Monday, November 30, 2009

Guest Post:Feeling Peachy about baking!

Hi, I’m Nicci and I write a blog called Nifty Eats. I started my blog as a way to document my weight loss journey and a way to get back into a weekly fitness routine. I'm a ''wanna-be'' cook learning to use my kitchen everyday and create nifty eats. I'm very excited to do a guest post for Mary, while she's on vacation.

I decided to try something different for a guest post...baking! I'm not a baker but I discovered an easy recipe!!

Fruit Crisp A La Crock Pot


  1. 6 fresh peeled peaches or 1 bag frozen peaches
  2. 1/4 cup sugar
  3. 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  4. Non stick spray
  5. 3/4 cup rolled oats
  6. 1/4 cup all purpose flour
  7. 1/2 cup sugar
  8. 6 tablespoons butter ( I only used 4)
  9. 1 cup pecans

This recipe is not listed as ''healthy'' but the ingredients used are not too bad.

  • Toss peaches with sugar and cinnamon

Treat slow cooker with non stick spray, arrange the peaches over bottom of cooker.Make topping: add oats, flour, brown sugar and butter to food processor. Pulse until coarse then add pecans.Sprinkle toppings evenly over the fruit in cooker. Cover and cook on high for 2 hours or until peaches are tender and topping is crisp.

Server warm or chilled with ice cream or Greek yogurt.

Extremely delicious!

Verdict: The fruit crisp turned out yummy and I'll be making this again very soon.Thanks Mary for allowing me to share a recipe with your readers!

Thanks Nicci! This is a fantastic recipe and I am pumped to be able to try it in crockpot! I will be making this for SURE when I get back, just in time for some cozy December treats! Have a wonderful day everyone!

Saturday, November 28, 2009

How do you use food?

I use food. I do, that's how I ended up in Weight Watchers 5 years ago. I think that it is normal to use food and I think that everyone does it, it's not always healthy, but it is normal.

Maybe you do it once a day, maybe once a week or maybe you do it all day long for a whole week and then are back to a quasi healthy relationship with food...for a while. Everyone has triggers and everyone has ways to cope with things that they go through--even good things.

Food as a reward: We get excited! We celebrate! We reward ourself!! With?? You got it! Ice Cream, a cookie, drinks out--a night on the town!! These are all ways that we use food as rewards. Food is a powerful reward: it is immediate and satiating and it is a basic need, you get to cross all the T's with one stroke. Think about the mice running through the maze. After what? Yep. Food.

People use food to gain approval. It's what you see over and over on Everybody Loves Raymond, the mother/mother-in-law/grandmother cooks for her family and cooks out of love, but also out of need for approval! We have contests, bake-offs, eating contests and on and on! Maybe there are people who push food on you and you feel their disapproval if you don't take it. I grew up with a family who constantly put spoonful after spoonful of mashed potatoes on my plate in the midst of my "NO's!"

We use food for comfort! Foremost on my mine is hot cocoa and soup! (I have been craving cocoa for days!!) Food is comforting and certain foods more than others. What foods feel comforting to you? It could be a stormy night, the aftermath of a fight with your BFF or a break up remedy that lasts a month. But we all turn to food in some way or another for comfort. It's not entirely bad, but it's true.

When things are out of control in your life, how does your diet reflect it? Me? When I am stressed, I eat. But I know others that pull the reigns back on the food and control what they can in life--their diet! I wish that I had a little more self control when it came to what I eat and why, but there are times when my emotions get the best of me and I feel overpowered. If I am sad, stressed, unhappy, confused or hurt, during those times I turn to food.

Emotional eating is a HUGE way that people use food. And I think the root of doing this, regardless of the emotion (good, bad, ugly) is fear. We are afraid that we won't be able to cope, we are afraid of failing, of succeeding, or afraid to really face the emotion head on and FEEL it. We eat it instead. Food and feelings can be as intertwined as fitness and feelings. Just like we feel better and have more energy when we move our bodies, we can feel better and help our outlook by eating to remedy our mood.

Here is what the Mayo Clinic has to say about emotional eating!

How do you most often use food in your life, either for good or bad?

Friday, November 27, 2009

Fitness Fashion: Faves!

It's been a bit since I snapped some photo's of some fitnessy clothes, so I pulled out a few new things and a few faves!

Baba Clothing: new yoga-style one size embroidered detail shirt

Fave(!) Lucy tank with ruffles and paisley detail

Lucy Raise the Bar tee, clearance (yay!) perfect for body pump!

NEW half marathon finisher belt buckle! Dig it!!

Casual sneaks from the thrift store! Perfect for toolin' around the
town on a WARM November weekend!

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving aus Deutschland!

Happy Thanksgiving everyone! It is late in the evening here and I hope everyone is having a wonderful day with family and friends! There is SO much to be thankful for, our loved ones, our health, all the blessings we experience everyday!

Things I am thankful for today:
My health and my legs: I have been walking so much and was able to run today with my brother.
  • Sunshine and sky: the beauty of the earth in the sunshine, the plants, the sky! I am even grateful for the rain because it makes the sun that much better.
  • Friends! I am catching up a bit on Facebook and see my friends and family following my trip, wishing me well and baking for their big turkey dinner, my friends and family are so beautiful and I am so thankful for them!
  • Forgiveness: I am so thankful today for the chance to constantly start over and have mercies that are new every morning, cuz boy do I need them! From God, my family, my brother (putting up with me as a muddle through my first European experience) and for being able to forgive myself when I need to!
  • Life and freedom.

So far, my trip has been amazing!! I am in love with the countryside and the beautiful and varried cities! I love the little villiages and the old parts of town. We are doing more traveling in Southern Germany and Bavaria than I thought, but are being very fruigal and it is worth every moment! Here are some highlights!

The view from Neuschwanstein castle built by Ludwig II. It was beautiful! Nestled into the foot hills of the Bavarian Alps, the view from the balcony is of his fathers castle!


The bodensee

In the black forrest region!

Tubingen and the Neckar river

Salzberg Austria in the mirabelle gardens where the filmed The Sound of Music!

Seriously found Knackwurst, had so much wurst can hardly believe it!


I love taking the train! It's like North by Northwest!

Biking to the monestary outside of Tubingen!

More to come later!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Guest Post: Can the "can'ts"

Today I am super excited to bring you a guest post from a personal trainer! Tera Busker is a sweet gal I met through twitter who happens to be a trainer not to far from where I live, run and blog!! I liked her right away! Here is a piece she wrote on owning our fitness success and caning the can't talk. Enjoy!


I think every personal trainer out there has, at one time or another, been asked the infamous question - “Why did you become a personal trainer?” Ninety-nine point nine percent of all personal trainers (including myself) will give you the same answer.

It’s because we have an incredible passion for fitness and an immense desire to help people learn how to live and maintain a healthy and active lifestyle. We do what we love and we love what we do. But recently I was asked a question that I have never been asked, “After so many years in the business, why do you continue to be a personal trainer?” It was something that I never really thought about. Interesting question – yes, but difficult to answer –


I became a personal trainer because of my love of fitness, but I continue to be a personal trainer because of the life changing experiences that I am able to witness and be a part of. Don’t get me wrong, I love training the people who are looking to lose 5 pounds or the clients that want to tone up for their wedding – it’s a fun and exciting challenge that is very rewarding. But when I see someone transform both emotionally and physically before my eyes – I feel so honored to be a part of their journey.

One of the greatest experiences was with my client Becky (I take client confidentiality very seriously, so this is not her real name and she gave me permission to share her story). When we started training together in 2007, Becky’s vocabulary was filled with “can’ts”. “I can’t run. I can’t do pushups. I can’t lift that weight.” She had absolutely no faith in herself or her ability to do anything.

Some days I felt like our entire sessions were all about me trying to prove her wrong. Her lack of confidence and her ability to take credit for anything was starting to hold her back from reaching her goals.

One day during a session, I told Becky about a 10 mile race that I had just completed. I shared with her how when I first started training for the race, I wasn’t sure if I would be able to finish it. But then I told her how much fun I had, what an exciting challenge it was, and how proud I felt when I crossed the finish line. She told me that she would love to do a race like that, but she didn’t think she could.

I think her exact words were “Runners are athletes, and I am not an athlete.” I guess this was another time I felt challenged to prove her wrong! After A LOT of encouragement, I finally convinced her to train for a local 5k. I told her that if we were going to train for this upcoming 5k together, then she would have to do what I tell her to do and stop with all of the “can’ts”.

She trained hard, did her homework and did everything I told her to do. When the day of 5k came, she was ready and I knew she would do great. I was there to watch her as she came across the finish line. I think I was more proud of her than she was of herself.


After the race, Becky came up to me and kept thanking me for training her and for what I did for her. Wait….what? I looked Becky straight in the eyes and told her that “I” did not run the race for her and “I” did not do the hard work. I just gave her the tools and knowledge to complete her goal, but she was the one who did it.

I remember at that moment seeing the light bulb turn on in her head – she finally got it. She needed to take credit for the incredible job that she did. And boy did she ever. Now Becky doesn’t tell me what she can’t do, she tells me what she can and will do.

My amazing client now calls herself an athlete and has completed 2 half marathons. Becky, who once had no confidence in herself, grew into someone who knows no limits. She is an inspiration. Clients like Becky are why I love my job and why I continue to be a personal trainer.

Tera Busker lives in Roberts, Wisconsin with her husband of 7 years, and her 2 Bassets, Maggie and Lucy. When she's not training her incredible clients or herself, she's living the life of a rural Wisconsin girl and loving every minute of it! As a certified ACE (American Council on Exercise) Personal trainer since 2000, Tera worked for big gyms for 2 years before starting her own business Fitness-To-Go in 2002. She is able to bring her services to clients free of excuses or distractions. In the last 5 years she has found a passion for running & tries to run as many local 5 or 10K races as she can every year. It’s her way to give back to the community and spread the word on fitness.

What a great message on positive thinking and a cool insight into a trainers world!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Strength training, bones and Body Pump

I remember years ago, I was talking to my friend Christa and she told me she had just lifted weights for an HOUR to super bumpin' music. I thought she was crazy, but allowed her to drag me along one night after work. I went and loved it--I couldn't believe that people were lifting weights for an hour and doing so many reps and having such an amazing time to boot!! I used a very introductory weight, as I never lifted weights before in my life. I was warned that even though I had light weight I would be sore in the morning. That was an understatement.

I was hooked.

Strength training was never really something I thought about but soon realized that my body and fitness routine were sorely lacking! I started reading up on strength training and specifically on women and strength. Only recently had I started to take my health seriously & I knew that my bones were not as strong as they should be.

Once women hit the age of 30 we actually start to lose bone density, so if we haven't been building it up in our 20's...then we need to start supplementing! If any of you out there were like me in your 20's you were having a merry ole time and not really thinking about the soda & cigarettes leaching calcium from your bones. I wasn't making sure to get my calcium from milk, broccoli or greens, or even vitamins so I had a lot of ground to make up-- I was almost 30!

Enter body pump.

I started to go three times a week and I started to really see a change in my body. I was getting stronger, but I was getting leaner too. Of all my years as a runner I never thought about toning. But body pump was not only strengthening my bones, it was making my muscles tighter and smaller.

Body Pump at my Y!

A pound is a pound is a pound anyway you slice it. But a pound of fat and a pound of muscle look different. My arms and thighs and butt were shrinking. In addition, studies have shown that women on a weight loss journey who don't lift weights or strength train will actually LOSE lean muscle along with fat. You don't want this!

Not only is muscle smaller than fat, but the more muscle you have the more calories you burn. The more muscle you have the more efficient your body will operate. The second group of women who strength trained as they lost weight actually lost more for that very reason.

These are my weights for Body Pump!

You won't bulk up by strength training, especially if you use light to moderate weight and do a high number of reps. But the MOST important thing to do is to be sure your form is correct when you do lift. If it is not, they you will either hurt yourself or it will be counter productive to your goal. Don't be embarrassed about asking for help or to go over exactly how to do something. See your trainer, instructor or consult your Dr. before you start any new exercise routine!

Body pump helps me fit in these, my favorite pair of "skinny" jeans. I should really call them my STRONG Jeans!! I have 2 pair because I was so happy to be in them and because they were cheap. I packed them for my trip to Germany!

For more information on the weight loss and strength training studies I referenced in this post, check out this book:

Other weight bearing exercises include running, walking and activities like jumping, dancing, hiking & push-ups will help build bones. Enjoy!

Monday, November 23, 2009

Montrail: Trail running shoes

I have a new addition to my seasonal running gear: Trail Running shoes from Montrail. I found these beauties on MAJOR clearance at Marshalls and decided to pick them up!! I was so excited I even tweeted about it!

Now, usually when I camp, I trail run, so they will come in handy for that, but I was also informed at the Target Health and Fitness Expo I went to 2 weeks ago that trail running shoes in general can help your traction on ice and can help your feet stay warmer. The reason being the bottom is wider and more durable for the best grip and traction on the trails, the same stands true for icy paths and roads.

Montrail on Left, Nike on right:
Wider bottom: Kind of like I used to have!

Also they are warmer because the mesh on top is not as thin. They do have a thicker, rounder toes to protect from debris in the way on the trail but even with the wide flat bottom and thicker toe they are not much heavier than my regular running shoes!

I took them for a fall test run and they seem to work great, no funny rubbing or pinching and no musle soreness in strange places which can happen to me when I am breaking in a new shoe. Seems all is GO for winter running in my new Montrails!

Friday, November 20, 2009

Letter to my body

Dear Body:

We have been through a lot together. I remember when we were little and would run and climb and your poor knees and shins were always scuffed and scratched from May through September. Dad called you a Wild child, always running around like crazy. My strong skinny legs carrying me up trees in the backyard and my lanky arms and legs holding me upside down on the monkey bars, swinging and dropping, little tanned child fruit, nearly always landing on my feet.

Then, when we were a bit older, all those confusing changes we went through--what a ROLLER COASTER--messy emotions, my skin--even you totally rebelled against me, everything decided to shift at once, some kind of tectonic hormonal overthrow! We sure didn't look like a tomboy anymore!! Things were different. But you were still there even if I didn't like what you were doing or the shape you were taking, you carried me on long walks with my highschool girlfriends, you helped me through many miles on the track and a few hurdles too, short legs and all. And when I beat you up a bit, but man, you took it-- with a little ice anyway.

I started to get a little bull headed and decided you should take whatever I wanted to dish. I kept you up too late, I pumped you full of sugar and caffeine, I ate whatever I wanted--we wouldn't get fat!! Then remember that day when I wanted to pull my favorite jeans on and thighs--you refused?! I always heard you mumbling, but I didn't pay any attention. Sorry I didn't listen to you. I had turned into a control freak and you were a trooper. But you never said I told you so, you just stood by me.

I abused you a bit too, but we were young, you were bound to snap back so I kept on. I assumed that my pretty pink lungs, you guys could take a little pollution, and the brain, your smart, you can figure out a way to work on 4 hours of sleep. Legs: you just do what you always do and put one foot in front of the other: this club, that bar, one more house party! No argument, we can sleep when we're dead, right?! Sorry about all that I didn't realize how much you meant to me.

Then, when the dust settled and the sun peeked over the horizon of the city, I found you legs, still scuffed up, still strong, still carrying me and my baggage home. This time, I gave you some rest. I put you up and rubbed you down. I found that while all of you, my feet and thighs and arms and skin had been so kind to me, I had used you. If we wanted to be together the way we used to be, we had to start working together.

Feet, I took you down off the platform pedestal and gave you some comfortable shoes, toes not pinched, soft cushion under your heel. I gave my brain some rest, what a wonder 8 hours can do, it thought, it reasoned, it threw wit and wonder my way! I massaged my legs, I worked them and then rewarded them. They carried me as always, the silent warriors with their battle scars and blue veins (huh...those were new). I breathed deep, untainted breaths and brought oxygen deep into every alveoli I could and restored them to their original state: Pretty in pink.

Now we are a team. I listen to you when you want to take a rest, when you need a water break or a walk break on a run. Granted there are times when I make you do things you don't want to, but they are good for you!! I nourish you and fuel you and am your friend. I may challenge you to do better and go farther, but it is different than before. These challenges come with rewards, you have felt it I know. The runners high, the strength, the confidence you have. And through it, I am here for you the way you have relentlessly, fiercely been there for me over the last...ahem, X number of years

Remember--I overlook the little veins on my legs that used to not be there and I think I am MORE than forgiving when I catch sight of the back of my's a give and take now. I am forgiving of your flaws and your little nooks and rolls and wrinkles and I know you are forgiving of the crap I put you through as I, yes STILL go through growing pains of all kinds. I mean, we have been through a lot together, you had your hay-day and I had mine and now, now we go through the rest of this together--for better or worse. A team, got it?

See you tomorrow morning for my run and tell our hamstrings that Monday is body pump so they better be ready!

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Single Serving: It's not you, it's me

Everyone makes choices in life, big ones and little ones. Often, when we are out there, single and looking for the right person, other people's choices can feel like they are directed at us personally. Someone doesn't answer an email on a dating website, they don't call when they say they will or maybe they tell you after date number one that you are better off friends.

I used to take things like that personally. As if the other person's choice was an affront to me, in actuality, others have a right to move down any path they feel is right for their life! I do, and so should they. I never took offense when I was the one breaking the bad news over coffee! Still, nearly every person knows what it feels like to not be chosen, to get that note back with a big RED circle around "no" and not "yes" and maybe for a little while it stings, maybe for a long while it truly aches.

It's embarrassing to admit, but I have been in situations where I could feel rejected, then I stop and realize, I wasn't that into HIM either. Everyone wants to be desired by someone else and when we are not, something in our heart wants to take offense and be hurt. Why bother? It is a waste of time and emotion! If you were not into the person that much either, then look at it as a win win situation and move on! It is one less person you know is not Mr. or Mrs. Right.

If you have been genuinely hurt by someone who had to express non-interest, take the time to grieve your feelings, but try and look at it from their point of view. What if you had to make the decision and tell someone that you weren't interested in dating them. It is a brave thing to do and I think an honest way out. Take time to heal for yourself and move on with your chin up.

Don't read into anything that you may have "done" or "said" thinking the other person found a fault in you--if you start speculating like that, you will spiral into negative self talk. Besides we have NO idea (unless they tell us) why someone feels yay or nay about any date: first, second or fifth. Depending on the day, we can feel yay or nay about the person we are seeing!

Just be true to yourself, and love who you are and be kind to yourself on whatever your journey!! Then when we least expect it that person who will love us that way too, will come along with a big fat RED sharpie and circle yes all over our hearts.

Right? Right.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Focus, visualizing and practice

With so much going on before I leave for my trip I am trying to focus on the important things and tune in to what I need to do and what I need for my trip to be successful. This idea rang true for me as well regarding my earlier post on Movement. In order for me to become more fluid, more flexible and regain more of my natural movement, I have to focus, visualize and practice.
Focusing on what you are doing when you are doing it is a challenge in the world today. There are so many distractions and demands with every passing day--but we can learn to move with purpose and dial into the good stuff in our lives. Being present when you workout is no different. You may think that you are focused because you are not doing anything else, but that is not always true.

Even last night I found myself thinking about dinner, blogging and packing in the middle of my fitness class and lost my balance doing lunges!! I needed to watch myself in the mirror, think about my form, feel where my weight is, feel my body shift and move. I really needed to focus on the movement I was doing in that moment to be successful with it.

We can move just going through the motions, but instead if we concentrate on a stretch or a yoga pose, visualize what it looks like, see our body moving and curving the way it is supposed to we will be more connected to the movement and actually be deliberate when we move instead of just doing it.

Practice is very important. We can practicing thinking and speaking with focus and intention. We can practice being focused on our tasks, our classes and our movements, we can practice visualizing how we move: seeing ourselves flexible and balanced and we practice the movements themselves.

When I was a RollerGirl, I went to derby practice 3 days a week for 2 hours! If I put that much effort into being more fluid, I know I would be successful! It started for me with my November goals and stretching before bed. I am trying to move deeper into the stretches and hold them longer, practicing what I want to improve on. It's simple, but it's truth. Putting the time into something will pay off!

Happy moving!!

Flying out!!

Guten Morgen!!! I am flying out this morning and wanted to post some quick fun, last minute travel goodies for you!

I give you...the fab five! The five shoes that made the cut and are coming to Germany with me!

1) New pink Earth Shoes
2) Brown Rocket Dogs, with velcro closure. Yep. I'm 65, what of it? :)
3) Black Puma's!
4) Nike Air Alaris running shoes
5) Black Pazzo heels- wide toe and wide heel. They are my toes best friends.

Fitzgerald wanted to come along. I told him maybe.
Is he carry-on or checked baggage worthy ?

Practicing my pose last night in front of Neuschwanstein.
Princess material? I think so, If I find a prince, I am not coming back!

The travel trifecta! Pink Fanny pack, Pink passport pouch and
sparkly, rainbowy luggage tags.

I bought this wallet/passport holder about 8 months ago in anticipation of my trip and my dreams to travel more. It's all new and shiny...but that will change!!

Also, I have a sweet book I found at the thrift store, an easy guide to "Just Enough German". It has little phrases and snippets so you can squeeze by as a lazy American who didn't bother to learn the language before traveling to a foreign country. It was like they wrote it JUST for me!

I will be using the vital pages and phrases such as buying muffins and cakes and finding the women's clothing and shoe stores:

This morning I am waiting for my brother John and Dad to come and take me out for breakfast! I am traveling in my comfy workout pants because I will be on the plane for about 8 hours before landing in Amsterdam. I have snacks with me! Granola and Wasabi almonds and am flying in my AWESOME my little pony tee shirt: "Always Chasing Rainbows" I am ready to bring some sunshine to that AirBus!!

Speaking of, this is the monster I am flying out on, it's an Air Bus 330! I have never been on something SO big:

I actually got a little freaked out when I saw all these stats about how big it is and how much power it has. I get a little weirded out by large things like Horses, Semi's and AirBuses. Are you freaked out to fly or travel? Gah! I am sure not, all my readers are tough as nails right?

I'm hitting the road, friend me on Facebook or follow me on Twitter if you want to see mobile updates and check back here for my awesomely scheduled posts, including some wonderful guest posts!!
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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.