going through the motions

I was feeling off this whole week, some days worse than others, as I battled a cold, but I still wanted to fit in a sweat session. Call me crazy, but I knew I’d feel better if I worked out, at least mentally.

I wanted it to be a low-key half hour maximum that worked out the whole body. The day before, I had just done cardio, so this workout was all strength. I completed each exercise in 3 sets of 12 reps, low/medium weight, resting 30 seconds between each set.

Sometimes, going through the motions is the best you can do.

Going Through the Motions

 

Advertisements

weekend things

Sixteen years has felt like a lifetime and no time at all. Today, of course, marks the sixteenth anniversary of 9/11. It is a tragedy beyond scope of understanding and my thoughts remain with the victims and their families.

This time of year also marks the sixteenth anniversary of two important losses in my life, my Grandpa in July and my Nana just a few days ago. I was 11 when they passed and I’m going to be turning 28 in a few months. It seems so strange, how much time has passed, how much I have grown and changed and yet, how much I still miss them, not just on the anniversary, but every day.

My weekend started on Friday afternoon when I left work and headed out for a day with my mom. We shopped for wine, enjoyed lunch, and then relaxed the rest of the day. That night, I met up with some friends for dinner. It was so much fun to catch up, but unfortunately what I thought was allergies ended up being a full blown cold.

I made it through work on Saturday with a runny nose, sore throat, and stuffy ears, and even attempt a half hour on the bike, but spent the rest of the day curled up with this guy.

IMG_2141.JPG

Saturday night, I went over my friend Katie’s house with our other friend Stephanie where we made dinner and watched movies- The Lion King and Bad Grandpa.

IMG_2149.JPG

I probably shouldn’t have stretched my poor throat too far and I assure you my vocals were not up to par, but I had fun singing along to The Lion King anyway. Especially as my new kitten’s name is Simba…

On Sunday, it was shopping day. My mom, sister, and I headed up to the local outlets. My main purchase was new shoes. I got my running gait looked at and realized I have flat feet, so I needed special shoes. I’m excited to learn how much this affects my running!

IMG_2156.JPG

The other “big” purchase was a chewing toy for Simba. I’m not sure if kittens teeth, but he seems to need a sturdy toy in which to bite, that is not my hand! He loved the carrot and the box from my shoes.

IMG_2152.JPG

It was a low-key-ish weekend as I still try to fully recover from this cold. At the moment, the worst of it is a stuffed-up ear that’s throwing off my equilibrium a tad. Not fun, but I’m on the mend.

Happy Monday!

The Power of Tea (And Other Healthy Habits)

Brace yourselves, friends, because I’m fairly certain I’m jinxing myself with this post. Alas, I’m all about (or trying to be) sending positive thoughts into the universe, so we won’t even think of it in that way. Somehow we’ve made it to March, with all the weather ups and downs, without me getting sick.

I’ve had the sniffles for a day or two throughout the season, but I drank tea with lemon and honey and it never came into fruition!

Unfortunately, this post was inspired by my mom feeling under the weather with what she termed, ‘the man cold’, because she was up only long enough to walk the dog (good on her!) and enjoy this breakfast I made:

IMG_5038.jpg

To go along with the meal, I accompanied it with a warm mug of green tea with the secret ingredients to a healthy life. I’m not kidding, if there is one elixir for a healthy life (except for say, WATER), green tea would be it. Swirl a dash of honey and a spritz of lemon in there and you’ve got yourself a good old-fashioned remedy.

IMG_5039.jpg

 

I know my good health fortune owes thanks to a few factors, steady and consistent exercise and a (for the most part) healthy diet included. But I cannot say enough about the health benefits of green tea. Partly this is thanks to the fact that I don’t have the patience to seep (HA!) through the science of it all, but there is science involved. It also helps that the only liquids I drink are water (drink more water!), tea (green tea, black tea, all the tea!), coffee (also proven to be healthy), and the occasional alcoholic beverage (red wine has antioxidants and tequila just loosens up everything!). Let’s try to focus more on the water, coffee, tea thing my friends.

It was during the Lenten season four years ago that I said goodbye to soda and I don’t even miss it anymore. I know that no one wants to hear it, and I kinda hate to say it, but soda is so so bad for you. Seltzer is only a sort of option because it has the fizz but it’s an acquired taste and won’t taste as satisfying as soda, at first! So, sorry, but cut it back, then cut it out and move on. Your tastebuds and your hot bod will thank you for it!

I will be the first to admit that my diet could use some tidying up (too much sugar!) and I’m working on that, but overall, I eat well. This means I eat a ton ton ton of fruits and veggies with every meal. Leafy greens in particular- give me all the spinach! Once again, we’re hit with all the science behind how important it is to eat those fruits and veggies, but rather than rant on and on about what I only know at a glance, I’ll say this: there are fun ways to eat those fruits and veggies and it can be fun to explore! However, if you don’t have the time, patience, or the care to do that exploring, then just eat the veggies plain, grilled, or roasted, but you still gotta eat them! Also, the more you eat them and move away from processed foods, the better they taste. Promise!

Moving onto exercise….I know I like and do exercise more than the average person and I’m not ashamed to say I’m proud of that. I didn’t wake up one day and decide it, I worked for that! Thing is, it’s a habit, just like so much else what we do in life and my day isn’t complete without it. Each day doesn’t have to be perfect, well-choreographed, and butt-kicking, but it should be done. Your body is stronger than you can even imagine and it yearns to be challenged, just as much as that mind. So work it! Exercise leads to healthy and healthy leads to happy. It’s one of those things you’ll look back later in life and think If I’d only done more….or If I only started then…or, I think you get the picture.

Unfortunate thing is, none of these alone or together are a cure all for anything. I’m just talking about staving off the cold or the flu and even if I follow all of these rules, those icky germs can still work their way into my system. But overall, doing these things will help a ton when it comes to recovery, emotional wellness, and physical health. And you will feel a heck of a lot better when you are healthy.

Just something to think about!

Have a great weekend everybody and-

Ugh….I just sneezed, but I don’t think it’s a thing…

 

Cat Naps

Woo-boy! Remember when I kept talking about all the snow we had this winter? Now    I feel like I keep talking about how hot it is! I prefer being cold to hot because you can easily fix that situation. This heat has just been stifling. My guess is that my newly acquired sniffles is a product of going between the heat and the air conditioning.

This morning, I was in desperate need of changing my sheets due to the sickliness, but my cat, Bandit was all curled up. I put in the extra effort to not bother him and got the sheets off without disturbing him and tossed them into my laundry basket…only to turn away for one second and find him lying in it!

IMG_2211

Since I’ll be away from the kitchen for the next few days, I decided to take advantage and make my pancakes for breakfast. I topped them with jelly and toasted coconut and served them up with berries galore!

IMG_3443

I headed to the gym for a brief, light workout to get back into things. I performed two sets of twenty reps of bicep curls, shoulder presses, tricep extensions, rows, front raises to shoulder raises, and bench presses. I moved onto body strength moves with four sets of ten reps of squats, lunges, kickbacks, push-ups, mountain climbers, and sit ups. After, I finished off with 15 minutes on the elliptical. It felt good to get moving, but I still wasn’t feeling up to my usual standards. Part of this could also be due to the heat.

For lunch, I threw together a quick salad and grilled up a hot dog for convenience before I needed to get to work. I had spent the afternoon packing and getting some chores done before I left.

For dinner, I enjoyed grilled chicken, rice, and green beans. Nice and simple on this very hot evening that required minimal cooking! Now I’m off to prepare for my trip. Check back in for the occasional recap!

Those Aren’t The Sniffles, I’m Just Crying

Greetings! I am all discombobulated because I have the sniffles. I am trying very hard to ignore them because the last time I had a summer cold, it was terrible. I couldn’t even stand up straight. The fear now is that I leave on vacation with my friend on Friday and I’d very much like not to feel like crap. I’m drinking a ton of tea and water and taking Vitamin C, so we are being optimistic!

I should have known things were growing icky the day before yesterday, but I thought I was just having allergy symptoms to my cat or the air conditioner was getting to me. Then yesterday, I went to swim laps and was just feeling off. I was a little dizzy during my turns which is not usual and I just couldn’t get into my groove. I did reach a mile, but I was ready to be done. My strength routine of dumbbells and medicine balls went great beforehand, so it didn’t occur to me that a cold was brewing until after my swim. Yelp!

I woke up very early this morning to take some cold medicine and drink some water. It helped me sleep for a little while and I was feeling better until I started typing this. Colds suck in the winter, but they are worse in humid and hot temperatures. 

For breakfast, I made three attempts before something stuck. Since I am feeling sickly, I thought a cold smoothie might do the trick, but after I took out all the ingredients, I found the blender dirty and in need of a deep soak. I thought I’d go for a breakfast sandwich instead and realized we were out of English muffins, no fear there because there’s always a package in the freezer! I took one out and defrosted it only to realize it was a cinnamon raisin English muffin. Fine, I wound up making an omelet that was delicious!

This was a seriously good omelet! I heated the pan and coated it with a thin layer of butter. I cracked two eggs into the pan and mixed them in with the remaining pat of butter and just left it while I chopped some fruit and toasted my English muffin. Once it was sturdy all the way through,  I flipped the omelet, topped it with some ham and cheese, and dropped it onto a plate. These strawberries and blueberries were so sweet and juicy. All’s well that ends well!

  
With just the sniffles, I would usually work myself through a low-impact workout and I might walk in a little bit, but I am being extra cautious due to my vacation plans and I don’t want to do any harm. Running, especially in these heat is a big no-no. A day of rest may just be what the doctor ordered. I’ll make sure to do an extra hour of studying for good measure.

Also, I’m super excited because after I finished blogging yesterday and wondering what I would read next, a book came off hold. It’s called Station Eleven and it takes place in a post-apocalyptic world in the sense that technology has died. When I read that there was no internet, I am embarrassed to say that I gasped out loud. So far, I’m enjoying it, but I am taking this one at a much slower pace. 

What are you reading?

Top o’ The Mornin’ To Ya

We are ignoring the constant sniffling and soreness sneaking its way down my throat. We’ll chalk it up to the wind and singing as loud as I could on my way home. To stave off this impending cold, I’ve been popping vitamin C cough drops and drinking as much tea and water as I can stomach. The gym was fine this morning because once I got up, the sniffles weren’t so bad. I knew that getting up and going to the gym was my only option because once that alarm goes off, I’m pretty much up anyways and I wouldn’t make the best of the extra sleep I could have had.  I told myself that if I ever got to the point where I wasn’t feeling well, I could take it easy, but it never reached that.

I started out with a body strength workout and some stability/medicine ball action. I did have Burpees on the menu, but I cut that out the second I got there. It wasn’t the day to push myself that hard. The first circuit included step ups, split squats, push ups, mountain climbers, hip lifts, and side plank twists. The second circuit had rollouts, kneeling kickbacks, mermaid raises, hundreds, sit ups, and Russian twists. After, I headed down to the pool for some cardio and fit in a half hour of laps. The cold didn’t hit me so bad until well into the work day, so at least I got in a great workout! My meals for the day started with a little sweetness in the form of French toast. My batter included an egg, a splash of milk, pumpkin, vanilla, and cinnamon. I soaked two pieces of whole wheat sour dough bread and after frying it on the pan, topped it with peanut butter, jelly, and some shredded coconut for staying power. It was so satisfying and yummy and kept me nice and full until lunch. photo 1 For lunch, I threw some leftover macaroni and cheese into a dish and served it with a fresh salad. I love the combination of the vibrant, crisp veggies and the warm, cheesy goodness. photo 2 Dinner took us to our Irish roots. Since the weekend is looking pretty busy for us all, my mom wanted to cook a traditional Irish meal in honor of St. Patrick’s Day while we were all around. We always have smoked shoulder instead of corned beef, with boiled potatoes, cabbage, carrots, and turnip. Once a year it’s a treat! I remember only ever liking the potatoes when I was younger and my Nana would make it for us, but now my favorite part is the cabbage.

photo

Exercise and Health: Even More Benefits

After my spin class on Tuesday last week, I went through a body strength workout with slightly wobbly legs. I thought it had to do with being tired from spin, but now I’m not so sure. Later on that day, the sickness hit me, and I decided that I would definitely take my rest day on Wednesday.

It proved later on that I wasn’t ready for a workout on Thursday either because my body was still recovering and exhausted. It wasn’t even that big of a deal for most of it, but it shows how sensitive the body really can be. Even this little, brief bout of weakness tore me apart.

I remember having a horrible cold over the summer this year, being incredibly dizzy and miserable, and it just puts everything into perspective.

I say this because I talk a lot about working out and how I believe it should absolutely be a normal part of your routine. And on most days, if you have little aches and pains, are tired, have a sniffle, or feel normal, then you can hype yourself up and barrel through that workout. Sometimes you’re too tired to brush your teeth, but you still do it. Or you should…

But the same thing goes for when you aren’t feeling well. You don’t have to feel guilty about not exercising on a day or two of being sick, or a few days later. I didn’t make it back to the gym until Friday night, finding it was more important to sleep in and get that extra rest, but I took it slow.

I met my sister and we went through a body strength workout at a slower, less intense pace then I am usually up for. After, we headed over to the elliptical and did a half hour on there. As I said, at the very least, the workout put me back into my routine and awakened my appetite.

On Saturday, I wanted to fit in a run, but I knew my body was still in recovery mode. I ended up alternating between walking on an incline and running for a little over an hour. It was an excellent workout anyways, but because I took it slow, the exercise ended up motivating my recovery, rather than stifling it. Exercise should be viewed as a means to maintain a healthy, happy body. As much as it’s important to rest, it’s also important to allow it to improve your health.

Lauren and Nick met me on Sunday and I led them through two kettlebell circuits. Before they got there, I did about fifteen minutes on the elliptical to warm up. I’m happy to note that the fitbit counts steps on the elliptical. We finished the workout going between box jumps and jump roping before finishing with some planks.

It felt good and revitalizing to get my workouts flowing again.