Archive for April 2012

Match-Up #8: Yoga Booty vs. a Boring Gym Routine

I get more and more behind on these all the time. And really, as I’ve been a bit grounded from traditional exercise for the last week (minor injury resulted in me not being able to work out in the traditional sense), I should have already caught up. But I did not, so today, I’ll get one post closer. (And I need to post sooner, because by the time I get around to posting it, sometimes it’s been a week or more (much more, in this case), and I’ve forgotten a bit about the videos. Whoops.)

This match-up is between Yoga Booty Ballet (Tina’s suggestion) and the Abs Diet Workout 2.

I’ll be honest – Yoga Booty Ballet was a LOT more fun than I was expecting it to be. It involves dancing, yoga, and some light toning type moves.

However, it didn’t burn NEARLY as many calories as I would have guessed it would. I like the yoga aspect, because I am SO stiff, I need to stretch more, but I wanted more dancing to get more of a sweat going. Didn’t happen, although I did burn enough calories that I’d be willing to do this workout again.

The second video in the match up was the Abs Diet Workout 2. (I can’t find Abs Diet Workout 1.)

This video was boring. It consisted of some guy coaching two women lifting weights on a boring set.

For a long time.

There was a cardio session, too, but this is not a video that I would ever select to do for fun.

So who was the winner?

Abs Diet Workout 2. Of course. The boring video.

I can’t say I hated this video, because it wasn’t dangerous, it wasn’t too easy, it wasn’t too hard, and it wasn’t overly complicated. It was just boring. The closet analogy I can think of is imagine going to the gym to lift weights and run on the treadmill for an hour, but you forgot your iPod at home and the gym’s music speakers are boring, so all you have to listen to is gym noise. You still get a good workout, but dang. It was boring.

When this video shows up in the next round, I may put a little music on in the background to help me get through this video, because the calorie burn was decent and I do feel like I got a good workout.

How do you get through a boring workout?

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Weekend Warriors Redux – The Hunger Games Version

The Weekend Warriors are back!

A few years ago, several of us noticed that we did much better during the week than we did on weekends. Thus was born the Weekend Warriors, as we pledged to support one another and make a weekend as successful as the week. Last time around, they were very often themed, and this first one out is no different. I have chosen as the theme The Hunger Games!

Why The Hunger Games? It is a competition, and for the most part, only the fit survive.

I know for a fact that I wouldn’t have survived. I probably wouldn’t have even managed to fall off of my pedestal before Clove had gotten me between the eyes with a throwing knife…

If I did managed to avoid a knife to the eyes death, I sure enough wouldn’t have been able to climb trees fast enough to hide from the careers…

And I’m way too uncoordinated to actually run for my life…

I would have died right away, and I want to change that.

There are no hard and fast rules for participating. Basically, you come up with the rules that will make YOUR weekend successful. If you have a blog, it would be awesome if you’d post about it. If not, hey, still feel free to participate. (You can submit your link below!)

This is what I am going to accomplish this weekend.

1. Eat between my calorie target of 1900-2400 calories and track all food.
2. Drink at least 4 Nalgene bottles of water per day.
3. Exercise daily.

Are you in? What are your goals?



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Stellar Giveaway: Run For Your Lives Indianapolis Tickets!

This is definitely the highest dollar amount giveaway I’ve ever done, and this one is coming out of my own pocket.

I am giving away two tickets to the 9 a.m. wave of the Indianapolis Run For Your Lives on June 23rd.

Here’s what happened. Tina and I signed up for this race BEFORE she got pregnant.

Pregnant women and zombies don’t mix.

I’m not much of a runner anyway. I keep wanting to be, and someday I will, but for now, my weight is just too much for me to comfortable run. Oh well. It is what it is. I am not using it as an excuse to not be active, because I work out. I just don’t run yet.

Well, that means I have two tickets for Indianapolis that we aren’t going to use. I contacted the race organizers, they said that a ticket transfer was no problem (and offered congrats on our upcoming baby), so here I am.

Two tickets. 9 a.m. Indianapolis Run for Your Lives. June 23rd.

Please note – the wave, date, and location CANNOT BE CHANGED. You are literally going to just be taking our place in the race.

Here’s how you win.

Leave a comment, telling me whether you want one or both tickets.

I’ll select a winner with random.org. If the first person selected wants both ticket, then they get both tickets. If they want one, I’ll draw again for another. If that person wants the remaining ticket, they get it. If not, I’ll keep going until I’ve given away the other ticket.

Leave a comment.

Win ticket(s).

That easy.

And as I give these tickets away, I look forward to the day that I can compete in Run For Your Lives.

Contest is open until end of day, May 3rd. Winner will be announced on May 4th (assuming I get the contacts made quickly.) You will have three days to reply to my email to you (if you don’t notice on the blog), and if I don’t hear from you, I’ll keep moving down the list of potential winners.

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Breads of Panem: District 1 Brown Sugar Cinnamon Knots

I am absolutely, positively infatuated with The Hunger Games.

Katniss is my hero.

I grew up on a farm with a dad who hunts, and this summer, I’m going to have him refresh me on archery. (I learned how to shoot a bow fairly young, but I certainly didn’t keep up with it as I’m just not a hunter.)

The movie was great. The book, as the book always is, was better.

The universe created by Suzanne Collins is a fascinating place.

On my 35 Goals Before I Turn 35, I mentioned that I wanted to bake the 13 Breads of Panem (one for each of the 12 districts and the Capitol).

If you have read the books, you know that bread, in the Hunger Games universe, is life. Quite literally. Katniss’s entire outlook on living was changed by a loaf of bread. She was thanked with bread. Her fellow tribute from her district is a baker.

Bread is a big deal.

But what got me really interested was the fact that the characters, in the first book, were discussing how each of the 12 Districts of Panem produce a different type of bread. Only fourare described. District 3’s bread is described as bite-sized, square-shaped rolls. District 4 is fish-shaped with a fishy, salty taste and a green tint. District 11 is dark, crescent-shaped rolls with seeds. And lastly, District 12, home of our heroine, is just meager drop biscuits. Although we weren’t privy to their conversation, Peeta and Katniss discussed how the qualities of the districts coincided with the type of bread they made.

Okay, if you haven’t read the books, at this point, you probably think they are only about bread and the Hunger Games must be some reality television show about baking. It isn’t. I promise. Read the books. You won’t regret it. (And I’ll try to avoid spoilers in my descriptions.)

I’m by no means the first person to try to recreate the food of Panem. Admittedly, most recipes I’ve seen involve reproducing groosling (a type of bird), the lamb stew that Katniss raved about, or the very unique fishy bread of District 4.

As I mentioned, I want to create 13 breads in all, and I am going to start with District 1.

District 1 is the district that produces luxury goods for the Capitol. As described in the books, the citizens of District 1 are extremely loyal to the Capitol. Winning the Hunger Games is a huge honor for people from District 1, so much so that children there train to complete. While in other districts, becoming a tribute basically means becoming a corpse, in District 1, it is a thing of envy.

They are well-fed in District 1.

District 1 produced such tributes as Glimmer (super hottie) and Marvel (bastard who killed… well, just read the book.)

I had nothing to go on from the books to make their bread. So, knowing that they were close to the Capitol and created luxurious things, I envisioned their bread as being less of a dinner staple and more of a treat.

As such, I present to you my take on the bread of District 1.

Brown Sugar Cinnamon Knots

The recipe was adapted from one given by Elise at Hungry Hungry Hippie. Modifications are my own.

1. Mix together 1 ½ cups of warm water, 1 tablespoon of sugar, and 1 packet (or 2 ¼ teaspoons) of active yeast. Stir together and let sit for about five minutes until bubbles form on the surface of the water.
2. Add in 2 cups of all-purpose flour and 2 ½ cups of white whole wheat flour. (Rather than make the entire batch out of all-purpose, I thought that District 1 might have to supplement cheaper flour. Even if they make luxury goods there, their products still have to go to the Capitol first.) To this, add 1 teaspoon of salt and 2 tablespoons of oil. (I used olive oil.)
3. Knead all this together. Knead hard. If it gets too dry, add a little more water. Be VERY sparing with your water. Mine was a big ball of hard, dry dough, so I wet my hands with warm water and resumed kneading. Just the water on my hands was plenty to get it where it needed to be. Mold it into a ball.
4. Grease a large bowl with oil, put the dough ball in it, cover with a towel, and let rise in a warm place for two hours. (Be warned – because of the whole wheat, it won’t rise as much as all white flour would.)
5. After two hours, punch the dough down and form back into a ball. Let it rise again for one hour.
6. At this point, you have a big wad of dough. Take a cookie sheet and either grease lightly or place down parchment paper. Tear off chunks of dough, roll out into “snakes” (you know, like you did with Play-doh as a kid), and sprinkle with brown sugar. (I kept a bowl of brown sugar near me, and I dipped each snack in the dry brown sugar.) Then, tie it into a knot. Don’t worry if it isn’t pretty. They’ll rise as they bake and still turn out awesome.
7. Once you’ve made your knots (I ended up with 15), brush with melted butter and then sprinkle cinnamon on top.
8. Stick your rolls into a 425 degree oven for 15 minutes (or until brown on top). Fifteen minutes was perfect for me.

Each knot works out to around 250 calories. As with all treats, enjoy in moderation.

Enjoy the bread of District 1.

District 2 coming soon!

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Weekend Warriors are Back!

I had a bad weekend.

Wait, let me clarify. I had a fine weekend, as far as just being alive goes. Still here, so win there!

Bad weekend as far as the diet goes.

And I’m finding it happens pretty much every weekened.

Basically, this is how my diet is progressing at the moment. I do well Monday thru Friday, and according to Physics Diet, my weight is more or less dropping. And then Saturday and Sunday show up, and I find myself just… not doing anything right.

I view the weekends as a vacation from healthy eating and living. This is especially stupid for me as NO foods are off limits and I can have whatever I want if I count my calories. As for exercise, I freaking LIKE to exercise. Why don’t I?!

Because I like playing around more.

But this stops.

About two-ish years ago, Brandon from I Run Alaska hosted a weekend challenge once a month called Weekend Warriors. Basically, he noticed that he was doing the same thing I described above, sabotaging himself, and he was tired of it. Hence, Weekend Warriors was born, and we were all invited to participate. It happened about once a month, and I think all of us who participated did well on those weekends.

I want to reclaim my weekends for health.

I emailed (actually, I direct messaged on Twitter) Brandon and asked for permission to resurrect his idea. He gave me permission, so here we are.

Weekend Warriors is back!

I am quite aware that my blog is one of the smaller fish in the healthy blog ocean (I think I may even be plankton), so this may be a tiny group. Heck, it may just be me.

But I encourage anyone who wants to do better on their weekends to take part.

There are no rules. You set your own rules. You decide what you want to do to make your weekend a success, and you do it. It’d be awesome if you’d write a post about it, but that’s obviously up to you. I will do a link party here on Stellar Path.

I’ll write the official Weekend Warriors Post on Thursday.

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1-3-14 - 407.0 (-5.0 pounds total)