VHALKYRIE   16,233
15,000-19,999 SparkPoints
VHALKYRIE's Recent Blog Entries

A Base Protein Shake

Monday, July 11, 2011

I've been experimenting more with protein shakes. What I've come up with is a base shake that I can add things to, mix and match.

3 cups SO Delicious Coconut Milk, unsweetened
1 cup Almond Milk, unsweetened
4 scoops vanilla flavored protein powder

The SO Delicious coconut milk is much cheaper than the canned coconut. However, the nutritional content is different. The canned coconut is very concentrated, while the SO Delicious has more water content. It has less fat and protein. I also think the coconut flavor of the SO Delicious is very mild compared to canned coconut.

The Almond milk is just for flavoring, and I had some left that needed to be used up. Could just use all SO Delicious.

The protein powder boosts it to my desired level of protein content.

This is a 'base' for my protein shake. It just serves as the nutritional base, and I'll add other stuff based on what I want. Allows me to vary my shakes so I don't get bored of the same thing over and over. Or allows me to tailor my drinks for additional nutritional content, like bananas for additional potassium.


Calories: 127.5
Fat: 5.0g
Carbohydrates: 3.3g
Protein: 17g

Makes 4 one cup servings.

Put in a pitcher and store in the fridge until ready for use.

I take ripe bananas, cut them in half then freeze them for use later. Preserves the bananas perfectly for smoothies, so they don't go over ripe or bad.

This morning I took 1 cup of the mixure, half a frozen banana (40g), and 2 tablespoons of heavy cream for my protein shake. I blended it together with my Vita-Mix.

This gives me a total calorie content of:
Calories: 264
Fat: 15g
Carbohydrates: 15g
Protein: 17g

Obviously, low-fat people can skip the heavy cream to keep the fat content low.

With the base shake, it is very customizable! Can add other kinds of fruit like strawberries or blueberries. Nut butters would be awesome also.

emoticon emoticon emoticon

My next experiment is seeing if I can make a low sugar/carb pina colada with the SO Delicious!


  Member Comments About This Blog Post:


    Thanks for the tips!!!

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KAKIPOPUP 7/11/2011 2:01PM

    I made a shake this AM with SO coconut milk, a bit of heavy cream, a tablespoon of hershey's dark cocoa powder and protein powder - it tasted good, but will be even better now that I have an immersible blender emoticon

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NAYPOOIE 7/11/2011 11:39AM

    great idea

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I Am No Longer A Statistic!

Saturday, July 09, 2011

Despite the new USDA Food Plate and aggressive campaigning, obesity rates have not fallen in a single US State. In fact, obesity rates are still climbing.


Yesterday I took my bodyfat measurements. While I didn't use the most accurate measurement, it is good enough. No matter what the standard, I am no longer overweight! My bodyfat is 26.6% and BMI is 24.6. Both are considered the high end of "normal".

In my case, my obesity and overweight status were due to eating the wrong kind of calories. When I was obese, I ate horrible fast food and chain restaurants. Overweight, I ate good quality food, just the wrong distribution of carb/fat/protein.

I used to think the problem, particularly in the South, was due to the fatty foods. The BBQ ribs; ham hocks; fried chicken; coleslaw; bacon. Now I know it's a different problem. Sweet tea; sugar in the BBQ sauce; cornbread muffins; breading on the fried chicken; sugar in the coleslaw; pie.

Sugar, sugar, sugar.

When I was obese, I eliminated all simple sugars. Goodbye Snickers candy bars, granulated sugar in the coffee and tea, Coca-Cola, and even fruit juice. I eliminated most junkie carbs like potato chips, too.

That was enough for me to lose enough weight to become overweight. To become 'normal', I reduced carbohydrates to vegetables and fruit only. Grain or starch based carbohydrates like rice, pasta and potatoes only on occasion.

Sugar is toxic. If you have been keeping up with my blogs, you know that I am paying a big penalty for a sugar indulge - lol.

We all know that we have to cut out the simple sugars if we want to lose weight. However, if you are seemingly stuck and can't seem to lose anymore (like I was for 4 years), then try looking at what other forms of sugar might be lurking in your diet. Even whole grain bread gets converted into glucose. So maybe you're not willing to cut it back as far as I have. Just try limiting starchy carbs to one meal a day for a week or two, and see anything positive happens.

Nutritional experts are starting to recommend watching carbs. articles.latimes.com/2010/dec/20/hea

I do not believe this is fate, chance or luck. Fate, chance and luck had no part in my being able to 'beat the odds' since most Americans are still getting fatter. The only factor genetics plays is some of us are more predisposed to store sugar as fat than others.

I do not believe I am an outlier, or special. I believe that all have within us the ability to not be a statistic.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

CHEFSOPHIE 7/11/2011 1:37PM

    Way to go. Great information as well!

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    You are so spot on with your observations. I reached my goal weight last October, only to start slowly gaining back weight again (I am now about 7 pounds above my goal). And that is in spite of training for a marathon.

I think I have let my carbs get the best of me. We need carbs, but not in the ratio I have been consuming. Thanks for this gentle reminder. It gave me a push I needed.

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DDOORN 7/11/2011 10:38AM

    About time nutritionists began to recognize the carb pitfalls!


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KAKIPOPUP 7/11/2011 6:11AM

    we're all "statistics" - but we have a lot of choice about which statistics we are!

Congratulations on your progress - I hope to join you soon!

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KELPIE57 7/11/2011 1:31AM

    Well done! U seem to remember a study in the 70's I think, pure white and deadly.....must try to track it down.

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WILLOWCAT1 7/10/2011 7:41PM

    Nice Blog! Congrats on your success!!!


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ANDREA409 7/10/2011 10:53AM

    emoticon emoticon on the 1 lb. weight loss this week!

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VHALKYRIE 7/10/2011 10:37AM

    Thanks everyone!

PRANA_DANCER: I'm so glad that it has worked as well for you as it has for me. Well done!

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PRANA_DANCER 7/10/2011 9:31AM

    Congratulations! That's an amazing milestone. :)

I don't think I've ever said this, but it's thanks to your blogs that I've been feeling so fantastic lately! I would never have found Mark's Daily Apple and the Primal Blueprint. I would never have started cutting back on my carbs.

Thank you!

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EVOLVEFISH 7/9/2011 10:44PM

    Awesome to be a non-statistic! Awesome!

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FROSTY99 7/9/2011 6:03PM

    Thanks for sharing this info-I am working on cutting the carbs and sugar and this reinforces what I am doing.

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DINGALLSTOO 7/9/2011 4:25PM

    wooohoooo for you! I am still overweight, but better than I was last year. I didn't even grow up in the south, that stuff does taste good.

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Oil of Oregano

Saturday, July 09, 2011

I'm still battling my sinus infection. I'm not sure if I'm getting better or not. I have been able to stave off an ear infection, which is my main worry. I have a malformed sinus duct that keeps my eustachian tube from opening and closing properly. So if it gets clogged up, I'm screwed. I have to take an antibiotic. This is what has screwed me up for the past 30 years, this cycle of getting a relatively minor illness like a cold, and having to take an antibiotic for the resulting bacterial ear infection. The only way I can get permanent relief is to have surgery done, but I can't do it on my current insurance plan. Because it's not life threatening, it's considered an 'elective' surgery. You know. Classified as an optional surgery like a boob job.

I have an allergy to most of the modern antibiotics, like septra, keflex and tetracycline. The only antibiotics that I can take without an allergic reaction are penicillins. As we know, penicillins have been over prescribed and many bacterias now have resistances to them.

I've disregarded naturopathic medicine as 'quack' science for a long time. Then I got to thinking about pharmaceutical sciences. Pharmaceuticals have some pretty serious side effects. They are synthetics. Both my grandmothers lived in an era without such high powered cocktails.

I still use my German grandmother's home remedy of salt water and vinegar gargles at the first onslaught of a sore throat. In cases of minor infections, it is usually enough to halt the progression right there. She used hydrogen peroxide as a first aid antiseptic. It is cheap and effective.

My latest episode is a build up, I believe. I took antibiotics earlier in the year for a deep wound infection. At that time, I didn't pay enough attention to the effects that antibiotics have. They are broad spectrum, and destroy the good with the bad. They are in effect napalm to the gut, and obliterate everything.

Except candida, which is not a bacteria. Candida lives in all of us. They do serve an important function. They eat and break down waste material in our gut. When we die, candida is one of the organisms that break down our bodies. Not pleasant to think about, but it is an important function in the cycle of life.

They have to live in symbiosis with us. We can't avoid it anyway. Even if you managed to get rid of all of them, at some point you will eat food that contains candida, and they will be reintroduced. The good gut bacterias keeps them in check. Some produce hydrogen peroxide as a waste product, which is deadly to candida. Some actually eat candida for food.

If the good bacteria don't keep them in check, they stop being a symbiote and become an opportunistic parasite.

My current sinus infection came may have come from too much sugar over the 4th weekend. However, I have a suspicion there might be another cause. I had a rum punch that didn't quite taste all natural. It probably used a mixer with artificial flavorings.

This is why I'm really picky about cocktails. I do not drink margaritas made from mixes. If they aren't made from real limes, I don't bother. I was not so careful with the rum punch.

So maybe it was sugar, maybe it was artificial flavorings. Or maybe both. My body seems to reject a lot of non natural substances.

I have done a lot of reading about home remedies. One that kept coming up is oil of oregano. It is touted by enthusiasts as a good broad spectrum antimicrobial, good against bacteria AND candida.

I read a blog from a guy who said he tested it on his strep throat. He took a swab of his strep and looked at it under a microscope, confirmed he saw bacteria. Then he added a drop of oil of oregano. He said he saw it literally tear the microbes apart. Sounds good to me. Makes me wish I had my microscope with me!

I bought a small little jar. It was not cheap, but probably about the same as I would spend on a pharmaceutical antibiotic.

I made a hot cup of herbal tea and put a couple of drops in it.

A lot of people say they don't like green tea because it is too bitter. Let me take the opportunity to tell you a few tricks for a perfect cup of green tea.

A lot of people make green tea with boiling water. Green tea is not like Lipton, or English black tea. Boiling water will burn the tea leaves and destroy all of the antioxidant benefits. Boiling water releases tannins from the leaves. This makes it bitter.

1. Get a flavor of green tea you like. I like this "Zen" blend from Tazo. It is green tea, lemongrass, and spearmint. This is perfect comfort tea for my sinus infection.

2. Heat a pot of water, and take it off the heat just before it starts boiling. When it starts steaming, that is hot enough.

3. Pour the water in your tea cup WITHOUT the tea. Put an instant read thermometer in it. Green tea brews best between 120-170F, depending on the tea. Amino acids in the green tea dissolves at 140F.

4. Put a tea infuser in the water at desired temperature. I usually put it in about 140F. Infuse for 1-2 minutes, no more. Green tea is meant to be complex and delicate, not strong.

5. Enjoy!

I put two drops of the oil of oregano in my cup. The oil of oregano smells like my spaghetti sauce! After taking a sniff of the tea and sipping a few, my sinuses cleared up almost immediately. I could breathe through my nose in about 2 minutes.

Will it help cure me? I don't know. But the aromatherapy of the tea and the oil of oregano at the very least relieved some of my symptoms. The white patches on the back of my throat are disappearing. Whether it actually proves to be a good antimicrobial is yet to be seen. However, I can say that there are currently no signs of a build up in my ear. I've been drinking this 3 times per day.

Since it is supposedly an antimicrobial, I am making sure to eat yogurt and take probiotic supplements to restore good gut bacteria. My hope is to wipe out candida colonies, and to reintroduce good gut bacteria.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

VHALKYRIE 7/13/2011 8:34PM

    SHARIBLOSSOM: Wow! That is all really great info! Thanks for sharing! I've finally licked the sinus infection, but by another method. But the oil of oregano was seriously awesome for opening up my sinuses. I added some to my steam vaporizor, and it was better than nasal sprays. I will definitely keep this in my medicine cabinet.

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    I'm glad you're helping to get the word out about Oil of Oregano. My family has used it for nearly 20 years and it has never let us down. We typically take a few drops in orange juice 3 or 4 times a day when we have a flu or sinus infection, although usually we don't get sick at all if we catch it fast and start taking the OoO at 1st sign of illness.

I've used OoO on my babies, they get well very quickly if I rub a few drops into their feet and put their socks on. I do this morning and night and they're usually well in one or two days. Some adults don't like the hotness/taste of the oil, so they can rub it into their feet too if they'd rather get it into their system that way.

For flu & colds, taking it in juice and/or on the feet a few times a day will kill the virus quickly, but sinus infections are especially problematic and can be so deeply embedded. But persistence pays off eventually, AND another good therapy for sinus infections (which I used to get badly) is to do the old-fashioned trick of putting boiling water into a bowl, add several drops of OoO, cover your head w/ a heavy towel and breathe in the steam.

I've read articles about oil of oregano that told of experiments with dengue fever, ebola, and other hemorrhagic fevers and the oil of oregano successfully killed the disease. It is extremely anti-pathogenic. For strep throat or tonsillitis, we usually hold a few drops under our tongue for as long as we can, then swallow the rest w/ or w/o juice---it kills the infection quickly on contact with throat and tonsils. I've also used it to treat a few serious cases of eczema by rubbing into the affected area straight, or adding it to hand cream or olive oil and using it daily until it disappears. Lots of great uses and you can use your imagination!
emoticon emoticon

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CHEFSOPHIE 7/12/2011 2:42PM

    Thanks that is really interesting.

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TAMMYB523 7/10/2011 12:08PM

    You know another good natural therapy is sinus rinsing. There's a company called NeilMed that sells a sinus rinse system that's very effective. My aunt rinses her sinuses twice a day and it helps keep her free from sinus infections which can easily send her to the hospital. I'm going to try oil of oregano. It sounds great. emoticon

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CATLADY52 7/9/2011 7:07PM

    Very intriging. The natural remedies have been shown to work.

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    Hmm... I might have an inner ear thing going because of occasional dizziness and plugged ears. I am going to have to try the oil of oregano. I am so thankful for all your research!! LOL

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PETUNIAPIG 7/9/2011 11:09AM

    You're exactly right about the tea! I took a short tea-making class a few years ago and they talked at length about the correct water temp and steeping time. It's amazing the difference it makes in taste if you make it correctly.

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ANDREA409 7/9/2011 10:44AM

    I'm a fan of oregano oil. And cilantro oil. I did my research project on the anti-microbial effects of secondary metabolites produced by cilantro. I set up assays to see which species of bacteria/yeast this stuff was potent against. It was really great to see the results! And I know there is no way I was able to get mine as concentrated as the industrial techniques can. This stuff is gold!

Thanks for the tea tips. I've never liked tea, but I've been wanting to start drinking it for awhile, because of the benefits it provides. I've been drinking a lot of green smoothies lately, which do seem to make me feel better. I'm really in awe of what plants can offer us. I loved my plant biochem class!

I'm going to try the tea like you recommend and let you know what I think!

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LATTELEE 7/9/2011 10:40AM

  Wow! a lot of information.

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I lost my bowling ball!

Friday, July 08, 2011

I've done it!

Four years ago, I joined Spark on July 3, 2007. I weighed 135.

12 weeks ago on April 20, 2011, I weighed 135.

Today, I weigh 125! 10lbs! That's like losing the equivalent of my bowling ball! I'm no longer carrying my bowling ball around on my hips while hiking!


So what happened 12 weeks ago? I discovered I was eating the wrong kinds of things for my body. I used to think a calorie is just a calorie, and as long as I stayed in my ranges, I would lose weight.

Here's an example of my diary when from before.

February 10, 2009:

Breakfast: Whole banana, fat free Yoplait yogurt, Kashi cereal: 325 calories
Lunch: Chicken salad sandwich, kettle chips: 490 calories
Dinner: Chicken Noodle soup: 152 calories
Snack: Trail mix bar, cashews: 470 calories

Calories: 1437
Carbs: 191
Fat: 59
Protein: 48

February 2, 2010:

Breakfast: Plain Greek yogurt, Kashi cereal, blueberries: 175 calories
Lunch: White rice, black beans, and salsa: 348 calories
Dinner: Flank steak, mashed potatoes, and collards: 439 calories
Snack: Almond butter, apple, and banana: 453 calories

Calories: 1414
Carbs: 207g
Fat: 35g
Protein 82g

This was a good diet, I thought. I stayed within the Spark ranges. Why couldn't I lose weight?

Over the past 4 years, I have lost about 5 pounds and regained the same 5 pounds. My net weight loss over 4 years was 0. My average weight during that time? 135.

Well, calorie is a calorie it didn't work. It does matter what those calories are made of.

Here is what I ate on June 22, 2011:

Breakfast: 4% fat Cottage cheese and apple: 154 calories
Lunch: Pork tenderloin roast, romaine lettuce, tomato and dijon mustard dressing: 202 calories
Dinner: Grass fed beef top sirloin, steamed asparagus with a pat of butter, and a glass of red wine: 594 calories
Snack: Homemade yogurt, rainier cherries, cashews: 221 calories

Calories: 1171
Carbs: 47g
Fat: 60g
Protein: 86g

I've fine tuned it to 5 smaller meals.

July 7,2011

Breakfast: Almond coconut protein shake and homemade yogurt: 319 calories
Lunch: Romaine lettuce, celery, cucumber, hard boiled egg, smoked salmon and homemade ranch dressing: 349 calories
Dinner: Baked crispy chicken, mixed vegetable salad, steamed kale with toasted sesame and garlic, and glass of red wine: 221 calories
Snack #1: Guacamole with celery and cucumber sticks: 78 calories
Snack #2: Hard boil egg and a slice of brie: 117 calories

Calories: 1133
Carbs: 56g
Fat: 59g
Protein: 70g

The composition of my calories makes a whole lot more difference, than the total. Some might say I was eating 1400 back then and closer to 1200 now, and that is why I'm losing more weight. That could be true. However, the way I was eating before, I was always hungry. 1400 calories wasn't satisfying. Now I feel sated on 1200 calories. I am never hungry. I eat when I am hungry, and stop when I am sated. That does not mean stop when I am full or stuffed! I have been able to follow an intuitive eating pattern. If I'm not hungry, I don't eat. If I am running low on energy, I eat. That is different than the stark raving mad, lunatic hunger from before.

In either case, calories in - calories out didn't work. I should have lost weight either way, and I didn't. I only lost weight when I changed my calorie composition.

I assure you I have lost no muscle. In fact, I have *gained* 2 lbs of muscle! With zero weight lifting!

Here is my exercise routine:

Elliptical: 30 mins 4x per week, 65-75% max heart rate, high resistance, low cadence
Everyday: 10-15min Squats with arm raises, lunges, plank, bicycle crunches
Weekends: 2 hour stroll on the beach, leisurely bike ride or casual hike

Yesterday I put my keys in my shorts and my shorts nearly dropped off my hips! Time to retire those shorts!


  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MYLADY4 7/9/2011 11:54AM


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VHALKYRIE 7/9/2011 8:51AM

    Thanks, everyone!

JOAN_HEO: emoticon

This is why I don't understand the dietary recommendations. If people are struggling, why not recommend they try the diabetic plan? Even if people aren't clinically insulin resistant, difficulty losing weight can be a sign of minor insulin resistance, such as in my case. I don't understand why a lower carb diet is safe for diabetics, but not for anyone else, as their logic goes. It doesn't make sense. Why wait until it when it has already become a serious problem?

Congrats on reversing your type 2 diagnosis! Woohoo!! I agree that sticking with the same thing is the best course of action. Good job!

Comment edited on: 7/9/2011 8:51:57 AM

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JOAN_HEO 7/9/2011 8:44AM

    When I read your blog title I pictured you accidentally dropping your bowling ball over the side of your kayak! Then I thought, "Why on earth would she take her bowling ball kayaking?" Okay, it's early yet! Then I read your blog! =)

I have a friend who always thinks of 10 pounds as a bowling ball so I can totally understand! Congratulations!

Then I got to thinking that if everyone signed on to Spark's diabetic program, their food tracker tells you how you should divide up the calories. I did that because I had to a year ago when diagnosed with Type 2. I am no longer type 2 (I am NO type now! Whooohoo!) but will continue to keep that same calorie balance.

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IMNENA23 7/8/2011 2:03PM

    You are doing the right thing! Your diet sounds very low-carb! Keep up the good work! Feels great, doesn't it?

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BEARCLAW6 7/8/2011 1:23PM

    Months ago, someone posted a list of what things weigh and then asked us all to say what we had lost the equivalent of. I love that you can not carry one free bowling ball around!

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ARCHIMEDESII 7/8/2011 11:34AM

    emoticon !! emoticon !! emoticon !!

Hmm... what other emoticons can I use to congratulate you on losing your bowling ball !!! Hey, look at it this way, you lost a kettlebell too !!!


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KATBOXJANITOR 7/8/2011 10:35AM

    Don't you love 'losing' your shorts that way?


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KELPIE57 7/8/2011 10:20AM

    Well done....I have a ball or two to lose!

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BEANBYDESIGN 7/8/2011 10:12AM

    Congrats! This is so awesome!

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ANDREA409 7/8/2011 9:59AM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon
What a victory, Cathy!!!!

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Group Classes at the YMCA

Thursday, July 07, 2011

Since my fiance and I moved to Georgia, I've been a bit isolated. I work from home, which means I haven't had much opportunity to meet new people and make new friends. As an introvert, meeting new people and being a social isn't exactly my strong point. Some people, like my best friend, can just walk up to a stranger and make a new friend instantly. Me? Not so much. I'm just weird or something - lol.

I've been meaning to join a group exercise class for some time so I can hopefully meet new people, as well as have some fun. Just having something to do on a regular schedule would be good for my well being, if nothing else.

I was able to save a ton of money on membership by getting on fiance's work YMCA discount. My membership has finally been processed, so I can show up at any time.

Once I'm over this darn illness.

I've decided that I want to do a spin class and pilates class. Spin class is Tuesdays at 6:15pm, and pilates is at 10am Fridays. Currently I'm thinking of doing them on alternating weeks, especially starting out. Start with spinning on July 12, then pilates the following week on July 22.

The Y also has a pool that hopefully I can swim laps. We have a pool at my apartment, but kids playing and people socializing make it difficult to get actual laps in. I know, I know. I just complained about lack of socializing, now I'm complaining about socializing. Well, I want to swim laps!

I'd like to do Zumba, but unfortunately, there isn't a class available at a time I could do.

What group exercise classes do you do? Any tips for a newbie?

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

ARCHIMEDESII 7/8/2011 2:04PM

    It's true. some spinning instructors don't know how to deal with students who have knee issues. This is why it's important to get to class early and let the instructor know that you are new. They will help set you up on the bike.

Most problems that occur with knees from spinning is because your seat wasn't set correctly for your height and leg length. When you peddle on the bike, your knee needs to be directly over the ball of your foot. That puts your knee in a 90 degree angle. that's the proper angle for your knee to be when cycling.

If your knee is too far ahead of your toes or behind the ball of your foot, that puts your knee at a bad angle. That's when a person feels pain i.e. because your knee is out of alignment.

Now regarding high resistance. When a person takes a spinning class, it should mimic a ride outside. So, your instructor should take you over flat roads, muddy roads, hills, mountain climbs, etc... If you were to ride up a steep hill, you'd notice it was harder to peddle. Normally, you would drop your gear to allow you to peddle at a higher cadence.

However, when your in a flat room, the way an instructor simulates a climb up a hill is to increase resistance. When I teach a hill, yes, I tell students to increase resistance and decrease cadence. Can this cause a problem with your knee ? Depends on your knee. If you have pre-existing knee issues, you may want to drop the resistance to something lower.

Here's the thing about spinning bikes, some don't have numbers on the resistance knob. It's all rate of perceived exertion because you're NOT supposed to be competing with the person beside you. You turn the knob to increase the resistance to what you feel the level should be.

Your instructor will teach you about "zones". Where your resistance will be will depend on what zone you're supposed to be in during the ride. example, zone 3. zone 3 is challenging and a little uncomfortable. How would I describe riding in zone 3 ? You're late for a meeting. How fast do you have to move to make that meeting ? There's a sense of urgency when you ride. What level of resistance is zone 3 ? In general, it's a level 7 or 8 out of 10.

What's level 7 on a bike that has no numbers ? Rate of perceived exertion. You determine what your level 7 out of 10 is for that day. Because it will be different from day to day and it's different than the person next to you.

Mostly, I wouldn't worry... I'm sure I've sufficiently confused you. LOL !!!

Just go and work at your OWN pace. Don't feel you have to do what everyone else is doing because learning the choreography does take time and practice. I tell my new students that if they ever feel tired or winded, drop their resistance and just sit and ride. Don't ever come to a stop while peddling quickly. slowly reduce your peddling until your heart rate has come down. then you can stop the bike i.e. when your heart rate isn't working like a Kawaski motor.

Don't worry !! Just have fun !!! trust me !!

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4A-HEALTHY-BMI 7/8/2011 12:50PM

    Even with padded shorts the seat can be painful. It depends on how much cycling you've been doing lately...

About the knee stress, if you experience any issues, go with lower resistance and higher cadence. This article recommends a cadence between 60 and 80 rpm.


On a spin bike I like to keep it between 80 and 120 unless I'm doing a super hard standing climb, when the cadence can be as low as 50 rpm if I'm really maxing out.

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VHALKYRIE 7/8/2011 11:37AM

    DEMURALIST: I'll try to be consistent. Thanks!

4A-HEALTHY-BMI: Good call on the seat! I plan to take my padded cycling pants. I'm confused about some of the things you're saying, but I'm sure it will make sense when I get there! I noticed there is a 'beginner' class at a different time. Not sure if I can make it work with my schedule, but might be a good idea to try one week.

Comment edited on: 7/8/2011 11:38:05 AM

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4A-HEALTHY-BMI 7/8/2011 8:01AM

    Some additional suggestions:

Get a gel seat cover for when you start spinning. It takes several weeks for the butt to get used to the seat...

Seated climbs (high resistance, low RPM) are really hard on the knees. If you discover stiffness and/or pain in either knee the day after a spin class, next time ease up on the resistance and go at a higher RPM next time. Or else stand or hover when they do those climbs (and get your butt off your seat).

I have arthritis in one of my knees and a lot of spin instructors don't know how to take care of knees. You are under no obligation to do high resistance at a low RPM, seated. Pay attention to your watts if your bike shows that.

Zumba is too hard on my knee so I don't do that. I do a body pump class though, and I like it.

Have fun!

Comment edited on: 7/8/2011 8:13:06 AM

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DEMURALIST 7/7/2011 9:17PM

    I have found it is easier to meet people in a class like that if you go regularly, even if you start really slowly and take lots of breaks they tend to be very supportive and friendly. And if you miss a week after you have gone for a few they ask about you when you get back. Yoga people and the elderly (I took a few silver sneakers classes at the Y when I was going) are the best! (at least at my Y) Good Luck!

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VHALKYRIE 7/7/2011 4:54PM

    LOL!! Thanks for the tip on avoiding the injured birds. ;) I hadn't thought of that!

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JECKIE 7/7/2011 3:54PM

    I've never done spinning (because Archimedes is too far away! hah!)

I've done Pilates (loved it!), Body Pump (awesome workout), yoga (hated it, but that's because I've lost my sense of calm somewhere, so it's too slow for me), and kick boxing (hated the teacher). A lot of it is about the teacher.

Just give them all a shot and see what you like! You'll learn things like who to stay away from because they flail about like an injured bird LOL! and who to stand close to because their energy rocks.

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VHALKYRIE 7/7/2011 3:39PM

    All sounds good to me!

And I don't doubt yoga is strength. Plank is a totally awesome core exercise!! I do that every day!

Comment edited on: 7/7/2011 3:44:50 PM

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ARCHIMEDESII 7/7/2011 3:37PM

    Lots of people think yoga is good for flexibility and stress reduction. Believe me, it IS along with many other things. Yoga can also help improve your balance, coordination, stamina and strength. Most people don't realize how much strength some of those poses require.

I've gotten into arguments with fellow spark member fitness professionals over whether or not yoga is strength. I say it is depending on the class. A good instructor will mix flexibility poses with strength and balance poses. it's not one or the other. One is the compliment of the other.

I suspect the ones who say it isn't strength have never taken yoga. Cuz, there are a ton of poses that challenge my strength and I'm really strong !


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VHALKYRIE 7/7/2011 3:32PM

    Thanks for the tips! I wish I could join your class!

Goodness, all those classes! You do have a busy schedule!

I agree with you. There is a lot of emphasis on calorie burn, and not enough on enjoyment or wellness. I'll see if there's a yoga class that can fit in my rotation. The flexibility and meditation do sound appealing to me!

Comment edited on: 7/7/2011 3:37:41 PM

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ARCHIMEDESII 7/7/2011 3:24PM

    You know me ! I LOOOOOOVE spinning ! If you've never been, do make sure you've signed up on the sheet. Spinning is extremely popular and there is a limited number of bikes. Most gyms have a sign up sheet to reserve a space. Make sure you bring bottle of water and towel. You must constantly drink water to stay hydrated. I had one class where I didn't drink enough water and I got really dizzy from dehydration. And if you've never done spinning before, not only do you need to bring a bottle of water, get to class 5-10 minutes before and let the instructor know that you're new. They'll help you set up the bike.

Oh and don't feel obligated to like a particular teacher. A teacher makes or breaks a class and quite frankly, some are better than others.

Check your schedule for some type of group exercise weight training class. Body Pump is one of the best, but if they don't have Pump they may have something similar under a different name. You could even try a boot camp class. A good boot camp class will incorporate weights and cardiovascular exercise.

Oh and hope you get a chance to get into Zumba. that really is a fun class. My gym recently brought back Zumba, but it's at a bad time for my schedule too. ugh... I really do like dance type classes.

I teach spinning and group weight training classes. But, I take yoga. If there was any class I wanted to do more than once, it's yoga. I have friends who tell me they don't want to do yoga because it doesn't burn enough calories. I told them I don't do yoga for the calorie burn. Yoga enhances everything else I do.

I am a much better "lifter" because of what I learned in yoga.

Try yoga too !!!


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