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Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Eating On the Go

If I had to choose the most important food philosophy that I follow, it would be to eat whole foods as much as possible. What does that mean exactly? It means eating things that are what they are: eggs, carrots, broccoli. Things that do not have any ingredients on their label. Or better yet, there is no label.

However, I realize that sometimes this is really hard to do. I travel for my job occasionally, and don't always have a refrigerator down the hall to keep my hummus and veggies cool. So how does someone maintain a healthy diet while on the go?

As with most things related to health and fitness, planning is key. You might have to take an extra step or two to stick with the plan, but I think you'll find it's worth it.

When I'm preparing for a trip, I have a handy travel cooler I take with me. I'll pack fresh fresh veggies that will keep for the first day or so, along with fruit that travels well like apples. Not recommended: bananas (they bruise easily and go bad fast with fluctuations in temperature). Nuts such as almonds, cashew, and walnuts are also an easy snack that travel well.

When whole food isn't an option, here are some of my go-to meals and snacks.

Shakeology -
Either in easy travel packets or I'll scoop into containers. If I know I will have access to electricity I pack my Magic Bullet to blend it into a smoothie, but if not I'll just shake it in a shaker cup. Shaking it isn't the best tasting way to fix Shakeology, but it will do in a pinch...and it's still the healthiest meal of the day.

These are high-quality jerky bars that are a great protein source. Choose from several interesting flavors. I have had the following:
  • Bison Bacon Cranberry
  • Lamb Currant Mint
  • Beef Habanero Cherry
  • Turkey Almond Cranberry
My favorite is probably the beef flavor, and my son likes the lamb. They are all tasty and easy to pack and travel. Available through Amazon.

Stick with me, here: these are made with cricket flour. Yes, the black bug kind of crickets. Cricket flour is an emerging trend in America, but other cultures have been using this for decades. I can vouch that these are really delicious,and they have 10 grams of protein per bar.

A friend of ours is studying nutrition at the University of Texas, and she recently posted an article in The Daily Texan about some nutrition students spreading the word about the benefits of cricket protein. Find the article here: http://www.dailytexanonline.com/2015/10/26/texas-nutrition-serves-up-crickets-for-annual-food-day


Amazing Grass Greens Powder - http://www.amazinggrass.com/
Amazing Grass has multiple products and flavors. I am a fan the Lemon Lime flavored green superfood powder. Mixed with water, this is a great way to get an infusion of greens into your body when vegetables are scarce. Susan calls it her "swamp water" because of its looks, but the lemon lime flavor is refreshing. Only 30 calories per serving. If you like flavor in your water, this is a good way to get it.

Justin's Nut Butter - http://justins.com/
I buy them in individual packets for the convenience of traveling. They can be eaten alone right out of the packet or as a spread on apples or celery. Very tasty and a great source of healthy fat. I like the honey almond butter.


If you're staying at a hotel, many times breakfast is provided. Here's what to grab and what to leave at the continental breakfast.

Pastries, doughnuts, bagels. LEAVE. You don't need these in your life.

Waffle batter: Nope...skip it.

Scrambled eggs: most likely made with powdered eggs, and taste as such. If you're lucky, they'll have boiled eggs. Take as many of these as you want since they are the real deal.

Yogurt: the reason the yogurt business has ramped up so astronomically in this country is because it's a perceived health food. However, most of the yogurts contain far too much sugar to be healthy. Unless it is plain yogurt with no fruit added, leave the yogurt alone.

Oatmeal: depends! If it's in a pot that has been cooked, it is probably okay. Add some dried fruit and nuts and you're golden. If it's flavored packets to add hot water to, skip it. Too much sugar and artificial flavoring. Although, if your choice is between a pastry and packet oatmeal, choose the oatmeal!

Bacon, biscuits, sausage, hash browns: pass on these. They are probably very poor quality.

Finally, the emergence of prepared meal-to-go restaurants is making it easy to take meals with you. I've had a great experience with SNAP Kitchen in Austin. I'll do a full post with a review of SNAP very soon.

If you plan right, you can come out of a business trip or vacation without losing ground on reaching your goals or gaining any unwanted things (weight, brain fog, sugar cravings). While you might have to carry some extra weight in a bag or cooler for a few days, that's better than carrying it around on your a$# for weeks afterward.

Workout of the Day:

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Not Another Fad

Posted by Zach

Just about everyone we know is aware that Susan and I are Beachbody coaches and have been for several years now. Our journey began right after Kate was born in the spring of 2008 when I convinced Susan to complete P90X with me. We had been using running as our form of exercise previously, but with the addition of child number two, we had no desire to push two strollers on our runs. At least with one stroller we could take turns. So we ordered P90X and dove in for 90 days.

We had run for years with very little change in our body composition. But the changes we saw after 90 days of P90X were so amazing that we began a second round almost immediately. We also became very interested in Beachbody, the company behind P90X.

About a year later, we had the opportunity to attend a lecture and workout with Tony Horton in Dallas. At the event we learned more about the company and what they stood for. Beachbody has been around since 1998 when it was founded by Carl Daikeler (CEO) and John Congdon (President). Since then, they have produced multiple fitness programs and nutrition supplements. After 17 years, I think it is safe to say that Beachbody is here to stay.

We were so impressed that we signed up to be Beachbody coaches, which means that we are ambassadors for the products and also coaches to help others choose and complete programs. Plus we get a discount on products we buy and commissions on anything we sell through our websites.

In the past seven years, we have made many changes in our lifestyle. I would say the most beneficial has been the addition of Shakeology to our daily nutrition. I read a lot of articles and books on nutrition, and lately I’ve learned a lot about the superfoods our bodies can benefit from. I’m always pleasantly surprised to see that most of the superfoods I come across are already in the Shakeology I drink every day.

We also improved our overall diet. On the fitness side, we began going through essentially every exercise program produced by Beachbody (with the exception of some dance programs, because I’m a white guy with no rhythm). Our goal was to experience each program so that we could tell others about them and answer any questions.

While we may not follow the typical business model for a Beachbody coach, we still truly believe in the company and the products. Darin Olien, the creator of Shakeology is about as knowledgeable as they get when it comes to providing great nutrition to fuel your body. (His book, “SuperLife: The 5 Forces That Will Make You Healthy, Fit, and Eternally Awesome,” is worth the read.)

Susan and I do not go for the “hard” sale in our approach. We strive to be a product of the product and let others know that we are Beachbody coaches and how we feel about the company and products. Our strategy/goal is to be the first person that others think of when they have a question about an exercise program or nutrition that will help them achieve their health and fitness goals.

We care more about our relationships than the sale of a product. We want others to trust us and have faith in us and any product they choose. I do not want someone to choose to drink Shakeology or order P90X3 because I am a good salesman. I want them to make these things a part of their life because they see the impact they have had on our lives and trust us. Is this a good business model for us as Beachbody coaches? Probably not. But, it is in line with our morals and goals of helping others.

In the past few years, I can’t count the number of fitness fads that have come and gone; some multi-level marketing companies and some not. Regardless of the business model behind them, the fads bother me. It seems that they all have one thing in common: immediate results with little work. Drink this, pop this pill, or wear this on your body and you will achieve your weight loss goals in no time. If there truly was a magic pill or magic wrap that melted fat, then why do we still have an obesity problem in our society? The answer is an easy one: because there is no magic pill. I think that Beachbody is unique because it’s premise is built behind hard work. You’ve got to put in the effort to reap the reward.

Susan and I are happier, healthier, fitter people now than we when we were in our twenties. Heck, I turn 40 next year and can do things I would not have even tried at the age of 30. We have helped multiple friends and family members improve their health, lose weight, get off of medication, and improve their energy over the past several years.

I think it is safe to say that Beachbody is here to stay, and I’m pretty confident that Susan and I will be very old people before we stop doing the programs (shoot, Tony Horton is 56 years old and still starring in these videos, so I’m sure I can keep doing them till I’m at least 70...or 80).

There is no magic pill. Improved health, fitness, and weight loss require hard work and proper nutrition. There is no way around it. Beachbody offers all the tool to get you there. All you have to provide is the intrinsic motivation to push play and follow the nutrition plan.

I really like Beachbody’s slogan, which is “Decide. Commit. Succeed.” That’s what we’ve done, and that’s all it takes for anyone who wants to make a change. Decide to make a change. Commit to a plan. Succeed in your plan. Our help is always here when you are ready.

Thursday, October 15, 2015

High Fat, Low Carb

Posted by Zach

There has been a lot of talk lately about the low carb/high fat (LCHF) diet. The concept can be a little scary and even misleading unless you really dig into the details. I became interested earlier this year and decided to test it out myself.

First, let me clear up some misconceptions. First, fat is not the enemy that we once thought it was. I personally feel that saturated fat from red meat should still be consumed in moderation. However, healthy fats from nuts, oils and other plant-based products can do wonders for your health and weight maintenance. Second, I think the key ingredient to the LCHF diet is not the high fat piece of the pie (so to speak), but the low carb piece. In my opinion, cutting out processed carbohydrates and sugar is the best thing you can do for your health and weight maintenance. The trick is to replace these food items with lots of healthy vegetables and fats while maintaining a moderate protein intake.

There are a ton of resources available on this subject. Just google (low carb high fat diet” and you will get over 5 million results. A good place to start is with one of the following two books written by Jeff Volek.
  • The Art and Science of Low Carbohydrate Living
  • The Art and Science of Low Carbohydrate Performance
Dr. Volek has conducted some impressive studies on this subject, especially in the areas of endurance performance. The goal is to convert the body to rely on fat for fuel instead of carbohydrates or glucose. More information can be found on his website.

Another great resource is Dr. Phil Maffetone’s website. Maffetone is well-known for his creation of the 180 formula. The 180 formula is used as a heart rate training tool for endurance athletes. What I like about Maffetone is his overall approach to a healthy lifestyle. His two week test is a great way to get you on the path to being a fat-burner and following a low carb, high fat diet.

As I stated above, curiosity on this subject got the best of me earlier this year. I am the type of person that has to test it out myself to be a believer. So, I set in to change my diet. Now, my diet was pretty darn good to begin with. It did not take a ton of changes to convert to a low carb, high fat diet. The major changes made included cutting out my oatmeal that I ate for breakfast a couple of days each week along with the side of toast that I enjoyed with my eggs regularly. I would also skip the bread products or tortillas at any of the meals that included them. For example, if hamburgers are on the menu, mine becomes a hamburger salad.

My diet consists of tons of vegetables, moderate fruit, a lot of healthy fats, and lean protein. I keep my red meat consumption to a minimum. The majority of my protein comes from eggs (we have our own chickens), chicken breast, and fish. My fats consists mainly of avocados (I average about 1 per day), nuts (almonds, walnuts, cashews, and brazil nuts), seeds (sunflower, hemp, flax, chia), and oils (olive, avocado, coconut).

My typical day looks like this:

Breakfast - Vegetable and fat dense smoothie consisting of: Shakeology (of course), half an avocado, kale or spinach, tablespoon of coconut oil, berries (strawberries, blueberries, etc.), ginger root, and some nuts and/or seeds. Throw it all in your Vitamix with some ice and water and give it a whirl until smooth and creamy.

Lunch - A huge salad with tons of leafy greens and other vegetables such as: cucumbers, celery, beets, bell peppers, tomatoes, red cabbage. I will usually top with a half an avocado, some olive oil and balsamic vinegar and some protein (hard-boiled eggs, grilled chicken breast, canned tuna or salmon, or edamame),

Snacks - If I need a snack during the day, it will usually be one of the following: an apple and some almonds, carrots, amazing grass supergreens powder and sunwarrior protein, or chia pudding.

Dinner - Basically, dinner is whatever Susan decides to prepare. The great thing is that I know it will be healthy and meet my goals. Our dinners are typically plant-based with the addition of some meat a few days each week. If I do have some carbs, this is the meal that I indulge. If I do, it is usually something along the lines of sweet potatoes or legumes.

So, what did I notice by this slight change in my diet?
  • A decrease in cravings and being hungry every 2-3 hours. I had been eating 5-6 meals per day. Now I eat 3-4. I rarely need a snack, and if I do, it is pretty small. Based on what I have read, this is due to my body learning how to tap into my fat stores for fuel. This is also a benefit for endurance athletes. Less need for fueling during long events.
  • An increase in my range on my long runs without the need for fuel. I have completed runs in excess of two hours on nothing more than water with no adverse effects. I can make it through the remainder of the day with regular eating and maintain my energy levels.
  • I have seen a slight decrease in my weight (about 5 pounds) and have managed to maintain this over several months. This may not sound like much, but I have stalled in the area for many years.
  • I have seen a decrease in my body fat percentage (I currently run about 9-10% bodyfat). I have been this low before, but it entailed some calorie restriction and lack of energy to complete workouts. I have not had to restrict my calories and my energy levels have been great. Even for high intensity efforts.
  • I have had a reduction in cravings for sweets. I still indulge on occasion, but the cravings are minor.

Is this diet for everyone? Definitely not. However, if you are carbohydrate intolerant and/or insulin resistant, this diet might be worth testing out. I would also recommend giving it a try if you are an endurance athlete and struggle with fueling/stomach issues during long events.

I must point out that I am not a doctor or nutritionist. I am just sharing my personal experience with a diet that has become quite the hype lately. It is always a good idea to check with your doctor or health-care provider before making any drastic lifestyle changes concerning diet or exercise.

Comment below if you have had any experience with LCHF. I would be interested to hear what others have experienced.

To close on an exercise note, Susan and I have been enjoying the new Beachbody on Demand. We can access hundreds of Beachbody workouts online at anytime. This is a great tool for those that travel for work or pleasure. Your workouts can go with you anywhere.

Workout of the day: 21 Day Fix Extreme - Plyo Fix

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

The Lesson of the Water Hyacinth

Hey! Susan here. I'm so pleased to announce that Zach is going to start helping me keep this blog active by sharing some of his fitness and general life tips/observations. That's good because if you really want to know, he's the brains behind anything fitness that goes on in our household. He is a major researching and experimenting enthusiast, and as an ultra-marathoner (you'll never hear him call himself that, but I will!), he has some really great insight into the human body and mind. Our goal is to help as many people as possible, so I hope you enjoy a new perspective on the blog!


The Lesson of the Water Hyacinth

The water hyacinth is one of the most beautiful and unusual plants on earth. A delicate flower with six petals, it ranges in color from  blue to lavender to pink and floats on the surface of ponds in warm areas around the world.

What makes the water hyacinth really special is that it is one of the fastest-growing plants in the world. A single water hyacinth can produce as many as 5,000 seeds and sends out short stems that become new plants. Over time, a single water hyacinth continuously doubles itself - one plant becomes two plants, two plants become four plants, four plants become eight plants, and so on.

One day there was a very beautiful (and very small) water hyacinth growing near the edge of a big pond. Nobody ever noticed it. Nobody noticed the second day either, when it had doubled and there were now two plants. Nobody noticed the water hyacinth on the third day or the fourth day. Even though they kept doubling in numbers, the water hyacinths were so small on the big pond that you’d have to look very hard to see them.

For two weeks the water hyacinths continued to double, but still covered only one square foot of the pond, just a tiny part of its huge surface. On day 20, a person passing by the pond noticed something floating along the shore, but mistook it for a lost towel or a discarded trash bag. But by day 30, it was impossible to ignore the hyacinths, because a blanket of beautiful flowers now covered the pond’s entire surface.

The lesson of the water hyacinth is this: Small actions may not seem like much at first, but over time they have a compounding effect. All that means is that actions add up or intensify over time - you can get big results from small, daily steps. this is perhaps the most important lesson of the slight edge and it applies directly to your life.

Source: Success for Teens, by the editors of the Success Foundation

The water hyacinth in our lives are our choices. We make choices every hour of every day. The impact of these choices will spread throughout our lives like a blanket of water hyacinths covering a pond. We may not see or realize the results of our choices today, tomorrow, or even next year. However, the results of our actions become apparent by the fabric of our life that has been woven over the years.

This concept can be applied to any aspect of your life: losing weight, getting healthy, starting a business, learning to play the guitar, saving for retirement, etc. It sounds so easy. Just make the right choices day after day.

But if it’s so easy, why are we not all successful at the things we pursue? I think it’s because, while it sounds easy to do, it is also easy not to do. It’s easy to think that the burger we order for lunch isn’t going to make a huge impact on our life. But when we order that burger again and again over the weeks and months of our lives, it makes a difference. That doughnut on Sunday mornings? It makes a difference. That workout you chose to do instead of sleeping in? It makes a difference.

We must remember and understand that little steps make a difference. What results do you want? What actions will you choose today?

Zach's Workout of the Day
8-mile run

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

The Tale of Two Laundry Bags

This is the story of how two laundry bags taught me how people can look at life in two very different ways.

This is our laundry hamper.
It sits in my closet, as it has each day for the past nearly thirteen years of marriage.

A week ago, a spied a dreaded roach scurrying into my closet. In my desperate attempt to squash the life out of it before it took up residence in a shoe, I threw that hamper across the closet. When I determined that the roach was lost (probably to make its next appearance, I imagined, crawling up a sleeve onto my neck), I threw the hamper back in place and went on with life.

A day or so later, I noticed that, inexplicably, my husband had started putting the "whites" in the back hamper, when they had always gone in the front. I chalked it up to a miscue, but when it kept happening, I asked him why he was throwing the universe off kilter by throwing whites in the back and not the front.

"Because whites go in blue, and darks go in black," he replied.

"No," I politely replied. "Whites go in front and darks go in back."

"Front and back has nothing to do with it. It's about the color of the bag."

Mind = Blown.

In 13 years, not once have I noticed that the whites happened to go in the blue bag and the darks in black. I suppose it makes a certain amount of sense...blacks...dark. But I never looked at it that way. I was all about the position of the bag, not the color.

Isn't life like that in so many ways?

"There is nothing good or bad, but thinking makes it so." - William Shakespeare
I read a really great book this summer that I want to recommend to you. It's not new; in fact, I've been meaning to read it for years.

Chapman proposes that there are five different ways people give and receive love: acts of service, quality time, gifts, physical touch, and words of affirmation.

This book made sense to me on so many levels. If you're running around giving gifts to someone whose primary love language is quality time, you're going to be upset because it seems that they don't appreciate the gift. And your partner is wondering why you're wasting money on gifts because they just want you to quit spending money and start spending time with them.

I learned that I'm a "Words of Affirmation" gal. I run around doing acts of service like cooking great dinners and attempting to keep a clean house because I'm fishing for compliments...I really just want people to tell me I'm a good cook...and also that I'm smart and pretty.

Zach is a quality time kind of guy, and always has been. I remember even back when we were first dating that he was adamant about spending weekends hunting with his Dad because that was precious time that he wouldn't have once his Dad got older and couldn't do that stuff anymore. Looking back, I'm glad he took those weekends.

It works on kids, too. When I asked Kate how she knows I love her, she said it was because I "kiss and hug her." That was an easy one...that "Physical Touch" girl has had to be on someone's lap since she came home from the hospital. Drew's answer to that same question? "Uh...I dunno. When you make me lunch." I guess that's Acts of Service?

Anyway, it was eye-opening, and I highly recommend you find out for yourself the dynamic you have going in your own household.

As for us, you can tell by the picture above that once we cleared the confusion, I went ahead and moved the blue bag to the front so that we can both be "right" when it comes to the whites.


Workout of the Day
Beachbody on Demand Challenge Du Jour - Insanity Round 18

I'm loving these daily workouts on the On Demand channel! Our television in the garage blew up, so our entire library of DVDs is basically useless. We've been streaming our workouts on the phone or computer and it's opened up a whole new group of workouts I've never done before! Love it.

Monday, August 17, 2015

My Mom and the Fix

When I became a Team Beachbody Coach nearly five years ago, I had grand plans to help hundreds of people kick butt and take names by doing P90X. And also become a Beachbody millionaire, pay off our mortgage, and take the family to Hawaii for Christmas.

Yeah, so...most of that stuff hasn't happened. We did take a fabulous and memorable vacation to Disney World, but the rest of my Team Beachbody success has been marginal at best, not because of the company or its products by any means, but because of my own effort (or lack thereof) when it came to working the business side of things.

One thing that has remained constant in five years though (aside from drinking Shakeology), is that we use these workout programs on a daily basis. And when a new one comes out, we try it so that we can recommend (or not recommend) it to people.

In Spring of 2014 I finally got my hands on the 21 Day Fix (after a long wait due to back order), and Zach and I dove in. We figured out the containers, made spreadsheets, and followed the program to a "T."

I was blown away. It is the real deal, and to this day it is the only program that I recommend without any hesitation because if you follow the program exactly, you will SUCCEED. The reason is because The 21 Day Fix is the whole package: it's solid workouts paired with a solid eating plan. If you follow the plan, you cannot screw up. You are going to see results.

It was fresh off completing the Fix that I told my Mom she ought to try the Fix. My Mom is someone who has struggled with food and weight for most of her life. She got trapped in "cut calories to lose weight" mindset, and although she successfully lost weight at several points in her life, it inevitably came back once she started eating regular portions again. This wreaked havoc on her metabolism, as that's what happens when you don't eat enough: your body freaks out and starts holding on to weight because it thinks it's starving.

When her Fix package came in the mail, she looked through the materials, and then put the whole thing away. Then she looked at it again, and put it away. After letting the system marinate in her mind for a few weeks, she decided to start in May 2014.

My Mom is someone who loves lists and organization. She loves to plan, and prepare, and think, and measure, obsess for a bit, and then think about it some more. Little did she know that the Fix fits PERFECTLY with someone of that mindset.

The weeks went by, and she started getting used to this new way of eating...and I mean EATING! She said she'd never eaten so much in her life when she was on a "diet," and was also getting used to eating more protein and less carbs than usual.

The pounds starting falling off. And off. And off some more.

I remember her delight, shock, and elated text messages after morning weigh ins: "I lost three more pounds!" "I fit in some pants I haven't worn in years!" "I just bought 'skinny jeans!"

She couldn't believe that this plan...this plan where you eat five times a day, where you measure out your portions in containers, where you manage your food intake but can eat REAL FOOD on a regular basis, where she was NOT HUNGRY, was actually WORKING!

It was an easy, workable plan that allowed her to go out to eat and still make sensible choices. She could enjoy life and eat a slice of pizza occasionally without going off the rails. Her metabolism picked up, and plateau after plateau was busted. Just when she thought she'd leveled off, a few more pounds would be incinerated.

After more than a year, she has lost 30 pounds! And more than that, her doctor has told her that she can stop taking blood pressure medication that she has been on for 30 YEARS. And even more than that, she has so much pride in her accomplishment and feels so good. It's easier to garden, it's easier to walk several miles a day. She has energy. She is radiant!

If you ask her, she will say that she takes comfort in the plan. She still writes down what she eats every day, and if she goes on vacation and is forced to stray from the plan, she is eager to get back to it. And her body has responded in kind, maintaining the weight loss and keeping her metabolism humming.

Maybe my expectations for financial success in Team Beachbody have fallen short, but as for helping people? If I never help another person, becoming a Team Beachbody Coach will have been worth it because of helping just this one person. Seeing my Mom find success through The 21 Day Fix has been the most gratifying "help" I have ever given. All I did was hand her the tool, but she built the house. She decided to do it, committed to the plan, and succeeded. I am so proud of her!

Workout of the Day
Body Beast: Build Legs
The Beast wants to kill your legs! Done and done.

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Camper Chronicles, parts 2 and 3

Oh man, where is the summer going? It seems that I look up and it's Saturday again...and again...and again. My home school planning (yes, I thought I'd try planning this year, as opposed to my strategy from last year which was: SURVIVE. And read books) is ramping up, and I'm getting excited for fall. But I hope it doesn't come too fast, because we have a camper that we need to reassemble in time for fall camping trips!

So, when we left off, the camper had no floor and the walls were precariously perched on a redneck car lift (read: cinder blocks and railroad ties). If OSHA were to have come by, there would have been, um, violations. And if they saw what it took to get that floor back under the camper, there probably would  have been jail time. Kidding! At least the children weren't involved.

Here's what we were dealing with. We purchased, painted, and installed new wood onto the trailer to serve as the sub-floor. Relatively easy process, which was taken care of one weeknight evening. But to get the walls put back on, you had to slide the trailer back under the camper, and then feed a thin piece of sheet metal through the space between the floor and the trailer frame. Does that make sense? Here's a picture of the metal that needed to go between the floor and frame:

In the picture below, Zach is preparing to lower the walls.

It was ugly. We just started pulling out the railroad ties and letting the jack down on the back, and then lowered the front. The tricky part was making sure the walls and floor lined up relatively well.

Shortly after the picture above, it was done. That was (I think) the hardest bit of this whole project (well, unless you count "sewing curtains," which may prove to be my personal Mount Everest. I use quotation marks in "sewing" because, well, you haven't seen my "sewing"). There was some wiggling and an attempt to move the entire camper about 1/4 inch backward, but in the end we figured close enough is close enough.

Then Zach removed all the curtains and hardware and painted the ceiling. 

Some guy on Craigslist had free countertop he wanted to get rid of, and we were headed down past his house on the way to some friends' house for dinner, so we picked it up. I was not anticipating that it would have a bunch of paint and stuff on it, but I think I'll be able to clean it up fairly easily. 

Last weekend we installed some vinyl flooring. I know, vinyl flooring is cheap and yucky, but let's keep in mind that this is a 20-year-old trailer where devil rodents routinely invade and poop on the floor. We're not going for high dollar. Besides, I think it turned out pretty nice.

We have purchased paneling, and that's the next step in the process. Zach will panel the walls, frame out the cabinets, and build some cabinet doors. Actually, now that I think about it, I bet the electrical and plumbing will come next, as holes will need to be drilled for those.

Now that the floor is back on, we're all breathing much easier. Now it's the fun part of reassembling, decorating, and focusing on making a tiny space as functional as possible. Where should we go for our first trip out in the refurbished camper?


Workout of the Day

Tony Horton One on One, Vol. 1 - Just Arms

A classic! Biceps, forearms, triceps. 

For some odd reason both Zach and I are having trouble with our left shoulders. His started as a knot from driving home 13 hours straight from New Mexico, and has just not gotten better. I noticed a tweak in mine after doing Game Day from Asylum right before New Mexico, and it has gotten worse, not better. I'm icing and trying to rest it, but it's hard to rest a shoulder when you're a boot camp instructor and also when you like to show your kids how to do cartwheels.