Oh The Gear!

I’ve been trying out classes at our local YM.C.A and I really like them!  Sure, they’re not kickboxing (which I truly, truly love) but they are pretty good and the calorie burn is seeming to be the same or similar.  There is an intense endurance class that is truly the hardest fitness class I’ve EVER done, so that’s super exciting!  I can make that on Thursdays and Saturdays, and then a TurboKi.ck class on Tuesdays.  I like doubling up workouts on strength days, so this schedule works out great!

What this all means is that it was time for some new fitness gear (enter eye-roll)!  I am a fitness gear junkie and always like to have the right stuff to make my workouts as comfortable as possible.  I think a change-up in fitness routines makes my husband a little nervous just because he knows that there’s money that’s going to be spent.  I don’t like spending the money either, but there are some things that I just NEED to get things done right (“right” as I define it – please don’t lecture me on needs and wants!).

The first thing on my list was new shoes for the studio fitness classes.  I do kickboxing in socks and am used to doing my kicks and turns with complete freedom to move and move well.  Kicking with running shoes on felt wrong, and they were way too sticky for the spins and quick slides.  The bonus to this is that any shoe I got for studio classes would work for kickboxing as well, which I have been thinking about because sometimes the socks are too slick (especially on the new mats).  I researched shoes until the wee hours of many mornings and settled on Ryk.as, Asic.s, or the Nik.e Stud.io Train.er.  I have super long and narrow feet, so I knew I couldn’t just order shoes online.  I went to a great fitness store here in town and tried on what they had in my size – Ryk.as and the Stu.dio T.rainer.  The Ryk.as, as I suspected they would be, were too short but awesome looking.  The Ni.kes were prefect but ugly.  I got the Nik.es and tried them out a few days later in kickboxing and Turbo, and they were perfect!

I’ve wanted an activity monitor for a long time, and was all set to get the Fitb.it For.ce – but it was recalled before I got it ordered.  I’d also read some rather dismal reviews on it, so I was actually glad I didn’t get it before the recall.  That left me wondering what would do the job for me and some girls in my HEAT class (High Energy Aerobic Training) had heart rate monitors going.  That made sense to me but they weren’t tracking their daily activity – just fitness activity.  I could use my Garm.in Fore.run.ner 40.5 for what they were doing, but that left the same problem – no daily activity monitoring.  After doing heaps of research, I settled on the Garmi.in Vivof.it and I LOVE it.  I mean, I am IN LOVE WITH IT!  It hooks up to my Garm.in heart rate monitor (if I could find the damned thing – I saw it just 4-5 weeks ago but now it’s gone) so it gets TRUE calories burned if I so choose to track that.  The other activity monitors I was looking at don’t hook up to heart rate monitors, so they were immediately stricken from the list (again, thank God I didn’t get that Fitb.it!).  The coolest feature is that it hounds you if you haven’t moved in an hour by placing a red bar on the display that gets longer as you sit longer.  I’ve never had as many ants in my pants as I did today when that bar was on (after sleeping in all morning) and the kids were down for their naps!  I got out and walked the entire neighborhood (2.3 miles) and that little device was only 0.06 miles off from what my GPS app said the distance was.  AWESOME!  I’ve since measured my stride and entered that into the device so that should be more accurate next time.  Another cool thing it does is auto-set my step goal for me, so as I get more and more active, the goal gets more and more intense.  Yesterday, I took over 14,000 steps doing my normal daily stuff.  Today, I took over 12,500 steps after sleeping the morning away and then going for a walk to make up for it.  What will tomorrow bring?

Back to shoes.  My new studio shoes weren’t going to work for my HEAT class, so I needed new cross-trainers.  I’ve never bought cross-trainers before, just running shoes, so I had no idea what to get.  I don’t get the luxury of going for cute with a size 12 narrow foot (for athletic shoes – in real life I’m an 11 narrow).  I was going for functionality and a sticky sole.  Asic.s running shoes have always been my go-to because of their standard width and breadth of length options, so I went there straight-away.  I found the Women’s Asic.s Gel-For.tius™ TR and they are awesome!  The soles are ridiculously sticky but with a pivot point for quick turns (during drills) and they look BAD-ASS!  Best feature besides their fit and functionality is that the footbed says, “Be Better Than Yesterday.”  AWESOME!

The final new pieces of gear are my new headbands.  Stupid sounding, I know, but what’s even more ridiculous are the old-school sweatbands I’ve worn for years.  I always see these gals wearing cloth bands on their heads during kickboxing or other fitness classes and I’ve always wondered what in the world they’re thinking – those can’t catch sweat (and I’m a serious sweater!).  Well, it was lost on me that they were wearing wicking headbands that I had not yet been introduced to.  My big kid picked out my first one (Junk brand) and I also got a Bon.diBan.d.  I really like the Junk one so bought two more of those – I’m armed with 4 functional sweatbands that won’t make me look like a washed up tennis player.

The last thing I need is that pesky heart rate monitor.  I haven’t bought it yet because I know the minute I do and use it once, I’ll find the old one that’s just as compatible as the new one.  This is killing me because it’s nowhere to be found, and I don’t lose ANYTHING.  I’m spending my free time this week cleaning out the room that may have it lost within it.  If it’s not there, I’m ordering that bad boy by Friday!


Paleo Week 2 – Flying Solo

(Written Saturday night before the week started:  My husband will be out of town ALL week.  What this means is that I’ll be eating a lot of Paleo take-out.  I already have some ideas, but I won’t be cooking big meals from the cookbook – the recipes are just too big to try to cut down for one person.  I’m anticipating a lot of cold cuts, yogurt (full-fat, making it more Paleo-friendly), and Chipotle/Pancheros burrito bowls.)

Turns out, I missed cooking, so after dropping my husband off at the airport, we headed straight to the store to prep for the week!  Paleo Week 2, here I come!

Sunday, 07/27/2014  *** Take-out BBQ without the BBQ Sauce ***

Our friends invited us over for “make your own pizza night,” so I grabbed smoked meat and green beans from my favorite BBQ place and headed over.  I ate my meal as planned, as did my little guy.  My big kid ended up making a pizza… and loving it.  I sampled a small bit of his and it was good.  They had homemade ice cream for dessert so I went for it – a small dish.  Good, but not worth the calories or deviation from our plan.

Monday, 07/28/2014  *** Roughing It ***

My very helpful neighbor watched the kids so I could hit a 4:30 kickboxing class.  When I returned to get them, she was feeding them dinner (she’s like that – just takes over which is so helpful!) and I was out of luck.  I was going to make the Greek Chicken from week 1, but it would have to wait until Tuesday.  So, I picked through the fridge, found some turkey, milk, and a cheese stick.  Awesome.

Tuesday, 07/29/2014  *** Greek Chicken (Again) ***

Because my big kid had speech downtown at 5:30, I decided to make the whole Greek chicken for lunch and then just eat the leftovers for dinner after speech.  This plan did not work out – the boys at 3/4 of the 4 pound chicken and left me just one breast.  My little guy ate all but 6 spears of my roasted asparagus.  It was a light lunch (HA!).  With my leftovers plan thwarted, I was left to figure it out on the way home from speech.  We went to Chipotle.  The kids were both being so difficult, that I took the hit and got tacos (soft corn) so I could eat with my hands and not have to worry about forking up my own food while trying to feed and contain both kids.  It was good (no GREAT)!


Wednesday, 07/30/2014  *** Ground Pork and Apple Sliders (Again) ***

When you’ve got an easy, outstanding recipe at your disposal, why not take advantage of it?  I made these awesome sliders again tonight, served with green beans (none of us ate them, they were so tough and awful) and bib lettuce.  They were GREAT!  I just love this recipe!  I had 3 of them equaling 6 ounces of meat.  The boys split one, leaving 2 for tomorrow’s lunch!

Thursday, 07/31/2014  *** Leftover Ground Pork and Apple Sliders ***

This was just as good reheated as it was fresh.  I swear, I could eat this recipe every single day!  I had 2 patties left (each with 2.67 ounces of meat) and reheated them together for 2 minutes on 40% and they were juicy and awesome!  I didn’t have any veggies to have with it, but the lettuce did the trick for me.  We ate early, so the rest of the evening consisted of snacks (milk, cheese).

Friday, 08/01/2014 *** Bacon Wrapped Shrimp with Pineapple Tidbits ***

This little dandy didn’t come from our normal cookbook – it just happened to be in our grocery store publication (it’s a rather fancy store with it’s own quarterly food magazine) and it just happens to be Paleo (within reason – it has maple syrup which is allowed on special occasions).  So being the lovers of shrimp, and spice, and bacon that we are, this was put into our rotation immediately!

It was AWESOME!  I would make this again and again.  The sauce is to die for – and it’s just 1/4 cup of pure maple syrup and 2 TBSP of Srirachi sauce – that’s it.  Back in the day, my husband and I would go to a brew pub at least once a week for a shrimp dish that we both loved – we’d order two rounds of it for our appetizer because we couldn’t stand sharing just one serving.  They took it off the menu and B’s been sad ever since.  I told him tonight (he’s still out of town) that we can now make it at home – this recipe tastes just like that fabulous appetizer, but has grilled bacon and pineapple as a bonus.  Hell yes!


Saturday, 08/02/2014

B got home today so we went out to dinner. We both wanted to end the week well so chose Joe.s Cr.ab Sha.ck for two of their healthy options. As my husband always says, we can cook much better meals at home, and he’s right. I had the Malibu shrimp (no rice, add broccoli) which was fine, but not great, and hubs had mahi. The kids ate grilled white fish and DEVOURED it, so that’s a positive from our experience! We all went to a lakefront then to feed ducks which was super relaxing! It was a pretty solid ending to a *primarily* paleo week (because I had those tacos and a kids cup of vanilla soft serve from DQ earlier in the week).

Week in Review:

  • Weight Lost This Week:  2.4 pounds
  • Weight Lost So Far (in 2 weeks):  5.8 pounds
  • Fat % Lost This Week:  1.2%
  • Fat % Lost So Far:  2%
  • Noteworthy Points:  I’m finding it easier and easier to prep and cook dinner – and it makes me happy to do it!  I feel like a better mother and wife, which sounds ridiculous but it’s true.  I have stepped up my fitness plan just because I need a break from my kids with my husband out of town all week – so the YMCA and long walks it is for the little and me while my big kid is at camp.  I only did the Y one day, and the walk for two days, but it was nice!  I also took my little to kickboxing with me twice this week which worked out once, but was a colossal failure on Friday (we left early).
  • How I feel:  TIRED.  My youngest is having a hard time at night with teething and an awful cold – so I’m just exhausted.  I was actually relieved when we had to leave kickboxing early on Friday.  Besides being tired, I feel really good! My body is very sore from the near-constant exercise (and new shoes) which is good, but still painful!