Friday, January 16, 2015

And the Beat Goes On

Howdy folks!! 

I hope that you're having a great week so far!

I'm having an interesting one, to say the least!! 

I'm still experimenting with the pressure cooker that I got for Christmas. So far, the verdict is that it's AWESOME!!  Last Saturday, after running 6 miles then shopping/running errands all day, I came home tired and worn out. I had to work on Sunday so I just wanted to sit down and relax, but something had to be fixed for supper. So, I threw some stew meat in the cooker on the brown setting. While it browned, I prepared onions, carrots, potatoes and celery. After the meat was brown, I added beef broth, onion, garlic, and spices. I cooked it for 15 minutes, then I added the veggies and some frozen peas and cooked for 15 more minutes. It was so easy and delicious!!  We had a hot, hearty meal in an hour and I still had time to rest before work on Sunday! I found the recipe for the stew here. To keep it GF, I used cornstarch instead of flour. And I like tomatoes in my stew so next time, I will use tomato juice or canned tomatoes.

So, in other news......for about 2 weeks now, I've been having heart palpitations off and on. I'm having what are called PVC's. A premature ventricular contraction (PVC) is a too-early heartbeat that originates in the ventricles and disrupts the heart’s normal rhythm. The pattern is a normal beat, an extra beat (the PVC), a slight pause, then a stronger-than-normal beat. The heart fills with more blood during the pause following the PVC, giving  the next beat extra force. This pattern may occur randomly or at definite intervals. Almost everyone has PVCs at some time, from childhood through adulthood. Healthy people of any age can experience PVCs. In most cases of occasional PVCs the underlying cause cannot be identified. PVCs that occur frequently or for longer periods of time are more likely to be related to heart disease, an injury to the heart or other, non-cardiac conditions such as a chemical imbalance in the body.  Certain medications, alcohol, illegal drugs and high levels of adrenaline due to stress, exercise or caffeine also can cause PVCs. They were occurring randomly and didn't seem to correlate with my exercise or caffeine intake. They've been occurring mostly in the morning while I'm getting ready for work. It's been a daily occurrence but they usually don't last very long. Well this week on both Sunday and Tuesday mornings, the episodes were sustained for 1-2 hours. On Tuesday, when I arrived at work, my co-workers insisted that I go to the ER to get it checked out. That was an ordeal!!

I got in and was seen quickly. An EKG was done, an IV was placed, and labs were drawn, then I waited! I got the results of my labs/EKG about 2 hours later. All was normal but they wanted to keep me for observation. There was no way I was staying in the hospital overnight, so I arranged an outpatient follow up with a cardiologist and insisted that they discharge me. I followed up with the cardiologist yesterday. He drew some additional lab and put me on a heart monitor that I will wear for the next 30 days. I'm also having an exercise stress test in 2 weeks. So, hopefully this will be an issue that can easily be fixed with a little medication and hopefully not life altering . I did my back and biceps workout last night without difficulty except the monitor started squealing like mad during the warm up "light jog" Tonight, I'm coaching the Pathways group. It should be interesting with this thing in place. I suspect that it will mistake the increased pulse rate for an arrhythmia and squeal the whole time. We shall see!

The ER was an interesting experience. The doctors saw fit to keep reminding me that "you're not getting any younger" and one portly physician actually told me "unless you're Whole Foods #1 customer and I highly doubt it, then you should be taking supplements" I wanted to say "Well listen here mister! How rude!!  You obviously don't know who you're talking to and don't have the right to make such judgements or statements. And it looks like you could benefit from shopping at Whole Foods a little bit, then maybe you wouldn't need those supplements!!" And its funny how all my co-workers/friends have suddenly become doctors. They've all diagnosed me with anxiety, panic attacks, stress and told me I exercise too much! UGH!!  We'll see what the professional that I entrusted my heart to has to say in a few weeks!!  I suspect they'll all be wrong and this is just some anomaly. At least that's what I'm hoping for! I'll keep you all posted!

Until next time--get up, get out, and get moving! Make today ridiculously amazing!!

Your friend,


Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Workout Wednesday!!

It's Wednesday!!!  Woot, Woot!!

If you've followed me for a while, you know what that means. If you're new here, I love Wednesday because it means we're halfway through the work week. And it also means Workout Wednesday!!

The New Year is in full swing and so many folks have resolved to lose weight, get in shape, work out more, etc. For the first few weeks, you'll see these people at the gym and it seems like they are on track. But then something happens. They get sick, they get busy.....whatever. It seems that the majority get side tracked and time seems to be the biggest thief of their success. We all have the same 24 hours in a day. I understand that we have jobs, kids, lives, etc.  I know too well how easy it is to fall into the "I don't have time" trap. But I've tried to adopt a new attitude about exercise and working out lately.

 For me, working out is not a necessity. I do it because I want to, NOT because I HAVE to. Yes, I'm tired at the end of my work day. All I want to do is come home and put on my pajamas. But I choose to workout first. Why? The time is going to pass anyway whether I'm slinging iron or in my chair with my feet up. Because it's my ME time. Its a positive little thing that I do for myself at the end of the day. Its a great way to burn off the frustrations of the day. Its a small investment in myself. When you think about it, its really no different that getting a pedicure or a massage. That's an investment in one's self. So, why not start thinking of your workout in the same way and see if it makes any difference in getting your workout in.

Here is one of my very favorite total body circuits for you. This is my go-to workout when I'm pressed for time. It is short and sweet but I always feel like I accomplished something when I'm finished. You can modify to add more rounds or you can add additional exercises. I've added triceps extensions and flies before.

Now, you have no excuse!! 
Until next time--get up, get out, and get moving!!  Make time for yourself today! You'll be glad that you did!!

Your friend,


Tuesday, January 6, 2015

2015 Goals~~Secrets to Success.

Good morning folks!!

It was a mad dash to the finish,  but we made it through the holidays! I hope yours were fabulous, that you got everything you wished for and more,  and that you escaped the usually holiday weight gain.  I tried to stick to my clean eating as much as possible and was pleasantly surprised when I got on the scale the other day.   

Here we are at the beginning of the new year. For many of us,  that means New Year Resolutions. It is estimated that 40% of Americans make resolutions but only 8% will keep them.  So,  why not call them goals and make them something you can achieve?  

Now the trick is how to successfully achieve those goals and deal with inevitable set backs. I believe that it was Zig Ziglar who said " be firm about your principle but flexible about your methods"

 The first step to successful goal setting is to write it down.

The key is to set "SMART" goals:

Specific--A goal needs to be as specific as possible so you can work toward it and achieve it.
If your goal is too vague, it will be nearly impossible to achieve. For example, "drink more water" is too vague. Drink 60 ounces of water is much more specific and easier to track/measure (see #2)

Measurable--keep track of your goal. If your goal is to lose weight, keep a weekly log of your weight and a daily log of your calories. If your goal is to run a 5k, etc then keep track of your miles. Seeing the progress will help keep you motivated!

Accountable--sharing your goal with a friend or family member will help keep you on track. There are many online tools and apps that help with accountability, My Fitness Pal and Dailymile for example help you keep track of calories/miles and connect with others for accountability.

Realistic--Make sure your goal is realistic for you. You don't want to make it too difficult because and get discouraged. You need to be able to see yourself reaching the goal. It needs to be challenging without being overwhelming. This is where you might need to be flexible. For instance, last year I set a goal of running a marathon but for various reasons this was not a realistic goal for me. I had to re-evaluate and reframe my goals. You might experience what seems like a setback. The important thing is to keep going. There is often more than one way around it!

Timeframe--If your goal doesn't have a time limit, you will have trouble starting and staying motivated until the end. When you start seeing results, it will ultimately keep you motivated. Hang in there, if it takes you a little longer, keep going. Don't stop otherwise you'll never get there!!
It's gonna be a busy but great year!! This is the year that we're going to achieve those goals, I just know it!!

Until next time--get up, get out and get moving! Make today ridiculously amazing!!

Your friend,


What are your goals for 2015?