MISSG180   117,786
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MISSG180's Recent Blog Entries

Not feeling the need for speed

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

So I'm 11 days into a personal commitment to go to the gym every day for 100 days. So far I have made it every day, and I'm swimming a lot more, which is important for the upcoming triathlon season. I'm actually enjoying it quite a bit now that I'm getting into the swim routine. Today, though, was supposed to be weight training and treadmill. I did great on the weight training--45 minutes of lifting. Then I looked at the treadmill and felt like I was going to throw up. I just could NOT make myself get on the thing. I walked around the gym for a few minutes, trying to psych myself up, but it was not happening. So I packed it in and left.

I just can't get enthusiastic about jogging/running. Which is kind of bad for triathloning. And I'm committed to a 5 MILE event with my daughter on Saturday. I expect that she will finish, then come back for me about 2 miles in and cheerlead me the rest of the way. I wish I could get enthused about running. I love to walk, and even jog outside. That treadmill, though. It's torture.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

DOGLADY13 3/12/2014 10:37PM

    Not wild about the dreadmill either. Lots of tunes blasting in my ears helps. Playing games helps, too. (Run slow for 2/3 of the song and then really fast for 1/3, for example.)

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NATPLUMMER 3/12/2014 12:42PM


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HILLSLUG98239 3/11/2014 10:14PM

    Treadmill is awful. The weather has to be beyond horrible to make me willing to run on a treadmill longer than a few minutes.

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MARILYNROBERT 3/11/2014 9:41PM

    I'm proud of you for making it to the gym despite not feeling like going earlier. You adapted your plans once there but that's sometimes needed to keep us going.

I was a runner first, biker second, swimmer third but because a constant running injuries, due to faulty conformation, over time, most of my workouts revolved around more biking and masters swimming than running. I ended up having my fastest running times ever, in my late 30s because of that change.

Maybe you can run 3 times a week but make those 3 runs really count and concentrate more on your running and biking. BTW, my weight lifting was also very important in addition to my biking and swimming, in allowing me to become a better triathlete and runner, with less running.

Those were the days...now at 58, I've faced the fact that running is out forever because of my feet and knees, but I'm walking, biking, and weight lifting. emoticon

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100 days of All The Things: 10%

Monday, March 10, 2014

Well, I promised not to talk about this project all the time, but I am planning to report in every 10%.

Gym: So far, I'm 10 for 10 on getting to the gym, which was the one about which I was most concerned. But it was also my highest priority. I am focusing a lot on swimming because it was my weakest leg in last summer's triathlons. I am still slow, but I'm getting in the water. As we move into outdoor exercise weather and I start biking and running outside, I will still be going to the gym for strength training on those outdoor days.

Cooking: I've cooked, but not every day. I was out of town this weekend and missed Friday-Sunday.

Reading: I've read every day.

Practicing Italian: About 50% successful in getting this done.

Journaling: I missed Saturday because I was completely away from the computer, and yesterday because I was just plain tired. Otherwise, good.

Crafting: Not. One. Darned. Day. There are only so many balls I can keep in the air. This ball has fallen to the ground and rolled under a table.

In all, I'm pretty happy. Not perfect, but I'm getting a lot more done. We'll see how the next 10 days go!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

DOGLADY13 3/12/2014 10:39PM

    These goals are for our improvement and we need to challenge ourselves to stick to them. But there are times when you just can't. It doesn't mean you failed. That was a hard lesson for me to learn. But you seem to have a good perspective on it.

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MANDYLOVE_76 3/12/2014 2:45PM

    You are on a roll.

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LUCKYDOGFARM 3/10/2014 11:26PM

    You are doing great! Keep it up!

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ROMAN8 3/10/2014 5:37PM

    Excellent! I'm doing some similar things - trying to fill my life with interesting activities that don't have to do with food. I think it really helps!

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MARILYNROBERT 3/10/2014 5:36PM

    You are doing great! And you have an awareness of why you may or may not have done certain things and that allows you to know that you are keeping your life "doable" which keeps you from letting guilt creep in when there was no reason for it.


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NATPLUMMER 3/10/2014 4:21PM

    You're going great!!

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Hypersensitive, or legitimately irked?

Friday, March 07, 2014

Lifted at the gym yesterday. I'm a little miffed. I was using the cross-cable machine, and had just switched to an exercise that only required one side when one of the personal trainers came in and started using the other side with his client without asking if they were interrupting me. I didn't say anything, but a little while later he went back to it when a man was using it. He stopped to check in with the man that they weren't interrupting his routine. Now, it might be that he was just concentrating the first time and realized his gaff afterward, which is why I didn't make a deal out of it. But if it happens again, you can bet that I will speak up!

The thing is, I know that dismissive treatment happens to women in gyms, particularly around the weight room. It's not that unusual to see some guy's eyebrow go up when I skip by the small, pastel-colored dumbbells and reach for the regular weights. And to be honest, not many women are putting in much time in the weight room there. Which is a pity, because lifting is so good for women.

I don't like feeling paranoid. But if this trainer treats me in the same way again, he and the management are all going to experience a "teachable moment."

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

DOGLADY13 3/12/2014 10:41PM

    You go! Even with all the work I do in the weight room, I get intimidated on days when I'm not with the trainer and for the same reason.

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You teach them if they need teaching!!!

emoticon emoticon

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CHUBBY_MOM 3/7/2014 7:34PM

    Good for you for using the weights! I hope it was an oversite on the trainers part! I feel so intimated at the gym when I try to use the weights, with all the jocks hogging the weights and the grunting and growling they do, it's like the want to make sure to scare the unjocks away!

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HILLSLUG98239 3/7/2014 7:23PM

    You're kinder than I.

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LUCKYDOGFARM 3/7/2014 6:43PM

    I probably would have been miffed right off the bat. Not even thinking that it was a male/female issue. Just a you are in my space issue.

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NATPLUMMER 3/7/2014 2:32PM

    I think you were wise to wait to see if it happens again. It would certainly piss me off.

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The problem with fitness sites.

Thursday, March 06, 2014

I have been an active member of Spark People for a couple years now. I like the point system, and that it's nicely all-inclusive for tracking fitness and food. I like the groups and support.

What I don't like about Spark, and other sites like it, is the emphasis on weightloss. On a regular basis I find myself encouraging people to not give up on their fitness goals. What almost always triggers their despair? The scale isn't moving.

Study after study has shown that permanent weightloss is achieved by only a small percentage of people who embark on a diet program. That, in fact, losing weight and then regaining it is not only bordering on inevitable, but that people often gain back as much as they lost and more. And that when they gain all that weight back, they don't regain the muscle mass they lost in their weightloss efforts, so they actually have a higher percentage of body fat than they did before.

The evidence is clear: dieting in the leading cause fatness. The more our society has been inundated with diet plans, the fatter we've gotten. And the unhealthier.

What does contribute to good health? Good eating habits, and physical activity. For some people, this will lead to weightloss. For others, it will not. And that's the part that these fitness sites don't emphasize. Calories in/calories out sounds great, but we aren't machines. Our metabolisms adjust, and we don't all process food with the same level of efficiency. Not everyone will react the same way.

So when people approach fitness with their only goal being to lose weight, they generally go through a short period of elation, and then fall into dejection when the scale stops moving. They think, "what's the point?"

The point is that you are healthier and fitter. Even if you aren't skinnier, you have improved, and can continue to improve, your fitness level. You will feel better, sleep better, and probably live longer. That is worth your effort.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

ROMAN8 3/7/2014 8:00AM

    Here, here! emoticon

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in my opinion, SparkPeople emphasizes weight loss because that's what most people come here for.

once you get here though, you realize (if you fully delve into the site) that they have TONs of resources regarding ...

goal setting
time management
stress relief
quality sleep
motivational stuff ..... and so on

overall, my experience with SparkPeople has been that this site is geared toward a healthy lifestyle and weight loss is only a part of that equation

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LUCKYDOGFARM 3/6/2014 6:47PM

    Weight is just a number on the scale and age is an attitude! Fitness is a key ingredient.

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TTLEELEE 3/6/2014 5:42PM

    Say Dat!! Thank you for the reminder too. emoticon

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NATPLUMMER 3/6/2014 4:31PM


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Full of beans

Wednesday, March 05, 2014

Yesterday we had our gaming group coming for the evening and it was my turn to cook. I was not feeling very inspired, menu-wise, but then while I was on the treadmill at the gym, The Chew was on and they were talking about it being Fat Tuesday and the tradition of red beans and rice. I’ve never made red beans and rice before, but I ticked off the basic ingredient list in my head, realized I had everything for it at home, and figured I’d give it a try.

Part of the reason I had everything for it at home was because I knew I had lots of dried beans. I had lots of dried beans because they’ve come as part of the CSA. And they were still around because I was completely intimidated by dried beans.

You see, I had tried, in the past, to learn how to cook beans. I had soaked them overnight. And the skins split and the beans turned mushy. I had not soaked them. And the skins split and the beans turned mushy. I had tried adding salt, not adding salt, adding baking soda or vinegar. Always with the same result: split skins and mush.

So for a couple of decades, all bean dishes in my household used canned beans. I never bought dried legume more challenging than lentils. I was resigned to the fact that beans were simply beyond me.

But now bags of them were taking up space in my cupboard. And, unlike the occasional fresh produce that doesn’t appeal to me and eventually turns black and slimy in the back of the fridge and then gets thrown out, beans don’t go bad and give you an excuse to toss them. Those bags weren’t going anywhere. They were just perched there, a silent testimony to my culinary failure.

Something had to be done. And that something was NOT going to be making a bunch of corn hole bags with them!

Besides, I now have a pressure cooker. And pressure cookers are supposed to be good at making beans. So I decided to give it a shot. The recipe said to clean and pick over the beans (and sure enough I found a couple stones), then place them in the pressure cooker, cover them with water, and set the cooker for 20 minutes.

At the end of 20 minutes, I released the pressure and found…slightly softened beans. But at least they still had their skins. I added more water, reset the cooker for another 10 minutes, and ended up with beans that were still inedible.

In all, it took 40 minutes of pressure cooking. But in the end I actually had edible, unmushy, jacketed beans. And red beans and rice into which I had substituted chicken and chicken sausage to make it healthier. And so here are the instructions. Disclaimer: this is just what I did in my kitchen, not a tested, professional recipe. It was, however, praised highly by my fellow gamers.

Red Beans and Rice

2 cups small red beans, dry
2 cups water
2 cups chicken stock

2 tablespoons olive oil
2 onions, chopped
6 cloves of garlic, minced
3/4 cup celery, sliced
4 chicken sausage, sliced
4 chicken breasts, diced
1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves
2 bay leaves
1 tablespoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
4 cups kale, roughly chopped
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
Salt and pepper to taste

4 cups hot cooked rice

Cook the beans in the water and stock. Good luck. (Alternatively, you can use canned small red beans, approximately 4 cups.)

Saute the veggies in the olive oil until they are soft and beginning to brown. Add the chicken, the sausage, and the herbs and spices. Cook until done.

Add all that to the cooked beans. Add the kale in batches–it will seem like a lot, but it will cook down nicely. Simmer together for half an hour or so, adding additional water or stock as needed, then taste to adjust the seasonings and add the balsamic vinegar.

Spoon the hot rice into individual bowls, then ladle the bean mixture over the top. Serve with cornbread.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

ROMAN8 3/6/2014 1:54PM

    I really like reading your blogs. You're a really good writer - good storyteller. Congratulations on the bean success and a delicious company meal! I too, have tried to cook with dried beans (they're so darn cheap and good for you) and failed. Didn't consider the pressure cooker. Might have to dust it off...


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NATPLUMMER 3/6/2014 10:18AM


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DOGLADY13 3/6/2014 6:20AM

    I cook beans all the time. I never soak them overnight because it is usually too long. Beans that need to soak that long are old and have probably lost flavor and nutients. I find 3 to 5 hours is plenty depending on the bean.

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LUCKYDOGFARM 3/6/2014 12:00AM

    Sounds YummY!

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MSANITAL 3/5/2014 8:32PM

    I got to try this recipe.. I always thought that the beans where suppose to split when cooked that meant they where done.. or as Amy Berelle on Food network says do the 3 bean test you taste 3 beans and if all 3 beans are done then all of them are.. Hmm

Great blog..

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CICELY360 3/5/2014 8:11PM

  good blog

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RAPUNZEL53 3/5/2014 8:11PM


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