Tag Archives: swimming

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

Back to Healthy Eating

Happy Birthday to my mom today!!!

These are old pictures but these are two of my favorite pictures of my mom and me.

Happy Birthday, Mom!

We went over to her house on Saturday night to celebrate with an Dairy Queen ice cream cake :)

Today’s Workout

  • 3.28 miles – HIIT treadmill workout
  • 15 minutes stretching

The kids had swimming lessons at 8:30 am this morning, and then we went right to pick up my niece afterwards. My brother switched his schedule today so that he could be off in time to watch the Blackhawks game.

I wasn’t able to go to BodyPump this morning, so after I picked up my niece, I went to the gym and ran on the treadmill. I did a HIIT workout, and I was so sweaty by the end.

I started out running slowly for half a mile. Then, I alternated between running .25 miles fast and then walking .25 miles for a total of 5 times. The running part was tough and my legs were killing me. I wasn’t sure if I’d make it through the last running interval but I pushed myself and finished strong before cooling down by walking slow for about 5 minutes.

I finished up my workout with 15 minutes of some much needed stretching!

Healthy Eating

I’m trying to get back on track with  my healthy eating and food journaling today, so I went to the grocery store yesterday to stock up on some healthy food. I went through my old food journals and blog recipes to find some food that I haven’t eaten in a while.

I bought ingredients to make:


Hopefully, I can stay on track!

  • Did you do anything fun this weekend?
  • Any workout today?
  • Eat anything good today?



Filed under Fitness, Lunch, Recipes, Uncategorized, Working Out

Weekend Recap

Happy Monday! I hope everyone had a wonderful weekend.


On Saturday afternoon we went to my stepbrother, Jake’s, graduation party.

My dad and stepmom made him a scrapbook of his life from when he was born until now. My dad also made my brother and me a scrapbook when we graduated high school.

We had fun visiting, eating, and swimming.

I think Jaden stayed in the pool for four straight hours. That kids loves to swim. He didn’t even mater how cold he got or how much his teeth were chattering, he did not want to get out of that pool.

We stayed to watch the Chicago Blackhawks game. Thank goodness they won :)


On Sunday, we just kind of relaxed and hung out all day. I was expecting my legs to be sore from my 8 mile run on Saturday morning, but they felt totally fine.

We worked on the little garden in our front yard a little bit.

Unfortunately, I don’t have a green thumb. My mom does so it must have skipped my generation. I pretty much kill every plant that I touch, with the exception of those two big green plants. We planted those few years ago, and they come back and grow big every year without me doing anything. Those are the kind of plants that I like.

In hindsight, I should have bought bigger plants than those little purple flowers, but for some reason I was imaging the space smaller in my head. We’ll see how long they live with me around.

Today’s Workout

  • BodyPump – 60 minutes

I went to BodyPump this morning, then came home and made a fruit smoothie.

My smoothies have been so simple lately – frozen strawberries and peaches, peach Greek yogurt, and some Trop50 orange juice. Easy and delicious.


The Biggest Loser 15k in coming up on Saturday. I am excited but nervous. My training plan has a few short runs this week – 2 miles and 3 miles. Then the big 9.3 miles on Saturday. I plan just to go slow and steady. I don’t have a time goal in mind.

I am debating whether or not I should bring my hand held water bottle with me. I run better without holding it, but it’s supposed to be hot on Saturday, so I figure I might need it.

Have a great afternoon!

  • Do you have a green thumb? Do you like to garden?
  • Do you bring a water bottle with you for long races or just use the water stations?
  • Do you like to swim?


Filed under Family Fun, Fitness, Race, Running, Working Out

That Time I Almost Burned My Taste Buds Off

Good Morning!

Today’s Workout

  • 5 miles, outside
  • Stretching – 10 minutes

The weather outside is beautiful this morning, so I began my day with a five mile run outside. I followed up my run with about 10 minutes of stretching. My calves were very tight after my run, so hopefully the stretching will help, and I should probably foam roll a bit.

Let’s back up a bit to the weekend.

Friday afternoon, when the kids got home from school, we headed to the hotel. First, we had to make a quick Starbucks stop because I was still exhausted.

I tried their new caramel ribbon crunch Frappuccino (half price 3-5pm!) and it was amazing. Definitely my new favorite Frappuccino!

A lady that I take BodyPump classes with at the gym works at the hotel we went to occasionally, like one day a week. I mentioned to her in BodyPump that I was taking the kids to the hotel for Jacob’s birthday so they could swim and stuff.

When we got to the hotel room, it was decorated with birthday balloons and party poppers! The lady from my gym went to the hotel and told them we were coming and had the room decorated for Jacob.

It was a small gesture, but made such a big impact. It was a fun surprise for Jacob, and it touched my heart that some people are just so genuinely nice and thoughtful. I really appreciated that she would take time from her day to make Jacob’s day special even though she’s never met him. It’s the small things in life.

The kids had a fun time swimming, and Danny met us at the hotel when he got off of work.

After the kids swam for awhile, we met my family at Buffalo Wild Wings for Jacob’s birthday dinner.

My dad orders the Blazin’ hot wings, which is the hottest they make. He was crying eating them because they’re so hot. And he likes spicy food!

He told Danny that he’d give him five dollars to eat one and Danny said no way. Then he said that he’d give me $10 to eat half of one. I figured that I am almost 31 years old and it’s about time that I started taking some risks in life, so I surprised everyone by agreeing to eat it.

It was horrible! I ate two things that I never eat – chicken and spicy spicy spicy food. I was dying and my mouth was on fire. Everyone yelled at me for drinking water and the waiter brought me a chocolate milk. I guess I’m getting crazy in my old age.

They brought Jacob a piece of cake and we sang happy birthday.


On Saturday, we had a family birthday party for Jacob. I made funfetti cake dip.

I made it a few times last summer and it’s so good and easy to make! All you need is funfetti cake mix, two cups of plain yogurt, and one cup of cool whip.

Mix it all up and refrigerate until you’re ready to serve! I served mine with animal crackers, Nilla wafers, and fruit.

Marlene made awesome giant ice cream sandwiches!

One had mint chocolate chip ice cream and one had vanilla hot fudge ice cream. Delicious!

My mom made yummy strawberry cheesecake strawberries.

She mixed cream cheese and powdered sugar, put it on the strawberries, and then dipped them in graham cracker crumbs. Genius!

Jacob had a great time opening his presents and it was nice spending time with family.


Have a great Sunday!

  • What did you do this weekend?
  • Favorite cake? Favorite ice cream?
  • What’s the nicest thing someone’s done for you that you weren’t expecting?



Filed under Dinner, Family Fun, Fitness, Fun, Recipes, Running, Working Out

12 Hour Fast

I recently read an article in the new issue of Health magazine called, “Can You Eat Late – and Still Lose Weight?” that I found interesting.

Basically, this article says that new studies have found that to burn the most fat, you should go 12 hours overnight without eating. The reasoning behind it is that during the day your muscles use some of the calories you eat for fuel, the rest is stored as glycogen. Overnight, that glycogen is converted to glucose. Once the glycogen is gone, your liver starts burning the fat cells.

Fasting for 12 hours overnight allows your body the chance to convert the glycogen and start burning fat.

I don’t know about you, but I feel like there’s so many “health rules” that you’re supposed to follow.

According to the article, if you eat dinner at 8 pm, you shouldn’t eat breakfast until 8 am. Okay, that’s fine. But the article also says that juice and milk count as breaking the fast, so if you drink a glass of milk at 10pm, you shouldn’t eat breakfast until 10 am.

Now, here’s where I started thinking about the golden rule – Breakfast is the most important meal of the day. The article agrees with this, saying that all breakfast eaters typically weigh less, but they say if you eat late at night, around 11 pm or later, you should actually skip breakfast to get the 12 hour fast in.

What about people who regularly eat late because they work late, or go out on the weekends and eat or drink late? Should they regularly skip breakfast and not eat until 11 am? I can understand that if you stay up late, you usually are sleeping later too, but this isn’t always the case. Why is being healthy so complicated?

I tried the 12 hour fast thing, and I got close, but it doesn’t really work for me. For example, Wednesday night I worked out. I got home at 8:30 pm, and had some protein-filled yogurt shortly after. I shouldn’t have eaten breakfast until around 8:45 am. Yeah, not going to happen. I wake up about 7 am, and I need coffee right away. And at 8:45 am, I am busy getting the kids ready to leave the house. There’s no way that I am getting breakfast at the time. I’m eating about 7:30 am. While, I got pretty close to the 12 hour mark, I feel like it’s harder to achieve that it seems.



I am still so sore from the Biggest Loser workout on Monday night. I went to Butts and Guts class yesterday morning, and it was tough. We did a lot of cardio and abs on the Bosu and I was really feeling it. Afterwards, I treated myself to a sugar-free iced coffee from McDonald’s.

I came home, and had some overnight oats for breakfast. My oats included: strawberry Greek yogurt, oats, almond milk, and chia seeds.

I topped it with some sad-looking blueberries.

After picking my niece up yesterday, we packed a lunch and went to the splash park.

The kids had fun playing in the water for a while, and Baby McCutie had fun looking in the grass for things to eat.

Luckily, I’m quick as lightning, and prevented her from consuming grass, sticks, leaves, and bugs.

Later in the evening, the kids had swim lessons. It was a full day of water play.

Questions of the day:

  • What are your thoughts on the 12 hour fast article?
  • How long do you go between your last meal of the day and breakfast?
  • When was the last time you went swimming?


Filed under Breakfast, Fitness, Working Out

Wisonsin Dells – Day 3 and Danny’s Birthday

We’re home from Wisconsin Dells after spending about 2 and a half days there. We were having such a fun time that we debated staying one more night, but in the end we decided not to. Maybe next year…


We woke up in the morning and had a quick breakfast so that we could spend the day swimming before heading home. We had to be out of the room by 11 am, but were allowed to swim at the pools for the rest of the day. We packed up the car.

I supervised. I’m good at that.

Just kidding, I helped too.

Then we hit our favorite pool and hung out for a few hours.

Snacked on apple slices:

Here’s the water slide that Danny, Paul, and Crystal went down. Obviously, I was the only chicken in the group. But there’s no way that I’m going down a water slide that I have to stand up in and wait for the floor to drop out from underneath me. No way. I just don’t enjoy peeing my pants – which is what I would have done.

After spending a few hours swimming, we decided that it was time to hit the road. We made a quick stop at Subway for lunch.

And then I had the brilliant idea to stop at McDonald’s for an ice cream cone. I obviously forgot to pack my willpower in my suitcase.

I weighed myself this morning, and surprisingly, I didn’t gain any weight on our trip. I am very surprised because I thought for sure that I did. Not that I’m complaining! Must have been all those calories I burned relaxing in the hot tub.

I spent the ride home finishing up Drop Dead Healthy on my Kindle (review coming soon) and sleeping.

When I got home, I was still exhausted. Traveling makes me so tired even if I’m just in the car staring out the window. Exhausting, right?! We watched tv the rest of the night, got some dinner, and went to bed.


Happy birthday to my husband! Love you, Danny!

I already bought him a bike for his birthday, so hopefully he isn’t too disappointed that all he has to open is some Clif bars and lottery tickets that I bought him.

We do have fun plans for today though. We’re going to Chicago to take the kids to the Willis Sears Tower. Sorry, but I’ve lived in the Chicago suburbs my whole life so it will aways be the Sears Tower to me. It should be interesting because I hate heights. I hate even riding in the elevator at Jaden’s allergy doctor because it’s glass, and it freaks me out to look down.

When I told Jacob that we were going to the Sears Tower, he said oh, what are you going to do that day? He just assumed that I wasn’t going to go because I’m a chicken baby. I’ll go up to the top, but there’s no way that I’m going out on the skydeck. Like I said, I don’t enjoy peeing my pants.

Questions of the day:

  • Do you enjoy thrill rides like extreme water slides and roller coasters?
  • Are you afraid of heights? Any fears?
  • Ever been to Chicago?


Filed under Lunch

Wisconsin Dells – Day 2


It was a little bit cooler in the Dells than I expected, and I didn’t bring a sweatshirt. Luckily, the gift shop at the Wilderness resort had long sleeve shirts for 50% off. So, I spent the day sporting my touristy Wilderness shirt.

In the morning, we got ready and all headed to town. We had to stop and give a bottle to McCandy Face.

While we were at the candy store, I saw these delicious looking lollipops.

Honestly, would you eat a bacon flavored lollipop? They did have pickle flavored gum that I might consider trying though. And lollipops with crickets in them, which I would never consider trying. Bugs and candy don’t mix. That’s just wrong.

After shopping for a bit, Danny and I spent an insane amount of money to walk through a five-minute mirror maze with the kids. They had fun though, and that’s what counts.

Then, we walked down the Riverwalk for a while.

After, Danny, the kids, and I went to Tommy Bartlett’s. This place was really cool and definitely worth the money.

Jaden put his head in this thing that makes it look like your head is floating, and Jacob was determined to figure out how it worked. It took him 6 seconds.

This exploratory was great for Jacob because there was a lot of hands on activities and you had to figure out how they worked. Or you could be like me and just say oh that’s cool, and then walk to the next activity.

I spent some times with Zoltar.

He told me that I have a lot of the friends in the armed forces who would be returning soon. Hmmm….

Jacob rode the sky bike, which he loved, but gave me a mini heart attack. I don’t do well with heights.

We went back to the resort and spent the rest of the day swimming. Well, I spent the rest of the day in the hot tub. One of the pools at the resort has a hot tub right in the middle of it, so I could hang out in the hot tub while the kids just swam around me where I could still keep an eye on them. Genius.

I told Jaden to go into this egg and pretend like he was a baby dinosaur hatching, so he did.

Hanging out in a hot tub sure works up an appetite, so we went out to a late dinner. This vacation thing is really bad for weight loss. I tried to eat good most of the day but I definitely ate more than my normal calorie count and had a not-so-healthy dinner. I’m expecting to maybe have gained at least two stupid pounds by the time we get home. Maybe I will have to join that Biggest Loser contest after all…

For dinner I had delicious cheese quesadillas.

Yes, with pickles.

We’re going to swim a bit more today and then be home tonight. Vacations are fun, but your own bed is the best feeling!

Questions of the day:

  • Would you eat a bacon flavored lollipop or a bug in your lollipop?
  • Pool or hot tub?
  • Traveler or home-body?






Filed under Dinner, Family Fun

Wisconsin Dells – Day 1


Well, we finally made it to the Dells! With the amount of stuff we brought, you’d think that we were staying two weeks instead of two days.

I ate a fruit and walnut salad during the car ride.

Our room has a pool view, so of course the second the kids saw it, they wanted to go down and swim. We took them to swim for a while, and waited for my brother, sister-in-law, and niece to arrive.

After we swam and went down the water slides for a while, we headed to Uno’s for dinner to celebrate my brother’s actual birthday.

I call that my crazy-pool-hair look

I tried to eat healthy. I ordered a salad. I only ate about half of the croutons.

I also ordered seasonal grilled veggies.

But then Jaden’s pizza started to look so good, so I ate a piece of that. Then Jacob didn’t like his pasta with alfredo and broccoli, so I had to eat some of that. Then I ordered dessert. Geesh.

At least it was a mini dessert, and Danny had some of it too.

Today’s Workout

  • 3.25 miles treadmill

I woke up at about 6:45 am this morning, and since everyone was sleeping, I decided that it would be in my best interest to hit the resort’s gym. I did a HIIT workout on the treadmill, running very fast for one minute and then walking for two minutes for a total of 3.25 miles.

My favorite part of the treadmill was the fan button.

I wish the treadmills at my gym had a fan button.

After I finished my workout, I went back to the room, and it was pitch-black and everyone was still sleeping, so I grabbed my wallet and went on a search for coffee. I walked around for a bit and found some coffee at the main lodge.

For breakfast this morning, I made my Kashi oatmeal packet. Unfortunately, the weather is only 70 degrees today, so we’re going to head into town to find some fun stuff to do!

Questions of the day:

  • Do you bring lots of stuff with you when you travel?
  • Do you like to travel?
  • What’s the best place you’ve traveled to?


Filed under Breakfast, Dinner, Family Fun, Fitness, Working Out