Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Monday, September 28, 2015

Week Six: Combat Challenge #2

While I'm not gaining weigh....I'm not losing it.  But I'm trying to stay positive since it's only been a week since our company left and I started cracking down on my calories.

Hopefully some tough workouts will help that number on scale go down!

Monday: Les Mills' Sh'Bam #18 + Dozois' Calorie Burning Cardio Blast

Monday again and here we go!  It's always easier to get into the swing of things with Sh'Bam - these are so much fun!  I really liked this one, which I've done once before.  It's fun and gets my heart rate up!  Dozois' workout is always a blast....of hard work!  But also fun.  Meetings kept me from working out at lunch.

Tuesday: Ilyse's Dance Intervals 101 + Dozois' Heart-Pumping Total Sculpting + walk

It's been a long time since I did this dance workout - and it's so much fun!  Ilyse's dance number makes you work hard - lots of jogging and jumping rope....but after the first 10 minutes, it gets a bit easier.  I needed some weights so Michelle's workout fit the bill.  It's always effective, especially for triceps.  Ow!  At lunch, I walked, doing only 5 minutes of inclining on the treadmill.  I'll do more later this week but didn't want to get too sweaty today.

Wednesday: Les Mills' Grit #3 + Iyse's Groovy Dance Party

As always, I wake up dreading Grit.  This was the first one I did back in August so at least I knew I'd live through it.  Ha!  It's definitely challenging but I managed, modifying some of the burpees.  After that, I tuned into Ilyse's (mostly) low-impact dance workout.  I added some high-impact intervals here and there to keep my heart rate up....but it was a relief after Grit.  Lunch was a talk from our Wellness Program Director.  Very good!

Thursday:  Les Mills' Combat #61 + weights

This was a traumatic morning.  I lost 5 minutes before my workout to trying to find my contact lens, to no avail.  Then, while I was cooling down, the power went out...and came back on after a minute.  Ugh!  At least I got in 40 minutes of cardio, despite all the craziness.  This Combat is fun and I really enjoyed it the second time around.  Sweat was flying....ewoh!  At lunch, I did weights at the rec center.  

Friday: Les Mills' Flow #66 + walk (inclines)

Ah....Fridays.  I love them.  And I love that they usually start with a light workout.  This yoga was really good - lots of flow and stretch, but some balance as well, which was good.  I was very stretched out by the end.  I did some more stretches to make this workout about 40 minutes long.  The shorter workout didn't bother me since I knew I'd be on the treadmill at lunch - ugh.  I did inclines today.  I didn't even walk fast but I pushed my limit on the incline percentage....and burned 200 calories.  Eek!  That's a productive lunch!

Saturday:  Peak 10 More Cardio Strength + Ilyse's Easy to Follow Dance Moves

Despite doing two Peak 10 workouts last weekend, this CS still killed me.  I was dripping sweat after 15 minutes.  UGH!  This one is so tough any day….but today it seemed almost impossible.  And the fifth circuit is the toughest……oh my gosh.  Afterward, to cool down, I did 15 minutes of Ilyse's easy dance workout.  Such a relief!  And then a nice stretch.  I wish stretching burned more calories!!  

Sunday:  Combat 60 Live - Ultimate Warrior's Workout

I was actually looking forward to this workout today!  It was fun and effective.  Whew!  The cardio lasts for about 45 minutes so I did some additional work on my own to get up to an hour.  Then, sit-ups and planks.  Fun!  The stretching was so nice, though, at the end.  Always my favorite part!  

Calorie Counts:

Monday - 1291
Tuesday - 1390
Wednesday - 1303
Thursday - 1301
Friday - 1397
Saturday - 1316
Sunday - BAD

I was so proud of myself for being good for 6 days straight.  Yay!  I even had a few meals out but made smart decisions.  I didn't stay under 1300 every day, but I got close and I ate super healthy.  Sunday was bad…but one day is okay.

Friday, September 25, 2015

An Exercise Myth

I've been learning some great stuff from our resident wellness coach and our savvy nutritionist (who is also the nutritionist for the Dallas Cowboys).  Their talks are so enjoyable that I sometimes feel like I missed my calling by not doing something similar, especially the nutrition stuff.  It's so interesting learning how our bodies react to food and exercise!

One recent topic we learned about was the myth of the "Fat Burning Zone."  You've probably seen charts that tell you how you have to work out to burn fat.  

Well, it's a myth.  Your body doesn't start magically burning off fat.  It burns calories first and foremost.  The harder you work, the more calories you burn.  And not all those calories come from fat.

 It's a little disheartening to read an article like the one linked to above, that says marathon runners aren't lean, mean un-fatty machines...  "If long, slow, steady-state aerobics was the key to fat loss every person who crosses the finish line of a marathon or Ironman would have very low body fat.  This just isn't the case.  Numerous people who train for an endurance even gain weight."

Yay....The key, as always, is weight-training.  Putting on muscle that will burn more calories, even at rest.  I really hate going to the gym to do weights, so this just depresses me.  I knew it....but didn't want to accept it.  Ha!

So go lift some weights!

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Wednesday LOL

Every cat owner knows this feeling.

Monday, September 21, 2015

Week Five: Combat Challenge #2

It's back to the routine this week.  Thankfully, I like routines!

And I'm back to being accountable for my calorie intake.  Our hiking trip to Colorado is less than a month away and I need to be ready for it!  Thankfully, I don't have much weight to lose….but I need to lose a few pounds!

Monday: Les Mills' Sh'Bam #14 + Ilyse's Your Best, Sweaty Self

This was a really fun Sh'Bam - with minimal stupid trendy moves.  Ha!  I had a lot of fun and got sweaty!  Then I got more sweaty with Ilyse.  She sure brings it with this workout.  Whew!  It's something else - something non-stop and semi-brutal.  I like it but it was tough this morning!  Lunch today was a lecture by our nutritionist.  Fun!

Tuesday: Les Mills' Combat #58 + walk

What a fun way to start the day!  Punching, kicking, and jabbing.  LOL!  This Combat was a lot of fun and, thankfully, about 38 minutes long.  After it ended, I did my own cardio and then a stretch, for a nice 50-minute workout. At lunch, I forced myself onto a treadmill to do more inclines.  I'm upping it and upping it.....  Whew!  Once again, 200 calories burned just by increasing the incline and sweating it out!

Wednesday:  Les Mills' Grit #7 + Ily'se Heart-Pumping Groove + PeakFit Pure Strength 2

I did an extra workout today at home.  I got up and did PS2 from the PeakFit System - but only one round for each muscle group - about 20 minutes total.  Then, in the evening, I did Grit and Ilyse's fun new dance workout.  Grit almost killed me - par the course - but Ilyse was so much fun!  I love this new low-impact dance video.  Then, a nice stretch.  55 minutes of cardio!!

Thursday: Combat 60 - Extreme Cardio Fighter

This is always a fun workout!  It's such a good combination of upper and lower body.  It's not easy, though.  Whoever said punching for an extended period was easy, obviously had never tried it before.  Ouch!

Friday:  Les Mills' Flow #65 + Dozois' Hip and Thigh Toner + weights

Ah, my light morning!  I love it!  This Flow was really good yoga.  It had some great sun salutations and then hip opening moves.  Awesome!  It last about 35 minutes.  I then had time for Dozois' leg workout.  Ouch!  At lunch, I went to the rec and did weights.  It's never my most fun workout but at least it's over with for the week! 

Saturday:  Dozois' Cardio Interval Burn on Glo

Wow.  I always think this one is going to be easy and it never is.  There isn't much floor work but what there is, is tough.  I chose to do this instead of more Combat because there's nothing like Michelle's cardio to get you in shape…and I need to do that, and quickly!  

Sunday:  Peak 10 Cardio Strength Remix

I thought this would be easy after yesterday but….nope.  There's something about these workouts with weights that are so hard for me….  And Michelle takes you to the floor in every circuit but the last….oy.  I was really struggling….but somehow I made it through.  Ugh.  

Calorie Counts:

Monday - 1271
Tuesday - 1242
Wednesday - 1288
Thursday - 1345
Friday -  1379
Saturday - 1393
Sunday - 1326

Friday, September 18, 2015

No Bake Energy Bites (2015:17)

Mr. Higgins' mom made a variation of these No Bake Energy Bites a few years ago and I loved them!  I think she added more chocolate and coconut because they were almost addicting.  

I decided to try to make my own....and tried not to tamper with the recipe too, too much.  For my bites, I used honey, mini chocolate chips.....and added a scoop of vanilla protein powder.  It couldn't hurt, right?  They were a bit difficult to get stuck together (into balls) but that's my only complaint.

These are quite tasty but I think I'll use normal chocolate chips next time.  With the minis, the chocolate gets lost in the other stuff.  I can't really claim that they give me energy....they actually seem to make me hungry.  But they're tasty!  Ha!

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

In the Kingdom of Ice

I recently finished a grand terrific work of non-fiction: In the Kingdom of Ice: The Grand and Terrible Polar Voyage of the USS Jeanette by Hampton Sides.

My Goodreads review:

This book sounded interesting because I knew nothing of Arctic exploration. This history was unknown to me.  

So many men have an urge to explore, to discover unknown country. George de Long, commander of the Jeanette, was no different. He saw an area on the map that was blank and wanted it filled. Hampton Sides does a good job of setting the stage, the time period - just after the Civil War. Sensational journalism was becoming popular and helped fund the Jeanette's voyage.  

What happens to the Jeanette is completely unexpected, at least to me, and phenomenal. The fate of the men onboard is unbelievable and I'm so glad to have learned their story.  

If the sea fascinates you, if exploration intrigues you, this book is a must. My only complaint is that it takes awhile for Sides to get to the story…but the backstory is just as interesting if you bear with it.

Monday, September 14, 2015

A Pause: Combat Challenge #2

With company in town, this week is a "pause" in my Combat Challenge.  Eating is horrible and exercise possible only at work.  Sigh.  

Monday: rest

Tuesday: rest

Wednesday: walk/jog

At lunch, I went to the rec, determined to work hard.  I did my jogging intervals, five times for a minute each.  In between, I upped the incline.  It was hard work!

Thursday: walk with incline

It amazes me that I burn more calories upping the incline and only walking, as opposed to jogging at a smaller incline.  But it's true!  I burned more today than yesterday, wow.  220 calories in 25 minutes.  I then stretched.  

Friday: walk with incline

I repeated what I did on Thursday today, but I tried to stay at the higher incline for longer.  I was huffing and puffing but it felt good!

Saturday: rest

Sunday:  Peak 10 Cardio Interval Burn Remix

Okay, I'm back to it!  Our company left early this morning and I was done with this workout before 10am.  Awesome!  It was definitely tougher than usual since I'm not in peak condition, but it was still fun.  I always feel better after a workout and today was no exception.  After 60 minutes of cardio, I stretched and did some ab work.

Friday, September 11, 2015

Cat Humor

Because some days, you just need a laugh.

Monday, September 7, 2015

Week Four: Combat Challenge #2

I can't believe it's been three weeks and I'm now into week four!  Wow, time flies!  

This week will be cut short (no Saturday/Sunday workouts) and next week will be a "pause" in the workout regimen since Mr. Higgins' parents will be staying with us for the week.  I'm super excited to see them but it's impossible to work out with people in the house.

But, here we go!  

Monday: Les Mills' Sh'Bam #18 + Scott's HIIT - Sports Inspired Intervals + walk/jog

I actually ate well on Sunday so I didn't feel gross this morning!  Ha!  This Sh'Bam was a lot of fun and featured "The Carlton" - LOL!  I had no idea that character would live on well into the '10s because of his dancing!  Next up, Scott's HIIT.  I hit it hard.  At lunch, I forced myself to do the treadmill and incorporate inclines and jogging spurts.  I really don't like it but I got it done.

Tuesday: Les Mills' Combat #62 + Dozois' Calorie Burning Cardio Blast + weights

For some reason, I was not feeling the Combat today.  I punched my way through it, though, and felt better as I went along.  I had plenty of time to do all of Michelle's Cardio Blast, which is always effective.  Whew!  At lunch, I did weights at the rec, despite all the students.  I've never seen the place so busy!

Wednesday:  Les Mills' Grit #6

Ugh.  I was really dreading this, as usual.  It's just really tough.  The warm-up is short and intense and suddenly, less than 10 minutes after waking up, I'm doing crazy, jumping cardio.  Oy.  I almost survived this one without too much pain until the squat jumps to lunge jumps....  Ouch!  I was huffing and puffing like nothing else.  I decided this was all the stress my body needed for the day so I read at lunch. 

Thursday:  Ilyse's Just Dance + Quick and Intense Upper Body + Strong and Lean Lower Body Sculpt + walk

I really needed to take it a bit slower today.  Ilyse's dance workout is fun but not too intense.  I then switched the strength.  Her arm and leg workouts were new to me and both were a bit painful.  Ha!  With arms, she goes so fast with weights because her hand weights weigh so little.  I couldn't keep up!  But I tried.  Her leg routine had no weights but boy, it was a doozy.  And my bum....I'll feel that the next day!  Ouch!  At lunch, I walked on the treadmill but I did so much of an incline that I burned as many calories as when I jog for bits.  Cool!

Friday:  Combat 60 Live - Ultimate Warrior's Workout

Since there won't be any working out for a few days, my restful yoga day wasn't an option.  I did my regular weekend Combat 60 - and got through most of it before my time ran out.  It was good to get it done and it helps that it's always fun.  

Saturday: rest

Sunday: rest

I love holiday weekends!  Granted, I'd rather be able to squeeze in a workout but it was a good time.  

Friday, September 4, 2015

My Little Green Friend....

Dooku loves his Yoda.

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Kale Salad (2015:16)

A restaurant near campus has an amazing kale salad.  I didn't know if I would like kale, but I love that salad!  When I went looking for a recipe, I stumbled across this one and it sounded very similar.

I made a few substitutions….  Instead of pepitas, I used slivered almonds.  I really wanted to do the ginger, but at $9 for a little bottle, I skipped it.  The recipe didn't say to massage the kale, but I did, as I'd read it really helps with the bitterness.  I did this, after cleaning and ripping apart the kale.  Just rub it all together and between your fingers for about five minutes.  I did this without the dressing and it worked fine.  Your kale should shrink to half the size.  

After whipping up the dressing, I threw it all together.  Yum!  It's very similar to the kale salad at the restaurant so I was happy!  On the second day, I was really tasting the vinegar, so the next time, I cut it in half and that really helped.  It did taste better after sitting in the fridge for a day but I doubt it would last another day without wilting.  

I'm happy!  I can now totally do kale!