Friday, July 31, 2009

Health: Toxic People II

Yesterday I started an entry on Toxic People because I believe there is SO much more to being healthy than just being fit and strong! What good is it if you can run a half marathon, but your spirit and life is in shambles or you are losing your energy to negative people!! Let's get in shape on the inside and outside!!

I had a toxic relationship in my life... (really Mary, just one?) and I opened yesterday's post with a situation from it, walking away from the person because they crossed boundaries I had set. With this particular person, I explained why I had taken issue with a subject they continued to broach. Consistently the object of blame and manipulation, I revealed that I could no longer discuss the issue with them. They agreed not to bring it up and was aware that if they did, I would ask them to stop, only once. From there if they persisted, I would leave or ask them to leave, no matter where we were. This conversation about the problem went very well, they agreed to what I said and I came away believing we had an understanding. 

Not quite. While the person was rational during the chat, I soon found that they still wielded manipulative behavior and blame like a weapon when they were unhappy. They insisted on not respecting the line I had drawn in the sand.  I ended up asking them to leave my house, leaving them at a restaurant and walking away from other numerous gatherings to show them the boundary I set was being disrespected and that was unacceptable. It worked and thank goodness, because this person was in my life for good! They still try and rile me up at times, but I have limited my interaction with them and they are a bit more respectful of my boundaries now.

The best thing to do first is outright taking them to task and speaking with them rationally, expressing as nicely as you can, the behavior that you deem negative. There is a chance they didn't realize what they were doing, how negative they were being or that they were hurting you. If you feel that talking with them in person would only result in a fight or a circular conversation, send a letter outlining clearly, kindly and firmly what is happening and how you feel it is not in your best interest. Another very good option for talking to them is having a third party present. A person that is not involved or invested in the situation or relationship can sit in as a mediator and assure that both sides get to air their laundry. This can be tricky though because you don't want the person to feel ganged up on, so carefully chose someone who is truly unbiased. Once you confront them, you should know pretty quick whether they will be open to trying to change. If they aren't they you need to make a decision about what to do next.

You can assert some healthy personal boundaries and express those to the other person. For instance I said "when you bring up such and such a topic, it upsets me, so I will ask you not to bring that up." "When you say this particular thing to me, I feel you are doing it to hurt me"or "even if you don't intend to belittle me, what you're saying does." And ask them to stop or refrain from what you feel is negative. 

Sometimes it's not the snide remarks or backhanded compliments that a friend says that are the problem. Sometimes the problem is what they do, or bad unhealthy behavior they bring into your life (constant partying, hurting themselves, poor decisions that their friends pay for etc.) If friends are unwilling to listen or compromise, you may feel the need to ween yourself away from the relationship.  Make your self slightly unavailable to them in crisis times or when they need someone to partake in the drama. Limit your interaction with them by not letting them pull you in. I believe there is a healthy way to help someone through painful difficult situations, but other times people can use you or fill your life with constant drama they invite.

This can feel passive and sometimes wrong, so weigh the situation carefully and do this only if you have first tried to talk with them and they are not working on incorporating change. If they ask you why it is you have been unavailable, then you can answer honestly and they can see what their behavior will cost them. Still it is not to teach them a lesson, that is not the goal. We are not there to wag our fingers and say I told you so. Toxic people are hurting people, insecure people and people who need compassion. You can offer that as a friend, but must also look after your own emotional needs. Try and keep your motives in check so that if you do distance yourself, it's for your sake and your own emotional good.  If you want to give a lesson, a dose of honest sprinkled with love is the way to go. 

I would warn against cutting them out entirely or too quickly unless it is an extreme situation (someone stealing from you, breaking the law or placing you in danger etc.) Things like this done in haste can cost friendships that could be salvaged. Take a break and see if they are working on change or getting better before calling it quits for good.  

Not all relationships are friends and family, some are less intense, less personal, but more frequent like those in the workplace. These are trickier to deal with but with less investment as well. Do things like count to ten when they try your patience, answer sarcasm and negativity with kindness and an open outlook. You will feel better and hopefully drive them crazy. It's unfortunate, but in a work setting, confronting someone like you would others I mentioned above can be done, but is not always the best idea. If you need to, speak to HR about the problem, maybe they can do the speaking for you. Other options are, moving offices, switch projects or add a neutral party to the project. Confide in a friend to blow off steam or hit the skyways for a 10 min power walk if you think you can't take more. At the end of the day though, you can leave toxic co-workers in the out box. 

Thats my second installment on a topic that I guess I have to say a lot about. Tomorrow, round three, the woe, it's me... Lots of fitness fun updates coming over the weekend too!  
Lots of love, happy Friday!! 

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Health: Toxic People

I stood up from the table and pushed in my chair. I was leaving and I was leaving my friend sitting alone, at the local Italian pie joint. One deep breath and I spun around and walked away. Doing this was something that took me a long time to learn and it wasn't very easy. As radical as it sounded, walking away was the healthy thing to do: I was dealing with a toxic person. Part of being healthy is surrounding ourselves with other emotionally healthy people. Everyone is a work in progress, but some are less in the construction business and more in the destruction business, tearing others down and inviting destructive behavior wherever they go. Toxic people are more often than not, wolves in sheep's clothing. They can be family or friends and often are people that we have to learn to deal with no matter how challenging.

There is a difference between toxic people and those who merely test our patience. It can be a fine line, but once they cross it will you know? When Aunt Mildred goes from a busy body, good intentioned Aunt to a toxic person it can be tough to distinguish and even confront. One way to gauge who may be toxic for you is to think about what they add to your life. Toxic people drain us, they subtract from our life more than they contribute. They tear us down with their words, actions and with their negative energy.

This can be in the form of:
  • Passive agressive behavior
  • Consistent negative thinking
  • Creating or inviting drama
  • Confrontation with no intention of resolution
  • Nagging, Nay-saying and being a relentless Debby downer
  • Chronic blame shifters
  • Crossing Boundaries despite our attempted enforcement
Everyone of us has the capacity to display one or many of these characteristics at any given point, but when our friends and loved ones call us out on it, we are willing to evaluate our behavior, get honest with ourselves and make a change. Toxic people refuse to see that their behavior is causing problems or that they are crossing boundaries with their behavior. If you do try to point out what they are doing or discuss it, often, they will blame you for their actions, deny their actions and tell you they are not behaving that way or finagle their way around the topic. Being evasive about their behavior is a another tell-tale sign that they are a toxic person

Their inability to change is not your fault. If you engage in this or nearly any debate with them, they will lead you on a wild goose chase. So how can we deal with those that are a permanent fixture in our lives? If you are able to pin-point the behavior that is toxic for you, you should confront them with it and create a boundary surrounding it. I will talk more creating those boundaries and moving forward more later...

This is a long one!! So I am splitting it up, come back for Toxic People part two tomorrow....

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Happy Hump Day!!

click to enlarge the happiness!

Wedge Wednesday: Indian Spiced Pizza

It's Wedge Wednesdays!! And I am in the mood for pizza!!

Indian Spiced Pizza with spinach and apricots

Get the thinnest crust possible for this pizza and make sure you cook it long enough to get it crispy.

1 10-inch pre-baked pizza crust, any kind ( I used 2 small ones, you can probably use pocket pita's too!! The wedge sells the Holy Land Deli brand-yum!)

1 T. olive oil OR Butter

½ lb. boneless skinless chicken breast, cut into small bite-size pieces

1 tsp. garam masala

¼ tsp. salt

2 large handfuls bulk salad spinach

8 oz. ricotta cheese + salt to taste

2 T. milk

¼ tsp. ground cardamom

¼ red onion, thinly sliced

¼ c. dried apricots, chopped

Preheat oven as per directions on pizza crust package. Warm the olive oil or butter in a skillet. Add the chicken and sprinkle with the garam masala and salt. Sauté for 4-5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the chicken is just done.When the chicken is done, move it to the side of the pan and add the spinach. Cover the pan and continue cooking another 1-2 minutes, until the spinach is wilted.In a mixing bowl combine the ricotta, milk, cardamom and salt to taste.Spread the ricotta mixture evenly over the pizza crust. Spread the chicken pieces, cooked spinach, onion and apricots evenly over the pizza. Bake 12-15 minutes, until the crust is crispy.

This was SUCH a good recipe! I love pizza, but always am striving to have it be healthier and unique--this is both. It is the perfect marriage of spicy and sweet! The apricots add an amazing flavor edge to the recipe, I think I will be experimenting with more fruit in pizza. The cheese serves as a great base for holding the toppings since you don't put any cheese on top. I used fat free ricotta and it was just as flavorful--and you don't need more than a pinch of salt if any (literally, pinch and use) with it. I cooked the pizza for 12 min and then broiled it for just a bit (2-3), but the apricots will broil faster than the onions etc, so maybe watch how long you put it under! Using the two smaller 6-8 inch crusts is great for those of us that are eating within our portions or eating for one! The ingredients were enough to make 2 pizza's (the second with non steamed spinach added)!!

Eat, eat and enjoy, thanks again Wedge!

Hot proof that I made it at home.
I melted my forman grill in the process!
Copyright © 2009 Jennette Turner

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Rainy Day Workout

Rainy days are perfect for curling up on the couch with a blanket and the newest Oprah book Or John Cusak movie! I mean you can't really do anything outside and who wants to climb into the car and drive to the gym in the rain!

Still you can do something at home! Whether you pop in a great workout DVD or whether you jog in place to the beat of your own drum, kill the couch potato routine and try this rainy day workout:

Move through the exercises one right after the other and rest for 60 seconds when complete. Repeat series 3-5 times.
  • Warm up with 60 seconds of jumping jacks.
  • Move into Mountain Climbers and do one set of 30
  • Do 20 regular push-ups or if you need to modified pushups (from the knee)
  • Do 20 burpies with pushup (this is droping down to a push up position, doing the push up and then jumping the feet back together and standing.) A modified burpie would be just droping down, jumping back into push up position and skipping the push up. Jump the feet together and stand.
  • Do 20 squat jumps (be SURE that your knees are not coming out farther than your toes. If they are, stick that booty back a little bit farther when you come down.)
  • End by jump roping for 1 minute.
This is a great workout that combines cardio with some resistance work and will chase away those rainy day blues in 20 minutes or less!!

For more inspiration online visit Hulu or youtube and search for exercise videos. Add new moves and grooves to your day and spice up your routines! It's a great way to get a quick work out in without going out! 

p.s. what is your favorite workout DVD? 

Monday, July 27, 2009

Activity log Challenge: Week two, You had me at Default shoe

Happy Monday!!

This past week I used to track my activity and I LOVED it. I loved it, with hearts and rainbows and free pony rides kind of loved it. To begin when you register you are not inundated with pop-up ads! You can enter all sorts of fantastic information to pimp your profile, like a default activity and a default shoe (perfect to track miles on new pink kicks!). And you can add additional shoes such as a second running/racing pair or walking shoes to track miles on those as well.

When you go to create an entry, you chose your poison in the drop down box: run, bike, swim, ski, golf, even a rest day entry. You then enter distance & time and can enter any relevant comments, such as, "It was a hot day", "Pushed myself on mile 4" or "Got beat by the neighbor kid again". Whatever helps you remember why it was you performed the way you did. This is a great place to track what you ate if you are trying to find things that will work well for your body in a race day situation!

*click on calendar images to enlarge!

In the right column you can see the day and date on a small calendar in case you're like me and ya can't ever remember what day it is. Plus you can back track or track forward easily by changing the day and getting a blank entry on the left. Is like magic. Underneath that calendar you see a place to choose what shoe you wore for that activity. This is where it got me," You had me at default shoe."

After you input as many entries as your little heart desires, you can toggle across the tabs at the top of the site and view the calendar. What I love about the calendar view, is it actually DOES show the activity for that day, and with a hip little icon to boot. Oh so helpful for us visual people: at a glance the icon tells me what days I rested and it If I am going to run and lift on the same day. Talk about planning head-- you can know just what to bring to the gym and what to plan for breakfast. The last column is a tally of the milage and time logged for the week. This milage total is of course added to the shoes you chose as default as well. Pony rides people, oh yeah.

*click on calendar images to enlarge!

Here is just another at a glance style shot of the whole training log, broken down in even more categories, including calories burned and estimated pace. It also shows comments to remind you what happened, what your mood or running conditions were.

*click on calendar images to enlarge!

By clicking on Log View Options you can check the boxes of what you want to view: Workout types, heart rates, moods, shoes, calories, comments so that you are able to customize it depending on the activity type. I would leave heart rate off a weight training session but check calories for example.

Then if it wasn't good enough, there is a Great Quote at the bottom, this is something I customized in profile preferences. I mean who wouldn't want powerful and motivating quotes as they are logging their own successes! I say bring it on! ( you can also add a weather widget, but we should all be working out regardless of what old man weather is doing-- see tomorrows post for more on that.)

This is your main dashboard view, a nice place to pick as default. It also has a sweet chart at the bottom, and I love charts, graphs, even pies, not so much the key lime, but. It shows your highest milage of the 7 day period and what day it occurred on. It's not rocket science, but it totals the mileage of the shoes as well as the age of the shoes also from the first activity logged with them. It may not be very information intense, but it is much more cut and dried than the graph I posted from the last site I tested. Plus this one is pretty.

Overall I give the site an A!! But I have a few suggestions from followers and will be looking into one each week, for the next six weeks in my challenge. If you are working on logging your activity, even in just your own journal format, send me an email! I would LOVE to hear what you are doing and your progress...if you are not, you can join me now and we will work on being accountable for tracking our success together!

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Blogger in crime

Fitz this, cat!, iz in your blog trackin' your milage

Tonight is my first night back at my place after house sitting, I haven't really been at home or blogged at home for a week and a half. My silly little kittie, Fitz this cat, is all up in my bid-ness tonight as I am doing a little writing. There was a showdown between the keyboard and his belly, this desk isn't big enough for the both of them. Belly won. He was my little helper, putting unnecessary commas in just to be frivolous and deletingspaces he thought I was being too liberal with. *sigh* Just so you know every time I write, the belly is there, my blogging buddy.

Running tunes that I love today:

10) Come Sail Away, Styx
9) Don't Stop Till you Get Enough, MJ, RIP
8) Please Don't Stop the Music, Rihanna
7) Eye of the Tiger, Survivor
6) Oh What a World, Rufus Wainright
5) Ask the Lonely, Journey
4) The Distance, Cake
3) Running With the Devil, Van Halen
2) Blitzkrieg Bop, The Ramones
1) Don't Stop believin', Journey

And I am off for a run of my own!! Be on the look out for my activity log update tomorrow! Yikes, the site looks great, but my numbers don't!

Embracing Balance

Happy Sunday! Guess what? Today I am a guest blogger over on Jamie's inspiring blog Embracing Balance!! Check it out and be sure to follow her for great advice and encouragement on finding balance in your life! Today you can read a little about what I consider DIY--Do it yourself fitness--Enjoy!

The journey of 1000 miles...

I bought a ring this weekend with the quote:

The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step.

I have an affinity for getting jewelry with meaning to me and often with words on it. I have a ring that says fear not and reminds me that God tells us over and over to fear not, that he is with us. I have a ring that reminds me of the space where old friends will always overlap and find common ground, a ring salvaged together to remind me of standing my ground and a ring that reminds me that I don't have to be defined by any action, object or opinion. It reminds me I am not who I was, that I am a new person. I can be who I am right now and change who I am tomorrow without loosing my intrinsic value.

This ring for me means a few different things. For starters, I feel that my journey through fitness has truely been a journey of 1000 miles and I have about 997.5 left to go. Through high school and college sports, abandoning fitness, battling lifestyle changes and overcoming them to renew my love for the run and my thirst for health, I am indeed on a journey. I am reminded that every day is a new day, and that I should be glad and rejoice. Every new day is a chance to take that single step in the right direction and to step toward positive change.

Yesterday that meant going for a run with my girlfriend Molly. It ended up being a run/walk because it's hard to catch up and laugh at life and ourselves when we are running...but we were headed in the right direction, because we were out there doing it. Somedays, that single step, that simply standing up and starting is the vicotry. This past spring I was dealt an injury card in my fitness hand. It was a set back in my ability to do many of the work outs i loved. Being injured to the extent I was, was a new experience for me. I had to learn to slow down and listen to my body. I had to follow Dr.'s orders and not run, not skate, not lift weights. Slowly I have come back to a place where I can do these things, but It feels very much like the start of a new journey. I am excited and encouraged by the small steps that I know are taking me on my journey, excited over just starting with a single step.

The second thing the ring means to me is that sometimes when you are on a journey, there will be waiting time. It seems contradictory at first, but when you stop to think, any physical journey we have been on has waiting time. Rest stops on road trips, the water station during a run, being benched during the big game or waiting in the terminal for that plane you know is there, circling the runway. Well, I am on an additional journey and currently in that waiting room, but I know that once the wait is over there will be bigger and better plans for me, there will be a Boaz in my future.  I am encouraged everyday for all the journeys I get to experience!

Give-away over at I Run Because I can

Hey dedicated readers, friends and athletic beauties!!
Erica over at I Run Because I Can is giving away a sweet runners fuel belt! Skip over there and check it out! Thanks!

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Accountability and support

"To reach any significant goal you must leave your comfort zone." - 10 Natural Laws of Successful Time and Life Management by Hyrum W. Smith

Often, when we are striving for a goal, it's a personal battle, a road we are going down on our own. No one can count points for you or lose the last 10 pounds in your place. No one can push your pace from a 10 minute mile to 9 minute or enforce a bedtime when you need rest. But, if we are lucky and smart girls, we will find friends and people in our lives to support us and hold us accountable for healthy habits.

The best example I have of this in my own life is my journey through the Weight Watchers Program, which I embarked on, August 25th, 2004. This topic will be a blog later on because I am a huge WW advocate. I learned so much more from Weight Watchers other than point counting and portion control. They introduced me to using my peers as support for my journey. At meetings they talk about struggles and successes and offer food and fitness tips for everyone.
The beautiful thing about garnering support from a your peers who are on a similar journey, is boundaries and differences that may otherwise keep people from being supportive are erased. Young, old, men, women, rich, and middle class are all on even ground. No one is better than another when you're talking power breakfasts and bowls of ice cream. Granted, you are still the one doing the work. Having others to talk to for support and encouragement is vital, even if it just to talk through a recent setback. There are support groups for everything! You don't have to be a member of something like WW, you can find a few girls in the office that want to pow-wow over lunch and talk. I know I have a friend who is always asking me how much water I have had that day and it encourages me and keeps my goals in front of me.

Another thing WW does well is accountability. They ask you weigh at the beginning of every meeting and though the numbers are privately recorded, it creates accountability. It is hard to be accountable to just yourself, because we are human and prone to slip. Not that we are going to eat the whole quart of rocky road on a Saturday night, but if no one is forcing us onto a scale the next day, we need more to keep us on track. When you are asked or required to put something on the table like our health or habits, it can create an accountability we can't enforce on our own.

You can ask ANYONE to help you be accountable. You can call your mom every night and talk about what you ate, if you made it to the gym or if you took time for yourself. For the longest time I met a girlfriend 3 days a week for Body Pump before work, but she got a job that didn't allow her to hit the same gym anymore. It was much harder for me to go to the class without her: I had lost my accountability partner. If someone is waiting for you, it is much easier to get out of bed at 5:30 to hit the gym.

Searched images for Journey! Got this...

So, ask a friend to meet you once a week for a run, a walk or a class at the gym, it will make a huge difference. Meet some friends out at a coffee shop one night a week to talk about food or your feelings about your lifestyle. Have other couples over for dinner and do a healthy recipe swap. To reach any significant goal in life, we have to leave our comfort zone, go to that meeting, step on that scale, get out of that bed and let others in to support us and keep us accountable. You can do it, you just don't have to do it alone!!

What things help keep you accountable and on track??

Friday, July 24, 2009

How soon before my big race should I eat?

My friend JJVW posed a question I thought would be good to tackle on Fit This, girl! Just because I love my followers and love topic suggestions!

She is feverishly training for a triathlon this summer and wants to know
When do I eat before a big race, 3 hours before? More or less?

Well, there are many different opinions on this question. The main thing I can say from experience is don't switch up your routine too close to the race or your could wind up jeopardizing your body's rhythm it is accustomed to.

A couple interesting factoids that I had not heard before are: in the day or two be for a big race, some athletes will actually up their sodium intake so that they are aided in retaining water during the event. I would suggest only trying during the training period or for a smaller race you are using to train.

Also, most people think of carb loading as being done the night before, aka the big pasta dinner, and this really should be done 4-5 days out as you are starting to decrease the intensity of the workouts allowing your muscles to rest and become loaded with the stored glycogen.

So the real question:
When DO I eat before my long race or event? Anywhere from 3 hours to 90 minutes before the race have a very light snack such as a hard boiled egg (my personal favorite and all around perfect food!) or banana and a sports drink along with plenty of water. Anything 60 min or less before start time should be liquid whether it is water, sports drinks or even sports gels, avoiding anything high in fiber like fruit juice or smoothies which can affect everyone's tummy differently... know what I mean?

For a race over 4 hours, you will want to snack as you go. Banana's, oranges or even candy can be helpful for those boosts of energy. Sports gels also, but always try these idea's in your training first and see what works for you. There are a lot of similar guidelines out there, but through trial and error, you can find what works for you.

Make sure to listen to your body when it comes to hunger, comfort, pain and injury. If your body is telling you NO on something, don't insist on GO. Whether it's a 5k walk, 10k run or an ironman we are all in this for the long run and want to be well on our way.

Good Luck JJVW, I just KNOW you will blow everyone out of the water!

© 2003 Preston Keres. All rights reserved.

Brian Shea from gives us his favorite pre-race dinner:

Bombay Chicken and Rice
10-oz can Chunk Chicken Breast, drained and flaked
6-oz box curry rice pilaf mix
14-oz can diced tomatoes, drained
8-oz peas
1/2 cup cashews

How to Make:
Prepare the rice according to the package directions.
After 15 minutes of simmering, stir in the chicken, tomatoes and peas.
Simmer for 10 to 15 minutes more, until the rice is tender and most of the liquid is absorbed.
Top with the cashews.

Makes (4) servings
Per Serving:
Calories: 364 calories
Carbohydrates: 49g
Protein: 22g
Fat: 10g

Mary at is not a physician or dietitian, see your doctor with any questions regarding your fitness regiment or diet.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Single Serving!

So...where to meet single men who are into fitness you ask? (or I ask, really) When you're at the gym, it's not in a group fitness class, I can tell you that. And that is what I mainly do at the gym! In the spring, summer and fall, most of my cardio takes place outside and I will only hit the gym for strength training or the spin classes you all know I love.

But am I the only one that has noticed the boy/ girl ratio in a group fitness class is worse than fat to carbs? Usually the men are over in the weight training area grunting away and lifting a weight the size of my torso. Or they are on the machines, ipod intact, totally in the zone, or breathing heavier than I do when Macy's has a shoe sale. It's not conducive to chatter! Someone told me once that if you want to meet interesting people, you have to do interesting things and go to interesting places. And if you and some triathlete investment banker are on the treadmills at the same time, at least you have an idea of one thing they value: their health. Let's face it, it is important to have things like that in common. Knowing you're on the same page, geez sometimes just knowing your in the same book, is really important.

But women are more likely to go to fitness classes than men are. The social aspect, the music, choreographed routine, the idea of following someone through your work out etc... these are not things that will attract men. I mean the cliche of men not asking for directions kind of rings true when you look at how many will step into a yoga class room or body vive session. There are exceptions to the rule of course, there always are. I say kudos to the dude who can grapevine to techno and rock downward dog. Maybe they don't think they will get a hard enough workout, they are intimidated by the estrogen fest in the room or they don't think they can follow the routine, but whatever the reason, most men are not going to be found going to group fitness classes.


Need alternatives? Here are a few ideas. Running groups: most running stores have these and they are free to join up with. At the very least you will get a work out and make friends who have the same interest. Also volunteering at races, and other athletic events. Not every guy is going to be competing...maybe they are injured or resting. Either way working the volunteer table is a great place to strike up a conversation and turn on charm and there is no shortage of paper and pens, so get that number! Get involved with organizations that stress fitness and activity. I spend some of my time doing a mentorship and they have mixers and happy hours for the volunteers. Many times, fit single guys are filling their time and waiting for a mate the same way we back and helping others. Good luck and if you are lucky enough to find a fit boy to spend you time with, show him and his single buddies that the fitness classes aren't all that hard and give the rest of us gals a shot.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Fitness Fashion: The Lucy Store

I just made my first trip to the Lucy store in Minneapolis, in the Galleria Mall, Edina. It was lovely! I am super pumped because I just picked up this great blue workout tank there--they are having a really great sale!! I thought the top was unique because 1) workout ruffles! I LOVE me some ruffles and this fits the bill! 2) It has a swirly, girly design on it and I normally shy away from workout wear that has prints, but this one I loved! I am going back soon...there is much more to be swooning over!

Kick it up a notch!

Want to play sports, but don't have anyone to play with? This isn't elementary school people, we don't have to wait to be picked, we can get off the couch and kick it up a gear by joining a team through City Sports Connection!!

They offer teams throughout the city and games on any given night: soccer, basketball, volleyball, broomball, KICK BALL, yes, Kick ball! It's all the rage and taking fitness back to the school yard yo! So get your knee high socks and your sweatbands and get out there and kick butt!

Wedge Wednesdays!

Welcome to Wedge Wednesdays! This is where I post fantastic organic recipes from the Wedge Co-op in Minneapolis, review wedge product or recycle great articles from the Mix, the newsletter of the Twin Cities Co-ops.

This Week: Cinnamon Tilapia and Asparagus Parmesan!

This was an amazing recipie and I only made 2 slight changes to it!!

4 tilapia filets (1 1/2 lbs.)
1 T. cinnamon3 T. butter, divided
2 T. lemon juice
1/4 c. cream ( I used milk and it turned out fab!)

Wash the tilapia fillets, pat dry and run each with cinnamon on both sides, until thoroughly covered.

Warm 1 T. butter in a large skillet. Saute fillets, covered for 5 minutes on each side.
Remove fillets from pan and keep warm.
Add the remaining butter and lemon juice to the pan, scraping up all the brown bits from the pan.
Stir in the cream and a generous pinch of salt. Stir Until thick and creamy, around 2 minutes. Serve sauce over fish!

For the side:1 bunch fresh asparagus, trimmed
2/3 cup water
1/4 cup olive oil
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
10 grape tomatoes (I just chopped a regular tomato)

Combine the asparagus and water in a 10 inch skillet and place over medium heat; cover. Allow the asparagus to steam until tender, about 10 minutes; drain. Reduce heat to low and return the skillet to the heat. Drizzle olive oil over the asparagus; sprinkle with Parmesan
cheese. Add the grape tomatoes to the skillet and replace the lid. Allow to sit covered until the cheese melts and the tomatoes are slightly steamed, about 2 minutes: All done! Enjoy!

Copyright © 2009 Jennette Turner

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Activity Log Challenge Update week 1

What I aimed to do:
Monday: rest day/biked to work and backTuesday: bike to work and back/ run 3 miles core workout
Wednesday: bike to gym and back/60 min strength training
Thursday: 45 min Spin class core workout
Friday: 60 min strength training
Saturday: Rest/Core workout
Sunday: 5 mile run

What I actually did:
Monday: rest day/biked to work and backTuesday: bike to work and back/ run 3 miles
Wednesday: bike to gym and back/60 min strength training
Thursday: Zilch! Mister Dobalena, Mister Bob Dobalena
Friday: Biked to work and back, 60 min strength training
Saturday: Rest/Core workout
Sunday: 3 mile run, lunges

So, it was not a bad week but it was not ideal. I did not get in 3 days of cardio. (I should mention that my bike ride to work is only one mile and on the way there it is downhill. So it's not really on my radar for cardio...just good ole activity) I would really like to blame it on b
eing away from home more often, but alas, I blogged that there is a YMCA mere miles from me. BUT I did something and I am hoping to go Tuesday morning For a run, if I can get up and go, either 30 min outside or 3miles at the gym. The up side of being out in the burbs though is the fact that my sleep schedule is getting back to getting up earlier and it is easier!! Very happy about that.

Online Fitness Log:
OK, so I got the website to open and snagged a few things to share with you, still a thumbs down to it! The site is straight forward, but the log is attached to a month view calendar so to navigate you have to go day to day, you can not get a look at a week view on the calendar or even month view. No entries show up on the calendar, you have to click into the day and it will take you to the entry of that day. If you have more than one entry on a day, you have to navigate tabs across the top and it is very disjointed. You only get a snap shot of your entire week in graph form and the cardio and strength graphs are separate.

Limited month view:

The cardio maps out your distance on the days logged, not time or calories expended even. I guess for a graph I was looking for it to depict more information. It was simple but not user friendly. You could punch in your information but really there was no good way to get an overall view of the week and your progress. But if you like pop up windows every 4 minutes, give it a try.

Here are a few images of the user pages:
Not helpful graph #1:

Me, I am on to the next: I can tell I will like it already, you can manage the millage on your shoes!! Perfect for my new Kicks! Shazaam! I tracked everything in there in advance and I am aiming for 4 runs and 2 strength training days! We'll see how I do.

Do you heart an online fitness log? Send your suggestions to!

Monday, July 20, 2009

Weekend Fitness and Fun!

So, other than my Sunday run/walk with my mentee, this weekend was pretty much a total bust for fitness, which bums me out. The run was 2.91 miles (Lake of the Isles) and in the middle of it, I stopped to run some hills on the north side by the tennis courts. I ran the hill 6 times and then finished the last mile of our run. Then I did about 35 weighted lunges on each leg. Weighted incidentally with a 5 liter jug of olive oil, because it was what I could find! I looked for a scale to weigh it but couldn't find one. (remember folks that I have been hanging out in the burbs and am thrown into a large family's suburban home life!)

Needless to say, even with the best intentions to try and run Saturday and get to body pump Sunday, these didn't happen. I had the chance to go for a bike around the hood, but opted to cook a healthy supper instead and make sure that I had some healthy food for today's lunch. But, I am striving for a balance and since I did run, I will plan a bike ride in the burbs later this week!

So now for the fitness fun part of the weekend! I was able to volunteer for the
Miracle Kids Triathalon that was held at Lake Nokomis on Saturday the 18th! There were about 400 kids between the ages of 7-17 who participated in the swim, bike, run event.

Mission: To introduce kids to a fun way to get fit, be active and learn the value of giving back through racing in a world-class event.

Theme: Kids Racing for Kids Who Can’t. Hundreds of Minnesota kids are battling cancer and are too sick to race - so the Miracle Tri kids do the racing for them. Their leg's marked with the name of the child with cancer they are racing for in spirit.

t was a sweet event and there is a second event coming up August 15th at Lake Ann Park in Chanhassen. Click here for more details or to register! Every participant wears the #1 for a race number and comes away with a medal for their big race accomplishment!!

The other Fun Fitness event of the weekend was the Blaisdell YMCA Grand Re-opening There was a carnival in the parking lot and give-a-ways! It was a huge success. I was able to sit in on the ribbon cutting ceremony listen to the history of the location and how it was transformed.

Fitness Log update to come soon...sneek preview: I can't find a fitness log I like.

Miracle Kids Tri: getting in the lake

Sunday, July 19, 2009


We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.
- Aristotle

I used to contemplate excellence in my life and was really struck by the fact that little acts we do reflect what we truly value and what we repeatedly do, adding up to who we really are. What habits do you have that create excellence in your life. Or what habits do you have that may be keeping you from excellence? Here is a nice idea of the difference between perfection which everyone falls short of and excellence, which is difference for everyone and worth striving for.

Perfection is being right,
Excellence is willing to be wrong.

Perfection brings fear,
Excellence encourages risk.

Perfection leads to anger and frustration,
Excellence generates power.

Perfection is being in control,
Excellence is being flexible.

Perfection is judgment,
Excellence is Grace.

Perfection is taking,
Excellence is giving.

Perfection is doubt,
Excellence is letting it flow.

Perfection is a destination,
Excellence is a journey.

The slow burn

I write a lot of personal essay style pieces. This is an abbreviated version of one that was submitted to Have Fun for Bolder Options.

When I injured my knee, I didn’t realize how much it would impact my life. So when it came to hanging out with the youth I mentor through Bolder Options, a running and biking mentoring program in the Twin Cities, I didn’t think twice.

We are in the running program, but I always try to teach my youth that wellness and fitness are about being well rounded. We attend healthy habits and nutrition meetings; I have taken her for walks and stressed the importance of stretching and drinking water. So biking seemed like a perfect fitness substitute for our time together—a lesson in cross training!

So off we went to the spin class at my favorite YMCA. After the first few tracks, my youth really got into the spinning, she was working hard and concentrating. I was so proud right at that moment. She was here with me, on a bike doing a hard work out and pushing through.

We had been through a lot, hanging out and being active together the past year. Our relationship was actually a lot like being on that bike. There were the steady ups and downs you experience when you 're getting to know someone, especially when you're such different people. There are the sprints you work hard through: the fast paced, heart-pumping spurts of energy that you sometimes didn't even know you had in you. You swell a bit with pride knowing that giving it your all, was worth every second.

Then of course toward the end of every class or ride there is the long hill, usually accompanied by a slow burn. When your will and endurance are tested and you really don't think your legs can pump anymore. As you settle in for the long climb, you know the hill is a waiting game. You can feel the results already burning in your muscles-- it's you growing stronger. You can feel it in your head as you encourage yourself, and you can feel it in your heart when you know your doing this because you love it.

I knew a change was happening with our relationship: we weren't just spin converts: we were hunkering down to welcome the hills we could see just in front of us. And we were going to climb them together.

Here we are at the lake... She loves pictures!

If the shoe fits: run in it!!

Hurrah! New running shoes for Mary! I was so excited yesterday to get a new pair of running shoes, with a PINK logo!! I am not a brand junkie, nor do I really prefer one brand over another. What I do prefer is a stability based, light weight shoe and I think I hit the jackpot. The pink swoosh is just a fashion plus. 

I had been experiencing some knee discomfort, the right knee due to an injury from the MNRG Championship Bout in April. (I have a wickedly interesting past I will blog about sometime!) The other knee was just sore during and after my runs and that is a sign to my that the shoes are a little lacking in gusto and support. SO, yesterday on a whim, I bought a pretty new pair. I was a little weary since I did not buy them at one of my 2 trusted running stores, but for the price I couldn't pass it up. 

I tried them out today on a short little run/walk with the youth I mentor and they were A++ material! Not only did they match my new running tank, they were stable in the ankle and heel and cushioned well throughout the heel and ball of the foot too!  They didn't have as much padding as my old shoes did around the tongue and back of the shoe, but it didn't seem to matter. I think they will be great for training and working back up to my desired milage!

Here are my old kicks: 
Nike Air Structure Trax II, ah reliable with a splash of sunshine!

Here are the NEW Kicks: 
Nike Air Alaris plus for ipod and what the Nike store has to say about them below!

The Nike Air Alaris II+ MSL Women's Running Shoe is a trainer that delivers a smooth yet stable ride with excellent cushioning.

  • Breathable mesh upper with synthetic overlays for support and optimal fit
  • Soft crash pad for shock absorption at impact and reduced pronation
  • Full-length Air-Sole unit for cushioning and impact protection
  • Phylon midsole for lightweight, resilient cushioning
  • Medial post to help moderate overpronation
  • Strategic placement of multiple types of rubber and traction for a smooth, sure-footed stride from heel-strike to toe-off
  • Forefoot flex grooves for a more efficient, natural range of motion
  • Considered Design for high performance and low environmental impact
  • Nike+ ready
Now, I will have to invest in an ipod to really take full advantage, until then, you can meet me at the lake!

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Won't Bring me down

So, I am doing some house sitting out in the burbs and am changing up my routine a bit! It's kind of fun, I feel all domestic and such, I even pulled the trash cans in off the curb this morning, and waved to a neighbor who was also leaving for work. Hello Donna Reed! But this means, for more than a week, I am splitting my time between pads and have added 35 min or so commute to work.

This morning was my first morning with a "driving commute" in almost 10 years. I used to drive from Mpls to St. Paul for work, but that was in my 1970's VW bus, Mildred, so it was never a boring drive. As I was headed into Minneapolis bumper to bumper with other cars, trucks, SUV's and one lone Metro Transit bus up ahead I noted a few things:

1) I had the urge to listen to talk radio, traffic & news updates. Frightened, I quickly popped in ELO.
2) I didn't see anyone, eating, texting or putting on mascara in their car! Fabulous, thanks for not endangering me!
3) There were TONS of cars and SUV's with only one driver. Including me. Eek, day one and I am already feeling bad about it.

After a relatively easy drive in, I went to my house, petted the kitties and picked up my bike to ride the rest of the way into work. This will serves two purposes for me. The first being I am getting a bit of activity in and second I forgo the downtown traffic in a car.

I realized though that my plans to workout will have to really become a priority so they don't get lost in the time crunch. My work, my diggs and gyms are all within a 2 mile radius, but now I will have to modify my mornings even more. Getting up early enough to go to the gym and still face 35W to get to my work on time.

Today for instance, I was planning on hitting the spin class before work in downtown Minneapolis, but the day one "drive-in from the way out" threw me off a bit. Luckily I passed a YMCA on my way out the suburban maze, so I will see what classes are available there to fill my morning and nightly workouts in a more convenient way. Score!

Well, this is just another example of life's little challenges with our quest to stay active and stay fit...but there is always a way to keep on-keepin' on even if traffic is at a stand still!

Related Posts with Thumbnails


Although Mary from Fit this girl is a CPT, always consult your physician or health care provider before beginning any nutrition or exercise program. Use of the programs, advice, and information contained in this website is at the sole choice and risk of the reader.