Apr 30, 2015

Charlie Horses in the Middle of the Night

Charlie horse, leg cramp, muscle spasm.  We have all had it and it hurts like hell!  I especially hate it when it is in the middle of the night and I am trying to get my sleep on!!  I'm half asleep telling the Charlie Horse to please go away because every last minute of sleep is precious.  Extremely precious!

Strange thing is I have not had one in years.  Literally YEARS!!  Over the last couple of months I have had a Charlie horse a handful of times.  One night I am pretty sure it was because I had gone out drinking the day (or maybe night - who knows) before and was dehydrated.  Which is bound to happen when I exchange drinking 3/4-1 gallon of water a day for a handful of drinks.  Think I'm joking?  It is a true story.  I drink a lot of water and am not a regular drinker.  Admittedly, I have been drinking 1-2x per weekend lately but that's a lot for me!  ha.

Then it happened again and I had not been diligent in taking my supplements so I was likely deficient somewhere.  Low and behold it happened again last night.  WTF?!!  I am getting kinda tired of this because I drank plenty of water the day before, had taken my vitamins and had not been drinking.  Buuuuut, I haven't been up on my supplements like I usually am.

So I look up a few things to determine if there is a piece to the puzzle I am missing.  Web MD tells us Charlie Horses are caused by:

- Exercising
- Pregnancy
- Exposure to cold
- Certain medications
- Standing on a hard surface for a long time
- Sitting for a long time
- Legs in awkward position while sleeping
- Dehydration
- Not enough calcium, potassium, and other minerals
- Certain medical conditions

Well,  the first 2 aren't the reason I'm having Charlie Horses!  ha!  I'm not on medication, I drank a full gallon of water the day before, my legs were fine.  I have adjusted my desk at work to be standing all day - this helps with posture.  But isn't it an oxy moron to say 'sitting for a long time' right after 'standing for a long time'?!  (insert sarcasm)

Hopefully there's no arising medical condition.  I am really thinking it is that I haven't been as consistent with my supplements, specifically calcium.  I will get on it and see how that does me.  Calcium is going to be my favorite solution for now.

Do you get crazy Charlie Horses?

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Apr 29, 2015

Adjusting Daily Caloric Needs

Gaining weight commonly happens when people become injured and this is because they can no longer work out to the extent they could before, if at all.  Most of you know I have been dealing with an injury that has prevented me from working out.  It has been about 10 months by now, maybe more.  This means I had to adjust my daily caloric intake.  AKA:  start eating less.  This was difficult and I did not like it.  Not one bit.  But I also did not want to get out of shape and gain weight.  I am also kinda getting used to it.  I cannot wait until I can resume eating more food!!!!

I want to share with others who may experience an injury that there is no need to throw in the towel and give up.  We do not have to *accept* the fact that weight gain is inevitable because there is something we can do about it.  That is to customize our eating.  This same concept can be applied as we age to prevent unwanted weight gain.

I am sharing a couple websites that I wish I would have had when I first sustained the injury but I forgot about it.  Oh well, it's ok that I have it after the fact because I am sharing it with you!  Once on the site you plug in the pertinent info about yourself.  Try to be honest about your level of activity in order to get a more accurate gauge of where your caloric intake should be.  The only person who will see this is you and it is a good idea to be honest with yourself in order to make it work. 

These websites help you calculate how many calories your body needs in order to run and function optimally based on your level of fitness or your level of activity.  That way you can plan around things such as a surgery or injury where you won't be working out or will be working out less.

Check out these websites in order to calculate your daily caloric need:


http://www.acefitness.org/acefit/healthy_living_tools_content.aspx?id=4

http://www.calculator.net/calorie-calculator.html?ctype=standard&cage=37&csex=f&cheightfeet=5&cheightinch=4&cpound=121&cheightmeter=180&ckg=60&cactivity=1.375&printit=0&x=59&y=13

I have used this calculator when I was working out and while I am not.  I compared it and I find it is pretty accurate in reference to daily caloric needs.  Remember, each of us are different so it may be necessary to tweak it a little if you find you gain or lose too much weight while trying to adjust to an injury.



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Apr 24, 2015

Sweaty, Stinky, Ewwwie! Favorite Solutions

You guys probably don't know this but I'm a sweater.  Yep, sweat like a dude and it's kinda gross.  But I can't help it!  My dad is a terrible sweater and thankfully I am not as bad as him but I used to get really embarrassed over it.


It started in junior high when holding a boy's hand, my hand would be clammy and slimy.  I also used to have the lovely sweat rings in my shirts - which always ended up having to bet thrown out because it really does a number on clothes. 

Once I was old enough to go out dancing I would end up *dripping* wet by about halfway through the night.  There were a couple places in town that used to have teen night.  You were only allowed in between the ages of 14 and 17 or 18... something like that.  I was 16 or 17 yrs old and I wore this cute little white top that I sweated all the way through.  My friends and I walked outside and some guys pointed out that my top was see through and you could see my bra.  I never wore a white top again!  How quickly we learn.



But I had not yet learned that light colored clothes, period, were an issue.  Not to mention embarrassing.  One night I was wearing the cutest light blue top with a few little sparklies on it and at the end of the night the whole thing was wet, except tiny little dry patches on my nipples.  Once I noticed this I splashed some water on it so the whole thing was wet, instead of accentuating that spot.  Geesh! 

As I got older I have accepted the fact that I sweat like crazy and there's nothing I can do about it.  The good news is that I can keep the smell at bay!  And, yes, during certain occasions such as being at the lake all day (and drinking) means that around the time we start heading back in I start to smell.

I found a lovely article by Shape Magazine that goes over a few reasons that our sweat stinks.  Many of us know it is bacteria but certain things make it worse.   The first one is Cortisol, the stress hormone which can come for a variety of reasons.  I've been experiencing a little more of this lately so I have to be extra careful.  The 2nd reason is certain fabrics which may be part of the issue when I was dancing?  Or maybe not because I always wore sleeveless after I discovered my little issue!

Shape Magazine says that some body washes, deodorants, lotions, antiperspirants and sprays may aid the growth of the bacteria.  Ewwwwie!  Here we are thinking we are smelling pretty and ... uh ... nope.  Well, maybe this isn't a "we" thing and more of a "me" thing.  haha.



The article in Shape goes on to say that certain medications and missing nutrients can be the culprit.  I know diet can play a role so foods that are rich in garlic are something I have noticed but I did not know low-carb diets can trigger it as well.  Candy and take out such as French fries mess with the body's chemistry but what happens to cause a stinky smell is the food going rancid within the body.  Ummm.... no thanks!  And even bathroom issues such as not being able to go can cause the body to smell like you just went.... another ewww moment.

I hope this helps in case someone is just as sweaty and stinky as me!  Now all I have to do is avoid drinking when I go to the lake!

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Apr 20, 2015

Weekend Shenanigans

Didn't realize it has been since 4/06 since I posted last.  Ooopsy.  Well, my bf and I broke up so I have been practicing being single which means going out more.... can't mope around the house.  Duh.  Also less time for blogging - sorry guys!


Thursday night consisted of country dancing and, silly me, I wore tall platforms.  It was still a lot of fun doing the twirls and dips - but, sadly, no pics.  Friday night I went out for a couple hours with my friend and it was nothing crazy but met some nice people through a stuffy, allergy ridden nose.  Saturday I went to a friend's house for a little get together and someone made a delightful White Russian to which I indulged in a couple sips but I wasn't going to pack down that many calories from one drink!


but Sunday SUNDAY was the FUNDAY. 

What was supposed to be a little laying by the pool and maybe a cocktail or 2 turned into shenanigans! 







 
It looks like I was running and playing in mud, but I wasn't.  Gross.  Maybe these places should sweep a little more! 



Somehow blogger deleted all the content I had but I think you get the point just from the pics!
 
How was your weekend?
 
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Apr 6, 2015

Weekending (Times Two)

 
Today is my weekending recap from Easter and last weekend.  Remember, last week I talked about losing my phone so I could not share photos?  Yes, well, this all happened as a silly little fluke.  I cannot confirm nor deny if alcohol was involved.  But what had happened was.....

We were taking a party bus to go to the Randy Hauser concert and I was getting antsy waiting for them to arrive so when they were close my friend said I should come to the gate of my community to shorten up the time... plus, we had more people to get. 

Anyway, I go to the front gate just as they arrive and another car pulls in behind the bus so I try to hurry and get on so as not to block traffic.  I give my friend a hug and my purse gets caught on the rail and does a little sling shot thing but all is well because it is still on my arm.  So I thought.  But I didn't even check which was my first mistake.  Maybe it was the 2 drinks I had that made me feel secure enough not to check... who knows.  2 drinks aren't really a big deal so I didn't think anything of it.



At the concert I try my hand at country dancing and did fairly well, considering I don't really know what I am doing that well.  My dance partner suggests I can do flips and YES, I want to do flips but my realistic side kicks in reminding me this neck injury may not appreciate flips while dancing so I must decline.  But that doesn't stop me from putting my purse on the ground and getting twirled around.  Making me slightly dizzy, kicking over my drink and knocking over my purse.  To which still appears to be fine so no harm no foul.
 
After the concert we stop at another place called SandBar which is a cool restaurant cough cough bar.  Where I set my purse down to do some more dancing.  All the while, never feeling the need to check the contents because who does that anyway?
 
 
 
By the end of the night the party bus brings me back to my house which is when I finally check that everything is still in place.  Only to discover my phone is gone and the zipper I keep my wallet in is gone too!!!  I think I must have kicked it over while dancing and it fell out at the concert.  Or someone got into it at the bar.  Shortened version is that I use the option to locate my phone from my computer and it shows it is in my community.  hmmmmm..... weird.
 
But I take a shot and walk over to the guard gate.  Who actually has my phone.  How the hell did that happen?  Well, I explained my theory above but next issue is that my wallet is still missing.  The security guard says he heard my phone get ran over... it was probably by the party bus but starts looking around for my wallet.  Which I thought was absurd because he looked about 10 ft. away from where the bus was.  Low and behold it was there!!!  Everything still in it!  Again, my speculation is listed above and that my purse got caught then causing these things fell out upon entering the bus but geesh I don't *actually* know!
 
 
Good news is I was able to retrieve some photos so I can show you the moments captured and some "after" pics in my kitchen. 
 
Before:
 
And after:
 
 
 
So we have an updated look with the cabinets.  I still have to paint, get rid of the borders and do the countertops but I am happy with the outcome so far.
 
Fast forward to this weekend!  This will be the shortened version.  Hung out by the pool, ran errands, cleaned up the mess of what is the kitchen and bathroom (due to cabinet resurfacing), had some drinks, went to dinner (no pics) and then had Easter dinner.
 


 
Coffee Easter morning on my balcony.  Life is good!

 
How was your weekend?
 
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Mar 31, 2015

11 Tips to Avoid Easter Weight Gain

 
 
Holiday weight gain is something that people of our generation have accepted and even expect.  Most of us are fortunate enough that we have plenty of food so we are not lacking in that area but sometimes we are still malnourished because of poor food choices.  Sometimes we over eat because it is available but we have to reprogram  our way of thinking  to overcome this.  The holidays are extremely difficult because of the emphasis placed on food.

I used to joke around and say that I had to  lose 5lbs to compensate for the 5lbs I would gain from the holidays but the truth is I have never enjoyed gaining weight over the holidays.  I just laughed about it because it seemed like it was unavoidable.

Easter is around the corner and there is always so much food- the Easter portions can get crazy!  Traditionally, there are always chocolate bunnies, puffy marshmallow Easter bunnies and tons of other candy and treats during this holiday.  The Huffington Post published a fun little quiz about how much we really know about the candy we are consuming.  Check it out here, you may be surprised- I definitely was!

I love Easter and the joy that it brings. The weather is always nice and warm.  It is a great opportunity to wear pretty spring dresses - or anything spring related.  (Remember, I am in AZ)  Plus, family time is invaluable!  For those of us who are Christian it is also some time to reflect on what the meaning of Easter really is.  For those who are not, you can still relate to holiday weight gain and food!

When I was growing up, the Easter bunny used to come to our house and hide eggs, goodies and our basket.  He would ring the door bell and was always so quick that we never caught a glimpse of him but we always knew it was him because he would drop some of his Easter basket grass where he had been.
 

As a kid I loved ham and as an adult I love ham!!  And leftover ham! My mom used to make ham hock & bean soup with the leftovers which I learned later that others just call ham and bean soup.  I have learned to make a few other soups using leftover ham but that was a side thought (I get distracted by shiny things too!) let's get back to Easter meals.

There is so much food to enjoy and I understand why *one plate* can be around 1,500 calories!! ONE PLATE!! Everyone  knows that 3500 calories equals 1 pound and an average person needs to consume anywhere between 1500- 2000 calories (men can be in the higher ranges than this) so if a person eats one plate with 1,500 calories on it and then a desert, they have already over consumed for the entire day!!  But what if you have seconds?  ruh roh..... that is where problems can come in and weight gain occurs. 

ABC 15 put together some popular dinner table food items and their serving sizes as well as the calories contained.  Check out the highlighted link to see if your favorite foods are listed there.  The reality is most people go back for seconds and desert is usually a minimum of 500 calories.  This is how weight gain occurs.  Duh, you already knew that.




Then the next few days after usually consist of leftovers and usually they are not eaten in moderation so with the combination of the food being higher calorie and consumed heavily, people gain significant amounts of weight within a short period of time.  Nobody wants that and it is unhealthy.  That is always my biggest point - health, not vanity.  So Easter portions should be moderated to avoid weight gain.

The plan of action for today and the next couple of days:

1.  Get in some physical activity.  Go for a hike, workout longer, do MORE than what you typically do.  This will help counteract any excess calories.

2.  Stay within your daily calories today and the next few days, maybe even 100-200 less to help counteract Sunday's debacle.

3.  Take a look at the plan for Easter Day.



Plan for Easter Day

1.  KNOW YOUR LIMITS and plan for success.  Accept the fact that there will be scrumptious things but we don't need to gobble it ALL.

2.  Start with a light breakfast - I recommend getting in some veggies during this meal.  If your family celebrates in the evening then  have a light lunch too.  When eating appetizers, those should be light too and stick with veggie items.  For example, we have asparagus wrapped in prosciutto and even though the prosciutto is fatty, the asparagus is not.  That is a better choice than cheese and crackers.



3.  Drink water all day- this helps the brain know you are full prior to being overfull.  Especially be sure to drink a full glass 20 minutes prior to your meal.  This will also help reduce bloating due to excessive sodium.  Most holiday meals have higher doses of salt and this leads to bloating -and other health issues and water helps flush that.  Besides, most of us do not drink enough water anyway.



4.  Workout.  The day(s) of your big meal you should workout.  My personal preference is to workout vigorously to combat any extra calories consumed during my Easter meal.  It would also be good to workout the day before and after.  The extra calories gotta go somewhere and if you don't burn 'em off, then you probably know exactly where they will go!  If you do not normally workout, you should try going for a walk or doing some jumping jacks, jump rope or any small activity to boost your metabolism.

5.  Incorporate veggies and eat that first.  Most holiday meals consist of a lot of rich foods and many are high in carbs.  Most people opt for these yummy choices because they are exactly that- yummy.  Note to self:  high carb foods ALWAYS contain high calories too.  If your family does a salad, have a small serving of that with light dressing.  If you do not have salads then eat the green beans, asparagus or whatever you have and be sure to eat that FIRST.  Pick the non-starchy over the starchy, if available.  This will help you consume less total calories because you will begin to fill your belly with that first.


6.  Pick out your favorites and have those.  There is no need to put everything on your plate.  There will always be another time that you can eat the other things.  The more food on your plate, the more you will likely eat.  If there is less food on your plate then you are already ahead of the game.

7.  Use a salad plate so your plate appears full.  Yes, we are using psychology with our Easter portions to avoid weight gain!  If  you use a bigger plate it will be too full- too much food.  Your brain plays a huge role in satisfaction.  If your plate appears full, your brain will signal your stomach that you are satisfied.

8.  Put a small serving of any item, even your favs, on your plate.  By small serving, I mean use a tablespoon instead of a regular serving spoon.  It will probably appear laughable on your plate but if you are like me, you like 2nds.  This way when you go for seconds you won't already be over-stuffed.  (probably just slightly stuffed)

9.  If you go back for seconds, make that plate smaller than your first plate.  (Don't put as many items on your plate as the first round and avoid going back after that.  This is going to take a lot of will power, I know, but you will be thankful!!  I promise.  You will still get the taste of your favorites and you will be more comfortable than usual - meaning your stomach won't be hurting as bad.  Plus there will be less calories consumed ;)

10.  Know when your cheats will be.  In advance.  Avoid eating all the leftover goodies (candy, etc) the rest of the month.  Remember, Mother's Day is coming and there will likely be some form of food, treat or even alcohol then as well.

11.  Sip your alcohol.  Alcohol is a killer to the waist line then add the extra caloric intake and it is a double doozy.  Let's be honest, some of us are NOT sippers.  If you are one of them then you need to work harder during your workouts the rest of this week!!  and the day of and probably the day after.  Just sayin'.

It seems like holiday weight gain is inevitable but the reality is that we think that way because of programming.  Our own programming and we just need to think a little bit differently by using smart tips to helps us out.

Today we struggle with obesity because of a variety of things.  Less physical activity, abundance of food and an overall excess in unhealthy choices.  Which, I might add, usually appeals more to us.  I know that holiday weight gain is a reality and it is difficult with so much delicious food.  I hope this blog will help avoid holiday weight gain and at the very least, *reduce* excessive holiday weight gain!!


Happy Easter!! and have a great day to those who celebrate something other than Easter!!

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Mar 30, 2015

To Race or Not to Race?

I had some cool pics with my weekend but my phone got ran over so I have to improvise.  On my way to work this morning I saw the typical "I'm gonna be first" situation happen.  Between a mini van and a mustang! 

2 lanes merged and the mustang was ahead of the mini van.... but wait.... the mini van is nosing in.  Go mini van go!  Typically I would've bet my money on the mustang but this little guy wasn't really feeling the race.  BUT it also wasn't giving up on the race.  Maybe they didn't want to spend money on wasted gas.  So there they are side by side on a lane that is becoming very narrow.  I guess the mustang thought because it looked fast that the mini van would just give up.

Nope.  Mini van didn't give up and they gave it a little gas.  Woohoo!  We have a wiener....oops, I mean winner!

Meanwhile, I envision the person the mini van cursing under their breath saying no mustang was gonna win the spot!

Personally, I would've just let the other damn car go.  Who cares who gets to the red light first!

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Mar 20, 2015

Friday Faves

My life is really quite impressive and I have a few favorite things I would love to share with you this lovely and fabulous Friday.

The view from my balcony- just can't beat these morning views!!

 













And then the view on my drive to work.  I get to leave for work and see the beauty




 
 Mountains and mostly clear blue skies.  I love my life.

This morning's breakfast:  2 egg whites, sautéed mushrooms, 2 small pieces of ham, feta and 2 slices of whole wheat toast. 



Just a great way to start my Friday morning and keep my day bright and shiny.  On the horizon, resurfacing kitchen cabinets tomorrow in which I should finish some of the other small projects I haven't posted yet..... because they still had finishing touches so there is no "after" shot yet.

I am really settling into my condo very well and I am focusing on all the good things in my life as well as all the good things I would like to come into it!  I am extremely grateful for all the beautiful and wonderful things in my life!

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Mar 16, 2015

Weekending

I was not going to write a post because I was lazy but I do have a few things to highlight and it really won't take long.  This weekend the weather was amazing so I enjoyed a bike ride on the greenbelt near my house.  Crazy thing is that there is a botanical garden near me I didn't even know about.  I'm so lucky to live in such a beautiful area.  And glad that my brother knew about it.





Last Thursday I went to dinner with my grandma and there was so much damn food on the plate that I literally had 4 total meals out of it!!  It was seafood pasta and was good but I wouldn't say it was so good that I ever want to have 4 meals from there in a week any time soon.  To make matters worse I had purchased a certificate through restaurants.com for this place- which is what brought us there- only to learn they stopped accepting the certificate in December.  Strange thing?  I bought it in late January!



My brother and I went for a bike ride on Saturday and Sunday which was really fun and it was a tiny little bit of a workout - which you all know how much I want to workout!  My neck wasn't sore until Sunday's bike ride so I guess I know my limit.  On a side note, I am starting some type of exercise therapy at the Dr. this week so we will see how that goes!

Sunday I went to a place in Scottsdale that is Spanish oriented and has flamenco on Friday and Saturday nights as well as salsa dancing.  So fun!  I told the server I'd have to come back to pretend I know how to salsa dance.  Our Sangria came in such a cool pitcher and much of the place had a feel of being in another country, I just love the place.  And want to go on vaca!


I will let ya know how the exercise works out and see ya soon!

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Mar 9, 2015

Places to Stay in NY?

Hi Friends!

I want to attend a conference in Ny, NY and am wondering if anyone knows of a place to stay?  My co-worker and I are going to work on some fitness related awesomeness and this conference will help us with that.  The event is on Bowry in the Houston Street Center.  Do any of you have a place you can think of to refer us to near there?  We want something budget friendly but not run down and yucky.  So, basically, I have champagne taste on a beer budget!!  I'm sure she won't mind that I said that!

Onto things I have been working on.  A project I have tackled is to beautify these lovely closet doors in the hallway.
                                                                                                     Notice the lovely gold lining the doors.  If it doesn't scream 70's, I don't know what does!  Upcoming post on progress and finished product.  I know one of my other posts talks about other projects, believe me - there are many as this place was *actually* built in the 70s!

Thanks for any feed back you can give on where to stay in NY!!  And what to do while we are there.

Also, Nadine, how come I can no longer comment on your blog?  This is the like the 3rd time I have tried but cannot do it!
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