Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Monday and Increasing Your Calorie Burn

What a shock we started our morning at that the gym again, LOL. I bet many of you are getting tired of hearing about it. I was happy to have burned 600 calories in an hour. What would I do without the trip counter on my Body Bugg? *shakes head* It would drive me crazy if I didn’t know what I was burning at the gym.

When we were leaving I took this picture of the sunrise. I really liked this shot so I wanted to share it with you.

Since it was a cold morning we had a hot bowl of oatmeal for breakfast with our usual add-ins: frozen wild blueberries, cinnamon, powdered ginger, ground flaxseeds and almonds.

Lunch was a bowl of curried tomato soup that was leftover from the soup cooking session on Sunday. I love how the flavor of soup improves as it sits in the refrigerator.

After lunch Dan and I had some things to do out of the house. Since we were out we stopped at the library (to drop off some books) and the health food store because I always need something. We also hit Marshall’s and Costco while we were out. I picked up two more pair of arctic exercise pants at Costco which I was very happy to have this morning.

Here is a cute story. When we were checking out at Costco the woman commented that we had a lot of bananas. Apparently not everyone buys 12 pounds of bananas at once, LOL. When she asked what we do with them I said we make a lot of smoothies but conveniently left out the kale component. ;-) I was giggling on the inside knowing that we don’t appear to be as “granola” (as our chef friend Ian puts it) as we actually are.

When we got home dinner was more soup from yesterday. Since we had the curried tomato for lunch we had the vegetable chowder for dinner.

We also had a quick little salad of mesclun, mango, and chopped walnuts. The dressing was more of the white miso and apple cider vinegar I first tried over the weekend.

It was much later than we had expected by the time we got home, had things put away and finished dinner.

For dessert Dan wanted me to make something which approximated chocolate ice cream. My first attempt turned out pretty well, but it isn’t perfect yet. I will share the specifics with you when it is ready. For those that want to play around with it now here is what I did: in my Vitamix I combined 3 frozen bananas, approximately ½ cup reduced-fat peanut butter, 1 ½ tablespoons cocoa powder, ¼ teaspoon cinnamon, ¼ teaspoon powdered ginger and 2 scoops stevia. I also added a splash of water (maybe ¼ cup) to help it blend. The flavor was very good but the texture was too thin. Next time I am going to try adding less water or I may make it earlier in the day and run it through the ice cream machine.

Burning more calories while you exercise:

I have been getting a lot of questions by email about how I am able to burn so many calories in an hour. Using a treadmill on a steep incline seems to have a made a big difference for me. Some time back I read that for every 4 or 5% increase in incline you double your calorie burn. With the body bugg I was able to test this and I can tell you using an incline makes a big difference in calorie burn.

I wrecked my knees thirty years ago running cross country in high school and they haven’t been right ever since. However using the treadmill on an incline doesn’t seem to bother my knees and it results in a good calorie burn so I am going to focus on that until I get bored.

I also use the elliptical, rowing machine, spin bike and stair climber but the treadmill is my preferred machine because I get the best burn. Who knows one of those Nordic Track machines that will go to a 30% incline may be in my future. ;-)

Something else that you need to keep in mind is that your muscle mass makes a difference in how many calories you burn. I don’t mention strength training often but that is another important component of a well-rounded exercise routine. I like to do my strength training at home and find that a heavy set of adjustment dumbbells (mine go from 2.5 to 52.5 lbs each) and heavy exercise bands are more than enough to get a good workout.

Credit Card Theft:

For the second time in a few years someone has gotten a hold of one of our credit card numbers and used it to buy things fraudulently on-line. The first theft was on one of Dan’s Visa cards. This time it was my Amex card. This entire process still perplexes me. Why would merchants sell something to someone whose name isn’t on the card whose address doesn’t match the billing address? Also, how do people get card numbers? Clearly I would make a bad on-line thief.

Amex was great about the problem when we called to ask about the charge. It is being contested with the merchant who wasn’t much help by phone. Amex is sending a replacement card overnight. They really do have great customer service.

Forks Over Knives Screening Tomorrow:

I am really looking forward to the advance screening of the movie tomorrow evening. One of the most encouraging things was that the film sold out in days and there is a waiting list of 150 for the screening. It is incredibly encouraging to me that so many people are interested in this film.

Happy Thoughts:

We had a very good Monday even though it was busy. Here are my happy thoughts now:

• I am happy that the dentist was able to work Dan and me in tomorrow on short notice. We have been so busy we have both been remiss in getting to the dentist. Since I will be downtown tomorrow (that is where our dentist is) it sounds like a great excuse to have lunch together to me. ;-)

• Given our frosty weather it was wonderful to stay inside today after coming home from the gym. I am thankful to have a nice warm house in this weather. Please remember that not everyone is that fortunate and donate to homeless shelters this time of year.

• I was grateful that my knee didn’t give up at the gym this morning though it was acting up the evening before. It would have been embarrassing to hit the floor at the gym. ;-)

• I am also seriously looking forward to the advance showing of the movie tomorrow. It should be great.  I found out this evening Sheila and Troy are going too.  It will be great to have other people to chat to about the film after the screening.

Signing out:

Time for me to call it a night. Talk to you all again tomorrow. I hope everyone had a great Tuesday.


  1. You just reminded me that I really need to make a dentist appt. I have to find a new one though and that stinks. I hope you're having a nice evening and staying warm!!

  2. Ali,
    I will try the increases incline at the gym tomorrow. Thanks for sharing that piece of info. ;-)

  3. Heather,

    I have always had a bit of a phobia about going to the dentist. Unless I schedule my next appt as I am leaving the office I tend to stretch out the time between visits. ;-) I hope you can find a new one you like. We changed dentists a few years ago too. Try asking your friends for recommendations. That was helpful for us.

    talk to you later,

  4. Aimee,

    I hope the incline trick works for you too. It didn't quite double the calorie burn for me but it did increase it by almost that much. For me the higher I take the incline the better. ;-) The sooner I can burn my calories and get on with my day the happier I am.


  5. The early morning sunrise is so pretty. Getting moving in the morning does feel good.

    Bummer on the credit card theft; glad to hear the company resolved it quickly. Have fun at the screening tonight!

  6. More pairs of workout pants?! You must have enough workout gear to last you weeks without doing any laundry, lol :-) Sounds like you had a great day and got a lot accomplished--that must have felt good.

    I hope you have fun at the screening! It will be nice to go with friends.


  7. Those soups both look AMAZING. I love curried anything and I just bought some diced tomatoes sooo..:)
    The salad looks great as well, and sounds really fresh.
    I wish I had your dedication in both healthy cooking and working out. I hope to do more of both at least this weekend.

  8. Jessica,

    I sort of agree with you on the morning. I have never been a morning person, but I am trying, LOL. One thing I do like are the colorful sunrises.

    The first time we had a credit card theft it freaked me out a little. However apparently they are very common because the credit card companies seem to be good at dealing with them. I think it is a shame that there are so many thieves in the world.

    The film was good. Dan and I both enjoyed it. I think Sheila and Troy did as well. I still need to catch up to them to talk about it. It was late when the film was over and they had to run home to relieve the babysitter.


  9. Courtney,

    I do have a lot of workout pants but most of them are for more moderate weather. I only have 4 pair for the cold weather. However you are right in the summer I can easily go 10 days before I need to think about doing laundry. ;-)

    No matter how much I get done it is never everything on my daily to-do list. But yes it was good to get a few things crossed off the list. LOL

    The film was good and I think you will enjoy it as much as we did. I suspect it won't be anything new for you but that you will do what I am planning to and buy it so you can share with friends.

    talk to you later,

  10. foodfeud,

    Thanks, I hope you enjoy the soup as much as I did. Sounds like the curried tomato is in your future. ;-)

    If it makes you feel any better we weren't always this health conscious. What I am saying is that I know you can do it too once you decide to make the change. There isn't anymore to it than that. I almost don't even mind getting up at 5am to go to the gym now. We try to look it at as more time we can spend together during the day. ;-)



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