Monday, April 18, 2011

Update #4 from Mamacat

Which is harder? Finding fitness in the chaos of motherhood or finding fitness in the chaos of business travel?

Much like our children don't ever give us "time off," when you're on the road for work it can seem as if you're on the clock from take off until you touch down back home. Mamacat is persevering, but here's what she had to say in an email to me last week:

Mamacat is PENT UP LIKE A CAGED DOG doing taxes and work. I've been in my workout clothes all day--since the lead on my project called and said, "You are going to the gym? Oh, that must be nice. I had to skip church. But the client is expecting this document today and the multi-million dollar contract is waiting for YOU, so can you please make it your priority?" Like a sucker I caved. Weak, like the jiggle of my thighs (that were in route to firmness!). 
Oh, haven't we ALL been there? And sometimes that person who keeps us working instead of working out is ourselves. And you know what? Sometimes, honestly, that IS the right thing for us to do. There's a little something in the book, "Hot (Sweaty) Mamas: Five Secrets to Life as a Fit Mom," we call the "Sweaty Decision Tree." It helps answer that question, "Should I work out or not?"Variables include whether or not the workout will leave you more or less stressed out and what your workout plans were the day before and if you think a workout is possible the following day. Ultimately Mamacat's thighs had to wait another day for a workout. No big deal. Has she worked out since? Yes, she has. And that is enormous progress for her, because in the past, these massive work projects were an excuse for her to go months at a time without a workout. No more. If she misses a day (or two or three) she doesn't see that as giving up. Now she's finding a way to get to that workout as soon as she is able and finding ways to "snare" time, as we say in the book:
I walk instead of taking a cab, I take the hotel stairs instead of the elevator. I've even gotten up in a few (women only) meetings and done lunges while we work. It has been very challenging to get a long hardcore workout in, but I'm keeping my body moving. I also bought a new "across the body" purse so I could swing my arms better when tramping through the airport to log more time on my Polar Activity Monitor. That was a smart move (except for the divorce court I may end up in when my husband sees the price of the purse!). 
One of the hardest shifts in my thinking as a "Fit Mom" was allowing these short fitness bursts to count toward workout time, or a short workout worthy of being considered a "real" workout. Not only do they do your body good, they also keep your mind engaged in the sport of snagging exercise wherever you can get it (this can become a fun challenge) and ensures that you keep thinking of yourself as a fit mom. Because at the end of the day you will feel better about doing leg lifts while waiting for a cab than if you had done nothing at all.

Mamacat is crisscrossing the continent again this week. And I want to make sure she sees this video from Coach Troy Jacobson about training for cycling while traveling. 

And because you're persevering with your workouts on the road and at home (Mamacat recently watched her son play baseball while lunging and squatting on the sidelines--atta girl!) I'm throwing in a package of FitDeck Cards donated by Skirt Sports. When you're looking for a fitness idea while couped up in a hotel room (and let's face it, getting up to move will allow more oxygen to the brain, which will ultimately help you be more productive) break out these cards and keep moving!

Next challenge for Mamacat to conquer? Eating more vegetables. Girlfriend gags on just about everything except iceberg. She's motivated though, because at the end of the month she starts training with Moms on the Run, and if she eats their quota of vegetables every week for a month, she will be rewarded with a massage. Yeah, huh. Do you have a try-it-you'll-like it vegetable or recipe or sneaky way to consume veggies? Please share with us here for Mamacat (and those of us with veggie avoiders at home). Anyone who leaves a comment will win their own FitDeck via Skirt Sports.

P.S. For those readers in the Minneapolis area, Mamapedia is offering a sweet deal for the Moms on the Run Program. More than half off their 18-week fitness program and you get to train and bond with other moms! Incentive galore!


Baldmeistr said...

Ok, so this might not yet be appropriate in MN, but we LOVE veggies on the grill. Zucchini, bell peppers of all colors, and asparagus are favorites. Spray with some olive oil, dust with a little bit of salt, and throw them on some tin foil on the backyard grill. Soooooo good.

bearing said...

Veggies for non-veggie lovers... hmmm.

-Tomato juice or V-8
-Homemade tomato soup (sauteed onions, carrots, chicken broth, canned tomatoes, whir in the blender)

-Omelettes with lots of finely chopped veggies - here's a link to my more-veggie-than-egg omelette technique.

ChickyC said...

Baked sweet potato, simply cut in half and sprinkled with cinnamon and nutmeg. Yum!

And baked mushrooms are another favourite of mine...fry up some onion and garlic and then scoop it on top of some large field mushrooms and bake until the mushroom is cooked through.

Kara said...

You all are making me very, very hungry. But, I am a veggie lover!

bearing said...

Thought of another one: fajitas. If you cut back on the meat you can stuff a lot of veggies in: peppers, onions, zucchini, greens, asparagus, mushrooms...

Last night I made fajitas for my family of 6 with only one ribeye steak (about eight ounces and thinly sliced). The flavor of the steak permeated the whole skillet of veggies and nobody missed having lots of meat.

Amanda said...

One of my summertime faves are kebabs - some marinated meat (with pineapple on both sides - helps tenderize the meat), and onions and all different colors of bell peppers. The onions get sweet and carmelized.

Edamame with a little sea salt is such a yummy snack too. I keep a bag of frozen shelled edamame at the office and pop some in the microwave for a snack.

Frittatas/omelets/breakfast burritos are really easy to sneak veggies in too - I LOVE the roasted red pepper/spinach/feta combo. Roasted red peppers are so easy to keep on hand and lend such a yummy flavor to most dishes.



Chris said...

Fajitas and stir fry are great ways to sneak in veggies! For Fajitas chop up lots of bell pepper and onions (they make the fajitas taste better anyway) and for stir fry, the skies the limit! Carrots, broccoli, bell pepper, onions....anything you want. I usually just throw in whatever I have in my fridge. Add in some canned pineapple for a bit of added sweetness, yummy!

Meredith said...

Roasted veggies! It brings out the delicious in things that aren't so yummy (in my opinion). Favorites in our house are cauliflower (when it's done just right with those brown edges, YUM), eggplant, sweet potatoes, and potatoes with red peppers. Just cut things into small pieces, drizzle some olive oil (usually 1-2 Tablespoons works), and sprinkle with some kosher salt. Toss with your hands and bake for around 30 minutes at 400 degrees. In the summer I use the convection oven so I still get the yummy without the hotter-than-heck kitchen.

We also sometimes put roasted eggplant and zucchini on our homemade pizza.

And remember, veggies do not have to be cooked - raw broccoli has much less "flavor" than cooked. Broccoli is also delish with Meyer Lemon Olive Oil (I think Whole Foods carries it, as does my Sur la Table) drizzled on top. Baby spinach raw has very little taste and is great as a salad base with whatever you like (red peppers, olives, avocados, and apples are my favorite, especially with some blue cheese).

But one question: do you really recommend stairs in hotels? I always thought as a(n alone) woman they were not that safe?

Karlene Lihota said...

Baked kale is the sneakiest way to incorporate vegetables into snack-times. Take a ton of washed kale and spread it out on a large cookie sheet (make sure it is dry). Tear the pieces so they are bite-sized. Sprinkle some EVOO and sea salt over the pile. Bake at 350 for 10-15 mins.

You will be surprised at how delicious and crunchy these kale chips turn out! Enjoy:)

mamacat said...

love the kale idea! And thank you for all the other great suggestons. Edamame sounds good too...and they are small enough that if I dont' like them I can swallow them like a pill. it never occured to me that I could actually put olive oil and salk on some of these items.
As for going up a hotel stairway. You are right, it's probably not that safe. But if I am to the point of doing stairs I'm probably so frustrated that if anyone messed with me they'd be the ones in danger ;-) !!!

Kara said...

OK, ladies--I love veggies and yet, you all have inspired me to eat more of them this week! GREAT ideas! Mamacat, you need to get that chef hubby of yours to get to work on all these dishes. No more holding your nose!

Dan and Beth said...

I love pureeing lots of fun veggies to go in spaghetti sauce or putting veggies on cheesy bread.

mamacat said...

I forgot to mention the cards - brilliant idea. I could have used them last week. It was not my best week. How is this for motivation - I bought some really good socks and I couldn't be more excited to slip them into my new running shoes for the launch of Mom's On The Run this week. Socks. Who'd a thunk.