Saturday, January 31, 2015

It's the end of January

So how are the resolutions going??  January has been a fairly successful month with some healthy eating, and a accelerated workout schedule.  How close am I to my goal of hiking the Barr trail? Still frightfully distant I am afraid.  I am gonna need to kick it up to get there by May.

However my little weight workout has been manageable.  I performed this activity 12 times this month - which is about 3 times a week not 4 like I intended.  However, the week I was away I did not do it once so I guess it was four the other weeks of the month. 

I am getting fairly proficient so it is time to bump it up to something harder - more reps., more sets and new exercises.  I will keep the lunges the same as I am taking those slow so as to not hurt my knees as suggested by Jackie.
My new routine will be:

16 stationary lunges each leg with 5 lb weight
16 stationary lunges each leg with bicep curls -5 lb

bicep curls 15 reps each arm - 2 sets 8lb
overhead triceps 15 reps - 2 sets 8 lb
sit ups with 8lb weights - 8 reps - 3 sets
sit up with twist - 8 reps - 2 sets
bench press - 15 reps - 3 sets - 10 lb

My new exercises will be
single leg dumbbell row - 15 reps - 2 sets - 8 lb
squat to overhead press 15 reps - 2 sets 5 lb
I will set a goal again of 4 times a week - hope I can manage! How are your New Years resolutions shaping up?  Let me know!

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Namaste Yoga

I have owned this disc for years and use to do this workout regularly in the early 2000's.  But for about the last 5 years, my Namaste Yoga has been gathering dust in a forgotten corner.  I recently pulled it from the cobwebs as my daughter complained that the new yoga I was trying did not feature enough soothing music.

Anyhow, I had forgotten how much I like these workouts.  They are done by Kate Potter and they feature soothing music.   Each workout contains a 5 minute warm up, a 12 minute flow series and a 5 minute cool down.  What I love about this flow yoga is that it really flows .  It is easy to follow the rhythm of the poses hence the breath comes effortlessly.  It is almost like dancing through the yoga.

Season 1 and 2
I have been rediscovering my flexibility. Moving to Colorado, I swapped hiking for yoga.  My cardio improved but with recurring soft tissue injuries.   Tendonitis plagues my elbows, shoulders, knees, hips and low back. As a result of my New Years resolutions, I have put regular yoga (versus every now and again, once in awhile yoga) back into my life and my achy joints are getting better.  Plus the Dr. told me at my physical today that I had excellent range of motion.  I shouldn't get to excited about that though because judging from the folks in his waiting room, the average age of his patient load is about 80.

I highly recommend this yoga as an easy to follow workout that fits into any schedule.

Tuesday, January 27, 2015


Making homemade sushi is fun and easy but does require some specialized equipmentStart by cutting all ingredients into long strips.  We like tuna, cucumber, carrots and avocado.  The sushi tuna comes from Costco.

You will also need Nori, a bamboo sushi tool like the one pictured below and a very sharp knife.
 We buy sushi rice from our local grocer and then cook it in a rice cooker.  I find it comes out better than if it is cooked on a stove.  It gets seasoned with rice wine vinegar, sugar, and salt while still warm. Here is a recipe if you need one.

Once the rice cools, spread it on a piece of nori.  Then lay all your stuff in lengthwise.
Begin to roll up from the end holding the fillings with your fingers and pushing with your thumbs.  There is an easy tutorial here.

Cut your sushi roll with a very sharp knife that you wash often.  Serve with ginger, soy sauce and wasabi.  We cut some tuna into sashimi.  Also, we scraped the tuna off the membranes and make spicy tuna by adding a little mayo and hot sauce.  Enjoy your sushi!




Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Aerobic Snow Workout

No need to hike yesterday - snow fell overnight and since his Lordship goes to work, the task of snow removal falls on me.  We have a steep driveway, so it is a tricky job.  Yesterday, I wore hiking spikes on my shoes just to navigate the icy base under the snow.  Our driveway is so steep that without the spikes, one just slides all the way down.  According to Spark People, a person of my weight shoveling for 40 minutes burned 223 calories. This is of course, without the aid of a snow blower. So lets here it for household chores that also count as exercise!!!

A lot of snow to remove

Monday, January 12, 2015

Making Marinated Peppers

I love marinated sweet bell peppers on salad.  They pair deliciously with pine nuts and add so much flavor that I barely need any dressing.  The other day the grocery had a sale on damage produced and I picked up 3 peppers for 99 cents.  I gave them a good wash.  I usually soak in vinegar and hydrogen peroxide to remove pesticides but can't find a shred of research to back this up online.  The only research I can find is that washing in tap water for 30 seconds is as effective as any veggie wash or pesticide soak to remove pesticides.  I will await further comments on this subject.

Anyhow to make marinated sweet bell peppers, roast them under the broiler until the skins turn black.  When cool enough to handle, peel the skins off.  Slice them into long thin strips.  I put them in some recycled jam jars and added a sherry vinegar, pressed garlic, a little salt and some olive oil.  I store in the fridge.  They will be yummy on my big salads at lunch time.  They will keep about 5 days.

Cut into strips

Store in jars in fridge.  Eat  within 5 days.
Perfect in a big salad with stilton cheese and roasted pine nuts - yum. yum.

Friday, January 9, 2015

Health Drinks

This year I scored big with presents in the health department - His Lordship gave me both a pedometer and a Vitamix.  Do you think he is hinting at something?

Anyhow, the vitamix is a swell contraption that can take the place of a food processor and a blender.  So far I have used it to make peanut butter and apple sauce, grind wheat berries into whole wheat flour for bread, and concoct health drinks. 

The health drinks are easy and make a fine breakfast.  They can be savory with lots of veggies or sweet with fruits like smoothies.  Unlike juicing, the vitamix grinds everything up so one gets the benefit of the fiber.  Less waste and cleaning is super easy. In contrast to the juicer which has about 8 part to wash, just fill the container with soapy water and run it for 45 seconds.

During the past week I have made a health drink daily.  Here are some of  the things I have put in:

pomegranate arils
mixed greens - chard, kale and spinach
hemp hearts
ground flax
bell pepper - this overwhelms fruit drinks so I won't use it again
green tea
orange juice
tangerine juice
pureed pumpkin

I use organic produce when possible.  I peel things with skins I do not wish to eat like kiwis, bananas, pineapples but leave the skin on the apples for the fiber. I add enough water to liquefy it.  They have all come out pretty good. My least favorite had the bell pepper.  My favorite was beets, green tea, tangerine juice, strawberries, spinach, pomegranates, pureed pumpkin and blueberries.  My daughter likes them too!
Health drink in the making.  I added additional water to cover produce 1/2 way

Finished drink

Thursday, January 8, 2015

The Little Pedometer that Could

His Lordship, my spouse, got me a pedometer for Christmas.  It is made by Omron and displays the number of steps taken in a day, miles walked, aerobic steps, calories burned, and the time.  My first day wearing it I went on a long hike and managed about 12,000 steps.  But yesterday, I only got a little walk in and by 8:45 pm, I was still 1,500 steps short of my 10,000 step goal.  So bring on the steps - up and down the stairs 5 times, pacing while I brushed my teeth, doing lots of little chores etc.  In fact,  continuous motion for 15 minutes and I had my 10,000.  His Lordship was pleased as he hoped it would motivate me to move more and spend less time in front of this computer.  I think it is working.  So if you need a little motivation, try a pedometer.

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Housebound Health

So my New Years resolution is to get healthy - and I started Twisted Sisters' CafĂ© as one of the ways I intend to meet this goal.  Yesterday I got out and walked but today I just got a call from the hubby - freezing rain, fog and ice.  Treacherous roads to say the least.  Semis in the ditch. So I'm feel that it would be safest to stay inside and not risk falling on an icy sidewalk.

Foggy icy morning - probably shouldn't go walking lest I fall down and can't get up

One thing I have been planning is to start lifting weights.  The last time I bothered to do this activity was May 30, 2014.  Since I have let it slide for half a year, I should start at the beginning gently.  Why?  Because if not I will cripple myself resulting in 4 days in bed and perhaps an expensive visit to the doctor.  So I will take it slow.

Here is my list of beginning exercises:

Start standing:
15 standing lunges each leg with 5lb in each hand
15 standing lunges with bicep curls - 5 lb in each hand
24 bicep curls 8lb
 16 tricep 8lb
24 rows each arm 8lb

Get down on the mat:
24 chest 8 lb
16 sits ups each R and L leg with 8 lbs
8 sits ups with twist 8 lbs

So do you have any favorite exercises??? Any suggestions on what I should be doing?  I am thinking 4 times a week would be acceptable to engage in an activity such as this.