A new training buddy

Morning friends <3 Happy Indian Food Wednesday 😀 Hope your day is going well so far!

I started mine off with a bowl of goodness…


I went crazy for this stuff pretty much all last summer, so I was excited to pick up a bag at the health food store. Instead of just being chia (which is excellent for Omega 3s, hydrating, and assists with joint and eye lubrication), this has a mix of other things too, such as hemp seeds, pumpkin seeds, buckwheat groats, dates and dried fruit, etc.

I’d never tried the cranberry ginger flavor (always roll with chocolate), and made some overnight chia protein oats to be waiting for me in the morning.

Last night, I combined:

-2 T chia goodness

-1/4 C gluten-free oats

-1 T protein powder

-some frozen organic berries

-1 C almond milk and a sprinkle of cinnamon

chia oats

Set it in the fridge overnight, and here’s what it looked like this morning:

chia oats (2)

Creamy oaty chia perfection 😀

I have to do the work thang today and keep going to the madre’s house to check the mail. I ordered a new heart rate monitor and it should be here any second- I’m like a little kid waiting for it to get here 🙂

I used to have the Polar F6 (in pink!!) but I left the watch part in Orlando (insert major sad face) and have had such an impossible time ordering a new one. Amazon and quite a few other websites are sold out.


I also have the Garmin 305, but since it’s super bulky, I didn’t think it would be the best choice for teaching. I could see a lot of the guests asking why I have a giant gadget on my arm:

IMG00014-20100103-1414 IMG00015-20100103-1416

So I ordered the new version of the Polar women’s heart rate monitor: FT40 in white

image Source

It kind of looks like a funny egg.

Since I have a gluten-free bun in the oven, I thought it would be a good idea to start using a heart rate monitor again to make sure my heart rate stays in a good (not too cray cray) zone and that I’m also getting enough fuel for my teaching and assisting at work. Up until now, I’ve been going by the talk test –can I say “I have a gluten-free bun in the oven” without gasping? Ok good- but think it would be a helpful tool to bust out again.

Benefits of using a heart rate monitor:

1. It’s a great way to know how hard you’re pushing yourself and if you can push harder. The first time I used my Polar F6 (about 3 years ago), I was surprised to find out that I wasn’t recovering completely in between my HIIT intervals, and that I could take my cardio to the next notch.

2. It tracks calories burned (for the entire week, too!), which can help with assessing fuel. On my teaching days, it let me know how many additional calories I was burning so I could plan my fuel accordingly.

3. It’s customizable to YOU. Heart rate monitors will usually let you input your age and weight, and will adjust your target heart rates according to what activity you’re doing. It will be able to tell you where you should be each training zone, or you can preset these numbers if you know which percentage of your maximum heart rate that you’d like to train at.

4. They’re fantastic for races. Having a heart rate monitor helped me gauge my exertion from the beginning, so I could keep from pushing too hard too quickly and burning out. I also liked the fact that it has a timer on the watch for when you start the activity level, so you know how long you’ve been going for.

There are a TON of different brands and types out there. Some are pretty techie fancy and can be transmitted to your computer too 🙂

Do you train with a heart rate monitor? What are some of the benefits you’ve noticed?

Off to bring home the eggplant bacon 🙂 See ya this afternoon with a family post <3



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  1. Jen @familyfoodfitnessandfun on June 22, 2011 at 5:28 pm

    I have been wearing a Bodybugg for the past 2 years. It’s great at tracking how many calories you burn and also has a program to input calories you are consuming. But, I’ve decided to give it up. After wearing it for 2 years, I pretty much know what I’m burning during my workouts. However, maybe a heart rate monitor would be good to track my heart rate during my HIIT training 🙂 For calorie counting, I use the app myfitnesspal.

  2. Mac on June 22, 2011 at 6:13 pm

    Let me know how you like your Polar watch, I have tried a Polar heart rate monitor and I loved it! And I am not impressed with my Garmin, so I really want to get a Polar I just don’t know which one. On another note, if chia seeds can solve my dry eye problem, I will become the biggest advocate of the seeds EVER!

  3. Ali on June 22, 2011 at 6:41 pm

    I have to tell you, I love so much that you refer to food as fuel. It is, but so many out there really don`t see it that way. Many are so consumed with counting calories and restriction. You are such a healthy role model, and have been for the whole time you have been writing this blog. So wise!

  4. Allison @ Food For Healing on June 22, 2011 at 7:11 pm

    i always use my polar F7 for workouts, but since i got a garmin 305 for my birthday i use that for outside runs and bikerides to track mileage. but the polar is nice and small for the indoor workouts, such as insanity. gotta keep my eye on my heartrate during those workouts forsure.

  5. tiffany on June 22, 2011 at 8:15 pm

    i was always interested in buying a heart monitor to make sure i meet the fat burning stage and now i really want to buy one 🙂 !!! did you find any good deals when you purchased yours??

  6. Shauna on June 22, 2011 at 8:29 pm

    What is your criteria for complete recovery between intervals?

    • Fitnessista on June 22, 2011 at 9:33 pm

      to bring the heart rate back down to your own personal recovery rate- it’s different for everyone. you want to feel energized and like you’re ready to go again

  7. ali on June 22, 2011 at 8:51 pm

    i have a suunto M5 (won it in a competition!) – and used it for the gym workouts and running. THen I use mapmyrun on my iphone to track runs, and surprisingly the calorie count was pretty similar (in calories burnt)…

    This year with running being my overall main exercise (until i injured my ankle) – i wanted a HR monitor with built in GPS. My BF gave me the Garmin Forerunner 610 (touch screen, inbuilt GPS)! It’s amazing!! 🙂 I still haven’t used it much for actual running but it is so good! i love it!

  8. aj on June 22, 2011 at 9:08 pm

    I love my heart rate monitor! I have a polar and its a whole new challenge to work out in “zones”.

  9. suzi on June 22, 2011 at 9:09 pm

    I wore one for quite a while for the same reason – to make sure I was eating enough to fuel all the classes I was teaching, but my battery died in the chest strap and it’s been like 4 or 5 months and I just can’t seem to remember to buy a new battery! I really need to though, I loved having the data on how hard I was working. I’ve got the Polar F4 but it’s an ugly bronze colour 🙁

  10. Chelsea @ One Healthy Munchkin on June 22, 2011 at 9:33 pm

    I have a Garmin 305 but I mostly just use it to track speed and distance – I always forget to wear the HRM! I actually never really pay attention to my heart rate during workouts. 😛

  11. Laura (Cookies vs. Carrots) on June 22, 2011 at 9:40 pm

    I’ve never used one before, but have been interested in learning more. I would love to hear how you like your new one!

    • Fitnessista on June 22, 2011 at 9:41 pm

      it’s def post about it after i use it for a while 🙂

  12. Meghan @ StruggleMuffins on June 22, 2011 at 10:44 pm

    I’m so happy you did a post on hear rate monitors; I’ve always been intrigued by them, but perhaps a lil’ more skeptical than intrigued and that’s kept me from buying one. Skeptical, and wary of getting sucked into analysis paralysis, which would probably happen for me. But your post is really informative and I can see the value in investing in one, esp now that I teach power yoga and have really changed up the ‘ole exercise routine – I like to think I’m in tune with my body’s hunger and fatigue signals, but sometimes I’m at a loss as to how much I should fuel myself for muchos activity-os. Thanks for this!

  13. Keelie (SweatEqualsSuccess) on June 23, 2011 at 12:32 am

    Just got a Garmin 305 and am LOVING it!

  14. Carla @ Gluten Free Recipe Box on June 23, 2011 at 2:52 am

    What a healthy way to start your day! I’m not sure what type of almond milk you use, but not too long ago my chiropractor brought up to me that many almond milks are loaded with sugar and that the unsweeetened variety don’t have the healthiest ingredients either. I began my search and discovered Ani Phyo’s Raw Food Kitchen on YouTube. She has several raw recipe videos. Back then she had one for raw almond “mylk”. I make it and keep it on hand all of the time, now. You just blend medjool dates (they’re the best), water, almonds that have been soaked overnight and rinsed several times, and if you desire, a little vanilla bean or vanilla extract. It’s wonderful! good luck with that little gluten-free bun in your oven! It sure appears you are taking good care of it!

  15. Amber @ Stop and Smell the Wildflowers on June 23, 2011 at 3:57 am

    I’ve never used a heart rate monitor. I’m worried I would become obsessive about checking it, but I know it would be a good thing to have while I’m training. One day when I can afford one, I may try it out. I’m looking forward to hearing how you like your new one!

  16. Claire @ Live and Love to Eat on June 23, 2011 at 9:30 am

    That Chia goodness looks so great! I don’t like chia seeds by themselves, but that overnight bowl would be fabulous!

  17. Becky on June 23, 2011 at 11:12 am

    I LOVE my neon green Polar FT40. I started using it to see how many cals I was burning/workout to see if I was over/under estimating. Now that I am prego I use it to make sure I stay below 140 bpm (as per Dr recommendation). Enjoy 🙂

  18. Kelly on June 23, 2011 at 11:13 am

    I have that same Polar HRM (in PINK too!!) and I love it. But then I broke it. 🙁 I have been eyeing the Garmin 110 for a year now. I might just have to break down and buy it. I would like to hear if you like the new Polar though.

  19. Jenny @ Fitness Health and Food on June 23, 2011 at 11:19 am

    looks like fun! I actually love my garmin 305 despite the bulkiness bec I typically only care about distance. I run with my pup and he’s forever changing speed! 😛

  20. Katie on June 26, 2011 at 2:42 pm

    I have a question about your new watch: Does it have an intervall setting? I do some walking/running workout and I’d like to have a heart-rate monitor that beeps, like: 10 minuts walk *beep* 1 minute run *beep* etc…. Does yours do this?

    • Fitnessista on June 26, 2011 at 2:42 pm

      i’m not sure… you can get a gymboss interval timer (for about $12) that does that 🙂

  21. Bonnie on October 8, 2011 at 10:13 pm

    Hey Gina– I’m in the market for a heart rate monitor (I’ve never used one before), and I was wondering if you wear your new one all the time, or only during teaching/workouts? Thanks!

    • Fitnessista on October 8, 2011 at 10:17 pm

      i wear the watch all day at work, and wear the whole thing when i teach or workout
      it’s a really great way to gauge how hard you’re working- i’m so glad i got a new one

  22. Jenna on January 12, 2017 at 6:17 am

    Hi Gina!
    What heart rate monitor do you use presently?

    • Fitnessista on January 12, 2017 at 8:09 pm

      the tom-tom cardio spark 3

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