Friday, April 27, 2012

Loving the Shape you Have

I had a requested topic this week. How do I maintain my figure? (Ironically, this comes at a time when I cannot workout due to a pulled muscle in my back & notice I said, figure, not weight. They are not the same.)

My mantra: I only get one body in this life and it's my job to take care of it.
Ok, so first off, I am blessed by some genetics. Genetics are not something you can get rid of, but that doesn't mean you can't work with them. Some of us are built slim, in keeping with the current trend of slim is in. However, I'd be an outcast back in Bottecelli's time, for not having a lucious curvy figure. (Google his art if you need clarification.)

Now, just because I have some nice genes doesn't mean I'm off the hook when it comes to my health. I work out to maintain my look, but more importantly because it is good for my body: my heart, my lungs, my back (if I don't stretch for 5 minutes at the beginning of everyday, then I am in for a day of discomfort - I have a really long spine), my muscles. You get the idea.

I do not have the luxury of  a gym membership and really for me, don't see the point. I'm not a gym kind of girl, it's not a motivator for me. The mirror and wanting to be able to keep up with my kids are my motivators. I'd rather work out at home and with what's at hand. I like to walk, esp. when it's good weather. If not, I am in possession of  a treadmill and a stationary bike. (A good tv show or book I'm reading keep these from being boring)

I do Cardio 3 times a week for 20-25 min. (My preschooler doesn't have the attention span for longer and I don't have the time as a busy mom.)

Find a cardio that is a good fit for you. I have a dance background, so I like dvd's that incorporate that aspect. Mix it up and try new dvd's from the library or swap with friends. Boredom is the killer of motivation to work out. You gotta keep it fresh and interesting for both your mind and you muscles.
I also like Tae Bo and even a good old fashioned Jane Fonda once in a while.

Getting out with your kids is a great way to get in some exercise. Baseball in the yard, basketball on the court, roller skating when they are biking, badmitton, whatever.

Also, don't knock cleaning your house. Pushing a vaccuum and mop use big muscles.

Two days a week I do core strength/stretch/weights for 20-25 min.

Focus on your core. This means back and abs. This is what holds your body up. When those are weak everything else is harder. I like Pilates for this. Yoga is also good too.(Please note I am not pushing a six pack on any one. Personally I don't like them and they take way too much effort. So long as I feel comfortable in my swim suit come summer, I'm good.) 

For me, I focus on weight bearing exercise since I am high risk for osteoparosis.

I love food, but I try to keep all things in moderation. Remember to eat your fruits and veggies, meat sparingly, whole grains and dairy. And if you want that scoop of ice cream or bite of chocolate eat it. Just remember to fit in the other things first. (Think the Word of Wisdom)

If the not so good for you foods lurking in your house are too much temptation, get rid of them and replace them with better things. I love something good late at night, but lately instead of reaching for the ice cream I go for a bit of hummus and pita chips, or some fruit or yogurt followed by a square of chocolate to cure the craving.

Rest is also important too. Know whether you are a 7, 8 or 9 hour a night person.  Make it happen everyday. Lack of sleep also kills the workout. Get up and get going early. (For me 7 am is my get up and go time.)

Do your workout when it works best for you. Mine has to happen in the morning or it doesn't happen at all.

If you want specific dvd's I love, ask me.

How do you like to work out? What's your fave way to keep you body healthy?

Friday, April 20, 2012

Banana Split

If you love a book that can have you guessing 'who dun it', while giving you incredibly yummy themed recipes to go with it, and tug your heart strings to near tears, then you are in for a delicious ride in Banana Split by Josi Kilpack!

Once again we join Josi's beloved charcter Sadie Hoffmiller, the heroine of this series, on the paradisical island of Kauai. But, paradise seems lost on Sadie as she tries to dig her way out of a pit of depression and anxiety built over the last year and a half. She's seen too many dead bodies in that time and with a psycopath stalking her its no wonder she's in a dark place. I don't know if Josi's excellent portrayal of a person struggling to deal with these issues comes from personal experience or having watched a loved one, but she does a masterful job of guiding the reader through Sadie's emotional and mental journey without depressing the reader at the same time. Hard to do. 

But no worries, even Sadie can't stay in this dark place forever. She seeks professional help after discovering the body of a young mother on an innocent snorkeling trip. A woman everyone is convinced returned to her drug addicted ways just as she was on the cusp of retaining custody of her eleven year old son, Charlie.

Charlie comes to Sadie seeking answers and in true Sadie fashion she finds them. When she finally gives them to Charlie it is truly moving, i.e. I was teary eyed.

I like to think there is a little Sadie in all of us. One who is compassionate, takes action to help someone in need, knows some awesome martial arts moves, cooks like a dream and even gets a little lost sometimes, but knows that when you trust in those you love to support you they always come through.

I have the great pleasure and opportunity of being a test kitchener for Josi. That means my family and friends are guinea pigs for her recipes. We eat them and give feedback to make them better or tell her it is perfect as is. Our favorite from Banana Split is the Macademia Pancakes with coconut syrup and the second is probably the Aloha cookies.

So, are you hungry? Ready to dive into a Banana Split?

What's your favorite pancake recipe?

Thursday, April 12, 2012

On Little Wings . . . the best novel you haven't read yet!

Every once in a while a piece of literary fiction, sneakily classified as young adult, silently enters the world of literature and leaves you breathlessly in awe that such a compilation of words should be held in your hands and read by you.

Such is On Little Wings, Regina Sirois' debut novel.

Sixteen year old Jennifer lives an ordinary life in small town Nebraska and doesn't believe in the 2% factor until midst English lit assignment she unwittingly stumbles on an old photograph stuffed in a book. The innocent question of 'Who is this?' begins the first real fight in her family. The photo is of her aunt Sarah, her mother's older sister. Jennifer has always been told both of her parents are only children, just as she is an only child.

Jennifer sets out for Smithport, Maine to stay with Sarah and learn about her mother's family and hometown she never knew of. Her secret hope is to learn the truth of what caused the fracture between Sarah and Claire and heal wounds twenty years old.

Unexpectedly, she meets a gifted young man, Nathan, who could just be her first 'more than crush'.

There's also a host of great characters to love: Cleo, the Jacks, Monty, Claude, Hester, Darcy, and best, Little, who is anything but.

The best part of the book though is Regina's artistry with the words. She is a true wordsmith. I think it stems from her poetess background. To quote an idea from her book, she has words in her soul.

I had the great fortune of reading On Little Wings as Regina wrote it.(This does not make me biased, I have loved this book from the start) She agonized over every word, every nuance. every grammatical possibility. Her agony was not in vain. But don't take my word for it. Order your own copy and be excited to stay up late and procrastinate the demands of your ordinary life to dive into On Little Wings.  Right now it is available on Amazon in paperback or for the Kindle.

Regina wrote this as a story for one of her beautiful daughters. When the literary world seemed to turn its nose up a her novel, she published it herself and once it attracted attention on Amazon and blogs, a smart literary agent knocked on her e-mail door and asked to represent her. She graciously signed on the dotted line. Thank you!

Regina is now at work on her next novel. I expect it to be every bit as good. Here are a few questions Regina agreed to answer for me so you could know her better.

  Q: What is your fave flavor of ice cream?
R: I know I will lose a lot of fans this way, but I'm not a lover of ice cream. I'm a smoothie girl. No bananas. That's important. And if you want to put a virgin pina colada in my hand and set me in the sun to bake, I won't complain about that, either.
Q: Where would you go on vacation if it was just you and your husband with untold amounts of money?
R: We've always joked about going to Fiji because, as Truman says in the Truman Show, it's as far as you can go before you start coming back.
Q: And then, the same but with the girls? 
R: We are talking about taking the family to Hawaii to celebrate the book. I told my husband that if my book never gets published we could scoop up the money we've made and go cry about it in Hawaii. And if we are too busy ziplining through the jungle and lowering ourselves into burning volcanoes and swimmming with stingrays, we can skip the crying part. :)
Q: How many times have you been to Maine?
R: Once. One day. Four hours total. But let me just say, that for a midwest, land-locked young woman, every smell, every sight, every shingle on every house is permanently locked in my mind. That is why I could write the details. I couldn't forget anything if I tried.
Q: How are the flying lessons going for _____?
R: I have a working title for my next book, but I'm such a nerd that I don't want to make it public yet (I'll tell you secretly, okay?). For now, I call the book First Flight. Flying lessons are scheduled to begin in a few weeks!!! My first draft is almost complete. That means I'm about 10% done... editing is a bear!

So dear reader, did you order your copy of On Little Wings yet?

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Love for OBX

Here are a few reasons I love the Outer Banks (or OBX, that's in North Carolina for those of you not familiar with the term) in no particular order . . .

BEACH! That in and of itself is enough for me - the sound of the surf, the feel of the sand giving me nature's pedicure, a good storm and finding random sea wildlife, shells and a good walk on the beach (sigh). Watching my kids and their cousins play, swim, boogie board, dig pits, make sand castles, etc.


The Wright Brothers at Kitty Hawk

The Aquarium in Monteo

Jockey Ridge State Park (kites and sledding/surfing down sand dunes)

Currituck Light House - come climb 214 steps to the top with me!

Professor Hacker's Mini Golf (love it when I get a hole in one!)

Food: Barefoot Bernies, The Black Pelican, The Bad Bean, Stack 'Em High, Rita's


Movies: good for all, just kids or just adults

Time to READ! (a really good book, esp. at the beach is Regina Sirois' On Little Wings - more about this in a future blog) and Write!

I am a happy girl when at the beach. Now, if only I could convince my hubby to buy a beach house (that's unlikely).

What's your fave beach & what do you like to do there?