Monday, September 19, 2011

Back on Track

I see it's been a while since someone has posted here, but it's great to see that #temt is alive and active on Twitter. The temt team is always in the back of my mind pushing me, reminding me to take care of my body so I have energy and good health for myself and my family. Although I was pretty good through the summer, I finally feel back on track this fall.

I have REstarted my own exercise program with two new frames of mind:

1) Exercise every day! I'm no longer assigning workouts to certain days. I'm just exercising every day. For me, early in the morning works best - the time before my family wakes up. This is time for me and I just DO it! That way, I don't wake up and say, "Today I don't have to get up and move." Instead, it's, "Get up - it's time!" If I'm really exhausted one morning, it's no big deal if I don't get up and sleep in a little instead. But the next day - no excuses. It's working for me.

2) It's not too late, it's too early! Both my hubby and I have started getting back on track late summer and, well, we didn't really get a chance to show off a stealth bod at the lake or in the pool. "So, what?" he said, "We're just getting a good head start on next summer." I've adopted this attitude with him and together we have made a pact to keep working out and eating right through the winter, into spring and summer. In other words - our cup is half full.

I'm looking forward to fitting better in my jeans as the weather gets colder and having more energy as the days grow shorter. I can feel the difference already in my attitude and energy.

Getting fit, let's face it, is a good thing no matter the season!

Monday, August 1, 2011

Awesome Green Smoothie Challenge Wrap-up

I loved the Green Smoothie Challenge, but I could only participate for 10 days due to my trip to Europe.

This was a facebook event, and all the recipes, tips, suggestions, and websites were posted to the event wall. This can sometimes make it hard to find things. (Facebook needs a "favorite" button like Twitter, and Twitter needs a "Like" button like Facebook!) So I consolidated everything into a word document. Then I wanted to share it with the event participants and others, but couldn't figure out the best way. I didn't want to post "message me with your email and I'll send it to you" because I have enough email to manage. Then, DUH! Google Docs! (Thank you, Karen Chichester!) Here's the link, enjoy!

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Summertime..and the #Temt in's Easy

Spinach Salad with Shrimp

For me, summer is the time when I finally get my act together, resume regular workouts, and prepare yummy healthy meals. Well, most of the time, anyway! Even with family visitors, celebration of holidays and birthdays, it's still easier for me to take care of myself when the pressures of the daily commute and busy teaching day are off.

Maybe it's time that I developed some new habits. They say that it takes 30 days to create a habit, and I have just about 30 days before I return to work full-time.  So here are some things I am going to do to make my life easier and prepare for when the hustle and bustle of school returns.

  1. Make a yummy, healthy food shopping list on Evernote: This way, when I am at the store, starved and brain-dead from a long day, I will have a go-to list and I won't feel deprived.
  2. Keep a salad bar ready in the refrigerator : If I get in the habit of having healthy veggies cut up and ready in the frig. I can just keep it going when school starts. I have thought of this often, but the habit just hasn't stuck. Suggestions?
  3. Make a menu of fun workouts: Sometimes when I am tired or just unable to make a decision, I need ideas of fun ways to exercise so that it sounds less like a chore. Why not get creative and draw (or create on the computer) a visual representation of all the ways I like to exercise? I bet I can come up with at least 10..maybe even 20. Stay tuned for a future post on that!
  4. Get a buddy involved: Last year my teacher friend next door and I talked of choosing a day after school when we would run together. Another coworker suggested hiking on a nearby trail. We didn't do it, but I plan to make it happen this year. A google doc is in the making for "collaborative opportunities for exercise."I will share it at our Summer Institute when we get together for professional development in August. 
  5. Start the day in workout clothes: It's hard to distract yourself from the workout when you're already dressed. Today I will be going straight from the pj's to the fun new workout clothes I scored on the clearance rack at Marshalls! 
How will you develop a new habit to make health a priority during all seasons of the year?

Wednesday, July 6, 2011


Today's Recipe:
2-3 cups of seedless grapes (I used green)
1 handful of parsley (I used curly)
2 cups of spinach
2 cups of water

I thought about adding a banana, because I really like the texture it adds, but decided I would try the smoothie without banana today. This recipe is particularly refreshing. First you taste the sweet tang of the grapes, then the freshness of the parsley hits. I did not really taste the spinach at all. I'm actually thinking this one might make a good slushie by incorporating chopped ice.

Wish I would have taken a picture this morning. It was a lovely bright green!

Photo by cafemama

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Commitment Takes Planning

"Failing to plan is planning to fail."
Alan Lakein
A few days ago I shared how I was not adequately prepared for Day 1 of the Awesome Green Smoothie Challenge, but I came up with a plan B to get me through the day. The next three days were not work days, so no worries. On Monday, I realized if I want to keep up with the smoothies, I must prep the night before.

Since I blend my smoothies in 2 batches, I divide the produce between 2 perfect
ly-sized bowls. I realize some fruit may brown up a bit, but since it's all going into the blender, no worries! I blend the first batch and pour it into a mason jar, then I blend the next batch and pour the first batch back into the blender. (Just like blending 2 cans of paint to equalize the color.) In this way, if one bowl gets more or less of an ingredient, the final product will have everything evenly incorporated.

I'm starting to experiment a little with quantities and ingredients, as well as blending speeds. Today's smoothie was actually my favorite so far: 2 bananas, about 1 cup of pineapple, 2 cups of spinach, and about a cup of water. The texture was really smooth without the strawberry seeds.

Other planning involves the shopping. I'm trying to buy enough for only 2-3 days at a time so nothing goes to waste. Calculating the amount of whole fruits needed is easy; the leafy greens present a little more challenge. So far I've determined that the 5 oz clamshell of Earthbound Farm Organic Baby Spinach has about 4 cups (packed). For the recipes I started with, 1 box of spinach made 2 days' worth of smoothies.

I also need to at least think about my daily schedule to get my smoothies in. Breakfast is easy; but I have to try to project the remainder of my day to see if the other will be lunch or dinner. Lack of planning also affects my workouts; sometimes I work later than the gym is open. I think I'm going to have to sit down each week and look at my planner and actually schedule workouts to make sure they happen.

What are your planning tips to plan for your health?

Monday, July 4, 2011

Fine with Fifty (I think!)

I started my 50th birthday with another green smoothie, followed by a wonderful yoga class. Off to a great start! Huge lunch at a great restaurant and green smoothie for dinner. Overall, not so bad.

It has been so much fun reading the tweets and wall posts from my Twitter and Facebook friends today. My favorite comment was probably this one: "Hope I look as good when I reach that point in my life!!!!!!! Rock on!!!!!!!"

Later in the evening another friend called with birthday wishes and I shared that comment with her and added "I certainly work at it!"

To which she replied, "Well, there does come a time when it doesn't come as easy as it used to."

True that.

I never really had a problem with my weight. I could always eat whatever I wanted. And a week or so of cutting back would shed a few pounds. In fact, I only gained 10 pounds over 25 years. But I didn't like how I felt (more so how my clothes [didn't] fit). The cutting back alone wasn't working anymore. That is when I joined Curves and started being much more conscious of my eating habits. I'm not perfect, but overall, I'm happy with the results.

In the months leading up to my 50th birthday, I've been rather reflective, emotions about the "Big 5-0" running the gamut from embracing to vehemently denying. In the end, I think I'm OK with it. Having a wonderful network of supportive, encouraging friends (and a little flattery here and there!) makes it easier and all worth while.

Sure beats the alternative!

Creative Commons photo by Leo Reynolds

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Going Green: Day 3

The Awesome Green Smoothie Challenge with Santosha Yoga started on July 1, but due to a hectic schedule that day (and lack of preparation on my part!) I "cheated" on day 1 by substituting Bolthouse Farms Green Goodness smoothie that I picked up at the store. It was very good; and the sale price made it even better! Since this is a pasteurized product, the benefits are not as complete as a raw smoothie. But, it was an acceptable substitute and, IMO, and met the spirit of the challenge.

I'm finding that I really like the green smoothies. I love that I'm getting at least 4 servings of produce. I love the flavor. I love that I'm putting good food into my body. I love that I'm eating less junk because I'm full.

I used the same recipe as yesterday (Irish Banana Split Smoothie), but today I cut back on the pineapple a bit and substituted a slightly over-ripe peach. I also reduced the amount of water to 1 cup. The pigments in the peach skin did shift the color a little.

Another change today is I did not "process" it quite so much, as I felt I incorporated too much air yesterday. This left some very fine pieces of spinach, but still very drinkable. It actually looks a little bit like confetti. :)

Although it's only been a few days, I really want to commit to this. Hope I can inspire you to try it, too!

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Review, Reflect, Revise, Reset

The summer of 2010, I was in a pretty good place with my health and exercise. I had been working out consistently at Curves for over a year, lost 10 pounds and a few inches, and generally eating well. I also added yoga to my workout regimen. I even got on the twitter #temt train and wrote a few posts for this blog (here, here, and here).

Then September hit. A bit of a backslide as school started up. (Scroll the blog archive for many references to that phenomenon). Added to the "regular" (whatever that is!) stress was the urgency to complete my dissertation and defend by the end of the semester. By the beginning of November, it was "do or die:" if I did not finish all 5 chapters by Thanksgiving, I would not be able to defend until the winter semester, which meant paying for a second credit ($500!) that I did not need. So basically everything except work and the dissertation went to you-know-where-in-a-handbasket--including diet and exercise. Writing binges do not play well with good eating habits, in my experience. I tried to squeeze in 1 or 2 workouts or a yoga class each week; some weeks were more successful than others.

I started easing back into the exercise routine, but on December 31, I broke my toe, and couldn't workout for a couple of weeks. Then I was sick, etc., etc., etc.... Second semester I ended up working a lot of hours, which made it hard to get the exercise in, I would often get home after the gym closed. :(

Now that it's summer, I've a new resolve to get/stay in shape and eat better.Still not getting all my Curves workouts in, but I am committed to getting in as much as I can. I also thought about my eating habits, and I've started to minimize meat. I'm also participating in the Awesome Green Smoothie Challenge with Santosha Yoga. Today's recipe:

Irish Banana Split:
1/2 cup strawberries
2 bananas
1 cup pineapple
2 cups packed spinach
1 pint water

It was totally rawsome!

I had one for breakfast (about 1/2 liter), and the other for dinner. Amazingly filling. Just a funny side note, when I see "Irish" with a recipe, especially a beverage, my first connection is Bailey's (yum), and I couldn't figure out what it had to do with a green smoothie. Then, duh! the other ingredients are found in a banana split and the spinach makes it green. Silly me. ;)

I'm committing to trying this for 1 week, and if it goes well, then into the next. How about you?

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Early Success with Couch to 5K

Truth be told I've never been much of a runner. Sure, I was on the junior high cross country team in the 7th and 8th grades, but I didn't really contribute much to the team. I don't think I ever placed high enough in a race to help out my team. In fact, the only specific thing I can recall from my cross-country days is the fact that I suffered from several stone bruises--not a happy memory.

Over the years, I have enjoyed participating in sports. I played tennis and soccer with some success in high school. I even received a small scholarship to play tennis in college. I continued playing soccer, too, even as a young professional. I could play both sports for hours even if they involved a ton of running, but I couldn't muster the motivation to jog around the block if a ball wasn't involved. For some reason, chasing a ball for 90 minutes wasn't nearly as painful as running through my neighborhood for 30 minutes seemed. I've never known why. Of course, that was 6 years and 25-30 pounds ago--before I stopped coaching, started finishing all the un-eaten Happy Meals "I paid good money for."

Tomorrow I will complete week 2 day 3 of Couch to 5K. I'm somewhat surprised that I'm actually looking forward to the workout. Maybe it's because the workouts so far have been intervals of running and walking. Maybe it's because I've already lost 3 pounds. Maybe it's because I invested in some decent running shoes. Or maybe it's because I'm tracking my success in as many geeky (and social) ways that I can find. I'm not sure. I still not much of a runner, and I have a long way to go before I run a 5K, but I'm feeling like I can actually reach my goals of running a relatively painless 5K and dropping 15 pounds of weight.

For anyone interested, I'm using a few apps on my iPhone to help me as I try to slow down the aging process and find a way to stick around to play with my grandkids. I'm using the Couch to 5K app as well as the RunKeeper app. (They seem to record different levels of calories burned.) I'm also using the Lose It! app to track my calorie consumption and help me watch how much I consume. I'm sharing my exercise success on Twitter, Facebook, & with my RunKeeper Street Team. I'd love to connect with you through one of these networks. I appreciate the encouragement I've received from #temt so far, and I look forward to encouraging others as they strive to reach their goals.

The technophile in me is curious about what tools the members of my team are using to track their exercise regimens. How about you? What apps, widgets, or programs do you use to track your health and fitness?

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Make it Playful: 10 Ways to Have Fun Exercising This Summer!

School's out for summer and it's a chance for many of us to recommit ourselves to getting healthier and happier through balanced exercise and eating. The school year has been consuming for me, leading to a partial neglect of myself that I now plan on making up for with lots of sleep, play, nutritious food, and exercise.
Coincidentally, I am reading a book called, Play by Stuart Brown, a book which has been selected for all of the staff at my school to read. I am reinspired to create a list of ways that I will exercise in a joyful playful way this summer. Here goes:
  1. Wii Fit:  I especially love my Wii Fit Active 2 disc with activities like Mountainboarding, cycling, step aerobics, and more.  I also love the therapeutic aspect of the boxing station and the childlike fun of skipping.  Zumba always puts me in a great mood as well, as the music gets my heart going and I forget about watching the clock. I am thinking of getting Just Dance 2. Anyone out there a fan?
  2. Kayaking: I am fortunate enough to live near the ocean and last summer spent a few of my most favorite days renting a kayak and exploring the bay near the Capitola pier. 
  3. Hiking: I live within 20 minutes of several beautiful parks where I can hike and feel the wonder of my feet hitting the earth.  There is always something so therapeutic about hiking up hills, feeling the ground, and listening to the creatures of the forest. 
  4. Walking: Ok, so I don't always think of walking as exercise, but it is! I will be in Philadelphia for ISTE11 in a couple weeks and I plan on enjoying exploring the city by walking and talking with friends!
  5. Running: ( Granted,  maybe I should call this one, jogging) : I go in and out of phases where I enjoy running, as I don't consider myself a "natural runner" with legs that are short and squat, attached to a frame made for childbearing than for athletics, but I do enjoy running, especially on the beach! I carry my phone along to take pics to make it more fun.
  6. Gardening: Oh yes, there is definitely some work to be done out front with weeds taking over my patio area. I am going to enjoy some tunes and gardening, and yes.. I do consider it exercise!
  7. Insanity: I am thinking of getting the Insanity Dvd's that I keep hearing about. I am afraid the pain of it all may not fit in the "play" category, but it looks like a great challenge!
  8. Cleaning/Dancing Around the House: Yep! When it's just me and my music, I can work up quite a sweat and a smile on my face, cleaning, organizing, and dancing my way to satisfaction. 
  9. Bicycling: So, currently I don't own a bike, but I think it's about time to add cycling to my repertoire of fun fitness activities. Biking to the beach: how can I say no to that?
  10. Rollerblading: Time to dust off those blades and hit some flat, safe, paths to renew my skills. Don't worry, wrist guards will definitely be part of my practice!
How will you find playful ways to rejuvenate either by yourself or with friends/family this summer? Please share!

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Getting Back on the TEMT Train!

You may have noticed that it's been quite some time since anyone has posted on the Temt blog. Now I am here to publicly admit that I have not quite kept up with my fitness goals as I set at the beginning of the school year. Luckily, I have kept up some workouts so it shouldn't be a complete shocker as I get back on the train.
With days lengthening, weather improving, and excuses disappearing, I am pledging right here and now to get some moderation into my world and not allow this, "all or nothing" mentality to prevent a healthful lifestyle. Here are some ways I am easing myself back onto the Temt train!
  • I'm counting walking as exercise! I've been at the ASCD preconference and conferencein San Francisco for the past 4 days and have been walking everywhere!  I have often been guilty of an all or nothing attitude, berating myself for not "working out" and then not giving myself credit for walking as a form of exercise. Not anymore! I am walking with a coworker at a moderate pace at lunchtime for at least 20-30 minutes. I may not break out into a full-on sweat, but it is better than nothing!
  • I am continuing my fun Zumba and Wii Active Fit II workouts on the weekend. Sometimes I don't think of "fun exercise" as really exercise. Can anyone relate to me on this or am I the only one with the ingrained, "No pain, no gain" complex?
  • I'm planning my lunches and snacks better.  I love healthy foods, yet sometimes salads and other healthy choices take more planning and preparation. I will get my lunch ready the night before and keep my healthy favorites, like cottage cheese and blueberries, on the ready!
  • Finally, I am going to ease back into running. Instead of jumping into my car after a tutoring session that ends right in time for rush hour, I will take a 30 minute run and then slide into my car, nice and relaxed, for the commute home. If I do this on 2 weeknights, I will be able to get in 4 strong workouts a week. Not only will I be on a nice endorphin buzz, I will be less stressed and hopefully a more present partner. My husband will be thanking me I am sure! 
As you read this post, can you relate?  Have you let the pressures of your job, or other responsibilities get in the way of your most important job of all: taking care of yourself?
Please share your stories with the readers here. If you are a Temt contributor, won't you take the time to write a post and update us on your progress toward your goals?