Tuesday, August 31, 2010

P90X - My Review (finally)

Now that I am two weeks post-P90X, I feel I can give a little review.  First thing I should say is that I am VERY happy with my results.  I do believe I could've done even better had I followed the nutrition plan.  But, I am excited to have muscles again, even if they are tiny.  The reason I didn't follow the nutrition plan is because I have three other bodies I am feeding in my home.  I just wanted to focus on healthier eating for all of us versus just following a plan for three months while I work out.  So, I am not disappointed in myself for not following along with the nutrition, but if you decide to do "the X" and want to go all the way, the nutrition plan will get you that much farther.  Also, if I had heavier weights at home I think I would be more toned and cut.  I topped out at 10 lbs. and really could've used 12s, 15s and 20s as well.

I will do a post on each individual workout so please check back, but as a whole, I feel P90X is geared more towards men.  That is not to say women won't get fabulous results using it, but there is a heavy concentration on upper body strengthening and building, leaving us women with the same old saggy butts and thighs we had before.  Legs are only worked once per week with weights, and the plyometric DVD helps out a bit as well.  But while my butt is hard as a rock, that rock is hiding underneath a bit of "cushion".  My legs are stronger than ever as well, but not as cut and toned as I would've liked (which again, could be because of my lack of heavier weights).  When I started adding in the Brazil Butt Lift workouts towards the end, I did see more "lift" in the rear though but it still needs some work.  The upper body and ab workouts though - totally killer!  Never would I have gotten this much muscle growth just doing my own thing at the gym.

As for the cardio segments, other than plyo, they are a tad weak for my taste.  I did some running during the week to make up for the lack of good cardio.  My least favorite was Kenpo in the beginning, but I grew to love it and found ways to make it a bit more challenging (weighted gloves, ankle weights, higher kicking and using my own body to resist during the punches).  Plyo though, wow, intense, intense, intense.  Within the first five minutes (out of a nearly 60 minute workout), you will be sweating.

All in all, I am glad I chose P90X and will probably do another round of it as soon as I finish Insanity. P90XMC2 is coming out next year, and I will do that also.  This round though, the upper body results came so quickly and I felt my strength increasing week by week.  My tolerance and performance during plyo also increased each week.  The program is a great way to work your entire body and to avoid plateau.  I like how each phase (30 days each) brings different routines and schedules - it really keeps your muscles guessing (P90X refers to this as muscle confusion).

The Skinny
In 90 days, I lost over 10 inches, mostly from the chest and butt (a/k/a "the fun zones").  The girls went from a C to an A cup within the first month.  Upside, smaller bras are cuter and cheaper.  :)  I started out at 125 lbs (I am 5'6) and cannot tell you if I lost any actual weight as we don't have a scale (I don't like to measure my fitness level by those nasty numbers), but I will try to access one in the near future just to see.  My abs and core are tighter and stronger than ever.  They too though are covered with some of that "cushion" which I'm hoping the extreme cardio of Insanity will help burn off.  The biggest gains I found were to my back and shoulders.  The muscles developed in these areas pretty quickly.  Never found a place to install a pull up bar, but on the jungle gym at the park I can do one to two unassisted chin ups depending on the day - hey, it's better than nothing.  The best part though?  During our recent beach vacation, I didn't pack anything other than bikinis and I confidently strutted my stuff on the beach daily.  No cover ups, big t-shirts, sarongs, etc.  So, if for nothing else, the gain in body confidence is reason enough to do this program.

The Before and After

8/21/2010 (yeah, I got a tan with shorts on, excuse the mid-thigh tan lines):

Side Effects
You will be HUNGRY.  You will spend countless hours in front of a mirror (any mirror) flexing your new muscles and checking out your abs.  You will excitedly call your friends to tell them how you were finally able to do all 25 crunchy frogs and have mastered the Dreya roll or the superman banana.  The people around you will be SICK of hearing about the "X" so you will seek out other victims X-ers to discuss all things X with (and hopefully I am one of them)!  Worst of all, you will start using Tony-speak.  You will say "bring it" and "do your best and forget the rest" to members of your family about random things like homework, yard work and laundry and they will look at you like you are insane.

Separate reviews (with pics) of each of the 11 DVDs I used to follow.

To read about other women and their journey check out Muffintop to Skinny Jeans.  Tons of inspiration out there!

Menu - August 31 & Insanity Day 3

The last day of August.  So, so, so sad.  I love summer and can't believe it's almost over.  Next week, the kids go back to school.  I remember that time from when I was a kid - excited to wear your new school clothes and use your new pens and folders with pictures of Andy Gibb and Rod Stewart on them, but dreading it at the same time.  Where to sit at lunch?  Will my friends be in my class?  Will the class bully be in my class?  Are they going to make us play gym today?  How can I get rid of this giant chin zit over night, etc.  Yuck, I did NOT enjoy that time.

Anyhoo, despite the fact that we BOTH wanted to stay in bed, the Mr. and I hauled our butts downstairs and completed day 3 of Insanity.  There was sweating, grunting, painful groaning and some cursing, but then it was done and we both feel better for it.  His legs are sore and my back is really twisted.  I'm thinking my form may be off on some of the moves.  I'll have to pay better attention tomorrow.

Now, on to the food.

My back was really bothering me after our workout, so I just grabbed a bowl of cereal and a glass of OJ this morning.  I mix Kashi Go Lean with some Kashi Go Lean Crunch as I find the regular Go Lean to have very little taste (and it looks like rabbit feed).  Top with 2% milk.

Back to work again.  Today I had to bring the kids with me - woohoo!  NOT.  Camp is over and no school yet, so we do what we have to do.  I packed today my 10:30 pb&j on oat nut bread and some fresh strawberries with a hint of powdered sugar.  For lunch I had a salad - spinach, herbs, three hard boiled egg whites, a few cherry tomatoes from a local farm and some cuke slices.

Mid-Day Nosh:
Ack, another donut.  I wasn't even hungry.  Why do I do that?  But at least they are gone now!

It's H-O-T hot here today and I took the kids and friends to the zoo.  Soooo we got home late, and I'm still in vacation mode, and every single muscle in my back hurts, and for various other excuses totally valid reasons, I succumbed to convenience and opted for the Whole Foods hot buffet.  My fav, chicken tikka masala with brown rice.  I added a little of their lentil salad and topped it with some of my leftover broccoli from last night.  When I scoop at the hot bar, I try to drain off as much of the cream sauce as possible - you know, to be healthy!  :)  And, since everybody has to have an appy before dinner, we have sushi, two varieties - spicy tuna and salmon with avocado made with brown rice.  I ate one of each type with a little lot of wasabi (no soy sauce today, I was a good girl).  Yum!!  Surprisingly delicious for supermarket sushi.

Not sure how any of this fits in with the Insanity nutrition guide!  Advice on getting more veggies into my body is always welcome.  Maybe I should try baking them into powdered sugar donuts!

Monday, August 30, 2010

Menu - August 30th

Today was my first actual workout with Insanity - although the Fit Test alone felt like more than a workout to me.  So I was pretty hungry by the time breakfast rolled around.

Pumpkin protein pancakes with walnuts and a touch of maple syrup.
First day back to work since my vacation.  :-(  I packed the left over salad from last night (baby spinach, herbs, pears, walnuts, dried cranberries) with a bit of raspberry vinaigrette on the side.  Peanut butter and raspberry jam on oat nut bread for my mid-morning meal at about 10:30 or so.  Love, love, love the nut grinders at Whole Foods.  I seriously cannot live without this pb - it is nothing but peanuts ground up into a creamy deliciousness!  Also on hand is a banana.

When I came home from work, one of those darned donuts made it's way down into my belly again.  Sigh...  I did ignore the Ghiardelli chocolate that someone put out at work though.

Mid-day Snack:
Around 2pm I am ALWAYS hungry.  Today I didn't make a good choice, but someone HAD to eat the last of that pizza from the farmer's market.  So, I did.

It's Monday!  That means that hubby cooks.  One less thing for me to have to wrap my brain around.  Today he made grilled london broil, sauteed broccoli with garlic and oven fries.  I promise I did go back for more broccoli - three more in fact.  Unfortunately, I had to finish up the cooking/grilling as since he did not get up with me this morning, he was in the workout area having his ass handed to him by Shaun T.  All for a good cause I guess.

Another video of the amazing things a hard core workout system can do for your body and health: P90X and Insanity take on MS.  Very inspirational.

Insanity - Days 1 and 2

Whew!  Two days of Insanity are in the bag.  I have to say, Insanity lives up to it's name.  So far I have done the fit test, 8 different exercises done for one minute each to see how many reps you can accomplish, and today was Max Interval Plyo, interval training that gets progressively faster and more intense with each set.  And as an added delight, Shaun T adds the most difficult exercises (for me anyway) in at the end of the workout.  Hello!  I cannot hold plank position and jump my legs in and out and side to side after the crazy jumping, squatting and running you've had me doing!!  The man is nuts.  But, he has some very fit people doing the video with him and watching them get winded and take breaks makes it all a little easier to swallow.

As for the hubby and I doing this together...well, we did the fit test together (I totally kicked his butt too).  In fact, even my daughter got in on the action for a bit, and when she wasn't doing the moves, she was hysterical laughing at the movements and grunts coming from myself and my husband.  LOL.  Today though, he did not get out of bed and I had to go it alone.  Just me, Shaun T and a lot of sweat and tears!  :)

I have to say though that I really like the workouts.  I feel like I will see some nice results from all this butt busting work by the end of Shaun's 60 day reign of terror.  Very excited to see what tomorrow has in store - a little number called Cardio Power & Resistance.  Oh, a little word of warning, any exercise that begins with the word suicide - well, it's gonna suck!

Fit Test Results (just mine, he asked that I not post his info):
Switch kicks (2 kicks = 1 rep) - 63
Power jacks - 52
Power knees - 85
Power jumps - 43
Globe jumps (4 jumps = 1 rep) - 10
Suicide jumps - 19
Push up jacks - 22
Low plank oblique - 50

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Menu - August 29th (Insanity start date)

A few of the lovely ladies over at Beachbody have asked me to diary my meals for a week or so.  I am happy to give it a try but will mention that I do not follow the Beachbody workout diet plans.  Although there are many great food choices in the plans and I have used several of the recipes included, I just find following a written diet plan a recipe for failure (pardon the pun).  I try to keep my eating clean, healthy and somewhat balanced.  I am not, however, a dietitian (yet) so I cannot say that I meet all RDAs, etc., but I do try to keep my protein and carb intake on the higher side while participating in these crazy workouts.

As I may have mentioned, my husband and I are starting Insanity today.  Insanity is a 60 day workout plan.  It is pretty intense from what I have heard and seen.  Today will be a fit test day.  We will have a number of exercises to do and a minute to perform as many repetitions as possible.  The fit test will occur weekly (or bi-weekly, can't remember offhand) and is used to track progress and increases in strength and stamina.  We are off to a rocky start already as I allowed my husband to talk me into doing this tonight instead of this morning.  Hopefully, we will be doing the program in the mornings from now on, or we will be doing them separately.

OK, here's today's meals.  I am including everything I ate - even the bad stuff although that was gone so fast, I didn't even have time to take a photo!  :)

One slice of spelt bread toasted with a teeny touch of butter, two hard boiled eggs of which I consumed one of the yolks and both whites.  The dog got the other yolk - he likes hard boiled egg day.  Also had one skinless chicken breakfast sausage and a sweet fig.  Washed it down with a calcium fortified glass of OJ (no pulp).

I went to my farmer's market this morning and they were having a special on whole wheat pizzas.  Two for $5 - I can't make two pizzas that cheap, so we had a little treat.

A powdered sugar coated apple cider donut was consumed post-farmer's market visit.  I fought the urge to have a second though (baby steps)!

Fig/balsamic coated chicken sausage and tomato kabobs with grilled corn on the cob that was marinated in a coconut lime chili sauce.  I made a side salad of baby spinach, baby herbs, pears, walnuts and dried cranberries.  Topped the salad with Annie's light raspberry vinaigrette.

Our post-fit test dessert will be a honey almond custard with fig chutney.  I used 2% milk for the custard and halved the sugar in the chutney, but this is still kind of a splurge.

Recipes for the dinner will be posted throughout this week.

So I'm sure by now you can tell that I'm not good with the veggies!  I really don't like most of them I will admit.  I will try to do better tomorrow most likely by having my salad for lunch and at dinner and by doing some broccoli tomorrow night.  I also put some pumpkin puree into my pancake mix for the morning.

Other than the morning OJ, I drink water for the remainder of the day.  LOTS of water.

Now, if you are like me and get a thrill out of watching other people's pain, here are some Youtubers experiencing the Insanity fit test for the first time.  I will NOT be posting a video of me!  :)

Insanity Fit Test 1 - average, every day kinda guy
Insanity Fit Test 2 - already fit female

More Fabulous Free Stuff!!

Here is yet another makeup giveaway post.  Everyone is so generous today!!  I really have to get one going, but I don't think anybody wants what I have.  LOL

So this one is from KittenMittens at Painted.  She is super, super cute and it's fun to check out all the pretty makeup looks she conjures up.

Run on over and check her out.  This would be a fun contest to win if you are unfamiliar with mineral makeup and an easy way to get started - I will warn you though, it is an ADDICTION!  Oh, and she's including a box of candy too.  Yay!

A Pretty Things Giveaway from BLIX

The gorgeous BLIX is having her first giveaway - quite a generous one at that including Aromaleigh eye shadows and even a feathered hair clip made by her own two hands (so pretty).  The details can be found Here.  I love looking at her blog even if just for the pictures.  She is truly beautiful and a natural talent at applying makeup (oh the envy I have)!

She recently added quite a few workout reviews which are great.  When you see what great shape she's in, you'll want all the DVDs she uses I'm sure.

If you get a chance to check out her post, let me know what you think.  :)

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

RC Otters - Sanibel Island, FL

I refuse to cook dinner while we are away, but unfortunately, it has been very hard to stay on track diet-wise.  There are very few healthy choices on the menus.

But, I did have an excellent grilled grouper reuben on our first night in Sanibel courtesy of RC Otters on Captiva.  It was a healthy portion of grilled grouper with swiss cheese, homemade slaw and thousand island dressing.  Quite a bit of fat, but at least the fish was grilled and not fried.

The Mr. had seafood fajitas.  Very good as well.

Our second night didn't go quite as well.  Pub grub - everything was fried and/or salty.  Best I could do was a grilled grouper Caesar salad.  It wasn't photo worthy or very tasty.  Hoping for better options tonight!  It's no wonder obesity, diabetes and heart disease are so prevalent in America.

Quick Update

Hey everyone.  We are on vacation and there was supposed to be wifi at our cottage, but I can barely load up my gmail with it.  I am at the library now trying to catch up on everybody's blogs.

I will get the P90X review to you guys ASAP.  Hope everyone is enjoying the last bits of summer!!

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Hot Product Shout Out - Nutrition Bar Edition

Let me begin by saying I don't typically do nutrition bars, protein shakes, supplements and the like.  I just feel that it is healthier to get those nutrients through normal diet.  Plus those things usually have very high calorie and carb counts and contain added sugar.  I do take a daily multi-vitamin with CoQ10 though (two kids, two jobs and a husband - a girl needs her energy boost!).

As with all things though, there is a new exception to my rule.  The Larabar fruit and nut bars!  Not all of them though - I find the ones involving any kind of "chocolate" to be very artificial tasting.  BUT, the pecan pie bar is da bomb!!  It is rather high in calories at 220 so I don't use it as a snack, but more of a meal replacement (I eat 5-6 times a day so it's easy to get bored).  I like that it is all natural and it is a great energy boost for that mid-day slump.  Just tried the coconut cream pie flavor today and it rocks too.  Larabar has this to say about the pecan pie bar:

"Indulgent, oh, yes, but good for you, too. Natural fuel from pecans, dates and almonds will keep you going for hours. What's more, pecans contain more antioxidants than any other nut, with 90% unsaturated, polyunsaturated fat. So sit down and enjoy a healthy Pecan Pie."

And about the coconut:

"What could be more enticing than a slice of Coconut Cream Pie...in a bar? Often maligned as unhealthy, coconut oil is free of transfats and cholesterol. What it does have is 50% lauric acid, known for its health-protecting, anti-viral properties. Almonds contribute one of the best plant sources of fiber and protein. Cashews, full of iron and zinc, can enhance your immune functions. Finally, a Coconut Cream Pie that's good for you!"
Photo credit: Larabar
So if for some reason you are behind in your fruit and nut intake, I recommend giving these a try. It's also nice to have some healthier options on hand for when you just feel like grabbing something easy.

As is always the case, I am not compensated for any referrals unless specifically stated.  I just enjoy sharing the products I like and that make my life a little easier (and tastier).

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Dance Your A$$ Off!!

Much to my childrens' dismay, we don't allow much in the way of video games, computer games, etc. in our house.  But, last year I was swayed into allowing my ex to purchase a Wii for the kids for Christmas.  I have to say that we have had a ton of fun with it.  It maybe gets about an average of one hour a week of use, if that, but when we do get together and play some of the family games, it's a really good time.

My favorite game is also a fun way to get in some exercise.  Just Dance!!  This game is an absolute riot.  The first few times we played, all we could do was laugh.

First, you pick a song from the list of available songs (they have some good ones like Ring My Bell, Satisfaction, and more recent ones from Katy Perry and Britney Spears).  I should mention that these are the actual songs sung by the actual artists, no re-makes a la Kids Bop.  A computerized "dancer" appears on the screen with four bars behind them - you can have up to four players on this game.  You mimic the dancer's moves while holding the Wii-mote in your right hand.  For every move you do correctly, your bar starts to fill with color.  The person with the most filled bar comes in first.  Then it's time to pick another song and repeat.  Scores are tallied at the end of each song so you can see your cumulative results.

After the first song, you'll be breaking a sweat too.

And, even better, Just Dance 2 comes out on October 12th.  Yup, I pre-ordered and can't wait to get it.

Some pics from our last dance off (oh yea, I totally kicked their butts too).  My  kids had to ask "Mom, can we stop playing NOW?"

My kitchen isn't the only thing in this house dating back to the 50's. This is our funky wood-paneled basement, hangout, workout room, Wii gaming area, kids' play room, etc. There is also a funky bar area down here too that I'm pretty sure was built by the prior owner. It definitely looks like a "home job," complete with a huge mirror (which does come in very hand for my workouts) and little alcoves to put all your chotchkies and/or bowling trophies in. LOL

Do you have any fun video games that your family enjoys playing together?

Monday, August 16, 2010

Corn Tomato Pizza Revisited

I haven't been doing much original cooking and baking these days.  I just can't seem to find the time, motivation, etc.  So this weekend I decided to re-visit my Late Summer Pizza after picking up a few freshly picked ears of corn and some beautiful heirloom tomatoes at my local farmer's market.  I also added a bit more flavor this time around.  The results were delicious!

Corn and Heirloom Tomato Pizza with Crushed Garlic and Red Onion

1 round whole wheat pizza dough
1/3 lb reduced fat mozzarella, shredded
3 heirloom tomatoes of different colors, thinly sliced
1/2 red onion, thinly sliced
6 cloves garlic, smashed
2 ears sweet corn, kernels removed
pinch cornmeal
red pepper flakes (optional)

Heat oven to 450 (or better yet, get yer grill ready)!  Sprinkle cornmeal on pizza stone before spreading dough.  Once dough is spread on stone, smear that yummy garlic paste all over it.

Top with 1/2 of your shredded cheese and layer on the tomato slices.  Add your corn kernels and top with remaining cheese.  Sprinkle red pepper flake over pizza and top with onion rings.

Throw in oven and cook to desired doneness.  I personally LOVE crispy edges and a thin crunchy crust.

The garlic on the dough really brought this to life.  I'm going to roast the garlic first next time to bring out a sweeter flavor.  Mmmmm, have I mentioned how much I adore pizzas?  LOL

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Low Fat Carrot Cake as a Muffin

A while ago I posted this fabulous recipe for a "light" carrot cake using pineapple and coconut as sweeteners HERE.  I loved it soooo much that it is also my current avatar.

Now I don't know about the rest of you, but when it comes time to bake something to bring to a gathering, I always feel I have to taste it first.  Even if it's a recipe I've made 1000 times before.  I mean who can be sure you didn't forget something?!  What better way to sneak a taste than to make muffins (or cupcakes).  Way better than trying to fill in the corner of a cake where you sampled by packing the icing into the hole, and you get much more than a teensy taste (win/win situation in my book).  :)

For a neighborhood party last weekend, I knew this carrot cake would go over big time, but I also don't want to be the lady on the block who made that horrible cake for the summer party!  So here we have the carrot cake muffin.

I used the same recipe as the prior post but spooned the batter into muffin tins.  I cooled them on a rack and frosted just as I would the cake (a little sloppy as I was running late).  Even topped them with some toasted coconut strips.

My husband and I left the party early and the muffins were already gone.  We got many compliments on them and nobody could believe they were low fat.

The best part?  Because they were muffins, I got to enjoy one at home BEFORE the party - you know, as a taste test (wink, wink)!  Yuuuummmyyy!

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

P90X Update - Now P97X

A little update on the P90X front.  I decided to repeat my last "strength" week of the program since I had to take a few days off last week to recuperate.  These were the very first workouts I have missed throughout the entire program!  My run with P90X will actually be 97 days.  I did struggle with the decision of whether to repeat the entire last phase (5 weeks) since I haven't been feeling myself since the beginning of July and don't feel I was able to really "bring it" to the workouts during that time.  BUT, I have to say that while I LOVE the program, I think doing another 5 weeks would be hard as I would get bored.  It has been easier lately to just stay in bed rather than hobble on down to my workout area and bust my butt for an hour or more.

So, I will make this week my last "strength" week and do my "recovery" week next week.  Photos and measurements will be taken and posted at day 97 rather than 90 - although I don't expect much visible improvement in the last week.  This will bring my completion date to August 20th, the day before we leave for a week's vacation on Sanibel Island - not a bad reward if I do say so myself.  I'm very hopeful that I can wear that bikini and feel confident in it on the beach (honestly, the latter is the bigger hurdle).  :)

While on vacation I will write up my complete review of the P90X workout program, as well as a brief overview of my experience with Beachbody's Brazil Butt Lift (that name really just makes me laugh) which I have been doing on and off for a few weeks now.

Upon returning from vacation my husband and I are supposed to start Insanity together - another Beachbody product consisting of killer plyometric (jump training) type workouts.  We'll see if he sticks to the plan.  I know I will!

Here is a link to a news report recently done regarding high intensity workout DVDs.

ABC News Report

Below are some links to video clips of the three Beachbody workout programs discussed that I found on Youtube (they are not my clips and I'm not affiliated with any websites "plugged" during the videos).  I will say that I like the Beachbody products (despite the price tag, but hey, that's what ebay is for) as they are not monotonous and provide a very good, if not extreme, workout.  No wuss stuff here and you will see results!  Enjoy the videos.


Insanity with Shaun T

Brazil Butt Lift (over-sexed but effective)

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Hot Product Shout Out - Sauce Edition

As a general rule, there are no pre-packaged or convenience foods in my house (toaster waffles excepted, school mornings can be tight sometimes).  But, there are some products I just love and have to have every once in a while.

Today's shout out is not a bargain item either, but it is so worth the price.  I'm sure I can make it myself, but ya know, sometimes easy just fits with the mood of the day.

Enter Rao's Arrabbiata sauce!  At $8 a jar retail price, this is a splurge for sure (I can make at least a gallon of homemade sauce for that price), but it is oh so good.  I prepared some whole wheat linguine and while heating the sauce, I threw in a pound of cleaned shrimp (tails off), heated for 10 minutes and served over the pasta with a side of garlic bread made with a whole wheat olive bread from a "new to me" farmer's market.  Yummy!!  It was so good that the four of us ate nearly the entire pound of pasta with this fabulous sauce.  There is a bit of heat to it, just enough to make it the perfect pairing for seafood.

So if you are ever in the pasta sauce aisle in search of something for a quickie dinner, skip the Ragu and give Rao's a try - I don't think you'll be disappointed.

Photo credit: Rao's

Any other pre-packaged products out there you cooks use that I should try?

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Spinach Walnut Lemon Muffins (Yup, they're delish)

So you know when you make something knowing you're going to blog about it if it's good and all that?  You really have to take a taste right after it's done cooking to know if we're going forward with this thing or not, right?  Well, that's what I did with these muffins.  Just a teensy taste off the edge of one muffing while it was cooling.  And then another taste, and another, and another, and before you know it, as my actual dinner is in the oven, I've eaten an entire muffin (or 2...ahem).

I didn't know if these would be good or not.  I mean spinach?  In a muffin?  Eh, let's give it a try.  After all, I had all the ingredients on hand.  I'm very glad I did, they are moist and wonderful.

Recipe was found at The Chic Life and my only modification was on the kind of sugar and flour used.  You should check out her blog.  She's super cute and posts some killer healthy recipes and tips.

1 1/2 cups whole wheat pastry flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp baking soda
1 egg
3/4 cup dehydrated cane juice
1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
1 cup baby spinach, run through food processor
3 tbsp canola oil
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp lemon zest
1/4 cup chopped walnuts (optional)

Heat oven to 350.  Whisk your dry ingredients together (flour through baking soda).

Whisk egg and sugar together and proceed to whisk in remaining wet ingredients (including your chopped spinach).

Pour dry ingredients into wet and mix.  Add walnuts if desired.  Pour into prepared muffin cups (I got 10 out of this batter) and bake for about 15 minutes or to desired doneness.

Cool (or not) and eat!  Yum!  These will make a great pre- or post-workout power breakfast.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Too Much of a Good Thing?

One would think that if you had to be addicted to anything, exercise would be your best bet.  Well, that is very much not the case.  Knowing I had just a month until my vacation, I thought I'd add in some extra workouts so I can stun my husband on the beach in my bikini (funny though, I don't think he is doing the same for me).

During that same "extra workout" time, I had two ear infections that I just couldn't kick, a slight fever, aches, pains, fatigue, you name it.  I was just Miss Cranky Pants!

After seeing my GP several times with no diagnosis, changing the carpet and bleaching the floor in my workout room fearing we might have some mold, and adding even MORE exercise thinking I need to just get out of my "funk", I set out to see an old friend who is a medical doctor.  Turns out there was nothing physically wrong with me.  We chatted a bit to catch up and he suggested I do a little soul searching and google over exercising.  I did just that and lo and behold, it was me!  I am suffering from over exercise.  Never heard of such a thing.  I won't go into all the details as there are so many websites out there dedicated to the topic, but now that I'm off exercise for a few days (and feeling kinda mushy from the fatigue), I got a little sentimental and started looking at some old pictures and then came my revelation...

Turns out I don't think I ever feel as young, healthy, happy and serene as I do when I'm out doing some active adventures with my kids.  And some of these activities burn serious calories yet are disguised as pure, unadulterated fun!  Sometimes we forget that there is more to getting fit than just pumping iron and participating in crazy ass cardio routines.

I will spend the next few weeks enjoying more of these "exercises" with my family in place of my hard core routine.

Tubing on an open river.  Pick the right place and this can really be a cheap thrill too.  We did this a few weeks ago on the Delaware out of Frenchtown, NJ with The Hot Dog Man.  Soooooo much fun and great exercise when you pop out of the tube every once in a while to swim around (not to mention the strength exercise involved in hauling your middle-aged behind back into said tube after the swim).  Trying to keep tabs on three kiddos (one of which wasn't my own) in the wide open river kept that blood pumping too.  :)

You can stop on an uncharted island to discover some previously unidentified species.

Or, just act silly!

Water's a little too chilly?  Why not man a raft with some paddles (man, your arms will BURN the next day)?  We chose this option last year when the weather was pretty cool for an August afternoon.

You can take off your shoes and try to outrun some waves.

No nearby water sports?  How about a treasure hunt around a local lake, pond or park?

Tell the world to take a hike and then take one yourself, you'll feel "on top of the world."

Best of all, head out and work for your food (even better when it involves climbing a tree, of course)!

Fresh is best!

Size matters when it comes to pumpkins much more than your waist size.  Always pick one that you cannot possibly carry (a pumpkin that is).

The real recipe for true happiness?  Working together towards a common goal.  Teamwork.

Most importantly, don't forget to just lay back and relax,

Admire the beauty that is around you,

And keep in mind what is truly important (hint: it's not calorie counting and achieving those 6-pack abs)...