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May 2014

Tunes for Tuesday: Green Light mix, by Rock My Run

I kinda took a break from running due to my right knee, which would start, I dunno, clicking or something about a mile in. But last Friday, I thought I'd give it another try so I turned to the Green Light mix from Rock My Run and I put in a solid 2 miles at a 15.3-minute-a-mile pace.

(Don't laugh -- that's fast for me.)

When I have one of these workout mixes swimming around my head it really makes me try and keep up the pace. Especially when this goofy song comes on:

 


Circadian cleanup

There are some things I am not very good at. Tops on that list is getting to bed at a decent hour. Last Wednesday morning, after getting my 8 hours of shuteye, I woke up and looked at the clock.

10am

Gaaah. 

"What are you, a cocktail waitress?" I thought to myself as I got of out bed.

Right then and there (give or take a day or so) I decided this has to change. 

But how to get myself to bed earlier? The answer was on my left arm -- my Fitbit. I set the vibrating alarm to 7:30 a.m. Mondays through Thursdays (I already was getting up at 6:40 on Fridays to get my kid to school, and weekends I"m leaving as a free for all). That way, if I wanted my precious 8 hours of sleep, I'd have to get to bed earlier or my left arm would be vibrating me awake. 

Today was the first official day, and while I STILL went to bed a bit too late, I got a solid 7 hours of sleep. 

(This, pals, is one of the issues of workiing from home -- you can set your own hours, and my hours were ridiculous.) 

While I was getting 7 to 8 hours of sleep, those hours were coming too late in a normal human's sleep cycle, and that could be one of the things slowing my progress.

It's called circadian disruption:

Changes in the body’s clock and lack of sleep may cause the body to conserve energy when it isn’t necessary. Those who don’t get enough sleep also don’t exercise, eat more and eat more inappropriate foods, researchers said.

ZOMG.

(Here's another abstract that explains circadian rhythms on your "gut clock." SCIENCE!)

The exercise isn't true in my case but the inappropriate foods? Holy leftovers, Batman.

I've been practicing getting to bed earlier for a few days, and waddya know! Those same 7 to 8 hours, pushed a few hours earlier, are making a huge difference. I wake up more refreshed and rarin' to go. I also feel more energetic and alert during the day and I actually get sleepy at night. 

Not gonna lie -- one of the first nights was brutal. I think I was fighting with my circadian rhythm. I tossed and turned all night and the most random things bothered the heck out of me:

  • My feet are freezing!
  • My head's sweating!
  • My thumb hurts!
  • My hips hurt!

(And yeah, I realize that I am 52, so there may be other hormonal wackiness involved.)

I woke up Friday morning feeling like a zombie and after dropping the kid off at school, went to the gym, where I was Not. In. The. Mood.

But I did it anyway and felt a lot better afterward.

I think I might be over the hump on this sleep thing, but if anyone catches me yammering on Facebook or live tweeting extra-inning West Coast baseball, please call me out!

 


Introducing ... Yoga Saturday! First up, 21-Day Fix Yoga Fix

Since I've been pushing my bedtime back to a more normal hour (more on that next week) I have found that I have more energy during the day. Even though I was getting 8 hours of sleep before, these 8 hours feel better. 

So today, even though I take weekends off for exercise, I just felt like exercising. (Really! I swear!)

21DayFix
I don't know if I have mentioned this, but I love watching infomercials (Really! I swear!), and today I happened upon the new informercial for Beachbody's 21-Day Fix workout program. I preordered it when I first heard about it because I love Beachbody's workouts (HASHTAG I AM NOT A COACH. I was but I am not MLM material so I quit). 

Anywhooo... Beachbody went the fake talkshow route with Montel Williams on this workout infomercial, which is a little cheesy but it featured some great success stories from people of all ages who did the program.

The set consists of cardio, strength, Pilates and yoga workouts and also includes an eating plan, a shaker container for smoothies and a set of colorful plastic containers for portion control. You don't have to go the coach/infomercial route if you buy it through Amazon (that's my affiliate link). 

I hadn't touched the stuff since I received it so I figured I'd give one of the workouts a try. I was going to do a cardio workout but I saw the yoga workout and did that instead, because STIFF!

Seriously, I am super inflexible, except for the fact that I can forward fold and touch my palms to the ground LIKE A BOSS. Everything else is made of rebar.

The Yoga Fix workout is 30 minutes long, like most of the set's workouts. There's nothing fancy to the workout. It starts with sun salutations, or as I like to call them f*****g sun salutations. (I swear like a truck driver during yoga, which is why I've given up doing it with others.) I have a wonky wrist from a broken arm, an arthritic big toe and a military neck, so certain moves are more challenging than they should be.

Autumn Calabrese is the instructor in the set, and I really like her. She's not gimmicky, but instead she's encouraging, provides modifications, makes sure your form is good and does a lot of the workout herself along with you.

About 10 minutes in, I thought to myself "THIS. I need to do this every Saturday because I'll get better at it the more I do it."

So Yoga Saturday is born!

I previewed a couple of the other workouts in the set and like those as well so I may do the full program one day, but I am a freaking libertine when it comes to structured workout programs. I get a few days in and my eye starts to wander to other workouts. Next thing I know, I'm "cheating" on my workout.

I don't think I'll be able to squeeze in a Yoga Saturday next week because I'm a BlogHer Food volunteer, so I'll be in Miami from sunup to sundown. But after that, look for a yoga DVD review from me every Saturday. The next review will be the highly apropos Yoga for Inflexible People DVD series. I bought it awhile ago and never used it.


A Tunes for Tuesday workout earbuds giveaway from Sol Republic

SOL-REPUBLIC-Relays
On Tuesdays, I usually do my Tunes for Tuesday workout music picks but today is different (and really late -- sorry!). 

I have for you a giveaway -- a pair of Sol Republic Relays ($80).

I've been using them for the past week at the gym, and the earbuds are super comfortable, sweatproof and sound great. The thing that makes them comfortable and stay in your ear is the pliable rubber ring around the earbud, which insures a custom fit. You can customize it even more with the different sizes of earbud covers.

They also have a three-button audio controler on the cord, which works for nearly every phone and music player (it works on my iPod Nano perfectly).

You can watch the video above to see them in motion, but I can't guarantee they'll make you break dance or pole dance like a champion.

So, about that giveaway ... 

Follow the info on the Rafflecopter below and you're all set!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Sol Republic provided me a pair of Relays to review and a pair for you. No other compensation was given.


Turkey-guacamole-bacon burger? Yes, please

Turkey guacamole bacon burger labeled
I've been intrigued by chefs' gourmet burger recipes but usually they're a minefield of fat and calories. I've seen everything from pork belly to fois gras added to the traditional beef mixture.

So how could I take my standard turkey burger recipe up a notch?

SWITCH CIRCLEAs a member of the Jennie-O Switch Circle, I was sent some coupons to stir my imagination. I was also sent a coupon for Wholly Guacamole, which is a staple in my fridge. I also keep extras in the freezer for emergency guacamole needs. :) 

I decided to go for broke and used ground turkey, turkey breakfast sausage and turkey bacon in my Turkey-Guacamole-Bacon Burger. The addition of turkey breakfast sausage to my burger mix made the burgers really flavorful, and topping them with bacon and guacamole only seems decadent, because when you realize that a slice of turkey bacon is only 30 calories and a tablespoon of Wholly Guacamole is also 30 calories.

Turkey bacon
Oh! And I finally mastered a crisp piece of turkey bacon -- my trick is to use a ridged grill pan. The ridges allow some air under the bacon, giving it a chance to crisp up nicely. Heat the pan over medium-high heat and spray with a bit of cooking spray. Cook the turkey bacon, flipping occasionally, until it's browned and crisp. 

Here's my recipe for the burgers:

Turkey-Guacamole-Bacon Burgers

  • 20 ounces Jennie-O ground turkey
  • 8 ounces Jennie-O turkey breakfast sausage
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1/2 onion, finely chopped
  • 2 packets plain instant oatmeal
  • 1 capful Mrs. Dash, any flavor (we used Chipotle)
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic salt

Heat a grill pan on medium-high.

Mix all ingredients with hands. Form into 6 equal patties.

 

  • Turkey burger temperature
  • Covered turkey burgers
Covered turkey burgers

 Place burgers on grill pan and sear on one side. Flip burgers and sear on other side. 

Turn heat to medium, cover pan and cook until burgers reach an internal temperature of 160 degrees.

Top each burger with a tablespoon of guacamole and a slice of cooked bacon, cut in half.

Makes 6 large burgers.

Nutrition information for just the burger patty:  280 calories, 14.8g fat, 442mg sodium, 9g carbs, 1 gram fiber, 27g protein. 

You can get more recipe ideas at SwitchToTurkey.com.

As a member of the Jennie-O Switch Circle, I was provided coupons to purchase the Jennie-O and Wholly Guacamole products for this blog post. 


Sometimes a rest day is foisted upon you

I was going to workout.

I was going to blog.

But, alas, a stomach virus had the final say.

I made it to the gym but then ...

image from jrosenberry1.files.wordpress.com
(redacted)

I went next door to Winn-Dixie and bought a bottle of regular Coca-Cola (my stomach virus miracle drug), a big bag of white rice and went home.

Watched the teen heist movie "The Bling Ring" ("Let's go to Paris -- I want to rob!") and four episodes of "Mr. Selfridge" (kinda the opposite of "The Bling Ring").

My non-exercise guilt was assuaged by the fact that there was no way in hell I was able to exercise.

So I sorta got the blogging in!