Monday, January 16, 2012

Polar FT60 Heart Rate Monitor

I earned a trophy on my Polar FT60 heart rate monitor! I have had my heart rate monitor for a year now and I love it. I won't work out without it. I did a lot of research before I bought this model and I have to say, I have not been disappointed.
When you first set up your watch, you enter in your height, weight, and activity level. To set up your weekly program, you decide if you want to lose weight, maximize fitness, or improve fitness. The program tells you how long to train for the week and how long to train in each of the 3 heart rate zones. It also keeps track of calories burned for the week and tracks your weight as you go to make adjustments to your programs. I have learned that if I don't hit the goal targets for the week, I won't lose any weight. I always lose weight on the weeks that I hit the goals. You can earn 1 to 3 stars for hitting some of your goals or a trophy if you hit 100%. This simple star program motivates me to get out of bed and run on the treadmill when I know I am close to earning a star or trophy.
I also have the sync cable so I can download the data from my workouts. Polar has a really nice website with many awesome features.
If you are looking for exercise motivation and guidance on improving your fitness, I would recommend this heart rate monitor.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

New Lifestyle

We are still loving our fruits and vegetables! So far, we have been on our new diet for just over a month and decided that this will be a permanent lifestyle change for us. Cheat day definitely helps makes it all possible. It would be sad to permanently say goodbye to some of our favorite foods.
We are still steadily losing weight and are feeling better everyday. Chris has lost 25 pounds and I have lost 13.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Results of our New Diet

Well, we have completed 2 weeks on our juice fast. We feel so great that we are going to continue.
Our stats so far are: Chris has lost 14 pounds and 8 inches total (including his chest, waist, thighs, arms and legs.) I have lost 7 pounds and 3 inches total. The numbers are pretty amazing but what is more amazing is how we feel. We actually crave fruits and vegetables now and desire to live a healthier lifestyle.
Our favorite juices include crazy ingredients like fennel (anise), sweet potatoes, beets, kale and swiss chard. We are always surprised that the juices taste good and that we are not hungry throughout the day.
Going forward, we are going to continue juicing, especially on week days. It is actually easier than planning meals. We are planning on having a cheat day once a week where we eat "normal" foods in moderation.
Please comment if you have heard of cheat days or have more information about them. We have read that after 6-8 days of decreased calorie intake, your metabolism begins to slow. Adding the cheat day and spiking the calorie intake helps keep your metabolism in check. Supposedly, this spike will lead to quicker weight loss. We also think it helps mentally, if you have a craving, you know you can have it on your cheat day and you won't feel deprived.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Day 3 and I feel Great!

Chris and I started a diet. After being inspired by the documentary “Fat, Sick & Nearly Dead”, we decided to buy a juicer and go for it!

We are using the website for recipes and guidance.

Basically we are on a fruit and vegetable diet. The benefits of the program are to boost the number of fruits and veggies we consume and retrain our brains to crave fruits and vegetables. The reward will hopefully be weight loss.

The day before we started, we weighted and measured ourselves, avoided carbs and sugar, and went shopping for fruits and veggies!

On July 29th, we started a modified Reboot Entry Program. On the program, we can eat or juice fruits and veggies.

Some of the juices we have tried include:

Green Juice (kale, spinach, cucumber, apples and ginger root)

Sunset Blend Juice (white sweet potato, carrot, red bell pepper, beets, apples and an orange)

Blackberry Kiwi Blend (blackberry, kiwi, pineapple, banana, apple )

V28 (beets, carrots, tomatoes, parsley, jalapeno, radishes)

Green Lemonade (apple, spinach, kale, cucumber, lemon)

Tabbouleh Juice (parsley, tomato, red onion. lemon, cucumber, olive oil, salt and pepper)

So far, we have not had a juice that tasted bad. They are all surprisingly good. I have even tried fruits and vegetables that I have never tried before.

We have also made up our own juices.

Chris’s famous recipe - tastes like salsa (tomato, carrots, red onion, lime, spinach, cilantro, romaine heart leaves)

Results to come....

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Leo's Lion Cut

It's been our yearly tradition to give our cat Leo a lion cut for the summer. If you've seen him in person, I don't have to say why. We usually do this around the end of June, but this summer has been pretty mild so we waited until the middle of July. Here's a quick before and after.



He seems pretty happy about it. Our other cat, Daisy, is finally getting used to it.

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Public Transit

I guess I have been stuck up for years! I have lived along a UTA bus route for 6 years and have never ridden until now. I am really spoiled too, the bus stop is right outside my front door! Maybe, I have not ridden before because I have had a couple of bad experiences on public transportation. My first experience in Kansas City was a doozie, trust me, you don't want the details!

I have been riding UTA to work now for a couple of months, it has been great! The benefits are so great that I feel silly for not riding before now!

  • I am saving money and wear & tear on my new car.
  • I can play on Facebook, catch up on my podcasts, talk on the phone, listen to music, email, and play games (Bejeweled 2 I am trying to beat Kelly's score)- all things that I don't normally have time for. As long as my iPhone battery is charged, I am happy.
  • It is great because I can also mentally prepare for work or unwind afterward. (Teaching can sometimes take a lot out of you!)
  • I don't have to fight traffic.
  • I can even take a nap!

My trek takes me about an hour, I get on the bus in Bountiful and ride until I get to the University, I then catch TRAX up to the hospital. It is not bad at all. It does not take me much longer than driving, especially since I can't even park at the hospital, I have to park on campus and take a shuttle to the hospital!

I do miss driving my new car sometimes, I have a lot of fun with my turbo- well not too much fun!

Since I am now an expert at riding the bus, if anyone needs help or advice, let me know.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Network Attached Storage (NAS)

From time to time, I'll probably have some posts about new gadgets and such. This happens to be the first one. I'll try not to get too technical, but I make no guarantees.

In case you've never heard the term NAS, it stands for Network Attached Storage, which is a computer device for file storage that connects to your network. So, if you are low oo disk space on your computer, or want a backup copy of your files, you can copy them to/from the NAS whenever you please.

We've had a SimpleShare 500GB system that has served us well for a couple of years, but it was starting to get full (from all of our music and many of our movies) and we were risking data loss if it ever broke or the hard disk within the unit failed. It was time to look into other options. What we settled on was a Synology CS407 with four 1TB hard drives, and we've been very pleased with it so far.

The CS407 has 4 bays for hard disks (SATA II), and supports RAID 5, which basically means if one disk fails you haven't lost any data. You simply replace that disk and the data gets copied automatically from the other disks. There is a price to be paid for this, however, so we end up being able to use around 2.7 TB of the full 4 TB capacity of our drives. That is definitely worth the cost to help avoid data loss.

In addition to its file serving capabilities, the CS407 also has the ability to stream media. It streams music via iTunes, and can also stream movies, photos, and music to our PlayStation 3. So, when we are cleaning the house, we can turn on the PS3 and crank up the tunes on our sound system. We've found that we can even browse through our photos while listening to music via the PS3 and the CS407 doesn't miss a beat. Streaming high-quality video (h.264) to the PS3 is pretty choppy (802.11g wireless), but streaming the same video to our Macs works flawlessly (802.11n wireless).

The unit can also serve files over the internet so that you can access them from any computer (via HTTP or HTTPS), but we're not planning to make use of that feature at the moment.

While it is always possible to set up an old computer as a NAS, nothing can compare to the ease of setup and low maintenance that specially built units like the CS407 can offer. It also uses much less power than a desktop computer. I definitely can recommend it if you are willing to spend the extra money.