the RPE scale.

by Janetha on January 27, 2010

in meals,moves

hello and welcome to the better half of the work week!

i know you have all been anxiously checking my blog for the results of the nut poll.. well, look no further, the results are IN.

cashews 41.4%

almonds 24.1%

walnuts 12%

pistachios 10.3%

brazil nuts 6.9%

macadamia nuts 3.4%

pecans 1.9%

woooo! cashews (my fave) for the win!

side note, why do some nuts have the word “nut” after them but others don’t?  like macadamia nut and almond. weird.

which reminds me, has anyone ever seen “best in show”? i love it when dude with the bloodhound is driving to the dog show and starts naming all the nuts.  he DOES say the word “nut” after each nut.  “I used to be able to name every nut that there was. And it used to drive my mother crazy, because she used to say, “Harlan Pepper, if you don’t stop naming nuts,” and the joke was that we lived in Pine Nut, and I think that’s what put it in my mind at that point. So she would hear me in the other room, and she’d just start yelling. I’d say, “Peanut. Hazelnut. Cashew nut. Macadamia nut.” That was the one that would send her into going crazy. She’d say, “Would you stop naming nuts!” And Hubert used to be able to make the sound, he couldn’t talk, but he’d go “rrrawr rrawr” and that sounded like Macadamia nut. Pine nut, which is a nut, but it’s also the name of a town. Pistachio nut. Red pistachio nut. Natural, all natural white pistachio nut.”

okay, okay.. enough about nuts.

reader melissa takes the win for best comment i received yesterday:


January 27, 2010 at 12:58 pm | #59

Not sure if someone already posted about this but are you doing 40mph while taking a pic of your smoothie?????????????????????????????????????????????? lol!

ha! no i didn’t notice that.. and oops.. busted.  my mom’s gonna kill me.

OH~ for those of you who wondered.. i was right about the reason you get cold after eating being the fact that all the blood goes to your stomach to aid in digestion.. and then you get freezing and have to turn on your space heater and then your boss gets mad at you for making the electricity bill sky rocket. eh, what can ya do? that is what he gets for telling me my food stinks.

should i actually talk about some meals & moves already?! sheesh janetha, stop rambling.


waffle wednesday! danica’s wafflewiches lately have been making me CRAVE one so that is what i went with today~ instead of the usual protein waffles.

meal 1: wafflewich @ 8:30 AM

IMG_5748IMG_5746 IMG_5747

for the wafflewich, i used two organic flax waffles that actually have stellar stats and ingredients. check it:


and they were DEEEELICIOUS. i loved the bits of flax throughout the waffles.  i dare say they were better than kashi golean waffles.  for the protein part of my wafflewich, i nuked 3/4 cup egg whites+1 whole egg (in a mug sprayed with pam) for 2 minutes.  the shape of the mug made a perfect little circle that fit fabulously between the waffles.


i drizzled a bit of log cabin sugar free syrup on top as a finishing touch. eaten alongside my morning coffee and checking my work email. scrumptious!


yes, i am classy and eat breakfast at my desk.

meal 2: randomness of random @ 12:00 PM


i am trying not to buy groceries before jamaica. this is the result. in the bowl:

  • 1 cup cottage cheese
  • 1/4 cup diced italian tomatoes (canned)
  • 1/2 bag steamfresh veggies (leftover from yesterday, served cold) the veggies were a mix of edamame, water chestnuts, carrots and broccoli
  • 1/2 tsp ranch seasoning


i was surprised by how delicious this was! nevermind the fact that my boss (not the one who said my food stinks, the other one) said that it looked like something his dog ate and threw up into my bowl. thanks boss! i liked it. no wait, i loved it.

snacktime was quite the treat!

meal 3: siggi’s icelandic yogurt + coconut chia granola @ 3:00 PM


SO.. i usually don’t eat flavored yogurt and i NEVER eat siggi’s because it is so pricey.. but it was on sale at whole foods so i decided to treat myself to a container.


here are the stats:


if you can believe it.. icelandic yogurt is even creamier than greek yogurt!


it is SO good!! i sprinkled bits of granola in the yogurt as i ate.


this snack was a tad carb-heavy, but my lunch was a tad carb-light so it all balanced out in the end.


today was cardio + abs day.  i decided to do a 15 minute cardio trifecta!  here are the details~

first i channeled my inner snackface and hopped on the elliptical for some steady, hard resistance training:

minutes resistance speed
0-15 level 15 between 6.0 – 8.0 MPH

total time: 15 minutes, total distance: 1.71 miles

then it was time for some high intensity intervals on the treadmill:

minutes speed incline
0-1 5.0 MPH 0.0
1-2 5.7 MPH 0.0
2-3 6.4 MPH 0.0
3-4 7.1 MPH 0.0
4-5 7.8 MPH 0.0
5-6 5.0 MPH 0.5
6-7 5.7 MPH 0.5
7-8 6.4 MPH 0.5
8-9 7.1 MPH 0.5
9-10 7.8 MPH 0.5
10-11 5.0 MPH 1.0
11-12 5.7 MPH 1.0
12-13 6.4 MPH 1.0
13-14 7.1 MPH 1.0
14-15 7.8 MPH 1.0

total time: 15 minutes, total distance: 1.68 miles

truth be told, i was going to go for 30 minutes but dude next to me was passing gas like there was no tomorrow. i seriously couldn’t even breathe out of my nose it was so bad.  and when running at high intensity speeds, it is a tad hard to breathe through your mouth the whole time. i was pretty annoyed by the whack gym etiquette on his part.. if you are about to poop your pants please don’t try to run on the treadmill next to me. kay, thanks.

i finished up my 45 minutes of cardio with a fun new stairmill routine:

minutes speed/level orientation
0-1 level 10 facing front
1-2 level 10 facing right
2-3 level 10 facing back
3-4 level 10 facing left
4-5 level 2 facing front
repeat minutes 0-5 two more times

total time: 15 minutes

it is HARD to go backwards on the stairmill at a level 10. holy geez.

the reason i do the stairmill so often is i have read in multiple articles that it helps lean out your legs and reduce thigh size.  my legs are strong and muscular which i love, but i really wish they weren’t so big around.  i figure it can’t hurt to do the stairmill as my cardio as often as possible.. right?

finished off with 15 minutes of abs:

  • 1 min ball crunches
  • 1 min decline leg lifts
  • 1 min plank
  • 1 min left side ball crunches
  • 1 min right side ball crunches
  • 1 min 10# weighted floor crunches
  • 1 min hanging leg raises
  • 1 min 10# plate twists
  • 1 min 10# plate ball crunches
  • 1 min stability ball passes
  • 1 min 10# plate crunch and twist
  • 1 min legs-against-wall reach to ceiling crunches
  • 45 seconds left side plank
  • 45 seconds right side plank
  • 90 second plank

whew. total workout took 1 hour and i burned 405 calories. the end.

i got an email from a reader, pat, yesterday.  i sent her a reply but i wanted to address one of the questions she asked me here on the blog because i think others may find it useful!

Q: “I have been doing intervals for 45 minutes each day.  I just wonder if I’m doing enough because I don’t get my heart rate up to the level that you talked about in your blog.  Do you think I need to work harder?”

if you missed it, the post where i talked about working out according to your heart rate can be found here. basically, i explained how i sometimes do my interval training according to my heart work so i can see how hard my heart is working.

BUT.. i have not always had a heart rate monitor or worked out according to my heart rate.  i actually prefer to use the RPE scale as a gauge when i do my interval training.

the RPE scale ~ this stands for Rate of Perceived Exertion scale. here is my definition of the numbers as i see fit:

perceived exertion # description
1 sitting on the couch
2 standing up
3 walking slow
4 walking fast
5 light jog, can feel heart rate increasing
6 starting to get challenging but can still carry on a conversation
7 could not carry on a conversation, working hard but still comfortable
8 the line between comfortable and HARD
9 almost 100% effort, working super hard
10 balls to the wall effort, you feel like you are going to drop dead

when i do my interval training, i like to stay between a 6 and a 10.  i try to do a minute at each level.  i will warm up first, going from a 1 to a 5, and then i will start my intervals at a level 6, increasing the speed and/or incline each minute so the exertion i am putting forth is a tick higher on the RPE scale with each minute that goes by.

i will work up to a 9 (and sometimes 10) and then drop it back down to a 6.  on my last interval, i always do a “level 10” for one minute.  this is when i look like a fool, am gasping for air, almost falling off the treadmill and the veins in my temples look like they are about to burst. it is a pretty sight, i am sure.

SO.. my answer to pat’s question up there was this:

A: “you mentioned your HR does not get up to the percentages that i mentioned.  i think that your target heart rate (which is 220 minus your age, then 50% to 85% of that number.. a nice table to see this can be found here) is something you should strive for, but if you are busting your butt during your intervals and it is hard work then i think you will eventually make steady cardiovascular improvements until you can get to where you are working out comfortably in your target heart rate.

you asked if you should be working harder, my advice is that you should definitely not over-do it because you could get hurt.. BUT the only person who can say if you should work harder would be you. when i didnt have a heart rate monitor, i based my intensity of my interval/cardio workouts on the RPE scale.

i think that while doing intervals, it is important to NOT drop below a 6 on the RPE scale.  and there should be a few short bursts where you are at a level 9 or 10, but these should only last 30-60 seconds.  the real key in making interval training successful is going from a 6 to an 9 or 10 several times, as many times as possible, during your workout.

that is what i used to always base my workouts off of. now that i have a HR monitor it is really nice because i know more about target heart rates and how hard my heart is working.  i know that when i started working out, my “level 10” was nowhere near 90% of my max heart rate.. but now that i have trained a LOT~ when i hit my “level 10” my HR has been known to get up to 175 BPM which calculates to 90% of my max HR.  it is not safe to workout in this range for a long period of time~ but then again i don’t even think it is POSSIBLE for me to keep my heart rate up that high for more than a minute!

make sure you are doing your intervals between a 6 and 9 or 10 every time and as long as you know in your heart that you worked as hard as you possibly could work, i think that is good enough.  i think that if you continue to do this then you will see improvements in your cardiovascular ability and your target heart rate will be easier to reach eventually.  for now, rely on your RPE scale but take note of your heart rate levels during you workout.  jot them down and i wouldn’t be surprised if a few months down the road the same workout you did today becomes way too easy for you a month from now.”

whew. sorry guys, long answer. but the RPE scale is something i use in my workouts every day and i think it is a valuable tool that everyone should be familiar with!


crock pot wednesday!


hmmm.. this was good, but not hit-the-ball-out-of-the-park good.   found a recipe for chicken stroganoff online.. thought it would be better than it was.


in the pot:

  • chicken breasts
  • cream of chicken soup (healthy request version)
  • fat free sour cream
  • chicken broth
  • bullion cubes
  • carrots
  • onions
  • celery
  • broccoli (which i steamed separately and added to the pot before serving)

marshall had his with white rice, i had mine as it was.  i think this was a tad too soupy and could have done without all the broth.  but the flavor was spot on. really tasty.

IMG_5774 IMG_5773

the best part of the dish was the chicken. it was so flavorful and tender! i love cooking chicken in the crock pot!

of course, i slathered my dinner in cholula~



before eating, i whipped out my new secret weapon to distract the pups from begging…


kongs with peanut butter!


this kept penelope and randy distracted for quite some time.

IMG_5792 IMG_5781

haha. love them.

OH! for all you pancake lovers out there.. tomorrow, thursday, january 28th is national blueberry pancake day! so celebrate accordingly :)

before i go.. i wanted to share the latest smoothie ‘stache submissions!

elise the seductive hungry hippie~



image image

lisa reppin’ the purple~



OKAY.. i promise i am done rambling now! congrats if you’ve made it this far!


1. do you use the RPE scale? what are your thoughts on the scale? my thoughts are above.

2. what is your favorite hot sauce? cholula girl all the way!

xo. janetha b.

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Angharad January 28, 2010 at 11:40 am

i love a bit of cholula – but i also love the cock sauce (as i know you do too). too good.

pancakes for brekkie tomorrow!! weeee!

Amanda, another priorfatgirl January 28, 2010 at 11:56 am

hahahaaa when i was reading your nut list, i was doing it with a southern accent in my head because of “best in show”! and then you mentioned it, and i lost it.

danica January 28, 2010 at 12:03 pm

MMM – wafflewich deliciousness!!! I LOVE how you added maple syrup – I need to try that next time YUM!

I have to admit lunch looked funky but I am sure it was good to the last drop :)

I may have to try out that yogurt now and make the coconut chia granola already!

Did you use your chicken frozen? If so, that adds a ton of water when it cooks….

caronae January 28, 2010 at 12:20 pm

I love best in show! Your wafflewich sounds amaze. And something creamier than greek yogurt? I’m so on it!

Laura January 28, 2010 at 12:48 pm

I don’t often comment, but this post deserves it- you are hilarious! I almost fell out of my chair at work laughing when I read “if you are about to poop your pants please don’t try to run on the treadmill next to me. kay, thanks.”
Also, I’ve seen that same chicken crock pot recipe online and was thinking of trying it. Now that it has your approval, I think I will!!

freckledfoodie January 28, 2010 at 12:50 pm

omg, weird! i had something similar for lunch today! steamed broccoli slaw with 1/2 c. ff cottage cheese & marinara sauce! it IS so good! it reminds me of the flavors of lasagna!

Heather Eats Almond Butter January 28, 2010 at 1:53 pm

J Bean,
I have never used the RPE scale, was always a heart rate girl. Thanks for sharing your experiences. Interesting.

I think the cottage cheese + ranch seasoning sounds delish. Reminds me I still need to make your buffalo chicken salad.

Favorite hot sauce…not a hot sauce girl. Been pouring tahini on everything myself.

I’m coveting Elise’s smoothie. It looks like French vanilla ice-cream. I want!

susan January 28, 2010 at 1:59 pm

OMG i laughed OUTLOUD about the guy rippin ass on the treadmill.. that is NASTY! brething through the mouth doesn’t even work for me b/c i always start to think i’m actually sucking the fart particles in through my mouth.

definitely best to just VACATE THE IMMEDIATE AREA!!

i want your basset hound… adorable!! for some reason i have a deep affection for the long/low to the ground types!??!!

Katie January 28, 2010 at 2:16 pm

I LOVE best in show. I had forgotten about that part, and it made me double over with laughter. I read it through like 3 times before I moved on to the rest of your post. :-)

Erin January 28, 2010 at 2:52 pm

<—doesn't know what the RPE scale is, lol

OMG the pups with their kongs!!

That crockpot din looks great. The reason it was too soupy was b/c of the ff sour cream. A little fat in there would have held it together a bit creamier. Still looks great tho!

traynharder23 January 28, 2010 at 3:08 pm

you are TOO FUNNY!!! oh mna, that ‘s why i watch it to LIVE VICARIOUSLY through the dude that eats that greasy stuff! LOL!

still it’s a secret addiction, man v food.

and look at you ROCK THE HIIT! and abs!

RunToFinish January 28, 2010 at 3:25 pm

ok after my post on runners and bikers getting hit by distracted drivers… I have to say tsk on the photo and don’t do it agian. K, now I’m done being your mom.

If i could jsut eat PB all day that would be perfect, but I’m glad I don’t have to like it off a rubber toy

Jenna January 28, 2010 at 3:53 pm

Never tried hot sauce but really wanna!

Kristin (Cook, Bake and Nibble) January 28, 2010 at 4:53 pm

That dinner looks good- I need a crock pot!!

1. RPE scale is really good for tracking your own progress, especially for people who don’t understand HR, etc. I’m for it!
2. Texas Pete is my fave! Sriracha is a close second.


Jenny January 28, 2010 at 6:59 pm

dude pecans are in last?! say it ain’t so! ah whatevs – I love ’em all.. never met a nut i didn’t like (twss.. bom chica ow owww)

crock pots make life amaze!

you da bestie, pooks ! xo

actorsdiet January 28, 2010 at 7:06 pm

doggies with their kongs are adorable! julius’ gets stuffed with banana; it’s just the easiest to put in there and we always have it on hand.

jocelynsteiber January 28, 2010 at 7:14 pm

Omg love the mustaches!! Too funny and you girls are adorable! I’m a baby and can’t handle any hot food so I HATE hot sauce.


julie January 28, 2010 at 7:17 pm

hahaaaaa i’m pretty sure i’m gonna have a stache tomorrow :) woop woop just gotta pick me up some greeeeeeeeeeeeens! even got my guar gum ready for action haha.

i workout with a HRM and i don’t know what i would do without it. i just love knowing the level that i’m working at and it helps me monitor the days i should take it easier then the others!

Amanda (Two Boos Who Eat) January 28, 2010 at 7:55 pm

I’ve always wanted to try Siggi’s but it’s way too expensive. Next time it’s on sale, I’ll have to check it out.

That is disgusting that someone was passing gas at the gym! DUDE! I totally laughed when I read that though. haha

Interesting about the stairmill and thigh size. That’s a problem area for me but my gym doesn’t have a stairmill. :( :( :(

Errign January 28, 2010 at 8:26 pm

Loved that super long ramble ’bout nuts.

That yogurt looks yum – not sure why yogurt has to be so damn expensive!

sophia January 28, 2010 at 8:47 pm

Girl, you’re getting more and more popular each day. No wonder I’m seeing less of you, it must be hectic to respond to all these comments you’re getting! Dang, girl! But not surprised!

Oh, hahaha! I always wondered about that “nut” thing, too. Dang it, cashews won? I love almonds most myself, and then pistachios.

apartmentnearchinatown January 29, 2010 at 9:08 am

Franks and Crystal are tied for first place in my life :)

Bekah January 30, 2010 at 7:18 am

hahahahah so its 9 am on a Saturday in my dorm.. and I’m pretty sure already my roommate thinks I’m a crazy person because I fixed oatmeal and french press. On a Saturday. And now I’m laughing out loud at your space heater comment and your classy wafflewich sandwich at your desk. Thanks Janetha.:/

OMG But I loooove the wafflewich. If I had a toaster that would be what I would make. I love Siggi’s but I almost think its not only too creamy, but tooo tangy for my taste. The tang factor of greek yogurt is a little less I think. :)

So glad you’re liking my granola!! xoxo

Bekah January 30, 2010 at 7:18 am

I also can’t believe cashews are the fave! I think cashews are one of my least fave. I like almonds and walnuts.

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