Xbox Kinect Weight Loss Success!!!

35 lbs to go!It’s official!! I have been successful in losing weight with the Xbox Kinect!! Drum roll please…

I have lost 51lbs!!

That’s right, 51lbs! I actually thought I had only lost 35lbs based on my numbers, but apparently I was off a wee bit! For once, I’m happy to admit I was wrong!

In other news, back in July, I was a bad patient and stopped taking my blood pressure pill.

I had been checking my blood pressure regularly and found that on the medication, my blood pressure was staying around 120/89 to 130/94, which I wasn’t happy with. When I stopped the medication, my blood pressure would stay around 120/85, which is much better.

I also found that when I was at home, my blood pressure would never get above 116/72, and it was usually 108/68, which is fantastic. But that also told me that it was stress from work that was causing my blood pressure to go up and not a health related issue.

I went to my physician and had my 6 month checkup last week, and I told my doctor about my little experiment. While he wasn’t happy about me stopping the med without approval, he understood why I did it.

When I went in for my appointment, the nurse checked my blood pressure, which was 120/78. That’s with no blood pressure pill, before going to work that day and after a workout. Interestingly, when I got to work my BP went up to about 138/85. So the bottom number was down, but the top number was up, which tells me it was work stress.

Don’t Try This at Home Kids

Now, I DO NOT recommend doing this without a doctor’s okay unless you have enough medical training to know what you are doing. I work in an ophthalmic practice with three medical doctors on staff and at least one of them is there daily. If I went into a hypertensive crisis, I could’ve gotten immediate help.

I also have 18 years in the medical field and have enough knowledge to know when to get help, and I carried my medication with me at all times, just in case. I was neurotic about checking my blood pressure, and did it about 10 times a day.

Okay 10 times might be an exaggeration, but at least three times a day at work, and two to three times after I got home. On my days off, I’d check it about five to six times a day. In other words, I watched my blood pressure like a hawk.

How I Did It

I was really concerned about my kidneys. After stopping my medication, I noticed that I started urinating more frequently, which makes sense because the medication I was on was a selective beta 1 adrenergic blocker.

It blocks stress hormones like adrenaline and norepinephrine from binding to beta 1 receptors, which are primarily found in the heart and kidneys. In essence, this means that the drug actually suppresses kidney function to a certain extent and lowers the heart rate.

But I also know that high blood pressure can be just as devastating to the kidneys as too much medication, so I was extremely cautious. I made sure that I worked out (including cardio AND weight training each workout) on days I went to work, and scheduled my rest days for my days off.

I took enough potassium to reach my 4700mg daily allowance and took my niacin and B complex vitamins religiously. I ate plenty of fruit and vegetables and limited my salt intake to under 1500mg. I was VERY strict about my diet, exercise and vitamin regimen.

I’m happy to say, I’m currently off my blood pressure medication, but I also have difficulty controlling at work. In an effort to keep my BP in check during the work day, at lunch I disappear into my exam room and listen to calming music while I work on a crochet project. For me, crochet is a fantastic stress reliever. I find it so calming. I also started listening to calming music while working.

It’s too early for results yet, since I just started this regimen. But I feel less stressed when I’m at work, which is a good sign.

I’m still maintaining my diet and working out on a daily basis, I try to exercise a minimum of four days a week, but I really need to workout six days. (That’s my New Year’s Resolution).

The holidays are just around the corner, but as a vegan, sticking to my diet is pretty simple, so I’m really not worried about adding back any pounds this holiday season. We obviously aren’t having a turkey for Thanksgiving dinner. Hubby is preparing a special meal, however. I’ll be posting pics of the delicious meal Friday.

Until then, have a fantastic Thanksgiving and if you can, take a walk after that big dinner to burn a few extra calories!

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Vegan Tuna Salad Recipe

I’ve recently been on a sandwich kick. One thing I really miss being vegan is the sandwiches I used to eat during lunch. So I’ve been trying to find alternatives and so far, I have found some divinely delectable recipes.

Most recently, I discovered a vegan tuna salad recipe. It actually comes out looking and tasting like tuna!

Vegan Tuna Recipe

I was surprised how good this actually tasted.

It’s made with chickpeas, aka garbanzo beans and three tablespoons of vegan mayo. It’s absolutely delicious. The original recipe can be found in The Happy Herbivore Cookbook: Over 175 Delicious Fat-Free and Low-Fat Vegan Recipes on page 113 (affiliate link). I’ve changed things around a little, so this is my version of the recipe. Keep Reading →

Working Out Before Bed: Exercise and Sleep

Up Before the Ass Crack of Dawn

I’m typically up before the sun rises.

Finding the time to workout can be difficult. We’re all extremely busy. If we’re not working, we’re taking care of the family and household, running errands or sleeping.

If you’re trying to lose weight, getting in daily exercise can prove to be rather tricky. If you’re one of those people who gets their workout in just before bed, you’ve probably heard that doing so can disrupt your sleep pattern and wreak havoc on your sleep quality. But this isn’t necessarily the case. Keep Reading →

The Benefit of Fitness Trackers

Fitbit ForceI’m a huge fan of anything that motivates someone (especially me) to be more active and get fit. Fitness trackers like the Fitbit Force, or Jawbone Up are excellent at motivating the wearer to get up off the couch and get moving.

Personally, I have a Fitbit Force, which is no longer made by Fitbit. In fact, they recalled it in February of 2014. I have yet to send mine back. Keep Reading →

The Ultimate Guide to the Best Fitness Trackers of 2014

I love my Fitbit Force.

I really do. In fact, I think it’s one of the best fitness trackers out there. But I’m a little biased.

I have found it to be extremely motivating, especially on days when I work out. I always strive to reach a minimum of 5,000 steps during a workout so that I can easily hit 10,000 steps by the end of the day. So on the days I feel like I just don’t want to keep going, or don’t want to do the classes that get me the most steps (and incidently raise my heart rate the most), my Fitbit is there to taunt me by letting me know I’m nowhere near my minimum of 5,000 steps or that I’m only 200 steps away.

Fitbit Force

I love my Fitbit Force.

Keep Reading →

Should You Exercise When You’re Sick?

This is a common question among those of us trying to lose weight. When we exercise, obviously our heart rate increases and blood circulates around the body much faster. This means the immune cells, especially the sentinel cells, flow around the body much master than they normally would, which is one of the reasons exercise improves the immune system. But is it wise to exercise when your immune system is already compromised by sickness?

Pardon My Absence

You may have noticed I haven’t been posting recently.

Despite all the vitamin C I take, last week I actually caught the common cold. I know, crazy right? A patient came in who had just gotten back from a visit up north, and I figured I would probably catch something for one simple reason. Keep Reading →

Vegan Mayonnaise Recipe

Most of you may know that I’m a vegan. I started out vegetarian and then went vegan about three years ago. I originally did it for health reasons and now, it’s the morality of the thing. Since becoming vegan, I’ve had the opportunity to try a number of different recipes from various vegan cookbooks and I’m going to be sharing some of my favorites on this blog in the weeks to come. This one is probably my absolute favorite.

If you follow me on instagram, you may have seen this picture before:

Vegan Mayo

Vegan mayo made with cashews.

Keep Reading →

Fitbit Sleep Tracking and Biphasic Sleep

I’ve been really watching my Fitbit sleep tracking data lately. I’ve been so tired recently, and I’m trying to figure out why. In fact, I’ve been so tired that I’ve had to use every last ounce of my willpower to get myself up and workout and one day last week it wasn’t enough. So I have to figure out why I’m so tired.

Well, I figured it out, I’m not sleeping well at all. According to my Fitbit sleep data, I toss and turn…. a LOT! Greg thought it might be the dog itching herself throughout the night and hitting the bed when she does, making my Fitbit record movement when I’m not the one moving. But I’ve left the dog in the living room to test that theory and sure enough, I still got lots of pink bars on my sleep pattern chart.

During this third week of my fitness program, I’ve been a bit worried about my fatigue, so I watched my sleep pattern even more closely. I took a few naps in hopes that it might help alleviate some of the fatigue I was feeling and that’s when I found something very interesting.

On Thursday last week, I came home with a pounding headache, and consequently I went straight to bed to sleep off the migraine. As always, I set my Fitbit to record my sleep. I woke up about 3.5 hours later, headache much improved, and synced my Fitbit. This is what I saw. Keep Reading →

Fitness Progress Report: Weeks 2 and 3

I was really excited to get started on my fitness plan for week two. I was going to try the Xbox One Kinect Fitness app again, but I don’t think I’m in shape enough ready to get through any of the classes. So I’m going to wait until about six weeks before I try again.

During week two, I planned on adding in some weight training on top of my cardio routine. This is one of the many reasons I love the original Your Shape Fitness Evolved, the weight training routines are more challenging than the ones on the 2012 version. One of my favorite weight workouts is the Nivea Tone Up with Sarah Maxwell. It’s 15 minutes long, and if you haven’t been working out, or you are at all out of shape, it will kick your ass.

I alternated weight training days with cardio days. So Monday I did the Nivea Tone Up along with some cardio boxing classes. Tuesday was all cardio boxing, and Wednesday I did Nivea Tone Up and a couple cardio boxing classes.

Monday, I burned 341 calories, 113 doing the Nivea Tone Up class and 228 with cardio boxing.

Tuesday I burned 478 calories with just cardio boxing. Unfortunately, my Xbox 360 didn’t upload my stats. Convenient I know. But My Fitbit did track everything! Here’s the proof! Keep Reading →

Getting Back to Working Out with Kinect

Up Before the Ass Crack of DawnI finally got back to working out with the Kinect. I last Monday – 02/17/2014, and  I’m so proud of myself!! I even got up before the ass crack of dawn to get in my workout!

But I’m so out of shape!! It make kind of upsets me because I apparently got so depressed that I really let myself go.

But I can’t let that get to me. I have to keep my eye on the prize. I want to see what my body is meant to look like, and to do that I have to workout religiously, like I did the first time.

I tried the Xbox One Kinect and was actually really disappointed, but I’ll save that for another post.

I ended up using the Xbox 360 Kinect and I played my favorite: Your Shape Fitness Evolved (YSFE). On Monday I burned 155 calories (and 31 on the Xbox One). I know it wasn’t much, but I also didn’t want to overdue it… I’m that out of shape, and I don’t want to risk injuring my knees and getting side-lined again. Keep Reading →