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  1. Yeah, I suck at titles, but with Imbolc officially behind us, I am very much looking forward to spring slowly getting underway! Anyway, this is not a hugely exciting challenge for me - mostly just keeping up momentum, honestly - but it is an important one. A few of the big things happening during this period: 1. my first and second grad school essays and exams (out of three of each, so a good chunk of my first grade is in these next six weeks!) 2. hopefully 🤞🤞 my first attempt an IVF transfer 3. my first Foreign Language Leadership meeting 4. the birth of my nephew (due Feb. 28) which will stir up some strong emotions, mostly due to point #2 5. presentation to district admin to begin laying groundwork to offer Seal of Biliteracy testing/honors So let's get to it: Quest One: Movement This is very prone to change depending on how the IVF stuff goes, but right now my goals are: 1) Get my 2023 walking/running total to 78 miles or more. Current total: 33.3 miles 1a) run at least a mile. Total. I can run probably two miles in one go if absolutely necessary, but it's uncomfy as hell. My hope is to start slow, even if that's just a 1/4 mile at a time. 2) do at least two yoga workouts 😂 Progressing from my singular one last challenge! Quest Two: Nutrition I did surprisingly well here last challenge, and also my Diet Coke addition feels pretty darn broken, so it's time to add: 1) eat at least one produce-y thing at least every other day. That sounds dumb and basic as hell, but I default to protein + rice + sauce a LOT. Like last night's dinner was pork and ginger meatballs with sticky rice and cilantro sauce, for example. Or, if I'm stressed/busy, it's just quick and easy carbs. Fruits and veggies are super underrepresented a lot of the time, but I feel like if I say every single day, I'll panic and flounder. So we'll try for every other. Not even worrying about measuring out a certain amount, any inclusion at all is a good place to start. 2) drink at least 16 ounces of water a day. Especially during weekdays, when I don't get many pee breaks, I have my morning coffee then typically abstain from any drinks at all until an afternoon soda or hot chocolate. I do tend to have water at dinner, but I'm not 100% sure how frequent that actually is, so let's track it! 3) keep cooking - let's try for 3 recipes this challenge Quest Three: Languages This is partly a quest and partly just me tracking what I need to get done anyway, honestly. 1) keep up with the weekly department Instagram posts 2) watch 6 Dreaming Spanish videos (intermediate or advanced) OR Spanish-language TV show episodes - I've been really into Iron Chef Mexico lately 😆 3) keep up in Reckley's class: 2 essays, 2 exams, theoretically 4 homework assignments (though she's been really behind on assigning these compared to what's on the syllabus so we'll see what I actually get), and 3 discussion board posts + responses 4) finish Maya Erikson y el misterio del laberinto - it's only 7 chapters, but 157 pages. Currently on chapter 2 (page 29). 5) get extensive reading program quizzes off the ground with at least 20 made (I started an extensive reading program this year, but my students tend to spend the time just flipping through pictures before writing super shitty reflections, so I'm implementing simple 5 question, multiple choice comprehension quizzes to encourage them to actually engage in the text itself at least a little. The downside for me is that I have probably a hundred books in the library for them to choose already...that's a lot of quizzes to write!) I have the first 3 done 6) finish Spanish 2 Units 4 and 5 curriculum - Unit 4 is nearly done (just needs standards selected and listed by lesson arc) Quest Four: Home and Hobbies This is the challenge I always suck at because it's just so easy to push off! Let's start simple this time: 1) Sew at least one seam on the damn log cabin quilt every week. This should be stupidly easy, but I managed to go all last challenge without doing anything more than looking at it, so every stitch helps. 2) Patch the dog toys. He has five that he has ripped open to the point where we had to take them away. I have stitched up two of them so far and both seams have held so far. (Obnoxiously enough, he did re-rip one of them but in a totally different spot. I have already mended that new rip as well. ) I am hoping if I can keep on top of these, we can avoid having to spend so much money constantly buying new ones or replacing things that he chewed that he's not supposed to...like my kid's shinguards. Again. 😠 3) Download the ridiculous amount of free quilting/block patterns piling up in my personal email because I'm on far too many mailing lists!
  2. Oh, how life is feeling more and more like a battle every day lately, but I'm doing my best to keep fighting! Quest One: Movement I am currently finishing off my doctor's "minimal and gentle movement only" restrictions and will be back to normal activity allowed by next Tuesday (though I'm cheating and going on at least one as-gentle-as-possible hike this weekend). Last challenge I made 5 workouts so I'm going to be pushing myself all the way up to 6 workouts. 😄 Hey, progress is progress, right? Quest Two: Nutrition Quest 1: Diet Coke! I'm going to keep my goal at one Diet Coke per day (though I'm already forgiving today because it's a 12 hour workday and I very well might need it just to survive) and I'm going to try to push myself to have at least 2 days this challenge with no Diet Cokes at all. The whole one Diet Coke a day thing was tough last challenge but I made it, so that's my gentle push to keep on improving myself. Quest 2: make/eat at least one veggie-heavy dish every week. It might not be truly vegetarian, but veggie-heavy is good enough. This theoretically should be fairly easy with my Sidekick app, but Lord knows when I get stressed I auto-default to an endless stream of chicken fingers with mac and cheese. I'm hoping if something tasty and healthy is in the fridge, I might be more tempted to grab it since leftovers are fast and take very little brainpower. Quest Three: Work Ah, school. The source of many of my joys and most of my stress. Quest 1: Keep up the department Instagram posting. Once a week is the goal, but more is always awesome! Quest 2: I have a meeting tomorrow to chat with the local university's MA in Romance Languages program. I was going to push it off another school year or two, but I have a chance at getting some tuition reimbursement now so I'm teetering on the edge of just biting the bullet. However, I am still very concerned about my ability to do this work quickly and easily (I can do it, but it takes me more time than I feel like I might have available). To prep, I am going to read at least one book in Spanish. Not sure which one right now, but I do already own Lety alta su voz so that stands a good chance at being the book I pick. It's 29 chapters and 208 pages, according to the Internet (since I don't have the book in front of me right now). Quest 3: Prep for French 2 next year! I need to write a course description and rationale no later than November 1st and have the first unit fully prepped no later than November 28th. I am technically currently on day 9 of about 21 in unit 1, though I do need to go back and improve days 6 and 7 a bit before I move on to the next focus. Quest 4: Japanese study for future expansion. I'm going to stick with Mango Languages for this one and I would like to do my daily reviews (hopefully more or less daily!) and finish chapter 2, which is 19 lessons away. Quest Four: Rest I am the epitome of working way too hard without rest until your mind and body step in to force you to stop...I'm trying to get better, I really am, but I keep on doing stupid things like asking to expand the French program at work which keep on adding to my plate 😅 Quest 1: I want to work on that log cabin quilt from the block exchange! It's getting cold and another quilt would be nice. But seeing as I spent the entire last challenge just talking about this and not actually doing anything with it, my goal is going to be to just make 1 block. I need 3 more to finish the layout of the top, and honestly once I sit down and do it, a single block doesn't take terribly long. Quest 2: There is a good chance that we will have a new dog at home before the end of this challenge...if that does end up happening, I want to spend some time playing with and training that dog! Specific goals will vary wildly since they will of course depend on what dog we get when and how much it already knows. But we're looking at the biggest local shelter on Nov. 12 which gives me two weeks with the dog (IF we find one immediately). My hope is that maybe I can at least get it used to whatever we name it, maybe teach it the command "come" if it doesn't already know that one? Or at least get it comfy at home if it's shy or nervous from the shelter kennels.
  3. Hello, and good evening! I've made some progress since I started challenging myself in May. First step was walking daily to build the habit of getting up to exercise. Second step was incrementally improving my bodyweight exercises from a single set to three sets. Third step was maintaining three sets with a slight increase in difficulty toward standard forms. And though I will keep track of any continuation of my body weight exercises, I want to try emphasizing solely (pfft) walking for week zero, just to see how far I can go without divided efforts. I started off this week by going on a walk this morning with my friend who accompanies me on occasional park walks. I tracked 5,800 steps for a distance of 2.9 miles. I'll be using the Éowyn Challenge (.net) for tracking my small accomplishments over the course of this week/challenge, so to start it off: I left Bag End, went around the west end, and jumped the hedge. I passed through the gate into a lane and headed west. I left the lane and followed the hedgerows south. Nowhere near Rivendell, let alone Mordor, but I'm out on the road, and I'll take it 'til it takes me where I need to go. My current goals for this challenge are: 1. Walk daily (considering doubling to morning and evening to find out if walking after work brings some relief) 2. Track my distances on Éowyn Challenge to see how close to Rivendell I can get by the end of the challenge 3. Add color (I'm gonna make like Merry and Pippin raiding Farmer Maggot's veggies, to make sure I'm including veggies at least once in my daily routine) Thanks for joining me for the journey, and I'll see you all on the road to Rivendell. Sincerely, Maerad
  4. My body is so awesome. Last year it created life! Part of taking care of myself and surviving the pandemic included not going to the gym or touching a barbell for about 13 months. After everything was said and done, about 6 months after her arrival I was 25 lb heavier than before. I decided to return to my pre-baby weight because I feel healthier and more mobile at that weight. I started making some small changes at the beginning of May and as of today have lost 11 lb. Prior to THE HAPPENING I regularly competed in strongman, powerlifting, and even a few Highland games - I'm going to consider everything prior to 2020 to be Act 1 of my lifting career. I'm interested in doing those things again and reclaiming my prior strength, but my first priority is achieving and maintaining the weight range I feel best at. This is the start of Act 2. I love the compound barbell movements but I will have to take it slow and make sure my technique and form are on point. This will be a moving target while losing weight because leverages will keep changing. So I will probably have to repeatedly remind myself - I'm not training for a competition, there is no need to be grinding reps or maxing out! This challenge is all about re-establishing healthy eating and activity patterns.... getting back in the habit! 1. Lift weights 3x per week I am purposefully not going to pursue a particular training program. This is about re-learning movements and getting comfortable with them, moving around and getting my heart rate up, and trying to skew my weight loss more toward body fat and retain some of that lean muscle mass I worked so hard for. Reward: +1 experience for every workout completed 2. Track calories every day Using My Fitness Pal. I'm currently eating at around 2200 calories a day. I will keeping eating around this, give or take 100 cal, until I hit an isocaloric balance (i.e. plateau) and then reassess from there. I'm also using the Purple Carrot meal service to make sure I'm eating a variety of vegetables throughout the week. Sub goal: at least 84g of protein daily (0.8 g/kg). Reward: +1 experience for every day tracked completely 3. Hit 8,000 steps per day I'm trying to maintain a fairly constant activity level day to day to help track my weight loss and minimize variables. I've been averaging closer to 10,000 steps per day these last 2 weeks, however 8k will be the minimum. Reward: +1 experience for every day >8k steps Over the 5 week challenge my total possible experience points is 85. If I score over 60 points I'm buying myself some new workout clothes. If I score over 75 points I'm buying new workout clothes AND the 3DMJ lifting pyramid PDF!
  5. Hi everyone. When ever I'm dieting for weight loss, this is the meal I love to cook for lunch. Please bear in mind, the actual quantity of each ingredient will vary from person to person, depending on their size and their health goals. For the sake of simplicity, I will use the measurements / macro-nutrients that I typically use. Ingredients: 350g of chicken breast; 150g of mixed, fresh vegetables (I like to use white onion, white mushroom, red capsicum, baby spinach and spring onion); 80g of pre-cooked rice (doesn't matter what type of rice); Some extra virgin olive oil; A few drops of sesame oil; Salt (preferably pink Himalayan salt); Pepper (preferably black cracked pepper); Onion powder; Garlic pepper steak seasoning. Macro-Nutrients (estimation, based off above measurements/quantity, excluding cooking oils): Protein: 85 Carbohydrates: 44 Fats: 15 Calories: 642 Tools: A cutting board; A fry pan or wok; A stove top; Knife for chicken; Knife for veggies; A bowl for your cut veggies; A bowl for your chopped chicken; A bowl for your pre-cooked rice; Paper towel; Spatula. So... 1. Start by cutting up your veggies. Use whatever fresh vegetables you like. For me personally, as mentioned above, I love to use white onion, white mushroom, red capsicum, baby spinach and spring onion. Put your cut veggies aside into its own bowl. 2. Take your chicken breast and rinse under cool tap water. Use your paper towel to gently pad-dry the chicken breast. 3. With your knife and cutting board, cut the chicken breast up into small, bite sized chunks, about an inch or so in size each, like cubes. Put the chunks of chicken breast into its own bowl. 4. Take all your seasonings and apply as much as you want/need onto your cut up chicken, one by one, e.g. salt, pepper, onion powder etc. Once all seasons have been applied, use your hands (clean/wash your hands before) to mix the seasoning in with the chicken. Apply another dose of all seasonings to chicken. 5. Put your fry pan / wok on the stove. Pour some extra olive oil into pan, along with a few drops of sesame oil. Turn the heat up to high, to allow the pan to heat up quicker. 6. Once the pan is hot (you should be able to feel the heat off the surface if you put your hand near it), pour your vegetables into the pan. Use the spatula to continuously stir and move the veggies. I like to cook the veggies long enough until the baby spinach malts and the mushrooms become soft. 7. Once the veggies are cooked to your liking, pour the chopped and seasoned chicken breast pieces into the pan. Use the spatula to ensure that the chicken is constantly moving while on the pan / wok. 8. Cook the chicken long enough until you start to see some brown some of the chicken pieces. A good idea is to take out the largest chicken piece you can see and cut it open. If it's white and no pink, it should all be done. 9. Drop the heat down from high, to a medium low. Add your pre-cooked rice into the pan. Use the spatula to continuously stir and move all the contents in the pan. Cook for about 2 minutes. 10. Turn stove off, carefully remove contents of pan and into a bowl, or onto a plate of your choosing. Food's up! Enjoy.
  6. Hey Assassins: I closed out my last challenge, and here I am to try again. And no, I'm not actually swimming. I don't mind the water, heck I'm a SCUBA diver so I kind of love it, but swimming for exercise is kinda godawful for my brain. Too repetitive. I'm a runner, through and through. Also maybe a biker, and probably could be more so as my joints age. But I digress. My last challenge was focused on combatting sugar and eating more veggies. I did OK on the sugar front, but failed miserably on the veggies. So here I go again, starting smaller with a hope that I will be able to succeed this time. 1. Eat TWO servings of vegetables per day; THREE if breakfast consists of a spinach (+ whatever) smoothie. 2. Log food on MFP four days/week or more, stay below calorie recommendation. 3. Come up with three solid "next phase" career paths, and write down the pros/cons/expenses of all of them. 4. Keep running before work, 3x/week 5. Archery practice 1x/week, until we go to Colombia Rewards: For every seven days with 2-3 servings of vegetables, I get to buy myself P. I don't know what P is yet, but I've got to reward that behavior with something other than good feels since I'm clearly highly opposed to it. Might be date night at the movies with Mrs. MG, or filet mignon. For every seven days of logging on MFP, I get to buy myself Q. I don't know what Q is either, but see above for some ideas. I don't need more stuff, so that's out. It's limited to experiences and good food Archery practice, career paths, and running are their own reward. Theme: I exercise a bunch, and I know my deficiencies are in stretching and weight lifting/bodyweight workouts, but I feel like there's enough on the list already. I mean, there's the whole "pick up the apprentice on a bike" now that we've moved not further from his school but WAAAAY higher--like a 400-500' climb higher. It's a serious proposition to pick him up on the tandem and ride home with him chillaxing in the stoker position. (for those not in the know, he's only 8 and even when he's pedaling hard, which only lasts for 30-60 seconds at a go, it's a minimal effect). Anyway, I have been the same weight (somewhere between 170-175) for like a year now, and I'd like to get down below that. Clearly my fork is winning since, as mentioned, I exercise a bunch. Well that's enough out of me for today. Any support from the Assassins' Guild would be appreciated.
  7. Tzippi Tastes the Vinegar If you've read the Tao of Pooh (and if you haven't, consider it!), you might remember the allegorical image referenced at the beginning of the Vinegar Tasters, in which three men taste from the same vat of vinegar, one tasting sourness, one bitterness, and one sweetness. These three are representations of the three major religions/philosophies of China, Confucianism, Buddhism, and Taoism. The vinegar is life, and the men each taste it differently. Tai Chi, which I have begun studying and is a hugely positive practice in my life, is largely based on Taoist philosophy. I'm not going to get very deep into Confucianism, Buddhism, or Taoism, as I am at best a tourist and at worst completely ignorant of them. Instead, I am going to use my battered copy of The Tao of Pooh to look at what I want to do in my life, as I get a little deeper into my goals, study of Tai Chi, and continue to grow and refine. The "theme" of this challenge is halfway between using the three vinegar tasters as my models and metaphor, and using the characters from the Hundred-Acre Woods as the same. Taking my inspiration from the inimitable @sarakingdom and @Mistr, I am building on last challenge's success by adding tiny incremental goals to enhance my new habits, rather than adding a million new ones. “Rivers know this: there is no hurry. We shall get there some day.” Body and mind - * Continue to support my Tai Chi practice with daily work, whether class, Tai Chi practice, or some other exercise. * Once per week, one weight workout or long walk/hike. Could be body weight, or a hammer. Poetry and Hums - * Continue with daily (more often nightly) five-minute+ meditation. Got Calm subscription, starting with the Pooh meditations. * Using my MyOmer App, count the omer every evening. * Once per week, one longer meditation. Try different stuff, report and review here. I may start with metta meditation: Rumbly in my Tumbly - * Three servings of vegetables a day. * Plant more stuff in the garden. Herbs? Will it get warm enough for cukes, zucchs, and tomatoes?
  8. Hello fellow nerds, My name is Isaac Brewster and I am thinking about trying the paleo diet. (Or some of it, as I like peanuts and beans). I think the hardest part of it will be transitioning to eating more vegetables. I don't know of any particularly tasty recipes for vegetables. (Hopefully not all vegetable based dishes though) I particularly want a recipe for a spicy sweet potato fry, but any other tasty recipes would be appreciated.
  9. I was never really happy with how my Thai curries turned out until this one. It's pretty easy, for how good it is, and the fish completely falls apart and just becomes part of the whole experience. Serves at least 2. 6 C vegetables like broccoli, carrots, cabbage, cauliflower, zucchini, mushroom, chopped in small pieces (not more than about 3/4"). carrots especially must be thinly sliced to cook quickly enough 2 tilapia filets (from frozen is fine, but they should be thawed before cooking. If they're not thawed ahead of time, a half hour or so in a bowl of cold water should do it) 1 can coconut cream or milk (I get coconut cream from Trader Joe's, I guess it's a little creamier) 2 T green or panang curry paste (Mae Ploy is really good, which you can order online or buy from an Asian food store, it's a big tub and pretty cheap) 1 T fish sauce (you can substitute soy, but it's not really the same) 2 t coconut sugar or other sweetener (optional, but really good) 1/2 C fresh basil (optional, but really good) Put about half the cream or milk into a hot frying pan - the thick half. If your can of milk is separated, scoop out the solid part and use that. Heat on high until the milk starts to bubble and hopefully separate into clear oil and a white part. Stir in the curry paste and fry it for a minute or two. Stir in the rest of the milk, the fish sauce and sweetener. Add the chopped vegetables and the fish. You can leave the fish in un-chopped fillets, just get them close to the bottom of the pan and covered with vegetables. Put a lid on the pan and leave it for five minutes, maybe stirring for once in the middle. After five minutes, the fish should be flaky and fall apart easily when you stir, and the vegetables should be cooked...but feel free to test them and cook a bit more if everything doesn't seem done. Stir in basil at the last minute and serve over a little brown rice, cauliflower rice or whatever.
  10. I'm late to the party, going to keep this simple: Challenge goal: Finally freakin break 140lb. I'm so close you guys (weighed in at 140.8lb today!). Goal #1: Eat vegetables 2x/day Goal #2: Complete my half marathon training 4x/wk, strength 2x/wk, yoga or rock climbing 2x/wk Goal #3: Do stuff Morning routine: wake up 5-5:30, tea or lemon water, Bible reading, SAD lamp time Evening routine: screens off 8:30, tea, reading/crossword Make wedding centerpieces Keep my food and spending journal up to date ...probably going to add more stuff here... I will give myself 1pt for each vegetable, workout (run counts as 1, run + lifting counts as 2, etc), and item on my do-stuff list. Will find a way to rewards self with adequate points.
  11. So last challenge was all about getting back into participating in the forums. I didn't stop exercising, though some bad news about my cholesterol (it's high) and a little winter "puffiness" has got me keen to up my training and improve my eating habits. This time around it's all about getting ready for the massive "Boulder Bolder" 10K at the end of the month, as well as getting back into archery and keeping up my strength training. Plus, in the interest of a healthy diet, I'm going to focus on positive eating habits rather than limiting what I can and cannot eat. Except for added sugar. That's going to be something I watch like a hawk. 1. Make a run for it! This session, I'll make four training runs (or sub one cycle session for any of the non "long run" workouts) per week. Schedule to be determined by Monday morning and stuck to all week. The race is the Monday following the end of this challenge. +1 per run, +2 per long run, graded out of 20 points total. 2. Veggies! I'll stick to the recommended FIVE servings of vegetables per day. Not grains, potatoes, etc. Though sweet potatoes count, as long as they aren't from the freezer aisle of the supermarket. +1 for five servings, +.5 for three servings, up to 28 points. 3. Giving sugar the finger. Sugar intake is linked to high cholesterol and so I'm going to keep my "added sugar" to a minimum. I'll keep a diary of my sugar intake and keep it below 10 tsp (40g) of added sugar per day, 15 tsp (60g) on "long run" days. +1 point per day for every day below the goal, for 28 points. Sugar from fruit and veggies doesn't count. Processed foods with "sugar" in the nutrition block do count as would juice if I drink any. 4. Moral fiber. Every day, I'll make myself either a big bowl of oatmeal (watch the added maple syrup, buddy...) or my super fiber smoothie (one orange, two cups of spinach, one cup of raspberries, and an optional scoop of protein powder). +1 point per day, for 28 points. 5. You only get one shot! Archery practice (at least) once a week. +5 points per week, for 20 points. 30 arrows. (But really, the first shot is the only one that counts.) 6. Weight a minute: Bonus points for strength training. Up to two times a week I'll hit the weights in the gym, just so I don't lose what I've gained. +1 per workout, to count against point losses elsewhere. 7. I want to ride my bicycle! More bonus points, for riding to work. +1 per day, but has to be in addition to another workout, and max 2 points per week. Can't make up for lousy eating by biking to work... That's a possible 31 points per week, or 124 points total. There are a total of 16 extra credit points available too. If I make 112+ points I can reward myself with that new recurve bow I've been thinking about for a year now. I'll weigh in on Monday morning, and weigh out on Sunday May 27. Maybe I'll even see a change.
  12. So, this is me. Lightning. I'm back from a long journey that was full of arduous boss battles, too many enemies, and too many loves lost. I've learned a lot along the way, despite making some of the same old mistakes again. But, I've already spent enough time licking my wounds and enjoying a pity party for one. Lightning is known for trying to do it all on her own and she is (I am) still learning to ask for help. Now I need the help of a doctor because there is still some healing that needs to happen. But, I'm LIghtning and that means a little bad-assery also needs to take place. Good thing this doctor makes house calls. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- The illustrious and nerdy-sexy Doctor Strange is going to help me get back into Boss Battle shape. I'm going to follow him into Kamar-Taj and emerge from this challenge stronger in both mind and body. Discipline Tracking my food with MFP every day. I need to reestablish this habit before I can even think about dieting. also 5 Servings of Fruit and Vegetables a Day. Battle Ready Bodyweight exercises 3x / wk Following the Startbodyweight program because I enjoy the progressions. Meditation Any type of positive mental exercise 5x / wk meditation, journaling, or the Superhappy App
  13. One last try... So here it is. I have not been able to manage my fitness, plus a full-time job and homeschooling my teen. I'm really not certain I'm going to be able to do it all. I'm thinking I may have to switch back to part-time work, but I'd like to try to make this work. All I know is that I'm tired and sore and my clothes are tight so I have to try something. I'm jumping into this challenge just to see if I can handle it for a week. I really want to drop weight, tighten up and regain some spark. We shall see if this works. Goal 1: Track food on MFP everyday. No limits on what I'm eating, its about getting back into the habit of tracking and taking an honest look at how much food I'm stuffing into my face. Goal 2: Complete 3 bodyweight sessions. I plan on doing (3 sets of) some form of push-up, row, squat, shoulder press, and plank. Goal 3: Eat 5 servings of fruit and vegetable (at least 3 should be vegetables).
  14. I have a recipe for wedding soup that has some killer looking meatballs. The boyfriend doesn't eat soup but loves comfort foods, so I wanted to do more of a meatballs and red sauce thing. We're not particularly low carb, just gluten free, and I wanted to up the nutrient content by adding some vegetables that will go with the noodles not just replace them. Because I'm not looking to hide them or replace something bland with bland veg, I'd prefer to use something more nutrient dense than zucchini. Any ideas?
  15. Priorities Last weekend's sermon was about saying no to good things to make space for great things. There are so many ways I want more of this theme in my life -- in our house (as we slowly buy home items to make it somewhere I feel pleased inviting people into, but also purge), in my day (staying an extra half hour or hour unpaid at work, watching too much TV), in my diet (too much wine and sweets). I've lost my meditation habit, and I miss it. I have time in the morning, but this month I shouldn't need to be at work particularly early - so I can get back to a good morning routine without waking up earlier. Goal #1 The Perfect Morning Obviously not every morning can or will be 'perfect', but I've always had this routine in my mind: Meditation Prayer Short to-do list Eat breakfast Half the time I drag my feet so much I don't get to early, but still haven't done anything worthwhile with my morning. When my alarm goes off at 5:30, I will say no to random internet reading (or even reading my current book), pressing snooze, and leaving for work early. Goal #2 Workouts I am tempted by the Spartan Stadium plan, but not sure I want to start it when I know I'll have to interrupt for vacation. So for now this means workout 5x/week. Spin, run, yoga, spartan workouts, made-up gym circuits all count. As the weather gets iffy and cold I need this more than ever. I will say no to social engagements if needed to make time to work out. I will also not watch TV by myself (sports/movies with fiance are allowed AFTER my workout). I will say yes to workouts that sound fun, even if they cost money, especially if someone else will join me. Goal #3 Track Every Bite Here or in my battle log, along with how I feel. I will say no to wine in the evenings, endless-unaccounted-for carbs and sweets, and eating when I am not hungry. Thanksgiving Recap Last week was ugly nutrition-wise. I was at my future in-laws, and even though they are wonderful it was draining for me trying to make a good impression, and make frequent conversation. I coped with the stress with food. I felt constrained diet-wise by being in someone else's house, but I still could have made much better decisions. The discomfort of not being in my own space combined with forcing myself to talk to parents/family/friends was so much ugh. But especially as fiance's dad is elderly, we will likely be visiting them more frequently in the future -- this is very important to fiance, as my parents are practically next door but we are not able to see his parents very often (a couple hour flight, or 12 hour drive). I want to support him in this but find that I resent spending vacation time to take trips that are not restful. On the flip side, I ran/walked 3/4 days that we were there. And the morning after getting back, I showed up to spin class. I know the workouts aren't enough to offset my eating, but it's nice to have something positive to report. More than anything it was a chance to escape and have some "me time". Update on the Feels Aside from the stress and anxiety of Thanksgiving, I have generally been feeling a bit better over the past couple weeks. Less episodes of wanting to lie on the floor forever. Can't say why, but I'll take it while it lasts.
  16. Hello Druids! I'm Hymnusal! Coming in from the Rebels to join you. Focusing on the Breath with Fanzagale (my WoW Monk toon) A least 10 minutes of yoga 5 days a week. Continue the BBWW at least 2 times a week ~ 75% in both categories needed for a Pass A rainbow of vegetation with Aquaineil (my WoW Druid toon) Make 1/2 of lunch and supper vegetables for 10 meals a week. 75% needed to pass. Obliterate Sugar with Zoeshen (my WoW Demon Hunter toon) Return goal: This one is very hard and is going to hurt. One treat permitted a week. Otherwise: no sweetened chocolate, no cookies, no cake, no pie, no ice cream, etc. Use peppermint tea and ginger peach tea as blockers if it is just craving. Keep chewing gum on hand if it is for fidgeting. Use green tea and black teas for caffeine needs. Other suggestions of craving busters welcome! This is extra important to continue exploring the possibility of a processed chocolate allergy. 75% of weeks needed to pass. Tidy spaces with Bellabarque (my WoW Mage toon) Return goal: I get overwhelmed by all of my stuff sometimes and it is worse when it is everywhere. I need to devote time at least once a week to cleaning up the spaces around me to help keep my head clear. 75% of weeks needed to pass. Bonus: Mind and Soul with Clawdiya (my WoW Priest toon) Return goal: Meditation and Bible reading every day. No grading here, just keeping it on my hud.
  17. I bombed most of the items last challenge, and I still think I could have done better on the one thing I passed. I sunk into a nasty sorrow during the challenge, and I still feel mostly just overwhelmed and unorganised. Like I can't pull anything together. I'm starting to see more brain fog, mental chatter, and depression - destroying these was one of my main goals so I know I'm not winning there. Science says this is probably from sugar consumption, and last challenge in spite of good meal choices I still ate a lot of sugar. I need to rely on everyone here to keep me accountable and Hymnusal can get help from her guild mates too! Hopefully I don't overwhelm everyone with food pictures this time around... Strength and Stretching with Fanzagale (my Monk toon) Return goal. Continue the BBWW 3 times a week, do one longer yoga session a week. - 75% in both categories needed for a Pass A rainbow of vegetation with Aquaineil (my Druid toon) Return goal. Follow the "Foodist Plate" suggestion with 1/2 of lunch and supper being vegetables 5 days a week. Photograph all food eaten and post on NF challenge thread. Obliterate Sugar with Zoeshen (my Demon Hunter toon) This one is going to hurt. One treat permitted a week. Otherwise: no sweetened chocolate, no cookies, no cake, no pie, no ice cream, etc. Use peppermint tea and ginger peach tea as blockers if it is just craving. Keep chewing gum on hand if it is for fidgeting. Use green tea and black teas for caffeine needs. Other suggestions of craving busters welcome! 75% streak needed to pass. Tidy spaces with Bellabarque (my Mage toon) I get overwhelmed by all of my stuff sometimes and it is worse when it is everywhere. I need to devote time at least once a week to cleaning up the spaces around me to help keep my head clear. 75% needed to pass. Bonus: Mind and Soul with Clawdiya (my Priest toon) Return goal. Meditation and Bible reading every day. No grading here, just keeping it on my hud. ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------ I don't think I'll be waiting until the 9th to start. I guess I'll do a 5 week challenge instead starting on the 2nd.
  18. So last challenge wasn't as A+ amazing as the first, but it was still a great learning experience. I know that I'm currently struggling at the more "druidy" things so I've sent my Death Knight for a retreat in Lorlathil. She's meditating, exercising, reading, practicing her talents, and eating really green things. So while she's at that, what will I be doing to keep up with her? More Plants! Follow the "Foodist Plate" suggestion with 1/2 of lunch and supper being vegetables 5 days a week. I found out last challenge that I've been lying to myself about the number of vegetables I eat, time to fix the error. *strategy: track all days (2 meals per day) then subtract 16 from the denominator at the end of the challenge Less Process! No chocolate may be eaten that is not fair trade certified and/or organic. I've ate a lot of UFOs last challenge (Unidentified Foodlike Objects), and most of those were in the form of some kind of "chocolate". Usually really cheep, really sweet chocolate which is bad for me and bad for those working to collect the cocoa beans. This shouldn't be too hard, but if I don't make it a rule I won't walk the extra block to the organic store. Strength and Stretching! Return goal. Continue the BBWW 3 times a week, do one longer yoga session a week, Last time this didn't go super well because I wanted the yoga session to be separate from the BBWW, but I think I would have succeeded if I had allowed it to be before or after the BBWW. (One of the weeks wouldn't have been 0/1 last challenge if this had been allowed). Mind and Soul! Return goal. Meditation and Bible reading every day. Failed this one last time because of diplomatic reasons (read: husband and I need to workout how this will work without disrupting each other). Negotiations are underway Bonus: Commune with Nature Duolingo every day I noticed the Duolingo link in @fleaball's signature and was intrigued. I've set myself up with French lessons, and hope to do them every day, but this is a bonus challenge, so no sweat if it gets deferred. My Druid toon, Aquaineil, would be proud. (All of my toons are RP'ed as an exaggerated facet of my personality, Aquaineil is bubbly, silly, and a little blonde... Hymnusal doesn't need her approval )
  19. Veteran Rebels Mini-Challenge Hi everyone and welcome to the first ever Veteran Rebel Mini-Challenge! While traditionally the Rebel mini has been a step-by-step guide of how to challenge (yes), as things have changed and the Rebel Guild has become an all-Level encompassing place, we found that that started to become repetitive. Therefore, for veteran rebels that have braved the forums for some time, and who wish to add flavour (literally) to their challenges, we have decided to whisk together a simple but fun Mini-Challenge for you. Newcomers are of course welcome as well, but if it’s your first time using the NF Forums, we recommend you go through the challenge Tutorial [LINK] first as well as the Fruit Toss [LINK] mini challenge first to get a taste of the format. For everyone else, the Rules of the Game are Simple: This mini-challenge will run from 12/02 until 11/03 and is open to anyone who wishes to participate. Just add your name to the sign-up sheet and join in, you may sign up at any time. Every Friday (to give you time to plan your weekend shopping), we will be announcing one vegetable of the week. Your challenge is to use that vegetable in as many dishes as possible. For each meal/dish/recipe you use that vegetable in (keyword is use, just coming up with the recipe doesn’t count) you get one point. The Rebel with the most points at the end of the week wins! You are welcome to post pictures. Let us know if you are participating and don’t hesitate to ask any questions! A Note on Mini-Challenges: Mini-challenges are not mandatory, feel free to ignore this one if you don't want to participate. Don't let mini-challenges hinder your own goals. If you're not sure how to register something, post it here. If you get stuck, Rebels @IAmInfinite, @fleaball and myself (@Miw_Sher) will be happy to help you forward.
  20. Hi everybody! I'm Jess. I'd love to be your Vegetable of the Week guide! I cook ALOT. My husband and I went paleo several months back which gave me carte blanche to start making any kind of vegetables I wanted. Previous to this he'd always been a little iffy on new things. I live in the midwestern US in an area with a pretty good summer farmers market, a selection of upscale grocers and a huge international market. All of my vegetables will come from one of these places, but to start with I'll probably do more common vegetables you can get at a well stocked grocer in the US. As for anyone in other countries, some of these items may be seasonal if available at all. My husband and I are both working towards weight loss, so these recipes will focus on max flavor without being too heavy. Most of these will make good side dishes, but some may end up full meals with something like a protein added. Most of these will paleo. If I know a healthy-ish way to make something that isn't paleo, I'll try to add it in the notes. I am allergic to finned fish and tree nuts, so in an effort to not be sick I will be making recipes that don't contain these. However, if I know they would be good to add flavor or crunch, I'll make notes about their use. I will pick a less common vegetable each week and provide a recipe that I've made. I may or may not include pictures of the finished product just because my food is usually ugly, but it tastes good! I promise! This weeks vegetable is.... DANDELION GREENS!
  21. 2016 was an exciting year for me. I bought a house (and did a lot of work renovating it), I got married to the love of my life, and I went on my first international trip. Despite all of these things 2017 is going to be much more monumental - because my wife and I are expecting our first baby in June. In order to insure that I am in the best possible, health mentally and physically, for when the baby gets here, I plan on really pushing myself with my challenges for the start of this year Quests Workout - My goal is to workout 6 days each week over the course of this challenge. Ideally each week will have 3 lifting days, 2 cardio days, and 1 day of circuit training with my trainer. 16-Hour Fasting - I plan on starting intermittent fasting during this challenge with each day having a 16 hour fast and an 8 hour feeding window. For the first week of the challenge this should be relatively easy since I am still on winter break and can eat on my own schedule. However, next week when I go back to school I have to eat per my school schedule which sucks because my assigned lunch is from 10:30 to 11. I am thinking of working through my lunch and eating during my prep period which is from 1:45 to 2:30. Vegetable a Day - I will be having at least serving of vegetables every day, preferably at dinner. Tomorrow morning I am going to the store to pick up some salad stuff and some instant steamable veggies. Do the Dishes - I am terrible about letting dishes building up in the sink and only washing them whenever I am running out of clean ones. However, with the baby on the way the sink will need to be clear to wash bottles and what not, so I need to start keeping the sink clear by making sure that all of the dishes are taken care of before I go to bed every night. Goal - Over the course of this challenge my goal is to lose 16 pounds. That's a weird number, I know, I determined it by calculating a 1% weight loss per week over the course of the challenge.
  22. The challenge where I try to avoid the winter snowman effect aka hibernation instincts aka lots of eating with no exercise. Where I'm At Now I sat out the last couple challenges due to travel. Here's what I've been up to: Two week Boston/Berlin trip Indianapolis Marathon - I injured my ankle randomly a week before the race, but gutted my way through it anyways. Took me 6 hours, but I no longer underestimate the power of my own stubbornness. One week business trip to France - including a long weekend in Paris. Caught a cold before all of that (early October?) which I am only now properly recovered from Had a couple rough IBS flare-ups While travelling I ate all the things (particularly in France), with minimal exercise (aside from tons of walking) due to the lovely chest cold. This resulted in a 5+ lb gain over the last few months. Over the last couple weeks I've gotten back on track with mostly healthy eating, and hot yoga. Goalz Plate my meals - this is mostly to prevent me from snacking through dinner. Bonus point for a vegetable (or fruit with breakfast) on the plate. Bonus point for taking a lunch break instead of eating at my desk. Bonus point for no alcohol Create a weekly exercise plan and stick to it. Ideally sports conditioning 2x/week, yoga 3x/week, running 1x/week. Bonus points for additional activities (barre class?) Go to bed by 9:30 every night except when social things are happening. Bonus point for walking up early to pray/meditate. (Bought the 3-mo/99c Headspace!) Nothing exciting this time around. I'm trying to get back in the groove and get lighter/stronger for my Spartan Sprint in late January. I'm happy to be done with the marathon so I can go back to doing more other things. Point System 1 point per goal per day = 84 pts max (plus bonus). 1 point = $1 to spend on new sports apparel...I've been drooling over workout capris and cute yoga tops.
  23. Okay. The short version is that right now, I’m between studies, without a job, living with my parents, and I have no hell of an idea what I am going to do with my life. I have to either return to finish a line of studies I’ve grown to hate, find something new altogether, or try to find a job. With high school background.. Yeah, not so much. I’ve now done shit all for a few months, and I can say that sucks. I have a tendency to write massive challenges I never finish (or get even halfway..). So, here, a bit smaller this time: 1) At the end of the challenge, I have cut my time in front of the screen to six hours. (Currently probably closer to 11.) Honestly? If I have to ask myself if I am addicted to digital distraction fodder, I probably am. At least reading a real book is fucking useful. 2) Two vegetables, fruits, or handfuls of seeds or nuts every day 3) A basic bodyweight workout twice a week. I’ve done this before, and I know how much better it makes me feel. And if it is boring, I will change the exercises I am doing. Not stop doing the whole thing. 4) Write. At least half an hour per day. And not that half-in-youtube/reddit/whereever bullshit either. I’ve got a dozen story ideas in my head, I’m constantly thinking about them, and wanting to write them. Yet I do not. I guess it’s that they’re safer inside my head, thought out far better than what I can put on paper. And that, imperfect beginners' skill kind of ruining them scares me. But what good do they do in my head? The truth is I’m just being a coward. And I must write. I don't want my stories to die with me. (Large images spoilered for convenience) Today I tried pole-dancing for the first time. It certainly was something I had never experienced before And that made it fun. I ate a handful of almonds and a banana. Wrote this, though it doesn't really count. Planning to go to bed at 11.
  24. Alright, I’m starting my first challenge here with Nerd Fitness. I’m new to the site and have never done this, so bear with me. I’ll try to make it interesting. So, after being sealed in the sacred realm for 7 years, Rhia (Link) has gained quite a bit of weight and is in no shape to become the Hero of Time and save Hyrule from the tyranny of Gannondorf. So now it is time for Rhia to gather her courage and head out on her quest to train and get into shape for the safety of the realm. It does no good for the Hero of Time to be late. While Rhia needs her beauty sleep, sleeping in is not acceptable. Every morning she should be on time and ready train! First step is getting out of bed and being ready to face whatever monsters and challenges are in Hyrule! Goal #1: By the end of the challenge, get up out of bed without hitting the snooze button. While Rhia may cut grass for rupees, she must not forget that vegetables are also important. Vegetables, while at first seemingly distasteful, can give Rhia the energy she needs to train her muscles and sword skills to perfection. Goal #2: Eat vegetables with at least 2 meals each week week. Ok, so we’ve got out of bed and had vegetables for energy. Now it’s time to get serious and train. Strength training is no laughing matter. How can Rhia take on the temples and bosses required to free the sages, if she is not strong enough? Training begins here and now! Goal #3: Go to the gym and strength train at least 4 days a week. Thus we begin the Legend of RhiaWolfe in her quest to save Hyrule and bring peace to the land. Will she make it? Can she fulfill her tasks as necessary to reach her goals? Or will the land be taken over by the darkness… stay tuned for more.
  25. Challenge #7 Physical – PT “A bear, however hard he tries, grows tubby without exercise.” 2 Sets (Everyday) · Trunk Rotation 10 times · Bridge 10 times · Spinal stretch, Hold for 15 seconds 3 times both sides · Dog to Camel pose 10 times · Quadriceps Stretch, Hold for 15 seconds 3 times both sides · Shoulder Rolls, forward and backward, 10 count each A. = 6 days a week = 2(STR) & 3(DEX) B. = 5 days a week = & 1.5(STR) & 2.25(DEX) C. = 4 days a week = & 1(STR) & 1.5(DEX) D. = 3 Days a week = & .5(STR) & .75(DEX) Physical – Tango Time “You can't stay in your corner of the Forest waiting for others to come to you. You have to go to them sometimes.” = 4 Weeks = 2(STR) & 3(DEX) & 3(CHA) B. = 3 Weeks = & 1.5(STR) & 2.25(DEX)& 2.25(CHA) C. = 2 Weeks = & 1(STR) & 1.5(DEX) & 1.5(CHA) D. = 1 Week = & .5(STR) & .75(DEX) & .75(CHA) Fruit and Veggie Ninja – Level 2 Eat 1 serving of Fruits & Vegetables daily (must eat both) “It's so much more friendly with two.” A. = 6 days a week for both = 2(CON) B. = 5 days a week for both = 1.5(CON) C. = 4 days a week for both = 1(CON) D. = 3 days a week for both = .5(CON) Life Goal – Write in my Journal “My spelling is Wobbly. It's good spelling but it Wobbles, and the letters get in the wrong places.” “So perhaps the best thing to do is to stop writing Introductions and get on with the book.” A. = 12 times during the 4 week challenge = 2(WIS) & 2(CHA) B. = 9 times during the 4 week challenge = 1.5(WIS) & 1.5(CHA) C. = 7 times during the 4 week challenge = 1.5(WIS) & 1(CHA) D. = 4 times during the 4 week challenge = .5(WIS) & .5(CHA) Epic Quest bonus points for each digital entry I transcribe into my handwritten journal. (10 points each + 25 if I complete all)
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