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Mileage Monday And Unofficial SparkPeople Turkey Track (100,000 Step Challenge – FitBit)

December 2, 2013 Leave a comment

UnOfficialTurkeyTrack100000

(photo credit – http://weyrcat.blogspot.com/)

So, about a month or so after I got my FitBit Flex, SparkPeople came out with their own fitness tracker. It’s not as high-tech as the FitBit, but it’s great for beginners I think. SparkPeople set up a “Turkey Track” challenge for November, where members challenged themselves to walking 100,000 steps for the month of November.

When I got my FitBit, I joined the SparkPeople team “FitBit Users Unite”, and the leaders on that team decided to hold their own challenge. I jumped on board, and racked up a total of 179,885 steps for the month of November. Since I easily went past the 100,000 step mark in mid November I earned the neat little picture you see above. Near the end of November I slowed down with my workouts for various reasons.

That team is holding another challenge for the month of December, so I’m going to be taking part in that one also. I chose a goal of 200,000 steps for the month of December. I should be able to accomplish that, I just need to get back into my exercise routine, and not let things overtake me.

For the last few days the virtual walk site has been yelling at me because I haven’t entered any mileage in for over a week. Tomorrow, I’ll be back at it. I only have two pictures from the site this time around, and those are from over a week ago.

Mile 709.4 (elliptical for 1 mile)                             Mile 710.4 (elliptical for 1 mile)

709.4 Elliptical for 1                710.4 Elliptical for 1

(photo credit – http://exercise.lbl.gov/index.html;jsessionid=1F4E2B8269D80C6DF557FB31D1D6D77B)

Keep moving. I need a good kick in the rear!

One More New Gadget I’ve Come To Love

November 16, 2013 Leave a comment

NutriBullet nutribulletblog.com

(photo credit – nutribulletblog.com)

Seems like I’ve gotten a lot of new gadgets over the last several months, and I love them all. I’ve talked about my new adult trike, my FitBit Flex, and the FitBit Aria scale. Still need to write up reviews on the FitBit gadgets, and I’ll be doing that in the next few weeks. Today though, I want to talk about my new friend in the kitchen. The NutriBullet is awesome. This is more than just a blender. You can put anything into this thing and it will pulverize the heck out of it.

I’m sure most everyone has heard of the VitaMix and the Ninja blenders. Those are super duper blenders, but to be honest, I can do exactly the same thing with the NutriBullet, and for way cheaper. My husband surprised me with the NutriBullet a few months ago, and got it at Bed, Bath & Beyond. Around $95 dollars retail, and he used a 20% off coupon. So, great deal. If I ever have a problem with the blender, I can take it in and exchange it for another one as long as I have the receipt. BB&B are great like that. They don’t care how long you’ve had a product. As long as you keep your receipt, you can take it back.

Anyway, I now have come to enjoy oatmeal. I’ve never been a huge fan of oatmeal, sadly, because I couldn’t get over the texture. It tasted, honestly, like snot. Bleh. Maybe I cooked them wrong, but I couldn’t take it. With the NutriBullet, I put in 1/2 cup of dry oatmeal and use the “milling blade” that comes with the NutriBullet. The milling blade basically turns oats or any other dry ingredient into a fine powder.

Once I have my oats powdered, I then add in about one cup vanilla soy milk (Silk), one full banana (fresh or frozen), and sometimes I add in some peanut butter. Put on the “extraction blade” and let her rip. Blend it for about 30 to 45 seconds and you’re good to go. It is a bit of a thick smoothie, so it takes some getting used to. You can of course add in whatever fruit you want. The other day I used a medium apple, and also added about a teaspoon of cinnamon. Yum.

So I now have a way to enjoy oatmeal. That’s not the only thing I’ve come to enjoy because of the NutriBullet. I also now enjoy Greek Yogurt. Can’t stand the stuff plain, but add it into the blender with a bunch of fruit, and it’s great! Kale also. I’ve added kale with frozen raspberries, a banana, and just plain water, and that’s a great snack.

I mainly use the NutriBullet for my afternoon snack, although I’m using it more now. I have the oatmeal shake a few times a week, and then I’ll have green smoothie with a sandwich for lunch. Then my afternoon smoothie. Yum, yum, yum.

And it’s super easy to clean too! Just rinse off the blade and you’re pretty much done. Once I’m done with my smoothie, I like to fill up the cup 1/3 of the way with water, add a little dish soap, put the blade on, and blend for 10 seconds.

Awesome little gadget if you like smoothies. It is small, so you make one smoothie at a time. But it’s so fast, and you get three cups with the blender (two small cups, and one tall cup), that you can make multiple smoothies in no time.

I see no reason for buying one of the over-priced blenders, when the NutriBullet does exactly the same thing. You can see some videos on YouTube that show the proof. I’ve even made tuna salad with it. Hehehe. Highly recommended by me!

Great way to make sure I keep moving!

Results From Leslie Sansone’s October Challenge

November 2, 2013 Leave a comment

SnoopyYippee-Lg

(photo credit – hellaheaven-ana.blogspot.com)

I am quite pleased with my results from Leslie Sansone’s October challenge. I followed the workout schedule pretty well. I did take a few days off here and there, but for the most part, I kept moving every day. I used the elliptical, Leslie Sansone DVDs and videos, and my adult trike.

I also received an early birthday gift…the FitBit Aria (scale). I’d been mulling that over for a while, and the husband ended up getting it for me last week. I’ve only used it a few times, but so far, I think it’s pretty accurate. I started the challenge off using my needle scale, and my weight was at 140 (close as I can tell)). I weighed in on November 1 and the Aria said I was 137.5. So, woohoo for me. I also weighed in this morning, and it said 136.6.

I plan to weigh myself daily for now, to see how much the new scale fluctuates. But I do like seeing the “3” in my weight again instead of the “4”. I think the combination of my elliptical, the DVDs, the Trike, and my FitBit Flex has had a great deal of impact on my activity level lately. I’m aiming for 10,000 steps a day, and it’s tough. I’ve made that goal a few times, and will keep trying.

I’m also starting to march in place as I watch certain shows. The Biggest Loser being one of them. I watch it on demand, and can’t fast forward the commercials, so I march in place. I usually take breaks during the commercials, to check my step count on my FitBit app, and to see who all I passed along the way. It’s fun to try and beat people’s step counts.

I hope Leslie Sansone does another of these challenges again. I enjoy them! Keep moving!

Mileage Monday

September 23, 2013 Leave a comment

Still loving my FitBit Flex! It’s helping me to stay moving. I check my FitBit dashboard periodically throughout the day and watch those steps increase. Great motivator. Plus, I added a few SparkPeople members who also have FitBits to my FitBit friend list, and that’s another good motivator. See how many people I can beat step-wise. Not many. Some are able to get in 20,000 steps a day. How? I have a hard enough time getting 5,000. Right now, my daily goal is 8,000.

Am flying through the virtual walk lately because of my increased activity. Since my last Mileage Monday post, I’ve passed through the cities of Emmalena, KY and Dwarf, KY, both in Knott county. I have about 15.75 miles until I reach Chavies, KY in Perry county. Here a the pictures from the site!

Mile 639.8 (watp for 3.1 miles)                               Mile 640.8 (elliptical for 1 mile)

639.8 Leslie for 3.1                 640.8 Elliptical for 1

Mile 641.8 (elliptical for 1 mile)                               Mile 642.8 (elliptical for 1 mile)

641.8 Elliptical for 1                 642.8 Elliptical for 1

Mile 646.8 (watp for 3.1 miles)                               Mile 648.8 (watp for 2 miles)

646.8 Leslie for 3.1                 648.8 Leslie for 2

What’s motivating you to move more? Have a great week!

FitBit Flex: First Impressions

September 13, 2013 2 comments

FitBit Flex Total   FitBit Flex Wear

(photo credit – Me)

(left from top to bottom and left to right – 2 wrist bands, dongle, FitBit tracker, and USB cable)

(right from left to right – FitBit tracker and my wrist band)

This is not going to be a full review. This is just going to be my first initial impressions. I’ve had my FitBit Flex for a little over two weeks, and so far I love it. The setup on the FitBit website is super easy.

You plug your FitBit device into the USB port and it prompts you to download the desktop dashboard. It asks you to enter your name, age, height, and weight. From there, it syncs your information to the website, and generates basic goals (set up as “tiles”) for you to achieve. Daily step count, daily calorie burn, distance/miles, very active minutes, sleep, badges, and friends. I think those were the original tiles. I also added the weight tile, the calories in versus out tile, and the food plan tile. I’ll go into more detail about the tiles in my full review.

Thoughts on the wrist band. It’s very comfortable. It’s like wearing a watch. It’s very light weight, and the band is adjustable. They send you two wrist bands, a large and a small one. I wear the small band. The FitBit Flex counts steps every time your arm moves, so I had a wild thought the other day. I thought maybe the large wrist band would fit around my ankle. No such luck. So, it’s on my wrist. Some people choose to place the tracker in their sock, or for the ladies,  in their bra. I’ll stick to the wrist.

Charging the FitBit Flex is great. The website FAQ says the Flex should last about five days until it needs to be charged. Mine lasted for eight days, so I am very impressed by that. Charging the device is simple. You plug in the charging cord into a USB port, pop the tracker out of the wrist band, and pop it into the charger. I timed it, and it took about two hours to charge. It’s fully charged when all five lights are lit up. The first four lights popped up in about an hour. That last light took about another hour. Not too bad though. Two hours of charging for eight days usage.

Calorie calculation is interesting. Especially on my elliptical. On SparkPeople. when I enter the calories for a Leslie Sansone video it comes up as light aerobics and is about 230 calories burned. On FtBit, when I look at the time frame that I did the video, it comes up to about 286 calories burned. For my elliptical workout, my machine tells me I burn about 280 calories in 30 minutes. During that time frame on FitBit, it usually comes out to around 180. I believe that’s about right. I’ve always heard that cardio machines overestimate the calories burned. So, I’m trusting FitBit with my calorie burn.

The sleep tracker is awesome. I know I wake up several times during the night, so I was curious as to how this would register. To get the FitBit Flex to go into “sleep tracking” mode, you need to tap it several times until you feel the device vibrate and you see two lights (one on either side) flash. Now you’re in sleep mode. You do the same thing to get it out of sleep mode, just tap it several times until it vibrates.

Each morning I look at the sleep tracker tile on the FitBit website. It tells you how long you were in sleep mode, how many minutes you were restless, and how many times you woke up. I’m not sure how it knows when you actually wake up, probably by how active your arm is. But it is accurate. I tested it a few times. I mentally remembered the times I woke up, and it was there on the tracker in the morning. Wednesday night for example, I was restless for 13 minutes and was awake for three. That’s right. I remember exactly when and why I woke up Wednesday night.

The last thing I’ll talk about is the mobile app and the fact (and I love this) that SparkPeople and FitBit have joined forces. The FitBit mobile app is great. You can check out all of your goals on your smart device. You can also access their food and fitness trackers from the app. Here’s what I love. You can sync your FitBit account with your SparkPeople account. What happens with this, is your active minutes (I’m still not sure which minutes are chosen) from FitBit will sync over your your SparkPeople fitness tracker But, whatever activity you enter on SparkPeople won’t sync over to FitBit. Vice versa with the food trackers. Your SparkPeople food tracker will sync over to FitBit’s, but not the other way around. Fine with me as I have all the food entered on SparkPeople. Plus, if there’s a food that’s not on Spark, I can add it quickly with the bar code reader. My iPod Touch can scan a bar code and the food information will magically appear. FitBit does not have a bar code scanner option.

OK, so these are my first impressions. A little longer than I had intended. but I tend to ramble (at least in writing) when I’ve found something I really enjoy. I’m going to wait another month or so before doing a full review. I may break that review up into parts, we’ll see.

Mileage Monday

September 9, 2013 Leave a comment

I think my FitBit Flex is going to keep me moving. I feel guilty when I log into my FitBit account and see my low step count for the day. Right now, I have a goal of 5,000 steps a day. I might set that a bit higher eventually. Five thousand steps isn’t a lot for the “normal” person, but with someone with cerebral palsy, that’s pretty good.

I exercised five days this past week, and my body feels. it. I took Saturday off, but we ended up walking around Costco for about an hour, and that in itself is exercise for me. Hard floors, lots of people, and a big store can fit the bill for a workout. I did a mile on the elliptical today, and my legs are now tired. I need to make sure I stand up and move around the rest of the day though or else they’ll lock up and be very stiff. Will be on the floor later to stretch it all out too. That helps.

I’ve got five pictures for the last week from the virtual walk site. I have about 4.7 miles to go to reach the town of Emmalena, KY in Knott county. I should easily be able to get there this week. Here are the pictures!

Mile 630.6 (watp for 1 mile)                                      631.6 (Elliptical for 1 mile)

630.6 Leslie for 1                    631.6 Elliptical for 1

Mile 634.6 (watp for 3.1 miles)                                  Mile 635.6 (Elliptical for 1 mile)

634.6 Leslie for 3.1                    635.6 Elliptical for 1

Mile 636.6 (Elliptical for 1 mile)

636.6 Elliptical for 1

(photo credit – http://exercise.lbl.gov/index.html)

I’ll be doing a “first impressions” post on my FitBit Flex sometime this week. I’m still getting used to it and learning about it. But so far, I love it.

Keep moving!

Mileage Monday

September 2, 2013 Leave a comment

Been a while since my last post again. Oops. I actually am still dealing with an achy left shoulder. I haven’t done any strength training for over a month. I think I’m going to try some light exercises maybe today. Or else at least pop in my Pilates DVD. I haven’t done that DVD in years (literally). I should probably do a review on that DVD, even if it is an old one.

Speaking of reviews, I’m planning to do a review in a few months about something I just received. I’ve been wanting a FitBit for years, and my husband surprised me with one last week. I now have a FitBit Flex. I’ve had it less than a week, and I love it so far! Way too early to write up a review on it though. But my first impressions are very positive. I’m now thinking about getting the FitBit scale, which is called Aria. We’ll see though.

On to the mileage part of this post. Since my last entry, I’m passed through the town of Mallie, KY in Knott county. I have about 2 miles until I get to Hindman, KY in Knott county. Here are the latest pictures from the Virtual Walk site.

Mile 624.6 (watp for 1 mile, elliptical for 1 mile)           Mile 625.6 (elliptical for 1 mile)

624.6 Leslie for 1 Elliptical for 1                       625.6 Elliptical for 1

Mile 626.6 (Elliptical for 1 mile)                                     Mile 627.6 (elliptical for 1 mile)

626.6 Elliptical for 1                       627.6 Elliptical for 1

Mile 628.6 (elliptical for 1 mile)                                    Mile 629.6 (elliptical for 1 mile)

628.6 Eliptical for 1                       629.6 Elliptical for 1

(photo credit – Copyright 2006 Lawrence Berkeley Lab)

I want to know what’s going on in this last picture. Lots of cars over there on the left!

Happy Labor Day! Keep moving!