Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Moving, moving, moving

Yes, I'm singing in my head:

"Movin' movin' movin',
though they're disapprovin',
Keep them dogies movin',

Okay, enough of my singing, but yes, we're in the midst of a move. Somehow my eating is in check. I'm not making as many green smoothies as I usually do, but I'm eating lots of fruits, some vegetables and mostly whole foods.

I've researched the city in which we'll live and have found they have a Whole Foods store, a Trader Joe's (yay!) and a locally owned natural food store. I love the locally owned health food stores here in our area, so I e-mailed the manager of the one there and asked how it compared to the 4 stores here (we're just 3 hours away on the coast and many people inland come here, so I thought there was a chance she'd be familiar with our stores). She wasn't, but she told me they have 12,000 sq. feet of groceries, supplements, bulk foods, produce, etc. I'm excited. She also told me that when I get there, I should ask for her by name and she'll give me a personal tour of the store. I'm sure I don't need a tour, but it was such a sweet gesture after our e-mailing back and forth that I'm definitely going to take her up on it.

I did a Google search for a Farmer's Market there and they have several running from April through December. So that will be fun.

As for my workouts, I've packed my exercise dvds in plastic boxes that I can easily access in my closet right now. I've only packed the fitness equipment that isn't used in the workouts I'm doing in my current rotation (Cathe Friedrich's 4 Day Split series). I figure with the U-Haul truck getting loaded on Friday, they'll most likely disconnect the stereo system and TV and put it on the truck. However, I could use my laptop for my Saturday morning workout (even though the sound won't be all that great). I'll load the dvds, weights, barbell, step, mats, etc. that I'm using in the back of our Denali so it won't get lost in the process of others unloading the truck. Then when we get to our new house, I can personally take my fitness gear into the room I'll use for workout (we have THE MOST GIANT family room in our new house -- I'm so excited to have ample room for stepping!) and can just pick up with my workout on Monday as usual.

It all takes a little forethought, but it can be done (and it will keep me sane :)).

Happy trails to you all! I'll be writing more in a week or so after we're all settled in our new home.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Timesaving Yoga Sessions

A friend asked me yesterday if I knew of any dvds that had quick yoga sessions (20 minutes at the most, preferably 10 minutes if possible). I thought I'd write about it in case more of you are wondering the same thing. I told her about my very favorite, but I'll list a few other options, in case you want to explore or have variety. I mentioned these briefly in a previous yoga post over a year ago, but here's a bit more:

My top pick is Quick Fix Total Mix Pilates/Yoga with Tracy York and Suzanne Donegan. The front cover shows Tracy York, but not Suzanne -- they show a model instead (I don't know why Quick Fix often does this on their workouts), but you can learn Suzanne's names in the credits if you're curious like I was. I already knew who Tracy York was. She does many other workouts with Michelle Dozios (formerly Nevidomsky) like the Breakthru Step workouts. But Tracy isn't my favorite. She's okay, but her voice is a bit high and I got tired of hearing her instruction for something peaceful like Pilates -- I like her better for cardio. Plus she spends a lot of time building up each move and I just wanted to get to work.

Suzanne, on the other hand, is a wonderful yoga instructor. She cues enough to let you know what proper form is (like teaching that your feet should be placed with all 4 corners evenly balanced) and her demeanor is peaceful and pleasant. The music is nice and the moves are just right. There are 4 yoga segments at 10 minutes each: Yoga Energy, Yoga Strength, Yoga Flex, and Yoga Challenge. You can do one alone or click on them in succession in the order you like for a combination. It's not super challenging, more soothing and restorative. I don't know how to gush over a yoga instructor, but I either like doing yoga with someone or I don't. And there are a few with whom I just love doing yoga. Suzanne is one of those very few.

I've used this dvd most either for a 10-20 minute add-on to a workout or with all of them in a row for a longer yoga session. I used to own it on VHS before we had a dvd player. It was called Quick Fix Core Yoga then. I like it better on dvd though because I can customize my own workout or skip around. This dvd is no longer available retail, but you can still find it used on Amazon,, ebay, etc.

Another great add-on or brief yoga session is a bonus feature on Crunch Candlelight Yoga. The main yoga session is about 45 minutes long (and is just wonderful -- it's about the least challenging yoga dvd I've done, but it still feels great and definitely worthwhile to do). This is one of Sara Ivanhoe's early yoga productions (she did Crunch Joy of Yoga and Fat Burning Yoga earlier and has since done her 20 Minute Makeover series and her recently produced her own dvd Yoga on the Edge.

The bonus is called Yoga Energizer and it's only 15 minutes long. Its title suggests it's an energy boost for the morning (and it can be), but it's also a nice add-on to any workout or as a stand-alone at night.

Yoga Zone dvds are also fun short yoga gems. They have a slew of Yoga Zone dvds in the 2 -20 minute session format. The first Yoga Zone videos were an hour long (and are led by Alan Finger, my favorite being Conditioning & Stress Release) and are filmed indoors, much different than the following series. The shorter ones I really like are filmed in Jamaica outdoors in a beautiful bright setting with upbeat, yet soothing music. The dvds are made up of 2 segments from a Yoga Zone tv show (which I never saw). You can buy a boxed collection (or this one), but I would get them individually, because I have some favorites and some that just left me thinking I wouldn't care if I never did it again.

My favorite Yoga Zone dvds are: Yoga Sculpting, Evening Stress Release, and Sunrise & Sunset. I didn't really care for: Total Body Conditioning (too many prayer poses), Gentle Yoga for beginners (way too gentle), and Introduction to Power Yoga (I wanted to like it -- I love power yoga, but the poses just didn't feel right to me). I think I've tried Yoga for Abs and Yoga for Weight Loss and have liked them, but it's been awhile and I can't remember. I've loaned out many of these and haven't gotten them back and it's hard to keep track.

The only other short yoga session that I love, but I didn't think to mention before because it's the only yoga on this dvd (and is just 10 minutes long) is the yoga on the original 10 Minute Solution with Michelle Nevidomsky-Dozios. There are a ton of 10 Minute Solution dvds now, but the original one that stood alone for many years was a combination of 5 different exercise methods (going off of memory, Bootcamp, Kickboxing, Ballet, Pilates, and Yoga). I had this back in VHS-only days and had to FF and rewind all the time because I mostly liked the latter two. This was my introduction to Pilates and it's still one of the most challenging 10 minutes of Pilates I've done. Doing it back to back with the yoga is just perfect because after working the core and legs with the Pilates, the yoga is a calm and relaxing (as well as helpful for your flexibility). I still use this yoga to add onto other workouts and it never gets old. Pretty good for a video that is 10 years old!

Now you have some quick yoga options. No more excuses if you don't think you have enough time!

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Conflicting thoughts

The other night something stressful happened. I'm not sure what it was. It could have just been the daily chaos that comes from my children running around, all needing me at once, etc. This feeling swelled within me that I really needed to eat some ________ (fill in the blank) - - chocolate, homemade bread, SoDelicious "ice cream," homemade cookies, whatever. This seemed like it would help solve the situation, make things balanced and peaceful again.

At the same time, I had a conflicting thought. If I were just ____ pounds lighter, life would be better and I wouldn't even care if this stress arose.

I realized the contradictions in my thinking, not to mention the lack of logic. I also recognized how often these kinds of thoughts enter my mind throughout the day. Part of me is thinking that so much in life would be better if I could lose a little more weight and the other part of me is thinking that I would feel so much better if I ate more, more food. If I did the latter, the former wouldn't be possible. If I wanted to do one, I'd have to give up the other. One has to win out. I have to give up the other. Which will it be? If I hold onto both desires, I'll forever be disappointed. I'll never be content. I've battled this out in my mind since. (Yes I do lead a normal life amidst this and even accomplish some things, but my mind is a busy place :)).

I'm thinking the eating response needs to change. It's probably not healthy (or sane) to have either thought all the time, but I need my eating to come from a desire to nourish my body, not cure my emotional needs.

I'll do an update post at the end of July and will let you know how I do with changing my conflicting thoughts. TTFN!