Happy Halloween!!!

lifeslittlerantsandraves

It’s Halloween, Charlie Brown! Yes, I will be watching It’s The Great Pumpkin.  But, in the meantime we are playing some Halloween music, and waiting for trick or treaters. And, well we best have some because there is way too much candy sitting in this house. And, well it can go without saying that I do not need it sitting in my house after today.

I decorated for Halloween, and the husband is playing with dry ice.

I found this idea on Pinterest it’s pretty cool.  Not, that you can tell from these pictures but they look pretty awesome outside.

Next year I will be working on these a bit more than the 5 minutes I threw them together this year. also, I’ll be using glow sticks instead of glow bracelets. I think that will fill them better than the bracelets are currently doing.

And, this is my grave buster, well…

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Vacuuming

Yeah, that’s right let’s talk about housework.  The big one, well in my house is vacuuming. I do it a lot. When you have 2 Shepard lab mixes that shed like crazy paired with 3,000+ square feet of deep pile carpeting, you’re going to vacuum a lot. I vacuum nearly the entire house at least 3 times a week. That’s a lot of vacuuming.

And, I guess I can say this about vacuuming it counts as exercise right?  I mean today I think I worked up more of a sweat vacuuming than I did during my morning workout. Okay, not really, but it sure felt like it. It may have had something to do with the moving of furniture while vacuuming.  I was trying to make sure I banished all of the dog hair and dirt.

I usually end up going over the room more than once with the vacuum in multiple directions, in hopes that I get down into the deep pile of the carpet. Sometimes it works sometimes not.

Unfortunately, all of the vacuuming doesn’t add up to a lot of steps, but I still get the heart rate up and I’m definitely moving around so I’ll take it. Of course I’d rather not have to vacuum nearly every day.

Fennel Who Knew

This week in my Bountiful Basket there were 2 fennel bulbs. I wasn’t even sure what they were, and had to ask. I have stayed away from fennel because I’ve heard it tastes like licorice and a licorice fan I am not. But, okay this is what was given to me, guess I’ll be trying fennel this week was my thought.

I came home and began looking on Pinterest for a recipe to make with fennel. Most of them either had you roasting or sautéing it with some spices. Hmmmm, I didn’t think that was quite going to make it work for me.  Then, I found it. A fennel apple gratin.

Now, this is nowhere near a healthy choice, the recipe calls for lots of butter, buttermilk, and parmesan cheese. The only thing healthy is the apple and fennel, and well by the time it’s done being coated in butter, buttermilk, and cheese I’m not even sure you can call the fennel and apple healthy anymore.

I decided to give it a try anyway, using light butter, reduced fat buttermilk and parmesan. I chopped up the fennel and granny smith apples, and went to making the sauce. The recipe calls for a whole cup of parmesan and I found that to be too much. So I did lighten the cheese factor a bit. After whipping up the dish and placing it in the oven within 10 minutes, my kitchen was smelling amazing. After the 30 minutes of bake time I was ready to dive in. There were some delicious smells coming from my kitchen that’s for sure.

I took a serving of the gratin, and prepared myself for the licorice taste. I was pleasantly surprised by the taste. There was a bit of a licorice taste, but nothing that made me scrunch up my face and think no way am I eating this. It was actually quite tasty.  Of course this could have to do with the cheesy goodness that it was coated in. Either way I enjoyed it, and will be enjoying leftovers later this week.

You can check out the recipe here.

Let me know if you try it and how you like it.  And, also let me know ways you prepare fennel.

Keeping On Track

I’m happy that so far today has been a success.  I was a little worried about it, being that today is the first day since I’ve started on this journey that my husband is home. My husband travels for work, and isn’t home as often as we would like. Although, when he’s not home I find it easier to stick to a plan, I guess it has to do with the lack of distraction or something like that. Anyway, I was a little worried that I’d make an excuse not to stick to my plan for the day, but I stuck with it, and so far so good.

I got up this morning did my run training workout, yoga, and even added some of my Teemo challenge in, I’ll fill you in more on that tomorrow. I also exceeded my daily steps goal.  Best part about that is I raised my daily step goal to 6,000 steps, and well today it wasn’t even something I had to think about, it just happened. Pretty easily I must admit.

I have only been working at this for 2 weeks, but I think that I have finally reached that point in my life where I am completely committed to this journey, and failure is not an option. Looking forward to another positive day tomorrow, as well as continuing on the positive note of today.

Weekly Recap Week 2

Another week has come to end.  With this end, comes a recap of the past weeks events.

First I had a personal achievement of walking over 10,000 steps in one day, which I am totally stoked about.  I did all of my scheduled workouts, and even added in a few more.

  • Lost 3.2 pounds this week
  • Walked 46,100 steps
  • 6,014 steps was the daily average
  • 18,186 calories burned
  • 2,631 calories burned was the daily average.
  • 7,824 calorie deficit this week
  • 20 miles walked
  • 2.6 miles walked was the daily average
  • 1 hour 57 minutes of highly active activity this week
  • 15 minutes was the daily average for highly active activity
  • Total weight loss 7.4 pounds.

This week has been another success for me.  Not only from the loss that showed up on the scale this morning, but also because of all I’ve accomplished.  I clocked in 10,000+ steps in one day, have successfully ran for 3 consecutive minutes with my run training, and haven’t felt like I’m going to die from lack of oxygen, have improved in my yoga work, and have continued to make health food choices.

I definitely feel that I have more energy after working out, some days I have to make myself workout, but it is definitely worth it, after I am done.  Actually about 10 minutes into it, I no longer am dreading it.  I like the changes that I have begun to make in my life, and can’t wait to see what else will come my way.

I Did 10,000

Today, I’m pretty impressed and excited with myself. According to my FitBit I walked 10,000 steps today. I was actually pretty excited about today, because I had a feeling I would get there. I did Zumba this morning and just my normal moving around, and had reached the 5,000 mark by 11AM. I also knew that I was heading to a corn maze and be doing quite a bit of walking around.

I was right the corn maze was ridiculous, and what was even more ridiculous was the map they give you, if you can call it  that. The map was about as useful as bucket with a hole in it. However, we managed to make it out an exit, the wrong exit but it was an exit, so I’m claiming success.

With the trekking through the corn maze for a half hour and the hour of Zumba in the morning I was able to make it to the 10,000 mark. I’m proud of myself because the closest I’ve gotten has been somewhere in the 8,000’s. I’m slowly working up to having 10,000 steps a day be the goal. I’m not there yet, but I will be.

Did you know that it’s recommend that adults get 10,000 steps a day. I had no idea until recently, but now that I do that’s my goal.

Thinking of something fun and active to get me moving tomorrow, who knows what that will be, but 5,000 steps at least will be made.

Roasted Parmesan Rosemary Potatoes

I take part in Bountiful Basket, and at some point had gotten fresh rosemary, and a 3lb bag of potatoes. Tonight I decided to do something with them.

I washed, and cut the potatoes into chunks, and threw them into a Ziplock bag. Along with the potatoes I used some of the fresh rosemary, olive oil, and parmesan cheese. I mixed everything together, and by mix I mean I gave it all a good shake.  After making sure the potatoes were well coated I dumped them onto a greased baking sheet.  I sprayed the sheet with some Pam, but feel free to use whatever you like.  I made sure the potatoes were in a single layer, and tossed them in a 450 degree pre-heated oven. I let them cook for 15 minutes and then flipped them over and cooked for another 15 minutes. After removing them from the oven I drizzled a little more olive oil and parmesan over the top.

And, well here they are

Yoga Blocks

I recently have started doing yoga. I’m doing different forms of yoga 5 times a week. I’ve been doing a yoga workout with weights once a week, a Pilates barre workout, a yoga dance workout, once a week, and then twice a week I’ve been doing sun salutations yoga.

Today was one of the days I did a sun salutation workout. And, well it’s the 4th time I’ve done the workout, and it was AMAZING! I was able to get the movements to flow, and even started getting the breaths right.

The big reason for the breakthrough today was because of Yoga blocks. I really had no idea that they could help with the ability to hold poses. But, I am a believer now. Yoga blocks are amazing. I found by using them to aid me I was able to hold the positions longer and felt stronger. Along with this I found it easier to flow from position to position.

As I get stronger and more flexible I know that I won’t need the blocks as much, and I’m looking forward to that day, but for now I’ll be using them. I actually felt like the workout was beneficial and not a strenuous experience. After today, I think it’s safe to say that I am quickly becoming a yoga lover.

Every time I do the sun salutation series it’s getting a little easier and more natural. I’m still working on connecting my breath with the movements. But, just like the movements and positions the breathing aspect of the practice will take practice. And, well I’m up for the practice time.

If you’re ever doing yoga and struggling, don’t be afraid to reach for those blocks they are there for a reason. I’m a lover of yoga blocks.

It All Adds Up

I’ve been realizing how everything adds up, and even the small stuff counts.

Ever since I’ve been tracking my steps, I’ve found little ways to put a few more steps in my day. Parking at the store, is no longer looking for a close spot, it’s looking for a spot that’s going to make me walk a little bit more. Running into the mall for a specific item, well let’s park on the opposite side of the mall so now I have to walk to and from the store. Of course, this little trick can backfire, because window displays can sometimes suck me in, and well I really don’t need to buy anything other than what I’m at the mall to get. But, the benefits of more steps and a healthier me are higher than spotting something I think I want.

A big trick that I’ve been using around my house, well actually there are 2. The first is yes, I can carry the entire load of folded laundry from the laundry room to the bedroom in one trip but, if I break it up into trips I’ve just increased my activity for the day.  I know it’s not a lot, but it does add up.  So, I’ve been consciously trying to make trips for things instead of trying to do it all in one full swoop.  And, well it’s been working. The other trick I’m using in the house is to go the long way.  The way my house is set up is basically a big circle.  The dogs run laps around it so why can’t I?  I’m not actually running laps in my house although I guess I could if I choose too, but instead of going the quickest route to get something from the laundry room I’ll go the longer way, and take the longer way back as well.  And, again I know it’s not a lot but it’s definitely a few more steps than if I had gone the shorter route. See it all adds up.

All of these little ways I’m finding to put more activity into my day are adding up in the long run,and well know it’s becoming a game for me to see what else I can do to change my normal routine to add some more activity.

Everything adds up and I’m realizing that it’s up to me to make the best use of my time to maximize my activity.

Kettlebell

Kettlebells.  I love you and I hate you.

I’ve been working out with a kettlebell on my strength training days, and well I’m feeling it. I’m not even using a heavy one at that. Actually, I think I may quite possibly be using the lightest one they make. But, 5 pounds at this point is more than enough for this muscle weakling. After several more sessions I’m sure I’ll be ready to graduate to something a bit heavier. But, anyway at the moment that 5 pounds can feel like a ton after doing one arm shoulder presses for a minute.

The kettlebell is a great tool I’m able to use it to get a full body workout, and yes every muscle seems to cry in protest while I’m working out, but I push through, and I can do so relatively fast. About 20 minutes and I’ve worked my body over.  It of course has a lot to do with combining upper and lower body exercises into one, I know this.  However, I find it a lot easier to do the movements correctly and with fluidity using a kettlebell rather than free weights. I’m sure it has to do with my lack of coordination, but the kettlebell makes a task I’m not very fond of a bit easier.

I of course hate the kettlebell for the very same reason I like it.  It works the whole body and quickly at that, can you say exhausted half way through, and feeling near death by the end. It makes it seem easier than other strength training exercises, so now I have no excuse not to do it. Although, I’m working really hard to move away from excuses for not exercising. And, well for the last week and a half I’ve been succeeding. So I’ll give myself a high-five for that.

I’ve never been a fan of strength training.  Cardio sure sign me up, flexibility and balance, why not, strength training, shoot me now. So, I’m glad I found something that makes it a little more tolerable, and I’m getting out there and doing it, because well it’s all part of being a healthier me.