Quiet Mornings and Goals

It’s the quietest that this house has been before the sun has risen in days.  I’m still living on good parent-filled memories from the past week, and COFFEE!

One of the stops that we made was to T.J. Maxx, my #2 in the top five favorite stores to shop in when you need to waste time and money.  While there, I saw an adorable coffee mug that I simply had to have or I would burst into a million pieces.



I love that the fine details that are etched on the mug, and the hidden treat on the inside.  I decided to try out my new K-Cup selection: chai latte.


It is a bit sweeter than I’m used to, so I’ll have to cut it with some plain coffee, but the creaminess was just enough to get me through the muted morning.

Having people over is wonderful and I cannot wait to dust off my hostess hat again, but it also means that routines get ruffled a bit, both food choice and exercise wise.  I was able to get in a few quality workouts with my parents here, but the pull towards spending that time with them in the mornings was just too great to overcome all four days.  I am a member of Spark People, and love reading their Weekly Spark emails.  They’re filled with helpful tips, exercise routines, and recipes to help me get through ruts in all three areas.  The perfectly timed Weekly Spark this morning outlined Five Easy Goals to Meet this Month.

5 Healthy Ways to Embrace Fall

By:  : 11/7/2012 10:00 AM     12 comments : 17,078 Views

It can be easy to complain about the dark mornings, chilly temperatures and gloomy weather that fall brings. It’s also the start of the holiday season, which can be cheerful (presents, family and fun!) or dreadful (food, stress and calories!), depending on your viewpoint. But if you look on the bright side, this season of changes has a lot to offer when it comes to your health and fitness.

In fact, according to SparkPeople.com polls with more than 5,000 responses each, fall is a clear winner for exercising outdoors (46%) and offering the best activity options (47%) of all the seasons.

So how can you avoid the pitfalls and let this season work in your favor—so that you get fitter and healthier and continue reaching your goals?

Embrace Fall to Enhance Your Health

  1. Take Comfort in Your Foods
    34% of you vote soups and stews as your favorite fall food (get our best fall soup recipes!). Fall is a great time to turn to comforting foods that warm you up on a chilly night. There’s nothing wrong with that—when you make sure the foods you choose are good for your body and your waistline. Forget the high fat ice cream, hot cocoa and baked goods. These fall comfort foodswill satisfy your cravings without hurting your weight loss goals.
  2. Get Outside!
    Fall is by far my favorite season to run, walk and hike with my dog (or friends), and I’m not alone. SparkPeople members vote hiking as their #1favorite fall activity. There are so many options for enjoying the season and taking in the sights while still burning calories. For example, you could view all that raking as a hassle, or as a great way to get outside and enjoy the colors, sights and smells of the season while burning calories. Here are more ways to burn fat with fun fall activities.
  3. Get Your Sleep Back on Schedule
    I’ll admit that as much as I love sleeping and have a tendency to oversleep (a vice, as too much sleep is just as bad for your health as too little) along with problems falling asleep each night. It’s a vicious cycle. But thanks to the recent time change, I’ve actually been feeling more rested thanks to my extra hour of sleep—and been able to wake up earlier each morning without feeling tired for once! I’m doing my best to stick with this improved sleep schedule even on the weekends. In truth, the darker nights definitely make me tired sooner and actually do help me get to bed earlier than I would normally. Take advantage of this to get your circadian rhythm back on track. And when you wake up feeling rested, you’re that much more likely to squeeze in that morning workout you promised yourself. Here are more tips to help your body adjust to the end of daylight saving time.
  4. Start Your Day on a Healthy Note
    Although spring and summer offer brighter mornings, the saying “early to bed, early to rise” is true even in the darker months. I tend to have more energy and motivation in the morning, especially after a restful night’s sleep. If you’re like me, take advantage of it! It can be tough to leave the house in the dark, return home in the dark, and then make yourself hit the gym or cook dinner. That’s why it pays off to start your day on a healthy note: withbreakfast, a little exercise, even a little “Spark” time. Pack your lunch in the morning or get dinner ready to go in your slow cooker. This way, when you come home and it’s already dark out, you’ll have at least made some smart, healthy decisions to start your day.
  5. Eat Your Vitamins 
    Hippocrates’ famous wisdom tells us to “Let thy food be thy medicine and they medicine be thy food.” We know that what we eat influences our health maybe more than any other habit in our lives. And when you eat seasonally, you’re taking in some of the most essential nutrients you need. Fall produce(think pumpkin, winter squash, apples and garlic) are rich in antioxidants, vitamins and minerals to keep your body healthy and your immune system in tip-top shape. There are so many healthy and delicious ways to enjoy them, too, weather straight-up or as additions to your favorite recipes. Be creative and eat those vitamins to stay healthy all season long.



My Fitness Goals for this week:

  • Monday: 4.5 Miles
  • Tuesday: Bob Harper strength training DVD
  • Wednesday: REST/6 Miles
  • Thursday: Rest/6 Miles
  • Friday Bob Harper strength training DVD
  • Saturday: Outdoor Walk/Jackie Warner DVD
  • St. Augustine Half Marathon!!!!


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