Saturday, February 23, 2013

Snow and exercise

Greetings to You From A Snowy Minnesota (again!),
Lately I have heard fellow Minnesotans complaining about our long winter. Not me. Not by a long shot. As a matter of fact, I hope the snow lasts at least another month (doubt that it will) because I am finally in my rhythm of cross-country skiing. It makes my heart and my body happy to be out on those skies with nothing but beautiful winter, mother nature and myself. Generally, except for a far of snow mobile or occasion car, it is quiet and majestic where I ski at our cabin. I find cross-country skiing as restorative for me spiritually, emotionally and physically as biking. Endomondo tells me that I have skied 36 miles so far this winter. I hope I can get in at least another 15 to go over 50 miles for the winter. The picture above is my long drive way at our cabin. We had so much snow this past week that I decided to ski on the plowed drive rather than make new trails in a foot of snow (Yes, that is basically impossible!). 

Cycling season is still in the distance. I was lucky to get in a number of miles this winter in the Netherlands making my total so far about 75. I am back to riding on my trainer. I am doing only about 15 minutes at a time. Last year was the first time I used a trainer and I HATED it. But, this year, something is different with me and maybe even in my overall condition. I do not hate it nor do I loathe getting on it. As a matter of fact, I enjoy getting on it, because I know that cycling season is on the horizon.I am planning on working up to about a 30-40 minute trainer ride 3-4 times a week. By the end of March I should be able to start riding one of my bicycles although probably not my good road bike until mid April. 

I am deeply committed to shedding my next 20 pounds this year. I have been stuck at 40 pounds off for over a year and a half. I can finally say that I have found a rhythm again after being gone most of January. I’m staying within 1500 calories a day for the most part. My staples are a yogurt smoothie and a large salad every single day. There is more, but right now those two are keys to my success. I also have learned that for me planning is key. I rarely leave the house for work, meetings or even just hanging out with the fam without taking something that I can eat as a snack if I get hungry. Without planning it is just too tempting to eat foods that are processed and high in sugar. 

Finally, I want to share with you pictures of the lovely ice rinks that are near my home in Minneapolis. Hockey is a huge sport here. Most parks have an outdoor sheet of ice for recreational skaters and a regulation size hockey rink for league and pick up games. This one is even lit up at night.

 How about you: have you grown weary of winter?

Take good care of yourself. Stay strong and TTFN,

Monday, February 11, 2013

Skiing in the city!

Snowy Day Greetings from Minnesota, Our snow fall was not as significant this past weekend as it was on the East Coast: 6-10 inches in most locations throughout the state. As a matter of fact, late falling snow on Sunday evening and Monday morning made for some ideal cross country skiing conditions. This morning I was up early and wanted to get some exercise in before heading to work. Fetched my skies and thought I would walk down to one of the near by lakes in my Minneapolis neighborhood. No need to walk. Once I got outside I realized I could just ski on the snow covered streets around the neighborhood. That is exactly what I did 1.65 miles of loops around the streets by my house. A magical way to start the day, skiing by the light of street lights in my own neighborhood! Lovely. Here is my route:
I had a good week last week with eating and exercise. I skied about 14 miles and walked 3. No biking. Too snowy. Eating was good too, not great but definitely good. Have a great week everyone. Thanks for stopping by. Stay strong! Michele

Wednesday, February 6, 2013


January has  come and gone. We were away for two weeks in early January to visit family in the Netherlands. Toward the end  of the month we went back because my father in law passed away. He had a long life of 87 years. They do things differently in the Netherlands with funerals and visitations. Everything was at the home of my husband's sister. Everyday we received  visitors from the village at  her home. It was very nice to connect with so many people in an unhurried manner. 

He was a small farmer of bulbs, mainly tulips, and other vegetables during his working years. The wreath below was very fitting for a long time "tunider" who loved planting his veggies every spring.
He employed many young nephews and village youth during their teens to help with the farm. Many of those youth are now in their 40s and 50s now, but remember his kindness and generosity when they worked for him. They also talked about how pivotal it was for them to be outdoors, in the quiet, with opportunities to run, play and swim in the great expanse of country space rather than the constrains of the city. Up to his last days he was preparing his greenhouse for spring planting of potatoes and carrots.
 The view from his land and into the village.
The boat above is what he used to transport his farming supplies to the fields farther away. I remember the sound of all those diesel engines starting up at 6am sharp in the summer. He left a legacy and will be missed by many.

I am slowly getting back into my routine, including exercise and healthy eating. While in Holland, I ate as best as was possible and exercised some by walking. I even rented a bike over the last couple of days and was able to meander through the old town of Hoorn on the old Zuider Zee.

It was lovely to be back on a bike.

It is very snowy here in the upper Midwest. I will walk again today. I look toward to getting my cross country skies out and even riding on my trainer. 

De groetjes and stay strong,