Saturday, December 27, 2008

Whew! The FIRM WAVE is Tough!

I've been working out with the FIRM WAVE for a little over two months. At first I started working out once or twice a week. A huge improvement from never working out. This week I've bumped up my exercise level again, and I'm shooting for five times a week. And the workouts are getting tougher. I think there are two reasons for this:

  1. I know the routines now, so I can really apply myself and use the maximum weight with more intensity.
  2. Working out two days in a row is much more challenging than working out, resting for three days and working out again.
I decided to take a month to go through the WAVE Deluxe Rotation. I'm expecting to see great results and feel comfortable in my pants again (especially since I won't be buying more chocolate chips).

Friday, December 26, 2008

The FIRM WAVE: Rock Solid Buns Review

Christmas Wishes- Blog Them and They Will Come True
Several of my Christmas wishes came true. I received the FIRM WAVE Speed Slimming Workout Deluxe Upgrade from the distributors of the FIRM, GAIAM. Thank you! I really needed the upgrade.

I Started Working Out and My Pants Got Tight
When I started working out, I noticed my pants getting tighter. This has happened in the past as my muscles started developing and my body reshaped. I didn't worry about it. I knew if I kept working out, things would start getting looser. But then I was confronted by the scale at the doctor's office. There was no denying I had gained at least 10 pounds since I started working out! How did it happen? I couldn't figure it out--until I looked at my stash of chocolate chips. Remember how I bought eight bags two weeks ago? Only one and a half bags have survived. I was shocked. How did I eat that many without realizing it?

Tonight, I attacked the new Rock Solid workouts with determination and enthusiasm. I had to burn off those chocolate chips (although my husband caught me with a bowl of granola and chocolate chips 30 minutes before I worked out. I stopped stuffing my face and put them aside for later. I mean, another day.)

Rock Solid Buns with Alison Davis-McClain
I really enjoyed Rock Solid Buns with Alison Davis-McClain. It was a nice combination of footwork, standing exercises, and floor work. It incorporated the WAVE and resistance bands in ways that challenged my balance and my muscles. Alison always throws in challenging variations of the standard exercises, which I like. I have a hard time learning complicated footwork, so simply adding a new level to dips and lunges and squats is great for me.

What I Liked
I've worked out with resistance bands before and I didn't like it. They seemed awkward and ineffective. Not this time. Alison used the bands in exercises that worked. And the slots in the WAVE worked perfectly for anchoring the bands and keeping them in position. And the instability of the WAVE made my whole body work to keep my balance, not just the muscles targeted by the band. I could actually getting into band work using this tool.

The final stretch incorporated yoga stretches that felt great.

What I Didn't Like
The inner thigh burn during the side lunge to the top of the WAVE sequence. Ouch! I've never felt that side lunges did that much for me. Until now. Alison did the lunges unto the top of the WAVE and then made you pull yourself to a standing position on the top of the WAVE. Now that's a side lunge that works!

Again, the camera work wasn't great. And in the close up shots the faces are fuzzy. This is a problem in all the WAVE videos by the FIRM.

More Info on the Firm's Wave:
The WAVE by the FIRM - I'm Feeling the Pain
I Tried the Firm Wave- A Review of the FIRM WAVE
More on the new FIRM Wave
The New FIRM Wave Arrived
The New FIRM Wave - I Bought It
The FIRM Wave - Is it a Gimmick, or Lots of Fun?

Monday, December 22, 2008

Just for the Fun of It

I saw this video on Good Mom/Bad Mom . Enjoy!

Saturday, December 20, 2008

How to find your non-emergency emergency number

In my post about the great flat tire incident, I mentioned calling the local non-emergency emergency number. Yes, there is such a thing as a "non-emergency emergency number." This number is often answered by 911 dispatch, but it is answered at a different priority level. By calling this number you won't be taking resources away from someone who was shot or is having a heart

Non-emergency emergency numbers are not universal, like 911. You can find the number by Googling "non-emergency emergency number" and then your city. Or go to your municipality's website. If you still can't find it, call your local police station.

Why is it important to have this number programmed into your cell phone?

  1. You have a flat tire on the side of the highway and need highway assistance.
  2. Someone is lurking around your neighborhood. They are not immediately threatening, but you want it checked out.
  3. Random things happen every day that aren't emergency-emergencies, but they are non-emergency emergencies. Get it?

Sunday, December 14, 2008

What I Want for Christmas: More Firm Wave DVDs, a Trench Coat, a Laptop....

My wonderful husband asked me to make a list of things I want for Christmas. Of course, I want the big ticket items, like a new laptop and wireless internet connectivity so I can blog from any room in the house. I could even blog in the same room as him while he plays Halo 3 on his new Xbox 360 I gave him for his birthday. Wouldn't that be romantic?

And I would love to get the Internet on my Treo. Think of all the tweeting and blogging I could do then! And constant connection to Facebook. How great.

And I found a stunning monochromatic, black and white trench coat at The Limited. It looks really cute on me. (Size Medium)

Of course, I would love more workout DVDs for the FIRM WAVE. I'm having fun with the two WAVE workouts I have, but I would also like the WAVE Speed Slimming System Deluxe System with Rock Solid Abs and Rock Solid Buns. The third WAVE workout I would like is Rock Solid Cardio.

I don't know how he's going to find this for me, but about a month ago I dreamed I was on vacation and went to the resort gift shop. I found the most amazing pair of deep blue pinstripe trouser jeans. If he can find my dream jeans, I'll be ecstatic.

Oh, and if it's a tight year, I would love a comfy, soft sweatshirt. I realized yesterday that the last time I bought a sweatshirt was (gulp) 14 years ago!

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

The Sheep in the Drain - Or Imaginary Bravery

My 2 1/2 year old daughter believes that bears use the potty in our house. Occasionally, she waits to use the toilet until the bear finishes going. She even wipes the bear's bottom for him before taking her turn on the toilet.

And now, sheep live in the bathtub drain. Not just one sheep, but lots of sheep. Today, when she pulled the plug, sheep came crawling out. She fearfully slid to the back of the tub. I wasn't sure what to do. Pretend with her that the sheep were scary? Tell her she was silly? Ask her why she wasn't afraid of the potty-trained bear?

I decided to help her learn bravery by controlling her imaginary world. I held her hand and helped her weave her way between sheep to pull the plug in the tub. Then she surprised me. She sat on a sheep and "Squashed it!" Those pesky bathtub sheep won't bother her again.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Food Allergy Drama and Flat Tires

Yesterday I made a trip to the local food allergy store, Navan Foods. I decided to stock up on foods instead of wasting gas every two weeks. Plus, I wanted to make sure I would never run out of my chocolate fix, Enjoy Life Chocolate Chips. I bought eight bags. But then I moved on to the alternative flour section and realized that most of the flours I was using were processed in the same facility with peanuts and tree nuts. I didn't worry to much about it when I was the only one with a peanut allergy. But now that I have to watch my daughter's food, too. I really need to get rid of the foods that have a potential to be contaminated with nuts. But I have allergies to dairy, nuts, soy, wheat, eggs, and yeast. My options are so limited, it was crushing to realize I was going to have to find a new distributor of alternative flour...and probably special order it. I wanted to cry, but instead, I shoved a few handfuls of allergy-free chocolate chips in my mouth and headed home on the highway.

Then my tire blew out. On the highway. Weirdly, I handled it with complete composure and calm. My internal allergy tears disappeared. I called roadside assistance and the state highway patrol. Even when roadside assistance told me they couldn't change my tire for me because my location was too dangerous, I didn't worry. I did buckle my seat belt while I waited in my parked car, though. If I got hit, I was going to be strapped in a prepared! Eventually, the highway patrol roadside assistance arrived, my tire was changed, and I got home with only half of the chocolate chip bag eaten.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Chocolate Mochi is Curiously Chewy and Addictive

I've been trying new food since the discovery of my multiple, life-changing, food allergies. I recently discovered a recipe for easy, microwave Chocolate Mochi. It only has four ingredients, sweet rice, cocoa, water, and sugar. Since those all fit into my diet and my online search for information on mochi revealed that it is a Japanese favorite, I decided to give it a try.

The recipe wasn't particularly difficult, except that the cooked rice mixture is extremely sticky and gummy. It's like rubber cement. Appetizing, right? Just be warned, don't use a hand-held electric mixer to stir the concoction. It sucked the mochi right up into its electric motor. I think it might be the end of my tiny mixer. And, don't put the extra mixture from the bowls down the sink. It'll clog your drain faster than congealed bacon grease.

But, once you struggle through the rubber cement stage, it's very simple. And the end result is truly unique. Kind of like a chewy, gummy, chocolate jello cake. I rolled some of mine in a cinnamon, cocoa and sugar mixture. Mmmm...

So, if you are brave enough to try making mochi, here's the recipe I used from Koda Farms.

Cocoa Mochi (Easy Microwave Version)

A traditional Japanese confection, dense and chewy in texture. This microwave version is contemporarily flavored with cocoa.

2 tbs unsweetened cocoa powder
2 cups sugar
1 cup water
1 box (1#) Mochiko Blue Star Brand Sweet Rice Flour
3 cups water
extra cocoa powder for dusting

In medium saucepan, using a whisk, combine sugar and cocoa together very thoroughly. Then add 1 cup water and mix well. Heat syrup over medium high, stirring until sugar is dissolved. Set aside.
Using a whisk, thoroughly mix flour and 3 cups water in a large microwavable bowl until smooth. Cover and microwave 5 minutes on high. Remove from oven and using a large spoon, mix thoroughly. Return to microwave, uncovered, and cook an additional 5 minutes on high.

Remove from microwave oven. Add cocoa syrup and mix thoroughly.

Pour mixture into a 9 x 13 inch nonstick baking pan lightly coated with nonstick cooking spray. Let mochi cool overnight or until firm.

Dust top with cocoa powder and invert contents onto a cutting board dusted with cocoa powder (before inverting pan, gently pull the mochi along the pan sides free).

Cut mochi into small pieces and dust all surfaces in cocoa powder.

Store in airtight container and refrigerate.