Monday, August 24, 2009

Faux Plum Green Smoothie Recipe

I don't know if you like to eat baby food, but when my children were babies, I had my favorites. I loved the apricots and the plums. Peaches were pretty good too. But the plums have always been a treasure of a snack.

On Saturday, I made green smoothies at breakfast to stretch the last 2 cups of juice to feed all of my family plus my friend and her 3 children. As I was savoring every single sip as I got to the end of drinking it, I realized that it somehow tasted just like that plum baby food. Not a plum in it, but it truly did. Here's my recipe:

Faux Plum Green Smoothie

2 cups Apple Peach Passion Fruit juice (Kirkland brand from Costco *)
2 big ripe peaches
20 (?) frozen strawberries (maybe more -- enough to fill up about 3/4 of the Vitamix pitcher)
1/2 bunch kale

Blend it up and enjoy!

*If you can't find this juice, any juice with a tang will do. When I've made other smoothies, if I use pineapple juice or any juice w/pineapple or juice w/1/2 fresh lemon, the results are similar to this juice.

Slim Series -- week 1 update

My first week went pretty well. My plan was to do 5 Slim Series workouts and 1 yoga workout. I didn't quite reach my goal. Mid-week, I woke up with a sore throat and a big headache, so I rested up a bit, took some herbs and apple cider vinegar and was better by that evening. I did 4 Slim Series workouts last week, but didn't do my yoga on Saturday (drat!) One of my best friends and her 3 children came to stay with us and we were up way too late and all the kids were sleeping in my workout room (aka the family room) -- so I just called all the walking we did that day my workout. Not good enough, but this week will be better.

As for my stats, they stink! Not a single change in my measurements. I thought I ate pretty well too. So I'm just calling last week a dress rehearsal (although there is some saying about life not being a dress rehearsal). But last week was. This week is the start of my 4 weeks of Slim Training and the inches will fall!

The good news is that I'm finally back to my mega-early morning workouts. Last week I started off with exercising after I took the kids to school. Then I progressed to getting 1/2 the workout done before school and the other half after. By Friday, I was up at 5:15 and finished my whole workout before they got up -- woo hoo!

Today I did the same, so I'm off to a great start. Tone It Up today, probably Mix It Up tomorrow. Back for more later!

Edited to add (9/27/09) -- I took a detour from this Slim Series Rotation. I kept getting sick (maybe I overtrained?) and didn't get many workouts in the next week and didn't feel like coming back to them after that. After doing some cardio and some yoga, I decided to do a similar rotation with Cindy Crawford's workouts for a month. I'll come back to the Slim Series later on and will update then).

Editing again! (11/18/09) -- I started a Slim Series Rotation again a little over 2 weeks ago and have been doing just great! My clothes are getting loser and I am loving each and every workout. After my 4th week, I'll post results. Stay tuned!

Monday, August 17, 2009

Obstacles for Exercise

Everyone who doesn't exercise has excuses for why they can't exercise. Today, I'm no exception. I haven't worked out in over a week because of this move (see, there's my excuse) and today was to be the day I started my Slim Series rotation.

I could have gotten up at 5:30 to make that happen, but I wasn't ready to start my day quite that early after an abrupt end to our summer (another excuse). My plan was to get the kids off to school for their first day of school, come back home, and work out. I even dressed in my workout clothes first thing this morning so I wouldn't forget.

I took the younger kids to their K-8 school and it started out just fine. My 5th grade daughter ran off to find her class on her own. My 8th grade son took off in another direction. I went in with my 1st grade son to meet his teacher. He loved his class, his own desk, seeing his name on his desk and immediately sat down. I took a few pictures and had him get up so I could get the traditional "1st day of school" photo with his teacher.

I left to find my 8th grade son. I wasn't sure if he'd find his class easily since those rooms aren't marked with the teacher names. I entered the upper grader hall and it was PACKED with very excited and loud chattering young teens. I had to "excuse me" my way through and asked a few stray boys where Mr. Wilkinson's room was. I walked in and found my son and a few other boys in the class. After introducing myself to the teacher and taking a few pictures of my son in his desk (he kept telling me not to -- I would have stopped at one, but he had his hands covering his face, as usual). I overheard the other boys saying "that kid's in my seat." I've never seen bullies in action before, but these kids fit the bill. I would have loved to have said "Hey, he can sit there if he wants" but I know that meddling moms aren't an 8th grade boy's idea of being helpful. So I just watched a bit. The boys wore black with skulls on their shirts. The one talking actually had a wide black wrist band with metal studs. Ack! I didn't see these boys as a threat -- just little punks who probably didn't understand much about their value in life.

Eventually my son got up from his chair and kind of looked around for where he should be. I asked the kids as they wandered over, "Do you have assigned seating in this class?" and they said they did. The teacher corrected them and said, "You can sit where you want now, but I'm going to switch you around later" to which they moaned and acted like they should be able to because that's where they sat last year. He told them he knew them well enough to see where they should sit.

My son recognized another boy from church coming into class. He walked towards him, but that boy didn't notice and started talking to someone else. I wanted to make it all work, but knew I had to leave. My son sat in the back by himself and the bell rang. I left and immediately burst into tears. In all our years of thinking of moving, this was my only concern. This particular child has thrived in the nurturing country school where we used to go. He was there from Kindergarten until last year and I took him away from all that. He doesn't make friends easily. He's meek and wonderful. It just broke my heart to walk out, knowing that he wasn't cared for in any way. The nurturing environment was gone.

I tried to go take a picture of my 5th grade daughter, but her door was closed and class was beginning. Being a new mom, I didn't know the teacher at all to just peek my head in (like I'd do at our old school) and say "I just need to take a picture" and would do it super fast. So I just walked away, compounding my sadness.

I decided to go look at the 8th grade class one more time to see if anyone sat by my son. I walked back down and looked through the classroom door window. No one was sitting by my son in the back. I managed to find my sun glasses as I walked out the second time so I could hide my sadness. The first day of school has always been such an exciting day for our family and I could see it in the other parent's eyes. I didn't want them to see my eyes today.

So I've been crying & praying most of the morning. I don't feel like working out. I'm drained and I'd rather just take a hot bath or go back to bed. But you know what? I'm not going to do that. I still have on my workout clothes. I know where my weights are. I have my Slim Series dvd in the dvd player ready to go and I'm going to do it. Debbie will smile and help me through this next hour and I'll be glad to focus on something else. Or at least that's what I'm telling myself. We shall see if I'm glad I did it or not.

Edited to add: My son is doing much better in school. He's been hanging around a good group of boys from church and seems pretty happy when he comes home. He never tells me much about it, but I've heard from the other moms (and one teacher) that he's been having fun with these boys, jokes around with them, and feels quite comfortable. *phew!*

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Slim Series time again!

I've done the Slim Series rotation 4 or 5 times, that I can recall. (I'm referring to the 4 week Slim Training rotation, if you're familiar with the booklet -- there are a few to choose from and this one is the most advanced, consisting of 5 Slim Series workouts each week plus one stretch day. They provide Cool It Off, but I usually just choose a yoga dvd instead). The first time I did this rotation, I needed to lose 25 pounds after having my last baby (and who knows how many inches). I measured at the beginning and continued to measure each Monday morning for the 4 weeks. I didn't weigh myself until the end. I've since lost the record of my measurements, but I remember losing between 3/4 and 1 1/2 inches in various areas every single week. It was the most motivating news I've ever had with a workout.

By the end of the 4 weeks, I did some other workouts for variety and came back to the Slim Series a month later to lose the rest of the 25 pounds. It was gone and that was great!

When I did my interview for the Slim in 6 interview (which they didn't use on the infomercial, besides my little "I lost 25 pounds!" blip), they asked me to mention that I'd kept the 25 pounds off for 2 years afterward. As always, I like to explain away any thought I have. I wasn't content to just say "I've kept the weight off for 25 years" because for me, that's not as simple as it sounds.

When I was younger than 38, I could lose weight, keep exercising, and keep the weight off without too much fan fare. It wasn't like I was just reverting to old eating habits, but if I got off track a bit, I wouldn't gain weight. It was pretty magical and wonderful. As long as I kept going with my workouts, I was fine.

After my last baby was born (at 38), that all changed. Yes, I lost weight with the Slim Series and by integrating a host of other workouts afterward, BUT if I wasn't completely careful with my eating, I'd gain 5 or so pounds without even realizing it. This especially happens when I eat foods with flour, even wheat flour. This also happens when I get off track while travelling or by baking too much over the Christmas holidays (even with seemingly healthy ingredients). Now I get to add "during a move" as another way that weight can creep on. So MY definition of keeping the weight off is taking it back down as soon as it goes up. It's never very steady. Well, I shouldn't say "never," but it's not always that steady. I want it to be. It's my goal to make it that way. I'm sure eating is key. But exercise plays a big role too.

With all that in mind, it's time for me to do the Slim Series rotation again. I've been doing Cathe's Shock Training System (STS) for the past few months and was hoping to do her Meso 3 cycle next (with her 4 Day Split dvd set). But as much as I wanted to keep up with that in this move, I wasn't able to with all the boxes and furniture that got set up where I imagined they wouldn't, with all the chaos that comes with moving, no matter how much I tried to prevent that. I feel like my post-STS body has left me and I'm starting from scratch again. Hopefully that isn't the case and I've kept my strength gains. I'll see if that's true when I start on Monday. But I need to start with some workouts very familiar to me (I've done these workouts over and over for 6 years now), that take minimal equipment and space, and that deliver results so I can feel good in my clothes again.

I've never chronicled my results with the Slim Series on my blog before because I haven't done the rotation in full since I started blogging. I just mix them in here and there. However, every time I've done the Slim Series rotation, I've gotten amazing results. I'm not sure how it works for me, but it works better on my body than any other workout series. As much as I love Cathe's workouts (and do them often), they've never caused me to lose inches or weight like the Slim Series has.

So I'm ready to share my progress with you as I go. I'm not going to tell you my starting measurements, but I will tell you how many inches I lose each Monday in each area and how much weight I lose at the end of the 4 weeks. I'll also let you know how my eating is. I plan to keep the raw food ratio high and drink my green smoothies. Less baking and refined foods (yeah, even health food store versions, which seem to be my mainstay in this packing/unpacking process).

I'll be back on Monday just to let you know how the first workout went. I'm sure it will be great to work out with Debbie again. Love her!