Tag Archives: workouts

Thumbs and Such

Helloooo!  Happy Monday!  I hope you have had a marvelous start to your week! 🙂

I spent today doing some reading and research for work. This summer I am working with a small team of teachers to develop lessons and resources for other teachers within the county to help them implement a writing workshop with their students.

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Writing Workshop just so happens to be one of my favorite things to teach and it is one of the main reasons why I started this blog.

For fuel this morning, I had a rather unusual, though tasty, breakfast.

Kashi Vanilla Harvest Cereal with Bananas, Almond Milk and Peanut Butter

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It’s probably rather unorthodox to put peanut butter in your cold cereal, but I couldn’t resist.  As a sweet snack I sometimes dip these wheat squares in peanut butter, and I thought, hey, why not add some to my cereal bowl! 

I give it two enthusiastic thumbs up!

After doing a couple hours of work, I decided to take a girly movie break.  My wonderful husband put a few chick flicks at the top of our Netflix queue for me to watch this week while I was home. 

Today I watched 500 Days of Summer.

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They are not lying when they say that this is not a love story.  It was actually a pretty depressing story and I give it just one thumb up…  or maybe half a thumb???

Larry and I are off to lift legs at the gym.  I will more than likely not be able to walk tomorrow.  Lifting legs with Larry can get pretty intense. 

If you are a teacher, and you have any ideas, lesson suggestions, or resources for writing workshops, please send them to JenSanders52 at comcast dot net. 

Have a fantastic evening!!! 

~Jen

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

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R.I.P. Little Sony

My camera has finally gone kaput. 

RIP little Sony Cybershot.

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You have served me well… until, well, you didn’t any more.

This means I am in the market for a new camera.  Any suggestions for an easy to use yet awesome camera that will last longer than 2 years and take awesome pictures for the blog???

Since starting HH,HM I have really gotten into taking pictures of everything.  I whipped that baby out to take pictures of absolutely everything.  Larry teases me because there are over 1,000 pictures on the memory card that I just can’t bear to erase.  It’s always funny when people go through my camera to look at the pictures.  I get some rather strange glances when they get to the multiple pictures of the same bean burger or grilled salmon.  I mean who takes pictures of their dinner like they are afraid they are going to miss it when it’s gone?!?!?

Speaking of salmon, this was last night’s dinner.

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Arugula, Asparagus & Salmon with Blackberry Glaze from Clean Eating Magazine.

I can’t tell you the exact recipe because of copyright issues, but I will tell you that this was such a simple meal perfect for a scorching summer night.  The base was a handful (or two) of arugula and some steamed asparagus.  I then baked the salmon until it flaked, and topped it with a blackberry glaze made of crushed blackberries, soy sauce, honey. and orange juice.

This has me thinking though.  You could recreate this dish in so many ways.  You could use any kind of berry to make a glaze using similar ingredients and toss it over chicken, shrimp, scallops, tofu or even by itself over greens for a simple salad. 

Hmmm…  I saw some cherries at the grocery store the other day.  I’m thinking we may be having a cherry glazed something for dinner one night next week 😉

In case you are wondering, I did not eat the salmon.  For my protein, I used  a TofuSteak from Helen’s Kitchen.

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I found these while browsing the organic freezer section of my local Kroger.  They were pretty tasty, and after visiting their website, I think I’ll definitely be trying more of their products in the future. 

Helen’s Kitchen encourages a Simple Health Lifestyle that:

“… is about making smart choices and enjoying a balanced nutritious organic diet that tastes delicious and is easy & quick enough to prepare so that I have time to enjoy an active life with family & friends.”  [Source]

Sounds like my kind of company! 🙂

Yesterday I put myself through a grueling hour on the treadmill.  I absolutely hate running on the treadmill.  I think this is why my running mileage goes down in the summer time.  It makes me feel like a gerbil in a ball.

Gerbil in Ball[1] [Source]

I once heard someone call it the Revolving Apparatus of Death and I couldn’t agree more. 

However, I made myself do it anyway.

I wanted to run 5 miles, and although it was cooler yesterday at a whopping 97 degrees, I just couldn’t go running outside.  I warmed up with a quick 5 minute walk.  Then ran approximately 46 minutes until the mileage hit 5 miles exactly.  Not a minute more.  Not a minute less.  To cool down I walked for about 9 minutes while I watched Rachel Ray discuss perfect fitting bras and panties.  It was a total of 5.55 grueling miles.  

It was not the best run.  It may have been one of the worst ever.  But, hey!  I did it!  And without tears! 

Today I’m going to hit up the gym for a BodyPump class and to do an easy 30 minutes on the elliptical.  No Revolving Apparatus of Death for me today.  Maybe not for a very, very long time! 😉

What are your plans for today?  Any tips to make a treadmill workout easier???

~Jen

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

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Miss Antsy Pants

Yesterday morning I had visions of relaxing, reading, and watching movies all day.  However, I just couldn’t do it!  I’ve come to the realization that I am Miss Antsy Pants.

I can not sit still and do nothing.  Well, not unless I am on a beach or sitting by the pool.  But any of you living on the east coast know that it was way too hot to be outside yesterday. 

So, although I did watch a movie and read a bit yesterday, it was not until after I thoroughly cleaned and dusted the upstairs, did two loads of laundry, baked a loaf of low-fat banana bread, and made a batch of homemade hummus. 

See???  Antsy Pants!! 

After cleaning the upstairs, I came downstairs and noticed three very ripe (AKA black) bananas in the fruit basket.  I couldn’t let these go to waste, so of course the perfect solution was banana bread!

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**Note** This is not a picture of the banana bread I made.  My camera has been acting funny, so this is a photo from the Betty Crocker website. 😦

I followed this recipe from Betty Crocker, but made a few healthier substitutions.  Here are the ingredients I used instead:

    • 1 cup sugar
    • 1/2 cup butter or margarine, softened (in hind sight I should have used apple sauce)
    • 2 egg whites
    • 1 1/2 cups mashed very ripe bananas (3 to 4 medium)
    • 1/2 cup skim milk
    • 1 teaspoon vanilla
    • 2 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
    • 1 teaspoon baking soda
    • 1 teaspoon salt
    • 1 cup blueberries

The loaf turned out a little dry, so next time I will definitely add 1/2 or 1 cup of apple sauce for some extra moisture.

While the warm aroma of banana bread filled the house I decided to make a batch of homemade hummus

As usual, it soothed my soul and rocked my taste buds!  I heart hummus!!!!  I foresee hummus sandwiches in my near future.

I also made a little time for strength training.  The plan was to run 3 miles and do strength training, but I just couldn’t make myself go outside.  The air was so hot it took my breath away!

Recently, I stumbled across Women’s Health Magazine printable workout plans.  This is an entire page of different workouts you can download and print to take to the gym.  I fell in love. 

I downloaded three workouts yesterday, and decided to do the Ultimate Fitness Plan 2010 circuit A in the comfort of my perfectly air conditioned living room. 

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I did the circuit 3 times in about 35 minutes.  This workout was definitely easier than the workouts I’ve gotten out of Shape Magazine, so it would be perfect for workout newbies and anyone who needs a quick effective workout for those days when you are in a rush. 

Today’s plan is to go to the gym for cardio, hang out with the hubby who has Thursdays off, work on some writing curriculum for the county, and RELAX (maybe). 🙂

My brother lent me the second Stieg Larsson book, The  Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest.  If it is anything like the first book, I’ll be done by the end of the weekend 😉

Enjoy the cooler (95 degree) weather today, do a little rain dance, and remember to take some time to relax! 🙂

~Jen

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

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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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Shaping Up with a Kardashian

Hello, friends!  It’s awfully strange to be writing a post around lunch time, but that is the true beauty of being a teacher–  summers off! 😉

I had planned on sharing with you some beautiful pictures of the Salmon & Mock Tuna Melts that we had for dinner last night.  However, Larry needed the camera for work today, so I’ll have to post those later this evening.  Trust me!  You do not want to miss these recipes!  Especially if you are newbie vegetarian and you’ve been missing tuna sandwiches 🙂

Yesterday was day 1 of my 60 day Healthy Habits Fitness Challenge.  I decided to do a workout routine that I found in last month’s Shape Magazine.  June’s issue featured Kim Kardashian on the cover, and included one of her workout routines created by Gunnar Peterson

Kim Kardashian Workout [Source]

You can find Kim’s workout on the Shape website by clicking here

I thought this was the perfect workout routine.  You can do up to 5 circuits, and each circuit takes about 10 minutes.  This makes it ideal for days when you can only do about 30 minutes, or for days when you have more time and can do 50-60 minutes.  Best of all, you don’t even have to leave the comfort of your own  home!

My heart rate was elevated throughout and I worked every muscle in my body.  I’m not sure if I love it quite as much as the Yvonne Strahovski workout, but it was a good change of pace.  I was a sweaty mess by the end. 🙂

Where do you find your workout routines???  I find most of mine in Shape magazines and on other blogs. 

Today I plan on going to the gym to run about 3 miles on the treadmill (yuck!) and to do some ab work. 

I really enjoyed reading your comments on Healthy Habits you would like to adopt.  If you haven’t already left a comment telling us your goals, please do!  It’s so helpful to know that there are other people out there working toward being their healthiest self!  Also, I would love to hear how day one and two have gone. 

Remember to check back later this evening for the Salmon & Mock Tuna Melts recipes! It will probably be a little after 8 PM.  🙂

~Jen

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

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Bulgur Breakfast and Healthy Habits

Mmmmm…  I am eating the most glorious breakfast at this very moment. 

Last night I forgot to make a batch of Overnight Oats, so this morning I was left to ponder what to  make for breakfast.  Just as I was about to start a batch of Protein Pancakes, I saw it—a container of leftover bulgur from last night’s dinner.

Hmmm.  What could I make with this?  Could I make breakfast out of a dinner food??? 

Absolutely!

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I took 1 cup of the cooked bulgur, mixed in a smushed banana, large quantities of cinnamon, a swirl of maple syrup, and a dollop of cashew butter.  Stirred it all together and voila! 

Simple Leftover BULGUR BREAKFAST!

Bulgur is a whole grain that  has been eaten since ancient times.  It is actually known as man’s first “processed food.”  However, don’t be afraid to try this healthful grain.  When you think processed in today’s day and age you think preservatives, additives, added trans fats, sodium, etc.  However, bulgur is processed in modern times much in the same way as it was in ancient times.

In fact:

“Many of the wheat’s naturally occurring vitamins and minerals permeate the kernel during cooking thus maintaining more nutritive content than other forms of processed wheat products.” [Source]

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I say that if you haven’t already tried bulgur, you should give it a go!  It is wonderful as a side to any dish and can take the place of brown rice or cous-cous.  You can also try Vegetarian Halupkies or Stuffed Peppers

But enough about breakfast.  What I really wanted to talk to you about today is staying healthy with a hectic schedule.

As you may know, the past few weeks have been extremely busy for me.  Don’t get me wrong!  I’ve had a wonderful time traveling all over the state, visiting my alma mater, going on wine tours, watching my brother graduate, standing by my best friend’s side on her big day, closing out the school year, etc., but this continuous go-go-go has not had the best impact on my health.

Most of my meals have been super quick throw-togethers, and my workouts have also been super sporadic.  In fact, I think I have only worked out a total of 4 or 5 times since the second week of June!  My energy levels are low.  I have not been careful about meals and snacks.  And I just plain feel funky!

It is so easy to get out of the workout groove, yet so very hard to return to a regular routine of health and fitness. 

There will always be times in our lives when the daily grind will make it harder for us to stay on top of our game.  However, rather than beating ourselves up over the poor choices we’ve already made, we should just put our best foot forward to get back on track.     

They say it takes 30 to 60 days to make something into a habit.  So, if you want to make daily exercise a habit, then it is necessary to do some sort of physical activity every day for 30 to 60 days. 

I would like to reestablish the regular workout routine that I’ve left in the dust the past few months.  I am challenging myself to 60 days of physical activity.  Because rest is important, some of these workout days will consist of gentle yoga, long walks, or stretching routines.

Here is my Healthy Habits Challenge to you! 

Is there a healthy habit you would like to establish for yourself? 

Perhaps you wish to drink 8-12 cups of water a day?  Or eat 5 daily servings of fruits and veggies?  Maybe you need to get into the habit of flossing every night?  Or maybe, like me, you wish to make daily exercise a habit?

I challenge you to put your best foot forward in trying this habit for the next 30-60 days.  If you would like, leave a comment below letting us know what Healthy Habit you are trying to establish, and we can provide each other with support. 

Here’s to Happier Hearts and Happier Minds!

~Jen

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

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Enchiladas Sin Carne

Buenos Noches, amigos! 

I just got back from taking a short two mile run with Larry around our newly paved track.  Two miles doesn’t sound like much, but considering that before he walked in the door I was ready to put my PJs on and climb under the covers, I think it’s a pretty amazing feat!  😉

I didn’t get much sleep last night.  The dogs kept waking me up and I don’t think I fell into a deep sleep until about 15 minutes before my alarm went off.  Well, maybe not, but the screaming alarm at 5:45 AM did make me want to cry big, fat alligator tears.

To top it all off, when I left for work the puppers were nice in cozy in my bed sound asleep!

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Today wasn’t too shabby for a Tuesday.  We spent a lot of time outside and my shoulders got a bit toasty on the playground.

Today’s lunch was leftover Avocado & Pinto Bean Enchiladas from Dreena Burton’s Eat, Drink and Be Vegan (hence the meatless enchilada Spanish title tonight).  The leftovers may have been even better than the original dish. 

Last night I made Larry ground turkey enchiladas. 

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I made my own “meat” out of mushrooms, beans, onions, and cashew pieces.

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It was out of this world!

I have absolutely no desire to ever eat meat again after discovering so many delicious alternatives.  I truly believe that I like these enchiladas far better than any meat version I have ever tried.

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HERS & HIS

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HERS 🙂

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His and Hers to clean up…  ugh!  This is seriously the only downfall to making a meat and meat-free version of each meal.  But it is well worth it, and it makes both of us very, very happy 🙂

Tonight I plan on sleeping really well and waking up super refreshed.  I’ve been playing around with the idea of getting up early to go running before work.  Do any of you workout before going to work?

I’ve tried this before, but I find it especially hard to get up at 5 AM.

Any tips for getting used to a routine of early morning workouts???

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