Tag Archives: margaritas

Eureka!

Yes, I’ve done it.

I’ve found the perfect work out routine for my inner couch potato. And if,  like me….. your idea of strenuous exercise is slicing another lime for your margarita rim?

Rejoice! And read on.

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Can 4 Seconds of Exercise Make a Difference?

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Four seconds of intense intervals, repeated until they amount to a minute of total exertion, led to rapid improvements in strength and fitness in middle-aged and older adults.

 
 
 

In what is probably the definitive word on how little exercise we can get away with, a new study finds that a mere four seconds of intense intervals, repeated until they amount to about a minute of total exertion, lead to rapid and meaningful improvements in strength, fitness and general physical performance among middle-aged and older adults.

I have often written about the potential benefits of brief, high-intensity interval training, or H.I.I.T., an approach to exercise that consists of quick spurts of draining physical effort, followed by rest, with the sequence repeated multiple times. In studies, short H.I.I.T. workouts typically produce health gains that are equal to or more pronounced than much longer, gentler workouts.

But the ideal length of the intervals in these workouts has been unsettled. Researchers studying H.I.I.T. agree that the optimal interval span should stress our muscles and other bodily systems enough to jump-start potent physiological changes but not so much that we groan, give up and decline to try that workout ever again. In practice, those dueling goals have led H.I.I.T. scientists to study intervals ranging from a protracted four minutes to a quickie 20 seconds.

But Ed Coyle, an exercise physiologist at the University of Texas in Austin, and his graduate assistant Jakob Allen suspected that even 20-second spurts, performed intensely, might exceed some exercisers’ tolerance. So, he decided to start looking for the shortest possible interval that was still effective.

And in the new study, which was published this week in Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise, he and his colleagues settled on a blink-swift four seconds.

To test that idea, the researchers turned initially to eight healthy college students, asking them to sprint on the bikes for four seconds periodically throughout the day, to see if these short, strenuous workouts would counteract some of the undesirable metabolic effects of sitting all day and eating poorly. They did, as I wrote about in April.

But that study focused on robust, young adults and repeated, if diminutive, workouts sprinkled throughout the day. The scientists now wondered if a more practical, single session of four-second sprints would be enough exercise to improve health and fitness in out-of-shape adults well past their college years.

So, they recruited 39 of them, men and women aged 50 to 68 who were sedentary but had no other major health concerns. They tested the volunteers’ current aerobic fitness, muscular power and mass, arterial flexibility, and ability to perform what are called “activities of daily living,” such as getting up out of a chair.

The volunteers began visiting the performance lab three times a week. There, they completed a brief workout of repeated four-second intervals on the lab’s specialized bikes. At first, they sprinted for four seconds, with Dr. Allen calling out a second-by-second countdown, followed by 56 seconds of rest, repeating that sequence 15 times, for a total of 60 seconds of intervals.

Over two months, though, the riders’ rest periods declined to 26 seconds and they increased their total number of sprints to 30 per session.

At the end of eight weeks, the scientists retested everyone and found substantial differences. On average, riders had increased their fitness by about 10 percent, gained considerable muscle mass and strength in their legs, reduced the stiffness of their arteries and outperformed their previous selves in activities of daily living, all from about three to six minutes a week of actual exercise.

A majority of the volunteers also told the researchers during follow-up interviews that they enjoyed the workouts and would continue them, if possible, Dr. Coyle said.

The upshot, he said, is that these intervals, despite being as brief as possible, effectively boosted health and fitness in ordinary adults.

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Four seconds?

I think even I might be able to handle that.

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A bar is born!

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We came home from the grocery store yesterday and found this:

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The contractor had been at work in the barn and started the bar!

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My husband was thrilled… but had to check the measurements to be sure.

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Can you picture me standing back there mixing margaritas?

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I’ve been battling for a nicely stained finish but the husband is trying to cheap out and go natural. I fear neither of us will be fully satisfied… but at least we’ll have someplace sturdy to belly up to soon.

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On second thought, don’t. Some things are simply too frightening to contemplate.

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Notebooks we all need.

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Just in time for Christmas … I bring you the perfect stocking stuffers.

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That one’s bound to fill up in no time.

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I am so buying this for my husband.

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Who in their right mind would want written proof of that?

Pass.

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I may need 3 or 4 of these.

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If you have an extra world take over plan kicking around, feel free to share. Mine are usually hatched after a pitcher of margaritas and tend to be less strategically sound when read sober.

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No comment.

Hard pass.

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Reason? When have I ever needed one of those…

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Reason #56 why you should always have your cell phone nearby.

 

Hello my name is River, and I’m an addict.

A cell phone addict.

I always have my cell phone.

In my purse, in my pocket, in my hand. It’s rarely more than 10 feet away from me at any given time…. which drives the husband crazy.  (This could be because he’s always doing something photo worthy, but that’s another blog entirely.)

The other day as I was sitting on the barn porch with a book and a cheaters bottled cocktail…..

 

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A fly had the audacity to do the backstroke in my margarita.

 

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This will not be tolerated, so after removing the thirsty Esther Williams wannabe?

My cell phone saved the day….

 

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And the rest of my  I still don’t feel comfortable going to our local pub for a real one  margarita.

Reason #56 why you should always have your cell phone nearby – cocktail fly blocking.

You’re welcome.

 

A little pandemic humor.

 

(Because we all need to laugh or we’ll kill the spouses we’re locked in the house with.)

This person found an interesting, albeit slightly creepy…. way to re-purpose Amazon boxes.

 

 

Imagine putting a leash on that and taking it out for a walk?

Here…. our niece’s son used his spare time to jump on a trampoline with his chicken.

 

                                 The chicken was unavailable for comment.

 

I admit I didn’t know about the latest ribbon trend…

 

 

But I sure do wish I lived in this fellow’s neighborhood.

 

Margarita home delivery?

Long live the quarantine!

Margarita heaven….

 

Our last night with our special visitors ended at Jose Tequilas because…. well, you knew it had to.

Greeted at the door by this…..

 

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And this….

 

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I knew it was going to be a fun place.

 

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The colors were bright and cheerful.

 

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And the margarita list was a mile long.

Heaven, I tell you…. pure heaven!

 

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I started with the Prickly Pear and Destiny had the Mango…. we both said large, and yes they were.

 

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The Dia de los Meurtos theme was fabulous… and everywhere you looked.

 

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After a few of those large (and quite potent) margaritas? I wouldn’t be surprised if someone asked those chicas to dance.

 

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I tried to persuade our table to order grilled cactus, but there were no takers.

 

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Though a second round of medium sized margaritas was approved for us girls.

Purple Gecko for me, Cool Cucumber for Destiny.

And yes, Martin… there was food.

 

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Although Mexican food never looks as good as it tastes.

Chicken enchiladas, Spanish rice and re-fried beans….

 

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Quesadillas….

 

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And churros.

 

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A good time was had by all.

There was a third round of margaritas…. the Tamerindo Guava and a Coco Loco respectively…. but yours truly forgot to photograph those.

And to be honest? By that time I was very glad the resort was only 2 minutes away.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cape Cod Day 4. Farewell to Martha’s Vineyard, hello to Bad Martha’s beer. And then some Italian.

 

While we’d planned on taking the 8:30pm ferry back to Woods Hole…

 

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We arrived early and were put on an earlier freight run.

 

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Yay! Third car on, I figured we’d be the third car off.

I was wrong.

So very wrong…

 

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But it was a gorgeous night for a boat ride.

 

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And for some full moon photography.

 

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Even if some of the shots went a little wonky.

 

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Before we knew it we were pulling into port.

 

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And the doors were opening…

 

 

 

Damn.

Do I take fascinating videos or what?

 

 

Naturally, we were almost the last to leave.

 

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But that’s alright, it was a wonderful day and a memorable adventure of a fabulous place.

Next stop?

Beer.

 

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We’d passed this place in Falmouth a few times during our trip and decided that night we’d stop.

 

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Bad Martha’s, a brewery from Edgartown on the Vineyard… from whence we just came, but managed to miss while we were there.

 

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It was a fun space.

Loud and exuberant…. probably like Martha herself.

 

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We did a flight.

 

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And sadly weren’t impressed with the beer, the really uncomfortable metal tractor seats or the small menu. Basically a few pizzas or a cheese plate.

So we moved on to Mashpee and found a great little Italian restaurant.

 

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Cranberry margarita in hand..

 

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We drooled over the menu.

 

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Veal Portofino for me…

 

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(Okay, 2 cranberry margaritas in… I admit the quality of photography tends to decline.)

 

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Chicken Florentine for the husband.

 

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And a classic on the television at the bar.

(I still have my original album, which shouldn’t surprise anyone. Hey Bartender!)

 

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Dessert was a shared Limonatta cream cake. Husband said he didn’t want any and ended up eating 2/3rds of it.

Light as air and positively delicious, how could he not?

One more slightly inebriated photo later…

 

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(It was a nice looking place, you’ll just have to take my word for it.)

Day 4… over and out.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

White Mountains trip… Day 1.

 

It was a little dreary the day we left, with rain threatening in the distance… but we made good time and actually arrived too early to check into our resort.

What to do. What to do…

Who am I kidding?

 

 

It was margarita time.

 

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So we found a chicken themed bar…

 

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And settled in for lunch. Liquid and otherwise…

 

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It was a funky place…

 

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Basically a converted farmhouse with lots of quirky little rooms.

 

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And though they don’t look wonderful….

 

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The homemade chicken croquettes were to die for.

Bellies full, we headed out.

 

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Fall color was intermittent during this trip. Some places gorgeous, others past peak.

 

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We got to Newry, still too early to check in… so we explored.

 

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Found a covered bridge….

 

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Built in 1872…

 

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And enjoyed the views.

 

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It was peaceful…

 

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And smelled like autumn.

 

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For those not familiar…

That means fresh air, apples, a hint of wood smoke, and dry crackling leaves.

 

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Nectar of the Gods.

Down the road a ways, we had a laugh.

 

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We followed the sign, but found neither hole nor Frenchman.

 

 

But we did pass a camp….

 

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With the perfect name.

 

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That says it all.

 

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I love the country!

 

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Things I like today… chapter 5.

 

I like….

Finding that just right product at T.J. Maxx.

 

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Pig collagen.

Because have you ever seen a wrinkled pig?

 

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I like…

Taking the guess work out of what to get me for my birthday.

 

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Good clean fun…. yes sirree.

 

I like…

Hummingbirds who pull up a chair and sit a while.

 

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As this one did the other day on our back deck.

 

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2,000 meals a day and sleep the whole night thru?

I totally want to be a hummingbird now.

I like….

 

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Okay, technically I don’t know if I like it yet because I just bought it.

 

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But a 100 calorie cocktail?

 

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What’s not to like?

And finally, I like….

This sign.

 

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Because who can argue with that?