Two Nintendo DS Cooking Apps for under $10

For my fellow Gamer Foodies out there, check out these two Amazon.com deals on a pair of brand new cooking titles for the Nintendo DS handheld system:

Personal Trainer: Cooking (list price $19.99) is only $4.95 today (Saturday only), and get this: What’s Cooking? with Jamie Oliver (list price $29.99) is actually only $7.90 (not the already good $9.95 sale price) if you scroll down on the product page to the Best Value box and click on the “Add both to cart” button that will put the game AND a Nintendo DS Play Stand in your cart. The Play Stand is a handy accessory that will hold your DS console up on your kitchen counter at the proper viewing angle within voice recognition distance while you are busy cooking away.

These two apps are great stocking stuffers for the cooking-impaired gamers in your life–students, new grads, single young guys who spend way too much money on take out meals, or even yourself. They both include 100+ recipes as well as step-by-step animated and audio instructions on how to prepare each dish. Give that starving student in your life a gift that will provide them with one of the most important life skills they can have: the ability to make their own meals from scratch.

Just make sure they already own a Nintendo DS!

M&F W7D7: Cozumel Cruise Wrap-Up

I’m back from my family cruise to Cozumel!

Actually, I got back Friday afternoon, but it’s been a rush of family activities (my sister flew in from Cali for the cruise and is staying until Monday afternoon), the memorial service for my friend Erick, and a frantic bulk food shopping and meal assembly session with two friends at my house.

My spray tan faded just in time for the cruise to begin, but it turned out that it was just a little bit too windy for DH and I to brave the pool or waters of Cozumel anyway. We did see some amazing Mayan ruins at Tulum on the Mexican mainland (after a truly nauseating high-speed ferry boat ride from Cozumel to Playa Del Carmen–at least that is what my parents said–I slept through most of it) and walked up and down the main drag in Key West until we found the Key Lime Pie Factory where I indulged in some authentic, delicious Key Lime pie.

Even more importantly, I was able to sing some karaoke for three out of the four nights on the Imagination’s wonderful sound system in the Xanadu Lounge. It wasn’t Rising Star, but it wasn’t bad, either!

The gym aboard the Carnival Imagination was more than adequate for my workouts, and I got in a back/biceps/ab day, a RCR circuit day, and a cardio day on the recumbent bike. They were even kind enough to provide a TV screen on the bike that played the movie Speed Racer while I was pedaling, which made the time go by much faster than expected.

We also discovered the most awesome portrait photographer on board the ship the first night. His name was Joseph, and he had totally mad skills. The guy was a complete control freak when it came to posing his subjects, but since this resulted in such fantastic pictures, we didn’t mind. Seriously, he tweaked everything from posture and hand position to hair and clothing. We wound up going back to him two more times for more photos because we knew that we’d never find someone that good locally without a lot of trial and error.

It was kind of nice to know that the photographer was looking out for us and making sure we didn’t have hunched posture or stray hairs going on.

Here’s one taken by a different photographer. How Asian do I look in this shot? Muahahahaha!

I am back on the healthy eats wagon with a vengeance tomorrow, and will be doing my best to finish out my M&F program by December 31 despite the distractions of the holidays. Vacation was wonderful, but I am glad for the sake of my waistline that real life doesn’t come with 24-hour access to a frozen yogurt machine and room service. 😉

Health O Meter Body Fat Monitoring Scale ($19.98 + $5.20 s/h)

HSN.com has a Health O Meter body fat monitoring digital scale on clearance for a very cheap $19.98 plus $5.20 shipping and handling. What a perfect gift for the calorie-counting, obsessive-compulsive fitness and nutrition geek in your life…or anyone who is embarking on a quest to get fit.

Scale

Most body fat scales are in the $50+ range, so this really is a decent price! This one got very good ratings from other buyers on the site.

Here are the features of this model:

Health O Meter Body Fat Monitoring Scale Includes:

* Health O Meter body fat monitoring scale
* 4 AA batteries
* User’s manual
* “Essential Facts About Body Fat” pamphlet

Product Features:

* Tracks weight and weight change and compares to your goal – helps you successfully reach your fitness target.
* FDA-approved, this scale uses BIA (bioelectrical impedance analysis), large metal contacts and 4 load cells – helps insure accuracy, precision and repeatability.
* Stores personal information for up to 4 different users and 5 entries per user – can be used by the whole family
* Extra-large 1.6″ graphic display – shows weight and percentage body fat together; helps make tracking the results of your fitness routines simple and quick.
* Accurately measures weight up to 350 lbs in 0.2 lb. increments – provides a very specific weight assessment.
* One-button save function – simple control.
* Measures approx. 13-1/4″L x 13-1/2″W x 1-1/4″H.
* Made of plastic and metal.
* Avoid contact with moisture.
* 350 lbs. max. weight capacity.
* Made in China.
* Comes with a manufacturer’s 5-year limited warranty.

Muscle & Fitness Hers 12-Week Makeover Program

For those who were interested, here is the Muscle & Fitness Hers 12-Week Makeover Program I am pulling my upper body workouts from for the rest of the year. As I’ve mentioned before, if your goal is really the Red Carpet Ready look, you probably don’t want to train this way because you WILL build stronger, larger, more visible muscles, especially if you follow the 1800-1900 calorie diet plan as well.

This plan is a lot more “American Gladiator” than “Alias”.

I’m using it for my upper body since I prefer a more obviously warrior princess look up there vs. Hollywood lean and slender since I have a lot of leg muscle to balance out.

M&F 12-Week Program (PDF)
(Download PDF)

Nintendo Wii in stock @ Amazon

This may not last very long, but I just got a convenient text notification on my phone that Amazon.com has the Nintendo Wii in stock again for $249.99 with free shipping. If you are in the market for one of these this holiday season, you might want to take a look before they sell out again. I just caved in and snatched one up for the upcoming release of Animal Crossing: City Folk
.

Yes, I am THAT addicted to Animal Crossing.

Red Carpet Ready 6-Week Results and Review

Red Carpet Ready

The RCR Club Experience
I admit that I started celebrity trainer Val Waters‘s Red Carpet Ready program with a healthy dose of skepticism about what it could actually do for me since I’ve been training and eating clean pretty consistently for over 4 years now, but I can’t argue with the numbers below. I have lost 5.4 pounds in 6 weeks (This is very good for me based on past experience, especially given that it is PMS week for me; I am not one of those people who ever averages more than 1 pound a week unless I eat at starvation levels and do over an hour of cardio a day), dropped 2.17% body fat, and reduced my measurements by over 8.25″ (based on Val’s requested measurements) and 11.5″ based on my bonus measurements.

For someone as acclimatized to hard exercise and clean eating as I am–I am a poster child for homeostasis–these were very good results indeed.

Continue reading »

M&F W5D4: Whoa…

Last night my husband completely floored me by asking, “Do you want to go to the gym with me in the morning?”

o_O

Was that really MY husband who said that?

Apparently it was, because Mr. Sleepyhead actually got up this morning at 7 AM, pulled on his dust-encrusted workout gear, and started stretching and warming up in the living room. When we got to the gym, he even took himself off to the 30 minute express circuit and stayed actively occupied for the entire duration of my interval run on the treadmill.

I’m not sure what to make of it, but I hope he manages to keep it up for the rest of the year. Maybe Obama’s election and acceptance speech lit a fire under DH’s butt?

Regarding this morning’s run though…despite getting 7 hours of solid sleep and taking yesterday off from exercise to recover from donating blood Tuesday, I still felt like a slug on the treadmill. I kept my speeds the same as usual with 3.5 mph rest intervals and working intervals of 6, 6.5, 7, 7.5, 8, 8.5, and 9 mph, but my energy level was noticeably low. The 5k this Sunday is going to be rough. 😉

I wound up signing up for an official race in Celebration by Disney with some other people from my company, but I will still donate an extra $20 to a local animal charity called RAIN (Rescuing Animals in Need). There’s a branch of Florida Hospital there that is offering free bone density, blood pressure, body fat, and other screenings after the race, all of which I am geeky enough to want to try.

I will still be sporting my own homemade PDB Charity 5k shirt, though! If I can find some time, I may even try to sew up a running skirt from that Jalie pattern Irene and I both have. Hers turned out so cute that I have been wanting to give it a try since the August Pink Dumbbells cruise!

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TODAY’S EATS
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1. 3 egg white omelette with 1/2 c. French cut green beans, jalapeno pepper slices, and 3 slices turkey pepperoni, 3/4 c. Total raisin bran cereal, 1/2 c. light organic soy milk
2. 1.5 c. chicken, tomatoes, mushrooms, peppers, and onions stew, 1/2 c. baked rosemary oregano sweet potato fries
3. 1 slice (1/6 loaf) Protein-fortified zucchini bread (Gourmet Nutrition recipe), 1 t. pumpkin butter
4. 4 oz. sauteed tofu, 1 t. chili paste, 1 peach
5. 5 oz. garlic and red pepper sauteed whiting filet, 1 c. green peas and green beans, 1/2 medium apple
6. 2 boiled eggs, 1/2 medium apple

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TODAY’S WORKOUT
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– Interval run – RCR 3 (30 min; 3.5 – 9 mph)
– 100 Push Ups Week 4
– Skate (30 min)

M&F W5D1: Muscle & Fitness Reboot

My six weeks of Red Carpet Ready are officially over, and I am resurrecting my 12-week Muscle & Fitness Hers program from earlier this autumn in the middle of week 5 where I left off on September 22. I still need to take final RCR pics and measurements, but overall I believe that my results on the program were above my expectations. More on my results and opinion of the program in my full recap and review Tuesday or Wednesday. My plan for the rest of 2008 is to finish up the M&F program as written, then switch back to one of Val’s RCR plans (probably Action Hero 1 and 2)

I was so thrilled to be lifting in the gym again today. If I have any gripe at all about the RCR program, it’s that I had to perform all of the circuits at home, which just doesn’t provide the same motivational vibe for me as being in a gym full of people (a.k.a. potential observers). I wish I could have done them at the gym along with my intervals, but my gym has that grippy, non-slip rubber flooring that is incompatible with the Valslides, with or without the felt covers. Planet Fitness is a no-frills place that doesn’t offer group classes (which I wouldn’t take anyway), so there isn’t a separate mirrored room with a slick hardwood floor, either.

It has been a long six weeks of gazing wistfully at the free weight floor from various cardio machines for me.

I got right back in the saddle with chest/shoulders/triceps using weights about 2.5-5 lbs lighter than what I was lifting 7 weeks ago to ease my way into the program. I have definitely lost some strength, but I think I will be back up to pre-RCR levels in two weeks or so. I was short on time so I performed my exercises in tri-set fashion with minimal rest. I was finished in 40 minutes–woohoo!

I have 30 minutes of moderate cardio or yoga and a push up workout to get in, then I am set for the day. Food through meal 5 is packed, all of the Halloween candy is long gone thanks to the juvenile brigands that run amok my neighborhood, and the airbrush tanning place on the way home from work is conveniently open until 9 PM. I’m going to see if they can spray some six pack abs on me for my final Week 6 Red Carpet Ready pics. 😉

Just kidding! Really!

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TODAY’S EATS
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1. 1 slice (1/6 loaf) Protein-fortified zucchini bread (Gourmet Nutrition recipe)
2. 1.5 c. chicken and broccoli with dried red peppers, 1/2 c. baked rosemary oregano sweet potato fries
3. 4 oz. sauteed tofu, 1 t. chili paste, 1.5 persimmons
4. 3 egg whites, 1 medium apple
5. 4 oz. sauteed tofu, 1 whole egg, 1 egg white, 3 c. salad with grape tomatoes, onion, iceberg and Romaine lettuce, and spinach, 2 T. low-fat Asian sesame ginger dressing
6. 1 chocolate peanut butter fudgsicle, 1/2 c. light soy milk

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TODAY’S WORKOUT
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– M&F Hers Chest/Shoulders/Triceps (40 min)
– 100 Push Ups W4D1
– NYC Ballet Workout (30 min)