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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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Fitness Friday

Well we skipped right from one Fitness Friday installment to the next. Sorry about the lack of posts over the week. It has been insane lately!

Anyway, as you know my husband and I have been traveling (stay tuned for a blog post about it), and through that time I have done all I can to stay on track. I have to say that I feel like I’ve done an adequate job doing that. I ate a decent breakfast every morning, and managed to consume good quality protein while we were away. All of that plus the almost constant walking, some running, and standing means that I got in a good consistent amount of exercise as well.

Weight: No change. I’m not sure why, but I am glad it didn’t go back up!

Exercise: Lots more walking. Lots and lots of walking.

Diet: Ate out every day, but I tried to consume quality protein in the form of seafood and veggies. The only thing I didn’t get to do was make my green smoothie. I’m determined to make that this coming week. My husband is quite hesitant though.

Goals for next week: It occurred to me that I need to actually quantify and set specific goals. In doing so, I think I will hit specific targets instead of just doing general, broad things. A goal of mine is to make a green smoothie. This will get done! I want to take the dog on a 1.5-2 mile walk every day, and spend an hour every other day weight training. As for diet, I want to cook from home for every meal.

March is rapidly approaching, and with that comes the Mommy Blogger 21 Day Challenge with Elizabeth from My This N That Life. Thank you to everyone for keeping me accountable and pushing me toward my goals! If you have any tips, tricks, recipes, etc. feel free to leave them in comments, email, or Facebook me!

For the Fatty/Fitness Friday link up, go check out Going Crazy, Wanna Go?! and leave the link to your story. I want to help others as well!

Adventures in Homemade Deodorant Making Part 2

Armed with an opinion backed up by some amount of credible research, I went to the Passionate Homemaking blog and found a recipe.

6-8 TBS. coconut oil

1/4 cup baking soda

1/4 cup arrowroot powder or cornstarch

Any additional essential oils you’d like

It also told me to mix the powders, then add the coconut oil until I was happy with the consistency. Simple enough, but I didn’t have any of these materials. I went to Tropical Traditions and invested in some gold label virgin coconut oil because I knew I would use it quite a bit, not even really for the health reasons, but simply because I LOVE coconut. I ordered it so that it would arrive when my conventional stick ran out so that I wouldn’t have to miss a day (ew).

I had never heard of arrowroot powder because this being healthy and trying new things is new and completely foreign to me, so I opted for cornstarch. When the coconut oil arrived, I got to work. I mixed liquid coconut oil with the dry powders, and poured it into my old empty stick of conventional deodorant. This is what happened when I used it:

That, my friends, was uncomfortable. It only happened on one armpit though, strangely. Undeterred, I pressed forward and thought that maybe since my skin wasn’t used to any of those ingredients, it would take a few days to normalize and adjust. Well, the itchy red rash was as persistent as I was and just would not go away. I went back to the drawing board and adjusted the ratio of powders. Instead of a 1:1, I did 1:2 baking soda to cornstarch. That didn’t help.

Eventually, after a long while (we’re talking months) of hypothesizing and figuring out what I was reacting to, it occurred to me that it was probably the coconut oil. I was heartbroken.

Then it occurred to me that if I actually did some research on arrowroot powder, I might be able to use that instead of the cornstarch. So, I went to a neat spice store in my hometown and picked some up.

Arrowroot, in case you didn’t know, is a plant. It’s actually an herb that grows in tropical climates, and grows well in Florida. The plant is about 25% starch, and that gets extracted and is used as a food thickener. When I opened the bag, I noticed that it had a very faint but distinct aroma. It smelled quite good actually. After doing some reading, I found that you have to be careful when purchasing arrowroot powder because the extraction process can be harmful, and apparently it gets mixed with other types of starch so it’s not 100% pure arrowroot. Oh well, I’ll do better next time.

So, I gathered my empty deodorant container (the same one that I’ve been using for almost a year), arrowroot powder, coconut oil, a bowl, and baking soda:

I mixed about 6 TBS arrowroot powder with 3 TBS baking soda. I took a spatula and added about 5 TBS of coconut oil in its solid form. It’s important to note that coconut oil is solid at 76 degrees Fahrenheit and below, but right above that it melts. For example, it melts upon body contact because of your body heat.

I applied just a little bit of heat to get everything to go together better, but honestly it’s easier to tell what the consistency is if you just work the coconut oil in by hand in its solid state. Once I had it to where I wanted it, I poured it into my recycled deodorant container and let it set up.

I have had no reactions with the arrowroot powder formula. I really like this method, and it seems to be working a lot better. I read that most people react to the baking soda though, so my reaction to the cornstarch is something that I find strange.

The final product smells fresh and clean and actually not overly coconutty, and I didn’t use any additional oils. A little bit of this goes a long way, so use a light hand when applying this. If you put too much on, the coconut oil will run down your arm and be gooey. If you don’t use that much of it, it works out fine. I also suggest trying this out first on a weekend or on a day when you don’t actually have to go see anybody because trust me, you WILL be obsessively smelling your pits to make sure you aren’t stinking up the place. You probably will be smelling just fine, but it’s still good to check.

Since I have switched, I noticed that my clothes don’t end up stained anymore. The commercial deodorant was reacting with my sweat and creating this weird film that would just sit on my clothes, and eventually create all kinds of problems. No matter what I did it wouldn’t come out! This doesn’t happen with the homemade deodorant. It washes out clean and leaves no residue.

There are two main drawbacks though. I live on the Texas gulf coast, and it gets HOT here in the summer. If you’re going on a road trip and taking this with you, I suggest wrapping it up in an icepack or tossing it in a plastic baggy and putting it in a cooler. I have to admit that I probably would not take this on an airplane either without seriously bagging it up because it will melt en route. It isn’t as convenient as a toss-and-go commercial deodorant. I have read that this can be fixed by adding some beeswax to the recipe to firm it up, and that seems to work fine. Secondly, you will sweat with this. This is not an antiperspirant. Sweating is good though because it’s your body’s way of ridding itself of toxins and other impurities. If you wear an undershirt or don’t over-apply this, you will likely not have any issues.

As I mentioned above, essential oils can also be added for additional scents. I have heard of people using chamomile, melaleuca (also known as tea tree oil), rose, (clove (I’ve heard it has antiseptic properties but I think too much of this would burn but I’m not sure), lavender, and patchouli. I would like to get some beeswax and some oils and continue experimenting with this deodorant when this stick runs out.

So, even though there is lots of debate about these chemicals, I am choosing the fewer chemical route.

Have you made any homemade deodorant? Do you have any interest in it? What are your thoughts?