Wow…I Had A Very Productive Week

Oh my gosh, I accomplished so much this week.

I have finally made up our Thanksgiving menu. This year we are making all the traditional fixings and my husband is also going to try making smoked turkey breast. For me its not so much about the Thanksgiving meal itself, as it is about the leftovers. I love making meals with the leftovers. And since it’s just the three of us at Thanksgiving time, we have TONS of leftovers…..yummmmmy!

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I finally had some time to go through my workout clothes and get rid of some items. I don’t know about you but I am pretty picky when it comes to what I like to workout in. I typically find something I love or find something I don’t fairly quickly. I always where shorts at the gym but dislike shorts here at home, especially in the winter months as the basement can get pretty chilly. This past weekend I found some great buys on some new items so I figured it was time to pitch some things that I knew I would never wear again for one reason or another.  IMG_2895

I also finally set all my end of the year dates. Well, almost, I still have to plan a date to have my in-laws over for Christmas, but that will happen soon enough. I did get my daycare Christmas party date set and our girls luncheon set. Tire installation appointment is made for this upcoming week. (I know, nothing like waiting until the last minute for new tires, we are lucky there is no snow on the ground yet!) And I have every intention to try my best to finish up my Christmas shopping this weekend now that our son finally gave us his list. My list of things to do is getting shorter by the day…for this I am thankful.

And most of all, I had a week of awesome workouts! I finally feel like life is getting back to normal and my body is thanking me for this.Take a look…

My workouts of the week:

Sunday: 1.5 mile walk

Monday: 1.5 mile walk in the morning, 30 minute recumbent bike, stability ball routine, weight lifting, 2 mile walk in the evening

Tuesday: home: 30 minute recumbent bike and stability ball routine

gym: 30 minute elliptical and upper body weights

Wednesday: rest (not a typical rest night but I had an appointment to attend to this evening)

Thursday: home: 30 minute recumbent bike

gym: 30 minute elliptical and upper body weights
last minute change up: 3 mile walk outside (it could be the last walk outside if it snows this weekend like they are predicting so I just had to take advantage of it)

Friday: 30 minute recumbent bike

It feels really good to end the week feeling accomplished. Next week is a short work week with the holiday and I am looking forward to some family lounge time. It seems like we have been go, go, go forever. I need some down time, trail time or maybe just some good old couch cuddle time.

Have A Great Weekend Everyone!

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Kayaking Safely With New Paddlers

It’s that time of year again. All our “seasonal friends” are letting us know that this will be the year they give kayaking a try. I laugh every year I hear them state this fact. In the back of my mind I know it all sounds great and exciting UNTIL it comes to summer and time to bite the bullet and actually come along. Then they all seem to chicken out…..but we play along and usually have a few give it a try.

Anyhow, here are a few basic facts that we have learned over the years that will make guiding a trip with newbies much more enjoyable for you as a guide. Plus, by following a few basic guidelines you can ensure that it will be safe, fun, and very enjoyable for first time paddlers.

#1 Check that everyone has the proper gear before leaving home. Examples:PFD, helmet, spare keys, water, sunscreen, portage shoes, snacks etc. Also, make sure their PFD fits them.

#2 Let someone (neighbor, friend, parent) know what river you are doing, from what point to what point and when you expect to return home. Just in case!

#3 Get the current weather forecast. If possible, try and take a newbie on a nice day. It’s not so cold and miserable for them then in the event that they decide to swim instead of paddle:)

#4 Give details of the river they will be paddling. Some of the most common questions for us when we are guiding a trip is: How do we portage? How many portages are there? Do I have to portage? Is there a place to change? What should I wear? (These last two are normally asked by females) Letting them know what to expect always seems to help.

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#5 Stress proper hydration/nutrition throughout the day. Tell them to bring water and somehow secure it into their kayak. Remind them throughout the day to drink. You would be surprised how many people forget to drink. Also, ask them often how they feel. Would they like to stop for a snack? Are they comfortable?

#6 Assist them on paddle strokes and the feel of the kayak upon entering the water. Before you even start paddling, make sure they understand how to hold the paddle, what strokes do what, make sure their seat is adjusted correctly, and they are comfortable with their kayak. Making adjustments mid river is not always easy or possible for that matter.

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#7 Make sure you take them to a river you are familiar with. I cannot stress this enough!!! They are depending on you to know what is coming next. If they change their mind when they start to hear the rapid around the corner, you know where and how much time you have to get them out to portage before they are committed. Be a knowledgeable guide about the river you are on.

#8 Don’t push them too hard. Ask if they are tired and would like a break. Remember you paddle often, they do not. If they want to try something new, let them. On the other hand, if they need to think about it for awhile or watch someone else first, let them do so.

#9 Stress what to do in a roll over. This is usually the scariest thing for newbies, but let’s face it, it sometime happens. Tell them exactly what to do. Tell them in what position to float downriver, never to get between their overturned kayak and a rock, and to swim to the rivers edge when possible. Explain to them how to wet exit their overturned kayak.  Remember it’s all about priorities. Rescue order should be people, boats, equipment.

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#10 Bring First Aid. This is what dry bags are for. Accidents happen. You don’t need much, but when you need it, you will be glad you had it. We have used our first aid a couple times. From simple bandaids to gauze wrapped with duct tape. (Yes, duct tape! Holds great in water)

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#11 Keep Alcohol For The End Of The Trip. We do not allow anyone in our group to consume alcohol while with us on the water. Maybe it’s being over cautious, but it’s hard enough to help and rescue a sober person when they are in a panic much less if they have alcohol in them. We have no problem asking anyone to leave the alcoholic beverages of choice for the end of the trip. This is for their safety as much as ours.

These are the basics for taking a newbie kayaking. Just keep in mind, a great guide can really make a great trip. If you want your family and friends to join you, show them you can be fun and knowledgeable all at the same time.

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Safe and Happy Paddling Everyone!

 

 

Keeping Healthy During The Holidays

Keeping healthy during the holidays is really not as hard as you may think. It is far from impossible.

Do you know the average weight gain is 5lbs. from Thanksgiving to New Year’s? That just blows my mind. Yes, we all have parties to attend, stress, work, family issues, and so on to worry about during this time. However, none of these things should effect how you gain or loose weight during the holidays. Or at least not anymore than any other day of the year. I have heard many people say that the holidays is a time to cheat and enjoy themselves. I will agree with “enjoy” not “cheat”. Please enjoy this time of year but why cheat and end up not enjoying the outcome later on.

Whether you are the host, hostess, or the guest at someone’s home here are a few pointers that I think you may find helpful.

  • Show support to family and friends. If you know your family member or friend is watching what they eat please don’t say something like,”Oh just this once won’t hurt, try it.” They are well aware what they want to eat/drink to maintain any success they may have already experienced in their healthy journey. Do not sabotage this by telling them it’s ok. Let them make that decision for themself.
  • Start a new tradition. For instance, after Christmas dinner and before opening gifts go for a family walk in the neighborhood and enjoy the light displays. Or have everyone with kids in the family bring sleds and go sledding, or make snowmen in the yard. Plan an active activity to do as a family. Our family went snowshoeing Christmas Day last year and had the best time.
  • Keep alcoholic beverages to a minimum. The holidays should not be about whom can drink the most to be the merriest.
  • Assign a dish to bring. When someone asks if they can bring a dish to pass, speak up. By having a mental or written list of healthier dishes, you can easily pick one off the list and give them what they asked for. If you leave it up to them, their healthy and your healthy can be completely different.
  • Always bring a dish. This is the only way you can be guaranteed there will be something you can eat that will fit into your healthier eating plan.
  • Substitute healthier alternatives in recipes. Most people will never know that you used low fat cream cheese (among many other things) if you don’t tell them.
  • Exercise throughout the holidays. Don’t laugh….you can find the time. I have already researched the holiday hours of our gym and have a plan. You can too!

These are just a few suggestions. I am not saying have no fun, don’t drink, and stop eating. I am just saying that keeping healthy during the holidays is completely possible if you want it to be.

Do you have any to add to my list? I would love to hear your suggestions.