Thursday, October 20, 2016

Catching Up from Ohio


Time has flown by since my last blog post.

mrC finished his work in Connecticut and we wrapped up our stay in New England with a weekend visit to the girls in Portsmouth, NH.

The weather was great on Saturday for a day of hiking and exploring in Maine with D. We hiked Mount Agamenticus in Ogunquit and had lunch (we brown-bagged yummy sandwiches from Backyard Coffeehouse and Eatery off the main street) at the summit. We stopped to view Cape Neddick Lighthouse and then browsed Stonewall Kitchen in York. Later, back in Portsmouth, we met up with G for dinner. After brunch at Popovers on Sunday, we escaped the rain at the movie theater and watched Girl on the Train (just as good as the book!) and then went out for lunch before saying goodbye to the girls.

We spent one more evening with Booney and mrC's family before flying to Ohio for one more week of work for mrC.

The great thing about mrC working in Ohio is that we can see my family while we are here (we really are blessed that he gets to work in both places when we return to the US). We came to Ohio a couple of days early and spent time in Cincinnati at my mom's. We met up with my aunt at Howl at the Moon downtown and had a blast bowling after a great meal. While mrC works in Columbus, we get to visit with the BFF! We went to dinner at the Cheesecake Factory (little O's choice) and then met up for a free yoga session at the Athleta store the next morning.

After sticking to low intensity workouts (or no workouts 😳) for a couple of weeks, it feels good to use the fitness room here at the hotel for some HIIT cardio on the elliptical and cool down walks on the treadmill. I was feeling a little unmotivated doing the same at-home workouts and getting back on the elliptical is helping bring back my workout HAPPY.

Sprint Workout ---> 10 minute warm up on elliptical, 15 sprints: 20:20 seconds intervals, and 30 minute cool down on treadmill.

The fitness room at the Residence Inn Easton is TINY compared to what we had in Montreal, but it will do the trick while we are here. The room is steps away from the dining room making it super easy to grab some breakfast to-go.

It's a bit rainy here today, but the weekend promises to be beautiful and everything we love: cool temps and sunny, blue skies. It will be our last weekend in the US for about 6 months, so we are trying to soak up everything fall before we leave on Sunday morning.

Do you ever get in a fitness rut and feel unmotivated? How do you break out?
Tell me something you've been up to lately!

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Scenes from our Newport Weekend

I know it's Wednesday, but I still wanted to share a little from our trip to Newport, RI over the weekend. 

It was a little rainy Saturday morning when we crossed over the Pell Bridge into Newport. Crossing that bridge will always bring back fun memories.

We killed some time indoors at the Navy Exchange until the drizzly weather had passed. Wanting to soak up as much of fall as I can before we go back to China, I took mrC to the Newport Harvest Fair. It was the perfect place to pick up some gifts from the arts and crafts vendors while enjoying little tastes of autumn.

After a late lunch/early dinner at The Red Parrot and dessert at Kilwin's, we did the traditional Ten Mile drive and checked out the Newport mansions at night.

On Sunday, instead of going to mass at Chapel of Hope on base (where we were married), we decided to go into town and attend mass at St Mary's. It's a beautiful church. JFK and Jackie were married there, so a lot of people visit. I've walked by MANY times, but this was my first time going inside.

Fun fact ---> mrC and I met in church in Ohio (true story) and pew 42 has special meaning for us. We noticed that we were sitting across the aisle from it during mass.

After church we walked to The Franklin Spa, an old-school diner popular with the locals, for some off the grill breakfast. It's moments like this that make Newport one of my favorite places.

mrC promised to take me to the top of Newport, so we climbed up to the Miantonomi Park Memorial Tower. The 100 foot tower was built in 1929 as a memorial to veterans of WWI and is located on the highest natural point in Newport. The tower is only open twice a year (Memorial Day and Veteran's Day) so we did not get to climb to the observation deck...this time.

On our way out of town, we saw a sign for an Open House and played House Hunters. It was fun to see the inside of the old Victorian and check out the renovations. It was a cute house with a nice front porch, a great deck and backyard, but it wasn't OUR HOUSE. Needless to say, it was easy to drive away and start thinking about our immediate future of apartment hunting in Hong Kong in just a couple of weeks. 

So far this week, I've been sticking to low intensity workouts. After another relaxing weekend, I was just getting the feeling that my body needs a little break. 

Instead of fast paced HIIT workouts, I've been enjoying some restorative yoga sessions. My darn heel is still bugging me, but I can stay on my toes and get through most of the poses without aggravating it.

 And daily walks. Every morning feels colder than the last, but my hilly route still feels amazing when I'm done. I only walk my SIL's dog around the yard when I'm done because she's a loner and not a fan of her furry neighbors. We rocked a little pink for #WearPinkWednesday to support BCA.

PS ---> my new yoga pants are also great for cool morning walks.

Apparently Saturday was National Walk Your Dog Day. I hope all the dogs out there got at least a walk around the yard. I know my favorite dog gets lots of love from the retirement village down the road when he goes on his daily walks with his adoptive family in Hopkinton.

On a walk ~ April 2016

How's your week going?
How was your weekend? (better late than never)
Where did you meet your spouse?
Did you celebrate National Walk Your Dog day?

Friday, September 30, 2016

Low Impact Activities Give Me Balance

A morning walk after a few days of HIIT workouts felt pretty good, especially with views like this. I walked the hilly route yesterday for my low intensity sustained state workout and enjoyed every step.

When I got back, I spent some time outside with my SIL's dog. I'm trying to teach her how to take selfies like Booney. She's a little camera shy.

It was so nice outside that I decided to do some backyard yoga. Earlier in the week, the weather forecast said it was going to be grey and rainy all week. I wasn't going to spend an extra second inside if I could help it!

My look: tank and pants and flip flops

My backyard yoga flow focused on poses that give me a good stretch and open up my hips and shoulders. Then I did some poses that are challenging to me. They challenge my flexibility and my balance. My left heel is still bothering me (so I have to say on my toes), but I can still move through my go-to yoga sequence without much pain.

Not wanting to go inside, I helped my SIL out by watering the new lawn. It's amazing how fast the grass is coming in.


Yesterday was the kind of morning that runners wait all summer for. I would be lying if I said that I didn't miss it. I found myself thinking about it a lot on my walk yesterday. But I've also come to really enjoy taking walks and I do a lot more yoga than I ever did pre-knee issues. Walking and yoga give me a feeling of balance that I think was missing from my fitness before.

Balance: An even distribution of weight enabling someone or something to remain upright and steady. Stability of one's mind or feelings. 

My workouts ---> high intensity and low intensity combined make me feel balanced both physically and mentally. During HIIT workouts I'm in the go, go, go frame of mind and pushing my body to its max. There's no room for reflection. Even when I was running, I was always thinking more about the distance, the time, my body. LISS workouts let my mind and body rest. I'm able to connect with myself more emotionally. I feel more aware and STABLE doing both types of workouts.

Speaking of awareness...October is Breast Cancer Awareness month. I'm joining up with FitApproach and AfterShokz to get #AwareWithPink and I challenge you to join in too!

Until October 31st, AfterShokz is donating 25% of proceeds of every unit sold on to Bright Pink, a nonprofit organization specializing in breast and ovarian cancer awareness and education. AND every time #AwareWithPink is used on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter, AfterShokz is donating an additional 25 cents to Bright Pink! So get to hashtagging, sweeties!

All month long you can help spread the #AwareWithPink message. Follow FitApproach on Instagram and Twitter and look for the weekly prompts every Wednesday and Friday and help raise BCA awareness.

How do you find balance?
How will you challenge yourself to raise BCA?

Thursday, September 29, 2016

Arms and Abs HIIT, Yoga and a Recipe (just because)

It was arms and abs day yesterday.

This HIIT workout is intense. It is harder for me to do than the leg day workout.

The first circuit is doable. I eventually have to do the push ups from my knees, but I can keep a good pace through the entire 7 minutes. Both times.

Circuit 1 - Push ups, straight leg sit ups, tricep dips, straight leg raises

The second circuit is the killer. I modify the beginning and the end of this one because I cannot do all the reps. Eventually I end up doing 50 mountain climbers (dumping the push up) and I will never be a fan of commandos (aka forearm plank push ups).

Circuit 2 - mountain climbers + push up, toe taps, lay down push ups, commandos

After all the arm work, my yoga video was a blessing. We worked on balance and focused on some core movements. It was a nice complement and a good cool down to the HIIT workout.

What I'm wearing: this tank and Oiselle shorts


Last night's dinner is one of our favorites, so I thought I would share the recipe here on the blog. I used shrimp last night, but often use chicken breast. I also use gluten free pasta.

Shrimp Florentine with Penne Pasta

1 box penne (or farfalle) pasta
16 oz large shrimp
3/4 cup milk
3/4 cup Greek yogurt
1/2 cup parmesan cheese
2 tbsp garlic powder
1 bag baby spinach

Bring a pot of water to boil for the pasta.
In a deep large skillet, combine shrimp, milk, yogurt, parmesan, and garlic. Cook until the sauce is thick and creamy.
Reduce heat and add spinach.
Add the drained pasta once the spinach has wilted.

We tried a new GF pasta and it was really good. More protein, more fiber, but less carbs than regular pasta.

Which is harder for you? arm or leg day?
Favorite way to cool down?
Have you tried Banza

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Interval Run, a Water Bottle and on a Booty Roll

When I woke up this morning I had a feeling that it was time to go for a run. It had rained over night, but Mother Nature was on my side and kept the skies dry. I set up my interval timer with a goal to do 25 intervals doing 25 seconds run/25 seconds walk.

The run went pretty well. I had to stop after the 20th interval because I had a little pain on the meniscus side of my knee. The sidewalk near my SIL's house has some pretty good dips that may have aggravated it. But I ran/walked almost 2 miles. I'm happy with that.

Oddly I didn't know what to wear today. It was 50 degrees, which in the past would mean tank and shorts (no brainer). My body doesn't always warm up as much doing run/walk intervals. In the end I opted for a tee, but could've done the tank. Oh well.

Even though my runs are short nowadays, I still carry my water bottle with me. It's been a while since I talked about my water bottle. This bottle is designed with a hook shape to be carried hands-free. It hooks onto the back of running bottoms (which should be tightened to hold up to 13 oz.), running belt, a pocket, or even a sports bra.

The first time I ran with this bottle (4 years ago!!), I actually FORGOT that it was there! That's how simple it is. And it's made in the USA!! If you are interested in getting one for yourself, let me know...I'm a member of the Run Team and have a DISCOUNT CODE! PS - this is not a sponsored post. Just a shout out because I love this bottle that much!

More info on the Simple Hydration website

After my run I was reading blogs about running (you do that too, right?) and Amanda reminded me that I need to make sure my glutes are awake by taking a couple of tests. Since I had that little knee pain during my run, I thought it was perfect timing. After taking the tests (which I think I passed), I went ahead and did the recommended exercises plus a few more. Check out her blog post here.

I figured I was on a booty roll, so I did a few more exercises using the resistance bands. I don't think I was over-doing it because these also worked my other leg muscles.


How do you solve your what to wear to a workout dilemmas?
Ever test your glutes?
Favorite meal in the fall? ---> I made my favorite crockpot chili (leftovers pictured above)