March 8, 2010

Zumba

Posted in Uncategorized at 12:12 pm by savorencyclopedia

Sexy Latin dance moves.  High energy music.  Potential for lots of fun.  It would have been nice to have an instructor with a dynamic personality to bring passion into this workout! Instead the instructor didn’t even give any verbal cues about the upcoming moves.  It was disappointing.  The moves were simple enough to catch onto after a few segments, but it felt awkward to take an exercise class where the instructor didn’t say a word.

It was obvious that the instructor was painfully shy.  Saturday morning my gym offered a demo of Zumba classes directly after their routine Step class.  A large crowd of steppers stayed to participate and I timed my run for the day so that I could join afterward.  So I understand why she might have been nervous with such a large crowd.  There were over 30 people and barely enough room for all of us on the floor.   But if you are too intimidated to even give a brief overview of what Zumba is or preview some of the moves, maybe you shouldn’t be teaching Zumba classes.

After the 20 minute demo, I was curious if this was the philosophy of the Zumba classes in general to be mute during the workout or if it was just this particular instructor.  I found a segment on the Today Show from a couple of years ago on YouTube that showed the founder of the company and a few other instructors showing some audience members their moves.  They were giving verbal, as well as visual, cues to the participants.

With as much fun as I honestly had (I mean, it still was Latin dancing… I was destined to love it!), I am hesitant to return to the regular classes.  It was easy enough for me to catch onto the moves and I did work up a substantial sweat, although I’m not sure if that was because I had just finished running right before the class.  The instructor was very sweet and I’m sure she was absolutely a nice person.  I just had a difficult time attending a class where no actual instruction was given.  It felt so awkward to simply follow along.  I guess I will just see how well the schedule fits in with my running and decide from there. It was just disappointing as I had heard about Zumba in the past and been jealous that the closest class to me was over half an hour away.  Now that my gym was offering it, I wasn’t nearly as impressed as I had anticipated.  I will certainly give it another shot and see how I enjoy a full hour class.  Here’s hoping that the full class is a more satisfying experience than the demo!

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March 4, 2010

Scale Fail

Posted in Uncategorized at 3:29 am by savorencyclopedia

I knew it was coming.  I was prepared.  A gain on the scale.  But I still cringed.  I was hoping, by some small miracle, that even though I ate (and drank!) with abandon all weekend, there was some small possibility that I would simply stay the same on the scale.  Realistically I knew it wasn’t going to happen, but a girl can always hope, right?

The funny thing was, I didn’t need any mental regrouping after I saw the number.  I felt good about getting back into the swing of things right away after my vacation.  I refused to feel guilty about the gain and beat myself up.  I was proud that I tracked all of the food I ate in my food journal and moved on.  The numbers were frightening to see, but they gave me some sense of accountability for the weekend.  (There was no possible way to estimate how many calories were consumed by drinking; I chalked Bourbon Street up as one of the few exceptions to my journaling rules.)

I look forward to seeing the number on the scale next week.  I can only hope that the weight comes off as easily as it went on in seven days (everyone knows that never happens!)

February 22, 2010

Chain Restaurants

Posted in Uncategorized at 3:11 am by savorencyclopedia

I do not eat out often.  Proximity to chain restaurants, along with the cost of eating out frequently are major factors in this decision.  In that regard, I am lucky.  When I lived near chain restaurants, there was always the temptation to grab a quick and easy meal simply by hopping in the car and driving to the nearest location.  That temptation is much easier to resist when I have to drive at least 15 miles to the nearest chain.  Suddenly the quick and easy part are not so valid.

For the rare occasion when I do eat out, I like to research the dishes and find the best options.  I like to have a few meals in mind (along with their nutritional values) before I step foot through their door.

Here are some of my picks for some basic chain restaurants.

Subway (Nutritional Info)

6” Turkey on wheat bread with provolone cheese and veggies

6” Sweet Onion Chicken Teriyaki on wheat with American cheese and veggies

6” Oven Roasted Turkey Breast on wheat with shredded Monterey jack cheese with veggies

Baked Chips, Apples or Yogurt

McDonalds (Nutritional Info)

Southwest Salad with grilled chicken

Culver’s (Nutritional Info)

Cheeseburger Kid’s Meal (smaller portions go a long way)

Wendy’s (Nutritional Info)

Side salad with any low-cal dressing

Chili

Baked Potato

Grilled Chicken Sandwich

Olive Garden (Nutritional Info)

Salad (ask for low-fat dressing)

Capellini Pomodoro with grilled chicken

Venetian Apricot Chicken

Applebee’s (They do not offer their nutritional info online)

These items are on the 550 calories or less menu

Asian Crunch Salad

Spicy Shrimp Diavolo

Grilled Shrimp and Island Rice

Chili’s (Nutritional Info)

Caribbean Salad

Asian Salad

Salmon with Garlic & Herbs

TGIF (They do not offer their nutritional info online)

Dragonfire Chicken

Shrimp Keywest

This is clearly a very limited list.  I often just google the restaurant’s nutritional information.  If they do not offer the info online, there are a few websites that I have found to be helpful, Dietfacts and Calorie King.

February 21, 2010

New Orleans

Posted in Uncategorized at 4:08 am by savorencyclopedia

I will be traveling to New Orleans later this week!  Woohoo!  As much as I am looking forward to the vacation, I also fear that I will use this as an excuse to throw away all of my hard work.  If I have learned one thing from my past experiences struggling with healthy eating, it is that if I take a few days off it is difficult for me to get back on the wagon.

And I fully intend to take some time off while I am in New Orleans!  I have been dreaming of beingets, authentic French cuisine, and genuine Creole & Cajun cooking! I am not depriving myself of these flavors!  And who can forget about the luscious drinks that will be awaiting me.  I mean I will be able to finally fulfill one of my life long goals:  legally drinking in the streets! But I do know that the second I return home, I need to revert to focusing on fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and the like.

I intend to do a lot of walking in the French Quarter, but I am realistic. I know that I will not continue my training for a 5K while I am away.  I think I have come up with a plan that I think will work for me, though!  I am going to repeat Week 4 this week (although I will only get 2 of the 3 runs in before I leave.)  I have been struggling with the last five minute run this week anyway, so I think the extra days will be good for me.  Hopefully the rest days while I am in New Orleans will give me some fresh legs when I return, ready for Week 5!

I will not use this trip as an excuse to quit!  I will use it as motivation.  Maybe I will have to plan another trip as a reward if (I mean when) I reach my health goals!