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Water, Water Everywhere?

Don’t care about my opinions on water?  Want to win some Olympic Granola instead?  Go say hi to Healthy Ashley

Can I ask an honest question that I imagine will make me NO friends?  If recent science has shown that drinking more and more water has no particular health benefits (which it has) why is there such a focus on it?  Is it just that water helps us feel full?

The Mayo Clinic says the 64oz/day rule is not supported by science and also says ALL beverages count toward your daily fluid total.

And from Snopes (you may not credit Snopes with much, but if you look at their listed sources below the article, they’re legit):

“Kidney specialists do agree on one thing, however: that the 8-by-8 rule is a gross overestimate of any required minimum. To replace daily losses of water, an average-sized adult with healthy kidneys sitting in a temperate climate needs no more than one liter of fluid, according to Jurgen Schnermann, a kidney physiologist at the National Institutes of Health.  One liter is the equivalent of about four 8-ounce glasses. According to most estimates, that’s roughly the amount of water most Americans get in solid food. In short, though doctors don’t recommend it, many of us could cover our bare-minimum daily water needs without drinking anything during the day….”

“In a study published in the October issue of the Journal of the American College of Nutrition, researchers at the Center for Human Nutrition in Omaha measured how different combinations of water, coffee and caffeinated sodas affected the hydration status of 18 healthy adults who drink caffeinated beverages routinely.

“We found no significant differences at all,” says nutritionist Ann Grandjean, the study’s lead author. “The purpose of the study was to find out if caffeine is dehydrating in healthy people who are drinking normal amounts of it. It is not.”

The same goes for tea, juice, milk and caffeinated sodas: One glass provides about the same amount of hydrating fluid as a glass of water. The only common drinks that produce a net loss of fluids are those containing alcohol — and usually it takes more than one of those to cause noticeable dehydration, doctors say.”

I’m not saying (nor are these sources) that we shouldn’t drink any water, and I would certainly say that if weight loss is your goal it is better to drink water than the empty calories in a soda, but I’m just wondering why there is such a push for water water water, with some programs pushing people to drink 100oz a day and more, when the science just doesn’t seem to support it?

Full disclosure: I drink water almost exclusively, but mostly because I started doing so to avoid excess calories and now I’m used to it.  I keep a large cup nearby, and I get anywhere from 32-64oz per day by only drinking when I feel thirsty, including when I exercise.


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Dear Internet…

Not Leaving by Natalie Dee

Not Leaving by Natalie Dee


I need your advice on several things today, so I’m hoping you can help me out…

  1. I’m trying to be sure I’m doing enough in terms of workouts now that I’m not following a solid plan.  On average, I’m doing 30min cardio & 30min strength training on M/W/F, and then 45-60min cardio on T/Th/Sat.  As long as I’m keeping my intensity up, am I on the right track?
  2. I need some recommendations for (preferably wicking) workout wear that does not cost $50 per piece.  As much as I adore, ADORE, my Thriv stuff… I just can’t afford to add to my collection.
  3. I tend to split up my cardio since I take a brisk 20 minute walk with my daughter in the mornings.  Am I reducing the effectiveness of the cardio by doing so?  I don’t think I can manage a full hour of cardio all at once with a toddler to wrangle…
  4. I’d love your opinion on water additives/substitutes like Crystal Light.  I drink a lot of water every day, but sometimes I just want a little more…

And finally, some advice for you.  Do not, under any circumstances, make these salted peanut chews.  They are super sweet, taste amazing, made of pretty much pure sugar, and will sit in your fridge taunting you with their crack-like goodness.  Don’t say I didn’t warn you…


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Coffee burnout: does taste in coffee change over time?


Happy 4th

flagHappy 4th of July!  We’re spending the weekend relaxing, spending time with friends, and going to the movies.

I was really proud of myself too, because I got up at 6am to exercise.  I got a good 45 minutes of Jillian in before we left for the day.  I made good choices at lunch (minus the watermelon margarita, which was so worth it), had some great frozen yogurt topped with tons of fruit, and then we walked around the mall for almost three hours.

It was a great day full of family, good food, and lots of great activity!  I felt really good about it.  Today, we’re staying at home.  We’ll be heading out for some grocery shopping, and hopefully I’ll manage to get some exercise in this afternoon.  I only have two days of the 30 Day Slimdown left, so I’m determined to work out today even though I’d sort of rather not.

What I really need though is your advice about the rest of the month.  I’ll be done with Jillian tomorrow (and taking some hopefully exciting measurements/pics) but then I’m at a loss for what to do for the rest of the month…  I have the NYC Ballet workout and P90X… plus whatever I have access to online.

So here’s my question to you.  Can you help me figure out how many days of cardio I need?  How many of strength training?  How long each session should be?  I’d appreciate your help!


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30 Day Slimdown RESULTS


My new normal

If you have a moment, please take some time to go and vote for my Mamavation application!  You can see my application video here, and you can “vote” for me by heading to Twitter and tweeting this: Hey @bookieboo! I want @SkinnySushi to be the next #Mamavation Mom. She has my support! http://bit.ly/zqUxa. The finalists will be chosen on July 5, after which point I will stop harassing you with these messages… unless, of course, I AM a finalist… in which case I will harass you with new messages.  And cookies?

Thanks to Mrs. Fatass, I spent my morning workout considering my new normal.

Normal posterAt first I thought… maybe nothing has changed?  After all, I woke up thinking about ways to avoid my workout.  But then it occurred to me…

This is it.  This is my new normal, right here!  Here I am, still thinking about ways to avoid my workout, WHILE WORKING OUT.  Did my tired brain try to talk me out of it?  Absolutely!  But the new part is that not once, not even for a second, was there any real chance that I’d skip it.  It’s almost automatic for me at this point, and I am really enjoying the results.

Speaking of results, we’re nearing the end of the month and (as such) the finale of my 30 Day Slimdown challenge.  So I have some questions for you.

  1. I got a little behind on the 30 Day challenge and, if I want to finish all of the workouts on the schedule, won’t be able to finish in 30 days. Do I finish all of the workouts before taking measurements/after pics, or do I take them at the end of the month regardless and just start a new challenge on July 1.
  2. Speaking of July’s challenge… what do I do?  If I make it to the Mamavation campaign, I guess I’ll be getting a workout from the Mamavation trainer… so do I wait to hear whether I am a finalist before starting something new?
  3. If I do a challenge, I have two big options: The New York City Ballet Workout or Power 90X.  I’d love to hear your thoughts on which to try.

Thanks for your help, with this and everything.  You guys are awesome.


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Good Morning, Sweaty!

If you have a moment, please take some time to go and vote for my Mamavation application!  You can see my application video here, and you can “vote” for me by heading to Twitter and tweeting this: Hey @bookieboo! I want @SkinnySushi to be the next #Mamavation Mom. She has my support! http://bit.ly/zqUxa. As always, your support means SO much to me.

morning exercisesource

Thanks to yet another issue with our air conditioning (and a Super Klutz episode in the afternoon) I ended up missing my workout yesterday.  I’d gotten into the habit of working out in the late afternoon, and every time our air goes out it’s between 1pm and 7pm… and there is no way I’m working out when it’s 82 degrees in the house.  I’m not a hot yoga sort of girl.

So, after some chill time in the kiddie pool with the babe…

Baby & a beach ball(Yeah, I know… she’s insanely cute.)

…and some time online chatting with friends on Twitter and Facebook, I decided I’d try working out in the mornings.  I wasn’t sure how it would go since I am always super groggy in the mornings, but I figured since I’m usually up by 6:30 at the latest anyway, it was worth a try.

For the first ten minutes or so, I really though I was going to die.  My muscles were begging me to go sit down already, and I was worried I’d manage to wake up my daughter despite muting the DVD.  Instead, I got through the full forty minute workout successfully, and afterward I felt great.  I skipped coffee this morning (though I missed it just for the sake of itself, and I will likely add it back in because yum) and I’ve had a great day.

I’ve already written some articles, done the laundry and the dishes, cut up a watermelon and tossed it in the freezer for tonight’s watermelon ice, fed myself and the baby good food… and I’m wearing real clothes!  Usually I stay in workout wear all day and change just before my husband comes home.  Now though, I’m in real clothes and ready to face the day by lunch time.  It’s awesome.

I am LOVING this.  I’m hoping it gets a little easier as it becomes habit too.


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Move more, feel better

It’s really a simple equation.  The more I move, the more any of us moves, the better we all feel.

exercise cartoonsource

I don’t know a lot of people who look forward to their workouts every time, or who don’t experience the occasional (or frequent) moments just before the workout when you try to think of some “legitimate” reason to skip.  Everyone has those moments.  No one loves working out every single time… at least no one I’ve ever met.

So what makes the difference between the people who stick with it and the ones who don’t?  Mostly, it’s about how bad you want it.  And yes, the me from sometime last year just reached forward through time and punched me in the throat for saying that… I used  to get SO mad at people who told me that I would be successful if I just wanted it enough.  It’s so easy to get back into my mindset from that time…

How dare they?  Of course I want it, more than they could ever know.  Don’t they understand that I hate my body, I hate the way I look?  Don’t they hear me when I tell them how unhappy I am just looking at myself, how much I just want to make it work, how much I would do anything to make it happen?”

Guess what?  The truth, the hard truth, is that I was lying to myself.  I didn’t want it… not enough to stop eating and start moving.  Not enough to give up the things I thought I needed, step away from the immediate (and painfully temporary) gratification of a donut and an hour of sloth, and do what it took to get healthy.  I wanted the results, but not the work.

Now I know better.  Now I know that it takes hours and hours and hours of sweat and hard work, some crying, a little hatred of exercise, and a lot of acceptance of the way I look RIGHT NOW.  That was another key thing for me.  I couldn’t be successful when I hated my body so much.  That sounds counter-intuitive I know, because wouldn’t body hatred drive change?  The short answer is no.  Hating the way I looked just gave me more reasons to dive headfirst into emotional eating.  Loathing my body, barely being able to look at myself in the mirror, gave me NO motivation to look or feel better.  Over time I felt more and more worthless and it became harder and harder to see that I deserved anything better.

I started with tiny, itty bitty baby steps… but the more I moved and the better I ate, the more I wanted to keep it up.  I still have setbacks and bad days and I still don’t always look forward to working out.  In fact, I would say about half the time I am still half trying to talk myself out of doing it.  But in the end, the results are SO worth it.  Thirty pounds gone.  Thirty pounds of fat and strain on my body… just gone.  Inches gone.  Clothing sizes dropping, my face and body reshaping, my strength increasing by the day, my mood and energy skyrocketing most of the time.  How could I give this up?

So I’m asking you to do this with me.  Make a commitment to yourself, to your body and your health.  Write a blog post (and link back so I can see it!) and admit that you’re worth it.  Tell the world why you deserve this.  And if you can’t think of a reason, here are some places to start:

  1. Someone loves you.  Someone’s heart would break if they lost you.  Someone will miss you.
  2. I promise you, you’ll be healthier and happier.  You’ll see results.
  3. You will inspire someone else.  I am so touched, so amazed when I hear a friend say I’ve inspired them, and it helps me keep going.  I am helping someone else!

Now go on, get moving.  Get off the computer and go for a walk.


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Couch to 5K: Quitting is possible

Natalie Dee - Healthy living is for suckers...source

I wanted to elaborate on last night’s post, but first I want to take the chance to say thank you to everyone who commented.  No matter what your advice was, and no matter what I end up doing, you should know that your support and the time you took to come by and show it was more than a little appreciated.  I feel like I’m having a Crisis of Fitness (like a crisis of faith, but healthier and less philosophical… but only slightly) right now, and advice from friends and people who have been there is what will pull me through.

So I wanted to go into more detail about why I am thinking about quitting, and what has stopped me (so far) from actually doing so.  Why I want to quit:

  • I loathe going out to run
  • Since I started running, I am MUCH more easily injured.  Workouts that used to be fine for me have me sore for days (see last week’s power circuit adventure) and new workouts like this weekend’s step class leave me with severely aching tendons around my ankles and calves that feel like they are cramping.
  • Once I get past the first minute or so of each run, all I am doing is waiting for it to end.  I’m fighting with my body to maintain something resembling proper form, struggling (sometimes desperately) to breathe, dragging my legs and feet along beneath me, and praying for the end.
  • Ever since week 4 began, I no longer feel good after my runs.  I feel totally spent, worn out, and often sick.  I’ve tried a variety of different prerun fuels, stretches, and workouts to no avail.  We don’t run until close to sunset, so I’m definitely missing the hottest parts of the day.
    After this weekend’s BodyStep class, I realize that running is not necessarily the most efficient calorie burn…. which is why I started doing it in the first place.
  • Since I have no indoor workout options, the weather (which is quite rainy lately) can throw a wrench into my plans whenever it wants.  If I don’t run every other day, I really lose momentum and it’s ten times harder for me to get back out there.  Feeling that need to be out there every other day makes it really stressful for me when I miss a day thanks to weather or something else outside of my control.

Why I haven’t quit yet:

  • I “shouldn’t”
  • Other people are counting on me and expecting me to finish
  • I hate quitting, especially since I’ve been on here talking about running a 5K.
  • I will look like a loser.  I said I would do it, and now I am going to back out halfway through?  People will think I’m ridiculous!
  • I do genuinely enjoy the feeling of being able to say I did it.
  • I keep feeling like the difficulties I am having with running are my own fault somehow… bad form?  Too fat?  Poor technique?  Not hardcore enough?  And so I keep pushing, because I can’t quit something if it’s my fault it sucks, right?
  • Other people really, really seem to enjoy it.  I want to be like those people, don’t I?  They’re all so fit…
  • I love the time with my husband and daughter, and specifically I love getting out and doing something healthy with them.

Wow… not a very inspiring list for either one, is it?  I do want to be clear about something though.  Unlike the beginning of the year, and for most of my life before this year, I do not hate exercise.  In fact, I really enjoy my morning walks with my daughter.  I love yoga and Pilates.  I had a great time in that BodyStep class.  There are several workouts I do here at home that I really enjoy, even during the parts where I’m huffing and puffing and hoping the workout ends soon.  So it’s not like I just hate working out.  I really, really don’t.

Another thing that’s stopping me from quitting so far?  I’m worried that this lack of motivation/energy/determination is my own fault in a very specific way.  I’ve always thought I was just “not a runner,” and when I started this whole C25K adventure, I was still thinking it wouldn’t go far.  Despite that, I was surprised by how very, very difficult it was for me, which just confirmed my suspicions that running and I will never be good friends.  So sometimes I worry that I’m just one big self-fulfilling prophecy, that I jinxed myself somehow.

In the comments, someone suggested skipping this week entirely and just trying to move to week 5.  That’s definitely an option.  I am also considering replacing my C25K efforts with something like 30 Day Shred… although I would still want to go out with the family for long, brisk walks.  I like our time together so very much.  I’d also love to replace this with a whole string of BodyPump, BodyFlow, BodyStep, etc… but that will have to hold off until I can afford to join the gym.

Anyway… this far too long posts essentially sums up all of the thoughts that are bouncing around in my head about C25K specifically and about running in general.  Thoughts, comments, and advice are welcome and appreciated.  Thanks again for being here for me!


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