Aug 29, 2014

Fitness Friday minus the Fitness part


I don't know that if this is much of a "Fitness" linkup, but an update for those that follow along.

Aubrey hosts our recap initially for our fitness reporting, but "fitness" isn't just about workouts and food, but mental health and listening to body health, right?

ALG Uninterrupted

I won't whine...

This week has been one of the worse regarding my migraines.  Course it is also months' end, and fiscal year end, and the eve of a major project to go-live on Sept 1st.  Pretty stress free right now ironically, huh?

Monday - 3.25miles - 39minutes
Tuesday - 3.00miles - incline work
Wednesday - zip, nada, zilch
Thursday - repeated of Wednesday
Friday - No migraine, but no morning cardio either. Holiday staff and that whole work thing.

Don't fret, I'm not all doom and gloom despite the intentional use of b/w gifs, I will be jumping into #GYSTS14 next week with all my best efforts now that the wellness classes will resume after Tuesday, I have no excuse to have a day without working out.

Have a great weekend holiday everyone!!!  We are hoping to hit the beach (4hours away) to treat LittleOne to her first beach experience and to get me far away from this whole work madness.

Next Monday happens to be the next month, so its a double-whammy type of perfect DAY 1.

Aug 27, 2014

Open Letter to Author "X"

I have had to suck it up and try and finish a beta read in the last two weeks and I've struggled with how to tactfully respond.  Below is what I wanted to write, but the actual message sent to the dude was

"Sorry, I don't believe I can help your book as I do not fit your intended audience."


What I wish I had the guts to say is here....

Dear fledgling author;

I have to admit defeat and admit that I've had to add only a second book to my 'did not finish' stack, a feat I have never done for a beta read.  The purpose of my go through is to give you feedback as a reader, not an editor, but a general population book reading point of view.  And for that reason I can not finish this book.

While I will not publicly review this book, either positively or negatively, I do feel a responsibility to share with you why.  This responsibility is from a parent's perspective, but also the mother of a son and daughter, much like yourself.

It takes a confident approach to delve into certain topics, one that many authors will either write from personal experience, research, or anecdotal sources; however it is very apparent that this is not the case with these subjects.

Sexual trauma and assault
Virginity
Stillborn deaths

If you wish to  have young women as the main characters of your stories, young women who both endure repeated sexual assaults by your sadistic antagonist, you ought to research into the psychological behaviours or reactions survivors have.  You cannot have a repeated rape victim immediately be comfortable enough to be flirtatious and touching with your hero.  She would not be comfortable in her skin enough to be proactive and initative of intercourse after the abuse she endured for so long.  Her sexuality and self-esteem would be marred from such trauma from that young of age.  She would not be eager to be dependent on any person, let alone a man.  She would not voluntarily allow herself to be alone with a group of men and no safe person or position to be in and be comfortable and flirtatious with said strangers.  Within a week's time from a rape?  This is unrealistic for any survivor, male or female.

When a young woman who was physically and mentally abused by a relative and lived in fear of the sadistic predator's sexual threats survives and escapes his torture.....she does not run to the arms of an unknown man.

In fairness I did find the world, languages, setting and dynamics of the story very promising.   The flow of the story when not on the sexuality of the characters was nicely drawn, however the dialogue and character interaction could not be redeemed. 

A young couple who loses their unborn child in a rescue scene is void of any emotion for the characters.
"X sat there with his dead baby."
And then have next sentence literally be dismissive of what transpired and if I recall correctly, has the formerly pregnant woman now cooking a meal. How traditionally cliche, don't you think?

As a woman:
It is very clear that this novel is not written for the general demographics, but likely a small select group of people who would find pleasure from the sadistic behaviour towards women and the naive interpretation of how their sexuality would be shaped.

If this book is to be marketed;
 -- it would not be young adult.
 -- it would not be even adult fiction. 
 but rather
-- adult with a warning label or descriptions such as: fetish; sexual control; rape; young girls

As a mother:
Your book would be described as: badly written, elementary dialogue, fetish-porn for men

I'm sure you will do fine with a self-publication of this 'book' if marketed correctly.

Thank you for seeking my input, as I know you will not take heed from my comments or input.

-April

Don't get me wrong, I'm all for an exciting story with some smut. 
 I enjoy morbid serial-killer psychopath type books, supernatural, etc. 
 But this was just bad writing and with an obvious agenda.

**No, I will not share the author or title of this book in an effort to not give him any views/hits or ideas that people are actually interested in this very poorly written story.**


The Hump Day Blog Hop

Aug 22, 2014

Peer pressure...


I thought about bailing on this week's linkup, I feel like I don't have much positivity to report on.
But then I got a lovely reminder from Aubrey to get my booty writing and linking up.

ALG Uninterrupted

Peer pressure ya'll....it works!

I have tried not to bore anyone too much with my venting/whining/bitching about excuses or hurdles.  That and ironically I am a semi-private person (for a blogger) and not wanting to give science lectures or sharing of medical information that I am having to quickly learn this past month. 

The short story is that I've learned that for the last three years having random CBCs and panels done and having each individual doctor remark on my low B and D levels was never truly investigated and now I finally have a doctor who wants to look at my health holistically.  Ironically? She's the neurologist.  For now all I can keep thinking is....

I'm pretty darn fluffy for someone who is malnourished or suffering from malnutrition.

Onto what I have accomplished this week!

Monday - 3miles (39minutes) I wouldn't call this a walk, I ran the first mile but the last two were speed walking on a massive incline.  My plantar started acting up.
10338 steps (not counting mileage)

Tuesday - Got to do 30minutes of a Jillian video during lunchtime but then got called from daycare. 13863 steps

Wednesday - sickday with the kidlets but I did hit my steps!
10236 steps

Thursday - slept in due to another late night with kiddos, but did a 30minute "Line Dance Cardio" video at lunchtime. Hilariously cheesy.
15570 steps

Friday - yep, I skipped my morning workout again :(  Today is HipHop Cardio though so I will be joining in at lunch to make up for it.

This was one of my lowest weeks in miles, but I didn't sit around either.  I'm slowly coming out of my antisocial mode and joining in my classes at lunch when my head is in the right place.

Overall my goals next week are to workout once a day. If I skip on my morning cardio, then I have to visit the lunch class.  I prefer my morning cardio, but I've had to listen to my body more lately and it is taking more recovery time (aka...more sleep)


How was your week? 
Did anyone try a new workout this week?  I need something to get excited about again!

fyi....join us in next month's accountability linkup!
Next week is the final week of August but that actually means it is the #GYSTS14 prep week!

Aug 19, 2014

On The Table: My "Protein Ice Cream"


I wouldn't classify this much of an original or real recipe, but more of a 're-imagined' or 're-cycled' recipe of everyone's favorite thing!!


protein powder!!

No seriously! Ice cream and protein powder in the same post. 
Since I'm lactose intolerant but royally desperate for protein and trying to balance out some nutrients, I have to force at least one serving of protein powder into my day's meals.  I've struggled for awhile doing it for my morning shake mostly because at work I have to rely on a shaker bottle and the clumps just aren't making me happy.  I have figured out the best way to force it down and get it over with, but why force it and cringe everyday?

When I can make ice cream with it?

1 scoop of vanilla powder (its the only flavor I have)
1 scoop of water (I typically will save a scoop from a prior container)

Then I get to have fun with some flavoring if I can afford it (per MFP or macros whichever you prefer)
- 1/2 tbsp of PB2
- 1 tbsp of natural almond butter
- half a fresh banana
- 6-8 chocolate chips
- 1oz of chopped pecans
- sugar free chocolate syrup
- berries
- splash of flavored coffee creamer -- thin mint is fantabalicous!
- splash of coffee?

Honestly whatever you would want to have in a smoothie, throw it in the ninja or blender. Just make sure to only use a small amount of water.

Get creative, blend it up and toss it into your small tupperware. I actually recycle and use the small plastic containers from HEB's natural aisle (the aisle with all the bins of rice,quinoa, nuts, banana chips, etc)  and toss in the freezer!

I will do this quick prep work when I get home from work and set it in the freezer.  So when its after 8pm and I'm wanting an after dinner snack, I know I have my 'ice cream' prepped and ready to go.

I've shared pictures on instagram lately, it may not be as pretty as real ice cream, but I have portion control and I'm getting 21grams of protein in my dessert.

Aug 18, 2014

Currently....

I've gotten a couple new followers recently, so welcome people!

As a gift, I give you a 'cup of Joe' this fine Monday morning....
You're welcome


I was a superwoman this past weekend, and thought I'd kick off this week with something more informal than my run down of how awesome I was #sarcasmfontneeded.  So why not jump into a new linkup to have some fun.

Thinking about // how I probably shouldn't share my boyfriend with everyone online?  Ha. Seriously I'm just thinking about how school starts next week and it will my son's last year in elementary (5th grader!) and that this time next year I will have a middle-schooler? woah.

Reading // a friend of a friend's final draft of his book before passing it on to a potential agent. I have struggled with this reading due to some perspective issues and depth or lack of depth in the characters. But since he is a friend of a friend, I'm not sure how critical to be or if his intended audience is less critical than I am.
 
Listening to // silence is golden more often than not for me lately.  My hearing is heightened right now and rather painful on migraine days, the idea of ear buds or music just makes me cranky.  This makes my treadmill runs more difficult lately for sure! I do listen to music though to drown out the drumming of the treadmill belt, I figure that constant pace would be more triggering than music.
 
Watching // I just started watching New Girl on Netflix.  I'm only about five years behind most people on tv shows. I typically don't watch much television, maybe one episode of DoctorWho or NewGirl once a week?  I have too many things going on to relax, or maybe I just don't know how to relax.
 
Thankful for // health insurance and prescription coverage.  Really! Last week I remembered that our annual deductible for prescriptions starts over on 9/1, so I called in about four scripts to get to delay that onset just a tiny bit longer! ha!
 
Enjoying // that I finally got to start working in my craft room this weekend. Since moving I've been focusing on the public areas of the house and the functional stuff, but I had to sew something for a baby shower today and it felt awesome again.
 
Photographing //
gender neutral burpclothes for shower today
 
Feeling // pretty good today so far, which is a blessing that I will take.
 
Making me happy// that my little stinkerpot had a dry diaper this morning!!  I need to rip the bandaid off and let her wear panties at night and get this over with once and for all.  She's physically ready, but I think she's just milking the convenience most days. 
 
Loving // meeting new people everyday lately.  This blogging thing comes in waves so I want to say thank you to anyone who is just joining in with me, and a special thank you to those friends who randomly found me awhile ago and keep coming back.


and look, I remembered to share with you a #MCM this week!


Aug 15, 2014

W.O.F. (product review)

**I received this product in exchange for my honest opinion. **


We got some issues going on over here.
I have been struggling with my "workout-fro," you know what I'm talking about. Even girls with straight type hair know this problem.

Okay, if not, I'll break it out for you:

Hair + workout sweat + summer heat = "Workout-Fro"

It makes no difference of the texture or type of hair you have, everyone gets it.  It is an entire industry, the taming of any hair.  I think I noticed three full aisles of hair products (not even counting my favorite section of coloring!) where we try to either tame the frizz, create or enhance curl, or deny it with straighteners or whatnot.

What's my favorite product?

a ponytail
no wait...a pony bun for my ultra frizzy days.

This used to work just fine for the randomness of my workouts in the past, but now that I regularly workout and acquire the WOF (work-out-fro) daily, I need to try a little harder to be more presentable for work.

Luckily there is a slew of new Etsy store trying to 'tame the fro' but one has totally taken over and won my frizz-fro loyalty.
I first 'met' Jasmine through her fitness blog. She is an amazing mother who happens to be a nurse who decided to share her love of her signature fleur de lis and created /FleurtyBands

She has the best ribbons to create her nonslip fro-tamers I mean, nonslip headbands.

Despite my freakishly small or warped head, this band kept my frizz calm enough during my workout and also in my attempt for reasonable professional appearances with my pony bun.



Check them out on Etsy.
They tamed my WOF enough to even share a picture...which is a rare thing lately. 

Sorry for formatting glitches but I had to finalize this post on the phone.

Aug 12, 2014

Farewell My Captain....

My mother never enjoyed him.
She hated the sound of his voice and couldn't stand how fast he talked, 
so we didn't get to see many of his films until in college.



I am not younger or older than the masses, nor did I personally know the man....
but he shared so much of his life during MY formative years that I felt like he was the crazy but fun uncle that your parents rolled their eyes at but secretly loved just as much as the kids did.



Farewell O' Captain....may your journey in the unknown be free of pain
 and find comfort in knowing that you will never be forgotten.




"You are free, Genie"
 Rest in Peace Mr. Williams

Aug 11, 2014

Eat this, not that! No wait...maybe?

I have been skipping Mondays lately, not out of laziness (okay maybe partially) but more because of my waivering or flipflopping methods in my journey right now. 

One month I'm low-carb.

and the next I'm WWing.

I even tried IIFYM this year as well.

I don't know what will work best for others, I can't even figure it out for myself.  I know that I struggle to figure out my food issues. Not just the warped relationship with food itself, but my body's decision to revolt and arbitrarily decide one day to the next what will be allowed or not.

Last month's Retro-WW was fun and I loved the routine, but this time around my body was not happy.  My IBS flared dramatically and I noticed an increase to the new migraines (that may be just coincidental) but I felt like crud overall.  In response to the struggles I ended up with, this week is back to basics with simply protein and veggies. Simple carbs, but no more WWfiber rich related foods.

Polar results for last week?
Monday - 252%
Tuesday - 161%
Wednesday - 85%
Thursday - 141%
Friday - 104%
Saturday - 84%
Sunday - 100%

*Saturday and Sunday both has three hours of unreported pool fun with the kids. So I would have shown more if I wanted to the test the waterproofing of the PolarLoop but I opted to just have fun with my family.

Instead of focusing on my health and stomach problems, I tried to relax and enjoy my family this weekend.  Why?

"Because mommy is pretty and funny"
(quote from the 3yr old genius!)





Aug 7, 2014

Pointy Elephant Sneezes?

I haven't had a solid week, yesterday was a really bad day with my migraines and overall health debacle I've been working with lately.

But this week I did get to give myself a little high-five with a non-scale-victory (remember, I'm not weighing in this month and the scale has been banished from my vision!)  I haven't had any positives lately in my journey so I'm going to enjoy this moment.

A friend at work offered me a jacket that was too small for her daughter and thought it would look good on me. It still had tags on it and she didn't want it to go to waste, I'm fine with it whatever because the truth is when you've lost or are losing weight, clothes and the sizing of clothes is temporary so why not do a size swap or loaner program?  Right?

She brought it to work on Tuesday and asked me to try it on, which I did. It felt great and fit nicely, will work well for work (since I'm always cold, I wear sweaters and jackets inside) so she forced it on me and I accepted it.

Got home to hang in my closet and check it out!
Coldwater Creek jacket
size? Petite Xtra Small

I don't shop there and for all I know that could me "Pointy Elephant Sneezes" but I'm going to enjoy whatever vanity sizing they have going on since I'm naively going to accept their word.
even Sammy agrees!

I think trying to find the positives in this journey whenever they come do help. It helps me stay focused on the little things other than a scale to measure the distance traveled thus far.  It is a long road, and truly it never ends (maintenance is just as much of a bitch as losing it!) so let me have this moment.

Try this next week and find your non-scale victory whether it is material or mental!
It will give you a quick smile! And make you have your 'rockstar' moment.




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Aug 5, 2014

On The Table: Carne Guisada/Asada

photo courtesy of MarthaStewart.com
I am shocked that I haven't shared this one before, but last night while I did the prep work for today's crockpot meal I couldn't help but get excited.

Is it bad to get excited 20hours in advance of a meal?

A low-carb, crockpot bowl of meat? and its Tex-Mex?

The truth is that this recipe is one of my favorites, but I don't make it often enough.  I could eat it weekly, but the lazy factor comes into play on this one.  Despite it being a crockpot meal, it does require prep work the night before. It is more annoying than anything, but I always close my eyes while eating it and remark that it is worth it!



Crockpot Carne Guisada
(meat with gravy for any non-"spanglish" speakers)
Inspired by the jailbird queen herself, Martha Stewart 

2lb chuck roast, cut into 1inch square pieces
1 large white onion, half chopped small and half sliced thin
1/2 jalapeno, seeded and chopped fine
3-5 small red, yellow or orange peppers (we prefer the petite peppers in this one rather than one large green, but that is fine if easier to keep on hand)
5-7 cloves of peeled garlic minced
vegetable oil
1-2tsp ground cumin
1/2tsp cayenne  powder
1 tsp paprika 
1/2tsp oregano
2tsp of chicken bouillon (or use stock)

4tbsp of flour (I use corn starch instead)
14oz can of petite diced tomatoes


The night before:
1. cut the vegetables and set aside in a bowl
2. cut the meat into 1inch cube sizes and sprinkle with kosher salt and pepper
3. using the vegetable oil (generously) sear the sides of the meat. It took three batches to get all the meat seared. Don't cook too long, simply brown the edging.
4. Remove the meat and place in the crockpot bowl or tupperware to refridgerate.
5. In the same skillet, stir in the cut vegetables and cook to al dente.
6. In a small spice bowl, mix all the listed spices together. I use a loose chicken bouillon to incorporate better here with the cornstarch and spices.
7. Once the vegetables are cooked to a glossy shine and tenderness, stir in the dry spices and cornstarch.
8. stir and allow the browned remnants in the skillet get scraped up in (use a wooden spoon)
9. slowly add the water in (so the sizzling hot onion doesn't fly out and hit your arm or clothes) and mix in to ensure no clumping of flour/cornstarch.
10. bring to a boil
11. remove from burner and pour onto the bowl with the seared meat.  

Refridgerate the meat and sauce bowl overnight (or an extra day...even better!)
I highly recommend not doing this the same day. This allows the meat to incorporate the sauce and the flavor enhance in the gravy.

The morning of:
1. Insert the pre-filled crockpot bowl or dump the plastic bowl of goodness into your crockpot.
2. Stir in the 14oz can of diced tomatoes
3. sprinkle some salt and pepper to taste on top 
4. cover and set crockpot for 7hours LOW.

Serve with tortillas and fresh cilantro leaves.
Sour cream is sometimes added ontop as well.
or more julienned onions.
or jalapenos

I try to make a light side to go with it with a vinegar coleslaw for myself, and typically a spanish rice for the family.  This is yummy enough to eat as a stew instead of a taco to avoid the carbs.

So 3tbsp across 2lbs of meat? 
 Yep, that's the only non-vegetable carbs.

This is the Tex-Mex version you typically find in south Texas at least!
I found some variations out in the blogworld of other styles:
SkinnyTaste has a "Latin Beef Stew"  
Allrecipes has one that is "Puerto Rican Style" (with potatoes and beer!)

HomeSick Texan has great Tex-Mex style with beer also!  
image courtesy of homesicktexan.com


 

Aug 1, 2014

August Goals

It is an odd day....the first of the month but on a Friday??

ALG Uninterrupted

But nonetheless, we must face this new month headon and with a solid foundation right?  I can't move forward and back on track without a monthly goal or "mission statement" right?


So here it is:
 "I, April, will try to appease my  left foot and heel with moderate rest in between my scheduled runs.  I will attempt to log a monthly total of 50 miles, which allows me to complete 12-15miles a week easily without pushing said foot or heel limits."
 



"I, April, will not weigh myself during the month of August"
Yes, I can. I've done it before, but this time I need to just focus on being healthy with eating right and exercising more. Not the numbers and what I consider a minor obsession with a smaller number.

(Ironically I am hoping to lose 5lbs to return to the 'normal' category)


Good luck, right?
Thanks Maverick!



What are your goals for the month of August?

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