If you listen to the people at running stores, and I do, you need to get the right shoes. If you don’t, you will languish away in the waiting room of your physical therapist’s office. If your feet fit the “normal” shoes (aka neutral), you probably won’t have any problems. If not, get ready for some physio exercises…or maybe just look into getting your gait analyzed.

One of the saddest moments during your first visit to the running store will happen if you previously chose your shoes based on cuteness. Yes, fit WAS a factor, but if there was a cute pink & gray combo, you were totally going to get those, weren’t you? Once your gait is analyzed though, you’ll be relegated to “stability”, “neutral” or “motion control.” You will gaze longingly at the cute shoes located in the off-limits rack next to your less attractive but gait-appropriate new sneakers.

A new company has devised a way around this. Somnio Running (www.somniorunning.com) fits your shoe to your feet after analyzing your arch height and puts an insert in that is supposed to customize each shoe. (At least, that’s what I learned during my perusal of their website.) I desperately want to try them despite the expense, but no dealers are offering their shoes right now in my area. BOO!  Obviously it is time to start peppering my local running store with requests.

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I apologize, you probably have that song in your head now. It will echo around for a while, I know. At least it’s not the “werewolf bar mitzvah” song from 30 Rock, right?

I’m still here, plugging away, trying out new cardio classes, new instructors, new recipes. I’m just doing a crappy job of documenting all these things!  Life never happens in a predictable manner, and just remembering to grab my camera on the way from my room to the kitchen has been nearly impossible these days. It was a miracle that I made it through this summer with most of my brain cells intact.

But I am still hopeful that I’m going to settle into new, healthier, bloggier (it’s a word here in the ‘sphere because I say so) patterns in the next few months. If anyone out there stumbles onto this, hi! I have a request. I did something for a stranger a few days ago, made her smile, and she said that it changed her entire day, which apparently hadn’t been so good until then. It was a ridiculously small thing, you guys. But it made me feel good, so I am encouraging everyone out there to do some small thing for someone else.  If you’re in a dorm, don’t dump that person’s laundry out onto the floor.** If you’re at work, go smile at someone, offer him/her a cup of cocoa, you get the picture.

 

** This is the most easily fixed problem in the world. Get your RAs to buy a magnetic board, then everyone gets a magnet with their name/room # on it. Stick your magnet on the machine you’re using. That way, people can go knock on your door if you forget your laundry–or even call it.

I finally went back to Vera Fitness after a long hiatus and had a WONDERFUL  morning workout. Now that I have my own heart rate monitor, I was able to track my approximate calorie burn for the whole workout instead of just the cardio portion: over 600 calories, the majority of which I burned during the 30 minute workout on the Kinesis wall with the trainer.  (I ❤ the Kinesis wall–the exercises are always so different!)

All of that left me in a very good mood. It’s summertime and things are looking up, especially now that Seattle has returned to somewhat normal temperatures.

Lara Bar is about to release three new secret flavors! I cannot wait. I only hope that I will love one of them as much as I love the PB, cashew cookie, and lemon bar flavors.

I have gained weight in the past 6 months. It is difficult to deal with–I think longingly about liposuction, detox diets and personal trainers these days–but I believe in my ability to lose the weight. I know I can do it, and I know that it takes time and perseverance.  The state of the economy, my friends’ lack of jobs, my lack of a job…it all makes focusing on health and fitness more difficult.

And I’m ALIVE!!  I just don’t have time to really update right now.

And it’s affecting my desire to work out indoors. Isn’t that bizarre?  I made the mistake of wearing my gym shoes today, thinking, “Hey, one less thing to carry!” Thanks to the downpour earlier, my gym shoes are a bit damp. It would be so easy to just go home instead of the gym tonight.  I’m still not sure where I stand right now…

I had leftover veggie stew for lunch today, and I’m trying yet another new bar: Balance PURE fruit and nut bar.  I have the chocolate-cashew flavor. The ingredients are much better than the peanut butter & chocolate Kashi bar I had a few weeks ago.  There are only 16g of sugar compared to Kashi’s 33g!  Obviously, the less sugars the better!  The flavor isn’t bad, and it doesn’t taste nearly as sugary.  We’ll see how satiated it keeps me.

And I’m still debating going to my group class tonight.  Damn my lack of commitment!

I’m too lazy to put up the link–but just type “Moroccan chickpea” in CookingLight’s search engine and you’ll see the recipe pop up.  Review: all in all, pretty tasty, but I expected it to be a lot less soupy than it was.  Maybe I didn’t put in enough veggies (highly doubtful) or maybe I should use less broth or drain the tomatoes a little… It’s not a spectacular dish, but you could up the interest by taking out fewer of the jalapeno seeds than I did. Then you’d have a firey hot party in your mouth!

I am on track to work out four days in a row this week; Friday is looking a bit uncertain because of my evening plans.  Tonight’s workout came about because I started reading Fit Bottomed Girls (I’ll edit this later to add the link) and read that Jillian Michaels has new DVDs coming out!  The really great news was that both the DVDs are available FREE on demand from ExerciseTV for Comcast subscribers!

Can you guess what I immediately did after class today?

If you guessed that I did the workout, you’re wrong!  (I made dinner first. My stomach always comes first when it is making such big demands!) But after my food settled, I tried it and was reminded that Jillian Michaels is an ass-kicker.  I did not finish the whole thing because I have a quad-killing cardio workout in store tomorrow, but man, did it feel good to be doing lots of strength work again!  I think that I am going to replace the Self Challenge Month 1 strength workout to visits to my OnDemand menu.

I’ll try and remember to talk a bit more about the workout tomorrow. For now, I am TIRED. Zzzz.

I ❤ the Self Challenge.  Every year, there are 3 months of prizes, workouts, and food tips.  Every year I give it a shot.  This year, I see it as an opportunity to erase some of the hard living I’ve done since grad school started. 

I signed up the other day, and I really like the new web layout.  None of my friends seem interested in doing it with me, but that’s alright.  I’m fired up!  I haven’t tried the strength workout yet, but, from the look of it, I will be underwhelmed.  Points in its favor for the general Self audience: this month’s workout requires no equipment. That’s right, it’s body weight only!  Points against for me: no equipment.  Not a very challenging challenge for moi…

I’m really trying to follow the calorie guidelines better than I usually do.  Cataloging my food intake has, as usual, shocked me.  (I’m still using CalorieKing.com because the Self food log is a bit clunky.  It’s better than in the past, but I really wish a lot of these food-logging sites would get together and make it better. When I tried Self’s this last time, I couldn’t enter 1/3 of a cup of canned pumpkin; 1/4, yes; 1/2, yes; but no 1/3. Why, Self?)  Today, I will be burning about 500 to 600 calories at the gym. ❤ classes! 

Breakfast: pumpkin oatmeal with 1 tsp almond butter and some pecans (approx 400 calories)

Lunch: GreenLiteBite’s taco turkey quinoa stew (I only had a little left, probably less than a cup), a TJ’s string cheese

Afternoon snack: Cashew cookie Larabar

I might have a tangerine or an apple before I hit the gym tonight; it depends on how hungry I am in an hour or so.

I hate winter.  The PNW had a light dusting of snow this morning. The winter/spring semester is always the toughest because of the lack of sunshine and the endless grind of school.  Exercise helps; so does chocolate.  Obviously balancing the two is important!

I have been much better about working out this quarter, but I still feel off-kilter.  I’m not sure if I need to step it up or if this “blah” feeling is due to diet or stress.  I’m guessing a combination of both.  I do not think I’ve ever felt this stressed out in my life–thanks, recession!  Thanks, grad school!

Yeah, feeling a little bitter over here.  I’m sure I’ll feel better after step class, though.  Sorry about finally getting around to writing something only to bitch about my life!

That’s right, I have moved beyond LARABAR to try out different brands.  Today’s test: Kashi GoLean Chewy protein & fiber bar’s chocolate & peanut butter. 

At opening: This wrapper seems to be substantially larger than the bar itself.  Kashi, why so much extra space?

First bite: Mmm. Sugar! I love sugar.

Fifth bite: How many calories are in this thing?  It seems much sweeter than I would expect given all the protein and fiber that is supposed to be in there.

About to take sixth bite, looks at nutritional info: 290 calories? Say WHAT?  I know that my LARABARs are 210, but at least it’s filled with fruit and nuts.  31 grams of sugar? 13 grams of protein and 6 grams of fiber hardly seem worth it.

30 minutes later:  Well, at least it’s tasty.  I do love chocolate and peanut butter.  And…sugar coma…zzzzzz.

Summary: It’s probably healthier than several of the protein bars out there, but there are healthier ones available with much less sugar.  It has the chewy texture that I like, but I don’t particularly care for super-sugary treats.

Up soon: Balance bars and a “caramel nut brownie” Luna Bar.

There are a lot of snack bars that I am dying to try but cannot find at my local store.  It might be time to go to the “upscale” grocery store, which I try to avoid because I go a little batty each time I go. And by batty, I mean that I hand over the contents of my wallet to the checker.