Summer Bucket List 2012

Yesterday I shared a song that could easily become the soundtrack for my summer – or at least one of the songs of summer. And speaking of summer, Janetha posted her summer bucket list a few days ago and I thought it was a great idea!  I like setting goals, I like making lists and I really like crossing things off my list.

1 – Go hydrobiking -  I’ve never been but Amy and I bought a GroupOn deal for this a couple months back because it looked like fun.  It also looks like someone will want to follow this klutz around with a video camera.  There are bound to be some priceless moments.

2 – Buy a new swim suit – You probably wouldn’t believe me if I told you I haven’t bought a new swim suit since my freshmen year of college.  Well, it’s true.  Or at least I’m pretty sure it is.  I loathe swim suit shopping and it’s something I do my best to avoid every summer. This year, I’m bound to find something that I feel confident in and that can also be worn in the ocean. (Note: Tie swim suits don’t work for wave jumping!)

3 – Go to the beach – I know I live 6 miles from the beach. I know I work a block from the beach.  But truth is, I’ve only gone about 1-2 times per year since I’ve moved to SoCal.  So getting to the beach is on my list.

4 – Go Hiking – I love and need to do more of it.  Enough said.

5 – Read a book – Seems simple enough right?  Since finishing Harry Potter, I’ve had a hard time starting and finishing a book.  Goal set.

6 – Finish FitMixer bootcamp – We are 1 month in!  Unfortunately, I’m on a temporary hold with my spinal issues but hopefully I’ll be able to jump back in.  For now I’m sticking with my nutrition plan and calorie counting to keep me on track.

7 – Travel – This will be taken care of in just a few weeks as I head to Boston and then to NYC for Justine’s wedding.  Can’t wait!!

8 – Run a 5k race – I want to get my mileage back to a 10k distance so I can run a 10k, but since I’ve never run a race, I want to run a 5k as part of the training.

9 – See live music – You’d think this would be easier said than done because I’m just a music lover but I don’t go out as often as I’d like to for live music.  I’m bound to change that this summer.  I want to see some live music!

10 – Donate to Goodwill – I have a box sitting in my trunk with a few things and a bag in the bottom of my closet.  I also know there are other items I don’t use or wear but are in perfect condition for someone else to get some use from.

11 – Massage – I think this is well deserved.  And I can tell you my back agrees.

12 – Farmer’s Market - We have these year round and just like the beach, despite living and working so close to them, I always forget to go or my grocery days don’t fall on a Farmer’s Market day that I know of.  I need to change that!!

 13 – Wine tasting – Who wouldn’t want to relive this?

14 – Yoga – Since I’m doing Courtney’s June Yoga Challenge, this should be fairly easy, but it’s also doctor’s orders to do more yoga.  So, I’m going to do it!

What things do you want to do this summer?

Music Monday // Paper Aeroplane

A few days ago Justine posted this video on Facebook and I’ve been obsessed ever since.

The band: Angus and Julie Stone

The song: Paper Aeroplane

My obsession only grew as I found even more music and now it’s pretty much on repeat on Spotify.  Look it up, it doesn’t disappoint. Pretty sure this could become my soundtrack for the summer.

What song is going to be your summer soundtrack?

Food for Thought

This is my first time on muscle relaxers and I must tell you, they’re like freakin’ tranquilizers.  I take one and I’m out within 20 minutes and I’m not just out for 20 minutes, I’m out for a few hours.  I wake up for a few and then it’s lunch time so I eat, take another and I’m out for the afternoon.  We’ve moved beyond napping, I’m just out.  I haven’t quite figured out how I’m going to work this around work (Do we think my boss would mind if I napped on my desk most of the day?)

And I wish I could say it’s getting better, but we’re not quite there.  In fact, while the headache was down most of yesterday, the pain was just sitting in my shoulder making at neck or arm movements very painful.  I’m going to try and incorporate some basic yoga and stretching over these next few days to see if I can work out whatever it is.

A few weeks ago a friend of mine posted this article to Facebook: 25 Things I’ve Learned In My 20s and given the book I’m currently reading, this really caught my eye.

Here’s a few snippets that really caught my attention:

  • You’re going to lose touch with a lot of your friends. With some people, it will be expected but with others it will feel like a punch to the stomach. No friendship is truly safe in your twenties. You’re undergoing so many personal and professional changes that there’s bound to be some casualties along the way. Don’t worry though. You’ll end up with the ones that matter. If someone’s no longer in your life, it’s for a reason.
  • So much of what you think matters doesn’t actually matter at all. It’s kind of rude. Like, thanks for making me believe in things that are ultimately so inconsequential, you jerk.
  • Don’t force yourself into loving anyone. If it’s not working in the beginning, it’s probably not going to work ever.
  • You are so lucky to have everything that you have. Stop crying about an unreturned text message and get some perspective.

Sound pretty accurate? I thought so too.

What simple yet profound things have / did you learn in your twenties?

Calorie Counting

I had a hard time keeping my eyes open yesterday.  I woke up, made breakfast and took a nap; I went to the doctor, made lunch, and took a nap; I had a snack, watched some Netflix, and took a nap.  Are we seeing a repeating pattern?

The good news is I made it to the doctor yesterday and listened to him get a little angry at his staff for telling me I couldn’t come in yesterday and instead wound up in the ER.  Have I told you I love my doctor?  He took a look at my tests from yesterday and felt around the area of my spine that was in pain.  He thinks it’s a tension headache as we store most of our stress in our neck, shoulders and upper back.  He recommended more yoga (it’s a good thing I’m committing to 3 days / week with the Yoga Challenge), wrote a prescription for an anti-inflammatory and muscle relaxer, told me to take it easy and come back to see him next week.

I’m not completely sold on the tension headache but I’m moving more each day and I have been pretty stressed out so I guess it does make sense.  I just can’t explain the pain I felt on my spine on Thursday; almost like someone took a hammer to your spine over and over.  It was far from pleasant.

But I’m on the road to recovery and that’s the most important thing.

Anyway, I wanted to check in with the FitMixer bootcamp.  I’ve mentioned the workouts have been awesome and I’ve briefly touched upon the calorie counting but I think there’s more to be said, especially now that I’m 1/3 of the way through bootcamp.

I’m not one for counting calories.  I eat with intention and strongly believe that we can enjoy all foods as long as it’s in moderation.  But that doesn’t mean I’m in any way perfect and this has been a reminder that I still have work and obstacles to overcome.  Like stress or boredom eating.  We all do it.  And if you say you don’t, then I challenge you to count your calories (every bite you take in) for a week and then tell me you still believe that statement.

Because I’ve found myself walking to the kitchen while I’m bored looking for a snack, only to realize I’m not actually hungry.  I never really considered myself a boredom eater, so it’s been interesting to catch myself in the act a few times.  I’m working to break this habit.

Beside when you become aware of the foods you’re putting in your body, their nutritional value and compare it with your goals for the day, you get a real sense of the term “empty” calories. For example, marshmallows are a real weak spot for me.  I love nothing more than a soft fluffy and melty marshmallow.  And I can eat 4 of those big marshmallows for only 100 calories.  Doesn’t seem bad until you eat them for your afternoon snack and realize you’re still hungry and they’re not going to hold you over until dinner.  Does it mean I skip the marshmallows? No, but it does mean I only eat a couple, ripped in 1/2 and topped on 2 graham cracker squares.

Sometimes with a few chocolate chips too! ;)

And let’s not forget my favorite dinner as of late: a huge salad topped with 1/2 avocado, 1/3 cup defrosted frozen mixed veggies tossed in a light balsamic and topped with either 2 over easy eggs or a veggie patty.  Seems like a lot of food while I’m eating it and yet it comes in right around 300 calories.  That meal holds me over; that meal is a much better use of my calories.

Conclusion: calorie counting isn’t that bad. It’s eye-opening and definitely a helpful tool for those looking to lose weight or even just get a better sense of their eating habits.

Is it something I’m going to continue post-bootcamp? Not regularly but from time to time, yes because it’s a great way to just check-in with your eating and hunger.

Have you ever counted calories? If so, did you have any revelations or conclusions?  If not, would you ever?

Fitness Friday // And the Unexpected Thursday

To anyone who follows me on Instagram, I apologize for any scare if and when you saw this:

To anyone who doesn’t follow me on Instagram, it’s @ktyou and you should.  Instagram is fun!  And I promise not all of my pictures show an IV sticking out of my arm.

But back to yesterday, I can’t explain what actually happened.  I woke up with a headache and decided to skip my morning workout and instead get an extra hour of sleep to work it out.  By the time I got out of the shower, I realized I had a stiff neck and by the time I left for work, I had not only a headache but a severe pain in my upper spine and right in the middle of my chest.  It’s hard to explain but it was absolutely awful and even just lifting my arms made the pain even worse.

I very carefully drove into work, knowing I wouldn’t make it a full day but hoped to at least get my important tasks of the day done but by the time I got there I knew I needed to just go right home.  I sent myself some information about an important call I was supposed to have yesterday and left.  My doctor’s didn’t open until 9 so I went straight home and hoped a few hours of pain meds, heat and ice combinations would help and I’d feel better.  I made an attempt to get out of bed and was sent into hysterical crying by the pain and when the receptionist at my doctor’s office told me I couldn’t come in yesterday, I knew I needed to get to the ER.  All of my friends were at work and the ones with a bit more flexible schedules were stuck in long meetings, so I very carefully drove myself to the ER.

I was in the same room and had the same nurse I had when I went in last month for my asthma (he remembered me too), but that actually brought me some comfort.  Being there alone was a bit scary especially with all my pain and being told they needed to check for aneurisms or other potentially life-threatening causes of my pain. Say WHAT?!  Good news it wasn’t either, bad news is I left not knowing what was causing the pain and the pain meds they gave me were wearing off very quickly and I had to wait for a friend to come pick me up since I wasn’t allowed to drive home.  I’m off to the doctor as soon as I hit publish for another opportunity for answers.  Yesterday was a crazy day.

The reason for this long story is really just to explain my extra rest days yesterday and today.  Trust me, it’s not by choice but rather by necessity.  I spent my whole day yesterday worried that it could be something that would lead me to not be able to workout for an extended period of time or even ever again.  (Yes, sometimes I get a bit dramatic but this is my form of therapy and stress relief so I think it makes sense.)

We had some awesome FitMixer bootcamp workouts this week and I got in some awesome yoga sessions too.  I didn’t make my 3 for the week but I think I have a pretty good reason why not.

How was your week?

P.S. I’m working on making the code for the Fitness Friday button available but I’ve hit a bit of a wall and have to figure out how to show the text without it being read as code.  If you know, please share your wonderful knowledge with me! 

Photo a Day June

Did you know yesterday was National Running Day? Did you go for a run to celebrate?

You better believe I did! I made it short and sweet because yesterday’s FitMixer bootcamp workout was a toughie, I felt a little low on fuel and I knew I still had a 10 min walk home from the gym. There was to be no fainting – listen to your body!

A few months ago I jumped on board with the “Photo a Day” on Instagram. Then I completely lost motivation and couldn’t get past a few days without skipping several. I decided to try it again this month. Really just because I enjoy taking photos and it helps build habit and improved photography skills (even if it’s just on my iPhone).

Here’s my photos from this past week.

I know it’s not Monday and I’ve shared numerous posts about my love for Bon Iver, but as I was sitting on my couch yesterday afternoon doing some writing, I had Bon Iver playing through my AppleTV when I suddenly realized there was a music video playing. The beauty of the video matched the song perfectly and I couldn’t tear my eyes away; it was just too beautiful. So I’m sharing. Deal with it.

And finally, I’m throwing a question out there to all of my amazing blogger / tech savvy friends : If I want to make a text box with the html code for the Fitness Friday button, how do I keep from it reading the html code so it shows as text? (Please excuse me if this is a dumb question but I can’t seem to figure it out!)

Foodie for a Day // Lemon Blueberry Protein Pancake

I promised you a recipe over the weekend.  But more than any recipe, I promised you this recipe.

I got the inspiration for this recipe from a Cherry Pancake recipe I found online.  My initial plan was to make cherry berry pancakes using the Cheribundi juice I have left from BLEND.  Well as I thought more about it and started calculating calories, I got a whole new inspiration of where I wanted and could take this recipe.

And because I prefer 1 large pancake over many silver-dollar sized cakes, that’s exactly what I did.  And at 163 calories, 35g carbs, 0g fat and 13g protein, this is something I can get behind.

Ingredients:

  • 1/4 cup vanilla non-fat Greek yogurt
  • 1 egg white
  • 3 TBSP whole wheat flour
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 7 drops lemon liquid stevia
  • dash of salt
  • 1/4 cup blueberries

  1. Mix Greek yogurt, egg white and stevia in a small bowl
  2. Combine flour, baking soda and salt in a separate bowl
  3. Combine the wet and dry ingredients together until evenly mixed
  4. Stir in blueberries
  5. Spray non-stick skillet with cooking spray and pour batter into pan.  Spread evenly into 1 pancake.  (Note: the batter will probably spread and that’s fine.)  Cook until bubbles appear on the top side of the pancake, flip and cook until done.
  6. Top with more blueberries and a drizzle of maple syrup (if you’d like)

**You can easily adjust this recipe to make a second pancake if 1 isn’t enough while staying within a desired calorie level**

Part of this complete breakfast.

Do More Yoga, And Do More NOW!

Imagine this going on around you:

But imagine this is all you hear:

There’s only one thing that can make that happen.  Yoga.

If you haven’t noticed through the past few Fitness Fridays, yoga hasn’t really been present in my workouts.  Quite honestly, that’s not okay.  And I’ve felt the effects.  Mentally, physically, emotionally. Something’s got to change.  There’s got to be more yoga.

Thankfully, just as I was really feeling the effects, Courtney decided to start a June yoga challenge.  And since there’s no better time than the present, I’m hopping on board.

Sweet Tooth, Sweet Life

My goal?  Get back to yoga at least 3 times a week. Doesn’t matter how long, it just has to happen.  I started on Sunday – 20 minutes completed.  And it was glorious.  Absolutely glorious.

In fact, I’m off to do more yoga as soon as I hit publish and finish my breakfast!

Do you enjoy yoga? Would you like to join the challenge?

Music Monday // Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros

Do you remember when I made that video from my trip home?  Do you remember that song? Home by Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros.  It’s definitely a favorite of mine and when I heard the band’s new album, Here, came out, I knew I needed to get my hands on it.  If it was half as good as their first album, Up From Below, then it was something I needed to hear.

Is it a good album? Yes. Is it an amazing album? Not quite.

Will I run out to buy it? Probably not. Will I continue to listen to it on Spotify? Absolutely, it’s still a good album.

Their first video is for one of the best songs on the album called “Man On Fire.”  Enjoy.

Have you heard the new album? Did you like it?

A Big Thank You!

I’ve said this before and I’ll say it again, it’s the little things in life that mean the most.

A card from a friend:

A text message:

Flowers on your birthday (or any day):

A cup of tea:

And fun packages waiting on your doorstep:

Thank you to PopChips and Chobani for providing me with some of the simple pleasures in life.  I can’t fully express my gratitude and love for your companies.