Aug 242015

Saturday I awoke to a yellow, glowing hazy outside. The light was very weird, abnormal, and I couldn’t figure out why until I went outside. Then I realized it was all the wildfires in Oregon. Apparently the wind shifted and Portland was engulfed in a haze. It was gross, smelly and hard for me to breathe. Thankfully I already had plans to go to the gym and not try to run outside or go for a hike. I don’t see hiking in the future until the air quality clears up.

It was the first time I was back at lifting weights since my back injury. I took it easy and focused on things like shoulders, triceps and core instead of my back. I was back at doing my PT exercises and glute/core work. It felt good to do it again. Then I did a walk/run on the treadmill. First run since my 5k! I felt pretty good and did 2.5 miles.

I burned 559 calories, went home to clean up and have lunch (leftover turkey enchiladas I made). Saturday I spent most of the day inside to avoid the smoke!

Saturday evening we went to a friend’s house for dinner. It was so good to see them! And to get out of the house and be social. After my back stuff I kind of hid in the house for awhile. I was tired, feeling wounded and a little bit mopey I think. I didn’t do much socializing (aside from our parents visiting) so once I was starting to feel more like myself I was glad to see some friends.

They made delicious margaritas from scratch (limeade, rhubarb compote, simple syrup, lime verbena juice and ice). So delicious and refreshing!! Mine was a virgin because me and Tequila AIN’T friends. No thank you!


Dinner was grilled chicken, corn on the cob and a delicious salad with greens, mint, feta, onions and watermelon.


For dessert they made root beer floats with homemade vanilla bean ice cream. What a treat! I can’t remember the last time I had a root beer float…


It was a fun night. The kids are getting so big.


Michael made french toast for breakfast. It was quite a treat. I hadn’t had french toast in I don’t know how long…at least a year. I’ve been craving it recently and Michael kindly satisfied my craving. He made the fabulous Martha Stewart recipe (it’s a winner for sure).


After breakfast I went to the gym. It was too late for yoga class and honestly I was a bit too sore for it I think. Those jump squats always do me in. I was so sore (hamstrings) from Saturday’s workout. Instead I used the elliptical for a mild workout.


Sometimes doing something like the elliptical can help loosen up the sore muscles. Time will tell. The afternoon was spent in the kitchen working on tomatoes from the garden. I decided to can whole tomatoes. I had so many ripe ones in the garden that needed to be cooked or something. I picked a big batch and got started.


I did a combo of romas and heirloom tomatoes. I love canning whole tomatoes because it’s super easy and fast. I boiled the tomatoes, peeled the skins in no time, cored the tomatoes and then canned them whole. The longest part of this process was the canning part. It took forever to get the water boiling and I had to do the jars in two batches because my pot wasn’t big enough.

Sunday evening we had Michael’s mom and stepdad over for dinner. It had been way too long since we saw them and I was excited to make dinner using the spaghetti sauce I made last weekend. Michael’s mom made a fantastic salad with greens, tomatoes and lemon cucumbers from their neighbor’s garden. I baked a loaf of garlic bread (my weakness).


We did gluten free spaghetti and I cooked up my spaghetti sauce with meatballs. I was so happy with my sauce! It was delicious! Thick and flavorful and just right.


Dessert was a little bit of a cheat. :) I baked cookies.


It was a busy weekend! But a good one. How was yours?

Apr 062012

Thank you all for the kind comments and emails on yesterday’s post. My intention in the post was to just share some of the stuff that’s been going on lately, but not to give the impression that I’m unhappy with my life. I hope the post didn’t come across as negative, that was not my intention.

For awhile now I’ve been talking about changing my workout routine. Well enough TALK! It’s time to DO. I’ve been doing my new routine for two weeks now.  I want to confess something: I have a newfound love of body weight exercises. While they aren’t new to me, they have now become a big part of my gym sessions. Dare I say–I might even like them better than straight cardio workouts. Why? Because they kick my butt. My heart rate gets higher doing these exercises than it ever does on a cardio machine!

Not too bad, huh?

I want to share my current circuit weight machine that I’m doing with you guys. Tailor it to your own abilities and as always, consult with your doctor or a personal trainer before trying something new. I don’t do all of these exercises every time. I mix them up, I do other moves and I add machines into the routine often. But this is just a general idea of some of my favorite exercises right now.



I do between 8-15 at a time right now, 4-7 times.

Triceps Dip

I do 10 reps 4-6 times.

Side Lunge with Rotation

This is a new exercise that I’ve added to my circuit and I love it! It’s pretty easy to do. Here is a little demonstration on how to do it:

I got this exercise in my Nike Training Club app one day at the gym when I wanted to add something new to my circuit workout. This one is really fun but you have to hold a fairly heavy medicine ball to really feel it!


10 reps 4-7 times, depending on how my knees are feeling. Sometimes if I’m feeling really strong, I do the “squat press” which is where you do squats and then raise the free weights above my head.

Step-Ups with Overhead Weights

I was using two 15 pound free weights for this but recently increased it to two 17.5 weights.

The step-up exercise is a great leg workout and I feel like it helps me with my balance issues. I don’t have great balance and tend to be kind of clumsy. I’ve noticed that I feel more stable now that I’ve been doing these step-ups for about 6 months now.

Alternating Step Back Lunges

These are surprisingly difficult. I thought they would be easier than the traveling lunges, but for some reason I feel these much more in my quads and not in my glutes like the other lunges. I also struggle with staying balanced. I need a lot more practice with this exercise!

Russian Twists

Russian Twists are awesome and pretty easy to do for ab exercises. My friend Robyn said that they frequently aggravate her lower back when she does them, so if you have back issues you might want to talk to your doctor before trying these.

I do between 20-30 reps three or four times in a workout. I use between a 10-12 pound medicine ball.

Traveling Lunges

I do about 4 or 5 at a time, turn around and do 4 or 5 back to where I started. I’ve increased the weight that I hold as I do the lunges to two 15 pound weights.

I would much rather do a few REALLY good lunges, then do more but they are sloppy because I get fatigued. Once I get used to this routine, I’ll increase the weight again. I’m almost ready!

Bicep Curls

I like doing bicep curls because they make me feel really strong. I do 10-12 curls three or four times during my circuit.

I’m currently at two 17.5 pound weights. I’m excited that I can consistently increase the weight. Although, I’m not seeing a ton of change in the amount of loose skin I have in my arms (from losing so much weight). Bicep curls are great for strengthening your upper body and will make your arms look nice in short sleeves. :)


I do all the above exercises in a circuit. I don’t always do all of them in one session, but this is a general idea of what I am doing in the gym right now. I love it! This routine makes me feel so strong. I feel like my legs are getting stronger, my stability is increasing and my recovery time is much faster. Instead of being crippled and sore for almost a week, I can now walk like a normal person in just a day or two. Progress.

QUESTION: Do you do circuit exercises? What’s in your rotation right now?