Saturday, January 23, 2010

Jan '10 update

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Heart Rate Monitor



For Christmas I received a Polar F11 Heart Rate Monitor.

I have wanted one for a few years now, so I was pretty excited about the gift. I was also intimidated. A heart rate monitor is a gadget. A gadget which I would have to learn how to use. Unlike my husband, that idea does not thrill me. It makes me nervous. Reading directions! The horror!

I am proud of myself for sitting down and studying how to use the Heart Rate Monitor and then applying what I have studied and actually using the thing.

There are two components to the monitor. One, the monitor/watch that attaches to your wrist and a strap/transmitter that wraps around your chest, "just below the chest muscles" (I should say "below" something else here). It's serious. Since my work out philosophy is work hard but keep it light I am still working on the balance between my serious exercise apparatus and keeping my exercise routine not too serious.

What's a not too serious exercise routine?

By this I mean, if I do not feel like going to the gym, but I go and just stand in the hallway chatting, I give myself points for trying...not that I actually do that, but I need to know that exercise is always my choice and not forced, a "have to", "should" or too intense that I will get burned out and quit. So far, my mentality has worked, I have been going to the gym consistently (with a few holidays for sickness, fear of my baby getting h1n1 in childcare before her shots, Christmas etc. for 4 years)

So I have this new toy, that has the potential to make me intense but I am working to keep my demons at bay, and, so far, I am enjoying the new heart rate monitor. My goal is to increase my fitness level and the quality of my work out while also decreasing my workout time. From what I have learned, the more you stay in your heart rate zone as indicated by the monitor the better work out you get. The more you stay under your heart rate zone the more you are wasting you time...and I am all about not wasting my time in the gym. I have parties to be at, yo.

(I also have a kid in the gym child care who could freak and cause me to abort my workout at any given moment)

So, I have worked out about 5 times with the monitor. What I have found is that I have decreased my work out time so far, which is great. My monitor actually "talks" to the fitness equipment so I don't always have to be checking my watch which is sweet AND I can download my workouts to the computer to review and determine which workouts were best (burned the most calories, kept my heart rate up the most)...and I am liking it. I am still working through my fear of the gadget. There are more things to learn about this monitor but I am comfortable not knowing a few things now and just doing the basics. There is a part of me that wants everyone to have one. How many of us have wasted time working out? Rather than knowing the your heart rate is and getting what you know is a a good workout. We can go by perceived exertion, panting, sweating like a grease ball, but then we may be outside of the "fat burning zone" and just working our heart which is great...but what about my butt!?

So this is me. If you did not know, I am an exerciser. I like it. I like to move my body, not because I have to but because it feels good and it is good for me.

If you actually read this post in it's entirety you must really like me, you are very bored or just a little tweaked.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Quick Chick Pea Curry



For tonight's dinner we got adventurous. As a Christmas gift Nancy (holla) gave us the Martha Stewart Food Everyday magazine. Tonight we tried our first recipe. It was a different recipe for us and it was delicious. We served it over brown rice which we soaked ALL day before we cooked it. Since I generally find brown rice way to firm, it made a big difference.

Serves 4-6

INGREDIENTS:
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 large yellow onion, diced small
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 tablespoon curry powder
1 cinnamon stick, 3 inches (I substituted this with 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon)
1 pinch of ground cloves
2 cans (15 ounces each) no-salt-added chickpeas, rinsed and drained
3 tablespoons ketchup
1 teaspoon course salt
1/4 teaspoon ground pepper
2 cups water
chopped cilantro and lemon wedges (optional), for serving

DIRECTIONS:

1. In a large straight-sided skillet, heat oil over medium0high. Add onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until dark brown around edges, about 6 minutes.
2. Add garlic, curry, cinnamon, and pinch of cloves and cook, stirring until fragrant, 30 seconds.
3. Add chickpeas, ketchup, 1 teaspoon salt, 1/4 teaspoon pepper, and 2 cups of water.
4. Bring to a boil; reduce to a simmer, cover, and cook 20 minutes.
5. Uncover and increase heat to medium0high; cook until sauce is slightly reduced, 5 minutes.
6. Serve topped with cilantro, with lemon wedges along side if desired.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Friday, January 15, 2010

Germ Fest

Ever since we got back form our family trip to California it has been a festival of germs...a cold with conjunctivitis which the whole family got, grandparents on both coasts, aunts cousins and parents. It was a nasty one! After that a mean stomach bug came to ravage us for a few days. My first time with a puking baby. Most of El's prime puking time was in the middle of the night. Fortunately she was still interested in sleeping so she would puke, I would pull up the blanket from under her - put another down and back to sleep she would go. Puke in hair and all. Very gross. Very smelly. It struck me a few hours later - I was not as gross or smelly but I definitely did not look so hot. (but Jer would never say so ;) Jer was hit, but he held his cookies, fortunately for all of us. For some reason I really do not want to know what he sounds like when he is sick...who knows though, maybe it is musical!

Ok, this post is pretty lame, about puking and such, but hopefully this will jump start me to blogging better with cute pictures in the near future.

Saturday, January 02, 2010

Christmas!!!