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Friday, June 14, 2019

What I'm Reading This Week #24

Happy Friday all!  Week 2 of LIIFTformation is in the books (well, it will be tonight) and we are both thankful for a rest day tomorrow!  This was our workout schedule this week:

Sunday- LIIFT4: WK 2 CHEST & TRIS Transform20: WK 2 POWERFUL
Monday- LIIFT4: BACK & BICEPS Transform20: WK 2 BURN
Tuesday- Transform20: WK 2 STRONGER 21 Day Fix RT: Abs 10 min
Wednesday- LIIFT4: W2 SHOULDERS Transform20: WK 2 FASTER (ultimate butt kicker)
Thursday-LIIFT4: WK 3 LEGS  Transform20: WK 2 CUT
Friday- Transform20: WK 2 BALANCED LIIFT4: STRETCH

Thankfully tonight is a lighter workout which we need and I'll look forward to my Epsom salt bath more than usual this week.  Between the workouts, the medical profession being a joke and our credit card being compromised yet again, and the Mr had to practically work a double yesterday, I just want ONE freakin' week where I don't NEED the weekend just to wash away the crap of the previous week.  That's all we've been dealing with since we got back.  

But enough of that crap, let's get to...



Gentle Stretches and Exercises for Achilles Tendon Pain  (Good ones!)

5 Foods Rich in Vitamin D That Might Help You Sleep Better  (Yes, please!)

17 Delicious Ways to Use Old Bananas  (Can't wait to try some of these.)

The Guide to Strong Boundaries  (Definitely worth a read)

15 Hidden Dangers in Your Home You Should Never Ignore   (Don't put these things off.)

Please Stop Trying to 'Encourage' Fat Athletes When You See Us Exercising  (Ugh, look, I get what she's getting at especially being a coach so she's technically not trying to lose weight but this is bordering on stupid for me.  As someone who has had something crappy yelled at her from a passing car twice, I would much rather someone yell something encouraging if they feel compelled to.  What matters is how I react to it.  My personal reaction is "maybe I inspired someone today."  Nothing says a skinny person is fit so maybe they'll think "if she can do it, I can too."   A cheery "you go girl!" should not be viewed as a "microaggression."  😬

46 Life Hacks You’ll Wish You Knew Sooner  (I'm going to put a few of these to work, for sure!)

People Are Deeply Moved By This Daughter’s Simple Reminders To Her Mother With Dementia  (A good idea for those in the early to beginning moderate stages that can still comprehend words.)

Possible Alzheimer's prevention breakthrough reported   ($1 BILLION is needed to get this vaccine into human trials and $277 BILLION is the estimated cost from Alzheimer's/dementia-related care this year.  This MUST be funded.  The billionaires club needs to step up and donate for the wellness of humanity.)

Steve Lawrence Has Been Diagnosed With Alzheimer's: 'What I Feel Is Gratitude, Love, and Hope' 
(Oh my heart.  We discovered Steve and Eydie's Christmas music with the album "That Holiday Feeling" about 8 years ago or so and I was obsessed.  We always said how you could hear the love between them as they sang to each other.)

That Weird Leg Jerk as You're Falling Asleep? Here's What It's Called - and Why It Happens   (That only tends to happen when I fall asleep spooning against the Mr.  😄)

We've got some cleaning to do since we're having company Sunday for what was supposed to be a cookout but the weather isn't making it look so hot.  It's also grocery weekend which is always a joy, so lots to do!

What are y'all getting into this weekend?

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Thursday, June 13, 2019

New Tool in Our Journey

We've been tracking our food for a decade.  We use an outdated software version of FitDay that doesn't get updated, but we've built a database over that decade, and it was hard to do anything else.  We've tried MyFitnessPal for extended periods of time and didn't like it.  I even did it with a few family members, and it was nice, but when they slacked off, we didn't like it enough to stay with it.

I follow a vegan vlogger (started as a Hawaii/DIY vlogger and I've just stuck with her)  She's doing a new raw series that is okay (I couldn't eat that way all the time), but she did introduce me to a new tracker, Cronometer.   It's free with ads, and the amount of nutritional information it gives is insane!  My doc has been testing us for Vitamin D deficiency, and we're pretty deficient.  (She recently had us up our 2000IU's to 3000 because we're still on the low end.)  So I was interested in looking at where I was getting any vitamin D from my food, but then I began to get interested in other measures and found out I was severely deficient in things that FitDay and MyFitnessPal weren't showing me.

Here's how I use it (the free version) and I apologize for the pics being so small, you'll have to click to enlarge them.

Based on my weight and my desire to lose 2 lbs per week, the circled "budget" is what I would be restricted to if I did nothing but share a blood supply with the couch.  (Which I do most of the time.)  So anything I burn exercise wise is added to my calorie budget.

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Then I start adding my food for the next day.  I base what I enter on what are either consistent measurements I stick to (like always 5 oz of cantaloupe at lunch) or the high end of something whose weight could change based on changing size.  IE- bananas are always entered as 4.5oz before I eat them, but I know they'll likely be closer to 3.50 to 4 ounces which I go back and correct after I weigh them for the meal.

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To save time, I'll make "recipes" of something I have all of the time like my "lunch veggies" includes 2 broccoli florets, 2 cauliflower florets, 1 large radish and 1 medium stalk of celery.  Instead of adding them separately, I can add that one custom piece and get all four in.  I've done this for turkey tacos as well when you have measurements that aren't going to change which makes it easy.

(Click to enlarge)

The deficit tells me how much I have to burn during my workout to make sure I hit my caloric goal for my 2 lb per week weight loss...on paper.  Since we always exercise before dinner, after I enter the workout calories burned, I can take a peek and see where I'm at on nutrients and calorie budget and adjust where necessary.



(Click to enlarge)
I wasn't hungry, so I didn't eat those extra 215 calories.  If you hover over the budget, it'll remind you of your weight goal and what you can do if you want to lose more or it seems to encourage you to eat the calories which I may or may not do depending on how I feel.


(Click to enlarge)

But the thing that has been the game changer for me is the Cronometer layout of all of the macro breakdowns.  This was a particularly good day, and I know that I will likely not hit 100% of all of the time because once you add exercise, the targets change.


While my vitamin E and zinc levels were low, they were about 40% higher than the previous week when I was just trying to get a baseline of where I was.  I paid more attention to the nutrients I was critically always low on and am working to up those as naturally as possible.  I was consistently low on Vitamin K and selenium and now hit them over 100% every day.  Why are these important?  Selenium does a few amazing things like lower inflammation in the body, reducing buildup of plaque in the arteries (which can eventually go to the brain contributing to dementia), actively helps prevent some cancers.  You know how we get it?  We eat one brazil nut per day!  Our diet is constantly low in selenium without it, and by eating half to one 5g brazil nut, you get everything you need from it.  We take it as a supplement but its natural, which is always better.  Here are more benefits of selenium.  Be careful though, you can take too much, and one nut is all you need per day for supplement purposes.

Vitamin K is essential for blood clotting (wish we'd known this on our vacations this year since the Mr has had a resurgence of nosebleeds), bone, cognitive and heart health.  I add 1/4 ounce of dandelion green to an omelet, salad or side dish or one kiwi to get my vitamin K for the day.  Because of its effect on the blood, you should consult your doctor before adding these foods for vitamin K supplementation.

I'm also always low on zinc and vitamin E, which I'm working on getting higher.  Zinc is always very low, so I will take a supplement at the end of the day in the form of 1/4 of a 30mg zinc pill.  Sunflower seeds have really helped up my vitamin E.  Given the hard workouts we're doing this month, my goal is to try to give my body as many of the nutrients as it needs to properly recover.  It's almost like a game to see how you can get the most nutritional bang for your buck out of the foods you eat.  You can also click on a nutrient, and it'll tell you what foods gave you those nutrients that day.  Like here's where my vitamin K came from that day.


I've even started charting my Omega 3 vs. 6.  You need both, but you need more 3 than 6 (and 9).  Omega 3's help clear fat out of the liver, keeps your heart healthy, reduce dementia risk, and lots of other health benefits.  If I've entered my food and see I'm low on 3's, then I will add chia seeds to my oatmeal, or if I can't find a place to fit it in, I'll do a flaxseed supplement which is rare but can work in a pinch.  You can read more here about how to balance your omegas.

You can add your exercise in for the day by either choosing from their database or doing a custom entry like I do.

I like to see the exact workout I did that day, so I enter it from my calendar and the info from my HRM.  The Mr has an Apple watch, and it syncs up with it.  Obviously, it doesn't list the exact workout he did that day, but he could write a note if he wanted to with that info.

You can also add other measurements to track from your weight loss to height, blood pressure info, blood glucose, mood, how much sleep you got, cholesterol, etc.



 You can also write a note in your diary for the day to get anything off of your chest, note certain conditions that might affect things or mini triumphs.




Cronometer has all kinds of breakdowns like that, but the free version does have some irritants.  You can't group your meals together to see the breakdown of each one which I do like in FitDay/MFP.  The Mr will write a note to separate them visually, and that seems to work for him.  But if you pay $35 for the year (as opposed to monthly at $6), it lets you break them down by meal, no ads, "ask the Oracle" (like in Neverending Story) for food suggestions on how to reach certain nutrition goals, timestamps, advanced charting, priority support and sharing your recipes and custom foods with others.

With two of us using it in the house, that would be $70 per year when we paid that back in the day for one program that lasted us over 10 years.  I don't know when we as a society thought "hey, I'd rather pay yearly for something instead of software I only have to buy once" but here we are.  So yeah, we'll stick with the free one for now, and I will keep working to incorporate more foods that have the nutrients I'm lacking.

Have you used Cronometer before?

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Wednesday, June 12, 2019

So, I'm Curious...




How many of you actively work out and/or eat healthy most of the time.  I'd like to hear from as many people as possible including you lurkers.  I don't bite.  😏

How many days a week do you work out, and what are your favorite types of workouts?

How many days a week do you eat healthy (if at all and it's okay if you're not there yet) or do you follow a more 80/20 approach daily?

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Tuesday, June 11, 2019

Food Review: Trader Joe's Jalapeno Sauce

Whilst dodging employees popping a squat on the floor shopping at Trader Joe's one night, I spied this sauce that was calling my name.


I'm a fan of all things spicy but jalapeno is a milder spice which means the Mr can enjoy as well without breathing fire.  I wasn't quite sure what I was going to use it for but I knew I could find something.

Here's a peek at the nutritional info:


Here are the ingredients:


But how did it taste?

I love it!  The Mr really liked it too especially given how I used it for the first time.


I made cauliflower rice with some of it mixed in and also finished grilled shrimp with it.  It's creamy, only moderate on the spice scale (if that) but you can definitely taste the jalapeno essence.  It would be a perfect marinade too for chicken or fish.  I'm not sure how well it would work with pork but steak fajitas would definitely benefit with a toss of this at the end.  Pour a little into some guac for a mild, spicy flavor while keeping the color.  The possibilities are endless and I know we'll be stocking up on a few more bottles before they yank it.  I'm going to say this is probably summer only so get it when you see it!

How would you use this sauce?

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Monday, June 10, 2019

Week One and You Painted What? Weekend Recap

Happy Monday, everyone!

Friday morning was one of amazement because we had a service person 1) show up on time to the minute 2) do the job right 3) was polite and cleaned up and 4) told us how to save money on another job we are calling him back to do.  I'm confused.  I'm befuddled.  I need smelling salts. You can bet he will be our plumber from this point on should we need one!!

Friday was also the official end of week one of the LIIFTformation calendar.  We got our butts beyond handed to us, and while it was hard and challenging, it was the good kind.  The kind that warranted me over 700-900 calorie burns on half the workouts!  The Mr knows I usually curse during workouts, but there were some new ones created for sure.  I spent three of those days with my strap on ice packs on my knees because step workouts alone are challenging, but Shaun T's are some level that makes you question his sanity.  (I guess he did invent the Insanity workouts so yeah, confirmed.)  You add those before or after a full lift session with Joel four days a week, and your butt is TIRED!  We actually did half of them early to work around schedules for things but were soooo thankful they were done for the day because there is an impending dread when you have to wait when your workouts are that challenging.  We have to modify the step things quite a bit (even some of the skinny folk have problems keeping up on there) but it by no means makes it easier.  We're soaked every single time.  Last night started week two, and as with each progressing week, they are going to get harder.


This week will be the actual test because I lost my "period two" and was a little irritated that I didn't get at least one extra pound than I consistently lose each month when Aunt Flo is in town.  So I'll be happy if this week warrants the same loss.

That night we went to Home Depot to get the concrete paint for the AC pad so we would have it to get done early and be on our way.  Saturday was the one day I was looking forward to going to this shop about 25 minutes away to look at some frillies I thought I saw for the house.  They're only open three days a week, and if you don't get there early, you might as well forget it.  The Mr taped off the area...



...and I painted on the schtuff.  I knew immediately it was wrong.  The little dot on the top of the lid looked like the right color, but it did not look remotely close on the pad.  I said it needed to dry way darker and hoped it would.  It didn't...even after another coat. 


Next came a series of unfortunate miscommunications that left the Mr and I ripping at each other, me in tears that we're always having to friggin' fight for something to be right and going back to HD to get a way darker color because obviously getting the one that matches exactly in the brochure is going to look nothing like it.  So I went back to painting when we got home, and it looked better, still not what I wanted but I no longer cared, I just wanted it done.


We decided to eat lunch before we headed out.


Vegan burger, sweet potato fries, and corn on the cob.  Yum!

We went to the store I wanted to go to, and of course, they were sold out of the things I was interested in, and the things I thought I wanted that they did have were misrepresented in size, so it was a bummer to drive that far to come up empty-handed.  I really wish the lady who does the paintings I like would open an Etsy shop or something so we didn't have to drive that far for a crap shoot plus I wouldn't have to hear the owner's high pitched vocal fry that makes me want to drive a stake through my eye on a good day.  We stopped at another store on the way home and would you believe what I saw already?



While I love Fall as much as the next gal, I'm not quite ready for it yet, but pumpkins do make me smile.  We came home and painted some stones that sit on the AC pad to keep critters out.  The Mr didn't think it would look good, I thought it would so we painted two sides to keep our options open.  We left the paint liner outside to get a couple things done, and the Mr saw it blew over from the drop cloth to some patio stones...of course.  I told him not to wipe it, blot it up while I got hot water and soap.  I used a tile brush to wet it, and it soaked into the sand.  The Mr said it looked better with the diluted paint water.  All of this pollen from early spring settled into the sand and it looked like crap.  The thought of spending another night like this didn't sound like fun, but you know, painting sand sounds like a good way to spend a cool Saturday night, doesn't it?   We painted between each brick for just over an hour until we lost light.  We liked what we saw in the night and waited to see what it would look like in the daytime. 



A local pizza place started carrying cauliflower pizzas, and I'm pretty sure all they did was buy CauliPower crusts wholesale and put their crap on top since they only come in 10" pies.   I have to say though, we were both impressed.  I asked if they gave us the right pizza because it tasted like full on yeast crust.  We had them do it well done, so I think it helped that much more.  We'd definitely get it again, but I did make a nice hearty salad to go with it because it was basically 2" over a personal sized pizza.  Baby kale and baby spinach, dandelion greens, nutritional yeast, cauliflower, broccoli, and red cabbage.  Then we binge-watched season two of Cobra Kai until 1:30am.  Zabka is the man.

Before we knew it, it was Sunday, we felt broken just from 70 minutes contorted the night before, and we had a scintillating day of paver sand painting ahead of us.  We streamlined the process with food squirt bottles for the diluted paint and paper towels or else we'd still be painting.  It was still a pain in the...well, everywhere because I think we were out there for 5 hours total.  Then, you know, we still had the LIIFTformation workout to do which was Chest and Tri's and 20 minutes of hell on a step.  We both wanted to skip soooo bad, but we didn't, and while I'm proud of us, it sucked.  We had to get some produce for the week, and with each minute, I could feel my body stiffening more and more. 


We got home, and the Mr cut my watermelon and cantaloupe while I finished this up.  I popped ibuprofen to hopefully help with this insanity.  I know you're all jealous that you didn't get to paint sand this weekend too.

So how did you spend your weekend?

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Friday, June 7, 2019

What I'm Reading This Week #23

Happy Friday all!  It's been a long but productive week.  The concrete dudes finally came out Wednesday and did their little leveling job.  Well, not little...$400 please but we're trying to get reimbursed by the HOA because the bylaws say that shouldn't have been our responsibility even though the newest company to take over said no.  The guy even said that shouldn't be our responsibility and worded our invoice to make that clear so...fingers crossed.  Today we're supposed to have the hose bib replaced which honestly hasn't been right from day one.  Then we should be able to stain the concrete pad and the patio should truly be done.  Only took almost a full year.

Let's level into...




Retailers Pull Fairlife Products Amid Animal Abuse Allegations in Video  (*Pause local newcast video on landing- does not show the graphic video according to them, I won't watch it even if it's blurred.*  We will be pulling Fairlife milk from our shelves as well and I'm a bit ashamed I didn't do more research on them years ago.  We saw sweet little baby calves every day in Montana and Wyoming roaming free, enjoying the sunshine and we fawned over them every time we passed- they made us so happy.   We noted how none of the grass-fed cows had stinky poop and we should know, we shared the property with them in Montana.  You know what didn't make us happy?  Driving home through Nebraska, we passed the first "factory farm" we'd ever seen.  It was DISGUSTING.  A literal mountain of crap a minimum of 20' tall in the middle of their "pasture" which had no grass by the way because they were all shoulder to shoulder with no room to even lay down or turn around.  Even with the vents closed in the car, the horrible smell of poop and a rotten smell was ungodly and lasted for 5 miles after we passed.

Your Self-Imposed Beliefs May Be Aging You — Here's How To Break Free  (Worth a try)

12 Exercises That Are Safe to Do With Knee Pain  (Keep those babies safe!)

8 Ways to Train Your Brain to Be More Optimistic   (I need to incorporate a few more of these.)

Cardio Isn't the Best Way to Burn Belly Fat - Here's What Trainers Want You to Do Instead   (Basically what we're doing this month.  Fingers crossed.)

Burpees For People Who Can't Do (or Don't Like!) Burpees, Straight From 2 Trainers  (We do the elevated one and it is quite...jarring.)

3 simple ways to know if a watermelon is ripe  (Thump da melon)

5 Of The Best Inflammation-Fighting Foods To Eat All Summer Long  (All except #3)

12 Ways To Make Yourself Poop ASAP, According To Gut Health Experts  (Be right back.)

Guy Out For A Run Suddenly Realizes He's Being Followed   (Ahhh, so cute!!)

Grads Burst Into Laughter As Dog Steals The Show During Ceremony  (Piss on your future!)

I am hoping for a chill weekend. It doesn't appear to be gross hot conditions and I know that won't last long.   I want to get the A/C pad stained so we can get the patio put back together (NEVER to be moved again if I can help it!)

What are you up to this weekend?

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Thursday, June 6, 2019

It's a Trap!

Some of you sci-fi fans might've immediately gone here reading that title:


While Admiral Ackbar was right, that's not what I'm talking about.  I'm talking about this:


I'm talking about your trapezius muscles.  More specifically my trapezius muscles that totally bunged up on me and got me to the point I needed a deep tissue massage to get some relief.  I wasn't able to turn my neck, and I created a perfect storm with new to us workouts over the previous two months until they reached their breaking point.  It doesn't take hard workouts to screw your traps either.  Do you use your smartphone?  Do you use a laptop?  Do you have bad posture?  Then you're at risk for getting head and neck pain as well.  First, let's see where your trapezius muscles are located as shown below in red.




They go from your neck, the top of your shoulders and shoulder blades to the middle of your back.  They include muscles that help hold your head up and leaning your head forward to work on your computer all day or scrolling social media all day and night long is going to stress those muscles.  In my case, we were doing a lot more strength training (like we're doing this month) and doing modified burpees that were being done on a folding chair to reduce the amount of body weight but it was still a trauma to go from reverse lunges to slamming half of my body weight down on...you guessed it...my traps.    So how can we keep ourselves from getting text neck or making sure we're treating our traps with love?

1)  Focus on good posture and keep your shoulders away from your ears.  If you're like me when you're typing and get into it, your neck disappears.  Sit up straight, shoulders down and no shallow breathing.  Also, make sure your desk is ergonomically aligned.  If you work in an office, most places do ergonomic assessments for this very reason because they know if you develop health issues related to a poorly set up desk, they could be in hot water.  If you work from home, this guide could give you the start you need to keep everything in line.

2)  Stretch!

Sounds so simple, doesn't it?  But these stretches done a few times a day can keep head, neck, and pain between shoulder blades at bay.

Head to Shoulder Stretch- With your shoulders relaxed, gently tilt your head to the side so your ear leans toward the shoulder. Switch sides. Hold the position for 10-15 seconds.

Diagonal stretch- Gently lean your head diagonally forward so your chin leans toward the opposite shoulder. Hold this position for 10 to 15 seconds then switch sides.

Chin to Chest Stretch- Gently drop your chin toward your chest. Hold the stretch for 10 to 15 seconds.

Shoulder Rolls-  Roll your shoulders forward for 15 counts and backward for 15 counts to keep the shoulders loose and limber.

Exaggerated Shoulder Shrug-  I love this one.  While you can do regular shoulder shrugs just to loosen some of the tension from the day, this one works best for me, especially first thing in the morning.  I lean forward while sitting on the edge of the bed so my chest is on my thighs.  Then I shrug my shoulders as close to or in line with my ears.  I usually hear some good snap, crackle and pops in there.

Arm Across the  Chest Stretch- Place your right arm across your chest, with the elbow slightly bent. With your left hand, grip the right arm just above the elbow.  Gently pull the arm across the body until you feel a stretch in the middle of your back.  Hold for 30 seconds, and repeat on the other side.

You can also get a tennis ball and stand against a door frame.  Place the ball in the middle of your back roll the trap muscles up and down to keep things loose.  This is especially relieving after a workout to keep things from tightening up and piling on the tension in those muscles.


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