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Archive for May, 2010

Sometimes…

  • you have subsist entirely on burgers, pasta salad, and fruit pizza for 2 days, because it means spending time with good friends and co-workers
  • you have to make chocolate chip cookies, even though you subsisted on burgers, pasta salad, and fruit pizza for 2 days
  • you have to eat chocolate chip cookies with ice cream, even though you subsisted on burgers, pasta salad, and fruit pizza for two days
  • sometimes you just have to unplug, unwind, and watch a movie with your hunny

…and tomorrow, you’ll return to work, the gym, and regularly scheduled programming, 100x less stressed out, and 100x more (mentally) healthy than you entered the long weekend.

See you tomorrow 🙂

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It’s Thursday, people! Thursday = nearing the long weekend. Woohoo!!!

We’re having peeps over Saturday for a cookout, and we’re headed to another cookout Sunday…but I’m hopin’ Monday = relaxation for moi. Foods are probably not going to be anywhere near as awesome as they should be. A lot of hamburgers and hot dogs to choose from in my future.

No life-altering events from last night’s workout. It was our first 90-degree/humid day of the season and it was hawt in the gym. Holy crap. I normally struggle to keep my heart rate up while I’m lifting (even with no rest) but yesterday I actually had trouble bringing it down. I ended up with significantly longer rest periods between sets. Oh well. Still got the job done. 🙂

Good Changes

I’ve been in a remarkably good mood this week – despite my monthly female friend being on my doorstep. I’ve changed a few things, and I’m not sure if it can be attributed to one thing, or a combination of all.

A). I’ve significantly increased my consumption of greens. Especially spinach, because I have a ginormous bag of it at home, and have been supplementing with my farmer’s market “Green Drinks” (spinach, orange, apple, ginger, mint, parsley, ice). I’m really loving the market Green Drink…may have to re-create at home, as it’s $5 a pop. Holy crap.

B). I’ve made a conscious and focused effort to incorporate more protein into my life. I am, by nature, a “carbs” girl. When I’m hungry, I reach for cereal, granola, fruit, crackers, and the like. I’ve been tracking and trying to keep my protein level higher. I really feel I wasn’t eating enough of it previously – especially based on my lifting schedule.

C). I’ve decreased my workouts. I’m still working out 4-5 days a week, but I’m not going balls-to-the-wall for 1h15m+ every.single.day. I was working to complete exhaustion previously, but then I’d go home and walk the dog, water the garden, make dinner, make food for the next day, etc – so I was exhausted and never got any down time. Made me pretty damn cranky. 🙂 Instead, I’m working out at more like an hour per day. I’ve cut down my cardio significantly. I’m not sure if that will end up being good for me or not, but on my lifting days I’m only doing enough cardio to get warmed up, and moving on. Non-lift days, I’m doing HIIT for 20 minutes. I don’t know that burning 500 calories-ish (rather than the 700/800 I was doing previously) per workout is going to benefit my waistline….but it’s benefitting my mental health. I guess I just need to find a way to balance my food around that workout goal. That’s the tough part.

Struggles

  1. Protein. I am having serious problems getting enough protein each day and enjoying it. Dairy tends to do a number to me in mass quantities, so I’m trying to limit my intake from that source. Tuna, salmon, chicken, turkey…they’re great for my lunches or dinners, but those meals were never a problem to begin with. Breakfast and snacks…that’s where I have trouble with protein. Any recommendations? I can do eggs a few times a week, but not daily…I get sick of them. I’ve been doing a cheese stick or protein bar for my snacks, and it’s helped…but you know what protein bars are like. It’s hard to find a good one with decent stats and a lack of unpronounceable words. I don’t do tofu, nuts only in moderation….and I’m still struggling to find a protein powder I don’t think tastes (or smells…GOD, what makes whey protein powder SMELL LIKE THAT?) like ass.

Apparently my phone decided to eat my pictures today. Oh well!

 

Citrucel on the way to work – 7:45 a.m.

Breakfast – 8:30 a.m.

My breakfast is straight out of the blog-o-sphere today.

Green monster

  • 2 c. spinach
  • 1 c. milk
  • 1 scoop vanilla protein powder (EAS brand. GOD its gross.)
  • 1 frozen banana
  • Handful of ice cubes (4?)

Tina’s 3-Minute Oatmeal Raisin Date Cookie

I wanted one of these, but realized we were out of raisins. But we had dates! Good enough!

  • ¼ c. oats
  • 1/8 c. egg white (Tina recommends liquid egg whites, but I just took ½ an egg white from a real egg)
  • 2 tsp. Brown sugar
  • 2 tsp. all-purpose flour
  • ¼ tsp vanilla extract
  • ¼ tsp baking powder
  • 1 tbsp raisins (or two dates, chopped, in my case)
  • Cinnamon to taste

Mix the ingredients together in a bowl and flatten down into a cookie shape. Microwave for 45 seconds, let cool slightly, and remove from bowl. Eat!

It was pretty good!  My co-worker seemed to think it was gross looking. But you’ll have that. 🙂

I only ate half of it..I was full.

That breakfast took me 2 hours to eat. Geeze!

Lunch12:15 p.m.

Two slices whole grain with ham-off-the-bone slices (delicious) and mozzarella cheese. With an apple. 🙂

 

Snack – 3:30 p.m.

Unpictured string cheese

½ a crunchy peanut butter clif bar (it was okay but not life-altering like the clif mojo I had yesterday)

 

Exercise

Hotter than Hades in the gym again today! Not good on interval day! LOL

HIIT for 20 minutes + 10 minutes steady state stop-my-heart-from-jumping-out-of-my-throat J

I did rounds on the stationary bike today. I tend to not use it much because it never feels like it ‘fits’ me. No matter of adjustment changes that for some reason.

Abs work:

  • Jackknife (again!!) 3×10
  • Lying Leg Raise (side to side) 3×12
  • Planks 3×60 sec (30 sec rest between)

50m @ the gym = 384 calories burned

Headed home, ate the other half of my clif bar and walked my little Holly Doggle for a bit. I think we only walked 20 minutes…it was way hot today, even for my little bundle of energy

Watered my garden (growwwwwwww….) and then made dinner

Dinner

Spaghetti (Smart Taste….DH will eat it, versus the whole wheat), meat sauce, and salad (leaf lettuce, cucumber, tomato, two kinds of peppers, carrots with red wine vinegar dressing)

Evening

Hoping to sit down before 10pm (which was last night!!) I’ve already failed at this 🙂

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Okay, big news first:

I’ve conquered the Jackknife.

This might not seem like a big deal, but you know how everyone has fitness moves they find impossible?

I have (had?) two:

Jackknife

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(Source)

Pistol Squat

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(Source)

And I’ve conquered the jackknife! I always had trouble with the ball/balance to do the movement – hell, to even get into position to do the movement – but last night I changed the surface I tried it on and it made all the difference!

Hurrah!

My only disappointment was I thought it would be a better ab exercise / thought it would be hard because I had so much trouble with it in the past. But I did 3×10 and I can’t even feel it today. I’m going to try again, though…work on my form and slow down my movement, and see if that helps.

That being said, I am NO WHERE near a pistol squat…any tips for working towards that? LOL

Citrucel on the way to work – 7:45 a.m.

Breakfast – 8:45 a.m.

2 Nature’s Path Red Berry Waffles, 1 cup greek yogurt, 1 cup fresh pineapple

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Snack – 10:30 a.m.

Special K Blueberry Fruit Crisps. Damn things are delicious. They’ll be gone soon, thank god.

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Lunch

Tuna salad (greek yogurt, celery, onion, salt, pepper, tuna) with baked wheat crackers and a big salad (leaf lettuce, spinach, tomatoes, carrots, cucumber, yellow pepper) with Vidalia dressing

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Snack

Clif Mojo bar and a citrine (like a clementine)  – I had an afternoon meeting and my snack had to be quick, or it would be too close to my workout this evening.

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Holy crap those Mojo bars are good. They’re like candy…but..with..nutritional value. Sign me up! 

Exercise

10 minutes warm-up cardio

Gentle stretching (for back and hamstrings, which get super-tight working a desk job)

Full body workout from Monday…3 sets. I took my weights from Monday, and used the lightest weight for 1 set, and the heavier weight for two. Next time, it’ll be all three heavy weight, then the ‘heavy’ weight below will become ‘light’ and I will add weight. I like doing it that way…it’s a gentle progression.

Exercise
Reps
Weight (Dumbbells)

Pile Squat
8 – 10
12.5 / 15 / 15

Dumbbell Row
10 – 12
10 / 12.5 / 12.5

Alternating Dumbbell Curl
10 – 12
12.5 / 15 / 15

Dumbbell Step-Up
8 – 10
7.5 / 10 / 10 (high bench)

Flat-Bench Dumbbell Chest Press
10 – 12
12.5 / 15 / 15

Seated Dumbbell Shoulder Press
10 – 12
10 / 12.5 / 12.5

Seated Tricep Extension
8 – 10
12.5 / 15 / 15

Stiff-Legged Deadlift
8 – 10
12.5 / 15 / 15

Cross-Bench Pullover
10 – 12
10 / 12.5 / 12.5

Standing Dumbbell Cross-Chest Curl
10 – 12
10 / 12.5 / 12.5

Dinner

Omelets! (I always want to spell it Omelette, but I can’t figure out if that’s approved, or a throwback to my 8 years of French class)

Spinach/tomato/mozzarella for me….ham/pepper/onion/mushroom/mozzarella for DH

Plus turkey bacon and whole grain toast!

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I loves me some breakfast for dinner 🙂

Some Cool Links

Health Benefits of Flaxseed

  • Just a little reminder for all of us why flax=good!

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Well, my poor little puppy has a belly ache. She was sick when I got home from the gym last night, so I made her hamburger and white rice (which she ate all of) and then she laid on the couch with me and I petted her. Poor thing.

She seemed in better spirits this morning, so hopefully she’s turning the corner!

Onwards and upwards to Tuesday!

Breakfast

A little cereal, milk, and fruit action. Cleaning out cereal boxes:

  • ~1/2 cup Cascadian Farm Cinnamon Crunch
  • ~2/3 cup Cascadian Farm Oats and Honey Granola
  • ½ cup sliced strawberries
  • 1 cup lowfat milk

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Lunch

I pulled a packet of salmon out of the cupboard last night with the intention of eating it over greens. But then I saw the sugar snap peas in the fridge and had to have them. So I whipped my salmon into a ‘salmon patty’ – perfect.

Salmon patty:

  • 1 packet boneless/skinless/ready-to-eat salmon
  • ½ an egg white
  • Dill, salt, pepper
  • Just enough whole wheat breadcrumb to bind it (~1/4 cup? Maybe less)

Pan-fried it in a non-stick skillet until heated through and brown on each side

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Packed that, and a generous (2 cups?) helping of steamed sugar snap peas. Delish!

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(And a string cheese for a little more protein, and entertainment-while-eating factor)

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Also picked up a The Green Drink at my market’s organic stand (spinach, ginger, parsley, mint, banana, orange, apple and ice) to sip this afternoon while working.

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Snack

Gala apple + natural PB was the plan, but snack time came and I wasn’t ALL that hungry.

Granola bar and a fingerful of PB

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Exercise

Janetha kicked my ass today. Holy cow.

I used one of her HIIT workouts today. WHEW!!

20 minutes HIIT (elliptical) + 10 minutes steady state (bike)

Abs:

3 sets:

Jackknife – 10 reps

Planks – 60 second hold

The one where you lay flat on your back with your legs bent at 90 degrees and gently bend your legs together to the left and then the right without touching the ground – 12 reps

1hr @ the gym = 452 calories burned

Headed home to find my puppy in good spirits and Dave reporting that she was feeling better, had eaten, etc – so we went for a 25 minute walk, and then I let her play with the neighbor dog 🙂

Dinner

Oy. My mother in law insisted she wanted to make us dinner one night. This woman doesn’t know how to

  1. Cook for less than a crowd of 10

Or

  1. Make anything with less than a pound of butter and oil in it

This is some seriously heavy dinner, folks. Fried chicken, mashed potatoes (with butter AND sour cream in them), corn fritters and homemade vanilla pudding with fruit.

Oy. I ate a little of each, and after she left I made a salad…I just can’t eat like that!

Female (Monthly) Warning

Aside from my hormone-related migraines, the biggest thing I struggle with monthly is fatigue. God I’m tired. I’ve done some experimenting…last month I tried caffeine (in the form of iced tea) but naturally I suffered from ‘caffeine crash’…rather badly, since I don’t normally drink any caffeine.

So that’s out.

This month, in the week and a half or so leading up to my dreaded fatigue time, I’ve increased my iron intake, predominately through food. While it seems to have helped marginally, I am still literally struggling to keep my eyes open at work for 2-3 days per month.

Any suggestions? What else should I try?

Some Cool Links

Low-Sugar Breakfasts

  • I’m notorious for my sugar intake…I need to cut it. Seriously. These breakfasts remind you there are plenty of delicious options out there!

The Truth About Food Spending in America

  • Neat article 🙂

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Back to Monday!

Dave and I had a very full weekend – but I’m finding that I’m happier here as of late..so apparently ‘breaking my routine’ isn’t as bad or scary as I thought. Apparently I need it! LOL

Friday

  • Pretty standard…I wasn’t going to go to the gym, but pushed through and went. I did a 25 minute interval routine on the stationary bike, and the P90X ab workouts, then headed out to do other errands (was at the gym – working out –  for 48 minutes, burned 392 calories)
  • Ran some errands (BJ’s , the bank) and headed home to DH. I walked the dog while he worked on digging out post holes for new fencing along our basement entrance
  • Dinnertime came (and went – we didn’t get to dinner until 9pm!), and with it, the husbands deep and abiding desire for Chinese buffet. He claimed he had dug post holes for hours and deserved it. LOL
  • I ended up with 1 plate at the buffet – veggie medleys, chicken and broccoli, a little white rice, and 2 crab rangoons because I adore those damn things

Saturday

  • Farmer’s Market and Walmart for me, grocery store for Dave – regrouped at home and went to Lowes together where we dropped ridiculous amounts of money on fencing for DH’s project and rabbit fencing for my garden. Holy crap that was expensive 🙂
  • Headed home, Dave and the pup headed outside to build fence, while I cleaned the house
  • Spent the evening with Dave installing my garden fence. Which, incidentally, was way harder than Dave’s ‘wood’ fence project for some reason. LOL
  • Served up leftover pork barbacoa pork tacos with rice and black beans, and all the fixin’s!

Sunday

  • Rain. Lots of rain. Rainity rain rain.
  • Ran errands (got my rings cleaned/checked, bought protein powder, bought kneepads (insert jokes here) for gardening, and returned a couple of items), finished laundry
  • Planted garden. In the rain. And mud. But hey – I didn’t have to water it when I was done! LOL It took me 2 hours to plant: corn, cucumbers, japalenos, watermelon, snap peas, sweet mini peppers, green beans (2 varieties), tomatoes (4 varieties) , and strawberries.Something better grow, dammit. 🙂
  • Finally collapsed on the couch (after basically having Dave hose the mud off me) at 8:30 for a quick Subway dinner. I had a 6” tuna on whole wheat (was SO hungry for tuna) with spinach, lettuce, and pickles, and ½ bag of BBQ baked lays (shared with Dave)
  • Found myself incredibly hungry an hour later and had a small mug of puffins/dark chocolate granola with milk. Ahh, perfect.

Monday!

Back to the grind. At least my breakfast rocked…

Citrucel on the way to work – 7:45 a.m.

Breakfast – 9:00 a.m. (after staff meeting!)

2 Hodgson’s Mills Whole Wheat waffles with real maple syrup, and ½ this crazy Odwalla protein drink. I had them in the fridge, so it seemed like an easy protein ‘add’ to my breakfast. It wasn’t bad –  a little chalky – but I have serious texture issues with food so others might think it’s fine.

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Wasn’t hungry at all for a snack – which is fine – so I held off until lunch:

Lunch – 12:15 p.m.

6” whole wheat with turkey and ham, spinach, lettuce, tomato and pickle from subway (had Dave get it last night with dinner); carrot/pepper/celery sticks, and some pirates booty for snackage factor

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Snacks

2:00 p.m. – Special K Fruit Crisps. I don’t pretend these are good for you, but I got them from a co-worker and they’re really tasty.

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3:45 p.m. – Oikos greek yogurt and fresh strawberries, with just a SPRINKLE of puffins for crunch 🙂

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Exercise

Swiped a full-body plan from Oxygen’s June 2010 edition. But while we’re talking about great plans, have you checked out The Fitnessista’s new Summer Shape Up? I think it’s her best one yet!

15 minutes warmup cardio on the ellipticizer, and then…

3 sets:

Exercise Reps Weight (Dumbbells)
Pile Squat 8 – 10 12.5 / 12.5 / 15
Dumbbell Row 10 – 12 10 / 10 / 12.5
Alternating Dumbbell Curl 10 – 12 12.5 / 12.5 / 15
Dumbbell Step-Up 8 – 10 7.5 / 7.5 / 10 (high bench)
Flat-Bench Dumbbell Chest Press 10 – 12 12.5 / 12.5 / 15
Seated Dumbbell Shoulder Press 10 – 12 10 / 10 / 12.5
Seated Tricep Extension 8 – 10 12.5 / 12.5 / 15
Stiff-Legged Deadlift 8 – 10 12.5 / 12.5 / 15
Cross-Bench Pullover 10 – 12 10 / 10 / 12.5
Standing Dumbbell Cross-Chest Curl 10 – 12 10 / 10 / 12.5

 

1h15m @ the gym: 523 calories burned

I’m going to try this Oxygen circuit for a little while (I miss sticking with a plan long enough to see gains) but may give Gina’s a try after this 🙂

Headed home to walk the pup for about 30 minutes, as usual. She loves walks – especially when we head to the local park where all the kids are practicing soccer. My dog thinks people live to pet her.

Dinner

Monday = Dave cooks (which means steak night)

Dave works his ‘hardest’ weights day on Monday, so he always insists we have red meat/juicy steaks for dinner. I think it’s funny 🙂

Venison steaks, steamed broccoli, and I had a sweet potato tonight (was hungry for it) and DH had pasta tossed in olive oil as usual

Evening

Quick evening here. I’m going to post this blog entry, watch the season finale of Chuck, and read a chapter or so of my book and head to bed.

Some Great Links

3 Reasons You Crave Sugar That Have Nothing to do with Food

  • I definitely relate to this – I most often crave sugar 1) at work in the afternoon (stress?) and 2) in the evening after dinner. I can’t pinpoint a reason for after dinner, other than maybe I am still dehydrated from my workout pre-dinner? I’m going to incorporate more liquids (consciously) between my workout and my evening ‘relax’ time and see if that helps.

Cooking Light Staff Favorites (Quick Meals)

  • The Chicken/CousCous salad looks divine. Might have to try that one.

Did you know Trader Joes is owned by Aldi’s?

  • Of course…this link says they aren’t really the same company, so who knows.
  • I say it’s just fishy that they won’t let anyone know where they get their stuff. For the prices they want, I wanna know where it comes from. I’m just sayin’.

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Well, it looks like there will be no bike riding with dad this weekend. He called me last night and told me the Pittsburgh is scheduled for rain and thunderstorms from Friday afternoon to Sunday afternoon – essentially the whole time we’d have been there.

So we’ve cancelled, and will hopefully reschedule. It’s kind of sad, because I hate living far away from my family and they’re disappointed when we can’t come. But on the other hand, it’s costly to go visit (gas, tolls, time, a dog who pukes in the car) so I don’t like to do it all that often. It’s a struggle, for sure.

I was on the phone with dad late last night and didn’t get Tuesday’s post up – but I posted it today!

Breakfast

Standard – red berry cereal, milk, strawberries and banana – yum

Snack

Handful of pistachios – things are addicting!

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Lunch

My taco salad on Tuesday was so amazing, I got another one. LOL. I could eat Mexican daily. Seriously. This time, I skipped the fried taco shell (which I don’t eat anyway), so in turn they loaded me up with more deliciousness. Yesssss….

They gave me ranch-dressing-mixed-with-hot-sauce as a salad dressing, but the guacamole in the salad was plenty for me.

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On the side, I picked up The Green Drink – spinach, orange, ginger, parsley, mint, ice, and god-only-knows-what-else LOL

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There’s a cute little sustainable foods stand in our Central Market that I frequent all the time, but I just realized I’ve never remarked on it here. It’s called Under One Sun. Here’s some pics of the menu (Wheatgrass! Local Eggs! Smoothies with vegetables! LOL)

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Good stuff..and lots of greens for lunch!

🙂

Snack

Sliced up organic gala apple, string cheese, baked wheat crackers

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Exercise

Rest Day

I am sore all over from my weights workouts this week (and I think I pulled a muscle in my chest doing assisted pull-ups on Monday)…so I’m generally just feeling a bit beat up. Today was scheduled to be HIIT with abs, but I’m not doing it.

I find that even with 2 days off a week I am struggling with feeling overtrained how is that possible? Im at the gym for maybe 1h15m 4-5 days a week, so it doesnt feel excessive to me. I wonder whats up? Thoughts?

Maybe I’m not getting enough protein….

I’ll take the pup for a nice brisk walk, and do some stretching/foam rolling.

Tomorrow I’ll either add the HIIT back in, or go for a bike ride with DH – depending on weather – and fit my abs work in then.

Dinner

Pork barbacoa (crockpot recipe!) tacos with black beans and Mexican (jasmine) rice. Mmmm (yes, that’s Mexican twice today. LOL)

Evening

Attended a Young Republicans (YR) meeting with DH. He’s been attending for months, but it seems like I always have other obligations on meeting night and can’t seem to get there. So tonight I was relieved of my duties (packing) by not going to Butler this weekend. So I showed my face 🙂

My weekday evenings are jam-packed, so I generally have trouble getting to any event that occurs on a weekday evening.

How about you? I find it easier to fit in events and such on the weekend – I think because I don’t work out on Saturday and Sunday. LOL

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Sans pics…my phone ate them!

Today is going better than yesterday. 🙂

Thank goodness!

Breakfast

Deliciousness in waffle form: 2 Nature’s Path Red Berry (you’ll note this is the same flavor as my cereal. LOL) waffles, 1 small container vanilla greek yogurt, and fresh, local strawberries. (holla!)

Lunch

DH had a leftover slice of ‘pita pizza’ for me from a local pizzeria…it’s basically a pizza sandwich. This one had ham and cheese, and I couldn’t resist it. I packed some veggies (grape tomatoes, carrots, celery, cucumber and peppers) to try to get some nutrients that don’t involve fat (I’m not gonna lie…that wasn’t a healthy lunch. LOL)

Snack

2 mini whole wheat bagels with pb and fresh blackberry jam a co-worker gave me, banana

Exercise

20 minutes moderate cardio on the elliptical

Gentle stretches

I was scheduled for a full-body workout, but I’m still sore from Monday’s full body workout. And I’m scheduled to bike with my dad this weekend, so I don’t want to go into it painfully sore.

I focused on what wasn’t sore: Biceps, Triceps, Shoulders, Glutes, Calves. So I guess it was a half-body workout? LOL

  • Standing Bicep Curls (Barbell) – 25 pounds
  • Seated Hammer Curls (Dumbbells) – 15 pounds
  • Tricep Overhead Extension (Cable) – 40 pounds
  • One-Armed Tricep Kickback (Laying on my back, with dumbbells) – 12.5 pounds
  • Seated Arnold Press – 12.5 pounds
  • Upright Row (Cable) – 30 pounds
  • Step-Ups on Bench  – Bodyweight
  • Single Leg Press  – 80 pounds
  • Calf Raises (standing) – Bodyweight
  • Calf Raises (seated) – 25 pounds

492 calories burned / 1h

Dinner

Salmon with olive oil and lemon, risotto with peas, and green beans

Evening

Gotta do some laundry and start prepping to pack…we’re headed out to see my family this weekend, which means ½ day on Friday and 4.5 hours in the car.

I also need to print out all my coupons and get my menu/grocery list for next week done. I do all of that in advance, so when we get back on Sunday we can go straight to the store and proceed with getting ready for the week. 🙂

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