Wednesday, December 8, 2010


I started my morning around 4:30AM with a strawberry, almond milk, and whey protein smoothie. It was quite filling. After that I hopped on my recumbent bike for a 30 minute all out ride. Followed that with 45 minutes of a yoga DVD I’ve been trying to finish without stopping for a rest. Only one rest break today – yay.

I'm hooked on Davidson's Tea. My favorite flavor is Rooibos Spiced Chai. There's something so relaxing about holding the warm cup in your hands and slowly sipping the warm spicy brew. That's what I've asked for for Christmas - a box of tea bags in that flavor. Before I eat dinner in the evening I have a cup and drink it slowly over about half an hour. It helps me to slow down my eating and fills me up, too.

I’ve got to get a camera so I can put pictures up here. My daughter is supposed to be bringing me one on Friday. Can’t wait to try it out.

More later…

Monday, December 6, 2010

Goals for 2011

Today I want to share a post with you from Caitlin's blog Healthy Tipping Point. Today she shared her list of non-mileage related goals. I love her list. Many of them are also on my list of goals for 2011.
In 2011 I want to:
Learn to hold a full plank for 60 seconds.
Do 25 squats without a rest
Work on hamstring flexibility to a plus 3 - 4
Walk around Washburn's (a local university) campus again
Walk 3.o mph at a 2.0 or greater elevation for 30 minutes
Meditate every day for 30 days working up to 20 minutes per session
Finish a 60 minute yoga DVD without resting
Walk the Shunga trail from Washburn to Fairlawn and back
These are just a start. I'll add to the list as I come up with ideas.
Ya'll check out Caitlin's post and blog. You'll love it as much as I do. The photo is of Caitlin from her blog. I hope she doesn't mind me using it to introduce her to my readers.
More later...

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Early morning

Started my day at 4AM with a “Green Monster”. I made the basic, no frills, version:

1 c vanilla almond milk
1 frozen banana
2 large handfuls of baby spinach

Whirl in blender until smooth and enjoy.

For those of you who have never had one, you can’t taste the spinach. They’re really good and good for you, too.

I followed the smoothie with 30 minutes on the stationary bike and an hour of yoga. It felt so good. My muscles were all warm and singing.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving

How was your Thanksgiving? Mine was much better than expected. I went to my cousin’s in Leavenworth, KS. I was worried that there wouldn’t be anything to eat except what I brought but my cousin (who fortunately loves to cook) decided to experiment with gluten-free flours and cake mixes. I got to have lots of stuff. It was a pleasant day made more so by starting with some wine and cheese. I mellowed out and just plain enjoyed the company. Thanks for inviting me Cathy.

Today, I am thankful for family.

More later...

Friday, November 5, 2010

Thoughts of exercise

I’m going through a period where all I can think about is exercise and food. When I’m not actively in the process of exercise I’m reading about it. I read food labels on every little thing I buy. I bought honey yesterday that didn’t have a label and I wondered what was in it. I assume it was 100% honey but with no label who knows. I’m eating cleanly and it shows in my energy level and my desire to stay up off the couch. My new favorite magazine is Oxygen. It’s published by the same folks who publish Clean Eating. It doesn’t have all the fluff that some other fitness magazines have. I’ve even subscribed to it. Can’t wait until the next issue.

I’m starting to add elevation when I walk on the treadmill. I’m still not very fast after my ankle injury but I’m building endurance. Yesterday at 1.0 elevation and 2.2 mph it felt really good. I felt like I was working and not just rehabbing an injury. I think I might be in the market for a Garmin thingy. I like having all the data. Any suggestions from those who use one?

More later…

My first original recipe

Go to breakfast:

1 cup low-fat cottage cheese
1 cup chilled crushed pineapple in its own juice
Splash of good quality vanilla extract
Cinnamon to taste
Sweetner of choice to taste (I use 3 packets of Equal)

Stir until well combined and enjoy.

Serves: 1

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Not listening to your body?

This morning I woke up and wanted nothing more than to go back to sleep. It was late, considering the fact I’ve been getting up around 4:30AM, and all I did not want to get up. It took a few minutes but I got up anyway. I took my Calcium tablets which are supposed to be taken before a meal and got on the recumbent exercise bicycle. About 5 minutes into the ride I saw a lump laying in the living room floor. I had to get off to see what it was. I stopped the timer and walked over to the lump. It was a present from my cat – a freshly killed mouse. I disposed of the mouse and got back on the bike. I rode for a full 20 minutes. I felt better but still sluggish. It’s 10AM now and I feel like exercising. I’ve done two full Anderson stretching sessions (they last about 10 minutes each). One was meant to be done before you take a walk and one is titled Computer & Desk Stretches. Both felt really good. I have some energy now.

On the other hand – what about listening to your body. Wasn’t my body telling me that I needed sleep? Should I have listened to it and gotten a couple of extra hours? What about taking a day off every now and then? Isn’t that ok? I’m so new to all this that I don’t have answers, just questions. Any help would be appreciated.

More later….

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Truman Capote

Failure is the condiment that gives success its flavor.- Truman Capote

Monday, October 18, 2010

Healthy Ashley and the Urbanathlon

Check out Ashley's posts on her experiences with the Nike Urbanathlon in Chicago. Great posts and great pics. Thanks Ashely for the inspiration one more time.

Friday, October 15, 2010


I had my blood drawn this morning for a lipid panel (cholesterol test). The blood was drawn at just after 7:30AM and I got the results before noon. I was quite surprised. My cholesterol values were:

Total: 146, optimal is less than 200
LDL: 75, optimal is less than 100
HDL: 33, optimal is greater than 50 for women
Triglycerides: 192, optimal is less than 150
Looks like I still have some work to do. The nurse told me to keep exercising because that would help bring up the HDL. In fact, it was 28 when I had my heart attack so it's already come up some.
Have you had your cholesterol checked lately?

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Quote from a Shape Reader

"I think about how lucky I am to have a body that can be so active -- health is a gift, and it shouldn't be taken for granted." -- Candida Junor, Shape Reader p. 199 Sept 2009.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Bill Cosby

"In order to succeed, your desire for success should be greater than your fear of failure."
Bill Cosby

Monday, October 11, 2010

Early to bed...

Early to rise. I don't know why but I've been waking up around 4AM for the last couple of weeks. My alarm is set for 6:15AM so that's a BIG difference. I've been using the time to do such things as pick-up the house, sweep, do dishes, clean the bathroon and EXERCISE. This morning I rode my recumbent exercise bike, did 30 minutes of yoga on the mat, and did an entire upper body workout with 5 pound weights. 5's are really too light but I can't manage a full well-executed 8 reps with the 10's. I need to find some 8's. I'm really enjoying getting things done. I have so much energy. Then at sunrise I take a walk. This morning it was raining so I didn't but hopefully I can when I get home this afternoon. The orthopedic doc hasn't released me to do too much on my ankle so I only walk around my block but that's more than I could do a week ago. I see him in 2 weeks and I'm hoping he'll release me from some more of the restrictions. Wish me luck.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Essayer de vivre une vie saine

Trying to live a healthy life.

Today Caitlin at Healthy Tipping Point wrote about what she eats before a long run and I realized that I don't plan to eat anything before a walk. Of course, up until now, my longest walk has been just a little over an hour. I plan to drink water while I am walking but I don't fuel myself before I go. Maybe I am missing an important part of the process. So, I read her post and all the comments and the fuel seems to be a mixture of a good protein source with some carbohydrate thrown in for good measure. Oatmeal seems to figure prominently in many of the concoctions and I can't eat oatmeal. When I can walk again I'm going to make a point of finding a good pre-exercise meal to give me the strength and stamina to complete the walk without feeling so wrung out that I just plop down on the furniture and don't move for about 30 minutes. Anyone with any ideas that don't involve eggs or gluten let me know.

More later...

Friday, September 24, 2010

Yoga without bending your ankle

I'm working on a 5 min routine I found on The Fitnessista's Facebook page. I love the flow of the moves but I can't bend my ankle so I have to modify some of the poses. Anybody got any ideas? While I can't DO as much I'm reading MORE but I am missing the movement and the aerobics aspects of exercise.

Today I did a wheelchair run to the other end of the hospital and back. That's about 4 blocks. It felt good in my arms.

More later...

Saturday, September 18, 2010

My kettlebell is a funny shade of green

I went to Wal-Mart today and bought an 8# kettlebell. Several weeks ago my cousin who has been helping me since I broke my ankle got one and I sat in my wheelchair on the sidewalk in front of the building where we work and did triceps presses. The next day my triceps didn't hurt but the surrounding muscles did which I thought was need cuz it meant the motion was working something and my triceps were strong enough for that exercise. I wanted my own to play with and now I have it. I haven't taken it out of the box yet but I will tonight when I get home. As I've said in several responses and on my FB page I'm having some trouble being motivated to keep exercising since I can't walk. Ya'll beam me good thoughts and ideas on things to do while I can't walk for more than a few feet at a time. I've been instructed that I can do weight bearing as tolerated on the right foot but that's not very much and it's disappointing to be able to do so little. Let me hear from you...

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Monday, September 13, 2010

Celiac Folk Meet Saturday Morning

Saturday morning was our local Celiac Awareness Group. There were about 40 people (including the non-celiac family of the celiacs) and lots of food. It's so nice to be able to choose what to eat without worrying whether or not you'll have symptoms. Very freeing. I brought a pineapple upside down cake which is my favorite in the real world. Let me assure it was well received. Lots of people brought samples of things they'd found in the stores and had found enjoyable to prepare. Coffee, water, and of course, I brought my diet-coke. There were lots of new members and therefore lots of misconceptions to be cleared up. Sharon (the president) is a whiz and I always bring my library skills along. It's good to be reminded that eating food with gluten in it can hurt us even though we can't feel it hurting us.

If you have Celiac Disease find your own group locally and go regularly. You'll be glad you did.

More later....

Friday, September 3, 2010

Thera-band Day

Today was thera-band day. YAY!!! My Home Health Aide brought me a sheet of exercises for people who are wheelchair bound and I had such a good time. I moved from the green band to the blue (up one level) because the green just doesn't challenge me anymore. There were 10 exercises, all pretty basic, but fun. I want to get a book of thera-band workouts but I can't find any in Topeka. Will have to order from Amazon (not a bad thing - I love Amazon).
I also did my floor stretching routine, mat leg stretches, and a bunch of wheelchair push ups. Lets not forget wheeling the chair all over the hospital. I go as fast as I can. Feel like I'm getting back in the groove. Feels better. The thing I was most afraid of about this injury is that I'd lose all the endurance and flexibility I'd worked so hard to build up. Guess I'm doing ok.
More later...

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Missing the Exercise

It's amazing how you can get used to something and when it's gone it feels like such a loss. I miss the 3 mandatory and 1 1/2 hours of exercise I was getting at KRH. I'm still getting in quite a bit of exercise but I miss the apparatus which were available in rehab. I don't have the arm ergometer for aerobics and I don't have the blueprint of the the required sessions. Most of all I miss the raised mats for yoga and stretching. I'm still doing the mat exercise but on my bed which isn't the best surface, some stretching, upper body weights, some thera-band, and seated leg exs. It's not nothing but I need me some aerobics. Anyone have any ideas on getting the old heart rate up there while sitting in a wheelchair? Please chime in I need the advice.

I'm back at work. Today is the third day. I'm getting around pretty well. I went for a bone density test first thing this morning. The break happened so easily that the doc wanted to check things out. I don't have any osteoporosis on my Mom's side and I don't have any way of knowing about my Dad's genetics so the test will tell. I hope to get the results back by the time I see the doc next Thursday.

My food is good. For breakfast I had cottage cheese with crushed pineapple, a drop of bourbon vanilla, and a sprinkle of cinnamon. Yum.
More later...

Monday, August 23, 2010


Tomorrow is my last day at Kansas Rehab. I've really enjoyed my stay, Got in lots of exercise, learned tons of new stuff and met some nice people. The environement was one of healing and getting better and although some folks fought the process most were willing to do whatever it took to get better. I have mixed feelings about leaving. Part of me wants to stay and be taken care of and take Andy's thera-band class, and do PT with Francis, and all the other fun physical training I've been doing. But it's time to go home and get back to work. I won't be able to bear weight on the ankle for at least 3 more weeks which should make getting around home quite interesting. I have a wheelchair, a walker, and a cute little bench for the shower. I'm hoping I can get my wheelchair up the new ramp built onto my front porch. Tomorrow will be the test. I don't know what I'll do about my laundry since the washer/dryer are in the basement and I can't go down the stairs. I guess I'll have to ask for help. That will be difficult. I've already asked so many people to do so much for me that I feel I'm running out of goodwill.
More later...

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Signs of a Stroke

Got this info from my Fort Worth friend Ken and Carrie. Thanks for the good info. I havent' had to live through this one but my mother did.

This is good info--pass it on. Blood Clots/Stroke - They Now Have a Fourth Indicator, the Tongue STROKE:

Remember the 1st Three Letters.... S. T. R. STROKE IDENTIFICATION:During a BBQ, a woman stumbled and took a little fall - she assured everyone that she was fine (they offered to call paramedics) .she said she had just tripped over a brick because of her new shoes. They got her cleaned up and got her a new plate of food. While she appeared a bit shaken up, Jane went about enjoying herself the rest of the evening Jane's husband called later telling everyone that his wife had been taken to the hospital - (at 6:00 pm Jane passed away.) She had suffered a stroke at the BBQ. Had they known how to identify the signs of a stroke, perhaps Jane would be with us today. Some don't die. They end up in a helpless, hopeless condition instead. It only takes a minute to read this... A neurologist says that if he can get to a stroke victim within 3 hours he can totally reverse the effects of a stroke...totally. He said the trick was getting a stroke recognized, diagnosed, and then getting the patient medically cared for within 3 hours, which is tough... RECOGNIZING A STROKE Thank God for the sense to remember the '3' steps, STR . Read and Learn! Sometimes symptoms of a stroke are difficult to identify. Unfortunately, the lack of awareness spells disaster. The stroke victim may suffer severe brain damage when people nearby fail to recognize the symptoms of a stroke. Now doctors say a bystander can recognize a stroke by asking three simple questions: S *Ask the individual to SMILE.T *Ask the person to TALK and SPEAK A SIMPLE SENTENCE (Coherently)(i.e. It is sunny out today.)R *Ask him or her to RAISE BOTH ARMS. If he or she has trouble with ANY ONE of these tasks, call emergency number immediately and describe the symptoms to the dispatcher. New Sign of a Stroke -------- Stick out Your Tongue NOTE: Another 'sign' of a stroke is this: Ask the person to 'stick' out his tongue.. If the tongue is 'crooked', if it goes to one side or the other, that is also an indication of a stroke.

Sunday, August 15, 2010


Well guys, this is the second Sunday I have spent at Kansas Rehabilitation Hospital with a broken ankle. Two weeks ago (on my birthday of all days) I fell and broke it in two places. Had to have surgery and now have two titanium plates, a small brace and a bunch of screws in my right ankle. I am unable to put weight on that foot and will be for awhile so I am in rehab learning how to deal with living on one foot. I think I get out on Tuesday.

While I was in the hospital my house was robbed. They took all my appliances includeing my new window air conditioning unit and all my electronics. Going home will be a lot of fun.

Has anyone tried Theraband? I am in love with it. We use it in one of my rehab classes. I was surprised at the great workout I got. I'm looking for a book with some instructions so I can continue to use it at home.

More later....

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Tastebuds are screwy

I thought I was doing better in the produce department but it seems not. Strange things are going on with my tastebuds since the heart attack. Before I was eating 5-7 servings of fruit and vegetables every day. I drove everyone around my crazy with my counting to be sure I was getting enough. Now I can barely look at a fruit or veg without gagging. I brought a nice ripe (overripe to most people, lots of brown spots) chilled banana to work this morning and I had to force myself to eat it. What is going on? I am able to eat my favorite breakfast of gluten-free granola, organic vanilla yogurt and frozen blueberries so I guess that's a start. It's going to stay one meal at a time for awhile. will keep you posted.

BTW I'm on facebook now. My daughter convinced me that I needed to be on it to keep up with all my cousins and nieces. It's really fun so far. I got involved with the C.A.T. Association of Topeka through facebook networking. They're a no-kill shelter.

More later...

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

One meal at a time

With every passing day I get stronger. For the first three weeks I had an unshakable "Why bother with this" attitude about exercise and eating healthy. After all I did those things and I still had an MI. But not that I've been ok'd to exercise between rehab sessions I feel better. I've exercised for four of the last five days. The fourth of July was a washout here. The old feelings are starting to come back and I'm starting to crave fruits and veggies again. I can probably count on both hands the # of servings I've had since I was discharged from the hospital. I just couldn't get interested in them. Last night I wanted pickled beets and brussels sprouts. Not a very good combination but I ate them anyway. Tonight I'm having a salad beast. The ingredients will depend on what looks good at the salad bar. One meal at a time.

More later...

Monday, July 5, 2010

Know the Signs

Hi fellow bloggies, It's been five weeks since my heart attack and I'm doing great. Yesterday was the first time I walked around Washburn's Campus. It's a 2 1/2 mile walk. The first mile was easy, the second I felt like I was working and that last half was hard. I possibly shouldn't do it during the blazing heat on a day with high humidity. But I'm alive and very thankful for that.

The cardiologist said that the heart muscle was strong from all the exercise and that is why I am alive. The occlusion was in the LAD (lower anterior descending) artery which is also known as the widowmaker. It was in the proximal portion which means it was at the top and more of the heart was exposed the the ischemia (lack of blood flow and therefore oxygen). I was in the CCU for 24 hours and then in a regular room for 2 days. I am in cardiac rehab 3 mornings a week. While there I walk 17 laps on a track (which is a mile and boring), then I do 7 minutes on a recumbent bike, 12 minutes on the treadmill at 3% elevation, and 5 minutes on the arm ergometer. During all this I wear a heart monitor and my blood pressure is taken during every exercise. For those of you who are interested my BP goes down when I walk and up when I do the bike. They really don't want your heart rate to get into a good training range. They keep it about 130 bpm. Still, by the time I am finished I have worked up a good sweat. I don't have the stamina or energy I had before the cardiac episode and I may never have as much again but I can continue to add time and distance as I feel fit.

Over the last year I lost 70 lbs, walked for an hour or more a day, climbed to the 7th floor on the days I worked, practiced yoga several times a week, and ate mostly fresh fruits and vegetables. I was doing all the right things and still it happened. The doc said it was my genetics. On my Mom's side everyone is healthy and living into the 90's but on my Dad's side everyone died young from heart disease. My Dad was 53 when he died and he had already had several major heart attacks. My younger brother was 46 and he had already had two.

I am alive because I recognized the signs and got myself to the emergency room quickly. If you think there is ANY chance that your symptoms may be heart related do not wait. Get yourself to an ER. Better to be a little embarrassed than be dead. You can read about the signs and symptoms at this site American Heart Association.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Heart Attack

I will be back full strength in a couple of weeks. On Sunday, May 30, 2010 I experiences a heart attack. The blockage was in one of the main arteries of the heart. I am out of the hospital and am resting at home. I am in cardiac rehab group that meets once a week and I'm fighting with them to let me do more exercise.

Good wishes are appreciated. Thanks.

Friday, May 28, 2010

I'll bet you didn't know this about me

Kath at KERF had some photos of her in dance costumes as a child which got me to thinkin. I never took dance. I sang in a children's choir from age 7 to age 15. There were about 30 of us and we travelled all over the south - Louisiana, Texas, Mississippi, Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Tennessee, Arkansas and Oklahoma. If was fun. We stayed in people's homes and sang mostly in churches. I wouldn't have missed the experience. Got to meet a lot of nice people and saw a lot of the country. The photo is of the Rachel Sims Memorial Mission in New Orleans. It's where we practiced. I spent a lot of time in this building. The lower floor has been boarded up since Katrina. I'm not sure when the picture was taken.

Today so far I've walked to work, done 20 bicep curl plie squats, 20 push ups off the bookshelves, stretched my upper body and done the stairs. I'll also walk home and no telling what I'll do after that. Have 3 long walks planned for the weekend.

Have a good holiday and keep it exercise filled.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Mother's Day revisited

Last night my daughter and I went to Chili's. She gave me a gift card for Mother's Day and we hadn't gotten around to using it yet. One of the reasons she chose Chili's is because they have a gluten-free menu. I ordered one of the new items on their menu - the Caribbean Chicken Salad. It's also offered with shrimp but the shrimp is not GF. The salad had slices of fresh pineapple, mandarin oranges, dried cranberries and the normal lettuce mix with a sliced chicken breast on top. It's served with a honey-lime dressing. The chicken was very tender and the fruit was very good. I ordered the large which is big enough for 4 people. I brought most of it home. I would order it again.

I started working on squats. I'd kinda forgotten about doing planks every day. Guess I'd better add those back in. Squats used to hurt my knees. Yesterday I watched several You Tube videos on beginner body weight squats and I think I've got the hang of it. I can't get my thighs parallel to the floor but I can still feel it in my quads so I hope with practice I'll get lower down. I walked to work again this morning. I love starting the day with a good walk. The whole day seems to go better.

The gift shop in the hospital has started carrying KIND bars. At last, a bar that's GF and healthy. They charge $2.00 for them but I don't really mind. I sent an email to the manager to tell her how much I appreciated the healthy choice. She also carries Blue Diamond almonds. The available package is about 1.5 oz and I tend to eat the whole thing before the day is out but again they're healthier than chips.

More later...

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Boxing at Anne's

I've been following fANNEtastic Food for some time now. I have really enjoyed Anne's experiences at LA Boxing. I wish we had something like that around here because I'd definitely give it a shot. If you'd like to read her lastest post check it out here. I've included a photo from her blog. She makes exercise look like fun.

I walked to work today and have done my upper body stretching routine. I'm still off the stairs due to my ankle injury from Saturday. I'll give it a few more days and then I'm back to doing basement to 7th floor.

More later...

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Blood Drive

Today was our blood drive at work. I donate every chance I get. In fact I take it as a personal failure if I am unable to donate. Today my hemoglobin was 14.3 which was high enough to donate two units of packed red blood cells but the phlebotomist blew my best vein and I had to donate whole blood instead. When I get home I have to put ice on my arm to keep the bruising and swelling down. I know some people are afraid of the stick but it really doesn't hurt but for a second and the whole process is over in about 20 minutes. You, too, can save a life.

I know it sounds cheesy but go for it if you can.

Bye Bye Pants

Just a quick report. Every hour or so I get up from my cubicle and do some stretching or a couple of yoga moves or something to get my blood flowing. A few minutes ago I was stretching with my arms over my head and my pants fell down around my ankles. Guess I'll have to retire this particular pair of pants or buy a belt.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Lucky turn

Saturday afternoon I was walking home from the Health Food Market with my arms full of groceries. I buy lots of produce there. I was walking through my neighborhood which is in an older part of town and was thinking that the trails are easier to walk on. I'd rather step over roots and rocks and have scenery than to step over cracked pavement and limbs which had blown down and trash in the street. As I was thinking this my right ankle turned. As I was losing my balance my left ankle turned. I did not fall all the way down. My first thought was will I be able to make it home. I still had4 or 5 blocks. I was happy because it didn't hurt too bad. I wondered if it would swell. I walked 3 miles on Sunday and it ached a little toward the end. It never swelled and it didn't bruise but when I got home Sunday I iced and elevated it. You know - the RICE thing. I drive a standard (when I drive) and I can't use the clutch and I can't go up or down stairs without some pain but I can walk on the flat just fine. I am lucky. The injury could have been much worse.

Looking forward to a good walk tomorrow. It's supposed to be stormy again this week so I guess I'll be spending time on the treadmill.
I'd like to congratulate Caitlin from Health Tipping Point on her completion of the Echelon Gran Fondo on Sunday. She completed the 100 mile ride in 9 hours and 30 minutes. Also congrats go to Jenna of Eat, Live, Run who completed it as well.

More later...

Friday, May 21, 2010

TGIF one more time

It's Friday (yay) and I get off an hour early because I had to come in at 7AM this morning. Tonight is the school of nursing pinning ceremony and it's kinda expected that we attend. It's not bad. The graduates get a pin which represents the school they attend and it's actually more important to them than the graduation ceremony on Sunday. There's good music, healthy food, and a lot of speeches and awards. Oh well, it's only twice a year. The photo is one of our nursing students from several years ago.

The sun was out last time I peeked and I plan to take a walk around the campus before tonight's event. Tomorrow I'm going to walk on the Shunga trail - outward for 45 minutes and back for 45 minutes for a 90 minute total. I haven't decided what I'll be doing on Sunday yet. Looking forward to reading the magazines I checked out of the public library - Outside, Runner's World, Backpacking, and Bicycling.

Have a exercise filled weekend...

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Bricks are hard

I did the brick! I guess I did it backwards. From what I read today it should have been bike first but since it's just fitness and not training I don't think it matters. I did two different types of aerobic exercise back-to-back. My legs were like jello.

Today I'm having some minor GI problems. I probably got glutenized without knowing it. I'm very careful but sometimes I forget to read labels and I used a different brand of yogurt on my granola this morning. Read the label, read the label, read the label.

My co-worker's adult daughter was thrown from a horse this morning and then stepped on. She has a broken back and they are waiting to see if she'll need surgery. Send good thoughts their way. Thanks.

More later...

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Sunshine at last

Monday afternoon I went home, changed into my old shoes and walked the loop around the campus. It was dreary but there were a lot more people out in the late afternoon than there are on weekends. Guys zipping down the street on motorcycles at 40 mph without helmets. They need to spend time observing trauma cases in the ED. I stopped at one point to stretch out my lower back before starting up walking again. The achiness disappeared so stretching was a good decision. It took me a couple of minutes longer to make it home this go around. Then after I got home I had an episode of low blood sugar complete with chills. After eating some simple carbohydrates I got in the shower for 20 minutes with the water on hot. I finally warmed up. I haven't had to deal with low blood sugar since my doc took me off the glyburide. Guess I should let him know.

Today I walked to work in heavy fog. By lunch the sun had come out and the day is turning out pretty nice. After lunch I did about 15 minutes of yoga. I love warm muscles. I'm going to walk home then do 20 min on my bike. After reading Ashley's race recap over at Healthy Ashley on finishing her half-ironman last weekend I'm inspired to do a brick. At least I think that's what they call it.

More later...

Monday, May 17, 2010

Please shine sun

We had a dark, cold, rainy weekend. I bought new shoes from Payless, browsed at Barnes & Noble, walked up and down Wanamaker (THE shopping street in Topeka) in the mist. I was glad I schlepped an umbrella around because when I got off the bus to walk back to my house it started pouring. I fixed a fresh fruit salad with lots of citrus to brighten the day and then hit the stationary bike for 20 min. I'm working on adding to the time I spend on the bike. I tried to pedal as fast as I could to work up a sweat. I've never been on a spinning bike so I don't have a feel for the cadence.

Sunday it was supposed to rain all day so I had my mind set on the bike again and maybe a yoga DVD but around noon the sidewalks were dry so I walked to and around the Washburn campus and got in a good hour. It felt good. I was dripping even though the temp was only in the 50's. Why don't I feel like I get as good a workout on the bike? I added romaine lettuce and baby spinach to what was left of the fruit salad. At least the food was springy.

I've started investigating a walking/hiking tour in Vermont for the fall of 2011. I found a company in the back of Outside magazine called Backroads that offers walking, hiking, biking, and multisport vacations all over the world. I sent for one of their catalogs and have been dreaming ever since. As soon as they publish the dates for 2011 I'm going to make a reservation and look forward to doing this. Working toward having the fitness to walk 5-7 miles a day for several days consecutively should keep me motivated. They have trips for all fitness levels. I chose a lower one for my first adventure. (BTW the photo is from their catalog)
More later...

Friday, May 14, 2010

Happy Weekending

I'll be back on Monday with news of my fitness exploits and healthy food choices. Today I managed 20 min on the treadmill at 3.0 mph, a 30 min yoga DVD during lunch and upper and lower body stretches. I've also done the stairs up to the 2nd floor but haven't made it up to 7 yet. I have planned an excursion on the bus to buy a new pair of walking shoes. Mine are definitely past their prime. The left one has a hole by the big toe.

Have a great weekend...

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

A moments respite

I won't bore you with the details but I'm having some family problems. They've been ongoing for several months. What's strange is that I am sleeping better the last few nights than I have in months. I think it's because I have decided what to do about the problem - nothing. I've done everything I can to help. I've thrown all the money at it that I can without selling all my belongings and moving into the local rescue mission. So, I'm going to let them sink or swim on their own without any more help from me. They are adults. It was a difficult decision but I have to take care of myself. There is no one else who will take care of me. Exercise helps with the frustration and eating cleanly helps with energy. I will continue to take my life one day at a time.

It was hard to admit that there is nothing I can do. I'm used to fixing everything for everyone. Thanks for listening...

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Out of the way

I nearly got flattened on my way up the stairs today. One of our cardiologists was actually running up the stairs. I jumped out of the way when I heard him round the corner where I was trudging up. It must be good aerobically if a cardiologist was doing it.

I also did 40 min on the treadmill at .5 elevation and 3.0 mph. I'm getting a little faster each time.

For breakfast I had 1/2 cup gluten-free granola with organic vanilla yogurt and 1/2 c frozen blueberries. The granola had raisins in it that were like rocks. I ended up picking them out. For lunch I had a slice of ham with cooked zucchini, a baked sweet potato and a banana. As a snack this afternoon I had a rather large apple and I'm going to eat my container of yogurt after I finish this post.

Good day so far. Kansas had quite a few storms last night including 3 tornadoes down south. While I was in my kitchen cooking I heard water dripping and it sounded like it was coming from my ceiling. There was no wet spot this morning so maybe it was my imagination. I hope so anyway. I hate leaks.

More later...

Monday, May 10, 2010

Shunga Trail

Saturday afternoon was beautiful. The sky was blue, the sun was shining, and the wind was light and cool. I did 43 minutes around the neighborhood. At first my legs felt very heavy and I didn't think I'd make it very far but after I'd warmed up a bit the heaviness left and I enjoyed the rest of the time. In the morning I took the bus to Hy-Vee to stock up on things I can't find anywhere else in town, e.g. Fage yogurt. I absolutely love their honey one and the good news was it was on sale for $1.49 instead of the $2.49 I paid last time. They also have two aisles of gluten-free products which I enjoyed looking over.

Sunday I walked part of the Shunga Trail. It's paved but it runs along Shunga Creek and is very pretty (see photo of an unpaved section). The trail runs pretty much from one side of Topeka to the other. I did a good 50 minutes and the time passed very quickly. I was surprised I'd been gone for that long. I'll have to walk that way again. I also did some yoga and stretches in the afternoon before my daughter came by for Mother's Day. We both missed Grandma. This was our second mother's day without her.

Today I've done the stairs from the basement to the 7th floor twice. I saw a story on a race up the Hancock building in Chicago and it's 96 floors. Whew. Something to shoot for. When I was 18 a group of girls went on a trip to New York City and walked up the Empire State Building. I don't remember how many floors it was but about 18 of us did most of the way up. I was younger then.

Enjoyed catching up on your posts this morning. Happy Monday...

Friday, May 7, 2010

Salad Day

Friday must be salad day at our cafeteria. Everything on the hot food line was breaded or battered. I mixed spinach, mushrooms, grape tomatoes, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, a couple of cubes of swiss cheese and I added a small can of tuna from my stash. I also ate a banana. I imagine there will be a container of yogurt this afternoon and an apple which won't survive til Monday.

I walked on the treadmill this morning for 30 min at 2.8 mph and 1.0 elevation. It wasn't long enough but I didn't want to clock-in late. I parked as far away from the building as I could and I did the stairs from the basement to the 7th floor. I'm going to do some stretching this afternoon and this weekend I'm going to curl up with a green monster and two issues of Outside that I borrowed from the library.

Have an exercise filled weekend...

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Adventure at every turn

The exercise workshop was fun. About half-way through the first aerobic segment I asked myself why I was doing this and my answer was that I want to try new fitness things. Being in a group setting brought out my competitive spirit. I was probably the youngest one there and I wasn't going to let those seniors do better than me. I was determined to finish each set. I loved the water part. I haven't been in the pool in years. I even swam a few laps after the second water segment. It felt so good. I love the water. One of the things on my life-list is to learn to swim using alternate side breathing and do those turns like "real" swimmers do. Anything to keep moving. I find inspiration all around me and it seems that the more I do the more I want to do. Is that true for you, too?

More later...

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Healthwise 55

Tomorrow I am going to a 4 hour exercise workshop. There will be two hours of water movement and 2 hours of aerobic movement. It's being held at the YMCA. They have a heated pool although it may not be necessary this time of year. I am looking forward to the experience. In fact, I am taking the day off from work. Hopefully I'll learn some new moves and meet some like minded folks. Wish me luck and stamina. I'll let you know how it went on Thursday.

More later...

Race Against Breast Cancer

I signed up for the Topeka area Race Against Breast Cancer. It's a 5K Run/Walk and will be held in September. The money raised from the entry fees is used to provide free mammograms for women who can't afford them. I am lucky in that my company's insurance provides an annual mammogram at no charge to us. I'm looking forward to participating this year.

More later...

Monday, May 3, 2010

It's a new day

Exercise-wise - excellent weekend

Food-wise - ugh

Saturday I joined the NAMI group walking around the campus. I kinda held back and let them go ahead so that I could walk at my own pace. It was warm and sunny. I used sunscreen which ran into my eyes. I see sportscreen in my future. I didn't time myself but I know I kept up about a 2.8 mph pace for most of the walk. My eating wasn't good. I had two peanut butter sandwiches and about a half bag of white corn chips. No fruit or veggies except for a couple of overripe bananas. Corn chex for breakfast with organic nonfat milk.

Sunday I stopped at the KwikShop just before I got to the campus and got a bottle of water with a pop top. I know, I know - bad plastic bottles. I needed the water thought and until I can get a green container to carry on my walks I'll reuse the plastic one. Time 1:01:59. That's counting the trip into the store so I imagine that took a couple of minutes. Eating not good again. I ate a whole bag of caramel rice cakes.

My weekend inspiration came from the May issue of Outside. I used to read this magazine all the time but let my subscription lapse when I quit taking care of myself. I picked it up at Barnes & Noble which is my favorite bookstore. I used to work there as a second job and I made good use of the 30% discount. This month there was an article on the Moab Utah bike race. It sounds like fun and I started making a list of things around Topeka that I could take part in. It was nice to make plans related to getting fit and healthy. In June there's the annual Tinman Triathlon. No, I'm not going to participate in the race itself but I'm going to volunteer to be a part of the event. I'm looking forward to watching the competition.

Today it's 1:20PM and so far I've eaten 6-7 servings of fresh fruit and veggies. I've got to keep them stocked at home because I know that by now if I have them available that's what I'll choose.

More later...

Friday, April 30, 2010

Falling off the plank

I was so excited about my success with the plank pose that I decided to practice it again when I got home last night. It wasn't so easy the second time. My arms shook and I didn't feel steady. I guess that's why they call it a yoga practice, huh? When I tried to lower into low plank I just fell out of the pose. If at first...
I did about 25 minutes on the treadmill this morning at .5 elevation and 3.0 mph. I now have a blister on my big toe. It's my first "injury". Fortunately I had some moleskin in my desk drawer and I applied it and now it feels ok which is great since I'm planning a long walk for tomorrow. I just now tried the plank again and I got into the position ok but my arms still shake and I can't hold it for very long. Something to work on for the next few years.

We're having tornado weather so no outdoor play today.

If I don't post again before Monday (I don't have access to a computer on the weekend) have a great weekend and keep on moving.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Magazine mania

I am a reader. Reading has always been one of the greatest joys of my life. Mysteries are my favorite relaxation reads but I'll read almost anything in a pinch. During the past year I've subscribed to and read many fitness and health journals. A couple of days ago I found the May issue of Health in my mailbox. It's pretty light reading but I enjoy it. (Remember I work in a medical library - our journals are heavy duty, need a dictionary to read stuff) This month there's a yoga sequence for beginners. It's just what I've been looking for. I have learned a lot of poses but they're just disjointed movements. I've longed for a routine I could learn and practice. For the next few weeks I'll be doing the one in this issue. I tried to find it online so I could include a link but it doesn't seem to be anywhere but in the magazine. Check it out if you're interested. I'll be sure to keep you up to date on my progress. I just did the first three moves. I'd never tried a plank before. It wasn't as hard as I thought it would be.

My walk to work this morning was aided by 35-40 mph gusts of wind. Lots of pollen and dust in my face. I felt the need to shower again when I got here. I tried a new route home yesterday and I prefer the different streets. For one thing there was less traffic.
Lunch was interesting today. The cafeteria was serving baked white meat turkey with sweet potatoes. I also got a big plate of raw veggies from the salad bar. Lots of chewing and volume from the veggies.

More later...

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Keep on moving

I've been thinking a lot about functional fitness. I've begun to notice that I'm able to do some things much easier now than I could even a month ago. I don't get the same strain or pain in my right shoulder when I shelve or pull books from the top shelf (I'm a hospital librarian for those of you who don't know.). I can roll over in bed without having to get out of bed and then lay down on the opposite side. This is so nice to do. I can get up out of a chair without getting dizzy. I can walk to the south tower (the far far away other end of the hospital) without getting out of breath. I'm not lifting weights (yet) but I am doing yoga poses which require the use of the shoulders and upper back (down dog anyone?). I think even this minimal effort is helping me to gain strength and balance. The walking is helping me to develop overall strength which makes moving in general so much easier. It's also building up my cardiac endurance and giving me more power from my lungs. I simply breathe easier. I can now lay on my back to read without feeling like I am going to smother. That's do to the weight loss I'm sure. Simple things that most folks take for granted.

Enjoy moving your body today. I know I will.

I walked to work this morning. One of the nursing students saw me walking and offered me a ride. I didn't want to seem impolite but I told her no I was walking for a reason but thank-you. I've also walked to the 7th floor and done lower body stretches. Good day so far and I still get (not have) to walk home.

More later...

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Stressed out Tuesday

Whew - I hate snafus. I know, who doesn't. I got a second denial letter from my FSA provider for a claim I sent in properly. The first time they said I hadn't signed the form. I had a fax confirmation form showing that the form was properly signed. I called. A nice young man told me what I needed to do. I did it. Got a denial form yesterday because I hadn't sent the receipts along with the form which the young man told me I didn't have to do if I put the reference # of the signed form. Sigh. I think it's been straightened out.

Then last night I went to sleep ok. Woke up at 1 something in the AM and could not go back to sleep. I did all the things I know work to get myself back to sleep and none of them worked. I counted my breaths. I read. I remained awake. So this morning I didn't want to get up. I hit the snooze. I talked to myself about getting up. I hit the snooze alarm again. Finally I told myself that if I got up, got dressed, and walked to work I could have a container of chocolate skim milk. I walked to work in 38 minutes (counting all the lights I had to wait at) and got my chocolate milk. It tasted so good. I told myself that the rest of the day would feel better because I got in my exercise. So here's to less hassle and more relaxation.
BTW - I have the t-shirt with the cat on it. I get lots of comments when I wear it.

Monday, April 26, 2010


I had a great walk on Saturday. I live a few blocks from the local university and for some time now I've wanted to walk the perimeter of the campus. It's two miles not counting walking from my house to the campus. I did it in 59 minutes and a few seconds. The weather was cool and the sky was mostly blue. It's a pleasant neighborhood, the sidewalks are in excellent shape, and there were lots of folks out running, walking animals and riding bikes. I felt like part of the fitness community and look forward to other walks in the coming weeks.

This morning I did my 40 minutes on the treadmill at 2.9 mph. The woman on the one next to me was doing 4.6 mph at a 10.0 elevation. I'm impressed. Something to aspire to right... I also did my 7 flights of stairs and some stretches for my lower body.

More later...

Friday, April 23, 2010

Ripple Effect

I'm getting to a point where when I run into people I haven't seen for awhile they want to know what I'm doing to lose weight, what skin products I'm using, and can they follow me around and do whatever it is that I'm doing. I am at a loss as to how to explain it. I'm not "on a diet" and I use soap, water, and a lotion with SPF. This journey started about a year ago and I changed one thing. I started putting frozen blueberries in my cereal. When that became a habit I started having two servings of vegetables for lunch. I kept adding healthy foods and the healthy foods just kinda pushed out the unhealthier ones. I didn't give up anything. After a few months I started doing some yoga every day, I then added walking around the block everyday. I kept adding blocks until I was walking for half an hour. Now - the only thing that has changed about my life is everything. It's the ripple effect in action. But everyone wants a quick solution and this journey hasn't been quick. I seek progress not perfection and I do these things one day at a time and it's working for me. I've got a long road to go but taking small steps makes the process nearly invisible.

Today was a 40 minute session on the treadmill at 2.8 mph. It felt good. Did I periodically want to stop - yes. Did I stop - no. I kept telling myself how the rest of my day would go knowing I'd gone the entire 40 minutes. I also thought about how disappointed I would be if I didn't.

Then for lunch my boss is out of town today so my co-worker and I decided on Mexican. I had a bean tostado, a ripe banana, and a big container of ice water. It tasted good. It wasn't diet food and it satisfied me for now.

Sorry about the rant...

Thursday, April 22, 2010


I woke up to rain and thunder this morning. I also woke up too late to do the treadmill before work so today I'm doing the stairs. Our hospital has 8 floors if you count the basement. I'm starting in the basement and going as high as I can. It should be interesting. My goal these days is to keep moving as much as I can in the time I have and with the venues around me. I guess that's kind of what's meant by cross-training - a little bit of everything.
******** EDIT ********
On my way to the cafeteria I stopped at the stairs. I was determined to make it to the 5th floor but I made it all the way to the 7th - the TOP floor. WOW !!! I was a little out of breath, not painfully just a little and my forehead broke out into a sweat. One more activity under my belt. If I start putting them all together I'll have a nice workout.

Last night I baked an organic sweet potato. It was the best sweet potato I've ever eaten. I put a little cinnamon sugar on it. It filled me right up.

Happy earth day folks.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Treadmill morning

This morning was a wonderful 40 min walk on the treadmill. I'm up to 2.7 mph which may not sound like much but a couple of months ago I could barely do 2.0 mph. I'm working on endurance more than speed right now anyway. It felt good. I worked up a healthy sweat. It is definitely neat to have a gym so close to my cubicle. It's a benefit of working for the hospital.

Last night I fixed some brown basmati rice with french cut green beans, brussels sprouts, onions and a can of tuna. Very satisfying. I think I'll add some canned tomatoes next time. I've ordered some garlic sprinkles from Kath's (KERF) Open Sky store. I love adding garlic to everything and she seems to like this brand a lot.

Glad it's hump day...

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Spring fever

I don't usually get spring fever but this year I have a serious desire to hang out outside. This has been such a nice spring. The weather is beautiful (except for the storms) and with walking back and forth to work I'm getting to spend some serious time in the great outdoors. Saturday I thought about walking one of the trails near my house but I couldn't figure out where it came out near me so instead of driving to where I knew it was I just walked in my neighborhood. Everyone was outside working in their yards putting in flowers. Anyway on the news that night I heard that a woman had been knifed on another trail in the north part of town. Maybe I don't want to walk the trails after all. Topeka doesn't have much crime. I guess it was an example of being in the wrong place... I think I'll stick to more populated areas or find a buddy to walk with.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Treadmill trials

It was stormy this morning and I do not like walking while carrying an umbrella so I left at the same time I would have if I were walking to work. Parked my car, left my stuff at my desk, and walked down the hall to the fitness center. I love that it's so close - no excuses. I used the treadmill. It was one of those mornings when I simply sailed along. I could have walked a lot longer but my director would not have been happy if I told her I was late because I couldn't bear to hop off the treadmill.

Last night I tried sweet potato fries for the first time. Yum. I couldn't stand to eat them with ketchup though so I sprinkled them with a little cinnamon/sugar. It's a good thing I didn't fix the whole bag because I would have eaten the whole thing.

Looking forward to the weekend.

More later...

Thursday, April 15, 2010


I drove to work the first couple of days this week. Today I walked. I'm at a point where my mood definitely shifts for the worse when I miss a couple of days of walking. I find my mood sours and almost a sense of depression creeping over me. I read in the current issue of Health magazine about a woman who refers to running as her Prozac. I understand that. Walking is cheaper than Prozac for sure.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Produce Binge

I didn't eat many fruits and vegetables over the weekend but I've made up for it in the past two days. Yesterday I had blueberries with my breakfast of yogurt and GF granola. For lunch I had a handful each of raw broccoli, cauliflower, grape tomatoes and cucumber slices. I also ate a cup of fresh summer type fruit. Then for dinner I had steamed brussels sprouts, broccoli, corn and a huge Johnagold apple. So far today I've had blueberries, broccoli, french cut green beans, and stewed tomatoes. I also ate a flavorless apple. The cafeteria is not a good place to buy fresh fruit. Don't assume that what I have listed is all I ate - it's just the fruits and vegetables.

More later...

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Crescent City Classic

My first (2nd, 3rd, etc.) 10K was the Classic in New Orleans. Back then the route started in the French Quarter went up Prytania Avenue through the Garden District and ended up in Audubon Park near the river. High school bands were stationed along the route to cheer you on with rousing music. I remember walking under the finish banner for the first time. I threw my hands into the air and I was so supercharged with excitement. Those of you who have done races know what I mean. It was a fun run/walk and I enjoyed walking it for many years. The route has now changed but it still starts in the quarter and ends up in a beautiful park. Anybody wants a good excuse to go to New Orleans - do the Classic. This year it was on April 3 and I'm in Topeka but I thought about the racers and some year I'd like to go back and do it again.

More later...