Thursday, February 26, 2015

These Boots Were Made For ...

For some reason I've managed to use the cold as an excuse for not walking very much this winter. Last year, I pretty much walked every day--regardless of the temperatures. There were days when the wind chill was below zero (Fahrenheit) and I still managed a couple of miles.

This year, not so much.

Yesterday, we got a break from the cold temps and I managed to get in a three mile walk. It felt pretty good. I need to get back to that. Today is cold and snowing, but I'm going to get out for a walk again anyways. I find walking to be the easiest exercise to keep in a regular routine. I know that it isn't much of an exercise to the gym rats or to the P90X and Insanity crowds, but it works well for a 50+ fat guy that needs to move a little bit. If you're not doing anything else, it will work for you, too.

One of the nice thing about walking is that we are all pretty much experts at it! Sure, there may be things that we can do better or faster, but we can get started without a coach or special instruction. And other than a comfortable pair of shoes, there is no special equipment required. When the weather is bad, you can walk at the mall. When the weather is nice, the world is your walking course.

I know that winter in the Ozarks is far from over (Did I mention it's snowing out?), but I'm going to get back to walking. You can look for my RunKeeper updates on Twitter and Facebook!

You don't have to be fast to lap everyone sitting on the couch. You just have to be moving!

Be well,
John <><

Saturday, February 21, 2015

For my "Apple a day" Friends...

I saw this recently and decided to try it out today.
We don't do pancakes nor waffles in this house so we don't have any maple syrup. However, we do have some raw local honey. Also, I have walnuts in the pantry, but no pecans.

Those are my simple modifications to the following healthy breakfast recipe!

Warm 'n' Cozy Apple Quinoa Breakfast Bake

Be well,
John <><

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Burpee Challenge ... again!

Last summer I posted about this Burpee Challenge.

I saw it in July and decided that the fat, out of shape old man was going to do it for August. Well I managed to complete the 100 burpees in just over the 12 minute challenge time. I was hoping to break it in September. However, a knee injury at the end of August and foot surgery in September put an end to that.

I'm posting this to say that I'm in again for March! I'll finish up my 30 Day squat/pushup challenge about 10 days before the first Friday of March. I don't know what that will do for my time, but it should help me to complete the 100 burpees.  I have to admit that my cardio/endurance ability is down and I should probably not wait to start building that up. Tomorrow is a rest day on the 30 Day challenge. Maybe I should skip the rest day and see what it feels like to do 50 burpees.

My daughter in law says that she may have a go at it. Anybody else want to join me? If work gets in the way of a Friday challenge, go ahead and do it on Saturday the 7th. I may give myself a rest day on Friday and hit the challenge on Saturday. I'm pretty sure that I can do them in less than 12 minutes this time around. We will see.

Be well,
John <><

Monday, February 16, 2015

Alternative Workout: Shoveling snow!

It's 9:30 am and it's still snowing in the Ozarks. It looks like we have about 6 inches already on the ground. I'm not sure how long it is supposed to continue. Temperatures are not forecast to be above freezing until Friday and skies will be overcast for a few days. This stuff isn't going to melt any time soon. Looks like John gets to work moving it off the driveway.

Here's what I'm thinking:

I'll make some more coffee before getting started. After all, there is no real hurry.
A post shoveling yoga session might be in order.
A post shoveling sauna will definitely be in order.
Chris will need her daily fix of fountain Diet Coke, so I'll need to decide if I'm going to walk the 1.5 miles or drive to get it. In spite of the cold temps (16F feels like -2F), safety from traffic is more of a concern since there are no road shoulders and walking in Ozark is hazardous in good conditions.

Okay, maybe I'll skip the more coffee until post shoveling. I might as well go ahead and get this alternative workout started!

Be well!
John <><

Sunday, February 15, 2015

Mushroom Asiago Chicken Dinner

Here is another good dinner recipe.

In my modifications I went with the extra chicken broth and skipped the wine. At step 4, I added a couple of cups of chopped spinach leaves and let them cook with the mushroom/cheese/broth mix. I used baby 'bellas for mushrooms.

We served it over quinoa (the red makes for a nice presentation) with cast iron skillet grilled green beans.

We have also had it with mashed potatoes and asparagus.

Let me know if you try it.

Be well!
John <><

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Breakfast Casserole

I'm not sure if I'd say this is a "healthy" casserole or not. I'm not a whole hearted subscriber to the paleo movement. I do believe in eating more fruits and vegetable and eating more like our ancestors, but I'm not sure that we need to go back to the days of cavemen to find a healthy diet.

Besides, if we truly ate like our caveman ancestor without living the whole caveman lifestyle (spending every waking moment hunting for and foraging for food) we'd probably be as obese as we already are. And why are sweet potatoes on the paleo list but potatoes are not?

I say that because I found this recipe in a recipe book called The Paleo Effect.

(Click it to big it)
As always, I made a few modifications. I used a pound of sausage instead of a cup. I used coconut flour instead of arrowroot powder. And I used almond milk instead of coconut milk.

It turned out pretty good.

Overall I'd have to say that it's more trouble than I'd want to go through on a regular basis. However, it works well to prepare a week's breakfasts in advance if mornings are typically hectic. You can freeze or refrigerate individual servings, then heat and eat. Or you could prepare and freeze the entire dish to reheat before an early escape for a day at the lake or some other activity.

I don't have the nutritional information on it and really believe that cookbooks that are promoting any type of diet or lifestyle should include that information for each recipe. If people are looking for healthy options, you should give them all the information you can.

Let me know if you give it a try.

Be well!

John <><

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Cardio Wake-up Call!

I guess it has been longer than I realized since I've done any real cardio work. On my last few bicycle rides, I blamed the local hills for killing me. After getting on the stationary bike today, maybe it's just that I'm in really poor condition!

I started with the idea that I was going to do a body weight circuit today but was rethinking that since this is supposed to be a rest day in my 30 Day squat/push-up challenge. I hopped on the recumbent cycle for a warm up and to figure out what I was going to do and soon realized that I need to get some cardio work into my routine more often.

I ended up using dumbbells, my pull-up bar, my machine for triceps push downs and crunches along with a few more 5 minute intervals on the bike. After just 45 minutes, I felt pretty good--tired, but good. I guess this old guy is going to have to use some of this interval work more often.

(Heavy sigh!)

Oh well. It is a relatively small portion of my day and I really don't have the time excuse anymore.

It's said that you should eat well to look good fully dressed and exercise to look good at the beach.
Here's to being beach body ready for summer!

Ha! Last year I was happy not to be the fat American old man anymore!
This year I'm going for the fit American old man!

Be well!
John <><

Sunday, February 8, 2015

Easy week; Hard week

I made last week an easy week for a couple of reasons. It isn't necessary to go into the whys; last week was last week. I did manage to keep up with my 30 day squat/push-up challenge and also got in a couple of yoga sessions.

As I said, an easy week.

This week will be a harder week. I'm going to go with a little more intensity for some short bursts and and get back to some daily walks. Last summer I was combining walk/runs with periodic lunges, push-ups, burpees, etc. I think that I'll do that this week since the weather will be very nice for the time of year.

Okay, so it's not really going to be a hard week; just a harder week.

Keep moving.
Some days, move more.

Be well,
John <><

Thursday, February 5, 2015

Going with the Flow -- Vinyasa

Going with the Flow is also the title of my post on my other blog today.
But that is about going with the flow of events that make up my daily life.

Of course, I guess that could also be said of vinyasa -- going with the flow of events that make up life.

For the health and exercise minded people that are reading this, no explanation is needed. For the casual reader that has stopped by from Facebook or Twitter, vinyasa is a practice of yoga that flows from one pose to another.

In any case, I'm posting today because I'm finding that I like the practice of yoga. It is good exercise. Anybody can do it. It is oddly both relaxing and physically stressful (mildly) at the same time. If you find that taking a yoga class is inconvenient or uncomfortable, I'm going to recommend a site that I've found to be very useful in a daily variety and practice.

30 Days of Yoga is a month long series of yoga sessions. Each one is different and each has a different focus. You can click the link for an overview with Adriene. I started my 30 days at the end of January, have skipped a couple of days and have made up a day by doubling up the next day. You can do it how ever you like.

Be well (or in yoga speak, namaste),
John <><

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

On the Health Agenda for Today...

The healthy living agenda for today is going to be centered around food!

In my effort to get back to being more purposeful about paying attention to what, when and how much I'm eating, I made some good fruit and vegetable purchases at the store yesterday and need to get them divided into serving sizes and put into the freezer. These will be used in various combinations and with fresh, un-frozen fruits and veggies in my daily protein shakes.

I also plan on baking another batch of my protein/energy cookies and batch of chocolate peanut butter protein cookies for Chris.

I'm just trying to keep good, healthy foods around.

Eat well. Eat often.

John <><

Monday, February 2, 2015

Today is the First Day...

From somewhere in the distant past I remember the saying, "Today is the first day of the rest of your life."

Well, is!

So today I am back on the food logging, calorie tracking bandwagon. Like before, I'm not going to be crazy fanatic about numbers, but logging has a way of keeping me aware of just how many calories (and extra calories) I consume during the day. It is also a pretty good reminder of what I eat and I often check the calories vs. nutritional value before I actually make a decision on whether or not to eat something.

My overall diet hasn't changed too much. I have been a little more free with sweet snacks than I was last year and I have been way too careless about those incidental calories -- you know, the snacks that we eat without even thinking about.

I just need to get back to fueling my body as it needs and being aware of what I am consuming.

So today is the day!
If you're in need of a fresh start, why not make today the day for you, too?

A fresh start for healthy eating; a fresh start for exercise; a fresh outlook on life.
Today is the first day of the rest of your life. Let's make it a good one!

Be well,
John <><

Sunday, February 1, 2015

February plan

So I continued today with Day 6 of the squat and push-up challenge. I skipped Day 6 of the 30 days of yoga and just did some good stretching while watching the first half of the Superbowl. I'm thinking that maybe I'll do Day 6 tomorrow morning and go back for Day 7 in the evening.

I have a midday lunch meeting, so I'm thinking coffee, squat/push-up challenge and Day 6 yoga in the morning. I should have plenty of time to get a little reading in before heading off to my meeting.
I'll have more time in the afternoon/evening.

Depending on the weather, I'll either ride my bicycle for a little road work or hit the indoor cycle. I need to get a little light weight work in and also the afternoon Day 7 yoga thing. It actually sounds like a lot more than it is.

Other things also need to get accomplished in the day; a little laundry, a little grocery shopping, you know--the normal household things. I think that February will be a good month. Thursday and Friday will be the challenging days this week as I have all day meetings on those days. If the weather is nice, maybe I can get out for a long walk during the day.

I hope that you have a healthful plan for your February.
Eat well. Exercise a little. Be healthy.

John <><