Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Cardio Challenge - Oooooh, it's gonna be a challenge!

Greg did his initial cardio challenge last night, and he beat me! Yeah. By A LOT.

His time is 6:31--The best of anyone in the contest so far!

So, while I'm really proud of him, I'm still going to try to beat him.

He's goin' dowwwwwnnnnnn.

(And if he wins, you know I'm going to take his prize away from him anyway.)

Monday, November 10, 2008

Cardio Challenge - Day 1

I did my initial cardio challenge run-through this morning. My time was 8:39.

Wow. So I need to set a goal for what I want my end time to be. I wonder what a realistic end time would be...I'm at a loss.

The times for everyone in the contest will be posted by the end of the week, so I'll be able to see where I stack up as compared to my competition.

SO, let the training begin!

Friday, November 7, 2008

Fit Friday Report

I did it. I signed up for Circuit Cardio Challenge at my gym. If I win, I get my choice of a free one hour massage or a personal training session. (And the sick thing is, I'm going to choose the personal training session if I win.)

Anyway, here's how it works. I have to have the fastest time in my age group performing these five circuit cardio activities, in any order I choose.

  • Farmer's Walk carrying 35 lb. plate weights in each hand. Description: You grab two plate weights totaling 70 lbs. and carry them 3 laps around the gym.
  • Sled Push with 125 lbs. on the sled. Description: At our gym, we have this sled-type thing--Kind of like a cart with no wheels. So I have to put 125 lbs on that thing and push it forward about 25 yards and then backpedal with it to the beginning--Four times.
  • EFX Trainer/Eliptical Machine - 500 strides
  • Plyometric squats on the BOSU (half ball thing) - 20 times
  • Clean and press - 25 reps with 35 lbs. Description: This is what you see people do at weightlifting competitions where the pick the barbell up off the floor and pull it to the chest; Then lift over the head, back to the chest, back to the floor.

So, how's THAT for Fit Friday? I'm going to do my initial run at it next week. Then I'll train for it until December 15 when I do the final run (and get to see how much I've improved!) and see how I rank.

Ohhhh, this is going to be FUN!

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

ATTN: Fit Friday Mommies

A post just for you...

Although Fit Friday has already begun, I want to encourage you to do something that I so wish I would've done from the onset of my crusade for fitness.

Find yourself a trusted friend. A trusted husband. An older offspring. Have said friend/husband/offspring break out the old tape measure and measure around your waist (right around the top of that pelvic bone), around your upper arms, and around your thighs.

If person is any kind of friend at all, they'll not tell you what these numbers are, but will write them down for you and put them in a safe place until a later date.

A later date when you'll get them out and compare them to your NEW AND IMPROVED measurements!

You see, the scale can be quite cruel to you when you're working out, lifting weights, doing cardio, and going to every yoga class you can find within a 50 mile radius. Because the scale won't tell the tale. You could be building muscle and losing fat, and that scale can't tell the difference!

So, don't go by the scale. In fact, truth be told, I don't even own one.

Happy measuring!

Cardio--Is It Really What You Need to Reach Your Fitness Goals?

Simple Question for you. Which of these two pictures better represents your fitness goals? Look carefully, now! Which body do you wish you could model yours after?

Most of us have established that we want to look better and feel better and be HEALTHIER! And most of us think that the best way to do that is through cardio, cardio, and MORE cardio. Because that's what's been drilled into your head for years. Decades, even.
For years, my dad has told me that he can always tell when a particular friend of his cranks up his running routine because he starts looking sick! I always noted that that was true, but I never could figure out why in the world a seemingly healthy activity like running would always tend to make a person look like they were about to keel over dead.
Now, I know.
Those marathon-running people (and I'm so not one of "those" people) cannot possibly eat enough carbs to keep their bodies from eating away at muscle. They are over-trained cardiovascularly and severely under-trained strength-wise. And because of their rigorous cardio training, there's no way they can eat enough carbs to keep up.
The other picture is not a body builder, but rather a fitness competitor. (Please note that my research indicates that you can have certain parts of your own body look exactly like certain parts of her body--For about $5,000. But, that's another post.)
The fitness competitor does some cardio, I'm quite sure. But her focus is more on weight training.
You sold, yet? A picture says a thousand words, they say!
Next post: Let's get started on some weight training. It's not just for boys!

Monday, November 3, 2008

Yeah, I'm a Local Celebrity

Check out page 38!

And here are the recipes so that you don't have to get a microscope to see them. A couple of them are more geared toward holiday baking since it's the November issue, but most of them are pretty heart-healthy. So try them out and let me know what you think!

Glazed Fruit Salad
· Fresh pineapple, cut into chunks
· Apples
· Oranges
· Bananas
· Strawberries
· Grapes
· Kiwi
· One plastic jar of Dole peaches
· Any other favorite fresh fruit
· 1 large box of vanilla cook and serve pudding
· Pineapple juice and juice from Dole peaches
Drain the peach juice into a measuring cup. Add enough pineapple juice to make two cups of juice. Mix juice with the pudding and bring to a boil, stirring constantly, until thick. Wash and cut fresh fruit into bite-sized chunks. Toss fruit mixture in the cooled glaze. Will stay good for several days and can be made ahead.

Italian Cream Cake
· 2 c. sugar
· ½ c. cooking oil
· ½ c. shortening
· 5 eggs, separated
· 2 c. flour
· 1 tsp. baking soda
· 1 c. buttermilk
· 1 c. coconut
· ½ tsp. vanilla
· ½ tsp. butter flavoring
Cream together oil and shortening. Add sugar, then egg yolks, one at a time, and beat well after each. Add flour and soda. Add alternately with buttermilk. Add coconut, vanilla, and butter flavoring. Beat egg whites until stiff and fold in. Bake at 350 for 30 to 35 minutes. Makes three 8” layers.
Icing for Italian Cream Cake
· 1 (8 oz) pkg. cream cheese (room temperature)
· 1 stick oleo (room temperature)
· 1 box powdered sugar
· 1 tsp. vanilla
· 1 ½ c. finely chopped pecans
Beat together cheese and oleo. Add sugar, vanilla, and pecans.

Pear Cake (a new family favorite…My dad has a huge pear tree, and it makes the sweetest, most fabulous pears. And a lot of them! I had to come up with something to do with all those wonderful pears!)
· 2 c. flour
· 2 c. sugar
· ½ tsp. salt
· 1 tsp. soda
· 2 tsp. cinnamon
· 1 c. cooking oil
· 1 tsp. vanilla
· 3 eggs
· 3 c. chopped pears
· 1 c. chopped pecans
Sift dry ingredients. Add oil and vanilla. Beat eggs until foamy. Add egg mixture to flour mixture; beat well. Fold in pears and pecans. Bake in tube pan for 1 hour at 350.

Broccoli Salad (a low fat, much healthier version of a Paula Deen recipe)
4 cups small broccoli florets (about 1 1/2 lbs.)1 1/2 cups seedless green grapes, halved1 cup chopped celery1 cup raisins1/4 cup salted sunflower seeds1/3 cup light mayo1/4 cup plain fat-free yogurt3 tablespoons sugar1 tablespoon white vinegarCombine first 5 ingredients in a large bowl. Combine mayo and remaining ingredients, stirring with at whisk. Pour dressing over broccoli mixture and toss well. Chill 1 hour. Yield: 8 servings.

Pizza Crust (My children love pizza, and I don’t like all the fat and calories that come with take-out pizza. This recipe makes us BOTH happy.)

· 1 pkg. active dry yeast
· 1 c. warm water (105 – 115 degrees)
· 1 ¼ c. all purpose flour
· 1 ¼ c. whole wheat flour
· 2 T. olive oil
· ½ t. salt
· ½ T. Italian seasoning (dried herbs)
· Vegetable oil
· Cornmeal

Dissolve yeast in 1 cup of warm water. In a large bowl, mix flour with salt and herbs. Drizzle in olive oil. Pour yeast-water mixture in center of flour mixture (rinse out small bowl with a teaspoon or two of warm water, if necessary), then stir together just until mixed. Do not overwork dough. Sprinkle dough very lightly with all purpose flour, then cover with a warm, damp cloth and allow to rise for 20-30 minutes. Coat cast iron skillet very lightly with vegetable oil (should already be seasoned well). Sprinkle bottom with thin layer of cornmeal, if desired. Work dough into skillet until it fits evenly. Sprinkle dough very lightly with all purpose flour, if necessary. Cover with warm, damp cloth and allow to rise for 30-40 minutes. Pre-heat over to 375 degrees. Press dough in center down lightly, so as to create a slightly risen edge for a crust. Bake in over for 18 minutes. Remove from over, cover with Ragu ready-made sauce, black olives, sautéed spinach (sautéed in olive oil with a little garlic), and fresh mushrooms and/or any other toppings, then bake again until cheese begins to brown.

Chicken Fajita Marinade

· ¼ c. red wine vinegar
· Cilantro
· 3 – 4 cloves garlic
· Juice of 6 limes
· 1 ½ T. Fiesta Chicken Fajita Seasoning
· 1 T. Teriyaki sauce

Use the food processor to finely chop garlic and a handful or two of cilantro (depending on your individual taste). Add red wine vinegar, lime juice, Teriyaki sauce, and seasoning and mix in a gallon size freezer bag. Add 4-5 chicken breasts and marinate for at least an hour before grilling.

Serve with vegetables—bell pepper, onion, and tomato—grilled in lime, garlic, and cilantro.

Wrap in whole wheat tortillas and top with salsa.