Friday, February 27, 2009

Worst food ever...

My friend just sent me a link to this...what is likely the worst canned food ever. Not only is it utterly vile it has over 1000% of your daily cholesterol. It's real. I get queasy just thinking about it.

I can't believe that not only would someone eat this, but that there is enough demand for it that it is produced on a mass scale.
I weep for the culinary world...:)

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Tahini on toast

Last night class was good. It was so cold (-30ish) that only 8 of us showed, so there was a lot of space. We got a lot of individual attention and it was fun. I got home in time to start burning DVDs for everyone in the recital. I gave up trying to combine them, so there are 2 each, for 16 people. Whew! I am a DVD factory :). I have our main old computer and my laptop churning them out...I want to have them done for friday's practice so I can give them out and then be done with them. Should be no problem...

I crawled out of bed this morning at 5:15 (meh) and did my dance fusion workout again, plus the cooldown. It was painfully early, but the 2 workouts together are about an hour, and this morning I wasn't rushed, and even had time for a long relaxing shower and some toast with tahini and a banana on it, without worrying if I'd miss my bus. I'm starting to get most of the movements down in the workout, so I don't feel as flailey as I did before. It's a lot of fun...and new, so it keeps my interest. I need that...and it feels good to work out again.

Tahini is a relatively new discovery for me. I grew up in a tiny farming town on the prairies so stuff like tahini and anything foreign (other than some canadianized chinese food) was unknown to me. Even fairly normal things like curry and jasmine tea wer eunknowns to me until I went to university and discovered a whole world of food (and promptly got even bigger :) ). As I've slimmed down and gotten healthy, I've looked for healthy new alternatives. Having a subscription to the Vegetarian Times and a few vegan cookbooks (How it all Vegan and Veganomicon) have opened my eyes to a whole bunch of different foods I knew nothing about and shown me how to make them properly. I'm not a veggie (yet) but I find the recipes are so much more varied and tasty - not just some meat with some starch...and I've managed to find healthy yummy things, and having so many foods to draw from makes it so much better to eat healthy and cook from scratch. Awesome things like sesame and almond kanten, babaganoush and mataar paneer. Discovering new foods is cool :) It's making me even more of a foodie than I used to be, but I don't feel cheated, as there's so much healthy food to choose from...how did I get on this? Oh yeah-tahini. I am not a fan of peanut butter, but everyone keeps going on about how PB and bananas are so good on toast. I felt denied...but no more. Now i can have my multigrain toast with tahini, a bit of honey and a banana on it...it is my new favourite breakfast/supper/lazy lunch. Mmmmm.
I must be off. Much to do. Have a good day...

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Long Day

Yesterday ended up long and annoying. I'm trying to take video from 2 miniDVDs and combine them. I tried everything. I have officially given up. Everyone is getting two DVDs of the recital practice, as I've wasted enough of my life trying to fix it. I spent (I'm not kidding) 10 hours trying to yesterday to get the video into a format I can use...I have a lot of glitchy and unsynced video. No good to me...I just didn't want to have to burn the 2 DVDs for everyone in the practice to watch themselves, but that is what they will get. For my sanity and theirs... it's funny (well not ha ha funny) because my husband shoots and edits video for a living so we have all the stuff to edit video and burn , so I figured it would be a cinch. Well, as it turns out no...not in this format, or with this particular camera...and all our kit was broken so I had to borrow this camera...but I'm getting annoyed again just typing this, so I'll stop... suffice it to say, I'm done with that.

This morning I got up before my clock at 5:45, and figured I would work out but spent time (in a final last ditch effort) fighting with my computer and gathering things up and making lunches for my long day (which I usually do the night before) so I didn't get in my ball DVD. I have bellydance class tonight and don't get back home before then, and am going to my brother's for supper so it will be a full night. The class will be some exercise so I don't feel too bad, but I really was hoping to get something in. Ah well...won't beat myself up about it.

I feel pleasantly stiff from yesterday's workout, so I know I pushed myself...that is nice.
And I did have breakfast. I had some leftover oatmeal pancakes in the freezer so I had 3 small ones with a bit of syrup...yummy.
Now off for a busy busy day.
Have a good one :)

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Sometimes you feel like a nut...

All weekend I felt tired and a bit moogy...my asthma was acting up in full force for some reason, and I kept waking up and having to use my inhaler in the night. I was tired too...I think I was fighting something off. I don't really know what was up, but in an attempt to do something good for me I did go through my new bellydance yoga DVD on friday, as I couldn't have done any real cardio...my lungs wouldn't have put up with it. They were doing that awful gurgle thing they do sometimes...not cool. Because I felt mopey I also drank some beer on the weekend in a pity party. I have to watch that - empty (but oh so tasty) calories...honey brown temptation begone!
The yoga was nice. It turns out it is more of a 25 minute stretch warm up for bellydance section and then there is a 15 minute cooldown for the end of the dance drills. I did the warm up and cool down together and it was a nice stretch out and toning for the morning. I felt like I'd done something. I'd had it in my head to be a longer workout, but there is 75 minutes of bellydance drills to try out, so I can't be too disappointed - that is for another morning. I'd had more of a yoga thing in mind, but I'm sure I can find another yoga DVD. I'm doing good to not tip over so far :)

Monday, my lungs were still a bit squeaky and I still felt a bit rough and ragged so I just slept in. It did me good. I had a long tricky day at work and I made it through eating healthily, and then was off to my tribal class. It was a good class with a lot of arm work and shimmy drilling and we did a bit more dancing in a group. I still felt a bit weak, but I tried hard - I pushed my arms in the drills to the point of exhaustion and worked hard to get the taximes and shimmy's in proper form. I even made it home in time to bake a few banana nut muffins. I threw in some wheat germ for a bit of fibre - yummers.

This morning, I finally had a nice night of sleep with no squeaks or inhalers, and was up like a light bulb at 5:25 feeling pretty damn good. I did the long dance fusion workout on the Shakra DVD and the cooldown and even had time for a nice bowl of what I think is the best granola ever. EVER. And I like me my granola...I'm all over this stuff. Kashi Mountain Medly Granola has lots of different nuts and some dried cranberries and coconut...I'm not even a huge coconut fan, but wow. Tasty! You should try some.

Now it's off to the lab...lots to do! I just wanted to be sure I logged this workout. Being accountable to the universe helps keep me at it, and I need to be back at this - it feels so good :)

Have a good day all you out there in the universe! :)

Thursday, February 19, 2009

My new industrial strength workout

My DVD's finally came!
It was just the thing to kive be a kick in the ass to get back at morning workouts again.
This morning I crawled out of bed at 5:30 (I know I didn't like it either) to pop in this baby:
So far, I am tentatively giving it 2 sweaty thumbs up.
I am also admitting I am seriously out of shape cardio wise...This was hard.
The DVD had a longer 45 min workout that goes thru all the moves slowly and builds them up into sequences for exercise. Then there is a 25 min one that uses all these moves for a hardcore faster workout, with no slowing down for explaining and demonstration. Being a newbie I stuck to the long workout and was pleasantly surprised. They clearly break down all their moves and help you repeat them and work up in speed until you're doing them at top speed. There's arm moves, torso focused moves and leg work, even some squatty, knee raising stuff. I exhausted some muscle groups this morning...it looks like it will be a fun way to build some muscle tone and a pleasant diversion from by exercise ball DVD workout, which is good, but tedious after a few years of doing it. Because of the slowing down for explaining, I didn't get too sweated up, but from what I did do, I can see the shorter workout getting the heart rate going...
The routines on this are a lot like taebo where there's some moves I'll need to practice in sequence for a few workouts before I'm not flailing like Animal at a drum set, but I was impressed. Most of the moves are actual bellydance/fusion dance moves, so not only am I getting muscle tome in arms legs and butt, I'm reinforcing and learning more dance moves. Very cool.
I like learning more movements and making them fluid and fast. I'm good at torso and hip stuff in bellydance, but my arms need strength and toning, so this should help me out a lot.
There is also a separate 20 minute cooldown on the DVD that goes thru stretching all the groups...I did it and it worked very well. There is even some technique training sections fro fusion moves, but I haven't gotten to that yet...I skimmed through it and it seems to go thru a lot of basic dance moves and posture, so that even a beginner would feel good jumping in. I haven't done the 25 minute workout yet...I'm going to spend a few weeks on the longer one to get the moves down so I don't hurt myself or get too discouraged by trying too much too soon (I'm good at that...). If you haven't done any bellydance or other dance before, you might find some of the movements a bit unfamiliar, but they do a really good job of breaking them all down ,so even the inexperienced can muddle thru in the end..altho you'd need to build up some of the muscles I've gained form bellydance as you go. Those newly awakened muscles can get a bit twingy, but it is worth it. You get all kinds of ab and arm toning from this. The DVD has a lot of leg movement and lungy/squatty type stuff that will work on my legs, so I'm excited about that. Bellydance doesn't have a lot in the way of legwork, so my legs are far less toned than the rest of me at the moment. The music leans to industrial and techno, but my tastes can lean that way, so I didn't mind.
This morning I actually had fun, when I wasn't struggling to breathe or twist myself around in odd new positions...:) I am SO out of shape.
The other DVD I got was a Contemporary bellydance yoga DVD that I'm itching to try (free shipping...I was sucked in). This one has over an hour of tribal fusion movement drills as well as a 36 minutes yoga workout designed to focus on the muscles commonly used in bellydance. Nifty. I would like to do more yoga...I'm hoping this will make it interesting for me.
I'm determined to find some fun new ways to workout until the snow melts. It's been too much to get out of bed early to workout...I needed new shiny distractions to get me back at it.
Hopefully this will be the thing :)

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Elixer of life

I work with an amazing lady who is almost 45 but looks younger than me (*cough* 29? *cough*). She runs regularly and plays tennis 3 times a week, along with drinking what she calls the elixer of life every day. In my attempt to fend off the plague I made up some yesterday and am drinking 750 mL every day to see if I suddenly reverse the aging process or get new mental superhero abilities...or something.

It's simple to make- take 6 L water and boil it in a big pot. Add 1 bag frozen cranberries (~2 c) and boil them until the skins pop-about 4 minutes (it sounds really odd when they pop). Then turn off the heat and toss in 2 bags of green tea and let the whole mess cool to room temp. Blend it up and strain out the seeds and skins by pouring it thru a seive and cool it in the fridge. Add some honey or sugar to taste before you drink it as it's pretty damn tart. It's full of antioxidants and vitamins, and even has a bit of caffeine...like a health drink. Kind of.
I'm drinking some right now. It's good. I love green tea and I love cranberries, so it's right up my alley. My husband made a funny face when he looked at it, but he hates cranberries...all the more for me. (He'll regret it when I look half his age. Bwaha!)

I can feel it working already...I think :)

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Fun at Tribal

You know, I really should be sore today.
Last night at Tribal class it was largely hip shimmy's and twists and tribal snake arms for 80% of the class. These movements, when done right, use specific muscles on your butt, thighs and the tops of your arms...ones you don't' really use normally. So they let you know they're annoyed at being woken up. I could feel them burn as I did them. I did the tribal arms until I simply couldn't anymore...it was like doing reps until your muscles are totally fatigued. The shimmy's were fun, as we kept building on them and layering them and doing them faster and faster, but those muscles were fatiguing by the end of class too. The teacher for this class is full of energy and a great instructor. She really breaks down moves and works us through them so we learn them properly - and then has us drill them until our muscles and brain figure them out and tuck them away in memory, so when we practice them later we'll have them in there somewhere to pull back out, dust off and improve upon. She works us hard enough we can feel it - and so we get better. It's like the whole wax on wax off thing...you're training your muscles to do new things, and eventually they just do them on their own. Proper initial training makes all the difference.

We also learned the basics of dancing in a trio group and how to switch positions. I like the idea of dancing in a group...makes it more interactive. There's still a bit of a solo element, as whoever is in the front position dictates the moves of the rest, but it's all very cool. A few ladies were nervous about being in lead position, but I hope it's a real confidence booster for a lot of us...I know I'm having fun.

And (me hee) my teacher is going to sell me a set of student zills (finger cymbols) next month. I've wanted a set of those since I was a kid, but wanted good ones...and she has some for $20. I can't wait...I hope I don't drive my husband nuts with them...then I can learn how to use them. Kewl.

Today I can feel the neat tingley feeling that I used my muscles, but I'm not sore...despite being exhausted last night by the time I headed for bed. I was going to get up and work out this morning, but my poor dear J is sick (again) with a wicked cold that came on him rather suddenly yesterday. So he didn't sleep much last night...and truth be told, I didn't much either from all the tossing and turning and sighing and coughing. I suppose it's payback from when I was sick.
We can't figure out if he made me sick and then I made him sick back, or if he caught a cold from a friend when we were over playing cards at their place on friday night. Either way...poor guy is really sick. I'm trying to stay away and not get it, but I'm sure I will...ah winter. It's plague season...enough to make me into a bit of a hypochondriac.

Much to do today, but I'm looking forward to rehearsing my solo after work, doing some stuff around the horse and tending to the sicko.

Monday, February 9, 2009

Cardio time!

Wella wella well. I do believe I'm not sick anymore. Thanks for the kind thoughts and interesting cure suggestions. Lets just say they all worked...

I'm finally back to my old self and have had a busy week of belly dance practice and sewing costumes for the belly dancing. Our recital is the end of March, but we're having a dress run through this friday...so last week was a lot of late night sewing and some weekend joint sewing costume days we're pretty much set that way. I still have some practicing to do, but I'm feeling so much better, that I'm excited about it. It was all quite exhausting actually, and I'm glad to have slowed down a little bit on the weekend. Sleeping in saturday was FANTASTIC. I even read a book. I *know*. S o good...

I'm also getting hyped about running again. Usually this time of year I have the cabin fever what with the winter keeping us all inside like lab mice, but this year is different...I'm getting out a lot for the belly dancing, so I just feel like I should be doing more exercising - which is probably right. I'm getting wicked muscle tone in my abs and upper body from belly dancing, but my cardio has been pretty much nonexistent since the holidays.
Yesterday there was the Brainsport "Crazy People Winter Marathon" (OK, so it's my name for it) where a bunch of people run a route in the middle of winter. I saw a bunch of them running over the bridge happily as I drove to belly dancing and I thought "I want to run now".

So I suppose I'd better get back at the cardio. I haven't received my dance cardio DVD yet, but I am hyped at doing the elliptical again and getting back into basic shape, so that come snow melting time I can start up the running program again. I'd like to try and do 10K this year. My lungs can't do cold weather running, but there is no reason I can't do things indoors. I'm loving the belly dancing - it's a lot of fun, but nothing beats the heart pumping endorphin blasting of sweet sweet cardio.

Starting tomorrow it is cardio time. I can't wait.