Tag Archives: heart rate monitor

Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Pancake Breakfast

It might not technically be fall yet, but I am still pretending like it is, so I made pumpkin pancakes for breakfast. I think I shared this recipe last year, but I figured I’d share it again. :)

Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Pancakes    Serves: 1

Makes two small pancakes or one big pancake.


  • 1/3 cup pancake mix (I used Whole Foods Whole Wheat Pancake Mix)
  • 1/4 cup pumpkin
  • 1/2 tbsp. chocolate chips (approx. 16 chocolate chips)
  • 1/3 cup water (depending on desired thickness – add more water for thinner pancakes)
  • Optional: syrup

I used to use sugar-free syrup for these pancakes, but I am trying to stay away from fake sugar so today I used pure maple syrup. I only used 1 tsp. which is about 17 calories. I am not a huge syrup fan so a tiny bit satisfies me.


  1. Add pancake mix, pumpkin, chocolate chips, and water to a small bowl. Whisk just until combined.
  2. Cook on a hot griddle (or pan) 2-3 minutes per side.
  3. Top with syrup or your choice of topping and enjoy!

The pancake mix usually calls for oil and an optional egg but I use the pumpkin in place of those ingredients.

I think I might trying adding peanut butter to these pancakes or topping them with almond butter instead of syrup. Yum!

Today’s Workout

  • Walking - 10 minutes
  • BodyPump – 60 minutes

I started out at the gym this morning with a quick ten minute walk on the treadmill. Then, I took a BodyPump class and it was hard today! I am trying to get back to my normal weights and it was a great workout today!

I have been wearing my heart rate monitor for the past few days and I burned 445 calories in BodyPump today.

Post workout, I had a chocolate milk and of course, I am already over my sugar limit for the day - 22 grams of sugar in organic chocolate milk, plus the one tiny teaspoon of maple syrup this morning already has my sugar grams adding up!

Yesterday’s Lunch

I have to share yesterday’s lunch because it was so good – an egg and potato bowl.

I used to make this for lunch quite often but I haven’t lately so it was a nice change. I cooked one potato on the stove with garlic, red pepper, onion, and a little bit of salt and pepper. Then I scrambled three egg whites and topped them with some cheddar cheese.

I put all of it in a bowl for the perfect lunch!

Have a great afternoon!

  • Do you like syrup? What do you top your pancakes with?
  • Pancakes or French toast?
  • Favorite pumpkin food?


Filed under Breakfast, Fitness, Lunch, Working Out

I Taught BodyPump…A Little

It’s Friday! And it isn’t 90 degrees outside! We’re getting a little sneak peek of fall weather today. It’s cool and sunny – the most perfect weather in my opinion.

Last night, Danny and I went to Curriculum Night at Jacob’s school (a big thank you to my dad for watching the kids last minute). Basically, the parents follow their kid’s schedule for nine classes. Each class is 7 minutes and the teacher just gives a quick explanation about what the kids will be learning throughout the year.

Basic stuff, but what interested me the most was gym class. This year, each child paid $5 for a chest strap for a heart rate monitor. Then the kids use the school’s heart rate monitors for gym class. But get this - their grade is based on their heart rates during specific exercises.

I actually thought that was kind of cool. They figure out the kids heart rates for their age. In this case 220-12. Then the multiply 208 by training zone 1, which would be .7. So, 220-12= 208. Then, 208 x .7= 145.

So, in order to pass gym class their heart rate needs to be 145. I think this is a good way to start teaching kids the benefits of being healthy early in life. You need to get your heart rate up to get your body into that fat burning in zone. Yes, I also think that kids are young because it’s nice that they have that information.

That reminds me that I need to start wearing my heart rate monitor again :)

Today’s Workout

  • BodyPump – 60 minutes

This morning I taught two tracks during the BodyPump class!

I was so nervous because there were a lot of regulars there and a lot of new people. I even got to wear the fancy headset microphone.

Our old fitness rooms were so small that there was no need for a mic, but these rooms are a lot bigger.

I did pretty good teaching. I am still really working on my timing. For some reason, I tend to go a little too fast. So, I will be practicing slowing down a little – it’s that hang clean that always gets me.

I had all the moves down and now I just have to get comfortable with the other tracks. Even though I didn’t need my notes to teach, I still peeked at them because I was so nervous and worried that I would mess up.


Lunch this afternoon is pretty much the same thing it’s been every day this week:

A bagel thin with egg whites, strawberry preserves, and provolone cheese. I also had carrots with hummus and a Honeycrisp apple. I saw that Honeycrisp apples were back at the store so I had to pick a few up even though they’re so expensive. Totally worth it!

Tonight, we’re going to my dad’s house for dinner so I baked a cake.

Chocolate. Pillsbury. From a box.

It’s not frosted yet. I am going to frost it with vanilla Funfetti frosting. All cakes are better when they’re Funfetti!

Tomorrow, I plan to go to the pool running class at the gym. I am excited to try it out!

Have a wonderful weekend!!

  • What do you think about heart rate monitors in schools?
  • Any plans this weekend?
  • Favorite cake?





Filed under Fitness, Working Out

Evening Run

Last Night’s Workout

  • 3 miles outside, warm and windy

Last night when Danny got home from work, we packed the kids up and headed to a nearby trail so I could run. The trail is a one mile loop with a park in the middle. So, while I was running, Danny played with the kids at the park.



I ran three miles and was happy with my time. I did get a side cramp at about two miles and had to walk for a minute.

I wore both my Garmin and my heart rate monitor.

I noticed that my heart rate went up right when I started running to about 160. It got up to about 170-175 bpm. I feel like it went up too fast and stayed high. Maybe that’s why I run out of energy so quickly. But it’s harder to start slower when you’re already a slow runner

The calorie counts were also different on the two watches. The Garmin said I burned 343 calories and the Polar said I burned 409 calories. I wonder which one is more accurate.

I wore my Mizuno Inspire 9s and my calf sleeves.

My right quad hurt more than my calves this run, and surprisingly my back hurt towards the end of my run. I have never had back pain while running, so it was weird. Have you ever had back pain while running?


Today’s Workout

  • Butts and Guts Class – 60 minutes

Swim lessons were canceled this morning because it’s only about 60 degrees. We have actually been having quite a mild summer here in Chicagoland. Not that I’m complaining. It makes running outside easier.

After the gym, I stopped at McDonald’s for a coffee :)

Well, it’s official. Yesterday, I signed up for the Zooma Half Marathon in Chicago on August 10th.

I’m supposed to have a few meet-ups with the other Zooma half marathon challenge athletes and ambassadors soon. There’s a meeting with a sports doctor and a cocktail hour, a yoga class, and a course preview run coming up. I don’t know if I can make it to everything, but I’ll try!

The Zooma half marathon also has a section on the registration form where you can note if this is your first half marathon. If you’re running your first half marathon or get a personal record at the race, you get a special PR medal.

I admit, I am most excited for the medal. Instead of medals for finishing, Zooma hands out necklaces which is something different, but I really want a medal :)

Speaking of races, this race is coming to Chicago soon:


I need to run that race…in my prom dress.

Have a great afternoon!

  • Which would you prefer: a medal or a necklace?
  • Would you run a race is a prom dress or tuxedo? I would.
  • Did you workout today?




Filed under Family Fun, Fitness, Running, Working Out

The Weekend and A New Heart Rate Monitor

Happy July!

I can’t believe it’s July 1st already and the year is half over!

The Weekend

Here’s a few picture from over the weekend.

On Saturday night, we went with my family to the drive-in movie theater.

We saw Monsters University (yes, again) and Man of Steel. I fell asleep about a quarter through the Man of Steel movie. I was kind of bummed because I wanted to see it, but it didn’t start until after 11 pm, and I guess that was just too late for me.

On an impulse, I bought these delicious Chips Ahoy Reese’s cookies at the store to share with everyone at the movies. I really have to work on eating better on the weekends…but they were so good.

Twice over the weekend, I went to Starbucks to get their new shaken peach iced green tea lemonade. I think it’s one of my new favorite Starbucks drinks. I’m not a huge fan of Starbucks coffee. I prefer regular McDonald’s or Dunkin Donuts coffee. But I like Starbucks tea and the new peach tea lemonade was delicious.

On Sunday, Jaden had an end of the season party for t-ball.

It was at a park and all the parents brought food to share. One of the moms made these adorable hamburger cookies.

Aren’t they so cute?! She used vanilla wafers, Thin Mint (or Grasshopper cookies), frosting, coconut, and sesame seeds.

Heart Rate Monitor

I went to Sports Authority over the weekend to get a heart rate monitor. I researched them online and knew that I wanted a basic one that was less than $100. I planned on getting the Polar FT4 (which comes in pink) but when I went to the store, I ended up leaving with the Polar FT7.


I always do this – I research a product online to buy, go to the store, and then leave with a different product. Oh well. The Polar FT4 was $89.99 at Sports Authority. I know they’re cheaper on Amazon, but I’m impatient and don’t want to wait for shipping.

I ended up buying the Polar FT7 which was about $20 more – $109.99. It didn’t come in pink, so I got it in black. The two watches are pretty similar but the FT7 tells you if the main effect of your training is fitness improvement or fat burning, so you can adjust your workout as needed.

It was easy to set-up. I just entered the time, date, my age, height, and weight. It comes with a chest strap that I got to work the first try and it was surprisingly comfortable. It has visual and auditable alarms so you know when you’re in your target heart rate zone.

You target heart rate can be found by subtracting your age from 220, and multiplying it by the heart rate zone you want to train in.

Heart rate zone 1: 65-75 %

Heart rate zone 2: 76-85%

Heart rate zone 3: 86-95%

So, for example, I am 31 and want to workout in zone 2:

(220-31) x .76 = 143

(220-31) x .85 = 160

So, I want my heart rate to be between 143 and 160 beats per minute for training zone 2.

Today’s Workout

  • BodyPump – 60 minutes

I wore my heart rate monitor to BodyPump this morning. My heart rate didn’t get very high because it’s strength training rather than cardio. I noticed that it did get higher during some tracks like the squats and back.

I think my average heart rate was only about 96 bpm. I’ll see what it is tomorrow at the cardio class I take.


For lunch, I made a stuffed pepper with brown rice, spinach sautéed with a little olive oil and garlic, and feta cheese.

Have a great afternoon!

  • Did you do anything fun over the weekend? Anything fun planned in July?
  • Ever been to the drive-in?
  • Do you wear a heart rate monitor?
  • What did you have for lunch today? Continue reading


Filed under Family Fun, Fitness, Lunch, Working Out

Heart Rate Monitors

Good afternoon! It’s finally a sunny day here in Chicagoland. It’s the first day all week that it hasn’t rained.

Today’s Workout

  • Trifecta Class – 60 minutes

The kids had swimming lessons this morning.


My plan after swimming was to run on the treadmill. I wore my running workout clothes and Mizunos…but ended up going to the Trifecta exercise class instead. Running Fail.


I just didn’t feel like running on the treadmill and haven’t felt like running in general lately. I’m not sure why. I better step it up because I have a half marathon scheduled for August. Hopefully this weekend, I’ll go outside for a run.

The Trifecta class is supposed to be 20 minutes of each cardio, strength, and abs, but most of the class participants want more cardio, so we focus more on cardio and less on strength.

This was only my second time going to this class, but it got my heart rate up and made me sweat! Today, we did about 4 minutes of intense cardio, followed by about a minute of strength. We repeated that circuit about 4-5 times before moving on to ab exercises.

I liked the fact that the teacher gave you three cardio options to chose from: low intensity, medium intensity, and high intensity. I tried to stay within the high intensity level.

After class, we stopped at the store to get a few fruits and veggies, and I picked up this Perfectly Simple by Zone bar to try out.


It caught my eye because it was oatmeal chocolate chip flavored. Oatmeal and chocolate chips are one of my favorite cookies, so I figured the bar had to be good. It was. I’ll definitely be buying more of these.


It had 170 calories and 10 grams of protein. I’m always looking for bars with a good amount of protein.

Heart Rate Monitors

I was playing around with my heart rate monitor last night (which was funny because we were talking about them in class today). I’ve had a New Balance heart rate monitor for a couple of years now, but I have never been able to get the strap that comes with it to work. It has a finger touch sensor, so I just use that when I wear it to see what my heart rate is.


I don’t wear it too often, but I would like to start wearing it more. The only problem is that I can’t get the strap to pick up my heart rate and it doesn’t tell me how many calories that I’ve burned.

I’ve been thinking about getting a new one that also shows calories burned as well as heart rate. I’m looking for one that isn’t too expensive. Any suggestions?

Tonight it Jaden’s last t-ball game! That season sure went by quick. Have a great afternoon!

  • Do you wear a heart rate monitor?
  • Favorite exercise class?
  • What’s your favorite cookie?


Filed under Fitness, Working Out