NANCYANNE55   100,033
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HIIT Explanation and My Favorite HIIT Method.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

One of the big buzzes in the fitness world today is HIIT, or High Intensity Interval Training. What this means is working at super-high intensities for a short period, then at a lower recovery intensity for a short period, over and over, again for about 20 minutes or so.

There are several advantages to this, but here are my three favorites:

1. It helps to develop your system to be able to do longer, steady-state cardio at a higher intensity, therefore increasing your heart strength. This has the domino effect of burning more of calories during ALL of your cardio sessions, even the longer, steady-state ones.

2. According to studies, it keeps you burning calories longer AFTER the workout than regular steady-state cardio does. (This "after burn", by the way, is referred to EPOC. For the life of me, I can never remember what that acronym stands for.)

3. It gets the misery over quicker.

A good way to get started with HIIT sessions is to do a 3 minute warm-up, then move on to 15 seconds of all-out effort, followed by 1 minute and 45 seconds of a recovery jog pace. Repeat this 2-minute cycle (15 seconds fast, 1:45 jog) until you get to the 20 minute mark, then do a 2-minute cool down.

Over time you can increase the work phase by 15 seconds and decrease the jog phase by 15 seconds, until you get to a minute of each. This is very effective. It also starts to get boring.

So here is a HIIT plan I adapted from something I read in one of my fitness publications. The beauty of it is that as your strength increases, your pace will, too. It grows with you. I'll post it like you are on a bike, but you can adapt this for any piece of cardio equipment:

- Start through 3:00- Warmup

- For each minute through 8:00, increase the intensity by 1-2 levels, keeping your RPM's between 60 and 70. By the time you get to minute 8:00, you should be struggling to keep your RPM's in the target range of 60-70.

- 8:00-10:00 Lower the resistance to your warm-up level and free wheel at a recovery jog pace.

- 10:00-11:00, move the level up to what your highest level was in the first round (minute 7:00-8:00) and pedal as fast as you can. (This should be REALLY hard by the end of the minute- Push through!)

- 11:00-12:00, back to recovery jog level/pace

- Repeat those two minutes (1 minute hard as possible at highest level with 1 minute recovery) four more times. This should bring you to 20:00 on your timer.

- 20:00-22:00 cool down.

At this point, you should be dripping in sweat and more than ready for the blessed cardio session to end already. If you aren't, you didn't work hard enough.

And if you were able to keep up with an episode of "I didn't know I was pregnant" while doing this routine, you weren't working hard enough, either. :-D

I'd recommend giving at least 48 hours between HIIT sessions. Especially to start. Or at least switch machines frequently. Just like any other exercise strategy, mixing it up is always the safest thing for the body. While it's a wonderful form of cardio, I've found HIIT can be pretty taxing on the system and injuries are more likely if there is not adequate rest between sessions.

Let me know what you think!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

CCSDESTINY 2/18/2013 8:02AM

    LOVE it! Best way to shed the fat for sure!! (:

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1TOBFIT 1/26/2013 2:41PM

    Great info ! EPOC is something post oxygen consumption but I forget what the E is for..I guess I could google

I also like #3 the best

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ASHPATCH11 1/25/2013 4:11PM

    I love HIIT! here is one for you 100 burpees in 10mins or less!
works everything and you will be covered in sweat!

Comment edited on: 1/25/2013 4:12:55 PM

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GETSTRONGRRR 1/20/2013 12:38PM

    Sounds like a good plan. I'm an HIIT fan for cardio in between lifting days. I vary it between bike, elliptical, rower, etc.

Not sure if you have any interest, but for me HIIT is always easier with music. I took a chance on this website to download some tunes where the guy has varying types of intervals (30 sec on with 30, 60, or 90 sec rests, 60 sec on with 60 & 120 secs off, etc).

The audio cues are what sold me. I hear "get ready in 1, 2, 3, sprint" and "you're halfway through your rest period", "you have 4 intervals left" etc)

When going all out, I've found the audio cueing to help keep me on track.


Good blog!

Comment edited on: 1/20/2013 12:50:37 PM

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IRP1114 1/18/2013 6:26PM

    Thank you for the info! It is so true hiit builds up endurance. I have had a favorite routine that I can squeeze in first thing in the morning on the treadmill after warming up 5 min I do 30sec sprints then 20squats right on the treadmill followed by 90sec recovery repeating 3-8 times (depending on time) increasing the incline after each one starting on incline 3 for the first sprint. I have been mostly doing this and not very many long runs. In months really. I mentioned this to you before but I was limiting miles to try and focus more on building.
Point is this week I just ran for stress release running until I ran out of time or energy and ended up running 8miles straight. Not fast of course but I did not feel tired. I do believe it was the longest run straight ever. I may have done longer before but with breaks. So you are right about how it can build endurance :-)!

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BANKER-CHUCK 1/18/2013 1:18PM

    Now that I am back on the exercise wagon, I plan on HIIT workouts. I will use HIIT coupled with interval C25K workouts. I have some weight-loss goals I want to hit and cannot do it by diet alone.

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HDHAWK 1/18/2013 8:24AM

    Thanks for sharing this Nancy! Looks good!

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ROCKMAN6797 1/18/2013 7:31AM

    I truly "hate" HITT LOL
I find when I do this type of training my body is literally drenched with sweat, gasping for breath, but feeling so exhilarated! The calories you burn in such a time period is amazing. Finally, make sure you have some very inspiring music on your iPod, it helps tremendously when you need to push your body.

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MAMAJAHMAI 1/17/2013 8:42PM

    Excellent article!! Point 3 is my favorite reason lol.... I Struggle with cardio.....Thanks for sharing emoticon

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Respect Your Limitations

Friday, December 28, 2012

I so admire the people who can keep weight off without logging food. How much more convenient life must be without having to write it all down! But I'm not one of them.

Rarely can I let junk food in the house. It's just to hard for me to keep my mitts (and tongue) off of it.

I've had people question and challenge me on both of these issues. In years gone by I have let others bully me into bringing foods that were not in my best interest into my home when I knew I wasn't strong enough to resist them. I've also felt ashamed that I planned to log my food even after I lost my weight, despite knowing it would help me to maintain, because someone told me that wasn't a realistic way to live.

But not anymore: These are two limitations I've had to acknowledge and respect about myself.

I have a friend who finds it necessary to does better when she pays a trainer/coach to help her get and stay fit. It's something she has to work into her budget to stay successful. She's not weaker than anyone else. Quite the opposite: She is strong enough to recognize and respect her own unique needs and then implement them.

Another person I know finds it necessary to attend Weight Watchers meetings and weigh-in on a weekly basis in order to stay in maintenance mode.

Some do best avoiding restaurants; others can't stay home because they eat out of boredom. Some have superior results t if they plan their meals ahead, while others will rebel and overeat if their foods are strictly dictated: These folks see more success with a little (or a lot) more give in their eating plan. Still others do better if they avoid things like white flour or sugar all together, while some reach their goals better when they can indulge a little from time to time.

Your picture of success will not look like that of anyone else. This is a good thing and as it should be. You have to be true to your personality and respect your own limitations. Maybe these boundaries will change with time. Maybe they won't. But for lasting success in the weight loss and fitness game, you are going to have to be honest and true with yourself about what works for you.

If someone else doesn't like it? Well....... Let them eat cake........

Or not......

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

KARENE10 2/17/2013 11:30AM

    Great Blog! So true! I was a WW lifetime member and as soon as I stopped going to the meetings I gained the weight back. You HAVE to do what works for you.

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IRP1114 1/12/2013 7:20PM

    Great blog! I am still learning what works for me.

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SYNCHRODAD 1/10/2013 3:02PM

    Your blog is illuminating. What do I need to do to keep me on the good track? The "whatever it takes" for me needs me to tailor it for me. Seems like a very self focused statement, but I am not a marathoner (wanna' be), I am not lean by nature, I am a senior citizen (can't do the 30 something things that work for 30 somethings). Thank you for the encouragement!

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BEYOURBEST1 12/31/2012 8:04AM

    Great blog.

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AMANDAUNBIDDEN 12/30/2012 9:39PM

    LOVED this blog!! Weight management is such a personal thing yet people get so passionate about it that they feel they must advise you on what you should and shouldn't do. Not good. Everyone is different and needs different things to be successful. Everyone should find the things that work best for them. emoticon

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BANKER-CHUCK 12/30/2012 6:01PM

    Once again you have words of wisdom. I have set January 2nd as my D-Day for a kitchen and pantry clean-out day. So many "taboo" food items have entered onto the premises over the past 3 months, to many trips for fast-food, and not logging in my foods. When I get off of my routine of logging all foods and exercise my weight creeps up.
Looking for a healthier and fit 2013. Good luck to you and your goals.

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HOLLY255255 12/30/2012 9:35AM

    I lost my weight 5 years ago and I still log my food most days! If I don't, I tend not to pay attention to what I eat... that is my shortcoming. We didn't lose the weight the same way as others and we won't maintain the weight the same way as others! Knowing your own weakness is definitely a strength.

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SCOUTMOM715 12/29/2012 7:20PM

    emoticon blog!!

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MISTY4U 12/29/2012 12:36PM

    What a great subject. I feel the need to log my food as well. I do tend to forget the little tastes that I have. But I am trying to do better. I need to look at food as fuel for my body.

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ASHPATCH11 12/29/2012 11:08AM

    GREAT post!!

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FITMAMA_ 12/29/2012 9:41AM

    Great blog NancyAnne!

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GREGINPROGRESS 12/29/2012 8:43AM

    Dealing with interference, criticism and sabotage has been my biggest challenge. I try to be a strong person and brush it off but it's so common that it makes me wonder what the heck is wrong with people in general?

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TRIANGLE-WOMAN 12/29/2012 8:41AM


You can do it! We can do it!

)) -::-
. .))
((. .. Keep Spreading the Spark!-::-
-::- ((.*

Comment edited on: 12/29/2012 8:44:07 AM

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4A-HEALTHY-BMI 12/29/2012 6:43AM

    Damn Straight.

It just kills me when I'm told that "intuitive eating" should be my goal.

My intuition? Is to eat, and eat, and eat, and eat...

A couple of things factor into this, I think.

First, people who have lost half their own body weight tend to need more assistance keeping it off. Our food "off" switches are especially broken; otherwise we would never have gained all that weight in the first place.

Second, people who are trying to stay very very fit for aesthetic or athletic reasons tend to need more assistance because they're asking their bodies to go to places that the "average" person does not.

It was a big eye-opener to me when I happened to browse the Army height/weight tables yesterday, and found out that what I consider unacceptably overweight for me is well within the tolerances for their standards of my gender, age, and height. Plus I have 25% denser bones than average (according to DXA) and probably at least 10 lbs of extra skin.

It appears I'm more demanding of my own fitness than the US Military is of their soldiers.

So, yeah. When I see someone telling the world (or me) to put down the food tracker or "lighten up and have just one" I consider the source. If he or she has lost 30 lbs max and is not trying to get lean, then I understand that s/he has no idea what I'm attempting, and I ignore it. The advice is worthless to me. And generally it's people in that category, or people who could stand to lose a few themselves, who seem to say things like that.

Comment edited on: 12/29/2012 8:46:48 AM

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TIMOTHYNOHE 12/29/2012 12:18AM

    Knowing our limitations is so important. I will not run in a cold rain. Not out of lack of discipline, but because I went seriously hypothermic on a run last year and I was in real jeopardy if I hadn't gotten home soon enough.

I also mad the decision to ditch the upright bicycle. Last year I fell twice. Once caused a torn rotator cuff serious enough that I am still recovering from the surgery 11 months later. The other fall was a concussion. Since that second fall in April I have been on the bike about 6 times. I lack confidence. I turn 60 in 2013 and my balance is not going to improve as I get older. So I am switching over to a recumbent trike. Three points make a plane, right?

But knowing our limitations doesn't mean we have to give up. Just do it differently.

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ROCKMAN6797 12/29/2012 12:17AM

    Somebody was busy getting their thoughts out there! :)
Love the blogs, they ring so true. As you so eloquently stated, you have to find something that works, do it, and keep at it. Thank you for driving these points home!


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MOONSTREAM 12/28/2012 10:35PM

    I don't mind logging the food but HATE looking it up to find it - would rather just write it down. But the exercise I have no problem logging :-) Thanks for the inspiration.

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Accept Your Own Unique Body Type

Friday, December 28, 2012

"I want your abs!".

I get this comment a lot. While I know it's meant as a compliment, some of the people who say this are seriously trying to get abs just like mine. They will write me telling me they've eaten what I eat, exercised like I exercise, and done their level best to emulate me. And still they don't have my abs. They want to know what they are doing wrong.

And here is my answer: Nothing. They are doing nothing wrong.

See, other people doing what I do to get my abs is the equivalent of me doing what Figure Pro Erin Stern does to get her legs. Try as I might, I'll never have Erin's legs, because I am not Erin.

My lower half will always be my weak point, the place where I will always wish I could improve. There are broken veins and even at 10% body fat, when they are looking the best they can, there is always at least a little cellulite. To add insult to injury, at body fat that low there's also saggy skin right under my glutes.

So what's a bottom-heavy girl to do? I capitalize on my abs, arms, shoulders, and back (I have awesome back muscles!). I show these parts off. I hide my legs as much as I need to so that they don't take away from the beauty of my upper body.

This doesn't mean I don't work on my lower body, because I do. I work REALLY hard on it- Not only do I want to see improvement there, but those big muscles also burn the most fat. And I need to keep my fat levels low for the sake of my health. For me it's about more way more than appearance- It's about being healthy and balanced.

But I have accepted that my legs and glutes will never be my strong suit. And you may need to accept that your abs will never be yours. Or whatever body part makes you crazy.

There are parts of your physique you can reshape: My shoulders are naturally very slight. I have worked to build muscle on them to help balance my wide hips. I've built up my back for the same reason. I've added muscle, and therefore definition, to my arms.

But some things (like wide waists, big calves, and bubble butts) can't be changed with diet and exercise. You might be very lean and still have a waist measurement almost the same as your hips, a bust line that is more than generous, or muscular calves that will never fit into a pair of skinny jeans. Like me, you might have to get down to an unsustainable and unhealthy body fat level to get true symmetry to your physique. The sooner you accept that the healthiest thing may for you may not be the most asthetically pleasing, the sooner you will be content with your body.

Change what you can, accept what you can't, aim for health over all, and celebrate the uniqueness of YOU!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MRS.CARLY 1/12/2013 7:44PM

    Great blog!!

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IRP1114 1/12/2013 7:18PM

    Great reminder. We do need to just make the best of what we have!

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AMANDAUNBIDDEN 12/30/2012 9:50PM

    Another great blog!! emoticon I have the hardest time accepting this too.

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JAZZII4 12/30/2012 4:42PM

    emoticon blog!

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HOLLY255255 12/30/2012 9:29AM

    We have to learn to LOVE ourselves!! No one is perfect!!! Good blog!

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TRIANGLE-WOMAN 12/30/2012 8:15AM

    So true. My legs will always be tree trunks, but I feel like my waist and back have potential for a lot of improvement.

Thanks for sharing!

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SCOUTMOM715 12/29/2012 7:23PM

    Another great blog!! So very true!

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    Yes! So true!

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RHONDALYN10 12/29/2012 3:46PM

    This is SO TRUE! What a great blog!
Thank you!

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BOB240 12/29/2012 6:33AM

    I looked at your routine..It's your choice but from an objective, body balance point of view, you focus too much on abs and upper body. Putting in some heavy squats with a barbel might help with the areas you identified.

That's not to say that you don't look great!

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TIMOTHYNOHE 12/29/2012 12:20AM

    Thanks for that reminder. You mean I will never have the arms of Arnold?

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HDHAWK 12/28/2012 9:58PM

    Well said!

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FEELINGFITERIN 12/28/2012 9:42PM

    Such a good reminder... Even the fittest person has areas they want to change. We need to try for our personal best, God made us each unique!

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Don't Jack With Your Program!

Friday, December 28, 2012

You know what I think is one of the biggest reasons people don't lose weight on a program? Because they don't follow the program in it's entirety. They do part of it, but not all of it. They hire a coach and do the exercises he says but don't follow the eating plan. Or do a pretty good job of following the eating plan 5 days out of the week, but go off the rails and eat whatever they darned well please two. Or follow the eating plan perfectly but don't exercise the way he tells you to. Or decide they're going to have rice with dinner even though the coach told them to just have asparagus and fish. You get the idea.

Here's the thing: With most programs, whether they are a company-owned plan like Jenny Craig or a pricey one made by a coach personally for you, your best success is dependent on doing ALL of said program. It's made to work as a whole. You take one part of it out, and like the gears in a watch, either the whole mechanism stops working or it isn't nearly as effective as if you did the program in it's entirety.

Particularly i you are working with a coach, I would advise to put blinders on and just DO it. Don't read Weight Watchers material if you are following Julie Lohre's program. Don't decide it's time to brush up on the Paleo diet or read "The New Rules of Weight Lifting for Women" when you are paying Mike Davies to make a program for you. Why? Because in there somewhere is going to be something that isn't going to be what your coach or program has lined up specifically for you. They have you doing a particular program, either completely made or heavily tweaked for you, because in getting to know you a bit their instinct is telling them it will work. By taking in information from other sources you run the risk of doubting the effectiveness of what they have you doing. And with doubt comes lack of enthusiasm. And with lack of enthusiasm comes lack of adherence. And with lack of adherence comes lack of results. And who wants to pay someone the big bucks to create a program for them and not get results?

Commit to whatever plan you are doing in it's entirety. Focus like a laser beam, block everything else out, and just GO! Pick a plan, follow the WHOLE plan, and stick with it. You'll be the one getting the results while others are saying "This plan just doesn't work for me."

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

IRP1114 1/12/2013 7:15PM

    So true. We need to have patience and give the plan a chance to work giving it 100%.

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AMANDAUNBIDDEN 12/30/2012 9:44PM

    I agree with you and since starting P90X, I am trying to stick to the diet and everything. It's a little harder though because I dont' have the shakes or meal replacement bars but I'm trying to stick to the macro percentages. I know I won't get the best results if I don't.

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HOLLY255255 12/30/2012 9:27AM

    Guilty emoticon
I never follow any of the diet plans from my workout videos. But I did lose weght because I tweaked my own food plan for food that was healthy, easy and that I like.

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TRIANGLE-WOMAN 12/30/2012 8:10AM

    You are very right. I tend to have program ADD and my lack of results speak for themselves.

TIme to pick a plan and stick with it!!

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TIMOTHYNOHE 12/29/2012 12:26AM

    Here I disagree with you. Every plan must have room for flexibility because one size does not fit all. Using the Weight watchers example, I many time had to change things up to jumpstart things when they weren't working anymore. It's like a tool box, but I don't have to use all the tools all the time.

In fact, I think Weight Watchers is the one of the more flexible plans. Paleo, for example, would fit in if I count the points and track everything.

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PEZMOM1 12/28/2012 9:41PM


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JULIA1154 12/28/2012 9:03PM

  I'd been coming to the same conclusion, that I was undermining my commitment (subconsciously) by just reading too many different fitness gurus.

Thanks for spelling it out so clearly and forcefully, Nancy. I think a bunch of us needed to read this!

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1EMMA2011 12/28/2012 8:46PM

    I couldn't agree more. Brilliant.


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PINKNFITCARLA 12/28/2012 8:09PM

    Great advice and so true! Thanks!

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HDHAWK 12/28/2012 7:58PM

    You are so right Nancy. I always want to rush the results and switch things around too often which makes the progress slow down instead. Patience!

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Have You Heard of Baking Eggs Instead of Boiling Them?

Friday, October 26, 2012

I love having hard boiled eggs around, but they can be a pain in the tush to make. The pot can boil over if the eggs break in there, making a horrible mess to clean up; there is a risk of not getting them done enough; and there is always the chance that I'll forget about them and wind up with smelly, exploded egg on the ceiling (now THAT'S a riot to clean up!).

Then I read about baking whole eggs, in-shell, on-line and gave it a try. I gotta tell ya- I was nervous. But amazingly, it worked! I am certainly not the first person to blog about this, but thought I would pass this on to my readers in case they did not know about it.

Here's how it's done:

Preheat your oven to 350F.

Put an egg into each of either a regular sized or mini muffing tin. I have two muffin tins that make 12 muffins each, so I can either cook one or two dozen eggs at a time. (Alternately, you can put the eggs right on the racks in the oven, but if one of the eggs cracks I'd rather clean up a muffin tin than the bottom of my oven.)

Stick the tin in the oven and set the timer for 30 minutes. (Now you have something screaming at you at the end of the cook time, so you won't forget and boil all the water out of the pot and risk your whole kitchen smell like burnt egg shells. Nasty!)

Hang on to your egg cartons- You'll store the cooked eggs in them when they are done.

When the timer goes off, take your eggs out of the oven, but leave them in the tin for 5 minutes at room temp. They will have little brown spots on them, but don't worry about it: They will come off in the next step.

In the meantime, fill something with cold water (I just plug up my sink and turn the water on, filling it enough to just cover the eggs). At the end of 5 minutes, put the eggs into the cold water. (I use tongs if they are still too hot to handle.)

The muffin tin is usually clean still, so I just put it back in my cabinet.

When the eggs have cooled, put them in the saved egg carton. Be sure to mark it, so that you know which eggs are hard boiled and which are not in your fridge. I put an "HB" on the sides of my carton with a sharpie so I can see it easily when I open the fridge.

That's it- Perfectly cooked "hard boiled" eggs without the watch-time and potential mess of doing them on the stove. Yay!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

FEELINGFITERIN 12/28/2012 9:48PM

    I did that for Easter. The whites were kind of speckled with brownish spots, but they tasted fine. emoticon

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GODZDESIGN95 11/28/2012 6:47PM

    Never heard of this. I have head of microwaving them.

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ASHPATCH11 11/14/2012 10:19AM

    sweet thanks gonna try it!

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OPTIMIST1948 10/27/2012 4:53PM

    Is the texture different? Alton Brown says they have a slightly different texture but are easier to peel.

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CHICA_BORICUA 10/27/2012 4:23PM

  I heard that on pinterest and you can freeze them too!

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MIZINA730 10/27/2012 1:47PM

    I have an egg cooker, but it doesn't make 12 or 24 at a time! This allows you to make them perfectly with little mess without another gadget sitting around the kitchen. When mine breaks (I'm on my second one), I won't be buying one! Thanks for posting!

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FITANDFIFTY2 10/27/2012 1:08PM

    Thank you for the info.. never heard of it! Think I will try it n ext time, how quick and easy! emoticon

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PINKNFITCARLA 10/27/2012 1:00PM

    I remember a FB post about these once, but forgot to go back and try it out. Thanks for the reminder!

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BERRY4 10/26/2012 1:58PM

    I've never heard of this option. I guess I can give anything a try... but I will probably stick to hard boiled since I haven't had much of any accidents worth writing home about.
(Yikes! Cleaning them off the ceiling!?!)
Enjoy your weekend! emoticon

Comment edited on: 10/26/2012 1:58:55 PM

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BANKER-CHUCK 10/26/2012 12:41PM

    I may give this a try, I am open to something new. I usually put eggs into a pot and once the water boils I turn off the stove and let the eggs sit for 20 minutes. The eggs come out perfect.

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BROOKLYN_BORN 10/26/2012 12:20PM

    Thanks for sharing this. I'll give it a try. Right now I have an omelet baking in the oven, so why not a whole egg.

Regarding marking them with HB, one funny story. One day I discovered my 4 year old son breaking eggs on the kitchen table making a real mess. He was upset too since he expected them to be hardboiled. "What's wrong", he said, "I wrote the H on them!"

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K-GETTING-FIT 10/26/2012 12:19PM

    Heard of it, but never tried. Thanks for sharing. Will give it a go this weekend:)

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FIXED531 10/26/2012 12:05PM

    When I was in school my mom tried to cook an egg in the shell in the microwave. She did poke a hole in the shell to vent steam, but it wasn't big enough, so I woke to the sound of a grenade going off in the kitchen at 6 in the morning. That was about 30 years ago and I still bring it up on occasion. I like the baked method much better.

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IRP1114 10/26/2012 11:41AM

    Thanks for sharing :-)!

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-POLEDANCEGIRL- 10/26/2012 11:39AM

    I have heard of this but not tried it.... yet

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ROCKMAN6797 10/26/2012 11:07AM

    I have never heard of this....very interesting.
Thanks for sharing!

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GOPINTOS 10/26/2012 11:01AM

    Sounds interesting!! Thanks for sharing!!

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