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. Courtney @ Sweet Tooth, Sweet Life on June 22, 2011 at 10:06 am

    I actually don’t train with a heart rate monitor, and the only excuse I have is because I’m too cheap to go out and buy one. I know, I know…I should really just suck it up!

    Your overnight oats look deeeeelish 🙂

  2. Jackie @ Baking Charms on June 22, 2011 at 10:07 am

    I really need to get me one of the these… my birthday is coming up 🙂

  3. Cait @ UrbanFencepost on June 22, 2011 at 10:09 am

    I really want a heart rate monitor. Let us know if you like the new one!

  4. Amy@healthyhungryhappy.com on June 22, 2011 at 10:09 am

    i actually got the polar f6, in pink, for christmas this year! its been great so far!

  5. Felicia (Natural + Balanced) on June 22, 2011 at 10:11 am

    ouhhh chia goodness! never seen that before. looks so good, and i love hemp seeds 🙂 don’t have a heart rate monitor but would love to get one

  6. Angela @ Eat Spin Run Repeat on June 22, 2011 at 10:13 am

    Ooh I like the new one! It sort of reminds me of the pod you used to sit in to have your body composition done! 🙂 I have a Timex HR monitor, and it isn’t as fancy as a Garmin but it certainly does the job. You’ve actually inspired me to start wearing it again for my workouts since it’s been sitting in my drawer forever!

  7. Leanne (Bride to Mrs.) on June 22, 2011 at 10:13 am

    I’d really like to get a heart rate monitar… one of these days 🙂 hopefully!

  8. Marissa on June 22, 2011 at 10:14 am

    This is going to sound pathetic, but I always forget that I have a heart rate monitor! Haha, thanks for this post; I’m just about to go workout right now, so I’m going to go put it on!

    My overnight oats never turn out like that; mine are always soupy for some reason. And I use more oats than you do, too! Doesn’t make any sense. :[

  9. Jordan P @ food, sweat, and beers on June 22, 2011 at 10:16 am

    I LOVE working out with my HRM. I agree with you to the many benefits, most of all being able to see how hard I’m working and see if I can push harder!! I even love the look of my purple Garmin FR60 as just a cute normal watch!!

    I like to keep track of the exercise that I do over time, too, to make sure I’m keeping pace with how I exercised, say, 2 months ago.

  10. Gina @ Running to the kitchen on June 22, 2011 at 10:17 am

    I have actually never used the hr monitor that came with my Garmin 305. I should, just too lazy I guess!

  11. Michelle C on June 22, 2011 at 10:17 am

    I used to use the same pink polar but retired it when I got my garmin. (I wish I knew you needed one! I would have totally sent you the watch part!) I LOVE the garmin. It’s been a super great tool training for a marathon. Especially since I have a horrible time pacing myself! 🙂

  12. Ashley O. @ The Vegetable Life on June 22, 2011 at 10:23 am

    I have polar F6 in pink and I LOVE IT! I use it every time I work out, except for yoga when I like to be as zen as possible. There is nothing like someone’s HRM in a quiet yoga class to mess up my thoughts!

  13. Yolie @ Practising Wellness on June 22, 2011 at 10:24 am

    hahaha! I love that “gluten-free bun in the oven” expression, so funny and made me smile 🙂 I don’t use a heart rate monitor when I work out. I do actually own a garmin 305 (i think?!) but it intimidates me (lol!), so this post has inspired me to maybe get to grips with the technology a little bit more and actually use it during interval training…it’s probably quite interesting and helpful to get all that data. Hope your HRM arrives soon! 🙂 xyx

  14. Lana on June 22, 2011 at 10:28 am

    i have a Polar FT7, which i love wearing during my cardio classes! i like seeing how hard i’m pushing, when i need to back off, and when i can push harder. and i love tracking my workouts – duration, average HR, and calories burned! its a game…last Friday in BodyPump i burned 540 calories…can i burn a few more this Friday? 🙂 Enjoy your new HRM! And i’ve wanted to try overnight oats…but i’m not sure i can eat cold oats! i like ’em warm with applesauce and cinnamon.

  15. Linda on June 22, 2011 at 10:28 am

    I’ve been using my HRM lately since I’ve been running in the mornings and the Garmin takes too long to get a signal (it’s old, I wonder if the newer ones pick up the satellites faster?) Anyway, it’s a nice change. Before I was always pushing (or not pushing ) myself to get a certain pace, and now that I’m focusing on my heart rate I’ve found I can actually push a faster pace. I have a Timex Ironman (so boring!) – and I’m drooling over the cute Polar one you picked out!

  16. mary (what's cookin with mary) on June 22, 2011 at 10:30 am

    My first HRM is just like your pink F6… infact, I am pretty sure I emailed you and asked which you used 😉 I love that it tracks my weekly calorie burn and helps me to see exactly what my heart is doing. I can relate to your comment of knowing after using it that I wasn’t recovering diring my HIIT sessions. It’s also nice for my ‘easy’ days bc I was actually working too hard before knowing where my HR was during the process. Can you tell I’m a fan ??

  17. Heather B on June 22, 2011 at 10:31 am

    I have the pink Polar F6 too and everytime use it the thing always beeps that I’m working too hard so I slow down which feels really slow. I feel like it’s slowing me down, any idea why this happens?? How can I get a good workout if it’s telling me to slow down??!!

    • Fitnessista on June 22, 2011 at 10:52 am

      you can preset it higher (i had to do that). and also, you can turn off the beep so it stops beeping at you

  18. Beth (well ill be) on June 22, 2011 at 10:31 am

    I don’t have a heart rate monitor but after reading this post I want one. I think it’d be interesting to wear during yoga – especially hot yoga. It’s just such a different kind of workout than a cardio session, but I feel like my heart gets pumping pretty good. Have you ever worn one during yoga?

    • Fitnessista on June 22, 2011 at 10:52 am

      i tried during bikram but it kept sliding down since i was so sweaty!

    • April on June 22, 2011 at 4:37 pm

      I wore mine during Bikram yoga once, and was surprised i only burned about 400 cals…i don’t think it really takes into account ‘yoga’ calories as we get so many other benefits beside the calorie burn ya know…it was fun tho to see i was curious.

  19. Megan on June 22, 2011 at 10:32 am

    I have the exact same pink polar f6 and garmin 305 as you! I love working out with them. The polar is great in spin class to watch my heart rate and calories go up! 🙂

  20. Megan @ Healthy Hoggin' on June 22, 2011 at 10:39 am

    I have the bulky Garmin Forerunner… and I almost never use it, because it’s so large.

    I’d love to get a smaller one, so I can use it with my rebounding workouts! The rebounder “shakes” you so much, that having something bulky on your wrist is a no-go. If my normal watch is even loose, it drives me crazy while bouncing!! But I’d love to see how many calories I’m burning, and what my heart rate is like during a less-conventional workout like that. 😀

  21. Lindsey on June 22, 2011 at 10:40 am

    I’m in the process of trying to choose my first HRM to buy! I’d really like one that counts calories too, and I’m looking at the Polar FT4 because it’s a little cheaper. Is this one that you would receommend? Or is it really worth the extra money to bump to a FT40 even as my first one? I’d really love to hear your opinion!

    • Fitnessista on June 22, 2011 at 10:51 am

      i think the ft4 looks like a great basic option, but i’ve never used it. check the reviews on amazon- that always helps me with purchase decisions 🙂

      • Lindsey on June 22, 2011 at 11:11 am

        Right after I left that comment I started seriously comparing the FT4 to the FT40 and FT60. I think I want it to have a little more function, so now I’m trying to choose between the other two! Thanks!

        • Lana on June 22, 2011 at 1:59 pm

          Consider the FT7…I love it!

  22. Monika @ Powered by Paprika on June 22, 2011 at 11:07 am

    I would love to train with a heart rate monitor, but right now can’t justify the cost of one when I don’t necessarily need one (I just want one badly! hah)

  23. Maria on June 22, 2011 at 11:14 am

    I have the garmin 305 as well and I only use the heart rate monitor when I run. I’d be interested though to use something like the Polar FT40 while I’m doing other workouts like Bar Method or something along those lines just to see how many calories I’m burning and to see where my heart rate is with these workouts. Maybe I can convince the fiance to buy it for me as my wedding present 🙂 hehe!

  24. Tina @ Faith Fitness Fun on June 22, 2011 at 11:20 am

    I don’t currently use a HR monitor for my training but I do love what they offer. I definitely used one while pregnant thought to help stay in that safe range.

    I love the white!

  25. Katie @ cooklaughmove on June 22, 2011 at 11:42 am

    You might want to kill me after I say this!

    I got bags of the chocolate Chia Goodness at a discount store for $1.99 each!!! I practically squealed in delight!!! They also had a lot of Bob’s Red Mill goodies (flax meal, ground buckwheat, museli, oat bran, etc) , some even GF for $1.99 – $2.99 each! I seriously loaded up!

  26. Cait @ Beyond Bananas on June 22, 2011 at 11:44 am

    I have a PolarF7 .. and a garmin. I used to use the HR monitor religiously.. but I fell into an awful routine of having to burn a certain amount of calories in each workout session.. too obsessive with the numbers. I wasn’t taking into account the type of exercise I was doing (obviously I would burn more cardio doing a HIIT on the treadmill.. then if I was lifting weights.. BUT lifting weights is so necessary.. and keeps your burning calories longer..)
    Rather then paying attention to my work rate.. and listening to my body when it was tired.. it was all about the calories. So, as hard as it was, I’ve taken a break from the monitor to reconnect with my body… and when that happens, I will start using it again!

  27. Diana (Soap & Chocolate) on June 22, 2011 at 11:50 am

    Oh I love the fun fact about chia helping with eye lubrication! I’ve been seeing an eye doc pretty often for over a year now with a persistent dry-eye condition which is part of what keeps Lasik from being an option for me. Maybe I just need to up my chia consumption–much preferable to $90 eye drops every month. 🙂

    And now wondering if I should investigate an HRM for use on teaching days–I am indeed curious to know what my burn is like then vs. normal daily activity. Maybe then I can get my raging hunger under control! I am a vacuum, no joke.

    • Fitnessista on June 22, 2011 at 3:53 pm

      it helps me SO much when i’m teaching!

    • Shauna on June 22, 2011 at 8:25 pm

      You will be amazed at how much talking through the class while teaching ups your heart rate.

  28. Taysa on June 22, 2011 at 11:50 am

    I’ve been thinking about getting a heart rate monitor to help in my weight loss. I’m currently using myfitnesspal.com to track my calories based on how many minutes I work out, but have been told that wearing a heart rate monitor will give me a more accurate number. Would you agree?

  29. LizAshlee on June 22, 2011 at 11:53 am

    My fiance came home with a bag of Chia Goodness several weeks back as he knows I enjoy trying new “healthy” food items and I loved the chocolate flavor. It makes as a great snack!

    I don’t train with a heart rate monitor, but I think it’s a great idea!

    Have a great day!

  30. Elizabeth on June 22, 2011 at 11:57 am

    I have been looking at Polar HRMs for ever! I am actually trying to decide between the FT7 and the FT40. How did you end up picking the FT40?

    • Fitnessista on June 22, 2011 at 3:52 pm

      it had great reviews and i like the white color 🙂

  31. kristi (sweet cheeks) on June 22, 2011 at 12:00 pm

    I have the garmin 305 too and it is pretty big. It’s fine for runs outside but it would definitely be nice to have something smaller for gym classes, like you said. I love the pink polar…too bad its sold out!

  32. Eates-a-Lot on June 22, 2011 at 12:01 pm

    I started working out with a heart rate monitor a few months back. I believe that is one of the reasons my fitness has improved. I judge what I’m doing not on how my body feels, but how my heart feels. I realized that even though I *though* I was pushing myself, I really wasn’t. The heart rate montior was one of the best purchases I have made.

  33. Andrea on June 22, 2011 at 12:03 pm

    Ahh it’s like you knew my thoughts! I was already contemplating a new heart rate monitor when I saw your blog and ended up going with the same one! So excited 🙂

    • Fitnessista on June 22, 2011 at 3:52 pm

      twins! 🙂

  34. vicky on June 22, 2011 at 12:15 pm

    I am so uninformed when in comes to heart rate monitors- really needed this tutorial– thanks! Is the FT40 just a watch or is it a chest strap thing too? I think a strap would get super annoying but a watch wouldn’t be that bad… especially since it tracks so much key information! thanks 🙂

  35. Erin on June 22, 2011 at 12:18 pm

    I like this one you bought…but with this watch do you still have to wear the chest strap? (I am laughing as I type this because mabye most all products are made without these now, I have no idea?!?!!?)

    • Andrea on June 22, 2011 at 12:27 pm

      This one does have a chest strap. From what I’ve heard though the new straps are so much more comfortable! That’s why I just bought the FT40 too 🙂

      • Erin on June 22, 2011 at 2:12 pm

        Ok perfect, thanks for the info Andrea!!!

      • Fitnessista on June 22, 2011 at 3:51 pm

        ohhh good to know! i wasn’t a fan of the f6 strap

    • Sara @BakingandWine on June 22, 2011 at 3:34 pm

      I just recently started using the Polar FT40 also and honestly I don’t even notice the strap. It feels like nothing is there! Very comfortable.

  36. The Teenage Taste on June 22, 2011 at 12:26 pm

    I just bought a Garmin Forerunner 305 a month ago and, while it’s awesome for training, it is rather bulky. I’ve already gotten a few questioning looks and comments. Haha. People probably think it’s some kind of ugly watch. 😛

    • Fitnessista on June 22, 2011 at 3:51 pm

      it looks like a video game system haha

  37. Michelle @ Give Me the Almond Butter on June 22, 2011 at 12:37 pm

    I also have the Garmin Forerunner 305. Mine came with the heart rate but its a strap that goes across your chest. I feel like that would be so awkward (and not to mention sweaty) when I run. Does your new watch have the strap on it.

  38. Emily @ Glitz Glam Granola on June 22, 2011 at 12:41 pm

    Ohh that chia seed goodness stuff looks fantastic! I bet all the textures make it really yummy too! I’m going to have to look for it in a store near me! And I’ve never used a heart rate monitor before but I like how compact your new one looks!

  39. Shelby on June 22, 2011 at 12:42 pm

    Okay maybe this is a really dumb question but do you only wear it during exercise? Could I wear it all day and get an idea of how many calories I actually burn in a 24 hour period? This is something I have always wondered about HRMs.

    • Fitnessista on June 22, 2011 at 3:49 pm

      you totally could

  40. Jessie on June 22, 2011 at 1:44 pm

    I used to love my HRM (I have the same Polar one you have in black)….and then I got implants. And now it doesn’t read properly. I don’t know if it has anything to do with them or not, but I’ve done everything from replacing batteries to buying a new chest strap…and nothing has worked. So sadly, I don’t use it anymore, but it was AWESOME when it served it’s purpose!

  41. Joelle (On A Pink Typewriter) on June 22, 2011 at 1:45 pm

    I have a Garmin and I adore it!!! I use it for running mainly, although I have tried to utilize it for spinning classes and bikram yoga (the heart rate monitor function that is). It was definitely well worth the expense! I use it practically every day.

  42. Anita on June 22, 2011 at 1:59 pm

    I’m saving up for a heart rate monitor right now… it seems like such a great tool!

  43. Barb on June 22, 2011 at 2:07 pm

    The FT40 is awesome!!!! I have the model previous to this one and love it!!!! One of the best $$ I have spent on a fitness related purchase. Enjoy!!! 🙂

    • Fitnessista on June 22, 2011 at 3:19 pm

      yay good to know 🙂

  44. sarah (sarah learns) on June 22, 2011 at 2:39 pm

    i have a polar heart rate monitor too! i love it. it’s been especially helpful with the insanity workouts lately. i know it takes me longer to recover than the 30 second given on some of the intervals, so i pause the dvd until my hr is back down!

    • Fitnessista on June 22, 2011 at 3:19 pm

      that is a great way to do it!

  45. Roselyn on June 22, 2011 at 2:39 pm

    I have the same HRM! I’ve been using a HRM for several years now and I find that it is essential to my fitness plan. I am still trying to lose weight, so I use my HRM for its calorie counting benefits. I also love to see how high my heart rate gets in certain fitness classes.

    I love my Garmin for outdoor running…be able to run anywhere without mapping out how long the route is first is priceless. 🙂

    • Fitnessista on June 22, 2011 at 3:19 pm

      yes the garmin is amazing for outdoor running

  46. ellalinea on June 22, 2011 at 2:59 pm

    I have a garmin forerunner, although it’s bulky, I absolutely love it! It helps me to run quicker and it pushes me to do that extra mile..

    I was wondering.. have your ever worn your heart monitor whilst doing Bikram yoga? I’d love to know how much calories you may have burned off + hart rate..

    Anyone have an answer to this one? 🙂

    • Fitnessista on June 22, 2011 at 3:18 pm

      i tried but it kept slipping off
      my friend jenna said she burned over 500 calories when she wore hers though

    • Mac on June 22, 2011 at 6:14 pm

      I’ve worn a heart rate monitor during yoga as well and my HR got surprisingly high, so I don’t doubt that you would burn a pretty good amount of calories!

  47. kaila @ healthy helper! on June 22, 2011 at 3:16 pm

    I need to get a heart rate monitor! I feel like it would make my workouts so much more efficient.

  48. Sara @BakingandWine on June 22, 2011 at 3:31 pm

    I actually just won the Polar FT40 from another blog’s giveaway! I’m loving it so far but I’m not doing much training being so far along in my own pregnancy. I can’t wait to see how it does after the baby comes though.

    Also, quick question, maybe you can give me some advice on. I would really love a device that would tell me how far I have walked/run when I’m outside and not on a treadmill. I would prefer it be in miles. Would a garmin do that? I would love to be able to do more walking right outside of my house but I want to know my exact mileage dang it! I’ve looked at some inexpensive pedometers but they just don’t seem to be what I want. Also, I don’t want to have to clip it on my pants, as my workout pants don’t have pockets. Any advice?

  49. Averie @ Love Veggies and Yoga on June 22, 2011 at 3:44 pm

    I would have given you my pink Polar F6! I bought it b/c everyone in the sphere raved about it but for me personally, the chest strap slipped, I hated having that strap around me, and I just didn’t care about the numbers that much.

    I had purchased the F6 as a replacement/option for a Garmin that I had bought and the chest strap was horrible for me on that one…bulky, slipped, not comfortable at all.

    So for as much as I really wanted to love a HRM, in reality it just wasn’t working.

    I sold my pink F6 on Craigslist for $50 bucks after wearing it twice. I would have given it to you! 🙂 I think it’s great you’re keeping tabs on the numbers being preggers and all!

  50. emily on June 22, 2011 at 5:14 pm

    I used to train with a polar heart rate monitor when I ran track in college. I liked it but it, like the garman was bulky. I actually read recently that heart-rate monitors are not accurate when you are pregnant as your heart rate is very different than when you aren’t; due to the increase in blood volume you experience in pregnancy. I read this in a book by a certified personal trainer on how to exercise when pregnant. Has anyone else heard or read this?

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