Category Archives: Spinning

Back to Routine

I’m trying to get back into my normal routine after being out of town for 4 days, and I think my body is craving fruits and veggies after eating out so much. Last night I randomly decided to head to the gym even though it was a normal rest day. I wanted to go for fun and not necessarily for the sole purpose of burning calories. Its fun to workout because you like it and not because you feel like you have to.

I spent 45 minutes doing a solo Spin workout. I love taking Spinning classes on occasion to change things up a bit from running, but I also love having the room to myself and just doing whatever feels good on the bike. I sometimes sneak in when classes aren’t in session so I can be alone.

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If you’ve never tried a Spin class, I suggest you give it a chance. Its a lot of fun and low impact, but it still burns a ton of calories.

After 45 minutes on the bike I was ready for something else, so I thought I’d do a brick workout.  I ran 2 miles on the treadmill. I wanted to get a feel for what it was like to go from cycling to running since I’ve heard tons of people talk about what a weird sensation it is. It was definitely a strange feeling and for the first minute or two I wasn’t sure my legs were going to hold me. After about 0.25 miles I started to get my running legs back and then it was smooth sailing.

I headed to the grocery store to pick up one thing and as usual ended up with much more than that. My body must really want fruits and veggies right now because I ended up buying:

  • strawberries
  • blackberries (which I don’t even really like)
  • blueberries
  • watermelon
  • celery
  • baby carrots
  • snow peas
  • spinach
  • Mung Bean Sprouts
  • black bean hummus

I made a huge bowl of homemade Tofu Veggie Stir Fry with the ingredients I bought and some veggies at home that needed to be used up. It really hit the spot!

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This morning for breakfast I couldn’t decide what in the world I wanted. I finally decided to make my own version of Starbucks Perfect Oatmeal.

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I’ve never actually had the Perfect Oatmeal from Starbucks, but I like the idea. My oatmeal contained:

  • 1/2 quick cook oats
  • 1/2 banana
  • blueberries
  • handful of Fruit & Nut trailmix
  • sprinkle of cinnamon
  • drizzle of honey

It was amazing! I think this is going to be a new obsession for a while. Be prepared for lots of oatmeal pics in the future.

Unfortunately, part of getting back to my regular routine involves going back to work. I so enjoyed my days off! I always prepare my meals ahead of time and pack my food for work so that I can make sure I’m eating healthy meals, am less tempted to order out and therefore save money.

Working 12 hour shifts on my feet requires that I eat more than one meal while I’m at work. I usually pack dinner, a big snack and breakfast. Sticking with the fruit and veggies theme this is what I packed for tonight.

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A huge bowl of Lentil Soup for dinner.

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Baby carrots, celery, black bean hummus and mixed berries for snack.

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And all the fixin’s for my own Perfect Oatmeal for breakfast.

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See you in a few days! Have a great day.

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Filed under exercise, Food, pictures, Spinning

A Great Day, A Great Workout

This morning I decided since the weather was so beautiful that I would take my baby boy to the zoo for our monthly Mother/Son activity, as listed in my 101 in 1001. We have an annual membership where we get in free, and it is about to expire at the end of the month so I figured it would be a great time to take advantage of it. Also Lincoln is completely obsessed with trains!

For breakfast I made another Grilled Banana Sandwhich. This time I grilled the banana by themselves before making the sandwhich, and then I grilled the whole thing. The banana were much gooey-er this time.

I also had a Green Monster.

My Green Monster contained:

  • Frozen mixed fruit (peaches, melon, nectarine, strawberries)
  • Kale
  • Water

It was pretty grody! I guzzled it down for the vitamins, but I certainly didn’t enjoy the taste. You win some, you lose some. It would have been better with a banana, but I figured I didn’t need 2 bananas in my breakfast.

I forgot to bring my camera to the zoo with us. 😦

Lincoln had an amazing time. As soon as we arrived we headed straight for the train. He sat in my lap without squirming the whole time and was completely in awe. I think I fell in love with him all over again. I told him, “I love you” and he said “I yuv you too Momma”. How precious!?

We played on the playground, looked at the animals and had lunch in the cafe while watching the Giraffes. The cafe didn’t have any good vegetarian options other than Grilled Cheese  so I had an order of French Fries.

When we got home I had my real lunch, leftover Greens & Quinoa Pie (don’t worry you won’t be hearing about this again, I finished it off) and baby carrots with hummus.

I also had a surprise waiting on me when I got home. Oh how I love the UPS man! 🙂

I’ve been eye-ing this book for a while, but I haven’t bought it because its fairly expensive. I researched the prices and finally decided to go ahead and order it from Amazon. I get free 2-day shipping with them anyway. I figured it would be a good investment, after all I can use it to help me accomplish my 101 in 1001 goal of trying 50 new recipes.

Today was a scheduled rest or crosstrain today, but I decided to turn today into a brick workout day. A brick workout is basically where you do one type of workout immediately following another type. Today I ran 3.5 miles and then did a Spinning class. Brick workouts are common in training for multisport races such as triathlons.

After my workout I was HANGRY! I made tacos for dinner and ate waaay more than I should have. I had 2 big soft tacos and a couple handfuls of tortillas chips, plus 2 beers.

No thats not ground beef you see, it’s Boca Crumbles. I’ve been making tacos and chili with Boca Crumbles long before I became vegetarian because its so low in calories and fat compared to ground meat. Only 60 calories per serving, you can’t beat that 🙂

Do you find that you tend to over-eat after an intense workout?

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Filed under 101 in 1001, Brick Workout, Food, pictures, Spinning

Blogger Break Day

Sorry for being MIA yesterday! I had a lot of things around the house that I really needed to work on before my work-week starts. Only 2 days left before I have to go back to work 😦

Lunch yesterday consisted of leftover Lentil Loaf, Sour Cream and Onion scalloped potatoes and turnip greens.

I was a sweet wife and let the hubby have the leftover Indian food from the night before. What can I say? It was my one good deed for the day.

Mondays are usually rest days for us, but we decided we’d like to go to a Spin class since we haven’t been in atleast a month or more. Tim and I both fell in love with Spinning when we first started exercising. We’d go to the YMCA and do spin classes every Tuesday and Thursday and we’d usually do back to back classes on those days. I would always get the crockpot going sometime around lunch time so that when we got home we had a home cooked meal waiting for us.

Yesterday was no exception. Tim gave me a recipe for Red Beans and Rice that he wanted me to make for dinner and I adapted it for the slow cooker. I’ve been really digging cooking with dried beans lately, they are sooo cheap and it makes so much food! I soaked the beans overnight and then I used this recipe as a guideline (of course leaving out the meat items). I got everything going in the crockpot about 3:00 and put it on high for 4 hours.

Tim ended up having to work late and wasn’t able to go spinning afterall. I dropped Lincoln off at his Gran’s house so that I could go to the Y alone. I told her I was making Red Beans and Rice for dinner and invited her over (Tim’s family is from Louisiana). She declined, but gave me a can of beans that she swears are the “best red beans you can find or make” just in case mine didn’t turn out.

I hit the elliptical machine for an easy 35 minutes before my Spin class started, my heartrate never got above 135. I usually like to keep it above 150 for cardio workouts. But it was a nice easy workout and I was able to read some of my newest book, Dear John by Nicholas Sparks. If you’ve ever considered getting a Amazon Kindle, but haven’t because of the price … I assure you it is worth every last dime.

I’m always surprised, as a runner, how difficult Spin classes can be. My heartrate never gets where I’d like it to, but my quads sure do feel the burn. I always think of runners as having very strong legs, but I’m always knocked back a bit when I do a really hard spin workout or lots of lunges/legwork and then I’m sore the next day. It must be a different group of muscles at work. Either that or my body has just memorized how to run so efficiently that it really isn’t putting forward any muscle effort, muscle memory I guess. Or maybe I’m just making shit up! Who knows!?

Either way … After the elliptial and spinning I was HANGRY! I ran to the grocery store to get some french bread and green onions to go with dinner and headed home to get the rice going. When I walked in the house smelled soooo delicious! I ran over to the crockpot, lifted the lid, spooned up some beans and tasted them … and spat them out. They were hard as little rocks! Oh well, thank goodness for Plan B. I heated up the can of beans from my mother in law instead. You win some, you lose some.

I continued cooking my beans for an additional 6 hours and now they are delicious. We might just be having Red Beans and Rice two nights in a row. Would that be so bad?

Today is the last day of the Pledge to Be Veg challenge. I’ll discuss later where I’m going to go from here and review some of the meals I made in the last 30 days. But for now my little man is calling for his mommy 🙂

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Filed under pictures, Pledge to Be Veg, Spinning

Exercise is the Best Anti-depressant!

I’m in a much better mood than I was earlier today when I wrote my previous post. I let off some steam by going Spinning tonight. I used to spin every Tuesday and Thursday night, but I’ve gotten out of the habit since I started running so much. I ran 2.5 miles on the treadmill and then did a 45 minute spin class. It was refreshing and I feel much better. Yay exercise!

Tonight for dinner I made Salsa Chicken from Allrecipes.com. It couldn’t have been any easier. You just sprinkle chicken breasts with taco seasoning, top them with salsa and bake it in the oven for 30 minutes, then top with shredded cheese and bake another 3 minutes or so. I topped mine with sour cream, cilantro and green onions.

I made spinach, onions and mushroom sauteed in balsamic vinegar on the side and corn on the cob. I probably should have made black beans and mexican rice instead, but I was craving spinach and corn. So sue me! I’ve really been on a corn kick lately since I discovered you can buy whole unshucked ears of corn for next to nothing and steam them in the microwave.

I’m off to watch The Biggest Loser now. I love Tuesdays! Have a great night.

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Filed under exercise, Food, pictures, Recipes, Running, Spinning, The Biggest Loser

Where It All Began …

What a day! I got off work at 7 am this morning and slept until noon, then I had to get up to go to my eye doctor appointment. Thank goodness for that though, I haven’t been able to see well at all lately. Unfortunately my eye doctor loves to talk and talk and talk. I was there for 2 1/2 hours!!! Finally I got out of there, but I have to go back Monday to have my eyes dilated. He couldn’t do it today because he didn’t want me driving myself home and Tim wasn’t with me.

Tonight I watched The Biggest Loser and made tacos from leftovers from this weekend. After dinner I made my casseroles for Thanksgiving. I have to work Wednesday night so I figured if I made the casseroles ahead of time all I would have to do on Thursday is pop them in the oven. They are going to be delish! I stole a couple  way too many bites while I was cooking.

Tonight I wanted to talk about how I started running. I get alot of questions from people about how I got to the point I am now with my running, how I run as far as I do, and how I run the speed I do. So I thought I’d share with you what I did. I’ve always hated to exercise believe it or not. I was the kind of person that would rather starve herself than workout. I ran a little when I was in highschool but nothing serious or regular.

In February I started really thinking about getting serious about losing weight, but at that time I was 235 pounds. I knew that I was going to have to start exercising if I was ever going to lose any serious amount of weight. So I bought a Wii and Wii Fit. Everyday before I went to work I would do boxing, step aerobics or hoola hoop on the Wii Fit for about 30 minutes. Then I bought Dance Dance Revolution and started doing that as well. These were fun ways that I could get active without feeling like I was truly exercising.

After a couple of months I started getting bored with the Wii games, but I was happy to see that there was exercise that I could do and enjoy. It wasn’t nearly as unbearable as I remembered. I decided to join the YMCA, and I started going several times a week and using the elliptical. From there I started taking Spin classes. I was really enjoying everything! I couldn’t believe it!

Shortly after I started to get really interested in working out a few girls from work started the Couch to 5K program. I didn’t jump on the bandwagon right away, but it didn’t take long before I joined in. When I first started I would run at 4.0 miles per hour (15 min mile) and I could barely run 1/4 of a mile without stopping. I hated every minute of it at first, but I kept up with the program and I was able to (barely) complete each week. At some point during those weeks I realized that I was really starting to like the way that running made me feel and the weight started seriously dropping off.

I remember the first day I ran 2 miles without stopping. I felt like I had just done something that was AMAZING! And for me it really was amazing at the time. I started experimenting with my speed and kept running the alloted distances. I’d do intervals of 4.0 mph and 5.0 mph on the treadmill. Before long I started trying to see how long I could run at 5 mph, then intervals of 5.0 and 6.0 … and so on and so forth.

I never did try to run outside because everyone told me how hard it was compared to the treadmill and I definitely didn’t want to do anything harder than I absolutely had to. But one of my friends who was doing the program found a 5K and several of us decided to sign up. I figured that if I was going to run in an actual 5K I should probably practice running outside. The very first time I ran outside I was absolutely amazed at how different it was than the treadmill. I was IN LOVE! I found running outside much easier than the treadmill and much less boring, and I was able to run much faster outside than I ever did on the treadmill.

We did our Big Brother/Big Sister 5K and I actually had a fairly decent time. From that point on I was totally hooked. I loved the whole atmosphere of racing and being around the other people. My only goal in that first race was to run the entire thing. I almost threw up! But I did it … and I wanted to get even better. Now I am following the Beginner Half Marathon Training program.

I highly recommend anyone that is interested in starting to run to follow a program such as Couch to 5K. It will give you guidance and help you keep from injuring yourself by doing too much too fast.

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Filed under 5K, exercise, Half Marathon Training, Races, Running, Spinning, Training Programs, YMCA

A Challenge

Good evening!

I finished up my last night at work for the week and now I get 3 fabulous nights at home with my fam-fam. I just hate that I had to sleep more than half of the day away. But such is the life of a night shift nurse.

I did an experiment this week. Every night I worked this week I took the “long way” to work and avoided the toll bridge that I normally take. I wrote down the time I left my house and the time I got to the hospital, and then the opposite on the way home in the mornings. I was really surprised to see that the “long way” only took me 21-23 minutes. I always thought it was more like 30 minutes. The toll bridge that I typically drive twice a day is $1.50 each way. Now I know that it only shaves off about 2 or 3 minutes off of my drive. So in the last 3 days I saved myself $9.00 in toll charges. If I drive the longer way from now on instead of the toll bridge when I go to work I will save myself $36/month or $432/year. Hells yes! I wish I would have realized this .. oh say … 3 years ago.

You may or may not have noticed a challenge that I was given in the comments of my previous post, Great Eight! My friend Abi that I went to nursing school with is in the Air Force and she challenged me to run 1.5 miles in 11:50 which is the requirement to get 100% on the Air Force PT test for a 32 year old female. I’ve been sick with sinus congestion and a very sore throat this week, so I thought I would wait until next week to conquer the challenge.

I went out for my scheduled 3 mile run before work on Tuesday, and I realized at about 3/4 mile that I was running at a 7:45 pace. I wasn’t intending to run that fast, I was just into it that day I guess. But I figured since I was doing so well I should see if I could meet my goal. I checked my Garmin exactly when I hit 1.5 miles and it was 11:47! Yay! A good challenge is always fun.

Today I did a 4 mile run on my treadmill. I really hate that the sun is setting so much earlier now, its hard for me to get out and finish my runs in the afternoon before it gets dark. I am not a fan of  the treadmill. I’m thankful to have it, but I’d prefer to run outside any day of the week. I intended to get my run out of the way and then go with Tim to Spinning class tonight since I don’t get to go very often because of my work schedule. It was all I could do to finish up my run though. I was completely spent afterwards and even felt lightheaded and weird. So I went to Walmart and bought Thanksgiving stuff while Tim went spinning.

Dinner was pretty simple tonight. I had some fresh veggies I needed to use up before they went bad.

Lemon pepper fish filet, steamed cabbage, fresh corn on the cob, roasted asparagus and tomato slices. Yummy! Now I’m off to watch The Biggest Loser from Tuesday with the hubby and to bed. Have a great night!

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Filed under Challenges, Food, Friends, Garmin, pictures, Running, Spinning, Thoughts

My Culinary Mistake

Well, I’m finally off of work for a few days. I can’t write much when I’m working since I work three 12 hour shifts in a row. I pretty much just work and sleep for 3 days straight.

When I woke up this afternoon I got some Parisienne Chicken going in the crockpot for my dinner tonight. I already had all of the ingredients at home except the mushrooms, so it was an easy fix.

I went to the Y this evening and did 15 minutes on the elliptical before my spinning class. Spin class was really good tonight. I’ve been feeling like it was a waste of time lately because I think my body is too used to it. My heart rate doesn’t usually get high enough for me to burn enough calories in spinning anymore. But tonight was different … my heart rate stayed higher than normal and I felt like I got a really good workout.

When I got home the chicken was smelling really good. But when I looked at it I realized something was wrong.

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The sauce was all grainy and gross. At first I thought that it was just a bad recipe, but I just re-read it and realized I messed up. I was suppose to mix sour cream into the white wine and cream of mushroom soup mixture, and instead I just put it into the crockpot. Oops!

I tried to make the best of it by serving it with some yummy sauteed green beans and rice. And it wasn’t actually that bad, but it definitely isn’t a keeper. I don’t think it would have been that great if I had done it correctly either, so I probably won’t bother making this one again.

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Oh well, lesson learned. What culinary mistakes have you made?

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Filed under Food, pictures, Recipes, Spinning