Tag Archives: green monster

Life is Good

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Isn’t this a cute mug???  One of my students gave it to  me as an end of the year present and I absolutely adore it!

And can you believe it?!?!?!?  I am actually home on a Saturday!!!  This hasn’t happened in a LOOOOOOONG time.  In fact, I was so befuddled by being home on a Saturday that I forgot about the Saturday Farmers Market.  The one Saturday I’m home and I missed it.  Oh, well!  There’s always a Saturday next month 😉

Yesterday I was a pretty happy and healthy girl.  I woke up pretty sore (and am still sore today).  The Kardashian workout really rocked my body!

As I was doing this workout I didn’t think it was as intense as the Yvonne Strahovski workout, but my muscles are begging to differ.  I am S-O-R-E!  And I did this workout almost 4 days ago!!!!!

Because I was having  a hard time walking without wincing ;), I decided to try and swim laps for exercise.  Swimming is an excellent way to burn calories without putting strain on your body.  The water provides excellent resistance for muscle toning, which means you get a great cardiovascular and strengthening workout in one session.

I have to confess, however, that I’ve never been a super strong swimmer.  I was a life guard in high school, but I was never on a swim team, and I never swam for fitness.  Swimming was just something I did for fun. 

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I decided that that needed to change.  Since I have a pool membership and I enjoy sitting at the pool reading, I decided to combine relaxation with a workout.

I packed my pool bag with lots of sunscreen, a sun hat, an excellent read (The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson), and my waterproof heart rate monitor. 

I read during kid swim and swam during adult swim.  🙂

In total I did 32 minutes of freestyle laps.  I can do 50 yards in one minute, but I had to rest for 30 seconds between laps.

My heart rate monitor said I burned approximately 289 calories, and Larry and I estimated that I swam about 1,000 yards which is about 914 meters.  Not too bad for a swimming newbie. 

Swimming is definitely different from running.  When I am running I can control my breathing in such a way that I feel like I am breathing normally.  This is not so with swimming.  I have to learn to get into a rhythm with my breathing, so that I don’t have to take a break between laps. 

And let me tell ya!  Swimming wears you out!  I was exhausted!  It reminded me of the summers of my childhood when my brothers and I would swim for hours and then come home and crash.  My mom must have been on to something there 😉

Once home, I treated myself to a Green Monster.  It was green and glor-i-ous!

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-1 scoop of protein powder

-1 bananna

-1 cup frozen peaches

-1 cup almond milk

-2 tablespoons chia seeds

-3 cups cooked spinach

Today I am planning on taking a BodyCombat class at the gym and then heading to Target to see if I can find a cute and cheap summer dress to wear to our friends’ wedding shower this evening. 

Mozoltov!

~Jen

magnolia Remember, Be Happy, Be Healthy, Be You!!!

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10 Things to Learn on a Monday

Here are the top ten things I learned today in descending order:

10) A week of eating whatever you want, and working out minimally may mean extra pounds added to the scale!  Who knew?!?! 😉

Last week I had a series of headaches and stomachaches that kept me (sadly) from working out more than 2 days.  I also ate whatever I wanted with no limits.  This morning I weighed myself and I have packed on an extra 3 pounds to my usual morning weight.

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It’s not that I am not worried about these few extra pounds, but it definitely made me shake my head in amazement.  It is so hard to loose and to maintain your body weight, but oh, so very easy to pack those pounds on! 

I know that this just means I need to step up the workouts, and to be a little extra careful about what I eat this week.  Trust me, those s’mores were worth every last bite.  Even the burnt bites 😉

9) Third graders can not be expected to remember what they learned last month, let alone what they learned in Kindergarten!!!

Today we took the practice SOLs, which are Virginia’s standardized assessments (fitting name, right?!).  I was utterly shocked by what these kids were asked to remember. 

Third grade is the first year that students in VA take these standardized tests, and they are cumulative for everything they have learned since kindergarten!!!!  I have quite a few students in my class that can barely remember what they had for breakfast, much less what they learned the first week of kindergarten! 

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The amount of pressure these kiddies are under is unbelievable!  I mean do you know the three types of soil, or the actual names for the phases of the moon?  How about the transportation, homes, climate, and jobs of the First Americans (Native Americans) who lived in the Eastern Woodlands, Great Plains, or the Southwest?  Anyone???  Anyone???   

8) There is no better way to drink a Green Monster than to drink it made with fresh fruit.

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This morning I used leftover fruit salad to make a Green Monster.  The flavor of this monster far surpassed that of  any I have ever made with frozen fruit.  ‘Nuff said 😉

7) I am disappointed when a thunderstorm ends.

I love a good thunderstorm.  There is a kind of excitement that fills every inch of my being when a storm is on the way.  I love the power and the sheer exhilaration of watching Mother Nature take her course.  Of wind whipping and trees bending.  Of rain pounding and thunder roaring it mighty rumble.

Today we could see the storm clouds rolling in from the North.  They were thick and black.  Thunderous.

We rushed the kids to the busses just in time.  As soon as we were safe under cover, the sky broke and lightening lit the sky with bright brilliant streaks.  Thunder rumbled its low grumble. 

But just as soon as it started, it was over.  The excitement was gone, and it was back to the usual paper grading and e-mail answering.  Maybe we’ll get another good one tonight.  I do hear the wind picking up! 😉

6) Target has very cute journals made of recycled paper. 

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5) Buying said journal makes me want to write instead of clean!

4)  Mary’s Crackers are the perfect companion to 365 Organic Peach Mango Salsa.   DSC02083

3) I hate to fold laundry.

I do not mind washing and drying clothes.  But I absolutely, positively, with every ounce of my being hate folding clothes and putting them away. 

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2) Lucy does not like to have her teeth brushed.

Lucy has incredibly stinky breath, and is starting to show signs of buildup along her gum line.  I’ve never done this for any dog I have ever owned in my entire life, but today I bought Lucy her very own toothbrush and toothpaste. 

Although this would have been a hilarious picture to post, Lucy was not allowing any photographs to be taken during her embarrassing teeth cleaning!

And number one on my Top Ten Things to Learn on a Monday Countdown!!!!

( Drum roll, please!)

1) Our new laptop is in and ready to picked up from Fed Ex.

Tonight at an undisclosed time, I am rushing going to drive the speed limit to our local Fed Ex store to pick her up!  I can not wait! 

The next time you read Happy Heart, Happy Mind, who knows where I may have typed it!!!  Maybe in the bedroom?  Maybe on the back patio??  Maybe at the library???    There’s just no telling!  The sky is the limit!

I hope you had an enlightening Monday!

~Jen

magnolia Remember, Be Happy, Be Healthy, Be You!!!

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Heat + Hills = Success!!!!

Today I ran 8.63 miles in 1 hour and 35 minutes.  This is the longest distance I have ever run! 🙂

I typically run about three times a week anywhere between 2 to 5 miles each time.  The longest distance I had run before today was 7 miles about 2 years ago.  So, in late March, I set a goal to reignite my relationship with running, and to up my long distance mileage. 

I have found it extremely difficult to make any increases.  I could never just make myself go further.  I always found a brick wall around mile 5 that said, “OK.  You’ve run 5 miles.  Time to go home now.”  (Anyone else seen, Run, Fat Boy, Run?!?!)

I knew that any increase would take strategic planning.

My good friend, and colleague, Meg has been a running machine lately.  While training for the Ukrop’s Monument Avenue 10K this spring, she diligently followed a training program from Runner’s World.  She increased her long runs to 10 miles and set a new PR for the race!!! 

I asked her if she would take me on one of her long runs during Spring Break, and she agreed. 🙂

I met her around 10 AM this morning, and she showed me the route she had planned for us using USATF.  The route would take us through Downtown Richmond to the Southside and back around to her house.  The perfect loop 🙂

OUR RUN
 

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I would love to say that the run was super easy and that I could have gone further, but that would be a blatant lie.  The first 3-4 miles were a piece of cake.  This was the mileage I was familiar with, and my body responded well.  However, miles 5 through 8.5 were hilly.  There was no shade, and the sun was HOT

A longer than normal distance + hills + heat = a definite challenge for me. 

However, I persevered :)  I only walked once up a ginormous hill at about mile 7.  I wonder if this is how Forest Hill got its name.  Hmm… 

Even though there were moments my legs felt like lead, my knees ached, and my hips felt incredibly stiff, I still had a great time!  The view was simply breathtaking, and the company couldn’t have been better!  :) 

 

After the run, I felt like I had truly accomplished a major feat!  Three months ago, I was walking around in an unsightly black surgical boot, and could barely walk.  Today I ran almost 9 miles and I survived!!!!  🙂

Once we returned to her house, Meg made us delicious Green Monsters to drink while we stretched our tighter than tight leg muscles.

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Don’t you just love this mug???

Although this run was a challenge, I have to stop and remind myself that there was a point when a three mile run was a challenge.  There was a time when I thought that 6 miles were simply impossible, and that I would never be able to run a 10K. 

It’s important to set small attainable goals, so you get to taste the sweetness of success every once in a while.  At the same time, it is important to set goals.  I could have kept running my 2-5 miles, but I knew I wanted to be able to do more.  I also think it’s important to enlist the help of friends and family to help you reach those goals. 

I’m going to keep trying this 8.63 mile loop with Meg (if she’ll have me!) until it becomes a piece of cake.  Who knows, maybe I’ll run a marathon before I’m 30!!!!  :) 

Are you a long distance runner?  How did you increase your mileage?  Any tips for success???

~Jen

magnolia Remember, Be Happy, Be Healthy, Be You!!!

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Sunday Eats, Monday Cheats

Hello!  How was your Monday???

Mine was a bit different from the productive and relaxing Sunday of yesterday.

Yesterday morning, Larry and I woke up late, and ate a delicious breakfast of Chocolate Blueberry Pancakes.  Sounds decadent, huh? 

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Well, it sure was tasty, but as usual, I swapped out a few ingredients to help make it a bit cleaner ;)  I always get a sugar crash an hour or two after eating pancakes or waffles, so I added a bit of protein and fiber to make these more filling and lasting. 

Ingredients:

  • 1 egg white
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 3/4 almond milk
  • 2 scoops chocolate protein mix
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 3 tablespoons unsweetened all-natural applesauce
  • 3 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 cup frozen blueberries

Whip the egg white with mixer until light and frothy.  Add the rest of the ingredients and mix until well blended.  Fold in the blueberries.

Spray non-stick cooking spray onto a heated griddle.  Spoon about 1/4 cup batter onto hot griddle. 

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Once the pancakes are bubbly on top, puffed and dry around the edges, flip them suckas.  Cook until both sides are golden brown.

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Top it off with a sliver of REAL butter (no chemicals for me, please), and a bit of maple syrup!  Decadent, yes indeed!

After cleaning the house tirelessly, and doing 45 minutes of cardio circuits, I made a lunch Green Monster to die for!  You know how I’ve been on this mango kick?!?!  Well, Mama Bush hooked me up with a bunch of mangos, and these  babies got blended.

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  Just look at those colors!

 

 

 

 

 

 

  • 4 cups cooked spinach
  • 1 sliced mango
  • 1/2 cup frozen peaches
  • 1/2 cup frozen strawberries (from TJ’s!!!)
  • 1 old and semi-brown banana
  • 2 scoops chocolate protein powder
  • 1 1/4 cup almond milk
  • 2 tablespoons flax seed
  • a hand full of ice

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I may, or may not, have sipped this so fast that I had about 3 ice cream headaches!  Ouch!  But yum!  Oh, the yin and yangs of life! 

I bought this awesome mango splitter from Target (you can also buy it from Amazon here).  Makes life so much easier!

We then went out for an early dinner at a local hibachi grill.

Where I munched on clear soup, salad with ginger dressing, grilled veggies, and fried rice.  It was a bit naughty, but it was worth it!

Then we finally watched the Percy Jackson movie.  It was a good movie, but I was so disappointed at how incredibly different it was from the book.  Even the plot was different! 

Today I have had an aching headache all day.  I have eaten 3 Hershey Miniatures and probably about two full cups of dried fruit.  It was just mindless eating, and it made me feel AWFUL!

I think I’ll take the day off from working out, drink a ton of water, and see if the ache my dome will go away!  Hopefully it’s the Monday blues, and I’m not catching whatever caused three students to be out today! 

Enjoy the rest of your Monday! 

 

~Jen

magnolia Remember, Be Happy, Be Healthy, Be You!!!

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Oats, Monsters, and MusKle Burnin’

Happy Thursday, everyone!  Can  you believe how quickly this week has flown by???

Today I started the day with these creamy babies!

apple oatmeal

Cinnamon Apple Oats

  • 1 apple sliced and cubed
  • 1/2 banana
  • 1 Tbsp organic PB
  • 1/2 cup oats
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • sprinkle of cinnamon
  • handful of raisins

Stir ingredients together.  Heat in microwave for 3 minutes.  Stir and Enjoy!

I’ve been loving breakfast cakes so much lately that I’ve forgotten how delicious and filling real oats can be.  I think I’ll have some more tomorrow 🙂

I also made a Green Monster

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I drank the serving shown here with breakfast, and saved the rest for an afternoon snack.  These shakes give me so much energy in the morning.  I wanted to see if they could give me the same boost in the afternoon when I hit a major energy lull. 

And guess what?  It worked!  I didn’t come home from work ravenous and ready to eat through the entire kitchen.

One downside was that I had to store it in the mini-fridge in the classroom.  It semi-melted, and the banana seemed to get sweeter throughout the day.  Next time I  may reduce the amount of banana I use.  I also received some very odd looks from my students and colleagues.  “What is that?!?!!?”  they wanted to know!  I think the color just takes some getting used to. 

After some tutoring fun at the library, I raced home to get started with my P90X adventure!

After watching the “How to Bring It” introduction video, I discovered there was a P90X Lean Phase I could follow.  This plan uses the same videos, but the sequence of videos include more cardio and muscle toning, rather than muscle building.  Perfect!

Today I did the Core Synergistics Video.  It was a killer workout!  It wasn’t so hard that I couldn’t do it, and I definitely felt a burn.  According to my heart rate monitor, I burned over 1,000 calories!  I’m not sure how accurate that is, but hey, even if it was 700-800 calories, I’m happy!

I’m super stoked to follow this plan.  I’ve never really followed a workout “plan.”  I usually do cardio and strength training 3-7 days a week, but there is no true rhyme or reason to what I do other than to stay in shape.  I’m hoping that this plan will help me reach a new level of fit!

I’m starting to sound like a P90X commercial, huh?  Well, I’m not.  And I’m not going to bore you with incessant chatter every day about the workouts. 

However, I do think it’s important to try new things to keep you excited about working out, and to keep your workouts interesting.  I also think it is important to try new exercises that take you out of your comfort zone.  Tons of push-ups and pull ups for an hour at a time definitely take me out of my comfort zone, but it’s exciting to see if I can do it!  I’m also excited to see the results of this hard work!

I have a challenge for you!

Try something this week that takes you out of your comfort zone.  That may be going for a long walk through the neighborhood, or running a distance you’ve never reached before.  Maybe it is taking a yoga class at the gym, or lifting free weights on the “men’s” side of the gym.  Whatever it is, try it out, and see how it makes you feel.

You may find that it was exactly what you needed to get you pumped about working out again!  I know you will be surprised by what your body is capable of doing!

What will you try?

"Success is the ability to go from failure to failure without losing your enthusiasm." – Sir Winston Churchill

~Jen

magnolia Remember, Be Happy, Be Healthy, Be You!!!

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