Getting Fit After 40 ~ Month One

Getting Fit After 40 ~ Month One

I promised I would send updates on my progress using the Pancakes and Push-Ups program by Sloane Davis. You can read about what I am doing here.

Things are going well and I am seeing results. My weight is fluctuating and somedays the scale says I have lost five pounds while other days it only looks like about two. I am okay with that because I can see some changes with how my clothes are fitting and in the mirror. My legs are still my focus area and still look quite wavy but I have lost a half inch off my thighs and a half inch off my hips.

 

I am a little discouraged as I think a lot of the waviness is loose skin from being heavier and then loosing weight. I am hoping they will tighten up.

With seeing some physical changes but my weight not drastically changing, I am hoping I am putting on some muscle. I will probably go in for a DEXA scan soon to see what has changed since my last one.

The food on the program is measured in macronutrients, The My Fitness Pal App allows you to see your macronutrients in grams so it is fairly easy to track.

I have gotten a little stricter with my eating, although the fats get me in trouble, even though they are good fats! I love avocados and nuts. I am trying to eat less meat so getting enough protein has been tricky. I don’t do much dairy but I do love cheese, especially goat and feta which can get me in trouble if I eat too much.

Most of my protein is coming from egg whites, protein powder, nuts, quinoa, a collagen supplement and some chicken once a week. I have cut out most grains but get carbs from fruits, veggies and some beans and lentils.

My favorite breakfast is egg whites with some avocados and veggies.

I recently made a vegetarian stir fry and mixed in cauliflower rice instead of a grain.

My favorite smoothie is my PB&J. You can find the recipe here.

Peanut Butter and Strawberry Smoothie

I would say my biggest vice is the weekend by the pool and social events where the wine and cocktails are flowing. I try to only have one or two drinks and will not eat any fruit on the days when I know I will have something to drink.

I mean how can you not have a drink at the pool when you have a floatmingo! I do want to make a disclaimer that I really was drinking water at the time this photo was taken but will admit I did have wine that night!

I’ve got a good friend and we have made up our own eating plan that we are calling the Slow 30. It is much like the Whole 30 way of eating except we get to have wine on the weekend and a few no foods (like beans, cheese and quinoa) a couple times a week.

My workouts are consistent. I’ve got a group I train with 3 days a week and every session is different much like a cross fit type work. While I am already out I will go lift the weights listed on the program.

Since the pool is open, I have been throwing in some water aerobics a couple times a week. I am learning how to play pickle ball and have lessons twice a week.

I have a good friend that I meet with once a week and we climb 10 sets of stadium stairs at Wichita State University and then take 4 laps around the track.

So needless to say there is not much time for blogging, hence the sporadic posts.

It is a grueling workout but always feels good when it’s done, although my calves are sore for a few days after!

I’m thinking with all this exercise and my weight not drastically dropping that I am putting on some muscle! At least I hope that is the case! I need to get someone to take some more pictures so I can compare the progress. Hopefully I will get that done soon and share them in my next progress update.

Thanks for sharing this journey with me. Please feel free to email me or comment below if you have any questions about my workouts or diet.

Sharm

The Fat Burning Margarita

The Fat Burning Margarita

This fat burning mocktail with apple cider vinegar will get your morning off to a great start and make your digestion system happy too.

I have been hearing a lot lately about apple cider vinegar and how it can help boost your metabolism. I was just shooting it strait in a shot glass, until I went on Tosca Reno’s Wellness Retreat. That is where I learned about Wetter Water. The addition of salt adds electrolytes and the lemon or lime juice makes it quite a bit more palatable and helps add some vitamin C into your diet.

I have been trying to drink this consistently for the past month along with eating pretty clean and it has help me shed about 5 pounds. My girlfriend and I are following a plan we are calling the Slow 30.  It is a program we made up that follows the Whole 30 way of eating with the addition of having a cocktail or wine on the weekend. I have also been lifting heavier weights using a program by Pancakes and Pushups.

I have finally got my husband drinking it and he is dropping weight as well. He loves cocktails so I have named this drink the Wetter Water Margarita. Fresh lemons or limes are best when available but you could certainly use bottled juice. Just make sure there is no sugar in it.  I have a bottle of lemon juice in the fridge and throw a shot of that in the concotion when I am out of fruit. Be sure and buy the apple cider vinegar that says “with the mother” on the label. The amount of water in the recipe is just a recommended amount. I can drink it pretty strong and like to get down so I only use about a half cup of water. If that seems to strong for you, feel free to dilute it your liking by adding more water.

If you want to shed a few pounds adding a Wetter Water Margarita to your daily regimen of healthy eating and exercise will help.

Print
Wetter Water Margarita
Prep Time
5 mins
Total Time
5 mins
 
Servings: 1
Ingredients
  • 1 whole fresh lemon or lime, juiced
  • 1/4 tsp course sea salt
  • 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar with the mother
  • 1/2-1 cup water
Instructions
  1. Combine all ingredients in glass of choice. Mix well and drink.

 

Technology to Make Your Home Smarter and Life Easier

Technology to Make Your Home Smarter and Life Easier

I recently had the chance to try out some smart home products thanks to Verizon Wireless. I had a great time trying out these handy devices and loved how each one made life just a tad bit easier in its own way.

It is now time to send them back, but first I will give you a quick overview of these handy gadgets.

The Ring Doorbell This easy to install doorbell works with an app and can that notify you when there is motion at your door or when the doorbell buttons is pushed. With a built in camera and video recording service you are able to answer your door from your phone and talk to whomever my be visiting.

My favorite feature of this device was the ability to catch the video of what was happening when the doorbell was pushed. This allowed me to decide if I needed to answer the door or if it was just UPS ding dong ditching me a package.

The Nest Learning Thermostat This handy thermostat learns your habits. After adjusting the temperature consistently at certain times of the day, this thermostat learns what temperature you like and what time you want it. After a few days it will start doing it for you automatically. If you like to turn the temperature up or down before going to bed, this smart thermostat can do it for you. It also learns that when it is adjusted from heat to cool that the season has changed.

With the connected app it is easy for you to adjust the temperature from where ever you are. Energy saving features allow you to choose away options if you will be gone for sometime. When you are ready to return, just set the temperature desired from the app and the perfect temperature will welcome you home.

I travel quite a bit and will adjust the temperature before I leave to save some money. My favorite feature of this device is the ability to adjust the temperature via the app so my home is the perfect temperature the moment I walk in the door.

The Nest Protect This device detects both smoke and carbon monoxide. In addition to the different alarm signals, one for smoke and one for CO, this device also speaks and tells you what is wrong. If you have multiple Nest Protects installed throughout the house, the device can tell you which room the problem is in. This device connects to an app and will message your phone if something goes wrong. This Nest Protect uses a battery and instead of just beeping it will tell you when the battery is low or needs replaced.

Nest Protect continuously tests itself with the nightly promise feature. When you turn out the lights for the night, Nest Protect will glow green for a moment which means everything is working. If it glows yellow that can indicate the wifi is down, a battery is getting low or another issue. Just push the Nest Protect button or check the app to see what the issue is.

My favorite feature of the Nest Protect is that it tells you which alarm is having the issue or needs the battery replaced. I am ready to switch out our smoke alarms with these devices as the ones we have now are hardwired with a battery back up. When one alarm goes off they all do and it is always about 3 a.m. It gets very frustrating at times as it’s hard to tell which one is low. We had one alarm that would never stop beeping even though it had new batteries. My husband finally through it out in the street and ran over it with the truck! If only it could have told us what was wrong!

Verizon Wireless also sent me the Google Home to try out. I absolutely loved everything that handy device could do which you can read about here.

For more information on the Nest line of products or the Ring doorbell visit the Verizon Wireless website.

Disclosure: Although, I was compensated by Verizon Wireless to review these products, all opinions are my own.

Google Home Voice Activated Speaker Review

Google Home Voice Activated Speaker Review

The Google Home voice activated device has just become my best friend. I recently had the chance to spend some time with this personal assistant thanks to Verizon Wireless. They loaned this device out to me to test for a few weeks and now it is time to say goodbye and send it back.

It is definitely more sorrowful than sweet as we part as I have gotten quite used to all the amazing things this little gadget can do.

 

Below are a list of some of my favorite features of the Google Home.

The ability to play music mixes. Much like Pandora, you say, Okay Google play music by (insert favorite artist) and Google will play a radio mix of that artist along with similar ones right through the built in speaker without commercials. If the music seems to loud or to soft you can also ask it to increase or decrease the volume and when you are finished listening just tell it to turn the music off.

Built in dictionary. This became my husbands favorite feature as he is a terrible speller. As he is tapping out his emails and came across something he could not spell he would  ask, “Hey Google how do you spell ____________.”

Got a question? Google has the answer. I am currently following a fitness and nutrition program which you can read about here. One of the suggestions on this is to try and drink a gallon of water a day. Since my water bottle is marked in ounces I had to ask, “Hey Google, How many ounces are in a gallon?” Within seconds I get the response that one U.S. gallon equals 128 ounces.

We are fairly new to the city we live in and Google home was able to answer my questions about the closest library branch location, closest pharmacy, grocery store etc…  It will even tell you the hours of business. If you know the address where you are going or even the name of the business and city, it will tell you how long it will take you to get there or how many miles away the location is.

If you are headed out of town, Google can find hotel accommodations located in the area you will be traveling, tell you what the weather will be like and how long it will take to get there.

To keep track of my daily activities, Google can set timers and create shopping lists, If you set up a payment method and delivery address, Google can order items for you and have them shipped right to your door. Just say, Hey Google, order me some paper towels or whatever you may be needing.

The Google Home device is super smart and quite handy to have around. The device is quick to get you the answers you need and would be an amazing partner to have on your Trivial Pursuit team, if anyone even plays that anymore.  Maybe now with Google Home device the game will make a comeback since with the help it can provide people can actually answer those darn questions.

I wish to thank Verizon Wireless for loaning me out the Google Home device, but am disappointed I have to send it back. It will surely be missed.

For more information on the Google Home device visit the Verizon Wireless website.

Getting Fit After 40 with Pancakes and Pushups

Getting Fit After 40 with Pancakes and Pushups

Okay friends, so I have been invited by Sloane Davis of Pancakes and Pushups to try out her Kickstarter plan to get me fit after 40, which is actually 46 in my case….

This is way out of my comfort zone but I feel like sharing my journey of getting fit with you, will help keep me accountable. I have been wanting to get in shape for a long time.  And by shape I don’t really mean losing weight.  I am fairly happy with what I weigh as it is the normal range with my height of 5’10. At least that is what those doctors charts say. But as you can see by the pic, which I cannot believe I am sharing, there is not much muscle tone and I am looking pretty flabby!

My goal is to decrease my body fat percentage and gain muscle and definition.  I am going for a certain look not weight! With muscle weighing more than fat, it is possible my weight could go up and I am okay with that as long as I am seeing the changes in my body shape. One of my main goals is to get rid of these craters and dimples that have overtaken my thighs as you can see in the pics below, which I can’t believe I am sharing either!!  I’m thinking I also need to see a vein doctor because as you can see,  things are not looking good!

So this is where I get open and honest with you. I have had a little “work done” to help with some of the body changes. After having my kids in 1993 and 1994 and still being asked 5 years later if I was pregnant, was the last straw for me.  I was determined to lose the weight and did.

After the weight loss, there was a lot of loose skin just hanging around so I had a tummy tuck in June of 2000.  It was one of the best decisions I have ever made and if you are contemplating having one, do it! You will not be sorry. Now I’m not going to lie, the recovery is fairly intense but is short lived considering the long term benefit. Just make sure you have a good caregiver to help you for a week or so after.

Having the tummy tuck boosted my self confidence and motivated me to lose even a little more weight by working out and learning how to eat right using the Eat Clean Diet® by Tosca Reno whom I love and adore. I recently attended a wellness retreat she hosted that you can read about here. I am set to go to another one in October, you should come too! Get those details here.

Since then even while restaurant and food blogging, I have been able to stay in fairly decent shape, that was until September of 2013. That is when my husbands job moved us from Kansas City, MO to Wichita, KS., which I thought I could handle but was wrong.

Not only did we move but, both of our kids went away to college and after being a stay at home mom for 19 years, I was quite thrown for a loop and did not adjust well to the changes. We moved in September of 2013. I could barley eat and was not in a good place emotionally.

I lost about 10 pounds of weight but it was from not eating so my lean mass disappeared. My husbands new job required quite a bit of travel and since I had no reason to stay in Wichita alone, I would tag along. Overtime my appetite came back. A lot of the travel included dinners and events that had plenty of cocktails and wine at arms length. I did continue to exercise but not enough to out train my bad diet of overindulging in the food and wine. I was also taking Zoloft which causes weight gain and I am sure some hormonal changed did not help either. By the spring of  2016, I was 20 pounds heavier than when we moved. Then factoring in the 10 pounds I had lost in the first few months after we moved that was 30 pounds I had gained over the course of 2 1/2 years.

By summer of 2016,  I was having to buy all new clothes because nothing fit! Enough was enough and it was time for a change.  Since September 2016, I have been working on losing the extra weight.  I did an extreme diet earlier this year. It was a supervised program through a doctor that is supposed to preserve muscle and burn fat. I have been doing body composition scans since September of 2016 to monitor my progress. The scan breaks down your body weight into how much is fat mass and how much is lean mass or muscle.

To really find out if the theory of this diet that claims to preserve the muscle while burning the fat was true, I did a scan before and after. My goal was to lose 10 pounds which I did in 19 days. Although I had lost weight, I was quite depressed as the results of my post diet scan showed only 3 pounds of it was fat and the other 7 lost was lean mass.

I found out about Sloane Davis of Pancakes and Pushups through an email that shared some tips on staying fit while traveling. I travel all the time and really liked what she had to say and shared that info here. She invited me to try one of her programs and after my disaster of a diet and my desire to build back some muscle, I am super excited to give it a try.

The plan that I am doing is 12 weeks long. I will be posting updates on my blog and social sites of my progress so be sure to join my newsletter and follow my social media to get the latest updates. Better yet join me! You can find out about Sloane’s programs here.

Wish me luck!

Airline Compliant Carry-On Travel Essentials

Airline Compliant Carry-On Travel Essentials

These travel essentials that are airline compliant can be put in your carry-on bag and will save the day should something go awry!

I have been traveling quite a bit over the past few years and am guilty of being an over-packer. After some trial and error have finally scaled down my bag but always include these travel essentials in my carry-on.

Whether I need to wipe down my tray table, my face, hands or take a spit bath when stranded in the airport.  I love these chemical free Waterpura wipes. I received these as a sample and have fallen in love with them.  I don’t see any sample packs available for sale on the website, so I will be investing in a travel wipe container as the next package I get will be way to large to carry-on

 

I am usually not a fan of the hotel soaps and shampoos and like to bring my own. I found these great containers at an IKEA store in Dallas.  I cannot find them online to give you a link.  They could be an in-store product only. The banded labels came from the Container Store.

IKEA Travel Containers

If your shoes start rubbing you the wrong way, the Fab Feet stick from target will help prevent blisters from forming. The tinted sunscreen from Chanel I found at Macy’s and that with a little tinted lip balm from Pacifica can help brighten up your complexion after a long day of travel. I also love the roll on perfume from Pacifica. It is lightly scented and easy to pack.

To freshen up my breath I love the Mouthwatchers travel toothbrush. MouthWatchers uses antimicrobial patented silver technology on its bristles which eliminate 99.9% of bacteria build up on the toothbrush bristles. The special designed bristles are thinner than that of other toothbrushes which clean in between teeth better and adds a flossing effect.

Mouthwatchers Toothbrush

I love having a pill box when traveling and fill it with prescriptions, pain relievers and any other medications or supplements I want to have on hand.

For a quick fluff of the hair, a travel brush and pony tail holders are a must. Tissues, mints, hand sanitizer, glasses, contacts, saline are a few of my other essentials. I always have a nail file and a little travel size of nail polish remover pads.

To put it all together,  the non liquids go in a zipper pouch from re-pac bags and for liquids we all know by now they must be in a TSA approved container.  Mine is a zipper package that some pillow shams came in.

Instead of spending money on those packaging cubes, save those clear zipper pouches that a lot of sheets or bedding comes packaged in. They make great packing cubes for items that will go inside your checked luggage. I love using them to organize my workout gear, swimsuits, accessories and anything else I want to keep from getting mixed into my other clothes.

Now that you have all of your carry-on items packed.  What is the best bag to use to put them in? I love a bag that has multiple storage areas like my Tumi bag.  It fits my laptop, carry-on essentials, sunglasses, snacks, chargers, headphones and pretty much whatever else I need while still being slim and compact.

I would love to hear some of your ideas on packing for travel and what essentials you take in your carry-on.

Safe Travels!

Sharm