Thursday, August 14, 2014

Thankful Thursday: Bible Study & Open Houses

It's thankful Thursday time! We all have so much to be thankful for and we love to take this opportunity just to write down each and everything that comes to mind. Please take this time to share with us what you're thankful for as well. If you have a blog expressing your thankfulness, please share the link! Without further ado, here's what we're thankful for:

Mandi's List:

I’m thankful for my bible study. I started a bible study last night (well, it started two weeks ago, but I joined a bit late), and I am so thankful I did. I seem like a social person, and in my younger years, I used to be. But walking into a room of strangers is actually cause for anxiety for me. So I actually really wanted to bail and just not go (especially since I was starting late anyways), but I knew God had put it on my heart to go, so I put on my big pants and went. It was such a joy, and I can tell God has me there for a purpose.

I’m thankful for nuts….any kind really, almonds, cashews, peanuts. I’ve been eating nuts daily. I can’t get enough. They make for the perfect snack.

I’m thankful for Diet Dr. Pepper. In fact, I’m drinking one as I write this. Every afternoon I have a soda and a serving of nuts, and man is it deliciously awesome!

Ronnie's List:

I'm thankful for a daughter who loves to check out open houses. I could spend all day everyday looking at different homes around town. The last few weekends, I've convinced the family to join me on these little open house adventures. And then this past weekend, just Mckenna and I did a crazy open house blitz or 4 houses in 90 minutes! She loves checking out each room, and is always hopeful that there will be a playroom or kids room that she can check out. It's so cute!

I'm thankful for our house. Looking at different open houses solidifies one thing for me - I love our house. We're not seriously looking to move but if the opportunity presented itself, we'd be willing. It's going to take the perfect house however because we both really love our home and it is very functional for our family. We've also made improvements and cosmetic changes over the years that just fit us and our style.

I'm thankful for shrimp. I but fully cooked tail off frozen shrimp from Costco that I absolutely love. I let it defrost, you can do bit by bit or the entire bag, and then add it too existing meals or make the shrimp the focus. I like to make "shrimp soups" with a variety of broths and/or ingredients. The best thing about shrimp for me though, a guy who keeps close tabs on his macronutrients, is that shrimp is 100% protein. If I need more protein for the day, no problem, I'll add 6 ounces of shrimp to the menu!!

What are you thankful for today?

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Lifting with Cardio Bursts

Ronnie and I switch up our workouts frequently. We do it, in part, to keep our bodies guessing, but mainly because when you do something 5-6 times a week for 5-12 hours a week, it can quickly get BORING. Switching things up is our way of keeping ourselves interested.

This go 'round we are doing 3 days a week of our class (the one we write about a lot that is essentially HIIT training using kettle bells, TRX, barbells, bodyweight exercises, and risers). The other 3 days we lift. Ronnie started using an app, Strong Lifts 5x5, for lifting. He's gotten ripped...and yes, please read the "proud wife smile" in that description...he's lookin' fine, if I do say so myself.

Anyways, I also use the app, but to get the kind of exercise I enjoy, lifting alone doesn't do it. I like feeling winded when I workout. I like feeling my heart beating out of my chest. I like that feeling after a workout when I know I couldn't have pushed myself any harder. For me, lifting just doesn't do that. Lifting, my heart rate stays around 40-60% of my max heart rate, and I like to see it more in the 70-95% of my max heart rate. In order to get my heart rate up like I like, I mix cardio into the lifting routine. Usually, I do a set, do 1-3 minutes of cardio, do a set, do 1-3 min of cardio, etc. This is a good way to spike my heart rate into the 70-95% of my max heart rate, it drops a bit through the next set, and then I spike it again.

Here are my cardio bursts of choice:

- Burpees (usually 10 if doing it with another exercise during the same 1-3 minute burst or 30 if alone)
- Sprints (usually 1-2 minutes at a 10-11 on the treadmill)
- Box jumps (usually 10 if doing with another exercise during the same 1-3 minute burst or 30-50 if alone)
- Toe taps...tapping my toes on the top of a riser (usually 20 if doing with another exercise during the same 1-3 minute burst or 50 if alone)
- Step ups onto a riser (usually 10 a leg if doing with another exercise during the same 1-3 minute burst or 20 a leg if alone). For this one sometimes I also hold a 10lb plate and when I step up, I do a press with it.
- Squat jumps (usually 15 if doing it with another exercise during the same 1-3 minute burst or 30 if alone)

We wear heart rate monitors at the gym, and I find that my calorie burn is exceptionally different if I just lift verses if I lift with cardio bursts mixed in. Just lifting, I burn, say, 80 calories (or so depending on the day). If I lift with cardio bursts mixed in for the same amount of time, I burn, say 250 calories. That's a major difference. So make sure if you're not looking to lose weight, that you account for extra calories you will burn. If you are looking to lose weight...enjoy the extra burn :)

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Things That Make My Lungs Feel Worse: Strong Scents

Last week, I posted about things that make my lungs feel awesome. Actually, it started out as a blog of me talking about various things, but I ended up writing about exercise for so long that I just made it a blog focusing on one thing: Exercise. If you missed that blog, you can check it out here (you should check it out just for the memes I included). In the months to follow, I plan on writing blogs about other things that make for #awesomelungs, and if you'd like to be involved in that, please let me know!

Anyway, on to the topic at hand. Now, I've already pointed out the number one thing that I believe make my lungs feel awesome, so what about the number one thing that make them feel worse, or not so awesome? The most obvious answer is a lack of exercise or treatments, but I wanted to get a little more micro-focused (is that even a word??) with this blog and talk about one thing that others may not think about that could make their lungs, or the lungs of their child, feel worse.

That my friend, is a strong scent of pretty much any kind. (Maybe I should rephrase, a strong chemical scent of any kind, roast beef is okay) Now, notice I threw the word strong in there. This doesn't necessarily mean that just a little whiff of something fragrant in the air is okay for my lungs, but I can tell you unequivocally that the stronger the scent, the worse my lungs feel. What do I mean by worse? Usually tight. There are some scents, or scent dispersers, namely burning incense, that make my lungs feel like a deflated balloon that cannot take in air.

I do realize that the smoke burning from the incense stick could, and most likely is, contributing to the tight lungs, but I assure you that whatever is being burned into the air to create the smell is not helping.

Same goes for strong wall plug-ins, perfume, cologne and please listen if you fall into this category cigarette smoke on clothing.

**Steps on soap box**

I know, I get it, you smoke outside only. You have been addicted to nicotine since you were 14 and even though you now have a child with a terminal disease that primarily impacts the lungs, you still continue to smoke.

I won't address the fact that IMO it is an entirely selfish decision to continue to smoke when having a child, period. I won't even talk about how disrespectful it is to your child or the community they are a part of. Lastly, you're an adult, so you know the negative way that cigarettes impact your health, so no need to go there.

What I am going to address is this: If there is smoke anywhere present - car, house, clothing, mouth, skin, air, patio, etc - it can, and most likely is, harmful to your child. Please stop. I know it's hard, but so is watching you smoke. Your child may not feel disrespected now, but I promise, they will. They may not think your smoking is impacting their health negatively, but I promise, it is. Just stop. Please.

**Okay, give me a second to step off of the soap box...Alright, back on solid ground.**

Back to the rest of the scents and scent related crimes. Here is another one, if you are a respiratory therapist, please don't come into my room smelling like a bottle of perfume or cologne. I have to sit there and breathe it in for an hour. It doesn't feel nice. I'm glad you smell pretty, but your here to help make my lungs clear, not smell nice for the new doctor who just started working your floor.

I know, candles make you feel relaxed, but do you need to burn 41 of them around the house? I have a pretty strong candle detector and my lungs start tightening up around candle number five.

I like chlorine in my pool water, but pool water mixed in with my chlorine? Tights lungs here I come!

Okay, I can see this blog starting to become a diatribe of every scent I've ever encountered and what I think about it so I will stop. I'll just leave it at this, if you have to question whether or not the scent is too strong, then the scent is probably too strong. If you don't need it, don't use it.

And lastly, please stop smoking.

If you want to get involved in the conversation, leave a comment here about what make your lungs feel worse or tweet me @RunSickboyRun! I'd love to link to any blog you write about what can make your lungs feel worse, either now or over the years. Send me a link to your blog so I can share it!!

Monday, August 11, 2014

Loving to Learn

In the last month or so, Mckenna has been really curious about numbers and letters. She has known how to count and sing her ABCs for a long time, but recently she's been talking about the numbers and letters in practical ways. Her latest obsession is showing the number of something on her know, she's two (holds up two fingers); she wants to read three books (holds up three fingers...or tries to). We like to give her simple math questions: "if you have one book and we say you can have one more book, how many books do you have?" "TWO!" (she's right about 50% of the time if you keep it to adding one and two to another number.) She also asks about letters a lot. She will ask what something starts with or what letter something is (as she points to it). In the mix of all this number and letter curiosity, she learned to spell her name.

However, she spells it: M-C-K-E-M-M-A...and it's super adorable...but I'm pretty sure she may go to her grave swearing it is not M-C-K-E-N-N-A and definitely is M-C-K-E-M-M-A. Here are two of our 1.6 trillion conversations regarding how her name is spelled. It is hilariously frustrating for all people involved, and we pretty much have to agree to disagree.

I love this age!! There's so much to learn, and so much excitement around learning.