Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Exercise and eating in moderation

Tonight as I write this post it is raining cats and dogs here in NW WI. I am guessing we are getting close to an inch an hour. The storm is situated right over us with thunder and lightning as well. 
We can use the rain, like most of the US, especially to recharge the lake levels and to keep our fire danger low. Despite the bad weather I am able (so far!) to Live Access, via the Internet, my favorite Minnesota Lynx while they battle it out in San Antonio.
I am at our cabin for a few days working on five different articles I hope to submit for publication before the academic year begins. I enjoy research and I enjoy writing and feel lucky to be in a profession where I can do both. I need peace and quiet when I am writing and researching, thus I self-exile myself from my family in the city so I can do both.
I had a great week last week. Once again, I was able to get in some significant miles (86). Most days I try to get my ride in early in the morning. It is usually cool, plus not so windy as it usually gets later in the day. I am getting good at snapping a few pictures while I ride:

The pictures above are of one of the lakes that is close to our home in Minneapolis. I was up super early last Saturday and took some pictures of the sunrise over Lake Harriett. The bike path that I ride on extends from nearby where I live, around a series of lakes, into downtown to Target Field (Twins playground) and off to the Mississippi River and follows Minnehaha Creek. All together this one bike route is over 55 miles in length of urban trails in the city itself (not even counting what is available in St. Paul. So, it is easy and safe for me to access these trails, which I do often during cycling season.

As far as cycling goes, I am starting to increase my mileage per ride in preparation of the Venus de Miles in Boulder, Colorado on September 29. This year the elevation rise will be slightly less than 2,000 (last year it was 4,000). I am riding the 66-mile “calf cramper.” I will get in a 25 and a 40 or so mile rides still this week. 
I remain committed to counting calories. I am entering my fourth week of getting back to this practice. For the most part I consume 1400-1600 calories a day, depending on my bike rides. Anything over 20 miles requires that I eat an additional number of calories. One of the reasons I bike early in the day is that I find I can get out and exercise with just a little something to eat before I go. I usually eat a full breakfast after I return. Later in the day, I find it harder to stick to my calorie budget when I ride. If I cycle later in the day, I always return famished and tend to overeat. So, for me it works to do it early in the morning when I am just starting on my calorie allotment for the day.
It is summer and that means loads of family and friends coming to visit our cabin. I do enjoy cooking, especially in my kitchen at the cabin. Most of our guests tend to be kids so I make recipes that I know they will enjoy. Last weekend I made homemade pizza. The picture below is one of my best ever Margarita pizzas (with fresh basil from our herb garden and tomatoes from the farmers market).

 The kids really enjoyed it!
I also made ice cream sandwiches using a recipe from the Star Tribune. It was very easy and delicious.
See that little piece on the left? That was my ice cream sandwich piece: all of 55 calories. I am getting very good at indulging only a little in the tasty things that I make for others. With the pizza, I also had a sliver that amounted to 125 calories. A sliver is not much, but it was enough for me to move back easily into the variety of foods that I can have. I soooo want to get out of the obesity category this summer!! That motivation keeps me going strong. Yes, I indulge the grandbabies in some treats, but, I am trying to help them learn moderation, something I never learned. Those grandkids eat healthy when they are with me for the most part: lots of green vegetables and fruit. Most of the baked goods including the cookie dough for the ice cream sandwiches are made with whole-wheat flour. I also try to avoid salty snacks for them thus many of the things they eat when they are with me are lower in salt. Not everything, but most. 
How about you: are you learning to eat your favorite foods in moderation and count calories or are you just avoiding them all together??
I hope you are all having a great week. Stay strong! TTFN,


  1. I am so happy things are going great for you. I hope you get your papers did with and than can enjoy another beautiful weekend. That storm last night just missed up. We got some rain and wind and lots of thunder and lightening but nothing bad. Glad to hear you are safe.
    Take care Michele and have a great and rewarding day.

  2. We could use some rain, but I prefer to forego the storms. You are really challenging yourself with the biking! I think it's great that you are teaching your grandchildren about healthy living. I'm sure you are a great role model, with the biking and healthy eating.

  3. LOVE those lake sunrises!! Gorgeous!! And great mileage!!
    Congrats on the great rides!!! Cant wait to hear about the Venus de Miles!

  4. Really enjoyed reading your blog. I love looking at your pictures. I would definetly like to try that pizza. It looks really good.


  5. Love your blog, Michele! I am also trying to write, and I sometimes think I need an office. Writing at home is not easy, with the phone and other interruptions. And then there is that "thing" about being in the house and seeing all of the things that need doing. Sometimes it keeps me from writing, because I can easily get distracted. Yes, I think I need a small office away from home. Love the photos! Take care... You're doing so well!

  6. How glorious to be able to eat what you are serving in portions that are good for you. I can't do that. I want to. I tell myself that I can then reality strikes. I do better just saying to myself that I cannot do what is normal - or that it is just not going to be MY normal.

    I love that last pic of you mid-ride. You look... happy and healthy.

  7. I am reading a book you will really love. It's by Jo Robinson, called Eating on the Wild Side: The Missing Link to Optimum Health. I heard an interview with her on Fresh Air and was compelled to buy the book. "A radical new way to select and prepare foods to reclaim the nutrients and flavor we've lost," and based on a ton of food science research over the past 10 years. I highly recommend the book. It is absolutely fascinating reading. Why are some apples better for us than others? Which greens have the most nutrients? Read and find out!

  8. I'm now using the old WW points system, Michele, and I'm loving it. It seems to make eating with portion control in mind a whole lot easier. I'm so glad this has worked for you, and it's the lifestyle I want for myself.

    On another note, I will be in the Netherlands for three days in the fall. Maybe you can tell me what we should see while there.

  9. You show great discipline. I was in the middle of a great run until my family came in from out of town...and it was back to old times for a few days. But I'm back on track again. Whew.

    I can usually get around things like the pizza temptation if there is something healthy to fill my plate with first, like a big salad, with a slice on the side.