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Fitness Friday

Well, week 1 of the 21 Day Mommy Blogger Challenge is over. I didn’t do so hot on the points, mainly because I was downed by a massive migraine headache most of the day Wednesday (hence the lack of a Wednesday post) and the morning half of Thursday.

Tuesday was the worst day though. I was buried under a mound of paperwork so much so that I got about 2 hours of sleep Monday night, and just never went to bed Tuesday night. It really brought me back those all-nighters I pulled as an undergraduate trying to study and get everything done.

Diet

At about 10 o’clock or so Tuesday night I finally got out from my little circle of personal hell that I set up for myself (read: I crawled out from underneath a pile of papers) and went to go cook dinner. We had no veggies, no eggs, no fruit, no Greek yogurt, no cereal, no quinoa, no couscous, nothing. We literally had nothing healthy with which I could make dinner, and to make matters worse, my husband left early Monday morning on a work trip for the week, so sending him to the store wasn’t a choice. I had NO time (literally… I got the paperwork scanned and emailed at 8 o’clock Wednesday morning, about 10 minutes before I had to walk out the door) to go to the store and cook, so I went through a drive-thru.

I don’t even feel guilty about it. I literally feel 0 guilt for hitting a drive-thru. It was too late to hit up a Subway, and it was just one of those things. However, I did learn a lot about what to do if I ever find myself in that situation again (and I will, I’m extremely busy). I learned that I HAVE to have stuff around for a quick snack. I just have to. Drive-thrus, while fine for that one time, are NOT a good solution.

Even though this week was what I would consider a setback more than anything, I did manage to find some really great recipes. Last weekend somebody in my LEAP Into Summer group posted a really awesome recipe for a frozen banana that I modified. This is the modified recipe:

-2 TBS plain greek yogurt

-1/8 tsp. vanilla (I used my homemade vanilla)

-cinnamon to taste

-about 4 or so strawberries

-walnuts

-parchment paper or some other non-stick surface

I took the strawberries and make a strawberry puree with my food processor. I blended it up until I got it pretty smooth, and added it to the greek yogurt, vanilla, and cinnamon. Coat half a banana with the yogurt mixture, sprinkle on some finely chopped walnuts, and freeze on parchment paper from anywhere between 20-45 minutes (depending on how frozen you actually want it).

It's not chocolate cake, but it'll do.

This is before I tried it with the strawberries. See, I can’t stand the taste of greek yogurt or veggies. I can’t STAND it. So I have to come up with some seriously creative ways to mask the taste, although I’m starting to like the yogurt a little more each day.

This snack was amazing. It’s not chocolate cake, but it’s pretty darn close. The strawberries really complemented the taste of the banana, the walnuts added just that little bit of crunch, and the greek yogurt made it just tangy enough. It was delicious. Too bad I ran out of bananas by Monday or else I could have had one of these Tuesday night.

Another great tip I got was to puree some fruit, mix it with greek yogurt, then load the yogurt into a baker’s piping bag (or at my house a plastic bag with a corner cut off) and make little yogurt drops. Freeze them, then you can just pop those as a snack. I’m going to try those next week.

I made more green smoothies as well. I tried adding more spinach and yogurt, and it was still amazing.

Fitness

Two words: wall sit. Best quad workout I have ever found. I did a 30 second wall sit over the weekend and I really, really felt it the next day (and, admittedly, the day after that). More in-shape people I’m sure could do much longer wall sits, but I really hurt after just 30 seconds. My goal is to work toward being able to do a minute long sit. A wall sit, in case you have never heard of this, is basically doing a squat where you end up with your thighs parallel to the floor. The difference is that instead of coming back up, you hold it with your back against the wall for as long as possible.

I started the 100 push ups challenge as well this week to hopefully get my arms toned, and added tricep dips into the mix. I hate tricep dips, but that’s mostly because I haven’t been able to find a bench or step in the house that’s the right height yet. I have been using the couch, and that’s just not the right height.

Goals for Next Week

I didn’t get to work out 4 days this week though. I just ended up running out of time with unexpected work, then once everything got done I was felled by the migraine from hell. So, my goal for next week is to keep up with the points better from the mommy challenge, continue with the push ups challenge, and try to add in more of a core workout. Push ups and wall sits, calf raises, and tricep dips are great, but they’re doing nothing for getting my core in shape.

I would like to add in a daily walk. Usually my husband takes the dog for a walk, but I think I’m going to make it a daily family trip.

A challenge for next week is that a friend of mine is coming into town tomorrow and staying through Tuesday, then I’m going to central Texas for a wedding next weekend. I am going to give it all I have to stay on track and get my 4 days of exercise in.

Have a Fitness Friday blog post? Head over to the Fatty Friday post at Going Crazy, Wanna Go?! link up with us! 

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Adventures in Homemade Deodorant Making Part 1

Yeah... this is a chemical

This is a label from your average, traditional stick of deodorant. Aluminum zirconium trichlorohydrex is used in many conventional deodorant/antiperspirants. It works because it blocks pores in your underarm area, thereby preventing sweating. Additionally, it supposedly binds with sweat and inhibit odors. There is great debate raging at the moment about whether or not this stuff is significantly harmful if used in any appreciable quantity. The problem for me is that you basically apply this material directly to your lymph nodes. More on this later.

This is a list of the inactive ingredients in that same stick of conventional deodorant. Petrolatum, aka petroleum jelly (think Vaseline), is a semi-solid white/yellow substance that is created from the fractional distillation of petroleum. Petrolatum use in cosmetics has been banned in the UK (unless the source can be proven free of toxins) because it has been found in breast tumors. Now, Vaseline has been around for a loooonnnggg time, and I’m not going to sit here and even try to pretend that I will never use Vaseline again. The problem for me is that I’m applying this stuff mere centimeters from my breast tissue. Basically everything in this list is a suspected carcinogen (but isn’t everything?), especially cyclopentasiloxane and fragrances.

Now back to the lymph node issue. Your lymph nodes belong to a vitally important component of your body called the lymphatic system. The lymphatic system’s job is to clean and detoxify, heal and aide in tissue regeneration, circulate hormones and antibodies, build and maintain a healthy, functioning immune system, and filter inorganic waste. It accomplishes this via a large network of vessels in your body.

At various points in your body, called lymph nodes, the lymph (the yellow fluid that circulates in the lymphatic system) gets filtered and bacteria, foreign objects, etc. get trapped there and antibodies against foreign invaders are manufactured and sent out to the circulatory system. There are lymph nodes in your neck, under your arms, and lots of other places. The white blood cells located there then clean up and dispose of these wastes that are delivered. Lymph node swelling is an indication of physical health because when your lymph nodes swell, your body is fighting a foreign invader. Even though the American Cancer Society says deodorants don’t cause breast cancer, I decided that if I could minimize the chemicals that might be absorbed into an area containing such important lymph nodes, I would try it. In my opinion, the research is incomplete at best as to whether or not the chemicals are being absorbed into our bodies and causing these cancers.

Wishing to try to reduce the amount of chemicals I applied directly the lymph node area of my body, I set out to make my own deodorant. Stay tuned for part two!