Wednesday, February 29, 2012

30 day challenge-day 17

Day 17: Your thoughts on ugg boots

this style I think is really ugly
but this style & also this style & even this style I think are really cute
But I don't own any at all

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

30 day challenge-day 16

Day 16: your favorite disney princess movie

That's definitely gotta be the little mermaid.  I have always had a fascination with the ocean, whales, & mermaids.  Unfortunately the movie wasn't around when I was a little kid, but it's still gotta be my fave because it has a mermaid in it.  :)

Monday, February 27, 2012

30 day challenge-day 15

Day 15: tell us your favorite junk food

hhmmmm, I'm mostly a health nut, but I do allow junk food in my diet as well.
If you consider pizza as junk food (I personally don't, but a lot of people do) then veggie pizza is way up there.
I also LOVE nachos.  I have since learned how to make a great vegan version of nachos that feels just as indulgent as the junky stuff.
I also love a good bean burrito.  For a long time I couldn't make good mashed pinto beans that rivaled the "refried beans" found in food joints that offer bean burritos.  But I have finally gotten there & usually just make my own.

Sunday, February 26, 2012

30 day challenge-day 14

Day 14: Do you have siblings?

Yes, I am the youngest.  I have an older sister & an older brother.

My sister (9 years older than me) never liked me while we were growing up.  She later estranged herself from the family in 1987.  I was 14 at the time.  I have tried to contact her but she wants no contact with me at all.

My brother (6 years older than me) means the world to me.  As kids we fought a lot & I honestly believed he hated me.  When our parents separated it was a very scary time for me.  My mother wasn't around much, my sister estranged herself from the family shortly thereafter.  But my brother was always there for me through all of it.  Now that we're all grown up I sometimes get the feeling that he doesn't like me much, as a person I mean, but I still love him dearly & always will.

Saturday, February 25, 2012

30 day challenge-day 13

Day 13: thoughts or opinions on Mean Girls

I don't know anything about it.  If it's a book I haven't read it.  If it's a movie I haven't seen it.  

Friday, February 24, 2012

30 day challenge-day 12

Day 12: my thoughts & opinions on Harry Potter

I think it dabbles too far into sorcery/witchcraft type stuff; I refuse to read it or see the movies as a Christian.  I know A LOT of Christians who are into it (The same can be said of Twilight) but I don't think it's a wise choice.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

30 day challenge-day 11

Day 11: my top three favorite bands:

Third Day
Passion Band

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

30 day challenge-day 10

Day 10: talk about my pets or pets I'd like to have

Currently I have a very old German Shepherd & a chihuahua/mini dobie mix.  We had a husky/malamute mix, but had to put her to sleep a year or so ago, she was old & couldn't walk anymore.  Recently our german shepherd wasn't able to walk anymore, we thought his time was up, but he's a real fighter & is now up & walking as best as he can.

I used to always have cats, my entire life growing up I had cats, but my hubby is allergic so I gave up my cat when I got married & haven't had one since.  I really miss having a cat & am hopeful that someday I'll be able to once again.  Dogs are nice, but just not the same.  I really prefer cats.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

34 month updates on Lil J

I skipped last month.  Not a whole lot to report, but also I was very busy.  I'm a day late this month, but better late than never, right?  Yesterday was another busy day.  Hubby had to work Saturday so he took yesterday off.  I had to go grocery shopping & then running errands with hubby.

So, getting down to the stats.  He now weighs 33.4 lbs (75-90%).  His height is 36.5" (25-50%).  And his head circumference is 21.5" (>95%).

His communication skills are AMAZING me these days.  I think I've said that before maybe, but they just continue to improve so much all the time now.  He can REALLY convey what he wants to now, more than ever before, that's for sure.

Since while I was pregnant I have dreamed of reading stories to my child.  It's such a happy memory from my own childhood & I do believe it inspires a child to love reading, which is crucial (& seriously lacking in this day & age) as a Christian.  When Lil J was very little I would read to him often, both in English & in Spanish. But once he was old enough to cry & scream & object that's exactly what he did.  And so I had given up.  Occasionally I try to read him a bedtime story.  Sometimes it works & sometimes it doesn't.  I take what I can get at this point.  But as of the just the last couple of days he is loving me reading to him & he actually will bring me a book & ask me to read it to him!!  Needless to say this really makes me happy & touches my heart.

He is definitely able to read a few words, although I am not going to start any formal reading lessons until he turns 3.  And even then I'll start & see how he does & go from there.  If it's not working out then I'll just put it on hold for a while & try again at a later time.

He has an amazing memory.  He loves any type of vehicles-cars, buses, boats, trains, planes, trucks, etc.  Quite some time ago hubby had given him a little die cast tow truck.  Little did we notice that it was from the Disney movie Cars.  Not that that's such a bad thing, BUT it sure does mean that it's gonna be everywhere.  And it certainly is.  He totally fell in love with the tow truck.  I'd be in a store (even grocery stores!) & he'd be exclaiming "tow truck!!" & I'd look around & find some sort of advertising related to the Disney movie.  Later on I got him some books & other things with those Disney Cars in them.  He really liked them.  Me & hubby kept saying that we really needed to get him the movie.  I had looked at it but it was $20!!  A little more than I'm willing to spend on ANY movie.  Shortly thereafter the 2nd Cars movie was released to DVD.  I was expecting the price of the first one to drop at that time, but no.  Disney has too much pull I guess.  No such luck.  One day when we were Christmas shopping hubby grabbed the 2nd one while we were at Costco.  It was funny because the first couple of times we put it on Lil J wasn't interested in it at all.  As I started narrating what was going on & making it more interesting for him he finally got sucked in & shortly thereafter was in love with it.  About a month ago I finally got the first one on Amazon for about $5.  When I first watched it, while I liked it, I couldn't help but notice it was different from the 2nd one.  The 2nd one is very action packed, so it's easy to hold Lil J's attention.  The first one has more story to it, though it is a good story.  I wasn't really sold on the first one though, until I watched the part of the DVD that showed the making of the movie.  The story they shared & the fact that the movie was based on a real life situation & that it emphasized old time values really appealed to me.  And I can now say that I truly love the first one.  Lil J is enjoying it more now also.  It's just hard to narrow down which one he wants to watch when he asks to watch Cars.  I usually show him the covers of the DVDs & ask him which one he wants to watch.  Whichever one he finally points to is it.  And so far he hasn't been unhappy with the one that I put on, but I think he just likes both of them.

We are still doing well with the Candida cleanse.  His tongue is looking normal, his breath is normal.  His toes are much improved, although not 100% back to normal just yet.  I did get the ThreeLac probiotic & both me & Lil J are taking it daily.  The pack will last us a month.  After that I want to start their other product called FiveLac (has 2 more strains of beneficial bacteria in it than ThreeLac).  When I did  my own candida cleanse I did it for 2 months, so that's sort of what I'm planning for Lil J.  But of course I have to evaluate where he's at when we get to that point.

I am beyond thrilled that my homemade almond yogurt is soooo good & that Lil J loves it just as much as I do, maybe more.  And I know that it has truly live active cultures, which there truly is no guarantee of this in store bought yogurts, even though they state it on the package.  And it's non-dairy & super fresh.  I am truly shocked that there is no almond yogurt option available in health food stores, alongside the soy & rice yogurts.  I am wondering how I might be able to get that option available.......although I don't know if I could keep up with the demand.  I don't know how healthy companies get started, guess I should look into that more.

I've been buying his new short sleeved spring/summer shirts gradually & am now finished.  Yesterday I got him  a jacket the next size up before jackets are completely gone from the stores, just in case he outgrows the current ones before jackets are back in the stores (that happened to us once before--even in the summer months it can get windy & chilly where I live, especially in the evening, so I like to always have a jacket with a hood available for him).  And once the hot weather is here I need to see which shorts fit & which don't & see if I need any new ones.  But spring/summer clothes are always much cheaper than fall/winter clothes.  In the fall/winter I have to get pants, jackets, & shirts.  In the spring/summer a lot of times I only need shirts, a lot of the times his shorts still fit even though they are very small sizes.  I am really excited because I found a shirt with Lightning McQueen & a shirt with Tow Mater (the two main characters from the Disney Cars movie that I mentioned).  I know when he sees him he's gonna be sooo excited!  They also had sweatshirts with the Cars on them, but his size was all sold out sadly.  He currently has 2 long sleeved shirts with the Cars on them & he really loves them.  And his undies are Cars & Thomas the Train themed & he really loves those as well.

He loves his toy vehicles, his books, his stuffed animals, his little plastic (rubber?) animals, his choo choo, his spring horse, balls, swinging.  I'm sure there's other stuff, but that seems to be his faves that he does most of the time.

I think that's all the updates I have for now............

30 day challenge-day 9

Day 9: favorite meme at the moment

ummm, I have to say I don't understand what the challenge is asking of me for today........

Monday, February 20, 2012

30 day challenge-day 8

Day 8: am I a fitness guru or a couch potato?

I am DEFINITELY a fitness guru.  I LOVE working out.  Scratch that, I am totally addicted to working out.  I do take some time off occasionally, usually due to sickness, but occasionally I just schedule in a rest week.  But it's VERY rare.  I love strength training, pilates, & now am getting into cardio intervals as well.  I have often thought it would be great to be a personal trainer, but while I know "my" body & how it responds to certain exercise & diet, that doesn't mean it's the same for everyone.  So it might not be as simple as I often think.  And then it would probably be really frustrating because most people will simply refuse to make the changes that they need to make to get the results that I know they can make.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

30 day challenge-day 7

Day 7: how I came across tumblr & how my life has changed since joining:

ummmm well I haven't actually come across tumblr, I actually have no clue what it is.  And, therefore, my life has not changed at all because of it.  This was sort of a sucky day in this challenge, sort of a dumb one IMHO.

Saturday, February 18, 2012

30 day challenge-day 6

Day 6: your favorite season & why

Ahhh, I LOOOOVE fall (autumn).  I have loved it since I was a little kid.  I can remember each year as September rolled around.  The air changes, gets this crisp quality to it.  The leaves turn beautiful colors & fall on the ground.  This was the same time my birthday rolled around, which also made it a special time.  And it was also the start of a new school year--which in most of my elementary school years was a positive thing for me.  From around 6th grade & on I guess it was a negative thing for me.  Later on in life, when I was 19 or 20 or so I started working in Glendora, a city near my hometown city, but it's closer to the mountains.  What I love most of all is fall in Glendora.  The air is REALLY crisp, it's just so beautiful.  It always felt romantic to me.  I always wanted to go for a walk with my man or curl up in front of a fireplace or go for a hike with my man.  I worked in Glendora into my 30s & I sure do miss it each year when fall rolls around.  I always mean to take Lil J to a park or something like that in Glendora, but I have yet to actually do it.  Some day I'll get around to it, even if only to let him experience it for himself.

Friday, February 17, 2012

30 day challenge-day 5

Day 5: tell us your three favorite colors

Blue, Grey, & Aqua I guess.  My hummer is a blue-grey color.  I love it, though I do wish it had a tad more silver to it, a bit more grey than blue.  I love to pair aqua with brown, but also with black.  My first car was a metallic blue.  My second car was silver.  I liked that color a lot, although I also love a dark charcoal color even more.  My third car was green-a deep dark green.  I wasn't crazy about the color, but it was different & I didn't really like the options they had so I went with it.  My fourth car was white.  I'm not crazy about white on a car, but I do think white (& yellow) look good with dark tinted windows & I did tint the windows.  And my hummer is my 5th car.  I don't know what else to say about colors..........

Thursday, February 16, 2012

30 day challenge-day 4

Day four: write about my closest friend

hhhmmm, what am I supposed to say about my closest friend?
It would have to be my hubby, he is truly my best friend.  He is such a man of integrity.  I admire him so greatly, he has impacted me in so many good ways.  Back in the days when we were only friends & I never thought we'd date, much less marry, I knew I would never be the same person I was before I knew him, simply because of having known him.  He is so selfless, so thoughtful, so loving, so caring, so forgiving.  He is always my hero, always coming to my rescue when I need it no matter how brutal his own day has been.  I try HARD to be as good of a spouse to him as he is to me.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

30 day challenge-day 3

Day three: my favorite television program.

hhhmmmm, that's a tough one.  I rarely watch TV these days.  There were lots of shows in the past that I loved, but too many to narrow it down to one.  I guess the longest running one was General Hospital, but I gave it up, the Holy Spirit kept convicting me, so much immoral stuff going on on the show.  These days if I do watch it's usually a cooking show or American Idol, but I wouldn't say it was a "favorite" show.  I'm not THAT passionate about it.  We could honestly shut down the cable TV (or whatever you call U-verse, not technically cable I guess) & I wouldn't care.  Reading books & playing guitar are just soooo much better.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

30 day challenge-day 2

Day two: talk about your piercings & tattoos, if you have any.

I have 2 piercings in each ear.  I did the first ones when I was 10.  I did the second ones when I was 14.  I considered getting a third set when I was 18, but thought it would be too much.  I don't have any tattoos.  When I was young (early 20s) I had wanted to get one.  But knowing that it was permanent it had to be something super special.  I can remember going to several tat shops with friends & never seeing anything I liked enough.  I remember my ex saying I was fake, that I didn't really want one, but it wasn't true at all.  I really did want one, but it had to be something great enough that I wouldn't regret it later on.  And now that I'm older I'm soooo grateful that I never got one, LOL.  I guess God worked it out for me.  :)

Monday, February 13, 2012

Potty Training continued...update

Ok, so 2 weeks ago Lil J had had 2 accidents at church.  And the week before he had had 1 accident.  Prior to that had been several weeks of zero accidents.  BUT after the two accidents the lady working in the nursery was insistent that something was wrong with Lil J, that he has diabetes or something else wrong with him.  The only way I could end the conversation (& please her it would seem) was to tell her from now on I will bring him in pull ups (let me also repeat that in December it was the ladies in the nursery who had asked why on earth he was still in pulls ups since he wasn't having any accidents).

So the following week Lil J & myself were both too sick to go to church.  We skipped that week & watched it on podcast a few days later.

Yesterday we went & I had him in pull ups.  No one made any comment about the pull ups or the fact that he had zero accidents & the pull up was totally dry after church.  I didn't actually see the lady who was complaining about him, so maybe that's why.  But I changed him back into undies as soon as we got to the car & he remained dry & accident free all day long.

I am very proud of how well he is doing with the potty training actually.  Still not 100% perfect, especially when he's overly tired, but still, for not even being 3 yet I think he's doing really great.  :)  Just wanted to share that update.

30 day challenge-day 1

I am taking this 30 day challenge.  :)  I love stuff like this.

Day 1: my middle name & how I feel about it.

My middle name is Marie.  I've never liked it.  I always wanted a name that had some meaning to it.  My sister & brother's first names were chosen from the Bible.  My first name came from a character on a soap opera my mom was watching while she was pregnant with me.  My sister's middle name was our grandmother's middle name.  My brother's middle name was our father's first name.  Mine was chosen solely because it sounds good with the first name.  I've also noticed that there are tons of women with Marie, Anne, & Lynn as their middle names.  They just sound good with lots of first names.  My point is that I've never liked my middle name, mostly because it is far too common, but also because there's no meaning to it or behind it.  I don't say any of this in an angry way.  My name is what it is & it's who I am.  But if you really want to know how I feel about it, then there it is.  I was very careful in choosing my son's name because I wanted it to be special.  I've never felt like my name was special.

Candida Cleanse

I think most people are aware of yeast issues.  But I also think a lot of people downplay how widespread of a problem it is.

I have a long, long history of antibiotic use, beginning at less than a week old.  Growing up I took antibiotics for chronic ear infections, chronic UTIs, chronic tonsillitis & several bad bouts of bronchitis.  Of course back in my childhood years they also gave antibiotics (erythromycin) anytime I was sick, even if it was viral.  And in 2008 I had a really severe spider bite that was MRSA+, for which I received tons & tons of heavy duty antibiotics (both oral & IV) & was even hospitalized for a short time during the treatment.  The tonsillitis subsided in my teen years.  The ear infections subsided in my early 20s.  The UTIs still occur occasionally, though I've now learned that they stem from Interstitial Cystitis & if I can keep that under control I can mostly avoid the UTIs.  That is my constant goal these days.  The bronchitis gets me still occasionally, but not nearly as often.  I now use propolis as my defense against coughs (I learned this from my mother in law) & it really does help me in most cases.  I had tried to use a pill form of propolis (simply because it's easier & not as messy) not too long ago but it didn't seem to be very effective I have to admit.  So I've returned to using the pasty form & it's working great once again.

Back in 2008 (right before I got pregnant & right after the spider bite incident) I was meeting with a naturopath doctor to address my chronic UTIs.  I desperately wanted to find the root cause & find a way to put a stop to them & my primary doc wasn't helpful at all in this regard.  As we reviewed my medical history (& she was taking notes) I finally came face to face with just how much antibiotics I had taken over the course of my lifetime.  I was actually quite shocked.

The naturopath doctor did some tests & found that I had a "leaky gut" & that I wasn't digesting fats properly.  My digestive system was not in good shape, which isn't too shocking given the amount of antibiotics I have ingested.  Right when we were about to begin treatment for this I found I was pregnant.  The doc chose to wait on treatment.  She said that some of the herbs she had planned for me were considered safe during pregnancy (& some were definitely not) but she still didn't like to give them, just to be extra safe.  I was supposed to meet with her once per trimester & then we would resume the treatment plan after the birth.  But of course none of this was covered under insurance & anyone with kids knows that budgets get tighter with the birth of a child, not to mention going down to being a one income family from being a dual income family.  And so it got put off & I still haven't gone back.

During the pregnancy I had a UTI & had to take antibiotics.  And during labor I had a fever & was given IV antibiotics.

I was concerned about Lil J's digestive health, that it might be adversely affected because of the state of my own digestive health at the time I got pregnant & also due to antibiotics during pregnancy & labor.  I've been giving him probiotics since shortly after birth in hopes that that would help him overcome any issues he might have.

I was struggling myself with skin fungal issues.  I started seeing another alternative med doc after my own primary doc not being any help at all.  (the alternative med doc was at the same office at the naturopath, but the naturopath was off work due to having a baby of her own at the time)  I tried lots of things with little success.  Finally, about 7 months after Lil J was born, I changed my diet.  I did a super strict anti-fungus diet for about 2 months & it REALLY helped.

Shortly after Lil J was born I somehow discovered a TV show called "Know The Cause" & I chose to follow his diet plan to accomplish this.  I purchased the eating plan book & the recipe book & followed it to a T for 2 months.  ALL my skin issues went away.  (I still hope to return to the naturopath doc at some point to see if I still need to do more to fully restore my digestive health)

I remember discussing Lil J's digestive health with the alternative med doc but we both agreed it was near impossible to do anything while he was an infant.  One of the big things that you have to remove from the diet is dairy & he was on a cow-based infant formula, so that wasn't really doable.  He's had a fungal foot issue (much like athlete's foot) since he was an infant.  I have tried tons of creams & am still using one that sort of keeps it from getting worse, but never gets rid of it.  I've had my suspicions that this is related to his digestive system & an overgrowth of yeast in his system.  Each morning after his bath I completely dry out the toe area with a hair dryer & then apply cream & then his socks.  At one point the fungus had spread from the toe area to the entire bottom of the feet.  But I have managed to get it confined back to just the toe area & keep it just there.  But I have NEVER been able to eradicate it COMPLETELY.

To make matters worse, once he was able to start eating he was only willing to eat wheat!  He wants toast, pretzels, crackers, things like that.  So I've known in the back of my mind that putting him on a candida cleanse would be a nightmare, because he would just refuse to eat.  But I've also known that at some point I was going to HAVE to do it.

For a while now (maybe a year or so), his breath (especially when he first wakes up after a nap or in the morning) is very yeasty.  And then last Friday when I was brushing his teeth at bedtime I saw it--YEAST growing on the back of his tongue.  He has thrush.  (I always brush lower teeth, upper teeth, tongue, & palate  in that order & I saw it while I was brushing his tongue)  I knew that I could no longer postpone treating this.  I prayed over him, explained the situation to my hubby, & asked him to pray & to be supportive during this tough time.

So starting Saturday morning we began.  Based on my own past experience I know that you can take all the supplements you want, but if you don't change the diet you won't get anywhere.  You have to starve the yeast.  Dairy has already been removed from Lil J's diet for a while now, but wheat & sugar & corn still needed to be removed.  I am not going to be quite as strict as I was when I did this myself, it's just too hard & drastic for a toddler who doesn't understand, especially as picky as he is.  My own diet was completely grain free.  I am allowing Lil J to still have brown rice (which still allows him his rice milk & rice cakes & puffy rice cereal).  And I'm allowing almonds, his favorite nut.  And I'm allowing a small amount of fruit still, since he really likes it.  I know all about sugars & starches feeding the yeast, but he's not even 3 yet, this is REALLY hard on him, my goal is to be successful but also understanding & working with him as well.

It's tough, don't get me wrong.  It's VERY tough.  Every time I serve him something to eat he throws a tantrum.  And later on, his hunger gets to him & he gives in & eats some of what I've served.  Some of it he's still refusing though.  He's eating nut based crackers, turkey slices, rice cakes, almond milk yogurt for the most part.  I am allowing a small amount of pureed fruit or fruit leathers each day.  I'm working hard on getting him to eat some fresh fruits & veggies during this time, but as of today he's still refusing.

I have to report that 24 hours into this his breath was normal again, not yeasty.  And as of this morning (48 hours in) his athlete's foot is already almost gone.  I am still praying & hoping we can get this squared away COMPLETELY & quickly.  And I am also hopeful that we can change his future eating habits for the better during all of this.

I also ordered "ThreeLac".  It's a supplement that my alternative doc had told me to take when I was struggling with my own fungal issues.  I was never able to find it at that time & had given up.  But as I was googling about the issue specific to toddlers I ran across ThreeLac & quickly remembered why it sounded familiar & ordered it.  I am hoping it will also be helpful & effective.

Prayers would be much appreciated as me & Lil J continue to work on healing our digestive systems.  :)

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Treadmill & Cardio in general

Anyone who knows me knows that I LOVE working out.  I've now been working out for 20 years!

I have always hated cardio workouts & in the past I mostly just skipped it & avoided it.

In my younger days I could eat whatever I wanted & not have to worry about weight, or more specifically, body fat levels.  So skipping cardio wasn't a big deal to me because I wasn't worrying about fat.

But as I get older I do have to fight to keep the body fat off.  The older I get the harder it gets to maintain my weight & since having my son it's also made it harder to keep my abs flat & flab free.

I do have a heart murmur & I've always been very aware that my heart isn't as strong as other people's (even people who don't workout at all!) because of it.  Later on in pregnancy my heart was having a really hard time keeping up & by the time I went into labor I was going into heart failure.  It was clear to me that I needed to start doing cardio.  The heart is a muscle & by working it I can strengthen it.  Sure, not necessarily as strong as other people's, but still stronger than it has been.

Last August I was given a treadmill.  I have always wanted one, hoping that I would really enjoy that form of cardio.  I started working on running one mile.  I must admit I was REALLY hating it.  But I kept with it.  I was improving but still hating it.

However, I have to admit that I always found myself holding back, not pushing myself as hard as I probably could.  I was worried if I pushed myself TOO HARD then I wouldn't be able to continue RUNNING the whole mile & I would end up walking or quitting.  This bothered me, yet I couldn't think of a way to get around it.

I've always heard of circuit training or interval training (to my knowledge they are one & the same, but I might be mistaken about that) but I didn't really know exactly how to do it.  I had tried to look into it a few times, but it always seemed to complicated for me.  Then a few weeks ago I got an email from Dr. Mercola that was about this type of exercise.  It mentioned that you can burn more calories in less time & that it's better for strengthening your heart because you push yourself as hard as possible (no holding back) for the short interval intense bursts.  And it has a very simple structure to it, so I decided to give it a try & I am truly LOVING it.

I should add that this can be applied to ANY form of cardio.  You just need a timer or stopwatch or something like that.  I've been using it with the treadmill, but I do plan to use it with my spinner bike at some point.  The treadmill has a timer on it, but the bike doesn't.  Although I'm pretty sure my phone has a timer in it that I can use.

So here's the basic plan: you warm up for 3 minutes.  Then you go as fast as possible for 30 seconds.  Then you recover for 90 seconds.  Then you go as fast as possible for 30 seconds.  And 'round & 'round you go.  The goal is to build up to 8 of the 30 second bursts.

It's a very simple plan, yet it has structure to it, which I like.  I, personally, have split up the 90 second recovery.  So it goes like this: 30 seconds walking slow, 30 seconds walking fast, 30 seconds running slowly, then back to the 30 second as fast as I can go.  So it's basically just 4 phases of 30 seconds going around & around for me.  And I get so into each 30 second phase that I don't even realize how much time is passing by.  Before, when I was just running, I would stare at the timer & be wishing I was done at just a couple of minutes into the run.  I now find myself so into the workout that before I even notice it's already 10 or 15 minutes have gone by.

And by pushing myself as hard as possible, even for only 30 seconds, I do feel like my heart is getting stronger, my endurance level is increasing, which is what I want.  The idea is to push yourself to the point that you couldn't possibly continue past the 30 second mark & that's what I do & I feel like I'm seeing major results from this.

I am very pleased with working out like this & plan to continue (along with my strength training & pilates, etc).  It burns more calories & strengthens the heart better than traditional type cardio workouts.