Wednesday, January 30, 2008


Yeah, so my new website is up and running! Let me know what you think.

Get Fit With Kristen

Oh, and 10 more days!!!!!

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Hula Hoop fun

Remember the days of hula hooping, when every child at recess had one around their waist? Well, apparently they are making a comeback, but this time they are being marketed as an exercise tool. I saw article about this new trend, and then at Walmart the other day, I walked by some for $4, so I decided to get some for the "kids". Aaron says they have them at school, but he isn't very good at doing it.

So we get home, and Aaron has mastered the art of hula hooping within about 20 minutes. When you are not very good at it, you generally move your hips a lot more than is actually required. Once you've mastered it, you are actually not moving your hips a whole lot. I wasn't very good at hula hooping when I was a kid, although I don't remember trying very much. However, I have now gotten the hang of it, and wanted to see how many calories you can burn doing it. I strapped on my heart rate monitor and grabbed the hoop. I did it for 30 minutes and burned 120 calories. I was expecting a bigger number, but considering my heart rate was staying right around 100 bpm, it was as if I was taking a walk. You do have to keep your abs pretty tight the whole time, so that can be an added benefit. Apparently you can now buy weighted hoops to make it more difficult. I have to admit that it was rather fun, and the time went quickly, and for $4 and not very much space, it could be a good workout to do while watching TV.

Anyway, I would really really like to post a video of Steve doing it, but it looks REALLY obscene, but totally hilarious. I haven't laughed that hard for a know, where the tears start streaming down your face. Oh my, it was funny. He won't let me post it...I've asked :(
So here is Aaron doing his spiderman suit for added pizazz

Saturday, January 26, 2008


Today we had our first experience with Craigslist. If you are not familiar with craigslist, it is basically on online flee market/garage sale. You post items to sell in your area, you don't have to post any personal info (you put your email address in so craigslist can email you, but the buyer doesn't ever see your actual email address), and it takes about 5 minutes to post an ad, which shows up on the website almost immediately.

Steve has been wanting a new TV pretty much since we got our other TV. The other TV was great, but because our our rather large entertainment center, it was just too high for prime viewing. So, I gave Steve the go ahead to purchase another one. I gave him a "honey do list" of all the things he needed to complete in order to get this new TV (he tends to procrastinate on projects). He agreed to the terms and ordered the new TV today. One of the "terms" of purchase was that he had to put our other TV on craigslist to sell. He agreed. However, I was sitting here on the laptop, and decided to see what was involved in posting an ad. Well, it was just so easy, that I ended up just posting one.
At about 1:45 the ad was posted
At about 1:50 the ad appeared on craigslist
At 1:14 we get an email asking us to call about the TV
At about 1:30 Steve calls the man
About 20 minutes ago (3:15), we had cash in our hands, and the TV left our house!!

Now we have our bedroom TV in the living room to fill the big hole left by our now absent old TV. It looks absolutely tiny, but it will be fine until our new TV is delivered.

Now I'm thinking about all the other things I can sell on craigslist!!!!

Friday, January 25, 2008

Sneaky nutritional labeling

It seems you have to have a degree in nutritional labeling and government regulations in order to understand what is REALLY in the food we buy from the store. With so many people trying to "watch" what they eat and trying to find healthy foods at the store, it has become increasingly popular for manufacturers to try to label their product as "healthy" in one degree or another. I feel bad for the normal consumer who doesn't have the time or energy to thoroughly investigate what the labeling actually means.

For instance, if you see a box that says "0 grams of trans fats", you probably think, GREAT, no trans fat right? Wrong, usually what that means is that there IS trans fats in that product, but because the government has regulated that a product can claim it is trans fat free if the amount of trans fat per serving is less than 0.5 grams. So say you go to buy some cookies that claims they have "0 grams of trans fat", and the serving size is 1 cookie. How many of us really eat only one cookie?? Not me, I eat lots if I'm craving cookies. Beware of anything that says "0 grams of trans fat". Look carefully at the ingredients. If it lists anything saying "partially hydrogenated" or "hydrogenated", put it back on the shelf and walk away!

You probably heard that New York City banned restaurants from using Trans fats in their food preparation. Recently New York City has also ruled that all restaurants with more than 15 branches (like Burger King, McDonalds, Wendy's, etc.) will have to post the calorie count for all their foods next to their menu. WOAH, talk about sticker shock! Yes, I'd like the 570 calorie Big Mac (sorry KW), with a side of a 540 calories large fry, and 350 calories large coke. You do the math! Go New York!!! I think this is going to make the big fast food chains much more aware of how they are making their foods, which can only be a good thing. As an added benefit, those fine New Yorkers will not have a leg to stand on if they want to sue McDonalds because they got fat from eating there 3x a day everyday, because they "didn't know" it was bad for them. As you might imagine, the fast food establishments are none to happy about having to post the nutritional info.

The other tricky labeling ploy used by manufacturers is to market something as "fat free". Lets take non-stick spray for instance. It is the same trick as with the trans fat labeling. If the serving size of the spray contains less than 0.5 grams of fat, they can label it as "fat free". Think about this. If you buy a can of olive oil spray, do you really think they have magically sucked all the fat out of it? The serving size is 1/3 second spray. Do you know how fast that is? It is a VERY short burst. So if you are spraying a whole fry pan you probably are spraying for 2-3 seconds. This may not add that many calories/fat to your food, but don't fool yourself into thinking it's fat free.

Another tricky and frustrating task is to find a healthy bread in the bread isle. This is next to impossible unless you are in the health food isle or organic section. Big name bread manufacturers have also developed some very deceptive labeling practices, which have even fooled me several times. Just last month we were at Costco and quickly looking for a whole wheat bread when we came across the Kirkland brand whole wheat bread. I skimmed the nutritional label as always, and the first ingredient was whole wheat flour (great), and then I looked for high fructose corn syrup (another terrible ingredient that has managed to find it's way into nearly every type of processed food). There was no HFCS in the bread, so I deemed it a good buy. My husband likes soft bread, so he was equally excited that I had OK'd it for the family. So we went through about 6 loaves, and I really enjoyed the bread (in moderation of course). So the next time we go to Costco we need to buy more bread, and I'm thinking to myself, this bread just seems TOO good to be this healthy, so I examine the ingredients a little closer. Sure enough, while the first ingredient was whole wheat flour, the 2nd ingredient was enriched white flour!!! AAAAGGGGHHHH, no wonder it tasted so good, and was so nice and soft. I'll probably be avoiding the bread from now on.

There is talk in the works of implementing a new nutritional rating on foods, giving the consumer and idea of how healthy the product is in relationship to other foods. It's called the ONQI (Overall Nutritional Quality Index) rating system. This system would rate foods from 0-100 depending on how healthy they are, taking in to consideration all their nutritional ingredients and recommendations. So spinach would be a 100, and I'm thinking Oreos would be a 5 or something.

My advice is to stay away from the center isles of the grocery store. The outskirts of the store is where you will generally find the most whole, healthy foods. If you must venture into the middle, look for products with minimal ingredients. If you can pronounce all the ingredients it is an added bonus! Also avoid products with "enriched" flour. Essentially this means they've stripped the grain of almost all it's nutritious value, and then tried to replace the naturally occurring vitamins and minerals. Also avoid anything with high fructose corn syrup (this is really difficult if you are looking for a pasta sauce, BBQ sauce, marinade, ketchup, bread, etc). And lastly, look out for those tricky advertising ploys. If it says "99% less fat, fat free, 0 trans fats, etc" you are probably better off just buying the regular version. Sometimes it's just better to get the natural peanut butter and real mayonnaise because they are made with whole products rather than a bunch of chemicals to make it lower fat. Our bodies don't quite know what to do with all those engineered chemicals and processed foods!

Finally, your best bet, but one that can be somewhat difficult depending on where you live, is to buy locally grown produce and meats. Not only does this help your neighborly farmers and economy, but you are almost guaranteed a more nutritious and delicious product.


Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Bless my dear daughter

I was just in the kitchen taking a break from work. Steve and I both went tanning today (in preparation for Cabo), so we were comparing tans on our stomachs. Little Maree was standing right in from of me and she says "mommy, your tummy is getting smaller".

Made my day!! :)

.....could also be that tan fat looks smaller than white fat :)

Monday, January 21, 2008

A frustrating day....and some highlights too

Today I did not have to work, but I still spent most of the day on my computer...which is totally annoying by itself. I have been trying to build myself a website for my Million Dollar Body coaching page, and to make a very long sob story has.not.been.going.well.
So I probably spent 6-8 hours on the computer today, and have really nothing to show for it.

As a highlight, little Maree bursts into the bathroom this morning while I'm in the shower and says "I DID IT MOMMY, I DID IT". What did you do Maree? "I BLEW A BUBBLE". She came in about 6 times during my shower to tell me she had blown a bubble. As I was getting ready, she then declared "I'm a big girl now mommy". Yep, she can officially blow a bubble...although technically she is sucking it in to make a very loud pop, rather than blowing the bubble out. When she shared her new skill with her brother, he started practicing, and then he was able to blow a bubble (out rather than in). So all day, they were blowing bubbles.

And...finally...something to add to my list of "things I never thought I'd say as a parent"

To Maree... "please stop pretending to burp"
"Why do you have your brother's underwear on......again"

Thursday, January 17, 2008

1 week closer

Well that week just flew by! Now there are only 23 days until Cabo. Yesterday we got a call saying that our flight home had been changed. Turns out that instead of getting home at 6:45pm, we now get in 4 hours later, and have a 4 hour layover in Phoenix. Was a little miffed about that since I booked the tickets (with the most minimal layover time) back in June. Oh well, not much we can do about it.
Workouts and eating have been good since Monday. I was going to take just Saturday as a free day, but then when we had the family dinner on Friday, sledding on Saturday, and a family lunch on Sunday, well, basically it was like 2 1/2 free days, although I didn't do nearly as bad as some of my free days. I did happen to get on the scale yesterday and was completely disappointed by the number. For one, I don't even know why I get on the stupid thing...well, that's not completely true...I just wish wish wish for a low number and if by chance it is low, then I feel great all day, and get a new wind of motivation. However, if it's higher than I had hoped, I get irritated, and go eat a bowl of cereal!!! Logically I know that scale weight is a horrible measure of what is really going on in one's body, but the only time I am really good at staying off of it is when I've been eating like crap.
Anyway, the workouts are still fun. I've been combining Power 90 sculpt workouts with Turbo Jam cardio workouts. Yesterday during the sculpt video I did a total of like 70 pushups, 27 of them were consecutively.
Steve has fallen off the Power 90 wagon as he "dislocated" his shoulder while sledding (2nd year that's happened). Speaking of sledding, during this ride where said shoulder was "dislocated", Steve was going down on the tube (big sledding tube with no hole in the middle) with little Maree. He thinks that he has more control going down on his stomach, laying on Maree. However, the place where we sled has 3 humps, so you can get some good air. So they start going down, hit the hump, fly through the air, land....and Steve is trying not to crush poor Maree underneath him, so he lands somewhat on his shoulder (hence the "dislocation"), and proceeds to roll OFF the tube leaving Maree to continue down the hill by her happy self. Mind you, she's not hanging on! Also, where we sled is not really a sledding hill, it's just a place we found one year after discovering the actual sledding hill was really crowded. So at our sledding hill, you have to either stop yourself before you get to a barbed wire fence, or well, hit the fence (not a good plan). Now when the adults go down, this is not really a problem because our feet reach off the tube, and you can slow yourself down at the appropriate time, and the first couple of times we went down, the snow was so powdery that the tubes just stopped. However, after packing down the snow after a few rides, the trail was getting faster and faster. So, here comes Maree down the hill by herself. If we had known she would be going down by herself we would have stood at the end to make sure to stop her before reaching the fence...however, we were no where close, so we stood there watching in slow motion, praying that she would not fly right into that fence. Luckily all was well, and she slowed down, and was SO exciting that she went down by herself! She thought it was great fun.
Soon after this event with Maree, Aaron had climbed to the top of the hill (quite a feat in itself), and was going to go down by himself. Steve as staged at the bottom to catch Aaron. Aaron got some great air on the jumps and was coming down FAST. Steve was standing in an area of the snow that had been sledding on several times, so it was all packed down. So Aaron is approaching Steve going faster than usual...and I'm thinking "oh dear Lord this is not going to end well". So Steve, doing his best to stop him, throws all his weight into the inner tube, stopping it in a heartbeat, meanwhile Aaron comes off the thing like a missile, flies through the air and lands up to his shoulders in the snow....with his feet in the air. Kind of like a cartoon. Steve yanks him out of the snow, and all I can see is snow sticking out of his ears. Anyway, he was okay, and eventually thought it was cool, although he asked Steve "why didn't you catch me". We then had to talk about the laws of physics etc.
Just to give you a better is a video of Steve on the same hill 2 years ago....

Thursday, January 10, 2008

I love UPS

UPS brought me my new boots today, LOVE them! Also brought me a new game for my PSP, yes I do own one of my very own. I love getting packages!

Today I did a new workout video. Technically I'm doing Power 90, but because today is cardio day, I figured I could do any cardio video. I like the Turbo Jam videos, so I did the Turbo Jam cardio. Wowser!!! I burned 600 calories (including cool down), and got to a fitness effect of 4.8 on my watch!!! 4.8!!! That was about a 40-45 minute workout, and it was actually pretty fun. It's also low impact, so that is a nice change.

I haven't had a free day since last Tuesday (day before I started getting serious), and I'm really ready for one. Usually I have 1 free day out of every 7 day period. I plan on taking one on Saturday, as hopefully we are going with friends to take the kids sledding ...well, and go sledding ourselves, it is a blast!! Then we are having a family dinner, so it will be nice not to have to think about food!

30 days until Cabo

Saturday, January 5, 2008

Ask, and ye shall receive....

God bless my dear husband. The other day while perusing the Victoria's Secret website for some swimsuits for Cabo, I came across a great pair of boots. I've been looking for some brown boots for at least 2 months, and haven't found any that I liked, until I saw these Skechers on VS
I emailed DH while he was at work, and gave him a "birthday" hint for these boots, in brown, size 8 :) . My birthday isn't until April, but I figure it's always good to plan ahead. So my swimsuits came ( I picked 2, and planned on sending 1 back), and luckily the cheaper swimsuit is the one I really like, so I'm sending a $70 swimsuit back. The boots are only $59, so I was thinking I would just exchange the swimsuit for the boots. When I tell my DH my plan, he says, "but you said you wanted those for your birthday"...once again with the look (reference Suunto watch buying here) that says....I already bought those for you. And so I ask, "did you buy them for me"...mind you it was only a day after the email, so I didn't think he would act that fast. He just smiled...and I knew he had bought them. He says they are my Valentine's present :) Yippeeeeeeeeee!

P.S. Would someone please tell my dear sister to continue blogging...she's fallen into the non-blogging abyss.

Friday, January 4, 2008

Day 3 of clean eating and exercise

So DH and I have completed 3 days of exercising together, which is just great, especially for DH. Today we did the P90 sweat 1-2 and ab ripper 100. I had not done the P90 sweat (cardio) yet, and was thinking that it might be too easy, but boy was I wrong. In the 40 minutes I burned 377 calories (that was the 35 minutes of cardio and 4 minutes of abs). I got to a training effect of 3.4 on my Suunto t4 watch, which seems like a good number.

Here's a funny video I found of the Power 90 sweat 1-2, they condensed the whole workout (including abs) to 6+ minutes.

Eating has been good too. Even DH has given up regular soda and is trying diet instead...this is HUGE for him. Last night he cooked up chicken and green beens for dinner, and he's even been having cereal for breakfast...usually he skips breakfast altogether.
I ordered some Victoria's Secret swimsuits, which are on the UPS truck on their way to my house as we speak. When they get here, we are then taking beginning progress photos.

Okay, DH just downed a glass of chocolate milk claiming it was for muscle recovery (I've previously blogged about the benefits of low fat chocolate milk for a post workout recovery drink). I tried to explain that the chocolate milk should be saved for post weight lifting/resistance training workouts, but he insisted that his muscles were sore.


Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Getting serious

Although I worked out yesterday, I had decided not to start my serious clean eating until today because I still had so much junk in my house from all the holiday festivities. So last night we went to the grocery store around dinner time, and I was already starving, and the one thing that sounded good was Arby's chicken fingers and curly fries. DH readily agreed that this should by our final meal before jumping back on the proverbial band wagon. It was so good, and was followed up with a bunch of chocolate. So now I have that out of my system and am ready for the clean eating for the next several weeks (with free days mixed in of course).
My abs are quite sore from the 4 minute ab ripper 100 video yesterday. I'm actually pretty surprised at that!
Today I think I will try another Turbo Jam video...then DH and I are suppose to do cardio tonight, but we have a family dinner planned, then I was invited to a friends birthday party after that, so we'll see if DH will do it on his own. I'm thinking not, but I could be wrong.

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Happy New Year!!

Wow, 2008! I now get to say that we are going to Cabo next month, wooohooooo!!!
My Dad had wanted to see some of the Beachbody/Million Dollar Body videos so he came over this morning to do a workout with me, and DH decided to do it it was all 3 of us working out in our living room. We did the P90 circuit 1-2 which was a good workout. It was fairly short (29 minutes), and definitely a good place to start for beginners....maybe a little too easy for me. Then we did (just Dad and I....DH thought he was going to vomit) the 4 minute P90 ab ripper 100, which was 10 reps/10 different exercises for a total of 100 reps.
DH has decided he is going to do P90 with me, although I think I might try to do some of the P90x as well as it is a little more advanced than the P90. DH hasn't worked out in over a year, so P90 will be a good starting place for him....and he's not aiming to lose weight (he's a stick), but rather, add muscle. It should be interesting to see what we can do in the next 39 days.

Happy New year!!