Friday, May 29, 2015

Heart Rate-Fitness Friday

As my body is able to do more and more in workouts I am more and more interested as to what is actually going on inside my body during those workouts.

I knew that heart rate had a lot do with calories being burned and metabolism speed during and after the workout. I had taken a class at Orange Theory, where you wear a heart rate monitor right underneath your chest to track your calorie burn. I had read that those types of monitors aren't good for your vital organs so I decided instead to get a watch/wrist heart rate monitor.

I bought Sketchers Go Walk Watch and Heart rate monitor offline with a groupon for around $13. I immediately began to track my workouts to see which ones challenged me the most and how much more I could amp up my workouts to get the most benefit. (hey, if you are going to wake up that early you might as well make it worth the effort!).
So first of all I did some research...

1. Your heart rate is your bodies response to the need to maintain a metabolic rate that will deliver oxygen and nutrients to your body.

2. Anytime you raise your heart rate and keep it there you are considered to be doing cardio exercise...vs bodyweight or weight training.

3. When you raise your heart rate you are asking it to supply more and more oxygen to your muscles and thus your heart gets stronger.

4. The formula for finding your max heart rate is 220-age. This formula is old and some dispute it but its a good baseline measure. Therefore my max heart rate is 190..meaning I am working at 100%! This max heart rate though could vary drastically for a sprinter vs a long distance runner and depending on gender and physical fitness.

Based on this formula and my gender my heart rate zones look like this:

100%-190 (straining)
90%-171(max effort)
80%-152 (training or anaerobic modemode)
70%-133 (cardio /endurance mode)
60%-114 (fat burning/weight control mode)
resting heart rate is anywhere between 60-100

So off I went to the weight room to see how much cardio or training was involved in my weight room workout.

The workout will be in CAPS, my heart rate during the first round in italic and my heart rate during the second round in bold. I took my heart rate every 2/3 exercises.

My heart rate pre-workout was 62.

HR-76, HR-116
HR-73, HR-108
HR-127, HR-140
HR-103, HR-112
HR-88, HR-99
HR-94, HR-104

You can see that each time my heart rate rose by 10, meaning I was working harder and harder. The only breaks between reps that I took was to take my heart rate and get water. My average was 112 which put me right at the fat burning zone and also means when I do these types of routines I burn around 400 calories an hour. Based on this I have added in more mountain climbers and burpees into my weight circuits to keep my heart rate soaring and get me more towards the training mode!!!

I also took my heart rate at noon that day, about 3 hours after I finished my workout at 9 and my resting heart rate was 74...much higher than before my workout which is proof that it increases your metabolism a good 8-10 hours after your workout....even if you are just sitting on the couch :).

The next day during my run on the treadmill I tested my heart rate only 3 times....its super hard for me to keep my balance and test my rate while running!!...and each time it was right at or over 160 which means I was pushing myself hard enough at a 9-10 min mile on an incline!!!

Isn't this fascinating? It is to me!!!!

Thursday, May 28, 2015

Belly Dancing

WHAT ON EARTH? Have I lost my mind?


One of my very best teaching buddies had us over for an end of the year party, MEDITERRANEAN STYLE!!! (the teachers call it, THANK THE LORD WE MADE IT OUT ALIVE PARTY)

Anyways, she had everything catered by Medi Cafe, a local restaurant that is on mine and Adam's top 10 list. They have awesome hummus, swarma, lamb, salmon, lemon orzo soup...heck, their green beans are FANTASTIC. We enjoyed macaroons, date rolls, dolmas, turkey rolls and other fun food as well that night.

The entertainment came in the form of a bellydancer. My hosting friend takes bellydance lessons and won a free party for friends with Sarephena!!!! I have to admit that I was really skeptical but went knowing that anytime I get to hang out with my teaching friends is a fun time.

Sarephena pulled us all out onto the dance floor, gave us fabric, fans, skirts, KNIVES and we had soooo much fun. We were throwing in some kicklines, country line dancing, two stepping, high school dancing (what we remember from high school ) and anything that we could do in our dance circle. It was lots of fun to get up and move and just celebrate another year of teaching.

Right at the beginning of the party we got a text from a student saying that they are coming back to CCA next year...WE SENT THIS BACK :).

Go Steph!!! Big Fans!

My sweet friend, Beth.

Our long time friend, and former landlord, Cindy!

All the ladies lined up with Serephena....I chose to wear the sword on my head :). that thing was heavy!!

Learning how to move my hips while balancing  a semi heavy sword on my head. This looks so much easier than it really is!!

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Happy Memorial Day!

I had full intentions of taking our kiddos to the Veterans Cemetery close by for the Memorial Day Service today but since its raining for the 100th day in a row we didn't make it. We are now in hour 4 of a tornado watch followed by 3 hours of more flash flood warnings.  We have spent some time in our hallway at night listening to tornado sirens and have completely exhausted our rainy day activities list.....I have heard more than 5 people say "too many Texans prayed for rain".

I'm not sure how to get across the appreciation we should have for our veterans besides passing down stories that I have heard from my parents and their parents about the sacrifices made for our freedom. Both my mom and dad lived all over the world, having their dads stationed here and there, sometimes going long stints of time living apart from their dads. My Uncle Paul also served various tours and I saw firsthand some of the sacrifices he made as he is only 12 years my senior.

I want my kids to know that my Papa's, both of them gave of themselves, sacrifically in non-peaceful times.

I want my kids to know that my Nana's, both of them went long periods of time as single moms raising 3 kids each..internationally and domestically.

I want my kids to know that their CC and Papa (my parents) didnt' always know where there was Daddy was or if he was even alive.

I want my kids to hear the stories that I have heard....
"Sometimes my dad had to leave in the middle of the night and we didn't know where he was going"
"My dad wasn't around for the birth of my sister, in fact she met him when she was 9 months old"
"I never went to the same school for more than 3 years in a row".
" We were called every name in the book by the Japs"
"My high school diploma was mailed to me"
"I only saw my grandparents every other year"

I also want my kids to know some of the great stories that my parents have from growing up abroad...
" They thought my mom was beautiful and would slap her butt"
"We were asked to be in soap operas and my mom was a model"
"I love traditional yakisoba, like what we had in Japan"
"We would sneak out and go to Octoberfest in Germany"
"We could go see a movie for a nickel on base"
"We would drive up into the mountains for picnics"

My dad's dad, Papa D who died last November. The blue angels flew over at his funeral and tapps was played..I have never felt more proud of him and his service to our country.
Papa D, my Aunt Robin and my little guy about 3 years ago.
This is the last picture I have of my Nana C (far left), this was at my graduation dinner at church and she died about a month after that.

My Papa D loved getting sweet kisses from Ribbit.

Same birthday party for Ribbit, obviously having a sugar meltdown...this is my Papa C, mom's dad.

I love this picture of my mom's family when they were younger, living abroad while my Papa C was serving. You can see the fake fireplace my beautiful Nana built so that Santa could visit :). My mom is the in the glasses :).
Papa C and Big Man eating lollipops at one of Big Man's birthday parties!
My Uncle Paul, who we love dearly and who served tours in the Middle East. He is now a grandfather himself and you can see here how great he is to my children. He is also the uncle who takes me hunting, takes my kids hunting, opens up his home at any time and who you can count on to make you laugh!!
I didn't want to leave out Adam's precious Papa Mashburn. I am sure he could tell you stories about his families service to our country in greater detail than I could but here he is loving on Baby Boy!

Finally, a picture of my youngest cousin paying tribute to veterans through this reenactment.

                                                 THANK YOU VETERANS!!!!

             John 15:13 "Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one's life for one's friends"

Saturday, May 23, 2015

What I Ate

I know there is a common belief that people who lose weight must not eat...NOT TRUE!!!

I find that I eat more and more often than I did before I begin this health journey. The only difference is the nutritional value and calorie count of the food I eat. Like I have said before I think twice before eating something that may taste good but will leave me hungry again 30 minutes later.

I eat about every 2 hours, 150-200 calories, all day long ;). My meals may get up to around 300-400 calories but more than that and  I feel uncomfortably full and sloth like. I plan on doing a whole other post on eating for your blood type but as I started researching it more, for my blood type, A positive, this type of eating, 6-7 small meals a day is strongly encouraged!!

So I documented everything I ate in one day to show you how much GOOD TASTING FOOD I CONSUME!!!...and to maybe give you some ideas of low calorie snacks!! This was on a Friday, so these are all quickly prepared, and even an eat out option for meals!

I also spent 50 minutes lifting weights first thing this I WAS HUNGRY ALL DAY long..lifting weights speeds up your metabolism like crazy, especially if you aren't allowing yourself long breaks between reps and are lifting enough to make sure the last 3 lifts are crazy hard!!

First breakfast right after working out...
Thomas Light Whole Grain English Muffins. 100 cals.
Baby Spinash, 1 cup...7 cals.
Laughing Cow Light spreadable cheese, Spicy Pepperjack flavor, 35 cals.
Egg Whites, 6 tbsp. 50 cals.

One of my favorite meals!!! Total of 193 calories
 2nd breakfast...which I have EVERY DAY...even on days that I don't work out!
Cut up apples..Pink Cripps from Sams...80 cals
Just great Chocolate flavored Peanut Butter Powder...45 cals.
I love this dessert like breakfast..Sometimes I throw in Steel Cut Oats as well. Without the oatmeal this is about 125 cals, with oats its at 275 cals.
Snack around 11..Juiced Watermelon and Mint..YUMMY!!! This would be a great start to a summertime cocktail too!!! Our mint has literally taken over our flower bed so I am incorporating it into anything I can!
Watermelon..1 cup is 71 cals.
Total is 71 cals...SO YUMMY!. I love my nutribullet!

Noon lunch with the kiddos..Their choice was McDonalds to celebrate the last 1/2 day of school. I went through the Chick Fil A drive thru on the way there since I was craving their wraps! I almost forgot to take a picture before I woofed this whole thing down!! Its sooo tasty! This is one of those healthy options though that gets unhealthy really quick if you slather on their spicy sauce or avocado lime dressing. Its amazing how healthy certain things sound but are really full of calories and unhealthy fats. I love to eat these with plain mustard...which comes in at zero calories!
Chick Fil A Cool Wrap is 340 calories

After lunch we went to a park so the kids could run around and use the 30 minutes of sunshine that was predicted. Seriously we get about 30 mins a day and the rest is miserable rain and wind ....all of the lakes here are currently flooded! I worked up an appetite and so around 3 I ate 3 cups of Boom Chicka Pop...its 35 calories a cup so I was at 105 for this tasty salty snack!
I always find this the cheapest at Target, using my Target cartwheel coupons. They have other flavors too but I like this one the best.
We had breakfast for dinner that night. The kids had their blueberry waffles and fruit and I had these Special K Redberry waffles that ARE DELICIOUS! I put about 1 tbsp of sugar free syrup on each and then added more sweetness with a bite of banana to each forkful! They are 150 calories for 2 waffles and my banana is around 90 calories.
SUPER YUM!!! I like to put PB2 on these, as well as strawberries!
 DESSERT....Yup, I have dessert almost every night. My desserts used to look a lot like Ice Cream, cookie dough, cookies, candy or brownies...or yes, my love, swiss cake rolls.
Now dessert looks like Dannon Light Greek Yogurt Banana Flavor for 80 calories, mixed with Cocoa Almonds which are SOO dagum good and super filling!!! I ate about 24 of those which comes in at 160 calories. I also added in some no calorie, no sugar Walden Farms Caramel syrup!!! YUMMY
Total for dessert is 240 calories.
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I also had about 1.5 tbsp of Half and Half in my coffee that morning which added 30 calories as well.

Total for my day was...

Breakfast..347 Calories
Lunch..340 Calories
Dinner...227 Calories
Snacks, including watermelon smoothie, popcorn and dessert... 345

Total was 1259 at the end of the day. I try to always eat at least 1400 to maintain my weight. If I get to the end of the day and haven't met my Fiber/Protein goals then I eat a late night snack that normally holds me through my morning workout. That night I ate 2 Whole Wheat Matzahs to bump up my Fiber count and that finished me off at 1459 for the day!!!

What low calorie, nutritional, filling food have you found and loved?

Fitness Friday-Family Workout

Now that we are out for summer I have had to alter my workout schedule. So far, so good.

We found a trampoline and a treadmill on Craigslist for NOTHING..and both look and feel brand new!!! Soooo, I no longer have to wake up at 4:45 to get in my long runs. Nope I can get up at 5:15ish, head into the play room, turn on my favorite Food Network show :) (running while watching a cooking show is the best thing ever) and get my run on!!! If the kids wake up they just know to come in and sit on the day bed beside me or play in their pop up tents. If Adam is awake he can get them started on breakfast.

On Sundays we take the kids to the weight room with us where they eat breakfast, watch the "diggers" excavate the fields behind the house where our current weight room is, and watch cartoons.

On other days though we do FAMILY WORKOUT...its probably my favorite exercise time. I never knew that the kids would like it as much as they do but now they constantly ask for it.

We normally start our workouts with kiddos playing basketball or football in the gym while I do 15-20 minutes of running stairs. Stairs is a great cardio/ab workout and I like getting my heartrate soaring with a HILT workout at least 2 to 3 times a week.

Then we get started on our Family circuit. We alter between a cardio exercise and a bodyweight exercise. After I explained the difference between the two they seemed to get it without too much more correction..but then again Ribbit almost always chooses to do 10 Burpees and Baby Boy almost always chooses to run 2 laps around the gym, as long as we are moving and having fun I don't care!

I have been so impressed with their endurance too. What I expected to last 10 minutes tops turns into a 30-45 minute workout where I am stopping them to drink water and saying "ok, I have soaked through my clothes, time to head home!!". The funniest thing from our first work out was hearing them comment on how "sweaty" they were. Ribbit was completely disgusted and was constantly wiping the sweat off of her. Baby Boy was impressed with how red his face was and wanted to "wook at myself in the mirra" and show everyone. Big Man just wanted to beat mom in every sprint/ karaoke, sumo squat, etc, exercise and that was great for me to keep my heartrate up!

Getting ready for our full day including baseball games and workouts. Ribbit said " look mommy, we have the same hairs and workout clothes!"

They love doing planks and pushups! Yes, Baby Boy does have on a cape :)

High knee skips up and down the gym!

Check out that hair!!

Side planks..check out Ribbits form!

Sumo squats up and down the gym. They love this exercise because we yell STOMP 1, STOMP 2. 

 I also use every excuse I get to incorporate counting and ABCS into our exercise routines. So they must count outloud every exercise and sometimes we go all the way to 40!! We also do exercises in alphabetical order which is fun for them and entertaining for mom!

Super sweaty, red faces and shocked that we had been at it for 1 hour!!!

I love love love that my littles are loving exercise as much as we do....I love that I have summer off to hang out with them and hopefully inspire/encourage them to take ownership of their life and make good if we could just stay away from Braums and that delicious sugar free frozen yogurt!!!!...but then again what is summer without ice cream..YUM!!

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

End of School Wrap Up

Since tomorrow is my last day of inservice I thought I would wrap up our end of year activities.

The kiddos also had their art displayed at Gallery night. They are always excited to bring home their work at the end of the year and we decide what will be framed and hung up in the playroom.
 Big Man is pointing to his piece in the class's tribute to Louise Nevelson....a famous female assemblage artist.
 We fell in love with Ribbit's ceramic piece. She really wants to drink out of it but I know it will cause fading and isn't 100% safe!
 I love how Ribbit is looking up at her daddy in this picture. Her hands are the ones on the bottom row, a frame worthy piece for sure!

Big Man's ceramic coffee cup .
Next are several pictures from our Fine Arts Award Night. We give out awards for Service, Spirits, Honor and Merit. We also have a T-shirt contest amongst our students. Two of my printmaking students won this year for their sikscreen designs! This is Hannah who won first and then it  was made into our official Fine Art shirt for the year. The second place winner had his design on our program.

4th grade always ends their year with a Medieval Feast. The students study this era for the last quarter of the school year. They are put into clans, design crest and then are knighted by our headmaster.
 Why yes I did run out and buy Big Man his cape the day before the feast in my planning period.....someone forgot to give mom the paper with details about dressing up :). Everything else we luckily had in our dress up stash!
 I love that their teachers give them their knight names. He was knighted "Goober the Just".....YES, YES, God has been just in all of our childrens lives...and YES, YES being just is a huge part of Goober's character..which is why he is brought to tears when someone cheats or when he doesn't feel like he is being treated fairly!

A real treat...Both parents got to join Goober the Just for a medieval themed picnic on blankets in the cafeteria (the football field was muddy from thunderstorms the night before). We had beef jerky, cheese sticks, fruit and rice cakes..just like back then :) 
Later on that week Adam and I went to Bennetts Bash, a benefit dinner to raise money to help find a cure for cancer. It was in honor of our friends grandson who died last Christmas due to a rare form of cancer. That night alone 100,000 was raised!!!! Adam did his part, he secretly won me my mothers day present...a new Vera Bradley bag with matching make up case..I was clueless the whole time!!

Look at these sweet 1st day and last day of school photos!! Goober immediately noticed that they are both happier in the last day of school photo!
 I  was very honored to be recognized for the 3rd year in a row as a Master Teacher. It really is a blessing to get paid for doing what I love to do, art...and teaching something that I! My 3 little munchkins were all there to see me and cheer me on!
 Finally was Ribbit's kindergarten program. We have decided that she will repeat kindergarten again, which she took rather well....she is actually excited and as Adam told her "she gets to be the leader"!
 Look at that smile!!! She wanted to wear her sparkly pink dress and a big ole bow!!
 She stood straight and tall for pictures at the end of the program. Her part was to lead us in the Christian Flag Pledge...she did great!
 Celebrating the end of the year with FANCY YOGURT PARFAITS!!! My kids love yogurt and fruit for either breakfast or dessert!
So now we are getting used to our summer schedule...which will kick off on Thursday with a surprise staycation to Great Wolf Lodge!!!  This has really been a trying year....We honestly didn't know if Goober would make it through 4h grade without constant counseling and discipline, .... Ribbit is repeating kindergarten (which isn't a huge deal at all),.... Big Boy went from his sitter to a stay at home nanny then back to his sitter. We also went through a lot of changes in our jobs and titles at school. We got serious about our health and we started adding in exercise and weights to our already crazy routine. I am so thankful that God has been faithful to us, and I pray that we remain faithful to Him.

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Peach Pickin--A few of my favorite things...

After CCA's musical each year I am left with songs stuck in my head until the next year....its kinda like learn all of those songs, buy the CD and sing them for a year until the next VBS.

This years musical was Sound of Music and since I am so heavily involved my kids and I hear the songs A LOT. My little Ribbit has been proving to us just how stinking smart she is lately....for instance I had my iRadio on the Disney channel the other day while we were doing Family Workout and Julie Andrews was singing "Spoonful of Sugar" from Mary Poppins. Ribbit stopped in her tracks and said " that is the same lady who sings Favorite Things"...WOW!! Great connection Big Girl!!! Another instance was when she was watching the news with me the other morning and correctly pointed at the carved stone presidents while saying "there is Mount Rushmore mommy" as she pointed to the TV. 

One of my favorite things lately has been Baby Boys attempts to make us understand what he is saying. A lot of times if he is mispronouncing something Ribbit will help him out by breaking the word down and having him repeat her...for example "EL A VA TOR"...even though they both will still call it an alligator if they are talking quickly. Well Baby Boy now applies this to everyone who doesn't automatically understand him, except he thinks everything starts with a KA sound.

Baby Boy "Mommy, can I have a valj;uiasu"
Mommy "What do you want?"
Baby Boy in a very slow voice as he stares me down.."mommy say this, ka   ka    ka     valj;uiasu"

My Goober has become my favorite kitchen helper! He loves to help me cook dinner, cut veggies, break eggs, stir, microwave items, etc. He even has started to unload and load the dishwasher all by himself!!!!! His new favorite thing to do is solve Rubik's cubes and read about them on the ipad with mom or dad sitting close by. I think its a fad for all kids right now because in the last few weeks of school before summer break all the teachers were threatening demerits if they saw one more rubiks's cube out during instruction! I never knew there were so many kinds!!!

So now to a few of my favorite things,....foods and beauty products.

Banana Muffins....made with egg whites, Powdered Chocolate Peanut Butter, Baking Soda/Powder/ Cinnamon, Dark chocolate, bananas, Coconut Flour and some Light Agave Nectar.

These came in around 92 calories a piece, the whole batter made 10 muffins. Next time I am going to add some Cheerios for crunch!

My favorite skin lotion. I started using it after having a facial at my favorite spa where she rubbed orange scented lotion packed with Vitamin C all over my face at the end. I smelled it the rest of that day and through the night. I loved how fresh it smelled and after looking up the benefits of Vitamin C for our skin I was hooked. I found this Avalon Organic Vitamin C Renewal lotion at Target and have been slathering it on every day ever since.

I love all things coconut, ALL THINGS!!! This new bai flavor is pretty fantastic with only 10 calories per bottle. My only negative is that it has sucralose in it so I only drink 1-2 a month to avoid headaches.

I didn't think it was possible but I found a powdered peanut butter that taste better than PB2....and its CHOCOLATE FLAVOR. I found this at Sprouts and have enjoyed it on apples, bananas, in smoothies, mixed into yogurt, on toast, on matzah or as a substitute for peanut butter in recipes (just like banana muffins from above). Its actually very rich and satisfies this chocoholic!!

Plantains....YUM! I started buying these from our local 99cent store and found them to be extremely filling! I cook them with  a little bit of light agave nectar on top or with my no sugar syrup for breakfast or dessert!! They are super high in fiber and go great in oatmeal as well! My kids aren't convinced just yet :).   

What are some of your favorites eats/beauty products?