A Way Over Due Brain Dump….

It’s been over a month since I have been here to chat and I apologize. Sorry!

I thought of naming this post a “coffee date” but in all honesty, I need a nice tall, cold glass of something much stronger than coffee to take away all that has happened in the past month. So let’s just have a good old brain dump of sorts.

First, our 80/20 eating plan of meat/fish/chicken only twice a week and plants the remainder of the week is going fabulous. If you wish to read why this all came about click on Scared Healthy. Actually, there are many weeks we eat meat only once a week. I don’t miss it at all and surprisingly my husband does not either. In fact, the other day he said he would really like to have sloppy joes for dinner and I simply looked at him and said really, ground meat sloppy joes or what? And he said, can you make it any other way….I mentioned maybe lentil sloppy joes and he shook his head and said sure why not, let’s try it. MY HUSBAND…I can’t believe this to this day, ate lentil sloppy joes and said he liked them and they could be added to the make again cookbook. IMG_1688

Another big hit recently was my remake of mushroom reuben sandwiches. I had went with a friend of mine to lunch one day and this was on the menu. I love reubens so I had to give this version a try. I was blown away….it was fantastic and I told her right away I think this would be great to try on my husband. Sure enough, the next weekend I prepared these for him and I was right, he gave them a thumbs up in the first bite.

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Speaking of scared healthy, the family member that started this transition for my husband to finally eat more plants did not win his fight against heart disease. Sadly, we attended his funeral a month after fighting for his life. And if that was not enough, his wife also passed away 3 weeks later of what most say was also heart disease, but in my opinion it was more of a broken heart.

Training for our up coming mountain hiking trip has been difficult to say the least. Hills have not happened in two weeks due to non stop rain. I have never seen so much rain here in WI. And distance hiking on the weekends has been about all we have been able to accomplish. Plus, I have been going to the gym in the wee hours of the morning on a pretty regular schedule. So exercise is getting fit in just not according to the original plan.

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Another big change in the past month has been that we decided that I needed to cut back on working. I have done childcare in my home for well over 20 years and with my husbands new position and added travel I just could not find enough time to keep up with everything plus all his responsibilities if he was on the road for an extended period pf time. So ultimately, something had to change and this was the logical thing to change. I have dropped the number of children I care for per day and I have lessened the number of days per week I offer care. Which, in the long run, should give me one whole day extra to do life things, home chores, and maybe even get back to finding time to have some me time once again. It sure was hard to make this decision and I had to say good bye to some of my little loves, but I know when things settle down once again I should be in a better spot.

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And last but not least, and by far the biggest change in the past month has been our big shade tree…..

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now looks like this. 20180927_134318

This, for me, is an experience I NEVER want to relive as long as I live. It was the scariest, most horrifying job anyone could get up and go do every single day. We hired a climbing professional to remove our tree limb for limb. It was in a very tight spot, could have easily taken out three homes….ours being one of them, we were not allowed in our home during this process, and I am so thankful it’s down and no one got hurt. Damage wise, well, the very last branch from the very top did fall on the back corner of our home but left very little damage considering what could have been. Another branch did damage our fence but all in all it went well. All the repairs have been made and soon we will have a nice green area once again. I will leave you with some pictures and hope that soon I will get back to a normal blogging schedule once again. I just need life to settle back into a new normal and then all shall return to normal here on Natural Red. On that note, the removal our our huge shade tree went a bit like this.

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Weekly Meal Recap: Plant Based Meal Ideas…Plus This Weeks Training Schedule

As promised here is our first documented week of 80% plant based meals. If you missed why this lifestyle change was made you can read about it by clicking here.

Once again this week I was solo from Monday morning on. So some meals were thrown together quickly with very little prep time involved since it was just me.

Saturday: veggie lo mein

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Sunday: farro shrimp with lemon, dill, zucchini, and peas

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Monday: sun dried tomato and spinach casserole with artichokes

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Tuesday: leftover casserole from the night before

Wednesday: braised cauliflower and spinach

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Thursday: leftover braised cauliflower and spinach from the night before

Friday: take out

I am amazed how much easier it is to cook without meat. I never have to worry about trying to remember to take out anything to unthaw and plus not having to cook meat saves so much time in the cooking process. It’s a win win for me in time and health.

And for those of you who are watching my workout schedule for our upcoming hiking trip here is what this week was like.

Monday: rest…..we were up way to early for my husband to catch his flight, so just getting through the day was a workout in itself

Tuesday: morning gym session: 30 minute elliptical and weights

***hills were scheduled also for the evening hours but we had major thunderstorms all night…so we cancelled them

Wednesday:  20 hill laps

Thursday: morning gym session: 30 minutes elliptical and stretching

Friday: rest

Saturday: lawn cutting and chores

Sunday: 3.5 mile hike IMG_8435

All in all a good week. I am keeping up with home life and fitting in workouts the best I can when solo.We have a lot of things being scheduled in our lives right now, so my workouts are the one thing that keep me level headed in all the chaos. This I am thankful for.

 

Training Update: What A Week Of Activity Looks Like Right Now

Some of you have messaged me asking how training has been going. Well, it started out slow since we originally were scheduled to begin a week prior to when we did due to some family issues. And then when we did begin my husband was sent on the road for work, which we sort of planned to happen since it was inevitable. Although, all in all we are doing the best we can with what we got.

So first, my husband is making his best with what the hotels workout rooms have where he is staying during the week. Then on weekends is when we had planned to do our longer mileage hikes. Which our first one happen to be this past weekend and we decided on two laps of our favorite nearby trail. This totaled just over 6 miles. (Our goal is 9 miles eventually)IMG_1626

During the week, here back at home, my son and I have been meeting up in the evenings two nights a week to start doing hill laps. He hates up and I hate down….so we are both struggling at one point or another. However, so far we are up to 15 laps total with a goal of 30 laps by the end of training. All in all, it’s better than I expected so far. IMG_1360

Then the other two evenings we have been walking shorter distances (3 miles or so) on an area trail together. I just wish the humidity would give a bit and this would make all our outdoor exercise so much more pleasant.

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My goal during all this was to also keep going to the gym in the wee hours of the morning for my normal daily routine of weights and elliptical time but so far, one week in, and that has not happened. I am, however, determined to fit it in but until I have my other half home for a normal week of life that will probably not happen. I do try and fit in 30 minutes of morning biking when I have the energy which is easy to fall back on since the bike is here at home. Being solo here at home to do everything is not easy when you add in work, life, and evening workouts.

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So to sum things up, here is what our week was like:

Monday: bike 30 minutes in the morning, walk 3 miles in the evening

Tuesday: hill climbing 15 laps

Wednesday:  bike 30 minutes in the morning,walk in the evening 3 miles

Thursday: morning yoga, hill climbing 15 laps

Friday: rest

Saturday: chores/rest

Sunday: hike 6.2 miles

Writing It Down Helps Me Stay Accountable

After lasts weeks events that I would rather forget than rehash here for you all, I knew I somehow just needed to get to the gym and have a good ole “sweat it out” session in my zone. From Sunday to Thursday it was chaos….literally, not a day went by without some issue that needed attention. By Thursday evening I was on brain overload and just needed to walk away and let everything be what it was meant to be. I told my husband I was going to the gym one way or another and just needed my hour of physical release.

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After I finished working out, I felt amaaaazzziiinnnggg!!!! I know exercise is my cure all for stress. I just wish there was more time in a day, less chores that needed to be done, and more energy in my body after a long day. Which made me think back when I would write out my weekly workout plan. For some reason, when its written I seem to follow it. When I think it…sometimes things come up and I remember I had intended on exercising but forgot until I was physically done for the day. Maybe it’s like a food journal….when you write down everything you eat sometimes you wonder….wow, did I really need that handful of candy, maybe that extra piece of pizza, and so on.

So, not so much for all of you but more for myself, (since this blog is sort of a  journal of our life that I hope to look back on someday) I have decided to write out my weekly workout plan which I hope will help me stay focused and follow throughout the week.

Sundays is when I plan to post the upcoming weeks plan. Now maybe you will find this inspirational  and maybe you will find this not worth reading at all. However, sometimes we all need to do something for ourselves that we know works and will help keep us on the right track. So I apologize if it is of no interest to you but if it is, I hope you find it inspirational and maybe motivating.

With no further explanation needed…..here is what the week ahead looks like:

Sunday: gym/weights/walk

Monday: off…evening appt. to attend

Tuesday:steps/walk

Wednesday:gym/weights

Thursday:walk

Friday: off

Saturday: gym/steps

My hope is to attend the gym at least three times a week. Although, I will admit, it may be mostly on the weekends. Our gym is under major construction right now and the weekends are much quieter than the weekdays. And don’t forget we are in the middle of training for our trip so we need to fit in mileage and stair climbing also.

Uggg, it simply sounds exhausting but that is exactly why I am writing it down since I know it helps me stay accountable.

Wish me luck….Off to the gym I go

 

 

 

How My Family Is Training For Distance and Elevation Hiking

We have started our training plan for our upcoming hiking vacation which will include carrying day packs, photo equipment, high heat, and elevation.

First, let me remind you that my husband and I did part of this same hike a few years back for our 20th anniversary. That was the first trip ever we took of that type and thankfully we opted for a guided trip on that occasion. We learned so much in three days with the guides we had that I could never thank them enough. We also had about 6 weeks to train for that trip and I believe it made all the difference in the world when we arrived. We had no issues keeping up, dealing with the elevation, or making the mileage asked of us. I returned from that trip with so much knowledge and a HUGE desire to return as soon as possible.

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Which brings us to today. We are going back, adding a few more destinations, and staying a lot longer this time around. However, this time we have two big changes among many little differences. This time we are doing it on our own (no guides) and bringing our 20 year old son with us. As you can imagine I am over the moon excited. It will be a dream come true for me to go back since mountains are my favorite adult playground. Plus, our son, being an up and coming photographer, will be completely in his element.

My first priority was to come up with a training plan so this trip can be enjoyable and not leave us in pain every single night after a big day on the trails. I knew what we did last time was very beneficial although, because of the last minute booking it also only gave us 6 weeks to train which was super difficult. This time I wanted to make sure we had a few more weeks so we would not be pressured to hit the goals we knew we needed to hit. Plus, we are all at different fitness levels and some of us need a more work than others in certain areas. And don’t forget, I am still trying to recover from 6 long weeks in a boot for my torn ankle tendon.

This is what I came up with to start our training:

Monday: 5 mile walk and stretching (gradually increasing and eventually reaching 10 miles total)

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Tuesday: 3 mile walk and stretching

Wednesday: 60 minutes yoga, hill climb=10 times up and down , steps= 10 times up and down

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Thursday: 5 mile walk and stretching (gradually increasing and eventually reaching 10 miles total)

Friday: weights/squats/ankle bands/stool step ups

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Saturday: off (it’s summer time so we’ll either be kayaking or standup paddling anyhow)

Sunday: 60 minutes yoga, hill climb=10 times up and down , steps= 10 times up and down

Of course we may need to change this up a bit here and there but this is the plan. When we get closer to leaving we will be adding our loaded packs for our walks. This time we are adding steps and hill climbs to our training plan since elevation is a major part of every trail we plan to hike. Last time we did not do this and I think it would have been very helpful. We concentrated more on mileage last time and I don’t think we needed to as much as we did. We will top out at 10 miles total by the end of our training.

I also found that yoga was extremely helpful for keeping me stretched out well. I even did it in them mornings while we were there before meeting up with the rest of the group. So I added that into our plan here at home too.

Since our training is taking place during the summer months, the heat should help prepare us for what’s ahead. Our destination tops out at about 85-105 degrees at this time of year. And if it would rain, our walks can be taken to the gym on another aerobic machine or even in our home gym.

All in all, my hope is to leave home feeling ready to conquer what lies ahead.

Would you ever train to go on a vacation?