Browse Month by September 2013

Friday Faves #10

5 Ways To Get Better Results From Strength Training from Cotter Crunch: This is a total MUST READ! I think most of us have all been in the situation where we feel like we are getting nowhere with our workouts and seeing no results. I know I’ve been there a few times. This post will show you ways to improve your results and mayb show you what you are doing wrong.

Move It Monday: Kick It Off Right from Best Body Fitness: Oh my BUTT!!!! This workout rocked! All of Tina’s workouts are pretty amazing and you should try some out, starting with this one. It’s definitely a butt kicker.

Chicken Spring Rolls with Crunchy Almond Dipping Sauce from The Diva Dish: I love a good spring roll but don’t eat them often since, well let’s face it, they’re not super healthy. But Arielle’s here to share a healthier version and to share an almond dipping sauce, that is what caught my attention to the post. I love almonds, almond butter and now a dipping sauce made from almond butter? I’m on it. I can’t wait to eat these. Is it bad that I’m secretly hoping no one else in the house wants any?

94 Smart and Easy Ways To Save Money from Greatist: If you know me, then you know our household is on a budget (I mean we are about to have two adults in college, and we all know college kids are broke 😉 ). We are wokring really hard to get most of our debt (aside from student loans) paid off before TJ graduates from SCAD, so that when we, hopefully, move to California, we will only have rent, utility bills and TJ’s student loans to worry about. I LOVE LOVE LOVE this article! Some of these tips we already follow (like no cable) but there’s a good number I haven’t thought of and will be definitely trying out. If you’re like me and looking to save some money, check out some of these tips.

5 Lower Body Moves With Resistance Bands from Slim Sanity: If I have to be honest, lower body workouts are my favorite strength workouts. Aside from having stronger legs, I strive for some sexy legs. Alysia has a workout I’m super excited about. I haven’t done a resistnace band in forever. A large part of that is because I have no idea what happened to mine, so I need to pick some up and then I will be trying this workout!


80/20 Rule

If you’ve know me or have read my blog long enough, you know I like the less healthy finer food choices in life. When I began to lose weight, I knew all the delicious “junk food” would have to go but I knew completely cutting it out of my life was setting me up for failure. I had tried in the past to cut them out completely and then would begin to crave them and over indulge. This time around, I knew better and knew that, for me, it wasn’t the way to go. Instead, I told myself I would still allow those treats in my diet but I needed to allow them in moderation.

But just how much is enough? I adopted the 80/20. Most people know about the 80/20 rule but for those don’t, it’s a “rule” where you eat healthy 80% of the time and you can eat unhealthy 20% of the time. Sounds simple doesn’t it? I have 21 meals each week so 4 meals each week can be whatever I want, right? No. It doesn’t really work out to well for you if you choose to do it that way. Using that logic, you could find yourself eating a day’s worth of calories for each of those meals if you go out to eat and aren’t careful.

A good way to make sure you’re not going over 20% is to indulge on only 20% of your calories. When losing or even maintaining your weight, it helps to know how many calories you should be eating each day. Without knowing how much you should be eating every day, you might find yourself eating too little or too much. Once you know how many calories you should be eating, you can then begin to use one of two methods to decide on how you want to divide up your calories.

20% of daily calorie allowance

Once you know how many calories you should be eating each day, you can then figure out how many fall into the 80% and how many fall into the 20%.

For example, let’s say you should be eating 1400 calories per day.

1,400 (daily calorie allowance) x .8 (percent of your healthy calories) = 1,120 of your calories should be healthy calories every day.

1,400 (total calories) – 1,120 (healthy calories) = 280 indulgent calories

The remaining 280 calories can be made up of your indulgences. Maybe some of that chocolate you’ve been craving or a small piece of cake at your co-workers going away party. Something to satisfy that craving you’ve been having.

I love this method because it allows you to have a little treat each day if you choose. Of course, you may have days where you don’t want that treat and that’s totally fine. Good for you! This method just allows you work one in each day.

20% of our weekly calories

Another method you can try is making not allowing yourself to go over 20% of your weekly calorie allowance with your indulgence.
Sticking with the 1400 calorie per day example:
1400 (calories per day) x 7 days per week = 9,800 total calories per week
9,800 (calories per week) x .80 (percent of calories that should be healthy) = 7,840 healthy calories 
9,800 (calories per week) – 7,840 (healthy calories) = 1,960 indulgent calories
Wow! That’s a lot of indulgent calories, but this could be especially helpful if you’re going out to eat with friends on a Saturday night and you don’t want to be quite so careful or you if you’re have a party to go to. The trick with this method it make sure you don’t go over your total calories for the week, which could be easy to do if you’re not careful.
I personally choose the method 20% daily method. I like being able to have a small treat each day and I know I won’t go over my calories. When I do choose my treats, I try to choose ones that are better for me though. I might choose snacks like Popchips, or dark chocolate instead of milk chocolate. I’ll go for homemade cookies or cake over processed store-bought (and homemade always tastes better).
I found that moderation was the key to my success, so hopefully it’s the key to yours as well. 
Do you follow the 80/20 rule? How do you interpret the rule?
fitness, goals

September Goals (Better Known As August Goals: Round 2)

So….August was kind of a wash fitness-wise and I’m determined to make September better, which shouldn’t be that hard. I think I’m going to use most of the same goals with a few news ones mixed in.

Fitness Goals

  • Build a solid running base.
    • Truthfully, this was something I should have done a long time ago. I never really focused on building a base. With the realization that I was going to have to put actual races on hold for a while, I thought now would be the perfect time to do what I should have already done. This is a bit of a loose goal, but I want to work up to running 20-30 miles a week with 4-5 runs per week. I know this will take time and I’m ok with that. I want toake it slow and work my way up the right way. I’d like to have this accomplished by the end of the year. I will definitely keep you updated on how I’m doing
  • Cross-train 2 times a week
    • Since this just didn’t happen, it’s on my goal list again. I really need to be better at this, and I know I do. I’d like to say with the weather cooling off, it will be a lot easier to do this with the family and get outdoors but it doesn’t really start cooling off til October, so I’ll be getting out early or maybe hitting the pool. One more month to go for cooler weather (and yes I’m counting down).
  • Strength-train 2-3 times a week
    • Another goal that just didn’t happen. I know strength and cross training would help make a better and faster runner. 

Nutrition Goals

  • Eat veggies with lunch at least 3-4 times a week
    • We almost always eat veggies with dinner. It’s rare we don’t. Pizza days are an example of a day we might not eat veggies with dinner. But when it comes lunch, veggies are less common. It’s not generally intentional but I have noticed it has happened and it needs to change. 
  • Prepare our own snacks
    • While I did OK with this last month, I wasn’t ultimately happy with how I did, so I’m adding this again in hopes I can make this a habit and leave processed, convenience foods out of our house as much as possible
  • Meal prep for the week
    • Another goal that failed. I would love to say we had busy fun-filled weekends that caused me to slack on the meal prep to go out the window but that’s only partially true. While a few weekends were busy or we were out of town, there was still time to get the meal prepping in and I didn’t do it.

Green Goals

I have been working on slowly becoming more green (there will be a post on this), but sometimes it feels slightly overwhelming. Setting a few small goals each month will help be go green in a manageable, non-overwhelming way.
  • Find an all-natural hand soap recipe
    • So, while we were in Atlanta, we had dinner at Ted’s Montana Grill, which if you’ve never eaten one, you totally should. I had a bison burger that was to die for. Enough about the food though, on a trip to the bathroom, I discovered they have this all-natural powdered soap. Yes, I said powdered. It was so cool. It was a bit gritty and made feel like I was not only washing my hands but also gently exfoliating too. I want it and am on a mission to find a recipe or version of it.
  • Start using coconut oil as my makeup remover.
    • I typically don’t wear makeup unless I’m going out or having people over, but on a stay-at-home day, I just don’t see the point. But when I do wear makeup, I want a green way to take it off at night. I’ve heard rave reviews about coconut oil as a makeup remover and I’m pretty excited to try it out. I just need to go pick some up.
  • Get TJ to start using out reusable totes
    • TJ has no problem using reusable totes when I’m with him, but when he runs to the store on his own, he never uses them. I’m not sure what the reason, but I’m fairly positive he just doesn’t think about. Or maybe he doesn’t want to carry them. In any case, I’m snot sure the reason, but I’d like to get him in the habit of using them as well. 
That’s about it for this month. Most are familiar from last month but I think after the crazy motnh we had I need a do-over
What are you hoping to accomplish this month?


My Marvelous Mom!

Today is a pretty awesome day! Today is my mom’s birthday! I won’t share her age (she might kill me and then there will no longer be a blog for you to read), but I will share just how awesome she is! My mom is there for me and my family like no one ever has been. She taught me everything I know and is always willing to listen when I need a shoulder to lean. She is amazing! Thank you mom for everything you do! I love you!



August Goals: How’d I Do?

August has come and gone and now it’s time to see just how well I did on those goals. Spoiler Alert: August was not the best month for our family and it shows. Just a lot going on and not going our way. Some of those events included the passing of a family member and a broken car…in the same week.

Fitness Goals

  • Continue with my 10K training.
    • I was going strong at the beginning of the month, then it got hot, like 95 degrees but felt like 105. That is no bueno in my book and I got a little lazy. Something else that deflated my motivation just a bit was our financial situation. Money is always tighter for us over the summer (we don’t have TJ’s student loans or housing money for school to rely on), which is something we consider. Unfortunately due to a broken car and the loss of a family member with an out of town funeral, our finances became even tighter in the toughest month of the year for us. We have been working hard to get some some stuff paid off and save for a move after TJ graduates in 18 months. With all that happened in August and trying to save and pay off debt, we knew a few things had to give. One of those became my races. There are numerous races I have talked to TJ about running, most of which he was going to do with me, doubling our race entry fees. Deciding to give up racing for a while was tough for me, but I know the right decision for our family right now. I will absolutely go back to racing but I know that taking a break from to save that money for our future is what needs to be. It doesn’t mean I’m going to stop running, but it did defalte that motivation I had and I know contributed to slacking on wokouts this month
  • Cross-train 2 times a week
    • Walks with the kids happened here and there but the pool never happened. 🙁
  • Strength-train 2-3 times a week
    • Uh……yeah. This didn’t happen. I’m telling my workouts completely fell by the waistside this month. Sad, sad, sad, but hey at least I pretty much know what my goals next month will be. LOL!

Nutrition Goals

  • Do a better job with meal planning
    • This stayed pretty well, except for the last week which was when we came back from Atlanta and no planning was done while we were at the funeral. I could definitely still improve and fine tune but meal planning helps us save money each month so this will continue
  • Prepare our own snacks
    • I did awesome….for the first two weeks. And then I caved to the convenience snacks of the grocery store. 
  • Meal prep for the week
    • I did it the first Sunday and that was it. This will almost certainly be on the Sept goal list

Green Goals

  • Unplugging any electronics we aren’t using
    • I disn’t do as well as I had hoped to do but definitely did better. I unplugged my cell phone charger every night, but didn’t turn off my computer and unplug it like I planned to. I did a few times but not enough. I unplugged lamps, and a few other items throughout the house that weren’t used a lot which I know helped but there could have been more. I’ll get there.
  • Finding a green recipe for my dishwashing detergent
    • I found a green recipe but I haven’t tried it yet. I was about to make the recipe and the day before I was going to make it, TJ went out to the store and bought more detergent. This is typically not like him at all. Bless him, but he doesn’t always notice when we run out of something unless it’s milk. Or if he does notice, he usually tells me so I can pick it. This was the first time in a really long time, that he went out and picked some up all on his own. And I didn;t have the heart to tell him I was going to start making our own and then return it so, I just went with and started to use it. I know, I know, not very green at all, but I didn’t want to deflate my husband for doing what he thought was a good thing (and it was)
  • Use our resuable totes on every shopping trip
    • I did pretty good with this one. I used our reusable totes on almost every trip. There were only a few times when I forgot them and they were usually when I ran in somewhere to pick up one or two things at Target

Happy Labor Day!

Take The Day Off image

Happy Labor Day! I’m taking the day off blogging to spend the extra time with the family….outside! I’m not sure what we’re going to do yet, but I’m thinking a picnic at the park sounds perfect!

Do you have Labor Day plans? What are you doing? Enjoy your day!