Previous month:
May 2012
Next month:
July 2012

June 2012

What would Sally O'Malley do?

We'll call this an off week -- like really off.

239 -- poo. For those scoring at home, I gained 4 pounds this week.

Excuses? I have a few -- PMS, stupid right leg ... actually, that's it. Enough inactivity, bloating and food journal slippage to make the scale bounce up.

SSSS12But it doesn't feel like "real weight" if that makes any sense. I've been taking NSAIDs twice a day for the past couple weeks and those can increase water retention, plus the PMS and the extra carbs I wasn't writing down, and I have the perfect storm of bloaty weight.

It's coming off this week, I know it.

So why the picture of Sally O'Malley? I have adopted her as my new patron saint. I decided to do that on the drive home from the doctor this morning. (Turns out you're supposed to get checked out after heat exhaustion, which was last week's fun.) My regular doc was busy so I saw another internist, and when I saw the Nike Fuelband on his wrist, I knew I could discuss my exercise frustrations.

Like the previous doctor, I got the "perhaps running isn't the best thing for you now" speech, so I think strength training and yoga will be my go-to workouts.

So now, on top of the routine blood work I was supposed to do a couple months ago, I get to have an EKG and a stress-echocardiogram. I had one around nine years ago, after a friend had a heart attack, and I passed with flying colors. I'm not concerned about this time either.

What would Sally O'Malley do? She'd kick! stretch and kick! She'd stop whining about her aches and pains and she'd kick some butt. She'd find a way to get active every day and, yeah, like me, she'd try and hold her own among the "youngsters."

Now, if you'll excuse me, I need to kick my own butt.

Produce of the month: Jicama

Take me out to the ball game for jicama.

Like scrunchy socks, shoulder pads and Wang Chung, jicama was a big deal in the '80s. I hadn't thought about the vegetable in years until we went to a Marlins game in their new ballpark. I bought a fruit cup, and amid the spears of watermelon, pineapple and mango were jicama sticks. I also found it in the hummus and veggie snack at the ballpark.

My regular grocery store doesn't carry jicama because the produce guy says when they do have them, no one buys them and they sit there like a lonely, tuberous dork until they rot. I did finally find one at Whole Foods.

Jicama is really versatile. Behind its homely brown exterior is a crunchy, slightly sweet and firm flesh that is great cubed or sliced in salads, or sliced into dippable sticks.

It's low in calories and high in water content and fiber -- the slightly sweet taste comes from inulin, a fiber found in the flesh. A cup of jicama is only around 50 calories and around 6 grams of fiber.

I cut the whole thing in half and then cut it into inch-wide slabs. Then I cut off the skin with a paring knife -- using a vegetable peeler won't really work because the skin is thick. After you have the slabs you can slice them into sticks.

Jicama is great on its own (or dipped into ballpark hummus). I enhanced its Mexican heritage with a sprinkle of chili powder and True Lime powder.

Calories: A cautionary tale

My son is a typical 16-year old boy... Home from school this summer and building a computer... While I'm at work I know that he can feed himself at home with a plethora af easy to prepare meals.

Today I was at the grocery store looking for some frozen entrees for my boy... There was a promotion going on with frozen pizzas... Being the good mom, I was looking for the pizzas with the lowest calorie count.  Cheese pizza -- 360 calories per serving... Four meat pizza 300 calories per serving...

FOR JUST A QUICK SECOND I was fooled... as I was considering purchasing the lower calorie four meat pizza, I took a second look at the cheese pizza... the cheese pizza at 360 calories per serving had 4 servings in the pizza.  The sneaky four meat pizza which had 300 calories per serving had 5 servings.

I realized that the ENTIRE cheese pizza had 1,440 calories while the four meat pizza had 1,500 calories...

Take the time to do the math... don't let the food manufacturers lull you into a false sense of caloric intake.

Stay in charge -- take the time -- do the math.

* * *

Get a meal plan specific to your needs developed for you by a trained and experienced nutritionist at one of your local private hospitals in Kent.

Friday update: All good in all the neighborhoods

Jamba bollywood
That's me in the hat dancing with Bollywood Groove instructor Ajanta Chakraborty and other bloggers. I had to throw the hat in the trash at the airport, it got so disgusting.

This week had a little travel involved. I was invited to join a group of bloggers for a Jamba Juice-sponsored fitness event in Chicago on Wednesday.

Shrinkingsisterssummer2012Chicago's the land of deep-dish pizza and Chicago dogs, but as soon as I got to the hotel, I walked over to a CVS and bought a whey protein bar and a bag of Popchips for my exciting evening watching the Miami Heat in my room. Other bloggers and Jamba Juice representatives were going out to dinner but the happy-hour snacks and my room snacks were enough for me. Plus, the Hotel Monaco likes making up its own drinks to serve in the lobby, and I discovered their great combination of iced chamomille tea and apple juice -- kinda like a crunchy granola Arnold Palmer.

I knew that I'd have a full day of workouts in front of me so I wanted to chill. 

Good idea.

Wednesday was a hot and sunny 90-something degrees at Montrose Beach -- Florida was cooler (weird, huh?). There were eight different workouts and I did about half of them. Since my knee was feeling better and I was less than a week removed from the sports doc, I figured I shouldn't do 'em all.

I also discovered what can happen to me if I work out really, really super hard in the midday sun -- the combination of lactic acid, heat and adrenaline had me doing a Will Rhymes after I dragged a weighted sled and slammed some ropes like a beast.

But hey! I got to experience first-hand the restorative properties of Jamba Juice's new Fruit Refreshers, which are a slushy combo of fruit juice and coconut water. I quickly rebounded.

I hung out with a lot of great bloggers -- some I've met before (Fitz from Fitzness and Jenn from Fit Bottomed Girls) and some I met at the event (Cassey from Blogilates and Katie from FabFitFun, among other great bloggers and fitness pros).

By the end of the day Wednesday, I was on a plane home and my Fitbit was glowing with happiness. I logged well over 10,000 steps and I even picked up a couple of new badges.

And the scale gave me another thumbs up -- down a pound and a half from last week:


Yes -- back to "baby weight." ("Baby" is taller than me now.) I know I was there a few months ago, but I went up a few pounds and got stuck. Now that I have a great plan in place that I can actually follow, I will be below that next week.

Speaking of planning, Carol and I filled out our Fitbook yearly planners, mapping out our goals for the next few months. (I'll let Carol tell you more about them on Monday.)

We also have something really cool to check out this weekend. Biggest Loser chef Devin Alexander is working on a new cooking show for PBS this fall and she's taping an episode in Miami, so we'll be attending that tomorrow. I've written about Devin and her great cookbooks many times and I'll finally get a chance to meet her in person.

Fitbit provided Gail and Carol Fitbit Ultras for the Shrinking Sisters Summer Spectacular.

Fun with Fitbit

Gail and I received Fitbits last week.  She received the blue one and I, of course, got the pink one ... and the race is on.

Shrinkingsisterssummer2012What I am loving about this little clip are many things.  I am "competing" with Gail on my fitbit dashboard, wanting to best her total steps, and today, for instance, showing her up with my first "stairs" badge, climbing 10 flights of stairs. 

This little gem even lets me know my quality of sleep -- the first night I learned that I was "awakened" 8 times during the night (I knew of one time), and that I'm averaging 93 percent sleep effectiveness.

Fitbit wirelessly sends data to the site when I just walk past my computer... Pretty neat.  

You can even request to follow me on Facebook with your fitbit.  You can watch my progress and keep me accountable.

When I came home from work today and saw that I was just 300 steps shy of my 5,000 badge level, I went out and kicked it up... had to score that badge...

Follow along with me and my fitbit.

Fitbit provided Gail and Carol Fitbit Ultras for the Shrinking Sisters Summer Spectacular.

Friday update: Tale from the scale and a Fitbit of news

Shrinkingsisterssummer2012It's my first official weigh-in for our Summer Spectacular, and despite not working out much, I still got rid of a pound. (I don't lose pounds because I'm good at finding things.)

And since my Weight Shrink told me I should be completely accountable in my updates, I'll be posting my actual weight every week. This week it's:


Which is great, because a few weeks ago it was over 240.

Basketball snack
My NBA Finals snack last night.

Food: Really loving the five-day-a-week Nutrisystem plan. It's so much easier to stay on a plan when you know you can go "not on" on the weekends. (I'm not going off because that just sounds too reckless.) I've been loading up on vegetables to supplement the food, and my SmartCarbs have mostly been fresh fruit instead of starchy, bready things. I also checked out another healthy option at the Marlins game last weekend -- the black bean veggie burger, which was pretty good. At the old ballpark, the veggie burgers came out of a freezer and they tasted like an old freezer. These veggie burgers are made on-site and they're really nice. I also packed a South Beach Diet 100-calorie bar, which kinda melted in my bag since the AC wasn't working too well in our section of the stadium.

Gail treadmill
Me on the treadmill yesterday, feeling strong.

Fitness: I'll spare you the frustrating details, but I just got back from having my knee checked out by the sports medicine pros at Cleveland Clinic Florida -- because I'm an athlete! A weight-loss athlete! (thanks, Pete Cohen for that phrase). I went to after-hours care last week after I felt a bit of popping in my knee, after getting up on a stool. It had been feeling much better after resting it a couple of days so I thought it was back to normal. The doctor, an internist, basically made sure I didn't blow out anything and said I had a strain.


After resting it for a weekend, I walked for an hour on Monday and Tuesday it was sore again.

This is unacceptable! I have some butt kicking to do!

Hence, the doctor appointment. I need to get back to working out regularly because while abs are made in the kitchen, endorphins are made with exercise.

Today, I had a slew of X-rays and the doctor came back and said "arthritis." Boo! But he did give me a bunch of exercises to do and said I could do whatever exercise I could bear. So hello, Aleve!

I did join my sister at her apartment gym for a little workout yesterday -- I wanted to see what worked and what didn't. The elliptical didn't feel good (go figure!) but the treadmill did. And the hamstring/quad machine felt great.

Fitbit joins the team

Fitbit button150Carol and I will be using the Fitbit to track our progress. The company sent us two Fitbit Ultras (I got blue; Carol got pink) to use for our Summer Spectacular. I have tried pretty much every fitness tracker on the planet, and what I love about this one is how unobtrusive it is (I'm wearing it right now and you can't even see it!). It's also very easy to use, the online interface is great (and FREE) and it even has a sense of humor. I picked up the Fitbit after I had taken a shower yesterday and it greeted me with a "HOWDY" on the electronic display.

We'll be getting into more about the Fitbit in future updates.

Fitbit provided Gail and Carol Fitbit Ultras for the Shrinking Sisters Summer Spectacular.

This is my summer -- the summer of Carol

I work at a school year-round, and today is the first "official" day of summer. Teachers and students are gone until the end of August, and I want to transform myself upon their return.

Shrinkingsisterssummer2012I am intrigued by the idea of juicing my morning and afternoon meals and having lean protein for dinner. I will be working out with my personal trainer, Sara, and will be blogging and vlogging here for your entertainment.

I'll be sharing recipes and pictures of my juices and snapshots of my successes while working out.

Look for my updates every Monday; Gail is checking in on Fridays.