One hour -- that's my goal when I exercise. There's a part of me that wants to extend the hour or nix the rest day. Feel like I can and should go for longer spurts but as I looked over the exercise that I engaged in during 2014, I realized how consistently I'd moved my body. In addition, I continue to be amazed at how my body holds up. It works fabulously and I'm grateful.
I'm satisfied that I met and exceeded my goal of bicycling more this year.
Thoroughly enjoyed outdoor yoga and had fun with new experiences like yoga nidra and the winter solstice celebration.
Alison drew me back into Zumba sometime in April and I've been shimmying ever since...
10 Minute Solution: 5 Day Get Fit Mix
Belly Fat Blaster, 1 x
Cardio Kickboxing, 8 x's
Fat Blasting Intervals, 1 x
Lean Body Sculpt, 2 x's
10 Minute Solution: Butt lift
Cardio Booty Camp, 3 x's
HITT Butt Lift, 1 x
10 Minute Solution: Fitness Ball Workout
Upper Body, 3 x's
10 Minute Solution: High Intensity Interval Training
Pretty much invited myself to Asmira's since her birthday was earlier in the week and I was still in possession of 2013's gift.
Called myself avoiding the dinner hour but...
For Asmira (and Alison), hospitality is high art. I could retreat to either woman's house and feel at ease. Tucked away. Comfortable. Safe.
I started off with the 3.5 cups of green tea -- extra delicious because of the organic honey that I put in there and I don't usually sweeten my tea.
Asmira then offered me cake and cookies left over from her daughter's baby shower and it was a thick piece (not the one below).
Asmira also fed me broccoli and cheese soup which I dunked bread into. Also had cheese and crackers. I later emailed Alison and told her that I was pretty sure that I'd eaten 5,000 calories.
It's been a long time since I've had so much sugar...
I was at the 'Fugee's on Friday and one of her friend's popped in. When he found out that she was having dinner with two people, he stopped by Aldi's, put on an elf hat and delivered these gingerbread situations.
I've also been given Godiva and my aunt made me a personal pan of sweet potato pie.
Body feels better. Right hip is still a little tweaked but all in all the body feels good. I'm pretty sure that The Yoga Bowl helped.
Went to a two hour winter solstice celebration that Alison dubbed The Yoga Bowl since it was yin yoga with singing bowls.
Tibetan singing bowls continue to move me. And yin yoga? Let's just describe it as dull and achy yoga but it definitely worked out tweaks...
I have a stupid cold again. Low-grade but, ugh, just had one last month. I remember a time when I would go two years without having one. The good thing is that I drink more fluids when I'm sick. Wish that I had been eating more of the items on this list.
Alison gave me three Cooking Light books and the chicken noodle soup recipe called my name even before the onset of cold symptoms. I was suspicious of the evaporated milk the recipe called for but I used it anyway because I wanted to follow the recipe on the first outing. Couldn't find my oregano and didn't have poultry seasoning so I used other spices. Definitely pleased with the way the soup turned out.
Left knee occasionally feels like it wants to buckle. Right hip is tweaked. Shoulders are unhappy and, sometimes, my right triceps and neck join the club. Now that I think about it, the right knee is not that happy either.
All tweaks were relatively quiet until I hit Zumba today. The class seemed like it went on forever because I felt knackered early in the game.
When Laura played Lady GaGa's suggestive Christmas song, realized that I had not popped my Christmas CD into the player yet. That's so me to start playing Christmas music after Dec. 25th and, possibly, after the decorations have come down...
Finally got around to taking a salt bath. If nothing else, I got more reading done than I have in a while.
Traveled quite a bit today. Went to revisit one of the resale shops that I had been to. Was not successful in finding pants but did find a top that I really like and it's colorful for once. The top is from Chico's and I can see why my cousin Chiquita likes to shop there.
Also went to The Hill to get stocking stuffers. Haven't been in ages so it was nice to look around. In fact, I'm never seen the statue of Italian immigrants. Also saw a very cute doggie in the window.
The whole holiday shopping thing is interesting. The family really doesn't buy gifts for each other anymore. Most of my folks give away cookies and cakes. Le sigh...
I know that most of my folks have what they need and a lot of the stuff that they want but I still get caught up in the game. In addition, there's always that one person, outside of family, that gives you something unexpectedly.
I do try to give people uncluttered gifts or experience gifts. It's hard not to get swept up in the madness but there is also part of me that likes to give the folks in my life a little something.
Went swimming last night and glad that I did because the pool's closing was off my radar. When I saw the notice about the winter break, I started having withdrawal symptoms. No swimming until next year unless I find a substitute pool.
After the pool went to the store so that I could get ingredients for a quiche. Stopped by the deli and the two ladies started chuckling when I mentioned a switch in turkey flavors. One of the deli ladies actually convinced me to switch. When I told her that the price had gone up on my favorite turkey brand, she remarked What hasn't gone up?
Stopped by the discount bin and saw some Siggi's yogurt that had been discounted to $.50 cents. Wasn't sure if I'd like it so I only grabbed two. Big mistake.
The Siggi's yogurt made the entire post-swimming trip worth it.
Used to think that I could live in Germany because of the chocolate. Now, I'm considering Iceland because of Siggi's. I like Icelandic movies too. That's enough, isn't it?
Used to go to yoga on Monday nights but Monday has turned into the day that I exercise at home then stay put so that I can do chores, gather myself, whatever...
Found a recipe for chickpea burgers and made some on Sunday. I'll have to tweak the recipe because they were totally bland. Probably would have tasted better with red onion on top but I didn't feel like making a trip to the store just for one item. After putting ketchup and a little salt on top, it tasted pretty good. Didn't feel bad about adding salt because I made them with organic garbanzo beans without salt....
One of my New York friends used to jokingly ask me how things were going in Missouriery. It's not feeling like a joke anymore after Mike Brown, Kajieme Powell and Vonderrit Myers.
In addition to the shootings a Bosnian-American, Zemir Begic, was killed by four teenagers (mostly Black) who used a hammer as a weapon.
I was recently told, by the 'Fugee, of a Bosnian woman who was the victim of a hate crime. The story sounded too convenient but still...
Chiquita had on black and royal blue for my aunt's funeral and I wish that I'd been able to find royal blue as well since my aunt expressed an interest in having a royal blue dress toward the end of her life.
The good thing about Chiquita is that she loves to dress up and usually has multiple bracelets and necklaces on and she does it in the most tasteful fashion.
Told Alison how I didn't succeed in finding any clothes and she said that she was no good under pressure either.
Went with my go-to Jones of New York blouse, black blazer and black slacks. I don't do dresses.
Did a tribute for my aunt and I was scheduled after the memorial DVD. Luckily, there was a soloist in between the DVD and my tribute. Otherwise, I don't know if I could have pulled myself together in time. Almost lost it after I said that my aunt never threw in the towel but I recovered even though I started speaking loudly.
After leaving Illinois, stopped downtown to get a chickpea burger then went to the 'Fugee's where we watched Wish I Were Here. A good movie but not a good one to watch when you're grieving. I had quickly watched a YouTube trailer because I wanted to stop by the Redbox since my Netflix movie did not get to the station on time.
As Mike said when we climbed on Wednesday, mortality blows.
Met Chiquita to view the memorial DVD with pictures of my aunt plus family. Hadn't planned on it so I didn't have time to go home and eat lunch.
Kept thinking about what would be suitable to eat from the vending machine and decided to eat some expired (by five months) pear crisps which I almost threw away until my next door neighbor at work reminded me that, not only were they sealed, they were also freeze-dried and that's what I had for lunch and I didn't feel terribly hungry which makes me feel like I'm on automatic and overeating a lot.
The Expired Ones
On Sunday I made a stir-fry and used an Archer Farms' sauce which was too sweet. Otherwise, I haven't been cooking and stopped by Lulu's Local Eatery after work today and got a sweet potato black bean burger. Also got a peppermint mocha cupcake. It was vegan but, yeah, it still had calories.
It's kind of amazing that when I feel like I'm on my best behavior, nothing happens in the weight loss department but when I'm indulging...
Feeling a bit out of control but I guess this, too, shall pass. We'll see how my carpe diem attitude impacts the weight loss.
Met Alison for yoga on Sunday and told her that I'd been looking for clothes. She immediately suggested Lane Bryant, reached into her car to get me a Bryant coupon then started listing a whole host of resale shops. I had forgotten how refugees and immigrants explore every nook and cranny in a town.
After work yesterday, hightailed it to one resale store since they close at 6 and went to another store during my lunch break today. I'm looking for something for my aunt's memorial service.
Sometimes being in love with super casual attire can get you in trouble. I do have a black blazer and a Jones of New York blouse that's really nice but I wear it whenever I'm dressing up and I need a back-up.
I did see two blazers that I like. One was brown with pink flecks but I don't really have anything to go with it and the one that I really liked was a tad bit too tight. The snug blazer came from Chico's so maybe I need to head there.
Did you know that people bury urns? I didn't either.
Seems redundant to have someone cremated then buried.
My aunt Alice is not keen on cremation. Although my aunt, late in the game, said that she wanted to be cremated my aunt Al said that she never expressed it to her and when Chiquita asked Al if she liked an urn with mother of pearl on it, she said I don't pick urns, I pick caskets...
My aunt Al still has her sense of humor though. When we were at the hospital on Wednesday and I discovered how hungry I was, the cafeteria had already closed. Don't you have any yogurt in that bag? she asked. My folks love to joke with me about tofu and yogurt and...
On Thursday, I took sandwiches from Crazy Bowls and Wraps because I didn't know how long I would be away from home. Should have known that my aunt Girt would bring food. Between Crazy Bowls and the soup and cornbread that my aunt G. brought, we were covered.
Several of us ate wraps but there were still a couple left. As I prepared to leave, my aunt Al said You better take this high-priced food home.
Got off work yesterday and headed to the hospital for the extubation of my aunt.
The nurse came to introduce herself and to let us know what was going on then there was the wait for the doctor who finally came to talk with us then there was a shift change and the new nurse had to be oriented.
And there was the visit by the chaplain...
The lights went off in the hallway at 8:30 when visiting hours were officially over and, by 9, I no longer wanted them to do the extubation but, of course, they did.
The doctor had told us that sometimes people last hours or days or weeks but only God knew or something like that.
My aunt didn't breathe at first and then she started breathing but her heart rate was not very good and it all seemed kind of cruel to let someone struggle.
My aunt didn't last an hour.
The chaplain returned...
Chiquita hugged me tight and thanked me for being there 100%. I was not that good but I did try to be Robin to Chiquita's Batman and I guess what matters is that she felt that I was there 100%.
Chiquita was amazing and did everything to make my aunt's last days as comfortable as possible.
My aunt had a wicked case of peripheral artery disease. Her circulation was so poor that she had wounds that wouldn't heal and one of the nurses said that she hadn't seen necrosis that bad in three years. Even though my aunt's quality of life was not great, she really wanted to live. She had no desire to throw in the towel.
The good thing about going swimming when it's cold is that the pool is not crowded.
I did have to psych myself up to get out the door though. Also decided to cut the tags off the swimming suit that I ordered during the summer.
Somehow managed to order a tall even though I thought that I'd duplicated the order down to the color.
The tall is a little spanx-y but I like the extra upper body coverage and I loved swimming without shoestrings holding up my suit. I had also resorted to wearing two suits and that was, literally, a drag. Felt unencumbered and energetic tonight. Maybe my new suit has superpowers...
Inhale as early as possible and for as long as possible.
Try to keep one eye in the water.
Keep your head on the same plane as your body.
from Freestyle Breathing Technique video
If it is in the wrong position, soon everything else will be, too.
In swimming as in life, you gotta get your head in the right place.
from Breathing While Swimming by Coach Dee, Excel Triathletes Blogspot
The greater the distance between your finger tips and your toes, the better.
Have Goggles, Will Swim, The Complete Idiot's Guide to Triathlon Training
In proper freestyle swimming, the head moves with the body to take the breath; it never moves independently. You don’t want any lifting of the chin to take a breath. You don’t want any looking forward or to the side of the pool to take a breath. You want to rotate your head in line with the your body…
Alexia Oven Fries (Olive Oil, Rosemary, Garlic)
Almond Butter, Creamy With Sea Salt (Trader Joe's)
Banana Split SO Delicious Non-Dairy Frozen Dessert Minis (Made With Coconut Milk & Agave Sweetened Center)
Bunny Grahams (Annie's Homegrown)
Chocolate-Covered Peppermint Sticks (Bogdon)
O'Coco's Organic Baked Crisps
Soy Creamy Mini Chocolate Sandwiches Non-Dairy Frozen Dessert (Trader Joe's)
TLC Banana Chocolate Chip Soft n' Chewy Bars (Kashi)
Bahlsen Truffet (Meringue Biscuit with Cocoa Cream Filling and Swiss Milk Chocolate)
Baked Egg Soufflé (Panera Bread)
Barcelona Bar (Hickory Smoked Almonds, Grey Sea Salt...)
Belgian Chocolate Shells (Guylian)
Belgian Mini Cream Puffs
Bionic Apples (Merb's)
Cailler Rayon - 100 g Milk Chocolate with Nougat and Honey
Candied Pecans (Trader Joe's)
Cheese (Swedish Farmer's et al)
Cornbread (Hot Water & Regular)
Duc d'O Belgian Chocolate Truffles
Duc d'O Pralines Patissieres
Fried Anything (Yucca etc.)
German Chocolate Cake
Gooey Butter Cake
Half and Half
High Fructose Corn Syrup
High Maltose Corn Syrup
Ice Cubes (Moritz)
Izze Sparkling Clementine
Jelly Belly Tropical Mix
Krispy Kreme Original Glazed
Lay's Mesquite Barbecue Potato Chips
Lemon Creme Granola Bar (Attune)
LU Le Petit Ecolier Milk Chocolate
Macaroni and Cheese
Manner Mozartwurfel Cubes
McArthur's Bakery Cupcakes, Six Pack
McDonald's Trifecta: Apple Pie, French Fries & Orange Drink
Milk Afrika (Bahlsen)
Mint Meltaways (World's Finest Chocolate)
Nesquik Strawberry Syrup
Sierra Turkey Sandwich (STL Bread CO)
Spiced Sweet Potato Chips (Terra)
Starbucks Java Chip Ice Cream
Sunchips, Garden Salsa Flavor
Sweet Potato Pie
Ted Drewes' Dutchman Delight (Butterscotch, Chocolate, Pecans and Vanilla Custard)
Thai Iced Tea (The King and I)
Three Cheese Organic Pizza (Trader Joe's)
Tiramisu (Edy's Dreamery)
Vegetarian Crispy Spring Rolls (The King and I)
Veggie Chips Potato Snacks (Trader Joe's)
Weissella Soft Gingerbread Cookies, Sugar Glazed or Chocolate Covered
Woolloomooloo Bar (Roasted & Salted Macadamia Nuts, Indonesian Coconut...)
N.Y.L. (New York Laundry): Relaxing, Exercise, Shopping, A Fun Time, Being Seen In, Anything
Navy Blue Speedo Ultraback (RIP: Jan. 2009 to July 2009)
Steamfresh Specially Seasoned Southwestern Corn
Trader Joe's Multigrain & Flaxseed Water Crackers
Wasa thin & crispy rosemary flatbread
The Best Life Diet is not a diet in the usual sense of the word. You don't go on it, then off it as the term diet typically implies. It is, instead, a diet in the traditional sense of the word: a way of eating - for life. It's based on a well-balanced regimen of interesting, satisfying, nutrient-rich, and easy-to-find-and-prepare foods...