Tuesday, July 16, 2013

In case you hadn't noticed

I haven't posted in about a year. Wow.

Since I last posted, a lot has happened. It has been a year of many changes and a good amount of personal growth.  I'll go into everything in more detail down the road, but I can say it was nothing bad or huge- just a a whole lot of small changes that added up to me being too busy and distracted to blog.

I am almost at a place where I can come back and blog again- which is something I really want.  I am planning some posts and thinking about things I would like to do.  My goal is to be back 100%- by Sept. 1.

So, if you have wondered where I was, hopefully you will hear all about it this fall. +

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Bliss Fest 2012

It's Saturday and Bliss is in full force. I write this from the passenger seat of our mini van.

What? All this great music and I'm I'm a van? Yup. I'm sure this is highly frowned upon at such a venue, but we are just trying to cool off!

It is HOT. It's 84, no shade,full sunshine, little breeze. Still, but for Mack we wouldn't be in the car.

Mack has had too much of the sun and heat. Add that he stayed up past midnight and woke up at 6, and you have one mess of a two year old (well, one week shy of 2).

Anyway, while there's ton to talk about, there just isn't time. I'll hopefully post a review of the festivities, along with photos, on Monday. Until then, here are a few pictures. Happy Bliss!

Friday, July 13, 2012

Vacation Workouts

I was determined to work out while on vacation.  This would be relatively easy for someone staying in a hotel or even a big city.  Most hotels have gyms and pools and if you were in a city, you could find a gym and classes of all kinds.  I, however, was in neither a hotel or a city.  I was in a small Inn in northern Michigan and had to be creative.

Prior to vacation, I found some online workouts- BodyRocktv and Zuzana Light's Z Wow.  Basically, they both provide daily workouts that you can do at home with little or no equipment- and they are fast.  I decided to try these out while out of town.  While some of their workouts are equipment free, some are not, and I was interesting in adding some resistance.
I already had a handy little "gym" at home.  

You can see, I have resistance bands of all types, 10 lb dumbbells, a weighted jump rope and a stability ball. Before vacation, I wanted to get a few more items.  I wanted a kettle ball, a medicine ball and these little balance pod things.  

I checked out a number of stores looking for a kettle ball and a medicine ball (I ordered the balance pods from Amazon).  I was blown away by the prices.  A 15 lb kettle ball was $40.00 at Target, and Dicks, Dunhams and Sports Authority were no better.  The best price I could find for a 10 lb medicine ball was $30.00.  This just was not going to cut it.

I decided it was time to check out the fitness girl's secret shopping weapon.  The one-two punch of Marshals and TJ Maxx.  Besides having fantastic workout clothes "for cheap", sometimes you can find great deals on equipment.  And that little excursion  payed off.  I got the exact 10 lb medicine ball that Target sells for $30 for $12.00 and a 15 lb Kettle Ball for $14.00.  I was thrilled, though I was kicking myself for not going there first.  (And I spend a bunch of money on clothes while there...oh well)

So, this is what I took with me on vacation (remember- we drove in our van, makes it easy to take this much crap): 
15 lb Kettleball
10 lb medicine ball
weighted jump rope
yoga mat
foam roller
Adjustable resistance tubes with handles
Resistance Bands-vary in resistance
Ankle resistance bands
2 stability /balance pods

I'm not going to go over all of my workouts in detail- but here's a summary
Sat: Travel day- off
Sunday: 5 K run plus strength 
Monday: Jump Rope Intervals- I made this up and really liked it!
Tuesday: Z Wow 6 plus 3 mi bike ride
Wednesday: 5 k race (more on that later)

Thursday: Z Wow 9 plus strength and 10 min warm up
Friday: Z Wow 8 plus strength and 10 min warm up

Saturday: Travel day- off

The Z wow workouts were much harder than they looked.  I did them in our tiny room, which went from this:

To this:

I was dripping with sweat by the end of these workouts. The fact that it was in the mid 80s and I was working out without air conditioning probably contributed to the sweat factor- still, these were good, quick workouts.

Me before:

Me after. Lasted about 1 minute before I was down to a sports bra.  A look I would never, ever sport in public!


If you get a chance to check these sites out, be warned, they are overly...how do I put it...."sexy".  Especially bodyrock.  Not a big deal to me, but sometimes it gets ridiculous and I can't help but say "really?".  "Really?":  

The big issue with these workouts are that they cannot be downloaded. Since we were without internet access, this was a problem.  I came up with a workable solution.  Before vacation, I chose the workouts I would do and I used my phone to take a picture of the workout list and then took video of Zuzana showing how to do each exercise.  I'm glad I did this, because some moves were pretty complicated at first.  
Here's a photo of the video being played on my phone...crazy. 

I ended up sticking with Zuzana's workouts, since I had all of the equipment she uses.  A lot of the bodyrock workouts use a sandbag and/or an Ugi Ball(stay tuned, I will be posting about these items in the next couple of weeks)

All and all, I am really proud of myself for working out while on vacation.  I really had limited free time and it would've been so easy to skip the workouts.  I mean, I had so many excuses not to work out- the weather (the days were very hot and humid, except the jump rope day- that was rain), no time, no place to work out, etc.  

I've already said that I'm a big fan of the food at Camp Arcadia. In the past, I've often gained about 5 lbs.  That is in one week!  This year I did gain a little, but just 1 lb.  I managed this by only eating dessert/sweets 3 times all week (a sweet is offered at every. single. meal.), having only one splurge meal (pulled pork nachos and beer with two of my SILs) and trying to not eat carbs after 3 pm.  I loaded up on protein (I even brought my personal blender and protein powder, cheese sticks and hard boiled eggs), fresh fruit and veggies and tried to avoid creamy/high fat stuff.  It really worked out and wasn't too hard. 

Side note: Packing fitness clothes.  I loved my solution for packing and storing my fitness clothes (if I do say so myself..).  Each outfit is rolled-up and secured with a headband or hair elastic. Easy!
 Then I just stored it all in a basket under the bunk bed. 

Thursday, July 12, 2012

More on Tommy and his big day.

Tommy's Birthday was perfect.  This is the first year he really "got it".  He went to daycare and he didn't want cupcakes, just Popsicles. Technically, a blue "flavor-ice".  Boy, does that kid has the worst taste in sweets or what! But, it was his birthday, so he got what he wanted. 

We picked the kids up from daycare and then, as if I wasn't a bad enough parent, we took the boys to Sonic for dinner!  We had to be at the zoo at 5:30 and had a showing till 6, so we didn't have a lot of options. 

Tom and I were craving subs from 2nd Street Sub Shop in Royal Oak , but the kids don't do subs.  Tommy loves Sonic, and prior to the house being on the market, we had gone maybe 4 times.  I have to admit, we've probably gone 3 times in the past 4 weeks!  He had a grilled cheese and chocolate milk, it could have been worse. 

On the way to the zoo, I was driving.  I guess being 4 makes one an expert as to the rules of the road.  Tommy spent much of the 10 minute ride criticizing my driving.  He claimed it was too fast, yet he wanted to know "why is it taking so long?.  He asked me if I was "trying to get caught by the police" and reminded me that I had "kids in the car". Sheesh! Needless to say, Tom got a kick out of this.  

On the way, Tom also pulled up pictures from the day Tommy was born and showed him.  He enjoyed hearing about the first couple days of his life and looking at the photos. Here's my favorite.
It was a perfect day for the zoo!  The weather could not have been better.  We staked out a shady spot and scored a sought after picnic table for the get together and then we headed to the Otter house.  There used to just be one otter, so imagine my surprise to see that there are now 4! And they are crazy-fun! 

Turns out, the one we've been visiting for years, Whiskers, got a conjugal visit, so to speak, from another otter- on loan from another zoo.  One thing led to another and weeks later, three little fur balls were born.  (This article goes into more detail).
I can't get over how much fun we had watching the otter shenanigans. Mack kept yelling "Look Mommy, fun-nee!" and I pretty much had to drag Tommy out of there. If you look carefully at the picture above, you can see 3 of the otters. And here's a link to a video of them. 

We also hit up the reptile house. It was about 7:30 p.m. and the snakes, crocidiles and lizards were pretty active. This snake was right up against the glass, I just had to take a picture. 

One of the crocodiles was right along the glass in his (or her- didn't check) habitat.  He was awake and kept opening and shutting his mouth.  I was so fascinated, I completely forgot to take a picture.  Literally, there was a one inch plate of glass between us and he was looking right at us.  He really was creepy-though I imagined his teeth would be bigger and closer together.  Don't get me wrong, they were still scary.  Tommy had to pretty much drag me away from that one!

On the way out, Tommy saw this guy and just had to say hi. 

All and all, it was a wonderful day! 

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

A Big Day at the Lewis House & What I Ate Wednesday

Today is a HUGE day at the Lewis house, but more on that later....

Let's talk food!

I've decided to hop on the "What I Ate" bandwagon.  I get a lot of questions about what I eat, what I don't eat and how much.  I'm certainly not going to post what I eat every single day, but I think showing you what I ate once a week would be kind of fun and will answer some questions.

I follow Tiffany at Love, Sweat and Beers and she's been doing the What I Ate Wednesday thing for awhile, so I decided to go along for the ride. Here's the cute button for July.

 It comes from Jenn at Peas and Crayons. She comes up with little monthly themes to mix it up, like "Love Your Veggies Month" or "Sensible Snacking" you can follow, or not.  I mean, she's not going to send the blog police after me if I eat a cookie.  At least, I don't think so. This month's theme is "Fun, Food and Fitness" (which, I guess you already know, since it's actually written on the button...bare with me folks, I'm no brainiac" . This is right up my ally, since my blog is largely about food and fitness.  And I am beyond fun...right?

1) Post workout Protein shake- for some reason I didn't take a pic after I added the whey, chia seeds and water. (192 cal)
2) Vans waffle plus cottage cheese (1/4 c) plus raspberries (147)
3) 0% Greek yogurt (1/3 c) raspberries plus 1/4 c homemade muesli, drizzle organic honey (198)
4) Tuna salad (made with chia seeds, Greek yogurt, garlic aioli, spices and sun-dried tomatoes) in an Arnold Italian pocket with baby lettuces. Sides of red bell pepper and raspberries (285)
5) Baby bell lite cheese round (50) No pic.
6) 2 Egg Muffins/Egg Cups (one turkey sausage, spinach & feta, one Canadian bacon, sun dried tomato and smoked Gouda)(164)
7) 2 Buffalo wild wings buffalitos (mild sauce), no cheese no sour cream.  Chips replaced with carrot/celery boat (325)- no picture.
8) Short's Brewery Soft Parade beer- "tall". (390)

Apx 1700 calories.  I burned 300 working out so it's a net of 1400.  A little high, would've been perfect but for the beer- but it was worth it!

Overall nutrients: 32 g fat, 390 Cholesterol, 2925 Sodium, 157 Carbs, 36 fiber, 42 sugar, 136 protein,
I technically had too much Cholesterol, Sodium and sugar, but everything else was great. I'm not too worried about the cholesterol, since I know most of it came from good sources (tuna, whey, egg) and as much as I sweat in workouts.  The sodium is a bit high, the buffalitos had 1240 mg!
I was starving all day.  I think it's because I did endurance spin workouts both Sunday and Monday night.  Today I feel much, much better. Speaking of working out......

Workout Update:

I'm working on a post about my vacation workouts, hopefully I will get that up Thursday, but here's what's going on now: 
Sunday I had a treat!  I was off of work so I was able to do a class at GoCycle that I've been wanting to try since it started, "GoRehab".  It's 45 min of GoChubChub (hard to say with a straight face, btw) and 30 minutes of outdoor yoga.  I guess I should also explain GoChubChub- my new obsession.

This is not the official description, just my best attempt to explain it.  Basically, the goal is to burn fat. Studies show that when you do a ton of sprints or work at a high heart rate, you burn less fat and while you burn more calories overall, many of them come from muscle, not fat.  However, working at a somewhat lower, yet still challenging intensity for an extended period of time will burn more fat calories and this is how you get rid of that stubborn midsection (in combination with eating clean and healthy).

Class is mostly keeping your RPM at 90 while your resistance is challenging.  The goal is to be in control, breathing in through your nose.  There are some intervals where you might go to 100 rpm, or increase resistance for a short time, but in general, it's a consistent ride- in the seat.

It's tough, mentally and physically.  There are no breaks (though you are encouraged to take a drink or regroup if needed).  The first time I went to the class, it kicked my butt.  I was swimming in sweat and wiped out. For days.  It's funny, you don't get sore from this class, you get fatigued.  I take the Monday night class and turn around and come back Tuesday at 5:15 to lift, and I am a mess!

I was skeptical about the class, but it seems to be working.  I had been at a plateau for months and after 2 weeks of GoChubChub, I dropped my first pound in probably 2 months.  I took a week off for vacation, where I gained a lb.  I've been home 4 days and after 2 Chub Chub classes, that lb is gone. I also feel so much stronger physically and mentally.  Finally, I can see much more definition in my midsection, which really is my goal!

Anyway, GoRehab is a chub chub followed by yoga.  I loved the instructor.  She teaches people who are rehabilitating from injury or surgery and she gives off more of a "coach" vibe than a typical yogi vibe.  I felt I learned more in that 30 minutes than all of the classes I've taken over who knows how many years.

After GoRehab, I continued the workout fest with a GoBarbell.  It was great to get back to lifting!
Daily Total Calories Burned: 794.

Monday was my usual GoChubChub, 500 calories
Tuesday, GoBarbell: 300
Wednesday morning: Regular old spin class- 550.  

I had to work today, so I couldn't take my usual Go60 class, but instead had to take a regular spin at 6. This leads me to the exciting and wonderful part of today...Tommy is 4!!!

When I got home from class, he and Mack hadn't been up long and everyone was in my room. Tommy saw me and told me that Frank must have known he was 4 because Frank gave him "extra long birthday cuddles" and "even let me kiss him!".

There he is in his new birthday shirt, his new birthday Angry Birds hooded blanket and his present from us...."fighting toys".  Yup, he wanted what he calls "fighting toys", specifically, Power Rangers.  I'm not thrilled, but I do think it's a pretty natural thing at his age.

On the way to daycare, I asked him if he felt older.  He said he did and I asked "in what way".  "I think I'm faster now".  I'm sure he is!

Tonight we are meeting friends at the Detroit Zoo for a Wild Summer Nights concert.  It should be a blast.  Hopefully I'll have more birthday photos to share tomorrow! That said, I better run!

Happy Birthday Tommy.  And here's to the best 4 years of MY life..so far!

Tuesday, July 10, 2012


Last week we traveled to "Camp Arcadia" on Lake Michigan for Tom's annual family vacation.
My husband's family first visited Camp Arcadia 35 years ago, when he was 2.  They have not missed a year since, and the group gets bigger and bigger. There were 30 of us this year. Tom's parents, his 5 siblings and their families.  Quite a crowd.  

So many people ask about "Camp Arcadia", I figured I'd dedicate a post to it.
First of all, don't let the name "Camp" mislead you.  It's not a camp like "camping", but more like "Camp David", without the secret service.

The front, center part of the Inn, from the beach

No, it's not that fancy, but it's not rustic either.  They deliberately do not have many things like tvs, phones, and internet access.  They want you to "turn off" that part of your life while there.  It's not easy, but I do appreciate it. They DO have good food, a lot of planned activities (think back to the movie Dirty Dancing, like that, without the dancing) and a wonderful beach.

We set up our beach tent on day one and left it there all week! 

Second of all, Camp Arcadia is Lutheran. There are morning religious programs that most people participate in and prayers before the meals and evening worship services.  This year we did not participate in the evening service and I  skipped the morning program, since it was my only two kid- free hours each day (this is when I worked out and showered). 
You don't have to be Lutheran to go and enjoy it (I'm Catholic, but married a Lutheran), though I'm not sure someone who was not Christian would enjoy it.  While I don't think it's overly religious, I'm biased, being Christian and all.  There are prayers starting and ending each meal, but besides the program, I don't notice it much.  Again, if I wasn't Christian, I might not feel the same way.

Third, it is very historical and tradition is very important. Things there don' change much and people like coming up year after year and seeing that most things are exactly as they were the first time they came.  If you are someone who likes things with some "history", you might really enjoy this place.
One of the hallways is covered by plaques made by families over the years.  They typically are made at camp, have the family's name and the years they have been coming to Camp Arcadia.  Many families have been coming for over twenty years.

I'm not sure how many guests are up there each week, but if I had to guess, I'd say between 200 and 230.  You can rent a cottage or stay in the Inn.  We started renting cottages, but switched to the Inn because it is so much more convenient with kids. The Inn rooms are small, basically beds, a sink and a dresser.  Works out fine since you don't spend much time in your room anyway (think cruise).  
Typical Inn Room, photo from www.camparcadia.com
Most meals are in a big dining room, family style (assigned seating, you sit with your own family). 
image from Camp Arcadia's website
Here's a sample menu for an entire week.  If you don't feel like clicking, I'll give you a typical day: 
Fritatta with ham and cheddar
Homemade scones & muffins
Fresh fruit
Chicken breast and 
provolone on ciabatta roll, Guacamole, lettuce, tomato, & chipotle-lime ranch
Chips and  homemade salsa
Homemade Cookie

Homemade Bread
Chicken Breast Fillet with Proscuitto-Sage Cream, 
Sugar Snap Peas
Wild Rice
Strawberry Shortcake
That's roasted turkey breast, sesame green beans, salad and smashed sweet and red skinned potatoes.  I really dropped the ball on food photos, but I felt like a huge dork taking a picture each time I ate! I need to work on that. 
Here's Mack at Dinner.  He is trying to make his spoon stay on his nose. 
And here's Tommy having some cheese. And saying cheese.

The days are pretty packed.  Here's a typical day:
8:00: "Quiet Time" ends
8:30: Breakfast
9:30 Morning program/nursery open (kids go to their own programs, Tommy was with all 3 and 4 year olds in the "Ark").
11:15: Program Ends
11:30: Teen Archery Tournament, Kid's Critter Race, Adult Ping Pong Tournament
12:30: Lunch
1:30: Beach Carnival
4:00: Adult Volleyball
7:00: Arcadia Improv
11:30: Quiet time.

Tommy and cousins at the Square Dance

Mack getting his groove on
Tommy playing potato toss at the patio carnaval
 Tom posing only! 
 Mack didn't want to throw the wet sponge at "Sandy"
 But Tommy had no problem with it! And he had a pretty good arm!

Tommy was so excited to get his face painted.  Initially, he wanted the whole thing painted black, like a "Panther", but we talked him into whiskers and a nose. 

Tommy put on a stellar performance at the Camper Talent Show
Here he is clearing his throat for his singing debut

Making faces at me when he should be paying attention at Story Time

While the schedule is packed, you don't have to do anything and there is always plenty of time for the beach side playground,

Perfecting Superhero poses
Spending HOURS on the swings
Going for a walk
Relaxing on a porch
Checking out the goldfish pond..for the millionth time
Hanging out in the room watching videos and eating in bed
 Building Sandcastles and 
Hanging with family

or, just watching the light show. Every night.

In a nutshell, that's Camp Arcadia.