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Tuesday, January 15, 2019

We Tried It: Oikos Triple Zero Peanut Butter Banana Yogurt

We're big fans of peanut butter and banana, just like The King.  If you've followed along, you know I'm not a yogurt fan, but I've found a very few select flavors I like.  Since I like peanut butter and banana and this was only a buck, we thought we'd give it a go.


Here's a peek at the nutritional info.


It's got that peanut butter look to it.  Check.  No real bananas obviously so the banana is all flavoring.


But how did it taste?


I'll have to defer to the Mr on that one because the second I opened it and gave it stir, I almost retched.  (How's that for an endorsement?)  I'm very sensitive to the smell of yogurt and the combo of peanut butter with it almost put me over the edge so I passed it over.  He smelled it and said it smelled fine to him and took a bite.

Then he walked to the trash and threw it out.  He said "tastes fake.  All I taste is fake sugar."  It's sweetened with stevia and unfortunately, we haven't had many products with it that doesn't taste fake.  He said there wasn't even much peanut butter taste to it all.  So a thumbs down for us but if you're used to the taste of stevia, it probably wouldn't bother you.  Oh well, only out a buck but you never know what yogurt flavors will be a hit or miss.

Would you try peanut butter yogurt?

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Monday, January 14, 2019

Home From the Holidays

I know it's been a week since our return, but I took advantage of the posts I had scheduled to not jump right back into the frantic "what am I going to write about!?" mindset.  We enjoyed a few weeks in Vermont with a solid finish in Maine for a little relaxation because I don't know how to do that on the main portion of our trips.  We had zero guilt about our excursion, and from what I heard from two people when we got back, we should thank our lucky stars we missed some fireworks.  So time to start looking for our next Christmas getaway...we're going nautical, I think but before we jump ahead, let's recap this trip.

Our tree was the perfect height and I had fun decorating it all "Vermonty."


Of course, Vermont isn't Vermont without covered bridges.


 We were able to build a snowman despite all weather reports being against us.  He was little and ready for a fight.

On our 27th dating anniversary, we went snowshoeing when we saw the trails were open.


Vermont is known for its maple "creamees," and the goats are fans as well.


Christmas Eve night and we're settling in with some Christmas cookies.


Taking in the Christmas magic.


We went to the Jericho Historical Society to see the old red mill but actually got quite the schooling on "Snowflake" Bentley which is fascinating!  He's the reason you know that no two snowflakes are alike!


Obviously, when snow is on the ground, and a sledding hill is available, we're going down it.  (Well, I am and telling him to put on his booties.)


Then it was on to the next house for New Years week.  Holy crapballs.  The cabin we just stayed in was the size of the garage.  We easily got our steps in just walking that place.  I made sure to utilize the awesome kitchen while we were there and pretend it was mine.


We weren't far from the town of Woodstock, VT which is consistently named the most Christmasy town year after year.


One of our favorite stops was the Billings Farm/national park.  If you're ever in the area, make sure you go!


Obviously, a trip (or three) was in order to the Vermont Country Store.


It was a quiet (ish) NYE at home.  I baked, and we tested my new angel bells from childhood.  You'll hear more about how 2018 ended in another post.


This was the view from our house.  Breathtaking.


I surprised the Mr with a trip to the local falconry where we got to have a hawk land on us from close and great distances.  It was pretty amazing.


This was the game room in our house.  Can you believe we didn't even play pool, ping pong or air hockey until our last full day there!?


The morning we left we had snow, and I wasn't missing it.


We made a stop at Funstop in NH where they filmed the documentary King of Kong.  The Mr was quite a happy boy.


Then on to Kennebunkport Maine to round things out.  I love their buoy tree with a lobster toppah.


Our visit back to Ogunquit Beach was quite different from when we were there in May, so I took advantage. 


75% of the town was closed, but it's still beautiful.


We rounded things out at an afternoon tea in New York on our way home.  We had a wonderful time and not without its challenges here and there, but that's life. 

I know it's late but...how were your holidays?

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Friday, January 11, 2019

What I'm Reading This Week #2

Happy Friday everyone!

We've had a work week's amount of time to settle back into our normal routine and it's funny how your body craves that after an extended vacation.  It's nice to be back in our own workout space, able to drink as much water as our bladders can handle without worrying where bathrooms are out in the wild and such.

Now, let's ease right into...


Doing This Activity 1 Hour a Week Lowers Heart Attack Risk by 70 Percent  (Yay!  Already doing it!)

How to 'cheat' on your diet without ruining it  (We know our Saturdays have always been our downfall honestly, didn't care enough to change it.  Now that we've got vacation weight to get off this the perfect time to actually work on that.)

How to Calm Your Anxiety in 10 Seconds  (Some really great tips in here.)

Think twice before making these New Year's resolutions in 2019   (So basically sit in your living room on the floor with the blinds closed waiting to die.  But I do agree with not joining a gym.  WAY too many good free resources on YouTube including our favorites of Fitness Blender.com and Jessica Smith TV)

'Dead Butt Syndrome' Is A Real Thing. Here's How To Tell If You Have It.  (Yep, totally have it.)


10 Simple Ways to Hygge Up Your Life  (Every time I say hygge in my head it's like an old timey car horn....ha-ooooooooooo-gah!)

Sleeping Next to Your Phone Could Seriously Damage Your Health   (Um, this is seriously scary.  I've started switching it to airplane mode at night.)

Psychologists Explain Why It Feels So Good To Sing In Your Car  (Seriously, I give a concert in my car.   I have felt people looking at me and if I feel it for a long while, I look over at them and keep on singing.  Priceless!)

12 Ways Therapists Deal With Anger When They're Pissed Off  (All lines up with a lot about what we've been reading the past few months.)

The Coddling of the American Mind  (Yep.  We are so screwed.)

This Is the Date When You Should Take Down Your Christmas Decorations  (Articles like this always crack me up but I do agree with the roundabout date.  I do leave up a gingerbread house candle every day though because like Scrooge "I will keep Christmas in my heart all the year.")

I don't think we've got any real plans for the weekend which is fine.  I think we'll give the Christmas decorations another week since we were gone 3 weeks out of the season.

Got any plans for the weekend?

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Thursday, January 10, 2019

The Importance of Acknowledging Where to Improve

When we returned from Maine in May, I was determined to walk every weekday because I found the more I walked, the more my leg muscles stayed balanced.  I wasn't having the shin and ankle issues that pretty much left me a hobbling mess.  We rocked it all summer and got up in the blazing heat to walk more times than I thought we would.  Opening your door to a wall of humidity that leaves you a sweaty mess by 8am is no way to start the day.  But it wasn't going to get any cooler so I knew if I didn't do it in the morning, it wouldn't get done.

Then it did get cooler which was nice but with the coolness also came a lot of rain and some freezing temps in there too and this was back in October and November.  My perfect daily streak started getting pushed back to 3x a week, then 2x a week and then I was back to weekend only walking.  You can see the slide into the abyss here:

(August (Woot!), October (What?) and November (Whoops) respectively

My justification was the two extra miles and almost 400 calories burned was making zero difference on the scale and I had a TON of work I needed to do so I needed the extra time in my day over those 45 minutes.  My legs begged to differ.  The two weeks in October where there was no walking during the week, I was sick, it was rainy and I just wasn't having it.  By Halloween, I could feel things starting to happen in not a good way and when I was on my feet in really bad shoes for about 9 hours on November 5th, I paid for it so hard that week with zero relief.  I still had to be up and active but it wasn't the same active that walking gave me.  There was no heel strike then propelling from the ball of the foot and I think that made a huge difference.

I was one month out from our trip, the work I needed to be done pretty much behind me and cursing myself.  The day before, we'd just walked 3 miles on uneven sidewalks and I could barely stand as a result.  When I was walking, we did that same walk and I didn't feel anything near what I was feeling then.  I knew then if I was going to be able to enjoy my vacation pain-free, the rehab needed to start right then.  It was going to suck but I had a choice to make...I didn't make the right one.  While I did continue to exercise obviously before we left I never added that walking back in and I feel like my legs paid the price for the second half of the trip.   Now we're back and quite doughy and wishing we'd made better choices but we didn't and we can only go forward from here.

So while weight loss might not be at the forefront with the walking, my leg muscles are much happier when I walk.  We've gotten in two walks this week in crappy conditions (Tuesday in blaring 40 mph gusts and Wednesday in what was mid 20's but the "feel like" temp of 12.  😐  I'm working on food and water intake this week then we'll add back in regular exercise because added sugar withdraw is REAL, yo. 

I would like to make the switch to morning workouts, not first thing but before noon if possible.  We both just feel better when we have our workouts done and not because we don't do it if we wait until evening but the evening seems to go faster especially in the winter.  We'll see if that still applies when the days get longer or not.  I'm not going to beat myself up over it though if we're not consistent this first month. 

I would like to be done with beating myself up in general.  I have practically medaled in it like an Olympic sport since I understood what being fat meant as a kid.  I didn't need bullies, I did a good job myself and as an adult, that tape still plays.  It will be way harder than losing weight because that is so second nature but I'd like to be a little kinder to myself in whatever form that takes.

Where do you need to improve?

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Wednesday, January 9, 2019

Three Months Until Spring Break!

If your travels are taking you to the eastern tip of the country, then you want to stay at the Steamboat Inn, in Mystic, CT.  This beautiful town is on the way to lots of fun east coast destinations and is worth an overnight stay.


This hotel is right on the Mystic River in the downtown area by the drawbridge.


There are 11 rooms at the hotel so you can imagine given the walkable location (with free parking for guests) that it fills up quick in season.  Each room is decorated differently with different amenities.  I like to go big so, of course, I got one of their biggest rooms, the Carolyn.


The Carolyn is a corner suite with a huge bed, living room and spacious bathroom that overlooks the Mystic River.  


The bathroom is a little dated, but that tub was a welcome respite after a very long drive.  We both enjoyed a bath with full power jets to soak in.  There were also quality toiletries.


We loved that there was a little kitchenette with a microwave, mini fridge and sink and pretty fully stocked for meals.  A Keurig machine was awesome to have on hand with lots of coffee and tea to choose from.  (affiliate link) 


The cupboards and drawers are stocked for two people with plates and silverware.  It was a nice bonus especially if you've got leftovers from a restaurant or want to grab something from the local bakery to keep in the room for breakfast in the morning.

They have a good sized TV in the armoire with extra pillows and blankets.  There's also a fireplace that is only in service over the winter and early spring.  We missed it by a day.


Of course, you guys know I'm old school, so I totally loved the keys to the room.


On the second floor is a pretty awesome common room.  Come up in the morning for breakfast, the guy we saw stocking things said he makes an excellent omelet and makes everything to order.  There's always tea, coffee and hot water available and to go cups so you can pour and run.


They have local and national papers to read if you want to spend a leisurely morning.  They even have fruit for snacks as well as some chocolate because balance.  (The banana we took totally cancels out the Krackle, right?)

Then go out and stroll the town.  They have everything from cool spice/tea shops to vintage record stores to the fantastic Lis Bake Shop.  We highly recommend them!


Obviously, no stop to Mystic would be complete without a trip to Mystic Pizza where the movie is on loop.  (affiliate link)


It was April when we went, and that didn't deter paddleboarders.  There are plenty of places to rent paddleboards and kayaks if you want to take in the town by water.  This pic was taken from our room.


Were there any cons?  Well, I'll say that I'd probably go with a second-floor room next time only because of how many people were walking in front of the windows and looking in.  We were there in the off season so I can't imagine how loud it could get and the amount of foot traffic.  We had to keep the blinds closed a lot of the time, so if we wanted the river view, we had to go outside for it.

The sun gets up early on the east coast, and this is how bright the room was at 6am from the sun reflecting off of the water.


So if sleeping in is on your agenda, you'll need to bring an eye mask because even with the blinds closed and curtains pulled, it was no match for the ball of fire in the sky.

Steamboat Inn
73 Steamboat Wharf
Mystic CT 06355
860-536-8300
info@steamboatinnmystic.com

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Monday, January 7, 2019

The Importance of Acknowledging Your Accomplishments


Now that the holidays are behind us and we are a solid week into the new year, it's only natural we are likely taking stock of where we want this year to go.  The flip of the calendar feels like a fresh start though every day we wake up is actually a fresh start.  We don't need a milestone day to be better than who we were yesterday.  We traveled this year for the holidays and just got home a few days ago.  We're still settling back into what it's like to be back home and reminiscing over the past few weeks.  It was the right move for us this year given all we'd lost, and other health issues are going on that just would've been too much to be around this Christmas.  I needed a soul cleansing type of holiday, and we knew where to go to potentially get it.  I will get into our trip in another post.

As we return with a little more dough in the middle than when we left, it is tempting to feel defeated.  We all tend to have that bit of holiday overindulgence regret, but when you travel, sometimes you could give a rat's butt about trying to "be good."  But after our trip to Maine in May, we had quite the struggle getting off our weight gain for many months.  We even added walking two miles in the morning before doing anything else to the agenda in addition to our workouts, but it did nothing.  That was particularly frustrating given we did so in blazing summer heat and humidity and would come back sweaty and disgusting by 8am.  Now we're faced with doing it in super cold weather and bundled up like Randy from A Christmas Story.


When you've been on a weight loss "adventure" for almost 10 years with more to go, it's embarrassing and defeating to admit.  If you'd told me 10 years ago that I wouldn't be anywhere near my "goal" weight, I probably would've said, "then why bother?"  If I'd told myself I'd lose so much weight only to let some creep back on, I probably would've said you were nuts because I worked too hard to get it off in the first place.  That just creates a cycle of a negative spiral that is hard to get out of or motivate yourself.

That is the time you need to acknowledge your accomplishments.

I have consistently kept off the 200 lbs I lost for 7 1/2 years.  That is not the norm.  We all hear the stats of  "95% of people who lose a significant amount will regain the weight within one to five years."  I love giving a big eff you to the establishment, so I am proud of that.

I consistently exercise 6x per week when I'm home.  Now on vacation, I suck.  I'll admit it, and we both agree we need to do better.  But at home, I have exercised through colds, migraines, injuries from major to minor even when I was pulled off of weight-bearing exercise, and just plain not wanting to do it.  I've also overtrained and paid for it and pushed through pain when I shouldn't have.  I'm still learning.

We eat healthy 6x per week.  Sometimes we track, sometimes we don't because we know what our meals typically are calorie-wise.  Unfortunately, our age has caught up to us, and we'll need to reevaluate our Saturdays, but I'm still proud of us for not giving in to ordering a pizza or going through a drive through just because it would be easier than making a healthy meal on a Wednesday.

We've gone as natural as we can.  As I began to do more research over the past 5-8 years about the chemicals in our everyday products, I started switching over to naturally derived items.  Some of it was due to my allergies where harsh detergents would break me out or make me sneeze.  But I also know now that those products that used to be fine were getting more pumped up in the chemical department too.  From makeup to detergents to cleaners to cleansers, it all changed.  That's not to say that you can't have a reaction to natural products too, but at least there aren't a ton of endocrine disruptors and other nasty crap.

These things have all contributed to us having perfect health when the docs run the numbers.  I love seeing their faces when they get normal blood panels and pressure readings...makes me want to raise a finger.

If it's important to me, I will make tweaking things a priority and I need it to be important since my body is going to start fighting me.  So yes, we've got some work to do, but I need to remember that I'm not a failure just because I'm not at goal.

What are your healthy accomplishments and where do you want to go from here?

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Friday, January 4, 2019

What I'm Reading This Week #1

Happy first Friday of the new year!  I hope everyone had a great first week and are on track to get some new habits in line.

Let's skate right into...


6 Ways to Beat the Post-Holiday Blues  (The deflation is real, yo)

Back to work blues you're feeling are real, and treatable  (Going back to work sucks anytime but even more now.)

What to Do When You're Too Tired to Work Out   (Just laughed for 5 minutes picturing the Mr and I attempting that ridiculous pose the two chicks are doing. whoever is on the bottom is destined to fart.)

8 Habits of Highly Fit People  (Word to yer mutha)

The DOs and DON'Ts of Clean Eating  (Very good tips if you want to clean up your food game.)

10 Amazingly Easy Breakfasts You Can Make in a Muffin Tin  (Meal prep is key!)

17 Extremely Good Ways to Save Money When You Are Broke As a Joke  (The holiday credit card statement will be coming soon.)

20 Resources for Workout Programs You Can Actually Afford  (Don't forget our favorite FitnessBlender.com)

How to Actually Get Sh!t Done With a To-Do List  (I definitely have to write it down. Otherwise it just gets sucked into the background on my desktop.)

11 Food Product Icons You Never Knew Were Based on Real People  (My bologna has a first name, it's O-S-C-A-R...who else is saying the rest in their head?)

This Rescue Dog And Cat Duo Are The Most Adorable Adventure Buddies   (Oh my goodness!  So sweet!)

We've got some road-trippin' to do this weekend, and that's about it.  I may take Monday off to rest so may or may not see ya then.

What are you up to this weekend?

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