Friday, April 30, 2010

Nutritional Information - Check First!

Friday, April 30, 2010
A few weeks ago, I went with Kris on lunch to run some errands.  I hadn't brought a lunch, so we stopped at Arby's... After looking over the menu, I picked what I thought was the healthiest option - a turkey and swiss Market Fresh sandwich on wheat with lettuce and tomato.  I forgot to ask for no mayo, so that was on there too.  When I got back to my desk, I decided to check out the nutritional information on the sandwich I had just eaten.  Imagine my shock when I realized I had just consumed SEVEN HUNDRED TEN calories!  What?  With just a market fresh sandwich?  The "wheat" bread alone was almost 400 calories.  Seriously, Arby's, you can't get a healthier bread?  I was totally upset... I could have had a regular roast beef sandwich on a white bun for less than half the number of calories.

Fast forward to this week.  I LOVE Pita Pit's nutritional information.  You can build your own pita, adding one topping at a time to see how it changes the calorie count.  This is such a great tool.  I used this before I went to lunch this week to figure out my exact order.  I decided to forgo the feta cheese (didn't need the extra 120 calories), but made a delicious BBQ chicken whole wheat pita with lots of veggies.

Anyway, lesson learned - always check the nutritional information on websites BEFORE going out to eat if possible.  It helps me make better choices :-)


Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Workout Idea

Tuesday, April 27, 2010
My training session last week with Brandee used minimal equipment.  Brandee pointed out that this would be a great workout for traveling... just grab a medicine ball (or some other weight) and you can do almost all of these exercises!  As Brandee said, the medicine ball was my friend for this workout (I used an 8 pound ball)!  I've had a couple people ask me for this workout, so I'll try to put a little explanation under each exercise so you're not totally lost :-)

Alphabet Squats
Hold the medicine ball and extend your arms out in front of your body. Proceed to slowly spell out the entire alphabet with your arms in front of you. The letters should be large, requiring you to squat with each letter.

Medicine Ball Shoulder Raises (100)
Start with holding the ball in front of your face. Extend your arms up over your head and then lower back down to face-level.

Ab Twists (50 each side)
Hold the ball with your arms directly out in front of you and move your arms from the right side of your body to the left, making sure to only twist your torso.

Burpees with Medicine Ball (25)
Begin in a standing position, holding the ball. Lower the ball to the ground, placing your hands on top of the ball. Jump your feet backwards so you are in a push up position (with your hands on the ball instead of the floor). Jump your feet back in toward the ball. Pick up the ball and jump as you come back to a standing position.

Reverse Lunges (50 each side)
This one is pretty self-explanatory. Holding the ball, lunge one leg back at a time, returning to standing in between each lunge.

Tricep Extensions (50)
Hold the ball straight up over your head. Without moving your arms from your elbows to your shoulders, lower the ball toward the back or your neck and then straighten your arms back over your head.

Sit-ups on Bosu Ball Holding a Medicine Ball (25)
Holding the medicine ball straight up toward the ceiling, crunch up on the bosu ball (you can also do this one laying on the ground if you don't have a bosu ball).

Jump Squats (25)
Holding the ball, squat down, touching the ball to the floor. Then jump up from the squat position, raising the ball over your head like you are going to shoot a basket.

Step-ups with Medicine Ball (25 each side)
Holding the medicine ball straight up in the air, step up on a bench (or chair) and then step back down.

Push-ups with Medicine Ball (25)
This is just like doing regular push-ups, but one hand will be on the medicine ball instead of on the floor. Roll the ball back and forth between hands for each push-up.

Jack Knives (25)
This is the one exercise on this list where you use a stability ball instead of a medicine ball.  With your shins/feet on the stability ball and your upper body out in front of the ball in push up position, lift your butt toward the ceiling, bringing your thighs in close to your stomach (your body will make a triangle position).  Lower back to starting postion.

Bosu Hop Overs (50 each side)
Begin by standing next to the bosu ball and putting your right foot on top of the bosu.  Quickly jump over the bosu landing your left foot on the bosu.  Do this while holding a medicine ball.

Once you have completed all these exercises, do a second round!


Tuesday, April 20, 2010

I'm Into Gift Certificate-ing

Tuesday, April 20, 2010
Many people I know have really gotten into "couponing".  It's like a game for them... seeing how much money they can save at the register when they go grocery shopping.  I am all about saving money, but I just haven't crossed over yet into coupon land.  Instead, I enjoy gift certificate-ing!  Kind of like couponing I suppose... just saving money in a slightly different way.  I watch for deals on gift certificates and then buy them for myself!  I consider this pre-paying for certain goods and services.  For example, the last couple weeks have been really great gift certificate-ing weeks.  Here's my stash:
  • One $100 gift certificate to my salon for $80 = $20 free
  • Ten $10 gift certificates to Costa Vida for $50 = $50 free
  • $1320 in gift certificates to Albertsons for $1200 = $120 free
  • One $50 gift certificate to Mystique Dinner Theater for $25 = $25 free
  • A three-day pass to Boise Front Climbing Gym (retail $32) for $10 = savings of $22
  • A two-hour workshop at Boise Art Glass (retail $125) for $77 = savings of $48
Not bad, huh!  That's a grand total savings of $285!


Monday, April 12, 2010

Family Search

Monday, April 12, 2010
I've always been interested in family history... I can't say that I've actively looked for ancestors, but I have always found the process and the stories fascinating.  This week I was introduced to the new Family Search and I am so excited to get started again!  This new tool is so much better than PAF because it links everyone's work together.  I can see research that my aunt in Missouri or my cousin in Virgina has done so we don't duplicate our efforts.

Anyway, I've been having fun clicking through the records that exist out there... there was one line I followed back to 1363!  I think I'll start with something a little more recent.  We're missing some information on the children of my great-great-great grandparents on my mom's side, so I'm hoping I can help fill in the gaps by looking at census records and other documents.


Sunday, April 11, 2010

Fitness and Figure Show

Sunday, April 11, 2010
Kris and I attended a Bodybuilding, Fitness, and Figure show on Saturday night.  I wasn't exactly sure what to expect, but I really enjoyed the show.  It was amazing to see everything from almost 60-year-old men to mothers of four with really great bodies up on the stage competing.  I didn't love the "shredded" muscle look that some of the guys had (okay, I thought it was kind of gross), but I loved the muscle definition (something I'm working toward, although not to these extremes) and I admire the dedication these athletes portrayed.  These aren't the best pictures, but I thought I would post a couple so you could get an idea of what the show is about.

This is a picture of some of the women figure contestants.

And some of the guys...

This last picture is probably the worst quality of all, but I had to share.  At the end of each category, the guys would "pose it out" - everyone is on the stage together trying to win over the judges and audience with different muscle poses.  It was fun to see how the contestants interacted with each other, trying to "one-up" the others with their poses.


No Sugar Challenge

Today I joined with friends to ban sugar for the next month (April 12 - May 12).  I can have natural sugar like fruit, but can't have cookies, candy, cake, brownies, donuts, etc.  There is a financial penalty for each sugary treat I eat.  My goal is to stick it out.  I'm not sure that's possible.  I will be going through my cupboards and freezer tonight and throwing out anything that could tempt me.

Please help me out by not tempting me with yummy treats!  I should ask the guys at Blimpies to help me out too... Lately whenever I've wanted a treat, I've been stopping by my local Blimpies and purchasing one of those really delicious soft frosted sugar cookies with sprinkles.  Definitely worth the 63 cents.  Maybe I can ask them not to sell me any more cookies.

Here's to a good month with no cheating!


Saturday, April 10, 2010


Saturday, April 10, 2010
As I was driving down to this morning's Beat Coach Pete race, I was thinking about the title of my blog post (I know, I'm a dork).  I decided on the title "I May Never Beat Pete" with a first line of my post saying "... but I'll keep trying!"

Well, as you can see from the title of this post, I BEAT PETE! :-)  As I started the race, I couldn't see Pete at all, and I really had no hopes of ever seeing him during the race.  In previous years, you had to finish in under 27 minutes to beat Coach Pete.  I was pretty happy with my time earlier this week (I did a practice 5k on the treadmill) of 28:30.... But around the 1/2 mile point, Coach Pete came into view!  I was kind of excited, thinking I could keep the pace I was at, and if I could just keep Coach Pete in my sights, I might just be able to pull in front of him.  So that's what I did - I kept him in my sights.  I got closer and closer until we were only about 5 feet apart.  That's when he decided to get a drink from the water station and I ran right past him!  I was able to stay in front of him for the remainder of the race and finished with my personal best 5k time - 26:13.

I'm happy to add this "I Beat Pete!" shirt to my collection of "I'll Beat Pete Next Year" shirts :-)


Tuesday, April 06, 2010

Half Price Costa Gift Cards

Tuesday, April 06, 2010
My coworker Mandy forwarded me this deal today... but it's only good through the end of day today.  Get a $10 Costa Vida gift card for only $5!!


Sunday, April 04, 2010

Boise Rec Fest

Sunday, April 04, 2010
I wanted to share about an exciting event coming this summer - the Boise Rec Fest!  The Boise Rec Fest is a festival about all things recreation and will hopefully help fill the void left by the River Festival.  Anybody who lives in and loves Boise knows how important recreation is to this community... skiing, mountain biking, walking on the greenbelt, river rafting, recreational sports such as soccer or tennis, frisbee, fishing, etc.  The list goes on and on.  Well the Boise Rec Fest should encompass all of these things with exhibitors, workshops, demonstrations, exhibition games, and more.

The Boise Rec Fest will be held in Ann Morrison Park on June 26-27.  There will be activities such as disc golf lessons, fly fishing demonstrations, a rock climbing wall, bicycle maintenance workshops, etc.  I am really looking forward to it.  Part of my passion for the event comes in the fact that I am involved on the Leadership Team as the Exhibit Director.  I oversee all the back end communication with the exhibitors, including creation of the exhibitor manual, processing payment and creating invoices for booth space, coordinating tent/table/chair needs, making sure that park and event rules are communicated to the exhibitors, oversight of the move-in/move-out process, etc.  I am enjoying myself and learning a lot and am happy to be part of this exciting event.

I'll probably talk more about the Rec Fest as the event gets closer, but I hope you'll all mark your calendars now and plan to attend!  Here is the official Rec Fest poster created by Ward Hooper:

And here is the poster on a wall mural downtown at 8th and Main - the wall blocking the famous "hole".



I purchased this card at Ward Hooper's gallery when I attended the First Thursday event.  I thought the image was great :-)


Saturday, April 03, 2010

Yoga Master

Saturday, April 03, 2010
Okay, maybe I'm not quite a yoga master since I've only been taking classes now for three months, but I'm sure enjoying the classes a lot more than I thought I would!  You might remember that I tried yoga a couple years ago, but that was short-lived.  I'm liking this class a lot better - the teacher isn't as kooky and I feel like I'm getting more of a stretch/strength workout than just contorting my body into awkward positions.  One of the fun things is that several of the weeks I have been the only person in the class, so it's like getting a private yoga lesson... for $6.50 an hour!  Because of that, the instructor has been able to tailor the class a little bit more to my level.  Yea for me.  But that doesn't work out so well for my instructor.  I feel bad because I really like her classes, but she just hasn't had time to market to get more people to her class.  She ended up getting a job at a couple other gyms teaching yoga, so we're just going to finish out my last three classes that I have already paid for and then I'm done.  I could follow her to the gyms she is teaching at, but that would require paying their membership or higher class fees, so I think I'm out.  Bummer.  I'm thinking about getting a yoga DVD and then trying it on my own.  We'll see how that goes!

Here's a picture of me in tree pose for your enjoyment :-)


Friday, April 02, 2010

We are the Biggest Losers!

Friday, April 02, 2010
In January I received an email that some people in the Financial Aid office at Boise State were organizing a 12-week Biggest Loser competition.  I was already working toward a goal of my own to be healthier and lose some weight, so of course I jumped at the chance to participate in the competition.  I bought in to three categories - % weight lost, inches lost, and % body fat lost.

Friday was the last day of the competition and the results are in...  I lost 17.1 pounds in 12 weeks and took first place in the % weight lost category!  I also took first in the % body fat lost - down 5.2%.

I was also so proud of my friend (and boss) Kris.  She has been going to bootcamp with me since November... she took 1st in the inches lost category and 2nd place in the other two categories.

To celebrate, Kris and I went shopping at White House Black Market and took our trainer Brandee out to dinner at Bonefish.  We enjoyed a shrimp appetizer, salmon and fish tacos for dinner, and even splurged by splitting key lime pie for dessert. 

I have really loved working out with Brandee - her coaching has truly helped me to become a healthier person.  I am making better choices (most of the time) when it comes to food, and am making time to exercise.  I have not only lost weight, but I have gained quite a bit of muscle.  I am stronger and am working on getting more toned.  I also love that I am now at a healthy body fat percentage.  I know it's only been a few months since I started training with Brandee, but I feel that I have truly made a lifestyle change, and am looking forward to many more years of healthy living!