Friday, May 28, 2010

Use Your ABCs

One of my aerobic routines involves a hill near my house. (I used to call it the hill from hell, but now it's my best friend. It's interesting how things change.)

So this hill is quite steep, and again, closely located to my house. So it is my new *hill of choice*. A few weeks ago I started walking up and down it 10 times, making sure I was huffing and puffing and really working hard. But then, the hill got easier. Which meant it was time to up the intensity. So I added 5 jumping jacks or 5 invisible jump ropes (i.j.r. for short) to the bottom, top and middle of the hill. And I made myself go up/down the hill 15 times.

I had a difficult time keeping track of how many times I had gone up and down the hill. I kept stopping to count how many jacks or i.j.r.,I was doing (5), then forgot how many hills I had done. So, I decided to use the alphabet. I wanted to do 5 jacks, etc., so instead of counting 1,2,3,4,5 I "counted" A,B,C,D,E instead. I was able to do 5 of each exercise AND keep the total number of hills I had done all in my head at once.

It's worked well so far, and I look forward to applying my new little trick to other situations.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Break That Habit

The day before my back surgery, I decided that while I was healing, I would change a bad habit of mine that had been bugging me: crossing my legs.

(I had originally pondered attaching half a tennis ball to my knee with a rubber band, thus making it impossible for me to cross my legs, but *lucky me* the surgery came first.)

First I made sure I knew why I wanted to change the habit:

It's not good for my back or thighs. It puts pressure in places I don't want it to.

Then I decided how I would change this habit:
Uncross my legs whenever I found myself crossing them.

It was easy to stop crossing my legs the first few weeks post surgery because it was somewhat painful to do so. Once things got back to normal, the urge came back. And I had to continually fight it. And once in awhile I still do, but for the most part, the habit has been broken.

Next up... not sleeping scrunched up on my left side. (It's borking my shoulder.)

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Refuse To Die Of Heart Disease

I believe I've stated this before, but I'll do it again. Statistics show that because I am female and because I have Type 1 diabetes, I will most likely die of heart disease (heart attack). Yes, well, statistics be damned, I utterly REFUSE TO DIE OF HEART DISEASE!

It's not that I don't want to die. We all die. That's just how it goes. But I refuse to die of something so stupid and preventable.

So what am I doing to prevent heart disease?
*Don't smoke (never have)
*Eat good food (lots of fruit & veggies)
*Exercise at a high intensity 6 times a week (3 cardio, 3 weight training)
*Reduce stress
*Watch my cholesterol levels (lipid profile)
*Positive outlook on life

And the fact that I'm having quite a lot of fun getting stronger and reveling in the post exercise endorphins. That's a bonus.

Need more info on preventing heart disease? Check out the American Heart Association.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Don't Be So Frosty: Energy Audit #4

As you know, I've been doing residential energy audits for "clients". Audit #4 was at a lovely 4 bedroom, 3 bathroom home built in 1908. Yes, that's right, 1908.

Among the long list of recommendations I sent over after the audit, was a suggestion to get rid of some refrigerators. I say some, because they had 3. One in the kitchen and two in the basement. Now, I don't believe in tossing (or recycling) things just for recycling's sake. So here are some guidelines to follow to decide if it's time to retire an old refrigerator.

Find the model number tag on your fridge. (Photo help.)

Put your info in to the Energy Star Retirement Savings Calculator.

(In general refrigerators made before 1980 cost $150 more a year to run than new Energy Star ones. Refrigerators made before 1993 can cost up to $50 more a year.)

Keep in mind that many utilities will pick up the offending appliance for free and give you a credit on your bill. (For example: Clark Public Utilities in Vancouver, WA will give it's customers a $30 credit.)

Is it really worth paying X in order to keep a six pack of beer cold? It's your decision.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Power Down: Home Energy Audit #3

As you know, I've been doing residential energy audits for "clients". My third one involved a 3 bedroom, 1.5 bath home built in 1949, its two human inhabitants, and its 2 furry ones.

I did my usual thing, tested the water temperature, checked for holes in insulation, did an interior inspection and exterior inspection, pet the doggie (in my mind because I'm allergic) and moved on the next step. That's when the ravishing owner (Hi Owner!) said,

"Hey! So we never turn our computers off. Do you think this adds to our electrical bill?"

Yes, yes it does.

(From Energy Savers.gov)

When to Turn Off Personal Computers

If you're wondering when you should turn off your personal computer for energy savings, here are some general guidelines to help you make that decision.

Though there is a small surge in energy when a computer starts up, this small amount of energy is still less than the energy used when a computer is running for long periods of time. For energy savings and convenience, consider turning off

* the monitor if you aren't going to use your PC for more than 20 minutes
* both the CPU and monitor if you're not going to use your PC for more than 2 hours...


Full article continues here

Power down people, power down!

Monday, May 3, 2010

Ask & You Shall Receive


I was reading the May 2010 issue of Inc. Magazine when I came across an article about a new company based in Salem, MA that produces Bubble Chocolate. Essentially, they aerate the chocolate with hundreds of tiny air bubbles which makes the chocolate taste extraordinary.

So I thought to myself...

I'm from Massachusetts... (Go Red Sox!)
I like chocolate (and am tired of the one I constantly chomp on)...
They need help with social media and I know LOTS of AWESOME people that use social media.

So I hatched a plan. I contacted the PR Agency that Bubble Chocolate uses, and told them if they gifted me with some chocolate, I would hand it out to my friends. (My friends that use social media as if it were oxygen.) AND BUBBLE CHOCOLATE SAID YES!

So, they are shipping me 16 bars of Bubble Chocolate (1/2 milk & 1/2 dark). One will be saved for me (that's my percentage), one for my book club, and one for my Mom. But the rest? Those I will break up and hand out at the InnoTech Conference in Portland, OR on May 6, 2010.

All I ask is that you Tweet/comment on Facebook, upload images to Flickr, upload images to YouTube etc. about Bubble Chocolate to thank them for their generosity. The more buzz you help me create, the more they might *send me more!*
And really, what's better than high quality, chocolate for free?

Can't attend the InnoTech Conference? You can still get in on the action: see if Bubble Chocolate is having a free tasting in your town, buy it at Whole Foods, or buy it online.