Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Kind of a big deal....

BIG NEWS.........

My very beautiful sister and brother-in-law's wedding is featured on Style me pretty!!!

Click the link to check out her story!!

Pam and Troy did an awesome job at making every detail super personal and I love looking at the pics which actually do the little details justice.

P.S.  That's one good looking matron of honor.....

Sunday, February 10, 2013

My favorite apps - health edition

We're now almost 1/2 way into February and I thought something different might be in order - just in case you're struggling on those New Year's resolutions - I thought I'd share some of my favorite health related apps.

I really think apps helped totally change my fitness routine...actually, let's be real here - they helped me start a fitness routine.  There's something to be said for having something tangible to track progress...but maybe that's just my type A personality.  I'm doing a competition at work with some co-workers and it's really inspired my competitive soul.  Here's what I've been using to help keep myself accountable -

1.  Ease into 10-K

This was the VERY first thing that got me started and something I've stuck with today.  Back in October 2010, when I decided to make a change - I started the couch-to-5k program, as described here.  I can't say enough good things about it - I am absolutely NOT one of those people who just "love to run."  It's still a chore for me most days - but this program made it manageable and I started feeling accomplished.  After completing the couch-to-5k, I downloaded the Ease to 10-K app.

You can build each day and even today, I'm still a big believer in the run/walk - it's great to get your heart rate up and somehow breaks up the monotony - gives me something else to focus on by having short spurts. I don't really stick to the program so much anymore, but I like having something in my ear that tells me when to walk/run/when I'm half way done, etc..I usually just pick a day based on how much time I have, how far I want to go, how I'm feeling.

2.  iMapMyRun  

On the weekends, I try to get outside to run and get out of the gym - but it was frustrating to me to not be able to tell how far I had run - I thought about getting one of those fancy GPS watches, but low and behold - there's an app that does it for free!  I've actually found this to be pretty accurate - I've run certain marked courses and checked the mileage against this app - it was usually within .05 miles!  

This app uses a GPS and you can set it to give you cues in your ear about your pace however often you would like.  It will also keep track of your splits however you set it (I do by the mile) - you can tell I get slower by each mile!  :)

It's not all about running though - I really started seeing better results when I mixed in some form of strength training a few times a week.  Usually, I'll do a cardio warm-up and pick a program from NTC - there are several "Get Focused" 15 minute exercises.  Again - it's like having a personal trainer in your ear telling you how long and what the best form looks like.  There are also longer programs (30 minutes or 45 minutes) that incorporate a full body workout.  You can also watch videos of what the exercises are supposed to look like.

This is similar to Nike Training Club, but I'll also mix it up with this app - there is a lot of variety of what you can do with this one.  You can even create your own workouts (which I've also used to create custom intervals for run/walk).  

There's also a "shake" feature - you can lock either the amount of time, the part of your body or the intensity and it will find workouts for you.

I first started using this app just to understand my eating habits - see what I was doing that was totally worth the splurge (chocolate, Moe's Southwest Grill and wine) and figured out there were a few things (soft drinks in particular) where I wasn't getting enough bang for the calorie/sugar/fat buck.

This app has a scanner to scan barcodes, you can create recipes by adding all the ingredients as you cook/prepare a meal and save them, etc.  It also has a ton of restaurants already included - assuming the restaurant posts its nutrition facts.  I will go through off and on periods of using this - I have gotten to a point where I generally know what to eat now to maintain, but go back to using this when I am feeling a little uninspired.  There's something about having to add in those extra snacks during the day that makes me a little less willing to splurge..It also tracks net calories, so it's even more encouragement to go to the gym - as every calorie I burn helps!  I'll also take a look on a weekly basis to see it I'm getting the right amount of the good stuff (fiber, protein, nutrients) or too much of the bad (fat, carbs, sugar).

6.  Menu Planner

I know some people (cough...Janet...cough) can just whip together a meal with what's on hand, but for me - I have to plan or we'd be eating take-out every night...and eating take out every night sure makes for a lot of red bars on the My Fitness Pal app.  I'll do a meal plan on Sundays based on what our schedule looks like for the week - what nights I know we need to eat quick vs. what nights we have plans, etc and I usually will pick about 4 meals that I know we're going to make.


This app lets you import recipes from any website and you can also create recipes manually.  It takes a bit of time to set up, but once you do, it's so nice - your own personal cookbook arranged any way you like it.  Once you add the meals to each date, you can import your grocery list directly from your meal plan - it even sorts it by category (you set it up) - and I have mine arranged in the order of the Publix aisles.

Hope you find these helpful!  Let me know if you give any of them a try!