Whole Lotta Shakin’ Goin’ On! – Turbo Cardio Day 3

PainWhen the world says, “Give up,”
Hope whispers, “Try it one more time.” ~ Author Unknown

The past two days of workouts have been quite challenging. Damn change-ups; I’m used to 4-8 repetitions at a time, not every other move. I’d like to set up an old laptop with a webcam to record my workouts. This way I can see my form (insert joke…now!). While I take the exercise and nutritional part of this program seriously, I won’t fool myself into believing I’ll look anything like Chalene Johnson after 90 days of Turbo Fire. I’m a strawberry blonde, after all, with a few more years under my belt!

Don’t worry, you’ll see my video soon. I took a photo prior to starting this intensive cardio plan but will not be posting it until after I complete the full 90 day workout. At that time, I’ll post the “before” and “after” photos. It seems that’s what most people do. Side by side, I can examine the results of my efforts, provided I’m still standing by then.

As far as meals go, I haven’t really changed them in the past few days except for dinner. The other day I made a large turkey for dinner, froze most of it for future meals (soups, warm salads, low-fat casseroles) and that’s what I made last night. I served the turkey over rice with a little gravy for my family with some stuffing and vegetables while I ate it plain with just vegetables.  Tonight it was flank steak. 

Fitness Pal (2)

The “Fitness Pal” gives you an idea of the type of entries I’ve been making daily.

What a huge change from the previous Sculpt and Tone video I used for weeks. They don’t even compare. I have to have a new mindset and new moves for this type of workout. Thankfully, I’m practicing now before I begin my official 90-day program on Monday. BABY STEPS….’cause I can’t keep up…yet.

In the meantime, here are some healthy snacks ideas to help satisfy and energize during the day. Choose to stick with snacks that are about 100 to 200 calories with 15 to 30 grams of carbohydrates. Try these healthy options.

Salty Snacks
Kale Chips1. Cheesy kale chips Tear kale leaves into large pieces and arrange on a baking sheet. Spritz with olive oil and bake in a 350°F oven until crisp. While still
warm, sprinkle with a little grated Parmesan cheese.

2. Tamari-seasoned rice crackers A salt lover’s best choice for scooping up low-fat tuna salad or another healthy dip; punch them up with a squeeze of chili sauce. (Read the label to make sure you stick to one serving of crackers.)

3. Mediterranean artichoke hearts Drain canned artichoke hearts and sprinkle
with lemon zest, capers, chopped fresh basil, and olive oil.

Pumpkin Seeds4. Five-spice pumpkin seeds
 Toss salted pumpkin seeds with sesame oil and Chinese five-spice powder; bake at 350°F until crisp.

5. Buffalo popcorn
 Toss air-popped popcorn with olive oil, chili powder, and a sprinkle of Parmesan cheese.

6. Spicy wheat pretzels
 Whole wheat pretzels (which boast 4 grams of fiber
compared with 1 gram in the regular kind) become irresistible when slathered
with spicy mustard (only 5 calories per teaspoon). Add a couple of low-fat
cheese cubes to make this snack extra filling.

Crunchy Snacks
Chickpea Poppers7. Chickpea poppers Drain and rinse canned chickpeas, then dry them with a paper towel. Spritz with extra-virgin olive oil, season with dried oregano and garlic alt, and roast at 400°F until crisp.

8. Veggie chips with tangy yogurt Dunk root veggie chips (such as Terra chips) nto plain low-fat yogurt seasoned with hot sauce and orange zest.

9. Cheesy dip Dunk sugar snap peas into 1/4 cup fat-free ricotta cheese.

10. Easy salsa Chop up tomatoes, cucumber, bell peppers, beans, and onions in a
mini food processor, then scoop on melba toast.

11. Tangy pear boats Fill endive spears with chopped pears and season with a
dash of balsamic vinegar. Add 12 almonds for extra crunch and some heart-healthy
unsaturated fat.

12. Veggie yogurt dip Combine finely chopped broccoli, multicolored bell
peppers, and scallions with fat-free Greek yogurt and onion flakes. Use it as a
dip for baby carrots.

Sweet Snacks
Cottage Cheese Fruit13. Fruity cottage cheese Fold chopped ripe nectarines into low-fat cottage heese, and spoon onto a couple of gingersnaps. (Read the label to make sure you tick to a single serving of gingersnaps.)

14. Chocolaty pears Minimalist, yet amazingly delicious: Sprinkle cocoa nibs on canned pears.

15. Sweet yogurt dip Stir a little diet maple syrup or agave nectar into fat-free Greek yogurt, and dunk slices of apples or pears.

Fruit Kebabs16. Fruit kebabs. Spear the sweetest fruits—strawberries, mango, grapes, and pineapple – with bamboo skewers.

17. “Banana cream pie” Spread graham crackers with vanilla fat-free Greek  yogurt, then top with a handful of banana slices and a sprinkle of ground flaxseed. (Read the label to make sure you stick to one serving of graham crackers.)

18. Grapefruit brûlée Transform a simple grapefruit into something decadent: Halve it; drizzle each half with a little dark honey (use concentrated sweets sparingly), and broil until bubbly.

Creamy Snacks
Mashed sweet potatoes19. Easy mashed sweet potato Microwave a small sweet potato, split it open, and mash a little OJ and cinnamon into it. Eat it right out of the jacket.

20. White bean dip Mash canned white beans with olive oil and chopped fresh rosemary. Pile onto radicchio or lettuce leaves.

21. Creamy pita Spread baba ghanoush, crushed avocado, or hummus on a whole wheat pita or whole wheat English muffin.

Scrambled Eggs22. Soft-scrambled egg It’s the most sublimely simple protein-packed treat.

23. Spicy potatoes Baby red potatoes become blissfully soft when you microwave them for 3 to 5 minutes (leave the skin on for its nutrients). Sprinkle with pepper and dried seasonings. Add a pat of Greek yogurt for a healthy sour cream replacement.

24. Italian antipasto Raid the supermarket antipasto bar for some lusciously creamy slow-roasted red peppers. Pat the oil off with a paper towel, and eat with a mini bocconcini or two. Delizioso!

(Thank you Readers Digest and Thinkstock for the wonderful snack tips and photos!)

Is It Tomorrow Yet?

Please don’t think of me as a terrible person, blogger, etc., it’s just that today (which is almost over) was extremely frustrating.  My mind is such a scrambled mess that any coherent writing at this stage is impossible.  After 15 days without a real shower (no hot water; a story for another day but we lost it during the storm), the plumber finally came this evening…right before dinner.  It’s well after 10:00pm; he just left and we still haven’t eaten.  Hell, I may as well wait until breakfast.   

 I somehow remembered a site I checked out a while back.  There’s nothing like a good oxymoron to turn a frown upside-down.  So here’s a small collection from www.Bored.com.  There’s plenty more where this list came from so if you’re so inclined…grab a tall drink, slip into your fuzzy slippers, read it and…smile.

 Top 20 List (of a gazillion)

 20. Government Organization

19. Alone Together

18. Personal Computer

17. Silent Scream

16. Living Dead

15. Same Difference

14. Taped Live

13. Plastic Glasses

12. Tight Slacks

11. Peace Force

10. Pretty Ugly

9. Head Butt

8. Working Vacation

7. Tax Return

6. Virtual Reality

5. Dodge Ram

4. Work Party

3. Jumbo Shrimp

2. Healthy Tan

1. Microsoft Works

“Humor is mankind’s greatest blessing.”  – Mark Twain, a Biography

Frustration, Fun and Fulfillment

This morning, instead of being excited about the events planned for Homecoming Weekend with my daughter, I was reminded how badly I felt when I unintentionally let a friend down many years ago.  The situations were completely different; the emotions were almost identical.  I had been diligent about writing daily, expressing my thoughts on a myriad of subjects, eager to put pen to paper yet yesterday vanished without a single sentence.  I feel I let not only let myself down but disappointed those who are gracious enough to peruse my daily musings.  “Get over it, I’m not that important” I said to myself.  But you know what, if I don’t think I’m important, how can I expect anyone else to take notice? 

Luckily I was able to get a grip and get back to business.  I’ve read of the importance of writing daily and I can attest to that.  On any given day, no matter where I am, I have a jillion thoughts swirling around my head like a gyroscope.  It’s essential for me to put them down somewhere, paper, computer, anywhere, just be sure to note it for if not, I may regret not remembering the pertinent details of my thoughts.  And we all know where thoughts lead.  The imagination is a beautiful gift if nature, meant to be indulged.

The fact is that our long trip was emotionally tiring, I suppose from monotony.  Arriving at our hotel room at 3am, I was physically ready for bed but my mind was not.  After checking my emails, my eyes started to close and off to bed I went.  I woke in time to get dressed, grab a bite at the hotel breakfast bar and on to campus to finally see my daughter for the first time in a month.  We had a wonderful time, culminating with a nice dinner out with her and her roommate.  By the time I got back to the hotel last evening, I was emotionally tired but decided to check my emails before starting some serious writing.  Reading emails, checking FB, Twitter, and all the other media I’m subscribed to was like wading through quicksand.  I couldn’t even finish reading everything; I was so tired I just went to bed, waking frustrated. 

No pity pots for me. Today is another day.  It will be full of pleasant and exciting things.  We’ll visit our daughter, run some errands, maybe do a little shopping, watch a ball game and have a nice meal.  This evening, we’ll attend a Star Gazing activity planned at the Observatory.  I have my trusty pen and pad by my side as well as camera to capture all the noteworthy moments.  Hopefully the weather will cooperate.  Now that disillusionment with my own abilities has quieted, I can look forward to a wonderful day.  No more regrets or excuses.  I know what I have to do, what I want to do and what I need to do.  Andiamo!

“We must all suffer one of two things: the pain of discipline or the pain of regret or disappointment.”  ~ Jim Rohn

Role Models: The Good, Bad and Ugly – Are They Relevant?

I recently overheard someone on TV speak about a “role model” and mention a name I hadn’t heard before.  That phrase stuck in my head and I began to wonder who I would consider to be a role model in my life.  As a child, it was my mom but as I grew older the choices were not as obvious.  Where did that phrase originate and why is it important to have role models in our society?

I was not surprised to discover the term was devised by a sociologist about 50 years ago.  Generally speaking, a role model is someone children or young adults aspire to emulate because they possess something worthy of admiration or praise.  The best role models exhibit positive behaviors.  I agree with choices such as Oprah Winfrey, Princess Diana, Sally Ride, Amelia Earhart, Mother Teresa and Helen Keller or Neil Armstrong, Ron Howard, Dalai Lama, Tim Tebow, Martin Luther King or Derek Jeter.  These people worked hard, followed their passion and led/lead productive lives.  More important, they contributed to the welfare of others along the way.

We are all too aware of the escapades of Paris Hilton, Lindsay Lohan, Britney Spears, Tiger Woods, Roger Clemens or Chris Brown, to name a few.  These individuals were once put on pedestals either because of their acting, music, athletic ability or celebrity status.  Unfortunately, these personalities fell short of expectations.  Why then, is it still important for us to encourage the idea of role models?

The reason is this: children are easily led.  From the time they are old enough to understand, parents, teachers and other authority figures warn them of the dangers that lurk in society.  Without this guidance, children are left to choose for themselves what the right thing to do is.  Since their brains are still developing, they don’t always make the right choices.  Improper decisions can be dangerous.

Role models should possess the ability to inspire, promote tolerance, civic commitment, confidence, selflessness and persistence.  A parent’s role is to nurture the child, while letting them make guarded mistakes along the way.  Mistakes are a way of learning what not to do in the future and they are necessary for mature development as well as mental and emotional growth.  Learning the difference between a mistake and a poor choice is the key and not making the same mistake twice is the goal.

Everyone makes mistakes and that includes role models.  Some of our finest leaders have made mistakes that may have been poor decisions at the time but weren’t repeated nor did they cause irreparable harm to others.  They learned their lessons.  Some people never learn and are doomed to make the same mistakes over and over again.  It’s just a matter of time.  We are however, a forgiving society, so much so that in a remarkably short period of time, major errors in judgment are forgiven and/or ignored.  I could name a dozen offenders who are often cited as role models right off the bat.  What does that say about us and how are we expected to teach our children a better way if bad behaviors are not punished but casually disregarded?

With fewer prominent choices for role models today, it is important to teach children not to put someone on a pedestal; just try and model the positive characteristics and behavior that person possesses.  Don’t become someone’s follower; learn to become a leader.  I believe it’s important for parents and caregivers to teach children the difference between a “celebrity” and a “role model.”  For the most part, the first is short-lived while the latter is enduring.  We need more leaders in our world today. 

The most important role models in a child’s life should be their parents or caregivers.  As Marilyn Price-Mitchell, Ph.D. claims “role models can be educators, civic leaders, clergy, peers, and ordinary people encountered in everyday life.  Anyone can inspire a child to achieve their potential in life.”  It may be time to steer our children away from the celebrity track toward a train that holds passengers who make a real and lasting difference in the lives of others.

“Leaders are more powerful role models when they learn than when they teach.”  Rosabeth Moss Kantor