Adapting

The one thing consistent about life is that things change. Sometimes the change is permanent, other times it is temporary. The key to continuing with your healthy living is to adapt to the circumstances that you have at any given moment.

With that said, I am adapting. Big time. But it’s only temporary. And I’m keeping my eyes wide open for the lessons that I should learn from the temporary changes in my life for this week and next week.

I haven’t worked out since last Thursday. It was a treadmill workout. I’m sure you can guess that by tonight I was a little crumpy and feeling a bit frumpy and considering wearing pants with elastic waistbands.

No need to worry, I didn’t wear pants with elastic waistbands.

Instead, I carved out 30 minutes this evening and hit the treadmill. But, I didn’t just walk. I alternated walking with some strength training.

My treadmill workout was as follows:

Warm-up/walk on a slight incline
12 squats
Walk, increased incline
Static lunges, 12 on each leg
Walk
12 dead lifts and 12 calf raises (each leg)
Walk
12 Plies
Cool down
Crunches
10 full body push-ups

Done. And I feel so much better. This workout didn’t come close to any of my regular workouts in regards to weight, speed or intensity but tonight it was just right.

I will continue to do this workout for the rest of the week and next week because I need to workout and because it’s better than doing nothing.

So, what do you do when life throws a monkey wrench into your workout schedule?

D

New Obsessions

I thought I’d share with you two of my two newest obsessions. The first one came as a total surprise. That’s right, I never saw it coming until the moment I found myself reaching for the bag. Once I opened the bag it was all over. I have officially crossed over to the dark side.

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Starbucks. Dark Sumatra.

It all started innocently. My friend and co-worker, Betts, is a hardcore coffee drinker. The darker, the better. I’ve always been the lightweight but I graduated up to Colombian coffee a few months ago. When she makes a Starbucks run she gets me a Blonde and she gets the strongest coffee the coffee shop for herself. But they don’t sell Dark Sumatra. A couple of days later I was grocery shopping and I found the Dark Sumatra on the shelf and on sale and I remembered Betts disappointment so I picked her up a bag. You know, I was being a good friend.

I unpacked my groceries and I was tempted and not at all strong enough to resist. Figuring she wouldn’t mind if I scooped out a little bit, I made a cup of coffee. I didn’t know what to expect but I surely didn’t expect it to be the most satisfying cup of coffee I’ve ever had. Seriously, it was awesome. That was on a Saturday. I had another cup on Sunday. And then one on Monday. And I admit I was tempted to keep the bag…but I bought it for Betts. On Tuesday I gave her the bag. And she smiled a very satisfying smile when I told her that I too have come over to the dark side.

My other new obsession is Bare Naked cookies.

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Raisins, walnuts, cranberries and almonds. How can you go wrong with that? I like to have a little something with my tea at night but I find that cookies usually leave me craving more sweet. Not these cookies. They’re just the right balance. Not a soft cookie, but not a hard cookie, the cranberries and raisins are chewy and the nuts give it just the right amount of crunch and best of all, one cookie is enough.

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Do you have any new obsessions? New faves that you can’t imagine not having?

Looking for Something Different

At the end of the episode of the season premiere of Smash, Derek told Karen to find “something different” since their Broadway play Bombshell looked to be dead in the water. I’ve been looking for something different with my workouts.

I tried a yoga class. I really enjoyed it. But I wasn’t completely comfortable in the class.

I tried a Pilates class. I loved it. I opted not to take a second session because of my work schedule but now since things are settling down a bit, I’m thinking about signing up for another 6 week session.

But even with the prospect of going to a Pilates class once a week, I want something different. I think I’m looking to step outside of my comfort zone.

I’ve found two workouts that definitely would push me outside of my comfort zone.

Krav Maga and Crossfit.

Krav Maga Street Defense is the hand-to-hand self-defense and fitness system developed for use by the Israeli Defense Forces. No argument there that it is something different, right?

Crossfit is a strength and conditioning program that is used by many law enforcement agencies, fire departments and military organizations. Yes, that is something different.

Then I’ve been considering horseback riding. I used to take weekly riding lessons and I have occasionally thought about going back to riding. It was a great inner thigh workout.

It turns out I have a few options. While I’m curious about CrossFit, I’m a little leery of the intensity of the workout. Same concern with the Krav Maga.

The Pilates and horseback riding are looking pretty good to me know. It would be nice to have some new workouts for the spring. Maybe that’s the whole reason I’m looking for new workouts. Spring. Warmer temps and longer days.

Am I the only one looking for something different to shake up my workout? What workout would you like to try this spring?

Debra

Are You Adding Years to Your Appearance?

Remember the days when we wanted to look ten years older? Our teen years. We wanted to look old enough to do certain things that were totally…legal. There, I said it. Whether it was to get into a “R” rated movie or buy a drink at a bar or get into a nightclub, we wanted to look older. But these days? We really don’t want to look older. So, what are the little things that we are doing that age us?

Woman’s Day magazine has a list of 10 ways women make themselves look older. Yes, they have given us a heads-up on what we shouldn’t be doing. I’m certain every Healthy Chick will be grateful for that. I checked out the list of those dastardly offenders…just to make sure I wasn’t guilty of any of them.

Phew.

I’m not guilty.

But, I’m going to share five of the offenses with you now (not in any particular order)and the take-away lesson you should learn. Check out the complete survey for more information.

#1 Dyeing Your Hair Blonde

Blonde doesn’t mean youthful for every woman. We need to be mindful of your skin tone. I’m a natural blonde and the color I use is my natural color, golden blonde. But as I age, I may need to change up the color so that it flatters my skin tone.

#2 Skimping on Deep Conditioning

Aging hair needs moisture. Try a hair mask or deep conditioning product once a week. And I use Moroccan Oil every day on my hair and I love it. Battles the frizz while keeping my hair soft.

#3 Wearing old bras

Need I say more? Okay, as we age our bodies change but old bras don’t. The right bra will not only lift the girls (always a sign of youthfulness) and help improve your posture.

#4 Wearing Dull Colors

Dull colors do nothing to brighten our skin tone, especially around the face. Banish the dullness in your wardrobe.

#5 Wearing Baggy Clothes

Yes, comfort is a good thing but baggy clothes can add pounds which can add years to our appearance. Ditch the baggy, resist the tight-fitting and choose well-tailored clothing.

It looks like I’ve been navigating the rough waters of aging pretty good so far but that doesn’t mean I shouldn’t from time to time do a re-assessment of my appearance. It’s when we become complacent and comfortable that bad behaviors take hold. And we never want to develop bad behaviors.

But we do want chocolate!

Yesterday was Valentine’s Day and look at what I found waiting for me.

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The milk chocolate assortment. My favorite. I didn’t wait to dig into the box. 🙂

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I hope you had a wonderful Valentine’s Day!

Fitness Myths Busted

Being 40-something I’ve been around the fitness block a few times so I’ve learned a thing or two over the years. One of my favorite topics is fitness myths. You know, the urban legends of the gym world.

Now, I am going to address three of the most common myths/legends from my own perspective based on my life experience. Keep in mind that these are my own personal views and as with every piece of fitness advice, you should check with your own fitness professional and/or doctor.

So lets start examining some myths.

#1 Exercising in the morning is the best time to exercise.

We are told that we burn more fat in the morning and that once the workout is done we don’t have to worry about exercising later in the day. Well, it turns out that there is some info that shows exercising first thing may actually be slowing down our metabolism because we are burning glycogen and protein for energy which may lead to muscle loss. I have found that morning workouts don’t work for me. I’ve tried over and over again to become a morning exerciser but my peak performance has been and probably will always be in the afternoon. So I have learned that the best time to workout whatever time works for you. Radical, huh?

#2 I worked out so I can eat whatever I want.

So not true. Been there, done that and guess what? Gained weight. Working out does not give you license to eat whatever is in your sight. You do need to keep your body fueled so that you get the most out of your workouts but your fuel should be nutritious. Exercise and good nutrition make a perfect couple, so keep it clean.

#3 No pain means no gain.

Over training is never a good thing. More isn’t always better and I’m very glad I realized that at an early age otherwise I’m certain that now I would be feeling the effects of working out too much and too hard. And now as I’m in my forties I make sure that I don’t over train and allow my muscles to heal after each workout.

What are the fitness myths that you’ve once believed but have learned that they are really myths?

It’s A Treadmill Day

After days of not working out, today I had to hit the treadmill. While clearing the mega-snow that fell over the weekend could be considered a workout, there is something about a planned, structured workout that makes me feel as if I accomplished something. I hit the treadmill for 30 minutes while I watched Dr. Oz. His show today was about food fraud, which is pretty scary stuff. Fish, extra virgin olive oil, lemon juice, just to name a few things that are routinely mislabeled.

Over the past few weeks I’ve become more conscious about the food that I buy. I saw a report on 60 minutes about food flavorings. Inside this lab was all these flavors that had been chemically created. I guess I never really thought about it. Until that episode. And a perfect example of my change of thinking was when I was trying to decide on a side dish for a chicken dinner. I wanted something quick and simple. I immediately thought of one of those bag side dishes of noodles and cream sauce. Then I remembered the 60 Minutes episode and how nothing in that package was real. Instead, I remembered that I had my pressure cooker and in less time it would take me to make that noodle side dish, I could make risotto. That’s right, risotto in 10 minutes and no artificial flavoring.

Now when I look at my shopping cart I am seeing less and less packaged food and more whole food. But according to Dr. Oz I shouldn’t fall into a false sense of security because there are companies out there who are looking to rip me off and pass of lesser quality products that do not have the nutritional benefits I’m looking for or that I need. Eating healthfully in today’s world isn’t the easiest thing to do but I know that in the long run it will pay off for me and my family.

After my grocery shopping trip and a quick lunch, on a whim I whipped up a batch of brownies. Now, brownies are not the most nutritious foods but these brownies contain no artificial flavors or ingredients I can’t pronounce. So, in the big picture they are not terribly bad for me as long I eat them in moderation.

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