Thursday, January 31, 2013

Back at it.

So for the past two months I've been a little bit off of my normal routine.  Pretty much since Thanksgiving I haven't actually trained like I should be.  I was going to my kickboxing classes once a week and the gym, but I haven't been applying myself the way I should be. Don't get me wrong, I'm still training and not gaining weight but I'm just not applying myself the way I should be. In November I was really sick and had to keep going to the doctor for my asthma and a bunch of tests, December was busy with the holidays, I was sick again, and my grandma pasted away. That was my biggest hurdle. My grandma was my best friend. I called her every single day, so when she past away I had to get back into my normal routine as much as possible. She was the person that always told me that I can do anything that I put my mind too. She was the biggest fan that you could have. As I posted some New Year's goals in my goal section, another goal is to being able to spend more time with my family.  This Saturday will be the last day of my 20 day, 21 shift work week. That means that I've had 2 days off in the entire month of January.  I'm making a promise to myself to never have to do that again.  I'm currently working two jobs, training for two half marathons, and planning a wedding for August. It's getting a little bit rough but I need to cut down on my work hours to spend more time for myself training and planning our wedding. 

  I'm always 5k ready but my goal is to be half marathon ready at all times. I've been really stressed out lately so I started tracking what I've been eating.  I've noticed that when I do eat more processed, sugary, fatty foods, I'm more tired and I get irritable much easier. So I've been making a change. For lunch at work I was drinking Special K protein drink and Nature Valley bars but after actually ready the labels, I noticed that they really aren't that food for you.  I've switched to fruits and veggies for lunch and and whole grain saltines with natural peanut butter.  I've switched my morning low calorie/low fat Yoplait Light yogurt to Chobani greek yogurt.  Greek yogurt has more calories but also better natural ingredients, so I'll take 60 more calories over the sugar and artificial flavors. I've even noticed that some of my more expensive protein shake mix is worse than the EAS mix that I buy at Walmart. 
Now that my diet and mood are feeling better, I'm working out a little harder. I'm still on the elliptical because it's still too cold and dark for me to go running in my town.  So last week and this week I have skipped kickboxing. Since I go every week, it has gotten really busy with the new starts of their new year's resolutions, so i wanted to give them a chance to try the class and I've had a lot of wedding appointments on the days of class. Not only has kickboxing been extremely busy, so has the gym so it's limiting what I can actually accomplish.  My normal routine consists of:
  • Stretching
  • 200 sit-ups
  • 2 minutes of planks
  • Cardio
  • Arms
  • Legs
Nothing too exciting I know. This past week I've been exploring new workouts with my arms.  I've been doing my floor work, 30 minutes of full body lifting, and 20-30 minutes of cardio.  I don't have specific "leg days" because my legs already have a lot of muscle in them from all the years of dance and sports.  I'm trying to proportion the rest of my body.  I still strength train since it is good for running but it's not as intense as I work on my core and arms. I've also started crossfit. I'm trying to get into crossfit classes, but I can't find a place to offer it.  Crossfit is another form of weightlifting or strength training, so I think it will help really well with running.  

Next weekend it's supposed to be over 40 degrees and sunny, which means I will defiantly do whatever I can to get outside. My biggest goal is to get to a at least 6 miles next weekend, that way I'm almost half way to the half marathon. This stress is a good, exciting stress!  

Fun Fact: The Pittsburgh Half Marathon in 93 days! We're down to double digits!

Friday, January 25, 2013

Healthy happens!

So I've been really busy for the past week or so working.  Something I've noticed during training is that the food I eat helps/hurts my mood, so I've started a new set of goals with my current eating habits.  Working almost everyday is extremely stressful and it is proven that when people are under a great deal of stress, they eat a lot more poorly than if they weren't stressed. My biggest goal right now is taking out as much processed food as I can. You would be surprised at how much added sugar, fat, and sodium was added into food that is supposed to be healthy. To help me with this,  I currently have two apps on my phone that I absolutely love! I have the Loseit app and the Fooducate app. 

With Loseit, you track your food and calorie intake along with exercise if you're looking to lose weight.  I'm not trying to lose weight, but I do like to know what my intakes are so I don't overeat. The Fooducate app shows you how processed your food is.  It also gives a letter grade and shows you why it has received that grading. There are a lot "healthy" or what I though were "healthy" foods with awful letter grades. Those are the foods full of sugar, sodium, and fat. This is what you want to stay away from, just because it says "nonfat", "low-fat" or it has less calories, doesn't always mean it's healthier. Both of these apps are free and easy to use.  I recommend them for anyone trying to eat healthier and get into shape. 

Here are some tips I've found that help with healthy eating:

  • The more bad food you eat, the more you crave it.
    • Vise vera with healthy food
  • You naturally eat more junk food with you're stressed out
  • Put the healthiest food in your refrigerator up front, and at eye level
    • You're more incline to eat the first thing your see rather than pushing food around the refrigerator
  • Not having junk food in your house helps you to only eat the heathy stuff you have
  • Only keep food in the kitchen.
    • Don't keep food by your bed room or in the living room.  You'll eat more if it's right in front of you.
  • When you go to a restaurant, ask the waiter to put half of your food in a to-go container so you can take it home and not eat everything at once.
These are some things I've found that help me eat healthier and live a healthier lifestyle. 
Your turn!
-What are your favorite healthy eating phone apps?
-Any tips on how you stay healthy?

*All of this information was based on my own personal opinion. I am not a nutritionist or expert, these are based on my own personal experience. Please consult a physician before starting any diet or exercise plan. 

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Breakfast can be healthy!

Healthy Cinnamon Sugar Pancakes.
So, since I've been working a lot I've been trying to eat healthier since I can't get out to run or to the gym as much as I would like.  This morning's breakfast  was pretty quick and simple. I made cinnamon sugar pancakes with whole wheat flour instead of regular flour. I prefer to make as many dishes homemade as possible because they're much healthier for you and there isn't any added sodium or anything in them.  
I only used half of the recipe because I always make way too much and I didn't have time to mess with more then we needed since I was in the middle of getting ready for my second weekend job.  

Here's the recipe:
  • 2 cups whole wheat flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 eggs, well beaten
  • 2 cups milk
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 tablespoon cinnamon (Add as needed. I didn't really measure) 
  • 1-2 tablespoons Splenda (Add as needed. I didn't really measure)

Stir in dry ingredients. Add eggs, milk and oil. Stir until dry ingredients are moistened. Then put them on the griddle the same way you would make normal pancakes. Simple! I used butter and light syrup but you can put what ever you like on top. 

Let me know how it works for you! 
Do you have any favorite easy healthy recipes? 

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Workout Wednesday

This was the first time in almost a week that I could get a decently long workout in.  My gym has been packed that as so as soon as I get in there, I just want to leave.  I finally got a chance to get a yoga mat to do some floor work so I thought I'd try some new workouts out. I did my usual stretching, planks and sit ups but I thought I would try plank toe taps and plank hip twists.  

Plank toe taps
-Get into plank/push up position
-Bring the right leg up and tap by your hand. (Like you're trying to knee your elbow)
-Do the left the same way and keep switching
-Keep doing for 60 counts

Plank hip twists
-Stay in plank/push up position
-Twist and place right hip towards the ground
-Go back to plank/push up position
-Twist and place right hip towards the ground
-Keep doing for 30 counts

Once I finished floor work, I moved onto the elliptical.  I absolutely hate running on the treadmill because I run at different paces so I just do a hard few miles on the elliptical. 3.5 miles later I was finished and moved onto arms. I only used 15lb weights on both sides of my arms because I do more reps/counts that way and still feel a workout.  It still equaled 30lbs. 

I will be working all this weekend until next weekend because most of my work weeks are 15-23 days long as opposed to 5 days so I probably won't make it to the gym as much as I would like, but I will still be posting my running miles through out the week and my workouts from in the evenings. 

Here's today's healthy breakfast! This is what I normally eat in the office in the mornings because I don't have a microwave or refrigerator and I refuse to eat potato chips all day. Plus, this cuts down on sugar and sodium all day! I love protein in the morning! 
What's your favorite healthy breakfast food?

Sunday, January 13, 2013

I can't believe it's January!

The weekends are a busy time for everyone.  This weekend I didn't get to workout as much as I had wanted, but I did get one good run in.  It was 66 degrees in the town I live in! For the start of the third week of January it's usually close to 30 degrees or lower so I'm sure you can imagine that the park was crowded.
  Other than having to clean my house i took advantage of my run as much as I could.  I started off saying that I was only going to to run a 5k and make it a 5k Sunday but once I got to my third mile, I decided that I needed to do another mile before I did my cool down walk lap. I didn't go as fast as I had planned but for not running outside in over two months, I think I did pretty well. 
This was also the first time I had a chance to use my new running watch that my fiance got me for Christmas. It's a Garmin Forerunner10 and it's fantastic.  It's super accurate and tells me everything that I want to know when I'm finished running. I still haven't figured out how to use the GPS part though. 

There's officially 111 days until the Pittsburgh half marathon! We're almost in double digits! 

And here's some motivation for today!

What was your first race that you competed in?

Friday, January 11, 2013

Great things to come!

I have officially found myself a name! 
I didn't really like using my first and last name because in 224 days it will officially change. I think The Wheezy Runner suits me perfectly.  My sister hates going running with me because every few minutes she asks if I'm okay because I sound like shit. My new name will be The Wheezy Runner. I hope you like it. 
Facebook me
More great news! I have a facebook! Yay! I've decided to create a Facebook page because I'm not a fan of random people trying to friend me, so like me! I'm sure not everyone is interested in my blog or workouts, so only the people who like the page can see it.  I'm going to also be posting my workouts on Facebook and twitter so we can stay up to date.  
Now that we have all that cleared up, I tried a new recipe last night that I thought I should share with you: Healthy [and easy] Chicken Tenders and Fries!
They were super easy to make so I'll share the reciepe with you:
French Fries:
2 Russet Potatoes
2 Tbs. Olive oli

  • Wash Potatoes
  • Heat oven to 450 degrees
  • Cut the potatoes into 1/3 inch thick slices. (I'm really bad a measuring so I think mine were bigger.)
  • Put the slices in cold water
  • Remove and dry throughly
  • Mix in olive oli
  • Put on cookie sheet
  • Bake for 25 minutes
175 calories per serving, 7 g fat (1 g saturated), 27 g carbs, 2 g fiber, 3 g protein

Chicken Tenders 
3 Chicken breasts
1 egg, slightly beathen
1 Tbs Honey
1 Teaspoon Prepared mustard (I used yellow because I don't know what prepared is)
2 Cups cornflakes

  • Heat over to 450 degrees. 
  • Cut chicken into 3-by3/4 halves. (I cut it how ever i want.)
  • In a dish mix egg, mustard, and honey.  
  • Crush cornflakes in a storage or freezer bag
  • Dip chicken in egg mixture then shake in cornflake bag.
  • Place in casserole dish or on a cookie sheet
  • Bake for 12 minutes or until chicken is cooked.
212 calories, 23g protein, 23g carbohydrate, 3g fat (1g saturated), 0g fiber

When you're from Pittsburgh you have to have Heinz ketchup on everything!

Super simple! I promise I'll be posting more workouts this weekend! 

What is your favorite healthy recipe? 

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Just Breathe.

Just Breathe. 

I've created this blog to go help inspire others to want to better themselves in a healthy way.  So along with posting my own personal exercises, I'm going to post ways to stay healthy.  My biggest road block right now is breathing.  With my asthma, I'm on 2 different medications, my inhaler [before I exercise or run] and a nebulizer, 4 times a day but I only take it twice a day.  All that medicine is exhausting but I feel so much better.  I know I'm not the only one  who has trouble breathing correctly while running or exercising so here are some tips to breathe better and make your workouts last longer.  Try these tips and leave me comments on how they work for you! 

  • Breathe through your nose and out through your mouth. This was always my biggest problem.  I used to breathe in through my mouth, out through my mouth.  Within a quarter of I mile, I'm huffing and puffing. 
  • Breathe from your belly and not your chest. When you breathe from your belly because it enables your to take in more oxygen to your chest.  When you breathe from your chest, you're taking in too short of breaths which will cause you to become short or breath faster.
  •  You should be taking, short shallow breaths while you run. You don't want to take huge deep breaths while your running because you are unconsciously holding your breathe, which will cause those annoying side stitches that make you feel like you're about to die.   Also, find a rhythm of breathing. You don't want your breaths to be too short or too long.  Your breaths in and out should be consistent.  Next time you run, try taking three footsteps for every inhale and two footsteps for every exhale. You can also take one breath for every two steps. If you find something else that works better for you, then go for it!
  • Intensity exercises like zumba, or football are almost like running. You want to breathe from your diaphragm, not your chest.
  • Strength training exercises are a little bit different. When strength training, you want to exhale on the exertion.  If you are using something with a bar, you would inhale in when you start to press the bar up and exhale when you're bringing the bar down. 
I hope this will help you during your training.  If there is anything that you would like to see, please let me know! I love to hear feedback on how everything has worked for you. Good luck with your workouts and training!

Fitday Livestrong Greatist

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Kickboxing Tuesday

Along with training for a half marathon, it's always good to cross train.  I lift weights and use the machines at the gym but my favorite cross training is kickboxing. I usually go on Thursdays, but because of prior engagements this week I went on Tuesday.  I kick box at a karate studio a few miles from my house.  It's a great cardio workout and who doesn't love hitting a bag for fun? 

Pink polka dot shorts make every workout a lot of fun!  Before I left the house I ate a pre workout snack, yogurt and an orange.  You don't want to eat anything too heavy because there's a lot of running around.  Also, eating an orange before you workout can help reduce muscle pain afterwards.  When I got home I made a protein shake to add the vitamins and nutrients can be sent to my muscles to get lean.  

Now it's your turn!
What are some fitness workouts that you like to do?

Old School Workout Monday

So, my first posting to the new blog! My first half marathon is in a little less then 16 weeks and I couldn't be more nervous.  I've been training since last May when I made the decision that I was going to participate in the May 5, 2013 Pittsburgh half marathon.  I need to start getting my training into gear and running at least 30 miles a week like I was doing last summer.  When the Autumn came, I was getting home from work too late to go running alone so I had to get gym membership and run on a treadmill.  That is my least favorite exercise ever! I love running outside because I'm actually going somewhere. It's hard to run staring at a wall.  So here is my work out from yesterday. 
I always warm up with stretches, usually at least 15 minutes. Next I did my sit-ups, I do them by 50's starting with regular sit-ups, then right side, then regular, then left side, then finishing with regular.  Next I did my 2 minute plank.  I love planks, they help your core so much! After I was finished I did 11 miles on the bike, finishing with 20 push-up burpees and more stretching.  I've been working on other things in the gym other than running because my asthma has been acting up.  Hopefully I'll be feeling better in the next few days to start running.  

Now it's your turn!
What is your favorite gym routine or machine?