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Just Keep Swimming, Just Keep Swimming

September 15, 2010

Allow me to tell you about my new love affair with swimming laps.

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I housesat for my boss not too long ago, and one of the perks  (other than robbing his tomato plant of its delicious red orbs) was getting to use his pool. I was having a long, stressful couple of weeks at work with not much time to work out. So I started bringing a bathing suit and towel to work and stopping by his house after. I’d water the plants, wrestle with his cat for a bit (and cross my fingers that my allergies wouldn’t flare up after 5 minutes of playtime), and then I went for a dip. What. A. Workout. I swam 20 laps and almost fell over when I got out. It took less than half the time I usually spend at the gym– and I can count on one hand the times I’ve left the gym feeling that spent.

My point? We’ll do it in my favorite style– bullet-point:

Top 5 Reasons Why Swimming Should Be Part of Your Workout

5. It’s easy on your joints and muscles. Knee hurting from your run? Swim. Sore shoulders from all that strength training? Swim.

4. It works every muscle in your body. You’re paddling/doing strokes with your arms, chest, and back. You’re kicking with your legs. You’re using your core to stay balanced and to move those limbs faster.

3. Swim a lap, and tell me how fast you’re breathing. Yeah… that’s cardio. While you’re strength training. I think they call that two birds, one stone.

2. Chances are, you already have a bathing suit. And I hope you own a towel. That’s all you need.

1. You don’t even need to swim. Get into the deep end and tread water for a few minutes. Yeah… you feel the burn, don’t you?

So you’re probably thinking, “Yeah, that’s nice, but where I live, you can swim outdoors for maybe 3 months out of the year.” I get it, I get it. I myself can’t swim in anything below 75. But if you’re currently in the market for a gym membership, a pool should be part of your search.  Mine has one that’s indoors and heated– and as long as they aren’t having an AquaFit class, it’s open for everyone to use. And if you’re in college, chances are your school has a pool that’s open for general use.

Now the eats!

Since I’m meeting my trainer after work today, my morning was a welcomed later start. That meant I got to choose whether to eat at work OR at home. I chose home, of course. This morning I had a fall-inspired smoothie on the brain.

Good morning, Señor Oster. Hope you’re ready to do some work.


Coffee was some Dunkin Donuts Dark with cinnamon thrown in with the grounds. I tried it with 1/2 teaspoon of Stevia instead of the usual 1/2 a Splenda packet. I’m a fan!

Maple Punkin’* & Oaty Banana Smoothie

  • 1/2 banana, chopped and frozen overnight
  • 1/2 c canned pumpkin (NOT pumpkin pie filling)
  • 1 capful maple extract
  • 1/2 cup oatmeal, cooked (I made it the night before and refrigerated it)
  • 6 ice cubes
  • 1/2 c almond milk
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla whey protein powder (use rice, hemp, or soy protein to make it vegan)

*My mom used to call my brother and me this when we were little. 🙂

I’m probably going to fail at two things now– finding a way to make my lunch appetizing and trying to convince you it was. But I promise it tasted great!

I tweaked a recipe from Healthy Tipping Point and made savory oatmeal for lunch.

The last of my pluots. 😦

Savory Vegetarian Oatmeal, ala Healthy Tipping Point

  • 1/2 c oatmeal, cooked in 1 c water
  • 1/3-1/2 c mixed frozen vegetables, nuked separately from the oats
  • 1 oz feta cheese (about the size of an old-school pager)
  • 1/3 c black beans, drained (don’t rinse! the leftover juices adds to the flavor
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 tablespoon guacamole for a topping

After cooking the oats and nuking the veggies, mix all the ingredients except the guacamole. Spread the guac on top for a little extra kick. I bought the spicy kind from–where else?– Trader Joe’s.

I don’t know about you, but when I work out, my stomach has to be nearly empty. Otherwise, I get a terrible stitch in my side, or worse… I get sick. So tonight’s dinner got eaten extra early, and it’s a little lighter to provide for a small post-workout protein boost (mixing a scoop of protein powder with a cup of almond milk is a good one).

Another piece of the waning sprouted wheatberry loaf, topped with some almond butter and raspberry preserves– small, but hearty and filling.

So here’s a request from me:

What do you want to hear about?

What health topics interest you?

What workouts have you wanted to try?

What do you struggle with?

What food do you wish could be made healthier?

Leave your answers in the comments section… I’d love to hear your thoughts!

2 Comments leave one →
  1. Abbe permalink
    September 16, 2010 5:54 am

    So here’s what I want to know…I’m in the same situation you were. I gained about 20-25 lbs since high school and just blamed it on “growing into my womanly body” I still workout and definitely don’t eat as healthy as I could but try to keep it clean-ish. I’m interested as to how you did it. How often do you workout? How often do you have a cocktail, and when you do, what do you drink? I’m going to experiment making bread this weekend so my fingers are crossed!
    PS: I know I’ve said this before but the blog is GREAT!! thanks for sharing!

    • September 16, 2010 10:40 am

      Yay! You’re my first comment. Your prize is… a whole page dedicated to your answer. 🙂
      No, really, though. I’ve been thinking about making permanent page for the menu up top that explains the guidelines I follow for eating, exercising, drinking, etc. It might not get done today, but it should be done by tomorrow.

      And thanks! I’m so glad you like it!

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