Tag Archives: health and fitness

365 Days of Fitness – The Halfway Point!!

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Yup!! This morning’s Strong Curves workout marked day 183 and the halfway point of my 365 Days of Fitness!! This is when the going gets tough and the tough get going (to work)!! Time to make my breakthrough. For the last decade, I have started falling off after 6 months of exercising regularly and eating well.  And, this year, I am committed to breaking that pattern!! My new mantra is: “If you’re tired of starting over again, stop quitting.” I will also be reminding myself, “It’s a LOT easier to STAY in shape than it is to GET BACK INTO shape.” Because, at 41 years of age, it’s definitely getting even harder!! The ol’ joints just aren’t what they used to be!!!

On another note, I picked up a Polar FT4 heart rate monitor watch from Amazon about a month ago and am really liking it!! I purchased it after reading many positive reviews about it from my curlfriends on IG!! I’ll have to do a review soon. But, quickly, you wear a chest strap and then input your height, weight, and sex into the “watch” to get a more accurate reading for calories burned during your workout. And, you can monitor whether you are training inside or outside of your optimal heart rate zone.

Finally, here are a couple progress pics from the beginning of my challenge to now. The first one speaks for itself.

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Next up is a collage of pics that show where I was in August 2011 and wanted to get back to when I started this is a 28 Day Challenge back in February. The middle picture was essentially my starting point when I weighed 148.5 pounds. And, the last pic is Day 172 seen above, where I am down about 23 pounds. I actually weigh more in the August 2013 pic than I do in the August 2011 pic, but think I look more muscular. So, I’m cool with that!!

Progression

This last pic is from a night out last Friday. I looked like a lumpy sausage stuffed badly in its casing when I purchased this dress last November after seeing Folake of Style Pantry rocking it here! So, it hung in the closet until last week, when I was looking for another dress and stumbled across it. Let’s just say, I was pretty dang pleased when I saw how it fits now (I know, it doesn’t look like it, but I was!!! LOL!! :)). #WINNING

Ellidresscollage(The dress is from Elli, but is no longer available. Sorry!!)

And, just because … this cracked me up when I saw it, because I hop out of bed around 5:30 am every weekday morning, give Wei a kiss, and then hit the basement for my workout (well, after a leisurely cup of coffee). So, I could relate. LOL!!

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For a daily dose of 365 Days of Fitness (plus hair, food, and random acts of nerdiness), follow me on Instagram and/or Facebook!!

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Have you been on a roller coaster ride with your health and fitness? What have you done or are you doing to “stop the madness?”

 

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Oooooppps … I Forgot to Pick a Winner

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weusi jumping ropeby Weusi

I had this LOOONNNNG post about why I forgot to pick a winner for my Workout Giveaway and blamed it on my work schedule, technology and my selective memory.

But, for real … in the end … I JUST FOR FORGOT!

So, with no further ado … (drumroll) … the winner is …

APRIL WELLS

E-mail your address to hairscapades@gmail.com and you’ll have a jump rope coming your way!

And just for the record, I expect that there will be a report of some kind that comes out in the next year or two that says jumping rope is one of the top 5, easiest, economical, most effective, and efficient exercises EVER! When it comes out, remember where you heard it first!

Stay safe and eat healthy over the hoildays …
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(Click the picture to see more!)
HAPPY JUMPING APRIL!!!
SHiNE

Progress and Stepping It Up!

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Okay, sorry. Another fitness post. I know. Promise, there will be a hair one soon. But, I just had to share my progress!! So, hope that you don’t mind!! I’m down to about 130/131 pounds (varies when I step on the scale ;)) from my starting point of 148.5 back on 2/18/13!! And, my dedication and consistency  (can’t even call it hard work as I’ve exercised a LOT harder in the past – 2 hours a day 5-6 days a week + 100% clean eating) are really paying off!!

weigh-in (5-12-13)Got off, got back on and it said 131.5. Go figure.

Now, I will say this, I lose weight on my upper body far more quickly than my lower body. So, the last 10 or so pounds that I want to lose is mostly on my lower half and I pulled out the big guns last week to help me lose it!

1. Pre-workout breakfast smoothie (see this article on the importance of fueling up before a work out).

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I had not been eating before my morning workouts. I would just have a cup of coffee and hit the basement with my water bottle. I have always hated the feeling of a full stomach when working out and didn’t feel I had the time needed to allow a breakfast to digest properly before working out (30-60 minutes). However, given that I’d begun running for longer periods and wanted to improve my performance all around, I knew I needed to start fueling up. Enter the quick digesting, pre-workout breakfast green smoothie!! I knew I wanted oatmeal in my smoothie, so I did some research and cobbled together the following recipe from a few that I found online.

Pre-workout Breakfast Green Smoothie

1 c. fresh spinach, kale or collard greens (omega 3s/magnesium)
1/2 frozen banana (simple carb/potassium)
1/4 c. frozen strawberries (simple carb/potassium)
1/4 cup ground oatmeal (the NutriBullet mill does this in SECONDS!!) (complex carb/fiber/magnesium)
1 scoop Nectar Vanilla Bean Torte OR Strawberry Mousse protein Powder
3/4 c. unsweetened almond milk
1/4 c. water

2. My new NordicTrack C700 treadmill (3 week nightmare that it was to get it :().

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3. My Delfin Spa Bio-Ceramic Anti-Cellulite shorts (I have 3 pair).

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They beat the Zaggora in my opinion as you don’t feel the sweat until you remove them.
With Zaggora, the sweat drips out of the legs as you work out! Ewwwwww!!!

4. Green Coffee Bean Extract (purchased a LivingSocial deal after watching a Dr. Oz segment on its effectiveness).

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To see the Dr. Oz segment, click here. There are 5 clips total, but the last 4 are very short.

I know the first two things will work, as they are tried and true for me. But, the coffee bean extract is the unknown. I first learned about green coffee bean extract back in November and ordered some online. But, within seconds of placing my order, I realized that I may have been scammed. The source was an unauthorized Dr. Oz Facebook page and there were some forced internet pages, so I cancelled my order AND my credit card. Then, I did more research and found that green coffee bean extract is legit, that Dr. Oz doesn’t endorse any particular brand, but he does provide strict guidelines for buying an authentic product (part 5 of video series): 1. Must be pure (zero fillers, zero binders, zero artificial ingredients) √, 2. Must contain at least 45% chlorogenic acids √, 3. Must say Svetol® or GCA √.  He also indicated that the capsules can range in size from 200 to 800 mg, which is fine. Anywho, the studies and his experiment showed that this product enables people to lose up to 2 pounds a week without changing anything in their diet or exercise routine!!

So, when I saw the LivingSocial deal for The Official GreenCoffeeBean Extract brand ($29 for a 3 month supply) and checked out the site to validate the “must haves,” I decided to try again. The pills arrived last Friday and I started taking them that very night. Since Saturday, I have taken them twice a day, 30 minutes before breakfast and dinner. The pills have less caffeine than 1/2 a cup of coffee and, so far, I haven’t experienced any jitters, sleeplessness or side effects. I’m hoping that with continued daily workouts and eating cleanly, I’ll see some great results over the next few weeks and will be able to show you some lean and mean legs too ;)! You know that I’ll keep you guys posted!!

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What big guns do you pull out of your arsenal when trying to lose those last 10 lbs?

I Did That!!

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Last week was marked with achievement for me as it relates to my ongoing personal fitness goals!! It began the Sunday before last when I was able to do side crow for the first time ever in hot yoga!!!

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“OMGosh! OMGosh! I can’t believe I’m doing this!!”

And, I didn’t do it just once; I did it THREE times!!! I was able to do it on both sides during practice and then my bestie/yoga buddy take this pic of me doing it again after class ended!! Okay … so, I haven’t been able to do it since … but, I now know that I can do it and can do it again!! I also tried scorpion (assisted against the wall and with my arms strapped around my elbows) for the first time! And, it was pretty good for a first try!! Woot Woot!!

So, at the end of yoga, my bestie tells me about this Superhero 5K in Morristown the following Saturday. She knew I finished C25K (she was 5 weeks in and we were talking about signing up for the Morristown Warriors Dash). She is also well aware of my love of comics/cartoons and knew this would be right up my alley. How fitting would it be that my first 5K in life be superhero themed?!?! So, when I got home, I looked it up and saw that the 5K was not only fun, but to raise money to bring clean water to Africa and Central America. Superhero-themed and for a good cause? Sign me up and call me Batman!!

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Oh! How could I forget?! Part of the reason this came up was because of a belated birthday gift from my buddy Fernando! Batsocks!!

And so, this past Saturday, I ran my first ever 5K!! And, I did not walk once!!

(Click pics to enlarge/read captions)

 

Let me tell you, those hills are a b@#$!! LOL!! But, I am very pleased to say that I ran it in 34:40.92 minutes, which was an  11:09 mph pace! So, this is right about on par with the 5.5 mph pace I’ve been running on the treadmill! And, I was came in 114th place out of 498 women!!! Woot Woot squared!! LOL! My goal is to be able to run a 5K in 30 minutes or less … but one day at a time :).

So yeah … great week for me personal fitness challenge wise :)! And, as of yesterday, I’m 3 months/84 days into this working out for at least 10 minutes every day!! When I started this, I was just trying to get past the 3 week hurdle. I am totally ecstatic that I’ve come this far and don’t see myself stopping now!

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Have you recently accomplished a health and/or fitness goal? Dish!!

Thank You!!

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NB1Move over Osterizer, there’s a new kid in town!!

Okay, so I’m home today … was feeling horrible this morning due to a severe allergy attack that began late last week, so I took the day from work. Finally got some much-needed Sudafed earlier this morning (you know, the behind the counter, pseudoephedrine containing, we need your name, ID and a blood sample before we’ll let you buy this kind) and have begun to feel like myself again.

So, a little while ago, I bust open the birthday gift that arrived on my doorstep yesterday. And so, I just wanted to pop on really quickly to share it and send my future in-laws a huge:

THANK YOU!!!

If you read the comments around here, you may see “Dad” commenting now and again. That’s Wei’s dad :)!! He and Wei’s mom check in on Wei and me here regularly :). I was going to text a pic and thank them, but my sister suggested a post!! And, I thought, “That’s even better!!” Love you both and I am so grateful and blessed to be able to call you family!!

So, yeah, that’s it. Oh, and here are pics of the un-boxing and me putting it through its paces for the first time!! Love it!

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Yeah, I know, doesn’t look that good, but it was! Tried chia seeds for the first time! Can’t wait to put this puppy into action with some more green smoothie recipes!!
Thank you again!!

Green Smoothies: Frozen Veggies Better Than Fresh?

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Okay, so now that I’m on the “eating clean” game, I’m trying to incorporate green smoothies into my diet. In the past, I found it difficult to be consistent as I HATE grocery shopping weekly to get fresh produce … and I never have enough time to do all the rinsing/washing/ peeling/de-stalking, etc. that is required. So, stuff inevitably spoils and has to be trashed (I HATE being wasteful of my money and food even more than I hate grocery shopping).

So, when someone suggested I use frozen veggies in my smoothies to eliminate the need for ice, I had an “Ah Ha” moment!! Forget not using ice. From what I’d read, frozen veggies might be even better than fresh!!

via LiveStrong.com

The nutrients of fresh vegetables begin to deteriorate from the instant they are harvested. Results from the Institute of Food Research presented in the NY Daily News reveals that fresh vegetables such as green beans lose 45 percent of their nutrients; broccoli and cauliflower, 25 percent; carrots, 10 percent; and peas up to 15 percent after 16 days of storage. With fresh vegetables, you never know how long it has been since they were picked and the amount of nutrients that were lost en route to the market unless you are buying from a local farmer. With vegetables that are frozen in their prime, you can savor most of the nutrients that were present at the time of freezing.

As much as I use frozen veggies to supplement my Lean Cuisines, I don’t know why I never thought to use them for smoothies! DUH!!!! I mean, they are frozen at the peak of ripeness, hence nutrient rich. They are already washed and cut. They can last for months in the freezer!! And most of the time, they cost far less than fresh produce!! How much more economical, quick and convenient can you get?!?!?

That being said, I picked up some frozen spinach (which I always keep in the freezer) and kale at the grocery store last week and whipped up the green smoothie above last Saturday! With protein, fiber, Omega-6, potassium and a variety of other vitamins and minerals, it was a perfect post-workout recovery meal!

SPINACH, KALE, BANANA, PROTEIN GREEN SMOOTHIE RECIPE

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8 oz. water

6 oz. almond milk (30 cal)

1 lightly thawed frozen banana (100 cal)
(suggestion: PEEL first, then freeze! LOL!)

1/2 c. frozen spinach (15 cal)

1 c. frozen kale (25 cal)

1 tbsp flax seeds (47 cal)

1 scoop Nectar Strawberry Mousse Whey Protein (100 cal)

Total:  317 Calories

HEALTHY and DELICIOUS!! 

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Do you use fresh or frozen veggies in your green smoothies? If you use both, which do you prefer fresh and which do you prefer frozen and why?

28 Day Fitness Challenge: Days 22-28

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Day28

YES!! I did it!! I worked out for a minimum of 10 minutes a day for 28 consecutive days!! And, I’m feeling so good, I plan to keep it going for another 28!! I’m really on a mission to lose this weight maaaaaang!!! LOL!

On the diet front, I was really challenged food-wise this weekend too. If you don’t know, I am a massive buttercream icing FIEND!! Like, I’ve eaten it straight out of the tub #dontjudgeme. So, I’m not kidding you when I tell you I had to exercise great will power to not indulge in even one slice of the desserts that abounded at my sister’s house this weekend. I went down for a surprise going away party for my bro-in-laws best friend on Saturday night and a girls’ book club meeting on Sunday. I knew that this would be a real test, but I was dedicated to succeeding as I felt this week 4 was so critical for me in regard to staying on the path to losing this weight. So, I did not partake of the carrot cake, carrot cake cupcakes, banana pudding, vanilla cupcakes or red velvet cake. Okay, wait, I did eat one spoonful of my sister’s low fat banana pudding … no cookie in it though. But that was it!! On Saturday, I mostly ate fruit and veggies and took small portions of shrimp, a spoonful of an Asian chicken salad, two turkey meatballs and two spinach balls. On Sunday, it was fruit and veggies again, one small boneless BBQ wing and the insides of two roast beef, grilled onions, pepper and arugula sandwiches.

Why did my sister make me take the cake to bring to work?!? She’s killing me!!

So yeah, as of this morning, I’ve lost 9 pounds. Woot! Woot!! Have you ever noticed that the same exact weight looks and feels different on the way down versus on the way up? When I’m gaining weight, it is “sloppy,” because I’m inactive and eating badly. So, my stomach protrudes, my posture isn’t great and I’m bloated. When I’m losing weight, my body starts getting tighter, my posture is better because my core is getting stronger and I don’t retain as much “water weight.” So the same exact weight that felt sucky on the way up, feels so much slimmer on the way down. Go figure!!

Anywho, getting through the first 4 weeks of exercising and diet is so critical for me. From here on out, it should get a little easier as I’ve gotten used to the morning exercise routine, I’m getting in bed by 11 pm, I’m not hungry all of the time and I feel good!! So, yeah, I’m pretty psyched and feeling really motivated!! C25K Week 4 starts today and I’m going up from 9 minutes of running to 16 though!! Dang!! They just changed it up on a sista!! But, that’s okay. ‘Cuz, I’m gonna get ‘er done!! 😉

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Time for 28 Day Fitness Challenge, Round TWO!! Who’s with me?!?!