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Meal Plan + Fitness for the Week (09/09/13)

Posted on by Susan Posted in Food, Uncategorized, Workout | Leave a comment

Friends, I’m about to seriously change my (currently barely existent) exercise routine. I’ve gained a few too many lbs. over the past few months and it’s time to stop blaming it on the move to a different country, paperwork to do, etc. It’s time to make it a priority again.

Yeah, my legs don’t look nearly as slim as they did a year ago. Ironically, I was in a much better shape the first 12 months after giving birth to our son. I was not as toned as pre-pregnancy, but my weight was at it’s lowest, since I was a teenager.

Living car-less in Vancouver, we had to walk everywhere, so I naturally was a lot more active than I am here in Southern California. You might think: “But what about surfing/going running on the beach/hiking?” Umm, I have a two year old to take with me. ;)

Plus, walking in a million degrees feels like death to me and I have sweat running down my face from a short 20 minute walk in the blazing sun.

But then I remembered the pool!

My gym has a huge lap pool. With the little guy being taken care of in the child care area, this was the perfect workout for me this morning and I cannot believe I “forgot” about the awesomeness of swimming. Assuming the pool is 25m, I swam 1 km (40 laps) in about 30 minutes. My arms are a sore mess this afternoon, but I’m definitely adding this back into my life!

I’m hoping to get rid of about 15 lbs over the next few motnhs, and here’s my tentative workout schedule for this current week:

This might not seem like a crazy workout schedule for you, but let me tell you, I’ve been lazy those past few months, and it WILL make a huge difference in my calories-burned account.

On to the food. Meal planning is one of my favorite ways to make sure we’re not a) going over-budget and b) keep eats clean(ish) and healthy.

Some dinners for the week: 

  • Monday: Baked Butternut Squash Pasta – we had a butternut kicking around in our kitchen for the longest time, and I decided it would make the perfect base for today’s Meatless Monday!
  • Tuesday: Chili + baked sweet potatoes
  • Wednesday: leftovers
  • Thursday: Swedish Pea Soup and Pancake night
  • Friday: Braised Chicken Taco Salad

Do you have any fun workouts planned for the week? What about your meal planning – do you plan ahead or go with the flow?

Sugar-Free Week

Posted on by Susan Posted in Food | Leave a comment

That’s it, friends! I’ve had it.

After a recent faceplant into  a box of Trader Joe’s Sea Salt Brownie Bites, I decided it’s about time to go separate ways. It’s been a little out of control lately. Not sure what happened, but I think Costco had something to do with it (umm, hello 15-pack Häagen-Dazs ice cream bars…) . And then this happened a few times this summer:

Here’s the deal: I can’t ditch the coffee. I need it to function and I’ve already cut way down. But the ice cream has to go!

I also had fitness assessment with my personal trainer a few days ago, and I don’t like what I’ve seen. I gained weight. Quite a bit. It’s time to take charge of my health again, after these months of moving and paperwork stress.

I figured that my little guy loves the gym play care so much, I might as well go a few times per week, but in addition to working out regularly again, I know I must also change my food habits.

So, to kick-start my new challenge to becoming healthier (again!), I’m saying no to sugar for a week. That’s right, folks – 7 long days!

Here’s my plan:

  • No added refined sugar in treats or drinks – replace sweet cravings with a piece of fresh fruit
  • focus on whole, fresh foods, mostly veggies and fruit, and whole grains
  • More green smoothies!
  • more lean protein – I don’t think I’m getting enough protein, which results in my cravings (nutritionist/RD  friends, please correct me if that’s wrong, it’s just a suspicion I have)
  • No weird sauces/condiments that contain sugar – luckily we don’t keep those around, this would be more of an issue when eating out
20120317 - green smoothie

Of course I will write a recap for you to let you know how it went.

So now I need your help! What are some good, easy, refined sugar-free, healthy treats that tame a sweet tooth? I’m thinking: Lärabars, banana and nut butter, smoothies instead of ice cream, but all I want is a Sea Salt Brownie Bite. Good thing I ate them all.

Wanna join me? You can tweet about your #SugarFreeWeek adventures and follow me @susoniadotcom to see how it will work out for me.

Working out with the Hoo-Rag

Posted on by Susan Posted in Product Review | Leave a comment

I finally was able to persuade my (“oh-so-busy” ;-) ) better half to watch the little man, so I could get a much needed workout in.

Exercise hasn’t been happening much as of lately, due to our upcoming move and life in general. A lot of my exercise actually comes in the form of walking with the lil guy in the stroller. I’d love to take up a regular Zumba, Yoga or Boot Camp class again, or go running on a routine basis, but without child care this is currently not an option. Walking 5 - 7 km a day is no problem, often we walk more and without a car, I actually have no choice. :)

Anyways, I finally got a chance to workout this past weekend and I thought this would be a good opportunity to test out my new Hoo-Rag.

You’re probably wondering what a Hoo-Rag is now, aren’t you?

Let me explain:

The Hoo-Rag is a tubular bandana, used by outdoor enthusiast’s, runners, hikers and more, to keep ears warm and hair out of the face, or to keep your face from freezing in sub-zero temperatures.

As a yogini & (unfortunately at the moment only occasional) runner, I’m always looking for ways to keep my mane out of my face, so I was very excited when the people from Hoo-Rag offered me to test it out for review.

Post-workout me, new runners and my tested style

I took it through a super sweaty gym session, folded into a very thin headband, as in the image above. Unfortunately it slipped up pretty soon after I started running on the treadmill. However, I figured out how to keep it in place (and the Hoo-Rag kept my hair in place), by folding it a little wider and covering my ears (picture of my above left). Not my preferred style, since I don’t like having my ears covered, but it definitely worked.

Other Hoo-Rag styles (if you click on the image, it’ll take you to the detailed descriptions on how to wear it):

I also loved using it as a neck warmer on the way home after the gym, because I was sweaty and it was freezing cold outside. I can also see that I’d love this when snowboarding, something that I haven’t done in a couple of years, but would love to pick up again. Too bad I’m moving to Southern California soon. ;)

The Hoo-Rag comes in a ton of different color options, as well as custom prints and is made of a super soft athletic material without seams, which makes it very comfortable to wear. Interested? You can order your’s for $14.95 online with free shipping to the US.

*images borrowed from http://www.hoorag.com

I can’t wait to actually take it on an outdoor run, especially to test out the Pirate style. :)

See you soon with an easy and healthy recipe for your slow cooker!


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