Happy Thanksgiving/ Recap Of November

I can’t believe November is almost over. However, I can only hope that the rest of the winter goes as fast as this month did.

So much has happened this month. First, I  joined my first aqua zumba class and was amazed at the easiness of the class. I often think I could be in better shape, workout more, and so on(who doesn’t, right), but after taking this class I feel I am doing pretty well for myself.

Then, about mid month my husband and I started our training plan to prepare for our hiking/rock scrambling vacation coming up. This is actually something I find motivating and often gives me the extra push I need when I am just not feeling “it”!!! I really like to exercise, it gives me such a great feeling. But when we are specifically training with a goal in mind, that extra bit that I push myself is just so rewarding. It’s almost become a passion to always have a goal to reach when it comes to my physical performance.

Ohhhh, I can’t forget the shopping trip that I more or less begged my husband to accompany me on just so I would not have to lug my own packages all day long. I have done this trip before alone and it is miserable. He surprised me and proved me wrong by actually really enjoying this trip. (Or at least he said he enjoyed it) I did not carry a package all day, we shopped for 7 hours and really had a great time. We’ll see how much he really enjoyed it next year, when I ask again if he will offer his package carrying services:-)

While we were in the Chicago area we made plans to stop in and eat at Whole Foods. I wish we had one in Green Bay but if we did I would probably never eat at home then. I have been wanting to try sushi for awhile now and finally made it happen. Oh man, I am so addicted that I have even started adding it to our weekly menu plan here at home. It is so delicious that I regret waiting so long to try it.

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In the job area of my life, we have officially transitioned over to all indoor play. Art projects are a daily activity, indoor toddler tumbling/yoga and gymnastics on our homemade balance beam are being enjoyed.

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Even our son has been contributing to the fun (and the mess) with some science experimenting.

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Another exciting thing that I was asked to do this month was give a major haircut to one of our son’s friends. I have been cutting both my husband and son’s hair for 20 years along with a few friends thrown in here and there. So being asked to do this for him was quite the honor. First, I couldn’t believe he was actually going to cut it all off. Although, when he arrived as planned he seemed pretty sure of this major event.

Here he is with a full head of hair.

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And here he is after.

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It was pretty amazing!!!!

I would have to say it’s been an amazing month but the best thing that has happened this month for me is that my husband has decided for the first time in our 21 years of marriage not to deer hunt. I am not anti hunting in any way but this is one part of our marriage I wish I could just skip over every year. When he announced that he was debating giving it up I was so happy. Hunting, guns and other individuals with guns scare me. Knowing he will not be sitting in the woods with a firearm will make me rest easy.

On that note, I plan to enjoy some family time tomorrow and hope you all do the same with your families:)

 

Monday Motivation

Sunday 11/16: GYM: 30 minute elliptical, 10 minute bike, upper body and lower body weights

Monday 11/17: HOME: 200 crunches, arm weights, 10 minute bike.

MALL: 5 mile walk

Tuesday 11/18: HOME: 200 crunches, arm weights, 30 minute bike

GYM: 30 minute elliptical, half my normal weight machines and stretching

Wednesday 11/19: HOME: off

GYM: 35 minute elliptical and stretching

Thursday 11/20: HOME:200 crunches, upper and lower body weights, balance ball exercises, 30 minute bike

MALL: 2 mile walk

Friday 11/21: HOME: 200 crunches, arm weights

Saturday 11/22: GYM: 40 minute elliptical, upper and lower body weights

This past week brought freezing temperatures to our area. Monday when I woke up it was -9 with the windchill. Tuesday it was even colder. Apparently, everyone that said they heard this winter was going to be as bad, if not worse than last winter, was correct. No worries though, my tickets are reserved, paid for, and I am counting down the days until I see sunshine, green grass and mountains to climb:-) I just have to make it through the holidays first.

This past week we were also blessed with our first case of a stomach virus on Tuesday. This made my day! OK, not really!!!! You have to understand, when we get a bug like this it turns me into a germaphobe. Which makes it hard while caring for children whom touch EVERYTHING!!!! I cannot clean and disinfect enough when this happens. So after sending my sick one home with his parents, nap time came at our home and I cleaned like a crazy person. Hoping all the while that my family, my other two daycare children, and their parents don’t all catch this nasty bug. When an illness like this happens at our home it can go on for weeks as everyone whom gets it then starts the incubation period over again for the next round. So, now I wait and pray I got it all out of here. As you can tell by looking above at Tuesday’s gym workout, I at least attempted a full workout but I was exhausted and eventually came home to relax. A little is still better than none.

Thursday we were planning to have our weekly yoga session until…..my husband called home to tell me he had a work accident. I mentioned to him that if he was not interested in yoga that night he could have just said something. HAHA! Either way, we ended up walking the mall again since yoga was not able to happen that night due to his injury.

Then Saturday morning I woke up, both my boys had to work and I was just not looking forward to zumba. It was rainy/misty, dark and pretty blah outside. So I blew off zumba for something I knew would brighten my outlook for the day. I went to the gym and had a wonderful morning workout.

All in all, I won’t lie, this week was a challenge in the workout category. I can’t quite pinpoint why since everything really was not all that bad. Yes, I could have done without the stomach flu in our home, the work accident, and the extreme cold temperatures. We did have some very good things happen along with all the bad. However, nothing really gave me that big warm fuzzy feeling this week. We’ll just blame it on hormones and go with it. Isn’t that what all women over 40 do???

 

 

 

 

Happiness Is….

 

What makes you happy? For me it was really quite easy to come up with a list.

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Friends

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Summer

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Heat

Being the first to knife into a newly opened peanut butter jar

Hiking, especially elevation

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Sleeping in the rain

Wild flowers

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Breakfast prepared by someone other than me

Date night

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Children

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Freshly laundered bed sheets

Flowers from my husband

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Massage

Coffee on a cool morning

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Exercise

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Pajama days

Nature

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Beach days

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Vacation

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Kayaking

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Can you name a few off the top of your head?

 

 

 

No Time For Breakfast……Your Wrong!

You have all heard that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. I bet you have also all heard that many people don’t eat breakfast because they claim they do not have time. That “no time” excuse is used for anything and everything wouldn’t you say. No one seems to have time for exercise, mammograms, physicals, to walk their dog, to play with their kids, to just about anything these days. It’s funny we all use that excuse because if you have time to read this post right now you could be preparing something for breakfast to enjoy:) I’m just saying….anyhow, let’s talk about how we can all make time for breakfast.

First, it all starts with a plan. Whether you are single, have children, spouses, significant others, or friends that you live with will depend on the amount you plan for each week. I will use my family as an example along with the children I offer daycare to during the week. So that means I feed two adults and three children (my son fends for himself) every morning. You will need about 30-45 minutes to set aside on the weekend or your day off to carry out this plan. (I use Sunday’s typically)

Sunday mornings I get up and while having coffee and breakfast of my own, I put on a dozen eggs to boil. By the time breakfast is done so are the eggs and are ready to be cooled before I peel them. While waiting for them to cool, I start an assembly line of other things that I prepare weekly. Overnight oats (many varieties are on the recipe page), granola parfaits with greek yogurt, smoothie ingredients so they are ready to blend in a hurry, and fruit to grab and go.

IMG_0327About once a month we also prepare whole wheat pancakes for everyone and freeze them in Ziplok bags. They are so easy to grab, pop in the toaster, and eat in a hurry with no mess to clean up during the week. Yes, I could purchase frozen pancakes but my family and kiddos love pancakes. When we premake pancakes we typically make 75-100 per month. Although, you could buy yours and they would offer the same fast, hot breakfast for you.

My breakfast arrangement really works for us. I know at 4:30 a.m. the last thing I want to do is think about making breakfast. And at 6 a.m. when my kiddos show up hungry, they are not always willing to wait for something to eat. I can grab two eggs, can of V-8 and a banana and my husband is fed and out the door. My kiddos can have pancakes and fruit or a granola parfait in seconds and still have smiles on their faces. A weeks worth of premade breakfast items for my crew is normally, 3 jars of overnight oats, 2 mini granola parfaits, 3 regular granola parfaits, dozen hard boiled eggs, two fresh pineapples, 6-8 bananas, 25 premade pancakes, and peanut butter for toast/english muffins/ bagels. This is 30-45 minutes of a weeks worth of breakfast…tadaaaaa!

I can imagine that many of you are starting to think about starting a weight loss plan with the new year right around the corner. Breakfast should be an important part of this plan also. Eating breakfast will give you the energy to sustain any new exercise you plan to do, it will keep you nourished helping you not overeat when you eat your next meal, and will simply just make your mornings so much smoother and productive. That being said, this is your time to experiment, make a new routine and get ready to feed your body a healthy breakfast. Then, come the new year, when you start your weight loss journey you will already know what you like and what works best for you at breakfast time.

We all seem to have appointments, meetings, and something going on all the time. Adding this to your weekly plan and getting a good breakfast every morning can really improve the productivity in your daily life.

Do you eat breakfast?

If so, what works best for you in a hurry?

 

 

 

Monday Motivation

Sunday 11/9: GYM: 35 minute elliptical and stretching

Monday 11/10: HOME: 200 crunches, arm free weights, 30 minute bike

GYM: 30 minutes on elliptical, upper and lower weight machines

Tuesday 11/11: HOME: 200 crunches and arm free weights, 30 minutes bike

MALL: walk 4 miles

Wednesday 11/12: HOME:200 crunches, arm weights

GYM: 30 minutes elliptical, 10 minutes ARC, upper and lower body weight machines

Thursday 11/13: HOME: 200 crunches, arm free weights, 30 minute bike, 60 minutes yoga

Friday 11/14: OFF

Saturday 11/15: Aqua Zumba 60 minutes

Sunday after our big shopping trip and a very long, uncomfortable bus ride to and from Chicago, my butt was dragging. I knew if I could just get myself in the front doors of the gym I would feel better. I was crabby, had a headache, did not feel like doing anything since I did not get to bed until way after my bedtime the night before(11pm), and had everything we purchased sitting on our table staring at me to put it all away when I woke up Sunday. Thankfully, my husband picked up on my bad mood pretty quickly and pitched in to help get everything done. Then it was all up to me whether I would attempt the gym or not. Which I am happy to say I DID!!!! And I was soooo happy, it really did brighten my mood and make me feel better:-)

                    Monday and Tuesday brought us a two day snow/rain/sleet storm in our area. Surprisingly enough this would normally just put me in a baaaad mooood but I was not really feeling too rough. I would not go as far as to say I was “happy” to see it snow, but either way I was not as moody as normal for the first snow fall. Maybe, just maybe, the Vitamin D is working.

Wednesday brought our first “mall walk” of the winter. Temps here have finally dipped to where I believe I could freeze to death if out for too long. I know, call me whimpy if you wish, everyone else does:-)

The rest of the week was pretty typical. We tried to follow our training plan as much as possible but I feel like we may have to change up the plan slightly. I may swap my off day for Friday and workout on Sunday since the weekends are when I have the most time and the gym is practically empty. We’ll see in the future, who really knows.

 

 

What I’m Loving Lately….

Let me share with you a few things I have been loving lately. It’s funny how this list changes with the seasons, weather or even my own person likes and dislikes, especially food preferences. Lately, I have been finding that I actually enjoy flavors that I never did when I was younger.

Sriracha sauce on eggs no less.I never use to like hot and spicy anything, but lately I just can’t get enough.

Chai honey on an english muffin with peanut butter. It’s something about the cooler temps that brings out my love of chai. I rarely drink or eat anything chai until Fall. Here is a recipe for homemade chai honey if you want to give it a try.

Smuckers fruit-fulls. I have tried every brand of fruit pouches which have become very popular as of lately. I gave this brand a try because I had a coupon and I was very happily surprised. Ingredients are only fruit, no added anything, and they are very tasty and not as baby food textured as most pouches from other companies. I don’t know of many adults that consume these since I feel they are basically marketed toward children. However, this is a terrific way for adults on the go to get in a serving of fruit. Plus, in my case, it’s a great way to level out my blood sugar issues in a hurry. I grab a Luna bar and a fruit pouch and I am good to go for a few more hours:-)

Blue Diamond Almondsyum,yum,yum!!! My flavor of choice is the Bold Habanero BBQ. Which again, is surprising due to the spice but they are delicious.

Enough about food, let’s move on to other things. About two weeks ago I finally made time for a haircut. For quite a while now I have been debating going back to a short hairstyle and finally just did it. It was as long as the middle of my back and is now shorter than shoulder length. My two youngest daycare kiddos were hesitant to even come to me the next morning. I must admit, I wish I would have done it sooner. It’s faster to style, very quick to dry, my husband no longer rolls on it during the night, and working out with short hair is fantastic! I love it :-)

As you all know I have been dealing with some ankle pain and sore legs some nights. I broke down and bought a pair of compression socks to try after reading how they are used for recovery after runs and workouts for athletes.  Now I would never consider myself an athlete but WOW, I can seriously say they have provided me much relief. Not so much with my ankle but my legs are loving these socks.

Workouts lately have been just what I need to get out of my house and feel alive again. It’s no secret I am not an indoor person, but when the temps drop I spend 90% of my life in my home. So a trip to the gym to break a sweat puts a smile on my face:-)

I am enjoying watching our son interact with one of my daycare kiddos in a field he loves. Our son has always had a love of science and experimenting. You can only imagine the types of disasters I have had to clean up over the years. As he has gotten older this love has only grown and now with one of my kiddos mentioning one day that she too likes experiments, they have been inseparable. He has been laughing at her and she has been learning with him.

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And last but not least, I have officially started Christmas shopping which means I am a bit closer to finished. I am not a big fan of shopping in slush, snow, parking lot grime and pushy people at holiday time. I typically try and start early and finish by Thanksgiving. This year I should have no problem finishing. Most have asked for money and that only leaves me with a few others to buy actual gifts for.

That should do it for now.

What have you been loving lately?

 

 

 

Conquering My Fears

Conquering my fears is not something that normally I loose sleep over. However, for the past few weeks I have had this thought on my mind and I am not sure how to deal with it.

I have shared with with you all that we have a warm climate vacation planned for mid winter. We have started training and I know we will be physically ready to hike and try our hand at class III rock scrambling. Physically failing is not my issue, it’s mental. Ever since our last hike of the year at Devil’s Lake State Park here in WI where my family witnessed a gentleman fall from a bluff, I just can’t seem to forget that moment. And now, we are singed up to rock scramble with no ropes to the top of a mountain and I don’t know if my mind is going to allow this to happen.

I know my physical limitations and don’t usually push myself much further. Mentally is a whole different story. When we climbed Angel’s Landing in Utah, if I would have known what was ahead the entire hike up to the ridge, I know I would have had issues of panic. Thankfully, I did not know what was going to be asked of me and somehow I accomplished this. However, to this day I am still amazed with myself. I will admit, however, that I could have never accomplished this daring stunt without the support from our guides on this trip. I 100% trusted them with my life and that is not something I EVER do!

I already know that I will never forget what we witnessed here in WI and I know it will forever affect the way we hike at this park in the future. I always knew it could happen, I also know it could happen anywhere else we hike. It just scares me to know that even cautious, trained, physically fit individuals can make mistakes and one wrong move can forever change your life. I am not sure I am ready to risk this quite yet. I am not done living…. but at the same time, extreme activities are what make me feel alive. So what shall I do?

Do we cancel this hike/scramble and pick a different safer route?

Do we talk with our guide, explain our fear and see what he suggests?

Do I just suck it up and conquer my fear of falling?