Snow Problem

This is the view out my window today:

It’s been snow storming all day. We’re could get up to 20 cm (~9 inches). Sooo not looking forward to shovelling out of my driveway to get to the gym before work tomorrow! I’m contemplating going out and doing some of it later tonight. I hate shovelling. With every ounce of my being,

Anyways, so last night Chris and I found a great website called DSLR Tips. It seriously has everything you could want to know about the settings and options on an SLR camera. As you know, I got a Canon Rebel XS for Christmas. I know a little bit about photography from taking photojournalism and broadcast television in school, but I still have a lot to learn!

So after watching the videos last night I started playing around with my aperture settings. Here it is at F3.5…


And F22…


Neat eh?? I also learned about taking cool action shots, scenic photos and finally figured out my manual focus. (I’m not very good at reading manuals, I’m more of a “experiment till I figure it out” person)

So far I have no immediate plans to get a new lens, because I think the one I have now (18-55mm) is good enough for my current purposes. However, I want to get one of those little table-top tripods asap, and might start looking into getting a detachable strobe flash. Fun!! :D

Okay, now I’ll get to the food photos I took with said camera (which reminds me, I should really put that battery back into my smoke alarm…).

One notable thing from yesterday was the Primal Strip that Deb gave me.


It’s meatless beef jerky made out of seitan. I’ve never had this before and I was so excited to try it! Definitely a good pick on Deb’s part ;)

I really liked it. I ate it plain, but wished I had some crackers and cheese to pair it with. Also, now I really want to try real beef jerky again – I haven’t had it since I was a kid!

Speaking of Deb, I attempted a bowl of protein pimped oatbran for breakfast.

There’s a wonderful pictorial of what to do if you click on the above link. Basically, you mix egg whites till they puff up,and add them to your oatbran to make it uber fluffy. I don’t have a hand or stand mixer, so I attempted to puff my egg whites using an immersion blender. Didn’t go so well. I got a few big bubbles, but it mostly just increased in volume a little. No major pouffage :(

The bowl was still mega delicious though, and the egg whites did make for a more voluminous bowl. I also stirred in some of Emily’s dried apples and topped it with almond butter and white chocolate chips. 

After finally getting my Google Reader down to zero, I braved the winter storm for an awesome lifting workout. I actually pre-planned this one before leaving. I wanted to make it a full-body workout, and alternated my sets with ab moves a la Janetha ;)

20 minutes “MIIT” (medium intensity intervals) on the elliptical
3 min @ level 10
2 min @ level 12
1 min @ level 16
2 min @ level 13
1 min @ level 17
2 min @ level 14
1 min @ level 18
2 min @ level 14
1 min @ level 17
2 min @ level 13
1 min @ level 16
2 min @ level 12

Assisted pull-up: 3 sets, 75 lbs x 8
Plank: 3 sets, 60 sec

Barbell lunge: 3 sets, 30 lbs x 20 (alternating legs) 
Side plank: 3 sets, 30 sec each side

Barbell curl: 3 sets, 20 lbs x 15
Skull crusher: 3 sets, 20 lbs x 15
Barbell upright row: 3 sets, 20 lbs x 15

Medicine ball squat: 3 sets, 11 lbs x 12
Russian twist: 3 sets, 11 lbs x 24

Dumbbell pullover: 3 sets, 20 lbs x 15
Plank up: 3 sets, bw x 8

Stretching :)

Good times. The New Year Resolution-ers are starting to show up at the gym, but they seem to stick to the cardio machines. The weight area was just full of all the usual suspects.

Lunch was my typical fare. Can never go wrong with a sandwich or pita midday :)

This one had Italian tofurkey slices, spinach dip, olives, pickles, pickled onions + spinach. Veggies with a little hummus on the side. Yum! I’m still on a pickle kick. I promise you I am not preggers.

I decided to head back into the storm this afternoon for groceries. It was either today or wait till Tuesday night. Yeah, wasn’t gonna make it. Had a snack first in case I got stuck in the snow somewhere.

The third and final flavour of my Vega bar haul they sent me to test – Chocolate Decadence. 

vegainfo vegainfo 
So my first bite was kinda icky. It tasted like chocolate mud. But, the more bites I took, the more i got into it. I’ll basically eat anything with chocolate in it. However, I don’t think I’d ever willingly spend my money on this flavour. Again, the nutritionals that accompany this bar are awesome, but if I want “chocolate decadence,” I’m cracking into my 80% Lindt.

My grocery trip was successful. My fridge is now full of ingredients to make meals and snacks for my first week at my new job!

Dinner had to be warm and comforting because of the weather. But it also had to be easy so I could clean while it cooked. Enter: roasting pan dinner.


Directions: throw a protein source and appetizing veggie combos on a roasting pan. Season, and bake! This mix is tofu, brussel sprouts, red onion, mushroom, sweet potato, garlic and Kirkland no-salt seasoning. Took 30 minutes to cook – just enough time to do my dishes and scrub the floor ;)


So I kinda feel like today was my first day “back on track” from the holidays. Not gonna beat around the bush here – my pants are tight. Nothing major, around 3-ish lbs with some nice tummy bloat. Yesterday’s eats weren’t documented, but I ended up going to Chris’ parent’s place for a roast beef dinner. Delicious, but definitely the end of the line for me. Time to get back to my simpler eats :)

Also, I’ve devised a new workout schedule for myself! I’ve been anti-schedule for several months now after all the training I did in the summer. But I find myself wanting something to follow now, and working Mon-Fri at my new job should make that much easier. Here’s what I’ve got planned for this month:

Monday: 60 min spin class
Tuesday: Yoga/Rest
Wednesday: 40 min run, shoulders, abs
Thursday: Yoga/Rest
Friday: Lower body, abs
Saturday: 60 min run, chest, abs
Sunday: Step class, biceps, triceps

So normally I do full-body or upper-body workouts, with a lot of compound moves. But I’ve decided to try separating my muscle groups and pairing some of it with cardio. There’s no specific reason why I’m doing this, I just thought it would be nice to change it up for a while. Don’t want to get bored with my routine!

It also bears mentioning that I’ll likely only do yoga once a week, and take one total rest day. I’ve also designed it so my hardest workouts are on the weekend (my days off) and that there’s some flexibility with trading out days, or doing morning/evening workouts.

Again, this is just for this month to see how it works. Next month I’ll probably start thinking about half marathon training :)


Phew! This was a rambly post. Hope you’re not putting off anything important to get through it all :)


Question of the Day: What does your usual workout schedule look like? I’m genuinely interested, I always love to hear about what other people do for workouts!


Posted on January 2, 2010, in Workouts and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 29 Comments.

  1. That new camera looks fun! And oat bran – it’s hard to go wrong with that!

    My workout schedule is different now that I can’t bike. I do weight MWF and run T,Th,Sat, with Sunday off.

    In the warmer weather, I bike on MWF after weights and long weekend bike rides with running T-Th.

    I like to have a schedule of workouts because the less I have to think about it, the more likely I am to just do it out of habit.

  2. I tried the chocolate Vega bar and I have to agree- the word “decadent” is a stretch lol. Your strength training is inspiring, I want to step it up a little.
    I usually run 5 days a week, cross train 1 day (like an exercise video) and strength train 2 days a week

  3. My workout schedule right now is 3 days of lifting a week alternating b/w 2 days of upper and the next week 2 days of lower…along with 3 days of cardio. One rest day.

  4. Oh man, another reason why I really need to read my camera manual or go to that website- thanks for that! I love the effect of the first shot! Huge difference!

    Glad you liked the seitan jerkey! It’s made from wheat gluten I think. And OMG there is (or perhaps WAS) a flavor called Thai Peanut- die die die. I haven’t seen it in a very long time. Can buy all that stuff at Whole foods or perhaps local health food store.

    Workouts- they vary on my energy level, location, current injury (there’s always one niggling one), etc. Sometimes it’s an outdoor workout: stairs, jump rope, etc etc. But as far as the gym weight split- again it depends on what’s sore at the moment and what hasn’t been worked in a while.

    When I was really lean (sniff) about 3 yrs ago I pretty much tried to train each body part once a week- like for an hour a piece. So I weight- trained about 6 days a week. Yeah like an hour for triceps, gag. Then I got tired of that and did combos: back/bi; chest/tri, etc. Now I may hit 3 classes (cardio) a week then stay on for some weights in combos for about 30-50 min. Sometimes l do a bunch of compound moves. And I try to do plyo in between sets to keep the cals burning. It’s really random. Sorry if that’s confusing. :-)

    PS I’m convinced your nut butters have gone awol. Bummer!

  5. Workout Schedule : Rest. Rest. More Rest. and Rest some more.

  6. That snow does not look any fun. Lol!
    I have had those strips, yummy! They make a few different flavors… I don’t remember which one I liked best though!
    And I can’t wait to get my own dslr… *sigh*

  7. great month of workouts!! thats a really good schedule.
    so you cook the egg whites b4 u put them in oatmeal? lol, im so dumb!
    my workout schedule is run twice a week, weights twice a week, elliptical/spinning once a week! :) 1 rest day-usually involves yoga

    • I added the egg whites halfway through cooking, then kept stirring it on low for a few minutes. I’m pretty sure, or at least hope, they all cooked! :P

  8. On the Vega:It tasted like chocolate mud. But, the more bites I took, the more i got into it. I’ll basically eat anything with chocolate in it. However, I don’t think I’d ever willingly spend my money on this flavour.”

    My thoughts exactly!!!!!!!! I just dont love them. Some people must, I am just not one of them. Oh well, I love other things…like my own raw ball creations LOL

    Snow. Ick. Sorry.

    Camera tips, cool! I still have a Sony Cybershot b/c frankly am scared of “real cameras” that I’d have to focus. Fear I wouldnt take as many pics. And no time to learning curve it, ya know?!


  9. It’s so cool to see the different effects with the camera. I am saving up for a DSLR!

    Vega bars don’t appeal to me at all! My vote goes to a salad and a wee bit of chocolate. Hehe :)

    So exciting to start your job tomorrow! Do you have a means of travelling if the roads are bad? Our city has come to a grinding halt. The snow isn’t that deep, but Edinburgh is completely unprepared for this.

    Work outs: I am only supposed to do very gentle exercise but walking is my therapy. No set routine but usually 2 x 7 miles, 2 x 4-5 miles and 3 x 30 mins cardio/40 mins hip-hop DVD. It’s all been topsy turvy with the weather lately but now I have snow boots and Yaktrax so walking outside commences again. Yay! Major cabin fever been going on here!

    • I’m working my last shift at Starbucks today. Unfortunately the mall is hardcore and never closes – and it’s still storming out! I’m definitely going to be mega late today, but I don’t care cause it’s my last shift ;)

      I googled Yaktrax yesterday after you tweeted about it. They look awesome! I wonder if they’d be any good for running in?

  10. Oh thanks for the camera tips site Susan! My workout schedule is too random really, to post, but I workout (cardio) usually at least 5 days a week. Yoga 1-2 X per week, strength 1-2 X per week. I have been doing well incorporating HIIT into my plan. BUT, you know what? At less cardio and more weights, I feel like I am only getting bulky! What are your thoughts, my personal trainer in training? What am I doing wrong? loves ya! xoxo

    • Well, it’s my personal opinion that the point of lifting weight is to get bulky ;) I’m not a fan of the spindly and breakable look on girls, and think broader shoulders and thicker legs are much “healthier” looking. BUT, some women are just more genetically prone to getting bigger when they lift weights. One thing you can try is doing circuits. Instead of resting in between each set, immediately move into your next set (working opposite muscles, so you don’t tire a specific group out right away). Doing this keeps your heart rate up, so you’ll be burning calories as you lift. This is why you see the big beefy guys at the gym just standing stupidly around the squat rack. They’re purposely taking long breaks between sets so they don’t burn calories, thus bulk up easier. Hope that helps! :D

  11. susan…i am totally with you on (a) not reading manuals but instead, experimenting, (b) roasted dinners, (c) long workouts on the weekend – i have TIME, why wouldn’t i do that?

    my exercise schedule as of late has NOT been impressive, but here’s what i have lined up for the week: yoga – today, spin – monday (twins!), some type of cardio – tuesday, yoga – wednesday, yoga – thursday, friday – rest, saturday rest (weekend plans y’all!)

    have a great sunday :)

  12. first of all LOVE your new camera… I’m very jealous right now! :)

    Also, I feel your pain with the snowfall. it’s one of the pits of living in Chicago as well. Makes me wish I lived in a warmer climate december-march!

  13. your title is a total oxymoron to me! snow is NEVER a problem! haha~do you have ski resorts near you? if not then that is a pity~all that snow for nothing. but if there are resorts~i want to see you up on the slopes!!

    ah! cool photog stuff. i want an slr. so bad!

    great workout! i love targeting the abs in between :) oh! and totally steal the table thing. it is nice to read so i would love it if you did it as well! i dont use excel, i just “create table” in windows live writer. pretty simple!

    workout layout looks sharp for jan. i like it. you will see my bootcamp plan for january, i am posting it tonight.


    love you!

  14. Susan,
    Your new camera takes beautiful pictures. Seriously, they look amazing!

    My workouts usually consist of yoga anywhere from 4 to 6 days a week with some walking, hiking, or stationary bike intervals thrown into the mix. However, this month I’ll be working with an online personal training doing some strength training and more HIIT type workouts. I’m exciting about changing things up a bit. :)

    Remind me to never complain of Nashville’s lack of snow again. Hope you didn’t have to do too much shoveling!

  15. Thank you for being psychic. LOL. You answered one of my questions I keep meaning to ask you. “MIIT” (Medium intensity intervals) I always wondered what “HIIT” meant. Now I know…(High intensity intervals). Also thank you for posting links to the exercises you do. Sometime I know what they are but sometimes I don’t so the links are wonderful.
    Thanks again!!

    • Hey Stephanie! I’m hoping to get a little more organized about how I post my workouts so it doesn’t just look like a bunch of numbers and weird names to people :P I should be linking all exercises from now on, happy it helped! :D

  16. Oh thanks for the link to that tip website! “I’m not very good at reading manuals, I’m more of a “experiment till I figure it out” person” I’m the exact same which means, when it comes to my camera at least, that I’m missing out on something!

    I used to love beef jerky so I may have to pick up some of those strips. Thanks for the heads up! Good luck with all of that snow – we haven’t had a big storm yet but, knowing MI, it’s coming!

  17. Hi susan, I just discovered your blog a week or so ago and you quickly shot up to be one of my favorites! I’m really inspired by your story and workouts, and am excited to keep following you!

    As far as workouts go (since you asked), I work a desk job so I try my best to get up as much as I can during work days. I’m blessed with one of those awesome offices that offer a gym for it’s employees in house….which is about 10 steps away from my desk!

    So on M-F I will do 2 fast 10 min walks, and 1 fast 15 min walk on my lunch.

    “real” workouts happen after work, and usually look something like:

    M 30 min cardio (elliptical or intervals on the treadmill), 30 min weights, full body
    T 35 min cardio
    W 30 min cardio, arms, abs about 25 min
    T 35 min cardio
    F 20 min cardio, usually a short full body weights (it’s friday, I’m exicted to go home!)
    sat or sun: yoga at home (Rodney Yee tapes)

    I’m looking to up the weights though, I rarely feel sore the day after, and because of that I think I may not be pushing myself enough. Or is there really no connection between work done and soreness the next day? Do you have any insight about how far to push yourself without hurting yourself?

    • Hey Jessica! First, I’m jealous you work so close to a gym ;) As for weights, I find my soreness isn’t as bad the more I lift. But that’s always a good indicator that it might be time to switch it up. Maybe a new routine with some new moves. Also, if you aren’t squeezing out those last two reps with all your might, then it’s time to move up in weights. That’s a good thing, means you’re getting stronger! :)

  18. That breakfast looks super tasty! My workout schedule is on that occurs daily! Love it x

  19. Your workout schedule sounds a lot like mine! I like to do one day of full body training and then split up the rest of my body parts throughout the week.. it keeps it interesting!

    And yay for egg white oatmeal! It’s my favorite way to make oats!

  20. Gah! My workout schedule is a mess right now. I’m spending a pathetic amount of time trying to make everything fit. Training for an April marathon and a August Half-Ironman requires a very careful managing of time ;)

    So far it looks something like this:
    M – Long Run (18-32km)
    T – 75min Hot Yoga
    W – Tempo Run (8-15k), 60min Bike
    Th – 75min Strength/Cardio class, 60min Swim
    F – 60min Bike
    Sa – Interval Run (7-12k), Strength
    Su – 90min Hot Yoga, 60min Swim

    I’ll be cutting down on my running a bit and bumping up the swimming and biking after my marathon to prep for Triathlon season.

    Oh, and I love the egg white addition to oatmeal. Makes them so fluffy and amazing.

  21. Hahah yeeaah when I made Deb’s protein pimped oat bran (love saying that) I didn’t whip the whites nearly enough. I think I even may have used the emersion blender too. ;) Or the magic bullet. Anywho, it didn’t turn out AS big, but still tasty.

    Since you’re *genuinely interested* I would LOVE to shaare my routine.

    M- 60 min yoga podcast
    T- 20 mins full body weights, 21 mins cardio, abs, (all going easy on the bod/”easy” day)
    W-60 minute yoga podcast
    TH- 20 mins full body weights, 21 mins cardio, abs (this is my “hard” day when I go allll out)
    F- 60 min yoga podcast
    S- 20 mins full body weights, 21 mins cardio, abs (moderate day)
    S- rest. sometimes yoga.

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