Link Love - February 26, 2009

Video: The Truth about Splenda/Sucralose!

Eek! This guy is making a lot of sense. But oh how I love Splenda. The idea that it is made from sugar always made me feel safe. Come to find out it is a highly altered chemical. I've tried agave nectar (not sweet enough) and cane sugar. I really like cane sugar but it's just empty calories. I'm very interested in Stevia and may pick some up soon.

On Vacation!

I'll be back next week fully refreshed and ready to rekindle my fitness fire!

Video: Weight Loss Tips: Muscle!!!

I've begun to (very slowly) incorporate weight training into my routine. Muscle is extremely important for revving up our metabolisms and (eventually) maintaining weight loss. Beginning in March, I will add a weight training routine two days a week at home in addition to my usual cardio workouts.

How NOT to Sabatoge Your Weight Loss on Vacation

"Genius (or success in my case) is one percent inspiration and 99 perspiration." -Thomas Alva Edison

My husband and I will be vacationing and visiting fam in the Carribean next week. It's nerve-racking thinking about all the ways I can sabotage myself. I've always threw caution to the wind on vacations and returned with at least a couple of pounds gained. Our last vacation was all-inclusive which is a dieter's worst nightmare. To avoid the debauchery, I'll actually have a plan of attack this time.

It turns out there are no all-inclusive hotels in the area of the island we're visiting. We booked a room with a kitchen and dining area. What's even nicer is there's a deck at which we can eat our meals facing the water. The first thing we'll do after checking in is hitting the supermarket. We'll cook ALL of our breakfasts, some lunches and stock up on bottled water, fruit and snacks to bring with us on outings.

Because we'll be in the Caribbean, I'll try to have as much (steamed/baked) seafood and fruit (mmm mango!) as I can stomach. It will be difficult to stay strong as most dishes are fried on the island but I'll try to keep my meals, especially dinner, as healthy as possible. I'll allow myself 3 dinners that I won't obsess over. Drinks alone can easily put me over my calories for the day. One Piña Colada can easily top 700 calories! I'll stick to light beers and wine (and maybe one Piña Colada.) I'm bringing my laptop in hopes that I'll have a connection and can track my calories.

We'll be on the coast for 5 days and the mountains for 4. I'll be packing my sneakers to have long (1 hour minimum) walks on the beach and then in the mountains every other day. I think it'll be a great way to explore our surroundings, snap pictures and keep active. My aunt is vegetarian and a very healthy (and excellent) cook so I'm pretty excited to see (and taste) what she cooks up. I missed her famous shrimp soup the last time I visited because I was sick. I'll be the first one at the table if she makes it again.

Valen-birthday Weekend and New Workout Gear

I declared this weekend to be my birthday weekend since 1. I don't usually celebrate my weekend in such an obnoxious way and 2. I turned the big 3-0. I received a beautiful bouquet of white roses on Valentine's morning. I plan on keeping them alive for as long as possible. We then went to the movies and dinner Saturday and Sunday. We're also going out tonight since today is my actual birthday. We already discussed what we're going to eat since we've overindulged a bit this weekend. We've had Vietnamese and Indian. We'll stick to (steamed) seafood today.

I've had terrible shin splints the last couple of weeks. I think I overdid it when I exercised 4 days in a row and jogged one extra minute. Yes, one measly minute may have sent me into a world of pain. I now realize shin splints are a big part of the reason I've stopped working out in the past. In the past, one session with this pain would have me give up. At the suggestion of a group member, we went to pick up a new pair of sneakers for me. I'm very picky when it comes to sneakers. They all look like abominations to me. I grab the least tacky pair and went to look around the store. As I passed by the sales rack, I saw the beautiful pair you see to the right. As you can see, I have a very "clean" aesthetic. They happened to have one pair in my size! I then saw another pair out of the corner of my eye, exactly in my size, and snatched those up as well. They were half off so I figure I can have a back up or a pair to wear out and about. I also bought a pair of gel insoles. I tried them out today and they helped a lot with my heel pain. These sneakers are extremely comfortable. Oh and the sneakers have my birth year on them. It was meant to be!

I planned on buying cloth bandages to wrap my shins/calves to help reduce the shin pain during workouts. I found these shin splint support wraps. They're more than I wanted to pay but they seem like they'll last a long time and they're a breeze to put on. They're a little too tight but I hope they'll stretch out. I wore them today and the pain wasn't as extreme as usual. I feel pretty bad because I can't jog right now. I'm trying to keep up with my usual MPH (3.5) but the pain is pretty bad. Rest is just about the only way to heal but I just can't. I'm going to continue to exercise but may split my cardio between the treadmill and the elliptical (ugh.) My husband asked to pay for it all which really made my day. Not only because he paid, but because I received gifts that reinforce my goal of getting fit!

Happy Valentine's Day!

I hope you all have a lovely and romantic day! My mantra today will simply be Moderation. I'll skip the bread basket today and have a glass (or two) of Rosé instead of a fruity cocktail. I'll have one slice of whatever yummy dessert I choose. I'm not a chocoholic but cheesecake on the other hand can easily be my demise. If your other half asks what you'd like, shoot for flowers, jewelry...basically anything without calories. Of course if you cave, there are always other ways to work off those calories...

Here are some healthy and decadent desserts to enjoy!
Strawberries with Cream Cheese
Raspberry Swirl Frozen Dessert
Chocolate-Dipped Strawberry Cheesecake

Beginning to Love the Treadmill

Never thought I'd say this...but...I love the treadmill. I really do. It's so challenging some days but there are days, like today, that I feel like I've really accompished something. Right now I'm fluctuating between a 30 and 40 minute speed walk. I always run in the middle for a few minutes. Today I tacked on another minute. A personal best! I've also noticed my breathing and heat rate is steadier than a month ago. My goal is to be able to jog a 5K without stopping. Hoping to accomplish this by autumn. Here are some things that cross my mind while exercising:

"I only have ONE body and one life." wait, is that from a commercial?
"They're just legs, they can take the beating!"
"I will look so much better in my 30's than my 20's."
"I will be a MILF one day!"
"I want to be the old lady that still exercises."
"I am stronger than I think I am."

My weight loss has slowed down a bit but I'm happy that I had a loss this week. I exceeded my calorie limit by a little bit a couple of days and I skipped a couple of workouts. I had a stressful week but I'm back on track and looking forward to a great weigh-in next week.

EDIT: I knew that first quote was from a commercial! Check it out here. Boy, talk about TV affecting the subliminal mind. LOL

Peek into My Fridge and Goals

Click to enlarge photos. Here's a peek into my fridge after 1. a new, and clean fridge was delivered and 2. after a weekly grocery trip. As you can see we really love dairy. Well, I actually love dairy. I might even be addicted to cheese. Yogurt with granola and strawberries is a breakfast I can't have just about everyday. I don't eggs though. That's for the hubby. We refill the water jug from the tap with our Brita filter. Diet soda isn't great, but we love it. There are potatoes and cassava in the crisper drawers. There are also tons of condiments, dressings and spices on the fridge door.

Lots of fish and chicken towards the back of the freezer. The garlic naan is a bit high in calories (190 each) but they make a good lunch when topped with marinara sauce and part-skim mozzarella. We usually keep a bag of broccoli and other veggies around for quick dinners. The frozen mango and passion fruit (middle) are great for shakes. Haven't made one in a while, might have one for lunch tomorrow.

I managed to lose 7 pounds in January. My goal was 8 pounds but I'd call it pretty much a success. Here are my accomplishments for January:
  • Exercised 10 days

  • Increased my treadmill time by 5 minutes, increased speed by .5 mph

  • Tracked my food intake everyday

Here are my goals for February:
  • Exercise 4xs a week (16 days)

  • Drink more water

  • No eating after 8:30pm

  • Increase treadmill time by 5 minutes

  • Exercise and track calories while on vacation

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