Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Central Market has Two Good Deals on Organic Produce

I just snagged organic apples for $.99 a pound, perfect for juicing!

I also got organic celery for $1.49, which I consider a steal considering I recently paid over $3 for celery at another local organic store. Regular celery was $1.69!

It's not easy or cheap to buy organic but when you juice and eat the whole just seems like a better idea. Otherwise I could just drink pesticides as a side drink.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

I'm Running for Chocolate!

Second race committed! I debated about this race, it seems fun but as I mentioned in my last post, I am feeling lazy. I had just about decided I wasn't going to run it when I saw a friend of mine post on facebook she was running. After debating it with myself, I decided to sign up for this and the Texas Half 5k a few weeks before. What better way to jump start that consistency factor than to run two races?!

It should also be noted I have signed up for the Bikram Yoga 60 Day Challenge at our studio...this is where you take 60 classes in 60 days. This counts by the way as one of the 12 events for my own Bike Run Yoga Challenge of completing 12 events in 2012. This means by mid March I will have completed 3 events! YIPEE!

Let's not get too excited, it is still just mid January, we have a long way to go...

Friday, January 13, 2012

Dabbling my feet in the running waters

I finally signed up for another race! Albeit a 5k, it is still a race and it is still running...or jogging as I learned earlier last year. Whatever right, I am attempting to get back out there and see the world one mile at a time.

It's been awhile since I have been out on a run; I think my last run was on Thanksgiving day when I ran 5 miles in Austin. I've been in kind of a fitness slump and skating by on the bare minimum effort.

I was reminded yesterday by a good friend that  three things are necessary for improvement. We have a theory in Bikram Yoga, perhaps this applies to lots of things....consistency, precision, intensity. In speaking to my friend I admitted I am a little lazy and I don't try hard at working out...running, yoga, biking, etc.

I did my best running when I ran with Team in Training where I was at least a little accountable to someone else for running. I even trained pretty decent for the Hotter n Hell 100 mile ride. This might have been because the fear of riding for 6 plus hours with no training was worse that slacking off. And in yoga I like group classes so I have someone telling me what to do.

Even when I had a gym membership, I never went unless my trainer was there training me and I certainly never paid attention to what she was doing as far as adjusting the machines and putting on weight. I could never do it myself...I have no idea how those machines work.

Consistency is hard. One reason so many running magazines tell you to sign up for a race is because once you do that, you kind of have to least put your running shoes on and appear to have run a few miles. If you don't, you can end up like me, running a half marathon with no training and seriously messing up your hip. I don't recommend it; even months later I could barely run a 5K without my hip popping and having sever pain. 

Consistency...Step One - Sign up for a race. Check! Step Two- Train! Step Three - Run Race! Step Four - Repeat!

This 5k, which I have to admit is funny to me because it is called the Texas Half 5k, is hopefully one of many. I'm going to make concerted effort to finish my own challenge, completing 12 events in 2012. Anyone with me?

Sunday, January 8, 2012

2012 Bike Run Yoga Challenge is HERE!! Complete 12 Events in 12 months!

Bike Run Yoga…that’s my tri is about being healthy and doing what you love. I personally am not a fan, yet, of swimming so my ideal triathlon would be one where I could Bike, Run and do Yoga. This is the fourth year of the challenge. In 2009 I completed 12 events, in 2010 I completed 16. Even though I didn't reach my goal of 24 events, I still feel I did an amazing job. It's not so much about completing 24 events as it is about getting out there and being healthy and having fun. Last year was a hard year; I didn't train well and injured my hip running a half marathon with little to no training.

Join me in this awesome personal challenge where you are sure to find out many things about yourself, perhaps the most important is that you can do anything you set your mind to. You CAN do it!

2012 Bike Run Yoga Challenge
How to enter:
1.      Post a Comment on this blog post that you are committing to the challenge
2.      Follow the Bike Run Yoga blog

  1. Make a commitment to the challenge (this means post a comment on this blog post and tell me you are doing the challenge)
  2. Complete 12 events (Tri, duathlon, run, ride, swim, yoga or other organized event)
  3. Must be a finisher at the event (we use the honor system for verification)
  4. Submit your events, email address, full name and shipping address to Bike Run Yoga no later than January 5, 2013.
What do you get? 

A free Bike Run Yoga T-shirt with all your events listed on the back. The events will be listed on the back with the name of the event and the event date. It will be custom made for you and shipped to you in 4-6 weeks.

Not enough incentive? 

Get paid to complete events! Buy a Bike Run Yoga T-shirt and wear it at your event. For every picture you send in with a Bike Run Yoga Shirt on and your number, Bike Run Yoga will give you $5. You must complete the Challenge to be eligible and all funds will be paid upon completion of the Challenge.

Good Luck! I hope you will join me in this awesome challenge!
Questions? click here to email me.

I'm Suppose to Eat How Many Vegetables?!

I recently read online people should eat 1 pound of  vegetables for every 50 pounds. At that calculation, I should eat 2 1/3 pounds of vegetables. That seems like a lot to me and I am guessing the amount of vegetables in vegetable pho isn't going to cut it. Not knowing how many I eat or how much they weigh, I decided to weight my juicing vegetables and find out.

I've been juicing since Christmas when I got a Hurom Juicer as a gift. I love it. It makes juicing so easy! Along with a $20 scale I got a Target (a throw back to another time when I was trying to eat more healthy and control portions.) I added the vegetables to the scale and was surprised by the weight. I easily piled on just over 2 pounds of veggies.

Two pounds seems to make around 16 oz of juice. The picture looks like more but the top layer is really foam, the real juice is over 16 oz. I can easily slurp down 16 oz. of juice in a few minutes.

The result of this? I have been eating at least 2-3 pounds of vegetables a day. Good for me? Sure. Haven't seen must change, though honestly I have only been juicing for a few weeks...and I haven't done much else to improve my health such as increase exercise or reduce fatty foods or vanilla lattes. But I can't find a reason eating more vegetables is BAD for me, on the contrary, I can only find things online that indicate more is better.

As a matter of fact, I think it is so good for me, and fun, I just bought a Groupon for a farmers market coop where you buy in and get fresh, organic vegetables every two weeks. You can get 30 or 50 pound bins that last two weeks. I'm starting off with the 30 bin amount. I'm pretty excited about it, I can't wait to see what I get and what makes good juice!
If you want to try the juice I made, here is a list of what I used:

4 carrots
1/2 cucumber
1/2 lemon
3-4 leaves of kale
Big handful of spinach
5-7 pieces of pineapple
3-4 large florets of broccoli

Pulp from 2 pounds of vegetables

Friday, January 6, 2012

Shortest List Ever to Maximum Productivity

Have you ever noticed we live by lists? Lists for work, personal growth and improvement, business strategies, etc. Everyone has steps, tricks, ways, ideas, thoughts on how the rest of us can improve our lives. This time of year in particular seems to bring out the "list" people, shelling out their advice to anyone that will listen. And listen we do. 

I was struck today by how many lists I have seen in the last week or so. (I just got a Kindle Fire so I am reading a lot more articles via Pulse.) Here are just a few I saw this week and one oldie but goodie...

6 Steps to Transform Your Body, Shape Magazine

5 Tricks from a Linkin Jedi

5 Ways to Cut Customer Risk

5 Small Steps to Change Your Body Dramatically

Bombshell Hair in 4 Easy Steps 

 Five Ways to Drive Customer Conversions Rates in Your Store

 7 Habits of Highly Effective People

In the honor of January and what I might fondly call List Month, here is my own list, Top 1 Thing to Do in 2012. 

1. Do Something

Shortest list ever! 

I think it really encapsulates the essence of any good list. Want better abs, Do Something! Get off the couch and do something about it. What a way to get out of your horrible job? Do Something about it! Need to improve customer service? Do Something about it! 

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

How to clean reusable straws

My parents got me a juice for Christmas, it's a Hurom and wonderful! I have been juicing almost every day. I bought one of those insulated plastic cups with a plastic straw so I could take my juice on the go. I figured a reusable straw was better than all the disposable straws I use to use.

I was doing fine running water through the straw to clean it until I left juice in the cup for a few hours and food residue was left in the straw. When I ran water through it, nothing happened.

Bits of food left in the straw

I looked up straw brushes on Amazon but zero came up. I wondered, how do people clean these things? I did find a pastry bag brush that seemed like it might work but it was $12 for a set of 6 and I only need one so I didn't order them.

Then I went to Target to see if they had a pastry tube brush. They didn't. They had a turkey baster with a cone shaped brush that looked like it might fit in the tip of the baster...probably would fit in the straw, at $10, I declined and left.

Today it came to me. I just needed something to create a bit of friction, like a piece of fabric. Now how am I going to get a tiny piece of fabric through a straw?!

The same way you pull an inside out spaghetti strap through itself, with a long stick.(sewing trick) I started walking around the house getting my necessary props; hanger, pliers, wire cutters, fleece.

I cut the fleece about an inch thick and at least 6 inches longer than the straw. I cut the "hook" part of the coat hanger off and pulled the cardboard tube off. I was left with a reasonable straight piece of wire with a hook on it where the tube use to be. I used the pliers to straighten out the rest of the wire and cut the extra piece of the hook part off.
Straightened wire
I then cut a tiny hole in the fabric and slipped it over the hook part. I used the pliers to clamp down the hook so the fabric didn't move.

Then I tested it, and it actually fit! Snug but it fits. And snug is really what you want so it cleans the sides.

I ran the water and pulled the fabric back and forth through the straw. After several passes I pulled the metal wire and fabric all the way out and whola! A clean straw!

Here is a video of the process. Sorry for my arm covering the shot at one point, I'm not great at taking video.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Bulk Food and Paper Napkins, Dichotomy?

I was in line today at Whole Foods and watched the lady in front of me as the checker beeped her items through the scanner. She had three large, bags of bulk nuts of various types. They looked like the size of soccer balls, had to have been more than a few pounds. Her total purchase consisted of a bag of sugar, organic of course, three huge bag of nuts and two packages of dinner napkins.

I was standing there impressed the lady remembered the bin codes from the bulk nuts; thinking to myself, man, she must buy a lot of nuts to remember the codes! As I was pondering this thought I glanced down and saw the dinner napkins. And odd purchase to me. Paper dinner napkins don't seem very earth friendly, which I think shoppers at Whole Foods are...for the most part, and they don't really seem to match up with the person I think would buy bulk items.

I say this because, in my opinion, people buy bulk food items for two reasons, cost and reduction of waste. Maybe people buy bulk for quality but as far as I can tell there isn't much difference in quality when it comes to Whole Foods and packaged verses bulk. 

Cost. Bulk items are often less expensive both in price overall and just in the fact a person can buy just what they need. (Ah, the latter also reduces waste!)

Waste. The idea behind bulk is the manufacturer doesn't have to spend money on packaging so they pass that savings onto the customer. The customer then uses a store provided baggie or container.

Stay with me...if these in fact are the two main reasons people buy bulk, and I proport they are, it seems odd to me a person concerned with cost and waste would buy paper dinner napkins, again, basically in bulk. (She purchased two packages.) And these weren't decorative napkins for a dinner party or shower. These were plain white napkins, nice ones but still plain and paper.

If you want a cheap option, go cloth; if you want a "less waste" option, go cloth.  You can buy sale napkins for less than a dollar a piece, or go to Goodwill and buy yourself last seasons perfectly good napkins some Highland Park mom discarded.

I personally don't have paper towels or paper napkins in my house. I only have the occasional random paper napkins some drive through cashier gives me; they never seem to think twice about provided a wad of napkins. I use dish towels and cloth napkins; it's what my parents always did/do and it seems to make sense. I just throw them in the washer and they get washed whenever I do laundry, which is daily since I have sweaty yoga clothes every day.

So the question is, is buying bulk items and paper napkins a dichotomy? 
New Bag Styles