen often because it only happens when I hit the gym at 5:30AM on Wednesday mornings. Lately, my Wednesdays have consisted of some high intensity cardio/core circuits at home in the basement while Hannah naps. But I've been missing my best friend... I got up and got in. BOSU and I, we like burpees with a shoulder press. Today, we even did some toe-taps.

Some clarifications:

BOSU Burpees with Overhead Shoulder Press
Leave out the pushup, you'll get those later on in the workout. Make the squat wide-legged.

Core Pendulum Swings
Lie flat on your back. Legs up and together, arms out to your side. Let the legs fall to the right, bring them back up and let them fall to the left. That's one repetition.

3-Pulse Squat Jumps
It goes like this: Half squat, half squat, half squat and jump.

Toe Taps
Aim for the center dot on the BOSU. Make 'em quick.

Lemme know if you try it. I'm always looking for feedback on my workouts. But please, use your best judgement. My fitness is different than yours, and you'll need to modify if need be.

In other news:

It's farm share day. I love farm share day. And this is only half of what's in the share (I split with someone, although I forgot to split the raspberries...ooops). Cantaloupe, kale and tomato made it onto my lunch plate.

Question: What did you eat for lunch today?

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Simply Healthy Black Bean Soup

I speak with regards to my own personal opinion when I say that the above is quite possibly the best black bean soup I've ever had. I'm sure that many of you have your favorite black bean soup recipe, and it might even be better than mine. But I won't love my recipe any less because of it. Because, honestly, I think it's pretty good. Simple and healthy, too. Obviously.

I've mentioned it before, but I made a few tweaks to the recipe this weekend so I thought I'd repost it. Yeah, I know. It's not really soup weather. But that's how much I love it. Here's what you need:

Optional toppers (not pictured): Green onions, taco cheese, cherry tomatoes and avocado. The above is shown with green onions and taco cheese, but I've added the tomatoes and avocado, too. It's even better with the tomatoes and avocado.

Here's the official recipe:

Source: My brain.

• 1 cup natural salsa, temperature of your choosing (I use a Medium salsa.)
• 1 can reduced sodium black beans, rinsed and drained
• 1 cup low-sodium vegetable broth (Chicken broth works as well.)
• 1/2 tsp cumin
• 1 cob of corn, kernels removed
• 1 jalapeno, de-seeded and diced

Optional Toppings
• Green onions, chopped
• Taco cheese
• Cherry tomatoes, chopped
• Avocado, sliced and chopped

1) Saute the corn and jalapeno over medium heat until just softened.
2) Put beans in a food processor and process until just smooth.
3) Combine everything (minus the toppings) in a sauce pan and bring to a boil.
4) Remove from heat. Top, serve and eat!

I usually get about four servings, which makes this an awesome addition to any Sunday prep work.

It freezes well, provided you use the right container. The above are plastic. They snap together and can be found in the canning section of your grocery store. You could also use freezer bags, which is what I typically do if I'm going that route.

Seriously, this stuff is so easy to make. And so good. Just remember to get low-sodium black beans. Avoid the belly bloat!

Oh, and—my back pain is slowly subsiding. I really think it was a sore trapezius issue as I feel so much looser in that area today. I slept with a towel rolled up under my neck instead of a pillow, did some light cardio this morning at the gym and blasted it with my shower head again about an hour ago. Here's to hoping it doesn't regress as the day goes on.

Question: Are you eating/craving any out-of-season foods right now?

Monday, August 27, 2012

A pain in my neck...and back.

Unfortunately, I am not using this saying figuratively. All is literal when I say that I have a pain in my neck. And seriously, I'm so annoyed. I very rarely feel injured in any way, so when I do, it's like the end of the world. I'm not even joking. Pain is so annoying.

But I don't think the origin of my pain is in my neck. Rather, I think it lies somewhere in my trapezius. The middle of my trapezius, to be specific. And that's the beauty of the back. It doesn't matter where you hurt yourself, you'll most likely feel it elsewhere, too.

Just to confirm my trap suspicions, I pulled out the 'ol ACE study guide.

Suspicions somewhat confirmed. Then again, I'm no doctor, so I'm confirming based on my own knowledge of the muscles and how they move. And where I feel it the most.

Given that the middle trapezius is connected to the upper trapezius, it explains the pain in my neck. And the pain between my shoulder blades.

I think.
That's what I'm going with, anyway.

Saturday: I was sore from Friday's class.
Sunday: I was really tight in between my shoulder blades.
Today: I got down for 20 pushups in class and felt a sharp pain during the first three reps.

I should have stopped there, perhaps, but the pain dulled to a tight sensation that just felt as if a kink needed to be worked out. And I thought I could do just that, but by the end of my class, I was sore again. Super sore.

And here I sit. Telling you about it.

What have I done so far?

Well, holding my daughter in my left arm probably isn't helping my situation, let's be honest.

I stretched after class which seemed to help a little. And when I took a shower, I set the shower head to a pressurized bolt of water. <—Don't even get me started on how good that felt in between the shoulder blades. After that, I turned to this:

It did nothing. It never does anything for me, so I'm not even sure why I bothered except that desperate times call for desperate measures. Or whatever.

When I got back to the gym for some training sessions, I did some foam rolling which felt really good. And that's where I'm at right now. I'd pop some Motrin, but I hate popping anything more than a daily vitamin. The plan is to keep stretching, keep moving to, well...keep it loose. Good thing is, I don't have to strength train tomorrow. It's a cardio day, which shouldn't be too bad on the 'ol trap.

Lesson of the day: Sometimes the body gives in to all the physical pressure we put it through. It's normal, we're human. But to help prevent injuries that are even worse than a bit of soreness, we need to always...ALWAYS...stay in tune with our bodies. It's perfectly normal to push, but you shouldn't ever push too hard. Pull back when the going gets too tough, and take care when the body asks for it (as mine is doing right now).

Question: What injuries are you working through, if any?

Sunday, August 26, 2012

CHOcolate Chip Cookies

You guys. I put the Chobani Conversion Chart to the test on Wednesday. (Sorry for waiting so long to share this with you.) It passed with flying colors. Way more than flying colors, actually.

I love me some chocolate chip cookies (who doesn't?!), and the recipe I use is perfection. It's not the one on the back of the chocolate chip bag. It's not one that's been passed down from generation to generation. This recipe comes from the little cookbook I got with my KitchenAid stand mixer. I mean, let's be honest—obviously the stand mixer people should have the best chocolate chip cookie recipe ever. Seriously, I have never baked a bad batch using this recipe. Ever. Which is why I was nervous about the whole use-Chobani-instead-of-butter thing.

But it worked.
Oh, man. It worked.

One cup of butter is truly equivalent to 1/2 cup of butter and 1/4 cup of plain Chobani Greek yogurt. This, at least, is the truth in terms of my experience.

I swear. Proof:

And delicious.

And a bit more nutritious. Butter versus plain Chobani? No contest in the health department. And in the cookie department, it seemed to make them a little lighter in texture, soft and moist, yet thick enough to satisfy any cookie craving in one or two bites.

You want one, right?

So...go make yourself some CHOcolate chip cookies. Like, right now. Use YOUR favorite recipe and see what happens. It's Sunday, and you've no doubt earned a cookie (or two).

No time today? Pin this for later:

Question: What kind of cookies do you like to splurge on? It is perfectly acceptable to splurge on occasion, I'll have you know.

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Three Ways to Encourage a Fit Baby

Just popping in today to redirect you to Fit Pregnancy and Parenting, where I am happily contributing a post that lists three ways to encourage a fit baby. Y'all know I am a huge advocate of the fit life, and now that I've got a little one to raise...well, nevermore have I been so passionate about health and fitness as I hope to pass such a lifestyle on to Hannah.

Fit Pregnancy and Parenting is a really great resource for moms, moms-to-be and even dads. I am excited to be a Featured Blogger this week, and hope to share even more mom thoughts over there in the future.

Also in my future:

So excited to have this in my hands. I'll be taking an all-day certification course in October as previously mentioned, and I couldn't be more pumped for it.

Better start reading.

Question: Do you spin? What kind of shoes do you wear? I'd love your suggestions...

Friday, August 24, 2012

One-Hour Circuit Sculpt

If you follow me on Twitter, you know that I successfully kicked my own booty in class this morning—by the way, 14 people showed up today. Yeah, early risers! I love that people want to get up and hit the gym with me. It inspires me to put together the best workout I can both for myself and for my students. I teach, but it's also my workout. So it's gotta be good for multiple reasons. Okay, so I'm tooting my own horn a little...but it's not easy to fill a studio at 6:00AM, y'all!

Here's what we did:

As always, you need to be aware of your own limits when following this or any other workout you come across online. This is what worked for me today, and for some of my students, but it's not necessarily what will work for you. Please proceed with caution, and only if you are medically alright to hit the gym.

It's mumbo-jumbo, but's important that I say it.

Some clarifications:

Forward Crossover Lunge with Weights
Basically, it's a curtsy lunge to the front.

Single-Leg Hip Raise on Ball
This is a newbie to me and I absolutely love it. Why? It made my booty burn AND it challenged my core—it's a two-for-one deal that I found in my Women's Health Big Book of Exercises. Dudes, you can also find it in the Men's Health Big Book of Exercises. Everyone, CLICK HERE to see it.

Lat Pullovers on Ball
This is a newbie as well. I have the hardest time working the lats exclusively without a cable machine, and I thought this might be a good alternative, but I'm not sure I felt it exactly where I was supposed to. And I'm worried it might be too much for those of you with bum shoulders. Be the judge. CLICK HERE to see it, and imagine it with your shoulders on the exercise ball instead of on the bench. Also, we used a body bar instead of weights.

Toe Touch Crunch
When I was a cheerleader, I used to bust out toe touches like THAT. This, however, is nothing like that. Ha! Just lie flat, legs and arms outstretched, and bring your right leg up as you reach for it with your hands. Relax and repeat, keeping it on the right side until all repetitions are complete. Then switch.

Dumbbell Curl with Static Hold
By "static hold," I mean weight in hand and arm bent and held at 90 degrees while the other one curls.

Questions? dailydose (dot) notes (at) gmail (dot) com

Needless to say, I was pretty wiped after class. And since we all know that protein is a must after any good strength session, this totally happened:

I don't typically do the protein shake thing, but we were out of eggs and I was running out of time before little miss would wake up for the day—and Swanson Health Products recently sent me some goodies to sample—so I went for it, this quick and healthy protein fix. I've had it before. It's plant-based, and it tastes good. And if you buy it from Swanson, it's pretty affordable. Win, win and win.

(Seriously, Swanson Health Products sells everything. So if you love shopping at health foods stores but either don't have one near you or don't like the prices, I highly recommend you check them out.)

Question: What's your favorite source of protein? Mine will always be eggs. They're so versatile, in my opinion.

Disclaimer: Swanson Health Products gave me a code that allowed me to snag some free products, including the above. I was not paid to review the products or to mention the company. Rest assured, all opinions are my own. And rest assured that I really do think Swanson runs a great ship. 

Thursday, August 23, 2012

25-Minute Total Body Circuit

I'm back at the gym today, cramming in a few clients and classes as it's the only day I have someone to watch Hannah—remember, the nursery is closed. I'm teaching a foam rolling class as well, and it'll be the extent of my physical activity. It's an active rest day, if you will, but I woke up yesterday and did this circuit at home. It took me about 25 minutes, and I was totally feeling it throughout. Give it a try if you wish. Remember, what works and is appropriate for me might not be so for you. Be mindful of your own fitness as you proceed.

Question: How do you incorporate rest days?

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Food Focused

It's a food day up in here. We fell out of our Sunday grocery trip routine. I don't know how, but it happened. And our cupboards showed it last night. Luckily, today was a CSA day. I picked up a plethora of veggies, and then made my way to the local big box to supplement with some fruits and proteins. Here I sit, eating my healthy lunch.

Don't judge me for eating it in front of the computer. The girl is napping, which means I'm in get-stuff-done mode. Let's talk about the new-to-me crispbreads pictured above. And below:

Total splurge, so good. I found them at Meijer, if you have one near you. I love chestnuts, and I'm always up for trying new crackers. I thought they'd be great with a nut butter of some sort, and they were. Both almond and peanut nut butters. Also, the nutritional stats are awesome. As was yesterday's lunch.

I'm two-for-two with good lunches. Look:

A raisin bread panini with peanut butter and a banana, plus a purple pepper sliced, sauteed and filled with a scrambled up egg.

The picture does not do it justice.

But anyway, that which was shown in the first picture of this post is now gone and I need to get back to my food-focused agenda. Before the girl wakes up, I need to:

1) Separate the bulk package of pork I just bought.
2) Freeze a can of pumpkin in an ice cube tray for Hannah food.
3) Make some black bean soup.
4) Cut (and probably eat) some cantaloupe.
5) Make chocolate chip cookies. (<—WHAT! Who typed that?)

Question:  What did you eat for lunch today?

Monday, August 20, 2012

Working Moms vs. Stay-At-Home Moms

Days like today make me want to let loose on a lounge chair with a magazine and some sunscreen. It's that awesome out. But I've got an infant that needs my constant attention, so I "settled" for a picnic on the bluff instead. And since I can't go downtown without getting the obligatory mix of dark chocolate almonds and peanuts from my fav chocolate shop, that happened as well.

I am very blessed to be able to do this kind of thing with Hannah. There are days that  I miss working full-time, but my part-time gig at the gym is far more satisfying, and I truly like having the time to keep things in order at home.

Anyway. Before I forget to tell you: Two things recently happened in my life, and I am totally excited about both of them:

1) I signed up for a Spinning certification course. I love taking spin classes, and am super stoked about being able to teach them...and about adding another element of fitness to my repertoire of classes taught. Meaning, I already teach classes based on strength and stretching. So once I start teaching spin, I'll have a cardio class, too. Woot!

2) There were 15 people in my 6:00AM class this morning. 15 PEOPLE! New record. Fist pump.

Needless to say, I'm off to a great start this week. It's sort of an odd week for me. I'm on a partial vacation from the gym while the nursery is being renovated, which means I have to stay home with Hannah because I don't have any other childcare options right now. (Although grammy will be watching her one day, hence the "partial vacation".) It's not super convenient for me or for the members, but it'll be worth it when the kiddos get to spend some time in a nice, new play area.

In relatable news, someone published a study that suggests "working moms are healthier than stay-at-home moms." Here's a blurb from a post on the BabyCenter blog:

“Work is good for your health, both mentally and physically,” Frech says. “It gives women a sense of purpose, self-efficacy, control and autonomy. They have a place where they are an expert on something, and they’re paid a wage.” 

And if we look at moms with only part-time employment, we find women coping with the stresses of lower-paying jobs that offer little job security and few benefits. 

“Struggling to hold onto a job or being in constant job search mode wears on their health, especially mentally, but also physically,” says Frech. She also notes that stay-at-home mothers may find themselves socially isolated and lacking financial independence.

I work part-time, it's true, but I wear my stay-at-home mom hat the most. I don't feel socially isolated, and I think the activities I do throughout my week promote good health, both mentally and physically. And I'm not just referencing my work at the gym, paid or personal. Honestly, I think the study is weird. I can see how some SAHMs might feel socially isolated, but I cannot see how working promotes greater health. There are plenty of healthy SAHMs in this world. PUH-LENTY. I see them every day at the gym.

Let's discuss.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Seeking advice for moms?

Friends, quick post today. Do you remember Kelly from New Leaf Wellness? She recently shared her thoughts on training for a marathon with you. Total supermom. And as you might have seen on her website, she's also a social psychologist and wellness coach which means she is full of great information—and she really wants to share it with you. Well, all of you moms out there.

Without revealing too many of the details just yet, she and I (and some other knowledgeable folk from the field) might collaborate on a series of classes via telecast and we'd like your thoughts. Why? Because we'd want said classes to be about the topics YOU need advice on. So if you have a few minutes, please fill out a short survey for us. I promise it won't take very long.


Saturday, August 18, 2012

@Chobani Conversion Chart

My sister sent me a link, which lead to some investigative sourcing on my part...which then lead me to Chobani on Pinterest. And that's where I found this:

I'm pretty much obsessed with Chobani, and now I have even more reason to eat it. Because, well...I'm also fairly obsessed with baking. And, truth be told, I don't always bake with the best of ingredients. But now I can add Chobani into my favorite chocolate chip cheat cookies to make them even less cheat-y. Hooray! And wouldn't you know, I've got a whole box of CHO in my 'fridge right now.

Question: What healthy substitution do you make when you bake? Have you ever used Chobani in one of the ways mentioned above?

Disclaimer: Chobani sent me the box above free of charge without any requirements. I was not paid to mention it, nor was I even asked to. I'm just obsessed with CHO, and therefore, you can rest assured that all opinions are my own. Now, if you'll excuse me, it's #chobanitime.

Friday, August 17, 2012

Balancing Baby and Fitness

Before I had little Hannah-Banana to take care of, it was all about me. It was about my needs and meeting every single one of them as I saw fit. But now that I'm busy meeting HER needs, mine often get put on hold. Or I meet them in short, but effective spurts—such was the case with yesterday's workout. I busted my butt in 25 minutes. At home. While she slept.

Let's back up: I knew that I had to teach two classes yesterday, starting at 9:45AM, so we got to the gym around 9:00AM. This would have given me plenty of time to log some miles on the dreadmill. Except, well...dummy over here forgot that she scheduled a 9:00AM client. (Hey, at least I wasn't late.) So the miles never happened. And it poured down rain yesterday, which meant the miles certainly weren't going to happen outside with the jogging stroller. I debated staying after my last class, since Hannah was tucked away in the nursery, but I knew that if I did, we'd throw off the lunch/nap routine. So we came home, got through all of that, and then I got through all of this when she went down:

I know that I am blessed to work at a gym with a nursery that Hannah and I both love. And as a group fitness instructor, I get paid to perform two of my strength workouts. These two things combined make it fairly easy for me to balance baby and fitness—well, most of the time. If you're a mom, you know how things can change LIKE THAT. And when that happens, it has the capability to throw off everything in a given day. Especially all things fitness. A mom can't just leave her helpless baby and go for a run, right? But that doesn't mean it's impossible to find a balance that works.

You just have to be adaptable. Which, perhaps is easier said than done for some. As a semi-stay-at-home mom with, again, complete access to a gym and childcare, I realize that I come at you from a somewhat ideal situation. But it's not all roses and lunges all the time. So here's my best tip on how to balance baby and fitness:

Short, efficient workouts. Squeeze them in when your bundle of joy is napping. I know...I know. But you'd rather go for a long run. Plan those for when Daddy is home, or when the nursery is open at your gym—trust me, you won't lose your fitness if you have to audible for a quick, high intensity type of workout. Even if you have to do so more days in a row than you'd like.

The above circuit? I did it yesterday in 25 minutes. 25 MINUTES! Well, OK...and some seconds:

I was sweating profusely and breathing heavily through it all. (Trainer got trained, yo!)

Hannah was asleep in her crib the entire time and she slept longer than 25 minutes, which means I had time for some laundry, a shower and minutes on the Internet. Realistically speaking, all stuff I might not have gotten done had we taken the jogging stroller for a spin around the 'hood.

25. Minutes.
Short and just as effective.

Pin this, just in case:

Question: How do you baby and fitness? Or X and fitness, whatever your X may be?

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

On napping. (#Infographic)

We got a little off schedule today, my daughter and I. Instead of putting her down around 1:00PM for a nap, I opted to meet a friend for a power walk downtown. I figured that Hannah would fall asleep in her stroller, but was not blessed with such luck. It really isn't that big of a deal, though as she wasn't cranky or anything—she's quite adaptable, my girl. So when we came home, I fed her and then I put her to bed for a nap.

But she didn't fall asleep, despite being tired. She found too much fun in her toes, her cuddly blanket bunny and the texture of the wall behind her crib. Instead of getting her up, I decided to let her be. I knew that she'd succumb to sleep at some point, and while I waited for it, I opted to check up on my Reader.

Oddly enough, this infographic was waiting for me:

Out of the aforementioned napping categories, I'm mostly likely to be a micro-napper. I just don't take naps, but closing my eyes for a few minutes if need be, usually does the trick. When it comes to during-the-day sleeping, I'd rather spend the time reading. Or, as is more the case these days, catching up on things like laundry and dishes (or maybe even some baking)—well, that's if/when my daughter is napping.

Everyone told me to sleep when she sleeps, but that really wasn't for me. It still isn't. At least not during the day. At night, well...I do my best to sleep, sleep and sleep. Maybe that's why I don't need much sleep during the day. I get enough quality shuteye at night. Or maybe it's all the exercise. It, like milk, does a body good.

To each his own.

Question: What kind of napper are you based on the above infographic?

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Guest Post: New Leaf Wellness

I like to call myself a runner. I hit the pavement (or the dreadmill) three times a week, and although I don't have any on my calendar right now, I've got a few races under my belt. The longest of which was the Chicago Half Marathon in 2009. I loved running it, but haven't gone that distance since. I think it's the training that keeps me back. It's most certainly the training that keeps me from running a marathon. 

Would I ever run a marathon? Today's answer: Major doubts. I would love to, but I just can't muster up the gumption to get it done. I'm not sure how I'd incorporate the training into my life as a group fitness instructor and mother. Two things that exhaust me in their own ways.

So when Kelly of New Leaf Wellness offered to write a guest post about this very subject—training for and running a marathon when it seems like the very epitome of impossible—I jumped at the chance to host her words. Enjoy:

I’m training for my first marathon in September. That means I’m going travel 26.2 miles…on foot…next month…willingly. Am I crazy? Probably.

I’ve run eight half marathons. The thought of running double that distance seems impossible. Yet, here I am, training for my first full marathon. Why? Because I like new challenges. Because I like the peace and quiet I find on a long run. Because running makes me feel like “me.”

Nelson Mandela said, “It always seems impossible until it’s done.”

I’ve had other big goals before that seemed impossible:

• To finish my Ph.D. – done
• To give birth to my second daughter without any drugs – check
• To start a business that I am insanely passionate about – done

There’s something about big dreams that makes them feel exciting yet unattainable at the same time. 

When I’m working as a coach, I ask my clients to separate their dreams into small, more manageable pieces. I ask, “What can you do this week to move closer to your goal?” One step at a time.

On Saturday, I ran 15 miles. At mile 13, I felt the same doubt creep in. “How are you going to run TWICE this distance?!?”

It always seems impossible until it’s done.

I’ll focus on finishing one training run at a time until race day.

Question: What have you accomplished that seemed impossible when you started? What big goal would you take on it you knew it was possible?


For more info and tips about balancing motherhood, a fulfilling career and a healthy lifestyle, follow Kelly and New Leaf Wellness on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest! And while you're at it, be sure to keep in touch with A Daily Dose of Fit: Follow me on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest, too!

Sunday, August 12, 2012

What I Think About When I Run

I went for a nice 6-miler this morning, during which I came to the conclusion that my thoughts go crazy when I'm pounding pavement. Hence, the reason I think running is so therapeutic for me. I can climb into myself for an hour or so and get completely lost in my thoughts. Sometimes those thoughts are serious, other times they're quite frivolous. And sometimes, they're super focused on the run. Therefore, I run for both therapy AND sport. It's great. But I think you might laugh out loud if you heard the ongoing diatribe of thoughts. Or maybe you'd relate. Be the judge:

"Ugh, bridge. I'm so going to fall in the water."

"Espadrilles with ankle-ties?! Damn. I hope I'm that stylish when my hair is white."
"I hope my hair doesn't look stupid."
"I should have gone to church today."
"This would be a great blog post. Stop thinking about the blog."
"Cool flowers. Instagram it."

"I have to pee."
"Race walking is funny. I should try it."
"Stop...stop...stop...backing up. Thank you."
"Stupid IT band."
"I can't believe how fast that guy from Uganda ran the marathon."
"I have to pee."
"Did Hannah really just wave to me when I left?"
"Sick, dog shit. Who leaves shit on the sidewalk?"
"F-ing side cramp."
"That KIND bar was so good."
"I want iced coffee"
"I'm so glad I went for this run."
"Biker. Sweet jersey."
"I have to pee."
"I wonder if you can see my calf muscles."
"Who's this creeper? Be cool."
"I love this song."

"Wait...he looks like my cousin."
"Dammit. Shoulda plugged my phone in."
"What happened to big dogs? Purse dogs are funny."
"That sucks so bad."

"Glad it's not my house."
"I smell."
"I want iced coffee."
"Ew, my ponytail is disgusting."

And then I got back to my in-laws. I love running when I'm up there. They have a great, quite route around town that I can follow which makes for some good scenery. And new inspiration to keep moving...and thinking...through my run.

Question: What do you think about when you run?

Friday, August 10, 2012

Goal List

I made something that I pinned on Pinterest. For real. I totally got out the glue stick and craft paper, an Exacto blade and a Sharpie. It was all crafty up in my kitchen for a good ten minute today while Hannah slept. I'm not even joking. Usually, I obsessively pin things and completely forget about them. But I remembered this one because it's right up my alley in a huge way.

I don't know about you, but I reign queen when it comes to making lists of things that need to be done today, tomorrow and five years from now. I make them and I ultimately get stressed and distracted by them. My lists contain goals, too. And items that need to be purchased. No matter the category, some of these things have been on my, lists...forever as I just can't seem to get to them. Or I ultimately lose the list, which means I forget what's actually on it.

This is why I pinned Rachel's rotating goal list. It keeps six important goals front and center. Six goals. Not 50. One list, not five:

Goal list? You might call it a "to-do" list. To-may-to, to-mah-to. It's the focal point of my productivity and a damn good piece of crafty craft action on the front of my 'fridge.

Don't worry, when Hannah is old enough to produce art, it will be replaced by said art. Maybe.

As you can see, I've outlined some goals for this weekend, including two runs. And I'll have you know that I've already checked one goal off the list:

Yummy peas for Hannah, please!
(I licked the spoon that put the peas in that container. Peas are good. Don't judge.)

Anyway. It was truly gratifying to remove a sticky note, only to find an empty square in its place. (So what if I replaced it with "wash floor" already.)

If you're like me and you need some help focusing sometimes, then this little project might be for you, too. You can use the list to:

A) outline household chores.
B) keep upcoming races front and center.
C) plan out your workouts.
D) remind yourself of mundane tasks that need to get done.
E) do all of the above.

Now, go...get crafty with yo' bad (and fit) self.

Question: What's the last thing you actually made, did our bought off Pinterest?

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Postpartum Progress, Not Perfection

First of it "postpartum" or "post pregnancy?" I can't decide. So we'll go with postpartum because that's what they say in the hospital, even though it's been seven months since I was in the hospital. Seven months! I can't believe my daughter is on the downhill slide to being one year old.

Speaking of daughters. A good friend of mine gave birth to hers this morning. What little details I've gotten so far remind me so much of my own labor and delivery that I've been thinking about it all day. This, of course, as I cuddle and coo with Hannah Banana.

Where's the "pause" button when you need it most?
She's getting too big.

Not so big anymore: My belly. Now, before you think I'm bragging, let me be clear with you that I'm not. I've been working really hard to get back into my pre-pregnancy shape. Or at least something similar to it, and I think I'm getting there. How much do I weigh? What are my measurements? I have no idea, really. But what I do know is that I'm back into the same dress size that I was in before Hannah.

Does that mean my body is perfect? No. It never was. Does that mean I'm the same as I was before pregnancy? No. I won't have that body ever again, I'm sure. What it means is that I've made progress.

Strive for progress, always and forever. Perfection? It's overrated. (Does it even exist?)

Question: Do you follow me on Pinterest yet?

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Burpee Treadmill Cardio Combo

I showed up at the gym today only to discover that my first client was on vacation. This I knew...this I forgot. So I decided to forgo my afternoon run for some indoor cardio. A combination of burpees and some treadmill running that had more than one person saying, "man...I haven't seen your face that red in a while!" My response: "I like to kick my own butt every once in a while." Here's what I did, in case you like to kick yours, too.

Some clarifications:

Dead Man Burpees
This is a normal burpee with a squat jump, except when you hit the pushup position, you need to flatten yourself to the ground and lift your arms and legs up before proceeding back to pushup position and beyond.

4-Minute Plank
Try and go the entire four minutes without breaking form.

Some humor, because burpees and treadmills can be evil: - - If you're on the treadmill next to me, the answer is yes, we are racing.

Question: Are you an exception to the "no one" rule above? 'Cuz honestly, I kind of like burpees.

Monday, August 6, 2012

Honeybaked Figs with Vanilla @Chobani and @LoveGrownFoods Granola

I don't think I like figs. I mean, I thought I might so I picked up a carton at the grocery store. They're filled with fiber and potassium, among other things, and they're slightly exotic which would make them equally healthy and fun to eat. Like pomegranates and passion fruit. But did you know that figs aren't fruit, and that they're actually flowers that have inverted into themselves? So cool.

I love flowers, but that doesn't mean I love figs. Maybe I'm just not eating them correctly.

So I have this huge stack of Cooking Light magazines on my counter:

Every month, I tab out recipes to try and back in September, I stuck a stickie on Granola with Honey-Scented Yogurt and Baked Figs.

Granola? Already got some.
Honey? Love it.
Yogurt? Every day.


Why not.
Or not.

Let me preface the following by telling you that I didn't follow the recipe above as exactly as I should have, meaning that I used the Love Grown granola I got from my last Foodie Pen Pal. And I used a carton of Vanilla Chobani instead of mixing in the honey. But I did make the figs according to the recipe.

I ultimately ended up with this:

Here's the weird thing. I didn't hate it, but I didn't love it. (Well, obviously I loved the granola and yogurt parts.) The figs weren't gross, but they weren't good, which lends me to believe one of two things: That I don't like figs, or that I picked a bad recipe.

I want to like figs. Mostly because they're inverted flowers.

Help a healthy eater out...

Question: Do you like figs? How do you eat them? Please link me if you have an awesome recipe. I've still got a few left.


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