Tuesday, August 28, 2012

An Update and some "Sick-Day" Activities

Two-weeks since my last post? Oi. Sorry, but I've really had a case of the "don't really cares," especially when it came to this blog. Just been in a FUNK. I got hit hard with 2 weeks of PMS {WTF?!} that left me feeling physically blah - cramps, fatigue, bloat, and the blues included. Add to that the fact that I was just getting really into swimming laps at the pool and they decide to close it for TWO weeks for cleaning and maintenance {double WTF?! I want the pool back!}.

Last week, I only worked out once. One single, solitary time - a 40-minute spin class. The rest of the week, I was a bum. This seems to happen once every couple months - I need a break from it all to just be lazy and sleep a little more than usual {which I totally did last week}. Since yesterday, I've felt more energized, rested, and very "go-getter!" Perhaps I needed a lazy week to re-energize and get myself back in the right place? Last night I rode 10 miles on my bike and it felt GREAT. Had Valentino not woken up from 2:30-3:30am this morning, I had a 4-mile run planned {I obviously slept until 7:15 instead}... hopefully I'll be able to squeeze that run {or another workout} in this evening. Tomorrow morning will be spin, and we'll see what the rest of the week has in store. I sense an active long weekend in our future!

Valentino is sick right now - poor guy! I can usually tell when he's going to get sick because he gets really grumpy and acts "not himself." This was not the case this time - he was an angel all day Sunday, but then as I was putting him to bed, his nose started getting stuffy. At 11:30pm, he started screaming and bawling his eyes out {plus vomiting mucus} because he was so stuffed up that he couldn't sleep. I gave him some Mucinex, which seemed to help and let him fall back asleep. He woke up so pathetic on Monday morning that we just couldn't send him to school... so home we stayed. There was lots of TV watching, cuddling on the couch, and computer games played, but I also wanted to *do* something as to not totally rot his brain for the day.

I've been really wanting to do some activities/crafts from my Pinterest boards. Enter my inspiration from this pin, originally from a bird and a bean's blog:

White cardstock with a bike made out of painter's tape and a sick boy
{Notice all his sweeping aparatai to the right - the boy loves to clean!}.

Let 'em go wild with the watercolors - Valentino was very methodical with his paint application.
Remove the painter's tape once the paint has dried {to avoid smudges}.
The finished product, framed in our sad "gallery" wall.

The longest part of this project was creating the bike out of tape - that took way longer than I expected! It was worth it though, since we now have an interesting and personal piece of art for our walls :-)

Now, I'm not the type of mom who would ban her kid from the outdoors when they're sick - afterall, sunshine {Vitamin D!} can cure so much! It was a warm, sunny day yesterday, so I allowed Valentino to ride his bike for about 10 minutes {I didn't want him to overexert himself or get too tired}. He and I also did some side walk painting, a la Katie's post {and my pin}:

The recipe from Katie:
  • 1/4 C corn starch
  • 1/4 C water
  • 4 drops food coloring

  • The product:

    He loved it {and I found a great use for those Easter egg dying cups!}
    Welcome Home message for Daddy {Valentino wrote the "HI!"}

    Yeah, I know - I made staying at home sick a little too FUN. However, the thing he wanted to do most {play with his friends down the street} was OFF LIMITS. So trust me, it was not all that fun for him ;-)

    Monday, August 13, 2012

    In the past week {or two}...

    In the past week or two, I've:

    1.   Rekindled my love of swimming with three 1 mile+ early morning swim workouts.

    2.   Enjoyed having a new workout buddy who not only joins me in the pool, but who also invited me to a class that I've been wanting to take for over a year {but was too chicken to go to on my own}. We've been motivating and keeping each other accountable, which is awesome! She's trying to convince me to do the Ironman 70.3 when it comes to Raleigh next August... we'll see about that!

    3.   Attended the aforementioned class - Functional Fitness - then suffered with some intense muscle fatigue and ache all down my backside {arms/back/butt/hamstrings} for four days straight {sitting down was a challenge!}. While I love that I know for sure I got a good workout, I'm hoping to use those muscles more so that I'm not laid up for so long after the class!

    4.   Ran after/biked along with Valentino on several 4 mile rides on the Greenway around the lake. He's really building up endurance, and he loves our rides {so do I!}.

    5.   Went on a solo 12 mile road ride last week, then a 31.7 mile road ride with Vic over the weekend. It felt so great to get out, ride, and SCORCH some calories! The long ride was really tough at times, but I survived and I'm glad I did it :-)

    As far as non-fitness related activities:

    1. Celebrated Vic's birthday!

    This is what I wanted to get Vic for his birthday... they were sold out of his size ;-)
    {No, in reality - this showed up in my search for a "Speedo Women's Swimsuit" on Amazon... WTF?!}

    2. Spent quality time with Vic :-)
    3. Took Valentino fishing twice - both times we caught four {very small!} fish.
    4. Enjoyed some cooler, though still very warm, summer weather {and thankfully, lots of sunshine!}.

    I'm hoping to find time to write more for the blog. I have a whole list of post ideas, as well as some drafts I'd love to finish and finally post.

    Must scoot off to bed - the alarm's set for 4:45am so that I can make it to the pool around 5:10 :-)

    Monday, August 6, 2012

    My "Alternative" Health Habits

    I've recently taken up a few new health habits which, while very simple and inexpensive, are supposed to yield awesome results - dry brushing, drinking lemon-infused water, and drinking apple cider vinegar {ACV}.

    Dry brushing is basically rubbing down your entire body - soles of feet to neck - with a natural bristled brush or loofah. According to this site {and many other sources that I've read}, dry brushing is supposed to "detox your body, lose weight, lose cellulite, feel better." I've also read that all of those claims are bogus... but I'm sticking with it regardless. I've been using a natural bristle brush that I picked up from Target for about $5, and I've been doing it several times a week for about a month now. I LOVE the way my skin feels afterwards - so smooth and glow-y, almost like freshly-shaved legs every time {you know that feeling, right?}. I also have really weird dark spots on my knees {caused by hyperpigmentation - I've had issues with my skin pigment since I was young} as well as a smattering of those annoying bumps {keratosis pilaris}on the back of my arms - the dry brushing seems to be helping these issues. Plus, it really is invigorating - it gets all the blood flowing throughout my body. I think only time will tell if dry brushing really has an impact on cellulite... I'll keep you updated :-)

    If you want to do it: Purchase a natural bristle brush. Rub your skin in a circular motion {start with the soles of your feet) and always move towards your heart.

    Since my first experience on the 17-Day Diet {last summer}, I've been drinking water with a lemon squeezed into it. Since early this year, I've made it a habit to drink at least one cup of "lemon water" every day at work. Lemon water is supposed to aid in weight loss, encourage pH balancing/make your body more alkaline, and flush out toxins {it is a diruetic}. I've always liked the taste of water w/lemon, so for me, this habit was an easy one to take on. In the 17-Day Diet book {and elsewhere on the web}, it's recommended that you drink a cup of water, as warm as you can tolerate it, with half a lemon squeezed into it, and you should do so first thing in the morning. I've done this before, but nowadays I drink a whole lemon squeezed into a 20-24oz cup of ice water - it tastes really good, and it does seem to act as a diuretic; if nothing else, it's a good substitute for a soda or coffee.

    If you want to do it: Buy some fresh lemons from the grocery store {bottled lemon juice is not equivalent!}. Cut one in half and mix it with some water. Easy peasy, lemon squeezy!

    My last "alternative" health habit that I've adopted is drinking a tablespoon of apple cider vinegar daily. A quick search of ACV on the web, and you'll find that it's touted as a miracle for just about everything - weight loss, lowering cholesterol and blood pressure, balancing pH, and clearing up acne. To me, this is yet another inexpensive "why not?" kind of habit. The ACV costs $3.99/bottle, and it lasts a long time. The taste takes a little getting used to - it's definitely vinegar-y, but I mix it with apple juice and it mostly tastes like apple cider.

    If you want to do it: I {as well as everyone else on the web} recommend Bragg's ACV, which can be found at Kroger in the natural foods area {or at Whole Paycheck Foods} for $3.99. I mix it with about 4oz cold water and 4oz 100% apple juice, plus a sprinkle of Truvia. If you don't get the Bragg's brand, search for a fermented ACV that contains the "mother" - that's where all the benefits live!

    Like I said, I'm not 100% convinced that any of these habits do much for me, but since they don't take much time, effort, or money, I will continue them to see what happens. I'm particularly interested in balancing my body's pH {doing so decreases inflammation and a host of other issues}, which the lemon water and ACV are said to do. {Side note: being more alkaline is supposed to help promote the x "swimmers," if you know what I mean ;-) }

    Do you practice any alternative health habits? Have you tried any of those that I mentioned?