My Summer Fitness Plan

Last Thursday was the last day of school for Reese, and on Friday we booked it up north for a couple of days of R&R in a 100+ year old lodge where we binge watched Anne With An E and puttered around looking at pretty stuff and eating banana splits and blueberry pie. So today starts the first full week of summer break. It was also the first day of my Summer Fitness Plan®. You see, a few weeks ago I approached my next door neighbor and good friend Catherine and asked if she’d like to work out with me three times a week in the wee hours of the morning before our kids were awake. She immediately said yes, and we both agreed that it was going to be amazing and awesome.

Fast forward to this morning when I woke up at 4:00, 4:50, and 5:00 (excitement) and then for real at 6:00 to begin our Summer Fitness Plan®. This is the gist: Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays we will meet in our shared driveway at 6:15 and run/walk a couple of miles. Then we will use the Aaptiv app I’ve told you about before to do a strength workout. This morning we did our workout at the park in the wet grass while being feasted on by our state bird, the mosquito. There was also a for real boot camp happening and I felt like we were acting out that scene in Bridesmaids. We decided next time we will throw down yoga mats in the driveway instead.

Catherine proclaimed that by the end of the summer we will be bosses in every sense of the word (she didn’t really say it this way but it’s what I inferred so…). The first day was a success, in my book.

A couple of notes: I was worried that I would bonk if I didn’t eat anything beforehand, so I choked down a half of a banana. It’s almost two hours later and I’m still not hungry, so maybe working out on an empty stomach will work for me. Read about the research here. Also, next time I will spritz myself with bug spray. Thirdly, I have to say that if I’m awake everyday at 6:00 anyway, I might as well be exercising instead of laying in bed reading Twitter and stressing about the state of affairs. Who needs all that cortisol? I’m still 100% going to read the news, but an hour away from it isn’t a bad thing. Lastly, I will also be playing golf quite a bit, walking the dog, and doing some yoga and/or barre, but I think the bulk of my actual structured exercise will be from this plan.

What are your fitness plans for the summer?  Please comment and tell me!

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That’s A Wrap for the May Bee (And Why Drinking Coffee Cuts Your Risk of Dying!)

coffee

I came into the May Bee challenge feeling energized and excited about the opportunity to blog every day most days in May. I had felt like I had been slacking on my posts, letting other things edge out my time spent at the computer writing. So I really relished the idea of doing this challenge. And I’m so glad I did! Not only did I learn a lot about the topics I’m interested in, but I also got to share that love with you. So, thanks for coming along on the ride. Maybe I’ll do it again next year.

For my last May Bee post, I want to talk about one of my favorite things in the world — a cup of coffee. If you know me at all you know I relish my coffee with gusto. So I was excited to read this article in The New York Times about how drinking coffee seems to reduce your overall risk of dying. Yay for no dying! As the article states “Coffee drinking was linked to a reduced risk of death from heart disease, stroke, diabetes, neurological diseases and suicide, although not from cancer.” I don’t need any health reasons to drink my two to three cups of coffee a day, but I’m glad to know I don’t have to feel guilty about my habit.

And with that, I bid a fond farewell to May 2017 as I welcome what I hope to be a really fabulous summer for me, and for you. Maybe it’ll be the best one yet.

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Maybe Try Some New Happiness Techniques

Maybe you’re starting your work week after the long holiday weekend feeling not great. Maybe you’re stressed, or sad, or angry, or anxious. It happens to everyone. These are normal emotions that we all have. It’s what we do with them that makes the difference in our happiness levels. 

I just read this article about four things you can do immediately to feel happier. As someone who has researched this topic quite a bit for my wellness writing (and personal interest) I immediately connected with these four rituals

In my opinion, these are simple things you can do every day to help you feel more empowered, in control, and on the right track. 

Maybe give these four rituals a try and see if they work for you? 

Maybe Some Slow Cooker Steel Cut Oats For Your Monday

My husband and I have a golf tournament in the morning and it starts pretty early. I am making this Apple Cinnamon Slow Cooker Oatmeal recipe tonight so that we can have something healthy and hearty in the morning ready to go.  I love crock pot oatmeal because it makes the house smell amazing and there’s something really pampering about having a hot breakfast waiting for you when you wake up. Just drizzle a little honey or maple syrup and heavy cream over the top and you’ll be happy as can be!

Recipe here.

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Maybe A No Bake Treat Recipe For The Weekend

I grew up eating peanut butter balls my mom made that had honey, peanut butter, and I think maybe Rice Krispies. They were so good. I made them a lot for my daughter when she was smaller. As she’s grown older, she’s become a bit of a chocolate fiend. Which is just fine because recent studies have shown eating chocolate regularly lowers your chances of having a heart condition called A Fib (atrial fibrillation).

When I saw these chocolatey energy bites I knew I would need to make them for her. They will also be perfect for my golf bag, when I sometimes need just a bump of energy without too much fuss. They are gluten free and made with only whole food ingredients.  Maybe try them this weekend and let me know what you think! Recipe here.

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Maybe It’s Time To Try A New Snack

I can’t remember where, maybe at a friend’s house, I tried a snack that knocked my socks off. Enlightened Roasted Broadbean Crisps are seasoned snacks made from roasted broad beans, a little bit of oil and sea salt. They are crunchy, flavorful, and the perfect little snack for me. Coming in at 100 calories per 1 oz package, they are high in protein (7 grams), low in sugar (1 gram) and high in fiber (5 grams). They have 3 grams of fat, and so they also fit well into the fat/protein/carb trifecta for a satisfying and complete snack. I buy big boxes of them in assorted flavors from Amazon and keep them in the car, my golf bag, and the snack shelf at home. I love the BBQ and sriracha flavors but the simple sea salt is also very nice.

This is one snack that keeps me feeling full and satisfies my carb cravings. Let’s be honest, I’m never going to be the kind of person that feels full after a plate of vegetables. So, I eat the veggies because they are delicious and good for me, but I also need some carbs to make me feel truly satiated. These broad beans just do it for me.

Disclaimer: I wasn’t offered anything in exchange for telling you about this brand. I just love them a lot and thought you might too.

Maybe they will become a new favorite snack for you too?

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Maybe Time To Revisit This Important Post About Body Image

Last year, on this very day, I wrote my most read blog post to date. It was reposted by other bloggers, and my local NPR station did an entire show around it, inviting me on to discuss the topic.  Maybe today I am just as passionate about it as I was last year.

I’m talking about my Bikini Body post, in which Discovery Girls magazine ran a spread detailing how to cover up your “flaws” with a bathing suit. Sounds totally crazy, right? Why would a young girl need to be instructed on how to strategically cover up her “flaws” with geometric shapes and other such nonsense?

If your answer is “this is bull honkey!” then please click the link to read the original post. Share it far and wide. Our poor girls (and to a somewhat lesser extent, boys) are having messages of “you’re not good enough” crammed down their throats by television, magazines and social media at an alarming rate. They are being told their self worth is tied up in their weight and body shape. They are being trained that their #1 concern should be to please others (mostly the opposite sex) above themselves. This is unacceptable, and the only way to help our kids to ignore those harmful messages is to talk with them and help them understand that they have the power to decide for themselves.

Maybe we can’t stop this freight train but we can do our best to help our kids decide not to get on in the first place.

Bikini Body